Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/444

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410

Chuang Tzŭ

Thereupon the prince spent seven days in trying his swordsmen. Some sixty of them were either killed or wounded, but at length he selected five or six and bade them attend in the audience-chamber with their swords. He then summoned Chuang Tzŭ and said, "Now I will see what your swordsmanship is worth."

"I have been longing for this," replied Chuang Tzŭ.

"Does it matter to you," asked the prince, "of what length your weapon may be?"

"Not at all," replied Chuang Tzŭ. "I have three swords, of which I will ask your Highness to choose one. We will then proceed to the trial."

"Which are your three swords?" enquired the prince.

"There is the sword of the Son of Heaven," said Chuang Tzŭ, "the sword of the Princes, and the sword of the People."

"What is the sword of the Son of Heaven?" asked the prince.

"The stone wall of Yen-ch'i is its point," replied Chuang Tzŭ.

Some take "stone wall" as the name of a place.

The mountains of Ch'i are its edge. Chin and Wei are its back. Chou and Sung are its hilt. Han and Wei are its sheath. It is enclosed in the four hordes of barbarians, wrapped in the four seasons, surrounded by the great ocean. It is made of the five elements. It is the arbiter of punishment and