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previous conception of it as a history by a great man, and from the accounts given of it by Confucius himself and by Mencius. 1
4. If I have given in these remarks a correct, though brief, idea of what the Ch'un Ts'ëw is, we know not what to make of the state
The saying of Confucius that he had made) ment of Confucius quoted by Menthe rightedus decisions in the Ch'un Ts'ëw. } cius, that he had himself ventured to make the righteous decisions contained in it. Whether the book which we now have be that which Confucius is said to have made, or another, we examine it in vain for any righteous decisions,' for any decisions indeed of any kind, on the events which are indicated in it. This difficulty is a Gordian knot which I do not see any way of untying, and I have often wished that I could cut it by denying the genuineness of the present Ch'un Ts'ëw altogether. But, as will by and by appear, the evidence which connects and identifies the existing Work with that made, whatever be the sense in which we are to take that term, by the sage, cannot be rebutted. The simplest way of disposing of the matter is to set the testimony of
1 It is amusing to read the following account of the Ch'un Ts'ëw given by the writer of the treatise ‘On the Antiquity of the Chinese,' on pp. 47, 48 of the 1st vol. of the Memoires Concernant les Chinois:'
“Le Tchun-tsieou est un livre ecrit de génie. Notre Socrate y manie l'Histoire en homme d'Etat, en Citoyen, en Philosophe, en Savant, et en Moraliste. Son laconisme naïf et sublime le force à serrer sa narration, pour présenter les faits tout nouds et détachés, pour ainsi dire, de la chaine des evénemens; mais ils sont dessinés, colorés, ombrés et peints avec tant de force et de feu, qu'on sent d'abord pourquoi et jusqu'où ils sont dignes de louanges ou de blâme. Nous ne connaissons point de livre en Europe, où l'on voit si bien le commencement, le progrès, le dénouement, et le reinede des révolutions dans l'Etat et dans les mæurs; les vrais signes de roideur ou de mollesse, de tyrannie ou de discrédit, de modération simulée ou d'inconséquence dans le Gouvernement; les différences du talent, du génie, de l'expérience, de la profondeur des vues, de la bonté du coup-d'æil
, el des ressources d'un esprit fécond dans les Princes et dans leur ministres, l'imposant d'une administration bruyante et le faux d'une politique pateline, les souterrains de la trahison et les maneges de la negociation, les premieres etincelles d'une révolte qui commence et les derniers eclats l'une ligue epuisée; la maniere enfin dont le Chang-ti (Dieu) dirige le cours des evénemens, pour elever ou renverser les Trônes, et punir ou recompenser tour-à-tour les Sujets par leurs Princes et les Princes par leurs Sujets. Le Tchun-tsieon, envisagé sous ce point de vue, est le modele de toutes les Histoires. Confucius a un style qui ne va qu'à lui. Il semble que chaque caractere ait eté fait pour l'endroit où il le place. Plus il est avare de mots, plus ceux qu'il emploie sout clairs et expressifs.'
The above is certainly of a piece with the estimate of the ancient odles of China which I quoted from the same article in the prolegomena to vol. IV., pp. 114, 115. Dr. Williams (Middle King. dom, vol. I., p. 512) gives a more fair account of the Ch'un Ts'ëw, but even he thinks that it contains much good matter of which we find no trace:— It is but little better than a dry detail of facts, enlivened by few incidents, but containing many of those practical observations which distinguish the wriiings of the sage. Anyone who looks into the body of this volume will see that the text consists of nothing but a dry detail of facts or incidents, without a single practical observation, Confucian or non-Confucian.
1 There have been Chinese scholars who have taken up this position. Wang Taou, in a monograph on the subject, places Ma Twan-lin among them; but this is more than Ma's words, quoted in the third section, will sustain. With more reason he gives the name of Hoh King (FB &) of the Ming dynasty, who contends that the Ch'un Tsóöw of Confucius was not transmitted, and that we have only fragments of it in Tso-she. Wang also says that according to Tung Chungshoo and Sze-ma Tsööen the text consisted of several myriads of characters, in several thousand paragraplis, whereas Chang Gan of the T'ang dynasty found in it only 18000 characters. But there can be no doubt the present text is substantially the same as that known in the Han dynasty. See Appendix II.
Mencius on one side, though that method of proceeding can hardly be vindicated on critical grounds.
There can be no doubt, however, that the expression in Mencius about 'the righteous decisions' has had a most powerful and pernicious influence over the interpretation of the Classic. Chaou K'e, the earliest conmentator on Vencius, explains the passage as intimating that the sage in making the Ch'un Tsöw exercised his prerogative as 'the unsceptred king. A subject merely, and without any order from his ruler, he yet made the Work on his own private authority; and his saying that he ventured to give his own judgments on things in it was simply an expression of his humility.? Chaou gives the same explanation of those words of Mencius, that "what the Ch'un Ts'ëw contains are inatters proper to the son of Heaven.' 'Confucius,' says the commentator, ‘made the Ch'un Ts'ëw by means of the Historical Records of Loo, setting forth his laws as an unsceptred king, which are what Mencius calls “the matters of the Son of Heaven." '3
Hundreds of critics, from Kung-yang and Kuh-lëang downwards, have tried to interpret the Classic on the principle of finding in almost every paragraph some é righteous decision;' and in my notes I have in a hundred places pointed out the absurdities in which such a method lands us. The same peculiarity of the style, such as the omission of a clan-name, becomes in one passage the sign of censure and in another the sign of praise. 4 The whole Book is a 2孔子自謂竊取之,以為素王也,孔子人臣,不受召命
作之故言竊,亦聖人之謙辭爾: 3孔子僱主道 减故作春秋。因魯史記設素王之法謂天子之事也
4 It may be well here to give the discussion of one notable case, the occasional omission of the term king:—taken from Chaou Yil's B :
Every year should comnience with “ In the spring, in the king's first month," or if there was nothing to be recorded under the first month, “In the spring, in the king's second month,” or * In the spring, in the king's third month;” the object being thereby to do honour to the king. In the 9th and 11th years, however, of duke Yin, we have only “In the spring,” and in all the years of duke Hwan but four the expression the king's' is omitted. Too Yu holds that in those years the king had not issued the calendar; but seeing the prime intent of the Ch'un Ts'ëw was to lionour the king, is it likely that for such an omission the classic would have denied the year to be the king's? Moreover, such oniission was most likely to occur when the court was in confusion, as in the troubles occasioned by the princes T'uy, Tae, and Chaou; and yet we find the years of those times all with the regular formula. How unlikely that the calendar should have been given out in seasons of disorder, and neglected when all was tranquil in the times of Yin and Hwan! Too's explanation is inadmissible.
Ch'ing F-ch'uen says, “ Duke Hwan succeeded to Loo by the murder of his predecessor, and in his first year the author wrote the king's,' thereby by a royal law indicating his crime. The same expression in the second year in the same way indicates ihe crime of Tuh of Sung in murdering his ruler. Its omission in the third year shows that Hwan had no [fear of the] king before his eyes." But this is very inconsistent. If we say that the omission of “the king's” shows that Hwan had no fear of the king, surely it ought to have been omitted in his first year, when he was guilty of such a crime. If we say that its occurrence in the first year is to indicate his crime,
collection of riddles, to which there are as many answers as there are guessers. It is hardly possible for a Chinese to cast off from his mind the influence of this praise-and-censure' theory in studying the Classic. He has learned it when a child by committing to memory at school the lines of the ‘Primer of Three Characters,'5 and it has been obtruded upon him in most of liis subsequent reading. Even a foreigner finds himself occasionally casting about for some such way of accounting for the ever varying forms of expression, unwilling to believe that the changes have been made at randomn. I proceed in another section to give a fuller idea of the nature of the Work, and to consider what were its sources, and whether we have reason to think that Confucius, in availing himself of them, made additions of his own or retrenchments.
are we to infer that wherever it occurs it indicates the crime of the ruler? What had Loo to do with Tuh of Sung's murdering his ruler? Is it reasonable that Loo’s historiographers should have constructed their annals to punish him?
* Ho Hëw says, “In (Hwan's) 10th year we find 'the king's,' because ten is the completion of numbers, and we find it in his 18th year, because that was the last of his rule.” According to this we ought to find the king's "only in the year of a ruler's accession, in his tenth year, and the year of his death; but the practice in the Ch'un Ts'ëw is quite different from this. Ho Hëw's remark is unintelligible.
'It may be said that since the Chow commencement of the year was not universally followed during the Ch'un Tsëw period, some States reckoning by the 1st month of Yin and others by that of Hën, although Loo generally held to the ritual of Chow, yet its irregularities in the matter of intercalation show that it did not keep to the first month of Chow. Perhaps the historiographers did so sometimes, and then Confucius wrote “the king's first month,” by way of distinction, while he left the cases in which they made the year begin differently unmarked by such a note,—thereby condemning them.' This last is poor Chaou Yih's own explanation of the phæno. menon, not a whit better than the devices of others which he condemns! It shows the correctness of my remark that it is next to impossible for a Chinese scholar to shake off the trammeis of the creed in which he has been educated.
;—see the =***, 11. 79, 80.
THE SOURCES OF THE CH'UN TS'ÉW, AND ITS NATURE. DID CONFUCIUS
IN THE USE OF HIS AUTHORITIES?
1. What were Confucius' authorities for the events which he has chronicled in the Ch'un Ts'ëw? In proceeding to an inquiry into the Sources of the Work, it will be well to give at the commencement an explanation of its name.
The two characters, translated literally, simply mean Spring and Autumn. “Anciently,' says Maou K‘e-ling, 'the historiographers, in
Meaning of the name,—the Ch'un Ts'ëw. recording events, did so with the specification of the day, the month, the season, and the year, to which each event belonged; and to the whole they gave the name of annals. It was proper that under every year there should be written the names of the four seasons, and the entire record of a year went by the name of Spring and Autumn, two of the seasons, being a compendious expression for all the four.'1 'Spring and Autumn' is thus equivalent to—Annals, digested under the seasons of every year. An inspection of the Work will prove that this is the proper meaning of its title. Even if there were nothing to be recorded under any season, it was still necessary to make a record of the season and of the first month in it. Entries like that in the 6th
year of duke Yin,-' It was autumn, the 7th month,' where the nest paragraph begins with 'In winter,' are frequent. If now and then a year occurs in which we do not find every season specified, we may be sure the omission is owing to the loss of a character or of a paragraph in the course of time. Chaou K'e explains the title in the same way,” and so does Too Yu in the preface to his edition of the Tso Chuen. Other accounts of the name are only creations of fancy, and have risen from a misconception of the nature of the Work. Thus Dr. Williams says, “The spring and autumn amals are so called, because their commendations are lifegiving like spring, and their censures are life-withering like autum.' The Han scholars gave forth this, and other accounts of a similar kind, led away by their notions as to the nature of the Work on which I have touched in the preceding section. Not even, as I have said, in the Work itself do we find such censures and commendations; and much less are they trumpeted in the title of it.
Idi ALÉ, A LJ 41,01$, in te FX 下,謂之記年,故每盛所書四時必備,然而孤名春秋者, 春可以該夏秋可以該冬也一春秋毛氏傳,the Introductory chapter. 2春秋,以始舉四時,記萬事之名;
3記事者,以事繁口,以日繁月以月繫時,以時繫年.... 故史之所記,必表年以首事,年有四時,故錯舉以為 Els hi Ź Zt. On this passage Kʻung Ying-tali quotes the following words from Ching Kang-shing:一春秋猶言四時也jaund then the adds himselfi 舉春秋足 包四時之義也。 4 The Middle Kingdom, vol. I., p. 512. See to the same effect Du Halde's . Description de l'Empire de la Chine, et de la Tartarie Chinoise,' vol. II. p. 318.
-on Men. III. Pt. ii. XXI. 3.
before the time of Confucius.
2. That we are not to seek for any deep or mystical meaning in the title is still more evident from the fact that the name was in The name Ch'un Tsëw was in use) use before it was given to the compila
ition of Confucius. The first narrative of the Tso Chuen under the second year of duke Ch'aou, when Confucius was only eleven years old, shows that this was the case in Loo. Then the principal minister of Tsin, being on a visit to the court of Loo, examined the documents in the charge of the grand-historiographer, and “saw,' we are told, 'the Yih with its diagrams and the Ch'un Ts'ëw of Loo.'1
But the records, or a class of the records, of every State in the kingdom of Chow appear to have been called by this name of Spring and Autumn. In the Narratives of the States,' the appointment of Shuh-hëang to be tutor to the heir-apparent of the State of Tsin is grounded on 'bis acquaintance with the Ch'un Ts'ëiv.2 I take the name there as equivalent to history in general,—the historical summaries made in the various States of the kingdom. Shuh-hëang's appointment was made in B.c. 568, about twenty years before Confucius was born. In the samne Narratives, at a still earlier date, it is laid down as a rule for the heir-apparent of the State of Tsóoo, that he should be taught the Ch'un Tsëw.3 According to Mencius, the annals of Loo went by the name of the Ch'un Ts'ëw, while those of Tsin were called the Shing, and those of Ts'oo the T'aou-wuh.4 All these, however, he says, were books of the same character; and though the annals of different States might have other and particular names given to them, it seems clear that they might all be designated Ch'un Ts'ëw. Thus we have a statement in Mih Teih that he had seen the Ch'un-ts'ëw histories of a hundred States';5 and elsewhere we find him speaking of the Ch'un Ts'ëw of Chow, the Ch'un Ts'ëw of Yen, the Ch'un Ts'ëw of Sung, and the Ch'un Ts'ëw of Ts'e.
1 觀書於太史氏,見易象與魯春秋 In my translation of this passage on p. 583, I have onitted inadvertently to render the last, and the whole might be taken as if the Ch'un Ts'ëw of Loo’ were not one of the documents in the keeping of the leistoriographer. 2羊舌習於春秋,乃使傅太子彪; 晉語,七 it at the end. 教之春秋楚語
;-See the Eart 1. The prince to be taught was the son of king Chwang, who died B. C. 590. 4 Men IV. Pt. ii. XXI. 2. 晉之乘,楚之橋机魯春秋,一也 5吾見白國春秋
* See the FBE , appended to the 15th Book of his Works. 鬼,下