Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/332

This page has been validated.
Chuang Tzŭ

are of the latter order. I cannot transform you. Why not go south and see Lao Tzŭ?"

So Nan Yung took some provisions, and after a seven days' journey arrived at the abode of Lao Tzŭ.

"Have you come from Kêng Sang Ch’u?" said the latter.

"I have," replied Nan Yung.

"But why," said Lao Tzŭ, "bring all these people with you?"

Meaning the questions he was going to ask.

Nan Yung looked back in alarm, and Lao Tzŭ continued, "Do you not understand what I say?"

Nan Yung bent his head abashed, and then looking up, said with a sigh, "I have now forgotten how to answer, in consequence of missing what I came to ask."

He was so confused by Lao Tzŭ's question coming before he had had time to state his mission.

"What do you mean?" said Lao Tzŭ.

"If I do not know," replied Nan Yung, "men call me a fool. If I do know, I injure myself. If I am not charitable, I injure others. If I am, I injure myself. If I do not do my duty to my neighbour, I injure others. If I do it, I injure myself. My trouble lies in not seeing how to escape from these three dilemmas. On the strength of my connection with Kêng Sang, I would venture to ask advice."

"When I saw you," said Lao Tzŭ, "I knew in the twinkling of an eye what was the matter with you. And now what you say confirms my view.