Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/455

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CAP. XXXI.]
421
The Old Fisherman

Tzŭ Lu offered the hand-cord to Confucius. But the latter paid no attention. He waited until the ripples on the water had smoothed down and the sound of the punt-pole had died away, before he ventured to get up.

Tzŭ Lu, who was at the side of the chariot, enquired saying, "Master, I have been in your service now for a long time, yet never did I see you treat any man like this. In the presence of a ruler of ten thousand or a thousand chariots, I have never seen you treated other than with great respect, while you yourself would wear a haughty air. Yet before this old fisherman, leaning on his punt-pole, you cringe and bow and prostrate yourself twice before answering. Is not this too much? The disciples do not know what to make of it. Why this behaviour to an old fisherman?"

"Yu!" cried Confucius, resting on the bar of the chariot; "it is difficult to make anything of you. You have long studied ceremonies and duty to your neighbour, yet you have not succeeded in getting rid of the old evil nature. Come here, and I will tell you.

"To meet an elder without respect is want of ceremony. To see a Sage and not to honour him, is not to be in charity with man. Unless you are in charity with man, you cannot humble yourself before a fellow-creature. And unless you can honestly do this, you can never attain to that state of original purity; but the body will constantly suffer. Alas! there is no greater evil than not to