This Book is named from the first three characters in it, the surname and name of Hsü Wû-kwei, who plays the most important part in the first two paragraphs, and does not further appear. He comes before us as a well-known recluse of Wei, who visits the court to offer his counsels to the marquis of the state. But whether there ever was such
a man, or whether he was only a creation of Kwang-dze, we cannot, so far as I know, tell.
Scattered throughout the Book are the lessons so common with our author against sagehood and knowledge, and on the quality of doing nothing and thereby securing the doing of everything. The concluding chapter is one of the finest descriptions in the whole Work of the Tâo and of the Tâoistic idea of Heaven. 'There are in the Book,' says Lû Fang, 'many dark and mysterious expressions. It is not to be read hastily; but the more it is studied, the more flavour will there be found in it.'