Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 24, Part 23

Trey Smith

What I call the bent-with-burdens are those like Shun. The mutton doesn't long for the ants; it is the ants who long for the mutton. Mutton has a rank odor, and Shun must have done rank deeds for the hundred clans to have delighted in him so. Therefore, though he changed his residence three times, each place he lived in turned into a city, and by the time he reached the wilderness of Teng, he had a hundred thousand households with him. Yao heard of the worthiness of Shun and raised him up from the barren plains, saying, "May I hope that you will come and bestow your bounty upon us?" When Shun was raised up from the barren plains, he was already well along in years and his hearing and eyesight were failing, and yet he was not able to go home and rest. This is what I call the bent-with-burdens.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
Here is another snippet whose meaning is lost on me. I really don't understand the point being made.

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

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