Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/235

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CAP. XVII.]
201
Autumn Floods

the learning of Confucius or underrating the heroism of Poh I,

See ch. vi.

I did not believe. But now that I have looked upon your inexhaustibility—alas for me had I not reached your abode, I should have been for ever a laughing-stock to those of comprehensive enlightenment!"

The Spirit of a paltry river learns that the ripple of his rustic stream is scarcely the murmur of the world.

To which the Spirit of the Ocean replied, "You cannot speak of ocean to a well-frog,—the creature of a narrower sphere. You cannot speak of ice to a summer insect,—the creature of a season. You cannot speak of Tao to a pedagogue: his scope is too restricted. But now that you have emerged from your narrow sphere and have seen the great ocean, you know your own insignificance, and I can speak to you of great principles.

"There is no body of water beneath the canopy of heaven which is greater than ocean. All streams pour into it without cease, yet it does not overflow. It is constantly being drained off, yet it is never empty. Spring and autumn bring no change; floods and droughts are equally unknown. And thus it is immeasurably superior to mere rivers and brooks,—though I would not venture to boast on this account, for I get my shape from the universe, my vital power from the Yin and Yang. In the