Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/425

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Robber Chê


of your ancestors. Such is the behaviour of the true Sage and the man of parts, and such is what the world desires."

"Ch'iu! come here," cried Robber Chê in a great rage. "Those who are squared by offers and corrected by words are the stupid vulgar masses. The height and the beauty which you praise in me are legacies from my parents. Even though you did not praise them, do you think I should be ignorant of their existence? Besides, those who flatter to the face speak evil behind the back. Now all you have been saying about the great State and its numerous population simply means squaring me by offers as though one of the common herd. And of course it would not last.

"There is no State bigger than the empire. Yao and Shun both got this, yet their descendants have not territory enough to insert an awl's point. Tang and Wu Wang both sat upon the Imperial throne, yet their posterity has been obliterated from the face of the earth.

Hardly in Chuang Tzŭ's time.

Was not this because of the very magnitude of the prize?

"I have also heard that in olden times the birds and animals outnumbered man, and that the latter was obliged to seek his safety by building his domicile in trees. By day he picked up acorns and chestnuts. At night he slept upon a branch. Hence the name Nest-builders.