The time of the autumn floods came and the hundred streams poured into the Yellow River. Its racing current swelled to such proportions that, looking from bank to bank or island to island, it was impossible to distinguish a horse from a cow. Then the Lord of the River1 was beside himself with joy, believing that all the beauty in the world belonged to him alone. Following the current, he journeyed east until at last he reached the North Sea. Looking east, he could see no end to the water.
The Lord of the River began to wag his head and roll his eyes. Peering far off in the direction of Ruo,2 he sighed and said, “The common saying has it, 'He has heard the Way a mere hundred times but he thinks he's better than anyone else.' It applies to me. In the past, I heard men belittling the learning of Confucius and making light of the righteousness of Bo Yi,3 though I
1 The Lord of the River, the god of the Yellow River, has already appeared on
p. 78, under the name Pingyi.
2 The god of the sea.
3 Bo Yi, who relinquished his kingdom to his brother and later chose to the of star-
vation rather than serve a ruler he considered unjust, was regarded as a model of