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The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion, by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, [1905], at

p. 129


A state may be small, and the population sparse, yet the people should be taught not to rely on force; they should be made to comprehend the gravity of death, and the futility of emigration. Then, though they had boats and carts, they would have no use for them; though they had armor and weapons they would not display them. They should be taught to return to the use of the quippo; to be content with their food, their clothing, their dwellings, and to be happy in their traditions. Though neighboring states were within sight, and the people should hear the barking of their dogs and the crowing of their cocks, they would grow old and die without visiting them. 1

Better be a hermit, minus the comforts of civilization, than a millionaire chained to many earthly possessions. Montaigne nobly says, "Let us betimes bid our company farewell … We should reserve a storehouse for ourselves, and wholly free, wherein we may hoard up and establish our true liberty and principal retreat and solitariness." "Jesus said unto Him, If thou wouldst be perfect, go sell

p. 130

that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come follow me." "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth."


129:1 Su-cheh sums up the chapter in a sentence—"If the inner brings satisfaction, the outer will have no attractions."

A native paper laments the degeneracy of present times in the following language: "In ancient times men lived in caves and holes of the earth. They wore leaves for clothing. They used earthenware of the rudest description, their carts had no tires, to record events they simply knotted a cord. In ancient times sovereign and people all sat on mats on the floor. In ancient times the sovereign invited some one to take his place while he retired. The feudal system prevailed. Now every one of these customs is obsolete, and we all know what we have at the present day."—Su Pao.

The Sri Bhagavat says: "While there is the bare ground, why labor for beds? While there is your own arm, why labor for a pillow? While the palms of your hands may be joined, why trouble yourself for dishes and platters? While there are barks on trees, why labor for raiment?'—Dialogues on The Hindu Philosophy by Rev. K. M. Banerjèa, p. 24.

Next: Chapter LXXXI