asked Chuang Tzŭ, "that you should bestow upon me a thousand ounces?"
"I had heard," replied the young prince, "that you were a famous Sage, and I ventured to send this money as a present to your servants.
- Merely a ceremonious phrase.
But as you would not receive it, what more can I say?"
"I understand," answered Chuang Tzŭ, "that your Highness would have me cure the prince of his peculiar weakness. Now suppose that I do not succeed with the prince, and consequently with your Highness, the punishment of death is what I have to expect. What good would the thousand ounces be to me then?"
"On the other hand, if I succeed with the prince, and consequently with your Highness, the whole State of Chao contains nothing I could not have for the asking."
"You must know, however," said the young prince, "that my father will only receive swordsmen."
"Well," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "I am a good swordsman myself."
"Besides which," added the Heir Apparent, "the swordsmen he is accustomed to see have all dishevelled hair hanging over their temples. They wear slouching caps with coarse tangled tassels, and short-tailed coats. They glare with their eyes and talk in a fierce tone. This is what my father