the Three Kings was opposed to the brilliancy of the sun and moon above, destructive of the energy of land and water below, and subversive of the influence of the four seasons between.
- More repetition. See ch. x. ad fin.
That wisdom is more harmful than a hornet's tail, preventing the very animals from putting themselves into due relation with the conditions of their existence,—and yet they call themselves Sages! Is not their shamelessness shameful indeed?"
At this Tzŭ Kung became ill at ease.
- The whole of the above episode may without hesitation be written off as a feeble forgery.
Confucius said to Lao Tzŭ, "I arranged the Six Canons of Poetry, History, Rites, Music, Changes, and Spring and Autumn. I spent much time over them, and I am well acquainted with their purport. I used them in admonishing seventy-two rulers, by discourses on the wisdom of ancient sovereigns and illustrations from the lives of Chou and Shao. Yet not one ruler has in any way adopted my suggestions. Alas that man should be so difficult to persuade, and wisdom so difficult to illustrate."
"It is well for you, Sir," replied Lao Tzŭ, "that you did not come across any real ruler of mankind. Your Six Canons are but the worn-out foot-prints of ancient Sages. And what are foot-prints? Why, the words you now utter are as it were foot-prints. Foot-prints are made by the shoe: they are not the shoe itself.