Monday, February 15, 2010

Zeng Guofan

From the diary of Zeng Guofan (1811 – 1872), Han Chinese military
general and scholar-official:

"In your association with the foreigners [i.e. Westerners], be not too
lofty; cultivate a slightly confused casual aspect. Let their
insults, deceitfulness, arrogance, contempt for everything they do not
understand, glide over you; try to look somewhat stupid; this is a
good way of facing a difficult situation."

Quoted in Han Suyin, The Crippled Tree, London, 1965, p. 50.