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《春秋左氏傳》者、蓋出孔子壁中。孝武皇帝時，魯共王壞孔子教授堂以為宮，得 佚《春秋》三十篇，《左氏傳》也。公羊高、穀梁寘、胡母氏皆傳《春秋》，各門異戶，獨《左氏傳》 為近得實。何以驗之？
劉子政玩弄《左氏》，童僕妻子皆呻吟之。光武皇帝之時，陳元、范（叔 ）〔升〕上書連屬，條事是非，《左氏》遂立。范（叔）〔升〕尋因罪罷。元、（叔）〔升〕、天 下極才，講論是非，有餘力矣。陳元言訥，范（叔）〔升〕章詘，《左氏》得實，明矣。
《新語》、陸賈所造，蓋董仲舒相被服焉，皆言君臣政治得失，言可采行，事美足 觀。鴻知所言，參貳《經》《傳》，雖古聖之言，不能過增。陸賈之言，未見遺闕；而 仲舒之言雩祭可以應天，土龍可以致雨，頗難曉也。
夫致旱者以雩祭，不夏郊之祀，豈晉侯之過邪？以政失道，陰陽不和也。晉廢 夏郊之祀，晉侯寢疾，用鄭子產之言，祀夏郊而疾愈。如審雩不脩，龍不治，與晉同禍，為之再也。 以政致旱，宜復以政。政虧，而復脩雩治龍，其何益哉？
董仲舒著書，不稱子者，意殆自謂過諸子也。漢作書者多，司馬子長、 楊子雲，河、漢也，其餘，涇、渭也。然而子長少（）〔臆〕中之說，子雲無世俗之論。仲 舒說道術奇矣，北方三家尚矣。
讖書云：「董仲舒、亂我書。」蓋孔子言也。讀之者或為「亂 我書」者，煩亂孔子之書也；或以為亂者、理也，理孔子之書也。共一「亂」字，理之與亂， 相去甚遠。然而讀者用心不同，不省本實，故說誤也。夫言煩亂孔子之書，才高之語也 ；其言理孔子之書，亦知奇之言也。出入聖人之門，亂理孔子之書，子長、子雲無此言 焉。世俗用心不實，省事失情，二語不定，轉側不安。
驥與眾馬絕跡，或蹈驥哉？有馬於此？足行千里，終不名驥者，與驥毛色異也。 有人於此，文偶仲舒，論次君山，終不同於二子者，姓名殊也。故馬效千里，不必驥騄；人期賢知， 不必孔、墨。何以驗之？
世人或疑，言非是偽，論者實之，故難為也。卿決疑訟，獄定嫌罪，是非不 決，曲直不立，世人必謂卿獄之吏才不任職。至於論，不務全疑，兩《傳》并紀，不宜明處，孰 與剖破渾沌，解決亂絲，言無不可知，文無不可曉哉？
案孔子作《春秋》，采毫毛之善，貶纖介之惡。可褒，則義以明其行善；可 貶，則明其惡以譏其操。《新論》之義，與《春秋》會一也。 夫俗好珍古不貴今，謂今之文不如古書。夫古今一也，才有高下，言有是非，不論善惡而徒貴古，是謂 古人賢今人也。案東番鄒伯奇、臨淮袁太伯、袁文術、會稽吳君高、周長生之輩，位雖不至公卿，誠能 知之囊橐，文雅之英雄也。
觀伯奇之《元思》，太伯之《易（童）〔章〕句》，文術之《咸銘》， 君高之《越紐錄》，長生之《洞歷》，劉子（攻）〔政〕、揚子雲不能過也。（善）〔蓋〕 才有淺深，無有古今；文有偽真，無有故新。廣陵陳子迴、顏方，今尚書郎班固、蘭臺令楊終、 傅毅之徒，雖無篇章，賦頌記奏，文辭斐炳，賦象屈原、賈生，奏象唐林、谷永，並比以觀好， 其美一也。當今未顯，使在百世之後，則子政、子雲之黨也。
Chapter XXXVII. Critical Remarks on Various Books (An-shu).
The Confucianists look up to Confucius as the founder of their school, whereas the Mêhists regard Mê Ti as their master. 1 The Confucian doctrine has come down to us, that of Mê Ti has fallen into desuetude, because the Confucian principles can be put in use, while the Mêhist system is very difficult to practise. How so?
The Mêhists neglect the burials, but honour the ghosts. Their doctrine is abnormal, self-contradictory, and irreconcilable with truth, therefore it is hard to practise. Which are its anomalies?
Provided that ghosts are not the spirits of the departed, then they can have no knowledge of the honour shown them. Now the Mêhists aver, that the ghosts are indeed the spirits of the dead. They treat the souls well, and neglect the corpses. Thus they are generous to the spirits and mean with reference to their bodies. Since generosity and meanness do not harmonize, and the externals and internals do not agree, the spirits would resent it, and send misfortunes down upon their votaries. Though there might be ghosts, they would, at any rate, be animated by a deadly hatred. Human nature is such, that it likes generosity, and detests meanness. The feelings of the spirits must be very much the same. According to Mê Tse's precepts one would worship the ghosts, and pray for happiness, but the happiness obtained thereby would be very scarce, and misfortune on misfortune would be the result. This is but one instance among a hundred, but the entire Mêhist system is like that. The cause that it has lost its ground, and is not being handed down, is contained therein.
The Tso-chuan of the Ch`un-ch`iu2 was recovered from the wall of the house of Confucius. Under the reign of the emperor Hsiao Wu Ti, Prince Kung of Lu demolished the school of Confucius for the purpose of building a palace. There he found thirty books of the Ch`un-ch`iu, which had been concealed. 3 These were the Tso-chuan. Kung Yang Kao, Ku Liang Ch`ih4 and Hu Mu5 all transmitted the Ch`un-ch`iu, representing different schools, but the commentary of Tso Ch`iu Ming alone was in time the nearest to Confucius and did embody the right views:
The Liki was composed in the school of Confucius. The Grand Annalist (the author of the Shi-chi) was a man of great talents in the Han time. Now the statements of Tso Ch`iu Ming are in accordance with these two books, 6 whereas the writings of Kung Yang Kao, Ku Liang Ch`ih and Hu Mu differ very much. Besides these writers are too far remote from Confucius. It is much better to be near, than to be distant, and better to see, than to know by hearsay.
Liu Tse Chêng mocked at the Tso Chuan,7 whereas his servants, his wife, and his sons used to recite it. At Kuang Wu Ti's8 time Ch`ên Yuan and Fan Shu9 reported to the throne on the Tso-chuan, collecting all the facts and giving their opinions on the pros and cons. Then the fame of Tso Ch`iu Ming became established. Fan Shu soon after was dismissed for an offence. Ch`ên Yuan and Fan Shu were the most talented men of the empire. In their arguments on the merits of the Tso Chuan they display a remarkable vigour. Ch`ên Yuan used to express himself very cautiously and Fan Shu's criticisms were silenced. 10 Hence it became evident that Tso Ch`iu Ming gives us the truth.
To relate marvellous stories is not at all in the style of Confucius, who did not speak of strange things. The Lü-shih-ch`un-ch`iu11e. g. belongs to this class of works. 12 The Kuo-yü is the exoteric narrative of Tso Ch`iu Ming. Because the text of the Tso-chuan Classic is rather concise, he still made extracts and edited the text of the Kuo-yü to corroborate the Tso-chuan. Thus the Kuo-yü of Tso Ch`iu Ming is a book which the Literati of our time regard as genuine.
Kung Sun Lung wrote a treatise on the hard and white. 13 He split words, dissected expressions, and troubled about equivocal terms. His investigations have no principles and are of no use for government.
Tsou Yen in Ch`i published three works which are vague and diffuse; 14 he gives very few proofs, but his words startle the reader. Men of great talents are very often led astray by their imagination and show a great lack of critical acumen. Their style is brilliant, but there is nothing in it, and their words are imposing, but their researches are conspicuous by the absence of sober judgment.
When Shang Yang15 was minister of Ch`in, he developed the system of agriculture and fighting, and, when Kuan Chung16 held the same position in Ch`i, he wrote the book on weight. He made the people wealthy, the State prosperous, the sovereign powerful, and the enemies weak, and adjusted rewards and punishments. His work 17 is classed together with that of Tsou Yen, but the Grand Annalist has two different records about them. 18 People are perplexed thereby, and at a loss, which view to take.
Chang Yi was a contemporary of Su Ch`in. When the latter died, Chang Yi was certainly informed of it. Since he must have known all the details, his words ought to have served as basis to fix the thruth. However, the reports are not clear, there being two versions. Chang Shang of Tung-hai19 also wrote a biography. Was Su Ch`in an invention of Chang Shang, for how is it possible that there is such a discrepancy between the two versions?
In the Genealogical Tables of the Three Dynasties 20 it is said that the Five Emperors and Three Rulers were all descendants of Huang Ti, and that from Huang Ti downward they were successively born without being again informed by the breath of heaven. In the special record of the Yin dynasty 21 we read, however, that Chien Ti,22 the mother of Hsieh,23 while bathing in a river, met a black bird, which dropped an egg. She swallowed it, and subsequently gave birth to Hsieh.24
In the special record of the Chou25 dynasty we find the notice that the mother of Lord Chi, Chiang Yuan,26 while going into the country, saw the footprints of a giant. When she stept into them, she became with child, and gave birth to Lord Chi.27
Now we learn from the Genealogical Tables that Hsieh and Lord Chi were both descendants of Huang Ti, whereas we read in the records of the Yin and Chou dynasties that they were conceived from the sperm of the black bird and the giant. These two versions ought not to be transmitted simultaneously, yet the Great Annalist recorded them both indiscriminately. The consorts of emperors should not stroll into the country or bathe in a river. Now the one is said to have bathed in a river, and to have swallowed the egg of a black bird, and the other went into the country, and there walked in the footprints of a giant. That is against all the laws of decorum and a mixing up of the distinctions between right and wrong.
The "New Words" 28 is the work of Lu Chia,29 which was appreciated very much by Tung Chung Shu.30 It deals with sovereigns and subjects, good and bad government, the words are worth remembering, the facts related, excellent, and show a great amount of knowledge. They may supplement the Classics; although there is not much to be added to the words of the old sages, at all events there is nothing amiss with Lu Chia's words. The utterances of Tung Chung Shu, on the other hand, about the rain sacrifices responding to heaven and the earthen dragon attracting the rain are very obscure. 31
Droughts will happen in consequence of the rain sacrifices (being in disorder), but have nothing to do with the state sacrifices of the Hsia dynasty. Was the marquis of Chin responsible, or was his administration defective, so that the Yang and the Yin were not in harmony? Chin had dropped the state sacrifices of the Hsia. When the marquis of Chin was laid up with sickness, he took the advice of Tse Ch`an of Chêng and instituted the Hsia sacrifices, whereupon he recovered from his disease. 32 Had in fact the rain sacrifices not been in order, or the dragon neglected, the same misfortune would have befallen Chin again. Provided the drought was attracted by the administration, the latter should have been reorganised, but what would be the use of making provisions for the rain sacrifices or the dragon, if the administration was defective?
Kung Yang in his commentary on the Ch`un-ch`iu says that during the time of extraordinary heat, it suffices to reform the government, when the Yin and the Yang fluids mix, and dryness and moisture unite; such being the law of nature. Wherefore must the rain sacrifices still be prepared then, and the dragons be put up? Do the spirits delight in these offerings? If, when the rain comes, the broiling heat did not relax, nor the disastrous drought cease, where would be the effect of the changes and reforms?
Moreover heat and cold are the same as dryness and moisture; all are the results of government, and man is responsible for them. It is difficult therefore to see the reason, why in time of drought people pray for happiness, but not in cold or hot weather. In case that there is a retribution, we ought to have recourse to the rain sacrifices and to the dragon for heat and cold as well. Men of superior intellect and great knowledge, however, do not believe in either of these theories.
Tung Chung Shu does not call himself a scholar in his books, probably thinking that he surpassed all the others. Among the prolific writers of the Han time Sse Ma Ch`ien and Yang Tse Yün33 are the Yellow River and the Han,34 all the rest like the Ching and Wei35 rivers. Yet Sse Ma Ch`ien gives us too little of his own judgment, Yang Tse Yün does not speak on common topics, and Tung Chung Shu's discussions on the Taoist doctrines are very strange. These are the three most famous men of the north.
The Chan-shu36 states that Tung Chung Shu disturbed their books, which means the sayings of Confucius. The readers either hold that "to disturb our books" means that he throws the works of Confucius into disorder, or they suppose that "luan" is equivalent to "adjust," and that he adjusts the writings of Confucius. In both cases it is the same word "luan," but between order and disorder there is a great distance. Yet the readers do not equally apply their minds, nor thoroughly study the question, hence their wrong statements. To say that Tung Chung Shu carried disorder into the writings of Confucius, would imply an extraordinary talent, and to say that he adjusted these writings, would likewise imply a wonderful knowledge. Nobody ever said of Sse Ma Ch`ien or Yang Tse Yün that they belonged to the school of the Sage or not, or that they disturbed or adjusted the works of Confucius. Most people now-adays do not think enough and, when treating a problem, lose sight of the principal facts. Therefore we have these two doubtful views, between which the scholars are vacillating.
The work of Tung Chung Shu is not antagonistic to the Confucian school, neither does it equal the writing of Confucius. Therefore the statement that it invalidates those writings is preposterous. On the other hand the writings of Confucius are not in confusion, consequently the assertion that it brings these writings into good order is wrong likewise.
Confucius said, 37 "When the music-master Chih38 began and then came the finish (luan) 39 of the Kuan-chü,40 how magnificent it was and how it filled the ears!"
The finish (luan) in our case refers to the sayings of Confucius. Confucius lived under the Chou and laid the foundation (of the Confucian doctrine); Tung Chung Shu under the Han finished it, in so far as it was not yet complete, and Sse Ma Ch`ien supplemented it here and there. That is the idea. In the collections of irregular verse and dithyrambs 41 every song has a refrain (luan), which amounts to the same. Since it was Tung Chung Shu who gave the last touch to the Analects of Confucius, we should not be surprised that his remarks on the offering of the rain sacrifice and the use of dragons have some meaning.
Yen Yuan said, "What man is Shun, and who am I?" 42 --- Among the Five Emperors and Three Rulers Shun was his only ideal. He knew that he was pursuing the same goal. The ideals of the wise and virtuous and the aims of the silent scholar are in fact identical.
What Tung Chung Shu says about morals, virtue, and government deserves the highest praise, but as regards researches into every day life and discussions of the most common errors, Huan Chün Shan43 stands unrivalled. Tung Chung Shu's writings may be equalled, but it would be very difficult to challenge Huan Chün Shan.
A Bayardo has his special features distinguishing him from other horses, or is a noble steed with a peculiar gait. There may be horses capable of running a thousand li, they will never be called Bayardos, because the colour of their hair differs from that of Bayardo. There may be men whose writings could be compared with those of Tung Chung Shu, or whose essays would rank close ofter those of Huan Chün Shan, yet they would not be like the two scholars, their names would always be different. A horse might learn to make a thousand li, it would not become a Bayardo or a Bucephalus thereby, and a man might aspire to sagehood and knowledge, he would not become a Confucius or a Mê Ti for the following reason:
It is very difficult to equal Huan Chün Shan's writings. When two blades cut one another, we see, which is sharp and which blunt, and, when two treatises are compared together, one finds out, which of the two is right and which wrong. This is the case of the "Four Difficulties" 44 by Han Fei Tse, the treatise on "Salt and Iron" 45 by Huan K`uan,46 and the "New Reflections" 47 by Huan Chün Shan.
The statements of the people are often doubtful and untrue, yet some mistaken critics regard them as true, which leads to great dilemmas. If a judge deciding a case has his doubts about it, so that though giving his judgment he would hesitate to inflict a punishment, truth and untruth would not be determined, and right and wrong not established. Then people would be entitled to say that the talents of the judge were not sufficient for his post. If in ventilating a question one does not do it thoroughly, merely noting two doubtful opinions and transmitting them both, one does not do much to settle the question. Would it not be better then to break through the confusion and cut the Gordian knot, for words must be intelligible, and expressions convey a meaning?
Confucius wrote the Ch`un-ch`iu in such a way that he recommended the slightest good thing and blamed the smallest evil. Whenever there was anything praiseworthy, his words served to set forth its excellence, and whenever there was anything open to blame, he pointed out its badness with a view to stigmatise the action. The "New Reflections" fall in with the Ch`un-ch`iu in this respect. But the public prizes antiquity, and does not think much of our own times. They fancy that the modern literature falls short of the old writings. However, ancient and modern times are the same. There are men of great and of small talents, and there is truth and falsehood. If irrespective of the intrinsic value they only esteem what is old, this would imply that the ancients excelled our moderns. Yet men like Tsou Po Ch`i of Tung-fan, Yuan T`ai Po and Yuan Wên Shu of Lin-huai,48Wu Chün Kao and Chou Ch`ang Shêng of K`uei-chi,49 though they never attained the dignity of state-ministers, were all men of stupendous erudition and abilities and the most elegant and dashing knights of the pen. 50
The Yuan-sse of Tsou Po Ch`i, the Yi-chang-chü of Yuan T`ai Po, the Hsien-ming of Yuan Wen Shu, the Yüeh-yo of Wu Chün Kao, and the Tung-li of Chou Ch`ang Shêng could not be surpassed by Liu Tse Chêng or Yang Tse Yün. Men of genius may be more or less gifted, but there are no ancients or moderns; their works may be right or wrong, but there are no old or new ones. Although no special works have been written by men like Ch`ên Tse Hui of Kuang-ling,51Yen Fang, Pan Ku,52 at present clerk of a board, the officer of the censorate, Yang Chung, and Chuan Yi, their verses and their memorials are written in the most fascinating and brilliant style. Their poetry resembles that of Ch`ü Yuan53 and Chia,54 their memorials those of T`ang Lin and Ku Yang.55 Placed side by side, the beauty of their compositions proved to be the same. At present they are not yet illustrious, but after a hundred generations they will be on a par with Liu Tse Chêng56 and Yang Tse Yün.57
Li Sse freely culled from the works of Han Fei Tse, and Hou P`u Tse did much to divulge the T`ai-hsüan-ching of Yang Tse Yün. Han Fei Tse and Li Sse belonged to the same school, and Yang Tse Yün and Hou P`u Tse lived at the same court. 58 They had an eye for what was remarkable and useful, and were not influenced in their opinions and judgments by considerations of time. Searching truth and seeking whatever was good, they made it their principle not to look too far for it, and not to despise those with whom they were working shoulder to shoulder. They had a great partiality for everything uncommon, and quite uncommon was the fame which they won thereby. Yang Tse Yün revised the Li-sao. He could not completely change a whole chapter, but whenever he found anything wrong, he altered it. Though it be impossible to read all the thirteen thousand chapters contained in the list of the Six Departments of Literature, 59 one may know at least their purport and take up for discussion some of those passages which give no proper sense.
1. Mê Ti, the philosopher of universal love, a younger contemporary of Confucius, 5th or 4th cent. b.c. Cf. E. Faber, Lehre des Philosophen Micius, Elberfeld 1877 (Extracts from his works).
2. In the opinion of most Chinese critics the Ch`un-ch`iu, as we have it, has not been preserved, but was reconstructed from the Tso-chuan or from the other commentaries. This view is supported by what Wang Ch`ung says here. See on this question Legge, Prolegomena to his translation of the Ch`un-ch`iu, p. 16 seq.
3. Cf. above pp. 448 and 456.
4. Kung Yang and Ku Liang are the surnames, Kao and Ch`ih the personal names.
5. Hu Mu's commentary is not mentioned in the Catalogue of the Han-shu.
6. To wit the Liki and the Shi-chi.
7. Liu Tse Chêng = Liu Hsiang, 80-9 b.c., was an admirer of the commentary of Ku Liang, whereas his son Liu Hsin stood up for the Tso-chuan.
8. 25-57 a.d.
9. Fan Shu alias Fan Shêng.
10. Fan Shu in his report to the throne had attacked the Tso-chuan on fourteen points.
11. An important work on antique lore composed under the patronage of Prince Lü Pu Wei in the 3d cent. b.c.
12. Works relating marvellous stories.
13. Cf. my paper on the Chinese Sophists, Journal of the China Branch of the R. As. Soc., Shanghai 1899, p. 29 and appendix containing a translation of the remains of this philosopher.
14. Cf. p. 253.
15. Wei Yang, Prince of Shang, a great reformer of the civil and military administration of the Ch`in State, which he raised to great power. Died 338 b.c.
16. One of the most celebrated statesmen of antiquity, who died in 645 b.c.
17. A speculative work which passes under the title of Kuan Tse. The one still in existence is perhaps a later forgery.
18. Sse Ma Ch`ien extols Kuan Chung (Shi-chi chap. 62, p. 2v) and finds fault with Shang Yang (Shi-chi chap. 68, p. 9), although, in Wang Ch`ung's opinion, their deeds and their theories are very similar. It must be noted, however, that Shang Yang's criminal laws were very cruel. Wang Ch`ung, who is to a certain extent imbued with Taoist ideas, feels a natural aversion to all forms of government, and to legislation in particular.
19. A place in Kiangsu.
20. Shi-chi chap. 13.
21. Shi-chi chap. 3.
22. Second wife of the Emperor K`u.
23. The first ancestor of the Yin dynasty.
24. Shi-chi chap. 3, p. 1.
25. Shi-chi chap. 4, p. 1.
26. First wife of the Emperor K`u.
27. Hou Chi = "Lord of the Soil," the ancestor of the Chou dynasty.
28. Hsin-yü. The work still exists.
29. Lu Chia lived in the 2nd cent. b.c. at the beginning of the Han dynasty. Twice he was sent as envoy to the southern Yüeh. Cf. I, p. 304.
30. An author of the 2nd cent. b.c. He wrote the Ch`un-ch`iu-fan-lu, the "Rich Dew of the Spring and Autumn," which has come down to us.
31. Cf. p. 206.
32. Cf. p. 214.
33. The philosopher Yang Hsiung. Cf. p. 124.
34. The largest affluent of the Yangtse.
35. Both tributaries of the Yellow River in Kansu and Shensi, which joined together, fall into the Huang Ho near its elbow in Shensi.
36. Vid. p. 319.
37. Analects VIII, 15.
39. The music-master of Lu.
40. The first Ode of the Shiking.
41. Cf. the great number of such collections enumerated in the Catalogue of the Han-shu, chap. 30.
42. Quotation from Mencius III, Pt. I, 1 (Legge Vol. II, p. 110).
43. Huan Chün Shan = Huan Tan, a great scholar of the 1st cent. b.c. and a.d. People admired his large library. He incurred the displeasure of Kuang Wu Ti, whom he rebuked for his belief in books of fate, and was sentenced to banishment.
44. Four chapters of Han Fei Tse's work, forming chap. 15 and 16, Nos. 36-39.
45. Yen-t`ieh-lun, a treatise on questions of national economy.
46. Huan K`uan, also called Chên Shan Tse, lived in the 1st cent. b.c.
48. A region in Anhui.
49. A city in Chekiang.
50. Nothing is known of these authors or their writings. The cyclopedias do not even mention their names.
51. A place in Kiangsu.
52. The historian Pan Ku, author of the Han-shu "History of the Former Han Dynasty," who died 92 a.d.
53. Who wrote the famous poem Li-sao cf. p. 113.
54. Chia Yü.
55. Ku Yung lived in the 1st cent. b.c. As censor he remonstrated against the abuses of the court, and presented over forty memorials upon divine portents.
56. Liu Tse Chêng = Liu Hsiang, 80-9 b.c., is a celebrated writer of the Han time, who did much for the preservation of ancient literature. Besides he wrote works on government and poetry.
57. Wang Ch`ung's prediction has not proved true. The authors of his time, whom he praises so much, are all forgotten, Pan Ku alone excepted.
58. At the court of the Emperor Ch`êng Ti 32-7 b.c.
59. In the Catalogue of Literature, forming chapter 30 of the Han-shu, Liu Hsin divided the then existing body of literature under 7 heads: Classics, works on the six arts, philosophy, poetry, military science, divination, and medicine. Owing to the decline of the healing art under the Han dynasty, the last division was dropped, and no titles of medical books are given. There remained but the six divisions, mentioned in the text. Under these divisions were comprised 38 subdivisions with 596 authors, whose names and works are given in the Catalogue. Their writings contain 13,269 chapters or books.
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