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OF THE CONFUCIAN ANALECTS.
FORMATION OF THE TEXT OF THE ANALECTS BY THE SCHOLARS
OF THE HAN DYNASTY.
1. When the work of collecting and editing the remains of the Classical Books was undertaken by the scholars of Han, there appeared two different copies of the Analects; one from Loo, the native State of Confucius, and the other from Ts'e, the State adjoining. Between these there were considerable differences. The former consisted of twenty Books or Chapters, the same as those into which the Classic is now divided. The latter contained two Books in addition, and in the twenty Books, which they had in common, the chapters and sentences were somewhat more numerous than in the Loo exemplar.
2. The names of several individuals are given, who devoted themselves to the study of those two copies of the Classic. Among the patrons of the Loo copy are mentioned the names of Hea-how Shing, grand-tutor of the heir-apparent, who died at the age of 90, and in the reign of the Emperor Seuen (B.c. 72—48); Seaou Wangche, a general officer, who died in the reign of the Emperor Yuen (B.C. 47—32); Wei Heen, who was premier of the empire from B.C. 70—66; and his son Heuen-shing. As patrons of the Tsée copy, we have Wang K'ing, who was a censor in the year B.c. 99; Yung Tan, and Wang Keih, a statesman who died in the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Yuen.
3. But a third copy of the Analects was discovered about B.C. 150. One of the sons of the Emperor King was appointed king of Loo, in the year B.c. 153, and some time after, wishing to enlarge his palace, he proceeded to pull
down the house of the K‘ung family, known as that where Confucius himself had lived. While doing so, there were found in the wall copies of the Shoo-king, the Ch'un Ts'ew, the Heaou-king, and the Lun Yu or Analects, which had been deposited there, when the edict for the burning of the Books was issued. They were all written, however, in the most ancient form of the Chinese character, which had fallen into disuse; and the king returned them to the Kʻung
; family, the head of which, K‘ung Gan-kwo, gave himself to the study of them, and finally, in obedience to an imperial order, published a Work called “The Lun Yu, with explanations of the Characters, and Exhibition of the Meaning." 2
4. The recovery of this copy will be seen to be a most important circumstance in the history of the text of the Analects. It is referred to by Chinese writers, as “The old Lun Yu.” In the historical narrative which we have of the affair, a circumstance is added which may appear to some minds to throw suspicion on the whole account. The king was finally arrested, we are told, in his purpose to destroy the house, by hearing the sound of bells, musical stones, lutes, and harpsichords, as he was ascending the steps that led to the ancestral hall or temple. This incident was contrived, we may suppose, by the Kʻung family, to preserve the house, or it may have been devised by the historian to glorify the sage, but we may not, on account of it, discredit the finding of the ancient copies of the Books. We have Křụng Gan-kwo's own account of their being committed to him, and of the ways which he took to decipher them. The work upon the Analects, mentioned above, has not indeed come down to us, but his labours on the Shooking still remain.
5. It has been already stated, that the Lun Yu of Ts'e contained two Books more than that of Loo. In this respect, the old Lun Yu agreed with the Loo exemplar. Those two books were wanting in it as well. The last book of the Loo Lun was divided in it, however, into two, the chapter
1 Called “tadpole characters.” They were, it is said, the original forms devised by Ts'ang Këē, with large heads and fine tails, like the creature from which they were named. See the notes to the preface to the Shoo-king in 6. The thirteen Classics."
2 See the preface to the Lun Yu in " The thirteen King.” It has been my principal authority in this Section.
beginning, “Yaou said,” forming a whole Book by itself, and the remaining two chapters formed another Book beginning “ Tsze-chang.” With this trifling difference, the old and the Loo copies appear to have agreed together.
6. Chang Yu, prince of Gan-ch‘ang, who died B.C. 4, after having sustained several of the highest offices of the empire, instituted a comparison between the exemplars of Loo and Tsée, with a view to determine the true text. The result of his labours appeared in twenty-one Books, which are mentioned in Lew Hin's catalogue. They were known as
. the Lun of the Prince Chang, and commanded general approbation. To Chang Yu is commonly ascribed the ejecting from the Classic of the two additional books which the Ts'e exemplar contained, but Ma Twan-lin prefers to rest that circumstance on the authority of the old Lun, which we have seen was without them. If we had the two Books, we might find sufficient reason from their contents to discredit them. That may have been sufficient for Chang Yu to condemn them as he did, but we can hardly suppose that he did not have before him the old Lun, which had come to light about a century before he published his Work.
7. In the course of the second century, a new edition of the Analects, with a commentary, was published by one of the greatest scholars which China has ever produced, -Ch‘ing Heuen, known also as Chộing K'ang-shing. He died in the reign of the Emperor Heen (A.D.109—220) at the age of 74, and the amount of his labours on the ancient classical literature is almost incredible. While he adopted the Loo Lun as the received text of his time, he compared it minutely with those of Ts'e and the old exemplar. He produced three different works on the Analects, which unfortunately do not subsist. They were current, however, for several centuries; and the name of one of them—"The Meaning of the Lun Yu explained,”-appears in the Catalogues of Books in the T'ang dynasty (A.D. 624—907).
8. On the whole, the above statements will satisfy the reader of the care with which the text of the Lun Yu was fixed during the dynasty of Han.
AT WHAT TIME, AND BY WHOM, THE ANALECTS WERE WRITTEN ;
THEIR PLAN; AND AUTHENTICITY.
1. At the commencement of the notes upon the first Book, under the heading—"The Title of the Work,” I have given the received account of its authorship, taken from the “History of Literature” of the western Han dynasty. According to that, the Analects were compiled by the disciples of Confucius, coming together after his death, and digesting the memorials of his discourses and conversations which they had severally preserved. But this cannot be true. We may believe, indeed, that many of the disciples put on record conversations which they had had with their master, and notes about his manners and incidents of his life, and that these have been incorporated with the Work which we have, but that Work must have taken its present form at a period somewhat later.
In Book VIII., chapters iii. and iv., we have some notices of the last days of Tsăng Sin, and are told that he was visited on his death-bed by the officer Măng King. Now King was the posthumous title of Chung-sun Tsëč, and we find him alive (Le Ke, II. Pt. II. ii. 2) after the death of Duke To of Loo, which took place B.c. 430, about fifty years after the death of Confucius.
Again, Book XIX. is all occupied with the sayings of the disciples. Confucius personally does not appear in it. Parts of it, as chapters iii., xii., xviii., and xix., carry us down to a time when the disciples had schools and followers of their own, and were accustomed to sustain their teachings by referring to the lessons which they had heard from the sage.
Thirdly, there is the second chapter of Book XI., the second paragraph of which is evidently a note by the compilers of the work, enumerating ten of the principal disciples, and classifying them according to their distinguishing characteristics. We can hardly suppose it to have been written while
of the ten were alive. But there is among them the name of Tsze-hea, who lived to the age of about a hun. dred. We find him, B.c. 406, three quarters of a century after the death of Confucius, at the court of Wei, to the prince of which he is reported to have presented some of the Classical Books.
2. We cannot therefore accept the above account of the origin of the Analects,—that they were compiled by the disciples of Confucius. Much more likely is the view that we owe the work to their disciples. In the note on Book I. ii. 1, a peculiarity is pointed out in the use of the surnames of Yew Jõ and Tsăng Sin, which has made some Chinese critics attribute the compilation to their followers. But this conclusion does not stand investigation. Others have assigned different portions to different schools. Thus Book V. is given to the disciples of Tsze-kung ; Book XI. to those of Min Tsze-k'een ; Book XIV. to Yuen Heen; and Book XVI. has been supposed to be interpolated from the Analects of Ts'e. Even if we were to acquiesce in these decisions, we should have accounted only for a small part of the work. It is better to rest in the general conclusion, that it was compiled by the disciples of the disciples of the sage, making free use of the written memorials concerning him which they had received, and the oral statements which they had heard, from their several masters. And we shall not be far wrong, if we determine its date as about the beginning of the third, or the end of the fourth century before Christ.
3. In the critical work on the Classical Books, called “Record of Remarks in the village of Yung,” published in 1743, it is observed, “The Analects, in my opinion, were made by the disciples, just like this Record of Remarks. There they were recorded, and afterwards came a first-rate hand, who gave them the beautiful literary finish which we now witness, so that there is not a character which does not have its own indispensable place.” We have seen that the first of these statements contains only a small amount of truth with regard to the materials of the Analects, nor can we receive the second. If one hand or one mind had digested the materials provided by many, the arrangement and style of the work would have been different. We should not have had the same remark appearing in several Books, with little variation, and sometimes with none at all. Nor can we account on this supposition for such fragments as