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ward and praised him, saying, 'Formerly, the State of Ts'in was only 1000 le in extent, but Your Majesty, by your spirit-like efficacy and intelligent wisdom, has tranquillized and settled the whole empire, and driven away all barbarous tribes, so that wherever the sun and moon shine, all appear before you as guests acknowledging subjection. You have formed the States of the various princes into provinces and districts, where the people enjoy a happy tranquillity, suffering no more from the calamities of war and contention. This condition of things will be transmitted for 10,000 generations. From the highest antiquity there has been no one in awful virtue like Your Majesty/

"The Emperor was pleased with this flattery, when Shunyu Yue, one of the great scholars, a native of IVe, advanced and said, 'The sovereigns of Yin and Chow, for more than a thousand years, invested their sons and younger brothers, and meritorious ministers, with domains and rule, and could thus depend upon them for support and aid;—that I have heard. But now Your Majesty is in possession of all within the seas, and your sons and younger brothers are nothing but private individuals. The issue will be that some one will arise to play the part of T'een Ch'ang,1 or of the six nobles of Ts'in. Without the support of your own family, where will you find the aid which you may require? That a state of things not modelled from the lessons of antiquity can long continue;—that is what I have not heard. Ts'ing is now showing himself to be a flatterer, who increases the errors of Your Majesty, and is not a loyal minister/

"The Emperor requested the opinions of others on this representation, when the premier, Le Sze, said," ' The five emperors were not one the double of the other, nor did the three dynasties accept one another's ways. Each had a peculiar system of government, not for the sake of the contrariety, but as being required by the changed times. . Now, Your Majesty has laid the foundations of imperial sway, so that it will last for 10,000 generations. This is indeed beyond what a stupid scholar can understand. And, moreover, Yu5 only talks of things belonging to the Three Dynasties, which are not fit to be models to you. At other times, when

1 The T'e'en family grew up in the State of Ts'e, and in the early part of the 4th century B.C. supplanted the ruling House. The dismemberment of Ts'in was still earlier.

the princes were all striving together, they endeavoured to gather the wandering scholars about them; but now, the empire is in a stable condition, and laws and ordinances issue from one supreme authority. Let those of the people who abide in their homes give their strength to the toils of husbandry, and those who become scholars should study the various laws and prohibitions. Instead of doing this, however, the scholars do not learn what belongs to the present day, but study antiquity. They go on to condemn the present time, leading the masses of the people astray, and to disorder.

"' At the risk of my life, I, the prime minister, say,— Formerly, when the empire was disunited and disturbed, there was no one who could give unity to it. The princes therefore stood up together; constant references were made ^ to antiquity to the injury of the present state; baseless statements were dressed up to confound what was real, and men made a boast of their own peculiar learning to condemn what their rulers appointed. And now, when Your Majesty has consolidated the empire, and, distinguishing black from white, has constituted it a stable unity, they still honour their peculiar learning, and combine together; they teach men what is contrary to your laws. When they hear that an ordinance has been issued, every one sets to discussing it with his learning. In the court, they are dissatisfied in heart; out of it, they keep talking in the streets. While they make a pretence of vaunting their Master, they consider it fine to have extraordinary views of their own. And so they lead on the people to be guilty of murmuring and evil speaking. If these things are not prohibited, Your Majesty's authority will decline, and parties will be formed. As to the best way to prohibit them, I pray that all the Records in charge of the Historiographers be burned, excepting those of Ts'in; that, with the exception of those officers belonging to the Board of Great Scholars, all throughout the empire who presume to keep copies of the She-king, or of the Shooking, or of the books of the Hundred Schools, be required to go with them to the officers in charge of the several districts, and burn them; that all who may dare to speak together about the She and the Shoo be put to death, and their bodies exposed in the market-place; that those who make mention of the past, so as to blame the present, he put to death along with their relatives; that officers who shall know of the violation of these rules and not inform against the offenders, be held equally guilty with them; and that whoever shall not have burned their books within thirty days after the issuing of the ordinance, be branded and sent to labour on the wall for four years. The only books which should be spared are those on medicine, divination, and husbandry. Whoever wants to learn the laws may go to the magistrates and learn of them.'

"The imperial decision was—' Approved.'" The destruction of the scholars is related more briefly. In the year after the burning of the Books, the resentment of the Emperor was excited by the remarks and flight of two scholars who had been favourites with him, and he determined to institute a strict inquiry about all of their class in Heen-yang, to find out whether they had been making ominous speeches about him, and disturbing the minds of the people. The investigation was committed to the Censors; and it being discovered that upwards of 460 scholars had violated the prohibitions, they were all buried alive in pits, for a warning to the empire, while degradation and banishment were employed more strictly than before against all who fell under suspicion. The Emperor's eldest son, Foo-soo, remonstrated with him, saying that such measures against those who repeated the words of Confucius, and sought to imitate him, would alienate all the people from their infant dynasty, but his interference offended his father so much that he was sent off from court, to be with the general who was superintending the building of the great wall.

8. No attempts have been made by Chinese critics and historians to discredit the record of these events, though some have questioned the extent of the injury inflicted by them on the monuments of their ancient literature. It is important to observe that the edict against the Books did not extend to the Yih-king, which was exempted as being a work on divination, nor did it extend to the other classics which were in charge of the Board of Great Scholars. There ought to have been no difficulty in finding copies when the Han dynasty superseded that of Ts'in; and probably there would have been none but for the sack of the capital, in B.C. 203, by Heang Yu, the most formidable opponent of the founder the princes were all striving together, they endeavoured to gather the wandering scholars about them; but now, the empire is in a stable condition, and laws and ordinances issue from one supreme authority. Let those of the people who abide in their homes give their strength to the toils of husbandry, and those who become scholars should study the various laws and prohibitions. Instead of doing this, however, the scholars do not learn what belongs to the present day, but study antiquity. They go on to condemn the present time, leading the masses of the people astray, and to disorder.

"' At the risk of my life, I, the prime minister, say,— Formerly, when the empire was disunited and disturbed, there was no one who could give unity to it. The princes therefore stood up together; constant references were made to antiquity to the injury of the present state; baseless statements were dressed up to confound what was real, and men made a boast of their own peculiar learning to condemn what their rulers appointed. And now, when Your Majesty has consolidated the empire, and, distinguishing black from white, has constituted it a stable unity, they still honour their peculiar learning, and combine together; they teach men what is contrary to your laws. When they hear that an ordinance has been issued, every one sets to discussing it with his learning. In the court, they are dissatisfied in heart; out of it, they keep talking in the streets. While they make a pretence of vaunting their Master, they consider it fine to have extraordinary views of their own. And so they lead on the people to be guilty of murmuring and evil speaking. If these things are not prohibited, Your Majesty's authority will decline, and parties will be formed. As to the best way to prohibit them, I pray that all the Records in charge of the Historiographers be burned, excepting those of Ts'in; that, with the exception of those officers belonging to the Board of Great Scholars, all throughout the empire who presume to keep copies of the She-king, or of the Shooking, or of the books of the Hundred Schools, be required to go with them to the officers in charge of the several districts, and burn them; that all who may dare to speak together about the She and the Shoo be put to death, and their bodies exposed in the market-place; that those who make mention of the past, so as to blame the present, he put to death along with their relatives; that officers who shall know of the violation of these rules and not inform against the offenders, be held equally guilty with them; and that whoever shall not have burned their books within thirty days after the issuing of the ordinance, be branded and sent to labour on the wall for four years. The only books which should be spared are those on medicine, divination, and husbandry. Whoever wants to learn the laws may go to the magistrates and learn of them/

"The imperial decision was—' Approved.'" The destruction of the scholars is related more briefly. In the year after the burning of the Books, the resentment of the Emperor was excited by the remarks and flight of two scholars who had been favourites with him, and he determined to institute a strict inquiry about all of their class in Heen-yang, to find out whether they had been making ominous speeches about him, and disturbing the minds of the people. The investigation was committed to the Censors; and it being discovered that upwards of 460 scholars had violated the prohibitions, they were all buried alive in pits, for a warning to the empire, while degradation and banishment were employed more strictly than before against all who fell under suspicion. The Emperor's eldest son, Foo-soo, remonstrated with him, saying that such measures against those who repeated the words of Confucius, and sought to imitate him, would alienate all the people from their infant dynasty, but his interference offended his father so much that he was sent off from court, to be with the general who was superintending the building of the great wall.

8. No attempts have been made by Chinese critics and historians to discredit the record of these events, though some have questioned the extent of the injury inflicted by them on the monuments of their ancient literature. It is important to observe that the edict against the Books did not extend to the Yih-king, which was exempted as being a work on divination, nor did it extend to the other classics which were in charge of the Board of Great Scholars. There ought to have been no difficulty in finding copies when the Han dynasty superseded that of Ts'in; and probably there would have been none but for the sack of the capital, in B.C. 203, by Heang Yu, the most formidable opponent of the founder

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