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“The four Books" is an abbreviation for « The Books of the four Philosophers.” 8 The first is the Lun Yu,' or “Digested Conversations,” being occupied chiefly with the sayings of Confucius. He is the philosopher to whom it belongs. It appears in tliis Work under the title of “Confucian Analects." The second is the Ta Hëõ, 10 or “Great Learning," now commonly attributed to Tsăng Sin,11 a disciple of the sage. He is the philosopher of it. The third is the Chung Yung,12 or “Doctrine of the Mean," ascribed to Kung Keilı, 13 the grandson of Confucius. He is the philosopher of it. The fourth contains the works of Mencius.

3. This arrangement of the Classical Books, which is commonly supposed to have originated with the scholars of the Sumg dynasty, is defective. The Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mem are both found in the Record of Rites, being the forty-second and thirtyfirst Books respectively of that compilation, according to the usual arrangement of it.

4. The oldest enumerations of the Classical Books specify only the five king. The Yo Ke, or “Record of Music,"lt the remains of wlich now form one of the Books in the Le Ke, was sometimes added to those, making with them the six King. A division was also made into nine King, consisting of the Yih, the She, the Shoo, the Chow Le, 15 or “Ritual of Chow," the E Le, 16 or “ Ceremonial l'sages," the Le Ke, and the three annotated editions of the Ch'un Tsew, 17 by Tsokew Ming, 18 Kung-yang Kaou, 19 and Kuh Leang-ch'ih.20 In the famous compilation of the classical Books, undertaken by order of Tae-tsung, the second emperor of the Tang dynasty (B.C. 627– 649), and which appeared in the reign of his successor, there are · thirteen King ; viz., the Yih, the She, the Shoo, tlie three editions of the Ch'un Ts'en', the Le Ke, the Chow Le, the E Le, the Confucian Analects, the Urh Y:1,21 a sort of ancient dictionary, the Heaou King, 22 or “Classic of Filial Piety," and the works of Mencius.

5. A distinction, however, was made among the Works thus comprehended under the same common name, and Mencius, the Lun Yu, the Ta Höð, the Chung Yung, and the Heaou King were spoken of as the seaou King, or “smaller Classics." It thus appears, 四子之書,論語

10 * 11 tin tim. 12 ME 13 FL V. 14 * L. 15 16 M T 17 TK = 18 ti E V]. 194# 高 20 穀梁赤: 21 爾雅,2孝經

contrary to the ordinary opinion on the subject, that the Ta Höð and Chung Yung had been published as separate treatises before the Sung dynasty, and that the Four Books, ils distinguished from the greater King, had also previously found a place in the literature of China.23



1. This subject will be discussed in connection with each separate Work, and it is only designed here to exhibit generally the evidence on which the Chinese Classics claim to be received as genuine productions of the time to which they are referred.

2. In the memoirs of the Former Han dynasty (B.C. 201—A.D. 24), we have one chapter which we may call the History of Literature. 1 It commences thus:-"After the death of Confucius, 2 there was an end of his exquisite words; and when his seventy disciples had passed away, violence began to be done to their meaning. It came about that there were five different editions of the Ch'un Tsew, four of the She, and several of the Yih. Amid the disorder and collision of the warring States (13.C. 480–221), truth and falsehood were still more in a state of warfare, and a sad confusion marked the worls of the various scholars. Then came the calamity inflicted under the Ts in dynasty (1.C. 220–200), when the literary monuments were destroyed by fire, in order to keep the people in ignorance. But, by-and-by, there arose the Han dynasty, which set itself to remedy the evil wrought by the Ts-in. Great efforts were made to collect slips and tablets, and the way was thrown wide open for the bringing in of Books. In the time of the emperor Heaou-woo4 (B.C. 139–86), portions of Books being wanting and tablets lost, so that ceremonies and music were suffering great

23 For the statements in the two last paragraphs, sce 西河合集大學證文 4 —

前漢書,本志, 第十卷藝文志:仲尼,3篇籍-ship and tablets on bamboo, which supplied in those days the place of paper. 4 lit **ť

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damage, he was moved to sorrow, and said, 'I am very sad for this.' He therefore formed the plan of Repositories, in which the Books might be stored, and appointed officers to transcribe Books on an extensive scale, embracing the works of the various scholars, that they might all be placed in the Repositories. The emperor Shingó (B.c. 31-4), finding that a portion of the Books still continued dispersed or missing, commissioned Ch'in Nung, the superintendent of guests, to search for undiscovered Books throughout the empire, and by special edict ordered the chief of the Banqueting House, Lew Heang,7 to examine the classical Works, along with the commentaries on them, the writings of the scholars, and all poetical productions; the master-controller of infantry, Jin Hwang,' to examine the Books on the art of war; the grand historiographer, Yin Hëen, to examine the Books treating of the art of numbers (i.e., divination); and the imperial physician, Le Ch‘oo-kõ, 10 to examine the books on medicine. Whenever any Book was done with, Heang forth with arranged it, indexed it, and made a digest of it, which was presented to the emperor. While the undertaking was in pro. gress, Heang died, and the emperor Gae (B.C. 5-A.D.) appointed his son, Hin, 11 a inaster of the imperial carriages, to complete bis father's work. On this, Hin collected all the books, and presented a report of them, under seven divisions.”

The first of these divisions seems to have been a general catalogue, 12 containing perhaps only the titles of the works included in the other sis. The second embraced the classical Works. 13 From the abstract of it, which is preserved in the chapter referred to, we find that there were 294 collections of the Yih-king, from 13 different individuals or editors ;14 412 collections of the Shoo-king, from 9 different individuals ; 416 volumes of the She-king, from 6 different individuals ;16 of the Books of Rites, 555 collections, from 13

孝成皇帝,6調者陳農.7光祿大夫劉向.8步兵校 尉任宏太史令尹成 10 侍醫李柱國: 11 侍中奉車都 Hk 12 13 14. 14

ht=#=ūtu+Y How much of the whole Work was contained in each it is impossible for us to ascertain. P. Regis says :=" Pien, quemadmodum Gallice dicimus · des pieces d'eloquence, de poesie.” 15 zi,

BY T-t. The collections of the She-king are mentioned under the name of Keuen, "sections,'' portions.' Had p'een been used, it might have been understood of individual odes. This change of terms shows that by póëen in the other summaries, we are not to understand single blocks or chapters.

different individuals; of the Books on Music, 165 collections, from 6 different editors; 948 collections of History, under the heading of the Ch'un Ts'ew, from 23 different individuals; 229 collections of the Lun Yu, including the Analects and kindred fragments, from 12 different individuals; of the Heaou-king, embracing also the Urh Ya, and some other portions of the ancient literature, 59 collections, from 11 different individuals; and finally of the Lesser Learning, being works on the form of the characters, 45 collections, from 11 different individuals. The Works of Mencius were included in the second division, 16 among the Writings of what were deemed orthodox scholars, 17 of which there were 836 collections, from 53 different individuals.

3. The above important document is sufficient to show how the emperors of the Han dynasty, as soon as they had made good their possession of the empire, turned their attention to recover the ancient literature of the nation, the Classical Books engaging their first care, and how earnestly and effectively the scholars of the time responded to the wishes of their rulers. In addition to the facts specified in the preface to it, I may relate that the ordinance of the Ts'in dynasty against possessing the Classical Books (with the exception, as will appear in its proper place, of the Yih-king) was repealed by the second sovereign of the Han, the emperor Heaou Hwuy, 18 in the 4th year of his reign, B.C. 190, and that a large portion of the Shoo-king was recovered in the time of the third emperor, B.C. 178–156, while in the year B.C. 135, a special Board was constituted, consisting of literati who were put in charge of the five King. 19

4. The collections reported on by Lew Hin suffered damage in the troubles which began A.D. 8, and continued till the rise of the second or eastern Han dynasty in the year 25. The founder of it (A.D. 25–57) zealously promoted the undertaking of his predecessors, and additional repositories were required for the books which were collected. His successors, the emperors, Heaou-ming20 (58–75), Heaou-chang21 (76–88), and Heaou-hwo22 (89–105), took a part themselves in the studies and discussions of the literary tribunal,

16 諸子略: 17 儒家者流: 18 孝惠皇帝:19 武帝建元五 年,初置五經博士.20 顯宗孝明皇帝:21 肅宗孝章皇帝 22 # # niti

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and the emperor Heaou-ling, 23 between the years 172-178, lad the text of the five King, as it had been fixed, cut in slabs of stone, in characters of three different forms.

5. Since the Han, the successive dynasties have considered the literary monuments of the country to be an object of their special care. Many of them have issued editions of the classics, enibodying the commentaries of preceding generations. No dynasty bas distinguished itself more in this line than the


possessors of the Empire. In fine, the evidence is complete that the Classical Books of China have come down from at least a century before our Christian era, substantially the same as we have them at present.

6. But it still remains to inquire in what condition we may suppose the Books were, when the scholars of the Han dynasty commenced their labours upon them. They acknowledge that the tablets—we cannot here speak of manuscripts—were mutilated and in disorder. Was the injury which they had received of such an extent that all the care and study put forth on the small remains would be of little use? This question can be answered satisfactorily, only by an examination of the evidence which is adduced for the text of each particular Classic; but it can be made apparent that there is nothing, in the nature of the case, to interfere with our believing that the materials were sufficient to enable the scholars to execute the work intrusted to them.

7. The burning of the ancient Books by order of the founder of the Ts'in dynasty is always referred to as the greatest disaster which they sustained, and with this is coupled the slaughter of many of the Literati by the same monarch.

The account which we have of these transactions in the Historical Records is the following :24

“ In his 34th year,” (the 34th year, that is, after he had ascended the throne of Ts'in. It was only the 8th after he had been acknow ledged Sovereign of the empire, coinciding with B.c. 212), the emperor, returning from a visit to the south, which had extended as far as Yuě, gave a feast in the palace of Heen-yang, when the Great

23 *TTI 24 I have thought it well to endeavour to translate the whole of the passages. Father de Mailla merely constructs from them a narrative of his own; see L'Histoire Generale de la Chine, tome II., PP. 399-402. The ih Navoils the difficulties of the original by giving an abridgment of it.

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