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When the author, in 1867, published “The Life and Teachings of Confucius,” he intimated that it would be followed by the present volume," as soon as the publisher should feel authorized by public encouragement to go forward with the undertaking.” It was not long till the publisher gave him notice that he was ready to go to press with an edition of Mencius, which might therefore have appeared in 1868. By that tiine, however, the author was occupied with the fourth and fifth volumes of his larger Work, containing the ancient poetry of China, and the history of the feudal kingdom of Chow from B.c. 721 to 480; and it was not till towards the end of 1872 that the publication of the fifth volume was completed.
The author then began to take Mencius in hand, and to give the translation and notes in the second volume of his larger Work a careful revision. That was published in 1861, and, as a result of his studies during the intervening years, he saw that some improvement might be effected in his earlier labours. He therefore wrote out afresh the translation of the seven Books of Mencius, and the notes also with a special view to their suitability to an edition of the Chinese philosopher for general readers. The volume thus prepared is now submitted to the Public.
In the preface to the former volume the author referred to a re-publication of his translation of the Chinese Works contained in it in the United States, and mentioned that the appearance of that re-publication was a principal reason why his publisher had asked him to issue a popular edition of the Chinese Classics in his own name. The title-page of the volume, moreover, says ex