Tsang Advised the King Not to Watch Fishing

Tzuoo's Interpretation of Spring-Fall

    In the spring of 718 B.C., the King of Country Lu planned to travel to Mountain T to watch the fishermen fishing. Tsang advised, "Anything that is not related to the military defense and does not provide material for useful goods should not be directly supervised by the king. The main duty of a king is to guide people along the right track and teach them how to use resources. A king believes that people should follow rules when dealing with a problem and should show the usefulness of the material they select. If a king fails to follow rules or fails to use the resources properly, he will cause disorder in state affairs. If chaos occurs frequently, the country's politics will soon deteriorate. Consequently, times for hunting are interspersed with times of farming throughout the four seasons. When people hunt, they are gaining military skills. There is a large military practice maneuver every three years. After the maneuver, people go home to honor their ancestors and celebrate. This practice provides a way to inventory military supplies, display army power, respect the military hierarchy, and enforce military discipline. If a quarry cannot be used for sacrifice or cannot provide the leather, tusks, horns, wool, or feathers that can be made into useful goods, the king will not hunt it. This is the tradition. As for the produce from mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes and the material used for making goods, they should be overseen by minor officials. A king has more important jobs to do."

    The king said, "I shall go on a tour of inspection." Then he went to Mountain T. The fishermen displayed their catch for the king's inspection. Tsang used sickness as an excuse to avoid accompanying the king.

    Spring-Fall records, "The king of Luu went to Mountain T to watch fishing." It was not proper for a king to travel and play. Furthermore, his destination was too distant.