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imperial sway, so that it will last for 10,000 generations. This is indeed beyond what a stupid scholar can understand. And, moreover, Yiieh only talks of things belonging to the Three Dynasties, which are not fit to be models to you. At other times, when the princes were all striving together, they endeavoured to gather the wandering scholars about them ; but now, the empire is in a stable condition, and laws and ordinances issue from one supreme authority. Let those of the people who abide in their homes give their strength to the toils 0f husbandry, while those who become scholars should study the various laws and prohibitions. Instead of doing this, however, the scholars do not learn what belongs to the present day, but study antiquity. They go on to condemn the present time, leading the masses of the people astray, and t0 disorder.

‘ “ At the risk of my life, I, the prime minister, say: Formerly, when the nation was disunited and disturbed, there was no one who could give unity to it. The princes therefore stood up together ; constant references were made to antiquity to the injury of the present state; baseless statements were dressed up to confound what was real, and men made a- boast of their own peculiar learning to condemn what their rulers appointed. And now, when Your Majesty has consolidated the empire, and, distinguishing black from white, has constituted it a stable unity, they still honour their peculiar learning, and combine together ; they teach men what is contrary to your laws. When they hear that an ordinance has been issued, every one sets to discussing it with his learning. In the court, they are dissatisfied in heart ; out of it, they keep talking in the streets. While they make a pretence of vaunting their Master, they consider it fine to have extraordinary views of their own. And so they lead on the people to be guilty of murmuring and evil speaking. If these things are not prohibited, Your Majesty’s authority will decline, and parties will be formed. The best way is to prohibit them. I pray that all the Records in charge of the Historiographers be burned, excepting those of Ch'in ; that, with the exception of those officers belonging to the Board of Great Scholars, all throughout the empire who presume to keep copies of the Shih-ching, or of the Shfi-ching, or of the books of the Hundred Schools, be required to go with them to the oflicers in charge of the several districts, and burn theml; that all who may dare to speak

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together about the Shih and the Shfi be put to death, and their bodies exposed in the market-place; that those who make mention of the past, so as to blame the present, be put to death along with their relatives; that officers who shall know of the violation of those rules and not inform against the offenders, be held equally guilty with them; and that whoever shall not have burned their Books within thirty days after the issuing of the ordinance, be branded and sent to labour on the wall for four years. The only Books which should be spared are those on medicine, divination, and husbandry. Whoever wants to learn the laws may go to the magistrates and learn of them."

‘ The imperial decision was—“ Approved." ’

The destruction of the scholars is related more briefly. In the year after the burning of the Books, the resentment of the emperor was excited by the remarks and flight of two scholars who had been favourites with him, and he determined to institute a strict inquiry about all of their class in Hsien-yang, to find out whether they had been making ominous speeches about him, and disturbing the minds of the people. The investigation was committed to the Censors‘, and it being discovered that upwards of 460 scholars had violated the prohibitions, they were all buried alive in pits 2, for a warning to the empire, while degradation and banishment were employed more strictly than before against all who fell under suspicion. The emperor’s eldest son, FO-sfi, remonstrated with him, saying that such measures against those who repeated the words of Confucius and sought to imitate him, would alienate all the people from their infant dynasty, but his interference offended his father so much that he was sent off from court, to be with the general who was superintending the building of the great wall.

8. No attempts have been made by Chinese critics and historians to discredit the record of these events, though some have questioned the extent of the injury inflicted by them on the monuments of their ancient literature 3. It is important to observe that the edict against the Books did not extend to the Yi-ching, which was

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as a whole is sufliciently plain, but I am unable to make out the force of the phrase a %_ ’ See the remarks of Chang Chib-tsi % a; E), of the Sung dynasty, on the subject,

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exempted as being a work on divination, nor did it extend to the other classics which were in charge of the Board of Great Scholars. There ought to have been no difficulty in finding copies when the Han dynasty superseded that of Chin, and probably there would have been none but for the sack of the capital in B.C. 206 by Hsiang Yu, the formidable opponent of the founder of the House of Han. Then, we are told, the fires blazed for three months among the palaces and public buildings, and must have proved as destructive to the copies of the Great Scholars as the edict of the tyrant had been to the copies among the people.

It is to be noted also that the life of Shih Hwang Ti lasted only I '

three years after the promulgation of his edict. He died in BC. 210, and the reign of his second son who succeeded him lasted only other three years. A brief period of disorder and struggling for the supreme authority between different chiefs ensued; but the reign of the founder of the Han dynasty dates from B.C. 202. Thus, eleven years were all which intervened between the order for the burning of the Books and the rise of that family, which signalized itself by the care which it bestowed for their recovery ; and from the edict of the tyrant 0f Ch'in against private individuals having copies in their keeping, to its express abrogation by the ' emperor Hsiao Hui, there were only twenty-two years. We may ' believe, indeed, that vigorous efforts to carry the edict into effect would not be continued longer than the life of its author,—that is, not for more than about three years. The calamity inflicted on the ancient Books of China. by the House of Ch'in could not have approached to anything like a complete destruction of them. There would be no occasion for the scholars of the Han dynasty, in regard to the bulk of their ancient literature, to undertake more than the work of recension and editing.

9. The idea of forgery by them on a large scale is out of the question. The catalogues of Liang Hsin enumerated more than 13,000 volumes of a larger or smaller size, the productions of nearly 600 different writers, and arranged in thirty-eight sub— divisions of subjects 1. In the third catalogue, the first subdivision contained the orthodox writers 2, to the number of fifty-three, with 836 Works or portions of their Works. Between Mencius and

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K'ung Chi, the grandson of Confucius, eight different authors have place. The second subdivision contained the Works of the Taoist school 1, amounting to 993 collections, from thirty-seven different authors. The sixth subdivision contained the Mohist writers 2, to the number of six, with their productions in 86 collections. I specify these two subdivisions, because they embrace the Works of schools or sects antagonistic to that of Confucius, and some of them still hold a place in Chinese literature, and contain many references to the five Classics, and t0 Confucius and his disciples.

10. The inquiry pursued in the above paragraphs conducts us to the conclusion that the materials from which the Classics, as they have come down to us, were compiled and edited in the two centuries preceding our Christian era, were genuine remains, going back to a still more remote period. The injury which they sustained from the dynasty of Ch'in was, I believe, the same in character as that to which they were exposed during all the time of ‘the Warring States.’ It may have been more intense in degree, but the constant warfare which prevailed for some centuries among the difi'erent states which composed the kingdom was eminently unfavourable to the cultivation of literature. Mencius tells us how the princes had made away with many of the records of antiquity, from which their own usurpations and innovations might have been condemned 5. Still the times were not unfruitful, either in scholars or statesmen, to whom the ways and monuments of antiquity were dear, and the space from the rise of the Ch'in dynasty to the death of Confucius was not very great. It only amounted to 258 years. Between these two periods Mencius stands as a connecting link. Born probably in the year B. o. 371, he reached, by the intervention of Kung Chi, back to the sage himself, and as his death happened B. c. 288, we are brought down to within nearly half a century of the Ch'in dynasty. From all these considerations we may proceed with confidence to consider each separate Work, believing that we have in these Classics and Books what the great sage of China and his disciples gave to their country more than 2000 years ago.

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1. When the work of collecting and editing the remains of the Classical Books was undertaken by the scholars of Han, there appeared two different copies of the Analects, one from Lil, the native State of Confucius, and the other from Ch'i, the State adjoining. Between these there were considerable differences. The former consisted of twenty Books or Chapters, the same as those into which the Classic is now divided. The latter contained two Books in addition, and in the twenty Books, which they had in common, the chapters and sentences were somewhat more numerous than in the Lil exemplar.

2. The names of several individuals are given, who devoted themselves to the study of those two copies of the Classic. Among the patrons of the Lil copy are mentioned the names of Hsia-hAu Shang, grand-tutor of the heir-apparent, who died at the age of 90, and in the reign of the emperor Hsiian (13.0. 7 3—49)‘ ; Hsiao Wang-chih 2, a general-officer, who died in the reign of the emperor Yi'ian (B.C. 48—3 3); Wei Hsien, who was premier of the empire from B. 0. 70—66 ; and his son Hsiian-ch'ang 3. As patrons of the Chi copy, we have Wang Ch'ing, who was a censor in the year B. C. 99‘; Yung Shang”; and Wang Chi 6, a statesman who died in the beginning of the reign of the emperor Yuan.

3. But a third copy of the Analects was discovered about 3.0. 150. One of the sons of the emperor Ching was appointed king of Lil" in the year B. c. 154, and some time after, wishing to enlarge his palace, he proceeded to pull down the house of the K'ung family, known as that where Confucius himself had lived.

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