Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/443

This page has been validated.
On Swords

likes. But if you go to him dressed in your ordinary scholar's dress, the result is sure to be disastrous."

"I will accustom myself to the dress," replied Chuang Tzŭ; and after practising for three days, he went again to see the young prince, who accompanied him into his father's presence.

The latter drew a sharp sword and awaited Chuang Tzŭ's approach. But Chuang Tzŭ, when he entered the door of the audience chamber, did not hurry forward, neither did he prostrate himself before the prince.

"What have you to say to me," cried the prince, "that you have obtained your introduction through the Heir Apparent?"

"I have heard," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "that your Highness loves sword-play. Therefore I have come to exhibit my skill."

"What can you do in that line?" asked the prince.

"Were I to meet an opponent," said Chuang Tzŭ, "at every ten paces, I could go on for a thousand li without being stopped."

"Bravo!" cried the prince. "There is not your match in the empire."

"When I fight," continued Chuang Tzŭ, "I make a show of being weak but push a vigorous attack. The last to start, I am the first to arrive. I should like your Highness to make trial of me."

"Rest awhile," replied the prince. "Stay here and await orders. I will arrange a day for you."