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Considered in Relation to Its Territorial Extent; The Disorder which Prevailed; The Growth and Encroachments of the Larger States; And the Barbarous Tribes Which Surrounded It.
1. Territorial extent and component States.
On the territorial extent of the kingdom of Zhou, and the names of the feudal States composing it, during the Chunqiu period, I have nothing to add to what I have said on the same subjects for the period embraced in the Book of Poetry, on pp. 127—131 of the prolegomena to volume IV. A study of the large map accompanying this Chapter, in its twofold form, with the names on the one in English and on the other in Chinese, will give the reader a more correct idea of these points than many pages of description could do. The period of the Book of Poetry overlapped that of the Chunqiu by more than a hundred years. No new State arose during the latter, though several came into greater prominence than had formerly belonged to them; and the enlargement of territory which took place arose chiefly from the greater development which the position of Jin, Chu, and Qin enabled them to give themselves.
2. Disorder of the Chunqiu period;—referred to its causes.
It is often said that the period embraced in the Chunqiu was one of disorder,—a social and political disorganization to be compared with the physical disorder caused by the inundating waters which called forth the labours of the great Yu so many ages before. 1 Mencius tells us that the Classic does not contain a single instance of a righteous war, a war, according to him, being righteous only when the supreme authority had marshalled its forces to punish some disobedient vassal, whereas, during the period chronicled by Confucius, we have nothing but the strifes and collisions of the various feudal States among themselves. 2 This is not absolutely correct, but it is an approximation to the truth. The disorder of the period, however, was only the sequel of the disorder that preceded it. Not long before it commenced, king Ping had transferred the capital to the east in 769, in consequence of the death of his father king You at the hands of some of the wild tribes of the Rong. This movement was an open acknowledgment of the weakness of the sovereign power, which had been brought very low towards the end of the first half of the 9th century, B.C., and had only partially revived during the long reign of king Xuan. I doubt, indeed, whether it had been very strong in what is regarded as its golden age, after the duke of Zhou had consolidated the dynasty, and introduced his code of ceremonial and political regulations. The theory was then good, but the practice was very indifferent.
The process of degeneracy and disintegration, however, was very marked from the beginning of the 9th century. It is an acknowledged fact that about B.C. 880 the chief of the powerful southern State of Chu usurped for a time the title of king, and wished to declare himself independent of the kings of Zhou. When the Chunqiu period opens upon us, we find existing an all but anarchal condition of things. There was virtually no king in China in those days, and the lord of each feudal State did what was right in his own eyes. In 706, the earl of Zheng the most recently established of all the States, if perhaps we should except Qin, engaged in hostilities with the king himself, who was wounded in the battle between them.
King Wu and the duke of Zhou had parcelled out their conquest —the kingdom of Shang—among the scions of their own family and their adherents of other surnames, with the representatives of Tang the Successful and other great Names in the previous history of the country. How many the feudal States, great and small, were at the most, I will not venture to say even approximately. The theory of the constitution left them very considerable liberty in the administration of their internal affairs, and in their relations with one another. They were to be content with their allotments of territory and not infringe on those of their neighbours, maintaining a good mutual understanding by means of court visits 3 and visits of friendship or compliment, 4 and by interchanging communications on all important events occurring within their borders. Any breaking of the peace or unjust attack of one State by another was to be represented to the royal court, and the king would then call into the field the unwieldy forces at his disposal, and deal justice on the offender.
But this beautiful theory of government presupposed a wonderful freedom from jealousy and ambition on the part of the feudal lords, and an overwhelming superiority of force on the part of the king; and, neither of these things existing, the constitution of the kingdom was torn into shreds. Instead of the harmony which the principles of benevolence and righteousness, carried out with courtesy and in accordance with the rules of propriety, should have produced, we find the States biting and devouring one another, while the large and strong oppressed and absorbed the small and weak. In the Zhuan on IX. xxix. 7, during a dispute at the court of Jin on some encroachments which Lu had made on the territory of Qi, an officer reminds the marquis of what Jin itself had done in the same way. 'The princes,' said he, 'of Yu, Guo, Jiao, Huo, Huo, Yang, Han, and Wei were Jis, and Jin's greatness is owing to its absorbing of their territories. If it had not encroached on the small States, where would it have found territory to take? Since the times of Wu and Xian, we have annexed many of them, and who can call us to account for what we have done?' The fact was that Might had come to take the place of Right; and while states men were ever ready to talk of the fundamental principles of justice, benevolence, and loyalty, the process of spoliation went on. 5 The number of States was continually becoming less, the smaller melting away into the larger. 'The good old rule' came more and more into vogue,
|'the simple plan,|
|That they should take who have the power,|
|And they should keep who can.'|
3. To ameliorate the evils arising from this state of disorder and anarchy, and to keep it moreover in check, there arose during the Chunqiu period the singular device of presiding chiefs,—the system of one State taking the lead and direction of all the others, and exercising really royal functions throughout the kingdom, while yet there was a profession of loyal attachment to the House of Zhou. The seeds of this contrivance were sown, perhaps, at the very commencement of the dynasty, when the dukes of Zhou and Shao were appointed viceroys over the eastern and western portions of the kingdom respectively, and other princes were made, on their first investiture, 'chiefs of regions, 6 embracing their own States and others adjacent to them. These arrangements were disused as the kings of Zhou felt secure in their supremacy over all the States, and the nominees in the first instance had been sincerely loyal and devoted to the establishment of the dynasty; but now in the Chunqiu period the kings were not sufficiently sure of any of their vassals to delegate them to such an office. When one raised himself to the position, they were obliged unwillingly to confirm him in it. The system of presiding chiefs.
Five of these presiding chiefs are named during the time under our review 7:—Huan of Qi (683—642); Wen of Jin (634—627); Xiang of Song (649—636); Mu of Qin (658—620); and Zhuang of Chu (612—590). The first two, however, are the best, and I think the only representatives of the system. Huan was endowed with an extraordinary amount of magnanimity, and Wen had been disciplined by a long experience of misfortune, and was subtile and scheming. Both of then were fully acknowledged as directors and controllers of the States generally by the court of Zhou; and it seems to me not unlikely that if Wen had been a younger man when he came to the marquisate of Jin, and his rule had been protracted to as great a length as that of Huan, he would have gone on to supersede the dynasty of Zhou altogether, and we should have had a dynasty of Jin nearly nine hundred years earlier than it occurs in Chinese chronology. As it was, his successors, till nearly the end of the Chunqiu period, claimed for their State the leading place in the kingdom; and it was generally conceded to them. Though the system of which I am speaking be connected with the names of the five princes which I have mentioned, it yet continued to subsist after them. They were simply the first to vindicate, or to endeavour to vindicate, a commanding influence for the States to which they belonged throughout the kingdom; and though neither Huan nor Wen had any one among their successors fully equal to them, they had many who tried to assert a supremacy, and Jin, as I have said, was long acknowledged to be 'lord of covenants.'
Xiang of Song was not entitled to a place among the five chiefs, either from his own character, or from the strength and resources of his State. He appears rather as a madman than a man of steady purpose; and many scholars exclude his name from the category, and introduce instead Helu of Wu or Goujian of Yue. Nor is Mu of Qin much better entitled to the place assigned to him, for though he was a prince of very superior character to Xiang, his influence was felt only in the west of the kingdom, and not by the States generally. Zhuang of Chu, moreover, did certainly exercise the influence of a chief over several of the States, but he was not acknowledged as such by the king of Zhou, and the title of king which he claimed for himself sufficiently showed his feeling and purpose towards the existing dynasty. Still he and other kings of Chu called the States frequently together, and many responded to their summons, knowing that a refusal would incur their resentment, and be visited with direst punishment.
I am inclined to believe that the system of presiding chiefs, or rather of leading States, did in a degree mitigate the evils of the prevailing disorder. Qi and Jin certainly kept in check the encroachments of Chu, which, barbarous as it was, would otherwise have speedily advanced to the overthrow of the House of Zhou. Yet the system increased the misery that abounded, and if it retarded, perhaps, the downfall of the descendants of king Wu, it served to show that that was unavoidable in the end. It was most anomalous,— an imperium in imperio,—and weakened the bond of loyal attachment to the throne. Of what use were the kings of Zhou, if they could not do their proper work of government, but must be continually devolving it on one or other of their vassals? No line of rulers can continue to keep possession of the supreme authority in a nation, if their incompetency be demonstrated for centuries together. The sentimental loyalty of Confucius had lost its attractions by the time of Mencius, who was ever on the outlook for 'a minister of Heaven,' who should make an end of Zhou and of the contentions among the warring States together.
But the system also increased the expenditure of the smaller States. There still remained their dues to the kings of Zhou, even though they paid them so irregularly that we have instances of messengers being sent from court to Lu, and doubtless they were sent to other States as well, to beg for money and other supplies. But they had also to meet the requisitions of the ruling State, and sometimes of more than one at the same time. There are many allusions in the narratives of Zuo to the arbitrariness and severity of those requisitions. On X. xiii. 5, 6, for instance, we find Zichan of Zheng disputing on this point with the ministers of Jin. 'Formerly,' said he, 'the sons of Heaven regulated the amount of contribution according to the rank of the State. Zheng ranks as the territory of an earl or a baron, and yet its contribution is now on the scale of a duke or a marquis. There is no regular rule for what we have to pay; and when our small State fails in rendering what is required, it is held to be an offender. When our contributions and offerings have no limit set to them, we have only to wait for our ruin.' It is evident, as we study the history of this system of a leading State, that there was no help to come from it to the House of Zhou, and no permanent alleviation of the evils under which the nation was suffering.
4.The growth of some of the States an important subject of study. The causes of it.
At the close of the Chunqiu period the kingdom was in a worse and more hopeless condition than at its commencement; and it seems strange to us that it did not enter into the mind of Confucius to forecast that the feudal system which had so long prevailed in China was 'waxen old and ready to vanish away.' But what State was to come out victorious from its conflicts with all the others, and take the lead in settling a new order of things? Only the event could reveal this, but it could be known that the struggle for supremacy would lie between two or three powers; and the study of their growth supplies one of the most important lessons which the Work of the sage and the Commentary of Zuo are calculated to teach us.
A glance at the map shows us that the China proper of Zhou was confined at first within narrow limits. Even at the beginning of the Chunqiu period it consisted of merely a few States of no great size, lying on either side of the Yellow River, from the point where its channel makes a sudden bend to the east onwards to its mouth.
North of the Royal Domain was Jin, but, though a fief dating from the commencement of the kingdom, its growth had been so slow, that it is not till the second year of duke Xi, B.C. 657, that it appears in Confucius' text, on the eve of its subjugation of the small States of Yu and Guo. This was the first step which Jin took in the career of enlargement by which it ere long attained to so great a size.
South of the Domain was Chu; and, though it had been founded in the time of king Cheng, it does not appear in the text of our Classic till the tenth year of duke Zhuang, B.C. 683. It is then called Jing, and we do not meet with it under the name of Chu till the first year of duke Xi, B.C. 658.
West from the Domain was Qin, the first lord of which was given a local habitation and name only in B.C. 908; and it did not become an independent fief of the kingdom till the year 769. Its first appearance in our text is in the fifteenth year of duke Xi, B.C. 644.
A long way east from Chu, and bordering on the sea, was the State of Wu, which, though claiming an earlier origin than the kingdom of Zhou itself, is not mentioned in the classic till the seventh year of duke Cheng, B.C. 583.
But it will be observed that these four States had from their situation grand opportunities for increasing their territory and their population; and the consequence was that before the end of the Chunqiu period each of them occupied an extent of country many times larger than the Royal Domain, while Chu was nearly as large as all the Middle States, as those of Zhou proper were called, together. The way in which it and Jin proceeded was by extinguishing and absorbing the smaller States adjacent to them, and by a constant process of subjugating the barbarous tribes, which lay on the south and west of Chu, and on the north and east of Jin. Qin lay farther off from the settled parts of the country, and its princes had not so much to do in absorbing smaller States, but they early established their sway over all the Rong, or the wild hordes of the west. The leadership, which I have said in the preceding paragraph is improperly ascribed to duke Mu of Qin as being over the feudal States belonged to him in his relation to the Rong. The sea forbade any extension of the border of Wu on the east, but it found much land to be occupied on the north and south, and its armies, going up the Jiang or Yangtsze, met those of Chu, and fought with them for the possession of the country between that great river and the Huai.
The States of Zhou proper had little room for any similar expansion. They were closely massed together. From the first immigration of the ancestors of the Chinese tribe, their course had been eastwards and mainly along the course of the Yellow River, and most of the older occupants of the country had been pushed before them to the borders of the sea. Qi extended right to the sea, and so did Ji which the other absorbed. Then came the small States of Qi and Ju, the latter of which had a sea border, while they do not seem to have ever thought of pushing their way into what is now called the promontory of Shandong. The people of both Qi and Ju were often taunted by the other States with belonging themselves to the Yi barbarians. South from Ju there was a tract extending inland a considerable way, occupied by Yi tribes and the half-civilized people of Xu, and reaching down to the hordes of the Huai, which Lu pleased itself with the idea of reducing, 8 but which it was never able to reduce. Altogether there was, as I have said, hardly any room for the growth of these middle States. Qi was the strongest of them, and longest maintained its independence, ultimately absorbing Song, which had itself previously absorbed Cao. Of the others, Xu, Cai, Chen, the two Zhu, Lu, and in the end Zheng fell to Chu, and Wey became dependent on one of the marquisates or kingdoms into which Jin was divided.
Wu for a time made rapid progress, and seemed as if it would at least wrest the sovereignty of the south from Chu; but its downfall was more rapid than its rise had been. It was extinguished by Yue a very few years after the close of the Chunqiu period, and Yue itself had ere long to succumb to Chu.
Thus, as time went on, it became increasingly clear that the final struggle for the supreme power would be between Qin and Chu. If Jin had remained entire, it would probably have been more than a match for them both; but the elements of disorganization had long been at work in it, and it was divided, about the year B.C. 400, into three marquisates. The lords of these soon claimed, all of them, the title of king, and the way in which they maintained for a century and a half the struggle with Qin and Chu shows how great the power of Jin unbroken would have been. Qi and Yan also assumed the royal style, and made a gallant defence against the powers of the west and the south; but they would not have held out so long as they did but for the distance which intervened between them and the centres of both their adversaries. Qin at last bore down all opposition, and though of all the great States that developed during the Chunqiu period it was the latest to make its appearance, it remained master of the field. From the kings of Zhou it cannot be said to have met with any resistance. Their history for three hundred years before the extinction of the dynasty is almost a blank. They continued to hold a nominal occupancy of the throne so long only because there were so many other princes contending for it.
The above review of the closing centuries of the dynasty of Zhou, and of its overthrow by the king of Qin, seems to prove, brief as it has been, that, given a number of warring States or nations, victory will in the long run declare itself in favour of that one which has the most extensive territory and the largest population. Qin and Chu, when they first came into contact with the States of Zhou proper, were, no doubt, inferior to them in the arts of civilization generally, and among these of the art of war; but they had vast resources and a rude energy, which compensated in the first place for want of skill, and they soon learned from their adversaries whatever was required for their effective application. A fixedness of purpose and recklessness in the expenditure of human life characterized their measures, and the struggle came at last to be mainly between themselves. It ended more from the exhaustion of the combatants than from any real superiority on the part of Qin.
While the downfall of Zhou has led me thus to speak of the success which must inevitably attend the efforts of the combatant whose resources are the greatest, if the contents of my volume led me to trace the history of China downwards for a few more years, it would be as evident that, while material strength is sure, when not deficient in warlike skill, to gain a conquest, it cannot consolidate it. The brief existence of the Qin dynasty seemed but to afford a breathing time to the warring States, and then China became once more horrid with the din of arms. Most of the States which had contended over the throne of Zhou again took the field, and others with them, until, after sixteen years more of strife and misery, the contest was decided in favour of the House of Han, which joined to force of arms respect for the traditions of the country, and a profession at least of reverence for the virtues of justice and benevolence.
6. An endeavour made to put an end to war by covenant.
An incident occurred during the time of duke Xiang which deserves to have attention called to it, as illustrating the saying that 'there is nothing new under the sun,' where we should not expect its illustration. The strife between Chu and Jin was then at its height; and the States generally were groaning under the miseries which it occasioned. It occurred to Xiang Xu, a minister of Song, that he would be deserving well of the country if he could put an end to the constant wars. The idea of a Peace Society took possession of his mind. He was by no means without ability himself, and had a faculty for negotiation and intrigue. He was, no doubt, sincerely desirous to abate the evils which abounded, but we are sorry to find that he was ambitious also 'to get a name' for himself by his measure, and had an eye to more substantial advantages as well. How his scheme worked itself out in his own mind we do not know; but after long brooding over it, he succeeded in giving it a practical shape, which may have been modified by the force of circumstances.
Being on friendly terms with the chief ministers of Jin and Chu, he first submitted his plan to them, and procured their assent to it. In Jin they said, 'War is destructive to the people and eats up our resources; and it is the greatest calamity of the small States. Xu's plan will perhaps turn out impracticable, but we must give it our sanction; for if we do not, Chu will do it, and so improve its position with the States to our disadvantage.' Similarly they reasoned and agreed in Chu, Qi, and Qin, The great powers appeared all to be willing.
Having succeeded thus far, Xu proceeded to call a meeting of the States generally, and in the summer of 535 the representatives of not fewer than fourteen of them met in the capital of Song. Various jealousies were displayed in making the arrangements preliminary to a covenant. Qi and Qin were exempted from taking the oath, so that the agreement was narrowed to a compact between Chu and Jin, and the States which adhered to them respectively; and though this would secure a temporary peace to the kingdom, yet the two other great States, being left unbound, might take advantage of it, to prosecute their own ambitious designs. Chu, more over, displayed a fierce and unconciliating spirit which promised ill for the permanence of the arrangement. However, the covenant was accepted with these drawbacks. There should be war no more! And to assure so desirable an end, the princes who had been in the habit of acknowledging the superiority of Chu should show their respect for Jin by appearing at its court, and those who had been adherents of Jin should similarly appear at the court of Chu. Thus these two Powers would receive the homage of all the States; and it was implied, perhaps, that they would unite their forces to punish any State which should break the general peace. Nothing was said of the loyal service which was due from them all to the kings of Zhou; and Qin and Qi were left, as I have said, unfettered, to take their own course. I apprehend that the princes and ministers who were at the meeting separated without much hope of the pacification being permanent;—as indeed it did not prove to be. Xiang Xu alone thought that he had accomplished a great work; and without being satisfied, as we wish that he had been, with the consciousness that he had done so, he proceeded to ask a grant of lands and towns from the duke of Song as a reward for 'arresting the occasion of death.' His application was acceded to, but it did not take effect. Xu showed the charter of the grant which he had obtained to Zihan the chief minister of the State, who said to him, 'It is by their arms that Jin and Chu keep the small States in awe. Standing in awe, the high and low in them are loving and harmonious, and thus the States are kept quiet, and do service to the great powers, securing their own preservation and escaping ruin. Who can do away with the instruments of war? They have been long in requisition. By them the lawless are kept in awe, and accomplished virtue is displayed On them depends the preservation or the ruin of a country;—and you have been seeking to do away with them. Your scheme is a delusion, and there could be no greater offence than to lead the States astray by it. And not content with having escaped punishment, you have sought for reward!" With this he cut the document in pieces and cast it away, while Xu submitted, and made no further claim to the grant which had been assigned to him.
So ended the first attempt which was made in the world to put an end to war on principles of expediency and by political arrangements. It was a delusion and proved a failure; but there must have been a deep and widespread feeling of the miseries which it was intended to remove, to secure for it its temporary acceptance. Though a delusion it was, it was a brilliant one. Though Xu was a dreamer, I have thought that his name should have prominent mention given to it. More than two thousand years have elapsed since his time; Christianity, calling to universal 'peace on earth,' has come into the field; and under its auspices nations unheard of, it may be said unborn, in the era of the Chunqiu, have attained a wondrous growth, with appliances of science and a development commerce, which were then all-unknown:—and is it still a delusion to hope for arrangements which will obviate the necessity of a recurrence to 'the last resort,' the appeal to the force of arms?
6. The rude tribes in China and around it.
Of the wild tribes which infested the territory of China proper during the Chunqiu period, and surrounded it on every side, it is impossible to give an entirely satisfactory account. After we have gathered up the information supplied by Confucius and the Commentary of Zuo, there occur questions connected with them to which we do not find any reply.
In the Shu V. ii., at the final struggle of king Wu with the last king of Shang, we find 'the Yong, the Shu, the Jiang, the Mao, the Wei, the Lu, the Peng, and the Pu,' eight tribes from the south-west, having their seats mostly in the present provinces of Sichuan and Hubei, all assisting the former. As most of them appear during the Chunqiu period, occupying the same locations, the probability is, that, when Shang was subdued, they received their share of the spoils, and returned to their fastnesses. Some honours and titles may have been conferred, besides, on their chiefs by Wu, but it does not appear that they acknowledged any allegiance to the House of Zhou. If they did, we may be sure it was nothing more than nominal.
The wild tribes are generally divided into four classes, called by different names, according to their situation relative to the Middle States. There were the Rong, 9 or hordes of the west; the Di, 10 or hordes of the north; the Yi, 11 or hordes of the east; and the Man, 12 or hordes of the south. These designations are in the main correct, yet we find Rong tribes widely diffused, and not confined to the west only. When we bring together the hints and statements of the Text and the Commentary, the knowledge obtained concerning the four classes may be brought within small compass.
First, of the Rong. Seven divisions of these are indicated.
[i.] At the beginning of the period, we find tribes in the neighbourhood of Lu, which are simply called Rong, and whose seat was in the present district of Cao, department Caozhou. Yin is introduced twice in his 2d year covenanting with them. In his 7th year, we find them making captive an earl of Fan, on his return from Lu to the royal court, and carrying him off with them to their own settlements. Duke Huan covenants with them in his 2d year. Duke Zhuang in his 18th year pursues them across the Ji river; and in his 20th year they are invaded by a force from Qi. In his 24th year they make an inroad into the State of Cao, and compel a Ji, who may have been the earl of it, to flee to Chen. The duke appears in his 26th year conducting an expedition against them; and after that we hear nothing more about them. We may suppose that they were then finally subdued, and lost their individuality among the population of Lu.
[ii.] There were the 'Northern Rong,' 13 the 'Hill Rong,' 14 and the 'Wuzhongs,' 15 who are referred to the present Zunhua Zhou 16 in Zhili. Zuo mentions an incursion which they made in the 9th year of duke Yin into Zheng, when they sustained a great defeat, chiefly because they fought on foot, and had no chariots like the States of Zhou. According to him, moreover, they invaded Qi in the 6th year of Huan, and were again defeated through the assistance of Zheng. In the 30th year of Zhuang, they reduced the State of Yan to great distress, and Qi directed an expedition against them, which brought away great spoil. In the 10th year of Xi, the marquis of Qi and the baron of Xu appear engaged in an invasion of them; and we hear no more of them till the 4th year of Xiang, when Jiafu, viscount of Wuzhong (according to Du, the capital of the Hill Rong), presents a number of tiger and leopard skins to Jin, begging that that State would be in harmony with the Rong. In a discussion at the court of Jin on the advances thus made, one of its ministers argued for a conciliatory policy on five grounds, the first of which was that these tribes were continually changing their residence, and were fond of selling their lands for goods, so that they might be acquired without the trouble and risks of war. Lastly, in the first year of duke Zhao, an officer of Jin inflicts a great defeat on the Wuzhongs and the various tribes of the Di; after which we have no further mention of the Hill Rong, the Northern Rong, or the Wuzhongs. They, no doubt, disappeared among the multitudes of Jin.
[iii.] There were the 'Rong of Luhun,' 17 who had also the names of the 'Rong of the surname Yun,' 18 the 'Little Rong,' 19 the 'Jiang Rong,' 20 the 'Yin Rong,' 21 and the 'Rong of Jiuzhou.' 22 These had originally dwelt in the far west, in the territory which now forms Suzhou 23 in Gansu, which they called Luhun; but in the 22d year of duke Xi, Jin and Qin united in removing them to Yichuan, or the present district of Song, 24 in the department of Henan. In Zhuang's 28th year they are called the Little Rong, and it appears that the mother of duke Hui of Jin belonged to their tribe. In the 33d year of Xi, they give, as the Jiang Rong, important help to Jin in a great defeat which it inflicted on the troops of Qin in the valley of Yao. In the 3d year of Xuan, Chu invaded them, and they seem to have coquetted subsequently both with Chu and Jin, which led to the final extinction of their independence by the latter power in the 17th year of Zhao. In his 7th year a body of them appears as the Yin Rong, under the command of an officer of Jin, and mention is made of how they had troubled the Royal Domain, and the Ji States generally, since their removal from their original seat. In the Zhuan on Zhao, xxii. 8, another body of them is called the Rong of Jiuzhou, and the same branch of them is mentioned as late as the 4th year of Ai.
[iv.] There were the 'Rong of Yangju, Quangao, and about the Yi and the Luo,' 25 who had their seats about those two rivers, in the present district of Luoyang, and perhaps other parts of the department of Henan. Yangju and Quangao are taken to be the names of their principal settlements or towns. Thus these tribes infested the Royal Domain, and they were at one time very troublesome to the capital itself. In the 11th year of duke Xi, on the invitation of the king's brother Dai, they attacked it with all their strength, entered the royal city, and burned one of its gates. Jin and Qin came to the help of the king, and obliged the Rong to make peace with him; but in the following year the services of the marquis of Qi, who was then the presiding prince among the States, were required for the same purpose, and in Xi's 16th year he was obliged to call out the forces of all the States to occupy the Domain, and keep the Rong in check. In the 8th year of Wen, an officer of Lu, having gone to the west to meet a minister of Jin, took the opportunity to make a covenant with these Rong, who, it is supposed, were then meditating an attack on Lu. Only once again do we meet with them. In the 6th year of duke Cheng they are associated with other tribes, and with the forces of Jin, Wey, and Zheng, in an incursion into Song. By this time they had probably settled down in the Domain as subjects of Zhou.
[v.] There were the 'Man,' 26 called also the 'Rong Man' 27 to distinguish them from the Man of the south, and the 'Mao Rong,' 28 whose seats were in the present Ruzhou, 29 Henan. The Rong who are mentioned in the Zhuan after VI. xvii. 5 as having been surprised by Gan Chu of Zhou, when they were drinking spirits, belonged to these; and in the first year of Cheng the royal army received a severe defeat from them. The Mans are enumerated among the other tribes in the expedition against Song in the 6th year of Cheng, as mentioned above. In the 5th year of Xiang we find the king sending a member of the royal House to the court of Jin with a complaint against them. In the 16th year of Zhao, Chu appears in the field, inveigles Jia, viscount of the Man, into its power, and puts him to death; then establishes its superiority over all their territory, and appoints Jia's son as viscount in his room. Thenceforth this branch of the Rong appears to have been subject to Chu. They rebelled against it in the 4th year of duke Ai; and when their viscount Chi was driven to take refuge in Jin, that State gave him up to Chu;—a proceeding which is justly deemed to have been disgraceful to it.
[vi.] There were the 'Dog Rong,' 30 whose original seat was in the present department of Fengxiang, Shaanxi. Many critics identify them with the Xianyun of the Shi in II. i. VII. and other odes, though Zhu Xi says that these belonged to the Di. In B.C. 770 they made common cause with the marquis of Shen, and joined him in his measures against king You. Then, contrary to the wishes of the marquis, they gave the reins to their own greed of plunder, spoiled the capital,—the old capital of Feng, and put the king to death. Jin and Qin came to the relief of the court, and drove the Rong away; but some branches of them appear to have maintained themselves in the more eastern regions which they had found so attractive. In the 2d year of Min, the duke of Guo defeated them near the junction of the Wei with the He, and again, in the second year of Xi, at a place in the present district of Wenxiang, Shanzhou, 31 Shanxi. This is the last we hear of them. Their original territory, no doubt, fell to the lot of Qin, but any portion of the tribe, which had settled on the east of the He, would be absorbed by Jin.
[vii.] There were the 'Li Rong,' 32 who occupied in the present district of Lintong, department Xi'an. According to the Zhuan on III. xxviii. 1, duke Xian of Jin invaded their territory, the chief of which, who had the title of baron, gave him his daughter in marriage. She was the Li Ji whose union with Xian was the occasion of so much confusion and misery in Jin. That State, soon after, put an end to the independent existence of the tribe.
The above are all the tribes of the Rong mentioned in the Chunqiu and in Zuo, excepting the Lu Rong, of whom I shall have to speak when we come to the Man of the South. Neither the sage nor his commentator had occasion to bring forward any others, for only these made their appearance in connexion with the States of China during the Chunqiu period. There were, however, many more tribes, which constituted, properly speaking, the Rong of the west, by the absorption of which it was that Qin reached such an eminence of power.
Second, of the Di. Sima Qian and Du Yu, the latter led away probably by Sima, place some tribes of these on the west of the He; but so far as the evidence of Confucius and Zuoshi goes, they are all to be sought on the east of that river, and appear extending from it, along the north of the different States, as far as the present Shandong. Up to the time of duke Xuan, we read in the text only of the Di, but subsequently there appear two great divisions of them,—the 'Red Di,' 33 and the 'White Di.' 34 Then the Red Di are no more mentioned after the third year of duke Cheng, and the extinction of several tribes of them is recorded; but the White continued beyond the Chunqiu period, and one tribe of them held its own till the time of the Warring States, when its chief took the title of king, and contended with the other combatants for the possession of all the dominions of Zhou.
Of the Red Di six tribes seem to be specified:—the 'Gaoluos of the eastern hills,' 35 whose seat was the present district of Yuanqu, Jiangzhou, Shanxi; the Qianggaoru, 36 whose seat is unknown; the 'Lus,' 37 who have left their name in the district of Lucheng, department Lu'an, Shanxi; the 'Jia ,' 38 who occupied in the present district of Jize, department Guangping, Zhili; the 'Liuyu,' 39 in the present district of Tunliu, department Lu'an above; and the 'Duochen,' 40 who were also somewhere in the same department.
Of the White Di there were three tribes:—the 'Xianyu,' or the 'Zhongshan,' 41 in the present district of Zhengding, department Zhengding, Zhili; the 'Fei,' 42 in Gaocheng district of the same department; and the 'Gu,' 43 in Jinzhou, also in Zhengding.
I will now give an outline of what is related about the Di in the text and in Zuo.
[i.] While there is no intimation of any general distinction among their tribes.
They appear first in the 32d year of Zhuang, invading the small State of Xing, which was by no means able to cope with them. Qi went in the first place to its rescue, but in the first year of Xi Xing removed its principal city to a situation where it would be more out of the way of the Di, and the forces of Qi, Song, and Cao are introduced as fortifying the new capital.
About the same time the Di attacked the more considerable State of Wey, and nearly annihilated it. In the 2d year of Min, they took its chief city, the inhabitants of which fled across the He. There only 730 people, men and women, could be got together again, and when to them were added the inhabitants of the two other chief towns of the State, the whole did not amount to more than 5,000 souls. This gives us a correct, but not an exalted idea, of the resources of many of the States of Zhou in those days. Qi went to the help of Wey, as it had done in the case of Xing, gathered up the ruins of the State, and called out the other States to prepare a new capital for it.
While the Di were thus successful against Xing and Wey, they came into contact with the Power which was ultimately to destroy their independence. In the 2d year of Min, the marquis of Jin sent his eldest son against the settlements of the Gaoluos. Other expeditions followed, and in the 7th year of Xi a general of that State inflicted a defeat on a portion of the Di; but, when urged to follow up his victory, he said that he only wanted to frighten them, and would not accelerate a rising of all their tribes. The consequence was that in the following year we have the Di retaliating by an invasion of Jin.
In duke Xi's 10th year they penetrated into the Royal Domain, and overthrew the State of Wen, 44 the viscount of which fled to Wey. From that time, for several years, we find Wey, Zheng, and Jin, one after another, suffering from their incursions. In Xi's 18th year Qi was in confusion in consequence of the death of duke Huan, and the Di went to succour the partizans of his younger sons; and two years after, Qi and they made a covenant in the capital of Xing. In the 24th year they invaded Zheng, which the king, who was then in great distress from the machinations of his brother Dai, took for some reason as an acceptable service to himself. He married a daughter of one of their chiefs, and made her his queen;—a position of which she soon proved herself un worthy.
In Xi's 31st year we find them again actively engaged against Wey, which was compelled to make another change of its capital. It was able, however, the year after, to make in its turn an incursion into their settlements, when they entered into a covenant with it, and left it unmolested till the 13th year of duke Wen. Meanwhile they continued their incursions into Qi, and went on to attack Lu and Song, notwithstanding a check which they received from Jin in the last year of duke Xi. Lu also defeated them in the 12th year of Wen.
[ii.] In the time of duke Xuan and subsequently, we read no more in the same way of the Di, but of the Red and the White Di. Of the latter we have an earlier mention in the Zhuan, in the account of the battle of Ji, when Jin defeated the Di, as I have mentioned above. It is then said that a viscount of the White Di was taken prisoner. From some hints which are found in Zuo it appears that about this time jealousies began to spring up among the Dis themselves. The Red tribes were trying to assert a superiority which the White would not allow, and so they were left, unsupported, to cope with Jin for which they were by no means a match.
That great State had now consolidated its resources, and it made short work of the Red Di. They invaded it in Xuan's 4th and 7th years, and met with little opposition; Jin purposely retiring before them to increase their arrogance. But in his 15th year an army entirely reduced the tribe of the Lus, and carried off their viscount Ying'er; and next year another army similarly reduced the Jias and the Liuyu. In the 3d year of Cheng, Jin and Wei joined in an invasion of the Qianggaoru, with whom they dealt probably in the same way; for we have no further mention of the Red Di. Wherever the Di are mentioned after this, other circumstances show that the White Di are meant.
[iii.] The White Di made a bolder resistance, nor was Jin ever able to destroy the independence of the tribe of the Xianyu.
In the 8th year of Xuan, we find the White Di associated with Jin in the invasion of Qin. They would seem to have broken off entirely from the Red Di, and to have been willing to join with the State which was in deadly hostility with them. Three years after, the marquis of Jin had a great meeting, at a place within their territories, with all their tribes.
The alliance thus formed between them and Jin was not very lasting. In the 9th year of Cheng, they are confederate with Qin and Chu in invading Jin; but they took nothing by their fickleness, for Jin inflicted a defeat upon them in Cheng's 12th year.
In Xiang's 18th year, an embassy from them visited the court of Lu,—for what purpose we cannot tell. Nor are they again mentioned in the sage's text, though the Zhuan speaks frequently of them.
In Xiang's 28th year, they appear, with the States which acknowledged the presidency of Chu, visiting at the court of Jin,—in accordance with the treaty of Song. It would thus appear that they had gone over finally to the side of Chu. They soon suffered for their course. In Zhao's first year, an army of Jin, under Xun Wu, defeated them at Dalu. In his 12th year, the same commander put an end to the independent existence of the Fei tribe, and carried away their viscount prisoner. So he dealt with the Gu tribe in Zhao's 15th year; but he subsequently restored its viscount, which seems to have encouraged them to revolt again, and in Zhao's 22d year, 'Xun Wu a second time extinguished Gu.'
The Xianyu were not so easily disposed of. Jin attacked this tribe in Zhao's 12th year, and in his 13th and 15th, but without any decisive success. In the 3d year of Ding the army of Jin was defeated by it, but returned to the attack in the following year, assisted by a force from Wey. Soon after this, the great families of Jin began contending among themselves, and no effective action could be taken against the Xianyu. The tribe maintained its independence on into the period of the Warring States, and finally yielded to the kingdom of Zhao about the year B.C. 296.
Third, of the Yi. Confucius is reported, in the Analects, IX. xiii., as declaring that he would like to go and live among 'the nine Yi,' on which expression it is generally said that there were nine tribes of the Yi. There may have been so many originally, and Confucius may have used a phrase which had come down as descriptive of them from a former time. But we do not find nine tribes, nor even half that number, mentioned in the Chunqiu or in Zuo's Commentary. I believe that the power of the Yi tribes had been broken, and that many of them had disappeared among the inhabitants of the eastern States, before the time under our notice. We have to do only with the 'Yi of the Huai river,' 45 of 'Jie,' 46 of 'Lai,' 47 and of 'Genmou.' 48
[i.] The tribes of the Huai were the only Yi whose power and numbers were considerable in the Chunqiu period. The Zhuan on V. xiii. 3 mentions that they were at that time distressing the State of Qi, so that they must have penetrated a long way north from the river about which lay their proper seats. From that time, for more than a hundred years, we do not again meet with them; but in the 4th year of duke Zhao, at the first meeting of the States called by Chu, we find that the chiefs of these tribes were also present, and that they went on, immediately after, under the leading of Chu, to invade Wu. One other reference to them is all that occurs;—under the 27th year of Zhao. Then, in the meeting at Hu, Fan Xianzi of Jin, when enumerating the difficulties in the way of restoring duke Zhao to Lu, says that the Head of the Ji family had succeeded in securing the adherence of the Huai Yi. All these tribes fell in the end to the lot of Chu.
[ii.] Jie was the name of a small tribe of the Yi.—in the present Jiaozhou, department of Laizhou. In the 29th year of duke Xi, their chief comes twice to the court of Lu, when Zuo tells a ridiculous story about his interpreting the lowing of a cow. His visit, no doubt, had reference to an incursion which his tribe made the year after into Xiao, a dependency of Song. Jie must have been absorbed either by Qi or by Lu.
[iii.] Lai was in the present district of Huang, department. Dengzhou,—on the borders of Qi. Its original inhabitants appear to have been brought to comparative civilization, and been ruled by a viscount of the surname Jiang, before the Chunqiu period. We find Qi, however, in constant hostility with it from its first appearance in the 7th year of duke Xuan to its extinction in the 6th year of Xiang.
[iv.] Kinmow was the principal town of a small tribe of Yi,—in the present district of Yishui, department Yizhou. Its capture by Lu is mentioned in the 9th year of duke Xuan, and afterwards it appears, in the Zhuan on X. viii. 6, as the most eastern city belonging to the State.
Fourth, of the Man. We have not much information in the Chunqiu or in Zuo about the tribes of the south, and that for the same reason which I have mentioned as making our authorities almost silent about the Rong proper, or the hordes of the far west. Chu kept the Man under its control, and lay between most of their tribes and the States of Zhou, so that the two hardly came into contact or collision, and the historiographers of the States had little occasion to refer to what was taking place among the southern populations. What we find related about them will be given under the divisions of the 'Lu Rong,' 49 the 'various tribes of the Man,' 50 the 'many tribes of the Pu,' 51 and the tribes of 'Ba.' 52
[i.] In the Zhuan at the beginning of the 13th year of duke Huan we have an account of a fruitless expedition from Chu against the small State of Luo, 53 Luo being assisted by an army of the Lu Rong. One of the names in king Wu's 'Speech at Mu,' which I have referred to, thus comes here before us. These Rong occupied what is now the district of Nanzhang, in the department of Xiangyang, Hubei. Zuo says that, though they were called Rong, they belonged to the Man of the south. Geographically, they must be classed with them. They must have been reduced to subjection by Chu not long after the above expedition, and their chief settlement converted into the town of Lü; 54 for in the Zhuan on VI. xvi. 6, we have an army of Chu marching on from Lu, where the Lu Rong had dwelt, and throwing open its granaries to soldiers and officers alike.
[ii.] It is only in the Zhuan just referred to, in the 16th year of duke Wen, that mention is made of the 'many tribes of the Man.' There was then, we are told, a great famine in Chu, and the people of Yong, who are also mentioned in the Speech at Mu, and who had by this time coalesced into a State of some order and civilization, took advantage of it to incite a general rising of all the tribes of the south against that Power. The Man came to join in the movement from their seats in what are now the departments of Xianzhou and Yuanzhou in Hunan. It was a critical time in the history of Chu, and it was proposed that the capital should be abandoned. But bolder counsels prevailed; an army took the field; assistance came from Qin and Ba; the Man were severed from the combination, and made a covenant on their own account; and Yong was extinguished, that is, the sacrifices of its chiefs were abolished, and it was reduced to be a city of Chu. There is no further mention of the Man in the Chunqiu period. It was not till the time of the Warring States that Chu succeeded in depriving them of their independence.
[iii.] The Pu, it has been seen, were among the auxiliaries of king Wu in the conquest of Shang. The 'hundred' or many tribes of them took a principal part in the rising against Chu, of which I have just spoken, and appear in it under the direction of the people of Jun, 55 a small State between Yong and Luo. Where their own settlements were is uncertain. Some say they were in the present department of Qujing, Yunnan, which is too far off, though some tribes may have wandered there at a subsequent period; others, with more probability, place them in the depart ments of Changde and Xianzhou, Hunan. On the occasion under our notice, Wei Jia, one of the generals of Chu, said about them, 'They think that we are unable from the famine to take the field. If we send forth an army, they are sure to be afraid, and will return to their own country. The Pu dwell apart from one another; and when they are hurriedly going off, each tribe for its own towns, who among them will have leisure to think of anybody but themselves?' It happened as he said. In fifteen days from Chu's appearing in force there was an end of the attempt of the Pu.
Only twice more are they mentioned in the Zhuan. In Zhao's 9th year, on occasion of a dispute between Zhou and Jin, the representative of the royal court says boastfully that, when Wu subdued Shang, Ba, the Pu, Chu, and Deng were the territories of the kingdom in the south; and in his 19th year, we have Chu preparing a naval expedition against the Pu. What became of them afterwards I have not been able to ascertain.
[iv.] Ba in the time of the Chunqiu appears as a State ruled by viscounts of the surname Ji. It has left its name in the present district of Ba, department Chongqing, Sichuan. In the Zhuan on the 9th year of duke Huan, we find it in good relations with Chu, and cooperating with that State in the siege of You, a city in the present department of Yunyang, Hubei. Under the 18th year of duke Zhuang, Zuo tells us that Ba then revolted from Chu, and invaded it, its army advancing even to attack Chu's capital. The only other mention of it is in the text of Wen's 18th year, in connexion with the rising of the southern tribes against Chu, when, as has been stated above, Ba and Qin came to the assistance of the latter. In the time of the Warring States, Ba fell to the share of Qin.
I have thus gathered up into as brief space as possible the information that we derive from the Chunqiu and Zuo about the rude and uncivilized or semicivilized tribes that infested the kingdom of Zhou or surrounded it. The strongest impression which I receive from the review is one of grave doubt as to most of what we are told about the previous dynasties of Shang and Xia. Is it possible that they could have held the territory occupied by the States of Zhou for a thousand years before the rise of king Wu, and that we should find it, five and six centuries after his time, in the condition which is revealed to us by the sage and his commentator? I do not think so. We have seen that the China of Zhou was a small affair; that of Shang and Xia must have been much smaller;—extending not so far towards the sea on the east, and to a smaller distance north and south of the Yellow river. It was evidently, however, in the plan of Providence that by the Chinese race all the other tribes in the space now included in China proper should be first broken to pieces and stript of their individualities, and then welded as into one homogeneous nation. Its superior culture and capabilities fitted it for this task; and the process went on very gradually, and with many disturbances and interruptions, frequently with 'hideous ruin and combustion.' Having first made good a settlement along the Yellow river, in the southwestern parts of the present Shanxi, and perhaps also on the other side of the stream, the early immigrants sent forth their branches, scions of different families, east, west, north, and south, as so many suckers, among the ruder populations sparsely scattered about, which gradually gathered round them, till they lost their original peculiarities, and were prepared to be collected into larger communities, or into States. The first stage in the formation of the Chinese nation terminated with the ascendency of the State of Qin and the establishment of its short-lived dynasty.
We have seen that of the more considerable of the wild tribes during the Chunqiu period their chiefs had titles like the princes of the States of Zhou. We read of the viscounts of the Lus, of Fei, of Gu, and of the Jiang Rong, and of the baron of the Li Rong; and it has been asked whence they derived those titles. 56 The Zuo zhuan gives us no information on the point, and I am inclined to suppose that they assumed them themselves, to assert thereby their equality with the feudal nobles of Zhou. Where they claimed to be the descendants of some great name in former ages of Chinese history, it would be easier to do so; and the title might be acknowledged by the kings of Zhou. Or where intermarriages were formed with them by the royal House, or by the princes of the States, as we know was frequently done, the fathers of the brides might be ennobled for the occasion, and then the titles would be jealously retained. But the title was generally, I believe, the assumption of arrogance, as the Chinese would deem it.
There is one passage in the Zhuan which shows that the tribes differed from the Chinese not only in their habits of life, but also in their languages. In the account of the meeting at Xiang in the 14th year of duke Xiang, which was attended by the representatives of more than a dozen States, and by the chief of at least one of the Rong tribes, who was a viscount (though the text does not say so), Fan Xuanzi appears as wanting on behalf on Jin to seize the viscount, who belonged to the Jiang Rong or the Rong of Luhun, attributing the loss of Jin's power and influence to unfavourable reports of its proceedings leaking out through them among the other States. The viscount makes a good defence, and says in conclusion:—'Our food, our drink, and our clothes are all different from those of the Flowery States; we do not exchange silks or other articles of introduction with their courts; their language and ours do not admit of intercourse between us and them:—what evil is it possible for us to have done?' If it was so with those Rong, it was the same, doubtless, with other tribes as well; and they had, probably, different languages among themselves, or at least different dialects of the same language which would render communication between them difficult. Even where the outlying chiefs or princes claimed connexion with the House of Zhou, or traced their first appointment to it, the languages spoken in their States may have been different from that of China proper. I have pointed out how the names of the lords of Wu, both in structure and sound, do not appear to be Chinese. And in the account of Ziwen who had been chief minister of Chu, given in the Zhuan on VII. iv., his name of Gouwutu is explained by reference to the fact that he had been suckled by a tigress, when he was a child and cast away in a forest. The people of Chu, we are told, called suckling gou, and their name for a tiger was wutu; and hence when the child was grown up, he was known by the name of Gouwutu, or Tiger-suckled. It would so happen that the languages of the people, who were not of a Chinese origin, and of their chiefs, would differ for a time; but in the end, the culture and the force of the superior race prevailed to bring the language and other characteristics into conformity with it.
1. See Mencius, III. Pt. ii. IX. 11.
2. Mencius, VII. Pt. ii. II.
5. See the discourse of Ji Wenzi in the Zhuan on VI. xviii. 9 as a specimen of the admirable sentiments which men, themselves of questionable character and course, could express.
7. See Mencius, VI. Pt. ii. VII.
8. See the Shi, Part, IV., Bk. II., ode III.
54. 廬 Yingda says this was the same as 盧. It should, perhaps, be pronouned Lu.
56. There is the saying of Confucius in the Analects, III. v.:—'The rude tribes of the east and north have their rules, and are not like the States of our great land which are without them.' Without adopting the view of He Yan which I have given in my note upon the passage, I conclude that the sage is merely uttering a lament over the disorganization and disobedience to authority, which he saw going on in Lu and other States. The rude tribes obeyed the ' Powers that were' among them, titled or untitled; but very different was the state of things in China.
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