"A good question," replied Confucius. "There is a saying by Kuan Chung
- Prime Minister to Duke Huan of the Ch'i State, 7th century B.C.
of old which I highly esteem: 'Small bags won't hold big things; short ropes won't reach down deep wells.' Thus, destiny is a pre-arrangement, just as form has its limitations. From neither, to neither, can you either take away or add. And I fear lest Hui, on his visit to the prince of Ch'i, should preach the Tao of Yao and Shun, and dwell on the words of Sui Jen and Shên Nung. The prince will then search within himself, but will not find. And not finding, he will doubt. And when a man doubts, he will kill.
- Lit. "he will die." But the verb "to die" is often used in the sense of "to make to die;" and this seems to be the only available sense here.
"Besides, have you not heard that of old when a sea-bird alighted outside the capital of Lu, the prince went out to receive it, and gave it wine in the temple, and had the Chiu Shao
- Music composed by the legendary Emperor Shun.
played to amuse it, and a bullock slaughtered to feed it? But the bird was dazed and too timid to eat or drink anything; and in three days it was dead. This was treating the bird like oneself, and not as a bird would treat a bird. Had he treated it as a bird would have treated a bird, he would have