Foreword to "The Complete Works of Han Fei
Tzŭ with Collected Commentaries"
The Works of Han Fei
Tzŭin the remote past had Yin Chi-chang's Commentary1 as mentioned in the
Records of Arts and Letters in the History of T`ang.2 The number of the
books was not recorded most probably because the Commentary has been lost long before. During the Yüan
Dynasty (a.d. 1279-1367) Ho Huan said that Li Tsan's
Commentary3 had been in existence.
Yet Li Tsan's life and work can no longer be traced. The edition which appeared
during the Ch`ien-tao period (a.d. 1165-1173)
4 of the Sung Dynasty (a.d.
960-1279) bears no name of the editor. Nobody has as yet disclosed the
anonymity. All the quotations and citations from
Han Fei Tzŭ's Works as found in the T`ai-p`ing Imperial
Library,5 the Literary Works on Facts and Varieties,6 and Classical Selections for Beginners,7 coincide with the text
of the Ch`ien-tao edition. If so, the anonym must have lived before the Sung
As regards these early commentaries, they do not
completely cover the whole works of the author, and,
moreover, contain mistakes and errors.
Nevertheless, these pioneering efforts have proved exceedingly helpful to
scholars of recent times. Accordingly, I have juxtaposed the various
commentaries and from place to place interposed my own viewpoints among them.
In consequence, I have compiled the present work, The
Complete Works of Han Fei Tzŭwith Collected Commentaries, in which
the author's text is largely based on the Ch`ien-tao edition whose errors are
corrected and hiatuses are supplied in accordance with the contents of other
First Winter Month, 21st Year of Kuang-hsü (November, 1895).