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 Sages.
- 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.