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YANG CHU said:

   "That in which all beings differ is life, that in which they are all alike is death.

   "During life there is the difference of intelligence and dullness, honour and meanness, but in death there is the equality of rottenness and putrefaction. Neither can be prevented. Although intelligence and dullness, honour and meanness exist, no human power can affect them, just as rottenness and putrefaction cannot be prevented. Human beings cannot make life and p. 41 death, intelligence and stupidity, honourableness and meanness, what they are, for all beings live and die equally, are equally wise and stupid, honourable and mean.

   "Some die at the age of ten, some at one hundred. The wise and benevolent die as the cruel and imbecile.

   "In life they are known as Yao and Shun1; dead they are so many bones which cannot be distinguished. But if we hasten to enjoy our life, we have no time to trouble about what comes after death."



p. 41

1 Yao and Shun, the two model emperors of antiquity.