Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/187

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CAP. XII.]
153
The Universe

recognising obligations to any one. Thus, their deeds left no trace; their affairs were not handed down to posterity.

Rousseau, in Du Contrat Social, thus describes society as it would be if every man was a true Christian:—"Chacun remplirait son devoir; le peuple serait soumis aux lois, les chefs seraient justes et modérés, les magistrats intègres, incorruptibles, les soldats mépriseraient la mort, il n'y aurait ni vanité ni luxe."

"A filial son does not humour his parents. A loyal minister does not flatter his prince. This is the acme of filial piety and loyalty. To assent to whatever a parent or a prince says, and to praise whatever a parent or a prince does, this is what the world calls unfilial and disloyal conduct, though apparently unaware that the principle is of universal application. For though a man assents to whatever the world says, and praises whatever the world does, he is not dubbed a toady; from which one might infer that the world is severer than a father and more to be respected than a prince!

"If you tell a man he is a wheedler, he will not like it. If you tell him he is a flatterer, he will be angry. Yet he is everlastingly both. But all such sham and pretence is what the world likes, and consequently people do not punish each other for doing what they do themselves. For a man to arrange his dress, or make a display, or suit his expression so as to get into the good graces of the world, and yet not to call himself a flatterer; to