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 mince-meat.
- 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 thieving?"
"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 indis-