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Chinese Philosophical Texts

6. ZHUĀNGZĬ 莊子

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Translations

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 1.  A. C. Graham, tr., Chuang-tzu: The Inner Chapters (London: Unwin, 1981)
2.  Burton Watson, tr., The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu (New York: Columbia University, 1968)
3.  Brook Ziporyn, tr., Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2009)

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Extracts

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 A.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 1.  莊子與惠子遊於濠梁之上。

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 2.  莊子曰:鯈魚出遊從容。

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 3.  是魚之樂也。

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 4.  惠子曰:子非魚,安知魚之樂?

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 5.   莊子曰:子非我,安知我不知魚之樂?

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 6.  惠子曰:我非子,固不知子矣。

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 7.  子固非魚也,子之不知魚之樂全矣。

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 8.   莊子曰:請循其本。

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 9.  子曰:汝安知魚樂云者,既已知吾知之而問我。

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 10.  我知之濠上也。

莊子 zhuāng zǐ Master Zhuāng
惠子 huì zǐ Master Huì (Huì Shī, see Graham, pp. 76-82)
yóu to wander, roam, travel
háo (here) name of a river; a moat
liáng beam; ridge; bridge
鯈魚 鲦鱼 tiáo yú a long, slender, white fish
fish
從容 从容 cōng róng leisurely, at ease, slowly (a rhyming binome; see “Binomes,” Lesson Five) (here 從 is 1st tone)
ān peace; to be at peace, to dwell; question particle “where, whence, how”
fixed, solid; obstinate, stubborn; strengthen; certainly
quán complete, perfect, whole; to keep intact
qǐng to request, invite; [I] request that + verb; please
xún to follow (rules, precedents); to follow a course, to trace; law-abiding
běn root, origin; fundamental
you
yún to say (as a quotation), to mean; (at end of quotation) “and such things,” “etc.”

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 B.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 1. 昔者莊周夢為蝴蝶。

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 2. 栩栩然蝴蝶也。

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 3. 自喻適志與,不知周也。

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 4. 俄然覺,則蘧蘧然周也。

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 5. 不知周之夢為蝴蝶與,蝴蝶之夢為周與?

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 6.  周與蝴蝶則必有分矣。

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 7. 此之謂物化。

昔者 xí zhě long ago, once
zhōu Zhuāngzĭ’s personal name; name of a dynasty; cycle; circumference; complete, thorough
mèng a dream; to dream
蝴蝶 hú dié a butterfly
栩栩 xŭ xŭ (binome) lively, vivacious; happy, carefree
self; reflexive pronoun: 自 + verb = to [verb] oneself; from
to understand; to explain; an example, analogy
shì to go to; to suit, match; comfortable, proper; just, just now
zhì resolve, will, ambition, character; a historical record
與 = 歟 final particle indicating question or exclamation
é sudden, abrupt
jué to feel; to awaken; to discover, become aware of; feeling
jiào to fall asleep
蘧蘧 qú qú (binome) self-possessed, self-aware, self-satisfied
thing, object
huà change, transformation; to change, to educate

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 C.

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 1. 子獨不聞夫埳井之蛙乎?

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 2. 謂東海之鱉曰:吾樂與!

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 3. 出,跳梁乎井幹之上;入,休乎缺甃之崖。

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 4. 赴水則接腋持頤,蹶泥則沒足滅跗。

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 5. 還蚊,蟹,與蝌蚪,莫吾能若也。

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 6. 且夫擅一壑之水而跨跱,埳井之樂,此亦至矣!

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 7. 夫子奚不時來入觀乎?

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 8. 東海之鱉左足未入而右膝已縶矣。

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 9. 於是逡巡而卻。

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 10. 告之海曰:夫千里之遠,不足以舉其大。

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 11.                          千仞之高,不足以極其深。

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 12. 禹之時,十年九澇,而水弗為加益。

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 13. 湯之時,八年七旱,而崖不為加損。

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 14. 夫不為頃久推移,不以多少進退者,此亦東海之大樂也。

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 15. 於是埳井之蛙聞之,適適然驚,規規然自失也。

alone, solitary; only
(here) that
kăn pit, hole
jǐng well
frog
hăi ocean, sea
biē type of turtle
tiào jump, hop
gàn curb, railing (of a well); trunk (of a tree)
to enter
xiū to rest, to stop; good fortune
quē gap, vacancy, lack
zhòu brick wall of a well; a brick structure
yái cliff side; side
to go to
jiē to come into contact; to catch, to take hold of
armpit
chí to hold, to maintain
chin; cheek; to rear, to nourish
jué to tread on; to slip, to fall
mud
to drown; to bury
miè to extinguish; to blot out, to obliterate
instep; bottom of the foot
qiě moreover, furthermore; for the moment; marks imminent future
huán to return, to repay; to look back
wén mosquito
xiè crab
蝌蚪 kē dŏu tadpole
shàn to arrogate to oneself, to usurp, to command arbitrarily
huò ravine, abyss, pit, valley
跨跱 kuà zhì to squat, to straddle
zhì to reach, to arrive; ultimate, highest, best
zuŏ left
yòu right
knee
to stop; already (do not confuse with 己 “self”)
zhí to tie up, to fetter; to jam
於是 yú shì at this; thereupon
逡巡 qūn xún to hang back, to hesitate; to withdraw
què to step backward; to reject; however
a measure of distance; a village
足以 zú yǐ sufficient to; worthy of
(here) to suggest, to put forward
rèn unit of length
the utmost point; to reach the limit
shēn deep, profound; depth
lào flood, inundation
negative particle, usually a fusion of 不 + 之 (see “Particles and Grammar”)
jiā to add; to increase; to apply
to increase; to benefit
hàn drought
sŭn to damage; to decrease; to recede
qǐng brief interval, moment
頃久 顷久 qǐng jiŭ time, the passage of time (see “Particles and Grammar”)
tuī to push; to extrapolate
to move, to shift
jìn to advance; to enter; to present; to introduce
退 tuì to withdraw, to retreat; to retire; to reject; to decline
適適 = 惕惕 tì tì apprehensive, fearful
jīng to frighten, to startle
規規 规规 guī guī bewildered, at a loss (binome)
shī to lose, to miss (a chance); mistake, error
自失 zì shī crestfallen, abashed (opposite of 自得 “self-satisfied”)

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 成語:  井底  ( “bottom”) 蛙  = a person of limited outlook or experience

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0  

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 D.

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 1.  宋人有曹商者,為宋王使秦。

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 2.  其往也,得車數乘。

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 3.  王說之,益車百乘。

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 4.  反於宋,見莊子曰:夫處窮閭阨巷,困窘織履,槁項黃馘者,
商之所短也。

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 5.   一悟萬乘之主而從車百乘者,商之所長也。

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 6.  莊子曰:秦王有病召醫。

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 7.  破癰潰痤者,得車一乘。

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 8.          舐痔者,得車五乘。

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 9.   所治愈下,得車愈多。

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 10. 子豈治其痔邪 ?

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 11. 何得車之多邪?子行矣。

曹商 cáo shāng (here) Cáo Shāng, a man’s name
使 shì (here) to be an emissary
qín Qín, the name of a state
說 = 悅 (graphic variant) yuè to delight in
neighborhood, community
è destitute, difficult; precarious; a strategic position
xiàng alley, lane
kùn needy; hard, difficult; tired, weary; to trouble, to harass
jiŏng afflicted, distressed, poverty-stricken
zhī to weave, to knit
sandals, shoes; to step on, walk upon; to follow
xiàng the neck, the nape
huáng yellow
guó to cut off the left ear (to count the numbers of enemy slain)
(here) face
duăn short; to be deficient, to lack; shortcoming, fault
(here) once; as soon as; at a stroke
to comprehend, to awaken; to gain the attention of, to enlighten
wàn ten thousand, a myriad, a vast number of
zhŭ master, host; to control
萬乘之主 wàn shèng zhī zhŭ “master of ten thousand chariots,” i.e., the ruler of a major state
bìng a disease; to plague
zhào to summon
a doctor; to cure, to treat
yōng tumor, carbuncle
kuì to scatter; to overflow (river); to break up (army)
cuó boil, pustule
shì to lick
zhì hemorrhoids, piles
to a greater degree, even more; to recover (from illness)
愈 . . . 愈 . . . the more . . . the more . . .

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 成語 :  舐痔吮 (shŭn “to suck, to lick”) 癰  = to be a sycophant, to be obsequious

PARTICLES AND GRAMMAR

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 a.  Major Particles

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 弗 

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 This particle generally acts like the fusion of 不 + 之.  Therefore, 弗 + verb means “to not + verb + it.”  Thus 弗入 would mean “to not enter it,” and 弗益 “to not increase (or ‘benefit’) it.”  This fusion, like the one that formed the negative imperative 勿, was made possible by the inversion in early Chinese of object and verb after negative particles.  However, sometimes in classical Chinese 弗 and 不 were used interchangeably.

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 b.  Grammar Notes

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 It is common in both classical and vernacular Chinese to name abstract quantities that are measurable on a continuum by combining the terms that express the two extremes.  Thus 頃 “instant” and 久 “long time, eternity” combine to mean “time.”  In the same way 輕 (qīng “light”) 重 (zhòng “heavy”) means “weight,” and 長 (cháng “long, good points”) 短 (duăn “short, weak points”) means “length” or “(malicious) criticism.”

TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 A.  1. Master Zhuāng and Master Huì were strolling on the bridge over the River Háo.  2. Master Zhuāng said, “The tiáo fish swim forth, wandering so free and easy.  3. This is the happiness of fish.”  4. Master Huì said, “You are not a fish; whence do you know the happiness of fish?”  5. Master Zhuāng said, “You are not me; whence do you know that I do not know the happiness of fish?”  6. Master Huì said, “I am not you, so certainly I do not know you [i.e., what you are thinking or feeling].  7. You are certainly not a fish, so your lack of understanding of the happiness of fish is total.”  8. Master Zhuāng said, “Let us trace it back to its beginning.  9. Your having said, ‘Whence do you know the happiness of fish,’ and so forth [shows that] you, already knowing that I knew it, asked me.  10. I knew it above the Háo.”

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 Sentence #1 is a simple narrative sentence, in which the subject is the two actors, the verb their activity, and the 於-phrase where it takes place.  The quotation in Sentence #2 consists of a subject and three verbs: 出, 遊, and 從容 (here functioning as a stative verb).  Note that the verb 遊 applies both to the philosophers (in Sentence #1) and the fish (in Sentence #2). It is also significant that this character was homophonous with (and originally identical to) the character 游 yóu “to swim.” Sentence #3 is the pattern “subject (是) = predicate (魚之樂) 也.”  The subsequent sentences are grammatically extremely simple, all following the pattern “Subject 非 (‘is not’) object, 安知 (‘whence know’) or 不知 (‘do not know’).”  In Sentence #7 Graham (p. 80) reads the character 全 “complete” as referring to Master Huì’s proof, but the explicit sense of the sentence is that it is Master Zhuāng’s ignorance (不知) that is complete.  Sentence #7 ends with the particle 矣 rather than 也 because it is a verbal sentence (全 here acting as a stative verb).  Sentence #8 features the most common uses of the character 請 in classical Chinese, to mark a polite request that the listener, or the speaker and listener together, should do something.  In Sentence #9 the 者 at the end of the first phrase (the quotation of Master Huì) nominalizes it, thus “having said…” The phrase 既已知吾知之 describes the background condition or state from which Master Huì posed his question.  As Graham points out (see pp. 80-81), the argument hinges on the use of the question particle 安, which like the English “whence” means “from what place?” and by extension “by what means?”  Master Huì posed the question in the latter sense, but Master Zhuāng shifts to the former to make his final reply.  This dodge, however, also indicates the more serious philosophical argument that all knowledge is relative to point of view and that one can only answer the question “how” one knows by stating “from what position” one is observing and speaking.

63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0 B.  1. Once Zhuāng Zhōu dreamt that he was a butterfly. 2. Lively and carefree was the butterfly. 3. Understanding itself and suiting its own character, it [the butterfly] did not know of Zhōu.  4. Suddenly he awoke and then, self-possessed and self-aware, he was Zhōu.  5. He did not know whether it was [a case of] Zhōu’s dreaming that he was a butterfly, or the butterfly’s dreaming it was Zhōu?  6. As for Zhōu and the butterfly, certainly there is a distinction.  7. What we would call this is “the transformation of things.”

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 The grammar of this passage, perhaps the most celebrated in the Zhuāngzĭ, is quite simple.  Sentence #1 is time + subject + verb(s) + object.  In Sentence #2, the structure of binome (栩栩) + 然 (“in such a manner”) indicates an adverbial phrase, but the only verb is the understood copula indicated by the final 也.  Hence the adverbial phrase describes the manner of his being. In Sentence #3 the 與 functions as an exclamatory particle for the four-character phrase describing the butterfly.  In Sentence #4 the 則 functions simply as the narrative “then,” and 蘧蘧然周也 is a parallel echo of the 栩栩然蝴蝶.  This linguistic parallel serves to indicate the balance or equality between the two states (human and butterfly), a balance also indicated by the fact that the attributes of the butterfly in Sentence #3 (self-understanding and actions that exactly suit one’s true character) are essentially the same as the attributes suggested by the binome 蘧蘧 that describes Zhuāng Zhōu.  Sentence #5 again emphasizes the balance or parallel of the two states by stating the impossibility of deciding which is the dreamer and which the dreamed.  This is grammatically indicated by simply reversing subject and object in the two phrases that follow 不知.  In Sentence #6 周與蝴蝶 serves as a pre-posed topic, as is indicated by the use of the character 則: “as for Zhōu and the butterfly, then…” Sentence #7 follows the pattern “subject = predicate.”  The subject is 謂 “called, named,” which is modified by 此之 “of this,” therefore “the name of this” or “what this is called.”

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 The themes of this passage have been the topic of whole articles and even books (e.g., Wu Kuang-ming, The Butterfly as Companion: Meditations on the First Three Chapters of the Chuang Tzu; Hans-Georg Moeller, Daoism Explained: From the Dream of the Butterfly to the Fishnet Allegory; Robert Allinson, Chuang-Tzu for Spiritual Transformation: An Analysis of the Inner Chapters), so I will not even attempt a summary here.  It clearly raises such issues as the relativity of knowledge, the limits imposed on knowledge by the state or condition of the speaker (see Graham, pp. 194-195), transformation as a characteristic of all existence (the butterfly as a creature that emerges through the transformation of the caterpillar), and the ideal of “free and easy wandering” as one of the highest forms of existence (the butterfly as a creature that flits freely here and there, without any ultimate destination).

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 C.  1. Have you alone never heard of that frog in the pit-well?  2. He addressed the turtle of the Eastern Sea, “I am happy!  3. Going out, I ‘leap the beam’ over the railing of the well; going in, I rest in the side where bricks are missing.  4. When I go into the water, then it takes hold of my armpits and supports my chin; when I tread in the mud, then it buries my feet and covers my instep.  5. Looking around at the mosquitoes, crabs and tadpoles, none of them are able to match me.  6. Moreover I squat here, lording it over all the water of this pit; the joy of a well, this is indeed the ultimate!  7. Why don’t you come in sometime and look around?”

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 8. As for the turtle of the Eastern Sea, when his left leg had not yet entered, his right knee was already stuck.  9. Thereupon hesitating, he withdrew.  10. He told him [the frog] of the sea, “A distance of one thousand lǐ is not sufficient to suggest its vastness.  11. A height of one thousand rèn is not sufficient to reach the limits of its depth.   12. In the time of Yŭ there were nine floods in ten years, but the [sea’s] water did not on account of this advance.  13. In the time of Tāng there were seven droughts in eight years, but the shore did not on account of this recede.  14. Not shifting on account of [the passage of] time, not advancing or retreating on account of quantity [of water], this is indeed the great joy of the Eastern Sea.”

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 15. Thereupon when the frog in the well heard this, [he was] completely terrified and absolutely crestfallen.

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 Sentence #1 uses the formula 不 + final question particle, which, as in English, suggests a positive answer.  In Sentence #2 the formula 謂 + noun phrase + 曰 indicates the person or object addressed.  Note that the two actors are named with parallel, four-character expressions (埳井之蛙 in Sentence #1 and 東海之鱉 in Sentence #2).  This accounts for the use of the character 埳, which is not strictly necessary.  The character also means the same as the then homophonous 陷 xiàn “to fall into, to trap,” and also the character 坎 kăn, as in 坎坷 kǎn kĕ “frustrated, blocked” (both of which describe the condition of the frog).  Sentence #3 consists of two parallel phrases organized around the opposition of 出 and 入.  The rhythmic parallel is not exact, because the two characters 跳梁 are matched with the single 休.  This indicates that the former is to be read as a linked phrase describing a single activity.  Sentence #4 consists of two phrases that are exactly parallel, each organized around the particle 則 meaning “[when] . . . then. . . ” In Sentence #5 one must remember that after the negative 莫 the object (吾) and the verb (in this case a modal + main verb) are inverted.  莫若 means “none are as good as,” just as 不若 means “not as good as.”  In Sentence #6 the phrase between 且夫 and 跨跱 summarizes the activities of the frog, with the phrase preceding 而 describing the manner or background of his squatting.  The next four characters in the sentence give this summary a defining attribute (樂), the 此 is a subject pronoun standing for all that precedes it, and the 至 is its predicate.  矣 is the final particle for verbal sentences, suggesting that it means something like “indeed reaches the highest [degree].”  Sentence #7 uses the same formula as Sentence #1, only here it serves to suggest an action (again as in English).

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 Sentence #8 features a four-character subject followed by two parallel four-character phrases linked by 而.  Note the typical play on opposites: 左 against 右 and 未 against 已.  In Sentence #10 the formula 告之海 uses the pattern “verb indicating speech + object (addressee) + topic.”  This is a case of two objects, the first indirect and the second direct.  The second parts of Sentence #10 and Sentence #11 are exactly parallel and formed around the repeated phrase 不足以.  In both cases what precedes this phrase is the subject, formed on a core of a stative verb (遠 or 高) used as a noun (as marked by the fact that it is preceded by the 之 of modification).  What follows the phrase is verb + (two-character) object.  Sentences #12 and #13 are likewise exactly parallel, substituting the name of the sage, the numbers of years and calamities, the opposition of flood and drought, the physical elements (not) affected, and the type of change (not) undergone.  Sentence #14 has the overarching structure of “subject (marked by 者 because of its length) = predicate 也.”  The subject is itself preceded by the particle 夫 and then has two parallel phrases where 為 “on account of” and 以 “by means of” are synonyms, followed in each case by a pair of opposites marking an abstract quantity (頃久 and 多少), followed by a pair of verbs indicating movement (推移 and 進退).  By beginning with 此亦 (which encapsulates all that preceded it), including the character 樂, and ending with a particle, the predicate of Sentence #14 recalls the earlier statement of the frog in Sentence #6, but deflates it by the addition of the character 大.  The 亦 here also insists that this is “indeed” happiness, in contrast with the trivial happiness of the frog.  In Sentence #15 the key feature to note is that the adverbial phrases marked by 然 have the same sense as the adjectives they modify.  Thus they would literally be translated “frightenedly frightened” or “bewilderedly bewildered.”  This pattern is used in classical Chinese as a form of extreme intensification, in the sense of “completely” or “totally.”

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 As for the philosophical purport of the passage, it is important to note that it offers in the form of a parable an argument closely related to that of the passage quoted in Graham, p. 178.  The frog is the image of 小成 (xiăo chéng “formation of the lesser”), taking his little pit as a world of which he is the matchless, absolute lord.  It is also interesting to note that his whole speech is devoted to his own activities, creating an impression of an endless alternation of futile actions, and is built around a set of distinctions–“going out” and “coming in,” “water” and “mud.”  By contrast, the turtle says not a word about his own actions but devotes his speech entirely to the nature of the vast sea.  Its watery character and the manner in which it surpasses all measure make it a metaphor for the “Way.”  The references to the early sages show how the Way runs through all of history, confronting all the changes of the world but unchanged by them.  More importantly, the sentence that describes how the sea is not affected by “time” or “quantity” does so precisely by denying distinctions.  For the sea/Way the distinctions of “brevity vs. duration” or “much vs. little” have no impact and hence no meaning.  Thus the formula of pairing opposites discussed in the grammar notes here is used to make a philosophical point through an early form of “deconstruction.”

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 D.  1. Among the men of Sòng there was a certain Cáo Shāng.  On behalf of the King of Sòng he went as an emissary to Qín.  2. At his departure he obtained several chariots.  3. The King [of Qín] was delighted with him and increased his chariots by one hundred.  4. When he returned to Sòng, he met Zhuāngzĭ and said, “Living in an impoverished neighborhood and a destitute alley, in need and distress weaving sandals, with a dried-up neck and yellowed face, this is something for which I have no talent. 5. In a flash to gain the attention of a master of ten thousand chariots and have one hundred chariots accompany me, that is what I am good at.” 6. Zhuāngzĭ said, “If the King of Qín is sick he summons doctors.  7. The one who bursts his carbuncles and drains his pustules gets one chariot.  8. The one who licks his hemorrhoids gets five chariots.  9. The baser that which is treated, the more chariots are obtained.  10. How could you have treated his hemorrhoids?  11. How did you obtain so many chariots?  You, go away!”

73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0 Sentence #1 repeats the formula “group (A) + 有 + phrase (B) + 者” “among A there was one who B.”  Here the B phrase is simply a name, a formula usually translated by “a certain.”  In Sentence #2 the 也 marks a pre-posed topic, here indicating the time at which an event took place.  Note again in Sentences #2 and #3 that the standard order is “noun + number + measure.”  Cáo Shāng’s address to Master Zhuāng in Sentence #4 is another example of the “subject + 者 + predicate + 也,” with 者 being used because of the length of the subject.  Note the predominance of four-character phrases to help break up the line.  Indeed, the whole extract is dominated by the four-character rhythm.  Because the phrases would otherwise be unmotivated, scholars believe that these phrases describe Zhuāng Zhōu’s mode of existence.  Sentence #5 is parallel in its overall structure and in its predicate, but the subject is much shorter.  The play here and throughout the passage on the theme of chariots as a measure of value is of some interest, and will set up the punch line. Note that since the phrase 從車百乘 follows 而, the 從 must be read as a verb, here transitive. Thus it means “to have a hundred chariots accompany me.” In Sentence #6 the phrase 有病召醫 is a standard four-character parallelism (verb object / verb object) here read as a “when . . . then . . .” with no particles.  Sentences #7 and #8 again feature parallel structures, with exactly parallel predicates, but variations in the length of the subjects (both marked by 者).  Sentence #9 features two parallel, four-character phrases based on the pattern “愈 . . . 愈 . . .”, a pattern which in various forms survives in present-day Chinese.  The structure of the sentence places 得車 in parallel with 所治 indicating that the former should be read as a noun phrase “chariots obtained.”  The two nominalized verbs of these phrases (治/得) reappear in parallel in Sentences #10 and #11, both immediately following the question particles (豈/何).  In Sentence #11 the “abundance of chariots” is parallel to, and thus equated with, the king’s “hemorrhoids.”  Thus the play of parallels neatly turns what had been treated as the highest honor into what is most degrading and unclean.  This parable is one of several scattered through the Zhuāngzĭ that denounce political service as both unsafe and degrading.   Ultimately these are a subset of the more general criticism of the making of distinctions, but draw in other themes such as the value of preserving life, which the Zhuāngzĭ regards as threatened by political service. The Zhuāngzĭ seems to have inherited this idea from the philosophy of Yáng Zhū 楊朱.

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