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King Ch’êng of Ch’u was reading in the hall

King Ch’êng of Ch’u was reading in the hall, and at work below was Lun-pien, who asked, "What is the book Your Highness is reading?"

King Ch’êng said, "It is a book of the Former Sages."

Lun-pien said, "It is certainly only the dregs of the Former Sages, and not their essence."

King Ch’êng said, "What grounds have you for saying that?"

Lun-pien said, "Let us put it in terms of the wheels I make. With the compass I make them round, and with a square I make them straight. These techniques I can pass on to my sons and grandsons. But when it comes to bringing three pieces of wood together, there is a response in the heart and a movement in the body which there is no way to transmit. Hence what has been transmitted is certainly nothing but the dregs. Thus it is possible to examine the methods of T’ang and Yü, but there is no attaining to their illumination of men's hearts. The Ode says,

The doings of High Heaven
Have neither sound nor smell.

Who can attain to this?"

楚成王读书于殿上,而伦扁在下,作而问曰:“不审主君所读何书也?”成王曰:“先圣之书。”伦扁曰:“此真先圣王之糟粕耳!非美者也。”成王曰:“子何以言之?”伦扁曰:“以臣轮言之。夫以规为圆,矩为方,此其可付乎子孙者也。若夫合三木而为一,应乎心,动乎体,其不可得而传者也。则凡所传,真糟粕耳。故唐虞之法,可得而考也,其喻人心,不可及矣。”《诗》曰:“上天之载,无声无臭。”其孰能及之!

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