Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/163

This page has been validated.
CAP. XI.]
129
On Letting Alone

The Spirit of the Clouds when passing eastwards through the expanse of Air

The term here used has also been explained to mean some supernatural kind of tree, over which we may imagine the Cloud-Spirit to be passing.

happened to fall in with the Vital Principle. The latter was slapping his ribs and hopping about; whereupon the Spirit of the Clouds said, "Who are you, old man, and what are you doing here?"

"Strolling! " replied the Vital Principle, without stopping.

Activities ceaseless in their imperceptible operation.

"I want to know something," continued the Spirit of the Clouds.

"Ah!" uttered the Vital Principle, in a tone of disapprobation.

"The relationship of heaven and earth is out of harmony," said the Spirit of the Clouds; "the six influences do not combine,

The positive and negative principles, wind, rain, darkness, and light.

and the four seasons are no longer regular. I desire to blend the six influences so as to nourish all living beings. What am I to do?"

"I do not know!" cried the Vital Principle, shaking his head, while still slapping his ribs and hopping about; "I do not know!"

So the Spirit of the Clouds did not press his question; but three years later, when passing eastwards through the Yu-sung territory, he again fell