A Quote by Edwin T. Morris on agriculture, civilization, contempt, country, divinity, feeling, life, nobility, simplicity, and traditions

In Europe, the word peasant was a term of contempt used by the nobility, but the Chinese scholars used to fancy themselves rustics. Agriculture was viewed as a noble occupation; buying and selling, by contrast were considered nonproductive. One of the founders of the Chinese civilization was said to have been the venerable She Nung, the "Divine Farmer." A scholar often affected to be nothing more than an "old farmer" or a "simple fisherman" and referred to his elegant villa as "my thatched hut." This Rosseau-like feeling for the country life is an important undercurrent in the scholarly tradition.

Edwin T. Morris

Contributed by: Zaady