Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/11

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Introduction.

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 Chou.

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 allegorical.[5]


  1. Pronounce Chwongdza.
  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.