94 Clmang Tzii
acquainted with the order and principles of things, and untiring in the pursuit of Tag — would he be accounted a wise ruler ? "
" From the point of view of a truly wise man," replied Lao Tzu, " such a one would be a mere handicraftsman, wearing out body and mind alike. The tiger and the pard suffer from the beauty of their skins. The cleverness of the monkey, the tractability of the ox, bring them both to the tether. It is not on such grounds that a ruler may be accounted wise."
" But in what, then," cried Yang Tzu Chli, " does the government of a wise man consist ? "
" The goodness of a wise ruler," answered Lao Tzu, " covers the whole empire, yet he himself seems to know it not. It influences all creation, yet none is conscious thereof. It appears under countless forms, bringing joy to all things. It is based upon the baseless, and travels through the realms of Nowhere."
The operation of true government is invisible to the eye of man.
In the State of Cheng there was a wonderful magician, named Chi Han. He knew all about birth and death, gain and loss, misfortune and happiness, long life and short life, — predicting events to a day with supernatural accuracy. The people of Cheng used to flee at his approach ; but Lieh Tzu
See ch. i.