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I. Specimens of the Commentaries of Gongyang and Guliang.
II. A Letter Questioning the Confucian Authorship of the Chunqiu by Yuan Mei of the Present Dynasty
Was the Chunqiu made by Confucius?
1. In the prolegomena to vol. I., on page 1, I have said that of the five Jing or classical works, the authorship, or compilation rather, of which is loosely attributed to Confucius, 'the Chunqiu is the only one which can rightly be described as of his own making.' If I had been as familiar with the Chunqiu in 1861 as I am now, instead of appearing, as in that judgment, to allow that it is an original Work of the sage, I should have contented myself with saying that of it alone has the making been claimed for him. The question as to what he really did in the matter of this Classic is one of great perplexity.
Mencius' account of the Chunqiu.
2. The earliest authority who speaks on the subject is Mencius. No better could be desired; and the glowing account which he gives of the Work excites our liveliest expectations. His language puts it beyond doubt that in his time, not far removed from that of Confucius, there was a book current in China, called the Chunqiu, and accepted without question by him and others as having been made by the sage. "The world," he says, 'was fallen into decay, and right principles had dwindled away. Perverse discourses and oppressive deeds were again waxen rife. Cases were occurring of ministers who murdered their rulers, and of sons who murdered their fathers. Confucius was afraid, and made the Chunqiu.' 1 He describes the work as of equal value with Yu's regulation of the waters of the deluge, and the duke of Zhou's establishing his dynasty amid the desolations and disorder which had been wrought by the later sovereigns of the dynasty of Shang. 'Confucius completed the Chunqiu, and rebellious ministers and villainous sons were struck with terror. 2 Going more particularly into the nature of the Work, and fortifying himself with the words of the Master, Mencius says, 'The subjects of the Chunqiu are Huan of Qi and Wen of Jin, and its style is the historical. Confucius said, "Its righteous decisions I ventured to make."' 3 And again, 'What the Chunqiu contains are matters proper to the son of Heaven. On this account Confucius said, "Yes! It is the Chunqiu which will make men know me; and it is the Chunqiu which will make men condemn me." 4The words of Mencius, that 'Confucius made the Chunqiu,' became thereafter part of the stock phraseology of Chinese scholars. If the Work itself had not been recovered under the Han dynasty, after the efforts of the tyrant of Qin to destroy the ancient monuments of literature, we should have regretted its loss, thinking of it as a history from the stylus of the sage of China in which had been condensed the grandest utterances of his wisdom and the severest lessons of his virtue.
3. The making of a history, indeed, is different from the making of a poem, the development of a philosophy, and other literary achievements in which we expect large results of original thought.
What we are to expect in a history.
In those we look for new combinations of the phænomena of human character, and new speculations on the divine order of the universe,—'things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.' But from the historian all that we are entitled to require is a faithful record of facts. If he would win our special approval, he must weave his facts into an interesting narrative, trace their connexion with one another, and by unfolding the motives of the actors teach lessons that may have their fruit in guiding and directing the course of events in future generations. The making of history should be signalized by the vigour and elegance of the composition, and by the correct discrimination of on, impartiality, and comprehensiveness of the author's judgments.
Our disappointment in reading with such expectation the Chunqiu.
When, with these ideas of what a history should be, we look into the Chunqiu, we experience immediately an intense feeling of disappointment. Instead of a history of events woven artistically together, we find a congeries of the briefest possible intimations of matters in which the court and State of Lu were more or less concerned, extending over 242 years, without the slightest tincture of literary ability in the composition, or the slighest indication of judicial opinion on the part of the writer. The paragraphs are always brief. Each one is designed to commemorate a fact; but whether that fact be a display of virtue calculated to command our admiration, or a deed of atrocity fitted to awaken our disgust, it can hardly be said that there is anything in the language to convey to us the shadow of an idea of the author's feeling about it. The notices, for we cannot call them narratives, are absolutely unimpassioned. A base murder and a shining act of heroism are chronicled just as the eclipses of the sun are chronicled. So and so took place;—that is all. No details are given; no judgment is expressed. The reader may be conscious of an emotion of delight or of indignation according to the opinion which he forms of the event mentioned, especially when he has obtained a fuller account of it from some other quarter; but there is nothing in the text to excite the one feeling or the other. Whether the statements found in the Chunqiu be all reliable, and given according to the truth of the facts, is a point of the utmost importance, which will be duly considered by and by. I am at present only concerned to affirm that the Work is not at all of the nature which we should suppose from our previous conception of it as a history by a great man, and from the accounts given of it by Confucius himself and by Mencius. 5
4. The saying of Confucius that he had made the righteous decisions in the Chunqiu.
If I have given in these remarks a correct, though brief, idea of what the Chunqiu is, we know not what to make of the statement of Confucius quoted by Mencius, that he had himself ventured to make the righteous decisions contained in it. Whether the book which we now have be that which Confucius is said to have made, or another, we examine it in vain for any 'righteous decisions,' for any decisions indeed of any kind, on the events which are indicated in it. This difficulty is a Gordian knot which I do not see any way of untying, and I have often wished that I could cut it by denying the genuineness of the present Chunqiu altogether. 6 But, as will by and by appear, the evidence which connects and identifies the existing Work with that made, whatever be the sense in which we are to take that term, by the sage, cannot be rebutted. The simplest way of disposing of the matter is to set the testimony of Mencius on one side, though that method of proceeding can hardly be vindicated on critical grounds.
There can be no doubt, however, that the expression in Mencius about 'the righteous decisions' has had a most powerful and pernicious influence over the interpretation of the Classic. Zhao Qi, the earliest commentator on Mencius, explains the passage as intimating that the sage in making the Chunqiu exercised his prerogative as 'the unsceptred king.' A subject merely, and without any order from his ruler, he yet made the Work on his own private authority; and his saying that he ventured to give his own judgments on things in it was simply an expression of his humility. 7 Zhao gives the same explanation of those words of Mencius, that 'what the Chunqiu contains are matters proper to the son of Heaven.' 'Confucius,' says the commentator, 'made the Chunqiu by means of the Historical Records of Lu, setting forth his laws as an unsceptred king, which are what Mencius calls "the matters of the Son of Heaven."' 8
Hundreds of critics, from Gonngyang and Guliang downwards, have tried to interpret the Classic on the principle of finding in almost every paragraph some 'righteous decision;' and in my notes I have in a hundred places pointed out the absurdities in which such a method lands us. The same peculiarity of the style, such as the omission of a clan-name, becomes in one passage the sign of censure and in another the sign of praise. 9 The whole Book is a collection of riddles, to which there are as many answers as there are guessers. It is hardly possible for a Chinese to cast off from his mind the influence of this 'praise-and-censure' theory in studying the Classic. He has learned it when a child by committing to memory at school the lines of the 'Primer of Three Characters,' 10 and it has been obtruded upon him in most of his subsequent reading. Even a foreigner finds himself occasionally casting about for some such way of accounting for the ever varying forms of expression, unwilling to believe that the changes have been made at random. I proceed in another section to give a fuller idea of the nature of the Work, and to consider what were its sources, and whether we have reason to think that Confucius, in availing himself of them, made additions of his own or retrenchments.
1. What were Confucius' authorities for the events which he has chronicled in the Chunqiu? In proceeding to an inquiry into the Sources of the Work, it will be well to give at the commencement an explanation of its name.
The two characters, translated literally, simply mean Spring and Autumn. 'Anciently,' says Mao Qiling, 'the historiographers, in recording events, did so with the specification of the day, the month, the season, and the year, to which each event belonged; and to the whole they gave the name of annals. It was proper that under every year there should be written the names of the four seasons, and the entire record of a year went by the name of Spring and Autumn, two of the seasons, being a compendious expression for all the four.' 11 'Spring and Autumn' is thus equivalent to—Annals, digested under the seasons of every year. An inspection of the Work will prove that this is the proper meaning of its title. Even if there were nothing to be recorded under any season, it was still necessary to make a record of the season and of the first month in it. Entries like that in the 6th year of duke Yin,—'It was autumn, the 7th month,' where the next paragraph begins with 'In winter,' are frequent. If now and then a year occurs in which we do not find every season specified, we may be sure the omission is owing to the loss of a character or of a paragraph in the course of time. Zhao Qi explains the title in the same way, 12 and so does Du Yu in the preface to his edition of the Zuo chuan. 13 Other accounts of the name are only creations of fancy, and have arisen from a misconception of the nature of the Work. Thus Dr. Williams says, 'The spring and autumn annals are so called, because "their commendations are life-giving like spring, and their censures are life-withering like autumn.' 14 The Han scholars gave forth this, and other accounts of a similar kind, led away by their notions as to the nature of the Work on which I have touched in the preceding section. Not even, as I have said, in the Work itself do we find such censures and commendations; and much less are they trumpeted in the title of it. Meaning of the name,—the Chunqiu.
2. The name Chunqiu was in use before the time of Confucius.
That we are not to seek for any deep or mystical meaning in the title is still more evident from the fact that the name was in use before it was given to the compilation of Confucius. The first narrative of the Zuo zhuan under the second year of duke Zhao, when Confucius was only eleven years old, shows that this was the case in Lu. Then the principal minister of Jin, being on a visit to the court of Lu, examined the documents in the charge of the grand-historiographer, and 'saw,' we are told, 'the Yi with its diagrams and the Chunqiu of Lu.' 15
But the records, or a class of the records, of every State in the kingdom of Zhou appear to have been called by this name of Spring and Autumn. In the 'Narratives of the States,' the appointment of Shuxiang to be tutor to the heir-apparent of the State of Jin is grounded on 'his acquaintance with the Chunqiu.' 16 I take the name there as equivalent to history in general,—the historical summaries made in the various States of the kingdom. Shuxiang's appointment was made in B.C. 568, about twenty years before Confucius was born. In the same Narratives, at a still earlier date, it is laid down as a rule for the heir-apparent of the State of Chu, that he should be taught the Chunqiu. 17 According to Mencius, the annals of Lu went by the name of the Chunqiu, while those of Jin were called the Sheng, and those of Chu the Taowu. 18 All these, however, he says, were books of the same character; and though the annals of different States might have other and particular names given to them, it seems clear that they might all be designated Chunqiu. Thus we have a statement in Mo Di that he 'had seen the Chunqiu histories of a hundred States'; 19 and elsewhere we find him speaking of the Chunqiu of Zhou, the Chunqiu of Yan, the Chunqiu of Song, and the Chunqiu of Qi. 20
4. The Chunqiu of Lu supplied, it seems to me, the materials for the sage's Work;—if, indeed, he did any thing more than copy out what was ready to his hand. He Xiu, the famous Han editor of Gongyang's commentary on it, in his introductory notes to the first year of duke Yin, quotes from a Min Yin to the effect that Confucius, having received the command of Heaven to make his Chunqiu, sent Zixia and others of his disciples, fourteen men in all, to seek for the historical records of Zhou, and that they got the precious books of 120 States, from which he proceeded to make his chronicle. 21 This, however, is one of the wild statements which we find in many writers of the Han and Jin dynasties. There is nothing in the Work to make it necessary to suppose that any other records were consulted but those of Lu. This is the view almost universally entertained by the scholars and critics of China itself, as in the statement given from Zhao Qi on p. 5. The omission, moreover, of many events which are narrated in the Zhuan of Zuoshi makes it certain to my mind that Confucius confined himself to the tablets of his native State. Whether any of his disciples were associated with him in the labour of compilation we cannot tell. Ban Gu, in the chapter on the Literary History of the early Han dynasty, says that Zuo Qiuming was so. 22 How this was will be considered when I come to speak of Zuo's commentary. Sima Qian's account would rather incline us to think that the whole was done by Confucius alone, for he says that when the Work was completed and shown to the disciples of Zixia, they could not improve it in a single character. 23 The Chunqiu of Lu supplied the materials for the existing Chunqiu.
5. The nature of the Chunqiu of the States.
The Chunqiu of Lu then was the source of the Chunqiu of Confucius. The chronicles or annals which went by this name were the work of the historiographers or recorders, who, we know, were attached to the royal court and to the courts of the various feudal princes. I have spoken of those officers in the prolegomena to vol. III. p. 11, and in those to vol. IV., pp. 24—26. Ban Gu in the same chapter from which I have made a quotation from him in the preceding paragraph, says that the historiographers of the Left recorded words, that is, Speeches, Charges, etc., and those of the Right recorded affairs; that the words formed the Shu, and the affairs the Chunqiu. 24
But if we are to judge of what the Chunqiu of the States were from what the one Chunqiu preserved to us is, the statement that they contained the records of events cannot be admitted without considerable modification. There can have been no details in them, but only the briefest possible compends of the events, or references to them.
That there were the records of events, kept in the offices of historiography, must be freely admitted, and it will appear, when I come to speak of the commentary of Zuo Qiuming, that to them we are mainly indebted for the narratives which impart so much interest to his Work. But the entries in the various Chunqiu were not made from them,—not made from them fairly and honestly as when one tries to give in a very few words the substance of a narrative which is before him. Those entries related to events in the State itself, at the royal court, and in other States with which it maintained friendly relations. Communications about remarkable and ominous occurrences in one State, and about important transactions, were sent from it to others, and the receiving State entered them in its Chunqiu in the terms in which they were made out, without regard to whether they conveyed a correct account of the facts or not. Then the great events in a State itself,—those connected with the ruling House and the principal families or clans in it, its relations with other States, and natural phænomena supposed to affect the general wellbeing, also found a place. Sometimes these things were recorded under the special direction of the ruler; at other times we must suppose that the historiographers committed them to their tablets as a part of their official duty. How far truth, an exact conformity of the record with the circumstances, was observed in these entries about the internal affairs of a State, is a point on which it is not competent for me at this point of the inquiry to pronounce an opinion.
6. In the prolegomena to vol. IV. p. 25, referring to the brief account which we have in the official Book of Zhou of the duties of the historiographers of the Exterior at the royal court, I have made it appear that they had charge of the Histories of all the States, 25 rendering the character zhi by 'Histories.' M. Biot, in his translation of the Official Book, has done the same; but Mao Qiling contends that those zhi were the Chunqiu of the different States, or the brief notices of which they were made up. 26 I have failed, however, to find elsewhere any evidence to support his view; 27 and when he goes on to argue that three copies of those notices were always made,—one to be kept in the State itself, one for the royal court, and one to be sent to the historiographers of the various feudal courts with which the State was in the habit of exchanging such notifications,—the single passage to which he refers by no means bears out the conclusion which he draws from it; 28 and indeed, as many copies must have been made as there were States to which the notice was to be sent. In other respects the account which he gives of those notices is so instructive that I subjoin a summary of it.
Mao Qiling's account of the contents of the Chunqiu of the States.
They were merely, he says, 'slips of subjects,' and not 'summaries' or synopses,—containing barely the mention of the subject to which each of them referred. 29 It was necessary there should be nothing in them inconsistent with, or contradictory to, the fuller narratives, but they themselves gave no indication of the beginning or end of the events to which they referred, or of the various circumstances which marked their course. For instance, suppose the subject was going from Lu to the court of Jin.—In VIII. xviii. 4, we are told that 'the duke went to Jin,' the occasion of his doing so being to congratulate the new marquis of Jin on his accession; whereas, in IX. iii. 2, we have a notice in the same characters about the child marquis Xiang, his going to Jin being to present himself to that court on his own accession to Lu. Suppose, again, the subject to be a meeting between the rulers of Lu and Qi.—In III. xiii. 4, we are told that it is said that 'duke Zhuang had a meeting with the marquis of Qi, when they made a covenant in Ke,' the object being to make peace between the two States after the battle of Shengqiu; whereas, in xxiii. 10, we have the notice of a meeting and covenant between the same princes in Hu, having reference to an alliance by marriage which they had agreed upon.
After further illustrating the nature of the notices, Mao observes correctly, that to look in them for slight turns of expression, such as the mention of an individual's rank, or of his clan-name, or the specification of the day when an event occurred without the month, and to find in the presence or absence of these particulars the expression of praise or blame, is no better than the gropings of a man in a dream. In this I fully agree with him, but as he has said that the 'slip-notices of the Chunqiu' should not be inconsistent with the facts in a detailed narrative of the events to which they refer, he seems to push the point as to the colourlessness of the notices to an extreme, when he adds the following illustration of it on the authority of a brother of his own:—'The deaths of princes and great officers recorded in the Chunqiu took place in various ways; but they all appear under the same form—"died." Thus in V. xxiv. 5 it is said that "Yiwu, marquis of Jin, died," the fact being that he was slain; in X. viii. 2 it is said that "Ni, marquis of Chen, died," the fact being that he strangled himself; in II. v. 1 it is said that "Bao, marquis of Chen, died," the fact being that he went mad and died; in XI. xiv. 6 it is said that "Guang, viscount of Wu, died," the fact being that he did so of wounds received in battle; in XI. iii. 2 it is said that "Chuan, viscount of Zhu, died," the fact being that he burned himself to death; in III. xxxii. 3 it is said that "the Gongzi Ya died," the fact being that he was compelled to take poison; in X. iv. 8 it is said that "Shusun Bao died," the fact being that he was starved to death; in X. xxv. 7 it is said that "Shusun She died," the fact being that he did so in answer to his own prayers; and in X. xxix. 3, it is said that "Shu Yi died," the fact being that he did so without any illness. The one word "died," is used in such a variety of cases, and it is only one who knows profoundly the style of the text who can explain the comprehensive meaning of the term.'5 But there is no meaning in the term beyond that of dying, and the conclusion of the mind is that the death indicated by it was a natural one. It is not history in any proper sense of the term which is given in such an undiscriminating style.
7. Did Confucius in compiling his Chunqiu add to or take from his authorities?
The reader has now a sufficiently accurate idea of what all the annals that went under the name of Chunqiu were, of what especially the Chunqiu still existing and with which we have to do is. It only remains for me in this section to inquire whether we have reason to believe that Confucius made any changes in the style of the Chunqiu of Lu.
On this point, as on so many others connected with the Work, we have not sufficient evidence to pronounce a very decided opinion. We are without a single word about it from Confucius himself, or from any of his immediate disciples; and from later scholars and critics we have the most conflicting utterances regarding it. I have quoted a few words on p. 9, from Sima Qian's account of the Chunqiu, but I now give the whole of it:—'The master said, "No! No! The superior man is distressed lest his name should not be honourably mentioned after death. My principles do not make way in the world;—how shall I make myself known to future ages?" On this, from the records of the historians he made the Chunqiu, commencing with duke Yin, coming down to the 14th year of duke Ai, and thus embracing the times of twelve marquises. He kept close in it to [the annals of] Lu, showed his affection for Zhou, and purposely made the three dynasties move before the reader. 30 His style was condensed, but his scope was extensive. Thus the rulers of Wu and Chu assumed to themselves the title of king; but in the Chunqiu they are censured by being only styled viscounts. Thus also the son of Heaven was really summoned [by the marquis of Jin] to attend the meeting at Jiantu (V. xxviii. 8), but the Chunqiu conceals the fact, and says (par. 16) that "the king by Heaven's grace held a court of inspection in Heyang." Such instances serve to illustrate the idea of the master in the censures and elisions which he employed to rectify the ways of those times, his aim being that, when future kings should study the work, its meaning should be appreciated, and all rebellious ministers and villainous sons under the sky become afraid. 31 When Confucius was in office, his language in listening to litigations was what others would have employed, and not peculiar to him; but in making the Chunqiu, he wrote what he wrote, and he retrenched what he retrenched, so that the disciples of Zixia could not improve it in a single character. When his disciples received from him the Chunqiu, he said, "It is by the Chunqiu that after ages will know me, and also by it that they will condemn me."' 32
A thousand expressions of opinion, modelled upon that of Sima Qian, might easily be adduced, all, it seems to me, as I have said already, prompted by an endeavour to reconcile the existing Work with the accounts of the Chunqiu given in Mencius. As we come down the course of time, we find the scholars of China less positive in the view that Confucius made any change in the text of the Chunqiu of Lu. Zhu Xi says, 'The entries in the Chunqiu, that, for instance, "Such a man did such a thing" are according to the old text of the historiographers of Lu, come down to us from the stylus of the sage, transcribing or retrenching. Nowadays, people, when they see the Chunqiu, are sure to say. "Such and such a character has its stigma for such and such a man," so that Confucius thus took it on him, according to his private views, to dispense without authority his praise or blame. But Confucius simply wrote the thing correctly as it was, and the good or evil of it was manifest of itself. If people feel that they must express themselves as I have said, we must get into our hands the old text of the historiographers of Lu, so that, comparing it with what we now have, the difference and agreement between them would be apparent. But this is now impossible.' 33
Zhao Yi adduces two paragraphs from the 'Annals of the Bamboo Books,' which, he thinks, may be the original form of two in the Chunqiu. The one is—'Duke Yin of Lu and duke Zhuang of Zhu made a covenant at Gumie,' 34 corresponding to I. i. 2, 'In the third month, the duke and Yifu of Zhu made a covenant in Mie.' The other is—'Duke Xian of Jin united with the army of Yu, and, attacking Guo, extinguished Xiayang,' 35 corresponding to V. ii. 3, 'An army of Yu and an army of Jin extinguished Xiayang.' 'These two cases,' observes Zhao, 'show that the style of the historiographers of the States was, we may say, similar to that of the Chunqiu, and that Confucius on deliberation only altered a few characters to lodge in others of his own his praise or censure'. 36 But to make these two instances exactly to the point, it would be necessary that they should occur in the annals of the State of Lu, somehow preserved to us. Besides, the expressions 'duke Zhuang' and 'duke Xian' are retrospective, and not after the manner of the Chunqiu.
With regard to the entry in III. vii. 2, that 'at midnight there was a fall of stars like rain,' referring, we must believe, to a grand appearance of meteors, Gongyang tells us that the old text of the historiographers was—'It rained stars to within a foot of the earth, when they reascended'? Certainly the text was not altered here by Confucius to express either praise or censure. And if Gongyang was able thus to quote the old text, it is strange he should only have done it in this solitary instance. If it had been so different from the present, with his propensities he would not have been slow to adduce it frequently. I must doubt his correctness in this case.
After the first entry under the 14th year of duke Ai, with which according to all Chinese critics the labours of Confucius terminated, Zuoshi gives no fewer than 27 paragraphs, bringing the history down to the death of the sage in Ai's 16th year. Those paragraphs were added, it is said, from the Chunqiu of Lu by Confucius' disciples; and I can see no difference between the style in them, and in the more than a thousand which passed under the revision of the master.
Is it a sign of my having imbibed something of the prejudice of native scholars, of which I spoke in the end of last section, that I do not like to express my opinion that Confucius did not alter a character in his authorities? Certainly he made no alterations to convey his sentiments of praise or blame;—the variations of style where there could be no change of sentiment or feeling underlying them forbid our supposing this.
1. Evidence of Liu Xin's Catalogue of the Han imperial library
Liu Xin's catalogue of the Works in the imperial library of the early Han dynasty, prepared, as I have shown in the proleg. to vol. I., p. 4, about the commencement of our Christian era, begins, on the Chunqiu, with two collections of the text of the Classic:—'The old text of the Chunqiu in twelve pian'; and 'The text of the Chunqiu in eleven juan or Books.' 37 This is followed by a list of the Zhuan, or Commentaries, of Zuo, Gongyang, Guliang, Zou, and Jia; 38 so that at this early time the text of the Classic was known, and there were writings of five different masters in illustration of it, the greater portion of which, the Zhuan namely of Zuo, Gongyang, and Guliang, remain to the present day. A dozen other Works follow, mostly by Gongyang and Guliang or their followers, showing how the Classic and the commentators on it had already engaged the attention of scholars.
2. Were the texts mentioned in the Han catalogue derived from the commentaries of Zuo, Gongyang, and Guliang, or from some other independent source? In a note to the entry about them, Yan Shigu of the Tang dynasty says that they were taken from Gongyang and Guliang. Many scholars confine his remark to the second collection, and it gives some countenance to this view that the commentaries of those two masters were then in eleven Books; but it is to be observed on the other hand that with the differences which exist in their texts they could hardly have been formed into one collection.
With regard to the first entry—'the old text in twelve pian'—it is the general opinion that this was the text as taken from the Work of Zuo. And there can be no doubt that during the Han dynasty the text and the commentary were kept separate in that Work, for Du Yu tells us that in his edition of it, early in the Jin dynasty, he 'took the years of the text and arranged them along with the corresponding years of the commentary.' 39 Moreover, in the Han dynasty, Zuo's school and that of Gongyang were distinguished as the old or ancient and the new or modern. 40 To myself, however, the more natural interpretation of 'the old text' in the entry appears to be—the text in the ancient character; and if there were evidence to show that there was an edition of the text in Liu Xin's time, independent of that derived from the three commentaries, the result would be satisfactory. Ruan 41 Yuan was the first, so far as I know, to do this, in the present century. In the preface to his 'Examination of the text of Zuo's Commentary and Kong Yingda's Annotations on it,' 42 he calls attention to the fact that among the discoveries of old tablets in the wall of Confucius' house 43 there were those of the Chunqiu. Ban Gu indeed omits to mention them in his appendix to Liu Xin's catalogue of the Shu and Works on it, where he speaks of the Shu, the Li ji, the Lun yu, and the Xiao jing as having been thus found; but Xu Shen, in the preface to his dictionary, the Shuo wen, published A.D. 100, adds to the tablets of these Works those of the Chunqiu. 44 I am willing therefore to believe that it was this copy of the text of the Chunqiu in the ancient character which headed the catalogue of Liu Xin; and if it were so, all question as to the genuineness of our present Classic may be considered as at an end.
3. View on the subject of Ma Duanlin.
There are many of the scholars of China, who would hesitate to concur with me in this view, and prefer to abide by the opinion of which very full expression has been given by Ma Duanlin. He says, 'Although there appears in the catalogue of the Han dynasty "The old Text of the Chunqiu," yet the original text, as corrected by the master, was never discovered; and the old texts compiled in the Han dynasty and subsequently have all been taken from the three commentaries, and called by the name of "The correct text." But there are many differences in the texts which appear in those commentaries, and it is impossible for the student to decide between them. For instance:—in I. i. 2 Zuo gives the meeting between the marquis of Lu and Yifu of Zhu as having taken place in Mie (蔑), while Gong and Gu give the name as 昧, so that we cannot tell which of these characters the master wrote. So Mei (郿) , in III. xxviii. 4, appears in Gong and Gu as 微, and Jueyin (厥憖), in X. xi. 7, appears in Gong and Gu as 屈銀. Instances of this kind are innumerable, but they are generally in the names of places and unimportant. In I. iii. 3, however, we have in Zuoshi the entry 君氏卒, which would be the notice of the death of Sheng Zi, the mother of duke Yin, whereas in Gong and Gu we read 君氏卒, referring to the death of a high minister of Zhou; so that we cannot tell whose death it was that the master chronicled as having taken place on the day Xinmao of the 4th month of the third year of duke Yin. 45
'And not only so. In the 21st year of duke Xiang, both Gongyang and Guliang have an entry to the effect that Confucius was then born. But in the Chunqiu only the births of the heir-sons of the rulers of States were entered, as in II. vi. 5. In other cases, the births even of hereditary nobles, who exercised an all-powerful sway in the government of their States, like the members of the Ji family [in Lu], did not find a place in the tablets; and though the master be the teacher of emperors and kings for myriads of ages, yet at his birth he was only the son of the commandant of the city of Zou. The historiographers of Lu would not make a record of that event, and to say that he himself afterward entered it in the classic which he prepared, is in the highest degree absurd.
'Moreover Zuo, after the capture of the lin in the 14th year of duke Ai, has further protracted the text to the 4th month of the 16th year, when the death of Zhongni is recorded;—which even Du Zhengnan considered to be not far from an act of forgery.
'Thus there are not only additions in the three commentaries to the proper text of the Chunqiu of things which are strange and partly incredible, but the authors of them added [to the text] and suppressed [portions of it] according to their pleasure. In what they write under the 21st year of Xiang, Gong and Gu added to the text, to do honour to the master from whom they had received it, and Zuo made his addition in the 16th year of Ai, to show his grief for the death of the master;—neither addition was in the original text of the Chunqiu. The three writers made their commentaries according to what was current in men's mouths, and what they heard with their ears, in their time, and each of them thrust in whatever addition he desired to make. Subsequent scholars again have adopted what they found in the three commentaries, one favouring this and another that, and trying to make it clear; but that they have attained to the mind of the sage in the use of his stylus, now writing down and now retrenching, a thousand years before them, is what I am not able to believe.' 46
4. Ma's conclusions seem overstrained.
I have given the whole of Ma's remarks, because of the weight of his authority and the freedom with which he has expressed his views. The points, however, on which he insists do not make so unfavourable an impression on my mind against the integrity of our present text as they did upon his. That there was not in the Han dynasty a text of the Classic besides the texts found in the three commentaries is not so certain as he makes out. Very possibly, as I have shown in the second paragraph, a distinct text was found, as related by Xu Shen, in the year B.C. 153. But if we base the text simply on what is given in the commentaries, we must feel that we approximate very nearly to what it was when they made their appearance, to what it had been before the tyrant of Qin fancied that he had made an end of it. There is no evidence that anyone of them suppressed portions of the text as Ma affirms; and the additions of which he makes so much are only two, one by Gongyang and Guliang (with a variation, however, to which he does not advert), and one by Zuo, for we may consider all the paragraphs that follow the account of the capture of the lin as one addition. They were both very natural, and I should suppose were intended originally as notes rather than additions to the text. The various readings again in the three are really not of great importance. Occurring mostly in the names of men and places, 47 they need not trouble us more than different ways of spelling unusual words in different editions of an English book would do. The most important variation of another character between them is that on which Ma insists so strongly,— 君氏 and 尹氏 in I. iii. 3. This is not what we may compare to an error of orthography, arising from writing the same sound in different ways;—it is evidently an error of transcription. Zuo, I am of opinion, copied down 君 instead of 尹, and then tried, ingeniously but unsatisfactorily, to account in his commentary for the unusual combination of 君氏. Gong and Gu copied 尹 correctly, but their historical knowledge was not sufficint to enable them to explain who 尹氏 was. Ma has altogether overlooked the consideration of the value attaching to the various readings as showing the independence of the three recensions. Adding to them the two of Zou and Jia which soon perished, we have five different texts of the Chunqiu in existence in the second century before our era. Zuo, Gongyang, and Guliang, had each his school of adherents, who sought to exalt the views of their master above those of his rivals. It is still competent to us to pronounce upon their respective views, and weigh the claims which they have to our consideration; but the question at present is simply about their texts. Notwithstanding the differences between these, there is no doubt in my mind that they flowed from a common original, —an original which must have been compiled by Confucius from the Chunqiu of Lu. On the subsequent preservation of that text it is not necessary to enter, excepting in so far as the early history of the three commentaries is concerned. When the authority of them was once established, there was a succession of scholars who from dynasty to dynasty devoted themselves to the illustration of them, the Works of hundreds of whom are existing at the present day. It may not be possible for us to determine the exact reading, of names especially, in every paragraph, and there may be lacunæ in other paragraphs, and some paragraphs perhaps were lost before the three texts were transcribed; but the text as formed from them must in my opinion be considered, notwithstanding its various readings, as a fair reproduction of what Confucius wrote, a sufficient copy of the Work by which he felt that posterity would judge him.
I proceed in the next section to describe the three early commentaries, after which we shall be prepared to estimate the value of the Work itself.
1. The commentary of Zuo.
Of the three early commentaries the first which made its appearance in the Han dynasty, and incomparably the most important, was that of Zuo, or of Zuoqiu, for the opinions of scholars differ both as to the surname and the name of the author. 48 The account of it given by Ban Gu is—that Zuo Qiuming was a disciple of the sage, who consulted along with him the historical records of Lu, before making his great Work; that when it was made, it was not advisable to publish it because of the praise and censure, the concealments and suppressions, which abounded in it, and that therefore he delivered it by word of mouth to the disciples, who thereupon withdrew and gave different accounts of the events referred to in it; that Qiuming, in order that the truth might not be lost, made his commentary, or narratives of those events, to make it clear that the master had not in his text used empty words; and finally, that it was necessary for him to keep his work concealed, to avoid the persecutions of the powerful rulers and officers whose conduct was freely and fully described in it. Ban Gu's account is correct thus far, that we have in Zuo's Work a detailed account of most of the events of which the text of Confucius gives only hints. The Chunqiu may be loosely compared to the headings or summaries of contents which are prefixed to the chapters in many editions of our Bibles, and Zuo's commentaries to the chapters themselves. But we shall find that they contain more than this.
2. Who Zuo was
Who Zuo was it is not easy to say. In the Analects, V. xxiv., Confucius says, 'Fine words, an insinuating appearance, and excessive respect;—Zuoqiu Ming was ashamed of such things, and I also am ashamed of them. To conceal resentment against a person, and appear friendly with him;—Zuoqiu Ming was ashamed of such conduct, and I also am ashamed of it.' 49 Zhao Qi says, on the authority of Kong An'guo, that the person whom Confucius spoke of thus, was the grand-historiographer of Lu, but adds nothing as to his being contemporary with the sage, or of an earlier time. The critics generally hold that he was some Worthy of an earlier age, on the ground that Confucius only drew comparisons between himself and men of a former period. 50 I am not fully convinced by their reasonings. The Chinese text of the Analects is not so definite as the English translation of it. What Confucius says about Zuoqiu Ming might be rendered in the present tense in the same way as what he says about himself. Nothing, however, would be gained by discussing a text on which it is not possible to arrive at a positive decision. At the same time I may say that the view that Zuo was a disciple of the master has very formidable difficulties to encounter. The Classic stops in the 14th year of duke Ai, B.C. 480, but Zuo's commentary extends to the 4th year of duke Dao, Ai's successor, B.C. 463. In the last paragraph of it, moreover, there is an allusion to the ruin and death of Xun Yao or Zhi Bo, a great officer of Jin, which took place in 452, 27 or 28 years after the close of the Chunqiu. Not only so. The Head of the Zhao family is mentioned in the same paragraph by his posthumous or honorary title, and of course he could not have received it till after his death, which took place in B.C. 424, 56 years after the capture of the lin, and 54 years after the death of the sage. Is it possible to believe that one so much younger than Confucius was among his disciples and possessed his confidence to the extent which the commonly received accounts of the making of the Chunqiu suppose?
3. First Appearance and subsequent history of his commentary.
Leaving these speculations about the name and person of Zuo, we find that his commentary made its appearance soon after the rise of the Han dynasty. Xu Shen to his account of the discovery of the Chunqiu in the wall of Confucius house, quoted on p. 18, subjoins the statement that Zhang Cang, marquis of Beiping presented the commentary of Zuo written in the old characters of the Zhou dynasty. 51 Now this Zhang Cang had been high in office under the Qin dynasty, in charge, it would appear, of the imperial library. Having joined the party of the duke of Pei, the founder of the Han dynasty, he became at last a favourite with him, and was placed in various positions of the greatest trust. 52 His appointment to be marquis of Beiping 53 took place in B.C. 200, about fifty years before the discovery of the text in the wall of Confucius' house. Xu Shen says that 'Zhang presented' the Work, meaning, I suppose, that he did so to the first emperor of Han, who was too much occupied, however, with the establishment of his dynasty to give much attention to literary matters. But after the time of Zhang Cang we never lose sight of Zuo's commentary. From him it passed to Jia Yi, of whom we have many notices as a famous scholar and statesman in the reign of the emperor Wen (B.C. 178— 156). 54 He published a Work of his own upon it; 55 and then it passed on to his grandson Jia Jia, 56 and Guan Gong, 57 a great scholar at the court of King Xian of Hejian, 58 through whom an attempt was made to obtain for it the imperial recognition, which was defeated by the friends of the commentary of Gongyang. This, though later in making its appearance, had already found a place in the imperial college. 59 Guan Gong transmitted his treasure to his youngest son, named Changqing, 60 and from him it went on to Zhang Chang 61 and Zhang Yu, 62 both famous men of their time. To one of them, no doubt, belonged the 'Niceties of the Chunqiu, by Zhangshi,' mentioned in Liu Xin's catalogue. 63Yu was intimate with Xiao Wangzhi, 64 perhaps the most distinguished man of the time, whom he interested in the Work of Zuo, so that he called the attention to it of the emperor Xuan (B.C. 72—48), and it might now have been formally recognized but for Yu's death. The names of Yin Gengshi 65 and his son Yin Xian, 66 of Di Fangjin, 67 Hu Chang, 68 and Jia Hu 69 lead us from Yu to Liu Xin. 70 Xin's connexion with Zuo's Work may be considered as forming an era in its history. 'Having found,' we are told in his biography, 'in the imperial library, the Chunqiu and Zuo's zhuan in the ancient characters, he became very fond of them. At that time Yin Xian, a secretary of the prime minister, being well acquainted with Zuoshi, examined along with Xin the text and commentary. Xin took his opinion in some particulars, and sought to learn the correct interpretation and great aim of the Works by application to the prime minister Di Fangjin. Before this, because of the many ancient characters and ancient sayings in Zuo's zhuan, students had contented themselves with simply explaining their meaning; but when Xin took it in hand, he quoted the words of the commentary to explain the text, and made them throw light on each other, and from this time the exhibition of them in paragraphs and clauses was cultivated. Xin preferred Zuo to Gongyang and Guliang, considering that he agreed in his likings and dislikings with the sage, and that he had himself seen the master,—a very different case from that of Gong and Gu who were subsequent to the seventy disciples' 71 The history then relates the disputes between Xin and his father Xiang, who was an adherent of the commentary of Guliang, and how he made an attempt to get the emperor Ai (B.C. 5—A.D.) to give Zuo a place in the imperial college along with Gong and Gu, which was defeated by the jealousy of their supporters. From this time, however, the advocates of Zuoshi became more numerous and determined to have justice done to their master. They were successful for a short time in the reign of the emperor Ping (A.D. 1—5), but Zuo's Work was again degraded as of less authority than the other two commentaries; and though Jia Kui 72 presented an argument on forty counts to prove its superiority, which was well received by the emperor Zhang (A.D. 76—88), it was not till A.D. 99, under the emperor He, 73 that the footing of Zuo in the imperial college was finally established. The famous Zheng Kangcheng (A.D. 127—199) having replied to three Works of He Xiu, 74 the maintainer of the authority of Gongyang, against Zuo and Guliang, and shown the superiority of Zuo, the other two commentaries began from this time to sink into neglect. It is melancholy to read the list of writers on Zuo during the second and third dynasties of Han, of whom we have only fragmentary sentences remaining; but in A.D. 280, Du Yu or Du Yuankai, a scholar and general at the commencement of the Jin dynasty, 75 completed a great Work under the title of 'Collected Explanations of the Text and Commentary of Zuoshi on the Chunqiu, in thirty chapters.' This Work still remains, and will ever be a monument of the scholarship and painstaking of the writer.
4. Attempt to trace Zuo's Work nearly to the time of Confucius.
Nothing need be said on the history of the commentary of Zuo since the beginning of the Han dynasty. Some of the scholars of that age traced it back from Zhang Cang to nearly the time of Confucius, and Kong Yingda in his preface to Du Yu's Work quotes the following from a production of Liu Xiang (B.C. 80—9) which is now lost: 'Zuo Qiuming delivered his Work to Zeng Shen. Shin transmitted it to Wu Qi; Wu Qi to his son Qi; Qi to Duo Jiao, a native of Chu, who copied out selections from it in 8 books; Duo Jiao to Yu Qing, who made 9 books of selections from it; Yu Qing to Xun Qing; and Xun Qing to Zhang Cang.' 76 I wish we had different and more authority for this statement, as Xiang was not himself an adherent of Zuo's Work. In his son Xin's catalogue which I have already referred to, two Works are mentioned by Duoshi and Yushi, but there is nothing in their titles to connect them with Zuo; 77 and Sima Qian says nothing in his memoir of Xun Qing about any connexion that he had with the transmission of the commentary. 78 Zeng Shen was the grandson of Zeng Can, one of Confucius' principal disciples,— the Zeng Xi of Mencius, II. Pt. i. I. 3. Zuo's committing his Work to him would agree with what I have said in par. 2, and cast a doubt on his being a contemporary of the sage himself.
5. The nature of Zuo's Work.
I have said that generally we have in the Work of Zuo the details of the events of which we have but a shadow or the barest intimation in the text of the Chunqiu; but we have more than this. Of multitudes of events that during the 242 years of the Chunqiu period took place in Lu and other States, to which the text makes no allusion, we have from Zuo a full account. Where he got his information he does not tell us. Du Yu is probably correct when he says that Zuo was himself one of the historiographers of Lu. 79 Whatever of the history of that State was on record he was familiar with. If the records of other States were also collected there, he had studied them equally with those of his own. If he did not find them there, he must have gone in search of them, for he is as much at home in the events of Zhou, Jin, Qi, Song, Zheng, Chu, and other States, as he is in those of Lu. And not only does he draw from the records about the ruling Houses of the States, but also from the histories of the principal families or clans and the chief men in them. 80 From whatever quarter, in whatever way, he got his information, he has transmitted it to us. The events and the characters of the time pass as in reality and life before us. In no ancient history of any country have we such a vivid picture of any lengthened period of its annals as we have from Zuo of the 270 years which he has embraced in his Work. Without his Zhuan the text of the sage would be of little value. Let the former be preserved, and we should have no occasion to regret the loss of the latter.
Zuo's Work compiled on a two-fold plan. He wished first to explain the text.
To myself it appears plain that Zuo's Work was compiled on a two-fold plan. First, he had reference to the text of the Chunqiu, and wished to give the details of the events which were indicated in it. Occasionally also he sets himself to explain the words of that text, being sometimes successful and sometimes not. He lays down canons to regulate the meaning and application of certain characters, but it can hardly be said that we find him under the influence of the 'praise-and-censure' theory. In this respect he differs remarkably from Gongyang and Guliang; and I have sometimes fancied that the characteristic is an evidence that he lived before Mencius, and had never read the accounts of the Classic which we find in him. His object evidently was to convey to his readers a knowledge of the facts given in the master's paragraphs as if independent and isolated in their connexion with one another. Hence he often mentions new facts which are necessary for that purpose. As he generally introduces them chronologically, at the time of their occurrence, he seems at times merely to increase the mass of indigested matter; but by and by we find what he has thus related to stand in the relation of cause to something subsequently chronicled. But his method with these additions to the text, which are yet connected with it, is very various. As Du Yu says, 'Now he anticipates the text to show the origin of an affair; now he comes after the text [with his narrative] to bring out fully the meaning; now he lies alongside the text to discriminate the principles in it; and now he appears to cross the text to bring together things that differ:—thus various according to what he considered the requirements of the case.' 81 What is very surprising is that he does not appear to be conscious of frequent discrepancies between the details of his narratives and the things as stated by Confucius. Now and then, as on VI. xviii. 6, he says that the text conceals the nature of the fact; but generally he seems insensible of the untrust worthiness of the representation in it.
Let it be understood, however, that Zuo does not give the details of every event which the Classic briefly indicates. We must suppose that where he does not do so, his sources of information failed him, and he was obliged to leave the notice of the text as it was. There is the erroneous or defective entry in III. xxiv. 9,—'The duke of Guo.' On it Zuo says nothing. So on the five paragraphs of Zhuang's 26th year he has nothing to say, while he introduces brief narratives of two other things, for the latter of which only we can account as being given with an outlook into the future. Generally speaking, the information given in the Zhuan is scanty or abundant in proportion to its distance from or nearness to the era assigned to its compilation. The 18 years of duke Huan, B.C. 710—693, occupy in the following Work 37 pages; the 15 years of duke Ding, B.C. 508— 494, 50 pages. The 32 years of Zhuang, B.C. 692—661, occupy 59 pages; the 32 of Zhao, B.C. 540—509, 173 pages. This certainly gives us for the Work one attribute of verisimilitude. 82
The second view of Zuo;--to give a general view of the history of China during the Chunqiu period.
But while Zuo intended his Work to be a commentary on the text of the Chunqiu, I believe that he had in view another and higher object, and wished to give his readers a general view of the history of the country throughout all its States during the Chunqiu period. The account of the Zhuan quoted above from Du Yu carries us a considerable way to this conclusion. Zuo shows the origin and issue of many events, one phase of which merely is mentioned in the text. The unconnected entries of the classic are thus woven together, and a history is made out of them. But the new matter introduced by him is so very much, and often having no relation to anything stated in the text, yet calculated to bring the whole field of the era before us, and to indicate the progress of events on towards a different state of the kingdom, that we must suppose this to have been a prominent object in the author's mind. This characteristic of the Work has not escaped the notice of native scholars themselves. As early as the Jin dynasty, Wang Jie preferred to it the commentary of Gongyang on this account. 'Zuo's style,' said he,' is so rich, and his aim so extensive, that he is to be regarded as an author by himself, and not having it for his principal object to illustrate the classic.' 83 Nearly to the same effect is the account of Zuo's zhuan given by Wang Zhe of the Song dynasty. After praising Zuo as a skilful reader of the old histories and collector of various narratives, so that he accumulated a very complete account of the events in the Chunqiu, he yet adds:—'But though his book was made as an appendix to the classic, yet, apart from and outside that, it forms a book by itself, the author of which was led away by his fondness for strange stories, and carried his collecting them beyond what was proper. He was remiss in setting forth the fine and minute ideas of the sage, but yet his Work has a beginning and end, being all the compilation of one hand.' Chinese scholars write of Zuo under the influence of their admiration and veneration for the sage. I could wish that he had written altogether independently of the Classic, in which case we might have had a history of those times as complete as a man knowing only the heroes and events of his own country could make. It is not too much to call Zuo the Froissart of China. The historical novel called 'The History of the various States' shows the use which can be made of his narratives. They lie necessarily in my pages so many disjecta membra, but some one may yet give, mainly from them, an account of the closing centuries of the feudal state of China that shall be found to have an universal interest. 84
6. Peculiarity of Zuo's composition.
Three more points in regard to Zuo's Work have yet to be considered:—the manner of his composition; how far his narratives are entitled to our belief; and whether there is reason to believe that additions were made to them by writers of the Qin and Han dynasties. By the manner of Zuo's composition I do not mean the general character of his style. There is but one opinion as to that. It is acknowledged on all hands that he was a master of his art. Condensed, yet vivid, he is eminently pictorial. The foreign student does not for some time find it easy to make out his meaning, but by and by he gets familiar with the style, and it then has a great charm for him. In the words which the foremost of French sinologues once used to me of him, Zuo was un grand ecrivain. 85 But the peculiarity which I have in view is the way in which Zuo constantly varies the appellations of the actors in his narratives. Very often they are named by their sacrificial or honorary epithets which were not given to them till after their death, so that it is plain he did not copy out the contemporaneous accounts or records which we suppose him to have had before him, and some critics have from this contended that the narratives were entirely constructed by himself, not drawn from historical sources. 86 But such a conclusion is more than the premiss will justify. Zuo might very well call his subjects of a former time by the titles which had been accorded to them after their death, and by which men generally would in his days speak of them. What is really perplexing is that in the same account the same individual is now called by his name, now by his honorary epithet, and now by his designation, or by one or other of his designations if he had more than one, so that the narrative becomes very confused, and it requires considerable research on the part of the reader to make out who is denominated in all this variety of ways. To give only one example:—in the account of the battle of Bi, in the 12th year of duke Xuan, of the leaders on the side of Jin, we have, 1st, Xun Linfu, who by and by is styled Huanzi; 87 2d, Shi Hui, who is variously denominated Wuzi of Sui, Sui Ji, and Shi Ji, while elsewhere he is called Wuzi of Fan; 88 3d, Xian Hu, also called Zhizi, and elsewhere Yuan Hu,, or Hu of Yuan; 89 4th, Xun Shou, called also Zhi Zhuangzi and Zhi Ji; 90 5th, Han Jue, by and by Han Xianzi; 91 6th, Luan Shu, by and by Luan Wuzi; 92 7th, Zhao Shuo, by and by Zhao Zhuangzi; 93 and 8th, Xi Ke, by and by Xi Xianzi. 94 Similar instances might be quoted in great number. Zhao Yi says that such a method of varying names and appellations was characteristic of the style of that time. 95 If, indeed, it was characteristic of the time, I must think that Zuo possessed it in an exaggerated degree. The confusion produced by it in his Work seems to have led to its cure. Sima Qian and the writers of the Books of Han are careful, at the commencement of their biographies, to give the surname, name, and designation or designations of their subjects, so that the student has none of the perplexity in reading them, which he finds with Zuo's zhuan.
Are Zuo's narratives reliable? Were they supplemented or added to.
The other two points regarding the Work, which I indicated are of more importance, and I will consider them together. Have we reason to receive Zuo's narratives as reliable, having been transcribed by him from pre-existent records with merely such modifications of style as suited his taste? Or did he invent some of them himself? Or were they added to by writers in the Qin dynasty and that of the Former Han? It is difficult to reply to these questions categorically. What has the greatest weight with me in favour of Zuo's general credibility is the difference between his commentary and those of Gongyang and Guliang. What of narrative belongs to the latter bears upon it the stamp of tradition, and evidently was not copied from written records but from accounts current in the mouths of men. It is, moreover, of comparatively small compass. Their Works must have been written when the memory of particular events in the past had in a great measure died out. If Zuo's sources of information had been available for them, they would, we may be sure, have made use of them. The internal evidence of the three Works leaves no doubt in the mind as to the priority of Zuo's. And as they all made their appearance early in the Han dynasty, we are carried back for the composition of Zuo's into the period of Zhou. As his last entry is about an affair in the 4th year of duke Dao, who died B.C. 430, and he mentions in it the Head of the Zhao family in Jin by his honorary epithet of Xiangzi, which could not have been given before 424, we can hardly be wrong in assigning Zuo to the fifth century before Christ. This brings him close to the age of Confucius who died in B.C. 478. Zuo may then have been a young man;—he could hardly be a disciple enjoying that intimate association with the sage which Liu Xin, Ban Gu, and other Chinese scholars were fond of asserting.
But to maintain the general credibility of Zuo's zhuan as having been taken from authoritative sources and records acknowledged as genuine among the States of China when he wrote, leaves us at freedom to weigh his narratives and form our own opinion on grounds of reason as to the degree of confidence which we ought to repose in them. There are few critics of eminence among the Chinese who do not allow themselves a certain amount of liberty in this respect. Cheng Yichuan laid down two canons on the subject. 'The Zhuan of Zuo,' he says, 'is not to be entirely believed; but only that portion of it which is in itself credible.' 96 To this no objection can be taken; but he opens a very difficult question, when he goes on, 'We should from the Zhuan examine the details of the events referred to in the text, and by means of the text discriminate between what is true and false in the Zhuan.' 97 On this I shall have to give an opinion in the next section, and only remark now that if we find the statements of the text and the zhuan in regard to matters of history irreconcileable, the most natural course would seem to be to decide in favour of the latter.
The Kangxi editors defer in general to the authority of Zuo; but even they do not scruple to suppress his narratives occasionally, or to elide portions of them. They suppress, for instance, the account of the conference between the marquises of Lu and Qi at Jiagu, given under XI. x. 2, considering the part which Confucius is made to play at it to be derogatory to him.
Wang Anshi 98 of the Song dynasty published a treatise under the title of 'Explanations of the Chunqiu,' in which he undertook to prove from eleven instances that the Zhuan was not composed by Zuo Qiuming of the Zhou dynasty, but by some one of a later date, under the dynasty, probably, of Qin.14 Wang's treatise is unfortunately lost, and we know not what all the eleven instances were. One of them was the use of the term la 99 in the Zhuan on V. v. 9, to denominate a sacrifice after the winter solstice, which, it is contended, was first appointed under the dynasty of Qin. It may have been another where in IX. xi. 10 and xii. 5 we find mention made of military commanders of Qin with the title of shu zhang, 100 which, again it is contended, was of later date than the Zhou dynasty. Cheng Yichuan at any rate adduces these two as cases in the Zhuan of purely Qin phraseology 101
Apart from any discussion of these instances, I venture to state my own opinion, that interpolations were made in the Zhuan after Zuo had put his finishing touch to it, and probably during the dynasty of the former Han; and there are two classes of passages which seem to bear on them and in them the evidence of having been so dealt with.
[i]There are the moralizings which conclude many narratives and are interjected in others, generally with the formula—'The superior man will say,' and sometimes as if quoted from Confucius. They have often nothing or next to nothing to do with the subject of the narrative to which they are attached, and the manner in which they occasionally bring in quotations from the odes reminds us of Han Ying's Illustrations of the Shi, of which I have given specimens in the proleg. to vol. IV. Zhu Xi well asks what connexion the concluding portion of the Zhuan after I. vi. 2 has to do with what precedes, and points out many reflections in other parts which cannot be considered as the utterances of a superior man but the speculations of a mere scholar. 102 Lin Li of the Song dynasty and a multitude of other scholars attribute all these passages to Liu Xin. 103 They certainly seem to me to bear upon them the Han stamp.
[ii.]There is a host of passages which contain predictions of the future, or allusions to such predictions, grounded on divination, meteorological and astrological considerations, and something in the manner or deportment of the parties concerned;—predictions which turn out to be true. We may be sure that none of these were made at the time assigned to them in the Zhuan. Some of them which had their fulfilment before the end of the Chunqiu period may have been current in Zuo's days, and incorporated by him with his narrative. Others, like the ending of the Zhou dynasty after an existence of so many hundred years, the fulfilment of which was at a later date, were, no doubt, fabricated subsequently to that fulfilment, and interpolated during the time of the first Han.
But after deducting all these suspicious portions from Zuo's zhuan, there remains the mass of it, which we may safely receive as having been compiled by him from records made contemporaneously with the events, and transmitted by him with the graces of his own style. It is, in my opinion, the most precious literary treasure which has come down to posterity from the Zhou dynasty. 104
7. The commentaries of Gongyang and Guliang.
On the other two early commentaries, those of Gongyang and Guliang, it is not necessary that I should write at so much length. There is really nothing in them to entitle them to serious attention. Down to the present day, indeed, there are scholars in China who publish their lucubrations in favour of the one or of the other; but I think that my readers will all agree with me in the opinion which I have expressed about them, when they have examined the specimens of them which are appended to this chapter.
The commentaries themselves and various Works upon them are mentioned in Liu Xin's catalogue; — as stated above on page 17.
With regard to the Work of Gongyang, 105 Dai Hong, of the second Han dynasty, tells us that Gongyang Gao received the Chunqiu and explanations of it from Confucius' disciple Bu Shang or Zixia, and handed it down to his son Gongyang Ping; that Ping handed it down again to his son Di; Di to his son Gan; Gan to his son Shou; and that, in the reign of the emperor Jing (B.C. 155—140), Shou, with his disciple Huwu Zidu, committed it to bamboo and silk. According to this account, the Work was not committed to writing till about the middle of the second century before Christ. If it were really transmitted, from mouth to mouth, down to that time from the era of Confucius, we can hardly suppose that it did not suffer very considerably, now receiving additions and now losing portions, in its onward course. 106 The fact, moreover, of its having been confined for more than 300 years to one family takes away from the confidence which we might otherwise be inclined to repose in it.
There can be no doubt, however, that it was made public in the reign of Jing, and was acknowledged and admitted by his successor Wu (B.C. 139—86) into the imperial college. Huwu was a contemporary and friend of the scholar Dong Zhongshu; 107 and in the biography of the scholar Jiang Gong, 108 an adherent of Guliang's commentary, we are told that the emperor Wu made Jiang and Dong dispute before him on the comparative merits of their two Masters, when Dong was held to be the victor. The emperor on this gave in his adhesion to Gongyang, and his eldest son became a student of his Work.
It is not important to trace the history of Gongyang's commentary farther on. The names of various writers on it and of their Works are preserved, but the Works are lost till we arrive at He Xiu (A.D. 129—183), who published his 'Explanations of Gongyang on the Chunqiu.' 109This still remains. He Xiu did for Gongyang what, as we have seen, Du Yu did at a later period for Zuo Qiuming.
The commentary of Guliang is, like that of Gongyang, carried back to Zixia; but the line of transmission down to the Han dynasty is imperfectly given. The general opinion is that Guliang's name was Chi, 110 but Yan Shigu says it was Xi. The next name mentioned as intrusted, with the text which Chi or Xi had received, and the commentary which he had made upon it, is Sun (Xun) Qing, the same who appears on p. 27, as the 6th in the list of those who handed on the Work of Zuo. >From Sun Qing it is said to have passed to a Shen Gong of Lu. Jiang Gong, mentioned above, received it from Shen; 111 and though it did not win the favour, as advocated by him, of the emperor Wu, yet it gained a place in the imperial college in the reign of Xuan (A.D. 72—48), and for some time was held generally in great estimation. It has been preserved to us in the Work of Fan Ning, a famous scholar and statesman of the Jin dynasty in the second half of the 4th century; the title of which is, 'A Collection of the Explanations of the Zhuan of Guliang on the Chunqiu.' 112
7. Speculation as to a connexion between the commentaries of Gong and Gu; and that these were only one person.
One cannot compare carefully even the specimens of the two commentaries which I have given without seeing that there is often a great similarity between them, and having the conclusion suggested to the mind that the one was not made without reference to the other. It is not to be wondered at that some scholars, like Lin Huangzhong of the Song dynasty, should have supposed the two to be the production of the same writer. 113 But the differences between them, and occasionally the style of composition, forbid us entertaining such a view. That they were one man has been maintained on another ground. The surnames of Gongyang and Guliang ceased with the publication of the commentaries. No Gongyang nor Guliang appears after that in Chinese history. 114 This is certainly strange, especially when we consider that there were five Gongyangs concerned, according to the received account, in the transmission of the commentary from Zixia to the Han dynasty. I must leave this matter, however, in its own mist. Zheng Qingzhi, 115 Luo Bi, 116and other Song scholars held that the author of the two commentaries had been a Jiang, and that Gongyang and Guliang were merely two ways of spelling it; 117 but the method of spelling by finals and initials was, there is reason to believe, unknown in the Han dynasty.
1.Object of this section.
I come now to what must be considered as the most important subject in this chapter,—to endeavour to estimate the value of the Chunqiu as a document of history; and this will involve a judgment, first, on the character of Confucius as its author, or as having made himself responsible for it by copying it from the tablets of his native State and giving it to the world with his imprimatur, and, next, a judgment on the influence which it has had on the successive governments of China and on the Chinese people at large.
2. Statement of the case.
My readers have received, I hope, a distinct idea of the nature of the Work as made up of the briefest possible notices of the events of the time which it covers, without any attempt to exhibit the connexion between them, or any expression of opinion as to the moral character which attaches to many of them. I have spoken of the disappointment which this occasions us, when we address ourselves to its perusal with the expectations which its general reputation and the glowing accounts of it given by Mencius have awakened. We cannot reconcile it with our idea of Confucius that he should have produced so trivial a Work; and we cannot comprehend how his countrymen, down to the present day, should believe in it, and set it forth as a grand achievement.
If there were no other attribute but this triviality belonging to it, we might dismiss it from our notice, and think of it only as of a mirage, which had from the cloudland lured us to it by the attractive appearances which it presented, all vanishing as we approached it and subjected it to a close examination. But there are other attributes of the Work which are of a serious character, and will not permit us to let it go so readily. On p. 13 I have applied the term colourlessness to the notices composing it, meaning thereby simply the absence of all indication of feeling or opinion respecting the subjects of them on the part of the writer or compiler. But are the things so dispassionately told correct in point of fact? Are all the notices really informing, or are many of them misleading? Is the very brief summary a fair representation of the events, or is it in many cases a gross misrepresentation of them?
In what I have said in the preceding sections, I have repeatedly intimated my own opinion that many of the notices of the Chunqiu are not true; and the proof of this is found in the contradictions which abound between them and the events as given in detail in the Zhuan of Zuo, contradictions which are pointed out in my notes in hundreds of cases. It may occur to some that the Classic itself is to be believed rather than the narratives of Zuo and the other commentators on it. If we are to rest in this dictum, there is of course an end of all study of the Chunqiu period. From the Work of Confucius, confessedly, we learn nothing of interest, and now the relations of Zuo which are so rich in detail are not to be credited;—the two centuries and a half become a blank. But it is impossible to rest in this view. The multitude of details which Zuo gives makes him the principal witness in the case; but Gong and Gu, greatly differing as they do from him in the style of their commentaries, very often bear out his statements, and are equally irreconcileable with the notices of the sage and the inferences which we naturally draw from them. How is it that the three men, all looking up with veneration to Confucius, yet combine to contradict him as they do? Gong and Gu have their praise-and-censure theory to explain the language which the master uses; but we have seen that it is inadmissible, and it supplies no answer to the question which I have just put. And the mass of Chinese scholars and writers, for nearly 2000 years, have not scrupled to accept the history of the Chunqiu period given by Zuo as in the main correct, maintaining at the same time their allegiance to Confucius as 'the teacher of all ages,' the one man at whose feet the whole world should sit, accepting every paragraph from his stylus as a divine oracle. The thing is to me inexplicable. There have been many times when I have mused over the subject in writing the pages of this volume, and felt that China was hardly less a strange country to me than Lilliput or Laputa would be.
3. Chinese scholars admit that the Classic conceals things.
The scholars of China are ready, even forward, to admit that Confucius in the Chunqiu often conceals 118 the truth about things. On V. i. 6 Gongyang says, 'The Chunqiu conceals [the truth] on behalf of the high in rank, out of regard to kinship, and on behalf of men of worth,' 119 On V. i. 1 Zuo says that it was the rule for the historiographers to conceal any wickedness which affected the character of the State. 120 But this 'concealing' covers all the ground occupied by our three English words—ignoring, concealing, and misrepresenting.
[i.]It ignores facts.
The Chunqiu often ignores facts, and of this I will content myself with adducing two instances. The first shall be comparatively, if not quite, an innocent omission. The fifth Book, containing the annals of duke Xi, commences simply with the notice that 'it was his first year, the spring, the king's first month.' It is not said that 'he came to the [vacant] seat,' that is, that he did so with the formal ceremonies proper to celebrate his accession to the marquisate. Zuo asks why this notice was not given, and says it was because the duke Xi had gone out of the State. 'The duke,' says he, 'had fled out of the State and now re-entered it; but this is not recorded, being concealed (i. e., being ignored). To conceal the wickedness of the State was according to rule.' On the murder of duke Zhuang's son Ban, who should have succeeded to his father, Shen, who became duke Xi, had fled to the State of Zhu, and a boy of eight years old, known as duke Min, was made marquis, and when, within less than two years, he shared the fate of Ban, Shen returned to Lu, and took his place. What connexion all this had with the omission of the usual pageantry or ceremonies, and whether we have in it the true explanation of the absence of the usual notice, I am not prepared to say; but we cannot see what harm there could have been in mentioning duke Xi's flight from the State and subsequent return to it. A good and faithful chronicler would have been careful to do so, especially if the events did affect, as Zuo says, the inauguration of the new rule. 121
The second instance of ignoring shall be one of more importance. It is well known that the lords of the great States of Chu and Wu usurped during the Chunqiu period the title of king, thus renouncing their allegiance to the dynasty of Zhou which acknowledged them only as viscounts. It is by this style of viscount that they are designated in the Chunqiu; but the remarkable fact is that it does not once notice the burial of anyone of all the lords of Chu, or of Wu. The reason is that in such notices he must have appeared with his title of king. The rule was that every feudal lord, duke, marquis, earl, or baron, should after death be denominated as gong or duke, and to this was added the honorary or sacrificial epithet by which he was afterwards to be known. When a notice was entered in the Chunqiu of Lu, say of the burial of the marquis Chong'er of Jin, the entry was that on such and such a month and day they buried duke Wen of Jin. But the officers, deputed for the purpose from Lu, had assisted at the burial not of any duke of Chu or of Wu, but of king so and so. What were the historiographers to do? If they called the king when living a viscount, it would seem to us reasonable that they might have been satisfied to call him a duke when dead. But this would have been a direct falsification of the notification which they had received from the State of the deceased. They therefore ignored the burial altogether, and so managed to make their suzerain of Zhou the only king that appeared in their annals. Confucius sanctioned the practice; or if he suppressed all the paragraphs in which the burials of the lords of Chu and Wu were entered, either as dukes or kings, then specially against him lies the charge of thus shrinking from looking the real state of things fairly in the face, as if he could make it any better by taking no notice of it.
[ii.] It conceals the truth about things.
A large list of cases of ignoring might be made out by comparing the notes and narratives of Zuo with the entries of the Chunqiu, but the cases of concealing the truth are much more numerous; and in fact it is difficult to draw the line in regard to many of them between mere concealment and misrepresentation. I have quoted, on p. 13, from Mao Qiling many startling instances of the manner in which the simple notice 'he died' is used, covering almost every possible way of violent and unnatural death. It may be said that most of them relate to the deaths of princes of other States, and that the historiographers of Lu simply entered the notices as they were communicated to them from those States. Might we not have expected, however, that when their entries came under the revision of Confucius, he would have altered them so as to give his readers at least an inkling of the truth? But it is the same with the chronicling of deaths in Lu itself. Duke Yin was basely murdered, with the connivance of his brother who succeeded him, and all that is said about it in I. xi. 4 is— 'In winter, in the 11th month, on Renchen, the duke died.' His successor was murdered in turn, with circumstances of peculiar atrocity, and the entry in II. xviii. 2 is simply—'In summer, in the 4th month, on Bingzi, the duke died in Qi.' In III. xxxii. three deaths are recorded. We read:—'In autumn, in the 7th month, on Guisi, duke [Huan's son] Ya died;' 'In the 8th month, on Guihai, the duke died in the State-chamber;' 'In winter, in the 10th month, the duke's son Ban died.' Only the second of these deaths was a natural one. Ya was compelled to take poison by a half-brother Jiyou, under circumstances which are held by many critics to justify the deed. Ban who was now marquis, though he could not be entered as such by the historiographers till the year had elapsed, was murdered by an uncle, who wished to seize the marquisate for himself, without any mitigating circumstances. How is it that these three deaths, so different in their nature and attendant circumstances, are described by the same word? Here it is said 'Ya died,' and 'Ban died;' and they did not die natural deaths. In I. v. 7 it is said — 'duke [Xiao's] son Kou died,' and in VIII. v. 13 we have—'Jisun Hangfu died;'and they both died natural deaths. What are we to think of a book which relates events in themselves so different without any difference in its forms of expression? The Kangxi editors are fond of the solution of such perplexities which says that Confucius meant to set his readers inquiring after the details of the events which he indicated; but why did he not obviate the necessity for such inquiries altogether by varying his language as it would have been very easy to do? But for the Zhuan we should entirely misunderstand a great number of the entries in the text.
To take two instances of a less violent kind than these descriptions of deaths,—in III. i. 2, we read that 'in the 3d month the [late duke Huan's,] wife [Wen Jiang] retired to Qi,' and in X. xxv. 5 we read that 'in the 9th, month, on Jihai, the duke [Zhao] retired to Qi.' In both passages 'retired' is equivalent to 'fled.' Duke Huan's widow was understood to have been an accomplice in the murder of her husband, and to have been guilty of incest with her half-brother, the marquis of Qi;—she found it unpleasant, probably dangerous, for her to remain in Lu, and so she fled to Qi, where she would be safe and could continue to follow her evil courses. All this the historiographers and Confucius thought it necessary to gloss over by writing that she withdrew or retired to Qi. The case of duke Zhao was different. He had been kept, like several of his predecessors, in a state of miserable subjection by the principal nobles of the State, especially by the Head of the Jisun family. Instigated by his sons, high-spirited young men who could not brook the restraints and shame of their condition, he attempted to cope with his powerful minister, and got the worst of it in the struggle. The consequence was that he fled to Qi; and the text is all that the Chunqiu tells us about these affairs, unless we accept its most important entry of the ominous fact that a few months before the duke's flight 'grackles came to Lu and built nests in trees!' Every one will allow that sons should speak tenderly of the errors of their parents, and ministers and subjects generally throw a veil over the faults of their rulers; but it seems to be carrying the instinctive feeling of dutiful forbearance too far when a historian or chronicler tries to hide the truth about his ruler's conduct and condition from himself and his readers in the manner of the Chunqiu. It should be kept in mind, moreover, that the historiographers of Lu, if Zhao had been the ruler of another State, would, probably, not have scrupled to say that Jisun Yiru drove him out, and that he fled to Qi. Where their own State was concerned, they dared not look the truth in the face. Had Wen Jiang been the marchioness of another State, they would have thought that it did not come within their province to say anything about her.
Two more instances of concealment will finish all that it is necessary to say on this part of my indictment against our Classic; and they shall be entries concerning the king. In V. xxviii. 16, it is said that 'the king [by] Heaven's [grace] held a court of inspection at Heyang;' and we suppose that we have an instance of one of those exercises of the royal prerogative which distinguished the kingdom in normal times. But the fact was very different. In the 4th month of the year Jin had defeated Chu in a great battle, and the States of the north were safe for a time from the encroachments of their ambitious neighbour. Next month the marquis of Jin called a great meeting of the northern princes at which he required the king to be present. The king responded to the summons of his feudatory, and a brother of his own presided over the meeting;— though both of these facts are ignored in the text. In the winter, the marquis called another meeting in Heyang, a place in the present district of Wen, in the department of Huaiqing, Henan, at which also he required the presence of the king, and which is chronicled in the 16th paragraph. Zuo quotes a remark of Confucius on the case,—that 'for a subject to call his ruler to any place is a thing not to be set forth [as an example];' but to this I would reply that, the fact being so, it should not be recorded in a way to give the reader quite a different idea of it.
The other instance is less flagrant. In V. xxiv. 4 it is said, 'The king [by] Heaven's [grace] left [Zhou], and resided in Zheng].' The facts were that a brother of the king had raised an insurrection against him, so that he was obliged to leave his capital and the imperial domain, and take refuge in Zheng, where he remained until in the next year he was restored to the royal city by an army of Jin. But as the Chunqiu says nothing of the troubles which occasioned the king's flight, so it says nothing about the manner in which he was restored. The whole history of the case is summed up in the paragraph that I have quoted, which conceals the facts, and of itself would not convey to us anything like an accurate impression of the actual circumstances.
[iii.]The Chunqiu misrepresents.
I go on to the third and most serious charge which can be brought against the Chunqiu. It not only ignores facts, and conceals them, but it also often misrepresents them, thus not merely hiding truth or distorting it, but telling us what was not the truth. The observation of Mencius, that, when the Chunqiu was made, rebellious ministers and villainous sons became afraid, suggests the instances by which this feature of the Classic may be best illustrated.
Let us first take the case of Zhao Dun, according to the entry in VII. ii. 4, that 'Zhao Dun of Jin murdered his ruler, Yigao.' The fact is that Dun did not murder Yigao. The marquis of Jin was a man of the vilest character, utterly unfit for his position, a scourge to the State, and a hater of all good men. Dun was his principal minister, a man of dignity and virtue, and had by his remonstrances, excited the special animosity of the marquis, who at one time had sent a bravo to his house to assassinate him, and at another had let loose a bloodhound upon him. Wearied out with the difficulties of his position, Dun had fled from the Court, and had nearly left the State, when a relative of his, called Zhao Chuan, attacked the marquis and put him to death; on which Dun returned to the capital, and resumed his place as chief minister. The only fault which I can see that he committed was that he continued to employ his relative Chuan in the government; but the probability is that he had not the power to deal with him in any other way. Had he been able to execute him, and proceeded to do so, it would have been, I venture to think, a proceeding of doubtful justice. But I ask my readers whether it was right, considering all the circumstances of the case, to brand Dun himself as the murderer of the marquis.
According to Zuo, the entry in the text was made in the first place by Dong Hu, the grand-historiographer of Jin, who showed it openly in the court, and silenced Dun when he remonstrated with him on its being a misrepresentation of himself. Zuo also gives a remark of Confucius, praising Dong Hu, who made it his rule in what he wrote 'not to conceal!' and praising also Zhao Dun who humbly submitted to a charge of such wickedness. 'Alas for him!' said our sage. 'If he had crossed the border of the State, he would have escaped the charge.' The historiographers of Lu had entered the record in their Chunqiu as they received it from Jin; but I submit whether Confucius, in revising their work, ought not to have exercised his 'pruning pencil,' and modified the misrepresentation. A sage, as we call him, he might have allowed something for the provocations which Dun had received, and for the wickedness of the marquis's government; he ought not to have allowed Dun to remain charged with what was the deed of another.
Let us take a second case. In X. xix. 2 we read—'Zhi, heir-son of Xu, murdered his ruler Mai.' This, if it were true, would combine the guilt of both regicide and parricide. According to all the Zhuan, Zhi was not the murderer in this case. He was watching his sick father, and gave him a wrong medicine in consequence of which he died. We have no reason to conclude that there was poison in the medicine which the son ignorantly gave. Some critics say that he ought to have tasted it himself before he gave it to his father. He might have done so, and yet not have discovered that it would be so injurious. There is no evidence, indeed, that he did not do so. The result preyed so on the young man's mind that he resigned the State to a younger brother, refused proper nourishment, and soon died. Even if it were he himself who insisted on the form of the entry about his father's death, Confucius, if he had feeling for human infirmity, would have modified it, and not allowed poor Zhi to go down to posterity charged with the crime of parricide, which, if we had only the Chunqiu, there would be no means of denying.
Let us take a third case. It may seem to come properly under the preceding count of concealment of the truth, but I introduce it here, because of its contrast with the record in the next case which I will adduce. In X. i. 11, it is said,—'In winter, in the 11th month, on Jiyou, Jun, viscount of Chu, died.' The viscount, or king as he styled himself, was suddenly taken ill, of which Wei, the son of a former king, was informed, when he was on his way, in discharge of a mission, to the State of Zheng. He returned immediately, and entering the palace as if to inquire for the king's health, he strangled him, and proceeded to put to death his two sons. Here certainly was a murder, which ought to have been recorded as such. No doubt, the murderer caused a notification to be sent to other States in the words of the Chunqiu, saying simply that Jun had died, as if the death had been a natural one, and the historiographers had chronicled it in the terms in which it reached them; but ought not Confucius, in such a case especially, to have corrected their entry? To allow so misleading a statement to remain in his text was not the way to make 'rebellious ministers afraid.'
The fourth case relates to the death of the above Wei, also called Qian, the murderer of his king. Twelve years afterwards he himself came to an evil end. In X. xiii. 2 it is said—'In summer, in the 4th month, the Gongzi Bi of Chu returned from Jin to Chu, and murdered his ruler Qian in Ganqi.' The real facts were these. Wei or Qian displayed in his brief reign an insatiable ambition, and was guilty of many acts of oppression and cruelty. Having despatched a force to invade Xu, he halted himself at Ganqi to give whatever aid might be required. Certain discontented spirits took the opportunity of his absence from the capital to organize a rebellion, which was headed by three of his brothers, one of whom was the Gongzi Bi. This Bi had fled to Jin when Qian murdered Jun, and was invited by the conspirators from that State back to Cai in the first place, and forced to take command of the rebel forces. These were greatly successful. They advanced on the capital of Chu, took possession of it, and put to death the sons of the absent king. The intelligence of these events threw him into the greatest distress and consternation. His army dispersed, and he took refuge with an officer who remained faithful to him, and in his house he strangled himself in the 5th month, unable to endure the disgrace and misery of his condition. What are we to make of such opposite and contradictory methods of describing events? Wei murdered Jun; and the deed is told as if Jun had died a natural death. The same Wei strangled himself, and the deed is told as if it had been a murder done by the Gongzi Bi. Bi was led by the device of a brother, Qiji, to kill himself in the 5th month, perhaps before Wei had committed suicide. The Chunqiu says of this event that 'Qiji put to death—not murdered—the Gongzi Bi;' and we may suppose that Qiji, who became king, sent word round the States that Bi had murdered his predecessor; but surely Confucius ought to have taken care that the whole series of transactions should not be misrepresented as it is in his paragraphs.
Let us take a fifth case. In XII. vi. 8 it is said that 'Chen Qi of Qi murdered his ruler Tu.' In the previous year, Chujiu, marquis of Qi, had died, leaving the State to his favourite son Tu, who was only a child. His other sons, who were grown up, fled in the winter to various States. Chen Qi, one of the principal ministers of the State, finding that the government did not go on well, sent to Lu for Yangsheng, one of Chujiu's sons, who had taken refuge there, and so managed matters in Qi that he was declared marquis, and the child Tu displaced. Yet Qi had no malice against Tu, and so spoke of him in a dispute which he had with Yangsheng, not long after the accession of the latter, as to awaken his fears lest the minister should attempt to restore the degraded child. The consequence was that he sent a trusty officer to remove Tu from the city where he had been placed for safety to another. Whether it was by the command of the new marquis, or on an impulse originating with himself, that officer took the opportunity to murder the child on the way. This man, therefore, whose name was Zhu Mao, was the actual murderer of Tu. If he were too mean in position to obtain a place in the Chunqiu, the murder should have been ascribed to Yangsheng or the marquis Dao, by whose servant and in whose interest, if not by whose command, it was committed. To ascribe it to Chen Qi must be regarded as a gross misrepresentation. I cannot think that the existing marquis of Qi could have sent such a notification of the event to Lu, for for him to make Chen Qi responsible for the deed was to declare that his own incumbency of the State was unjust, as it was Chen Qi who had brought it about. Are we then to ascribe the entry entirely to Confucius? And are we to see in it a remarkable proof of his hatred of rebellion and usurpation, and his determination to hold the prime mover to it, however distant, and under whatever motives he had acted, responsible for all the consequences flowing from it?
The sixth and last case which I will adduce may be said not to be so contrary to the letter of the facts as the preceding five cases, and yet I am mistaken if in every western reader, who takes the trouble to make himself acquainted with those facts, it do not awaken a greater indignation against the record and its compiler than any of them. In VII. x. 8 we read that 'Xia Zhengshu of Chen murdered his ruler Pingguo.' The circumstances in which the murder took place are sufficient, I am sure, to make us pronounce it a case of justifiable homicide. Xia Zhengshu's mother, a widow, was a vile woman, and was carrying on a licentious connexion with the marquis of Chen and two of his ministers at the same time. 122 The things which are related about the four are inexpressibly filthy. As the young man grew up, he felt deeply the disgrace of his family; and one day when the marquis and his ministers were feasting in an apartment of his mother's mansion, or rather of his own, for he was now the Head of the clan, he overheard them joking about himself. 'He is like you,' said the marquis to one of his companions. 'And he is also like your lordship,' returned the other. The three went on to speculate on what share each of them had in the youth, till he could no longer contain himself, and made a violent attack upon them. The ministers made their escape, and the marquis had nearly done so too, when, as he was getting through a hole in the stable, an arrow from the young man's bow transfixed him. So he died, and the Chunqiu records the event as if it had been an atrocious murder! The poor youth met with a horrible fate. In the following year, the viscount of Chu, himself flaunting the usurped title of king, determined to do justice upon him. Aided by the forces of other States, he invaded Chen, made a prisoner of Xia Zhengshu, and had him torn in pieces by five chariots to which his head and his four limbs were bound. This execution is coldly related in xi. 5 by 'The people of Chu put to death Xia Zhengshu of Chen.' The text goes on to tell that the viscount entered the capital of Chen, and restored the two ministers, partners in the marquis's adultery, who had made their escape to Chu; the whole being worded, according to Zuo, 'to show how he observed the rules of propriety!'
4. What are we to think from the Chunqiu of Confucius?
It remains for me, having thus set forth the suppressions, the concealments, and the misrepresentations which abound in the Chunqiu, to say a few words on the view which we must take from it of Confucius as its author or compiler. Again and again I have spoken of the triviality of the Work, and indicated my opinion of its being unworthy of the sage to have put together so slight a thing. But these positively bad characteristics of it on which I have now enlarged demand the expression of a sterner judgment.
The appointment of historiographers, at whatever period it first took place, was intended, no doubt, to secure the accurate record of events, and Confucius tells us, Ana. XV. xxv., that 'even in his [early] days a historiographer would leave a blank in his text,' that is, would do so rather than enter incorrectly anything of which he was not sure. I have mentioned on p. 45 the exaggerated idea of his duty which was cherished and manifested by Dong Hu the grand-historiographer of Jin; and in Zuo's zhuan on IX. xxv. 2, we have a still more shining example of the virtue which men in this office were capable of displaying. There three brothers, historiographers of Qi, all submit to death rather than alter the record, which they had made correctly, that 'Cui Shu of Qi murdered his ruler Guang,' and a fourth brother, still persisting in the same entry, is at last let alone. These instances serve to show the idea in which the institution originated, and that there were men in China who understood it, appreciated it, and were prepared to die for it. Such men according to Confucius' testimony were no more to be found in his time. According to the testimony of a thousand scholars and critics, it was because of this fact,—the few faithful historiographers in the past and the entire want of them in the present, —that the sage undertook the revision of the Chunqiu of Lu. Might not the history of the institution in that ante-Christian time be adduced as a good illustration of what Lord Elgin once said, that 'at all points of the circle described by man's intelligence, the Chinese mind seems occasionally to have caught glimpses of a heaven far beyond the range of its ordinary ken and vision?' 123
Well—we have examined the model summary of history from the stylus of the sage, and it testifies to three characteristies of his mind which it is painful to have thus distinctly to point out. First, he had no reverence for truth in history,—I may say no reverence for truth, without any modification. He understood well enough what it was,—the description of events and actions according as they had taken place; but he himself constantly transgressed it in all the three ways which I have indicated. Second, he shrank from looking the truth fairly in the face. It was through this attribute of weakness that he so frequently endeavoured to hide the truth from himself and others, by ignoring it altogether, or by giving an imperfect and misleading account of it. Wherever his prejudices were concerned, he was liable to do this. Third, he had more sympathy with power than with weakness, and would overlook wickedness and oppression in authority rather than resentment and revenge in men who were suffering from them. He could conceive of nothing so worthy of condemnation as to be insubordinate. 124 Hence he was frequently partial in his judgments on what happened to rulers, and unjust in his estimate of the conduct of their subjects. In this respect he was inferior to Mencius his disciple.
I have written these sentences about Confucius with reluctance, and from the compulsion of a sense of duty. I have been accused of being unjust to him, and of dealing with him inhumanly. 125 Others have said that I was partial to him, and represented his character and doctrines too favourably. The conflicting charges encourage me to hope that I have pursued the golden Mean, and dealt fairly with my subject. My conscience gives no response to the charge that I have been on the lookout for opportunities to depreciate Confucius. I know on the contrary that I have been forward to accord a generous appreciation to him and his teachings. But I have been unable to make a hero of him. My work was undertaken that I might understand for myself, and help others to understand, the religious, moral, social, and political condition of China, and that I might see and suggest the most likely methods of accomplishing its improvement.
Nothing stands in the way of this improvement so much as the devotion of its scholars and government to Confucius. It is he who leads them that causes them to err and has destroyed the way of their paths.
5.Influence of the Chunqiu on Chinese governments and the people.
The above sentence leads me to the last point on which I proposed to touch in this section,—the influence which the Chunqiu has had on the successive govern ments of China and on the Chinese people at large. And here I will be brief.
A great part of the historical literature of the country continues still to be modelled after our Classic and the Zhuan of Zuo. Immediately after the Zhou dynasty the name of Chunqiu was given to a species of Work having little affinity with that of Confucius. We have the Chunqiu of Lü Buwei, the chief minister of Qin, Lu Jia's Chunqiu of Chu and Han, 126 and many others, which were never held in great repute. In the after Han dynasty, however, there was composed the 'Chronicles of Han,' 127 on the plan of the Chunqiu. Histories of this kind received in the Song dynasty the name of 'General Mirrors,' and 'General Mirrors, with Summary and Details,' 128 the summary corresponding to the text of the Chunqiu, and the details to the Zhuan. Down to the present dynasty Works have been composed with names having more or less affinity to those; and in reading them the student has to be on the watch and determine for himself how far the details bear out the statement of the summary. Such Works as the 'Digest of the History of the Successive Dynasties' 129 are more after the plan of the text of the Chunqiu, but they become increasingly complex and difficult of execution with the lapse of time and the increasing extent of the empire.
But the influence of the Chunqiu on the literature of China is of little importance excepting as that influence has aided its moulding power on the government and character of the people; and in this respect it appears to me to have been very injurious. The three defects of Confucius which have left their impress so clearly on his Work have been painfully conspicuous in the history of the country and the people down to the present day. The teachings of Mencius, bringing into prominence the lessons of the Shu and the Shi concerning the different awards of Providence, according as a government cherished or neglected the welfare of the people, have modified the extreme reverence for authority which was so remarkable in Confucius; but there remain altogether unmitigated the want of reverence for truth, and the shrinking from looking fairly at the realities of their condition and relations. And these are the great evils under which China is suffering at the present day. During the past forty years her position with regard to the more advanced nations of the world has been entirely changed. She has entered into treaties with them upon equal terms; but I do not think her ministers and people have yet looked this truth fairly in the face, so as to realize the fact that China is only one of many independent nations in the world, and that the 'beneath the sky,' over which her emperor has rule, is not all beneath the sky, but only a certain portion of it which is defined on the earth's surface and can be pointed out upon the map. But if they will not admit this, and strictly keep good faith according to the treaties which they have accepted, the result will be for them calamities greater than any that have yet befallen the empire. Their lot has fallen in critical times, when the books of Confucius are a very insufficient and unsafe guide for them. If my study of the Chunqiu help towards convincing them of this, and leading them to look away from him to another Teacher, a great aim of my life will have been gained.
It was the [duke's] first year, the spring, the king's first month.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:— 'What is meant by 元年? The first year of the ruler.
What is meant by 春 (spring)? The first season of the year.
What is meant by 王 (the king)? It means king Wen.
Why does [the text] first give "king," and then "first month?" [To show that] it was the king's first month.
Why does it [so] mention the king's first month?
To magnify the union of the kingdom [under the dynasty of Zhou].
Why is it not said that the duke came to the [vacant] seat? To give full expression to the duke's mind.
In what way does it give full expression to the duke's mind? The duke intended to bring the State to order, and then restore it to Huan.
What is meant by restoring it to Huan?
Huan was younger, but nobler [than the duke by birth]; Yin was grown up, but lower [than Huan by birth]. The difference between them in these respects, however, was small, and the people of the State did not know [their father's intention about the succession]. Yin being grown up and a man of worth, the great officers insisted on his being made marquis. If he had refused to be made so, he did not know for certain that Huan would be raised to the dignity; and supposing that he were raised to it, he was afraid that the great officers might not give their assistance to so young a ruler. Therefore the whole transaction of Yin's elevation was with a view [in his mind] to the elevation of Huan.
But since Yin was grown up and a man of worth, why was it not proper that he should be made marquis?
Among the sons of the wife proper, the succession devolved on the eldest, and not on the worthiest and ablest. Among a ruler's sons by other ladies of his harem, the succession devolved on the noblest, and not on the eldest.
In what respect was Huan nobler [in rank] than Yin?
His mother was of higher position [than Yin's mother].
Though the mother was nobler, why should the son be [also] nobler? A son was held to share in the nobility of his mother; and a mother shared in the [subsequent] nobility of her son.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'Although there was nothing to be recorded [under the first month], it was necessary to specify it;—its being the commencement [of the rule] required this attention to be paid to it.
Why is it not said that the duke came to the [vacant] seat? To give full expression to the duke's mind.
In what way does this give full expression to the duke's mind? It tells that Yin did not himself care to be duke.
What is meant by saying that he did not himself care to be duke? That he intended to resign the marquisate to Huan.
Was it correct in him [to wish] to resign it to Huan? It was not correct.
The Chunqiu gives full expression to men's excellent qualities, but does not do so to their evil;—why should it give such expression to [the intention of] Yin which was not correct?
With a view to show detestation of Huan.
How does that detestation of Huan appear?
Yin intended to resign in his favour, and yet Huan murdered him;—showing Huan's wickedness. Huan murdered him, and yet Yin would have resigned in his favour;—showing Yin's goodness.
If Yin was thus good, why do you say that he was not correct?
In the Chunqiu, what is righteous is held to be noble, and not what is [merely] kind. It would lead forward in the [straight] path, and not in the crooked. A filial son tries to display the excellent qualities of his father, and not the evil ones. The father was not correct, but perverse, in seeking to give the State to Huan. Notwithstanding, he over came this perversity of mind, and the State was given [at last] to Yin; but Yin had fathomed the purpose of their father, and thereon would have given the State to Huan;—carrying out their father's wickedness. That there should be elder brother and younger brother is in the order of Heaven. A man receives his sonship from his father; and a feudal prince receives his rank from the king. To disannul the order of Heaven, and forget his ruler and father in order to do a small kindness, is what is called walking in a small path. Looking at Yin. we may say that he could make light of a State of a thousand chariots, but could not tread the way that is right.'
The people of Song seized Zhai Zhong of Zheng.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—
'Who was Zhai Zhong?
The chief minister of Zheng.
Why is he not mentioned by his name?
Because of his worth.
What worthiness was there in Zhai Zhong?
He is to be considered as knowing how to act according to circumstances.
In what way did he know to act according to circumstances?
Anciently the capital of Zheng was in Liu. A former earl of Zheng was on friendly terms with the duke of Kuai; and having an intrigue with his wife, he took the capital of Kuai, transferred that of Zheng to it, and left Liu to become a wilderness. After the death of duke Zhuang, Zhai Zhong was going to inspect the state of Liu; and as his road lay through Song, the people of that State seized him, and said, "Drive out Hu (Zhuang's eldest son, who was now earl of Zheng) for us, and raise Tu (Hu's brother) to the earldom."
If Zhai Zhong did not do as they required, his ruler must die, and the State perish. If he did as they required, his ruler would exchange death for life, and the State be preserved instead of perishing. Then by and by, [by his gradual management], Tu might be sent forth as before, and Hu might return as before. If these things could not be secured, he would have to suffer [under the imputation of evil conduct], but yet there would be the State of Zheng. When the ancients acted according to the exigency of circumstances, they acted in the way in which Zhai Zhong now did.
What is meant by acting according to the exigency of circumstances?
It is acting contrary to the ordinary course of what is right, yet so that good shall result. Such a course is not to be adopted apart from the imminent danger of death or ruin. There is a way to regulate the pursuing of it. A man may adopt it when the censure and loss will fall on himself, but not to the injury of another. A superior man will not slay another to save himself, nor ruin another to preserve himself.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—
人 [people] here means the duke of Song.
Why is he designated 人 (the people, or one of the people)?
To condemn him'
In spring, in the second month, the king [by] Heaven's [grace] sent Jia Fu to ask for carriages.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—
'Why was this entry made?
By way of censure.
Censure of what?
The kings did not ask for anything. To ask for carriages was contrary to propriety.
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—
'Anciently the feudal princes at the [proper] times presented to the son of Heaven their offerings of the things which they had in their States. He might thus decline, but he did not demand or ask for, [anything]. To ask for carriages was contrary to propriety; to ask for money was still more so.
The marquis of Ji made a grand leaving of his State.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—
'What is meant by "made a grand leaving?"
That [the State] was extinguished.
Who extinguished it?
Why does [the text] not say that Qi extinguished it?
It conceals the fact out of regard to duke Xiang. The Chunqiu conceals things out of regard to men of worth.
What worthiness was there in duke Xiang?
He was taking vengeance.
Vengeance for what?
For the boiling of his remote ancestor duke Ai at [the court of] Zhou, through his being slandered by a marquis of Ji. The action of duke Xiang at this time is considered as a carrying by him to the utmost of his service of his ancestors.
When he was about to avenge the [old] wrong, he consulted the tortoise-shell, and was told that he would lose half his army. [He observed], "Though I should die myself, the answer should not be considered unlucky."
How many generations removed from him was the remote ancestor?
May an injury be avenged after nine generations?
Yes; even after a hundred.
May [the Head of] a clan take such vengeance?
Why then may [the ruler of] a State do it?
The ruler and the State are one. The disgrace of a former ruler is the same as the disgrace of the ruler of today. The disgrace of the ruler of today is the same as the disgrace of a former ruler.
How are the ruler and the State considered as one?
The ruler regards the State as his body, and one ruler comes after another;— hence the ruler and the State form one body.
But the present [marquis of] Ji had been guilty of no offence;—was not this [extinction of him] a case of rage?
No. If there had been in the ancient time an intelligent son of Heaven, the [then] marquis of Ji would have been taken off, and there would have been no [more any] marquis of Ji. His not having been taken off, and there being still a marquis of Ji, was the same as if there were no intelligent son of Heaven. Anciently the princes had their occasions of meeting together, and their interchanges of court and complimentary visits, when they made reference in their language to their predecessors as furnishing the ground of their intercourse; but nothing of the kind ever took place between Qi and Ji;—it was incumbent on them not to exist together under the same sky. Therefore [when Qi] set about removing the marquis of Ji, it could not but remove [the State of] Ji.
If there had been [now] an intelligent son of Heaven, could duke Xiang have done what he did?
Why then did he do it?
When there is in the highest position [as it were] no son of Heaven, and below him no president of the quarter of the kingdom, one can for himself repay his long-standing wrongs and obligations of a contrary kind.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—
'"Made a grand leaving" is as much as to say that [the marquis] did not leave a man behind him. It tells us that the people did not cease to follow him till all were gone in the space of four years. The marquis of Ji was a worthy prince, and the marquis of Qi extinguished his State. The text does not say so, but that he made a grand leaving of it, thereby not allowing [the injurious action of] a small man towards a superior man to appear.
An army of Yu and an army of Jin extinguished Xiayang.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—'Yu was a small State; why is it that it is here made to take precedence of a great one? To make Yu take the lead in the wickedness.
Why is Yu made to take the lead in the wickedness?
Yu received the bribes with which those who [were going to] extinguish the State [of Guo] borrowed a way through it, and thus brought on its own ruin.
How did it receive [those] bribes? Duke Xian [of Jin] gave audience to his great officers, and asked them why it was that he had lain all night without sleeping. One of them advanced and said, "Was it because you did not feel at ease [in your mind]? or was it because your [proper] bedfellow was not by your side?" The duke gave no answer, and then Xun Xi came forward and said, "Was it because Yu and Guo were appearing to you?" The duke motioned to him to come [more] forward, and then went with him into an inner apartment to take counsel. "I wish," said he, "to attack Guo, but Yu will go to its relief, and if I attack Yu, Guo will succour it; —what is to be done? I wish to consider the case with you." Xun Xi replied, "If you will use my counsel, you shall take Guo today, and Yu tomorrow; why should your lordship be troubled?"
"How is this to be accomplished?" asked the duke. "Please let [me go to Yu]," said the other, "with your team of Qu horses and your white bi of Chuiji, and you are sure to get [what you want]. It will only be taking your valuable [bi] from your inner treasury, and depositing it in an outer one, and taking your horses from an inner stable, and tying them up in an outer one;—your lordship will lose nothing by it." The duke said, "Yes; but Gong Zhiqi is there. What are we do with him?" Xun Xi replied, "Gong Zhiqi is indeed knowing; but the duke of Yu is covetous, and fond of valuable curios;—he is sure not to follow his minister's advice. I beg you, considering everything, to let me go." The deliberation ended with duke Xian's adopting the proposed course; and when the duke of Yu saw the valuable [offerings], he granted what [Jin] asked. Gong Zhiqi did indeed remonstrate, saying, "There are the words of the Record, 'When the lips are gone, the teeth are cold.' Yu and Guo are the saviours of each other. If they do not give mutual help, Jin will today take Guo, which Yu will tomorrow follow to ruin. Do not, O ruler, grant what is asked." The duke did not follow his advice, and ended by lending a passage [through his State to Jin] to take Guo. In the fourth year after, Jin returned, and took Yu. The duke of Yu [came], carrying the bi and leading the horses, when Xun Xi said [to the marquis of Jin], "What do you now think of my plan?" "It has succeeded," said duke Xian. "The bi is still mine; but the teeth of the horses are grown longer." This he said in joke.
What was Xiayang?
A city of Guo.
Why is the name not preceded by the name of the State?
It is dealt with as if had been itself a State.
Because [the fate] of the ruler of the State was bound up with its fate.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'The use of the term "extinguished," when it is not a State that is spoken of, arises from the importance of Xiayang.
Yu had no army;—why is its army mentioned here?
Because it took the lead of Jin [in the affair], and it was necessary therefore to speak of its army.
How did it take the lead of Jin?
It presided over the extinguishing of Xiayang. Xiayang was a strong city of Yu and Guo. If it could be extinguished, then both Yu and Guo might be dealt with.
In what way did Yu preside over the extinguishing of Xiayang?
Duke Xian of Jin wanted to invade Guo, and Xun Xi said to him, "Why should not your lordship take your team of Qu horses, and your bi of Chuiji, and with them borrow a way through Yu?" "Those are the most precious things in the State of Jin," said the duke. "Suppose Yu should receive my offerings, and not lend us the passage, in what position should we be?" "But," replied Xun Xi, "this is the way in which a small State serves a great one. If Yu do not lend us the right of way, it will not venture to receive our offerings. If it receive our offerings and lend us the way, then we shall [merely] be taking [the bi] from our own treasury, and placing it [for a time] in one outside, and taking [the horses] from our own stable, and placing them [for a time] in one out side." The duke said, "There is Gong Zhiqi there;—he will be sure to prevent the acceptance of our offerings." "Gong Zhiqi," replied the minister, "is an intelligent man, but he is weak; and moreover, he has grown up from youth near his ruler. His very intelligence will make him speak too briefly; his weakness will keep him from remonstrating vehemently; and his having grown up near his ruler will make that ruler despise him. Moreover, the attractive objects will be before the ruler of Yu's senses, and the danger will be hid behind another State. The case, indeed, would cause anxiety to one whose intelligence was above mediocrity, but I imagine that the intelligence of the ruler of Yu is below mediocrity."
On this duke Xian sought [in the way proposed] for a passage [through Yu] to invade Guo. Gong Zhiqi remonstrated, saying, "The words of the envoy of Jin are humble, but his offerings are great;—the matter is sure not to be advantageous to Yu." The duke of Yu, however, would not listen to him, but received the offerings, and granted the passage through the State. Gong Zhiqi remonstrated [again], suggesting that the case was like that in the saying about the lips being gone and the teeth becoming cold, after which he fled with his wife and children to Cao.
Duke Xian then destroyed Guo, and in the fifth year [of our duke Xi] he dealt in the same way with Yu. Xun Xi then had the horses led forward, while he carried the bi in his hand, and said, "The bi is just as it was, but the horses' teeth are grown longer!"
In spring, in the king's first month, on Wushen, the first day of the moon, there fell stones in Song, five of them. In the same month, six fish-hawks flew backwards, past the capital of Song.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—
'How is it that the text first says, "there fell," and then "stones?
There fell stones is a record of what was heard. There was heard a noise of some thing falling. On looking at what had fallen, it was seen to be stones. On examination it was found there were five of them.
What is the meaning of "in the same month?"
That the thing occurred just within this month.
Why is the day not given?
It was the last day of the moon.
Why does the text not say so?
The Chunqiu does not enter the last day of the moon. When anything happened on the first day of the moon, it was so written; but although anything happened on the last day of the moon, the day was not given.
Why does the text say "six," and then "fish-hawks?" "Six fish-hawks backwards flew" is a record of what was seen. When they looked at the objects, there were six. When they examined them, they were fish-hawks. When they examined them leisurely, they were flying backwards.
Why is this account given of [these] five stones and six fish-hawks? It is the record of a strange thing.
But strange things in other States are not recorded;—why is this given here?
Because [Song belonged to the descendants] of the kings [of Shang].'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'Why does the text first say "there fell," and then "stones?" There was the falling, and then the stones.
"In Song" means within the four quarters of that State. The number following after indicates that the stones were scattered about. [The language] has respect to the hearing of the ears.
"In the same month" says definitely that it was not on the same day, but [some time] in the month.
In "six fish-hawks flying backwards, past the capital of Song," the number is put first, indicating that [the birds] were collected together. [The language] has respect to the seeing of the eyes.
The master said, "Stones are things without any intelligence, and fish-hawks creatures that have a little intelligence. The stones, having no intelligence, are mentioned along with the day [when they fell], and the fish-hawks, having a little intelligence, are mentioned along with the month [when they appeared]. The superior man [even] in regard to such things and creatures records nothing rashly. His expressions about stones and fish-hawks being thus exact, how much more will they be so about men! If the language had not been as it is about the five stones and six fish-hawks, the royal way would not have been fully exhibited."
Where the people collect is called "the capital."'
In winter, in the tenth month, on Jiawu, Shusun Dechen defeated the Di in Xian.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—'What is meant by "the Di?"
A gigantic Di. There were three brothers, one of whom went to Qi, an other to Lu, and the third to Jin. The one that went to Qi was killed by the king's son Chengfu. The one who came to Lu was [now] killed by Shusun Dechen. I do not know anything about the one who went to Jin.
Why is the word "defeated" used?
To magnify the affair.
Why is the day specified?
To magnify the affair.
Why is the place given?
To magnify the affair.
Why is the thing recorded?
As a record of what was strange.
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—
'How is it that we find here "defeated," and nothing about "leading a force?"
The language indicates that the defeat was only of one man.
How is "defeated" used with reference to one man?
Because he [was equal to] a multitude.
It is recorded that there were three gigantic Di, who, one after another, threw the Middle States into confusion, and whom tiles and stones could not hurt. Shusun Dechen was a skilful archer, and sent an arrow into the eye [of this one]. The giant's body stretched over 9 acres. His head was cut off, and put into a carriage, when the eyebrows appeared over the crossbar. In these circumstances, why is it not said that he was captured? Anciently they did not inflict a second wound, nor capture a gray-haired enemy. Captured is not used here, to conceal the thing out of regard to Lu.
The giant that went to Qi was killed by the king's son Chengfu. Nothing is known about the one who went to Jin.'
The people of Jin undertook to establish Jiezi as viscount of Zhu, but did not [or, were not able to] do so.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says :—
'What is meant by 納 (to restore)? It means to [make to] enter.
Why is it said they were not able to restore him?
To magnify that fact.
Why is it magnified?
Xi Que of Jin led a force of 800 chariots of leather, to instate Jiezi in Zhulou;—a force surely more than sufficient for the purpose. But when he [proposed] to instate him, the people of Zhulou said, "Jiezi is the son of a daughter of Jin, and Jueju of a daughter of Qi. Try them on your fingers;—there will be four for Jiezi, and six for Jueju. If you will compel us by the power of your great State, we do not yet know whether Qi or Jin will take the lead. In rank the men are both noble, but Jueju is the elder." Xi Que said, "It is not that my strength is insufficient to in-state him, but in point of right I cannot do so." With this he led his army away, and therefore the superior man magnifies his not instating [Jiezi].
The actor here was Xi Que of Jin;—why is he called 人 (a man)?
To condemn him.
Why is he condemned?
Not to allow a great officer to take it on him to displace or to set up a ruler.
How does it not allow this?
The actual [statement] allows it, but the style does not allow it.
Why does the style not allow it?
According to the right idea of a great officer, he cannot take it on him to displace or appoint a ruler.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'[The leader here] was Xi Que;—why is he called 人 (man)?
To make light of him.
Why does [the text] make light of him?
He had 800 chariots with their long naves, extending over a thousand li of ground. He passed by Song, Zheng, Teng, and Xue, and entered at length a State of a thousand chariots, wishing to change the ruler whom the people had set up. But when he came beneath the wall of its capital, he then knew [the error of his enterprise]. How late was he in coming to that knowledge!
"He was not able to instate." It is not said that he had invaded Zhu;—how is mention made of his inability?
That "was not able" shows that [success] was forbidden by righteousness. Jiezi's mother was a daughter of Jin, and Jueju's was a daughter of Qi. Jueju was the proper [successor] to their father], and Jiezi was not.
On Xinsi there was a sacrifice in the grand temple, when Zhong Sui died at Chui.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—' Who was Zhong Sui?
The Gongzi Sui.
Why is he not here styled Gongzi?
By way of censure.
Why is censure expressed?
Because of his murder of [Wen's] son Chi.
But why was not the censure (or, degradation) expressed at the time when he committed that murder?
Because he had [then] been guilty of no offence against [duke] Wen, and there had [since] been no year [in which to signify his offence] against [Wen's] son.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'This looks as if he had first reported the execution of his mission and then died.
He was a Gongzi;—why does he appear here simply as Zhong?
To treat him as if his relationship [to the ducal family] had been distant.
Why deal with him so?
To vitiate the notice of his dying. If he had not been so dealt with, that notice would not have been vitiated.
Why then mention his dying at all?
To convey censure of [duke] Xuan.
Why to censure [duke] Xuan?
On bearing of the death of a great officer, he should have removed the musicians and finished the business [in which he was engaged].
For the first time a tax was levied from the produce of the acres.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—
'What is the meaning of 初?
For the first time.
What is meant by levying a tax from the acres?
Walking over the acres, and levying part of the produce.
Why is an entry made of this first levying part of the produce of the acres [generally]?
To condemn it.
What was there to condemn in it? The introduction of the system of walking over the acres, and levying part of the produce.
What was there to condemn in the introduction of this system? Anciently a tithe was taken [for the State] by the mutual labour of the people on the public fields.
Why did they anciently appoint this system?
The tax of a tenth [thus procured] is the justest and most correct for all under the sky. If more than this tenth be taken, we have great Jies and little Jies. If less, we have great Mo and little Mo. A tithe is the justest and most correct for all under the sky. When a tithe is the system, the sounds of praise [everywhere] arise.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—' 初 means for the first time. Anciently, a tenth of the produce was levied by the mutual cultivation of the public fields, and the others were not taxed. To commence levying part of the produce from [all] the acres was not right. Anciently, 300 paces formed a li, and a square of that size was called the nine-squares fields, consisting of 900 acres, of which the public fields formed one portion. If the yield from the private fields was not good, the officer of agriculture was blamed. If the yield from the public fields was not good, the people were blamed. [The record of] this first levying part of the produce from all the acres blames the duke for putting away the system of the public fields, and walking over all the fields to take a tithe of them, because he thereby required from the people all their strength. Anciently, [the people] had their dwellings in the public fields; there were their wells and cooking places; there they grew their onions and scallions.'
On Jiazi the new temple took fire, when we wailed for it three days.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:— 'What was the new temple?
The temple of duke Xuan.
'Why is duke Xuan's temple called the new temple?
[The duke] could not bear to say [directly that it was his father's temple].
Why is it said that they wailed for it three days?
It was a rule that, when a temple was burned, there should be a wailing for three days.
Why was this entry of the burning of the new temple made?
To record the calamity.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'The new temple was the temple of the duke's father.
To wail for three days was expressive of [great] grief, but that grief, was according to the rules of propriety.
In consequence of the near relationship, [the duke] did not dare to call it by his father's honorary title;—thereby showing his respect.
The language being respectful, and the grief great, there is no condemnation of duke Cheng to be sought here.'
Kunwan, earl of Zheng, went to the meeting; but before he had seen the [other] princes, on Bingxu he died at Cao.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:— 'What was Cao?
A city of Zheng.
When a prince died anywhere within his own territories, the place was not mentioned;—why is it mentioned here?
To conceal the fact.
To conceal what fact?
Who murdered him?
His great officers.
Why does not the text say so?
The thing is concealed on account of the Middle States?
When the earl of Zheng was about to go to the meeting of the States in Wei, his great officers remonstrated with him, saying, "The Middle States are not worth adhering to; you had better join with Chu.' When the earl objected to this counsel, they said, "If you think that the Middle States are righteous, they [notwithstanding] invaded us when we were mourning [for the last earl]; if you say that they are strong, yet they are not so strong as Chu." With this they murdered him.
Why is he named—" the earl of Zheng, Kunyuan?"
[To express sorrow] that having been wounded, and being on his return [to his capital], be died before he reached his halting place.
As he did not see the [other] princes, why is it said that he went to the meeting?
To express fully his purpose.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'As he had not seen [other] princes, how is it said that he went to the meeting?
To express fully his purpose.
According to the rules, princes were not named when they were alive;—why is he so named here?
Because of his death.
If he is named because of his death, why is the name placed before the statement that he went to the meeting?
To show that he died through going to the meeting.
How does it show that he died through going to the meeting?
The earl of Zheng was going to meet [the princes of] the Middle States, and his ministers wished him to follow Chu. Not succeeding, they murdered him, and he died.
Why is it not mentioned that he was murdered?
Not to allow it to appear that barbarous people (i. e., the ministers who wished to follow the barbarous Chu) had dealt so with a prince of the Middle States.
The place was outside [the capital]; on the day he had not crossed the borders [of the State]; the day of his death and the time of his burial [are given, as if all] had been correct.'
In the 12th month, E, viscount of Wu, invaded Chu, and died in an attack on one of the gates of Chao.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—'What is meant by 門于巢卒?
That he entered a gate in Chao and died.
In what way had he entered a gate in Chao and died?
He had entered a gate of Chao and died.
Why does the viscount of Wu appear with his name Ye?
[To show that] he was wounded and died before he could return to the station [of his own troops].'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'In consequence of being engaged in an invasion of Chu, he attacked one of the gates of Chao and died.
The words "of (or, at) Chao" show that that place was outside Chu. By attacking the gates of Chao, he [would be able to] invade Chu.
A prince was not named when alive. Here the name, properly given to him when dead, is taken and placed before his invasion of Chu, to show that it was in consequence of that invasion that he died.
How does it show that it was through his invasion of Chu that he died?
Anciently, when [the army of] a great State was passing by a small city, the rule was that that small city should man its walls and ask what was its offence. Ye, the viscount of Wu, in [proceeding to] invade Chu, came to Chao, and entered one of its gates, when the gate-keeper shot him, so that he returned to the station [of his troops], wounded by an arrow, and died. Although an undertaking be of a civil nature, there should be at the same time military preparation. [The entry] condemns Chao for not manning its walls and asking what was its offence, [and also] condemns the viscount of Wu for his careless exposure of himself.'
In autumn, in the seventh month, the viscount of Chu, the marquises of Cai and Chen, the baron of Xu, the viscounts of Dun, Hu, and Shen, and the Huai tribes, invaded Wu. They seized Qing Feng of Qi, and put him to death.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—'This was an invasion of Wu;—how is it that the paragraph tells us of the seizure of Qing Feng of Qi?
He was taken off in behalf of Qi.
How was it that he was taken off in behalf of Qi?
Qing Feng had run away to Wu, and Wu had invested him with Fang
In that case why is it not said that they invaded Fang?
Not to allow to the feudal princes the right of granting investiture.
What was the crime of Qing Feng?
He had exercised a pressure on the ruler of Qi, and thrown that State into confusion.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'Here they must have entered [the place where Qing Feng was] and slain [him];—why does the text not mention that entering?
Qing Feng had been invested with Zhongli of Wu.
Why does it not say that they invaded Zhongli?
Not to allow to Wu the right of granting investiture.
Why is "Qi" put before "Qing Feng" like a clan-name?
[To show that] he was punished in behalf of Qi. King Ling sent a man to go round the army with him, and proclaim, "Is there anyone like Qing Feng of Qi who murdered his ruler?" Qing Feng said to the man, "Stop a moment; I also have a word to say." With this he cried out, "Is there anyone, who, like the Gongzi Wei of Chu, murdered the son of his elder brother, and made himself ruler in his place?" The soldiers all laughed and chuckled.
Qing Feng had murdered his ruler, but that crime is not mentioned here in connexion with him, because he was not subject to king Ling, and the text would not allow to Chu [the right] to punish him. It is a part of the righteousness of the Chunqiu to employ the noble to regulate the mean, and the worthy to regulate the bad, but not to employ the disorderly to regulate disorder. Do we not have the same sentiment in what Confucius said, "Let a man who himself cherishes what is wicked punish another, and that other will die without submitting to him?"'
In summer, in the fifth month, on Wuchen, Zhi, heir-son of Xu, murdered his ruler Mai. In winter, there was the burial of duke Dao of Xu.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—'How do we have the burial recorded here, while the ruffian [murderer] was not yet punished? The thing did not amount to a murder.
How did it not amount to a murder?
Zhi gave [his father] medicine, and the medicine killed him.
In these circumstances why does the text say that Zhi murdered him?
To censure Zhi for not fully discharging the duty of a son.
How does it censure his failure in that?
Yuezheng Zichun, when watching his sick [father], would give him an additional dish of rice, [and watch] eagerly whether it made him better; or he would give him a dish less, and watch the result eagerly. He would put on him a garment more, or a garment less, than usual, in the same way. Zhi gave the medicine, and the medicine killed [his father], and therefore the superior man charged him with murdering him.
In the [former] entry that 'Zhi, heir-son of Xu, murdered his ruler Mai," the superior man allows the charge against Zhi; in the [second] entry about the burial of duke Dao, he pardons Zhi. He pardons Zhi, that is, he withdraws the charge against him.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'The mention of the day along with the murder shows that the death was a natural one. As it was so, Zhi did not murder [his father]. Though he did not murder him, it is said that he did;—to reprove Zhi. Zhi said, "I am the same as a murderer, and will not stand in my father's place." On this he resigned the State to his brother Hui, wept and wailed, and lived on congee, without taking a grain of rice, till in less than a year he died. The superior man here reproves him according as he reproved himself.
The specification of the day of the death and of the season of the burial does not allow Zhi to lie under the charge of murdering his father.
When a son is born, if he escape not death from fire or water, it is the crime of his mother; if he have grown up to a boy with two tufts of hair, and do not go to a teacher, it is the crime of his father; if he go to a teacher, and his studies are desultory, and his mind do not become intelligent, it is the crime of himself; if he become intelligent, and the fame of his name be not heard of, it is the crime of his friends; if the fame of his name be heard of, and the officers do not bring him into notice, it is the crime of the officers; if the officers bring him to notice, and the king do not employ him, it is the fault of the king. The heir-son of Xu did not know [his duty] to taste the medicine [for the ruler], and that ruler was involved [in the consequences of his ignorance].
In the [duke's] first year, in spring, the king's.......In summer, in the sixth month, on Wuchen, the duke came to the vacant seat.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—'How is it that Ding has no first month [in his first year]?
[The mention of] the first month is to adjust the [ruler's] coming to the [vacant] seat; and Ding's having no first month is because his coming to the [vacant] seat was later.
How was it later?
[The coffin of] duke Zhao was [still] outside [the State], and whether it would be allowed to enter or not was not yet known.
How was it not yet known?
It depended on the Head of the Ji family.
In [the records about] Ding and Ai there are many obscure expressions. If they—the rulers—had read the text and inquired about its explanation, they would not have known whether they were charged with crime or not.
As it was on Guihai that duke [Zhao's] coffin came from Ganhou, how was it that it was Wuchen before [Ding] ascended the [vacant] seat?
When the coffin had been placed right between the two pillars, then he ascended the [vacant] seat. My master Shenzi said, 'When the funeral rites of the [former] ruler had been settled in the State, then [the new ruler] took the [vacant] seat.
The day of taking that seat should not be given;—how is it given here?
It is a record of what took place in Lu itself.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'The text does not mention the first month, because Ding had no first month [in his first year].
Why had Ding no first month?
Because duke Zhao's death was not a proper death, and Ding's commencement of his rule was not a proper commence ment. As Zhao's was not a proper death, Ding could not have a proper beginning. It is not said [here] that he came to the [vacant] seat, because [Zhao's] coffin was outside the State.
The coffin was now placed in state, and so he took the [vacant] seat Ding's having no first year shows that there was something which prevented him from having it. But the reason of its not being said that he came to the vacant seat when the year [in which duke Zhao died] was expired, was that [the coffin] of the former duke was [still outside]. The notice of coming to the [vacant] seat was the regular way of declaring that the State was passed from one ruler to another. If the former did not die a proper death, the latter could not have a proper beginning; and vice versa. The notice that duke [Ding] came to the [vacant] seat on Wuchen, is an instance of the care observed [in such a matter];—it was necessary that Ding's accession should be thus definitely marked.
How is the day of the duke's accession given?
[To show that] it was on the day Wuchen.
It was on Guihai that duke [Zhao's] coffin came from Ganhou;— how was it not till Wuchen that [Ding] took the [vacant] seat?
The proper ceremonies in the State must be gone through for the [former] ruler, before that could be done. Shenzi said, "When the coffin was placed right between the two pillars, his successor took the [vacant] seat."
The great affairs within a State were mentioned with the day. The taking the [vacant] seat was a great affair for the ruler;—why is it [generally] given without the day?
It was made to commence with the year, and not regulated by the day.
Why then is the day given here?
To give emphasis to it.
In what way does it give emphasis to it?
To have taken the [vacant] seat when the year was expired, would have been hazardous; and besides there was a point of righteousness in the case. Before the coffin [of his predecessor] was set in state, a prince would not dare to show himself as ruler to the ministers, even though he had the charge of the son of Heaven. There might be a death equally in Zhou and in Lu. From Zhou a message of condolence would be sent, but not from Lu. In Zhou they would say,"He was our subject; we may send to condole [on his death]." In Lu they would say, "He was our ruler. Was like our father. We cannot send a great officer [to offer our condolences]." In this way from Zhou they sent to condole, but not from Lu, for the time was not long removed from Cheng and Kang. The king was the most honourable; yet [the new ruler of Lu] would not dare to leave his father's coffin, and go to Zhou on a visit of condolence; how much less would he show himself as ruler to the ministers, before the coffin was placed in State!
Yangsheng of Qi entered [the capital of] that State. Chen Qi of Qi murdered his ruler Tu.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:— 'Murderers and setters up [of new rulers] are not mentioned as high ministers (i.e., with clan-name and name following the name of the State);—how is such a notice given here?
Because of [Chen Qi's] deceit.
How did he show his deceit?
Duke Jing said to him, "I wish to make She (i.q. Zuo's Tu) my successor; what do you say to it?" He replied, " Whomsoever you would be pleased to see as ruler. and wish to appoint as your successor, I will support him; and whomsoever you do not wish so to appoint, I will not support. If your lordship wish to appiont She, I beg to be allowed to support him." Yangsheng said to Chen Qi. "I have heard that you will not be willing to raise me to the marquisate." The minister said, "In a State of a thousand chariots, if you wish to set aside the proper heir and appoint one who is not so, you must kill the proper heir. My not supporting you is the way I take to preserve your life. Fly." And hereupon he gave Yangsheng a seal-token of jade, with which he fied.
When duke Jing died, and She had been made marquis, Chen Qi had Yangsheng brought back, and kept him in his house. When the mourning for duke Jing was over, and all the great officers were at court, Chen Qi said, "My mother is celebrating a sacrifice with fish and beans; I wish you all to come and renovate me at it." All accepted the invitation, and when they were come to his house, and sitten down, he said "I have some buffcoats which I have made; allow me to show them to you." To this they assented, and he then made some stout fellows bring a large sack into the open court. The sight of this frightened the officers, and made them change colour; and when the sack was opened, who should come forth from it but the Gongzi Yangsheng? "This," said Chen Qi, "is our ruler." The officers could not help themselves, but one after another twice did obeisance with their faces to the north, and accepted [Yangsheng] as their ruler; and from this he went and murdered She.'
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'It was Yangsheng who entered [Qi], and murdered his ruler;—how is it that Chen Qi is represented as taking the lead in the deed?
Not to allow Yangsheng to be ruler over Tu.
Why does [the text] not allow Yangsheng to be ruler over Tu?
Yangsheng was the proper heir [of Qi], and Tu was not.
If Tu were not the proper heir. why is he called the ruler?
Although he was not the proper heir, he had received the appointment [from his father].
"Entered" denotes that the enterer is not received. Since Tu was not the proper heir, why use that style?
As he had received the appointment, that style might be employed.
Why is the name of the State used as if it were Yangsheng's clan-name?
He took the State from Tu.
The duke had a meeting with the marquis of Jin and the viscount of Wu at Huangchi.
The Zhuan of Gongyang says:—'Why is [the lord of] Wu styled viscount?
Because Wu took the direction of the meeting,
If Wu took the direction of the meeting, why does [the text] first mention the marquis of Jin?
Not to allow a barbarous [State] to take the direction of the Middle States.
What is the force of 及 before the viscount of Wu?
It serves to point out the meeting as one of two presiding chiefs.
As [the text] does not allow a barbarous [State] to take the direction of the Middle States, why does it represent the meeting as one of two presiding chiefs?
Because of the weight of Wu.
How had Wu so much weight? Wu being there, the [other] princes of the kingdom would not dare not to come.
The Zhuan of Guliang says:—'Is not the viscount of Wu advanced at this meeting in Huangchi? Here it is that he is [styled] viscount.
Wu was a barbarian State, where they cut their hair short and tattooed their bodies. [Its ruler now] wished, by means of the ceremonies of Lu and the power of Jin, to bring about the wearing of both cap and garment. He contributed [also] of the products of the State to do honour to the king approved by Heaven. Wu is here advanced.
Wu was the greatest State of the east. Again and again it had brought the small States to meet the feudal princes, and to unite with the Middle States. Since Wu could do this, was it not loyal? Wu is here advanced. King is the most honourable title, and viscount is comparatively mean. [The ruler of Wu, however,] declined the honourable title, and was content with the mean one, to meet with the other princes and do honour to the king approved by Heaven. Fuchai, king of Wu, used to say, "Bring me a good cap." Confucius said, "Great was Fuchai!" Fuchai could not have told you about the caps [of different ranks], but he wished for a cap.
I have found the following letter in a large collection of the letters of the writer, published first, with glosses, in 1859 by Hu Guangdou (胡光斗), a great admirer of them, under the title of 音注小倉山房尺牘. The writer, Yuan Mei (袁枚), styled Zicai (子才) and Jianzhai (簡齋), was a member of the Hanlin college, and died in 1797, at the age of 82. The letter was written in reply to Ye Shushan (葉書山), also a member of the Hanlin college.
'I have received your "Recondite Meanings of the Chunqiu," in which your exquisite knowledge is everywhere apparent. While availing yourself of [the Works of] Dan Zhu and Zhao Kuang, you have far excelled them, and that of Hu Anding is not worthy to be spoken of [in comparison with yours]. But in my poor view I always feel that the Chunqiu was certainly not made by Confucius.
'Confucius spoke of himself as "a transmitter and not a maker (Ana. VII. i.)." To make the Chunqiu was the business of the historiographers. Confucius was not a historiographer, and [he said that] "he who is not in a particular office has nothing to do with plans for the administration of its duties (Ana. VIII. xiv.);"— how should he have usurped the power of the historiographers, and in an unseemly way made [this Work] for them?
'In the words, "It is [the Chunqiu] which will make men know me, and make men condemn me (Mencius, III. Pt. ii. IX. 8)," he appears to take the position of an unsceptred king; but not only would the master not have been willing to do this, but the ruler and ministers and historiographers of Lu would not have borne it.
'It is said that "Confucius wrote what he wrote and retrenched what he retrenched, so that neither You nor Xia were able to improve a single character (See the quotation from Sima Qian, on p. 14)." Now the stylus of Confucius ceased its labours when the lin was taken, but the Chunqiu is continued after that, which happened in [the spring of] Ai's 14th year, and only ends with the record of Confucius' death in the 16th year;—whose stylus have we during those three years, and by whom was this portion of the work improved? It is clear that, as Lu had its historiographers, the preservation or the loss of the Chunqiu had no connexion with Confucius.
'Of all the books [about Confucius] there is none so trustworthy as the Analects. They tell us that the subjects which he taught were the Odes, the Shu, and the maintenance of the rules of Propriety (Ana. VII. xvii.), and how, stimulating himself, he said, that, [if his life were prolonged], he would give fifty years to the study of the Yi; but there is not half a character in them about the Chunqiu.
'When Han Xuanzi was on a complimentary visit to Lu (See above, p. 8), he saw the Yi with its diagrams and the Chunqiu of Lu. In the "Narratives of the States," under the State of Chu, we find Shen Shushi, the tutor of the eldest son of king Zhuang, teaching him the Chunqiu (Ib.), and under the State of Jin we have Yangshe Xi celebrated for his acquaintance with the Chunqiu (Ib.). Thus before Confucius, the States of the four quarters of the kingdom had long had their Chunqiu. Perhaps when Confucius returned from Wey to Lu, in his leisure from his correcting labours on the Ya and the Song (Ana. IX. xiv.), he happened to read the Chunqiu, and made some slight improvements in it, so that we find Gong and Gu quoting from what they call "the unrevised Chunqiu." On this we cannot speak positively; but certainly there was no such thing as the making of the Chunqiu. What is still more ridiculous, Lu Tong laid the three commentaries up high on his shelves, and would only look at the text to search out the beginning and end [of the things referred to]. But [if we adopt that plan], we have the entry that "the king [by] Heaven's [grace] held a court of inspection in Heyang (V. xxviii. 16)," which is to the effect that king Xiang of Zhou held a court of inspection, without any cause, at a spot so far—a thousand li—[from his capital]. Then again, dukes Yin and Huan were both murdered, and the text simply says that they died. In this way the upright stylus of the sage turns out not to be equal to that of Dong Hu of Jin, or to Qi's historiographer of the South. What is there [in the Chunqiu] to serve as a warning to make rebellious ministers and villainous sons afraid?'
Having arrived at my own conclusions about the Chunqiu before I met with Yuan Mei's letter, I was astonished and gratified to find such a general agreement between his views and mine. He puts on one side with remarkable boldness the testimony of Mencius, on which I have dwelt in the first section as presenting the greatest difficulty in the way of our accepting the Chunqiu as the work of the sage. He would fain deny, as I have said I should be glad to do, that Confucius had anything to do with compiling the chronicle; but the evidence is too strong on the opposite side, and his supposition, that Confucius, without any great purpose, made some slight improvements in the Chunqiu of Lu towards the end of his life, does not satisfy the exigencies of the case. He has the same opinion that I have of the serious defects of the Work, and on that account he would deny any authorship of Confucius in connexion with it; while I have ventured to reason on those defects as symptomatic of defects in the character of the compiler.
While not scrupling to brush away traditions with a bold hand, Yuan yet mentions one which served his purpose,—that Confucius ceased his labours on the Chunqiu when the lin was taken in the 14th year of duke Ai. Some say that it was the appearance of the lin which induced Confucius to set about the compilation of the classic as a lasting memorial of himself. Others say that the appearance of the lin was to signalize the conclusion of the sage's Work, but how long he had been engaged upon it previously they do not pretend to say. Nothing really is known upon the subject; and the silence of the Analects in regard to it, to which Yuan calls attention, is really note-worthy.
1. Mencius, III. Pt. i. IX. 7, 8:—世衰道微，邪說暴行有作，臣弑其君者有之，子弑其父者有之，孔子懼而作春秋.
2. Ib., 11:—昔者禹抑洪水，而天下平，周公兼夷狄，驅猛獸，而百姓寧，孔子成春秋，而亂臣賊子懼.
3. Men., IV. Pt. ii. XXI. 3:—其事則齊桓晉文,其文則史,孔子曰,其義則丘竊取之. We must suppose that Huan of Qi and Wen of Jin are here adduced as two of the most remarkable personages in the Chunqiu, and that the first clause is not intended to convey the idea that the Work was all about them. I have mused often and long over the other parts of the paragraph. 其文則史 might be translated:—'The text is from the historiographers.' But where then would there be any room for 'the righteous decisions' of Confucius himself? I must hold to the version I have given of the observation quoted from the sage, and it seems to require the translation of the previous clause as I have published it. Julien has:—Ejus stylus, tunc historicus. Confucius aiebat, Hæc equitas, tunc ego Khieou privatim sumpsi illam.'
4. III. Pt.i.IX. 8:—春秋,天子之事也,是故孔子曰,知我者其惟春秋乎,罪我者其惟春秋乎.
5. It is amusing to read the following account of the Chunqiu given by the writer of the treatise 'On the Antiquity of the Chinese,' on pp. 47, 48 of the 1st vol. of the 'Memoires Concernant les Chinois:'—'Le Tchuntsieou est un livre ecrit de génie. Notre Socrate y manie l'Histoire en homme d'Etat, en Citoyen, en Philosophe, en Savant, et en Moraliste. Son laconisme naïf et sublime le force à serrer sa narration, pour présenter les faits tout nouds et détachés, pour ainsi dire, de la chaine des evénemens; mais ils sont dessinés, coloréd, ombrés et peints avec tant de force et de feu, qu'on sent d'abord pourquoi et jusqu'oùils sont dignes de louanges ou de blâme. Nous ne connaissons point de livre en Europe, où l'on voit si bien le commencement, le progrès, le dénoue ment, et le remede des révolutions dans l'Etat et dans les mæurs; les vrais signes de roideur ou de mollesse, de tyrannie ou de discrédit, de modération simulée ou d'inconséquence dans le Gou vernement; les différences du talent du génie, de l'expérience, de la profondeur des vues, de la bonté du coupd'æil, et des ressources d'un esprit fécond dans les Princes et dans leur ministres, l'imposant d'une administration bruyante et le faux d'une politique pateline, les souterrains de la trahison et les maneges de la negociation, les premieres etincelles d'une révolte qui commence et les derniers eclats d'une ligue epuisée; la maniere enfin dont le Changti (Dieu) dirige le cours des evénemens, pour elever ou renverser les Trônes, et punir ou recompenser tourà tour les Sujets par leurs Princes et lcs Princes par leurs Sujets. Le Tchuntsieou, envisagé sous ce point de vue, est le modele de toutes les Histoires. Confucius a un style qui ne va qu'à lui. Il semble que chaque caractere ait eté fait pour l'endroit où il le place. Plus il est avare de mots, plus ceux qu'il emploie sout clairs et expressifs.'The above is certainly of a piece with the estimate of the ancient odes of China which I quoted from the same article in the prolegomena to vol. IV., pp. 114, 115. Dr. Williams (Middle Kingdom, vol. I., p. 512) gives a more fair account of the Chunqiu, but even he thinks that it contains much good matter of which we find no trace:—'It is but little better than a dry detail of facts, enlivened by few incidents, but containing many of those practical observations which distinguish the writings of the sage.' Anyone who looks into the body of this volume will see that the text consists of nothing but a dry detail of facts or incidents, without a single practical observation, Confucian or nonConfucian.
6. There have been Chinese scholars who have taken up this position. Wang Tao, in a monograph on the subject, places Ma Duanlin among them; but this is more than Ma's words, quoted in the third section, will sustain. With more reason he gives the name of Hao Jing (郝敬) of the Ming dynasty, who contends that the Chunqiu of Confucius was not transmitted, and that we have only fragments of it in Zuoshi. Wang also says that according to Dong Zhongshu and Sima Qian the text consisted of several myriads of characters, in several thousand paragraphs, whereas Chang An of the Tang dynasty found in it only 18000 characters. But there can be no doubt the present text is substantially the same as that known in the Han dynasty. See Appendix II.
9. It may be well here to give the discussion of one notable case, the occasional omission of the term jing.—taken from Zhao Yi's 陔餘業考,卷二:—'Every year should commence with "In the spring, in the king's first month," or if there was nothing to be recorded under the first month, "In the spring, in the king's second month," or " In the spring, in the king's third month;" the object being thereby to do honour to the king. In the 9th and 11th years, however, of duke Yin, we have only "In the spring," and in all the years of duke Huan but for the expression 'the king's' is omitted. Du Yu holds that in those years the king had not issued the calendar; but seeing the prime intent of the Chunqiu was to honour the king, is it likely that for such an omission the classic would have denied the year to be the king's? Moreover, such omission was most likely to occur when the court was in confusion, as in the troubles occasioned by the princes Tui, Dai, and Zhao; and yet we find the years of those times all with the regular formula. How unlikely that the calendar should have been given out in seasons of disorder, and neglected when all was tranquil in the times of Yin and Huan! Du's explanation is inadmissible.'Cheng Yichuan says, "Duke Huan succeeded to Lu by the murder of his predecessor, and in his first year the author wrote 'the king's,' thereby by a royal law indicating his crime. The same expression in the second year in the same way indicates the crime of Du of Song in murdering his ruler. Its omission in the third year shows that Huan had no [fear of the] king before his eyes." But this is very inconsistent. If we say that the omission of "the king's" shows that Huan had no fear of the king, surely it ought to have been omitted in his first year, when he was guilty of such a crime. If we say that its occurrence in the first year is to indicate his crime, are we to infer that wherever it occurs it indicates the crime of the ruler? What had Lu to do with Du of Song's murdering his ruler? Is it reasonable that Lu's historiographers should have constructed their annals to punish him?'He Xiu says,—"In [Huan's] 10th year we find 'the king's,' because ten is the completion of numbers, and we find it in his 18th year, because that was the last of his rule." According to this we ought to find "the king's" only in the year of a ruler's accession, in his tenth year, and the year of his death; but the practice in the Chunqiu is quite different from this. He Xiu's remark is unintelligible.'It may be said that since the Zhou commencement of the year was not universally followed during the Chunqiu period, some States reckoning by the 1st month of Yin and others by that of Xia, although Lu generally held to the ritual of Zhou, yet its irregularities in the matter of intercalation show that it did not keep to the first month of Zhou. Perhaps the historiographers did so sometimes, and then Confucius wrote "the king's first month," by way of distinction, while he left the cases in which they made the year begin differently unmarked by such a note,—thereby condemning them.' This last is poor Zhao Yi's own explanation of the phænomenon, not a whit better than the devices of others which he condemns! It shows the correctness of my remark that it is next to impossible for a Chinese scholar to shake off the trammels of the creed in which he has been educated.
10. 詩既亡,春秋作,寓褒貶,別善惡;;—see the 三字經 , II. 79, 80.
11. 古凡史官記事，必先立年，月，日，時，而後書事餘其下，謂之記年，故每歲所書，四時必備，然而袛名春秋者，春可以該夏，秋可以該冬也；-春秋毛氏傳,, the Introductory chapter.
12. 春秋，以始舉四時，記萬物之名;—on Men. III. Pt. ii. XXI. 3.
13. 記事者，以事繫日，以日繫月，以月繫時，以時幾年，……故史之所記，必表年以首事，年有四時，故錯舉以爲所記之命也. On this Passage Kong Yingda quotes the following words from Zheng Kangcheng:—春秋猶言四時也; and then he adds himself, 是舉春秋足包四時之義也.
14. The Middle Kingdom, vol. I., p. 512. See to the same effect Du Halde's Description de l'Empire de la Chine, et de la Tartarie Chinoisc.' vol. II. p. 318.
15. 觀書於太史氏，見易象與魯春秋. In my translation of this passage on p. 583, I have omitted inadvertently to render the 見易象, and the whole might be taken as if 'the Chunqiu of Lu' were not one of the documents in the keeping of the historiographer.
16. 羊舌肸習於春秋，乃使傅太子彪;—see the 國語，晉語，七, at the end.
17. 教之春秋;—See the 國語，楚語，上, art 1. The prince to be taught was the son of king Zhuang, who died B. C. 590.
18. Men IV. Pt. ii. XXI. 2. 晉之乘，楚之檮杌，魯之春秋，一也.
19. 吾見百國春秋史. See the 墨子佚文, appended to the 15th Book of his Works.
20. In his 明鬼，下.
22. 以魯周公之國，禮文備物，史官有法，故輿左丘明觀其史記:—see note to Liu Xin's catalogue of the tablets of the Chunqiu and Works on it, 漢書三十，藝文，志第十. Yan Pengzu, another scholar of the early Han dynasty, gives rather a different form to Zuo's association with Confucius in the Work,—that they went together to Zhou to examine the Books in the keeping of the historiographers at the royal court:— 嚴彭祖曰，孔子將修春秋.與左丘明乘如周,觀書於周氏. Quoted by Kong Yingda on Du Yu's Preface to the Zuo zhuan.
23. 至於為春秋,筆則筆,削則削,子夏之徒不能赞一辭;—see the 史記世家,卷十七,孔子世家.
27. Compare the use of 志, in Mencius, III. Pt. i. II. 3, and Pt. ii. I. 1., and in the Zuo zhuan on VI. ii. 1; vi. 3: VII. xii. 2: VIII. iv. 7; et al.
28. From the 國語，魯語，上, Art. 7,—at the end.
29. Acc. to Mao, the contents of the ancient Chunqiu might all be arranged under twenty-two heads:—1st, the changing of the first year of a ruler (改元); 2d, the new ruler's solemn accession (即位); 3d, the birth of a son to the ruler (生子; as in II. vi. 5); 4th, the appointment of a ruler in another State (立君; as in I. iv. 7); 5th, court and complimentary visits (朝聘, in the various forms of 朝；來朝；聘；來聘；歸脤;錫命 ); 6th, covenants and meetings (盟會, in the various forms—會；盟;來盟；涖盟；不盟；逃盟；遇；胥命；平；成 ); 7th, incursions and invasions, (侵伐, in the various forms—侵；伐；克；入;圍；襲；取；戍；就；帥師；乞師；棄師；戰；次；追；降；敗；敗績；潰；獲；師還；歸俘；獻捷 ); 8th, the removal and extinction of States (遷滅, in the various forms—遷；滅;殲；墮；亡 ); 9th, marriages (昏覿, in the various forms—納幣；逆女；逆婦；求婦；歸；送；致女；來勝；婦致；覿 ); 10th, entertainments and condolences (享唁); 11th, deaths and burials (喪葬, in the various forms of 崩；薨；卒；葬；會葬；歸喪；賵；賻；含；襚；求金；錫命 ; ); 12th, sacrifices (祭祀, in the various forms of 丞;嘗；禘；郊；社；望；雩；作主；有事；大事；朝廟；告朔；繹；從祀；獻；萬 ); 13th, huntings (蒐狩; in the various forms of蒐；狩；觀；焚；觀社；大閱; 14th, building (興作, in the various forms of 立宮；築台；作門觀；丹楹；刻桷；屋壞；毀臺；新廐；築城；城郛；浚渠；築囿); 15th, military arrangements (甲兵, in the forms of 治甲兵；作丘甲；作三軍；舍中軍); 16th, military taxation (田賦, in the forms of 稅畝；用田賦；求車；假田；取田；歸田); 17th, good years and bad (豐凶, in the forms of 有年；饑；告糴；無麥苗；無麥禾); 18th, ominous occurrences (災祥;, in the forms of 日食；螟；螽蝝；雨雪；雷電；震；雹；星隕；大水；無水；災；火；蜮；蜚；多麋；眚；不雨；沙鹿崩；山崩；旱；地震；星孛；六鷁退飛；隕霜殺菽；隕霜不殺草；鸜鵒來巢；獲麟); 19th, leaving one's city or State 出國, in the forms of 入;納；歸；來歸；復歸；來；來奔；逃歸); 20th, entering a city or State (入國, in the forms of 至；入;納；歸；來歸；復歸；來；來奔；逃歸; 21st, ruffians and murders (盜弑, in the forms of 盜殺；盜；弑；殺; 22d, punishments (刑剹, in the forms of 殺；刺；戕；放；執；歸；用；釋；畀；肆眚). This analysis of the Chunqiu is ingenious; but it is all based on the Chunqiu of Confucins. Some of the subjects may be called in question, as, e. g., the 3d. In the 12 books of the Spring and Autumn only one such birth is chronicled.
30. 據魯親周，故殷運之三代. I shall be glad if any Sinologue can make out the meaning of this passage more clearly than I have done. Zhang Shoujie （張守節), the glossarst of Sima Qian under the Tang dynasty (His preface is dated in the 8th month of A.D. 736), say on the last clause—殷，中也，又中運夏殷周之事也.
31. Here again Sima's style is involved, and far from clear: 推此類以繩當世貶損之義，後有王者舉而開之，春秋之義行，則天下亂臣賊子懼焉.
32. Liu Xi (Proleg. to vol. III., p. 205) has a strange note on this utterance of Confucius:—知者,行堯舜之道者，罪者，在王公之位見貶絕者, 'The knowers would be those who practised the principles of Yao and Shun; the condemners would be kings and dukes in office who were censured and condemned [by the sage's righteous decisions].' This is ingenious, but far-fetched.
33. See the Kangxi Chunqiu, 綱領， p. 18:—春秋所書，如某人為某事，云云.
34. See the proleg. to vol. III., p. 160.
35. Ib., p. 163.
36. 據此可見當時國史，其文法大概本與春秋相似，孔子特酌易數字以寓褒貶耳;—see the 陔餘業考，卷二, the chapter 春秋底本.
38. 左氏傳，三十卷；公羊傳， 十一卷；穀梁傳，十一卷；鄒氏傳，十一卷；夾氏傳，十一卷.
39. 分經之年， 與傳之年相附.
40. 左氏先著竹帛， 故漢時謂之古學，公羊漢時乃興，故謂之今學;—see the 十三經策案，卷十七, at the beginning.
41. 阮元;—see the proleg. to vol. I., p. 133.
43. See proleg. vol. I., pp. 12, 13
44. 壁中書者， 魯共王壞孔子宅，而得，禮記，尚書，春秋，論語，孝經
45. See my note on the passage in question, where I approve of a different interpretation of the text of Gong and Gu from that which Ma Duanlin mentions. My Chinese text in that passage is that of Gong and Gu, and I take this opportunity to say that the text throughout is gathered from the Kangxi edition of the Classic. The editors generally follow Zuoshi; but occasionally, as in this case, they adopt the text of Gong or Gu. They have not told us by what principles they were guided in the formation or preference of that which they have given.
46. 春秋古經，雖漢藝文志有之，然夫子所修之春秋，其本文世所不見，而自漢以來，所編古經，則俱自三傳中取出經文， 名之曰正經耳，然三傳所載經文，多有異同，則學者何所折衷，如公及邾儀父盟於蔑，左氏以爲蔑，公穀以爲昧，則不知夫子所書者， 曰蔑乎，曰昧乎，築郿，左氏以爲郿，公穀以爲微，則不知夫子所書者，曰郿乎，曰微乎，會於厥憖，公穀以爲屈銀，則不知夫子所書者， 曰厥憖乎，曰屈銀乎，若是者，殆不可勝數，蓋不特亥豕魯魚之偶誤其一二而已，然此特名字之訛耳，其事未嘗背馳於大義，尚無所關也， 至於君氏卒，則以爲聲子，魯之夫人也，尹氏卒，則以爲師尹，周之卿士也，然則夫子所書隱三年，夏四月辛卯之死者，竟爲何人乎， 不寧惟是，公羊穀梁於襄公二十一年，皆書孔子生，按春秋惟國君世子生，則書之，子同生是也，其餘世卿擅國政，如季氏之徒， 其生亦未嘗書之於冊，夫子萬世帝王之師，然其始生，乃鄹邑大夫之子耳，魯史未必書也，魯史所不書，而謂夫子自紀其生之年， 於所修之經，決無是理也，而左於哀公十四年獲麟之後，又復引經以至十六年四月，書仲尼卒，社征南亦以爲近誣，然則春秋本文， 其附見於三傳者，不特乖異未可盡信，而三子以意增損者有之矣，蓋襄二十一年所書者，公穀尊其師授而增書之也，哀十六年所書者， 左氏痛其師亡而增之也，俱非春秋之本文也，三子者，以當時口耳所傳受者，各自爲傳，又以其意之所欲增益者，攙入之，後世諸儒， 復據其見於三子之書者，互有所左右而發明之，而以爲得聖人筆削之意於千載之上，吾未之能信也。
47. The following passage from Wu Cheng (吳澂; A.D. 1249—1333), may be considered as decisive on this point. I adduce it in preference to others, because he touches on some other matters which will interest some of my readers.—秋經十二篇，左氏，公羊，穀梁，各有不同，昔朱子刻易，書，詩，春秋，於臨漳郡， 春秋一經，止用左氏經文，而曰，公穀二經，所以異者，類多人名地名，面非大意所擊，故不能悉具， 竊謂三傳得失，先儒固言之矣，載事，則左氏詳於公穀，釋經則公穀精於左氏，意者左氏必有案據之書， 而公穀多是傳聞之說，況人名地名之殊，或因語音字畫之舛，此類一從左氏可也。然有考之於義， 確然見左氏爲失，而公穀爲得者，則又豈容以偏狥哉
48. It is a common opinion, which Mr. Wylie (General Notes on Chinese Literature, p. 6) endorses without hesitation, that the 'Narratives of the States' was by the same author as the Commentary about which we are inquiring; and we have the testimony of Sima Qian's auto-biographical letter to a friend (漢書六十二，司馬遷，傳第三十二), as to his surname being Zuoqiu, and name Ming (左丘失明，厥有國語; and again, 左丘明無目). Our Zuo would then have the surname of Zuoqiu. This is still held by many. Zhu Yizun particularly insists on it as a point 'exceedingly clear,' and explains the dropping of the Qiu (丘 or 邱) from a superstitious feeling not to be always repeating the name of the Master (孔邱). Ban Gu appears to have considered the simple Zuo to be the surname and Qiuming the name; and there are many who concur with him. Others maintain that the surname was simply Zuo, and that the name has been lost. So it is virtually now, for the Work is simply called the Zuo zhuan. On these disputes about the surname and name, Huang Ze (黃澤; Yuan dynasty) says with truth:—左邱明，或謂姓左邱，名明，非傳春秋者，傳春秋者蓋姓左，而失其名，愚謂去古既遠， 此以爲是，彼以爲非，又焉有定論.
49. E.g. Zhao Kuang (趙 匡; of the Tang dynasty) says:—論語左邱明恥之，丘亦恥之，夫子自比，皆引往人，故曰竊比於我老彭，又說伯夷等六人， 云我則異於是，竝非同時人也，邱明者蓋夫子以前賢人，如史佚遲任之流，見稱於當時爾.
51. 北平侯張蒼獻春秋左氏傳， 郡國亦往往於山川得鼎彜，其銘既前代之古文.
52. See the 漢書，四十二，傳第十二, the first memoir.
53. Beiping embraced the presant department of Yongping, Zhili, and some adjacent territory.
58. See the proleg. to vol. IV. p. 11.
59. Kong Yingda, in his preface to Du Yu's edition of the Zuo zhuan says:—漢武帝 (B.C. 139—86) 時，河閒獻左氏，議立左氏學，公羊之徒上書詆左氏，左氏之學不立.
64. 蕭望之. There is a long and interesting memoir of him in the 漢書, 七十八. We find him, on his first introduction to the emperor Xuan, appealing to a passage in the Chunqiu.
71. See the 漢書三十六，楚元王，傅第六, I have carefully read over the Work of 劉逢祿 of the present dynasty, included in the 皇清經解, and called 左氏春秋考證, in which he labours to upset all the testimony about Liu Xin, but it is quite inconclusive and unsatisfactory.
73. Lu Deming and others say this took place under He, in the 11th year of the period 元興. But that period lasted only one year. 元興 must be a mistake for 永元.
74. 何休;—see further on.
75. 春秋左氏經傳集解，三十卷;—by 杜預, styled 元凱. He is also called 征南, from his military operations in the South, as in the quotation from Ma Duanlin on p. 19. He was born A.D. 222, and died in 281.
76. 劉向別錄云，左邱明授曾申，申授吳起，起授其子期，期授楚人鐸椒，椒作抄撮八卷，授虞卿， 卿作抄撮九卷，授荀卿，卿授張蒼.
78. See the 史記七十四，列傳第十四.
80. TThe following passage from Dan Zhu (啖助) of the Tang dynasty sets forth correctly this characteristic of Zuo's work, and I adduce it without reference to Zhu's peculiar opinions about our author:—左氏傳自周，晉，齊，宋，楚，鄭等國之事最詳，晉，則每出一師，具列將佐，宋，則每因興廢， 備舉六卿，故知史策之文，每國各異，左氏得此數國之史以授門人，義則口傳，未形竹帛，後代學者乃演而通之， 總而合之，編次年月，以爲傳記，又廣採當時文籍，故兼與子産，晏子，及諸國卿佐家傳，並卜書及雜占書， 縱橫家小說諷諫等，雜在其中，故敘事雖多，釋意甚少，是非交錯，混然雜證，其大略皆是左氏舊意， 故此餘傳，其功最高，博採諸家，敘事尤備，能令百代之下頗見本末.
81. 傳先經以始事，或後經以終義，或依經以辯理，或錯經以合異，隨義而發;—see Du's preface.
82. 4 I take the opportunity to advert here to a question which has produced no end of speculation and discussion among the scholars of China. Why does the Chunqiu begin with duke Yin? Might we not have expected the sage to go back to the first origin of the State of Lu? I believe that the only reasonable answer to these inquiries is this, that the annals of the State previous to duke Yin's rule had been altogether lost, or were in such a miserable state of dilapidation and disarrangement that nothing could be made of them. We might have expected a sentence or two from the sage to enlighten us on the subject; but his oracle is dumb. Neither does the Zhuan say anything about it. How different the practice of writers of history in the West!
83. 王接曰，左氏辭義瞻富，自是一家書，不主爲經發;—see the經義考, Bk. 169, p. 3. In Bk. 174, p.3, there is quoted from him his contrary view of Gongyang:— 公羊附經立傳，經所不書傳不妄起，於文爲儉，通經爲長.
84. 王哲曰，左氏善覽舊史，兼該衆說，得春秋之事亦甚備，其書雖附經而作，然於經外自成一書， 故有貪惑異說，採掇過當，至於聖人微旨，頗亦疎略，而大抵有本末，蓋出於一手之撰述.
85. I select only two Chinese testimonies of the excellence of Zuo's style. The first is from Xun Song (荀崧 ) of the Jin dynasty:—, 其書善禮，多膏腴美辭，張本繼末，以發明經意，信多奇偉，不學者好之. The other is from Zhu Yizun of the present dynasty:—匪獨詳事也，文之簡要不可及.
86. E. g., Liu Kuang (劉貺) of the Tang dynasty says:— 左氏紀年，序諸侯列會，具舉其諡，知是後人追修，非常世正史也.
95. 篇中或用名，或用字， 或用謚號，蓋當時文法如此:—see Zhao on the Chunqiu, Ch. 左傳敘事氏名錯雜.
96. 程子曰，左傳不可全信，信其所可信者爾，以傳考經之事迹，以經別傳之真僞;—see the 經義考, Bk. 169, p. 5
98. See the 欽定四庫全書總目，卷二十六, upon the 春秋左傳正義.
102. 左傳君子曰，最無意思，因舉芟夷蘊崇一段，是關上文甚事，左傳是一箇審利害之幾， 善避就底人，所以其書有貶死節等事，其間議論，有極不是處，如周鄭交質之類，是何議論， 其曰宋宣公可謂知人矣，立穆公，其子響之，命以義夫，只知有利害，不知有義理， 此段不如公羊，說君子大居正，卻是儒者議論 ;—see the Critical Introduction to the Kangxi Chunqiu, pp. 28, 29.
104. The following is a list of passages of the character spoken of:on I. iii. 5; vii. after 4: II. ii. 4; ix. 4: III. i. at the beginning; xi. 3; xx. at the beg.; xxi. 2; xxii. 3; xxxii. after 1: IV. i. at the end; ii. after 3: V. ii. after 3; xi. after 1; xii. 3d after 1; xiv. 4; xv. 13; xxii. at the end; xxxi. 9: VI. i. 3; v. after 3; ix. 12; x. 3; xiv. 5; xv. 12: VII. iii. 4, 8; iv. last but one; xiv. 6; xv. last but one: VIII. xiv. 1; xv. 7; xvi. at the end: IX. xxi. 8; xxiv. 5, and at the end; xxvii. 5; xxix. 2d and 4th after 1, 8; xxx. 7, and after 7; xxxi. at the beg., 2, 5, and after 7: X. 2, and 2d after 2, 4; ix. 4; ix. 3; x. at the beg.; xi. 2, 3, and after 3; xii. 3; xv. 2, and after 6; xviii. at the beg.; xx. at the beg.; xxi. at the beg., 1; xxv. 1; xxxi. 7; xxxii. 2, 4: XI. ix. 3; xv. 1: XII. ix. after 4. In the 困學紀聞集證，卷六下, this set of passages is touched on. It is said:— 八世之後莫之與京(on III. xxii. 3), 其田氏篡齊之後之言乎，公侯子孫必復其始 (IV. i at the end), 其三卿分晉之後之言乎，其處者爲劉氏 (VI. xiii. at the beg.),其漢儒欲立左氏者所附益乎，皆非左氏之舊也，新都之篡以沙鹿崩爲,(V. xiv. 3), 釋氏之熾，以恆星不見爲證, (III. vii. 2), 蓋有作俑者矣. Zhu Xi often speaks very doubtfully about Zuo's zhuan. E. g. 左傳是後來人做，或以左氏乃楚左史倚相之後, but this last insinuation is mere surmise.
105. 戴宏曰， 子夏傳與公羊高，高傳與其子平，平傳與其子地，地傳與其子敢， 敢傳與其壽，至漢景帝時，壽乃共弟子齊人胡母子都著於竹帛; quoted in the preface to He Xiu's edition of Gongyang.
106. According to He Xiu, this transmission of the Classic from mouth to mouth was commanded by Confucius, from his foreknowledge of the attempt of the tyrant of Qin to burn all the monuments of ancient literature!—孔子知秦將燔詩書，其說口說相傳，至漢公羊氏及弟子胡母生等，乃記於竹帛.
108. 江公. See the 漢書八十八，儒林傳第五十八.
111. 喜顔師古曰，穀梁子，名喜受經於子夏，爲經作傳，傳孫, (al. 荀) 卿， 卿傳魯申公，申公傳瑕邱，江公.
112. 春秋穀梁傳集. For the biography of Fan Ning, see the 晉書，七十五，列傳第四十五.
113. The Kangxi editors in their Critical Introduction, p. 7, quote on this point from Zhu Xi:問公穀傳，大概皆同，曰，所以林黃中說，只是一人， 只看他文字，疑若非一手者.
114. See the 氏姓譜 , chh. 147, 156.
118. The character employed for to conceal is 諱, which is explained in various dictionaries by 避, 'to avoid;' 隱, 'to keep out of view,' and 忌 , 'to shun,' to be cautious of.
121. It will be well for the student to read the long note of Kong Yingda on Du Yu's remarks on the Zhuan here. He acknowledges that it is impossible to say when the rule for concealing things was observed and when not.或諱大不諱小，或諱小不諱大，皆當時臣子率己之意而爲之隱，故無淺深常凖.
122. See vol. IV. Pt. 1. xii. ode IX.
123. See Letters and Journals of James, eighth Earl of Elgin, p. 392.
124. See the Analects, VII. xxxv.
125. See a review of my 1st volume, in the Edinburgh Review, April, 1869.
126. 呂不韋，呂氏春秋，陸賈楚漢春秋. See Zhao Yi's first chapter on the Chunqiu, where he gives the names of a score of these Works.
127. 漢紀, composed by 荀悅, at the command of the emperor Xian (獻帝).
128. E.g., Sima Guang's 資治通鑑, and, Zhu Xi's 通鑑綱目. 綱目 means a net,—the rope by which the whole is drawn together and the eyes or meshes of which it is composed.
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