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scended till they came to him. Confucius, Mencius, and perhaps some of their disciples, were peripatetic philosophers. That system of lectures, or traveling teachers, has been, in some respects, adopted in our country during recent years. Throughout China, at the present time, there are professional readers, who go about from place to place ; and wherever an audience can be gathered, they read or chant portions of the ancient histories or of the odes. They are paid by voluntary contributions.
Our selections from the Four Books, as stated in the Preface, are from Dr. Legge's translation; and in transferring them we have followed his copy; the rendering, the italics, and the pointing are his. The italics generally, but not quite universally, designate such words as had to be supplied in order to give a smooth rendering into English.
In our choice of matter we have aimed to take such as might easily be comprehended by the general reader; but we are aware that many admirers of the Four Books will be disappointed in not finding some passages which they have regarded as remarkable for beauty and force. We confess that we have left undisturbed many portions as full of excellence as any we have taken; sometimes because we had already selected sufficient to give the author's view on a given subject, and sometimes because the passage, in order to be appreciated, needed a closer study than the general reader might be willing to devote to it; and even with some of the sentences which we have quoted this is the case ; a careful reading is necessary in order to come at the full meaning of the author.
One feature of Chinese composition is its sententious
style-laconic expressions; and the beauty and force of these are often greatly marred, if not entirely spoiled, by a translation. Especially is this true concerning the translation of their proverbs and maxims. Were we to make any criticism on the translation before us, we would
say that it is put into too good English. A translation following the Chinese idiom more closely, and using fewer words, would often have presented the idea with more energy and point.
The ancient emperors Yaou, and Shun, and Yu are often mentioned. The reader will refresh his mind as to who they were by referring back to the historical sketch. Without denying that they were real personages, yet doubtless the Chinese sages, considering their vocation as teachers, took some license, and embellished their characters somewhat, clothing these individuals with attributes which, in their estimation, perfectly wise and good emperors ought to possess; and having thus clothed them they held them up for imitation, and in all their exhortations to kings and princes referred to what the divine rulers of ancient times said and did.
Students in the Chinese language may perhaps be annoyed in finding in different parts of the volume so many systems of pronunciation and spelling. This arises from the fact that our quotations are from translations made by men of different nationalities, at different times, and living in different parts of the Chinese empire. Except where there has been an obvious mistake or misprint, we have transferred the passage in the translator's own style of spelling and pronunciation.
In order to present the sayings of the sages grouped together under their appropriate heads, we are aware
that occasionally passages will occur, one part of which may appear to belong to one chapter, the other part to another chapter ; but considering the object we have had in view, our friends amongst the Chinese critics will forgive this seeming violence done to the text.
THE LUN YU, OR CONFUCIAN ANALECTS.
As arranged in the Four Books in the Chinese, the Lun Yu is the third in order, between the Chung Yung and Mencius; but we see no important objection to following here the order chosen by Dr. Legge in his translation.
The Analects are discourses and dialogues ; that is, discourses and discussions of Confucius with his disciples and others on various topics, and his replies to their inquiries. There are, however, in the book many sayings of the disciples themselves.
The account given of this book is, that after the death of the sage his disciples collected together, and compared the memoranda of his conversations which they had severally preserved, and then digested and arranged them, and gave them the title of Lun Yu, or Digested Conversations.
WHAT THE DISCIPLES OF CONFUCIUS SAY
OF THEIR MASTER.
Tsze-k'in asked Tsze-kung, saying, “When our Master comes to any country, he does not fail to learn all about its Government. Does he ask his information, or is it given to him ?”
Tsze-kung said, “Our Master is benign, upright, courteous, temperate, and complaisant, and thus he gets his information. The Master's mode of asking information! Is it not different from that of other men ?”
Some one said, “Who will say that the son of the man of Tsow knows the rules of propriety? He has entered the grand temple, and asks about everything."
The Master heard the remark, and said, “There is a rule of propriety."
When the Master was in Ch'in, he said, “Let me return! Let me return! The little children of my school are ambitious and too hasty. They are accomplished and complete so far, but they do not know how to restrict and shape themselves.*
When the Master was unoccupied with business, his manner was easy, and he looked pleased.
* Confucius was thrice in Ch'in. It must have been the third time, when he thus expressed himself. He was then over sixty years, and being convinced that he was not to see for himself the triumph of his principles, he became the more anxious about their transmission.
When the Master was eating by the side of a mourner, he never ate to the full.
He did not sing on the same day in which he had been weeping.
The things in reference to which the Master exercised the greatest caution were—fasting, war, and sickness.
The Master's frequent themes of discourse were—the odes, the history, and the maintenance of the rules of propriety. On all these he frequently discoursed.
The subjects on which the Master did not talk were -extraordinary things, feats of strength, disorder, and spiritual beings.
The Master said, “Heaven produced the virtue that is in me.
Hwan T’uy—what can he do to me?” “Do you think, my disciples, that I have any concealments ? I conceal nothing from you. There is nothing which I do that is not shown to you, my disciples ;—that is my way."
There were four things which the Master taught-letters, ethics, devotion of soul, and truthfulness. When the Master was in
with a person who was singing, if he sang well he would make him repeat the song, while he accompanied it with his own voice.
The Master said, “The sage and the man of perfect virtue ;-how dare I rank myself with him? It may simply be said of me, that I strive to become such without satiety, and teach others without weariness.” Kung-se Hwa said, “This is just what we, the disciples, cannot imitate you in."
The Master being very sick, Tsze-loo asked leave to pray for him. He said, “May such a thing be done?” Tsze-loo replied, “It may. In the prayers it is said,