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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‘ing (B.C. 31-6), finding that a portion of the Books still continued dispersed or missing, commissioned Ch‘in Nung, the superintendent of guests, to search for undiscovered Books throughout the empire, and by special edict ordered the chief of the Banqueting House, Lew Heang, to examine the classical Works, along with the commentaries on them, the writings of the scholars, and all poetical productions; the master-controller of infantry, Jin Hwang, to examine the Books on the art of war; the grand historiographer, Yin Hëen, to examine the Books treating of the art of numbers (i. é. divination); and the imperial physician, Le Ch'oo-kò, to examine the Books on medicine. Whenever any Book was done with, Heang forthwith arranged it, indexed it, and made a digest of it, which was presented to the emperor. While the undertaking was in progress, Heang died, and the emperor Gae (B.c. 5-A.D.) appointed his son, Hin, a master of the imperial carriages, to complete his father's work. On this, Hin collected all the Books, and presented a report of them, under seven divisions."
The first of these divisions seems to have been a general catalogue, containing perhaps only the titles of the works included in the other six. The second embraced the classical Works. From the abstract of it, which is preserved in the chapter referred to, we find that there were 294 collections of the Yih-king, from 13 different individuals or editors ;1 412 collections of the Shoo-king, from nine different individuals ; 416 volumes of the She-king, from six different individuals ; of the Book of Rites, 555 collections, from 13 different individuals; of the Books on Music, 165 collections, from six different editors; 948 collections of History, under
1 How much of the whole Work was contained in each “collection přëen, it is impossible for us to ascertain. P. Regis says :- Pien, quemadmodum Gallice dicimus' des pièces d'eloquence, de poesie.'
2 The collections of the She-king are mentioned under the name of keuen, “ sections, portions.” Had pëen been used, it might have been understood of individual odes. This change of terms shows that by přëen in the other summaries, we are not to understand single blocks or chapters.
the heading of the Ch'un Ts'ew, from 23 different individuals; 229 collections of the Lun Yu, including the Analects and kindred fragments, from 12 different individuals ; of the Heaou-king, embracing also the Urh Ya, and some other portions of the ancient literature, 59 collections, from 11 different individuals; and finally of the Lesser Learning, being works on the form of the characters, 45 collections, from 11 different individuals. The Works of Mencius were included in the second division, among the Writings of what were deemed orthodox scholars, of which there were 836 collections, from 53 different individuals.
3. The above important document is sufficient to show how the emperors of the Han dynasty, as soon as they had made good their possession of the empire, turned their attention to recover the ancient literature of the nation, the Classical Books engaging their first care, and how earnestly and effectively the scholars of the time responded to the wishes of their rulers. In addition to the facts specified in the preface to it, I may relate that the ordinance of the Ts'in dynasty against possessing the Classical Books (with the exception, as will appear in its proper place, of the Yih-king) was repealed by the second sovereign of the Han, the emperor Heaou #wuy, in the 4th year of his reign, B.c. 190, and that a large portion of the Shoo-king was recovered in the time of the third emperor, B.c. 178—156, while in the year B.c. 135, a special Board was constituted, consisting of literati who were put in charge of the five King.
4. The collections reported on by Lew Hin suffered damage in the troubles which began A.D. 8, and continued till the rise of the second or eastern Han dynasty in the year 25. The founder of it (A.D. 25–57) zealously promoted the undertaking of his predecessors, and additional repositories were required for the books which were collected. His successors, the emperors, Heaou-ming (58—75), Heaou-chang (75—88), and Heaou-hwo (89—105), took a part themselves in the studies and discussions of the literary tribunal, and the emperor Heaou-ling, between the years 172–178, had the text of the five King, as it had been fixed, cut in slabs of stone, in characters of three different forms.
5. Since the Han, the successive dynasties have considered the literary monuments of the country to be an object of their special care. Many of them have issued editions of the classics, embodying the commentaries of preceding generations. No dynasty has distinguished itself more in this line than the present Manchow possessors of the Empire. In fine, the evidence is complete that the Classical Books of China have come down from at least a century before our Christian era, substantially the same as we have them at present.
6. But it still remains to inquire in what condition we may suppose the Books were when the scholars of the Han dynasty commenced their labours upon them. They acknowledge that the tablets—we cannot here speak of manuscripts—were mutilated and in disorder. Was the injury which they had received of such an extent that all the care and study put forth on the small remains would be of little use ? This question can be answered satisfactorily only by an examination of the evidence which is adduced for the text of each particular Classic; but it can be made apparent that there is nothing, in the nature of the case, to interfere with our believing that the materials were sufficient to enable the scholars to execute the work intrusted to them.
7. The burning of the ancient Books by order of the founder of the Ts'in dynasty is always referred to as the greatest disaster which they sustained, and with this is coupled the slaughter of many of the literati by the same monarch.
The account which we have of these transactions in the Historical Records is the following :1.
“In his 34th year” (the 34th year, that is, after he had ascended the throne of Ts'in. It was only the 8th after he had been acknowledged Sovereign of the empire, coinciding with B.C. 212) "the emperor, returning from a visit to the south, which had extended as far as Yuě, gave a feast in the palace of Heen-yang, when the Great Scholars, amounting to seventy men, appeared and wished him long life. The superintendent of archery, Chow Ts'ing-chʻin, came forward and praised him, saying, “Formerly, the State of Ts'in was only 1000 le 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 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'
1 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 Chine, tome II., pp. 399—402. The common histories current in China avoid the difficulties of the original by giving an abridgment of it.
2 These were not only “great scholars,” but had an official rank. There was what we may call a college of them, consisting of seventy members.
“The Emperor was pleased with this flattery, when Shunyu Yuě, one of the great scholars, a native of Ts'e, advanced and said, 'The sovereigns of Yin and Chow, 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 Teen Chéang,lor of the six nobles of Tstin. . 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. Tsʻing is now showing himself to be a flatterer, who increases the errors of Your Majesty, and is not a loyal minister.'
“The Emperor requested the opinions of others on this representation, when the premier, Le Sze, 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 imperial sway, so that it will last for 10,000 generations. This is indeed beyond what a stupid scholar can understand. And, moreover, Yuě 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, and 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.
1 The T'ëen family grew up in the State of Ts'e, and in the early part of the 4th century B.C. supplanted the ruling House. The dismemberment of Ts'in was still earlier.
“'At the risk of my life, I, the prime minister, say,-Formerly, when the empire 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 pretence of vaunting their Master, they consider it fine to have extraordinary views of their own. 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. As to the best way to prohibit them, I pray that all the Records in charge of the Historiographers be burned, excepting those of Ts'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 She-king, or of the Shooking, 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; that all who may dare to speak together about the She and the Shoo 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