Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/413

This page has been validated.
On Declining Power

coat had no outside cloth. His face was bloated and rough. His hands and feet were horny hard. For three days he had had no fire; no new clothes for ten years. If he set his cap straight the tassel would come off. If he drew up his sleeve his elbow would poke through. If he pulled up his shoe, the heel would come off. Yet slipshod he sang the Sacrificial Odes of Shang, his voice filling the whole sky, as though it had been some instrument of metal or stone.

The Son of Heaven could not secure him as a minister. The feudal princes could not secure him as a friend. For he who nourishes his purpose becomes oblivious of his body. He who nourishes his body becomes oblivious of gain. And he who has attained Tao becomes oblivious of his mind.

"Come hither," said Confucius to Yen Hui. "Your family is poor, and your position lowly. Why not go into official life?"

"I do not wish to," replied Yen Hui. "I have fifty acres of land beyond the city walls, which are enough to supply me with food. Ten more within the walls provide me with clothes. My lute gives me all the amusement I want; and the study of your doctrines keeps me happy enough. I do not desire to go into official life."

"Bravo! well said!" cried Confucius with beaming countenance. "I have heard say that those who are contented do not entangle themselves in the pursuit of gain. That those who have really