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Title: Chuang Tzu - Mystic, Moralist, and Social Reformer
Author: Tzu, Chuang
Language: English
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               CHUANG TZŬ


_Mystic, Moralist, and Social Reformer_



            HERBERT A. GILES

     _H. B. M.'s Consul at Tamsui_





    INTRODUCTION                                                       v

    NOTE ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHUANG TZŬ, _by Canon Moore_         xviii

    CHAPTER      I--TRANSCENDENTAL BLISS                               1

       "        II--THE IDENTITY OF CONTRARIES                        12

       "       III--NOURISHMENT OF THE SOUL                           33

       "        IV--MAN AMONG MEN                                     38

       "         V--THE EVIDENCE OF VIRTUE COMPLETE                   56

       "        VI--THE GREAT SUPREME                                 68

       "       VII--HOW TO GOVERN                                     91

       "      VIII--JOINED TOES                                       99

       "        IX--HORSES' HOOFS                                    106

       "         X--OPENING TRUNKS                                   110

       "        XI--ON LETTING ALONE                                 119

       "       XII--THE UNIVERSE                                     135

       "      XIII--THE TAO OF GOD                                   157

       "       XIV--THE CIRCLING SKY                                 173

       "        XV--SELF-CONCEIT                                     190

       "       XVI--EXERCISE OF FACULTIES                            195

       "      XVII--AUTUMN FLOODS                                    200

       "     XVIII--PERFECT HAPPINESS                                220

       "       XIX--THE SECRET OF LIFE                               229

       "        XX--MOUNTAIN TREES                                   245

       "       XXI--T'IEN TZŬ FANG                                   261

       "      XXII--KNOWLEDGE TRAVELS NORTH                          276

       "     XXIII--KÊNG SANG CH'U                                   294

       "      XXIV--HSÜ WU KUEI                                      311

       "       XXV--TSÊ YANG                                         335

       "      XXVI--CONTINGENCIES                                    352

       "     XXVII--LANGUAGE                                         363

       "    XXVIII--ON DECLINING POWER                               370

       "      XXIX--ROBBER CHÊ                                       387

       "       XXX--ON SWORDS                                        407

       "      XXXI--THE OLD FISHERMAN                                413

       "     XXXII--LIEH TZŬ                                         423

       "    XXXIII--THE EMPIRE                                       437

    INDEX                                                            455

    ERRATA AND ADDENDA                                               466


Chuang Tzŭ[1] belongs to the third and fourth centuries before Christ.
He lived in the feudal age, when China was split up into a number of
States owning a nominal allegiance to the royal, and weakly, House of

[1] Pronounce _Chwongdza_.

He is noticed by the historian Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien, who flourished at the
close of the second century B.C., as follows:--

 Chuang Tzŭ was a native of Mêng.[2] His personal name was Chou.
 He held a petty official post at Ch'i-yüan in Mêng.[3] He lived
 contemporaneously with Prince Hui of the Liang State and Prince Hsüan
 of the Ch'i State. His erudition was most varied; but his chief
 doctrines are based upon the sayings of Lao Tzŭ.[4] Consequently,
 his writings, which extend to over 100,000 words, are mostly

[2] In the modern province of An-hui.

[3] Hence he is often spoken of in the book language as "Ch'i-yüan."

[4] Pronounce _Lowdza_. The _low_ as in _allow_. See p. vii.

[5] Of an imaginative character, in keeping with the visionary
teachings of his master.

 He wrote _The Old Fisherman_, _Robber Chê_, and _Opening Trunks_, with
 a view to asperse the Confucian school and to glorify the mysteries of
 Lao Tzŭ.[6] _Wei Lei Hsü_, _Kêng Saṅg Tzŭ_, and the like, are probably
 unsubstantial figments of his imagination.[7] Nevertheless, his
 literary and dialectic skill was such that the best scholars of the
 age proved unable to refute his destructive criticism of the Confucian
 and Mihist schools.[8]

 [6] See chs. xxxi, xxix, and x, respectively.

 [7] The second of these personages is doubtless identical, though the
 name is differently written, with the Kêng Sang Ch'u of ch. xxiii. The
 identity of the first name has not been satisfactorily settled.

 [8] See p. 17.

 His teachings were like an overwhelming flood, which spreads at its
 own sweet will. Consequently, from rulers and ministers downwards,
 none could apply them to any definite use.[9]

 [9] This last clause is based upon a famous passage in the _Lun
 Yü:--The perfect man is not a mere thing; i.e._, his functions are
 not limited. The idea conveyed is that Chuang Tzŭ's system was too
 far-reaching to be practical.

 Prince Wei of the Ch'u State, hearing of Chuang Tzŭ's good report,
 sent messengers to him, bearing costly gifts, and inviting him to
 become Prime Minister. At this Chuang Tzŭ smiled and said to the
 messengers, "You offer me great wealth and a proud position indeed;
 but have you never seen a sacrificial ox?--When after being fattened
 up for several years, it is decked with embroidered trappings and led
 to the altar, would it not willingly then change places with some
 uncared-for pigling?... Begone! Defile me not! I would rather disport
 myself to my own enjoyment in the mire than be slave to the ruler of
 a State. I will never take office. Thus I shall remain free to follow
 my own inclinations."[10]

[10] See p. 434.

To enable the reader to understand more fully the writings of Chuang
Tzŭ, and to appreciate his aim and object, it will be necessary to go
back a few more hundred years.

In the seventh century B.C., lived a man, now commonly spoken of as Lao
Tzŭ. He was the great Prophet of his age. He taught men to return good
for evil, and to look forward to a higher life. He professed to have
found the clue to all things human and divine.

He seems to have insisted that his system could not be reduced to
words. At any rate, he declared that those who spoke did not know,
while those who knew did not speak.

But to accommodate himself to conditions of mortality, he called this
clue TAO, or THE WAY, explaining that the word was to be understood
metaphorically, and not in a literal sense as the way or road upon
which men walk.

The following are sentences selected from the indisputably genuine
remains of Lao Tzŭ, to be found scattered here and there in early
Chinese literature:--

 All the world knows that the goodness of doing good is not real

 When merit has been achieved, do not take it to yourself. On the other
 hand, if you do not take it to yourself, it shall never be taken from

 By many words wit is exhausted. It is better to preserve a mean.

 Keep behind, and you shall be put in front. Keep out, and you shall be
 kept in.

 What the world reverences may not be treated with irreverence.

 Good words shall gain you honour in the market-place. Good deeds shall
 gain you friends among men.

 He who, conscious of being strong, is content to be weak,--he shall be
 a cynosure of men.

 The Empire is a divine trust, and may not be ruled. He who rules,
 ruins. He who holds by force, loses.

 Mighty is he who conquers himself.

 He who is content, has enough.

 To the good I would be good. To the not-good I would also be good, in
 order to make them good.

 If the government is tolerant, the people will be without guile. If
 the government is meddling, there will be constant infraction of the

 Recompense injury with kindness.

 The wise man's freedom from grievance is because he will not regard
 grievances as such.

Of such were the pure and simple teachings of Lao Tzŭ. But it is upon
the wondrous doctrine of _Inaction_ that his claim to immortality is

 Do nothing, and all things will be done.

 I do nothing, and my people become good of their own accord.

 Abandon wisdom and discard knowledge, and the people will be benefited
 an hundredfold.

 The weak overcomes the strong, the soft overcomes the hard. All the
 world knows this; yet none can act up to it.

 The softest things in the world override the hardest. That which has
 no substance enters where there is no fissure. And so I know that
 there is advantage in _Inaction_.

Such doctrines as these were, however, not likely to appeal with force
to the sympathies of a practical people. In the sixth century B.C.,
before Lao Tzŭ's death, another Prophet arose. He taught his countrymen
that _duty to one's neighbour_ comprises the whole duty of man.
Charitableness of heart, justice, sincerity, and fortitude,--sum up the
ethics of Confucius. He knew nothing of a God, of a soul, of an unseen
world. And he declared that the unknowable had better remain untouched.

Against these hard and worldly utterances, Chuang Tzŭ raised a powerful
cry. The idealism of Lao Tzŭ had seized upon his poetic soul, and he
determined to stem the tide of materialism in which men were being fast
rolled to perdition.

He failed, of course. It was, indeed, too great a task to persuade the
calculating Chinese nation that by doing nothing, all things would be
done. But Chuang Tzŭ bequeathed to posterity a work which, by reason
of its marvellous literary beauty, has always held a foremost place.
It is also a work of much originality of thought. The writer, it is
true, appears chiefly as a disciple insisting upon the principles of
a Master. But he has contrived to extend the field, and carry his own
speculations into regions never dreamt of by Lao Tzŭ.

       *       *       *       *       *

It may here be mentioned that the historian Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien, already
quoted, states in his notice of Lao Tzŭ that the latter left behind
him a small volume in 5,000 and odd characters. Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien does
not say, nor does he give the reader to understand, that he himself
had ever seen the book in question. Nor does he even hint (see p. v.)
that Chuang Tzŭ drew his inspiration from a book, but only from the
"sayings" of Lao Tzŭ.

Confucius never mentions this book. Neither does Mencius, China's
"Second Sage," who was born about one hundred years after the death of
the First.

But all this is a trifle compared with the fact that Chuang Tzŭ himself
never once alludes to such a book; although now, in this nineteenth
century, there are some, happily few in number, who believe that we
possess the actual work of Lao Tzŭ's pen. It is, perhaps, happier still
that this small number cannot be said to include within it the name
of a single native scholar of eminence. In fact, as far as I know,
the whole range of Chinese literature yields but the name of one such
individual who has ever believed in the genuineness of the so-called
_Tao-Tê-Ching_.[11] Even he would probably have remained unknown to
fame, had he not been brother to Su Tung-p'o.[12]

[11] The Canon of Tao, and of Tê, the exemplification thereof. See p.
125. I have discussed the claims of this work at some length in _The
Remains of Lao Tzŭ_: Hong Kong, 1886.

[12] The brilliant philosopher, statesman, poet, &c., of the Sung
dynasty (A.D. 1036-1101).

Chuang Tzŭ, indeed, puts into the mouth of Lao Tzŭ sayings which are
now found in the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, mixed up with a great many other
similar sayings which are not to be found there. But he also puts
sayings, which now appear in the Tao-Tê-Ching, into the mouth of
Confucius (p. 275)! And even into the mouth of the Yellow Emperor (pp.
277-278), whose date is some twenty centuries earlier than that of Lao
Tzŭ himself!!

Two centuries before the Christian era, an attempt was made to destroy,
with some exceptions, the whole of Chinese literature, in order that
history might begin anew from the reign of the First Emperor of united
China. The extent of the actual mischief done by this "Burning of the
Books" has been greatly exaggerated. Still, the mere attempt at such a
holocaust gave a fine chance to the scholars of the later Han dynasty
(A.D. 25-221), who seem to have enjoyed nothing so much as forging, if
not the whole, at any rate portions, of the works of ancient authors.
Some one even produced a treatise under the name of Lieh Tzŭ, a
philosopher mentioned by Chuang Tzŭ, not seeing that the individual in
question was a creation of Chuang Tzŭ's brain!

And the _Tao-Tê-Ching_ was undoubtedly pieced together somewhere about
this period, from recorded sayings and conversations of Lao Tzŭ.[13]

[13] A curious parallelism will be found in _Supernatural Religion_,
vol. i, p. 460:--

"No period in the history of the world ever produced so many spurious
works as the first two or three centuries of our era. The name of every
Apostle, or Christian teacher, not excepting that of the great Master,
was freely attached to every description of religious forgery."

Chuang Tzŭ's work has suffered in like manner. Several chapters are
clearly spurious, and many episodes have been interpolated by feeble
imitators of an inimitable style.

The text, as it now stands, consists of thirty-three chapters. These
are a reduction from fifty-three, which appear to have been in
existence in the fourth century A.D.[14] The following is the account
given in the Imperial Catalogue of the first known edition:--

[14] On the authority of the _I-wên-chih_.

 Chuang Tzŭ, with Commentary, in 10 books. By Kuo Hsiang of the Chin
 dynasty (A.D. 265-420).

 The _Shih-shuo-hsin-yü_[15] states that Kuo Hsiang stole his work from
 Hsiang Hsiu.[16] Subsequently, Hsiang Hsiu's edition was issued, and
 the two were in circulation together. Hsiang Hsiu's edition is now
 lost, while Kuo Hsiang's remains.

 [15] A work of the fifth century A.D.

 [16] Of the Han dynasty. Mayers puts him a little later, viz., A.D.

 Comparison with quotations from Hsiang Hsiu's work, as given in
 _Chuang Tzŭ Explained_, by Lu Tê-ming, shows conclusive evidence of
 plagiarism. Nevertheless, Kuo Hsiang contributed a certain amount of
 independent revision, making it impossible for us to regard the whole
 as from the hand of Hsiang Hsiu. Consequently, it now passes under the
 name of Kuo Hsiang.

Since Kuo Hsiang's time, numberless editions with ever-varying
interpretations have been produced to delight and to confuse the
student. Of these, I have chosen six, representative as nearly as
possible of different schools of thought. Their editors are:--

 1.--KUO HSIANG of the Chin dynasty. (_a_) As given in the _Shih Tzŭ
 Ch'üan Shu_, or Complete Works of the Ten Philosophers. (_b_) As
 edited by Tan Yüan-ch'un, of the Ming dynasty, with his own valuable

 2.--LÜ HUI-CH'ING of the Sung dynasty.

 3.--LIN HSI-YI of the Sung dynasty.

 4.--WANG YÜ of the Sung dynasty. Son of the famous Wang An-shih.

 5.--HSING TUNG, a Taoist priest of the Ming dynasty.

 6.--LIN HSI-CHUNG, of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties.

Where there is a consensus of opinion, I have followed such
interpretation without demur. But where opinions differ, I have not
hesitated to accept that interpretation which seemed to me to be most
in harmony with the general tenor of Chuang Tzŭ's philosophy. And
where all commentators fail equally, as they sometimes do, to yield
anything at all intelligible, I have then ventured to fall back upon
what Chuang Tzŭ himself would have called the "light of nature." Always
keeping steadily in view the grand precept of Lin Hsi-chung, that we
should attempt to interpret Chuang Tzŭ neither according to Lao Tzŭ,
nor according to Confucius, nor according to Buddha, but according to
Chuang Tzŭ himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the thirty-three existing chapters, the first seven are called
"inside" chapters, the next fifteen "outside," and the remaining eleven

The meaning of "inside" and "outside" is a matter of dispute. Some
Chinese critics have understood these terms in the obvious sense of
esoteric and exoteric. But it is simpler to believe with others that
the titles of the first seven chapters are taken from the inside or
subject-matter, while the outside chapters are so named because their
titles are derived casually from words which happen to stand at the
beginning or outside of each.

Compared with the "miscellaneous," these latter seem to have been
classed together as elucidating a single principle in terms more easy
of apprehension; while the "miscellaneous" chapters embrace several
distinct trains of thought, and are altogether more abstruse. The
arrangement is unscientific, and it was probably this which caused
Su Tung-p'o to decide that division into chapters belongs to a later
age. He regards chaps. xxix-xxxii as spurious, although Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien
alludes to two of these as Chuang Tzŭ's work. It has indeed been held
that the inside chapters alone (i-vii) are from Chuang Tzŭ's own pen.
But most of the other chapters, exclusive of xxix-xxxii, contain
unmistakable traces of a master hand. Ch. xvii, by virtue of an
exquisite imagery, has earned for its author the affectionate sobriquet
of "Chou of the Autumn Floods."

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ, it must be remembered, has been for centuries classed as
a heterodox writer. His work was an effort of reaction against the
materialism of Confucian teachings. And in the course of it he was
anything but sparing of terms. Confucius is dealt with in language
which no modern literate can approve. But the beauty and vigour of the
language are facts admitted by all. He is constantly quoted in the
great standard lexicon which passes under the name of K'ang Hsi.

But no acquaintance with the philosophy of Chuang Tzŭ would assist
the candidate for honours at the competitive examinations which are
the portals to official place and power. Consequently, Chuang Tzŭ is
studied chiefly by older men, who have retired from office, or who have
been disappointed in their career. Those too who are dominated by a
religious craving for something better than mortality, find in his
pages much agreeable solace against the troubles of this world, with an
implied promise of another and a better world to come.

       *       *       *       *       *

It has been publicly announced that translations of Lao Tzŭ and Chuang
Tzŭ are to appear among the _Sacred Books of the East_.[17]

[17] _The China Review_, vol. xvi, p. 195.

Now to include the _Tao-Tê-Ching_ in such a series would be already a
doubtful step. Apart from spuriousness, it can only by a severe stretch
of courtesy be termed a "sacred book." It undoubtedly contains many of
Lao Tzŭ's sayings, but it also undoubtedly contains much that Lao Tzŭ
never said and never could have said. It illustrates rather that period
when the pure TAO of Lao Tzŭ began to be corrupted by alchemistic
research and gropings after the elixir of life. It was probably
written up in self-defence against the encroachments of Buddhism, in
those early days of religious struggle when China was first flooded
with the "sacred books" of the West. It is not seriously recognised
as the Canon of ancient Taoism. Among the Taoists of to-day, not one
in ten thousand has more than heard its name. For modern Taoism is
but a hybrid superstition,--a mixture of ancient nature-worship and
Buddhistic ceremonial, with TAO as the style of the firm. Its teachings
are farther removed from the TAO of Lao Tzŭ than Ritualism from the
Christianity of Christ.

As to Chuang Tzŭ, his work can in no sense be called "sacred." Unless
indeed we modify somewhat the accepted value of terms, and reckon the
works of Aristotle among the "sacred" books of the Greeks. Chuang Tzŭ
was scarcely the founder of a school. He was not a Prophet, as Lao Tzŭ
was, nor can he fairly be said ever to have been regarded by genuine
Taoists as such.

When, many centuries later, the light of Lao Tzŭ's real teachings had
long since been obscured, then a foolish Emperor conferred upon Chuang
Tzŭ's work the title of _Holy Canon of Nan-hua_.[18] But this was done
solely to secure for the follies of the age the sanction of a great
name. Not to mention that Lieh Tzŭ's alleged work, and many other
similar forgeries have also been equally honoured. So that if works
like these are to be included among the _Sacred Books of the East_,
then China alone will be able to supply matter for translation for the
next few centuries to come.

[18] In A.D. 742.

       *       *       *       *       *

Partly of necessity, and partly to spare the general reader, I have
relegated to a supplement all textual and critical notes involving the
use of Chinese characters. This supplement will be issued as soon as
possible after my return to China. It will not form an integral part
of the present work, being intended merely to assist students of the
language in verifying the renderings I have here seen fit to adopt. As
a compromise I have supplied a kind of running commentary, introduced,
in accordance with the Chinese system, into the body of the text. It is
hoped that this will enable any one to understand the drift of Chuang
Tzŭ's allusions, and to follow arguments which are usually subtle and
oft-times obscure.

Only one previous attempt has been made to place Chuang Tzŭ in the
hands of English readers.[19] In that case, the knowledge of the
Chinese language possessed by the translator was altogether too
elementary to justify such an attempt.[20]

[19] _The Divine Classic of Nan-hua._ By Frederic Henry Balfour,
F.R.G.S., Shanghai and London, 1881.

[20] One example will suffice. In ch. xxiii (see p. 309) there occurs
a short sentence which means, "A one-legged man discards ornament, his
exterior not being open to commendation."

Mr. Balfour translated this as follows:--"Servants will tear up a
portrait, not liking to be confronted with its beauties and its


_Note on the Philosophy of Chaps._ i-vii.


Tutor of Keble and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford; Hon. Canon of Christ
Church, &c.


The translator of Chuang Tzŭ has asked me to append a note on the
philosophy of chs. i-vii. It is difficult to see how one who writes
not only in ignorance of Chinese modes of thought, but with the
preconceptions of Western philosophy, can really help much towards
the understanding of an admittedly obscure system, involving terms
and expressions on which Chinese scholars are not yet agreed. But an
attempt to point out parallelisms of thought and reasoning between
East and West may be of use in two ways. It may stimulate those who
are really competent to understand both terms in the comparison to
tell us where the parallelism is real and where it is only apparent;
and it may help to accustom ordinary readers to look for and expect
resemblances in systems in which an earlier age would have seen nothing
but contrasts.

There was a time when historians of Greek philosophy used to point out
what were considered to be the characteristics of Greek thought, and
then to put down to "Oriental influence" anything which did not at once
agree with these characteristics. How and through what channels this
"Oriental influence" was exercised, it was never easy to determine,
nor was it always thought worthy of much discussion. In recent times,
however, a greater knowledge of Eastern systems has familiarised us
with much which, on the same principle, ought to be attributed to
"Greek influence." And the result has been that we have learned to put
aside theories of derivation, and to content ourselves with tracing
the evolution of reason and of rational problems, and to expect
parallelisms even where the circumstances are widely different.

One instance may be worth quoting in illustration. We used to be told
that the Greek mind, in its speculation and its art, was characterised
by its love of order, harmony, and symmetry, in contrast with the
monstrous creations of the Oriental imagination, and the "colossal
ugliness of the Pyramids"; and it was said with reason that the
Aristotelian doctrine of "the mean" was the ripe fruit of the
practical inquiries of the Greeks, and was the ethical counterpart
of their artistic development. But in 1861 we were introduced by Dr.
Legge to a Confucianist work, attributed to Tzŭ Tzŭ, grandson of
Confucius and a contemporary of Socrates, and entitled _The Doctrine
of the Mean_,[21] which is there represented as the true moral way in
which the perfect man walks, while all else go beyond or fall short of
it. Yet even those who discovered the doctrine of the Trinity in the
Tâo-Tê-Ching have not, we believe, suggested that Aristotle had private
access to the _Li Chi_.

[21] In 1885 this treatise was republished by Dr. Legge in its place
as Bk. xxviii of the _Lî Kî_ of _Li Chi_ (Sacred Books of the East,
vols. xxvii, xxviii), with a new title _The State of Equilibrium and
Harmony_. But the parallelism with the Aristotelian doctrine is as
obvious as ever.

We may then, without bringing any charge of piracy or plagiarism
against either, point out some parallels between Chuang Tzŭ and a great
Greek thinker.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ's first chapter is mainly critical and destructive, pointing
out the worthlessness of ordinary judgments, and the unreality of sense
knowledge. The gigantic Rukh, at the height of 90,000 _li_, is a mere
mote in the sunbeam. For size is relative. The cicada, which can just
fly from tree to tree, laughs with the dove at the Rukh's high flight.
For space also is relative. Compared with the mushroom of a day, P'êng
Tsu is as old as Methuselah; but what is his age to that of the fabled
tree, whose spring and autumn make up 16,000 years? Time, then, is
relative too. And though men wonder at him who could "ride upon the
wind and travel for many days," he is but a child to one who "roams
through the realms of For-Ever."

This doctrine of "relativity," which is a commonplace in Greek as it
is in modern philosophy, is made the basis, both in ancient and modern
times, of two opposite conclusions. Either it is argued that all sense
knowledge is relative, and sense is the only organ of knowledge,
therefore real knowledge is impossible; or else the relativity of sense
knowledge leads men to draw a sharp contrast between sense and reason
and to turn away from the outward in order to listen to the inward
voice. The one alternative is scepticism, the other idealism. In Greek
thought the earliest representatives of the former are the Sophists, of
the latter Heracleitus.

There is no doubt to which side of the antithesis Chuang Tzŭ belongs.
His exposure of false and superficial thinking looks at first like the
destruction of knowledge. Even Socrates was called a Sophist because
of his destructive criticism and his restless challenging of popular
views. But Chuang Tzŭ has nothing of the sceptic in him. He is an
idealist and a mystic, with all the idealist's hatred of a utilitarian
system, and the mystic's contempt for a life of mere external activity.
"The perfect man ignores _self_; the divine man ignores _action_;
the true sage ignores _reputation_" (p. 5). The Emperor Yao would
have abdicated in favour of a hermit, but the hermit replies that
"reputation is but the shadow of reality," and will not exchange the
real for the seeming. But greater than Yao and the hermit is the
divine being who dwells on the mysterious mountain in a state of pure,
passionless inaction.

For the sage, then, life means death to all that men think life, the
life of _seeming_ or reputation, of _doing_ or action, of _being_ or
individual selfhood. This leads on to the "budget of paradoxes" in
chap. II. As in the moral and active region we escape from the world
and self, and are able to reverse and look down upon the world's
judgments, so in the speculative region we get behind and beyond the
contradictions of ordinary thinking, and of speech which stereotypes
abstractions. The sage knows nothing of the distinction between
subjective and objective. It exists only _ex analogiâ hominis_.
"From the standpoint of Tao" all things are one. People "guided by
the criteria of their own mind," see only the contradiction, the
manifoldness, the difference; the sage sees the many disappearing in
the One, in which subjective and objective, positive and negative, here
and there, somewhere and nowhere, meet and blend. For him, "a beam
and a pillar are identical. So are ugliness and beauty, greatness,
wickedness, perverseness, and strangeness. Separation is the same as
construction: construction is the same as destruction" (pp. 19-20).
The sage "blends everything into one harmonious whole, rejecting the
comparison of this and that. Rank and precedence, which the vulgar
prize, the sage stolidly ignores. The universe itself may pass away,
but he will flourish still" (p. 29). "Were the ocean itself scorched
up, he would not feel hot. Were the milky way frozen hard he would not
feel cold. Were the mountains to be riven with thunder, and the great
deep to be thrown up by storm, he would not tremble" (pp. 27-28).

    Si fractus illabatur orbis,
      Impavidum ferient ruinæ.

He is "embraced in the obliterating unity of God," and passing into the
realm of the Infinite finds rest therein (p. 31).

It is impossible in reading this chapter on "The Identity of
Contraries" not to be reminded of Heracleitus. The disparagement of
sense knowledge, and the contempt for common views is indeed equally
marked in Eleaticism, and there is much in Chuang Tzŭ which recalls
Parmenides,[22] so far as the contrast between the way of truth and the
way of error, the true belief in the One and the popular belief in the
Many, is concerned. But it seems to me that the "One" of Chuang Tzŭ
is not the dead Unit of Eleaticism, which resulted from the thinking
away of differences, but the living Unity of Heracleitus, in which
contraries co-exist. Heracleitus, indeed, seems to have been a man
after Chuang Tzŭ's own heart, not only in his obscurity, which won
for him the title of ὁ σκοτεινὸς, but in his indifference to worldly
position, shown in the fact that, like the Emperor Yao, he abdicates in
his brother's favour (_Diog. Laert._ ix. 1), and in his supercilious
disregard for the learned like Hesiod and Pythagoras and Xenophanes and
Hecataeus,[23] no less than for the common people[24] of his day.

[22] See the fragments in Ritter and Preller's _Hist. Phil. Græc._ § 93
and § 94 A. B. Seventh edition.

[23] _Heracl. Eph. Rell._ Bywater, xvi.

[24] ὀχλολοίδορος Ἡράκλειτος _Timon ap. Diog. Laert._ ix. i.

"Listen," says Heracleitus, "not to me, but to reason, and confess the
true wisdom that 'All things are ONE.'"[25] "All is One, the divided
and the undivided, the begotten and the unbegotten, the mortal and the
immortal, reason and eternity, father and son, God and justice."[26]
"Cold is hot, heat is cold, that which is moist is parched, that which
is dried up is wet."[27] "Good and evil are the same."[28] "Gods
are mortal, men immortal: our life is their death, our death their
life."[29] "Upward and downward are the same."[30] "The beginning and
the end are one."[31] "Life and death, sleeping and waking, youth and
age are identical."[32]

[25] Οὐκ ἐμεῦ ἀλλὰ τοὺ λόγου ἀκουσάντας ὁμολογέειν σοφόν ἐστι ἓν πάντα
εἶναι. _Heracl. Eph. Rell._ i.

[26] _Hippolytus Ref. haer._ ix. 9.

[27] _Heracl. Eph. Rell._ xxxix.

[28] _Ibid._, lvii.

[29] _Ibid._, lxvii.

[30] _Ibid._, lxix.

[31] _Ibid._, lxx.

[32] _Ibid._, lxxviii.

This is what reason tells the philosopher. "All is ONE." The world is a
unity of opposing forces (παλίντροπος ἁρμονίη κόσμου ὅκωσπερ λύρας καὶ
τόξου).[33] "Join together whole and not whole, agreeing and different,
harmonious and discordant. Out of all comes one: out of one all."[34]
"God is day-night, winter-summer, war-peace, repletion-want."[35]
The very rhythm of nature is strife. War, which men hate and the
poets would banish, "is the father and lord of all."[36] But "men are
without understanding, they hear and hear not,"[37] or "they hear and
understand not."[38] For they trust to their senses, which are "false
witnesses."[39] They see the contradictions, but know not that "the
different is at unity with itself."[40] They cannot see the "hidden
harmony, which is greater than the harmony which is seen."[41] For
they live in the external, the commonplace, the relative, and never
rise above the life of the senses. "The sow loves the mire."[42]
"The ass prefers fodder to gold."[43] And men love their "private
conceits" instead of clinging to the universal reason which orders all
things,[44] and which even the sun obeys.[45]

[33] _Ibid._, xlv.

[34] _Ibid._, lix.

[35] _Ibid._, xxxvi.

[36] _Ibid._, xliv.

[37] _Ibid._, iii.

[38] _Ibid._, v.

[39] _Heracl. Eph. Rell._ iv.

[40] _Ibid._, xlv.

[41] _Ibid._, xlvii.

[42] _Ibid._, liv., and notes.

[43] _Ibid._, li.

[44] _Ibid._, xci, xix.

[45] _Ibid._, xxix.

Of the fragments which remain to us of Heracleitus, the greater number
belong to the region of logic and metaphysics, while Chuang Tzŭ devotes
much space to the more practical side of the question. He not only
ridicules those who trust their senses, or measure by utilitarian
standards, or judge by the outward appearance;--he teaches them how
to pass from the seeming to the true. The wonderful carver, who could
cut where the natural joints are,[46] is one who sees not with the
eye of sense but with his mind. When he is in doubt he "falls back
upon eternal principles"; for he is "devoted to TAO" (chap. iii).
There is something of humour, as well as much of truth, in the rebuke
which Confucius, speaking _pro hâc vice_ as a disciple of Lao Tzŭ,
administers to his self-confident follower who wanted to "be of use."
"Cultivate _fasting_;--not bodily fasting, but the fasting of the
heart." TAO can only abide in the life which has got rid of self.
So the Duke of Shê is reminded that there is something higher than
duty,[47] viz., _destiny_, the state, that is, in which conscious
obedience has given way to that which is instinctive and automatic. The
parable of the trees (pp. 50-53), with its result in the survival of
the good-for-nothing, is again a reversal of popular outside judgments.
For as the first part of the chapter had taught the uselessness of
trying to be useful, so the last part teaches the usefulness of being
useless. And the same thought is carried on in the next chapter, which
deals with the reversal of common opinion as to persons. Its motto
is:--Judge not by the appearance. Virtue must prevail and outward form
be forgotten. The loathsome leper Ai T'ai To is made Prime Minister by
the wise Duke Ai. The mutilated criminal is judged by Lao Tzŭ to be a
greater man than Confucius. For the criminal is mutilated in body by
man, while Confucius, though men know it not, by the judgment of God is
πεπηρωμένος πρὸς ἀρετήν.

[46] _Cf. Plat. Phaedr._ 265: κατ' ἄρθρα ᾑ πέφυκεν καὶ μὴ ἐπιχειρεῖν
καταγνύναι μέρος μηδὲν κακοῦ μαγείρου τρόπῳ χρώμενος.

[47] _Cf._ Herbert Spencer's well-known paradox,--"The sense of duty
or moral obligation is transitory, and will diminish as fast as
moralisation increases."--_Data of Ethics_, p. 127.

This protest of Chuang Tzŭ against externality, and judging only by
the outward appearance, might easily be translated into Christian
language. For Christianity also teaches _inwardness_, and, in common
with all idealism, resents the delimitation of human life and knowledge
to "the things which are seen." In its opposition to a mere practical
system like Confucianism, Taoism must have appealed to those deeper
instincts of humanity to which Buddhism appealed some centuries later.
In practice, Confucianism was limited to the finite. Action, effort,
benevolence, unselfishness,--all these have a place in it, and their
theatre is the world as we know it. Its last word is worldly wisdom;
not selfishness, but an enlarged prudentialism. To the Taoist such a
system savours of "the rudiments of the world." Its "charity and duty,"
its "ceremonies and music," are the "Touch not, taste not, handle not,"
of an ephemeral state of being, and perish in the using. And the sage
seeks for the Absolute, the Infinite, the Eternal. He seeks to attain
to TAO.

It is here that we reach (in chaps. vi, vii) what properly constitutes
the _mysticism_ of Chuang Tzŭ. Heracleitus is not a mystic, though
he is the founder of a long line, which through Plato, and Dionysius
the Areopagite and John the Scot in the ninth century, and Meister
Eckhart in the thirteenth, and Jacob Böhme in the sixteenth, reaches
down to Hegel. Heracleitus despises the world and shuns it; but he
has not yet made flight from the world a dogma. Even Plato, when in
a well-known passage in the Theaetetus,[48] he counsels flight from
the present state of things, explains that he means only "flee from
evil and become like God." Still less has Heracleitus got so far as
to aim at self-absorption in God. In Greek thought the attempt to
get rid of consciousness, and to become the unconscious vehicle of a
higher illumination, is unknown till the time of Philo. Yet this is the
teaching of Chuang Tzŭ. "The true sage takes his refuge in God, and
learns that there is no distinction between subject and object. This is
the very axis of TAO" (p. 18). Abstraction from self, then, is the road
which leads to TAO (chap. vi). The pure of old did not love life and
hate death. They were content to be passive vehicles of TAO. They had
reached the state of sublime indifference, they had become "oblivious
of their own existence." Everything in them was spontaneous; nothing
the result of effort. "They made no plans; therefore failing, they had
no cause for regret; succeeding, no cause for congratulation" (p. 69).
"They cheerfully played their allotted parts, waiting patiently for the
end." They were free, for they were in perfect harmony with creation
(p. 71). For them One and not One are One; God and Man. For they had
attained to TAO, and TAO is greater than God. "Before heaven and earth
were, TAO was. It has existed without change from all time. Spiritual
beings draw their spirituality therefrom; while the universe became
what we see it now. To TAO the zenith is not high, nor the nadir low;
no point of time is long ago, nor by lapse of ages has it grown old"
(p. 76). The great legislators obtained TAO, and laid down eternal
principles. The sun and moon, and the Great Bear are kept in their
courses by TAO.

[48] _Theaet._ 176. A. διὸ καὶ πειρᾶσθαι χρὴ ἐνθένδε ἐκεῖσε φεύγειν ὅ
τι τάχιστα. φυγὴ δὲ ὁμοίωσις Θεῷ κατὰ τὸ δυνατόν. ὁμοίωσις δὲ δίκαιον
καὶ ὅσιον μετὰ φρονήσεως γενέσθαι.

    "Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;
    And the most ancient heavens, through thee, are fresh and strong."

He who would attain to TAO must get rid of the thought of "charity and
duty," of "music and ceremonies," of body and mind. The flowers and the
birds do not toil, they simply live. That is TAO. And for man a state
of indifference and calm, the ἀταραξία not of the sceptic but of the
mystic, a passive reflecting of the Eternal, is the ideal end. "The
perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing, it refuses
nothing. It receives but does not keep. And thus he can triumph over
matter without injury to himself." (See p. 98.)

It would of course be presumption to attempt to assign a meaning to
TAO, and still more to discover an equivalent in Western thought.
But it may be lawful to say that Heracleitus often speaks of Λόγος
as Chuang Tzŭ speaks of TAO. It is Necessity (ἀνάγκη), or Fate
(εἱμαρμένη), or Mind (γνώμη), or Justice (Δική). In nature it appears
as balance and equipoise; in the State as Law; in man as the universal
Reason, which is _in_ him but not _of_ him. Sometimes it is identified
with the mysterious name of Zeus, which may not be uttered;[49]
sometimes like the Ἀνάγκη of the Greek poets, it is supreme over gods
and men. If it is hard to say what is the relation of TAO to God, it
is not less hard to define the relation of Λόγος to Zeus. To speak of
Chuang Tzŭ and Heracleitus as pantheists is only to say that, so far
as we can translate their language into ours, that name seems less
inappropriate than Theist or Deist. But it is doubtful whether the
distinction between Pantheism and Theism would have been intelligible
to either philosopher, and certain that if they could have understood
it, they would have denied to it reality. Both held the immanence of
the Eternal Principle in all that is. Both taught that the soul is an
emanation from the Divine, and both, though in very different degrees,
seem to teach that a life is perfect in proportion as it becomes one
with that from which it came, and loses what is individual in it.

[49] _Heracl. Eph. Rell._ lxv.

In Chuang Tzŭ, as in all mystics, there is an element of antinomianism.
That "good and evil are the same," may contain a deep truth for the
sage, but "take no heed of time, nor of right and wrong" (p. 31) is,
to say the least, dangerous teaching for the masses. The mystic's
utterances will not bear translation into the language of the world,
and to take them _au pied de la lettre_ can hardly fail to produce
disastrous results. This is why antinomianism always dogs the heels of
mysticism. And this may perhaps help to explain the debased Taoism of
to-day. But of this I know nothing.

It would be interesting to know whether in the undisputed utterances
of Lao Tzŭ (_i. e._ putting on one side the _Tâo-Tê-Ching_), Quietism
and the glorification of Inaction are as prominent as they are in
_Chuang Tzŭ_. One would be prepared _à priori_ to find that they
are not. Lao Tzŭ was born at the end of the seventh century B.C.,
and was, therefore, some fifty years older than Confucius, with
whom in 517 B.C., he is said to have had an interview.[50] By the
time of Chuang Tzŭ, who was possibly contemporary with Mencius, and
therefore some two or three centuries after Lao Tzŭ, Confucianism
had become to some extent the established religion of China, and
Taoism, like Republicanism in the days of the Roman Empire, became a
mere _opposition de salon_. Under such circumstances any elements of
mysticism latent in Lao Tzŭ's system would develop rapidly. And the
antagonism between the representatives of Lao Tzŭ and Confucius would
proportionately increase. But philosophy does not become mystical and
take refuge in flight until it abandons all hope of converting the
world. When effort is useless, the mind idealises Inaction, and seeks a
metaphysical basis for it. For mysticism and scepticism flourish in the
same atmosphere though in different soils, both, though in different
ways, implying the abandonment of the rational problem. The Sceptic,
the Agnostic or Positivist of to-day, declares it insoluble, and
settles down content to take things as they are; the mystic retires
into himself, and dreams of a state of being which is the obverse of
the world of fact.

[50] _Chuang Tzŭ_, chap. xiv, p. 182-189.

The triumph of Confucianism in the centuries which intervened between
Lao Tzŭ and Chuang Tzŭ would account for the antagonism between Taoism
and Confucianism as we find it. But it fails to account for the way in
which Confucius is sometimes represented as playing into the hands of
Taoism. On p. 85 f. n. the translator explains it as a literary _coup
de main_. Dr. Chalmers, quoted by Dr. Legge,[51] says that both Chuang
Tzŭ and Lieh Tzŭ introduced Confucius into their writings "as the lords
of the Philistines did the captive Samson on their festive occasions,
'to make sport for them.'" But there is not a hint of this given
in the text, though throughout one long chapter (chap. iv) we find
Confucius giving a Taoist refutation of Confucianist doctrines when
defended by his own pupil Yen Hui. It might seem like an attempt to
draw a distinction between Confucius and Confucianism, though elsewhere
Confucius is ridiculed as wanting in sense.

[51] _Encycl. Met._, Art. "Lao Tzŭ."

May not the explanation be as follows?--

(i.) Lao Tzŭ and Confucius were probably much nearer to one another
philosophically than the Taoism of Chuang Tzŭ and the Confucianism of
Mencius. The passages in which Confucius talks Taoism would, on this
hypothesis, represent a traditional survival of their real relations to
one another. The episode of Confucius' visit to Lao Tzŭ "to ask about
the TAO," would, whether it records a fact or not, tend in the same

(ii.) From the first we may assume that the one took an ideal, the
other a practical and utilitarian view of TAO "the Way"; Confucius
finding it in social duties and the work of practical life, Lao Tzŭ in
the hidden and the _inward_, the "interior life," as Christian mystics
would call it. Thus the historian Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien[52] says, "Lao Tzŭ
cultivated the TAO and virtue, his chief aim in his studies being how
to keep himself concealed and unknown. Seeing the decay of the dynasty
he withdrew himself out of sight, and no one knows where he died."

[52] Quoted by Dr. Legge, _loc. cit._

(iii.) The divergence between the two views, the ideal and the actual,
the mystical and the practical, would increase with time, each
intensifying the other by opposition and reaction, until the practical
won its way to security, and the mystical got left out in the cold,
perhaps persecuted, certainly suspected, and treated as heterodox,
and naturally retaliating by scornful criticism of the dominant view.
When this stage is reached, Mencius regards Lao Tzŭ as a heresiarch,
while Chuang Tzŭ often treats Confucius with contempt and ridicule.
For "the Way that is walked upon is not the Way," and "the TAO which
shines forth is not TAO" (p. 25). But Confucianism being "established,"
the Taoists are now "dissenters," and not being strong enough to
disestablish Confucianism become more and more mystical, and content
themselves with a policy of protest.

If there is little direct evidence for this theory as to the relations
of Taoism and Confucianism, there is a curious parallel in Western
thought. When Plato was known only in a neo-Platonic disguise, and
Aristotle judged by the _Organon_, it was possible for partisans to
represent the two philosophers as typical opposites, and to assume
that "every one is born a Platonist or an Aristotelian," forgetting
that Aristotle was Plato's pupil, and both were followers of Socrates.
Later on, when Aristotelianism became "established" as the Christian
philosophy, Platonism, which survived in the more mystical schoolmen,
fell under suspicion, and not unfrequently justified the suspicion
by developing in the direction of Pantheism. It was not till the
thirteenth century that the world appealed from Platonists and
Aristotelians to Plato and Aristotle, and discovered that the divergent
streams flowed from neighbouring springs. Such an appeal, it is to
be feared, is hardly possible in the case of Lao Tzŭ and Confucius,
especially as the authenticity of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_ is still in
controversy among Sinologues.

My object, however, in this note, which has grown out of all
proportion, was not to suggest a theory as to the possible relations of
Lao Tzŭ and Confucius, but to point out what seemed to be a remarkable
parallel between the teaching of Chuang Tzŭ and Heracleitus. In doing
this I have accepted Mr. Giles's translation as an ultimate fact, for
the simple reason that I do not know a single Chinese character. So
far, therefore, as the translation prejudices or prejudges questions of
Chinese scholarship, I must leave the defence to the translator. It is
also possible, and more than possible, that my Western preconceptions
may have biassed my judgment of Chuang Tzŭ's philosophical teaching.
Recent attempts[53] to draw a parallel between the life of Gautama and
the life of Christ have shown how easy it is unconsciously to read
between the lines, and find parallelisms where they do not exist. If I
have been guilty in the same way, then, with Socrates in the Republic,
I say, "I can but suffer the penalty of ignorance; and that penalty is,
to be taught by those who know."

[53] _E.g._ Mr. Edwin Arnold's _Light of Asia_, and still more
Professor Seydel's _Das Evangelium von Jesu in seinen Verhältnissen zu
Buddha-Sage and Buddha-Lehre_. On the other side of the question, _cf._
Dr. Kellogg's _The Light of Asia and The Light of the World_. London,
1885. And an article in the _Nineteenth Century_ for July, 1888, on
Buddhism, by the Bishop of Colombo.

      A. L. M.


_Chuang Tzŭ._




 _Argument_:--Space infinite--Time infinite--Relativity of magnitudes,
 physical and moral--The magnitude absolute--Usefulness as a test of
 value--The usefulness of the useless.

In the northern ocean there is a fish, called the Leviathan, many
thousand _li_ in size. This leviathan changes into a bird, called the
Rukh, whose back is many thousand _li_ in breadth. With a mighty effort
it rises, and its wings obscure the sky like clouds.

At the equinox, this bird prepares to start for the southern ocean,
the Celestial Lake. And in the _Record of Marvels_ we read that when
the rukh flies southwards, the water is smitten for a space of three
thousand _li_ around, while the bird itself mounts upon a typhoon to a
height of ninety thousand _li_, for a flight of six months' duration.

Just so are the motes in a sunbeam blown aloft by God. For whether the
blue of the sky is its real colour, or only the result of distance
without end, the effect to the bird looking down would be just the
same as to the motes.

 Distance being relative. The rukh at an altitude of 90,000 _li_ (three
 _li_ to a mile) is no more than a mote in a sunbeam a few feet from
 the ground.

If there is not sufficient depth, water will not float large ships.
Upset a cupful into a small hole, and a mustard-seed will be your boat.
Try to float the cup, and it will stick, from the disproportion between
water and vessel.

So with air. If there is not a sufficient depth, it cannot support
large birds. And for this bird a depth of ninety thousand _li_ is
necessary; and then, with nothing save the clear sky above, and no
obstacle in the way, it starts upon its journey to the south.

A cicada laughed, and said to a young dove, "Now, when I fly with
all my might, 'tis as much as I can do to get from tree to tree. And
sometimes I do not reach, but fall to the ground midway. What then can
be the use of going up ninety thousand _li_ in order to start for the

He who goes to Mang-ts'ang,

 A short distance into the country.

taking three meals with him, comes back with his stomach as full as
when he started. But he who travels a hundred _li_ must grind flour
enough for a night's halt. And he who travels a thousand _li_ must
supply himself with provisions for three months. Those two little
creatures,--what should they know? Small knowledge has not the compass
of great knowledge any more than a short year has the length of a long

How can we tell that this is so? The mushroom of a morning knows
not the alternation of day and night. The chrysalis knows not the
alternation of spring and autumn. Theirs are short years.

But in the State of Ch'u there is a tortoise whose spring and autumn
are each of five hundred years' duration. And in former days there
was a large tree which had a spring and autumn each of eight thousand
years' duration. Yet, P'êng Tsu

 The Methusaleh of China. His age has not been agreed upon by Chinese
 writers, but the lowest computation gives him a life of eight hundred

is still, alas! an object of envy to all.

It was on this very subject that the Emperor T'ang

 B.C. 1766.

spoke to Chi, as follows:--"At the barren north there is a great sea,
the Celestial Lake. In it there is a fish, several thousand _li_ in
breadth, and I know not how many in length. It is called the Leviathan.
There is also a bird, called the Rukh, with a back like Mount T'ai,

 China's most famous mountain, situated in the province of Shantung.

and wings like clouds across the sky. Upon a typhoon it soars up to a
height of ninety thousand _li_, beyond the clouds and atmosphere, with
only the clear sky above it. And then it directs its flight towards the
south pole.

"A quail laughed, and said: Pray, what may that creature be going to
do? I rise but a few yards in the air, and settle again after flying
around among the reeds. That is the most I can manage. Now, where ever
can this creature be going to?"

 The repetition of this story, coupled with its quotation from the
 _Record of Marvels_, is considered to give an air of authenticity to
 Chuang Tzŭ's illustration, which the reader might otherwise suppose to
 be of his own invention.

Such, indeed, is the difference between small and great. Take, for
instance, a man who creditably fills some small office, or who is a
pattern of virtue in his neighbourhood, or who influences his prince to
right government of the State,--his opinion of himself will be much the
same as that quail's. The philosopher Yung laughs at such a one. He, if
the whole world flattered him, would not be affected thereby, nor if
the whole world blamed him would he lose his faith in himself. For Yung
can distinguish between the intrinsic and the extrinsic, between honour
and shame,--and such men are rare in their generation. But even he has
not established himself.

 Beyond the limits of an external world. His achievements are after all
 only of the earth, earthy.

There was Lieh Tzŭ again.

 A personage of whom nothing is really known. He is considered by the
 best authorities to have been of Chuang Tzŭ's own creation. This,
 however, did not prevent some enterprising scholar, probably of the
 Han dynasty, from discovering a treatise which still passes under Lieh
 Tzŭ's name.

He could ride upon the wind, and travel whithersoever he wished,
staying away as long as fifteen days. Among mortals who attain
happiness, such a man is rare. Yet although Lieh Tzŭ was able to
dispense with walking, he was still dependent upon something.

 _Sc._ the wind.

But had he been charioted upon the eternal fitness of Heaven and Earth,
driving before him the elements as his team while roaming through the
realms of For-Ever,--upon what, then, would he have had to depend?

 That is, nourished upon the doctrines of inaction, the continuity of
 life and death, etc., which will be dealt with in later chapters.

Thus it has been said, "The perfect man ignores _self_; the divine man
ignores _action_; the true Sage ignores _reputation_."

 His--for the three are one--is a bliss "beyond all that the minstrel
 has told." Material existences melt into thin air; worldly joys and
 sorrows cease for him who passes thus into the everlasting enjoyment
 of a transcendental peace.

The Emperor Yao

 B.C. 2356. His reign, coupled with that of Shun who succeeded him,
 may be regarded as the Golden Age of China's history. See p. 8.

wished to abdicate in favour of Hsü Yu,

 A worthy hermit.

saying, "If, when the sun and moon are shining, you persist in lighting
a torch, is not that a misapplication of fire? If, when the rainy
season is at its height, you still continue to water the ground, is
not this a waste of labour? Now, sir, do you assume the reins of
government, and the empire will be at peace. I am but a dead body,
conscious of my own deficiency. I beg you will ascend the throne."

"Ever since you, sire, have directed the administration," replied Hsü
Yu, "the empire has enjoyed tranquillity. Supposing, therefore, that
I were to take your place now, should I gain any reputation thereby?
Besides, reputation is but the shadow of reality; and should I trouble
myself about the shadow? The tit, building its nest in the mighty
forest, occupies but a single twig. The tapir slakes its thirst from
the river, but drinks enough only to fill its belly. To you, sire,
belongs the reputation: the empire has no need for me. If a cook is
unable to dress his funeral sacrifices, the boy who impersonates the
corpse may not step over the wines and meats and do it for him."

 This illustrates rejection of reputation by the true Sage. See ch. vii.

Chien Wu said to Lien Shu,

 Both fictitious personages.

"I heard Chieh Yü utter something unjustifiably extravagant and without
either rhyme or reason.

 This was an individual, named Lu T'ung, who feigned madness in order
 to escape an official career. For his interview with Confucius, see
 ch. iv, _ad fin._

I was greatly startled at what he said, for it seemed to me boundless
as the Milky Way, though very improbable and removed from the
experiences of mortals."

"What was it?" asked Lien Shu.

"He declared," replied Chien Wu, "that on the Miao-ku-shê mountain

 Which is as fabulous as the story.

there lives a divine man whose flesh is like ice or snow, whose
demeanour is that of a virgin, who eats no fruit of the earth, but
lives on air and dew, and who, riding on clouds with flying dragons
for his team, roams beyond the limits of mortality. This being is
absolutely inert. Yet he wards off corruption from all things, and
causes the crops to thrive. Now I call that nonsense, and do not
believe it."

"Well," answered Lien Shu, "you don't ask a blind man's opinion of a
picture, nor do you invite a deaf man to a concert. And blindness and
deafness are not physical only. There is blindness and deafness of
the mind, diseases from which I fear you yourself are suffering. The
good influence of that man fills all creation. Yet because a paltry
generation cries for reform, you would have him condescend to the
details of an empire!

 Not seeing that the greater contains the less.

"Objective existences cannot harm him. In a flood which reached to the
sky, he would not be drowned. In a drought, though metals ran liquid
and mountains were scorched up, he would not be hot. Out of his very
dust and siftings you might fashion two such men as Yao and Shun. And
you would have him occupy himself with objectives!"

 Illustrating the inaction of the divine man.

A man of the Sung State carried some sacrificial caps into the Yüeh
State, for sale. But the men of Yüeh used to cut off their hair and
paint their bodies, so that they had no use for such things. And so,
when the Emperor Yao, the ruler of all under heaven and pacificator
of all within the shores of ocean, paid a visit to the four sages of
the Miao-ku-shê mountain, on returning to his capital at Fên-yang, the
empire existed for him no more.

 This illustrates the rejection of self by the perfect man. Yao had
 his eyes opened to the hollowness and uselessness of all mortal
 possessions. He ceased, therefore, to think any more of himself, and
 _per consequens_ of the empire.

Hui Tzŭ

 A celebrated schoolman, contemporary with and antagonistic to Chuang
 Tzŭ. For an account of his theories, see ch. xxxiii.

said to Chuang Tzŭ, "The Prince of Wei gave me a seed of a large-sized
kind of gourd. I planted it, and it bore a fruit as big as a
five-bushel measure. Now had I used this for holding liquids, it would
have been too heavy to lift; and had I cut it in half for ladles, the
ladles would have been ill adapted for such purpose. It was uselessly
large, so I broke it up."

"Sir," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "it was rather you who did not know how to
use large things. There was a man of Sung who had a recipe for salve
for chapped hands, his family having been silk-washers for generations.
Well, a stranger who had heard of it, came and offered him 100 _oz._ of
silver for this recipe; whereupon he called together his clansmen and
said, 'We have never made much money by silk-washing. Now, we can make
100 _oz._ in a single day. Let the stranger have the recipe.'

"So the stranger got it, and went and informed the Prince of Wu who
was just then at war with the Yüeh State. Accordingly, the Prince used
it in a naval battle fought at the beginning of winter with the Yüeh
State, the result being that the latter was totally defeated.

 They suffered from chapped hands, while their rivals of the Wu State
 were protected by their patent salve.

The stranger was rewarded with territory and a title. Thus, while the
efficacy of the salve to cure chapped hands was in both cases the
same, its application was different. Here, it secured a title; there, a
capacity for washing silk.

"Now as to your five-bushel gourd, why did you not make a boat of it,
and float about over river and lake? You could not then have complained
of its not holding anything! But I fear you are rather woolly inside."

 Like it. This, of course, is a sneer. Hui Tzŭ could not see that the
 greatness of a thing depends upon the greatness of its application.

Hui Tzŭ said to Chuang Tzŭ, "Sir, I have a large tree, of a worthless
kind. Its trunk is so irregular and knotty that it cannot be measured
out for planks; while its branches are so twisted as to admit of no
geometrical subdivision whatever. It stands by the roadside, but
no carpenter will look at it. And your words, sir, are like that
tree;--big and useless, not wanted by anybody."

"Sir," rejoined Chuang Tzŭ, "have you never seen a wild cat, crouching
down in wait for its prey? Right and left it springs from bough to
bough, high and low alike,--until perchance it gets caught in a trap
or dies in a snare. On the other hand, there is the yak with its great
huge body. It is big enough in all conscience, but it cannot catch mice.

 The adaptability of a thing is oft-times its bane. The inability of
 the yak to catch mice saves it from the snare which is fatal to the
 wild cat.

"Now if you have a big tree and are at a loss what to do with it, why
not plant it in the domain of non-existence,

 Beyond the limits of our external world. Referring to the conditions
 of mental abstraction in which alone true happiness is to be found.

whither you might betake yourself to inaction by its side, to blissful
repose beneath its shade?

 "Why does the horizon hold me fast, with my joy and grief in this

There it would be safe from the axe and from all other injury; for
being of no use to others, itself would be free from harm."

 Illustrating the advantage of being useless. That which is small and
 useful is thus shown to be inferior to that which is large and useless.



 _Argument_:--Contraries spring from our subjective
 individuality--Identity of subjective and objective--The centre where
 all distinctions are merged in ONE--How to reach this point--Speech an
 obstacle--The negative state--Light out of darkness--Illustrations.

Tzŭ Ch'i of Nan-kuo sat leaning on a table. Looking up to heaven, he
sighed and became absent, as though soul and body had parted.

Yen Ch'êng Tzŭ Yu, who was standing by him, exclaimed, "What are you
thinking about that your body should become thus like dry wood, your
mind like dead ashes? Surely the man now leaning on the table is not he
who was here just now."

"My friend," replied Tzŭ Ch'i, "your question is apposite. _To-day I
have buried myself_.... Do you understand?... Ah! perhaps you only know
the music of Man, and not that of Earth. Or even if you have heard the
music of Earth, you have not heard the music of Heaven."

"Pray explain," said Tzŭ Yu.

"The breath of the universe," continued Tzŭ Ch'i, "is called wind. At
times, it is inactive. But when active, every aperture resounds to the
blast. Have you never listened to its growing roar?

"Caves and dells of hill and forest, hollows in huge trees of many a
span in girth;--these are like nostrils, like mouths, like ears, like
beam-sockets, like goblets, like mortars, like ditches, like bogs.
And the wind goes rushing through them, sniffing, snoring, singing,
soughing, puffing, purling, whistling, whirring, now shrilly treble,
now deeply bass, now soft, now loud; until, with a lull, silence reigns
supreme. Have you never witnessed among the trees such a disturbance as

"Well, then," enquired Tzŭ Yu, "since the music of earth consists of
nothing more than holes, and the music of man of pipes and flutes,--of
what consists the music of Heaven?"

"The effect of the wind upon these various apertures," replied
Tzŭ Ch'i, "is not uniform. But what is it that gives to each the
individuality, to all the potentiality, of sound?

"Great knowledge embraces the whole:

 Sees both "the upper and under side of the medal of Jove" at once.

small knowledge, a part only. Great speech is universal:

 Speech, according to Chuang Tzŭ's ideal, always covers the whole
 ground in question, leaving no room for positive and negative to
 appear in antagonism.

small speech is particular.

"For whether when the mind is locked in sleep or whether when in
waking hours the body is released, we are subject to daily mental
perturbations,--indecision, want of penetration, concealment, fretting
fear, and trembling terror. Now like a javelin the mind flies forth,
the arbiter of right and wrong.

 Thus recognising contraries.

Now like a solemn covenanter it remains firm, the guardian of rights

 Adhering to an opinion formed.

Then, as under autumn and winter's blight, comes gradual decay, a
passing away, like the flow of water, never to return. Finally, the
block when all is choked up like an old drain,--the failing mind which
shall not see light again.

"Joy and anger, sorrow and happiness, caution and remorse, come upon
us by turns, with ever-changing mood. They come like music from
hollowness, like mushrooms from damp. Daily and nightly they alternate
within us, but we cannot tell whence they spring. Can we then hope in a
moment to lay our finger upon their very Cause?

"But for these emotions _I_ should not be. But for _me_, they would
have no scope. So far we can go; but we do not know what it is that
brings them into play. 'Twould seem to be a _soul_; but the clue to its
existence is wanting. That such a Power operates, is credible enough,
though we cannot see its form. It has functions without form.

 As will be gathered later on, Chuang Tzŭ conceives of the soul as an
 emanation from God, passing to and from this earth through the portals
 of Life and Death.

"Take the human body with all its manifold divisions. Which part of
it does a man love best? Does he not cherish all equally, or has he a
preference? Do not all equally serve him? And do these servitors then
govern themselves, or are they subdivided into rulers and subjects?
Surely there is some soul which sways them all.

"But whether or not we ascertain what are the functions of this soul,
it matters but little to the soul itself. For coming into existence
with this mortal coil of mine, with the exhaustion of this mortal coil
its mandate will also be exhausted. To be harassed by the wear and
tear of life, and to pass rapidly through it without possibility of
arresting one's course,--is not this pitiful indeed? To labour without
ceasing, and then, without living to enjoy the fruit, worn out, to
depart, suddenly, one knows not whither,--is not that a just cause for

"What advantage is there in what men call not dying? The body
decomposes, and the mind goes with it. This is our real cause for
sorrow. Can the world be so dull as not to see this? Or is it I alone
who am dull, and others not so?

"If we are to be guided by the criteria of our own minds, who shall be
without a guide?

 The mind should be a _tabula rasa_, free from all judgments or
 opinions of its own as to the external world, and ready only to accept
 things as they are, not as they appear to be.

What need to know of the alternations of passion,

 As above described.

when the mind thus affords scope to itself?--verily even the minds of
fools! Whereas, for a mind without criteria

 As it should be.

to admit the idea of contraries, is like saying, _I went to Yüeh
to-day, and got there yesterday_.

 One of Hui Tzŭ's paradoxes. See ch. xxxiii.

Or, like placing nowhere somewhere,--topography which even the Great Yü

 The famous engineer of antiquity (B.C. 2205), who drained the empire
 of a vast body of water and arranged its subdivision into nine

would fail to understand; how much more I?

"Speech is not mere breath. It is differentiated by meaning. Take away
that, and you cannot say whether it is speech or not. Can you even
distinguish it from the chirping of young birds?

"But how can TAO be so obscured that we speak of it as true and
false? And how can speech be so obscured that it admits the idea of
contraries? How can TAO go away and yet not remain?

 Being omnipresent.

How can speech exist and yet be impossible?

 See p. 13.

"TAO is obscured by our want of grasp. Speech is obscured by the gloss
of this world.

 _I.e._ by the one-sided meanings attached to words and phrases.

Hence the affirmatives and negatives of the Confucian and Mihist

 Mih Tzŭ was a philosopher of the fourth century B.C., who propounded
 various theories which were vigorously attacked by the Confucianists
 under Mencius. We shall hear more of him by-and-by.

each denying what the other affirmed and affirming what the other
denied. But he who would reconcile affirmative with negative and
negative with affirmative,

 The "union of impossibilities," which Emerson credits to Plato alone.

must do so by the light of nature.

 _I.e._ Have no established mental criteria, and thus see all things as

"There is nothing which is not objective: there is nothing which is
not subjective. But it is impossible to start from the objective. Only
from subjective knowledge is it possible to proceed to objective
knowledge. Hence it has been said,

 By Hui Tzŭ.

'The objective emanates from the subjective; the subjective is
consequent upon the objective. This is the _Alternation Theory_.'
Nevertheless, when one is born, the other dies. When one is possible,
the other is impossible. When one is affirmative the other is negative.
Which being the case, the true sage rejects all distinctions of this
and that. He takes his refuge in GOD, and places himself in subjective
relation with all things.

 It was to this end that Tzŭ Ch'i "buried himself."

"And inasmuch as the subjective is also objective, and the objective
also subjective, and as the contraries under each are indistinguishably
blended, does it not become impossible for us to say whether subjective
and objective really exist at all?

 What is positive under the one will be negative under the other.
 Yet as subjective and objective are really one and the same, their
 positives and negatives must also be one and the same.

 It is as though we were to view them through a kind of mental
 Pseudoscope, by which means each would appear to be the other.

"When subjective and objective are both without their correlates, that
is the very axis of TAO. And when that axis passes through the centre
at which all Infinities converge, positive and negative alike blend
into an infinite ONE. Hence it has been said that there is nothing
like the light of nature.

 Probably an allusion to Lao Tzŭ's "Use the light that is within you
 to revert to your natural clearness of sight." We should then be able
 to view things in their true light. See _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. lii., and
 _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 34.

"To take a finger in illustration of a finger not being a finger is not
so good as to take something which is not a finger. To take a horse in
illustration of a horse not being a horse is not so good as to take
something which is not a horse.

"So with the universe and all that in it is. These things are but
fingers and horses in this sense. The possible is possible: the
impossible is impossible. TAO operates, and given results follow.
Things receive names and are what they are. They achieve this by their
natural affinity for what they are and their natural antagonism to what
they are not. For all things have their own particular constitutions
and potentialities. Nothing can exist without these.

 These last few sentences are repeated in ch. xxvii. _ad init._

 "We can never know anything but phenomena. Things are what they are,
 and their consequences will be what they will be."--_J. S. Mill._

"Therefore it is that, viewed from the standpoint of TAO, a beam and a
pillar are identical.

 The horizontal with the vertical.

So are ugliness and beauty, greatness, wickedness, perverseness, and
strangeness. Separation is the same as construction: construction is
the same as destruction. Nothing is subject either to construction or
to destruction, for these conditions are brought together into ONE.

"Only the truly intelligent understand this principle of the identity
of all things. They do not view things as apprehended by themselves,
subjectively; but transfer themselves into the position of the things

 Avoiding the fallacious channels of the senses.

And viewing them thus they are able to comprehend them, nay, to master
them;--and he who can master them is near. So it is that to place
oneself in subjective relation with externals, without consciousness of
their objectivity,--this is TAO. But to wear out one's intellect in an
obstinate adherence to the individuality of things, not recognising the
fact that all things are ONE,--this is called _Three in the Morning_."

"What is _Three in the Morning_?" asked Tzŭ Yu.

"A keeper of monkeys," replied Tzŭ Ch'i, "said with regard to their
rations of chestnuts that each monkey was to have three in the morning
and four at night. But at this the monkeys were very angry, so the
keeper said they might have four in the morning and three at night,
with which arrangement they were all well pleased. The actual number
of the chestnuts remained the same, but there was an adaptation to
the likes and dislikes of those concerned. Such is the principle of
putting oneself into subjective relation with externals.

"Wherefore the true Sage, while regarding contraries as identical,
adapts himself to the laws of Heaven. This is called following two
courses at once.

 He is thus prevented from trying to walk through walls, etc., as later
 Taoists have professed themselves able to do, of course with a view
 to gull the public and enrich themselves. "GOD," says Locke, "when he
 makes the prophet, does not unmake the man."

 So Carlyle in his essay on Novalis:--"To a Transcendentalist, matter
 has an existence but only as a Phenomenon.... It is a mere relation,
 or rather the result of a relation between our living souls and the
 great First Cause."

"The knowledge of the men of old had a limit. It extended back to a
period when matter did not exist. That was the extreme point to which
their knowledge reached.

"The second period was that of matter, but of matter unconditioned.

 By time or space. "Being, in itself," says Herbert Spencer, "out of
 relation, is itself unthinkable." _Principles of Psychology_, iii. p.

"The third epoch saw matter conditioned, but contraries were still
unknown. When these appeared, TAO began to decline. And with the
decline of TAO, individual bias arose.

"Have then these states of falling and rising real existences? Surely
they are but as the falling and rising of Chao Wên's music,--the
consequences of his playing.

Chao Wên played the guitar. Shih K'uang wielded the _bâton_.

 To keep time.

Hui Tzŭ argued. Herein these three men excelled, and in the practice of
such arts they passed their lives.

"Hui Tzŭ's particular views being very different from those of the
world in general, he was correspondingly anxious to enlighten people.
But he did not enlighten them as he should have done,

 By the cultivation and passive manifestation of his own inward light.

and consequently ended in the obscurity of the 'hard and white.'

 Hui Tzŭ regarded such abstractions as hardness and whiteness as
 separate existences, of which the mind could only be conscious
 separately, one at a time.

Subsequently, his son searched his works for some clue, but never
succeeded in establishing the principle. And indeed if such were
possible to be established, then even I am established; but if not,
then neither I nor anything in the universe is established!

"Therefore what the true Sage aims at is the light which comes out
of darkness. He does not view things as apprehended by himself,
subjectively, but transfers himself into the position of the things
viewed. This is called using the light.

"There remains, however, Speech. Is that to be enrolled under either
category of contraries, or not? Whether it is so enrolled or not, it
will in any case belong to one or the other, and thus be as though it
had an objective existence. At any rate, I should like to hear some
speech which belongs to neither category.

 Contraries being disposed of, there remains the vehicle _Speech_,
 _i.e._ the actual terms in which it is stated that contraries have
 ceased to be.

"If there was a beginning, then there was a time before that beginning.
And a time before the time which was before the time of that beginning.

"If there is existence, there must have been non-existence. And if
there was a time when nothing existed, then there must have been a time
before that--when even nothing did not exist. Suddenly, when nothing
came into existence, could one really say whether it belonged to the
category of existence or of non-existence? Even the very words I have
just now uttered,--I cannot say whether they have really been uttered
or not.

 _I.e._ The words in the text, denying the existence of contraries.

"There is nothing under the canopy of heaven greater than the tip of an
autumn spikelet. A vast mountain is a small thing. Neither is there any
age greater than that of a child cut off in infancy. P'êng Tsu himself
died young. The universe and I came into being together; and I, and
everything therein, are ONE.

"If then all things are ONE, what room is there for Speech? On the
other hand, since I can utter these words, how can Speech not exist?

"If it does exist, we have ONE and Speech = two; and two and one =
three. From which point onwards even the best mathematicians will fail
to reach:


how much more then will ordinary people fail?

"Hence, if from nothing you can proceed to something, and subsequently
reach three, it follows that it would be still more easy if you were to
start from something. To avoid such progression, you must put yourself
into subjective relation with the external.

"Before conditions existed, TAO was. Before definitions existed, Speech
was. Subjectively, we are conscious of certain delimitations which

  Right         and   Left
  Relationship  and   Obligation
  Division      and   Discrimination
  Emulation     and   Contention

These are called the _Eight Predicables_.

 Not, of course, in the strict logical sense.

For the true Sage, beyond the limits of an external world, they exist,
but are not recognised. By the true Sage, within the limits of an
external world, they are recognised, but are not assigned. And so,
with regard to the wisdom of the ancients, as embodied in the canon of
_Spring and Autumn_,

 Confucius' history of his native State. Now one of the canonical books
 of China.

the true Sage assigns, but does not justify by argument. And thus,
classifying he does not classify; arguing, he does not argue."

"How can that be?" asked Tzŭ Yu.

"The true Sage," answered Tzŭ Ch'i, "keeps his knowledge within him,
while men in general set forth theirs in argument, in order to convince
each other. And therefore it is said that in argument he does not
manifest himself.

 Others try to establish their own subjective view. The true Sage
 remains passive, aiming only at the annihilation of contraries.

"Perfect TAO does not declare itself. Nor does perfect argument express
itself in words. Nor does perfect charity show itself in act. Nor
is perfect honesty absolutely incorruptible. Nor is perfect courage
absolutely unyielding.

"For the TAO which shines forth is not TAO. Speech which argues falls
short of its aim. Charity which has fixed points loses its scope.
Honesty which is absolute is wanting in credit. Courage which is
absolute misses its object. These five are, as it were, round, with a
strong bias towards squareness. Therefore that knowledge which stops at
what it does not know, is the highest knowledge.

"Who knows the argument which can be argued without words?--the TAO
which does not declare itself as TAO? He who knows this may be said
to be of GOD. To be able to pour in without making full, and pour out
without making empty, in ignorance of the power by which such results
are accomplished,--this is accounted _Light_."

Of old, the Emperor Yao said to Shun, "I would smite the Tsungs, and
the Kueis, and the Hsü-aos. Ever since I have been on the throne I have
had this desire. What do you think?"

"These three States," replied Shun, "are paltry out-of-the-way places.
Why can you not shake off this desire? Once upon a time, ten suns came
out together, and all things were illuminated thereby. How much more
then should virtue excel suns?"

 Illustrating the use of "light." Instead of active force, substitute
 the passive but irresistible influence of virtue complete. The sun
 caused the traveller to lay aside his cloak when the north wind
 succeeded only in making him draw it tighter around him.

Yeh Ch'üeh asked Wang I,

 A disciple and tutor of remote antiquity. Said to have been two of the
 four Sages on the Miao-ku-shê mountain mentioned in ch. i.

saying, "Do you know for certain that all things are subjectively the

"How can I know?" answered Wang I. "Do you know what you do not know?"

"How can I know?" replied Yeh Ch'üeh. "But can then nothing be known?"

"How can I know?" said Wang I. "Nevertheless, I will try to tell you.
How can it be known that what I call knowing is not really not knowing,
and that what I call not knowing is not really knowing? Now I would
ask you this. If a man sleeps in a damp place, he gets lumbago and
dies. But how about an eel? And living up in a tree is precarious and
trying to the nerves;--but how about monkeys? Of the man, the eel, and
the monkey, whose habitat is the right one, absolutely? Human beings
feed on flesh, deer on grass, centipedes on snakes, owls and crows on
mice. Of these four, whose is the right taste, absolutely? Monkey mates
with monkey, the buck with the doe; eels consort with fishes, while men
admire Mao Ch'iang and Li Chi,

 Beauties of the fifth and seventh centuries B.C., respectively. The
 commentators do not seem to have noted the very obvious anachronism
 here involved.

at the sight of whom fishes plunge deep down in the water, birds soar
high in the air, and deer hurry away.

 For shame at their own inferiority.

Yet who shall say which is the correct standard of beauty? In my
opinion, the standard of human virtue, and of positive and negative, is
so obscured that it is impossible to actually know it as such."

"If you then," asked Yeh Ch'üeh, "do not know what is bad for you, is
the Perfect Man equally without this knowledge?"

"The Perfect Man," answered Wang I, "is a spiritual being. Were the
ocean itself scorched up, he would not feel hot. Were the Milky Way
frozen hard, he would not feel cold. Were the mountains to be riven
with thunder, and the great deep to be thrown up by storm, he would not
tremble. In such case, he would mount upon the clouds of heaven, and
driving the sun and the moon before him, would pass beyond the limits
of this external world, where death and life have no more victory over
man;--how much less what is bad for him?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Chü Ch'iao addressed Chang Wu Tzŭ

 A disciple and tutor of antiquity.

as follows:--"I heard Confucius say, 'The true sage pays no heed to
mundane affairs. He neither seeks gain nor avoids injury. He asks
nothing at the hands of man. He adheres, without questioning, to TAO.
Without speaking, he can speak; and he can speak and yet say nothing.
And so he roams beyond the limits of this dusty world. These,' added
Confucius, 'are wild words.'

 Han Fei Tzŭ tells us that Lao Tzŭ, whose doctrines Confucius seems to
 be here deriding, said exactly the opposite of this; viz: "The true
 Sage is beforehand in his attention to mundane affairs," _i.e._ "takes
 time by the forelock." Neither utterance, however, appears in the
 _Tao-Tê-Ching_. See _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 44.

Now to me they are the skilful embodiment of TAO. What, Sir, is your

"Points upon which the Yellow Emperor doubted," replied Chang Wu Tzŭ,
"how should Confucius know?

 Lao Tzŭ and the Yellow Emperor have always been mixed up in the heads
 of Taoist writers, albeit separated by a chasm of some two thousand
 years. Confucius is here evidently dealing with the actual doctrines
 of Lao Tzŭ.

You are going too fast. You see your egg, and expect to hear it crow.
You look at your cross-bow, and expect to have broiled duck before you.
I will say a few words to you at random, and do you listen at random.

"How does the Sage seat himself by the sun and moon, and hold the
universe in his grasp? He blends everything into one harmonious whole,
rejecting the confusion of this and that. Rank and precedence, which
the vulgar prize, the Sage stolidly ignores. The revolutions of ten
thousand years leave his Unity unscathed. The universe itself may pass
away, but he will flourish still.

"How do I know that love of life is not a delusion after all? How do I
know but that he who dreads to die is not as a child who has lost the
way and cannot find his home?

"The lady Li Chi was the daughter of Ai Fêng.

 A border chieftain.

When the Duke of Chin first got her, she wept until the bosom of
her dress was drenched with tears. But when she came to the royal
residence, and lived with the Duke, and ate rich food, she repented
of having wept. How then do I know but that the dead repent of having
previously clung to life?

"Those who dream of the banquet, wake to lamentation and sorrow. Those
who dream of lamentation and sorrow wake to join the hunt. While they
dream, they do not know that they dream. Some will even interpret the
very dream they are dreaming; and only when they awake do they know
it was a dream. By and by comes the Great Awakening, and then we find
out that this life is really a great dream. Fools think they are awake
now, and flatter themselves they know if they are really princes or
peasants. Confucius and you are both dreams; and I who say you are
dreams,--I am but a dream myself. This is a paradox. Tomorrow a sage
may arise to explain it; but that tomorrow will not be until ten
thousand generations have gone by.

"Granting that you and I argue. If you beat me, and not I you, are you
necessarily right and I wrong? Or if I beat you and not you me, am I
necessarily right and you wrong? Or are we both partly right and partly
wrong? Or are we both wholly right and wholly wrong? You and I cannot
know this, and consequently the world will be in ignorance of the truth.

"Who shall I employ as arbiter between us? If I employ some one who
takes your view, he will side with you. How can such a one arbitrate
between us? If I employ some one who takes my view, he will side with
me. How can such a one arbitrate between us? And if I employ some one
who either differs from, or agrees with, both of us, he will be equally
unable to decide between us. Since then you, and I, and man, cannot
decide, must we not depend upon Another?

 Upon God, in whose infinity all contraries blend indistinguishably
 into ONE.

Such dependence is as though it were not dependence. We are embraced in
the obliterating unity of God. There is perfect adaptation to whatever
may eventuate; and so we complete our allotted span.

"But what is it to be embraced in the obliterating unity of God? It
is this. With reference to positive and negative, to that which is
so and that which is not so,--if the positive is really positive, it
must necessarily be different from its negative: there is no room for
argument. And if that which is so really is so, it must necessarily be
different from that which is not so: there is no room for argument.

"Take no heed of time, nor of right and wrong. But passing into the
realm of the Infinite, take your final rest therein."

 Our refuge is in God alone, the Infinite Absolute. Contraries cannot
 but exist, but they should exist independently of each other without
 antagonism. Such a condition is found only in the all-embracing unity
 of God, wherein all distinctions of positive and negative, of right
 and wrong, of this and of that, are obliterated and merged in ONE.

 Herbert Spencer says, "The antithesis of subject and object, never
 to be transcended while consciousness lasts, renders impossible all
 knowledge of the Ultimate Reality in which subject and object are
 united." _Principles of Psychology_, i. p. 272.

The Penumbra said to the Umbra, "At one moment you move: at another
you are at rest. At one moment you sit down: at another you get up.
Why this instability of purpose?" "I depend," replied the Umbra, "upon
something which causes me to do as I do; and that something depends
in turn upon something else which causes it to do as it does. My
dependence is like that of a snake's scales or of a cicada's wings.

 Which do not move of their own accord.

How can I tell why I do one thing, or why I do not do another?"

 Showing how two or more may be the phenomena of one.

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzŭ, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering
hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was
conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was
unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awaked, and
there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man
dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I
am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a barrier.
The transition is called _Metempsychosis_.

 Showing how one may appear to be either of two.



 _Argument_:--Life too short--Wisdom unattainable--Accommodation to
 circumstances--Liberty paramount--Death a release--The soul immortal.

My life has a limit, but my knowledge is without limit. To drive the
limited in search of the limitless, is fatal; and the knowledge of
those who do this is fatally lost.

In striving for others, avoid fame. In striving for self, avoid
disgrace. Pursue a middle course. Thus you will keep a sound body, and
a sound mind, fulfil your duties, and work out your allotted span.

Prince Hui's cook was cutting up a bullock. Every blow of his hand,
every heave of his shoulders, every tread of his foot, every thrust of
his knee, every _whshh_ of rent flesh, every _chhk_ of the chopper, was
in perfect harmony,--rhythmical like the dance of the Mulberry Grove,
simultaneous like the chords of the Ching Shou.

 Commentators are divided in their identifications of these ancient

"Well done!" cried the Prince. "Yours is skill indeed."

"Sire," replied the cook; "I have always devoted myself to TAO. It is
better than skill. When I first began to cut up bullocks, I saw before
me simply _whole_ bullocks. After three years' practice, I saw no more
whole animals.

 Meaning that he saw them, so to speak, in sections.

And now I work with my mind and not with my eye. When my senses bid me
stop, but my mind urges me on, I fall back upon eternal principles.
I follow such openings or cavities as there may be, according to the
natural constitution of the animal. I do not attempt to cut through
joints: still less through large bones.

 For a curious parallelism, see Plato's _Phædrus_, 265.

"A good cook changes his chopper once a year,--because he cuts. An
ordinary cook, once a month,--because he hacks. But I have had this
chopper nineteen years, and although I have cut up many thousand
bullocks, its edge is as if fresh from the whetstone. For at the joints
there are always interstices, and the edge of a chopper being without
thickness, it remains only to insert that which is without thickness
into such an interstice.

 These words help to elucidate a much-vexed passage in ch. xliii of the
 _Tao-Tê-Ching_. See _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 30.

By these means the interstice will be enlarged, and the blade will find
plenty of room. It is thus that I have kept my chopper for nineteen
years as though fresh from the whetstone.

"Nevertheless, when I come upon a hard part where the blade meets with
a difficulty, I am all caution. I fix my eye on it. I stay my hand, and
gently apply my blade, until with a _hwah_ the part yields like earth
crumbling to the ground. Then I take out my chopper, and stand up, and
look around, and pause, until with an air of triumph I wipe my chopper
and put it carefully away."

"Bravo!" cried the Prince. "From the words of this cook I have learnt
how to take care of my life."

 Meaning that which informs life, _sc._ the soul.

When Hsien, of the Kung-wên family, beheld a certain official, he was
horrified, and said, "Who is that man? How came he to lose a foot? Is
this the work of God, or of man?

"Why, of course," continued Hsien, "it is the work of God, and not of
man. When God brought this man into the world, he wanted him to be
unlike other men. Men always have two feet. From this it is clear that
God and not man made him as he is.

 It was by God's will that he took office with a view to personal
 aggrandisement. That he got into trouble and suffered the common
 punishment of loss of feet, cannot therefore be charged to man.

"Now, wild fowl get a peck once in ten steps, a drink once in a
hundred. Yet they do not want to be fed in a cage. For although they
would thus be able to command food, they would not be free."

 And had our friend above kept out of the official cage he would still
 have been independent as the fowls of the air.

When Lao Tzŭ died, Ch'in Shih went to mourn. He uttered three yells and

A disciple asked him saying, "Were you not our Master's friend?"

"I was," replied Ch'in Shih.

"And if so, do you consider that a sufficient expression of grief at
his loss?" added the disciple.

"I do," said Ch'in Shih. "I had believed him to be the man of all men,
but now I know that he was not. When I went in to mourn, I found old
persons weeping as if for their children, young ones wailing as if
for their mothers. And for him to have gained the attachment of those
people in this way, he too must have uttered words which should not
have been spoken, and dropped tears which should not have been shed,
thus violating eternal principles, increasing the sum of human emotion,
and forgetting the source from which his own life was received. The
ancients called such emotions the trammels of mortality. The Master
came, because it was his time to be born; he went, because it was his
time to die. For those who accept the phenomenon of birth and death in
this sense, lamentation and sorrow have no place. The ancients spoke
of death as of God cutting down a man suspended in the air. The fuel
is consumed, but the fire may be transmitted, and we know not that it
comes to an end."

 The soul, according to Chuang Tzŭ, if duly nourished and not allowed
 to wear itself out with the body in the pursuits of mortality, may
 become immortal and return beatified to the Great Unknown whence it



 _Argument_:--Man must fall in with his mortal environment--His virtue
 should be passive, not active--He should be rather than do--Talents a
 hindrance--But of petty uselessness great usefulness is achieved.

Yen Hui went to take leave of Confucius.

 A disciple of the Sage. Also known as Tzŭ Yüan.

"Whither are you bound?" asked the Master.

"I am going to the State of Wei," was the reply.

"And what do you propose to do there?" continued Confucius.

"I hear," answered Yen Hui, "that the Prince of Wei is of mature age,
but of an unmanageable disposition. He behaves as if the State were of
no account, and will not see his own faults. Consequently, the people
perish; and their corpses lie about like so much undergrowth in a
marsh. They are at extremities. And I have heard you, Sir, say that if
a State is well governed it may be neglected; but that if it is badly
governed, then we should visit it.

 In the _Lun Yü_, Confucius says exactly the opposite of this.

The science of medicine embraces many various diseases. I would test
my knowledge in this sense, that perchance I may do some good to that

"Alas!" cried Confucius, "you will only succeed in bringing evil upon
yourself. For TAO must not be distributed. If it is, it will lose its
unity. If it loses its unity, it will be uncertain; and so cause mental
disturbance,--from which there is no escape.

"The sages of old first got TAO for themselves, and then got it for
others. Before you possess this yourself, what leisure have you to
attend to the doings of wicked men? Besides, do you know what Virtue
results in and where Wisdom ends? Virtue results in a desire for
fame; Wisdom ends in contentions. In the struggle for fame men crush
each other, while their wisdom but provokes rivalry. Both are baleful
instruments, and may not be incautiously used.

"Besides, those who, before influencing by their own solid virtue and
unimpeachable sincerity, and before reaching the heart by the example
of their own disregard for name and fame, go and preach charity and
duty to one's neighbour to wicked men,--only make these men hate them
for their very goodness' sake. Such persons are called _evil speakers_.
And those who speak evil of others are apt to be evil spoken of
themselves. That, alas! will be your end.

"On the other hand, if the Prince loves the good and hates the bad,
what object will you have in inviting him to change his ways? Before
you have opened your mouth to preach, the Prince himself will have
seized the opportunity to wrest the victory from you. Your eye will
fall, your expression fade, your words will stick, your face will
change, and your heart will die within you. It will be as though you
took fire to quell fire, water to quell water, which is popularly known
as 'pouring oil on the flames.' And if you begin with concessions,
there will be no end to them. Neglect this sound advice, and you will
be the victim of that violent man.

"Of old, Chieh murdered Kuan Lung Fêng, and Chou slew Prince Pi Kan.
Their victims were both men who cultivated virtue themselves in
order to secure the welfare of the people. But in doing this they
offended their superiors; and therefore, because of that very moral
culture, their superiors got rid of them, in order to guard their own

 Chieh and Chou are the two typical tyrants of Chinese history.

"Of old, Yao attacked the Ts'ung-chih and Hsü-ao countries, and Yü
attacked the Yu-hu country. Homes were desolated and families destroyed
by the slaughter of the inhabitants. Yet they fought without ceasing,
and strove for victory to the last. These are instances known to all.
Now if the Sages of old failed in their efforts against this love of
fame, this desire for victory,--are you likely to succeed? But of
course you have a scheme. Tell it to me."

"Gravity of demeanour," replied Yen Hui, "and dispassionateness; energy
and singleness of purpose,--will this do?"

"Alas!" said Confucius, "that will not do. If you make a show of being
perfect and obtrude yourself, the Prince's mood will be doubtful.
Ordinarily, he is not opposed, and so he has come to take actual
pleasure in trampling upon the feelings of others. And if he has thus
failed in the practice of routine virtues, do you expect that he will
take readily to higher ones? You may insist, but without result.
Outwardly you will be right, but inwardly wrong. How then will you make
him mend his ways?"

"Just so," replied Yen Hui. "I am inwardly straight, and outwardly
crooked, completed after the models of antiquity.

"He who is inwardly straight is a servant of God. And he who is a
servant of God knows that the Son of Heaven

 The Emperor.

and himself are equally the children of God. Shall then such a one
trouble whether man visits him with evil or with good? Man indeed
regards him as a child; and this is to be a servant of God.

 (1) Children are everywhere exempt.--This is the first limb of a
 threefold argument.

"He who is outwardly crooked is a servant of man. He bows, he kneels,
he folds his hands;--such is the ceremonial of a minister. What all men
do, shall I dare not to do? What all men do, none will blame me for
doing. This is to be a servant of man.

 (2) The individual is not punished for the faults of the community.

"He who is completed after the models of antiquity is a servant of the
Sages of old. Although I utter the words of warning and take him to
task, it is the Sages of old who speak, and not I. Thus my uprightness
will not bring me into trouble, the servant of the Sages of old.--Will
this do?"

 (3) The responsibility rests, not with the mouthpiece, but with the
 authors of the doctrines enunciated.

"Alas!" replied Confucius, "No. Your plans are too many, and are
lacking in prudence. However, your firmness will secure you from harm;
but that is all. You will not influence him to such an extent that he
shall seem to follow the dictates of his own heart."

"Then," said Yen Hui, "I am without resource, and venture to ask for a

Confucius said, "_FAST_.... Let me explain. You have a method, but it
is difficult to practise. Those which are easy are not from God."

"Well," replied Yen Hui, "my family is poor, and for many months we
have tasted neither wine nor flesh. Is not that fasting?"

"The fasting of religious observance it is," answered Confucius, "but
not the fasting of the heart."

"And may I ask," said Yen Hui, "in what consists the fasting of the

"Cultivate unity," replied Confucius.

 Make of the mind as it were an undivided indivisible ONE.

"You hear not with the ears, but with the mind; not with the mind, but
with your soul.

 The vital fluid which informs your whole being; in fact, "with your
 whole self."

But let hearing stop with the ears. Let the working of the mind stop
with itself. Then the soul will be a negative existence, passively
responsive to externals. In such a negative existence, only TAO can
abide. And that negative state is the fasting of the heart."

"Then," said Yen Hui, "the reason I could not get the use of this
method is my own individuality. If I could get the use of it, my
individuality would have gone. Is this what you mean by the negative

"Exactly so," replied the Master. "Let me tell you. If you can enter
this man's domain without offending his _amour propre_, cheerful if he
hears you, passive if he does not; without science, without drugs,
simply living there in a state of complete indifference,--you will
be near success. It is easy to stop walking: the trouble is to walk
without touching the ground. As an agent of man, it is easy to deceive;
but not as an agent of God. You have heard of winged creatures flying.
You have never heard of flying without wings. You have heard of men
being wise with wisdom. You have never heard of men wise without wisdom.

 Wise of God, without the wisdom of man.

"Look at that window. Through it an empty room becomes bright with
scenery; but the landscape stops outside. Were this not so, we should
have an exemplification of sitting still and running away at one and
the same time.

 An empty room would contain something,--a paradox like that in the

"In this sense, you may use your ears and eyes to communicate within,
but shut out all wisdom from the mind.

 Let the channels of your senses be to your mind what a window is to an
 empty room.

And there where the supernatural

 Something which is and yet is not, like the landscape seen in, and yet
 not in, a room.

can find shelter, shall not man find shelter too? This is the method
for regenerating all creation.

 By passive, not by active, virtue.

It was the instrument which Yü and Shun employed. It was the secret
of the success of Fu Hsi and Chi Chü. Shall it not then be adopted by
mankind in general?"

 Who stand much more in need of regeneration than such worthies as were
 these ancient Emperors.

Tzŭ Kao, Duke of Shê,

 A district of the Ch'u State.

being about to go on a mission to the Ch'i State, asked Confucius,
saying, "The mission my sovereign is sending me on is a most important
one. Of course, I shall be received with all due respect, but they
will not take the same interest in the matter that I shall. And as an
ordinary person cannot be pushed, still less a Prince, I am in a state
of great alarm.

"Now you, Sir, have told me that in all undertakings great and small,
TAO alone leads to a happy issue. Otherwise that, failing success,
there is to be feared punishment from without, and with success,
punishment from within; while exemption in case either of success or
non-success falls only to the share of those who possess the virtue

 _I.e._ those to whom the issue, as regards their own reward or
 punishment, is a matter of the completest indifference.

 The term _virtue_, here as elsewhere unless specially notified, should
 be understood in the sense of exemplification of TAO.

"Well, I am not dainty with my food; neither am I always wanting to
cool myself when hot. However, this morning I received my orders, and
this evening I have been drinking iced water. I am so hot inside.
Before I have put my hand to the business I am suffering punishment
from within; and if I do not succeed I am sure to suffer punishment
from without. Thus I get both punishments, which is really more than I
can bear. Kindly tell me what there is to be done."

"There exist two sources of safety," Confucius replied. "One is
_Destiny_: the other is _Duty_. A child's love for its parents
is destiny. It is inseparable from the child's life. A subject's
allegiance to his sovereign is duty. Beneath the canopy of heaven there
is no place to which he can escape from it. These two sources of safety
may be explained as follows. To serve one's parents without reference
to _place_ but only to the service, is the acme of filial piety. To
serve one's prince without reference to the _act_ but only to the
service, is the perfection of a subject's loyalty. To serve one's own
heart so as to permit neither joy nor sorrow within, but to cultivate
resignation to the inevitable,--this is the climax of Virtue.

"Now a minister often finds himself in circumstances over which he
has no control. But if he simply confines himself to his work, and
is utterly oblivious of self, what leisure has he for loving life or
hating death? And so you may safely go.

"But I have yet more to tell you. All intercourse, if personal, should
be characterised by sincerity. If from a distance, it should be carried
on in loyal terms. These terms will have to be transmitted by some one.
Now the transmission of messages of good- or ill-will is the hardest
thing possible. Messages of good-will are sure to be overdone with fine
phrases; messages of ill-will with harsh ones. In each case the result
is exaggeration, and a consequent failure to carry conviction, for
which the envoy suffers. Therefore it was said in the _Fa-yen_,

 Name of an ancient book.

'Confine yourself to simple statements of fact, shorn of all
superfluous expression of feeling, and your risk will be small.'

"In trials of skill, at first all is friendliness; but at last it is
all antagonism. Skill is pushed too far. So on festive occasions, the
drinking which is in the beginning orderly enough, degenerates into
riot and disorder. Festivity is pushed too far. It is in fact the same
with all things: they begin with good faith and end with contempt. From
small beginnings come great endings.

"Speech is like wind to wave. Action is liable to divergence from its
true goal. By wind, waves are easily excited. Divergence from the
true goal is fraught with danger. Thus angry feelings rise up without
a cause. Specious words and dishonest arguments follow, as the wild
random cries of an animal at the point of death. Both sides give
way to passion. For where one party drives the other too much into a
corner, resistance will always be provoked without apparent cause. And
if the cause is not apparent, how much less will the ultimate effect be

"Therefore it is said in the _Fa-yen_, 'Neither deviate from nor travel
beyond your instructions.

 "Travel beyond your instructions," is literally, "urge a settlement."

To pass the limit is to go to excess.'

"To deviate from, or to travel beyond instructions, may imperil the
negotiation. A settlement to be successful must be lasting. It is too
late to change an evil settlement once made.

"Therefore let yourself be carried along without fear, taking refuge in
_no alternative_ to preserve you from harm on either side. This is the
utmost you can do. What need for considering your obligations? Better
leave all to Destiny, difficult as this may be."

 It is passing strange that this exposition of the _laissez-aller_
 inaction doctrine of TAO should be placed in the mouth of Confucius,
 who is thus made in some measure to discredit his own teachings. The
 commentators, however, see nothing anomalous in the position here
 assigned to the Sage.

Yen Ho

 A philosopher from the Lu State.

was about to become tutor to the eldest son of Prince Ling of the Wei
State. Accordingly he observed to Chü Poh Yü,

 Prime Minister of the Wei State.

"Here is a man whose disposition is naturally of a low order. To let
him take his own unprincipled way is to endanger the State. To try
to restrain him is to endanger one's personal safety. He has just
wit enough to see faults in others, but not to see his own. I am
consequently at a loss what to do."

"A good question indeed," replied Chü Poh Yü, "You must be careful,
and begin by self-reformation. Outwardly you may adapt yourself, but
inwardly you must keep up to your own standard. In this there are two
points to be guarded against. You must not let the outward adaptation
penetrate within, nor the inward standard manifest itself without.
In the former case, you will fall, you will be obliterated, you will
collapse, you will lie prostrate. In the latter case, you will be a
sound, a name, a bogie, an uncanny thing. If he would play the child,
do you play the child too. If he cast aside all sense of decorum, do
you do so too. As far as he goes, do you go also. Thus you will reach
him without offending him.

"Don't you know the story of the praying mantis? In its rage it
stretched out its arms to prevent a chariot from passing, unaware
that this was beyond its strength, so admirable was its energy! Be
cautious. If you are always offending others by your superiority, you
will probably come to grief.

"Do you not know that those who keep tigers do not venture to give them
live animals as food, for fear of exciting their fury when killing the
prey? Also, that whole animals are not given, for fear of exciting the
tigers' fury when rending them? The periods of hunger and repletion are
carefully watched in order to prevent such outbursts. The tiger is
of a different species from man; but the latter too is manageable if
properly managed, unmanageable if excited to fury.

"Those who are fond of horses surround them with various conveniences.
Sometimes mosquitoes or flies trouble them; and then, unexpectedly to
the animal, a groom will brush them off, the result being that the
horse breaks his bridle, and hurts his head and chest. The intention is
good, but there is a want of real care for the horse. Against this you
must be on your guard."

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain artisan was travelling to the Ch'i State. On reaching
Ch'ü-yüan, he saw a sacred _li_ tree,

 A worthless species of oak.

large enough to hide an ox behind it, a hundred spans in girth,
towering up ten cubits over the hill top, and carrying behind it
branches, many tens of the smallest of which were of a size for boats.
Crowds stood gazing at it, but our artisan took no notice, and went on
his way without even casting a look behind. His apprentice however
gazed his fill, and when he caught up his master, said, "Ever since I
have handled an adze in your service, I have never seen such a splendid
piece of timber as that. How was it that you, sir, did not care to stop
and look at it?"

"It's not worth talking about," replied his master. "It's good for
nothing. Make a boat of it,--'twould sink. A coffin,--'twould rot.
Furniture,--'twould soon break down. A door,--'twould sweat. A
pillar,--'twould be worm-eaten. It is wood of no quality, and of no
use. That is why it has attained its present age."

When the artisan reached home, he dreamt that the tree appeared to
him in a dream and spoke as follows:--"What is it that you compare me
with? Is it with the more elegant trees?--The cherry-apple, the pear,
the orange, the pumelo, and other fruit-bearers, as soon as their
fruit ripens are stripped and treated with indignity. The great boughs
are snapped off, the small ones scattered abroad. Thus do these trees
by their own value injure their own lives. They cannot fulfil their
allotted span of years, but perish prematurely in mid-career from
their entanglement with the world around them. Thus it is with all
things. For a long period my aim was to be useless. Many times I was in
danger, but at length I succeeded, and so became useful as I am to-day.
But had I then been of use, I should not now be of the great use I
am. Moreover, you and I belong both to the same category of things.
Have done then with this criticism of others. Is a good-for-nothing
fellow whose dangers are not yet passed a fit person to talk of a
good-for-nothing tree?"

When our artisan awaked and told his dream, his apprentice said, "If
the tree aimed at uselessness, how was it that it became a sacred tree?"

 Which of course may be said to be of use.

"What you don't understand," replied his master, "don't talk about.
That was merely to escape from the attacks of its enemies. Had it not
become sacred, how many would have wanted to cut it down! The means of
safety adopted were different from ordinary means,

 In order to reach the somewhat extraordinary goal of uselessness.

and to test these by ordinary canons leaves one far wide of the mark."

       *       *       *       *       *

Tzŭ Ch'i of Nan-poh

 Said to be identical with the individual mentioned at the beginning of
 ch. ii.

was travelling on the Shang mountain when he saw a large tree which
astonished him very much. A thousand chariot teams could have found
shelter under its shade.

"What tree is this?" cried Tzŭ Ch'i. "Surely it must have unusually
fine timber." Then looking up, he saw that its branches were too
crooked for rafters; while as to the trunk he saw that its irregular
grain made it valueless for coffins. He tasted a leaf, but it took the
skin off his lips; and its odour was so strong that it would make a man
as it were drunk for three days together.

"Ah!" said Tzŭ Ch'i. "This tree is good for nothing, and that is how it
has attained this size. A wise man might well follow its example."

 And so escape danger from his surroundings.

In the State of Sung there is a place called Ching-shih, where thrive
the beech, the cedar, and the mulberry. Such as are of a one-handed
span or so in girth are cut down for monkey-cages. Those of two or
three two-handed spans are cut down for the beams of fine houses. Those
of seven or eight such spans are cut down for the solid sides of rich
men's coffins.

 To this day, the very best kinds of wood are still reserved for the
 "planks of old age."

Thus they do not fulfil their allotted span of years, but perish in
mid-career beneath the axe. Such is the misfortune which overtakes

For the sacrifices to the River God, neither bulls with white cheeks,
nor pigs with large snouts, nor men suffering from piles, were allowed
to be used. This had been revealed to the soothsayers, and these
characteristics were consequently regarded as inauspicious. The wise,
however, would regard them as extremely auspicious.

 Readers of _Don Juan_ will recollect how the master's mate had reason
 to share his view.

There was a hunchback named Su. His jaws touched his navel. His
shoulders were higher than his head. His hair knot looked up to the
sky. His viscera were upside down. His buttocks were where his ribs
should have been. By tailoring, or washing, he was easily able to earn
his living. By sifting rice he could make enough to support a family of

 In all of which occupations a man would necessarily stoop.

When orders came down for a conscription, the hunchback stood
unconcerned among the crowd. And similarly, in matters of public works,
his deformity shielded him from being employed.

On the other hand, when it came to donations of grain, the hunchback
received as much as three _chung_,

 An ancient measure of uncertain capacity.

and of firewood, ten faggots. And if physical deformity was thus enough
to preserve his body until its allotted end, how much more would not
moral and mental deformity avail!

 A moral and mental deviation would be still more likely to condemn a
 man to that neglect from his fellows which is so conducive to our real

When Confucius was in the Ch'u State, the eccentric Chieh Yü passed his
door, saying, "O phœnix, O phœnix, how has thy virtue fallen!--

 By thus issuing forth out of due season.

unable to wait for the coming years or to go back into the past.

 When you might be, or might have been, of use. The idea conveyed is
 that Confucianism was unsuited to its age. See _Lun-yü_, ch. xviii.

If TAO prevails on earth, prophets will fulfil their mission. If TAO
does not prevail, they will but preserve themselves. At the present day
they will but just escape.

"The honours of this world are light as feathers, yet none estimate
them at their true value. The misfortunes of this life are weighty as
the earth itself, yet none can keep out of their reach. No more, no
more, seek to influence by virtue. Beware, beware, move cautiously on!
O ferns, O ferns, wound not my steps! Through my tortuous journey wound
not my feet! Hills suffer from the trees they produce. Fat burns by its
own combustibility. Cinnamon trees furnish food: therefore they are
cut down. The lacquer tree is felled for use. All men know the use of
useful things; but they do not know the use of useless things."



 _Argument_:--Correspondence between inward virtue and outward
 influence--The virtuous man disregards externals--The possession
 of virtue causes oblivion of outward form--Neglect of the
 human--Cultivation of the divine.

In the State of Lu there was a man, named Wang T'ai, who had had his
toes cut off. His disciples were as numerous as those of Confucius.

Ch'ang Chi

 One of the latter.

asked Confucius, saying, "This Wang T'ai has been mutilated, yet
he divides with you, Sir, the teaching of the Lu State. He neither
preaches nor discusses; yet those who go to him empty, depart full. He
must teach _the doctrine which does not find expression in words_;

 The doctrine of TAO. These words occur in chs. ii and xliii of the
 _Tao-Tê-Ching_. See _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 7.

and although his shape is imperfect, his mind is perhaps complete. What
manner of man is this?"

"He is a prophet," replied Confucius, "whose instruction I have been
late in seeking. I will go and learn from him. And if I,--why not those
who are not equal to me? And I will take with me, not the State of Lu
only, but the whole world."

"The fellow has been mutilated," said Ch'ang Chi, "and yet people call
him _Master_. He must be very different from the ordinary run. But how
does he use his mind in this sense?"

"Life and Death are all powerful," answered Confucius, "but they cannot
affect _it_.

 The mind, or soul, which is immortal. See ch. iii.

Heaven and earth may collapse, but _that_ will remain. If _this_ is
found to be without flaw, it will not share the fate of all things. It
can cause other things to change, while preserving its own constitution

"How so?" asked Ch'ang Chi.

"From the point of view of difference," replied Confucius, "we
distinguish between the liver and the gall, between the Ch'u State and
the Yüeh State. From the point of view of sameness, all things are
ONE. Such is the position of Wang T'ai. He does not trouble about what
reaches him through the senses of hearing and sight, but directs his
whole mind towards the very climax of virtue. He beholds all things
as though ONE, without observing their discrepancies. And thus the
discrepancy of his toes is to him as would be the loss of so much mud."

"He devotes himself in fact to himself," said Ch'ang Chi, "and uses his
wisdom to perfect his mind, until it becomes perfect. But how then is
it that people make so much of him?"

 His virtue being wholly, as it were, of a selfish order.

"A man," replied Confucius, "does not seek to see himself in running
water, but in still water. For only what is itself still can instil
stillness into others.

"The grace of earth has reached only to pines and cedars;--winter and
summer alike they are green. The grace of God has reached to Yao and to
Shun alone;--the first and foremost of all creation. Happily they were
able to regulate their own lives and thus regulate the lives of all

"By nourishment of physical courage, the sense of fear may be so
eliminated that a man will, single-handed, brave a whole army. And if
such a result can be achieved in search of fame, how much more by one
who extends his sway over heaven and earth and influences all things;
and who, lodging within the confines of a body with its channels of
sight and sound, brings his knowledge to know that all things are ONE,
and that his soul endures for ever! Besides, he awaits his appointed
hour, and men flock to him of their own accord. He makes no effort to
attract them."

 That men thus gather around him is the outward sign or evidence of his
 inward virtue complete.

Shên T'u Chia had had his toes cut off. Subsequently, he studied under
Poh Hun Wu Jen at the same time as Tzŭ Ch'an of the Chêng State. The
latter said to him, "When I leave first, do you remain awhile. When you
leave first, I will remain behind."

 Tzŭ Ch'an was a model minister of the sixth century B.C. Under his
 guidance the people of the Chêng State became so virtuous that doors
 were not locked at night, nor would any one pick up lost articles left
 lying in the road. He was hardly likely to be ashamed of walking out
 with a mutilated criminal.

Next day, when they were again together in the lecture-room, Tzŭ Ch'an
said, "When I leave first, do you remain awhile. When you leave first,
I will remain. I am now about to go. Will you remain or not? I notice
you show no respect to a Minister of State. Perhaps you think yourself
my equal?"

"Dear me!" replied Shên T'u Chia, "I didn't know we had a Minister of
State in the class. Perhaps you think that because you are one you
should take precedence over the rest. Now I have heard that if a mirror
is perfectly bright, dust and dirt will not collect on it. That if they
do, it is because the mirror was not bright. He who associates for
long with the wise will be without fault. Now you have been improving
yourself at the feet of our Master, yet you can utter words like these.
Is not the fault in you?"

"You are a fine fellow, certainly," retorted Tzŭ Ch'an, "you will be
emulating the virtue of Yao next. To look at you, I should say you had
enough to do to attend to your own shortcomings!"

 A sneer at his want of toes.

"Those who disguise their faults," said Shên T'u Chia, "so as not to
lose their toes, are many in number. Those who do not disguise their
faults, and so fail to keep them, are few. To recognise the inevitable
and to quietly acquiesce in Destiny, is the achievement of the virtuous
man alone. He who should put himself in front of the bull's-eye when
Hou I

 A Chinese Tell.

was shooting, would be hit. If he was not hit, it would be destiny.
Those with toes who laugh at me for having no toes are many. This
used to make me angry. But since I have studied under our Master, I
have ceased to trouble about it. It may be that our Master has so far
succeeded in purifying me. At any rate I have been with him nineteen
years without being aware of the loss of my toes. Now you and I are
engaged in studying the internal. Do you not then commit a fault by
thus dragging me back to the external?"

At this Tzŭ Ch'an began to fidget, and changing countenance, begged
Shên T'u Chia to say no more.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was a man of the Lu State who had been mutilated,--Shu Shan
_No-toes_. He came walking on his heels to see Confucius; but Confucius
said, "You did not take care, and so brought this misfortune upon
yourself. What is the use of coming to me now?"

"In my ignorance," replied No-toes, "I made free with my body and lost
my toes. But I come with something more precious than toes which I
now seek to keep. There is no man, but Heaven covers him: there is no
man, but Earth supports him;--and I thought that you, sir, would be as
Heaven and Earth. I little expected to hear these words from you."

"I must apologise," said Confucius. "Pray walk in and let us discuss."
But No-toes walked out.

"There!" said Confucius to his disciples. "There is a criminal without
toes who seeks to learn in order to make atonement for his previous
misdeeds. And if he, how much more those who have no misdeeds for which
to atone?"

No-toes went off to Lao Tzŭ and said, "Is Confucius a sage, or is he
not? How is it he has so many disciples? He aims at being a subtle
dialectician, not knowing that such a reputation is regarded by real
sages as the fetters of a criminal."

"Why do you not meet him with the continuity of life and death, the
identity of _can_ and _can not_," answered Lao Tzŭ, "and so release him
from these fetters?"

"He has been thus punished by God," replied No-toes. "It would be
impossible to release him."

 A sneer at Confucius. No-toes himself had only been punished by man.

Duke Ai of the Lu State said to Confucius, "In the Wei State there is a
leper, named Ai T'ai T'o. The men who live with him like him and make
no effort to get rid of him. Of the women who have seen him, many have
said to their parents, Rather than be another man's wife, I would be
his concubine.

"He never preaches at people, but puts himself into sympathy with
them. He wields no power by which he may protect men's bodies. He has
at his disposal no appointments by which to gratify their hearts. He
is loathsome to a degree. He sympathises, but does not instruct. His
knowledge is limited to his own State. Yet males and females alike all
congregate around him.

"So thinking that he must be different from ordinary men, I sent for
him, and saw that he was indeed loathsome to a degree. Yet we had not
been many months together ere my attention was fixed upon his conduct.
A year had not elapsed ere I trusted him thoroughly; and as my State
wanted a Prime Minister, I offered the post to him. He accepted it
sullenly, as if he would much rather have declined. Perhaps he didn't
think me good enough for him! At any rate, he took it; but in a very
short time he left me and went away. I grieved for him as for a lost
friend, and as though there were none left with whom I could rejoice.
What manner of man is this?

"When I was on a mission to the Ch'u State," replied Confucius, "I saw
a litter of young pigs sucking their dead mother. After a while they
looked at her, and then they all left the body and went off. For their
mother did not look at them any more, nor did she any more seem to be
of their kind. What they loved was their mother; not the body which
contained her, but that which made the body what it was.

"When a man is killed in battle, his arms are not buried with him.

 He has no further use for weapons.

A man whose toes have been cut off does not value a present of boots.
In each case the function of such things is gone.

"The concubines of the Son of Heaven do not cut their nails or pierce
their ears.

 For fear of injuring their persons.

He who has a marriageable daughter keeps her away from menial work. To
preserve her beauty is quite enough occupation for her. How much more
so for a man of perfect virtue?

 Who should trouble himself only about the internal.

"Now Ai T'ai T'o says nothing, and is trusted. He does nothing, and is
sought after. He causes a man to offer him the government of his own
State, and the only fear is lest he should decline. Truly his talents
are perfect and his virtue without outward form!"

"What do you mean by his talents being perfect?" asked the Duke.

"Life and Death," replied Confucius, "existence and non-existence,
success and non-success, poverty and wealth, virtue and vice, good and
evil report, hunger and thirst, warmth and cold,--these all revolve
upon the changing wheel of Destiny. Day and night they follow one
upon the other, and no man can say where each one begins. Therefore
they cannot be allowed to disturb the harmony of the organism, nor
enter into the soul's domain. Swim however with the tide, so as not to
offend others. Do this day by day without break, and live in peace with
mankind. Thus you will be ready for all contingencies, and may be said
to have your talents perfect."

"And virtue without outward form; what is that?"

"In a water-level," said Confucius, "the water is in a most perfect
state of repose. Let that be your model. The water remains quietly
within, and does not overflow. It is from the cultivation of such
harmony that virtue results. And if virtue takes no outward form, man
will not be able to keep aloof from it."

 Mankind will be regenerated thereby, in the same way that evenness is
 imparted by the aid of water to surfaces, although the water is all
 the time closed up and does not overflow.

Some days afterwards Duke Ai told Min Tzŭ,

 One of Confucius' disciples.

saying, "When first I took the reins of government in hand, I thought
that in caring for my people's lives I had done all my duty as a ruler.
But now that I have heard what a perfect man is, I fear that I have not
been succeeding, but foolishly using my body and working destruction
to my State. Confucius and I are not prince and minister, but merely
friends with a care for each other's moral welfare."

A certain hunchback, named Wu Ch'un, whose heels did not touch the
ground, had the ear of Duke Ling of Wei. The Duke took a great fancy to
him; and as for well-formed men, he thought their necks were too short.

Another man, with a goitre as big as a large jar, had the ear of
Duke Huan of Ch'i. The Duke took a great fancy to him; and as for
well-formed men, he thought their necks were too thin.

Thus it is that virtue should prevail and outward form be forgotten.
But mankind forgets not that which is to be forgotten, forgetting that
which is not to be forgotten. This is forgetfulness indeed! And thus
with the truly wise, wisdom is a curse, sincerity like glue, virtue
only a means to acquire, and skill nothing more than a commercial
capacity. For the truly wise make no plans, and therefore require no
wisdom. They do not separate, and therefore require no glue. They
want nothing, and therefore need no virtue. They sell nothing,
and therefore are not in want of a commercial capacity. These four
qualifications are bestowed upon them by God and serve as heavenly food
to them. And those who thus feed upon the divine have little need for
the human. They wear the forms of men, without human passions. Because
they wear the forms of men, they associate with men. Because they have
not human passions, positives and negatives find in them no place.
Infinitesimal indeed is that which makes them man: infinitely great is
that which makes them divine!

Hui Tzŭ said to Chuang Tzŭ, "Are there then men who have no passions?"

Chuang Tzŭ replied, "Certainly."

"But if a man has no passions," argued Hui Tzŭ, "what is it that makes
him a man?"

"TAO," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "gives him his expression, and God gives him
his form. How should he not be a man?"

"If then he is a man," said Hui Tzŭ, "how can he be without passions?"

"What you mean by passions," answered Chuang Tzŭ, "is not what I mean.
By a man without passions I mean one who does not permit good and evil
to disturb his internal economy, but rather falls in with whatever
happens, as a matter of course, and does not add to the sum of his

 The play of passion would tend to create conditions which otherwise
 would not exist.

"But whence is man to get his body," asked Hui Tzŭ, "if there is to be
no adding to the sum of mortality?"

 This is of course a gibe. Hui Tzŭ purposely takes Chuang Tzŭ's words
 _à double entente_.

"TAO gives him his expression," said Chuang Tzŭ, "and God gives him his
form. He does not permit good and evil to disturb his internal economy.
But now you are devoting your intelligence to externals, and wearing
out your mental powers. You prop yourself against a tree and mutter, or
lean over a table with half-closed eyes.

    God has made you a shapely sight,
    Yet your only thought is the _hard and white_."

 Chang Tzŭ puts his last sentence into doggerel, the more effectively
 to turn the tables against Hui Tzŭ, whose paradoxical theories he is
 never tired of ridiculing. See ch. ii.



 _Argument_:--The human and the divine--The pure men of old--Their
 qualifications--Their self-abstraction--All things as ONE--The known
 and the unknown--Life a boon--Death a transition--Life eternal open to
 all--The way thither--Illustrations.

He who knows what God is, and who knows what Man is, has attained.
Knowing what God is, he knows that he himself proceeded therefrom.
Knowing what Man is, he rests in the knowledge of the known, waiting
for the knowledge of the unknown. Working out one's allotted span, and
not perishing in mid career,--this is the fulness of knowledge.

God is a principle which exists by virtue of its own intrinsicality,
and operates spontaneously, without self-manifestation.

 It is in the human that the divine finds expression. Man emanates from
 God, and should therefore be on earth, in this brief life of ours,
 what God is for all eternity in the universe.

Herein, however, there is a flaw. Knowledge is dependent upon
fulfilment. And as this fulfilment is uncertain, how can it be known
that my divine is not really human, my human really divine?

 Not until death lifts the veil can we truly know that this life
 is bounded at each end by an immortality to which the soul finally

    "Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
    All but the page prescribed, their present state."

We must have _pure men_, and then only can we have _pure knowledge_.

 "Pure" must be understood in the sense of transcendent.

But what is a pure man?--The pure men of old acted without calculation,
not seeking to secure results. They laid no plans. Therefore, failing,
they had no cause for regret; succeeding, no cause for congratulation.
And thus they could scale heights without fear; enter water without
becoming wet; fire, without feeling hot. So far had their wisdom
advanced towards TAO.

 "The world-spirit is a good swimmer, and storms and waves cannot drown

The pure men of old slept without dreams, and waked without anxiety.
They ate without discrimination, breathing deep breaths. For pure men
draw breath from their uttermost depths; the vulgar only from their

 "Uttermost depths" is literally "heels," but all the best commentators
 take the sentence to mean that pure men breathe with their whole
 being, and not as it were superficially, from the throat only.

 This passage is probably responsible for the trick of taking deep
 inhalations of morning air, practised (not without scientific
 foundation) by the followers of the debased Taoism of modern times.
 Other tricks for prolonging life, such as swallowing the saliva three
 times in every two hours, etc., are more open to adverse criticism.
 See the _T'ai-Hsi-Ching_.

Out of the crooked, words are retched up like vomit. If men's passions
are deep, their divinity is shallow.

The pure men of old did not know what it was to love life or to
hate death. They did not rejoice in birth, nor strive to put off
dissolution. Quickly come, and quickly go;--no more. They did not
forget whence it was they had sprung, neither did they seek to hasten
their return thither. Cheerfully they played their allotted parts,
waiting patiently for the end. This is what is called not to lead the
heart astray from TAO,

 By admitting play of passion in the sense condemned in ch. v. which
 would hinder the mind from resting quietly in the knowledge of the

nor to let the human seek to supplement the divine.

 But to wait patiently for the knowledge of the unknown.

And this is what is meant by a pure man.

Such men are in mind absolutely free; in demeanour, grave; in
expression, cheerful. If it is freezing cold, it seems to them like
autumn; if blazing hot, like spring. Their passions occur like the four

 Each at its appointed time.

They are in harmony with all creation, and none know the limit thereof.

 These last few words occur in the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. lviii. See _The
 Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 40. Also, with a variation, in ch. xxii of
 this work.

And so it is that a perfect man can destroy a kingdom and yet not lose
the hearts of the people, while the benefits he hands down to ten
thousand generations do not proceed from love of his fellow-man.

 Whatever he does is spontaneous, and therefore natural, and therefore
 in accordance with right.

He who delights in man, is himself not a perfect man. His affection is
not true charity.

 Charity is the universal love of all creation which admits of no
 particular manifestations.

Depending upon opportunity, he has not true worth.

 True worth is independent of circumstances. It is a quality which is
 always unconsciously operating for good, and needs no opportunity to
 call it into existence.

He who is not conversant with both good and evil is not a superior man.

 The good, to practise; the evil, to avoid.

He who disregards his reputation is not what a man should be.

 As a mere social unit.

He who is not absolutely oblivious of his own existence can never be a
ruler of men.

Thus Hu Pu Hsieh, Wu Kuang, Poh I, Shu Ch'i, Chi Tzŭ Hsü Yü, Chi T'o,
and Shên T'u Ti, were the servants of rulers, and did the behests of
others, not their own.

 A list of ancient worthies whose careers had been more or less
 unsuccessful. Of the first and second little is known, except that the
 ears of the latter were seven inches long.

 The third and fourth were brothers and are types of moral purity.
 Each refused the throne of their State, because each considered his
 brother more entitled thereto. Finally, they died of starvation on the
 mountains rather than submit to a change of the Imperial dynasty. More
 will be heard of these two later on.

 The fifth smeared his body all over with lacquer, so that no one
 should come near him. Of the sixth, nothing is recorded; and of the
 seventh, only that he tied a stone around his neck and jumped into a
 river. See the _Fragmenta_ at the end of the works of Shih Tzŭ.

The pure men of old did their duty to their neighbours, but did not
associate with them.

 Among them, but not of them.

They behaved as though wanting in themselves, but without flattering
others. Naturally rectangular, they were not uncompromisingly hard.
They manifested their independence without going to extremes. They
appeared to smile as if pleased, when the expression was only a natural

 As required by the exigencies of society.

Their outward semblance derived its fascination from the store of
goodness within. They seemed to be of the world around them, while
proudly treading beyond its limits. They seemed to desire silence,
while in truth they had dispensed with language.

 See ch. v.

They saw in penal laws a trunk;

 A natural basis of government.

in social ceremonies, wings;

 To aid man's progress through life.

in wisdom, a useful accessory; in morality, a guide. For them penal
laws meant a merciful administration; social ceremonies, a passport
through the world; wisdom, an excuse for doing what they could not
help; and morality, walking like others upon the path.

 Instead of at random across country. At such an early date was
 uniformity a characteristic of the Chinese people.

And thus all men praised them for the worthy lives they led.

For what they cared for could be reduced to ONE, and what they did not
care for to ONE also. That which was ONE was ONE, and that which was
not ONE was likewise ONE. In that which was ONE, they were of God; in
that which was not ONE, they were of Man. And so between the human and
the divine no conflict ensued. This was to be a pure man.

Life and Death belong to Destiny. Their sequence, like day and night,
is of God, beyond the interference of man, an inevitable law.

A man looks upon God as upon his father, and loves him in like measure.
Shall he then not love that which is greater than God?

 _Sc._ TAO.

A man looks upon a ruler of men as upon some one better than himself,
for whom he would sacrifice his life. Shall he not then do so for the
Supreme Ruler of Creation?

 _Sc._ TAO, the omnipresent, omnipotent Principle which invests even
 God himself with the power and attributes of divinity.

 The careful student of pure Taoism will find however that the
 distinction between TAO and God is sometimes so subtle as altogether
 to elude his intelligence.

When the pond dries up, and the fishes are left upon dry ground, to
moisten them with the breath or to damp them with spittle is not to be
compared with leaving them in the first instance in their native rivers
and lakes. And better than praising Yao and blaming Chieh would be
leaving them both and attending to the development of TAO.

TAO gives me this form, this toil in manhood, this repose in old age,
this rest in death. And surely that which is such a kind arbiter of my
life is the best arbiter of my death.

A boat may be hidden in a creek, or in a bog, safe enough.

 The text has "or a mountain in a bog," which taken with the context
 seems to me to be nonsense. Yet all the commentators labour to
 explain away the difficulty, instead of making the obvious change of
 "mountain" into "boat," to which change the forms of the two Chinese
 characters readily lend themselves. In over two thousand years of
 literary activity, it seems but rarely to have occurred to the Chinese
 that a _textus receptus_ could contain a copyist's slip.

But at midnight a strong man may come and carry away the boat on his
back. The dull of vision do not perceive that however you conceal
things, small ones in larger ones, there will always be a chance of
losing them.

 The boat is figurative of our mortal coil which cannot be hidden from

But if you conceal the whole universe in the whole universe, there will
be no place left wherein it may be lost. The laws of matter make this
to be so.

To have attained to the human form must be always a source of joy. And
then, to undergo countless transitions, with only the infinite to look
forward to,--what incomparable bliss is that! Therefore it is that the
truly wise rejoice in that which can never be lost, but endures alway.

 The soul which as TAO, is commensurate only with time and space.

For if we can accept early death, old age, a beginning, and an end,

 As inseparable from Destiny,--already a step in the right direction.

why not that which informs all creation and is of all phenomena the
Ultimate Cause?

 The long chain of proximate causes reaches finality in TAO. Here we
 have the complete answer to such queries as that propounded to the
 Umbra by the Penumbra at the close of ch. ii.

TAO has its laws, and its evidences. It is devoid both of action and of
form. It may be transmitted, but cannot be received.

 So that the receiver can say he has it.

It may be obtained, but cannot be seen. Before heaven and earth were,
TAO was. It has existed without change from all time. Spiritual beings
drew their spirituality therefrom, while the universe became what we
can see it now. To TAO, the zenith is not high, nor the nadir low; no
point in time is long ago, nor by lapse of ages has it grown old.

 To the infinite all terms and conditions are relative.

Hsi Wei obtained TAO, and so set the universe in order.

 A legendary ruler of remote antiquity. In what sense he set the
 universe in order has not been authentically handed down.

Fu Hsi obtained it, and was able to establish eternal principles.

 The first in the received list of Chinese sovereigns (B.C. 2852). This
 monarch is said to have invented the art of writing and to have taught
 his people to cook.

The Great Bear obtained it, and has never erred from its course. The
sun and moon obtained it, and have never ceased to revolve. K'an P'i
obtained it, and established the K'un-lun mountains.

 The divinity of the sacred mountains here mentioned.

P'ing I obtained it, and rules over the streams. Chien Wu obtained it,
and dwells on Mount T'ai.

 See ch. i.

The Yellow Emperor obtained it, and soared upon the clouds to heaven.

 The most famous of China's legendary rulers (B.C. 2697). He is said
 among other things to have invented wheeled vehicles, and generally
 to have given a start to the civilisation of his people. Some of Lao
 Tzŭ's sayings have been attributed to him; and by some he has been
 regarded as the first promulgator of TAO.

Chuan Hsü obtained it, and dwells in the Dark Palace.

 A legendary ruler (B.C. 2513), of whose Dark Palace nothing is known.

Yü Ch'iang obtained it, and fixed himself at the North Pole.

 As its presiding genius.

Hsi Wang Mu obtained it, and settled at Shao Kuang; since when, no one
knows; until when, no one knows either.

 A lady,--or a place, for accounts vary,--around whose name innumerable
 legends have gathered.

P'êng Tsu obtained it, and lived from the time of Shun until the time
of the Five Princes.

 From 2255 to the 7th century B.C. See ch. i.

Fu Yüeh obtained it, and as the Minister of Wu Ting

 A monarch of the Yin dynasty, B.C. 1324.

got the empire under his control. And now, charioted upon one
constellation and drawn by another, he has been enrolled among the
stars of heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nan Po Tzŭ K'uei

 Probably the individual mentioned in chs. ii. and iv.

said to Nü Yü,

 By one authority said to be a woman.

"You are old, Sir, and yet your countenance is like that of a child.
How is this?"

Nü Yü replied, "I have learnt TAO."

"Could I get TAO by studying it?" asked the other.

"I fear not," said Nü Yü. "You are not the sort of man. There was Pu
Liang I. He had all the qualifications of a sage, but not TAO. Now I
had Tao, though none of the qualifications. But do you imagine that
much as I wished it I was able to teach TAO to him so that he should be
a perfect sage? Had it been so, then to teach TAO to one who has the
qualifications of a sage would be an easy matter. No, Sir. I imparted
as though withholding; and in three days, for him, this sublunary state
had ceased to exist.

 With all its paltry distinctions of sovereign and subject, high and
 low, good and bad, etc.

When he had attained to this, I withheld again; and in seven days more,
for him, the external world had ceased to be. And so again for another
nine days, when he became unconscious of his own existence. He became
first etherealised, next possessed of perfect wisdom, then without past
or present, and finally able to enter there where life and death are no
more,--where killing does not take away life, nor does prolongation of
life add to the duration of existence.

 In TAO life and death are ONE.

In that state, he is ever in accord with the exigencies of his

 Literally, there is no sense in which he is not accompanying or
 meeting, destroying or constructing. That is, in spite of his
 spiritual condition as above described, he can still adapt himself
 naturally to life among his fellow-men. The retirement of a hermit is
 by no means necessary to the perfection of the pure man.

and this is to be _Battered but not Bruised_. And he who can be thus
battered but not bruised is on the way to perfection."

"And how did you manage to get hold of all this?" asked Nan Po Tzŭ

"I got it from books," replied Nü Yü; "and the books got it from
learning, and learning from investigation, and investigation from

 Of eye and mind.

and cö-ordination from application, and application from desire to
know, and desire to know from the unknown, and the unknown from the
great void, and the great void from infinity!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Four men were conversing together, when the following resolution was
suggested:--"Whosoever can make Inaction the head, Life the backbone,
and Death the tail, of his existence,--that man shall be admitted to
friendship with us." The four looked at each other and smiled; and
tacitly accepting the conditions, became friends forthwith.

By-and-by, one of them, named Tzŭ Yü, fell ill, and another, Tzŭ Ssŭ,
went to see him. "Verily God is great!" said the sick man. "See how he
has doubled me up. My back is so hunched that my viscera are at the top
of my body. My cheeks are level with my navel. My shoulders are higher
than my neck. My hair grows up towards the sky. The whole economy of
my organism is deranged. Nevertheless, my mental equilibrium is not
disturbed." So saying, he dragged himself painfully to a well, where he
could see himself, and continued, "Alas, that God should have doubled
me up like this!"

"Are you afraid?" asked Tzŭ Ssŭ.

"I am not," replied Tzŭ Yü. "What have I to fear? Ere long I shall be
decomposed. My left shoulder will become a cock, and I shall herald
the approach of morn. My right shoulder will become a cross-bow, and I
shall be able to get broiled duck. My buttocks will become wheels; and
with my soul for a horse, I shall be able to ride in my own chariot.
I obtained life because it was my time: I am now parting with it in
accordance with the same law. Content with the natural sequence of
these states, joy and sorrow touch me not. I am simply, as the ancients
expressed it, hanging in the air, unable to cut myself down, bound with
the trammels of material existence. But man has ever given way before
God: why, then, should I be afraid?"

 "What comes from God to us, returns from us to God."--_Plato._

By-and-by, another of the four, named Tzŭ Lai, fell ill, and lay
gasping for breath, while his family stood weeping around. The fourth
friend, Tzŭ Li, went to see him. "Chut!" cried he to the wife and
children; "begone! you balk his decomposition." Then, leaning against
the door, he said, "Verily, God is great! I wonder what he will make
of you now. I wonder whither you will be sent. Do you think he will
make you into a rat's liver

 The Chinese believe that a rat has no liver.

or into the shoulders of a snake?"

"A son," answered Tzŭ Lai, "must go whithersoever his parents bid him.
Nature is no other than a man's parents.

 The term "Nature" stands here as a rendering of _Yin_ and _Yang_, the
 Positive and Negative Principles of Chinese cosmogony, from whose
 interaction the visible universe results.

If she bid me die quickly, and I demur, then I am an unfilial son. She
can do me no wrong. TAO gives me this form, this toil in manhood, this
repose in old age, this rest in death. And surely that which is such a
kind arbiter of my life is the best arbiter of my death.

"Suppose that the boiling metal in a smelting-pot were to bubble up
and say, 'Make of me an Excalibur;' I think the caster would reject
that metal as uncanny. And if a sinner like myself were to say to God,
'Make of me a man, make of me a man;' I think he too would reject me
as uncanny. The universe is the smelting-pot, and God is the caster. I
shall go whithersoever I am sent, to wake unconscious of the past, as a
man wakes from a dreamless sleep."

Tzŭ Sang Hu, Mêng Tzŭ Fan, and Tzŭ Ch'in Chang, were conversing
together, when it was asked, "Who can be, and yet not be?

 Implying the absence of all consciousness.

Who can do, and yet not do?

 By virtue of inaction.

Who can mount to heaven, and roaming through the clouds, pass beyond
the limits of space, oblivious of existence, for ever and ever without

The three looked at each other and smiled; and as neither had any
misgivings, they became friends accordingly.

Shortly afterwards Tzŭ Sang Hu died; whereupon Confucius sent Tzŭ Kung

 One of his chief disciples.

to take part in the mourning. But Tzŭ Kung found that one had composed
a song which the other was accompanying on the lute,

 Strictly speaking, a kind of zitha, played with two hammers.

as follows:--

    Ah! Wilt thou come back to us, Sang Hu?
    Ah! Wilt thou come back to us, Sang Hu?
    Thou hast already returned to thy God,
    While we still remain here as men,--alas!

Tzŭ Kung hurried in and said, "How can you sing alongside of a corpse?
Is this decorum?"

The two men looked at each other and laughed, saying, "What should
this man know of decorum indeed?"

 Not the outward decorum of the body, but the inward decorum of the

Tzŭ Kung went back and told Confucius, asking him, "What manner of men
are these? Their object is nothingness and a separation from their
corporeal frames.

 Various commentators give various renderings of this sentence,--mostly

They can sit near a corpse and yet sing, unmoved. There is no class for
such. What are they?"

"These men," replied Confucius, "travel beyond the rule of life. I
travel within it. Consequently, our paths do not meet; and I was wrong
in sending you to mourn. They consider themselves as one
with God, recognising no distinctions between human and divine. They
look on life as a huge tumour from which death sets them free. All the
same they know not where they were before birth, nor where they will be
after death. Though admitting different elements, they take their stand
upon the unity of all things. They ignore their passions. They take
no count of their ears and eyes. Backwards and forwards through all
eternity, they do not admit a beginning or end. They stroll beyond the
dust and dirt of mortality, to wander in the realms of inaction. How
should such men trouble themselves with the conventionalities of this
world, or care what people may think of them?"

"But if such is the case," said Tzŭ Kung, "why should we stick to the

"Heaven has condemned me to this," replied Confucius. "Nevertheless,
you and I may perhaps escape from it."

"By what method?" asked Tzŭ Kung.

"Fishes," replied Confucius, "are born in water. Man is born in TAO. If
fishes get ponds to live in, they thrive. If man gets TAO to live in,
he may live his life in peace.

 Without reference to the outward ceremonial of this world.

Hence the saying, 'All that a fish wants is water; all that a man wants
is TAO.'"

 It is of course by a literary _coup de main_ that Confucius is here
 and elsewhere made to stand sponsor to the TAO of the rival school.

"May I ask," said Tzŭ Kung, "about divine men?"

"Divine men," replied Confucius, "are divine to man, but ordinary to
God. Hence the saying that the meanest being in heaven would be the
best on earth; and the best on earth, the meanest in heaven."

 "Man is a kind of very minute heaven. God is the grand

Yen Hui said to Confucius, "When Mêng Sun Ts'ai's mother died, he wept,
but without snivelling;

 Which the Chinese regard as the test of real sorrow.

he grieved but his grief was not heartfelt; he wore mourning but
without howling. Yet although wanting in these three points, he is
considered the best mourner in the State of Lu. Surely this is the name
and not the reality. I am astonished at it."

"Mêng Sun," said Confucius, "did all that was required. He has made an
advance towards wisdom.

 Towards TAO, wherein there is no weeping nor gnashing of teeth.

He could not do less;

 Than mourn outwardly, for fear of committing a breach of social
 etiquette, in harmony if not in accordance with which the true Sage
 passes his life.

while all the time actually doing less.

 As seen from the absence of those signs which prove inward grief.

"Mêng Sun knows not whence we come nor whither we go. He knows not
whether the end will come early or late. Passing into life as a man, he
quietly awaits his passage into the unknown. What should the dead know
of the living, or the living know of the dead? Even you and I may be in
a dream from which we have not yet awaked.

"Then again, he adapts himself physically,

 To the ceremonial of the body.

while avoiding injury to his higher self.

 Keeping his soul free from the disturbance of passion.

He regards a dying man simply as one who is going home. He sees others
weep, and he naturally weeps too.

"Besides, a man's personality is something of which he is subjectively
conscious. It is impossible for him to say if he is really that which
he is conscious of being. You dream you are a bird, and soar to heaven.
You dream you are a fish, and dive into the ocean's depths. And you
cannot tell whether the man now speaking is awake or in a dream.

"A pleasurable sensation precedes the smile it evokes. The smile itself
is not dependent upon a reminding nudge.

 And just so was Mêng Sun's outward expression of grief,--spontaneous,
 as being in harmony with his surroundings.

Resign yourself,

 To your mortal environment.

unconscious of all changes,

 Of life into death, etc.

and you shall enter into the pure, the divine, the ONE."

       *       *       *       *       *

I Erh Tzŭ went to see Hsü Yu. The latter asked him, saying, "How has
Yao benefited you?"

"He bade me," replied the former, "practise charity and do my duty, and
distinguish clearly between right and wrong."

"Then what do you want here?" said Hsü Yu. "If Yao has already branded
you with charity and duty, and cut off your nose with right and wrong,
what do you do in this free-and-easy, care-for-nobody, topsy-turvy

 Of TAO.

"Nevertheless," replied I Erh Tzŭ, "I should like to be on its

"If a man has lost his eyes," retorted Hsü Yu, "it is impossible for
him to join in the appreciation of beauty. A man with a film over his
eyes cannot tell a blue sacrificial robe from a yellow one."

"Wu Chuang's disregard of her beauty," answered I Erh Tzŭ, "Chü
Liang's disregard of his strength, the Yellow Emperor's abandonment
of wisdom,--all these were brought about by a process of filing and
hammering. And how do you know but that God would rid me of my brands,
and give me a new nose, and make me fit to become a disciple of

"Ah!" replied Hsü Yu, "that cannot be known. But I will just give
you an outline. The Master I serve succours all things, and does
not account it _duty_. He continues his blessings through countless
generations, and does not account it _charity_. Dating back to the
remotest antiquity, he does not account himself old. Covering heaven,
supporting earth, and fashioning the various forms of things, he does
not account himself skilled. He it is whom you should seek."

 And he is TAO.

"I am getting on," observed Yen Hui to Confucius.

 The most famous of all the disciples of Confucius, admitted by the
 latter to have been as near perfection as possible.

"How so?" asked the latter.

"I have got rid of charity and duty," replied the former.

"Very good," replied Confucius, "but not perfect."

Another day Yen Hui met Confucius and said, "I am getting on."

"How so?" asked Confucius.

"I have got rid of ceremonial and music," answered Yen Hui.

"Very good," said Confucius, "but not perfect."

On a third occasion Yen Hui met Confucius and said, "I am getting on."

"How so?" asked the Sage.

"I have got rid of everything," replied Yen Hui.

"Got rid of everything!" said Confucius eagerly. "What do you mean by

"I have freed myself from my body," answered Yen Hui. "I have discarded
my reasoning powers. And by thus getting rid of body and mind, I have
become ONE with the Infinite. This is what I mean by getting rid of

"If you have become ONE," cried Confucius, "there can be no room for
bias. If you have passed into space, you are indeed without beginning
or end. And if you have really attained to this, I trust to be allowed
to follow in your steps."

       *       *       *       *       *

Tzŭ Yü and Tzŭ Sang were friends. Once when it had rained for ten days,
Tzŭ Yü said, "Tzŭ Sang is dangerously ill." So he packed up some food
and went to see him.

 In accordance with the exigencies of mortality. How Tzŭ Yü knew that
 his friend was ill is not clear. An attempt has been made by one
 commentator on the basis of animal magnetism, in which the Chinese
 have believed for centuries.

Arriving at the door, he heard something between singing and
lamentation, accompanied with the sound of music, as follows:--

"O father! O mother! O Heaven! O Man!"

These words seemed to be uttered with a great effort; whereupon Tzŭ Yü
went in and asked what it all meant.

"I was trying to think who could have brought me to this extreme,"
replied Tzŭ Sang, "but I could not guess. My father and mother would
hardly wish me to be poor. Heaven covers all equally. Earth supports
all equally. How can they make me in particular poor? I was seeking to
know who it was, but without success. Surely then I am brought to this
extreme by _Destiny_."

 "The word Fate, or Destiny, expresses the sense of mankind in all
 ages--that the laws of the world do not always befriend, but often
 hurt and crush us."--_Emerson._



 _Argument_:--Princes should reign, not rule--Rulers find their
 standards of right in themselves--They thus coerce their people into
 obeying artificial laws, instead of leaving them to obey natural
 laws--By action they accomplish nothing--By inaction there is nothing
 which they would not accomplish--Individuals think they know what
 the empire wants--In reality it is the empire itself which know

Yeh Ch'üeh asked Wang I

 See ch. ii.

four questions, none of which he could answer. Thereat the former was
greatly delighted,

 For now he discovered that ignorance is true knowledge:--an
 explanation which I adopt only for want of a better.

and went off and told P'u I Tzŭ.

 Of whom nothing definite is known.

"Have you only just found that out?" said P'u I Tzŭ. "The Emperor Shun
was not equal to T'ai Huang.

 A legendary ruler. For Shun, see ch. i.

Shun was all for charity in his zeal for mankind; but although he
succeeded in government, he himself never rose above the level of
artificiality. Now T'ai Huang was peaceful when asleep and inactive
when awake. At one time he would think himself a horse; at another, an

 So effectually had he closed all channels leading to consciousness of

His wisdom was substantial and above suspicion. His virtue was genuine
indeed. And yet he never sank to the level of artificiality."

 He was a monarch after the pattern of TAO.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chien Wu meeting the eccentric Chieh Yü, the latter enquired, saying,
"What did Jih Chung Shih teach you?"

 Of the last nothing is known. The first two have been already
 mentioned in chs. i. and vi.

"He taught me," replied Chien Wu, "about the laws and regulations which
princes evolve, and which he said none would venture not to hear and

"That is a false teaching indeed," replied Chieh Yü. "To attempt to
govern mankind thus,--as well try to wade through the sea, to hew a
passage through a river, or make a mosquito fly away with a mountain!

"The government of the truly wise man has no concern with externals.
He first perfects himself, and then by virtue thereof he is enabled to
accomplish what he wants.

 Passively, without effort of any kind.

"The bird flies high to avoid snare and dart. The mouse burrows down
below the hill to avoid being smoked or cut out of its nest. Is your
wit below that of these two creatures?"

 That you should be unable to devise means of avoiding the artificial
 restraints of princes. Better than coercing into goodness is letting
 men be good of their own accord.

T'ien Kên

 Of whom nothing is known.

was travelling on the south of the Yin mountain. He had reached the
river Liao when he met a certain Sage to whom he said, "I beg to ask
about the government of the empire."

"Begone!" cried the Sage. "You are a low fellow, and your question is
ill timed. God has just turned me out a man. That is enough for me.
Borne on light pinions I can soar beyond the cardinal points, to the
land of nowhere, in the domain of nothingness. And you come to worry me
with government of the empire!"

But T'ien Kên enquired a second time, and the Sage replied, "Resolve
your mental energy into abstraction, your physical energy into
inaction. Allow yourself to fall in with the natural order of
phenomena, without admitting the element of self,--and the empire will
be governed."

 By virtue of natural laws which lead, without man's interference, to
 the end desired.

Yang Tzŭ Chü went to see Lao Tzŭ, and said, "Suppose a man were ardent
and courageous, acquainted with the order and principles of things,
and untiring in the pursuit of TAO--would he be accounted a wise ruler?"

"From the point of view of a truly wise man," replied Lao Tzŭ, "such a
one would be a mere handicraftsman, wearing out body and mind alike.
The tiger and the pard suffer from the beauty of their skins. The
cleverness of the monkey, the tractability of the ox, bring them both
to the tether. It is not on such grounds that a ruler may be accounted

"But in what, then," cried Yang Tzŭ Chü, "does the government of a wise
man consist?"

"The goodness of a wise ruler," answered Lao Tzŭ, "covers the whole
empire, yet he himself seems to know it not. It influences all
creation, yet none is conscious thereof. It appears under countless
forms, bringing joy to all things. It is based upon the baseless, and
travels through the realms of Nowhere."

 The operation of true government is invisible to the eye of man.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the State of Chêng there was a wonderful magician, named Chi Han.
He knew all about birth and death, gain and loss, misfortune and
happiness, long life and short life,--predicting events to a day
with supernatural accuracy. The people of Chêng used to flee at his
approach; but Lieh Tzŭ

 See ch. i.

went to see him, and became so infatuated that on his return he said to
Hu Tzŭ,

 Who appears to have been his tutor.

"I used to look upon your TAO as perfect. Now I know something more
perfect still."

"So far," replied Hu Tzŭ, "I have only taught you the ornamentals,
not the essentials, of TAO; and yet you think you know all about it.
Without cocks in your poultry-yard, what sort of eggs do the hens lay?
If you go about trying to force TAO down people's throats, you will be
simply exposing yourself. Bring your friend with you, and let me show
myself to him."

So next day Lieh Tzŭ went with Chi Han to see Hu Tzŭ, and when they
came out Chi Han said, "Alas! your teacher is doomed. He cannot live. I
hardly give him ten days. I am astonished at him. He is but wet ashes."

 And cannot burn much longer.

Lieh Tzŭ went in and wept bitterly, and told Hu Tzŭ; but the latter
said, "I showed myself to him just now as the earth shows us its
outward form, motionless and still, while production is all the time
going on. I merely prevented him from seeing my pent-up energy

 Of TAO.

within. Bring him again."

Next day the interview took place as before; but as they were leaving
Chi Han said to Lieh Tzŭ, "It is lucky for your teacher that he met me.
He is better. He will recover. I saw he had recuperative power."

Lieh Tzŭ went in and told Hu Tzŭ; whereupon the latter replied, "I
showed myself to him just now as heaven shows itself in all its
dispassionate grandeur, letting a little energy run out of my heels. He
was thus able to detect that I had some. Bring him here again."

Next day a third interview took place, and as they were leaving, Chi
Han said to Lieh Tzŭ, "Your teacher is never one day like another. I
can tell nothing from his physiognomy. Get him to be regular, and I
will then examine him again."

This being repeated to Hu Tzŭ as before, the latter said, "I showed
myself to him just now in a state of harmonious equilibrium. Where the
whale disports itself,--is the abyss. Where water is at rest,--is the
abyss. Where water is in motion,--is the abyss. The abyss has nine
names. These are three of them."

 Alluding to three phases of TAO as manifested at the three interviews
 above described, TAO being the abyss.

Next day the two went once more to see Hu Tzŭ; but Chi Han was unable
to stand still, and in his confusion turned and fled.

"Pursue him!" cried Hu Tzŭ; whereupon Lieh Tzŭ ran after him, but could
not overtake him, so he returned and told Hu Tzŭ that the fugitive had

"I showed myself to him just now," said Hu Tzŭ, "as TAO appeared
before time was. I was to him as a great blank, existing of itself. He
knew not who I was. His face fell. He became confused. And so he fled."

Upon this Lieh Tzŭ stood convinced that he had not yet acquired any
real knowledge, and at once set to work in earnest, passing three
years without leaving the house. He helped his wife to cook the family
dinner, and fed his pigs just like human beings. He discarded the
artificial and reverted to the natural. He became merely a shape.
Amidst confusion,

 Of this material world.

he was unconfounded. And so he continued to the end.

By Inaction, fame comes as the spirits of the dead come to the boy who
impersonates the corpse.

 See ch. i. In the old funeral rites of China, a boy was made to sit
 speechless and motionless as a corpse, for the reason assigned in the

By Inaction, one can become the centre of thought, the focus of
responsibility, the arbiter of wisdom. Full allowance must be made
for others, while remaining unmoved oneself. There must be a thorough
compliance with divine principles, without any manifestation thereof.

 Non mihi res, sed me rebus, subjungere conar.

All of which may be summed up in the one word _passivity_. For the
perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing: it refuses
nothing. It receives, but does not keep. And thus he can triumph over
matter, without injury to himself.

 Without the wear and tear suffered by those who allow their activities
 free play.

       *       *       *       *       *

The ruler of the southern sea was called Shu. The ruler of the northern
sea was called Hu. The ruler of the central zone was called Hun Tun.

 This term is generally used to denote the condition of matter before
 separation and subdivision into the phenomena of the visible universe.

Shu and Hu often met on Hun Tun's territory, and being always well
treated by him, determined to repay his kindness.

They said, "All men have seven holes,--for seeing, hearing, eating, and
breathing. Hun Tun alone has none. We will bore some for him."

So every day they bored one hole; but on the seventh day Hun Tun died.

 Illustrating the perils of action. "The empire," says Lao Tzŭ, "is a
 divine trust, and may not be ruled. He who rules, ruins. He who holds
 by force, loses."

 "Men's actions," says Emerson, "are too strong for them."

 With this chapter Chuang Tzŭ completes the outline of his system. The
 remaining chapters are either supplementary to the preceding seven, or
 independent essays upon cognate subjects.



 _Argument_:--Virtues should be natural, not artificial; passive
 not active. [Chs. viii to xiii inclusive are illustrative of, or
 supplementary to, ch. vii.]

Joined toes and extra fingers are an addition to nature, though,
functionally speaking, superfluous. Wens and tumours are an addition to
the bodily form, though, as far as nature is concerned, superfluous.
And similarly, to include charity and duty to one's neighbour among the
functions of man's organism, is not true TAO.

 The whole of this chapter is a violent tirade against the leading
 doctrines of Confucianism.

For just as joined toes are but useless lumps of flesh, and extra
fingers but useless excrescences, so are any artificial additions to
our internal economy but harmful adjuncts to real charity and duty to
one's neighbour,

 Which are the outcome of TAO.

and are moreover prejudicial to the right use of intelligence.

People with extra keenness of vision muddle themselves over the five
colours, exaggerate the value of shades, and of distinctions of greens
and yellows for sacrificial robes. Of such was Li Chu.

 Who could see a pin's point at a distance of 1,000 _li_. He is
 mentioned by Mencius.

People with extra keenness of hearing muddle themselves over the
five notes, exaggerate the tonic differences of the six pitch-pipes,
and the various _timbres_ of metal, stone, silk, and bamboo, of the
_Huang-chung_, and of the _Ta-lü_. Of such was Shih K'uang.

 The blind musician mentioned in ch. ii. The _Huang-chung_ and the
 _Ta-lü_ were two of the twelve bamboo tubes, or pitch-pipes, on which
 ancient Chinese music was based. Six were _male_ or positive, and six
 _female_ or negative. Hence they are spoken of collectively as six.

People who graft on charity, force themselves to display this virtue
in order to gain reputation and to enjoy the applause of the world for
that which is of no account. Of such were Tsêng and Shih.

 Tsêng Shên, a famous disciple of Confucius, and Shih Yu, both noted
 for their high moral characters.

People who refine in argument do but pile up tiles or knot ropes in
their maunderings over the hard and white, the like and the unlike,
wearing themselves out over mere useless terms. Of such were Yang and

 Yang Chu, a philosopher of the fourth century B.C., whose "selfish"
 system was condemned by Mencius; and Mih Tzŭ, already mentioned in ch.

Therefore every addition to or deviation from nature belongs not to the
ultimate perfection of all.

 Which is in TAO.

He who would attain to such perfection never loses sight of the natural
conditions of his existence. With him the joined is not united, nor
the separated apart, nor the long in excess, nor the short wanting.
For just as a duck's legs, though short, cannot be lengthened without
pain to the duck, and a crane's legs, though long, cannot be shortened
without misery to the crane, so that which is long in man's moral
nature cannot be cut off, nor that which is short be lengthened. All
sorrow is thus avoided.

Intentional charity and intentional duty to one's neighbour are surely
not included in our moral nature. Yet what sorrow these have involved.
Divide your joined toes and you will howl: bite off your extra finger
and you will scream. In one case there is too much, in the other too
little; but the sorrow is the same. And the charitable of the age go
about sorrowing over the ills of the age, while the non-charitable cut
through the natural conditions of things in their greed after place and
wealth. Surely then intentional charity and duty to one's neighbour
are not included in our moral nature. Yet from the time of the Three
Dynasties downwards what a fuss has been made about them!

Those who cannot make perfect without arc, line, compasses, and square,
injure the natural constitution of things. Those who require cords
to bind and glue to stick, interfere with the natural functions of
things. And those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering with
ceremonies and music and preaching charity and duty to one's neighbour,
thereby destroy the intrinsicality of things.

For such intrinsicality does exist, in this sense:--Things which
are curved require no arcs; things which are straight require no
lines; things which are round require no compasses; things which are
rectangular require no squares; things which stick require no glue;
things which hold together require no cords. And just as all things are
produced, and none can tell how they are produced, so do all things
possess their own intrinsic qualities and none can tell how they
possess them. From time immemorial this has always been so, without
variation. Why then should charity and duty to one's neighbour be as it
were glued or corded on, and introduced into the domain of TAO, to give
rise to doubt among mankind?

Lesser doubts change the rule of life; greater doubts change man's

How do we know this? By the fact that ever since the time when Shun bid
for charity and duty to one's neighbour in order to secure the empire,
men have devoted their lives to the pursuit thereof. Is it not then
charity and duty to one's neighbour which change the nature of man?

Therefore I have tried to show that from the time of the Three
Dynasties it has always been the external which has changed the nature
of man. If a mean man, he will die for gain. If a superior man, he will
die for fame. If a man of rank, he will die for his ancestral honours.
If a Sage, he will die for the world. The pursuits and ambitions of
these men differ, but the injury to their natures involved in the
sacrifice of their lives is the same.

Tsang and Ku were shepherds, both of whom lost their flocks. On
inquiry, it appeared that Tsang had been engaged in reading, while Ku
had gone to take part in some trials of strength. Their occupations had
been different, but the result was in each case loss of the sheep.

Poh I died for fame at the foot of Mount Shou-yang.

 See ch. vi.

Robber Chê died for gain on Mount T'ai.

 Robber Chê has a chapter to himself, from which, though spurious, it
 may be gathered that he was a very remarkable personage in his day.

 Mount T'ai has been mentioned in ch. i.

Their deaths were not the same, but the injury to their lives and
natures was in each case the same. How then can we applaud the former
and blame the latter?

And so, if a man dies for charity and duty to his neighbour the world
calls him a noble fellow; but if he dies for gain, the world calls him
a low fellow. The dying being the same, one is nevertheless called
noble and the other low. But in point of injury to life and nature, the
robber Chê and Poh I are one. Where then does the distinction of noble
and low come in?

Were a man to apply himself to charity and duty towards his neighbour
until he were the equal of Tsêng or Shih, this would not be what I mean
by perfection. Or to flavours, until he were the equal of Yü Erh.

 Probably identical with I Ya, the Soyer of China.

Or to sounds, until he were the equal of Shih K'uang. Or to colours,
until he were the equal of Li Chu. What I mean by perfection is not
what is meant by charity and duty to one's neighbour. It is found in
the cultivation of TAO. And those whom I regard as cultivators of TAO
are not those who cultivate charity and duty to one's neighbour. They
are those who yield to the natural conditions of things. What I call
perfection of hearing is not hearing others but oneself. What I call
perfection of vision is not seeing others but oneself.

 A saying attributed by Han Fei Tzŭ to Lao Tzŭ:--"To see oneself is to
 be clear of sight." See _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 18.

For a man who sees not himself but others, takes not possession of
himself but of others, thus taking what others should take and not what
he himself should take.

 Multi sunt, qui urbes, qui populos habuere in potestate, paucissimi,
 qui se.

Instead of being himself, he in fact becomes some one else. And if a
man thus becomes some one else instead of himself, this is a fatal
error of which both the robber Chê and Poh I can be equally guilty.

And so, conscious of my own deficiency in regard to TAO, I do not
venture at my best to practise the principles of charity and duty
to my neighbour, nor at my worst to fall into the fatal error



 _Argument_:--Superiority of the natural over the
 artificial--Application of this principle to government.

Horses have hoofs to carry them over frost and snow; hair, to protect
them from wind and cold. They eat grass and drink water, and fling up
their heels over the champaign. Such is the real nature of horses.
Palatial dwellings are of no use to them.

       *       *       *       *       *

One day Poh Loh

 A Chinese Rarey, of somewhat legendary character.

appeared, saying, "I understand the management of horses."

So he branded them, and clipped them, and pared their hoofs, and put
halters on them, tying them up by the head and shackling them by the
feet, and disposing them in stables, with the result that two or three
in every ten died. Then he kept them hungry and thirsty, trotting them
and galloping them, and grooming, and trimming, with the misery of the
tasselled bridle before and the fear of the knotted whip behind, until
more than half of them were dead.

The potter says, "I can do what I will with clay. If I want it round, I
use compasses; if rectangular, a square."

The carpenter says, "I can do what I will with wood. If I want it
curved, I use an arc; if straight, a line."

But on what grounds can we think that the natures of clay and wood
desire this application of compasses and square, of arc and line?
Nevertheless, every age extols Poh Loh for his skill in managing
horses, and potters and carpenters for their skill with clay and wood.
Those who _govern_ the empire make the same mistake.

Now I regard government of the empire from quite a different point of

The people have certain natural instincts;--to weave and clothe
themselves, to till and feed themselves. These are common to all
humanity, and all are agreed thereon. Such instincts are called

And so in the days when natural instincts prevailed, men moved quietly
and gazed steadily. At that time, there were no roads over mountains,
nor boats, nor bridges over water. All things were produced, each for
its own proper sphere. Birds and beasts multiplied; trees and shrubs
grew up. The former might be led by the hand; you could climb up and
peep into the raven's nest. For then man dwelt with birds and beasts,
and all creation was one. There were no distinctions of good and bad
men. Being all equally without knowledge, their virtue could not go
astray. Being all equally without evil desires, they were in a state of
natural integrity, the perfection of human existence.

But when Sages appeared, tripping people over charity and fettering
with duty to one's neighbour, doubt found its way into the world. And
then with their gushing over music and fussing over ceremony, the
empire became divided against itself.

 Music and ceremonies are important factors in the Confucian system of

Were the natural integrity of things left unharmed, who could make
sacrificial vessels? Were white jade left unbroken, who could make
the regalia of courts? Were Tao not abandoned, who could introduce
charity and duty to one's neighbour? Were man's natural instincts his
guide, what need would there be for music and ceremonies? Were the five
colours not confused, who would practise decoration? Were the five
notes not confused, who would adopt the six pitch-pipes?

 See chs. viii and x.

Destruction of the natural integrity of things, in order to produce
articles of various kinds,--this is the fault of the artisan.
Annihilation of TAO in order to practise charity and duty to one's
neighbour,--this is the error of the Sage.

Horses live on dry land, eat grass and drink water. When pleased, they
rub their necks together. When angry, they turn around and kick up
their heels at each other. Thus far only do their natural dispositions
carry them. But bridled and bitted, with a plate of metal on their
foreheads, they learn to cast vicious looks, to turn the head to bite,
to resist, to get the bit out of the mouth or the bridle into it. And
thus their natures become depraved,--the fault of Poh Loh.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the days of Ho Hsü

 A legendary ruler of old.

the people did nothing in particular when at rest, and went nowhere in
particular when they moved. Having food, they rejoiced; having full
bellies, they strolled about. Such were the capacities of the people.
But when the Sages came to worry them with ceremonies and music in
order to rectify the form of government, and dangled charity and duty
to one's neighbour before them in order to satisfy their hearts,--then
the people began to develop a taste for knowledge and to struggle one
with the other in their desire for gain. This was the error of the

 The simplicity of style, and general intelligibility of this chapter
 have raised doubts as to its genuineness. But as Lin Hsi Chung justly
 observes, its sympathetic tone in relation to dumb animals, stamps it,
 in spite of an undue proportion of word to thought, as beyond reach of
 the forger's art.



 _Argument_:--All restrictions artificial, and therefore
 deceptive--Only by shaking off such fetters, and reverting to the
 natural, can man hope to attain.

The precautions taken against thieves who open trunks, search bags, or
ransack tills, consist of securing with cords and fastening with bolts
and locks. This is what the world calls wit.

But a strong thief comes who carries off the till on his shoulders,
with box and bag to boot. And his only fear is that the cords and locks
should not be strong enough!

Therefore, what the world calls wit, simply amounts to assistance given
to the strong thief.

And I venture to state that nothing of that which the world calls wit,
is otherwise than serviceable to strong thieves; and that nothing of
that which the world calls wisdom is other than a protection to strong

How can this be shown?--In the State of Ch'i a man used to be able to
see from one town to the next, and hear the barking and crowing of its
dogs and cocks.

 So near were they. This sentence has been incorporated in ch. LXXX of
 the _Tao-Tê-Ching_. See _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 50.

The area covered by the nets of fishermen and fowlers, and pricked by
the plough, was a square of two thousand and odd _li_.

 Of which three go to a mile, roughly. This statement is intended to
 convey an idea of prosperity.

And within its four boundaries not a temple or shrine was dedicated,
nor a district or hamlet governed, but in accordance with the rules
laid down by the Sages.

Yet one morning

 B.C. 481.

T'ien Ch'êng Tzŭ slew the Prince of Ch'i, and stole his kingdom. And
not his kingdom only, but the wisdom-tricks which he had got from
the Sages as well; so that although T'ien Ch'êng Tzŭ acquired the
reputation of a thief, he lived as comfortably as ever did either Yao
or Shun. The small States did not venture to blame, nor the great
States to punish him; and so for twelve generations his descendants
ruled over Ch'i.

 Commentators have failed to explain away this last sentence. On the
 strength of an obvious anachronism, some have written off the whole
 chapter as a forgery; but the general style of argument is against
 this view.

Was not this stealing the State of Ch'i and the wisdom-tricks of the
Sages as well in order to secure himself from the consequences of such

This amounts to what I have already said, namely that nothing of what
the world esteems great wit is otherwise than serviceable to strong
thieves, and that nothing of what the world calls great wisdom is other
than a protection to strong thieves.

Let us take another example. Of old, Lung Fêng was beheaded, Pi Kan was
disembowelled, Chang Hung was sliced to death, Tzŭ Hsü was chopped to

 The first two have been already mentioned in ch. iv. Chang Hung was
 minister to Prince Ling of the Chou dynasty. Tzŭ Hsü was a name of the
 famous Wu Yüan, prime minister of the Ch'u State, whose corpse is said
 to have been sewn up in a sack and thrown into the river near Soochow.

All these four were Sages, but their wisdom could not preserve them
from death.

 In fact, it rather hastened their ends.

An apprentice to Robber Chê asked him saying, "Is there then TAO in

"Pray tell me of something in which there is not TAO," Chê replied.
"There is the _wisdom_ by which booty is located. The _courage_ to
go in first, and the _heroism_ of coming out last. There is the
_shrewdness_ of calculating success, and _justice_ in the equal
division of the spoil. There has never yet been, a great robber who was
not possessed of these five."

Thus the doctrine of the Sages is equally indispensable to good men
and to Chê. But good men are scarce and bad men plentiful, so that the
good the Sages do to the world is little and the evil great.

Therefore it has been said, "If the lips are gone, the teeth will be
cold." It was the thinness of the wine of Lu which caused the siege of
Han Tan.

 The prince of Ch'u held an assembly, to which the princes of Lu and
 Chao brought presents of wine. That of Lu was poor stuff, while the
 wine of Chao was rich and generous. Because, however, the Master of
 the Cellar to the prince of Ch'u failed to get a bribe of wine from
 the prince of Chao, he maliciously changed the presents; and the
 prince of Ch'u, displeased at what he regarded as an insult, shortly
 after laid siege to Han Tan, the chief city of Chao.

It was the appearance of Sages which caused the appearance of great

Drive out the Sages and leave the robbers alone,--then only will the
empire be governed. As when the stream ceases the gully dries up,
and when the hill is levelled the chasm is filled; so when Sages are
extinct, there will be no more robbers, but the empire will rest in

On the other hand, unless Sages disappear, neither will great robbers
disappear; nor if you double the number of Sages wherewithal to govern
the empire will you do more than double the profits of Robber Chê.

If pecks and bushels are used for measurement, they will also be stolen.

 There will simply be something more to steal.

If scales and steelyards are used for weighing, they will also be
stolen. If tallies and signets are used for good faith, they will
also be stolen. If charity and duty to one's neighbour are used for
rectification, they will also be stolen.

How is this so?--One man steals a purse, and is punished. Another
steals a State, and becomes a Prince. But charity and duty to one's
neighbour are integral parts of princedom. Does he not then steal
charity and duty to one's neighbour together with the wisdom of the

So it is that to attempt to drive out great robbers

 Who steal States.

is simply to help them to steal principalities, charity, duty to one's
neighbour, together with measures, scales, tallies, and signets. No
reward of official regalia and uniform will dissuade, nor dread of
sharp instruments of punishment will deter such men from their course.
These do but double the profits of robbers like Chê, and make it
impossible to get rid of them,--for which the Sages are responsible.

Therefore it has been said, "Fishes cannot be taken away from water:
the instruments of government cannot be delegated to others."

 These words were uttered by Lao Tzŭ. So say Han Fei Tzŭ and Huai Nan
 Tzŭ. They have been incorporated in ch. xxxvi of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_.

In the wisdom of Sages the instruments of government are found. This
wisdom is not fit for enlightening the world.

Away then with wisdom and knowledge, and great robbers will disappear!
Discard jade and destroy pearls, and petty thieves will cease to exist.
Burn tallies and break signets, and the people will revert to their
natural integrity. Split measures and smash scales, and the people will
not fight over quantities. Utterly abolish all the restrictions of
Sages, and the people will begin to be fit for the reception of TAO.

Confuse the six pitch-pipes, break up organs and flutes, stuff up the
ears of Shih K'uang,--and each man will keep his own sense of hearing
to himself.

Put an end to decoration, disperse the five categories of colour, glue
up the eyes of Li Chu,--and each man will keep his own sense of sight
to himself.

Destroy arcs and lines, fling away square and compasses, snap off the
fingers of Kung Ch'ui,--

 A famous artisan who could draw an exact circle with his unaided hand.

and each man will use his own natural skill.

Wherefore the saying, "Great skill is as clumsiness."

 Extremes meet. These words are attributed to Lao Tzŭ by Huai Nan Tzŭ,
 and are incorporated in ch. xlv of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_.

Restrain the actions of Tsêng and Shih, stop the mouths of Yang and
Mih, get rid of charity and duty to one's neighbour,--and the virtue of
the people will become one with God.

If each man keeps to himself his own sense of sight, the world will
escape confusion. If each man keeps to himself his own sense of
hearing, the world will escape entanglements. If each man keeps his
knowledge to himself, the world will escape doubt. If each man keeps
his own virtue to himself, the world will avoid deviation from the true

Tsêng, Shih, Yang, Mih, Shih K'uang, Kung Ch'ui, and Li Chu, all set
up their virtue outside themselves and involve the world in such angry
discussions that nothing definite is accomplished.

Have you never heard of the Golden Age,--

 This question must be addressed to the reader.

the days of Yung Ch'êng, Ta T'ing, Poh Huang, Chung Yang, Li Lu, Li
Hsü, Hsien Yüan, Hê Hsü, Tsun Lu, Chu Yung, Fu Hsi, and Shên Nung?

 Ancient rulers, several of whom have already been mentioned.

Then the people used knotted cords.

 As a means of intercommunication. The details of the system have not,
 however, come down to us.

They were contented with what food and raiment they could get. They
lived simple and peaceful lives. Neighbouring districts were within
sight, and the cocks and dogs of one could be heard in the other, yet
the people grew old and died without ever interchanging visits.

In those days, government was indeed perfect. But nowadays any one can
excite the people by saying, "In such and such a place there is a Sage."

Immediately they put together a few provisions and hurry off,
neglecting their parents at home and their master's business abroad,
filing in unbroken line through territories of Princes, with a string
of carts and carriages a thousand _li_ in length. Such is the evil
effect of an exaggerated desire for knowledge among our rulers. And if
rulers aim at knowledge and neglect TAO, the empire will be overwhelmed
in confusion.

How can it be shown that this is so?--Bows and cross-bows and hand-nets
and harpoon-arrows, involve much knowledge in their use; but they carry
confusion among the birds of the air. Hooks and bait and nets and
traps, involve much knowledge in their use; but they carry confusion
among the fishes of the deep. Fences and nets and snares, involve much
knowledge in their use; but they carry confusion among the beasts of
the field. In the same way the sophistical fallacies of the hard and
white and the like and the unlike of schoolmen involve much knowledge
of argument; but they overwhelm the world in doubt.

Therefore it is that whenever there is great confusion, love of
knowledge is ever at the bottom of it. For all men strive to grasp
what they do not know, while none strive to grasp what they already
know; and all strive to discredit what they do not excel in, while none
strive to discredit what they do excel in. The result is overwhelming

Thus, above, the splendour of the heavenly bodies is dimmed; below,
the energy of land and water is disturbed; while midway the influence
of the four seasons is destroyed. There is not one tiny creature which
moves on earth or flies in air but becomes other than by nature it
should be. So overwhelming is the confusion which desire for knowledge
has brought upon the world ever since the time of the Three Dynasties
downwards! The simple and the guileless have been set aside; the
specious and the false have been exalted. Tranquil inaction has given
place to a love of disputation; and by disputation has confusion come
upon the world.



 _Argument_:--The natural conditions of our existence require no
 artificial aids--The evils of government--Failure of coercion--TAO the
 refuge--Inaction the secret--The action of Inaction--Illustrations.

There has been such a thing as letting mankind alone; there has never
been such a thing as governing mankind.

 With success.

Letting alone springs from fear lest men's natural dispositions
be perverted and their virtue laid aside. But if their natural
dispositions be not perverted nor their virtue laid aside, what room is
there left for government?

Of old, when Yao governed the empire, he caused happiness to prevail to
excess in man's nature; and consequently the people were not satisfied.
When Chieh

 See p. 40.

governed the empire he caused sorrow to prevail to excess in man's
nature; and consequently the people were not contented. Dissatisfaction
and discontent are subversive of virtue; and without virtue there is no
such thing for an empire as stability.

 Virtue, here in its ordinary sense.

When man rejoices greatly he gravitates towards the positive pole. When
he sorrows deeply he gravitates towards the negative pole.

 These "poles" are the male and female principles already alluded to
 on p. 82. Originally developed from the Great Monad, they became the
 progenitors of all creation.

If the equilibrium of positive and negative

 In nature.

is disturbed, the four seasons are interrupted, the balance of heat and
cold is destroyed, and man himself suffers physically thereby.

Because men are made to rejoice and to sorrow and to displace their
centre of gravity, they lose their steadiness, and are unsuccessful
in thought and action. And thus it is that the idea of surpassing
others first came into the world, followed by the appearance of such
men as Robber Chê, Tsêng, and Shih, the result being that the whole
world could not furnish enough rewards for the good nor distribute
punishments enough for the evil among mankind. And as this great world
is not equal to the demand for rewards and punishments; and as, ever
since the time of the Three Dynasties

 The legendary emperors Fu Hsi, Shên Nung, and Huang Ti, or the Yellow
 Emperor, already mentioned.

downwards, men have done nothing but struggle over rewards and
punishments,--what possible leisure can they have had for adapting
themselves to the natural conditions of their existence?

Besides, over-refinement of vision leads to debauchery in
colour; over-refinement of hearing leads to debauchery in sound;
over-refinement of charity leads to confusion in virtue;

 Here again the manifestation of TAO. See p. 45.

over-refinement of duty towards one's neighbour leads to perversion of

 The eternal principles which are of TAO and not of man.

over-refinement of ceremonial leads to divergence from the true object;
over-refinement of music leads to lewdness of thought; over-refinement
of wisdom leads to an extension of mechanical art; and over-refinement
of shrewdness leads to an extension of vice.

 As shown in the preceding chapter.

If people adapt themselves to the natural conditions of existence, the
above eight

 Vision, hearing, charity, duty to one's neighbour, ceremonial, music,
 wisdom, and shrewdness.

may be or may not be; it matters not. But if people do not adapt
themselves to the natural conditions of existence, then these eight
become hindrances and spoilers, and throw the world into confusion.

In spite of this, the world reverences and cherishes them, thereby
greatly increasing the sum of human error. And not as a passing
fashion, but with admonitions in words, with humility in prostrations,
and with the stimulus of music and song. What then is left for me?

Therefore, for the perfect man who is unavoidably summoned to power
over his fellows, there is naught like _Inaction_.

 It is not according to the spirit of TAO that a man should shirk his
 mortal responsibilities. On the contrary, TAO teaches him how to meet

By means of inaction he will be able to adapt himself to the natural
conditions of existence. And so it is that he who respects the State as
his own body is fit to support it, and he who loves the State as his
own body, is fit to govern it.

 This last sentence is attributed by Huai Nan Tzŭ to Lao Tzŭ, and has
 been incorporated in the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. xiii. It is curious that
 Chuang Tzŭ should say nothing about its authorship, and perhaps even
 more curious that Kuo Hsiang, his editor and commentator of the fourth
 century A.D., should say nothing either about the claims of Lao Tzŭ or
 the _Tao-Tê-Ching_.

And if I can refrain from injuring my internal economy, and from
taxing my powers of sight and hearing, sitting like a corpse while
my dragon-power is manifested around, in profound silence while my
thunder-voice resounds, the powers of heaven responding to every phase
of my will, as under the yielding influence of inaction all things are
brought to maturity and thrive,--what leisure then have I to set about
governing the world?

 Some of this passage is repeated in ch. xiv.

Ts'ui Chü

 A casual personage.

asked Lao Tzŭ, saying, "If the empire is not to be governed, how are
men's hearts to be kept in order?"

"Be careful," replied Lao Tzŭ, "not to interfere with the natural
goodness of the heart of man. Man's heart may be forced down or stirred
up. In each case the issue is fatal.

"By gentleness, the hardest heart may be softened. But try to cut and
polish it,--'twill glow like fire or freeze like ice. In the twinkling
of an eye it will pass beyond the limits of the Four Seas. In repose,
profoundly still; in motion, far away in the sky. No bolt can bar, no
bond can bind,--such is the human heart."

"Of old, the Yellow Emperor first caused charity and duty to one's
neighbour to interfere with the natural goodness of the heart of man.
In consequence of which, Yao and Shun wore the hair off their legs
in endeavouring to feed their people. They disturbed their internal
economy in order to find room for charity and duty to one's neighbour.
They exhausted their energies in framing laws and statutes. Still they
did not succeed.

"Thereupon, Yao confined Huan Tou on Mount Tsung; drove the chief of
San-miao and his people into San-wei, and kept them there; and banished
the Minister of Works to Yu Island.

 These words are quoted (with variants) from the _Shu Ching_ or Canon
 of History. They refer to individuals who had misconducted themselves
 in carrying out the new _régime._

But they were not equal to their task, and through the times of the
Three Princes

 The Great Yü, T'ang, and Wên Wang, founder of the Chou dynasty.

the empire was in a state of great unrest. Among the bad men were
Chieh and Chê; among the good were Tsêng and Shih. By and by, the
Confucianists and the Mihists arose; and then came exultation and anger
of rivals, fraud between the simple and the cunning, recrimination
between the virtuous and the evil, slander between the honest and the
dishonest,--until decadence set in, men fell away from their original
virtue, their natures became corrupt, and there was a general rush for

"The next thing was to coerce by all kinds of physical torture, thus
bringing utter confusion into the empire, the blame for which rests
upon those who would interfere with the natural goodness of the heart
of man.

"In consequence, virtuous men sought refuge in mountain caves, while
rulers of States sat trembling in their ancestral halls. Then, when
dead men lay about pillowed on each others' corpses, when cangued
prisoners and condemned criminals jostled each other in crowds,--then
the Confucianists and the Mihists, in the midst of gyves and fetters,
stood forth to preach!

 Salvation from the ills of which they and their systems had been the

Alas, they know not shame, nor what it is to blush!

"Until I can say that the wisdom of Sages is not a fastener of cangues,
and that charity and duty to one's neighbour are not bolts for gyves,
how should I know that Tsêng and Shih are not the forerunners

 _Lit._ "sounding arrows," used by bandits as a signal for beginning
 the attack.

of Chieh and Chê?

 The meaning intended is that _good_ cannot exist without its
 correlative _evil_.

"Therefore I said, 'Abandon wisdom and discard knowledge, and the
empire will be at peace.'"

 These words have been incorporated in ch. xix of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_.
 The present rendering somewhat modifies the view I expressed on p. 16
 of _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_.

The Yellow Emperor sat on the throne for nineteen years, and his laws
obtained all over the empire.

Hearing that Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ

 Said by some commentators to be another name for Lao Tzŭ, but if so,
 then it must have been Lao Tzŭ as he existed, an incarnation of TAO,
 before his appearance in the Confucian age.

was living on Mount K'ung-t'ung, he went thither to see him, and said,
"I am told, Sir, that you are in possession of perfect TAO. May I ask
in what perfect TAO consists? I desire to avail myself of the good
influence of heaven and earth in order to secure harvests and feed my
people. I should also like to control the Two Powers of nature

 The _Yin_ and the _Yang_. See pp. 82, 120.

in order to the protection of all living things. How can I accomplish

"What you desire to avail yourself of," replied Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ, "is
the primordial integrity of matter. What you wish to control are the
disintegrators thereof. Ever since the empire has been _governed_ by
you, the clouds have rained without waiting to thicken, the foliage
of trees has fallen without waiting to grow yellow, the brightness of
the sun and moon has paled, and the voice of the flatterer is heard on
every side. How then speak of perfect TAO?"

The Yellow Emperor withdrew. He resigned the Throne. He built himself
a solitary hut. He lay upon straw. For three months he remained in
seclusion, and then went again to see Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ.

The latter was lying down with his face to the south. The Yellow
Emperor approached after the manner of an inferior, upon his knees.
Prostrating himself upon the ground he said, "I am told, Sir, that
you are in possession of perfect TAO. May I ask how my self may be
preserved so as to last?"

Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ jumped up with a start. "A good question indeed!"
cried he. "Come, and I will speak to you of perfect TAO.

"The essence of perfect TAO is profoundly mysterious; its extent is
lost in obscurity.

"See nothing; hear nothing; let your soul be wrapped in quiet; and your
body will begin to take proper form. Let there be absolute repose and
absolute purity; do not weary your body nor disturb your vitality,--and
you will live for ever. For if the eye sees nothing, and the ear hears
nothing, and the mind

 _Lit._ the heart.

thinks nothing, the soul will preserve the body, and the body will live
for ever.

 Not in the grosser worldly sense, but as a sublimated unit in eternity.

"Cherish that which is within you, and shut off that which is without;
for much knowledge is a curse. Then I will place you upon that abode
of Great Light which is the source of the positive Power, and escort
you through the gate of Profound Mystery which is the source of the
negative Power. These Powers are the controllers of heaven and earth,
and each contains the other.

 Knowledge thereof is knowledge of the great mystery of human existence.

"Cherish and preserve your own self,

 In accordance with the above.

and all the rest will prosper of itself.

 The welfare of the people, the success of their harvests, etc.

I preserve the original ONE, while resting in harmony with externals.
It is because I have thus cared for my self now for twelve hundred
years that my body has not decayed."

The Yellow Emperor prostrated himself and said, "Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ is
surely God...."

Whereupon the latter continued, "Come, I will tell you. That self is
eternal; yet all men think it mortal. That self is infinite; yet all
men think it finite. Those who possess TAO are princes in this life and
rulers in the hereafter. Those who do not possess TAO, behold the light
of day in this life and become clods of earth in the hereafter.

"Nowadays, all living things spring from the dust and to the dust
return. But I will lead you through the portals of Eternity into the
domain of Infinity. My light is the light of sun and moon. My life is
the life of heaven and earth. I know not who comes nor who goes. Men
may all die, but I endure for ever."

 "A mighty drama, enacted on the theatre of Infinitude, with suns for
 lamps, and Eternity as a background; whose author is God, and whose
 purport and thousandfold moral lead us up to the 'dark with excess of
 light' of the throne of God."--_Carlyle._

The Spirit of the Clouds when passing eastwards through the expanse of

 The term here used has also been explained to mean some supernatural
 kind of tree, over which we may imagine the Cloud-Spirit to be passing.

happened to fall in with the Vital Principle. The latter was slapping
his ribs and hopping about; whereupon the Spirit of the Clouds said,
"Who are you, old man, and what are you doing here?"

"Strolling!" replied the Vital Principle, without stopping.

 Activities ceaseless in their imperceptible operation.

"I want to _know_ something," continued the Spirit of the Clouds.

"Ah!" uttered the Vital Principle, in a tone of disapprobation.

"The relationship of heaven and earth is out of harmony," said the
Spirit of the Clouds; "the six influences do not combine,

 The positive and negative principles, wind, rain, darkness, and light.

and the four seasons are no longer regular. I desire to blend the six
influences so as to nourish all living beings. What am I to do?"

"I do not know!" cried the Vital Principle, shaking his head, while
still slapping his ribs and hopping about; "I do not know!"

So the Spirit of the Clouds did not press his question; but three
years later, when passing eastwards through the Yu-sung territory, he
again fell in with the Vital Principle. The former was overjoyed, and
hurrying up, said, "Has your Holiness forgotten me?"

He then prostrated himself, and desired to be allowed to interrogate
the Vital Principle; but the latter said, "I wander on without knowing
what I want. I roam about without knowing where I am going. I stroll in
this ecstatic manner, simply awaiting events. What should I know?"

"I too roam about," answered the Spirit of the Clouds; "but the people
depend upon my movements. I am thus unavoidably summoned to power; and
under these circumstances I would gladly receive some advice."

"That the scheme of empire is in confusion," said the Vital Principle,
"that the conditions of life are violated, that the will of God does
not triumph, that the beasts of the field are disorganised, that the
birds of the air cry at night, that blight reaches the trees and herbs,
that destruction spreads among creeping things,--this, alas! is the
fault of _government_."

"True," replied the Spirit of the Clouds, "but what am I to do?"

"It is here," cried the Vital Principle, "that the poison lurks! Go

 To the root, to that natural state in which by inaction all things are

"It is not often," urged the Spirit of the Clouds, "that I meet with
your Holiness. I would gladly receive some advice."

"Feed then your people," said the Vital Principle, "with your heart.

 By the influence of your own perfection.

Rest in inaction, and the world will be good of itself. Cast your
slough. Spit forth intelligence. Ignore all differences. Become one
with the infinite. Release your mind. Free your soul. Be vacuous. Be

"Let all things revert to their original constitution. If they do this,
without knowledge, the result will be a simple purity which they will
never lose; but knowledge will bring with it a divergence therefrom.
Seek not the names nor the relations of things, and all things will
flourish of themselves."

 "Knowledge is the knowing that we cannot know." _Emerson._

"Your Holiness," said the Spirit of the Clouds, as he prostrated
himself and took leave, "has informed me with power and filled me with
mysteries. What I had long sought, I have now found."

       *       *       *       *       *

The men of this world all rejoice in others being like themselves, and
object to others not being like themselves.

 "The man, and still more the woman, who can be accused either of doing
 'what nobody does,' or of not doing 'what everybody does,' is the
 subject of as much depreciatory remark as if he or she had committed
 some grave moral delinquency." Mill's _Essay on Liberty_, ch. iii.

Those who make friends with their likes and do not make friends with
their unlikes, are influenced by a desire to differentiate themselves
from others. But those who are thus influenced by a desire to
differentiate themselves from others,--how will they find it possible
to do so?

 As all have similar ambitions, they will only be on the same footing
 as the rest.

To subordinate oneself to the majority in order to gratify personal
ambition, is not so good as to let that majority look each one after
his own affairs. Those who desire to govern kingdoms, clutch at the
advantages of the Three Princes without seeing the troubles involved.
In fact, they trust to luck. But in thus trusting to luck not to
destroy the kingdom, their chances of preserving it do not amount to
one in ten thousand, while their chances of destroying it are ten
thousand to nothing and even more. Such, alas! is the ignorance of

 The above somewhat unsatisfactory paragraph condemns those who strive
 to distinguish themselves from, and set themselves up as _governors_
 of, their fellow-men.

For, given territory, there is the great thing--Man. Given man, he must
not be managed as if he were a mere thing; though by not managing him
at all he may actually be managed as if he were a mere thing. And for
those who understand that the management of man as if he were a mere
thing is not the way to manage him, the issue is not confined to mere
government of the empire. Such men may wander at will between the six
limits of space or travel over the continent of earth, unrestrained in
coming and in going. This is to be distinguished from one's fellows,
and this distinction is the highest attainable by man.

The doctrine of the perfect man is to him as shadow to form, as echo to
sound. Ask and it responds, fulfilling its mission as the help-mate of
humanity. Noiseless in repose, objectless in motion, it guides you to
the goal, free to come and free to go for ever without end. Alone in
its exits and its entrances, it rivals the eternity of the sun.

As for his body, that is in accordance with the usual standard. Being
in accordance with the usual standard it is not distinguished in
any way. But if not distinguished in any way, what becomes of the
distinction by which he is distinguished?

Those who see what is to be seen,--of such were the perfect men of
old. Those who see what is not to be seen,--they are the chosen of the

 Spiritual sight carries them beyond the horizon where natural vision
 stops short.

Low in the scale, but still to be allowed for,--matter. Humble, but
still to be followed,--

 Rather than guided.

mankind. Of others, but still to be attended to,--affairs. Harsh,
but still necessary to be set forth,--the law. Far off, but still
claiming our presence,--duty to one's neighbour. Near, but still
claiming extension,--charity. Of sparing use, but still to be of
bounteous store,--ceremony. Of middle course, but still to be of
lofty scope,--virtue. One, but not to be without modification,--TAO.
Spiritual, yet not to be devoid of action,--GOD.

 In inaction there is action.

Therefore the true Sage looks up to God, but does not offer to aid. He
perfects his virtue, but does not involve himself. He guides himself by
Tao, but makes no plans. He identifies himself with charity, but does
not rely on it. He extends to duty towards his neighbour, but does not
store it up. He responds to ceremony, without tabooing it.

 Although really recognising only the ceremony of the heart which
 requires no outward sign.

He undertakes affairs without declining them. He metes out law without
confusion. He relies on his fellow-men and does not make light of them.
He accommodates himself to matter and does not ignore it.

 Thus the action of the Sage is after all inaction.

While there should be no action, there should be also no inaction.

 Of a positive, premeditated character.

He who is not divinely enlightened will not be sublimely pure. He who
has not clear apprehension of TAO will find this beyond his reach. And
he who is not enlightened by TAO,--alas indeed for him!

What then is TAO?--There is the TAO of God, and the TAO of man.
Inaction and compliance make the TAO of God: action and entanglement
the TAO of man. The TAO of God is fundamental: the TAO of man is
accidental. The distance which separates them is great. Let us all take
heed thereto!



 _Argument_:--The prëeminence of TAO--All things informed thereby--The
 true Sage illumined thereby--His attributes--His perfection--Man's
 senses his bane--Illustrations.

Vast as is the universe, its phenomena are regular. Countless though
its contents, the laws which govern these are uniform. Many though its
inhabitants, that which dominates them is sovereignty. Sovereignty
begins in virtue and ends in God. Therefore it is called divine.

 The term here used has been elsewhere rendered "infinite."

Of old, the empire was under the sovereignty of inaction. There was the
virtue of God,--nothing more.

 Meaning, of course, TAO. In other words, all things existed under
 their own natural conditions.

Words being in accordance with TAO, the sovereignty of the empire was
correct. Delimitations being in accordance with TAO, the duties of
prince and subject were clear. Abilities being in accordance with TAO,
the officials of the empire governed. The point of view being always
in accordance with TAO, all things responded thereto.

 Under the reign of inaction, the natural prevailed over the
 artificial. (1) The sovereign could utter no cruel mandate. (2)
 Sovereign and subject each played his allotted part. (3) The right men
 were in the right place. (4) All things were as they were, and not as
 man would have them.

Thus, virtue was the connecting link between God and man, while
TAO spread throughout all creation. Men were controlled by outward
circumstances, applying their in-born skill to the development of
civilised life. This skill was bound up with the circumstances of life,
and these with duty, and duty with virtue, and virtue with TAO, and TAO
with God.

Therefore it has been said, "As for those who nourished the empire of
old, having no desires for themselves, the empire was not in want. They
did nothing, and all things proceeded on their course. They preserved a
dignified repose, and the people rested in peace."

 We are not told who said these words. They are not in the
 _Tao-Tê-Ching_; and yet if Lao Tzŭ did not utter them, it is difficult
 to say who did.

The _Record_ says, "By converging to ONE, all things may be
accomplished. By the virtue which is without intention, even the
supernatural may be subdued."

 How much more _man_? Kuo Hsiang says the _Record_ was the name of a
 work ascribed to Lao Tzŭ.

The Master said, "TAO covers and supports all things,"--so vast is its
extent. Each man should prepare his heart accordingly.

 This "Master" has been identified with both Chuang Tzŭ and Lao Tzŭ.

"To act by means of inaction is God. To speak by means of inaction
is Virtue. To love men and care for things is Charity. To recognise
the unlike as the like is breadth of view. To make no distinctions is
liberal. To possess variety is wealth. And so, to hold fast to virtue
is strength. To complete virtue is establishment. To follow TAO is to
be prepared. And not to run counter to the natural bias of things is to
be perfect.

"He who fully realises these ten points, by storing them within
enlarges his heart, and with this enlargement brings all creation to
himself. Such a man will bury gold on the hillside and cast pearls
into the sea. He will not struggle for wealth, nor strive for fame. He
will not rejoice at old age, nor grieve over early death. He will find
no pleasure in success, no chagrin in failure. He will not account a
throne as his own private gain, nor the empire of the world as glory
personal to himself. His glory is to know that all things are ONE, and
that life and death are but phases of the same existence!"

 "Let man learn that he is here, not to work, but to be worked upon;
 and that, though abyss open under abyss, and opinion displace opinion,
 all are at last contained in the Eternal Cause." _Emerson._

The Master said, "How profound in its repose, how infinite in its
purity, is TAO!

"If metal and stone were without TAO, they would not be capable of
emitting sound. And just as they possess the property of sound but
will not emit sound unless struck, so surely is the same principle
applicable to all creation.

 Meaning that all creation is responsive to proper influences, in
 accordance with TAO, if we only knew where to seek them.

"The man of complete virtue remains blankly passive as regards what
goes on around him. He is as originally by nature, and his knowledge
extends to the supernatural. Thus, his virtue expands his heart, which
goes forth to all who come to take refuge therein.

 His heart does not initiate the movement, but simply responds to an
 influence brought to bear.

"Without TAO, form cannot be endued with life. Without virtue, life
cannot be endued with intelligence. To preserve one's form, live out
one's life, establish one's virtue, and realise TAO,--is not this
complete virtue?

"Issuing forth spontaneously, moving without premeditation, all things
following in his wake,--such is the man of complete virtue!

"He can see where all is dark. He can hear where all is still. In the
darkness he alone can see light. In the stillness he alone can detect
harmony. He can sink to the lowest depths of materialism. To the
highest heights of spirituality he can soar. This because he stands in
due relation to all things. Though a mere abstraction, he can minister
to their wants, and ever and anon receive them into rest,--the great,
the small, the long, the short, for ever without end."

 He is, as it were, a law of compensation to all things.

The Yellow Emperor travelled to the north of the Red Lake and ascended
the K'un-lun Mountains. Returning south he lost his magic pearl.

 His spiritual part, his soul.

He employed Intelligence to find it, but without success. He employed
Sight to find it, but without success. He employed Speech

 Also explained as "Strength."

to find it, but without success. Finally, he employed Nothing, and
Nothing got it.

 He did not employ Nothing _to find it_. He only employed Nothing.

"Strange indeed," quoth the Emperor, "that Nothing should have been
able to get it!"

 Knowledge, sight, and speech, tend to obscure rather than illuminate
 the spiritual nature of man. Only in a state of negation can true
 spirituality be found.

Yao's tutor was Hsü Yu. The latter's tutor was Yeh Ch'üeh, and Yeh
Ch'üeh's tutor was Wang I, whose tutor was Pei I.

Yao enquired of Hsü Yu, saying, "Would Yeh Ch'üeh do to be emperor? I
am going to get Wang I to ask him."

"Alas!" cried Hsü Yu, "that would be bad indeed for the empire. Yeh
Ch'üeh is a clever and capable man. He is by nature better than most
men, but he seeks by means of the human to reach the divine. He
strives to do no wrong; but he is ignorant of the source from which
wrong springs. Emperor forsooth! He avails himself of the artificial
and neglects the natural. He lacks unity in himself. He worships
intelligence and is always in a state of ferment. He is a slave to
circumstances and to things. Wherever he looks, his surroundings
respond. He himself responds to his surroundings.

 He is not yet an abstraction, informed by TAO.

He is always undergoing modifications and is wanting in fixity. How
should such a one be fit for emperor? Still every clan has its elder.
He may be leader of a clan, but not a leader of leaders. A captain who
has been successful in suppressing rebellion, as minister is a bane, as
sovereign, a thief."

Yao went to visit Hua. The border-warden of Hua said "Ha! a Sage. My
best respects to you, Sir. I wish you a long life."

"Don't!" replied Yao.

"I wish you plenty of money," continued the border-warden.

"Don't!" replied Yao.

"And many sons," added he.

"Don't!" replied Yao.

"Long life, plenty of money, and many sons," cried the warden, "these
are what all men desire. How is it you alone do not want them?"

"Many sons," answered Yao, "are many anxieties. Plenty of money means
plenty of trouble. Long life involves much that is not pleasant to put
up with. These three gifts do not advance virtue; therefore I declined

"At first I took you for a Sage," said the warden, "but now I find you
are a mere man. God, in sending man into the world, gives to each his
proper function. If you have many sons and give to each his proper
function, what cause have you for anxiety?

"And similarly, if you have wealth and allow others to share it, what
troubles will you have?"

"The true Sage dwells like the quail

 At random.

and feeds like a fledgeling.

 Which is dependent on its parents.

He travels like the bird, leaving no trace behind. If there be TAO in
the empire, he and all things are in harmony. If there be not TAO, he
cultivates virtue in retirement. After a thousand years of this weary
world, he mounts aloft, and riding upon the white clouds passes into
the kingdom of God, whither the three evils do not reach, and where he
rests secure in eternity. What is there to put up with in that?"

Thereupon the border-warden went off, and Yao followed him; saying,
"May I ask----," to which the warden only replied "Begone!"

 The style of the above episode varies enough from Chuang Tzŭ's
 standard to make its authorship doubtful.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Yao was Emperor, Poh Ch'êng Tzŭ Kao

 Lao Tzŭ under a previous incarnation. See the Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ of p.

was one of his vassals. But when Yao handed over the empire to Shun,
and Shun to the Great Yü, Poh Ch'êng Tzŭ Kao resigned his fief and
betook himself to agriculture.

The Great Yü going to visit him, found him working in the fields;
whereupon he approached humbly, saying, "When Yao was emperor, you,
Sir, were a vassal; but when Yao handed over the empire to Shun, and
Shun to me, you resigned your fief and betook yourself to agriculture.
May I enquire the reason of this?"

"When Yao ruled the empire," said Tzŭ Kao, "the people exerted
themselves without reward and behaved themselves without punishment.
But now you reward and punish them, and yet they are not good. From
this point virtue will decline, the reign of force will begin, and the
troubles of after ages will date their rise. Away with you! Do not
interrupt my work." And he quietly went on ploughing as before.

 The above episode is unmistakably spurious.

At the beginning of the beginning, even Nothing did not exist. Then
came the period of the Nameless.

 "The Nameless," says the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. i, "was the beginning of
 heaven and earth." See also ch. ii, _ante_.

When ONE came into existence, there was ONE, but it was formless. When
things got that by which they came into existence, it was called their

 _Sc._ that, by virtue of which they are what they are. See p. 45.

That which was formless, but divided,

 _I.e._ allotted.

though without interstice,

 Unbroken in continuity.

was called _destiny_.

Then came the movement which gave life, and things produced in
accordance with the principles of life had what is called _form_. When
form encloses the spiritual part, each with its own characteristics,
that is its _nature_. By cultivating this nature, we are carried back
to virtue; and if this is perfected, we become as all things were in
the beginning. We become unconditioned, and the unconditioned is great.
As birds join their beaks in chirping,


and beaks to chirp must be joined,--to be thus joined with the universe
without being more conscious of it than an idiot, this is _divine
virtue_, this is accordance with the eternal fitness of things.

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius asked Lao Tzŭ, saying, "There are persons who cultivate TAO
according to fixed rules of possible and impossible, fit and unfit,
just as the schoolmen speak of separating hardness from whiteness as
though these could be hung up on different pegs.

 See p. 22.

Could such persons be termed sages?"

"That," replied Lao Tzŭ, "is but the skill of the handicraftsman,
wearing out body and soul alike. The powers of the hunting-dog involve
it in trouble;

 It is kept by man instead of being free.

the cleverness of the monkey brings it down from the mountain.

 Into the hands of man.

Ch'iu, what I mean you cannot understand, neither can you put it into

 Ch'iu was the personal name of Confucius. It is never uttered by the
 Confucianist, the term "a certain one" being usually substituted.
 Neither is it ever written down, except with the omission of some
 stroke, by which its form is changed.

Those who have a head and feet, but no mind nor ears, are many. Those
who have a body without a body or appearance of one, and yet there
they are,--are none. Movement and rest, life and death, rise and fall,
are not at the beck and call of man. Cultivation of self is in his own
hands. To be unconscious of objective existences and of God, this is to
be unconscious of one's own personality. And he who is unconscious of
his own personality, combines in himself the human and the divine."

       *       *       *       *       *

Chiang Lü Mien went to see Chi Ch'ê,

 Two obscure personages.

and said, "The Prince of Lu begged me to instruct him, but I declined.
However, he would take no refusal, so I was obliged to do so. I don't
know if I was correct in my doctrine or not. Please note what I said.
I told him to be decorous and thrifty; to advance the public-spirited
and loyal, and to have no partialities. Then, I said, no one would
venture to oppose him."

Chi Ch'ê sniggered and said, "Your remarks on the virtues of Princes
may be compared with the mantis stretching out its feelers and trying
to stop a carriage,--not likely to effect the object proposed.

 See ch. iv, where the same figure is used.

Besides, he would be placing himself in the position of a man who
builds a lofty tower and makes a display of his valuables where all his
neighbours will come and gaze at them."

 Attracting people by means not in accordance with TAO.

"Alas! I fear I am but a fool," replied Chiang Lü Mien. "Nevertheless,
I should be glad to be instructed by you in the proper course to

"The government of the perfect Sage," explained Chi Ch'ê, "consists in
influencing the hearts of the people so as to cause them to complete
their education, to reform their manners, to subdue the rebel mind, and
to exert themselves one and all for the common good. This influence
operates in accordance with the natural disposition of the people, who
are thus unconscious of its operation. He who can so act has no need
to humble himself before the teachings of Yao and Shun. He makes the
desires of the people coincident with virtue, and their hearts rest

When Tzŭ Kung

 See ch. vi.

went south to the Ch'u State on his way back to the Chin State, he
passed through Han-yin. There he saw an old man engaged in making a
ditch to connect his vegetable garden with a well. He had a pitcher in
his hand, with which he was bringing up water and pouring it into the
ditch,--great labour with very little result.

"If you had a machine here," cried Tzŭ Kung, "in a day you could
irrigate a hundred times your present area. The labour required is
trifling as compared with the work done. Would you not like to have

"What is it?" asked the gardener.

"It is a contrivance made of wood," replied Tzŭ Kung, "heavy behind and
light in front. It draws up water as you do with your hands, but in a
constantly overflowing stream. It is called a well-sweep."

 Still used all over China.

Thereupon the gardener flushed up and said, "I have heard from my
teacher that those who have cunning implements are cunning in their
dealings, and that those who are cunning in their dealings have cunning
in their hearts, and that those who have cunning in their hearts cannot
be pure and incorrupt, and that those who are not pure and incorrupt
are restless in spirit, and that those who are restless in spirit
are not fit vehicles for TAO. It is not that I do not know of these
things. I should be ashamed to use them."

At this Tzŭ Kung was much abashed, and said nothing. Then the gardener
asked him who he was, to which Tzŭ Kung replied that he was a disciple
of Confucius.

"Are you not one who extends his learning with a view to being a Sage;
who talks big in order to put himself above the rest of mankind; who
plays in a key to which no one can sing so as to spread his reputation
abroad? Rather become unconscious of self and shake off the trammels
of the flesh,--and you will be near. But if you cannot govern your own
self, what leisure have you for governing the empire? Begone! Do not
interrupt my work."

Tzŭ Kung changed colour and slunk away, being not at all pleased with
this rebuff; and it was not before he had travelled some thirty _li_
that he recovered his usual appearance.

"What did the man we met do," asked a disciple, "that you should change
colour and not recover for such a long time?"

"I used to think there was only one man in all the world," replied Tzŭ

 Meaning Confucius.

"I did not know that there was also this man. I have heard the
Master say that the test of a scheme is its practicability, and that
success must be certain. The minimum of effort with the maximum of
success,--such is the way of the Sage.

 The absurdity of attributing such doctrines to Confucius will be
 apparent to every student of the Sage's remains.

"Not so this manner of man. Aiming at TAO, he perfects his virtue. By
perfecting his virtue he perfects his body, and by perfecting his body
he perfects his spiritual part. And the perfection of the spiritual
part is the TAO of the Sage. Coming into life he is as one of the
people, knowing not whither he is bound. How complete is his purity?
Success, profit, skill,--these have no place in his heart. Such a man,
if he does not will it, he does not stir; if he does not wish it, he
does not act. If all the world praises him, he does not heed. If all
the world blames him, he does not repine.

 Reminding us of the philosopher Yung of ch. i.

The praise and the blame of the world neither advantage him nor
otherwise. He may be called a man of perfect virtue. As for me, I am
but a mere creature of impulse."

So he went back to Lu to tell Confucius. But Confucius said, "That
fellow pretends to a knowledge of the science of the ante-mundane.
He knows something, but not much. His government is of the internal,
not of the external. What is there wonderful in a man by clearness of
intelligence becoming pure, by inaction reverting to his original
integrity, and with his nature and his spiritual part wrapped up in a
body, passing through this common world of ours? Besides, to you and to
me the science of the ante-mundane is not worth knowing."

 It is only the present which concerns man.

 This last is an utterance which might well have fallen from the lips
 of Confucius. But the whole episode is clearly an interpolation of
 later times.

       *       *       *       *       *

As Chun Mang was starting eastwards to the ocean, he fell in with Yüan
Fêng on the shore of the eastern sea.

 These names are probably allegorical, but it is difficult to say in
 exactly what sense.

"Whither bound?" cried the latter.

"I am going to the ocean," replied Chun Mang.

"What are you going to do there?" asked Yüan Fêng.

"The ocean," said Chun Mang, "is a thing you cannot fill by pouring in,
nor empty by taking out. I am simply on a trip."

 You cannot _do_ anything to the infinite.

"But surely you have intentions with regard to the straight-browed
people?... Come, tell me how the Sage governs."

 The straight-browed, _lit._ horizontal-eyed, people, are said by one
 commentator to have been "savages."

"Oh, the government of the Sage," answered Chun Mang. "The officials
confine themselves to their functions. Ability is secure of employment.
The voice of the people is heard, and action is taken accordingly.
Men's words and deeds are their own affairs, and so the empire is at
peace. A beck or a call, and the people flock together from all sides.
This is how the Sage governs."

"Tell me about the man of perfect virtue," said Yüan Fêng.

"The man of perfect virtue," replied Chun Mang, "in repose has no
thoughts, in action no anxiety. He recognises no right, nor wrong,
nor good, nor bad. Within the Four Seas, when all profit--that is his
pleasure; when all share--that is his repose. Men cling to him as
children who have lost their mothers; they rally round him as wayfarers
who have missed their road. He has wealth and to spare, but he knows
not whence it comes. He has food and drink more than sufficient, but
knows not who provides it. Such is a man of virtue."

"And now," said Yüan Fêng, "tell me about the divine man."

"The divine man," replied Chun Mang, "rides upon the glory of the sky
where his form can no longer be discerned. This is called absorption
into light. He fulfils his destiny. He acts in accordance with his
nature. He is at one with God and man. For him all affairs cease to
exist, and all things revert to their original state. This is called
envelopment in darkness."

Mên Wu Kuei and Ch'ih Chang Man Chi were looking at Wu Wang's troops.

 The famous founder of the Chou dynasty, B.C. 1169-1116.

"He is not equal to the Great Yü," said the latter; and consequently
"we are involved in all these troubles."

"May I ask," replied Mên Wu Kuei, "if the empire was under proper
government when the Great Yü began to govern it, or had he first to
quell disorder and then to proceed to government?"

"If the empire had all been under proper government," said the other,
"what would there have been for the Great Yü to do? He was as ointment
to a sore. Only bald men use wigs; only sick people want doctors. And
the Sage blushes when a filial son, with anxious look, administers
medicine to cure his loving father.

 Because to need drugs, the father must first have been sick; and this,
 from a Chinese point of view, is clearly the fault of the son.

"In the Golden Age, good men were not appreciated; ability was not
conspicuous. Rulers were mere beacons, while the people were free as
the wild deer. They were upright without being conscious of duty to
their neighbours. They loved one another without being conscious of
charity. They were true without being conscious of loyalty. They were
honest without being conscious of good faith. They acted freely in all
things without recognising obligations to any one. Thus, their deeds
left no trace; their affairs were not handed down to posterity.

 Rousseau, in _Du Contrat Social_, thus describes society as it
 would be if every man was a true Christian:--"Chacun remplirait son
 devoir; le peuple serait soumis aux lois, les chefs seraient justes
 et modérés, les magistrats intègres, incorruptibles, les soldats
 mépriseraient la mort, il n'y aurait ni vanité ni luxe."

"A filial son does not humour his parents. A loyal minister does not
flatter his prince. This is the acme of filial piety and loyalty. To
assent to whatever a parent or a prince says, and to praise whatever
a parent or a prince does, this is what the world calls unfilial and
disloyal conduct, though apparently unaware that the principle is of
universal application. For though a man assents to whatever the world
says, and praises whatever the world does, he is not dubbed a toady;
from which one might infer that the world is severer than a father and
more to be respected than a prince!

"If you tell a man he is a wheedler, he will not like it. If you tell
him he is a flatterer, he will be angry. Yet he is everlastingly
both. But all such sham and pretence is what the world likes, and
consequently people do not punish each other for doing what they do
themselves. For a man to arrange his dress, or make a display, or suit
his expression so as to get into the good graces of the world, and yet
not to call himself a flatterer; to identify himself in every way
with the yeas and nays of his fellows, and yet not call himself one of
them;--this is the height of folly.

"A man who knows that he is a fool is not a great fool. A man who
knows his error is not greatly in error. Great error can never be
shaken off; a great fool never becomes clear-headed. If three men are
travelling and one man makes a mistake, they may still arrive at their
destination, error being in the minority. But if two of them make a
mistake, then they will not succeed, error being in the majority. And
now, as all the world is in error, I, though I know the true path, am
alas! unable to guide.

"Grand music does not appeal to vulgar ears. Give them the _Chê-yang_
or the _Huang-hua_,

 The "Not for Joseph" and "Sally Come Up" of ancient China.

and they will roar with laughter. And likewise great truths do not
take hold of the hearts of the masses. And great truths not finding
utterance, common-places carry the day. Two earthen instruments will
drown the sound of one metal one; and the result will not be melodious.

"And now, as all the world is in error, I, though I know the true
path,--how shall I guide? If I know that I cannot succeed and yet try
to force success, this would be but another source of error. Better,
then, to desist and strive no more. But if I strive not, who will?

"An ugly man who has a son born to him in the middle of the night will
hurry up with a light, in dread lest the child should be like himself.

"An old tree is cut down to make sacrificial vessels, which are then
ornamented with colour. The stump remains in a ditch. The sacrificial
vessels and the stump in the ditch are very differently treated as
regards honour and dishonour; equally, as far as destruction of the
woods original nature is concerned. Similarly, the acts of Robber Chê
and of Tsêng and Shih are very different; but the loss of original
nature is in each case the same.

"The causes of this loss are five in number; viz.--The five colours
confuse the eye, and the eyes fail to see clearly. The five sounds
confuse the ear, and the ear fails to hear accurately. The five scents
confuse the nose, and obstruct the sense of smell. The five tastes cloy
the palate, and vitiate the sense of taste. Finally, likes and dislikes
cloud the understanding, and cause dispersion of the original nature.

"These five are the banes of life; yet Yang and Mih regarded them as
the _summum bonum_.

 As attainment of TAO. For Yang Chu and Mih Tzu, see chs. ii and viii.

They are not my _summum bonum_. For if men who are thus fettered can be
said to have attained the _summum bonum_, then pigeons and owls in a
cage may also be said to have attained the _summum bonum_!

"Besides, to stuff one's inside with likes and dislikes and sounds and
colours; to encompass one's outside with fur caps, feather hats, the
carrying of tablets, or girding of sashes--full of rubbish inside while
swathed in magnificence without--and still to talk of having attained
the _summum bonum_;--then the prisoner with arms tied behind him and
fingers in the squeezer, the tiger or the leopard which has just been
put in a cage, may justly consider that they too have attained the
_summum bonum_!"

 "L'homme," says Rousseau (_op. cit._), "est né libre, et partout il
 est dans les fers."

 This chapter, as it stands, is clearly not from the hand of Chuang
 Tzŭ. One critic justly points out the want of logical sequence in
 arrangement of argument and illustrations. Another, while admitting
 general refinement of style, calls attention to a superficiality of
 thought noticeable in certain portions. "Yet only those," he adds,
 "who eat and sleep with their Chuang Tzŭs would be able to detect



 _Argument_:--TAO is repose--Repose the secret of the
 universe--Cultivation of essentials--Neglect of accidentals--The
 sequence of TAO--Spontaneity of true virtue--TAO is unconditioned--TAO
 cannot be conveyed--Illustrations.

The TAO of GOD operates ceaselessly; and all things are produced. The
TAO of the sovereign operates ceaselessly; and the empire rallies
around him. The TAO of the Sage operates ceaselessly; and all within
the limit of surrounding ocean acknowledge his sway. He who apprehends
God, who is in relation with the Sage, and who recognises the radiating
virtue of the sovereign,--his actions will be to him unconscious, the
actions of repose.

 With him all will be inaction, by which all things will be

The repose of the Sage is not what the world calls repose. His repose
is the result of his mental attitude. All creation could not disturb
his equilibrium: hence his repose.

When water is still, it is like a mirror, reflecting the beard and the
eyebrows. It gives the accuracy of the water-level, and the philosopher
makes it his model. And if water thus derives lucidity from stillness,
how much more the faculties of the mind? The mind of the Sage being in
repose becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

Repose, tranquillity, stillness, inaction,--these were the levels of
the universe, the ultimate perfection of TAO.

 In the early days of Time, ere matter had assumed shape, it was by
 such levels that the spiritual was adjusted.

Therefore wise rulers and Sages rest therein. Resting therein they
reach the unconditioned, from which springs the conditioned; and with
the conditioned comes order.

 Meaning those laws which are inseparable from concrete existences.

Again, from the unconditioned comes repose, and from repose comes

 When once inner repose has been established, outer movement results as
 a matter of necessity, without injury to the organism.

and from movement comes attainment. Further, from repose comes
inaction, and from inaction comes potentiality of action.

 When inaction has been achieved, action results spontaneously and
 unconsciously to the organism.

And inaction is happiness; and where there is happiness no cares can
abide, and life is long.

Repose, tranquillity, stillness, inaction,--these were the source of
all things. Due perception of this was the secret of Yao's success
as a ruler, and of Shun's success as his minister. Due perception of
this constitutes the virtue of sovereigns on the throne, the TAO of
the inspired Sage and of the uncrowned King below. Keep to this in
retirement, and the lettered denizens of sea and dale will recognise
your power. Keep to this when coming forward to pacify a troubled
world, and your merit shall be great and your name illustrious, and
the empire united into one. In your repose you will be wise; in your
movements, powerful. By inaction you will gain honour; and by confining
yourself to the pure and simple, you will hinder the whole world from
struggling with you for show.

To fully apprehend the scheme of the universe,

 _Lit._: "the virtue of heaven and earth," meaning their inaction by
 which all things are brought to maturity.

this is called the great secret of being in accord with GOD, whereby
the empire is so administered that the result is accord with man. To be
in accord with man is human happiness; to be in accord with God is the
happiness of God.

Chuang Tzŭ said, "O my exemplar! Thou who destroyest all things, and
dost not account it cruelty; thou who benefitest all time, and dost
not account it charity; thou who art older than antiquity and dost not
account it age; thou who supportest the universe, shaping the many
forms therein, and dost not account it skill;--this is the happiness of

Therefore it has been said, "Those who enjoy the happiness of God, when
born into the world, are but fulfilling their divine functions; when
they die, they do but undergo a physical change. In repose, they exert
the influence of the Negative; in motion, they wield the power of the

 See _ante_, chs. vi and xi.

Thus, those who enjoy the happiness of God have no grievance against
God, no grudge against man. Nothing material injures them; nothing
spiritual punishes them. Accordingly it has been said, "Their motion is
that of heaven;

 One of ceaseless revolution, without beginning or end.

their repose is that of earth. Mental equilibrium gives them the
empire of the world. Evil spirits do not harass them without; demons
do not trouble them within. Mental equilibrium gives them sovereignty
over all creation." Which signifies that in repose to extend to the
whole universe and to be in relation with all creation,--this is the
happiness of God. This enables the mind of the Sage to cherish the
whole empire.

For the virtue of the wise ruler is modelled upon the universe, is
guided by TAO, and is ever occupied in inaction. By inaction, he
administers the empire, and has energy to spare; but by action he finds
his energy inadequate to the administration of the empire. Therefore
the men of old set great store by inaction.

But if rulers practise inaction and the ruled also practise inaction,
the ruled will equal the rulers, and will not be as their subjects. On
the other hand, if the ruled practise action and rulers also practise
action, rulers will assimilate themselves to the ruled, and will not be
as their masters. Rulers must practise inaction in order to administer
the empire. The ruled must practise action in order to subserve the
interests of the empire. This is an unchangeable law.

 And one over which the commentators have exhausted not a little wit.
 At the end of the chapter, the reader will be able to draw his own

Thus, the men of old, although their knowledge did not extend
throughout the universe, were not troubled in mind. Although their
intellectual powers beautified all creation, they did not rejoice.
Although their abilities exhausted all things within the limits of
ocean, they did not act.

Heaven has no parturitions, yet all things are evolved. Earth knows
no increment, yet all things are nourished. The wise ruler practises
inaction, and the empire applauds him. Therefore it has been said,
"There is nothing more mysterious

 In its action.

than heaven, nothing richer than earth, nothing greater than the wise
ruler." Wherefore also it has been said, "The virtue of the wise ruler
makes him the peer of heaven and earth." Charioted upon the universe,
with all creation for his team, he passes along the highway of

The essential is in the ruler; the accidental in the ruled.

 _Lit._ the "root," and the "tip" of the branch, respectively.

The _ultima ratio_ lies with the prince; representation is the duty of
the minister.

Appeal to arms is the lowest form of virtue. Rewards and punishments
are the lowest form of education. Ceremonies and laws are the lowest
form of government. Music and fine clothes are the lowest form of
happiness. Weeping and mourning are the lowest form of grief. These
five should follow the movements of the mind.

The ancients indeed cultivated the study of accidentals, but they did
not allow it to precede that of essentials. The prince precedes, the
minister follows. The father precedes, the son follows. The elder
brother precedes, the younger follows. Seniors precede, juniors follow.
Men precede, women follow. Husbands precede, wives follow. Distinctions
of rank and precedence are part of the scheme of the universe, and
the Sage adopts them accordingly. In point of spirituality, heaven
is honourable, earth is lowly. Spring and summer precede autumn and
winter: such is the order of the seasons. In the constant production
of all things, there are phases of existence. There are the extremes
of maturity and decay, the perpetual tide of change. And if heaven and
earth, divinest of all, admit of rank and precedence, how much more

In the ancestral temple, parents rank before all; at court, the most
honourable; in the village, the elders; in matters to be accomplished,
the most trustworthy. Such is the order which appertains to TAO. He who
in considering TAO disregards this order, thereby disregards TAO; and
he who in considering TAO disregards TAO,--whence will he secure TAO?

Therefore, those of old who apprehended TAO, first apprehended God.
TAO came next, and then charity and duty to one's neighbour, and
then the functions of public life, and then forms and names, and
then employment according to capacity, and then distinctions of good
and bad, and then discrimination between right and wrong, and then
rewards and punishments. Thus wise men and fools met with their dues;
the exalted and the humble occupied their proper places. And the
virtuous and the worthless being each guided by their own natural
instincts, it was necessary to distinguish capabilities, and to adopt
a corresponding nomenclature, in order to serve the ruler, nourish the
ruled, administer things generally, and elevate self. Where knowledge
and plans are of no avail, one must fall back upon the natural. This
is perfect peace, the acme of good government. Therefore it has been
written, "Wherever there is form, there is also its name." Forms and
names indeed the ancients had, but did not give precedence to them.

Thus, those of old who considered TAO, passed through five phases
before forms and names were reached, and nine before rewards and
punishments could be discussed.

 As given in the preceding paragraph.

To rise _per saltum_ to forms and names is to be ignorant of their
source; to rise _per saltum_ to rewards and punishments is to be
ignorant of their beginning. Those who invert the process of discussing
TAO, arguing in a directly contrary sense, are rather to be governed by
others than able to govern others themselves.

To rise _per saltum_ to forms and names and rewards and punishments,
this is to understand the instrumental part of government, but not to
understand the great principle of government.

 Which is TAO.

This is to be of use in the administration of the empire, but not to
be able to administer the empire. This is to be a sciolist, a man of
narrow views.

Ceremonies and laws were indeed cultivated by the ancients; but they
were employed in the service of the rulers by the ruled. Rulers did not
employ them as a means of nourishing the ruled.

 From the beginning of this chapter, the argument has been eminently

Of old, Shun asked Yao, saying, "How does your Majesty employ your

"I am not arrogant towards the defenceless," replied Yao. "I do not
neglect the poor. I grieve for those who die. I pity the orphan. I
sympathise with the widow. Beyond this, nothing."

"Good indeed!" cried Shun, "but yet not great."

"How so?" inquired Yao.

"Be passive," said Shun, "like the virtue of God. The sun and moon
shine; the four seasons revolve; day and night alternate; clouds come
and rain falls."

"Alas!" cried Yao, "what a muddle I have been making. You are in accord
with God; I am in accord with man."

Of old, heaven and earth were considered great; and the Yellow Emperor
and Yao and Shun all thought them perfection. Consequently, what did
those do who ruled the empire of old? They did what heaven and earth
do; no more.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius was going west to place his works in the Imperial
library of the House of Chou, Tzŭ Lu

 The most popular of all the disciples of Confucius. In the striking
 words of Mr. Watters, "He was equally ready to argue, fight, be
 silent, pray for his master, and die with him. So it is very unfair
 in Dr. Legge to call him _a kind of_ Peter, meaning of course Simon
 Peter, a man who lacked faith, courage, and fidelity, and who moreover
 cursed and swore."--_Guide to the Tablets in a Confucian Temple._

counselled him, saying, "I have heard that a certain librarian of the
Chêng department, by name Lao Tan,

 Or, as usually named in this work, Lao Tzŭ. "Chêng" appears to have
 been merely a distinctive name.

has resigned and retired into private life. Now as you, Sir, wish to
deposit your works, it would be advisable to go and interview him."

"Certainly," said Confucius; and he thereupon went to see Lao Tzŭ. The
latter would not hear of the proposal; so Confucius began to expound
the doctrines of his twelve canons, in order to convince Lao Tzŭ.

 These twelve have been variously enumerated as (1) the _Book of
 Changes_, Parts i and ii, with the ten _Wings_. (2) The twelve Dukes
 of the _Spring and Autumn_, etc.

"This is all nonsense," cried Lao Tzŭ, interrupting him. "Tell me what
are your criteria."

"Charity," replied Confucius, "and duty towards one's neighbour."

"Tell me, please," asked Lao Tzŭ, "are these part of man's original

 The question of an innate moral sense early occupied the attention of
 Chinese thinkers.

"They are," answered Confucius. "Without charity, the superior man
could not become what he is. Without duty to one's neighbour, he would
be of no effect. These two belong to the original nature of a pure man.
What further would you have?"

"Tell me," said Lao Tzŭ, "in what consist charity and duty to one's

"They consist," answered Confucius, "in a capacity for rejoicing in all
things; in universal love, without the element of self. These are the
characteristics of charity and duty to one's neighbour."

"What stuff!" cried Lao Tzŭ. "Does not universal love contradict itself?

 If every one loves every one, there can be no such thing as love, just
 as absolute altruism only achieves the same result as absolute egoism.

Is not your elimination of self a positive manifestation of self?

 On the "Don't nail his ear to the pump" principle.

Sir, if you would cause the empire not to lose its source of
nourishment,--there is the universe, its regularity is unceasing; there
are the sun and moon, their brightness is unceasing; there are the
stars, their groupings never change; there are birds and beasts, they
flock together without varying; there are trees and shrubs, they grow
upwards without exception, Be like these; follow TAO; and you will be
perfect. Why then these vain struggles after charity and duty to one's
neighbour, as though beating a drum in search of a fugitive. Alas! Sir,
you have brought much confusion into the mind of man."

 The drum similitude occurs again in ch. xiv.

Shih Ch'êng Ch'i

 Of whom nothing is known.

visited Lao Tzŭ, and addressed him, saying, "Having heard, Sir, that
you were a Sage, I put aside all thought of distance to come and visit
you. Travelling many stages, the soles of my feet thickened, but I
did not venture to rest. And now I see you are not a Sage. While rats
feasted off your leavings, you turned your sister out of doors. This is
not charity. Though you have no lack of food, raw and cooked, you are
stingy beyond all bounds."

At this Lao Tzŭ was silent and made no reply; and the next day Shih
Ch'êng Ch'i came again and said, "Before, I was rude to you; now, I am
sorry. How is this?"

"I have no pretension," replied Lao Tzŭ, "to be possessed of cunning
knowledge nor of divine wisdom. Had you yesterday called me an ox,
I should have considered myself an ox. Had you called me a horse, I
should have considered myself a horse.

"For if men class you in accordance with truth, and you reject the
classification, you only double the reproach. My humility is natural
humility. It is not humility for humility's sake."

Shih Ch'êng Ch'i moved respectfully away.

 Without allowing his shadow to fall on Lao Tzŭ. Bringing one foot up
 to the other only. Not venturing to let it pass as in ordinary walking.

Then he advanced again, also respectfully, and said, "May I ask you
about personal cultivation?"

Lao Tzŭ said, "Your countenance is a strange one. Your eyes protrude.
Your jaws are heavy. Your lips are parted. Your demeanour is
self-satisfied. You look like a man on a tethered horse.

 His body there, his mind elsewhere.

You are too confident. You are too hasty. You think too much of your
own powers. Such men are not trusted. Those who are found on the wrong
side of a boundary line are called thieves."

       *       *       *       *       *

Lao Tzŭ said, "TAO is not too small for the greatest, nor too great for
the smallest. Thus all things are embosomed therein; wide indeed its
boundless capacity, unfathomable its depth.

"Form, and virtue, and charity, and duty to one's neighbour, these
are the accidentals of the spiritual. Except he be a perfect man, who
shall determine their place? The world of the perfect man, is not that
vast? And yet it is not able to involve him in trouble. All struggle
for power, but he does not join. Though discovering nothing false, he
is not tempted astray. In spite of the utmost genuineness, he still
confines himself to essentials.

 To the root, not to the branch.

"He thus places himself outside the universe, beyond all creation,
where his soul is free from care. Apprehending TAO, he is in accord
with virtue. He leaves charity and duty to one's neighbour alone. He
treats ceremonies and music as adventitious. And so the mind of the
perfect man is at peace.

"Books are what the world values as representing TAO. But books are
only words, and the valuable part of words is the thought therein
contained. That thought has a certain bias which cannot be conveyed in
words, yet the world values words as being the essence of books. But
though the world values them, they are not of value; as that sense in
which the world values them is not the sense in which they are valuable.

"That which can be seen with the eye is form and colour; that which can
be heard with the ear is sound and noise. But alas! the people of this
generation think that form, and colour, and sound, and noise, are means
by which they can come to understand the essence of TAO. This is not
so. And as those who know, do not speak, while those who speak do not
know, whence should the world derive its knowledge?"

 The first half of this last sentence has been pitchforked _à propos de
 bottes_ into ch. lvi of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_. See _The Remains of Lao
 Tzŭ_, pp. 7 and 38.

Duke Huan.

 The famous ruler of the Ch'i State. Flourished 7th century B.C.

was one day reading in his hall, when a wheelwright who was working

 Below the covered dais, termed "hall," which has an open frontage, in
 full view of which such work might be carried on.

flung down his hammer and chisel, and mounting the steps said, "What
words may your Highness be studying?"

"I am studying the words of the Sages," replied the Duke.

"Are the Sages alive?" asked the wheelwright.

"No," answered the Duke; "they are dead."

"Then the words your Highness is studying," rejoined the wheelwright,
"are only the dregs of the ancients."

"What do you mean, sirrah!" cried the Duke, "by interfering with what I
read? Explain yourself, or you shall die."

"Let me take an illustration," said the wheelwright, "from my own
trade. In making a wheel, if you work too slowly, you can't make it
firm; if you work too fast, the spokes won't fit in. You must go
neither too slowly nor too fast. There must be co-ordination of mind
and hand. Words cannot explain what it is, but there is some mysterious
art herein. I cannot teach it to my son; nor can he learn it from me.
Consequently, though seventy years of age, I am still making wheels in
my old age. If the ancients, together with what they could not impart,
are dead and gone, then what your Highness is studying must be the

 This episode of the wheelwright is to be found in the works of Huai
 Nan Tzŭ, of the 2nd century B.C. He used it to illustrate the opening
 words of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_; and in _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 6, it
 is stated that he stole it from Chuang Tzŭ without acknowledgment.

 When that statement was made I had not come to the conclusion, now
 forced upon me, that the above chapter is not from the hand of Chuang
 Tzŭ. As one critic remarks, the style is generally admirable; but it
 is not the style of Chuang Tzŭ.



 _Argument_:--The Ultimate Cause--Integrity of TAO--Music and
 TAO--Failure of Confucianism--Confucius and Lao Tzŭ--Confucius attains
 to TAO--Illustrations.

[This chapter is supplementary to ch. v.]

"The sky turns round; the earth stands still; sun and moon pursue one
another. Who causes this? Who directs this? Who has leisure enough to
see that such movements continue?

"Some think there is a mechanical arrangement which makes these bodies
move as they do. Others think that they revolve without being able to

"The clouds cause rain; rain causes clouds. Whose kindly bounty is
this? Who has leisure enough to see that such, result is achieved?

"Wind comes from the north. It blows now east, now west; and now it
whirls aloft. Who puffs it forth? Who has leisure enough to be flapping
it this way or that? I should like to know the cause of all this."

 We are not told the name of this questioner.

Wu Han Chao

 An ancient worthy.

said, "Come here, and I will tell you. Above there are the Six

 The _Yin_ and _Yang_ principles, wind, rain, darkness, and light; as
 in ch. xi.

 Some commentators read, the "Six Cardinal Points," _viz._: N., E., S.,
 W., above, and below.

and the Five Virtues.

 Charity, duty to one's neighbour, order, wisdom, and truth.

If a ruler keeps in harmony with these, his rule is good; if not, it is
bad. By following the nine chapters of the Lo book,

 Containing a mystic revelation of knowledge in the form of a diagram,
 supposed to have been delivered to one of the legendary rulers of
 China more than 2,000 years before the Christian era.

his rule will be a success and his virtue complete; he will watch over
the interests of his people, and all the empire will owe him gratitude.
This is to be an eminent ruler."

 "A very round answer," says Lin Hsi Chung, "to a very square question."

       *       *       *       *       *

Tang, a high official of Sung, asked Chuang Tzŭ about charity. Chuang
Tzŭ said, "Tigers and wolves have it."

"How so?" asked Tang.

"The natural love between parents and offspring," replied Chuang
Tzŭ,--"is not that charity?"

Tang then inquired about perfect charity.

"Perfect charity," said Chuang Tzŭ, "does not admit of love for the

 It embraces all men equally. To love one person would imply at least
 the possibility of hating another. See also p. 167, where Lao Tzŭ
 refutes the doctrine of universal love.

"Without such love," replied Tang, "it appears to me there would be no
such thing as affection, and without affection no filial piety. Does
perfect charity not admit of filial piety?"

"Not so," said Chuang Tzŭ. "Perfect charity is the more extensive term.
Consequently, it was unnecessary to mention filial piety. It was not
that filial piety was omitted. It was merely not particularised.

"A man who travels southwards to Ying,

 Capital of the Ch'u State.

cannot see Mount Ming in the north. Why? Because he is too far off.

"Therefore it has been said that it is easy to be respectfully filial,
but difficult to be affectionately filial.

 The artificial is easier than the natural.

But even that is easier than to become unconscious of one's natural
obligations, which is in turn easier than to cause others to be
unconscious of the operations thereof.

 _I.e._ to be filial without letting others be conscious of the fact.

Similarly, this is easier than to become altogether unconscious of the
world, which again is easier than to cause the world to be unconscious
of one's influence upon it.

 Such is perfect charity, which operates without letting its operation
 be known.

"True virtue does nothing, yet it leaves Yao and Shun far behind. Its
good influence extends to ten thousand generations, yet no man knoweth
it to exist. What boots it then to sigh after charity and duty to one's

"Filial piety, fraternal love, charity, duty to one's neighbour,
loyalty, truth, chastity, and honesty,--these are all studied efforts,
designed to aid the development of virtue. They are only parts of a

"Therefore it has been said, 'Perfect honour includes all the honour a
country can give. Perfect wealth includes all the wealth a country can
give. Perfect ambition includes all the reputation one can desire.' And
by parity of reasoning, TAO does not admit of sub-division."

       *       *       *       *       *

Pei Mên Ch'êng

 Of whom nothing is recorded.

said to the Yellow Emperor, "When your Majesty played the _Han-ch'ih_

 Name of a piece of music, the meaning of which is not known.

in the wilds of Tung-t'ing, the first time I heard it I was afraid,
the second time I was amazed, and the last time I was confused,
speechless, overwhelmed."

"You are not far from the truth," replied the Yellow Emperor. "I played
as a man, drawing inspiration from God. The execution was punctilious,
the expression sublime.

"Perfect music first shapes itself according to a human standard; then
it follows the lines of the divine; then it proceeds in harmony with
the five virtues; then it passes into spontaneity. The four seasons are
then blended, and all creation is brought into accord. As the seasons
come forth in turn, so are all things produced. Now fulness, now decay,
now soft and loud in turn, now clear, now muffled, the harmony of _Yin_
and _Yang_. Like a flash was the sound which roused you as the insect
world is roused,

 By the warm breath of spring.

followed by a thundering peal, without end and without beginning,
now dying, now living, now sinking, now rising, on and on without a
moment's break. And so you were afraid.

"When I played again, it was the harmony of the _Yin_ and _Yang_,
lighted by the glory of sun and moon; now broken, now prolonged, now
gentle, now severe, in one unbroken, unfathomable volume of sound.
Filling valley and gorge, stopping the ears and dominating the senses,
adapting itself to the capacities of things,--the sound whirled around
on all sides, with shrill note and clear. The spirits of darkness kept
to their domain. Sun, moon, and stars, pursued their appointed course.
When the melody was exhausted I stopped; if the melody did not stop, I
went on.

 The music was naturally what it was, independently of the player.

You would have sympathised, but you could not understand. You would
have looked, but you could not see. You would have pursued, but you
could not overtake. You stood dazed in the middle of the wilderness,
leaning against a tree and crooning, your eye conscious of exhausted
vision, your strength failing for the pursuit, and so unable to
overtake me. Your frame was but an empty shell. You were completely at
a loss, and so you were amazed.

"Then I played in sounds which produce no amazement, the melodious
law of spontaneity, springing forth like nature's countless buds, in
manifold but formless joy, as though poured forth to the dregs, in deep
but soundless bass. Beginning nowhere, the melody rested in void; some
would say dead, others alive, others real, others ornamental, as it
scattered itself on all sides in never to be anticipated chords.

"The wondering world enquires of the Sage. He is in relation with its
variations and follows the same eternal law.

"When no machinery is set in motion, and yet the instrumentation is
complete, this is the music of God. The mind awakes to its enjoyment
without waiting to be called. Accordingly, Yu Piao praised it, saying,
'Listening you cannot hear its sound; gazing you cannot see its form.

 Yu Piao is said to have been one of the pre-historic rulers of China.
 Readers of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_ (ch. xiv) will here find another nail
 for the coffin of that egregious fraud. See _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_,
 p. 14. Also ch. xxii of this work.

It fills heaven and earth. It embraces the six cardinal points.'
Now you desired to listen to it, but you were not able to grasp its
existence. And so you were confused.

"My music first induced fear; and as a consequence, respect. I then
added amazement, by which you were isolated.

 From consciousness of your surroundings.

And lastly, confusion; for confusion means absence of sense, and
absence of sense means TAO, and TAO means absorption therein."

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius travelled west to the Wei State, Yen Yüan

 The "John" among the disciples of Confucius. He closed a pure and
 gentle life at the early age of 32, to the inexpressible grief of the

asked Shih Chin,

 Chief musician of the Lu State.

saying, "What think you of my Master?"

"Alas!" replied Shih Chin, "he is not a success."

"How so?" enquired Yen Yüan.

"Before the straw dog has been offered in sacrifice," replied Shih
Chin, "it is kept in a box, wrapped up in an embroidered cloth, and
the augur fasts before using it. But when it has once been offered up,
passers-by trample over its body, and fuel-gatherers pick it up for
burning. Then, if any one should take it, and again putting it in a box
and wrapping it up in an embroidered cloth, watch and sleep alongside,
he would not only dream, but have nightmare into the bargain.

 The thing being uncanny. From which it would appear that the use of
 the straw dog was to induce dreams of future events.

"Now your Master has been thus treating the ancients, who are like
the dog which has already been offered in sacrifice. He causes his
disciples to watch and sleep alongside of them. Consequently, his tree

 Beneath which he used to teach.

has been cut down in Sung; they will have none of him in Wei; in fact,
his chances among the Shangs and the Chous are exhausted. Is not this
the dream? And then to be surrounded by the Ch'êns and the Ts'ais,
seven days without food, death staring him in the face,--is not this
the nightmare?

"For travelling by water there is nothing like a boat. For travelling
by land there is nothing like a cart. This because a boat moves readily
in water; but were you to try to push it on land you would never
succeed in making it go.

 Be in harmony with your surroundings.

Now ancient and modern times may be likened unto water and land; Chou
and Lu to the boat and the cart. To try to make the customs of Chou
succeed in Lu, is like pushing a boat on land: great trouble and no
result, except certain injury to oneself. Your Master has not yet
learnt the doctrine of non-angularity, of self-adaptation to externals.

"Have you never seen a well-sweep? You pull it, and down it comes. You
release it, and up it goes. It is the man who pulls the well-sweep, and
not the well-sweep which pulls the man; so that both in coming down and
going up, it does not run counter to the wishes of the man. And so it
was that the ceremonial and obligations and laws of the Three Emperors
and Five Rulers did not aim at uniformity of application but at good
government of the empire. Their ceremonial, obligations, laws, etc.,
were like the cherry-apple, the pear, the orange, and the pumelo,--all
differing in flavour but each palatable. They changed with the changing

"Dress up a monkey in the robes of Chou Kung,

 See ch. iv.

and it will not be happy until they are torn to shreds. And the
difference between past and present is much the same as the difference
between Chou Kung and a monkey.

"When Hsi Shih

 A famous beauty of old.

was distressed in mind, she knitted her brows. An ugly woman of the
village, seeing how beautiful she looked, went home, and having worked
herself into a fit frame of mind, knitted her brows. The result was
that the rich people of the place barred up their doors and would not
come out, while the poor people took their wives and children and
departed elsewhere. That woman saw the beauty of knitted brows, but she
did not see wherein the beauty of knitted brows lay.

 In suitability to the individual.

Alas! your Master is emphatically not a success."

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius had lived to the age of fifty-one without hearing TAO, when
he went south to P'ei, to see Lao Tzŭ.

Lao Tzŭ said, "So you have come, Sir, have you? I hear you are
considered a wise man up north. Have you got TAO?"

"Not yet," answered Confucius.

"In what direction," asked Lao Tzŭ, "have you sought for it?"

"I sought it for five years," replied Confucius, "in the science of
numbers, but did not succeed."

"And then?..." continued Lao Tzŭ.

"Then," said Confucius, "I spent twelve years seeking for it in the
doctrine of the _Yin_ and _Yang_, also without success."

"Just so," rejoined Lao Tzŭ. "Were TAO something which could be
presented, there is no man but would present it to his sovereign,
or to his parents. Could it be imparted or given, there is no man
but would impart it to his brother or give it to his child. But this
is impossible, for the following reason. Unless there is a suitable
endowment within, TAO will not abide. Unless there is outward
correctness, TAO will not operate. The external being unfitted for the
impression of the internal, the true Sage does not seek to imprint. The
internal being unfitted for the reception of the external, the true
Sage does not seek to receive.

 Attempting neither to teach nor to learn.

"Reputation is public property; you may not appropriate it in excess.
Charity and duty to one's neighbour are as caravanserais established by
wise rulers of old; you may stop there one night, but not for long, or
you will incur reproach.

"The perfect men of old took their road through charity, stopping
a night with duty to their neighbour, on their way to ramble in
transcendental space. Feeding on the produce of non-cultivation, and
establishing themselves in the domain of no obligations, they enjoyed
their transcendental inaction. Their food was ready to hand; and
being under no obligations to others, they did not put any one under
obligation to themselves. The ancients called this the outward visible
sign of an inward and spiritual grace.

"Those who make wealth their all in all, cannot bear loss of money.
Those who make distinction their all in all, cannot bear loss of fame.
Those who affect power will not place authority in the hands of others.
Anxious while holding, distressed if losing, yet never taking warning
from the past and seeing the folly of their pursuit,--such men are the
accursed of God.

"Resentment, gratitude, taking, giving, censure of self, instruction
of others, power of life and death,--these eight are the instruments
of right; but only he who can adapt himself to the vicissitudes of
fortune, without being carried away, is fit to use them. Such a one
is an upright man among the upright. And he whose heart is not so
constituted,--the door of divine intelligence is not yet opened for

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius visited Lao Tzŭ, and spoke of charity and duty to one's

Lao Tzŭ said, "The chaff from winnowing will blind a man's eyes so
that he cannot tell the points of the compass. Mosquitoes will keep a
man awake all night with their biting. And just in the same way this
talk of charity and duty to one's neighbour drives me nearly crazy.
Sir! strive to keep the world to its own original simplicity. And as
the wind bloweth where it listeth, so let Virtue establish itself.
Wherefore such undue energy, as though searching for a fugitive with a
big drum?

 See p. 167.

"The snow-goose is white without a daily bath. The raven is black
without daily colouring itself. The original simplicity of black and of
white is beyond the reach of argument. The vista of fame and reputation
is not worthy of enlargement. When the pond dries up and the fishes are
left upon dry ground, to moisten them with the breath or to damp them
with a little spittle is not to be compared with leaving them in the
first instance in their native rivers and lakes."

 Repeated from ch. vi.

On returning from this visit to Lao Tzŭ, Confucius did not speak for
three days. A disciple asked him, saying, "Master, when you saw Lao
Tzŭ, in what direction did you admonish him?"

"I saw a Dragon," replied Confucius, "--a Dragon which by convergence
showed a body, by radiation became colour, and riding upon the clouds
of heaven, nourished the two Principles of Creation. My mouth was
agape: I could not shut it. How then do you think I was going to
admonish Lao Tzŭ?"

Upon this Tzŭ Kung remarked, "Ha! then a man can sit corpse-like
manifesting his dragon-power around, his thunder-voice heard though
profound silence reigns, his movements like those of the universe? I
too would go and see him."

 More repetition, this time from ch. xi.

So on the strength of his connection with Confucius, Tzŭ Kung obtained
an interview. Lao Tzŭ received him distantly and with dignity, saying
in a low voice, "I am old, Sir. What injunctions may you have to give

"The administration of the Three Kings and of the Five Rulers," replied
Tzŭ Kung, "was not uniform; but their reputation has been identical.
How then, Sir, is it that you do not regard them as Sages?"

"Come nearer, my son," said Lao Tzŭ. "What mean you by _not uniform_?"

"Yao handed over the empire to Shun," replied Tzŭ Kung; "and Shun to
Yü. Yü employed labour, and T'ang employed troops. Wên Wang followed
Chou Hsin and did not venture to oppose him. Wu Wang opposed him and
would not follow. Therefore I said _not uniform_."

"Come nearer, my son," said Lao Tzŭ, "and I will tell you about the
Three Kings and the Five Rulers.

"The Yellow Emperor's administration caused the affections of the
people to be catholic. Nobody wept for the death of his parents, and
nobody found fault.

 All loved each other equally.

"The administration of Yao diverted the affections of the people into
particular channels. If a man slew the slayer of his parents, nobody
blamed him.

 Filial affection began to predominate.

"The administration of Shun brought a spirit of rivalry among the
people. Children were born after ten months' gestation; when five
months old, they could speak; and ere they were three years of age,

 Including gestation.

could already tell one person from another. And so early death came
into the world.

 A veritable anti-climax, hopelessly unworthy of either Lao Tzŭ or
 Chuang Tzŭ.

"The administration of Yü wrought a change in the hearts of the people.
Individuality prevailed, and force was called into play. Killing
robbers was not accounted murder; and throughout the empire people
became sub-divided into classes. There was great alarm on all sides,
and the Confucianists and the Mihists arose. At first the relationships
were duly observed; but what about the women of to-day?

 Meaning that in the olden days men could not marry before thirty,
 women before twenty, whereas now the State is cursed with early
 marriages. Or, according to Dr. Legge's view of a famous passage in
 the Book of Rites, that formerly it was shameful in men and women not
 to be married at the age of thirty and twenty, respectively, whereas
 now the State is cursed with late marriages.

"Let me tell you. The government of the Three Kings and Five Rulers was
so only in name. In reality, it was utter confusion. The wisdom of the
Three Kings was opposed to the brilliancy of the sun and moon above,
destructive of the energy of land and water below, and subversive of
the influence of the four seasons between.

 More repetition. See ch. x. _ad fin._

That wisdom is more harmful than a hornet's tail, preventing the very
animals from putting themselves into due relation with the conditions
of their existence--and yet they call themselves Sages! Is not their
shamelessness shameful indeed?"

At this Tzŭ Kung became ill at ease.

 The whole of the above episode may without hesitation be written off
 as a feeble forgery.

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius said to Lao Tzŭ, "I arranged the Six Canons of Poetry,
History, Rites, Music, Changes, and Spring and Autumn. I spent much
time over them, and I am well acquainted with their purport. I used
them in admonishing seventy-two rulers, by discourses on the wisdom of
ancient sovereigns and illustrations from the lives of Chou and Shao.
Yet not one ruler has in any way adopted my suggestions. Alas that
man should be so difficult to persuade, and wisdom so difficult to

"It is well for you, Sir," replied Lao Tzŭ, "that you did not come
across any real ruler of mankind. Your Six Canons are but the worn-out
foot-prints of ancient Sages. And what are foot-prints? Why, the words
you now utter are as it were foot-prints. Foot-prints are made by the
shoe: they are not the shoe itself.

"Fish-hawks gaze at each other with motionless eyes,--and their young
are produced. The male of a certain insect chirps with the wind while
the female chirps against it,--and their offspring is produced. There
is another animal which, being an hermaphrodite, produces its own
offspring. Nature cannot be changed. Destiny cannot be altered. Time
cannot stop. TAO cannot be obstructed. Once attain to TAO, and there is
nothing which you cannot accomplish. Without it, there is nothing which
you can accomplish."

For three months after this Confucius did not leave his house. Then he
again visited Lao Tzŭ and said, "I have attained. Birds lay eggs, fish
spawn, insects undergo metamorphosis, and mammals suckle their young.

 _Lit._ "when a younger brother comes, the elder cries,"--from which
 may be inferred the meaning in the translation.

 The whole sentence signifies that every development proceeds according
 to fixed laws. It is useless to try to _do_ anything. Nature is always

For a long time I have not been enlightened. And he who is not
enlightened himself,--how should he enlighten others?"

Lao Tzŭ said, "Ch'iu, you have attained!"

 "The style of this chapter," says Lin Hsi Chung, "gives it a foremost
 place among the 'outside' essays of Chuang Tzŭ. But the insertion
 of that dialogue between Confucius and Lao Tzŭ on charity and duty
 towards one's neighbour is like eking out a sable robe with a dog's



 _Argument_:--Would-be sages--The vanity of effort--Method of the true
 Sage--Passivity the key--The soul and mortality--Re-absorption into
 the immortal.

Self-conceit and assurance, which lead men to quit society, and be
different from their fellows, to indulge in tall talk and abuse of
others,--these are nothing more than personal over-estimation, the
affectation of recluses and those who have done with the world and have
closed their hearts to mundane influences.

Preaching of charity and duty to one's neighbour, of loyalty and truth,
of respect, of economy, and of humility,--this is but moral culture,
affected by would-be pacificators and teachers of mankind, and by
scholars at home or abroad.

Preaching of meritorious services, of fame, of ceremonial between
sovereign and minister, of due relationship between upper and lower
classes,--this is mere government, affected by courtiers or patriots
who strive to extend the boundaries of their own State and to swallow
up the territory of others.

Living in marshes or in wildernesses, and passing one's days in
fishing--this is mere inaction, affected by wanderers who have turned
their backs upon the world and have nothing better to do.

Exhaling and inhaling,

 The "breathing" theory. See ch. vi., _ad init._

getting rid of the old and assimilating the new, stretching like a bear
and craning like a bird,--

 As these creatures are supposed to do in order to get good air into
 their systems.

--this is but valetudinarianism, affected by professors of hygiene and
those who try to preserve the body to the age of P'êng Tsu.

 See ch. i.

But in self-esteem without self-conceit, in moral culture without
charity and duty to one's neighbour, in government without rank and
fame, in retirement without solitude, in health without hygiene,--there
we have oblivion absolute coupled with possession of all things; an
infinite calm which becomes an object to be attained by all.

Such is the TAO of the universe, such is the virtue of the Sage.
Wherefore it has been said, "In tranquillity, in stillness, in the
unconditioned, in inaction, we find the levels of the universe, the
very constitution of TAO."

 Almost verbatim from ch. xiii, p. 158, where the passage appears as
 part of Chuang Tzŭ's own text, and not as a quotation from any other

Wherefore it has been said, "The Sage is a negative quantity, and is
consequently in a state of passivity. Being passive he is in a state of
repose. And where passivity and repose are, there sorrow and anxiety do
not enter, and foul influences do not collect. And thus his virtue is
complete and his spirituality unimpaired."

Wherefore it has been said, "The birth of the Sage is the will of God;
his death is but a modification of existence. In repose, he shares
the passivity of the _Yin_; in action, the energy of the _Yang_. He
will have nothing to do with happiness, and so has nothing to do with

 Each of which proceeds from the other in an endless chain.

He must be influenced ere he will respond. He must be urged ere he will
move. He must be compelled ere he will arise. Ignoring the future and
the past, he resigns himself to the laws of God.

"And therefore no calamity comes upon him, nothing injures him, no man
is against him, no spirit punishes him. He floats through life to rest
in death. He has no anxieties; he makes no plans. His honour does not
make him illustrious. His good faith reflects no credit upon himself.

 It is all God's, as part of the great scheme.

His sleep is dreamless, his awaking without pain. His spirituality is

 Without desires.

and his soul vigorous. Thus unconditioned and in repose, he is a
partaker of the virtue of God."

Wherefore it has been said, "Sorrow and happiness are the heresies

 Evil influences.

of virtue; joy and anger lead astray from TAO; love and hate cause the
loss of virtue. The heart unconscious of sorrow and happiness,--that is
perfect virtue. ONE, without change,--that is perfect repose. Without
any obstruction,--that is the perfection of the unconditioned. Holding
no relations with the external world,--that is perfection of the
negative state. Without blemish of any kind,--that is the perfection of

Wherefore it has been said, "If the body toils without rest, it dies.
If the mind is employed without ceasing, it becomes wearied; and being
wearied, its power is gone."

Pure water is by nature clear. If untouched, it is smooth. If dammed,
it will not flow, neither will it be clear. It is an emblem of the
virtue of God. Wherefore it has been said, "Pure, without admixture;
uniform, without change; negative, without action; moved, only at the
will of God;--such would be the spirituality nourished according to

Those who possess blades from Kan

 The Wu State.

or Yüeh, keep them carefully in their scabbards, and do not venture to
use them. For they are precious in the extreme. The spirit spreads
forth on all sides: there is no point to which it does not reach,
attaining heaven above, embracing earth beneath. Influencing all
creation, its form cannot be portrayed. Its name is then _Of-God_.

 Such is man's spiritual existence before he is born into the world of

The TAO of the pure and simple consists in preserving spirituality. He
who preserves his spirituality and loses it not, becomes one with that
spirituality. And through that unity the spirit operates freely, and
comes into due relationship with God.

 Returning after its brief career on earth, to the eternity whence it

A vulgar saying has it, "The masses value money; honest men, fame;
virtuous men, resolution; and Sages, the soul."

Thus, the pure is that in which there is nothing mixed; the simple is
that which implies no injury to the spirituality. And he who can keep
the pure and simple within himself,--he is a divine man.

 It requires but scant acumen to relegate this chapter to the limbo of
 forgeries. Lin Hsi Chung thinks it is probably from the hand of the
 unknown artist who is responsible for ch. xiii.



 _Argument_:--TAO unattainable by mundane arts--To be reached through
 repose--The world's infancy--The reign of peace--Government sets
 in--TAO declines--The true Sages of old--Their purity of aim.

Those who exercise their faculties in mere worldly studies, hoping
thereby to revert to their original condition; and those who sink
their aspirations in mundane thoughts, hoping thereby to reach
enlightenment;--these are the dullards of the earth.

The ancients, in cultivating TAO, begat knowledge out of repose. When
born, this knowledge was not applied to any purpose; and so it may be
said that out of knowledge they begat repose. Knowledge and repose thus
mutually producing each other, harmony and order were developed. Virtue
is harmony; TAO is order.

Virtue all-embracing,--hence charity. TAO all-influencing,--hence
duty to one's neighbour. From the establishment of these two springs
loyalty. Then comes music, an expression of inward purity and truth;
followed by ceremonial, or sincerity expressed in ornamental guise. If
music and ceremonial are ill regulated, the empire is plunged into
confusion. And to attempt to correct others while one's own virtue is
clouded, is to set one's own virtue a task for which it is inadequate,
the result being that the natural constitution of the object will

Primeval man enjoyed perfect tranquillity throughout life. In his day,
the Positive and Negative principles were peacefully united; spiritual
beings gave no trouble; the four seasons followed in due order; nothing
suffered any injury; death was unknown; men had knowledge, but no
occasion to use it. This may be called perfection of unity.

 All things, all conditions, were ONE.

At that period, nothing was ever made so; but everything was so.

By and by, virtue declined. Sui Jen

 The Prometheus of China.

and Fu Hsi

 See ch. vi.

ruled the empire. There was still natural adaptation,

 Of man to his surroundings.

but the unity was gone.

 The tide of coercion had set in.

A further decline in virtue. Shên Nung

 The inventor of agriculture.

and Huang Ti

 The Yellow Emperor. See ch. vi.

ruled the empire. There was peace, but the natural adaptation was gone.

Again virtue declined. Yao and Shun ruled the empire. Systems of
government and moral reform were introduced. Man's original integrity
was scattered. Goodness led him astray from TAO;

 But for goodness, evil could not exist.

his actions imperilled his virtue.

 As opposed to inaction.

Then he discarded natural instinct and took up with the intellectual.
Mind was pitted against mind, but it was impossible thus to settle
the empire. So art and learning were added. But art obliterated
the original constitution, and learning overwhelmed mind; upon
which confusion set in, and man was unable to revert to his natural
instincts, to the condition in which he at first existed.

Thus it may be said that the world destroys TAO, and that TAO destroys
the world. And the world and TAO thus mutually destroying each other,
how can the men of TAO elevate the world, and how can the world elevate
TAO? TAO cannot elevate the world; neither can the world elevate TAO.
Though the Sages were not to dwell on mountain and in forest, their
virtue would still be hidden;--hidden, but not by themselves.

Those of old who were called retired scholars, were not men who hid
their bodies, or kept back their words, or concealed their wisdom.
It was that the age was not suitable for their mission. If the age
was suitable and their mission a success over the empire, they simply
effaced themselves in the unity which prevailed. If the age was
unsuitable and their mission at failure, they fell back upon their own
resources and waited. Such is the way to preserve oneself.

Those of old who preserved themselves, did not ornament their knowledge
with rhetoric. They did not exhaust the empire with their knowledge.
They did not exhaust virtue. They kept quietly to their own spheres,
and reverted to their natural instincts. What then was left for them to

TAO does not deal with detail. Virtue does not take cognizance of
trifles. Trifles injure virtue; detail injures TAO. Wherefore it has
been said, "Self-reformation is enough." He whose happiness is complete
has attained his desire.

Of old, attainment of desire did not mean _office_. It meant that
nothing could be added to the sum of happiness. But now it does mean
office, though office is external and is not a part of oneself. That
which is adventitious, comes. Coming, you cannot prevent it; going, you
cannot arrest it. Therefore, not to look on office as the attainment of
desire, and not because of poverty to become a toady, but to be equally
happy under all conditions,--this is to be without sorrow.

But now-a-days, both having and not having


are causes of unhappiness. From which we may infer that even happiness
is not exempt from sorrow.

 A _reductio ad absurdum_.

Wherefore it has been said, "Those who over-estimate the external and
lose their natural instincts in worldliness,--these are the people of

 We are left in the dark as to the authorship of the numerous
 quotations in this and the preceding chapter. It is, however, a point
 of minor importance, neither chapter having the slightest claim to be
 regarded as the genuine work of Chuang Tzŭ.



 _Argument_:--Greatness and smallness always relative--Time and
 space infinite--Abstract dimensions do not exist--Their expression
 is concrete--Terms are not absolute--Like causes produce unlike
 effects--In the unconditioned alone can the absolute exist--The only
 absolute is TAO--Illustrations.

 [This chapter is supplementary to chapter ii. It is the most popular
 of all, and has earned for its author the sobriquet of "Autumn

It was the time of autumn floods. Every stream poured into the river,
which swelled in its turbid course. The banks receded so far from one
another that it was impossible to tell a cow from a horse.

Then the Spirit of the River laughed for joy that all the beauty of
the earth was gathered to himself. Down with the stream he journeyed
east, until he reached the ocean. There, looking eastwards and seeing
no limit to its waves, his countenance changed. And as he gazed over
the expanse, he sighed and said to the Spirit of the Ocean, "A vulgar
proverb says that he who has heard but part of the truth thinks no one
equal to himself. And such a one am I.

"When formerly I heard people detracting from the learning of
Confucius or underrating the heroism of Poh I,

 See ch. vi.

I did not believe. But now that I have looked upon your
inexhaustibility--alas for me had I not reached your abode, I should
have been for ever a laughing-stock to those of comprehensive

 The Spirit of a paltry river learns that the ripple of his rustic
 stream is scarcely the murmur of the world.

To which the Spirit of the Ocean replied, "You cannot speak of ocean to
a well-frog,--the creature of a narrower sphere. You cannot speak of
ice to a summer insect,--the creature of a season. You cannot speak of
TAO to a pedagogue: his scope is too restricted. But now that you have
emerged from your narrow sphere and have seen the great ocean, you know
your own insignificance, and I can speak to you of great principles.

"There is no body of water beneath the canopy of heaven which is
greater than ocean. All streams pour into it without cease, yet it
does not overflow. It is constantly being drained off, yet it is never
empty. Spring and autumn bring no change; floods and droughts are
equally unknown. And thus it is immeasurably superior to mere rivers
and brooks,--though I would not venture to boast on this account, for
I get my shape from the universe, my vital power from the _Yin_ and
_Yang_. In the universe I am but as a small stone or a small tree on
a vast mountain. And conscious thus of my own insignificance, what is
there of which I can boast?

"The Four Seas,--are they not to the universe but like puddles in a
marsh? The Middle Kingdom,--is it not to the surrounding ocean like a
tare-seed in a granary? Of all the myriad created things, man is but
one. And of all those who inhabit the land, live on the fruit of the
earth, and move about in cart and boat, an individual man is but one.
Is not he, as compared with all creation, but as the tip of a hair upon
a horse's skin?

"The succession of the Five Rulers, the contentions of the Three Kings,
the griefs of the philanthropist, the labours of the administrator, are
but this and nothing more.

 _Sc._ ambition.

Poh I refused the throne for fame's sake. Confucius discoursed to get
a reputation for learning. This over-estimation of self on their part,
was it not very much your own in reference to water?"

"Very well," replied the Spirit of the River, "am I then to regard the
universe as great and the tip of a hair as small?"

"Not at all," said the Spirit of the Ocean. "Dimensions are limitless;
time is endless. Conditions are not invariable; terms are not final.
Thus, the wise man looks into space, and does not regard the small as
too little, nor the great as too much; for he knows that there is no
limit to dimension. He looks back into the past, and does not grieve
over what is far off, nor rejoice over what is near; for he knows that
time is without end.

 Space infinite has been illustrated by Locke by a centre from which
 you can proceed for ever in all directions. Time infinite, by a point
 in a line from which you can proceed backwards and forwards for ever.

He investigates fulness and decay, and does not rejoice if he succeeds,
nor lament if he fails; for he knows that conditions are not invariable.

 Fulness and decay are the inevitable precursors of each other.

He who clearly apprehends the scheme of existence, does not rejoice
over life, nor repine at death; for he knows that terms are not final.

 Life and death are but links in an endless chain.

"What man knows is not to be compared with what he does not know.
The span of his existence is not to be compared with the span of
his non-existence. With the small to strive to exhaust the great,
necessarily lands him in confusion, and he does not attain his object.
How then should one be able to say that the tip of a hair is the _ne
plus ultra_ of smallness, or that the universe is the _ne plus ultra_
of greatness?"

 These predicates are abstract terms, which are not names of real
 existences but of relations, states, or conditions of existences; not
 things, but conditions of things.

"Dialecticians of the day," replied the Spirit of the River, "all
say that the infinitesimally small has no form, and that the
infinitesimally great is beyond all measurement. Is that so?"

"If we regard greatness as compared with that which is small," said
the Spirit of the Ocean, "there is no limit to it; and if we regard
smallness as compared with that which is great, it eludes our sight.

 That is, if we proceed from the concrete to the abstract. Given
 a large or a small thing, there is no limit to the smallness or
 greatness with which each may be respectively compared.

The infinitesimal is a subdivision of the small; the colossal is an
extension of the great. In this sense the two fall into different

"Both small and great things must equally possess form. The mind
cannot picture to itself a thing without form, nor conceive a form
of unlimited dimensions. The greatness of anything may be a topic of
discussion, or the smallness of anything may be mentally realized.
But that which can be neither a topic of discussion nor be realized
mentally, can be neither great nor small.

"Therefore, the truly great man, although he does not injure others,
does not credit himself with charity and mercy.

 These are natural to him.

He seeks not gain, but does not despise his followers who do. He
struggles not for wealth, but does not take credit for letting
it alone. He asks help from no man, but takes no credit for his
self-reliance, neither does he despise those who seek preferment
through friends. He acts differently from the vulgar crowd, but takes
no credit for his exceptionality; nor because others act with the
majority does he despise them as hypocrites. The ranks and emoluments
of the world are to him no cause for joy; its punishments and shame
no cause for disgrace. He knows that positive and negative cannot be

 What is positive under certain conditions will be negative under
 others. These terms are in fact identical. See ch. ii.

that great and small cannot be defined.

 They are infinite.

"I have heard say, the man of TAO has no reputation; perfect virtue
acquires nothing; the truly great man ignores self;--this is the height
of self-discipline."

 Clause 2 of the above quotation appears with variations in ch. xxxviii
 of the _Tao-Te-Ching_. The variations settle the correctness of the
 rendering already given in _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 26.

"But how then," asked the Spirit of the River, "are the internal
and external extremes of value and worthlessness, of greatness and
smallness, to be determined?"

 With no standard of measurement.

"From the point of view of TAO," replied the Spirit of the Ocean,
"there are no such extremes of value or worthlessness. Men
individually value themselves and hold others cheap. The world
collectively withholds from the individual the right of appraising

"If we say that a thing is great or small because it is relatively
great or small, then there is nothing in all creation which is not
great, nothing which is not small. To know that the universe is but as
a tare-seed, and that the tip of a hair is a mountain,--this is the
expression of relativity.

"If we say that something exists or does not exist, in deference to the
function it fulfils or does not fulfil, then there is nothing which
does not exist, nothing which does exist. To know that east and west
are convertible and yet necessary terms,--this is the due adjustment of

 Any given point is of course east in relation to west, west in
 relation to east. Absolutely, it may be said that its westness does
 not exclude its eastness; or, that it is neither east nor west.

"If we say that anything is good or evil because it is either good or
evil in our eyes, then there is nothing which is not good, nothing
which is not evil. To know that Yao and Chieh were both good and both
evil from their opposite points of view,--this is the expression of a

"Of old Yao abdicated in favour of Shun, and the latter ruled. Kuei
abdicated in favour of Chih, and the latter failed.

 Kuei was a prince of the Yen State, who was humbugged into imitating
 the glorious example of Yao and abdicating in favour of his minister
 Chih. Three short years of power landed the latter in all the horrors
 of a general revolution.

T'ang and Wu

 See ch. xii.

got the empire by fighting. By fighting, Poh Kung lost it.

 A revolutionary leader who, on the failure of his scheme, ended his
 life by strangulation. See the _Tso Chuan_, 16th year of Duke Ai.

From which it may be seen that the rationale of abdicating or fighting,
of acting like Yao or like Chieh, must be determined according to the
opportunity, and may not be regarded as a constant quantity.

"A battering-ram can knock down a wall, but it cannot repair the breach.

 This sentence has sorely puzzled all commentators.

Different things are differently applied.

"Ch'ih-Chi and Hua Liu could travel 1,000 _li_ in one day, but for
catching rats they were not equal to a wild cat.

 Two of the eight famous steeds of Muh Wang, a semi-historical ruler of

Different animals possess different aptitudes.

"An owl can catch fleas at night, and see the tip of a hair, but if
it comes out in the daytime its eyes are so dazzled it cannot see a
mountain. Different creatures are differently constituted.

"Thus, as has been said, those who would have right without its
correlative, wrong; or good government without its correlative,
misrule,--they do not apprehend the great principles of the universe
nor the conditions to which all creation is subject. One might as
well talk of the existence of heaven without that of earth, or of the
negative principle without the positive, which is clearly absurd. Such
people, if they do not yield to argument, must be either fools or

"Rulers have abdicated under different conditions, dynasties have been
continued under different conditions. Those who did not hit off a
favourable time and were in opposition to their age,--they were called
usurpers. Those who did hit off the right time and were in harmony
with their age,--they were called patriots. Fair and softly, my River
friend; what should you know of value and worthlessness, of great and

 It is therefore quite unnecessary to teach you where to fix the limits
 of that of which you know nothing.

"In this case," replied the Spirit of the River, "what am I to do and
what am I not to do? How am I to arrange my declinings and receivings,
my takings-hold and my lettings-go?"

"From the point of view of TAO," said the Spirit of the Ocean, "value
and worthlessness are like slopes and plains.

 A slope to-day may be a plain to-morrow.

To consider either as absolutely such would involve great injury to
TAO. Few and many are like giving and receiving presents. These must
not be regarded from one side, or there will be great confusion to TAO.

 It would be unfair only to regard, from the receiver's standpoint, the
 amount given. The intention of the giver must also be taken into the

Be discriminating, as the ruler of a State whose administration is
impartial. Be dispassionate, as the worshipped deity whose dispensation
is impartial. Be expansive, like the points of the compass, to whose
boundlessness no limit is set. Embrace all creation, and none shall be
more sheltered than another. This is the unconditioned. And where all
things are equal, how can we have the long and the short?

"TAO is without beginning, without end. Other things are born and die.
They are impermanent; and now for better, now for worse, they are
ceaselessly changing form. Past years cannot be recalled: time cannot
be arrested. The succession of states is endless; and every end is
followed by a new beginning. Thus it may be said that man's duty to his
neighbour is embodied in the eternal principles of the universe.

 All he has to _do_ is to _be_.

"The life of man passes by like a galloping horse, changing at every
turn, at every hour. What should he do, or what should he not do, other
than let his decomposition go on?"

"If this is the case," retorted the Spirit of the River, "pray what is
the value of TAO?"

"Those who understand TAO," answered the Spirit of the Ocean, "must
necessarily apprehend the eternal principles above mentioned and be
clear as to their application. Consequently, they do not suffer any
injury from without.

 They never oppose, but let all things take their course.

"The man of perfect virtue cannot be burnt by fire, nor drowned in
water, nor hurt by frost or sun, nor torn by wild bird or beast. Not
that he makes light of these; but that he discriminates between safety
and danger. Happy under prosperous and adverse circumstances alike,
cautious as to what he discards and what he accepts;--nothing can harm

 Plato taught that it was impossible to make a slave of a wise man,
 meaning that the latter by virtue of his mental endowment would rise
 superior to mere physical thrall. "A wise and just man," said he,
 "could be as happy in a state of slavery as in a state of freedom."

"Therefore it has been said that the natural abides within, the
artificial without. Virtue abides in the natural. Knowledge of the
action of the natural and of the artificial has its root in the
natural, its development in virtue. And thus, whether in motion or
at rest, whether in expansion or in contraction, there is always a
reversion to the essential and to the ultimate."

 Those eternal principles which embody all human obligations.

"What do you mean," enquired the Spirit of the River, "by the natural
and the artificial?"

"Horses and oxen," answered the Spirit of the Ocean, "have four feet.
That is the natural. Put a halter on a horse's head, a string through a
bullock's nose,--that is the artificial.

"Therefore it has been said, do not let the artificial obliterate the
natural; do not let will obliterate destiny; do not let virtue be
sacrificed to fame. Diligently observe these precepts without fail, and
thus you will revert to the divine."

 If man does not set himself in opposition to God, the result will be

       *       *       *       *       *

The walrus envies the centipede;

 Its many legs and nimble gait.

the centipede envies the snake;

 Which moves without legs.

the snake envies the wind;

 Which moves far more quickly even without body.

the Wind envies the eye;

 Which travels even without moving.

the eye envies the mind;

 Which can comprehend the whole universe, past and present alike.

The walrus said to the centipede, "I hop about on one leg, but not very
successfully. How do you manage all these legs you have?"

 "Walrus" is of course an analogue. But for the one leg, the
 description given by a commentator of the creature mentioned in the
 text applies with significant exactitude.

"I don't manage them," replied the centipede. "Have you never seen
saliva? When it is ejected, the big drops are the size of pearls, the
small ones like mist. They fall promiscuously on the ground and cannot
be counted. And so it is that my mechanism works naturally, without my
being conscious of the fact."

The centipede said to the snake, "With all my legs I do not move as
fast as you with none. How is that?"

"One's natural mechanism," replied the snake, "is not a thing to be
changed. What need have I for legs?"

The snake said to the wind, "I can manage to wriggle along, but I have
a form. Now you come blustering down from the north sea to bluster away
to the south sea, and you seem to be without form. How is that?"

"'Tis true," replied the wind, "that I bluster as you say; but any one
who can point at me or kick at me, excels me.

 As I cannot do as much to them.

On the other hand, I can break huge trees and destroy large buildings.
That is my strong point. Out of all the small things in which I do not
excel I make one great one in which I do excel. And to excel in great
things is given only to the Sages."

 Everything has its own natural qualifications. What is difficult to
 one is easy to another.

 No illustration is given of the "eye" and "mind." "'Tis the
 half-length portrait," says Lin Hsi Chung, "of a beautiful
 girl;"--which is ingenious if not sound.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius visited K'uang, the men of Sung surrounded him closely.

 This is a mistake. "K'uang" was in the Wei State, and it was by the
 men of Wei that Confucius was surrounded.

Yet he went on playing and singing to his guitar without ceasing.

"How is it, Sir," enquired Tzŭ Lu, "that you are so cheerful?"

 See p. 165. Tzŭ Lu would have been the first to be cheerful himself.

"Come here," replied Confucius, "and I will tell you. For a long time I
have been struggling against failure, but in vain. Fate is against me.
For a long time I have been seeking success, but in vain. The hour has
not come.

"In the days of Yao and Shun, no man throughout the empire was a
failure, though no one was conscious of the gain. In the days of Chieh
and Chou, no man throughout the empire was a success, though no one
was conscious of the loss. The times and circumstances were adapted

"To travel by water and not avoid sea-serpents and dragons,--this is
the courage of the fisherman. To travel by land and not avoid the
rhinoceros and the tiger,--this is the courage of hunters. When bright
blades cross, to look on death as on life,--this is the courage of the
hero. To know that failure is fate and that success is opportunity, and
to remain fearless in great danger,--this is the courage of the Sage.
Yu! rest in this. My destiny is cut out for me."

Shortly afterwards, the captain of the troops came in and apologised,
saying, "We thought you were Yang Hu; consequently we surrounded you.
We find we have made a mistake." Whereupon he again apologised and

 Yang Hu was "wanted" by the people of Wei, and it appears that
 Confucius was unfortunately like him in feature. But the whole episode
 is clearly the interpolation of a forger.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kung Sun Lung

 A philosopher of the Chao State, whose treatise on the "hard and
 white" etc. is said to be still extant. See ch. ii.

said to Mou of Wei, "When young I studied the TAO of the ancient Sages.
When I grew up I knew all about the practice of charity and duty to
one's neighbour, the identification of like and unlike, the separation
of hardness and whiteness, and about making the not-so so, and the
impossible possible. I vanquished the wisdom of all the philosophies.
I exhausted all the arguments that were brought against me. I thought
that I had indeed reached the goal. But now that I have heard Chuang
Tzŭ, I am lost in astonishment at his grandeur. I know not whether it
is in arguing or in knowledge that I am not equal to him. I can no
longer open my mouth. May I ask you to impart to me the secret?"

Kung Tzŭ Mou leant over the table and sighed. Then he looked up to
heaven, and smiling replied, saying, "Have you never heard of the frog
in the old well?--The frog said to the turtle of the eastern sea,
'Happy indeed am I! I hop on to the rail around the well. I rest in the
hollow of some broken brick. Swimming, I gather the water under my arms
and shut my mouth. I plunge into the mud, burying my feet and toes;
and not one of the cockles, crabs, or tadpoles I see around me are my
match. [Fancy pitting the happiness of an old well against all the
water of Ocean!] Why do you not come, Sir, and pay me a visit?'

"Now the turtle of the eastern sea had not got its left leg down ere
its right had already stuck fast, so it shrank back and begged to be
excused. It then described the sea, saying, 'A thousand _li_ would
not measure its breadth, nor a thousand fathoms its depth. In the
days of the Great Yü, there were nine years of flood out of ten; but
this did not add to its bulk. In the days of T'ang, there were seven
years out of eight of drought; but this did not narrow its span. Not
to be affected by duration of time, not to be affected by volume of
water,--such is the great happiness of the eastern sea.'

 To be impervious to external influences.

"At this the well-frog was considerably astonished, and knew not
what to say next. And for one whose knowledge does not reach to the
positive-negative domain,

 Where contraries are identical.

to attempt to understand Chuang Tzŭ, is like a mosquito trying to carry
a mountain, or an ant to swim a river,--they cannot succeed. And for
one whose knowledge does not reach to the abstrusest of the abstruse,
but is based only upon such victories as you have enumerated,--is not
he like the frog in the well?

"Chuang Tzŭ moves in the realms below while soaring to heaven above.
For him north and south do not exist; the four points are gone; he is
engulphed in the unfathomable. For him east and west do not exist.
Beginning with chaos, he has gone back to TAO; and yet you think you
are going to examine his doctrines and meet them with argument! This is
like looking at the sky through a tube, or pointing at the earth with
an awl,--a small result.

 The area covered by an awl's point being infinitesimal.

"Have you never heard how the youth of Shou-ling went to study at
Han-tan? They did not learn what they wanted at Han-tan, and forgot
all they knew before into the bargain, so that they returned home in
disgrace. And you, if you do not go away, you will forget all you know,
and waste your time into the bargain."

Kung Sun Lung's jaw dropped; his tongue clave to his palate; and he
slunk away.

 Another spurious episode, as is evident from its general weakness,
 not to mention repetitions of figures and allusions taken from other

Chuang Tzŭ was fishing in the P'u when the prince of Ch'u sent two high
officials to ask him to take charge of the administration of the Ch'u

Chuang Tzŭ went on fishing, and without turning his head said, "I have
heard that in Ch'u there is a sacred tortoise which has been dead now
some three thousand years. And that the prince keeps this tortoise
carefully enclosed in a chest on the altar of his ancestral temple. Now
would this tortoise rather be dead and have its remains venerated, or
be alive and wagging its tail in the mud?"

"It would rather be alive," replied the two officials, "and wagging its
tail in the mud."

"Begone!" cried Chuang Tzŭ. "I too will wag my tail in the mud."

       *       *       *       *       *

Hui Tzŭ was prime minister in the Liang State. Chuang Tzŭ went thither
to visit him.

Some one remarked, "Chuang Tzŭ has come. He wants to be minister in
your place."

Thereupon Hui Tzŭ was afraid, and searched all over the State

 With warrants.

for three days and three nights to find him.

Then Chuang Tzŭ went to see Hui Tzŭ, and said, "In the south there is a
bird. It is a kind of phœnix. Do you know it? It started from the south
sea to fly to the north sea. Except on the _wu-t'ung_ tree,

 _Eleococca verrucosa_. Williams.

it would not alight. It would eat nothing but the fruit of the bamboo,
drink nothing but the purest spring water. An owl which had got the
rotten carcass of a rat, looked up as the phœnix flew by, and screeched.

 To warn it off.

Are you not screeching at me over your kingdom of Liang?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ and Hui Tzŭ had strolled on to the bridge over the Hao, when
the former observed, "See how the minnows are darting about! That is
the pleasure of fishes."

"You not being a fish yourself," said Hui Tzŭ, "how can you possibly
know in what consists the pleasure of fishes?"

"And you not being I," retorted Chuang Tzŭ, "how can you know that I do
not know?"

"If I, not being you, cannot know what you know," urged Hui Tzŭ, "it
follows that you, not being a fish, cannot know in what consists the
pleasure of fishes."

"Let us go back," said Chuang Tzŭ, "to your original question. You
asked me how I knew in what consists the pleasure of fishes. Your very
question shows that you knew I knew.

 For you asked me _how_ I _knew_.

I knew it from my own feelings on this bridge."

 From my own feelings above the bridge I infer those of the fishes



 _Argument_:--The uncertainty of human happiness--What the world aims
 at is physical well-being--This is not profitable even to the body--In
 inaction alone is true happiness to be found--Inaction the rule of
 the material universe--Acquiescence in whatever our destiny may bring

[This chapter is supplementary to chapter vi.]

Is perfect happiness to be found on earth, or not? Are there those who
can enjoy life, or not? If so, what do they do, what do they affect,
what do they avoid, what do they rest in, accept, reject, like, and

What the world esteems comprises wealth, rank, old age, and goodness
of heart. What it enjoys comprises comfort, rich food, fine clothes,
beauty, and music. What it does not esteem comprises poverty, want
of position, early death, and evil behaviour. What it does not enjoy
comprises lack of comfort for the body, lack of rich food for the
palate, lack of fine clothes for the back, lack of beauty for the
eye, and lack of music for the ear. If men do not get these, they are
greatly miserable. Yet from the point of view of our physical frame,
this is folly.

 Physically we can, and most of us do, get along very well without
 these extras.

Wealthy people who toil and moil, putting together more money than they
can possibly use,--from the point of view of our physical frame, is not
this going beyond the mark?

Officials of rank who turn night into day in their endeavours to
compass the best ends;--from the point of view of our physical frame,
is not this a divergence?

Man is born to sorrow, and what misery is theirs whose old age with
dulled faculties only means prolonged sorrow! From the point of view of
our physical frame, this is going far astray.

Patriots are in the world's opinion admittedly good. Yet their goodness
does not enable them to enjoy life;

 Patriotism has been illustrated in China by countless heroic deeds,
 associated always with the death of the hero concerned.

and so I know not whether theirs is veritable goodness or not. If the
former, it does not enable them to enjoy life; if the latter, it at any
rate enables them to cause others to enjoy theirs.

It has been said, "If your loyal counsels are not attended to, depart
quietly without resistance." Thus, when Tzŭ Hsü

 The famous Wu Yüan, 6th century B.C., whose opposition to his
 sovereign led to his own disgrace and death.

resisted, his physical frame perished; yet had he not resisted, he
would not have made his name. Is there then really such a thing as this
goodness, or not?

As to what the world does and the way in which people are happy now, I
know not whether such happiness be real happiness or not. The happiness
of ordinary persons seems to me to consist in slavishly following the
majority, as if they could not help it. Yet they all say they are happy.

 "The general average of mankind are not only moderate in intellect,
 but also in inclinations: they have no tastes or wishes strong enough
 to incline them to do anything unusual." Mill's _Essay on Liberty_.

But I cannot say that this is happiness or that it is not happiness. Is
there then, after all, such a thing as happiness?

I make true pleasure to consist in _inaction_, which the world regards
as great pain. Thus it has been said, "Perfect happiness is the absence
of happiness;

 The non-existence of any state or condition necessarily includes the
 non-existence of its correlate. If we do not have happiness, we are
 at once exempt from misery; and such a negative state is a state of
 "perfect happiness."

perfect renown is the absence of renown."

Now in this sublunary world of ours it is impossible to assign positive
and negative absolutely. Nevertheless, in inaction they can be so
assigned. Perfect happiness and preservation of life are to be sought
for only in inaction.

Let us consider. Heaven does nothing; yet it is clear. Earth does
nothing; yet it enjoys repose. From the inaction of these two proceed
all the modifications of things. How vast, how infinite is inaction,
yet without source! How infinite, how vast, yet without form!

The endless varieties of things around us all spring from inaction.
Therefore it has been said, "Heaven and earth do nothing, yet there is
nothing which they do not accomplish." But among men, who can attain to

 Lin Hsi Chung condemns the whole of the above exordium as too closely
 reasoned for Chuang Tzŭ, with his rugged, elliptical style.

When Chuang Tzŭ's wife died, Hui Tzŭ went to condole. He found the
widower sitting on the ground, singing, with his legs spread out at a
right angle, and beating time on a bowl.

"To live with your wife," exclaimed Hui Tzŭ, "and see your eldest son
grow up to be a man, and then not to shed a tear over her corpse,--this
would be bad enough. But to drum on a bowl, and sing; surely this is
going too far."

"Not at all," replied Chuang Tzŭ. "When she died, I could not help
being affected by her death. Soon, however, I remembered that she had
already existed in a previous state before birth, without form, or even
substance; that while in that unconditioned condition, substance was
added to spirit; that this substance then assumed form; and that the
next stage was birth. And now, by virtue of a further change, she is
dead, passing from one phase to another like the sequence of spring,
summer, autumn, and winter. And while she is thus lying asleep in
Eternity, for me to go about weeping and wailing would be to proclaim
myself ignorant of these natural laws. Therefore I refrain."

       *       *       *       *       *

A hunchback and a one-legged man were looking at the tombs of departed
heroes, on the K'un-lun Mountains, where the Yellow Emperor rests.
Suddenly, ulcers broke out upon their left elbows, of a very loathsome

"Do you loathe this?" asked the hunchback.

"Not I," replied the other, "why should I? Life is a loan with which
the borrower does but add more dust and dirt to the sum total of
existence. Life and death are as day and night; and while you and I
stand gazing at the evidences of mortality around us, if the same
mortality overtakes me, why should I loathe it?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ one day saw an empty skull, bleached, but still preserving
its shape. Striking it with his riding whip, he said, "Wert thou once
some ambitious citizen whose inordinate yearnings brought him to this
pass?--some statesman who plunged his country in ruin and perished in
the fray?--some wretch who left behind him a legacy of shame?--some
beggar who died in the pangs of hunger and cold? Or didst thou reach
this state by the natural course of old age?"

When he had finished speaking, he took the skull, and placing it under
his head as a pillow, went to sleep. In the night, he dreamt that the
skull appeared to him and said, "You speak well, Sir; but all you say
has reference to the life of mortals, and to mortal troubles. In death
there are none of these. Would you like to hear about death?"

Chuang Tzŭ having replied in the affirmative, the skull began:--"In
death, there is no sovereign above, and no subject below. The workings
of the four seasons are unknown. Our existences are bounded only by
eternity. The happiness of a king among men cannot exceed that which we

Chuang Tzŭ, however, was not convinced, and said, "Were I to prevail
upon God to allow your body to be born again, and your bones and flesh
to be renewed, so that you could return to your parents, to your wife,
and to the friends of your youth,--would you be willing?"

At this, the skull opened its eyes wide and knitted its brows and said,
"How should I cast aside happiness greater than that of a king, and
mingle once again in the toils and troubles of mortality?"

 Reminding us strangely of _Hamlet_.

When Yen Yüan

 See p. 179.

went eastwards to the Ch'i State, Confucius was sad. Tzŭ Kung arose and
said, "Is it, Sir, because Hui

 Yen Yüan's personal name.

has gone east to Ch'i that you are sad?"

"A good question," replied Confucius. "There is a saying by Kuan Chung

 Prime Minister to Duke Huan of the Ch'i State, 7th century B.C.

of old which I highly esteem: 'Small bags won't hold big things; short
ropes won't reach down deep wells.' Thus, destiny is a pre-arrangement,
just as form has its limitations. From neither, to neither, can you
either take away or add. And I fear lest Hui, on his visit to the
prince of Ch'i, should preach the Tao of Yao and Shun, and dwell on
the words of Sui Jen and Shên Nung. The prince will then search within
himself, but will not find. And not finding, he will doubt. And when a
man doubts, he will kill.

 _Lit._ "he will die." But the verb "to die" is often used in the sense
 of "to make to die;" and this seems to be the only available sense

"Besides, have you not heard that of old when a sea-bird alighted
outside the capital of Lu, the prince went out to receive it, and gave
it wine in the temple, and had the _Chiu Shao_

 Music composed by the legendary Emperor Shun.

played to amuse it, and a bullock slaughtered to feed it? But the bird
was dazed and too timid to eat or drink anything; and in three days it
was dead. This was treating the bird like oneself, and not as a bird
would treat a bird. Had he treated it as a bird would have treated a
bird, he would have put it to roost in a deep forest, to wander over a
plain, to swim in a river or lake, to feed upon fish, to fly in order,
and to settle leisurely. When the bird was already terrified at human
voices, fancy adding music! Play the _Hsien Ch'ih_

 Music of the Yellow Emperor.

or the _Chiu Shao_ in the wilds of Tung-t'ing, and birds will fly away,
beasts will take themselves off, and fishes will dive down below. But
men will collect to hear.

 See p. 244.

"Water, which is life to fishes, is death to man. Being differently
constituted, their likes and dislikes are different. Therefore the
Sages of the past favoured not uniformity of skill or of occupation.
Reputation was commensurate with reality; means were adapted to the
end. This was called a due relationship with others coupled with
advantage to oneself."

 Several sentences of the above are clearly in imitation of parts of
 ch. ii. The whole episode is beyond doubt a forgery.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lieh Tzŭ, being on a journey, was eating by the roadside, when he saw
an old skull. Plucking a blade of grass, he pointed at it and said,
"Only you and I know that there is no such thing as life and no such
thing as death.

 _Lit._ "that you have never died nor lived."

Are you really at peace? Or am I really happy?

 Who can say whether what we call death may not after all be life, and
 life death?

"Certain germs, falling upon water, become duckweed. When they reach
the junction of the land and the water, they become lichen. Spreading
up the bank, they become the dog-tooth violet. Reaching rich soil, they
become _wu-tsu_, the root of which becomes grubs, while the leaves
comes from butterflies, or _hsü_. These are changed into insects,
born in the chimney corner, which look like skeletons. Their name is
_ch'ü-to_. After a thousand days, the _ch'ü-to_ becomes a bird, called
_Kan-yü-ku_, the spittle of which becomes the _ssŭ-mi_. The _ssŭ-mi_
becomes a wine fly, and that comes from an _i-lu_. The _huang-k'uang_
produces the _chiu-yu_ and the _mou-jui_ produces the glow-worm.
The _yang-ch'i_ grafted to an old bamboo which has for a long time
put forth no shoots, produces the _ch'ing-ning_, which produces the
leopard, which produces the horse, which produces man.

"Then man goes back into the great Scheme, from which all things come
and to which all things return."

 Such is the eternal round, marked by the stages which we call life and

 Many of the names in the above paragraph have not been identified even
 by Chinese commentators. On all counts then they may safely be left
 where they are.



 _Argument_:--The soul is from God--Man's body its vehicle--The soul
 quickening the body is life--Care of the internal and of the external
 must be simultaneous--In due nourishment of both is TAO.

[This chapter is supplementary to chapter iii.]

Those who understand the conditions of life devote no attention
to things which life cannot accomplish. Those who understand the
conditions of destiny devote no attention to things over which
knowledge has no control.

For the due nourishment of our physical frames, certain things are
needful. Yet where such things abound, the physical frame is not always
nourished. For the preservation of life it is necessary that there
should be no abandonment of the physical frame. Yet where the physical
frame is not abandoned, life does not always remain.

Life comes, and cannot be declined. It goes, and cannot be stopped.
But alas! the world thinks that to nourish the frame is enough to keep
life. And if indeed it is not enough, what then is the world to do?

Although not enough, it must still be done. It cannot be neglected. For
if one is to neglect the physical frame, better far to retire at once
from the world. By renouncing the world, one gets rid of the cares
of the world. The result is a natural level, which is equivalent to a
re-birth. And he who is re-born is near.

 To TAO.

But what inducement is there to renounce the affairs of men, to become
indifferent to life?--In the first case, the physical body suffers no
wear and tear; in the second, the vitality is left unharmed. And he
whose physical frame is perfect and whose vitality is in its original
purity,--he is one with God.

 Mens sana in corpore sano.

Heaven and earth are the father and mother of all things. When they
unite, the result is shape. When they disperse, the original condition
is renewed.

 As in the case of ordinary mortals.

But if body and vitality are both perfect, this state is called _fit
for translation_.

 In the Biblical sense, as applied to Enoch.

Such perfection of vitality goes back to the minister of God.

 "Vitality" is the subtle essence, the immaterial informing principle
 which, united with matter, exhibits the phenomenon of life. The term
 has already occurred in ch. xi.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lieh Tzŭ asked Kuan Yin,

 A sage who by some is said to have flourished five or six hundred
 years before Lieh Tzŭ; by others, to have been an immediate disciple
 of Lao Tzŭ, and to have been entrusted by him with the publication of
 the _Tao-Tê-Ching_.

saying, "The perfect man can walk through solid bodies without
obstruction. He can pass through fire without being burnt. He can scale
the highest heights without fear. How does he bring himself to this?"

"It is because he is in a condition of absolute purity," replied Kuan
Yin. "It is not cunning which enables him to dare such feats. Be
seated, and I will tell you.

"All that has form, sound, and colour, may be classed under the head
_thing_. Man differs so much from the rest, and stands at the head of
all things, simply because the latter are but what they appear and
nothing more. But man can attain to formlessness and vanquish death.
And with that which is in possession of the eternal, how can mere
things compare?

"Man may rest in the eternal fitness; he may abide in the everlasting;
and roam from the beginning to the end of all creation. He may bring
his nature to a condition of ONE; he may nourish his strength; he may
harmonize his virtue, and so put himself into partnership with God.
Then, when his divinity is thus assured, and his spirit closed in on
all sides, how can anything find a passage within?

 He is beyond the reach of objective existences.

"A drunken man who falls out of a cart, though he may suffer, does
not die. His bones are the same as other people's; but he meets his
accident in a different way. His spirit is in a condition of security.
He is not conscious of riding in the cart; neither is he conscious of
falling out of it. Ideas of life, death, fear, etc., cannot penetrate
his breast; and so he does not suffer from contact with objective
existences. And if such security is to be got from wine, how much more
is it to be got from God. It is in God that the Sage seeks his refuge,
and so he is free from harm.

"An avenger does not snap in twain the murderous weapon; neither does
the most spiteful man carry his resentment to a tile which may have hit
him on the head. And by the extension of this principle, the empire
would be at peace; no more confusion of war, no more punishment of

"Do not develop your artificial intelligence, but develop that
intelligence which is from God. From the latter, results virtue; from
the former, cunning. And those who do not shrink from the natural, nor
wallow in the artificial,--they are near to perfection."

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius was on his way to the Ch'u State, he came to a forest
where he saw a hunchback catching cicadas as though with his hand.

 It is still the delight of the Chinese _gamin_ to capture the noisy
 "scissor-grinder" with the aid of a long bamboo tipped with bird-lime.

"How clever you are!" cried Confucius. "Have you any _way_ of doing

 "Way," _i.e._ road, is the primary meaning of TAO.

"I have a way," replied the hunchback. "In the fifth and sixth moons I
practise balancing two balls one on top of the other.

 At the top of his pole.

If they do not fall, I do not miss many cicadas. When I can balance
three balls, I only miss one in ten; and when five, then it is as
though I caught the cicadas with my hand. My body is as motionless as
the stump of a tree; my arms like dead branches. Heaven and earth and
all creation may be around me, but I am conscious only of my cicada's
wings. How should I not succeed?"

Confucius looked round at his disciples and said, "Singleness of
purpose induces concentration of the faculties. Of such is the success
of this hunchback."

       *       *       *       *       *

Yen Yüan said to Confucius, "When I crossed over the Shang-shên rapid,
the boatman managed his craft with marvellous skill. I asked him if
handling a boat could be learnt. 'It can,' replied he. 'The way of
those who know how to keep you afloat is more like sinking you. They
row as if the boat wasn't there.'

"I enquired what this meant, but he would not tell me. May I ask its

"It means," answered Confucius, "that such a man is oblivious of the
water around him. He regards the rapid as though dry land. He looks
upon an upset as an ordinary cart accident. And if a man can but be
impervious to capsizings and accidents in general, whither should he
not be able comfortably to go?

"A man who plays for counters will play well. If he stakes his girdle,

 In which he keeps his loose cash.

he will be nervous; if yellow gold, he will lose his wits. His skill
is the same in each case, but he is distracted by the value of his
stake. And every one who attaches importance to the external, becomes
internally without resource."

       *       *       *       *       *

T'ien K'ai Chih had an audience of Duke Wei of Chou. The Duke asked
him, saying, "I have heard that Chu Hsien is studying the art of life.
As you are a companion of his, pray tell me anything you know about it."

"I do but ply the broom at his outer gate," replied T'ien K'ai Chih;
"what should I know about my Master's researches?"

"Don't be so modest," said the Duke. "I am very anxious to hear about

"Well," replied T'ien, "I have heard my master say that keeping life is
like keeping a flock of sheep. You look out for the laggards, and whip
them up."

"What does that mean?" asked the Duke.

"In the State of Lu," said T'ien, "there was a man named Shan Pao. He
lived on the mountains and drank water. All worldly interests he had
put aside. And at the age of seventy, his complexion was like that of a
child. Unluckily, he one day fell in with a hungry tiger who killed and
ate him.

"There was also a man named Chang I, who frequented the houses of rich
and poor alike. At the age of forty he was attacked by some internal
disease and died.

"Shan Pao took care of his inner self, and a tiger ate his external
man. Chang I took care of himself externally, but disease attacked him
internally. These two individuals both omitted to whip up the laggards."

 There is no particular record of the worthies mentioned above.

Confucius said, "Neither affecting obscurity, nor courting prominence,
but unconsciously occupying the happy mean,--he who can attain to these
three will enjoy a surpassing fame.

"In dangerous parts, where one wayfarer out of ten meets his death,
fathers and sons and brothers will counsel each other not to travel
without a sufficient escort. Is not this wisdom? And there where men
are also greatly in danger, in the lists of passion, in the banquet
hour, not to warn them is error indeed."

 Physical precautions are not alone sufficient. Man's moral nature
 equally requires constant watchfulness and care.

The Grand Augur, in his ceremonial robes, approached the shambles and
thus addressed the pigs:--

"How can you object to die? I shall fatten you for three months. I
shall discipline myself for ten days and fast for three. I shall strew
fine grass, and place you bodily upon a carved sacrificial dish. Does
not this satisfy you?"

Then speaking from the pigs' point of view, he continued, "It is better
perhaps after all to live on bran and escape the shambles...."

"But then," added he, speaking from his own point of view, "to enjoy
honour when alive one would readily die on a war-shield or in the
headsman's basket."

So he rejected the pigs' point of view and adopted his own point of
view. In what sense then was he different from the pigs?

 Even as a pig thinks of nothing but eating, so was the Grand Augur
 ready to sacrifice everything, life itself, for paltry fame.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Duke Huan was out hunting, with Kuan Chung as his charioteer, he
saw a bogy. Catching hold of Kuan Chung's hand, he asked him, saying,
"What do you see?"

"I see nothing," replied Kuan Chung. But when the Duke got home he
became delirious, and for many days was unable to go out.

There came a certain Huang Tzŭ Kao Ngao of the Ch'i State

 "A sage of the Ch'i State,"--as the commentators usually say when in
 reality they know nothing about the individual.

and said, "Your Highness is self-injured. How could a bogy injure you?
When the vital strength is dissipated in anger, and is not renewed,
there is a deficiency. When its tendency is in one direction upwards,
the result is to incline men to wrath. When its tendency is in one
direction downwards, the result is loss of memory. When it remains
stagnant, in the middle of the body, the result is disease."

"Very well," said the Duke, "but are there such things as bogies?"

"There are," replied Huang. "There is the mud spirit Li; the fire
spirit Kao; Lei T'ing, the spirit of the dust-bin; P'ei O and Wa Lung,
sprites of the north-east; Yi Yang of the north-west; Wang Hsiang of
the water; the Hsin of the hills; the K'uei of the mountain; the P'ang
Huang of the moor; the Wei I of the marsh."

 The garb and bearing of the above beings are very fully described by

"And what may the Wei I be like?" asked the Duke.

"The Wei I," replied Huang, "is as broad as a cart-wheel and as long
as the shaft. It wears purple clothes and a red cap. It is a sentient
being, and whenever it hears the rumble of thunder, it stands up in a
respectful attitude. Those who see this bogy are like to be chieftains
among men."

The Duke laughed exultingly and said, "The very one I saw!" Thereupon
he dressed himself and sat up; and ere the day had closed, without
knowing it, his sickness had left him.

 The above episode teaches that the evils which appear to come upon us
 from without, in reality have their origin within.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chi Hsing Tzŭ was training fighting cocks for the prince.

 Of Ch'i, says a commentator.

At the end of ten days the latter asked if they were ready. "Not yet,"
replied Chi; "they are in the stage of seeking fiercely for a foe."

Again ten days elapsed, and the prince made a further enquiry. "Not
yet," replied Chi; "they are still excited by the sounds and shadows of
other cocks."

Ten days more, and the prince asked again. "Not yet," answered Chi;
"the sight of an enemy is still enough to excite them to rage."

But after another ten days, when the prince again enquired, Chi said,
"They will do. Other cocks may crow, but they will take no notice. To
look at them one might say they were of wood. Their virtue is complete.
Strange cocks will not dare meet them, but will run."

 Illustrating the value of internal concentration.

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius was looking at the cataract at Lü-liang. It fell from a
height of thirty _jen_,

 1 _jen_ = 7 Chinese feet. What the ancient Chinese foot measured, it
 is impossible to say. For the height of the cataract it will be near
 enough to say 200 English feet.

and its foam reached forty _li_ away. No scaly, finny creature could
enter therein.

 Meaning the rapids below.

Yet Confucius saw an old man go in, and thinking that he was suffering
from some trouble and desirous of ending his life, bade a disciple
run along the side to try and save him. The old man emerged about a
hundred paces off, and with flowing hair went carolling along the
bank. Confucius followed him and said, "I had thought, Sir, you were a
spirit, but now I see you are a man. Kindly tell me, is there any way
to deal thus with water?"

"No," replied the old man; "I have no way. There was my original
condition to begin with; then habit growing into nature; and lastly
acquiescence in destiny. Plunging in with the whirl, I come out with
the swirl. I accommodate myself to the water, not the water to me. And
so I am able to deal with it after this fashion."

"What do you mean," enquired Confucius, "by your original condition to
begin with, habit growing into nature, and acquiescence in destiny?"

"I was born," replied the old man, "upon dry land, and accommodated
myself to dry land. That was my original condition. Growing up on the
water, I accommodated myself to the water. That was what I meant by

 Habit is second nature.

And doing as I did without being conscious of any effort so to do, that
was what I meant by destiny."

 Objective existences cannot injure him who puts his trust in God.

 [This episode occurs _twice_, with textual differences, in the works
 of Lieh Tzŭ, chs. ii. and viii.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Ch'ing, the chief carpenter,

 Of the Lu State.

was carving wood into a stand for hanging musical instruments.
When finished, the work appeared to those who saw it as though of
supernatural execution. And the prince of Lu asked him, saying, "What
mystery is there in your art?"

"No mystery, your Highness," replied Ch'ing; "and yet there is

"When I am about to make such a stand, I guard against any diminution
of my vital power. I first reduce my mind to absolute quiescence. Three
days in this condition, and I become oblivious of any reward to be
gained. Five days, and I become oblivious of any fame to be acquired.
Seven days, and I become unconscious of my four limbs and my physical
frame. Then, with no thought of the Court present to my mind, my skill
becomes concentrated, and all disturbing elements from without are
gone. I enter some mountain forest. I search for a suitable tree. It
contains the form required, which is afterwards elaborated. I see the
stand in my mind's eye, and then set to work. Otherwise, there is
nothing. I bring my own natural capacity into relation with that of the
wood. What was suspected to be of supernatural execution in my work was
due solely to this."

 To obliteration of self in the infinite causality of God.

Tung Yeh Chi exhibited his charioteering skill before Duke Chuang.

 "Of Lu," says one commentator. But another points out that Yen Ho
 (_infra_) is mentioned in chapter iv. as tutor to the son of Duke Ling
 of Wei, which would involve an anachronism.

Backwards and forwards he drove in lines which might have been ruled,
sweeping round at each end in curves which might have been described by

The Duke, however, said that this was nothing more than weaving; and
bidding him drive round and round a hundred times, returned home.

Yen Ho came upon him, and then went in and said to the Duke, "Chi's
horses are on the point of breaking down."

The Duke remained silent, making no reply; and in a short time it was
announced that the horses had actually broken down, and that Chi had
gone away.

"How could you tell this?" said the Duke to Yen Ho.

"Because," replied the latter, "Chi was trying to make his horses
perform a task to which they were unequal. Therefore I said they would
break down."

 Illustrating the strain which mortality daily puts upon the bodies and
 minds of all men.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ch'ui the artisan could draw circles with his hand better than with
compasses. His fingers seemed to accommodate themselves so naturally
to the thing he was working at, that it was unnecessary to fix his
attention. His mental faculties thus remained ONE, and suffered no

To be unconscious of one's feet implies that the shoes are easy.
To be unconscious of a waist implies that the girdle is easy. The
intelligence being unconscious of positive and negative implies
that the heart is at ease. No modifications within, no yielding to
influences without,

 But always following a natural course.

--this is ease under all conditions. And he who beginning with ease, is
never not at ease, is unconscious of the ease of ease.

 Such is the condition of oblivion necessary to the due development of
 our natural spontaneity.

       *       *       *       *       *

A certain Sun Hsiu went to the house of Pien Ch'ing Tzŭ

 Both unknown to fame.

and complained, saying, "In peace I am not considered wanting in
propriety. In times of trouble I am not considered wanting in courage.
Yet my crops fail; and officially I am not a success. From my village
an outcast, I am an outlaw from my State. How have I offended against
God that he should visit me with such a fate?"

"Have you not heard," replied Pien Tzŭ, "how the perfect man conducts
himself? He is oblivious of his physical organisation. He is beyond the
reach of sight and hearing. He moves outside the limits of this dusty
world, rambling transcendentally in the domain of no-affairs. This is
called acting but not from self-confidence, influencing but not from

 That is, acting not in consequence of self-confidence, but without
 reference to it; _sc._ naturally. Influencing, not because of
 authority, but gaining authority because of natural influence.

 This quotation appears, though Chuang Tzŭ or whoever may be
 responsible for this episode does not say so, in chs. x. and li. of
 the _Tao-Tê-Ching_.

"But you, you make a show of your knowledge in order to startle fools.
You cultivate yourself in contrast to the degradation of others. And
you blaze along as though the sun and moon were under your arms.

 These last three sentences will be found verbatim in ch. xx.

Whereas, that you have a whole body in a whole skin, and have not
perished in mid career, dumb, blind, or halt, but actually hold a place
among men,--this ought to be enough for you. Why rail at God? Begone!"

Sun Hsiu went away, and Pien Tzŭ went in and sat down. Shortly
afterwards, he looked up to heaven and sighed; whereupon a disciple
asked him what was the matter.

"When Hsiu was here just now," answered Pien Tzŭ, "I spoke to him of
the virtue of the perfect man. I fear lest he be startled and so driven
on to doubt."

"No, Sir," answered the disciple. "If he was right and you were wrong,
wrong will never drive right into doubt. If, on the other hand, he was
wrong and you were right, he brought his doubt with him, and you are
not responsible."

"Not so," said Pien Tzŭ. "Of old, when a bird alighted outside the
capital of Lu, the prince was delighted, and killed an ox to feed it
and had the _Chiu Shao_ played to entertain it. The bird, however,
was timid and dazed and dared not to eat or drink. This was treating
the bird like oneself. But to treat a bird as a bird would treat a
bird, you must put it to roost in a deep forest, let it swim in river
or lake, and feed at its ease on the plain. Now Sun Hsiu is a man of
small understanding; and for me to speak to him of the perfect man is
like setting a mouse to ride in a coach or a band of music to play to a
quail. How should he not be startled?"

 The above episode has already appeared in ch. xviii., _ad fin._



 _Argument_:--The alternatives of usefulness and
 uselessness--TAO a _tertium quid_--The human a hindrance to the

[This chapter is supplementary to chapter iv.]

Chuang Tzŭ was travelling over a mountain when he saw a huge tree well
covered with foliage. A woodsman had stopped near by, not caring to
take it; and on Chuang Tzŭ enquiring the reason, he was told that it
was of no use.

"This tree," cried Chuang Tzŭ, "by virtue of being good for nothing
succeeds in completing its allotted span."

When Chuang Tzŭ left the mountain, he put up at the house of an old
friend. The latter was delighted, and ordered a servant to kill a goose
and cook it.

"Which shall I kill?" enquired the servant; "the one that cackles or
the one that doesn't?"

His master told him to kill the one which did not cackle. And
accordingly, the next day, a disciple asked Chuang Tzŭ, saying,
"Yesterday, that tree on the mountain, because good for nothing, was to
succeed in completing its allotted span. But now, our host's goose,
which is good for nothing, has to die. Upon which horn of the dilemma
will you rest?"

"I rest," replied Chuang Tzŭ with a smile, "halfway between the two. In
that position, appearing to be what I am not, it is impossible to avoid
the troubles of mortality;

 The text is here doubtful, and commentators explain according to the
 fancy of each. When a Chinese commentator does not understand his
 text, he usually slurs it over. He never says "I do not understand."
 Chu Fu Tzŭ alone could rise to this height.

though, if charioted upon TAO and floating far above mortality, this
would not be so. No praise, no blame; both great and small; changing
with the change of time, but ever without special effort; both above
and below; making for harmony with surroundings; reaching creation's
First Cause; swaying all things and swayed by none;--how then shall
such troubles come? This was the method of Shên Nung and Huang Ti.

 "If another guest had happened to arrive," says Lin Hsi Chung, "I
 fancy the chance even of the cackling goose would have been small."

"But amidst the mundane passions and relationships of man, such would
not be the case. For where there is union, there is also separation;
where there is completion, there is also destruction; where there is
purity, there is also oppression; where there is honour, there is
also disparagement; where there is doing, there is also undoing; where
there is openness, there is also underhandedness; and where there is no
semblance, there is also deceit. How then can there be any fixed point?
Alas indeed! Take note, my disciples, that such is to be found only in
the domain of TAO."

       *       *       *       *       *

I Liao

 A sage of the Ch'u State.

of Shih-nan paid a visit to the prince of Lu. The latter wore a
melancholy look; whereupon the philosopher of Shih-nan enquired what
was the cause.

"I study the doctrines of the ancient Sages," replied the prince. "I
carry on the work of my predecessors. I respect religion. I honour the
good. Never for a moment do I relax in these points; yet I cannot avoid
misfortune, and consequently I am sad."

"Your Highness' method of avoiding misfortune," said the philosopher of
Shih-nan, "is but a shallow one. A handsome fox or a striped leopard
will live in a mountain forest, hiding beneath some precipitous cliff.
This is their repose. They come out at night and keep in by day. This
is their caution. Though under the stress of hunger and thirst, they
lie hidden, hardly venturing to slink secretly to the river bank in
search of food. This is their resoluteness. Nevertheless, they do not
escape the misfortune of the net and the trap. But what crime have they
committed? 'Tis their skin which is the cause of their trouble; and is
not the State of Lu your Highness' skin? I would have your Highness put
away body and skin alike, and cleansing your heart and purging it of
passion, betake yourself to the land where mortality is not.


"In Nan-yüeh there is a district, called Established-Virtue. Its
people are simple and honest, unselfish, and without passions. They
can make, but cannot keep. They give, but look for no return. They are
not conscious of fulfilling obligations. They are not conscious of
subservience to etiquette.

 Theirs is the natural etiquette of well-regulated minds.

Their actions are altogether uncontrolled, yet they tread in the way of
the wise. Life is for enjoyment; death, for burial. And thither I would
have your Highness proceed, power discarded and the world left behind,
only putting trust in TAO."

"The road is long and dangerous," said the prince. "Rivers and hills to
be crossed, and I without boat or chariot;--what then?"

"Unhindered by body and unfettered in mind," replied the philosopher,
"your Highness will be a chariot to yourself."

"But the road is long and dreary," argued the prince, "and uninhabited.

 This is a play on "where mortality is not," above.

I shall have no one to turn to for help; and how, without food, shall I
ever be able to get there?"

"Decrease expenditure

 Of energy.

and lessen desires," answered the philosopher, "and even though without
provisions, there will be enough. And then through river and over sea
your Highness will travel into shoreless illimitable space. From the
border-land, those who act as escort will return; but thence onwards
your Highness will travel afar.

"It is the human in ourselves which is our hindrance; and the human
in others which causes our sorrow. The great Yao had not this human
element himself, nor did he perceive it in others. And I would have
your Highness put off this hindrance and rid yourself of this sorrow,
and roam with TAO alone through the realms of Infinite Nought.

"Suppose a boat is crossing a river, and another empty boat is about to
collide with it. Even an irritable man would not lose his temper. But
supposing there was some one in the second boat. Then the occupant of
the first would shout to him to keep clear. And if the other did not
hear the first time, nor even when called to three times, bad language
would inevitably follow. In the first case there was no anger, in the
second there was; because in the first case the boat was empty, and in
the second it was occupied. And so it is with man. If he could only
roam empty through life, who would be able to injure him?"

 With his mind in a negative state, closed to all impressions conveyed
 within by the senses from without.

       *       *       *       *       *

Pei Kung Shê, minister to Duke Ling of Wei, levied contributions for
making bells. An altar was built outside the city gate;

 For purposes of sacrifice.

and in three months the bells, upper and lower, were all hung.

 The bell-chime consisted of a frame with bells swung on an upper and
 lower bar.

When Wang Tzŭ Ch'ing Chi

 Minister to the ruling House of Chou.

saw them, he asked, saying, "How, Sir, did you manage this?"

"In the domain of ONE," replied Shê, "there may not be managing. I have
heard say that which is carved and polished reverts nevertheless to
its natural condition. And so I made allowances for ignorance and for
suspicion. I betrayed no feeling when welcomed or dismissed. I forbade
not those who came, nor detained those who went away. I showed no
resentment towards the unwilling, nor gratitude towards those who gave.
Every one subscribed what he liked; and thus in my daily collection of
subscriptions, no injury was done.--How much more then those who have
the great WAY?"

 If my success was due to the simple principle above enunciated, what a
 success would result from TAO, which is the infinite extension of such
 principles into every phase of existence!

 The Chinese word here used for "way," as a synonym of TAO, settles the
 original meaning of the latter in the sense of "road." Thus Lao Tzŭ is
 said to have explained that the WAY he taught was not the way which
 could be walked upon.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius was hemmed in between Ch'ên and Ts'ai, he passed seven
days without food.

The minister Jen went to condole with him, and said, "You were near,
Sir, to death."

"I was indeed," replied Confucius.

"Do you fear death, Sir?" enquired Jen.

"I do," said Confucius.

"Then I will try to teach you," said Jen, "the way not to die.

"In the eastern sea there are certain birds, called the _i-êrh_.
They behave themselves in a modest and unassuming manner, as though
unpossessed of ability. They fly simultaneously: they roost in a body.
In advancing, none strives to be first; in retreating, none ventures to
be last. In eating, none will be the first to begin; it is considered
proper to take the leavings of others. Therefore, in their own ranks
they are at peace, and the outside world is unable to harm them. And
thus they escape trouble.

"Straight trees are the first felled. Sweet wells are soonest
exhausted. And you, you make a show of your knowledge in order to
startle fools. You cultivate yourself in contrast to the degradation of
others. And you blaze along as though the sun and moon were under your
arms; consequently, you cannot avoid trouble.

 See p. 243.

"Formerly, I heard a very wise man say, Self-praise is no
recommendation. In merit achieved there is deterioration. In fame
achieved there is loss. Who can discard both merit and fame and become
one with the rest? TAO pervades all things but is not seen. TÊ

 This is "virtue," the expression of TAO.

moves through all things but its place is not known. In its purity
and constancy, it may be compared with the purposeless. Remaining
concealed, rejecting power, it works not for merit nor for fame. Thus,
not censuring others, it is not censured by others.

"And if the perfect man cares not for fame, why, Sir, should you take
pleasure in it?"

"Good indeed!" replied Confucius; and forthwith he took leave of his
friends and dismissed his disciples and retired to the wilds, where he
dressed himself in skins and serge and fed on acorns and chestnuts. He
passed among the beasts and birds and they took no heed of him. And if
so, how much more among men?

 An unquestionably spurious episode.

Confucius asked Tzŭ Sang Hu,

 See ch. vi.

saying, "I have been twice expelled from Lu. My tree was cut down in
Sung. I have been tabooed in Wei. I am a failure in Shang and Chou. I
was surrounded between Ch'ên and Ts'ai. And in addition to all these
troubles, my friends have separated from me and my disciples are gone.
How is this?"

 See p. 180.

"Have you not heard," replied Sang Hu, "how when the men of Kuo fled,
one of them, named Lin Hui, cast aside most valuable regalia and
carried away his child upon his back? Some one suggested that he was
influenced by the value of the child;--but the child's value was small.
Or by the inconvenience of the regalia;--but the inconvenience of the
child would be much greater. Why then did he leave behind the regalia
and carry off the child?

"Lin Hui himself said, 'The regalia involved a mere question of money.
The child was from God.'

"And so it is that in trouble and calamity mere money questions are
neglected, while we ever cling nearer to that which is from God. And
between neglecting and clinging to, the difference is great.

"The friendship of the superior man is negative like water. The
friendship of the mean man is full-flavoured like wine. That of the
superior man passes from the negative to the affectionate. That of the
mean man passes from the full-flavoured to nothing. The friendship of
the mean man begins without due cause, and in like manner comes to an

"I hear and obey," replied Confucius; and forthwith he went quietly
home, put an end to his studies and cast aside his books. His disciples
no longer saluted him as teacher; but his love for them deepened every

       *       *       *       *       *

On another occasion, Sang Hu said to him again, "When Shun was about
to die, he commanded the Great Yü as follows:--Be careful. Act in
accordance with your physical body. Speak in accordance with your
feelings. You will thus not get into difficulty with the former nor
suffer annoyance in the latter. And as under these conditions you will
not stand in need of outward embellishment of any kind, it follows that
you therefore will not stand in need of anything."

 Also an episode of doubtful authorship. The commentators, however,
 have nothing to say against its genuineness.

Chuang Tzŭ put on cotton clothes with patches in them, and arranging
his girdle and tieing on his shoes,

 To keep them from falling off.

went to see the prince of Wei.

"How miserable you look, Sir!" cried the prince.

"It is poverty, not misery," replied Chuang Tzŭ. "A man who has TAO
cannot be miserable. Ragged clothes and old boots make poverty, not
misery. Mine is what is called being out of harmony with one's age.

"Has your Highness never seen a climbing ape? Give it some large tree,
and it will twist and twirl among the branches as though monarch of all
it surveys. Yi and Fêng Mêng

 An ancient archer and his apprentice.

can never catch a glimpse of it.

"But put it in a bramble bush, and it will move cautiously with
sidelong glances, trembling all over with fear. Not that its muscles
relax in the face of difficulty, but because it is at a disadvantage
as regards position, and is unable to make use of its skill. And how
should any one, living under foolish sovereigns and wicked ministers,
help being miserable, even though he might wish not to be so?

"It was under such circumstances that Pi Kan was disembowelled."

 See ch. iv. The above episode is too much even for Chinese critics,
 and has been condemned accordingly.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius was hemmed in between Ch'ên and Ts'ai and had gone seven
days without food, then, holding in his left hand a piece of dry wood
and in his right hand a dry stick, he sang a ballad of Piao Shih.

 An ancient ruler.

He had an instrument, but the gamut was wanting. There was sound, but
no tune. The sound of the wood accompanied by the voice of the man
yielded a harsh result, but it was in keeping with the feelings of his

Yen Hui, who was standing by in a respectful attitude, thereupon began
to turn his eyes about him; and Confucius, fearing lest he should be
driven by exaltation into bragging, or by a desire for safety into

 As a result of hearing the song.

spoke to him as follows:--

"Hui! it is easy to escape injury from God; it is difficult to avoid
the benefits of man. There is no beginning and there is no end. Man and
God are ONE. Who then was singing just now?"

"Pray, Sir, what do you mean," asked Yen Hui, "by saying that it is
easy to escape injury from God?"

"Hunger, thirst, cold, and heat," replied Confucius, "are but as
fetters in the path of life. They belong to the natural laws which
govern the universe; and in obedience thereto I pass on my allotted
course. The subject dares not disregard the mandates of his prince. And
if this is man's duty to man, how much more shall it be his duty to

"What is the meaning of difficult to avoid the benefits of man?" asked
Yen Hui.

"If one begins," replied Confucius, "by adaptation to surroundings,
rank and power follow without cease. Such advantages are external; they
are not derived from oneself. And my life is more or less dependent
upon the external. The superior man does not steal these; nor does the
good man pilfer them. What then do I but take them as they come?

"Therefore it has been said that no bird is so wise as the swallow. If
it sees a place unfit to dwell in, it will not bestow a glance thereon;
and even though it should drop food there, it will leave the food and
fly away. Now swallows fear man. Yet they dwell among men. Because
there they find their natural abode."

 In the same way, man should adapt himself to the conditions which
 surround him.

"And what is the meaning," enquired Yen Hui, "of no beginning and no

"The work goes on," replied Confucius, "and no man knoweth the cause.
How then shall he know the end, or the beginning? There is nothing left
to us but to wait."

"And that man and God are ONE," said Yen Hui. "What does that mean?"

"That man is," replied Confucius, "is from God. That God is, is also
from God. That man is not God, is his nature.

 _Sc._ that which makes him man.

The Sage quietly waits for death as the end."

 Which shall unite him once again with God.

When Chuang Tzŭ was wandering in the park at Tiao-ling, he saw a
strange bird which came from the south. Its wings were seven feet
across. Its eyes were an inch in circumference. And it flew close past
Chuang Tzŭ's head to alight in a chestnut grove.

"What manner of bird is this?" cried Chuang Tzŭ. "With strong wings it
does not fly away. With large eyes it does not see."

 Or it would not have flown so near.

So he picked up his skirts and strode towards it with his cross-bow,
anxious to get a shot. Just then he saw a cicada enjoying itself in the
shade, forgetful of all else. And he saw a mantis spring and seize it,
forgetting in the act its own body, which the strange bird immediately
pounced upon and made its prey. And this it was which had caused the
bird to forget its own nature.

 And approach so close to man.

       *       *       *       *       *

 This episode has been widely popularised in Chinese every-day life.
 Its details have been expressed pictorially in a roughly-executed
 woodcut, with the addition of a tiger about to spring upon the man,
 and a well into which both will eventually tumble. A legend at the
 side reads,--"All is Destiny!"

"Alas!" cried Chuang Tzŭ with a sigh, "how creatures injure one
another. Loss follows the pursuit of gain."

 Those who would prey on others are preyed upon in turn themselves.

So he laid aside his bow and went home, driven away by the park-keeper
who wanted to know what business he had there.

For three months after this, Chuang Tzŭ did not leave the house; and at
length Lin Chü

 A disciple.

asked him, saying, "Master, how is it that you have not been out for so

"While keeping my physical frame," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "I lost sight of
my real self. Gazing at muddy water, I lost sight of the clear abyss.
Besides, I have learnt from the Master as follows:--"When you go into
the world, follow its customs."

 This saying is attributed, in uncanonical works, to Confucius. But if
 any one was "Master" to Chuang Tzŭ, it would of course be Lao Tzŭ.

Now when I strolled into the park at Tiao-ling, I forgot my real self.
That strange bird which flew close past me to the chestnut grove,
forgot its nature. The keeper of the chestnut grove took me for a
thief. Consequently I have not been out."

       *       *       *       *       *

When Yang Tzŭ

 Yang Chu. See ch. viii.

went to the Sung State, he passed a night at an inn.

The innkeeper had two concubines, one beautiful, the other ugly. The
latter he loved; the former, he hated.

Yang Tzŭ asked how this was; whereupon one of the inn servants said,
"The beautiful one is so conscious of her beauty that one does not
think her beautiful. The ugly one is so conscious of her ugliness that
one does not think her ugly."

"Note this, my disciples!" cried Yang Tzŭ. "Be virtuous, but without
being consciously so; and wherever you go, you will be beloved."



 _Argument_:--TAO cannot be imparted in words--It is not at man's
 disposal--It does not consist in formal morality--It is an inalienable
 element of existence--Without it the soul dies--With it man is happy
 and his immortality secure--Illustrations.

[This chapter is supplementary to chapter vi.]

T'ien Tzŭ Fang was in attendance upon Prince Wên of Wei.

 Whose tutor he was.

He kept on praising Ch'i Kung, until at length Prince Wên said, "Is
Ch'i Kung your tutor?"

"No," replied Tzŭ Fang; "he is merely a neighbour. He discourses
admirably upon TAO. That is why I praise him."

"Have you then no tutor?" enquired the Prince.

"I have," replied Tzŭ Fang.

"And who may he be?" said Prince Wên.

"Tung Kuo Shun Tzŭ," answered Tzŭ Fang.

"Then how is it you do not praise him?" asked the Prince.

"He is perfect," replied Tzŭ Fang. "In appearance, a man; in reality,
God. Unconditioned himself, he falls in with the conditioned, to his
own greater glory. Pure himself, he can still tolerate others. If men
are without TAO, by a mere look he calls them to a sense of error, and
causes their intentions to melt away. How could I praise him?"

Thereupon Tzŭ Fang took his leave, and the Prince remained for the
rest of the day absorbed in silence. At length he called an officer
in waiting and said, "How far beyond us is the man of perfect virtue!
Hitherto I have regarded the discussion of holiness and wisdom, and the
practice of charity and duty to one's neighbour, as the utmost point
attainable. But now that I have heard of Tzŭ Fang's tutor, my body
is relaxed and desires not movement, my mouth is closed and desires
not speech. All I have learnt, verily it is mere undergrowth. And the
kingdom of Wei is my bane."

 TAO is not to be reached by the superficial worker, or by such as
 value the distinctions of this world.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Wên Po Hsüeh Tzŭ

 "A sage from the south," as the commentators say, anticipating the
 "Middle Kingdom" below.

was on his way to Ch'i, he broke his journey in Lu. A certain man of Lu
begged for an interview, but Wên Po Hsüeh Tzŭ said, "No. I have heard
that the gentlemen of the Middle Kingdom are experts in ceremonies and
obligations, but wanting in knowledge of the human heart. I do not
wish to see him."

So he went on to Ch'i; but once more at Lu, on his way home, the same
man again begged to have an interview.

"When I was last here," cried Wên Po Hsüeh Tzŭ, "he asked to see me,
and now again he asks to see me. Surely he must have something to

Whereupon he went and received the stranger, and on returning gave vent
to sighs. Next day he received him again, and again after the interview
gave vent to sighs. Then his servant asked him, saying, "How is it that
whenever you receive this stranger, you always sigh afterwards?"

"I have already told you," replied Wên Po Hsüeh Tzŭ, "that the people
of the Middle Kingdom are experts in ceremonies and obligations but
wanting in knowledge of the human heart. The man who visited me came
in and went out as _per_ compasses and square. His demeanour was now
that of the dragon, now that of the tiger. He criticised me as though
he had been my son. He admonished me as though he had been my father.
Therefore I gave vent to sighs."

When Confucius saw Wên Po Hsüeh Tzŭ, the former did not utter a word.
Whereupon Tzŭ Lu said, "Master, you have long wished to see Wên Po
Hsüeh Tzŭ. How is it that when you do see him you do not speak?"

"With such men as these," replied Confucius, you have only to look,
and TAO abides. There is no room for speech."

 See ch. v, _ad init._, on "the Doctrine which is not expressed in

       *       *       *       *       *

Yen Yüan

 See p. 179.

asked Confucius, saying, "Master, when you go at a walk, I go at a
walk. When you trot, I trot. When you gallop, I gallop. But when you
dash beyond the bounds of mortality, I can only stand staring behind.
How is this?"

"Explain yourself," said Confucius.

"I mean," continued Yen Yüan, "that as you speak, I speak. As you
argue, I argue. As you preach TAO, so I preach TAO. And by 'when you
dash beyond the bounds of mortality I can only stand staring behind,'
I mean that without speaking you make people believe you, without
striving you make people love you, without factitious attractions you
gather people around you. I cannot understand how this is so."

"What is there to prevent you from finding out?" replied Confucius.
"There is no sorrow to be compared with the death of the mind. The
death of the body is of but secondary importance.

 Cf. ch. ii, "The body decomposes, and the mind goes with it. This is
 our real cause for sorrow."

"The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. There is no place
which he does not illuminate; and those who have eyes and feet depend
upon him to use them with success. When he comes forth, that is
existence; when he disappears, that is non-existence.

"And every human being has that upon which he depends for death or for

 Mind, which rises with life and sets at death.

But if I, receiving this mind-informed body, pass without due
modification to the end,

 So that the mind perishes with the body.

day and night subject to ceaseless wear and tear like a mere thing,
unknowing what the end will be, and in spite of this mind-informed body

 Which should teach a higher lesson.

conscious only that fate cannot save me from the inevitable
grave-yard,--then I am consuming life until at death it is as though
you and I had but once linked arms to be finally parted for ever! Is
not that indeed a cause for sorrow?

 The motive of this involved paragraph is identical with that of Mr.
 Mallock's famous essay _Is Life Worth Living?_

"Now you fix your attention upon something in me which, while you look,
has already passed away. Yet you seek for it as though it must be still
there,--like one who seeks for a horse in a market-place.

 In the interim the animal has been sold.

What I admire in you is transitory. Nevertheless, why should you
grieve? Although my old self is constantly passing away, there remains
that which does not pass away."

 The mind, which feeds and thrives upon change.

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius went to see Lao Tzŭ. The latter had just washed his head, and
his hair was hanging down his back to dry. He looked like a lifeless
body; so Confucius waited awhile, but at length approached and said,
"Do my eyes deceive me, or is this really so? Your frame, Sir, seems
like dry wood, as if it had been left without that which informs it
with the life of man."

 Chuang Tzŭ (?) is here repeating himself.

"I was wandering," replied Lao Tzŭ, "in the unborn."

 Reflecting upon the state of man before his birth into the world.

"What does that mean?" asked Confucius.

"My mind is trammelled," replied Lao Tzŭ, "and I cannot know. My mouth
is closed and I cannot speak. But I will try to tell you what is
probably the truth.

"The perfect Negative principle is majestically passive. The perfect
Positive principle is powerfully active. Passivity emanates from heaven
above; activity proceeds from earth beneath. The interaction of the two
results in that harmony by which all things are produced. There may
be a First Cause, but we never see his form. His report fills space.
There is darkness and light. Days come and months go. Work is being
constantly performed, yet we never witness the performance. Life must
bring us from somewhere, and death must carry us back. Beginning and
end follow ceaselessly one upon the other, and we cannot say when the
series will be exhausted. If this is not the work of a First Cause,
what is it?"

"Kindly explain," said Confucius, "what is to be got by wandering as
you said."

"The result," answered Lao Tzŭ, "is perfect goodness and perfect
happiness. And he who has these is a perfect man."

"And by what means," enquired Confucius, "can this be attained?"

"Animals," said Lao Tzŭ, "that eat grass do not mind a change of
pasture. Creatures that live in water do not mind a change of pond. A
slight change may be effected so long as the essential is untouched.

"Joy, anger, sorrow, happiness, find no place in that man's breast; for
to him all creation is ONE. And all things being thus united in ONE,
his body and limbs are but as dust of the earth, and life and death,
beginning and end, are but as night and day, and cannot destroy his
peace. How much less such trifles as gain or loss, misfortune or good

"He rejects rank as so much mud. For he knows that if a man is of
honourable rank, the honour is in himself, and cannot be lost by change
of condition, nor exhausted by countless modifications of existence.
Who then can grieve his heart? Those who practise TAO understand the
secret of this."

"Master," said Confucius, "your virtue equals that of Heaven and Earth;
yet you still employ perfect precepts in the cultivation of your heart.
Who among the sages of old could have uttered such words?"

"Not so," answered Lao Tzŭ. "The fluidity of water is not the result
of any effort on the part of the water, but is its natural property.
And the virtue of the perfect man is such that even without cultivation
there is nothing which can withdraw from his sway. Heaven is naturally
high, the earth is naturally solid, the sun and moon are naturally
bright. Do they cultivate these attributes?"

Confucius went forth and said to Yen Hui,

"In point of TAO, I am but as an animalcule in vinegar. Had not the
Master opened my eyes, I should not have perceived the vastness of the

 He who would concentrate himself upon life after death must first
 familiarise himself with life before birth.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Chuang Tzŭ was at an interview with Duke Ai of Lu,

 Who had then been dead 120 years.

the latter said, "We have many scholars, Sir, in Lu, but few of your

"In Lu," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "there are but few scholars."

"Look at the number who wear scholars' robes," said the Duke. "How can
you say they are few?"

"Scholars who wear round hats," answered Chuang Tzŭ, "know the seasons
of Heaven. Scholars who wear square shoes know the shape of Earth.

 According to ancient Chinese cosmogony, "Heaven is round: Earth is

And scholars who loosely gird themselves are ready to decide whatever
questions may arise. But scholars who have TAO do not necessarily
wear robes; neither does the wearing of robes necessarily mean that a
scholar has TAO. If your Highness does not think so, why not issue an
order through the Middle Kingdom, making death the punishment for all
who wear the robes without having the TAO?"

Thereupon Duke Ai circulated this mandate for five days, the result
being that not a single man in Lu dared to don scholars' robes,--with
the exception of one old man who, thus arrayed, took his stand at the
Duke's gate.

 My Ming editor (a priest) says this was Confucius himself!

The Duke summoned him to the presence, and asked him many questions on
politics, trying to entangle him, but in vain. Then Chuang Tzŭ said,
"If there is only one scholar in Lu, surely that is not many."

 It is unnecessary, says Lin Hsi Chung, to descend to anachronisms in
 reference to the genuineness of this episode.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rank and power had no charms for Po Li Ch'i.

 7th century BC. This story is alluded to by Mencius.

So he took to feeding cattle. His cattle were always fat, which caused
Duke Mu of Ch'in to ignore his low condition and entrust him with the

Shun cared nothing for life or death. He was therefore able to
influence men's hearts.

 His parents even went so far as to try to kill him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Prince Yüan of Sung desiring to draw a map, the officials of that
department presented themselves, and after making obeisance stood
waiting for the order, more than half of them already licking their
brushes and mixing their ink.

One of them arrived late. He sauntered in without hurrying himself; and
when he had made obeisance, did not wait but went off home.

The Prince sent a man to see what he did. He took off his clothes and
squatted down bare-backed.

"He will do," cried the Prince. "He is a true artist."

 The commentators do not get much out of this episode. Lin Hsi Chung
 damns it as a forgery.

When Wên Wang was on a tour of inspection in Tsang, he saw an old man
fishing. But his fishing was not real fishing, for he did not fish to
catch fish, but to amuse himself.

 Wherefore, from the standpoint of TAO, he was the more likely to

So Wên Wang wished to employ him in the administration of government,
but feared lest his own ministers, uncles, and brothers, might object.
On the other hand, if he let the old man go, he could not bear to think
of the people being deprived of such an influence.

Accordingly, that very morning he informed his ministers, saying, "I
once dreamt that a Sage of a black colour and with a large beard,
riding upon a parti-coloured horse with red stockings on one side,
appeared and instructed me to place the administration in the hands of
the old gentleman of Tsang, promising that the people would benefit
greatly thereby."

The ministers at once said, "It is a command from your Highness'

"I think so," answered Wên Wang. "But let us try by divination."

"It is a command from your Highness' late father," said the ministers,
"and may not be disobeyed. What need for divination?"

So the old man of Tsang was received and entrusted with the
administration. He altered none of the existing statutes. He issued
no unjust regulations. And when, after three years, Wên Wang made
another inspection, he found all dangerous organisations broken up,
the officials doing their duty as a matter of course, while the use of
measures of grain was unknown within the four boundaries of the State.
There was thus unanimity in the public voice, singleness of official
purpose, and identity of interests to all.

So Wên Wang appointed the old man Grand Tutor; and then, standing with
his face to the north,

 An attitude of respect. Facing the south was the conventional position
 of a ruler.

asked him, saying, "Can such government be extended over the empire?"

The old man of Tsang was silent and made no reply. He then abruptly
took leave, and by the evening of that same day had disappeared, never
to be heard of again.

Yen Yüan said to Confucius, "If Wên Wang was unable to do this of
himself, how was he able to do it by a dream?"

"Silence!" cried Confucius: "It is not for you to criticise Wên Wang
who succeeded in fulfilling his mission. The dream was merely to
satisfy the vulgar mind."

 The whole episode is of course spurious.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lieh Yü K'ou

 _Or_ Lieh Tzŭ. See ch. i.

instructed Po Hun Wu Jên

 See ch. v.

in archery. Drawing the bow to its full, he placed a cup of water on
his elbow and began to let fly. Hardly was one arrow out of sight ere
another was on the string, the archer standing all the time like a

"But this is shooting under ordinary conditions," cried Po Hun Wu Jên;
"it is not shooting under extraordinary conditions. Now I will ascend a
high mountain with you, and stand on the edge of a precipice a thousand
feet in height, and see how you can shoot then."

Thereupon Wu Jên went with Lieh Tzŭ up a high mountain, and stood on
the edge of a precipice a thousand feet in height, approaching it
backwards until one-fifth of his feet overhung the chasm, when he
beckoned to Lieh Tzŭ to come on. But the latter had fallen prostrate on
the ground, with the sweat pouring down to his heels.

"The perfect man," said Wu Jên, "soars up to the blue sky, or dives
down to the yellow springs,

 The infernal regions.

or flies to some extreme point of the compass, without change of
countenance. But you are terrified, and your eyes are dazed. Your
internal economy is defective."

 You have not TAO.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chien Wu

 See ch. i.

said to Sun Shu Ao,

 A famous minister of the Ch'u State.

"Sir, you have been three times called to office without showing any
elation, and you have been three times dismissed without displaying any
chagrin. At first, I doubted you; but now I notice that your breathing
is perfectly regular. How do you manage thus to control your emotions?"

"I am no better than other people," replied Sun Shu Ao. "I regard
office when it comes as something which may not be declined; when it
goes, as something which cannot be kept. To me both the getting and
losing are outside my own self; and therefore I feel no chagrin. How am
I better than other people?

"Besides, I am not conscious of office being either in the hands
of others or in my own. If it is in the hands of others, my own
personality disappears; if in mine, theirs. And amidst the cares of
deliberation and investigation, what leisure has one for troubling
about rank?"

When Confucius heard this, he said, "The perfect Sages of old!--cunning
men could not defeat them; beautiful women could not seduce them;
robbers could not steal from them;

 They were unmoved in the face of danger.

Fu Hsi and the Yellow Emperor could not make friends of them. Life and
death are great; yet these gave them no pang.

 That would cause them to sacrifice truth.

How much less then rank and power!

"The souls of such men pierced through huge mountains as though
they had been nothing; descended into the abyss without getting
wet; occupied lowly stations without chagrin. They filled the whole
universe; and the more they gave to others, the more they had

 These last words occur in chapter lxxxi. of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_. It is,
 to say the least, strange to find them here in the mouth of Confucius
 without a hint as to their alleged Taoistic source.

 The explanation is that when this episode was penned, that patchwork
 treatise which passes under the name of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_ had not
 been pieced together.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Prince of Ch'u was sitting with the Prince of Fan. By and by, one
of the officials of Ch'u said, "There were three indications of the
destruction of the Fan State."

"The destruction of the Fan State," cried the Prince of Fan, "did not
suffice to injure my existence.

 Which was already, by virtue of TAO, beyond the reach of mundane

And while the destruction of the Fan State did not suffice to injure
my existence, the preservation of the Ch'u State will not be enough to
preserve yours.

 You being without TAO.

From this point of view it will be seen that while we Fans have not
begun to be destroyed, you Ch'us have not begun to exist."

 A good specimen of the _Fallacia Amphiboliæ_.



 _Argument_:--Inaction and TAO--The universe our model--Spontaneity our
 watchword--Omnipresence and indivisibility of TAO--External activity,
 internal passivity--Man's knowledge finite--Illustrations.

[This chapter is supplementary to chapter vi.]

When Knowledge travelled north, across the Black Water, and over the
Dark-Steep Mountain, he met Do-nothing Say-nothing and asked of him as

"Kindly tell me by what thoughts, by what cogitations, may TAO be
known? By resting in what, by according in what, may TAO be approached?
By following what, by pursuing what, may TAO be attained?"

To these three questions, Do-nothing Say-nothing returned no answer.
Not that he would not answer, but that he could not. So when Knowledge
got no reply, he turned round and went off to the south of the White
Water and up the Ku-chüeh Mountain, where he saw All-in-extremes, and
to him he put the same questions.

"Ha!" cried All-in-extremes, "I know. I will tell you...."

But just as he was about to speak he forgot what he wanted to say. So
when Knowledge got no reply, he went back to the palace and asked the
Yellow Emperor. The latter said, "By no thoughts, by no cogitations,
TAO may be known. By resting in nothing, by according in nothing, TAO
may be approached. By following nothing, by pursuing nothing, TAO may
be attained."

Then Knowledge said to the Yellow Emperor, "Now you and I know this,
but those two know it not. Who is right?"

"Of those two," replied the Yellow Emperor, "Do-nothing Say-nothing
is genuinely right, and All-in-extremes is near. You and I are wholly
wrong. Those who understand it do not speak about it, those who speak
about it do not understand it.

 These words occur in the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. vi. See also _ante_, p.

Therefore the Sage teaches a doctrine which does not find expression in

 See _ante_, ch. v. Also _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 7.

TAO cannot be made to come. Virtue cannot be reached.

 Virtue (TÊ), here the exemplification of TAO.

Charity can be evoked. Duty to one's neighbour can be wrongly directed.
Ceremonies are mere shams.

"Therefore it has been said, 'If TAO perishes, then TÊ will perish. If
TÊ perishes, then charity will perish. If charity perishes, then duty
to one's neighbour will perish. If duty to one's neighbour perishes,
then ceremonies will perish. Ceremonies are but a showy ornament of
TAO, while oft-times the source of trouble.'

 The above is from the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. xxxviii. It is interesting
 to note how the Yellow Emperor annihilates time by quoting a work not
 written until many centuries after his date.

"Therefore it has been said, 'Those who practise TAO suffer daily loss.
If that loss proceeds until inaction ensues, then by that very inaction
there is nothing which cannot be done.'

 Also in the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. xlviii.

"Now, we are already beings. And if we desire to revert to our original
condition, how difficult that is! 'Tis a change to which only the
greatest among us are equal.

"Life follows upon death. Death is the beginning of life. Who knows
when the end is reached? The life of man results from convergence of
the vital fluid. Its convergence is life; its dispersion, death. If
then life and death are but consecutive states, what need have I to

"Therefore all things are ONE. What we love is animation. What we
hate is corruption. But corruption in its turn becomes animation, and
animation once more becomes corruption.

"Therefore it has been said, The world is permeated by a single vital
fluid, and Sages accordingly venerate ONE."

 "Tota formatio procedens ex nomine uno." _Liber Jezirah_, p. Bi.
 (Parisiis: G. Postello, 1552.)

Then Knowledge said to the Yellow Emperor, "I asked Do-nothing
Say-nothing, but he did not answer me. Not that he, would not; he could
not. So I asked All-in-extremes. He was just going to tell me, but he
did not tell me. Not that he would not; but just as he was going to do
so, he forgot what he wanted to say. Now I ask you, and you tell me.
How then are you wholly wrong?"

"Of those two," replied the Yellow Emperor, "the former was genuinely
right, inasmuch as he did not _know_. The latter was near, inasmuch as
he _forgot_. You and I are wholly wrong, inasmuch as we _know_."

 TAO is attained, not by knowledge, but by absence of knowledge.

When All-in-extremes heard of this, he considered that the Yellow
Emperor had spoken well.

 "Spoken knowingly" gives the only chance of bringing out what is here
 a forced play upon words.

       *       *       *       *       *

The universe is very beautiful, yet it says nothing. The four seasons
abide by a fixed law, yet they are not heard. All creation is based
upon absolute principles, yet nothing speaks.

And the true Sage, taking his stand upon the beauty of the universe,
pierces the principles of created things. Hence the saying that the
perfect man does nothing, the true Sage performs nothing, beyond
gazing at the universe.

 In the hope of attaining, by contemplation, a like spontaneity.

For man's intellect, however keen, face to face with the countless
evolutions of things, their death and birth, their squareness and
roundness,--can never reach the root. There creation is, and there it
has ever been.

 But the secret of life is withheld.

The six cardinal points, reaching into infinity, are ever included in
TAO. An autumn spikelet, in all its minuteness, must carry TAO within
itself. There is nothing on earth which does not rise and fall, but it
never perishes altogether.

 Nihilo nil posse reverti.

The _Yin_ and the _Yang_, and the four seasons, keep to their proper
order. Apparently destroyed, yet really existing; the material gone,
the immaterial left;--such is the law of creation, which passeth
all understanding. This is called the root, whence a glimpse may be
obtained of God.

 From this point, upon which the finger of man can never be laid, his
 mind may perhaps faintly discern the transcendent workings of that
 Power by which all creation is swayed;--"uncover those secret recesses
 where Nature is sitting at the fires in the depths of her laboratory."

Yeh Ch'üeh enquired of P'i I about TAO.

 For the former see ch. ii. Of the latter there is no record.

The latter said, "Keep your body under proper control, your gaze
concentrated upon ONE,--and the peace of God will descend upon you.
Keep back your knowledge, and concentrate your thoughts upon ONE,--and
the holy spirit shall abide within you. Virtue shall beautify you, TAO
shall establish you, aimless as a new-born calf which recks not how it
came into the world."

While P'i I was still speaking, Yeh Ch'üeh had gone off to sleep; at
which the former rejoiced greatly, and departed singing,

    "Body like dry bone,
    Mind like dead ashes;
    This is true knowledge,
    Not to strive after knowing the whence.
    In darkness, in obscurity,
    The mindless cannot plan;--
    What manner of _man_ is that?"

 His mortal trammels had fallen off by his absorption into TAO.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shun asked Ch'êng,

 His tutor.

saying, "Can one get TAO so as to have it for one's own?"

"Your very body," replied Ch'êng, "is not your own. How should TAO be?"

"If my body," said Shun, "is not my own, pray whose is it?"

"It is the delegated image of God," replied Ch'êng. "Your life is not
your own. It is the delegated harmony of God.

 The affinity of the _Yin_ and _Yang_ causes them, when in due
 proportions, to combine and produce life.

Your individuality is not your own. It is the delegated adaptability of

 Providing the endless variety of shapes with an endless variety of

Your posterity is not your own. It is the delegated exuviæ of God.

 As God sends us into the world, so He wishes us to "increase and

You move, but know not how. You are at rest, but know not why. You
taste, but know not the cause. These are the operation of God's laws.
How then should you get TAO so as to have it for your own?"

 _Cf._ "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost,"
 etc. I. Corinthians vi. 19.

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius said to Lao Tzŭ, "To-day you are at leisure. Pray tell me
about perfect TAO."

"Purge your heart by fasting and discipline," answered Lao Tzŭ. "Wash
your soul as white as snow. Discard your knowledge. TAO is abstruse and
difficult of discussion. I will try, however, to speak to you of its

"Light is born of darkness. Classification is born of formlessness. The
soul is born of TAO. The body is born of the vital essence.

 Existence springs from non-existence.

"Thus all things produce after their kind. Creatures with nine channels
of communication are born from the womb. Creatures with eight are born
from the egg.

 Nature is always self-similar.

Of their coming there is no trace. In their departure there is no goal.
No entrance gate, no dwelling house, they pass this way and that, as
though at the meeting of cross-roads.

"Those who enter herein become strong of limb, subtle of thought, and
clear of sight and hearing. They suffer no mental fatigue, nor meet
with physical resistance.

"Heaven cannot but be high. Earth cannot but be broad. The sun and moon
cannot but revolve. All creation cannot but flourish. To do so is their

"But it is not from extensive study that this may be known, nor by
dialectic skill that this may be made clear. The true Sage will have
none of these. It is in addition without gain, in diminution without
loss, that the true Sage finds salvation.

"Unfathomable as the sea, wondrously ending only to begin again,
informing all creation without being exhausted, the TAO of the perfect
man is spontaneous in its operation. That all creation can be informed
by it without exhaustion, is its TAO.

 The TAO of TAO.

"In the Middle Kingdom there are men who recognise neither positive nor
negative. They abide between heaven and earth. They act their part as
mortals, and then return to the Cause.

"From that standpoint,

 Of the Cause, _sc._ God, which is commensurate with infinity.

life is but a concentration of the vital fluid, whose longest and
shortest terms of existence vary by an inappreciable space,---hardly
enough for the classification of Yao and Chieh.

 As good and bad. See ch. iv.

"Tree-fruits and plant-fruits exhibit order in their varieties; and the
relationships of man, though more difficult to be dealt with, may still
be reduced to order.

 These have been classified as follows:--

  1. Sovereign     and Subject.
  2. Husband        "  Wife.
  3. Father         "  Son.
  4. Elder Brother  "  Younger Brother.
  5. Friend         "  Friend.

The true Sage who meets with these, does not violate them. Neither does
he continue to hold fast by them.

 He adapts himself to the exigencies of his environment.

Adaptation by arrangement is TÊ. Spontaneous adaptation is TAO, by
which sovereigns flourish and princes succeed.

"Man passes through this sublunary life as a white horse passes
a crack. Here one moment, gone the next. Neither are there any
not equally subject to the ingress and egress of mortality. One
modification brings life; then another, and it is death. Living
creatures cry out; human beings sorrow. The bow-sheath is slipped off;
the clothes-bag is dropped; and in the confusion the soul wings its
flight, and the body follows, on the great journey home!

"The reality of the formless, the unreality of that which has
form,--this is known to all. Those who are on the road to attainment
care not for these things, but the people at large discuss them.
Attainment implies non-discussion: discussion implies non-attainment.
Manifested, TAO has no objective value; hence silence is better than
argument. It cannot be translated into speech; better then say nothing
at all. This is called the great attainment."

       *       *       *       *       *

Tung Kuo Tzŭ asked Chuang Tzŭ, saying, "What you call TAO,--where is

"There is nowhere," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "where it is not."

"Tell me one place at any rate where it is," said Tung Kuo Tzŭ.

"It is in the ant," replied Chuang Tzŭ.

"Why go so low down?" asked Tung Kuo Tzŭ.

"It is in a tare," said Chuang Tzŭ.

"Still lower," objected Tung Kuo Tzŭ.

"It is in a potsherd," said Chuang Tzŭ.

"Worse still!" cried Tung Kuo Tzŭ.

"It is in ordure," said Chuang Tzŭ. And Tung Kuo Tzŭ made no reply.

"Sir," continued Chuang Tzŭ, "your question does not touch the
essential. When Huo, inspector of markets, asked the managing director
about the fatness of pigs, the test was always made in parts least
likely to be fat. Do not therefore insist in any particular direction;
for there is nothing which escapes. Such is perfect TAO; and such also
is ideal speech. _Whole_, _entire_, _all_, are three words which sound
differently but mean the same. Their purport is ONE.

"Try to reach with me the palace of Nowhere, and there, amidst the
identity of all things, carry your discussions into the infinite. Try
to practise with me inaction, wherein you may rest motionless, without
care, and be happy. For thus my mind becomes an abstraction. It wanders
not, and yet is not conscious of being at rest. It goes and comes and
is not conscious of stoppages. Backwards and forwards without being
conscious of any goal. Up and down the realms of Infinity, wherein even
the greatest intellect would fail to find an end.

"That which makes things the things they are, is not limited to such
things. The limits of things are their own limits in so far as they
are things. The limits of the limitless, the limitlessness of the
limited,--these are called fulness and emptiness, renovation and decay.
TAO causes fulness and emptiness, but it is not either. It causes
renovation and decay, but it is not either. It causes beginning and
end, but it is not either. It causes accumulation and dispersion, but
it is not either."

       *       *       *       *       *

O Ho Kan was studying with Shên Nung under Lao Lung Chi.

 No record of the first and last. Shên Nung was a legendary emperor who
 invented agriculture. See p. 196.

Shên Nung used to remain shut up, with his head on the table, absorbed
in day-dreams. On one occasion, O Ho Kan knocked at the door, and
entering said, "Lao Lung is dead!"

Thereupon Shên Nung, leaning on his staff, arose; and flinging down his
staff with a bang, smiled and said, "O my Master, thou knewest me to be
worthless and self-sufficient, and thou didst leave me and die. Now I,
having no scope for my vain talk, I too will die."

When Yen Kang Tiao

 "A man of TAO." _Comm._

heard this, he said, "Those who exemplify TAO are sought after by all
the best men in the empire. Now if one who has not attained to more
TAO than the ten-thousandth part of the tip of an autumn spikelet, is
still wise enough to withhold vain talk and die,--how much more those
who exemplify TAO? To the eye it is formless, and to the ear it is
noiseless. Those who discuss it, speak of it as 'the obscure.' But the
mere fact of discussing TAO makes it not TAO."

       *       *       *       *       *

At this the Empyrean asked Without-end, saying, "Do you know TAO?"

"I do not," replied Without-end; whereupon the Empyrean proceeded to
ask Inaction.

"I do know TAO," said Inaction.

"Is there any method," asked the Empyrean, "by which you know TAO?"

"There is," replied Inaction.

"What is it?" asked the Empyrean.

"I know," answered Inaction, "that TAO may honour and dishonour, bind
and loose. That is the method by which I know TAO."

The Empyrean repeated these words to No-beginning, and asked him which
was right, the ignorance of Without-end or the knowledge of Inaction.

"Not to know," replied No-beginning, "is profound. To know is shallow.
Not to know is internal. To know is external."

Here the Empyrean broke in with a sigh, "Then ignorance is knowledge,
and knowledge ignorance! But pray whose knowledge is the knowledge of
not knowing?"

"TAO," said No-beginning, "cannot be heard. Heard, it is not TAO. It
cannot be seen. Seen, it is not TAO. It cannot be spoken. Spoken,
it is not TAO. That which imparts form to forms is itself formless;
therefore TAO cannot have a name."

 Form precedes name.

No-beginning continued, "He who replies to one asking about TAO, does
not know TAO. Although one may hear about TAO, he does not really hear
about TAO. There is no such thing as asking about TAO. There is no
such thing as answering such questions. To ask a question which cannot
be asked is vain. To answer a question which cannot be answered is
unreal. And one who thus meets the vain with the unreal is one who has
no physical perception of the universe, and no mental perception of the
origin of existence,--unfit alike to roam over the K'un-lun peak or to
soar into the Supreme Void."

       *       *       *       *       *

Light asked Nothing, saying, "Do you, Sir, exist, or do you not exist?"

But getting no answer to his question, Light set to work to watch for
the appearance of Nothing.

Hidden, vacuous,--all day long he looked but could not see it, listened
but could not hear it, grasped at but could not seize it.

 See _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 31.

"Bravo!" cried Light. "Who can equal this? I can get to be nothing,


but I cannot get as far as the absence of nothing. Assuming that
Nothing has an objective existence, how can it reach this next stage?"

       *       *       *       *       *

The man who forged swords for the Minister of War was eighty years of
age. Yet he never made the slightest slip in his work.

The Minister of War said to him, "Is it your skill, Sir, or have you
any method?"

 Any TAO?--in its earlier sense of _way_ of doing things.

"It is concentration," replied the man. "When twenty years old, I took
to forging swords. I cared for nothing else. If a thing was not a
sword, I did not notice it. I availed myself of whatever energy I did
not use in other directions in order to secure greater efficiency in
the direction required. Still more of that which is never without use;--


So that there was nothing which did not lend its aid.

       *       *       *       *       *

Jen Ch'iu asked Confucius, saying, "Can we know about the time before
the universe existed?"

"We can," replied Confucius. "Time was of old precisely what it is now."

At this rebuff, Jen Ch'iu withdrew. Next day he again visited Confucius
and said, "Yesterday when I asked you that question and you answered
me, I was quite clear about it. To-day I am confused. How is this?"

"Your clearness of yesterday," answered Confucius, "was because my
answer appealed direct to your natural intelligence. Your confusion of
to-day results from the intrusion of something other than the natural

 You have passed from "simple apprehension" to "judgment."

There is no past, no present, no beginning, no end.

 To-day will be the yesterday of to-morrow.

To have posterity before one has posterity,--is that possible?"

Jen Ch'iu made no answer, and Confucius continued, "That will do.
Do not reply. If life did not give birth to death, and if death did
not put an end to life, surely life and death would be no longer
correlates, but would each exist independently. What there was before
the universe, was TAO. TAO makes things what they are, but is not
itself a thing. Nothing can produce TAO; yet everything has TAO within
it, and continues to produce it without end.

 In its offspring.

And the endless love of the Sage for his fellow-man is based upon the
same principle."

       *       *       *       *       *

Yen Yüan asked Confucius, saying, "Master, I have heard you declare
that there may be no eagerness to conform, no effort to adapt. If so,
pray how are we to get along?"

 Reach that condition which is only attained by adaptation to

"The men of old," replied Confucius, "practised physical, but not
moral, modification.

 They adapted themselves to the requirements of matter, while their
 hearts remained the same.

The men of to-day practise moral, not physical modification.

 They allow their hearts to be influenced while resisting the
 exigencies of the external.

Let your modification extend to the external only. Internally, be
constant without modification.

"How shall you modify, and how shall you not modify? How reconcile the
divergence?--By not admitting division.

 _I.e._ "by being constant without modification," says Lin Hsi Chung.

"There was the garden of Hsi Wei, the park of the Yellow Emperor, the
palace of Shun, the halls of T'ang and Wu.

 The allusion appears to be to schools of learning, like the Grove of
 Academus. See chs. vi, xii.

These were perfect men; but had they been taught by Confucianists and
Mihists, they would have hammered one another to pieces over scholastic
quibbles. How much more then the men of to-day?

"The perfect Sage, in his relations with the external world, injures
nothing. Neither does anything injure him. And only he who is thus
exempt can be trusted to conform and to adapt.

"Mountain forests and loamy fields swell my heart with joy. But ere the
joy be passed, sorrow is upon me again.

 Familiarity destroys the charm.

Joy and sorrow come and go, and over them I have no control.

"Alas! the life of man is but as a stoppage at an inn. He knows that
which comes within the range of his experience. Otherwise, he knows
not. He knows that he can do what he can do, and that he cannot do what
he cannot do. But there is always that which he does not know and that
which he cannot do; and to struggle that it shall not be so,--is not
this a cause for grief?

"The best language is that which is not spoken, the best form of action
is that which is without deeds.

 Then conformity and adaptation are not required.

Spread out your knowledge and it will be found to be shallow."

 It will by no means cover the area of the knowable. "Read this
 chapter," says one critic, "and the _Tripitaka_ and the _Mahâyâna_
 will open out before you as beneath a sharp-edged blade."



 _Argument_:--The operation of TAO is not seen--Spheres of action
 vary--TAO remains the same--Spontaneity essential--TAO can be
 divided but remains entire--It is infinite as Time and Space--It is
 unconditioned--The external and the internal--Illustrations.

Among the disciples of Lao Tzŭ was one named Kêng Sang Ch'u. He
alone had attained to the TAO of his Master. He lived up north, on
the Wei-lei Mountains. Of his attendants, he dismissed those who
were systematically clever or conventionally charitable. The useless
remained with him; the incompetent served him. And in three years the
district of Wei-lei was greatly benefited.

One of the inhabitants said in conversation, "When Mr. Kêng Sang first
came among us, we did not know what to make of him. Now, we could not
say enough about him in a day, and even a year would leave something
unsaid. Surely he must be a true Sage. Why not pray to him as to the
spirits, and honour him as a tutelary god of the land?"

On hearing of this, Kêng Sang Ch'u turned his face to the south

 Towards the abode of Lao Tzŭ.

in shame, at which his disciples were astonished. But Kêng Sang said,
"What cause have you for astonishment? The influence of spring quickens
the life of plants, and autumn brings them to maturity. In the absence
of any agent, how is this so? It is the operation of TAO.

"I have heard that the perfect man may be pent up like a corpse in a
tomb, yet the people will become unartificial and without care.

 So powerful will be his influence.

But now these poor people of Wei-lei wish to exalt me among their wise
and good. Surely then I am but a shallow vessel; and therefore I was
shamed for the doctrine of Lao Tzŭ."

The disciples said, "Not so. In a sixteen-foot ditch a big fish has not
room to turn round; but 'tis the very place for an eel. On a six or
seven-foot hillock a large beast finds no shelter, while the uncanny
fox gladly makes its lair therein. Besides, ever since the days of Yao
and Shun it has always been customary to honour the virtuous, advance
the able, give precedence to the good and useful. Why not then among
the people of Wei-lei? Let them do it, Sir."

"Come here, my children," said Kêng Sang Ch'u. "A beast big enough to
swallow a cart, if it wanders alone from the hills, will not escape the
sorrow of the snare. A fish big enough to gulp down a boat, if stranded
on the dry shore will become a prey to ants. Therefore it is that birds
and beasts love height, and fishes and turtles love depth. And the man
who cares for himself hides his body. He loves the occult.

 There is a play here upon words.

"As to Yao and Shun, what claim have they to praise? Their fine
distinctions simply amounted to knocking a hole in a wall in order to
stop it up with brambles;

 They had better have left the wall alone.

to combing each individual hair; to counting the grains for a rice
pudding! How in the name of goodness did they profit their generation?

"If the virtuous are honoured, emulation will ensue. If knowledge be
fostered, the result will be theft.

 People will employ their knowledge against each other.

These things are of no use to make people good. The struggle for wealth
is so severe. Sons murder their fathers; ministers their princes; men
rob in broad daylight, and bore through walls at high noon. I tell you
that the root of this great evil is from Yao and Shun, and that its
branches will extend into a thousand ages to come. A thousand ages
hence, man will be feeding upon man!"

Nan Yung Ch'u

 A disciple.

sadly straightened his seat and said, "But what is one of my age to do
that he may attain to this?"

"Preserve your form complete," said Kêng Sang, "your vitality secure.
Let no anxious thoughts intrude. And then in three years' space you may
attain to this."

"I do not know," said Nan Yung, "that there is any difference in the
form of eyes; yet blind men cannot see. I do not know that there is any
difference in the form of ears; yet deaf men cannot hear. I do not know
that there is any difference in the form of hearts;

 The seat of the intellect.

yet fools cannot use theirs to any purpose. The forms are alike; yet
there is something which differentiates them. One will succeed, and
another will not. Yet you tell me to preserve my form complete, my
vitality secure, and let no anxious thoughts intrude. But so far I only
hear TAO with my ears."

"Well said!" cried Kêng Sang; and then he added, "Small wasps cannot
transform huge caterpillars.

 According to Chinese notions, the wasp has no young. It transforms a
 small caterpillar into the required offspring.

Bantams cannot hatch the eggs of geese. The fowls of Lu can. Not that
there is any difference in the hatching power of chickens. One can and
another cannot, because one is naturally fitted for working on a large,
the other on a small scale. My talents are of the latter order. I
cannot transform you. Why not go south and see Lao Tzŭ?"

So Nan Yung took some provisions, and after a seven days' journey
arrived at the abode of Lao Tzŭ.

"Have you come from Kêng Sang Ch'u?" said the latter.

"I have," replied Nan Yung.

"But why," said Lao Tzŭ, "bring all these people with you?"

 Meaning the questions he was going to ask.

Nan Yung looked back in alarm, and Lao Tzŭ continued, "Do you not
understand what I say?"

Nan Yung bent his head abashed, and then looking up, said with a sigh,
"I have now forgotten how to answer, in consequence of missing what I
came to ask."

 He was so confused by Lao Tzŭ's question coming before he had had time
 to state his mission.

"What do you mean?" said Lao Tzŭ.

"If I do not know," replied Nan Yung, "men call me a fool. If I do
know, I injure myself. If I am not charitable, I injure others. If I
am, I injure myself. If I do not do my duty to my neighbour, I injure
others. If I do it, I injure myself. My trouble lies in not seeing how
to escape from these three dilemmas. On the strength of my connection
with Kêng Sang, I would venture to ask advice."

"When I saw you," said Lao Tzŭ, "I knew in the twinkling of an eye what
was the matter with you. And now what you say confirms my view. You
are confused, as a child that has lost its parents. You would fathom
the sea with a pole. You are astray. You are struggling to get back to
your natural self, but cannot find the way. Alas! alas!"

Nan Yung begged to be allowed to remain, and set to work to cultivate
the good and eliminate the evil within him. At the expiration of ten
days, with sorrow in his heart, he again sought Lao Tzŭ.

"Have you thoroughly cleansed yourself?" said Lao Tzŭ. "But this
grieved look.... There is some evil obstruction yet.

"If the disturbances are external,

 _Sc._ sensual.

do not be always combating them, but close the channels to the mind. If
the disturbances are internal, do not strive to oppose them, but close
all entrance from without.

 And the mind will recover itself.

If the disturbances are both internal and external, then you will not
even be able to hold fast to Tao, still less practise it."

"If a rustic is sick," said Nan Yung, "and another rustic goes to see
him; and if the sick man can say what is the matter with him,--then he
is not seriously ill. Yet my search after TAO is like swallowing drugs
which only increase the malady.

 Although really not so very far from TAO (_sc._ health) as evidenced
 by my being able to describe my complaint, which a man sick of some
 serious disease is scarcely able to do.

I beg therefore merely to ask the art of preserving life."

"The art of preserving life," replied Lao Tzŭ, "consists in being able
to keep all in ONE,

 _Sc._ Body and soul. See the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. x, where this idea
 has been reproduced.

to lose nothing, to estimate good and evil without divination,

 To know that each is bound up in the other.

to know when to stop, and how much is enough, to leave others alone
and attend to oneself, to be without cares and without knowledge,--to
be in fact as a child. A child will cry all day and not become hoarse,
because of the perfection of its constitutional harmony.

 Also reproduced in the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. lv.

It will keep its fist tightly closed all day and not open it, because
of the concentration of its virtue. It will gaze all day without taking
off its eyes, because its sight is not attracted by externals. In
motion, it knows not whither it is bound; at rest, it is not conscious
of doing anything; but unconsciously adapts itself to the exigencies of
its environment. This is the art of preserving life."

"Is this then the virtue of the perfect man?" cried Nan Yung.

"Not so," said Lao Tzŭ. "I am, as it were, but breaking the ice.

"The perfect man shares the food of this earth, but the happiness of
God. He does not incur trouble either from men or things. He does not
join in censuring, in plotting, in toadying. Free from care he comes,
and unconscious he goes;--this is the art of preserving life."

"This then is perfection?" inquired Nan Yung.

"Not yet," said Lao Tzŭ. "I specially asked if you could be as a child.
A child acts without knowing what it does; moves without knowing
whither. Its body is like a dry branch; its heart like dead ashes.
Thus, good and evil fortune find no lodgment therein; and there where
good and evil fortune are not, how can the troubles of mortality be?

"Those whose hearts are in a state of repose give forth a divine
radiance, by the light of which they see themselves as they are. And
only by cultivating such repose can man attain to the constant.

"Those who are constant are sought after by men and assisted by God.
Those who are sought after by men are the people of God; those who are
assisted by God are his chosen children.

 The stuff of which rulers are made.

"To study this is to study what cannot be learnt. To practise this is
to practise what cannot be accomplished. To discuss this is to discuss
what can never be proved. Let knowledge stop at the unknowable. That
is perfection. And for those who do not follow this, God will destroy

 "Knowledge," says Emerson in his _Montaigne, or the Sceptic_, "is the
 knowing that we cannot know."

"With such defences for the body, ever prepared for the unexpected,
deferential to the rights of others,--if then calamities overtake you,
these are from God, not from man. Let them not disturb what you have
already achieved. Let them not penetrate into the soul's abode. For
there resides the Will. And if the will knows not what to will, it will
not be able to will.

 Inability to exercise the functions of will is TAO.

"Whatsoever is not said in all sincerity, is wrongly said. And not to
be able to rid oneself of this vice is only to sink deeper towards

"Those who do evil in the open light of day,--men will punish them.
Those who do evil in secret,--God will punish them. Who fears both man
and God, he is fit to walk alone.

 The term here used for "God" means strictly those "spirits" which are
 the avenging emissaries of the Deity.

Those who are devoted to the internal,

 To self-culture.

in practice acquire no reputation. Those who are devoted to the
external, strive for pre-eminence among their fellows. Practice
without reputation throws a halo around the meanest. But he who strives
for pre-eminence among his fellows, he is as a huckster whose weariness
all perceive though he himself puts on an air of gaiety.

"He who is naturally in sympathy with man, to him all men come. But
he who forcedly adapts, has no room even for himself, still less for
others. And he who has no room for others, has no ties. It is all over
with him.

"There is no weapon so deadly as man's will. Excalibur is second to it.
There is no bandit so powerful as Nature.

 The interaction of the Positive and Negative principles, which
 produces the visible universe.

In the whole universe there is no escape from it. Yet it is not Nature
which does the injury. It is man's own heart.

"TAO informs its own subdivisions, their successes and their failures.
What is feared in subdivision is separation.

 From the parent stock of TAO.

What is feared in separation, is further separation.

 So that all connection is severed.

Thus, to issue forth without return, this is development of the
supernatural. To issue forth and attain the goal, this is called
death. To be annihilated and yet to exist, this is convergence of the
supernatural into ONE. To make things which have form appear to all
intents and purposes formless,--this is the sum of all things.

 Man's final triumph over matter.

"Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence
without limitation; there is continuity without a starting-point.
Existence without limitation is _Space_. Continuity without a
starting-point is _Time_. There is birth, there is death, there is
issuing forth, there is entering in. That through which one passes in
and out without seeing its form, that is the Portal of God.

"The Portal of God is Non-Existence. All things sprang from
Non-Existence. Existence could not make existence existence. It must
have proceeded from Non-Existence,

 The idea of existence, independent of its correlate, cannot be
 apprehended by the human intellect.

And Non-Existence and Nothing are ONE.

 If all things sprang from non-existence, it might be urged that
 non-existence had an objective existence. But non-existence is
 nothing, and nothing excludes the idea of something, making subjective
 and objective nothings ONE.

Herein is the abiding-place of the Sage.

 There where the matter of mortality shares the tenuity of the formless.

"The knowledge of the ancients reached the highest point,--the time
before anything existed. This is the highest point. It is exhaustive.
There is no adding to it.

"The second best was that of those who started from existence. Life
was to them a misfortune. Death was a return home. There was already

"The next in the scale said that at the beginning there was nothing.
Then life came, to be quickly followed by death. They made Nothing the
head, Life the trunk, and Death the tail of existence, claiming as
friends whoever knew that existence and non-existence, and life and
death were all ONE.

"These three classes, though different, were of the same clan; as were
Chao Ching who inherited fame, and Chia who inherited territory.

 The fact of inheritance was the same, but not the thing inherited,--by
 these men of Ch'u.

 There are various interpretations of this passage. No two commentators

"Man's life is as the soot on a kettle.

 Meaning, concentrated smoke.

Yet men speak of the subjective point of view. But this subjective
point of view will not bear the test. It is a point of knowledge we
cannot reach.

 Individual standards are fallacious. What is subjective from one point
 of view is objective from another.

"At the winter sacrifice, the tripe may be separated from the great
toe; yet these cannot be separated.

 Each carries away the characteristics of the whole.

He who looks at a house, visits the ancestral hall, and even the
latrines. Thus every point is the subjective point of view.

 Or else he has not seen the house but only a part. Where then is the
 subjective point of view of the house, and by analogy, of the man?

"Let us try to formulate this subjective point of view. It originates
with life, and, with knowledge as its tutor, drifts into the admission
of right and wrong.

 In the abstract.

But one's own standard of right is _the_ standard, and others have to
adapt themselves to it. Men will die for this. Such people look upon
the useful as appertaining to wisdom, the useless as appertaining
to folly; upon success in life as honourable, upon failure as

 Not knowing the value of the useless, or perceiving that what is so at
 one time is not so at another.

The subjective point of view is that of the present generation, who
like the cicada and the young dove see things only from their own

 See ch. i.

"If a man treads upon a stranger's toe in the market-place, he
apologises on the score of hurry. If an elder brother does this, he is
quit with an exclamation of sympathy. And if a parent does so, nothing
whatever is done.

 The child being part of himself.

"Therefore it has been said, 'Perfect politeness is not artificial;

 Kuo Hsiang says this means treating others as oneself. Lin Hsi Chung
 takes the "natural" or "spontaneous" view which is here adopted.

perfect duty to one's neighbour is not a matter of calculation; perfect
wisdom takes no thought; perfect charity recognises no ties; perfect
trust requires no pledges.'

"Discard the stimuli of purpose. Free the mind from disturbances. Get
rid of entanglements to virtue. Pierce the obstructions to TAO.

"Honours, wealth, distinction, power, fame, gain,--these six stimulate

"Mien, carriage, beauty, arguments, influence, opinions,--these six
disturb the mind.

 Referring, of course, to the mien, carriage, etc. of others.

"Hate, ambition, joy, anger, sorrow, pleasure,--these six are
entanglements to virtue.

"Rejecting, adopting, receiving, giving, knowledge, ability,--these six
are obstructions to TAO.

 The key to which is inaction.

"If these twenty-four be not allowed to run riot, then the mind will
be duly ordered. And being duly ordered, it will be in repose. And
being in repose, it will be clear of perception. And being clear of
perception, it will be unconditioned. And being unconditioned, it will
be in that state of inaction by which there is nothing which cannot be

"TAO is the sovereign lord of TÊ.

 TÊ is the "virtue" of spontaneity.

Life is the glorifier of TÊ.

 By means of which it can be manifested.

Nature is the substance of life.

 The code of which life is the embodiment.

The operation of that nature is action. The perversion of that action
is error.

"People who know put forth physical power. People who know employ
mental effort. But what people who know do not know is to be as the eye.

 Which sees without looking.

"Emotion which is spontaneous is called virtue passive. Emotion which
is not evoked by the external is called virtue active. The names of
these are antagonistic; but essentially they are in accord.

 All "virtue" should proceed from the real self, _sc._ from God.

"Yi was skilled in hitting the bull's-eye; but stupid at preventing
people from praising him for so doing.

 See ch. v.

The Sage devotes himself to the natural and neglects the artificial.
For only the Perfect Man can devote himself profitably to the natural
and artificial alike. Insects influence insects;

 So as to make others like themselves

because insects are natural. When the Perfect Man hates the natural,
it is the artificially natural which he hates. How much more man's
alternate naturalness and artificiality?

       *       *       *       *       *

"If a bird falls in with Yi, Yi will get it. Such is his skill. And if
the world were made into a cage, birds would have no place of escape.
So it was that by cookery T'ang got hold of I Yin, and by five rams'
skins Duke Mu of Ch'in got Po Li Ch'i. But had these princes not been
themselves successful at getting, they never would have got these men.

 Apocryphal stories both. I Yin was the successful and famous minister
 of the founder of the Shang dynasty. For Poh Li Ch'i, see p. 270.

"A one-legged man discards ornament, his exterior not being open to
commendation. Condemned criminals will go up to great heights without
fear, for they no longer regard life and death from their former point
of view. And those who pay no attention to their moral clothing

 Artificial virtues.

and condition become oblivious of their own personality; and by thus
becoming oblivious of their personality, they proceed to be the people
of God.

"Wherefore, if men revere them, they rejoice not. If men insult them,
they are not angered. But only those who have passed into the eternal
harmony of God are capable of this.

"If your anger is external, not internal, it will be anger proceeding
from not-anger. If your actions are external, not internal, they will
be actions proceeding from inaction.

"If you would attain peace, level down your emotional nature. If you
desire spirituality, cultivate adaptation of the intelligence. If
you would have your actions in accordance with what is right, allow
yourself to fall in with the dictates of necessity. For necessity is
the TAO of the Sage."

 Do nothing save what you cannot help doing.

 The authorship of this chapter has been disputed. Lin Hsi Chung
 regards the question as by no means settled.



 _Argument_:--TAO is passionless--Immorality of the moral--Obstructions
 to natural virtue--The evils of action--Too much zeal--The outward and
 visible--The inward and spiritual--Illustrations.

Hsü Wu Kuei, introduced by Nü Shang, went to see Wu Hou of Wei.

 A hermit, a minister, and a prince, respectively.

The Prince greeted him sympathisingly, and said, "You are suffering,
Sir. You must have endured great hardships in your mountain life that
you should be willing to leave it and visit me."

"It is I who should sympathise with your Highness, not your Highness
with me," answered Hsü Wu Kuei. "If your Highness gives free play to
passion and yields to loves and hates, then the natural conditions of
your existence will suffer.


And if your Highness puts aside passion and abjures loves and hates,
then your senses of sight and hearing will suffer.


It is I who should sympathise with your Highness, not your Highness
with me."

The Prince was too astonished to reply; and after a while Hsü Wu Kuei
continued, "I will try to explain to your Highness how I judge of dogs.
The lowest in the scale will eat their fill and then stop, like a cat.
Those of the middle class are as though staring at the sun. The highest
class are as though they had parted with their own individuality.

"But I do not judge of dogs as well as I judge of horses. I judge of
horses as follows. Their straightness

 In running.

must be that of a line. Their curve must be that of an arc. Their
squareness, that of the square. Their roundness, that of the compasses.

 One commentator applies all this to the shape of the animals.

These are the horses of the State. They are not equal to the horses
of the Empire. The horses of the Empire are splendid. They move as
though anxious to get along, as though they had lost the way, as though
they had parted with their own individuality. Thus, they outstrip all
competitors, over the unstirred dust, out of sight!"

The Prince was greatly pleased and smiled. But when Hsü Wu Kuei went
out, Nü Shang asked him, saying, "What can you have been saying to his
Highness? Whenever I address him, it is either in a pacific sense,
based upon the Canons of _Poetry_, _History_, _Rites_, and _Music_; or
in a belligerent sense, based upon the _Golden Roster_ or the _Six
Plans of Battle_.

 Ancient military treatises.

I have transacted with great success innumerable matters entrusted to
me, yet his Highness has never vouchsafed a smile. What can you have
been saying to make him so pleased as all this?"

"I merely told him," replied Hsü Wu Kuei, "how I judged of dogs and

"Was that all?" enquired Nü Shang, incredulously.

"Have you not heard," said Hsü Wu Kuei, "of the outlaw of Yüeh? After
several days' absence from his State, he was glad to meet any one he
had known there. After a month, he was glad to meet any one he had even
seen there. And after a year, he was glad to meet any one who was in
any way like to his fellow-countrymen. Is not this a case of absence
from one's kind increasing the desire to be with them?

"Thus a man who had fled into the wilderness, where bishop-wort chokes
the path of the weasel and stoat, now advancing, now stopping,--how
he would rejoice if the footfall of a fellow-creature broke upon his
ear. And how much more were he to hear the sound of a brother's, of a
relative's voice at his side. Long it is, I ween, since his Highness
has heard the voice of a pure man at his side!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Hsü Wu Kuei went to visit the Prince. The latter said, "Living, Sir,
up in the hills, and feeding upon berries or satisfying yourself with
leeks, you have long neglected me. Are you now growing old? Or do
you hanker after flesh-pots and wine? Or is it that mine is such a
well-governed State?"

"I am of lowly birth," replied Hsü Wu Kuei. "I could not venture to eat
and drink your Highness' meat and wine. I came to sympathise with your

"What do you mean?" cried the Prince? "What is there to sympathise

"About your Highness' soul and body," replied Hsü Wu Kuei.

"Pray explain," said the Prince.

"Nourishment is nourishment," said Hsü Wu Kuei.

 To a peasant as to a prince.

"Being high up does not make one high, nor does being low make one low.
Your Highness is the ruler of a large State, and you oppress the whole
population thereof in order to satisfy your sensualities. But your soul
is not a party to this. The soul loves harmony and hates disorder. For
disorder is a disease. Therefore I came to sympathise. How is it that
your Highness alone is suffering?"

"I have long desired to see you," answered the Prince. "I wish to love
my people, and by cultivation of duty towards one's neighbour to put an
end to war. Can this be done?"

"It cannot," replied Hsü Wu Kuei. "Love for the people is the root of
all evil to the people. Cultivation of duty towards one's neighbour
in order to put an end to war is the origin of all fighting. If your
Highness starts from this basis, the result can only be disastrous.

 Why try to "do" anything?

"Everything that is made good, turns out bad.

 The artificial is impermanent.

And although your Highness should make charity and duty to one's
neighbour, I fear they would be spurious articles. For the inward
intention would appear in the outward manifestation. The adoption of a
fixed standard

 _I.e._ of the personal standard of individuals. See pp. 305, 306.

would lead to complications. And revolutions within lead to fighting
without. Surely your Highness would not make a bower into a
battlefield, nor a shrine of prayer into a scene of warfare!

 This, of course, refers to the mind.

"Have nothing within which is obstructive of virtue. Seek not to
vanquish others in cunning, in plotting, in war. If I slay a whole
nation and annex the territory in order to find nourishment for my
passions and for my soul,--irrespective of military skill, wherein does
the victory lie?

 "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and
 lose his own soul?"

"If your Highness will only abstain, that will be enough. Cultivate
the sincerity that is within your breast, so as to be responsive to the
conditions of your environment, and be not aggressive. The people will
thus escape death;

 From oppression.

and what need then to put an end to war?"

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Yellow Emperor went to see TAO upon the Chü-tz'ŭ Mountain,
Fang Ming was his charioteer, Ch'ang Yü sat on his right, Chang Jo and
Hsi P'êng were his outriders, and K'un Hun and Hua Chi brought up the

 Commentators tear this passage to tatters.

On reaching the wilds of Hsiang-ch'êng,

 The limit of the known.

these seven Sages lost their way and there was no one of whom to ask
the road. By and by, they fell in with a boy who was grazing horses,
and asked him, saying, "Do you know the Chü-tz'ŭ Mountain?"

"I do," replied the boy.

"And can you tell us," continued the Sages, "where TAO abides?"

"I can," replied the boy.

"This is a strange lad," cried the Yellow Emperor. "Not only does he
know where the Chü-tz'ŭ Mountain is, but also where TAO abides! Come
tell me, pray, how would you govern the empire?"

"I should govern the empire," said the boy, "just the same as I look
after my horses. What else should I do?

"When I was a little boy and used to live within the points of the

 In Vanity Fair.

my eyes got dim of sight. An old man advised me to mount the chariot of
the sun

 _I.e._ of Intelligence.

and visit the wilds of Hsiang-ch'êng. My sight is now much better, and
I continue to dwell without the points of the compass. I should govern
the empire in just the same way. What else should I do?"

"Of course," said the Yellow Emperor, "government is not your trade.
Still I should be glad to hear what you would do."

The boy declined to answer, but on being again urged, cried out, "What
difference is there between governing the empire and looking after
horses? See that no harm comes to the horses, that is all!"

Thereupon the Emperor prostrated himself before the boy; and addressing
him as Divine Teacher, took his leave.

 Divine Teacher means "inspired by God." The term used is that employed
 in modern times for the head or Pope of debased Taoism, often wrongly
 rendered as the "Master of Heaven."

       *       *       *       *       *

If schemers have nothing to give them anxiety, they are not happy. If
dialecticians have not their premisses and conclusion, they are not
happy. If critics have none on whom to vent their spleen, they are not
happy. Such men are the slaves of objective existences.

Those who attract the sympathies of the world, start new dynasties.
Those who win the people's hearts, take high official rank. Those
who are strong undertake difficulties. Those who are brave encounter
dangers. Men of arms delight in war. Men of peace think of nothing but
reputation. Men of law strive to improve the administration. Professors
of ceremony and music cultivate deportment. Moralists devote themselves
to the obligations between man and man.

Take away agriculture from the husbandman, and his classification is
gone. Take away trade from the merchant, and his classification is
gone. Daily work is the stimulus of the labourer. The skill of the
artisan is his pride. If money cannot be made, the avaricious man
is sad. If his power meets with a check, the boaster will repine.
Ambitious men love change.

Thus, men are always doing something; inaction is to them impossible.
They observe in this the same regularity as the seasons, ever without
change. They hurry to destruction, dissipating in all directions their
vital forces, alas! never to return.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ said, "If archers who aimed at nothing and hit something
were accounted good shots, everybody in the world would be another Yi.

 See p. 308.

Could this be so?"

"It could," replied Hui Tzŭ.

"If there was no general standard of right in the world," continued
Chuang Tzŭ, "but each man had his own, then everybody would be a Yao.
Could this be so?"

"It could," replied Hui Tzŭ.

"Very well," said Chuang Tzŭ. "Now there are the Confucianists, the
Mihists, the schools of Yang

 Yang Chu. See ch. viii.

and Ping,

 Kung Sun Lung. See ch. xvii.

making with your own five in all. Pray which of these is right?

"Possibly it is a similar case to that of Lu Chü?

 Of whom there is no record.

--A disciple said to him, 'Master, I have attained to your TAO. I can
do without fire in winter: I can make ice in summer.'

"'You merely avail yourself of latent heat and latent cold,' replied Lu
Chü. 'That is not what I call TAO. I will demonstrate to you what my
TAO is.'

"Thereupon he tuned two lutes, and placed one in the hall and the other
in the adjoining room. And when he struck the _Kung_ note on one, the
_Kung_ note on the other sounded; when he struck the _chio_ note on
one, the _chio_ note on the other sounded. This because they were both
tuned to the same pitch.

"But if he changed the interval of one string, so that it no longer
kept its place in the octave, and then struck it, the result was that
all the twenty-five strings jangled together. There was sound as
before, but the influence of the key-note was gone. Is this your case?"

"The Confucianists, the Mihists, and the followers of Yang and Ping,"
replied Hui Tzŭ, "are just now engaged in discussing this matter with
me. They try to overwhelm me with argument or howl me down with noise.
Yet they have not proved me wrong. Why then should you?"

"A man of the Ch'i State," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "sent away his son into
the Sung State, to be a door-keeper, with maimed body.

 Doorkeepers in ancient times were, for obvious reasons, deprived of
 their feet.

But a vase, which he valued highly, he kept carefully wrapped up.

 Thus Hui Tzŭ sacrifices the greater to the less.

"He who would seek for a stray child, but will not leave his home, is
like to lose him.

 Thus restricted to his four antagonistic schools is Hui Tzŭ's search
 for TAO.

"If a man of Ch'u, who was sent away to be a door-keeper, began, in the
middle of the night, when no one was about, to fight with the boatman,
I should say that before his boat left the shore he would already have
got himself into considerable trouble."

 A maimed man (Hui Tzŭ) should avoid quarrels. His own share of TAO is
 insufficient even for himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ was once attending a funeral, when he passed by the grave of
Hui Tzŭ. Turning to his attendants, he said, "A man of Ying

 Capital of the Ch'u state.

who had his nose covered with a hard scab, no thicker than a fly's
wing, sent for a stone-mason to chip it off. The stone-mason plied his
adze with great dexterity while the patient sat still and let him chip.
When the scab was all off, the nose was found to be uninjured, the man
of Ying never having moved a muscle.

"When Yüan, prince of Sung, heard of this, he summoned the stone-mason
and said, 'Try to do the same for me.'

"'I used to be able to do it Sire,' replied the stone-mason, 'but my
material has long since perished.'

"And I too, ever since he perished, have been without my material,
having no one with whom I can speak."

 A generous compliment to an old adversary.

 "There was no one," says Lin Hsi Chung, "in all Chuang Tzŭ's
 generation who could understand him; neither is there any one now, at
 this late date, any more than there was then."

       *       *       *       *       *

Kuan Chung being at the point of death, Duke Huan went to see him.

 See p. 226.

"You are ill, venerable Sir," said the Duke, "really ill. You had
better say to whom, in the event of your getting worse, I am to entrust
the administration of the State."

"Whom does your Highness wish to choose?" enquired Kuan Chung.

"Will Pao Yü do?" asked the Duke.

 Kuan Chung and Pao Yü are the "Damon and Pythias" of China.

"He will not," said Kuan Chung. "He is pure, incorruptible, and good.
With those who are not like himself, he will not associate. And if
he has once heard of a man's wrong-doing, he never forgets it. If
you employ him in the administration of the empire, he will get to
loggerheads with his prince and to sixes and sevens with the people. It
would not be long before he and your Highness fell out."

"Whom then can we have?" asked the Duke.

"There is no alternative," replied Kuan Chung; "it must be Hsi P'êng.
He is a man who forgets the authority of those above him, and makes
those below him forget his. Ashamed that he is not the peer of the
Yellow Emperor,

 In virtue.

he grieves over those who are not the peers of himself.

"To share one's virtue with others is called true wisdom. To share
one's wealth with others is reckoned meritorious. To exhibit superior
merit is not the way to win men's hearts. To exhibit inferior merit
is the way. There are things in the State he does not hear; there are
things in the family he does not see.

 Purposely ignoring petty faults.

There is no alternative; it must be Hsi P'êng."

 Of whom commentators give no further notice.

       *       *       *       *       *

The prince of Wu took a boat and went to the Monkey Mountain, which
he ascended. When the monkeys saw him, they fled in terror and hid
themselves in the thicket. One of them, however, disported himself
carelessly, as though showing off its skill before the prince. The
prince took a shot at it; but the monkey, with great rapidity, seized
the flying arrow with its hand. Then the prince bade his guards try,
the result being that the monkey was killed.

 The skill of the poor monkey availed nothing against the cloud of
 arrows discharged by the guards. _On peut être plus fin qu'un autre,
 mais on ne peut pas être plus fin que tous les autres._

Thereupon the prince turned to his friend Yen Pu I, and said, "That
monkey flaunted its skill and its dexterity in my face. Therefore it
has come to this pass. Beware! Do not flaunt your superiority in the
faces of others."

Yen Pu I went home, and put himself under the tuition of Tung Wu,

 A professor of TAO.

with a view to get rid of such superiority. He put aside all that gave
him pleasure and avoided gaining reputation. And in three years his
praise was in everybody's mouth.

       *       *       *       *       *

Tzŭ Chi of Nan-poh

 See ch. iv.

was sitting leaning on a table. He looked up to heaven and sighed, at
which juncture Yen Ch'êng Tzŭ entered and said, "How, Sir, can such an
important person as yourself be in body like dry wood, in mind like
dead ashes?"

 Instead of exerting yourself for the benefit of mankind. The speaker,
 says one commentator, was "a disciple."

"I used to live in a cave on the hills," replied Tzŭ Chi. "At that
time, T'ien Ho,

 The famous founder of the later House of Ch'i.

because he once saw me, was thrice congratulated by the people of
Ch'i. Now I must have given some indication by which he recognised me.

 As a Sage.

I must have sold for him to buy. For had I not manifested myself, how
would he have recognised me? Had I not sold, how could he have bought?

"Alas! I grieve over man's self-destruction.

 As reputation comes, reality goes.

And then I grieve over one who grieves for another. And then I grieve
over him who grieves over one who grieves for another! And so I get
daily farther and farther away."

 And become like dry wood, my soul absorbed into TAO.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius went to Ch'u, the prince entertained him at a banquet.
Sun Shu Ao stood up with a goblet of wine in his hand, and I Liao of
Shih-nan poured a libation, saying, "On such occasions as this, the men
of old were wont to make some utterance."

"Mine," replied Confucius, "is the doctrine of wordless utterances.
Shall I who make no utterances, make utterance now?

"I Liao of Shih-nan played with his ball, and the trouble of two houses
was arranged.

 A man of great strength who refused to aid in settling a State
 quarrel. He was a great ball player,--whatever that may have been.

Sun Shu Ao remained quietly in repose, and the men of Ying threw down
their arms.

 No one dared attack them, so powerful was the prestige of their

I should want a three-foot tongue indeed!

 To achieve more by talk than these two achieved by inaction.

"Theirs was the TAO of inaction. His was the argument of silence.
Wherefore, for TÊ

 The manifestation of TAO.

to rest in undivided TAO,

 By which all things are ONE.

and for speech to stop at the unknowable,--this is perfection.

"With undivided TAO, TÊ cannot be coincident.

 The latter is multiform.

No argument can demonstrate the unknowable. Subdivision into
Confucianists and Mihists only makes confusion worse confounded.

"The sea does not reject the streams which flow eastward into it.
Therefore it is immeasurably great. The true Sage folds the universe
in his bosom. His good influence benefits all throughout the empire,
without respect to persons. Born without rank, he dies without titles.
He does not take credit for realities.

 But attributes it all to circumstances.

He does not establish a name.

 For what he has done.

This is to be a great man.

"A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker.

 He must also bite.

A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker. How
much less in the case of greatness? And if doing great things is not
enough to secure greatness, how much less shall it secure virtue?

"In point of greatness, there is nothing to be compared with the
universe. Yet what does the universe seek in order to be great?

"He who understands greatness in this sense, seeks nothing, loses
nothing, rejects nothing, never suffers injury from without. He takes
refuge in his own inexhaustibility. He finds safety in according with
his nature. This is the essence of true greatness."

       *       *       *       *       *

Tzŭ Chi had eight sons. He ranged them before him, and summoning Chiu
Fang Yin, said to him, "Examine my sons physiognomically, and tell me
which will be the fortunate one."

"K'un," replied Chiu Fang Yin, "will be the fortunate one."

"In what sense?" asked the father, beaming with delight.

"K'un," said Chiu Fang Yin, "will eat at the table of a prince, and so
end his days."

Thereupon Tzŭ Chi burst into tears and said, "What has my son done that
this should be his fate?"

"Eating at the table of a prince," replied Chiu Fang Yin, "will benefit
the family for three generations. How much more his father and mother!
But for you, Sir, to go and weep is enough to turn back the luck from
you. The son's fortune is good, but the father's bad."

"Yin," said Tzŭ Chi, "I should like to know what you mean by calling
K'un fortunate. Wine and meat gratify the palate, but you do not say
how these are to come.

"Supposing that to me, not being a shepherd, a lamb were born in the
south-west corner of my hall; or that to me, not being a sportsman,
quails were hatched in the north-east corner. If you did not call that
uncanny, what would you call it?

"My sons and I do but roam through the universe. With them I seek
the joys of heaven; with them I seek the fruits of earth. With them
I engage in no business; with them I concoct no plots; with them I
attempt nothing out-of-the-way. With them I mount upon the truth of
the universe, and do not offer opposition to the exigencies of our
environment. With them I accommodate myself naturally; but with them I
do not become a slave to circumstances. Yet now the world is rewarding

"Every uncanny effect must be preceded by some uncanny cause. Alas! my
sons and I have done nothing. It must be the will of God. Therefore I

Shortly afterwards, when K'un was on his way to the Yen State, he was
captured by brigands. To sell him as he was, would be no easy matter.
To sell him without his feet would be easy enough. So they cut off his
feet and sold him into the Ch'i State, where he became door-keeper to
Duke Chü and had meat to his dinner for the rest of his life.

 Commentators make terrible havoc here.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yeh Ch'üeh meeting Hsü Yu, said to him, "Where are you going?"

"Away from Yao!" replied the latter.

"What do you mean?" asked Yeh Ch'üeh.

"Yao," said Hsü Yu, "thinks of nothing but charity. I fear he will
become a laughing-stock to the world, and that in future ages men will
eat one another.

 See p. 296.

"There is no difficulty in winning the people. Love them and they will
draw near. Profit them and they will come up. Praise them and they will
vie with one another. But introduce something they dislike, and they
will be gone.

"Love and profit are born of charity and duty to one's neighbour. Those
who ignore charity and duty to one's neighbour are few; those who make
capital out of them are many.

"For the operation of these virtues is not disinterested. It is like
lending gear to a sportsman.

 With a view to share the game.

Wherefore, for one man to dogmatise for the good of the whole empire,
is like splitting a thing at a single blow.

 Without reference to method or the requirements of the case in point.

"Yao knows that good men benefit the empire. But he does not know that
they injure it. Only those on a higher level than good men know this.

"There are nincompoops; there are parasites; there are enthusiasts.

"A man who learns from a single teacher, and then goes off exultant,
satisfied with his acquirements though ignorant that there was a time
when nothing existed,--such a one is a nincompoop.

"Parasites are like the lice on a pig's back. They choose bald patches,
which are to them palaces and parks. The parts between the toes, the
joints, the dugs, and the buttocks, are to them so many comfortable and
convenient resting-places. They know not that one day the butcher will
tuck up his sleeves and spread straw and apply fire, and that they will
perish in the singeing of the pig. As they sow, so do they reap. This
is to be a parasite.

"Of enthusiasts, Shun is an example. Mutton does not care for ants; it
is the ants which care for the mutton. Mutton has a frowsy smell; and
there is a frowsiness about Shun which attracts the people. Therefore
it was that after three changes of residence, when he came to the Têng
district, he had some hundred thousand families with him.

"Then Yao, hearing of his goodness, appointed him to a barren region,
trusting, as he said, that Shun's arrival would enrich it. When Shun
took up this appointment, he was already old, and his intellect was
failing; yet he would not cease work and retire from office. He was, in
fact, an enthusiast.

"So it is that the spiritual man dislikes a crowd. For where there is a
crowd there is diversity, and where there is diversity advantage does
not accrue. He is therefore neither very intimate, nor very distant. He
clings to virtue and nourishes a spirit of harmony, in order to be in
accord with his fellow-men. This is to be a divine man.

"Leave wisdom to ants. Strive for what fishes desire.

 To be left alone in the water.

"Leave attractiveness to mutton. Use your eyes to contemplate, your
ears to listen to, your mind to consider, their own internal workings.
For him who can do these things, his level will be that of a line, his
modifications in due and proper season.

"Therefore, the divine man trusts to the natural development of events.
He does not strive to introduce the artificial into the domain of the
natural. Accordingly, life is a gain and death a loss, or death is a
gain and life a loss.

 According to circumstances.

"For instance, drugs. They are characteristically poisonous. Such are
_Chieh-Kêng_, _Chi-Yung_, and _Shih-Ling_. Circumstances, however,
make of each a sovereign remedy. The list is inexhaustible.

 Chieh-Kêng is the _Platycodon grandiflorum_. It is used by Chinese
 doctors as a tonic, astringent, and vermifuge.

"When Kou Chien encamped with three thousand armed warriors at

 Leading the men of Wu to attack the Yüeh State.

only Chung

 Wên Chung, minister of Yüeh.

saw that defeat would be followed by a rally. Yet he could not foresee
the evil that was to come upon himself. Wherefore it has been said, 'An
owl's eyes are adapted to their use. A crane's leg is of the length
required. 'Twould be disastrous to shorten it.'

 This illustration has been used in ch. viii, p. 101.

"Thus it has been said, 'The wind blows and the river suffers. The sun
shines and the river suffers.' But though wind and sun be both brought
into relation with the river, it does not really suffer therefrom. Fed
from its source, it still continues to flow on.

 The Sage too has a source from which the nourishment of his soul is

"The relation between water and earth is determinate. The relation
between a man and his shadow is determinate. The relation between thing
and thing is determinate.

"The relation between eye and vision is baneful.

 Because indeterminate.

The relation between ear and hearing is baneful. The relation between
mind and object is baneful. The relation between all kinds of
capacity and man's inner self is baneful. If such banefulness be not
corrected, disasters will spring up on all sides. Retrogression is
hard to achieve, and success long in coming. Yet alas! men regard such
capacities as valuable possessions.

"The destruction of States and the ceaseless slaughter of human beings
result from an inability to examine into this.

"The foot treads the ground in walking; nevertheless it is the ground
not trodden on which makes up the good walk. A man's knowledge is
limited; but it is upon what he does not know that he depends to extend
his knowledge to the apprehension of God.

"Knowledge of the great ONE, of the great Negative, of the great
Nomenclature, of the great Uniformity, of the great Space, of the great
Truth, of the great Law,--this is perfection.

"The great ONE is omnipresent. The great Negative is omnipotent.
The great Nomenclature is all-inclusive. The great Uniformity is
all-assimilative. The great Space is all-receptive. The great Truth is
all-exacting. The great Law is all-binding.

"The ultimate end is God. He is manifested in the laws of nature. He
is the hidden spring. At the beginning, he was.

 Had an objective existence.

This, however, is inexplicable. It is unknowable. But from the
unknowable we reach the known.

"Investigation must not be limited, nor must it be unlimited.

 It must be undertaken from the standpoint of the unconditioned.

In this vague undefinedness there is an actuality. Time does not change
it. It cannot suffer diminution. May we not then call it our great

"Why not bring our doubting hearts to investigation thereof? And then,
using certainty to dispel doubt, revert to a state without doubt, in
which doubt is doubly dead?"

 Doubt dispelled leaves conviction firmer still.

 Lin Hsi Chung says that this essay begins with the subtle to end in
 the abstruse. "The force of language," adds he, "can no farther go!"



 _Argument_:--Influence of virtue concealed--The true Sage a
 negative quantity--The great, the small, the infinite--Crime and
 Capital--Rulers and their vices--What is Society? Predestination or
 Chance? Illustrations.

When Tsê Yang visited the Ch'u State, I Chieh

 An official of Ch'u.

spoke of him to the prince; but the latter refused an audience.

Upon I Chieh's return, Tsê Yang went to see Wang Kuo,

 A local Sage.

and asked him to obtain an interview with the prince.

"I am not so fitted for that," replied Wang Kuo, "as Kung Yüeh Hsiu."

 A hermit.

"What sort of a man is he?" enquired Tsê Yang.

"In winter," said Wang Kuo, "he catches turtles on the river. In
summer, he reposes in some mountain copse. If any passers-by ask
of him, he tells them, "This is my home." Where I Chieh could not
succeed, still less should I. I am not equal even to him.

"He is a man without virtue, but possessed of knowledge. Were it not
for an air of arrogance, he would be very popular with his superiors.
But help without virtue is a hindrance. Shivering people borrowing
clothes in the coming spring! Hot people thinking of last winter's icy

"The prince of Ch'u is dignified and severe. In punishing, he is
merciless as a tiger. Only a very practised or a very perfect man could
influence him.

"The true Sage, when in obscurity, causes those around him to forget
their poverty. When in power, he causes princes to forget ranks
and emoluments, and to become as though of low estate. He rejoices
exceedingly in all creation. He exults to see TAO diffused among his
fellow-men, while suffering no loss himself.

 TAO is a constant quantity. It can be shared, but cannot be divided.

"Thus, although silent, he can instil peace; and by his mere presence
cause men to be to each other as father and son. From his very return
to passivity comes this active influence for good. So widely does he
differ in heart from ordinary men. Wherefore I said, 'Wait for Kung
Yüeh Hsiu.'

"The true Sage is free from all embarrassments. All things are to him
as ONE. Yet he knows not that this is so. It is simply nature. In the
midst of action he remains the same. He makes God his guide, and
men make him theirs. He grieves that wisdom carries one but a short
distance, and at times comes altogether to a deadlock.

"To a beauty, mankind is the mirror in which she sees herself. If no
one tells her she is beautiful, she does not know that she is so. But
whether she knows it or whether she does not know it, whether she hears
it or whether she does not hear it, her joy will never cease, neither
will mankind ever cease to take pleasure therein. It is nature.

"The love of a Sage for his fellows likewise finds expression among
mankind. Were he not told so, he would not know that he loved his
fellows. But whether he knows it or whether he does not know it,
whether he hears it or whether he does not hear it, his love for his
fellows is without end, and mankind cease not to repose therein.

"The old country, the old home, gladden a wanderer's eyes. Nay, though
nine-tenths of it be a howling wilderness, still his eye will be
glad. How much more to see sight and hear hearing, from a lofty dais
suspended in their very midst!"

 The joy of the wanderer is as that of the mind returning to a
 consciousness only of itself.

Jen Hsiang Shih reached the centre and attained.

 The centre at which all Infinities converge. See p. 18. This
 individual was a legendary ruler of old.

He recognised no beginning, no end, no quantity, no time. Daily
modified together with his environment, as part of ONE he knew no
modification. Why not rest in this?

To strive to follow God and not to succeed is to display an activity
fatal to itself. How can success ever be thus achieved?

The true Sage ignores God. He ignores man. He ignores a beginning. He
ignores matter. He moves in harmony with his generation and suffers
not. He takes things as they come and is not overwhelmed. How are we to
become like him?

T'ang appointed his Equerry, Mên Yin Têng Hêng, to be his tutor,
listening to his counsels but not being restricted by them. He got TAO
for himself and a reputation for his tutor. But the reputation was a
violation of principle, and landed him in the domain of alternatives.

 Instead of ONE. No ingenuity of commentator has here succeeded in
 making sense.

As a tutor, Confucius pushed care and anxiety to an extreme limit.

Yung Ch'êng Shih

 Lao Tzŭ's tutor.

said, "Take away days, and there would be no years. No inside, no

       *       *       *       *       *

Prince Hui of Wei had made a treaty with prince Wei of Ch'i, which the
latter broke.

Thereupon prince Hui was wroth, and was about to send a man to
assassinate him. But the Captain-General heard of this, and cried out
in shame, "Sire, you are ruler over a mighty State, yet you would seek
the vengeance of a common man. Give me two hundred thousand warriors,
and I will do the work for you. I will take his people prisoners, and
carry off their oxen and horses. I will make the heat of the prince's
mind break out on his back. Then I will seize his country, and he will
flee. Then you can wring his neck as you please."

When Chi Tzŭ heard this, he cried out in shame and said, "If you are
building a ten-perch wall, and when the wall is near completion,
destroy it, you inflict great hardship on the workmen.

 Alluding to the _corvée_ system of public works. The speaker was an
 official of Wei.

Now for seven years the troops have not been called out. That is,
as it were, your Highness' foundation work. Listen not to the
Captain-General. He is a mischievous fellow."

When Hua Tzŭ

 Also an official of Wei.

heard this, he was very indignant and said, "He who argued in favour of
punishing the Ch'i State was a mischievous fellow. And he who argued
against punishing the Ch'i State was a mischievous fellow. And he who
says that either of the above is a mischievous fellow, is a mischievous
fellow himself."

"Where then shall I find what to do?" enquired the prince.

"In TAO alone," said Hua Tzŭ.

When Hui Tzŭ heard this, he introduced Tai Chin Jen to the prince.

 A Sage of the Liang State. For Hui Tzŭ, see p. 8.

"There is a creature called a snail," said Tai Chin Jen. "Does your
Highness know what I mean?"

"I do," replied the prince.

"There is a kingdom on its left horn," continued Tai Chin Jen, "ruled
over by _Aggression_, and another on its right horn, ruled over by
_Violence_. These two rulers are constantly fighting for territory. In
such cases, corpses lie about by thousands, and one party will pursue
the other for fifteen days before returning."

"Whew!" cried the prince. "Surely you are joking."

"Sire," replied Tai Chin Jen, "I beg you to regard it as fact. Does
your Highness recognise any limit to space?"

"None," said the prince, "It is boundless."

"When, therefore," continued Tai Chin Jen, "the mind descends from the
contemplation of boundless space to the contemplation of a kingdom
with fixed boundaries, that kingdom must seem to be of dimensions
infinitesimally small?"

"Of course," replied the prince.

"Well then," said Tai Chin Jen, "in a kingdom with fixed boundaries

 Meaning the then empire of the Chous.

there is the Wei State. In the Wei State there is the city of Liang. In
the city of Liang there is a prince. In what does that prince differ
from Violence?"

 In his pettiness.

"There is no difference," said the prince.

Thereupon Tai Chin Jen took his leave, and the prince remained in a
state of mental perturbation, as though he had lost something.

When Tai Chin Jen had gone, Hui Tzŭ presented himself, and the prince
said, "Our friend is truly a great man. Sages are not his equal."

"If you blow through a tube," replied Hui Tzŭ, "the result will be a
note. If you blow through the hole in a sword-hilt, the result will
be simply _whssh_. Yao and Shun have been belauded by mankind; yet
compared with Tai Chin Jen they are but _whssh_."

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius went to Ch'u, he stopped at a restaurant on Mount I. The
servant to a man and his wife who lived next door, got up on top of the

"Whatever is he doing up there?" asked Tzŭ Lu.

"He is a Sage," replied Confucius, "under the garb of a menial. He
buries himself among the people.

 So as to get into closer relation with them.

He effaces himself at the wayside. Fame, he has none; but his
perseverance is inexhaustible. Though his mouth speaks, his heart
speaks not. He has turned his back upon mankind, not caring to abide
amongst them. He has drowned himself on dry land. I think 'tis I Liao
of Shih-nan."

 See p. 325.

Tzŭ Lu asked to be allowed to go and call him; but Confucius stopped
him, saying, "No. He knows that I know what he is. He knows that I have
come to Ch'u to recommend him to the prince. And he looks on me as a
toady. Under the circumstances, as he would scorn to hear the words
of a toady, how much more would he scorn to see him in the flesh! How
could you keep him?"

Tzŭ Lu went to see, but the house was empty.

       *       *       *       *       *

The border-warden of Ch'ang-wu said to Tzŭ Lao,

 Ch'in Lao, or Ch'in Chang, a disciple of Confucius.

"A prince in his administrative details must not lack thoroughness;
in his executive details he must not be inefficient. Formerly, in
my ploughing I lacked thoroughness, and the results also lacked
thoroughness. In my weeding I was inefficient, and the results were
also inefficient. By and by, I changed my system. I ploughed deep, and
weeded carefully, the result being an excellent harvest, more than I
could get through in a year."

Chuang Tzŭ, upon hearing this, observed, "The men of to-day in
their self-regulation and their self-organisation are mostly as the
Border-warden has described. They put their Godhead out of sight. They
abandon their natural dispositions. They get rid of all feeling. They
part with their souls, carried away by the fashion of the hour.

"Those who lack thoroughness in regard to their natural dispositions
suffer an evil tribe to take the place thereof.

 The physical senses.

These grow up rank as reeds and rushes, at first of apparent value
to the body, but afterwards to destroy the natural disposition. Then
they break out, at random, like sores and ulcers carrying off pent-up

       *       *       *       *       *

Poh Chü was studying under Lao Tzŭ. "Let us go," said he, "and wander
over the world."

 One commentator says Poh Chü was a "criminal," probably from his
 sympathetic remarks in the context.

"No," replied Lao Tzŭ, "the world is just as you see it here."

But as he again urged it, Lao Tzŭ said, "Where would you go to begin

"I would begin," answered Poh Chü, "by going to the Ch'i State. There I
would view the dead bodies of their malefactors. I would push them to
make them rise. I would take off my robes and cover them. I would cry
to God and bemoan their lot, as follows:--'O sirs, O sirs, there was
trouble upon earth, and you were the first to fall into it!'

"I would say, 'Perhaps you were robbers, or perhaps murderers?'...
Honour and disgrace were set up, and evil followed. Wealth was
accumulated, and contentions began. Now the evil which has been set up
and the contentions which have accumulated, endlessly weary man's body
and give him no rest. What escape is there from this?

 This might almost have come from _The Curse of Capital_, (Aveling) or
 from one of Mr. Hyndman's discourses.

"The rulers of old set off all success to the credit of their people,
attributing all failure to themselves. All that was right went to
the credit of their people, all that was wrong they attributed to
themselves. Therefore, if any matter fell short of achievement, they
turned and blamed themselves.

"Not so the rulers of to-day. They conceal a thing and blame those who
cannot see it. They impose dangerous tasks and punish those who dare
not undertake them. They inflict heavy burdens and chastise those who
cannot bear them. They ordain long marches and slay those who cannot
make them.

"And the people, feeling that their powers are inadequate, have
recourse to fraud. For when there is so much fraud about,

 In the rulers.

how can the people be otherwise than fraudulent? If their strength is
insufficient, they will have recourse to fraud. If their knowledge is
insufficient, they will have recourse to deceit. If their means are
insufficient, they will steal. And for such robbery and theft, who is
really responsible?"

       *       *       *       *       *

When Chü Poh Yü

 See p. 49.

reached his sixtieth year, he changed his opinions. What he had
previously regarded as right, he now came to regard as wrong. But who
shall say whether the right of to-day may not be as wrong as the wrong
of the previous fifty-nine years?

 See p. 365.

Things are produced around us, but no one knows the whence. They issue
forth, but no one sees the portal. Men one and all value that part of
knowledge which is known. They do not know how to avail themselves of
the unknown in order to reach knowledge. Is not this misguided?

 Men value the phenomena of which the senses make them conscious, but
 not the phenomena of the senses themselves.

Alas! alas! the impossibility of escaping from this state results in
what is known as elective affinity.

 Adaptation to the suitable; being as one is because more adapted to
 that than to something to which one is not adapted. See ch. ii, where
 this idea is first broached.

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius asked the historiographers Ta T'ao, Poh Ch'ang Ch'ien, and
Hsi Wei, saying, "Duke Ling was fond of wine and given up to pleasure,
and neglected the administration of his State. He spent his time
in hunting, and did not cultivate the goodwill of the other feudal
princes. How was it he came to be called _Ling_?"

 The name _Ling_ means "knowing," which may be taken in two senses.

"For those very reasons," replied Ta T'ao.

"The Duke," said Poh Ch'ang Ch'ien, "had three wives. He was having
a bath together with them when Shih Ch'in, summoned by his Highness,
entered the apartment. Thereupon the Duke covered himself and the
ladies. So outrageously did he behave on the one hand, and yet so
respectful was he towards a virtuous man. Hence he was called _Ling_."

"When the Duke died," said Hsi Wei, "divination showed that it would
be inauspicious to bury him in the old family burying-ground, but
auspicious to bury him at Sha-ch'iu. And upon digging a grave there,
several fathoms deep, a stone coffin was found, which, being cleaned,
yielded the following inscription:--_Posterity cannot be trusted. Duke
Ling will seize this for his tomb._

"As a matter of fact, Duke Ling had been named Ling long before. What
should these two persons know about it?"

 As evidenced by the inscription, the Duke had been so named long
 before, in the Book of Fate.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shao Chih asked T'ai Kung Tiao, saying, "What is meant by society?"

 The first name signifies _Small Knowledge_. Of the second personage
 there is no record.

"Society," replied T'ai Kung Tiao, "is an agreement of a certain number
of families and individuals to abide by certain customs. Discordant
elements unite to form a harmonious whole. Take away this unity and
each has a separate individuality.

"Point at any one of the many parts of a horse, and that is not a
horse, although there is the horse before you. It is the combination of
all which makes the horse.

"Similarly, a mountain is high because of its individual particles. A
river is large because of its individual drops. And he is a just man
who regards all parts from the point of view of the whole.

"Thus, in regard to the views of others, he holds his own opinion, but
not obstinately. In regard to his own views, while conscious of their
truth, he does not despise the opinions of others.

"The four seasons have different characteristics, but God shows no
preference for either, and therefore we have the year complete.

 With results which could not be otherwise achieved.

The functions of the various classes of officials differ; but the
sovereign shows no partiality, and therefore the empire is governed.
There are the civil and the military; but the truly great man shows
no preference for either, and therefore their efficacy is complete.
All things are under the operation of varying laws; but TAO shows no
partiality and therefore it cannot be identified.

 As the given part of anything.

Not being able to be identified, it consequently does nothing. And by
doing nothing all things can be done.

"Seasons have their beginnings and their ends. Generations change
and change. Good and evil fortune alternate, bringing sorrow here,
happiness there.

 Nunc mihi, nunc alio, benigna.

He who obstinately views things from his own standpoint only, may be
right in one case and wrong in another. Just as in a great jungle all
kinds of shrubs are found together; or as on a mountain you see trees
and stones indiscriminately mixed,--so is what we call society."

"Would it not do then," asked Shao Chih, "if we were to call this TAO?"

"It would not," replied T'ai Kung Tiao. "All creation is made up
of more than ten thousand things. We speak of creation as the _Ten
Thousand Things_ merely because it is a convenient term by which to
express a large number. In point of outward shape the universe is vast.
In point of influence the Positive and Negative principles are mighty.
Yet TAO folds them all in its embrace. For convenience' sake the bond
of society is called great. But how can that which is thus conditioned

 By having a name.

be compared with TAO? There is as wide a difference between them as
there is between a horse and a dog."

"Whence then," enquired Shao Chih, "comes the vitality of all things
between the four points of the compass, between heaven above and earth

"The Positive and Negative principles," answered T'ai Kung Tiao,
"influence, act upon, and regulate each other. The four seasons
alternate with, give birth to, and destroy one another. Hence, loves
and hates, and courses rejected and courses adopted. Hence too, the
intercourse of the sexes.

"States of peril and safety alternate. Good and evil fortune give birth
to one another. Slowness and speed are mutually exclusive. Collection
and dispersion are correlates. The actuality of these may be noted.

 There is the name and the embodiment.

The essence of each can be verified. There is regular movement
forward, modified by deflection into a curve. Exhaustion leads to
renewal. The end introduces a new beginning. This is the law of
material existences. The force of language, the reach of knowledge,
cannot pass beyond the bounds of such material existences. The disciple
of TAO refrains from prying into the states after or before. Human
speculation stops short of this."

"Chi Chên," said Shao Chih, "taught _Chance_; Chieh Tzŭ taught

 "Two Sages." _Comm._

In the speculations of these two schools, on which side did right lie?"

"The cock crows," replied T'ai Kung Tiao, "and the dog barks. So much
we know. But the wisest of us could not say why one crows and the other
barks, nor guess why they crow or bark at all.

"Let me explain. The infinitely small is inappreciable; the infinitely
great is immeasurable. Chance and Predestination must refer to the
conditioned. Consequently, both are wrong.

"Predestination involves a real existence.

 Of a God.

Chance implies an absolute absence of any principle. To have a name and
the embodiment thereof,--this is to have a material existence. To have
no name and no embodiment,--of this one can speak and think; but the
more one speaks the farther off one gets.

"The unborn creature cannot be kept from life.

 So powerful is its "will to live."

The dead cannot be tracked. From birth to death is but a span; yet the
secret cannot be known. Chance and Predestination are but _à priori_

"When I seek for a beginning, I find only time infinite. When I look
forward to an end, I see only time infinite. Infinity of time past and
to come implies no beginning and is in accordance with the laws of
material existences. Predestination and Chance give us a beginning, but
one which is compatible only with the existence of matter.

 And not with the time before matter was.

"TAO cannot be existent. If it were existent, it could not be
non-existent. The very name of TAO is only adopted for convenience'
sake. Predestination and Chance are limited to material existences. How
can they bear upon the infinite?

"Were language adequate, it would take but a day to fully set forth
TAO. Not being adequate, it takes that time to explain material
existences. TAO is something beyond material existences. It cannot be
conveyed either by words or by silence. In that state which is neither
speech nor silence, its transcendental nature may be apprehended."

 "With this essay in China," says Lin Hsi Chung, "what need to fetch
 Buddhist books from the West?"



 _Argument_:--The external uncertain--The internal alone without
 harm--Life and death are external--The soul only is under man's
 control--Folly of worldliness--Illustrations.

Contingencies are uncertain. Hence the decapitation of Lung Fêng, the
disembowelment of Pi Kan, the enthusiasm of Chi Tzŭ, the death of Wu
Lai, the flights of Chieh and Chou.

 See pp. 40, 72. Wu Lai was an intriguing official who held office
 under the tyrant Chou Hsin.

No sovereign but would have loyal ministers; yet loyalty does not
necessarily inspire confidence. Hence Wu Yüan found a grave in the

 See p. 221.

and Ch'ang Hung perished in Shu, his blood, after being preserved three
years, turning into green jade.

No parent but would have filial sons; yet filial piety does not
necessarily inspire love. Hence Hsiao Chi sorrowed, and Tsêng Shên

 The first, prince of the House of Yin, was turned out of doors by his
 stepmother. The second, one of the disciples of Confucius and a rare
 pattern of filial piety, grieved because his mother was too old to
 hit him hard enough. See p. 100.

Wood rubbed with wood produces fire. Metal exposed to fire
will liquefy. If the Positive and Negative principles operate
inharmoniously, heaven and earth are greatly disturbed. Thunder
crashes, and with rain comes lightning, scorching up the tall
locust-trees. One fears lest sky and land should collapse and leave
no escape. Unable to lie _perdu_, the heart feels as though suspended
between heaven and earth.

So in the struggle between peace and unrest, the friction between good
and evil, much fire is evolved which consumes the inner harmony of man.
But the mind is unable to resist fire. It is destroyed, and with it TAO
comes to an end.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ's family being poor, he went to borrow some corn from the
prince of Chien-ho.

"Yes," said the prince. "I am just about collecting the revenue of my
fief, and will then lend you three hundred ounces of silver. Will that

At this Chuang Tzŭ flushed with anger and said, "Yesterday, as I was
coming along, I heard a voice calling me. I looked round, and in the
cart-rut I saw a stickleback.

"'And what do you want, stickleback?' said I.

"'I am a denizen of the eastern ocean,' replied the stickleback. 'Pray,
Sir, a pint of water to save my life.'

"'Yes,' said I. 'I am just going south to visit the princes of Wu and
Yüeh. I will bring you some from the west river. Will that do?'

"At this the stickleback flushed with anger and said, 'I am out of my
element. I have nowhere to go. A pint of water would save me. But to
talk to me like this,--you might as well put me in a dried-fish shop at

 The above episode is condemned by Lin Hsi Chung on the score of style.

       *       *       *       *       *

Jên Kung Tzŭ

 A young noble of the Jen State. _Comm._

got a huge hook on a big line, which he baited with fifty oxen. He
squatted down at Kuei-chi, and cast into the eastern ocean. Every day
he fished, but for a whole year he caught nothing. Then came a great
fish which swallowed the bait, and dragging the huge hook dived down
below. This way and that way it plunged about, erecting the dorsal fin.
The white waves rolled mountain high. The great deep was shaken up. The
noise was like that of so many devils, terrifying people for many miles

But when Jên Kung Tzŭ had secured his fish, he cut it up and salted it.
And from Chih-ho eastwards, and from Ts'ang-wu northwards, there was
none but ate his fill of that fish. Even among succeeding generations,
_gobemouches_ of the day recounted the marvellous tale.

To take a rod and line, and go to a pool, and catch small fry is a very
different thing from catching big fish. And by means of a little show
of ability to secure some small billet is a very different thing from
really pushing one's way to the front. So that those who do not imitate
the example of Jên Kung Tzŭ will be very far from becoming leaders in
their generation.

 Also spurious.

       *       *       *       *       *

When some Confucianists were opening a grave in accordance with their
Canons of _Poetry_ and _Rites_, the master shouted out, "Day is
breaking. How are you getting on with the work?"

"Not got off the burial-clothes yet," answered an apprentice. "There is
a pearl in the mouth."

Now the Canon of _Poetry_ says--

    The greenest corn
    Grows over graves.
    In life, no charity;
    In death, no pearl.

So seizing the corpse's brow with one hand, and forcing down its chin
with the other, these Confucianists proceed to tap its cheeks with a
metal hammer, in order to make the jaws open gently and not injure the

 The above, pronounced by Lin Hsi Chung to be spurious, is aimed at
 the Confucianists, who are ready to commit any outrage on natural
 feeling so long as there is no violation of the details of their own
 artificial system.

A disciple of Lao Lai Tzŭ

 A sage of the Ch'u State.

while out gathering fuel, chanced to meet Confucius. On his return, he
said, "There is a man over there with a long body and short legs, round
shoulders and drooping ears. He looks as though he were sorrowing over
mankind. I know not who he can be."

"It is Confucius!" cried Lao Lai Tzŭ. "Bid him come hither."

When Confucius arrived, Lao Lai Tzŭ addressed him as follows:--

"Ch'iu! Get rid of your dogmatism and your specious knowledge, and you
will be really a superior man."

Confucius bowed and was about to retire, when suddenly his countenance
changed and he enquired, "Shall I then be able to enter upon TAO?"

"The wounds of one generation being too much," answered Lao Lai Tzŭ,
"you would take to yourself the sorrows of all time. Are you not weary?
Is your strength equal to the task?

"To employ goodness as a passport to influence through the
gratification of others, is an everlasting shame. Yet this is the
common way of all, to lure people by fame, to bind them by ties of

"Better than extolling Yao and cursing Chieh is oblivion of both,
keeping one's praises to oneself. These things react injuriously on
self; the agitation of movement results in deflection.

"The true Sage is a passive agent. If he succeeds, he simply feels that
he was provided by no effort of his own with the energy necessary to

       *       *       *       *       *

Prince Yüan of Sung dreamed one night that a man with dishevelled hair
peeped through a side door and said, "I have come from the waters of
Tsai-lu. I am a marine messenger attached to the staff of the River
God. A fisherman, named Yü Ch'ieh, has caught me."

When the prince awaked, he referred his dream to the soothsayers, who
said, "This is a divine tortoise."

"Is there any fisherman," asked the prince, "whose name is Yü Ch'ieh?"

Being told there was, the prince gave orders for his appearance at
court; and the next day Yü Ch'ieh had an audience.

"Fisherman," said the prince, "what have you caught?"

"I have netted a white tortoise," replied the fisherman, "five feet in

"Bring your tortoise," said the prince. But when it came, the prince
could not make up his mind whether to kill it or keep it alive. Thus
in doubt, he had recourse to divination, and received the following

_Slay the tortoise for purposes of divination and good fortune will

So the tortoise was despatched. After which, out of seventy-two omens
taken, not a single one proved false.

"A divine tortoise," said Confucius, "can appear to prince Yüan in a
dream, yet it cannot escape the net of Yü Ch'ieh. Its wisdom can yield
seventy-two faultless omens, yet it cannot escape the misery of being
cut to pieces. Truly wisdom has its limits; spirituality, that which it
cannot reach.

"In spite of the highest wisdom, there are countless snares to be
avoided; If a fish has not to fear nets, there are always pelicans.
Get rid of small wisdom, and great wisdom will shine upon you. Put
away goodness and you will be naturally good. A child does not learn
to speak because taught by professors of the art, but because it lives
among people who can themselves speak."

       *       *       *       *       *

Hui Tzŭ said to Chuang Tzŭ, "Your theme, Sir, is the useless."

"You must understand the useless," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "before you can
discuss the useful.

"For instance, the earth is of huge proportions, yet man uses of it
only as much as is covered by the sole of his foot. By and by, he
turns up his toes and goes beneath it to the Yellow Spring. Has he any
further use for it?"

"He has none," replied Hui Tzŭ.

"And in like manner," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "may be demonstrated the use
of the useless.

"Could a man transcend the limits of the human," said Chuang Tzŭ,
"would he not do so? Unable to do so, how should he succeed?

"The determination to retire, to renounce the world,--such alas! is
not the fruit of perfect wisdom or immaculate virtue. From cataclysms
ahead, these do not turn back; nor do they heed the approach of
devouring flame. Although there are class distinctions of high and low,
these are but for a time, and under the changed conditions of a new
sphere are unknown.

 In the transcendental state.

"Wherefore it has been said, 'The perfect man leaves no trace behind.'

"For instance, to glorify the past and to condemn the present has
always been the way of the scholar.

 Laudator temporis acti.

Yet if Hsi Wei Shih and individuals of that class

 _Sc._ patriarchs.

were caused to re-appear in the present day, which of them but would
accommodate himself to the age?

"Only the perfect man can transcend the limits of the human and yet not
withdraw from the world, live in accord with mankind and yet suffer no
injury himself. Of the world's teachings he learns nothing. He has that
within which makes him independent of others.

"If the eye is unobstructed, the result is sight. If the ear is
unobstructed the result is hearing. If the nose is unobstructed, the
result is sense of smell. If the mouth is unobstructed, the result is
sense of taste. If the mind is unobstructed, the result is wisdom. If
wisdom is unobstructed, the result is TÊ.

"TAO may not be obstructed. To obstruct is to strangle. This affects
the base, and all evils spring into life.

"All sentient beings depend upon breath. If this does not reach them in
sufficient quantity, it is not the fault of God. God supplies it day
and night without cease, but man stops the passage.

"Man has for himself a spacious domain. His mind may roam to heaven.
If there is no room in the house, the wife and her mother-in-law run
against one another. If the mind cannot roam to heaven, the faculties
will be in a state of antagonism. Those who would benefit mankind from
deep forests or lofty mountains are simply unequal to the strain upon
their higher natures.

 It is for that reason they become hermits.

"Ill-regulated virtue ends in reputation. Ill-regulated reputation
ends in notoriety. Scheming leads to confusion. Knowledge begets
contentions. Obstinacy produces stupidity. Organised government is for
the general good of all.

"Spring rains come in due season, and plants and shrubs burst up from
the earth. Weeding and tending do not begin until such plants and
shrubs have reached more than half their growth, and without being
conscious of the fact.

"Repose gives health to the sick. Rubbing the eyelids removes the
wrinkles of old age. Quiet will dispel anxieties. These remedies
however are the resource only of those who need them. Others who are
free from such ills pay no attention thereto.

"That which the true Sage marvels at in the empire, claims not the
attention of the Divine man. That which the truly virtuous man marvels
at in his own sphere, claims not the attention of the true Sage.
That which the superior man marvels at in his State, claims not the
attention of the truly virtuous man. How the mean man adapts himself to
his age, claims not the attention of the superior man.

"The keeper of the Yen gate,

 Of the capital of the Sung State.

having maltreated himself severely in consequence of the death of his
parents, received a high official post.

 In reward for his filial piety.

His relatives thereupon maltreated themselves, and some half of them

 In the vain endeavour to secure like rewards.

"Yao offered the empire to Hsü Yu, but Hsü Yu fled. T'ang offered it to
Wu Kuang, but Wu Kuang declined with anger.

 See pp. 6, 72.

"When Chi T'o heard of Hsü Yu's flight, he took all his disciples with
him and jumped into the river K'uan;

 As a tribute to his eminent virtue.

upon which the various feudal princes mourned for three years,

 They did not resign their fiefs at his example.

and Shên T'u Ti had the river filled up.

 Fearing similar ill-advised acts. For names, see pp. 6, 72.

"The _raison d'être_ of a fish-trap is the fish. When the fish is
caught, the trap may be ignored. The _raison d'être_ of a rabbit-snare
is the rabbit. When the rabbit is caught the snare may be ignored. The
_raison d'être_ of language is an idea to be expressed. When the idea
is expressed, the language may be ignored. But where shall I find a man
to ignore language, with whom I may be able to converse?"



 _Argument_:--Speech, natural and artificial--Natural speech in harmony
 with the divine--Destiny--The ultimate cause--Purification of the

Of language put into other people's mouths, nine tenths will succeed.
Of language based upon weighty authority, seven tenths. But language
which flows constantly over, as from a full goblet, is in accord with

 The natural overflowings of the heart.

When language is put into other people's mouths, outside support is
sought. Just as a father does not negotiate his son's marriage; for any
praise he could bestow would not have the same value as praise by an
outsider. Thus, the fault is not mine, but that of others.

 Who will not believe the original speaker.

To that which agrees with our own opinions we assent; from that which
does not we dissent. We regard that which agrees with our own opinion
as right. We regard that which differs from our opinion as wrong.
Language based on weighty authority is used to bar further argument.
The authorities are our superiors, our elders in years. But if they
lack the requisite knowledge and experience, being our superiors only
in the sense of age, then they are not our superiors. And if men are
not the superiors of their fellows, no one troubles about them. And
those about whom no one troubles are merely stale.

Language which flows constantly over, as from a full goblet, is in
accord with God.

 Embracing both positive and negative in ONE.

Because it spreads out on all sides, it endures for all time. Without
language, contraries are identical. The identity is not identical with
its expression: the expression is not identical with its identity.
Therefore it has been said, Language not expressed in language is not
language. Constantly spoken, it is as though not spoken. Constantly
unspoken, it is not as though not spoken.

From the subjective point of view, there are possibilities and
impossibilities, there are suitabilities and unsuitabilities. This
results from the natural affinity of things for what they are and their
natural antagonism to what they are not. For all things have their own
particular constitutions and potentialities. Nothing can exist without

 See p. 19.

But for language that constantly flows over, as from a full goblet, and
is in accord with God, how should the permanent be attained?

All things spring from germs. Under many diverse forms these things
are ever being reproduced. Round and round, like a wheel, no part of
which is more the starting-point than any other. This is called the
equilibrium of God. And he who holds the scales is God.

 Alluding to the Identity-philosophy, which means, in the words of
 Emerson, "that nature iterates her means perpetually on successive
 planes.... The whole art of the plant is still to repeat leaf on leaf
 without end."

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ said to Hui Tzŭ, "When Confucius reached his sixtieth year
he changed his opinions. What he had previously regarded as right, he
ultimately came to regard as wrong. But who shall say whether the right
of to-day may not be as wrong as the wrong of the previous fifty-nine

 See p. 345.

"He was a persevering worker," replied Hui Tzŭ, "and his wisdom
increased day by day."

 His conversion was no spasmodic act.

"Confucius," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "discarded both perseverance and
wisdom, but did not attempt to formulate the doctrine in words. He
said, 'Man has received his talents from God, together with a soul to
give them life. He should speak in accordance with established laws.
His words should be in harmony with fixed order. Personal advantage
and duty to one's neighbour lie open before us. Likes and dislikes,
rights and wrongs, are but as men choose to call them. But to bring
submission into men's hearts, so that they shall not be stiff-necked,
and thus fix firmly the foundations of the empire,--to that, alas! I
have not attained.'"

 "From the above," says Lin Hsi Chung, "we may see that Hui Tzŭ, though
 skilled in winning debates was unskilled in winning hearts."

       *       *       *       *       *

Tsêng Tzŭ held office twice. His emotions varied in each case.

 See pp. 100, 352.

"As long as my parents were alive," said he, "I was happy on a small
salary. When I had a large salary, but my parents were no more, I was

A disciple said to Confucius, "Can we call Tsêng Tzŭ a man without
cares to trouble him?"

 Money being no object to him.

"He had cares to trouble him," replied Confucius. "Can a man who has no
cares to trouble him feel grief? His small salary and his large salary
were to him like a heron or a mosquito flying past."

       *       *       *       *       *

Yen Ch'êng Tzŭ Yu said to Tung Kuo Tzŭ Chi,

 See p. 324.

"One year after receiving your instructions I became naturally simple.
After two years, I could adapt myself as required. After three years,
I understood. After four years, my intelligence developed. After five
years, it was complete. After six years, the spirit entered into me.
After seven, I knew God. After eight, life and death existed for me no
more. After nine, perfection.

"Life has its distinctions; but in death we are all made equal. That
death should have an origin, but that life should have no origin,--can
this be so? What determines its presence in one place, its absence in

"Heaven has its fixed order.

 Visible to all.

Earth has yielded up its secrets to man. But where to seek whence am I?

"Not knowing the hereafter, how can we deny the operation of Destiny?
Not knowing what preceded birth, how can we assert the operation of
Destiny? When things turn out as they ought, who shall say that the
agency is not supernatural? When things turn out otherwise, who shall
say that it is?"

       *       *       *       *       *

The various Penumbræ said to the Umbra, "Before you were looking down,
now you are looking up. Before you had your hair tied up, now it is all
loosed. Before you were sitting, now you have got up. Before you were
moving, now you are stopping still. How is this?"

"Gentlemen," replied the Umbra, "the question is hardly worth asking.

 Ultimate causes being unknowable.

I do these things, but I do not know why. I am like the scaly back of
the cicada, the shell of the locust,--apparently independent, but not
really so. By firelight or in daylight I am seen: in darkness or by
night I am gone. And if I am dependent on these, how much more are they
dependent on something else? When they come, I come with them. When
they go, I go with them. When they live, I live with them. But who it
is that gives the life, how shall we seek to know?"

 Repeated, with variations, from ch. ii.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yang Tzŭ Chü

 See p. 100.

went southwards to P'ei, and when Lao Tzŭ was travelling westwards
to Ch'in, hastened to receive him outside the city. Arriving at the
bridge, he met Lao Tzŭ; and the latter standing in the middle of the
road, looked up to heaven and said with a sigh, "At first, I thought
you could be taught. I think so no more."

Yang Tzŭ Chü made no reply, but when they reached the inn, handed
Lao Tzŭ water for washing and rinsing, and a towel and comb. He then
removed his own boots outside the door, and crawling on his knees
into the Master's presence, said, "I have been wishing to ask for
instruction, Sir, but as you were travelling and not at leisure, I did
not venture. You are now, Sir, at leisure. May I enquire the reason of
what you said?"

"You have an overbearing look," said Lao Tzŭ. "Who would live with such
a man? He who is truly pure behaves as though he were sullied. He who
has virtue in abundance behaves as though it were not enough."

 These last two sentences occur in the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. xli, and
 also in the works of Lieh Tzŭ as part of that author's own text. See
 _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 29.

Yang Tzŭ Chü changed countenance at this, and replied, "I hear and

Now when Yang Tzü Chü first went to the inn, the visitors there had
come out to receive him. Mine host had arranged his mat, while the
landlady held towel and comb. The visitors had given him up the best
seats, and those who were cooking had left the stove free for him. But
when he went back,

 After his interview with Lao Tzŭ.

the other visitors struggled to get the best seats for themselves.

 So changed was he in spirit.

 Lin Hsi Chung considers that this chapter should immediately precede
 what is now ch. xxxii, from which it has been separated by the
 interpolation of the four following chapters, all admittedly spurious.




Yao offered to resign the empire to Hsü Yu, but the latter declined.

He then offered it to Tzŭ Chou Chih Fu, who said, "There is no
objection to making me emperor. But just now I am suffering from a
troublesome disease, and am engaged in trying to cure it. I have no
leisure to look after the empire."

Now the empire is of paramount importance. Yet here was a man who would
not allow it to injure his chance of life. How much less then would he
let other things do so? Yet it is only he who would do nothing in the
way of government who is fit to be trusted with the empire.

 Those personages who have not been previously mentioned may be taken
 to be allegorical.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shun offered to resign the empire to Tzŭ Chou Chih Poh. The latter
said, "Just now I am suffering from a troublesome disease, and am
engaged in trying to cure it. I have no leisure to look after the

Now the empire is a great trust; but not to sacrifice one's life for it
is precisely where the man of TAO differs from the man of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shun offered to resign the empire to Shan Chüan. Shan Chüan said, "I
am a unit in the sum of the universe. In winter I wear fur clothes. In
summer I wear grass-cloth. In spring I plough and sow, toiling with
my body. In autumn I gather in the harvest, and devote myself to rest
and enjoyment. At dawn I go to work; at sunset I leave off. Contented
with my lot I pass through life with a light heart. Why then should I
trouble myself with the empire? Ah, Sir, you do not know me."

So he declined, and subsequently hid himself among the mountains,
nobody knew where.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shun offered the empire to a friend, a labourer of Shih Hu.

"Sire," said the latter, "you exert yourself too much. The chief thing
is to husband one's strength;"--meaning that in point of real virtue
Shun had not attained.

Then, husband and wife, bearing away their household gods and taking
their children with them, went off to the sea and never came back.

       *       *       *       *       *

When T'ai Wang Shan Fu was occupying Pin, he was attacked by savages.
He offered them skins and silk, but they declined these. He offered
them dogs and horses, but they declined these also. He then offered
them pearls and jade, but these too they declined. What they wanted was
the territory.

"To live with a man's elder brother," said T'ai Wang Shan Fu,

 Addressing his own people.

"and slay his younger brother; to live with a man's father and slay his
son,--this I could not bear to do. Make shift to remain here. To be my
subjects or the subjects of these savages, where is the difference?
Besides I have heard say that we ought not to let that which is
intended to nourish life become injurious to life."

 Alluding to the "territory."

Thereupon he took his staff and went off. His people all followed him,
and they founded a new State at the foot of Mount Ch'i.

Now T'ai Wang Shan Fu undoubtedly had a proper respect for life. And
those who have a proper respect for life, if rich and powerful, do not
let that which should nourish injure the body. If poor and lowly, they
do not allow gain to involve them in physical wear and tear.

But the men of the present generation who occupy positions of power and
influence, are all afraid of losing what they have got. Directly they
see a chance of gain, away goes all care for their bodies. Is not that
a cause for confusion?

       *       *       *       *       *

In three successive cases the people of Yüeh had put their prince to
death. Accordingly, Shou, the son of the last prince, was much alarmed,
and fled to Tan Hsüeh, leaving the State of Yüeh without a ruler.

Shou was at first nowhere to be found, but at length he was traced to
Tan Hsüeh. He was, however, unwilling to come forth, so they smoked him
out with moxa. They had a royal carriage ready for him; and as Shou
seized the cord to mount the chariot, he looked up to heaven and cried,
"Oh! ruling, ruling, could I not have been spared this?"

It was not that Shou objected to be a prince. He objected to the
dangers associated with such positions. Such a one was incapable of
sacrificing life to the State, and for that very reason the people of
Yüeh wanted to get him.

       *       *       *       *       *

The States of Han and Wei were struggling to annex each other's
territory when Tzŭ Hua Tzŭ went to see prince Chao Hsi. Finding
the latter very downcast, Tzŭ Hua Tzŭ said, "Now suppose the
representatives of the various States were to sign an agreement before
your Highness, to the effect that although cutting off the left hand
would involve loss of the right, while cutting off the right would
involve loss of the left, nevertheless that whosoever would cut off
either should be emperor over all,--would your Highness cut?"

"I would not," replied the prince.

"Very good," said Tzŭ Hua Tzŭ. "It is clear therefore that one's two
arms are worth more than the empire. And one's body is worth more than
one's arms, while the State of Han is infinitely less important than
the empire. Further, what you are struggling over is of infinitely less
importance than the State of Han. Yet your Highness is wearing out body
and soul alike in fear and anxiety lest you should not get it."

"Good indeed!" cried the prince. "Many have counselled me, but I have
never heard the like of this."

From which we may infer that Tzŭ Hua Tzŭ knew the difference between
what was of importance and what was not.

       *       *       *       *       *

The prince of Lu, hearing that Yen Ho had attained to TAO, despatched
messengers with presents to open communications.

Yen Ho lived in a hovel. He wore clothes of coarse grass, and occupied
himself in tending oxen.

When the messengers arrived, Yen Ho went out to meet them; whereupon
they enquired, "Is this where Yen Ho lives?"

"This is Yen Ho's house," replied the latter.

The messengers then produced the presents; but Yen Ho said, "I fear you
have made a mistake. And as you might get into trouble, it would be as
well to go back and make sure."

This the messengers accordingly did. When however they returned, there
was no trace to be found of Yen Ho. Thus it is that men like Yen Ho
hate wealth and power.

Wherefore it has been said that the best part of TAO is for
self-culture, the surplus for governing a State, and the dregs for
governing the empire. From which we may infer that the great deeds of
kings and princes are but the leavings of the Sage. For preserving the
body and nourishing vitality, they are of no avail. Yet the superior
men of to-day endanger their bodies and throw away their lives in their
greed for the things of this world. Is not this pitiable?

The true Sage in all his actions considers the why and the wherefore.
But there are those now-a-days who use the pearl of the prince of Sui
to shoot a bird a thousand yards off.

 A wonderfully brilliant gem, of a "ten chariot" illuminating power.

And the world of course laughs at them. Why? Because they sacrifice the
greater to get the less. But surely life is of more importance even
than the prince's pearl!

       *       *       *       *       *

Lieh Tzŭ was poor. His face wore a hungry look.

A visitor one day mentioned this to Tzŭ Yang

 Prime Minister.

of Chêng, saying, "Lieh Tzŭ is a scholar who has attained to TAO. He
lives in your Excellency's State, and yet he is poor. Can it be said
that your Excellency does not love scholars?"

Thereupon Tzŭ Yang gave orders that Lieh Tzŭ should be supplied with
food. But when Lieh Tzŭ saw the messengers, he bowed twice and declined.

When the messengers had gone, and Lieh Tzŭ went within, his wife gazed
at him, and beating her breast said, "I have heard that the wife and
children of a man of TAO are happy and joyful. But see how hungry I am.
His Excellency sent you food, and you would not take it. Is not this
flying in the face of Providence?"

"His Excellency did not know me personally," answered Lieh Tzŭ with a
smile. "It was because of what others said about me that he sent me the
food. If then men were to speak ill of me, he would also act upon it.
For that reason I refused the food."

Subsequently, there was trouble among the people of Chêng, and Tzŭ Yang
was slain.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Prince Chao of the Ch'u State lost his kingdom, he was followed
into exile by his butcher, named Yüeh.

On his restoration, as he was distributing rewards to those who had
remained faithful to him, he came to the name of Yüeh.

Yüeh, however, said, "When the prince lost his kingdom, I lost my
butchery. Now that the prince has got back his kingdom, I have got
back my butchery. I have recovered my office and salary. What need for
further reward?"

On hearing this, the prince gave orders that he should be made to take
his reward.

"It was not through my fault," argued Yüeh, "that the prince lost
his kingdom, and I should not have taken the punishment. Neither was
it through me that he got it back, and I cannot therefore accept the

When the prince heard this answer, he commanded Yüeh to be brought
before him. But Yüeh said, "The laws of the Ch'u State require that a
subject shall have deserved exceptionally well of his prince before
being admitted to an audience. Now my wisdom was insufficient to
preserve this kingdom, and my courage insufficient to destroy the
invaders. When the Wu soldiers entered Ying, I feared for my life and
fled. That was why I followed the prince. And if now the prince wishes
to set law and custom aside and summon me to an audience, this is not
my idea of proper behaviour on the part of the prince."

"Yüeh," said the prince to Tzŭ Chi, his master of the horse, "occupies
a lowly position; yet his principles are of the most lofty. Go, make
him a San Ching."

"I am aware," replied Yüeh to the master of the horse, "that the post
of San Ching is more honourable than that of butcher. And I am aware
that the emolument is larger than what I now receive. Still, because I
want preferment and salary, I cannot let my prince earn the reputation
of being injudicious in his patronage. I must beg to decline. Let me go
back to my butchery."

And he adhered to his refusal.

Yüan Hsien dwelt in Lu,--in a mud hut, with a grass-grown roof, an
apology for a door, and two mulberry-trees for door-posts. The windows
which lighted his two rooms were no bigger than the mouth of a jar, and
were closed by a wad of old clothes. The hut leaked from above and was
damp under foot; yet Yüan Hsien sat gravely there playing on the guitar.

Tzŭ Kung came driving up in a fine chariot, in a white robe lined with
purple; but the hood of the chariot was too big for the street.

When he went to see Yüan Hsien, the latter came to the door in a
flowery cap, with his shoes down at heel, and leaning on a stalk.

"Good gracious!" cried Tzŭ Kung, "whatever is the matter with you?"

"I have heard," replied Yüan Hsien, "that he who is without wealth is
called poor, and that he who learns without being able to practise is
said to have something the matter with him. Now I am merely poor; I
have nothing the matter with me."

Tzŭ Kung was much abashed at this reply; upon which Yüan Hsien smiling
continued, "To try to thrust myself forward among men; to seek
friendship in mutual flattery; to learn for the sake of others; to
teach for my own sake; to use benevolence and duty to one's neighbour
for evil ends; to make a great show with horses and carriages,--these
things I cannot do."

       *       *       *       *       *

Tsêng Tzŭ lived in the Wei State. His wadded coat had no outside
cloth. His face was bloated and rough. His hands and feet were horny
hard. For three days he had had no fire; no new clothes for ten years.
If he set his cap straight the tassel would come off. If he drew up his
sleeve his elbow would poke through. If he pulled up his shoe, the heel
would come off. Yet slipshod he sang the _Sacrificial Odes of Shang_,
his voice filling the whole sky, as though it had been some instrument
of metal or stone.

The Son of Heaven could not secure him as a minister. The feudal
princes could not secure him as a friend. For he who nourishes his
purpose becomes oblivious of his body. He who nourishes his body
becomes oblivious of gain. And he who has attained TAO becomes
oblivious of his mind.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Come hither," said Confucius to Yen Hui. "Your family is poor, and
your position lowly. Why not go into official life?"

"I do not wish to," replied Yen Hui. "I have fifty acres of land
beyond the city walls, which are enough to supply me with food. Ten
more within the walls provide me with clothes. My lute gives me all
the amusement I want; and the study of your doctrines keeps me happy
enough. I do not desire to go into official life."

"Bravo! well said!" cried Confucius with beaming countenance. "I have
heard say that those who are contented do not entangle themselves
in the pursuit of gain. That those who have really obtained do not
fear the contingency of loss. That those who devote themselves to
cultivation of the inner man, though occupying no position, feel no
shame. Thus indeed I have long preached. Only now, that I have seen Yen
Hui, am I conscious of the realisation of these words."

       *       *       *       *       *

Prince Mou of Chung-shan said to Chan Tzŭ, "My body is in the country,
but my heart is in town. What am I to do?"

"Make life of paramount importance," answered Chan Tzŭ, "and worldly
advantage will cease to have weight."

"That I know," replied the Prince; "but I am not equal to the task."

"If you are not equal to this," said Chan Tzŭ, "then it were well for
you to pursue your natural bent. Not to be equal to a task, and yet
to force oneself to stick to it,--this is called adding one injury to
another. And those who suffer such two-fold injury do not belong to the
class of the long-lived."

Prince Mou of Wei was heir to the throne of a large State. For him to
become a hermit among the hills was more difficult than for an ordinary
cotton-clothed scholar. And although he had not attained to TAO, he may
be said to have been on the way thither.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Confucius was caught between the Ch'êns and the Ts'ais, he went
seven days without proper food. He ate soup of herbs, having no rice.
He looked very much exhausted, yet he sat within playing his guitar and
singing to it.

Yen Hui was picking over the herbs, while Tzŭ Lu and Tzŭ Kung were
talking together. One of them said, "Our Master has twice been driven
out of Lu. They will have none of him in Wei. His tree was cut down in
Sung. He got into trouble in Shang and Chou. And now he is surrounded
by the Ch'êns and the Ts'ais. Whoever kills him is to be held
guiltless. Whoever takes him prisoner is not to be interfered with. Yet
all the time he goes on playing and singing without cease. Is this the
right thing for a superior man to do?"

Yen Hui said nothing, but went inside and told Confucius, who laid
aside his guitar and said with a loud sigh, "Yu and Tzŭ are ignorant

 These were their personal names.

Bid them come, and I will speak to them."

When they entered Tzŭ Lu said, "We seem to have made a thorough

"What do you mean?" cried Confucius. "The superior man who succeeds
in TAO, has success. If he fails in TAO, he makes a failure. Now I,
holding fast to the TAO of charity and duty towards one's neighbour,
have fallen among the troubles of a disordered age. What failure is
there in that?

"Therefore it is that by cultivation of the inner man there is no
failure in TAO, and when danger comes there is no loss of virtue. It is
the chill winter weather, it is frost, it is snow, which bring out the
luxuriance of the pine and the fir.

 See _Lun Yü_, ix, 27.

I regard it as a positive blessing to be thus situated as I am."

Thereupon he turned abruptly round and went on playing and singing.

At this Tzŭ Lu hastily seized a shield and began dancing to the music,
while Tzŭ Kung said, "I had no idea of the height of heaven and of the
depth of earth."

The ancients who attained TAO were equally happy under success and
failure. Their happiness had nothing to do with their failure or their
success. TAO once attained, failure and success became mere links in a
chain, like cold, heat, wind, and rain. Thus Hsü Yu enjoyed himself at
Ying-yang, and Kung Poh found happiness on the hill-top.

 Whither he retired after a reign of 14 years.

Shun offered to resign the empire to his friend Pei Jen Wu Tsê.

"What a strange manner of man you are!" cried the latter. "Living in
the furrowed fields, you exchanged such a life for the throne of Yao.
And as if that was not enough, you now try to heap indignity upon me. I
am ashamed of you."

Thereupon he drowned himself in the waters of Ch'ing-ling.

 "But how about preservation of life?" asks Lin Hsi Chung with a sneer.

When T'ang was about to attack Chieh, he went to consult with Pien Sui.

"It is not a matter in which I can help you," said the latter.

"Who can?" asked T'ang.

"I do not know," replied Pien Sui.

T'ang then went to consult with Wu Kuang.

"It is not a matter in which I can help you," said the latter.

"Who can?" asked T'ang.

"I do not know," replied Wu Kuang.

"What do you think of I Yin?" asked T'ang.

"He forces himself," said Wu Kuang, "to put up with obloquy. Beyond
this I know nothing of him."

So T'ang took I Yin into his counsels. They attacked Chieh, and
vanquished him.

Then T'ang offered to resign the empire in favour of Pien Sui. But
Pien Sui declined, saying, "When your Majesty consulted with me about
attacking Chieh, you evidently looked on me as a robber.

 Who would steal territory. But men of TAO wage no wars.

Now that you have vanquished him, and you offer to resign in my favour,
you evidently regard me as covetous. I was born indeed in a disordered
age. But for a man without TAO to thus insult me twice, is more than I
can endure."

So he drowned himself in the river Chou.

Then T'ang offered to resign in favour of Wu Kuang, saying, "The wise
plan, the brave execute, the good rest therein,--such was the TAO of
the ancients. Why, Sir, should not you occupy the throne?"

But Wu Kuang declined, saying, "To depose a ruler is not to do one's
duty to one's neighbour. To slay the people is not charity. For others
to suffer these wrongs, while I enjoy the profits, is not honest. I
have heard say that one should not accept a wage unless earned in
accordance with right; and that if the world is without TAO, one should
not put foot upon its soil, still less rule over it! I can bear this no

Thereupon he took a stone on his back and jumped into the river Lu.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the rise of the Chou dynasty there were two scholars, named Po I and
Shu Ch'i, who lived in Ku-tu.

One of these said to the other, "I have heard that in the west there
are men who are apparently in possession of TAO. Let us go and see

 Meaning the men of Chou.

When they arrived at Ch'i-yang, Wu Wang

 The writer meant Wên Wang, father of Wu Wang.

heard of their arrival and sent Shu Tan

 Chou Kung.

to enter into a treaty with them. They were to receive emoluments of
the second degree and rank of the first degree. The treaty was to be
sealed with blood and buried.

At this the two looked at each other and smiled. "Ah!" said one of
them, "this is strange indeed. It is not what we call TAO.

"When Shên Nung ruled the empire, he worshipped God without asking for
any reward. Sometimes it was the law he put in force; sometimes it was
his personal influence he brought to bear. He was loyal and faithful
to his people without seeking any return. He did not build his success
upon another's ruin, nor mount high by means of another's fall, nor
seize opportunities to secure his own advantage.

"But now that the Chous, beholding the iniquities of the Yins,
have taken upon themselves to govern, we have intrigues above and
bribes below. Troops are mobilised to protect prestige. Victims are
slaughtered to give good faith to a treaty. A show of virtue is made to
amuse the masses. Fighting and slaughter are made the means of gain.
Confusion has simply been exchanged for disorder.

"I have heard tell that the men of old, living in quiet times, never
shirked their duties; but lighting upon troublous times, nothing could
make them stay. The empire is now in darkness. The virtue of the Chous
has faded. For the empire to be united under the Chous would be a
disgrace to us. Better flee away and keep our actions pure."

Accordingly, these two philosophers went north to Mount Shou-yang,
where they subsequently starved themselves to death.

Men like Poh I and Shu Ch'i, if wealth and honour came to them so that
they could properly accept, would assuredly not have recourse to such
heroic measures, nor would they be content to follow their own bent,
without giving their services to their generation. Such was the purity
of these two scholars.




Confucius was on terms of friendship with Liu Hsia Chi, whose younger
brother was known as "Robber Chê."

 This is an anachronism. Liu Hsia Chi (_or_ Hui) was a virtuous
 official of the Lu State. He flourished some 80 and more years before
 the time of Confucius.

Robber Chê had a band of followers nine thousand strong. He ravaged
the whole empire, plundering the various nobles and breaking into
people's houses. He drove off oxen and horses. He stole men's wives and
daughters. Family ties put no limit to his greed. He had no respect for
parents nor for brothers. He neglected the worship of his ancestors.
Wherever he passed, the greater States flew to arms, the smaller ones
to places of safety. All the people were sore distressed.

"A father," said Confucius to Liu Hsia Chi, "should surely be able
to admonish his son; an elder brother to teach his younger brother.
If this be not so, there is an end of the value attached to these

"Now you, Sir, are one of the scholars of the age, while your younger
brother is the Robber Chê, the scourge of the empire. You are unable to
teach him, and I blush for you. Let me go and have a talk with him on
your behalf."

"As to what you say, Sir, about fathers and elder brothers," answered
Liu Hsia Chi, "if the son will not listen to his father, nor the
younger brother to his elder brother, what becomes of your arguments

"Besides, Chê's passions are like a bubbling spring. His thoughts are
like a whirlwind. He is strong enough to defy all foes. He can argue
until wrong becomes right. If you follow his inclinations, he is
pleased. If you oppose them he is angry. He is free with the language
of abuse. Do not go near him."

Confucius paid no attention to this advice; but with Yen Hui as
charioteer and Tzŭ Kung on his right, went off to see Robber Chê.

The latter had just encamped to the south of T'ai-shan, and was engaged
in devouring a dish of minced human liver. Confucius alighted from his
chariot, and advancing addressed the doorkeeper as follows:--

"I am Confucius of the Lu State. I have heard of the high character of
your captain."

He then twice respectfully saluted the doorkeeper, who went in to
announce his arrival.

When Robber Chê heard who it was, he was furious. His eyes glared like
stars. His hair raised his cap from his head as he cried out, "What!
that crafty scoundrel Confucius of Lu? Go, tell him from me that he
is a mere word-mongerer. That he talks nonsense about Wên Wang and Wu
Wang. That he wears an extravagant cap, with a thong from the side of
a dead ox. That what he says is mostly rhodomontade. That he consumes
where he does not sow, and wears clothes he does not weave. That his
lips patter and his tongue wags. That his rights and wrongs are of his
own coining, whereby he throws dust in the eyes of rulers and prevents
the scholars of the empire from reverting to the original source of all

 _Sc._ TAO.

That he makes a great stir about filial piety and brotherly love, glad
enough himself to secure some fat fief or post of power. Tell him that
he deserves the worst, and that if he does not take himself off his
liver shall be in my morning stew."

But Confucius sent in again, saying, "I am a friend of Liu Hsia Chi. I
am anxious to set eyes upon your captain's shoe-strings."

 Another interpretation is "upon your captain's feet visible from
 beneath the screen."

When the doorkeeper gave this second message, Robber Chê said, "Bring
him before me!" Thereupon Confucius hurried in, and avoiding the place
of honour stepped back and made two obeisances.

Robber Chê, flaming with anger, straddled out his two legs, and laying
his hand upon his sword glared at Confucius and roaring like a tigress
with young, said, "Ch'iu! come here. If what you say suits my ideas,
you will live. Otherwise you will die."

"I have heard," replied Confucius, "that the world contains three
classes of virtue. To grow up tall, of a beauty without compare, and
thus to be the idol of young and old, of noble and lowly alike,--this
is the highest class. To be possessed of wisdom which embraces the
universe and can explain all things,--this is the middle class. To
be possessed of courage which will stand test and gather followers
around,--this is the lowest class.

"Now any man whose virtue belongs to either of these classes is fit to
occupy the place and title of ruler. But you, Captain, unite all three
in yourself. You are eight feet two in height. Your expression is very
bright. Your lips are like vermilion. Your teeth like a row of shells.
Your voice is like a beautiful bell;--yet you are known as Robber Chê.
Captain, I blush for you.

"Captain, if you will hearken to me I will go south for you to Wu and
Yüeh, north to Ch'i and Lu, east to Sung and Wei, and west to Chin and
Ch'u. I will have a great wall built for you of many _li_ in extent,
enclosing hamlets of many hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, over
which State you shall be ruler. Your relations with the empire will
enter upon a new phase. You will disband your men. You will gather your
brothers around you. You will join in worship of your ancestors. Such
is the behaviour of the true Sage and the man of parts, and such is
what the world desires."

"Ch'iu! come here," cried Robber Chê in a great rage. "Those who are
squared by offers and corrected by words are the stupid vulgar masses.
The height and the beauty which you praise in me are legacies from my
parents. Even though you did not praise them, do you think I should be
ignorant of their existence? Besides, those who flatter to the face
speak evil behind the back. Now all you have been saying about the
great State and its numerous population simply means squaring me by
offers as though one of the common herd. And of course it would not

"There is no State bigger than the empire. Yao and Shun both got this,
yet their descendants have not territory enough to insert an awl's
point. T'ang and Wu Wang both sat upon the Imperial throne, yet their
posterity has been obliterated from the face of the earth.

 Hardly in Chuang Tzŭ's time.

Was not this because of the very magnitude of the prize?

"I have also heard that in olden times the birds and animals
outnumbered man, and that the latter was obliged to seek his safety
by building his domicile in trees. By day he picked up acorns
and chestnuts. At night he slept upon a branch. Hence the name

"Of old, the people did not know how to make clothes. In summer they
collected quantities of fuel, and in winter warmed themselves by fire.
Hence the name _Provident_.

"In the days of Shên Nung, they lay down without caring where they were
and got up without caring whither they might go. A man knew his mother
but not his father. He lived among the wild deer. He tilled the ground
for food. He wove cloth to cover his body. He harboured no thought of
injury to others. These were the glorious results of an age of perfect

"The Yellow Emperor, however, could not attain to this virtue. He
fought with Ch'ih Yu at Chŏ-lu, and blood flowed for a hundred _li_.
Then came Yao and Shun with their crowd of ministers. Then T'ang who
deposed his sovereign, and Wu Wang who slew Chou. After which time
the strong took to oppressing the weak, the many to coercing the few.
In fact, ever since T'ang and Wu Wang we have had none other than
disturbers of the peace.

"And now you come forward preaching the old dogmas of Wên Wang
and palming off sophistries without end, in order to teach future
generations. You wear patched clothes and a narrow girdle, you talk
big and act falsely, in order to deceive the rulers of the land, while
all the time you yourself are aiming at wealth and power! You are the
biggest thief I know of; and if the world calls me Robber Chê, it most
certainly ought to call you Robber Ch'iu.

"By fair words you enticed Tzŭ Lu to follow you. You made him doff his
martial cap,

 Shaped like a cock's comb.

and ungird his long sword, and sit a disciple at your feet. And all
the world cried out that Confucius could stop violence and prevent
wrong-doing. By and by, when Tzŭ Lu wished to slay the prince of Wei,
but failed, and was himself hacked to pieces and exposed over the
eastern gate of Wei,--that was because you had not properly instructed

 See the account in the _Tso Chuan_.

"You call yourself a man of talent and a Sage forsooth! Twice you have
been driven out of Lu. You were tabooed in Wei. You were a failure in
Ch'i. You were surrounded by the Ch'êns and the Ts'ais. In fact, the
empire won't have you anywhere. It was your teaching which brought Tzŭ
Lu to his tragical end. You cannot take care, in the first place, of
yourself, nor, in the second place, of others. Of what value can your
doctrine be?

"There is none to whom mankind has accorded a higher place than to the
Yellow Emperor. Yet his virtue was not complete. He fought at Chŏ-lu,
and blood ran for a hundred _li_. Yao was not paternal.

 He killed his eldest son.

Shun was not filial.

 He banished his mother's younger brother.

The great Yü was deficient in one respect.

 He was wanting in natural feeling. When engaged in his great
 engineering work of draining the empire, he even passed his own door
 without going in to see his family.

T'ang deposed his sovereign. Wu Wang vanquished Chou. Wên Wang was
imprisoned at Yin Li.

"Now these six worthies enjoy a high reputation among men. Yet a fuller
investigation shows that in each case a desire for advantage disturbed
their original purity and forced it into a contrary direction. Hence
the shamelessness of their deeds.

"Among those whom the world calls virtuous were Poh I and Shu Ch'i.
They declined the sovereignty of Ku-chu and died of starvation on Mount
Shou-yang, their corpses deprived of burial.

"Pao Chiao made a great show of virtue and abused the world in general.
He grasped a tree and died.

 Tzŭ Kung, one of Confucius' disciples, is said to have scolded Pao
 Chiao so vigorously that the latter withered up into dead wood.

"Shên T'u Ti, when no heed was paid to his counsels, jumped into the
river with a stone on his back and became food for fishes.

 See p. 72.

"Chieh Tzŭ T'ui was truly loyal. He cut a slice from his thigh to feed
Wên Wang. Afterwards, when Wên Wang turned his back upon him, he
retired in anger, and grasping a tree, was burnt to death.

 He took refuge in a forest, from which Wên Wang, anxious to recover
 his friend, tried to smoke him out!

"Wei Shêng made an assignation with a girl beneath a bridge. The girl
did not come, and the water rose. But Wei Shêng would not leave. He
grasped a buttress and died.

"These four differed in no way from dogs and pigs going about begging
to be slaughtered. They all exaggerated reputation and disregarded
death. They did not reflect upon their original nature and seek to
preserve life into the old age allotted.

"Among ministers whom the world calls loyal, none can compare with
Wang Tzŭ, Pi Kan, and Wu Tzŭ Hsü. The last-mentioned drowned himself.
Pi Kan was disembowelled. These two worthies are what men call loyal
ministers; yet, as a matter of fact, all the world laughs at them!

"Thus, from the most ancient times down to Tzŭ Hsü and Pi Kan, there
have been none deserving of honour. And as to the sermon you, Ch'iu,
propose to preach to me,--if it is on ghostly subjects, I shan't
understand them, and if it is on human affairs, why there is nothing
more to be said. I know it all already.

"I will now tell you a few things. The lust of the eye is for beauty.
The lust of the ear is for music. The lust of the palate is for
flavour. The lust of ambition is for gratification. Man's greatest
age is one hundred years. A medium old age is eighty years. The lowest
estimate is sixty years. Take away from this the hours of sickness,
disease, death, mourning, sorrow, and trouble, and there will not
remain more than four or five days a month upon which a man may open
his mouth to laugh. Heaven and Earth are everlasting. Sooner or later
every man has to die. That which thus has a limit, as compared with
that which is everlasting, is a mere flash, like the passage of some
swift steed seen through a crack. And those who cannot gratify their
ambition and live through their allotted span, are men who have not
attained to TAO.

"Ch'iu! all your teachings are nothing to me. Begone! Go home! Say no
more! Your doctrine is a random jargon, full of falsity and deceit. It
can never preserve the original purity of man. Why discuss it further?"

Confucius made two obeisances and hurriedly took his leave. On mounting
his chariot, he three times missed hold of the reins. His eyes were so
dazed that he could see nothing. His face was ashy pale. With down-cast
head he grasped the bar of his chariot, unable to find vent for his

Arriving outside the eastern gate of Lu, he met Liu Hsia Chi, who said,
"I have not seen you for some days. From the look of your equipage I
should say you had been travelling. I guess now you have been to see

Confucius looked up to heaven, and replied with a sigh, "I have."

"And did he not rebuff you," asked Liu Hsia Chi, "as I said he would?"

"He did," said Confucius. "I am a man who has cauterized himself
without being ill. I hurried away to smooth the tiger's head and comb
out his beard. And I very nearly got into the tiger's mouth."

       *       *       *       *       *

Tzŭ Chang asked Man Kou Tê,

 Which means "Full of the Ill-gotten."

saying, "Why do you not practise virtue? Otherwise, it is impossible
to inspire confidence. And without confidence, no place. And without
place, no wealth. Thus, with a view to reputation or to wealth, duty
towards one's neighbour is the true key.

 As leading to reputation, which was what Tzŭ Chang wanted.

If you were to discard all thoughts of reputation and wealth and attend
to the cultivation of the heart, surely you would not pass one day
without practising the higher virtues."

"Those who have no shame," replied Man Kou Tê,

 Meaning himself.

"grow rich. Those who inspire confidence make themselves conspicuous.

 Meaning Tzŭ Chang.

Reputation and wealth are mostly to be got out of shamelessness and
confidence inspired. Thus, with a view to reputation or to wealth, the
confidence of others is the true key.

 As leading to wealth, which was what Man Kou Tê wanted.

If you were to discard all thoughts of reputation and wealth, surely
the virtuous man would then have no scope beyond himself."

 Beyond his own nature.

"Of old," said Tzŭ Chang, "Chieh and Chou sat upon the Imperial throne,
and the whole empire was theirs. Yet if you were now to tell any common
thief that his moral qualities resembled theirs, he would resent it as
an insult. By such miserable creatures are they despised."

"Confucius and Mih Tzŭ, on the other hand, were poor and simple enough.
Yet if you were to tell any Prime Minister of to-day that his moral
qualities resembled theirs, he would flush with pride and declare you
were paying him too high a compliment. So truly honourable is the man
of learning.

"Thus, the power of a monarch does not necessarily make him worthy;
nor do poverty and a low station necessarily make a man unworthy.
The worthy and the unworthy are differentiated by the worthiness and
unworthiness of their acts."

"A petty thief," replied Man Kou Tê, "is put in gaol. A great brigand
becomes ruler of a State. And among the retainers of the latter, men
of virtue will be found.

"Of old, Duke Huan, named Hsiao Poh, slew his elder brother and took
his sister-in-law to wife. Yet Kuan Chung became his minister.

"T'ien Ch'êng Tzŭ killed his prince and seized the kingdom. Yet
Confucius accepted his pay.

 See p. 111.

"To condemn a man in words, yet actually to take service under
him,--does not this show us practice and precept directly opposed to
one another?

"Therefore it was written, 'Who is bad? Who is good? He who succeeds is
the head. He who does not succeed is the tail.'"

"But if you do not practise virtue," said Tzŭ Chang, "and make no
distinction between kith and kin, assign no duties to the worthy and
to the unworthy, no precedence to young and old, how then are the Five
Bonds and the Six Ranks to be distinguished?"

 Commentators are divided as to these Bonds and Ranks. One makes the
 former calendaric. Another considers that the five cardinal virtues
 and six ranks of nobility are meant. Of the latter there are only
 five, but "sovereign" is added to patch the deficiency.

"Yao slew his eldest son," answered Man Kou Tê. "Shun banished his
mother's brother. Was there kith and kin in that?

"T'ang deposed Chieh. Wu Wang slew Chou. Was that the duty of the
worthy towards the unworthy?

"Wang Chi was the legitimate heir, but Chow Kung slew his elder
brother. Was that precedence of young and old?

"The false principles of the Confucianists, the universal love of the
Mihists,--do these help to distinguish the Five Bonds and the Six Ranks?

"You, Sir, are all for reputation. I am all for wealth. As to which
pursuit is not in accordance with principle nor in harmony with right,
let us refer to the arbitration of Wu Yoh."

"The mean man," said Wu Yoh, "devotes himself to wealth. The superior
man devotes himself to reputation. The moral results are different in
each case. But if both would set aside their activities and devote
themselves to doing nothing, the results would be the same.

"Wherefore it has been said, 'Be not a mean man. Revert to your natural
self. Be not a superior man. Abide by the laws of heaven.'

"As to the straight and the crooked, view them from the standpoint of
the infinite.

 All distinctions are thus merged.

Gaze around you on all sides, until time withdraws you from the scene.

"As to the right and the wrong, hold fast to your magic circle,

 At the centre of which all positives and negatives converge. See ch.
 ii, p. 18.

and with independent mind walk ever in the way of TAO.

"Do not swerve from the path of virtue; do not bring about your own
good deeds,--lest your labour be lost. Do not make for wealth; do not
aim at success,--lest you cast away that which links you to God.

"Pi Kan was disembowelled. Tzŭ Hsü had his eyes gouged out.

 Better known as Wu Yüan. See p. 112. He expressed a wish to be buried
 on the road to the Yüeh State that he might witness the defeat of the
 Wu State. Whereupon the prince of the latter State at once had him
 deprived of sight.

Such was the fate of loyalty.

"Chih Kung bore witness against his father. Wei Shêng was drowned. Such
are the misfortunes of the faithful.

"Pao Chiao dried up where he stood. Shên Tzŭ would not justify himself.

 He would not defend himself against a charge of putting poison in his
 father's food.

Such are the evils of honesty.

"Confucius did not visit his mother.

 There is no authority for this statement.

K'uang Tzŭ did not visit his father.

 By whom he had been turned out of doors.

Such are the trials which come upon the upright.

"The above instances have been handed down to us from antiquity and are
discussed in modern times. They show that men of learning emphasized
their precepts by carrying them out in practice; and that consequently
they paid the penalty and fell into these calamities."

       *       *       *       *       *

Discontent asked Complacency, saying, "There is really no one who
does not either aim at reputation or make for wealth. If a man is
rich, others flock around him. These necessarily take a subordinate
position, and consequently pay him court. And it would seem that
such subordination and respect constitute a royal road to long life,
comfort, and general happiness. How is it then that you, Sir, have no
mind for these things? Is it that you are wanting in wit? Or is it that
you are physically unable to compete, and therefore go in for being
virtuous, though all the time unable to forget?"

"You and your friends," replied Complacency, "regard all men as alike
because they happen to be born at the same time and in the same place
as yourselves. You look on us as scholars who have separated from
humanity and cast off the world, and who have no guiding principle
beyond poring over the records of the past and present, or indulging in
the logomachy of this and that.

"Were we to lead the mundane lives you do, it would be at the sacrifice
of the very conditions of existence. And surely thus we should be
wandering far from the royal road to long life, comfort, and general
happiness. The discomfort of wretchedness, the comfort of well-being,
you do not refer to the body.

 But to some external cause of which the body becomes subjectively

The abjectness of terror, the elation of joy, you do not refer to the
mind itself. You know that such things are so, but you do not know how
they are so. Wherefore, though equalling the Son of Heaven in power,
and with all the empire as your personal property, you would not be
free from care."

"Wealth," replied Discontent, "is of the greatest service to a man.
It enables him to do good, and to exert power, to an extent which the
perfect man or the true Sage could never reach. He can borrow the
courage and strength of others to make himself formidable. He can
employ the wisdom and counsels of others to add clearness to his own
deliberations. He can avail himself of the virtue of others and cause
it to appear as his own. Without being in possession of a throne, he
can wield the authority of a prince.

"Besides, the pleasures of music, beauty, rich food, and power, do not
require to be studied before they can be appreciated by the mind; nor
does the body need the example of others before it can enjoy them. We
need no teacher to tell us what to like or dislike, to follow or to
avoid. Such knowledge is instinctive in man. The world may condemn this
view, but which of us is free from the taint?"

"The wise man," answered Complacency, "acts for the common weal, in
pursuit of which he does not overstep due limits. Wherefore, if there
is a sufficiency, he does not strive for more. He has no use for more,
and accordingly does not seek it. But if there is not a sufficiency,
then he seeks for more. He strives in all directions, yet does not
account it greed. If there is a surplus, he declines it. Even though
he refused the whole empire, he would not account it honesty. To him,
honesty and greed are not conditions into which we are forced by
outward circumstances, but characteristics innate in the individual.
He may wield the power of the Son of Heaven, but will not employ it
for the degradation of others. He may own the whole empire, yet will
not use his wealth to take advantage of his fellows. But a calculation
of the troubles and the anxieties inseparable therefrom, cause him
to reject these as injurious to his nature, not from a desire for

"When Yao and Shun occupied the throne, there was peace. They did not
try to be beneficent rulers. They did not inflict injury by doing good.

 They were simply natural, and good results followed.

"Shan Chüan and Hsü Yu both declined the proffered throne. Theirs was
no empty refusal. They would not cause injury to themselves.

"In all these cases, each individual adopted the profitable course in
preference to the injurious course. And the world calls them virtuous,
whereby they acquire a reputation at which they never aimed."

"It is necessary," argued Discontent, "to cling to reputation. If
all pleasures are to be denied to the body and one's energies to be
concentrated upon health with a view to the prolongation of life, such
life would be itself nothing more than the prolonged illness of a
confirmed invalid."

"Happiness," said Complacency, "is to be found in contentment. Too much
is always a curse, most of all in wealth.

"The ears of the wealthy man ring with sounds of sweet music. His
palate is cloyed with rich meats and wine. In the pursuit of pleasure,
business is forgotten. This is confusion.

"He eats and drinks to excess, until his breathing is that of one
carrying a heavy load up a hill. This is misery.

"He covets money to surround himself with comforts. He covets power
to vanquish rivals. But his quiet hours are darkened by diabetes and
dropsy. This is disease.

"Even when, in his desire for wealth, he has piled up an enormous
fortune, he still goes on and cannot desist. This is shame.

"Having no use for the money he has collected, he still hugs it to him
and cannot bear to part with it. His heart is inflamed, and he ever
seeks to add more to the pile. This is unhappiness.

"At home, he dreads the pest of the pilfering thief. Abroad, the
danger of bandit and highwayman. So he keeps strict guard within, while
never venturing alone without. This is fear.

"These six are the greatest of the world's curses. Yet such a man never
bestows a thought upon them, until the hour of misfortune is at hand.
Then, with his ambitions gratified, his natural powers exhausted, and
nothing but wealth remaining, he would gladly obtain one day's peace,
but cannot do so.

"Wherefore, if reputation is not to be enjoyed and wealth is not to be
secured, how pitiable it is that men should harass their minds and wear
out their bodies in such pursuits!"




Of old, Wên Wang of Chao loved sword-play. Swordsmen thronged his
halls, to the number of three thousand and more. Day and night they had
bouts before the prince. In the course of a year, a hundred or so would
be killed or wounded. Yet the prince was never satisfied.

Within three years, the State had begun to go to rack and ruin, and
other princes to form designs upon it. Thereupon the Heir Apparent, Li,
became troubled in mind; and said to the officers of his household,
"Whosoever shall persuade the prince to do away with these swordsmen,
to him I will give a thousand ounces of silver."

To this his officers replied, "Chuang Tzŭ is the man."

Thereupon the Heir Apparent sent messengers to Chuang Tzŭ with a
thousand ounces of silver, which he would not accept, but accompanied
the messengers back to their master.

"What does your Highness require of me," asked Chuang Tzŭ, "that you
should bestow upon me a thousand ounces?"

"I had heard," replied the young prince, "that you were a famous Sage,
and I ventured to send this money as a present to your servants.

 Merely a ceremonious phrase.

But as you would not receive it, what more can I say?"

"I understand," answered Chuang Tzŭ, "that your Highness would have
me cure the prince of his peculiar weakness. Now suppose that I do
not succeed with the prince, and consequently with your Highness, the
punishment of death is what I have to expect. What good would the
thousand ounces be to me then?"

"On the other hand, if I succeed with the prince, and consequently with
your Highness, the whole State of Chao contains nothing I could not
have for the asking."

"You must know, however," said the young prince, "that my father will
only receive swordsmen."

"Well," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "I am a good swordsman myself."

"Besides which," added the Heir Apparent, "the swordsmen he is
accustomed to see have all dishevelled hair hanging over their temples.
They wear slouching caps with coarse tangled tassels, and short-tailed
coats. They glare with their eyes and talk in a fierce tone. This is
what my father likes. But if you go to him dressed in your ordinary
scholar's dress, the result is sure to be disastrous."

"I will accustom myself to the dress," replied Chuang Tzŭ; and after
practising for three days, he went again to see the young prince, who
accompanied him into his father's presence.

The latter drew a sharp sword and awaited Chuang Tzŭ's approach. But
Chuang Tzŭ, when he entered the door of the audience chamber, did not
hurry forward, neither did he prostrate himself before the prince.

"What have you to say to me," cried the prince, "that you have obtained
your introduction through the Heir Apparent?"

"I have heard," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "that your Highness loves
sword-play. Therefore I have come to exhibit my skill."

"What can you do in that line?" asked the prince.

"Were I to meet an opponent," said Chuang Tzŭ, "at every ten paces, I
could go on for a thousand _li_ without being stopped."

"Bravo!" cried the prince. "There is not your match in the empire."

"When I fight," continued Chuang Tzŭ, "I make a show of being weak but
push a vigorous attack. The last to start, I am the first to arrive. I
should like your Highness to make trial of me."

"Rest awhile," replied the prince. "Stay here and await orders. I will
arrange a day for you."

Thereupon the prince spent seven days in trying his swordsmen. Some
sixty of them were either killed or wounded, but at length he selected
five or six and bade them attend in the audience-chamber with their
swords. He then summoned Chuang Tzŭ and said, "Now I will see what your
swordsmanship is worth."

"I have been longing for this," replied Chuang Tzŭ.

"Does it matter to you," asked the prince, "of what length your weapon
may be?"

"Not at all," replied Chuang Tzŭ. "I have three swords, of which I will
ask your Highness to choose one. We will then proceed to the trial."

"Which are your three swords?" enquired the prince.

"There is the sword of the Son of Heaven," said Chuang Tzŭ, "the sword
of the Princes, and the sword of the People."

"What is the sword of the Son of Heaven?" asked the prince.

"The stone wall of Yen-ch'i is its point," replied Chuang Tzŭ.

 Some take "stone wall" as the name of a place.

"The mountains of Ch'i are its edge. Chin and Wei are its back. Chou
and Sung are its hilt. Han and Wei are its sheath. It is enclosed in
the four hordes of barbarians, wrapped in the four seasons, surrounded
by the great ocean. It is made of the five elements. It is the arbiter
of punishment and reward. It operates under the influence of the Yin
and the Yang. In spring and summer it is at rest. In autumn and winter
it moves abroad. Push it, it does not advance. Raise it, it does not go
up. Lower it, it does not go down. Whirl it around, it does not change
position. Above, it cleaves the floating clouds; below, it cuts through
the density of earth. One flash of this blade, and the princes of the
empire submit. Such is the sword of the Son of Heaven."

At this the prince seemed absorbed in his reflections. Then he
enquired, saying, "And what is the sword of the Princes?"

"The Wise and brave," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "are its point. The
incorruptible are its edge. The virtuous are its back. The loyal are
its hilt. The heroic are its sheath. You may push this sword too, it
will not advance. Raise it, it will not go up. Lower it, it will not go
down. Whirl it around, it will not change position. Above, it models
itself upon the round heaven, in order to keep in harmony with the sun,
moon, and stars. Below, it models itself upon the square earth, in
order to keep in harmony with the four seasons. It adapts itself to the
wishes of the people, in order to diffuse peace on all sides. One flash
of this blade is like a roaring clap of thunder. Between the boundaries
of the State there is not left one but who yields and obeys the command
of his prince. Such is the sword of the Princes."

"And the sword of the People?" enquired the prince.

"The sword of the People," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "has dishevelled hair
hanging over its temples. It wears a slouching cap with coarse tangled
tassel, and a short-tailed coat. It glares with its eyes and talks in
a fierce tone. When it engages in conflict, above, it cuts off head
and neck; below, it smites liver and lungs. Such is the sword of the
People. It is like a game-cock. One day, its life is cut short, and it
is of no more use to the State.

"Now you, great prince, wield sovereign power, and yet you devote
yourself to this sword of the People. I am truly ashamed of it."

Thereupon the prince drew Chuang Tzŭ up on to the dais, and the
attendants served food, the king three times assisting with his own

 The prince each time received the dish from the attendants, handed it
 to Chuang Tzŭ, and then walked _round_ to his own seat again.

"Be seated, great prince," said Chuang Tzŭ, "and compose your mind. I
have said all I have to say on swords."

After this the prince did not quit his palace for three months, while
the swordsmen, submitting to the new order of things, died in their own

 One commentator says "killed themselves in their own dwellings." But
 if so, Chuang Tzŭ's influence was of small practical value as far as
 the swordsmen were concerned. They might as well have continued their
 profession of arms.




Confucius, travelling in the Black Forest, rested awhile at Apricot
Altar. His disciples sat down to their books, and he himself played
upon the lute and sang.

Half way through the song, an old fisherman stepped out of a boat and
advanced towards them. His beard and eyebrows were snowy white. His
hair hung loose, and he flapped his long sleeves as he walked over the
foreshore. Reaching firm ground, he stood still, and with left hand on
his knee and right hand to his ear, listened.

When the song was finished, he beckoned to Tzŭ Kung and Tzŭ Lu, both of
whom went to him. Then pointing with his finger, he enquired, saying,
"What is that man doing here?"

"He is the Sage of Lu," replied Tzŭ Lu.

"Of what clan?" asked the old man.

"Of the K'ung family," replied Tzŭ Lu.

"And what is his occupation?" said the old man.

"He devotes himself," replied Tzŭ Lu, "to loyalty and truth. He
practises charity and duty towards his neighbour. He regulates
ceremonies and music. He distinguishes the relationships of man. He is
loyal to his prince above, a reformer of the masses below. Thus he will
be of great service to the whole empire. Such is his occupation."

"Is he a ruler of a State?" asked the old man.

"He is not," said Tzŭ Kung.

"A minister?" said the old man.

"No," said Tzŭ Kung.

Then the old man laughed and walked away, saying, "Charity is charity,
yet I fear he will not escape the wear of mind and tear of body which
imperil the original purity of man. How far, alas, has he wandered from
the true path!"

 From TAO.

Tzŭ Kung went back and told Confucius, who, laying aside his lute,
arose and said, "This man is a Sage!"

Thereupon he followed the old man down the shore, catching him up just
as he was drawing in his boat with his staff. Perceiving Confucius, the
old man turned round to receive him, at which Confucius stepped back
and prostrated himself twice before advancing.

"What do you want, Sir?" asked the fisherman.

"Just now, venerable Sir," replied Confucius, "you left without
finishing your remarks. In my stupidity I cannot make out what you
mean. Therefore I have come in the humble hope of hearing any words
with which you may deign to help me."

"Well," said the old man, "you are certainly anxious to learn."

At this Confucius prostrated himself twice, and when he got up said,
"Yes, I have been a student from my youth upwards until now, the
sixty-ninth year of my age. Yet I have never heard the true doctrine,
which I am now ready to receive without bias."

"Like species follow like," answered the old man. "Like sounds respond
to like.

 See p. 283, and the experiment of the two lutes, p. 319.

This is a law of nature. I will now with your leave apply what I know
to what you occupy yourself with,--the affairs of men.

"The Son of Heaven, the princes, the ministers, and the people,--if
these four fulfil their proper functions, the result is good
government. If they quit their proper places, the result is unutterable
confusion. When the officials mind their duties and the people their
business, neither is injured by the other.

"Barren land, leaky roofs, want of food and clothing, inability to meet
taxation, quarrels of wives and concubines, no precedence between young
and old,--such are the sorrows of the people.

"Capacity unequal to one's duties, and inability to carry on
routine work, absence of clean-handedness, and carelessness among
subordinates, lack of distinction and want of preferment,--such are the
sorrows of ministers.

"The Court without loyal ministers and the State in rebellion, the
artisan unskilful and the tribute unsatisfactory, the periodical levées
unattended and the Son of Heaven displeased,--such are the sorrows of
the princes.

"The two great principles of nature working inharmoniously, heat and
cold coming at irregular seasons so that men and things suffer, the
princes rebellious and fighting among themselves so that the people
perish, music and ceremonies ill regulated, wealth dissipated, the
relationships of man disregarded, the masses sunk in immorality,--such
are the sorrows which fall to the share of the Son of Heaven.

"But now you, Sir, occupying neither the more exalted position of ruler
nor performing the subordinate functions of minister, nevertheless
take upon yourself to regulate music and ceremonies and to distinguish
the relationships of man, in order to reform the masses. Are you not
travelling out of your own sphere?

"Further, men have eight blemishes, and there are four things which
obstruct business. These should be investigated.

"Meddling with matters which do not matter to you, is prying.

"To push one's way in, regardless of neglect, is to be forward.

"To adapt one's thoughts and arrange one's words, is sycophancy.

"To applaud a person, right or wrong, is flattery.

"To love speaking evil of others, is slander.

"To sever friendships and break ties, is mischievousness.

"To praise people falsely with a view to injure them, is malice.

"To give ready assent with a view to worm out the wishes of others,
good and bad alike, is to be a hypocrite.

"These eight blemishes cause a man to throw others into confusion and
bring injury upon himself. The superior man will not have him for a
friend; the enlightened prince will not employ him as his minister.

"To love the conduct of great affairs, and to introduce change into
established order with a view to gain reputation,--this is ambition.

"To strive to get all into one's own hands, and to usurp what should be
at the disposal of others,--this is greed.

"To know one's faults but not to correct them, to receive admonition
but only to plunge deeper,--this is obstinacy.

"To suffer those who are like oneself, but as for those unlike not to
credit them with the virtues they really possess,--this is bigotry.

"Such are the four things which obstruct business. And only he who can
put aside the above eight and abstain from the above four is fit for

At this Confucius heaved a sigh of distress. Then having twice
prostrated himself, he arose and said, "Twice was I driven from Lu. I
was tabooed in Wei. My tree was cut down in Sung. I was surrounded by
the Ch'êns and the Ts'ais. I know not what my fault is that I should
have suffered these four persecutions."

"Dear me!" said the old man in a vexed tone, "How slow of perception
you are.

"There was once a man who was so afraid of his shadow and so disliked
his own footsteps that he determined to run away from them. But the
oftener he raised his feet the more footsteps he made, and though he
ran very hard his shadow never left him. From this he inferred that
he went too slowly, and ran as hard as he could without resting, the
consequence being that his strength broke down and he died. He was not
aware that by going into the shade he would have got rid of his shadow,
and that by keeping still he would have put an end to his footsteps.
Fool that he was!

"Now you occupy yourself with charity and duty to one's neighbour. You
examine into the distinction of like and unlike, the changes of motion
and rest, the canons of giving and receiving, the emotions of love and
hate, and the restraint of joy and anger. Yet you cannot avoid the
calamities you speak of.

"Reverently care for your body. Carefully preserve your natural
purity. Leave externals to others. Then you will not be involved. But
as it is, instead of improving yourself you are trying to improve other
people. Surely this is dealing with the external."

"Then may I enquire," said Confucius in a tone of distress, "what is
the original purity?"

"Our original purity," replied the fisherman, "is the perfection of
truth unalloyed. Without this, we cannot influence others. Hence, those
who weep to order, though they mourn, do not grieve. Those who assume
anger, though violent, do not inspire awe. Those who affect friendship,
though they smile, are not in unison."

"Real mourning grieves in silence. Real anger awes without expression.
Real friendship is unison without the aid of smiles. Our emotions are
dependent upon the original purity within; and accordingly we hold the
latter in esteem.

"If applied to human affairs, then in serving our parents we are
filial, in serving our prince we are loyal, in the banquet hour we are
merry, in the hour of mourning we are sad.

"The object of loyalty is successful service; of a banquet, mirth; of
mourning, grief; of serving parents, gratifying their wishes. If the
service is accomplished, it matters not that no trace remain.

 In the way of kudos to the accomplisher.

If parents be gratified, it matters not how. If a banquet results in
mirth, the accessories are of no importance. If there be real grief in
mourning, it matters not what ceremonies may be employed.

"Ceremonial is the invention of man. Our original purity is given to
us from God. It is as it is, and cannot be changed. Wherefore the true
Sage models himself upon God, and holds his original purity in esteem.
He is independent of human exigencies. Fools, however, reverse this.
They cannot model themselves upon God, and have to fall back on man.
They do not hold original purity in esteem. Consequently they are ever
suffering the vicissitudes of mortality, and never reaching the goal.
Alas! you, Sir, were early steeped in deceit, and are late in hearing
the great doctrine."

Confucius, having again prostrated himself twice, arose and said,

"It has been a godsend to meet you, Sir, to-day. Pray allow me to
follow you as your servant, that I may benefit by your teaching. I
venture to ask where you live that I may enter upon my duties and learn
the great doctrine."

"I have heard," replied the old man, "that if a man is a fit companion,
one may travel with him into the uttermost depths of TAO. But that
if he is not a fit companion, and does not know TAO, one must avoid
his company, that no harm may befall. Excuse me, I must leave you."
Thereupon he pushed off his boat, and disappeared among the reeds.

"Yen Yüan then brought up the chariot, and Tzŭ Lu offered the
hand-cord to Confucius. But the latter paid no attention. He waited
until the ripples on the water had smoothed down and the sound of the
punt-pole had died away, before he ventured to get up.

Tzŭ Lu, who was at the side of the chariot, enquired saying, "Master,
I have been in your service now for a long time, yet never did I see
you treat any man like this. In the presence of a ruler of ten thousand
or a thousand chariots, I have never seen you treated other than with
great respect, while you yourself would wear a haughty air. Yet before
this old fisherman, leaning on his punt-pole, you cringe and bow and
prostrate yourself twice before answering. Is not this too much? The
disciples do not know what to make of it. Why this behaviour to an old

"Yu!" cried Confucius, resting on the bar of the chariot; "it is
difficult to make anything of you. You have long studied ceremonies and
duty to your neighbour, yet you have not succeeded in getting rid of
the old evil nature. Come here, and I will tell you.

"To meet an elder without respect is want of ceremony. To see a Sage
and not to honour him, is not to be in charity with man. Unless
you are in charity with man, you cannot humble yourself before a
fellow-creature. And unless you can honestly do this, you can never
attain to that state of original purity; but the body will constantly
suffer. Alas! there is no greater evil than not to be in charity with
man. Yet in such a plight, O Yu, are you.

"Further. TAO is the source of all creation. Men have it, and live.
They lose it, and die. Affairs in antagonism thereto, fail; in
accordance therewith, succeed. Therefore, wherever TAO abides, there is
the reverence of the true Sage. And as this old fisherman may be said
to possess TAO, could I venture not to respect him?"



 _Argument_:--Outward manifestation of inward grace--Its
 dangers--Self-esteem--Its errors--Inscrutability of TAO--Artificiality
 of Confucius--Tests of virtue--Chuang Tzŭ declines office--His death.

When Lieh Tzŭ

 Lieh Yü K'ou, a name well known in connection with TAO. But it is
 extremely doubtful if such a man ever lived. His record is not given
 by the historian Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien, and he may well have been no more
 than an allegorical personage created by Chuang Tzŭ for purposes of
 illustration. It was however thought necessary under the Han dynasty
 to supply his "Works"; and the treatise thus provided still passes
 under his name, though generally regarded as a forgery. See pp. 4, 5.

went to Ch'i, half way there he turned round and came back. Falling in
with Poh Hun Wu Jen, the latter said, "How is it you are so soon back

"I was afraid," replied Lieh Tzŭ.

"Afraid of what?" asked Poh Hun Wu Jen.

"Out of ten restaurants at which I ate," said Lieh Tzŭ, "five would
take no payment."

"And what is there to be afraid of in that?" enquired Poh Hun Wu Jen.

"The truth within not being duly assimilated," replied Lieh Tzŭ, "a
certain brightness is visible externally. And to conquer men's hearts
by force of the external is to induce in oneself a disregard for
authority and age which is the precursor of trouble.

"A restaurant keeper is one who lives by retailing soup. When his
returns are counted up, his profit is but small, and his influence is
next to nothing. But if such a man could act thus, how much more the
ruler of a large State? His bodily powers worn out in the duties of his
position, his mental powers exhausted by details of administration, he
would entrust me with the government and stimulate me by reward. That
is what I was afraid of."

"Your inner lights are good," replied Poh Hun Wu Jen; "but if you
remain stationary at this point, the world will still gather around

 Contrary to TAO.

Shortly afterwards Poh Hun Wu Jen went to visit Lieh Tzŭ, and lo! his
court-yard was filled with boots.

 Of the visitors come to hear him. These were left outside the door, in
 accordance with an ancient custom mentioned in the _Book of Rites_.
 See p. 368.

Poh Hun Wu Jen stood there awhile, facing the north, his cheek all
wrinkled by resting it on his staff. Then, without a word, he departed.

Upon this being announced to Lieh Tzŭ,

 By the servant whose duty it was to receive guests.

he seized his shoes and ran out barefoot.

 In his hurry.

When he reached the outer gate, he called aloud, "Master! now that you
have come, will you not give me medicine?"

"It is all over!" cried Poh Hun Wu Jen. "I told you that the world
would gather around you. It is not that you can make people gather
around you. You cannot prevent them from doing so. Of what use would my
instruction be? Exerting influence thus unduly over others, you are by
them influenced in turn. You disturb your natural constitution, and are
of no further account.

              None of your companions
              Warn you of this.
              Their paltry talk
              Is but poison to a man.
    They are not awake, not alive to the situation.
        How should one of these help you?

 In the original, these lines rhyme.

"The shrewd grow weary, the wise grieve. Those who are without
abilities have no ambitions. With full bellies they roam happily about,
like drifting boats, not caring whither they are bound."

       *       *       *       *       *

There was a man of the Chêng State, named Huan. He pursued his studies
at a place called Ch'iu-shih. After three years only, he had graduated
as a Confucianist; and like a river which fertilises its banks to a
distance of nine _li_, so did his good influence reach into three

 His father's, his mother's, and his wife's.

He caused his younger brother to graduate as a Mihist. But inasmuch as
in the question of Confucianism _versus_ Mihism,

 The philosophy of Mih Tzŭ, who taught the doctrine of universal love,
 etc. See pp. 17, 440.

the father took the side of the Mihist, at the end of ten years Huan
committed suicide.

Then the father dreamed that Huan appeared to him and said, "It was I
who caused your son to become a Mihist. Why give all the credit to him
who is but as the fruit of an autumn pine?"

 Various interpretations of this simile are given: none satisfactory.
 _E.g._ (1) Like a dry cone. (2) Which another has planted and reared.

Verily God does not reward man for what he does, but for what he is.

 _I.e._ for the natural, not for the artificial.

And it was in this sense that the younger brother was caused to become
a Mihist.

 He was naturally so inclined.

Whereas a man who should regard his distinctive abilities as of his own
making, without reference to his parents, would be like the man of
Ch'i who dug a well and then wanted to keep others away from it.

 Forgetting that God put the spring there in the first instance.

Hence the saying that the men of to-day are all Huans.

Wherefore it follows that men of true virtue are unconscious of its
possession. How much more then the man of TAO? This is what the
ancients called escaping the vengeance of God.

 Which would be incurred by aping his goodness.

The true Sage rests in that which gives rest, and not in that which
does not give rest. The world rests in that which does not give rest,
and not in that which does give rest.

 The natural and the artificial.

       *       *       *       *       *

Chuang Tzŭ said, "To know TAO is easy. The difficulty lies in the
elimination of speech. To know TAO without speech appertains to the
natural. To know TAO with speech appertains to the artificial. The men
of old were natural, not artificial.

"Chu P'ing Man spent a large patrimony in learning under Chih Li I how
to kill dragons.

 To acquire TAO. There is no record of the persons mentioned.

By the end of three years he was perfect, but there was no direction in
which he could show his skill.

 TAO cannot be put into practice.

"The true Sage regards certainties as uncertainties; therefore he is
never up in arms.

 In a state of mental disturbance.

Men in general regard uncertainties as certainties; therefore they are
constantly up in arms. To accustom oneself to arms causes one to fly to
arms on every provocation; and to trust to arms is to perish."

"The intelligence of the mean man does not rise beyond bribes and
letters of recommendation. His mind is be-clouded with trivialities.
Yet he would penetrate the mystery of TAO and of creation, and rise to
participation in the ONE. The result is that he is confounded by time
and space; and that trammelled by objective existences, he fails to
reach apprehension of that age before anything was.

"But the perfect man,--he carries his mind back to the period before
the beginning. Content to rest in the oblivion of nowhere, passing away
like flowing water, he is merged in the clear depths of the infinite.

"Alas! man's knowledge reaches to the hair on a hair, but not to
eternal peace."

       *       *       *       *       *

A man of the Sung State, named Ts'ao Shang, acted as political agent
for the prince of Sung at the court of the Ch'in State. When he went
thither, he had a few carriages; but the prince of Ch'in was so pleased
with him that he added one hundred more.

On his return to Sung, he visited Chuang Tzŭ and said, "As for
living in poverty in a dirty hovel, earning a scanty subsistence by
making sandals, with shrivelled face and yellow ears,--this I could
not do. Interviewing a powerful ruler, with a retinue of a hundred
carriages,--that is my forte."

"When the prince of Ch'in is sick," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "and he summons
his physician to open a boil or cleanse an ulcer, the latter gets one
carriage. The man who licks his piles gets five. The more degrading the
work, the greater the number of carriages given. You, Sir, must have
been attending to his piles to get so many carriages. Begone with you!"

 "Not," says Lin Hsi Chung, "from the pen of Chuang Tzŭ."

       *       *       *       *       *

Duke Ai of Lu asked Yen Ho, saying, "Were I to make Confucius a pillar
of my realm, would the State be profited thereby?"

"It would be most perilous!" replied Yen Ho. "Confucius is a man of
outward show and of specious words. He mistakes the branch for the root.

 Accessories for fundamentals.

He seeks to impress the people by an overbearing demeanour, the
hollowness of which he does not perceive. If he suits you, and you
entrust him with the welfare of the State, it will only be by mistake
that he will succeed.

 This passage is variously interpreted.

"To cause the people to leave the true and study the false does not
so much affect the people of to-day as those of coming generations.
Wherefore it is better not to have Confucius.

"The difficulty of governing lies in the inability to practise
self-effacement. Man does not govern as God does.

 Regardless of self.

"Merchants and traders are altogether out of the pale.

 Of TAO.

Or if chance ever brings them within it, their rights are never freely

"External punishments are inflicted by metal and wood. Internal
punishments are inflicted by anxiety and remorse. Fools who incur
external punishment are treated with metal or wood. Those who incur
internal punishment are devoured by the conflict of emotions. It is
only the pure and perfect man who can succeed in avoiding both."

       *       *       *       *       *

Confucius said, "The heart of man is more dangerous than mountains and
rivers, more difficult to understand than Heaven itself. Heaven has its
periods of spring, summer, autumn, winter, daytime and night. Man has
an impenetrable exterior, and his motives are inscrutable. Thus some
men appear to be retiring when they are really forward. Others have
abilities, yet appear to be worthless. Others are compliant, yet gain
their ends. Others take a firm stand, yet yield the point. Others go
slow, yet advance quickly.

"Those who fly to duty towards their neighbour as though thirsting
after it, drop it as though something hot. Thus the loyalty of
the superior man is tested by employing him at a distance, his
respectfulness by employing him near at hand. His ability, by
troublesome missions. His knowledge, by unexpected questions. His
trustworthiness, by specification of time limits. His integrity by
entrusting him with money. His fidelity, by dangerous tasks. His
decorum, by filling him with wine. His morality, by placing him in
disreputable surroundings. Under the application of these nine tests,
the inferior man stands revealed.

"Chêng K'ao Fu, on receiving his first appointment, bowed his head. On
receiving his second appointment, he hunched his back. On receiving his
third appointment, he fell upon his face, walking away at the side of
the path.

 Instead of in the middle as any blustering braggart would have done.

Who would not try to be like him?

"Yet ordinary men, on their first appointment, become self-important.
On their second, they give themselves airs in their chariots. On their
third, they call their own fathers by their personal names.

 As we should say, "by their Christian names." The term "fathers"
 includes uncles.

Which of them can be compared with Hsü Yu of old?

"There is nothing more fatal than intentional virtue, when the mind
looks outwards.

 Spontaneity is the essence of real virtue.

For by thus looking outwards, the power of introspection is destroyed.

"There are five sources of injury to virtue.

 Eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and thought.

Of these, that which aims at virtue is the chief. What is it to aim at
virtue? Why a man who aims at virtue practises what he approves and
condemns what he does not practise.

    Compounds for sins he feels inclined to
    By damning those he has no mind to.

"There are eight causes of failure, three certain elements of success.
There are six sources of strength and weakness.

"Beauty, a long beard, size, height, robustness, grace, courage,
daring,--these eight, in which men surpass their fellows, are therefore
passports to failure.

"Modesty, compliance, humility,--these three are sure roads to success.

"Wisdom manifests itself in the external.

 Whereby the internal suffers.

Courage makes itself many enemies. Charity and duty towards one's
neighbour incur many reproaches.

 Three sources of weakness.

"To him who can penetrate the mystery of life, all things are revealed.
He who can estimate wisdom at its true value,

 _Sc._ at nothing.

is wise. He who comprehends the Greater Destiny, becomes himself part
of it.

 Of the great scheme of the universe, seen and unseen.

He who comprehends the Lesser Destiny, resigns himself to the

 Referring to life as ordinarily regarded by mortals. Three sources of

       *       *       *       *       *

A man who had been to see the prince of Sung and had been presented
with ten chariots, was putting on airs in the presence of Chuang Tzŭ.

"At Ho-Shang," said the latter, "there was a poor man who supported his
family by plaiting rushes. One day his son dived into the river and got
a pearl worth a thousand ounces of silver. The father bade him fetch a
stone and smash it to pieces, explaining that he could only have got
such a pearl very deep down from under the nose of the dragon, which
must have been asleep. And he said he was afraid that when the dragon
waked, the boy would have a poor chance.

 If found with it in his possession.

"Now the State of Sung is deeper than a deep river, and the prince of
Sung is fiercer than a dragon. To get these chariots, you must have
caught him asleep. And when he wakes, you will be ground to powder."

       *       *       *       *       *

Some prince having invited Chuang Tzŭ to enter his service, Chuang Tzŭ
said in reply to the envoy, "Sir, have you ever noticed a sacrificial
ox? It is bedecked with ribbons and fares sumptuously. But when it
comes to be slaughtered for the temple, would it not gladly exchange
places with some neglected calf?"

 Quoted, with variants, by the historian Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien, in his
 biographical notice of Chuang Tzŭ. See _Introduction_.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Chuang Tzŭ was about to die, his disciples expressed a wish to
give him a splendid funeral. But Chuang Tzŭ said, "With Heaven and
Earth for my coffin and shell; with the sun, moon, and stars as my
burial regalia; and with all creation to escort me to the grave,--are
not my funeral paraphernalia ready to hand?"

    And had he not high honour?--
    The hillside for his pall;
    To lie in state while angels wait
    With stars for tapers tall;

    And the dark rock pines like nodding plumes
          Above his bier to wave,
    And God's own hand in that lonely land
          To lay him in the grave.

  _The Burial of Moses_ (Mrs. Alexander).

"We fear," argued the disciples, "lest the carrion kite should eat the
body of our Master"; to which Chuang Tzŭ replied, "Above ground I shall
be food for kites; below I shall be food for mole-crickets and ants.
Why rob one to feed the other?

 With this may be compared the reply of Diogenes on a similar occasion.
 When the old cynic asked to be left unburied, his friends objected
 that he would be eaten by dogs and birds.

 "Place my staff near me," said Diogenes, "that I may drive them away."

 "How will you manage that?" enquired the friends. "You will not be

 "What then will it matter to me to be torn by beasts," cried Diogenes,
 "if I am not conscious of it?"

"If you adopt, as absolute, a standard of evenness which is so only
relatively, your results will not be absolutely even. If you adopt,
as absolute, a criterion of right which is so only relatively, your
results will not be absolutely right. Those who trust to their senses
become slaves to objective existences. Those alone who are guided by
their intuitions find the true standard. So far are the senses less
reliable than the intuitions. Yet fools trust to their senses to know
what is good for mankind, with alas! but external results."

 As the genuine text of the _Spring and Autumn_ ends with the
 appearance of the _ch'i lin_ (or _kilin_) and the death of Confucius,
 so have disciples of Chuang Tzŭ agreed that the genuine text of Chuang
 Tzŭ comes to a fitting close at the death-bed of their great Master.

 The final chapter is but a summary of the whole, compiled by the early
 editors of the work.



[Summary by early editors.]

Systems of government are many. Each man thinks his own perfect. Where
then does what the ancients called the system of TAO come in? There is
nowhere where it does not come in.

It may be asked whence our spirituality, whence our intellectuality.
The true Sage is born; the prince is made. Yet all proceed from an
original ONE.

He who does not separate from the Source is one with God. He who
does not separate from the essence is a spiritual man. He who does
not separate from the reality is a perfect man. He who makes God the
source, and TÊ the root, and TAO the portal, passively falling in with
the modifications of his environment,--he is the true Sage.

 These are but four different denominations of the ideal man.

He who practises charity as a kindness, duty to one's neighbour as a
principle, ceremony as a convenience, music as a pacificator, and thus
becomes compassionate and charitable,--he is a superior man.

 We sink here to a lower level, though still a high one. The "superior
 man" is the ideal man of Confucian ethics. In him divinity finds no

He who regulates his conduct by law, who regards fame as an external
adjunct, who verifies his hypotheses, who bases his judgment upon
proof,--such men rank one, two, three, four, etc. It is thus that
officials rank. In a strict sense of duty, in making food and raiment
of paramount importance, in caring for and nourishing the old, the
weak, the orphan, and the widow, they all exemplify the principle of
true government.

 Partly, if not wholly. This the dead level of ordinary mortality,
 still within the operation of TAO.

Thus far-reaching was the extension of TAO among the ancients.

The companion of the gods, the purifier of the universe, it nourishes
all creation, it unites the empire, it benefits the masses.
Illuminating the fundamental, it is bound up with the accessory,
reaching to all points of the compass and to the opposite extremes of
magnitude. There is indeed nowhere where it is not!

How it enlightened the polity of past ages is evidenced in the records
which historians have preserved to us. Its presence in the Canons
of _Poetry_, _History_, _Rites_, and _Music_, has been made clear
by many scholars of Chou and Lu. It informs the Canon of _Poetry_
with its vigour, the Canon of _History_ with its usefulness, the
Canon of _Rites_ with its adaptability, the Canon of _Music_ with its
harmonising influence, the Canon of _Changes_ with its mysterious
Principles, and the _Spring and Autumn_ with its discriminations.
Spread over the whole world, it is focussed in the Middle Kingdom, and
the learning of all schools renders constant homage to its power.

But when the world is disorganised, true Sages do not manifest
themselves, TAO ceases to exist as ONE, and the world becomes cognisant
of the idiosyncrasies of the individual. These are like the senses of
hearing, sight, smell, and taste,--not common to each organ. Or like
the skill of various artisans,--each excellent of its kind and each
useful in its turn, but not equally at the command of all.

Consequently, when a mere specialist comes forward and dogmatises on
the beauty of the universe the principles which underlie all creation,
the position occupied by the ancients in reference to the beauty of the
universe, and the limits of the supernatural,--it follows that the TAO
of inner wisdom and of outer strength is obscured and prevented from
asserting itself. Every one alas! regards the course he prefers as the
infallible course. The various schools diverge never to meet again; and
posterity is debarred from viewing the original purity of the universe
and the grandeur of the ancients. For the system of TAO is scattered in
fragments over the face of the earth.

Not to covet posthumous fame, nor to aim at dazzling the world, nor to
pose as a benefactor of mankind, but to be a strict self-disciplinarian
while lenient to the faults of others,--herein lay the TAO of the

Mih Tzŭ and Ch'in Hua Li

 A disciple of Mih Tzŭ.

became enthusiastic followers of TAO, but they pushed the system too
far, carrying their practice to excess. The former wrote an essay
_Against Music_, and another which he entitled _Economy_.

 To be found in the collection which passes under the name of Mih Tzŭ.

There was to be no singing in life, no mourning after death. He taught
universal love and beneficence towards one's fellow men, without
contentions, without censure of others. He loved learning, but not in
order to become different from others. Yet his views were not those of
the ancient Sages, whose music and rites he set aside.

The Yellow Emperor gave us the _Hsien-ch'ih_. Yao gave us the
_Ta-chang_. Shun, the _Ta-shao_. Yü, the _Ta-hsia_. T'ang, the _Ta-hu_.
Wên Wang, the _P'i-yung_. Wu Wang and Chou Kung added the _Wu_.

 Famous musical compositions.

The mourning ceremonial of old was according to the estate of each, and
determined in proportion to rank. Thus, the body of the Son of Heaven
was enclosed in a seven-fold coffin. That of a feudal prince, in a
five-fold coffin. That of a minister, in a three-fold coffin. That of a
private individual, in a two-fold coffin. But now Mih Tzŭ would have no
singing in life, no mourning after death, and a single coffin of only
three inches in thickness as the rule for all alike!

Such doctrines do not illustrate his theory of universal love;

 They betray a want of sympathy with human weaknesses.

neither does his practice of them establish the fact of his own
personal self-respect. They may not suffice to destroy his system
altogether; though it is unreasonable to prohibit singing, and weeping,
and rejoicing in due season.

He would have men toil through life and hold death in contempt. But
this teaching is altogether too unattractive. It would land mankind in
sorrow and lamentation. It would be next to impossible as a practical
system, and cannot, I fear, be regarded as the TAO of the true Sage.
It would be diametrically opposed to human passions, and as such would
not be tolerated by the world. Mih Tzŭ himself might be able to carry
it out; but not the rest of the world. And when one separates from the
rest of the world, his chances of developing an ideal State become
small indeed.

Mih Tzŭ argued in favour of his system as follows:--Of old, the great
Yü drained off the flood of waters, and caused rivers and streams to
flow through the nine divisions of the empire and the parts adjacent
thereto,--three hundred great rivers, three thousand branches, and
streams without number. With his own hands he plied the bucket and
dredger, in order to reduce confusion to uniformity,

 Make all streams flow to the sea.

until his calves and shins had no hair left upon them. The wind bathed
him, the rain combed him; but he marked out the nations of the world,
and was in very truth a Sage. And because he thus sacrificed himself to
the commonwealth, ages of Mihists to come would also wear short serge
jackets and straw sandals, and toil day and night without stopping,
making self-mortification their end and aim, and say to themselves, "If
we cannot do this, we do not follow the TAO of Yü, and are unworthy to
be called Mihists."

The disciples of Hsiang Li Ch'in,

 A professor of Mihism.

the followers of the five princes, Mihists of the south, such as K'u
Huo, Chi Ch'ih, and Têng Ling,--all these studied the canon of Mih Tzŭ,
but their disagreements and agreements were not identical. They called
each other schismatics, and quarrelled over the "hard and white," the
"like and unlike," and argued over questions of "odd and even." Chü
Tzŭ was their Sage, and they wanted to canonise him as a saint, that
they might carry on his doctrines into after ages. Even now these
differences are not settled.

Thus we see that Mih Tzŭ and Ch'in Hua Li, while right in theory, were
wrong in practice. They would merely have taught mankind to vie with
each other in working the hair off their calves and shins. The evil of
that system would have predominated over the good. Nevertheless, Mih
Tzŭ was undoubtedly a well-meaning man. In spite of failure, with all
its withering influences, he stuck to his text. He may be called a man
of genius.

 But not a true Sage.

Not to be involved in the mundane, not to indulge in the specious, not
to be overreaching with the individual, nor antagonistic to the public;
but to desire the tranquillity of the world in general with a view
to the prolongation of life, to seek no more than sufficient for the
requirements of oneself and others, and by such a course to purify the
heart,--herein lay the TAO of the ancients.

Sung Hsing and Yin Wên became enthusiastic followers of TAO. They
adopted a cap, shaped like the Hua Mountain, as a badge. They bore
themselves with kindly discrimination towards all things. They spoke of
the passive qualities of the heart as though they had been active; and
declared that whosoever could bring joy among mankind and peace within
the girdle of ocean should be made ruler over them.

They suffered obloquy without noticing the insult. They preserved
the people from strife. They prohibited aggression and caused arms to
lie unused. They saved their generation from wars, and carried their
system over the whole empire, to the delight of the high and to the
improvement of the lowly. Though the world would have none of them,
yet they struggled on and would not give way. Hence it was said that
when high and low became tired of seeing them, they intruded themselves
by force. In spite of all this, they did too much for others, and too
little for themselves.

"Give us," said they, "but five pints of rice, and it will be enough."
The master could not thus eat his fill; but the disciples, although
starving, did not forget the world's claims.

 This is not satisfactorily explained by any commentator. Kuo Hsiang
 says that these two men regarded the world as their "master."

Day and night they toiled on, saying, "Must we necessarily live? Shall
we ape the so-called saviours of mankind?"

"The superior man," they say, "is not a fault-finder. He does not
appropriate the credit of others. He looks on one who does no good to
the world as a worthless fellow. He regards prohibition of aggressive
actions and causing arms to lie unused, as external; the diminution and
restraint of our passions, as internal. In all matters, great or small,
subtle or gross, such is the point to which he attains."

To be public-spirited and belong to no party, in one's dealings not
to be all for self, to move without being bound to a given course, to
take things as they come, to have no remorse for the past, no anxiety
for the future, to have no partialities, but to be on good terms with
all,--herein lay the TAO of the ancients.

P'êng Mêng, T'ien P'ien, and Shên Tao, became enthusiastic followers
of TAO. Their criterion was the identity of all things. "The sky,"
said they, "can cover but cannot support us. The earth can support
but cannot cover us. TAO can embrace all things but cannot deal with

They knew that in creation all things had their possibilities and their
impossibilities. Therefore they said, "Selection excludes universality.
Training will not reach in all directions. But TAO is comprehensive."

Consequently, Shên Tao discarded all knowledge and self-interest and
became a fatalist.

 It is about as difficult to apprehend TAO apart from fatalism as the
 omniscience of God apart from predestination.

Passivity was his guiding principle. "For," said he, "we can only know
that we know nothing, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

"Take any worthless fellow who laughs at mankind for holding virtue
in esteem, any unprincipled vagabond who reviles the great Sages of
the world, and subject him to torture. In his agony he will sacrifice
positive and negative alike. If he can but get free, he will trouble no
more about knowledge and forethought. Past and future will cease to
exist for him, in his then neutral condition.

"Move when pushed, come when dragged. Be like a whirling gale, like a
feather in the wind, like a mill-stone going round. The mill-stone as
an existence is perfectly harmless. In motion or at rest it does no
more than is required, and cannot therefore incur blame.

"Why? Because it is simply an inanimate thing. It has no anxieties
about itself. It is never entangled in the trammels of knowledge. In
motion or at rest it is always governed by fixed laws, and therefore it
never becomes open to praise. Hence it has been said, 'Be as though an
inanimate thing, and there will be no use for Sages.'

"For a clod cannot be without TAO,"--at which some full-blooded young
buck covered the argument with ridicule by crying out, "Shên Tao's TAO
is not for the living, but for the dead!"

It was the same with T'ien P'ien. He studied under P'êng Mêng; with the
result that he learnt nothing.

 TAO cannot be learnt.

P'êng Mêng's tutor said, "Those of old who knew TAO, reached the point
where positive and negative ceased to exist. That was all."

Now the bent of these men is one of opposition, which it is difficult
to discuss. They act in every way differently from other people, but
cannot escape the imputation of purpose.

 Which takes the place of spontaneity.

What they call Tao is not TAO; and what they predicate affirmatively
cannot escape being negative. The fact is that P'êng Mêng, T'ien P'ien,
and Shên Tao, did not know TAO. Nevertheless they all had a certain
acquaintance with it.

To make the root the essential, to regard objective existences as
accidental, to look upon accumulation as deficiency, and to meekly
accept the dispositions of Providence,--herein lay the TAO of the

Kuan Yin and Lao Tzŭ became enthusiastic followers of TAO.

 For Kuan Yin, see p. 230.

They based their system upon nothingness, with ONE as their criterion.
Their outward expression was gentleness and humility. Their inward
belief was in unreality and avoidance of injury to all things.

Kuan Yin said, "Adopt no absolute position. Let externals take care of
themselves. In motion, be like water. At rest, like a mirror.

 Receptive, but not permanently so.

Respond, like the echo.

 Only when called upon.

Be subtle, as though non-existent. Be still, as though pure. Regard
uniformity as peace. Look on gain as loss. Do not precede others.
Follow them."

Lao Tzŭ said, "He who conscious of being strong, is content to be
weak,--he shall be a cynosure of men.

 This is quoted by Huai Nan Tzŭ as a saying by Lao Tzŭ, and appears in
 ch. xxviii of the _Tao-Tê-Ching_. See _The Remains of Lao Tzŭ_, p. 21.

"He who conscious of purity, puts up with disgrace,--he shall be the
cynosure of mankind.

"He who when others strive to be first, contents himself with the
lowest place, is said to accept the contumely of the world.

"He who when others strive for the substantial, contents himself with
the unsubstantial, stores up nothing and therefore has abundance. There
he is in the midst of his abundance which comes to him without effort
on his part. He does nothing, and laughs at the artifices of others.

"He who when others strive for happiness is content with security, is
said to aim at avoiding evil.

 Compare the _Tao-Tê-Ching_, ch. xxii.

"He who makes depth of fundamental importance and moderation his rule
of life, is said to crush that which is hard within him and temper that
which is sharp.

"To be in liberal sympathy with all creation, and not to be aggressive
towards one's fellow-men,--this may be called perfection."

O Kuan Yin! O Lao Tzŭ! verily ye were the true Sages of old.

Silence, formlessness, change, impermanence, now life, now death,
heaven and earth blended in one, the soul departing, gone no one knows
where: suddenly, no one knows whither, as all things go in turn, never
to come back again;--herein lay the TAO of the ancients.

Chuang Tzŭ became an enthusiastic follower of TAO. In strange terms,
in bold words, in far-reaching language, he gave free play to his
thoughts, without following any particular school or committing himself
to any particular line.

He looked on the world as so sunk in corruption that it was impossible
to speak gravely. Therefore he employed "goblet words" which apply in
various directions; he based his statements upon weighty authority in
order to inspire confidence; and he put words in other people's mouths
in order to secure breadth.

 See ch. xxvii _ad init._

In accord with the spirit of the universe, he was at peace with all
creation. He judged not the rights and wrongs of mankind, and thus
lived quietly in his generation. Although his book is an extraordinary
production, it is plausible and harmless enough. Although the style is
most irregular, it is at the same time ingenious and attractive.

As a thinker, he is endlessly suggestive. Above, he roams with God.
Below, he consorts with those who are beyond the pale of life and
death, who deny a beginning and an end. In relation to the root,

 The origin of all things.

he speaks on a grand and extensive scale. In relation to TAO, he
establishes a harmony between man and the higher powers. Nevertheless,
he yields to the modifications of existence and responds to the
exigencies of environment. His arguments are inexhaustible, and never
illogical. He is far-reaching, mysterious, and not to be fully explored.

 It is impossible for a European critic to believe that Chuang Tzŭ
 penned the above paragraphs. See _post_, p. 454.

Hui Tzŭ was a man of many ideas. His works would fill five carts. But
his doctrines are paradoxical, and his terms are used ambiguously.

He calls infinite greatness, beyond which there is nothing, the Greater
One. He calls infinite smallness, within which there is nothing, the
Lesser One.

 Recognising two absolute extremes.

He says that that which is without dimensions measures a thousand _li_.

 On the principle that mathematical points, though themselves without
 dimensions, collectively fill up space.

That heaven and earth are equally low. That mountain and marsh are
equally level.

 It depends upon the point of view.

That the sun at noon is the sun setting.

 To people living farther east.

That when an animal is born, it dies.

 As regards its previous state it dies when leaving it for a new state.

That the likeness of things partly unlike is called the lesser
likeness of unlikes. That the likeness of things altogether unlike is
called the greater likeness of unlikes. That southwards there is no
limit, and yet there is a limit. That one can reach Yüeh to-day and yet
be there before. That joined rings can be separated. That the middle of
the world is north of Yen and south of Yüeh.

 It is wherever the speaker is. The space between Yen and Yüeh is as
 zero compared with the infinite.

That he loves all creation equally, just as heaven and earth are
impartial to all.

 In covering and supporting all.

Accordingly, Hui Tzŭ was regarded as a great philosopher and a
very subtle dialectician; and became a favourite with the other
dialecticians of the day.

He said that there were feathers in an egg.

 Because on a chicken.

That a fowl had three feet.

 The third being _volition_.

That Ying was the world.

 As you cannot say it is not the world.

That a dog could be a sheep. That a mare could lay eggs. That a nail
has a tail.

 Names being arbitrary in all cases.

That fire is not hot.

 It is the man who feels it hot.

That mountains have mouths.

 As evidenced by echoes.

That wheels do not press down the ground.

 Touching only at a point.

That the eye does not see.

 It is the man.

That the finger does not touch. That the uttermost extreme is not the
end. That a tortoise is longer than a snake.

 Because longer lived!

That a carpenter's square is not square.

 Like Horace's Whetstone which makes other things sharp, "exsors ipsa

That compasses will not make a circle.

 It is the draughtsman.

That a round hole will not surround a square handle. That the shadow
of a flying bird does not move. That there is a moment when a
swiftly-flying arrow is neither moving nor at rest. That a dog is not a

 Two things cannot be identical unless even their names are the same.

That a bay horse and a dun cow are three.

 Taken separately they are two. Taken together they are one. One and
 two make three.

That a white dog is black.

 If his eyes are black. Part standing for the whole.

That a motherless colt never had a mother.

 When it had a mother, it was not an orphan.

That if you take a stick a foot long and every day cut it in half, you
will never come to the end of it.

 Compare "Achilles and the Tortoise," and the sophisms of the Greek

And such was the stuff which dialecticians used to argue about with Hui
Tzŭ, also without ever getting to the end of it.

Huan T'uan and Kung Sun Lung were of this class. By specious premisses
they imposed on people's minds and drove them into false conclusions.
But though they won the battle in words, they did not carry conviction
into their adversaries' hearts. Theirs were but the snares of the

Hui Tzŭ daily devoted his intelligence to such pursuits, purposely
advancing some preposterous thesis upon which to dispute. That was his
characteristic. He had besides a great opinion of his own wisdom, and
used to say, "The universe does not hold my peer."

Hui Tzŭ makes a parade of his strength, but is devoid of any sound
system. An eccentric fellow in the south, named Huang Liao, asked why
the sky did not fall and the earth sink; also, whence came wind, rain,
and thunder.

Hui Tzŭ was not backward in replying to these questions, which he
answered unhesitatingly. He went into a long discussion on all
creation, and talked away without end, though to himself he seemed to
be saying very little. He supplemented this with most extraordinary
statements, making it his chief object to contradict others, and being
desirous of gaining fame by defeating all comers. Thus, he was never
popular. Morally, he was weak; physically, he was violent. His was a
dark and narrow way.

Looked at from the point of view of the TAO of the universe, the
value of Hui Tzŭ may be compared with the efforts of a mosquito or a
gadfly. Of what use was he to the world? As a specialist, he might have
succeeded. But to let him put himself forward as an exponent of TAO,
would have been dangerous indeed.

He would not however be content to be a specialist. He must needs roam
insatiably over all creation, though he only succeeded in securing the
reputation of a sophist.

Alas for the talents of Hui Tzŭ! He is extravagantly energetic, and yet
has no success. He investigates all creation, but does not conclude in
TAO. He makes a noise to drown an echo. He is like a man running a race
with his own shadow. Alas!

 As to the genuineness of this concluding chapter, every one may form
 his own opinion. The question has been hotly fought, and great names
 could be mentioned on each side. Wang An Shih and Su Tung P'o both
 thought that it might well have come from the hand of Chuang Tzŭ.
 Lin Hsi Chung thought not, and on his side the majority of Western
 students will in all probability be ranged.


  Accidentals, 162

  Achilles and the Tortoise, 453

  Action, 5, 266, 293

  Affirmative and Negative, 17

  Aggression, 340

  Ai, Duke, 62, 268, 429

  Ai Fêng, 29

  Ai T'ai T'o, 62

  All-in-extremes, 276

  Alternation theory, 18

  Anger, 310

  Ants and Mutton, 330

  Apricot Altar, 413

  Archery, 60, 255, 272, 308, 309, 318

  Argument, Futility of, 30

  Arms, Appeal to, 162

  Arms, Men of, 318

  Artificial, The, 147, 175, 210, 232, 309

  Augur and the pigs, The Grand, 236

  Balancing balls, 233

  Bantams, 297

  Battered but not Bruised, 80

  Battering-ram, 207

  Battle, The Six Plans of, 313

  Beauty, 182, 260, 337

  Bells, Chime of, 250

  Bird, The strange, 258

  Bishop-wort, 313

  Black Forest, The, 413

  Black Water, The, 276

  Blades from Kan, 193

  Boats, 75, 249, 295

  Body, The human, 15;
    (without body) 145

  Body and soul parted, 12, 324

  Bogy, A, 236

  Books, 170

  Boots, (for the toeless) 63;
    (outside door) 368, 424

  Border-warden, The, 141

  Breathing from the heels, 69

  Business, 133

  Butcher, The faithful, 376

  Butterfly, Chuang Tzŭ a, 32

  Canon of Confucianism, 166, 188, 312, 438, 439

  Cataract, A, 238

  Caterpillars, 297

  Cats, 312;
    (wild) 10

  Centipede, The, 211

  Ceremonial, 89, 108, 121, 133, 162, 195, 277, 318, 440

  Chance, 350

  Chan Tzŭ, 380

  Ch'ang Chi, 56

  Chang Hung, 112

  Ch'ang Hung, 352

  Chang I, 235

  Chang Jo, 316

  Chang Wu Tzŭ, 28

  Ch'ang Yü, 316

  Chao Hsi, 373

  Chao Wên, 22

  Chapped hands, Salve for, 9

  Charioteering, 241

  Charity, 88, 100, 101, 108, 114, 122, 133, 277, 307

  Chê, Robber, 103, 112, 120, 155, 387

  Ch'êns and Ts'ais, 180, 251, 253, 255, 380

  Chê-yang, The, 154

  Ch'êng, 281

  Chêng K'ao Fu, 431

  Chêng State, The, 59, 94

  Ch'i, Mt., 372

  Ch'i Kung, 261

  Ch'i State, The, 50, 65, 110

  Ch'i-yang, 384

  Chi Ch'ê, 145, 146

  Chi-yung, 331

  Chi T'o, 72, 361

  Chi Tzŭ (1) 72, 352; (2) 339

  Chi Chên, 350

  Chi Ch'ih, 442

  Chi Chü, 45

  Chi Hsing Tzŭ, 238

  Chi Han, Magician, 94

  Chiang Lü Mien, 145, 146

  Chieh, 40, 119, 383

  Chieh-kêng, 331

  Chieh Tzŭ, 350

  Chieh Yü, 7, 55, 92

  Chien Ho, 353

  Chien Wu, 6, 77, 92, 273

  Chih, 206

  Ch'ih Chang Man Chi, 152

  Ch'ih Chi, 207

  Chih-ho, 354

  Chih Kung, 401

  Ch'ih Yu, 392

  Children, 299, 300, 301, 358

  Chin, Duke of, 29

  Chin State, The, 147

  Ch'in Hua Li, 440

  Ch'in Lao, 342

  Chin-shao, The, 226, 244

  Ch'in Shih, 36

  Ch'in State, The, 368

  Ch'ing, Carpenter, 240

  Ch'ing-ning, The, 228

  Ching-shih, 53

  Ching Shou, The, 33

  Ch'iu (Confucius), 145, 189

  Chiu Fang Yin, 327

  Ch'iu-shih, 426

  Chiu-yu, The, 228

  Chŏ-lu, 392

  Chou, 40

  Chou, River, 383

  Chou Kung, 181, 384

  Chrysalis, 3

  Chu Hsien, 234

  Chu Yung, 116

  Ch'u State, The, 3 _et alt. pass._

  Chuan Hsü, 77

  Chuang, Duke, 241

  Chuang Tzŭ, 9,
    (and the butterfly) 32; 66, 137, 159, 215, 216,
    (asked to take office) 217, 434,
    (and the fishes) 218,
    (death of wife) 223,
    (and the skull) 224,
    (and the geese) 245; 254, 258, 268,
    (and TAO) 285, 318,
    (at Hui Tzŭ's grave) 321,
    (and the stickleback) 353,
    (and the useless) 358,
    (on Confucius) 365; 407, 427,
    (death of) 434,
    (his genius) 449

  Chui, 115, 242

  Chun Mang, 150

  Chung, 332

  Chung Yang, 116

  Chü Ch'iao, 28

  Chü Liang, 88

  Chü Poh Yü, 49, 345

  Ch'ü-to, 228

  Chü Tzŭ, 442

  Chü Tzŭ, Mt., 316

  Chü Yüan, 50

  Cicadas, 2, 258, 306,
    (catching) 232

  Class distinctions, 187

  Classification, 168

  Clouds and rain, 165, 173

  Cocks and dogs, 117, 350

  Cock-fighting, 238

  Coffins, 53, 441

  Cold, Latent, 319

  Colossal, The, 204

  Colour Sense, The, 99, 108, 115, 121, 155

  Common-places, 154

  Complacency, 402

  Concentration, 34, 240, 300

  Conditioned, The, 158

  Confucius, 28, 38, 45, 55, 56,
    (and the leper) 62, 83,
    (and Lao Tzŭ) 144, 166, 182, 184, 188, 266, 282; 149,
        179, 182, 201,
    (in danger) 213, 251; 225,
    (on concentration) 232, 235,
    (at the cataract)

  238; 253, 255, 263, 272, 274, 282, 290, 291, 325, 338, 341, 346,
    (and Lao Lai Tzŭ) 356;
    (changed his opinions) 365; 366,
    (and Robber Chê) 387; 429

  Conscription, 54

  Cooks, 6, 33, 104

  Correlatives, 207, 208

  Corpse, (boy who impersonates) 6, 97;
    (singing near a) 83

  Cunning, 315

  Crane's legs, A, 101, 332

  Criteria (of our minds), 16,
    (of Confucius), 166

  Dark, Seeing in the, 139

  Dark Palace, The, 77

  Dark-Steep Mt., The, 276

  Death. _See_ Life and Death.

  Death of Chuang Tzŭ's wife, 223

  Destiny, 46, 64, 74, 90, 143, 189, 258

  Determinate relations, 332

  Dialecticians, 318

  Dimensions, 202

  Discontent, 402

  Discord and accord, 320

  Distance relative, 2

  Diversity, 331

  Divination, 357

  Divine Man, 7, 85, 151, 193, 331, 361

  Divine Teacher, The, 317

  Do-nothing Say-nothing, 276

  Doctrine of Silence, 56

  Dogs, (straw) 180,
    (how to judge of) 312, 327,
    (why they bark) 350

  Dog-tooth violet, 228

  Doorkeepers, 320, 329

  Doubts, 102, 117, 244, 334

  Dove, young, 2, 306

  Dragon, Lao Tzŭ a, 185

  Dragons, 214, 263

  Dragon-power, 122, 185

  Dream, Life a, 30, 86

  Dreamless sleep, 82, 192

  Dregs of knowledge, 172

  Drugs, 299, 331

  Drunken man, A, 232

  Duck's legs, A, 101

  Duckweed, 228

  Dust-bin, Spirit of the, 237

  Duty, 46, 88, 101, 108, 114, 121, 122, 133, 166, 277, 298,
        307, 367, 433

  Dying, No advantage in not, 15

  Ear, The, 333

  Earth, 161, 173, 223;
    (music of) 12

  Eel's habitat, The, 27, 295

  _Ego_, Whence the, 14

  Emotions, 308

  Empyrean, The, 288

  Energy, Hu Tzŭ shows his internal, 96

  Enthusiasts, 330

  Essentials, 162

  Evil speakers, 39

  Excalibur, 82, 303

  Exhaling and inhaling, 191

  Existence and non-existence, 206, 304

  External, The, 49, 82, 103, 156, 235, 299, 302, 310, 315

  Extremes meet, 115

  Eye, The, 211, 333

  Fa Yen, The, 47

  Failure, Causes of, 432

  Fallacia amphiboliæ, 275

  Fame _or_ Reputation, 5, 103

  Fan, Prince of, 275

  Fang Ming, 316

  Fasting, 42, 43, 282

  Father praising son, 363

  Fên-yang, 8

  Fêng Mêng, 255

  Fighting, 207, 315

  Fighting-cocks, 238

  Filial piety, 153, 175, 186, 361

  Finger, 19

  Fire eternal, 37

  Fire Spirit, The, 237

  Fire, Production of, 353

  First Cause, 246, 267

  Fisherman, 357

  Fishes, 114, 174, 185, 295, 296, 331, 354;
    happiness of, 218

  Fish-hawks, 189

  Five Bonds, The, 399

  Five Princes, 78

  Five Rulers, The, 186, 202

  Flattery, 153

  Fools, 154

  Foot, The, 333

  Foot-prints, 188

  Footsteps, Afraid of his, 418

  Forgetfulness, 65

  Form, 144, 297

  Forms and Name, 163

  Four Seas, The, 123, 151, 202

  Foxes, 247, 295

  Friendship, 253

  Frog of the Well, 201, 215

  Fu Hsi, 45, 77, 116, 196, 274

  Fu Yüeh, 78

  Fulness and decay, 203, 287

  Gain, 103

  Gambling, 234

  Geese, 297

  Gentleness, 123

  Glow-worm, 228

  Glue, Sticking without, 102

  God, 1, 15, 31, 68, 82, 163, 257, 282, 301, 333

  Goitre, A large, 65

  Golden Age, 116, 152

  Golden Roster, 313

  Goose, The cackling, 245

  Gourd, Five-bushel, 9

  Government, (a curse) 92; 107, 114, 119, 123, 130, 132, 146;
    (by the true Sage) 151; 163, 164, 186, 187, 317

  Grand Augur, The, 236

  Grand Tutor, 272

  Grave, Opening a, 355

  Great Bear, The, 77

  Great truths, 154

  Great Yü, The, 16, 142, 152, 215, 254

  Grief, Real, 85

  Han-ch'ih, The, 176

  Han-tan, 216, 217;
    (siege of) 113

  Han-yin, 147

  Happiness, (in inaction) 158, 159,
    (elements of) 220, 405,
    (of fishes) 218,
    (and sorrow) 199, 221

  Hard and White, The, 22, 67, 100, 117

  Hê Hsü, 116

  Hearing, Sense of, 99, 104, 115, 121, 311, 333, 359

  Heart, Natural goodness of, 123,
    (the seat of intellect) 297

  Heat, Latent, 319

  Heaven, 161, 173, 223

  Hermaphrodites, 189

  Heron, 366

  Ho Hsü, 109

  Ho-shang, 434

  Horses, 19, 106, 209, 228, 285, 312, 316, 347

  Hou I _or_ Yi, 60, 255, 308, 309, 319

  House, A, 306

  Hsi P'êng, 316, 322

  Hsi Shih knits her brows, 182

  Hsi Wang Mu, 78

  Hsi Wei, 76, 292, 346

  Hsi Wei Shih, 359

  Hsiang-ch'êng, 316

  Hsiang Li Ch'in, 442

  Hsiao Chi, 352

  Hsiao Poh (Duke Huan), 399

  Hsien of the Kung-wêns, 35

  Hsien-ch'ih, The, 227

  Hsien Yüan, 116

  Hsin, The, 237

  Hsü (butterflies), 228

  Hsü-aos, The, 26, 40

  Hsü Wu Kuei, 311

  Hsü Yu, 6, 87, 140, 329, 361, 382, 404, 432

  Hsü Yü Chi T'o, 73, 361

  Hu, 98

  Hu Pu Hsieh, 72

  Hu Tzŭ, 94

  Hua, 141;
    (Mt.) 443

  Hua Chi, 316

  Hua Lin, 207

  Hua Tzŭ, 339

  Huan (Confucianist), 426

  Huan of Ch'i, Duke, 65, 170, 236, 322, 399

  Huan Tou, 124

  Huan T'uan, 453

  Huang-chung, 100

  Huang-hua, The, 154

  Huang-k'uang, The, 228

  Huang Liao, 453

  Huang Ti. _See_ Yellow Emperor

  Huang Tzŭ Kao Ngao, 236

  Hui, Prince, 33, (of Wei) 338

  Hui Tzŭ, 8, 66, 217, 218, 223, 318, 321, 341, 358, 361, 365, 450

  Hunchbacks, 55, 65, 224, 232

  Hun Tun, 98

  I, Mt., 341

  I Chieh, 335

  I-êrh, The, 251

  I Êrh Tzŭ, 87

  I Liao, 247, 325, 342

  I-lu, 228

  I Yin, 309, 383

  Immunity of Drunkards, 232

  Inaction, 80, 97, 122, 131, 134, 136, 137, 158, 159, 160,
        165, 222, 288, 308, 318

  Infinite, One with the, 89

  Infinitesimal, The, 204

  Influences, The Six, 129, 174

  Instincts, 107

  Intelligence, 139

  Internal, The, 49, 122, 156, 235, 299, 302, 310, 315

  Intrinsicality, 102

  Irrigation, 147

  Jen, 251

  Jen Ch'iu, 290

  Jen Hsiang Shih, 337

  Jen Kung Tzŭ, 354

  Jih Chung Shih, 92

  Joy and sorrow, 293

  Kan, Blades from, 193

  Kan-yü-ku, 228

  Kao, 237

  Kêng Sang Ch'u, 294

  Kings, The Three, 186

  Knotted Cords, 116

  Knowledge, (Great) 13;
    (of the ancients) 21, 161, 304;
    (limit to) 302;
    (perfection of) 333;
    (a curse) 115, 118, 125, 129, 298;
    (from repose) 195;
    (shallowness of) 293;
    (personified) 276;
    (of the wherefore) 368

  Kou Chien, 332

  Ku, Shepherd, 103

  K'u Huo, 442

  Ku-tu, 384

  Ku-chüeh, Mt., 276

  Kuan Chung, 226, 236, 322, 399

  Kuan Lung Fêng, 40, 112, 352

  Kuan Yin, 230, 447

  K'uang, 213

  Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ, 125

  K'uang Tzŭ, 401

  Kuei, 206

  K'uei, The, 237

  Kueis, The, 26

  Kuei-ch'i, 332

  Kuei Chi, 354

  K'un, 327

  K'un Hun, 316

  K'un-lun Mountains, 139, 224, 289

  Kung Ch'ui the artisan, 115, 242

  Kung Poh, 382

  K'ung-t'ung, 126

  Kung Sun Lung, 214, 319, 453

  Kung Tzŭ Mou, 215

  Kung Yüeh Hsiu, 335

  Kuo, men of, 253

  Laggards, Whipping up the, 234

  Language, The best, 293

  Lao Lai Tzŭ, 356

  Lao Lung Chi, 287

  Lao Tzŭ (and No-toes), 61; 93, 123, 137, 142;
    (and Confucius) 144, 166; 168, 169, 182, 184, 266, 282;
    (and Kêng Sang Ch'u) 294;
    (and Nan Yung), 298;
    (and Poh Chü) 343;
    (and Yang Tzŭ Chü) 368;
    (death of) 36

  Law, The, 133, 162;
    (men of), 318

  Laws of Nature, 135

  Lei T'ing, 237

  Leopard, The, 228, 247

  Leper, A, 62

  Leviathan, The, 1, 3

  Li, 237

  _Li_ to a mile, Three, 2

  Li Chi, 27, 29

  Li Chu, 104, 115

  Li Hsü, 116

  Li Lu, 116

  _Li_ tree, Sacred, 50

  Liang, City of, 341

  Liang State, The, 218

  Liao, River, 93

  Liberty, 36, 37

  Lichen, 228

  Lieh Tzŭ (his supernatural power) 4,
    (and the magician) 94,
    (and the skull) 227,
    (and the perfect man) 230,
    (and archery) 272,
    (declines food) 375; 423

  Lien Shu, 6

  Life (art of) 234;
    (and death) 203, 229, 291, 305;
    (a tumour) 84;
    (transitory) 209, 285

  Light (personified) 289,
    (of Nature) 19

  Likes and dislikes, 155, 156, 366

  Like and the Unlike, The, 100, 117

  Lin Chü, 259

  Lin Hsia Chi, 387

  Lin Hui, 253

  Ling of Chou, Prince, 112

  Ling of Wei, Prince, 49, 65, 250, 346

  Lo Book, The, 174

  Long life, 141

  Love for the people, 314, 329

  Lu Chü, 319

  Lu State, The, 56, 113, 145, _et alt. pass._

  Lu T'ung, 7

  _Lun Yü_, The, 382

  Lung Fêng, 40, 112, 352

  Lutes, The two, 319

  Lü-liang, Cataract at, 238

  Magic Circle, The, 400

  Man (not a free agent) 145,
    (origin of) 228,
    (pre-eminent) 231

  Mang-ts'ang, 2

  Mankind, 133

  Man Kou Tê, 397

  Mantis, The praying, 49, 258

  Mao Ch'iang, 27

  Map-making, 270

  Matter, 133

  Measures, 114, 115

  Mechanical, The, 147

  Mên Wu Kuei, 152

  Mên Yin Têng Hêng, 338

  Mêng Sun Ts'ai, 85

  Mêng Tzŭ Fan, 83

  Mental criteria, 16

  Mental equilibrium, 160

  Metempsychosis, 32

  Methusaleh, A Chinese, 3

  Miao-ku-shê Mountain, 7, 8

  Middle Kingdom, The, 202, 262, 269, 284

  Mih Tzŭ, 17, 100, 116, 155, 292;
    (his works and doctrines) 440

  Min Tzŭ, 65

  Mind, The, (without body) 145, 211, 264, 333;
    (function of) 97, 360

  Minister of War, 290

  Mirror, The mind a, 97,
    (mankind a) 337

  Modification, Physical and moral, 292

  Monkeys, 20, 27, 145, 181, 255, 323

  Monkey Mountain, The, 323

  Moon, The, 29, 165, 173

  Moses, Burial of, 435

  Mosquitoes, 184, 366

  Motes in sunbeam, 1

  Mother-in-law and wife, 360

  Mou of Chung-shan, Prince, 380

  Mou of Wei, 214

  Mou-jui, The, 228

  Mourning, 162, 186

  Mu of Ch'in, Duke, 309

  Mud spirit, The, 237

  Muh Wang, 207

  Mulberry Grove, The, 33

  Murder, Origin of, 296

  Music and Ceremonial, 89, 100, 108, 115, 155, 162, 177,
        195, 318, 440

  Music of Heaven, 12, 13, 178

  Mutilation, 35, 56, 59, 61, 320, 329

  Mutton and Ants, 330

  Names, 163

  Nameless, The, 143

  Nan Po Tzŭ K'uei, 78

  Nan-yüeh, 248

  Nan Yung Ch'u, 296

  Nature, 189, 303;
    (habit second) 239

  Natural, The, 102, 131, 144, 175, 210, 232, 309

  Necessity, 310

  Negative, Positive and, 120, 127, 266, 349

  Negative quantity, The Sage a, 192

  Neglect better than care, 74

  Nest-builders, The, 391

  Nincompoops, 330

  Nightmare, 180

  No-beginning, 288

  No-Toes, 61

  Non-existence, Domain of, 11

  Nose, Scab on the, 321

  Nothing, (as an existence) 23;
    (its success) 139, 143, 289

  Nü Shang, 311

  Nü Yü, 78

  O Ho Kan, 287

  Objective, The, 17, 18, 145

  Obstinacy, 360

  Office, Value of, 198, 434

  Officials, 221

  ONE, All things, 23, 73, 89, 128, 136, 143, 250, 278,
        281, 303, 333, 336;
    (the Greater and Lesser) 450

  One-legged men, 224, 309

  Owl's sight, An, 207, 332

  P'ang Huan, 237

  Pao Chiao, 394, 401

  Pao Yü, 322

  Parasites, 330

  Passions, 66, 311

  Passivity, 97, 138, 165, 192, 266

  Patriots, 208, 221

  Peace, Men of, 318

  Pearl in corpse's mouth, 355

  Pecks and bushels, 114

  P'ei, 368

  Pei I, 140

  Pei Jen Wu Tsê, 382

  Pei Kung Shê, 250

  Pei Mên Ch'êng, 176

  P'ei O, 237

  P'êng Mêng, 445

  P'êng Tsu, 3, 78

  Penumbra and Umbra, 32, 367

  Perfect ambition, honour, &c., 176

  Perfect Man, The, 27, 97, 146, 151, 169, 183, 210, 231,
        295, 301, 359

  Perfect music, 177

  Personality, Man's, 87

  Physical life, 230

  P'i I, 281

  Pi Kan, 40, 112, 352, 395

  Piao Shih, 255

  Pien Ch'ing Tzŭ, 242

  Pien Sui, 383

  Pigs, 236, 286, 330

  Pin, 371

  Ping, 319

  P'ing I, 77

  Plains, Slopes and, 208

  Ploughing, 342

  Po Li Ch'i, 270, 309

  Poh Ch'ang Ch'ien, 346

  Poh Ch'êng Tzŭ Kao, 142

  Poh Chü, 343

  Poh Huang, 116

  Poh Hun Wu Jen, 59, 272, 423

  Poh I, 72, 103, 201, 384, 394

  Poh Kung, 207

  Poh Loh, 106

  Politeness, Perfect, 307

  Portal of God, 304

  Positive and Negative, 120, 127, 205, 266, 349

  Precedence, 162

  Predestination, 350

  Predicables, Eight, 24

  Prometheus, A Chinese, 196

  Provident, The, 392

  P'u I Tzŭ, 91

  Pu Liang I, 79

  Punishments, 124, 162

  Pure Man, The, 69, 72, (a) 313

  Purity, Absolute, 127

  Purpose, Discard, 307

  Quail, 4

  Rain, 165, 173

  Rarey, A Chinese, 106

  Rat's liver, 82

  Raven, Blackness of, 185

  Record of Marvels, The, 1, 4

  Red Lake, The, 139

  Relations determinate, &c., 332

  Relativity, (of Distance) 2,
    (of Time) 3

  Repose, 127, 157, 158, 195

  Reputation, 5, 360

  Retired scholars, 197

  Rewards and Punishments, 162

  Rhinoceros, 214

  Rice-pudding, Grains in a, 296

  Riches, 141

  Right and Wrong, 244, 306, 345, 366

  Rings, Joined, 451

  River God, 53, 200, 357

  Rivers perennial, 332

  Robber Chê, 103, 112, 120, 155, 387

  Robbers _v._ Sages, 113

  Robbery, Origin of, 296

  Round Squareness, 25

  Rukh, The, 1, 3

  Rule of life, 84

  Ruler, The Wise, 161

  Rulers (of old) 344,
    (the Five) 186

  Rustic, The sick, 299

  Sacrifices, 6, 53, 305

  Sacrificial caps, 8

  Sage, The True, 146, 192, 326, 336

  Sages a curse, 108, 113, 117, 125

  Salve for chapped hands, 9

  San Ching, 377

  San-miao, 124

  San-wei, 124

  Sang Hu, 83, 253, 254

  Scales and Steelyards, 114

  Schemes, 317, 360

  Scholars' robes, 269

  Sciolist, The, 164

  Sea-bird, Arrival of a, 226, 244

  Sea-serpents, 214

  Seasons, The, 162, 165, 348

  Secret of existence, 280

  Self, 5, 145

  Senses, The, 20, 99, 100, 155, 311, 343

  Sha-ch'iu, 346

  Shadow, Afraid of his, 418

  Shadow, Man and his, 332

  San Chüan, 371, 404

  Shan Pao, 235

  Shang Mountain, 52

  Shang-shên Rapid, The, 233

  Shao Chih, 347

  Shao Kuang, 78

  Shê, Duke of, 45

  Shên Nung, 116, 196, 226, 246, 287, 385

  Shên T'u Chia, 59

  Shên T'u Ti, 72, 394

  Shên Yao, 443

  Shih Ch'êng Chi, 168

  Shih Chin, 179

  Shih Ch'iu, 346

  Shih-hu, 371

  Shih K'uang, 22, 100, 104, 115

  Shih-ling, 331

  Shih-nan, 247, 325, 342

  Shih Yü, 100, 116, 120, 155

  Shou (Prince of Yüeh), 373

  Shou-ling, The youth of, 216

  Shou-yang, Mt., 103, 385

  Shu, 98, 352

  Shu Ch'i, 72, 384, 394

  Shu Shan _No-toes_, 61

  Shu Tan (Chou Kung), 384

  Shun, The Emperor, 5 _et alt. pass._

  Sight, Sense of, (its failure) 139; 311, 359

  Silence, Doctrine of, 56, 293, 325

  Sincerity, Cultivation of, 316

  Singing alongside a corpse, 83

  Six Influences, The, 129, 174

  Six Ranks, The, 399

  Skull (Chuang Tzŭ and the) 224;
    (Lieh Tzŭ and the) 227

  Sky, The, 173

  Slopes and plains, 208

  Smell, Sense of, 155, 360

  Snake, The (moves without legs) 211;
    (its shoulders) 82

  Snail, The, 340

  Snow-goose, Whiteness of, 185

  Society, 347

  Sons, 141

  Soot, Life as mere, 305

  Sophistry, 117;
    (of Hui Tzŭ) 451

  Sorrow, 199, 221, 293

  Soul, The, 14, 37, 57

  Soyer, A Chinese, 104

  Space, 202, 304, 340

  Speech, (Great) 13;
    (not mere breath) 16, 17, 22;
    (a surplus) 23;
    (like wind to wave) 47;
    (failure of) 139;
    (no room for) 264

  Spirit of the Clouds, 129

    "      "    Ocean, 200

    "      "    River, 200

  "Spring and Autumn," 24

  Square and Compasses, 101, 263

  Ssŭ-mi, The, 228

  Standard of right, 306

  Standards must be absolute, 436

  Stars, The, 167

  Stealing purses, 114;
    (States) 114

  Stickleback, Chuang Tzŭ and the, 353

  Stoat, The, 313

  Stone-mason's skill, A, 321

  Straight-browed people, The, 150

  Straw dog, The, 179

  Strength of no avail, 139

  Stupidity, 360

  Su, Hunchback, 55

  Subjective, The, 17, 18, 305, 306, 364

  Success, Causes of, 432

  Sui Jen, 196, 226

  Summum bonum, The, 155

  Sun and Moon, 29, 165, 167, 173, 243

  Sun Hsiu, 242

  Sun Hsiu Ao, 273, 325

  Sung Hsing, 443

  Sung State, The, 8, 9, 53

  Supreme Void, The, 289

  Swallow, Wisdom of the, 257

  Swords, Forging, 290;
    (the Three), 410

  Ta-lü, 100

  Ta T'ao, 346

  Ta T'ing, 116

  T'ai, Mt., 3, 77, 103

  Tai Chin Jen, 340

  T'ai Huang, 91

  T'ai Kung Tiao, 347

  T'ai Wang Shan Fu, 371

  Talkers, 327

  Tan-hsüeh, 373

  T'ang, The Emperor, 3, 207, 215, 292, 309, 361, 383

  TAO, 16;
    (axis of) 18, 24;
    (perfect) 25;
    (gives form) 75, 76, 79;
    (man born in) 85;
    (in everything) 112;
    (in abstraction) 127;
    (of God and man) 134, 135, 137, 138, 157, 163, 167;
    (capacity of) 169, 182, 197;
    (eternal) 209,
    (how to reach) 277, 281;
    (is everywhere) 285, 288, 303, 316
    (and TÊ) 326;
    (functions of) 438;
    (and fatalism) 446

  T'ai Hsi Ching, The, 70

  Tao-Tê-Ching, The, 19, 34, 56, 71, 111, 115, 122, 125,
        136, 143, 170, 172, 179, 205, 231, 243, 275, 277,
        278, 300, 369, 448

  Tapir, The, 6

  Taste, Sense of, 155

  TÊ (see _Virtue_), 45

  Teeth cold, 113

  Tell, A Chinese, 60, 255

  Têng Ling, 442

  Thieves, 110, 169

  Thieving, Art of, 112

  Things, 231

  Thoroughness, 342

  Thought, 170

  Three in the Morning, 20

  Three Dynasties, 101, 118, 120

  Three Princes, 124, 132, 186, 202

  Tiao-ling, 258

  T'ien Ch'êng Tzŭ, _or_ T'ien Ho, 111, 324

  T'ien K'ai Chih, 234

  T'ien Kên, 93

  T'ien P'ien, 443

  Tigers, 174, 214, 263

  Time, 189, 202, 291, 304

  Tit, The, 6

  Toes, 305, 306

  Tongue, A three-foot, 326

  Topsy-turvydom, 199

  Tortoise, 3, 357;
    (Chuang Tzŭ and the) 217

  Translation (as of Enoch), 230

  Travelling, 180

  Trees Useless, 10, 51, 52, 245

  Tripe, 305

  Tsang, Old man of, 271

  Tsang, Shepherd, 103

  Ts'ang-wu, 354

  Ts'ao Shang, 428

  Tsê Yang, 335

  Tsêng Shên, 100, 116, 120, 155, 352, 366

  Tsêng Tzŭ, 378

  Ts'ui Chü, 123

  Tsun Lu, 116

  Tsung, Mt., 124

  Tsungs, The, 26

  Ts'ung-chih, 40

  Tung Kuo Shun Tzŭ, 261

  Tung Kuo Tzŭ, 285

  Tung Kuo Tzŭ Chi, 366

  Tung-t'ing, 176, 227

  Tung Yeh Chi, 241

  Turtle of eastern sea, 215, 296, 335

  Tzŭ Ch'an, 59

  Tzŭ Chang, 397

  Tzŭ Ch'i, 12, 52, 324, 327

  Tzŭ Ch'in Chang, 83

  Tzŭ Chou Chih Fu, 370

  Tzŭ Chou Chih Poh, 370

  Tzŭ Hsü _or_ Wu Yüan, 112, 221, 352, 401

  Tzŭ Hua Tzŭ, 373

  Tzŭ Kao, 45

  Tzŭ Kung, 83, 147, 185, 225, 378, 381, 388, 413

  Tzŭ Lai, 81

  Tzŭ Lao, 342

  Tzŭ Li, 81

  Tzŭ Lu, 165, 231, 263, 342, 381;
    (death of) 393; 413

  Tzŭ Sang, 90

  Tzŭ Sang Hu, 83, 253, 254

  Tzŭ Ssŭ, 80

  Tzŭ Yang of Chêng, 375

  Tzŭ Yü, 80, 90

  Ugliness, 260

  Umbra and Penumbra, 32, 367

  Uncanny events, 328

  Unconditioned, The, 158, 209, 307

  Uniformity (of results), 186, 132, 227, 331

  Universe, The, 19, 29, 161, 167, 279, 290

  Universal Love, 167

  Untrodden ground, 333

  Useful and Useless, The, 11, 306, 358

  Usurpers, 208

  Valetudinarianism, 191

  Vengeance not extended against things, 232

  Violence, 340

  Virtue (TÊ), 45, 133, 143, 151, 176, 185, 252, 277, 308,
        326, 360

  Virtue, Man of Perfect, 210

  Vision (Eye and) 333;
    (perfection of) 104, 139

  Vital Principle, The, 129

  Wa Lung, 237

  Walrus, The, 211

  Wang Hsiang, 237

  Wang I, 26, 91, 140

  Wang Kuo, 335

  Wang T'ai, 56

  Wang Tzŭ, 395

  Wang Tzŭ Ch'ing Chi, 250

  War, 315, 318

  Wasps, 297

  Water, (Fluidity of) 268;
    (to men and fishes) 227

  Water-level, The, 64, 157

  Wealth, 221;
    (value of) 403;
    (evil of) 405

  Weasel, The, 313

  Weeding plants, 360

  Weeping, 162;
    (without snivelling) 85

  Wei, Prince of, 9, 38, 254, 338

  Wei, Prince Wu of, 311

  Wei, The State of, 38, 49

  Wei of Ch'i, Prince, 338

  Wei of Chou, Duke, 234

  Wei I, The, 237

  Wei-lei Mountains, 294

  Wei Shêng, 395, 401

  Weights and measures a curse, 114

  Well-sweep, A, 147, 181

  Wên of Wei, Prince, 261

  Wên Chung, 332

  Wên Po Hsüeh Tzŭ, 262

  Wên Wang, 273

  Wên Wang of Chao, 407

  Wheel of Existence, The, 228

  Wheelwright, The, 171

  Whole made up of parts, 347

  Wife, Mother-in-law and, 360

  Wigs, 152

  Wind, 173, 211, 332

  Wine, Thin, 113

  Winnowing, Chaff from, 184

  Wisdom a curse, 115, 121, 125, 188

  Wisdom-tricks, 111

  Without-end, 288

  Wolves, 174

  Words, 170, 171

  Wu, Prince of, 9, 323

  Wu Chuang, 88

  Wu Ch'un, Hunchback, 65

  Wu Han Chao, 173

  Wu Kuang, 72, 361, 383

  Wu Lai, 352

  Wu Ting, 78

  Wu-tsu, 228

  Wu Tzŭ Hsü, 395

  Wu Wang, 152, 207, 292, 384

  Wu Yoh, 400

  Wu Yüan, 112, 221, 352, 401

  Yak, The, 10

  Yang-ch'i, The, 228

  Yang Chu, 100, 116, 155, 259, 318

  Yang Hu, 214

  Yang Tzŭ Chü, 93, 368, 369

  Yao, The Emperor, 5, _et alt. pass._

  Yeh Ch'üeh, 26, 91, 140, 281, 329

  Yellow Emperor, The, 28, 77, 123, 125, 139, 176, 196,
        224, 246, 274, 277, 292, 316

  Yellow Spring, The, 358

  Yen Gate, The, 361

  Yen State, The, 329

  Yen Ch'êng Tzŭ Yu, 12, 324, 366, 441

  Yen ch'i, 410

  Yen Ho, 48, 241, 374, 429

  Yen Hui _or_ Yen Yüan, 38, 85, 179, 225, 233, 256, 264,
        272, 291, 379, 381, 388

  Yen Kang Tiao, 287

  Yen Pu I, 324

  Yi, 60, 255, 308, 309, 319

  Yi Yang, 237

  Yin, Mountain, 93

  Yin and Yang, The, 82, 120, 126, 177, 192, 201, 280

  Yin-li, 394

  Yin Wên, 443

  Ying, 451

  Ying, A man of, 321

  Ying-yang, 382

  Yü, The Great, 16, 142, 152, 215, 254

  Yü Ch'iang, 78

  Yü Ch'ieh, 357

  Yü Erh, 104

  Yu-hu, 40

  Yu island, 124

  Yu Piao, 179

  Yüan of Sung, Prince, 270, 321

  Yüan Fêng, 150

  Yüan Hsien, 378

  Yüeh State, The, 8, 9, 16, 313, 451

  Yung Ch'êng, 116

  Yung Ch'êng Shih, 338


 Page 1, line 3 (from bottom), insert comma after "sunbeam."

 " 49, line 2, _Prince_ Ling is the same individual as the _Duke_ Ling
 of pp. 65, 250, 346.

 [All such terms are, of course, arbitrary, being used merely as
 convenient equivalents of the Chinese titles in the text]

"60, " 13, For "Hou I" read "Hou Yi." [This for the sake of uniformity.
_See_ pp. 255, 308, &c.]

"65, " 16, For "too short" read "too scraggy."

"65, " 20, For "too thin" read "too scraggy."

"72, " 4, For "Chi Tzŭ Hsü Yü" read "Chi Tzŭ, Hsü Yü."

"170, " 3 (from bottom), After "Duke Huan." omit the full stop.

"228, " 14, For "glow-worm" read "fire-fly."

"230, " 22, For "to the minister" read "to be the minister."

"262, " 22, For "Wên Po" read "Wên Poh."

"270, " 6, For "Po Li Ch'i" read "Poh Li Ch'i."

"272, " 3 (from bottom), For "Po Hun" read "Poh Hun."

"309, " 12 For "Duke Mu" read "Duke Muh."

"309, " 12 For "Po Li Ch'i" read "Poh Li Ch'i."

"314, last line, "Love for the people," &c. Compare p. 329, lines 17
and 18, "There is no difficulty," &c. The conflict between the meanings
of these two passages has not been pointed out. The first passage is
rendered by some commentators, "Not to be able to love the people is
the," &c. Neither rendering is quite satisfactory; for reasons which
would require quotations from the Chinese text.

Page 324, lines 15 and 26, For "Tzŭ Chi" read "Tzŭ Ch'i."

"327, " 18 and 28, For "Tzŭ Chi" read "Tzŭ Ch'i."

"328, line 7, For "Tzŭ Chi" read "Tzŭ Ch'i."

"346, " 5, After "Duke Ling," add "of Wei."

"371, " 17, For "Shih Hu" read "Shih-hu."

"373, " 3, For "Tan Hsüeh" read "Tan-hsüeh."

"394, " 8, For "Yin Li" read "Yin-li."

 [These last three corrections mean that I have written names of
 _places_ with a hyphen between the transliteration of the component
 Chinese characters, the names of _men_ with a capital letter to the
 transliteration of each of the Chinese characters which go to make up
 the surname and personal name]




 =Chinese Sketches.= Death of an
 Slang--Inquests, &c. &c.

 =Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio.= Translation of the _Liao
 Chai_. 2 vols. 8vo.

 =Historic China, and other Sketches.=

 =Gems of Chinese Literature.= Containing Extracts from various
 Authors, from B.C. 500 to A.D. 1600.

 =A Short History of Koolangsu.=

 =On Some Translations and Mistranslations in Williams' Syllabic

 =Dictionary of Colloquial Idioms in the Mandarin Dialect.=

 =Chinese without a Teacher=: Being a Collection of Easy and Useful
 Sentences in the Mandarin Dialect. With a Vocabulary. 2nd Edition.

 =Synoptical Studies in Chinese Character.=

 =Handbook of the Swatow Dialect.=

 =Record of the Buddhistic Kingdoms.= Translated from the Chinese. With
 copious Notes.

 =Two Chinese Poems=: The =San Tzŭ Ching=, _or the Trimetrical
 Classic_; and the =Ch'ien Tzŭ Wên=, _or Thousand Character Essay_.
 Metrically translated.

 =From Swatow to Canton=: An Overland Journey.

 =A Glossary of Reference=, on Subjects connected with the Far East.
 2nd Edition.

 =The Remains of Lao Tzŭ.= Hong Kong: 1886.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

Obvious printer’s errors corrected.

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as
possible, including obsolete and variant spellings, non-standard
punctuation, inconsistently hyphenated words, and other inconsistencies.

In the original text, the first digit of the first footnote on page x
is illegible. Corrected based on context.

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