"Sir, you have been three times called to office without showing any elation, and you have been three times dismissed without displaying any chagrin. At first, I doubted you; but now I notice that your breathing is perfectly regular. How do you manage thus to control your emotions?"
"I am no better than other people," replied Sun Shu Ao. "I regard office when it comes as something which may not be declined; when it goes, as something which cannot be kept. To me both the getting and losing are outside my own self; and therefore I feel no chagrin. How am I better than other people?
"Besides, I am not conscious of office being either in the hands of others or in my own. If it is in the hands of others, my own personality disappears; if in mine, theirs. And amidst the cares of deliberation and investigation, what leisure has one for troubling about rank?"
When Confucius heard this, he said, "The perfect Sages of old!—cunning men could not defeat them; beautiful women could not seduce them; robbers could not steal from them;
- They were unmoved in the face of danger.
Fu Hsi and the Yellow Emperor could not make friends of them. Life and death are great; yet these gave them no pang.
- That would cause them to sacrifice truth.
How much less then rank and power!
"The souls of such men pierced through huge