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Entered according to Act of Congress, A. D. 1867, by

A. ROMAN & COMPANY,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the

District of California.

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PREFACE.

RECENTLY there has been an unusual call for books on China. The increasing commerce between this country and that ancient and wealthy kingdom has attracted the attention of all intelligent men of business, while the close proximity of our western coast to China has awakened a desire among a large portion of our people to gain a more thorough acquaintance with our neighbors : especially has this been found to be the case since the establishment of the line of mail steamers by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, by which both commerce and travel are destined to be greatly augmented. The presence of many

Chinamen in our own country is another reason for the strong desire that has been observed to obtain books which may enable one better to understand the character, social habits, and religious beliefs of this strange people.

To meet all these demands, a Book Firm of this city

has spared no pains or expense to bring together as complete a collection of works on China as was possible. Such as were not to be obtained at home have been ordered from abroad; and among the publications so collected-chief among them, we may say—are the first four of a work, which, when complete, will consist of fourteen thick octavo volumes, which, when finished, will be a translation of all the Chinese classics. In them are given both the original Chinese text and the English translation; having copious notes in English, with Chinese characters interspersed.

While these volumes are a rare literary curiosity, and of immense value to every student in the Chinese language and literature, yet the price at which they are offered holds them far above the reach of the mass of readers. We hope, however, as these volumes shall successively appear, they may be honored with a place on the shelves of most of our public libraries: the libraries of all literary institutions ought by all means to possess them.

Because this work contains a vast amount of valuable and interesting matter which should in some form be laid before the public, the compiler of this book has been urged to undertake the work, the result of which he herewith offers to the reader.

A large portion of this volume consists of extracts from the famous Four Books of Confucius and his disci

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