He had an instrument, but the gamut was wanting. There was sound, but no tune. The sound of the wood accompanied by the voice of the man yielded a harsh result, but it was in keeping with the feelings of his audience.
Yen Hui, who was standing by in a respectful attitude, thereupon began to turn his eyes about him; and Confucius, fearing lest he should be driven by exaltation into bragging, or by a desire for safety into sorrow,
- As a result of hearing the song.
spoke to him as follows:—
"Hui! it is easy to escape injury from God; it is difficult to avoid the benefits of man. There is no beginning and there is no end. Man and God are one. Who then was singing just now?"
"Pray, Sir, what do you mean," asked Yen Hui, "by saying that it is easy to escape injury from God?"
"Hunger, thirst, cold, and heat," replied Confucius, "are but as fetters in the path of life. They belong to the natural laws which govern the universe; and in obedience thereto I pass on my allotted course. The subject dares not disregard the mandates of his prince. And if this is man's duty to man, how much more shall it be his duty to God?"
"What is the meaning of difficult to avoid the benefits of man?" asked Yen Hui.
"If one begins," replied Confucius, "by adapta-