Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/487

This page has been validated.
CAP. XXXIII.]
453
The Empire

That if you take a stick a foot long and every day cut it in half, you will never come to the end of it.

Compare "Achilles and the Tortoise," and the sophisms of the Greek philosophers.

And such was the stuff which dialecticians used to argue about with Hui Tzŭ, also without ever getting to the end of it.

Huan T'uan and Kung Sun Lung were of this class. By specious premisses they imposed on people's minds and drove them into false conclusions. But though they won the battle in words, they did not carry conviction into their adversaries' hearts. Theirs were but the snares of the sophist.

Hui Tzŭ daily devoted his intelligence to such pursuits, purposely advancing some preposterous thesis upon which to dispute. That was his characteristic. He had besides a great opinion of his own wisdom, and used to say, "The universe does not hold my peer."

Hui Tzŭ makes a parade of his strength, but is devoid of any sound system. An eccentric fellow in the south, named Huang Liao, asked why the sky did not fall and the earth sink; also, whence came wind, rain, and thunder.

Hui Tzŭ was not backward in replying to these questions, which he answered unhesitatingly. He went into a long discussion on all creation, and talked away without end, though to himself he seemed to be saying very little. He supplemented