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notes of the manifest errors in regard to chronology and other matters in the "Family Sayings," and the chapter of Sze-ma Ts'een on the K'ung family, when the digest of Keang Yung, to which I have made frequent reference, attracted my attention. Conclusions to which I had come were confirmed, and a clue was furnished to difficulties which I was seeking to disentangle. I take the opportunity to acknowledge here my obligations to it. With a few notices of Confucius' habits and manners, I shall conclude this section.
Very little can be gathered from reliable sources on the personal appearance of the sage. The height of his father is stated, as I have noted, to have been ten feet, and though Confucius came short of this by four inches, he was often called "the tall man." It is allowed that the ancient foot or cubit was shorter than the modern, but it must be reduced more than any scholar I have consulted has yet done, to bring this statement within the range of credibility. The legends assign to his figure "nine-andforty remarkable peculiarities," a tenth part of which would have made him more a monster than a man. Dr Morrison says that the images of him, which he had seen in the northern parts of China, represent him as of a dark swarthy colour.1 It is not so with those common in the south. He was, no doubt, in size and complexion much the same as many of his descendants in the present day.
But if his disciples had nothing to chronicle of his personal appearance, they have gone very minutely into an account of many of his habits. The tenth book of the Analects is all occupied with his deportment, his eating, and his dress. In public, whether in the village, the temple, or the court, he was the man of rule and ceremony, but "at home he was not formal." Yet if not formal, he was particular. In bed even he did not forget himself; —i( he did not lie like a corpse," and Ci he did not speak." "He required his sleeping dress to be half as long again -as his body." "If he happened to be sick, and the prince came to visit him, he had his face to the east, made his
1 Chinese and English Dictionary, char. K'ung. Sir John Davis also mentions seeing a figure of Confucius, in a temple near the Po-yang Lake, of which the complexion was "quite black." (" The Chinese," vol. II. p. .66.) court robes be put over hini, and drew his girdle across them."
He was nice in his diet,—" not disliking to have his rice dressed fine, nor to have his minced meat cut small." "Anything' at all gone he would not touch." "He must have his meat cut properly, and to every kind its proper sauce; but he was not a great eater." "It was only in wine that he laid down no limit to himself, but he did not allow himself to be confused by it." "When the villagers were drinking together, on those who carried staves going out, he went out immediately after." There must always be ginger at the table, and "when eating, he did not converse." "Although his food might be coarse rice and poor soup, he would offer a little of it in sacrifice, with a grave respectful air."
"On occasion of a sudden clap of thunder, or a violent wind, he would change countenance. He would do the same, and rise up moreover, when he found himself a guest at a loaded board." "At the sight of a person in mourning he would also change countenance, and if he happened to be in his carriage, he would bend forward with a respectful salutation." "His general way in his carriage was not to turn his head round, nor talk hastily, nor point with his hands." He was charitable. "When any of his friends died, if there were no relations who could be depended on for the necessary offices, he would say, 'I will bury him.-'"
The disciples were so careful to record these and other characteristics of their master, it is said, because every act, of movement or of rest, was closely associated with the great principles which it was his object to inculcate. The detail of so many small matters, however, does not impress a foreigner so favourably. There is a want of freedom about the philosopher. Somehow he is less a sage to me, after I have seen him at his table, in his undress, in his bed, and in his carriage.
HIS INELUENCE AND OPINIONS.
1. Confucius died, we liave seen, complaining that of all the princes of the empire there was not one who would adopt his principles and obey his lessons. Homage renHe had hardly passed from the stage of life SytotK." when his merit began to be acknowledged, perors of China. When the Duke Gae heard of his death, he pronounced his eulogy in the words, u Heaven has not left to me the aged man. There is none now to assist me on the throne. Woe is me! Alas! 0 venerable Ne !"* TszeKung complained of the inconsistency of this lamentation from one who could not use the master when he was alive, but the duke was probably sincere in his grief. He caused a temple to be erected, and ordered that sacrifice should be offered to the sage, at the four seasons of the year.
The emperors of the tottering dynasty of Chow had not the intelligence, nor were they in a position, to do honour to the departed philosopher, but the facts detailed in the first chapter of these prolegomena, in connection with the attempt of the founder of the Ts'in dynasty to destroy the monuments of antiquity, show how the authority of Confucius had come by that time to prevail through the empire. The founder of the Han dynasty, in passing through Loo, B.C. 194, visited his tomb and offered an ox in sacrifice to him. Other emperors since then have often made pilgrimages to the spot. The most famous temple in the empire now rises over the place of the grave. K'ang-he, the second and greatest of the rulers of the present dynasty, in the twenty-third year of his reign, there set the example of kneeling thrice, and each time laying his forehead thrice in the dust, before the image of the sage.
In the year of our Lord 1, began the practice of conferring honorary designations on Confucius by imperial authority. The Emperor P'ing then styled him—(i The Duke Ne, all
1 Le Ke, II. Pt. I. iii. 43. This eulogy is found at greater length in Tso-K'ew Ming, immediately after the notice of the sage's death.
complete and illustrious." This was changed, in A.D. 492, to—" The venerable Ne, the accomplished Sage." Other titles have supplanted this. Shun-che, the first of the Manchow dynasty, adopted, in his second year, A.d. 1645, the style,—" K'ung, the ancient Teacher, accomplished and illustrious, all-complete, the perfect Sage;" but twelve years later, a shorter title was introduced,—u K'ung, the ancient Teacher, the perfect Sage." Since that year no further alteration has been made.
At first the worship of Confucius was confined to the country of Loo, but in A.d. 57 it was enacted that sacrifices shouldbe offered to him in the imperial college, and in all the colleges of the principal territorial divisions throughout the empire. In those sacrifices he was for some centuries associated with the duke of Chow, the legislator to whom Confucius made frequent reference; but in A.d. 609 separate temples were assigned to them, and in 628 our sage displaced the older worthy altogether. About the same time began the custom, which continues to the present day, of erecting temples to him,—separate structures, in connection with all the colleges, or examination-halls, of the country.
The sage is not alone in those temples. In a hall behind the principal one occupied by himself are the tablets—in some cases, the images—of several of his ancestors, and other worthies; while associated with himself are his principal disciples, and many who in subsequent times have signalized themselves as expounders and exemplifiers of his doctrines. On the first day of every month, offerings of fruits and vegetables are set forth, and on the fifteenth there is a solemn burning of incense. But twice a year, in the middle months of spring and autumn, when the first "ting" day of the month comes round, the worship of Confucius is performed with peculiar solemnity. At the imperial college the emperor himself is required to attend in state, and is in fact the principal performer. After all the preliminary arrangements have been made, and the emperor has twice knelt and six times bowed his head to the earth, the presence of Confucius' spirit is invoked in the words, "Great art thou, 0 perfect sage! Thy virtue is full; tjiy doctrine is complete. Among mortal men there has not been thine equal. All kings honour thee; Thy statutes and laws have come gloriously clown. Thou art the pattern in this imperial school. Reverently have the sacrificial vessels been set out. Full of awe, we sound our drums and bells.-"
The spirit is supposed now to be present, and the service proceeds through various offerings, when the first of which has been set forth, an officer reads the following, which is the prayer on the occasion :—" On this—month of this.... year, I, A.B., the emperor, offer a sacrifice to the philosopher K'ung, the ancient Teacher, the perfect Sage, and say,-^0 Teacher, in virtue equal to Heaven and Earth, whose doctrines embrace the past time and the present, thou didst digest and transmit the six classics, and didst hand down lessons for all generations! Now in this second month of spring (or autumn), in reverent observance of the old statutes, with victims, silks, spirits, and fruits, I carefully offer sacrifice to thee. | With thee are associated the philosopher Yen, continuator of thee; the philosopher Tsang, exhibiter of thy fundamental principles ; the philosopher Tsze-sze, transmitter of thee; and the philosopher Mang, second to thee. ' May'st thou enjoy theN^fferings!"
I need not go on to enlarge on the homage\which the emperors of China render to Confucius. It could not be more complete. It is worship and not mere homage. He was unreasonably neglected when alive. He is now unreasonably venerated when dead. The estimation with which the rulers of China regard their sage leads ihem to sin against God, and this is a misfortune to the empire.
2. The rulers of China are not singular in thi$ matter, but in entire sympathy with the mass of their ^people. It is the distinction of this empire that education General aD has been highly prized in it from the earliest preciation of times. It was so before the era of Confucius, and we may be sure that the system met with his approbation. One of his remarkable sayings was^-^To lead an uninstructed people to war, is to throw/them away/''1 When he pronounced this judgment, he was not thinking of military training, but of education in the duties of life and citizenship. A people so taught, he thought, would be morally fitted to fight for their government. Mencius,
1 Ana. XI11. 30.