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whereof he aflirmed. MAO Hsi-ho and some other modern writers explain away many of his predicates of sincerity, so that in their bands they become nothing but extravagant hyperboles, but the author himself would, I believe, have protested against such a mode of dealing with his words. True, his structures are castles in the air, but he had no idea himself that they were so.
In the twenty-fourth chapter there is a ridiculous descent from the sublimity of the two preceding. We are told that the possessor of entire sincerity is like a spirit and can foreknow, but the foreknowledge is only a judging by the milfoil and tortoise and other auguries ! But the author recovers himself, and resumes his theme about sincerity as conducting to self-completion and the completion of other men and things, describing it also as possessing all the qualities which can be predicated of Heaven and Earth. Gradually the subject is made to converge to the person of Confucius, who is the ideal of the sage, as the sage is the ideal of humanity at large. An old account of the object of Tsze-sze in the Chung Yung is that he wrote it to celebrate the virtue of his grandfather‘. He certainly contrives to do this in the course of it. The thirtieth, thirty-first, ' and thirty-second chapters contain his eulogium, and never has any other mortal been exalted in such terms. ‘ He may be compared to heaven and earth in their supporting and containing, their overshadowing and curtaining all things; he may be compared to the four seasons in their alternating progress, and to the sun and moon in their successive shining.’ ‘ Quick in apprehension, clear in discernment, of far-reaching intelligence, and all-embracingknowledge, he was fitted to exercise rule; magnanimous, generous, benign, and mild, he was fitted to exercise forbearance; impulsive, energetic, strong, and enduring, he was fitted to maintain a firm hold; self-adjusted, grave, never swerving from the Mean, and correct, he was fitted to command reverence; accomplished, distinctive, concentrative, and searching, he was fitted to exercise discrimination.’ ‘All-embracing and vast, he was like heaven ; deep and active as a fountain, he was like the abyss.’ ‘ Therefore his fame overspreads the Middle Kingdom, and extends to all barbarous tribes. Wherever ships and carriages reach; wherever the strength of man penetrates; wherever the heavens overshadow
and the earth sustains ; wherever the sun and moon shine ; wherever frosts and dews fall ;—all who have blood and breath unfeignedly honour and love him. Hence it is said,—He is the equal of Heaven!’ ‘Who can know him but he who is indeed quick in apprehension, clear in discernment, of far-reaching intelligence, and all-embracing knowledge, possessing all heavenly virtue ?'
8. We have arrived at the concluding chapter of the Work, in which the author, according. to Chfl Hsi, ‘ having carried his descriptions to the highest point in the preceding chapters, turns back and examines the source of his subject; and then again from the work of the learner, free from all selfishness and watchful over himself when he is alone, he carries out his description, till by easy steps he brings it to the consummation of the whole world tran~ quillized by simple and sincere reverentialness. He moreover eulogizes its mysteriousness, till he speaks of it at last as without sound or smelllf Between the first and last chapters there is a correspondency, and each of them may be considered as a summary of the whole treatise. The difference between them is, that in the first a commencement is made with the mention of Heaven as the conferrer of man’s nature, while in this the progress of man in virtue is traced, step by step, till at last it is equal to that of High Heaven.
9. I have thus in the preceding paragraphs given a general and somewhat copious review of this Work. My object has been to seize, if I could, the train of thought and to hold it up to the reader. Minor objections to it, arising from the confused use of terms and singular applications of passages from the older Classics, are noticed in the notes subjoined to the translation. I wished here that its scope should be seen, and the means he afl'orded of judging how far it is worthy of the high character attributed to it. ‘The relish of it,’ says the younger Ch'ang, ‘is inexhaustible. The whole of it is solid learning. When the skilful reader has explored it with delight till he has apprehended it, he may carry it into practice all his life, and will find that it cannot be exhausted 2.’
My own opinion of it is less favourable. The names by which it has been called in translations of it have led to misconceptions of its character. Were it styled ‘ The states of Equilibrium and Harmony,’ we should be prepared to expect something strange and probably extravagant. Assuredly we should expect nothing more
1 See the concluding note by Chu Hsi. 7 See the Introductory note below.
strange or extravagant than what we have. It begins sufiiciently well, but the author has hardly enunciated his preliminary apophthegms, when he conducts into an obscurity where we can hardly grope our way, and when we emerge from that, it is to be bewildered by his gorgeous but unsubstantial pictures of sagely perfection. He has eminently contributed to nourish the pride of his countrymen. He has exalted their sages above all that is called God or is worshipped, and taught the masses of the people that with them they have need of nothing from without. In the meantime it is antagonistic to Christianity. By-and-by, when Christianity has prevailed in 'China, men will refer to it as a striking proof how their fathers by their wisdom knew neither God nor themselves. '
CONFUCIUS AND HIS_ IMMEDIATE DISCIPLES.
LIFE OF CONFUCIUS.
I. ‘And have you foreigners surnames as well i ’ This question has often been put to me by Chinese. It marks the ignorance which belongs to the people of all that is external to themselves, and the pride of antiquity which enters largely as an element into their character. If such a pride could in any case be justified, we might allow it to the family of the K'ung, the descendants of Confucius. In the reign of K'ang-hsi, twentyone centuries and a half after the death of the sage, they amounted to eleven thousand males. But their ancestry is carried back through a period of equal extent, and genealogical tables are common, in which the descent of Confucius is traced down from Hwang-ti, in whose reign the cycle was invented, B. c. 26 37 1.
The more moderate writers, however, content themselves with exhibiting his ancestry back to the commencement of the Chan dynasty, B.C. 1121. Among the relatives of the tyrant Chan, the last emperor of the Yin dynasty, was an elder brother, by a concubine, named Ch'i 2, who is celebrated by Confucius, Ana. XVIII. i, under the title of the Viscount of Wei. Foreseeing the impending ruin of their family, Ch'i withdrew from the court; and subsequently he was invested by the emperor Ch'ang, the second of the house of Chan, with the principality of Sung, which embraced the eastern portion of the present province of Ho-nan, that he might there continue the sacrifices to the sovereigns of Yin. Ch'i was followed as duke of Sung by a younger brother, in whose line the succession continued. His great-grandson, the duke Min 3, was
‘ See Memoiros concernant les Chinois,Tome XII, p. 447 et seq. Father Amiot states, p. 501, that he had seen the representative of the family, who succeeded to the dignity of % 12$
in the ninth year of Ch'ien-lung, A. n. 1744. The last duke, not the present, was visited in our own time by the late Dr. \Villiamson and Mr. Consul Markham. It is hardly necessary that I should say here, that the name Confucius is merely the Chinese characters
followed, 13.0. 908, by a younger brother, leaving, however, two sons, Ffi-fu Ho1 and Fang-sze 2. Ffi Ho3 resigned his right to the dukedom in favour of Fang-sze, who put his uncle to death in B. o. 893, and became master of the State. He is known as the duke Li‘, and to his elder brother belongs the honour of having the sage among his descendants. - '
Three descents from Fu Ho, we find Chang K'ao-fu“, who was a distinguished officer under the dukes Tai, Wu, and Hsiian6 (B.C. 799—728). He is still celebrated for his humility, and for his literary tastes. We have accounts of him as being in communication with the Grand-historiographer of the kingdom, and engaged in researches about its ancient poetry, thus setting an example of one of the works to which Confucius gave himself 7. K'ao gave birth to K'ung-fu Chia“, from whom the surname of K'ung took its rise. Five generations had now elapsed since the dukedom was held in the direct line of his ancestry, and it was according to the rule in such cases that the branch should cease its connexion with the ducal stem, and merge among the people under a new surname. K'ung Chia was Master of the Horse in Sung, and an officer of wellknown loyalty and probity. Unfortunately for himself, he had a wife of surpassing beauty, of whom the chief minister of the State, by name Hwa Tu”, happened on one occasion to get a glimpse. Determined to possess her, he commenced a series of intrigues, which ended, B. c. 710, in the murder of Chia and of the ruling duke Shangl". At the same time, T6 secured the person of the lady, and hastened to his palace with the prize, but on the way she had strangled herself with her girdle.
An enmity was thus commenced between the two families of K'ung and Hwa which the lapse of time did not obliterate, and the latter being the more powerful of the two, Chia’s great-grandson withdrew into the State of Lu to avoid'their persecution. There he was appointed commandant of the city of Fang“, and is known