Miscellaneous essays Traduits et annotés

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3 I. e. they did not disparage.

4 Analects XI, 4 [Couvreur].

1 Cf. Vol. I, p. 173.

2 See Vol. I, p. 187, Note 1.

3 An official from Ch‘i.

4 The Pei-wên-yün-fu chap. 91, p. 5v. quotes this story.

1 Mencius II, Part II, 9 [Legge][Couvreur]. Our test seems somewhat shortened.

2 Cf. Vol. I, p. 376, Note 2 and 408.

3 See Vol. I, p. 146, Note 1.

1 685-643 B. C.

2 A State in the present Yi-chou-fu, Shantung.

1 A famous controversialist and ready wit of the Ch‘i State of the 4th cent. B. C. He was the son-in-law of the king of Ch‘i. A sketch of his life is contained in the Shi-chi chap. 126.

2 370-334 B. C.

3 Dragon was the name for a horse eight feet high (Erh-ya).

1 538 B. C. in the principality of Shên. This meeting is referred to in the Tso-chuan, Duke Chao, 4th year [Couvreur, § 2] and in the Shi-chi chap. 40, p. 10v. (Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. IV, p. 358).

2 The Tso-chuan writes Tsao instead of Sung, the Shi-chi replaces Chu by Chin.

Cf. p. 217, Note 8.

3 The style Huang-lung ‘Yellow Dragon’ under the emperor Hsüan Ti, 49-48 B. C.

1 Analects IX, 6 [Couvreur].

2 Analects II, 4 [Couvreur].

3 295-277 B. C.

1 This is not true : Sagehood, the highest degree of wisdom and virtue, is inborn and cannot be learned. An intelligent man may increase his knowledge by study and do good work, but he will never become a genius.

2 Mencius II, Part I, 2 (19) [Legge][Couvreur].

3 Mencius writes Min Tse.

4 Mencius II, Part I. 2 (20) [Legge][Couvreur].

1 Mencius II, Part I, 2 (22) [Legge][Couvreur].

2 Mencius VII, Part II, 15 [Legge][Couvreur].

3 Disciple of Confucius. Vol. I, p. 312, Note 3.

1 The Chinese have always bestowed great care on their state papers, so that reports to the throne pass for literary productions and are often collected and edited.

We find nothing of all this in the Ch‘un-ch‘iu, which are but very dry chronological tables, but the Chinese interpret them in such an artificial way, according to their preconceived ideas, that they discover the deepest moanings in the plainest words, where an unprejudiced reader sees nothing but the statement of simple facts.

1 All authors of the Han period often mentioned by Wang Ch‘ung.

2 Gigantic savages said to have come to China.

3 They possess only an elementary learning, knowing how to read and write, but the Classics are too high for them.

1 Cf. p. 88, Note 2.

2 Ed. B. Ed. A and C read [] for [], which would not agree with Wang Ch‘ung’s appreciation of memorialists whom he places above mere commentators.

3 See Vol. I, p. 388, Note 2.

4 Vol. I, p. 388, Notes 3 and 6.

5 Cf. Vol. I, p. 88.

6 This is evidently wrong. A critic must not be superior to those he criticises. They are in most cases much above him.

7 In Vol. I, p. 466 Wang Ch‘ung seems to assign the first place among the writers of the Han time to Sse-Ma Ch‘ien and Yang Tse Yün, not to Huan Chün Shan.

1 This distinction is rather arbitrary. The Ch‘un-ch‘iu treats as much of ministers and high officers as of princes, and the records of other writers embrace the doings of princes as well.

2 One of the Three Heroes at the beginning of the Han dynasty, who died in 178 B. C. Called upon to distribute the sacrificial meats at the altar to the spirits of the land, he did it with such impartiality, that the elders wished he might manage the empire, which, later on, he really did.

3 The text writes Shu Sun Ao which must be corrected. Shu Sun Ao was a minister of Ch‘u in the 6th cent. B. C. We read in Huai Nan Tse that, when he diverted the waters of the Ch‘i-sse river, to water the wilds of Yün-lou, King Chuang knew that he would be a good prime minister. See also Vol. I, p. 160, Note 2.

1 Cf. Vol. I, p. 463, Note 5.

2 A politician of the 3rd cent. B. C. at the court of Prince Hsiao Ch‘êng of Chao.

3 The Yü-shih-ch‘un-ch‘iu in 15 books.

We are ignorant of all further circumstances.

4 See Vol. I, p. 388, Note 3.

Vol. I, p. 463, Note 1.

5 The well-known -shih ch‘un-ch‘iu.

See above p. 298.

6 A scholar of the 2nd cent. B. C. who gained the sobriquet the Wisdom-Bag. He advised the emperor to get rid of the feudal princes. A work of his in 31 books is mentioned in the Han-shu chap. 30, among the treatises on law.

On Ku Yung and T‘ang Lin see Vol. I, p. 469, Note 8.

1 His full name is Lu Chung Lien, a wandering philosopher of the Ch‘i State. When about 238 B. C. a general of Yen was beleaguered in Liao-ch‘êng, a city in Shantung originally belonging to Ch‘i, by an army of this State, Lu Chung Lien shot a letter bound to an arrow and addressed to the general into the surrounded city. This letter pointing out to the general his helpless condition induced him to commit suicide.

2 See Vol. I, p. 67, Note 1.

3 The afore-mentioned T‘ang Lin and Ku Yung.

4 Cf. Vol. I, p. 469, Note 3.

5 A famous writer of the 4th cent. B. C. often mentioned by Wang Ch‘ung. The prince of Yen treated him with great consideration and had a special palace built for him.

1 I. e., Yen Chi, a scholar who wrote poetry in irregular verse, 2nd cent. B. C. His original name was Chuang, which he changed because the character, being the name of an emperor, had become taboo.

2 This man seems to be identical with the Wu Chün Kao mentioned in connexion with Chou Ch‘ang Shêng as an elegant writer in Vol. I, p. 469, Note 3.

3 In Vol. I, p. 505, Notes 2 and 3 we find the statement that white pheasants were offered by the Yüeh-chang people and odoriferous plants by the Japanese.

4 Yung-chou, Ching-chou, and Yang-chou are three of the Nine Provinces of Yü. Yung-chou corresponds to modern Shensi and Kansu, Ching-chou comprised Hunan, Hupei, Kuangsi, and parts of Ssechuan, Kuei-chou and Kuang-tung, and Yang-chou is the modern Chekiang, Fukien, and Kiangsi.

5 Analects IX, 5 [Couvreur]. Legge and others here translate [] by ‘truth’, whereas Wang Ch‘ung takes it in the sense given in the translation.

6 A contemporary of Sung Yü. The Han-shu chap. 30 mentions his poems in 4 books.

7 Another poet of Ch‘u, nephew of the famous Ch‘ü Yuan. According to the Han-shu loc. cit. he wrote 16 books of poetry, now incorporated into the ‘Elegies of Ch‘u’.

8 According to the ancient division of .

Two of the Five Sacred Mountains, situated in Shensi and Shantung.

In the Ch‘un-ch‘iu the chronology is based on the reigns of the dukes of Lu i. e., on their first years, which are specially noted. This is not done because these dukes were much superior to the sovereigns of the other States, but because this work is the chronicle of Lu. Thus Chou Ch‘ang Shêng is mentioned as a primus inter pares.

See Vol. I, p. 86, Note 7.

1 Mêng Chien is the designation of the historian Pan Ku.

2 Between there two model princes and the two States of Lu and Wei there was no great difference.

1 The Han dynasty is like a fertile land with many trees full of blossoms and fruit, its able scholars, and like a clear sky on which twinkle its stars, many famous writers.

2 Cf. Vol. I, p. 147.

1 See Vol. I, chap. XXX.

2 Here again our author falls into his old error of exaggerating analogies. Two things may well be similar without agreeing in every feature. A sage animal must not necessarily adopt human ways, but might practise its sagehood in its own manner.

3 Their names are given in Vol. I, p. 304.

4 Cf. Vol. I, p. 142, Note 2.

5 See Vol. I, p. 155, Note 2.

1 As has been said above, the phœnix and the unicorn are supposed to make their appearance in China, when there is a wise ruler, and the State is well governed. But then they must have intercourse with men, to learn what is going on among them.

2 See Vol. I, p. 366.

3 All titles of the reign of the Han emperor Hsüan Ti, 73-49 B. C. Perhaps just these names have given rise to all the fables about the appearance of there omens under the said emperor’s reign.

4 A degree less than a sage, cf. chap. XIV.

Duke Ai, 14th year, the last paragraph of the Ch‘un-ch‘iu [Couvreur].

5 Quotation from the [] ‘Family Sayings of Confucius’ chap. 4, p. 8v., perhaps from the original work which existed prior to the Christian era, but the quotation agrees with the later work written in the 3rd century A. D. and generally regarded as spurious.

1 Duke Ai, mentioned above in Note 5.

In the ‘Family SayingsConfucius, upon being asked why he wept, says, ‘The lin comes only when there is an intelligent king. Now it has appeared when it is not the time for it to do so, and it has been injured. This is why I was so much affected’. (Legge, Classics Vol. V, Part II, p. 834.) This reply seems to intimate that the times were so bad, that a unicorn arriving by mistake lost its life. The badness of the time and the consequent death of the sage animal elicited the tears of the Sage.

1 This passage is cited in the Pei-wên-yün-fu.

2 Again a wrong analogy.

3 That this conclusion is likewise wrong needs no proof.

4 The original fluid, the source of every life in the world. See Vol. I, p. 471.

1 Cf. Vol. I, p. 180.

2 That must be in the year 6 B. C., for Ch‘êng Ti reigned from B. C. 32-6 and Ai Ti from B. C. 6 to A. D. 1.

3 See Vol. I, p. 323 and 365.

4 Propitious animals said to have appeared to Wên Wang and Wu Wang. Cf. Vol. I, p. 130.

See Vol. I, p. 405.

5 A work of Fu Shêng, 3rd cent. B. C., who preserved the Shuking. Cf. Vol. I, p. 447.

1 Cf. Shuking, Preface, 29 (Legge, Classics Vol. III, Part I, p. 7) and Shi-chi chap. 3, p. 9r. (Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. I, p. 196) where Tsu Yi is called Tsu Chi. Both texts differ in that Tsu Chi gives another explanation of the arrival of the pheasant.

2 See Vol. I, p. 370. [] has been translated by ‘five feet’, but it might also mean ‘five toes’ in one hoof, as the commentator of the Han-shu explains the expression [] in that work.

3 In Vol. I, p. 371 I have translated [] by ‘censor’. It is better to render it by ‘gentleman usher’. (Cf. Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. II, p. 516) In the Han-shu, Chung Chün is also called a [], which means a censor.

4 The Chinese button their coats on the right side.

5 As the Chinese do.

6 Aborigines in Chekiang.

All the above is quoted almost literally from the biography of Chung Chün in the Han-shu chap. 64 b, p. 4v. seq.

7 According to ancient symbolism.

8 The old dynasties had each there own element with a corresponding colour by which they were believed to reign. All there ideas have sprung from the mystic theory about the elements. See p. 218 Note 3 and Appendix.

1 Cf. p. 162.

2 A famous author of the 2nd cent. B. C. See Vol. I, p. 148, Note 1.

In Hunan, already a circuit under the Ch‘in dynasty.

3 This incident has been described by Chia Yi himself in his celebrated poem in irregular verse [] of which we have a partial translation by W. A. P. Martin, Chinese Legends and other Poems, 1894, p. 32. The translator points out the remarkable parallels of this poem with the Raven of Edgar Allan Poe. The words of our text are culled from Chia Yi‘s poem, notably the oracle… He tells us in the preface that he was living in exile as tutor to the Prince of Chang-sha. The ill omen had troubled him, for the place was low and damp, and he thought that he would not have long to live. In order to soothe his feelings, he composed the poem. The Hsi-ching tsa-chi, quoted in the P‘ien-tse-lei-pien chap. 209, informs us that it was the popular belief in Chang-sha that the chief of the house visited by a screeching-owl was going to die. We have a similar superstition in Europe. In Germany the screeching-owl is a bird of ill omen likewise, whence its name ‘Toteneule’.

1 Divination would give certain results, but they would not come to pass, there being no person fit to be affected by the omens thus playfully obtained.

2 A mountain in Shansi.

3 The child became unlucky. For further details vid. p. 258, Note 3.

1 On these omens see Vol. I, p. 366.

2 Quotation from Liki III, 31r. (Legge, Sacred Books Vol. XXVII, p. 244) [Couvreur]. We further learn from the Liki that in ancient times men took the right side, and women the left side of the roads.

3 Quoted from a passage in Tung Chung Shu referring to the time of universal peace, mentioned in the Pei-wên-yün-fu.

4 There must be some harmony, some sympathy between these phenomena and certain events.

1 The Liki does not speak of different roads, but of different sides of the roads.

2 Quoted from the Ti-wang-shi-chi (Pei-wên-yün-fu). The chief authority of the T‘ai p‘ing-yü-lan chap. 873 informs us that these ‘meat fans’ grow like lotus, have many leaves and very thin stalks. Not only do they cool food and drinks, but also drive away or kill flies and other insects. They appeared in the times of Yao and Shun.

3 The use of ice and of ice-houses is very old in China. The Liki alludes to it several times. (Cf. Legge, Sacred Books Vol. XXVII, p. 261 [Couvreur, § 15] and 308 [Couvreur, § 50], Vol. XXVIII, p. 423 [Couvreur, § 38].)

1 Cf. Vol. I, p. 115, Note 4.

2 The five vows of the king of Ch‘in who promised to liberate Prince Tan in case the afore-mentioned miracles took place.

The same description is given by the historian Pan Ku in his ‘Po-hu-t‘ung (Pei-wên-yün-fu). Another writer relates that this plant had round leaves and was multicoloured. He makes these leaves grow and drop instead of the capsules. In a short month of 29 days one leave shrinks, but does not fall. (T‘ai p‘ing-yü-lan chap. 873.)

3 [], expression used by Pan Ku who seems to have believed in the monthly plant.

4 The name expressed by the sexagenary cycle, the usual way of counting days.

1 It would require a simple calculation, of which Chinese scholars are not fond. To find out the date, the difference of the remaining capsules with fifteen must be added to fifteen.

2 See the plan of the imperial palace in Couvreur’s dictionary p. 173.

The sun, the moon, the stars, and the zodiacal signs, cf. Shuking as quoted below.

Cf. Shuking Part I, chap. II, 3 (Legge, Classics Vol. III, Part I, p. 18) [Couvreur].

3 The Po-wu-chih (Kanghi’s Dict.) says : ‘In the time of Yao there grew a plant in the court, which when a cunning person approached curbed itself and pointed at him’. Couvreur omits to translate the pointing.

1 The Shuking.

2 Shuking (Kao-Yao mo) Part II, Book III, 2 (Legge, Classics Vol. III, Part I, p. 70) [Couvreur].

3 Supposing this plant to be more than a mere freak of fancy I should suggest that the Mimosa pudica has been the archetype. The Chinese name as well as the nature of this peculiar plant seem to countenance such a supposition. [] may be used as a synonym for [] ‘repeatedly’, the compound [][] therefore might denote a plant repeatedly bending down and contracting itself. That is what the Mimosa does when touched. The feathered, digitated leaves first close, then bend down. After a while, they rise and open again. That may have been the pointing.

4 Mr. Yao Pao Ming, Chinese teacher at the Orientalische Seminar, Berlin, has assured me that some worms have this peculiarity that, though turned round, they will always creep in one direction. When he was first told he did not believe it, but found by experience that it was an undeniable fact. I could not convince him of his error.

1 Yao.

2 Hsieh-chai. Kanghi quotes this passage. The figure of this fabulous animal is used as official embroidery of censors and Taotais. The name seems to be first mentioned in the Tso-chuan in connexion with a cap worn by southerners. Sse-Ma Hsiang-Ju, 2nd cent. B. C. alludes to the animal in a poem. We learn from the Hou Han-shu that it was hunted in the kingdom of Ch‘u, where the aforesaid caps were first worn. The Shuo-wên says it was like an ox, the Kuang-po-wu-chih that it existed in the time of Yao and that its hair was woven into a curtain or a tent for the emperor (P‘ien-tse lei-pien chap. 211).

3 Cf. Vol. I, p. 358.

1 A surname of Lü Shang (Vol. I, p. 238). Cf. Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. I, p. 225, Note 3.
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