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The Chinese Classics — Volume 1: Confucian Analects By James Legge Characters: 22395

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1. When the work of collecting and editing the remains of the Classical Books was undertaken by the scholars of Han, there appeared two different copies of the Analects, one from Lu, the native State of Confucius, and the other from Ch'i, the State adjoining. Between these there were considerable differences. The former consisted of twenty Books or Chapters, the same as those into which the Classic is now divided. The latter contained two Books in addition, and in the twenty Books, which they had in common, the chapters and sentences were somewhat more numerous than in the Lu exemplar.

2. The names of several individuals are given, who devoted themselves to the study of those two copies of the Classic. Among the patrons of the Lu copy are mentioned the names of Hsia-hau Shang, grand-tutor of the heir- apparent, who died at the age of 90, and in the reign of the emperor Hsuan (B.C. 73-49) [1]; Hsiao Wang-chih [2], a general-officer, who died in the reign of the emperor Yuan (B.C. 48-33); Wei Hsien, who was a premier of the empire from B.C. 70-66; and his son Hsuan-ch'ang [3]. As patrons of the Ch'i copy, we have Wang Ch'ing, who was a censor in the year B.C. 99 [4]; Yung Shang [5]; and Wang Chi [6], a statesman who died in the beginning of the reign of the emperor Yuan.

3. But a third copy of the Analects was discovered about B.C. 150. One of the sons of the emperor Ching was appointed king of Lu [7] in the year B.C. 154, and some time after, wishing to enlarge his palace, he proceeded to pull down the house of the K'ung family, known as that where Confucius himself had lived.

1 太子大傳夏侯勝.

2 前將軍, 蕭望之.

3 丞相, 韋賢, 及子, 玄成.

4 王卿.

5 庸生.

6 中尉王吉.

7 魯王共 (or 恭).

While doing so, there were found in the wall copies of the Shu-ching, the Ch'un Ch'iu, the Hsiao-ching, and the Lun Yu or Analects, which had been deposited there, when the edict for the burning of the Books was issued. There were all written, however, in the most ancient form of the Chinese character [1], which had fallen into disuse, and the king returned them to the K'ung family, the head of which, K'ung An-kwo [2], gave himself to the study of them, and finally, in obedience to an imperial order, published a Work called "The Lun Yu, with Explanations of the Characters, and Exhibition of the Meaning [3].'

4. The recovery of this copy will be seen to be a most important circumstance in the history f the text of the Analects. It is referred to by Chinese writers, as 'The old Lun Yu.' In the historical narrative which we have of the affair, a circumstance is added which may appear to some minds to throw suspicion on the whole account. The king was finally arrested, we are told, in his purpose to destroy the house, by hearing the sounds of bells, musical stones, lutes, and citherns, as he was ascending the steps that led to the ancestral hall or temple. This incident was contrived, we may suppose, by the K'ung family, to preserve the house, or it may have been devised by the historian to glorify the sage, but we may not, on account of it, discredit the finding of the ancient copies of the Books. We have K'ung An-kwo's own account of their being committed to him, and of the ways which he took to decipher them. The work upon the Analects, mentioned above, has not indeed come down to us, but his labors on the Shu-ching still remain.

5. It has been already stated, that the Lun Yu of Ch'i contained two Books more than that of Lu. In this respect, the old Lun Yu agreed with the Lu exemplar. Those two books were wanting in it as well. The last book of the Lu Lun was divided in it, however, into two, the chapter beginning, 'Yao said,' forming a whole Book by itself, and the remaining two chapters formed another Book beginning 'Tsze-chang.' With this trifling difference, the old and the Lu copies appear to have agreed together.

6 Chang Yu, prince of An-ch'ang [4], who died B.C. 4, after having

1 科斗文子, -- lit. 'tadpole characters.' They were, it is said, the original forms devised by Ts'ang-chieh, with large heads and fine tails, like the creature from which they were named. See the notes to the preface to the Shu-ching in 'The Thirteen Classics.'

2 孔安國.

3 論語訓解. See the preface to the Lun Yu in 'The Thirteen Ching.' It has been my principal authority in this section.

4 安昌侯, 張禹.

sustained several of the highest offices of the empire, instituted a comparison between the exemplars of Lu and Ch'i, with a view to determine the true text. The result of his labors appeared in twenty-one Books, which are mentioned in Liu Hsin's catalogue. They were known as the Lun of prince Chang [1], and commanded general approbation. To Chang Yu is commonly ascribed the ejecting from the Classic the two additional books which the Ch'i exemplar contained, but Ma Twan-lin prefers to rest that circumstance on the authority of the old Lun, which we have seen was without them [2]. If we had the two Books, we might find sufficient reason from their contents to discredit them. That may have been sufficient for Chang Yu to condemn them as he did, but we can hardly supposed that he did not have before him the old Lun, which had come to light about a century before he published his work.

7. In the course of the second century, a new edition of the Analects, with a commentary, was published by one of the greatest scholars which China has ever produced, Chang Hsuan, known also as Chang K'ang-ch'ang [3]. He died in the reign of the emperor Hsien (A.D. 190-220) [4] at the age of 74, and the amount of his labors on the ancient classical literature is almost incredible. While he adopted the Lu Lun as the received text of his time, he compared it minutely with those of Ch'i and the old exemplar. In the last section f this chapter will be found a list of the readings in his commentary different from those which are now acknowledged in deference to the authority of Chu Hsi, of the Sung dynasty. They are not many, and their importance is but trifling.

8. On the whole, the above statements will satisfy the reader of the care with which the text of the Lun Yu was fixed during the dynasty of Han.



1. At the commencement of the notes upon the first Book, under the heading, 'The Title of the Work,' I have given the received account of its authorship, which precedes the catalogue

1 張侯論.

2 文獻通考, Bk. clxxxiv. p. 3.

3 鄭玄, 字康成.

4 孝獻皇帝.

of Liu Hsin. According to that, the Analects were compiled by the disciples if Confucius coming together after his death, and digesting the memorials of his discourses and conversations which they had severally preserved. But this cannot be true. We may believe, indeed, that many of the disciples put on record conversations which they had had with their master, and notes about his manners and incidents of his life, and that these have been incorporated with the Work which we have, but that Work must have taken its present form at a period somewhat later.

In Book VIII, chapters iii iv, we have some notices of the last days of Tsang Shan, and are told that he was visited on his death-bed by the officer Mang Ching. Now Ching was the posthumous title of Chung- sun Chieh [1], and we find him alive (Li Chi, II. Pt. ii. 2) after the death of duke Tao of Lu [2], which took place B.C. 431, about fifty years after the death of Confucius.

Again, Book XIX is all occupied with the sayings of the disciples. Confucius personally does not appear in it. Parts of it, as chapters iii, xii, and xviii, carry us down to a time when the disciples had schools and followers of their own, and were accustomed to sustain their teachings by referring to the lessons which they had learned from the sage.

Thirdly, there is the second chapter of Book XI, the second paragraph of which is evidently a note by the compilers of the Work, enumerating ten of the principal disciples, and classifying them according to their distinguishing characteristics. We can hardly suppose it to have been written while any of the ten were alive. But there is among them the name of Tsze-hsia, who lived to the age of about a hundred. We find him, B.C. 407, three-quarters of a century after the death of Confucius, at the court of Wei, to the prince of which he is reported to have presented some of the Classical Books [3].

2. We cannot therefore accept the above account of the origin of the Analects,-- that they were compiled by the disciples of Confucius. Much more likely is the view that we owe the work to their disciples. In the note on I. ii. I, a peculiarity is pointed out in the use of the surnames of Yew Zo and Tsang Shan, which

1 See Chu Hsi's commentary, in loc. -- 孟敬子, 魯大夫, 仲孫氏, 名捷.

2 悼公.

3 晉魏斯受經於卜子夏; see the 厤代統紀表, Bk. i. p. 77.

has made some Chinese critics attribute the compilation to their followers. But this conclusion does not stand investigation. Others have assigned different portions to different schools. Thus, Book V is given to the disciples of Tsze-kung; Book XI, to those of Min Tsze-ch'ien; Book XIV, to Yuan Hsien; and Book XVI has been supposed to be interpolated from the Analects of Ch'i. Even if we were to acquiesce in these decisions, we should have accounted only for a small part of the Work. It is best to rest in the general conclusion, that it was compiled by the disciples of the disciples of the sage, making free use of the written memorials concerning him which they had received, and the oral statements which they had heard, from their several masters. And we shall not be far wrong, if we determine its date as about the end of the fourth, or the beginning of the fifth century before Christ.

3. In the critical work on the Four Books, called 'Record of Remarks in the village of Yung [1],' it is observed, 'The Analects, in my opinion, were made by the disciples, just like a record of remarks. There they were recorded, and afterwards came a first-rate hand, who gave them the beautiful literary finish which we now witness, so that there is not a character which does not have its own indispensable place [2].' We have seen that the first of these statements contains only a small amount of truth with regard to the materials of the Analects, nor can we receive the second. If one hand or one mind had digested the materials provided by many, the arrangement and the style of the work would have been different. We should not have had the same remark appearing in several Books, with little variation, and sometimes with none at all. Nor can we account on this supposition for such fragments as the last chapters of the ninth, tenth, and sixteenth Books, and many others. No definite plan has been kept in view throughout. A degree of unity appears to belong to some books more than others, and in general to the first ten more than to those which follow, but there is no progress of thought or illustration of subject from Book to Book. And even in those where the chapters have

1 榕村語錄,-- 榕村, 'the village of Yung,' is, I con

ceive, the writer's nom de plume.

2 論語想是門弟子, 如語錄一般, 記在那裡, 後來有一高手, 鍊成文理這樣少, 下字無一不 渾.

a common subject, they are thrown together at random more than on any plan.

4. We cannot tell when the Work was first called the Lun Yu [1]. The evidence in the preceding section is sufficient to prove that when the Han scholars were engaged in collecting the ancient Books, it came before them, not in broken tablets, but complete, and arranged in Books or Sections, as we now have it. The Old copy was found deposited in the wall of the house which Confucius had occupied, and must have been placed there not later than B.C. 211, distant from the date which I have assigned to the compilation, not much more than a century and a half. That copy, written in the most ancient characters, was, possibly, the autograph of the compilers.

We have the Writings, or portions of the Writings, of several authors of the third and fourth centuries before Christ. Of these, in addition to 'The Great Learning,' 'The Doctrine of the Mean,' and 'The Works of Mencius,' I have looked over the Works of Hsun Ch'ing [2] of the orthodox school, of the philosophers Chwang and Lieh of the Taoist school [3], and of the heresiarch Mo [4].

In the Great Learning, Commentary, chapter iv, we have the words of Ana. XII. xiii. In the Doctrine of the Mean, ch. iii, we have Ana. VI. xxvii; and in ch. xxviii. 5, we have substantially Ana. III. ix. In Mencius, II. Pt. I. ii. 19, we have Ana. VII. xxxiii, and in vii. 2, Ana. IV. i; in III. Pt. I. iv. 11, Ana. VIII. xviii, xix; in IV. Pt. I. xiv. 1, Ana. XI. xvi. 2; in V. Pt. II. vii. 9, Ana. X. xiii. 4; and in VII. Pt. II. xxxvii. 1, 2, 8, Ana. V. xxi, XIII. xxi, and XVII. xiii. These quotations, however, are introduced by 'The Master said,' or 'Confucius said,' no mention being made of any book called 'The Lun Yu,' or Analects. In the Great Learning, Commentary, x. 15, we have the words of Ana. IV. iii, and in

1 In the continuation of the 'General Examination of Records and Scholars (續文獻通考),' Bk. cxcviii. p. 17, it is said, indeed, on the authority of Wang Ch'ung (王充), a scholar of our first century, that when the Work came out of the wall it was named a Chwan or Record (傳), and that it was when K'ung An-kwo instructed a native of Tsin, named Fu-ch'ing, in it, that it first got the name of Lun Yu:-- 武帝得論語于孔壁中, 皆名曰傳, 孔安國以古論教 晉人扶卿, 始曰論語. If it were so, it is strange the circumstance is not mentioned in Ho Yen's preface.

2 荀卿.

3 莊子, 列子.

4 墨子.

Mencius, III. Pt. II. vii. 3, those of Ana. XVII. i, but without any notice of quotation.

In the writings of Hsun Ch'ing, Book I. page 2, we find something like the words of Ana. XV. xxx; and on p. 6, part of XIV. xxv. But in these instances there is no mark of quotation.

In the writings of Chwang, I have noted only one passage where the words of the Analects are reproduced. Ana. XVIII. v is found, but with large additions, and no reference of quotation, in his treatise on 'Man in the World, associated with other Men [1].' In all those Works, as well as in those of Lieh and Mo, the references to Confucius and his disciples, and to many circumstances of his life, are numerous [2]. The quotations of sayings of his not found in the Analects are likewise many, especially in the Doctrine of the Mean, in Mencius, and in the Works of Chwang. Those in the latter are mostly burlesques, but those by the orthodox writers have more or less of classical authority. Some of them may be found in the Chia Yu [3], or 'Narratives of the School,' and in parts of the Li Chi, while others are only known to us by their occurrence in these Writings. Altogether, they do not supply the evidence, for which I am in quest, of the existence of the Analects as a distinct Work, bearing the name of the Lun Yu, prior to the Ch'in dynasty. They leave the presumption, however, in favour of those conclusions, which arises from the facts stated in the first section, undisturbed. They confirm it rather. They show that there was abundance of materials at hand to the scholars of Han, to compile a much larger Work with the same title, if they had felt it their duty to do the business of compilation, and not that of editing.



1. It would be a vast and unprofitable labor to attempt to give a list of the Commentaries which have been published on this Work. My object is merely to point out how zealously the business of interpretation was undertaken, as soon as the text had been

1 人間世.

2 In Mo's chapter against the Literati, he mentions some of the characteristics of Confucius in the very words of the Tenth Book of the Analects.

3 家語.

recovered by the scholars of the Han dynasty, and with what industry it has been persevered in down to the present time.

2. Mention has been made, in Section I. 6, of the Lun of prince Chang, published in the half century before our era. Pao Hsien [1], a distinguished scholar and officer, f the reign of Kwang-wu [2], the first emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty, A.D. 25-57, and another scholar of the surname Chau [3], less known but of the same time, published Works, containing arrangements of this in chapters and sentences, with explanatory notes. The critical work of K'ung An-kwo on the old Lun Yu has been referred to. That was lost in consequence of suspicions under which An-kwo fell towards the close of the reign of the emperor Wu, but in the time of the emperor Shun, A.D. 126-144, another scholar, Ma Yung [4], undertook the exposition of the characters in the old Lun, giving at the same time his views of the general meaning. The labors of Chang Hsuan in the second century have been mentioned. Not long after his death, there ensued a period of anarchy, when the empire was divided into three governments, well known from the celebrated historical romance, called 'The Three Kingdoms.' The strongest of them, the House of Wei, patronized literature, and three of its high officers and scholars, Ch'an Ch'un, Wang Su, and Chau Shang-lieh [5], in the first half, and probably the second quarter, of the third century, all gave to the world their notes on the Analects.

Very shortly after, five of the great ministers of the Government of Wei, Sun Yung, Chang Ch'ung, Tsao Hsi, Hsun K'ai, and Ho Yen [6], united in the production of one great Work, entitled, 'A Collection of Explanations of the Lun Yu [7].' It embodied the labors of all the writers which have been mentioned, and, having been frequently reprinted by succeeding dynasties, it still remains. The preface of the five compilers, in the form of a memorial to the emperor, so called, of the House of Wei, is published with it, and has been of much assistance to me in writing these sections. Ho

1 包咸.

2 光武.

3 周氏.

4 至順帝時, 南郡太守, 馬融, 亦為之訓說.

5 司農, 陳群; 太常, 王肅; 博士, 周生列.

6 光祿大夫, 關內侯, 孫邕; 光祿大夫, 鄭沖; 散騎常侍, 中領軍, 安鄉亭侯, 曹羲; 侍中, 荀 顗; 尚書, 駙馬都尉, 關內侯, 何晏.

7 論語集解. I possess a copy of this work, printed about the middle of our fourteenth century.

Yen was the leader among them, and the work is commonly quoted as if it were the production of him alone.

3. From Ho Yen downwards, there has hardly been a dynasty which has not contributed its laborers to the illustration of the Analects. In the Liang, which occupied the throne a good part of the sixth century, there appeared the 'Comments of Hwang K'an [1],' who to the seven authorities cited by Ho Yen added other thirteen, being scholars who had deserved well of the Classic during the intermediate time. Passing over other dynasties, we come to the Sung, A.D. 960-1279. An edition of the Classics was published by imperial authority, about the beginning of the eleventh century, with the title of 'The Correct Meaning.' The principal scholar engaged in the undertaking was Hsing P'ing [2]. The portion of it on the Analects [3] is commonly reprinted in 'The Thirteen Classics,' after Ho Yen's explanations. But the names of the Sung dynasty are all thrown into the shade by that of Chu Hsi, than whom China has not produced a greater scholar. He composed, or his disciples complied, in the twelfth century, three Works on the Analects:-- the first called 'Collected Meanings [4];' the second, 'Collected Comments [5];' and the third, 'Queries [6].' Nothing could exceed the grace and clearness of his style, and the influence which he has exerted on the literature of China has been almost despotic.

The scholars of the present dynasty, however, seem inclined to question the correctness of his views and interpretations of the Classics, and the chief place among them is due to Mao Ch'i-ling [7], known by the local name of Hsi-ho [8]. His writings, under the name of 'The Collected Works of Hsi-ho [9],' have been published in eighty volumes, containing between three and four hundred books or sections. He has nine treatises on the Four Books, or parts of them, and deserves to take rank with Chang Hsuan and Chu Hsi at the head of Chinese scholars, though he is a vehement opponent of the latter. Most of his writings are to be found also in the great Work called 'A Collection of Works on the Classics, under the Imperial dynasty of Ch'ing [10],' which contains 1400 sections, and is a noble contribution by the scholars of the present dynasty to the illustration of its ancient literature.

1 皇侃論語蔬.

2 邢昺.

3 論語正義.

4 論語集義.

5 論語集註.

6 論語或問.

7 毛奇齡.

8 西河.

9 西河全集.

10 皇清經解.



In 'The Collection of Supplementary Observations on the Four Books [1],' the second chapter contains a general view of commentaries on the Analects, and from it I extract the following list of various readings of the text found in the comments of Chang Hsuan, and referred to in the first section of this chapter. Book II. i, 拱 for 共; viii, 餕 for 饌; xix, 措 for 錯; xxiii. 1, 十世可知, without 也, for 十世可知也. Book III. vii, in the clause 必也射乎, he makes a full stop at 也; xxi. 1, 主 for 社. Book IV. x, 敵 for 適, and 慕 for 莫. Book V. xxi, he puts a full stop at 子. Book VI. vii, he has not the characters 則吾. Book VII. iv, 晏 for 燕 ; xxxiv, 子疾 simply, for 子疾病. Book IX. ix, 弁 for 冕. Book XI. xxv. 7, 僎 for 撰 , and 饋 for 歸. Book XIII. iii. 3, 于往 for 迂; xviii. 1, 弓 for 躬. Book XIV. xxxi, 謗 for 方; xxxiv. 1, 何是栖栖者與 for 何為是栖栖者與. Book XV. i. a, 粻 for 糧. Book XVI. i. 13, 封 for 邦. Book XVII. i, 饋 for 歸; xxiv. 2, 絞 for 徼. Book XVIII. iv, 饋 for 歸; viii. 1, 侏 for 朱.

These various readings are exceedingly few, and in themselves insignificant. The student who wishes to pursue this subject at length, is provided with the means in the Work of Ti Chiao-shau [2], expressly devoted to it. It forms sections 449-473 of the Works of the Classics, mentioned at the close of the preceding section. A still more comprehensive work of the same kind is, 'The Examination of the Text of the Classics and of Commentaries on them,' published under the superintendence of Yuan Yuan, forming chapters 818 to 1054 of the same Collection. Chapters 1016 to 1030 are occupied with the Lun yu; see the reference to Yuan Yuan farther on, on p. 132.

1 四書拓餘說. Published in 1798. The author was a Tsao Yin-ku -- 曹寅谷.

2 翟教授, 四書考異.

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