Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/20

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Chuang Tzŭ

Compared with the "miscellaneous," these latter seem to have been classed together as elucidating a single principle in terms more easy of apprehension; while the "miscellaneous" chapters embrace several distinct trains of thought, and are altogether more abstruse. The arrangement is unscientific, and it was probably this which caused Su Tung-p'o to decide that division into chapters belongs to a later age. He regards chaps, xxix-xxxii as spurious, although Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien alludes to two of these as Chuang Tzŭ's work. It has indeed been held that the inside chapters alone (i-vii) are from Chuang Tzŭ's own pen. But most of the other chapters, exclusive of xxix-xxxii, contain unmistakable traces of a master hand. Ch. xvii, by virtue of an exquisite imagery, has earned for its author the affectionate sobriquet of "Chou of the Autumn Floods."

Chuang Tzŭ, it must be remembered, has been for centuries classed as a heterodox writer. His work was an effort of reaction against the materialism of Confucian teachings. And in the course of it he was anything but sparing of terms. Confucius is dealt with in language which no modern literate can approve. But the beauty and vigour of the language are facts admitted by all. He is constantly quoted in the great standard lexicon which passes under the name of K'ang Hsi.

But no acquaintance with the philosophy of Chuang Tzŭ would assist the candidate for honours at the competitive examinations which are the portals to official place and power. Consequently, Chuang Tzŭ is studied chiefly by older men, who have retired from office, or who have been disappointed in their career. Those too who are