"Sire, you are ruler over a mighty State, yet you would seek the vengeance of a common man. Give me two hundred thousand warriors, and I will do the work for you. I will take his people prisoners, and carry off their oxen and horses. I will make the heat of the prince's mind break out on his back. Then I will seize his country, and he will flee. Then you can wring his neck as you please."
When Chi Tzŭ heard this, he cried out in shame and said, "If you are building a ten-perch wall, and when the wall is near completion, destroy it, you inflict great hardship on the workmen.
- Alluding to the corvée system of public works. The speaker was an official of Wei.
Now for seven years the troops have not been called out. That is, as it were, your Highness' foundation work. Listen not to the Captain-General. He is a mischievous fellow."
When Hua Tzŭ
- Also an official of Wei.
heard this, he was very indignant and said, "He who argued in favour of punishing the Ch'i State was a mischievous fellow. And he who argued against punishing the Ch'i State was a mischievous fellow. And he who says that either of the above is a mischievous fellow, is a mischievous fellow himself."
"Where then shall I find what to do?" enquired the prince.