תמונות בעמוד
PDF

sionary labours, consequent on the breaking out of hostilities in the end of 1856, was favourable to retired and literary work, and he immediately set about preparing some of his materials for the press. A necessary visit to England in 1857, which kept him absent from the colony for eighteen months, proved a serious interruption, but i the first-fruits of his labours are now in a state to be presented to the public.’

The preface to the former edition of this volume, when it was published at Hongkong in 1861, commenced with the preceding paragraphs. The author has thought it desirable to reproduce them, as giving an account of the first conception in his mind of his labour on the Chinese Classics, and of the circumstances under which his earlier volumes were published.

Though Mr. Joseph J ardine died before the publication of the first volume, the assistance given by him was continued with equal generosity by his brother, now Sir Robert J ardine, Baronet, until the second and third volumes had been published, and also during the preparation of the fourth and ,fifth volumes.

Soon after the publication of the fifth Volume, which contained, besides the translation of the Confucian Text, a version of all the notes and additions to it in the voluminous Work of Tso Ch‘iu-ming, the author was obliged to return to this country in 1873; but since he was appointed to his present position in the University here, translations of the Hsiao-ching, the Yi-ching, and the Li Chi, have been contributed by him to the series of ‘The Sacred Books of the East,’ which has been issued from the Clarendon Press since 1879. He has thus done for the Confucian Classicsmore than he contemplated in 1861. He then undertook to produce versions of what are called ‘The Four Books’ and ‘The Five King (Ching),’ and added that ‘if life and health were spared’ he would like to give a supplementary volume or two, so as to embrace all the Books in the collection of ‘ The Thirteen Ching,’ which began to appear under the Tang dynasty in our seventh century. He has translated ten of those Books, including the extensive Work of Tso Ch‘ifi-ming mentioned above. Other scholars have also done their part. M. Edouard Biot, the younger, indeed, had published at Paris in 1851 his translation of ‘Le Cheou Li,’ the Rites, or the Oflicial Book, of the dynasty of Chain, under which Confucius lived; and in the present year Professor C. de Harlez, of Louvaine, has given to the world a version of the other great Ritual work, the l Li.

[graphic]

Thus all the ‘Thirteen Ching' of China have been made accessible to scholars of the West, excepting the Urh Ya, which has been named ‘The Literary Expositor,’ a lexical work, the precursor of the dictionaries which Chinese literature possesses in abundance.

To return to the volume of which a revised edition is now submitted to the public, the author would state that 1200 copies of it were printed in 1861. These were exhausted several years ago, and many calls for a new edition have come to him from China, to which only other engagements have prevented his responding sooner. So far as typographical execution is concerned, this edition ought to excel the former very much. Other improvements will also be discovered. The author has carefully gone over the text of the translation and notes. He is glad to have found occasion but rarely for correction and alteration of the former. He thought indeed at one time of recasting the whole version in a He determined, however, on reflection to let it stand as it first occurred to him, his object having always been faithfulness to the original Chinese rather than Not that he is indifferent to the value of an elegant and idiomatic rendering in the language of the translation, and he hopes that he was able to combine in a considerable degree correctness of interpretation and acceptableness of style. He has to thank many friends whose Chinese scholarship is widely acknowledged for assuring him of this.

He has seen it objected to his translations that they were modelled on the views of the great critic and philosopher of the Sung dynasty, the well-known Chu Hsi. He can only say that he commenced and has carried on his labours with the endeavour to search out the meaning for himself, independent of all commentators. He soon became aware, however, of the beauty and strength of Chfi’s style, the correctness of his analysis, and the comprehen

terser and more pretentious style.

grace of composition.

sion and depth of his thought. That his own views of passages generally coincide with those of ‘ The Old Man of the Cloudy Valley' should be accepted, he submits, as complimentary to him rather than the reverse.

While this volume now reappears with few alterations of translation, it will be found that the alterations in the representation of proper names and names of Chinese characters generally are very many. The method adopted in it for the transliteration of their sounds may be considered as a compromise between that proposed by Sir Thomas F. Wade in his Hsin Ching Lfi and that with which the author has become familiar through his work in connexion with ‘ The Sacred Books of the East.’ The principal differences in the two transliterations are a for e, an for on, 2 for j, ze for zfi, 'r for urh, and w for u. He has also given up attempting to reproduce in the notes and in the seventh Appendix the names and tones of the Southern Mandarin dialect, and has endeavoured to confine himself to the tones as given in the Hsin Ching Lu.

J. L.
OXFORD, December, 1892.

« הקודםהמשך »