A powerful king, ruler of many domains, was in a position of such magnificence that wise men were his mere employees. And yet one day he felt himself confused and called the sages to him.
He said: “I do not know the cause, but something impels me to seek a certain ring, one that will enable me to stabilize my state. I must have such a ring. And this ring must be one which, when I am unhappy, will make me joyful. At the same time, if I am happy and look upon it, I must be made sad.”
The wise men consulted one another, and threw themselves into deep contemplation. Finally, they came to a decision as to the character of this ring which would suit their king.
The ring which they devised was one upon which was inscribed the legend:
THIS, TOO, WILL PASS.