Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/475

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CAP. XXXIII.]
441
The Empire

was enclosed in a seven-fold coffin. That of a feudal prince, in a five-fold coffin. That of a minister, in a three-fold coffin. That of a private individual, in a two-fold coffin. But now Mih Tzŭ would have no singing in life, no mourning after death, and a single coffin of only three inches in thickness as the rule for all alike!

Such doctrines do not illustrate his theory of universal love;

They betray a want of sympathy with human weaknesses.

neither does his practice of them establish the fact of his own personal self-respect. They may not suffice to destroy his system altogether; though it is unreasonable to prohibit singing, and weeping, and rejoicing in due season.

He would have men toil through life and hold death in contempt. But this teaching is altogether too unattractive. It would land mankind in sorrow and lamentation. It would be next to impossible as a practical system, and cannot, I fear, be regarded as the Tao of the true Sage. It would be diametrically opposed to human passions, and as such would not be tolerated by the world. Mih Tzŭ himself might be able to carry it out; but not the rest of the world. And when one separates from the rest of the world, his chances of developing an ideal State become small indeed.

Mih Tzŭ argued in favour of his system as follows:—Of old, the great Yu drained off the