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夫一楊葉射而中之，中之一再，行敗穿不可複射矣。如就葉懸於樹而射之， 雖不欲射葉，楊葉繁茂，自中之矣。是必使上取楊葉，一一更置地而射之也。射之數十行，足以見巧 ；觀其射之者亦皆知射工，亦必不至於百，明矣。
儒書言：“楚熊渠子出，見寢石，以為伏虎，將弓射之，矢沒其衛。”或曰：養 由基見寢石，以為兕也，射之，矢飲羽。”或言：“李廣”。便是熊渠、養由基、李廣主名不審， 無實也。
或以為“虎”，或以為“兕”，兕、虎俱猛，一實也。或言“沒衛”，或言飲羽，羽則衛，言不同耳，要取以寢石似虎、兕，畏懼加精，射之入深也。夫言以寢石為虎，射之矢入，可也；言其沒衛，增之也。 夫見似虎者，意以為是，張弓射之，盛精加意，則其見真虎，與是無異。射似虎之石，矢入沒衛，若 射真虎之身，矢洞度乎？石之質難射，肉易射也。以射難沒衛言之，則其射易者洞不疑矣。
人之精乃氣也，氣乃力也。有水火之難，惶惑恐懼，舉徙器物，精誠至矣， 素舉一石者，倍舉二石。然則，見伏石射之，精誠倍故，不過入一寸，如何謂之沒衛乎？如有好用 劍者，見寢石，懼而斫之，可複謂能斷石乎？以勇夫空拳而暴虎者，卒然見寢石，以手椎之，能令 石有跡乎？
儒書稱：“魯般、墨子之巧，刻木為鳶，飛之三日而不集”。夫言其以木為鳶 飛之，可也；言其三日不集，增之也。 夫刻木為鳶以象鳶形，安能飛而不集乎？既能飛翔，安能至於三日？如審有機關，一飛遂翔，不可複下， 則當言遂飛，不當言三日。
書稱：“齊之孟嘗，魏之信陵，趙之平原，楚之春申君，待士下客， 招會四方，各三千人。”欲言下士之至，趨之者眾也。夫言士多，可也；言其三千，增之也。 四君雖好士，士至雖眾，不過各千餘人。書則言三千矣。夫言眾必言千數，言少則言無一。世俗之情 ，言事之失也。
高子泣血，殆必有之。何則？荊和獻寶於楚，楚刖其足 ，痛寶不進，己情不達，泣涕，涕盡因續以血。今高子痛親，哀極涕竭血隨而出，實也。而雲三 年未嘗見齒，是增之也。
孔子曰：“言不文。”或時不言，傳則言其不見齒；或時傳則言其不見齒三年矣。高宗諒陰 ，三年不言。尊為天子，不言，而其文言不言，猶疑於增，況高子位賤，而曰未嘗見齒 ，是必增益之也。
儒書言：“董仲舒讀《春秋》，專精一思，志不在他，三年不窺園菜。”夫言不窺園 菜，實也；言三年，增之也。 仲舒雖精，亦時解休，解休之間，猶宜遊於門庭之側；則能至門庭，何嫌不窺園菜？
夫金之性，物也，用遠方貢之為美，鑄以為鼎，用象百物之奇，安能入山 澤不逢惡物，辟除神奸乎？周時天下太平，越裳獻白雉，倭人貢鬯草。食白雉，服鬯草，不能除凶； 金鼎之器，安能辟奸？
傳言：秦滅周，周之九鼎入於秦。 案本事，周赧王之時，秦昭王使將軍攻王赧，王赧惶懼奔秦，頓首受罪，盡獻其邑三十六、口三萬。 秦受其獻還王赧。王赧卒，秦王取九鼎寶器矣。若此者，九鼎在秦也。始皇二十八年，北遊至琅邪， 還過彭城，齊戒禱祠，欲出周鼎，使千人沒泗水之中，求弗能得。
春秋之時，五石隕於宋。五石者星也，星之去天，猶鼎之亡於地也。星去天不 為神，鼎亡於地何能神？春秋之時，三山亡，猶太丘社之去宋，五星之去天。三山亡，五石 隕，太丘社去，皆自有為。然鼎亡，亡亦有應也。未可以亡之故，乃謂之神。如鼎與秦三 山同乎，亡不能神。如有知欲辟危亂之禍乎，則更桀、紂之時矣。衰亂無道，莫過桀、紂，桀 、紂之時，鼎不亡去。
Chapter XXXX. Exaggerations of the Literati (Ju-tsêng).
In the books of the Literati we find the statement that the virtue of Yao and Shun was so great and wonderful, that perfect peace reigned on earth, and not a single person was punished; and further that, since Wên Wang and Wu Wang bequeathed their greatness to Ch`êng and K`ang,1 the instruments of punishment were laid aside, and not used for over forty years. 2 The idea is to praise Yao and Shun, and to extol Wên Wang and Wu Wang. Without high-flown words one deems to be unable to applaud greatness, as it deserves, and without some figures of speech, to do justice to what has been achieved. But however excellent Yao and Shun have been, they could not manage that nobody was punished, and with all their superiority Wên Wang and Wu Wang could not do without punishments. That there were few offences committed, and punishments seldom, may be true. But that nobody was punished, and that the instruments of punishment were not used, is an exaggeration.
If it could be contrived, that nobody was punished, it could be brought about also, that no State was attacked. If the instruments of punishment were put aside and not used, arms also could be laid down, and would not be required. However, Yao attacked Tan-shui,3 and Shun fought against the Yu Miao.4 Four nobles had to submit, 5 and instruments of punishment as well as weapons were resorted to. At the time of Ch`êng Wang four States rebelled:---the Huai, I, Hsü, and Jung6 all brought misfortune upon themselves. To punish a man, one uses a sword, to exterminate him, arms. The punishment is a matter of criminal law, the extermination of fighting. Fighting and criminal law do not differ, weapons and swords are the same. Even an able dialectician could not discover a difference. Against depravity arms are used, against lawlessness instruments of punishment. These latter bear the same relation to weapons as feet do to wings. Walking, one uses one's feet, flying, one's wings. Though different in shape, both of them equally move the body; in the same manner instruments of punishment and weapons combined serve to check the evil. Their effect is the same.
The allegation that no arms were used implies the idea, that no penalties were meted out. Should a man with defective ears, but intact eyes be said to be in possession of a perfect body, we would not admit that, and if some one being an excellent tiger-hunter, but afraid of striking a man, were called brave by reason of this tiger-hunting alone, we would not agree to it. Only in case of the body having no defects and the courage facing whomsoever, there is perfection. Now, they say that nobody was punished, but not that no weapon was used. Much fuss is made about the fact, that instruments of punishment were put aside, and not used, but no mention made, that nobody rebelled. Therefore, we cannot speak of wonderful virtue or greatness.
The books of the Literati tell us that Yang Yu Chi7 of Ch`u was very remarkable at archery. Shooting at an aspen leaf, with a hundred shots he hit it a hundred times. This is of course said in praise of his brilliant shooting. That, whenever he aimed at an aspen leaf, he hit it, may be so, but to say, that out of a hundred shots a hundred hit the mark, is an exaggeration.
An aspen leaf hit by an arrow oyer and over again, would soon be so perforated, that it could no more serve as a target. If Yang Yu Chi had shot at an aspen leaf, as it was hanging on the tree, he would always have hit one, though not that which he wanted, there being such a multitude of them. Consequently he would be obliged to take the leaves down, and place them one by one on the earth to shoot at them. After several ten shots, his dexterity would have been seen. The spectators would all have become aware of his skill at archery, and would not have required a hundred shots.
Narrators are fond of adorning dexterity and other accomplishments. If any one hit thirty and more times, they say a hundred. A hundred and a thousand are big numbers. Wishing really to say ten, they say a hundred, and in lieu of a hundred, a thousand. The meaning is the same as, when the Shuking speaks of the "harmony of the ten thousand countries" or the Shiking of the "thousand and hundred thousand descendants."
We learn from the writings of the Literati that there was a loyal official in Wei:---Hung Yen, who was sent abroad as envoy of Duke Ai of Wei.8 Before he returned, the Ti9 had attacked, and killed the duke, and eaten his flesh, leaving only the liver. When Hung Yen returned from his mission, he reported himself to the liver. Out of sorrow, that Duke Ai had died, and was eaten up, so that his liver had no resting-place, he took a knife, ripped up his stomach, took all its contents out, put the liver of Duke Ai in, and expired. Those telling this story intend to praise his loyalty. It is possible that he ripped himself open, put Duke Ai's liver in, and died. To say that he took out all the contents of the stomach, and put in the liver of Duke Ai, is an exaggeration.
If people stab one another with knives, and hit the Five Intestines, they die. Why? Because the Five Intestines regulate the Vital Fluid, just as the head is the centre of all the arteries. When the head has been cut off, the hands cannot take another man's head, and put it on the neck. How then should Hung Yen be capable of first emptying his own stomach, and then putting in the liver of Duke Ai? When the contents of the stomach have been taken out, death ensures. Then the hands can no more grasp. If he first put in the liver of Duke Ai, and then took out the contents of the stomach, then it ought to be said, that he put in the liver of Duke Ai, and emptide his stomach. But now it is first mentioned that the contents of the stomach were completely taken out, and that the liver of Duke Ai was put in, which is a gross exaggeration of truth.
We read in the books of Literati, that, when Hsiung Ch`ü Tse10 of Ch`u once went out, he saw a stone lying on the ground, which he took for a crouching tiger. He grasped his bow, and shot at it. The arrow disappeared up to the feathers. 11 Others relate that Yang Yu Chi12 saw a stone stretched like a rhinoceros. He shot at it, and the arrow was absorbed with the plumes. Some hold that Hsiung Ch`ü Tse is Li Kuang.13Yang Yu Chi and Li Kuang must give their names, and one does not discover, that the story is not true.
Some speak of a tiger, some of a rhinoceros. Both being fierce animals, it amounts to the same. Some say, that the feathers disappeared, some, that the plumes were absorbed. Plumes are feathers, only the wording is a little different. The chief idea is that a stone resembled a tiger or a rhinoceros, and that out of fright the arrow was shot with such force, that it entered deep. One may say, that a stone resembled a tiger, and that, when shot at, the arrow entered deep. But to maintain that it disappeared up to the feathers is going too far. Seeing something like a tiger, one regards it as such, draws the bow, and shoots at it with the utmost force and energy. The aspect of a real tiger would have quite the same effect. Upon shooting a stone resembling a tiger the arrow should enter so completely, that nothing of the feathers could be seen. Would then, when hitting a real tiger, the arrow pass straight through its body? It is difficult to pierce a stone, whereas with flesh it is very easy. If the feathers vanished in a substance difficult to be pierced, there could be no doubt that an arrow must traverse a stuff affording no obstacle.
A good marksman can shoot at great distances, and hit the smallest object, not missing one line. But how could he give greater force to the bow or the cross-bow? Yang Yu Chi shot at the Marquis of Chin in a battle, and hit him in the eye. 14 A commoner aiming at a ruler of ten thousand chariots would certainly strain his nerves to the utmost, and double his forces, not less than, when shooting at the stone. Could then the arrow hitting the eye of the Marquis pass through to the neck? If it had done, the Marquis of Chin would have died on his chariot.
I presume that an arrow projected from a ten stones ballista, 15 would not enter one inch into a stone, and split into three pieces. Now, should a weak bow be drawn with human force, how could the feathers disappear in the stone, though the bowman used all his strength?
Human energy is a fluid, and this fluid a force. When in distress of fire or water people are very fluttered and frightened, and carry away their belongings, their energies reach their maximum. If, at ordinary times, they could carry one picul, they then carry two. Now, provided that, when shooting at the stretched out stone, the energy is doubled, the arrow nevertheless could not enter deeper than one inch. The disappearance of the feathers is out of the question.
Let is suppose that a good swordsman beholds a stone lying on the ground, gets frightened, and strikes it. Could he cut it asunder? Or let a brave man, who would tackle a tiger with his unarmed fist, unexpectedly catch sight of such a stone, and hammer down on it with his hand. Would he leave any trace on the stone?
The strength of clever people is equal to that of the stupid, the earnestness of purpose of the ancients like that of the moderns. If now-a-days an archer shoots animals and birds in the country, he spares no force to get them. Yet, when he hits an animal, the blow enters only some inches. If it slips and hits a stone, the sharp point does not enter, and the arrow breaks to pieces. Accordingly the statements in the books of the Literati to the effect that Hsiung Ch`ü Tse of Ch`u, Yang Yu Chi, and Li Kuang shot at a stone lying on the ground, and that the arrow disappeared up to the feathers, or was engulfed together with the plumes, are all exaggerations.
In the writings of the Literati we find the notice that Lu Pan16 was as skilful as Mê Tse.17 From wood he carved a kite, which could fly three days without coming down. It may be, that he made a kite of wood, which he flew. But that it did not alight for three days, is an exaggeration. If he carved it from wood, he gave it the shape of a bird. How then could it fly without resting? If it could soar up, why did it do so just three days? Provided there was a mechanism, by which, once set in motion, it continued flying, it could not have come down again. Then people ought to say that it flew continually, and not three days.
There is a report that Lu Pan by his skill lost his mother. That is to say, the clever artisan had constructed a wooden carriage and horses with a wooden charioteer for his mother. When the mechanism was complete, he put his mother in the carriage, which drove off to return no more. And thus he lost his mother. Provided the mechanism in the wooden kite was in order, it must have been like that of the wooden carriage and horses. Then it would have continued flying without rest. On the other hand, a mechanism works but for a short while, therefore the kite could not have continued flying much longer than three days. Then the same holds good with regard to the wooden carriage, it also ought to have stopped after three days on the road, and could not go straight on, so that the mother was lost. Both stories are apparently untrustworthy.
In some books the statement is made that Confucius had no resting-place in this world. Wandering about he visited over seventy States, where he attempted to gain influence, but nowhere he found repose. One may well say, that he wandered about, and found nothing, but to say, that he came to seventy States, is going too far. According to the Analects and the works of other philosophers he returned from Wei18 to Lu. In Ch`ên19 his supplies were exhausted, in Wei his traces were obliterated. 20 He forgot the taste of food in Ch`i,21 a tree was felled over him in Sung,22 and besides there are Pi23Tun,24 and Mou.25 These States, which he visited, do not even amount to ten. The statement about seventy States is therefore unreliable. Perhaps he went to more than ten States. Then the report about seventy States was spread in books, and people now talk of seventy States.
We read in the Analects26 that Confucius asked Kung Ming Chia about Kung Shu Wên Tse27 saying, "Is it true that your master does not speak, nor laugh, nor take anything?"---Kung Ming Chia replied, "That is a misrepresentation. The Master speaks, when it is time, and people do not dislike his words. He laughs, when he is merry, and people are not displeased with his laugh. He takes things, when he has a right to do so, and people are not dissatisfied." Confucius exclaimed, "How is it possible! How is it possible!" In fact Kung Shu Wên Tse spoke at the proper time, laughed when pleased, and took what he was entitled to. Out of this fact, which became known, people made the story that Kung Shu Wên Tse did neither speak, nor laugh, nor take anything. When common people tell a thing, they always like to overdo it.
We read in some books that when Duke Mu of Ch`in28 invested Chêng, he passed through Chin without borrowing a passage. Duke Hsiang of Chin29 therefore intended to strike a blow at him with the help of the Chiang Jung30 in the Yao passes. 31 When no horses nor carriages came back, Ch`in sent out three high officers: Mêng Ming Shih, Hsi Ch`i Shu, and Po Yi Ping, who all returned. Since they came back, the horses and carriages must have come back likewise. The report to the contrary is an exaggeration. 32
We are told in several books that the Princes of Mêng Ch`ang in Ch`i,33Hsin Ling in Wei, P`ing Yuan in Chao, and Ch`un Shên in Ch`u34 treated their retainers with great kindness, and attracted them from everywhere, each 3000 men. This is meant to illustrate their kindness and the great conflux. That the number of retainers was very great, is possible, but that they amounted to 3000, an exaggeration. For, although the four princes had a partiality for retainers, and though the latter assembled in great numbers, yet each one could not have more than about a thousand. Then the books made it three thousand. For a great many, people will say a thousand, and in case of a small number, not a single one. That is the common practice, and thus misstatements originate.
There is a tradition, that Kao Tse Kao35 mourning his father, shed bloody tears, and that for three years he did not show his teeth. To an honest man this would seem to be rather difficult; 36 for it is not easily done. He would not consider it untrue, but only difficult, and therein he is mistaken.
That Kao Tse shed bloody tears, is probably true. Ho of Ching37 offered a precious stone to the Prince of Ch`u, who cut off his foot. Distressed that his jewel did not find favour, and that his feelings were not appreciated he wept, until his tears were dried up, when he continued weeping with tears of blood. Now Kao Tse bewailed the death of his father. His grief was extreme. It must be true that, when his tears ceased, blood came out, but the saying that for three years he did not show his teeth, is an exaggeration.
These words mean that Kao Tse did not speak nor laugh. That a filial son, while mourning his parents, should not laugh, is only natural, but how can be avoid speaking, and when speaking, avoid showing his teeth?
Confucius said: "What he said, was not elegant, and at times he did not speak at all." Then it was reported, that he did not show his teeth, or even, that for three years he did not show his teeth. Kao Tsung38 while in the mourning shed did not speak for three years. 39 He enjoyed imperial majesty. That he did not speak means to say, that he did not use elegant expressions, and even that seems doubtful, and is perhaps an exaggeration. On the other hand Kao Tse Kao held a very humble position, yet he is believed not to have shown his teeth, which is certainly still more exaggerated.
The Literati write in their books that Ch`in Hsi recommended Po Li Hsi to Duke Mu40 who, however, did not pay attention to it. Then Ch`in Hsi went out of the front door, bowed down his head, and knocked it on the ground, so that it broke to pieces, and died. This affected Duke Mu so deeply, that he took Po Li Hsi into his service. The meaning of this story is that a worthy in recommending a good man did not spare his own life, knocking his head on the ground, that it broke, and died, all with the object to further his friend.
With this story scholars use to exhort one another, and it is handed down in their books. Nobody discredits it. That somebody kotows, while recommending a good man, has happened of old, as it happens now. It is true that Ch`in Hsi knocked his head, but the allegation that he broke it, and expired is an exaggeration.
When a man kotows, that his head aches, and the blood comes out, he cannot fracture his skull, however angry and agitated he may be. I do not maintain, that the skull cannot be broken, but man has not sufficient strength to do it alone. With a knife one may cut one's throat, or with a blade pierce one's bosom. By means of the knife or the blade the hand acquires the necessary strength. If Ch`in Hsi had taken a hammer, and smashed his skull, there would be nothing wonderful in it. To fall down, and smash his skull Ch`in Hsi would not have had the necessary strength. There have been people who died while prostrating themselves, but none who broke their heads or smashed their skulls. Perhaps Ch`in Hsi performed the kotow, while recommending Po Li Hsi, which gave rise to the story of his death, or he really died, while kotowing, hence the idle talk of people that he broke his head.
The books of the Literati tell us that for the Prince of Yen, Ching K`o attempted to assassinate the King of Ch`in. He struck him with a stiletto, but did not hit. The King of Ch`in then drew his sword and struck him. When Ching K`o assaulted the King of Ch`in with a stiletto, he did not hit his adversary, but a copper pillar, into which the dagger entered a foot deep. With these words one wishes to emphasize the sharpness of the stiletto.
Ching K`o was a powerful man. He thrust the sharp blade, so that it penetrated into the hard pillar. In order to exalt Ching K`o's courage people have coloured the real facts. It is true that the stiletto went into the copper pillar, but the assertion that it entered a foot deep, is an exaggeration, for, although copper does not possess the hardness of a dagger, the latter cannot penetrate deeper than some inches, but not one foot.
Let us consider the question, in case he had hit the King of Ch`in, would he have run the dagger through him? Pulling a ten stones ballista with a windlass and shooting at a wooden target in a wall, one would not perforate it to the extent of one foot. With force of hand Ching K`o thrust a small stiletto. While he himself was struck by the Lung-yuan sword, 41 the dagger entered into the hard copper pillar. 42 Then Ching K`o's force was stronger than that of the ten stones ballista, and the copper pillar softer than the wooden target. The courage of Ching K`o is made much of, but there is no mention that he possessed great strength. Of strong men there is none like Mêng Pên. Would Mêng Pên, if he had struck a copper pillar, have cut it one foot deep? Perhaps the stiletto was as sharp as the famous swords Kan-chiang and Mo-ya,43 whose thrusts and blows nothing could withstand, and that therefore it really penetrated one foot deep. Unfortunately the praise bestowed on Kan-chiang and Mo-ya also overshoot the mark, and are much akin to the foot deep cutting of the copper pillar.
We learn from the works of the Literati that Tung Chung Shu44 while reading the Ch`un-ch`iu was so absorbed in his study, that he did not think of anything else, and for three years did not cast a look at the greens in the garden. That he did not look at the greens in the garden may be true, but the three years are an exaggeration. Although Tung Chung Shu was very industrious, yet he must have relaxed from time to time, and at such moments he also would have sauntered about his court-yard. Strolling out into the court-yard, why should he have disdained to gaze at the greens in the garden?
I have heard that persons engrossed in some idea, and studying some question, do not appear in public, and that for a principle some have lost their lives, but I never heard, that they did not go into the court-yard, and were sitting rapt in thoughts for three years, without ever looking at the garden. In the Wu-yi Chapter of the Shuking it is said that the good man does not find repose, because he foresees the troubles of the harvest. 45 If he reposes nevertheless, it is because his nerves and bones are not of wood or stone, and must be unstrung from time to time. Hence Wên Wang never strained his nerves without slackening them again, nor did he slacken without subsequent straining. An interchange of activity and passivity was in his eyes the right thing. If even the brilliant mental faculties of the Sages had to relax after an effort, Tung Chung Shu, whose strength was much less than that of those men, could not well concentrate his thoughts for three years without repose.
The books of the Literati contain a statement to the effect that at the time when the Hsia Dynasty had reached its prime, distant countries sent pictures of their products, and the nine provinces metal as tribute. From this tripods were cast, on which all kinds of objects were represented. The consequence was, that, when people went into forests or to lakes, they did not meet spectres, and they could thereby ward off the influences of evil spirits. The Emperor and his subjects being in harmony, heaven gave its protection. 46
Metal is by nature a thing. The tribute metal from distant places was thought very beautiful, and therefore cast into tripods, on which all sorts of curious objects were depicted. How could this have the effect that people in forests or by lakes did not meet with spectres, and could ward off the evil influences of spirits? During the Chou time there was universal peace. The Yüeh-shang47 offered white pheasants to the court, the Japanese48 odoriferous plants. Since by eating these white pheasants or odoriferous plants one cannot keep free from evil influences, why should vessels like bronze tripods have such a power?
The appearance of the Nine Tripods was an auspicious sign of high virtue. 49 Yet the wearing of a felicitous object does not attract happiness. Boys use to wear jade-stones, girls pearls, yet neither pearls nor jewels can guard mankind against evil. Precious and rare things are used as excellent charms and amulets, and they are regarded by some as very useful. The same is maintained in regard to the Nine Tripods. They cannot ward off evil influences, the report to the contrary is an exaggerated statement in the afore-mentioned books.
There is a popular tradition that the tripods of Chou boiled of themselves without fire, and that things could be taken out of them, which had not been put in. That is a popular exaggeration. According to the exaggerated statement in the books of the Literati the Nine Tripods, having nothing peculiar, would possess supernatural powers without any reason.
What proof would there be for this assertion? The metal of the Chou tripods came from afar as tribute. Yü obtained it and caused it to be wrought into tripods. On the tripods a great many things were represented. If as a tribute from distant lands they were spiritual, why should things from distant countries be spiritual? If they were so, because Yü cast them, Yü himself, though a Sage, could not be a spirit, how then should cast vessels be? If they were, because they were made of metal, metal is like stone, but stone cannot be spiritual, why then should metal be? If they were spirits, because they were covered with pictures of all kinds of things, these pictures are like the lightning of the Thunder Goblet. 50 On this goblet were carved clouds and thunder. They are in the sky and much more spiritual than ordinary things. Since the representations of clouds and lightning are not spirits, the pictures of various things cannot be either.
It is on record that, when Ch`in extinguished Chou, the Nine Tripods of Chou fell into the power of Ch`in. In fact, during the reign of King Nan,51 King Chao of Ch`in52 sent his general Chiu to attack Nan Wang. The latter terrified, hastened to Ch`in, prostrated himself, confessed his guilt, and ceded all his cities, 36 with 30,000 souls. Ch`in accepted the gift, and allowed King Nan to go home. At his death the king of Ch`in seized the Nine Tripods and other precious utensils. 53 Thus the tripods came to be in Ch`in.54 In the 28th year of his reign Ch`in Shih Huang Ti travelled northward to Lang-yeh.55 On his return he passed P`êng-ch`êng,56 and by feasting prepared himself for a sacrifice. Wishing to get the Tripods of Chou out, he sent a thousand men to plunge into the Sse River, 57 but all searching was in vain. 58
Ch`in Shih Huang Ti came three generations after King Chao. At that time there was neither disorder nor rebellion in Ch`in, and the tripods ought not to have disappeared. That they might have done perhaps during the Chou time. The report says that King Nan hurried to Ch`in, and that Ch`in seized the Nine Tripods. Perhaps there is a mistake in time.
There is another tradition that when the T`ai-ch`iu59 altar to the spirits of the land disappeared in Sung, the tripods went down in the river below the city of P`êng-ch`êng.60 Twenty-nine years later Ch`in united the Empire. 61 Such being the case, the tripods would not have come into the possession of Ch`in, and must have been lost from the Chou already.
They were not spirits. During the "Spring and Autumn" period, five stones fell down in Sung. These five stones were stars. The separation of stars from heaven is like the disappearance of the tripods from earth. The stars falling down from heaven did not thereby become spirits, why then should the tripods vanishing from earth, acquire spiritual powers? In the "Spring and Autumn" time, three mountains vanished in the same manner as the T`ai-ch`iu altar disappeared. Five stars descended from heaven in Sung, three mountains vanished, five stones fell down, and the T`ai-ch`iu altar disappeared. All these events were brought about by causes residing in these things. The loss of the tripods was also the effect of some cause. One must not regard them as spirits merely on account of their disappearance. If the tripods resembled the three mountains of Ch`in, their disappearance is no sufficient reason, why they should be spirits. If they really possessed knowledge, and wished to avoid the disastrous revolution, the reigns of Chieh and Chou would have been the proper time for that.
The disorganisation and lawlessness were never worse than under Chieh and Chou, but at that time the tripods did not disappear. The decadence of the kings of Chou was far from that of Chieh and Chou. Yet the tripods remained with the dissolute Chieh and Chou, and left the declining Chou.62 They did not stay nor leave at the proper time, and gave no sign of being spirits, endowed with knowledge.
It is possible that, at the collapse of the Chou, the men of General Chiu, who were in great number, saw the tripods, and stole them, and that some miscreants melted them, and made them into other objects, so that, when Ch`in Shih Huang Ti searched for them, he could not find them. Subsequently they were called spirits, which gave rise to the story that they were sunk in the Sse River.
[Under the reign of the Emperor Hsiao Wên Ti63 a man of Chao, Hsin Yuan P`ing addressed a memorial to the throne saying, "The Chou tripods are lost in the midst of the Sse River. Now the Huang-ho overflows, and communicates with the Sse. In a northeasterly direction near Fên-yin I perceive a metallic fluid. I presume it to be an angury of the Chou tripods' return. But unless fetched, they will not come out."
Thereupon Hsiao Wên Ti sent a special envoy to superintend a temple south of Fên-yin64 near the River, in the hope that a spirit would bring the Chou tripods. Others denounced Hsin Yuan P`ing, showing that, what he had said about the supernatural vessels, was an imposture. Then Hsin Yuan P`ing was delivered to a tribunal, which sentenced him to death. 65 ] The statement that the tripods are in the Sse is like the imposture of Hsin Yuan P`ing that he saw the spiritual fluid of the tripods.
1. Ch`êng was the successor of King Wu Wang. He reigned from 1115-1078 b.c., and was succeeded by K`ang 1078-1052.
2. Cf. Shi-chi chap. 4, p. 17.
3. A place in Honan.
4. The aboriginal Miao tribes which exist still to-day.
5. Shun banished Kung Kung, Huan Tou, the prince of the San Miao and K`un. Cf. Mencius V, Pt. II, 3 and Shuking Pt. II, I, 12.
6. The Huai, I, and Jung were non-Chinese tribes; Hsü is the name of one of the Nine Provinces of Yü, in modern Shantung.
7. A minister of the Ch`u State in the Chou epoch.
8. This must be a misprint, for no Duke of this name is known. The Lü shih ch`un ch`iu, which mentions the story, speaks of Duke I of Wei, 667-659 b.c.
9. The northern barbarians.
10. Hsiung Ch`ü Tse lived during the Chou dynasty.
11. This story is told in the Hsin-hsü of Liu Hsiang.
12. Cf. above p. 495.
13. A general of Han Wu Ti, cf. p. 168.
14. The Tso-chuan, Duke Ch`êng 16th year (Legge, Classics Vol. V, Pt. I, p. 397) informs us that in a battle fought by the Marquis of Chin against King Kung of Ch`u in 574 b.c.I of Lü, an archer of Chin, shot at King Kung of Ch`u and hit him in the eye. The king thereupon ordered his own archer, Yang Yu Chi, to revenge him, handing him two arrows. With the first arrow Yang Yu Chi killed I.According to this account it was not the Marquis of Chin, who was hit in the eye, but the King of Ch`u, and not Yang Yu Chi shot the arrow, but I of Lü.
15. The force of a bow, a cross-bow, or a ballista is measured by the weight required to draw them.One stone or one picul in ancient times amounted to 120 pounds.
16. A celebrated mechanic of the Lu State, who lived contemporaneously with Confucius. Lu Pan is his sobriquet, his proper name being Kung Shu Tse. He has become the tutelary god of artisans.
17. The philosopher Mê Ti has been credited with mechanical skill, erroneously I presume.
18. A State in northern Honan.
19. A State comprising the southern part of Honan.
20. Cf. p. 155.
21. "When the Master was in Ch`i, he heard the Shao music, and for three months he did not know the taste of flesh," so engrossed was he was this music, that he did not taste what he ate (Legge, Analects p. 199; Analects VII, 13).
22. The emissaries of a high officer of Sung tried to kill Confucius by pulling down the tree under which he was practising ceremonies. Cf. Legge, Analects p. 202 Note 22.
23. A city in southern Shantung.
24. A territory in Ch`ên.
25. A princedom in Shantung.
26. Analects XIV, 14.
27. Kung Shu Wên Tse was a high officer in the State of Wei, and Kung Ming Chia would seem to have been his disciple.
28. 658-619 b.c.
29. 626-619 b.c.
30. Western barbarians.
31. A dangerous defile in the district of Yung-ning, Honan.
32. According to the Ch`un-ch`iu, Duke Hsi 33d year, the army of Ch`in was defeated at Yao in 626 b.c. The Tso-chuan narrates the campaign in detail, and relates that the three officers were first taken prisoners, but afterwards released by the intercession of the mother of the Duke of Chin, who was a princess of the ducal house of Ch`in.
33. Cf. p. 161.
34. These four princes are known as the "Four Heroes," living at the end of the Chou epoch, during the time of the "Contending States," the 3rd century b.c.
35. Kao Ch`ai or Kao Tse Kao, was a disciple of Confucius, noted for his filial piety.
36. Quotation from the Li-ki, Tan Kung Sect. I, II, 14.
37. Ho of Ching i. e. of Ch`u, known as Pien Ho viz Ho of the Pien district. Cf. p. 113.
38. Posthumous title of the Shang emperor Wu Ting. See p. 328.
39. Quoted from the Shuking, Wu Yi Pt. V, Bk. XV, 5 (Legge Vol. III, Pt. II, p. 466).
40. Duke Mu of Ch`in, 658-619 b.c.
41. A famous sword forged by Ou Yeh and Kan Chiang, in later times a term for a good blade in general. Cf. p. 377.
42. The Shi-chi chap. 86, p. 16v. gives us a graphic description of the assault of Ching K`o on Shih Huang Ti. When at a reception the envoy of Yen presented a map to the king, the latter caught sight of the dagger, which Ching K`o had concealed. Then Ching K`o "with his left hand grasped the sleeve of the King of Ch`in, and with his right hand the dagger, and was going to strike the king, but, before he touched his body, the king frightened, retreated, and rose, tearing off his sleeve. He tried to draw his sword, but the sword was very long, and while engaged with the scabbard, he was so excited, and the sword was so hard, that he could not draw it out at the moment. Ching K o chased the king, who ran round a pillar. The assembled officers were thunderstruck. They all rose in a body, but were so much taken by surprise, that they completely lost their heads. By the rules of Ch`in the officers, waiting upon the king in the palace hall, were not allowed to carry the smallest weapon with them. The armed guards were all stationed below the hall, but, without a special order, they were not permitted to walk up. At the critical moment there was no time to summon the soldiers below. This is the reason, why Ching K`o could pursue the king, and that his attendants, though startled, did not strike the assailant. They all seized him with their hands, however, and the royal physician Hsia Wu Chü flung his medicine bag, which he was presenting, against him. While the King of Ch`in was thus fleeing round the pillar, all were alarmed, but did not know what to do. The attendants only shouted, `Push your sword backwards, King! Push your sword backwards!' The king then drew his sword, and hit Ching K`o, cutting his left leg. Ching K`o maimed then lifted his dagger and thrust it at the king, but missed him, and instead hit the copper pillar. Then the King of Ch`in dealt him another blow, and thus Ching K`o received eight wounds. Seeing that his scheme had failed, he leant against the pillar. Weeping, he squatted down, and said .... At that moment the attendants came forward, and killed Ching K`o."
43. Two swords wrought by the noted sword-cutler Kan Chiang for Ho Lü, king of Wu 513-494 b.c.Mo-ya was the name of his wife. The Kan-chiang sword was regarded as the male, the Mo-ya as the female sword.
44. An author of the 2nd century b.c.
45. Quotation from the Shuking, Wu-yi Pt. V, Bk. XV, 1 (Legge Vol. III, Pt. II, p. 464).
46. Abridged from the Tso-chuan, Duke Hsüan 3rd year.---From the Hsia dynasty these tripods came down to the Shang and the Chou dynasties, and in 605 b.c. were still in existence.
47. A people in the southern part of Kuang-tung province, near the Annamese frontier.
48. The Wo, an old name for the Japanese, which Chinese authors have explained to mean "Pygmies."
49. The virtue of the Emperor Yü.
50. A sacrificial vessel used during the Hsia dynasty.
51. 314-255 b.c.
52. 305-249 b.c. The full name of this king is Chao Hsiang.
53. Cf. the parallel passage in Shi-chi chap. 4, p. 39 where, however, not Nan Wang, but the Prince of the Eastern Chou submits to Ch`in and cedes his territory.
54. In 255 b.c.Vid. Shi-chi chap. 28, p. 8.
55. The eastern part of Shantung under the Ch`in dynasty.
56. A city in Kiangsu, the modern Hsü-chou-fu.
57. A river in Shantung.
58. Quotation from the Shi-chi chap. 6, p. 18.
59. T`ai-ch`iu was a place in the Yung-ch`êng district, Honan.
60. P`êng-ch`êng does not lie on the Sse River, but on another small river.
61. In 221 b.c. Then the tripods would have been lost in 250 b.c.
62. Viz. the Chou dynasty.
63. 179-156 b.c.
64. A place in Shansi, in the present Wan ch`üan hsien.
65. Quotation from the Shi-chi chap. 28, p. 20.
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