should not now be of the great use I am. Moreover, you and I belong both to the same category of things. Have done then with this criticism of others. Is a good-for-nothing fellow whose dangers are not yet passed a fit person to talk of a good-for-nothing tree?"
When our artisan awaked and told his dream, his apprentice said, "If the tree aimed at uselessness, how was it that it became a sacred tree?"
- Which of course may be said to be of use.
"What you don't understand," replied his master, "don't talk about. That was merely to escape from the attacks of its enemies. Had it not become sacred, how many would have wanted to cut it down! The means of safety adopted were different from ordinary means,
- In order to reach the somewhat extraordinary goal of uselessness.
and to test these by ordinary canons leaves one far wide of the mark."
Tzŭ Ch'i of Nan-poh
- Said to be identical with the individual mentioned at the beginning of ch. ii.
was travelling on the Shang mountain when he saw a large tree which astonished him very much. A thousand chariot teams could have found shelter under its shade.
"What tree is this?" cried Tzŭ Ch'i. "Surely it