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comprehended under the same common name; and Mencius, the Lun Yii, the Ta. Hsio, the Chung Yung, and the Hsido Ching were spoken of as the Hsido Ching, or ‘ Smaller Classics.’ It thus appears, contrary to the ordinary opinion on the subject, that the Ta Hsio and Chung Yung had been published as separate treatises before the Sung dynasty, and that Four Books, as distinguished from the

greater Ching, had also previously found a place in the literature of China‘.



I. This subject will be discussed in connexion with each separate Work, and it is only designed here to exhibit generally the evidence on which the Chinese Classics claim to be received as genuine productions of the time to which they are referred.

2. In the memoirs of the Former Han dynasty (B. 0. 202— A.D. 24), we have one chapter which we may call the History of Literature 2. It commences thus : ‘ After the death of Confucius 3, there was an end of his exquisite words; and when his seventy disciples had passed away, violence began to be done to their meaning. It came about that there were five different editions of the Ch'un Ch'iu, four of the Shih, and several of the Yi. Amid the disorder and collisions of the warring States (B. 0. 481-220), truth and falsehood were still more in a state of warfare, and a sad confusion marked the words of the various scholars. Then came the calamity inflicted under the Ch'in dynasty (B. 0. 220—205), when the literary monuments were destroyed by fire, in order to keep the people in ignorance. But, by and by, there arose the Han dynasty, which set itself to remedy the evil wrought by the Ch'in. Great efforts were made to collect slips and tablets 4, and the way was thrown wide open for the bringing in of Books. In the time of the emperor Hsifio-wu ‘ (B. 0. 140—85), portions of Books being wanting and tablets lost, so that ceremonies and music were

1 For the statements in the two last paragraphs, see E m 18* i, it v? 5% i,

% %,——slips and tablets of bamboo, which supplied in those days the place of paper.

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suffering great damage, he was moved to sorrow, and said, “I am very sad for this.” He therefore formed the plan of Repositories, in which the Books might be stored, and appointed olficers to transcribe Books on an extensive scale, embracing the works of the various scholars, that they might all be placed in the Repositories. The emperor Ch'ang1 (B. 0. 32—5), finding that a portion of the Books still continued dispersed or missing, commissioned Ch'an Nang, the Superintendent of Guests 2, to search for undiscovered Books throughout the empire, and by special edict ordered the chief of the Banqueting House, Liu Hsianga, to examine the Classical Works, along with the commentaries on them, the writings of the scholars, and all poetical productions; the Master-controller of Infantry, Zan Hwang 4, to examine the Books on the art of war; the Grand Historiographer, Yin Hsien '5, to examine the Books treating of the art of numbers (i. e. divination); and the imperial Physician, Li Chu-kwo °, to examine the Books on medicine. Whenever any book was done with, Hsiang forthwith arranged it, indeXed it, and made a digest of it, which was presented to the emperor. While this work was in progress, Hsiang died, and the emperor Ai (B.C. 6—A. D. 1) appointed his son, Hsinl, a. Master of the imperial carriages, to complete his father’s work. On' this, Hsin collected all the Books, and presented a report of them, under seven divisions.’

The first of these divisions seems to have been a general catalogue 8 containing perhaps only the titles of the works included in the other six. The second embraced the Classical Works 9. From the abstract of it, which is preserved in the chapter referred to, we find that there were 294 collections of the Yi-ching from thirteen different individuals or editors 1" ; 412 collections of the Shfl-ching, from nine different individuals; 4I6 volumes of the Shih-ching, from six different individuals“; of the Books of Bites, 5 5 5 collec

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in each %, it is impossible for us to ascertain. P. Regis says: ‘Pien, quemadmodum Gallice

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The collections of the Shih-ching are mentioned under the name of chfian, ‘sections,’ ‘ portions.‘ Had p'ien been used, it might have been understood of individual odes. This change of terms shows that by p'ien in the other summaries, we are not to understand single blocks or chapters.

tions, from thirteen different individuals; of the Books on Music, 165 collections, from six different editors; 948 collections of History, under the heading of the Ch'un Ch'ifi, from twenty-three different individuals; 229 collections of the Lun Yu, including the Analects and kindred fragments, from twelve different individuals; of the Hsiao-ching, embracing also the R Ya, and some other portions of the ancient literature, 59 collections, from eleven different individuals ; and finally of the lesser Learning, being works on the form of the characters, 45 collections, from eleven difi'erent individuals. The works of Mencius were included in the second division 1, among the writings of what were deemed orthodox scholars 2, of which there were 8 36 collections, from fifty-three different individuals.

3. The above important document is sufficient to show how the emperors of the Han dynasty, as soon as they had made good their possession of the empire, turned their attention to recover the ancient literature of the nation, the Classical Books engaging their first care, and how earnestly and effectively the scholars of the time responded to the wishes of their rulers. In addition to the facts specified in the preface to it, I may relate that the ordinance of the Ch'in dynasty against possessing the Classical Books (with the exception, as it will appear in its proper place, of the Yi-ching) was repealed by the second sovereign of the Han, the emperor Hsiao Hui 3, in the fourth year of his reign, B. c. 191, and that a large portion of the Shfl-ching was recovered in the time of the third emperor, B. 0. 179—157, while in the year B.C. 136 a special Board was constituted, consisting of literati, who were put in charge of the five Citing 4. ,

4. The collections reported on by Lin Hsin suffered damage in the troubles which began A. D. 8, and continued till the rise of the second or eastern Han dynasty in the year 25. The founder of it (A.D. 2 5—5 7) zealously promoted the undertaking of his predecessors, and additional repositories were required for the Books which were collected. His successors, the emperors Hsiao-ming‘5 (58—75), Hsiao-chang 6 (76— 88), and Hsiao-hwo 7 (89—105), took a part themselves in the studies and discussions of the literary tribunal, and

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the emperor Hsiao-lingl, between the years 172—178, had the text of the five Ching, as it had been fixed, cut in slabs of stone, and set up in the capital outside the gate of the Grand College. Some old accounts say that the characters were in three different forms, but they were only in one form ;—see the 287th book of Chfl l-tsun’s great Work.

5. Since the Han, the successive dynasties have considered the literary monuments of the country to be an object of their special care. Many of them have issued editions of the Classics, embodying the commentaries of preceding generations. N o dynasty has distinguished itself more in this line than the present Manchau possessors of the empire. In fine, the evidence is complete that the Classical Books of China have come down from at least a century before our Christian era, substantially the same as we have them at present.

6. But it still remains to inquire in what condition we may suppose the Books were, when the scholars of the Han dynasty commenced their labours upon them. They acknowledge that the tablets—we cannot here speak of manuscripts—were mutilated and in disorder. Was the injury which they had received of such an extent that all the care and study put forth on the small remains would be of little use ? This question can be answered satisfactorily, only by an examination of the evidence which is adduced for the text of each particular Classic; but it can be made apparent that there is nothing, in the nature of the case, to interfere with our believing that the materials were sufficient to enable the scholars to execute the work intrusted to them. >

7. The burning of the ancient Books by order of the founder of the Ch'in dynasty is always referred to as the greatest disaster which they sustained, and with this is coupled the slaughter of many of the Literati by the same monarch.

The account which we have of these transactions in the Historical Records is the following 2: I

‘ In his 34th year [the 34th year, that is, after he had ascended the throne of Ch'in. It was only the 9th after he had been acknowledged Sovereign of the empire, coinciding with B. c. 2r 3], the emperor, returning from a visit to the south, which had extended

‘ z in? 5% ’ I have thought it well to endeavour to translate the whole of the passages. Father de Mailla merely constructs from them a narrative of his own ; see L‘Histoira

Géne'rale de La Chine, tome ii. pp. 399-402. The Si fi m E avoids the difliculties of the original by giving an abridgment of it.

as far as Yueh, gave a feast in his palace at Hsien-yang, when the Great Scholars, amounting to seventy men, appeared and wished him long life‘. One of the principal ministers, Chan Ch'ing-ch‘an 2, came forward and said, “Formerly, the State of Ch'in was only 1000 li in extent, but Your Majesty, by your spirit-like efiicacy and intelligent wisdom, has tranquillised and settled the whole empire, and driven away all barbarous tribes, so that, wherever the sun and moon shine, all rulers 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 Shun-yii Yiieh 3, one of the Great Scholars, a native of Ch'i, advanced and said, “ The sovereigns of Yin and Chan, 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'ien Ch'ang 4, or of the six nobles of Tsin. 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. Ch'ing is now showing himself to be a flatterer, who increases the errors of Your Majesty, and not a loyal minister.”

‘The emperor requested the opinions of others on this representation, and the premier, Li Sze 5, 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

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but had an official rank. There was what we may call a college of them, consisting of seventy

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should probably be IE, as it is given in the T'ung Chien. See Analects XIV. xxii. Tisn Hang was the same as Ch‘im Ch‘ing of that chapter. '" & jig i in,

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