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PROLEGOMENA

CHAPTER I.
or THE CHINESE CLASSICS GENERALLY.

SECTION I.

BOOKS INCLUDED UNDER. THE NAME OF THE CHINESE CLASSICS.

I. The Books now recognised as of highest authority in China are comprehended under the denominations of ‘The five Chingl’ and ‘The four Shd 2.’ The term Ching is of textile origin, and signifies the warp threads of a web, and their adjustment. An easy application of it is to denote what is regular and insures regularity. As used with reference to books, it indicates their authority on the subjects of which they treat. ‘The five Ching’ are the five canonical Works, containing the truth upon the highest subjects from the sages of China, and which should be received as law by all generations. The term Shfl simply means lVrz'tings or Books, = the Pencil Speaking; it may be used of a single character, or of books con— taining thousands of characters.

2. ‘The five Ching' are: the Y’i 3, or, as it has been styled, ‘The Book of Changes; ’ the Shfl 4, or ‘The Book of History ;' the Shih 5, or ‘The Book of Poetry ;’ the Li Chi 6, or ‘Record of Bites;’ and the Ch'un Ch'izi", 0r ‘Spring and Autumn,’ a chronicle of events, extending from 722 to 481 B. 0. The authorship, 0r compilation rather, of all these Works is loosely attributed to Confucius. But much of the Li Chi is from later hands. Of the Yi, the Shfl, and the Shih, it is only in the first that we find additions attributed to the philosopher himself, in the shape of appendixes. The Ch'unCh'it‘l is the only one of the five Ching which can, with an approximation to correctness, be described as of his own ‘ making.'

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‘The Four Books’ is an abbreviation for ‘The Books of the Four Philosophers 1.’ The first is the Lun Yiiz, or ‘Digested Conversations,’ being occupied chiefiy with the sayings of Confucius. He is the philosopher to whom it belongs. It appears in this Work under the title of ‘Confucian Analects.’ The second is the Ta. ' Hsio 3, or ‘ Great Learning,’ now commonly attributed to Tsang Sham 4, a disciple of the sage. He is the philosopher of it. The third is the Chung Yung 5, or ‘ Doctrine of the Mean,’ as the name has often been translated, though it would be better to render it, as in the present edition, by ‘The State of Equilibrium and Harmony.’ Its composition is ascribed to K'ung Chi 6, the grandson of Confucius. He is the philosopher of it. The fourth contains the works of Mencius.

3. This arrangement of the Classical Books, which is commonly supposed to have originated with the scholars of the Sung dynasty, is defective. The Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean are both found in the Record of Rites, being the thirty-ninth and twenty-eighth Books respectively of that compilation, according to the best arrangement of it.

4. The oldest enumerations of the Classical Books specify only the five Ch'ing. The Yo Chi, or ‘Record of Music 7,’ the remains of which now form one of the Books in the Li Chi, was sometimes added to those, making with them the sim Chz'ng. A division was also made into nine Ching, consisting of the Yi, the Shih, the Shfi, the Chau Li 8, or ‘Bitual of Chau,’ the T Li 9, or certain ‘ Ceremonial Usages,’ the Li Chi, and the three annotated editions of the Ch'un Ch'ifi 1°, by Tso Ch'iii-ming“, Kung-yang Kan“, and Kuliang Ch'ih 13. In the famous compilation of the Classical Books, undertaken by order of T'ai-tsung, the second emperor of the Tang dynasty (A. D. 627—649), and which appeared in the reign of his successor, there are thirteen Citing, viz. the Yi, the Shih, the Shti, the three editions of the Ch'un Ch'ifi, the Li Chi, the Chau Li, the i Li, the Confucian Analects, the R Ya 1‘, a sort of ancient dictionary, the Hsiao Ching 15, or ‘ Classic of Filial Piety,’ and the works of Mencius.

5. A distinction, however, was made among the Works thus

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