Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/96

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Chuang Tzŭ

No-toes. "It would be impossible to release him."

A sneer at Confucius. No-toes himself had only been punished by man.

Duke Ai of the Lu State said to Confucius, "In the Wei State there is a leper, named Ai T'ai T'o. The men who live with him like him and make no effort to get rid of him. Of the women who have seen him, many have said to their parents, Rather than be another man's wife, I would be his concubine.

"He never preaches at people, but puts himself into sympathy with them. He wields no power by which he may protect men's bodies. He has at his disposal no appointments by which to gratify their hearts. He is loathsome to a degree. He sympathises, but does not instruct. His knowledge is limited to his own State. Yet males and females alike all congregate around him.

"So thinking that he must be different from ordinary men, I sent for him, and saw that he was indeed loathsome to a degree. Yet we had not been many months together ere my attention was fixed upon his conduct. A year had not elapsed ere I trusted him thoroughly; and as my State wanted a Prime Minister, I offered the post to him. He accepted it sullenly, as if he would much rather have declined. Perhaps he didn't think me good enough for him! At any rate, he took it; but in a very short time he left me and went away. I grieved for him as for a lost friend, and as though