Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/224

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CHAPTER XV.

Self-Conceit.

Argument:—Would-be sages—The vanity of effort—Method of the true Sage—Passivity the key—The soul and mortality—Re-absorption into the immortal.

SELF-CONCEIT and assurance, which lead men to quit society, and be different from their fellows, to indulge in tall talk and abuse of others,—these are nothing more than personal over-estimation, the affectation of recluses and those who have done with the world and have closed their hearts to mundane influences.

Preaching of charity and duty to one's neighbour, of loyalty and truth, of respect, of economy, and of humility,—this is but moral culture, affected by would-be pacificators and teachers of mankind, and by scholars at home or abroad.

Preaching of meritorious services, of fame, of ceremonial between sovereign and minister, of due relationship between upper and lower classes,—this is mere government, affected by courtiers or patriots who strive to extend the boundaries of their own State and to swallow up the territory of others.

Living in marshes or in wildernesses, and passing