Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/145

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CAP. X.]
Opening Trunks
porated 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 theft?