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'The Old Fisherman' is the fourth of the Books in the collection of the writings of Kwang-dze to which, since the time of Sû Shih, the epithet of 'spurious' has been attached by many. My own opinion, however, has been already intimated that the suspicions of the genuineness of those Books have been entertained on insufficient grounds; and so far as 'the Old Fisherman' is concerned, I am glad that it has come down to us, spurious or genuine. There may be a certain coarseness in 'the Robber Kih,' which makes us despise Confucius or laugh at him; but the satire in this Book is delicate, and we do not like the sage the less when he walks up the bank from the stream where he has been lectured by the fisherman. The pictures of him and his disciples in the forest, reading and singing on the Apricot Terrace, and of the old man slowly impelling his skiff to the land and then as quietly impelling it away till it is lost among the reeds, are delicious; there is nothing finer of its kind in the volume. What hand but that of Kwang-dze, so light in its touch and yet so strong, both incisive and decisive, could have delineated them?

Next: Book XXXII. Lieh Yü-Khâu