How to choose an heir

When Shih T’ai of Wei died, he had no rightful heir, but six illegitimate sons.

They divined, who would be the successor, and made out that bathing and the wearing of gems would afford an omen.

Five of the sons took a bath, and adorned themselves with precious stones, but Shih Ch’i Tse said, “Who, being in mourning for a parent, can bathe and wear gems?” Hence he did not bathe, nor wear any gems.

It was he who hit the omen, and became the successor.

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