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1. The chronology of the Ch'un Ts'ëw period, as it appears in the Tso Chuen, is the same as that which appears in the text; but the dates of many events mentioned in both differ by one or two

The dates of events in the Tso Chuen, months; and where those dates are at often differ from the dates in the text. } the end or beginning of a year, the years to which they are assigned will also differ. This circumnstance has wonderfully exercised the ingenuity of the Chinese critics; but a sufficient solution of the want of correspondence is found, in much the greater number of cases, in the fact that the feudal States were by no means agreed in using the commencement of the year prescribed by the dynasty of Chow. I have shown, in par. 4 of last section, that the Shang and Chow dynasties adopted each a different month for the beginning of the year from that employed by the dynasty of Hëa, not by arbitrary exercise of sovereignty to signalize their possession of the kingdom, but in consequence of the disorder into which the months of the year had fallen through the neglect or irregularity of intercalation. The peculiarity now under notice further shows the feebleness of the sway exercised by the kings of Chow over the feudal States, for several of those ruled by chiefs of the Chow surname yet co ntinued to hold to the Hëa beginning of the year.

For example, in the narrative introduced by Tso after I. iii. 3, we are told that Ch'ing sent plundering expeditions into the royal

domain, which ‘in the 4th month carried off the wheat of Wăn, and in the autumn the rice of Ch'ing-chow;' meaning evidently the 4th month and the autumn of the Hëa year.

Again, in V. v. 1, we are told that “in spring, the marquis of Tsin put to death his heir-son Shin-săng,' whereas, according to the Chuen, the deed was done in the 12th month of the preceding year. In V. x. 3, Le K‘ih of Tsin murders his ruler in the first month of the year, whereas, according to the Chuen, he did so in the 11th month of the previous year. In V. xv. 13, a battle was fought between Tsin and Ts'in in the 11th month, while in the Chuen it takes place in the 9th. Tsin evidently regulated its months after the Hëa calendar.

In Ts'e, whose princes were of the surname Këang, it would appear that the year continued to coinmence with the natural spring, for in VI. xiv. 9 the murder of Shay, marquis of Tsée, I appears as taking place in the 9th month, whereas the Chuen gives it in the 7th.

In Sung, where the descendants of the kings of Shang held sway, they naturally followed the calendar of Shang. Thus in I. vi. 4, an army of Sung appears as taking Ch-ang-koh in winter, while Tso says it did so in the autumn. And in the Shoo, V. viii., containing the charge to the viscount of Wei on his appointment to be the first duke of Sung, it would appear from par. 1 that authority is given to him to use all the institutions of his ancestors.

This varying commencement of the year among the feudal States of Chow may be substantiated from other sources besides the Ch'un Ts'ëw and the Tso Chuen. It not only shows, as I have said, the feebleness of the dynasty of Chow; but it affords a strong confirmation of the genuineness of Tso's narratives. Had they been constructed to illustrate the text, or even been introduced as subsidiary to it without being occupied with events referred to in it, the compiler would have been careful to avoid such a discrepancy of dates. As Lëw Yuen-foo of the Sung dynasty observed, "The months and days in Tso-she often differ from those in the text of the classic, because he copied indiscriminately from the tablets of the historio. graphers of the different States, which used the three different coininencements of the

year without

any

fixed rule.”

'2

1 See in the Work of Chaou Yih, Bk. II., his appendix to the section headed 7 E 2劉原处謂左氏月日,多與經不同,蓋左氏雜取當時 諸侯史策之文,其用三正,參差不一,故與經多岐

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