the latter said, "We have many scholars, Sir, in Lu, but few of your school."
"In Lu," replied Chuang Tzŭ, "there are but few scholars."
"Look at the number who wear scholars' robes," said the Duke. "How can you say they are few?"
"Scholars who wear round hats," answered Chuang Tzŭ, "know the seasons of Heaven. Scholars who wear square shoes know the shape of Earth.
- According to ancient Chinese cosmogony, "Heaven is round: Earth is square."
And scholars who loosely gird themselves are ready to decide whatever questions may arise. But scholars who have Tao do not necessarily wear robes; neither does the wearing of robes necessarily mean that a scholar has Tao. If your Highness does not think so, why not issue an order through the Middle Kingdom, making death the punishment for all who wear the robes without having the Tao?"
Thereupon Duke Ai circulated this mandate for five days, the result being that not a single man in Lu dared to don scholars' robes,—with the exception of one old man who, thus arrayed, took his stand at the Duke's gate.
- My Ming editor (a priest) says this was Confucius himself!
The Duke summoned him to the presence, and asked him many questions on politics, trying to entangle him, but in vain. Then Chuang Tzŭ said,