A COMMON saying of the Chow time is :
"Can a husbandman sit down and rest ?
"At dawn he sets out, and at night returns.
"This he considers the perpetual course of human nature.
"He eats coarse fare, which seems to him to be great delicacies. His skin and joints are rough and swollen, and his sinews and joints thickened and swollen. If he could live for one day clothed in smooth furs, in a silken tent, and eat meat and millet, orchids and oranges, he would grow sick at heart and his body would grow weak and his interior fire cause him to fall ill.
"If on the other hand the Prince of Shang or Lu were to try to cultivate the land like the farmer it would not be long before they would both be utterly worn out. Yet each one says : In the
ALL PLEASURES ARE RELATIVE
world there is nothing better than these our com forts and delights.
"There was one old farmer of Sung who never wore anything else than coarse hempen clothes ; even for the winter he had no others. In spring, when cultivating the land, he warmed himself in the sunshine.
"He did not know that there were such things as large mansions and winter apartments, brocade and silk, furs of fox and badger in the world. "
Turning one day to his wife he said :
"People do not know how pleasant it is to have warm sunshine on the back. I shall communicate this to our prince, and I am sure to get a rich present.
"A rich man of the village said to him : Once there was a man fond of big beans, hemp-stalks, cress and duckweed. He told the village elder of them. The village elder tasted them, and they burnt his mouth and gave him pains in his stomach.
"Everybody laughed, and was angry with the man, who felt much ashamed.
"Such a man do you resemble."