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”夏日陽氣盛，天南方舉而日道長；月亦當複長。案夏日長之時，日出東北，而月出東南；冬日短之時，日出東南，月出東北。 如夏時天舉南方，日月當俱出東北，冬時天複下，日月亦當俱出東南。由此言之，夏時天不舉南方，冬時天不抑下也。然則夏日之長也， 其所出之星在北方也；冬日之短也，其所出之星在南方也。
問曰：“當夏五月日長之時在東井，東井近極，故日道長。今案察五月之時，日出於寅，入於戌。日道長，去人遠，何以 得見其出於寅入於戌乎？”日東井之時，去人極近。夫東井近極，若極旋轉，人常見之矣。使東井在極旁側，得無夜常為晝乎？日晝行十 六分，人常見之，不復出入焉。
或曰：“天北際下地中，日隨天而入地，地密鄣隱，故人不見。” 然天地，夫婦也，合為一體。天在地中，地與天合，天地並氣， 故能生物。北方陰也，合體並氣，故居北方。天運行於地中乎，不則，北方之地低下而不平也。
人望不過十裏，天地合矣，遠非合也。今視日入，非入也，亦遠也。當日入西方之時， 其下民亦將謂之日中。從日入之下，東望今之天下，或時亦天地合。如是方〔今〕天下在南方也，故日出於東方，入於北方之地，日出北 方，入於南方。各於近者為出，遠者為入。實者不入，遠矣。
儒者或以旦暮日出入為近，日中為遠；或以日中為近，日出入為遠。其以日出入為近，日中為遠者，見日出入時大，日中時小也。 察物近則大，遠則小，故日出入為近，日中為遠也。其以日出入為遠，日中時為近者，見日中時溫，日出入時寒也。夫火光近人則溫，遠人則寒， 故以日中為近，日出入為遠也。
問曰：歲二月八月時， 日出正東，日入正西，可謂日出於扶桑，入於細柳。今夏日長之時，日出於東北，入於西北；冬日短之時，日出東南，入於西南，冬與夏日之出入， 在於四隅，扶桑、細柳，正在何所乎？所論之言，猶謂春秋，不謂冬與夏也。如實論之，日不出於扶桑，入於細柳。何以驗之？隨天而轉，近則見， 遠則不見。當在扶桑、細柳之時，從扶桑、細柳之民，謂之日中之時，從扶桑、細柳察之，或時為日出入。 〔皆〕以其上者為中，旁則為旦夕，安得出於扶桑，入細柳？
問：日月之行也，系著於天也， 日月附天而行，不〔自〕行也。何以言之？《易》曰：“日月星辰麗乎天，百果草木麗於土。”麗者，附也。附天所行，若人附地而圓行， 其取喻若蟻行於上焉。
夫月者，水也。水中有生物，非兔、蟾蜍也。 兔與蟾蜍久在水中，無不死者。日月毀於天，螺蚌汨於淵，同氣審矣，所謂兔、 蟾蜍者，豈反螺與蚌邪？
其端合者，相食是也。其合相當如襲〔璧〕者，日既是也。”日月合於晦朔，. 天之常也。日食，月掩日光，非也。何以驗之 ？
使日月合，月掩日光，其初食崖當與旦複時易處。假令日在東，.月在西，月之行疾，東及日，掩日崖， 須臾過日而東，西崖初掩之處 光當複，東崖未掩者當複食。今察日之食，西崖光缺，其複也，西崖光復，過掩東崖複西崖，謂之合襲相掩障，如何？
夫日猶月也， 日而有十，月有十二乎？星有五，五行之精，金、木、水、火、土各異光色。如日有十，其氣必異。今觀日光無有異者，察其小大前後若一。 如審氣異，光色宜殊；如誠同氣，宜合為一，無為十也。
仰察之，日光眩耀，火光盛明，不能堪也。使日出是扶桑木上之日，禹、益見之，不能知其為日也。何則？ 仰察一日，目猶眩耀，況察十日乎？當禹、益見之，若鬥筐之狀，故名之為日。夫火如鬥筐，望六萬之形，非就見之，即察之體也。由此言之，禹 、益所見，意似日非日也。
《公羊傳》曰 “如雨者何？非雨也。非雨則曷為謂之如雨？不修《春秋》曰：雨星，不及地尺而複。君子修之曰： 星霣如雨。”
不修《春秋》者，未修《春秋》時《魯史記》，曰“雨〔星〕，不及地尺而複”。君子者，孔子，孔子修之曰“星 霣如雨”孔子之意，以為地有山陵樓臺，雲不及地尺，恐失其實，更正之曰如雨。如雨者，為從地上而下，星亦從天霣而複，與同，故曰如。 夫孔子雖雲不及地尺，但言如雨，其謂霣之者，皆是星也。.孔子雖定其位，著其文，謂霣為星，與史同焉。
從平地望泰山之巔，鶴如烏，烏如爵者，泰山高遠，物之小大失其實。天之去地六萬余裏，高遠非直泰山之巔也； 星著於天，人察之，失星之實，非直望鶴烏之類也。數等星之質百里，體大光盛，故能垂耀，人望見之，若鳳卵之狀， 遠失其實也。
如星霣審者天之星霣而至地，人不知其為星也。何則？霣時小大，不與在天同也。今見星霣如在天時，是時星霣也； 非星，則氣為之也。人見鬼如死人之狀，其實氣象聚，非真死人。然則星之形，其實非星。孔子雲正霣者非星，而徙， 正言如雨非雨之文，蓋俱失星之實矣。
其言與雨俱之集也。 夫辛卯之夜明，故星不見，明則不雨之驗也，雨氣陰暗安得明？明則無雨，安得與雨俱？夫如是言與雨俱者非實，且言夜明不見，安得見星 與雨俱？
儒者又曰：“雨從天下”，謂正從天墜也。如〔實〕論之，雨從地上，不從天下，見雨從上集 ，則謂從天下矣，其實地上也。然其出地起於山。何以明之？《春秋傳》曰：“觸石而出，膚寸而合，不崇朝而遍天下， 惟太山也。”太山雨天下，小山雨一國，各以小大為近遠差。雨之出山，或謂雲載而行，雲散水墜，名為雨矣。夫雲則雨， 雨則雲矣，初出為雲，雲繁為雨。猶甚而泥露濡汙衣服，若雨之狀。非雲與俱，雲載行雨也。
Chapter XX. On the Sun (Shuo-jih).
The Literati say that the sun, when he becomes visible in the morning, comes forth from darkness, and that, when he disappears in the evening, he re-enters darkness. The Yin fluid of darkness is obscure, they say, therefore the sun disappears in it, and becomes invisible.
In reality the sun neither leaves nor re-enters darkness, but how can we prove that?
Night is darkness; its fluid is also obscure. 1 But if a fire is made during the night, its light is not extinguished by the night. The darkness of night is the darkness of the north. The setting sun, which rises in the morning, is the kindled fire. The light of a fire, kindled at night-time, is not extinguished, that shows that, when the sun sets in the evening, a fluid 2 cannot be the cause of his disappearance.
Observing the sun-rise and the sun-set in winter, we remark that, in the morning, he rises in the south-east, and, in the evening, he sets in the south-west. The south-east and the south-west are not the region of the Yin or darkness. 3 How then can it be said that the sun proceeds from and reverts to darkness? Furthermore, the stars notwithstanding their smallness remain visible, and the sun is extinguished in spite of his greatness? The reasoning of the scholars of to-day is thoughtless and shallow.
They again say that the shortness of the days in winter, and their length in summer are also brought about by the Yin and the Yang. In summer, the Yang fluid abounds, and the Yin fluid falls short. The Yang fluid shines with the same splendour as the sun. Consequently, when the sun comes forth, there is nothing to obscure him. In winter, the Yin fluid is dusky, and overshadows the sun-light. Therefore, although the sun rises, he remains dark and invisible. Thus in winter the days are short. The Yin is paramount, and the Yang is scarce, just the reverse of what takes place in summer.
However, if we consider the question seriously, we will find that the Yin and the Yang are not responsible for the length or the shortness of the days. This is made evident by the northern stars. The Yin of the north is the Yin of the sun. The Yin of the north does not overshadow the sparkling of the stars, why then should the Yin in winter obfuscate the brightness of the sun? Hence those who speak about the Yin and the Yang miss the truth.
As a matter of fact, in summer the sun stands in Gemini, in winter in Aquila. 4 Aquila is far from the pole, therefore the curve described by the sun is short. Gemini being near the pole, the solar curve is long then. In summer the sun proceeds northwards as far as Gemini, in winter southwards as far as Aquila. Therefore the extreme solar points in winter and summer are called "winter" and "summer limit." 5 Because in spring and autumn those extremes are not reached, one speaks of "vernal" and "autumnal division." 6
Some people hold that in summer, when the Yang fluid abounds, it is in the south, and that in consequence heaven rises and becomes high. In winter the Yang fluid decays, and heaven sinks down, and becomes depressed. When heaven is high, the course of the sun increases in length, and the days are lengthened; when heaven is low, the solar curve decreases, and the days are short.
Now, if owing to the exuberance of the solar Yang fluid, heaven rises in the south, and the course of the sun is lengthened, the same increase ought to take place in regard to the moon. In summer, when the days are long, the sun rises in the north-east, but the moon in the south-east. In winter, when the days are short, the sun rises in the south-east, whereas the moon rises in the north-east. If in summer heaven were raised in the south, sun and moon ought equally to rise in the north-east, and, if in winter heaven were lowered, sun and moon should both rise in the south-east. It results from this, that in summer heaven does not rise in the south, and that in winter it is not depressed. On the contrary, in summer, when the days are long, the stars from which the sun rises are in the north, and in winter, when the days are short, these stars are in the south.
The following question may be raised. In summer, in the fifth moon, when the days are long, the sun stands in Gemini, which are near the pole, therefore the course of the sun is long. Now, we see that in the fifth moon the sun rises in the sign Yin7 and sets in Hsü.8 The solar curve being so long and far from men, how is it that we see the sun rise in Yin and set in Hsü? When the sun stands in Gemini, he is very near to men. Gemini are near the pole, hence, when the pole turns round, they ought to remain always visible. 9 Provided that Gemini are by the side of the pole, ought we not to have no night, but continuous day? 10
Some scholars assert that sun and moon have nine different courses, therefore, they say, the sun in his course is near or far, and day and night are long or short.---However, in the fifth month day-time makes up 11/16 and night-time 5/16, and in the sixth month the day is 10/16 and the night 6/16. From the sixth month to the eleventh month every month the day decreases by 1/16. That means that to the course of the sun every month 1/16 is added. In the lapse of a year the sun takes 16 different courses on heaven and not 9 only.
Another idea is that heaven is high in the south and depressed in the north. When the sun rises into the higher region, he becomes visible, and when he sets into the lower one, he disappears. Heaven is believed to be like a reclining umbrella, which is shown by the fact that the pole, as seen from us, is in the north. The pole is the centre of the world. Since it is north from us, heaven must evidently resemble a reclining umbrella.
If to illustrate the shining of the sun the analogy of a reclining umbrella be used, heaven must really have the shape of an umbrella. The polar star in the north of the upper part would correspond to the top of the umbrella, the south in the lower part would be like the stick of the umbrella, but where would that be? An umbrella reclining on the earth cannot turn round, but raise it straight, and it rotates. Now, provided that heaven revolves, its northern edge cannot touch the earth, for how could it revolve, if it knocked against the earth? We see from this that heaven cannot be shaped like a reclining umbrella, and that the sun rising or setting does not follow the elevation, and the depression of heaven.
Some people maintain that the northern edge of heaven sinks down into the earth, and that the sun following heaven enters into the earth. The earth being massive, obscures him, so that men cannot see him. But heaven and earth are husband and wife. They unite in one body, heaven is in earth, and earth joined to heaven. Their fluids mix and produce things. The north is Yin. When both are coupled, and their fluids mingle, it is in the north therefore, 11 but does heaven revolve in the earth? If not, the earth in the north would be depressed, 12 and not even.
Let us suppose that heaven really is revolving in the earth. On digging up the earth ten feet deep we find springs. Does then heaven revolving in the earth plunge into the water, and then come out again? If the north were depressed and not level, the Nine Streams 13 ought to flow north without ever filling it up. In reality heaven does not revolve in the earth, nor does the sun become obscured, because he follows heaven. Heaven is quite as level as earth, and the sun rises, and sets, being turned round along with heaven.
Heaven appears to us in the shape of a bowl turned upside down. Therefore the sun rising and setting looks like coming from and entering into the earth. When the sun rises, he is near, when he sets, he is far, and becomes invisible, hence the term setting or entering. When in his rotation the sun appears in the east, he is near, hence we say that he is rising or coming out. But what proof have we? If you attach a moonlight pearl to the bow over a cart, and turn the cart round, the pearl will also turn.
To men heaven and earth seem to unite at a distance of no more than ten Li. That is the effect of the distance, for they do not come together in fact. When we behold the sun setting, he does not set either, it is also the distance. At the time, when the sun sets in the west, the people living there will perhaps say that he is culminating, and looking from the point, where the sun is setting, eastward to our world, heaven and earth may appear to the beholder joined together. Our world is in the south, 14 therefore the sun rises in the east, and disappears in the northern regions. 15 If the sun rose in the north, he would set in the south, 16 for everywhere, what is near seems to rise, and what is far, to set. In reality there is no setting, but it is the distance.
If standing on the shore of a big lake, you look out to its limits in the four directions, they are blended with heaven. As a matter of fact, they are not blended, but the distance gives this impression. Through distance the sun seems setting, and through distance the lake seems to be blended with heaven. It is the same in both cases. The lake is bordered by land, but we do not see it, for to the observer it looks, as if it were blended 17 with heaven. The sun also looks like setting. All this is brought about by distance.
The height of Mount T`ai equals that of heaven, and is lost in the clouds, yet from a distance of one hundred Li the mountain does not appear as big as a clod of earth. At a distance of one hundred Li Mount T`ai disappears, how much more the sun, whose distance from us is counted by ten thousands of Li! The example of the T`ai-shan gives an explanation.
Let a man take a big torch, and walk at night on a level road, where there are no gaps. He will not have walked to a distance of one Li from us, before the light of the fire is gone out. 18 It does not go out, it is the distance. In the same manner the sun revolving westward and disappearing does not set. 19
The following question may be asked:---Heaven is level as much as the earth. Now, looking up to heaven and regarding the movements of the sun and the moon, it seems as though heaven were high in the south and low in the north. 20 How is that to be explained?
The answer is this:---Our actual world 21 is lying in the southeast. Seen from below, heaven looks, as if it were elevated, and the courses of the sun and the moon are south of us. Now, our world lies beneath the courses of the sun and the moon, therefore it seems to us, as if in their motions they rose in the south, and descended in the north. How shall we account for that?
If heaven were elevated in the south, the southern stars should be elevated likewise. However, we see them going down. Is then heaven again depressed in the south? The celestial bodies which are near appear high, those which are distant, low. To people north of the pole it seems high, and the south they regard as low. The same holds good for the regions east and west of the pole. All regard as high, what is near, and as low, what is far from them.
He who from beneath the Northern Passes22 looks up, sees the polar constellation above him. The north of the Hsiung-nu is the border-land of the earth. Seen in the north, heaven still appears high in the north and low in the south, and sun and moon in their courses ascend heaven there also. For a man standing on Mount T`ai it is high, whereas ten Li from its foot it appears low. The height of heaven is like that of Mount T`ai as seen by men.
The four quarters and the centre, which are level, are of the same height, if, therefore, heaven seems to be depressed at the four cardinal points, this must be an illusion caused by the distance. Heaven does not only seem depressed there, but joined to the earth.
Some savants hold that at sunrise and sunset, in the morning and in the evening, the sun is near, and that while in the zenith he is far away. Conversely, others maintain that the sun in the zenith is near, whereas at sunrise and sunset he is a long way off. Those who believe that the sun is near, when he rises or sets, and far off, when he culminates, have remarked the large size of the sun rising or setting, and his smallness at noon. We find that things are large, when they are near us, and small, when seen from a distance. Therefore the rising and setting sun is considered to be near, and the sun in the zenith to be far distant. Those who believe that at sunrise and sunset the sun is far off, and at noon near us, have on the other hand made the observation that at noon the sun is warm, and that he is cool, while rising or setting. When a fire comes near us, we feel hot, whereas, when it is at a distance, we feel cold. Hence the idea that the sun at noon is near, while he is at a distance, when he is rising or setting. 23
Both views are well-founded, and it has not yet been ascertained, which is right, and which is wrong. If we consider the question seriously, we arrive at the conclusion that the sun in the zenith is near, and at sunrise and sunset far off, as the following experiment will show. Place a pole upright in a room. The room is 30 feet high. The pole placed vertically under the roof-beam knocks against the latter above, and reaches to the bottom below. The beam then is 30 feet distant from the bottom. When the pole is inclined a little sidewards, its top diverges sidewards, and cannot touch the beam anymore, because the distance from the bottom is more than 30 feet.
When the sun is culminating, he just reaches the highest point on heaven, exactly like the pole standing upright so, that the distance from the bottom measures 30 feet. The sun rising or setting is deflected to our right or left like the pole inclining to one side, whereby the distance from the bottom exceeds 30 feet. We learn from this that the sun in the zenith is near, and the rising or setting sun more distant.
Let again a man be seated in the central hall of a house, and another walk on its roof. When he has reached the centre of the house, he is just above the man seated, and the distance from the man on the roof to the man sitting in the house, is 30 feet. When he is at the eastern or the western corner of the roof, his distance from the man in the house is greater than 30 feet.
The sun in the zenith is like the man standing in the middle of the roof, when the sun is just rising or setting, he resembles the man at the eastern or western corner. The sun in the zenith is near us, therefore warm, at the time of his rising or setting, he is far, and consequently cool. However, when the sun stands in the zenith, he is small, whereas at sunrise and sunset he is large. That is because, when the sun is culminating, the brightness of daylight 24 makes him appear small, and when the sun is rising or setting, daylight is fading, and he looks larger in consequence. In the same manner a fire looks small at day-time, but big at night. What is shown by fire, can be proved by the stars also. The stars are not visible during the day, because the brightness of the day eclipses them. At night there is no light, and the stars become visible. Now the sun and the moon are stars. When the sun approaches the horizon, and is about to set, his light fades, and he appears bigger.
The scholars argue that in the morning the sun rises from Fu Sang,25 and in the evening sets in Hsi Liu.26Fu Sang is the eastern region, Hsi Liu the western desert, both are the confines of heaven and earth, and the places where the sun and the moon use to rise and set.
I beg to put the following question:---Every year in the second and the eighth months the sun rises exactly in the east, and sets exactly in the west. 27 We might say then that the sun rises in Fu Sang, and sets in Hsi Liu. But in summer, when the days are long, the sun rises in the north-east, and sets in the northwest. 28 In winter, when the days are short, the sun rises in the south-east and sets in the south-west. In winter and summer rising and setting take place in four different corners. In which place exactly are Fu Sang and Hsi Liu situated then? The above statement, therefore, is true for spring and autumn, but not for winter and summer. Yet, after all, the sun does not rise in Fu Sang nor set in Hsi Liu for the reason that he revolves with heaven and is visible, when near, and invisible, when far off. While he is in Fu Sang or Hsi Liu, the people there, from their standpoint, will say that the sun is in the zenith. At other times it may appear from Fu Sang and Hsi Liu, as though the sun were rising or setting. When he is above people's heads, they call it noon, when he is on one side, they call it morning or evening. How can the sun under these circumstances rise in Fu Sang, and set in Hsi Liu?
The Literati again assert that heaven is revolving from right to left, 29 and that the sun and the moon in their courses are not attached to heaven, but have each their own movement. It might be objected that, in case the sun and the moon had their proper movements, and were not attached to heaven, the sun would proceed one degree, and the moon thirteen. After their rise, both ought to go on and turn from west to east, how is it that nevertheless they commence to turn westward? They are attached to heaven, and follow its movements during the four seasons. Their movement may be compared to that of ants crawling on a rolling mill-stone. The movements of the sun and the moon are slow, whereas heaven moves very fast. Heaven carries the sun and the moon along with it, therefore they really move eastward, 30 but are turned westward.
Perhaps the following question might be raised:---The sun, the moon, and heaven have their movement each, but the number of degrees which they traverse is not the same. To what can their velocity be compared, if referred to the things of this world?
I would reply that heaven makes one circumvolution every day. The sun moves on one degree equal to 2,000 Li, of which he makes 1,000 during the day-time and 1,000 during the night. The unicorn 31 also runs 1,000 Li during the day, therefore the speed of the sun is very much like the pace of the unicorn.
The moon moves on 13 degrees. 10 degrees being equal to 20,000 Li, and 3 degrees to 6,000, the distance made by the moon in one day and one night is 26,000 Li, which is like the flight of a wild duck.
Since heaven turns round 365 degrees, the multiplication gives 730,000 Li. This movement is very fast, and there is nothing like it. It can be compared to the rotation of a potter's wheel or the speed of an arrow, shot from a cross-bow.
But although the rotation of heaven be so very fast, it appears to us slow, because heaven is so high, and far away, for distant objects in motion look motionless, and things shifting their place, stationary, as the following observation will show. If any body is on board a ship, sailing with the wind, in a river or on sea, her speed is fast, while she is near the shore, and slow, while she is far off. The ship's real speed remains the same, its quickness or slowness merely depending on the distance from which she is seen.
When we look up to heaven, its movement does not appear as quick as that of the unicorn. With the sun over it the unicorn hastens on, but when darkness falls, the sun is in front, why? Because the unicorn is near, whereas the sun is far. Distance conveys the impression of slowness, and proximity that of speed: If a journy extends over 60,000 Li, it is difficult to form an adequate idea of the real movement.
The Literati assert that the sun moves one degree, and heaven 365 during one day and one night, that heaven turns to the left, and the sun and the moon to the right, and that they meet heaven.
The following question may be asked:---The movements of the sun and the moon depend on heaven, they move, attached to heaven, not straight on. How shall we describe it? The Yiking says:---"The sun, the moon, and the stars rely on heaven. Fruits, grasses, and trees rely on earth." 32 Relying means that they are attached. The movement attached to heaven is like that of men walking round on the earth. The simile is like that of the ants crawling on the rolling mill-stone.
There is the question:---How do we know that the sun does not detach himself from heaven, nor move straight on independently? If the sun could do so, he ought to turn eastward of himself, and not share heaven's movement to the west. The movement of the moon is the same as that of the sun, both being attached to heaven. This is proved by a comparison with the clouds.
The clouds are not attached to heaven, they always remain in their place. Provided the sun and the moon were not attached to heaven, we would expect them to keep their places likewise. From this it is evident that the sun's movement is connected with that of heaven.
Another question arises:---The sun is fire. On earth fire does not move, why then does the sun move on heaven?
The fluid attached to heaven has motion, that attached to the earth has not. If fire be attached to the earth, the earth does not move, consequently the fire does not move either.
Some one might object, how could water move, if the fluid attached to earth had no motion. The reply is that the water flows eastward into the ocean, because the north-western region is high, and the south-eastern low. It is the nature of water to seek the low places, whereas fire will rise. If the earth were not high in the west, the water would not run eastward either.
We will have to meet another objection as to how men, being attached to the earth, can move, if the fluid attached to the earth is motionless.
Human actions and desires all have an aim. Since purpose is at the root of human nature, man works and strives.
The ancients were plain and simple-minded. Though on the frontier of a neighbouring country they heard the cocks crow and the dogs bark, they never had any intercourse with that country.
Somebody will ask perhaps, why the stars do not move, if the fluid attached to heaven is in motion. I reply that the stars are fixed in heaven. Heaven moves, and since they are turned round along with heaven, they move also.
An opponent might urge that human nature is based on purpose, and therefore acts, but how could heaven move, since its principle is absence of purpose?---Heaven's movement consists in the spontaneous emission of fluid. The fluid being emitted, things are produced of themselves, but the fluid is not emitted on purpose, in order to produce things. Without movement the fluid cannot be emitted, and unless the fluid be emitted, things cannot be created. It is different from the movement of man. The movements of the sun, the moon, and the five planets all consist in the emission of fluid.
The Literati hold that there is a three-legged raven in the sun, and a hare and a toad in the moon. However, the sun is the heavenly fire which does not differ from the fire on earth. In the fire on earth there are no living beings, how could there be a raven in the heavenly fire? There are no living creatures in the fire, when they enter it, they are burnt to death. How could a raven remain unscathed?
The moon is water. 33 There are living beings in the water, but not hares or toads. When a hare or a toad remain long in the water, they inevitably die. The sun and the moon are attached to heaven just as shells and oysters swim in the deep, evidently because they belong to the same fluid. Are perhaps that what we call a hare and a toad, shells or oysters?
And let us ask the Literati whether the raven, the hare, and the toad are living or dead. If they be dead, and remain for a long time in the sun and the moon, they must become charred, decay and putrefy. If they be alive, where are they at the time of a total eclipse of the sun or, when on the last day of a month the moon totally disappears?
The raven, the hare, and the toad must be the fluid of the sun and the moon, as the intestines of man, or the heart, and backbone of animals are the fluid of these creatures. It is still possible to examine the moon, but, when we look at the sun, our eyes are dazzled, and we cannot make out what fluid really pervades the sun, yet we should be able to distinguish an object in the sun, and call it a raven? In fact, we cannot see the entire body of a raven, and we should remark that it has three legs? This is certainly not true.
Moreover, we hear the Literati speak of many animals, why then is there only one raven in the sun, and one hare and a toad in the moon?
The savants maintain that the eclipse of the sun is caused by the moon. They have observed that the eclipses of the sun always fall on the last and the first day of a month. At that time the moon is united with the sun, therefore she must eclipse him, they think. Many eclipses of the sun have occurred during the "Spring and Autumn" period. The Classic records that on the first day of such and such a moon the sun has been eclipsed, but it does not follow that the moon has any thing to do with these eclipses. If the chroniclers had known that the sun was eclipsed by the moon, why have they been silent on this point, and did not speak of the moon?
They say that, when an eclipse of the sun takes place, the Yang is weak and the Yin strong. When a man possesses great strength, he can subdue others in this world. Now, on the last day of a month, the light of the moon is extinguished, and, on the first day of the new moon, it is gone so to say, which is the highest degree of weakness. How could it vanquish the sun, for the eclipse of the sun is said to be caused by the moon? If, in an eclipse of the sun, the moon is believed to eclipse it, where is the moon? The eclipse is not caused by the moon, since the moon herself is destroyed. If we regard the sun from the same point of view as the moon, his light at an eclipse is destroyed of itself.
On an average, an eclipse of the sun occurs every 41 or 42 months, and an eclipse of the moon, every 180 days. These eclipses have their fixed time, and these changes do not always take place. When they happen, it is through the spontaneous action of the fluid. The last and the first day of a month recur very often, but does the moon cause an eclipse then? The sun being in his full, the change is brought about by his shrinking together. Must we suppose something that consumes (eclipses) the sun? What consumes the mountains or the earth, when the mountains collapse and the earth shakes?
Some say that, when the sun is eclipsed, the moon covers him. The sun being above, the moon below, her shadow falls on the sun's body. When the sun and the moon are united, but the moon is above, and the sun below, the moon cannot cover the sun, whereas, when the sun is above, and the moon underneath him, she casts her shadow on him. The light of the moon then covers the light of the sun, hence the expression:---eclipse. 34 The shadow of the moon is like that of the clouds which cover the sky in such a way that the sun and the moon are invisible.
Provided that both unite with their extremities, they must eclipse one another, and if both, when they come together, are joined like two pieces fitting one into the other, the sun must disappear as a matter of course. That the sun and the moon meet on the last and the first day of the month is a very common celestial phenomenon, but it is wrong to say that at an eclipse the moon covers the light of the sun for the following reason:---
In case that, when the sun and the moon unite, the moon covers the light of the sun, the edges of the two luminaries must fall together at the beginning of the eclipse, and they must change their places, when the sun comes out again. Now, let us suppose that the sun stands in the east, the moon in the west. The moon moves quickly eastward, where she falls in with the sun. She covers the edge of the sun, and after a short time she passes the sun and proceeds eastward. The western edge of the sun has been covered first, its light must then come back. The eastern edge has not yet been overshadowed, it will be eclipsed next. Thus we see that during an eclipse of the sun the light of the western edge is extinguished, and that, when the sun comes back, the light of the western edge returns. Then the moon goes on, and covers the eastern edge, while the western edge returns. Can we say then that the sun and the moon are joined together, and that one covers and overshadows the other? 35
The scholars assert that the shape of the sun and the moon is quite round. When they look up to them, they appear shaped like a peck, or a round basket. Their shape is a regular circle, they are not like the fluid of a fire seen from afar, for a fluid is not round.---In reality the sun and the moon are not round, they only appear so through the distance, as will be seen from the following:---The sun is the essence of fire, the moon the essence of water. On earth fire and water are not round, why should they be round in heaven alone? The sun and the moon in heaven are like the Five Planets, and the Five Planets like the other stars. The stars are not round, only their radiance appears round, because they are so far from us. This will become evident from the following fact:---During the "Spring and Autumn" period stars fell down in the capital of Sung.36 When people went near to examine them, they found that they were stones, but not round. Since the stars are not round, we know that the sun, the moon, and the planets are not round either.
The scholars discoursing on the sun, and the mechanics hold that there is only one sun, whereas in the "Tribute of Yü" and in the Shan-hai-king it is stated that there are ten suns. Beyond the ocean in the east there is the "Hot Water Abyss," 37 over which rises Fu-sang. The ten suns bathe in the water. There is a huge tree. Nine suns remain in its lower branches, while one sun stays on the upper branch. 38Huai Nan Tse also writes in his book about ten suns which were shining. During the time of Yao the ten suns came out together, and scorched everything, whereupon Yao shot at them. 39 Hence they never were seen together any more on the same day. 40
Commonly the "celestial stems" 41 are called suns. From the first to the last stem there are ten suns. There are ten suns, as there are five planets. Intelligent people and disputing scholars are at a loss, how to find out the truth, and do not wish to decide in favour of either opinion. Thus the two antagonistic statements are transmitted without criticism, and neither of the two opinions meets with general approval. Yet, if we examine the question thoroughly, there are not ten suns.
The sun is like the moon. If there be ten suns, are there twelve moons? There are five planets, but the five elements: 42 --- metal, wood, water, fire, and earth all burn with a different light. Should there be ten suns, their fluids ought to be different. Now, we do not discover any difference in the light of the sun, and we find that his size is the same at different times. If there were really different fluids, the light would certainly be different. If, on the other hand, the fluid is identical, it must be united into one sun, and there cannot be ten.
We see that with a sun-glass fire is drawn from heaven, the sun being a big fire. Since on earth fire is one fluid, and the earth has not ten fires, how can heaven possess ten suns? Perhaps the so called ten suns are some other things, whose light and shape resembles that of the sun. They are staying in the "Hot Water Abyss," and always climb up Fu-sang. Yü and Yi43 saw them, and described them as ten suns.
Some people have measured the light of the sun, and calculated his size. They found the diameter to be 1,000 Li long. Provided that the rising sun is the sun on the Fu-sang tree, this tree must overhang 10,000 Li to cover the sun, for the diameter of one sun being 1,000 Li, ten suns will require 10,000 Li.
Heaven is more than 10,000 Li distant from us.
When we look up at the sun, his brilliancy is so dazzling, and his glare so bright, that it becomes unbearable. If the rising sun was the sun from the Fu-sang tree, Yü and Yi would not have been able to recognise him as the sun. A look at one sun would have sufficed to dazzle the eyes, how much more so, if there were ten suns. When Yü and Yi saw the suns, they appeared to them like pecks and round baskets, therefore they called them suns. The fires looked like pecks and baskets, but an object seen at a distance of 60,000 Li appears different from one looked at and examined quite near. Consequently what Yü and Yi saw they took for suns, but were not suns.
Among the things of heaven and earth many resemble one another in substance, yet they are not the same in fact. Beyond the ocean in the south-west there is a pearl-tree. Illegal HTML character: decimal 156