Follow us on Facebook to receive important updates Follow us on Twitter to receive important updates Follow us on's microblogging site to receive important updates Follow us on Douban to receive important updates
Chinese Text Project
Simplified Chinese version
Back Forward
Daoism -> Zhuangzi -> Inner Chapters -> Man in the World, Associated with other Men -> 4

颜阖卫灵公Yan He, being about to undertake the office of Teacher of the eldest son of duke Ling of Wei,
蘧伯玉 consulted Qu Bo-yi.
'Here,' said he, 'is this (young) man,
whose natural disposition is as bad as it could be.
If I allow him to proceed in a bad way,
it will be at the peril of our state;
if I insist on his proceeding in a right way,
it will be at the peril of my own person.
His wisdom is just sufficient to know the errors of other men,
but he does not know how he errs himself.
?” What am I to do in such a case?'
蘧伯玉Qu Bo-yi replied,
'Good indeed is your question!
Be on your guard; be careful;
see that you keep yourself correct!
Your best plan will be, with your person to seek association with him,
and with your mind to try to be in harmony with him;
and yet there are dangers connected with both of these things.
While seeking to keep near to him, do not enter into his pursuits;
while cultivating a harmony of mind with him, do not show how superior you are to him.
If in your personal association you enter into his pursuits,
you will fall with him and be ruined,
you will tumble down with a crash.
If in maintaining a harmony with his mind, you show how different you are from him,
he will think you do so for the reputation and the name,
and regard you as a creature of evil omen.
If you find him to be a mere boy,
be you with him as another boy;
if you find him one of those who will not have their ground marked out in the ordinary way,
do you humour him in this characteristic;
if you find him to be free from lofty airs,
show yourself to be the same
- (ever) leading him on so as to keep him free from faults.
Do you not know (the fate of) the praying mantis?
It angrily stretches out its arms, to arrest the progress of the carriage,
unconscious of its inability for such a task,
but showing how much it thinks of its own powers.
Be on your guard; be careful.
If you cherish a boastful confidence in your own excellence, and place yourself in collision with him,
you are likely to incur the fate (of the mantis).
Do you not know how those who keep tigers proceed?
They do not dare to supply them with living creatures,
because of the rage which their killing of them will excite.
They do not (even) dare to give them their food whole,
because of the rage which their rending of it will excite.
They watch till their hunger is appeased,
(dealing with them) from their knowledge of their natural ferocity.
Tigers are different from men, but they fawn on those who feed them,
and do so in accordance with their nature.
When any of these are killed by them,
it is because they have gone against that nature.
Those again who are fond of horses
preserve their dung in baskets,
and their urine in jars.
If musquitoes and gadflies light on them,
and the grooms brush them suddenly away,
the horses break their bits, injure (the ornaments on) their heads, and smash those on their breasts.
The more care that is taken of them,
the more does their fondness (for their attendants) disappear.
!” Ought not caution to be exercised (in the management of them)?'

Enjoy this site? Please help.Site design and content copyright 2006-2021. When quoting or citing information from this site, please link to the corresponding page or to Please note that the use of automatic download software on this site is strictly prohibited, and that users of such software are automatically banned without warning to save bandwidth. 沪ICP备09015720号-3Comments? Suggestions? Please raise them here.