Mischievous children

This is the second reference to dwarfs I’ve come across in the Guoyu (Discussions of the States), very early in the history of jesters, namely dating from the Spring and Autumn Period (c. 770-c. 476 BCE).  As we’ve seen, dwarfs often played a similar role to jesters in court, and were quite commonly themselves jesters. 

Having dwarfs and hunchbacks in attendance at one’s side is like keeping company with mischievous children.

 

侏儒戚施寔御在側近頑童也

See a similar comment in the Guoyu underlining a recognition that physical difference or disability were considered suitable attributes in a jester

Source: ‘Zhengyu’ 鄭語, Guoyu 國語, fol. 16.

Image credit: Tomb pottery earthenware figure of a dwarf  唐 陶矮人俑, China, 7th-8th century; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel Schloss, 1985, public domain

Quote - 'Zhengyu' 鄭語, Guoyu 國語
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