The lower the service, the more are the carriages given.

There was a man of Sòng, called Cáo Shāng, who was sent by the king of Sòng on a mission to Qín.

On setting out, he had several carriages with him; and the king of Qín was so pleased with him that he gave him another hundred.

When he returned to Sòng, he saw Zhuāng Zǐ, and said to him, ‘To live in a narrow lane of a poor mean hamlet, wearing sandals amid distress of poverty, with a weazen neck and yellow face;–that is what I should find it difficult to do. But as soon as I come to an understanding with the Lord of a myriad carriages, to find myself with a retinue of a hundred carriages,–that is wherein I excel.’

Zhuāng Zǐ replied, ‘When the king of Qín is ill, the doctor whom he calls to open an ulcer or squeeze a boil receives a carriage; and he who licks his piles receives five. The lower the service, the more are the carriages given. Did you, Sir, lick his piles? How else should you have got so many carriages? Begone!’

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