posted 21 Mar 2013, 01:36 by Jim Sheng   [ updated 21 Mar 2013, 01:46 ]
[简体: 蔬广; 繁体: 蔬廣. 1st Century b.c. The following is the reply of an aged statesman to his friends and kinsmen, on being urged by them to invest a sum of money, granted to him by the Emperor on his retirement from office, in landed property for his descendants. He began life as a teacher, and his success was so great that pupils flocked to him from a distance. In 67 B.C. he was appointed Tutor to the Heir Apparent.] 


HOW should I be so infatuated in my old age as to make no provision for my children? There is the family estate. Let them work hard upon it, and that toil will find them in clothes and food, like other people. To add anything, and so create a superfluity, would be to hold up a premium for sloth. The genius of men who possess is stunted by possession. Wealth only aggravates the natural imbecility of fools. Besides, a rich man is an eyesore to all. I may not be able to do much to improve my children; at least, I will not stimulate their vices and cause them to be objects of hate. 

Then again, this money was graciously bestowed upon me by His Majesty, as pension for the old age of a servant. Therefore I rejoice to spend it freely among my clansmen and my fellow-villagers, as I pass to my appointed rest. Am I not right?