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一曰：五音之門，有五行之人。假令商姓（口食）〔食口〕五人，五人中各有五色，木人青，火人赤，水人黑，金人白，土人黃。 五色之人，俱出南嚮之門，或凶或吉，壽命或短或長。凶而短者，未必色白；吉而長者，未必色黃也。五行之家，何以為決？ 南嚮之門，賊商姓家，其實如何？
Chapter XL. Criticisms on Certain Theories (Ch`i-shu).
The theory of drawing plans of houses teaches us that there are eight schemes, and that houses are numbered and classed according to the names of the cycle of the six chia.1 Their position having been fixed, and their names being established, kung, shang,2 and the other sounds manifest their difference. Houses have the Five Sounds,3 as the surnames (of the owners) are provided with the Five Tones. When the houses do not accord with the surnames, and the latter disagree with the houses, people contract virulent diseases and expire, or pay the penalty of some crime and meet with adversity. 4
I beg to offer the following criticism: In this world man is the noblest of all creatures. His houses resemble the nests of birds and the dens of wild beasts. If his houses be held to bear the cyclical signs chia, yi, & c., have nests and dens these signs as well? Why do the spirits of chia, yi5 solely stay in men's houses, but not among birds and brutes?
Men have their houses as they have their fields. From these fields they derive their food and drink, and their houses serve as dwellings. For people, I should say, food is of paramount importance, therefore do the fields rank first, and the houses come after, the fields being of greater consequence. To the paths crossing the fields from north to south and from east to west, the eight schemes might be applied. By joining together lots of land, fields are formed, which might be numbered chia, yi. Why is the chia, yi system merely used for houses, and not transferred to fields?
In courts and public buildings the residences of officers are connected, and not of a shape different from that of other houses. How do the places inhabited by officers distinguish themselves from those of laymen? Yet they are not counted by the cycle of ten, which is merely employed for houses. For what reason?
The dwellings of the people may be contiguous to the office of the head-borough, and conterminous to his land, but this calculation does not apply to his office, being restricted to the houses of the people. Wherefore do the spirits of chia, yi merely stay in the houses of the people?
The system of numbering houses is applied to market inns; streets and alleys there being marked with chia, yi, & c. But having passed through the market gate, and turning round, one again finds streets and alleys. 6 During the day and at night, people stay in their homes, but in the morning and in the evening, they are in the habit of sitting in the market-place, which is the same as sitting at home. 7 Why then are the booths and bazaars in the market not included in this computation with the cycle of ten? 8
Provinces and circuits are equally inhabited, and districts and cities are crowded with people; they do not differ from streets and alleys, or houses. Wherefore then are provinces and circuits, districts and cities not reckoned by chia, yi?
Does this cycle of ten exist since the creation of Heaven and Earth, or did it originate with the subsequent rulers? If it existed from the time of creation, in remote antiquity people would seek shelter in nests and caverns, and had no dwellings to live in, nor were there regular streets or alleys; where then were the spirits of chia, yi staying at that period?
If, for expressing the situation of houses, the cycle of ten is made use of, the physicists concerned with the Five Elements must count the days by this cycle likewise. 9Chia and yi are contained in the Ten Stems and Twelve Branches, 10 and these symbols are added to the hours. 11 There being a special agreement between hours and symbols, there is luck, whereas their antagonism augures ill. But in the last case only something is to be avoided, and sorrow or shame are not a necessary consequence. All depends on the question whether a person be right or wrong, and so the penalties inflicted, are heavy or mild. The high commissioners try the merits of the case with impartiality. There is no evidence of the Stems and Branches causing luck or misfortune, and it is obvious that the persons affected thereby are in the right or in the wrong. What have the champions of the Stems and Branches to say against this?
Wu Wang won a victory on a chia-tse day, and Chou succumbed on the same day. Both leaders chose the same time:---their armies met, and their flags and standards were in view of one another, all on the same day. The one survived, and the other fell. Besides there was a special harmony between chia and tse.12 The hour of early dawn bore the sign yin,13 which was not at variance with chia and yi,14 yet Wu Wang destroyed Chou under these signs all the same. Why?
The sun is fire:---in the sky it is the sun, and on earth it is fire. How shall we prove it? A burning glass being held up towards the sun, fire comes down from heaven. Consequently fire is the solar fluid.
The sun is connected with the cycle of ten, 15 but fire is not. How is it that there are ten suns 16 and twelve constellations? 17 The suns are combined with these constellations, therefore chia is joined to tse.18 But what are the so-called ten suns? Are there ten real suns, or is there only one with ten different names?
Provided that there be ten real suns, and that chia, yi be their names, why are they not simply designated by the cycle of ten and must the duodenary cycle be employed too? 19
In the drawings of the court of the sun 20 the Ten Stems have their positions, and so have the Twelve Branches assigned their places. All have their own departments, being arranged in the five directions. It is like a king's castle, where he stays, without moving. Now the genuine sun passes through the middle, rising in the east every morning, and setting in the west every evening, always moving on and never stopping. It is widely different from the court of the sun, why then denote this sun with the names chia, yi, & c.?
The house experts will retort by saying that the chia, yi, & c. of the days, of course, are spirits of Heaven and Earth, displaying their activity by turns, changing every day, that, therefore, they are designated by the cycle of ten, and that their preponderance and defeat 21 determine good and bad fortune.---These names have no connexion with the true sun. Under these circumstances, the physicists treating of the Five Elements, should only make use of the cycle of ten, to find out fate; why do they still speak of adding hours? For hours being added, the real sun comes into play; 22 how could it be potent or weak?
The experts of the Five Sounds articulate the surnames, personal names, and styles with their mouths, using the surname to fix the personal name, and the personal name to determine the style. By opening and closing the mouth, they produce outward and inward tones, and thus fix the Five Sounds, and modulate kung and shang in the proper way. 23
Now, men have received their surnames from Heaven. Does Heaven produce these surnames by the fluid of the Five Elements inherent in it, or are they the result of the opening and shutting of the mouth, and of outward and inward tones? If they are originally obtained from Heaven, they are like the fluid pervading the Five Grains and other productions, 24 what necessity would there be still for opening the mouth, shutting out sounds, and thus producing the right modulations of the voice without and within?
In ancient times, surnames used to be given with reference to the birth of the person in question. 25 According to the manner in which he was born a surname was bestowed upon him. For example, the ancestor of the Hsia dynasty was engendered by the swallowing of some pearl-barley, whence he received the surname Sse. The Shang dynasty owes its origin to a consumed swallows-egg, whence its surname Tse, and the house of Chou grew from the treading upon the foot-steps of a giant, and thus received the surname Chi.26
Personal names are given from some pre-intimation, from some auspice, from some appearance, from some other object, or from some similarity. When a child is born with a name on it, that is a pre-intimation. So Yo, Prince of Lu, had the character Yo on his hand, when he was born. 27 When the name is derived from some virtue this is called an auspice. Thus Wên Wang was called Ch`ang,28 and Wu Wang, Fa.29 A name from some resemblance is a name from appearance. Confucius e. g. was called Ch`iu.30 A name taken from some other object is borrowed; a duke of Sung, for example, was named Ch`u-chiu (Pestle and Mortar), 31 and when the name is taken from the father it is a name from similarity, there being some resemblance to the father. 32
A style is given by expanding the personal name and finding a similar meaning. The personal name being T`se,33 the style was Tse Kung,34 and the name being Yü,35 the style was Tse Wo.36
Accordingly, a surname is given with reference to the circumstances of the birth of the person, a personal name is taken from some pre-intimation, some auspice, some appearance, some other object, or from some similarity, and a style determined from the personal name, by expanding it and finding a similar meaning. There is no need for opening and closing the mouth, or for articulating outward and inward tones, and thus producing kung and shang; on what then do the advocates of the Five Sounds theory base their view?
The ancients had proper surnames 37 and clan surnames. 38T`ao39 and T`ien40 are clan surnames intimating the occupation of the bearer, Shang-Kuan41 and Sse-Ma42 are clan surnames indicative of some office, and the clan surnames Mêng and Chung43 are derived from the style of the deceased grandfather. 44 Thus we have three classes of clan surnames, either describing the occupation, or the office of the bearer, or referring to the style of his deceased grandfather. Proper surnames are connected with a person's birth, whereas clan surnames refer to the occupation, the office, or the style of the deceased grandfather. What room is there still left for articulating these surnames by opening and closing the mouth?
With the Hsiung-nu it was customary to have only a personal name and no surname or style. Although these names did not harmonise, the Hsiung-nu reached an old age. How about good and bad luck then?
The Rites prescribe that in case the surname of a bought concubine be unknown, it should be ascertained by divination. 45 Those ignoring it do not know the proper surname of the concubine, for, at all events, she bears the family surname of her parents. By this divination the surname of her father and mother must necessarily be changed, and a wrong one be substituted, but since the Rites are very strict, as regards the marriage of a woman of the same surname, 46 this divination of the surname cannot be dispensed with. If merely by correct pronunciation the surname and the family name could be set right, why would the Rites still require that the name of a purchased concubine be determined by divination?
The theory of drawing plans of houses enjoins that the doors of a house of a family with a shang47 surname should not face the south, and that the doors of a house belonging to a family with a chih48 surname should not be turned to the north. For shang corresponds to metal, and the south, to fire; chih is equal to fire, and the north, to water. Water conquers fire, and fire injures metal. The fluids of the Five Elements may be hostile, wherefore, in the dwellings of families with the five classes of surnames, the doors should have their proper bearings. The bearings being correct, wealth and happiness, luck and prosperity are the consequences, whereas improper bearings are fraught with poverty and ignominy, disgrace and ruin.
Now, is there any difference between gates and halls? To the gates of families with the five kinds of surnames halls must correspond, why are their bearings of no consequence? Gates closing some place are less important than halls and rooms. During the day, and at night, people stay in their halls, and not at the gates, therefore the experts calculating happiness and misfortune, ought to base their computations on the halls.
Since gates merely serve as entrances and issues, the inner doors should be dealt with in the same manner. Confucius said, ["Who can go out without passing through the door?"]. 49 He speaks of the inner door, and not of the gate. The Five Sacrifices 50 are equally offered to the gate and the door. If it be necessary to rectify the bearings of the gate, ought not the inner doors to correspond to the gate?
Moreover, in the dwellings of the officials joined together in public buildings, the doors often face the south or the north, and in the temporary residences of high officers, the gateways may look eastward or westward. Among high officers there are certainly many with a kung or a shang51 surname, and many of the houses of officials are marked chih or yü.52 Those functionaries who live at peace, or are promoted, need not of necessity bear a chio53 surname, or their gate face the south, and those who lose their office, and are degraded, have not always a shang surname, nor is their gate turned northward. Some live at ease, and are promoted, whereas others lose their positions, and are degraded. How is this?
As the surnames are connected with the Five Sounds, so, in human characters, the Five Elements also play an important part. If, among people related to the Five Sounds, a person with a shang surname is not allowed to have a gate facing the south, then can a man imbued with a metal nature sit down facing the south, or walk in a southerly direction?
There is another objection:---To the gates combined with the Five Sounds men endowed with one of the Five Elements must correspond. Provided that there be five such living men, all bearing a shang surname, then each of them should have his peculiar colour. The one imbued with the element wood would be green, the one filled with fire, red, the water man would be black, the metal man, white, and the one endued with the element earth, yellow. These men of five colours passing through a gate facing the south, some would become unhappy, others happy, some would die early, others live long. The miserable and short-lived would not necessarily be white, 54 nor would the happy and long-lived be yellow. 55 How do these theorists solve this dilemma with their Five Elements? What is the real cause of the gate facing the south injuring people bearing a shang surname?
The south is fire. Provided that a calamity resulting from fiery air be like a real fire, burning and spreading, and that it come straight from the south, then even gates facing the north would be involved in the catastrophe. Should, on the other side, this fiery air be like the heat of a summer day, diffused over all the four quarters, then everything between Heaven and Earth would be affected by this air, for wherefore should families with gates facing the south alone have to suffer?
The south is fire, which has its place in the south. To this an objection may be urged:---This air spreads over all the four quarters, the south is not alone in possession of fire, nor are the other quarters devoid of it, just as water has its seat in the north, and yet all the four quarters have water. Fire fills the world, and water is dispersed over all the four quarters, it may be south of us, or it may be north of us. To contend that fire can only be in the south, would be like maintaining that the east cannot have any metal, and that in the west there cannot be any wood. 56
1. This would seem to be the cycle of sixty in which the sign chia recurs six times.
2. The two first of the Five Tones or musical notes.
3. The same as the Five Tones.
4. It is difficult to grasp the full meaning of the aforesaid without a commentary.
5. These signs are thought of as spiritual beings also.
6. Streets and alleys not near an inn, which seem not to have been marked like those surrounding an inn.
7. Therefore these stands and bazaars should be treated like dwelling houses viz. be marked with chia, yi, & c.
8. Only market inns, i. e., solid buildings are placed on a level with dwelling houses.
9. Days are counted by means of the two cycles of ten and of twelve combined.
11. Properly speaking, only the Twelve Branches are added to the hours.
12. Chia corresponds to wood, and tse to water, two harmonious elements.
13. 3-5 a. m.
14. The element of yin and mao is wood like that of chia and yi. Consequently there was no antagonism between the signs chia, tse, and yin, and yet Chou was unlucky.
15. In so far as this and the duodenary cycle are used to determine the days = , which originally means "sun."
16. There are not ten suns, but the ten cyclical signs are attached to each ten consecutive days.
17. These twelve constellations , designated by the Twelve Branches, serve to determine the twelve Chinese double-hours, according as the sun, in its daily course, passes through them.
18. The first signs of the denary and of the duodenary cycles.
19. Here we have the same equivocation of days aud suns. The notation by the two cycles merely applies to days, not to suns.
20. Probably a diagram, used for divining purposes, similar to that found in calendars.
21. Based on the well known symbolism by reference to the elements.
22. It determines the hours.
23. In the encyclopedias of surnames one of the Five Sounds is attached to each name. I fail to understand how they were determined by the so-called experts. There is another tradition that Huang Ti blew the flute to fix the surnames.
24. They are naturally obtained, and it is superfluous artificially to determine their sounds.
25. Tso-chuan, Duke Yin 8th year (Legge, Classics Vol. V, Part I, p. 25).
26. Cf. Vol. I, p. 318.
27. See Vol. I, p. 95, Note 6.
28. , which may mean:---prosperous, flourishing, powerful.
29. = to expand, to prosper, to advance, to rise.
30. The mother of Confucius is reported to have ascended the Ni hill, , before his birth.
31. This was the personal name of Duke Chao of Sung, 619-611 B.C. (See Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. IV, p. 241), and it was borne by some other dukes of other States too.
32. The gist of this passage, but not the examples, is derived from the Tso-chuan, Duke Huan 6th year (Legge, Classics Vol. V, Part I, p. 49).
34. . The latter character has a similar meaning to .
36. . The latter sign has the same sense as . The expansion is in both cases affected by the addition of .
39. meaning a potter.
40. meaning a farmer.
41. , a high officer.
42. , a military officer.
43. and , denoting the eldest and the second son of a family.
44. The theory of clan-names exposed in Legge's translation of the Tso-chuan p. 26 differs somewhat.
45. Liki, Ch`ü-li (Legge, Sacred Books Vol. XXVII, p. 78).
46. Which they forbid loc. cit. See also p. 253, Note 2.
47. , the first tone.
48. , the fourth tone.
49. Analects VI, 15.
50. Cf. Vol. I, p. 510 and 516.
52. , the fourth and the fifth tones corresponding to the south = fire and the north = water. Fire and water would injure metal and earth, the elements of kung and shang.
53. corresponding to wood.
54. Metal = white being destroyed by fire = the south.
55. Earth = yellow not being injured by fire = the south.
56. According to the theory of the Chinese physicists, metal is connected with the west, and wood with the east.
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|Published by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia|