There was once a mandarin in China who was in the habit of eating four pounds of pork every day.
One of his underlings said, “He was a happy man to be able to eat so much, and to have so much to eat.”
Another answered, “ Four pounds is nothing, I could eat as much if I had it.”
The mandarin, overhearing the boast, demanded that the speaker should prove his words by eating the four pounds in his presence daily for a whole year. If he utterly failed he was to have a hundred blows.
For the first month the man succeeded, but afterwards had to come down to three and a half, and eventually to one and a half pounds. He was beaten correspondingly. Soon he could take very little, and the full hundred blows were inflicted daily. This was as expensive as painful, for he had to fee his prosecutors two hundred cash a day to ” lay it on lightly.”