Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/144

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Chuang Tzŭ
 

CHAPTER X.

Opening Trunks.

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 thieves.

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 incor-