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Ancient China Simplified by Edward Harper Parker

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tribe of the west, as the founder of the Chou dynasty in 1122 B.C.
himself showed when he addressed his neighbours and allies, the
eight other states of the west, and exhorted them, as equals, to
assist him in the conquest of China. It was only in 771 B.C. that
the original Chou appanage (since 1122 the western half of the
imperial appanage) had been ceded to Ts'in, which in 984 was a
petty state, still of the "adjunct-function" (_cf._ page 144)
type, and not "sovereign." In 984 there was no intermediate
sovereign "power" between the Emperor and the Tartars, with whom,
in fact, he had been directly engaged in war independently of
Ts'in. He was as much under Tartar social influences as was Ts'in:
in fact, the Chou principality, under the Shang dynasty, was a
sort of first edition of Ts'in principality under the Chou
dynasty. Just as in 1122 B.C. Chou ousted Shang as the imperial
house, so in 221 B.C. Ts'in definitely replaced Chou.

2. If Duke Muh distinguished himself by Tartar conquests, so did
the Emperor Muh before him, and the authorities are all agreed on
this point.

3. If in 984 B.C. the long-standing orthodox Chinese literary
capacity was unequal to this effort, how is it that semi-barbarous
Ts'in, the least literary of all the states (not only Chinese, but
also half-Chinese), into which state records had only been
introduced at all in 753 B.C., was able to compose such a book;
or, if not to write the book, then to dictate so sustained and
connected a story? Besides, the Emperor Muh left several
inscriptions carved on stone during the progress of his travels.

4. The instances M. Chavannes cites of the tombs of Y and Shun in
South China, as being parallel instances of appropriation by
orthodox Chinese of semi-Chinese traditions have already been put
to quite another use above, as tending to show, on the contrary,
that those two Emperors either came from the south, or had
ancestral traditions in the south; (see pp. 138,191).

5. Finally, about a third of the Travels is taken up with a
description of the incestuous intrigue with Lady _Ki_, and of
her sumptuous ritual funeral. Why should Duke Muh trouble himself
about the rites due to members of the Ki family, to which the
Emperor belonged, but he himself did not? Why should the warlike
Duke Muh (who had just then been recommended by an adviser (an ex-
Chinese, since become a Tartar) to adopt simple Tartar ways
instead of worrying himself with the Odes and the Book "as _the
Chinese did_") waste his time in pomp and ritual? ( see p.
180). Again, when, as the Travels tell us, various vassal rulers
from orthodox China (even so far as Shan Tung in the extreme east)
arrived to pay their respects to the Emperor as their liege-lord,
how is it possible to suppose that these orthodox counts and
barons would come to pay court to a semi-barbarian count (for that
was all he was) like Duke Muh (as he is posthumously called), one
of their equals, a man who took no part in the durbar affairs, and
who, on account of his human sacrifices, was not even thought fit
to become an emergency Protector of China? What could the semi-
Tartar ruler of Ts'in have known of all these wearisome
refinements in pomp, mourning, and music? Once more, the place the
Emperor started from and came back to, though part of _his_
appanage in 984 B.C. and possessing an ancestral Chou temple, was
not part of the Ts'in dominions in 650 B.C., and never possessed a
Ts'in temple: if not independent, it was at that time a bone of
contention between Ts'in and Ts'u, and by no means a safe place
for equipping pleasure expeditions. Finally, if it is marvellous
that the Chou Annals of Sz-ma Ts'ien do not give full details of
the voyage, is it not at least equally marvellous that the Ts'in
Annals should not mention it in 650 B.C., when M. Chavannes
supposes it took place, whilst they do so mention it under 984
B.C., when he thinks it did not take place? All accounts agree
that the ancestor of Ts'in (named) was there with the Emperor as
charioteer; he was, as we have seen, equally ancestor of Chao, and
the Chao Annals of Sz-ma Ts'ien say exactly what the Ts'in Annals
say.

Hence we may gratefully accept Professor Chavannes' most
illuminating proofs, so far as they tend to show that the Travels
of the Emperor Muh are genuine history for a tour no farther than
the middle Tarim Valley; but, so far as Duke Muh of Ts'in is
concerned, he must be eliminated from all consideration of the
matter, and we must ascribe the tour, as the Chinese do, to the
Emperor Muh. Lastly, are there any _proved_ instances of such
radical tamperings with history by the Chinese annalists as M.
Chavannes suggests? I do not know of any; and such superficial
tamperings as there are the Chinese critics always expose, _cote_
que _cote_, even though Confucius himself be the tamperer.

CHAPTER XXXVI

ANCIENT JAPAN

The development of China is not only elucidated by documents and
events probably antecedent to the strictly historical period, such
as the supposed voyage of an Emperor to the Far West, but it is
also made easier to understand when we consider its possible
indirect effects upon Japan. The barbarian kingdom of Wu does not
really appear in Chinese history at all, even by name, until the
year 585 B.C. It was found then that it had traditions of its own,
and a line of kings extending back to the beginning of the Chou
dynasty (1122 B.C.), and even farther beyond. In 585 B.C. the new
King, Shou-mng, hitherto an unknown and obscure vassal of Ts'u,
altogether beyond the ken of orthodox China, felt quite strong
enough, as we have seen in Chapter VII., to strike out an
independent line of his own. It is a singular thing that, when the
Japanese set about constructing a nomenclature (on Chinese
posthumous lines) for their newly discovered back history in the
eighth century A.D., they should have fixed upon exactly this year
585 B.C. for the death of their supposed first Mikado Jimmu (i.e.
_Shn-wu_, the "divinely martial"). The next three Kings of
Wu, all of whom, like himself, bore dissyllabic and meaningless
barbarian names, were sons of Shou-mng, and a fourth son was the
cultured Ki-chah, who visited orthodox China several times, both
as a spy and in order to improve himself. Then follow two sons of
the last and first, respectively, of the said three brothers. The
second of these royal cousins was killed in battle, and his son
Fu-ch'ai vowed a terrible, vengeance against Ts'u, whose capital
he subsequently took and sacked in 506 B.C. Now appears upon the
scene his own vassal, Yiieh, and at first Wu gets the best of it
in battle. Bloodthirsty wars follow between the two, full of
picturesque and convincing detail, until at last the King of
Yiieh, in turn, has the King of Wu at his mercy; but he was,
though a barbarian, magnanimously disposed, and accordingly he
offered Fu-ch'ai the island of Chusan (so well known to us on
account of our troops having occupied it in 1840) and three
hundred married families to keep him company. But Fu-ch'ai was too
proud to accept this Elba, the more especially so because he had
it on his conscience that he had been acting throughout against
the earnest advice of his faithful minister (a Ts'u renegade),
whom he had put to death for his frankness. This adviser as he
perished had cried out: "Don't forget to pluck my eyes out and
stick them on the east gate, so that I may witness the entry of
the Yiieh troops!" He therefore committed suicide, first veiling
his face because, as he said: "I have no face to offer my adviser
when I meet him in the next world; if, on the other hand, the dead
have no knowledge, then it does not matter what I do." After the
beginning of our Christian era, when the direct communication
between Japan (overland _vi_ Corea) and China (also by sea
to Wu) was first officially noticed by the historians, it was
recorded by the Chinese annalists that part of Fu-ch'ai's personal
following had escaped in ships towards the east, and had founded a
state in Japan. But it must not be forgotten that then (473 B.C.)
orthodox China had never yet heard of Japan in any form, though of
course it is possible that the maritime states of Wu and Yiieh may
have had junk intercourse with many islands in the Pacific.

We have already ventured upon a few remarks upon this subject in
Chapter XXIII., but so much is apt to be made out of slight
historical materials-such, for instance, as the pleasure
expedition of a Chinese emperor in 984 B.C. to the Tarim Valley--
that it may be useful to suggest the true proportions, and the
modest possible bearing of this "Japanese" migration--assuming the
slender record of it to be true; and the basis of truth is by no
means a broad one; still less is it capable of sustaining a heavy
superstructure.

Any one visiting Japan will notice that there are several distinct
types of men in that country, the squat and vulgar, the oval-faced
and refined, and many variations of these two; just as, in
England, we have the Norman, Saxon, Irish, and Scotch types of
face, with many other _nuances_. It is also clear from the
kitchen-midden and other prehistoric remains; from the presence,
even now, in Japan of the bearded Ainus (a word meaning in their
own language "men"); and from the numerous accounts of Ainu-
Japanese wars in both Chinese and Japanese history, that there
were (as there still are) manners, and possibly yet other men, in
ancient Japan, both very different from the manners and appearance
of the cultured and gifted race, viewed as a homogeneous whole, we
are now so proud to have as our political allies. But that brings
us no nearer a historical solution, It is a persistent way with
all ethnologists to search out whence this or that race came. Of
course all races move and mingle, and must always have moved and
mingled, when by so doing they could better their circumstances of
life; but even if movement has taken place in Japan as it has
elsewhere, there is no reason why, if comparatively uncivilized
Japanese displaced Ainus, Ainus should not have, before that,
displaced quite uncivilized Japanese; or, if other races came over
the seas to displace the people already there, the natives already
there should not have, later on, ejected these new-comers by sea
routes.

In other words, it is quite futile (unless we can lay hands on
definite objects, or definite facts recorded--even definite
traditions) to try and account for hypothetical movements in
prehistoric times. We are totally ignorant of early Teutonic,
Hungarian, and Celtic movements-though, thanks solely to Chinese
records, we are pretty certain, within defined limits, about early
Turkish movements. How much more, then, must we be ignorant about
the Japanese movements? If "people" must have come from somewhere,
whence did these arrivals start, and why should they not go back;
or why not meet other movers going to the place whence they
themselves started? If we are to accept the only historical
records or quasi-records we possess at all, that is, the Chinese
records, then we must accept them for what they are worth on the
face of them, and neither add to nor mutilate them; imperfect
things that do exist are necessarily better than imaginary things
that might have existed in their place. A few hundred families at
most, we are told, escaped; and if it be true that they went
intentionally to Japan, it is probable that the expert Wu sailors
(none existed elsewhere in China) had already for long known the
way thither, or to Quelpaert and Tsushima, which practically means
to both Corea and Japan; in fact, if they sailed east from Ningpo,
there is no other place to knock up against, even if the special
intention were not there. Everything tends to show that Fu-ch'ai,
though perhaps a barbarian in 473 B.C., was of orthodox if remote
pedigree dating from 1200 B.C., and that the ruling class of Wu
was very different from the "barbarians" by whom (as we are
specifically told) Wu was surrounded; the situation was like that
of the Egyptians and Phoenicians, like Cecrops and Cadmus, amongst
the earliest barbarous Greeks. It amounts, then, to this, that,
just as Chinese colonies and adventurers emerged under the stress
of increased population, or under the impulses of curiosity,
tyranny, and ambition, to found states in Ts'u, Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i,
Lu, Wu, Yeh, and other places round the central nucleus, so (they
being the sole possessors of that magic _POWER_, "records")
other parties would from time to time sally forth either from the
same orthodox centre, or from the semi-orthodox places surrounding
that centre, to still remoter spots, such as, for instance, Corea,
Japan, Formosa, Annam, Burma, Tibet, and Yiin Nan. Fu-ch'ai's
surviving friends had indeed a very lively stimulus indeed-the
fear of instant death-to drive them tumultuously over the seas;
and doubtless, as they must have been perfectly harmless after
tossing about hungry in open boats for weeks together, they would
be as welcome to the Japanese king, or to the petty chief or
chiefs who received the waifs, as in our own times was the honest
sailor Will Adams when he drifted friendless to Japan, and whose
statue now adorns a great Japanese city as that of a man who was,
in a humble way, also a "civilizer" of Japan (600 A.D.).
Doubtless, many Wu words, or Chinese words as then pronounced in
Wu, had already been brought over by fishermen; but here at last
was a great haul of (possibly) books and the way to interpret
them; at least there was a great haul of the best class of the Wu
ruling folk. It is true that the first Japanese envoys who came to
China made as much of their Wu "origin" as they could; firstly,
because it probably paid them as traders to do so; secondly,
because it necessarily gave them a respectable status in China;
and, thirdly, because they were, in the first century of our era,
gradually beginning to understand the mystic power of the Chinese
written character, and they would therefore naturally take an
intense interest in all records, rumours, traditions, and fables
about themselves, which they would embellish and "confirm"
whenever it suited their interests to do so. Which of us does not
begin to furbish up his pedigree when he is made a peer of the
realm?

As to the bulk of the Japanese race, be it mixed or unmixed, it is
surely in the main to be found now where it always was, or close
by? It is no more depreciating to early Japan to give her a
dynasty of Chinese adventurers, or perhaps to give her only
hereditary Chinese advisers and scribes, than it is derogatory to
the states of Europe to possess dynasties which belong by their
origin, as a general rule, to almost any place but the countries
they now govern as sovereigns. As to the ancient chiefs or kings
of Japan, some of their genuine native names may have been
preserved in the memories of men; whether they were or not, they
were, even without records, as "ancient" chiefs as the best
recorded chiefs of Egypt, Babylonia, or China; and it must be
remembered that Egyptian and Babylonian records were non-existent
to us for all practical purposes during many thousands of years,
until we recently discovered how to read them: that is to say,
what was once no history at all--the present condition of the
prehistoric races of High Asia--suddenly becomes history when we
find the records and know how to read them.

When, a few centuries later on, the Japanese had begun thoroughly
to understand Chinese books, they decided to have an historical
outfit of their own; they took what vague traditions they had,
and, in the absence of any long-forgotten genuine records, or
visible remains having part of the effect of records, simply
fitted on to their heroes, real or imaginary, the Chinese
posthumous system, and a selection of the historical facts
recorded about the Chinese. Even the Emperor Muh in China was not
so named until he died. If a man can be given a complimentary
title three years after death (that was the Chinese rule at
first), why not give it him 300 years after his death? The king or
chief hitherto known, whether accurately or not, whether honestly
or not, as X, had most certainly existed; that is, the tenth
great-grandfather of the reigning prince; the ninth, eighth, and
so on; must positively have been there at some remote period of
the past. By calling him Jimmu (a Chinese emperor had already been
posthumously so called) he is none the less there than he was
before he was called Jimmu, and his new title therefore does not
make him less of an entity than he was before. And so on with all
the other Japanese emperors who, in the eighth century A.D., were
similarly provided with imaginary names. Possibly this is how the
Japanese argued with themselves when they set about the task. The
situation is a curious one, and perhaps unique in the world; but
it does not matter much (as suggested in Chapter XXXI.) so long as
we keep imagination separate from real evidence.

CHAPTER XXXVII

ETHICS

We propose to say a few words now about peculiar customs which had
vogue all over or in certain parts of China; of course some of
them may be traced back to the "Rites of Chou," and to what is
prescribed therein; but general administrative schemes representing
in general terms things as they ought to be, or as the Chou federal
and feudal oligarchy would have liked them to be, do not give us
such a life-like picture of ancient China as specific accounts of
definite events which really did happen. Take, for instance, the
peculiar formalities connected with abject surrender.

After a great defeat in 699 B.C., just when Ts'u was beginning to
emerge from its narrow confines between the Han and Yang-tsz
Rivers, the defeated Ts'u generals had themselves bound in
fetters, or with ropes, in order to await their king's pleasure.
In 654, when Ts'u had one of the small orthodox states (in the Ho
Nan nucleus) at its mercy, the baron presented himself with his
hands tied behind, a piece of jade in his mouth, followed by his
suite in mourning, carrying his coffin. It is evident that at this
date Ts'u was still "barbarous," for the king had to ask what it
all meant. It was explained to him that, when the Chou founder
conquered China, and mutilated the last Shang dynasty emperor,
that emperor's elder brother by an inferior mother had presented
himself before the founder half naked, with his hands tied behind
his back, his left hand leading a ram (or goat), and his right
carrying sedge for wrapping round the sacrificial victim; he was
enfeoffed as Duke of Sung. In 537 the same thing happened to a
later King of Ts'u in connection with another petty principality,
and the king had to be reminded of the 654 precedent. Thus there
must have been records of some kind in Ts'u at an early date. In
645 B.C., when the ruler of Ts'in took prisoner his brother-in-
law, the ruler of Tsin, and was seriously contemplating the
annexation of Tsin, together with the duty of discharging Tsin
sacrifices, his own sister, with bare feet, wearing mourning, and
bound with a mourning belt, intercedes successfully for her
husband. In 597 B.C. the ruler of the important orthodox state of
Cheng went through the form of dragging along, with the upper part
of his own body uncovered, a ram or goat into the presence of the
King of Ts'u. In 511, when the ruler of Lu had to fly the country
and throw himself upon the generosity of Tsin, in order to escape
from the dangerous machinations of the intriguing great families
of Lu, the six Tsin statesmen (who were themselves at that moment,
as heads of great private clans, gradually undermining their own
prince's rights) sent for the arch-intriguer, and called upon him
to explain his conduct. At that time Lu was coquetting between its
two powerful neighbours, Tsin and Ts'i. The conspirator duly
presented himself before the Areopagus of Tsin grandees, barefoot
and attired in common cloth (_i.e._ not of silk, but of hemp), in order
to explain to them the circumstances of the duke's exile: it is
characteristic of the times, and also of the frankness of history, to
find it added that he succeeded in bribing the grandees to give an
unjust decision. When the Kings of Yeh and Wu were in turn at
each other's mercy, in 494 and 473 respectively, their envoys, in
offering submission, in each case advanced to the conqueror "walking
on the knees," with bust bared: this knee-walking suggests Annamese,
Siamese, and possibly Japanese forms rather than Chinese. The Wu
servants at dinner are said to have "waited" on their knees. The third
and last August Emperor in 207 submitted to the conquering Han
dynasty seated in an unadorned chariot, drawn by a white horse
(with signs of mourning), carrying his seal-sash round his neck
(figurative of hanging or strangling himself), and offered the seals of
the Son of Heaven to the Prince of Han.

Something has already been said about the rules of succession in
Ts'u and Ts'in. When the Duke of Sung just mentioned died, in 1078
B.C., he was succeeded by his younger brother because his own son
was dead; this was in accordance with the Shang dynasty's ritual
laws. Even the Warrior King himself, founder of the Chou dynasty,
was not the eldest son of his father, the (posthumously) Civilian
King; the latter had set aside the elder of the two sons; and it
will be remembered that, several generations before that, two of
the royal Chou brothers had voluntarily retired to colonize the Wu
Jungle country, in order that their younger brother, father of the
future Civilian King, might succeed to the then extremely limited
vassal state of Chou. Later on, in 729, a Duke of Sung on his
death-bed bequeathed the succession to his younger brother instead
of to his own son, on the ground that the rule is, "son to father,
younger to elder brother"--a "universal rule" approved by Mencius
in later times. The younger brother in this case thrice refused
the kingly crown, but at last accepted, and Confucius in his
history censures the act, which, it is considered, contributed to
Sung's ultimate downfall. (It must be remembered that Confucius'
ancestors were themselves of royal Sung extraction.) In 652 the
younger brother by the superior spouse wished, at his father's
death-bed, to cede his right to the succession of Sung to his
elder brother by an inferior wife; the dying father commended the
spirit, but forbade the proposed sacrifice of prior right, and the
elder therefore served the younger as counsellor. In 493 a Duke of
Sung, irritated on account of his eldest son having left the
country, nominated a younger son as successor, and after his death
his wife confirmed by decree her late husband's nomination; but
the younger brother firmly declined, on the ground that the rule
of succession was a fixed one, and that he was unworthy to perform
the sacrifices to the gods of the land and grain. It is a curious
coincidence that the question of status in wives affects the
present rulers of both China and Japan. Though the dowager was
Empress-Mother, she always ceded the pas to the senior dowager,
who had no children. And as to the Mikado's mother, who died last
October, she was, it seems, never officially considered as an
Empress.

In 817 B.C. the Emperor himself is censured by history for having,
"contrary to rule," wished to set up as ruler of Lu a second son
in preference to the elder son; he repeated the act in 796, as has
already been explained in Chapter XX., when a few other instances
were cited to illustrate the general rule in China. At this time
the waning power of the emperors still evidently flickered. In
608, through the meddlesome political interference of Ts'i, a
concubine's son succeeded to the Lu throne in preference to the
legitimate wife's son; curiously enough, the legitimate wife was a
Ts'i princess. The result of this irregularity was that the "three
powerful families" of Lu (themselves descendants of the ruling
family) grew restless, and the state began to decline. On the
death of a King of Ts'u in 516, it was proposed to put on the
throne, instead of the king's young son, the king's younger
brother by an inferior mother, on the ground that the mother of
the young son in question was the wife obtained from Ts'in by the
king for marriage to his eldest son (who had since joined the
king's enemies), which young lady the king had subsequently
decided to marry himself. Even under this irregular and
complicated family tangle, the proposed succession was disapproved
by the counsellors, on the ground that irregular successions
invariably produced trouble in the state. In the year 450 B.C. the
ruler of Ts'i insisted, against advice, on the succession of a
younger son by a favourite concubine in preference to his elder
sons by superior mothers, including the first and most dignified
spouse. But here, again, the powerful families intervened; one of
the elder sons, who had fled to Lu, was brought back secretly in a
sack; the wrongful successor was murdered, and the "powerful
family" which took the lead in state affairs soon afterwards, to
the horror of Confucius, by intrigue and by further assassination,
secured the Ts'i throne for itself. It will thus be noticed that
all the great states except Ts'in had their full share of
succession troubles.

There were several customs practised in warfare which are worthy
of short notice. In 633 B.C. a Ts'u general, in the interests of
discipline, flogged several military men, and "had the ears of
others pierced by arrows, according to military regulation." In
639 this same king had sent as a present to some princesses of
other states, who had congratulated him on his victory over Sung,
"a pile of the enemy's left ears." As the historians express their
disgust at this indelicate act, it was presumably not an orthodox
practice, at all events in this particular form. In 607 there were
captured from Sung 450 war-chariots and 250 soldiers; the latter
had their left ears cut off; in this case the victors were CHNG
troops, acting under Ts'u's orders, and it is presumed that CHNG
officers cut off the ears under Ts'u's commands. A few years later
two or three Ts'u generals were discussing what the ancients did
when they challenged for a battle; it was decided that the best
"form" was to rush up to the entrenchments, cut off an enemy's
left ear, carry him away in your chariot, and rush back to your
own camp. As there is a special Chinese character or pictograph
for "ears cut off in battle," it thus appears that to a certain
extent even the orthodox Chinese practised the "scalping" art,
which was doubtless intended to furnish easy proof of claims for
reward based upon prowess; in fact, even in modern official
Chinese, a decapitated head is called a "head-step," an expression
evidently dating from the time when a step in rank was given for
each head or group of heads taken.

Rulers, whether the Emperor or vassals, faced south in the
exercise of their sovereign powers. Thus, when the Duke of Chou,
after the death of his brother the Martial King, acted as Regent
pending the minority of the Martial King's son, his own nephew, he
faced south; but he faced north once more when he resumed his
status of subject. It has already been mentioned, in Chapter XX.,
that in 640 B.C. the state of Lu made the south gate of the Lu
capital the Law Gate, because it was by the south gates that all
rulers' commands emanated. In 546 a counsellor of Ts'u explained
to the king how, since Tsin influence had predominated in the
orthodox state of CHNG, this last had ceased to "face south
towards its former protector." Thus, though the Emperor faces
south towards the sun, and his subjects in turn face north in his
honour, those subjects face their other protector in whatever
direction he may lie, supposing the Emperor's protection to be
inadequate. It is evidently the same principle as "bowing towards
the east," and "turning towards Mecca," both of which formalities
must be modified according to place. In 315 B.C., when Yen (the
Peking plain) had become one of the six independent kingdoms, a
usurper (to whom the King of Yen had foolishly committed full
powers) "turned south" to perform acts of sovereignty in the
king's name. In 700 B.C., in the orthodox state of Wei, we hear of
"princes of the left and right," which is explained to mean "sons
of mothers whose official place is left or right of the principal
spouse." Right used to be more honourable than left in China, but
left now takes precedence of right. Thus the provinces of Shan
Tung and Shan Si are also called "Left of the Mountains" and
"Right of the Mountains," because the Emperor faces south.
Notwithstanding, the ancient phraseology sometimes survives; for
instance, "stands right of him" means "is better than he is," and
"to left him" means "to prove him wrong or worse." All _yamns_
in China face south; there are rare exceptions, usually owing to
building difficulties. Once, in the province of Kwei Chou, I was
officially invited by the mandarin to take my seat on his right instead of
on his left, because, as he explained, his _yamn_ door did not
face south, but _west_; and, he added, it was more honourable
for me, as an official guest, to sit north, facing west, than to sit
south, facing west. In Canton, the Viceroy used out of courtesy to sit
south, facing north, and make his own interpreter sit north, facing south;
the consul sat east, facing west, and the consul's interpreter sat west,
facing east. But the consul could not have presumed to occupy the
north seat thus given to an inferior on the principle of de _minimis_
non _curat lex_; nor was the Viceroy willing to assert his "command"
to a guest. In 436 the armies of Yiieh marching north through Ho Nan
called the Chinese places lying to their west the "left" towns; but that
was perhaps because Yiieh came marching from the south. In 221 B.C.,
when for the first time South China to the sea became part of the imperial
dominions, the Emperor's territory was described as extending
southward to the "north-facing houses." Hong Kong and Canton are
just on the tropical line; but the island of Hainan, and also
Tonquin, are actually in the tropics. Whether the houses there do
really face north--which I have never noticed--or whether the
expression is merely symbolical, I cannot say; but the idea is "to
the regions where, when the sun is on the tropic, you have to turn
north to see him."

A point of honour in China was not to make war on an enemy who was
in mourning, but this rule seems to have been honoured in the
breach as much as in the observance thereof. Two centuries before
the Chou dynasty came into power, an emperor of the Shang dynasty
distinguished himself by not speaking at all during the three
years he occupied the mourning hut near the grave. As we have
seen, the first rulers of Lu (as a Chou fief) modified existing
customs, and introduced the three years' mourning rule there. In
connection with a Sung funeral in 651 B.C., it is explained that
the bier lay between the two front pillars, and not, as with the
Chou dynasty, on the top of the west side steps; it will be
remembered that Sung represented the sacrifices of the extinct
Shang dynasty. That same year the future Second Protector (then a
refugee among the Tartars) declined to put in a claim to the Tsin
succession against his brothers "because he had not been in
mourning whilst a fugitive." In 642 Sung and her allies made war
on Ts'i, which was then mourning for the First Protector; by a
just Nemesis the Tartars came to the rescue and saved Ts'i. In
627, after the Second Protector's death, Ts'in declared war,
whilst Tsin was mourning, upon a petty orthodox principality
belonging to the same clan as Tsin and the Emperor, and belonging
also to the Tsin vassal system. This so enraged the new ruler of
Tsin that he dyed his white mourning clothes black, so as to
avenge the insult, and yet not to outrage the rites: moreover,
white was unlucky in warfare: victorious over Ts'in, he then
proceeded to mourn for his father, and ever after that black was
adopted, by way of memento, as the national colour of Tsin. In 626
and 622 the Emperor sent high officers to represent him at Lu
funerals, and to carry gems to place in deceased's mouth, "to show
that he (the Emperor) had not the heart to leave the deceased
unsupplied with food." In 581 the ruler of Lu, being on a visit to
Tsin, was forcibly detained by Tsin, in order to swell the
importance of a Tsin ruler's funeral. Lu (like the petty orthodox
states of Wei, Sung, CHNG, etc., further south) was nearly always
under the rival political constraint of either Ts'i, Tsin, or
Ts'u; and this factor must accordingly also be taken into account
in explaining Confucius' longing for the good old days of imperial
predominance. In 572 Tsin attacked Cheng, though of the same clan
as itself, whilst in mourning; but in 567 semi-barbarian Ts'u set
a good example to orthodox Tsin by withdrawing its troops out of
deference to a later official mourning then in force in Cheng: in
564 the King of Ts'u withdrew his armies home altogether on
account of the mourning due to his own deceased mother. In 560
barbarian Wu attacked Ts'u whilst in mourning for the above king
(the one who first conquered the Canton region for Ts'u); but,
here again, by a just Nemesis, Wu's army was cut to pieces, and
Wu's own ally, Tsin, censured her for having done such an improper
thing. In 544 the prime minister of Tsin mourned for his Ts'u co-
signatory of the celebrated Peace Conference Treaty of 546; and
this graceful act is explained to be in accordance with the rites.
In 544 Ts'u herself was in mourning, and in accordance with the
terms of the Peace Conference Treaty, under which the Tsin vassals
and the Ts'u vassals were to pay their respects to Ts'u and Tsin
respectively--Ts'in and Ts'i, as great powers, being excused, or,
rather, discreetly left alone--Ts'u put great pressure on Lu to
secure the personal presence of the Lu ruler at the Ts'u funeral.
The orthodox duke did not at all like this "truckling to a
barbarian"; but one of his counsellors suggested behaving before
the corpse as he would behave to a vassal of his own: this was
done, and the unsophisticated Ts'u was none the wiser at the time,
though, later on, the king discovered the pious fraud. In 514 B.C.
Wu wished to attack Ts'u while, mourning, and the virtuous Ki-
chah was promptly sent by Wu to sound Tsin about the _facheuse
situation._ At a Lu funeral in 509, it was explained that the
new duke could only mount the throne after the burial was over; it
was added "even the Son of Heaven's commands do not run in Lu
during this critical period; _ fortiori_ is the duke not
capable of transacting his own subjects' business." But long
before this, when the First Protector died, in 643, his body lay
for sixty-seven days in the coffin unattended, whilst his five
sons were wrangling about the succession; in fact, the worms were
observed crawling out of the coffin. These painful details have a
powerful historical interest, for when (as mentioned on p. 209)
his tomb was opened nearly 1000 years later, dogs had to be sent
in ahead to test the air, as the stench was so great. In 492 an
unpopular prince of Wei was in Tsin, which state had an interest
in placing him on the throne. There happened to be in Tsin at that
moment a scoundrel who had fled to Tsin from Lu, because he had
found Confucius too strong for him in Lu; and this man suggested
to Tsin that it would be a good plan to send seventy Wei men back
to Wei in mourning clothes and sash, so as to make the Wei people
think that the prince was dead, and thus gain an opportunity to
"run him in" by surprise, and set him up as ruler. In 489, when
the King of Ts'u died in the field of battle, his three brothers,
all of whom had declined his offer of the throne, but one of whom
had at last accepted in order to give the dying man peace, decided
to conceal the king's death from the army whilst they sent for his
son by a Yiieh mother, pleading that the king had been non
_compos mentis_ when he proposed an irregular succession, and
that the promise made to him was, therefore, of no avail. In 485
Lu and Wu joined in an attack upon Ts'i during the latter's
mourning--a particularly disgraceful political combination: no
wonder Confucius was hastily sent for from the state of CH'N,
whither he had previously retired in disgust at the corruption of
his native land. In 481 a conspiracy which was going on in Ts'i
was delayed because one of the chief actors, being in mourning,
could not attend to public business of any kind. In 332 B.C. Ts'i
took ten towns from Yen by successfully attacking her whilst in
mourning; one of the travelling diplomats and intriguers so common
in China at that period insisted upon the towns being restored.
This was at the exact moment when the philosopher Mencius, who
seems to have also been a great political _dilettante_, was
circulating to and fro between such monarchs as the Kings of Ts'i
and Ngwei, alias _Liang_, as is fully explained in the still
extant book of Mencius.

All the above quaint instances, novel though they may be in
detail, strongly recall to us in principle our own "rules" of
international law, which are always liable to unexpected
"construction" according to the exigencies of war and the power
wielded by the "constructor." Inter _arma leges silent_. As
usual in these ritual matters, Ts'in is distinguished by total
absence of mention.

CHAPTER XXXVIII

WOMEN AND MORALS

So far as it is possible to judge from the concrete instances in
which women are mentioned, it appears that in ancient Chinese
times their confinement and seclusion was neither nominally nor
actively so strict as it has been in later days, and they seem to
have been much more companionable to men than they have been ever
since the ridiculous foot-squeezing fashion came into vogue over a
thousand years ago. When the Martial King addressed his semi-
barbarous western allies, as he prepared his march upon the last
Shang Emperor in 1122 B.C., he observed: "The ancient proverb says
the hen crows not in the morn; when she does, the house will
fall"--in allusion to the interference of the debauched Emperor's
favourite concubine in public affairs; and we have seen, under the
heading of Law in Chapter XX., how one of the imperial statutes,
proclaimed or read regularly in the vassal kingdoms, prohibited
the meddling of women in public business. But, in spite of this,
so far as promoting the succession rights and political interests
of their own children goes, wives and concubines certainly exerted
considerable influence, whether legitimate or not, in all the
states. The murder of an Emperor and flight of his successor in
771 B.C. was in its inception owing to the intrigues of women
about Court. A few years only after that event, we find the
orthodox ruler of Wei marrying a beautiful Ts'i princess (her
beauty is a matter of history, and is celebrated in the Odes,
which are themselves a popular form of history); and then, because
she had no children, further marrying a princess of Ch'en. This
princess unfortunately lost her offspring; but her sister also
enjoyed the prince's favour, and her son was, after her death,
given in adoption to the first childless Ts'i wife. This son
succeeded to the Wei throne, but was ultimately murdered by a
younger brother born of a concubine, who was next succeeded by
still another younger brother, whose queen had also been one of
his father's concubines. Thus in the most orthodox states (Wei was
of the imperial clan), the rites often seem not to have counted
for much in practice.--This book, it must here be repeated, deals
with specific recorded facts, and not with civilization as it
_ought_ to have been under the Rites of _Chou._--So, even in
comparatively modern China, 1500 years later, the third emperor of the
T'ang dynasty married his father's concubine, and she ultimately
reigned as empress in her own right, which is in itself an outrage
upon the "rites."

In 694 B.C. the ruler of Lu (also of the imperial clan) married a
Ts'i princess, who, as has been stated in Chapter XXXIV., not only
had incestuous relations with her brother of Ts'i, but led that
brother to procure the murder of her husband. In connection with
this woman's further visit to Ts'i two years later, the rule is
cited: "Women, when once married, should not recross the
frontier." The same rule is quoted in 655 when a Lu princess, who
had married a petty mesne-vassal of Lu in 670, recrossed the Lu
frontier in order to visit her son in Lu.

The Second Protector, during his wanderings, we know, married
first a Tartar wife and then a Ts'i wife, both of whom showed
disinterested affection for him, and genuine regard for his rights
to the Tsin succession, Yet the ruler of Ts'in supplied him with
five more royal girls, of whom one had already been married to the
Second Protector's predecessor and nephew, the Marquess of Tsin.
It is but fair to the memory of this uxorious Tsin ruler to say
that he only took her over under protest, and under the immediate
stress of political urgencies; he ultimately made her his
principal spouse at the expressed desire of his ally the Ts'in
ruler. He must have later married a daughter of the Emperor too,
for, after the succession of a son and grandson, another of his
sons named "Black Buttocks," being the youngest, and also "son of
a Chou mother," came to the throne. Thus in those troublous times
the honour of imperial princesses evidently did not count for very
much at the great vassal courts. The readiness of Ts'in to induce
the Tsin ruler to take over his nephew's wife (being a Ts'in
princess) accentuates the semi-Tartar civilization of Ts'in at
least, if not of Tsin too; for both Hiung-nu (200 B.C.) and Turks
(A.D. 500) had a fixed rule that a Khan successor should take over
all his predecessor's women, with the single exception of his own
natural mother. In the year 630 the King of Ts'u married or
carried off two CHNG sisters (of the imperial clan). The ruler of
CHNG had been insolent to the future Second Protector during his
wanderings in the year 637, and, in order to avoid that
Protector's vengeance, had been subsequently obliged to throw
himself under Ts'u protection. "This ignoring of the rites by the
King of Ts'u will result in his failing to secure the Protectorship," it
was said. However, these princesses, though of the imperial _Ki_
clan by marriage into it, were really daughters of a CHNG ruler by
two separate Ts'i and Ts'u wives: moreover, previous to the accession
of the Hia dynasty (in 2205 B.C.), a Chinese elective Emperor had
married the two daughters of his predecessor, whose own son was
unworthy to succeed: and, generally, apart from this precedent, the
rule against marrying two sisters, even if it existed, seems to have been
loosely applied (_cf._ Chapter XXXIII.).

In connection with the Cheng succession in 629, it is mentioned
that "the wife's sons being all dead, X, being wisest of the
secondary wives' or concubines' sons, is most eligible"
(_cf._ Chapter XXXVII.).

Great political complications arose in connection with a clever
and beautiful princess of Cheng who had had various _liaisons_
with high personages in the state of Ch'en and elsewhere; in the end
she was carried off in 589 by a treacherous Ts'u statesman to Tsin;
and indirectly this adventure led to his being charged by Tsin with a
mission to Wu; to the subsequent entry of Wu into the conclave of
federal princes; and to the ultimate sacking of the Ts'u capital by
the King of Wu in 506: it is easy to read between the lines that
the Kings of Ts'u were considered unusually arbitrary and tyrannical
rulers; over and over again we find that their most capable statesmen
took service with powers inimical to Ts'u. In 581 the ruler of Cheng,
being forcibly detained in Tsin whilst on a political visit there, was
temporarily replaced in Cheng by his elder brother, born of an
inferior wife.

A marriage between the two states of Sung and Lu having been
arranged, the imperial clan states of Lu and Wei had certain
duties to perform at the wedding, which took place in 583; and it
is recorded that the latter sent "handmaids" The explanation given
is a little involved, but it seems to throw some light on the
marriage of sisters question. It seems that the legitimate spouse
and her "left and right handmaids" were each entitled to three
"cousins or younger sisters" of the same clan-name as themselves,
"thus making a total of nine girls, the idea being to broaden the
base of succession." Not content with this, Lu sent a special
envoy to Sung the next year to "lecture" the princess. It is
explained that "women at home are under the power of their father;
married, under that of their husbands." Tsin also sent handmaids
this year. It is further explained that "handmaids are a trifling
matter, and they are only mentioned in this Lu princess case
because her marriage turned out so badly." The following year Ts'i
despatched handmaids, but, "being of a different clan-name, Ts'i
was not ritual in doing so."

The precise functions of these paranymphs, or under-studies of
wives, together with the rules governing their selection, are
doubtless clearly enough described in the Rites of _Chou_;
but we are only dealing here with concrete facts as recorded.

In 526 B.C., when Ts'in gave a princess in marriage to the Ts'u
heir, the Ts'u king decided to keep her for himself (see p. 234).
Only a few years before that, Ts'u had given a princess of her own
in marriage to the heir-apparent of one of the petty orthodox
states (imperial clan), and the reigning father had had improper
relations with her, which in the end led to his murder by his son;
thus Ts'u, however delinquent, had already been given a bad
example by the imperial clan.

After his humiliating defeat by the King of Wu in 494 B.C., the
King of Yiieh introduced a veritable _Lex Julia_ into his
dominions, in order to increase the population more quickly, and
to prepare for his great revenge. Robust men were forbidden to
marry old women, and old men to marry robust women. Parents were
punished if girls were not married by the time they were
seventeen, and if boys were not married by twenty. _Enceinte_
women had to be placed under the care of public midwives. For
every boy born, a royal bounty of two pots of wine and a dog were
given: for every girl born, two pots of wine and a sucking-pig;--
the dog, it is explained, being figurative of outdoor, the pig of
internal economy. Triplets were to be suckled at the public
expense; twins to be fed, when big enough, at the public expense.
The chief wife's son must be mourned, with absence from official
duty, for three years; other sons for two; and both kinds of son
were to be equally buried with weeping and wailing. Orphans, and
the sons of sick or poor widows, were to receive official
employment. Distinguished sons were to have their apartments
cleansed for them, and had to be well fed and handsomely clothed.
Learned men from other states were to be officially welcomed in
the ancestral temple. With reference to this curious law, which is
totally un-Chinese in its startling originality, it may be
mentioned that it seems to have gradually led to that laxity of
morals in ancient Yiieh which is still proverbial in those parts;
for, when the First August Emperor was touring over his new empire
in 212 B.C., he left an inscription (still on record) at the old
Yiieh capital, denouncing the "pig-like adultery" of the region,
and, more especially, the remarrying of widows already in
possession of children. Only a few years ago, proclamations
appeared in this region denouncing the pernicious custom of
forcing widows to remarry. Although Kwan-tsz is supposed to have
"invented" the Babylonian woman for Ts'i, nothing is said in any
ancient Chinese history about common prostitution; nor is female
infanticide ever mentioned. In 502 B.C. the Lu revolutionary,
already mentioned in Chapter XXXVII., who was driven to Tsin by
Confucius' astute measures, had, before leaving Lu, formed a plot
to murder all the sons, by wives, of the three "powerful families"
who were intriguing against the ducal rights, and to put concubine
sons-being creatures of his own-in their place; thus the
succession principles applied not only to ruling families, but
also to private houses; though, as a matter of fact, these three
were all, in their origin, descended from previous ruling dukes.
As explained in Chapters XII. and XXXIII., after five generations
a fresh "family" is supposed to spring out of the common clan.

In spite of Wu's barbarism, the fact of its belonging, by remote
origin, to the imperial clan (through its first: ruler having
magnanimously migrated from Chou before Chou conquered China in
1122), made it technically incest for Lu to intermarry with Wu;
thus, when in 482 B.C., a Wu princess (evidently forced for
political purposes upon Lu) died, her husband, the ruler of Lu,
was obliged to refrain from a public burial, as has been explained
in Chapter XXXIII. on Names.

CHAPTER XXXIX

GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE

It will have been noticed that, even in strictly historical times
subsequent to 842 B.C., orthodox China was, _mutatis mutandis_,
like orthodox Greece, a petty territory surrounded by a fringe of
little-known regions, such as Macedonia, Asia Minor, Phoenicia,
Egypt, and Italy; not to say distant Marseilles, and the Pillars of
Hercules-all places at best very little visited except by navigators,
and even then only by a few specially enterprising navigators or
desperate adventurers; though later on Greek influence and Greek
colonies soon began to replace the Phoenician, and to exhibit surrounding
countries in a more correct and definite light.

As touches the surrounding regions of ancient China, and the
knowledge of it possessed by the orthodox nucleus, such traditions
as there are all point to acquaintance with the south and east
rather than with the north and west. Persons who are persistently
bent on bringing the earliest Chinese from the Tower of Babel by
way of the Tarim Valley, are eager to seize upon the faintest
tradition, or what seems to them an apparent tradition, in support
of these preconceived views; ignoring the obviously just argument
that, if we are to pay any attention to mere traditions at all, we
must in common fairness give priority in value to such traditions
as there are, rather than such traditions as are not, but only as
might be. For instance, there was a Chinese tradition that the
founder of the Hia dynasty (2205 B.C.) was, in a sense, somehow
connected with the barbarous kingdom of Yiieh, inasmuch as the
great-great-grandson of the founder of the Hia empire a century
later enfeoffed a son by a concubine in that remote region. The
earliest Chinese mention of Japan is that it lay to the east of
Yiieh, and that the Japanese used to come and trade with Yiieh. If
the Japanese traditions, on the other hand, as first put into
independent writing in the eighth century A.D., are worth
anything, then the Japanese pretend that their ancestors were
present at a durbar held by the above-mentioned great-great-
grandson of the Hia founder; and they also firmly derive their
ruling houses (both king and princes) from the kingdom of Wu. We
have seen in former chapters that both Wu and Yiieh, the most
ancient capitals of which were within 200 miles of each other,
spoke one language, and that both were derived (_i.e._, the
administrative caste was derived) from two separate Chinese
imperial dynasties. Now, the founder of the Hia dynasty is
celebrated above all things for his travels in, and his geography
of China, usually called the "Tribute of Yii" (his name),--a still
existing work, the real origin of which may be obscure, but which
has come down to us in the Book (of History). This geography is
not only accurate, but it even now throws great light upon the
original direction of river-courses which have since changed; in
this work there is not the faintest tradition or indirect mention
of any Chinese having ever migrated into China from the west.

There is no foundation, however, for the supposition, favoured by
some European writers, that the Nine Tripods (frequently mentioned
above) contained upon their surface "maps" of the empire; they
merely contained a summary, or a collection of pictures,
symbolizing the various tribute nations. On the other hand, there
is no trace in the "Tribute of Yii" of any knowledge of China
south of the Yarig-tsz River, south of its mouths, and south of
its connection with the lakes of Hu Nan. The "province" of Yang
Chou is vaguely said to extend from the Hwai River "south to the
sea." The "Blackwater" is the only river mentioned which exhibits
any knowledge of the west (i.e. of the west half of modern Kan Suh
province), and this "Blackwater" was crossed in 984 B.C. by the
Emperor Muh.

Then there is the tradition of Vii's predecessor, the Emperor
Shun, who, as mentioned in the last chapter, married the two
daughters of the Emperor Yao, and is buried at a point just south
of the Lake Tung-t'ing, in the modern province of Hu Nan: it is
certain that in 219 B.C., when the First August Emperor was on
tour, the mountain where the grave lay was pointed out to him at a
distance, if he did not actually go up to it. Again, the
grandfather of the Warrior King who founded the Chou dynasty in
1122 B.C. was, as already repeatedly pointed out, only a younger
brother, his two elder brothers having migrated to the Jungle,
and, proceeding thence eastward, founded a colony in Wu (half-way
between Nanking and Shanghai). Both Wu and Yiieh, for very many
centuries after that, were extremely petty states of only 50 or 60
miles in extent, and for all practical purposes of history may be
considered to have been one and the same region, to wit, the flat,
canal-cut territory through which the much-disputed Shanghai-
Hangchow railway is to run. After the death of the Martial King,
when his brother the Duke of Chou was Regent for his son, the duke
incurred the suspicion of other brethren and relatives as to his
motives, and had to retire for some time to Ts'u, or, as it was
then called, the Jungle country, for two years. There is a
tradition that a mission from one of the southern Yiieh states
found its way to the Duke of Chou, who is supposed to have fitted
up for the envoys a cart with a compass attached to it, in order
to keep the cart's head steadily south. This tradition, which only
appears as a _tradition_ in one of the dynastic histories of
the fifth century A. D., is not given at all in the earlier
standard history, and it is by no means proved that the
undoubtedly early Chinese knowledge of the loadstone extended to
the making of compasses. Yet, as Rnan has justly pointed out in
effect, in his masterly evidences of Gospel truth, a weak
tradition is better worth considering than no tradition at all.
Besides, there is some slight indirect confirmation of this, for
in 880 B.C. or thereabout, a King of Ts'u gave one of his younger
sons a Yiieh kingdom bearing almost the same double name as that
Yeh kingdom from which the envoys in 1080 B.C. came to the Duke
of Chou; in each case the first part of the double name was Yiieh,
and the second part only differed slightly. Again, in or about
820, some of the sons of the king exiled themselves to a place
vaguely defined as "somewhere south of the Han River," which can
scarcely mean anything other than "the country of the Shan or
Siamese races," who lived then in and around Yiin Nan, and some of
whom are still known by the vague name used as here in 820 B.C.
The vagueness of habitat simply means that all south of the Han
and Yang-tsz was _terra_ incognita to China proper. There is
another tradition, unsupported by standard history, to the effect
that the Martial King enfeoffed a faithful minister of the emperor
and dynasty he had just supplanted as a vassal in Corea. Here,
again, if the emperor's own grandfather, or grand-uncles and
trusted friends, could find their way to Wu, and, later, to Japan,
not to mention Shan Tung and the Peking plain, it is reasonable to
permit a respected adherent of the dethroned monarch to find his
way to Corea, the more in that the centre of administrative
gravity of Corea was then Liao Tung and South Manchuria--at the
utmost the north part of modern Corea--rather than the Corean
peninsula.

In the year 649 the First Protector began to boast of having done
as much as any of the' three dynasties, Hia, Shang, and Chou,
during the 1500 years before him; he then defines the area of his
glory, which is circumscribed by (at the very utmost) the west
part of Shan Si, the south part of Ho Nan, the north part of the
Peking plain, and the Gulf of "Pechelee." The Second Protector,
when he safely reached his ancestral throne after nineteen years
of wanderings as Pretender, said to his faithful Tartar henchman
and father-in-law: "I have made the tour of the whole world (or
whole empire) with you." As a matter of fact, he had been with the
Tartars, certainly in central, and possibly also in northern Shan
Si; in Ts'i, which means the northern part of Shan Tung and
southern part of Chih Li; thence across the four small orthodox
states of Sung, Wei, Ts'ao, and CHNG (which simply means up the
Yellow River valley into Ho Nan), to Ts'u; and thence Ts'in
fetched him to put him on the Tsin throne. The Emperor was already
an obscure figure-head beneath all political notice, and no other
parts of what we now call China were known to the Protector, even
by name. As we shall see in a later chapter, Confucius covered the
same ground, except that he never went to Tsin or to Tartarland.
The first bare mention of Yiieh is in 670 B.C., when the new King
of Ts'u, who had assassinated his elder brother, and who therefore
wished to make amends for this crime and for his father's rude
conquests, and to consolidate his position by putting himself on
good behaviour to federal China, made dutiful advances to Lu and
to the Emperor (these two minor powers then best representing the
old ritual civilization). The Emperor replied: "Go on conquering
the barbarians and Yiieh, but let the Hia (i.e. orthodox Chinese)
states alone." In 601 Ts'u and Wu came to a friendly understanding
about their mutual frontiers, and Yiieh was also admitted to the
conclave or _entente_; but this was a local act, and had nothing
whatever to do with China proper, which first hears of Yiieh as an
independent or semi-independent power in 536, when the King
of Ts'u, with a string of conquered orthodox Chinese princes
in train as his allies, and also a Yiieh contingent, makes war on
Wu. In later days there is evidence showing that there was not
much general knowledge of China as a whole, and that interstate
intercourse was chiefly confined to next-door neighbours. For
instance, when Tsin boldly marched an army upon Ts'i in 589 B.C.,
it was considered a remarkable thing that Tsin chariots should
actually gaze upon the sea. In 560, when the Ts'i minister and
philosopher, Yen-tsz, was in Ts'u as envoy, and the Ts'u courtiers
were playing tricks upon him (as previously narrated in Chapter
IX.) he said: "I have heard it stated that when once you get south
of the Hwai River the oranges are good. In the same way, we
northerners produce but sorry rogues; the genuine article reaches
its perfection in Ts'u." Thus, even at this date, the Yang-tsz was
regarded much as the Romans of the Empire regarded the Danube--as
a sort of vague barrier between _civis_ and _barbarus_. In
no sense was the Ts'u capital--at no time were the bulk of the
Ts'u dominions--south of that Great River; nor, in fact, were the
capitals of Wu and Yiieh south of it either, for one of the three
mouths (the northernmost was as now), corresponded to the Soochow
Creek and the Wusung River, as they pass through the Shanghai
settlement of to-day; whilst the other ancient mouth entered the
sea at modern Hangchow. We have given various other evidence above
to show that, even earlier than this, the Yang-tsz was an
unexplored region, known, and that only imperfectly and locally,
to the Ts'u government alone. In the year 656 B.C. the First
Protector called Ts'u to book because, in 1003 B.C., the Emperor
had made a tour to the Great River and had never returned (see
Chapter XX-XV.). Again, when the imperial power collapsed in 771
B.C., the first Earl of CHNG (a relative of the Emperor)
consulted the imperial astrologer as to where he had better
establish his new fief: his own idea was to settle southwards on
the borders of the Yang-tsz; but he was dissuaded from this step
on the ground that the Ts'u power would grow accordingly as the
Chou power declined, and thus CHNG would all the easier fall a
prey to Ts'u in the future if she migrated now so far south. The
astrologer makes another observation which supports the view that
Ts'u and orthodox China were originally of the same prehistoric
stock. He says: "When the remote ancestor of Ts'u did good service
to the Emperor (2400 B.C.), his renown was great, yet his
descendants never became so flourishing as those of the Chou
family." In 597 B.C., when the Earl of CHNG really was at the
mercy of Ts'u, he said: "If you choose to send me south of the
Yang-tsz towards the South Sea, I shall not have the right to
object"; meaning, "no exile, however remote, is too severe for my
deserts." In 549, when the Tsin generals were marching against
Ts'u, they were particularly anxious to find good CHNG guides who
knew the routes well. Finally, in 541, a Tsin statesman made the
following observations to a prince (afterwards king) of Ts'u, who
was then on a mission to Tsin, by way of illustrating for his
visitor the conquests and distant expeditions of ancient times:--

"The Emperor Shun (who married Yao's two daughters, and employed
the founder of the Hia dynasty as his minister) was obliged to
imprison the prince of the Three Miao (in Hu Nan; the savages of
Hu Nan and Kwei Chou provinces are still called _Miao_); the
Hia dynasty had to deal with quarrels in (modern) Shan Tung and
Shen Si; the Shang dynasty had to do the same in (modern) Kiang
Su; the early Chou monarchs the same in (modern) North Kiang Su
and South Shan Tung: but, now that there are no able emperors, all
the vassals are at loggerheads. Wu and P'uh (the supposed Shan or
Siamese region above referred to) are giving you trouble; but it
is no one's concern but yours."

From all this it is quite plain, though the Chinese historians and
philosophers never seem to have discerned it clearly themselves,
that the cultivated or orthodox Chinese, that is, the group of
closely related monosyllabic and tonic tribes which alone
possessed the art of writing, and thus inevitably took the lead
and gradually civilized the rest, covered but a very small area of
ground even at the time of Confucius' death in 479 B.C., and were
completely ignorant of everything but the bare names of all the
regions surrounding this orthodox nucleus, which nucleus was
therefore rightly called the "Central State," as China is, by
extension, now still called.

[Illustration: MAP

1. Si-ngan Fu (and Hien-yang opposite, on the north bank of the
River Wei), marked with circles in a lozenge, were the capitals of
China, off and on, from 220 B.C. for over a thousand years. The
ancient capital of the Chou dynasty, forsaken in 771 B.C., is
marked with a cross in a circle and is west of Si-ngan. In 771
B.C. the Emperor fled east to his "east capital" (founded 300
years before that date), which then became the sole metropolis,
called _Loh_ (from the river on which it stands); it is also
marked with a cross inside a circle and is practically the modern
Ho-nan Fu; it has, off and on, been the capital of all China,
alternately with Si-ngan Fu, in later times.

2. The ford where the first Chou Emperor (122 B.C.) made an
appointment with all his vassals is marked by two dotted lines
across the Yellow River.

3. The two dots in a half-circle mark the spot whither Tsin
"summoned" the Emperor to the durbar of 632 B.C. After this, Tsin
obtained from the Emperor cession of the strip between the Yellow
River and the Ts'in River (nothing to do with Ts'in state).

4. There is a second River Loh separating Ts'in state from Tsin
state. The territory between this River Loh and the Yellow River
was alternately held by Tsin and Ts'in.

5. The territory between the more southerly River Loh and the
Yellow River and River I was the shorn imperial appanage after
Ts'in had in 771 B.C. obtained the west half; after Tsin in 632
had obtained the remaining north half; and after Ts'u had nibbled
away the petty orthodox vassals south of latitude 34".]

CHAPTER XL

TOMBS AND REMAINS

The Chinese, with the single exception of their Great Wall, have
always been flimsy builders, and there is accordingly very little
left in the way of monuments to prove the antiquity of their
civilization. Mention has already been made of the tombs of the
Emperors Shun and Yii (2200 B.C.). The tomb of another Hia dynasty
emperor (1837 B.C.) lay twenty miles north of Yung-ning in Ho
Nan,' where Ts'in, in 627 B.C., was annihilated by Tsin (see p.
30). The tomb (long. 115, lat. 33) of the King of Ts'u who died
in 689 B.C. was pillaged about 500 years later, but landslips
defeated the thieves' objects. The First Protector's tomb, seven
miles south of his capital in Shan Tung--the town still marked on
the maps as Lin-tsz--was desecrated in A.D. 312. A small pond of
mercury was found inside, besides arms, valuables, and the bones
of those buried with him. The palace of the Ts'u king of 617
B.C.,--son of the one whose death that year was respectfully
chronicled by Confucius--is still the yam&. or _protorium_ of
the district magistrate at King-thou Fu, and can perhaps even yet
be seen from any passing steamers that circulate above the treaty-
port of Sha-shf. There is a doubt about the date of this king's
tomb (d. 593); some place it near the palace, others over 100
miles north, near the modern city of Siang-yang. It is possible
that, after the sacking of the capital by Wu, in 506, the bodies
of former kings were at once removed to the new temporary capital
(far to the north) to which the old name was given. For instance,
it is certain that the king who died in 545 was buried quite close
to the capital (King-thou Fu). Ki-chah's tomb, with Confucius'
inscription upon it in ancient character, is still shown at a
place ten miles west of Kiang-yin (where the modern forts are,
below Nanking) and twenty miles east of Ch'ang-chou; probably the
new "British" railway passes quite close to the place, as do the
steamers: for the past 400 years sacrifices have been annually
offered to Ki-chah's memory: as Confucius never visited Wu, the
inscription, if genuine, must have been sent thither. The tomb of
Ki-chah's nephew, King of Wu, is still to be seen outside one of
the gates of Soochow; or, rather, the temple built on the site is
there, for the tomb itself was desecrated and pillaged by the
armies of Yueh, when they sacked the capital in 482. There was,
originally, a triple copper coffin, a small pond, and some water
birds made of gold (probably symbolic of sport), arms, valuables,
etc.; but nothing is said of human beings having been sacrificed.
It was said (2000 years ago) that elephants had been employed in
carrying the earth and building materials for this tomb. In 506
the vengeful Ts'u officer who had fled to Wu, and had incited the
King of Wu to do all he could to ruin Ts'u, actually opened the
royal grave, in or near the capital, and flogged the corpse of the
dead king who had so grievously offended him and his family.

In the year 501 the original bow and sceptre given by the warrior
king to his brother, the Duke of Chou, founder of the State of Lu,
was stolen from its resting-place, but was luckily recovered the
following year. Incidentally this statement is of value; for when
the King of Ts'u, as narrated above, was making his demands upon
the Emperor, one of his grievances was that he possessed no relics
of the founder such as the presents which had been made by him to
Ts'i, Lu, Yen, Tsin, and other favoured states of no greater
status than his own. The above are only a few instances out of
many which show how, from age to age, the Chinese have seen with
their own eyes things which in the vista of the distance now seem
to us uncertain and incredible. As usual, Ts'in gives us nothing
in the way of antiquity; another proof that, until she conceived
the idea of conquering China, she was totally unknown (internally)
to orthodox China. Confucius' own house, temple, grave, and park
form an absolutely unbroken link with the past. There are remains
and the relics of the Duke of Chou in the immediate neighbourhood,
and it must not be forgotten that the Duke of Chou and his ritual
system were Confucius' models: as Confucius insisted, "I am only a
transmitter of antiquity." Moderns, and especially foreigners,
have forgotten or reck nothing about the Duke of Chou; yet his
remains and temples were just as much a matter of visible history
to Confucius as Confucius' grounds are to us. Each successive
generation in China alludes to existing antiquities, or to
contemporaneous objects which have since become antiquities, with
the quiet confidence of those who actually possess, and who doubt
not of their possessions. The very _lacunae_ are pointed out
by themselves--no scepticism of ours is required; for whenever any
historian, or any less formal writer, has outstepped the bounds of
truth or probability, the critics are immediately there, and they
always frankly say what they believe. In a word, the Chinese
documents, be they iron, stone, wood, silk, paper, buildings, or
graves; and their traditions, are the sole evidence we possess:
Chinese critics were the sole critics of that evidence; and they
are the sole light by which we foreigners can become critics. The
great Chinese defect in criticism is the failure to work out
general principles, and to criticize constructively as well as
analytically. Their history is a rule of thumb, hand to mouth,
diary sort of arrangement, like a vast museum of genuine but
unclassified and unticketed objects. But there is no good reason
whatever for our doubting the genuineness of either traditions or
documents beyond the point of scepticism to which native Chinese
doubts go, for it must be remembered that no foreigner possesses
one tenth of the mass of Chinese learning that the professional
literatus easily assimilates. All we can do is to re-group, and
extract principles.

CHAPTER XLI

THE TARTARS

It is important to insist on the very close relations that existed
between the Chinese and the Tartars from the very earliest times.
All that we are told for certain is that they were north and west
of the older dynasties, and especially in occupation of the Upper
Wei River, on the lower part of which the old metropolis of Si-
ngan Fu lies; which means that they were exactly where we find
them in Confucian times, and where we find them now, except that
they have been pushed a little further back, and that Chinese
colonists have appropriated most of the oases. The Chou ancestor
who died in 1231, _i.e._ the father of the founders of Wu,
and the great-grandfather of the founder of the Chou dynasty
(1122), had to abandon to the encroaching Tartars his appanage on
the Upper King River (a northern tributary of the Wei, which runs
almost parallel with it, and joins it at Si-ngan Fu), and was
obliged to move southwards to the Upper Wei River. For nearly 1000
years previous to this, his ancestors, who had originally been
forced to fly to the Tartars in order to avoid the misgovernment
of the third Hia emperor, had lived among and had, whilst
continuing the Chinese art of cultivating, partly become Tartars;
for in 1231 B.C. the migrating host is said to have renounced
Tartar manners, and to have devoted themselves seriously to
building and cultivating; from which it necessarily follows that
Tartar manners must for some time have been definitely adopted by
the Chou family. The grandson of the migrator, the father of the
Chou founder, had various little wars with a tribe called the Dog
Tartars. Over 1000 years after that first flight to Tartardom, we
have seen that the Emperor Muh, great-grandson of the Chou
founder, not only had brushes with the Tartars, but extended his
tours amongst them to the Lower Tarim Valley, Turfan, Harashar,
and possibly even as far as Urumtsi and Kuch; but certainly no
farther. Two hundred years later, again, the then ruling Emperor
was defeated by the Tartars in (modern) Central Shan Si province,
and the descendant in the sixth generation of the Ts'in Jehu who
had conducted the Emperor Muh's chariot into Tartarland, only just
succeeded in saving the Emperor's life; but this family of Chao,
which was thus (_cf._ p. 206) of one and the same descent
with the Ts'in family, subsequently found its account in
abandoning the imperial interest altogether, and in serving the
rising principality of Tsin (Shan Si), where it became one of the
"six families," three of which six in 403 B.C. were ultimately
recognized by the Emperor as independent rulers. As we have said
over and over again, in 772 B.C. the Chou Emperor, through female
intrigues, got into trouble with the Tartars, and was killed: his
successor had to move the metropolis east to (modern) Ho-nan Fu,
thus abandoning the western part of his patrimony--the semi-Tartar
half--to Ts'in. Thus Ts'in in 771 B.C. was to the Chou Emperors
what Chou, previous to 1200 B.C., had been to the Shang Emperors.

We now come to strictly historical times, and we shall have no
difficulty in showing that even then--h _fortiori_ in times
not strictly historical--the various Tartar tribes were still in
practical possession of the whole north bank of the Yellow River,
all the way from the Desert to the sea. In fact, in 494 B.C., when
the King of Wu sent a giant's bone to Lu for further explanation,
Confucius said that the "Long Tartars" (who had frequent fights
with Lu in the seventh century B.C.) used to extend south-east
into (modern) Kiang Su, almost as far as the mouth of the Yang-tsz
River: he also says that, had it not been for the energy of the
First Protector and his statesman adviser, the philosopher Kwan-
tsz of Ts'i, orthodox China would certainly have become
Tartarized. It was Confucius also whose learning enabled him to
recognize a (Manchu) arrow found in the body of a migrating goose.
In the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. the Tartars made repeated
and obstinate attacks upon Yen (Peking plain), Ts'i (coast Chih Li
and north Shan Tung), Wei (south Chih Li and north Ho Nan), Sung
(extreme east Ho Nan), Ts'ao (central Ho Nan), and the Emperor's
territory (west Ho Nan). This situation explains to us why the
Protector system arose in China, in competition with the waning
imperial power. Ts'in and Tsin, being already half Tartar
themselves, were always well able to cope with and even to annex
the Tartar tribes in their immediate vicinity; but orthodox China
was ever a prey to the more easterly Tartar attacks; and thus the
Emperors, threatened by Ts'u to their south, and in a measure also
by Ts'in and Tsin to their north and west, not only could not any
longer protect their orthodox vassals lying towards the east from
Tartar attacks, but could not even protect themselves.

It was Ts'i that drove back the Mongol-Manchu tribes and rescued
Yen in 662; it was the Ts'i ruler who led a coalition of princes
against other groups of Tartars and placed back on his ancestral
throne the ruler of Wei, who had been driven from his country by
Tartars in 658; it was the First Protector, ruler of Ts'i, who
managed to pacify the more westerly Tartars we find persistently
menacing the Emperor in 648; to whose rescue the Tartars came in
642, when a coalition of orthodox Chinese princes shamelessly took
advantage of the First Protector's death to attack Ts'i during the
mourning period. Now it was that the Second Protector, still a
refugee among his Tartar relatives, started for Ts'i, his original
idea being to replace the philosopher Kwan-tsz as adviser to the
First Protector; but, shortly after he reached Ts'i, the First
Protector died, and it was only by stratagem that his friends
succeeded in rescuing the future Second Protector from the arms of
his Ts'i Delilah and his _d'elices de_ Capue. His chief adviser,
and at the same time his brother-in-law from a Tartar point of view,
was the lineal descendant of the Chao man who had saved the
Emperor in 800 B.C. He set out, _via_ the orthodox states,
for his own country. These petty orthodox states, such as Wei,
Cheng, and Ts'ao, which did not then see their way to profit
politically by the Pretender's visit, paid the penalty of their
meanness and their rudeness to him later on. Sung was polite, as
at that time Sung and Ts'u were both aiming at the Protectorship.
Ts'u's hospitality was bluff and good-natured, the King being too
strong to fear, and too unsophisticated to intrigue after Chinese
fashion. Just then news coming from Ts'in that the Pretender's
brothers had all resigned or died, and that his chance had now
come, the Pretender hurried to Tsin, regained his throne, and was
acclaimed Protector of China exactly at the critical moment when a
strong hand was urgently required to check the particular
ambitions of Ts'in, Ts'i, and Ts'u. Ts'u was too barbarous; Sung
was too pedantic; Tsin alone had unrivalled experience both of
Tartars and Eastern barbarians, and also of Southern barbarians
(Ts'u). Probably it was only the fact of the Tsin ruling family
bearing the same clan-name as the Emperor that had decided Tsin
throughout to be orthodox Chinese instead of Tartar. The Tartar
family into which the Second Protector had married as a
comparatively young man was, however, also of the imperial clan-
name, i.e. it was of orthodox Chinese origin, but (even like the
Chou imperial family at one time) it had adopted Tartar customs. A
large number of the one thousand or more petty Chinese principalities,
attached not directly to the Emperor, but to the greater vassals
as mesne lords, were in the same predicament; that is to say,
they were of Chinese origin, but they had found that it paid them
best to adopt barbarian ways. It was exactly as though Scipio
should settle in Carthage, and become a Carthaginian: C'sar
in Gaul, and adopt Gallic customs; and so on with other Roman
adventurers who should find a comfortable _gte_ in Persia,
Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, or even in Britain and Germany.

The main point upon which to fix the attention is this. The
Chinese nucleus was very small, and only by rudely thrusting aside
incompetent emperors and fussy ritual did it succeed in
emancipating itself from Tartar bondage. That this is not an
exaggerated view is additionally plain from the fact that Tartars
have, even since Confucian times, ruled more and longer than have
Chinese over North China; the Mongols (1260-1368) were the first
Tartars to rule over all China, and nominally over all West Asia;
the Manchus (1643-1908) are the first Tartars to rule all China,
all Manchuria, and all Mongolia, at all effectively; and they have
even added parts of Turkestan, with Tibet, Nepaul, and other
countries over which the Peking imperial Mongol influence was
always very shadowy.

CHAPTER XLII

MUSIC

In these pictures of ancient Chinese life which we are
endeavouring to present, the idea is to repeat from every point of
view the main characteristics of that life, so that a strange and
unfamiliar subject, very loosely depicted in the straggling annals
of antiquity, may receive fresh rays of light from every possible
quarter, and thus stand out clearer as a connected whole.

Take, for instance, the subject of music, which always played in
Chinese ceremonial a prominent part not easy for us now to
understand. One of the chief sights of the modern Confucian
residence is the music-room, containing specimens of all the
ancient musical instruments, which, on occasion, are still played
upon in chorus; a picture of them has been published by Father
Tschepe. (See page 128.) According to the description given by
this European visitor, the music is of a most discordant and ear-
splitting description: but that does not necessarily dispose of
the question; for even parts of Wagner's Ring are a meaningless
clang to those who hear the music for the first time, and who are
unable to read the score or to follow out the "classical" style.
As we have said before, the ancient emperors, at their banquets
given to vassals and others, always had musical accompaniment.

In 626 B.C., when the ruler of Ts'in received a mission from "the
Tartar king" (probably a local king or chief), he was much struck
with the sagacity of the envoy sent to him. This envoy still spoke
the Tsin language or dialect; but his parents, who were of Tsin
origin, had adopted Tartar manners. The envoy was also an author,
and his work, in two sections, had survived at least up to the
second century B.C.: he is classed amongst the "Miscellaneous
Writers." The subject of the conversation was the superiority of
simple Tartar administration as compared with the intricate ritual
of the Odes, the Book, the Rites, and the "Music" of orthodox
China. The beginnings of Lao-tsz's Taoism seem to peep out from
this Tartar's words, just as they do with other "Miscellaneous"
authors. The wily Ts'in ruler, in order to secure this clever
envoy for his own service, sent two bands of female musicians as a
present to the Tartar king, so as to make him less virile; 140
years later the cunning ruler of Ts'i did much the same thing in
order to prevent the Duke of Lu from growing too strong; and the
immediate consequence was that Confucius left his fickle master in
disgust. Ki-chah, Prince of Wu, was entertained whilst at Lu with
specimens of music from the different states. When he came to the
Ts'in music, he said: "Ha! ha! the words are Chinese! When Ts'in
becomes quite Chinese, it will have a great future." This remark
suggests a Ts'in language or dialect different from that of Tsin,
and also from that of more orthodox China. In 546 B.C., when a
mission from Ts 'u to Tsin was accompanied by a high officer from
the disputed orthodox state of Ts'ai lying between those two great
powers, the theory of music as an adjunct to government was
discussed. Confucius' view a century later was that music best
reflected a nation's manners, and that in good old times authority
was manifested quite as much in rites and ceremonies as in laws
and pronouncements. Previous to that, in 582, it had been
discovered that Ts'u had a musical style of her own; and in 579,
when the Tsin envoy was received there in state, among other
instruments of music observed there were suspended bells.

Thus both Ts'in and Ts'u at this date were still in the learning
stage. Before ridiculing the idea that music could in any way
serve as a substitute for preaching or commanding, we must reflect
upon the awe-inspiring contribution of music to our own religious
services, not to mention the "speaking" effect of our Western
nocturnes, symphonies, and operatic music generally.

In 562 B.C., when a statesman of Tsin (whose fame in this
connection endures to our own days) succeeded in establishing a
permanent understanding with the Tartars, based upon joint trading
rights and reasonable mutual concessions, the principle of
interesting the Tartars in cultivation, industry, and so on; as a
reward for his distinguished services, he was presented with
certain music, which meant that he had the political right to have
certain musical airs performed in his presence. This concession
ceases to seem ridiculous or even strange to us if we reflect what
an honour it would have been to, say, the Duke of Wellington, or
to Nelson, had the right to play "God Save the King" at dinner
been granted to his family band of musicians. Four centuries
before this, when the Emperor Muh made his tour amongst the
Tartars, he always commanded that one particular musical air
(named) should be struck up by his musicians on certain occasions
(always stated in the narrative). In Tsin, and probably elsewhere,
music-masters seem to have combined soothsaying and philosophy
with their functions; thus, in 558 the music-master of that state
was questioned on the arts of good government, to which he
replied: "Goodness and justice"--two special antipathies, by the
way, of Lao-tsz the Taoist, who lived about this time as an
archive-keeper at the metropolis. In the year 555, either this
same man or another musical prophet in Tsin reassured his fellow-
countrymen who were dreading a Ts'u invasion with the following
words: "I have just been conducting a song consisting of north and
south airs, and the latter sound as though the south would be
defeated." But music also had its lighter uses, for we have seen
in Chapter VI. how in 549 two Tsin generals took their ease in a
comfortable cart, playing the banjo, whilst passing through Cheng
to attack Ts'u. Music was used at worship as well as at court; in
527 the ruler of Lu, as a mark of respect for one of his deceased
ministers, abandoned the playing of music, which otherwise would
have been a constituent part of the sacrifice or worship he had in
hand at the moment. Even in modern China, music is prohibited
during solemn periods of mourning, and officials are often
degraded for attending theatrical performances on solemn fasts. In
212 B.C., when the First August Emperor was, like Saul or
Belshazzar, beginning to grow sad at the contemplation of his
lonely and unloved greatness, he was suddenly startled at the fall
of a meteoric stone, bearing upon it what looked like a warning
inscription. He at once ordered his learned men to compose some
music treating of "true men" and immortals, in order to exorcise
the evil omen; it may be mentioned that this emperor's Taoist
proclivities have apparently had the indirect result that the word
"true man" has come century by century down to us, with the
meaning of "Taoist priest," or "Taoist inspired person."

CHAPTER XLIII

WEALTH, SPORTS, ETC.

A traveller in modern China may still wonder at the utter absence
of any sign of wealth or luxury except in the very largest towns.
Fine clothes, jewels, concubines, rich food, aphrodisiacs, opium,
land, cattle--these represent "wealth" as conceived by the Chinese
rich man's mind. In 655 Ts'in is said to have paid five ram-skins
to Ts'u in order to secure the services of a coveted adviser. Not
many years after that, when the future Second Protector was making
his terms with the King of Ts'u, he remarked: "What can I do for
you in return? You already possess all the slaves, musicians,
treasures, silks, feathers, ivory, and leather you can want." In
606 a magnificent turtle was sent as a new year's dinner present
from Ts'u to Cheng; in modern China this form of politeness would
never do at all, as the turtle has acquired an evil reputation as
a term of abuse, akin to the Spanish use or abuse of the word
"garlic": however, I myself once experienced, when inland, far
away from the sea, a curious compliment in the shape of a live
crab two inches long (sent to me as a great honour) in a small
jar. Of course chairs were unknown, and even the highest sat or
squatted on mats; not necessarily on the ground, but spread on
couches. Hence the word survives the object, just as with us
("covers" at dinner are "provided" but never seen; thus in China a
host is "east mat" and a guest "west mat.") In 626, when the ruler
of Ts'in was talking politics with the Tartar envoy just mentioned
above, he allowed him, as a special favour, to sit alongside of
his own mat (on the couch). These couches probably resembled the
modern settee, sofa, _k'ang,_ or divan, such as all visitors
to China have seen and sat on. Tea was quite unknown in those
days, and is not mentioned before the seventh century A.D.; but
possibly wine may have been served, as tea is now, on a low table
between the two seats. "Tartar couches" (possibly Turkish divans)
are frequently mentioned, even in the field of battle, and in
comparatively modern times. In 300 B.C. Ts'u made a present to a
distinguished renegade prince of the Ts'i house of an "elephant
couch," by which is probably meant a couch inlaid with ivory, in
the present well-known Annamese style.

In 589 B.C., when Tsin troops reached the Ts'i capital and the sea
(as already related in Chapters VI. and XXXIX. under the heads of
Armies and Geographical Knowledge), T'si endeavoured to purchase
peace by offering to the victor the state treasure in the shape of
precious utensils. In 551 a rich man of Ts'u was considered
insolently showy because he possessed forty horses. In 545 the
envoy from Cheng, acting under the Peace Conference agreement so
often previously described and alluded to, brings presents of furs
and silks to Ts'u; and in 537 Tsin speaks of such articles as
often being presented to Ts'u. In 494, when the King of Yiieh
received his great defeat at the hands of the King of Wu, his
first desperate idea was to kill his wives and children, burn his
valuables, and seek death at the head of his troops; but the
inevitable wily Chinese adviser was at hand, and the King ended by
taking his mentor's advice and successfully bribing the Wu general
(a Ts'u renegade) with presents of women and valuables. When this
shrewd Chinese adviser of the Yueh king had, by his sagacious
counsels, at last secured the final defeat of Wu, he packed up his
portable valuables, pearls, and jades, collected his family and
clients, and went away by sea, never to come back. As a matter of
fact, he settled in Ts'i, where he made an enormous fortune in the
fish trade, and ultimately became the traditional Croesus of
China, his name being quite as well known to modern Chinese
through the Confucian historians, as the name of Croesus is to
modern Europeans through Herodotus. He had, between the two
defeats of Yiieh by Wu and Wu by Yiieh, served for several years
as a spy in Wu, and the fact of his reaching Shan Tung by sea
confirms in principle the story of the family of his contemporary,
the King of Wu, having similarly escaped to Japan. The place where
he landed was probably the same as where the celebrated pilgrim
Fah Hien landed, after his Indian pilgrimage, in 415 A.D., i.e.,
at the German port of Ts'ing-tao.

We do not hear much of gold in the earlier times, but in 237 B.C.,
when Ts'in was straining every nerve to conquer China, the
(future) First August Emperor was advised that "it would not cost
more than 300,000 pounds weight in gold to bribe the ministers of
all the states in league against Ts'in." Yet in 643 B.C., on the
death of the First Protector, the orthodox state of Cheng (lying
between Ts'i and Tsin to the north and Ts'u to the south), was
bribed with "metal" of some sort--probably gold or silver--to
abandon Ts'i. In 538 the celebrated Cheng statesman Tsz-ch'an
informs his Ts'u colleagues that the Tsin officers "think of
nothing but money." What kind of money this was is doubtful, but
it will be remembered that about this time the "powerful family"
of Lu had succeeded in bribing the Tsin ministers, or the "six
great families" then managing Tsin, to deny justice to the
fugitive Lu duke. In 513 B.C. the powerful Wu king who made
(modern) Soochow his capital is said to have possessed both iron
and gold mines, and it is stated that not even China proper could
turn out better weapons. Large "cash" are said to have been coined
by the Emperor who reigned from 540 to 520 B.C.; and in 450 B.C.
the King of Ts'u is reported to have "closed his _depot_ of
the three moneys." As only copper was coined, it is not easy to
say now what the other two "moneys" were. In 318 B.C. a bribe of
"one hundred golds" was given by Yen to one of the well-known
political diplomats or intriguers then forming leagues with or
against Ts'in; it is not known for certain how much this was at
that particular time and place; but a century or two later it
meant, under the Ts'in dynasty, twenty-four ounces; during the Han
dynasty, conquerors of the Ts'in dynasty, it was only about half
that. Cooks seem to have held official positions of considerable
dignity. "Meat-eaters" in Confucian times was a term for
"officials" or "the rich." Thus when the haughty King of Wu was
suddenly recalled home, from his high-handed durbar with Tsin, Lu,
and other orthodox states, to go and deal with his formidable
enemy of Yueh, he turned quite pale. By dint of bold "bluff" he
managed after all to gain most of his political points, and to
retire from an awkward corner with honour; but Chinese spies had
their eyes on him none the less, and reported to the watchful
enemy that "meat-eaters are not usually blackfaced"--meaning that
the King of Wu evidently had some very recent bad news on his
mind, for "the well-fed do not usually look care-worn."

Silk was universally known. When the Second Protector (to be) was
dallying with his lady-love in Ts'i, the maid of his mistress
happened to overhear important conversations from her post in a
mulberry tree; the presumption is that she was collecting leaves
for the silkworms. Again in 519, a century later, there was a
dispute on the Ts'u-Wu frontier (North An Hwei province), about
the possession of certain mulberry trees. Cotton (_Gossypium_)
was unknown in China, and the poorer classes wore garments of
hempen materials; the cotton tree (_Bombyx_) was known in
the south, but then (as now) the catkins could not be woven
into cloth. It was never the custom of officers in China to wear
swords, until in 409 B.C. Ts'in introduced the practice; but it
probably never extended to orthodox China, so far, at least, as
civilians' were concerned. The three dynasties of Hia, Shang, and
Chou had all made use of jade or malachite rings, tablets,
sceptres, and so on, as marks of official rank.

As to sports, hunting, and especially fowling, seem to have been
the most popular pastimes. In 660 a prince of Wei (orthodox) is
said to have had a passion for egret fights. In 539 four-horsed
chariots are mentioned as being used in a great Ts'u hunt south of
the modern Teh-an in northern Hu Peh province, then mostly jungle:
these hunts were used as a sort of training for war as well as for
sport. The celebrated "stone drums" discovered in the seventh
century A.D. near the old Chou capital describe the war-hunts of
the active emperor mentioned in Chapter XLI. As might be expected,
Yen (Peking plain) would be well off for horses-to this day
brought by the Mongols in droves to Peking: in 539 it is said of
Yen: "She was never a strong power, in spite of her numerous
horses." In 534 a great hunt in Lu is described with much detail;
here also chariots were used, and their shafts were reared in
opposite rows with their tips meeting above, so as to form a
"shaft gate," on which, besides, a flag was kept flying. The
entrance to Chinese official _yamens_ is still called "the
shaft gate";-in fact, the _ya_ was orginally a flag, and "_yamen_"
simply means "flag gate." In the Middle Ages the Turkish Khans'
encampments were always spoken of as their ya--thus: "from
hence 1500 miles north-west to the Khan's _ya_." Cockfighting
was a common sport in Ts'i and Lu. In 517 B.C. two prominent
Lu functionaries had a quarrel because one had put metal
spurs on his bird, whilst the other had scattered mustard in the
feathers of his fighting cock: owing to the ambiguity or double
meaning of one of the pictographs employed, it is not quite
certain that "mustard in the wings" may not mean "a metal helmet
on the head." Lifting weights was (as now) a favourite exercise;
in 307 a Ts'in prince died from the effects of a strain produced
in trying to lift a heavy metal tripod. In Ts'i games at ball,
including a kind of football, were played. As a rule, however, it
is to be feared that the wealthy Chinese classes in ancient (as in
modern) times found their chief recreation in feasting, literary
bouts, and female society. Curiously enough, nothing is said of
gambling. Women are depicted at their looms, or engaged upon the
silk industry; but it is singular how very little is said of home
life, of how the houses were constructed, of how the hours of
leisure were passed. In modern China the bulk of the male rural
population rises with or before the dawn, and is engaged upon
field or garden work until the shades of evening fall in; there is
no artificial light adequate for purposes of needlework or private
study; even the consolations of tobacco and tea--not to say opium,
and now newspapers--were unknown in Confucian days. It is
presumed, therefore, that life was even more humdrum than it is
now, except that women at least had feet to walk upon. We gain
some glimpses of excessive taxation and popular misery, forced
labour and the press-gang; of callous luxury on the part of the
rich, from the pages of Lao-tsz and Mencius; the Book of Odes also
tells us much about the pathetic sadness of the people under their
taskmasters' hands. In all countries popular habits change slowly;
in none more so than in China. We are driven, therefore, by
comparison with the life of to-day to conclude that life in those
times was sufficiently wretched, and it is therefore not to be
wondered at that the miserable people readily sold their services
to the first ambitious adventurer who could protect them, and feed
them from day to day.

CHAPTER XLIV

CONFUCIUS

Confucius has hitherto appeared to many of us Westerners as a
stiff, incomprehensible individual, resting his claim to
immortality upon sententious nothingnesses directed to no obvious
practical purpose; but, from the slight sketches of the manners of
the times in which he lived given above, it will be apparent that
he was a practical man with a definite object in view, and that
both his barebones history and his jerky moral teachings were the
best he could do with sorry material, and in the face of
inveterate corruption and tyranny. It has been explained how the
Warrior King who conquered China for the Chou family in 1122,
about a dozen years later enfeoffed the elder brother of the last
Shang dynasty emperor in the country of Sung, where he ruled the
greater part of what was left of the late dynasty's immediate
_entourage_, and kept up the sacrifices. This is what Confucius
meant when he said: "There remain not in K'i sufficient indications
of what the institutions of the Hia dynasty were; but I have studied
in Sung what survives of the Shang dynasty institutions. In practice
I follow the Chou dynasty institutions, as I have studied them at
home in Lu." K'i was a very petty state of marquess rank situated
near Lu, to which, indeed, it was subordinate; but just as Sung had,
as representatives of the Shang dynasty, the privilege of carrying out
certain imperial sacrifices, so had K'i, as representatives of the Hia
dynasty (enfeoffed by Chou in 1122), an equal right to distinction.
Confucius' ancestors were natives of Sung and scions of the ducal
family reigning there; in fact, in 893 his ancestor ought to have
succeeded to the Sung throne: in 710 B.C. the last of these
ancestors to hold high official rank in Sung was killed, together
with his princely master; and several generations after that the
great-grandfather of Confucius, in order to avoid the secular
spite of the powerful family who had so killed his ancestor,
decided to migrate to Lu. In other words, he just crossed the
modern Grand Canal (then the river Sz, which rose in Lu), and
moved a few days' journey north-east to the nearest civilized
state of any standing. Confucius' father is no mythical personage,
but a stout, common soldier, whose doughty deeds under three
successive dukes are mentioned in the Lu history quite in a casual
and regular way. When still quite a child, Confucius disclosed a
curious fancy for playing with sacrificial objects and practising
ceremonies, just as English children in the nursery sometimes play
at "being parson and sexton," and at "having feasts." When he grew
up to manhood, a high officer of Lu foretold his future greatness,
not only on account of his precociously grave demeanour, but also
because he was in direct descent from the Shang dynasty, and
because the intrigues that had taken place in Sung had deprived
him of his succession rights there also. This high officer's two
sons, both frequently mentioned by various contemporary authors,
and one of whom subsequently went with Confucius to visit Lao-tsz
at the imperial court, thereupon studied the rites under the man
of whom their father had spoken so well. The only official
appointment in Lu that Confucius was able to obtain at this period
was that of steward to one of the "powerful families" then engaged
in the task, so congenial in those times all over China, of
undermining the ducal authority; this appointment was a kind of
stewardship, in which his duties consisted in tallying the
measures of grain and checking the heads of cattle. One of the two
sons of the above-mentioned statesman who had foreseen Confucius'
distinction, some time after this submitted a request to the ruler
of Lu that he might proceed in company with Confucius to visit the
imperial capital; and it is supposed by Sz-ma Ts'ien, the
historian of 100 B.C., that this was the occasion on which took
place the philosopher's famous interview with Lao-tsz. In this
connection there are two or three remarks to make. In the first
place, it is recorded of nearly all the vassal states that they
either did pay visits to, or wished to visit, the metropolis; and
that royal dukes and royal historians, either at vassal request or
under imperial instruction, took part in advising vassal states.
In the second place, as Confucius then held no high office, his
visit, being a private affair, would not be considered worth
mentioning in the Lu annals, and it would therefore almost follow
as a matter of course that the young man who accompanied him,
being of official status by birth, would count as the chief
personage. In the third place, there is no instance in the
Confucian histories of a mere archive-keeper or a mere philosopher
being mentioned on account of his importance in that capacity.
Such men as Tsz-ch'an, Shuh Hiang, Ki-chah, and the other
distinguished "ritualists" of the time, are not mentioned so much
on account of their abstract teachings as they are on account of
their being able statesmen, competent to stave off the rising tide
of revolutionary opinions. Even Confucius himself only appears in
contemporary annals as an able administrator and diplomat; there
is no particular mention of his "school," and, _a fortiori,_
he himself does not mention Lao-tsz's "school," even if Lao-tsz
had one; for he disapproved of Lao-tsz's republican and democratic
way of construing the ancient _tao._ Finally, neither Confucius
nor Lao-tsz, however great their local reputations, were
yet universally "great"; they were consequently as little the
objects of hero-worship as was Shakespeare when he was at the
height of his activity; and of the living Shakespeare we know next
to nothing. At this time Lu was in a quandary, surrounded by the
rival great powers of Tsin, Ts'i, and Ts'u, all three of which
absolutely ignored the Emperor, except so far as they might
succeed in using him and his ritualistic prestige as a cat's-paw
in their own selfish interests. When Confucius was thirty years of
age (522 B.C.) the ruler of Ts'i, accompanied by his minister the
philosopher Yen-tsz, paid a visit to Lu, and had a discussion with
Confucius upon the question: "How did Ts'in, from beginnings so
small and obscure, reach her present commanding position?" Besides
this, the Ts'i ruler and his henchman Yen-tsz both took the
opportunity to study the rites at Lu. This fact seems to support
the (later) statement that Confucius had himself been to study the
rites at the metropolis, and also to explain Confucius' own
confession that he did not understand much about the Hia dynasty
institutions that used to exist in K'i,--a state lying eastward of
Ts'i. In 520 the last envoy ever sent from Lu to the Chou
metropolis reported on his return that the imperial family was in
a state of feud and anarchy: if, as it is stated, this was really
the last envoy from Lu, then Confucius and his friend must have
visited Lao-tsz before the former reached the age of thirty. Tsin
and Lu were both now in a revolutionary condition, and a struggle
with the "powerful families" was going on in each case; it was
also beginning in Ts'i, and in principle seems to have been
exactly akin to our English struggle between King John and his
barons (as champions of popular rights) against the greed of the
tax-collector. To avoid home troubles, Confucius at the age of
thirty-five went to Ts'i, in order, if possible, to serve his
friend the Marquess, who had a few years before consulted him
about the rise of Ts'in. There perhaps it was that he found an
opportunity to study the music of the Hia dynasty at the petty
state of K'i, only one day's journey east of the Ts'i capital, on
the north-east frontier of Lu; and then it must have been that he
formed his opinion about the surviving Hia rites. His advice to
the reigning prince of Ts'i was so highly appreciated that it was
proposed to confer an estate upon him. It is interesting to note
that the jealous Yen-tsz (who was much admired as a companionable
man by Confucius) protested against this grant, on the ground that
"men of his views are sophistical rhetoricians, intoxicated with
the exuberance of their own verbosity; incompetent to administer
the people; wasting time and money upon expensive funerals. Life
is too short to waste in trying to get to the bottom of these
inane studies." From this it will be seen that Lao-tsz was by no
means alone in despising Confucius' conservative and ritualistic
views, though it is quite possible that Yen-tsz may still have
respected him as a man and a politician. Finally, Confucius,
finding that the Ts'i ministers were all arrayed against him, and
that the Marquess fain confessed himself too old to fight his
battles for him, quitted the country and returned home. His own
duke died in exile in 510 B.C., power remaining in the intriguing
hands of an influential private family; and for at least ten years
Confucius held no office in his native land, but spent his time in
editing the Odes, the Book, the Chou Rites, and the Music; by some
it is even thought that he not only edited but composed the Book
(of History), or put together afresh such parts of the old Book as
suited his didactic purposes. Meanwhile the private family
intrigues went on more actively than ever; until at last, in 501,
when Confucius was fifty years of age, the most formidable
agitator of them all, finding his position untenable, escaped to
Ts'i; it even seems that Confucius placed, or thought of placing,
his services at the disposal of one of these rebel subjects.
Possibly it was in view of such contingencies that the reigning
duke at last gave Confucius a post as governor of a town, where
his administration was so admirable that he soon passed through
higher posts to that of Chief Justice, or Minister of Justice.
Confucius' views on law are well known. He totally disapproved of
Tsz-ch'an's publication of the law in the orthodox state of Cheng,
as explained in Chapter XX., holding that the judge should always
"declare" the law, and make the punishment fit the crime, instead
of giving the people opportunities to test how far they could
strain the literal terms of the law. He also said: "I am like
others in administering the law; I apply it to each case; it is
necessary to slay one in order not to have to slay more. The
ancients understood prevention better than we do now; at present
all we can hope to do is to avoid punishing unjustly. The ancients
strove to save a prisoner's life; now we can only do our best to
prove his guilt. However, better let a guilty man go free than
slay an innocent one."

Confucius' old friend the ruler of Ts'i was still alive (he
reigned fifty-eight years, one of the longest reigns on record in
Chinese history), and he had just suffered serious humiliation at
the hands of the barbarous King of Wu, to whose heir-apparent he
had been obliged to send one of his daughters in marriage. The
Protectorate of China was going a-begging for want of a worthy
sovereign, and it looked at one time as though Confucius' stern
and efficient administration would secure the coveted prize for
Lu. The Marquess of Ts'i therefore formed a treacherous plot to
assassinate both master and man, and with this end in view sent an
envoy to propose a friendly conference. It was on this occasion
that Confucius uttered his famous saying (quoted, however, from
what "he had heard") that "they who discuss by diplomacy should
always have the support of a military backing." A couple of
generals accordingly accompanied the party to the trysting-place;
and it is presumed that the generals had a force of soldiers with
them, even though the indispensable common people be not worth
mention in Chinese history. In conformity with practice, an altar
or dai's was constructed; wine was offered, and the usual rites
were being fulfilled to the utmost, when suddenly a Ts'i officer
advanced rapidly and said: "I now propose to introduce some
foreign musicians," a band of whom at once entered the arena, with
brandished weapons, waving feathers, and noisy yells. Confucius
saw through this sinister manoeuvre at once, and, hastily mounting
the dais (except, out of respect, the last step), expostulated in
the plainest terms. The ruler of Ts'i was so ashamed of his
position that he at once sent the dancers away. But a second group
of mountebanks were promptly introduced in spite of this check.
Confucius was so angry, that he demanded their instant execution
under the law (presumably a general imperial law) "providing the
punishment of death for those who should excite animosity between
princes." Heads and legs soon covered the ground; and Confucius
played his other cards so well that he secured, in the sequel, a
formal treaty, actually surrendering to Lu certain territories
that had unlawfully been held for some years by Ts'i. On the other
hand, Lu had to promise to aid Ts'i with 22,500 men in case Ts'i
should engage in any "foreign" war--probably alluding to Wu. Two
or three years after that stirring event there was civil war in
Lu, owing to Confucius having insisted on the "barons" dismantling
their private fortresses.

At the age of fifty-six Confucius left his post as Minister of
Justice to take up that of First Counsellor: his first act was to
put to death a grandee who was sowing disorder in the state. It
was during these years of supreme administration that complete
order was restored throughout the country; thieves disappeared;
"sucking-pigs and lambs were sold for honest prices"; and there
was general content and rejoicing throughout the land. All this
made the neighbouring people of Ts'i more and more uneasy, even to
the point of fearing annexation by Lu. The wily old Marquess
therefore, again at the instigation of the man who had planned the
attempted assassination of 500 B.C., made a selection of eighty of
the most beautiful women Ts'i could produce, besides thirty four-
horsed chariots of the most magnificent description. The reigning
Marquess of Lu, as well as his "powerful family" friend against
whom Confucius had once thought of taking arms (who, indeed, acted
as intermediary) both fell into the trap: public duty and
sacrifices were neglected; and the result was that Confucius at
once threw up his offices and left the country in disgust. His
first visit was to Wei (imperial clan), the capital city of which
state then stood on the Yellow River, in the extreme north-east
part of modern Ho Nan province; and through this capital the river
then ran: the metropolis of one of the very ancient emperors
previous to the Hia dynasty had nearly 2000 years before been in
the immediate neighbourhood, as also had been the last capital of
the Shang dynasty, of which, as we have seen, Confucius was a
distant scion. After a few months' stay there, he was suspected
and calumniated; so he decided to move on, although the ruler of
Wei had generously appropriated to him a salary (in grain)
suitable to his high rank. He accordingly proceeded eastwards to a
town belonging to Sung (in the extreme south of modern Chih Li
province): here he had the misfortune to be mistaken for the
dangerous individual who had fled from Lu to Ts'i in 501, in
consequence of which he returned to stay in Wei with his friend
K'u-peh-yuh, who, as mentioned in Chapter XXVIII., had been
visited by Ki-chah of Wu in 544 B.C. Here, as a distinguished
traveller, he was asked (practically commanded) by one of the
ruler's wives to pay her a visit; and, though the reluctant visit
was paid with all propriety and reserve, the fact that this woman
was at the time suspected of having committed incest with her own
brother is considered by uncompromising native critics to leave a
slight stain on Confucius' character. Worse still, the reigning
prince took his wife out for a drive with a eunuch sitting in the
same carriage, ordering the sage to follow the party in an
inferior carriage. This was too much for Confucius, who then
resumed his original journey through Sung, from which he had
turned back, and proceeded to the small state of Ts'ao (imperial
clan; still called Ts'ao-thou, extreme south-west of modern Shan
Tung province). To-day he would have had to cross the Yellow
River, but of course none is here mentioned, as Confucius had
already left it behind at the Wei capital: in fact, he had been on
the right bank ever since he left his own country. This was 495
B.C. After a short stay in Ts'ao, the philosopher proceeded south
towards the capital of Sung (modern Kwei-teh Fu in the extreme
east of Ho Nan). For some reason the Minister of War there wished
to assassinate him--probably because the arch-intriguer whom
Confucius had driven out of Lu in 501, and who had taken refuge
first in Ts'i and then in Sung, had calumniated him there.
Confucius thereupon made his way westwards, over the various
headwaters of the River Hwai, to Cheng (imperial clan), the state
which had been for a generation so admirably administered by Tsz-
ch'an: in fact, a man outside the city gate observed "how like
Tsz-ch'an" the stranger looked. Some accounts make out that Tsz-
ch'an was then only just dead, but the better opinion is that he
had already then been dead for twenty-seven years: in any case it
is curious that Confucius, who was a very tall man, should twice
be mistaken for other persons. Thence Confucius turned back south-
east to the orthodox state of Ch'en (modern Ch'en-chou Fu in
Eastern Ho Nan). This was one of the very oldest principalities in
China, dating from even before the Hia dynasty (2205 B.C.); and
the Warrior King of Chou, after conquering the empire in 1122
B.C., had industriously sought out the most suitable lineal
descendant to take over the ancient fee of his remote ancestor,
and continue the sacrifices.

Confucius remained in Ch'en over three years, and during that time
the barbarian King of Wu annexed several neighbouring towns,
whilst Tsin and Ts'u ravaged the surrounding country in turn, in
their rival efforts to secure a predominant influence there. Here
it was, too, that a bird of prey, pierced with a strange arrow,
fell near the prince's palace: from the wood used in making the
arrow and the peculiar stone barb employed to tip it, Confucius
was able to explain that the bird must have flown from (modern)
Manchuria. (This annual flight of bustards and geese, to and from
the Steppes, may be observed any winter to-day.) He next turned
north, and arrived once more at the spot in Sung he had visited in
496: here he was arrested, but set free on his solemn promise that
he would not go to Wei, which state at the moment was considering
the advisability of attacking that very Sung town. Confucius
deliberately broke his plighted word, on the ground that "promises
extorted by violence are void, and are not recognized by the
gods." (These words, which, after all, are good English law, were
quoted by the irate Chang Chf-tung when Russia "extorted" the
Livadia Treaty from Ch'unghou.) On his arrival in Wei, he advised
his old friend, the Wei duke, to attack the Sung town he had just
left. But the duke thought it best to have the Yellow River
between himself and the rival states of Ts'u and Tsin (this
specific mention of the Yellow River as being west of a city in
long. 114 30' E. is interesting). The latter state, Tsin, then
held most of the left bank. Confucius even thought of accepting
the invitation of a Tsin rebel to go and assist him: this was just
at the moment when the "six families" were gradually breaking up
the once powerful northern orthodox state. He also hesitated
whether he would not do better, as the prince of Wei would not
employ him, to proceed west to Tsin in order there to serve one of
the contending six families: in fact he actually got as far as the
Yellow River (another proof that it must then have run on the west
side of Wei-hwei Fu in Ho Nan); but turned back to Wei on hearing
unfavourable news from the Tsin capital (in south Shan Si). As the
Wei prince treated him somewhat cavalierly during an interview, he
decided to go back once more due south to the ancient state of
Ch'en. Here (492) he heard news of the destruction by fire of some
of the Lu ancestral temples, and of the death of the "powerful
family" minister whose disgraceful conduct with the singing girls
had led to his departure from Lu in disgust. This minister was a
sort of hereditary _maire du palais_, an arrangement which
seems to have been customary in many states, and his last words to
his son were: "When you succeed me, send for Confucius: my
administration has failed: I did wrong in dismissing him." The son
had not the courage to ask Confucius himself, but he sent instead
for one of the philosopher's disciples, and it was arranged with
Confucius' friends that this disciple on taking office should send
for Confucius himself, who really wished to be employed in Lu
again. Meanwhile Confucius decided to visit the orthodox state of
Ts'ai (imperial clan), lying to the south of Che'n: the capital of
this state had been originally a town on the upper waters of the
Hwai River, right in the heart of modern Ho Nan province; but,
under stress of the Tsin and T'su wars, it had twice moved its
chief city eastwards, and owing to a Ts'u invasion, it was now
(491) on the main Hwai River in modern An Hwei province, and was
at the moment under the political influence of Wu; it is not

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