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Title: Ancient China Simplified
Author: Parker, Edward Harper
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Tripod of the Chou dynasty, date 812 B.C. In 1565
A.D. it was placed by the owner for safety in a temple on Silver
Island (near Chinkiang), where it may be seen now. Taken (by kind
permission of the author) from Dr. S. W. Bushell's "Chinese Art,"
vol. i. p. 82.]





Boswell once remarked to Dr. Johnson that "the history of England
is so strange that, if it were not well vouched as it is, it would
be hardly credible." To which Johnson replied in his usual style:
"Sir, if it were told as shortly, and with as little preparation
for introducing the different events, as the history of the Jewish
kings, it would be equally liable to objections of improbability."
Dr. Johnson went on to illustrate what he meant, by specific
allusion to the concessions to Parliament made by Charles I. "If,"
he said, "these had been related nakedly, without any detail of
the circumstances which generally led to them, they would not have
been believed."

This is exactly the position of ancient Chinese history, which may
be roughly said to coincide in time with the history of the Jewish
kings. The Chinese Annals are mere diaries of events, isolated
facts being tumbled together in order of date, without any regard
for proportion. Epoch-making invasions, defeats, and cessions of
territory are laconically noted down on a level with the prince's
indiscretion in weeping for a concubine as he would weep for a
wife; or the Emperor's bounty in sending a dish of sacrificial
meat to a vassal power by express messenger. In one way there is a
distinct advantage in this method, for, the historian being seldom
tempted to obtrude his own opinion or comments, we are left a
clear course for the formation of our own judgments upon the facts
given. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that what may be
called the philosophy of history has never been seized by the
Chinese mind: the annalists do not trouble themselves with the
rights and aspirations of the masses; the results to general
policy that naturally follow upon increase of population,
perfecting of arms and munitions of war, admixture of foreign
blood with the body politic, and such like matters. The heads of
events being noted, it seems to be left to the reader to fill in
the details from his imagination, and from his knowledge of
contemporary affairs. For instance, suppose the reign of Queen
Victoria were to begin after this fashion:--"1837, 5th moon,
Kalends, Victoria succeeded: 9th moon, Ides, Napoleon paid a
visit: 28th day, London flooded; 10th moon, 29th day, eclipse of
the sun"; and so on. At the time, and for many years--possibly
centuries--afterwards, there would be accurate general traditional,
or even written, information as to who Victoria was; why Napoleon
paid a visit; in what particular way the flood affected England generally;
from what parts the eclipse was best visible, etc. These details would
fade in distinctness with each successive generation; commentators
would come to the rescue; then commentators upon commentators;
and discussions as to which man was the most trustworthy of them all.

Under these circumstances it is difficult enough for the Chinese
themselves to construct a series of historical lessons, adequate
to guide them in the conduct of modern affairs, out of so
heterogeneous a mass of material. This difficulty is, in the case
of Westerners, more than doubled by the strange, and to us
inharmonious, sounds of Chinese proper names: moreover, as they
are monosyllabical, and many of them exactly similar when
expressed in our letters, it is almost impossible to remember
them, and to distinguish one from the other. Thus most persons who
make an honest endeavour by means of translations to master the
leading events in ancient Chinese history soon throw down the book
in despair; while even specialists, who may wish to shorten their
labours by availing themselves of others' work, can only get a
firm grip of translations by comparing them with the originals: it
is thus really impossible to acquire anything at all approaching
an accurate understanding of Chinese antiquity without possessing
in some degree the controlling power of a knowledge of the

It is in view of all these difficulties that an attempt has been
made in this book to extract principles from isolated facts; to
avoid, so far as is possible, the use of Chinese proper names; to
introduce these as sparingly and gradually as is practicable when
they must be used at all; to describe the general trend of events
and life of the people rather than the personal acts of rulers and
great officers; and, generally, to put it into the power of any
one who can only read English, to gain an intelligible notion of
what Chinese antiquity really was; and what principles and
motives, declared or tacit, underlay it. It is with this object
before me that I have ventured to call my humble work "Ancient
China Simplified," and I can only express a hope that it will
really be found intelligible.




There is much repetition in the book, the same facts being
presented, for instance, under the heads of Army, Religion,
Confucius, and Marriages. This is intentional, and the object is
to keep in the mind impressions which in a strange, ancient, and
obscure subject are apt to disappear after perusal of only one or
two casual statements.

The Index has been carefully prepared so that any allusion or
statement vaguely retained in the mind may at once be confirmed.
The chapter headings, or contents list, which itself contains
nearly five per cent of the whole letterpress, is so arranged that
it omits no feature treated of in the main text.

In the earlier chapters uncouth proper names are reduced to a
minimum, but the Index refers by name to specific places and
persons only generally mentioned in the earlier pages. For
instance, the states of Lu and CHÊNG on pages 22 and 29: it is
hard enough to differentiate Ts'i, Tsin, Ts'in, and Ts'u at the
outstart, without crowding the memory with fresh names until the
necessity for it absolutely arises.

The nine maps are inserted where they are most likely to be
useful: it is a good plan to refer to a map each time a place is
mentioned, unless the memory suffices to suggest exactly where
that place is. After two or three patient references, situations
of places will take better root in the mind.

The chapters are split up into short discussions and descriptions,
because longer divisions are apt to be tedious where ancient
history is concerned. And the narrative of political movement is
frequently interrupted by the introduction of new matter, in order
to provide novelty and stimulate the imagination. Moreover, all
chapters and all subjects converge on one general focus.

On page 15 of "China, her Diplomacy, etc." (John Murray, 1901), I
have confessed how tedious I myself had found ancient Chinese
history, and how its human interest only begins with foreign
relations. I have, however, gone systematically through the mill
once more, and my present object is to present general results
only obtainable at the cost of laboriously picking out and
resetting isolated and often apparently unconnected records of


CHOU: at first a principality in South Shen Si and part of Kan
Suh, subject to Shang dynasty; afterwards the imperial dynasty

TS'lN: principality west of the above. When the Chou dynasty moved
its capital east into Ho Nan, Ts'in took possession of the old
Chou principality.

TSIN: principality (same family as Chou) in South Shan Si (and in
part of Shen Si at times).

TS'I: principality, separated by the Yellow River from Tsin and
Yen; it lay in North Shan Tung, and in the coast part of Chih Li.

TS'U: semi-barbarous principality alone preponderant on the Yang-
tsz River.

WU: still more barbarous principality (ruling caste of the same
family as Chou, but senior to Chou) on the Yang-tsz _embouchure_
and Shanghai coasts.

YÜEH: equally barbarous principality commanding another
_embouchure_ in the Hangchow-Ningpo region. Wu and Yüeh were
at first subordinate to Ts'u.

YEN: principality (same family as Chou) in the Peking plain, north
of the Yellow River mouth,

SHUH and PA: in no way Chinese or federal; equivalent to Central
and Eastern Sz Ch'wan province.

CHÊNG: principality in Ho Nan (same family as Chou).

SUNG: principality taking in the four corners of Ho Nan, Shan
Tung, An Hwei, and Kiang Su (Shang dynasty family).

CH'ÊN: principality in Ho Nan, south of Sung (family of the
Ploughman Emperor, 2250 B.C., preceding even the Hia dynasty).

WEI: principality taking in corners of Ho Nan, Chih Li, and Shan
Tung (family of the Chou emperors).

TS'AO: principality in South-west Shan Tung; neighbour of Lu, Wei,
and Sung (same family as Chou).

TS'AI: principality in Ho Nan, south of CH'ÊN (same family as

LU: principality in South-west Shan Tung, between Ts'ao and Ts'i
(its founder was the brother of the Chou founder).

HÜ: very small principality in Ho Nan, south of Cheng (same
obscure eastern ancestry as Ts'i),

K'I: Shan Tung promontory and German sphere (of Hia dynasty
descent); it is often confused with, or is quite the same as,
another principality called _Ki_ (without the aspirate).

The above are practically all the states whose participation in
Chinese development has been historically of importance,


CONFUCIUS: after 500 B.C. premier of Lu; traced his descent back
through the Chou dynasty vassal ruling family of Sung to the Shang
dynasty family.

TSZ-CH'AN: elder contemporary of Confucius; premier of Cheng;
traced his descent through the vassal ruling family of Cheng to
the Chou dynasty family: date of death variously stated.

KWAN-TSE: died between 648 and 643 B.C., variously stated; premier
of Ts'i; traced his descent to the same clan as the ruling dynasty
of Chou.

YEN-TSZ: died 500 B.C.; premier of Ts'i; traced his descent to a
local clan, apparently eastern barbarian by origin.

WEI YANG: died 338 B.C.; premier of Ts'in; was a concubine-born
prince of the vassal state of Wei, and was thus of the imperial
Chou dynasty clan.

SHUH HIANG: lawyer and minister of Tsin; belonged to one of the
"great families" of Tsin; was contemporary with Tsz-ch'an. HIANG
SÜH: diplomat of the state of Sung; pedigree not ascertained,

KI-CHAH: son, brother, and uncle of successive barbarian kings of
Wu, whose ancestors, however, were the same ancestors as the
orthodox imperial rulers of the Chou dynasty; contemporary of Tsz-



1. MARQUESS OF Ts'i (not of imperial Chou clan, perhaps of
"Eastern Barbarian" origin).

2. MARQUESS OF TSIN (imperial Chou clan).

3. DUKE OF SUNG (imperial Shang dynasty descent),

4. "KING" OF T'SU (semi-barbarian, but with remote imperial
Chinese legendary descent).

5. EARL OF TS'IN (semi-Tartar, with legendary descent from remote
imperial Chinese).

6. "KING" OF Wu (semi-barbarian, but of imperial Chou family

7. "KING" OF YÜEH (barbarian, but with legendary descent from
ultra-remote imperial Chinese).




Beginning of dated history--Size of ancient China--Parcelled out
into fiefs--Fiefs correspond to modern _hien_ districts--
Mesne lords and sub-vassals--Method of migration and colonizing--
Course of the Yellow River in 842 B.C.--Distant fiefs in Shan Tung
and Chih Li provinces of to-day--A river which subsequently became
part of the Grand Canal--The Hwai River system of waters--
Europeans always regard China from the sea inwards--Corea, Japan,
and Liao Tung unknown in 842 B.C. except, perhaps, to the vassal
state in Peking plain--Orthodox Chinese adopting barbarian usages
in Shan Tung--Eastern barbarians on the coast to Shanghai--No
knowledge of South or West Asia--Left bank of Yellow River was
mostly Tartar, except in South Shan Si--Ancient capital in Shan
Si--Ancient colonization of the Wei River valleys in Shen Si--
Possibilities of Western ideas having been carried by Tartar
horsemen from Persia and Turkestan--Traditions of western,
eastern, and southern intercourse previous to 842 B.C.--Early
knowledge of the River Yang-tsz and its three mouths--Explorations
by ancient emperors--Development of China followed much the same
normal course as that of Greece or England.



Character of the early colonizing Chinese satraps--Revolt of the
western satrap and flight of the Emperor in 842 B.C.--Daughter of
a later satrap marries the Emperor--Tartars mix up with questions
of imperial succession and kill the Emperor--Transfer of the
imperial metropolis from Shen Si to Ho Nan--The Chou dynasty,
dating from 1122 B.C.--Before its conquest, the vassal house of
Chou occupied the same relation to the imperial dynasty of Shang
that the Wardens of the Western Marches, or Princes of Ts'in, did
in turn to the imperial dynasty of Chou--The Shang dynasty had in
1766 B.C., for like reasons, supplanted the Hia dynasty-No events
of great interest recorded in limited area of China before 771
B.C.--Decline of the imperial power until its extinction in 250
B.C.--The Five Tyrant or Protector period--Natural movement to
keep pace with political development--Easier system of writing--
Development of trade and industry--Living interests clash with
extinct aspirations--From 722 B.C. to 480 B.C. is the period of
change covered by Confucius' history



The state of Tsin in Shan Si--In 771 B.C.: its ruler escorts the
Emperor to his new capital--Only in 671 B.C. does Confucius
mention Tsin--Divided from Ts'in by the Yellow River--Important
difference between the sounds Tsin and Ts'in--Importance of the
whole Yellow River as a natural boundary--The state of Ts'i also
engaged in buffer work against Tartar inroads--Remote origin of
Ts'i-Ts'in, Tsin, and Ts'i grow powerful as the Emperor grows
weaker--The state of Yen in the Peking plain--The founder of Yen
immortalized in song--Complete absence of tradition concerning
Yen's origin--Its possible relations with Corea and Japan--Centre
of political gravity transferred for ever to the north--Tartar
movements in Asia generally 800-600 B.C.--Never was a Tarter
empire--Reason for using the loose word "Tartars"--Race divisions
then probably very much as now--Attempt to classify the Tartars in
definite groups--Ch'wan unknown by any name--Nothing at all was
known in China of the north and west: _á fortiori_ of Central



The collapse of the Emperor led to restlessness in the south too--
The Jungle country south of the River Han--Ancient origin of its
kings--Claim to equality--Buffer state to the south--Ruling caste
consisted of educated Chinese--Extension of the Ts'u empire--
Annamese connections--Claims repeated 704 B.C.--Capital moved to
King-thou Fu near Sha-shï--First Ts'u conquests of China--Five
hundred years of struggle with Ts'in for the possession of all



How far is history true?--Confucius and eclipses--Evidence
notwithstanding the destruction of literature in 213 B.C.--
Retrospective calculations of eclipses and complications of
calendars--Eclipse of 776 B.C.--Errors in Confucian history owing
to rival calendars



Paraphernalia of warfare--Ten thousand and one thousand chariot
states--Use of war-chariots, leather or wood--Chariots allotted
according to rank--Seventy-five men to one cart--War-chariots date
back to 1800 B.C.--Tartar house-carts--Rivers mostly unnavigable
in north--Introduction of canals and boat traffic--Population and
armies--Vague descriptions--Early armies never exceeded 75,000
men--The use of flags--Used in hunting as well as in war--Victims
sacrificed to drums--A modern instance of this in 1900  A.D.



The coast states in possession of the Yang-tsz delta--The state of
Wu really of the same origin as the imperial dynasty of Chou--
Comparison with Phoenician colonists--Wu induced by Tsin to attack
Ts'a-Ancient name was _Keugu_--Wu falls into the whirl of
Chinese politics--Confucius and his contemptuous treatment of
barbarians-Lu, in South Shan Tung, the place where Confucius held
official posts--Great Britain and Duke Confucius--Five ranks for
rulers of vassal states--Sacking of the Ts'u capital by Wu in 506
B.C.--Wu's vassal Yüeh turns against Wu--_Uviet_ the native
name of Yüeh--Bloody wars between Wu and Yiieh--Extinction of Wu
in 483 B.C.--Yüeh was always a coast power--Reasons for
Confucius' endeavours to re-establish the old feudal system



The first Hegemon or Protector of China and his own vassal kingdom
of Ts'i--Limits of Ts'i and ancient course of the Yellow River--
Absence of ancient records--Shiftings of capital in the ninth
century B.C.--Emperor's collapse of 842 and its effect upon Ts'i--
Aid rendered by Ts'i in suppressing the Tartars--Inconsiderable
size of Ts'i--Revenges a judicial murder two centuries old--Rapid
rise of Ts'i and services of the statesman--philosopher Kwan-tsz--
The governing caste in China--Declares self Protector of China 679
B.C.--Tartar raids down to the Yellow River in Ho Nan-Chinese
durbars and the duties of a Protector--Ts'in and Ts'u too far off
or too busy for orthodox durbars--Little is now known of the
puppet Emperor's dominions--Effeminate character of all the
Central Chinese orthodox stales--Fighting instincts all with semi-
Chinese states--Struggle for life becoming keener throughout China



Sanctity of envoys--Rivalry of Tsin north and Ts'u south for
influence over orthodox centre--The state of CHÊNG (imperial
clan)--The state of Sung (Shang dynasty clan)--Family sacrifices--
Instances of envoy treatment--The philosopher Yen-tsz: his irony--
The statesman Tsz-ch'an of CHÊNG--Ts'u's barbarous and callous
conduct to envoys--Greed for valuables among high officers--
squabble for precedence at Peace Conference--Confucius manipulates
history--Yen-& and Confucius together at attempted assassination



Death of First Protector and his henchman Kwan-tsz, 648-643 B.C.--
Ts'i succession and Sung's claim to Protectorate--Tartar influence
in Ts'i--Ts'u's claim to the hegemony--Ridiculous orthodox
chivalry--Great development of Tsin--A much-married ruler--
Marriage complications--Interesting story of the political
wanderings of the Second Protector--Tries to replace Kwan-tsz
deceased--Pleasures of Ts'i life--Mean behaviour of orthodox
princes to the Wanderer--Frank attitude of Ts'u--Successive
Tartar-born rulers of Tsin, and war with T&n--Second Protector
gains his own Tsin throne--Puppet Emperor at a durbar--Tsin
obtains cession of territory--Triangular war between the Powers--
Description of the political situation--China 2500 years ago
beginning to move as she is now doing again



I'Jo religion except natural religion--Religion not separate from
administrative ritual--The titles of "King" and "Emperor"--Prayer
common, but most other of our own religious notions absent--Local
religion in barbarous states--Distinction between loss and
annihilation of power--Ducal rank and marquesses--Distinction
between grantee sacrifices and personal sacrifices--Prayer and the
ancient Emperor Shun, whose grave is in Hu Nan--Chou Emperor's
sickness and brother's written prayer--Offers to sacrifice self--
Messages from the dead--Lao-tsz's book--Ts'in and conquered Tsin
Sacrifices--Further instances of prayer



Ancestral tablets carried in war-Shrines graduated according to
rank--Description of shrines--Specific case of the King of Ts'u--
Instance of the First August Emperor much later--Temple of Heaven,
Peking, and the British occupation of it--Modern Japanese instance
of reporting to Heaven and ancestors--Tsin and Ts'i instances of
it--Sacrificial tablets--Writing materials--Lu's special spiritual
status--Desecration of tombs and flogging of corpses--Destruction
of ancestral temples--Imperial presents of sacrificial meat--
Fasting and purification--Intricate mourning rules. So-65



History of Tsin and the Bamboo Annals discovered after 600 years'
burial--Confirmatory of Confucius' history--Obsolete and modern
script--Ancient calendars--Their evidence in rendering dates
precise--The Ts'in calendar imposed on China--Rise of the Ts'in
power--Position as Protector--Vast Tartar annexations by Ts'in--
Duke Muh of Ts'in and Emperor Muh of China--Posthumous names--
Discovery of ancient books--Supposed travels of Emperor Muh to
Tartary--Possibility of the Duke Muh having made the journeys--
Ts'in and Tsin force Tartars to migrate--Surreptitious vassal
"emperors"--Instances of Annam and Japan--Tsin against Ts'in and
Ts'u after Second Protector's death--Ts'i never again Protector--
Ts'in's Chinese and Tartar advisers--Foundations for Ts'in's
future empire.



The Five Protectors of China more exactly defined--No such period
as the "Five Tyrant period" can be logically accepted as accurate--
Chinese never understand the principles of history as distinct
from the detailed facts--International situation defined--Flank
movements--Appearance of barbarous Wu in the Chinese arena--
Phonetic barbarian names--The State of Wei--Enlightened prince
envoy to China from Wu--Wu rapidly acquires the status of
Protector--Confucius tampers with history--Risky position of the
King of Wu--Yüeh conquers Wu, and poses as Protector--The River Sz
(Grand Canal).



Further explanations regarding the grouping of states, and the
size of the smallest states--Statesmen of all orthodox states
acquainted with one another--No dialect difficulties in ancient
times--Records exist for everything--Absence of caste, but
persistence of the hereditary idea--The great political economist
Kwan-tsz--Tsz-ch'an, the prince-statesman of Cheng--Shuh Hiang,
statesman of Tsin--Reference to Appendix No. r--The statesman Yen-
tsz of Ts'i--Confucius' origin as a member of the royal Sung
family--Confucius' wanderings not so very extensive--Confucius no
mere pedant, but a statesman and a humorist--Hiang Suh of Sung,
inventor of "Hague" Conferences--Ki-chah, prince-envoy of Wu--K'u-
peh-yuh, an authority in Wei--Ts'in had no literary men--Lao-% of
Ts'u--Reasons why Confucius does not mention him



Ancient land and land-tax-Combination of military service with
land cultivation--Studious class had to study _tao_ (in its
pre-Lao-tsz sense)--Next the trading classes--Next the cultivators--
Last the handicraftsmen--Another division of the people--Responsibility
of rulers to God--Classification of rulers and ruling ranks--Eunuchs
and slaves--Cadastral survey in Ts'u state--Reserves for sporting--
Cemeteries--Salt-flats Another land and military service system in
Ts'u--Kwan-tsz's system in Ts'i--Poor relief--Shrewd diplomacy--His
master becomes First Protector--commerce and fairs--"The people"
ignored in history--Tsin reforms and administration--The "great family"
nuisance--Roads, supplies, post-stages--Ts'i had developed even
before Kwan-tsz--Restlessness of active minds under the yoke of ritual.



Very little mention of ancient writing or education--Baked
inscribed bricks unknown to the _loess_ region--Cession of
land inscribed upon metal--The Nine Tripods--Ts'u claims them--
Instances of written grants and prayers--Proof of teaching--A
written public notice--Probable use of wood--Conventions upon
stone--Books in sixth century B.C.--Maps, cadastre, and census
records--A doubtful instance--A closed letter--Indentures--A
military map--Treaties--Ancient theory _of_ juvenile education
for office--Invention of new-written script 827 B.C.--Patriarchal rule
inconsistent with enlightenment--Unification of script, weights, measures,
and axle-breadths by the First August Emperor Further invention of script
and first dictionary--Facility of Chinese writing for reading purposes--
Chinese now in a state of flux.



Treaties and imprecations--Smearing with blood of victims--
Squabble _re_ precedence in the treaty-making--Shuh Niang's
philosophy--Confucius' tampering with history condoned--Care of
Chinese in preserving first-hand evidence--Emperor ignored by
treaty-makers--Form of a treaty, with imprecation--Mesne lords and
their vassals--Negotiations and references for instructions--
Ts'u's first protectorate in 538--Ts'u's difficulty with Wu--The
Six Families of Tsin--Sacrificing cocks as sanction to vows--
Drawing human blood as sanction--Pigs for the same purpose--Kwan-
tsz's honourable behaviour in keeping treaty--Confucius not so
honourable: instances given--Casuistry backed up by a proverb.



Life-time of Confucius--Secret of his influence--Visit of the Wu
prince to Confucius' state--Lu's "powerful" family plague--Lu's
position between Tsin and Ts'u influences--Ts'i studies the ritual
in Lu: Yen-tsz goes thither--Sketch of Lu history in its
connection with Confucius--What were his practical objects?--
Authorities in support of what Confucius' Annals tell us--Original
conception of natural religion--Spread of the earliest patriarchal
Chinese state--No other people near them possessed letters--The
way in which the Chinese spread--Lines of least resistance--The
spiritual emperor compared with some of the Popes--Lu's spiritual
position--Confucius of Sung descent, and at first not an
influential official in Lu--Lu's humiliation--Ts'i's intrigues to
counteract Confucius' genius--Travels of Confucius and his
history--His edited works.



Original notion of law--War and punishment on a level--Secondary
punishments--Judgment given as each breach occurs--No distinction
between legislative and judicial--Private rights ignored by the
State--Public weal is Nature's law--First law reform for the
Hundred Families--Dr. Legge's translation of the Code--
Proclamation of the Emperor's laws--Themistes or decisions--
Capricious instances: boiling alive by Emperor--Interference of
Emperor in Lu succession--Tsang Wen-chung's coat--Barbarity of
the Ts'u laws--Lu's influence with the Emperor--Tsin's engraved
laws--Tsz-ch'an's laws on metal in Cheng--Confucius disapproves of
published law--English judge-made law--All rulers accepted Chou
law--Reading law over sacrificial victim--Laconic ancient laws--
Command emanates from the north--Definition of imperial power--The
laws of Li K'wei in Ngwei state (part of old Tsin)--Direct
influence on modern law.



Engineering works of old Emperors--Marvellous chiselled gorge
above Tch'ang--Pa and Shuh kingdoms (= Sz Ch'wan)--The engineer Li
Ping in Sz Ch'wan: his sluices still in working order after 2200
years of use--Chinese ideas about the sources of the Yang-tsz--The
Lolo country and its independence--The Yellow River and its
vagaries--Substitution of the Chou dynasty for the Shang dynasty--
First rulers of Wu make a canal--Origin of the Grand Canal--
Explanation of the old riverine system of Shan Tung--Extension of
the Canal by the First August Emperor--Kublai Khan's share in it--
The old Wu capital--Soochow and its ancient arsenals--No bridges
in old clays: fords used--Instances--Limited navigability of
northern rivers--Various Great Walls--Enormous waste of human
life--New Ts'in metropolis--Forced labour and eunuchs.



Ancient cities mere hovels--Soul, the capital of modern Corea--
Modern cities still poor affairs--Want of unity causes downfall of
Ts'in and China--Magnificence of Ts'i capital--Ts'u's palaces
imitated in Lu--The capital of Wu--Modern Soochow--Nothing known
of early Ts'in towns--Reforms of Wei Yang in Ts'in--Probable
population--Magnificent buildings at new Ts'in metropolis--
Facility with which vassal states shifted their capitals--
Insignificant size of ancient principalities--Walled cities.



Collapse of Wu, flight in boats to Japan--Ground to believe that
the ruling caste of Japan was influenced by Chinese colonists in
the fifth century B.C.--Rise of Yueh, and action in China as
Protector--Changes in the Hwai River system--Last days of the Chou
dynasty--The year 403 B.C. is the second great pivot point in
history--Undermining of Ts'i state by the T'ien or Ch'en family--
Confucius shocked at the murder of a Ts'i prince--Sudden rise of
Ts'in after two centuries of stagnation--The reforms of Wei Yang
lead to the conquest of China--Orthodox China compared with
Greece--The "Fighting State" Period.



Titles of the Emperors of the Chou dynasty--The word "King" in
modern times--Posthumous names--The title "Emperor" and the word
"Imperial"--"God" confused with "Emperor"--Lao-tsz's view--
Comparison with Babylonia, Egypt, etc.--No feudal prince was
recognized by the Emperor as possessing the same title as the
Emperor--The Roman Emperors--The five ranks of nobles--The
Emperor's private "dukes" compared with cardinals--The state of
Lu--The state of Ts'i--The state of Tsin--No race hatreds in
China--The state of Wei--Clanship between dynasties--Sacrificial
rights--The state of Cheng: a fighting ground for all--The state
of Ch'en--Explanation of the term "duke" as applied to all
sovereign princes.



The vassal princes of the Chou and previous dynasties--Vassal
princes and their relations with the Emperors--Protectors make
great show of defending the Emperors rights--The Emperor's
sacrifices to God--Rules and rights concerning fees--All China
belongs to the Emperor--Peculiar notions about the Emperor's
territory--Respect due to imperial envoys--Direct and indirect
vassals--Ts'u's group of vassals--Ts'u compared with Macedon--
Never subject to the Emperors--Right of passage for armies--
Special complimentary use of the term "viscount"--Titles not
inherited during mourning--Forms of address--Rival Protectors and
their respective subordinate states--Tribute from the states to
the Emperor, and presents from the Emperor to the vassal states--
The Emperor accepts _faits accomplis_, and takes what he can



Period of fighting states--Tsin divided into Han, Ngwei, and Chao-
Ts'in developing herself in Tartary and in Sz Ch'wan--Want of
orderly method in Chinese history--How the statesmen of each
vassal state developed resources--Ts'in's military development
compared with that of Prussia from 1815 to 1870--"Perpendicular
and Horizontal" period--Object to crush Ts'in--Rival claimants for
universal empire--First appearance of the Huns or Turks-Helpless
position of Old China--Bloody battles in Ts'in's final career of
conquest--A million men decapitated--Immense cavalry fights-
Ts'in's supreme effort for conquest of China.



_Resume_ of Chinese historical development--General lines of
Chinese advance--Methods of Chinese colonization--Equal pedigree
claims of half-Chinese states--Tsin and Ts'i were even more
ancient than orthodox China--Degree of foreignness in Ts'u-Ts'u
native words and music--Ts'u peculiarities-Succession laws in Ts'u
and Lu compared--Further evidence of Ts'u's foreign ways--Beards--
Titles, posthumous and other--Ts'u admits her own savagery--Ts'u's
claim to the Nine Tripods--Ts'u and the Chou rites--Ts'u's gradual
civilization--Confucius' admiration of Ts'u--Confucius' style in
speaking of barbarians--Distinction between "beat" and "battle"--
German distinctions of rank compared with Chinese--The historical
honour of "naming"--Vagueness of testimony and the way to test



The state of Wu--First Chinese princely emigrants adopted
barbarian usages--The Jungle country and Wu--Wu's way of doing the
hair and Wu's confession of barbarism--Federal China uses Wu
against Ts'u--Wu the same language and manners as Yueh--Native Wu
words--Wu's ignorance of war--Wu's early isolation--Ts'i enters
into marriage relations with Wu--Mencius objects retrospectively--
Wu ruling caste--The Wu language--Succession laws of Wu--A Wu
prince's views on the soul--Confucius' views on ghosts--Ki-chah's
intimacy with orthodox statesmen--Rumours of Early Japan--Japan
and Wu tattooing customs alike--Japanese traditions of a
connection with Wu--Dangers of etymological guess-work--Doubts
about racial matters in Wu--Small value of Japanese history and
tradition--General conclusions.



Small size of ancient China--Description of ancient nucleus and
surrounding barbarians--Amount of foreign element in each vassal
state--Policy of the Ts'i and Lu administrations--The savage
tribes of the eastern coasts--Persistency of some down to 970
A.D.--Ts'in's unliterary quality--Her human sacrifices--Her
Turkish blood--Late influence of the Emperors over Ts'in--Ts'in's
gradual civilization--Ki-chah on Ts'in music--Ts'u treats Ts'in as
barbarian still in 361 B.C.--Ts'in's isolation previous to 326
B.C.--Tartar rule of succession at one time in Ts'in--Yiieh's
barbarism--Its able king--Native name--Mushroom existence as a
power--The various branches of the Yiieh race in Foochow, W&chow,
and Tonquin--Wu and Yiieh spoke the same language--Ruling caste of
Wu--Stern military discipline in Wu and Yiieh--Neither state
proved to have had human sacrifices--Crawling customs--Ancient
Chinese descent of rulers--Yiieh's later capital in the German
sphere--Her power always marine.



Literary relations between vassal states--Confucius set the ball
of philosophy a-rolling--The fourfold "Bible" of China--Odes were
generally known by heart--Comparison with President Kruger and his
texts--Quotations from Odes and Book enable us to fix dates--Books
were heavy weights in those days--People trusted to memory--The
Rites more exclusively understood by the ruling classes--
Comparison with Johnsonian wits--Instances cited, with side
proofs--History and Classics corroborate each other-Evidences--
Confucius' ancestor composes odes--Political song by the children
of Tsin--Another still-existing ode in reference to the Second
Protector--Ts'u's early literary knowledge--General knowledge of
Odes and History--Ignorance of Ts'in-Ts'in ancient documents the
only ones now remaining--First definite notion of abolishing the
feudal system--The pivot point 403 B.C.--Ts'in's conquests in
north, south, east, and west--The First August Emperor's travels--
Lao-tsz's Taoist philosophy becomes fashionable--Ts'in's hatred of
orthodox literature, and of the Odes and Book in particular--The
Book of Changes escapes his hatred--Revolutionary decree of the
First August Emperor-Lost annals of all feudal states but Ts'in--
Learned Tartars of Tsin-Confucius used Tsin annals too--Origin of
the name _Shi-ki,_ or "Historical Annals"--Further evidence
of lost histories--Curious name for Ts'u Annals--Ts'u poetry-
Ts'u's knowledge of past history--The term "Springs and Autumns"--
Baldness of early Chinese annals.



Whence did the Chinese come?--All men of equal age and ancestry--
Records make civilization and nobility--Evidences of antiquity--
China and the West totally unknown to each other in ancient times--
Tartars the connecting link--Though tamed by religion they are
not much changed now--Traders then, as now, but no through
travellers--Chinese probably in China for myriads of years before
their records began--Tonic peculiarities of all tribes near China
except the Tartars--Chinese followed lines of least resistance--
Tartars driven back, but difficult to absorb--So with Coreans and
Japanese-Indo-China not so favourable for Chinese absorption--
Records decided the direction taken by culture--Southern half-
Chinese have equal claims with orthodox Chinese--Traditions of
ancient emperors in north, coast, and south parts--Suggestions as
to how the most ancient Chinese spread themselves--No hint of
immigration from anywhere--The old suggestion of immigration from
the Tarim Valley and Babylonia--Suggested compromise with Western
religious views--Creation and Nature--Compromise with the
supernatural and imaginative--Summing up.



The Chinese calendar--Confucius and eclipses--Proclaiming the new
moon--Celestial observations in different states--Chinese year is
luni-Solar--Difficulty with the exact length of a moon--Ingenious
devices for bringing the solar and lunar years, the seasons,
solstices, and equinoxes into harmony with agricultural needs--The
sixty-year cycle--Various reforms of the calendar, and various
changes in the month beginning the year--Effect of calendar
changes on Confucius' birthday--All is evidence in favour of
accuracy of the Chinese records.



The difficulty of proper names--Instances-Clans and detached
families--Surnames and personal names--Strange personal
appellations--Interchange of names by all states--Eunuchs and
priests-Minute rules about "naming" individuals--Confucius conveys
praise or censure by "naming" persons--The principles upon which
several names are applied to one person--Tabu-Instances, and Roman
parallel--The Duke of Chou virtual founder of posthumous name
system--Dying king and posthumous choice of name--Incestuous
marriages in own clan--Hushing up incest in high places--
Complication of names connected--Bearing of names upon the
political events connected therewith.



Eunuchs and their origin--criminals with feet chopped off as
keepers--Noseless criminals for isolated picket duty--The branded
were gate-keepers--Eunuchs for the harem--"Purified men"--
Comparative antiquity of Persia and China--Eunuchs in Tsin--Ts'i
eunuchs and Confucius--Eunuchs in Wu--Ts'u's uses for eunuchs--
Eunuch intrigues in connection with the First August Emperor--The
First Emperor's putative father--His works--Eunuch witnesses
assassination of Second August Emperor--General employ of eunuchs
in China--Human sacrifices in Ts'in and Ts'u: also in Ts'i--Doubts
as to its existence in orthodox China--Han Emperor's prohibition--
No fruit wine in ancient China--Spirits universal--Vice around
ancient China rather than in it--Instances of heavy drinking in
Ts'i and Ts'u--Tsin drinking--Confucius and liquor--Drinking in
Ts'in--Ancient Chinese were meat-eaters--Horse-flesh and Tartars--
Horse-liver in Prussia--Anecdote of Duke Muh and the hippophagi--
Bears' paws as food--Elephants in Ts'u--Dogs as food.



The Emperor Muh's voyages to the West in 984 B.C.--The question of
destroyed state annals-Exaggerated importance of the expedition,
even if facts true--King Muh's father was killed in a similar
expedition--Discovery of the Bamboo Books of 299 B.C. in 281 A.D.--
Imaginary interpretations put upon King Muh's expedition by
European critics--The Queen of Sheba--Professor Chavannes
attributes the travels of Duke Muh of Ts'in 650 B.C.--Description
of first journey--Along the great road to Lob Nor-Modern evidence
that he got as far as Urumtsi--Six hundred days, or 12,000 miles--
Specific evidence as to distance travelled each day--Various
Tartar incidents of the journey--The Emperor's infatuation on the
second journey--Lieh-tsz, the Taoist philosopher, on the Emperor
Muh's travels--Arguments qualifying M. Chavannes' view that Duke
Muh, and not the Emperor Muh, undertook the journeys.



Wu kingdom--Name begins 585 B.C.--This is the year Japanese
"history" begins--The first king and his four sons--Prince Ki-
chah--War with Ts'u and sacking of its capital--King Fu-ch'ai and
his wars against Yiieh--Offered an asylum in Chusan--Suicide of
Fu-ch'ai--Escape of his family across the seas to Japan--China
knew nothing of Japan, even if Wu did--Story reduced to its true
proportions--Traces of prehistoric men in Japan--Possible
movements of original inhabitants--Existing evidence better than
none at all--East from Ningpo must be Japan--Like early Greeks and
Egyptian colonists--Natural impulses to emigration--Refugees from
China compared to Will Adams--Natural desire to improve pedigrees--
No shame to Japan's ruling caste to hail from China--European
comparisons--How the Japanese manufactured their past history--
Imagination must be kept separate from evidence.



Peculiar customs--Formalities of surrender--A number of instances
of succession rules--Status of wives-Cases where the Emperor
himself breaks the rules--Instances of irregular succession in
various states--Customs of war--Cutting off the left ear as
trophy--Rewards for heads--Principles of facing north and south--
Turning towards Mecca--Left and Right princes--Modern instances of
official seating--North and south facing houses--Chivalrous rules
about mourning--Funeral missions--The feudal yearnings of
Confucius explained--Respect even of barbarians for mourning--Many
other quaint instances of funeral and mourning rules--Promises
made to a dying _non compos_ of no avail--Mencius and the



Rights of women in ancient China--The legal rule and the actual
fact--Instances of irregularity in female status, both in ancient
and modern China--Instances of incest and irregular marriage even
in orthodox states-Women, once married, not to come back--The
much-married Second Protector--Hun and Turk customs about taking
over Wives--Clan marriages of doubtful legality--Succession rules--
Ts'u irregularities and caprice--Elder brothers by inferior
wives--Paranymphs, or under-studies of the wife--Women always
under some man's power--Incestuous fathers--_Lex Julia_ introduced
into Yiieh by its vengeful King--The evil morals of the Shanghai-Ningpo
region of ancient Yiieh--No prostitution in ancient China, except perhaps
in Ts'i--No infanticide--Incest and names.



Orthodox China compared with orthodox Greece--Our persistent
"traditions" about the Tower of Babel and the Tarim Valley-Wu,
Yiieh, and ancient traditions--The "Tribute of Yii" says nothing
of Western origin of Chinese--No ancient knowledge of the West,
nor of South China--The Blackwater River and the Emperor Muh--The
"Tribute of Yii" says nothing of the supposed Western emigration
of the Chinese--Some traditions of Chinese migrations from the
south--Traditions of enfeoffment of vassals in Corea, about 1122
B.C.--Knowledge of China as defined by the First Protector, and as
visited by the Second in the seventh century B.C.--Evidence of the
Emperor's limited knowledge of China in 670 B.C.--Yiieh first
appears in 536 B.C.--Tsin never saw the sea till 589 B.C.--Ts'i's
ignorance of the south-u, Yiieh, and Ts'u all purely Yang-tsz
riverine states--Ts'u alone knew the south--CHÊNG's ignorance of
the south--Ts'u and orthodox China of the same ancient stock--
Tsin's ignorance of Central China--Tsin defines Chinese limits for
Ts'u--Ancient orthodox nucleus was the "Central State," a name
still employed to mean "China" as a whole.



Evidences still remaining in the shape of the tombs of great
historical personages--Elephants used to work at the Wu tombs--
Royal Ts'u tomb desecrated--Relics of 1122 B.C. found in Lu--Ts'in
destitute of relics--Confucius and the Duke of Chou's relics--Each
generation of Chinese sees and doubts not of its own antiquities--
No reason for European scepticism--Native critics know much more
than we do.



From ancient times Tartars intimately connected with the Chinese--
How the Chou state had to migrate to avoid the Tartars--Chou
ancestors had originally fled from China to the Tartars--Chou
family's subsequent dealings with the Tartars--How Ts'in replaced
Chou as the semi-Tartar or westernmost state of China--Tartars for
many centuries in possession of Yellow River north bank--Once
extended to Kiang Su province--Confucius' knowledge of the
Tartars--Tartar attacks in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.--
Causes of the Protector system--Incompetence of Emperors to stave
off Tartar attacks--Ts'i's extensive relations with the Tartars--
The Second Protector and his adviser--Rude treatment of the Second
Protector by the orthodox Chinese states--Ts'u's bluff hospitality--
Second Protector had to check Chinese instead of Tartar ambitions--
Tsin's Tartar admixture--Comparison with Roman adventurers--How
Tartars have in modern times ruled China and Asia.



Music in Chinese life--Confucius' present dwelling and the ancient
instruments therein--Comparison with Wagner's Ring--Musicians as
corrupters of simplicity--Tsin and Ts'in dialects--Music as an
adjunct to government--Confucius' views on music--Ts'u music--The
effect of music on the mind--Rewards in the shape of right to play
certain tunes--The Emperor Muh's music--Music coupled with
soothsaying--Lao-tsz on benevolence and justice-Playing the banjo--
Music at sacrifice or worship--Modern abstinence from music--
First August Emperor compared with Saul and his music.



Ancient and modern ideas of wealth--Ts'in and Ts'u valuables--
Furniture--Mats and divans--Tea and wine--Tartar couches--Inlaid
ivory sofas--State treasure--Wealth in horses-Silks and furs in
Tsin and Ts'u--Women as property--Pearls and jade as portable
property--A Chinese Crocesus--Escape by sea to Shan Tung--Gold as
money--Bribery with "metal"--Iron and gold mines in Wu--Fine Wu
swords--"Cash" as coins--Ts'u money--Weight of a gold piece--Cooks
important personages--"Meat-eaters" meant the ruling classes--
Silk universal--Poor wore hemp--No cotton--Ts'in custom of wearing
swords--Jade marks of rank--Sports--Egret fights-war hunts--Horses
in Peking plain--Hunting chariots and "shaft-gates"--_Yamen,
ya_, and Turkish encampments--Cockfighting-Lifting heavy
weights--Ball games--Women at looms--Little said of family life--
No homely pastimes--No squeezed feet--Helplessness of the people
under their taskmasters.



Confucius--His merits--His imperial and ducal origin--Migration of
his family from Sung to Lu--His warrior father--His quaint
childish fancies--Lu officer foretells his greatness--His first
pupils--His appointment as steward--His visit to Laos--No reason
for mentioning this visit in history--Neither philosopher yet
"great"--Lu in a quandary--Helplessness of the Emperor under Tsin,
Ts'i, and Ts'u pressure--Yen-tsz sees Confucius, and discusses
Ts'in's greatness--Studying the Rites at Lu-Date of Confucius'
visit to Lao-tsz--Struggle of great families for popular rights--
Confucius offers services to Ts'i--Examines Rites of Hia--Yen-
tsz's jealousy of Confucius--Confucius back in Lu--His literary
labours--His official posts and his views on law--Ts'i overborne
by Wu--Ts'i's attempt at assassination defeated by Confucius'
diplomacy--Treaty between Lu and Ts'i--Civil war in Lu--Confucius
Premier--Successful administration--Confucius leaves Lu in
disgust--His treatment in Wei state--Leaves Wei, but returns to
old friend there--Confucius' suspicious visit to a lady--Leaves
disgusted _via_ Sung for Ts'ao--Visits to Cheng (mistaken for
Tsz-ch'an) and Ch'en--A prey to rival ambitions--Episode of the
Manchurian bustard--Revisits Wei--Arrested; solemn promise broken--
Base behaviour--Starts to visit Tsin--Confucius' enemy repents--
Arrangements to get Confucius back to Lu--He first visits Ts'ai-
Excursion to Ts'u--Three years more in Ts'ai--T-s'u's literary
status--Competition amongst princes for Confucius' services--
Confucius and war--Reaches Lu after fourteen years of wandering--
Confucius' travels the same as the Second Protector's--Consoles
himself with literature--Popularizes history-Edits the Changes and
the Odes--His history--The Tso Chwan.



Historians had to be careful--Reverence for rulers--Confucius'
feelings--His failings--All on the surface--His concealments--His
artful censures--Sanctity of the classes--Confucius' meannesses
and indiscretions--Allowances must be made for time and place--
Tsz-ch'an quite as good a man--Reasons for permanency of Confucian
system--Reasons for Lao-tsz not being mentioned--All Chinese
statesman-philosophers were, or tried to be, practical--First
mention of Lao-tsz's new Taoism--Lao-tsz well known 400 B.C.--
State intercourse before Confucius' time--Philosophy taught by
word of mouth--Cheapening of books accounts for spread of
knowledge--Description of ancient books--Confucius was young when
he visited Lao-tsz--Lao-t&s book in ancient character--Meagreness
of details evidence of rigid truth--Obscurity of the Emperor--
Difficult questions of fact answered--How Lao-tsz was visited--
Proofs of genuineness--Originals must be studied by foreign



Consulting the oracles--The Changes, or Book of Diagrams--Ts'u and
Ts'i as instructors of Chou--Tortoise augury--Consulting
ancestors--Heaven's decree--Heaven's spontaneous, manifestations
of favour--Astrology--Prognostication--Text of the Changes
survives unmutilated--Ts'in consults oracles about moving capital--
Ts'in's greatness foretold--Omens--_Dies_ n&s--Oracles in
the battlefield--Prophecy in Tsin, Ts'u, and Lu--Shuh Hiang's
scepticism--Tsz-ch'an and the omen of fighting snakes--Children
sing prophetic songs--"Passing on" threatened evil--Tortoise
oracles in Ts'o and Wu--High status of diviners-"-Transferring"
evil in Ts'u--Rivers as gods--Our own prophecies--Good faith and



Personal character of wars--People's interests ignored--Instances--
Comparisons with the Golden Fleece and Naboth's vineyard--Second
Protector avenges scurvy treatment--The halt, the maim, and the
blind--Jephthah's rash vow-Divinity of kings--Ts'u more tyrannical
than China--Responsibility of Chinese before Heaven--The King can
do no wrong--Emperors reign under Heaven--Heaven in the confidence
of rulers--Sacred person of kings--Distinction between official
and private death--Double chivalry of a Tsin general--The gods and
Tsz-ch'an's scepticism.




[For the illustration of the Wuchuan vase, and the inscription
thereon, I am indebted to Dr. S. W. Bushell M.D., from whose work
on "Chinese Art" (vol. i. p. 82) the plates (kindly lent by H.M.
Stationery Office) are taken. For the photograph of the Duke of
"Propagating Holiness" (i.e. Confucius) I am indebted to the
Jesuit Fathers of Shanghai, and to Father Tschepe, who obtained it
from his Grace.]

1. Tripod of the Chou dynasty, date 8l2 B.C. In 1565 A.D. it was
placed by the owner for safety in a temple on Silver Island (near
Chinkiang), where it may be seen now.

Taken (by kind permission of the author) from Dr. S. W. Bushell's
"Chinese Art," vol. i. p. 82. _Frontispiece_

2. K'ung Ling-i, the hereditary Yen-shêng Kung, or "Propagating
Holiness Duke"; 76th in descent from K'ung K'iu, alias K'ung
Chung-ni, the original philosopher, 551-479 B.C.

This portrait was presented to "the priest P'êng" (Father Tschepe,
S.J.), on the occasion of his visit last autumn (7th moon, 33rd
year). To _face page 81_

3. Original inscription on the Sacrificial Tripod, together with
(1) transcription in modern Chinese character (to the right), and
(2) an account of its history (to the left). Taken from Dr.
Bushell's "Chinese Art".

[Illustration: MAP]


1. The other small maps will explain each section more in detail.

2. This map is intended to give a general idea of the extremely
limited area of the empire in the sixth century B.C.

3. Like the modern Sultan, the Chow Emperor was gradually driven
into a corner, surrounded by Bulgarias, Servias, Egypts, and other
countries once under his effective rule; and, like the Sultan, the
Chou Emperor remained spiritual head for many centuries after the
practical dismemberment of his empire.

4. Until quite recent times, the true source of the Yang-tsz had
been unknown to the Chinese, and the River Min has been, and even
still is, considered to be the chief head-water. It flows through
the rich country of ancient Shuh, now the administrative centre of
Sz Ch'wan province.

5. Even now the Yang-tsz River is practically the only great route
from China into Sz Ch'wan, and in ancient times the rapids were
probably not negotiable by large craft.

6. The land routes into Sz Ch'wan from the head-waters of the Wei
and Ilan Rivers are all extremely precipitous. It was not until
200 B.C. that any military road was attempted.

7. Ancient China meant the Yellow River. Then the Han and the
Hwai. Next the Yang-tsz. Last the Sz Ch'wan tributaries of the
Yang-tsz. It was through the lakes and rivers south of the Yang-
tsz that China at last colonized the south.



The year 842 B.C. may be considered the first accurate date in
Chinese history, and in this year the Emperor had to flee from his
capital on account of popular dissatisfaction with his tyrannical
ways: he betook himself northward to an outlying settlement on the
Tartar frontier, and the charge of imperial affairs was taken over
by a regency or duumvirate.

At this time the confederation of cultured princes called China--
or, to use their own term, the Central Kingdom--was a very
different region from the huge mass of territory familiar to us
under those names at the present day. It is hardly an exaggeration
to say that civilized China, even at that comparatively advanced
period, consisted of little more than the modern province of Ho
Nan. All outside this flat and comparatively riverless region
inhabited by the "orthodox" was more or less barbaric, and such
civilization as it possessed was entirely the work of Chinese
colonists, adventurers, or grantees of fiefs _in partibus
infidelium_ (so to speak). Into matters of still earlier
ancient history we may enter more deeply in another chapter, but
for the present we simply take China as it was when definite
chronology begins.

The third of the great dynasties which had ruled over this limited
China had, in 842 B.C., already been on the imperial throne for
practically three hundred years, and, following the custom of its
predecessors, it had parcelled out all the land under its sway to
vassal princes who were, subject to the general imperial law and
custom, or ritual, together with the homage and tribute duty
prescribed thereunder, all practically absolute in their own
domains. Roughly speaking, those smaller fiefs may be said to have
corresponded in size with the walled-city and surrounding district
of our own times, so well known under the name of _hien_.
About a dozen of the larger fiefs had been originally granted to
the blood relations of the dynastic founder in or after 1122 B.C.;
but not exclusively so, for it seems to have been a point of
honour, or of religious scruple, not to "cut off the sacrifices"
from ruined or disgraced reigning families, unless the attendant
circumstances were very gross; and so it came to pass that
successive dynasties would strain a point in order to keep up the
spiritual memory of decayed or rival houses.

Thus, at the time of which we speak (842 B.C.), about ten of the
dozen or so of larger vassal princes were either of the same clan
as the Emperor himself, or were descended from remoter branches of
that clan before it secured the imperial throne; or, again, were
descended from ministers and statesmen who had assisted the
founder to obtain empire; whilst the two or three remaining great
vassals were lineal representatives of previous dynasties, or of
their great ministers, keeping up the honour and the sacrifices of
bygone historical personages. As for the minor fiefs, numbering
somewhere between a thousand and fifteen hundred, these play no
part in political history, except as this or that one of them may
have been thrust prominently forward for a moment as a pawn in the
game of ambition played by the greater vassals. Nominally the
Emperor was direct suzerain lord of all vassals, great or small;
but in practice the greater vassal princes seem to have been what
in the Norman feudal system were called "mesne lords"; that is,
each one was surrounded by his own group of minor ruling lords,
who, in turn, naturally clung for protection to that powerful
magnate who was most immediately accessible in case of need; thus
vassal rulers might be indefinitely multiplied, and there is some
vagueness as to their numbers.

Just as the oldest civilizations of the West concentrated
themselves along the banks of the Euphrates and the Nile, so the
most ancient Chinese civilization is found concentrated along the
south bank of the Yellow River. The configuration of the land as
shown on a modern map assists us to understand how the industrious
cultivators and weavers, finding the flat and so-called
_loess_ territory too confined for their ever-increasing
numbers, threw out colonies wherever attraction offered, and
wherever the riverine systems gave them easy access; whether by
boat and raft; or whether--as seems more probable, owing to the
scanty mention of boat-travel--by simply following the low levels
sought by the streams, and tilling on their way such pasturages as
they found by the river-sides. When it is said that the earliest
Chinese we know of clung to the Yellow River bed, it must be
remembered that "the River" (as they call it simply) turned sharp
to the north at a point in Ho Nan province very far to the west of
its present northerly course, near a city marked in the modern
maps as Jung-t&h, in lat. 35 degrees N., long, 114 degrees E., or
thereabouts; moreover, its course further north lay considerably to the
westward of the present Grand Canal, taking possession now of the
bed of the Wei River, now of that of the Chang River, according to
whether we regard it before or after the year 602 B.C.; but always
entering the Gulf near modern Tientsin. Hence we need not be
surprised to find that the Conqueror or Assertor of the dynasty
had conferred upon a staunch adviser, of alien origin, and upon
two of his most trusty relatives, the three distant fiefs which
commanded both sides of the Yellow River mouth, at that time near
the modern Tientsin. There was no Canal in those days, and the
river which runs past Confucius' birth-place, and now goes towards
feeding the Grand Canal, had then a free course south-east towards
the lakes in Kiang Su province to the north of Nanking. It will be
noticed that quite a network of tributary rivers take their rise
in Ho Nan province, and trend in an easterly direction towards the
intricate Hwai River system. The River Hwai, which has a great
history in the course of Chinese development, was in quite recent
times taken possession of by the Yellow River for some years, and
since then the Grand Canal and the lakes between them have so
impeded its natural course that it may be said to have no natural
delta at all; to be dissipated in a dedalus of salt flats,
irrigation channels, and marshes: hence it is not so obvious to us
now why the whole coast-line was at the period we are now
describing, when there was no Grand Canal, quite beyond the reach
of Chinese colonization from the Yellow River valley: this was
only possible in two directions--firstly to the south, by way of
the numerous ramifications of the Han River, which now, as then,
joins the Yang-tsz Kiang at Hankow; and secondly to the south-
east, by way of the equally numerous ramifications of the Hwai
River, which entered the sea in lat. 34ø N. No easy emigration to
the westward or south-westward was possible in those comparatively
roadless days, for not a single river pointed out the obvious way to
would-be colonists.

Accustomed as we now are to regard China as one vast homogeneous
whole, approachable to us easily from the sea, it is not easy for
us to understand the historical lines of expansion without these
preliminary explanations. Corea and Japan were totally unknown
even by name, and even Liao Tung, or "East of the River Liao,"
which was then inhabited by Corean tribes, was, if known by
tradition at all, certainly only in communication with the remote
Chinese colony, or vassal state, in possession of the Peking
plain: on the other hand, this vassal state itself (if it had
records of its own at all), for the three centuries previous to
842 B.C., had no political relations with the federated Chinese
princes, and nothing is known of its internal doings, or of its
immediate relations (if any) with Manchus and Coreans. The whole
coast-line of Shan Tung was in the hands of various tribes of
"Eastern Barbarians." True, a number of Chinese vassal rulers held
petty fiefs to the south and the east of the two highly civilized
principalities already described as being in possession of the
Lower Yellow River; but the originally orthodox rulers of these
petty colonies are distinctly stated to have partly followed
barbarian usage, even despite their own imperial clan origin, and
to have paid court to these two greater vassals as mesne lords,
instead of direct to the Emperor. South of these, again, came the
Hwai group of Eastern barbarians in possession of the Lower Hwai
valley, and the various quite unknown tribes of Eastern barbarians
occupying the marshy salt flats and shore accretions on the Kiang
Su coast right down to the River Yang-tsz mouth.

As we shall see, a century or two later than 842 B.C. powerful
semi-Chinese states began to assert themselves against the
federated orthodox Chinese princes lying to their north; but, when
dated history first opens, Central China knew nothing whatever of
any part of the vast region lying to the south of the Yang-tsz;
nothing whatever of what we now call Yiin Nan and Sz Ch'wan, not
to say of the Indian and Tibetan dominions lying beyond them; _
fortiori_ nothing of Formosa, Hainan, Cochin-China, Tonquin,
Burma, Siam, or the various Hindoo trading colonies advancing from
the South Sea Islands northwards along the Indo-Chinese coasts;
nothing whatever of Tsaidam, the Tarim Valley, the Desert, the
Persian civilization, Turkestan, Kashgaria, Tartary, or Siberia.

It is, and will here be made, quite clear that the whole of the
left bank of the Yellow River was in possession of various Turkish
and Tartar-Tibetan tribes. The only exception is that the south-
west corner of Shan Si province, notably the territory enclosed
between the Yellow River and the River F&n (which, running from
the north, bisects Shan Si province and enters the Yellow River
about lat. 35" 30' N., long. 110 degrees 30' E.) was colonized by a branch
of the imperial family quite capable of holding its own against
the Tartars; in fact, the valley of this river as far north as
P'ing-yang Fu had been in semi-mythical times (2300 B.C.) the
imperial residence. It will be noticed that the River Wei joins
the Yellow River on its right bank, just opposite the point where
this latter, flowing from the north, bends eastwards, the Wei
itself flowing from the west. This Wei Valley (including the sub-
valleys of its north-bank tributaries) was also in 842 B.C.
colonized by an ancient Chinese family--not of imperial extraction
so far as the reigning house was concerned--which, by adopting
Tartar, or perhaps Tartar--Tibetan, manners, had for many
generations succeeded in acquiring a predominant influence in that
region. Assuming that--which is not at all improbable--the nomad
horsemen in unchallenged possession of the whole desert and Tartar
expanse had at any time, as a consequence of their raids in
directions away from China westward, brought to China any new
ideas, new commercial objects, or new religious notions, these
novelties must almost necessarily have filtered through this semi-
Chinese half-barbarous state in possession of the Wei Valley, or
through other of their Tartar kinsmen periodically engaged in
raiding the settled Chinese cultivators farther east, along the
line of what is now the Great Wall, and the northern parts of Shan
Si and Chih Li provinces.

We shall allude in a more convenient place and chapter to specific
traditions touching the supposed journeys about 990 B.C. of a
Chinese Emperor to Turkestan; the alleged missions from Tonquin to
a still earlier Chinese Emperor or Regent; and the pretended
colonization of Corea by an aggrieved Chinese noble-all three
events some centuries earlier than the opening period of dated
history of which we now specially speak. For the present we ignore
them, as, even if true, these events have had, and have now, no
specific or definite influence whatever on the question of Chinese
political development as expounded here. It seems certain that for
many centuries previous to 842 B.C. the ruling and the literary
Chinese had known of the existence of at least the Lower Yang-tsz
and its three mouths (the Shanghai mouth and the Hangchow mouth
have ceased long ago to exist at all): they also seem to have
heard in a vague way of "moving sands" beyond the great northerly
bend of the Yellow River in Tartarland. It is not even impossible
that the persistent traditions of two of their very ancient
Emperors having been buried south of the Yang-tsz--one near the
modern coast treaty-port of Ningpo, the other near the modern
riverine treaty-port of Ch'ang-sha--may be true; for nothing is
more likely than that they both met their death whilst exploring
the tributaries of the mysterious Yang-tsz Kiang lying to their
south; because the father of the adventurous Emperor who is
supposed to have explored Tartary in ggo B.C. certainly lost his
life in attempting to explore the region of Hankow, as will be
explained in due course.

All this, however, is matter of side issue. The main point we wish
to insist upon, by way of introduction, in endeavouring to give
our readers an intelligible notion of early Chinese development,
is that Chinese beginnings were like any other great nation's
beginnings--like, for instance, the Greek beginnings; these were
centred at first round an extremely petty area, which, gradually
expanding, threw out its tentacles and branches, and led to the
final inclusion of the mysterious Danube, the gloomy Russian
plain, the Tin Islands, Ultima Thule, and the Atlantic coasts into
one fairly harmonious Graeco-Roman civilization. Or it may be
compared to the development of the petty Anglo-Saxon settlements
and kingdoms and sub-kingdoms, and their gradual political
absorption of the surrounding Celts. In any case it may be said
that there is nothing startlingly new about it; it followed a
normal course.



Having now seen how the Chinese people, taking advantage of the
material and moral growth naturally following upon a settled
industrial existence, and above all upon the exclusive possession
of a written character, gradually imposed themselves as rulers
upon the ignorant tribes around them, let us see to what families
these Chinese emigrant adventurers or colonial satraps belonged.
To begin with the semi-Tartar power in the River Wei Valley--
destined six hundred years later to conquer the whole of China as
we know it to-day--the ruling caste claimed descent from the most
ancient (and of course partly mythological) Emperors of China; but
for over a thousand years previous to 842 B.C. this remote branch
of the Chinese race had become scattered and almost lost amongst
the Tartars. However, a generation or two before our opening
period, one of these princes had served the then ruling imperial
dynasty as a sort of guardian to the western frontier, as a rearer
of horses for the metropolitan stud, and perhaps even as a guide
on the occasion of imperial expeditions into Tartarland. The
successor of the Emperor who was driven from his capital in 842
B.C. about twenty years later employed this western satrap to
chastise the Tartar nomads whose revolt had in part led to the
imperial flight. After suffering some disasters, the conductors of
this series of expeditions were at last successful, and in 815
B.C. the title of "Warden of the Western Marches" was officially
conferred on the ruler for the time being of this western state,
who in 777 B.C. had the further honour of seeing one of his
daughters married to the Emperor himself. This political move on
the part of the Emperor was unwise, for it led indirectly to the
Tartars, who were frequently engaged in war with the Warden,
interfering in the quarrels about the imperial succession, in
which question the Tartars naturally thought they had a right to
interfere in the interests of their own people. The upshot of it
was that in 771 B.C. the Emperor was killed by the Tartars in
battle, and it was only by securing the military assistance of the
semi-Tartar Warden of the Marches that the imperial dynasty was
saved. As it was, the Emperor's capital was permanently moved east
from the immediate neighbourhood of what we call Si-ngan Fu in
Shen Si province to the immediate neighbourhood of Ho-nan Fu in
the modern Ho Nan province; and as a reward for his services the
Warden was granted nearly the whole of the original imperial
patrimony west of the Yellow River bend and on both sides of the
Wei Valley. This was also in the year 771 B.C., and this is really
one of the great pivot-points in Chinese history, of equal weight
with the almost contemporaneous founding of Rome, and the gradual
substitution of a Roman centre for a Greek centre in the
development and civilization of the Far West. The new capital was
not, however, a new city. Shortly after the imperial dynasty
gained the possession of China in 1122 B.C., it had been surveyed,
and some of the regalia had been taken thither; this, with a view
of making it one of the capitals at least, if not the sole

As Chinese names sound uncouth to our Western ears, and will,
therefore, in these introductory chapters only be used sparingly
and gradually, it becomes correspondingly difficult to explain
historical phenomena adequately whilst endeavouring to avoid as
far as possible the use of such unintelligible names: it will be
well, then, to sum up the situation, and even repeat a little, so
that the reader may assimilate the main points without fatigue or
repulsion. The reigning dynasty of Chou had secured the adhesion
of the thousand or more of Chinese vassal princes in 1122 B.C.,
and had in other words "conquered" China by invitation, much in
the same way, and for very much the same general reasons, that
William III. had' accepted the conquest of the British Isles; that
is to say, because the people were dissatisfied with their
legitimate ruler and his house. But, before this conquest, the
vassal princes of Chou had occupied practically the same
territory, and had stood in the same relation to the imperial
dynasty subsequently ousted by them in 1122, that the Wardens of
the Marches occupied and stood in when the imperial house of Chou
in turn fled east in 771 B.C. The Shang dynasty thus ousted by the
Chou princes in 1122, had for like misgovernment driven out the
Hia dynasty in 1766 B.C. Thus, at the time when the Wardens of the
Marches (whose real territorial title was Princes of Ts'in)
practically put the imperial power into commission in 771 B.C.,
the two old-fashioned dynasties of Shang and Chou had already
ruled patriarchally for almost exactly one thousand years, and
nothing of either a very startling, or a very definite, character
had taken place at all within the comparatively narrow area
described in our first chapter.

From this date of 771 B.C., and for five hundred years more down
to 250 B.C., when the Chou dynasty was extinguished, the rule of
the feudal Emperors of China was almost purely nominal, and except
in so far as this or that powerful vassal made use of the moral,
and even occasionally of the military power of the metropolitan
district when it suited his purpose, the imperial ruler was
chiefly exercised in matters of form and ritual; for under all
three patriarchal dynasties it was on form and ritual that the
idea of government had always been based. Of course the other
powerful satraps--especially the more distant ones, those not
bearing the imperial clan-name, and those more or less tinged with
barbarian usages--learning by degrees what a helpless and
powerless personage the Emperor had now become, lost no time in
turning the novel situation to their own advantage: it is
consequently now that begins the "tyrant period," or the period of
the "Five Dictators," as the Chinese historians loosely term it:
that is to say, the period during which each satrap who had the
power to do so took the lead of the satrap body in general, and
gave out that he was restoring the imperial prestige, representing
the Emperor's majesty, carrying out the behests of reason,
compelling the other vassals to do their duty, keeping up the
legitimist sacrifices, and so on. In other words, the population
of China had grown so enormously, both by peaceful in-breeding and
by imperceptible absorption of kindred races, that more elbow-room
was needed; more freedom from the shackles of ritual, rank, and
feudal caste; more independence, and more liberty to take
advantage of local or changed traditions. Besides all this, the
art of writing, though still clumsy, expensive, and confined in
its higher and literary aspects to the governing classes, had
recently become simplified and improved; the salt trade, iron
trade, fish industry, silk industry, grain trade, and art of usury
had spread from one state to the other, and had developed: though
the land roads were bad or non-existent, there were great numbers
of itinerant dealers in cattle and army provisions. In a word,
material civilization had made great strides during the thousand
years of patriarchal rule immediately preceding the critical
period comprised between the year 842 B.C. and the year 771 B.C.
The voices of the advocates and the preachers of ancient
patriarchal virtues were as of men crying in a wilderness of
substantial prosperity and manly ambition. Thus political and
natural forces combined with each other to prepare the way for a
radical change, and this period of incipient revolution is
precisely the period (722-480) treated of in Confucius' history,
the first history of China--meagre though it be--which deals with
definite human facts, instead of "beating the air" (as the Chinese
say) with sermons and ritualistic exhortations.



We have already alluded to a princely family, of the same clan-
name as the Chou Emperor, which had settled in the southern part
of modern Shan Si province, and had thus acted as a sort of buffer
state to the imperial domain by keeping off from it the Tartar-
Turk tribes in the north. This family was enfeoffed by the new
Chou dynasty in 1106 B.C. to replace the extremely ancient
princely house which had reigned there ever since the earliest
Emperors ruled from that region (2300 B.C.), but which had
resisted the Chou conquest, and had been exterminated. Nothing
definite is known of what transpired in this principality
subsequently to the infeoffment of 1106 B.C., and prior to the
events of 771 B.C., at which latter date the ruling prince,
hearing of the disaster to his kinsman the Emperor, went to meet
that monarch's fugitive successor, and escorted him eastwards to
his new capital. This metropolis had, as we have explained
already, been marked out some 340 years before this, and had
continued to be one of the chief spiritual and political centres
in the imperial domain; but for some reason it had never before
771 B.C. been officially declared a capital, or at all events
_the_ capital. Confucius, in his history, does not mention at
all the petty semi-Tartar state of which we are now speaking
before 671 B.C., and all that we know of its doings during this
century of time is that rival factions, family intrigues, and
petty annexations at the cost of various Tartar tribes, and of
small, but ancient, Chinese principalities, occupied most of its
time. It must be repeated here, however, that, notwithstanding
Tartar neighbours, the valley of the River Fen had been the seat
of several of China's oldest semi-mythical emperors-possibly even
of dynasties,-and at no time do the Tartars seem to have ever
succeeded in ousting the Chinese from South Shan Si. The official
name of the region after the Chou infeoffment of 1106 B.C. was the
State of Tsin, and it was roughly divided off to the west from its
less civilized colleague Ts'in by the Yellow River, on the right
bank of which Tsin still possessed a number of towns. It is
particularly difficult for Europeans to realize the sharp
distinction in sound between these two names, the more especially
because we have in the West no conception whatever of the effect
of tone upon a syllable It may be explained, however, that the
sonant initial and even-voiced tone in the one case, contrasted
with the surd initial and the scaled tone in the other, involves
to the Chinese mind a distinction quite as clear in all dialects
as the European distinction in all languages between the two
states of Prussia and Russia, or between the two peoples Swedes
and Swiss: it is entirely the imperfection of our Western
alphabet, not at all that of the spoken sounds or the ideographs,
that is at fault.

The Yellow River, running from north to south, not only roughly
separated from each other these two Tartar-Chinese buffer states
in the north-west, but the same Yellow River, flowing east, and
its tributary, the River Wei, also formed a rough boundary between
the two states of Tsin and Ts'in (together) to the north, and the
innumerable petty but ancient Chinese principalities surrounding
the imperial domain to the south. These principalities or
settlements were scattered about among the head-waters of the Han
River and the Hwai River systems, and their manifest destiny, if
they needed expansion, clearly drove them further southwards,
following the courses of all these head-waters, towards the Yang-
tsz Kiang. But, more than that, the Yellow River, after thus
flowing east for several hundred miles, turned sharp north in
long. 114ø E., as already explained, and thence to the north-east
formed a second rough boundary between Tsin and nearly all the
remaining orthodox Chinese states. Tsin's chief task was thus to
absorb into its administrative system all the Tartar raiders that
ventured south to the Yellow River.

But there was a third northern state engaged in the task of
keeping back the Tartar tribes, and in developing a civilization
of its own-based largely, of course, upon Chinese principles, but
modified so as to meet local exigencies. This was the state of
Ts'i, enclosed between the Yellow River to the west and the sea to
the east, but extending much farther north than the boundaries of
modern Shan Tung province, if, indeed, the embouchure of the
Yellow River, near modern Tientsin, did not form its northern
boundary; but the promontory or peninsula, as well as all the
coast, was still in the hands of "barbarian" tribes (now long
since civilized and assimilated), of which for many centuries past
no separate trace has remained. We have no means of judging now
whether these "barbarians" were uncultured, close kinsmen of the
orthodox Chinese; or remote kinsmen; or quite foreign. When the
Chou principality received an invitation by acclamation to conquer
and administer China in 1122, an obscure political worthy from
these eastern parts placed his services as adviser and organizer
at the command of the new Chou Emperor, in return for which
important help he received the fief of Ts'i. Although obscure,
this man traced his descent back to the times when (2300 B.C.) his
ancestors received fiefs from the most ancient Emperors. From that
time down to the year 1122 B.C., and onwards to the events of 771
B.C., nothing much beyond the fact of the Chou infeoffment is
recorded; but after the Emperor had been killed by the Tartar-
Tibetans, this state of Ts'i also began to grow restive; and the
seventh century before Christ opens with the significant statement
that "Ts'in, Tsin, and Ts'i, now begin to be powerful states." Of
the three, Tsin alone bore the imperial Chou clan-name of

[Illustration: Map.

1. In 2200 B.C. the Yellow River was divided at the point where
our map begins, and the main waters were conducted to the River
Chang, which thus formed one river with it. But a secondary branch
was conducted eastwards to the Rivers T'ah and Tsi (now, 1908, the
Yellow River).

2. In 602 B.C. this secondary branch suddenly turned north,
followed the line of the present (1908) Grand Canal, and joined
the main branch, i.e. the River Chang.

3. The capitals of Ts'i and Lu are shown. The Yellow River divided
Tsin from Ts'i, but Tartars harried the whole dividing line.]

 North of the Yellow River, where it then entered the sea near the
modern treaty-port of Tientsin, there was yet another great
vassal state, called Yen, which had been given by the founders of
the Chou dynasty to a very distinguished blood relative and
faithful supporter: this noble prince has been immortalized in
beautiful language on account of the rigid justice of his
decisions given under the shade of an apple-tree: it was the
practice in those days to render into popular song the chief
events of the times, and it is not improbable, indeed, that this
Saga literature was the only popular record of the past, until, as
already hinted, after 827 B.C., writing became simplified and thus
more diffused, instead of being confined to solemn manifestoes and
commandments cast or carved on bronze or stone.

"Oh! woodman, spare that tree,
Touch not a single bough,
His wisdom lingers now."

The words, singularly like those of our own well-known song, are
known to every Chinese school-boy, and with hundreds, even
thousands, of other similar songs, which used to be daily quoted
as precedents by the statesmen of that primitive period in their
political intercourse with each other, were later pruned,
purified, and collated by Confucius, until at last they received
classical rank in the "Book of Odes" or the "Classic of Poetry,"
containing a mere tenth part of the old "Odes" as they used to be
passed from mouth to ear.

Even less is known of the early days of Yen than is known of
Ts'in, Tsin, and Ts'i; there is not even a vague tradition to
suggest who ruled it, or what sort of a place it was, before the
Chou prince was sent there; all that is anywhere recorded is that
it was a very small, poor, and feeble region, dovetailed in
between Tsin and Ts'i, and exposed north to the harassing attacks
of savages and Coreans (_i.e._ tribes afterwards enumerated
as forming part of Corea when the name of Corea became known). The
mysterious region is only mentioned here at all on account of its
distinguished origin, in order to show that the Chinese
cultivators had from the very earliest times apparently succeeded
in keeping the bulk of the Tartars to the left bank of the Yellow
River all the way from the Desert to the sea; because later on
(350 B.C.) Yen actually did become a powerful state; and finally,
because if any very early notions concerning Corea and Japanese
islands had ever crept vaguely into China at all, it must have
been through this state of Yen, which was coterminous with Liao
Tung and Manchuria. The great point to remember is, the extensive
territory between the Great Wall and the Yellow River then lay
almost entirely beyond the pale of ancient China, and it was only
when Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i, and Yen had to look elsewhere than to the
Emperor for protection from Tartar inroads that the centre of
political gravity was changed once and for ever from the centre of
China to the north.

We know nothing of the precise causes which conduced to unusual
Tartar activity at the dawn of Chinese true history: in the
absence of any Tartar knowledge of writing, it seems impossible
now that we ever can know it. Still less are we in a position to
speculate profitably how far the movements on the Chinese
frontier, in 800-600 B.C., may be connected with similar
restlessness on the Persian and Greek frontiers, of which, again,
we know nothing very illuminating or specific. It is certain that
the Chinese had no conception of a Tartar empire, or of a coherent
monarchy, under the vigorous dominion of a great military genius,
until at least five centuries after the Tartars, killed a Chinese
Emperor in battle as related (771 B.C.). It is even uncertain what
were the main race distinctions of the nomad aggregations, loosely
styled by us "Tartars," for the simple reason that the ambiguous
Chinese terminology does not enable us to select a more specific
word. Nevertheless, the Chinese do make certain distinctions; and,
as what remains of aboriginal populations in the north, south,
east, and west of China points strongly to the probability of
populations in the main occupying the same sites that they did
3000 years ago (unless where specific facts point to a contrary
conclusion), we may fairly assume that the distribution was then
very much as now-beginning from the east, (1) Japanese, (2)
Corean, (3) Tungusic, (4) Mongol-Turkish, (5) Turkish, (6)
Turkish-Tibetan, and Mongol-Tibetan (or Mongol-Turkoid Tibetan),
(7) Tibetan. The Chinese use four terms to express these relative
quantities, which may be called X, Y, Z, and A. The term "X," pure
and simple, never under any circumstances refers to any but
Tibetans (of whom at this time the Chinese had no recorded
knowledge whatever except by name); but "X + Y" also refers to
tribes in Tibetan regions. The term "West Y" seems to mean
Tibetan-Tartars, and the term "North Y" seems to mean Mongoloid-
Tunguses. There is a third Y term, "Dog Y," evidently meaning
Tartars of some kind, and not Tibetans of any sort. The term "Z"
never refers to Tibetans, pure or mixed, but "Y + Z" loosely
refers to Turks, Mongols, and Tunguses. The terms "Red Z", "White
Z," and "North Z" seem to indicate Turks; and what is more, these
colour distinctions--probably of clothing or head-gear-continue to
quite modern times, and always in connection with Turks or Mongol-
Turks. The fourth term "A" never occurs before the third century
before Christ, and refers to all Tartars, Coreans, etc.; but not
to Tibetans: it need not, therefore, be discussed at present. The
modern province of Sz Ch'wan was absolutely unknown even by name;
but several centuries later, as we shall shortly see, it turned
out to be a state of considerable magnitude, with quite a little
imperial history of its own: probably it was with this unknown
state that the bulk of the Tibetans tried conclusions, if they
tried them with China at all.

Be that as it may, the present wish is to make clear that at the
first great turning-point in genuine Chinese history the whole of
north and west China was in the hands of totally unknown powers,
who completely shut in the Middle Kingdom; who only manifested
themselves at all in the shape of occasional bodies of raiders;
and who, if they had any knowledge, direct or indirect, of India,
Tibet, Turkestan, Siberia, Persia, etc., kept it strictly to
themselves, and in any case were incapable of communicating it in
writing to the frontier Chinese populations of the four buffer
states above enumerated.



But the collapse of the imperial power in 771 B.C. led to
restlessness in the south as well as in the north, north-western,
and north-eastern regions: except for a few Chinese adventurers
and colonists, these were exclusively inhabited by nomad Tartars,
and perhaps some Tibetans, destitute of fixed residences, cities,
and towns; ignorant of cultivation, agriculture, and letters; and
roving about from pasture to pasture with their flocks and herds,
finding excitement and diversion chiefly in periodical raids upon
their more settled southern and western neighbours.

The only country south of the federated Chinese princes in Ho Nan
province (as we now call it) was the "Jungle" or "Thicket," a term
which vaguely designated the lower waters of the Han River system,
much as, with ourselves, the "Lowlands" or the "Netherlands" did,
and still does, designate the outlying marches of the English and
German communities. "Jungle" is still the elegant literary name
for Hu Peh, just as Ts'in, Tsin, and Ts'i are for Shen Si, Shan
Si, and Shan Tung. The King of the Jungle, like the Warden of the
Western Marches, traced his descent far back to the same ancient
monarchs whose blood ran also in the veins of the imperial house
of Chou; and moreover this Jungle King's ancestors had served the
founders of the Chou dynasty in 1150 B.C., whilst they were still
hesitating whether to accept the call to empire: hence in later
times (530 B.C.) the King made it a grievance that his family had
not received from the founder of the Chou dynasty presents
symbolical of equality of birth, as had the Tsin and Lu (South
Shan Tung) houses. If any tribes, south, south-east, or south-west
of this vague Jungle, whose administrative centre at first lay
within a hundred miles' radius of the modern treaty-port of
Ich'ang, were in any way known to Central China, or were affected
by orthodox Chinese civilization, it was and must have been
entirely through this kingdom of the Jungle, and in a second-hand
or indirect way. The Jungle was as much a buffer to the south as
Ts'in was to the north-west, Tsin to the north, and Ts'i to the
north-east. The bulk of the population was in one sense non-
Chinese; that is, it was probably a mixture of the many
uncivilized mountain tribes (all speaking monosyllabic and tonic
dialects like the Chinese) who still survive in every one of the
provinces south of the Yang-tsz Kiang; but the ruling caste, whose
administrative centre lay to the north of these tribes, though
affected by the grossness of their barbarous surroundings, were
manifestly more or less orthodox Chinese in origin and sympathy,
and, even at this early period (771 B.C.), possessed a considerable
culture, a knowledge of Chinese script, and a general capacity
to live a settled economical existence. As far back as 880 B.C.
the King of the Jungle is recorded to have governed or conciliated
the populations between the Han and the Yang-tsz Rivers; but,
though he arrogated to himself for a time the title of "Emperor" or
"King" in his own dominions, he confessed himself to be a barbarian,
and disclaimed any share in the honorific system of titles, living or
posthumous, having vogue in China, reserving it for his successors
to assert higher rights when they should feel strong enough. Like
an eastern Charlemagne, he divided his empire between his three
sons; and this empire, which gradually extended all along the
Yang-tsz down to its mouths, may have included in one of its
three subdivisions a part at least of the Annamese race, as will be
suggested more in detail anon.

The first really historical king, who once more arrogated the
supreme title in 704 B.C., took advantage of imperial weakness to
extend his conquests not only to the south but to the north of the
River Han, attacking petty Chinese principalities, and boldly
claiming recognition by the Emperor of equality in title. "I am a
barbarian," said he, "and I will avail myself of the dissensions
among the federal princes to inspect Chinese ways for myself." The
Emperor displayed some irritation at this claim of equal rank, but
the King retorted by referring to the services rendered by his
(the King's) ancestor, some five hundred years earlier, to the
Emperor's ancestor, virtual founder of the Chou dynasty. In 689
B.C. the next king moved his capital from its old site above the
Ich'ang gorges to the commanding central situation now known as
King-thou Fu, just above the treaty-port of Sha-shi': this place
historically continues the use of the old word Jungle (_King_),
and has been all through the present Manchu dynasty (1644-1908)
the military residence of a Tartar-General with a Banner garrison;
that is, a garrison of privileged Tartar soldiers living in cantonments,
and exempt from the ordinary laws, or, at least, the application of
them. It is only in 684 B.C. that the Jungle state is first honoured
with mention in Confucius' history: it was, indeed, impossible then
to ignore its existence, because, for the first time in the annals
of China, Chinese federal princes between the Han River and the
westernmost head-waters of the Hwai River had been deliberately
annexed by these Jungle "barbarians." History for the next 450 years
from this date consists mainly of the intricate narration how Ts'in, Tsin,
Ts'i, and the Jungle struggled, first for hegemony, and finally for the
possession of all China, The Jungle was now called Ts'u.



Having now shown, as shortly and as intelligibly as we can, how
the germs of Chinese development were sown at the dawn of true
history, let us proceed to examine how far that history, as it has
come down to us, contains within it testimony to its own truth. We
shall revert to the description of wars and ambitions in due
course; but, as so obscure a subject as early Chinese civilization
is only palatable to most Western readers in small, varied, and
sugared doses, we shall for the moment vary the nourishment
offered, and say a few words upon eclipses.

Confucius, whose bald "Spring and Autumn" annals, as expanded by
three separate commentators (one a junior contemporary of
himself), is really the chief authority for the period 722-468
B.C., was born on the 20th day after the eclipse of the sun which
took place in the 10th month of 552 B.C., or the 27th of the 8th
moon as worked out to-day (for 1908 this means the 22nd
September). Confucius himself records thirty-seven eclipses of the
sun between 720 and 481, those of 709, 601, and 549 being total.
Of course, as Confucius primarily recorded the eclipses as seen
from his own petty vassal state of Lu in Shan Tung province (lat.
35" 40' N., long, 117" E.), any one endeavouring to identify these
eclipses, and to compare them with Julian or Gregorian dates,
must, in making the necessary calculations, bear this important
fact in mind. It so happens that nearly one-third of Confucius'
thirty-seven eclipses are recorded as having taken place between
the two total eclipses of 601 and 549. This being so, I referred
the list to an obliging officer attached to the Royal Observatory,
who has kindly furnished me with the following comparative list:-

B.C. 601, 7th moon.---600, September 20.
   " 599, 4th   "  ---598, March 5.
   " 592, 6th   "  ---591, April 17.
   " 575, 6th   "  ---574, May 9.
   " 574, 12th  "  ---573, October 22.
   " 559, 2nd   "  ---558, January 14.
   " 558, 8th   "  ---557, June 29.
   " 553, 10th  "  ---552, August 31.
   " 552, 9th   "
   " 552, 10th  "  ---551, August 20.
   " 550, 2nd   "  ---549, January 5.
   " 549, 7th   "  ---548, April 19.

It will be observed that there is no Oppolzer's date to compare
with the first of the two eclipses of 552; this is because I
omitted to notice that there had been recorded in the "Springs and
Autumns" two so close together, and therefore I did not include it
in the list sent to the Observatory; but with the exception of the
total eclipse of 601, all the other eclipses, so far as days of
the moon and month go, are as consistent with each other as are
modern Chinese dates with European (Julian) dates. As regards the
year, Oppolzer's dates are the "astronomical" dates, that is, the
astronomical year--x is the same as the year (x + 1) B.C.; or, in
other words, the year _of_ Christ's birth is, for certain
astronomical exactitude purposes, interpolated between the years 1
B.C. and A.D. 1, as we vulgarly compute them: that is to say, the
eclipses of the sun recorded 2,400 years ago by Confucius, from
notes and annals preserved in his native state's archives as far
back as 700 B.C., are found to be almost without exception fairly
correct, with a uniform "error" of about one month, despite the
fact that attempts were made by the First August Emperor to
destroy all historical literature in 213 B.C. This being so in the
matter of a dozen eclipses, there still remain two dozen for
specialists to experiment upon, not to mention comets and other
celestial phenomena. From this collateral evidence, imperfect
though it be, we are reasonably entitled to assume that the three
expanded versions of Confucius' history are trustworthy, or at the
very least written in the best of faith.

Just as our mathematicians find no difficulty either in
foretelling or retrospecting eclipses to a minute, so does the
ancient "sixty" cycle, which the Chinese have from time immemorial
used for computing or noting days and years, enable them, or for
the matter of that ourselves, to calculate back unerringly any
desired day. Thus, suppose the 1st January, 1908, is the 37th day
of the perpetual cycle of sixty days; then, if the Chinese
historians say that an eclipse took place on the first day of the
new moon, which began the 9th Chinese month of the year
corresponding in the main to our 800 B.C., and that the 1st day of
the moon was also the 37th day of the sixty-day perpetual cycle,
all we have to do is to take roughly six cycles for each year, six
thousand cycles for each thousand years, allowing at the same time
two extra cycles every third year for intercalary moons, and then
dealing with the fractions or balance of days. If our calculation
does not bring the two 37th cyclic days together accurately, we
must of course go into the question of how and when the Chinese
calendars were altered, a subject that will be treated of in a
subsequent chapter. It must be remembered that there can never be
any question of so much as a whole year being involved in the
balance of error; for, with the Chinese as with us, one year,
whenever modified, always means that space of time, however
irregularly computed at each end of it, within which two solstices
and two equinoxes have taken place, Voltaire, in the article on
"China" of his Universal Dictionary, remarks that "of 32 ancient
Chinese eclipses, 28 have been identified by Western mathematicians";
and M. Edouard Chavannes, who has given a great deal of time
and labour to working out the mysteries of the Chinese calendar,
does not hesitate to claim accuracy to the very day (29th August)
for the eclipse of the sun recorded in the Book of Odes (as re-edited
by Confucius) as having taken place on the 28th cyclic day of the
beginning of the both moon in 776 B.C. (i.e. of--775). This eclipse
is of course not recorded in the "Springs and Autumns," which
begins with the year 722 B.C.

The Chou dynasty, which came into power in 1122, for the second
time put back the year a month because the calendar was getting
confused. That is, they made what we should call January begin the
legal year instead of February; or the still more ancient March;
but some of the vassals either used computations of their own, or
kept up those handed down by the two dynasties previous to that of
Chou: hence in the Confucian histories, as expanded, there are
frequent discrepancies in consequence of events apparently copied
from the records of one vassal state having been reported to the
historian of a second vassal state without steps having been taken
to adjust the different new years.



As the struggle for pre-eminency which we are about to describe
involved bloodthirsty combats extending almost uninterruptedly
over five centuries, it may be of interest to inquire of what
consisted the paraphernalia of warfare in those days. It appears
that among the Chinese federal princes, who, as we have seen, only
occupied in the main the flat country on the right bank of the
Yellow River, war-chariots were invariably used, which is the more
remarkable in that after the Conquest in 220 B.C. of China by the
First August Emperor of Ts'in, and down to this day, war-chariots
have scarcely ever once been even named, at least as having been
marshalled in serious battle array. The Emperor alone was supposed
in true feudal times to possess a force of 10,000 chariots, and
even now a "10,000-chariot" state is the diplomatic expression
for "a great power," "a power of the first rank," or "an empire."
No vassal was entitled to more than 1000 war-chariots. In the
year 632 B.C., when Tsin inflicted a great defeat upon its chief
rival Ts'u, the former power had 700 chariots in the field. In 589
B.C. the same country, with 800 chariots included in its forces,
marched across the Yellow River and defeated the state of Ts'i,
its rival to the east. Again in 632 Tsin offered to the Emperor
100 chariots just captured from Ts'u, and in 613 sent 800 chariots
to the assistance of a dethroned Emperor. The best were made of
leather, and we may assume from this that the wooden ones found it
very difficult to get safely over rough ground, for in a
celebrated treaty of peace of 589 B.C. between the two rival
states Tsin and Ts'i, the victor, lying to the west, imposed a
condition that "your ploughed furrows shall in future run east and
west instead of north and south," meaning that "no systematic
obstacles shall in future be placed in the way of our invading

One of the features in many of the vassal states was the growth of
great families, whose private power was very apt to constrain the
wishes of the reigning duke, count, or baron. Thus in the year
537, when the King of Ts'u was meditating a treacherous attack
upon Tsin, he was warned that "there were many magnates at the
behest of the ruler of Tsin, each of whom was equal to placing 100
war-chariots in the field." So much a matter of course was it to
use chariots in war, that in the year 572, when the rival great
powers of Ts'u and Tsin were contesting for suzerainty over one of
the purely Chinese principalities in the modern Ho Nan province,
it was considered quite a remarkable fact that this principality
in taking the side of Ts'u brought no chariots with the forces led
against Tsin. In 541 a refugee prince of Ts'u, seeking asylum in
Tsin, only brought five chariots with him, on which the ruler,
ashamed as host of such a poor display, at once assigned him
revenue sufficient for the maintenance of 100 individuals. It so
happened that at the same time there arrived in Tsin a refugee
prince from Ts'in, bringing with him 1000 carts, all heavily
laden. On another occasion the prince (not a ruler) of a
neighbouring state, on visiting the ruler of another, brings with
him as presents an eight-horsed chariot for the reigning prince, a
six-horsed conveyance for the premier, a four-horsed carriage for
a very distinguished minister in the suite, and a two-horsed cart
for a minor member of the mission.

Besides the heavy war-chariots, there were also rather more
comfortable and lighter conveyances: in one case two generals are
spoken of ironically because they went to the front playing the
banjo in a light cart, whilst their colleague from another state--
the very state they were assisting--was roughing it in a war-
chariot. These latter seem to have connoted, for military
organization purposes, a strength of 75 men each, and four horses;
to wit, three heavily armed men or cuirassiers in the chariot
itself, and 72 foot-soldiers. At least in the case of Tsin, a
force of 37,500 men, which in the year 613 boldly marched off
three hundred or more English miles upon an eastern expedition, is
so described. On the other hand, thirty years later, a small Ts'u
force is said to have had 125 men attached to each chariot, while
the Emperor's chariots are stated to have had 100 men assigned to
each. In the year 627 a celebrated battle was fought between the
rival powers of Ts'in and Tsin, in which the former was utterly
routed; "not a man nor a wheel of the whole army ever got back."
War-chariots are mentioned as having been in use at least as far
back as 1797 B.C. by the Tartar-affected ancestors of the Chou
dynasty, nearly 700 years before they themselves came to the
imperial power. The territory north of the River Wei, inhabited by
them, is all yellow _loess_, deeply furrowed by the stream in
question, and by its tributaries: there is no apparent reason to
suppose that the gigantic cart-houses used by the Tartars, even to
this day, had any historical connection with the swift war-
chariots of the Chinese.

Little, if anything, is said of conveying troops by boat in any of
the above-mentioned countries north of the Yang-tsz River. None
of the rivers in Shen Si are navigable, even now, for any
considerable stretches, and the Yellow River itself has its strict
limitations. Later on, when the King of Ts'u's possessions along
the sea coast, embracing the delta of the Yang-tsz, revolted from
his suzerainty and began (as we shall relate in due course) to
take an active part in orthodox Chinese affairs, boats and
gigantic canal works were introduced by the hitherto totally
unknown or totally forgotten coast powers; and it is probably
owing to this innovation that war-chariots suddenly disappeared
from use, and that even in the north of China boat expeditions
became the rule, as indeed was certainly the case after the third
century B.C.

Some idea of the limited population of very ancient China may be
gained from a consideration of the oldest army computations. The
Emperor was supposed to have six brigades, the larger vassals
three, the lesser two, and the small ones one; but owing to the
loose way in which a _Shi_, or regiment of 2,500 men, and a
_Kun_, or brigade of 12,500 men, are alternately spoken of,
the Chinese commentators themselves are rather at a loss to
estimate how matters really stood after the collapse of the
Emperor in 771: but though at much later dates enormous armies,
counting up to half a million men on each side, stubbornly
contended for mastery, at the period of which we speak there is no
reason to believe that any state, least of all the imperial
reserve, ever put more than 1000 chariots, or say, 75,000 men,
into the field on any one expedition.

Flags seem to have been in use very much as in the West. The
founder of the Chou dynasty marched to the conquest of China
carrying, or having carried for him, a yellow axe in the left, and
a white flag in the right hand. In 660 one of the minor federal
princes was crushed because he did not lower his standard in time;
nearly a century later, this precedent was quoted to another
federal prince when hard-pressed, in consequence of which a sub-
officer "rolled up his master's standard and put it in its
sheath." In 645 "the cavaliers under the ruler's flag "--defined
to mean his body-guard--were surrounded by the enemy.

During the fifth century B.C., when the coast provinces, having
separated from the Ts'u suzerainty, were asserting their equality
with the orthodox Chinese princes, and two rival "barbarian"
armies were contending for the Shanghai region, one royal scion
was indignant when he saw the enemy advance "with the flag
captured in the last battle from his own father the general."
Flags were used, not only to signal movements of troops during the
course of battle, but also in the great hunts or battues which
were arranged in peace times, not merely for sport, but also in
order to prepare soldiers for a military life.

For victories over the Tartars in 623, the Emperor presented the
ruler of Ts'in with a metal drum; and it seems that sacrificing to
the regimental drum before a fight was a very ancient custom,
which has been carried down to the present day. In 1900, during
the "Boxer" troubles, General (now Viceroy) Yiian Shi-k'ai is
reported to have sacrificed several condemned criminals to his
drum before setting out upon his march.

[Illustration: Hilly County Dividing Wei Valley from Han Valley.

1. Si-ngan Fu is at the junction of the King River and Wei River.
The encircled crosses mark the oldest and the newest Ts'in
capitals; all other Ts'in capitals lay somewhere between the King
and the Wei.

2. From 643 B.C. to 385 B.C. Ts'in was in occupation of the
territory between the Yellow River and the River Loh, taken from
Tsin and again lost to Tsin at those dates.]



Before we enter into a categorical description of the hegemony or
Protector system, under which the most powerful state for the time
being held durbars "in camp," and in theory maintained the shadowy
rights of the Emperor, we must first introduce the two coast
states of the Yang-tsz delta, just mentioned as having asserted
their independence of Ts'u, each state being in possession of one
of the Great River branches, In ancient times the Yang-tsz was
simply called the _Kiang_ ("river"), just as the Yellow River
was simply styled the _Ho_ (also "river"). In those days the
Great River had three mouths-the northernmost very much as at
present, except that the flat accretions did not then extend so
far out to sea, and in any case were for all practical purposes
unknown to orthodox China, and entirely in the hands of "Eastern
barbarians"; the southerly course, which branched off near the
modern treaty-port of Wuhu in An Hwei province, emerging into the
sea at, or very near, Hangchow; and the middle course, which was
practically the combined beds of the Soochow Creek and the Wusung
River of Shanghai. Before the Chou dynasty came to power in 1122
B.C., the grandfather of the future founder, as a youth, displayed
such extraordinary talents, that, by family arrangement, his two
eldest brothers voluntarily resigned their rights, and exiled
themselves in the Jungle territory, subsequently working their way
east to the coast, and adopting entirely, or in part, the rude
ways of the barbarous tribes they hoped to govern. We can
understand this better if we picture how the Phoenician and Greek
merchants in turn acted when successively colonizing Marseilles,
Cadiz, and even parts of Britain. Excepting doubtful genealogies
and lists of rulers, nothing whatever is heard of this colony
until 585 B.C.--say, 800 years subsequent to the original
settlement. A malcontent of Ts'u had, as was the practice among
the rival states of those, times, offered his services to the
hated Tsin, then engaged in desperate warfare with Ts'u: he
proposed to his new master that he should be sent on a mission to
the King of Wu (for that was, and still is, for literary purposes,
the name of the kingdom comprising Shanghai, Soochow, and Nanking)
in order to induce him to join in attacking Ts'u. "He taught them
the use of arrows and chariots," from which we may assume that
spears and boats were, up to that date, the usual warlike
apparatus of the coast power. Its capital was at a spot about
half-way between Soochow and Nanking, on the new (British)
railway line; and it is described by Chinese visitors during the
sixth century B.C. as being "a mean place, with low-built houses,
narrow streets, a vulgar palace, and crowds of boats and
wheelbarrows." The native word for the country was something like
Keugu, which the Chinese (as they still do with foreign words, as,
for instance, _Ying_ for "England") promptly turned into a
convenient monosyllable Ngu, or Wu. The semi-barbarous King was
delighted at the opening thus given him to associate with orthodox
Chinese princes on an equal footing, and to throw off his former
tyrannical suzerain. He annexed a number of neighbouring barbarian
states hitherto, like himself, belonging to Ts'u; paid visits to
the Emperor's court, to the Ts'u court, and to the petty but
highly cultivated court of Lu (in South Shan Tung), in order to
"study the rites"; and threw himself with zest into the whirl of
interstate political intrigue. Confucius in his history hardly
alludes to him as a civilized being until the year 561, when the
King died; and as his services to China (i.e. to orthodox Tsin
against unorthodox Ts'u) could not be ignored, the philosopher-
historian condescends to say "the Viscount of Wu died this year."
It must be explained that the Lu capital had been celebrated for
its learning ever since the founder of the Chou dynasty sent the
Duke of Chou, his own brother, there as a satrap (1122 B.C.).
Confucius, of course, wrote retrospectively, for he himself was
only born in 551 and did not compose his "Springs and Autumns"
history for at least half a century after that date. The old Lu
capital of K'uh-fu on she River Sz (both still so called) is the
official headquarters of the Dukes Confucius, the seventy-sixth in
descent from the Sage having at this moment direct semi-official
relations with Great Britain's representative at Wei-hai-wei. It
must also be explained that the vassal princes were all dukes,
marquises, earls, viscounts, or barons, according to the size of
their states, the distinction of their clan or gens, and the
length of their pedigrees; but the Emperor somewhat contemptuously
accorded only the courtesy title of "viscount" to barbarian
"kings," such as those of Ts'u and Wu, very much as we vaguely
speak of "His Highness the Khedive," or (until last year) "His
Highness the Amir," so as to mark unequality with genuine crowned
or sovereign heads.

The history of the wars between Wu and Ts'u is extremely
interesting, the more so in that there are some grounds for
believing that at least some part of the Japanese civilization was
subsequently introduced from the east coast of China, when the
ruling caste of Wu, in its declining days, had to "take flight
eastwards in boats to the islands to the east of the coast." But
we shall come to that episode later on. In the year 506 the
capital of Ts'u was occupied by a victorious Wu army, under
circumstances full of dramatic detail. But now, in the flush of
success, it was Wu's turn to suffer from the ambition of a vassal.
South of Wu, with a capital at the modern Shao-hing, near Ningpo,
reigned the barbarian King of Yiieh (this is a corrupted
monosyllable supposed to represent a dissyllabic native word
something like Uviet); and this king had once been a 'vassal of
Ts'u, but had, since Wu's conquests, transferred, either willingly
or under local compulsion, his allegiance to Wu. Advances were
made to him by Ts'u, and he was ultimately induced to declare war
as an ally of Ts'u. There is nothing more interesting in our
European history than the detailed account, full of personal
incident, of the fierce contests between Wu and Yiieh. The
extinction of Wu took place in 483, after that state had played a
very commanding part in federal affairs, as we shall have occasion
to specify in the proper places. Yiieh, in turn, peopled by a race
supposed to have ethnological connection with the Annamese of
Vietnam or "Southern Yiieh," became a great power in China, and in
468 even transferred its capital to a spot on or near the coast,
very near the German colony of Kiao Chou in Shan Tung. But its
predominance was only successfully asserted on the coasts; to use
the historians' words: "Yiieh could never effectively administer
the territory comprised in the Yang-tsz Kiang and Hwai River

It was precisely during this barbarian struggle, when federated
China, having escaped the Tartars, seemed to be running the risk
of falling into the clutches of southern pirates, that Confucius
flourished, and it is in reference to the historical events
sketched above-(1) the providential escape of China from
Tartardom, (2) the collapse of the imperial Chou house, (3) the
hegemony or Protector system, (4) the triumph of might over rite
(right and rite being one with Confucius), and (5) the desirability of
a prompt return to the good old feudal ways--that he abandoned
his own corrupt and ungrateful principality, began his peripatetic
teaching in the other orthodox states, composed a warning history
full of lessons for future guidance, and established what we
somewhat inaccurately call a "religion" for the political guidance of



The first of the so-called five hegemons or lords-protector of the
federated Chinese Empire (after the collapse of the imperial
power, and its consequent incapacity to protect the vassal states
from the raids of the Tartars and other barbarians) was the Lord
of Ts'i, whose capital was at the powerful and wealthy city of
Lin-tsz (lat. 37ø, long. 118ø 30'; still so called on the modern
maps), in Shan Tung province. Neither the Yellow River nor the
Grand Canal touched Shan Tung in those days, and Lin-tsz was
evidently situated with reference to the local rivers which flow
north into the Gulf of "Pechelee," so as to take full political
advantage of the salt, mining, and fishing industries. A word is
here necessary as to this Protector's pedigree: we have seen that
his ancestor, thirteen generations back, had inspired with his
counsels and courage the founder of the imperial Chou dynasty in
1122 B.C.; he had further given to the new Emperor a daughter of
his own in marriage, had served him as premier, and had finally
been enfeoffed in reward for his services as Marquess of Ts'i, the
economic condition of which far-eastern principality he had in a
very few years by his energy as ruler mightily improved, notably
with reference to the salt and fish industries, and to general
commerce. The Yellow River, then flowing along the bed of what is
now called the Chang River, and the sea, respectively, were the
western and eastern limits of this state, which embraced to the
north the salt flats now under the administration of a special
Tientsin Commissioner, and extended south to the present Manchu
Tartar-General's military garrison at Ts'ing-thou Fu. Of course,
later on, during the five-hundred-year period of unrest,
extensions and cessions of territory frequently took place, both
within and beyond these vague limits, usually at the expense of Lu
and other small orthodox states. Across the Yellow River, whose
course northwards, as already stated, lay considerably to the west
of the present channel, was the extensive state of Tsin; and south
was the highly ritual and literary Weimar of China, the unwarlike
principality of Lu, destined in future times to be glorified by

Scarcely anything is recorded of a nature to throw specific light
upon the international development of these far-eastern parts. But
in the year 894 B.C. the reigning prince of Ts'i was boiled alive
at the Emperor's order for some political offence, and his
successor thereupon moved his capital, only to be transferred back
to the old place by his son thirty-five years later. The imperial
flight of 842 naturally caused some consternation even in distant
Ts'i, and in 827 the next Emperor on his accession commanded the
reigning Marquess of Ts'i to assist in chastising the Western
Tartars. When this last Emperor's grandson was driven from his old
hereditary domain in 771, and the semi-Tartar ruler of Ts'in took
possession of the same, as already narrated, Ts'i was still so
inconsiderable a military power that even two generations after
that event, in the year 706, it was fain to apply for assistance
against Northern Tartar raids to one of the small Chinese
principalities in the Ho Nan province. (Roughly speaking,
"Northern Tartars" were Manchu-Mongols, and "Western Tartars" were
Mongol-Turks.) In 690 the prince, whose sister had married the
neighbouring ruler of Lu, made an armed attack by way of vengeance
upon the descendant of the adviser who had counselled the Emperor
to boil his ancestor alive in 894: his power was now so
considerable that the Emperor commissioned him to act with
authority in the matter of a disputed succession to a minor
Chinese principality. This was in the year 688 B.C., and it was
the first instance of a vassal acting as dictator or protector on
behalf of the Emperor; only, however, in a special or isolated
case. Two years later this prince of Ts'i was himself assassinated,
and the disputes between his sons regarding the succession
terminated with the advent to the throne of one of the great
characters in Chinese history, who was magnanimous and politic
enough to take as his adviser and premier a still greater character,
and one that almost rivals Confucius himself in fame as an author,
a statesman, a benefactor of China; and a moralist.

This personage, who, like most Chinese of the period, carried many
names, is most generally known as the philosopher Kwan-tsz, and
his chief writings have survived, in part at least, until our own
day. He was, in fact, a distant scion of the reigning imperial
family of Chou, and bore its clan name of _Ki_. Here it may
be useful to state parenthetically that most prominent men in all
the federated states seem to have belonged to a narrow aristocratic
circle, among whose members the craft of government, the
knowledge of letters, and the hereditary right to expect office,
was inherent; at the same time, there was never at any date
anything in the shape of a priestly or military caste, and power
appears to have been always within the reach of the humblest,
so long as the aspirant was competent to assert himself.

The new ruler of Ts'i officially proclaimed himself Protector in
the year 679 B.C., which is one of the fixed dates in Chinese
history about which there is no cavil or doubt, He soon found
himself embroiled in war with the Tartars, who were raiding both
the state to his north in the Peking plain, and also the minor
state, south of the Yellow River, that his predecessor has
protected specially in 688. This was the state of Wei (imperial
clan), through or near the capital town of which, near the modern
Wei-hwei Fu, the Yellow River then ran northwards.

The way these successive Protectors of China afterwards exercised
their preponderant influence in a general sense was this: When it
appeared to them, or when any orthodox vassal state complained to
them, that injustice was being done; whether in matters of duty to
the Emperor, right of succession, legitimacy of birth, great
crime, or inordinate ambition; the recognized Protector summoned a
durbar, usually somewhere within the territory of the central
area, or China proper as previously defined, and consulted with
the princes, his colleagues, as to what course should be pursued.
A distinction was drawn between "full-dress durbars" and "military
durbars"; the etiquette in either case was very minute, and
external behaviour at least was exquisitely courteous, though
treachery was far from rare, and treaties never lasted long
unbroken. But to return to the First Protector. Towards the end of
his glorious reign of forty-three years the Marquess of Ts'i grew
arrogant, vainglorious, and licentious, so much so that his
western neighbour, the powerful state of Tsin, declined to attend
the durbars. Of the other great powers Ts'in (to the west of Tsin)
was much too far off to take active part in these parliaments;
Ts'u was too busy in spreading civilization among the barbarous
states or tribes south of the Yang-tsz. The Emperor was
practically a _roi fainéant_ by this time, and, curiously
enough, less is known of what went on within his dominions or
appanage after the western half of it fell to Ts'in in 771, than
of what transpired in the territories of his three menacing
vassals to the north, north-west, and north-east, and of his half-
civilized satrap to the south. The fact is, all four rising powers
were now carefully engaged in watching each other, and in playing
a profound political game around their prey. This prey was the
eastern half of the Emperor's original domain (the western half
now, since 771 B.C., belonging to Ts'in) and the dozen or so of
purely Chinese, highly cultured, vassal states making up the rest
of modern Ho Nan province, together with small parts or wedges of
modern Chih Li, Shan Tung, An Hwei, and Kiang Su. From first to
last none of these ritual and literary states showed any real
fight; there is hardly a single record of a really crushing
victory gained by any one of them. The fighting instincts all lay
with the new Chinese, that is, with the Chinese adventurers who
had got their hand well in with generations of fighting against
barbarians--Tartars, Tunguses, Annamese, Shans, and what not--and
had invigorated themselves with good fresh barbarian blood. The
fact is, the population of China had enormously increased; the
struggle for life and food was keener; the old patriarchal
appetite for ritual was disappearing; the people were beginning to
assert themselves against the land-owners; the land-owners were
encroaching upon the power of the ruling princes; and China was in
a parlous state.



It was a fixed rule in ancient China that envoys should be treated
with courtesy, and that their persons should be held sacred,
whether at residential courts, in durbar, or on the road through a
third state. During the wars of the sixth century B.C. between
Tsin in the north and Ts'u in the south, when these two powers
were rival aspirants to the Protectorate of the original and
orthodox group of principalities lying between them, and were
alternately imposing their will on the important and diplomatic
minor Chinese state of CHÊNG (still the name of a territory in Ho
Nan), there were furnished many illustrations of this recognized
rule. The chief reason for thus making a fighting-ground of the
old Chinese principalities was that it was almost impossible for
Ts'u to get conveniently at any of the three great northern
powers, and equally difficult for Ts'in, Tsin, and Ts'i to reach
Ts'u, without passing through one or more Chinese states, mostly
bearing the imperial clan name, and permission had to be asked for
an army to pass through, unless the said Chinese state was under
the predominancy of (for instance) Tsin or Ts'u. It was like
Germany and Italy with Switzerland between them, or Germany and
Spain with France between them. Another important old Chinese
state was Sung, lying to the east of CHÊNG. Both these states were
of the highest caste, the Earl of CHÊNG being a close relative of
the Chou Emperor, and the Duke of Sung being the representative or
religious heir of the remains of the Shang dynasty ousted by the
Chou family in I 122 B.C., magnanimously reinfeoffed "in order
that the family sacrifices might not be entirely cut off" together
with the loss of imperial sway. In the year 595 B.C. Sung went so
far as to put a Ts'u envoy to death, naturally much to the wrath
of the rising southern power. Ts'u in turn arrested the Tsin envoy
on his way to Sung, and tried in vain to force him to betray his
trust. In 582 Tsin, in a fit of anger, detained the CHÊNG envoy,
and finally put him to death for his impudence in coming
officially to visit Tsin after coquetting with Tsin's rival Ts'u.
All these irregular cases are severely blamed by the historians.
In 562 Ts'u turned the tables upon Tsin by putting the CHÊNG envoy
to death after the latter had concluded a treaty with Tsin.
Confucius joins, retrospectively of course, in the chorus of
universal reprobation. In 560 Ts'u tried to play upon the Ts'i
envoy a trick which in its futility reminds us strongly of the
analogous petty humiliations until recently imposed by China,
whenever convenient occasion offered, upon foreign officials
accredited to her. The Ts'i envoy, who was somewhat deformed in
person, was no less an individual than the celebrated philosopher
Yen-tsz, a respected acquaintance of Confucius (though, of course,
much his senior), and second only to Kwan-tsz amongst the great
administrative statesmen of Ts'i. The half-barbarous King of Ts'u
concocted with his obsequious courtiers a nice little scheme for
humiliating the northern envoy by indicating to him the small door
provided for his entry into the presence, such as the Grand
Seigneurs in their hey-day used to provide for the Christian
ambassadors to Turkey. Yen-tsz, of course, at once saw through
this contemptible insult and said: "My master had his own reasons
for selecting so unworthy an individual as myself for this
mission; yet if he had sent me on a mission to a dog-court, I
should have obeyed orders and entered by a dog-gate: however, it
so happens that I am here on a mission to the King of Ts'u, and of
course I expect to enter by a gate befitting the status of that
ruler." Still another prank was tried by the foolish king: a
"variety entertainment" was got up, in which one scene represented
a famished wretch who was being belaboured for some reason.
Naturally every one asked: "What is that?" The answer was: "A Ts'i
man who has been detected in thieving."  Yen-tsz said: "I
understand that the best fruits come from Ts'u, and they say we
northern men cannot come near the quality of their peaches. We are
honest simpletons, too, and do not look natural on the variety
stage as thieves. The true rogue, like the true peach, is a
southern speciality. I did see rogues on the stage, it is true,
but none of them looked like a Ts'i man; hence I asked, 'What is
it?'" The king laughed sheepishly, and, for a time at least, gave
up taking liberties with Yen-tsz.

In 545, when Ts'u for the moment had the predominant say over
CHÊNG's political action, it was insisted that the ruler of CHÊNG
should come in person to pay his respects: this was after a great
Peace Conference, held at Sung, on which occasion Tsin and Ts'u
arranged a _modus operandi_ for their respective subordinate
or allied vassals. There was no help for it, and the Earl
accordingly went. The minister in attendance was Tsz-ch'an-a very
great name indeed in Chinese history; he was a lawyer, statesman,
"democratic conservative," sceptic, and philosopher, deeply
lamented on his death alike by the people of CHÊNG, and by his
friend or correspondent Confucius of Lu state. The Chinese
diplomats then, as now, had the most roundabout ways of pointing a
moral or delicately insinuating an innuendo. On arrival at the
outskirts of the capital, instead of building the usual daïs for
formalities and sacrifices, Tsz-ch'an threw up a mean hut for the
accommodation of his mission, saying: "Altars are built by great
states when they visit small ones as a symbol of benefits
accorded, and by way of exhortation to continue in virtuous ways."
Four years later Ts'u sent a mission of menacing size to CHÊNG,
ostensibly to complete the carrying out of a marriage agreed upon
by treaty between Ts'u and CHÊNG. Tsz-ch'an insisted that the bows
and arrows carried by the escort should be left outside the city
walls, adding: "Our poor state is too small to bear the full
honour of such an escort; erect your altar daïs outside the wall
for the service of the ancestral sacrifices, and we will there
await your commands about the marriage."

In 538, when Ts'u was, for the first time, holding a durbar as
recognized Protector, being at the time, however, on hostile terms
with her former vassal, Wu, the King of Ts'u committed the gross
outrage of seizing the ruler of a petty state, who was then
present at the durbar, because that ruler had married (being
himself of eastern barbarian descent) a princess of Wu. The
following year, when two very distinguished statesmen from the
territory of his secular enemy Tsin came on a political mission,
the King of Ts'u consulted his premier about the advisability of
castrating the one for a harem eunuch, and cutting off the feet of
the other for a door-porter. "Your Majesty can do it, certainly,"
was the reply, "but how about the consequences?" This was the
occasion, mentioned in Chapter VI., on which the king was reminded
how many great private families there were in Tsin quite capable
of raising a hundred chariots apiece.

It appears that envoys, at least in Lu, were hereditary in some
families, just as other families provided successive generations
of ministers. A Lu envoy to Tsin, who carried a very valuable gem-
studded girdle with him, had very great pressure put upon him by a
covetous Tsin minister who wanted the girdle. The envoy offered to
give some silk instead, but he said that not even to save his life
would he give up the girdle. The Tsin magnate thought better of
it; but it is remarkable how many cases of sordid greed of this
kind are recorded, all pointing to the comparative absence of
commercial exchanges, or standards of value between the feudal

Ts'u seems to have thoroughly deserved Yen-tsz's imputations of
treachery and roguery. At the great Peace Conference held outside
the Sung capital in 546, the Ts'u escort was detected wearing
cuirasses underneath their clothing. One of the greatest of the
Tsin statesmen, Shuh Hiang (a personal friend of Yen-tsz,
Confucius, and Tsz-ch'an) managed diplomatically to keep down the
rising indignation of the other powers and representatives present
by pooh-poohing the clumsy artifice on the ground that by such
treachery Ts'u simply injured her own reputation in the federation
to the manifest advantage of Tsin: it did not suit Tsin to
continue the struggle with Ts'u just then. Then there was a
squabble as to precedence at the same Peace Conference; that is,
whether Tsin or Ts'u had the first right to smear lips with the
blood of sacrifice: here again Shuh Hiang tactfully gave way, and
by his conciliatory conduct succeeded in inducing the federal
princes to sign a sort of disarmament agreement. This is one of
the numerous instances in which Confucius as an annalist tries to
_menager_ the true facts in the interests of orthodoxy.

Even the more fully civilized state of Ts'i attempted an act of
gross treachery, when in 500 B.C. the ruler of Lu, accompanied by
Confucius as his minister in attendance, went to pay his respects.
But Confucius was just as sharp as Yen-tsz and Tsz-ch'an, his
friends, neighbours, and colleagues: he at once saw through the
menacing appearance of the barbarian "dances" (introduced here,
again, as a "variety entertainment"), and by his firm behaviour
not only saved the person of his prince, but shamed the ruler of
Ts'i into disclaiming and disavowing his obsequious fellow-
practical jokers. Yen-tsz was actually present at the time, in
attendance upon his own marquis; but it is nowhere alleged that he
was responsible for the disgraceful manoeuvre. As a result T'si
was obliged to restore to Lu several cities and districts
wrongfully annexed some years before, and Lu promised to assist
Ts'i in her wars.

[Illustration: MAP

1. The River Sz still starts at Sz-shui (cross in circle; means
"River Sz"), and runs past Confucius' town, K'iih-fu, into the
Canal in two branches. But in Confucius' time what is now the
Canal continued to be the River Sz, down to its junction with the
Hwai. The River I starts still from I-shui (also a cross in
circle; means "River I"), passes I-thou, and used to join the Sz
(now the Canal) at the lower cross in a circle. The neck (dotted)
of the Hwai embouchure no longer exists, and the Lake Hung-tseh
now dissipates itself into lakelets and canals. The Wu fleets, by
sailing up the Hwai, Sz, and I, could get up to Lu, and threaten

2. In Confucius' time the Yellow River turned north near the
junction of the Emperor's territory with Cheng: it passed through
Wei, and there divided. Its main branch, after coursing through
part of the River Wei bed, left it and took possession of the
River Chang bed. Up to 602 B.C. the secondary branch took the more
easterly dotted line (the present Yellow River, once the River
Tsi); but after 602 B.C. it cut through Hing, followed the Wei,
and took the line of the present Canal. Hing was a Tartar-harried
state contested by Ts'i and Tsin: it fell at last to Tsin.

3. The capitals of Ts'i, Wei, Ts'ao, Cheng, Sung, Ch'en, Ts'ai
(three) are marked with encircled crosses. K'iih-fu, the capital
of Lu, is marked with a small circle. In 278 B.C. the Ts'u capital
was moved east to Ch'en. In 241 B.C., under pressure of Ts'in, the
Ts'u capital had to be moved to the double black cross on the
south bank of the Hwai.]



We must now go back a little. The first of the so-called Five
Tyrants, or the Five successive Protectors of orthodox China, had
died in 643, his philosopher and friend, Kwan-tsz, having departed
this life a little before him. Their joint title to fame lies in
the fact that "they saved China from becoming a Tartar province,"
and even Confucius admits the truth of this--a most important
factor in enabling us to understand the motive springs of Chinese
policy. Under these circumstances the Duke of Sung, who, as we
have seen, had special moral pretensions to leadership on account
of his being the direct lineal representative of the Shang dynasty
which perished in 1122 B.C., immediately put forward a claim to
the hegemony. He rather prejudiced his reputation, however, by
committing the serious ritual offence of "warring upon Ts'i's
mourning," that is, of engaging the allies in hostilities with the
late Protector's own country whilst his body lay unburied, and his
sons were still wrangling over the question of succession. The
Tartars, however, came to the rescue of, and made a treaty with,
Ts'i--this is only one of innumerable instances which show how the
northern Chinese princes of those early days were in permanent
political touch with the horse-riding nomads. The orthodox Duke of
Sung, dressed in his little brief authority as Protector, had the
temerity to "send for" the ruler of Ts'u to attend his first
durbar. (It must be remembered that the "king" in his own
dominions was only "viscount" in the orthodox peerage of ruling
princes.) The result was that the King unceremoniously took his
would-be protector into custody at the durbar, and put in a claim
to be Protector himself. During the military operations connected
with this political manoeuvre, the Duke of Sung was guilty of the
most ridiculous piece of ritual chivalry; highly approved, it is
true, by the literary pedants of all subsequent ages, but ruinous
to his own worldly cause. The Ts'u army was crossing a difficult
ford, and the Duke's advisers recommended a prompt attack. "It is
not honourable," said the Duke, "to take advantage even of an
enemy in distress." "But," said his first adviser, "war is war,
and its only object is to punish the foe as severely and promptly
as possible, so as to gain the upper hand, and establish what you
are fighting for."

Meanwhile important events had been going on in the marquisate of
Tsin, which, during the thirty-five years' hegemony of Ts'i, had
been engaged in extending its territory in all directions, in
fighting Ts'in, and in annexing bordering Tartar tribes. At its
greatest development Tsin practically comprised all between the
Yellow River in its turns south, east, and north; but, though
probably half its population was Tartar, it never ceased to be
"orthodox" in administrative principle. The energetic but
licentious ruler of Tsin had married a Tartar wife in addition to
his more legitimate spouse (daughter of the late Protector,
Marquess of Ts'i); or, rather, he took two wives, the one being
sister of the other, but the younger sister brought him no
children. Before this he had already married two sisters of quite
a different Tartar tribe, and each of his earlier wives had
brought him a son. His last pair of Tartar lady-loves gained such
a strong hold upon his affections that he was induced by the
mother, being the elder sister of the two, to nominate her own son
as his heir to the exclusion of the three elder brethren, who were
sent on various flimsy pretexts to defend the northern frontiers
against the more hostile Tartars. To complicate matters, the
Marquess's legitimate or first spouse, the Ts'i princess, besides
bearing a son, had also given him a daughter, who had married the
powerful ruler of Ts'in to the west. Thus not only were Ts'in and
Tsin both half-Tartar in origin and sympathy, but at this period
three out of four of the Tsin possible heirs were actually sons of
Tartar women. The legitimate heir, whose mother was of Ts'i
origin, and, who himself was a man of very high character, ended
the question so far as he was concerned, by committing dutiful
suicide; the three sons by Tartar mothers succeeded to the throne
one after the other, but in the inverse order of their respective
ages. The story of the wanderings of the eldest brother, who did
not come to the throne until he was sixty-two years of age, is one
of the most interesting and romantic episodes in the whole history
of China; and, even with the unfamiliar proper names, would make a
capital romantic novel, so graphically and naturally are some of
the scenes depicted. First he threw himself heart and soul into
Tartar life, joined the rugged horsemen in their internecine wars,
married a Tartar wife, and gave her sister to his most faithful
henchman; then, hearing of the death of the Ts'i premier, Kwan-
tsz, he vowed he would go to Ts'i and try to act as political
adviser in his place. Hospitably received by the Marquess of Ts'i,
he was presented with a charming and sensible Ts'i princess, who
for five years exercised so enervating an influence upon his
virility, ambition, and warlike ardour, that he had to be
surreptitiously smuggled away from the gay Ts'i capital whilst
drunk, by his Tartar father-in-law and by his chief Chinese
henchman and brother-in-law. Then he commenced a series of visits
to the petty orthodox courts which separated Ts'i from Ts'u.
Several of them were rude and neglectful to this unfortunate
prince in distress; but Sung was an exception, for Sung ambition,
as above narrated, had been roughly checked by Ts'u, and Sung now
wished to make overtures to Tsin instead, and to conciliate a
prince who was as likely as not to come to the throne of Tsin. In
637 the prince reached the court of Ts'u, whose ruler had quite
recently begun to take formal and official rank as a "civilized"
federal prince. Meanwhile, news came that his brother (by his own
mother's younger sister) was dead; this younger brother had taken
refuge in Ts'in during the reign of his youngest brother (the one
born of the last Tartar favourite), and had, after that brother's
death, been most generously assisted to the throne in turn by the
ruler of Ts'in, on the understanding, however, that Tsin should
cede to Ts'in all territory on the right bank of the Yellow River,
i.e. in the modern province of Shen Si: but the new Tsin ruler had
been persuaded by his courtiers to go back on this humiliating
bargain, in consequence of which war had been declared by Ts'in
upon Tsin, and the faithless ruler of Tsin had been for some time
a prisoner of war in Ts'in; but, regaining his throne through the
influence of his half-sister, the wife of the Ts'in ruler, had
died in harness in 637 B.C. This deceased ruler's young son was
not popular, and Ts'in was now instrumental in welcoming the
refugee back from Ts'u, and in leading him in triumph, after
nineteen years of adventurous wandering, to his own ancestral
throne; his rival and nephew was killed.

All orthodox China seemed to feel now that the interesting
wanderer, after all his experiences of war, travel, Tartars,
Chinese, barbarians, and politics, was the right man to be
Protector. But it was first necessary for Tsin to defeat Ts'u in a
decisive battle; a war had arisen between Tsin and Ts'u out of an
attempt on the part of CHÊNG (one of the orthodox Chinese states
that had been uncivil to the wanderer), to drag in the preponderant
power of Ts'u by way of shielding itself from punishment at Tsin's
hands for past rude behaviour. The Emperor sent his own son to
confer the status of "my uncle" upon him,--which is practically
another way of saying "Protector" to a kinsman,--and in the year
632 accordingly a grand durbar was held, in which the Emperor
himself took part. The Tsin ruler, who had summoned the durbar,
and had even "commanded the presence" of the Emperor, was the
guiding spirit of the meeting in every respect, except in the nominal
and ritualistic aspect of it; nevertheless, he was prudent and careful
enough scrupulously to observe all external marks of deference,
and to make it appear that he was merely acting as mouthpiece to
 the puppet Emperor; he even went the length of dutifully offering
to the Emperor some Ts'u prisoners, and the Emperor in turn "graciously
ceded" to Tsin the imperial possessions north of the Yellow River.
Thus Ts'in and Tsin each in turn clipped the wings of the Autocrat
of All the Chinas, so styled.

During these few unsettled years between the death of the first
real Protector in 643 and the formal nomination by the Emperor of
the second in 632, Ts'u and Sung had, as we have seen, both
attempted to assert their rival claims. A triangular war had also
been going on for some time between Ts'i and Ts'u, the bone of
contention being some territory of which Ts'i had stripped Lu; and
there was war also between Tsin and Ts'i, Tsin and Ts'in, and Tsin
and Ts'u, which latter state always tried to secure the assistance
of Ts'in when possible. From first to last, there never was,
during the period covered by Confucius' history, any serious war
between Tartar Ts'in and barbarian Ts'u; rather were they natural
allies against orthodox China, upon which intermediate territory
they both learned to fix covetous eyes.

The situation is too involved, in view of the uncouthness of
strange names and the absence of definite frontiers--changing as
they did with the result of each few years' campaigning--to make
it possible to give a full, or even approximately intelligible,
explanation of each move. But the following main features are
incontestable:--Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i, and Ts'u were growing,
progressive, and aggressive states, all of them strongly tinged
with foreign blood, which foreign blood was naturally assimilated
the more readily in proportion to the power, wealth, and culture
of the assimilating orthodox nucleus. The imperial domain was an
extinct political volcano, belching occasional fumes of
threatening, sometimes noxious, but not ever fatally suffocating
smoke, always without fire. "The Hia," that is, the federation of
princes belonging to pure Hia, or (as we now say) "Chinese" stock,
were evidently unwarlike in proportion to the absence of foreign
blood in their veins; but they were all of them equally
_rusés_, and all of them past-masters in casuistic diplomacy.
Trade, agriculture, literature, and even law, were now quite
active, and (as we shall gradually see in these short chapters)
China was undoubtedly beginning to move, as, after 2500 years of a
second "ritual" sleep, she is again now moving, at the beginning
of the twentieth century A.D.



All through these five centuries of struggle, between the flight
of the Emperor with the transfer of the metropolis in 771 B.C.,
and the total destruction of the feudal system by the First August
Emperor of Ts'in in 221 B.C., it is of supreme interest to note
that religion in our Western sense was not only non-existent
throughout China, but had not yet even been conceived of as an
abstract notion; apart, that is to say, from government, public
law, family law, and class ritual. No word for "religion" was
known to the language; the notion of Church or Temple served by a
priestly caste had not entered men's minds. Offences against "the
gods" or "the spirits," in a vague sense, were often spoken of;
but, on the other hand, too much belief in their power was
regarded as superstition. "Sin" was only conceivable in the sense
of infraction of nature's general laws, as symbolized and
specialized by imperial commands; direct, or delegated to vassal
princes; in both cases as representatives, supreme or local, of
Heaven, or of the Emperor Above, whose Son the dynastic central
ruler for the time being was figuratively supposed to be. No
vassal prince ever presumed to style himself "Son of Heaven,"
though nearly all the barbarous vassals called themselves "King"
(the only other title the Chou monarchs took) in their own
dominions. "In the Heaven there can only be one Sun; on Earth
there can only be one Emperor"; this was the maxim, and, ever
since the Chou conquest in 1122 B.C., the word "King" had done
duty for the more ancient "Emperor," which, in remote times had
apparently not been sharply distinguished in men's minds from God,
or the "Emperor on High."

Prayer was common enough, as we shall frequently see, and
sacrifice was universal; in fact, the blood of a victim was almost
inseparable from solemn function or record of any kind. But such
ideas as conscience, fear of God, mortal sin, repentance,
absolution, alms-giving, self-mortification, charity, sackcloth
and ashes, devout piety, praise and glorification,--in a word,
what the Jews, Christians, Mussulmans, and even Buddhists have
each in turn conceived to be religious duty, had no well-defined
existence at all. There are some traces of local or barbarous gods
in the semi-Turkish nation of Ts'in, before it was raised to the
status of full feudal vassal; and also in the semi-Annamese nation
of Ts'u (with its dependencies Wu and Yiieh); but the orthodox
Chinese proper of those times never had any religion such as we
now conceive it, whatever notions their remote ancestors may have

Notwithstanding this, the minds of the governing classes at least
were powerfully restrained by family and ancestral feeling, and,
if there were no temples or priests for public worship, there were
invariably shrines dedicated to the ancestors, with appropriate
rites duly carried out by professional clerks or reciters.
Whenever a ruler of any kind undertook any important expedition or
possible duty, he was careful first to consult the oracles in
order to ascertain the will of Heaven, and then to report the fact
to the _manes_ of his forefathers, who were likewise notified
of any great victory, political change, or piece of good fortune.
There is a distinction (not easy to master) between the loss of a
state and the loss of a dynasty; in the latter case the population
remain comparatively unaffected, and it is only the reigning
family whose sacrifices to the gods of the place and of the
harvest are interrupted. Thus in 567, when one of the very small
vassals (of whom the ruler of Lu was mesne lord) crushed the
other, it is explained that the spirits will not spiritually eat
the sacrifices (i.e. accept the worship) of one who does not
belong to the same family name, and that in this case the
annihilating state was only a cousin through sisters: "when the
country is 'lost,' it means that the strange surname succeeds to
power; but, when a strange surname becomes spiritual heir, we say
'annihilated.'" We have seen in the ninth chapter how the Shang
dynasty lost the empire, but was sacrificially maintained in Sung.
From the remotest times there seems to have been a tender
unwillingness to "cut off all sacrifices" entirely, probably out
of a feeling that retribution in like form might at some future
date occur to the ruthless condemner of others. There is another
reason, which is, nearly all ruling families hailed from the same
remote semi-mythical emperors, or from their ministers, or from
their wives of inferior birth. Thus, although the body of the last
tyrannical monarch of the Shang dynasty just cited was pierced
through and through by the triumphant Chou monarch, that monarch's
brother (acting as regent on behalf of the son and successor)
conferred the principality of Sung upon the tyrant's elder half-
brother by an inferior wife, "in order that the dynastic
sacrifices might not be cut off"; and to the very last the Duke of
Sung was the only ruling satrap under the Chou dynasty who
permanently enjoyed the full title of "duke." His neighbour, the
Marquess of Wei (imperial clan), was, it is true, made "duke" in
770 B.C. for services in connection with the Emperor's flight; but
the title seems to have been tacitly abandoned, and at durbars he
is always styled "marquess." Of the Shang tyrant himself it is
recorded: "thus in 1122 B.C. he lost all in a single day, without
even leaving posterity." Of course his elder brother could not
possibly be his spiritual heir. In 597 B.C., when Ts'u, in its
struggle with Tsin for the possession of CHÊNG, got the ruling
Earl of CHÊNG in its power, the latter referred appealingly to his
imperial ancestors (the first earl, in 806, was son of the Emperor
who fled from his capital north in 842), and said: "Let me
continue their sacrifices." There are, at least, a score of
similar instances: the ancestral sacrifices seem to refer rather
to posterity, whilst those to gods of the land and grain appear
more connected with rights as feoffee.

Prayer is mentioned from the earliest times. For instance Shun,
the active ploughman monarch (not hereditary) who preceded the
three dynasties of Hia (2205-1767), Shang (1766-1123), and Chou
(1122-249), prayed at a certain mountain in the centre of modern
Hu Nan province, where his grave still is, (a fact which points to
the possibility of the orthodox Chinese having worked their way
northwards from the south-west). When the Chou conqueror,
posthumously called the Martial King, fell ill, his brother, the
Duke of Chou (later regent for the Martial King's son), prayed to
Heaven for his brother's recovery, and offered himself as a
substitute; the clerk was instructed to commit the offer to
writing, and this solemn document was securely locked up. The same
man, when regent, again offered himself to Heaven for his sick
nephew, cutting his nails off and throwing them into the river, as
a symbol of his willingness to give up his own body. The Emperor
K'ang-hi of the present Manchu dynasty, perhaps in imitation of
the Duke of Chou, offered himself to Heaven in place of his sick
Mongol grandmother. A very curious instance of prayer occurs in
connection with the succession to the Tsin throne; it will be
remembered that the legitimate heir committed dutiful suicide, and
two other half-brothers (and, for a few months, one of these
brother's sons) reigned before the second Protector secured his
ancestral rights. The suicide's ghost appears to his usurping
brother, and says: "I have prayed to the Emperor (God), who will
soon deliver over Tsin into Ts'in's hands, so that Ts'in will
perform the sacrifices due to me." The reply to the ghost was:
"But the spirits will only eat the offerings if they come from the
same family stock." The ghost said: "Very good; then I will pray
again. . . . God now says my half-brother will be overthrown at
the battle of Han" (the pass where the philosopher Lao-tsz is
supposed to have written his book 150 years later). In 645 the
ruler of Tsin was in fact captured in battle by his brother-in-law
of Ts'in, who was indeed about to sacrifice to the Emperor on High
as successor of Tsin; but he was dissuaded by his orthodox wife
(the Tsin princess, daughter of a Ts'i princess as explained on
page 51).

In 575 Tsin is recorded as "invoking the spirits and requesting a
victory." A little later one of the Tsin generals, after a defeat,
issued a general order by way of concealing his weakness: to
deceive the enemy he suggested that the army should amongst other
things make a great show of praying for victory. There are many
other similar analogous instances of undoubted prayer. Much later,
in the year 210 B.C., when the King (as he had been) of Ts'in had
conquered all China and given himself the name, for the first time
in history, of August Emperor (the present title), he consulted
his soothsayers about an unpleasant dream he had had. He was
advised to pray, and to worship (or to sacrifice, for the two are
practically one) with special ardour if he wished to bring things
round to a favourable conclusion: and this is a monarch, too, who
was steeped in Lao-tsz's philosophy.



We have just seen that, when a military expedition started out,
the event was notified, with sacrifice, to the ancestors of the
person most concerned: it was also the practice to carry to
battle, on a special chariot, the tablet of the last ancestor
removed from the ancestral hall, in order that, under his aegis so
to speak, the tactics of the battle might be successful. Ancestral
halls varied according to rank, the Emperor alone having seven
shrines; vassal rulers five; and first-class ministers three;
courtiers or second-class ministers had only two; that is to say,
no one beyond the living subject's grandfather was in these last
cases worshipped at all. From this we may assume that the ordinary
folk could not pretend to any shrine, unless perhaps the house-
altar, which one may see still any day in the streets of Canton.
In 645 B.C. a first-class minister's temple was struck by
lightning, and the commentator observes: "Thus we see that all,
from the Emperor down to the courtiers, had ancestral shrines",--a
statement which proves that already at the beginning of our
Christian era such matters had to be explained to the general
public. The shrines were disposed in the following fashion:--To
the left (on entrance) was the shrine of the living subject's
father; to the right his grandfather; above these two, to the left
and right again, the great-grandfather and great-great-
grandfather; opposite, in the centre, was that of the founder,
whose tablet or effigy was never moved; but as each living
individual died, his successor of course regarded him in the light
of father, and, five being the maximum allowed, one tablet had to
be removed at each decease, and it was placed in the more general
ancestral hall belonging to the clan or gens rather than to the
specific family: it was therefore the, tablet or effigy of the
great-great-grandfather that was usually carried about in war. The
Emperor alone had two special chapels beyond the five shrines,
each chapel containing the odds (left) and evens (right) of those
higher up in ascent than the great and great-great-grandfathers
respectively. The King of Ts'u who died in 560 B.C. said on his
death-bed: "I now take my place in the ancestral temple to receive
sacrifices in the spring and autumn of each year." In the year
597, after a great victory over Tsin, the King of Ts'u had been
advised to build a trophy over the collected corpses of the enemy;
but, being apparently rather a high-minded man, after a little
reflection, he said: "No! I will simply erect there a temple to my
ancestors, thanking them for the success." After the death in 210
B.C. of the First August Emperor, a discussion arose as to what
honours should be paid to his temple shrine: it was explained that
"for a thousand years without any change the rule has been seven
shrines for the Son of Heaven, five for vassal princes, and three
for ministers." In the year 253, after the conquest of the
miserable Chou Emperor's limited territory, the same Ts'in
conqueror "personally laid the matter before the Emperor Above in
the suburb sacrifice";--which means that he took over charge of
the world as Vicar of God. The Temple of Heaven (outside the
Peking South Gate), occupied in 1900 by the British troops, is
practically the "suburb sacrifice" place of ancient times. It was
not until the year 221 B.C. that the King of Ts'in, after that
date First August Emperor, formally annexed the whole empire:
"thanks to the shrines in the ancestral temple," or "thanks to the
spiritual help of my ancestors' shrines the Under-Heaven (i.e.
Empire) is now first settled." These expressions have been
perpetuated dynasty by dynasty, and were indeed again used but
yesterday in the various announcements of victory made to Heaven
and his ancestors by the Japanese _Tenshi,_ or Mikado; that
is by the "Son of Heaven," or T'ien-tsz of the ancient Chinese,
from whom the Japanese Shinto ritual was borrowed in whole or in

In the year 572 B.C., on the accession of a Tsin ruler after
various irregular interruptions in the lineal succession, he says:
"Thanks to the supernatural assistance of my ancestors--and to
your assistance, my lords--I can now carry out the Tsin
sacrifices." In the year 548 the wretched ruler of Ts'i, victim of
a palace intrigue, begged the eunuch who was charged with the task
of assassinating him at least "to grant me permission to commit
suicide in my ancestral hall." The wooden tablet representing the
ancestor is defined as being "that on which the spirit reclines";
and the temple "that place where the ancestral spiritual
consciousness doth dwell." Each tablet was placed on its own
altar: the tablet was square, with a hole in the centre, "in order
to leave free access on all four sides." The Emperor's was twelve
inches, those of vassal princes one foot (i.e. ten inches) in
length, and no doubt the inscription was daubed on in varnish
(before writing on silk became general, and before the hair-brush
and ink came into use about 200 B.C.). The rulers of Lu, being
lineal descendants of the Duke of Chou, brother of the first
Emperor of the Chou dynasty (1122 B.C.) had special privileges in
sacrificial matters, such as the right to use the imperial music
of all past dynasties; the right to sacrifice to the father of the
Duke of Chou and the founder; the right to imperial rites, to
suburban sacrifice, and so on; besides the custody of certain
ancient symbolic objects presented by the first Chou Emperors, and
mentioned on page 22.

Of course no punishment could be spiritually greater than the
destruction of ancestral temples: thus on two occasions, notably
in 575 B.C. when a first-class minister traitorously fled his
country, his prince, the Marquess of Lu, as a special act of
grace, simply "swept his ancestral temple, but did not cut off the
sacrifices." The second instance was also in Lu, in 550: the Wei
friend with whom Confucius lived seventy years later, when
wandering in Wei, retrospectively gave his ritual opinion on the
case--a proof of the solidarity in sympathy that existed between
the statesmen of the orthodox principalities. In the bloodthirsty
wars between the semi-barbarous southern states of Wu and Ts'u,
the capital of the latter was taken by storm in the year 506, the
ancestral temple of Ts'u was totally destroyed, and the renegade
Ts'u ministers who accompanied the Wu armies even flogged the
corpse of the previous Ts'u king, their former master, against
whom they had a grievance. This mutilation of the dead (in cases
where the guilty rulers have contravened the laws of nature and
heaven) was practised even in imperial China; for (see page 57)
the founder of the dynasty, on taking possession of the last Shang
Emperor's palace, deliberately fired several arrows into the body
of the suicide Emperor. Decapitating corpses and desecrating tombs
of great criminals have frequently been practised by the existing
Manchu government, in criticizing whom we must not forget the
treatment of Cromwell's body at the Restoration. In the year 285
B.C., when the Ts'i capital was taken possession of by the allied
royal powers then united against Ts'i, the ancestral temple was
burnt. In 249 B.C. Ts'u extinguished the state of Lu, "which thus
witnessed the interruption of its ancestral sacrifices."

Frequent instances occur, throughout this troublous period, of the
Emperor's sending presents of meat used in ancestral sacrifices to
the vassal princes; this was intended as a special mark of honour,
something akin to the "orders" or decorations distributed in
Europe. Thus in 671 the new King of Ts'u who had just murdered his
predecessor, which predecessor had for the first time set the bad
example of annexing petty orthodox Chinese principalities,
received this compliment of sacrificial meat from the Emperor,
together with a mild hint to "attack the barbarians such as Yiieh,
but always to let the Chinese princes alone." Ts'i, Lu, Ts'in, and
Yiieh on different occasions between that date and the fourth
century B.C. received similar donations, usually, evidently, more
propitiatory than patronizing. In 472 the barbarous King of Yiieh
was even nominated Protector along with his present of meat; this
was after his total destruction of Wu, when he was marching north
to threaten North China. Presents of private family sacrificial
meat are still in vogue between friends in China.

Fasting and purification were necessary before undertaking solemn
sacrifice of any kind. Thus the King of Ts'u in 690 B.C. did this
before announcing a proposed war to his ancestors; and an envoy
starting from Ts'u to Lu in 618 reported the circumstance to his
own particular ancestors, who may or may not have been (as many
high officers were) of the reigning caste. On another occasion the
ruler of Lu was assassinated whilst purifying himself in the
enclosure dedicated to the god of the soil, previous to
sacrificing to the _manes_ of an individual who had once
saved his life. Practically all this is maintained in modern
Chinese usage.

A curious distinction is mentioned in connection with official
mourning tidings in the highly ritual state of Lu. If the deceased
were of a totally different family name, the Marquess of Lu wept
outside his capital, turning towards deceased's native place, or
place of death; if of the same name, then in the ancestral temple:
if the deceased was a descendant of the same founder, then in the
founder's temple; if of the same family branch, then in the
paternal temple. All these refinements are naturally tedious and
obscure to us Westerners; but it is only by collating specific
facts that we can arrive at any general principle or rule.

[Illustration: MAP

1. Ts'u's five capitals, in order of date, are marked. In 504 B.C.
the king had to leave the Yang-tsz for good in order to escape Wu
attacks. In 278 B.C. Ts'in captured No. 4, and then the ancient
Ch'ta capital (No. 5, already annexed by Ts'u) became the Ts'u
capital (see maps showing Ch'en's position). Ts'u was now a Hwai
River power instead of being a Han River and Yang-tsz power. Shuh
and Pa are modern Sz Ch'wan, both inaccessible from the Han
system. The Han system to its north was separated from the Wei
system and the country of Ts'in by a common watershed.

2. Wu seems to have been the only power besides Ts'u possessing
any knowledge of the Yang-tsz River, and Wu was originally part
of, or vassal to Ts'u. 3. Pa had relations with Ts'u so early as
600 B.C. Later Pa princesses married Ts'u kings.]



The reign of the Tsin marquess (628-635), second of the Five
Protectors, only lasted eight years, and nothing is recorded to
have happened during this period at all commensurate with his
picturesque figure in history while yet a mere wanderer. But it is
very interesting to note that the Bamboo Annals or Books, i.e. the
History of Tsin from 784 B.C., and incidentally also of China from
1500 years before that date, are one of the corroborative
authorities we now possess upon the accuracy of Confucius' history
from 722 B.C., as expanded by his three commentators; and it is
satisfactory to know that the oldest of the three commentaries,
that usually called the Tso _Chwan_, or "Commentary of Tso
K'iu-ming," a junior contemporary of Confucius, and official
historiographer at the Lu Court, is the most accurate as well as
the most interesting of the three. These Bamboo Books were only
discovered in the year 281 A.D., after having been buried in a
tomb ever since the year 299 B.C. The character in which they were
written, upon slips of bamboo, had already become so obsolete that
the sustained work of antiquarians was absolutely necessary in
order to reduce it to the current script of the day; or, in other
words, of to-day. Another interesting fact is, that whilst the
Chou dynasty, and consequently Confucius of Lu (which state was
intimately connected by blood with the Chou family), had
introduced a new calendar, making the year begin one (Shang) or
two (Hia) months sooner than before, Tsin had continued to compute
(see page 27) the year according to the system of the Hia dynasty:
in other words, the intercalary moons, or massed fractions of time
periodically introduced in order to bring the solar and lunar
years into line, had during the millennium so accumulated (at the
rate apparently of, roughly, sixty days in 360,000, or, say, three
half-seconds a day) that the Chou dynasty found it necessary to
call the Hia eleventh moon the first and the Hia first moon the
third of the year. A parallel distinction is observable in modern
times when the Russian year (until a few years ago twelve days
later than ours), was declared thirteen days later; and when we
ourselves in 1900 (and in three-fourths of all future years making
up a net hundred), omit the intercalary day of the 29th February,
which otherwise occurs every fourth year of even numbers divisible
by four. Thus the very discrepancies in the dates of the Bamboo
Books (where the later editors, in attempting to accommodate all
dates to later calendars, have accidentally left a Tsin date
unchanged) and in the dates of Confucius' expanded history,
pointed out and explained as they are by the Chinese commentators
themselves, are at once a guarantee of fact, and of good faith in
recording that fact.

But the neighbour and brother-in-law of the Tsin marquess (himself
three parts Turkish), the Earl of Ts'in, who reigned from 659 to
621 B.C., and during that reign quietly laid the foundations of a
powerful state which was destined to achieve the future conquest
of all China, was himself a remarkable man; and there is some
reason to believe that he, even at this period, also possessed a
special calendar of his own, as his successors certainly did 400
years later, when they imposed their own calendar reckoning upon
China. We have already seen (page 52) what powerful influence he
exercised in bringing the semi-Tartar Tsin brethren to the Tsin
throne in turn. He had invited several distinguished men from the
neighbouring petty, but very ancient, Chinese principalities to
settle in his capital as advisers; he was too far off to attend
the durbars held by the, First Protector, but he sent one of these
Chinese advisers as his representative, He is usually himself
counted as one of the Five Protectors; but, although he was
certainly very influential, and for that reason was certainly one
of the Five Tyrants, or Five Predominating Powers, it is certain
that he never succeeded in obtaining the Emperor's formal sanction
to act as such over the orthodox principalities, nor did he ever
preside at a durbar of Chinese federal princes. Long and bloody
wars with his neighbour of Tsin were the chief feature of his
reign so far as orthodox China was concerned; but his chief glory
lies in his great Tartar conquests, and in his enormous extensions
to the west. These extensions, however, must not be exaggerated,
and there is no reason to suppose that they ever reached farther
than Kwa Chou and Tun-hwang (long. 95ø, lat. 40ø), two very
ancient places which still appear under those names on the most
modern maps of China, and from which roads (recently examined by
Major Bruce) branch off to Turkestan and Lob Nor respectively.

Most Emperors and vassal princes are spoken of in history by their
posthumous names, that is by the names voted to them after death,
with the view of tersely expressing by that name the essential
features (good or bad) of the deceased's personal character; just
as we say in Europe, officially or unofficially, Louis le
Bienaimé, Albert the Good, or Charles the Fat. The posthumous name
of this Ts'in earl was "the Duke Muh" (no matter whether duke,
marquess, earl, viscount, or baron when living, it was customary
to say "duke" when the ruler was dead), and the posthumous name of
the Emperor who died in 947 B.C. was "the King Muh"; for, as
already stated, the Chou dynasty of Sons of Heaven were called
"King," and not "Emperor" though their supreme position was as
fully imperial as that of previous dynastic monarchs, and they
were, in fact, "Emperors" as we now understand that word in
Europe. At the same time that the Bamboo Annals were unearthed,
there were also found copies of some of the old "classics" or
"Scripture," and a hitherto unknown book called "the Story of the
Son of Heaven Muh," all, of course, written in the same ancient
script. This Son of Heaven (a term applied to all the Emperors of
China, no matter whether they styled themselves Emperor, King, or
August Emperor) was supposed to have travelled far west, and to
have had interviews with a foreign prince, who, as his land too,
was transcribed as _Siwangmu_. The subject will be touched
upon more in detail in another chapter; but, for the present, it
will be useful to say that, in the opinion of one very learned
sinologist, all evidence points clearly to this expedition having
been undertaken by Duke Muh of Ts'in, installed as he was in the
old appanage of the emperors lost to the Tartars (as we have
explained) in 771, and made over at the same time by the Emperor
involved to the ancestors of Duke Muh. This view of the case is
supported by the fact that in 664 B.C. Ts'in and Tsin, for some
unknown reason, forced the Tartars of Kwa Chou to migrate into
China, which migration was subsequently alluded to by a Tartar
chief (when attending a Chinese durbar in 559 B.C.) as a well-
known historical fact. It was undoubtedly the practice of semi-
Chinese states, such as Ts'u, Wu, Yueh, and Shuh (the last is the
modern Sz Ch'wan province, and its history was only discovered
long after Confucius' time), to call themselves "Kings,"
"Emperors," and "Sons of Heaven," in their own country (just as
the tributary King of Annam always did until the French assumed a
protectorate over him; and just as the tributary Japanese did
before they officially announced the fact to China in the seventh
century A.D.); and there are many indications that Ts'in did, or
at least might have done and would like to have done, the same
thing. Hence, when the story of Muh was discovered, the literary
manipulators--even if they did not really believe that it
positively must refer to the Emperor Muh-might well have honestly
doubted whether the story referred to Ts'in or to the Emperor; or
might well have decided to incorporate it with orthodox history,
as a strengthening factor in support of the theory of one single
and indivisible imperial dignity; just as, again, in the seventh
century and eighth century A.D., the Japanese manipulators of
their traditional history incorporated hundreds, not to say
thousands of Chinese historical facts and speeches, and worked
them into their own historical episodes and into their own
emperors' mouths, for the honour and glory of Dai Nippon (Great

After the death of the Second Protector in 628 B.C., there was a
continuous struggle between Tsin and Ts'in on the one hand, and
between Tsin and Ts'u on the other. Meanwhile Ts'i had all its own
work cut out in order to keep the Tartars off the right bank of
the Yellow River in its lower course, and in order to protect the
orthodox Chinese states, Lu, Sung, Wei, etc., from their attacks;
but Ts'i never again after this date put in a formal claim to be
Protector, although in 610 she led a coalition of princes against
an offending member, and thus practically acted as Protector.

In addition to the Chinese adviser at the disposal of Ts'in, in
the year 626 the King (or a king) of the Tartars supplied Duke Muh
with a very able Tartar adviser of Tsin descent; i.e. his
ancestors had in past times migrated to Tartarland, though he
himself still "spoke the Tsin dialect," and must have had
considerable literary capacity, as he was an author. Ts'in was
now, in addition to being, if only informally, a federal Chinese
state, also supreme suzerain over all the Tartar principalities
within reach; well supplied, moreover, with expert advisers for
both classes of work. All this is important in view of the pre-
eminency of Ts'in when the time came, 400 years later, to abolish
the meticulous feudal system altogether.



The Five Tyrants, or Protectors, are usually considered to be the
five personages we have mentioned; to wit, in order of succession,
the Marquess of Ts'i (679-643), under whose reign the great
economist, statesman, and philosopher Kwan-tsz raised this far
eastern part of China to a hitherto unheard-of pitch of material
prosperity; the Marquess of Tsin (632-628), a romantic prince,
more Turkish than Chinese, who was the first vassal prince openly
to treat the Emperor as a puppet; the Duke of Sung (died 637),
representing the imperial Shang dynasty ejected by the Chou family
in 1122, whose ridiculous chivalry failed, however, to secure him
the effective support of the other Chinese princes; the Earl of
Ts'in (died 621) who was, as we see, quietly creating a great
Tartar dominion, and assimilating it to Chinese ways in the west;
and the King of Ts'u (died 591), who, besides taking his place
amongst the recognized federal princes, and annexing innumerable
petty Chinese principalities in the Han River and Hwai River
basins, had been for several generations quietly extending his
dominions at the expense of what we now call the provinces of Sz
Ch'wan, Kiang Si, Hu Kwang-perhaps even Yun Nan and Kwei Chou;
Certainly Kiang Su and Cheh Kiang, and possibly in a loose way the
coast regions of modern Fuh Kien and the Two Kwang; but it cannot
be too often repeated that if any thing intimate was known of the
Yang-tsz basin, it was only Ts'u (in its double character of
independent local empire as well as Chinese federal prince) that
knew, or could have known, any thing about it; just as, if any
thing specific was known of the Far West, Turkestan, the Tarim
valley, and the Desert, it was only Ts'in (in its double character
of independent Tartar empire as well as Chinese federal prince)
that knew, or could know, any thing about them. Ts'i and Tsin were
also Tartar powers, at least in the sense that they knew how to
keep off the particular Tartars known to them, and how to make
friendly alliances with them, thus availing themselves, on the one
hand, of Tartar virility, and faithful on the other to orthodox
Chinese culture. So that, with the exception of the pedantic Duke
of Sung, who was summarily snuffed out after a year or two of
brief light by the lusty King of Ts'u, all the nominal Five
Protectors of China were either half-barbarian rulers or had
passed through the crucible of barbarian ordeals. Finally, so
vague were the claims and services of Sung, Ts'u, and Ts'in, from
a protector point of view, that for the purposes of this work, we
only really recognize two, the First Protector (of Ts'i) and,
after a struggle, the Second Protector (of Tsin): at most a

But although the Chinese historians thus loosely confine the Five-
Protector period to less than a century of time, it is a fact that
Ts'u and Tsin went on obstinately struggling for the hegemony, or
for practical predominance, for at least another 200 years;
besides, Ts'in, Ts'u, and Sung were never formally nominated by
the Emperor as Protectors, nor were they ever accepted as such by
the Chinese federal princes in the permanent and definite way that
Ts'i and Tsin had been and were accepted. Moreover, the barbarian
states of Wu and Yüeh each in turn acted very effectively as
Protector, and are never included in the Five-Great-Power series.
The fact is, the Chinese have never grasped the idea of principles
in history: their annals are mere diaries of events; and when once
an apparently definite "period" is named by an annalist, they go
on using it, quite regardless of its inconsistency when confronted
with facts adverse to a logical acceptance of it.

The situation was this: Tsin and Ts'u were at perpetual
loggerheads about the small Chinese states that lay between them,
more especially about the state of Cheng, which, though small, was
of quite recent imperial stock, and was, moreover, well supplied
with brains. Tsin and Ts'in were at perpetual loggerheads about
the old Tsin possessions on the west bank of the Yellow River,
which, running from the north to the south, lay between them; and
about their rival claims to influence the various nomadic Tartar
tribes living along both the banks, Tsin and Ts'i were often
engaged in disputes about Lu, Wei, and other orthodox states
situated in the Lower Yellow River valley running from the west to
the east and north-east; also in questions concerning eastern
barbarian states inhabiting the whole coast region, and concerning
the petty Chinese states which had degenerated, and whose manners
savoured of barbarian ways. Thus Ts'in and Ts'u, and also to some
extent Ts'i and Ts'u, had a regular tendency to ally themselves
against Tsin's flanks, and it was therefore always Tsin's policy
as the "middle man" to obstruct communications between Ts'in and
Ts'u, and between Ts'i and Ts'u. In 580 Tsin devised a means of
playing off a similar flanking game upon Ts'u: negotiations were
opened with Wu, which completely barbarous state only begins to
appear in history at all at about this period, all the kings
having manifestly phonetic barbarian names, which mean absolutely
nothing (beyond conveying the sound) as expressed in Chinese, Wu
was taught the art of war, as we have seen, by (page 34) a Ts'u
traitor who had fled to Tsin and taken service there; and the King
of Wu soon made things so uncomfortable for Ts'u that the latter
in turn tried by every means to block the way between Tsin and Wu.
Within a single generation Wu was so civilized that one of the
royal princes was sent the rounds of the Chinese states as special
ambassador, charged, under the convenient cloak of seeking for
civilization, ritual, and music, with the duty of acquiring
political and strategical knowledge. This prince so favourably
impressed the orthodox statesmen of Ts'i, Lu, Tsin, and Wei (the
ruling family of this state, like that of Sung, was, until it
revolted in 1106 B.C. against the new Chou dynasty, of Shang
dynasty origin, and the Yellow River ran through it northwards),
that he was everywhere deferentially received _as_ an equal:
his tomb is still in existence, about ten miles from the treaty-
port of Chinkiang, and the inscription upon it, in ancient
characters, was written by Confucius himself, who, though a boy of
eight when the Wu prince visited Lu in 544, may well have seen the
prince in the flesh elsewhere, for the latter lived to prevent a
war with Ts'u in 485; i.e. he lived to within six years of
Confucius' death: he is known, too, to have visited Tsin on a
spying mission in 515 B.C. The original descent of the first
voluntarily barbarous Wu princes from the same grandfather as the
Chou emperors would afford ample basis for the full recognition of
a Wu prince by the orthodox as their equal, especially when his
manners were softened by rites and music. It was like an oriental
prince being feted and invested in Europe, so long as he should
conform to the conventional dress and mannerisms of "society."

Just as Wu had been quietly submissive to Ts'u until the
opportunity came to revolt, so did the still more barbarous state
of Yueh, lying to the south-east of and tributary to Wu as her
mesne lord, eagerly seize the opportunity of attacking Wu when the
common suzerain, Ts'u, required it. The wars of Wu and Yueh are
almost entirely naval, and, so far as the last-named state is
concerned, it is never reported as having used war-chariots at
all. Wu adopted the Chinese chariot as rapidly as it had re-
adopted the Chinese civilization, abandoned by the first colonist
princes in 1200 B.C.; but of course these chariots were only for
war in China, on the flat Chinese plains; they were totally
impracticable in mountainous countries, except along the main
routes, and useless (as Major Bruce shows) in regions cut up by
gulleys; even now no one ever sees a two-wheeled vehicle in the
Shanghai-Ningpo region. It must, therefore, always be remembered
that Wu, though barbarous in its population, was, in its origin as
an organized system of rule, a colony created by certain ancestors
of the founder of the Chou dynasty, who had voluntarily gone off
to carve out an appanage in the Jungle; i.e. in the vague unknown
dominion later called Ts'u, of which dominion all coast regions
were a part, so far as they could be reduced to submission. This
gave the Kings of Wu, though barbarian, a pretext for claiming
equality with, and even seniority over Tsin, the first Chou-born
prince of which was junior in descent to most of the other
enfeoffed vassals of the imperial clan-name. In 502 Wu armies even
threatened the northern state of Ts'i, and asserted in China
generally a brief authority akin to that of Protector. Ts'i was
obliged to buy itself off by marrying a princess of the blood to
the heir-apparent of Wu, an act which two centuries later excited
the disgust of the philosopher Mencius. The great Ts'i statesman
and writer Yen-tsz, whom we have already mentioned more than once,
died in 500, and earlier in that year Confucius had become chief
counsellor of Lu, which state, on account of Confucius' skill as a
diplomat, nearly obtained the Protectorate. It was owing to the
fear of this that the assassination of the Lu prince was attempted
that year, as narrated in Chapter IX. In order to understand how
Wu succeeded in reaching Lu and Ts'i, it must be recollected that
the river Sz, which still runs from east to west past Confucius's
birthplace, and now simply feeds the Grand Canal, then flowed
south-east along the line of the present canal and entered the
Hwai River near Sü-chou. Moreover, there was at times boat-
communication between the Sz and the Yellow River, though the
precise channel is not now known. Consequently, the Wu fleets had
no difficulty in sailing northwards first by sea and then up the
Hwai and Sz Rivers. Besides, in 485, the King of Wu began what we
now call the Grand Canal by joining as a beginning the Yang-tsz
River with the Hwai River, and then carrying the canal beyond the
Hwai to the state of Sung, which state was then disputing with Lu
the possession of territory on the east bank of the Sz, whilst
Ts'u was pushing her annexations up to the west bank of the same
river. There were in all twelve minor orthodox states between the
Sz and the Hwai. In 482 the all-powerful King of Wu held a genuine
durbar as Protector, at a place in modern Ho Nan province, north
of the Yellow River as it now runs, but at that time a good
distance to the south-east of it. This is one of the most
celebrated meetings in Chinese history, partly because Wu
successfully asserted political pre-eminence over Tsin; partly
because Confucius falsifies the true facts out of shame (as we
have seen he did when Ts'u similarly seized the first place over
Tsin); and partly owing to the shrewd diplomacy of the King of Wu,
who had learnt by express messenger that the King of Ytieh was
marching on his capital, and who had the difficult double task to
accomplish of carrying out a "bluff," and operating a retreat
without showing his weak hand to either side, or losing his army
exposed between two foes.

In 473, after long and desperate fighting, Wu was, however, at
last annihilated by Yiieh, which state was now unanimously voted
Protector, _Vae victis!_ The Yueh capital was promptly removed
from near the modern Shao-hing (west of Ningpo) far away north
to what is now practically the German colony of Kiao Chou; but,
though a maritime power of very great-strength, Yiieh never succeeded
in establishing any real land influence in the Hwai Valley. During her
short protectorate she rectified the River Sz question by forcing
Sung to make over to Lu the land on the east bank of the River Sz.



Whatever may be the reason why details of interstate movement are
lacking up to 842 B.C., it is certain that, from the date of the
Emperor's flight eastwards in 771, the utmost activity prevailed
between state and state within the narrow area to which, as we
have seen, the federated Chinese empire was confined. Confucius'
history, covering the 250-year period subsequent to 722, consists
largely of statements that this duke visited that country, or
returned from it, or drew up a treaty with it, or negotiated a
marriage with it. "Society," in a political sense, consisted of
the four great powers, Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i, and Ts'u, surrounding
the purely Chinese enclave; and of the innumerable petty Chinese
states, mostly of noble and ancient lineage, only half a dozen of
them of any size, which formed the enclave in question, and were
surrounded by Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i, and Ts'u, to the west, north,
east, and south. Secondary states in extent and in military power,
like Lu, CHÊNG, and Wei, whilst having orthodox and in some cases
barbarian sub-vassals of their own, were themselves, if not
vassals to, at all events under the predominant influence of, one
or the other of the four great powers. Thus Lu was at first nearly
always a handmaid of Ts'i, but later fell under the influence of
Tsin, Ts'u, and Wu; Cheng always coquetted between Tsin and Ts'u,
not out of love for either, but in order to protect her own
independence; and so on with the rest. If we inquire what a really
small state meant in those days, the answer is that the modern
walled city, with its district of several hundred square miles
lying around it, was (and usually still is) the equivalent of the
ancient principality; and proof of that lies in the fact that one
of the literary designations of what we now term a "district
magistrate" is still "city marquess." Another proof is that in
ancient times "your state" was a recognized way of saying "your
capital town"; and "my poor town" was the polite way of saying
"our country"; both expressions still used in elegant diplomatic

This being so, and it having besides been the practice for a
visiting duke always to take along with him a "minister in
attendance," small wonder that prominent Chinese statesmen from
the orthodox states were all personal friends, or at least
correspondents and acquaintances, who had thus frequent
opportunity of comparing political notes. To this day there are no
serious dialect differences whatever in the ancient central area
described in the first chapter, nor is there any reason to suppose
that the statesmen and scholars who thus often met in conclave had
any difficulty in making themselves mutually understood. The
"dialects"' of which we hear so much in modern times (which, none
the less, are all of them pure Chinese, except that the syllables
differ, just as _coeur, cuore, and _corazon, coraçao_, differ from
_cor_), all belong to the southern coasts, which were practically
unknown to imperial China in Confucius' time. The Chinese word which
we translate "mandarin" also means "public" or "common," and
"mandarin dialect" really means "current" or "common speech,"
such as is, and was, spoken with no very serious modifications all
over the enclave; and also in those parts of Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i, and
Ts'u, which immediately impinged upon the enclave, in the ratio
of their proximity. Finally, Shen Si, Shan Si, Shan Tung, and Hu
Kwang are still called Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i, and Ts'u in high-class official
correspondence; and so with all other place-names. China has never
lost touch with antiquity.

There is record for nearly every thing: the only difficulty is to
separate what is relevant from what is irrelevant in the mass of
confused _data_.

Another matter must be considered. Although the Chinese never had
a caste system in the Hindoo sense, there is, as we have stated
once before, every reason to believe that the ruling classes and
the educated classes were nearly all nobles, in the sense that
they were all lineal or branch descendants, whether by first-
class wife or by concubine, of either the ruling dynastic family
or of some previous imperial dynastic family. Some families were
by custom destined for hereditary ministers, others for hereditary
envoys, others again for hereditary soldiers; not, it is true, by
strict rule, but because the ancient social idea favoured the
descent of office, or land, or trade, or craft from father to son.
This, indeed, was part of the celebrated Kwan-tsz's economic
philosophy. Thus generation after generation of statesmen and
scholars kept in steady touch with one another, exactly as our
modern scientists of the first rank, each as a link, form an
unbroken intimate chain from Newton down to Lord Kelvin, outside
which pale the ordinary layman stands a comparative stranger to
the _arcana_ within.

Kwan-tsz, the statesman-philosopher of Ts'i, and in a sense the
founder of Chinese economic science, was himself a scion of the
imperial Chou clan; every writer on political economy subsequent
to 643 B.C. quotes his writings, precisely as every European
philosophical writer cites Bacon. Quite a galaxy of brilliant
statesmen and writers, a century after Kwan-tsz, shed lustre upon
the Confucian age (550-480), and nearly all of them were personal
friends either of Confucius or of each other, or of both. Thus
Tsz-ch'an of CHÊNG, senior to Confucius, but beloved and admired
by him, was son of a reigning duke, and a prince of the ducal
CHÊNG family, which again was descended from a son of the Emperor
who fled in 842 B.C.

If Tsz-ch'an had written works on philosophy and politics, it is
possible that he might have been China's greatest man in the place
of Confucius; for he based his ideas of government, as did
Confucius, who probably copied much from him, entirely upon
"fitting conduct," or "natural propriety"; in addition to which he
was a great lawyer, entirely free from superstition and hypocrisy;
a kind, just, and considerate ruler; a consummate diplomat; and a
bold, original statesman, economist, and administrator. The
anecdotes and sayings of Tsz-ch'an are as numerous and as
practical as those about Julius Caesar or Marcus Aurelius.

Another great pillar of the state praised by Confucius was Shuh
Hiang of Tsin, whose reputation as a sort of Chinese Cicero is not
far below that of Tsz-ch'an. He belonged to one of the great
private families of Tsin, of whom it was said in Ts'u that "any of
them could bring 100 war-chariots into the field." Nothing could
be more interesting than the interviews and letters (see Appendix
No. 1) between these two friends and their colleagues of Ts'i,
Ts'u, Lu, and Sung.

Yen-tsz of Ts'i almost ranks with Kwan-tsz as an administrator,
philosopher, economist, author, and statesman. Confucius has a
good word for him too, though Yen-tsz's own opinion of Confucius'
merits was by no means so high. The two men had to "spar" with
each other behind their respective rulers like Bismarck and
Gortschakoff did. Yen-tsz's interview with Shuh Hiang, when the
pair discussed the vices of their respective dukes, is almost as
amusing as a "patter" scene in the pantomime, a sort of by-play
which takes place whilst the curtain is down in preparation for
the next formal act (see Appendix No. 2).

[Illustration: K'ung Ling-i, the hereditary _Yen-sheng Kung,_
or "Propagating Holiness Duke"; 76th in descent from K'ung K'iu,
_alias_ K'ung Chung-ni, the original philosopher, 551--479

This portrait was presented to "the priest P'eng" (Father Tschepe,
S.J.), on the occasion of his visit last autumn (7th moon, 33rd

Confucius himself had descended in the direct line from the ducal
family of Sung; but Sung, like the other states, was cursed with
the "great family" nuisance, and one of his ancestors, having
incurred a grandee's hostility, had met with his death in a palace
intrigue, in consequence of which the Confucian family, despairing
of justice, had migrated to Lu. When we read of Confucius'
extensive wanderings (which are treated of more at length in a
subsequent chapter), the matter takes a very different complexion
from what is usually supposed, especially if it be recollected
what a limited area was really covered. He never got even so far
as Tsin, though part of Tsin touched the Lu frontier, and it is
doubtful if he was ever 300 miles, as the crow flies, from his own
house in Lu; true, he visited the fringe of Ts'u, but it must be
remembered that the place he visited was only in modern Ho Nan
province, and was one of the recent conquests of Ts'u, belonging
to the Hwai River system. As we explained in the last chapter,
Ts'u's policy then was to work up eastwards to the river Sz; that
is, to the Grand Canal of to-day. Confucius, it is plain, was no
mere pedant; for we have seen how, in the year 500, when he first
enjoyed high political power, he displayed conspicuously great
strategical and diplomatic ability in defeating the treacherous
schemes of the ruler of Ts'i, who had been endeavouring to filch
Lu territory, and who was dreadfully afraid lest Lu should,
through Wu's favour, acquire the hegemony or protectorship. He
could even be humorous, for when the barbarian King of Wu put in a
demand for a "handsome hat," Confucius contemptuously observed
that the gorgeousness of a hat's trimmings appealed to this
ignorant monarch more than the emblem of rank distinguishing one
hat from another.

Sung provided one distinguished statesman in Hiang Suh, whose fame
is bound up with a kind of Hague Disarmament or Peace Conference,
which he successfully engineered in 546 B.C. (see Appendix No. 3).
In the year 558 he had been sent on a marriage mission to Lu. Ki-
chah of Wu, who died at the ripe age of 90, was quite entitled to
be king of that country, but he repeatedly waived his claims in
favour of his brothers. K'ü-pêh-yüh of Wei, is mentioned in the
Book of Rites, and in many other works. With him Confucius lodged
on the two occasions of long sojourn in Wei: he is the man
mentioned in Chapter XII who gave his authoritative "ritual"
opinion about traitors. Ts'in never seems to have produced a
native literary statesman on its own soil. During this 500-year
period of isolated development, and also during the later period
of conquest in the third century B.C., all its statesmen were
borrowed from Tsin, or from some orthodox state of China proper;
in military genius, however, Ts'in was unrivalled, and a special
chapter will be devoted to her huge _battues_. The literary
reputation of Ts'u was high at a comparatively early date, and
even now the "Elegies of Ts'u" include some of the very finest of
the Chinese poems and _belles lettres_; but in Confucius'
time no Ts'u man, except possibly Lao-tsz, had any reputation at
all; and Lao-tsz, being a mere archive keeper, not entrusted with
any influential office, naturally lacked opportunity to emerge
from the chrysalis stage. Moreover, the imperial dynasty, which
Lao-tsz served, had no political influence at all: it was an
ironical saying of the times; "the best civilians are Ts'u's, but
they all serve other states," (meaning that the Ts'u rule was too
capricious to attract talent). Hence, apart from the fact that
Confucius doubted the wisdom of Lao-tsz's novel philosophy,
Confucius had no occasion whatever to mention the secluded, self-
contained old man in his political history, or, rather, in his
bald annals of royal-movements.



What sort of folk were the masses of China, upon whom the ruling
classes depended, then as now, for their support? In the year 594
B.C. the model state of Lu for the first time imposed a tax of ten
per cent, upon each Chinese "acre" of land, being about one-sixth
of an English acre: as the tax was one-tenth, it matters not what
size the acre was. Each cultivator under the old system had an
allotment of 100 such acres for himself, his parents, his wife,
and his children; and in the centre of this allotment were 10
acres of "public land," the produce of which, being the result of
his labour, went to the State; there was no further taxation. A
"mile," being about one-third of an English mile, and, therefore,
in square measure one-ninth of an English square mile, consisted
of 300 fathoms (taking the fathom roughly), and its superficies
contained 900 "acres" of which 80 were public under the above
arrangement, 820 remaining for the eight families owning this
"well-field"--so called because the ideograph for a "well"
represents nine squares: a four-sided square in the centre, four
three-sided squares impinging on it; and four two-sided squares at
the corners; i.e. 100 "acres" each, plus 2-1/2 "acres" each for
"homestead and onions"; or 20 of these last in all. Nine
cultivators in one "well," multiplied by four, formed a township,
and four townships formed a "cuirass" of 144 armed warriors; but
this was under a modified system introduced four years later
(590). It will be observed that the arithmetic seems confused, if
not faulty; but that does not seriously affect the genuineness of
the picture, and may be ignored as mere detail.

The ancient classification of people was into four groups. The
scholar people employed themselves in studying _tao_ and the
sciences, from which we plainly see that the doctrine of
_tao,_ or "the way," existed long before Lao-tsz, in Confucius'
time, superadded a mystic cosmogony upon it, and made of it a socialist
or radical instead of an imperialist or conservative doctrine. The second
class were the trading people, who dealt in "produce from the four
quarters"; there is evidence that this meant chiefly cattle, grain, silk,
horses, leather, and gems. The third class were the cultivators, and
in those days tea and cotton, amongst other important products of
to-day, were totally unknown. The fourth class consisted of handicraftsmen,
who naturally made all things they could sell, or knew how to make.

Another classification of men is the following, which was given to
the King of Ts'u by a sage adviser, presumably an importation from
orthodox China. He divided people into ten classes, each inferior
class owing obedience to its superior, and the highest of all
owing obedience only to the gods or spirits. First, the Emperor;
secondly, the "inner" dukes, or grandees of estates within the
imperial domain: these grandees were dukes proper, not dukes by
posthumous courtesy like the vassal princes after decease, and the
Emperor used to send them on service, when required, to the vassal
states; they were, in fact, like the "princes of the Church" or
cardinals, who surround the Pope. Thirdly, "the marquesses," that
is the semi-independent vassal states, no matter whether duke,
marquess, earl, viscount, or baron; this term seems also to
include the reigning lords of very small states which did not
possess even the rank of baron, and which were usually attached to
a larger state as clients, under protectorate; in fact, the
recognized stereotyped way of saying "the vassal rulers" was "the
marquesses." Then came what we should call the "middle classes,"
or bourgeoisie, followed by the artisans and cultivators: it will
be noticed that the artisans are here given rank over the
cultivators, which is not in accord with either very ancient or
very modern practice; this, indeed, places cultivators before both
traders and artisans. Lastly came the police, the carriers of
burdens, the eunuchs, and the slaves. By "police" are meant the
runners attached to public offices, whose work too often involves
"squeezing" and terrorizing, torturing, flogging, etc. To the
present day police, barbers, and slaves require three generations
of purifying, or living down, before their descendants can enter
for the public examinations; or, to use the official expression,
their "three generations" must be "clear"; at least so it was
until the old Confucian examination system was abolished as a test
for official capacity a few years ago. Of eunuchs we shall have
more to say shortly; but very little indeed is heard of private
slaves, who probably then, as now, were indistinguishable from the
ordinary people, and were treated kindly. The callous Greek and
still more brutal Roman system, not to mention the infinitely more
cowardly and shocking African slavery abuses of eighteenth-
century Europe and nineteenth-century America, have never been
known in China: no such thing as a slave revolt has ever been
heard of there.

In the year 548 the kingdom of Ts'u ordered a cadastral survey,
and also a general stock-taking of arms, chariots, and horses.
Records were made of the extent and value of the land in each
parish, the extent of the mountains and forests, and the resources
they might furnish. Observation was also made of lakes and marshes
suitable for sport, and it was forbidden to fill these in. Note
was taken of such hills and mounds as might be available for
tombs--a detail which shows that modern graves in China differ
little if at all from the ancient ones; in fact in Canton "my
hill," or "mountain," is synonymous with "my cemetery." In order
to fix the taxes at a just figure, stock was taken of the salt-
flats, the unproductive lands, and the tracts liable to periodical
inundation. Areas rescued from the waters were protected by dykes,
and subdivided for allotment by sloping banks, but without
introducing the rigid nine-square system. Good lands, however,
were divided according to the method introduced by the Chou
dynasty; that is to say, six feet formed a "fathom," 100 fathoms
an "acre," 100 "acres" the allotment of one family; these English
terms are, of course, only approximately correct. Nine families
still formed a hamlet or "well," and they cultivated together 1000
"acres," the central hundred going to pay the imposts. Taxes,
direct and indirect, were fixed with exactitude, and also the
number of war-chariots that each parish had to furnish; the number
of horses; their value, age, and colour; the number of armoured
troopers and foot soldiers, with a return of their cuirasses and
shields. Regarding this colour classification, of the horses, it
may be mentioned that the Tartars, in the second century B.C.,
were in the habit of equipping whole regiments of cavalry on
mounts of the same colour, and it is, therefore, possible that
this practice may have been imitated in South China; but Ts'u
never once herself engaged in warfare with the Tartars; at all
events with Tartars other than Tartars brought into Chinese

Long before this, the philosopher-statesman Kwan-tsz of Ts'i had
so developed the agriculture, fisheries, trade, and salt gabelle,
and had governed the country in such a way that his State,
hitherto of minor importance, soon took the lead amongst the
Chinese powers for wealth and for military influence. His
classification of the people was into scholars, artisans, traders,
and agriculturalists. He is generally credited with having
introduced the "Babylonian woman" into the Ts'i metropolis, in
order that traders, having sold their goods there, might leave as
much as possible of their money behind in the houses of pleasure.
There are many accounts of the luxury of this populous city, where
"every woman possessed one long and one short needle," and where a
premium levied upon currency, fish, and salt was applied to the
relief of the poor and (!) to the rewarding of virtue. Kwan-tsz
also maintained a standing army, or perhaps a militia force, of
30,000 men; but he was careful so to husband his strength that
Ts'i should not have the external appearance of dominating; his
aim was that she should rather hold her power in reserve, and only
use it indirectly: as we have seen, his master was, in consequence
of Kwan-tsz's able administration, raised to the high position of
the first of the Five Protectors.

From this it will be plain that there was considerable commercial
activity in China even before the time of Confucius: there was
quite a string of fairs or market towns extending from the
imperial reserve eastwards along the Yellow River to Choh-thou
(still so called, south of Peking), which was then the most
northernly of them: apparently each considerable state possessed
one of these fairs. The headwaters of the River Hwai system were
served by the great mart (now called Yii Chou) belonging to the
state of Cheng. As with our own histories, Chinese annals consist
chiefly of the record of what kings and grandees did, and mention
of the people is only occasional; and, even then, only in
connection with the policy of their leaders.

As soon as the second of the Protectors, the Marquess of Tsin, was
seated on his ancestral throne (637), his first act was to reduce
the tolls and make the roads safer; to facilitate trade, and to
encourage agriculture. Also to "make friends of the eleven great
families" (already mentioned twice in preceding pages), whose
development, however, in time led to the collapse of this princely
power, and to its division between three of the "great families."
A century after this, a minister of the Ts'u state praised very
highly the efficiency of the Tsin administration. "The common
people are devoted to agriculture; the merchants, artisans, and
menials are all dutiful." For the conveyance of grain between the
Ts'in and the Tsin capitals, both carts and boats were requisitioned,
from which we must assume that there were practicable roads of some
sort for two-wheeled vehicles. In the year 546, when some important
reserves were made by Tsin at the Peace Conference, an express
messenger was sent from Sung to the Ts'u capital to take the king's
pleasure: this means an overland journey from the sources of the Hwai
to the modern treaty port of Sha-shr above Hankow.

It may be added that, five centuries before Kwan-tsz existed, the
founder of the Ts'i state, as a vassal to the new Chou dynasty,
had already distinguished himself by encouraging trade,
manufactures, fisheries, and the salt production; so that Kwan-tsz
was an improver rather than an inventor.

Thus we see that, from very early times, China was by no means a
sleepy country of ignorant husbandmen, but was a place full of
multifarious activities; and that her local rulers, at least from
the time when the patriarchal power of the Emperors decayed in
771, were often men of considerable sagacity, quite alive to the
necessity of developing their resources and encouraging their
people: this helps us to understand their restlessness under the
yoke of "ritual."



There is singularly little mention of writing or education in
ancient times, and it seems likely that written records were at
first confined to castings or engravings upon metal, and carvings
upon stone. In the days when the written character was cumbrous,
there would be no great encouragement to use it for daily
household purposes. It is a striking fact, not only that writings
upon soft clay, afterwards baked, were not only non-existent in
China, but have never once been mentioned or conceived of as being
a possibility. This fact effectually disposes of the allegation
that Persian and Babylonian literary civilization made its way to
China, for it is unreasonable to suppose that an invention so well
suited to the clayey soil (of _loess_ mud with cementing properties)
in which the Chinese princes dwelt could have been ignored by them,
if ever the slightest inkling of it had been obtained.

In 770 B.C., when the Emperor, having moved his capital to the
east, ceded his ancestral lands in the west to Ts'in on condition
that Ts'in should recover them permanently from the Tartars, the
document of cession was engraved upon a metal vase. Fifteen
hundred years before this, the Nine Tripods of the founder of the
Hia dynasty, representing tributes of metal brought to the Emperor
by outlying tribes, were inscribed with records of the various
productions of China: these tripods were ever afterwards regarded
as an attribute of imperial authority; and even Ts'u, when it
began to presume upon the Chou Emperor's weakness, put in a claim
(probably based upon his ancestors' own ancient Chinese descent,
as explained in Chapter IV.) to possess them.

In distributing the fiefs amongst relatives and friends, the first
Chou emperors "composed orders" conferring rights upon their new
vassals; but it is not stated what written form these orders took.
Written prayers for the recovery of the first Emperor's health are
mentioned, but here again we are ignorant of the material on which
the prayers were written by the precentor. Four hundred years
later, in 65, when Ts'in had assisted to the throne his neighbour
the Marquess of Tsin, the latter gave a promise in writing to
Ts'in that he would cede to her all the territory lying to the
west of the Yellow River. The next ruler of Tsin, the celebrated
wanderer who afterwards became the second Protector, is distinctly
stated to have had an adviser who taught him to read; it is added
that the same marquess also consulted this adviser about a
suitable teacher for his son and heir. About the same time one of
the Marquess's friends, objecting to take office, took to flight:
his friends, as a protest, hung up "a writing" at the palace gate.
In 584 a Ts'u refugee in Tsin sends a writing to the leading
general of Ts'u, threatening to be a thorn in his side. It is
presumed that in all these cases the writing was on wood. The text
of a declaration of war against Ts'u by Ts'in in 313 B.C., at a
time when these two powers had ceased to be allies, and were
competing for empire, refers to an agreement made three centuries
earlier between the King of Ts'u and the Earl of Ts'in; this
declaration was carved upon several stone tablets; but it does not
appear upon what material the older agreement was carved. In 538,
at a durbar held by Ts'u, Hiang Suh, the learned man of Sung, who
has already been mentioned in Chapter XV. as the inventor of Peace
Conferences in 546, and as one of the Confucian group of friends,
remarked: "What I know of the diplomatic forms to be observed is
only obtained from books." A few years later, when the population
of one of the small orthodox Chinese states was moved for
political convenience by Ts'u away to another district, they were
allowed to take with them "their maps, cadastral survey, and
census records."

There is an interesting statement in the _Kwoh Yü_, an
ancillary history of these times, but touching more upon personal
matters, usually considered to have been written by the same man
that first expanded Confucius' annals, to the effect that in 489
B.C. (when Confucius was wandering about on his travels, a
disappointed and disgusted man) the King of Wu inflicted a
crushing defeat upon Ts'i at a spot not far from the Lu frontier,
and that he captured "the national books, 800 leather chariots,
and 3000 cuirasses and shields." If this translation be perfectly
accurate, it is interesting as showing that Ts'i did possess
_Kwoh-shu_, or "a State library," or archives. But unfortunately
two other histories mention the capture of a Ts'i general named Kwoh
Hia, _alias_ Kwoh Hwei-tsz, so that there seems to be a doubt
whether, in transcribing ancient texts, one character (_shu_) may
not have been substituted for the other (_hia_). Two years later
the barbarian king in question entered Lu, and made a treaty with that
state upon equal terms.

Shortly after this date, the Chinese adviser who brought about the
conquest of Wu by the equally barbarous Yiieh, had occasion to
send a "closed letter" to a man living in Ts'u. When we come to
later times, subsequent to the death of Confucius, we find written
communications more commonly spoken of. Thus, in 313, Ts'i,
enraged at the supposed faithlessness of Ts'u, "broke in two the
Ts'u tally" and attached herself to Ts'in instead. This can only
refer to a wooden "indenture" of which each party preserved a
copy, each fitting 'in, "dog's teeth like," as the Chinese still
say, closely to the other. A few years later we find letters from
Ts'i to Ts'u, holding forth the tempting project of a joint attack
upon Ts'in; and also a letter from Ts'in to Ts'u, alluding to the
escape of a hostage and the cause of a war. In the year 227, when
Ts'in was rapidly conquering the whole empire, the northernmost
state of Yen (Peking plain), dreading annexation, conceived the
plan of assassinating the King of Ts'in; and, in order to give the
assassin a plausible ground for gaining admittance to the tyrant's
presence, sent a map of Yen, so that the roads available for
troops might be explained to the ambitious conqueror, who would
fall into the trap. He barely escaped.

All these matters put together point to the clear conclusion that
such states as Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i, Yen, and Ts'u (none of which
belonged, so far as the bulk of their population was concerned, to
the purely Chinese group concentrated in the limited area
described in the first chapter) were able to communicate by letter
freely with each other: _á fortiori_, therefore, must the
orthodox states, whose civilization they had all borrowed or
shared, have been able to communicate with them, and with each
other. Besides, there is the question of the innumerable treaties
made at the durbars, and evidently equally legible by all the
dozen or so of representatives present; and the written prayers,
already instanced, which were probably offered to the gods at most
sacrifices. A special chapter will be devoted to treaties.

In the year 523 the following passage occurs, or rather it occurs
in one of the expanded Confucian histories having retrospective
reference to matters of 523 B.C:--"It is the father's fault if, at
the binding up of the hair (eight years of age), boys do not go to
the teacher, though it may be the mother's fault if, before that
age, they do not escape the dangers of fire and water: it is their
own fault if, having gone to the teacher, they make no progress:
it is their friends' fault if they make progress but get no repute
for it: it is the executive's fault if they obtain repute but no
recommendation to office: it is the prince's fault if they are
recommended for office but not appointed." Here we have in effect
the nucleus at least of the examination system as it was until a
year or two ago, together with an inferential statement that
education was only meant for the governing classes.

It is rather remarkable that the invention of the "greater seal"
character in 827 B.C. practically coincides with the first signs
of imperial decadence; this is only another piece of evidence in
favour of the proposition that enlightenment and patriarchal rule
could not exist comfortably together. When Ts'in conquered the
whole of modern China 600 years later, unified weights and
measures, the breadth of axles, and written script, and remedied
other irregularities that had hitherto prevailed in the rival
states, it is evident that the need of a more intelligible script
was then found quite as urgent as the need of roads suitable for
all carts, and of measures by which those carts could bring
definite quantities of metal and grain tribute to the capital.
Accordingly the First August Emperor's prime minister did at once
set to work to invent the "lesser seal" character, in which (so
late as A.D. 200) the first Chinese dictionary was written; this
"lesser seal" is still fairly readable after a little practice,
but for daily use it has long been and is impracticable and
obsolete. If we reflect how difficult it is for us to decipher the
old engrossed charters and written letters of the English kings,
we may all the more easily imagine how even a slight change in the
form of "letters," or strokes, will make easy reading of Chinese
impossible. It is a mistake to suppose that the Chinese have to
"spell their way" laboriously through the written character so
familiar to them: it is just as easy to "skim over" a Chinese
newspaper in a few minutes as it is to "take in" the leading
features of the _Times_ in the same limited time; and volumes
of Chinese history or literature in general can be "gutted" quite
easily, owing to the facility with which the so-called pictographs,
once familiar, lend themselves to "skipping."

The Bamboo Books, dug up in A.D. 281, the copies of the classics
concealed in the walls of Confucius' house, the copy of Lao-tsz's
philosophical work recorded to have been in the possession of a
Chinese empress in 150 B.C.--all these were written in the
"greater seal," and the painstaking industry of Chinese
specialists was already necessary when the Christian era began, in
order to reduce the ancient characters to more modern forms. Since
then the written character has been much clarified and simplified,
and it is just as easy to express sentiments in written Chinese as
in any other language; but, of course, when totally new ideas are
introduced, totally new characters must be invented; and
inventions, both of individual characters and of expressions, are
going on now.



Treaties were always very solemn functions, invariably accompanied
by the sacrifice of a victim. A part of the victim, or of its
blood, was thrown into a ditch, in order that the Spirit of the
Earth might bear witness to the deed; the rest of the blood was
rubbed upon the lips of the parties concerned, and also scattered
upon the documents, by way of imprecation; sometimes, however, the
imprecations, instead of being uttered, were specially written at
the end of the treaty. Just as we now say "the ink was scarcely
dry before, etc., etc.," the Chinese used to say "the blood of the
victim was scarcely dry on their lips, before, etc., etc." When
the barbarian King of Wu succeeded for a short period in
"durbaring" the federal Chinese princes, a dispute took place (as
narrated in Chapter XIV.) between Tsin and Wu as to who should rub
the lips with blood first--in other words, have precedence. In
the year 541 B.C., sixty years before the above event, Tsin and
Ts'u had agreed to waive the ceremony of smearing the lips with
blood, to choose a victim in common, and to lay the text of the
treaty upon the victim after a solemn reading of its contents.
This modification was evidently made in consequence of the
disagreement between Tsin and Ts'u at the Peace Conference of 546,
when a dispute had arisen (page 47), as to which should smear the
lips first. This was the occasion on which the famous Tsin
statesman, Shuh Hiang, in the face of seventeen states'
representatives, all present, had the courage to ignore Ts'u's
treachery in concealing cuirasses under the soldiers' clothes. He
said: "Tsin holds her pre-eminent position as Protector by her
innate good qualities, which will always command the adhesion of
other states; why need we care if Ts'u smears first, or if she
injures herself by being detected in treachery?" It has already
been mentioned that Confucius glosses over or falsifies both the
above cases, and gives the victory in each instance to Tsin.
Though these little historical peccadilloes on the part of the
saint _homme_ are considered even by orthodox critics to be
objectionable, it must be remembered that it was very risky work
writing history at all in those despotic times: even in
comparatively democratic days (100 B.C.), the "father of Chinese
history" was castrated for criticizing the reigning Emperor in the
course of issuing his great work; and so late as the fifth century
A.D. an almost equally great historian was put to death "with his
three generations" for composing a "true history" of the Tartars
then ruling as Emperors of North China; i.e. for disclosing their
obscure and barbarous origin, Moreover, foreigners who fix upon
these trifling specific and admitted discrepancies, in order to
discredit the general truth of all Chinese history, must remember
that the Chinese critics, from the very beginning, have always,
even when manifestly biased, been careful to expose errors; the
very discrepancies themselves, indeed, tend to prove the
substantial truth of the events recorded; and the fact that
admittedly erroneous texts still stand unaltered proves the
reverent care of the Chinese as a nation to preserve their
defective annals, with all faults, in their original condition.

At this treaty conference of 546 B.C., held at the Sung capital,
the host alone had no vote, being held superior (as host) to all;
and, further, out of respect for his independence, the treaty had
to be signed outside his gates: the existence of the Emperor was
totally ignored.

A generation before this (579) another important treaty between
the two great rivals, Tsin and Ts'u, had been signed by the high
contracting parties outside the walls of Sung. The articles
provided for community of interest in success or failure; mutual
aid in every thing, more especially in war; free use of roads so
long as relations remained peaceful; joint action in face of
menace from other powers; punishment of those neglecting to come
to court. The imprecation ran: "Of him who breaks this, let the
armies be dispersed and the kingdom be lost; moreover, let the
spirits chastise him." Although both orthodox powers professed
their anxiety to "protect" the imperial throne, yet, seeing that
the Emperor was quietly shelved in all these conventions, the
reference to "court duty" probably refers to the duty of Cheng and
the other small orthodox states to render homage to Tsin or Ts'u
(as the case might be) as settled by this and previous treaties.
In fact, at the Peace Conference of 546, it was agreed between the
two mesne lords that the vassals of Ts'u should pay their respects
to Tsin, and _vice versa_. But, during the negotiations, a
zealous Tsin representative went on to propose that the informal
allies of the chief contracting powers should also be dragged in:
"If Ts'in will pay us a visit, I will try and induce Ts'i to visit
T'su." These two powers had _ententes_, Ts'i with Tsin, and
Ts'u with Ts'in, but recognized no one's hegemony over them. It
was this surprise sprung upon the Ts'u delegates that necessitated
an express messenger to the king, as recounted at the end of
Chapter XVI. The King of Ts'u sent word: "Let Ts'in and Ts'i
alone; let the others visit our respective capitals." Accordingly
it was understood that Tsin and Ts'u should both be Protectors,
but that neither Ts'in nor Ts'i should recognize their status to
the point of subordinating themselves to the joint hegemons. This
was Ts'u's first appearance as effective hegemon, but her official
_debut_ alone did not take place till 538. Ts'i and Ts'in had
both approved, in principle, the terms of peace, but Ts'in sent no
representative, whilst Ts'i sent two. It is very remarkable that
Sz-ma Ts'ien (the great historian of 100 B.C., who was castrated)
does not mention this important meeting in his great work, either
under the heading of Ts'i, or of Tsin, or under the headings of
Sung and Ts'u. It seems, however, really to have had good effect
for several generations; but there was some thing behind it which
shows that love for humanity was not the leading motive of the
chief parties. Two years later it was that the philosophical
brother of the King of Wu went his rounds among the Chinese
princes, and it is evident that Ts'u only desired peace with North
China whilst she tackled this formidable new enemy on the coast.
Tsin, on the other hand, was in trouble with the "six great
families" (the survivors of the "eleven great families"
conciliated by the Second Protector), who were gradually
undermining the princely authority in Tsin to their own private
aggrandisement. In 572 B.C., when the legitimate ruler of Tsin,
who had been superseded by irregular successors, was fetched back
from the Emperor's court, to which he had gone for a quiet asylum,
he drew up a treaty of conditions with his own ministers, and
immolated a chicken as sanction; this idea is still occasionally
perpetuated in British courts of justice, where Chinese, probably
without knowing it, draw upon ancient history when asked by the
court how they are accustomed to sanction an oath; cocks are often
also carried about by modern Chinese boatmen for purposes of
sacrifice. In the year 504, after Wu had captured the Ts'u
capital, one of the petty orthodox Chinese states taken by Ts'u--
the first to be so taken by barbarians--in 684, but left by Ts'u
internally independent, declined to render any assistance to Wu,
unless she could prove her competence to hold permanently the Ts'u
territory thus conquered. The King of Ts'u was so grateful for
this that he drew some blood from the breast of his own half-
brother, and on the spot made a treaty with the vassal prince. It
662, even in a love vow, the ruler of Lu cut his own arm and
exchanged drops of blood with his lady-love. In 481 the people of
Wei (the small orthodox state on the middle Yellow River between
Tsin and Lu) forced one of their politicians to swear allegiance
to the desired successor under the sanction of a sacrificial pig.

The great Kwan-tsz insisted on his prince carrying out a treaty
which had been extorted in times of stress; but, as a rule, the
most opportunistic principles were laid down, even by Confucius
himself when he was placed under personal stress: "Treaties
obtained by force are of no value, as the spirits could not then
have really been present." In 589 Ts'u invaded the state of Wei,
just mentioned, and menaced the adjoining state of Lu, compelling
the execution of a treaty. Confucius, who once broke a treaty
himself, naturally retrospectively considered this ducal treaty of
no effect, and he even goes so far as to avoid mentioning in his
annals some of the important persons who were present; he
especially "burkes" two Chinese ruling princes, who were shameless
enough to ride in the same chariot with the King of Ts'u, under
whose predominancy they were, and who were therefore themselves
under a kind of stress. In 482 one of Confucius' pupils made the
following casuistical reply to the government of Wu on their
application for renewal of a treaty with her: "It is only fidelity
that gives solidity to treaties; they are determined by mutual
consent, and it is with sacrifices that they are laid before our
ancestors; the written words give expression to them, and the
spirits guarantee them. A treaty once concluded cannot be changed:
otherwise it were vain to make a new one. Remember the proverb:
"What needs warming up more may just as well be eaten cold." The
ordinary rough-and-ready form of oath or vow between individuals
was: "If I break this, may I be as this river"; or, "may the river
god be witness." There were many other similar forms, and it was
often customary to throw something valuable into the river as a



Let us return for a moment to the history of China's development.
Confucius was born in the autumn of 551, B.C., and he died in 479.
If we survey the condition of the empire during these seventy
years, we may begin to understand better the secret of his
teachings, and of his influence in later times. When he was a boy
of seven or eight years, the presence in Lu of Ki-chah, the
learned and virtuous brother of the barbarian King of Wu, must
have opened his eyes widely to the ominous rise, of a democratic
and mixed China. Lu, like Tsin, was now beginning to suffer from
the "powerful family" plague; in other words, the story of King
John and his barons was being rehearsed in China. Tsin and Ts'u
had patched up ancient enmities at the Peace Conference; Tsin
during the next twenty years administered snub after snub to the
obsequious ruler of Lu, who was always turned back at the Yellow
River whenever he started west to pay his respects. Lu, on the
other hand, declined to attend the Ts'u durbar of 538, held by
Ts'u alone only after the approval of Tsin had been obtained. In
522 the philosopher Yen-tsz, of Ts'i, accompanied his own marquess
to Lu in order to study the rites there: this fact alone proves
that Ts'i, though orthodox and advanced, had not the same lofty
spiritual status that was the pride of Lu. In 517 the Marquess of
Lu was driven from his throne, and Ts'i took the opportunity to
invade Lu under pretext of assisting him; however, the fugitive
preferred Tsin as a refuge, and for many years was quartered at a
town near the common frontier. But the powerful families (all
branches of the same family as the duke himself) proved too strong
for him; they bribed the Tsin statesmen, and the Lu ruler died in
exile in the year 510. In the year 500 Confucius became chief
counsellor to the new marquess, and by his energetic action drove
into exile in Tsin a very formidable agitator belonging to one of
the powerful family cliques. In 488 the King of Wu, after marching
on Ts'i, summoned Lu to furnish "one hundred sets of victims" as a
mark of compliancy; the king and the marquess had an interview;
the next year the king came in person, and a treaty was made with
him under the very walls of K'üh-fu, the Lu capital (this shameful
fact is concealed by Confucius, who simply says: "Wu made war on
us"). In 486 Lu somewhat basely joined Wu in an attack upon
orthodox Ts'i. In 484-483 Confucius, who had meanwhile been
travelling abroad for some years in disgust, was urgently sent
for; four years later he died, a broken and disappointed man.

Now, it is one thing to be told in general terms that Confucius
represented conservative forces, disapproved of the quarrelsome
wars of his day, and wished in theory to restore the good old
"rules of propriety"; but quite another thing to understand in a
human, matter-of-fact sort of way what he really did in definite
sets of circumstances, and what practical objects he had in view.
The average European reader, not having specific facts and places
under his eye, can only conceive from this rough generalization,
and from the usual anecdotal tit-bits told about him, that
Confucius was an exceedingly timid, prudent, benevolent, and
obsequious old gentleman who, as indeed his rival Lao-tsz hinted
to him, was something like a superior dancing-master or court
usher, But when the disjointed apothegms of his "Analects" (put
together, not by himself, but by his disciples) are placed
alongside the real human actions baldly touched upon in his own
"Springs and Autumns," and as expanded by his three commentators,
one of them, at least, being a contemporary of his own, things
assume quite a different complexion, Moreover, this last-mentioned
or earliest in date of the expanders (see p. 91) also composed a
chatty, anecdotal, and intimately descriptive account of Lu, Ts'i,
Tsin, CHÊNG, Ts'u, Wu, and Yiieh (of no other states except quite
incidentally); and we have also the Bamboo Books dug up in 281
A.D., being the Annals of Tsin and a sketch of general history
down to 299 B.C. Finally, the "father of history," in about go
B.C., published, or issued ready for publication, a _resumé_
of all the above (except what was in the Bamboo Books, which were
then, of course, unknown to him); so that we are able to compare
dates, errors, misprints, concealments, and so on; not to mention
the advantage of reading all that the successive generations of
commentators have had to say.

The matter may be compendiously stated as follows. Without
attempting to go backward beyond the conquest by the Chou
principality and the founding of a Chou dynasty in 122 B.C.
(though there is really no reason to doubt the substantial
accuracy of the vague "history" of patriarchal times, at least so
far back beyond that as to cover the 1000 years or more of the two
previous dynasties' reigns), we may state that, whilst in general
the principles and ritual of the two previous dynasties were
maintained, a good many new ideas were introduced at this Chou
conquest, and amongst other things, a compendious and all-
pervading practical ritual government, which not only marked off
the distinctions between classes, and laid down ceremonious rules
for ancestral sacrifice, social deportment, family duties,
cultivation, finance, punishment, and so on, but endeavoured to
bring all human actions whatsoever into practical harmony with
supposed natural laws; that is to say, to make them as regular, as
comprehensible, as beneficent, and as workable, as the perfectly
manifest but totally unexplained celestial movements were; as were
the rotation of seasons, the balancing of forces, the growth and
waning of matter, male and female reproduction, light and
darkness; and, in short, to make human actions as harmonious as
were all the forces of nature, which never fail or go wrong except
under (presumed) provocation, human or other. The Emperor, as
Vicar of God, was the ultimate judge of what was _tao_, or
the "right way."

Now this simple faith, when the whole of the Chinese Empire
consisted of about 50,000 square miles of level plain, inhabited
probably by not more than 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 homogeneous
people, was admirably suited for the patriarchal rule of a central
chief (the King or Emperor), receiving simple tribute of metals,
hemp, cattle, sacrificial supplies, etc.; entertaining his
relatives and princely friends when they came to do annual homage
and to share in periodical sacrifice; declaring the penal laws
(there were no other laws) for all his vassals; compassionating
and conciliating the border tribes living beyond those vassals.
But this peaceful bucolic life, in the course of time and nature,
naturally produced a gradual increase in the population; the
Chinese cultivators spread themselves over the expanse of
_loess_ formed by the Yellow River and Desert deposits and by
aeons of decayed vegetation in the low-lying lands; no other
nation or tribe within their ken having the faintest notion of
written character, there was consequently no political cohesion of
any sort amongst the non-Chinese tribes; the position was akin to
that of the European powers grafting themselves for centuries upon
the still primitive African tribes, comparatively few of which
have seen fit to turn the art of writing to the practical purpose
of keeping records and cementing their own power. Wherever a
Chinese adventurer went, there he became founder of a state; to
this day we see enterprising Chinamen founding petty "dynasties"
in the Siamese Malay Peninsula; or, for instance, an Englishman
like Rajah Brooke founding a private dynasty in Borneo.

Some of these frontier tribes, notably the Tartars, were of
altogether too tough a material to be assimilated. They even
endeavoured to check the Chinese advance beyond the Yellow River,
and carried fire and sword themselves into the federal conclave.
Where resistance was _nil_ or slight, as, for instance, among
some of the barbarians to the east, there the Chinese adventurers,
either adopting native ways, or persuading the autochthones to
adopt their ways, by levelling up or levelling down, developed
strong cohesive power; besides (owing to the difficulties of
inter-communication) creating a feeling of independence and a
disinclination to obey the central power. The emperors who used in
the good old days to summon the vassals--a matter of a week or two
in that small area--to chastise the wicked tribes on their
frontiers, gradually found themselves unable to cope with the more
distant Tartar hordes, the eastern barbarians of the coast, the
Annamese, Shans, and other unidentified tribes south of the Yang-
tsz, as they had so easily done with nearer tribes when the
Chinese had not pushed out so far. Moreover, new-Chinese, Chinese-
veneered, and half-Chinese states, recognizing their own
responsibilities, now interposed themselves as "buffers" or
barriers between the Emperor and the unadulterated barbarians;
these hybrid states themselves were quite as formidable to the
imperial power as the displaced barbarians had formerly been.
Hence, as we have seen, the pitiful flight from his metropolis of
one Emperor after the other; the rise of great and wealthy persons
outside the former limited sacred circle; the pretence of
protecting the Emperor, advanced by these rising powers, partly in
order to gain prestige by using his imperial name in support of
their local ambitions, and partly because--as during the Middle
Ages in the case of the Papacy--no one cared to brave the moral
odium of annihilating a venerable spiritual power, even though
gradually shorn of its temporal rights and influence.

Lu was almost on a par with the imperial capital in all that
concerns learning, ritual, music, sacrifice, deportment, and
spiritual prestige. Confucius, in his zeal for the recovery of
imperial rights, was really no more of a stickler for mere form
than were Tsz-ch'an of Cheng, Ki-chah of Wu, Hiang Suh of Sung,
Shuh Hiang of Tsin, and others already enumerated; the only
distinguishing feature in his case was that he was not a high or
influential official in his earlier days; besides, he was a Sung
man by descent, and all the great families were of the Lu princely
caste. Thus, for want of better means to assert his own views, he
took to teaching and reading, to collecting historical facts, to
pointing morals and adorning tales. As a youth he was so clever,
that one of the Lu grandees, on his death-bed, foretold his
greatness. It was a great bitterness for him to see his successive
princely masters first the humble servants of Ts'i, then buffeted
between Tsin and Ts'u, finally invaded and humiliated by barbarian
Wu, only to receive the final touches of charity at the hands of
savage Yiieh. His first act, when he at last obtained high office,
was to checkmate Ts'i, the man behind the ruler of which jealous
state feared that Lu might, under Confucius' able rule, succeed in
obtaining the Protectorate, and thus defeat his own insidious
design to dethrone the legitimate Ts'i house. The wily Marquess of
Ts'i thereupon--of course at the instigation of the intriguing
"great families"--tried another tack, and succeeded at last in
corrupting the vacillating Lu prince with presents of horses,
racing chariots, and dancing women. Then it was (497) that
Confucius set out disheartened on his travels. Recalled thirteen
years later, he soon afterwards began to devote his remaining
powers to the Annals so frequently referred to above, and it was
whilst engaged in finishing this task that he had presentiments of
his coming end; he does not appear to have been able to exercise
much political or advisory power after his return to Lu.

During his thirteen years of travel (a more detailed account of
which will be given in a subsequent chapter), he found time to
revise and edit the books which appear to have formed the common
stock-in-trade for all China; one of his ideas was to eliminate
from these all sentiments of an anti-imperial nature. They were
not then called "classics," but simply "The Book" (of History),
"The Poems" (still known by heart all over China), "The Rites" (as
improved by the Chou family), "The Changes" (a sort of cosmogony
combined with soothsaying), and "Music."



Let us now consider the notions of law as they existed in the
primitive Chinese mind. As all government was supposed to be based
on the natural laws of the universe, of which universal law or
order of things, the Emperor, as "Son of Heaven," was (subject to
his own obedience to it) the supreme mouthpiece or expression,
there lay upon him no duty to define that manifest law; when it
was broken, it was for him to say that it was broken, and to
punish the breach. Nature's bounty is the spring, and therefore
rewards are conferred in spring; nature's fall is in the autumn,
which is the time for decreeing punishments; these are carried out
in winter, when death steals over nature. A generous table
accompanies the dispensing of rewards, a frugal table and no music
accompanies the allotment of punishments; hence the imperial
feasts and fasts. Thus punishment rather than command is what was
first understood by Law, and it is interesting to observe that
"making war" and "putting to death" head the list of imperial
chastisements, war being thus regarded as the Emperor's rod in the
shape of a posse of punitory police, rather than as an expression
of statecraft, ambitious greed, or vainglorious self-assertion.
Then followed, in order of severity, castration, cutting off the
feet or the knee-cap, branding, and flogging. The Emperor, or his
vassals, or the executive officers of each in the ruler's name,
declared the law, _i.e._ they declared the punishment in each
case of breach as it occurred. Thus from the very beginning the
legislative, judicial, and executive functions have never been
clearly separated in the Chinese system of thought; new words have
had to be coined within the last two years in order to express
this distinction for purposes of law reform. Mercantile Law,
Family Law, Fishery Laws--in a word, all the mass of what we call
Commercial and Civil Jurisprudence,--no more concerned the
Government, so far as individual rights were concerned, than
Agricultural Custom, Bankers' Custom, Butchers' Weights, and such
like petty matters; whenever these, or analogous matters, were
touched by the State, it was for commonwealth purposes, and not
for the maintenance of private rights. Each paterfamilias was
absolutely master of his own family; merchants managed their own
business freely; and so on with the rest. It was only when public
safety, Government interests, or the general weal was involved
that punishment-law stepped in and said,--always with _tao_,
"propriety," or nature's law in ultimate view: "you merchants may
not wear silk clothes"; "you usurers must not ruin the agriculturalists";
"you butchers must not irritate the gods of grain by killing cattle":--
these are mere examples taken at random from much later times.

The Emperor Muh, whose energies we have already seen displayed in
Tartar conquests and exploring excursions nearly a millennium
before our era, was the first of the Chou dynasty to decide that
law reform was necessary in order to maintain order among the
"hundred families" (still one of the expressions meaning "the
Chinese people"). A full translation of this code is given in Dr.
Legge's Chinese classics, where a special chapter of The Book is
devoted to it: in charging his officer to prepare it, the Emperor
only uses the words "revise the punishments," and the code itself
is only known as the "Punishments" (of the marquess who drew it
up); although it also prescribes many judicial forms, and lays
down precepts which are by no means all castigatory. The mere fact
of its doing so is illustrative of reformed ideas in the embryo.
There is good ground to suppose that the Chinese Emperor's "laws,"
such as they were at any given time, were solemnly and periodically
proclaimed, in each vassal kingdom; but, subject to these general imperial
directions, the _themis_, _diké_ or inspired decision of the
magistrate, was the sole deciding factor; and, of course, the ruler's
arbitrary pleasure, whether that ruler were supreme or vassal, often
ran riot when he found himself strong enough to be unjust. For instance,
in 894 B.C., the Emperor boiled alive one of the Ts'i rulers, an act that
was revenged by Ts'i 200 years later, as has been mentioned in previous

In 796 B.C. a ruler of Lu was selected, or rather recommended to
the Emperor for selection, in preference to his elder brother,
because "when he inflicted chastisement he never failed to
ascertain the exact instructions left by the ancient emperors."
This same Emperor had already, in 817, nominated one younger
brother to the throne of Lu, because he was considered the most
attractive in appearance on an occasion when the brethren did
homage at the imperial court. For this caprice the Emperor's
counsellor had censured him, saying: "If orders be not executed,
there is no government; if they be executed, but contrary to
established rule, the people begin to despise their superiors."

In 746 B.C. the state of Ts'in, which had just then recently
emerged from Tartar barbarism, and had settled down permanently in
the old imperial domain, first introduced the "three stock" law,
under which the three generations, or the three family connections
of a criminal were executed for his crime as well as himself. In
596 and 550 Tsin (which thus seems to have taken the hint from
Ts'in) exterminated the families of two political refugees who had
fled to the Tartars and to Ts'i respectively. Even in Ts'u the
relatives of the man who first taught war to Wu were massacred in
585, and any one succouring the fugitive King of Ts'u was
threatened with "three clan penalties"; this last case was in the
year 529. The laws of Ts'u seem to have been particularly harsh;
in 55 the premier was cut into four for corruption, and one
quarter was sent in each direction, as a warning to the local
districts. About 650 B.C. a distinguished Lu statesman, named
Tsang Wen-chung, seems to have drawn up a special code, for one of
Confucius' pupils (two centuries later) denounced it as being too
severe when compared with Tsz-ch'an's mild laws--to be soon
mentioned. Confucius himself also described the man as being "too
showy." This Lu statesman, about twenty years later, made some
significant and informing observations to the ruler of Lu when
report came that Tsin (the Second Protector) was endeavouring to
get the Emperor to poison a federal refugee from Wei, about whose
succession the powers were at the moment quarrelling. He said:
"There are only five recognized punishments: warlike arms, the
axe, the knife or the saw, the branding instruments, the whip or
the bastinado; there are no surreptitious ones like this now
proposed." The result was that Lu, being of the same clan as the
Emperor, easily succeeded in bribing the imperial officials to let
the refugee prince go. The grateful prince eagerly offered Tsang
W&n-chung a reward; but the statesman declined to receive it, on
the ground that "a subject's sayings are not supposed to be known
beyond his own master's frontier." About, a century later a
distinguished Tsin statesman, asking what "immortality" meant, was
told: "When a man dies, but when his words live; like the words of
this distinguished man, Tsang W&n-chung, of Lu state." This same
Tsin statesman is said to have engraved some laws on iron (513),
an act highly disapproved by Confucius. It is only by thus piecing
together fragmentary allusions that we can arrive at the
conclusion that "there were judges in those days." Mention has
been several times made in previous chapters of Tsz-ch'an, whose
consummate diplomacy maintained the independence and even the
federal influence of the otherwise obscure state of Cheng during a
whole generation. In the year 536 B.C. he decided to cast the laws
in metal for the information of the people: this course was
bitterly distasteful to his colleague, Shuh Hiang of Tsin (see
Appendix I.), and possibly the Tsin "laws on iron" just mentioned
were suggested by this experiment, for it must be remembered that
Tsin, Lu, Wei, and Cheng were all of the same imperial clan.
Confucius, who had otherwise a genuine admiration for Tsz-ch'an,
disapproved of this particular feature in his career. In a minor
degree the same question of definition and publication has also
caused differences of opinion between English lawyers, so far as
the so-called "judge-made law" is concerned; it is still
considered to be better practice to have it declared as
circumstances arise, than to have it set forth beforehand in a
code. The arguments are the same; in both cases the judges profess
to "interpret" the law as it already exists; that is, the Chinese
judge interprets the law of nature, and the English judge the
common and statute laws; but neither wishes to hamper himself by
trying to publish in advance a scheme contrived to fit all future
hypothetical cases.

About 680 B.C. the King of Ts'u is recorded to have passed a law
against harbouring criminals, under which the harbourer was liable
to the same penalty as the thief; and at the same time reference
is made by his advisers to an ancient law or command of the
imperial dynasty, made before it came to power in 1122 B.C.-"If
any of your men takes to flight, let every effort be made to find
him." Thus it would seem that other ruling classes, besides those
of the Chou clan, accepted the general imperial laws, Chou-
ordained or otherwise. Although it is thus manifest that the
vassal states, at least after imperial decadence set in, in 771
B.C., drew up and published laws of their own, yet, at the great
durbar of princes held by the First Protector in 651 B.C., it is
recorded that the "Son of Heaven's Prohibitions" were read over
the sacrificial victim. They are quite patriarchal in their
laconic style, and for that reason recall that of the Roman Twelve
Tables. They run: "Do not block springs!" "Do not hoard grain!"
"Do not displace legitimate heirs!" "Do not make wives of your
concubines!" "Do not let women meddle with State affairs!" From
the Chinese point of view, all these are merely assertions of what
is Nature's law. In the year 640, the state of Lu applied the term
"Law Gate" to the South Gate, "because both Emperor and vassal
princes face south when they rule, and because that is,
accordingly, the gate through which all commands and laws do
pass." It is always possible, however, that this "facing south" of
the ancient ruler points to the direction whence some of his
people came, and towards which, as their guide and leader, he had
to look in order to govern them.

In the year 594 there is an instance cited where two dignitaries
were killed by direct specific order of the Emperor. In explaining
this exceptional case, the commentator says: "The lord of all
below Heaven is Heaven, and Heaven's continuer or successor is the
Prince; whilst that which the Prince holds fast is the Sanction,
which no subject can resist."

Not very long after Confucius' death in 479 B.C., the powerful and
orthodox state of Tsin, which had so long held its own against
Ts'in, Ts'i, and Ts'u, tottered visibly under the disintegrating
effects of the "great family" intrigues: of the six great families
which had, as representatives of the earlier eleven, latterly
monopolized power, three only survived internecine conflicts, and
at last the surviving three split up into the independent states
of Han, Wei, and Chao, those names being eponymous, as being their
sub-fiefs, and, therefore, their "surnames," or family names. In
the year 403 the Emperor formally recognized them as separate,
independent vassaldoms. Wei is otherwise known as Liang, owing to
the capital city having borne that name, and the kings of Liang
are celebrated for their conversations with the peripatetic
philosopher, Mencius, in the fourth century B.C. In order to
distinguish this state from that of Wei (imperial clan) adjoining
Lu and Sung, we shall henceforth call it Ngwei, as, in fact, it
originally was pronounced, and as it still is in some modern
dialects. The first of the Ngwei sovereigns had in his employ a
statesman named Li K'wei, who introduced, for taxation purposes, a
new system of land laws, and also new penal laws. These last were
in six books, or main heads, and, it is said, represented all that
was best in the laws of the different feudal states, mostly in
reference to robbery: the minor offences were roguery, getting
over city walls, gambling, borrowing, dishonesty, lewdness,
extravagance, and transgressing the ruler's commands--their exact
terms are now unknown. This code was afterwards styled the "Law
Classic," and its influence can be plainly traced, dynasty by
dynasty, down to modern times; in fact, until a year or two ago,
the principles of Chinese law have never radically changed; each
successive ruling family has simply taken what it found; modifying
what existed, in its own supposed interest, according to time,
place, and circumstance. Li K'wei's land laws singularly resembled
those recommended to the Manchu Government by Sir Robert Hart four
years ago.



It is difficult to guess how much truth there is in the ancient
traditions that the water-courses of the empire were improved
through gigantic engineering works undertaken by the ancient
Emperors of China. There is one gorge, well known to travellers,
above Ich'ang, on the River Yang-tsz, on the way to Ch'ung-k'ing,
where the precipitous rocks on each side have the appearance and
hardness of iron, and for a mile or more--perhaps several miles--
stand perpendicularly like walls on both sides of the rapid Yang-
tsz River: the most curious feature about them is that from below
the water-level, right up to the top, or as far as the eye can
reach, the stone looks as though it had been chipped away with
powerful cheese-scoops: it seems almost impossible that any
operation of nature can have fashioned rocks in this way; on the
other hand, what tools of sufficient hardness, driven by what
great force, could hollow out a passage of such length, at such a
depth, and such a height? It is certain that after Ts'in conquered
the hitherto almost unknown kingdoms of Pa and Shuh (Eastern and
Western Sz Ch'wan) a Chinese engineer named Li Ping worked wonders
in the canalization of the so-called CH'ÊNg-tu plain, or the rich
level region lying around the capital city of Sz Ch'wan province,
which was so long as Shuh endured also the metropolis of Shuh. The
consular officers of his Britannic Majesty have made a special
study of these sluices, which are still in full working order, and
they seem almost unchanged in principle from the period (280 B.C.)
when Li Ping lived. The Chinese still regard this branch of the
Great River as the source; or at least they did so until the
Jesuit surveys of two centuries ago proved otherwise; it was quite
natural that they should do so in ancient times, for the true
upper course, and also Yiin Nan and Tibet through which that
course runs, were totally unknown to them, and unheard of by name;
even now the so-called Lolo country of Sz Ch'wan and Yiin Nan is
mostly unexplored, and the mountain Lolos are quite independent of
China. The fact that they have whitish skins and a written script
of their own (manifestly inspired by the form of Chinese
characters) makes them a specially interesting people. Li Ping's
engineering feats also included the region around Ya-thou and Kia-
ting, as marked on the modern maps.

The founder of the Hia dynasty (2205 B.C.) is supposed to have
liberated the stagnant waters of the Yellow River and sent them to
the sea; as this is precisely what all succeeding dynasties have
tried to do, and have been obliged to try, and what in our own
times the late Li Hung-chang was ordered to do just before his
death, there seems no good reason for suspecting the accuracy of
the tradition; the more especially as we see that the founder of
the Chou dynasty sent his chief political adviser and his two most
distinguished relatives to settle along this troublesome river's
lower course, as rulers of Ts'i, Yen, and Lu; the other
considerable vassals were all ranged along the middle course.

The original Chinese founder of the barbarian colony of Wu
belonged, as already explained, to the same clan or family as the
founder of the Chou dynasty, and in one respect even took
ancestral or spiritual precedence of him, because the emigrant had
voluntarily retired into obscurity with his brother in order to
make way for a third and more brilliant younger brother, whose
grandson it was that afterwards, in 1122 B.C., conquered China,
and turned the Chou principality, hitherto vassal to the Shang
dynasty, into the Chou dynasty, to which the surviving Shang
princes then became vassals in the Sung state and elsewhere. Even
though the founder of Wu may have adopted barbarian ways, such as
tattooing, hair-cutting, and the like, he must have possessed
considerable administrative power, for he made a canal (running
past his capital) for a distance of thirty English miles along the
new "British" railway from Wu-sih to Ch'ang-shuh, as marked on
present maps; his idea was to facilitate boat-travelling, and to
assist cultivators with water supplies for irrigation.

In the year 485 B.C. the King of Wu, who was then in the hey-day
of his success, and by way of becoming Protector of China, erected
a wall and fortifications round the well-known modern city of
Yangchow (where Marco Polo 1700 years later acted as governor); he
next proceeded for the first time in history to establish water
communication between the Yang-tsz River and the River Hwai; this
canal was then (483-481) continued farther north, so as to give
communication with the southern and central parts of modern Shan
Tung province.

His object was to facilitate the conveyance of stores for his
armies, then engaged in bringing pressure upon Ts'i (North Shan
Tung) and Lu (South Shan Tung). He succeeded in getting his boats
to the River Tsi, running past Tsi-nan Fu, and to the River I,
running past I-thou Fu, thus dominating the whole Shan Tung
region; for these two were then the only navigable rivers in Shan
Tung besides the Sz. The River Tsi is now taken possession of by
the Yellow River, which, as we have shown, then ran a parallel
course much to the westward of it; and the River I then ran south
into the River Sz, which, as already explained, has in its lower
course, in comparatively modern times, been taken possession of
permanently by the Grand Canal; but the upper course of the Sz,
now, as then, ran past Confucius' town, the Lu metropolis, of
K'üh-fu. In 483 B.C. the same king cast his faithful adviser (of
Ts'u origin) into the canal by which the waters of lake T'ai Hu
now run to modern Soochow, and thence to Hangchow. Ever since that
date the unfortunate man in question has been a popular "god of
the waters" in those parts. It follows, therefore, that the Wu
founder's modest canal must have been from time to time extended,
at least in an easterly direction. It was only after the conquest
of China by Ts'in, 250 years later, that the First August Emperor
extended this system of canals northwards and westwards, from
Ch'ang-thou Fu to Tan-yang and Chinkiang, as marked on the modern
maps. Thus the barbarian kings of Wu have found the true alignment
of our "British", railway for us; and, so far as the northern
canal is concerned, have really achieved the task for which credit
is usually given to Kublai Khan, the Mongol patron of Marco Polo.
Kublai merely improved the old work. The ancient Wu capital was 10
English miles south-east of Wu-sih, and 17 miles north of Soochow,
to which place the capital was transferred in the year 513 B.C.,
as it was more suitable than the old capital for the arsenals and
ship-building yards then, for the first time, being built on an
extensive scale by the King of Wu.

The first bridge over the Yellow River was constructed by the
kingdom of Ts'in in 257 B.C., on what is still the high-road
between T'ung-thou Fu and P'u-chou Fu. Previous to that date
armies had to cross the Yellow River at the fords; and, as an
instance of this, it may be stated that the founder of the Chou
dynasty in 1122 B.C. summoned his vassals to meet him at the Ford
of Mêng, a place still so marked on the maps, and lying on the
high-road between the two modern cities of Ho-nan Fu and Hwai-
k'ing Fu; thus there was no excuse for the feudal princes failing
to arrive at the rendezvous. It was not far from the same place,
but on the north bank of the river, that Tsin in 632 B.C. held the
great durbar as Second Protector, on the notorious occasion when
the puppet Emperor was "sent for" by the Tsin dictator. To conceal
this outrage on "the rites," Confucius says: "The Son of Heaven
went in camp north of the river." To go on hunt, or in camp, is
still a vague historical expression for "go on fief inspection,"
and it was so used in 1858, when the Manchu Emperor Hien-fêng took
refuge from the allied troops at Jêhol in Tartary.

The first thing Ts'in did when it united the empire in 221 B.C.
was to occupy all the fords and narrow passes, and to put them in
working order for the passage of armies. As even now the lower
Yellow River is only navigable for large craft for 20 miles from
its mouth (now in Shan Tung), it is easy to imagine how many fords
there must have been in its shallow waters, and also how it came
to pass that boats were so little used to convey large bodies of
troops with their stores.

The great wall of China of 217 B.C. was by no means the first of
its kind. A century before that date Ts'in built a long wall to
keep off the Tartars; and, half a century before that again, Ngwei
(one of the three powerful families of Tsin, all made independent
princes in 403) had built a wall to keep off its western neighbour
Ts'in; both these walls seem to have been in the north part of the
modern Shen Si region, and they were possibly portions of the
later continuous great wall of the August Emperor, which occupied
the forced energies of 700,000 men. There is a statement that the
same Emperor set 700,000 eunuchs to work on the palaces and the
tomb he was constructing for himself at his new metropolis (moved
since 350 B.C. to the city of Hien-yang, north of the river Wei,
opposite the present Si-ngan Fu). This probably means, not that
eunuchs were common in those times as palace _employés_, but
that castration still was the usual punishment inflicted
throughout China for grave offences not calling for the penalty of
death, or for the more serious forms of maiming, such as foot-
chopping or knee-slicing; and that all the prisoners of that
degree were told off to do productive work: although humiliatingly
deformed, they were still available for the common purposes of
native life, and their defenceless and forlorn plight would
probably make it an easier matter to handle them in gangs than to
handle sound males; and if they died off under the rough treatment
of task-masters, they would have no families to mourn or avenge
them in accordance with family duty; for a eunuch has no name and
no family. The palaces in question were joined by a magnificent
bridge on the high-road between Hien-yang and Si-ngan. This very
year a German firm has contracted to build an iron bridge over the
Yellow River at Lan-thou Fu, where crossed by Major Bruce.



There are singularly few descriptions of cities in ancient Chinese
history, but here again we may safely assume that most of them
were in principle, if only on a small scale, very much what they
are now, mere inartistic, badly built collections of hovels. Sõul,
the quaint capital of Corea, as it appeared in its virgin
condition to its European discoverers twenty-five years ago,
probably then closely resembled an ancient vassal Chinese prince's
capital of the very best kind. Modern trade is responsible for the
wealthy commercial streets now to be found in all large Chinese
cities; but a small _hien_ city in the interior--and it must
be remembered that a _hien_ circuit or district corresponds
to an old marquisate or feudal principality of the vassal unit
type--is often a poor, dusty, dirty, depressing, ramshackle
agglomeration of villages or hamlets, surrounded by a disproportionately
pretentious wall, the cubic contents of which wall alone would more
than suffice to build in superior style the whole mud city within; for half
the area of the interior is apt to be waste land or stagnant puddles: it
was so even in Peking forty years ago, and possibly is so still except
in the "Legation quarter."

In 745 B.C., when the Tsin marquess foolishly divided his
patrimony with a collateral branch, the capital town of this
subdivided state is stated to have been a greater place than the
old capital. They are both of them still in existence as
insignificant towns, situated quite close together on the same
branch of the River Fên (the only navigable river) in South Shan
Si; marked with their old names, too; that is to say, K'iih-wuh
and Yih-CH'ÊNg. It was only after the younger branch annexed the
elder in 679 that Tsin became powerful and began to expand; and it
was only when a policy of "home rule" and disintegration set in,
involving the splitting up of Tsin's orthodox power into three
royal states of doubtful orthodoxy, that China fell a prey to
Ts'in ambition. _Absit_ omen to us.

In 560, when the deformed philosopher Yen-tsz visited Ts'u, and
entertained that semi-barbarous court with his witticisms, he took
the opportunity boastfully to enlarge upon the magnificence of
Lin-tsz (still so marked), the capital of Ts'i. "It is," said he,
"surrounded by a hundred villages; the parasols of the walkers
obscure the sky, whose perspiration runs in such streams as to
cause rain; their shoulders and heels touch together, so closely
are they packed." The assembled Ts'u court, with mouths open, but
inclined for sport at the cost of their visitor, said: "If it is
such a grand place, why do they select you?" Yen-tsz played a
trump card when he replied: "Because I am such a mean-looking
fellow,"--meaning, as explained in Chapter IX., that "any pitiful
rascal is good enough to send to Ts'u." Exaggerations apart,
however, there is every reason to believe that the statesman-
philosopher Kwan-tsz, a century before that date, had really
organized a magnificent city. A full description of how he
reconstructed the economic life of both city and people is given
in the _Kwoh-yü_ (see Chapter XVII.), the authenticity of
which work, though not free from question, is, after all, only
subject to the same class of criticism as Rénan lavishes upon one
or two of the Gospels, the general tenor of which, be says, must
none the less be accepted, with all faults, as the _bonâfide_
attempt of some one, more or less contemporary, to represent what
was then generally supposed to be the truth.

Ts'u itself must have had something considerable to show in the
way of public buildings, for in the year 542 B.C. after paying a
visit to that country in accordance with the provisions of the
Peace Conference of 546, the ruler of Lu built himself a palace in
imitation of one he saw there. The original capital of Wu (see
Chapter VII.) was a poor place, and is described as having
consisted of low houses in narrow streets, with a vulgar palace;
this was in 523. In 513 a new king moved to the site now occupied
by Soochow, and he seems to have made of it the magnificent city
it has remained ever since--the place, of course it will be
remembered, where General Gordon and Li Hung-chang had their
celebrated quarrel about decapitating surrendered rebels. There
were eight gates, besides eight water-gates for boats; it was
eight English miles in circuit, and contained the palace, several
towers (pagodas, being Buddhist, were then naturally unknown),
kiosks, ponds, and duck preserves. The extensive arsenal and ship-
yard was quite separate from the main town. No city in the
orthodox part of China is so closely described as this one, nor is
it likely that there were many of them so vast in extent.

Judging by the frequency with which Ts'in moved its capitals (but
always within a limited area in the Wei valley, between that river
and its tributary the K'ien), they cannot have been very important
or substantial places; in fact, there are no descriptions of early
Ts'in economic life at all; and, for all we know to the contrary,
the headquarters of Duke Muh, when he entered upon his reforms in
the seventh century B.C., may have resembled a Tartar encampment.
The _Kwoh-yü_ has no chapter devoted to Ts'in, which (as indeed
stated) for 500 years lived a quite isolated life of its own. In later
times, especially after the reforms introduced by the celebrated
Chinese princely adventurer, Wei Yang, during the period 360--340,
the land administration was reconstituted, the capital was finally moved
to Hien-yang, and every effort was made to develop all the resources
of the country. Ts'in then possessed 41 _hien,_ those with a
population of under 10,000 having a governor with a lower title than
the governors of the larger towns, Probably the total population of
Ts'in by this time reached 3,000,000. A century later, when the First
August Emperor was conquering China, armies of half a million men
on each side were not at all uncommon. When his conquests were
complete, he set about building palaces on both banks of the Wei in
most lavish style, as narrated in the last chapter. It is said of him that,
"as he conquered each vassal prince, he had a sketch made of his
palace buildings," and, with these before him as models, he lined
the river with rows of beautiful edifices,--evidently, from the
description given, much resembling those lying along the Golden
Horn at Constantinople; if not in quality, at least in general
spectacular arrangement.

As to the minor orthodox states grouped along the Yellow River,
they seem to have shifted their capitals on very slight
provocation; scarcely one of them remained from first to last in
the same place. To take one as an instance, the state of Hu, an
orthodox state belonging to the same clan name as Ts'i. The
history of this petty principality or barony is only exactly known
from the time when Confucius' history begins, and it was
continually being oppressed by Cheng and Ts'u, its more powerful
neighbours; in 576, 533, 524 and onwards from that, there were
incessant removals, so that even the native commentators say: "it
was just like shifting a village, so superficial an affair was
it." The accepted belles _lettres_ style (see p. 78) of saying
"my country" is still the ancient _pi-yih_ or "unworthy village":
the Empress of China once (about 190 B.C.) used this expression,
even after the whole of China had been united, in order to reject
politely the offer of marriage conveyed to her by a powerful Tartar
king. The expression is particularly interesting, inasmuch as it recalls,
as we have already pointed out, a time when the "country" of each
feudal chief was simply his mud village and the few square miles of
fields around it, which were naturally divided off from the next chief's
territory by hills and streams. On the Burmo-Chinese frontier there are
at this moment many Kakhyen "kings" of this kind, each of them ruling
over his mountain or valley, and supreme in his own domain.

That there were walled cities in China (apart from the Emperor's,
which, of course, would be "the city" par _excellence_) is
plain from the language used at durbars, which were always held
"outside the walls." In the _loess_ plains there could not
have been any stone whatever for building purposes, and there is
little, if any, specific mention of brick. Probably the walls were
of adobe, i.e. of mud, beaten down between two rigid planks,
removed higher as the wall dries below. This is the way most of
the houses are still built in modern Peking, and perhaps also in
most parts of China, at least where stone (or brick) is not
cheaper; the "barbarian" parts of China are still the best built;
for instance, CH'ÊNg-tu in Sz Ch'wan, Canton in the south. Hankow
(Ts'u) is a comparatively poor place; Peking the dingiest of all.
Chinkiang is a purely _loess_ country.

At the time of the unification of China, during the middle of the
third century B.C., the Ts'in armies found it necessary to flood
Ta-liang or "Great Liang," the capital of Ngwei (otherwise called
Liang), corresponding to the modern K'ai-fêng Fu, the Jewish
centre in Ho Nan province: the waters of the Yellow River were
allowed to flood the country (this was again done by the Tai-p'ing
rebels fifty years ago, when the Jews suffered like other people,
and lost their synagogue), the walls of which collapsed. It is
evident that the ancient city walls could not have been such
solid, brick-faced walls as we now see round Peking and Nanking,
but simply mud ramparts.



We must turn to unorthodox China once more, and see how it fared
after Confucius' death. After only a short century of international
existence, the vigorous state of Wu perished once for all in the
year 473 B.C., and the remains of the ruling caste escaped
eastwards in boats. When for the first time embassies between
the Japanese and the Chinese became fairly regular, in the
second and third centuries of our era, there began to be
persistent statements made in standard Chinese history that the
then ruling powers in Japan considered themselves in some way
lineally connected with a Chinese Emperor of 2100 B.C., and with
his descendants, their ancestors, who, it was said, escaped from
Wu to China. This is the reason why, in Chapter VII., we have
suggested, not that the population of Japan came from China, but
that some of the semi-barbarous descendants of those ancient
Chinese princes who first colonized the then purely barbarous Wu,
finding their power destroyed in 473 B.C. by the neighbouring
barbarous power of Yüeh, settled in Japan, and continued their
civilizing mission in quite a new sphere. Many years ago I
endeavoured, in various papers published in China and Japan, to
show that, apart from Chinese words adopted into Japanese ever
since A.D. 1 from the two separate sources of North China by land
and Central China by sea, there is clear reason to detect, in the
supposed pure Japanese language, as it was anterior to those
importations, an admixture of Chinese words adopted much earlier
than A.D. 1, and incorporated into the current tongue at a time
when there was no means or thought of "nailing the sounds down" by
any phonetic system of writing. There is much other very sound
Chinese historical evidence in favour of the migration view, and
it has been best summarized in an excellent little work in German,
by Rev. A. Tschepe, S.J., published in the interior of Shan Tung
province only last year.

The ancient native names for Wu and Yiieh, according to the clumsy
Confucian way of writing them, were something like _Keu-ngu_
and _O-viet_ (see Chapter VII.); but it is quite hopeless to
attempt reconstruction of the exact sounds intended then to be
expressed by syllables which, in Chinese itself, have quite
changed in power. The power of Yüeh was supreme after 473; its
king was voted Protector by the federal princes, and in 472 he
held a grand durbar at the "Lang-ya Terrace," which place is no
longer exactly identifiable, but is probably nothing more than the
German settlement at Kiao Chou; in 468 he transferred his capital
thither, and it remained there for over a century, till 379: but
his power, it seems, was almost purely maritime, and he never
succeeded in obtaining a sure footing north of or even in the Hwai
valley, the greater part of which he subsequently returned to
Ts'u. It must be remembered that the Hwai then had a free course
to the sea, and of a part of it, the now extinct Sui valley, the
Yellow River took possession for several centuries up to 1851 A.D.
He also returned to Sung the territory Wu had taken from her, and
made over to Lu 100 _li_ square (30 miles) to the east of the
River Sz; to understand this it must be remembered, at the cost of
a little iteration, that Sung and Lu were the two chief powers of
the middle and lower Sz valley, which is now entirely monopolized
by the Grand Canal.

[Illustration: MAP

1. The dotted lines mark the boundaries of modern Shen Si, Shan
Si, Chih Li, Ho Nan, Shan Tung, An Hwei, and Kiang Su.

2. The names Chao, Ngwei, and Han show how Tsin was split up into
three in 403 B.C.

3. The crosses (in the line of each name) show the successive
capitals as Ts'in encroached from the west, the _last_ capital in
each case having a circle round the cross.]

The imperial dynasty went from bad to worse; in 440 there were
family intrigues, assassinations, and divisions. The imperial
metropolis, which was towards the end about all the Emperors had
left to them, was divided into two, each half ruled by an Eastern
and a Western Emperor respectively; unfortunately, no literature
has survived which might depict for us the life of the inhabitants
during those wretched days. Meanwhile, the ambitious great
families of Tsin very nearly fell under the dictatorship of one of
their number; in 452 he was himself annihilated by a combination
of the others, and the upshot of it was that next year the three
families that had crushed the dictator and, emerged victorious,
divided up the realm of Tsin into three separate and practically
independent states, called respectively Wei or Ngwei (the Shan Si
parts), Han (the Ho Nan parts), and Chao (the Chih Li parts). The
other ancient and more orthodox state of Wei, occupying the Yellow
River valley to the west of Sung and Lu, was now a mere vassal to
these three Tsin powers, which had not quite yet declared
themselves independent, and which had for the present left the old
Tsin capital to the direct administration of the legitimate
prince. It was only in the year 403 that the Emperor's administration
formally declared them to be feudal princes. This year is really the
next great turning-point in Chinese history, in order of date, after the
flight of the Emperors from their old capital in 771 B.C.; and it is, in
fact, with this year that the great modern historical work of Sz-ma
Kwang begins; it was published A.D. 1084, and brings Chinese
events down to a century previous to that date.

As to the state of Ts'i, it also had fallen into evil ways. So
early as 539 B.C., when the two philosophers Yen-tsz and Shuh
Hiang had confided to each other their mutual sorrows (see
Appendix No. 2), the former had predicted that the powerful local
family of T'ien or Ch'en was slowly but surely undermining the
legitimate princely house, and would certainly end by seizing the
throne; one of the methods adopted by the supplanting family was
to lend money to the people on very favourable terms, and so to
manipulate the grain measures that the taxes due to the prince
were made lighter to bear; in this ingenious and indirect way, all
the odium of taxation was thrown upon the extravagant princes who
habitually squandered their resources, whilst the credit for
generosity was turned towards this powerful tax-farming family,
which thus took care of its own financial interests, and at the
same time secured the affections of the people. In 481 the
ambitious T'ien Hêng, _alias_ CH'ÊN Ch'ang, then acting as
hereditary _maire du palais_ to the legitimate house, assassinated
the ruling prince, an act so shocking from the orthodox point of view that
Confucius was quite heartbroken on learning of it, notwithstanding that his
own prince had narrowly escaped assassination at the hands of the
murdered man's grandfather. It was not until the year 391, however, that
the T'ien, or CH'ÊN, family, after setting up and deposing princes at
their pleasure for nearly a century, at last openly threw off the
mask and usurped the Ts'i throne: their title was officially
recognized by the Son of Heaven in the year 378.

As to Ts'in ambitions, for a couple of centuries past there had
been no further advance of conquest, at least in China. The
hitherto almost unheard of state of Shuh (Sz Ch'wan) now begins to
come prominently forward, and to contest with Ts'in mastery of the
upper course of the Yang-tsz River. After being for 260 years in
unchallenged possession of all territory west of the Yellow River,
Ts'in once more lost this to Tsin (_i.e._ to Ngwei) in 385.
It was not until the other state of Wei, lower down the Yellow
River, lost its individuality as an independent country that the
celebrated Prince Wei Yang (see Chapter XXII.), having no career
at home, offered his services to Ts'in, and that this latter
state, availing itself to the full of his knowledge, suddenly shot
forth in the light of real progress. We have seen in Chapter XX.
that an eminent lawyer and statesman of Ngwei, Ts'in's immediate
rival on the east, had inaugurated a new legal code and an
economic land system. This man's work had fallen under the
cognizance of Wei Yang, who carried it with him to Ts'in, where it
was immediately utilized to such advantage that Ts'in a century
later was enabled to organize her resources thoroughly, and thus
conquered the whole empire,

We have now arrived at what is usually called the Six Kingdom
Period, or, if we include Ts'in, against whose menacing power the
six states were often in alliance, the period of the Seven
Kingdoms. These were the three equally powerful states of Ngwei,
Han, and Chao (this last very Tartar in spirit, owing to its
having absorbed nearly all the Turko-Tartar tribes west of the
Yellow River mouth); the northernmost state of Yen, which seems in
the same way to have absorbed or to have exercised a strong
controlling influence over the Manchu-Corean group of tribes
extending from the Liao River to the Chao frontier; Ts'u, which
now had the whole south of China entirely to itself, and managed
even to amalgamate the coast states of Yiich in 334; and finally Ts'i.
In other words, the orthodox Chinese princes, whose comparatively
petty principalities in modern Ho Nan province had for several centuries
formed a sort of cock-pit in which Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i, and Ts'u fought out
their rivalries, had totally disappeared as independent and even as
influential powers, and had been either absorbed by those four great
powers (of which Tsin and Ts'i were in reconstituted form), or had
become mere obedient vassals to one or the other of them. In former
times Tsin had been kinsman and defender; but now Tsin, broken up
into three of strange clans, herself afforded an easy prey to Ts'in
ambition; the orthodox states were in the defenceless position of the
Greek states after Alexander had exhausted Macedon in his Persian
wars, and when their last hope, Pyrrhus, had taught the Romans the art
of war: they had only escaped Persia to fall into the jaws of

In the middle of the fourth century B.C. all six powers began to
style themselves _wang_, or "king," which, as explained before,
was the title borne by the Emperors of the Chou dynasty. Military,
political, and literary activities were very great after this at the
different emulous royal courts, and, however much the literary
pedants of the day may have bewailed the decay of the good
old times, there can be no doubt that life was now much more
varied, more occupied, and more interesting than in the sleepy,
respectable, patriarchal days of old. The "Fighting State" Period,
as expounded in the _Chan-Kwoh Ts'eh,_ or "Fighting State
Records," is the true period of Chinese chivalry, or knight-



The emperors of the dynasty of Chou, which came formally into
power in 1122 B.C., we have seen took no other title than that of
wang, which is usually considered by Europeans to mean "king"; in
modern times it is applied to the rulers of (what until recently
were) tributary states, such as Loochoo, Annam, and Corea; to
foreign rulers (unless they insist on a higher title); and to
Manchu and Mongol princes of the blood, and mediatized princes.
Confucius in his history at first always alludes to the Emperor
whilst living as _t'ien-wang_, or "the heavenly king"; it is
not until in speaking of the year 583 that he uses the old term
_t'ien-tsz_, or "Son of Heaven," in alluding to the reigning
Emperor. After an emperor's death he is spoken of by his
posthumous name; as, for instance, Wu Wang, the "Warrior King,"
and so on: these posthumous names were only introduced (as a
regular system) by the Chou dynasty.

The monarchs of the two dynasties Hia (2205-1767) and Shang (1766-
1123) which preceded that of Chou, and also the somewhat mythical
rulers who preceded those two dynasties, were called _Ti_, a
word commonly translated by Western nations as "Emperor." For many
generations past the Japanese, in order better to assert _vis-á-
vis_ of China their international rank, have accordingly made
use of the hybrid expression "_Ti_-state," by which they seek
to convey the European idea of an "empire," or a state ruled over
by a monarch in some way superior to a mere king, which is the
highest title China has ever willingly accorded to a foreign
prince; this royal functionary in her eyes is, or was, almost
synonymous with "tributary prince." Curiously enough, this "dog-
Chinese" (Japanese) expression is now being reimported into
Chinese political literature, together with many other excruciating
combinations, a few of European, but mostly of Japanese manufacture,
intended to represent such Western ideas as "executive and legislative,"
"constitutional," "ministerial responsibility," "party," "political view,"
and so on. But we ourselves must not forget, in dealing with the particular
word "imperial," that the Romans first extended the military title of
imperator to the permanent holder of the "command," simply because
the ancient and haughty word of "king" was, after the expulsion of
the kings, viewed with such jealousy by the people of Rome that
even of Caesar it is said that he did thrice refuse the title, So
the ancient Chinese Ti, standing alone, was at first applied both
to Shang Ti or "God" and to his Vicar on Earth, the Ti or Supreme
Ruler of the Chinese world. Even Lao-tsz (sixth century B.C.), in
his revolutionary philosophy, considers the "king" or "emperor" as
one of the moral forces of nature, on a par with "heaven,"
"earth," and "Tao (or Providence)." When we reflect what petty
"worlds" the Assyrian, Egyptian, and Greek worlds were, we can
hardly blame the Chinese, who had probably been settled in Ho Nan
just as long as the Western ruling races had been in Assyria and
Egypt respectively, for imagining that they, the sole recorders of
events amongst surrounding inferiors, were the world; and that the
incoherent tribes rushing aimlessly from all sides to attack them,
were the unreclaimed fringe of the world.

It does not appear clearly why the Chou dynasty took the new title
of wang, which does not seem to occur in any titular sense
previous to their accession: the Chinese attempts to furnish
etymological explanation are too crude to be worth discussing. No
feudal Chinese prince presumed to use it during the Chou
_régime_ and if the semi-barbarous rulers of Ts'u, Wu, and
Yiieh did so in their own dominions (as the Hwang Ti, or "august
emperor," of Annam was in recent times tacitly allowed to do),
their federal title in orthodox China never went beyond that of
viscount. When in the fourth century B.C. all the powers styled
themselves _wang_, and were recognized as such by the insignificant
emperors, the situation was very much the same as that produced in
Europe when first local Caesars, who, to begin with, had been
"associates" of the Augustus (or two rival Augusti), asserted their
independence of the feeble central Augustus, and then set themselves
up as Augusti pure and simple, until at last the only "Roman Emperor"
left in Rome was the Emperor of Germany.

It is not explained precisely on what grounds, when the first Chou
emperors distributed their fiefs, some of the feudal rulers, as
explained in Chapter VII., were made dukes; others marquesses,
earls, viscounts, and barons. Of course these translated terms are
mere makeshifts, simply because the Chinese had five ranks, and so
have we. In creating their new nobility, the Japanese have again
made use of the five old Chinese titles, except that for some
reason they call Duke Ito and Duke Yamagata "Prince" in English.
The size of the fiefs had something to do with it in China; the
pedigree of the feoffees probably more; imperial clandom perhaps
most of all. The sole state ruled by a duke in his own intrinsic
right from the first was Sung, a small principality on the
northernmost head-waters of the River Hwai, corresponding to the
modern Kwei-t&h Fu: probably it was because this duke fulfilled
the sacrificial and continuity duties of the destroyed dynasty of
Shang that he received extraordinary rank; just as, in very much
later days, the Confucius family was the only non-Manchu to
possess "ducal" rank, or, as the Japanese seem to hold in German
style, "princely" rank. But it must be remembered that the Chou
emperors had imperial dukes within their own appanage, precisely
as cardinals, or "princes of the Church," are as common around
Rome as they are scarce among the spiritually "feudal" princes of
Europe; for feudal they once practically were.

Confucius' petty state of Lu was founded by the Duke of Chou,
brother of the founder posthumously called the Wu Wang, or the
"Warrior King": for many generations those Dukes of Lu seem to
have resided at or near the metropolis, and to have assisted the
Emperors with their advice as counsellors on the spot, as well as
to have visited at intervals and ruled their own distant state,
which was separated from Sung by the River Sz and by the marsh or
lakes through which that river ran. Yet Lu as a state had only the
rank of a marquisate ruled by a marquess.

Another close and influential relative of the founder or "Warrior
King" was the Duke of Shao, who was infeoffed in Yen (the Peking
plain), and whose descendants, like those of the Duke of Chou,
seem to have done double duty at the metropolis and in their own
feudal appanage. Confucius' history scarcely records anything of
an international kind about Yen, which was a petty, feeble region,
dovetailed in between Tsin and Ts'i, quite isolated, and occupied
in civilizing some of the various Tartar and Corean barbarians;
but it must have gradually increased in wealth and resources like
all the other Chinese states; for, as we have seen in the last
chapter, the Earls of Yen blossomed out into Kings at the
beginning of the fourth century B.C., and the philosopher Mencius,
when advising the King of Ts'i, even strongly recommended him to
make war on the rising Yen power. The founder of Ts'i was the
chief adviser of the Chou founder, but was not of his family name;
his ancestors--also the ancestors later on claimed by certain
Tartar rulers of China--go back to one of the ultra-mythical
Emperors of China; his descendants bore, under the Chou dynasty,
the dignity of marquess, and reigned without a break until, as
already related, the T'ien or Ch'en family, emanating from the
orthodox state of Ch'en, usurped the throne. Ts'i was always a
powerful and highly civilized state; on one occasion, in 589 B.C.,
as mentioned in Chapter VI., its capital was desecrated by Tsin;
and on another, a century later, the overbearing King of Wu
invaded the country. After the title of king was taken in 378
B.C., the court of Ts'i became quite a fashionable centre, and the
gay resort of literary men, scientists, and philosophers of all
kinds, Taoists included.

Tsin, like Ts'i, was of marquess rank, and though its ruling
family was occasionally largely impregnated with Tartar blood by
marriage, it was not much more so than the imperial family itself
had sometimes been, The Chinese have never objected to Tartars
_quâ_ Tartars, except as persons who "let their hair fly,"
"button their coats on the wrong side," and do not practise the
orthodox rites; so soon as these defects are remedied, they are
eligible for citizenship on equal terms. There has never been any
race question or colour question in China, perhaps because the
skin is yellow in whichever direction you turn; but it is
difficult to conceive of the African races being clothed with
Chinese citizenship.

Wei was a small state lying between the Yellow River as it now is
and the same river as it then was: it was given to a brother of
the founder of the Chou dynasty, and his subjects, like those of
the Sung duke, consisted largely of the remains of the Shang
dynasty; from which circumstance we may conclude that the so-
called "dynasties," including that of Chou, were simply different
ruling clans of one and the same people, very much like the
different Jewish tribes, of which the tribe of Levi was the most
"spiritual": that peculiarity may account for the universal
unreadiness to cut off sacrifices and destroy tombs, an outrage we
only hear of between barbarians, as, for instance, when Wu sacked
the capital of Ts'u. We have seen in Chapter XII. that a reigning
duke even respected at least some of the sacrificial rights of a
traitor subject.

The important state of CHÊNG, lying to the eastward of the
imperial reserve, was only founded in the ninth century B.C. by
one of the then Emperor's sons; to get across to each other, the
great states north and south of the orthodox nucleus had usually
to "beg road" of CHÊNG, which territory, therefore, became a
favourite fighting-ground; the rulers were earls. Ts'ao (earls)
and Ts'ai (marquesses) were small states to the north and south of
CHÊNG, both of the imperial family name. The state of CH'ÊN was
ruled by the descendants of the Emperor Shun, the monarch who
preceded the Hia dynasty, and who, as stated before, is supposed
to have been buried in the (modern) province of Hu Nan, south of
the Yang-tsz River: they were marquesses. These three last-named
states were always bones of contention between Tsin and Ts'u, on
the one hand, and between Ts'i and Ts'u on the other. The
remaining feudal states are scarcely worth special mention as
active participators in the story of how China fought her way from
feudalism to centralization; most of their rulers were viscounts
or barons in status, and seem to have owed, or at least been
obliged to pay, more duty to the nearest great feudatory than
direct to the Emperor.

No matter what the rank of the ruler, so soon as he had been
supplied with a posthumous name (expressing, in guarded style, his
personal character) he was known to history as "the Duke So-and-
So." Even one of the Rings of Ts'u, is courteously called "the
Duke Chwang" after his death, because as a federal prince he had
done honour to the courtesy title of viscount. Princes or rulers
not enjoying any of the five ranks were, if orthodox sovereign
princes over never so small a tract, still called posthumously,
"the Duke X."

Hence Western writers, in describing Confucius' master and the
rulers of other feudal states, often speak of "the Duke of Lu," or
"of Tsin"; but this is only an accurate form of speech when taken
subject to the above reserves.



The relations which existed between Emperor and feudal princes are
best seen and understood from specific cases involving mutual
relations. The Chou dynasty had about 1800 nominal vassals in all,
of whom 400 were already waiting at the ford of the Yellow River
for the rendezvous appointed by the conquering "Warrior King";
thus the great majority must already have existed as such before
the Chou family took power; in other words, they were the vassals
of the Shang dynasty, and perhaps, of the distant Hia dynasty too.
The new Emperor enfeoffed fifteen "brother" states, and forty more
having the same clan-name as himself: these fifty-five were
presumably all new states, enjoying mesne-lord or semi-suzerain
privileges over the host of insignificant principalities; and it
might as well be mentioned here that this imperial clan name of
_Ki_ was that of all the ultra-ancient emperors, from 2700
B.C. down to the beginning of the Hia dynasty in 2205 B.C. Fiefs
were conferred by the Chou conqueror upon all deserving ministers
and advisers as well as upon kinsmen. The more distant princes
they enfeoffed possessed, in addition to their distant satrapies,
a village in the neighbourhood of the imperial court, where they
resided, as at an hotel or town house, during court functions;
more especially in the spring, when, if the world was at peace,
they were supposed to pay their formal respects to the Emperor.
The tribute brought by the different feudal states was, perhaps
euphemistically, associated with offerings due to the gods,
apparently on the same ground that the Emperor was vaguely
associated with God. The Protectors, when the Emperors degenerated,
made a great show always of chastising or threatening the other
vassals on account of their neglect to honour the Emperor.
Thus in 656 the First Protector (Ts'i) made war upon Ts'u for not
sending the usual tribute of sedge to the Emperor, for use in
clarifying the sacrificial wine. Previously, in 663, after assisting the
state of Yen against the Tartars, Ts'i had requested Yen "to go
on paying tribute, as was done during the reigns of the two first
Chou Emperors, and to continue the wise government of the
Duke of Shao." In 581, when Wu's pretensions were rising in a
menacing degree, the King of Wu said: "The Emperor complains to me
that not a single _Ki_ (_i.e._ not a single closely-related
state) will come to his assistance or send him tribute, and thus
his Majesty has nothing to offer to the Emperor Above, or to the
Ghosts and Spirits."

Land thus received in vassalage from the Emperor could not, or
ought not to, be alienated without imperial sanction. Thus in 711
B.C. two states (both of the _Ki_ surname, and thus both such
as ought to have known better) effected an exchange of territory;
one giving away his accommodation village, or hotel, at the
capital; and the other giving in exchange a place where the
Emperor used to stop on his way to Ts'i when he visited Mount
T'ai-shan, then, as now, the sacred resort of pilgrims in Shan
Tung. Even the Emperor could not give away a fief in joke. This,
indeed, was how the second Chou Emperor conferred the (extinct or
forfeited) fief of Tsin upon a relative. But just as

_Une reine d'Espagne ne regarde pas par la fenêtre,_

so an Emperor of China cannot jest in vain. An attentive scribe
standing by said: "When the Son of Heaven speaks, the clerk takes
down his words in writing; they are sung to music, and the rites
are fulfilled." When, in 665 B.C., Ts'i had driven back the
Tartars on behalf of Yen, the Prince of Yen accompanied the Prince
of Ts'i back into Ts'i territory. The Prince of Ts'i at once ceded
to Yen the territory trodden by the Prince of Yen, on the ground
that "only the Emperor can, when accompanying a ruling prince,
advance beyond the limits of his own domain." This rule probably
refers only to war, for feudal princes frequently visited each
other. The rule was that "the Emperor can never go out," i.e. he
can never leave or quit any part of China, for all China belongs
to him. It is like our "the King can do no wrong."

The Emperor could thus neither leave nor enter his own particular
territory, as all his vassals' territory is equally his. Hence his
"mere motion" or pleasure makes an Empress, who needs no formal
reception into his separate appanage by him. If the Emperor gives
a daughter or a sister in marriage, he deputes a ruling prince of
the Ki surname to "manage" the affair; hence to this day the only
name for an imperial princess is "a publicly managed one." A
feudal prince must go and welcome his wife, but the Emperor simply
deputes one of his appanage dukes to do it for him. In the same
way, these dukes are sent on mission to convey the Emperor's
pleasure to vassals. Thus, in 651 B.C., a duke was sent by the
Emperor to assist Ts'in and Ts'i in setting one of the four
Tartar-begotten brethren on the Tsin throne (see Chapter X.). In
649 two dukes (one being the hereditary Duke of Shao, supposed to
be descended from the same ancestor as the Earl reigning in the
distant state of Yen) were sent to confer the formal patent and
sceptre of investiture on Tsin. The rule was that imperial envoys
passing through the vassal territory should be welcomed on the
frontier, fed, and housed; but in 716 the fact that Wei attacked
an imperial envoy on his way to Lu proves how low the imperial
power had already sunk.

The greater powers undoubtedly had, nearly all of them, clusters
of vassals and clients, and it is presumed that the total of 1800,
belonging, at least nominally, to the Emperor, covered all these
indirect vassals. Possibly, before the dawn of truly historical
times, they all went in person to the imperial court; but after
the _débâcle_ of 771 B.C., the Emperor seems to have been
left severely alone by all the vassals who dared do so. So early
as 704 B.C. a reunion of princelets vassal to Ts'u is mentioned;
and in the year 622 Ts'u annexed a region styled "the six states,"
admittedly descended from the most ancient ministerial stock,
because they had presumed to ally themselves with the eastern
barbarians; this was when Ts'u was working her way eastwards, down
from the southernmost headwaters of the Hwai River, in the extreme
south of Ho Nan. It was in 684 that Ts'u first began to annex the
petty orthodox states in (modern) Hu Pêh province, and very soon
nearly all those lying between the River Han and the River Yang-
tsz were swallowed up by the semi-barbarian power. Ts'u's relation
to China was very much like that of Macedon to Greece. Both of the
latter were more or less equally descended from the ancient and
somewhat nebulous Pelasgi; but Macedon, though imbued with a
portion of Greek civilization, was more rude and warlike, with a
strong barbarian strain in addition. Ts'u was never in any way
"subject" to the Chou dynasty, except in so far as it may have
suited her to be so for some interested purpose of her own. In the
year 595 Ts'u even treated Sung and Cheng (two federal states of
the highest possible orthodox imperial rank) as her own vassals,
by marching armies through without asking their permission. As an
illustration of what was the correct course to follow may be taken
the case of Tsin in 632, when a Tsin army was marching on a
punitory expedition against the imperial clan state of Ts'ao; the
most direct way ran through Wei, but this latter state declined to
allow the Tsin army to pass; it was therefore obliged to cross the
Yellow River at a point south of Wei-hwei Fu (as marked on modern
maps), near the capital of Wei, past which the Yellow River then

Lu, though itself a small state, had, in 697, and again in 615,
quite a large number of vassals of its own; several are plainly
styled "subordinate countries," with viscounts and even earls to
rule them. Some of these sub-vassals to the feudal states seem
from the first never to have had the right of direct communication
with the Emperor at all; in such cases they were called fu-yung,
or "adjunct-functions," like the client colonies attached to the
colonial _municipia_ of the Romans. A fu-yung was only about
fifteen English miles in extent (according to Mencius); and from
850 B.C. to 771 BC. even the great future state of Ts'in had only
been a _fu-yung_,--it is not said to what mesne lord. Sung is
distinctly stated to have had a number of these _fu-yung_.
CH'ÊN is also credited with suzerainty over at least two sub-
vassal states. In 661 Tsin annexed a number of orthodox petty
states, evidently with the view of ultimately seizing that part of
the Emperor's appanage which lay north of the Yellow River (west
Ho Nan); it was afterwards obtained by "voluntary cession." The
word "viscount," besides being applied complimentarily to
barbarian "kings" when they showed themselves in China, had
another special use. When an orthodox successor was in mourning,
he was not entitled forthwith to use the hereditary rank allotted
to his state; thus, until the funeral obsequies of their
predecessors were over, the new rulers of Ch'en and Ts'ai were
called "the viscount," or "son" (same word).

The Emperor used to call himself "I, the one Man," like the
Spanish "Yo, el Rey." Feudal princes styled themselves to each
other, or to the ministers of each other, "The Scanty Man."
Ministers, speaking (to foreign ministers or princes) of their own
prince said, "The Scanty Prince"; of the prince's wife, "The
Scanty Lesser Prince"; of their own ministers, "The Scanty
Minister." It was polite to avoid the second person in addressing
a foreign prince, who was consequently often styled "your
government" by foreign envoys particularly anxious not to offend.
The diplomatic forms were all obsequiously polite; but the stock
phrases, such as, "our vile village" (our country), "your
condescending to instruct" (your words), "I dare not obey your
commands" (we will not do what you ask), probably involved nothing
more in the way of humility than the terms of our own gingerly
worded diplomatic notes, each term of which may, nevertheless,
offend if it be coarsely or carelessly expressed.

In some cases a petty vassal was neither a sub-kingdom nor an
adjunct-function to another greater vassal, but was simply a
political hanger-on; like, for instance, Hawaii was to the United
States, or Cuba now is; or like Monaco is to France, Nepaul to
India. Thus Lu, through assiduously cultivating the good graces of
Ts'i, became in 591 a sort of henchman to Ts'i; and, as we have
seen, at the Peace Conference of 546, the henchmen of the two
rival Protectors agreed to pay "cross respects" to each other's
Protector. It seems to have been the rule that the offerings of
feudal states to the Emperor should be voluntary, at least in
form: for instance, in the year 697, the Emperor or his agents
begged a gift of chariots from Lu, and in 618 again applied for
some supplies of gold; both these cases are censured by the
historians as being undignified. On the other hand, the Emperor's
complimentary presents to the vassals were highly valued. Thus in
the year 530, when Ts'u began to realize its own capacity for
empire, a claim was put in for the Nine Tripods, and for a share
of the same honorific gifts that were bestowed by the founders
upon Ts'i, Tsin, Lu, and Wei at the beginning of the Chou dynasty.
In the year 606 Ts'u had already "inquired" at the imperial court
about these same Tripods, and 300 years later (281 B.C.), when
struggling with Ts'in for the mastery of China, Ts'u endeavoured
to get the state of Han to support her demand for the Tripods,
which eventually fell to Ts'in; it will be remembered that the
Duke of Chou had taken them to the branch capital laid out by him,
but which was not really occupied by the Emperor until 771 B.C.

In 632, after the great Tsin victory over Ts'u, the Emperor
"accepted some Ts'u prisoners," conferred upon Tsin the
Protectorate, ceded to Tsin that part of the imperial territory
referred to on page 53, and presented to the Tsin ruler a chariot,
a red bow with 1000 arrows, a black bow with 1000 arrows, a jar of
scented wine, a jade cup with handle, and 300 "tiger" body-guards.
In 679, when Old Tsin had been amalgamated by New Tsin (both of
them then tiny principalities), the Emperor had already accepted
valuable loot from the capture of Old Tsin. In a word, the Emperor
nearly always sided with the strongest, accepted _faits accomplis_,
and took what he could get. This has also been China's usual policy
in later times.



The period of political development covered by Confucius' history--
the object of which history, it must be remembered, was to read
to the restless age a series of solemn warnings--was immediately
succeeded by the most active and bloodthirsty period in the
Chinese annals, that of the Fighting States, or the Six Countries;
sometimes they (including Ts'in) were called the "Seven Males,"
i.e. the Seven Great Masculine Powers. Tsin had been already
practically divided up between the three surviving great families
of the original eleven in 424 B.C.; but these three families of
Ngwei, Han, and Chao were not recognized by the Emperor until 403;
nor did they extinguish the legitimate ruler until 376, about
three years after the sacrifices of the legitimate Ts'i kings were
stopped. Accordingly we hear the original name Tsin, or "the three
Tsin," still used concurrently with the names Han, Ngwei, and
Chao, as that of Ts'u's chief enemy in the north for some time
after the division into three had taken place.

Tsin's great rival to the west, Ts'in, now found occupation in
extending her territory to the south-west at the expense of Shuh,
a vast dominion corresponding to the modern Sz Ch'wan, up to then
almost unheard of by orthodox China, but which, it then first
transpired, had had three kings and ten "emperors" of its own,
nine of these latter bearing the same appellation. Even now, the
rapids and gorges of the Yang-tsz River form the only great
commercial avenue from China into Sz Ch'wan, and it is therefore
not hard to understand how in ancient times, the tribes of "cave
barbarians" (whose dwellings are still observable all over that
huge province) effectively blocked traffic along such subsidiary
mountain-roads as may have existed then, as they exist now, for
the use of enterprising hawkers.

The Chinese historians have no statistics, indulge in fen (few?)
remarks about economic or popular development, describe no popular
life, and make no general reflections upon history; they confine
themselves to narrating the bald and usually unconnected facts
which took place on fixed dates, occasionally describing some
particularly heroic or daring individual act, or even sketching
the personal appearance and striking conduct of an exceptionally
remarkable king, general, or other leading personality: hence
there is little to guide us to an intelligent survey of causes and
effects, of motives and consequences; it is only by carefully
piecing together and collating a jumble of isolated events that it
is possible to obtain any general coup d'oeil at all: the wood is
often invisible on account of the trees.

But there can be no doubt that populations had been rapidly
increasing; that improved means had been found to convey
accumulated stores and equipments; that generals had learnt how to
hurl bodies of troops rapidly from one point to the other; and
that rulers knew the way either to interest large populations in
war, or to force them to take an active part in it. The marches,
durbars, and gigantic canal works, undertaken by the barbarous
King of Wu, as described in Chapter XXI., prove this in the case
of one country. Chinese states always became great in the same
way: first Kwan-tsz developed, on behalf of his master the First
Protector, the commerce, the army, and the agriculture of Ts'i. He
was imitated at the same time by Duke Muh of Ts'in and King Chwang
of Ts'u, both of which rulers (seventh century B.C.) set to work
vigorously in developing their resources. Then Tsz-ch'an raised
Cheng to a great pitch of diplomatic influence, if not also of
military power. His friend Shuh Hiang did the same thing for Tsin;
and both of them were models for Confucius in Lu, who had,
moreover, to defend his own master's interests against the policy
of the philosopher Yen-tsz of Ts'i. After his first defeat by the
King of Wu, the barbarian King of Yueh devoted himself for some
years to the most strenuous life, with the ultimate object of
amassing resources for the annihilation of Wu; the interesting
steps he took to increase the population will be described at
length in a later chapter. In 361, as we have explained in Chapter
XXII., a scion of Wei went as adviser to Ts'in, and within a
generation of his arrival the whole face of affairs was changed in
that western state hitherto so isolated; the new position, from a
military point of view, was almost exactly that of Prussia during
the period between the tyranny of the first Napoleon, together
with the humiliation experienced at his hands, and the patient
gathering of force for the final explosion of 1870, involving the
crushing of the second (reigning) Napoleon.

Very often the term "perpendicular and horizontal" period is
applied to the fourth century B.C. That is, Ts'u's object was to
weld together a chain of north and south alliances, so as to bring
the power of Ts'i and Tsin to bear together with her own upon
Ts'in; and Ts'in's great object was, on the other hand, to make a
similar string of east and west alliances, so as to bring the same
two powers to bear upon Ts'u. The object of both Ts'in and Ts'u
was to dictate terms to each unit of; and ultimately to possess,
the whole Empire, merely utilizing the other powers as catspaws to
hook the chestnuts out of the furnace. No other state had any
rival pretensions, for, by this time, Ts'in and Ts'u each really
did possess one-third part of China as we now understand it,
whilst the other third was divided between Ts'i and the three
Tsin. In 343 B.C. the Chou Emperor declared Ts'in Protector, and
from 292 to 288 B.C., Tsin and Ts'i took for a few years the
ancient title of _Ti_ or "Emperor" of the West and East respectively:
in the year 240 the Chou Emperor even proceeded to Ts'in to do
homage there. Tsin might have been in the running for universal
empire had she held together instead of dividing herself into
three. Yen was altogether too far away north,--though, curiously
enough, Yen (Peking) has been the political centre of North
China for 900 years past,--and Ts'i was too far away east.
Moreover, Ts'i was discredited for having cut off the sacrifices
of the legitimate house. Ts'u was now master of not only her old
vassals, Wu and Yiieh, but also of most of the totally unknown
territory down to the south sea, of which no one except the Ts'u
people at that time knew so much as the bare local names; it bore
the same relation to Ts'u that the Scandinavian tribes did to the
Romanized Germans. Ts'in had become not only owner of Sz Ch'wan--
at first as suzerain protector, not as direct administrator--but
had extended her power down to the south-west towards Yiin Nan and
Tibet, and also far away to the north-west in Tartarland, but not
farther than to where the Great Wall now extends. It is in the
year 318 B.C. that we first hear the name Hiung-nu (ancestors of
the Huns and Turks), a body of whom allied themselves in that year
with the five other Chinese powers then in arms against the
menacing attitude of Ts'in; something remarkable must have taken
place in Tartarland to account for this sudden change of name, The
only remains of old federal China consisted of about ten petty
states such as Sung, Lu, etc., all situated between the Rivers Sz
and Hwai, and all waiting, hands folded, to be swallowed up at
leisure by this or that universal conqueror.

Ts'in _s'en va t'en guerre_ seriously in the year 364, and
began her slashing career by cutting off 60,000 "Tsin" heads; (the
legitimate Tsin sacrifices had been cut off in 376, so this "Tsin"
must mean "Ngwei," or that part of old Tsin which was coterminous
with Ts'in); in 331, in a battle with Ngwei, 80,000 more heads
were taken off. 'In 318 the Hiung-nu combination just mentioned
lost 82,000 heads between them; in 314 Han lost 10,000; in 312
Ts'u lost 80,000; in 307 Han lost 60,000; and in 304 Ts'u lost
80,000. In the year 293 the celebrated Ts'in general, Pêh K'i, who
has left behind him a reputation as one of the greatest
manipulators of vast armies in Eastern history, cut off 240,000
Han heads in one single battle; in 275, 40,000 Ngwei heads; and in
264, 50,000 Han heads. "_Enfin je vais me mesurer avec ce
Vilainton_" said the King of Chao, when his two western friends
of Han and Ngwei had been hammered out of existence. In the year
260 the Chao forces came to terrible grief; General Pêh K'i
managed completely to surround their army of 400,000 men he
accepted their surrender, guaranteed their safety, and then
proceeded methodically to massacre the whole of them to a man. In
257 "Tsin" (presumably Han or Ngwei) lost 6,000 killed and 20,000
drowned; in 256 Han lost 40,000 heads, and in 247 her last 30,000,
whilst also in 256 Chao her last 90,000. These terrible details
have been put together from the isolated statements; but there can
be no mistake about them, for the historian Sz-ma Ts'ien, writing
in 100 B.C., says: "The allies with territory ten times the extent
of the Ts'in dominions dashed a million men against her in vain;
she always had her reserves in hand ready, and from first to last
a million corpses bit the dust."

No such battles as these are even hinted at in more ancient times;
nor, strange to say, are the ancient chariots now mentioned any
more. Ts'in had evidently been practising herself in fighting with
the Turks and Tartars for some generations, and had begun to
perceive what was still only half understood in China, the
advantage of manoeuvring large bodies of horsemen; but, curiously
enough, nothing is said of horses either; yet all these battles
seem to have been fought on the flat lands of old federal China,
suitable for either chariots or horses. The first specific mention
of cavalry manoeuvres on a large scale was in the year 198 B.C.
when the new Han Emperor of China in person, with a straggling
army of 320,000 men, mostly infantry, was surrounded by four
bodies of horsemen led by the Supreme Khan, in white, grey, black,
and chestnut divisions, numbering 300,000 cavalry in all: his name
was Megh-dun (? the Turkish Baghatur).

Whilst all this was going on, Mencius, the Confucian philosopher,
and the two celebrated diplomatists (of Taoist principles), Su
Ts'in and Chang I, were flying to and fro all over orthodox China
with a view of offering sage political advice; this was the time
_par excellence_ when the rival Taoist and Confucian prophets
were howling in the wilderness of war and greed: but Ts'in cared
not much for talkers: generals did her practical business better:
in 308 she began to cast covetous eyes on the Emperor's poor
remaining appanage. In 301 she was called upon to quell a revolt
in Shuh; then she materially reduced the pretensions of her great
rival Ts'u; and finally rested a while, whilst gathering more
strength for the supreme effort-the conquest of China.



The history of China may be for our present purposes accordingly
summed up as follows. The pure Chinese race from time immemorial
had been confined to the flat lands of the Yellow River, and its
one tributary on the south, the River Loh, the Tartars possessing
most of the left bank from the Desert to the sea. However, from
the beginning of really historical times the Chinese had been in
unmistakable part-possession of the valleys of the Yellow River's
two great tributaries towards the west and north, the Wei (in Shen
Si) and the Fen (in Shan Si). Little, if any, Chinese colonizing
was done much before the Ts'in conquests in any other parts of
Tartarland; none in Sz Ch'wan that we know of; little, if any,
along the coasts, except perhaps from Ts'i and Lu (in Shan Tung),
both of which states seem to have always been open to the sea,
though many barbarian coast tribes still required gathering into
the Chinese fold. The advance of Chinese civilization had been
first down the Yellow River; then down the River Han towards the
Middle Yang-tsz; and lastly, down the canals and the Hwai network
of streams to the Shanghai coast. Old colonies of Chinese had,
many centuries before the conquest of China by the Chou dynasty,
evidently set out to subdue or to conciliate the southern tribes:
these adventurous leaders had naturally taken Chinese ideas with
them, but had usually found it easier for their _own_ safety
and success to adopt barbarian customs in whole or in part. These
mixed or semi-Chinese states of the navigable Yang-tsz Valley,
from the Ich'ang gorges to the sea, had generally developed in
isolation and obscurity, and only appeared in force as formidable
competitors with orthodox Chinese when the imperial power began to
collapse after 771 B.C. The isolation of half-Roman Britain for
several centuries after the first Roman conquest, and the
departure of the last Roman legions, may be fitly compared with
the position of the half-Chinese states. Ts'u, Wu, and Yüeh all
had pedigrees, more or less genuine, vying in antiquity with the
pedigree of the imperial Chou family; and therefore they did not
see why they also should not aspire to the overlordship when it
appeared to be going a-begging. Even orthodox Tsin and Ts'i in
the north and north-east were in a sense colonial extensions,
inasmuch as they were governed by new families appointed thereto
by the Chou dynasty in 1122 B.C., in place of the old races of
rulers, presumably more or less barbarian, who had previously to
1122 B.C. been vassal--in name at least--to the earlier imperial
Hia and Shang dynasties: but these two great states were never
considered barbarian under Chou sway; and, indeed, some of the
most ancient mythological Chinese emperors anterior to the Hia
dynasty had their capitals in Tsin and Lu, on the River Fên and
the River Sz.

It is not easy to define the exact amount of "foreignness" in
Ts'u. One unmistakable non-Chinese expression is given; that is
_kou-u-du_, or "suckled by a tigress." Then, again, the syllable
_ngao_ occurs phonetically in many titles and in native personal
names, such as _jo-ngao_, _tu-ngao_, _kia-ngao_, _mo-ngao_.
There are no Ts'u songs in the Odes as edited by Confucius,  and
the Ts'u music is historically spoken of as being "in the southern
sound"; which may refer, it is true, to the accent, but also possibly
to a strange language. The Ts'u name for "Annals," or history, was
quite different from the terms used in Tsin and Lu, respectively;
and the Ts'u word for a peculiar form of lameness, or locomotor
ataxy, is said to differ from the expressions used in either Wei and
Ts'i. So far aspossible, all Ts'u dignities were kept in the royal family,
and the king's uncle was usually premier. The premier of Ts'u was
called _Zing-yin,_ a term unknown to federal China; and Ts'u
considered the left-hand side more honourable than the right,
which at that time was not the case in China proper, though it is
now. The "Borough-English" rule of succession in Ts'u was to give
it to one of the younger sons; this statement is repeated in
positive terms by Shuh Hiang, the luminous statesman of Tsin, and
will be further illustrated when we come to treat of that subject
specially. The Lu rule was "son after father; or, if none, then
younger after eldest brother; if the legitimate heir dies, then
next son by the same mother; failing which, the eldest son by any
mother; if equal claims, then the wisest; if equally wise, cast
lots": Lu rules would probably hold good for all federal China,
because the Duke of Chou, founder of Lu, was the chief moral force
in the original Chou administration. In the year 587 Lu, when
coquetting between Tsin and Ts'u, was at last persuaded not to
abandon Tsin for Ts'u, "who is not of our family, and can never
have any real affection." Once in Tsin it was asked, about a
prisoner: "Who is that southernhatted fellow?" It was explained
that he was a Ts'u man. They then handed him a guitar, and made
him sing some "national songs." In 597 a Ts'u envoy to the Tsin
military durbar said: "My prince is not formed for the fine and
delicate manners of the Chinese": here is distinct evidence of
social if not ethnological cleaving. The Ts'u men had beards,
whilst those of Wu were not hirsute: this statement proves that
the two barbarian populations differed between themselves. In 635
the King of Ts'u spoke of himself as "the unvirtuous" and the
"royal old man"--designations both appropriate only to barbarians
under Chinese ritual. In 880 B.C., when the imperial power was
already waning, and the first really historical King of Ts'u was
beginning to bring under his authority the people between the Han
and the Yang-tsz, he said: "I am a barbarian savage, and do not
concern myself with Chinese titles, living or posthumous." In 706,
when the reigning king made his first conquest of a petty Chinese
principality (North Hu Pêh), he said again: "I am a barbarian
savage; all the vassals are in rebellion and attacking each other;
I want with my poor armaments to see for myself how Chou governs,
and to get a higher title." On being refused, he said: "Do you
forget my ancestor's services to the father of the Chou founder?"
Later on, as has already been mentioned, he put in a claim for the
Nine Tripods because of the services his ancestor, "living in rags
in the Jungle, exposed to the weather," had rendered to the
founder himself. In 637, when the future Second Protector and
ruler of Tsin visited Ts'u as a wanderer, the King of Ts'u
received him with all the hospitalities "under the Chou rites,"
which fact shows at least an effort to adopt Chinese civilization.
In 634 Lu asked Ts'u's aid against Ts'i, a proceeding condemned by
the historical critics on the ground that Ts'u was a "barbarian
savage" state. On the other hand, by the year 560 the dying King
of Ts'u was eulogized as a man who had successfully subdued the
barbarian savages. But against this, again, in 544 the ruler of Lu
expressed his content at having got safely back from his visit to
Ts'u, i.e. his visit to such an uncouth and distant court. Thus
Ts'u's emancipation from "savagery" was gradual and of uncertain
date. In 489 the King of Ts'u declined to sacrifice to the Yellow
River, on the ground that his ancestors had never presumed to
concern themselves with anything beyond the Han and Yang-tsz
valleys. Even Confucius, (then on his wanderings in the petty
state of CH'ÊN) declared his admiration at this, and said: "The
King of Ts'u is a sage, and understands the Great Way (_tao_)."
On the other hand, only fifty years before this, when in 538 Ts'u,
with Tsin's approval, first tried her hand at durbar work, the king
was horrified to hear from a fussy chamberlain (evidently orthodox)
that there were six different ways of receiving visitors according to
their rank; so that Ts'u's ritual decorum could not have been of
very long standing. The following year (537) a Tsin princess is
given in marriage to Ts'u-- a decidedly orthodox feather in Ts'u's
cap. Confucius affects a particular style in his history when he speaks
of barbarians; thus an orthodox prince "beats" a barbarian, but "battles"
with an orthodox equal. However, in 525, Ts'u and Wu "battle" together,
the commentator explaining that Ts'u is now "promoted" to battle
rank, though the strict rule is that two barbarians, or China and
one barbarian, "beat" rather than "battle." In 591 Confucius had
already announced the "end" of the King of Ts'u, not as such, but
as federal viscount. Under ordinary circumstances "death" would
have been good enough: it is only in speaking of his own ruler's
death that the honorific word "collapse" is used. All these fine
distinctions, and many others like them, hold good for modern
Chinese. These (apparently to us) childish gradations in mere
wording run throughout Confucius' book; but we must remember that
his necessarily timid object was to "talk at" the wicked, and to
"hint" at retribution. Even a German recorder of events would
shrink from applying the word _haben_ to the royal act of a
Hottentot King, for whom _hat_ is more than good enough, without
the _allergnädigst._ And we all remember Bismarck's story of the
way mouth-washes and finger-bowls were treated at Frankfurt by those
above and below the grade of serene highness. _Toutes les vices et
toutes les moeurs sont respectables._

In 531 the barbarian King of Ts'u is honoured by being "named" for
enticing and murdering a "ruler of the central kingdoms." The
pedants are much exercised over this, but as the federal prince in
question was a parricide, he had a _lupinum caput,_ and so
even a savage could without outraging orthodox feelings wreak the
law on him. On the other hand, in 526, when Ts'u enticed and
killed a mere barbarian prince, the honour of "naming" was
withheld. This delicate question will be further elucidated in the
chapter on "Names."

It will be observed that none of the testimony brought forward
here to show that Ts'u was, in some undefined way, a non-Chinese
state is either clear or conclusive: its cumulative effect,
however, certainly leaves a very distinct impression that 'there
was a profound difference of some sort both in race and in
manners, though we are as yet quite unable to say whether the bulk
of the Ts'u population was Annamese, Shan, or Siamese; Lolo or
Nosu; Miao-tsz, Tibetan, or what. There is really no use in
attempting to advance one step beyond the point to which we are
carried by specific evidence, either in this or in other matters.
It has been said that no great discovery was ever made without
imagination, which may be true; but evidence and imagination must
be kept rigidly separate. What we may reasonably hope is that, by
gradually ascertaining and sifting definite facts and data
touching ancient Chinese history, we shall at least avoid coming
to wrong positive conclusions, even if the right negative ones are
pretty clearly indicated. It is better to leave unexplained
matters in suspense than to base conclusions upon speculative
substructures which will not carry the weight set upon them.



The country of Wu is in many respects even more interesting
ethnologically than that of Ts'u. When, a generation or two before
the then vassal Chou family conquered China, two of the sons of
the ruler of that vassal principality decided to forego their
rights of succession, they settled amongst the Jungle savages, cut
their hair, adopted the local raiment, and tattooed their bodies;
or, rather, it is said the elder of the two covered his head and
his body decently, while the younger cut his hair, went naked, and
tattooed his body. The words "Jungle savages" apply to the country
later called Ts'u; but as Wu, when we first hear of her, was a
subordinate country belonging to Ts'u; and as in any case the word
"Wu" was unknown to orthodox China, not to say to extreme western
China, in 1200 B.C. when the adventurous brothers migrated; this
particular point need not trouble us so much as it seems to have
puzzled the Chinese critics. About 575 the first really historical
King of Wu paid visits to the Emperor's court, to the court of his
suzerain the King of Ts'u, and to the court of Lu: probably the
Hwai system of rivers would carry him within measurable distance
of all three, for the headwaters almost touch the tributaries of
the Han, and the then Ts'u capital (modern King-thou Fu) was in
touch with the River Han. He observed when in Lu: "We only know
how to knot our hair in Wu; what could we do with such fine
clothes as you wear?" It was the policy of Tsin and of the other
minor federal princes to make use of Wu as a diversion against the
advance of Ts'u: it is evident that by this time Ts'u had begun to
count seriously as a Chinese federal state, for one of the
powerful private families behind the throne and against the throne
in Lu expressed horror that "southern savages (i.e. Wu) should
invade China (i.e. Ts'u)," by taking from it part of modern An
Hwei province: as, however, barbarian Ts'u had taken it first from
orthodox China, perhaps the mesne element of Ts'u was not in the
statesman's mind at all, but only the original element,--China. An
important remark is made by one of the old historians to the
effect that the language and manners of Wu were the same as those
of Yiieh. In 483, when Wu's pretensions as Protector were at their
greatest, the people of Ts'i made use of ropes eight feet long in
order to bind certain Wu prisoners they had taken, "because their
heads were cropped so close": this statement hardly agrees with
that concerning "knotted hair," unless the _toupet_ or chignon
was very short indeed. 'There are not many native Wu words quoted,
beyond the bare name of the country itself, which is something like
_Keu-gu,_ or _Kou-gu:_ an executioner's knife is mentioned under
the foreign name _chuh-lu,_ presented to persons expected to commit
suicide, after the Japanese _harakiri_ fashion. In 584 B.C., when the first
steps were taken by orthodox China to utilize Wu politically, it was
found necessary, as we have seen, to teach the Wu folk the use
of war-chariots and bows and arrows: this important statement
points distinctly to the previous utter isolation of Wu from the
pale of Chinese civilization. In the year 502 Ts'i sent a princess
as hostage to Wu, and ended by giving her in marriage to the Wu
heir: (we have seen how Tsin anticipated Ts'i by twenty-five years
in conferring a similar honour upon Ts'u). A century or more
later, when Mencius was advising the bellicose court of Ts'i, he
alluded with indignation to this "barbarous" act. In 544 the Wu
prince Ki-chah had visited Lu and other orthodox states.

[Illustration: Map of the Hwai system and Valley

1. The two lines indicated by...............to the north are (1)
the River Sz (now Grand Canal), from Confucius' birthplace, and
(2) the River I (from modern I-shui city south of the German
colony). After receiving the I, the Sz entered the Hwai as it
emerged from Lake Hung-t&h; but this Hwai mouth no longer exists;
the waters are dissipated in canals.

The Wu fleets coasting up to the Hwai, were thus able to creep
into the heart of Shan Tung province, east and west.

2. The Yang-tsz had three branches: (1) northern, much as now; (2)
middle, branching at modern Wuhu, crossing the T'ai-hu Lake, and
following the Soochow Creek and Wusung River past Shanghai; (3)
southern, carrying part of the Tai-hu waters by a forgotten route
(probably the modern Grand Canal), to near Hangchow.

3. The three crosses [Image: Circle with an 'X' in it] mark the
capitals of Wu (respectively near Wu-sih and Soochow) and Yiieh
(near Shao-hing). The modern canal from Hangchow to Shan Tung is
clearly indicated. Orthodox China knew absolutely nothing of Cheh
Kiang, Fuh Kien, or Kiang Si provinces south of lat. 300.]

In recognition of this civilized move on the part of an ancient
family, Confucius in his history grants the rank of "viscount" to
the King of Wu, but he does not style Ki-chah by the complimentary
title Ki _Kung-tsz_, or "Ki, the son of a reigning prince";
that is, the king's title thus accorded retrospectively is only a
"courtesy one," and does not carry with it a posthumous name, and
with that name the posthumous title of _Kung_, or "duke"'
applied to all civilized rulers. Yet it is evident that the ruling
caste of Wu considered itself superior to the surrounding tribes,
for in the year 493 it was remarked: "We here in Wu are entirely
surrounded by savages"; and in 481 the Emperor himself sent a
message through Tsin to Wu, saying: "I know that you are busy with
the savages you have on hand at present." In the year 482, when
the orthodox princes of Sung, Wei, and Lu were holding off from an
alliance with Wu, the prince of Wei was detained by a Wu general,
but escaped, and set to work to learn the language of Wu. The
motive is of no importance; but the clear statement about a
different language, or at least a dialect so different that it
required special study, is interesting. When Ki-chah was on his
travels, he explained to his friends that the law of succession
is: "By the rites to the eldest, as established by our ancestors
and by the customs of the country." In 502 the King of Wu was
embarrassed about his successor, whose character did not commend
itself to him, His counsellor (a refugee from Ts'u) said: "Order
in the state ceases if the succession be interrupted; by ancient
law son should succeed father deceased." Thus it seems that the
ancient Chou rules had been conveyed to Wu by the first colonists
in 1200 B.C., and that the succession laws differed from those of
Ts'u. Ki-chah's son died whilst he was on his travels, and
Confucius is reported to have said: "He is a man who understands
the rites; let us see what he does." Ki-chah bared his left arm
and shoulder, marched thrice round the grave, and said: "Flesh and
bone back to the earth, as is proper; as to the soul, let it go
anywhere it chooses!" This language was approved by Confucius, who
himself always declined to dogmatize on death and spirits,
maintaining that men knew too little of themselves, when living,
to be justified in groping for facts about the dead. At first
sight it would appear strange that a barbarous country like Wu
should suddenly produce a learned prince who at once captivated by
his culture Yen-tsz of Ts'i, Confucius of Lu, Tsz-ch'an of Cheng,
K'u-peh-yu of Wei, Shuh Hiang of Tsin, and, in short, all the
distinguished statesmen of China; but if we reflect that, within
half a century, the greatest naval, military, and scientific
geniuses have been produced on Western lines in Japan (as we shall
soon see, in some way connected with Wu), at least we find good
modern parallels for the phenomenon.

When Wu, after a series of bloody wars with Ts'u and Yiieh, was in
473 finally extinguished by the latter power, a portion of the
King of Wu's family escaped in boats in an easterly direction. At
this time not only was Japan unknown to China under that name, but
also quite unheard of under any name whatever. It was not until
150 years later that the powerful states of Yen and Ts'i, which,
roughly speaking, divided with them the eastern part of the modern
province of Chih Li, the northern part of Shan Tung, and the whole
coasts of the Gulf of "Pechelee," began to talk vaguely of some
mysterious and beautiful islands lying in the sea to the east.
When the First August Emperor had conquered China, he made several
tours to the Shan Tung promontory, to the site of the former Yueh
capital (modern Kiao Chou), to the treaty-port of Chefoo (where he
left an inscription), to the Shan-hai Kwan Pass, and to the
neighbourhood of Ningpo. He also had heard rumours of these
mysterious islands, and he therefore sent a physician of his staff
with a number of young people to make inquiry, and colonize the
place if possible. They brought back absurd stories of some
monstrous fish that had interfered with their landing, and they
reported that these fish could only be frightened away by
tattooing the body as the natives did, The people of Wu, who were
great fisherfolk and mariners, were also stated to have indulged
in universal tattooing because they wished to frighten dangerous
fish away. The first mission from Japan, then a congeries of petty
states, totally unacquainted with writing or records, came to
China in the first century of our era; it was not sent by the
central King, but only by one of the island princes. Later
embassies from and to Japan disclose the fact that the Japanese
themselves had traditions of their descent both from ancient
Chinese Emperors and from the founder of Wu, i.e. from the Chou
prince who went there in 1200 B.C.; of the medical mission sent by
the First August Emperor; of the flight from Wu in 473 B.C. of
part of the royal Wu family to Japan; and of other similar
matters--all apparently tending to show that the refugees from Wu
really did reach Japan; that a very early shipping intercourse had
probably existed between Japan, Ts'i, and Wu; and that, in
addition to the statements made by later Chinese historians to the
effect that the Japanese considered themselves in some way
hereditarily connected with Wu, the early Japanese traditions and
histories (genuine or concocted) themselves separately repeated
the story. One of the later Chinese histories says of Wu: "Part of
the king's family escaped and founded the kingdom of Wo" (the
ancient name for the Japanese race): the temptation to connect
this word with _Wu_ is obvious; but etymology will not tolerate
such an identification, either from a Chinese or a Japanese point of
view; the etymological "values" are _Ua_ and Gu respectively.

As in the case of Ts'u, there is no really trustworthy evidence to
show of what race or races, and in what proportions, the bulk of
the Wu population consisted; still less is there any specific
evidence to show to what race the barbarian king who committed
suicide in 473 belonged; or if those of his family who escaped
were wholly or partly Chinese; or if any pure descent existed at
all in royal circles, dating, that is to say, from the ancient
colonists of the imperial Chou family in 1200 B.C.

So far as purely Chinese traditions and history go, the cumulative
evidence, such as it is, needs careful sifting, and is, perhaps,
worth a more thorough examination; but as to the Japanese
traditions and early "history," these, as the Japanese themselves
admit, were only put together in written form retrospectively in
the eighth century A.D., and throughout they show signs of having
been deliberately concocted on the Chinese lines; that is, Chinese
historical incidents and phraseology are worked into the narrative
of supposed Japanese events, and Japanese emperors or empresses
are (admittedly) fitted with posthumous names mostly copied from
imperial Chinese posthumous names. By themselves they are almost
valueless, so far as the fixing of specific dates and the
identification of political events are concerned; and even when
taken as ancillary to contemporary Chinese evidence, except in so
far as a few Chinese misprints or errors may be more clearly
indicated by comparison with them, they seem equally valueless
either to confirm, to check, to modify, or to contradict the
Chinese accounts, which, indeed, are absolutely the sole
trustworthy written evidence either we or the Japanese themselves
possess about the actual condition of the Japanese 2000 years ago.

Meanwhile, as to Wu, all we can say with certainty is, that there
is a persistent rumour or tradition that some of its royal
refugees (themselves of unknown race) who escaped in boats
eastward, may have escaped to Japan; may have succeeded in
"imposing themselves" on the people, or a portion of the people
(themselves a mixed race of uncertain _provenance_); and may
have quietly and informally introduced Chinese words, ideas, and
methods, several centuries before known and formal intercourse
between Japan and China took place.



In laying stress upon the barbarous, or semi-barbarous, quality of
the states (all in our days considered pure Chinese), which
surrounded the federal area at even so late a period as 771 B.C.,
we wish to emphasize a point which has never yet been made quite
clear, perhaps not even made patent by their own critics to the
Chinese themselves; that is to say, the very small and modest
beginnings of the civilized patriarchal federation called the
Central Kingdom, or _Chu Hia_--"All the Hia"--just as we say,
"All the Russias."

In allotting precedence to the various states, the historical
editors, of course, always put the Emperor first in order of
mention; then comes CHÊNG, the first ruler of which state was son
of an Emperor of the then ruling imperial house; next, the three
Protectors Ts'i, Tsin, and Sung; then follow the petty states of
Wei, Ts'ai, Ts'ao, and T'êng, all of the imperial family name, or,
as we say in English, "surname," and all lying between the Hwai
and the Sz systems (T'êng was a "belonging state" of Lu). Then
come half a dozen petty orthodox states of less honourable family
names; next, three Eastern barbarian states, which had become
"Central Kingdom," or which, once genuine Chinese, had become half
barbarian; and finally, Ts'u, Ts'in, Wu, and Yiieh, which were
frankly, if vaguely, "outer barbarian-Tartar."

It has already been demonstrated that there is evidence, however
imperfect, to show that the mass of the population of Ts'u and Wu
were of decidedly foreign origin. Even as to Ts'i, which was
always treated as an orthodox principality, it is stated that the
founder sent there in or about 1100 B.C. "conformed to the manners
of the place, and encouraged manufactures, commerce, salt and fish
industries." On the other hand, the son of the Duke of Chou (the
first vassal prince appointed by his brother the Emperor) changed
the customs of Lu, modified the local rites, and induced the
people to keep on their mourning attire for three full years. It
was considered that the Ts'i policy was the wiser of the two, and
it was foretold that Lu would always "look up to" Ts'i in
consequence of this superior judgment on the part of Ts'i. On
frequent occasions the petty adjoining "Chinesified" states, of
which Lu was practically the mesne lord, are stated to have been
"tainted with Eastern barbarian rites." From and including modern
Sü-chou (North Kiang Su) and eastward, all were "Eastern
barbarians"; in fact, the city just named (mentioned by the name
of _Sü_ in 1100 B.C., and again about 950 B.C., as revolting
against the Emperor) perpetuates the "Sü barbarians" country,
which was for long a bone of contention between Ts'i and Ts'u, and
afterwards Wu; and the name "Hwai savages" proves that the Lower
Hwai Valley was also independent. The Hwai savages, who appear in
the Tribute of Yü, founder of the Hia dynasty, 2205 B.C., revolted
1000 years later against the founders of the Chou dynasty. They
were present at Ts'u's first durbar in 538 B.C., and are mentioned
as barbarians still resisting Chinese methods so late as A.D. 970.
In Confucius' time the Lai barbarians (modern Lai-thou Fu in the
German sphere) were employed by Ts'i, who had conquered them in
567 B.C., to try and effect the assassination of Confucius'
master. Six hundred years before that, these same barbarians were
among the first to give in their submission to the founder of
Ts'i; and in 602 B.C. both Ts'i and Lu had endeavoured to crush

As to the state of Ts'in, there is not a single instance given of
any literary conversation or correspondence held by an orthodox
high functionary with a Ts'in statesman. While it is not yet quite
clear that orthodox China can shake herself entirely free of the
reproach of human sacrifices in all senses, it is quite certain
that Ts'in had a barbarous and exclusive notoriety in this
regard'; and, as the Hiung-nu Tartars also practised it, and Ts'in
was at least half Tartar in blood, it is probable that she derived
her sanguinary notions from this blood connection with the Turko-
Scythian tribes. On the death of the Ts'in ruler in 678 B.C., the
first recorded human sacrifices were made, "sixty-six individuals
following the dead." In 621, on the death of the celebrated Duke
Muh, 177 persons lost their lives, and the people of Ts'in, in
pity, "composed the Yellow Bird Ode" (of these popular Chinese
odes more anon). This holocaust was given as one reason why Ts'in
could never "rule in the East," _i.e._ assume the Protectorate over
the orthodox powers all lying to its east, on account of this cruel defect
in its laws. In 387 B.C., the new Earl of Ts'in (who succeeded a nephew,
and therefore could, having no paternal duty to fulfil, introduce the
innovation more cheaply) abolished the principle of human sacrifices
at the death of a ruler. Ten years later, the Emperor's astrologer paid
a visit to Ts'in;--evidence that the imperial civilizing influence was
still, at least morally, active, This astrologer and historiographer,
whose name was Tan, is interesting, inasmuch as he has been
confused with Li Tan (the personal name of the philosopher Lao-
tsz, who was also an imperial official employed in the historiographical
department). It is added that, previous to this visit, for five hundred
years Ts'in and Chou had kept apart from each other. Notwithstanding
this prohibition of human sacrifices, when the First August Emperor of
Universal China died in 210 B.C., the old Ts'in custom was reintroduced,
and all his women who had not given birth to children were buried with
him. Besides this, all the workmen who had made the secret door and
passage to his grave were cemented in alive, so that they might never
disclose the secret of its approaches.

It was only after gradually adopting Chinese civilization that
Ts'in began to be a considerable power; thus, when Ki-chah of Wu
was entertained at Lu with specimens of the various styles of
music, he observed, on being regaled with Ts'in music: "Ah!
civilized sounds; it has succeeded in refining itself; it is in
occupation of the old Chou appanage." So late as 361 B.C., when
Ngwei (one of the three royal subdivisions of old Tsin) built a
wall to keep off Ts'in, both Ngwei and Ts'u (which by this time
was quite as good orthodox Chinese as any other state) treated
Ts'in as though the latter were still barbarian, In 326 Ts'in
first introduced into her realm the well-known year-end sacrifices
of the orthodox Chinese, which fact alone points to a long
isolation of Ts'in before this date.

The rule of succession in Ts'in seems to have been of the Tartar
kind at one time. Duke Muh, in 660 B.C., succeeded his brother,
though that brother had seven sons of his own living: that brother
again, had also succeeded a brother.

As to Yüeh, there is no question as to its barbarism, though the
one single king around whose name centres the whole glory of Yiieh
(Kou-tsien, 496-475) seems to have been a man of great ability and
some fine feeling. The native name for Yiieh was _Yü-yüeh_,
as stated in Chapter VII.; and it seems likely that all the coast
of China down to Tonquin, or Northern Annam, was then inhabited by
cognate tribes, all having the syllable _Yüeh_, or _Viét_, in
their names. The great empire or kingdom of Yiieh, founded upon
the ruins of Wu, soon split up into the "Hundred Yiieh," i.e. (probably)
it relapsed into its native barbarism, and ceased to cohere as a
political factor. "Southern Yüeh" (the Canton region) has undoubted
historical connections with the Tonquin part of Annam, and several
other of the subdivisions of Yiieh, corresponding to Foochow, Wênchow,
etc., show distinct traces of having belonged to the same race. But it is
unsafe to say how the Chinese-transcribed name Yii-yiieh was
pronounced; still more unsafe is it to argue that it must have been _U_
or _O-viêt_ simply because the Annamese so pronounce the word
now. We have seen that, according to one historical statement, the
Wu and Yiieh people spoke the same language; in which case the
members of the ruling Wu caste who fled to Japan in 473 B.C. were
probably not of the same race as the "savages around them." As an
act of bravado, in 481, the King of Wu made five condemned
centurions cut their own throats before the Tsin envoy, in order
to show what effectively stern discipline he kept, In 484 the King
of Yiieh had already committed a similar act of bravado; but
neither of these barbarian states is distinctly recorded to have
indulged in human sacrifices at the death of a sovereign. Previous
to the crushing of Wu by Yiieh, in 473 B.C., Yiieh was nearly
annihilated by Wu, and on this occasion Kou-tsien's envoy
advanced crawling on his knees to beg for mercy; this is hardly an
orthodox Chinese custom. However barbarous Yiieh may have been,
its ruling house possessed traditions of descent, through a
concubine, from an emperor of the Hia dynasty; for which reason
the founder was enfeoffed, near modern Shao-hing, west of Ningpo,
in order to fulfil the sacrifices to the founder of the Hia
dynasty, who was, and is, supposed to be buried there: like the
first colonists who migrated to Wu, he cut his hair, tattooed
himself, opened up the jungle, and built a town. In 330 B.C. Kou-
tsien's descendant spoke of "taking the road left to _Chu-
hia_," through modern Ho Nan province; that means taking the
high-road to China proper. The term originated in times when Ts'u
had not yet become a recognized "Hia." The fact that Yüeh, with
its new capital then in Shan Tung, could never govern the Yang-tsz
and Hwai inland regions, seems to prove that her power was always
purely a water power, and that she was comparatively ignorant of
land campaigns.



It is instructive to inquire what were the literary relations
between the distinguished statesmen and active princes who moved
about quite freely within the limited area so frequently alluded
to in foregoing pages as being sacrosanct to civilization and the
rites. There seems good reason to suppose that the literary
activity which so disgusted the destroyer of the books in 213 B.C.
did not really begin until after Confucius' death in 479;
moreover, that the avalanche of philosophical works which drenched
the royal courts of the Six Kingdoms was in part the consequence
of Confucius' own efforts in the literary line. In the pre-
Confucian days there is little evidence of the existence of any
literature at all beyond the Odes, the Changes, the Book, and the
Rites, which, after a lapse of 2500 years or more, are still the
"Bible" of China. The Odes, of which 3000 were popularly known
previous to Confucius' recension, seem to have been originally
composed here and there, and passed from mouth to mouth, by the
people of each orthodox state under impulse of strong passion,
feeling, or suffering; or some of them may even have been
committed to writing by learned folk in touch with the people.
Naturally, those songs which specially treated of local matters
would be locally popular; but it would seem that a large number of
them must have been generally known by heart by the whole educated
body all over orthodox China, It will be remembered that in the
year 1900, an enterprising American newspaper correspondent took
advantage of President Kruger's penchant for quoting Scripture,
and telegraphed to him daily texts, selected as applicable to the
event, for which the replies to be sent were always prepaid. For
instance, on news of a British victory, the American would
telegraph: "Victory stayeth not always with the righteous"; on
which President Kruger would promptly rejoin: "Yet shall I smite
him, even unto the end." This was the plan followed by Chinese
envoys, statesmen, and princes in their intercourse with each
other: no matter what event transpired, Ki-chah, or Tsz-ch'an, or
Shuh Hiang would illustrate it with an ode, or with a reference to
the "Book" (of history), or by an appeal to the Rites of Chou, or
to some obscure astrological or cosmogonical development extracted
from the mystic diagrams of "The Changes." As often as not, the
quotations given from the Odes and Book no longer exist in the
editions of those two classics which have come down to us. This
fact is interesting as proving that the _Tso Chwan_--or Commentary of
Confucius' pupil Tso K'iu-ming on Confucius' own bare notes of history--
must have been written before Confucius' expurgated Book of Odes
reduced and fixed the number of selected songs; or, at all events,
the records from which Tso K'iu-ming took his quotations must have
existed before either he or Confucius composed their respective annals
and comments. In the times when a book the size of a three-volume
novel of to-day would mean a mule-load of bamboo splinters or wooden
tablets, it is absurd to suppose that generals in the field, or envoys on
the march, could carry their Odes bodily about with them: it is even
probable that the four "scriptural" books in question were
exclusively committed to memory by the general public, and that
not more than half a dozen varnish-written copies existed in any
state; possibly not more than one copy. In fact, the only
available literary exhilaration then open to cultured friends was
to check the memory on visiting strange lands by comparing the
texts of Odes, Changes, or Book. A knowledge of the Rites would
perhaps be confined to the ruling classes almost entirely, for
with them it lay to pronounce the religious, the ritual, the
social, or the administrative sanction applicable to each
contested set of circumstances. It is very much as though,--as was
indeed the case in Johnsonian times,--the French, English, and
German wits of the day, and occasionally distinguished literary
specimens of even more "barbarous" countries, should at a literary
conference indulge in quotations from Horace or Juvenal by way of
passing the time: they would not select the Twelve Tables or the
Laws of the Pr'tors as matter for the testing of learning.

To take a few instances. In 559 the ruler of Wei had severely
beaten his court music-master for failing to teach a concubine how
to play the lute. One day the prince invited to dinner some
statesmen, the father of one of whom had taken offence at the
prince's rudeness; and he ordered the same musician to strike up
the last stanza of a certain ode hinting at treason, which the
malicious performer did in such a way as to give further offence
to the father through his son, and to bring about the dethronement
of the indiscreet prince. It gives us confidence in the truth of
these anecdotes when we find that K'ü-pêh-yüh was consulted by the
offended father as to what course he ought to pursue. This Wei
statesman, who has already been twice mentioned in connection with
other matters, met Ki-chah of Wu when the latter visited that
state in 544, and he was also an admired senior acquaintance of
Confucius himself, whom he twice lodged at his house for many
months. Three chapters of the "Book" still remain, after
Confucius' manipulations of it, to prove how Wei was first
enfeoffed by the Duke of Chou, and one of the Odes actually sings
the praises of a Ts'i princess who married the prince of Wei in
753 B.C. Thus we see that the ancient classics are intertwined and
mutually corroborative.

When the Second Protector (the last of the four Tartar-born
brothers to succeed to the Tsin throne) was on his wanderings in
644 B.C., the Marquess of Ts'i gave him a daughter, of whom he
became so enamoured that he seemed to be neglecting his political
chances amid the pleasures of a foreign country, instead of
endeavouring to regain his rightful throne at home. This princess
first of all quoted an ode from the group treating of CHÊNG
affairs, and secondly cited an apt saying from what she "had
heard" the great Ts'i philosopher Kwan-tsz had said, her object
being to promote her lively husband's political interests. This
all took place a few years after Kwan-tsz's death, and 200 years
after the founding of CHÊNG state, and is therefore indirect
confirmation of the fact that Kwan-tsz was already a well-known
authority, and that contemporary affairs were usually "sung of" in
all the orthodox states.

When the Duke of Sung, after the death in 628 B.C. of the
picturesque personality just referred to, was ambitious to become
the Third Protector of orthodox China and of the Emperor;
Confucius' ancestor, then a Sung statesman, approved of this
ambition, and proceeded to compose some complimentary sacrificial
odes on the Shang dynasty (from which the Sung ducal family was
descended): some learned critics make out that it was the music-
master of the Emperor who really composed these odes for the
ancestor of Confucius. In any case, there the odes are still, in
the Book of Odes as revised by Confucius himself about 150 years
later; and here accordingly--we have specific indirect evidence of
Confucius' own origin; of the "spiritual" power still possessed by
the Emperor's court; and of the "Poet Laureate"-like political
uses to which odes were put in the international life of the
times. This foolish Duke of Sung, who was so anxious to pose as
Protector, was the one already mentioned in Chapters X. and XIV.,
who would not attack an enemy whilst crossing a stream.

Again, in the year 651, when one of the least popular of the four
Tartar-born brethren was, with the assistance of the Ts'in ruler
(who had been over-persuaded against his own better judgment),
reigning in Tsin, the children of this latter state sang a ballad
in the streets, prophesying the ultimate success of the self-
sacrificing elder brother, then still away on his wanderings in
Tartarland. This song was apparently never included among the 3000
odes generally known in China; but it illustrates how such popular
songs and popular heroes were created and perpetuated.--It is,
perhaps, time now that we should give the personal name of this
popular prince, of whom we have spoken so often, and who is as
well known to Chinese tradition as the severe Brutus 'is, or as
the ravishing Tarquin was, to old Roman history. His name was
Ch'ung-êrh, or "the double-eared," in allusion to some peculiarity
in the lobes of his ears; besides which, two of his ribs were
believed to be joined in one piece: his great success is perhaps
largely owing to his robust and manly appearance, which certainly
secured for him the eager attentions of the ladies, whether Turks
or Chinese. His Turkish wife had been as disinterestedly
solicitous for his success, before he went to Ts'i, as his Ts'i
wife was when she induced him to leave that country. On arrival in
Ts'in, he was presented with five princesses, including one who
had already been given to his nephew and immediate predecessor in
Tsin. The "rites" were of course decidedly wrong here, but his
ally Ts'in was at this time hesitating between Chinese and Tartar
culture, and in any case he was probably persuaded in his mind to
let the rites go by the board for urgent political purposes. On
this occasion his brother-in-law and faithful henchman during
nineteen years of wanderings, sang "the song of the fertilized
millet" (still existing), meaning that Ch'ung-êrh was the gay
young stalk fertilized by the presents and assistance of the ruler
of Ts'in: he was, by the way, not so young, then well over sixty.
He had married the younger of two Tartar sisters, and had given
her elder sister as wife to the henchman in question. (One account
reverses the order.)

 [Illustration: Original inscription on the Sacrificial Tripod,
together with (1) transcription in modern Chinese character (to
the right), and (2) an account of its history (to the left). Taken
from Dr. Bushell's "Chinese Art."]

Ts'u seems to have possessed a knowledge of ancient history and of
literature at a very early date. In 597 B.C., after his victory
over Tsin, the King of Ts'u had, as previously narrated, declined
to rear a barrow over the corpses slain, and had said: "No! the
written or pictograph character for 'soldierly' is made up of two
parts, one signifying 'stop,' and the other 'weapons.'" By this he
meant to say what the great philosopher Lao-tsz, himself a Ts'u
man, over and over again inculcated; namely, that the true soldier
does not glory in war, but mournfully aims at victory with the
sole view of attaining rightful ends. Not only was this half-
barbarian king thus capable of making a pun which from the
pictograph point of view still holds good to-day, but he goes on
in the same speech to cite the "peace-loving war" of Wu Wang, or
the Martial King, founder of the Chou dynasty, and to cite several
standard odes in allusion to it.

These examples might be multiplied a hundredfold, For instance, in
the year 589 a Ts'u minister cites the Odes; in 575 a Tsin officer
quotes the Book; in 569 another makes allusion to the ancient
attempt made by the ruler of the then vassal Chou state, the
father of the imperial Chou founder, and who was at the same time
adviser at the imperial court, to reconcile the vassal princes to
the legitimate Shang dynasty Emperor (who had already imprisoned
him once out of pique at his remonstrances), before finally
deciding to dethrone him. In 546 a Sung envoy cites the Odes to
the Ts'u government, and also quotes from that section of the
"Book" called the Book of the Hia Dynasty, In connection with the
year 582 an ode is cited for the benefit of the King of Ts'u,
which is not in Confucius' collection. In 541 a Ts'u envoy, who
was being entertained in Tsin at a convivial wine party, indulges
in apt quotations from the Odes.

There does not seem to be one single instance where any one in
Ts'in either sings an ode, quotes orthodox history, or in any way
displays literary knowledge. Even the barbarian Kou-tsien, King of
Yüeh, has wise saws and modern instances quoted to him in his
distress. For instance, whilst hesitating about utterly
annihilating the Wu reigning family, he was advised: "If one will
not take gifts from Heaven, Heaven may send one misfortune." This
is a very hackneyed saying in ancient Chinese history, and is as
much used to-day as it was 2500 years ago: it comes from the Book
of Chou (now partly lost). It will be remembered that the
distinguished Japanese statesman, Count Okuma, in his now
notorious speech before the Kobé Chamber of Commerce on the 20th
October, 1907, used these identical words to point the moral of
Indian commerce. It is doubtful if any other really pregnant
Japanese philosophical saying exists which cannot be similarly
traced to China. In any case, Count Okuma was only literally
carrying out in Kobé the policy of Tsin, Ts'u, Ts'i, and Wei
statesmen of China 2500 years ago.

If, as we have assumed, standard books were usually committed to
memory (and it must be remembered that the Odes, and much of the
Book, the Changes, and the Rites are still so committed to memory
in our own times), and were practically confined to the
headquarters or the wealthy families of each state, the cognate
question inevitably arises: What about the historical records? It
has already been observed that Ts'in, the half-Tartar power in the
extreme west, was the only state belonging to the recognized
federal system (and that only since 771 B.C.) of which nothing
literary is recorded, and which, though powerful enough to assist
in making Emperors of Chou and rulers of Tsin, was never in
Confucian times thought morally fit to act as Protector of the
Imperial Federal Union, _i.e._ of _Chu Hia_, or "All the Chinas."
By a singular irony of fate, however, it so happens that a few Ts'in
inscriptions are the only political ones remaining to us of ancient
Chinese documents.

When the outlying semi-Chinese states surrounding the inner
conclave of orthodox Chinese states, after four centuries of
fighting and intrigue for the Protectorate, or at least for
preponderance, at last, during the period 400-375 B.C. became the
Six Powers, all equally royal, none of them owing any real,
scarcely even any nominal, allegiance to the once solitary King or
Emperor, then it was that the idea began to enter the heads of the
Ts'in statesmen and the rulers of at least three of the Six Royal
Powers opposed to Ts'in that it would be a good thing to get rid
of the old feudal vassal system root and branch. So unquestionably
is this period 400-375 B.C. taken as one of the great pivot points
in Chinese history, that the great historian Sz-ma Kwang begins
his renowned history, the _Tsz-chi Tung-kien_, published in
1084 A.D., with the words: "In 403 B.C. the states of Han, Ngwei,
and Chao were recognized as vassal ruling princes by the Emperor."
Ts'in took to educating herself seriously for her great destiny,
and at last, in 221 B.C., after the wars already described in
Chapter XXVI., succeeded in uniting all known China under one
centralized sway; rounding off the Tartars so as to make the Great
Wall (rather than the Yellow River, as of old) their southern
limit; conquering the remains of the "Hundred Yüeh" (the vague
unknown South China which had hitherto been the special preserve
of Ts'u;) and assimilating the ancient empire of Shuh (i.e. Sz
Ch'wan, hitherto only vaguely known to orthodox China at all, and
politically connected only with Ts'in).

During this process of universal assimilation and annexation, the
almost supernaturally active First August Emperor made tour after
tour throughout his new dominions, showing a special predilection
for the coasts, for Tartarland, and for the Lower Yang-tsz River;
but not venturing far up or far south of that Great River; and
even when he did so venture a short distance, never leaving the
old and well-known water routes: nor did he risk a land journey to
Sz Ch'wan, to which country there were at the time no roads of any
kind at all possible for armies. It is well known that both he and
the legal, international, political, and diplomatical adventurers
who had been for a century or more from time to time at his court
had been strongly imbued with the somewhat revolutionary and then
fashionable democratic principles of the new Taoism, as defined by
the philosopher Lao-tsz; but he showed no particular hostility to
orthodox literature until, whilst on his travels, deputations of
learned men, especially in the ritual centres of Lu and Ts'i,
began to suggest to him the re-establishment of the old feudal
system, and to "quote the ancient scriptures" to him by way of
protesting mildly against his too drastic political changes. It
has been explained in Chapter XIII. that in 626 B.C., when his
great ancestor Duke Muh had availed himself of the advisory
services of an educated Tartar (of Tsin descent), this Tartar had
made use of the expression: "The King of the Tartars governs in a
simple, ready way, without the aid of the Odes and the Book as in
the case of China." Thus it was that, possibly with this ancient
warning in his mind, he conceived a sudden, violent, and
passionate hatred for didactic works generally, and two books in
particular-the very two, passages from which pedants, philosophers,
ambassadors, and ministers had for centuries hurled at each other's
heads alike in convivial, argumentative, and solemn moments. In
other words, the Odes and the Book, together with Confucius'
"Springs and Autumns," with its censorious hints for rulers, and all
the other local Annals and Histories, were under anathema, But
more detestable even than these were the new philosophical
treatises of a polemical kind, which girded at monarchs through
their subtle choice of words and anecdotes, or which recalled the
good old times of the feudal emperors and their not very obsequious
vassals. His self-laudatory inscriptions upon stone, scattered about
as he travelled from place to place, tell us plainly, in his own royal
words, that this hatred of presumptuous vassal claims was his prime
motive in destroying all the pedants and books he could secure. He
denounces the vassals of bygone times who ignored the Supreme
Emperor, fought with each other, and had the insolence to "carve stone
and metal in order to record their own deeds." The Changes are quoted
in history often enough by statesmen, as well as the Odes and the Book;
but, even if the First August Emperor did not entertain the suspicion that
the first were (as, indeed, they are according to our Western
lights) all "hocus-pocus," he was himself very credulous and
superstitious, and the learned word-juggling of the Changes was in
any case harmless to him; so that really his rage was confined to
the four or five books, known by heart throughout China, setting
forth the ancient ritual system of previous dynasties, as
perfected by the Chou government; the subordination of all other
kings (Ts'in included) to the Chou family; the wrath of Heaven,
the divinity of the people, and so on. Things had been made worse
during the Fighting State Period (480-230) by the extraordinary
literary activity prevailing at the different royal courts, when
the old royal _tao_ had been interpreted in one way by Lao-
tsz and his followers, in another by Confucius and his school; in
countless others by the schools of Legists, Purists, Scholastics,
Cosmogonists, Pessimists, Optimists, and so on. A clean sweep was
accordingly made, so far as it was possible and practicable, of
all literature, with the exception (amongst old books) of the
Changes, and of practical modern or ancient books on astronomy,
medicine, and agriculture. At the same time copies of the
proscribed Odes and Book were kept on record at court for the use
of the learned in the service of the Emperor. All "histories,"
except that of Ts'in, were utterly destroyed, and _á fortiori_ all
argumentative works on history or on administrative policy of any kind.
The old Tartar blood and Tartar sympathies of the First August Emperor
must surely re-appear in a policy so incompatible with all orthodox
teaching? In one sense the blight upon Chinese civilization was akin
to the blight cast upon that of Eastern Europe 500 years ago by the
"unspeakable Turk." The new ruler boldly said: "The world begins
afresh, with me. No posthumous condemnatory titles for me! My
successor will be 'August Emperor Number Two,' and so on for ever."
It was like the Vendémiaire in 1793.

Thus, except in so far as Confucius may have borrowed from local
histories besides that of Lu in making up his "Springs and
Autumns," the Annals of Ts'in are the only annals of the feudal
states (except the Bamboo Books, or Annals of Tsin, dug up in A.D.
281) now left to us. That there were such annals in each state is
certain, for in 627 B.C. the "great historian" of Tsin is spoken
of; and in 607 and 510 the names of the Tsin historians are given,
in the first case apparently a Tartar. That there should be a Tsin
Tartar versed in Chinese literature is not remarkable, for it was
shown at the close of Chapter XIII. how a learned Tsin Tartar had
acted as adviser to Duke Muh of Ts'in, and had left behind him a
work in two chapters, which was still in existence in 50 B.C.
Under the year 628 B.C., one of the expanded versions of
Confucius' history explains how the anarchy which had then been
for some time prevailing in Tsin led to certain Tsin events of the
year 630 being omitted by Confucius; this is a very important
statement, for it infers that Confucius made use of the Tsin
annals. It is recorded of Confucius that when reading the _Shi-
ki_ ("Historical Annals"), he expressed very strong views when
he came to the events of 632 and 598 B.C., that is, to the place
where the "ordering up" of the Emperor by Tsin is described, and
to the noble action of the "sage" King of Ts'u; it is interesting
to know that this old name, _Shi-ki_, was chosen by the author of
the first real history of China published under that title about 90 B.C.,
and that he was not the inventor of the name, which had already for
centuries been applied in a general sense to the historical annals either
of Lu or of China generally.

In 547 B.C. it is stated that the "great historian" of Ts'i made
certain remarks: we have already seen in the present chapter how
the Ts'i wife of the Second Protector was in 640 B.C. perfectly
well acquainted with the historical and philosophical works of
Kwan-tsz, the great administrative innovator of Ts'i under the
First Protector. In the second century B.C. Kwan-tsz's work of
eighty-six chapters was placed at the head of the Taoist works (of
course before Taoism became Lao-tsz's speciality). It is
mentioned, quite casually, in the year 538, in a political
conversation which took place with the King of Ts'u, that the
First Protector of Ts'i in the year 647 B.C. had had to contend
with the serious rebellion of a subject (who is named). All
circumstances point to the truth of this isolated, but otherwise
most specific statement; yet it is not mentioned elsewhere,--
evidence, if it were wanted, that many historical works, from
which facts were borrowed as though the details were well known to
all, must have disappeared entirely.

As to Ts'u, its Annals were known by the curious name of "Stinking
Wood," by which it is supposed that the evil recorded of men upon
wooden tablets was meant. That Ts'u subsequently developed a high
literary capacity is evident, for the anniversary of the suicide
of the celebrated Ts'u poet K'üh Yiian (envoy to Ts'i during the
fierce diplomatic intrigues of 31 B.C.) has been kept up as the
annual "dragon festival" down to our own times, in memory of his
suicide by drowning in the Tung-t'ing Lake district; and his poems
are amongst the most beautiful in the Chinese language. In 656
B.C. the dictatorial First Protector tried to play the _rôle_
of the wolf, with Ts'u in the character of the lamb: he said: "How
is it you have not for so many generations past sent your tribute
of sedge to the Emperor? How about the other Emperor who visited
(modern) Hankow in 1003 B.C. and was never heard of again?" The
King replied: "As to our failure to send tribute, we admit it; as
to the supposed murder of the Emperor 350 years ago, you had
better ask the people of Hankow themselves what they know of it."
(Ts'u had hardly yet permanently advanced so far east.)

In 496 B.C. it is recorded of a scholar at the Emperor's court
that, being anxious to see his own name in the "Springs and
Autumns," he suggested to the Emperor that for a long time no
complimentary mission had been sent to Lu. The result was that he
was sent himself, and is thus immortalized: it does not follow
from this that the knowledge of Confucius' coming book had
penetrated to the Chou court, because "Springs and Autumns" was
already the accepted term in Lu for "Annals," long before
Confucius adopted the already existing general name for his own
particular work. In 496 Confucius had left Lu in disgust, and had
gone to Wei--the capital of Wei was then on, or near, the then
Yellow River (now the River Wei), between the two towns marked
"Hwa" and "K'ai" on modern maps--where he collected materials for
his History; but he did not begin it until the year 481; so
probably the ambitious scholar simply hoped to appear in the
"Springs and Autumns" of Lu, as they had already been called
before Confucius borrowed the name, just as Sz-ma Ts'ien borrowed
the name _Shi-ki_.

As to Ts'in, Ts'in's own Annals tell us that "in 753 B.C.
historians were first established to keep record of events." Hence
even the Ts'in records, the sole annals preserved from the flames,
must be retrospective from that date. In any case they contain
nothing of historical importance farther back than 753 B.C.,
except the wars with Tartars; the accompanying of the Emperor Muh,
as charioteer, by a Ts'in prince on the occasion of his "going to
examine his fiefs in the west"; and the cession of the old Chou
appanage to Ts'in in 771. By their baldness, and by the baldness
of the Bamboo Books, and of Confucius' own "Springs and Autumns,"
we may fairly judge of the probable insufficiency and dryness of
the Annals of Ts'u, Ts'i, Wei, CHÊNG, Sung, and other states
interested in the welter of the Fighting State Period. Early
Chinese annals contain little more satisfying than the "generations of
Adam" in the fifth chapter of Genesis.



Having now derived some definite notions of how the Chinese
advanced from the patriarchal to the feudal, from the submissive
and monarchical to the emulous and democratic, finally to collapse
under the overpowering grasp of a single Dictator or Despot, whose
centralized system in the main, still survives; having also seen
how the nucleus of China proper was encompassed on three sides by
Tibetans, Tartars, Tunguses, Coreans, and by various ill-defined
tribes to the south; let us see if there is any evidence whatever
to show, or even to suggest to us, whence the orthodox Chinese
originally came, and who they were.

First and foremost, it seems primarily unnecessary to suggest at
all that they came from anywhere; for, if the position be once
assumed as an axiom that all people must have immigrated from some
place to the place in which we first find them, or hear of them,
then the double question arises: "Why should the persons we find
in A., and who, we think, may have come from B., not have migrated
from A. to B. before they migrated back from B. to A.?" Or: "If
the people we find at A. must have come from B., whence did the
people at B. come, before they went to A.?" To put it in another
way: given the existence 4000 or 5000 years ago of Chinese in
China, Egyptians in Egypt, and Babylonians in Babylonia--why
should one group be assumed to be older than the other? The only
ground for suggesting that these groups had not each a separate
evolution, is the assumption that man was "created" once for all,
and created summarily; in which case it follows with mathematical
precision that the ultimate ancestry of every man living extends
back to exactly the same date. That is to say, the highest and the
lowest, the blackest and the whitest, only differ in this, that
some men began to keep records earlier than others; for the man
who keeps no records loses track of his ancestors, and that is
all. Not to mention other races, some of our own noblest English
families trace back their ancestry to a favoured or successful
person, who was of no hereditary distinction before he distinguished
himself; whilst on the other hand the tramp and the street-walker
may have as "royal" blood in their veins as any lineal princely personage.
It is records, therefore, that differentiate "civilized" from uncivilized
people, blue blood from plebeian; and as we see millions of people
living without records to-day in various parts of the world,
notwithstanding that for centuries, or even for millenniums, they
have been surrounded by or in immediate contact with neighbours
possessing records, it seems to follow that a nation's greatness may
begin at any time, independently of the blueness of its blood, the
robustness of its warriors, the beauty of its women; that is, whenever
it chooses to keep records, and thus to cultivate itself: for records are
nothing more than the means of keeping experiences in stock,
instead of having to repeat them every day; they are thus
accumulations of national wealth. It by no means follows that
because records can be traced back farther in the case of one
nation than in the case of another, that the first nation is older
than the other; for instance, although in the West our various
alphabets appear to refer themselves back to one same source, or
to a few sources which probably all hark back ultimately to one
and the same, there seems no reason to believe that the Chinese
did not independently invent, develop, and perfect their own
scheme of written records: the mere fact that we learnt how to
write is some evidence in support of the proposition that they
also, being men like ourselves, learnt how to write.

There is no documentary evidence for the barest existence of
ancient China, or of any part of it, which is not to be found in
the Chinese records, and in them alone; no nation anywhere near
China has any record or tradition of either its own or of China's
existence at a period earlier than the Chinese records indicate.
Those records do not contain the faintest allusion to Egypt,
Babylonia, India, or any other foreign country or place whatever
outside the extremely limited area of the Central Nucleus, and the
larger area occupied by the semi-Chinese colonial powers
surrounding it. Nor is there the faintest evidence that the
Biblical "land of Sinim" had any reference to China, which seems
to have been as absolutely unknown to the West previous to, say,
250 B.C., as America was unknown to Europe, or Europe to America
previous to 1400 A.D. If any ideas were derived from China by the
West, or from the West by China, the records of both China and the
West alike point, however, to one obvious connecting link, and
that is, the horse-riding nomads of the north, who are now, it is
true, in some parts a little more settled than they used to be,
and who have been tamed in various degrees by dogmatic religions
unknown to them in ancient times, but who remain in many respects
now very much what they were 3000 years ago. Of course pedlars,
hawkers, and even long-course caravans travelled, whenever the
routes were free, from place to place in ancient times as they do
now; but it is exceedingly improbable that there would be any
through-travellers from Europe to China, except one or two
occasional waifs or adventurers buffeted through by chance. If 600
years ago, Marco Polo's through-route adventures were regarded in
Europe as almost incredible, notwithstanding the then recent and
well-trodden war-path of the Mongol armies, what chances are there
of through-travel 2000 years before that? And, even if a rare case
occasionally occurred, what chances are there of any one recording

The probability is, so far as sane experience takes us, that the
Chinese had been exactly where we first find them for many
thousand years, or even for myriads of years, before their own
traditions begin. With the exception of the discovery of America,
which brought a flood of strangers into a strange land, and
speedily exterminated the aborigines, there do not appear to be
any authenticated instances in history of extensive and robust
populations being entirely displaced like flocks of sheep by
others. Any one who travels widely in China can see for himself
that, wherever unassimilated tribes live in complete or partial
independence, and, _á fortiori_, where the assimilation has
been carried out, all those tribes possess at least this point in
common with the original Chinese or the assimilated speakers of
Chinese--that their language is monosyllabic, uninflected, not
agglutinative, and tonic; i.e. that each word is "sung" in a
particular way, besides being pronounced in a particular way.
Probably those tribes before they were absorbed, or, despite their
not having yet been absorbed by the Chinese, had been there as
long as the Chinese had been in the contiguous Chinese parts. It
seems reasonable to suppose that the Chinese would absorb their
own race-classes more readily than they would absorb Tartars,
Japanese, and Coreans, all of whom belong to the same dissyllabic,
long-worded, agglutinative family. And so it is: the Chinese
followed the lines of least resistance (after themselves becoming
cultured) and worked their way down the rivers and other
watercourses towards what we call South China. From the very
first, their passage northwards across the Yellow River was
contested by the Tartars, whom they have since partly driven back,
and partly (with great effort) absorbed. They have never been able
to assimilate the Coreans, not to say the Japanese, though both
peoples took very kindly to Chinese civilization after our
Christian era, when first friendly missions began to be
interchanged. Indo-China contains many more of the monosyllabic
and tonic tribes than of others; if, indeed, there are any at all
of the dissyllabic and non-tonal classes; and the Chinese have no
difficulty in merging themselves with Annamese, Tonquinese,
Cambodgians, Siamese, Shans, Thos, Laos, Mons, and such like
peoples: but their own administrative base is too far north; the
conditions of food and climate in Indo-China are not quite
favourable for the marching of armies, especially when it is
remembered that the best troops used have always been Tartars,
used to warm clothes and heating food. There have, besides, always
been rival Indian religion, rival Indian colonization, rival
Indian language, and rival Indian trade influence to contend with.
No absorption of Indian races has ever been anywhere effected by
China. Tibetans never came into question in ancient times; if they
were known, it could only have been to Shuh (Sz Ch'wan) and Ts'in
or early Chou (Shen Si).

If it had not been the Chinese of Ho Nan who first used records,
it is just as probable that the tonic and monosyllabic absorption
which, as things were and are, moved from north to south, might
have moved from south to north. During the Chou dynasty (1122
B.C.-222 B.C.), when the extension of the Chinese race took place
(which had probably already for long gone on) in the clear light
of history, it will be noticed that the rulers of all the great
colony nations of the south--Ts'u, Wu, and Yüeh--had, in turn, to
remind the Emperor of China of their perfect equality with him in
spiritual claim and ancient descent; of their connection with
dynasties precedent to his; of times when his ancestor was a mere
vassal like themselves. No Tartars of those times ever put forth
claims like these, though, it is true, in much later times some of
the (non-Turkish) Tartar rulers of North China traced their
ancestors back to the mythical Chinese emperors who reigned in
Shan Tung. Again, the founder of the Hia dynasty (2205 B.C.) is
repeatedly said to have been buried at modern Shao-hing (between
Hangchow and Ningpo), and the King of Yüeh even sacrificed to him
there. So the Emperor Shun, the predecessor and patron of the same
founder, was traditionally buried near Ch'ang-sha in modern Hu Nan
province. The First August Emperor included both these "lions" in
his pleasure tours among the great sights of China. No sound
historical deduction, of course, can be drawn from these
traditions, however persistent: if false, they were, at any rate,
open to the criticism of a revolutionary and all-powerful Emperor
over 2000 years ago, and to a second, almost equally powerful, who
visited both places a century later; the suggestion inevitably
follows from the existence of these traditions in the south that
either the cultured Chinese whom we first find in Ho Nan had moved
northwards from Hu Nan, Kiang Si, and the lake districts
generally, before they spread themselves backwards; or that the
uncultured Chinese had moved north before the cultured Chinese
moved south; or that both north and south Chinese were at first
equally cultured, until within historical times the north Chinese
(i.e. in Ho Nan, along the Yellow River) so perfected their system
of records that they carried all before them. After all there is
no strain on the imagination in suggesting this, for early Western
civilization grew up in the same way.

There is not the smallest hint of any immigration of Chinese from
the Tarim Valley, from any part of Tartary, from India, Tibet,
Burma, the Sea, or the South Sea Islands: in fact, there is no
hint of immigration from anywhere even in China itself, except as
above hypothetically described. There the Chinese are, and there
they were; and there is an end to the question, so far as
documentary evidence goes. Of course, the persistent Tarim Valley
scheme proposed is only a means to get in the thin end of the
wedge, in order to drive home the thick end in the shape of a
definite start from the Tower of Babel, and an ultimate reference
to the Garden of Eden. If there are still people who believe it
their duty on Scriptural principle to accept this naïve Western
origin of the Chinese, there is no reason why religious belief or
imagination should not be perfectly respected, and even find a
working compromise with the principle of strict adherence to human
evidence. If supernatural agencies be once admitted (as the
limited human intellect understands Nature), there seems to be no
more reason for accepting the creation of a complete whale
(already a hundred years old, according to the growth period of
later whales), than for accepting the creation of complete men
with 1000 years' history behind them instead of 100; or that of
the earth with 20,000, or even 20,000,000 years' history behind
it, and even before it; for as the first whale, or pair of whales,
must set the standard of natural history for all future whales, so
the man created with history behind him may equally well have
history created in front of him. "Nature," according to the
imperfect human understanding, is no more outraged in one case
than in the other, nor can mere time or size count as anything
towards increasing our wonder when we tell ourselves what
supernatural things unseen powers superior to ourselves may have
done. This amounts to the same thing as saying that dogmatic
belief, personal religious conviction, agnosticism, superstition,
and imagination are all on equal terms, and are equally
respectable factors when confronted with human historical
evidence, so long as they are kept rigidly apart from the latter,
As an eminent Catholic has recently said: "The Church has no more
reason to be afraid of modern science than it was of ancient
science." In other words, however pious and religious a man may be
(as we understand the words in Europe), there is no reason why, as
a recreation apart from his faith, he should not rigidly adhere to
the human evidence of history so far as it goes. On the other
hand, however sceptical and discriminating a man may be, from the
point of view of imperfect human knowledge, in the admittance of
humanly proved fact, there is no reason why, from the emotional
and imaginative side of his existence, he should not rigidly
subscribe to dogma or personal conviction, whether the abstract
idea of virtue, the concrete idea of love for some cherished human
being, or the yearning for some supernatural state of sinlessness
be concerned. A distinguished financier, for instance, may regale
his imagination with socialistic dreams of a perfect Utopia; but,
when the weekly household bills are presented to him, he deals
with overcharges in pence like any other practical individual.

From one point of view, the Chinese, already provided with their
tonic language at the Confusion of Tongues, marched to the Yellow
River, where we find them. From the other, there is no evidence
whatever to connect the Chinese with any people other than those
we find near them now, and which have from the earliest times been
near them; no evidence that their language, their civilization,
their manners, ever received anything from, or gave anything to,
India, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, or Greece, except so far as has
been suggested above, or will be suggested below.



Allusion has already been made to the eclipses mentioned in
Confucius' history as a means by which the probability of his
general truth as a historian may in a certain measure be gauged. A
few words upon the Chinese calendar, as it is and was, may
therefore not be amiss. The Chinese month has from first to last
been uncompromisingly lunar; that is to say, the first day of each
month, or "moon" as it may strictly and properly be called, always
falls within the day (beginning at midnight) during which the new
moon occurs. Of course, Peking is the administrative centre now,
and therefore the observations are taken there with reference to
the Peking meridian. As Confucius took his facts and records
mainly from the Lu archives, and (we must suppose) noted celestial
movements from what was seen by the Lu astronomers, it has always
been presumed that the eclipses mentioned by him were observed
from Lu too; that is, from a station over four degrees of
longitude and one of latitude removed from the imperial capital as
it then was (modern Ho-nan Fu). It was the duty of all sovereign
princes to proclaim the first day of the moon at their ancestral
temple; and even if the Chinese of those days had discovered the
difference in "time" between east and west, these princes must
each of them have proclaimed the day during which the new moon
occurred as it occurred to themselves, in their own State, and not
as it occurred to the Emperor's astronomers. On the other hand,
when eclipses were observed from the comparatively small territory
of Lu, it must have occurred, at least occasionally, that visitors
from other states had either the same eclipse or other eclipses to
report. If the Emperor's astronomer reported eclipses in Ho-nan-
Fu on a given day, it is difficult to see how Lu, which was a
centre almost of equal standing with the imperial capital for
orthodoxy in rites and records, could have entirely ignored such

But the Chinese year has always been luni-solar. From the earliest
times they had observed the twelve ecliptical "mansions" and
zodiacal signs, and also that the time occupied by the sun in
travelling through a mansion was rather longer than one lunation,
or the time intervening between two new moons. Their object has
accordingly always been to bring the lunar and solar years into
manageable combination, so that the equinoxes, solstices, and
"seasons" might occur with as much regularity as possible in the
same months, and so that the husbandman might know when to sow his
grain. Formerly they regulated this discrepancy according to the
mean movements of the sun and moon; but, ever since the Jesuits
first instructed them more accurately, they have regulated the two
years, that is, the solar year and the twelve lunations, according
to the true movements, and with reference to the meridian of
Peking. If the moons were each exactly 29 1/2 days in length,
instead of being 44 minutes 2.87 seconds longer, it would have
been a simple matter to halve the ordinary lunar year, and make
six months "large" (30 days) and six "small" (29 days); but the
extra 44 minutes and a fraction accumulate, and the result is that
there must always be a larger number of "great" months than
"small" in the year. The way the Chinese arranged this was to call
a month "great" (30 days) if the interval between mid-night
(beginning of the new-moon day) and the hour of the _next_
new moon was full 30 days or over in duration; if less than 30
days, then the month was a "small" one (29 days). Not more than
two long months ever followed in succession, and two short months
never did so.

But, in any case, even twelve regular moons of 291/2 days only
make 354 days, whereas a solar year is about 3651/4 days, whilst
the sun's time in passing through a "mansion" (one-twelfth of the
solar year) is about 301/2 days. Thus there was a "superfluity"
of about ten days in every lunar year, or about one lunation in
every third year; not to mention that a "mansion" was about a day
longer than a lunation, and that therefore the husbandman was
liable to be thrown out of his reckoning. In order to remedy this,
the Chinese intercalated a month once in about thirty-three moons,
and called the intercalary month by the same name as the one
preceding it, both with regard to the common numbers 1-12, and
with regard to the two endless cycles of twelve signs and sixty
signs, by which moons are calculated for ever, in the past and in
the future. Regarding the difficulty of seasons, the solar year
was divided into twenty-four "joints," and each "joint" was about
half a "mansion" (the difference rarely exceeding one hour).
However, the spring equinox is always the sixth "joint," and is
the middle of spring season: this and the other "joints" being all
about 151/4 days in length, the Chinese seasons can be symmetrically
divided with relation to both equinoxes and both solstices; for the
intercalary moon (judiciously made unobtrusive, and kept out of vulgar
sight as far as possible) settles the lunar year difficulty; and the
seasons conform, as of course they should do, to the heat of the
sun, which is  a much more natural and practical arrangement than
our own arbitrarily assorted and unequal months.

The endless sixty-year cycle of years is usually referred back to
for a beginning to either 2697 or 2637 B.C.; but, apart from the
fact that there is little or no accurate knowledge anterior to 842
B.C., it is of no importance when it began, so long as sixty pairs
of equinoxes and solstices are calculated backwards indefinitely.
It goes back, in any case, to a date beyond which the memory of
Chinese man runneth not to the contrary; it is unbroken and
continuous; we are free to take up any date we like at sixty-year
intervals, and say "here I agree to begin": we cannot deny that
1908 is the cycle year it purports to be; and even if we did,
batches of sixty years backwards from any other cyclic year called
1908, would always have a fixed relation to the other 4604 years
recorded; nor, having accepted 1908, can we deny 1808, 1708, and
so on, as far back as we like, in order to test how any given
event, eclipse or other, coincides relatively with our own date:
it is not a question of beginning, but of counting back, and
stopping. We find Confucius of Lu (Chou clan state) using the
calendar of the Chou dynasty (1122 B.C.-249 B.C.); whose founder
had said: "In future we make the eleventh month the beginning of
the year instead of the twelfth month." The previous dynasty of
Shang (1766-1123) had similarly said: "In future we make the
twelfth month begin the year instead of the first." The previous
dynasty of Hia (2205-1767) and the individual emperors before had
all said (or taken for granted): "The year begins in the first
month," from which we may naturally conclude that there could not
have been an earlier calendar, as no "sage" could reasonably begin
anywhere but at the beginning. At the same time, it must be
explained that the astronomical order of the months, counting the
first as being that when the sun enters Capricorn, is different
from the civil order. Thus the Hia, Shang, and Chou first civil
months were the third, second, and first astronomical months,
representing the sun's entry into Pisces, _Aquarius_, and
_Capricorn_, respectively. When the First August Emperor
conquered the whole of China, and proceeded to unify cart-axles,
weights and measures, written characters, and many other
discrepant popular arrangements, he said: "Let the tenth month be
in future the first in the year instead of the eleventh." That is
to say, he took as civil first month the twelfth astronomical
month, or that in which the sun enters _Sagittarius_. Thus we
see that in 2000 years the calendar had got about 90 days out of
gear; or, roughly, about an hour a year.

All the above may, perhaps, be understood more clearly by
considering the following unmistakably genuine statement made by
the Emperor in 104 B.C., a hundred years after the Ts'in dynasty
had been destroyed; after he had contemplated the tombs of the
ancient monarchs as explained in the last chapter; after the West
of Asia had been discovered; and when it is _possible_ (though
there is no record of it) that Persians, Indians, Greeks, etc., may have
intervened in discussion upon the calendar. He says: "After the
Emperors Yu and Li (the two who fled from their metropolis in 771 B.C.
and 842 B.C. respectively, as related), the Chou dynasty went wrong,
and those who were doubly subjects began to wield power; astrologers
ceased to keep reckoning of seasons; the princes no longer proclaimed
the first day of each moon. Hereditary astronomers got scattered; some
remained in All the Hia (orthodox China); others betook themselves to
the various barbarians. In the twenty-sixth year of the Emperor Siang (626
B.C.) there was an intercalary third month, which arrangement the
'Springs and Autumns' condemns (it should have been at the end of
the year)... The First August Emperor took the tenth month as the
beginning of the year... The present Emperor (of the Han dynasty)
appointed two astronomers, the second of whom (a native of East Sz
Ch'wan) advanced the calculations and improved the calendar. Then
it was found that the measures of the Sun and the Mansions agreed
with the principles adopted by the Hia dynasty... The first cyclic
day and also the first lunar day of the eleventh moon has now been
proved to be the winter solstice. I change the seventh year (of my
present reign-period), and I make of it the first year of the new
reign-period, to be called 'Great Beginning.'"--Accordingly what
had up to that date been the seventh year (of a reign-period
bearing another name) now became a year of 442 days; that is to
say, the three months postponed in turn by the Hia, Shang, and
Chou dynasties were taken up again, and accordingly that one
correcting year consisted of fifteen months. With slight changes,
always adopted only to be again rejected after a few years of
trial, this has been the basis of all later calendars; and for
this reason Confucius' birthday is kept on the twenty-seventh day
of the eighth moon instead of during the tenth moon, as it would
have been according to Chou dates.

The above examination into the calendar question tends to show
still more clearly the good faith of the historians and the
administration; it also illustrates the continuity and painstaking
accuracy of the Chinese records, whatever other defects they may
otherwise disclose.



One of the difficulties of Chinese ancient history is the
unravelling of proper names; but, as with other difficulties, this
one is owing rather to the novelty and strangeness of the subject,
to the unfamiliarity of scene and of atmosphere, than to any
inherent want of clearness in the matter itself. In reading
Scottish history, no one is much disconcerted to find a man called
upon the same page (as an imaginary instance), Old John, John
McQuhirt, the Master of Weel, the McQuhirt, the Laird o' Airton,
the Laird of the Isle, and the Earl of Airton and Weel; there are
many such instances to be found in Boswell's account of the
Johnsonian trip to the Hebrides; but the puzzled Englishman has at
least his own language and a fairly familiar ground to deal with.
When, however, we come to unpronounceable Chinese names of strange
individuals, moving about amid hitherto unheard-of surroundings
2500 years ago, with a suspicion of uncertainty added about the
genuineness and good faith of the whole story, things are apt to
seem hopelessly involved, even where the best of good-will to
understand is present. Thus Confucius may be called K'ung-tsz,
K'ung Fu-tsz, or Chung-ni, besides other personal applications
under the influence of _tabu_ rules, Tsz-ch'an may be spoken
of as Kung-sun K'iao, or (if he himself speaks) simply as K'iao.
And so on with nearly all prominent individuals. In those times
the family names, or "surnames" as we say in English, were not
used with the regularity that prevails in China now, when every
one of standing has a fixed family name, such as Li or Yiian,
followed by an official personal name, like Hung-chang or Shï-
k'ai. In old times the clan or tribe counted first; for instance
the imperial clan of _Ki_ included princes of several vassal
states. But, after five generations, it was expected that any
given family unit should detach itself. Thus, in 710 B.C.,
Confucius' ancestor, son of the composer of odes mentioned on page
175, took, or was given by the ruler of his native state, Sung,
the detached family name of K'ung-fu (Father K'ung), "Father"
being the social application, and K'ung the surname, which thence
became the family name of a new branch. The old original clan-
names were little used by any one in a current sense, just as the
English family name of Guelph is kept in the dim background so far
as current use goes. Nor were the personal names, even of Chinese
emperors and kings, so grave and decorous in style as they have
always been in later times. For instance, "Black Buttocks," "Black
Arm," "Double Ears";--such names (decidedly Turkish in style) are
not only used of Tsin princes with an admixture of Tartar blood
nearly always coursing more or less in their veins, but also in
such states as the orthodox Lu. The name "Black Arm," for
instance, is used both by Lu and by Ts'u princes; also by a Ts'u
private individual; whilst an orthodox Duke of Sung bears the
purely Turkish name of T'ouman, which (and exactly the same
pictograph characters, too) was also the name of the first
historical Hiung-nu (later Turkish) Khan several centuries later.
The name _Luh-fu_ or "Emoluments Father," belonging to the
son of the last Emperor of the Shang dynasty in 1123 B.C., was
also the personal name of one of the rulers of Ts'i many centuries
later. In the same way we find identical personal names in CH'ÊN
and Lu, and also in Ts'u and Lu princes. Eunuchs were not
considered to possess family names, or even official personal
names. If there had been then, as now, a celibate priestly caste,
no doubt then, as now, priests would also have been relieved of
their family name rights.

It seems quite clear that many if not most family names began in
China with the name of places, somewhat after the Scotch style:
even in Lancashire the title of the old lord of the manor is often
the family surname of many of the village folk around. Take the
Chinese imperial domain for instance; in the year 558 one Liu Hia
goes to meet his master the new Emperor. His name (Hia) and
surname (Liu) would serve just as well for current use to-day, as
for example with the late viceroy Liu K'un-yih; but we are told
Liu Hia was so "named" by the historian in full because his rank
was not that of first-class statesman, and it is explained that
Liu was the name of his tenancy in the imperial appanage. At a Lu
funeral in 626 B.C. the Emperor's representative to the vassal
state is spoken of complimentarily by his social appellation in
view of his possessing first-class ministerial rank: he cannot be
spoken of by his detached clan-name, or family name, "because he
has not yet received a town in fee." A few years later, another
imperial messenger is spoken of as King-shuh (Glory Uncle),
"Glory" being the name of his manor or fee, and "Uncle" his social
appellation. In 436 B.C. the Emperor sent a present of sacrificial
meat to Lu by X. As X is thus "named," he must be of "scholar"
rank, as an imperial "minister" (it is explained) could not be
thus named. The ruler alone has the right to "affront a man" at
all times with his personal name, but even a son in speaking of
his own father to the Emperor may "affront" his father, because
both his father and himself are on equal subject footing before
the Emperor. To "name" a man in history is not always like
"naming" a member in the House of Commons. For instance, the King
of Ts'u, as mentioned in Chapter XXVII., was named for killing a
Chinese in 531, but not for killing a barbarian prince in 526 B.C.
It was partly by these delicate shades of naming or not naming,
titling or not titling, that Confucius hinted at his opinions in
his history: in the Ts'u case, it seems to have been an honour to
"name" a barbarian. Wei Yang, Kung-sun Yang, or Shang Kiin, or
Shang Yang, the important personage who carried a new civilization
to Ts'in, and practically "created" that power about 350 B.C.,
was, personally, simply named Yang, or "Bellyband." As he came
originally from the orthodox state or principality of Wei, he
might be called Wei Yang, just as we might say Alexander of Fife.
As he received from Ts'in, as a reward for his services, the petty
principality of Shang (taken in war by Ts'in from Ts'u), he might
be called the prince or laird (_kün_) of Shang (of. Lochiel),
or Shang Kün. As he was the grandson (sun) of a deceased earl
(called _kung_, or "duke," as a posthumous compliment), he
was entitled to take the family name of Kung-sun, just as we say
"Fitzgeorge" or "Fitzwilliam." Finally, he was Yang (= John) of
Shang (= Lochiel). In speaking of this man to an educated Chinese,
it does not in the least matter which of the four names be used.
In the same way, Tsz-ch'an (being a duke's grandson) was Kung-sun
K'iao. The word _tsz_, or "son," _after_ a family name, as for
instance in K'ung-tsz (Confucius), is defined as having the effect of
"gracefully alluding to a male." It seems really to be the same in effect
as the Latin _us_, as in Celsius, Brutus, Thompsonius, etc. When
it _precedes_, not the family name or the _tabu_'d personal
name, but the current or acquaintance name, then it seems to have
the effect of Don or _Dom_, used with the most attenuated
honorificity; or the effect of "Mr." _Fu-tsz_ means "The Master."

As to _tabus_, the following are curious specific instances.
King, or "Jungle," was the earliest name for Ts'u, or "Brushwood,"
the uncleared region south of the River Han, along the banks of
the Yang-tsz; and it afterwards became a powerful state. But one
of the most powerful kings of Ts'in (249-244) was called Tsz-ts'u,
or "Don Brushwood," so his successor the First August Emperor (who
was really a bastard, and not of genuine Ts'in blood at all)
_tabu'd_ the word Ts'u, and ordered historians to use the old
name King instead. In the same way the philosopher Chwang Chou, or
Chwang-tsz, was spoken of by the Han historians as Yen Chou,
because _chwang_ was an imperial personal name. Both words
mean "severe": it is as though private Romans and public scribes
had been commanded to call themselves and to write _Austerus_,
instead of _Severus_, out of respect for the Emperor Septimius
Severus. The business-like First August Emperor, himself, evidently
had no hand in the pedantic King and Ts'u _tabu_ business,
for one of his first general orders when he became Supreme Emperor
in 221 B.C., was to proclaim that "in ancient times there were no
posthumous names, and they are hereby suppressed. I am Emperor
the First. My successor will simply be Emperor the Second, and so
on for ever." There is no clear record of posthumous names and titles
anterior to the Chou dynasty; the first certain instance is the father of
the founder, whose personal name was Ch'ang, and who had been
generally known as the "Earl of the West." His son, the founder, made
him W&n Wang, or the "Civilian King," posthumously. In the same way the
Duke of Chou, a son of the Civilian King, made his brother the
founder, personally called _Fah_, Wu Wang, or the "Warrior
King." The same Duke of Chou (the first ruler of Lu, and
Confucius' model in all things) was the virtual founder of the
Chou administrative system in general, and also of the posthumous
name rules which were "intended to punish the bad and encourage
the good"; but counsellors have naturally always been very
gingerly and roundabout in wounding royal family feeling by
selecting too harsh a "punishing" name.

Not only royal and princely personages had posthumous names. In
817 and 796 B.C., each, we find a counsellor of the Emperor spoken
of both by the real and the posthumous name. In 542 B.C. a
concubine of one of the Lu rulers is spoken of by her clan-name
and her posthumous name. In 560 B.C. the dying King of Ts'u
modestly alludes to the choice of an inferior posthumous name
befitting him and his poor talents, for use at the times of
biennial sacrifice to his manes, and adds: "I am now going to take
my place _á la_ suite, in company with my ancestors in the

Persons of the same clan-name could not properly intermarry. Thus
the Emperor Muh, who is supposed to have travelled to Turkestan in
the tenth century B.C., had a mysterious _liaison_ during his
expedition with a beauteous Miss _Ki_ (_i.e._ a girl of his own
clan), who died on the way. The only way tolerant posterity can make
a shift to defend this "incest," is by supposing that in those times the
names of relatives were "arranged differently." However, the mere
fact that the funeral ceremonies were carried out with full imperial
Chou ritual, and that incest is mentioned at all, seems to militate against
the view (noticed in Chapter XIII.) that it was Duke Muh of Ts'in who
(400 years later) undertook this journey, for he did not belong to
the _Ki_ family at all. Curiously enough, it fell to the lot
of the son and successor of the Emperor Muh to have to punish and
destroy a petty vassal state whose ruler had committed the
incestuous act of marrying three sisters of his own clan-name. In
483 B.C. the ruler of Lu also committed an indiscretion by
marrying a _Ki_ girl. As her clan-name must, according to
rule, be mentioned at her burial, she was not formally buried at
all, but the whole affair was hushed up, and she was called by the
fancy name of Mêng-tsz (exactly the same characters as "Mencius"),

Another instance serves to illustrate the above-mentioned imperial
journey west, and the fief questions jointly. When the Emperor Muh
went west, he was served as charioteer by one of the ancestors of
the future Ts'in principality, who for his services was enfeoffed
at Chao (north of Shan Si province). Chao was one of the three
states into which Tsin broke up in 403 B.C., and was very Tartar
in its sympathies. Thus, as both Ts'in and Chao bore the same
original clan-name of Ying, granted to the Ts'in family as
possessions of the Ts'in fief (Eastern Kan Suh province) by the
early Chou emperors in 870 B.C., Ts'in is often spoken of as
having the sub-clan-name of Chao. These facts, again, all militate
against the theory that it was Duke Muh of Ts'in who made the
voyage of discovery usually attributed to the Chou Emperor Muh;
for Duke Muh's lineal ancestor, ancestor also of the original
Ts'in Ying, himself acted as guide in Tartary to the Emperor Muh.
The First August Emperor, who was, as already stated, really a
bastard, was borne by the concubine of a Chao merchant, who made
over the concubine whilst _enceinte_ to his (the Emperor's)
father, when that father was a royal Ts'in hostage dwelling in the
state of Chao; hence the Emperor is often called Chao CHÊNG
(_CHÊNG_ being his personal name). He had thus a double claim
to the family name of Chao, first because--granting his
legitimacy--his Ts'in ancestor (also the ancestor of all the Chao
family) was, during the ninth century B.C., enfeoffed in Chao; and
secondly because, when Chao became an independent kingdom, he was,
during the third century B.C., himself born in Chao to a Chao man
of a Chao woman.

A great deal more might of course be said upon the subject of
names, and of their effect in sometimes obscuring, sometimes
elucidating, historical facts; but these few remarks will perhaps
suffice, at least, to suggest the importance of scrutinizing
closely the possible bearing of each name upon the political
events connected with it.



Mention has been made of eunuchs, a class which seems to have
originated with the law's severity rather than from a callous
desire of the rich to secure a craven and helpless medium and
means for pandering to and enjoying the pleasures of the harem
without fear of sexual intrigue. Criminals whose feet were cut off
were usually employed as park-keepers simply because there could
be no inclination on their part to gad about and chase the game.
Those who lost their noses were employed as isolated frontier
pickets, where no boys could jeer at them, and where they could
better survive their misfortune in quiet resignation. Those
branded in the face were made gate-keepers, so that their
livelihood was perpetually marked out for them. It is sufficiently
obvious why the castrated were specially charged with the duty of
serving females in a menial capacity. One name for eunuch is
"cleanse man," and it is explained by a very old commentator that
the duty of these functionaries was to sweep and cleanse the
court; but it is perhaps as likely that the original idea was
really "purified man," or man deprived of incentive to certain
evils. It is often said disparagingly of the Chou dynasty that
they introduced the effeminate Persian custom of keeping eunuchs;
but the Chou family, which was in full career before Zoroaster
existed, is perhaps entitled to a much greater antiquity in
civilization than Persia--Cyrus himself was a contemporary of Lao-
tsz and Confucius--and probably the castrated were only utilized
as menials because they already were eunuchs by law, and were not
made eunuchs against the spirit of natural law simply in order
that their services as menials should be conveniently rendered.

In 655 B.C. the Tsin ruler despatched a eunuch to try and
assassinate his half-brother (the future Second Protector of
China) when in Tartar exile. When the Second Protector in 636 at
last came to his rights as ruler of Tsin, the same eunuch offered
to commit an assassination in his interest; arguing, by way of
justifying his previous attempt, that a servant's duty was to
serve his _de facto_ master for the time being, and not to
question de _jure_ claims, which were a matter beyond the
competence of a menial. In 548 the ruler of Ts'i was assassinated
by a eunuch who would not even grant his master permission to
commit suicide decently in the ancestral hall; (see p. 62). A year
later, the succeeding ruler under urgent circumstances secured the
services of a eunuch as coachman. In contrast to these traitors,
in 481 a faithful eunuch tries to save the ruler of Ts'i from
assassination by one of the supplanting great families: this was
the case that so horrified Confucius that he died soon after, in
despair of ever seeing "divine right" regain the upper hand in
China. In 544 B.C. the ruler of Wei was assassinated by a eunuch
door-keeper. In 537 the King of Ts'u conceived the idea of
castrating and cutting the feet off the two Tsin envoys for use as
a palace gate-keeper and for service in his harem; but he was
prudently dissuaded by his chief counsellor from incurring the
risks consequent upon such an international outrage; (see p. 46).
Three centuries later, in the year 239, the First August Emperor's
(real) father, for his own spying purposes, got a sham eunuch
appointed to a post in the service of the ex-concubine made over,
as explained in the last chapter, to the First Emperor's father;
by the dowager-queen, as she then was, the supposed eunuch had
two sons. When subsequently this dangerous person revolted, the
First August Emperor's own real eunuchs took part in opposing his
murderous designs.--It must be mentioned that this objectionable
father of the Emperor was himself a very distinguished man
notwithstanding, and has left a valuable historical and
philosophical work of twenty-six chapters behind him, put together
under his direction by a number of clever writers. It is usually
considered a Taoist work, because it savours in parts of Lao-tsz's
doctrine; but, like the works of Hwai-nan-tsz (an imperial prince
of the Han dynasty 150 years later) it was classified in 50 B. C.
as a "miscellany."--Finally, a eunuch played an important part as
witness when the Second August Emperor was assassinated. Thus all
the states--those around the original nucleus of Old China at
least--employed eunuchs in the royal harems, even if the vassal
princes of orthodox China as a general rule did not.

It is much the same thing with another disagreeable feature in the
manners of those times--human sacrifices. Many instances have
already been given of such practices in the state of Ts'in. The
tomb of the King of Ts'u who died in 591--of that king whose death
Confucius condescended to record, decently and in ritual terms,
because of his many good qualities--which tomb appears to be still
in existence near King-chou Fu, is surrounded by ten other smaller
tombs, supposed so be those of the persons who "followed him to
the grave." At all events, when in the year 529 a later king of
Ts'u hanged himself, a faithful follower buried two of his own
daughters with the royal body. In A. D. 312 the tomb of the first
Protector, who died in 643 B.C., was opened under circumstances so
graphically described that there can scarcely be a doubt of the
substantial truth: the stench was so great that dogs had to be
sent in first to test the effects of the poisoned atmosphere; so
many bones were found lying about that there can be little doubt
many women and concubines were buried with him. It is often said
by modern writers that it was a general custom to do so all over
ancient China, and possibly the fact that in the second century
B.C. a humane Chinese emperor (of Taoist principles) ordered the
discontinuance of the practice may be thought to give colour to
this supposition. But it must be remembered that the great house
of Han had only then recently overthrown the dynasty of Ts'in, and
had incorporated nearly the whole of China as we now view it: the
Emperor would naturally therefore be referring to Ts'i, Ts'in,
Ts'u, and possibly also to Wu and Yüeh, three of which states had,
as we see, once practised this cruel custom.

Wine, or rather spirit, was known everywhere; in Confucian times
the Far West had not yet been discovered, and there were neither
grapes nor any names for grapes; no grape wine, nor any other
fruit wine. Even now, though the Peking grapes are as good as
English grapes, no one nearer than Shan Shi makes wine from them.
Spirits seem to have been served from remote times at the imperial
and princely feasts. Here, once more, as with the two vicious
practices described, the drunkards appear to be found more among
those peoples surrounding orthodox China than in the ancient
nucleus. In 694 B.C., when the ruler of Lu was on a visit to his
brother-in-law, the ruler of Ts'i, whose sister he had married,
brother and sister had incestuous intercourse; which being
detected, the ruler of Ts'i made his Lu brother-in-law drunk, and
suborned a powerful ruffian to squeeze his ribs as he was assisted
into his chariot. Thus the Duke Hwan of Lu perished. In 640 B.C.,
as we have seen, when the future Second Protector was dallying
with his Ts'i wife, it was found by his henchman necessary to make
him drunk in order to get him away. In 574 a Ts'u general was
found drunk when sent for by his king to explain a defeat by Tsin
troops. In 560 the Ts'i envoy--the philosopher Yen-tsz--was
entertained by the Ts'u court at a wine. In 531 the ruler of Ts'u
first made drunk, and then killed, one of the petty rulers of
orthodox China. In 537 it had already been explained to the King
of Ts'u that on the occasions of the triennial visits of vassals
to the Emperor (probably only theoretical visits at that date)
wine was served at long tables in full cups, but was only drunk at
the proper ritualistic moment. Two years after that the King of
Ts'u was described as being at his wine, and therefore in the
proper frame of mind to listen to representations.

In 541 the Ts'u envoy was entertained at a _punch d'honneur_
by the Tsin statesmen, one of whom seized the occasion to chant
one of the Odes warning people against drunkenness. It is well
known that Confucius enjoyed his dram; indeed, it is said of him:
"As to wine, he had no measure, but he did not fuddle himself." In
the year 506 the ruler of Ts'in is described as being a heavy
drinker. In 489 a Ts'i councillor is described as being drunk. A
few years later the ruler of Ts'i and his wife are seen drinking
together on the verandah, and some prisoners escape owing to the
gaoler having been judiciously plied with drink.

Meat seems to have been much more generally consumed in old China
(by those who could afford it) than in modern times; and, as we
might expect, among the Tartar infected people, horse-flesh in
particular. In the second century B.C. the question of eating
horse-liver is compared by a witty Emperor with the danger of
revolutionary talk. He said: "We may like it, but it is
dangerous." (Last year, when in Neu Brandenburg, I came across a
man whose brother was a horse-butcher in Pomerania, and,
remembering this imperial remark, I asked about horse-liver. The
man said he always had a feast of horse-liver when he visited his
brother, and that he much preferred it to cows' liver, or to any
other part of the horse; but, he added, "you must be careful about
eating it in summer.") In 645 Duke Muh of Ts'in was rescued from
the Tsin troops by what was described to him as a body-guard of
horse-flesh eaters. It appeared, when he sought for explanation,
that the same Ts'in ruler had, some time before, been robbed of a
horse by some "wild men," who proceeded to cut it up and eat it.
They were arrested; but the magnanimous duke said: "I am told
horse-flesh needs spirits to make it digest well," and, instead of
punishing them, he gave them a keg of liquor, adding: "no sage
would ever injure men on account of a mere beast.", He had
forgotten the circumstance, but it now transpired that these men
had, out of gratitude, since then enlisted as soldiers. This story
is the more interesting as it proves how incompletely civilized
the neighbourhood of Ts'in then was.--Bears' paws are often spoken
of as a favourite dish. In 626 the King of Ts'u, about to be
murdered by his son and successor, said: "At least, let me have a
bear's paw supper before I die." But it takes many hours to cook
this dish to a turn, and the son easily saw through the paternal
manoeuvre, pleaded only to gain time. It may be here mentioned,
too, that Ts'u made regular use of elephants in battle, which
circumstance is another piece of testimony in favour of the
Annamese connection of Ts'u. In the _Rites of Chou_, supposed
to be the work of the Duke of Chou, mention is made of ivory as
one of the products of the "Jungle province," as then called. In
modern times Annam has regularly supplied the Peking Government
with elephants, the skin of which is eaten as a tonic. After the
annihilation of Wu by Yiieh, the cunning Chinese adviser of Yiieh
decided to retire with his fortune to Ts'i, on the ground that the
"good sleuth-hound, when there is no more work for him, is apt to
find his way to the cooking-pot." Dogs (fed up for the purpose)
are still eaten in some parts of China, and (as we shall soon see)
they were eaten in ancient Yiieh.



The question of the expedition of the Emperor Muh to the West in
the year 984 B.C., or during that year and the two following, is
worthy of further consideration for many reasons; and after all
that has been said about the rise of the Chou dynasty, the decay
of the patriarchal system, the emulous ambitions of the vassals,
the destruction of the feudal Empire, and the substitution of a
centralized administration under a new dynasty of numbered August
Emperors, it will now be comparatively easier to understand.

We have seen that, if any local annals besides those of Lu have
been in part preserved, those of Ts'in at least were deliberately
intended by the First August Emperor to be wholly preserved, and
must therefore hold first rank among all the restored vassal
annals published by Sz-ma Ts'ien in or about 90 B.C.; and it must
be remembered that the original Lu annals have perished equally
with those of Ts'i, Sung, and other important states; it is only
Confucius' "Springs and Autumns,"--evidently composed from the Lu
archives,--that have survived. Well, the Ts'in Annals, as given by
Sz-ma Ts'ien, record that one of the early Ts'in ancestors "was in
favour with the Emperor Muh on account of his admirable skill in
manipulating horses" [names of four particularly fine horses
given]. The Emperor "went west to examine his fiefs"; he was so
"charmed with his experiences that he forgot the administrative
duties which should have called him back." Meanwhile, a revolt
broke out in East (uncivilized) China, and the manipulator of
horses was sent by the Emperor back to China at express speed, in
order to stave off trouble till the Emperor could get back
himself. It is also stated of him that, in spite of remonstrances,
he made extensive war upon the Tartars, and that, in consequence,
his uncivilized vassals ceased to present themselves at court. No
other mention is made of this expedition by Sz-ma Ts'ien in the
imperial annals, and, so (apart from the fictitious importance
afterwards given to the expedition, and especially by European
investigators in quite recent times), there is really no reason to
attach any more political weight to it than to the other
innumerable exploring expeditions of emperors into the almost
unknown regions surrounding the nucleus of orthodox China so often
defined in these chapters. We have already (page 184) cited the
case in which the father and predecessor of King Muh had ventured
on a tour of inspection as far as modern Hankow on the Yang-tsz
River, or, as some say, as far as some place on the River Han,
where he was murdered; in 656 the First Protector raked up this
affair against Ts'u, whose capital was very near King-thou Fu,
above Hankow. Finally, scant though Sz-ma Ts'ien's two references
to this affair may be, they at least agree with each other, i.e.
the Emperor did actually go to Tartar regions, and a revolt of
non-Chinese tribes did actually break out in the immediate sequel.

But in A.D. 281 a certain tomb at a place once belonging to Wei,
but later attached to the kingdom of Ngwei formerly part of Tsin,
was desecrated by thieves, and, amongst other books written in
ancient characters found therein (unfortunately all more or less
injured by the rummaging thieves), were two of paramount interest.
One was an account of, and was entirely devoted to, the Emperor
Muh's voyage to the West; the other was the Annals of Ngwei (i.e.
of that third part of old Tsin which in 403 B.C. was formally
recognized by the Emperor as the separate state of Ngwei),
including those of old Tsin, and also what may be termed the
general history of China, narrated incidentally. These Annals of
Tsin or Ngwei are usually styled the Bamboo Books, because they
were written in ink on bamboo tablets strung together at one end
like a fan or a narrow Venetian blind. They also speak shortly of
the Emperor Muh's expedition, and thus they also are useful for
comparing hiatuses, names, faults, and dates; both in general
history, and in the account of King Muh's expedition. Since the
discovery of these old documents (which had been buried for well-
nigh 600 years, and of which no other record whatever had been
preserved either in writing or by tradition), Chinese literary
wonder-mongers have exercised their wits upon the task of
identifying the unheard-of places mentioned; the more so in that
one place, and one king bearing the same foreign name as the
place--_Siwangmu_--was so written phonetically that it might
mean "Western-King-Mother." They endeavoured to show how this and
other places _might_ have lain in relation to the genuine
places discovered by Chinese generals after these ancient
documents were buried, seven centuries after the events recorded
therein. Then came the foreigner with his Jewish Creation,
Confusion of Tongues, Accadian and Babylonian origin of all
science, etc., etc. Of course Marco Polo's adventures at once
suggested to the European, thus biased, that 3000 years ago the
Emperor Muh _might_ have found his way to Persia, and _might_
have been this or that Babylonian, Egyptian, or Persian hero; in fact,
Professor Forke of Berlin even takes his Chinese majesty as far as Africa,
and introduces him to the Queen of Sheba (= Western-King-Mother).

The distinguished Professor Edouard Chavannes of Paris has
recently attempted to show, not only that the Emperor Muh never
got beyond the Tarim (which, indeed, is absolutely certain from
the text itself), but that it was not the Emperor Muh at all who
went, but the semi-Turkish Duke Muh of Ts'in, in the seventh
century B.C., who made the expedition.

To begin with, let us see what the expedition purports to be. In
the first place, the thieves used as torches, or otherwise
destroyed, the first few pages of the bamboo sheaf book, and we do
not know, consequently, whence the Emperor started: there is much
indirect evidence, however, to show that he started from some
place on the headwaters of the Han River, in what must then have
been his own territory (South Shen Si); especially as his three
expeditions all ended there. It is certain, however, that he had
not travelled many days on his first journey before he reached a
tribe of Tartars very frequently mentioned in all histories, and
bearing the same name as the Tartars whom Sz-ma Ts'ien says the
Emperor Muh _did_ conquer. He crossed the Yellow River on the
169th day, came to two rivers, the Redwater (222nd day), and the
Blackwater (248th day), which rivers in after ages have been
frequently mentioned in connection with Tibetan, Turkish, and
Ouigour wars, and are apparently in the Si-ning and Kan-chou Fu,
or possibly Kwa Chou regions (_cf_. p. 68); but first he passed,
after the 170th day, a place called "Piled Stones," a name which
has never been lost to history, and which corresponds to Nien-po,
between Lan-thou Fu and Si-ning, as marked on modern maps.
In other words, he went by the only high-road there was in existence,
and ever since then has continued in existence (just traversed by Bruce),
leading to the Lob Nor region; whence again he branched off,
presumably to Turfan, or to Harashar; thence to Urumtsi, and possibly
Kuché, as they are respectively now called; but on the whole it is not
likely that he got beyond Harashar and Urumtsi. Even 800 years later,
when the Chinese had thoroughly explored all the west up to the Hindu
Kush, their expeditions had all to proceed from Lob Nor to Khoten, or
from Lob Nor (or near it) _viâ_ Harashar and Kuché along the
Tarim Valley: it was not for long after the discovery of these routes that
the later Chinese discovered the northerly Hami route, and the possibility
of avoiding Lob Nor altogether. His charioteer is said in this
account to have been a man (named) whose name is exactly the name,
written in exactly the same way, as the name of the ancestor of
Ts'in, who, Sz-ma Ts'ien tells us, actually was the charioteer of
the Emperor when he marched forth against the Tartars, and who
hurried back to China when the revolts broke out owing to the
Emperor's absence. As the Emperor received, from various princes,
presents of wine, silk, and rice, it is almost certain that he
must have avoided bleak, out-of-the-way places, and have made for
the productive regions of Harashar, Turfan, and possibly Kuché,
any or all three of these. With a little more care and patience we
may yet succeed in identifying, and by the same names, several
more of the places mentioned by the old chronicler. In about ten
months (286 days from the first day already mentioned, and 17 days
out from "Piled Stones") he reached _Siwangmu_. This is not
at all unlikely to be Urumtsi, or a place near it, possibly Ku-
CH'ÊNg or Gutchen, because _Siwangmu_ (also the name of the
king of that place), gave him a feast on a certain lake, which
lake, written in exactly the same way, became the name of a quite
new district in 653 A.D., when it was abolished; and that district
was at or near Urumtsi; the presumption being that, in the seventh
century A.D., it was so named on account of old traditions, then
well known. Roughly speaking, it took the Emperor 300 days to go,
and a second 300 to get back; stoppages, feasts, functions, all
included. The total distance travelled, as specified from chief
station to chief station, is 13,300 _li_ (say 4000 miles) to
_Siwangmu_ and to the hunting grounds near but beyond it.
When 200 days out he came to the place where his feet were washed
with kumiss; this place is frequently mentioned in history; even
Confucius names it, as one of the northernmost conquests of the
Chou dynasty. The only doubt is whether it is near Lan-thou Fu in
Kan Suh province, or near the northern bend of the Yellow River.
The journey back was hurried and shorter (as we might well suppose
from Sz-ma Ts'ien's accounts above given), that is to say, only
10,000 _li_. But the total for the whole double journey of
660 days in all, including all by-trips, excursions, and hunts,
was 38,000 _li_, or about 12,000 miles--say 20 miles a day. I
have myself travelled several thousand miles in China and Tartary,
always at the maximum rate of 30 miles a day; more usually 20,
allowing for delays, bad roads, and accidents. In Dr. Legge's
translation of the "Book of Odes," p. 281, there is a song about a
great expedition against the Tartars in 827 B.C., one line of
which is precisely, as translated by Dr. Legge: "and we marched
thirty _li_ every day,"-which means only ten miles.

This is the chief journey; and whether the Chou Emperor in 984
B.C., or the Ts'in Duke in 650 B.C., made it, there are really no
difficulties, no contradictions. Four important places at least
are named which are known by exactly the same names, and are
frequently mentioned, in very much later history. The Emperor had
hundreds of carts or chariots with him, and we have seen that
these were a special feature of orthodox China. He came across a
huge moulting-ground of birds in the desert regions, and the later
Chinese very frequently speak of it in Tartar-land. Being caught
in the waterless desert, he had to cut the throats of some of his
best horses and drink their warm blood: two friends of my own,
travelling through Siberia and Mongolia, were only too glad, when
nearly starving from cold, to cut a sheep's throat and drink its
warm blood from the newly-gashed throat itself. Fattening up
horses for food is mentioned, and washing the feet with kumiss--
both incidents purely Tartar. "Cattle," distinct from horses and
oxen, are alluded to--probably camels, for which no Chinese word
existed until about the time of our era.

The second and third journeys, which occupied another 600 days
between them, both ended at, and therefore it is assumed began at,
the same place as the first journey's terminus; that is, at a
place marked on modern maps as Pao-CH'ÊNg, on the Upper Han River.
In later times it belonged to the semi-Chinese kingdoms of Shuh
and Ts'u in turn. One of these narratives is taken up with a
description of the Emperor's infatuation for a clever wizard from
a far country, and of his liaison with a girl bearing his own
clan-name, who died about two months before he reached home, and
was buried on the road with great pomp. These two later journeys
have no geographical value at all; but as the Emperor in each case
again crossed the Yellow River, it is plain that he was amusing
himself somewhere along the main Tartar roads, as in the first

It may be added that the Taoist author Lieh-tsz, in his third
chapter, repeats the story of the magician, who, he says, came
from the "Extreme West Country." He also explains that it was
through listening to this man's wonderful tales that the Emperor
"neglected state affairs, and abandoned himself to the delights of
travel,"--thus anticipating by three centuries the language of Sz-
ma Ts'ien in 90 B.C. The story of the particular tribe of Tartars
(named with the same sounds, but not with the same characters) who
washed the Emperor's feet with kumiss is also told by Lieh-tsz.
The position of the Redwater River is defined, to which textual
remarks the commentators add more about the River Blackwater.
Curiously enough, in himself commenting upon the Emperor Muh's
conversations with the chieftain of _Siwangmu_, Lieh-tsz mentions
the traditional departure, west, of the philosopher Lao-tsz, his own

Now, although there is considerable doubt as to the authorship,
date, and genuineness of Lieh-tsz's book, which at any rate was
well known to Chinese bibliophiles long before our era, the fact
that it mentions and repeats even part of the Emperor Muh's
travels 600 years before the ancient book describing those travels
was found, proves that the manipulators of the ancient book thus
found did not invent the whole story after our era. It also seems
to prove that in Lieh-tsz's time (i.e. immediately after
Confucius) the story was already known (and probably the book of
travels too), Confucius himself having mentioned one of the tribes
visited by the Emperor. The Bamboo Books bring history down to 299
B.C., and were found, together with the travels of the Emperor
Muh, in A.D. 281. The Bamboo Books not only support part of the
story of the Emperor Muh's travels, but their accuracy in dates
has been shown by Professor Chavannes to strengthen the
credibility of Confucius' own history: a reference to Chapter
XXXII. on the Calendar will explain what is meant by "accuracy in
dates." Finally, we have Sz-ma Ts'ien's history of go B.C.,
citing the Chou Annals and the Ts'in Annals, or what survived of
them after incessant wars between 400 and 200 B.C., and after the
destruction of literature in 213 B.C.

This point settled, the next thing is to consider Professor
Chavannes' reasons for supposing that Duke Muh of Ts'in (650 B.C.)
and not the Emperor Muh of Chou (984 B.C.) was the real

1. He shows that the ruling princes of Ts'in and Chao hailed from
the same ancestors, were contiguous states, and, besides being
largely Tartar themselves, ruled all the Tartars along the
(present) Great Wall line: also that the naming of individual
horses and other features of the Emperor's travels recalls
features equally prominent in later Turkish history. This is all
undoubtedly true: compare page 206.

2. He shows that the Duke Muh's chief claim to glory was his
successes against the Tartars of the West. This is also quite
certain. 3. He thinks that in 984 B.C. the literary capacity of
China was not equal to the composition of such a sustained work as
the Travels.

4. He also thinks that the real Chinese found in Ts'in the
traditions relating to Duke Muh, and then, for the glory of China,
appropriated them to the Emperor Muh, and foisted them upon
orthodox history.

There is a great deal to be said for this view, which has,
besides, many other minor points of detail in its favour. But it
may be answered:--

1. Chou itself was in the eyes of China proper, once a "barbarian"
tribe of the west, as the founder of the Chou dynasty in 1122 B.C.
himself showed when he addressed his neighbours and allies, the
eight other states of the west, and exhorted them, as equals, to
assist him in the conquest of China. It was only in 771 B.C. that
the original Chou appanage (since 1122 the western half of the
imperial appanage) had been ceded to Ts'in, which in 984 was a
petty state, still of the "adjunct-function" (_cf._ page 144)
type, and not "sovereign." In 984 there was no intermediate
sovereign "power" between the Emperor and the Tartars, with whom,
in fact, he had been directly engaged in war independently of
Ts'in. He was as much under Tartar social influences as was Ts'in:
in fact, the Chou principality, under the Shang dynasty, was a
sort of first edition of Ts'in principality under the Chou
dynasty. Just as in 1122 B.C. Chou ousted Shang as the imperial
house, so in 221 B.C. Ts'in definitely replaced Chou.

2. If Duke Muh distinguished himself by Tartar conquests, so did
the Emperor Muh before him, and the authorities are all agreed on
this point.

3. If in 984 B.C. the long-standing orthodox Chinese literary
capacity was unequal to this effort, how is it that semi-barbarous
Ts'in, the least literary of all the states (not only Chinese, but
also half-Chinese), into which state records had only been
introduced at all in 753 B.C., was able to compose such a book;
or, if not to write the book, then to dictate so sustained and
connected a story? Besides, the Emperor Muh left several
inscriptions carved on stone during the progress of his travels.

4. The instances M. Chavannes cites of the tombs of Yü and Shun in
South China, as being parallel instances of appropriation by
orthodox Chinese of semi-Chinese traditions have already been put
to quite another use above, as tending to show, on the contrary,
that those two Emperors either came from the south, or had
ancestral traditions in the south; (see pp. 138,191).

5. Finally, about a third of the Travels is taken up with a
description of the incestuous intrigue with Lady _Ki_, and of
her sumptuous ritual funeral. Why should Duke Muh trouble himself
about the rites due to members of the Ki family, to which the
Emperor belonged, but he himself did not? Why should the warlike
Duke Muh (who had just then been recommended by an adviser (an ex-
Chinese, since become a Tartar) to adopt simple Tartar ways
instead of worrying himself with the Odes and the Book "as _the
Chinese did_") waste his time in pomp and ritual? ( see p.
180). Again, when, as the Travels tell us, various vassal rulers
from orthodox China (even so far as Shan Tung in the extreme east)
arrived to pay their respects to the Emperor as their liege-lord,
how is it possible to suppose that these orthodox counts and
barons would come to pay court to a semi-barbarian count (for that
was all he was) like Duke Muh (as he is posthumously called), one
of their equals, a man who took no part in the durbar affairs, and
who, on account of his human sacrifices, was not even thought fit
to become an emergency Protector of China? What could the semi-
Tartar ruler of Ts'in have known of all these wearisome
refinements in pomp, mourning, and music? Once more, the place the
Emperor started from and came back to, though part of _his_
appanage in 984 B.C. and possessing an ancestral Chou temple, was
not part of the Ts'in dominions in 650 B.C., and never possessed a
Ts'in temple: if not independent, it was at that time a bone of
contention between Ts'in and Ts'u, and by no means a safe place
for equipping pleasure expeditions. Finally, if it is marvellous
that the Chou Annals of Sz-ma Ts'ien do not give full details of
the voyage, is it not at least equally marvellous that the Ts'in
Annals should not mention it in 650 B.C., when M. Chavannes
supposes it took place, whilst they do so mention it under 984
B.C., when he thinks it did not take place? All accounts agree
that the ancestor of Ts'in (named) was there with the Emperor as
charioteer; he was, as we have seen, equally ancestor of Chao, and
the Chao Annals of Sz-ma Ts'ien say exactly what the Ts'in Annals

Hence we may gratefully accept Professor Chavannes' most
illuminating proofs, so far as they tend to show that the Travels
of the Emperor Muh are genuine history for a tour no farther than
the middle Tarim Valley; but, so far as Duke Muh of Ts'in is
concerned, he must be eliminated from all consideration of the
matter, and we must ascribe the tour, as the Chinese do, to the
Emperor Muh. Lastly, are there any _proved_ instances of such
radical tamperings with history by the Chinese annalists as M.
Chavannes suggests? I do not know of any; and such superficial
tamperings as there are the Chinese critics always expose, _coûte_
que _coûte_, even though Confucius himself be the tamperer.



The development of China is not only elucidated by documents and
events probably antecedent to the strictly historical period, such
as the supposed voyage of an Emperor to the Far West, but it is
also made easier to understand when we consider its possible
indirect effects upon Japan. The barbarian kingdom of Wu does not
really appear in Chinese history at all, even by name, until the
year 585 B.C. It was found then that it had traditions of its own,
and a line of kings extending back to the beginning of the Chou
dynasty (1122 B.C.), and even farther beyond. In 585 B.C. the new
King, Shou-mêng, hitherto an unknown and obscure vassal of Ts'u,
altogether beyond the ken of orthodox China, felt quite strong
enough, as we have seen in Chapter VII., to strike out an
independent line of his own. It is a singular thing that, when the
Japanese set about constructing a nomenclature (on Chinese
posthumous lines) for their newly discovered back history in the
eighth century A.D., they should have fixed upon exactly this year
585 B.C. for the death of their supposed first Mikado Jimmu (i.e.
_Shên-wu_, the "divinely martial"). The next three Kings of
Wu, all of whom, like himself, bore dissyllabic and meaningless
barbarian names, were sons of Shou-mêng, and a fourth son was the
cultured Ki-chah, who visited orthodox China several times, both
as a spy and in order to improve himself. Then follow two sons of
the last and first, respectively, of the said three brothers. The
second of these royal cousins was killed in battle, and his son
Fu-ch'ai vowed a terrible, vengeance against Ts'u, whose capital
he subsequently took and sacked in 506 B.C. Now appears upon the
scene his own vassal, Yiieh, and at first Wu gets the best of it
in battle. Bloodthirsty wars follow between the two, full of
picturesque and convincing detail, until at last the King of
Yiieh, in turn, has the King of Wu at his mercy; but he was,
though a barbarian, magnanimously disposed, and accordingly he
offered Fu-ch'ai the island of Chusan (so well known to us on
account of our troops having occupied it in 1840) and three
hundred married families to keep him company. But Fu-ch'ai was too
proud to accept this Elba, the more especially so because he had
it on his conscience that he had been acting throughout against
the earnest advice of his faithful minister (a Ts'u renegade),
whom he had put to death for his frankness. This adviser as he
perished had cried out: "Don't forget to pluck my eyes out and
stick them on the east gate, so that I may witness the entry of
the Yiieh troops!" He therefore committed suicide, first veiling
his face because, as he said: "I have no face to offer my adviser
when I meet him in the next world; if, on the other hand, the dead
have no knowledge, then it does not matter what I do." After the
beginning of our Christian era, when the direct communication
between Japan (overland _viâ_ Corea) and China (also by sea
to Wu) was first officially noticed by the historians, it was
recorded by the Chinese annalists that part of Fu-ch'ai's personal
following had escaped in ships towards the east, and had founded a
state in Japan. But it must not be forgotten that then (473 B.C.)
orthodox China had never yet heard of Japan in any form, though of
course it is possible that the maritime states of Wu and Yiieh may
have had junk intercourse with many islands in the Pacific.

We have already ventured upon a few remarks upon this subject in
Chapter XXIII., but so much is apt to be made out of slight
historical materials-such, for instance, as the pleasure
expedition of a Chinese emperor in 984 B.C. to the Tarim Valley--
that it may be useful to suggest the true proportions, and the
modest possible bearing of this "Japanese" migration--assuming the
slender record of it to be true; and the basis of truth is by no
means a broad one; still less is it capable of sustaining a heavy

Any one visiting Japan will notice that there are several distinct
types of men in that country, the squat and vulgar, the oval-faced
and refined, and many variations of these two; just as, in
England, we have the Norman, Saxon, Irish, and Scotch types of
face, with many other _nuances_. It is also clear from the
kitchen-midden and other prehistoric remains; from the presence,
even now, in Japan of the bearded Ainus (a word meaning in their
own language "men"); and from the numerous accounts of Ainu-
Japanese wars in both Chinese and Japanese history, that there
were (as there still are) manners, and possibly yet other men, in
ancient Japan, both very different from the manners and appearance
of the cultured and gifted race, viewed as a homogeneous whole, we
are now so proud to have as our political allies. But that brings
us no nearer a historical solution, It is a persistent way with
all ethnologists to search out whence this or that race came. Of
course all races move and mingle, and must always have moved and
mingled, when by so doing they could better their circumstances of
life; but even if movement has taken place in Japan as it has
elsewhere, there is no reason why, if comparatively uncivilized
Japanese displaced Ainus, Ainus should not have, before that,
displaced quite uncivilized Japanese; or, if other races came over
the seas to displace the people already there, the natives already
there should not have, later on, ejected these new-comers by sea

In other words, it is quite futile (unless we can lay hands on
definite objects, or definite facts recorded--even definite
traditions) to try and account for hypothetical movements in
prehistoric times. We are totally ignorant of early Teutonic,
Hungarian, and Celtic movements-though, thanks solely to Chinese
records, we are pretty certain, within defined limits, about early
Turkish movements. How much more, then, must we be ignorant about
the Japanese movements? If "people" must have come from somewhere,
whence did these arrivals start, and why should they not go back;
or why not meet other movers going to the place whence they
themselves started? If we are to accept the only historical
records or quasi-records we possess at all, that is, the Chinese
records, then we must accept them for what they are worth on the
face of them, and neither add to nor mutilate them; imperfect
things that do exist are necessarily better than imaginary things
that might have existed in their place. A few hundred families at
most, we are told, escaped; and if it be true that they went
intentionally to Japan, it is probable that the expert Wu sailors
(none existed elsewhere in China) had already for long known the
way thither, or to Quelpaert and Tsushima, which practically means
to both Corea and Japan; in fact, if they sailed east from Ningpo,
there is no other place to knock up against, even if the special
intention were not there. Everything tends to show that Fu-ch'ai,
though perhaps a barbarian in 473 B.C., was of orthodox if remote
pedigree dating from 1200 B.C., and that the ruling class of Wu
was very different from the "barbarians" by whom (as we are
specifically told) Wu was surrounded; the situation was like that
of the Egyptians and Phoenicians, like Cecrops and Cadmus, amongst
the earliest barbarous Greeks. It amounts, then, to this, that,
just as Chinese colonies and adventurers emerged under the stress
of increased population, or under the impulses of curiosity,
tyranny, and ambition, to found states in Ts'u, Ts'in, Tsin, Ts'i,
Lu, Wu, Yüeh, and other places round the central nucleus, so (they
being the sole possessors of that magic _POWER_, "records")
other parties would from time to time sally forth either from the
same orthodox centre, or from the semi-orthodox places surrounding
that centre, to still remoter spots, such as, for instance, Corea,
Japan, Formosa, Annam, Burma, Tibet, and Yiin Nan. Fu-ch'ai's
surviving friends had indeed a very lively stimulus indeed-the
fear of instant death-to drive them tumultuously over the seas;
and doubtless, as they must have been perfectly harmless after
tossing about hungry in open boats for weeks together, they would
be as welcome to the Japanese king, or to the petty chief or
chiefs who received the waifs, as in our own times was the honest
sailor Will Adams when he drifted friendless to Japan, and whose
statue now adorns a great Japanese city as that of a man who was,
in a humble way, also a "civilizer" of Japan (600 A.D.).
Doubtless, many Wu words, or Chinese words as then pronounced in
Wu, had already been brought over by fishermen; but here at last
was a great haul of (possibly) books and the way to interpret
them; at least there was a great haul of the best class of the Wu
ruling folk. It is true that the first Japanese envoys who came to
China made as much of their Wu "origin" as they could; firstly,
because it probably paid them as traders to do so; secondly,
because it necessarily gave them a respectable status in China;
and, thirdly, because they were, in the first century of our era,
gradually beginning to understand the mystic power of the Chinese
written character, and they would therefore naturally take an
intense interest in all records, rumours, traditions, and fables
about themselves, which they would embellish and "confirm"
whenever it suited their interests to do so. Which of us does not
begin to furbish up his pedigree when he is made a peer of the

As to the bulk of the Japanese race, be it mixed or unmixed, it is
surely in the main to be found now where it always was, or close
by? It is no more depreciating to early Japan to give her a
dynasty of Chinese adventurers, or perhaps to give her only
hereditary Chinese advisers and scribes, than it is derogatory to
the states of Europe to possess dynasties which belong by their
origin, as a general rule, to almost any place but the countries
they now govern as sovereigns. As to the ancient chiefs or kings
of Japan, some of their genuine native names may have been
preserved in the memories of men; whether they were or not, they
were, even without records, as "ancient" chiefs as the best
recorded chiefs of Egypt, Babylonia, or China; and it must be
remembered that Egyptian and Babylonian records were non-existent
to us for all practical purposes during many thousands of years,
until we recently discovered how to read them: that is to say,
what was once no history at all--the present condition of the
prehistoric races of High Asia--suddenly becomes history when we
find the records and know how to read them.

When, a few centuries later on, the Japanese had begun thoroughly
to understand Chinese books, they decided to have an historical
outfit of their own; they took what vague traditions they had,
and, in the absence of any long-forgotten genuine records, or
visible remains having part of the effect of records, simply
fitted on to their heroes, real or imaginary, the Chinese
posthumous system, and a selection of the historical facts
recorded about the Chinese. Even the Emperor Muh in China was not
so named until he died. If a man can be given a complimentary
title three years after death (that was the Chinese rule at
first), why not give it him 300 years after his death? The king or
chief hitherto known, whether accurately or not, whether honestly
or not, as X, had most certainly existed; that is, the tenth
great-grandfather of the reigning prince; the ninth, eighth, and
so on; must positively have been there at some remote period of
the past. By calling him Jimmu (a Chinese emperor had already been
posthumously so called) he is none the less there than he was
before he was called Jimmu, and his new title therefore does not
make him less of an entity than he was before. And so on with all
the other Japanese emperors who, in the eighth century A.D., were
similarly provided with imaginary names. Possibly this is how the
Japanese argued with themselves when they set about the task. The
situation is a curious one, and perhaps unique in the world; but
it does not matter much (as suggested in Chapter XXXI.) so long as
we keep imagination separate from real evidence.



We propose to say a few words now about peculiar customs which had
vogue all over or in certain parts of China; of course some of
them may be traced back to the "Rites of Chou," and to what is
prescribed therein; but general administrative schemes representing
in general terms things as they ought to be, or as the Chou federal
and feudal oligarchy would have liked them to be, do not give us
such a life-like picture of ancient China as specific accounts of
definite events which really did happen. Take, for instance, the
peculiar formalities connected with abject surrender.

After a great defeat in 699 B.C., just when Ts'u was beginning to
emerge from its narrow confines between the Han and Yang-tsz
Rivers, the defeated Ts'u generals had themselves bound in
fetters, or with ropes, in order to await their king's pleasure.
In 654, when Ts'u had one of the small orthodox states (in the Ho
Nan nucleus) at its mercy, the baron presented himself with his
hands tied behind, a piece of jade in his mouth, followed by his
suite in mourning, carrying his coffin. It is evident that at this
date Ts'u was still "barbarous," for the king had to ask what it
all meant. It was explained to him that, when the Chou founder
conquered China, and mutilated the last Shang dynasty emperor,
that emperor's elder brother by an inferior mother had presented
himself before the founder half naked, with his hands tied behind
his back, his left hand leading a ram (or goat), and his right
carrying sedge for wrapping round the sacrificial victim; he was
enfeoffed as Duke of Sung. In 537 the same thing happened to a
later King of Ts'u in connection with another petty principality,
and the king had to be reminded of the 654 precedent. Thus there
must have been records of some kind in Ts'u at an early date. In
645 B.C., when the ruler of Ts'in took prisoner his brother-in-
law, the ruler of Tsin, and was seriously contemplating the
annexation of Tsin, together with the duty of discharging Tsin
sacrifices, his own sister, with bare feet, wearing mourning, and
bound with a mourning belt, intercedes successfully for her
husband. In 597 B.C. the ruler of the important orthodox state of
Cheng went through the form of dragging along, with the upper part
of his own body uncovered, a ram or goat into the presence of the
King of Ts'u. In 511, when the ruler of Lu had to fly the country
and throw himself upon the generosity of Tsin, in order to escape
from the dangerous machinations of the intriguing great families
of Lu, the six Tsin statesmen (who were themselves at that moment,
as heads of great private clans, gradually undermining their own
prince's rights) sent for the arch-intriguer, and called upon him
to explain his conduct. At that time Lu was coquetting between its
two powerful neighbours, Tsin and Ts'i. The conspirator duly
presented himself before the Areopagus of Tsin grandees, barefoot
and attired in common cloth (_i.e._ not of silk, but of hemp), in order
to explain to them the circumstances of the duke's exile: it is
characteristic of the times, and also of the frankness of history, to
find it added that he succeeded in bribing the grandees to give an
unjust decision. When the Kings of Yüeh and Wu were in turn at
each other's mercy, in 494 and 473 respectively, their envoys, in
offering submission, in each case advanced to the conqueror "walking
on the knees," with bust bared: this knee-walking suggests Annamese,
Siamese, and possibly Japanese forms rather than Chinese. The Wu
servants at dinner are said to have "waited" on their knees. The third
and last August Emperor in 207 submitted to the conquering Han
dynasty seated in an unadorned chariot, drawn by a white horse
(with signs of mourning), carrying his seal-sash round his neck
(figurative of hanging or strangling himself), and offered the seals of
the Son of Heaven to the Prince of Han.

Something has already been said about the rules of succession in
Ts'u and Ts'in. When the Duke of Sung just mentioned died, in 1078
B.C., he was succeeded by his younger brother because his own son
was dead; this was in accordance with the Shang dynasty's ritual
laws. Even the Warrior King himself, founder of the Chou dynasty,
was not the eldest son of his father, the (posthumously) Civilian
King; the latter had set aside the elder of the two sons; and it
will be remembered that, several generations before that, two of
the royal Chou brothers had voluntarily retired to colonize the Wu
Jungle country, in order that their younger brother, father of the
future Civilian King, might succeed to the then extremely limited
vassal state of Chou. Later on, in 729, a Duke of Sung on his
death-bed bequeathed the succession to his younger brother instead
of to his own son, on the ground that the rule is, "son to father,
younger to elder brother"--a "universal rule" approved by Mencius
in later times. The younger brother in this case thrice refused
the kingly crown, but at last accepted, and Confucius in his
history censures the act, which, it is considered, contributed to
Sung's ultimate downfall. (It must be remembered that Confucius'
ancestors were themselves of royal Sung extraction.) In 652 the
younger brother by the superior spouse wished, at his father's
death-bed, to cede his right to the succession of Sung to his
elder brother by an inferior wife; the dying father commended the
spirit, but forbade the proposed sacrifice of prior right, and the
elder therefore served the younger as counsellor. In 493 a Duke of
Sung, irritated on account of his eldest son having left the
country, nominated a younger son as successor, and after his death
his wife confirmed by decree her late husband's nomination; but
the younger brother firmly declined, on the ground that the rule
of succession was a fixed one, and that he was unworthy to perform
the sacrifices to the gods of the land and grain. It is a curious
coincidence that the question of status in wives affects the
present rulers of both China and Japan. Though the dowager was
Empress-Mother, she always ceded the pas to the senior dowager,
who had no children. And as to the Mikado's mother, who died last
October, she was, it seems, never officially considered as an

In 817 B.C. the Emperor himself is censured by history for having,
"contrary to rule," wished to set up as ruler of Lu a second son
in preference to the elder son; he repeated the act in 796, as has
already been explained in Chapter XX., when a few other instances
were cited to illustrate the general rule in China. At this time
the waning power of the emperors still evidently flickered. In
608, through the meddlesome political interference of Ts'i, a
concubine's son succeeded to the Lu throne in preference to the
legitimate wife's son; curiously enough, the legitimate wife was a
Ts'i princess. The result of this irregularity was that the "three
powerful families" of Lu (themselves descendants of the ruling
family) grew restless, and the state began to decline. On the
death of a King of Ts'u in 516, it was proposed to put on the
throne, instead of the king's young son, the king's younger
brother by an inferior mother, on the ground that the mother of
the young son in question was the wife obtained from Ts'in by the
king for marriage to his eldest son (who had since joined the
king's enemies), which young lady the king had subsequently
decided to marry himself. Even under this irregular and
complicated family tangle, the proposed succession was disapproved
by the counsellors, on the ground that irregular successions
invariably produced trouble in the state. In the year 450 B.C. the
ruler of Ts'i insisted, against advice, on the succession of a
younger son by a favourite concubine in preference to his elder
sons by superior mothers, including the first and most dignified
spouse. But here, again, the powerful families intervened; one of
the elder sons, who had fled to Lu, was brought back secretly in a
sack; the wrongful successor was murdered, and the "powerful
family" which took the lead in state affairs soon afterwards, to
the horror of Confucius, by intrigue and by further assassination,
secured the Ts'i throne for itself. It will thus be noticed that
all the great states except Ts'in had their full share of
succession troubles.

There were several customs practised in warfare which are worthy
of short notice. In 633 B.C. a Ts'u general, in the interests of
discipline, flogged several military men, and "had the ears of
others pierced by arrows, according to military regulation." In
639 this same king had sent as a present to some princesses of
other states, who had congratulated him on his victory over Sung,
"a pile of the enemy's left ears." As the historians express their
disgust at this indelicate act, it was presumably not an orthodox
practice, at all events in this particular form. In 607 there were
captured from Sung 450 war-chariots and 250 soldiers; the latter
had their left ears cut off; in this case the victors were CHÊNG
troops, acting under Ts'u's orders, and it is presumed that CHÊNG
officers cut off the ears under Ts'u's commands. A few years later
two or three Ts'u generals were discussing what the ancients did
when they challenged for a battle; it was decided that the best
"form" was to rush up to the entrenchments, cut off an enemy's
left ear, carry him away in your chariot, and rush back to your
own camp. As there is a special Chinese character or pictograph
for "ears cut off in battle," it thus appears that to a certain
extent even the orthodox Chinese practised the "scalping" art,
which was doubtless intended to furnish easy proof of claims for
reward based upon prowess; in fact, even in modern official
Chinese, a decapitated head is called a "head-step," an expression
evidently dating from the time when a step in rank was given for
each head or group of heads taken.

Rulers, whether the Emperor or vassals, faced south in the
exercise of their sovereign powers. Thus, when the Duke of Chou,
after the death of his brother the Martial King, acted as Regent
pending the minority of the Martial King's son, his own nephew, he
faced south; but he faced north once more when he resumed his
status of subject. It has already been mentioned, in Chapter XX.,
that in 640 B.C. the state of Lu made the south gate of the Lu
capital the Law Gate, because it was by the south gates that all
rulers' commands emanated. In 546 a counsellor of Ts'u explained
to the king how, since Tsin influence had predominated in the
orthodox state of CHÊNG, this last had ceased to "face south
towards its former protector." Thus, though the Emperor faces
south towards the sun, and his subjects in turn face north in his
honour, those subjects face their other protector in whatever
direction he may lie, supposing the Emperor's protection to be
inadequate. It is evidently the same principle as "bowing towards
the east," and "turning towards Mecca," both of which formalities
must be modified according to place. In 315 B.C., when Yen (the
Peking plain) had become one of the six independent kingdoms, a
usurper (to whom the King of Yen had foolishly committed full
powers) "turned south" to perform acts of sovereignty in the
king's name. In 700 B.C., in the orthodox state of Wei, we hear of
"princes of the left and right," which is explained to mean "sons
of mothers whose official place is left or right of the principal
spouse." Right used to be more honourable than left in China, but
left now takes precedence of right. Thus the provinces of Shan
Tung and Shan Si are also called "Left of the Mountains" and
"Right of the Mountains," because the Emperor faces south.
Notwithstanding, the ancient phraseology sometimes survives; for
instance, "stands right of him" means "is better than he is," and
"to left him" means "to prove him wrong or worse." All _yamêns_
in China face south; there are rare exceptions, usually owing to
building difficulties. Once, in the province of Kwei Chou, I was
officially invited by the mandarin to take my seat on his right instead of
on his left, because, as he explained, his _yamên_ door did not
face south, but _west_; and, he added, it was more honourable
for me, as an official guest,  to sit north, facing west, than to sit
south, facing west. In Canton,  the Viceroy used out of courtesy to sit
south, facing north, and  make his own interpreter sit north, facing south;
the consul sat east,  facing west, and the consul's interpreter sat west,
facing east. But the consul could not have presumed to occupy the
north seat thus given to an inferior on the principle of de _minimis_
non _curat lex_; nor was the Viceroy willing to assert his "command"
to a guest. In 436 the armies  of Yiieh marching north through Ho Nan
called the Chinese places  lying to their west the "left" towns; but that
was perhaps because  Yiieh came marching from the south. In 221 B.C.,
when for the first time South China to the sea became part of the imperial
dominions, the Emperor's territory was described as extending
southward to the "north-facing houses." Hong Kong and Canton are
just on the tropical line; but the island of Hainan, and also
Tonquin, are actually in the tropics. Whether the houses there do
really face north--which I have never noticed--or whether the
expression is merely symbolical, I cannot say; but the idea is "to
the regions where, when the sun is on the tropic, you have to turn
north to see him."

A point of honour in China was not to make war on an enemy who was
in mourning, but this rule seems to have been honoured in the
breach as much as in the observance thereof. Two centuries before
the Chou dynasty came into power, an emperor of the Shang dynasty
distinguished himself by not speaking at all during the three
years he occupied the mourning hut near the grave. As we have
seen, the first rulers of Lu (as a Chou fief) modified existing
customs, and introduced the three years' mourning rule there. In
connection with a Sung funeral in 651 B.C., it is explained that
the bier lay between the two front pillars, and not, as with the
Chou dynasty, on the top of the west side steps; it will be
remembered that Sung represented the sacrifices of the extinct
Shang dynasty. That same year the future Second Protector (then a
refugee among the Tartars) declined to put in a claim to the Tsin
succession against his brothers "because he had not been in
mourning whilst a fugitive." In 642 Sung and her allies made war
on Ts'i, which was then mourning for the First Protector; by a
just Nemesis the Tartars came to the rescue and saved Ts'i. In
627, after the Second Protector's death, Ts'in declared war,
whilst Tsin was mourning, upon a petty orthodox principality
belonging to the same clan as Tsin and the Emperor, and belonging
also to the Tsin vassal system. This so enraged the new ruler of
Tsin that he dyed his white mourning clothes black, so as to
avenge the insult, and yet not to outrage the rites: moreover,
white was unlucky in warfare: victorious over Ts'in, he then
proceeded to mourn for his father, and ever after that black was
adopted, by way of memento, as the national colour of Tsin. In 626
and 622 the Emperor sent high officers to represent him at Lu
funerals, and to carry gems to place in deceased's mouth, "to show
that he (the Emperor) had not the heart to leave the deceased
unsupplied with food." In 581 the ruler of Lu, being on a visit to
Tsin, was forcibly detained by Tsin, in order to swell the
importance of a Tsin ruler's funeral. Lu (like the petty orthodox
states of Wei, Sung, CHÊNG, etc., further south) was nearly always
under the rival political constraint of either Ts'i, Tsin, or
Ts'u; and this factor must accordingly also be taken into account
in explaining Confucius' longing for the good old days of imperial
predominance. In 572 Tsin attacked Cheng, though of the same clan
as itself, whilst in mourning; but in 567 semi-barbarian Ts'u set
a good example to orthodox Tsin by withdrawing its troops out of
deference to a later official mourning then in force in Cheng: in
564 the King of Ts'u withdrew his armies home altogether on
account of the mourning due to his own deceased mother. In 560
barbarian Wu attacked Ts'u whilst in mourning for the above king
(the one who first conquered the Canton region for Ts'u); but,
here again, by a just Nemesis, Wu's army was cut to pieces, and
Wu's own ally, Tsin, censured her for having done such an improper
thing. In 544 the prime minister of Tsin mourned for his Ts'u co-
signatory of the celebrated Peace Conference Treaty of 546; and
this graceful act is explained to be in accordance with the rites.
In 544 Ts'u herself was in mourning, and in accordance with the
terms of the Peace Conference Treaty, under which the Tsin vassals
and the Ts'u vassals were to pay their respects to Ts'u and Tsin
respectively--Ts'in and Ts'i, as great powers, being excused, or,
rather, discreetly left alone--Ts'u put great pressure on Lu to
secure the personal presence of the Lu ruler at the Ts'u funeral.
The orthodox duke did not at all like this "truckling to a
barbarian"; but one of his counsellors suggested behaving before
the corpse as he would behave to a vassal of his own: this was
done, and the unsophisticated Ts'u was none the wiser at the time,
though, later on, the king discovered the pious fraud. In 514 B.C.
Wu wished to attack Ts'u while, mourning, and the virtuous Ki-
chah was promptly sent by Wu to sound Tsin about the _facheuse
situation._ At a Lu funeral in 509, it was explained that the
new duke could only mount the throne after the burial was over; it
was added "even the Son of Heaven's commands do not run in Lu
during this critical period; _á fortiori_ is the duke not
capable of transacting his own subjects' business." But long
before this, when the First Protector died, in 643, his body lay
for sixty-seven days in the coffin unattended, whilst his five
sons were wrangling about the succession; in fact, the worms were
observed crawling out of the coffin. These painful details have a
powerful historical interest, for when (as mentioned on p. 209)
his tomb was opened nearly 1000 years later, dogs had to be sent
in ahead to test the air, as the stench was so great. In 492 an
unpopular prince of Wei was in Tsin, which state had an interest
in placing him on the throne. There happened to be in Tsin at that
moment a scoundrel who had fled to Tsin from Lu, because he had
found Confucius too strong for him in Lu; and this man suggested
to Tsin that it would be a good plan to send seventy Wei men back
to Wei in mourning clothes and sash, so as to make the Wei people
think that the prince was dead, and thus gain an opportunity to
"run him in" by surprise, and set him up as ruler. In 489, when
the King of Ts'u died in the field of battle, his three brothers,
all of whom had declined his offer of the throne, but one of whom
had at last accepted in order to give the dying man peace, decided
to conceal the king's death from the army whilst they sent for his
son by a Yiieh mother, pleading that the king had been non
_compos mentis_ when he proposed an irregular succession, and
that the promise made to him was, therefore, of no avail. In 485
Lu and Wu joined in an attack upon Ts'i during the latter's
mourning--a particularly disgraceful political combination: no
wonder Confucius was hastily sent for from the state of CH'ÊN,
whither he had previously retired in disgust at the corruption of
his native land. In 481 a conspiracy which was going on in Ts'i
was delayed because one of the chief actors, being in mourning,
could not attend to public business of any kind. In 332 B.C. Ts'i
took ten towns from Yen by successfully attacking her whilst in
mourning; one of the travelling diplomats and intriguers so common
in China at that period insisted upon the towns being restored.
This was at the exact moment when the philosopher Mencius, who
seems to have also been a great political _dilettante_, was
circulating to and fro between such monarchs as the Kings of Ts'i
and Ngwei, alias _Liang_, as is fully explained in the still
extant book of Mencius.

All the above quaint instances, novel though they may be in
detail, strongly recall to us in principle our own "rules" of
international law, which are always liable to unexpected
"construction" according to the exigencies of war and the power
wielded by the "constructor." Inter _arma leges silent_. As
usual in these ritual matters, Ts'in is distinguished by total
absence of mention.



So far as it is possible to judge from the concrete instances in
which women are mentioned, it appears that in ancient Chinese
times their confinement and seclusion was neither nominally nor
actively so strict as it has been in later days, and they seem to
have been much more companionable to men than they have been ever
since the ridiculous foot-squeezing fashion came into vogue over a
thousand years ago. When the Martial King addressed his semi-
barbarous western allies, as he prepared his march upon the last
Shang Emperor in 1122 B.C., he observed: "The ancient proverb says
the hen crows not in the morn; when she does, the house will
fall"--in allusion to the interference of the debauched Emperor's
favourite concubine in public affairs; and we have seen, under the
heading of Law in Chapter XX., how one of the imperial statutes,
proclaimed or read regularly in the vassal kingdoms, prohibited
the meddling of women in public business. But, in spite of this,
so far as promoting the succession rights and political interests
of their own children goes, wives and concubines certainly exerted
considerable influence, whether legitimate or not, in all the
states. The murder of an Emperor and flight of his successor in
771 B.C. was in its inception owing to the intrigues of women
about Court. A few years only after that event, we find the
orthodox ruler of Wei marrying a beautiful Ts'i princess (her
beauty is a matter of history, and is celebrated in the Odes,
which are themselves a popular form of history); and then, because
she had no children, further marrying a princess of Ch'en. This
princess unfortunately lost her offspring; but her sister also
enjoyed the prince's favour, and her son was, after her death,
given in adoption to the first childless Ts'i wife. This son
succeeded to the Wei throne, but was ultimately murdered by a
younger brother born of a concubine, who was next succeeded by
still another younger brother, whose queen had also been one of
his father's concubines. Thus in the most orthodox states (Wei was
of the imperial clan), the rites often seem not to have counted
for much in practice.--This book, it must here be repeated, deals
with specific recorded facts, and not with civilization as it
_ought_ to have been under the Rites of _Chou._--So, even in
comparatively modern China, 1500 years later, the third emperor of the
T'ang dynasty married his father's concubine, and she ultimately
reigned as empress in her own right, which is in itself an outrage
upon the "rites."

In 694 B.C. the ruler of Lu (also of the imperial clan) married a
Ts'i princess, who, as has been stated in Chapter XXXIV., not only
had incestuous relations with her brother of Ts'i, but led that
brother to procure the murder of her husband. In connection with
this woman's further visit to Ts'i two years later, the rule is
cited: "Women, when once married, should not recross the
frontier." The same rule is quoted in 655 when a Lu princess, who
had married a petty mesne-vassal of Lu in 670, recrossed the Lu
frontier in order to visit her son in Lu.

The Second Protector, during his wanderings, we know, married
first a Tartar wife and then a Ts'i wife, both of whom showed
disinterested affection for him, and genuine regard for his rights
to the Tsin succession, Yet the ruler of Ts'in supplied him with
five more royal girls, of whom one had already been married to the
Second Protector's predecessor and nephew, the Marquess of Tsin.
It is but fair to the memory of this uxorious Tsin ruler to say
that he only took her over under protest, and under the immediate
stress of political urgencies; he ultimately made her his
principal spouse at the expressed desire of his ally the Ts'in
ruler. He must have later married a daughter of the Emperor too,
for, after the succession of a son and grandson, another of his
sons named "Black Buttocks," being the youngest, and also "son of
a Chou mother," came to the throne. Thus in those troublous times
the honour of imperial princesses evidently did not count for very
much at the great vassal courts. The readiness of Ts'in to induce
the Tsin ruler to take over his nephew's wife (being a Ts'in
princess) accentuates the semi-Tartar civilization of Ts'in at
least, if not of Tsin too; for both Hiung-nu (200 B.C.) and Turks
(A.D. 500) had a fixed rule that a Khan successor should take over
all his predecessor's women, with the single exception of his own
natural mother. In the year 630 the King of Ts'u married or
carried off two CHÊNG sisters (of the imperial clan). The ruler of
CHÊNG had been insolent to the future Second Protector during his
wanderings in the year 637, and, in order to avoid that
Protector's vengeance, had been subsequently obliged to throw
himself under Ts'u protection. "This ignoring of the rites by the
King of Ts'u will result in his failing to secure the Protectorship," it
was said. However, these princesses, though of the imperial _Ki_
clan by marriage into it, were really daughters  of a CHÊNG ruler by
two separate Ts'i and Ts'u wives: moreover,  previous to the accession
of the Hia dynasty (in 2205 B.C.), a Chinese elective Emperor had
married the two daughters of his predecessor,  whose own son was
unworthy to succeed: and, generally, apart from this precedent, the
rule against marrying two sisters, even if it  existed, seems to have been
loosely applied (_cf._ Chapter XXXIII.).

In connection with the Cheng succession in 629, it is mentioned
that "the wife's sons being all dead, X, being wisest of the
secondary wives' or concubines' sons, is most eligible"
(_cf._ Chapter XXXVII.).

Great political complications arose in connection with a clever
and beautiful princess of Cheng who had had various _liaisons_
with high personages in the state of Ch'en and elsewhere; in the end
she was carried off in 589 by a treacherous Ts'u statesman to Tsin;
and indirectly this adventure led to his being charged by Tsin with a
mission to Wu; to the subsequent entry of Wu into the conclave of
federal princes; and to the ultimate sacking of the Ts'u capital by
the King of Wu in 506: it is easy to read between the lines that
the Kings of Ts'u were considered unusually arbitrary and tyrannical
rulers; over and over again we find that their most capable statesmen
took service with powers inimical to Ts'u. In 581 the ruler of Cheng,
being forcibly detained in Tsin whilst on a political visit there, was
temporarily replaced in Cheng by his elder brother, born of an
inferior wife.

A marriage between the two states of Sung and Lu having been
arranged, the imperial clan states of Lu and Wei had certain
duties to perform at the wedding, which took place in 583; and it
is recorded that the latter sent "handmaids" The explanation given
is a little involved, but it seems to throw some light on the
marriage of sisters question. It seems that the legitimate spouse
and her "left and right handmaids" were each entitled to three
"cousins or younger sisters" of the same clan-name as themselves,
"thus making a total of nine girls, the idea being to broaden the
base of succession." Not content with this, Lu sent a special
envoy to Sung the next year to "lecture" the princess. It is
explained that "women at home are under the power of their father;
married, under that of their husbands." Tsin also sent handmaids
this year. It is further explained that "handmaids are a trifling
matter, and they are only mentioned in this Lu princess case
because her marriage turned out so badly." The following year Ts'i
despatched handmaids, but, "being of a different clan-name, Ts'i
was not ritual in doing so."

The precise functions of these paranymphs, or under-studies of
wives, together with the rules governing their selection, are
doubtless clearly enough described in the Rites of _Chou_;
but we are only dealing here with concrete facts as recorded.

In 526 B.C., when Ts'in gave a princess in marriage to the Ts'u
heir, the Ts'u king decided to keep her for himself (see p. 234).
Only a few years before that, Ts'u had given a princess of her own
in marriage to the heir-apparent of one of the petty orthodox
states (imperial clan), and the reigning father had had improper
relations with her, which in the end led to his murder by his son;
thus Ts'u, however delinquent, had already been given a bad
example by the imperial clan.

After his humiliating defeat by the King of Wu in 494 B.C., the
King of Yiieh introduced a veritable _Lex Julia_ into his
dominions, in order to increase the population more quickly, and
to prepare for his great revenge. Robust men were forbidden to
marry old women, and old men to marry robust women. Parents were
punished if girls were not married by the time they were
seventeen, and if boys were not married by twenty. _Enceinte_
women had to be placed under the care of public midwives. For
every boy born, a royal bounty of two pots of wine and a dog were
given: for every girl born, two pots of wine and a sucking-pig;--
the dog, it is explained, being figurative of outdoor, the pig of
internal economy. Triplets were to be suckled at the public
expense; twins to be fed, when big enough, at the public expense.
The chief wife's son must be mourned, with absence from official
duty, for three years; other sons for two; and both kinds of son
were to be equally buried with weeping and wailing. Orphans, and
the sons of sick or poor widows, were to receive official
employment. Distinguished sons were to have their apartments
cleansed for them, and had to be well fed and handsomely clothed.
Learned men from other states were to be officially welcomed in
the ancestral temple. With reference to this curious law, which is
totally un-Chinese in its startling originality, it may be
mentioned that it seems to have gradually led to that laxity of
morals in ancient Yiieh which is still proverbial in those parts;
for, when the First August Emperor was touring over his new empire
in 212 B.C., he left an inscription (still on record) at the old
Yiieh capital, denouncing the "pig-like adultery" of the region,
and, more especially, the remarrying of widows already in
possession of children. Only a few years ago, proclamations
appeared in this region denouncing the pernicious custom of
forcing widows to remarry. Although Kwan-tsz is supposed to have
"invented" the Babylonian woman for Ts'i, nothing is said in any
ancient Chinese history about common prostitution; nor is female
infanticide ever mentioned. In 502 B.C. the Lu revolutionary,
already mentioned in Chapter XXXVII., who was driven to Tsin by
Confucius' astute measures, had, before leaving Lu, formed a plot
to murder all the sons, by wives, of the three "powerful families"
who were intriguing against the ducal rights, and to put concubine
sons-being creatures of his own-in their place; thus the
succession principles applied not only to ruling families, but
also to private houses; though, as a matter of fact, these three
were all, in their origin, descended from previous ruling dukes.
As explained in Chapters XII. and XXXIII., after five generations
a fresh "family" is supposed to spring out of the common clan.

In spite of Wu's barbarism, the fact of its belonging, by remote
origin, to the imperial clan (through its first: ruler having
magnanimously migrated from Chou before Chou conquered China in
1122), made it technically incest for Lu to intermarry with Wu;
thus, when in 482 B.C., a Wu princess (evidently forced for
political purposes upon Lu) died, her husband, the ruler of Lu,
was obliged to refrain from a public burial, as has been explained
in Chapter XXXIII. on Names.



It will have been noticed that, even in strictly historical times
subsequent to 842 B.C., orthodox China was, _mutatis mutandis_,
like orthodox Greece, a petty territory surrounded by a fringe of
little-known regions, such as Macedonia, Asia Minor, Phoenicia,
Egypt, and Italy; not to say distant Marseilles, and the Pillars of
Hercules-all places at best very little visited except by navigators,
and even then only by a few specially enterprising navigators or
desperate adventurers; though later on Greek influence and Greek
colonies soon began to replace the Phoenician, and to exhibit surrounding
countries in a more correct and definite light.

As touches the surrounding regions of ancient China, and the
knowledge of it possessed by the orthodox nucleus, such traditions
as there are all point to acquaintance with the south and east
rather than with the north and west. Persons who are persistently
bent on bringing the earliest Chinese from the Tower of Babel by
way of the Tarim Valley, are eager to seize upon the faintest
tradition, or what seems to them an apparent tradition, in support
of these preconceived views; ignoring the obviously just argument
that, if we are to pay any attention to mere traditions at all, we
must in common fairness give priority in value to such traditions
as there are, rather than such traditions as are not, but only as
might be. For instance, there was a Chinese tradition that the
founder of the Hia dynasty (2205 B.C.) was, in a sense, somehow
connected with the barbarous kingdom of Yiieh, inasmuch as the
great-great-grandson of the founder of the Hia empire a century
later enfeoffed a son by a concubine in that remote region. The
earliest Chinese mention of Japan is that it lay to the east of
Yiieh, and that the Japanese used to come and trade with Yiieh. If
the Japanese traditions, on the other hand, as first put into
independent writing in the eighth century A.D., are worth
anything, then the Japanese pretend that their ancestors were
present at a durbar held by the above-mentioned great-great-
grandson of the Hia founder; and they also firmly derive their
ruling houses (both king and princes) from the kingdom of Wu. We
have seen in former chapters that both Wu and Yiieh, the most
ancient capitals of which were within 200 miles of each other,
spoke one language, and that both were derived (_i.e._, the
administrative caste was derived) from two separate Chinese
imperial dynasties. Now, the founder of the Hia dynasty is
celebrated above all things for his travels in, and his geography
of China, usually called the "Tribute of Yii" (his name),--a still
existing work, the real origin of which may be obscure, but which
has come down to us in the Book (of History). This geography is
not only accurate, but it even now throws great light upon the
original direction of river-courses which have since changed; in
this work there is not the faintest tradition or indirect mention
of any Chinese having ever migrated into China from the west.

There is no foundation, however, for the supposition, favoured by
some European writers, that the Nine Tripods (frequently mentioned
above) contained upon their surface "maps" of the empire; they
merely contained a summary, or a collection of pictures,
symbolizing the various tribute nations. On the other hand, there
is no trace in the "Tribute of Yii" of any knowledge of China
south of the Yarig-tsz River, south of its mouths, and south of
its connection with the lakes of Hu Nan. The "province" of Yang
Chou is vaguely said to extend from the Hwai River "south to the
sea." The "Blackwater" is the only river mentioned which exhibits
any knowledge of the west (i.e. of the west half of modern Kan Suh
province), and this "Blackwater" was crossed in 984 B.C. by the
Emperor Muh.

Then there is the tradition of Vii's predecessor, the Emperor
Shun, who, as mentioned in the last chapter, married the two
daughters of the Emperor Yao, and is buried at a point just south
of the Lake Tung-t'ing, in the modern province of Hu Nan: it is
certain that in 219 B.C., when the First August Emperor was on
tour, the mountain where the grave lay was pointed out to him at a
distance, if he did not actually go up to it. Again, the
grandfather of the Warrior King who founded the Chou dynasty in
1122 B.C. was, as already repeatedly pointed out, only a younger
brother, his two elder brothers having migrated to the Jungle,
and, proceeding thence eastward, founded a colony in Wu (half-way
between Nanking and Shanghai). Both Wu and Yiieh, for very many
centuries after that, were extremely petty states of only 50 or 60
miles in extent, and for all practical purposes of history may be
considered to have been one and the same region, to wit, the flat,
canal-cut territory through which the much-disputed Shanghai-
Hangchow railway is to run. After the death of the Martial King,
when his brother the Duke of Chou was Regent for his son, the duke
incurred the suspicion of other brethren and relatives as to his
motives, and had to retire for some time to Ts'u, or, as it was
then called, the Jungle country, for two years. There is a
tradition that a mission from one of the southern Yiieh states
found its way to the Duke of Chou, who is supposed to have fitted
up for the envoys a cart with a compass attached to it, in order
to keep the cart's head steadily south. This tradition, which only
appears as a _tradition_ in one of the dynastic histories of
the fifth century A. D., is not given at all in the earlier
standard history, and it is by no means proved that the
undoubtedly early Chinese knowledge of the loadstone extended to
the making of compasses. Yet, as Rénan has justly pointed out in
effect, in his masterly evidences of Gospel truth, a weak
tradition is better worth considering than no tradition at all.
Besides, there is some slight indirect confirmation of this, for
in 880 B.C. or thereabout, a King of Ts'u gave one of his younger
sons a Yiieh kingdom bearing almost the same double name as that
Yüeh kingdom from which the envoys in 1080 B.C. came to the Duke
of Chou; in each case the first part of the double name was Yiieh,
and the second part only differed slightly. Again, in or about
820, some of the sons of the king exiled themselves to a place
vaguely defined as "somewhere south of the Han River," which can
scarcely mean anything other than "the country of the Shan or
Siamese races," who lived then in and around Yiin Nan, and some of
whom are still known by the vague name used as here in 820 B.C.
The vagueness of habitat simply means that all south of the Han
and Yang-tsz was _terra_ incognita to China proper. There is
another tradition, unsupported by standard history, to the effect
that the Martial King enfeoffed a faithful minister of the emperor
and dynasty he had just supplanted as a vassal in Corea. Here,
again, if the emperor's own grandfather, or grand-uncles and
trusted friends, could find their way to Wu, and, later, to Japan,
not to mention Shan Tung and the Peking plain, it is reasonable to
permit a respected adherent of the dethroned monarch to find his
way to Corea, the more in that the centre of administrative
gravity of Corea was then Liao Tung and South Manchuria--at the
utmost the north part of modern Corea--rather than the Corean

In the year 649 the First Protector began to boast of having done
as much as any of the' three dynasties, Hia, Shang, and Chou,
during the 1500 years before him; he then defines the area of his
glory, which is circumscribed by (at the very utmost) the west
part of Shan Si, the south part of Ho Nan, the north part of the
Peking plain, and the Gulf of "Pechelee." The Second Protector,
when he safely reached his ancestral throne after nineteen years
of wanderings as Pretender, said to his faithful Tartar henchman
and father-in-law: "I have made the tour of the whole world (or
whole empire) with you." As a matter of fact, he had been with the
Tartars, certainly in central, and possibly also in northern Shan
Si; in Ts'i, which means the northern part of Shan Tung and
southern part of Chih Li; thence across the four small orthodox
states of Sung, Wei, Ts'ao, and CHÊNG (which simply means up the
Yellow River valley into Ho Nan), to Ts'u; and thence Ts'in
fetched him to put him on the Tsin throne. The Emperor was already
an obscure figure-head beneath all political notice, and no other
parts of what we now call China were known to the Protector, even
by name. As we shall see in a later chapter, Confucius covered the
same ground, except that he never went to Tsin or to Tartarland.
The first bare mention of Yiieh is in 670 B.C., when the new King
of Ts'u, who had assassinated his elder brother, and who therefore
wished to make amends for this crime and for his father's rude
conquests, and to consolidate his position by putting himself on
good behaviour to federal China, made dutiful advances to Lu and
to the Emperor (these two minor powers then best representing the
old ritual civilization). The Emperor replied: "Go on conquering
the barbarians and Yiieh, but let the Hia (i.e. orthodox Chinese)
states alone." In 601 Ts'u and Wu came to a friendly understanding
about their mutual frontiers, and Yiieh was also admitted to the
conclave or _entente_; but this was a local act, and had nothing
whatever to do with China proper, which first hears of Yiieh as an
independent or semi-independent power in 536, when the King
of Ts'u, with a string of conquered orthodox Chinese princes
in train as his allies, and also a Yiieh contingent, makes war on
Wu. In later days there is evidence showing that there was not
much general knowledge of China as a whole, and that interstate
intercourse was chiefly confined to next-door neighbours. For
instance, when Tsin boldly marched an army upon Ts'i in 589 B.C.,
it was considered a remarkable thing that Tsin chariots should
actually gaze upon the sea. In 560, when the Ts'i minister and
philosopher, Yen-tsz, was in Ts'u as envoy, and the Ts'u courtiers
were playing tricks upon him (as previously narrated in Chapter
IX.) he said: "I have heard it stated that when once you get south
of the Hwai River the oranges are good. In the same way, we
northerners produce but sorry rogues; the genuine article reaches
its perfection in Ts'u." Thus, even at this date, the Yang-tsz was
regarded much as the Romans of the Empire regarded the Danube--as
a sort of vague barrier between _civis_ and _barbarus_. In
no sense was the Ts'u capital--at no time were the bulk of the
Ts'u dominions--south of that Great River; nor, in fact, were the
capitals of Wu and Yiieh south of it either, for one of the three
mouths (the northernmost was as now), corresponded to the Soochow
Creek and the Wusung River, as they pass through the Shanghai
settlement of to-day; whilst the other ancient mouth entered the
sea at modern Hangchow. We have given various other evidence above
to show that, even earlier than this, the Yang-tsz was an
unexplored region, known, and that only imperfectly and locally,
to the Ts'u government alone. In the year 656 B.C. the First
Protector called Ts'u to book because, in 1003 B.C., the Emperor
had made a tour to the Great River and had never returned (see
Chapter XX-XV.). Again, when the imperial power collapsed in 771
B.C., the first Earl of CHÊNG (a relative of the Emperor)
consulted the imperial astrologer as to where he had better
establish his new fief: his own idea was to settle southwards on
the borders of the Yang-tsz; but he was dissuaded from this step
on the ground that the Ts'u power would grow accordingly as the
Chou power declined, and thus CHÊNG would all the easier fall a
prey to Ts'u in the future if she migrated now so far south. The
astrologer makes another observation which supports the view that
Ts'u and orthodox China were originally of the same prehistoric
stock. He says: "When the remote ancestor of Ts'u did good service
to the Emperor (2400 B.C.), his renown was great, yet his
descendants never became so flourishing as those of the Chou
family." In 597 B.C., when the Earl of CHÊNG really was at the
mercy of Ts'u, he said: "If you choose to send me south of the
Yang-tsz towards the South Sea, I shall not have the right to
object"; meaning, "no exile, however remote, is too severe for my
deserts." In 549, when the Tsin generals were marching against
Ts'u, they were particularly anxious to find good CHÊNG guides who
knew the routes well. Finally, in 541, a Tsin statesman made the
following observations to a prince (afterwards king) of Ts'u, who
was then on a mission to Tsin, by way of illustrating for his
visitor the conquests and distant expeditions of ancient times:--

"The Emperor Shun (who married Yao's two daughters, and employed
the founder of the Hia dynasty as his minister) was obliged to
imprison the prince of the Three Miao (in Hu Nan; the savages of
Hu Nan and Kwei Chou provinces are still called _Miao_); the
Hia dynasty had to deal with quarrels in (modern) Shan Tung and
Shen Si; the Shang dynasty had to do the same in (modern) Kiang
Su; the early Chou monarchs the same in (modern) North Kiang Su
and South Shan Tung: but, now that there are no able emperors, all
the vassals are at loggerheads. Wu and P'uh (the supposed Shan or
Siamese region above referred to) are giving you trouble; but it
is no one's concern but yours."

From all this it is quite plain, though the Chinese historians and
philosophers never seem to have discerned it clearly themselves,
that the cultivated or orthodox Chinese, that is, the group of
closely related monosyllabic and tonic tribes which alone
possessed the art of writing, and thus inevitably took the lead
and gradually civilized the rest, covered but a very small area of
ground even at the time of Confucius' death in 479 B.C., and were
completely ignorant of everything but the bare names of all the
regions surrounding this orthodox nucleus, which nucleus was
therefore rightly called the "Central State," as China is, by
extension, now still called.

[Illustration: MAP

1. Si-ngan Fu (and Hien-yang opposite, on the north bank of the
River Wei), marked with circles in a lozenge, were the capitals of
China, off and on, from 220 B.C. for over a thousand years. The
ancient capital of the Chou dynasty, forsaken in 771 B.C., is
marked with a cross in a circle and is west of Si-ngan. In 771
B.C. the Emperor fled east to his "east capital" (founded 300
years before that date), which then became the sole metropolis,
called _Loh_ (from the river on which it stands); it is also
marked with a cross inside a circle and is practically the modern
Ho-nan Fu; it has, off and on, been the capital of all China,
alternately with Si-ngan Fu, in later times.

2. The ford where the first Chou Emperor (122 B.C.) made an
appointment with all his vassals is marked by two dotted lines
across the Yellow River.

3. The two dots in a half-circle mark the spot whither Tsin
"summoned" the Emperor to the durbar of 632 B.C. After this, Tsin
obtained from the Emperor cession of the strip between the Yellow
River and the Ts'in River (nothing to do with Ts'in state).

4. There is a second River Loh separating Ts'in state from Tsin
state. The territory between this River Loh and the Yellow River
was alternately held by Tsin and Ts'in.

5. The territory between the more southerly River Loh and the
Yellow River and River I was the shorn imperial appanage after
Ts'in had in 771 B.C. obtained the west half; after Tsin in 632
had obtained the remaining north half; and after Ts'u had nibbled
away the petty orthodox vassals south of latitude 34".]



The Chinese, with the single exception of their Great Wall, have
always been flimsy builders, and there is accordingly very little
left in the way of monuments to prove the antiquity of their
civilization. Mention has already been made of the tombs of the
Emperors Shun and Yii (2200 B.C.). The tomb of another Hia dynasty
emperor (1837 B.C.) lay twenty miles north of Yung-ning in Ho
Nan,' where Ts'in, in 627 B.C., was annihilated by Tsin (see p.
30). The tomb (long. 115ø, lat. 33ø) of the King of Ts'u who died
in 689 B.C. was pillaged about 500 years later, but landslips
defeated the thieves' objects. The First Protector's tomb, seven
miles south of his capital in Shan Tung--the town still marked on
the maps as Lin-tsz--was desecrated in A.D. 312. A small pond of
mercury was found inside, besides arms, valuables, and the bones
of those buried with him. The palace of the Ts'u king of 617
B.C.,--son of the one whose death that year was respectfully
chronicled by Confucius--is still the yam&. or _protorium_ of
the district magistrate at King-thou Fu, and can perhaps even yet
be seen from any passing steamers that circulate above the treaty-
port of Sha-shf. There is a doubt about the date of this king's
tomb (d. 593); some place it near the palace, others over 100
miles north, near the modern city of Siang-yang. It is possible
that, after the sacking of the capital by Wu, in 506, the bodies
of former kings were at once removed to the new temporary capital
(far to the north) to which the old name was given. For instance,
it is certain that the king who died in 545 was buried quite close
to the capital (King-thou Fu). Ki-chah's tomb, with Confucius'
inscription upon it in ancient character, is still shown at a
place ten miles west of Kiang-yin (where the modern forts are,
below Nanking) and twenty miles east of Ch'ang-chou; probably the
new "British" railway passes quite close to the place, as do the
steamers: for the past 400 years sacrifices have been annually
offered to Ki-chah's memory: as Confucius never visited Wu, the
inscription, if genuine, must have been sent thither. The tomb of
Ki-chah's nephew, King of Wu, is still to be seen outside one of
the gates of Soochow; or, rather, the temple built on the site is
there, for the tomb itself was desecrated and pillaged by the
armies of Yueh, when they sacked the capital in 482. There was,
originally, a triple copper coffin, a small pond, and some water
birds made of gold (probably symbolic of sport), arms, valuables,
etc.; but nothing is said of human beings having been sacrificed.
It was said (2000 years ago) that elephants had been employed in
carrying the earth and building materials for this tomb. In 506
the vengeful Ts'u officer who had fled to Wu, and had incited the
King of Wu to do all he could to ruin Ts'u, actually opened the
royal grave, in or near the capital, and flogged the corpse of the
dead king who had so grievously offended him and his family.

In the year 501 the original bow and sceptre given by the warrior
king to his brother, the Duke of Chou, founder of the State of Lu,
was stolen from its resting-place, but was luckily recovered the
following year. Incidentally this statement is of value; for when
the King of Ts'u, as narrated above, was making his demands upon
the Emperor, one of his grievances was that he possessed no relics
of the founder such as the presents which had been made by him to
Ts'i, Lu, Yen, Tsin, and other favoured states of no greater
status than his own. The above are only a few instances out of
many which show how, from age to age, the Chinese have seen with
their own eyes things which in the vista of the distance now seem
to us uncertain and incredible. As usual, Ts'in gives us nothing
in the way of antiquity; another proof that, until she conceived
the idea of conquering China, she was totally unknown (internally)
to orthodox China. Confucius' own house, temple, grave, and park
form an absolutely unbroken link with the past. There are remains
and the relics of the Duke of Chou in the immediate neighbourhood,
and it must not be forgotten that the Duke of Chou and his ritual
system were Confucius' models: as Confucius insisted, "I am only a
transmitter of antiquity." Moderns, and especially foreigners,
have forgotten or reck nothing about the Duke of Chou; yet his
remains and temples were just as much a matter of visible history
to Confucius as Confucius' grounds are to us. Each successive
generation in China alludes to existing antiquities, or to
contemporaneous objects which have since become antiquities, with
the quiet confidence of those who actually possess, and who doubt
not of their possessions. The very _lacunae_ are pointed out
by themselves--no scepticism of ours is required; for whenever any
historian, or any less formal writer, has outstepped the bounds of
truth or probability, the critics are immediately there, and they
always frankly say what they believe. In a word, the Chinese
documents, be they iron, stone, wood, silk, paper, buildings, or
graves; and their traditions, are the sole evidence we possess:
Chinese critics were the sole critics of that evidence; and they
are the sole light by which we foreigners can become critics. The
great Chinese defect in criticism is the failure to work out
general principles, and to criticize constructively as well as
analytically. Their history is a rule of thumb, hand to mouth,
diary sort of arrangement, like a vast museum of genuine but
unclassified and unticketed objects. But there is no good reason
whatever for our doubting the genuineness of either traditions or
documents beyond the point of scepticism to which native Chinese
doubts go, for it must be remembered that no foreigner possesses
one tenth of the mass of Chinese learning that the professional
literatus easily assimilates. All we can do is to re-group, and
extract principles.



It is important to insist on the very close relations that existed
between the Chinese and the Tartars from the very earliest times.
All that we are told for certain is that they were north and west
of the older dynasties, and especially in occupation of the Upper
Wei River, on the lower part of which the old metropolis of Si-
ngan Fu lies; which means that they were exactly where we find
them in Confucian times, and where we find them now, except that
they have been pushed a little further back, and that Chinese
colonists have appropriated most of the oases. The Chou ancestor
who died in 1231, _i.e._ the father of the founders of Wu,
and the great-grandfather of the founder of the Chou dynasty
(1122), had to abandon to the encroaching Tartars his appanage on
the Upper King River (a northern tributary of the Wei, which runs
almost parallel with it, and joins it at Si-ngan Fu), and was
obliged to move southwards to the Upper Wei River. For nearly 1000
years previous to this, his ancestors, who had originally been
forced to fly to the Tartars in order to avoid the misgovernment
of the third Hia emperor, had lived among and had, whilst
continuing the Chinese art of cultivating, partly become Tartars;
for in 1231 B.C. the migrating host is said to have renounced
Tartar manners, and to have devoted themselves seriously to
building and cultivating; from which it necessarily follows that
Tartar manners must for some time have been definitely adopted by
the Chou family. The grandson of the migrator, the father of the
Chou founder, had various little wars with a tribe called the Dog
Tartars. Over 1000 years after that first flight to Tartardom, we
have seen that the Emperor Muh, great-grandson of the Chou
founder, not only had brushes with the Tartars, but extended his
tours amongst them to the Lower Tarim Valley, Turfan, Harashar,
and possibly even as far as Urumtsi and Kuché; but certainly no
farther. Two hundred years later, again, the then ruling Emperor
was defeated by the Tartars in (modern) Central Shan Si province,
and the descendant in the sixth generation of the Ts'in Jehu who
had conducted the Emperor Muh's chariot into Tartarland, only just
succeeded in saving the Emperor's life; but this family of Chao,
which was thus (_cf._ p. 206) of one and the same descent
with the Ts'in family, subsequently found its account in
abandoning the imperial interest altogether, and in serving the
rising principality of Tsin (Shan Si), where it became one of the
"six families," three of which six in 403 B.C. were ultimately
recognized by the Emperor as independent rulers. As we have said
over and over again, in 772 B.C. the Chou Emperor, through female
intrigues, got into trouble with the Tartars, and was killed: his
successor had to move the metropolis east to (modern) Ho-nan Fu,
thus abandoning the western part of his patrimony--the semi-Tartar
half--to Ts'in. Thus Ts'in in 771 B.C. was to the Chou Emperors
what Chou, previous to 1200 B.C., had been to the Shang Emperors.

We now come to strictly historical times, and we shall have no
difficulty in showing that even then--h _fortiori_ in times
not strictly historical--the various Tartar tribes were still in
practical possession of the whole north bank of the Yellow River,
all the way from the Desert to the sea. In fact, in 494 B.C., when
the King of Wu sent a giant's bone to Lu for further explanation,
Confucius said that the "Long Tartars" (who had frequent fights
with Lu in the seventh century B.C.) used to extend south-east
into (modern) Kiang Su, almost as far as the mouth of the Yang-tsz
River: he also says that, had it not been for the energy of the
First Protector and his statesman adviser, the philosopher Kwan-
tsz of Ts'i, orthodox China would certainly have become
Tartarized. It was Confucius also whose learning enabled him to
recognize a (Manchu) arrow found in the body of a migrating goose.
In the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. the Tartars made repeated
and obstinate attacks upon Yen (Peking plain), Ts'i (coast Chih Li
and north Shan Tung), Wei (south Chih Li and north Ho Nan), Sung
(extreme east Ho Nan), Ts'ao (central Ho Nan), and the Emperor's
territory (west Ho Nan). This situation explains to us why the
Protector system arose in China, in competition with the waning
imperial power. Ts'in and Tsin, being already half Tartar
themselves, were always well able to cope with and even to annex
the Tartar tribes in their immediate vicinity; but orthodox China
was ever a prey to the more easterly Tartar attacks; and thus the
Emperors, threatened by Ts'u to their south, and in a measure also
by Ts'in and Tsin to their north and west, not only could not any
longer protect their orthodox vassals lying towards the east from
Tartar attacks, but could not even protect themselves.

It was Ts'i that drove back the Mongol-Manchu tribes and rescued
Yen in 662; it was the Ts'i ruler who led a coalition of princes
against other groups of Tartars and placed back on his ancestral
throne the ruler of Wei, who had been driven from his country by
Tartars in 658; it was the First Protector, ruler of Ts'i, who
managed to pacify the more westerly Tartars we find persistently
menacing the Emperor in 648; to whose rescue the Tartars came in
642, when a coalition of orthodox Chinese princes shamelessly took
advantage of the First Protector's death to attack Ts'i during the
mourning period. Now it was that the Second Protector, still a
refugee among his Tartar relatives, started for Ts'i, his original
idea being to replace the philosopher Kwan-tsz as adviser to the
First Protector; but, shortly after he reached Ts'i, the First
Protector died, and it was only by stratagem that his friends
succeeded in rescuing the future Second Protector from the arms of
his Ts'i Delilah and his _d'elices de_ Capue. His chief adviser,
and at the same time his brother-in-law from a Tartar point of view,
was the lineal descendant of the Chao man who had saved the
Emperor in 800 B.C. He set out, _via_ the orthodox states,
for his own country. These petty orthodox states, such as Wei,
Cheng, and Ts'ao, which did not then see their way to profit
politically by the Pretender's visit, paid the penalty of their
meanness and their rudeness to him later on. Sung was polite, as
at that time Sung and Ts'u were both aiming at the Protectorship.
Ts'u's hospitality was bluff and good-natured, the King being too
strong to fear, and too unsophisticated to intrigue after Chinese
fashion. Just then news coming from Ts'in that the Pretender's
brothers had all resigned or died, and that his chance had now
come, the Pretender hurried to Tsin, regained his throne, and was
acclaimed Protector of China exactly at the critical moment when a
strong hand was urgently required to check the particular
ambitions of Ts'in, Ts'i, and Ts'u. Ts'u was too barbarous; Sung
was too pedantic; Tsin alone had unrivalled experience both of
Tartars and Eastern barbarians, and also of Southern barbarians
(Ts'u). Probably it was only the fact of the Tsin ruling family
bearing the same clan-name as the Emperor that had decided Tsin
throughout to be orthodox Chinese instead of Tartar. The Tartar
family into which the Second Protector had married as a
comparatively young man was, however, also of the imperial clan-
name, i.e. it was of orthodox Chinese origin, but (even like the
Chou imperial family at one time) it had adopted Tartar customs. A
large number of the one thousand or more petty Chinese principalities,
attached not directly to the Emperor, but to the greater vassals
as mesne lords, were in the same predicament; that is to say,
they were of Chinese origin, but they had found that it paid them
best to adopt barbarian ways. It was exactly as though Scipio
should settle in Carthage, and become a Carthaginian: C'sar
in Gaul, and adopt Gallic customs; and so on with other Roman
adventurers who should find a comfortable _gîte_ in Persia,
Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, or even in Britain and Germany.

The main point upon which to fix the attention is this. The
Chinese nucleus was very small, and only by rudely thrusting aside
incompetent emperors and fussy ritual did it succeed in
emancipating itself from Tartar bondage. That this is not an
exaggerated view is additionally plain from the fact that Tartars
have, even since Confucian times, ruled more and longer than have
Chinese over North China; the Mongols (1260-1368) were the first
Tartars to rule over all China, and nominally over all West Asia;
the Manchus (1643-1908) are the first Tartars to rule all China,
all Manchuria, and all Mongolia, at all effectively; and they have
even added parts of Turkestan, with Tibet, Nepaul, and other
countries over which the Peking imperial Mongol influence was
always very shadowy.



In these pictures of ancient Chinese life which we are
endeavouring to present, the idea is to repeat from every point of
view the main characteristics of that life, so that a strange and
unfamiliar subject, very loosely depicted in the straggling annals
of antiquity, may receive fresh rays of light from every possible
quarter, and thus stand out clearer as a connected whole.

Take, for instance, the subject of music, which always played in
Chinese ceremonial a prominent part not easy for us now to
understand. One of the chief sights of the modern Confucian
residence is the music-room, containing specimens of all the
ancient musical instruments, which, on occasion, are still played
upon in chorus; a picture of them has been published by Father
Tschepe. (See page 128.) According to the description given by
this European visitor, the music is of a most discordant and ear-
splitting description: but that does not necessarily dispose of
the question; for even parts of Wagner's Ring are a meaningless
clang to those who hear the music for the first time, and who are
unable to read the score or to follow out the "classical" style.
As we have said before, the ancient emperors, at their banquets
given to vassals and others, always had musical accompaniment.

In 626 B.C., when the ruler of Ts'in received a mission from "the
Tartar king" (probably a local king or chief), he was much struck
with the sagacity of the envoy sent to him. This envoy still spoke
the Tsin language or dialect; but his parents, who were of Tsin
origin, had adopted Tartar manners. The envoy was also an author,
and his work, in two sections, had survived at least up to the
second century B.C.: he is classed amongst the "Miscellaneous
Writers." The subject of the conversation was the superiority of
simple Tartar administration as compared with the intricate ritual
of the Odes, the Book, the Rites, and the "Music" of orthodox
China. The beginnings of Lao-tsz's Taoism seem to peep out from
this Tartar's words, just as they do with other "Miscellaneous"
authors. The wily Ts'in ruler, in order to secure this clever
envoy for his own service, sent two bands of female musicians as a
present to the Tartar king, so as to make him less virile; 140
years later the cunning ruler of Ts'i did much the same thing in
order to prevent the Duke of Lu from growing too strong; and the
immediate consequence was that Confucius left his fickle master in
disgust. Ki-chah, Prince of Wu, was entertained whilst at Lu with
specimens of music from the different states. When he came to the
Ts'in music, he said: "Ha! ha! the words are Chinese! When Ts'in
becomes quite Chinese, it will have a great future." This remark
suggests a Ts'in language or dialect different from that of Tsin,
and also from that of more orthodox China. In 546 B.C., when a
mission from Ts 'u to Tsin was accompanied by a high officer from
the disputed orthodox state of Ts'ai lying between those two great
powers, the theory of music as an adjunct to government was
discussed. Confucius' view a century later was that music best
reflected a nation's manners, and that in good old times authority
was manifested quite as much in rites and ceremonies as in laws
and pronouncements. Previous to that, in 582, it had been
discovered that Ts'u had a musical style of her own; and in 579,
when the Tsin envoy was received there in state, among other
instruments of music observed there were suspended bells.

Thus both Ts'in and Ts'u at this date were still in the learning
stage. Before ridiculing the idea that music could in any way
serve as a substitute for preaching or commanding, we must reflect
upon the awe-inspiring contribution of music to our own religious
services, not to mention the "speaking" effect of our Western
nocturnes, symphonies, and operatic music generally.

In 562 B.C., when a statesman of Tsin (whose fame in this
connection endures to our own days) succeeded in establishing a
permanent understanding with the Tartars, based upon joint trading
rights and reasonable mutual concessions, the principle of
interesting the Tartars in cultivation, industry, and so on; as a
reward for his distinguished services, he was presented with
certain music, which meant that he had the political right to have
certain musical airs performed in his presence. This concession
ceases to seem ridiculous or even strange to us if we reflect what
an honour it would have been to, say, the Duke of Wellington, or
to Nelson, had the right to play "God Save the King" at dinner
been granted to his family band of musicians. Four centuries
before this, when the Emperor Muh made his tour amongst the
Tartars, he always commanded that one particular musical air
(named) should be struck up by his musicians on certain occasions
(always stated in the narrative). In Tsin, and probably elsewhere,
music-masters seem to have combined soothsaying and philosophy
with their functions; thus, in 558 the music-master of that state
was questioned on the arts of good government, to which he
replied: "Goodness and justice"--two special antipathies, by the
way, of Lao-tsz the Taoist, who lived about this time as an
archive-keeper at the metropolis. In the year 555, either this
same man or another musical prophet in Tsin reassured his fellow-
countrymen who were dreading a Ts'u invasion with the following
words: "I have just been conducting a song consisting of north and
south airs, and the latter sound as though the south would be
defeated." But music also had its lighter uses, for we have seen
in Chapter VI. how in 549 two Tsin generals took their ease in a
comfortable cart, playing the banjo, whilst passing through Cheng
to attack Ts'u. Music was used at worship as well as at court; in
527 the ruler of Lu, as a mark of respect for one of his deceased
ministers, abandoned the playing of music, which otherwise would
have been a constituent part of the sacrifice or worship he had in
hand at the moment. Even in modern China, music is prohibited
during solemn periods of mourning, and officials are often
degraded for attending theatrical performances on solemn fasts. In
212 B.C., when the First August Emperor was, like Saul or
Belshazzar, beginning to grow sad at the contemplation of his
lonely and unloved greatness, he was suddenly startled at the fall
of a meteoric stone, bearing upon it what looked like a warning
inscription. He at once ordered his learned men to compose some
music treating of "true men" and immortals, in order to exorcise
the evil omen; it may be mentioned that this emperor's Taoist
proclivities have apparently had the indirect result that the word
"true man" has come century by century down to us, with the
meaning of "Taoist priest," or "Taoist inspired person."



A traveller in modern China may still wonder at the utter absence
of any sign of wealth or luxury except in the very largest towns.
Fine clothes, jewels, concubines, rich food, aphrodisiacs, opium,
land, cattle--these represent "wealth" as conceived by the Chinese
rich man's mind. In 655 Ts'in is said to have paid five ram-skins
to Ts'u in order to secure the services of a coveted adviser. Not
many years after that, when the future Second Protector was making
his terms with the King of Ts'u, he remarked: "What can I do for
you in return? You already possess all the slaves, musicians,
treasures, silks, feathers, ivory, and leather you can want." In
606 a magnificent turtle was sent as a new year's dinner present
from Ts'u to Cheng; in modern China this form of politeness would
never do at all, as the turtle has acquired an evil reputation as
a term of abuse, akin to the Spanish use or abuse of the word
"garlic": however, I myself once experienced, when inland, far
away from the sea, a curious compliment in the shape of a live
crab two inches long (sent to me as a great honour) in a small
jar. Of course chairs were unknown, and even the highest sat or
squatted on mats; not necessarily on the ground, but spread on
couches. Hence the word survives the object, just as with us
("covers" at dinner are "provided" but never seen; thus in China a
host is "east mat" and a guest "west mat.") In 626, when the ruler
of Ts'in was talking politics with the Tartar envoy just mentioned
above, he allowed him, as a special favour, to sit alongside of
his own mat (on the couch). These couches probably resembled the
modern settee, sofa, _k'ang,_ or divan, such as all visitors
to China have seen and sat on. Tea was quite unknown in those
days, and is not mentioned before the seventh century A.D.; but
possibly wine may have been served, as tea is now, on a low table
between the two seats. "Tartar couches" (possibly Turkish divans)
are frequently mentioned, even in the field of battle, and in
comparatively modern times. In 300 B.C. Ts'u made a present to a
distinguished renegade prince of the Ts'i house of an "elephant
couch," by which is probably meant a couch inlaid with ivory, in
the present well-known Annamese style.

In 589 B.C., when Tsin troops reached the Ts'i capital and the sea
(as already related in Chapters VI. and XXXIX. under the heads of
Armies and Geographical Knowledge), T'si endeavoured to purchase
peace by offering to the victor the state treasure in the shape of
precious utensils. In 551 a rich man of Ts'u was considered
insolently showy because he possessed forty horses. In 545 the
envoy from Cheng, acting under the Peace Conference agreement so
often previously described and alluded to, brings presents of furs
and silks to Ts'u; and in 537 Tsin speaks of such articles as
often being presented to Ts'u. In 494, when the King of Yiieh
received his great defeat at the hands of the King of Wu, his
first desperate idea was to kill his wives and children, burn his
valuables, and seek death at the head of his troops; but the
inevitable wily Chinese adviser was at hand, and the King ended by
taking his mentor's advice and successfully bribing the Wu general
(a Ts'u renegade) with presents of women and valuables. When this
shrewd Chinese adviser of the Yueh king had, by his sagacious
counsels, at last secured the final defeat of Wu, he packed up his
portable valuables, pearls, and jades, collected his family and
clients, and went away by sea, never to come back. As a matter of
fact, he settled in Ts'i, where he made an enormous fortune in the
fish trade, and ultimately became the traditional Croesus of
China, his name being quite as well known to modern Chinese
through the Confucian historians, as the name of Croesus is to
modern Europeans through Herodotus. He had, between the two
defeats of Yiieh by Wu and Wu by Yiieh, served for several years
as a spy in Wu, and the fact of his reaching Shan Tung by sea
confirms in principle the story of the family of his contemporary,
the King of Wu, having similarly escaped to Japan. The place where
he landed was probably the same as where the celebrated pilgrim
Fah Hien landed, after his Indian pilgrimage, in 415 A.D., i.e.,
at the German port of Ts'ing-tao.

We do not hear much of gold in the earlier times, but in 237 B.C.,
when Ts'in was straining every nerve to conquer China, the
(future) First August Emperor was advised that "it would not cost
more than 300,000 pounds weight in gold to bribe the ministers of
all the states in league against Ts'in." Yet in 643 B.C., on the
death of the First Protector, the orthodox state of Cheng (lying
between Ts'i and Tsin to the north and Ts'u to the south), was
bribed with "metal" of some sort--probably gold or silver--to
abandon Ts'i. In 538 the celebrated Cheng statesman Tsz-ch'an
informs his Ts'u colleagues that the Tsin officers "think of
nothing but money." What kind of money this was is doubtful, but
it will be remembered that about this time the "powerful family"
of Lu had succeeded in bribing the Tsin ministers, or the "six
great families" then managing Tsin, to deny justice to the
fugitive Lu duke. In 513 B.C. the powerful Wu king who made
(modern) Soochow his capital is said to have possessed both iron
and gold mines, and it is stated that not even China proper could
turn out better weapons. Large "cash" are said to have been coined
by the Emperor who reigned from 540 to 520 B.C.; and in 450 B.C.
the King of Ts'u is reported to have "closed his _depot_ of
the three moneys." As only copper was coined, it is not easy to
say now what the other two "moneys" were. In 318 B.C. a bribe of
"one hundred golds" was given by Yen to one of the well-known
political diplomats or intriguers then forming leagues with or
against Ts'in; it is not known for certain how much this was at
that particular time and place; but a century or two later it
meant, under the Ts'in dynasty, twenty-four ounces; during the Han
dynasty, conquerors of the Ts'in dynasty, it was only about half
that. Cooks seem to have held official positions of considerable
dignity. "Meat-eaters" in Confucian times was a term for
"officials" or "the rich." Thus when the haughty King of Wu was
suddenly recalled home, from his high-handed durbar with Tsin, Lu,
and other orthodox states, to go and deal with his formidable
enemy of Yueh, he turned quite pale. By dint of bold "bluff" he
managed after all to gain most of his political points, and to
retire from an awkward corner with honour; but Chinese spies had
their eyes on him none the less, and reported to the watchful
enemy that "meat-eaters are not usually blackfaced"--meaning that
the King of Wu evidently had some very recent bad news on his
mind, for "the well-fed do not usually look care-worn."

Silk was universally known. When the Second Protector (to be) was
dallying with his lady-love in Ts'i, the maid of his mistress
happened to overhear important conversations from her post in a
mulberry tree; the presumption is that she was collecting leaves
for the silkworms. Again in 519, a century later, there was a
dispute on the Ts'u-Wu frontier (North An Hwei province), about
the possession of certain mulberry trees. Cotton (_Gossypium_)
was unknown in China, and the poorer classes wore garments of
hempen materials; the cotton tree (_Bombyx_) was known in
the south, but then (as now) the catkins could not be woven
into cloth. It was never the custom of officers in China to wear
swords, until in 409 B.C. Ts'in introduced the practice; but it
probably never extended to orthodox China, so far, at least, as
civilians' were concerned. The three dynasties of Hia, Shang, and
Chou had all made use of jade or malachite rings, tablets,
sceptres, and so on, as marks of official rank.

As to sports, hunting, and especially fowling, seem to have been
the most popular pastimes. In 660 a prince of Wei (orthodox) is
said to have had a passion for egret fights. In 539 four-horsed
chariots are mentioned as being used in a great Ts'u hunt south of
the modern Teh-an in northern Hu Peh province, then mostly jungle:
these hunts were used as a sort of training for war as well as for
sport. The celebrated "stone drums" discovered in the seventh
century A.D. near the old Chou capital describe the war-hunts of
the active emperor mentioned in Chapter XLI. As might be expected,
Yen (Peking plain) would be well off for horses-to this day
brought by the Mongols in droves to Peking: in 539 it is said of
Yen: "She was never a strong power, in spite of her numerous
horses." In 534 a great hunt in Lu is described with much detail;
here also chariots were used, and their shafts were reared in
opposite rows with their tips meeting above, so as to form a
"shaft gate," on which, besides, a flag was kept flying. The
entrance to Chinese official _yamens_ is still called "the
shaft gate";-in fact, the _ya_ was orginally a flag, and "_yamen_"
simply means "flag gate." In the Middle Ages the Turkish Khans'
encampments were always spoken of as their ya--thus: "from
hence 1500 miles north-west to the Khan's _ya_." Cockfighting
was a common sport in Ts'i and Lu. In 517 B.C. two prominent
Lu functionaries had a quarrel because one had put metal
spurs on his bird, whilst the other had scattered mustard in the
feathers of his fighting cock: owing to the ambiguity or double
meaning of one of the pictographs employed, it is not quite
certain that "mustard in the wings" may not mean "a metal helmet
on the head." Lifting weights was (as now) a favourite exercise;
in 307 a Ts'in prince died from the effects of a strain produced
in trying to lift a heavy metal tripod. In Ts'i games at ball,
including a kind of football, were played. As a rule, however, it
is to be feared that the wealthy Chinese classes in ancient (as in
modern) times found their chief recreation in feasting, literary
bouts, and female society. Curiously enough, nothing is said of
gambling. Women are depicted at their looms, or engaged upon the
silk industry; but it is singular how very little is said of home
life, of how the houses were constructed, of how the hours of
leisure were passed. In modern China the bulk of the male rural
population rises with or before the dawn, and is engaged upon
field or garden work until the shades of evening fall in; there is
no artificial light adequate for purposes of needlework or private
study; even the consolations of tobacco and tea--not to say opium,
and now newspapers--were unknown in Confucian days. It is
presumed, therefore, that life was even more humdrum than it is
now, except that women at least had feet to walk upon. We gain
some glimpses of excessive taxation and popular misery, forced
labour and the press-gang; of callous luxury on the part of the
rich, from the pages of Lao-tsz and Mencius; the Book of Odes also
tells us much about the pathetic sadness of the people under their
taskmasters' hands. In all countries popular habits change slowly;
in none more so than in China. We are driven, therefore, by
comparison with the life of to-day to conclude that life in those
times was sufficiently wretched, and it is therefore not to be
wondered at that the miserable people readily sold their services
to the first ambitious adventurer who could protect them, and feed
them from day to day.



Confucius has hitherto appeared to many of us Westerners as a
stiff, incomprehensible individual, resting his claim to
immortality upon sententious nothingnesses directed to no obvious
practical purpose; but, from the slight sketches of the manners of
the times in which he lived given above, it will be apparent that
he was a practical man with a definite object in view, and that
both his barebones history and his jerky moral teachings were the
best he could do with sorry material, and in the face of
inveterate corruption and tyranny. It has been explained how the
Warrior King who conquered China for the Chou family in 1122,
about a dozen years later enfeoffed the elder brother of the last
Shang dynasty emperor in the country of Sung, where he ruled the
greater part of what was left of the late dynasty's immediate
_entourage_, and kept up the sacrifices. This is what Confucius
meant when he said: "There remain not in K'i sufficient indications
of what the institutions of the Hia dynasty were; but I have studied
in Sung what survives of the Shang dynasty institutions. In practice
I follow the Chou dynasty institutions, as I have studied them at
home in Lu." K'i was a very petty state of marquess rank situated
near Lu, to which, indeed, it was subordinate; but just as Sung had,
as representatives of the Shang dynasty, the privilege of carrying out
certain imperial sacrifices, so had K'i, as representatives of the Hia
dynasty (enfeoffed by Chou in 1122), an equal right to distinction.
Confucius' ancestors were natives of Sung and scions of the ducal
family reigning there; in fact, in 893 his ancestor ought to have
succeeded to the Sung throne: in 710 B.C. the last of these
ancestors to hold high official rank in Sung was killed, together
with his princely master; and several generations after that the
great-grandfather of Confucius, in order to avoid the secular
spite of the powerful family who had so killed his ancestor,
decided to migrate to Lu. In other words, he just crossed the
modern Grand Canal (then the river Sz, which rose in Lu), and
moved a few days' journey north-east to the nearest civilized
state of any standing. Confucius' father is no mythical personage,
but a stout, common soldier, whose doughty deeds under three
successive dukes are mentioned in the Lu history quite in a casual
and regular way. When still quite a child, Confucius disclosed a
curious fancy for playing with sacrificial objects and practising
ceremonies, just as English children in the nursery sometimes play
at "being parson and sexton," and at "having feasts." When he grew
up to manhood, a high officer of Lu foretold his future greatness,
not only on account of his precociously grave demeanour, but also
because he was in direct descent from the Shang dynasty, and
because the intrigues that had taken place in Sung had deprived
him of his succession rights there also. This high officer's two
sons, both frequently mentioned by various contemporary authors,
and one of whom subsequently went with Confucius to visit Lao-tsz
at the imperial court, thereupon studied the rites under the man
of whom their father had spoken so well. The only official
appointment in Lu that Confucius was able to obtain at this period
was that of steward to one of the "powerful families" then engaged
in the task, so congenial in those times all over China, of
undermining the ducal authority; this appointment was a kind of
stewardship, in which his duties consisted in tallying the
measures of grain and checking the heads of cattle. One of the two
sons of the above-mentioned statesman who had foreseen Confucius'
distinction, some time after this submitted a request to the ruler
of Lu that he might proceed in company with Confucius to visit the
imperial capital; and it is supposed by Sz-ma Ts'ien, the
historian of 100 B.C., that this was the occasion on which took
place the philosopher's famous interview with Lao-tsz. In this
connection there are two or three remarks to make. In the first
place, it is recorded of nearly all the vassal states that they
either did pay visits to, or wished to visit, the metropolis; and
that royal dukes and royal historians, either at vassal request or
under imperial instruction, took part in advising vassal states.
In the second place, as Confucius then held no high office, his
visit, being a private affair, would not be considered worth
mentioning in the Lu annals, and it would therefore almost follow
as a matter of course that the young man who accompanied him,
being of official status by birth, would count as the chief
personage. In the third place, there is no instance in the
Confucian histories of a mere archive-keeper or a mere philosopher
being mentioned on account of his importance in that capacity.
Such men as Tsz-ch'an, Shuh Hiang, Ki-chah, and the other
distinguished "ritualists" of the time, are not mentioned so much
on account of their abstract teachings as they are on account of
their being able statesmen, competent to stave off the rising tide
of revolutionary opinions. Even Confucius himself only appears in
contemporary annals as an able administrator and diplomat; there
is no particular mention of his "school," and, _a fortiori,_
he himself does not mention Lao-tsz's "school," even if Lao-tsz
had one; for he disapproved of Lao-tsz's republican and democratic
way of construing the ancient _tao._ Finally, neither Confucius
nor Lao-tsz, however great their local reputations, were
yet universally "great"; they were consequently as little the
objects of hero-worship as was Shakespeare when he was at the
height of his activity; and of the living Shakespeare we know next
to nothing. At this time Lu was in a quandary, surrounded by the
rival great powers of Tsin, Ts'i, and Ts'u, all three of which
absolutely ignored the Emperor, except so far as they might
succeed in using him and his ritualistic prestige as a cat's-paw
in their own selfish interests. When Confucius was thirty years of
age (522 B.C.) the ruler of Ts'i, accompanied by his minister the
philosopher Yen-tsz, paid a visit to Lu, and had a discussion with
Confucius upon the question: "How did Ts'in, from beginnings so
small and obscure, reach her present commanding position?" Besides
this, the Ts'i ruler and his henchman Yen-tsz both took the
opportunity to study the rites at Lu. This fact seems to support
the (later) statement that Confucius had himself been to study the
rites at the metropolis, and also to explain Confucius' own
confession that he did not understand much about the Hia dynasty
institutions that used to exist in K'i,--a state lying eastward of
Ts'i. In 520 the last envoy ever sent from Lu to the Chou
metropolis reported on his return that the imperial family was in
a state of feud and anarchy: if, as it is stated, this was really
the last envoy from Lu, then Confucius and his friend must have
visited Lao-tsz before the former reached the age of thirty. Tsin
and Lu were both now in a revolutionary condition, and a struggle
with the "powerful families" was going on in each case; it was
also beginning in Ts'i, and in principle seems to have been
exactly akin to our English struggle between King John and his
barons (as champions of popular rights) against the greed of the
tax-collector. To avoid home troubles, Confucius at the age of
thirty-five went to Ts'i, in order, if possible, to serve his
friend the Marquess, who had a few years before consulted him
about the rise of Ts'in. There perhaps it was that he found an
opportunity to study the music of the Hia dynasty at the petty
state of K'i, only one day's journey east of the Ts'i capital, on
the north-east frontier of Lu; and then it must have been that he
formed his opinion about the surviving Hia rites. His advice to
the reigning prince of Ts'i was so highly appreciated that it was
proposed to confer an estate upon him. It is interesting to note
that the jealous Yen-tsz (who was much admired as a companionable
man by Confucius) protested against this grant, on the ground that
"men of his views are sophistical rhetoricians, intoxicated with
the exuberance of their own verbosity; incompetent to administer
the people; wasting time and money upon expensive funerals. Life
is too short to waste in trying to get to the bottom of these
inane studies." From this it will be seen that Lao-tsz was by no
means alone in despising Confucius' conservative and ritualistic
views, though it is quite possible that Yen-tsz may still have
respected him as a man and a politician. Finally, Confucius,
finding that the Ts'i ministers were all arrayed against him, and
that the Marquess fain confessed himself too old to fight his
battles for him, quitted the country and returned home. His own
duke died in exile in 510 B.C., power remaining in the intriguing
hands of an influential private family; and for at least ten years
Confucius held no office in his native land, but spent his time in
editing the Odes, the Book, the Chou Rites, and the Music; by some
it is even thought that he not only edited but composed the Book
(of History), or put together afresh such parts of the old Book as
suited his didactic purposes. Meanwhile the private family
intrigues went on more actively than ever; until at last, in 501,
when Confucius was fifty years of age, the most formidable
agitator of them all, finding his position untenable, escaped to
Ts'i; it even seems that Confucius placed, or thought of placing,
his services at the disposal of one of these rebel subjects.
Possibly it was in view of such contingencies that the reigning
duke at last gave Confucius a post as governor of a town, where
his administration was so admirable that he soon passed through
higher posts to that of Chief Justice, or Minister of Justice.
Confucius' views on law are well known. He totally disapproved of
Tsz-ch'an's publication of the law in the orthodox state of Cheng,
as explained in Chapter XX., holding that the judge should always
"declare" the law, and make the punishment fit the crime, instead
of giving the people opportunities to test how far they could
strain the literal terms of the law. He also said: "I am like
others in administering the law; I apply it to each case; it is
necessary to slay one in order not to have to slay more. The
ancients understood prevention better than we do now; at present
all we can hope to do is to avoid punishing unjustly. The ancients
strove to save a prisoner's life; now we can only do our best to
prove his guilt. However, better let a guilty man go free than
slay an innocent one."

Confucius' old friend the ruler of Ts'i was still alive (he
reigned fifty-eight years, one of the longest reigns on record in
Chinese history), and he had just suffered serious humiliation at
the hands of the barbarous King of Wu, to whose heir-apparent he
had been obliged to send one of his daughters in marriage. The
Protectorate of China was going a-begging for want of a worthy
sovereign, and it looked at one time as though Confucius' stern
and efficient administration would secure the coveted prize for
Lu. The Marquess of Ts'i therefore formed a treacherous plot to
assassinate both master and man, and with this end in view sent an
envoy to propose a friendly conference. It was on this occasion
that Confucius uttered his famous saying (quoted, however, from
what "he had heard") that "they who discuss by diplomacy should
always have the support of a military backing." A couple of
generals accordingly accompanied the party to the trysting-place;
and it is presumed that the generals had a force of soldiers with
them, even though the indispensable common people be not worth
mention in Chinese history. In conformity with practice, an altar
or dai's was constructed; wine was offered, and the usual rites
were being fulfilled to the utmost, when suddenly a Ts'i officer
advanced rapidly and said: "I now propose to introduce some
foreign musicians," a band of whom at once entered the arena, with
brandished weapons, waving feathers, and noisy yells. Confucius
saw through this sinister manoeuvre at once, and, hastily mounting
the dais (except, out of respect, the last step), expostulated in
the plainest terms. The ruler of Ts'i was so ashamed of his
position that he at once sent the dancers away. But a second group
of mountebanks were promptly introduced in spite of this check.
Confucius was so angry, that he demanded their instant execution
under the law (presumably a general imperial law) "providing the
punishment of death for those who should excite animosity between
princes." Heads and legs soon covered the ground; and Confucius
played his other cards so well that he secured, in the sequel, a
formal treaty, actually surrendering to Lu certain territories
that had unlawfully been held for some years by Ts'i. On the other
hand, Lu had to promise to aid Ts'i with 22,500 men in case Ts'i
should engage in any "foreign" war--probably alluding to Wu. Two
or three years after that stirring event there was civil war in
Lu, owing to Confucius having insisted on the "barons" dismantling
their private fortresses.

At the age of fifty-six Confucius left his post as Minister of
Justice to take up that of First Counsellor: his first act was to
put to death a grandee who was sowing disorder in the state. It
was during these years of supreme administration that complete
order was restored throughout the country; thieves disappeared;
"sucking-pigs and lambs were sold for honest prices"; and there
was general content and rejoicing throughout the land. All this
made the neighbouring people of Ts'i more and more uneasy, even to
the point of fearing annexation by Lu. The wily old Marquess
therefore, again at the instigation of the man who had planned the
attempted assassination of 500 B.C., made a selection of eighty of
the most beautiful women Ts'i could produce, besides thirty four-
horsed chariots of the most magnificent description. The reigning
Marquess of Lu, as well as his "powerful family" friend against
whom Confucius had once thought of taking arms (who, indeed, acted
as intermediary) both fell into the trap: public duty and
sacrifices were neglected; and the result was that Confucius at
once threw up his offices and left the country in disgust. His
first visit was to Wei (imperial clan), the capital city of which
state then stood on the Yellow River, in the extreme north-east
part of modern Ho Nan province; and through this capital the river
then ran: the metropolis of one of the very ancient emperors
previous to the Hia dynasty had nearly 2000 years before been in
the immediate neighbourhood, as also had been the last capital of
the Shang dynasty, of which, as we have seen, Confucius was a
distant scion. After a few months' stay there, he was suspected
and calumniated; so he decided to move on, although the ruler of
Wei had generously appropriated to him a salary (in grain)
suitable to his high rank. He accordingly proceeded eastwards to a
town belonging to Sung (in the extreme south of modern Chih Li
province): here he had the misfortune to be mistaken for the
dangerous individual who had fled from Lu to Ts'i in 501, in
consequence of which he returned to stay in Wei with his friend
K'u-peh-yuh, who, as mentioned in Chapter XXVIII., had been
visited by Ki-chah of Wu in 544 B.C. Here, as a distinguished
traveller, he was asked (practically commanded) by one of the
ruler's wives to pay her a visit; and, though the reluctant visit
was paid with all propriety and reserve, the fact that this woman
was at the time suspected of having committed incest with her own
brother is considered by uncompromising native critics to leave a
slight stain on Confucius' character. Worse still, the reigning
prince took his wife out for a drive with a eunuch sitting in the
same carriage, ordering the sage to follow the party in an
inferior carriage. This was too much for Confucius, who then
resumed his original journey through Sung, from which he had
turned back, and proceeded to the small state of Ts'ao (imperial
clan; still called Ts'ao-thou, extreme south-west of modern Shan
Tung province). To-day he would have had to cross the Yellow
River, but of course none is here mentioned, as Confucius had
already left it behind at the Wei capital: in fact, he had been on
the right bank ever since he left his own country. This was 495
B.C. After a short stay in Ts'ao, the philosopher proceeded south
towards the capital of Sung (modern Kwei-teh Fu in the extreme
east of Ho Nan). For some reason the Minister of War there wished
to assassinate him--probably because the arch-intriguer whom
Confucius had driven out of Lu in 501, and who had taken refuge
first in Ts'i and then in Sung, had calumniated him there.
Confucius thereupon made his way westwards, over the various
headwaters of the River Hwai, to Cheng (imperial clan), the state
which had been for a generation so admirably administered by Tsz-
ch'an: in fact, a man outside the city gate observed "how like
Tsz-ch'an" the stranger looked. Some accounts make out that Tsz-
ch'an was then only just dead, but the better opinion is that he
had already then been dead for twenty-seven years: in any case it
is curious that Confucius, who was a very tall man, should twice
be mistaken for other persons. Thence Confucius turned back south-
east to the orthodox state of Ch'en (modern Ch'en-chou Fu in
Eastern Ho Nan). This was one of the very oldest principalities in
China, dating from even before the Hia dynasty (2205 B.C.); and
the Warrior King of Chou, after conquering the empire in 1122
B.C., had industriously sought out the most suitable lineal
descendant to take over the ancient fee of his remote ancestor,
and continue the sacrifices.

Confucius remained in Ch'en over three years, and during that time
the barbarian King of Wu annexed several neighbouring towns,
whilst Tsin and Ts'u ravaged the surrounding country in turn, in
their rival efforts to secure a predominant influence there. Here
it was, too, that a bird of prey, pierced with a strange arrow,
fell near the prince's palace: from the wood used in making the
arrow and the peculiar stone barb employed to tip it, Confucius
was able to explain that the bird must have flown from (modern)
Manchuria. (This annual flight of bustards and geese, to and from
the Steppes, may be observed any winter to-day.) He next turned
north, and arrived once more at the spot in Sung he had visited in
496: here he was arrested, but set free on his solemn promise that
he would not go to Wei, which state at the moment was considering
the advisability of attacking that very Sung town. Confucius
deliberately broke his plighted word, on the ground that "promises
extorted by violence are void, and are not recognized by the
gods." (These words, which, after all, are good English law, were
quoted by the irate Chang Chf-tung when Russia "extorted" the
Livadia Treaty from Ch'unghou.) On his arrival in Wei, he advised
his old friend, the Wei duke, to attack the Sung town he had just
left. But the duke thought it best to have the Yellow River
between himself and the rival states of Ts'u and Tsin (this
specific mention of the Yellow River as being west of a city in
long. 114ø 30' E. is interesting). The latter state, Tsin, then
held most of the left bank. Confucius even thought of accepting
the invitation of a Tsin rebel to go and assist him: this was just
at the moment when the "six families" were gradually breaking up
the once powerful northern orthodox state. He also hesitated
whether he would not do better, as the prince of Wei would not
employ him, to proceed west to Tsin in order there to serve one of
the contending six families: in fact he actually got as far as the
Yellow River (another proof that it must then have run on the west
side of Wei-hwei Fu in Ho Nan); but turned back to Wei on hearing
unfavourable news from the Tsin capital (in south Shan Si). As the
Wei prince treated him somewhat cavalierly during an interview, he
decided to go back once more due south to the ancient state of
Ch'en. Here (492) he heard news of the destruction by fire of some
of the Lu ancestral temples, and of the death of the "powerful
family" minister whose disgraceful conduct with the singing girls
had led to his departure from Lu in disgust. This minister was a
sort of hereditary _maire du palais_, an arrangement which
seems to have been customary in many states, and his last words to
his son were: "When you succeed me, send for Confucius: my
administration has failed: I did wrong in dismissing him." The son
had not the courage to ask Confucius himself, but he sent instead
for one of the philosopher's disciples, and it was arranged with
Confucius' friends that this disciple on taking office should send
for Confucius himself, who really wished to be employed in Lu
again. Meanwhile Confucius decided to visit the orthodox state of
Ts'ai (imperial clan), lying to the south of Che'n: the capital of
this state had been originally a town on the upper waters of the
Hwai River, right in the heart of modern Ho Nan province; but,
under stress of the Tsin and T'su wars, it had twice moved its
chief city eastwards, and owing to a Ts'u invasion, it was now
(491) on the main Hwai River in modern An Hwei province, and was
at the moment under the political influence of Wu; it is not
clear, however, whether Confucius visited the old or the new
capital. After a year's stay here, Confucius went further
westwards to a certain Ts'u town (near Nan-yang Fu in Ho Nan),
passing, on his way, near the place in which Lao-tsz was born. He
soon returned to Ts'ai, where he stayed three years. It will be
observed that ever since 700 B.C. it had been the deliberate
policy of Ts'u to annex or overshadow as many of the orthodox
states as possible, so that Ts'u's undoubtedly high literary
output, in later years, is easily accounted for: in other words,
Ts'u's northern population was now already orthodox Chinese.
Moreover, it must not be forgotten that, even before the Chou
conquest, one of the early Ts'u rulers was an author himself, and
had been tutor to the father of the Chou founder: that means to
say Ts'u was possibly always as literary as China.

Meanwhile Ts'u and semi-barbarian Wu were contesting possession of
Ch'en, and the King of Ts'u tried to secure by presents the
services of Confucius, who had prudently transferred himself to a
safe place in the open country lying between Ch'en and Ts'ai The
ministers of these two orthodox states, fearing the results to
their own people should Confucius (as he seems in fact to have
contemplated) decide to accept the Ts'u offer, with a police force
surrounded the Confucian party; they were only able to escape from
starvation by sending word to the King, who at once sent a
detachment to free the sage. He would have conferred a fief upon
Confucius, but his ministers advised him of the danger of such a
proceeding, seeing that the Chou dynasty conquered the empire
after beginning with a petty fief, and that the great kingdom of
Ts'u itself had arrived at its present greatness after beginning
with a still smaller fief. Accordingly the sage decided to return
to Wei (489), where several of his disciples received official
posts, and where Confucius himself seems to have acted as
unofficial adviser, especially in the matter of a contested
succession. All this competition for, or at least jealousy of,
Confucius' services proves that his repute as an administrator
(not necessarily as a philosopher) was already widely spread. The
following year the King of Wu appeared before the Lu capital, and
one of Confucius' former disciples holding office there (the one
who went in advance in 492) just succeeded in moderating the
barbarians' demands, which, however, only took the comparatively
harmless "spiritual" form of orthodox sacrificial victims.

[Illustration: Map

1. The dotted line shows the present Grand Canal; the part between
the Yang-tsz and Hwai Rivers was made by the King of Wu. The part
north of the Hwai is chiefly the channel of the River Sz, flowing
from the Lu capital into the Hwai.

2. The old Hwai embouchure, running from the Lake Hung-tseh to the
sea, no longer exists; it dissipates itself in canals and salt

3. From 1852 the Yellow River has flowed north as depicted in the
other maps. For several centuries previous to 1851 it flowed as
shown by the long-link-and-dot line, and took possession of the
now extinct Hwai embouchure.

4. The crosses mark capitals. Ts'ai (two marked) and Hii (one
marked) frequently shifted capitals.]

In 484 Confucius was still in Wei, for in that year he is stated
to have declined to discuss there a question connected with making
war. In the year 484 or 483 the disciple sent by Confucius to Lu,
as stated, in 492 conducted an expedition against Ts'i: this was
the shameful period when orthodox Lu, in compulsory league with
barbarous Wu, was playing a double and treacherous game under
stress, and the question of recalling Confucius to save his native
country was on the _tapis_. Hearing of this, and despite the
heavy bribes offered him to stay by the ruler of Wei, Confucius
started with alacrity for Lu, where he arrived safely after
fourteen years of wandering. He is often stated to have visited
over forty states in all; but it must be remembered that each of
the important countries he visited had in turn a number of
satellites of its own; as, for instance, the extremely ancient
"marquess state" of Ki, or K'i, subordinate to Lu, which, though
possessing great spiritual authority, had no weight in lay policy.
An interesting point to notice is that Confucius' travels almost
exactly coincide with those of the Second Protector 150 years
earlier (see Chapter XXXIX); both of them ignored the Emperor, and
both of them visited Ts'i, Ts'ao, Sung, and Cheng on their way to
the Ts'u frontiers; but Confucius was not able to get much farther
west so as to reach the Ts'u capital; nor was he able to get to
Tsin; not to say the still more distant Ts'in. In other words, the
limited centre of orthodox China remained for many centuries the
same, and the vast regions surrounding it were still semi-
barbarian in the fifth century B.C. Now it was that Confucius,
seeing that the imperial power had diminished almost to nothing;
that the Odes and Book, the Rites, and the Music no longer
possessed their former influence; employed himself in making
systematic search for documents, in re-editing the Book (of
History), and in endeavouring to ascertain the exact ritual or
administration of the preceding dynasties. "Henceforth the Rites
could be understood and transmitted,"--from which we may assume
that, up to this time, they had been practically a monopoly of the
princely caste. He did not go further back into the mythical
period than the two emperors who preceded the Hia dynasty, nor did
he bring the Book farther down than to the time of Duke Muh of
Ts'in, which practically means the time of the first Protectors.
He really did for rites and history what he had blamed Tsz-ch'an
for doing with the law: he popularized it. He also attempted with
persistent study to master the Changes, to which incomprehensible
work he added features of his own--very little more understandable
than the original texts. As to the Odes, 3000 in number, he used
the pruning knife much more vigorously, and nine-tenths of them
were rejected as unsuitable for the purposes of good didactic
lessons or conservative precedents. If we substitute, as we are
entitled to do, the vague word "religion" for the equally vague
word "rites" (which in fact were the only ancient Chinese
religion); if we substitute the empty Christian churches of to-
day, and the too little scrupulous ambitions of rival European
Powers, for the neglected _tao_ of the Chou ideal, and for
the savage rivalry of the great Chinese vassals; we obtain an
almost precisely similar situation in modern Europe. If we can
imagine a great Pope, or a great philosopher, taking advantage of
a turn in the European conscience to bring back the simple ideals
of Christianity, we can easily imagine this European Confucius
being universally hailed in future times as the saviour of a
parlous situation; which, in Europe now, as 2000 years ago in
China, entails on the people so much misery and suffering.
Confucius was, in short, in a way, a Chinese Pius X. declaiming
against Modernism.

Confucius' only certain original work was the "Springs and
Autumns," which is practically a continuation (with the necessary
introductory years) of the ancient Book edited or, as some think,
composed by him. He brought the former, this history of his, down
from 722 to 481 B.C. and died in 479. His pupil Tso K'iu-ming,
who was official historian to the Lu court, annotated and
expounded Confucius' bald annals, bringing the narrative down from
481 to 468; and Tso's delightful work forms the chief, but by no
means the sole, basis for what we have to say in the present book
of sketches.



Apart from the fact that reverence for rulers was the pivot of the
Chou religious system, or, what was then the same thing,
administrative system; official historiographers, who were mere
servants of the executive, had to be careful how they offended the
executive power in those capricious days; all the more had a
private author and a retired official like Confucius carefully to
mind the conventions. For instance, two historians had been put to
death by a king-maker in Ts'i for recording the murder by him of a
Ts'i reigning prince; and Ts'i was but next door to Lu. Hence we
find the leading feature of his work is that he hints rather than
criticizes, suggests rather than condemns, conceals rather than
exposes, when it is a question of class honour or divine right;
just as, with us, the Church prefers to hush up rather than to
publish any unfortunate internal episode that would redound to its
discredit. So shocked was he at the assassination of the ruler of
Ts'i by an usurping family in 481, that, even at his venerable
age, he unsuccessfully counselled instant war against Ts'i. His
motive was perhaps doubtful, for the next year we find a pupil of
his, then in office, going as a member of the mission to the same
usurper in order to try and obtain a cession of territory
improperly held. This pupil was one of the friends who assisted at
the arrangement made in Wei in 492. Confucius' failings--for after
all he was only a man, and never pretended to be a genius--in no
way affect the truth of his writings, for they were detected
almost from the very beginning, and have never been in the least
concealed. Notable instances are the mission from Lu to Ts'u in
634; Confucius conceals the fact that, not courtesy to barbarian
Ts'u, but a desire to obtain vengeance against orthodox Ts'i was
the true motive. Again, in 632, when the _faineant_ Emperor
was "sent for" by the Second Protector to preside at a durbar;
Confucius prefers to say: "His Majesty went to inspect his fiefs
north of the river," thus even avoiding so much as to name the
exact place, not to say describe the circumstances. He punishes
the Emperor for an act of impropriety in 693 by recording him as
"the King," instead of "the Heavenly King." On the other hand, in
598, even the barbarian King of Ts'u was "a sage," because, having
conquered the orthodox state of Ch'en, he magnanimously renounced
his conquest. In 529 the infamous ruler of the orthodox state of
Ts'ai is recorded as being "solemnly buried"; but the rule was
that no "solemn funeral" should be accorded to (1) barbarians, (2)
rulers who lose their crown, (3) murderers. Now, this ruler was a
murderer; but it was a barbarian state (Ts'u) that killed him,
which insult to civilization must be punished by making two blacks
one white, _i.e._ by giving the murdered murderer an orthodox
funeral. Again, in 522, a high officer was "killed by robbers"; it
is explained that there were no robbers at all, in fact, but that
the mere killing of an officer by a common person needs the
assumption of robbery. It is like the legal fiction of lunacy in
modern Chinese law to account for the heinous crime of parricide,
and thus save the city from being razed to the ground. Once more,
at the Peace Conference of 546, Ts'u undoubtedly "bluffed" Tsin
out of her rightful precedence; but, Tsin being an orthodox state,
Confucius makes Tsin the diplomatic victor. We have already seen
that he once deliberately broke his plighted word, meanly attacked
the men who spared him; and, out of servility, visited a woman of
noble rank who was "no better than she ought to have been." There
is another little female indiscretion recorded against him. When,
in 482, the Lu ruler's concubine, a Wu princess (imperial clan
name), died, Confucius obsequiously went into mourning for an
"incestuous" woman; but, seeing immediately afterwards that the
powerful family then at the helm did not condescend to do so, he
somewhat ignominiously took off his mourning in a hurry. All
these, and numerous similar petty instances of timorousness, may
appear to us at a remote distance trifling and pusillanimous, as
do also many of the model personal characteristics and goody-goody
private actions of the sage; but if we make due allowance for the
difficulty of translating strange notions into a strange tongue,
and for the natural absence of sympathy in trying to enter into
foreign feelings, we may concede that these petty details, quite
incidentally related, need in no way destroy the main features of
a great picture. Few heroes look the character except in their
native clothes and surroundings; and, as Carlyle said, a naked
House of Lords would look much less dignified than a naked negro

As a philosopher, Confucius in his own time had scarcely the
reputation of Tsz-ch'an of Cheng, who in many respects seems to
have been his model and guide. Much more is said of Tsz-ch'an's
philosophy, of his careful definition of the ritual system, of his
legal acumen, of his paternal care for the people's welfare; but,
like his contemporaries and friends of Ts'i, Tsin, Cheng, Sung,
Wei; and even of Wu and Yueh; he was working for the immediate
good of his own state in times of dire peril; whereas Confucius
from first to last was aiming at the restoration of religion
(i.e., of the imperial, ritualistic, feudal system); and for this
reason it was that, after the violent unification of the empire by
the First August Emperor in 221 B.C., followed by his fall and the
rise of the Han dynasty in 202 B.C., this latter house finally
decided to venerate, and all subsequent houses have continued to
venerate, Confucius' memory; because his system was, after Lao-
tsz's system had been given a fair trial, at last found the best
suited for peace and permanency.

Not only is Lao-tsz not mentioned in the "Springs and Autumns" of
Confucius, as extended by his contemporary and latter commentators,
but none other of the great writers and philosophers anterior
to and contemporary with Confucius are spoken of except
strictly in their capacity of administrators. Thus the Ts'i
philosopher Kwan-tsz of the First Protector's time, 650 B.C.; the
Ts'i philosopher Yen-tsz of Confucius' time; and the others
mentioned in preceding chapters, notably in Chapter XV. (of whom
each orthodox state of political importance can boast at least
one); based their reputation on what they had achieved for the
state rather than what they had taught in the abstract; and their
economical and historical books, which have all come down to us in
a more or less complete and authentic state, are valued for the
expression they give to the definite theories by which they
arrived at practical results, rather than for the preaching of the
counsels of perfection, We have seen that Yen-tsz expressed rather
a contempt for the (to him) out-of-date formalistic ideals of
Confucius, though Confucius himself had a high opinion of Yen-tsz.
Lao-tsz is first mentioned by the writers of the various "schools"
brought into existence by the collapse of Tsin in 452 B.C., and
its subdivision into three separate kingdoms, recognized as such
by the puppet Emperor in 403 B.C. The diplomatic activity was soon
after that quite extraordinary, and each of the seven royal courts
became a centre of revolutionary thought; that is, every literary
adventurer had his own views of what interpretation of ancient
literature was best suited to the times: it was Modernism with a
vengeance. There is ample evidence of Lao-tsz's influence upon the
age, though Lao-tsz himself had been dead for a century or more in
the year 403. Lao-tsz is spoken of and written about in the fourth
century B.C. as though it were perfectly well known who he was,
and what his sentiments were; but as, up to Confucius' time, state
intercourse had been confined to traders, warriors, and officials
of the princely castes; and as books had been unwieldy objects
stored only in capitals and great centres; there is good reason to
assume that philosophy had been taught almost entirely by word of
mouth, and that something must have occurred shortly after his
death to cheapen and facilitate the dissemination of literature.
Probably this something was the gradual introduction of the
practice of writing on silk rolls and on silk "paper," which
practice is known to have been in vogue long before the discovery
of rubbish paper A.D. 100. Confucius himself evidently made use of
the old-fashioned bamboo slips, strung together by cords like a
bundle of tickets; for we are told that he worked so hard in
endeavouring to understand the "Changes," that he "wore out three
sets of leather bands"; and it will be remembered from Chapter
XXXV. how the Bamboo Books buried in 299 B.C., to be discovered
nearly 600 years later, consisted of slips strung together in this

Confucius' movements during the fourteen years of his exile are
very clearly marked out, and there seems to be no doubt that his
visit to the Emperor's court took place when he was a young man;
firstly, because Lao-tsz ironically calls him a young man, and
secondly because he went to visit Lao-tsz with the son of the
statesman who on his death-bed foretold Confucius' future
distinction; and there was no Lu mission to the imperial court
after 520. In the second century B.C., not only are there a dozen
statesmen specifically stated to have studied the works of Lao-
tsz, but the Empress herself is said to have possessed his book;
and a copy of it, distinctly said to be in ancient character, was
then stored amongst other copies of the same book in the imperial
library. The two questions which the Chinese historians and
literary men of the fifth, fourth, third, and second centuries
B.C. do not attempt to decide are: Why is the life of Lao-tsz not
given to us earlier than 100 B.C.? Why is that life so scant, and
why does the writer of it allude to "other stories" current about
him? Why is it that the book which Lao-tsz wrote at the request of
a friend is not alluded to by any writer previous to 100 B.C.?

As not one single one of these numerous Taoists or students of
Lao-tsz expresses the faintest doubt about Lao-tsz's existence, or
about the genuineness of his traditional teachings, it is evident
that the meagreness of Lao-tsz's life, as told by the historian,
is rather a guarantee of the truth of what he says than the
reverse, so far as he knows the truth; otherwise he would have
certainly embellished. The essence of Lao-tsz's doctrine is its
democracy, its defence of popular rights, its allusion to kings
and governments as necessary evils, its disapproval of luxury and
hoarding wealth; its enthusiasm for the simple life, for absence
of caste, for equality of opportunity, for socialism and
informality; all of which was, though extracted from the same
Odes, Book, Changes, and Rites, quite contrary in principle to the
"back to the rites" doctrine of Confucius. Therefore, there could
be no possible inducement for Confucius, the pruning editor of the
Odes, Book, etc., or for his admirers, to mention Lao-tsz in
either his original work, the "Springs and Autumns," or in the
other works (composed by his disciples) giving the original words
and sentiments of Confucius. Besides, during the whole of Lao-
tsz's life, the imperial court (where he served as a clerk) was
totally ignored by all the "powers" as a political force; the only
persons mentioned in what survives of Chou history are the
historiographers, the wizards, the ritual _clerks,_ the ducal
envoys, now sent by the Emperor to the vassals, now consulted by
the vassals upon matters of etiquette. Lao-tsz, being an obscure
clerk in an obscure appanage, and holding no political office, had
no more title to be mentioned in history than any other servant or
"harmless drudge." That his doctrines were well known is not
wonderful, for Tsz-ch'an, his contemporary, and this great man's
colleagues of the other states, also had doctrines of their own
which were widely discussed and, as we have seen, even Tsz-ch'an
was severely blamed for the unheard-of novelty of committing the
laws to writing, both by Confucius of Lu and by Shuh Hiang of Tsin
(imperial clan states). It is reasonable to suppose, therefore,
that the traditional story is true; namely, that Lao-tsz's
doctrines were never taught in a school at all, and that he had no
followers or admirers except the vassal envoys who used to come on
spiritual business to the metropolis. We have seen how these men
used to entertain each other over their wine by quoting the Odes
and other ancient saws; when consulting the imperial library to
rectify their own dates, they would naturally meet the old recluse
Lao-tsz, and hear from his own mouth what he thought of the coming
collapse anticipated by all. He is said to have left orthodox
China in disgust, and gone West--well, he must have passed through
Ts'in if he went to the west. At the frontier pass (it is not
known precisely whether on the imperial frontier or on the Ts'in
frontier) an acquaintance or correspondent on duty there invited
him to put his thoughts into writing, which he did. Books being
extremely rare, copies would be slowly transmitted. This was about
500 B.C., between which time and 200 B.C., when a copy of his book
is first reported to be actually held in the hand by a definite
person, the great protecting powers, and later the seven kings,
were all engaged in a bloodthirsty warfare, which ended in the
almost total destruction throughout the empire of the Odes, Rites,
and the Book in 213 B.C. Remember, however, that the literary
empire practically meant parts of the modern provinces of Ho Nan
and Shan Tung. The "Changes" were not destroyed; and as the First
August Emperor himself, his illegitimate father, several of his
statesmen, and his visitors the travelling diplomats, were all
either Taoists or imbued with Taoist doctrines (their sole policy
being to destroy the old ritual and feudal thrones), there is
ground to conjecture that Lao-tsz's book escaped too, and was
deliberately suffered to escape. We know absolutely nothing of
that; assuming the truth of the tradition that there was a book,
we do not know what became of the first copy, nor how many copies
were made of it during the succeeding 300 years. No attempt
whatever has ever been made by the serious Chinese historians
themselves to manufacture a story. It is, of course, unsatisfactory
not to know all the exact truth; but, for the matter of that, the
existence, identity, and authorship of Confucius' pupil and commentator
Tso K'iu-ming, the official historian of Lu, is equally obscure; not to
mention the history of the earliest Taoist critics who actually mention
Lao-tsz, and quote the words of (if they do not mention) his book.
When we read Renan's masterly examination into the origins of our
own Gospels, and when we reflect that even the origin of Shakespeare's
plays, and the individuality of Shakespeare's person, are open to
everlasting discussion, we may not unreasonably leave Chinese
critics and Chinese historians to judge of the value of their own
national evidence, and accept in general terms what they tell us
of fact, however imperfect it may be in detail, without adding
hypothetical facts or raising new critical difficulties of our own.
No such foreign criticisms are or can be worth much unless the
original Chinese histories and the original Chinese philosophers have
been carefully examined by the foreign critic in the original Chinese text.



Consulting the oracles seems to have been a universal practice,
and there are numerous historical allusions, made by statesmen of
the orthodox principalities, to supposed interpretations attached
to this or that combination of mystic signs or diagrams from the
"Changes," together with arguments as to their specific meaning or
omen in given circumstances. Doubtless the Chinese of those dates,
like our own searchers for religious "analogies" and mysteries,
examined with perfect good faith combinations of the Diagrams
which to us appear arrant nonsense; and there can be no doubt of
Confucius' own individual zeal, though the fact that he thought
fifty years' study at least would be necessary for full
comprehension points to the tacit confession that he had totally
failed to understand much of the mystery. The Changes are supposed
to have been developed by the father of the Warrior King when
(about 1160 B.C.) he was in prison under the tyrannous suspicions
of the last Shang emperor; and we have seen that the ruler of Ts'u
_was_ his tutor, at a time when Ts'u was not yet vassal to
Chou. Like the Odes, Book, and Rites, the Changes were Chou
literature, though possibly the unwritten traditions of earlier
dynasties may have contributed to that literature; which, indeed,
seems very likely, as Ts'u was already able to teach Chou.

Another form of augury was the examination of the marks on the
carapax of a tortoise; thus the Martial King in 146 consulted, and
found unfavourable, such marks--this was before attacking the last
Shang emperor; and it was only at the earnest instigation of his
chief henchman (afterwards vassal king and founder of Ts'i) that
he was prevailed upon to proceed. Possibly he borrowed Eastern
ideas from this founder of Ts'i too. Later on, the Martial King's
younger brother, the Duke of Chou, consulted the oracle along with
the same Ts'i adviser: this was done before the three ancestral
altars of their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, in
order to ascertain if the Emperor (_i.e._ the Martial King)
would recover from a sickness. In 1109 the Martial King's son and
successor sent one of his uncles or near relatives to examine the
site of modern Ho-nan Fu, with a view to transferring the
metropolis thither, and, the oracles being favourable, the Nine
Tripods were removed to that place, and it was afterwards called
the "Eastern Metropolis" (the original or western capital was not
moved for over 300 years after that). It was at the same time
foretold that there would be thirty more reigns, of 700 years in
all: this was "Heaven's decree." On the other hand, when the Duke
of Chou died during a tempest, the young Emperor was advised not
to consult the oracles as to what the storm signified, because his
uncle's virtues were so manifest that Heaven itself had, by the
agency of a tempest, spontaneously announced the fact.

Astrology was another form of soothsaying. In 780 B.C. the
imperial astrologer (one of those two men, by the way, whom
erroneous tradition 1000 years later confused with Lao-tsz)
foretold the rise of Ts'i, Tsin, Ts'u, and Ts'in, upon the ruins
of the imperial power; in 773 the same astrologer repeated the
prophecy to the imperial prince then recently enfeoffed by his
relative the Emperor in the state of CHÊNG. In 705 the imperial
astrologer, when passing through the orthodox state of CH'ÊN,
foretold from the diagrams that a scion of the CH'ÊN house would
obtain the throne of Ts'i (which actually took place when the
_maire du palais,_ to the horror of Confucius, assassinated
the last legitimate duke in 481 B.C.); this particular prophecy is
doubly interesting, because the diagrams from the Changes, thus
cited in detail in Confucius' history, correspond exactly with the
diagrams of the Book of Changes as we have it now, since Confucius
manipulated it--proof that no change has taken place in this part
of the text at least.

The ruler of Ts'in in the year 762, nine years after receiving the
western half of the Chou imperial domain, and being recognized as
a first-class vassal, consulted the oracle as to whither he should
move his own capital. In the year 677 the oracles once more
decided the then reigning ruler to shift his capital to (the
modern) Feng-siang Fu in West Shen Si; the oracles added: "And
later you will water your steeds in the Yellow River"; which came
to pass after the conquests and annexations of 643 B.C., as
already related. In 374 B.C. the imperial astrologer (the second
man whom tradition, 300 years later this time, erroneously
confused with Lao-tsz) then on a visit to the now royal Ts'in
court said: "After 500 years of separation Ts'in is reunited to
our imperial house; in 77 years more a domineering monarch will
arise." Seven years later the "raining down of metal" (probably
some natural phenomenon not clearly understood at the time) was
considered a good omen in connection with the new capital, now
placed on the south bank of the River Wei. After Ts'in had
conquered China, there are numerous other instances of oracles,
omens, and so forth, all supposed to have had political

In 645 the ruler of the neighbouring state of Tsin consults the
oracles in order to ascertain who will be the most suitable war
charioteer. A few years before that the court diviner foretold the
future success of the petty Ngwei sub-principality of Tsin, which
in 403 B.C. actually became a separate vassal kingdom. In 575 Tsin
dared not, at the moment, accept the battle challenge of Tsu,
because the particular day was a dies _nefas,_ being the last
day of the moon. Meanwhile the spies of the Ts'u army discerned
that the Tsin leaders were consulting the oracles before the
tablets of their ancestors in the field tent. In 535 the Ts'in
administration consulted its own astrologer upon the point: "Will
the state of Ch'en survive?" The answer was: "When it secures
Ts'i, it will perish." As just explained, a scion of the Ch'en
house did practically obtain Ts'i in 481 B.C., and the very next
year Ch'en was annexed by Ts'u. In 510 the Tsin astrologer
prophesied the destruction of Wu by Yiieh within forty years, and
also the predominancy of the Lu private family so intimately
connected with Confucius' troubles. There were not lacking
sensible men, even in those days, who ridiculed the science of
astrology: for instance, Shuh Hiang of Tsin--the man who so
strongly disapproved Tsz-ch'an's written laws, and the man who
discussed with the Ts'i envoy, the philosopher Yen-tsz, the
worthlessness of their respective dukes--said on one occasion when
the "course of the heavens towards north-west" was supposed to
indicate a success for Tsin: "The course of the heavens, as that
of our success, lies in the qualities of the prince, and not in
the situation of the stars."

Tsz-ch'an of Cheng himself pooh-poohed oracular warnings, and said
that he preferred to do his best, and leave omens to do their
worst. On one occasion, outside the south gate of the Cheng
capital, two snakes (one from the city, one from outside) were
observed fighting; the one from the inside was defeated. Sure
enough! the exiled duke six years after that returned to his own.
So, in the state of Lu, the children sang: "When the thrushes come
and make their nests, the ruler will go to a place on the Tsin
frontier; when the thrushes settle here, the duke will be abroad"--
in allusion to the future ejecting of the reigning prince by the
powerful family above referred to. And, again (480 B.C.), in the
state of Sung, whose terrestrial position was supposed to be
"invaded" by the then peculiar celestial position of the planet
Mars: it was suggested, however, to the ruling prince that he
might "pass on" the threatened disaster to his ministers, to his
people, or to their harvests--a solution the duke declined to
avail himself of. 'Yours are indeed the words of a sage,' said the

We now come to the semi-civilized state of Ts'u, which seems to
have had its oracles with the best of them, at all events after
560 B.C. At that date it was explained to the King that "the
ancient emperors would at times consult the oracles for five years
before deciding upon an expedition, or fixing the date of it; they
were content to await patiently the decrees of Heaven." In 537 the
Ts'u king, having a prince of Wu in his power, sent to ask him
ironically if he had duly consulted the oracles. "Yes," said the
prince, "every ruler has his tortoise, and it is easy to
demonstrate by our oracles how injurious it will be for you if any
harm comes to me." This presence of mind saved his life. In 528 a
Ts'u usurper invited a man who had once assisted him to name any
post he would like. The man chose that of diviner, which, it
appears, was an office of the first rank. The father of this king
had secretly arranged with a concubine, notwithstanding the Ts'u
rule (or possibly in accordance with it) that one of the youngest
sons should succeed, to "sacrifice from a distance to the gods in
general, and ask of them which of five sons should sacrifice to
the spirits of the land"; then he buried a jade symbol of rule in
the ancestral temple, and ordered the five sons to enter after
proper purification; the three sons who happened to touch the spot
reigned one after the other. In 489 the King of Ts'u, then engaged
in assisting the orthodox state of Ch'en against the attacks of
Wu, interrogated the imperial astrologer (who must have been there
on a visit): "What is the meaning of that halo, like a bird's
wings, on each side of the sun?" The astrologer replied: "It
presages calamity, but you can transfer it to your generals." The
generals then offered to consult the gods themselves, and even to
sacrifice their own persons if necessary; but the King declined
(on the same ground as the Duke of Sung above mentioned) because
"my generals are my own limbs." It was then proposed to transfer
the calamity to the Yellow River. "No, the Yellow River has never
played me false: ever since we received our fief, we have never at
full moon sacrificed beyond the River Han and Yang-tsz." Confucius
registered his approval of this answer. It will be remembered that
just at this time Confucius was hanging about Ch'Ün and coquetting
with Ts'u, so that possibly this approval had something to do with
his own prospects.

In recording these instances of prophecies and omens (which might
be multiplied tenfold), it is desired to show how one main set of
ideas pervaded the whole. We should not be too ready to ridicule
them, or to hint at "after the event." Our own Scriptures are full
of similar prophecies, and what is good for us is good for the
Chinese. If the celestial movements can be foretold, why not
corresponding terrestrial movements, each corner of the earth
being on the meridian of something? In the infancy of science, it
is rather a question of good faith than of truth; and even the
truth, if we insist on expecting it, was rudely guessed at by such
great thinkers as Tsz-ch'an and Shuh Hiang.



A feature of the times was the remarkably personal character of
the wars, and the apparent utter indifference to humble popular
interests; _Quidquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi;_ stress
is laid upon this point by the democratic philosopher Lao-tsz, who,
however, in his book (be it genuine or not), is wise enough never
to name a person or place; probably that prudence saved it from
the flames in 213 B.C.

In 684 B.C. the ruler of Ts'ai (imperial clan) treated very rudely
his own wife's sister, married to a petty prince (imperial clan)
close by; the sister was simply passing through as a traveller;
the result was that this petty prince, her husband, induced Ts'u
to make war upon Ts'ai, whose reigning prince was captured, and
died a prisoner. In _657_ the ruler of Ts'ai had a sister
married in Ts'i. The First Protector, offended at some act of
playful disobedience, sent her back, but without actually
divorcing her. Her brother was so angry that he found her another
husband. On this Ts'i declared war, and captured the brother, who,
however, at the intercession of the other vassal princes, was
restored to his kingdom. In 509 and 506 B.C. Ts'ai induces Tsin to
make war on Ts'u, and also assists Wu in her hostilities against
Ts'u, because a Ts'u minister had detained the ruler of Ts'ai for
refusing to part with a handsome fur coat. It is like the stealing
of the Golden Fleece by Jason, and similar Greek squabbles. In 675
B.C. the Emperor, for the third time, had to fly from his capital,
the immediate cause of the trouble being an attempt on his part to
seize a vassal's rice-field for including in his own park--a
Chinese version of the Naboth's vineyard dispute. Nothing could
better prove the pettiness of the ancient state-horizon; no busily
active great power could find time for such trifles.

When the Second Protector came to the throne, the orthodox states
of Wei, Ts'ao, and Cheng (all of the imperial clan), which had
treated him scurvily as a wanderer, had all three of them to pay
dearly for their meanness. In 632, when the Protector had secured
the Tsin throne, the ruler of Ts'ao was promptly captured, and
part of his territory was given to Sung (where the wanderer had
been well treated). The same year Tsin wished to assist Sung, and
accordingly asked right of way through the state of Wei, which was
curtly refused; the Tsin army therefore crossed the Yellow River
to the south of Wei: as a punishment for this refusal, and also
for the previous rude treatment, Wei also had to give part of her
territory to the favoured Sung. In 630 Tsin induced Ts'in to join
in an attack upon Cheng, the object being, of course, to revenge
similar personal rudenesses; however, Cheng diplomacy was
successful in inducing Ts'in to abandon Tsin in the nick of time:
this was one of the very few cases in which Ts'in interfered, or
was about to interfere, in "orthodox" affairs. In 592 Tsin sent a
hunchback envoy to Ts'i; it so happened that at the same time Lu
sent one who was lame, and Wei a third who was blind of one eye.
The Ts'i ruler thereupon appointed an officer mutilated in some
other way to do the duties of host to this sorry trio. The Tsin
envoy swore: "If I do not revenge this upon Ts'i, may the God of
the Yellow River take note of it!" Reaching his own country, he
tried to induce the ruler to make war on Ts'i; but the prince
said: "Your personal pique should hardly suffice for ground to
trouble the whole country": and he refused.

The principle of the divinity that doth hedge a king was early
established, but there are certainly more numerous evidences of
royal absolutism in Ts'u than in orthodox China, where responsibility
of rulers before Heaven and the People (symbolical of Heaven also)
was an accepted axiom. For instance, in 522 B.C., an officer, knowing
that the King of Ts'u was sending for him in order to kill him, said to his
brother: "As the king orders it, one of us two must go, but you can
avenge me later on." When the next Ts'u king was a fugitive, and it
was a question in a subject's mind of killing him because his father
had taken a brother's life, it was objected: "No! if the king slays one
of his officers, who can avenge it? His commands emanate from Heaven.
It is unpardonable to cut off the ancestral sacrifice of a whole house
in this way."

In still more ancient times, when the last Emperor of the Shang
dynasty was being warned of the rising popular feeling in favour
of the rising Chou power, he remarked: "Have I not Heaven's
mandate? What can they do to me?" When the Martial King achieved
his conquest, he smeared the god of the soil with the sacrificial
victims' blood, and announced the crimes of the dead tyrant to
Heaven. In the war of 589 between Tsin and Ts'i, the ruler of
Ts'i, who had changed places with his charioteer in order to
escape detection, was hotly pursued; but his chariot caught in a
tree. Seeing this, the Tsin captain prostrated himself before the
chariot, and said: "My princely master's orders are to assist the
states of Lu and Wei" (i.e. not to attack your person). Meanwhile
the disguised charioteer ordered the disguised king to fetch a
drink of water, and the king thus escaped even the humiliation of
a favour from his generous victor. When in 548 a worthless Ts'i
ruler was assassinated, the philosopher Yen-tsz said: "When the
ruler dies or is exiled for the gods of the land and its harvests,
one dies or is exiled with him; but if he dies or is exiled for
private reasons, then only his personal friends die with him." He
therefore contented himself with wailing, and with laying his head
on the royal body. The same Tsin captain who was so tender to the
Ts'i duke in 589 had an opportunity fourteen years later of taking
prisoner the ruler of CHÊNG in battle; but he said: "Evil cometh
to him who toucheth a crowned head! I have already committed
sacrilege once against the ruler of Ts'i; preserve me from
committing this crime a second time!" And he turned promptly back.
During the same fight, the King of Ts'u's body-guard was attacked
by the Tsin generalissimo, who, when he discerned the king in the
centre of the guards, got out of his chariot, doffed his helmet,
and fled in horror, "such was his respect for the person of
royalty." It was a ritual rule in China for the distinguished men
not to remove the official head-covering in death; for instance,
in 481, when one of Confucius' pupils was killed in war, his last
patriotic act was to tie his hat-strings tighter. Though rulers
were supposed to owe duties to the gods in general, yet the power
of the gods was limited. Thus when Tsz-ch'an of CHÊNG was sent as
envoy to Tsin in 541, the sick Tsin ruler asked him: "How can the
two gods who, they say, are responsible for my malady, be
conjured?" Tsz-ch'an replied: "These particular gods cannot injure
you; we sacrifice to them in connection with natural phenomena,
such as drought, flood, or other disaster; just as in matters of
snow, hail, rain, or wind we sacrifice to the gods of the sun,
moon, planets, and constellations. Your illness is the result of
drink, over-feeding, women, passionate anger, excessive pleasure."
Shuh Hiang approved this common-sense view of the situation.



In the spring of the year 536 B.C., Tsz-ch'an, one of the leading
statesmen in the Chinese Federal Union, decided to publish for
popular information the Criminal Law which had hitherto been
simply "declared" by the various rulers and their officers
according to the circumstances of each case. At this time the
different premiers and ministers used to visit each other freely,
generally in the suite of the reigning prince who happened to be
either receiving or paying a visit from or to some other vassal
prince. The Emperor himself, now shorn of his power, was only
_primus inter pares_ amongst these princes. Shuh Hiang, one
of the ministers at the neighbouring court of Tsin, addressed the
following remarkable letter to the colleague above mentioned who
had introduced the legal innovation. It is published in
_exteso_ in Confucius' own history of the times, as expanded
by one of his pupils:--

"At first I used to regard you as a guide, but now all this is at
an end. Our monarchs in past times were wont to decide matters by
specific ordinance, and had no prepared statutes, fearing lest the
people should grow contentious. Yet even so it was impossible to
suppress wrong-doing; for which reason they employed justice as a
preventive, administration to bring things into line, external
formality to secure respect, good faith as an abiding principle,
and kindness in actual treatment. They appointed certain ranks and
emoluments with a view to encouraging their officers to follow the
course thus sketched out for them, and they fixed certain stern
punishments and fines in order to fill these officers with a dread
of arbitrariness, fearing that otherwise they might fail in their
duty. Thus admonition was given with every loyalty; fear was
inspired by personal example; instruction was conveyed as occasion
required; employment in service was accompanied by suavity;
contact with inferiors was marked by a respectful demeanour; the
executive arm was firmly applied; and decisions were carried out
with virility. Yet, with all this, it was never too easy to secure
wise and saintly (vassal) princes, clever and discriminating
ministers, loyal and trusty officials, or kind and affectionate
instructors. Under these circumstances, however, it was possible
to set the people going, and China was at least free from
revolution and misery.

"But when the people themselves become cognizant of a written law,
they will cease to fear their superiors, and, moreover, they will
acquire a contentious spirit. Having book to refer to, they will
employ every device to elude the letter of the law. This will not
do at all. It was only in times of anarchical rule that the
founders of the Hia and Shang dynasties (2200 B.C. and 1760 B.C.)
found it necessary to issue (to their officers) the collections of
laws which still bear their two respective names; and it was also
only in anarchical times (1000 B.C.) that one Emperor of our
present dynasty found it necessary to publish (for his officers)
the so-called Nine Laws. In other words, the advent of written law
has on all three occasions connoted a decay in government. You,
sir, are the chief minister of _CHÊNG_ state (part of modern
Ho Nan); you made a few years ago some new regulations about the
parcelling of land; next you placed the system of your taxation on
a fresh basis; and you now proceed to embody the three special
collections just cited in a new popular code, which you have had
cast in metal characters. If you are doing it with a view to
pacify the people, surely you will not find this an easy matter?
The 'Book of Odes' says: 'King _Wên_ (the virtual founder,
2200 B.C., of the then reigning Chou dynasty) took virtue as his
guide, and thus gradually pacified the four quarters of the
world.' It also says: 'The methods of King _Wu_ (son of the
virtual founder) secured the confidence of all the other
countries.' Where were the written laws in those times? When
people begin to get the contentious spirit upon them, they will
have done with the principles of propriety, and only stickle for
the letter; they will haggle upon every tiny point accessible to
knife's edge or awl's tip. We shall witness a flood of litigious
accusations; bribery and corruption will be rampant. Do you think
the state of _Cheng_ will last out your life? I have heard it
said: 'When a country is about to collapse, there are many
conflicting administrative changes.' Will this apply to present

The reply returned was:-

"With regard to what my honourable friend has been pleased to say,
I am afraid my humble capacities are not sufficiently great to
take the interests of posterity; my action has been taken in the
interests of the state as I find it, and as I have to govern it.
Though, therefore, I cannot accept tour commands, I shall be
careful not to forget your kindness in proffering advice."

Though the exact words of the above-mentioned Code in Brass have
not come down to us, they are (like the Twelve Tables of Rome,
eighty years later in date, were in relation to Roman jurisprudence)
the foundation of Chinese Criminal Law as it exists to-day, modified,
of course, dynasty by dynasty. At this time Confucius was a mere
youth; but later on, as minister of a third vassal state, that of Lu, he
also expressed his disapproval of a written code, much though he
respected the author, whom he knew personally. Shuh Hiang's letter
is of interest as showing the pitch of philosophy, common-sense, and
international courtesy to which the statesmen of China had attained
2400 years ago.


In 539 B.C. the Ts'i statesman and philosopher Yen-tsz was sent on
a mission to Tsin in order to negotiate a political marriage. At
this period Han K'i, also called Han Süan-tsz, was the premier of
Tsin, and he despatched the minister Shuh Hiang with a complimentary
message to the Ts'i envoy, accepting the offer of a suitable wife. At
this time the diplomatic relations of the Chinese states were particularly
interesting, because, apart from the fact that intellectual premiers ruled
all the great states, most of them were personal friends, acquaintances,
or correspondents of Confucius, who has left on record his judgment
upon each. After the official marriage negotiations were over, Shuh
Hiang ordered refreshments, and he and Yen-tsz sat down to a nice
quiet little chat by themselves.

_Shuh Hiang_. How is Ts'i going on?

_Yen-tsz_. These are bad times. I don't know what I can say
about Ts'i, except that it appears to be falling into the hands of
the CH'ÊN family. The prince neglects his people, and consequently
they turn to the CH'ÊN family for protection. In former times Ts'i
had three grain measures, each a four multiple of the other--etc.
four pints, sixteen pints, sixty-four pints--and finally there was
a large measure containing ten times the last, or 640 pints (or
litres); but the three measures of the CH'ÊN family have each been
raised by one unit, so that three successive fives multiplied by
ten give 800 pints, and their plan is to make loans of grain with
their private 8oo-pint measure, and then to take back payments in
the prince's measure. The wood from the mountains is sold in the
market-place as cheaply as on the mountains; fish, salt, clams,
and cockles are sold in the market-place as cheaply as on the
shore. On the other hand, two-thirds of the produce of the
people's labour go to the prince, whilst only one-third remains
for the sustenance of the producers. The prince's stores rot away,
whilst our old men die of starvation. False feet are cheaper than
shoes in the market-place (owing to the number of people punished
with amputation of a foot); the people are smarting with a sense
of wrong, and are longing for the advent (of the CH'ÊN family),
whom they love as a parent, and towards whom they tend, just as
water runs downhill. Under these circumstances, even if they did
not want to gain the people over, how can they avoid it? The last
surviving member of that branch of the CH'ÊN family who traced his
descent to previous dynasties has still left his spirit in the
land of Ts'i, though the representatives of the family are
nominally subjects of Ts'i.

_Shuh Hiang_. Yes. And even our ruling house of Tsin has
fallen on degenerate times. Armies are no longer equipped, and our
statesmen are not ready for war. There is no one to lead the
chariots, and our battalions have no competent commanders. The
common people are utterly exhausted, whilst the extravagance of
the palace is unbounded. The starving folk line the roads, whilst
money is squandered upon female favourites. The commands of the
prince are received by the people as though they longed to escape
the clutches of a bandit. The representatives of the eight leading
families who have served the state so long and faithfully are
reduced to the most insignificant offices. Government is
administered in certain private interests, and the people have no
one to whom to appeal. The ruler shows no sign of amendment, and
endeavours to drown his cares in excessive indulgence. When did
the ruling house ever before reach the low depths of to-day? The
warning oracle inscribed on the tripod says: "However early you
may get to zealous work, your descendants may be lazy." How much
more, in the case of a man who will not reform, is disaster likely
to be impending soon!

_Yen-tsz_. What do you propose to do?

_Shuh Hiang_. The ruling house of Tsin is about exhausted. I
have heard it said that when a ruling house is about to fall, its
family members drop off first, like the branches and leaves of a
stricken tree; and the ruler himself, like the trunk, follows
suit. Take my own stock, for instance, which formerly contained
eleven family or clan names. The Sheepstongue (_cf_, English
Sheepshanks) clan is my clan, and the only one now left; and I
myself have no son fit to be my heir. The ruling house is
arbitrary and capricious, so that, even if I am fortunate enough
to die in my bed myself, I shall have no one to perform the
_sacra_ for me.

In 513 B.C. two generals of the Tsin state carried their arms into
the Luh-hun reservation (in modern Ho Nan province), whither, in
638 B.C., the Tartar tribe of that name had been brought to settle
by agreement between the two Chinese powers whose territories
(Ts'in and Tsin) ran with the Tartars; "and then they drew upon
Tsin state for four cwt. of iron, in order to cast a punishment
tripod upon which to inscribe the law-book composed by Fan Süan-
tsz (a minister)." Confucius said:--

"It looks as though Tsin were about to perish, as it has made a
mistake in its calculations. The state of Tsin ought to govern its
people by maintaining the ancient laws and ordinances received by
their ancestor who was first enfeoffed there (in 1120 B.C.), when
the officers of state would each observe the same in their degree.
Thus the people would know how to respect their superiors, and the
ruling classes would be in a position to maintain their
patrimonies. The proper balance between superior classes and
commoners is what we call 'ordinance.' The ruling prince W&n (who
assumed the Protectorship of China in 632 B.C.) for this reason
established an official body of dignitaries, and organized the
annual spring revision of the laws of his ancestors as Representative
Federal Prince. Now Tsin abandons this system, and makes a tripod,
which tripod--will henceforth govern the people's acts. How can they
now respect their superiors (having book to go by)? How can the
superiors maintain their patrimonies? If superiors and commoners
confuse degree, how can the state go on? Moreover, Süan-tsz's
punishments date from the spring revision (of 621 B.C.), when confusion
and change was going on in Tsin state; how can they take this as a
fit precedent?"


About twenty-five centuries ago--in 546 B.C., to be precise--the
Chinese Powers had a "Hague Conference" with a view to the
reduction of armaments. This is how Confucius' pupil, Tso K'iu-
ming, tells the story in the "Tso Chwan," or expanded version of
Confucius' "Springs and Autumns" (for convenience the names of the
ancient States are changed to those of the modern provinces
corresponding with them):--

"A statesman of Ho Nan, being on friendly terms with his
colleagues of Shan Si and Hu P&h, conceived the idea of making a
name for himself by proposing a cessation of armaments. He went
first to Shan Si, and interviewed the Premier there; the Premier
consulted his colleagues in the Shan Si ministry, and one of them
said: 'War is ruinous to the people, and a fearful waste of
wealth; it is the curse of the smaller Powers. Although the idea
will come to nothing, we must consent to a conference; otherwise
Hu P&h will consent to it first, in order to gain favour with the
Powers, and thus we shall lose the predominant position we now
occupy.' So Shan Si consented.

"Then (the narrative continues) Hu Pêh was visited, and also
consented. Then Shan Tung (the German sphere now). Shan Tung did
not like the idea; but one of the Shan Tung Ministers said: 'Shan
Si and Hu P&h have agreed, and we have no help for it. Besides,
the world will say that there would be a cessation of armaments
were it not for our refusal, and thus our own people will vote
against us. What is the use of that?' So Shan Tung consented. Next
Shen Si was notified. Shen Si also consented. Then the whole four
great Powers notified the minor States, and a great durbar (of
fourteen States) was held at a minor court in Ho Nan."

The curious part of it all is that the representative of the
Emperor (whose political position was not unlike that of the Popes
in Europe since 1870) did not appear at the Conference at all,
though all the Great Powers maintained the fiction of granting
precedence to the Emperor and his nuncios, and even went through
the form of accepting investiture from him and taking tribute
presents to the Imperial Court-when it suited them.

This celebrated Peace Conference closed the seventy-two years of
almost incessant war that had been going on between Tsin and Ts'in
(Shan Si and Shen Si), apart from the subsidiary war between Tsin
and Ts'u (Hu Pêh).


Absorption, Chinese
Accadian. See Babylonian
Adams, Will
Address, forms of
Advisers, Chinese
Advisers, Tartar
African parallels
Ainus, people
Alexander the Great
Alienation of fiefs
Alphabets, imperfection of
Altars, private
Ambassadors. See Envoys; Missions
American parallels
Analects of Confucius
Ancestral feeling
Ancestral sacrifices
Ancestral tablets
Ancestral temples
Anglo-Saxon civilization
An Hwei, province
Annals (see History and Bamboo Books)
Annam, King of
Annamese race
Appanages, ducal
Area of Ancient China
Army organization
Army provision
Army, standing
Assassinations of princes
Assyria. See Babylonia
Augury. See Oracles
Augustus, title
August Emperor (see First); Second); (Both); (Third)
Authorities consulted
Axes as emblems

Babel, Tower of
Babylonian civilization
"Babylonian women,"
Baghatur, the Khan
Bamboo Books
Banner garrisons
Banquets, imperial
Barbarian influences
Barbarian kings (see King)
Barbarians, Eastern
Barbarous gods
Barbarous vassals
Battles, gigantic
Bears' paws
Bells as music
"Bible" of China
Blackwater, river
Boat travelling
Boiling alive
Book of Chou
Book of Hia
"Book, The"
Books, wooden
Bows and arrows
"Boxer" troubles
Bronze documents
Bruce, Major
Brush for writing
Buffer states
Builders, Chinese as
Burials. See Funerals

Cadastral surveys
Cæsar, title
Canal, Grand
Canals, early
Capitals, imperial
Capitals, vassal
Carthage. See Phoenicians
Caste, none in China
Caste, royal
Caste, ruling
Cattle trade
Celtic migration
Celtic races
Central Kingdom
Ceremonial. See Rites
Cessions of imperial territory
_Chan-Kwoh Ts'êh_
Ch'ang, personal name
Chang, river
_Ch'ang-chon Fu_
Chang I, diplomatist
Ch'ang-sha, modern
Ch'ang-shuh, city
Changes, Book of
Chao, state
Characters. See Writing
Chavannes, Professor Edouard
Chefoo, port
Chêh Kiang, province
Ch'ên Ch'ang (_tabu_ form of Ch'ên or
T'ien H&g)
Ch'ên family and state
Ch'ên-chou Fu
Chêng, imperial name
Chêng, state
Ch'éng-tu, city,
Chih Li, province,
China, ancient nucleus of,
China, old name for, (_see_ Hia),
China, south,
China unified,
Chinese advisers,
Chinkiang, port,
Choh Chou, locality,
Chou, collapse of, house, See Emperor
Chou, Duke of,
Chou dynasty,
Chou dynasty, end of,
Chou principality,
Chou, Rites of, (see Rites),
Chronology, definite,
Ch'ung-êrh, prince,
Ch'unghou, Manchu envoy,
Ch'ung-k'ing, modern,
Church, the,
Churches, none in China,
Chusan Island,
Chwang, King of Ts'u,
Chwang-tsz, philosopher,
Civilian King,
Civilization, advance of,
Clan, or gem,
Clan, imperial,
Classic of poetry,
Classic, Law,
Classification of the people,
Clay documents,
Clerks, See Archives and Historiographers
Clerks or precentors,
Coast provinces,
Cochin China,
Colonization, Chinese,
Compass, the,
Conference, See Peace
Confucius, his birthday,
Confucius, his birthplace,
Confucius, his family,
Confucius, his History work,
Confucius, his liquor,
Confucius, his literary labours,
Confucius, his tampering,
Confucius, his wanderings,
Confusion of Tongues,
Conqueror (see Founder),
Conquest of China, See China
Continuity of history,
Corpse mutilation,
Country, definition of,
Counts, 29 (_see_ Earls),
Court duty,
Courtesy titles,
Courts, vassal,
Creation, the,
Critics (_see_ Historical),
Cromwell, Oliver,
Customs, foreign,
Cycles of time,
Cyclic dates,

Dancing women,
Danube, the,
Dates, definite,
Dates, Julian and Gregorian,
Dead, the,
Democracy of Lao-tsz,
Descent, rules of,
Destruction of literature,
_Dies nefas,_
Diplomatic adventurers,
Diplomatic terms,
Disciples of Confucius, (see Tso K'iu-ming),
Divine right,
Diviners,  _See_ Astrology
Documents in bronze,
Documents in stone,
Documents in wood,
Documents on silk,
Dogs, zog,
Dog Tartars,
Drums, stone,
Duke Muh of Ts'in (_see_ Muh),
Duke of Chou,
Duke of Shao,
Duke of Sung,
Dukes of Confucius, 35, 135
Dynasties, first (Hia),
Dynasties, inter-related,
Dynasties, second (Shang),
Dynasties, third (Chou),

Ears, amputation of,
Ears, piercing of,
Earls,  See Counts
Eastern Barbarians,
Eastern metropolis,
Eden, garden of,
Education, 89,
Egret fights,
Egyptian civilization,
Embassies, Japanese,
Emperor Above, or God,
Emperor and Tartar marriages,
Emperor's appanage,
Emperor, collapse of,
Emperor, early burial places,
Emperor, flights from his capital,
Emperor killed by barbarians,
Emperor killed by Tartars,
Emperor, suzerain,
Emperor, title of,
Emperor's court,
Emperors, dual,
"Empire," names for,
Empire, struggle for,
Etiquette, (_see_ Rites),
Europe and China, ancient,
European critics,
Euphrates, river,
Evidence, historical,
Exchange currency,
Expanded Confucian histories,
Explorations, Early Chinese,
Exterminating punishments,

Facing north, south, east, and west,
Fah Hien, pilgrim,
Fah, personal name,
Families, branching off of,
Families, great,
Fan Süan-tsz, statesman,
Father of Chinese History, (_see_ Sz-ma Ts'ien),
Federal princes,
Fên River,
Fêng-siang Fu,
Feudal system,
Feudal system, destruction of,
Fighting State Period,
First August Emperor,
Fish industry,
Five Tyrants, Dictators, or Protectors, See Protectors
Flags, use of,
Flooding cities,
Foot, length of,
Foreign blood in China,
Foreign critics,
Foreign languages,
Foreign princes, (see Barbarian),
Foreign states (politically),
Forke, Professor,
Founder of Chou dynasty, See Martial King
Four seasons,
French, the,
Frontiers, changing,
Fu-ch'ai, King of Wu,
Fuh Kien, province,
_Fu-yung_ vassals,

Geography, ancient,
Germans, (_see_ Prussia),
Germany, Emperors of,
Ghosts, _See_ Spirits
God, notions of,
Gods, _See_ Spirits
Gods of rivers,
Gods of the harvest,
Gods of the land,
Golden Horn,
Gordon, General,
Gorges of Yang-tsz River,
Gospels, the,
Government, theory of,
Grain trade,
Grand Canal,
Grants, _See_ Fiefs
Great families, _See_ Families
Great River, (see Yang-tsz),
Great Wall,
Greek civilization,
Guelph, the name,
Gulf of "Pechelee,"
Gutchen, locality,

Hauge Conference,
Hainan Island,
Hair, dressing the,
Hami, locality,
Han dynasty,
Han Emperor,
Han K'i, statesman,
Han, Pass of,
Han River,
Han, State of,
Han Süan-tsz,
Hangchow, modern,
Hankow, modern,
Harashar, locality,
Harems, _See_ Eunuchs
Hats, rank in,
Heaven, Son of, _See Tenshi_
Heaven, will of,
Hegemons, Five. See Protectors
Hegemony, official,
Hereditary offices,
"Hia," meaning "Chinese,"
Hia dynasty,
Hiang Süh, statesman,
Hen city,
_Hien_, definition of,
Hien-fêng, Emperor,
Hien-yang, locality,
Hindoo trading colonies,
Hindu Kush,
Historical critics,
Historical manipulations,
History, discrepancies in,
History, earliest dated,
History, early Chinese,
History, medieval Chinese,
"History," names for,
History, Japanese,
History of Shuh,
History of Sz Ch'wan,
History of Tsin,
History, romance of,
Ho-nan Fu,
Ho Nan Province,
Hong Kong,
"Horizontal and Perpendicular" Period,
House of Commons,
House of Lords,
Hü, state,
Human origins,
Human sacrifices,
Hu Kwang, province, _See_ Hu Pêh
Hu Nan, province,
Hu Pfh, province, (_see_ Hu Kwang),
Hundred Yüeh,
Hungarian migration,
Huns, See Hiung-nu
Hwa, city,
Hwai-k'ing Fu,
Hwai-nan-tsz, author,
Hwai River,
Hwai savages, See Eastern Barbarians
Hwai valley,
Hwsn, Duke of Lu,

"I," the words for,
I, River,
Ich'ang, modern,
I-thou Fu,
Imagination and fact,
Immortality defined,
Imperial clan,
Imperial residences,
Imperial domain, _See_ Dukes and Emperor
_Imperator_, the title,
Intercalary months,
International Law,
Iron trade,
Islands, South Sea,
Italy, See Roman civilization
Ito, Prince or Duke,

Japanese civilization,
Japanese history,
Japanese language,
Japanese types,
Jêhol, locality,
Jimmu, Mikado,
"Joints," twenty-four, of time,
Journey, in days,
Judge-made law,
_Julia, Lex_,
Jungle (see Ts'u state),
Jung-tsêh, city,

K'AI, city,
Kan-thou Fu,
K'ang-hi, Emperor,
Keugu, country, (see Wu),
Khan, Supreme Tartar,
_Ki_ clan,
K'i principality,
Ki-chah, prince of Wu,
Kia-ting Fu,
Kiang Si, province,
Kiang Su, province,
Kiang-yin, locality,
Kiao Chou,
K'ien, River,
_King_ (see Ts'u state),
King, title of,
King-thou Fu,
King River,
Kings, Tartar,
Kitchen middens,
Kou-tsien, King,
Kruger, President,
Kublai Khan,
Kuché, locality,
Ku-ch'êng, locality,
_Kung-tsz_, or son of reigning prince,
K'ü-pêh-yüh, Confucius' friend,
K'üh-fu, city,
K'üh Yüan, poet,
Kwa Chou, locality,
Kwan-tsz, philosopher,
Kwan-tsz, his death,
Kwei Chou, province,
Kwei-têh Fu,
Kwoh Hia, general,
_Kwoh Yü_, history,

Lai barbarians,
Lai-chou Fu,
Lakes of Hu Nan and Kiang Si,
Lakes of Kiang Su,
Lan-thou Fu,
Land, belongs to Emperor,
Language questions,
Lang-ya, locality,
Laos tribes,
Lao-tsz, philosopher,
Lao-tsz's book,
Law, natural,
Leather chariots,
Leather trade,
Left and Right,
Legal fictions,
Legge, Dr.,
_Lex Julia_,
Li, Emperor,
Li Hung-chang,
Li K'wei, lawyer,
Li Ping, engineer,
Li Tan, See Lao-tsz
Liang, state,
Liao River,
Liao Tung,
Lieh-tsz, Taoist author,
Lin-tsz, city,
Literary activity,
Literary pedants,
Literature, destruction of,
Literature, early,
Liu Hia, person,
Liu K'un-yih, viceroy,
Livadia, Treaty of,
Lob Nor,
Local customs,
_Loess_ territory,
Loh River,
Loh-yang (see Ho-nan Fu and Capitals),
Lolo, tribes,
Long Tartars,
Loss of rule,
Lu, extinction of,
Lu stripped of territory,
Luh-fu, personal name,
Luni-solar years,

_Maire du palais_,
Males, Seven,
Manchu dynasty,
Marco Polo,
Marriages, exogamic,
Marriages, imperial,
Marriages, Tartar,
Marriages, vassal,
Martial King, the; (see Founder and Warrior),
Meat eating,
Meat, gifts of sacrificial,
Memorizing books,
Mencius, philosopher,
Mêng, Ford,
Merchants, log
Metropolis, 279 (see Capitals),
Miao-tsz tribes,
Migrating birds,
Mikado,  _See_ Jimmu
Ministers of State,
Missions, (see Envoys; Embassies),
Modern ideas,
Mon, people,
Monosyllabic language,
Months and moons,
Moon, proclaiming the,
Moon, sacrifice at full,
Mothers, quality of, See Wives
Mourning and War,
Mourning customs,
Muh (T'ien-tsz or) Emperor,
Muh, Duke of Ts'in,
Mulberry trees,
Mutilation of corpses,

Names, ancient and modern place,
Names, Chinese proper,
Names, clan,
Names, personal,
Names, posthumous,
Names, Tartar,
"Naming" process,
Nanking, modern,
Nan-yang Fu,
National colours, See Flags
Natural law,
Naval fights,
Navigable rivers,
Navigation by sea,
Ngwei, state,
Nien-po, locality,
Nine Tripods,
Ningpo, modern,
Nomad horsemen,
Norman feudal system,
Nosu. See Lolo
Nucleus of old China (see China),

Odes, Book of,
Okuma, Count,
Oppolzer's dates,
Oracles, consulting,
Orthodox Chinese,
Orthodox courts,
_Oviet_, See Yüeh

PA, state,
Pao-ch'êng, locality,
Paper, invention of,
Pass, frontier,
Patriarchal rule,
Peace Conference,
"Pechelee" Gulf,
Pêh K'i, General,
Peking, modern,
Peking plain,
People, the,
Period, Protector,
"Perpendicular and Horizontal" Period,
Persian civilization,
Personal causes of war,
Personal names,
"Piled Stones," locality,
Pillars of Hercules,
P'ing-yang Fu,
Pivot points, historical,
Ploughed fields,
Ploughman Emperor,
Poetry, See Odes
Poetry, classic, See Odes
Political intrigue,
Pope, comparison with the,
Population, non-Chinese,
Posterity, importance of,
Posthumous names,
Posthumous titles,
Powers, great,
Premiers, _See_ Ministers
Presage, See Astrology
Presents from Emperor,
Priestly caste, no,
Principalities, (see Fiefs),
Prisoners of war,
Proclaiming the law,
Proclaiming the moon,
Progress in China,
Promontory, Shan Tung,
Prophecy, (see Astrology and Oracles),
Protector, First,
Protector, Third,
Protectors, Joint,
Protectors of China,
P'u-chou Fu,
P'uh, barbarians,
Punishments, barbarous,

Quelpaert, Island,

Race feeling,
Railway, "British,"
Ranks of nobility,
Ranks, official,
Records, (see History),
Redwater, River,
Regency, See Duke of Chou
Reign periods,
Religion, none in ancient China,
Religion of Confucius (so-called),
Religious compromise,
Remains, ancient,
Rénan, Ernest,
Residences at the metropolis,
Revolutionary literature,
Right and Left,
Rites, See Ritual
Rites, Book of,
Rites of Chou,
Ritual chivalry,
Ritual, Shinto,
Rivers and migration,
Rivers and navigation,
Road, begging,
Roman civilization,
Royal caste,
Rulers, divine right of,
Rulers, tyranny of,

Sacrifices, drum,
Sacrifices, family,
Sacrifices, human,
Sacrifices, spring and autumn,
Sacrificial meat,
_Saga_ literature,
Salary in grain,
Salt flats,
Salt trade,
Sanctions, solemn,
Savages, _See_ Barbarians
Science and religion,
Scottish parallels,
Scythians,  See Turks and Hiung-nu
Sea, little known,
Seal character,
Semi-mythical times,
Septimius Severus,
Settled communities,
Seven States,
Sha-Shï, modern,
Shan-hai Kiwan,
Shan races,
Shan Si, province,
Shan Tung, province,
Shang dynasty,
Shang, principality,
_Shang Ti_, title,
_Shanghai_, modern,
Shao, Duke of (in Yen),
Shao-hing, modern,
Sheba, Queen of,
_Shên-wu_, Mikado (see Jimmu),
Shen Si, province,
_Shï-ki_, history,
Shintö ritual,
Shipping, early,
Shou-mêng, King of Wu,
Shuh Hiang, statesman,
Shuh, state,
Shun, Emperor,
Siang, Emperor,
Siang-yang city,
Sin, idea of,
Si-ngan Fu,
Sinim, land of,
Si-ning, locality,
Silk industry,
Silk, writing on,
sisters as joint wives,
_Siwangmu_, country and ruler,
Six Kingdoms,
Six states (south),
smearing blood,
smearing lips with blood,
Son of Heaven,
Songs, 154 (_see_ Odes),
Soochow city,
Soochow Creek,
Soul, the,
Söul (Corea),
South, facing,
South China,
South Sea,
South Sea Islands,
Southern Yüeh,
Sovereign quality,
Spanish parallels,
Spirits, (see Wine),
Spirits and ghosts,
Spiritual power,
Spring and Autumn Annals,
Spring functions,
Standards, See Flags
States, size of,
Statesmen, intimacy of,
Statistics, absence of,
Stone documents,
Stone drums,
Struggle for empire,
Succession questions,
Sii Chou,
Sultans of Turkey,
Sun, facing the,
Sun, movements of,
Sung as Protector,
Sung, state,
Sung's diplomatic position,
Supernatural agencies,
Su Ts'in, diplomatist,
Sz, the River,
Sz Ch'wan history,
Sz Ch'wan, province,
Sz-ma Kwang,
Sz-ma Ts'ien,

Tablets, ancestral,
Tablets, documentary,  See Documents
T'ai Hu, lake,
T'ai-p'ing rebels,
T'ai-shan, mountain,
Ta-liang, capital,
Tan, historiographer,
Tan-yang, locality,
T'ang dynasty,
_Tao_, or the way,
Tarim valley,
Tartar advisers,
"Tartar," ambiguity of word,
Tartar cart-houses,
Tartar Emperors,
Tartar Empire,
Tartar kings,
Tartar pedigrees,
Tartar treaties,
Tartar wives,
Tartars annexed,
Tartars kill Emperor,
Tartars, Northern,
Tartars, Western,
Têh-an, locality,
Temple of Heaven,
Temples in China, See Ancestral
Têng, state,
_Tenshi_, or T'ien-tsz,
Territorial names,
Teutonic migrations,
Thicket country, See _King_
Tho, people,
Three Miao,
Three Tsin,
_Ti_, the word, or Emperor,
T'ien (disguised form of Ch'en) family,
T'ien H&g,
Tientsin, modern,
Tillage, (see Agriculture),
Tin Islands,
Titles of vassal rulers,
Tombs, ancient,
Tombs, desecration of,
Tombs of Emperors,
Tones, Chinese,
Tonic languages,
Tonquin, early relations with,
T'ouman, personal name,
Tower of Babel,
Treaties, Chinese vassal,
Treaties, faithlessness to,
Treaties, Tartar,
Tribute of Yii,
Triennial homage,
Tripods, Nine,
Trophies, war,
Ts'ai, state,
Ts'ao Wên-chung, statesman,
Ts'ao, state,
Ts'ao-thou Fu,
Tschepe, Father, S. J.,
Ts'i a Tartar power,
Ts'i and Tsin cooperation,
Ts'i and Ts'u wars,
Ts'i-nan Fu,
Ts'i revolution,
Tsi, River,
Ts'i, state,
Ts'i's gay capital,
Ts'i's hegemony,
Ts'i's hospitality,
Ts'i's luxury,
Tsin and Ts'i wars,
Tsin and Ts'in wars,
Tsin and Ts'u wars,
Tsin, extension of,
Tsin, half Tartar,
T'sin, history of,
Tsin, New,
Tsin, Old,
Tsin, state,
Tsin, Three,
Tsin's division,
T's'in and Tsin wars,
T's'in and Ts'u cooperation,
T's'in empire,
T's'in history,
T's'in not literary,
Ts'in Protector,
Ts'in, state,
Ts'in's isolation,
Ts'in's kindness to Tsin,
Ts'in's Tartar blood,
Ts'ing-chou Fu,
Ts'ing-tao, See Kiao Chou
Tso Chwan, history,
Tso K'iu-ming, historian,
Ts'u a literary state,
Ts'u and Ts'i wars,
Ts'u and Tsin wars,
Ts'u and Ts'in straggle for empire,
Ts'u and Wu wars,
Ts'u as a suzerain,
Ts'u as Protector,
Ts'u extinguishes Lu
Ts'u, foreign blood
Ts'u, progress of
Ts'u, state (_see_ Jungle)
_Tsz-chi T'ung-kien_, History
T'ung-thou Fu
Tung-t'ing Lake
Tun-hwang, locality
Turfan, locality
Turkestan, Early travels to
Turning-points in history
Twelve mansions
Twelve Tables
Tyrants, Five, See Protectors

Ultima Thule
Uncle, political status of
Urumtsi, locality
Uviet (see Yiieh)

Varnish for writing
Vassal princes
Vassals, barbarous
Vicar of God
Victims in sacrifice
Victory, praying for
Vietnam, See Yiieh
Voltaire on Chinese eclipses
Vows, _See_ Oaths and Sanctions

Wall, Great
Walls of cities
Wanderings of Second Protector
Wang, title
War, See Warfare
War, etiquette of
Warfare, Chinese
Warrior King, See Martial King
Wealth, ideas of
Wei (Ngwei), state
Wei Kiang (of Tsin)
Wei, River
Wei, state
Wei, Valley
Wei Yang, statesman
Heights and Measures
Wei-hwei Fu
Wên Wang
Western filtration of ideas
Western marches of China
William HI. of England
Wives, classes of
_Wo_, name for Japanese
Women, position of
Worship or sacrifice
Writing, ancient
Writing brush
Writing modified
Writing unknown to Tartars, etc.
Written characters
Wu and Ts'u wars
Wu and Ytieh wars
Wu as Protector
Wu extinguished
Wu, state
"Wu," the word
Wu's pedigree
Wu's progress
Wuhu, modern
Wu-sih, locality
Wusung River
Wu Wang

Ya-chou Fu
Yamagata, Prince or Duke
Yang Chou, province
Yang-tsz, joined to Hwai
Yang-tsz, mouths of
Yang-tsz, River
Yao, Emperor
Year, the
Yellow River
  as boundary
  its early course
  its later courses
  its lower course
  its northern bank Tartars
  its northern bend
  its southern bend
Yen, state of
Yen-tsz, philosopher
Yih-ch'êng, locality
Ying, clan-name
Yu, Emperor
Yii, Emperor
Yii Chou, locality
Yü-yüeh, See Uviet
Yiian Shi-k'ai, Viceroy
Yiieh, Shan Tung capital of
Yiieh as Protector
Yüeh destroys Wu
Yiieh, Southern
Yiieh, state
Yiieh, the Hundred
Yung-ning, locality
Yün Nan, province


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