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  • 1861–1872
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A note from the digitizer

This digitized version preserves the original page breaks. The text of each page is followed by its notes. Note reference numbers in the text are enclosed in brackets.

In a few places I have substituted the character forms available in the Big 5 character set for rare or (what are now considered) nonstandard forms used by Legge. Characters not included in the Big 5 character set in any form are described by their constituent elements.

with a translation, critical and exegetical notes, prolegomena, and copious indexes by James Legge


1. The Books now recognised as of highest authority in China are comprehended under the denominations of ‘The five Ching [1]’ and ‘The four Shu [2].’ The term Ching is of textile origin, and signifies the warp threads of a web, and their adjustment. An easy application of it is to denote what is regular and insures regularity. As used with reference to books, it indicates their authority on the subjects of which they treat. ‘The five Ching’ are the five canonical Works, containing the truth upon the highest subjects from the sages of China, and which should be received as law by all generations. The term Shu simply means Writings or Books, = the Pencil Speaking; it may be used of a single character, or of books containing thousands of characters.

2. ‘The five Ching’ are: the Yi [3], or, as it has been styled, ‘The Book of Changes;’ the Shu [4], or ‘The Book of History;’ the Shih [5], or ‘The Book of Poetry;’ the Li Chi [6], or ‘Record of Rites;’ and the Ch’un Ch’iu [7], or ‘Spring and Autumn,’ a chronicle of events, extending from 722 to 481 B.C. The authorship, or compilation rather, of all these Works is loosely attributed to Confucius. But much of the Li Chi is from later hands. Of the Yi, the Shu, and the Shih, it is only in the first that we find additions attributed to the philosopher himself, in the shape of appendixes. The Ch’un Ch’iu is the only one of the five Ching which can, with an approximation to correctness, be described as of his own ‘making.’

1 五經.
2 四書.
3 易經.
4 書經.
5 詩經.
6 禮記.
7 春秋.

‘The Four Books’ is an abbreviation for ‘The Books of the Four Philosophers [1].’ The first is the Lun Yu [2], or ‘Digested Conversations,’ being occupied chiefly with the sayings of Confucius. He is the philosopher to whom it belongs. It appears in this Work under the title of ‘Confucian Analects.’ The second is the Ta Hsio [3], or ‘Great Learning,’ now commonly attributed to Tsang Shan [4], a disciple of the sage. He is he philosopher of it. The third is the Chung Yung [5], or ‘Doctrine of the Mean,’ as the name has often been translated, though it would be better to render it, as in the present edition, by ‘The State of Equilibrium and Harmony.’ Its composition is ascribed to K’ung Chi [6], the grandson of Confucius. He is the philosopher of it. The fourth contains the works of Mencius.

3. This arrangement of the Classical Books, which is commonly supposed to have originated with the scholars of the Sung dynasty, is defective. The Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean are both found in the Record of Rites, being the thirty-ninth and twenty-eighth Books respectively of that compilation, according to the best arrangement of it.

4. The oldest enumerations of the Classical Books specify only the five Ching. The Yo Chi, or ‘Record of Music [7],’ the remains of which now form one of the Books in the Li Chi, was sometimes added to those, making with them the six Ching. A division was also made into nine Ching, consisting of the Yi, the Shih, the Shu, the Chau Li [8], or ‘Ritual of Chau,’ the I Li [9], or certain ‘Ceremonial Usages,’ the Li Chi, and the annotated editions of the Ch’un Ch’iu [10], by Tso Ch’iu-ming [11], Kung- yang Kao [12], and Ku-liang Ch’ih

[13]. In the famous compilation of the Classical Books, undertaken by order of T’ai-tsung, the second emperor of the T’ang dynasty (A.D. 627-649), and which appeared in the reign of his successor, there are thirteen Ching, viz. the Yi, the Shih, the Shu, the three editions of the Ch’un Ch’iu, the Li Chi, the Chau Li, the I Li, the Confucian Analects, the R Ya [14], a sort of ancient dictionary, the Hsiao Ching [15], or ‘Classic of Filial Piety,’ and the works of Mencius.

5. A distinction, however, was made among the Works thus

1 四子之書.
2 論語.
3 大學.
4 曾參.
5 中庸.
6 孔伋.
7 樂記.
8 周禮.
9 儀禮.
10 春秋三傳
11 左丘明.
12 公羊高.
13 穀梁赤.
14 爾雅.
15 孝經.

comprehended under the same common name; and Mencius, the Lun Yu, the Ta Hsio, the Chung Yung, and the Hsiao Ching were spoken of as the Hsiao Ching, or ‘Smaller Classics.’ It thus appears, contrary to the ordinary opinion on the subject, that the Ta Hsio and Chung Yung had been published as separate treatises before the Sung dynasty, and that Four Books, as distinguished from the greater Ching, had also previously found a place in the literature of China [1].


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

2. In the memoirs of the Former Han dynasty (B.C. 202-A.D. 24), we have one chapter which we may call the History of Literature [2]. It commences thus: ‘After the death of Confucius [3], there was an end of his exquisite words; and when his seventy disciples had passed away, violence began to be done to their meaning. It came about that there were five different editions of the Ch’un Ch’iu, four of the Shih, and several of the Yi. Amid the disorder and collisions of the warring States (B.C. 481-220), truth and falsehood were still more in a state of warfare, and a sad confusion marked the words of the various scholars. Then came the calamity inflicted under the Ch’in dynasty (B.C. 220-205), when the literary monuments were destroyed by fire, in order to keep the people in ignorance. But, by and by, there arose the Han dynasty, which set itself to remedy the evil wrought by the Ch’in. Great efforts were made to collect slips and tablets [4], and the way was thrown wide open for the bringing in of Books. In the time of the emperor Hsiao-wu [5] (B.C. 140-85), portions of Books being wanting and tablets lost, so that ceremonies and music were

1 For the statements in the two last paragraphs, see 西河合集, 大學證文, 卷 一.
2 前漢書, 本志, 第十卷, 藝文志.
3 仲尼.
4 篇籍, slips and tablets of bamboo, which supplied in those days the place of paper.
5 世界孝武皇帝.

suffering great damage, he was moved to sorrow and said, “I am very sad for this.” He therefore formed the plan of Repositories, in which the Books might be stored, and appointed officers to transcribe Books on an extensive scale, embracing the works of the various scholars, that they might all be placed in the Repositories. The emperor Ch’ang (B.C. 32-5), finding that a portion of the Books still continued dispersed or missing, commissioned Ch’an Nang, the Superintendent of Guests [2], to search for undiscovered Books throughout the empire, and by special edict ordered the chief of the Banqueting House, Liu Hsiang [3], to examine the Classical Works, along with the commentaries on them, the writings of the scholars, and all poetical productions; the Master-controller of Infantry, Zan Hwang [4], to examine the Books on the art of war; the Grand Historiographer, Yin Hsien [5], to examine the Books treating of the art of numbers (i.e. divination); and the imperial Physician, Li Chu-kwo [6], to examine the Books on medicine. Whenever any book was done with, Hsiang forthwith arranged it, indexed it, and made a digest of it, which was presented to the emperor. While this work was in progress, Hsiang died, and the emperor Ai (B.C. 6-A.D. 1) appointed his son, Hsin [7], a Master of the imperial carriages, to complete his father’s work. On this, Hsin collected all the Books, and presented a report of them, under seven divisions.’
The first of these divisions seems to have been a general catalogue [8] containing perhaps only the titles of the works included in the other six. The second embraced the Classical Works [9]. From the abstract of it, which is preserved in the chapter referred to, we find that there were 294 collections of the Yi-ching from thirteen different individuals or editors [10]; 412 collections of the Shu-ching, from nine different individuals; 416 volumes of the Shih-ching, from six different individuals [11]; of the Books of Rites, 555 collec-

1 孝成皇帝.
2 謁者陳農.
3 光祿大夫劉向.
4 步兵校慰任宏.
5 太史令尹咸.
6 侍醫李桂國.
7 侍中奉車都慰歆.
8 輯略.
9 六藝略.
10 凡易, 十三家, 二百九十四篇.

How much of the whole work was contained in each 篇, it is impossible to determine. P. Regis says: ‘Pien, quemadmodum Gallice dicimus “des pieces d’éloquence, de poésie.”‘

11 詩, 六家, 四百一十六卷.

The collections of the Shih-ching are mentioned under the name of chuan, ‘sections,’ ‘portions.’ Had p’ien been used, it might have been understood of individual odes. This change of terms shows that by p’ien in the other summaries, we are not to understand single blocks or chapters.
tions, from thirteen different individuals; of the Books on Music, 165 collections, from six different editors; 948 collections of History, under the heading of the Ch’un Ch’iu, from twenty-three different individuals; 229 collections of the Lun Yu, including the Analects and kindred fragments, from twelve different individuals; of the Hsiao-ching, embracing also the R Ya, and some other portions of the ancient literature, 59 collections, from eleven different individuals; and finally of the lesser Learning, being works on the form of the characters, 45 collections, from eleven different individuals. The works of Mencius were included in the second division

[1], among the writings of what were deemed orthodox scholars [2], of which there were 836 collections, from fifty-three different individuals.

3. The above important document is sufficient to show how the emperors of the Han dynasty, as soon as they had made good their possession of the empire, turned their attention to recover the ancient literature of the nation, the Classical Books engaging their first care, and how earnestly and effectively the scholars of the time responded to the wishes of their rulers. In addition to the facts specified in the preface to it, I may relate that the ordinance of the Ch’in dynasty against possessing the Classical Books (with the exception, as it will appear in its proper place, of the Yi-ching) was repealed by the second sovereign of the Han, the emperor Hsiao Hui [3], in the fourth year of his reign, B.C. 191, and that a large portion of the Shu-ching was recovered in the time of the third emperor, B.C. 179-157, while in the year B.C. 136 a special Board was constituted, consisting of literati, who were put in charge of the five Ching [4].

4. The collections reported on by Liu Hsin suffered damage in the troubles which began A.D. 8, and continued till the rise of the second or eastern Han dynasty in the year 25. The founder of it (A.D. 25-57) zealously promoted the undertaking of his predecessors, and additional repositories were required for the Books which were collected. His successors, the emperors Hsiao-ming [5] (58-75), Hsiao-chang [6] (76-88), and Hsiao-hwo [7] (89-105), took a part themselves in the studies and discussions of the literary tribunal, and

1 諸子略.
2 儒家者流.
3 孝惠皇帝.
4 武帝建元五年, 初置五經博士.
5 顯宗孝明皇帝.
6 肅宗孝章皇帝.
7 孝和皇帝.

the emperor Hsiao-ling [1], between the years 172-178, had the text of the five Ching, as it had been fixed, cut in slabs of stone, and set up in the capital outside the gate of the Grand College. Some old accounts say that the characters were in three different forms, but they were only in one form; — see the 287th book of Chu I-tsun’s great Work.

5. Since the Han, the successive dynasties have considered the literary monuments of the country to be an object of their special care. Many of them have issued editions of the Classics, embodying the commentaries of preceding generations. No dynasty has distinguished itself more in this line than the present Manchau possessors of the empire. In fine, the evidence is complete that the Classical Books of China have come down from at least a century before our Christian era, substantially the same as we have them at present.

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

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

The account which we have of these transactions in the Historical Records is the following [2]:
‘In his 34th year [the 34th year, that is, after he had ascended the throne of Ch’in. It was only the 9th year after he had been acknowledged Sovereign of the empire, coinciding with B.C. 213], the emperor, returning from a visit to the south, which had extended

1 孝靈皇帝.

2 I have thought it well to endeavour to translate the whole of the passages. Father de Mailla merely constructs from them a narrative of his own; see L’Histoire Générale de La China, tome ii. pp. 399-402. The 通鑑網目 avoids the difficulties of the original by giving an abridgment of it.

as far as Yueh, gave a feast in his palace at Hsien-yang, when the Great Scholars, amounting to seventy men, appeared and wished him a long life [1]. One of the principal ministers, Chau Ch’ing-ch’an [2], came forward and said, “Formerly, the State of Ch’in was only 1000 li in extent, but Your Majesty, by your spirit-like efficacy and intelligent wisdom, has tranquillized and settled the whole empire, and driven away all barbarous tribes, so that, wherever the sun and moon shine, all rulers appear before you as guests acknowledging subjection. You have formed the states of the various princes into provinces and districts, where the people enjoy a happy tranquillity, suffering no more from the calamities of war and contention. This condition of things will be transmitted for 10,000 generations. From the highest antiquity there has been no one in awful virtue like Your Majesty.”

‘The emperor was pleased with this flattery, when Shun-yu Yueh [3], one of the Great Scholars, a native of Ch’i, advanced and said, “The sovereigns of Yin and Chau, for more than a thousand years, invested their sons and younger brothers, and meritorious ministers, with domains and rule, and could thus depend upon them for support and aid;– that I have heard. But now Your Majesty is in possession of all within the seas, and your sons and younger brothers are nothing but private individuals. The issue will be that some one will arise to play the part of T’ien Ch’ang [4], or of the six nobles of Tsin. Without the support of your own family, where will you find the aid which you may require? That a state of things not modelled from the lessons of antiquity can long continue;– that is what I have not heard. Ch’ing is now showing himself to be a flatterer, who increases the errors of Your Majesty, and not a loyal minister.”

The emperor requested the opinions of others on this representation, and the premier, Li Sze [5], said, “The five emperors were not one the double of the other, nor did the three dynasties accept one another’s ways. Each had a peculiar system of government, not for the sake of the contrariety, but as being required by the changed times. Now, Your Majesty has laid the foundations of

1 博士七十人前為壽. The 博士 were not only ‘great scholars,’ but had an official rank. There was what we may call a college of them, consisting of seventy members.
2 僕射, 周青臣.
3 淳于越.
4 田常. — 常 should probably be 恆, as it is given in the T’ung Chien. See Analects XIV. xxii. T’ien Hang was the same as Ch’an Ch’ang of that chapter.
5 丞相李斯

imperial sway, so that it will last for 10,000 generations. This is indeed beyond what a stupid scholar can understand. And, moreover, Yueh only talks of things belonging to the Three Dynasties, which are not fit to be models to you. At other times, when the princes were all striving together, they endeavoured to gather the wandering scholars about them; but now, the empire is in a stable condition, and laws and ordinances issue from one supreme authority. Let those of the people who abide in their homes give their strength to the toils of husbandry, while those who become scholars should study the various laws and prohibitions. Instead of doing this, however, the scholars do not learn what belongs to the present day, but study antiquity. They go on to condemn the present time, leading the masses of the people astray, and to disorder.

‘”At the risk of my life, I, the prime minister, say: Formerly, when the nation was disunited and disturbed, there was no one who could give unity to it. The princes therefore stood up together; constant references were made to antiquity to the injury of the present state; baseless statements were dressed up to confound what was real, and men made a boast of their own peculiar learning to condemn what their rulers appointed. And now, when Your Majesty has consolidated the empire, and, distinguishing black from white, has constituted it a stable unity, they still honour their peculiar learning, and combine together; they teach men what is contrary to your laws. When they hear that an ordinance has been issued, every one sets to discussing it with his learning. In the court, they are dissatisfied in heart; out of it, they keep talking in the streets. While they make a pretense of vaunting their Master, they consider it fine to have extraordinary views of their own. And so they lead on the people to be guilty of murmuring and evil speaking. If these things are not prohibited, Your Majesty’s authority will decline, and parties will be formed. The best way is to prohibit them, I pray that all the Records in charge of the Historiographers be burned, excepting those of Ch’in; that, with the exception of those officers belonging to the Board of Great Scholars, all throughout the empire who presume to keep copies of the Shih-ching, or of the Shu-ching, or of the books of the Hundred Schools, be required to go with them to the officers in charge of the several districts, and burn them [1]; that all who may dare to speak

1 悉詣守尉雜燒之.

together about the Shih and the Shu be put to death, and their bodies exposed in the market-place; that those who make mention of the past, so as to blame the present, be put to death along with their relatives; that officers who shall know of the violation of those rules and not inform against the offenders, be held equally guilty with them; and that whoever shall not have burned their Books within thirty days after the issuing of the ordinance, be branded and sent to labor on the wall for four years. The only Books which should be spared are those on medicine, divination, and husbandry. Whoever wants to learn the laws may go to the magistrates and learn of them.”

‘The imperial decision was — “Approved.”‘

The destruction of the scholars is related more briefly. In the year after the burning of the Books, the resentment of the emperor was excited by the remarks and the flight of two scholars who had been favourites with him, and he determined to institute a strict inquiry about all of their class in Hsien-yang, to find out whether they had been making ominous speeches about him, and disturbing the minds of the people. The investigation was committed to the Censors [1], and it being discovered that upwards of 460 scholars had violated the prohibitions, they were all buried alive in pits [2], for a warning to the empire, while degradation and banishment were employed more strictly than before against all who fell under suspicion. The emperor’s eldest son, Fu-su, remonstrated with him, saying that such measures against those who repeated the words of Confucius and sought to imitate him, would alienate all the people from their infant dynasty, but his interference offended him father so much that he was sent off from court, to be with the general who was superintending the building of the great wall.

8. No attempts have been made by Chinese critics and historians to discredit the record of these events, though some have questioned the extent of the injury inflicted by them on the monuments of their ancient literature [3]. It is important to observe that the edict against the Books did not extend to the Yi-ching, which was

1 御史悉案問諸生, 諸生傳相告引.
2 自除犯禁者, 四百六餘人, 皆阬之咸陽. The meaning of this passage as a whole is sufficiently plain, but I am unable to make out the force of the phrase 自 除.
3 See the remarks of Chamg Chia-tsi (夾際鄭氏), of the Sung dynasty, on the subject, in the 文獻通考, Bk. clxxiv. p. 5.

exempted as being a work on divination, nor did it extend to the other classics which were in charge of the Board of Great Scholars. There ought to have been no difficulty in finding copies when the Han dynasty superseded that of the Ch’in, and probably there would have been none but for the sack of the capital in B.C. 206 by Hsiang Yu, the formidable opponent of the founder of the House of Han. Then, we are told, the fires blazed for three months among the palaces and public buildings, and must have proved as destructive to the copies of the Great Scholars as the edict of the tyrant had been to the copies among the people.
It is to be noted also that the life of Shih Hwang Ti lasted only three years after the promulgation of his edict. He died in B.C. 210, and the reign of his second son who succeeded him lasted only other three years. A brief period of disorder and struggling for the supreme authority between different chiefs ensured; but the reign of the founder of the Han dynasty dates from B.C. 202. Thus, eleven years were all which intervened between the order for the burning of the Books and rise of that family, which signaled itself by the care which it bestowed for their recovery; and from the edict of the tyrant of Ch’in against private individuals having copies in their keeping, to its express abrogation by the emperor Hsiao Hui, there were only twenty-two years. We may believe, indeed, that vigorous efforts to carry the edict into effect would not be continued longer than the life of its author,– that is, not for more than about three years. The calamity inflicted upon the ancient Books of China by the House of Ch’in could not have approached to anything like a complete destruction of them. There would be no occasion for the scholars of the Han dynasty, in regard to the bulk of their ancient literature, to undertake more than the work of recension and editing.

9. The idea of forgery by them on a large scale is out of the question. The catalogues of Liang Hsin enumerated more than 13,000 volumes of a larger or smaller size, the productions of nearly 600 different writers, and arranged in thirty-eight subdivisions of subjects [1]. In the third catalogue, the first subdivision contained the orthodox writers [2], to the number of fifty-three, with 836 Works or portions of their Works. Between Mencius and

1 凡書六略, 三十八種, 五百九十六家, 萬三千二百六九卷.
2 儒家者流.

K’ung Chi, the grandson of Confucius, eight different authors have place. The second subdivision contained the Works of the Taoist school [1], amounting to 993 collections, from thirty-seven different authors. The sixth subdivision contained the Mohist writers [2], to the number of six, with their productions in 86 collections. I specify these two subdivisions, because they embrace the Works of schools or sects antagonistic to that of Confucius, and some of them still hold a place in Chinese literature, and contain many references to the five Classics, and to Confucius and his disciples.

10. The inquiry pursued in the above paragraphs conducts us to the conclusion that the materials from which the classics, as they have come down to us, were compiled and edited in the two centuries preceding our Christian era, were genuine remains, going back to a still more remote period. The injury which they sustained from the dynasty of Ch’in was, I believe, the same in character as that to which they were exposed during all the time of ‘the Warring States.’ It may have been more intense in degree, but the constant warfare which prevailed for some centuries among the different states which composed the kingdom was eminently unfavourable to the cultivation of literature. Mencius tells us how the princes had made away with many of the records of antiquity, from which their own usurpations and innovations might have been condemned [3]. Still the times were not unfruitful, either in scholars or statesmen, to whom the ways and monuments of antiquity were dear, and the space from the rise of the Ch’in dynasty to the death of Confucius was not very great. It only amounted to 258 years. Between these two periods Mencius stands as a connecting link. Born probably in the year B.C. 371, he reached, by the intervention of Kung Chi, back to the sage himself, and as his death happened B.C. 288, we are brought down to within nearly half a century of the Ch’in dynasty. From all these considerations we may proceed with confidence to consider each separate Work, believing that we have in these Classics and Books what the great sage of China and his disciples gave to their country more than 2000 years ago.

1 道家者流.
2 墨家者流.
3 See Mencius, V. Pt. II. ii. 2.


1. When the work of collecting and editing the remains of the Classical Books was undertaken by the scholars of Han, there appeared two different copies of the Analects, one from Lu, the native State of Confucius, and the other from Ch’i, the State adjoining. Between these there were considerable differences. The former consisted of twenty Books or Chapters, the same as those into which the Classic is now divided. The latter contained two Books in addition, and in the twenty Books, which they had in common, the chapters and sentences were somewhat more numerous than in the Lu exemplar.

2. The names of several individuals are given, who devoted themselves to the study of those two copies of the Classic. Among the patrons of the Lu copy are mentioned the names of Hsia-hau Shang, grand-tutor of the heir- apparent, who died at the age of 90, and in the reign of the emperor Hsuan (B.C. 73-49) [1]; Hsiao Wang-chih [2], a general-officer, who died in the reign of the emperor Yuan (B.C. 48-33); Wei Hsien, who was a premier of the empire from B.C. 70-66; and his son Hsuan-ch’ang [3]. As patrons of the Ch’i copy, we have Wang Ch’ing, who was a censor in the year B.C. 99 [4]; Yung Shang [5]; and Wang Chi [6], a statesman who died in the beginning of the reign of the emperor Yuan.

3. But a third copy of the Analects was discovered about B.C. 150. One of the sons of the emperor Ching was appointed king of Lu [7] in the year B.C. 154, and some time after, wishing to enlarge his palace, he proceeded to pull down the house of the K’ung family, known as that where Confucius himself had lived.

1 太子大傳夏侯勝.
2 前將軍, 蕭望之.
3 丞相, 韋賢, 及子, 玄成.
4 王卿.
5 庸生.
6 中尉王吉.
7 魯王共 (or 恭).

While doing so, there were found in the wall copies of the Shu-ching, the Ch’un Ch’iu, the Hsiao-ching, and the Lun Yu or Analects, which had been deposited there, when the edict for the burning of the Books was issued. There were all written, however, in the most ancient form of the Chinese character [1], which had fallen into disuse, and the king returned them to the K’ung family, the head of which, K’ung An-kwo [2], gave himself to the study of them, and finally, in obedience to an imperial order, published a Work called “The Lun Yu, with Explanations of the Characters, and Exhibition of the Meaning [3].’

4. The recovery of this copy will be seen to be a most important circumstance in the history f the text of the Analects. It is referred to by Chinese writers, as ‘The old Lun Yu.’ In the historical narrative which we have of the affair, a circumstance is added which may appear to some minds to throw suspicion on the whole account. The king was finally arrested, we are told, in his purpose to destroy the house, by hearing the sounds of bells, musical stones, lutes, and citherns, as he was ascending the steps that led to the ancestral hall or temple. This incident was contrived, we may suppose, by the K’ung family, to preserve the house, or it may have been devised by the historian to glorify the sage, but we may not, on account of it, discredit the finding of the ancient copies of the Books. We have K’ung An-kwo’s own account of their being committed to him, and of the ways which he took to decipher them. The work upon the Analects, mentioned above, has not indeed come down to us, but his labors on the Shu-ching still remain.

5. It has been already stated, that the Lun Yu of Ch’i contained two Books more than that of Lu. In this respect, the old Lun Yu agreed with the Lu exemplar. Those two books were wanting in it as well. The last book of the Lu Lun was divided in it, however, into two, the chapter beginning, ‘Yao said,’ forming a whole Book by itself, and the remaining two chapters formed another Book beginning ‘Tsze-chang.’ With this trifling difference, the old and the Lu copies appear to have agreed together.

6 Chang Yu, prince of An-ch’ang [4], who died B.C. 4, after having

1 科斗文子, — lit. ‘tadpole characters.’ They were, it is said, the original forms devised by Ts’ang-chieh, with large heads and fine tails, like the creature from which they were named. See the notes to the preface to the Shu-ching in ‘The Thirteen Classics.’
2 孔安國.
3 論語訓解. See the preface to the Lun Yu in ‘The Thirteen Ching.’ It has been my principal authority in this section.
4 安昌侯, 張禹.

sustained several of the highest offices of the empire, instituted a comparison between the exemplars of Lu and Ch’i, with a view to determine the true text. The result of his labors appeared in twenty-one Books, which are mentioned in Liu Hsin’s catalogue. They were known as the Lun of prince Chang [1], and commanded general approbation. To Chang Yu is commonly ascribed the ejecting from the Classic the two additional books which the Ch’i exemplar contained, but Ma Twan-lin prefers to rest that circumstance on the authority of the old Lun, which we have seen was without them [2]. If we had the two Books, we might find sufficient reason from their contents to discredit them. That may have been sufficient for Chang Yu to condemn them as he did, but we can hardly supposed that he did not have before him the old Lun, which had come to light about a century before he published his work.

7. In the course of the second century, a new edition of the Analects, with a commentary, was published by one of the greatest scholars which China has ever produced, Chang Hsuan, known also as Chang K’ang-ch’ang [3]. He died in the reign of the emperor Hsien (A.D. 190-220) [4] at the age of 74, and the amount of his labors on the ancient classical literature is almost incredible. While he adopted the Lu Lun as the received text of his time, he compared it minutely with those of Ch’i and the old exemplar. In the last section f this chapter will be found a list of the readings in his commentary different from those which are now acknowledged in deference to the authority of Chu Hsi, of the Sung dynasty. They are not many, and their importance is but trifling.

8. On the whole, the above statements will satisfy the reader of the care with which the text of the Lun Yu was fixed during the dynasty of Han.


1. At the commencement of the notes upon the first Book, under the heading, ‘The Title of the Work,’ I have given the received account of its authorship, which precedes the catalogue

1 張侯論.
2 文獻通考, Bk. clxxxiv. p. 3.
3 鄭玄, 字康成.
4 孝獻皇帝.

of Liu Hsin. According to that, the Analects were compiled by the disciples if Confucius coming together after his death, and digesting the memorials of his discourses and conversations which they had severally preserved. But this cannot be true. We may believe, indeed, that many of the disciples put on record conversations which they had had with their master, and notes about his manners and incidents of his life, and that these have been incorporated with the Work which we have, but that Work must have taken its present form at a period somewhat later.

In Book VIII, chapters iii iv, we have some notices of the last days of Tsang Shan, and are told that he was visited on his death-bed by the officer Mang Ching. Now Ching was the posthumous title of Chung- sun Chieh [1], and we find him alive (Li Chi, II. Pt. ii. 2) after the death of duke Tao of Lu [2], which took place B.C. 431, about fifty years after the death of Confucius.

Again, Book XIX is all occupied with the sayings of the disciples. Confucius personally does not appear in it. Parts of it, as chapters iii, xii, and xviii, carry us down to a time when the disciples had schools and followers of their own, and were accustomed to sustain their teachings by referring to the lessons which they had learned from the sage.

Thirdly, there is the second chapter of Book XI, the second paragraph of which is evidently a note by the compilers of the Work, enumerating ten of the principal disciples, and classifying them according to their distinguishing characteristics. We can hardly suppose it to have been written while any of the ten were alive. But there is among them the name of Tsze-hsia, who lived to the age of about a hundred. We find him, B.C. 407, three-quarters of a century after the death of Confucius, at the court of Wei, to the prince of which he is reported to have presented some of the Classical Books [3].

2. We cannot therefore accept the above account of the origin of the Analects,– that they were compiled by the disciples of Confucius. Much more likely is the view that we owe the work to their disciples. In the note on I. ii. I, a peculiarity is pointed out in the use of the surnames of Yew Zo and Tsang Shan, which

1 See Chu Hsi’s commentary, in loc. — 孟敬子, 魯大夫, 仲孫氏, 名捷.
2 悼公.
3 晉魏斯受經於卜子夏; see the 厤代統紀表, Bk. i. p. 77.

has made some Chinese critics attribute the compilation to their followers. But this conclusion does not stand investigation. Others have assigned different portions to different schools. Thus, Book V is given to the disciples of Tsze-kung; Book XI, to those of Min Tsze-ch’ien; Book XIV, to Yuan Hsien; and Book XVI has been supposed to be interpolated from the Analects of Ch’i. Even if we were to acquiesce in these decisions, we should have accounted only for a small part of the Work. It is best to rest in the general conclusion, that it was compiled by the disciples of the disciples of the sage, making free use of the written memorials concerning him which they had received, and the oral statements which they had heard, from their several masters. And we shall not be far wrong, if we determine its date as about the end of the fourth, or the beginning of the fifth century before Christ.

3. In the critical work on the Four Books, called ‘Record of Remarks in the village of Yung [1],’ it is observed, ‘The Analects, in my opinion, were made by the disciples, just like a record of remarks. There they were recorded, and afterwards came a first-rate hand, who gave them the beautiful literary finish which we now witness, so that there is not a character which does not have its own indispensable place [2].’ We have seen that the first of these statements contains only a small amount of truth with regard to the materials of the Analects, nor can we receive the second. If one hand or one mind had digested the materials provided by many, the arrangement and the style of the work would have been different. We should not have had the same remark appearing in several Books, with little variation, and sometimes with none at all. Nor can we account on this supposition for such fragments as the last chapters of the ninth, tenth, and sixteenth Books, and many others. No definite plan has been kept in view throughout. A degree of unity appears to belong to some books more than others, and in general to the first ten more than to those which follow, but there is no progress of thought or illustration of subject from Book to Book. And even in those where the chapters have

1 榕村語錄,– 榕村, ‘the village of Yung,’ is, I conceive, the writer’s nom de plume.
2 論語想是門弟子, 如語錄一般, 記在那裡, 後來有一高手, 鍊成文理這樣少, 下字無一不 渾.
a common subject, they are thrown together at random more than on any plan.
4. We cannot tell when the Work was first called the Lun Yu [1]. The evidence in the preceding section is sufficient to prove that when the Han scholars were engaged in collecting the ancient Books, it came before them, not in broken tablets, but complete, and arranged in Books or Sections, as we now have it. The Old copy was found deposited in the wall of the house which Confucius had occupied, and must have been placed there not later than B.C. 211, distant from the date which I have assigned to the compilation, not much more than a century and a half. That copy, written in the most ancient characters, was, possibly, the autograph of the compilers.

We have the Writings, or portions of the Writings, of several authors of the third and fourth centuries before Christ. Of these, in addition to ‘The Great Learning,’ ‘The Doctrine of the Mean,’ and ‘The Works of Mencius,’ I have looked over the Works of Hsun Ch’ing [2] of the orthodox school, of the philosophers Chwang and Lieh of the Taoist school [3], and of the heresiarch Mo [4].

In the Great Learning, Commentary, chapter iv, we have the words of Ana. XII. xiii. In the Doctrine of the Mean, ch. iii, we have Ana. VI. xxvii; and in ch. xxviii. 5, we have substantially Ana. III. ix. In Mencius, II. Pt. I. ii. 19, we have Ana. VII. xxxiii, and in vii. 2, Ana. IV. i; in III. Pt. I. iv. 11, Ana. VIII. xviii, xix; in IV. Pt. I. xiv. 1, Ana. XI. xvi. 2; in V. Pt. II. vii. 9, Ana. X. xiii. 4; and in VII. Pt. II. xxxvii. 1, 2, 8, Ana. V. xxi, XIII. xxi, and XVII. xiii. These quotations, however, are introduced by ‘The Master said,’ or ‘Confucius said,’ no mention being made of any book called ‘The Lun Yu,’ or Analects. In the Great Learning, Commentary, x. 15, we have the words of Ana. IV. iii, and in

1 In the continuation of the ‘General Examination of Records and Scholars (續文獻通考),’ Bk. cxcviii. p. 17, it is said, indeed, on the authority of Wang Ch’ung (王充), a scholar of our first century, that when the Work came out of the wall it was named a Chwan or Record (傳), and that it was when K’ung An-kwo instructed a native of Tsin, named Fu-ch’ing, in it, that it first got the name of Lun Yu:– 武帝得論語于孔壁中, 皆名曰傳, 孔安國以古論教 晉人扶卿, 始曰論語. If it were so, it is strange the circumstance is not mentioned in Ho Yen’s preface.
2 荀卿.
3 莊子, 列子.
4 墨子.

Mencius, III. Pt. II. vii. 3, those of Ana. XVII. i, but without any notice of quotation.
In the writings of Hsun Ch’ing, Book I. page 2, we find something like the words of Ana. XV. xxx; and on p. 6, part of XIV. xxv. But in these instances there is no mark of quotation.

In the writings of Chwang, I have noted only one passage where the words of the Analects are reproduced. Ana. XVIII. v is found, but with large additions, and no reference of quotation, in his treatise on ‘Man in the World, associated with other Men [1].’ In all those Works, as well as in those of Lieh and Mo, the references to Confucius and his disciples, and to many circumstances of his life, are numerous [2]. The quotations of sayings of his not found in the Analects are likewise many, especially in the Doctrine of the Mean, in Mencius, and in the Works of Chwang. Those in the latter are mostly burlesques, but those by the orthodox writers have more or less of classical authority. Some of them may be found in the Chia Yu [3], or ‘Narratives of the School,’ and in parts of the Li Chi, while others are only known to us by their occurrence in these Writings. Altogether, they do not supply the evidence, for which I am in quest, of the existence of the Analects as a distinct Work, bearing the name of the Lun Yu, prior to the Ch’in dynasty. They leave the presumption, however, in favour of those conclusions, which arises from the facts stated in the first section, undisturbed. They confirm it rather. They show that there was abundance of materials at hand to the scholars of Han, to compile a much larger Work with the same title, if they had felt it their duty to do the business of compilation, and not that of editing.


1. It would be a vast and unprofitable labor to attempt to give a list of the Commentaries which have been published on this Work. My object is merely to point out how zealously the business of interpretation was undertaken, as soon as the text had been

1 人間世.
2 In Mo’s chapter against the Literati, he mentions some of the characteristics of Confucius in the very words of the Tenth Book of the Analects.
3 家語.

recovered by the scholars of the Han dynasty, and with what industry it has been persevered in down to the present time.

2. Mention has been made, in Section I. 6, of the Lun of prince Chang, published in the half century before our era. Pao Hsien [1], a distinguished scholar and officer, f the reign of Kwang-wu [2], the first emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty, A.D. 25-57, and another scholar of the surname Chau [3], less known but of the same time, published Works, containing arrangements of this in chapters and sentences, with explanatory notes. The critical work of K’ung An-kwo on the old Lun Yu has been referred to. That was lost in consequence of suspicions under which An-kwo fell towards the close of the reign of the emperor Wu, but in the time of the emperor Shun, A.D. 126-144, another scholar, Ma Yung [4], undertook the exposition of the characters in the old Lun, giving at the same time his views of the general meaning. The labors of Chang Hsuan in the second century have been mentioned. Not long after his death, there ensued a period of anarchy, when the empire was divided into three governments, well known from the celebrated historical romance, called ‘The Three Kingdoms.’ The strongest of them, the House of Wei, patronized literature, and three of its high officers and scholars, Ch’an Ch’un, Wang Su, and Chau Shang-lieh [5], in the first half, and probably the second quarter, of the third century, all gave to the world their notes on the Analects.
Very shortly after, five of the great ministers of the Government of Wei, Sun Yung, Chang Ch’ung, Tsao Hsi, Hsun K’ai, and Ho Yen [6], united in the production of one great Work, entitled, ‘A Collection of Explanations of the Lun Yu [7].’ It embodied the labors of all the writers which have been mentioned, and, having been frequently reprinted by succeeding dynasties, it still remains. The preface of the five compilers, in the form of a memorial to the emperor, so called, of the House of Wei, is published with it, and has been of much assistance to me in writing these sections. Ho

1 包咸.
2 光武.
3 周氏.
4 至順帝時, 南郡太守, 馬融, 亦為之訓說.
5 司農, 陳群; 太常, 王肅; 博士, 周生列.
6 光祿大夫, 關內侯, 孫邕; 光祿大夫, 鄭沖; 散騎常侍, 中領軍, 安鄉亭侯, 曹羲; 侍中, 荀 顗; 尚書, 駙馬都尉, 關內侯, 何晏.
7 論語集解. I possess a copy of this work, printed about the middle of our fourteenth century.
Yen was the leader among them, and the work is commonly quoted as if it were the production of him alone.

3. From Ho Yen downwards, there has hardly been a dynasty which has not contributed its laborers to the illustration of the Analects. In the Liang, which occupied the throne a good part of the sixth century, there appeared the ‘Comments of Hwang K’an [1],’ who to the seven authorities cited by Ho Yen added other thirteen, being scholars who had deserved well of the Classic during the intermediate time. Passing over other dynasties, we come to the Sung, A.D. 960-1279. An edition of the Classics was published by imperial authority, about the beginning of the eleventh century, with the title of ‘The Correct Meaning.’ The principal scholar engaged in the undertaking was Hsing P’ing [2]. The portion of it on the Analects [3] is commonly reprinted in ‘The Thirteen Classics,’ after Ho Yen’s explanations. But the names of the Sung dynasty are all thrown into the shade by that of Chu Hsi, than whom China has not produced a greater scholar. He composed, or his disciples complied, in the twelfth century, three Works on the Analects:– the first called ‘Collected Meanings [4];’ the second, ‘Collected Comments [5];’ and the third, ‘Queries [6].’ Nothing could exceed the grace and clearness of his style, and the influence which he has exerted on the literature of China has been almost despotic.

The scholars of the present dynasty, however, seem inclined to question the correctness of his views and interpretations of the Classics, and the chief place among them is due to Mao Ch’i-ling [7], known by the local name of Hsi-ho [8]. His writings, under the name of ‘The Collected Works of Hsi-ho [9],’ have been published in eighty volumes, containing between three and four hundred books or sections. He has nine treatises on the Four Books, or parts of them, and deserves to take rank with Chang Hsuan and Chu Hsi at the head of Chinese scholars, though he is a vehement opponent of the latter. Most of his writings are to be found also in the great Work called ‘A Collection of Works on the Classics, under the Imperial dynasty of Ch’ing [10],’ which contains 1400 sections, and is a noble contribution by the scholars of the present dynasty to the illustration of its ancient literature.

1 皇侃論語蔬.
2 邢昺.
3 論語正義.
4 論語集義.
5 論語集註.
6 論語或問.
7 毛奇齡.
8 西河.
9 西河全集.
10 皇清經解.


In ‘The Collection of Supplementary Observations on the Four Books [1],’ the second chapter contains a general view of commentaries on the Analects, and from it I extract the following list of various readings of the text found in the comments of Chang Hsuan, and referred to in the first section of this chapter. Book II. i, 拱 for 共; viii, 餕 for 饌; xix, 措 for 錯; xxiii. 1, 十世可知, without 也, for 十世可知也. Book III. vii, in the clause 必也射乎, he makes a full stop at 也; xxi. 1, 主 for 社. Book IV. x, 敵 for 適, and 慕 for 莫. Book V. xxi, he puts a full stop at 子. Book VI. vii, he has not the characters 則吾. Book VII. iv, 晏 for 燕 ; xxxiv, 子疾 simply, for 子疾病. Book IX. ix, 弁 for 冕. Book XI. xxv. 7, 僎 for 撰 , and 饋 for 歸. Book XIII. iii. 3, 于往 for 迂; xviii. 1, 弓 for 躬. Book XIV. xxxi, 謗 for 方; xxxiv. 1, 何是栖栖者與 for 何為是栖栖者與. Book XV. i. a, 粻 for 糧. Book XVI. i. 13, 封 for 邦. Book XVII. i, 饋 for 歸; xxiv. 2, 絞 for 徼. Book XVIII. iv, 饋 for 歸; viii. 1, 侏 for 朱.

These various readings are exceedingly few, and in themselves insignificant. The student who wishes to pursue this subject at length, is provided with the means in the Work of Ti Chiao-shau [2], expressly devoted to it. It forms sections 449-473 of the Works of the Classics, mentioned at the close of the preceding section. A still more comprehensive work of the same kind is, ‘The Examination of the Text of the Classics and of Commentaries on them,’ published under the superintendence of Yuan Yuan, forming chapters 818 to 1054 of the same Collection. Chapters 1016 to 1030 are occupied with the Lun yu; see the reference to Yuan Yuan farther on, on p. 132.

1 四書拓餘說. Published in 1798. The author was a Tsao Yin-ku — 曹寅谷.
2 翟教授, 四書考異.



1. It has already been mentioned that ‘The Great Learning’ frms one of the Books of the Li Chi, or ‘Record of Rites,’ the formation of the text of which will be treated of in its proper place. I will only say here, that the Records of Rites had suffered much more, after the death of Confucius, than the other ancient Classics which were supposed to have been collected and digested by him. They were in a more dilapidated condition at the time of the revivial of the ancient literature under the Han dynasty, and were then published in three collections, only one of which — the Record of Rites — retains its place among the five Ching.
The Record of Rites consists, according to the ordinary arrangement, of forty-nine Chapters or Books. Liu Hsiang (see ch. I. sect. II. 2) took the lead in its formation, and was followed by the two famous scholars, Tai Teh [1], and his relative, Tai Shang [2]. The first of these reduced upwards of 200 chapters, collected by Hsiang, to eighty-nine, and Shang reduced these again to forty-six. The three other Books were added in the second century of our era, the Great Learning being one of them, by Ma Yung, mentioned in the last chapter, section III.2. Since his time, the Work has not received any further additions.

2. In his note appended to what he calls the chapter of ‘Classical Text,’ Chu Hsi says that the tablets of the ‘old copies’ of the rest of the Great Learning were considerably out of order. By those old copies, he intends the Work of Chang Hsuan, who published his commentary on the Classic, soon after it was completed by the additions of Ma Yung; and t is possible that the tablets were in confusion, and had not been arranged with sufficient care; but such a thing does not appear to have been suspected until the

1 戴德
2 戴聖 Shang was a second cousin of Teh.

twelfth century, nor can any evidence from ancient monuments be adduced in its support.
I have related how the ancient Classics were cut on slabs of stone by imperial order, A.D. 175, the text being that which the various literati had determined, and which had been adopted by Chang Hsuan. The same work was performed about seventy years later, under the so-called dynasty of Wei, between the years 240 and 248, and the two sets of slabs were set up together. The only difference between them was, that whereas the Classics had been cut in the first instance only in one form, the characters in the slabs of Wei were in three different forms. Amd the changes of dynasties, the slabs both of Han and Wei had perished, or nearly so, before the rise of the T’ang dynasty, A.D. 624; but under one of its emperors, in the year 836, a copy of the Classics was again cut on stone, though only in one form of the character. These slabs we can trace down through the Sung dynasty, when they were known as the tablets of Shen [1]. They were in exact conformity with the text of the Classics adopted by Chang Hsuan in his commentaries; and they exist at the present day at the city of Hsi-an, Shen-hsi, still called by the same name.
The Sung dynasty did not accomplish a similar work itself, nor did either of the two which followed it think it necessary to engrave in stone in this way the ancient Classics. About the middle of the sixteenth century, however, the literary world in China was startled by a reprt that the slabs of Wei which contained the Great Learning had been discovered. But this was nothing more than the result f an impudent attempt at an imposition, for which it is difficult to a foreigner to assign any adequate cause. The treatise, as printed from these slabs, has some trifling additions, and many alterations in the order of the text, but differing from the arrangements proposed by Chu Hsi, and by other scholars. There seems to be now no difference of opinion among Chinese critics that the whole affair was a forgery. The text of the Great Learning, as it appears in the Record of Rites with the commentary of Chang Hsuan, and was thrice engraved on stone, in three different dynasties, is, no doubt, that which was edited in the Han dynasty by Ma Yung.

3. I have said, that it is possible that the tablets containing the

1 陜碑.

text were not arranged with sufficient care by him; and indeed, any one who studies the treatise attentively, will probably come to the conclusion that the part of it forming the first six chapters of commentary in the present Work is but a fragment. It would not be a difficult task to propose an arrangement of the text different from any which I have yet seen; but such an undertaking would not be interesting out of China. My object here is simply to mention the Chinese scholars wh have rendered themselves famous or notorious in their own country by what they hav done in this way. The first was Ch’ang Hao, a native of Lo-yang in Ho-nan Province, in the eleventh century [1]. His designation of Po-shun, but since his death he has been known chiefly by the style of Ming-tao [2], which we may render the Wise-in-doctrine. The eulogies heaped on him by Chu Hsi and others are extravagant, and he is placed immediately after Mencious in the list of great scholars. Doubtless he was a man of vast literary acquirements. The greatest change which he introduced into the Great Learning, was to read sin [3] for ch’in [4], at the commencement, making the second object proposed in the treatise to be the renovation of the people, instead of loving them. This alteration and his various transpositions of the text are found in Mao Hsi-ho’s treatise on ‘The Attested Text of the Great Learning [5].’
Hardly less illustrious than Ch’ang Hao was his younger brother Ch’ang I, known by the style of Chang-shu [6], and since his death by that of I-chwan [7]. He followed Hao in the adoption of the reading ‘to renovate,’ instead of ‘to love.’ But he transposed the text differently, more akin to the arrangement afterwards made by Chu Hsi, suggesting also that there were some superfluous sentences in the old text which might conveniently be erased. The Work, as proposed to be read by him, will be found in the volume of Mao just referred to.

We come to the name of Chu Hsi who entered into the labors of the brothers Ch’ang, the young of whom he styles his Master, in his introductory note to the Great Learning. His arrangement of the text is that now current in all the editions of the Four Books, and it had nearly displaced the ancient text

1 程子顥,字伯淳,河南,洛陽人.
2 明道.
3 新.
4 親.
5 大學證.
6 程子頤,字正叔,明道之弟.
7 伊川.

altogether. The sanction of Imperial approval was given to it during the Yuan and Ming dynasties. In the editions of the Five Ching published by them, only the names of the Doctrine of the Mean and the Great Learning were preserved. No text of these Books was given, and Hsi-ho tells us that in the reign of Chia-ching [1], the most flourishing period of the Ming dynasty (A.D. 1522-1566), when Wang Wan-ch’ang [2] published a copy of the Great Learning, taken from the T’ang edition of the Thirteen Ching, all the officers and scholars looked at one another in astonishment, and were inclined to supposed that the Work was a forgery. Besides adopting the reading of sin for ch’in from the Ch’ang, and modifying their arrangements of the text, Chu Hsi made other innovations. He first divided the whole into one chapter of Classical text, which he assigned to Confucius, and then chapters of Commentary, which he assigned to the disciple Tsang. Previous to him, the whole had been published, indeed, without any specification of chapters and paragraphs. He undertook, moreover, to supply one whole chapter, which he supposed, after his master Ch’ang, to be missing.

Since the time of Chu Hsi, many scholars have exercised their wit on the Great Learning. The work of Mao Hsi-ho contains four arrangements of the text, proposed respectively by the scholars Wang Lu-chai [3], Chi P’ang- shan [4], Kao Ching-yi [5], and Ko Ch’i-chan [6]. The curious student may examine them here.
Under the present dynasty, the tendency has been to depreciate the labors of Chu Hsi. The integrity of the text of Chang Hsuan is zealously maintained, and the simpler method of interpretation employed by him is advocated in preference to the more refined and ingenious schemes of the Sung scholars. I have referred several times in the notes to a Work published a few years ago, under the title of ‘The Old Text of the sacred Ching, with Commentary and Discussions, by Lo Chung-fan of Nan-hai [7].’ I knew the man many years ago. He was a fine scholar, and had taken the second degree, or that of Chu-zan. He applied to me in 1843 for Christian baptism, and, offended by my hesitancy, went and enrolled himself among the disciples of another missionary. He soon, however,

1 嘉靖.
2 王文成.
3 王魯齊.
4 李彭山.
5 高景逸.
6 葛屺瞻
7 聖經古本,南海羅仲藩註辨.

withdrew into seclusion, and spent the last years of his life in literary studies. His family have published the Work on the Great Learning, and one or two others. He most vehemently impugns nearly every judgment of Chu Hsi; but in his own exhibitions of the meaning he blends many ideas of the Supreme Being and of the condition of human nature, which he had learned from the Christian Scriptures.


1. The authorship of the Great Learning is a very doubtful point, and one on which it does not appear possible to come to a decided conclusion. Chu Hsi, as I have stated in the last section, determined that so much of it was Ching, or Classic, being the very words of Confucius, and that all the rest was Chwan, or Commentary, being the views of Tsang Shan upon the sage’s words, recorded by his disciples. Thus, he does not expressly attribute the composition of the Treatise to Tsang, as he is generally supposed to do. What he says, however, as it is destitute of external support, is contrary also to the internal evidence. The fourth chapter of commentary commences with ‘The Master said.’ Surely, if there were anything more, directly from Confucius, there would be an intimation of it in the same way. Or, if we may allow that short sayings of Confucius might be interwoven with the Work, as in the fifteenth paragraph of the tenth chapter, without referring them expressly to him, it is too much to ask us to receive the long chapter at the beginning as being from him. With regard to the Work having come from the disciples of Tsang Shan, recording their master’s views, the paragraph in chapter sixth, commencing with ‘The disciple Tsang said,’ seems to be conclusive against such an hypothesis. So much we may be sure is Tsang’s, and no more. Both of Chu Hsi’s judgments must be set aside. We cannot admit either the distinction of the contents into Classical text and Commentary, or that the Work was the production of Tsang’s disciples.

2. Who then was the author? An ancient tradition attributes it to K’ung Chi, the grandson of Confucius. In a notice published, at the time of their preparation, about the stone slabs of Wei, the
following statement by Chia K’wei, a noted scholar of the first century, is found:– ‘When K’ung Chi was living, and in straits, in Sung, being afraid lest the lessons of the former sages should become obscure, and the principles of the ancient sovereigns and kings fall to the ground, he therefore made the Great Learning as the warp of them, and the Doctrine of the Mean as the woof [1].’ This would seem, therefore, to have been the opinion of that early time, and I may say the only difficulty in admitting it is that no mention is made of it by Chang Hsuan. There certainly is that agreement between the two treatises, which makes their common authorship not at all unlikely.

3. Though we cannot positively assign the authorship of the Great Learning, there can be no hesitation in receiving it as a genuine monument of the Confucian school. There are not many words in it from the sage himself, but it is a faithful reflection of his teachings, written by some of his followers, not far removed from him by lapse of time. It must synchronize pretty nearly with the Analects, and may be safely referred to the fifth century before our era.


1. The worth of the Great Learning has been celebrated in most extravagant terms by Chinese writers, and there have been foreigners who have not yielded to them in their estimation of it. Pauthier, in the ‘Argument Philosphique,’ prefixed to his translation of the Work, says:– ‘It is evident that the aim of the Chinese philosopher is to exhibit the duties of political government as those of the perfecting of self, and of the practice of virtue by all men. He felt that he had a higher mission than that with which the greater part of ancient and modern philosophers have contented themselves; and his immense love for the happiness of humanity, which dominated over all his other sentiments, has made of his

1 唐氏秦疏有曰,虞松校刻石經于魏表,引漢賈逵之言,曰,孔伋窮居于宋,懼先聖之學不 明,而帝王之道墜,故作大學以經之,中庸以緯之; see the 大學證文,一, p. 5.

philosophy a system of social perfectionating, which, we venture to say, has never been equalled.’
Very different is the judgment passed upon the treatise by a writer in the Chinese Repository: ‘The Ta Hsio is a short politico-moral discourse. Ta Hsio, or “Superior Learning,” is at the same time both the name and the subject of the discourse; it is the summum bonum of the Chinese. In opening this Book, compiled by a disciple of Confucius, and containing his doctrines, we might expect to find a work like Cicero’s De Officiis; but we find a very different production, consisting of a few commonplace rules for the maintenance of a good government [1].’

My readers will perhaps think, after reading the present section, that the truth lies between these two representations.

2. I believe that the Book should be styled T’ai Hsio [2], and not Ta Hsio, and that it was so named as setting forth the higher and more extensive principles of moral science, which come into use and manifestation in the conduct of government. When Chu Shi endeavours to make the title mean — ‘The principles of Learning, which were taught in the higher schools of antiquity,’ and tells us how at the age of fifteen, all the sons of the sovereign, with the legitimate sons of the nobles, and high officers, down to the more promising scions of the common people, all entered these seminaries, and were taught the difficult lessons here inculcated, we pity the ancient youth of China. Such ‘strong meat’ is not adapted for the nourishment of youthful minds. But the evidence adduced for the existence of such educational institutions in ancient times is unsatisfactory, and from the older interpretation of the title we advance more easily to contemplate the object and method of the Work.

3. The object is stated definitely enough in the opening paragraph: ‘What the Great Learning teaches, is — to illustrate illustrious virtue; to love the people; and to rest in the highest excellence.’ The political aim of the writer is here at once evident. He has before him on one side, the people, the masses of the empire, and over against them are those whose work and duty, delegated by Heaven, is to govern them, culminating, as a class, in ‘the son of Heaven [3],’ ‘the One man [4],’ the sovereign. From the fourth and

1 Chinese Repository, vol. iii. p. 98
2 太學, not 大學. See the note on the title of the Work below.
3 天子, Cl. (classical) Text, par. 6, 2.
4 一人, Comm. ix. 3.

fifth paragraphs, we see that if the lessons of the treatise be learned and carried into practice, the result will be that ‘illustrious virtue will be illustrated throughout the nation,’ which will be brought, through all its length and breadth, to a condition of happy tranquillity. This object is certainly both grand and good; annd if a reasonable and likely method to secure it were proposed in the Work, language would hardly supply terms adequate to express its value.

4. But the above account of the object of the Great Learning leads us to the conclusion that the student of it should be a sovereign. What interest can an ordinary man have in it? It is high up in the clouds, far beyond his reach. This is a serious objection to it, and quite unfits it for a place in schools, such as Chu Hsi contends it once had. Intelligent Chinese, whose minds were somewhat quickened by Christianity, have spoken to me of this defect, and complained of the difficulty they felt in making the book a practical directory for their conduct. ‘It is so vague and vast,’ was the observation of one man. The writer, however, has made some provision for the general application of his instructions. He tells us that, from the sovereign down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person to be the root, that is, the first thing to be attended to [1]. _as in his method, moreover, he reaches from the cultivation of the person to the tranquillization of the kingdom, through the intermediate steps of the regulation of the family, and the government of the State [2], there is room for setting forth principles that parents and rulers generally may find adapted for their guidance.

5. The method which is laid down for the attainment of the great object proposed, consists of seven steps:– the investigation of things; the completion of knowledge; the sincerity of the thoughts; the rectifying of the heart; the cultivation of the person; the regulation of the family; and the government of the state. These form the steps of a climax, the end of which is the kingdom tranquillized. Pauthier calls the paragraphs where they occur instances of the sorites, or abridged syllogism. But they elong to rhetoric, and not to logic.

6. In offering some observations on these steps, and the writer’s treatment of them, it will be well to separate them into those preceding the cultivation of the person, and those following it; and to

1 Cl. Text, par. 6.
2 Cl. Text, pars. 4. 5.

deal with the latter first. — Let us suppose that the cultivation of the person is fully attained, every discordant mental element having been subdued and removed. It is assumed that the regulation of the family will necessarily flow from this. Two short paragraphs are all that are given to the illustration of the point, and they are vague generalities on the subject of men’s being led astray by their feelings and affections.
The family being regulated, there will result from it the government of the State. First, the virtues taught in the family have their correspondencies in the wider sphere. Filial piety will appear as loyalty. Fraternal submission will be seen in respect and obedience to elders and superiors. Kindness is capable of universal application. Second, ‘From the loving example of one family, a whole State becomes loving, and from its courtesies the whole State become courteous [1].’ Seven paragraphs suffice to illustrate these statements, and short as they are, the writer goes back to the topic of self-cultivation, returning from the family to the individual.
The State being governed, the whole empire will become peaceful and happy. There is even less of connexion, however, in the treatment of this theme, between the premiss and the conclusion, than in the two previous chapters. Nothing is said about the relation between the whole kingdom, and its component States, or any one of them. It is said at once, ‘What is meant by “The making the whole kingdom peaceful and happy depends on the government of the State,” is this:– When the sovereign behaves to his aged, as the aged should be behaved to, the people become filial; when the sovereign behaves to his elders, as elders should be behaved to, the people learn brotherly submission; when the sovereign treats compassionately the young and helpless, the people do the same [2].’ This is nothing but a repetition of the preceding chapter, instead of that chapter’s being made a step from which to go on to the splendid consummation of the good government of the whole kingdom.

The words which I have quoted are followed by a very striking enunciation of the golden rule in its negative form, and under the name of the measuring square, and all the lessons of the chapter are connected more or less closely with that. The application of this principle by a ruler, whose heart is in the first place in loving sympathy with the people, will guide him in all the exactions which

1 See Comm. ix. 3.
2 See Comm. x. 1.

he lays upon them, and in his selection of ministers, in such a way that he will secure the affections of his subjects, and his throne will be established, for ‘by gaining the people, the kingdom is gained, and, by losing the people, the kingdom is lost [1].’ There are in this part of the treatise many valuable sentiments, and counsels for all in authority over others. The objection to it is, that, as the last step of the climax, it does not rise upon all the others with the accumulated force of their conclusions, but introduces us to new principles of action, and a new line of argument. Cut off the commencement of the first paragraph which connects it with the preceding chapters, and it would form a brief but admirable treatise by itself on the art of government.

This brief review of the writer’s treatment of the concluding steps of his method will satisfy the reader that the execution is not equal to the design; and, moreover, underneath all the reasoning, and more especially apparent in the eighth and ninth chapters of commentary (according to the ordinary arrangement of the work), there lies the assumption that example is all but omnipotent. We find this principle pervading all the Confucian philosophy. And doubtless it is a truth, most important in education and government, that the influence of example is very great. I believe, and will insist upon it hereafter in these prolegomena, that we have come to overlook this element in our conduct of administration. It will be well if the study of the Chinese Classics should call attention to it. Yet in them the subject is pushed to an extreme, and represented in an extravagant manner. Proceeding from the view of human nature that it is entirely good, and led astray only by influences from without, the sage of China and his followers attribute to personal example and to instruction a power which we do not find that they actually possess.

7. The steps which precede the cultivation of the person are more briefly dealt with than those which we have just considered. ‘The cultivation of the person results from the rectifying of the heart or mind [2].’ True, but in the Great Learning very inadequately set forth.

‘The rectifying of the mind is realized when the thoughts are made sincere [3].’ And the thoughts are sincere, when no self-deception is allowed, and we move without effort to what is right and wrong, ‘as we love what is beautiful, and as we dislike a bad

1 Comm. x. 5.
2 Comm. vii. 1.
3 Comm. Ch. vi.

smell [1].’ How are we to attain this state? Here the Chinese moralist fails us. According to Chu Hsi’s arrangement of the Treatise, there is only one sentence from which we can frame a reply to the above question. ‘Therefore,’ it is said, ‘the superior man must be watchful over himself when he is alone [2].’ Following. Chu’s sixth chapter of commentary, and forming, we may say, part of it, we have in the old arrangement of the Great Learning all the passages which he has distributed so as to form the previous five chapters. But even from the examination of them, we do not obtain the information which we desire on this momentous inquiry.

8. Indeed, the more I study the Work, the more satisfied I become, that from the conclusion of what is now called the chapter of classical text to the sixth chapter of commentary, we have only a few fragments, which it is of no use trying to arrange, so as fairly to exhibit the plan of the author. According to his method, the chapter on the connexion between making the thoughts sincere and so rectifying the mental nature, should be preceded by one on the completion of knowledge as the means of making the thoughts sincere, and that again by one on the completion of knowledge by the investigation of things, or whatever else the phrase ko wu may mean. I am less concerned for the loss and injury which this part of the Work has suffered, because the subject of the connexion between intelligence and virtue is very fully exhibited in the Doctrine of the Mean, and will come under our notice in the review of that Treatise. The manner in which Chu Hsi has endeavoured to supply the blank about the perfecting of knowledge by the investigation of things is too extravagant. ‘The Learning for Adults,’ he says, ‘at the outset of its lessons, instructs the learner, in regard to all things in the world, to proceed from what knowledge he has of their principles, and pursue his investigation of them, till he reaches the extreme point. After exerting himself for a long time, he will suddenly find himself possessed of a wide and far-reaching penetration. Then, the qualities of all things, whether external or internal, the subtle or the coarse, will be apprehended, and the mind, in its entire substance and its relations to things, will be perfectly intelligent. This is called the investigation of things. This is called the perfection of knowledge [3].’ And knowledge must be thus perfected before we can achieve the sincerity of our thoughts, and the rectifying of our hearts!

1 Comm. vi. 1.
2 Comm. vi. 2.
3 Suppl. to Comm. Ch. v.

Verily this would be learning not for adults only, but even Methuselahs would not be able to compass it. Yet for centuries this has been accepted as the orthodox exposition of the Classic. Lo Chung-fan does not express himself too strongly when he says that such language is altogether incoherent. The author would only be ‘imposing on himself and others.’

9. The orthodox doctrine of China concerning the connexion between intelligence and virtue is most seriously erroneous, but I will not lay to the charge of the author of the Great Learning the wild representations of the commentator of our twelfth century, nor need I make here any remarks on what the doctrine really is. After the exhibition which I have given, my readers will probably conclude that the Work before us is far from developing, as Pauthier asserts, ‘a system of social perfectionating which has never been equalled.’

10. The Treatise has undoubtedly great merits, but they are not to be sought in the severity of its logical processes, or the large-minded prosecution of any course of thought. We shall find them in the announcement of certain seminal principles, which, if recognised in government and the regulation of conduct, would conduce greatly to the happiness and virtue of mankind. I will conclude these observations by specifying four such principles.

First. The writer conceives nobly of the object of government, that it is to make its subjects happy and good. This may not be a sufficient account of that object, but it is much to have it so clearly laid down to ‘all kings and governors,’ that they are to love the people, ruling not for their own gratification but for the good of those over whom they are exalted by Heaven. Very important also is the statement that rulers have no divine right but what springs from the discharge of their duty. ‘The decree does not always rest on them. Goodness obtains it, and the want of goodness loses it [1].’

Second. The insisting on personal excellence in all who have authority in the family, the state, and the kingdom, is a great moral and social principle. The influence of such personal excellence may be overstated, but by the requirement of its cultivation the writer deserved well of his country.

Third. Still more important than the requirement of such excellence, is the principle that it must be rooted in the state of

1 Comm. x. 11.

the heart, and be the natural outgrowth of internal sincerity. ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ This is the teaching alike of Solomon and the author of the Great Learning.
Fourth. I mention last the striking exhibition which we have of the golden rule, though only in its negative form:– ‘What a man dislikes in his superiors, let him not display in the treatment of his inferiors; what he dislikes in inferiors, let him not display in his service of his superiors; what he dislikes in those who are before him, let him not therewith precede those who are behind him; what he dislikes in those who are behind him, let him not therewith follow those who are before him; what he dislikes to receive on the right, let him not bestow on the left; what he dislikes to receive on the left, let him not bestow on the right. This is what is called the principle with which, as with a measuring square, to regulate one’s conduct [1].’ The Work which contains those principles cannot be thought meanly of. They are ‘commonplace,’ as the writer in the Chinese Repository calls them, but they are at the same time eternal verities. l Comm. x. a.



1. The Doctrine of the Mean was one of the treatises which came to light in connexion with the labors of Liu Hsiang, and its place as the thirty-first Book in the Li Chi was finally determined by Ma Yung and Chang Hsuan. In the translation of the Li Chi in ‘The Sacred Books of the East’ it is the twenty-eighth Treatise.

2. But while it was thus made to form a part of the great collection of Treatises on Ceremonies, it maintained a separate footing of its own. In Liu Hsin’s Catalogue of the Classical Works, we find ‘Two p’ien of Observations on the Chung Yung [l].’ In the Records of the dynasty of Sui (A.D. 589-618), in the chapter on the History of Literature [2], there are mentioned three Works on the Chung Yung;– the first called ‘The Record of the Chung Yung,’ in two chuan, attributed to Tai Yung, a scholar who flourished about the middle of the fifth century; the second, ‘A Paraphrase and Commentary on the Chung Yung,’ attributed to the emperor Wu (A.D. 502-549) of the Liang dynasty, in one chuan ; and the third, ‘A Private Record, Determining the Meaning of the Chung Yung,’ in five chuan, the author, or supposed author, of which is not mentioned [3].
It thus appears, that the Chung Yung had been published and commented on separately, long before the time of the Sung dynasty. The scholars of that, however, devoted special attention to it, the way being led by the famous Chau Lien-ch’i [4]. He was followed by the two brothers Ch’ang, but neither of them published upon it. At last came Chu Hsi, who produced his Work called

1 中庸說二篇.
2 隋書,卷三十二,志第二十七,經籍,一, p. 12.
3 禮記中庸專,二卷,宋散騎常侍戴顒撰;中庸講疏,一卷,梁武帝撰;私記制旨中庸;五卷.
4 周濂溪.

‘The Chung Yung, in Chapters and Sentences [1],’ which was made the text book of the Classic at the literary examinations, by the fourth emperor of the Yuan dynasty (A.D. 1312-1320), and from that time the name merely of the Treatise was retained in editions of the Li Chi. Neither text nor ancient commentary was given.
Under the present dynasty it is not so. In the superb edition of ‘The Three Li Ching,’ edited by numerous committees of scholars towards the middle of the Ch’ien-lung reign, the Chung Yung is published in two parts, the ancient commentaries from ‘The Thirteen Ching’ being given side by side with those of Chu Hsi.


1. The composition of the Chung Yung is attributed to K’ung Chi, the grandson of Confucius [2]. Chinese inquirers and critics are agreed on this point, and apparently on sufficient grounds. There is indeed no internal evidence in the Work to lead us to such a conclusion. Among the many quotations of Confucius’s words and references to him, we might have expected to find some indication that the sage was the grandfather of the author, but nothing of the kind is given. The external evidence, however, or that from the testimony of authorities, is very strong. In Sze-ma Ch’ien’s Historical Records, published about B.C. 100, it is expressly said that ‘Tsze- sze made the Chung Yung.’ And we have a still stronger proof, a century earlier, from Tsze-sze’s own descendant, K’ung Fu, whose words are, ‘Tsze- sze compiled the Chung Yung in forty-nine p’ien [3].’ We may, therefore, accept the received account without hesitation.

2. As Chi, spoken of chiefly by his designation of Tsze-sze, thus occupies a distinguished place in the classical literature of China, it

1 中庸章句.
2 子思作中庸; see the 史記,四十七,孔子世家.
3 This K’ung Fu (孔鮒) was that descendant of Confucius, who hid several books in the wall of his house, on the issuing of the imperial edict for their burning. He was a writer himself, and his Works are referred to under the title of 孔叢子. I have not seen them, but the statement given above is found in the 四書拓餘說;– art. 中庸. — 孔叢子云,子思撰中庸之書,四十九篇.

may not be out of place to bring together here a few notices of him gathered from reliable sources.

He was the son of Li, whose death took place B.C. 483, four years before that of the sage, his father. I have not found it recorded in what year he was born. Sze-ma Ch’ien says he died at the age of 62. But this is evidently wrong, for we learn from Mencius that he was high in favour with the duke Mu of Lu [1], whose accession to that principality dates in B.C. 409, seventy years after the death of Confucius. In the ‘Plates and Notices of the Worthies, sacrificed to in the Sage’s Temples [2],’ it is supposed that the sixty-two in the Historical Records should be eighty-two [3]. It is maintained by others that Tsze-sze’s life was protracted beyond 100 years [4]. This variety of opinions simply shows that the point cannot be positively determined. To me it seems that the conjecture in the Sacrificial Canon must be pretty near the truth [5].

During the years of his boyhood, then, Tsze-sze must have been with his grandfather, and received his instructions. It is related, that one day, when he was alone with the sage, and heard him sighing, he went up to him, and, bowing twice, inquired the reason of his grief. ‘Is it,’ said he, ‘because you think that your descendants, through not cultivating themselves, will be unworthy of you? Or is it that, in your admiration of the ways of Yao and Shun, you are vexed that you fall short of them?’ ‘Child,’ replied Confucius, ‘how is it that you know my thoughts?’ ‘I have often,’ said Tsze-sze, ‘heard from you the lesson, that when the father has gathered and prepared the firewood, if the son cannot carry the bundle, he is to be pronounced degenerate and unworthy. The remark comes frequently into my thoughts, and fills me with great apprehensions.’ The sage was delighted. He

1. 魯穆(or 繆)公.
2. 聖廟祀典圖考.
3. 或以六十二似八十二之誤. Eighty-two and sixty-two may more easily be confounded, as written in Chinese, than with the Roman figures.
4 See the 四書集證, on the preface to the Chung Yung, — 年百餘歲卒.
5 Li himself was born in Confucius’s twenty-first year, and if Tsze-sze had been born in Li’s twenty-first year, he must have been 103 at the time of duke Mu’s accession. But the tradition is, that Tsze-sze was a pupil of Tsang Shan who was born B.C. 504. We must place his birth therefore considerably later, and suppose him to have been quite young when his father died. I was talking once about the question with a Chinese friend, who observed:– ‘Li was fifty when he died, and his wife married again into a family of Wei. We can hardly think, therefore, that she was anything like that age. Li could not have married so soon as his father did. Perhaps he was about forty when Chi was born.’

smiled and said, ‘Now, indeed, shall I be without anxiety! My undertakings will not come to naught. They will be carried on and flourish [1].’ After the death of Confucius, Chi became a pupil, it is said, of the philosopher Tsang. But he received his instructions with discrimination, and in one instance which is recorded in the Li Chi, the pupil suddenly took the place of the master. We there read: ‘Tsang said to Tsze-sze, “Chi, when I was engaged in mourning for my parents, neither congee nor water entered my mouth for seven days.” Tsze-sze answered, “In ordering their rules of propriety, it was the design of the ancient kings that those who would go beyond them should stoop and keep by them, and that those who could hardly reach them should stand on tiptoe to do so. Thus it is that the superior man, in mourning for his parents, when he has been three days without water or congee, takes a staff to enable himself to rise [2].”‘

While he thus condemned the severe discipline of Tsang, Tsze-sze appears, in various incidents which are related of him, to have been himself more than sufficiently ascetic. As he was living in great poverty, a friend supplied him with grain, which he readily received. Another friend was emboldened by this to send him a bottle of spirits, but he declined to receive it.’ You receive your corn from other people,’ urged the donor, ‘and why should you decline my gift, which is of less value? You can assign no ground in reason for it, and if you wish to show your independence, you should do so completely.’ ‘I am so poor,’ was the reply, ‘as to be in want, and being afraid lest I should die and the sacrifices not be offered to my ancestors, I accept the grain as an alms. But the spirits and the dried flesh which you offer to me are the appliances of a feast. For a poor man to be feasting is certainly unreasonable. This is the ground of my refusing your gift. I have no thought of asserting my independence [3].’

To the same effect is the account of Tsze-sze, which we have from Liu Hsiang. That scholar relates:– ‘When Chi was living in Wei, he wore a tattered coat, without any lining, and in thirty days had only nine meals. T’ien Tsze-fang having heard of his

1 See the 四書集證, in the place just quoted from. For the incident we are indebted to K’ung Fu; see note 3, p. 36.
2 Li Chi, II. Sect. I. ii. 7.
3 See the 四書集證, as above.

distress, sent a messenger to him with a coat of fox-fur, and being afraid that he might not receive it, he added the message,– “When I borrow from a man, I forget it; when I give a thing, I part with it freely as if I threw it away.” Tsze-sze declined the gift thus offered, and when Tsze- fang said, “I have, and you have not; why will you not take it?” he replied, “You give away as rashly as if you were casting your things into a ditch. Poor as I am, I cannot think of my body as a ditch, and do not presume to accept your gift [1].” ‘Tsze-sze’s mother married again, after Li’s death, into a family of Wei. But this circumstance, which is not at all creditable in Chinese estimation, did not alienate his affections from her. He was in Lu when he heard of her death, and proceeded to weep in the temple of his family. A disciple came to him and said, ‘Your mother married again into the family of the Shu, and do you weep for her in the temple of the K’ung?’ ‘I am wrong,’ said Tsze-sze, ‘I am wrong;’ and with these words he went to weep elsewhere [2].

In his own married relation he does not seem to have been happy, and for some cause, which has not been transmitted to us, he divorced his wife, following in this, it has been wrongly said, the example of Confucius. On her death, her son, Tsze-shang [3], did not undertake any mourning for her. Tsze-sze’s disciples were surprised and questioned him. ‘Did your predecessor, a superior man,’ they asked, ‘mourn for his mother who had been divorced?’ ‘Yes,’ was the reply. ‘Then why do you not cause Pai [4] to mourn for his mother?’ Tsze-sze answered, ‘My progenitor, a superior man, failed in nothing to pursue the proper path. His observances increased or decreased as the case required. But I cannot attain to this. While she was my wife, she was Pai’s mother; when she ceased to be my wife, she ceased to be Pai’s mother.’ The custom of the K’ung family not to mourn for a mother who had been divorced, took its rise from Tsze-sze [5].
These few notices of K’ung Chi in his more private relations bring him before us as a man of strong feeling and strong will, independent, and with a tendency to asceticism in his habits.

1 See the 四書集證, as above.
2 See the Li Chi, II. Sect. II. iii. 15. 庶氏之母死 must be understood as I have done above, and not with Chang Hsuan, — ‘Your mother was born a Miss Shu.’
3 子上 — this was the designation of Tsze-sze’s son.
4 白,– this was Tsze-shang’s name.
5 See the Li Chi, II. Sect. I. i. 4.

As a public character, we find him at the ducal courts of Wei, Sung; Lu, and Pi, and at each of them held in high esteem by the rulers. To Wei he was carried probably by the fact of his mother having married into that State. We are told that the prince of Wei received him with great distinction and lodged him honourably. On one occasion he said to him, ‘An officer of the State of Lu, you have not despised this small and narrow Wei, but have bent your steps hither to comfort and preserve it; vouchsafe to confer your benefits upon me.’ Tsze-sze replied. ‘If I should wish to requite your princely favour with money and silks, your treasuries are already full of them, and I am poor. If I should wish to requite it with good words, I am afraid that what I should say would not suit your ideas, so that I should speak in vain and not be listened to. The only way in which I can requite it, is by recommending to your notice men of worth.’ The duke said. ‘Men of worth are exactly what I desire.’ ‘Nay,’ said Chi. ‘you are not able to appreciate them.’ ‘Nevertheless,’ was the reply, ‘I should like to hear whom you consider deserving that name.’ Tsze-sze replied, ‘Do you wish to select your officers for the name they may have or for their reality?’ ‘For their reality, certainly,’ said the duke. His guest then said, ‘In the eastern borders of your State, there is one Li Yin, who is a man of real worth.’ ‘What were his grandfather and father?’ asked the duke. ‘They were husbandmen,’ was the reply, on which the duke broke into a loud laugh, saying, ‘ I do not like husbandry. The son of a husbandman cannot be fit for me to employ. I do not put into office all the cadets of those families even in which office is hereditary.’ Tsze-sze observed, ‘I mention Li Yin because of his abilities; what has the fact of his forefathers being husbandmen to do with the case? And moreover, the duke of Chau was a great sage, and K’ang-shu was a great worthy. Yet if you examine their beginnings, you will find that from the business of husbandry they came forth to found their States. I did certainly have my doubts that in the selection of your officers you did not have regard to their real character and capacity.’ With this the conversation ended. The duke was silent [1].

Tsze-sze was naturally led to Sung, as the K’ung family originally sprang from that principality. One account, quoted in ‘The

1 See the 氏姓譜,卷一百二,孔氏,孔伋.

Four Books, Text and Commentary, with Proofs and Illustrations [1],’ says that he went thither in his sixteenth year, and having foiled an officer of the State, named Yo So, in a conversation on the Shu Ching, his opponent was so irritated at the disgrace put on him by a youth, that he listened to the advice of evil counsellors, and made an attack on him to put him to death. The duke of Sung, hearing the tumult, hurried to the rescue, and when Chi found himself in safety, he said, ‘When king Wan was imprisoned in Yu-li, he made the Yi of Chau. My grandfather made the Ch’un Ch’iu after he had been in danger in Ch’an and Ts’ai. Shall I not make something when rescued from such a risk in Sung?’ Upon this he made the Chung Yung in forty-nine p’ien.

According to this account, the Chung Yung was the work of Tsze-sze’s early manhood, and the tradition has obtained a wonderful prevalence. The notice in ‘The Sacrificial Canon’ says, on the contrary, that it was the work of his old age, when he had finally settled in Lu, which is much more likely [2].

Of Tsze-sze in Pi, which could hardly be said to be out of Lu, we have only one short notice,– in Mencius, V. Pt. II. iii. 3, where the duke Hui of Pi is introduced as saying, ‘I treat Tsze-sze as my master.’

We have fuller accounts of him in Lu, where he spent all the latter years of his life, instructing his disciples to the number of several hundred [3], and held in great reverence by the duke Mu. The duke indeed wanted to raise him to the highest office, but he declined this, and would only occupy the position of a ‘guide, philosopher, and friend.’ Of the attention which he demanded, however, instances will he found in Mencius, II. Pt. II. xi. 3; V. Pt. II. vi. 4, and vii. 4. In his intercourse with the duke he spoke the truth to him fearlessly. In the ‘Cyclopaedia of Surnames [4],’ I find the following conversations, but I cannot tell from what source they are extracted into that Work.– ‘One day, the duke said to Tsze-sze, “The officer Hsien told me that you do good without

1 This is the Work so often referred to as the 四書集證, the full title being 四書經註集證. The passage here translated from it will be found in the place several times referred to in this section.
2 The author of the 四書拓餘說 adopts the view that the Work was composed in Sung. Some have advocated this from ch. xxviii. 5, compared with Ana. III. ix, ‘it being proper,’ they say, ‘that Tsze-sze, writing in Sung, should not depreciate it as Confucius had done out of it!’
3 See in the ‘Sacrificial Canon,’ on Tsze-sze.
4 This is the Work referred to in note 1, p. 40.

wishing for any praise from men;– is it so?” Tsze-sze replied, “No, that is not my feeling. When I cultivate what is good, I wish men to know it, for when they know it and praise me, I feel encouraged to be more zealous in the cultivation. This is what I desire, and am not able to obtain. If I cultivate what is good, and men do not know it, it is likely that in their ignorance they will speak evil of me. So by my good-doing I only come to be evil spoken of. This is what I do not desire, but am not able to avoid. In the case of a man, who gets up at cock-crowing to practise what is good and continues sedulous in the endeavour till midnight, and says at the same time that he does not wish men to know it, lest they should praise him, I must say of such a man, that, if he be not deceitful, he is stupid.”‘

Another day, the duke asked Tsze-sze, saying, ‘Can my state be made to flourish?’ ‘It may,’ was the reply. ‘And how?’ Tsze-sze said, ‘O prince, if you and your ministers will only strive to realize the government of the duke of Chau and of Po-ch’in; practising their transforming principles, sending forth wide the favours of your ducal house, and not letting advantages flow in private channels; if you will thus conciliate the affections of the people, and at the same time cultivate friendly relations with neighboring states, your state will soon begin to flourish.’

On one occasion, the duke asked whether it had been the custom of old for ministers to go into mourning for a prince whose service and state they had left. Tsze-sze replied to him, ‘Of old, princes advanced their ministers to office according to propriety, and dismissed them in the same way, and hence there was that rule. But now-a-days, princes bring their ministers forward as if they were going to take them on their knees, and send them away as if they would cast them into an abyss. If they do not treat them as their greatest enemies, it is well.– How can you expect the ancient practice to be observed in such circumstances [1]?’
These instances may suffice to illustrate the character of Tsze-sze, as it was displayed in his intercourse with the princes of his time. We see the same independence which he affected in private life, and a dignity not unbecoming the grandson of Confucius. But we miss the reach of thought and capacity for administration which belonged to the Sage. It is with him, how-

1 This conversation is given in the Li Chi, II. Sect. II. Pt. ii, 1.

ever, as a thinker and writer that we have to do, and his rank in that capacity will appear from the examination of the Chung Yung in the section iv below. His place in the temples of the Sage has been that of one of his four assessors, since the year 1267. He ranks with Yen Hui, Tsang Shan, and Mencius, and bears the title of ‘The Philosopher Tsze-sze, Transmitter of the Sage [1].’


In the testimony of K’ung Fu, which has been adduced to prove the authorship of the Chung Yung, it is said that the Work consisted originally of forty-nine p’ien. From this statement it is argued by some, that the arrangement of it in thirty-three chapters, which originated with Chu Hsi, is wrong [2]; but this does not affect the question of integrity, and the character p’ien is so vague and indefinite, that we cannot affirm that K’ung Fu meant to tell us by it that Tsze-sze himself divided his Treatise into so many paragraphs or chapters.
It is on the entry in Liu Hsin’s Catalogue, quoted section i,– ‘Two p’ien of Observations on the Chung Yung,’ that the integrity of the present Work is called in question. Yen Sze-ku, of the Tang dynasty, has a note on that entry to the effect:– ‘There is now the Chung Yung in the Li Chi in one p’ien. But that is not the original Treatise here mentioned, but only a branch from it [3]’ Wang Wei, a writer of the Ming dynasty, says:– ‘Anciently, the Chung Yung consisted of two p’ien, as appears from the History of Literature of the Han dynasty, but in the Li Chi we have only one p’ien, which Chu Hsi, when he made his “Chapters and Sentences,” divided into thirty-three chapters. The old Work in two p’ien is not to be met with now [4].’

These views are based on a misinterpretation of the entry in the

1 述聖子思子.
2 See the 四書拓餘說, art. 中庸.
3 顏師古曰,今禮記有中庸一篇,奕非本禮經,蓋此之流.
4 王氏緯曰,中庸古有二篇,見漢藝文志,而在禮記中者,一篇而已,朱子為章句,因其一篇者, 分為三十三章,而古所謂而篇者不可見矣.

Catalogue. It does not speak of two p’ien of the Chung Yung, but of two p’ien of Observations thereon. The Great Learning carries on its front the evidence of being incomplete, but the student will not easily believe that the Doctrine of the Mean is so. I see no reason for calling its integrity in question, and no necessity therefore to recur to the ingenious device employed in the edition of the five ching published by the imperial authority of K’ang Hsi, to get over the difficulty which Wang Wei supposes. It there appears in two p’ien, of which we have the following account from the author of ‘Supplemental Remarks upon the Four Books:’– ‘The proper course now is to consider the first twenty chapters in Chu Hsi’s arrangement as making up the first p’ien, and the remaining thirteen as forming the second. In this way we retain the old form of the Treatise, and do not come into collision with the views of Chu. For this suggestion we are indebted to Lu Wang-chai’ (an author of the Sung dynasty ) [1].


1. The Doctrine of the Mean is a work not easy to understand. ‘It first,’ says the philosopher Chang, ‘speaks of one principle; it next spreads this out and embraces all things; finally, it returns and gathers them up under the one principle. Unroll it and it fills the universe; roll it up, and it retires and lies hid in secrecy [2].’ There is this advantage, however, to the student of it, that more than most other Chinese Treatises it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The first chapter stands to all that follows in the character of a text, containing several propositions of which we have the expansion or development. If that development were satisfactory, we should be able to bring our own minds en rapport with that of the author. Unfortunately it is not so. As a writer he belongs to the intuitional school more than to the logical. This is well put in the ‘Continuation of the General Examination of Literary Monuments and Learned Men,’– ‘The philosopher Tsang reached his conclusions by following in the train of things, watch-

1 See the 四書拓餘說, art. 中庸.
2 See the Introductory note of Chu Hsi.

ing and examining; whereas Tsze-sze proceeds directly and reaches to Heavenly virtue. His was a mysterious power of discernment, approaching to that of Yen Hui [1].’ We must take the Book and the author, however, as we have them, and get to their meaning, if we can, by assiduous examination and reflection.

2. ‘Man has received his nature from Heaven. Conduct in accordance with that nature constitutes what is right and true,– is a pursuing of the proper Path. The cultivation or regulation of that path is what is called Instruction.’ It is with these axioms that the Treatise commences, and from such an introduction we might expect that the writer would go on to unfold the various principles of duty, derived from an analysis of man’s moral constitution.

Confining himself, however, to the second axiom, he proceeds to say that ‘the path may not for an instant be left, and that the superior man is cautious and careful in reference to what he does not see, and fearful and apprehensive in reference to what he does not hear. There is nothing more visible than what is secret, and nothing more manifest than what is minute, and therefore the superior man is watchful over his aloneness.’ This is not all very plain. Comparing it with the sixth chapter of Commentary in the Great Learning, it seems to inculcate what is there called ‘making the thoughts sincere.’ The passage contains an admonition about equivalent to that of Solomon,– ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.’
The next paragraph seems to speak of the nature and the path under other names. ‘While there are no movements of pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, we have what may be called the state of equilibrium. When those feelings have been moved, and they all act in the due degree, we have what may be called the state of harmony. This equilibrium is the great root of the world, and this harmony is its universal path.’ What is here called ‘the state of equilibrium,’ is the same as the nature given by Heaven, considered absolutely in itself, without deflection or inclination. This nature acted on from without, and responding with the various emotions, so as always ‘to hit [2]’ the mark with entire

1 See the 續文獻通考, Bk. cxcix, art. 子思,–曾子得之于隨事省察,而子思之學,則 直達天德,庶幾顏氏之妙悟.
2 中節.

correctness, produces the state of harmony, and such harmonious response is the path along which all human activities should proceed.

Finally. ‘Let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish.’ Here we pass into the sphere of mystery and mysticism. The language, according to Chu Hsi, ‘describes the meritorious achievements and transforming influence of sage and spiritual men in their highest extent.’ From the path of duty, where we tread on solid ground, the writer suddenly raises us aloft on wings of air, and will carry us we know not where, and to we know not what.

3. The paragraphs thus presented, and which constitute Chu Hsi’s first chapter, contain the sum of the whole Work. This is acknowledged by all;– by the critics who disown Chu Hsi’s interpretations of it, as freely as by him [1]. Revolving them in my own mind often and long, I collect from them the following as the ideas of the author:– Firstly, Man has received from Heaven a moral nature by which he is constituted a law to himself; secondly, Over this nature man requires to exercise a jealous watchfulness; and thirdly, As he possesses it, absolutely and relatively, in perfection, or attains to such possession of it, he becomes invested with the highest dignity and power, and may say to himself– ‘I am a god; yea, I sit in the seat of God.’ I will not say here that there is impiety in the last of these ideas; but do we not have in them the same combination which we found in the Great Learning,– a combination of the ordinary and the extraordinary, the plain and the vague, which is very perplexing to the mind, and renders the Book unfit for the purposes of mental and moral discipline?

And here I may inquire whether we do right in calling the Treatise by any of the names which foreigners have hitherto used for it? In the note on the title, I have entered a little into this question. The Work is not at all what a reader must expect to find in what he supposes to be a treatise on ‘The Golden Medium,’ ‘The Invariable Mean,’ or ‘The Doctrine of the Mean.’ Those

l Compare Chu Hsi’s language in his concluding note to the first chapter:– 楊氏所謂一篇之禮要, and Mao Hsi-ho’s, in his 中庸說, 卷一, p. 11:– 此中庸一書之 領要也.

names are descriptive only of a portion of it. Where the phrase Chung Yung occurs in the quotations from Confucius, in nearly every chapter from the second to the eleventh, we do well to translate it by ‘the course of the Mean,’ or some similar terms; but the conception of it in Tsze-sze’s mind was of a different kind, as the preceding analysis of the first chapter sufficiently shows [1].

4. I may return to this point of the proper title for the Work again, but in the meantime we must proceed with the analysis of it.– The ten chapters from the second to the eleventh constitute the second part, and in them Tsze-sze quotes the words of Confucius, ‘for the purpose,’ according to Chu Hsi, ‘of illustrating the meaning of the first chapter.’ Yet, as I have just intimated, they do not to my mind do this. Confucius bewails the rarity of the practice of the Mean, and graphically sets forth the difficulty of it. ‘The empire, with its component States and families, may be ruled; dignities and emoluments may be declined; naked weapons may be trampled under foot; but the course of the Mean can not be attained to [2].’ ‘The knowing go beyond it, and the stupid do not come up to it [3].’ Yet some have attained to it. Shun did so, humble and ever learning from people far inferior to himself [4]; and Yen Hui did so, holding fast whatever good he got hold of, and never letting it go [5]. Tsze-lu thought the Mean could be taken by storm, but Confucius taught him better [6]. And in fine, it is only the sage who can fully exemplify the Mean [7].

All these citations do not throw any light on the ideas presented in the first chapter. On the contrary, they interrupt the train of thought. Instead of showing us how virtue, or the path of duty is in accordance with our Heaven-given nature, they lead us to think of it as a mean between two extremes. Each extreme may be a violation of the law of our nature, but that is not made to appear. Confucius’s sayings would be in place in illustrating the doctrine of the Peripatetics, ‘which placed all virtue in a medium between opposite vices [8].’ Here in the Chung Yung of Tsze-sze I have always felt them to be out of place.

5. In the twelfth chapter Tsze-sze speaks again himself, and we seem at once to know the voice. He begins by saying that ‘the way of the superior man reaches far and wide, and yet is

1 In the version in ‘The Sacred Books of the East,’ I call the Treatise ‘The State of Equilibrium and Harmony.’
2 Ch. ix.
3 Ch. iv.
4 Ch. vi.
5 Ch. viii.
6 Ch. x.
7 Ch. xi.
8 Encyclopædia Britannica, Preliminary Dissertations, p. 318, eighth edition.

secret,’ by which he means to tell us that the path of duty is to be pursued everywhere and at all times, while yet the secret spring and rule of it is near at hand, in the Heaven-conferred nature, the individual consciousness, with which no stranger can intermeddle. Chu Hsi, as will be seen in the notes, gives a different interpretation of the utterance. But the view which I have adopted is maintained convincingly by Mao Hsi-ho in the second part of his ‘Observations on the Chung Yung.’ With this chapter commences the third part of the Work, which embraces also the eight chapters which follow. ‘It is designed,’ says Chu Hsi, ‘to illustrate what is said in the first chapter that “the path may not be left.”‘ But more than that one sentence finds its illustration here. Tsze-sze had reference in it also to what he had said– ‘The superior man does not wait till he sees things to be cautious, nor till he hears things to be apprehensive. There is nothing more visible than what is secret, and nothing more manifest than what is minute. Therefore, the superior man is watchful over himself when he is alone.’ It is in this portion of the Chung Yung that we find a good deal of moral instruction which is really valuable. Most of it consists of sayings of Confucius, but the sentiments of Tsze-sze himself in his own language are interspersed with them. The sage of China has no higher utterances than those which are given in the thirteenth chapter.– ‘The path is not far from man. When men try to pursue a course which is far from the common indications of consciousness, this course cannot be considered the path. In the Book of Poetry it is said–

“In hewing an axe-handle, in hewing an axe-handle,
The pattern is not far off.”

We grasp one axe-handle to hew the other, and yet if we look askance from the one to the other, we may consider them as apart. Therefore, the superior man governs men according to their nature, with what is proper to them; and as soon as they change what is wrong, he stops. When one cultivates to the utmost the moral principles of his nature, and exercises them on the principle of reciprocity, he is not far from the path. What you do not like when done to yourself, do not do to others.’

‘In the way of the superior man there are four things, to none of which have I as yet attained.– To serve my father as I would require my son to serve me: to this I have not attained; to serve my elder brother as I would require my younger brother to serve me: to this I have not attained; to serve my ruler as I would require my minister to serve me: to this I have not attained; to set the example in behaving to a friend as I would require him to behave to me: to this I have not attained. Earnest in practising the ordinary virtues, and careful in speaking about them; if in his practice he has anything defective, the superior man dares not but exert himself; and if in his words he has any excess, he dares not allow himself such license. Thus his words have respect to his actions, and his actions have respect to his words;– is it not just an entire sincerity which marks the superior man?’

We have here the golden rule in its negative form expressly propounded:– ‘What you do not like when done to yourself, do not do to others.’ But in the paragraph which follows we have the rule virtually in its positive form. Confucius recognises the duty of taking the initiative,– of behaving himself to others in the first instance as he would that they should behave to him. There is a certain narrowness, indeed, in that the sphere of its operations seems to be confined to the relations of society, which are spoken of more at large in the twentieth chapter, but let us not grudge the tribute of our warm approbation to the sentiments.
This chapter is followed by two from Tsze-sze, to the effect that the superior man does what is proper in every change of his situation, always finding his rule in himself; and that in his practice there is an orderly advance from step to step,– from what is near to what is remote. Then follow five chapters from Confucius:– the first, on the operation and influence of spiritual beings, to show ‘the manifestness of what is minute, and the irrepressibleness of sincerity;’ the second, on the filial piety of Shun, and how it was rewarded by Heaven with the throne, with enduring fame, and with long life; the third and fourth, on the kings Wan and Wu, and the duke of Chau, celebrating them for their filial piety and other associate virtues; and the fifth, on the subject of government. These chapters are interesting enough in themselves, but when I go back from them, and examine whether I have from them any better understanding of the paragraphs in the first chapter which they are said to illustrate, I do not find that I have. Three of them, the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth, would be more in place in the Classic of Filial Piety than here in the Chung Yung. The meaning of the sixteenth is shadowy and undefined. After all the study which I have directed to it, there are some points in reference to which I have still doubts and difficulties.

The twentieth chapter, which concludes the third portion of the Work, contains a full exposition of Confucius’s views on government, though professedly descriptive only of that of the kings Wan and Wu. Along with lessons proper for a ruler there are many also of universal application, but the mingling of them perplexes the mind. It tells us of ‘the five duties of universal application,’– those between sovereign and minister, husband and wife, father and son, elder and younger brother, and friends; of ‘the three virtues by which those duties are carried into effect,’ namely, knowledge, benevolence, and energy; and of ‘the one thing, by which those virtues are practised,’ which is singleness or sincerity [1]. It sets forth in detail the ‘nine standard rules for the administration of government,’ which are ‘the cultivation by the ruler of his own character; the honouring men of virtue and talents; affection to his relatives; respect towards the great ministers; kind and considerate treatment of the whole body of officers; cherishing the mass of the people as children; encouraging all classes of artisans; indulgent treatment of men from a distance; and the kindly cherishing of the princes of the States [2].’ There are these and other equally interesting topics in this chapter; but, as they are in the Work, they distract the mind, instead of making the author’s great object more clear to it, and I will not say more upon them here.

6. Doubtless it was the mention of ‘singleness,’ or ‘sincerity,’ in the twentieth chapter, which made Tsze-sze introduce it into this Treatise, for from those terms he is able to go on to develop what he intended in saying that ‘if the states of Equilibrium and Harmony exist in perfection, a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish.’ It is here, that now we are astonished at the audacity of the writer’s assertions, and now lost in vain endeavours to ascertain his meaning. I have quoted the words of Confucius that it is ‘singleness’ by which the three virtues of knowledge, benevolence, and energy are able to carry into practice the duties of universal obligation. He says also that it is this same ‘singleness’ by which ‘the nine standard rules of government’ can be effectively carried out [3]. This ‘singleness’ is merely a name for ‘the states of Equilibrium

1 Par. 8.
2 Par. 12.
3 Par. 15.

and Harmony existing in perfection.’ It denotes a character absolutely and relatively good, wanting nothing in itself, and correct in all its outgoings. ‘Sincerity’ is another term for the same thing, and in speaking about it, Confucius makes a distinction between sincerity absolute and sincerity acquired. The former is born with some, and practised by them without any effort; the latter is attained by study, and practised by strong endeavour [1]. The former is ‘the way of Heaven;’ the latter is ‘the way of men [2].’ ‘He who possesses sincerity,’– absolutely, that is,– ‘is he who without effort hits what is right, and apprehends without the exercise of thought; he is the sage who naturally and easily embodies the right way. He who attains to sincerity, is he who chooses what is good and firmly holds it fast. And to this attainment there are requisite the extensive study of what is good, accurate inquiry about it, careful reflection on it, the clear discrimination of it, and the earnest practice of it [3].’ In these passages Confucius unhesitatingly enunciates his belief that there are some men who are absolutely perfect, who come into the world as we might conceive the first man was, when he was created by God ‘in His own image,’ full of knowledge and righteousness, and who grow up as we know that Christ did, ‘increasing in wisdom and in stature.’ He disclaimed being considered to be such an one himself [4], but the sages of China were such. And moreover, others who are not so naturally may make themselves to become so. Some will have to put forth more effort and to contend with greater struggles, but the end will be the possession of the knowledge and the achievement of the practice.
I need not say that these sentiments are contrary to the views of human nature which are presented in the Bible. The testimony of Revelation is that ‘there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not.’ ‘If we say that we have no sin,’ and in writing this term, I am thinking here not of sin against God, but, if we can conceive of it apart from that, of failures in regard to what ought to be in our regulation of ourselves, and in our behavior to others;– ‘if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’ This language is appropriate in the lips of the learned as well as in those of the ignorant, to the highest sage as to the lowest child of the soil. Neither the scriptures of God nor the experience of man know of individuals

1 Par. 9.
2 Par. 18.
3 Pars. 18, 19.
4 Ana. VII. xix.

absolutely perfect. The other sentiment that men can make themselves perfect is equally wide of the truth. Intelligence and goodness by no means stand to each other in the relation of cause and effect. The sayings of Ovid, ‘Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor,’ ‘Nitimur in velitum semper. cupimusque negata,’ are a more correct expression of the facts of human consciousness and conduct than the high-flown praises of Confucius.

7. But Tsze-sze adopts the dicta of his grandfather without questioning them, and gives them forth in his own style at the commencement of the fourth part of his Treatise. ‘When we have intelligence resulting from sincerity, this condition is to be ascribed to nature; when we have sincerity resulting from intelligence, this condition is to be ascribed to instruction. But given the sincerity, and there shall be the intelligence; given the intelligence, and there shall be the sincerity [1].’
Tsze-sze does more than adopt the dicta of Confucius. He applies them in a way which the Sage never did, and which he would probably have shrunk from doing. The sincere, or perfect man of Confucius, is he who satisfies completely all the requirements of duty in the various relations of society, and in the exercise of government; but the sincere man of Tsze-sze is a potency in the universe. ‘Able to give its full development to his own nature, he can do the same to the nature of other men. Able to give its full development to the nature of other men, he can give their full development to the natures of animals and things. Able to give their full development to the natures of creatures and things, he can assist the transforming and nourishing powers of Heaven and Earth. Able to assist the transforming and nourishing powers of Heaven and Earth, he may with Heaven and Earth form a ternion [2].’ Such are the results of sincerity natural. The case below this — of sincerity acquired, is as follows,– ‘The individual cultivates its shoots. From these he can attain to the possession of sincerity. This sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent, it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform [3].’ It may safely be affirmed, that when he thus expressed himself, Tsze-sze understood neither what he said nor

1 Ch. xxi.
2 Ch. xxii.
3 Ch. xxiii.

whereof he affirmed. Mao Hsi-ho and some other modern writers explain away many of his predicates of sincerity, so that in their hands they become nothing but extravagant hyperboles, but the author himself would, I believe, have protested against such a mode of dealing with his words. True, his structures are castles in the air, but he had no idea himself that they were so.

In the twenty-fourth chapter there is a ridiculous descent from the sublimity of the two preceding. We are told that the possessor of entire sincerity is like a spirit and can foreknow, but the foreknowledge is only a judging by the milfoil and tortoise and other auguries! But the author recovers himself, and resumes his theme about sincerity as conducting to self-completion and the completion of other men and things, describing it also as possessing all the qualities which can be predicated of Heaven and Earth. Gradually the subject is made to converge to the person of Confucius, who is the ideal of the sage, as the sage is the ideal of humanity at large. An old account of the object of Tsze-sze in the Chung Yung is that he wrote it to celebrate the virtue of his grandfather [1]. He certainly contrives to do this in the course of it. The thirtieth, thirty-first, and thirty-second chapters contain his eulogium, and never has any other mortal been exalted in such terms. ‘He may be compared to heaven and earth in their supporting and containing, their over-shadowing and curtaining all things; he may be compared to the four seasons in their alternating progress, and to the sun and moon in their successive shining.’ ‘Quick in apprehension, clear in discernment, of far-reaching intelligence, and all-embracing knowledge, he was fitted to exercise rule; magnanimous, generous, benign, and mild, he was fitted to exercise forbearance; impulsive, energetic, strong, and enduring, he was fitted to maintain a firm hold; self-adjusted, grave, never swerving from the Mean, and correct, he was fitted to command reverence; accomplished, distinctive, concentrative, and searching, he was fitted to exercise discrimination.’ ‘All-embracing and vast, he was like heaven; deep and active as a fountain, he was like the abyss.’ ‘Therefore his fame overspreads the Middle Kingdom, and extends to all barbarous tribes. Wherever ships and carriages reach; wherever the strength of man penetrates; wherever the heavens overshadow

1 唐陸德明釋文謂孔子之孫,子思,作此以昭明祖德; see the 中庸唐說一, p. 1.

and the earth sustains; wherever the sun and moon shine; wherever frosts and dews fall;– all who have blood and breath unfeignedly honour and love him. Hence it is said,– He is the equal of Heaven!’ ‘Who can know him but he who is indeed quick in apprehension, clear in discernment, of far-reaching intelligence, and all-embracing knowledge, possessing all heavenly virtue?’

8. We have arrived at the concluding chapter of the Work, in which the author, according to Chu Hsi, ‘having carried his descriptions to the highest point in the preceding chapters, turns back and examines the source of his subject; and then again from the work of the learner, free from all selfishness and watchful over himself when he is alone, he carries out his description, till by easy steps he brings it to the consummation of the whole world tranquillized by simple and sincere reverentialness. He moreover eulogizes its mysteriousness, till he speaks of it at last as without sound or smell [1].’ Between the first and last chapters there is a correspondency, and each of them may be considered as a summary of the whole treatise. The difference between them is, that in the first a commencement is made with the mention of Heaven as the conferrer of man’s nature, while in this the progress of man in virtue is traced, step by step, till at last it is equal to that of High Heaven.

9. I have thus in the preceding paragraphs given a general and somewhat copious review of this Work. My object has been to seize, if I could, the train of thought and to hold it up to the reader. Minor objections to it, arising from the confused use of terms and singular applications of passages from the older Classics, are noticed in the notes subjoined to the translation. I wished here that its scope should be seen, and the means be afforded of judging how far it is worthy of the high character attributed to it. ‘The relish of it,’ says the younger Ch’ang, ‘is inexhaustible. The whole of it is solid learning. When the skilful reader has explored it with delight till he has apprehended it, he may carry it into practice all his life, and will find that it cannot be exhausted [2].’

My own opinion of it is less favourable. The names by which it has been called in translations of it have led to misconceptions of its character. Were it styled ‘The states of Equilibrium and Harmony,’ we should be prepared to expect something strange and probably extravagant. Assuredly we should expect nothing more

1 See the concluding note by Chu Hsi.
2 See the Introductory note below.

strange or extravagant than what we have. It begins sufficiently well, but the author has hardly enunciated his preliminary apophthegms, when he conducts into an obscurity where we can hardly grope our way, and when we emerge from that, it is to be bewildered by his gorgeous but unsubstantial pictures of sagely perfection. He has eminently contributed to nourish the pride of his countrymen. He has exalted their sages above all that is called God or is worshipped, and taught the masses of the people that with them they have need of nothing from without. In the meantime it is antagonistic to Christianity. By-and-by, when Christianity has prevailed in China, men will refer to it as a striking proof how their fathers by their wisdom knew neither God nor themselves.



1. ‘And have you foreigners surnames as well?’ This question has often been put to me by Chinese. It marks the ignorance which belongs to the people of all that is external to

[Sidebar] His ancestry.

themselves, and the pride of antiquity which enters largely as an element into their character. If such a pride could in any case be justified, we might allow it to the family of the K’ung, the descendants of Confucius. In the reign of K’ang-hsi, twenty-one centuries and a half after the death of the sage, they amounted to eleven thousand males. But their ancestry is carried back through a period of equal extent, and genealogical tables are common, in which the descent of Confucius is traced down from Hwang-ti, in whose reign the cycle was invented, B.C. 2637 [1].

The more moderate writers, however, content themselves with exhibiting his ancestry back to the commencement of the Chau dynasty, B.C. 1121. Among the relatives of the tyrant Chau, the last emperor of the Yin dynasty, was an elder brother, by a concubine, named Ch’i [2], who is celebrated by Confucius, Ana. XVIII. i, under the title of the viscount of Wei. Foreseeing the impending ruin of their family, Ch’i withdrew from the court; and subsequently he was invested by the emperor Ch’ang, the second of the house of Chau, with the principality of Sung, which embraced the eastern portion of the present province of Ho-nan, that he might there continue the sacrifices to the sovereigns of Yin. Ch’i was followed as duke of Sung by a younger brother, in whose line the succession continued. His great-grandson, the duke Min [3], was
l See Mémoires concernant les Chinois, Tome XII, p. 447 et seq. Father Amiot states, p. 501, that he had seen the representative of the family, who succeeded to the dignity of 衍聖公 in the ninth year of Ch’ien- lung, A.D. 1744. The last duke, not the present, was visited in our own time by the late Dr. Williamson and Mr. Consul Markham. It is hardly necessary that I should say here, that the name Confucius is merely the Chinese characters 孔夫子 (K’ung Fu-tsze, ‘The master K’ung’) Latinized.

2 啟.
3 愍公.

followed, B.C. 908, by a younger brother, leaving, however, two sons, Fu-fu Ho [1] and Fang-sze [2]. Fu Ho [3] resigned his right to the dukedom in favour of Fang-sze, who put his uncle to death in B.C. 893, and became master of the State. He is known as the duke Li [4], and to his elder brother belongs the honour of having the sage among his descendants.

Three descents from Fu Ho, we find Chang K’ao-fu [5], who was a distinguished officer under the dukes Tai, Wu, and Hsuan [6] (B.C. 799- 728). He is still celebrated for his humility, and for his literary tastes. We have accounts of him as being in communication with the Grand- historiographer of the kingdom, and engaged in researches about its ancient poetry, thus setting an example of one of the works to which Confucius gave himself [7]. K’ao gave birth to K’ung-fu Chia [8], from whom the surname of K’ung took its rise. Five generations had now elapsed since the dukedom was held in the direct line of his ancestry, and it was according to the rule in such cases that the branch should cease its connexion with the ducal stem, and merge among the people under a new surname. K’ung Chia was Master of the Horse in Sung, and an officer of well-known loyalty and probity. Unfortunately for himself, he had a wife of surpassing beauty, of whom the chief minister of the State, by name Hwa Tu [9], happened on one occasion to get a glimpse. Determined to possess her, he commenced a series of intrigues, which ended, B.C. 710, in the murder of Chia and of the ruling duke Shang [10]. At the same time, Tu secured the person of the lady, and hastened to his palace with the prize, but on the way she had strangled herself with her girdle.

An enmity was thus commenced between the two families of K’ung and Hwa which the lapse of time did not obliterate, and the latter being the more powerful of the two, Chia’s great-grandson withdrew into the State of Lu to avoid their persecution. There he was appointed commandant of the city of Fang [11], and is known

1 佛父何.
2 魴(al. 方) 祀.
3 I drop here the 父 (second tone), which seems to have been used in those times in a manner equivalent to our Mr.
4 厲公.
5 正考甫; 甫 is used in the same way as 父; see note 3.
6 戴, 武, 宣, 三公.
7 See the 魯語, and 商頌詩序; quoted in Chiang Yung’s (工永) Life of Confucius, which forms a part of the 鄉黨圖考.
8 孔父嘉.
9 華督.
10 殤公.
11 防.

in history by the name of Fang-shu [1]. Fang-shu gave birth to Po-hsia [2], and from him came Shu-liang Heh [3], the father of Confucius. Heh appears in the history of the times as a soldier of great prowess and daring bravery. In the year B.C. 562, when serving at the siege of a place called Peh-yang [4], a party of the assailants made their way in at a gate which had purposely been left open, and no sooner were they inside than the portcullis was dropped. Heh was just entering; and catching the massive structure with both his hands, he gradually by dint of main strength raised it and held it up, till his friends had made their escape.
Thus much on the ancestry of the sage. Doubtless he could trace his descent in the way which has been indicated up to the imperial house of Yin, nor was there one among his ancestors during the rule of Chau to whom he could not refer with satisfaction. They had been ministers and soldiers of Sung and Lu, all men of worth, and in Chang K’ao, both for his humility and literary researches, Confucius might have special complacency.

2. Confucius was the child of Shu-liang Heh’s old age. The soldier had married in early life, but his wife brought him only

[Sidebar] From his birth to his first public employments. B.C. 551-531.

daughters,– to the number of nine, and no son. By a concubine he had a son, named Mang-p’i, and also Po-ni [5], who proved a cripple, so that, when he was over seventy years, Heh sought a second wife in the Yen family [6], from which came subsequently Yen Hui, the favourite disciple of his son. There were three daughters in the family, the youngest being named Chang-tsai [7]. Their father said to them, ‘Here is the commandant of Tsau. His father and grandfather were only scholars, but his ancestors before them were descendants of the sage sovereigns. He is a man ten feet high [8], and of extraordinary prowess, and I am very desirous of his alliance. Though he is old and austere, you need have no misgivings about him. Which of you three will be his wife? ‘The two elder daughters were silent, but Chang-tsai said, ‘Why do you ask us, father? It is for you to determine.’ ‘Very well,’ said her father in reply, ‘you will do.’ Chang-tsai, accordingly, became Heh’s wife, and in due time gave

1 防叔.
2 伯夏.
3 叔梁紇.
4 偪陽.
5 孟皮, 一字伯尼.
6 顏氏.
7 徵在.
8 其人, 身長十尺. See, on the length of the ancient foot, Ana. VIII. vi, but the point needs a more sifting investigation than it has yet received.

birth to Confucius, who received the name of Ch’iu, and was subsequently styled Chung-ni [1]. The event happened on the twenty-first day of the tenth month of the twenty-first year of the duke Hsiang, of Lu, being the twentieth year of the emperor Ling, B.C. 552 [2]. The birth-place was in the district of Tsau [3], of which Heh was the governor. It was somewhere within the limits of the present department of Yen-chau in Shan-tung, but the honour of being the exact spot is claimed for two places in two different districts of the department.

The notices which we have of Confucius’s early years are very scanty. When he was in his third year his father died. It is related of him, that as a boy he used to play at the arrangement of

1 名邱, 字仲尼. The legends say that Chang-tsai fearing lest she should not have a son, in consequence of her husband’s age, privately ascended the Ni-ch’iu hill to pray for the boon, and that when she had obtained it, she commemorated the fact in the names — Ch’iu and Chung-ni. But the cripple, Mang-p’i, had previous been styled Po-ni. There was some reason, previous to Confucius’s birth, for using the term ni in the family. As might be expected, the birth of the sage is surrounded with many prodigious occurrences. One account is, that the husband and wife prayed together for a son in a dell of mount Ni. As Chang-tsai went up the hill, the leaves of the trees and plants all erected themselves, and bent downwards on her return. That night she dreamt the black Ti appeared, and said to her, ‘You shall have a son, a sage, and you must bring him forth in a hollow mulberry tree.’ One day during her pregnancy, she fell into a dreamy state, and saw five old men in the hall, who called themselves the essences of the five planets, and led an animal which looked like a small cow with one horn, and was covered with scales like a dragon. This creature knelt before Chang-tsai, and cast forth from its mouth a slip of jade, on which was the inscription,– ‘The son of the essence of water shall succeed to the decaying Chau, and be a throneless king.’ Chang-tsai tied a piece of embroidered ribbon about its horn, and the vision disappeared. When Heh was told of it, he said, ‘The creature must be the Ch’i-lin.’ As her time drew near, Chang-tsai asked her husband if there was any place in the neighborhood called ‘the hollow mulberry tree.’ He told her there was a dry cave in the south hill, which went by that name. Then she said, ‘I will go and be confined there.’ Her husband was surprised, but when made acquainted with her former dream, he made the necessary arrangements. On the night when the child was born, two dragons came and kept watch on the left and right of the hill, and two spirit-ladies appeared in the air, pouring out fragrant odors, as if to bathe Chang-tsai; and as soon as the birth took place, a spring of clear warm water bubbled up from the floor of the cave, which dried up again when the child had been washed in it. The child was of an extraordinary appearance; with a mouth like the sea, ox lips, a dragon’s back, &c. &c. On the top of his head was a remarkable formation, in consequence of which he was named Ch’iu, &c. See the 列國志, Bk. lxxviii.–Sze-ma Ch’ien seems to make Confucius to have been illegitimate, saying that Heh and Miss Yen cohabited in the wilderness (野合 ). Chiang Yung says that the phrase has reference simply to the disparity of their ages.

2 Sze-ma Ch’ien says that Confucius was born in the twenty-second year of duke Hsiang, B.C. 550. He is followed by Chu Hsi in the short sketch of Confucius’s life prefixed to the Lun Yu, and by ‘The Annals of the Empire’ (歷代統紀表), published with imperial sanction in the reign of Chia-ch’ing. (To this latter work I have generally referred for my dates.) The year assigned in the text above rests on the authority of Ku-liang and Kung- yang, the two commentators on the Ch’un-Ch’iu. With regard to the month, however, the tenth is that assigned by Ku-liang, while Kung-yang names the eleventh.

3 Tsau is written 郰, 鄹, 陬, and 鄒.

sacrificial vessels, and at postures of ceremony. Of his schooling we have no reliable account. There is a legend, indeed, that at seven he went to school to Yen P’ing-chung [1], but it must be rejected as P’ing-chung belonged to the State of Ch’i. He tells us himself that at fifteen he bent his mind to learning [2]; but the condition of the family was one of poverty. At a subsequent period, when people were astonished at the variety of his knowledge, he explained it by saying, ‘When I was young, my condition was low, and therefore I acquired my ability in many things; but they were mean matters [3].’

When he was nineteen, he married a lady from the State of Sung, of the Chien-kwan family [4], and in the following year his son Li was born. On the occasion of this event, the duke Chao sent him a present of a couple of carp. It was to signify his sense of his prince’s favour, that he called his son Li (The Carp), and afterwards gave him the designation of Po-yu [5] (Fish Primus). No mention is made of the birth of any other children, though we know, from Ana. V. i, that he had at least one daughter. We know also, from an inscription on her grave, that he had one other daughter, who died when she was quite young. The fact of the duke of Lu’s sending him a gift on the occasion of Li’s birth, shows that he was not unknown, but was already commanding public attention and the respect of the great.

It was about this time, probably in the year after his marriage, that Confucius took his first public employment, as keeper of the stores of grain [6], and in the following year he was put in charge of the public fields and lands [7]. Mencius adduces these employments in illustration of his doctrine that the superior man may at times take office on account of his poverty, but must confine himself in such a case to places of small emolument, and aim at nothing but the discharge of their humble duties. According to him. Confucius, as keeper of stores, said, ‘My calculations must all be right:– that is all I have to care about;’ and when in charge of the public fields, he said, ‘The oxen and sheep must be fat and strong and

1 晏平仲.
2 Ana. II. iv.
3 Ana. IX. vi.
4 娶宋之幵官氏.
5 名曰鯉, 而字伯魚.
6 為委吏. This is Mencius’s account. Sze-ma Ch’ien says 嘗為季氏吏, but his subsequent words 料量平 show that the office was the same.
7 Mencius calls this office 乘田, while Sze-ma Ch’ien says 為司職吏.

superior:– that is all I have to care about [1].’ It does not appear whether these offices were held by Confucius in the direct employment of the State, or as a dependent of the Chi family in whose jurisdiction he lived. The present of the carp from the duke may incline us to suppose the former.

3. In his twenty-second year, Confucius commenced his labors as a public teacher, and his house became a resort for young and inquiring spirits, who wished to learn the doctrines of antiquity.

[Sidebar] Commencement of his labors as a teacher. The death of his mother. B.C. 531-527.

However small the fee his pupils were able to afford, he never refused his instructions [2]. All that he required, was an ardent desire for improvement, and some degree of capacity. ‘I do not open up the truth,’ he said, ‘to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn the other three, I do not repeat my lesson [3].’

His mother died in the year B.C. 527, and he resolved that her body should lie in the same grave with that of his father, and that their common resting-place should be in Fang, the first home of the K’ung in Lu. But here a difficulty presented itself. His father’s coffin had been for twenty years where it had first been deposited, off the road of The Five Fathers, in the vicinity of Tsau:– would it be right in him to move it? He was relieved from this perplexity by an old woman of the neighborhood, who told him that the coffin had only just been put into the ground, as a temporary arrangement, and not regularly buried. On learning this, he carried his purpose into execution. Both coffins were conveyed to Fang, and put in the ground together, with no intervening space between them, as was the custom in some States. And now came a new perplexity. He said to himself, ‘In old times, they had graves, but raised no tumulus over them. But I am a man, who belongs equally to the north and the south, the east and the west. I must have something by which I can remember the place.’ Accordingly he raised a mound, four feet high, over the grave, and returned home, leaving a party of his disciples to see everything properly completed. In the meantime there came on a heavy storm of rain, and it was a considerable time before the disciples joined him. ‘What makes you so late?’ he asked. ‘The grave in Fang fell down,’ they said. He made no reply, and they repeated their

1 Mencius, V. Pt. II. v. 4.
2 Ana. VII. vii.
3 Ana. VII. viii.

answer three times, when he burst into tears, and said, ‘Ah! they did not make their graves so in antiquity [1].’ ‘Confucius mourned for his mother the regular period of three years,– three years nominally, but in fact only twenty-seven months. Five days after the mourning was expired, he played on his lute, but could not sing. It required other five days before he could accompany an instrument with his voice [2].

Some writers have represented Confucius as teaching his disciples important lessons from the manner in which he buried his mother, and having a design to correct irregularities in the ordinary funeral ceremonies of the time. These things are altogether ‘without book.’ We simply have a dutiful son paying the last tribute of affection to a good parent. In one point he departs from the ancient practice, raising a mound over the grave, and when the fresh earth gives way from a sudden rain, he is moved to tears, and seems to regret his innovation. This sets Confucius vividly before us,– a man of the past as much as of the present, whose own natural feelings were liable to be hampered in their development by the traditions of antiquity which he considered sacred. It is important, however, to observe the reason which he gave for rearing the mound. He had in it a presentiment of much of his future course. He was ‘a man of the north, the south, the east, and the west.’ He might not confine himself to any one State. He would travel, and his way might be directed to some ‘wise ruler,’ whom his counsels would conduct to a benevolent sway that would break forth on every side till it transformed the empire.

4. When the mourning for his mother was over, Confucius remained in Lu, but in what special capacity we do not know. Probably he continued to encourage the resort of

[Sidebar] He learns music; visits the court of Chau; and returns to Lu. B.C. 527-517.

inquirers to whom he communicated instruction, and pursued his own researches into the history, literature, and institutions of the empire. In the year B.C. 525, the chief of the small State of T’an [3], made his appearance at the court of Lu, and discoursed in a wonderful manner, at a feast given to him by the duke, about the names which the most ancient sovereigns, from Hwang-ti downwards, gave to their

1 Li Chi, II. Sect I. i. 10; Sect. II. iii. 30; Pt. I. i. 6. See also the discussion of those passages in Chiang Yung’s ‘Life of Confucius.’
2 Li Chi, II. Sect. I. i. 23.
3 See the Ch’un Ch’iu, under the seventh year of duke Chao,– 秋, 郯子來朝 .

ministers. The sacrifices to the emperor Shao-hao, the next in descent from Hwang-ti, were maintained in T’an, so that the chief fancied that he knew all about the abstruse subject on which he discoursed. Confucius, hearing about the matter, waited on the visitor, and learned from him all that he had to communicate [1].

To the year B.C. 525, when Confucius was twenty-nine years old, is referred his studying music under a famous master of the name of Hsiang [2]. He was approaching his thirtieth year when, as he tells us, ‘he stood [3]’ firm, that is, in his convictions on the subjects of learning to which he had bent his mind fifteen years before. Five years more, however, were still to pass by, before the anticipation mentioned in the conclusion of the last paragraph began to receive its fulfillment [4], though we may conclude from the way in which it was brought about that he was growing all the time in the estimation of the thinking minds in his native State.

In the twenty-fourth year of duke Chao, B.C. 518, one of the principal ministers of Lu, known by the name of Mang Hsi, died. Seventeen years before, he had painfully felt his ignorance of ceremonial observances, and had made it his subsequent business to make himself acquainted with them. On his deathbed, he addressed his chief officer, saying, ‘A knowledge of propriety is the stem of a man. Without it he has no means of standing firm. I have heard that there is one K’ung Ch’iu, who is thoroughly versed in it. He is a descendant of sages, and though the line of his family was extinguished in Sung, among his ancestors there were Fu-fu Ho, who resigned the State to his brother, and Chang K’ao-fu, who was distinguished for his humility. Tsang Heh has observed that if sage men of intelligent virtue do not attain to eminence, distinguished men are sure to appear among their posterity. His words are now to be verified, I think, in K’ung Ch’iu. After my death, you must

1 This rests on the respectable authority of Tso Ch’iu-ming’s annotations on the Ch’un Ch’iu, but I must consider it apocryphal. The legend-writers have fashioned a journey to T’an. The slightest historical intimation becomes a text with them, on which they enlarge to the glory of the sage. Amiot has reproduced and expanded their romancings, and others, such as Pauthier (Chine, pp. 121-183) and Thornton (History of China, vol. i. pp. 151-215), have followed in his wake.

2 師襄. See the ‘Narratives of the School,’ 卷三, art 辯樂解; but the account there given is not more credible than the chief of T’an’s expositions.
3 Ana. II. iv.

4 The journey to Chau is placed by Sze-ma Ch’ien before Confucius’s holding of his first official employments, and Chu Hsi and most other writers follow him. It is a great error, and arisen from a misunderstanding of the passage from the 左氏傳 upon the subject.
tell Ho-chi to go and study proprieties under him [1].’ In consequence of this charge, Ho-chi [2], Mang Hsi’s son, who appears in the Analects under the name of Mang I [3], and a brother, or perhaps on]y a near relative, named Nan-kung Chang-shu [4], became disciples of Confucius. Their wealth and standing in the State gave him a position which he had not had before, and he told Chang-shu of a wish which he had to visit the court of Chau, and especially to confer on the subject of ceremonies and music with Lao Tan. Chang-shu represented the matter to the duke Ch’ao, who put a carriage and a pair of horses at Confucius’s disposal for the expedition [5].

At this time the court of Chau was in the city of Lo [6]. in the present department of Ho-nan of the province of the same name. The reigning sovereign is known by the title of Chang [7], but the sovereignty was little more than nominal. The state of China was then analogous to that of one of the European kingdoms during the prevalence of the feudal system. At the commencement of the dynasty, the various states of the kingdom had been assigned to the relatives and adherents of the reigning family. There were thirteen principalities of greater note, and a large number of smaller dependencies. During the vigorous youth of the dynasty, the sovereign or lord paramount exercised an effective control over the various chiefs, but with the lapse of time there came weakness and decay. The chiefs — corresponding somewhat to the European dukes, earls, marquises, barons, &c. — quarrelled and warred among themselves, and the stronger among them barely acknowledged their subjection to the sovereign. A similar condition of things prevailed in each particular State. There there [sic] were hereditary ministerial families, who were continually encroaching on the authority of their rulers, and the heads of those families again were frequently hard pressed by their inferior officers. Such was the state of China in Confucius’s time. The reader must have it clearly before him, if he would understand the position of the sage, and the reforms which, we shall find, it was subsequently his object to introduce.

Arrived at Chau, he had no intercourse with the court or any of

1 See 左氏傳, 昭公七年.
2 何忌.
3 孟懿子.
4 南宮敬叔.
5 The 家語 makes Chang-shu accompany Confucius to Chau. It is difficult to understand this, if Chang-shu were really a son of Mang Hsi who had died that year.
6 洛.
7 敬王 (B.C. 519-475)

the principal ministers. He was there not as a politician, but as an inquirer about the ceremonies and maxims of the founders of the existing dynasty. Lao Tan [1], whom he had wished to see, generally acknowledged as the founder of the Taoists, or Rationalistic sect (so called), which has maintained its ground in opposition to the followers of Confucius, was then a curator of the royal library. They met and freely interchanged their views, but no reliable account of their conversations has been preserved. In the fifth Book of the Li Chi, which is headed ‘The philosopher Tsang asked,’ Confucius refers four times to the views of Lao-tsze on certain points of funeral ceremonies, and in the ‘Narratives of the School,’ Book XXIV, he tells Chi K’ang what he had heard from him about ‘The Five Tis,’ but we may hope their conversation turned also on more important subjects. Sze-ma Ch’ien, favourable to Lao-tsze, makes him lecture his visitor in the following style:– ‘Those whom you talk about are dead, and their bones are moldered to dust; only their words remain. When the superior man gets his time, he mounts aloft; but when the time is against him, he moves as if his feet were entangled. I have heard that a good merchant, though he has rich treasures deeply stored, appears as if he were poor, and that the superior man whose virtue is complete, is yet to outward seeming stupid. Put away your proud air and many desires, your insinuating habit and wild will [2]. These are of no advantage to you. This is all which I have to tell you.’ On the other hand, Confucius is made to say to his disciples, ‘I know how birds can fly, how fishes can swim, and how animals can run. But the runner may be snared, the swimmer may be hooked, and the flyer may be shot by the arrow. But there is the dragon. I cannot tell how he mounts on the wind through the clouds, and rises to heaven. Today I have seen Lao-tsze, and can only compare him to the dragon [3].’

While at Lo, Confucius walked over the grounds set apart for the great sacrifices to Heaven and Earth; inspected the pattern of the Hall of Light, built to give audience in to the princes of the kingdom; and examined all the arrangements of the ancestral temple and the court. From the whole he received a profound

1 According to Sze-ma Ch’ien, Tan was the posthumous epithet of this individual, whose surname was Li (李), name R (耳), and designation Po-yang (伯陽).
2 逸態與淫志.
3 See the 史記, 列傳第三, and compare the remarks attributed to Lao-tsze in the account of the K’ung family near the beginning.

impression. ‘Now,’ said he with a sigh, ‘I know the sage wisdom of the duke of Chau, and how the House of Chau attained to the royal sway [1].’ On the walls of the Hall of Light were paintings of the ancient sovereigns from Yao and Shun downwards, their characters appearing in the representations of them, and words of praise or warning being appended. There was also a picture of the duke of Chau sitting with his infant nephew, the king Ch’ang, upon his knees, to give audience to all the princes. Confucius surveyed the scene with silent delight, and then said to his followers, ‘Here you see how Chau became so great. As we use a glass to examine the forms of things, so must we study antiquity in order to understand the present time [2].’ In the hall of the ancestral temple, there was a metal statue of a man with three clasps upon his mouth, and his back covered over with an enjoyable homily on the duty of keeping a watch upon the lips. Confucius turned to his disciples and said, ‘Observe it, my children. These words are true, and commend themselves to our feelings [3].’

About music he made inquiries at Ch’ang Hung, to whom the following remarks are attributed:– ‘I have observed about Chung-ni many marks of a sage. He has river eyes and a dragon forehead,– the very characteristics of Hwang-ti. His arms are long, his back is like a tortoise, and he is nine feet six inches in height,– the very semblance of T’ang the Completer. When he speaks, he praises the ancient kings. He moves along the path of humility and courtesy. He has heard of every subject, and retains with a strong memory. His knowledge of things seems inexhaustible.– Have we not in him the rising of a sage [4]?’
I have given these notices of Confucius at the court of Chau, more as being the only ones I could find, than because I put much faith in them. He did not remain there long, but returned the same year to Lu, and continued his work of teaching. His fame was greatly increased; disciples came to him from different parts, till their number amounted to three thousand. Several of those who have come down to us as the most distinguished among his followers, however, were yet unborn, and the statement just given may be considered as an exaggeration. We are not to conceive of the disciples as forming a community, and living together. Parties

1 2 3 See the 家語, 卷二, art. 觀周.
4 Quoted by Chiang Yung from the ‘Narratives of the School.’

of them may have done so. We shall find Confucius hereafter always moving amid a company of admiring pupils; but the greater number must have had their proper avocations and ways of living, and would only resort to the Master, when they wished specially to ask his counsel or to learn of him.
5. In the year succeeding the return to Lu, that State fell into great confusion. There were three Families in it, all connected irregularly with the ducal House, which had long kept the rulers in a condition of dependency. They appear frequently in the Analects as the Chi clan, the Shu, and the Mang; and while Confucius freely spoke of their

[Sidebar] He withdraws to Chi and returns to Lu the following year. B.C. 515, 516.

usurpations [1], he was a sort of dependent of the Chi family, and appears in frequent communication with members of all the three. In the year B.C. 517, the duke Chao came to open hostilities with them, and being worsted, fled into Ch’i, the State adjoining Lu on the north. Thither Confucius also repaired, that he might avoid the prevailing disorder of his native State. Ch’i was then under the government of a ruler (in rank a marquis, but historically called duke) , afterwards styled Ching [2], who ‘had a thousand teams, each of four horses, but on the day of his death the people did not praise him for a single virtue [3].’ His chief minister, however, was Yen Ying [4], a man of considerable ability and worth. At his court the music of the ancient sage-emperor, Shun, originally brought to Ch’i from the State of Ch’an [5], was still preserved.

According to the ‘Narratives of the School,’ an incident occurred on the way to Ch’i, which I may transfer to these pages as a good specimen of the way in which Confucius turned occurring matters to account, in his intercourse with his disciples. As he was passing by the side of the Tai mountain, there was a woman weeping and wailing by a grave. Confucius bent forward in his carriage, and after listening to her for some time, sent Tsze-lu to ask the cause of her grief. ‘You weep, as if you had experienced sorrow upon sorrow,’ said Tsze-lu. The woman replied, ‘It is so. My husband’s father was killed here by a tiger, and my husband also; and now my son has met the same fate.’ Confucius asked her why she did not remove from the place, and on her answering,’ There is here no oppressive government,’ he turned to his disciples, and said, ‘My

1 See Analects, III. i. ii, et al.
2 景公.
3 Ana. XVI. xii.
4 晏嬰. This is the same who was afterwards styled 晏平仲.
5 陳.

children, remember this. Oppressive government is fiercer than a tiger [1].’

As soon as he crossed the border from Lu, we are told he discovered from the gait and manners of a boy, whom he saw carrying a pitcher, the influence of the sages’ music, and told the driver of his carriage to hurry on to the capital [2]. Arrived there, he heard the strain, and was so ravished with it, that for three months he did not know the taste of flesh. ‘I did not think,’ he said, ‘that music could have been made so excellent as this [3].’ The duke Ching was pleased with the conferences which he had with him [4], and proposed to assign to him the town of Lin-ch’iu, from the revenues of which he might derive a sufficient support; but Confucius refused the gift, and said to his disciples, ‘A superior man will only receive reward for services which he has done. I have given advice to the duke Ching, but he has not yet obeyed it, and now he would endow me with this place! Very far is he from understanding me [5]!’

On one occasion the duke asked about government, and received the characteristic reply, ‘There is government when the ruler is ruler, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son [6].’ I say that the reply is characteristic. Once, when Tsze-lu asked him what he would consider the first thing to be done if entrusted with the government of a State, Confucius answered, ‘What is necessary is to rectify names [7].’ The disciple thought the reply wide of the mark, but it was substantially the same with what he said to the marquis Ching. There is a sufficient foundation in nature for government in the several relations of society, and if those be maintained and developed according to their relative significancy, it is sure to obtain. This was a first principle in the political ethics of Confucius.

Another day the duke got to a similar inquiry the reply that the art of government lay in an economical use of the revenues; and being pleased, he resumed his purpose of retaining the philosopher in his State, and proposed to assign to him the fields of Ni-ch’i. His

1 See the 家語, 卷四, art. 正論解. I have translated, however, from the Li Chi, II. Sect. II. iii. 10, where the same incident is given, with some variations, and without saying when or where it occurred.
2 See the 說苑, 卷十九, p. 13.
3 Ana. VII. xiii.
4 Some of these are related in the ‘Narratives of the School;’– about the burning of the ancestral shrine of the sovereign 釐, and a one-footed bird which appeared hopping and flapping its wings in Ch’i. They are plainly fabulous, though quoted in proof of Confucius’s sage wisdom. This reference to them is more than enough.
5 家語, 卷二, 六本.
6 Ana. XII. xi.
7 Ana. XIII. iii.

chief minister Yen Ying dissuaded him from the purpose, saying, ‘Those scholars are impracticable, and cannot be imitated. They are haughty and conceited of their own views, so that they will not be content in inferior positions. They set a high value on all funeral ceremonies, give way to their grief, and will waste their property on great burials, so that they would only be injurious to the common manners. This Mr. K’ung has a thousand peculiarities. It would take generations to exhaust all that he knows about the ceremonies of going up and going down. This is not the time to examine into his rules of propriety. If you, prince, wish to employ him to change the customs of Ch’i, you will not be making the people your primary consideration [1].’
I had rather believe that these were not the words of Yen Ying, but they must represent pretty correctly the sentiments of many of the statesmen of the time about Confucius. The duke of Ch’i got tired ere long of having such a monitor about him, and observed. ‘I cannot treat him as I would the chief of the Chi family. I will treat him in a way between that accorded to the chief of the Chi, and that given to the chief of the Mang family.’ Finally he said, ‘I am old; I cannot use his doctrines [2].’ These observations were made directly to Confucius, or came to his hearing [3]. It was not consistent with his self-respect to remain longer in Ch’i, and he returned to Lu [4].

6. Returned to Lu, he remained for the long period of about fifteen years without being engaged in any official employment. It

[Sidebar] He remains without office in Lu, B.C. 516-501.

was a time indeed of great disorder. The duke Chao continued a refugee in Ch’i, the government being in the hands of the great Families, up to his death in B.C. 510, on which event the rightful heir was set aside, and another member of the ducal House, known to us by the title of Ting [5], substituted in his place. The ruling authority of the principality became thus still more enfeebled than it had been before, and, on the other hand, the chiefs of the Chi, the Shu, and the Mang, could hardly keep their ground against their own officers. Of those latter, the two most conspicuous were Yang Hu [6], called also Yang Ho [7], and

1 See the 史記, 孔子世家, p. 2.
2 Ana. XVIII. iii
3 Sze-ma Ch’ien makes the first observation to have been addressed directly to Confucius.
4 According to the above account Confucius was only once, and for a portion of two years, in Ch’i. For the refutation of contrary accounts, see Chiang Yung’s Life of the Sage.
5 定公.
6 陽虎.
7 陽貨.

Kung-shan Fu-zao [1]. At one time Chi Hwan, the most powerful of the chiefs, was kept a prisoner by Yang Hu, and was obliged to make terms with him in order to obtain his liberation. Confucius would give his countenance to none, as he disapproved of all, and he studiously kept aloof from them. Of how he comported himself among them we have a specimen in the incident related in the Analects, XVII. i.– ‘Yang Ho wished to see Confucius, but Confucius would not go to see him. On this, he sent a present of a pig to Confucius, who, having chosen a time when Ho was not at home, went to pay his respects for the gift. He met him, however, on the way. “Come, let me speak with you,” said the officer. “Can he be called benevolent, who keeps his jewel in his bosom, and leaves his country to confusion?” Confucius replied, “No.” “Can he be called wise, who is anxious to be engaged in public employment, and yet is constantly losing the opportunity of being so?” Confucius again said, “No.” The other added, “The days and months are passing away; the years do not wait for us.” Confucius said, “Right; I will go into office.”‘ Chinese writers are eloquent in their praises of the sage for the combination of propriety, complaisance and firmness, which they see in his behavior in this matter. To myself there seems nothing remarkable in it but a somewhat questionable dexterity. But it was well for the fame of Confucius that his time was not occupied during those years with official services. He turned them to better account, prosecuting his researches into the poetry, history, ceremonies, and music of the nation. Many disciples continued to resort to him, and the legendary writers tell us how he employed their services in digesting the results of his studies. I must repeat, however, that several of them, whose names are most famous, such as Tsang Shan, were as yet children, and Min Sun [2] was not born till B.C. 500.

To this period we must refer the almost single instance which we have of the manner of Confucius’s intercourse with his son Li. ‘Have you heard any lessons from your father different from what we have all heard?’ asked one of the disciples once of Li. ‘No,’ said Li. ‘He was standing alone once, when I was passing through the court below with hasty steps, and said to me, “Have you learned the Odes?” On my replying, “Not yet,” he added, “If you do not learn the Odes, you will not be fit to converse with.” Another day,

1 公山佛擾(史記, 狃).
2 閔損.

in the same place and the same way, he said to me, “Have you read the rules of Propriety?” On my replying, “Not yet,” he added, “If you do not learn the rules of Propriety, your character cannot be established.” I have heard only these two things from him.’ The disciple was delighted and observed, ‘I asked one thing, and I have got three things. I have heard about the Odes. I have heard about the rules of Propriety. I have also heard that the superior man maintains a distant reserve towards his son [1].’
I can easily believe that this distant reserve was the rule which Confucius followed generally in his treatment of his son. A stern dignity is the quality which a father has to maintain upon his system. It is not to be without the element of kindness, but that must never go beyond the line of propriety. There is too little room left for the play and development of natural affection.

The divorce of his wife must also have taken place during these years, if it ever took place at all, which is a disputed point. The curious reader will find the question discussed in the notes on the second Book of the Li Chi. The evidence inclines, I think, against the supposition that Confucius did put his wife away. When she died, at a period subsequent to the present, Li kept on weeping aloud for her after the period for such a demonstration of grief had expired, when Confucius sent a message to him that his sorrow must be subdued, and the obedient son dried his tears [2]. We are glad to know that on one occasion the death of his favourite disciple, Yen Hui — the tears of Confucius himself would flow over and above the measure of propriety [3].

7. We come to the short period of Confucius’s official life. In the

[Sidebar] He holds office. B.C. 500-496.

year B.C. 501, things had come to a head between the chiefs of the three Families and their ministers, and had resulted in the defeat of the latter. In that year the resources of Yang Hu were exhausted, and he fled into Ch’i, so that the State was delivered from its greatest troubler, and the way was made more clear for Confucius to go into office, should an opportunity occur. It soon presented itself. Towards the end of that year he was made chief magistrate of the town of Chung-tu [4].

1 Ana. XVI. xiii.
2 See the Li Chi, II. Pt. I. i. 27.
3 Ana. XI. ix.
4 中都宰. Amiot says this was ‘la ville meme ou le Souverain tenoit sa Cour’ (Vie de Confucius, p. 147). He is followed of course by Thornton and Pauthier. My reading has not shown me that such was the case. In the notes to K’ang-hsi’s edition of the ‘Five Ching,’ Li Chi, II Sect. I. iii. 4, it is simply said– ‘Chung-tu,– the name of a town of Lu. It afterwards belonged to Ch’i when it was called Ping-lu (平陸).’

Just before he received this appointment, a circumstance occurred of which we do not well know what to make. When Yang-hu fled into Ch’i, Kung-shan Fu-zao, who had been confederate with him, continued to maintain an attitude of rebellion, and held the city of Pi against the Chi family. Thence he sent a message to Confucius inviting him to join him, and the Sage seemed so inclined to go that his disciple Tsze-lu remonstrated with him, saying, ‘Indeed you cannot go! why must you think of going to see Kung-shan?’ Confucius replied, ‘Can it be without some reason that he has invited me? If any one employ me, may I not make an eastern Chau [1]?’

The upshot, however, was that he did not go, and I cannot suppose that he had ever any serious intention of doing so. Amid the general gravity of his intercourse with his followers, there gleam out a few instances of quiet pleasantry, when he amused himself by playing with their notions about him. This was probably one of them.

As magistrate of Chung-tu he produced a marvellous reformation of the manners of the people in a short time. According to the ‘Narratives of the School,’ he enacted rules for the nourishing of the living and all observances to the dead. Different food was assigned to the old and the young, and different burdens to the strong and the weak. Males and females kept apart from each other in the streets. A thing dropped on the road was not picked up. There was no fraudulent carving of vessels. Inner coffins were made four inches thick, and the outer ones five. Graves were made on the high grounds, no mounds being raised over them, and no trees planted about them. Within twelve months, the princes of the other States all wished to imitate his style of administration [2].

The duke Ting, surprised at what he saw, asked whether his rules could be employed to govern a whole State, and Confucius told him that they might be applied to the whole kingdom. On this the duke appointed him assistant-superintendent of Works [3], in which capacity he surveyed the lands of the State, and made many improvements in agriculture. From this he was quickly made minister of Crime [4], and the appointment was enough to put an end to crime. There was no necessity to put the penal laws in execution. No offenders showed themselves [5].

1 Ana. XVII. v.
2 家語, Bk. I.
3 司空. This office, however, was held by the chief of the Mang Family. We must understand that Confucius was only an assistant to him, or perhaps acted for him.
4 大司寇.
5 家語, Bk. I.

These indiscriminating eulogies are of little value. One incident, related in the annotations of Tso-shih on the Ch’un-Ch’iu [1], commends itself at once to our belief, as in harmony with Confucius’s character. The chief of the Chi, pursuing with his enmity the duke Chao, even after his death, had placed his grave apart from the graves of his predecessors; and Confucius surrounded the ducal cemetery with a ditch so as to include the solitary resting-place, boldly telling the chief that he did it to hide his disloyalty [2]. But he signalized himself most of all in B.C. 500, by his behavior at an interview between the dukes of Lu and Ch’i, at a place called Shih-ch’i [3], and Chia-ku [4], in the present district of Lai-wu, in the department of T’ai-an [5]. Confucius was present as master of ceremonies on the part of Lu, and the meeting was professedly pacific. The two princes were to form a covenant of alliance. The principal officer on the part of Ch’i, however, despising Confucius as ‘a man of ceremonies, without courage,’ had advised his sovereign to make the duke of Lu a prisoner, and for this purpose a band of the half-savage original inhabitants of the place advanced with weapons to the stage where the two dukes were met. Confucius understood the scheme, and said to the opposite party, ‘Our two princes are met for a pacific object. For you to bring a band of savage vassals to disturb the meeting with their weapons, is not the way in which Ch’i can expect to give law to the princes of the kingdom. These barbarians have nothing to do with our Great Flowery land. Such vassals may not interfere with our covenant. Weapons are out of place at such a meeting. As before the spirits, such conduct is unpropitious. In point of virtue, it is contrary to right. As between man and man, it is not polite.’ The duke of Ch’i ordered the disturbers off, but Confucius withdrew, carrying the duke of Lu with him. The business proceeded, notwithstanding, and when the words of the alliance were being read on the part of Ch’i,– ‘ So be it to Lu, if it contribute not 300 chariots of war to the help of Ch’i, when its army goes across its borders,’ a messenger from Confucius added, ‘And so be it to us, if we obey your orders, unless you return to us the fields on the south of the Wan.’ At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the prince of Ch’i wanted to give a grand entertainment, but Confucius demonstrated that such a thing would be

1 左傳, 定公元年.
2 家語, Bk. I.
3 實其.
4 夾谷.
5 泰安府, 萊蕪縣.

contrary to the established rules of propriety, his real object being to keep his sovereign out of danger. In this way the two parties separated, they of Ch’i filled with shame at being foiled and disgraced by ‘the man of ceremonies;’ and the result was that the lands of Lu which had been appropriated by Ch’i were restored [1].
For two years more Confucius held the office of minister of Crime. Some have supposed that he was further raised to the dignity of chief minister of the State [2], but that was not the case. One instance of the manner in which he executed his functions is worth recording. When any matter came before him, he took the opinion of different individuals upon it, and in giving judgment would say, ‘I decide according to the view of so and so.’ There was an approach to our jury system in the plan, Confucius’s object being to enlist general sympathy, and carry the public judgment with him in his administration of justice. A father having brought some charge against his son, Confucius kept them both in prison for three months, without making any difference in favour of the father, and then wished to dismiss them both. The head of the Chi was dissatisfied, and said, ‘You are playing with me, Sir minister of Crime. Formerly you told me that in a State or a family filial duty was the first thing to be insisted on. What hinders you now from putting to death this unfilial son as an example to all the people?’ Confucius with a sigh replied, ‘When superiors fail in their duty, and yet go to put their inferiors to death, it is not right. This father has not taught his son to be filial; to listen to his charge would be to slay the guiltless. The manners of the age have been long in a sad condition; we cannot expect the people not to be transgressing the laws [3].’

At this time two of his disciples, Tsze-lu and Tsze-yu, entered the employment of the Chi family, and lent their influence, the former especially, to forward the plans of their master. One great cause of disorder in the State was the fortified cities held by the three chiefs, in which they could defy the supreme authority, and were in turn defied themselves by their officers. Those cities were like the castles of the barons of England in the time of the Norman

1 This meeting at Chia-ku is related in Sze-ma Ch’ien, the ‘Narratives of the school,’ and Ku-liang, with many exaggerations. I have followed 左氏傳, 定公十年.
2 The 家語 says Bk. II, 孔子為魯司寇, 攝相事. But he was a 相 only in the sense of an assistant of ceremonies, as at the meeting in Chia-ku, described above.
3 See the 家語, Bk. II.

kings. Confucius had their destruction very much at heart, and partly by the influence of persuasion, and partly by the assisting counsels of Tsze-lu, he accomplished his object in regard to Pi [1], the chief city of the Chi, and Hau [2], the chief city of the Shu.

It does not appear that he succeeded in the same way in dismantling Ch’ang [3], the chief city of the Mang [4]; but his authority in the State greatly increased. ‘He strengthened the ducal House and weakened the private Families. He exalted the sovereign, and depressed the ministers. A transforming government went abroad. Dishonesty and dissoluteness were ashamed and hid their heads. Loyalty and good faith became the characteristics of the men, and chastity and docility those of the women. Strangers came in crowds from other States [5].’ Confucius became the idol of the people, and flew in songs through their mouths [6].
But this sky of bright promise was soon overcast. As the fame of the reformations in Lu went abroad, the neighboring princes began to be afraid. The duke of Ch’i said, ‘With Confucius at the head of its government, Lu will become supreme among the States, and Ch’i which is nearest to it will be the first swallowed up. Let us propitiate it by a surrender of territory.’ One of his ministers proposed that they should first try to separate between the sage and his sovereign, and to effect this, they hit upon the following scheme. Eighty beautiful girls, with musical and dancing accomplishments, and a hundred and twenty of the finest horses that could be found, were selected, and sent as a present to duke Ting. They were put up at first outside the city, and Chi Hwan having gone in disguise to see them, forgot the lessons of Confucius, and took the duke to look at the bait. They were both captivated. The women were received, and the sage was neglected. For three days the duke gave no audience to his ministers. ‘Master,’ said Tsze-lu to Confucius, ‘it is time for you to be going.’ But Confucius was very unwilling to leave. The spring was coming on, when the sacrifice to Heaven would be offered, and he determined to wait and see whether the

1 費.
2 郈.
3 成.
4 In connexion with these events, the ‘Narratives of the School’ and Sze-ma Ch’ien mention the summary punishment inflicted by Confucius on an able but unscrupulous and insidious officer the Shaou chang, Maou (少正卯). His judgment and death occupy a conspicuous place in the legendary accounts. But the Analects, Tsze-sze, Mencius, and Tso Ch’iu-ming are all silent about it, and Chiang Yung rightly rejects it as one of the many narratives invented to exalt the sage.
5 See the 家語, Bk. II.
6 See 孔叢子, quoted by Chiang Yung.

solemnization of that would bring the duke back to his right mind. No such result followed. The ceremony was hurried through, and portions of the offerings were not sent round to the various ministers, according to the established custom. Confucius regretfully took his departure, going away slowly and by easy stages [1]. He would have welcomed a message of recall. But the duke continued in his abandonment, and the sage went forth to thirteen weary years of homeless wandering.

8. On leaving Lu, Confucius first bent his steps westward to the State of Wei, situate about where the present provinces of Chih-li and Ho-nan adjoin.

[Sidebar] He wanders from State to State. B.C. 497-484.

He was now in his fifty-sixth year, and felt depressed and melancholy. As he went along, he gave expression to his feelings in verse:–

‘Fain would I still look towards Lu,
But this Kwei hill cuts off my view.
With an axe, I’d hew the thickets through:–
Vain thought! ‘gainst the hill I nought can do;’
and again,–
‘Through the valley howls the blast,
Drizzling rain falls thick and fast.
Homeward goes the youthful bride,
O’er the wild, crowds by her side.
How is it, O azure Heaven,
From my home I thus am driven,
Through the land my way to trace,
With no certain dwelling-place?
Dark, dark; the minds of men!
Worth in vain comes to their ken.
Hastens on my term of years;
Old age, desolate, appears [2],’

A number of his disciples accompanied him, and his sadness infected them. When they arrived at the borders of Wei at a place called I, the warden sought an interview, and on coming out from the sage, he tried to comfort the disciples, saying, ‘My friends, why are you distressed at your master’s loss of office? The world has been long without the principles of truth and right; Heaven is going to use your master as a bell with its wooden tongue [3].’ Such was the thought of this friendly stranger. The bell did indeed sound, but few had ears to hear.

1 史記, 孔子世家, p. 5. See also Mencius, V. Pt. II. i. 4.; et al.
2 See Chiang Yung’s Life of Confucius, 去魯周遊考.
3 Ana. III. xxiv.

Confucius’s fame, however, had gone before him, and he was in little danger of having to suffer from want. On arriving at the capital of Wei, he lodged at first with a worthy officer, named Yen Ch’au-yu [1]. The reigning duke, known to us by the epithet of Ling [2], was a worthless, dissipated man, but he could not neglect a visitor of such eminence, and soon assigned to Confucius a revenue of 60,000 measures of grain [3]. Here he remained for ten months, and then for some reason left it to go to Ch’an [4]. On the way he had to pass by K’wang [5], a place probably in the present department of K’ai-fung in Ho-nan, which had formerly suffered from Yang-hu. It so happened that Confucius resembled Hu, and the attention of the people being called to him by the movements of his carriage-driver, they thought it was their old enemy, and made an attack upon him. His followers were alarmed, but he was calm, and tried to assure them by declaring his belief that he had a divine mission. He said to them, ‘After the death of king Wan, was not the cause of truth lodged here in me? If Heaven had wished to let this cause of truth perish, then I, a future mortal, should not have got such a relation to that cause. While Heaven does not let the cause of truth perish, what can the people of K’wang do to me [6]?’ Having escaped from the hands of his assailants, he does not seem to have carried out his purpose of going to Ch’an, but returned to Wei.

On the way, he passed a house where he had formerly lodged, and finding that the master was dead, and the funeral ceremonies going on, he went in to condole and weep. When he came out, he told Tsze-kung to take the outside horses from his carriage, and give them as a contribution to the expenses of the occasion. ‘You never did such a thing,’ Tsze-kung remonstrated, ‘at the funeral of any of your disciples; is it not too great a gift on this occasion of the death of an old host?’ ‘When I went in,’ replied Confucius, ‘my presence brought a burst of grief from the chief mourner, and I joined him with my tears. I dislike the thought of my tears not being followed by anything. Do it, my child [7].’ On reaching Wei, he lodged with Chu Po-yu, an officer of whom

1 顏讎由. See Mencius, V. Pt. I. viii. 2.
2. 靈公.
3 see the 史記, 孔子世家, p. 5.
4 陳國.
5. 匡.
6 Ana. IX. v. In Ana. XI. xxii, there is another reference to this time, in which Yen Hui is made to appear.
7 See the Li Chi, II. Sect. I. ii. 16.

honourable mention is made in the Analects [1]. But this time he did not remain long in the State. The duke was

[Sidebar] B.C. 495.

married to a lady of the house of Sung, known by the name of Nan-tsze, notorious for her intrigues and wickedness. She sought an interview with the sage, which he was obliged unwillingly to accord [2]. No doubt he was innocent of thought or act of evil, but it gave great dissatisfaction to Tsze- lu that his master should have been in company with such a woman, and Confucius, to assure him, swore an oath, saying, ‘Wherein I have done improperly, may Heaven reject me! May Heaven reject me [3]!’ He could not well abide, however, about such a court. One day the duke rode out through the streets of his capital in the same carriage with Nan-tsze, and made Confucius follow them in another. Perhaps he intended to honour the philosopher, but the people saw the incongruity, and cried out, ‘Lust in the front; virtue behind!’ Confucius was ashamed, and made the observation, ‘I have not seen one who loves virtue as he loves beauty [4].’ Wei was no place for him. He left it, and took his way towards Ch’an.

Ch’an, which formed part of the present province of Ho-nan, lay south from Wei. After passing the small State of Ts’ao [5], he approached the borders of Sung, occupying the present prefecture of Kwei-teh, and had some intentions of entering it, when an incident occurred, which it is not easy to understand from the meagre style in which it is related, but which gave occasion to a remarkable saying. Confucius was practising ceremonies with his disciples, we are told, under the shade of a large tree. Hwan T’ui, an ill-minded officer of Sung, heard of it, and sent a band of men to pull down the tree, and kill the philosopher, if they could get hold of him. The disciples were much alarmed, but Confucius observed, ‘Heaven has produced the virtue that is in me; what can Hwan T’ui do to me [6]?’ They all made their escape, but seem to have been driven westwards to the State of Chang [7], on arriving at the gate conducting into which from the east, Confucius found himself separated from his followers. Tsze-kung had arrived before him, and was told by a native of Chang that there was a man standing by the east gate, with a forehead like Yao, a neck like Kao- yao, his shoulders on a level with those of Tsze-ch’an, but wanting, below the waist, three

1 Ana. XIV. xxvi; XV. vi.
2 See the account in the 史記, 孔子世家, p. 6.
3 Ana. VI. xxvi.
4 Ana. IX. xvii.
5 曹.
6 ana. IX. xxii.
7 鄭.

inches of the height of Yu, and altogether having the disconsolate appearance of a stray dog.’ Tsze-kung knew it was the master, hastened to him, and repeated to his great amusement the description which the man had given. ‘The bodily appearance,’ said Confucius, ‘is but a small matter, but to say I was like a stray dog,– capital! capital!’ The stay they made at Chang was short, and by the end of B.C. 495, Confucius was in Ch’an.

All the next year he remained there, lodging with the warder of the city wall, an officer of worth, of the name of Chang [2], and we have no accounts of him which deserve to be related here [3].

In B.C. 494, Ch’an was much disturbed by attacks from Wu [4], a large State, the capital of which was in the present department of Su-chau, and Confucius determined to retrace his steps to Wei. On the way he was laid hold of at a place called P’u [5], which was held by a rebellious officer against Wei, and before he could get away, he was obliged to engage that he would not proceed thither. Thither, notwithstanding, he continued his route, and when Tsze-kung asked him whether it was right to violate the oath he had taken, he replied, ‘It was a forced oath. The spirits do not hear such [6].’ ‘The duke Ling received him with distinction, but paid no more attention to his lessons than before, and Confucius is said then to have uttered his complaint, ‘If there were any of the princes who would employ me, in the course of twelve months I should have done something considerable. In three years the government would be perfected [7].’

A circumstance occurred to direct his attention to the State of Tsin [8], which occupied the southern part of the present Shan-hsi, and extended over the Yellow river into Ho-nan. An invitation came to Confucius, like that which he had formerly received from Kung-shan Fu-zao. Pi Hsi, an officer of Tsin, who was holding the town of Chung-mau against his chief, invited him to visit him, and Confucius was inclined to go. Tsze-lu was always the mentor on such occasions. He said to him, ‘Master, I have heard you say,

1 See the 史記, 孔子世家, p. 6.
2 司城貞子. See Mencius, V. Pt. I. viii. 3.
3 Chiang Yung digests in this place two foolish stories,– about a large bone found in the State of Yueh, and a bird which appeared in Ch’ia and died, shot through with a remarkable arrow. Confucius knew all about them.
4 吳.
5 蒲.
6 This ia related by Sze-ma ch’ien 孔子世家, p. 7, and also in the ‘Narratives of the School.’ I would fain believe it is not true. The wonder is, that no Chinese critic should have set about disproving it.
7 Ana. XII. x.
8 晉.

that when a man in his own person is guilty of doing evil, a superior man will not associate with him. Pi Hsi is in rebellion; if you go to him, what shall be said?’ Confucius replied, ‘Yes, I did use those words. But is it not said that if a thing be really hard, it may be ground without being made thin; and if it be really white, it may be steeped in a dark fluid without being made black? Am I a bitter gourd? Am I to be hung up out of the way of being eaten [1]?’

These sentiments sound strangely from his lips. After all, he did not go to Pi Hsi; and having travelled as far as the Yellow river that he might see one of the principal ministers of Tsin, he heard of the violent death of two men of worth, and returned to Wei, lamenting the fate which prevented him from crossing the stream, and trying to solace himself with poetry as he had done on leaving Lu. Again did he communicate with the duke, but as ineffectually, and disgusted at being questioned by him about military tactics, he left and went back to Ch’an.

He resided in Ch’an all the next year, B.C. 491, without anything occurring there which is worthy of note [2]. Events had transpired in Lu, however, which were to issue in his return to his native State. The duke Ting had deceased B.C. 494, and Chi Hwan, the chief of the Chi family, died in this year. On his death-bed, he felt remorse for his conduct to Confucius, and charged his successor, known to us in the Analects as Chi K’ang, to recall the sage; but the charge was not immediately fulfilled. Chi K’ang, by the advice of one of his officers, sent to Ch’an for the disciple Yen Ch’iu instead. Confucius willingly sent him off, and would gladly have accompanied him. ‘Let me return!’ he said, ‘Let me return [3]!’ But that was not to be for several years yet.
In B.C. 490, accompanied, as usual, by several of his disciples, he went from Ch’an to Ts’ai, a small dependency of the great fief of Ch’u, which occupied a large part of the present provinces of Hu-nan and Hu-pei. On the way, between Ch’an and Ts’ai, their provisions became exhausted, and they were cut off somehow from obtaining a fresh supply. The disciples were quite overcome with want, and Tsze-lu said to the master, ‘Has the superior man indeed to endure in this way?’ Confucius answered him, ‘The superior man may indeed have to endure want; but the mean man

l Ana. XVII. vii.
2 Tso Ch’iu-ming, indeed, relates a story of Confucius, on the report of a fire in Lu, telling whose ancestral temple had been destroyed by it.
3 Ana. V. xxi.

when he is in want, gives way to unbridled license [1].’ According to the ‘Narratives of the School,’ the distress continued seven days, during which time Confucius retained his equanimity, and was even cheerful, playing on his lute and singing [2]. He retained, however, a strong impression of the perils of the season, and we find him afterwards recurring to it, and lamenting that of the friends that were with him in Ch’an and Ts’ai, there were none remaining to enter his door [3].

Escaped from this strait, he remained in Ts’ai over B.C. 489, and in the following year we find him in Sheh, another district of Ch’u, the chief of which had taken the title of duke, according to the usurping policy of that State. Puzzled about his visitor, he asked Tsze-lu what he should think of him, but the disciple did not venture a reply. When Confucius heard of it, he said to Tsze-lu. ‘Why did you not say to him:– He is simply a man who in his eager pursuit of knowledge forgets his food, who in the joy of its attainment forgets his sorrows, and who does not perceive that old age is coming on [4]?’ Subsequently, the duke, in conversation with Confucius, asked him about government, and got the reply, dictated by some circumstances of which we are ignorant, ‘Good government obtains, when those who are near are made happy, and those who are far off are attracted [5]’

After a short stay in Sheh, according to Sze-ma Ch’ien, he returned to Ts’ai, and having to dross a river, he sent Tsze-lu to inquire for the ford of two men who were at work in a neighboring field. They were recluses, men who had withdrawn from public life in disgust at the waywardness of the times. One of them was called Ch’ang-tsu, and instead of giving Tsze-lu the information he wanted, he asked him, ‘Who is it that holds the reins in the carriage there?’ ‘It is K’ung Ch’iu.’ ‘K’ung Ch’iu of Lu?’ ‘Yes,’ was the reply, and then the man rejoined, ‘He knows the ford.’

Tsze-lu applied to the other, who was called Chieh-ni, but got for answer the question, ‘Who are you, Sir?’ He replied, ‘I am Chung Yu.’ ‘Chung Yu, who is the disciple of K’ung Ch’iu of Lu?’ ‘Yes,’ again replied Tsze-lu, and Chieh-ni said to him, ‘Disorder, like a swelling flood, spreads over the whole kingdom,

1 Ana. XV. i. 2, 3.
2 家語, 卷二, 在危, 二十篇.
3 Ana. XI. ii.
4 Ana. VII. xviii.
5 Ana. XIII. xvi.

and who is he that will change it for you? Than follow one who merely withdraws from this one and that one, had you not better follow those who withdraw from the world altogether?’ With this he fell to covering up the seed, and gave no more heed to the stranger. Tsze-lu went back and reported what they had said, when Confucius vindicated his own course, saying. ‘It is impossible to associate with birds and beasts as if they were the same with us. If I associate not with these people,– with mankind,– with whom shall I associate? If right principles prevailed through the kingdom, there would be no need for me to change its state [1].’
About the same time he had an encounter with another recluse, who was known as ‘The madman of Ch’u.’ He passed by the carriage of Confucius, singing out, ‘O phoenix, O phoenix, how is your virtue degenerated! As to the past, reproof is useless, but the future may be provided against. Give up, give up your vain pursuit.’ Confucius alighted and wished to enter into conversation with him, but the man hastened away [2].
But now the attention of the ruler of Ch’u — king, as he styled himself — was directed to the illustrious stranger who was in his dominions, and he met Confucius and conducted him to his capital, which was in the present district of I-ch’ang, in the department of Hsiang-yang [3], in Hu-pei. After a time, he proposed endowing the philosopher with a considerable territory, but was dissuaded by his prime minister, who said to him, ‘Has your majesty any officer who could discharge the duties of an ambassador like Tsze-kung? or any one so qualified for a premier as Yen Hui? or any one to compare as a general with Tsze-lu? The kings Wan and Wu, from their hereditary dominions of a hundred li, rose to the sovereignty of the kingdom. If K’ung Ch’iu, with such disciples to be his ministers, get the possession of any territory, it will not be to the prosperity of Ch’u [4]? On this remonstrance the king gave up his purpose; and, when he died in the same year, Confucius left the State, and went back again to Wei.

The duke Ling had died four years before, soon after Confucius

[Sidebar] B.C. 489.

had last parted from him, and the reigning duke, known to us by the title of Ch’u [5], was his grandson, and was holding the principality against his own father. The relations

1 Ana. XVIII. vi.
2 Ana XVII. v.
3 襄陽府宜城縣.
4 See the 史記, 孔子世家, p. 10.
5 出公.

between them were rather complicated. The father had been driven out in consequence of an attempt which he had instigated on the life of his step-mother, the notorious Nan-tsze, and the succession was given to his son. Subsequently, the father wanted to reclaim what he deemed his right, and an unseemly struggle ensued.

The duke Ch’u was conscious how much his cause would be strengthened by the support of Confucius, and hence when he got to Wei, Tsze-lu could say to him, ‘The prince of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government;– what will you consider the first thing to be done [1]?’ The opinion of the philosopher, however, was against the propriety of the duke’s course [2], and he declined taking office with him, though he remained in Wei for between five and six years. During all that time there is a blank in his history. In the very year of his return, according to the ‘Annals of the Empire,’ his most beloved disciple, Yen Hui, died, on which occasion he exclaimed, ‘Alas! Heaven is destroying me! Heaven is destroying me [3]!’ The death of his wife is assigned to B.C. 484, but nothing else is related which we can connect with this long period.

9. His return to Lu was brought about by the disciple Yen Yu, who, we have seen, went into the service of Chi K’ang, in B.C. 491.

[Sidebar] From his return to Lu to his death. B.C. 484-478.

In the year B.C. 483, Yu had the conduct of some military operations against Ch’i, and being successful, Chi K’ang asked him how he had obtained his military skill;– was it from nature, or by learning? He replied that he had learned it from Confucius, and entered into a glowing eulogy of the philosopher. The chief declared that he would bring Confucius home again to Lu. ‘If you do so,’ said the disciple, ‘see that you do not let mean men come between you and him.’ On this K’ang sent three officers with appropriate presents to Wei, to invite the wanderer home, and he returned with them accordingly [4].

This event took place in the eleventh year of the duke Ai [5], who succeeded to Ting, and according to K’ung Fu, Confucius’s descendant, the invitation proceeded from him [6]. We may suppose that

1 Ana. XIII. iii. In the notes on this passage, I have given Chu Hsi’s opinion as to the time when Tsze-lu made this remark. It seems more correct, however, to refer it to Confucius’s return to Wei from Ch’u, as is done by Chiang Yung.
2 Ana. VII. xiv.
3 Ana. XI. viii. In the notes on Ana. XI. vii, I have adverted to the chronological difficulty connected with the dates assigned respectively to the deaths of Yen Hui and Confucius’s own son, Li. Chiang Yung assigns Hui’s death to B.C. 481.
4 See the 史記, 孔子世家.
5 哀公.
6 See Chiang Yung’s memoir, in loc.

while Chi K’ang was the mover and director of the proceeding, it was with the authority and approval of the duke. It is represented in the chronicle of Tso Ch’iu-ming as having occurred at a very opportune time. The philosopher had been consulted a little before by K’ung Wan [1], an officer of Wei, about how he should conduct a feud with another officer, and disgusted at being referred to on such a subject, had ordered his carriage and prepared to leave the State, exclaiming, ‘The bird chooses its tree. The tree does not choose the bird.’ K’ung Wan endeavoured to excuse himself, and to prevail on Confucius to remain in Wei, and just at this juncture the messengers from Lu arrived [2].

Confucius was now in his sixty-ninth year. The world had not dealt kindly with him. In every State which he had visited he had met with disappointment and sorrow. Only five more years remained to him, nor were they of a brighter character than the past. He had, indeed, attained to that state, he tells us, in which ‘he could follow what his heart desired without transgressing what was right [3],’ but other people were not more inclined than they had been to abide by his counsels. The duke Ai and Chi K’ang often conversed with him, but he no longer had weight in the guidance of state affairs, and wisely addressed himself to the completion of his literary labors. He wrote a preface, according to Sze-ma Ch’ien, to the Shu-ching; carefully digested the rites and ceremonies determined by the wisdom of the more ancient sages and kings; collected and arranged the ancient poetry; and undertook the reform of music [4]. He has told us himself. ‘I returned from Wei to Lu, and then the music was reformed, and the pieces in the Songs of the Kingdom and Praise Songs found all their proper place [5].’ To the Yi-ching he devoted much study, and Sze-ma Ch’ien says that the leather thongs by which the tablets of his copy were bound together were thrice worn out. ‘If some years were added to my life,’ he said, ‘I would give fifty to the study of the Yi, and then I might come to be without great faults [6].’ During this time also, we may suppose that he supplied Tsang Shan with the materials of the classic of Filial Piety. The same year that he returned, Chi Kang sent Yen Yu to ask his opinion about an

1 孔文子, the same who is mentioned in the Analects, V. xiv.
2 See the 左傳, 哀公十一年.
3 Ana. II. iv. 6.
4 See the 史記, 孔子世家, p. 12.
5 Ana. IX. xiv.
6 Ana. VII. xvi.

additional impost which he wished to lay upon the people, but Confucius refused to give any reply, telling the disciple privately his disapproval of the proposed measure. It was carried out, however, in the following year, by the agency of Yen, on which occasion, I suppose, it was that Confucius said to the other disciples, ‘He is no disciple of mine; my little children, beat the drum and assail him [1].’ The year B.C. 483 was marked by the death of his son Li, which he seems to have borne with more equanimity than he did that of his disciple Yen Hui, which some writers assign to the following year, though I have already mentioned it under the year B.C. 489.

In the spring of B.C. 481, a servant of Chi K’ang caught a Ch’i-lin on a hunting excursion of the duke in the present district of Chia-hsiang [2]. No person could tell what strange animal it was, and Confucius was called to look at it. He at once knew it to be a lin, and the legend-writers say that it bore on one of its horns the piece of ribbon, which his mother had attached to the one that appeared to her before his birth. According to the chronicle of Kung-yang, he was profoundly affected. He cried out, ‘For whom have you come? For whom have you come?’ His tears flowed freely, and he added, ‘The course of my doctrines is run [3].’
Notwithstanding the appearance of the lin, the life of Confucius was still protracted for two years longer, though he took occasion to terminate with that event his history of the Ch’un Ch’iu. This Work, according to Sze-ma Ch’ien, was altogether the production of this year, but we heed not suppose that it was so. In it, from the standpoint of Lu, he briefly indicates the principal events occurring throughout the country, every term being expressive, it is said, of the true character of the actors and events described. Confucius said himself, ‘It is the Spring and Autumn which will make men know me, and it is the Spring and Autumn which will make men condemn me [4].’ Mencius makes the composition of it to have been an achievement as great as Yu’s regulation of the waters of the deluge:– ‘Confucius completed the Spring and Autumn, and rebellious ministers and villainous sons were struck with terror [5].’

Towards the end of this year, word came to Lu that the duke

1 Ana. XI. xvi.
2 兗州府嘉祥縣.
3 公羊傳, 哀公十四年. According to Kung-yang, however, the lin was found by some wood-gatherers.
4 Mencius III. Pt. II. ix. 8.
5 Mencius III. Pt. II. ix. 11.

of Ch’i had been murdered by one of his officers. Confucius was moved with indignation. Such an outrage he felt, called for his solemn interference. He bathed, went to court, and represented the matter to the duke, saying, ‘Ch’an Hang has slain his sovereign, I beg that you will undertake to punish him.’ The duke pleaded his incapacity, urging that Lu was weak compared with Ch’i, but Confucius replied, ‘One half the people of Ch’i are not consenting to the deed. If you add to the people of Lu one half the people of Ch’i, you are sure to overcome.’ But he could not infuse his spirit into the duke, who told him to go and lay the matter before the chiefs of the three Families. Sorely against his sense of propriety, he did so, but they would not act, and he withdrew with the remark, ‘Following in the rear of the great officers, I did not dare not to represent such a matter [1].’

In the year B.C. 479, Confucius had to mourn the death of another of his disciples, one of those who had been longest with him, the well-known Tsze-lu. He stands out a sort of Peter in the Confucian school, a man of impulse, prompt to speak and prompt to act. He gets many a check from the master, but there is evidently a strong sympathy between them. Tsze- lu uses a freedom with him on which none of the other disciples dares to venture, and there is not one among them all, for whom, if I may speak from my own feeling, the foreign student comes to form such a liking. A pleasant picture is presented to us in one passage of the Analects. It is said, ‘The disciple Min was standing by his side, looking bland and precise; Tsze-lu (named Yu), looking bold and soldierly; Yen Yu and Tsze-kung, with a free and straightforward manner. The master was pleased, but he observed, “Yu there!– he will not die a natural death [2].”‘

This prediction was verified. When Confucius returned to Lu from Wei, he left Tsze-lu and Tsze-kao [3] engaged there in official service. Troubles arose. News came to Lu, B.C. 479, that a revolution was in progress in Wei, and when Confucius heard it, he said, ‘Ch’ai will come here, but Yu will die [4].’ So it turned out. When Tsze-kao saw that matters were desperate he made his escape, but Tsze-lu would not forsake the chief who had treated

1 See the 左傳, 哀公十四年 and Analects XIV. xxii.
2 Ana. XI. xii.
3 子羔, by surname Kao (高), and name Ch’ai (柴).
4 See the 左傳, 哀公十五年.

him well. He threw himself into the melee, and was slain. Confucius wept sore for him, but his own death was not far off. It took place on the eleventh day of the fourth month in the same year, B.C. 479 [1]. Early one morning, we are told, he got up, and with his hands behind his back, dragging his staff, he moved about by his door, crooning over,–

‘The great mountain must crumble;
The strong beam must break;
And the wise man wither away like a plant.’

After a little, he entered the house and sat down opposite the door. Tsze-kung had heard his words, and said to himself, ‘If the great mountain crumble, to what shall I look up? If the strong beam break, and the wise man wither away, on whom shall I lean? The master, I fear, is going to be ill.’ With this he hastened into the house. Confucius said to him, ‘Ts’ze, what makes you so late? According to the statutes of Hsia, the corpse was dressed and coffined at the top of the eastern steps, treating the dead as if he were still the host. Under the Yin, the ceremony was performed between the two pillars, as if the dead were both host and guest. The rule of Chau is to perform it at the top of the western steps, treating the dead as if he were a guest. I am a man of Yin, and last night I dreamt that I was sitting with offerings before me between the two pillars. No intelligent monarch arises; there is not one in the kingdom that will make me his master. My time has come to die.’ So it was. He went to his couch, and after seven days expired [2].

Such is the account which we have of the last hours of the great philosopher of China. His end was not unimpressive, but it was melancholy. He sank behind a cloud. Disappointed hopes made his soul bitter. The great ones of the kingdom had not received his teachings. No wife nor child was by to do the kindly offices of affection for him. Nor were the expectations of another life present with him as he passed through the dark valley. He uttered no prayer, and he betrayed no apprehensions. Deep-treasured in his own heart may have been the thought that he had endeavoured to serve his generation by the will of God, but he gave no sign. ‘The mountain falling came to nought, and the rock was removed

1 See the 左傳, 哀公十六年, and Chiang Yung’s Life of Confucius, in loc.
2 See the Li Chi, II, Sect. I. ii. 20.
out of his place. So death prevailed against him and he passed; his countenance was changed, and he was sent away.’

10. I flatter myself that the preceding paragraphs contain a more correct narrative of the principal incidents in the life of Confucius than has yet been given in any European language. They might easily have been expanded into a volume, but I did not wish to exhaust the subject, but only to furnish a sketch, which, while it might satisfy the general reader, would be of special assistance to the careful student of the classical Books. I had taken many notes of the manifest errors in regard to chronology and other matters in the ‘Narratives of the School,’ and the chapter of Sze-ma Ch’ien on the K’ung family, when the digest of Chiang Yung, to which I have made frequent reference, attracted my attention. Conclusions to which I had come were confirmed, and a clue was furnished to difficulties which I was seeking to disentangle. I take the opportunity to acknowledge here my obligations to it. With a few notices of Confucius’s habits and manners, I shall conclude this section.

Very little can be gathered from reliable sources on the personal appearance of the sage. The height of his father is stated, as I have noted, to have been ten feet, and though Confucius came short of this by four inches, he was often called ‘the tall man.’ It is allowed that the ancient foot or cubit was shorter than the modem, but it must be reduced more than any scholar I have consulted has yet done, to bring this statement within the range of credibility. The legends assign to his figure ‘nine-and-forty remarkable peculiarities [1],’ a tenth part of which would have made him more a monster than a man. Dr. Morrison says that the images of him which he had seen in the northern parts of China, represent him as of a dark, swarthy colour [2]. It is not so with those common in the south. He was, no doubt, in size and complexion much the same as many of his descendants in the present day. Dr. Edkins and myself enjoyed the services of two of those descendants, who acted as ‘wheelers’ in the wheelbarrows which conveyed us from Ch’u-fau to a town on the Grand Canal more than 250 miles off. They were strong, capable men, both physically and mentally superior to their companions.

1 四十九表.

2 Chinese and English Dictionary, char. 孔. Sir John Davis also mentions seeing a figure of Confucius, in a temple near the Po-yang lake, of which the complexion was ‘quite black’ (The Chinese, vol. ii. p. 66).
But if his disciples had nothing to chronicle of his personal appearance, they have gone very minutely into an account of many of his habits. The tenth Book of the Analects is all occupied with his deportment, his eating, and his dress. In public, whether in the village, the temple, or the court, he was the man of rule and ceremony, but ‘at home he was not formal.’ Yet if not formal, he was particular. In bed even he did not forget himself;– ‘he did not lie like a corpse,’ and ‘he did not speak.’ ‘He required his sleeping dress to be half as long again as his body.’ ‘If he happened to be sick, and the prince came to visit him, he had his face set to the east, made his court robes be put over him, and drew his girdle across them.’
He was nice in his diet,– ‘not disliking to have his rice dressed fine, nor to have his minced meat cut small.’ ‘Anything at all gone he would not touch.’ ‘He must have his meat cut properly, and to every kind its proper sauce; but he was not a great eater.’ ‘It was only in drink that he laid down no limit to himself, but he did not allow himself to be confused by it.’ ‘When the villagers were drinking together, on those who carried staffs going out, he went out immediately after.’ There must always be ginger at the table, and ‘when eating, he did not converse.’ ‘Although his food might be coarse rice and poor soup, he would offer a little of it in sacrifice, with a grave, respectful air.’

‘On occasion of a sudden clap of thunder, or a violent wind, he would change countenance. He would do the same, and rise up moreover, when he found himself a guest at a loaded board.’ ‘At the sight of a person in mourning, he would also change countenance, and if he happened to be in his carriage, he would bend forward with a respectful salutation.’ ‘His general way in his carriage was not to turn his head round, nor talk hastily, nor point with his hands.’ He was charitable. ‘When any of his friends died, if there were no relations who could be depended on for the necessary offices, he would say, “I will bury him.”

‘The disciples were so careful to record these and other characteristics of their master, it is said, because every act, of movement or of rest, was closely associated with the great principles which it was his object to inculcate. The detail of so many small matters, however, hardly impresses a foreigner so favourably. There rather seems to be a want of freedom about the philosopher.


1. Confucius died, we have seen, complaining that of all the princes of the kingdom there was not one who would adopt his

[Sidebar] Homage rendered to Confucius by the sovereigns of China.

principles and obey his lessons. He had hardly passed from the stage of life, when his merit began to be acknowledged. When the duke Ai heard of his death, he pronounced his eulogy in the words, ‘Heaven has not left to me the aged man. There is none now to assist me on the throne. Woe is me! Alas! O venerable Ni [1]!’ Tsze-kung complained of the inconsistency of this lamentation from one who could not use the master when he was alive, but the prince was probably sincere in his grief. He caused a temple to be erected, and ordered that sacrifice should be offered to the sage, at the four seasons of the year [2].

The sovereigns of the tottering dynasty of Chau had not the intelligence, nor were they in a position, to do honour to the departed philosopher, but the facts detailed in the first chapter of these prolegomena, in connexion with the attempt of the founder of the Ch’in dynasty to destroy the literary monuments of antiquity, show how the authority of Confucius had come by that time to prevail through the nation. The founder of the Han dynasty, in passing through Lu, B.C. 195, visited his tomb and offered the three victims in sacrifice to him. Other sovereigns since then have often made pilgrimages to the spot. The most famous temple in the empire now rises near the place of the grave. The second and greatest of the rulers of the present dynasty, in the twenty-third year of his reign, the K’ang-hsi period, there set the example of kneeling thrice, and each time laying his forehead thrice in the dust, before the image of the sage.

In the year of our Lord 1, began the practice of conferring honourary designations on Confucius by imperial authority. The emperor Ping [3] then styled him– ‘The duke Ni, all-complete and l Li Chi, II. Sect. I. iii. 43. This eulogy is found at greater length in the 左傳, immediately after the notice of the sage’s death.

2 See the 聖廟祀典圖考, 卷一, art. on Confucius. I am indebted to this for most of the notices in this paragraph.

3 平帝.
illustrious [1].’ This was changed, in A.D. 492, to– ‘The venerable Ni, the accomplished Sage [2].’ Other titles have supplanted this. Shun-chih [3], the first of the Man-chau dynasty, adopted, in his second year, A.D. 1645, the style, ‘K’ung, the ancient Teacher, accomplished and illustrious, all- complete, the perfect Sage [4];’ but twelve years later, a shorter title was introduced,– ‘K’ung, the ancient Teacher, the perfect Sage [5].’ Since that year no further alteration has been made.

At first, the worship of Confucius was confined to the country of Lu, but in A.D. 57 it was enacted that sacrifices should be offered to him in the imperial college, and in all the colleges of the principal territorial divisions throughout the empire. In those sacrifices he was for some centuries associated with the duke of Chau, the legislator to whom Confucius made frequent reference, but in A.D. 609 separate temples were assigned to them, and in 628 our sage displaced the older worthy altogether. About the same time began the custom, which continues to the present day, of erecting temples to him,– separate structures, in connexion with all the colleges, or examination-halls, of the country.

The sage is not alone in those temples. In a hall behind the principal one occupied by himself are the tablets — in some cases, the images — of several of his ancestors, and other worthies; while associated with himself are his principal disciples, and many who in subsequent times have signalized themselves as expounders and exemplifiers of his doctrines. On the first day of every month, offerings of fruits and vegetables are set forth, and on the fifteenth there is a solemn burning of incense. But twice a year, in the middle months of spring and autumn, when the first ting day [6] of the month comes round, the worship of Confucius is performed with peculiar solemnity. At the imperial college the emperor himself is required to attend in state, and is in fact the principal performer. After all the preliminary arrangements have been made, and the emperor has twice knelt and six times bowed his head to the earth, the presence of Confucius’s spirit is invoked in the words, ‘Great art thou, O perfect sage! Thy virtue is full; thy doctrine is complete. Among mortal men there has not been thine equal. All kings honour thee. Thy statutes and laws have come gloriously

1 成宣尼公.
2 文聖尼父.
3 順治.
4 大成至聖, 文宣尼師, 孔子
5 至聖先師孔子
6 上丁日

down. Thou art the pattern in this imperial school. Reverently have the sacrificial vessels been set out. Full of awe, we sound our drums and bells [1].’

The spirit is supposed now to be present, and the service proceeds through various offerings, when the first of which has been set forth, an officer reads the following [2], which is the prayer on the occasion:– ‘On this … month of this … year, I, A.B., the emperor, offer a sacrifice to the philosopher K’ung, the ancient Teacher, the perfect Sage, and say,– O Teacher, in virtue equal to Heaven and Earth, whose doctrines embrace the past time and the present, thou didst digest and transmit the six classics, and didst hand down lessons for all generations! Now in this second month of spring (or autumn), in reverent observance of the old statutes, with victims, silks, spirits, and fruits, I carefully offer sacrifice to thee. With thee are associated the philosopher Yen, Continuator of thee; the philosopher Tsang, Exhibiter of thy fundamental principles; the philosopher Tsze-sze, Transmitter of thee; and the philosopher Mang, Second to thee. May’st thou enjoy the offerings!’

I need not go on to enlarge on the homage which the emperors of China render to Confucius. It could not be more complete. He was unreasonably neglected when alive. He is now unreasonably venerated when dead.

2. The rulers of China are not singular in this matter, but in entire sympathy with the mass of their people. It is the distinction

[Sidebar] General appreciation of Confucius.

of this empire that education has been highly prized in it from the earliest times. It was so before the era of Confucius, and we may be sure that the system met with his approbation. One of his remarkable sayings was,– ‘To lead an uninstructed people to war is to throw them away [3].’ When he pronounced this judgment, he was not thinking of military training, but of education in the duties of life and citizenship. A people so taught, he thought, would be morally fitted to fight for their government. Mencius, when lecturing to the ruler of T’ang on the proper way of governing a kingdom, told him that he must provide the means of education for all, the poor as well as the rich. ‘Establish,’ said he, ‘hsiang, hsu, hsio, and hsiao,– all those educational institutions,– for the instruction of the people [4].’

1 2 See the 大清通禮卷十二.
3 Ana. XIII. xxx.
4 Mencius III. Pt. I. iii. 10.

At the present day, education is widely diffused throughout China. In few other countries is the schoolmaster more abroad, and in all schools it is Confucius who is taught. The plan of competitive examinations, and the selection for civil offices only from those who have been successful candidates,– good so far as the competition is concerned, but injurious from the restricted range of subjects with which an acquaintance is required,– have obtained for more than twelve centuries. The classical works are the text books. It is from them almost exclusively that the themes proposed to determine the knowledge and ability of the students are chosen. The whole of the magistracy of China is thus versed in all that is recorded of the sage, and in the ancient literature which he preserved. His thoughts are familiar to every man in authority, and his character is more or less reproduced in him.

The official civilians of China, numerous as they are, are but a fraction of its students, and the students, or those who make literature a profession, are again but a fraction of those who attend school for a shorter or longer period. Yet so far as the studies have gone, they have been occupied with the Confucian writings. In the schoolrooms there is a tablet or inscription on the wall, sacred to the sage, and every pupil is required, on coming to school on the morning of the first and fifteenth of every month, to bow before it, the first thing, as an act of reverence [1]. Thus all in China who receive the slightest tincture of learning do so at the fountain of Confucius. They learn of him and do homage to him at once. I have repeatedly quoted the statement that during his life-time he had three thousand disciples. Hundreds of millions are his disciples now. It is hardly necessary to make any allowance in this statement for the followers of Taoism and Buddhism, for, as Sir John Davis has observed, ‘whatever the other opinions or faith of a Chinese may be, he takes good care to treat Confucius with respect [2].’ For two thousand years he has reigned supreme, the undisputed teacher of this most populous land.

3. This position and influence of Confucius are to be ascribed, I conceive, chiefly to two causes:– his being the preserver, namely of

l During the present dynasty, the tablet of 文昌帝君, the god of literature, has to a considerable extent displaced that of Confucius in schools. Yet the worship of him does not clash with that of the other. He is ‘the father’ of composition only.

2 The Chinese, vol. ii. p. 45.
the monuments of antiquity, and the exemplifier and expounder of

[Sidebar] The causes of his influence.

the maxims of the golden age of China; and the devotion to him of his immediate disciples and their early followers. The national and the personal are thus blended in him, each in its highest degree of excellence. He was a Chinese of the Chinese; he is also represented as, and all now believe him to have been, the beau ideal of humanity in its best and noblest estate.

4. It may be well to bring forward here Confucius’s own estimate of himself and of his doctrines. It will serve to illustrate the

[Sidebar] His own estimate of himself and of his doctrines.

statements just made. The following are some of his sayings:– ‘The sage and the man of perfect virtue;– how dare I rank myself with them? It may simply be said of me, that I strive to become such without satiety, and teach others without weariness.’ ‘In letters I am perhaps equal to other men; but the character of the superior man, carrying out in his conduct what he professes, is what I have not yet attained to.’ ‘The leaving virtue without proper cultivation; the not thoroughly discussing what is learned; not being able to move towards righteousness of which a knowledge is gained; and not being able to change what is not good;– these are the things which occasion me solicitude.’ ‘I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity and earnest in seeking it there.’ ‘A transmitter and not a maker, believing in and loving the ancients, I venture to compare myself with our old P’ang [1].’

Confucius cannot be thought to speak of himself in these declarations more highly than he ought to do. Rather we may recognise in them the expressions of a genuine humility. He was conscious that personally he came short in many things, but he toiled after the character, which he saw, or fancied that he saw, in the ancient sages whom he acknowledged; and the lessons of government and morals which he labored to diffuse were those which had already been inculcated and exhibited by them. Emphatically he was ‘a transmitter and not a maker.’ It is not to be understood that he was not fully satisfied of the truth of the principles which he had learned. He held them with the full approval and consent of his own understanding. He believed that if they were acted on, they would remedy the evils of his time.

1 All these passages are taken from the seventh Book of the Analects. See chapters xxxiii, xxxii, iii, xix, and i.
There was nothing to prevent rulers like Yao and Shun and the great Yu from again arising, and a condition of happy tranquillity being realized throughout the kingdom under their sway.

If in anything he thought himself ‘superior and alone,’ having attributes which others could not claim, it was in his possessing a divine commission as the conservator of ancient truth and rules. He does not speak very definitely on this point. It is noted that ‘the appointments of Heaven was one of the subjects on which he rarely touched [1].’ His most remarkable utterance was that which I have already given in the sketch of his Life:– ‘When he was put in fear in K’wang, he said, “After the death of king Wan, was not the cause of truth lodged here in me? If Heaven had wished to let this cause of truth perish, then I, a future mortal, should not have got such a relation to that cause. While Heaven does not let the cause of truth perish, what can the people of K’wang do to me [2]?”‘ Confucius, then, did feel that he was in the world for a special purpose. But it was not to announce any new truths, or to initiate any new economy. It was to prevent what had previously been known from being lost. He followed in the wake of Yao and Shun, of T’ang, and king Wan. Distant from the last by a long interval of time, he would have said that he was distant from him also by a great inferiority of character, but still he had learned the principles on which they all happily governed the country, and in their name he would lift up a standard against the prevailing lawlessness of his age.

5. The language employed with reference to Confucius by his disciples and their early followers presents a striking contrast with his own.

[Sidebar] Estimate of him by his disciples and their early followers.

I have already, in writing of the scope and value of ‘The Doctrine of the Mean,’ called attention to the extravagant eulogies of his grandson Tsze- sze. He only followed the example which had been set by those among whom the philosopher went in and out. We have the language of Yen Yuan, his favourite, which is comparatively moderate, and simply expresses the genuine admiration of a devoted pupil [3]. Tsze-kung on several occasions spoke in a different style. Having heard that one of the chiefs of Lu had said that he himself — Tsze-kung — was superior to Confucius, he observed, ‘Let me use the comparison of a house and its encompassing wall. My wall

1 Ana. IX. i.
2 Ana. IX. iii.
3 Ana. IX. x.

only reaches to the shoulders. One may peep over it, and see whatever is valuable in the apartments. The wall of my master is several fathoms high. If one do not find the door and enter by it, he cannot see the rich ancestral temple with its beauties, nor all the officers in their rich array. But I may assume that they are few who find the door. The remark of the chief was only what might have been expected [1]’

Another time, the same individual having spoken revilingly of Confucius, Tsze-kung said, ‘It is of no use doing so. Chung-ni cannot be reviled. The talents and virtue of other men are hillocks and mounds which may be stepped over. Chung-ni is the sun or moon, which it is not possible to step over. Although a man may wish to cut himself off from the sage, what harm can he do to the sun and moon? He only shows that he does not know his own capacity [2].’

In conversation with a fellow-disciple, Tsze-kung took a still higher flight. Being charged by Tsze-ch’in with being too modest, for that Confucius was not really superior to him, he replied, ‘For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in what we say. Our master cannot be attained to, just in the same way as the heavens cannot be gone up to by the steps of a stair. Were our master in the position of the prince of a State, or the chief of a Family, we should find verified the description which has been given of a sage’s rule:– He would plant the people, and forthwith they would be established; he would lead them on, and forthwith they would follow him; he would make them happy, and forthwith multitudes would resort to his dominions; he would stimulate them, and forthwith they would be harmonious. While he lived, he would be glorious. When he died, he would be bitterly lamented. How is it possible for him to be attained to [3]?’

From these representations of Tsze-kung, it was not a difficult step for Tsze-sze to take in exalting Confucius not only to the level of the ancient sages, but as ‘the equal of Heaven.’ And Mencius took up the theme. Being questioned by Kung-sun Ch’au, one of his disciples, about two acknowledged sages, Po-i and I Yin, whether they were to be placed in the same rank with Confucius, he replied, ‘No. Since there were living men until now, there never was another Confucius;’ and then he proceeded to fortify his

1 Ana. XIX. xxiii.
2 Ana. XIX. xxiv.
3 Ana. XIX. xxv.

opinion by the concurring testimony of Tsai Wo, Tsze-kung, and Yu Zo, who all had wisdom, he thought, sufficient to know their master. Tsai Wo’s opinion was, ‘According to my view of our master, he is far superior to Yao and Shun.’ Tsze-kung said, ‘By viewing the ceremonial ordinances of a prince, we know the character of his government. By hearing his music, we know the character of his virtue. From the distance of a hundred ages after, I can arrange, according to their merits, the kings of those hundred ages;– not one of them can escape me. From the birth of mankind till now, there has never been another like our master.’ Yu Zo said, ‘Is it only among men that it is so? There is the ch’i-lin among quadrupeds; the fung-hwang among birds; the T’ai mountain among mounds and ant-hills; and rivers and seas among rainpools. Though different in degree, they are the same in kind. So the sages among mankind are also the same in kind. But they stand out from their fellows, and rise above the level; and from the birth of mankind till now, there never has been one so complete as Confucius [1].’ I will not indulge in farther illustration. The judgment of the sage’s disciples, of Tsze-sze, and of Mencius, has been unchallenged by the mass of the scholars of China. Doubtless it pleases them to bow down at the shrine of the Sage, for their profession of literature is thereby glorified. A reflection of the honour done to him falls upon themselves. And the powers that be, and the multitudes of the people, fall in with the judgment. Confucius is thus, in the empire of China, the one man by whom all possible personal excellence was exemplified, and by whom all possible lessons of social virtue and political wisdom are taught.

6. The reader will be prepared by the preceding account not to expect to find any light thrown by Confucius on the great problems of the human condition and destiny. He did not speculate on the creation of things or the end of them. He was not troubled to account for the origin of man, nor did he seek to know about his hereafter. He meddled neither with physics nor metaphysics [2].

[Sidebar] Subjects on which Confucius did not treat.– That he was unreligious, unspiritual, and open to the

charge of insincerity.

The testimony of the Analects about the subjects of his teaching is the following:– ‘His frequent themes of discourse were the Book

1 Mencius, II. Pt. I. ii. 23-28.
2 ‘The contents of the Yi-ching, and Confucius’s labors upon it, may be objected in opposition to this statement, and I must be understood to make it with come reservation. Six years ago, I spent all my leisure time for twelve months in the study of that Work, and wrote out a translation of it, but at the close I was only groping my way in darkness to lay hold of [footnote continued next page].

of Poetry, the Book of History, and the maintenance of the rules of Propriety.’ ‘He taught letters, ethics, devotion of soul, and truthfulness.’ ‘Extraordinary things; feats of strength; states of disorder; and spiritual beings, he did not like to talk about [1].’

Confucius is not to be blamed for his silence on the subjects here indicated. His ignorance of them was to a great extent his misfortune. He had not learned them. No report of them had come to him by the ear; no vision of them by the eye. And to his practical mind the toiling of thought amid uncertainties seemed worse than useless.

The question has, indeed, been raised, whether he did not make changes in the ancient creed of China [2], but I cannot believe that he did so consciously and designedly. Had his idiosyncrasy been different, we might have had expositions of the ancient views on some points, the effect of which would have been more beneficial than the indefiniteness in which they are now left, and it may be doubted so far, whether Confucius was not unfaithful to his guides. But that he suppressed or added, in order to bring in articles of belief originating with himself, is a thing not to be charged against him.

I will mention two important subjects in regard to which there is a conviction in my mind that he came short of the faith of the older sages. The first is the doctrine of God. This name is common in the Shih-ching and Shu-ching. Ti or Shang-Ti appears there as a personal being, ruling in heaven and on earth, the author of man’s moral nature, the governor among the nations, by whom kings reign and princes decree justice, the rewarder of the good, and the punisher of the bad. Confucius preferred to speak of Heaven. Instances have already been given of this. Two others may be cited:– ‘He who offends against Heaven has none to whom he can pray [3]?’ ‘Alas! ‘ said he, ‘there is no one that knows me.’ Tsze-kung said, ‘What do you mean by thus saying that no one knows you?’ He replied, ‘I do not murmur against Heaven. I do

[footnote continued from previous page] its scope and meaning, and up to this time I have not been able to master it so as to speak positively about it. It will come in due time, in its place, in the present Publication, and I do not think that what I here say of Confucius will require much, if any, modification.’ So I wrote in 1861; and I at last accomplished a translation of the Yi, which was published in 1882, as the sixteenth volume of ‘The Sacred Books of ‘the East.’ I should like to bring out a revision of that version, with the Chinese text, so as to make it uniform with the volumes of the Classics previously published. But as Yang Ho said to Confucius, ‘The years do not wait for us.’

1 Ana. VII. xvii; xxiv; xx.
2 See Hardwick’s ‘Christ and other Masters,’ Part iii, pp. 18, 19, with his reference in a note to a passage from Meadows’s ‘The Chinese and their Rebellions.’
3 Ana. III. xiii.

not grumble against men. My studies lie low, and my penetration rises high. But there is Heaven;– THAT knows me [1]!’ Not once throughout the Analects does he use the personal name. I would say that he was unreligious rather than irreligious; yet by the coldness of his temperament and intellect in this matter, his influence is unfavourable to the development of ardent religious feeling among the Chinese people generally; and he prepared the way for the speculations of the literati of medieval and modern times, which have exposed them to the charge of atheism.

Secondly, Along with the worship of God there existed in China, from the earliest historical times, the worship of other spiritual beings,– especially, and to every individual, the worship of departed ancestors. Confucius recognised this as an institution to be devoutly observed. ‘He sacrificed to the dead as if they were present; he sacrificed to the spirits as if the spirits were present. He said. “I consider my not being present at the sacrifice as if I did not sacrifice [2].”‘ The custom must have originated from a belief in the continued existence of the dead. We cannot suppose that they who instituted it thought that with the cessation of this life on earth there was a cessation also of all conscious being. But Confucius never spoke explicitly on this subject. He tried to evade it. ‘Chi Lu asked about serving the spirits of the dead, and the master said, “While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve their spirits?” The disciple added, “I venture to ask about death,” and he was answered, “While you do not know life, how can you know about death [3].”‘ Still more striking is a conversation with another disciple, recorded in the ‘Narratives of the School.’ Tsze-kung asked him, saying, ‘Do the dead have knowledge (of our services, that is), or are they without knowledge?’ The master replied, ‘If I were to say that the dead have such knowledge, I am afraid that filial sons and dutiful grandsons would injure their substance in paying the last offices to the departed; and if I were to say that the dead have not such knowledge, I am afraid lest unfilial sons should leave their parents unburied. You need not wish, Tsze, to know whether the dead have knowledge or not. There is no present urgency about the point. Hereafter you will know it for yourself [4].’ Surely this was not the teaching proper to a sage.

1 Ana. XIV. xxxvii.
2 Ana. III. xii.
3 Ana. XI. xi.
4 家語, 卷二, art. 致思, towards the end.

He said on one occasion that he had no concealments from his disciples [1]. Why did he not candidly tell his real thoughts on so interesting a subject? I incline to think that he doubted more than he believed. If the case were not so, it would be difficult to account for the answer which he returned to a question as to what constituted wisdom:– ‘To give one’s self earnestly,’ said he, ‘to the duties due to men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom [2].’ At any rate, as by his frequent references to Heaven, instead of following the phraseology of the older sages, he gave occasion to many of his professed followers to identify God with a principle of reason and the course of nature; so, in the point now in hand, he has led them to deny, like the Sadducees of old, the existence of any spirit at all, and to tell us that their sacrifices to the dead are but an outward form, the mode of expression which the principle of filial piety requires them to adopt when its objects have departed this life.

It will not be supposed that I wish to advocate or to defend the practice of sacrificing to the dead. My object has been to point out how Confucius recognised it, without acknowledging the faith from which it must have originated, and how he enforced it as a matter of form or ceremony. It thus connects itself with the most serious charge that can be brought against him,– the charge of insincerity. Among the four things which it is said he taught, ‘truthfulness’ is specified [3], and many sayings might be quoted from him, in which ‘sincerity’ is celebrated as highly and demanded as stringently as ever it has been by any Christian moralist; yet he was not altogether the truthful and true man to whom we accord our highest approbation. There was the case of Mang Chih-fan, who boldly brought up the rear of the defeated troops of Lu, and attributed his occupying the place of honour to the backwardness of his horse. The action was gallant, but the apology for it was weak and unnecessary. And yet Confucius saw nothing in the whole but matter for praise [4]. He could excuse himself from seeing an unwelcome visitor on the ground that he was sick, when there was nothing the matter with him [5]. These were small matters, but what shall we say to the incident which I have given in the sketch of his Life, p. 79,– his deliberately breaking the oath which he had sworn, simply on the ground that it had been forced from him?

1 Ana. VII. xxiii.
2 Ana. VI. xx.
3 See above, near the beginning of this paragraph.
4 Ana. VI. xiii.
5 Am. XVII. xx.

I should be glad if I could find evidence on which to deny the truth of that occurrence. But it rests on the same authority as most other statements about him, and it is accepted as a fact by the people and scholars of China. It must have had, and it must still have, a very injurious influence upon them. Foreigners charge a habit of deceitfulness upon the nation and its government;– on the justice or injustice of this charge I say nothing. For every word of falsehood and every act of insincerity, the guilty party must bear his own burden, but we cannot but regret the example of Confucius in this particular. It is with the Chinese and their sage, as it was with the Jews of old and their teachers. He that leads them has caused them to err, and destroyed the way of their paths [1].

But was not insincerity a natural result of the un-religion of Confucius? There are certain virtues which demand a true piety in order to their flourishing in the heart of man. Natural affection, the feeling of loyalty, and enlightened policy, may do much to build up and preserve a family and a state, but it requires more to maintain the love of truth, and make a lie, spoken or acted, to be shrunk from with shame. It requires in fact the living recognition of a God of truth, and all the sanctions of revealed religion. Unfortunately the Chinese have not had these, and the example of him to whom they bow down as the best and wisest of men, does not set them against dissimulation.

7. I go on to a brief discussion of Confucius’s views on government, or what we may call his principles of political science. It

[Sidebar] His views on government.

could not be in his long intercourse with his disciples but that he should enunciate many maxims bearing on character and morals generally, but he never rested in the improvement of the individual. ‘The kingdom, the world, brought to a state of happy tranquillity [2],’ was the grand object which he delighted to think of; that it might be brought about as easily as ‘one can look upon the palm of his hand,’ was the dream which it pleased him to indulge [3]. He held that there was in men an adaptation and readiness to be governed, which only needed to be taken advantage of in the proper way. There must be the right administrators, but given those, and ‘the growth of government would be rapid, just as vegetation is rapid in the earth; yea, their

1 Isaiah iii. 12.
2 天下平. See the 大學, 經, pars. 4, 5; &c.
3 Ana. III. xi; et al.

government would display itself like an easily-growing rush [1].’ The same sentiment was common from the lips of Mencius. Enforcing it one day, when conversing with one of the petty rulers of his time, he said in his peculiar style, ‘Does your Majesty understand the way of the growing grain? During the seventh and eighth months, when drought prevails, the plants become dry. Then the clouds collect densely in the heavens; they send down torrents of rain, and the grain erects itself as if by a shoot. When it does so, who can keep it back [2]?’ Such, he contended, would be the response of the mass of the people to any true ‘shepherd of men.’ It may be deemed unnecessary that I should specify this point, for it is a truth applicable to the people of all nations. Speaking generally, government is by no device or cunning craftiness; human nature demands it. But in no other family of mankind is the characteristic so largely developed as in the Chinese. The love of order and quiet, and a willingness to submit to ‘the powers that be,’ eminently distinguish them. Foreign writers have often taken notice of this, and have attributed it to the influence of Confucius’s doctrines as inculcating subordination; but it existed previous to his time. The character of the people molded his system, more than it was molded by it.

This readiness to be governed arose, according to Confucius, from ‘the duties of universal obligation, or those between sovereign and minister, between father and son, between husband and wife, between elder brother and younger, and those belonging to the intercourse of friends [3].’ Men as they are born into the world, and grow up in it, find themselves existing in those relations. They are the appointment of Heaven. And each relation has its reciprocal obligations, the recognition of which is proper to the Heaven-conferred nature. It only needs that the sacredness of the relations be maintained, and the duties belonging to them faithfully discharged, and the ‘happy tranquillity’ will prevail all under heaven. As to the institutions of government, the laws and arrangements by which, as through a thousand channels, it should go forth to carry plenty and prosperity through the length and breadth of the country, it did not belong to Confucius, ‘the throneless king,’ to set them forth minutely. And indeed they were existing in the records of ‘the ancient sovereigns.’ Nothing new was needed. It was only

1 中庸, xx. 3.
2 Mencius, I. Pt. I. vi. 6.
3 中庸, xx. 8.

requisite to pursue the old paths, and raise up the old standards. ‘The government of Wan and Wu,’ he said, ‘is displayed in the records,– the tablets of wood and bamboo. Let there be the men, and the government will flourish; but without the men, the government decays and ceases [1].’ To the same effect was the reply which he gave to Yen Hui when asked by him how the government of a State should be administered. It seems very wide of the mark, until we read it in the light of the sage’s veneration for ancient ordinances, and his opinion of their sufficiency. ‘Follow,’ he said, ‘the seasons of Hsia. Ride in the state carriages of Yin. Wear the ceremonial cap of Chau. Let the music be the Shao with its pantomimes. Banish the songs of Chang, and keep far from specious talkers [2].’

Confucius’s idea then of a happy, well-governed State did not go beyond the flourishing of the five relations of society which have been mentioned; and we have not any condensed exhibition from him of their nature, or of the duties belonging to the several parties in them. Of the two first he spoke frequently, but all that he has said on the others would go into small compass. Mencius has said that ‘between father and son there should be affection; between sovereign and minister righteousness; between husband and wife attention to their separate functions; between old and young, a proper order; and between friends, fidelity [3].’ Confucius, I apprehend, would hardly have accepted this account. It does not bring out sufficiently the authority which he claimed for the father and the sovereign, and the obedience which he exacted from the child and the minister. With regard to the relation of husband and wife, he was in no respect superior to the preceding sages who had enunciated their views of ‘propriety’ on the subject. We have a somewhat detailed exposition of his opinions in the ‘Narratives of the School.’– ‘Man,’ said he, ‘is the representative of Heaven, and is supreme over all things. Woman yields obedience to the instructions of man, and helps to carry out his principles [4]. On this account she can determine nothing of herself, and is subject to the rule of the three obediences. When young, she must obey her father and elder brother; when married, she must obey her husband;

1 中庸, xx. 2.
2 Ana. XV. x.
3 Mencius, III. Pt. I. iv. 8.
4 男子者, 任天道而長萬物者也; 女子者, 順男子之道, 而長其理者也.

when her husband is dead, she must obey her son. She may not think of marrying a second time. No instructions or orders must issue from the harem. Woman’s business is simply the preparation and supplying of drink and food. Beyond the threshold of her apartments she should not be known for evil or for good. She may not cross the boundaries of the State to attend a funeral. She may take no step on her own motion, and may come to no conclusion on her own deliberation. There are five women who are not to be taken in marriage:– the daughter of a rebellious house; the daughter of a disorderly house; the daughter of a house which has produced criminals for more than one generation; the daughter of a leprous house; and the daughter who has lost her father and elder brother. A wife may be divorced for seven reasons, which, however, may be overruled by three considerations. The grounds for divorce are disobedience to her husband’s parents; not giving birth to a son; dissolute conduct; jealousy– (of her husband’s attentions, that is, to the other inmates of his harem); talkativeness; and thieving. The three considerations which may overrule these grounds are– first, if, while she was taken from a home, she has now no home to return to; second, if she have passed with her husband through the three years’ mourning for his parents; third, if the husband have become rich from being poor. All these regulations were adopted by the sages in harmony with the natures of man and woman, and to give importance to the ordinance of marriage [1].’
With these ideas of the relations of society, Confucius dwelt much on the necessity of personal correctness of character on the part of those in authority, in order to secure the right fulfillment of the duties implied in them. This is one grand peculiarity of his teaching. I have adverted to it in the review of ‘The Great Learning,’ but it deserves some further exhibition, and there are three conversations with the chief Chi K’ang in which it is very expressly set forth. ‘Chi K’ang asked about government, and Confucius replied, “To govern means to rectify. If you lead on the people with correctness, who will dare not to be correct?”‘ ‘Chi K’ang, distressed about the number of thieves in the State, inquired of Confucius about how to do away with them. Confucius said, “If you, sir, were not covetous, though you should reward them to do it, they would not steal.”‘ ‘Chi K’ang asked about government,

1 家語卷三, 本命解

saying, “What do you say to killing the unprincipled for the good of the principled?” Confucius replied, “Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good. The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows across it [1].”‘

Example is not so powerful as Confucius in these and many other passages represented it, but its influence is very great. Its virtue is recognised in the family, and it is demanded in the church of Christ. ‘A bishop’– and I quote the term with the simple meaning of overseer– ‘must be blameless.’ It seems to me, however, that in the progress of society in the West we have come to think less of the power of example in many departments of state than we ought to do. It is thought of too little in the army and the navy. We laugh at the ‘self-denying ordinance,’ and the ‘new model’ of 1644, but there lay beneath them the principle which Confucius so broadly propounded,– the importance of personal virtue in all who are in authority. Now that Great Britain is the governing power over the masses of India and that we are coming more and more into contact with tens of thousands of the Chinese, this maxim of our sage is deserving of serious consideration from all who bear rule, and especially from those on whom devolves the conduct of affairs. His words on the susceptibility of the people to be acted on by those above them ought not to prove as water spilt on the ground.

But to return to Confucius.– As he thus lays it down that the mainspring of the well-being of society is the personal character of the ruler, we look anxiously for what directions he has given for the cultivation of that. But here he is very defective. ‘Self-adjustment and purification,’ he said, ‘with careful regulation of his dress, and the not making a movement contrary to the rules of propriety;– this is the way for the ruler to cultivate his person [2].’ This is laying too much stress on what is external; but even to attain to this is beyond unassisted human strength. Confucius, however, never recognised a disturbance of the moral elements in the constitution of man. The people would move, according to him, to the virtue of their ruler as the grass bends to the wind, and that virtue

1 Ana. XII. xvii; xviii; xix.
2 中庸, xx. 14.

would come to the ruler at his call. Many were the lamentations which he uttered over the degeneracy of his times; frequent were the confessions which he made of his own shortcomings. It seems strange that it never came distinctly before him, that there is a power of evil in the prince and the peasant, which no efforts of their own and no instructions of sages are effectual to subdue.

The government which Confucius taught was a despotism, but of a modified character. He allowed no ‘jus divinum,’ independent of personal virtue and a benevolent rule. He has not explicitly stated, indeed, wherein lies the ground of the great relation of the governor and the governed, but his views on the subject were, we may assume, in accordance with the language of the Shu-ching:– ‘Heaven and Earth are the parents of all things, and of all things men are the most intelligent. The man among them most distinguished for intelligence becomes chief ruler, and ought to prove himself the parent of the people [1].’ And again, ‘Heaven, protecting the inferior people, has constituted for them rulers and teachers, who should be able to be assisting to God, extending favour and producing tranquillity throughout all parts of the kingdom [2].’ The moment the ruler ceases to be a minister of God for good, and does not administer a government that is beneficial to the people, he forfeits the title by which he holds the throne, and perseverance in oppression will surely lead to his overthrow. Mencius inculcated this principle with a frequency and boldness which are remarkable. It was one of the things about which Confucius did not like to talk. Still he held it. It is conspicuous in the last chapter of ‘The Great Learning.’ Its tendency has been to check the violence of oppression, and maintain the self-respect of the people, all along the course of Chinese history.

I must bring these observations on Confucius’s views of government to a close, and I do so with two remarks. First, they are adapted to a primitive, unsophisticated state of society. He is a good counsellor for the father of a family, the chief of a clan, and even the head of a small principality. But his views want the comprehension which would make them of much service in a great dominion. Within three centuries after his death,the government of China passed into a new phase. The founder of the Ch’in dynasty conceived the grand idea of abolishing all its feudal kingdoms, and centralizing their administration in himself. He effected the revo-

l 2 See the Shu-ching, V. i. Sect. I. 2, 7.

lution, and succeeding dynasties adopted his system, and gradually molded it into the forms and proportions which are now existing. There has been a tendency to advance, and Confucius has all along been trying to carry the nation back. Principles have been needed, and not ‘proprieties.’ The consequence is that China has increased beyond its ancient dimensions, while there has been no corresponding development of thought. Its body politic has the size of a giant, while it still retains the mind of a child. Its hoary age is in danger of becoming but senility.

Second, Confucius makes no provision for the intercourse of his country with other and independent nations. He knew indeed of none such. China was to him ‘The Middle Kingdom [1],’ ‘The multitude of Great States [2],’ ‘All under heaven [3].’ Beyond it were only rude and barbarous tribes. He does not speak of them bitterly, as many Chinese have done since his time. In one place he contrasts their condition favourably with the prevailing anarchy of the kingdom, saying ‘The rude tribes of the east and north have their princes, and are not like the States of our great land which are without them [4].’ Another time, disgusted with the want of appreciation which he experienced, he was expressing his intention to go and live among the nine wild tribes of the east. Some one said, ‘They are rude. How can you do such a thing?’ His reply was, ‘If a superior man dwelt among them, what rudeness would there be [5]?’ But had he been a ruler-sage, he would not only have influenced them by his instructions, but brought them to acknowledge and submit to his sway, as the great Yu did [6]. The only passage of Confucius’s teachings from which any rule can be gathered for dealing with foreigners is that in the ‘Doctrine of the Mean,’ where ‘indulgent treatment of men from a distance’ is laid down as one of the nine standard rules for the government of the country [7]. But ‘the men from a distance’ are understood to be pin and lu [8] simply,– ‘guests,’ that is, or officers of one State seeking employment in another, or at the royal court; and ‘visitors,’ or travelling merchants. Of independent nations the ancient classics have not any knowledge, nor has Confucius. So long as merchants from Europe and other parts of the world could have been content to appear in China as suppliants, seeking the privilege of trade, so

1 中國.
2 諸夏; Ana. III. v.
3 天下; passim.
4 Ana. III. v.
5 Ana. IX. xiii.
6 書經, III. ii. 10; et al.
7 柔遠人.
8 賓旅.

long the government would have ranked them with the barbarous hordes of antiquity, and given them the benefit of the maxim about ‘indulgent treatment,’ according to its own understanding of it. But when their governments interfered, and claimed to treat with that of China on terms of equality, and that their subjects should be spoken to and of as being of the same clay with the Chinese themselves, an outrage was committed on tradition and prejudice, which it was necessary to resent with vehemence.

I do not charge the contemptuous arrogance of the Chinese government and people upon Confucius; what I deplore, is that he left no principles on record to check the development of such a spirit. His simple views of society and government were in a measure sufficient for the people while they dwelt apart from the rest of mankind. His practical lessons were better than if they had been left, which but for him they probably would have been, to fall a prey to the influences of Taoism and Buddhism, but they could only subsist while they were left alone. Of the earth earthy, China was sure to go to pieces when it came into collision with a Christianly-civilized power. Its sage had left it no preservative or restorative elements against such a case.
It is a rude awakening from its complacency of centuries which China has now received. Its ancient landmarks are swept away. Opinions will differ as to the justice or injustice of the grounds on which it has been assailed, and I do not feel called to judge or to pronounce here concerning them. In the progress of events, it could hardly be but that the collision should come; and when it did come it could not be but that China should be broken and scattered. Disorganization will go on to destroy it more and more, and yet there is hope for the people, with their veneration for the relations of society, with their devotion to learning, and with their habits of industry and sobriety; there is hope for them, if they will look away from all their ancient sages, and turn to Him, who sends them, along with the dissolution of their ancient state, the knowledge of Himself, the only living and true God, and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.

8. I have little more to add on the opinions of Confucius. Many of his sayings are pithy, and display much knowledge of character; but as they are contained in the body of the Work, I will not occupy the space here with a selection of those which have struck myself as most worthy of notice. The fourth Book of the Analects,
which is on the subject of zan, or perfect virtue, has several utterances which are remarkable.

Thornton observes:– ‘It may excite surprise, and probably incredulity, to state that the golden rule of our Saviour, ‘Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you,’ which Mr. Locke designates as ‘the most unshaken rule of morality, and foundation of all social virtue,’ had been inculcated by Confucius, almost in the same words, four centuries before [1].’ I have taken notice of this fact in reviewing both ‘The Great Learning’ and ‘The Doctrine of the Mean.’ I would be far from grudging a tribute of admiration to Confucius for it. The maxim occurs also twice in the Analects. In Book XV. xxiii, Tsze-kung asks if there be one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life, and is answered, ‘Is not reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself do not do to others.’ The same disciple appears in Book V. xi, telling Confucius that he was practising the lesson. He says, ‘What I do not wish men to do to me, I also wish not to do to men;’ but the master tells him, ‘Tsze, you have not attained to that.’ It would appear from this reply, that he was aware of the difficulty of obeying the precept ; and it is not found, in its condensed expression at least, in the older classics. The merit of it is Confucius’s own.

When a comparison, however, is drawn between it and the rule laid down by Christ, it is proper to call attention to the positive form of the latter, ‘All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.’ The lesson of the gospel commands men to do what they feel to be right and good. It requires them to commence a course of such conduct, without regard to the conduct of others to themselves. The lesson of Confucius only forbids men to do what they feel to be wrong and hurtful. So far as the point of priority is concerned, moreover, Christ adds, ‘This is the law and the prophets.’ The maxim was to be found substantially in the earlier revelations of God. Still it must be allowed that Confucius was well aware of the importance of taking the initiative in discharging all the relations of society. See his words as quoted from ‘The Doctrine of the Mean’ on pages 48, 49 above. But the worth of the two maxims depends on the intention of the enunciators in regard to their application. Confucius, it seems to me, did not think of the reciprocity coming into action beyond the circle of his five relations of society. Possibly, he might have

1 History of China, vol. i. p. 209.

required its observance in dealings even with the rude tribes, which were the only specimens of mankind besides his own countrymen of which he knew anything, for on one occasion, when asked about perfect virtue, he replied, ‘It is, in retirement, to be sedately grave; in the management of business, to be reverently attentive; in intercourse with others, to be strictly sincere. Though a man go among the rude uncultivated tribes, these qualities may not be neglected [1].’ Still Confucius delivered his rule to his countrymen only, and only for their guidance in their relations of which I have had so much occasion to speak. The rule of Christ is for man as man, having to do with other men, all with himself on the same platform, as the children and subjects of the one God and Father in heaven.

How far short Confucius came of the standard of Christian benevolence, may be seen from his remarks when asked what was to be thought of the principle that injury should be recompensed with kindness. He replied, ‘With what then will you recompense kindness? Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness [2].’ The same deliverance is given in one of the Books of the Li Chi, where he adds that ‘he who recompenses injury with kindness is a man who is careful of his person [3].’ Chang Hsuan, the commentator of the second century, says that such a course would be ‘incorrect in point of propriety [4].’

This ‘propriety’ was a great stumbling-block in the way of Confucius. His morality was the result of the balancings of his intellect, fettered by the decisions of men of old, and not the gushings of a loving heart, responsive to the promptings of Heaven, and in sympathy with erring and feeble humanity.

This subject leads me on to the last of the opinions of Confucius which I shall make the subject of remark in this place. A commentator observes, with reference to the inquiry about recompensing injury with kindness, that the questioner was asking only about trivial matters, which might be dealt with in the way he mentioned, while great offences, such as those against a sovereign or a father, could not be dealt with by such an inversion of the principles of justice [5]. In the second Book of the Li Chi there is the following passage:– ‘With the slayer of his father, a man may not live under the same heaven; against the slayer of his brother, a man must never have to go home to fetch a weapon; with the slayer of

1 Ana. XIII. xix.
2 Ana. XIV. xxxvi.
3 禮記, 表記, par. 12.
4 非禮之正.
5 See notes in loc., p. 288.

his friend, a man may not live in the same State [1].’ The lex talionis is here laid down in its fullest extent. The Chau Li tells us of a provision made against the evil consequences of the principle, by the appointment of a minister called ‘The Reconciler [2].’ The provision is very inferior to the cities of refuge which were set apart by Moses for the manslayer to flee to from the fury of the avenger. Such as it was, however, it existed, and it is remarkable that Confucius, when consulted on the subject, took no notice of it, but affirmed the duty of blood-revenge in the strongest and most unrestricted terms. His disciple Tsze-hsia asked him, ‘What course is to be pursued in the case of the murder of a father or mother?’ He replied, ‘The son must sleep upon a matting of grass, with his shield for his pillow; he must decline to take office; he must not live under the same heaven with the slayer. When he meets him in the marketplace or the court, he must have his weapon ready to strike him.’ ‘And what is the course on the murder of a brother?’ ‘The surviving brother must not take office in the same State with the slayer; yet if he go on his prince’s service to the State where the slayer is, though he meet him, he must not fight with him.’ ‘And what is the course on the murder of an uncle or a cousin?’ ‘In this case the nephew or cousin is not the principal. If the principal on whom the revenge devolves can take it, he has only to stand behind with his weapon in his hand, and support him [3].’
Sir John Davis has rightly called attention to this as one of the objectionable principles of Confucius [4]. The bad effects of it are evident even in the present day. Revenge is sweet to the Chinese. I have spoken of their readiness to submit to government, and wish to live in peace, yet they do not like to resign even to government the ‘inquisition for blood.’ Where the ruling authority is feeble, as it is at present, individuals and clans take the law into their own hands, and whole districts are kept in a state of constant feud and warfare.
But I must now leave the sage. I hope I have not done him injustice; the more I have studied his character and opinions, the more highly have I come to regard him. He was a very great man, and his influence has been on the whole a great benefit to the Chinese, while his teachings suggest important lessons to ourselves who profess to belong to the school of Christ.

1 禮記, I. Sect. I. Pt. v. 10.
2 周禮, 卷之十四, pp. 14-18.
3 禮記, II. Sect. I. Pt. ii. 24. See also the 家語, 卷四, 子貢問.
4 The Chinese, vol. ii. p. 41.


Sze-ma Ch’ien makes Confucius say: ‘The disciples who received my instructions, and could themselves comprehend them, were seventy-seven individuals. They were all scholars of extraordinary ability [1].’ The common saying is, that the disciples of the sage were three thousand, while among them there were seventy-two worthies. I propose to give here a list of all those whose names have come down to us, as being his followers. Of the greater number it will be seen that we know nothing more than their names and surnames. My principal authorities will be the ‘Historical Records,’ the ‘Narratives of the School,’ ‘The Sacrificial Canon for the Sage’s Temple, with Plates,’ and the chapter on ‘The Disciples of Confucius’ prefixed to the ‘Four Books, Text and Commentary, with Proofs and Illustrations.’ In giving a few notices of the better-known individuals, I will endeavour to avoid what may be gathered from the Analects.

1. Yen Hui, by designation Tsze-yuan (顏回, 字子淵). He was a native of Lu, the favourite of his master, whose junior he was by thirty years, and whose disciple he became when he was quite a youth. ‘After I got Hui,’ Confucius remarked, ‘the disciples came closer to me.’ We are told that once, when he found himself on the Nang hill with Hui, Tsze-lu, and Tsze- kung, Confucius asked them to tell him their different aims, and he would choose between them. Tsze-lu began, and when he had done, the master said, ‘It marks your bravery.’ Tsze-kung followed, on whose words the judgment was, ‘They show your discriminating eloquence.’ At last came Yen Yuan, who said, ‘I should like to find an intelligent king and sage ruler whom I might assist. I would diffuse among the people instructions on the five great points, and lead them on by the rules of propriety and music, so that they should not care to fortify their cities by walls and moats, but would fuse their swords and spears into implements of agriculture. They should send forth their flocks without fear into the plains and forests. There should be no sunderings of families, no widows or widowers. For a thousand

1 孔子曰, 受業身通者, 七十有七人, 皆異能之士也.

years there would be no calamity of war. Yu would have no opportunity to display his bravery, or Ts’ze to display his oratory.’ The master pronounced, ‘How admirable is this virtue!’

When Hui was twenty-nine, his hair was all white, and in three years more he died. He was sacrificed to, along with Confucius, by the first emperor of the Han dynasty. The title which he now has in the sacrificial Canon,– ‘Continuator of the Sage,’ was conferred in the ninth year of the emperor, or, to speak more correctly, of the period, Chia-ching, A. D. 1530. Almost all the present sacrificial titles of the worthies in the temple were fixed at that time. Hui’s place is the first of the four Assessors, on the east of the sage [1].

2. Min Sun, styled Tsze-ch’ien (閔損,字子騫). He was a native of Lu, fifteen years younger than Confucius, according to Sze-ma Ch’ien, but fifty years younger, according to the ‘Narratives of the School,’ which latter authority is followed in ‘The Annals of the Empire.’ When he first came to Confucius, we are told, he had a starved look [2], which was by-and-by exchanged for one of fulness and satisfaction [3]. Tsze-kung asked him how the change had come about. He replied, ‘I came from the midst of my reeds and sedges into the school of the master. He trained my mind to filial piety, and set before me the examples of the ancient kings. I felt a pleasure in his instructions; but when I went abroad, and saw the people in authority, with their umbrellas and banners, and all the pomp and circumstance of their trains, I also felt pleasure in that show. These two things assaulted each other in

1 I have referred briefly, at p. 91, to the temples of Confucius. The principal hall, called 大成殿, or ‘Hall of the Great and Complete One,’ is that in which is his own statue or the tablet of his spirit, having on each side of it, within a screen, the statues, or tablets, of his ‘four Assessors.’ On the east and west, along the walls of the same apartment, are the two 序, the places of the 十二哲, or ‘twelve Wise Ones,’ those of his disciples, who, next to the ‘Assessors,’ are counted worthy of honour. Outside this apartment, and running in a line with the two 序, but along the external wall of the sacred inclosure, are the two 廡, or side-galleries, which I have sometimes called the ranges of the outer court. In each there are sixty-four tablets of the disciples and other worthies, having the same title as the Wise Ones, that of 先賢, or ‘Ancient Worthy,’ or the inferior title of 先儒, ‘Ancient Scholar.’ Behind the principal hall is the 崇聖祠殿, sacred to Confucius’s ancestors, whose tablets are in the centre, fronting the south, like that of Confucius. On each side are likewise the tablets of certain ‘ancient Worthies,’ and ‘ancient Scholars.’

2 菜色.
3 芻豢之色.

my breast. I could not determine which to prefer, and so I wore that look of distress. But now the lessons of our master have penetrated deeply into my mind. My progress also has been helped by the example of you my fellow-disciples. I now know what I should follow and what I should avoid, and all the pomp of power is no more to me than the dust of the ground. It is on this account that I have that look of fulness and satisfaction.’ Tsze- ch’ien was high in Confucius’s esteem. He was distinguished for his purity and filial affection. His place in the temple is the first, east, among ‘The Wise Ones,’ immediately after the four assessors. He was first sacrificed to along with Confucius, as is to be understood of the other ‘Wise Ones,’ excepting in the case of Yu Zo, in the eighth year of the style K’ai-yuan of the sixth emperor of the T’ang dynasty, A.D. 720. His title, the same as that of all but the Assessors, is– ‘The ancient Worthy, the philosopher Min.’

3 . Zan Kang, styled Po-niu (冉耕, 字白 [al. 百] 牛). He was a native of Lu, and Confucius’s junior only by seven years. When Confucius became minister of Crime, he appointed Po-niu to the office, which he had himself formerly held, of commandant of Chung-tu. His tablet is now fourth among ‘The Wise Ones,’ on the west.

4. Zan Yung, styled Chung-kung (冉雍, 字仲弓). He was of the same clan as Zan Kang, and twenty-nine years younger than Confucius. He had a bad father, but the master declared that was not to be counted to him, to detract from his admitted excellence. His place is among ‘The Wise Ones,’ the second, east.

5. Zan Ch’iu, styled Tsze-yu (冉求, 字子有). He was related to the two former, and of the same age as Chung-kung. He was noted among the disciples for his versatile ability and many acquirements. Tsze-kung said of him, ‘Respectful to the old, and kind to the young; attentive to guests and visitors; fond of learning and skilled in many arts; diligent in his examination of things:– these are what belong to Zan Ch’iu.” It has been noted in the life of Confucius that it was by the influence of Tsze-yu that he was finally restored to Lu. He occupies the third place, west, among ‘The Wise Ones.’

6. Chung Yu, styled Tsze-lu and Chi-lu (仲由, 字子路, 又字季路). He was a native of P’ien (卞) in Lu and only
nine years younger than Confucius. At their first interview, the master asked him what he was fond of, and he replied, ‘My long sword.’ Confucius said, ‘If to your present ability there were added the results of learning, you would be a very superior man.’ ‘Of what advantage would learning be to me?’ asked Tsze-lu. ‘There is a bamboo on the southern hill, which is straight itself without being bent. If you cut it down and use it, you can send it through a rhinoceros’s hide;– what is the use of learning?’ ‘Yes,’ said the master; ‘but if you feather it and point it with steel, will it not penetrate more deeply?’ Tsze-lu bowed ‘ twice, and said, ‘I will reverently receive your instructions.’ Confucius was wont to say, ‘From the time that I got Yu, bad words no more came to my ears.’ For some time Tsze-lu was chief magistrate of the district of P’u (蒲), where his administration commanded the warm commendations of the master. He died finally in Wei, as has been related above, pp. 86, 87. His tablet is now the fourth, east, from those of the Assessors.

7. Tsai Yu styled Tsze-wo (宰予, 字子我). He was a native of Lu, but nothing is mentioned of his age. He had ‘a sharp mouth,’ according to Sze- ma Ch’ien. Once, when he was at the court of Ch’u on some commission, the king Chao offered him an easy carriage adorned with ivory for his master. Yu replied, ‘My master is a man who would rejoice in a government where right principles were carried out, and can find his joy in himself when that is not the case. Now right principles and virtue are as it were in a state of slumber. His wish is to rouse and put them in motion. Could he find a prince really anxious to rule according to them, he would walk on foot to his court and be glad to do so. Why need he receive such a valuable gift, as this from so great a distance?’ Confucius commended this reply; but where he is mentioned in the Analects, Tsze-wo does not appear to great advantage. He took service in the State of Ch’i, and was chief magistrate of Lin-tsze, where he joined with T’ien Ch’ang in some disorderly movement [1], which led to the destruction of his kindred, and made Confucius ashamed of him. His tablet is now the second, west, among ‘The Wise Ones.’

8. Twan-mu Ts’ze, styled Tsze-kung (端木賜, 字子貢 [al. 子贛]), whose place is now third, east, from the Assessors. He

1 與田常作亂. See Sze-ma Ch’ien’s Biographies, chap. 7, though come have doubted the genuineness of this part of the notice of Tsze-wo.

was a native of Wei (衛), and thirty-one years younger than Confucius. He had great quickness of natural ability, and appears in the Analects as one of the most forward talkers among the disciples. Confucius used to say, ‘From the time that I got Ts’ze, scholars from a distance came daily resorting to me.’ Several instances of the language which he used to express his admiration of the master have been given in the last section. Here is another:– The duke Ching of Ch’i asked Tsze-kung how Chung-ni was to be ranked as a sage. ‘I do not know,’ was the reply. ‘I have all my life had the heaven over my head, but I do not know its height, and the earth under my feet, but I do not know its thickness. In my serving of Confucius, I am like a thirsty man who goes with his pitcher to the river, and there he drinks his fill, without knowing the river’s depth.’ He took leave of Confucius to become commandant of Hsin-yang (信陽宰), when the master said to him, ‘In dealing with your subordinates, there is nothing like impartiality; and when wealth comes in your way, there is nothing like moderation. Hold fast these two things, and do not swerve from them. To conceal men’s excellence is to obscure the worthy; and to proclaim people’s wickedness is the part of a mean man. To speak evil of those whom you have not sought the opportunity to instruct is not the way of friendship and harmony.’ Subsequently Tsze-kung was high in office both in Lu and Wei, and finally died in Ch’i. We saw how he was in attendance on Confucius at the time of the sage’s death. Many of the disciples built huts near the master’s grave, and mourned for him three years, but Tsze-kung remained sorrowing alone for three years more.

9. Yen Yen, styled Tsze-yu (言偃, 字子游), now the fourth in the western range of ‘The Wise Ones.’ He was a native of Wu (吳), forty-five years younger than Confucius, and distinguished for his literary acquirements. Being made commandant of Wu-ch’ang, he transformed the character of the people by ‘proprieties’ and music, and was praised by the master. After the death of Confucius, Chi K’ang asked Yen how that event had made no sensation like that which was made by the death of Tsze-ch’an, when the men laid aside their bowstring rings and girdle ornaments, and the women laid aside their pearls and ear-rings, and the voice of weeping was heard in the lanes for three months. Yen replied, ‘The influences of Tsze- ch’an and my master might be compared to those of overflowing water and the fattening rain. Wherever the water in its overflow reaches, men take knowledge of it, while the fattening rain falls unobserved.’

10. Pu Shang, styled Tsze-hsia (卜商, 字子夏). It is not certain to what State he belonged, his birth being assigned to Wei (衛), to Wei (魏), and to Wan (溫). He was forty-five years younger than Confucius, and lived to a great age, for we find him, B.C. 406, at the court of the prince Wan of Wei ( 魏), to whom he gave copies of some of the classical Books. He is represented as a scholar extensively read and exact, but without great comprehension of mind. What is called Mao’s Shih-ching (毛詩) is said to contain the views of Tsze-hsia. Kung-yang Kao and Ku-liang Ch’ih are also said to have studied the Ch’un Ch’iu with him. On the occasion of the death of his son he wept himself blind. His place is the fifth, east, among ‘The Wise Ones.’

11. Chwan-sun Shih, styled Tsze-chang (顓孫師, 字子張), has his tablet, corresponding to that of the preceding, on the west. He was a native of Ch’an (陳), and forty-eight years younger than Confucius. Tsze-kung said, ‘Not to boast of his admirable merit; not to signify joy on account of noble station; neither insolent nor indolent; showing no pride to the dependent:– these are the characteristics of Chwan-sun Shih.’ When he was sick, he called (his son) Shan-hsiang to him, and said, ‘We speak of his end in the case of a superior man, and of his death in the case of a mean man. May I think that it is going to be the former with me to-day?’

12. Tsang Shan [or Ts’an] styled Tsze-yu (曾參, 字子輿 [al. 子與]). He was a native of south Wu-ch’ang, and forty-six years younger than Confucius. In his sixteenth year he was sent by his father into Ch’u, where Confucius then was, to learn under the sage. Excepting perhaps Yen Hui, there is not a name of greater note in the Confucian school. Tsze-kung said of him, ‘There is no subject which he has not studied. His appearance is respectful. His virtue is solid. His words command credence. Before great men he draws himself up in the pride of self-respect. His eyebrows are those of longevity.’ He was noted for his filial piety, and after the death of his parents, he could not read the rites of mourning without being led to think of them, and moved to tears. He was a voluminous writer. Ten Books of his composition are said to be contained in the ‘Rites of the elder Tai’

(大戴禮). The Classic of Filial Piety he is said to have made under the eye of Confucius. On his connexion with ‘The Great Learning,’ see above, Ch. III. Sect. II. He was first associated with the sacrifices to Confucius in A.D. 668, but in 1267 he was advanced to be one of the sage’s four Assessors. His title– ‘Exhibitor of the Fundamental Principles of the Sage,’ dates from the period of Chia-ching, as mentioned in speaking of Yen Hui.

13. Tan-t’ai Mieh-ming, styled Tsze-yu (澹臺滅明, 字子羽). He was a native of Wu-ch’ang, thirty-nine years younger than Confucius, according to the ‘Historical Records,’ but forty-nine, according to the ‘Narratives of the School.’ He was excessively ugly, and Confucius thought meanly of his talents in consequence, on his first application to him. After completing his studies, he travelled to the south as far as the Yang-tsze. Traces of his presence in that part of the country are still pointed out in the department of Su-chau. He was followed by about three hundred disciples, to whom he laid down rules for their guidance in their intercourse with the princes. When Confucius heard of his success, he confessed how he had been led by his bad looks to misjudge him. He, with nearly all the disciples whose names follow, first had a place assigned to him in the sacrifices to Confucius in A.D. 739. The place of his tablet is the second, east, in the outer court, beyond that of the ‘Assessors’ and ‘Wise Ones.’

14. Corresponding to the preceding, on the west, is the tablet of Fu Pu-ch’i styled Tsze-tsien (宓 [al. 密 and 虙, all = 伏] 不齊, 字子賤). He was a native of Lu, and, according to different accounts, thirty, forty, and forty-nine years younger than Confucius. He was commandant of Tan-fu ( 單父宰), and hardly needed to put forth any personal effort. Wu-ma Ch’i had been in the same office, and had succeeded by dint of the greatest industry and toil. He asked Pu-ch’i how he managed so easily for himself, and was answered, ‘I employ men; you employ men’s strength.’ People pronounced Fu to be a superior man. He was also a writer, and his works are mentioned in Liu Hsin’s Catalogue.

15. Next to that of Mieh-ming is the tablet of Yuan Hsien, styled Tsze- sze (原憲, 字子思) a native of Sung or according to Chang Hsuan, of Lu, and younger than Confucius by thirty-six years. He was noted for his purity and modesty, and for his happiness in the principles of the master amid deep poverty. After the death of Confucius, he lived in obscurity in Wei. In the notes to Ana. VI. iii, I have referred to an interview which he had with Tsze-kung.

16. Kung-ye Ch’ang [al. Chih], styled Tsze-ch’ang [al. Tsze- chih], (公冶長 [al. 芝], 字子長 [al. 子芝]), has his tablet next to that of Pu-ch’i. He was son-in-law to Confucius. His nativity is assigned both to Lu and to Ch’i.

17. Nan-kung Kwo, styled Tsze-yung (南宮括 [al. 适 and, in the ‘Narratives of the School,’ 縚 (T’ao)], 字子容), has the place at the east next to Yuan Hsien. It is a question much debated whether he was the same with Nan-kung Chang-shu, who accompanied Confucius to the court of Chau, or not. On occasion of a fire breaking out in the palace of duke Ai, while others were intent on securing the contents of the Treasury, Nan-kung directed his efforts to save the Library, and to him was owing the preservation of the copy of the Chau Li which was in Lu, and other ancient monuments.

18. Kung-hsi Ai, styled Chi-ts’ze [al. Chi-ch’an] (公皙哀, 字季次 [al. 季沉]). His tablet follows that of Kung-ye. He was a native of Lu, or of Ch’i. Confucius commended him for refusing to take office with any of the Families which were encroaching on the authority of the princes of the States, and for choosing to endure the severest poverty rather than sacrifice a tittle of his principles.

19. Tsang Tien, styled Hsi (曾蒧[al. 點], 字皙). .He was the father of Tsang Shan. His place in the temples is the hall to Confucius’s ancestors, where his tablet is the first, west.
20. Yen Wu-yao, styled Lu (顏無繇, 字路). He was the father of Yen Hui, younger than Confucius by six years. His sacrificial place is the first, east, in the same hall as the last.

21. Following the tablet of Nan-kung Kwo is that of Shang Chu, styled Tsze-mu (商瞿, 字子木). To him, it is said, we are indebted for the preservation of the Yi-ching, which he received from Confucius. Its transmission step by step, from Chu down to the Han dynasty, is minutely set forth.

22. Next to Kung-hsi Ai is the place of Kao Ch’ai, styled Tsze-kao and Chi-kao (高柴, 字子羔 [al. 季羔; for 羔 moreover, we find 皋, and 睾]), a native of Ch’i, according to the ‘Narratives
of the School,’ but of Wei, according to Sze-ma Ch’ien and Chang Hsuan. He was thirty (some say forty) years younger than Confucius, dwarfish and ugly, but of great worth and ability. At one time he was criminal judge of Wei, and in the execution of his office condemned a prisoner to lose his feet. Afterwards that same man saved his life, when he was flying from the State. Confucius praised Ch’ai for being able to administer stern justice with such a spirit of benevolence as to disarm resentment.

23. Shang Chu is followed by Ch’i-tiao K’ai [prop. Ch’i], styled Tsze-k’ai, Tsze-zo, and Tsze-hsiu (漆雕開 [pr. 啟], 字子開, 子若, and 子修脩), a native of Ts’ai (蔡), or according to Chang Hsuan, of Lu. We only know him as a reader of the Shu-ching, and refusing to go into office.

24. Kung-po Liao, styled Tsze-chau (公伯僚, 字子周). He appears in the Analects, XIV. xxxiii, slandering Tsze-lu. It is doubtful whether he should have a place among the disciples.

25. Sze-ma Kang, styled Tsze-niu (司馬耕, 字子牛), follows Ch’i-tiao K’ai; also styled 黍耕. He was a great talker, a native of Sung, and a brother of Hwan T’ui, to escape from whom seems to have been the labour of his life.

26. The place next Kao Ch’ai is occupied by Fan Hsu, styled Tsze-ch’ih (樊 須, 字子遲), a native of Ch’i, or, according to others, of Lu, and whose age is given as thirty-six and forty-six years younger than Confucius. When young, he distinguished himself in a military command under the Chi family.

27. Yu Zo, styled Tsze-zo (有若, 字子若). He was a native of Lu, and his age is stated very variously. He was noted among the disciples for his great memory and fondness for antiquity. After the death of Confucius, the rest of the disciples, because of some likeness in Zo’s speech to the Master, wished to render the same observances to him which they had done to Confucius, but on Tsang Shan’s demurring to the thing, they abandoned the purpose. The tablet of Tsze-zo is now the sixth, east among ‘The Wise Ones,’ to which place it was promoted in the third year of Ch’ien-lung of the present dynasty. This was done in compliance with a memorial from the president of one of the Boards, who said he was moved by a dream to make the request. We may suppose that his real motives were a wish to do Justice to the merits of Tsze-zo, and to restore the symmetry of the tablets in the ‘Hall of the

Great and Complete One,’ which had been disturbed by the introduction of the tablet of Chu Hsi in the preceding reign.

28. Kung-hsi Ch’ih, styled Tsze-hwa (公西赤, 字子華), a native of Lu, younger than Confucius by forty-two years, whose place is the fourth, west, in the outer court. He was noted for his knowledge of ceremonies, and the other disciples devolved on him all the arrangements about the funeral of the Master.

29. Wu-ma Shih [or Ch’i], styled Tsze-Ch’i (巫馬施 [al. 期], 字子期 [al. 子旗]), a native of Ch’an, or, according to Chang Hsuan, of Lu, thirty years younger than Confucius. His tablet is on the east, next to that of Sze-ma Kang. It is related that on one occasion, when Confucius was about to set out with a company of the disciples on a walk or journey, he told them to take umbrellas. They met with a heavy shower, and Wu-ma asked him, saying, ‘There were no clouds in the morning; but after the sun had risen, you told us to take umbrellas. How did you know that it would rain?’ Confucius said, ‘The moon last evening was in the constellation Pi, and is it not said in the Shih-ching, “When the moon is in Pi, there will be heavy rain?” It was thus I knew it.’

30. Liang Chan [al. Li], styled Shu-yu (梁鱣 [al. 鯉] 字叔魚), occupies the eighth place, west, among the tablets of the outer court. He was a man of Ch’i, and his age is stated as twenty-nine and thirty-nine years younger than Confucius. The following story is told in connexion with him.– When he was thirty, being disappointed that he had no son, he was minded to put away his wife. ‘Do not do so,’ said Shang Chu to him. ‘I was thirty-eight before I had a son, and my mother was then about to take another wife for me, when the Master proposed sending me to Ch’i. My mother was unwilling that I should go, but Confucius said, ‘Don’t be anxious. Chu will have five sons after he is forty.’ It has turned out so, and I apprehend it is your fault, and not your wife’s, that you have no son yet.’ Chan took this advice, and in the second year after, he had a son.

31. Yen Hsing [al. Hsin, Liu, and Wei], styled Tsze-liu (顏幸 [al. 辛, 柳, and 韋], 字子柳), occupies the place, east, after Wu-ma Shih. He was a native of Lu, and forty-six years younger than Confucius.
32. Liang Chan is followed on the west by Zan Zu, styled Tsze-lu [al. Tsze-tsang and Tsze-yu] (冉孺 [al. 儒] 字*子魯 [al. 子曾

* Digitizer’s note: This is 宇 in the source text; I have corrected what is an obvious misprint.

and 子魚]), a native of Lu, and fifty years younger than Confucius.

33. Yen Hsing is followed on the east by Ts’ao Hsu, styled Tsze-hsun (曹 卹, 字子循), a native of Ts’ai, fifty years younger than Confucius.

34. Next on the west is Po Ch’ien, styled Tsze-hsi, or, in the current copies of the ‘Narratives of the School,’ Tsze-ch’iai (伯虔, 字子皙 [al. 子 析] or 子楷), a native of Lu, fifty years younger than Confucius.

35. Following Tsze-hsun is Kung-sun Lung [al. Ch’ung] styled Tsze- shih (公孫龍 [al. 寵], 字子石), whose birth is assigned by different writers to Wei, Ch’u, and Chao (趙). He was fifty-three years younger than Confucius. We have the following account:– ‘Tsze-kung asked Tsze-shih, saying, “Have you not learned the Book of’ Poetry?” Tsze-shih replied, “What leisure have I to do so? My parents require me to be filial; my brothers require me to be submissive; and my friends require me to be sincere. What leisure have I for anything else?” “Come to my Master,” said Tsze-kung, “and learn of him.”‘

Sze-ma Ch’ien here observes: ‘Of the thirty-five disciples which precede, we have some details. Their age and other particulars are found in the Books and Records. It is not so, however, in regard to the fifty-two which follow.’

36. Zan Chi, styled Tsze-ch’an [al. Chi-ch’an and Tsze-ta] (冉季, 字子 產 [al. 季產 and 子達), a native of Lu, whose place is the 11th, west, next to Po Ch’ien.

37. Kung-tsu Kau-tsze or simply Tsze, styled Tsze-chih (公祖勾茲 [or simply 茲], 字子之), a native of Lu. His tablet is the 23rd, east, in the outer court.

38. Ch’in Tsu, styled Tsze-nan (秦祖, 字子南), a native of Ch’in. His tablet precedes that of the last, two places.

39. Ch’i-tiao Ch’ih, styled Tsze-lien (漆雕哆 [al. 侈], 字子斂), a native of Lu. His tablet is the 13th, west.

40. Yen Kao, styled Tsze-chiao (顏高字子驕). According to the ‘Narratives of the School,’ he was the same as Yen K’o (刻, or 剋), who drove the carriage when Confucius rode in Wei after the duke and Nan-tsze. But this seems doubtful. Other authorities make his name Ch’an (產), and style him Tsze-tsing (子精). His tablet is the 13th, east.

41. Ch’i-tiao Tu-fu [al. . Ts’ung], styled Tsze-yu, Tsze-ch’i, and Tsze-wan (漆雕徒父 [al. 從], 字子有 or 子友 [al. 子期 and 子文]), a native of Lu, whose tablet precedes that of Ch’i-tiao Ch’ih.

42. Zang Sze-ch’ih, styled Tsze-t’u, or Tsze-ts’ung (壤 [al. 穰] 駟赤, 字 子徒 [al. 子從]), a native of Ch’in. Some consider Zang-sze (壤駟) to be a double surname. His tablet comes after that of No. 40.

43. Shang Chai, styled Tsze-Ch’i and Tsze-hsiu (商澤, 字子季 [al. 子秀 ]), a native of Lu. His tablet is immediately after that of Fan Hsu, No. 26.

44. Shih Tso [al. Chih and Tsze]-shu, styled Tsze-ming (石作 [al. 之 and 子], 蜀, 字子明). Some take Shih-tso (石作) as a double surname. His tablet follows that of No. 42.

45. Zan Pu-ch’i, styled Hsuan (任不齊, 字選), a native of Ch’u, whose tablet is next to that of No. 28.

46. Kung-liang Zu, styled Tsze-chang (公良孺 [al. 儒], 字子正), a native of Ch’in, follows the preceding in the temples. The ‘Sacrificial Canon’ says:– ‘Tsze-chang was a man of worth and bravery. When Confucius was surrounded and stopped in P’u, Tsze-chang fought so desperately, that the people of P’u were afraid, and let the Master go, on his swearing that he would not proceed to Wei.’

47. Hau [al. Shih] Ch’u [al. Ch’ien], styled Tsze-li [al. Li-ch’ih] (后 [al. 石] 處 [al. 虔], 字子里 [al. 里之]), a native of Ch’i, having his tablet the 17th, east.

48. Ch’in Zan, styled K’ai (秦冉, 字開), a native of Ts’ai. He is not given in the list of the ‘Narratives of the School,’ and on this account his tablet was put out of the temples in the ninth year of Chia-tsing. It was restored, however, in the second year of Yung-chang, A.D. 1724, and is the 33rd, east, in the outer court.

49. Kung-hsia Shau, styled Shang [and Tsze-shang] (公夏首 [al. 守], 字乘 [and 子乘]), a native of Lu, whose tablet is next to that of No. 44.

50. Hsi Yung-tien [or simply Tien], styled Tsze-hsi [al. Tsze-
chieh and Tsze-ch’ieh] (系容蒧 [or 點], 字子皙 [al. 子偕 and 子楷]), a native of Wei, having his tablet the 18th, east.

51. Kung Chien-ting [al. Kung Yu], styled Tsze-chung (公肩 [al. 堅] 定 [al. 公有], 字子仲 [al. 中 and 忠]). His nativity is assigned to Lu, to Wei, and to Tsin (晉). He follows No. 46.

52. Yen Tsu [al. Hsiang], styled Hsiang and Tsze-hsiang (顏祖 [al. 相], 字襄, and 子襄), a native of Lu, with his tablet following that of No. 50.

53. Chiao Tan [al. Wu], styled Tsze-kea (鄡單 [al. 鄔*], 字子家), a native of Lu. His place is next to that of No. 51.

54. Chu [al. Kau] Tsing-ch’iang [and simply Tsing], styled Tsze- ch’iang [al. Tsze-chieh and Tsze-mang] (句 [al. 勾 and 鉤] 井疆 [and simply 井], 字子疆 [al. 子界 and 子孟]), a native of Wei, following No. 52.

55. Han [al. Tsai]-fu Hei, styled Tsze-hei [al. Tsze-so and Tsze-su] (罕 [al. 宰] 父黑, 字子黑 [al. 子索 and 子素]), a native of Lu, whose tablet is next to that of No. 53.

56. Ch’in Shang, styled Tsze-p’ei [al. P’ei-tsze and Pu-tsze] (秦商, 字 子丕 [al. 丕茲 and 不茲]), a native of Lu, or, according to Chang Hsuan, of Ch’u. He was forty years younger than Confucius. One authority, however, says he was only four years younger, and that his father and Confucius’s father were both celebrated for their strength. His tablet is the 12th, east.

57. Shin Tang, styled Chau (申黨字周). In the ‘Narratives of the School’ there is a Shin Chi, styled Tsze-chau (申續, 字子周). The name is given by others as T’ang (堂 and 儻) and Tsu (續), with the designation Tsze-tsu (子續 ). These are probably the same person mentioned in the Analects as Shin Ch’ang (申棖). Prior to the Ming dynasty they were sacrificed to as two, but in A.D. 1530, the name Tang was expunged from the sacrificial list, and only that of Ch’ang left. His tablet is the 31st, east.

58. Yen Chih-p’o, styled Tsze-shu [or simply Shu] (顏之僕, 字子叔 [or simply 叔]), a native of Lu, who occupies the 29th place, east.

59. Yung Ch’i, styled Tsze-ch’i [al. Tsze-yen] (榮旂 [or 祈], 字子旗 or 子祺 [al. 子顏]), a native of Lu, whose tablet is the 20th, west.

* Digitizer’s note: The actual variant used by Legge is (鄔左即右)

60. Hsien Ch’ang, styled Tsze-ch’i [al. Tsze-hung] (縣成, 字子棋 [al. 子橫]), a native of Lu. His place is the 22nd, east.

61. Tso Zan-ying [or simply Ying], styled Hsing and Tsze-hsing (左人郢 [or simply 郢], 字行 and 子行), a native of Lu. His tablet follows that of No. 59.

62. Yen Chi, styled An [al. Tsze-sze] (燕伋 [or 級], 字恩 [al. 子思) a native of Ch’in. His tablet is the 24th east.

63: Chang Kwo, styled Tsze-t’u (鄭國, 字子徒), a native of Lu. This is understood to be the same with the Hsieh Pang, styled Tsze-ts’ung (薛邦, 字 子從), of the ‘Narratives of the School.’ His tablet follows No. 61.

64. Ch’in Fei, styled Tsze-chih (秦非, 字子之), a native of Lu, having his tablet the 31st, west.

65. Shih Chih-ch’ang, styled Tsze-hang [al. ch’ang] (施之常, 字子恆 [al. 常]), a native of Lu. His tablet is the 30th, east.

66. Yen K’wai, styled Tsze-shang (顏噲, 字子聲), a native of Lu. His tablet is the next to that of No. 64.

67. Pu Shu-shang, styled Tsze-ch’e (步叔乘 [in the ‘Narratives of the School’ we have an old form of 乘], 字子車), a native of Ch’i. Sometimes for Pu (步) we find Shao (少). His tablet is the 30th, west.

68. Yuan K’ang, styled Tsze-chi (原亢, 字子籍), a native of Lu. Sze-ma Ch’ien calls him Yuan K’ang-chi, not mentioning any designation. The ‘Narratives of the School’ makes him Yuan K’ang (抗), styled Chi. His tablet is the 23rd, west.

69. Yo K’o [al. Hsin], styled Tsze-shang (樂欬, [al. 欣], 字子聲), a native of Lu. His tablet is the 25th, east.

70. Lien Chieh, styled Yung and Tsze-yung [al. Tsze-ts’ao] (廉潔, 字 庸 and 子庸 [al. 子曹), a native of Wei, or of Ch’i. His tablet is next to that of No. 68.

71. Shu-chung Hui [al. K’wai], styled Tsze-ch’i (叔仲會 [al. 噲], 字子期), a native of Lu, or, according to Chang Hsuan, of Tsin. He was younger than Confucius by fifty-four years. It is said that he and another youth, called K’ung Hsuan (孔琁), attended by turns with their pencils, and acted as amanuenses to the sage, and when Mang Wu-po expressed a doubt of their competency, Confucius declared his satisfaction with them. He follows Lien Chieh in the temples.

72. Yen Ho, styled Zan (顏何, 字冉), a native of Lu. The present copies of the ‘Narratives of the School’ do not contain his name, and in A.D. 1588 Zan was displaced from his place in the temples. His tablet, however, has been restored during the present dynasty. It is the 33rd, west.

73. Ti Hei, styled Che [al. Tsze-che and Che-chih] (狄黑, 字晢 [al. 子晢 and 晢之]), a native of Wei, or of Lu. His tablet is the 26th, east.

74. Kwei [al. Pang] Sun, styled Tsze-lien [al. Tsze-yin] (□ (kui1 刲左邦右) [al. 邦] 巽, 字子歛 [al. 子飲]), a native of Lu. His tablet is the 27th, west.

75. K’ung Chung, styled Tsze-mieh (孔忠, 字子蔑). This was the son, it is said, of Confucius’s elder brother, the cripple Mang-p’i. His tablet is next to that of No. 73. His sacrificial title is ‘The ancient Worthy, the philosopher Mieh.’

76. Kung-hsi Yu-zu [al. Yu], styled Tsze-shang (公西輿如 [al. 輿 ], 字子上), a native of Lu. His place is the 26th, west.

77. Kung-hsi Tien, styled Tsze-shang (公西蒧 [or 點], 字子上 [al. 子尚 ]), a native of Lu. His tablet is the 28th, east.

78. Ch’in Chang [al. Lao], styled Tsze-k’ai (琴張 [al. 牢], 字子開), a native of Wei. His tablet is the 29th, west.

79. Ch’an K’ang, styled Tsze-k’ang [al. Tsze-ch’in] (陳亢, 字子亢 [al. 子禽]), a native of Ch’an. See notes on Ana. I. x.

80. Hsien Tan [al. Tan-fu and Fang], styled Tsze-hsiang (縣亶 [al. 亶父 and 豐], 字子象), a native of Lu. Some suppose that this is the same as No. 53. The advisers of the present dynasty in such matters, however, have considered them to be different, and in 1724, a tablet was assigned to Hsien Tan, the 34th, west.
The three preceding names are given in the ‘Narratives of the School.’
The research of scholars has added about twenty others.

81. Lin Fang, styled Tsze-ch’iu (林放, 字子邱), a native of Lu. The only thing known of him is from the Ana. III. iv. His tablet was displaced under the Ming, but has been restored by the present dynasty. It is the first, west.

82. Chu Yuan, styled Po-yu (蘧瑗, 字伯玉), an officer of Wei, and, as appears from the Analects and Mencius, an intimate friend of Confucius. Still his tablet has shared the same changes as that of Lin Fang. It is now the first, east.

83 and 84. Shan Ch’ang (申棖) and Shan T’ang (申堂). See No. 57.

85. Mu P’i (牧皮), mentioned by Mencius, VII. Pt. II. xxxvii. 4. His entrance into the temple has been under the present dynasty. His tablet is the 34th, east.

86. Tso Ch’iu-ming or Tso-ch’iu Ming (左丘明) has the 32nd place, east. His title was fixed in A.D. 1530 to be ‘The Ancient Scholar,’ but in 1642 it was raised to that of ‘Ancient Worthy.’ To him we owe the most distinguished of the annotated editions of the Ch’un Ch’iu. But whether he really was a disciple of Confucius, and in personal communication with him, is much debated.

The above are the only names and surnames of those of the disciples who now share in the sacrifices to the sage. Those who wish to exhaust the subject, mention in addition, on the authority of Tso Ch’iu-ming, Chung-sun Ho-chi (仲孫何忌), a son of Mang Hsi (see p. 63), and Chung-sun Shwo (仲孫 說), also a son of Mang Hsi, supposed by many to be the same with No. 17; Zu Pei, (孺悲), mentioned in the Analects, XVII. xx, and in the Li Chi, XVIII. Sect. II. ii. 22; Kung-wang Chih-ch’iu (公罔之裘) and Hsu Tien (序點), mentioned in the Li Chi, XLIII. 7; Pin-mau Chia (賓牟賈), mentioned in the Li Chi, XVII. iii. 16; K’ung Hsuan (孔琁) and Hai Shu-lan (惠叔蘭), on the authority of the ‘Narratives of the School;’ Ch’ang Chi (常季), mentioned by Chwang-tsze; Chu Yu (鞫語), mentioned by Yen-tsze (晏子); Lien Yu (廉瑀) and Lu Chun (魯峻), on the authority of 文翁石室; and finally Tsze-fu Ho (子 服何), the Tsze-fu Ching-po (子服景伯) of the Analects, XIV. xxxviii.



十三經註疏, ‘The Thirteen Ching, with Commentary and Explanations.’ This is the great repertory of ancient lore upon the Classics. On the Analects, it contains the ‘Collection of Explanations of the Lun Yu,’ by Ho Yen and others (see p. 19), and ‘The Correct Meaning,’ or Paraphrase of Hsing Ping (see p. 20). On the Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean, it contains the comments and glosses of Chang Hsuan, and of K’ung Ying-ta (孔穎達) of the T’ang dynasty.

新刻批點四書讀本, ‘A new edition of the Four Books, Punctuated and Annotated, for Reading.’ This work was published in the seventh year of Tao-kwang (1827) by a Kao Lin (高琳). It is the finest edition of the Four Books which I have seen, in point of typographical execution. It is indeed a volume for reading. It contains the ordinary ‘Collected Comments’ of Chu Hsi on the Analects, and his ‘Chapters and Sentences’ of the Great Learning and Doctrine of the Mean. The editor’s own notes are at the top and bottom of the page, in rubric.

四書朱子本義匯參, ‘The Proper Meaning of the Four Books as determined by Chu Hsi, Compared with, and Illustrated from, other Commentators.’ This is a most voluminous work, published in the tenth year of Ch’ien-lung, A.D. 1745, by Wang Pu-ch’ing (王步青), a member of the Han-lin College. On the Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean, the ‘Queries’ (或問) addressed to Chu Hsi and his replies are given in the same text as the standard commentary.

四書經註集證, ‘The Four Books, Text and Commentary, with Proofs and Illustrations.’ The copy of this Work which I have was edited by a Wang T’ing-chi (汪廷機), in the third
year of Chia-ch’ing, A.D. 1798. It may be called a commentary on the commentary. The research in all matters of Geography, History, Biography, Natural History, &c., is immense.

四書諸儒輯要, ‘A Collection of the most important Comments of Scholars on the Four Books.’ By Li P’ei-lin (李沛霖); published in the fifty-seventh K’ang-hsi year, A.D. 1718. This Work is about as voluminous as the 匯參, but on a different plan. Every chapter is preceded by a critical discussion of its general meaning, and the logical connexion of its several paragraphs. This is followed by the text, and Chu Hsi’s standard commentary. We have then a paraphrase, full and generally perspicuous. Next, there is a selection of approved comments, from a great variety of authors; and finally, the reader finds a number of critical remarks and ingenious views, differing often from the common interpretation, which are submitted for his examination.

四書翼註論文, ‘A Supplemental Commentary, and Literary Discussions, on the Four Books.’ By Chang Chan-t’ao [al. T’i-an] (張甄陶 [al. 惕菴]), a member of the Han-lin college, in the early part, apparently, of the reign of Ch’ien-lung. The work is on a peculiar plan. The reader is supposed to be acquainted with Chu Hsi’s commentary, which is not given; but the author generally supports his views, and defends them against the criticisms of some of the early scholars of this dynasty. His own exercitations are of the nature of essays more than of commentary. It is a book for the student who is somewhat advanced, rather than for the learner. I have often perused it with interest and advantage.

四書遵註合講, ‘The Four Books, according to the Commentary, with Paraphrase.’ Published in the eighth year of Yung Chang, A.D. 1730, by Wang Fu [al. K’eh-fu] (翁復 [al. 克夫]). Every page is divided into two parts. Below, we have the text and Chu Hsi’s commentary. Above, we have an analysis of every chapter, followed by a paraphrase of the several paragraphs. To the paraphrase of each paragraph are subjoined critical notes, digested from a great variety of scholars, but without the mention of their names. A list of 116 is given who are thus laid under contribution. In addition, there are maps and illustrative figures at the commencement; and to each Book there are prefixed biographical notices, explanations of peculiar allusions, &c.

新增四書補註附考備旨, ‘The Four Books, with a Complete Digest of Supplements to the Commentary, and additional Suggestions. A new edition, with Additions.’ By Tu Ting-chi (杜定基). Published A.D. 1779. The original of this Work was by Tang Lin (鄧林), a scholar of the Ming dynasty. It is perhaps the best of all editions of the Four Books for a learner. Each page is divided into three parts. Below, is the text divided into sentences and members of sentences, which are followed by short glosses. The text is followed by the usual commentary, and that by a paraphrase, to which are subjoined the Supplements and Suggestions. The middle division contains a critical analysis of the chapters and paragraphs; and above, there are the necessary biographical and other notes.

四書味根錄, ‘The Four Books, with the Relish of the Radical Meaning.’ This is a new Work, published in 1852. It is the production of Chin Ch’ang, styled Chi’u-t’an (金澂, 字秋潭), an officer and scholar, who, returning, apparently to Canton province, from the North in 1836, occupied his retirement with reviewing his literary studies of former years, and employed his sons to transcribe his notes. The writer is fully up in all the commentaries on the Classics, and pays particular attention to the labours of the scholars of the present dynasty. To the Analects, for instance, there is prefixed Chiang Yung’s History of Confucius, with criticisms on it by the author himself. Each chapter is preceded by a critical analysis. Then follows the text with the standard commentary, carefully divided into sentences, often with glosses, original and selected, between them. To the commentary there succeeds a paraphrase, which is not copied by the author from those of his predecessors. After the paraphrase we have Explanations (解). The book is beautifully printed, and in small type, so that it is really a multum in parvo, with considerable freshness.

日講四書義解, ‘A Paraphrase for Daily Lessons, Explaining the Meaning of the Four Books.’ This work was produced in 1677, by a department of the members of the Han-lin college, in obedience to an imperial rescript. The paraphrase is full, perspicuous, and elegant.

御製周易折中; 書經傳說彙纂; 詩經傳說彙纂; 禮記義疏; 春秋傳說彙纂. These works form together a superb edition of the Five Ching, published by imperial authority in the K’ang-hsi and Yung-chang reigns. They contain the standard views (傳); various opinions (說); critical decisions of the editors (晏) ; prolegomena; plates or cuts; and other apparatus for the student.

毛西河先生全集, ‘The Collected Writings of Mao Hsi-ho.’ See prolegomena, p. 20. The voluminousness of his Writings is understated there. Of 經集, or Writings on the Classics, there are 236 sections, while his 文集, or other literary compositions, amount to 257 sections. His treatises on the Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean have been especially helpful to me. He is a great opponent of Chu Hsi, and would be a much more effective one, if he possessed the same graces of style as that ‘prince of literature.’

四書拓餘說, ‘A Collection of Supplemental Observations on the Four Books.’ The preface of the author, Ts’ao Chih-shang (曹之升), is dated in 1795, the last year of the reign of Ch’ien-lung. The work contains what we may call prolegomena on each of the Four Books, and then excursus on the most difficult and disputed passages. The tone is moderate, and the learning displayed extensive and solid. The views of Chu Hsi are frequently well defended from the assaults of Mao Hsi-ho. I have found the Work very instructive.

鄉黨圖考, ‘On the Tenth Book of the Analects, with Plates.’ This Work was published by the author, Chiang Yung (江永), in the twenty-first Ch’ien-lung year, A.D. 1761, when he was seventy-six years old. It is devoted to the illustration of the above portion of the Analects, and is divided into ten sections, the first of which consists of woodcuts and tables. The second contains the Life of Confucius, of which I have largely availed myself in the preceding chapter. The whole is a remarkable specimen of the minute care with which Chinese scholars have illustrated the Classical Books

四書釋地; 四書釋地續; 四書釋地又續; 四書釋地三續. We may call these volumes– ‘The Topography of the Four Books; with three Supplements.’ The Author’s name is Yen Zo-ch’u (閻若璩). The first volume was published in 1698, and the second in 1700. I have not been able to find the dates of publication of the other two, in which there is more biographical and general matter than topographical. The author apologizes for the inappropriateness of their titles by saying that he could not help calling them Supplements to the Topography, which was his ‘first love.’

皇清經解, ‘Explanations of the Classics, under the Imperial Ts’ing Dynasty.’ See above, p. 20. The Work, however, was not published, as I have there supposed, by imperial authority, but under the superintendence, and at the expense (aided by other officers), of Yuan Yuan (阮元), Governor-general of Kwang-tung and Kwang-hsi, in the ninth year of the last reign, 1829. The publication of so extensive a Work shows a public spirit and zeal for literature among the high officers of China, which should keep foreigners from thinking meanly of them.

孔子家語, ‘Sayings of the Confucian Family.’ Family is to be taken in the sense of Sect or School. In Liu Hsin’s Catalogue, in the subdivision devoted to the Lun Yu, we find the entry:– ‘Sayings of the Confucian Family, twenty-seven Books,’ with a note by Yen Sze-ku of the T’ang dynasty,– ‘Not the existing Work called the Family Sayings.’ The original Work was among the treasures found in the wall of Confucius’s old house, and was deciphered and edited by K’ung An-kwo. The present Work is by Wang Su of the Wei (魏) dynasty, grounded professedly on the older one, the blocks of which had suffered great dilapidation during the intervening centuries. It is allowed also, that, since Su’s time, the Work has suffered more than any of the acknowledged Classics. Yet it is a very valuable fragment of antiquity, and it would be worth while to incorporate it with the Analects. My copy is the edition of Li Yung (李容), published in 1780. I have generally called the Work ‘Narratives of the School.’

聖廟祀典圖考, ‘Sacrificial Canon of the Sage’s Temples, with Plates.’ This Work, published in 1826, by Ku Yuan, styled Hsiang-chau (顧沅, 字湘舟), is a very painstaking account of all the Names sacrificed to in the temples of Confucius, the dates of their attaining to that honour, &c. There are appended to it Memoirs of Confucius and Mencius, which are not of so much value.

十子全書, ‘The Complete Works of the Ten Tsze.’ See Morrison’s Dictionary, under the character 子. I have only had occasion, in connexion with this Work, to refer to the writings of Chwang-tsze (莊子) and Lieh-tsze (列子). My copy is an edition of 1804.

歷代名賢列女氏姓譜, ‘A Cyclopædia of Surnames, or Biographical Dictionary, of the Famous Men and Virtuous Women of the Successive Dynasties.’ This is a very notable work of its class; published in 1793, by 蕭 智漢, and extending through 157 chapters or Books.

文獻通考, ‘General Examination of Records and Scholars.’ This astonishing Work, which cost its author, Ma Twan-lin (馬端臨), twenty years’ labour, was first published in 1321. Rémusat says,– ‘This excellent Work is a library in itself, and if Chinese literature possessed no other, the language would be worth learning for the sake of reading this alone.’ It does indeed display all but incredible research into every subject connected with the Government, History, Literature, Religion, &c., of the empire of China. The author’s researches are digested in 348 Books. I have had occasion to consult principally those on the Literary Monuments, embraced in seventy-six Books, from the 174th to the 249th.

朱彝尊經義考, ‘An Examination of the Commentaries on the Classics,’ by Chu I-tsun. The author was a member of the Han-lin college, and the work was first published with an imperial preface by the Ch’ien-lung emperor. It is an exhaustive work on the literature of the Classics, in 300 chapters or Books.’

續文獻通考, ‘A Continuation of the General Examination of Records and Scholars.’ This Work, which is in 254 Books, and nearly as extensive as the former, was the production of Wang Ch’i (王圻), who dates his preface in 1586, the fourteenth year of Wan-li, the style of the reign of the fourteenth emperor of the Ming dynasty. Wang Ch’i brings down the Work of his predecessor to his own times. He also frequently goes over the same ground, and puts things in a clearer light. I have found this to be the case in the chapters on the classical and other Books.

二十四史, ‘The Twenty-four Histories.’ These are the imperially- authorized records of the empire, commencing with the ‘Historical Records,’ the work of Sze-ma Ch’ien, and ending with the History of the Ming dynasty, which appeared in 1742, the result of the joint labours of 145 officers and scholars of the present dynasty. The extent of the collection may be understood from this, that my copy, bound in English fashion, makes sixty-three volumes, each one larger than this. No nation has a history so thoroughly digested; and on the whole it is trustworthy. In preparing this volume, my necessities have been confined mostly to the Works of Sze-ma Ch’ien, and his successor, Pan Ku (班固), the Historian of the first Han dynasty.

歷代統記表, ‘The Annals of the Nation.’ Published by imperial authority in 1803, the eighth year of Ch’ia-ch’ing. This Work is invaluable to a student, being, indeed, a collection of chronological tables, where every year, from the rise of the Chau dynasty, B.C. 1121, has a distinct column to itself, in which, in different compartments, the most important events are noted. Beyond that date, it ascends to nearly the commencement of the cycles in the sixty-first year of Hwang-ti, giving — not every year, but the years of which anything has been mentioned in history. From Hwang-ti also, it ascends through the dateless ages up to P’an-ku, the first of mortal sovereigns.

歷代疆域表, ‘The Boundaries of the Nation in the successive Dynasties.’ This Work by the same author, and published in 1817, does for the boundaries of the empire the same service which the preceding renders to its chronology.

歷代沿革表, ‘The Topography of the Nation in the successive Dynasties.’ Another Work by the same author, and of the same date as the preceding.

The Dictionaries chiefly consulted have been:–

The well-known Shwo Wan (說文解字), by Hsu Shan, styled Shu-chung ( 許慎, 字叔重), published in A.D. 100; with the supplement (繫傳) by Hsu Ch’ieh (徐鍇), of the southern Tang dynasty. The characters are arranged in the Shwo Wan under 540 keys or radicals, as they are unfortunately termed.

The Liu Shu Ku (六書故), by Tai T’ung, styled Chung-ta (戴侗, 字仲達), of our thirteenth century. The characters are arranged in it, somewhat after the fashion of the R Ya (p. 2), under six general divisions, which again are subdivided, according to the affinity of subjects, into various categories.

The Tsze Hui (字彙), which appeared in the Wan-li (萬歷) reign of the Ming dynasty (1573-1619). The 540 radicals of the Shwo Wan were reduced in this to 214, at which number they have since continued.

The K’ang-hsi Tsze Tien (康熙字典), or Kang-hsi Dictionary, prepared by order of the great K’ang-hsi emperor in 1716. This is the most common and complete of all Chinese dictionaries for common use.

The I Wan Pi Lan (蓺文備覽), ‘A Complete Exhibition of all the Authorized Characters,’ published in 1787; ‘furnishing,’ says Dr. Williams, ‘good definitions of all the common characters, whose ancient forms are explained.’

The Pei Wan Yun Fu (佩文韻府), generally known among foreigners as ‘The Kang-hsi Thesaurus.’ It was undertaken by an imperial order, and published in 1711, being probably, as Wylie says, ‘the most extensive work of a lexicographical character ever produced.’ It does for the phraseology of Chinese literature all, and more than all, that the Kang-hsi dictionary does for the individual characters. The arrangement of the characters is according to their tones and final sounds. My copy of it, with a supplement published about ten years later, is in forty-five large volumes, with much more letter-press in it than the edition of the Dynastic Histories mentioned on p. 133.

The Ching Tsi Tswan Ku, ping Pu Wei (經籍□(纂上饗下)詁并補遺), ‘A Digest of the Meanings in the Classical and other Books, with Supplement,’ by, or rather under the superintendence of, Yuan Yuan (p. 132). This has often been found useful. It is arranged according to the tones and rhymes like the characters in the Thesaurus.


CONFUCIUS SINARUM PHILOSOPHUS; sive Scientia Sinensis Latine Exposita. Studio et opera Prosperi Intorcetta, Christiani Herdritch, Francisci Rougemont, Philippi Couplet, Patrum Societatis JESU. Jussu Ludovici Magni. Parisiis, 1837.

THE WORKS OF CONFUCIUS; containing the Original Text, with a Translation. Vol. 1. By J. Marshman. Serampore, 1809. This is only a fragment of ‘The Works of Confucius.’
THE FOUR BOOKS; Translated into English, by Rev. David Collie, of the London Missionary Society.

Malacca, 1828.

L’INVARIABLE MILIEU; Ouvrage Moral de Tseu-sse, en Chinois et en Mandchou, avec une Version littérale Latine, une Traduction Françoise, &c. &c. Par M. Abel-Rémusat. A Paris, 1817.

LE TA HIO, OU LA GRANDE ÉTUDE; Traduit en Françoise, avec une Version Latine, &c. Par G. Pauthier. Paris, 1837.

Y-KING; Antiquissimus Sinarum Liber, quem ex Latina Interpretatione P. Regis, aliorumque ex Soc. JESU PP. edidit Julius Mohl. Stuttgartiæ et Tubingæ, 1839.

MÉMOIRES concernant L’Histoire, Les Sciences, Les Arts, Les Mœurs, Les Usages, &c., des Chinois. Par les Missionaires de Pêkin. A Paris, 1776- 1814.

HISTOIRE GÉNÉRALE DE LA CHINE; ou Annales de cet Empire. Traduites du Tong-Kien-Kang-Mou. Par le feu Père Joseph-Annie-Marie de Moyriac de Mailla, Jesuite Françoise, Missionaire à Pekin. A Paris, 1776- 1785.

NOTITIA LINGUÆ SINICÆ. Auctore P. Prémare. Malaccæ, cura Academiæ Anglo-Sinensis, 1831.
THE CHINESE REPOSITORY. Canton, China, 20 vols., 1832-1851.

DICTIONNAIRE DES NOMS, Anciens et Modernes, des Villes et Arrondissements de Premier, Deuxième, et Troisième ordre, compris dans L’Empire Chinois, &c. Par Édouard Biot, Membre du Conseil de la Société Asiatique. Paris, 1842.

THE CHINESE. By John Francis Davis, Esq., F.R.S., &c. In two volumes. London, 1836.

CHINA: its State and Prospects. By W. H. Medhurst, D. D., of the London Missionary Society. London, 1838.

L’UNIVERS: Histoire et Déscription des tous les Peuples. Chine. Par M. G. Pauthier. Paris, 1838.

HISTORY OF CHINA, from the earliest Records to the Treaty with Great Britain in 1842. By Thomas Thornton, Esq., Member of the Royal Asiatic Society. In two volumes. London, 1844.

THE MIDDLE KINGDOM: A Survey of the Geography, Government, Education, Social Life, Arts, Religion, &c., of the Chinese Empire. By S. Wells Williams, LL.D. In two volumes. New York and London, 1848. The Second Edition, Revised, 1883.

THE RELIGIOUS CONDITION OF THE CHINESE. By Rev. Joseph Edkins, B. A., of the London Missionary Society. London, 1859.

CHRIST AND OTHER MASTERS. By Charles Hardwood, M. A., Christian Advocate in the University of Cambridge. Part III. Religions of China, America, and Oceanica. Cambridge, 1858.


THE STRUCTURE OF CHINESE CHARACTERS, under 300 Primary Forms. By John Chalmers, M.A., LL.D. Aberdeen, 1882.