Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 231 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
SOURCES AND AUTHORITIES.—While the designs on porcelain, screens. &c., have long been admired in the West, the paintings of which these are merely reproductions have been utterly ignored. Ignorance has gained authority with time, till the very existence of a great school of Chinese painting has been denied. Materials for study are scanty. Fires, wars and the recent armed ravages of Western civilization have left but little. The profound indifference of the Chinese to European admiration has prevented their collections from being known. The Japanese, always enthusiastic students and collectors of the continental art, claim (whether justly or not, is hard to ascertain) that the finest specimens are now in their country. Many of these are reproduced in the invaluable Tokyo publications, the Kokka, Mr Tajima's Select Relics, &c., with Japanese criticisms in English. Of actual paintings the British Museum possesses a fair number, and the Louvre a few, of real importance. Copies and forgeries abound. See H. A. Giles, Introduction to the History of Chinese Pictorial Art (1905) ; F. Hirth, Scraps from a Collector's Note-Book (19o5), (supplements Giles's work and especially valuable for the art of the Ch'ing dynasty) ; S. W. Bushell, Chinese Art, vol. ii. (1906); K. Okakura, Ideals of the East (1903) ; M. Paleologue, L'Art chinois (1887) ; W. Anderson, Catalogue of Japanese and Chinese Paintings (1886); Sei-ichi Taki, " Chinese Landscape Painting," The Kokka, Nos. 191, &c. (1906); Chinesische Malereien aus der Sammlung Hirth (Catalogue of an exhibition held at Dresden) (1897); W. von Setdlitz, article in Kunstchronik (1896-1897), No. 16. 2. Eng"aving.—According to native historians, the art of printing from wooden blocks was invented in China in the 6th century A.D., when it was employed for the publication of texts. The earliest evidence we have for the existence of wood-cuts made to reproduce pictures or drawings is a passage in a work by Chang Yen-yuan, from which it appears that these were not made before the beginning of the T'ang dynasty, under which that author lived. The method employed was to cut the design with a knife on the plank of the wood, in the manner followed by European. artists till the end of the 18th century, when engraving with a burin on boxwood ousted the older process. The Japanese borrowed the art from China; and in Japan a whole school of artists arose who worked specially for the woodcutters and adapted their designs to the limitations of the material employed. In China the art has remained merely reproductive, and its history is therefore of less interest. Printing in colours was known to the Chinese in the 17th century., and probably earlier. In the British Museum is a set of prints brought from the East by Kaempfer in 1693, in which eight colours and elaborate gauJjrage are used. Some fine albums of colour prints have been issued in China, but nothing equal in beauty to the prints produced in Japan by the co-operation of woodcutter and designer. Engraving on copper was introduced to China by the Jesuits, and some well-known sets of prints illustrating campaigns in Mongolia were made in the 18th century. But the method has never proved congenial to the artists of the Far East. See Sir R. K. Douglas, Guide to the Chinese and Japanese Illustrated Books (British Museum, 1887); W. Anderson, Japanese Wood En-graving (1895). 3. Architecture.—In architecture the Chinese genius has found but limited and uncongenial expression. A nation of painters has built picturesquely, but this picturesqueness has fought against the attainment of the finest architectural qualities. There has been little development; the arch, for instance, though known to the Chinese from very early times, has been scarcely used as a principle of design, and the cupola has been undiscovered or ignored; and though foreign architectural ideas were introduced under the influence of the Buddhist and Mahon nmedan religions, these were more or less assimilated and sabdued to the dominant Chinese design. Ruins scarcely exist and no building earlier than the 11th century A.D. is known; but we know from records that the forms of architecture still prevalent imitate in essentials those of the 4th and 5th centuries B.C. and doubtless represent an immemorial tradition. The grand characteristic of Chinese architecture is the pre-eminent importance of the roof. The t'ing is the commonest model of building. The roof is the main feature; in fact the t'ing consists of this roof, massive and immense, with recurved edges, and the numerous short columns on which the roof rests. The columns are of wood, the straight stems of the nanmu being specially used for this purpose. The walls are not supports, but merely fill in, with stone or brickwork, the spaces between the columns. The scheme of construction is thus curiously like that of the modern American steel-framed building, though the external form may be derived from the tent of primitive nomads. The roof, being the preponderant feature, is that on ,which the art of the architect has been concentrated. A double or a triple roof may be devised; the ridges and eaves may be decorated with dragons and other fantastic animals, and the eaves underlaid with carved and lacquered woodwork; the roof itself is often covered with glazed tiles of brilliant hue. In spite of efforts, sometimes desperate, to give variety and individual character by ornament and detail, the general impression is one of poverty of design. " Chinese buildings are usually one-storeyed and are developed horizontally as they are increased in size or number. The principle which determines the plan of projection is that of symmetry " (Bushell). All important buildings must face the south, and this uniform orientation increases the general architectural monotony produced by a preponderance of horizontal lines. A special characteristic of Chinese architecture is the pai-lou, an archway erected only by special authority, usually to commemorate famous persons. The pai-lou is commonly made of wood with a tiled roof, but sometimes is built entirely of stone, as is the gateway at the avenue of the Ming tombs. A magnificent example of the pai-lou is that on the avenue leading to Wo Fo Ssii, the temple of the Sleeping Buddha, near Peking. This is built of marble and glazed terra-cotta. The pai-lou, like the Japanese torii, derives its origin from the loran of Indian stupas. Lofty towers called l'ai, usually square and of stone, seem to have been a common type of important building in early times. They are described in old books as erected by the ancient kings and used for various purposes. The towers of the Great Wall are of the same character, and are made of stone, with arched doors and windows. Stone, though plentiful in most provinces of the empire, has been singularly little used by the Chinese, who prefer wood or brick. M. Paleologue attributes this preference of light and destructible materials to the national indifference of the Chinese to posterity and the future, their enthusiasm being wholly devoted to their ancestors and the past. Temples are designed on the general ring model. The Temple of Heaven is the most imposing of the Confucian temples, conspicuous with its covering of deep-blue tiles and its triple roof. Near this is the great Altar of Heaven, consisting of three circular terraces with marble balustrades. Buddhist temples are built on the general plan of secular residences, and consist of a series of rectangular courts with the principal building in the centre, the lesser at the sides. Lama temples differ little from these except in the interior decorations and symbolism. Mahommedan mosques are far simpler and severer in internal arrangement, but outwardly these also are in the Chinese style. The pagoda (Chinese taa), the type of Chinese architecture most familiar to the West, probably owes its peculiar form to Buddhist influence. In the pagoda alone may be found some trace of a religious imagination such as in Europe made Gothic architecture so full and splendid an expression of the aspiring spirit. The most famous pagoda was the Porcelain Tower of Nanking, destroyed by the T`aip`ing rebels in 1854. This was covered with slabs of faience coated with coloured glazes. The ordinary pagoda is built of brick on a stone foundation; it is octagonal with thirteen storeys. No Chinese buildings show more beauty than some of the graceful stone bridges for which the neighbourhood of Peking has been famous for centuries. See M. Paleologue, L'Art chinois (1887): S. W. Bushell, Chinese Art, vol. i. (1904); J. Fergusson, History of Architecture; Professor Chuta Ito, articles in The Kokka, Nos. 197, 198. (L. B.) 4. Sculpture.—Except in the casting and decoration of bronze vessels the Chinese have not obtained distinction as sculptors. They have practised sculpture in stone from an early period, but the incised reliefs of the and century B.C., a number of which are figured in Professor E. Chavannes's standard work,' while they display a certain spirit, lack the true plastic sense, and though the power of the Chinese draughtsmen in-creased rapidly under the T'ang and Sung dynasties, their work in stone showed no parallel progress. The feeling for solidity, which in Japan was a natural growth, was always somewhat exotic in China. With the impulse given to the arts by Buddhism a school of sculpture arose. The pilgrim Fa Hsien records sculpture of distinctive Chinese type in the 5th century. But Indian models dominated the art. Colossal Buddhas of stone were typical of the Tang era. Little, however, remains of these earlier times, and such true sculpture in stone, wood or ivory as we know dates from the 14th and succeeding centuries. The well-known sculptures on the arch at Chu Yung Kuan (A.D. 1345) are Hindu in style, though not without elements of breadth and strength, which seem to promise a greater development than actually took place. The colossal figures guarding the approach to the Ming tombs (r5th century) show that the national taste rapidly became conventional and petrified so far as monumental sculpture was concerned, though occasional examples of devotional or portrait sculpture on a smaller scale in wood and ivory are found, which in power, grace, sincerity and restraint can rank with the work of more gifted nations. Such pieces, however, are extremely rare, and at South Kensington the ivory " Kwanyin and Child " (274. 1898) is a solitary example. As a rule the Chinese sculptor valued his art in proportion to the technical difficulties it conquered. He thus either preferred intractable materials like jade or rock-crystal, or, if he wrought in wood, horn or ivory, sought to make his work curious or intricate rather than beautiful. There is, nevertheless, beauty of a kind in Chinese bowls of jade, and there is dignity in some of the pieces of rock-crystal, but the bulk of the carving done in wood, horn and ivory does not deserve a moment's serious thought from the aesthetic point of view. The few fine specimens may be referred to the earlier part of the Ming dynasty when Chinese art in general was sincere and simple. After the middle of the 15th century there set in the taste for profuse ornament which injured all subsequent Chinese work, and wholly ruined Chinese sculpture. Bronzes.—In Chinese bronzes we have a more consistent and exceptional form of plastic art, which can be traced continuously for some three thousand years. These bronzes take the form of ritual or honorific vessels, and the archaic shapes used in the service of the prehistoric religion of the country are repeated and copied with slight changes in decoration or detail to the present day. The oldest extant specimens, chiefly derived from the sack of the Summer Palace at Peking, may be referred to the Shang and Chow dynasties (1766–255 B.C.). These ancient pieces have a certain savage monumental grandeur of design, are usually covered with a rich and thick patina of red, green and brown, and are decorated with simple patterns—scrolls, zigzag lines and a form of what is known as the Greek key-pattern symbolizing respectively waves, mountains and storm clouds. The animal forms used are those of the tao-tieh (glutton), a fabulous monster (possibly a conventionalized tiger) representing the powers of the earth, the serpent and the bull. These two last in later pieces combine to form the dragon, representing the power of the air. In the Chow dynasty libation vessels were also made in the form of a deer, a ram or a rhinoceros. These characteristics are shown in figures 9-17, Plate II. Fig. 9 is a temple vessel of a shape still in use, but which must date from before r000 B.C. With this massive piece may be contrasted ' La Sculpture sur Pierre en Chine au temps des deux dynasties Han (Paris, 1893). but also master-craftsmen in metal. It is indeed at this period that the art reaches its climax. The monumental grandeur of the Shang specimens is often allied to clumsiness; the later work, if more elaborate, is always less powerful. Nevertheless, it is to a later period that ninety-nine out of a hundred Chinese bronzes must be referred, and the great majority belong either to the Han and succeeding dynasties (220 B.C.—A.D. 400), or to the Renaissance of the arts which culminated under the Ming dynasty a thousand years later. The characteristics of the first of these periods is the free use of small solid figures of animals as decoration—the phoenix, the elephant, the frog, the ox, the tortoise, and occasionally men; shapes grow less austere and less significant, as a comparison between figures 11 and 13 will indicate; then towards the end of the 2nd century A.D. the influence of Buddhism is felt in the general tendency towards suavity of form (fig. 14). This vase is most delicately though sparingly inlaid with silver and a few touches of gold. Some small pieces, very richly and delicately inlaid and covered with a magnificent emerald-green patina, belonging to this period, form a connecting link between the inlaid work of the Chow dynasty and that of the Sung and Ming dynasties. The mirrors with Graeco-Bactrian designs, a conclusive proof of the external influences brought to bear upon Chinese art, are also attributed to the Han epoch. The troubled period between A.D. 400 and A.D. 960, in spite of the interval of activity under the Tang dynasty, produced, it would seem, but few bronzes, and those few were of no distinct or note-worthy style. Under the Sung dynasty the arts revived, and to this time some of the most splendid specimens of inlaid work belong—, pieces of workmanship and taste no less perfect than that of the Japanese, in which the gold and silver of the earlier work are occasionally reinforced with malachite and lapis-lazuli. The coming of Kublai Khan and the Yuen dynasty (1280–1367) once more brought the East into contact with the West, and to this time we may assign certain fine pieces of Persian form such as pilgrim bottles. The vessels bearing Arabic inscriptions belong to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), with which the modern history of Chinese art begins. The work done while the Ming dynasty was still young provides the student of Chinese art with many problems, and in one or two cases even the South Kensington authorities assign to pre-Christian times pieces that are clearly of Ming workmanship. The tendency of the period was eclectic and archaistic. The products of earlier days were reproduced with perfect technical command of materials, and with admirable taste; it is indeed by an excess of these qualities that archaistic Ming work may be distinguished from the true archaic. In fig. 15 we see how the Ming bronze worker took an earlier Buddhistic form of vase and gave it a new grace that amounted almost to artifice. A parallel might be found among the products of the so-called art nouveau of to-day, in which old designs are revived with just that added suavity or profusion of curvature that robs them of character. Fig. 16 again might be mistaken almost for a piece of the Chow dynasty, were not the grandeur of its form modified by just so much harmony in the curvature of the body and neck, and by just so much finish in the details as to rob the design of the old majestic vigour and to mark it as the splendid effort of an age of culture, and not the natural product of a period of strength. It is, however, in the inlaid pieces that the difference tells most clearly. Here we find the monstrous forms of the Shang and Chow dynasties revived by men who appreciated their spirit but could not help making the revival an excuse for the display of their own superior skill. The monstrous vases and incense-burners of the past thus appear once more, but are now decorated with a delicate embroidery of inlay, are polished and finished to perfection, but lose therewith just the rudeness of edge and outline which made the older work so gravely significant. At times even some grandly planned vessel will appear with such a festoon of pretty tracery wreathed about it that the incongruity is little short of ridiculous, and we recognize we have passed the turning-point to decline. Decline indeed came rapidly, and to the latter part of the Mingepoch we must assign those countless bronzes ware dragons and flowers and the stock symbols of happiness, good luck and longevity sprawl together in interminable convolutions. When once we reach this stage of contortion, of elaborate pierced and relief work, we come to the place in history of Chinese bronzes where serious study may cease, except in so far as the study of the symbols themselves throws light upon the history of Chinese procelain (see CERAMICS): One class of bronze alone needs a word of notice, namely, the profusely decorated pieces which have a Tibetan origin, and are obviously no older than the end of the Ming period. Of these fig. 17 will serve as a specimen, and a comparison with fig. 9 will show how the softer rounded forms and jewelled festoons of Hindu-Greek taste enervated the grand primitive force of the earlier age, and that neither the added delicacy of texture and substance nor the vastly increased dexterity of workmanship can compensate for the vanished majesty. (C. J. H.) Colloquial. In treating of Chinese, it will be found convenient to distinguish, broadly, the spoken from the written language and to deal with each separately. This is a distinction which would be out of place if we had to do with any European, or indeed most Oriental languages. Writing, in its origin, is merely a symbolic representation of speech. But in Chinese, as we shall see, for reasons connected with the peculiar nature of the script, the two soon began to move along independent and largely divergent lines. This division, moreover, will enable us to employ different methods of inquiry more suited to each. With regard to the colloquial, it is hardly possible to do more than consider it in the form or forms in which it exists at the present day throughout the empire of China. Although Chinese, like other living languages, must have undergone gradual changes in the past, so little can be stated with certainty about these changes that an accurate survey of its evolution is quite out of the question. Obviously a different method is required when we come to the written characters. The familiar line, " Liters scripta manet, volat irrevocabile verbum," is truer perhaps of Chinese than of any other tongue. We have hardly any clue as to how Chinese was spoken or pronounced in any given district e000 years ago, although there are written remains dating from long before that time; and in order to gain an insight into the structure of the characters now existing, it is necessary to trace their origin and development. Beginning with the colloquial, then, and taking a linguistic survey of China, we find not one spoken language but a number of dialects, all clearly of a common stock, yet differing The from one another as widely as the various Romance diatactr. languages in southern Europe—say, French, Italian and Spanish. Most of these dialects are found fringing the coast-line of China, and penetrating but a comparatively short way into the interior. Starting from the province of Kwangtung in the south, where the Cantonese and farther inland the Hakka dialects are spoken, and proceeding northwards, we pass in succession the following dialects: Swatow, Amoy—these two may almost be regarded as one—Foochow, Wenchow and Ningpo. Farther north we come into the range of the great dialect popularly known as Mandarin (Kuanhuaor" official language "), which sweeps round behind the narrow strip of coast occupied by the various dialects above-mentioned, and dominates a hinterland constituting nearly four-fifths of China proper. Mandarin, of which the dialect of Peking, the capital since 1421, is now the standard form, comprises a, considerable number of sub-dialects, some of them so closely allied that the speakers of one are wholly intelligible to the speakers of another, while others (e.g, the vernaculars of Yangchow, Hankow or Mid-China and Ssfl-ch`uan) may almost be considered as separate dialects. Among all these, Cantonese is supposed to approximate most nearly to the primitive language of antiquity, whereas Pekingese perhaps has receded farthest from it. But although philologically and historically speaking Cantonese and certain other dialects may be of greater interest, for all practical purposes Mandarin, in the widest sense of the term, is by far the most important. Not only can it claim to be the native speech of the majority of Chinamen, but it is the recognized vehicle of oral communication between all Chinese officials, even in cases where they come from the same part of the country and speak the same patois. For the flower-like wine vase shown in fig. lo, a favourite shape which is the prototype of some of the most graceful forms of Chinese porcelain and Japanese bronze. Its date is about I000 B.C. The large wine vase shown in fig. II is some 400 years later. On the body appears the head of the tao-tieh, on the handles are superbly modelled serpents. The technique, which in the previous pieces was somewhat rude, has now become perfect, yet the menacing majestic feeling remains. We see it no less clearly in fig. 12, a marvellous vessel richly inlaid with gold and silver and covered with an emerald-green patina. It may date from about 500 B.C., and indicates that even in this remote epoch the Chinese were not only daring and powerful artists these reasons, all examples of phraseology in this article will be given in Pekingese. So far, stress has been laid chiefly on the dissimilarity of the dialects. On the other hand, it must be remembered that they proceed from the same parent stem, are spoken by members of the same race, and are united by the bond of writing which is the common possession of all, and cannot be regarded as derived from one more than from another. They also share alike in the two most salient features of Chinese as a whole: (I) they are all monosyllabic, that is, each individual word consists of only one syllable; and (2) they are strikingly poor in vocables, or separate sounds for the conveyance of speech. The number of these vocables varies from between 800 and 900 in Cantonese to no more than 420 in the vernacular of Peking. This scanty number, however, is eked out by interposing an aspirate between certain initial consonants and the vowel, so that for instance p'u is distinguished from pu. The latter is pronounced with little or no emission of breath, the " p " approximating the farther north one goes (e.g. at Niuchwang) more closely to a " b." The aspirated p'u is pronounced more like our interjection " Pooh!" To the Chinese ear, the difference between the two is very marked. It will be found, as a rule, that an Englishman imparts a slight aspirate to his p's, t's, k's and ch's, and therefore has greater difficulty with the unaspirated words in Chinese. The aspirates are better learned by the ear than by the eye, but in one way or another it is essential that they be mastered by any one who wishes to make himself intelligible to the native. The influence of the Mongolian population, assisted by the progress of time, has slowly but surely diminished the number of vocables in Pekingese. Thus the initials is and k, when followed by the vowel i ( with its continental value) have gradually become softer and more assimilated to each other, and are now all pronounced ch. Again, all consonantal endings in t and k, such as survive in Cantonese and other dialects, have entirely disappeared from Pekingese, and n and ng are the only final consonants remaining. Vowel sounds, on the other hand, have been proportionately developed, such compounds as ao, ia, iao, iu, ie, ua occurring with especial frequency. (It must be under-stood, of course, that the above are only equivalents, not in all cases very exact, for the sounds of a non-alphabetic language.) An immediate consequence of this paucity of vocables is that one and the same sound has to do duty for different words. Reckoning the number of words that an educated man would want to use in conversation at something over four thousand, it is obvious that there will be an average of ten meanings to each sound employed. Some sounds may have fewer meanings attached to them, but others will have many more. Thus the following represent only a fraction of the total number of words pronounced ship (something like the " shi " in shirt): " his- tory," f " to employ," " a corpse," j j " a market," 4 " an army," " a lion," 14 " to rely on," f " to wait on," " poetry," 01 " time," " to know," " to bestow," Z " to be," " solid," " to lose," T " to proclaim," j " to look at," -j "ten," Jfr "to pick up," jj "stone," 2 "generation," " to eat," " a house," j " a clan," Z. " beginning," "to let go," 'g "to test," $. "affair," " power," ± "officer," " to swear," jE " to pass away," A" to happen." It would be manifestly impossible to speak without ambiguity, or indeed to make oneself intelligible at all, unless there were some means of supplementing this deficiency of sounds. As a matter of fact, several devices are employed through the combination of which confusion is avoided. One of these devices is the coupling of words in pairs in order to express a single idea. There is a word ko which means " elder brother." But in speaking, the sound ko alone would not always be easily understood in this sense. One must either reduplicate it and say ko-ko, or prefix k (ta, " great ") and say to-ko. Simple reduplication is mostly con-fined to family appellations and such adverbial phrases as man-man, " slowly." But there is a much larger class of pairs, in which each of the two components has the same meaning. Examples are: k'ung-p'a, "to be afraid," kao- su, " to tell," * shu-mu, " tree," i J p'i-fu, " skin," 2 man-ying, "full," ku-tu, "solitary." Sometimes the two parts are not exactly synonymous, but together make up the sense required. Thus in A i-shang, " clothes," i denotes more particularly clothes worn on the upper part of the body, and shang those on the lower part. J feng-huang is the name of a fabulous bird, fen being the male, and huang the female. In another very large class of expressions, the first word serves to limit and determine the special meaning of the second: ijpj ." milk-skin," " cream "; k " fire-leg," " ham "; " lamp-cage," " lantern "; f IN " sea-waist," " strait." There are, besides, a number of phrases which are harder to classify. Thus, hu means " tiger." But in any case where ambiguity might arise, lao-hu, " old tiger," is used instead of the mono- syllable. , (another hu) is " fox," and an animal belong- ing to the smaller cat tribe. Together, hu-Ii, they form the usual term for fox. 1 a chili tao is literally " to know the way," but has come to be used simply for the verb " to know." These pairs or two-word phrases are of such frequent occurrence, that the Chinese spoken language might almost be described as bi-syllabic. Something similar is seen in the extensive use of suffixes or enclitics, attached to many of the commonest nouns. nii is the word for " girl," but in speech I( f nu-tzu or lc g, nii-'rh is the form used. 7. and 12 both mean child, and must originally have been diminutives. A fairly close parallel is afforded by the German suffix then, as in Mc dchen. The suffix fni, it may be remarked, belongs especially to the Peking vernacular. Then, the use of so-called numeratives will often give some sort of clue as to the class of objects in which a substantive may be found. When in pidgin English we speak of " one piecee man " or " three piecee dollar," the word piecee is simply a Chinese numerative in English dress. Even in ordinary English, people do not say " four cattle " but " four head of cattle." But in Chinese the use of numeratives is quite a distinctive feature of the language. The commonest of them, 4 ko, can be used indifferently in connexion with almost any class of things, animal, vegetable or mineral. But there are other numeratives—at least 20 or 30 in everyday use—which are strictly reserved for limited classes of things with specific attributes. tt met', for instance, is the numerative of circular objects such as coins and rings; Vig k'o of small globular objects —pearls, grains of rice, &c. ; [7 k'ou classifies things which have a mouth—bags, boxes and so forth; f4 chien is used of all kinds of affairs; chang of chairs and sheets of paper; chili (literally half a pair) is the numerative for various animals, parts of the body, articles of clothing and ships; 4E pa for things which are grasped by a handle, such as fans and knives. This by no means exhausts the list of devices by which the difficulties of a monosyllabic language are successfully overcome. Mention need only be made, however, of the system of " tones," which, as the most curious and important of all, has been kept for the last. The tones may be defined as regular modulations of the voice by means of which different inflections can be imparted to the same sound. They may be compared with the half-involuntary modulations which express emotional The tones. feeling in our words. To the foreign ear, a Chinese sentence spoken slowly with the tones clearly brought out has a certain sing-song effect. If we speak of the tones as a " device " adopted in order to increase the number of vocables, this must be understood rather as a convenient way of explaining their practical function than as a scientific account of their origin. It is absurd to suppose the tones were deliberately invented in order to fit each written character with a separate sound. A tone may be said to be as much an integral part of the word to which it belongs as the sound itself; like the sound, too, it is not fixed once and for all, but is in a constant, though very gradual, state of evolution. This fact is proved by the great differences of intonation in the dialects. Theoretically, four tones have been distinguished—the even, the rising, the sinking and the entering —each of which falls again into an upper and a lower series. But only the Cantonese dialect possesses all these eight varieties of tone (to which a ninth has been added), while Pekingese, with which we are especially concerned here, has no more than four: the even upper, the even lower, the rising and the sinking. The history of the tones has yet to be written, but it appears that down to the 3rd century B.C. the only tones distinguished were the 4 "even," "rising" and A. "entering." Between that date and the 4th century A.D. the - sinking tone was developed. In the i ith century the even tone was divided into upper and lower, and a little later the entering tone finally disappeared from Pekingese. The following monosyllabic dialogue gives a very fair idea of the quality of the four Pekingese tones -1st tone: Dead (spoken in a raised monotone, with slightly plaintive inflection); and tone: Dead? (simple query); 3rd tone: Dead? (an incredulous query long drawn out); 4th tone: Dead! (a sharp and decisive answer). The native learns the tones unconsciously and by ear alone. For centuries their existence was unsuspected, the first systematic classification of them being associated with the name of Shen Yo, a scholar who lived A.D. 441-513. The Emperor Wu Ti was inclined to be sceptical, and one day said to him: " Come, tell me, what are these famous four tones?" " They are ' whatever your Majesty pleases to make them," replied Shen Yo, skilfully selecting for his answer four words which illustrated, and in the usual order, the four tones in question. Although no native is ever taught the tones separately, they are none the less present in the words he utters, and must be acquired consciously or unconsciously by any European who wishes to be understood. It is a mistake, however, to imagine that every single word in a sentence must necessarily be given its full tonic force. Quite a number of words, such as the enclitics mentioned above, are not intonated at all. In others the degree of emphasis depends partly on the tone itself, partly on its position in the sentence. In Pekingese the 3rd tone (which is really the second in the ordinary series, the 1st being subdivided into upper and lower) is particularly important, and next to it in this respect comes the and (that is, the lower even, or and division of the 1st). It may be said, roughly, that any speaker whose second and third tones are correct will at any rate be understood, even if the 1st and 4th are slurred over. It is chiefly, however, on its marvellous script and the rich treasures of its literature that the Chinese language depends for The its unique fascination and charm. If we take a page characters. of printed Chinese or carefully written manuscript and compare it with a page, say, of Arabic or Sanskrit, the Chinese is seen at once to possess a marked characteristic of its own. It consists of a number of wholly independent units, each of which would fit into a small square, and is called a character. These characters are arranged in columns, beginning on the right-hand side of the page and running from top to bottom. They are words, inasmuch as they stand for articulate sounds expressing root-ideas, but they are unlike our words in that they are not composed of alphabetical elements or letters. Clearly, if each character were a distinct and arbitrarily constructed symbol, only those gifted with exceptional powers of memory could ever hope to read or write with fluency. This, however, is far from being the case. If we go to work synthetic-ally and first see how the language is built up, it will soon appear that most Chinese characters are susceptible of some kind of analysis. We may accept as substantially true the account of native writers who tell us that means of communication other than oral began with the use of knotted cords, similar to the quippus of ancient Mexico and Peru, and that these were displaced later on by the practice of notching or scoring rude marks on wood, bamboo and stone. It is beyond question that the first four numerals, as written with simple horizontal strokes, date from this early period. Notching, however, carries us but a little way on the road to a system of writing, which in China,as elsewhere, must have sprung originally from pictures. In Chinese writing, especially, the indications of such an origin are unmistakable, a few characters, indeed, even in pictorial their present form, being perfectly recognizable as plc- characters. tures of objects pure and simple. Thus, for " sun " the ancient Chinese drew a circle with a dot in it : 0, now modified into j ; for "moon" ,j , now fl ; for "God " they drew the anthropomorphic figure , which in its modern form appears as ; for " mountains " a, now ju ; for " child " now ; for " fish" Q, now ; ; for "mouth" a round hole, now q ; for "hand" , now ; for "well" #, now written without the dot. Hence we see that while the origin of all writing is pictographic, in Chinese alone of living languages certain pictures have survived, and still denote what they had denoted in the beginning. In the script of other countries they were gradually transformed into hieroglyphic symbols, after which they either disappeared altogether or became further conventionalized into the letters of an alphabet. These picture-characters, then, accumulated little by little, until they comprised all the common objects which could be easily and rapidly delineated—sun, moon, stars, various animals, certain parts of the body, tree, grass and so forth, to the number of two or three hundred. The next step was to a few compound pictograms which would naturally suggest themselves to primitive man : q the sun just above the horizon="dawn"; trees side by side="a forest"; ' a mouth with something solid coming out of it = " the tongue "; a mouth with vapor or breath coming out of it= " words." But a purely pictographic script has its limitations. The more complex natural objects hardly come within its scope; still less the whole body of abstract ideas. While writing was still in its infancy, it must have occurred to the Chinese tiv sugecom• ges- to join together two or more pictorial characters in pounds. order that their association might suggest to the mind some third thing or idea. " Sun " and " moon " combined in this way make the character PM, which means " bright "; woman and child make f " good "; " fields " and " strength " (that is, labour in the fields) produce the character .N " male "; two " men " on " earth " signifies " to sit "—before chairs were known; the " sun" seen through " trees " ) designates the east; has been explained as (r) a " pig " under a " roof," the Chinese idea, common to the Irish peasant, of home, and also (2) as " several persons " under " a roof," in the same sense ; a " woman " under a " roof " makes the character -'ice' " peace " ; " words " and " tongue " a naturally suggest " speech " ; two hands (A, in the old fora' Zs) indicate friend- ship ; " woman " and " birth " =" born of a woman," means "clan-name," showing that the ancient Chinese traced through the mother and not through the father. Interesting and ingenious as many of these combinations are, it is clear that their number, too, must in any practical system of writing be severely limited. Hence it is not surprising that this class of characters, correctly called ideograms, as representing ideas and not objects, should be a comparatively small one. Up to this point there seemed to be but little chance of the written language reaching a free field for expansion. It had run so far on lines sharply distinct from those of ordinary speech. There was nothing in the character per se which gave the slightest clue to the sound of the word it represented. Each character, therefore, had to be learned and recognized by a separate effort of memory. The first step in a new, and, as it ultimately proved, the right direction, was the borrowing of a char- characters. acter already in use to represent another word identical in sound, though different in meaning. Owing to the scarcity of vocables noted above, there might be as many as ten different words in common use, each pronounced fang. Out of those ten only one, we will suppose, had a character assigned to it—namely " square " (originally said to be a picture of two boats joined together). But among the other nine was fang, meaning " street " or " locality," in such common use that it became necessary to have some means of writing it. Instead of inventing an altogether new character, as they might have done, the Chinese took ff " square " and used it also in the sense of " locality." This was a simple expedient, no doubt, but one that, applied on a large scale, could not but lead to confusion. The corresponding difficulty which presented itself in speech was overcome, as we saw, by many devices, one of which consisted in prefixing to the word in question another which served to determine its special meaning. A native does not say fang simply when he wishes to speak of a place, but ti fang " earth-place." Exactly the same device was now adopted in writing the character. To fang " square " was added another part meaning " earth," in order to show that the fang in question had to do with location on the earth's surface. The whole character thus appeared as Once this phonetic principle had been introduced, all was smooth sailing, and writing progressed by leaps and bounds. Nothing was easier now than to provide signs for the other words pronounced fang. " A room " was door fang; " to spin " was silk fang; " fragrant " was herbs fang; " to inquire " was a words- fang; " an embankment," and hence " to guard against," was Fl mound fang; " to hinder " was woman fang. This last example may seem a little strange until we remember that man must have played the principal part in the development of writing, and that from the masculine point of view there is some-thing essentially obstructive and unmanageable in woman's nature. It may be remarked, by the way, that the element " woman " is often the determinative in characters that stand for unamiable qualities, e.g. iP " jealous," sf " treacherous," " false " and " uncanny." This class of characters, which constitutes at least nine-tenths of the language, has received the convenient name of phonograms. It must be added that the formation of the phonogram or phonetic compound did not always proceed along such simple lines as in the examples given above, where both parts are pictorial characters, one, the " phonetic," representing the sound, and the other, commonly known as the " radical," giving a clue to the sense. In the first place, most of the phonetics now existing are not simple pictograms, but themselves more or less complex characters made up in a variety of ways. On analysing, for instance, the word hsun, " to withdraw," we find it is composed of the phonetic combined with the radical 1, an abbreviated form of A " to walk." But a sun means " grandson," and is itself a suggestive compound made up of the two characters P " a son " and " connect." The former character is a simple pictogram, but the latter is again resolvable into the two elements l " a down stroke to the left " and " a strand of silk," which is here understood to be the radical and appears in its ancient form as g, a picture of cocoons spun by the silkworm. Again, the sound is in most cases given by no means exactly by the so-called phonetic, a fact chiefly due to the pronunciation having under-gone changes which the written character was incapable of recording. Thus, we have just seen that the phonetic of ig is not hsun but sun. There are extreme cases in which a phonetic provides hardly any clue at all as to the sound of its derivatives. The character for example, which by itself is pronounced ch'ien, appears in combination as the modern phonetic of A k'an, juan, ' C yin and ch'ui; though in the last instance it was not originally the phonetic but the radical of a character which was analysed as N ch'ien, " to emit breath " from II " the mouth," the whole character being a suggestive compound rather than an illustration of radical and phonetic combined. In general, however, it may be said that the " final " or rhyme is pretty accurately indicated, while in not a few cases the phonetic does give the exact sound for all its derivatives. Thus, the characters in which the element enters are pronounced chien, ch'ien, hsien and lien; but g and its derivatives are all i. A considerable number of phonetics are nearly or entirely obsolete as separate characters, although their family of derivatives may be a very large one. VA, for instance, is never seen by itself, yet a, i, and are among the most important characters in the language. Objections have been raised in some quarters to this account of the phonetic development of Chinese. It is argued that the primitives and sub-primitives, whereby is meant any character which is capable of entering into combination with another, have really had some influence on the meaning, and do not merely possess a phonetic value. But insufficient evidence has hitherto been advanced in support of this view. The whole body of Chinese characters, then, may conveniently be divided up, for philological purposes, into pictograms, ideograms and phonograms. The first are pictures of objects, the second are composite symbols standing for abstract ideas, the third are compound characters of which the more important element simply represents a spoken sound. Of course, in a strict sense, even the first two classes do not directly represent either objects or ideas, but rather stand for sounds by which these objects and ideas have previously been expressed. It may, in fact, be said that Chinese characters are " nothing but a number of more or less ingenious devices for suggesting spoken words to a reader." This definition exposes the inaccuracy of the popular notion that Chinese is a language of ideographs, a mistake which even the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary have not avoided. Considering that all the earliest characters are pictorial, and that the vast majority of the remainder are constructed on phonetic principles, it is absurd to speak of Chinese characters as " symbolizing the idea of a thing, without expressing the name of it." The Chinese themselves have always been diligent students of their written language, and at a very early date (probably many centuries B.C.) evolved a sixfold classification of char- acters the so-called ~~ 't' The "Six liu shu, very inaccurately scripts.,, translated by the Six Scripts, which may be briefly noticed: chih shih, indicative or self-explanatory characters. This is a very small class, including only the simplest numerals and a few others such as 1. " above " and f " below." 2. *r i hsiang hsing, pictographic characters. 3. lli hsing sheng or pp hsieh sheng, phonetic compounds. 4. * hui i, suggestive compounds based on a natural association of ideas. To this class alone can the term " ideographs " be properly applied. 5. (jV chuan chu. The meaning of this name has been much disputed, some saying that it means " turned round "; e.g. © mu " eye " is now written M. Others understand it as comprising a few groups of characters nearly related in sense, each character consisting of an element common to the group, together with a specific and detachable part; e.g. , 4, and A, all of which have the meaning " old." This class may be ignored altogether, seeing that it is concerned not with the origin of characters but only with peculiarities in their use. 6. ' f chin chieh, borrowed characters, as explained above, that is, characters adopted for different words simply because of the identity of sound. The order of this native classification is not to be taken as in any sense chronological. Roughly, it may be said that the development of writing followed the course previously traced—that is, beginning with indicative signs, and going on with pictograms and ideograms, until finally the discovery of the phonetic principle did away with all necessity for other devices in enlarging the written language. But we have no direct evidence that this was so. There can be little doubt that phonetic compounds made their appearance at a very early date, probably prior to the invention of a large number of suggestive compounds, and perhaps even before the whole existing stock of pictograms had been fashioned. It is significant that numerous words of daily occurrence, which must have had a place in the earliest stages of human thought, are expressed by phonetic characters. We can be fairly certain, at any rate, that the period of " borrowed characters " did not last very long, though it is thought that traces of it are to be seen in the habit of writing several characters, especially those for certain plants and animals, indifferently with or without their radicals. Thus " a tadpole " is frequently written * 4, without the part meaning " insect " or " reptile." In the very earliest inscriptions that have come down to us, the so-called ku-wen or "ancient figures," all the above-mentioned stylesot forms occur. None are wholly pictorial, with one or two "lung- unimportant exceptions. These early inscriptions are found on bronzes dating from the half-legendary period extending from the beginning of the Shang dynasty in the 18th century B.C., or possibly earlier, down to a point in the reign of King Hstian of the Chou dynasty, generally fixed at 827 B.C. They have been carefully reproduced and for the most part deciphered by pains-taking Chinese archaeologists, and form the subject of many voluminous works. The following may be taken as a specimen, in which it will be noticed that only the last character is unmistakably pictorial : This is read : E l fr A—"Shen made [this] precious ting." These ancient bronzes, which mainly take the shape of bells, cauldrons and sacrificial utensils, were until within the last decade our sole source of information concerning the origin and early history of Chinese writing. But recently a large number of inscribed bone fragments have been excavated in the north of China, providing new and unexpected matter for investigation. The inscriptions on these bones have already furnished a list of nearly 2500 separate characters, of which not more than about 60o have been so far identified. They appear to be responses given by professional soothsayers to private individuals who came to them seeking the aid of divination in the affairs of their daily life. It is difficult to fix their date with much exactitude. The script, though less archaic than that of the earlier bronzes, is nevertheless of an exceedingly free and irregular type. Judging by the style of the inscriptions alone, one would be inclined to assign them to the early years of the Chou dynasty, say 'too B.c. But Mr L. C. Hopkins thinks that they represent a mode of writing already obsolete at the time of their production, and retained of set purpose by the diviners from obscurantist motives, much as the ancient hieroglyphics were employed by the Egyptian priesthood. He would therefore date them about 50o years later, or only half a century before the birth of Confucius. If that is so, they are merely late specimens of the " ancient figures " appearing long after the latter had made way for a new and more conventionalized form of writing. This new writing is called in Chinese chuan, which is commonly rendered by the word Seal, for the somewhat unscientific reason that many ages after-wards it was generally adopted for use on seals. Under the Chou dynasty, however, as well as the two succeeding it, the meaning of the word was not " seal," but " sinuous curves,' as made in writing. It has accordingly been suggested that this epoch marks the first introduction into China of the brush in place of the bamboo or wooden pencil with frayed end which was used with some kind of colouring matter or varnish. There are many arguments both for and against this view; but it is unquestionable, at any rate, that the introduction of a supple implement like the brush at the very time when the forms of characters were fast becoming crystallized and fixed, would be sufficient to account for a great revolution in the style of writing. Authentic specimens of the to chuan, older or Greater Seal writing, are exceedingly rare. But it is generally believed that the inscriptions on the famous stone drums, now at Peking, date from the reign of King Hsiian, and they may therefore with practical certainty be cited as examples of the Greater Seal in its original form. These " drums " are really ten roughly chiselled mountain boulders, which were discovered in the early part of the 7th century, lying half buried in the ground near Feng-hsiang Fu in the province of Shensi. On them are engraved ten odes, a complete ode being cut on each drum, celebrating an Imperial hunting and fishing expedition in that part of the country. A facsimile of one of these, taken from an old rubbing and reproduced in Dr Bushell's Handbook of Chinese Art, shows that great strides had been made in this writing towards symmetry, compactness'and conventionalism. The vogue of the Greater Seal appears to have lasted until the reign of the First Emperor, 221–210 B.C. (see History), when a further modification took place. For many centuries China had been split up into a number of practically independent states, and this circumstance seems to have led to considerable variations in the styles of writing. Having succeeded in unifying the empire, the First Emperor proceeded, on the advice of his minister Li Ssu, to standardize its script by ordaining that only the style in use in his own state of Ch'in should henceforward be employed throughout China. It is clear, then, that this new style of writing was nothing more than the Greater Seal characters in the form they had assumed after several centuries of evolution, with numerous abbreviations and modifications. It was afterwards known as the /Is . hsiao chuan, or Lesser Seal, and is familiar to us from the Shuo Wen dictionary (see Litera- ture). Though a decided improvement on what had gone before, the Lesser Seal was destined to have but a short career of undisputed supremacy. Reform was in the air; and something less cumbrous was soon felt to be necessary by the clerks who had to supply the immense quantity of written reports demanded by the First Emperor. Thus it came about that a yet simpler and certainly more artistic form of writing was already in use, though not universally .so, not long after the decree abolishing the Greater Seal. This li shu, or " official script," as it is called, shows a great advance on the Seal character; so much so that one cannot help suspecting the traditional account of its invention. It is perhaps more likely to have been directly evolved from the Greater Seal. If the Lesser Seal was the script of the semi-barbarous state of Ch'in, we should certainly expect to find a more highly developed system of writing in some of the other states. Unlike the Seal, the li shu is perfectly legible to one acquainted only with the modern character, from which indeed it differs but in minor details. How long the Lesser Seal continued to exist side by side with the li shu is a question which cannot be answered with certainty. It was evidently quite obsolete, however, at the time of the compilation of the Shuo Wen, about a hundred years after the Christian era. As for the Greater Seal and still earlier forms of writing, they were not merely obsolete but had fallen into utter oblivion before the Han Dynasty was fifty years old. When a number of classical texts were discovered bricked up in old houses about 150 B.C., the style of writing was considered so singular by the literati of the period that they refused to believe it was the ordinary ancient character at all, and nicknamed: it k'o-t'ou shu, " tadpole character," from some fancied resemblance in shape. The theory that these tadpole characters were not Chinese but a-species of cuneiform script, in which the wedges might possibly suggest tadpoles, must be dismissed as too wildly improbable for serious consideration; but we may advert for a moment to a famous inscription in which the real tadpole characters of antiquity are said to appear. This is on a stone tablet alleged to have been erected on Mount Heng in the modern Hupeh by the legendary Emperor Yu, as a record of his labours in draining away the great flood which submerged part of China in the 23rd century B.C. After more than one fruitless search, the actual monument is said to have been discovered on a peak of the mountain in A.D. 1212, and a transcription was made, which may be seen reproduced as a curiosity in Legge's Classics, vol. iii. For several reasons, however, the whole affair must be regarded as a gross imposture. Out of the " official script " two other forms were soon developed, namely the V ts'ao shu, or " grass character," which so curtails the usual strokes as to be comparable to a species of shorthand, requiring special study, and the ,fii hsing shu or running hand, used in ordinary correspondence. Some form of grass character is mentioned as in use as early as 200 B.C. or thereabouts, though how nearly it approximated to the modern grass hand it is hard to sa ; the running hand seems to have come several centuries later. The final standardization of Chinese writing was due to the great calligraphist Wang Hsi-chih of the 4th century, who gave currency to the graceful style of character known as i k'ai shu, sometimes referred to as the " clerkly hand." When block-printing was invented some centuries later, the characters were cut on this model, which still survives at the present day. It is no doubt owing to the early introduction of printing that the script of China has remained practically unchanged ever since. The manuscript rolls of the T'ang and pre-ceding dynasties, recently discovered by Dr Stein in Turkestan, furnish direct evidence of this fact, showing as they do a style of writing not only clear and legible but remarkably modern in appearance. The whole history of Chinese writing, then, is characterized by a slow progressive development which precludes the idea of sharply-marked divisions between one period and another. The Chinese themselves, however, have canonized quite a series of alleged inventors, starting from Fu Hsi, a mythical emperor of the third millennium B.C., who is said to have developed a complete system of written characters from the markings on the back of a dragon-horse; hence, by the way, the origin of the dragon as an Imperial emblem. As a rule, the credit of the invention of the art of writing is given to Ts'ang Chieh, a being with fabulous attributes, who conceived the idea of a written language from the markings of birds' claws upon the sand. The diffusion of the Greater Seal script is traced to a work in fifteen chapters published by Shih Chou, historiographer in the reign of King Hsiian. The Lesser Seal, again, is often ascribed to Li Ssii himself, whereas the utmost he can have done in the matter was to urge its introduction into common use. Likewise, Ch'eng Mo, of the 3rd century B.C., is supposed to have invented the li shu while in prison, and one account attributes the Lesser Seal to him as well; but the fact is that the whole history of writing, as it stands in Chinese authors, is in hopeless confusion. Grammar.—When about to embark on the study of a foreign language, the student's first thought is to provitle himself with two indispensable aids—a dictionary and a grammar. The Chinese have found no difficulty in producing the former (see Literature). Now what as to the grammar? He might reason-ably expect a people so industrious in the cultivation of their language to have evolved some system of grammar which to a certain degree would help to smooth his path. And yet the contrary is the case. No set of rules governing the mutual relations of words has. ever been formulated by the Chinese, apparently because the need of such rules has never been felt. The most that native writers have done is to draw a distinction between A i and " full" and " empty words," respec-,rk tively, the.former being subdivided into " living words" or verbs, and E F " dead words" or noun-substantives. By " empty words " particles are meant, though sometimes the expression is loosely applied to abstract terms, including verbs. The above meagre classification is their nearest approach to a conception of grammar in our sense. This in itself does not prove that a Chinese grammar is impossible, nor that, if constructed, it might not be helpful to the student. As a matter of fact, several attempts have been made by foreigners to deduce a grammatical system which should prove as rigid and binding as those of Western languages, though it cannot be said that any as yet has stood the test of time or criticism. Other writers have gone to the other extreme, and maintained that Chinese has no grammar at all. In this dictum, exaggerated as it sounds, there is a very substantial amount of truth. Every Chinese character is an indivisible unit, representing a sound and standing for a root-idea. Being free from inflection or agglutination of any kind, it is incapable of indicating in itself either gender, number or case, voice, mood, tense or person. Of European languages, English stands nearest to Chinese in this respect, whence it follows that the construction of a hybrid jargon like pidgin English presents fewer difficulties than would be the case, for instance, with pidgin German. For pidgin English simply consists in taking English words and treating them like Chinese characters, that is, divesting them of all troublesome inflections and reducing them to a set of root-ideas arranged in logical sequence. " You wantchee my no wantchee " is nothing more nor less than literally rendered Chinese : VI; Z " Do you want me or not? " But we may go further, and say that no Chinese character can be definitely regarded as being any particular part of speech or possessing any particular function absolutely, apart from the general tenor of its context. Thus, taken singly, the character J conveys only the general idea "above" as opposed to "below." According Units place in the sentence and the requirements of common sense, it may be a noun meaning " upper person " (that is, a ruler); an adjective meaning " upper," " topmost " or " best "; an adverb meaning " above "; a preposition meaning " upon "; and finally a verb meaning " to mount upon," or " to go to." A is a character that may usually be translated " to enter " as in A p13 " to enter a door " ; yet in the locution A " enter wood," the verb becomes causative, and the meaning is " to put into a coffin." It would puzzle grammarians to deter-mine the precise grammatical function of any of the words in the following sentence, with the exception of fir (an interrogative, by the way, which here happens to mean " why " but in other contexts is equivalent to "how," "which" or "what"): t " Affair why must ancient," or in more idiomatic English, "Why necessarily stick to the ways of the ancients in such matters?" Or take a proverbial saying likeip ? which may be correctly rendered " The less a man has seen, the more he has to wonder at." It is one thing, however, to translate it correctly, and another to explain how this translation can be inferred from the individual words, of which the bald equivalents might be given as: " Few what see, many what strange." To say that " strange " is the literal equivalent of , does not mean that $ can he definitely classed as an adjective. On the other hand, it would be dangerous even to assert that the word here plays the part of an active verb, because it would be equally permissible to translate the above " Many things are strange to one who has seen but little." Chinese grammar, then, so far as it deals with the classification of separate words, may well be given up as a bad job. But there still remains the art of syntax, the due arrangement of words to form sentences according to certain established rules. Here, at any rate, we are on somewhat firmer ground; and for many years the dictum that " the whole of Chinese grammar depends upon position " was regarded as a golden key to the written language of China. It is perfectly true that there are certain positions and collocations of words which tend to recur, but when one sits down to formulate a set of hard-and-fast rules governing these positions, it is soon found to be a thankless task, for the number of qualifications and exceptions which will have to be added is so great as to render the rule itself valueless. „J ± means "on a horse," „l , "to get on a horse." But it will not do to say that a preposition becomes a verb when placed before the substantive, as many other prepositions come before and not after the words they govern. If we meet such a phrase as ftg, literally " warn rebels,” we must not mentally label as a verb and yid as a substantive, and say to ourselves that in Chinese the verb is followed immediately by its object. Otherwise, we might be tempted to translate, " to warn the rebels,” whereas a little reflection would show us that the conjunction of "warning" and " rebels " naturally leads to the meaning " to warn (the populace or whoever it may be) against the rebels." After all our adventurous incursions into the domain of syntax, we are soon brought back to the starting-point and are obliged to confess that each particular passage is best interpreted on its own merits, by the logic of the context and the application of common sense. There is no reason why Chinese sentences should not be dissected, by those who take pleasure in such operations, into subject, copula and predicate, but it should be early impressed upon the beginner that the profit likely to accrue to him therefrom is infinitesimal. As for fixed rules of grammatical construction, so far from being a help, he will find them a positive hindrance. It should rather be his aim to free his mind from such trammels, and to accustom himself to look upon each character as a root-idea, not a definite part of speech. The Book Language.—Turning now to some of the more salient characteristics of the book language, with the object of explaining how it came to be so widely separated from common speech, we might reasonably suppose that in primitive times the two stood in much closer relation to each other than now. But it is certainly a striking fact that the earliest literary remains of any magnitude that have come down to us should exhibit a style very far removed from any possible colloquial idiom. The speeches of the Book of History (see Literature) are more manifestly fictitious, by many degrees, than the elaborate orations in Thucydides and Livy. If we cannot believe that Socrates actually spoke the words attributed to him in the dialogues of Plato, much less can we expect to find the ipsissiina verba of Confucius in any of his recorded sayings. In the beginning, all characters doubtless represented spoken words, but it must very soon have dawned on the practical Chinese mind that there was no need to reproduce in writing the bisyllabic compounds of common speech. Chien "to see," in its written form R, could not possibly be confused with any other chien, and it was there-fore unnecessary to go to the trouble of writing A' k' an-Mien " look-see," as in colloquial. There was a wonderful outburst of literary activity in the Confucian era, when it would seem that the older and more cumbrous form of Seal character was still in vogue. If the mere manual labour of writing was so great, we cannot wonder that all superfluous particles or other words that could be dispensed with were ruthlessly cut away. So it came about that all the old classical works were composed in the tersest of language, as remote as can be imagined from the speech of the people. The passion for brevity and conciseness was pushed to an extreme, and resulted more often than not in such obscurity that detailed commentaries on the classics were found to be necessary, and have always constituted an important branch of Chinese literature. After the introduction of the improved style of script, and when the mechanical means of writing had been simplified, it may be supposed that literary diction also became freer and more expansive. This did happen to some extent, but the classics were held in such veneration as to exercise the profoundest influence over all succeeding schools of writers, and the divorce between literature and popular speech became permanent and irreconcilable. The book language absorbed all the interest and energy of scholars, and it was inevitable that this elevation of the written should he accompanied by a corresponding degradation of the spoken word. This must largely account for the somewhat remarkable fact that the art of oratory and public speaking has never been deemed worthy of cultivation in China, while the comparatively low position occupied by the drama may also be referred to the same cause. At the same time, the term " book language," in its widest sense, covers a multitude of styles, some of which differ from each other nearly as much as from ordinary speech. The department of fiction (see Literature), which the lettered China-man affects to despise and will not readily admit within the charmed circle of " literature," really constitutes a bridge spanning the gulf between the severer classical style and the colloquial; while an elegant terseness characterises the higher-class novel, there are others in which the style is loose and shambling. Still, it remains true that no book of any first-rate literary pretensions would be easily intelligible to any class of Chinamen, educated or otherwise, if read aloud exactly as printed. The public reader of stories is obliged to translate, so to speak, into the colloquial of his audience as he goes along. There is no inherent reason why the conversation of everyday life should not be rendered into characters, as is done in foreign handbooks for teaching elementary Chinese; one can only say that the Chinese do not think it worth while. There are a few words, indeed, which, though common enough in the mouths of genteel and vulgar alike, have positively no characters to represent them. On the other hand, there is a vast store of purely book words which would never be used or understood in conversation. The book language is not only nice in its choice of words, it also has to obey special rules of construction. Of these, perhaps the most apparent is the carefully marked antithesis between characters in different clauses of a sentence, which results in a kind of parallelism or rhythmic balance. This parallelism is a noticeable feature in ordinary poetical composition, and may be well illustrated by the following four-line stanza: " (~ k ( 1.1 The bright sun completes its course behind the mountains ; A. i iit The yellow river flows away into the sea. a gy N. Would you. command a pros- pect of a thousand li ? M Climb yet one storey higher." In the first line of this piece, every single character is balanced by a corresponding one in the second : f white by yellow, n sun by river, and so on. In the 3rd and 4th lines, where more laxity is generally allowed, every word again has its counterpart, with the sole exception of ' " wish " and " further." The question is often asked: What sort of instrument is Chinese for the expression of thought? As a medium for the conveyance of historical facts, subtle emotions or abstruse philosophical conceptions, can it compare with the languages of the Western world? The answers given to this question have varied considerably. But it is noteworthy that those who most depreciate the qualities of Chinese are, generally speaking, theorists rather than persons possessing a profound first-hand knowledge of the language itself. Such writers argue that want of inflection in the characters must tend to make Chinese hard and inelastic, and therefore incapable of bringing out the finer shades of thought and emotion. Answering one a priori argument with another, one might fairly retort that, if anything, flexibility is the precise quality to be predicated of a language in which any character may, according to the requirements of the context, be interpreted either as noun, verb or adjective. But all such reasoning is somewhat futile. It will scarcely be con-tended that German, being highly inflected, is therefore superior in range and power to English, from which inflections have largely disappeared. Some of the early Jesuit missionaries, men of great natural ability who steeped themselves in Oriental learning, have left very different opinions on record. Chinese appeared to them as admirable for the superabundant richness of its vocabulary as for the conciseness of its literary style. And among modern scholars there is a decided tendency to accept this view as embodying a great deal more truth than the other. Another question, much debated years ago, which time itself is now satisfactorily answering, was whether the Chinese language would be able to assimilate the vast stock of new terminology which closer contact with the West would necessarily carry with it. Two possible courses, it seemed, were open: either fresh characters would be formed on the radical-phonetic principle, or the new idea might be expressed by the conjunction of two or more characters already existing. The former expedient had been tried on a limited scale in Japan, where in the course of time new characters were formed on the same principle as of old, which were yet purely Japanese and find no place in a Chinese dictionary. But although the field for such additions was boundless, the Chinese have all along been chary of extending the language in this way, probably because these modern terms had no Chinese sound which might have suggested some particular phonetic. They have preferred to adopt the other method, of which 3- tit (rise-descend-machine) for " lift," and la M (discuss -govern- country - assembly) for " parliament " are examples. Even a metaphysical abstraction like The Absolute has been tentatively expressed by E (exclude-opposite); but in this case an equivalent was already existing in the Chinese language. A very drastic measure, strongly advocated in some quarters, is the entire abolition of all characters, to be replaced by their equivalent sounds in letters of the alphabet. Under this scheme A would figure as jeeen or ren, A as ma, and so on. But the proposal has fallen extremely flat. The vocables, as we have seen, are so few in number that only the colloquial, if even that, could possibly be transcribed in this manner. Any attempt to trans-literate classical Chinese would result in a mere jumble of sounds, utterly unintelligible, even with the addition of tone-marks. There is another aspect of the case. The characters are a potent bond of union between the different parts of the Empire with their various dialects. If they should ever fall into disuse, China will have taken a first and most fatal step towards internal disruption. Even the Japanese, whose language is not only free from dialects, but polysyllabic and therefore more suitable for romanization, have utterly refused to abandon the Chinese script, which in spite of certain disadvantages has hitherto triumphantly adapted itself to the needs of civilized intercourse. See P. Premare, Notitiae Linguae Sinicae (1831); Ma Kien-chung, Ma shih wiln t'ung (1899) ; L. C. Hopkins, The Six Scripts (1881) and The Development of Chinese Writing (1910) ; H. A. Giles, A Chinese-English Dictionary (2nd ed., 1910). (H. A. GI.; L. GI.) The literature of China is remarkable (i) for its antiquity, coupled with an unbroken continuity down to the present day; (2) for the variety of subjects presented, and for the exhaustive treatment which, not only each subject, but also each sub-division, each separate item, has received, as well as for the colossal scale on which so many literary monuments have been conceived and carried out; (3) for the accuracy of its historical statements, so far as it ha.s been possible to test them; and further (4) for its ennobling standards and lofty ideals, as well as for its wholesome purity and an almost total absence of coarseness and obscenity. No history of Chinese literature in the Chinese language has yet been produced; native scholars, however, have adopted, for bibliographical purposes, a rough division into four great classes. Under the first of these, we find the Confucian Canon, together with lexicographical, philological, and ' other works dealing with the elucidation of words. Under the second, histories of various kinds, officially compiled, privately written, constitutional, &c.; also biography, geography and bibliography. Under the third, philosophy, religion, e.g. Buddhism; the arts and sciences, e.g. war, law, agriculture, medicine, astronomy, painting, music and archery; also a host of general works, monographs, and treatises on a. number of topics, as well as encyclopaedias. The fourth class is confined to poetry of all descriptions, poetical critiques, and works dealing with the all- important rhymes. Poetry.—Proceeding chronologically, without reference to Chinese classification, we have to begin, as would naturally be expected, with the last of the above four classes. Man's first literary utterances in China, as elsewhere, took the form of verse; and the earliest Chinese records in our possession are the national lyrics, the songs and ballads, chiefly of the feudal age, which reaches back to over a thousand years before Christ. Some pieces are indeed attributed to the 18th century B.e.; the latest bring us down to the 6th century B.C. Such is the collection entitled Shih Ching (or She King), popularly known as the Odes, which was brought together and edited by Confucius, 551-479 B.C., and is now included among the Sacred Books, forming as it does an important portion of the Confucian Canon. These Odes, once over three thousand in number, were reduced by Confucius to three hundred and eleven; hence they are frequently spoken of as " the Three Hundred." They treat of war and love, of eating and drinking and dancing, of the virtues and vices of rulers, and of the misery and happiness of the people. They are in rhyme. Rhyme is essential to Chinese poetry; there is no such thing as blank verse. Further, the rhymes of the Odes have always been, and are still, the only recognized rhymes which can be used by a Chinese poet, anything else being regarded as mere jingle. Poetical licence, however, is tolerated; and great masters have availed themselves freely of its aid. One curious result of this is that whereas in many instances two given words may have rhymed, as no doubt they did, in the speech of three thousand years ago, they no longer rhyme to the ear in the colloquial of to-day, although still accepted as true and proper rhymes in the composition of verse. It is noticeable at once that the Odes are mostly written in lines of four words, examples of lines consisting of any length from a single word to eight, though such do exist, being comparatively rare. These lines of four words, generally recognized as the oldest measure in Chinese poetry, are frequently grouped as quatrains, in which the first, second and fourth lines rhyme; but very often only the second and fourth lines rhyme, and sometimes there are groups of a larger number of lines in which occasional lines are found without any rhyme at all. A few stray pieces, as old as many of those found among the Odes, have been handed down and preserved, in which the metre consists of two lines of three words followed by one line of seven words. These three lines all rhyme, but the rhyme changes with each succeeding triplet. It would be difficult to persuade the English reader that this is a very effective measure, and one in which many a gloomy or pathetic tale has been told. In order to realise how a few Chinese monosyllables in juxtaposition can stir the human heart to its lowest depths, it is necessary to devote some years to the study of the language. At the close of the 4th century B.c., a dithyrambic measure, irregular and wild, was introduced and enjoyed considerable vogue. It has indeed been freely adopted by numerous poets from that early date down to the present day; but since the 2nd century B.C. it has been displaced from pre-eminence by the seven-word and five-word measures which are now, after much refinement, the accepted standards for Chinese poetry. The origin of the seven-word metre is lost in remote antiquity ; the five-word metre was elaborated under the master-hand of Mei Sheng, who died 140 B.C. Passing over seven centuries of growth, we reach the Tang dynasty, A.D. 618-905, the most brilliant epoch in the history of Chinese poetry. These three hundred years produced an extraordinarily large number of great poets, and an output of verse of almost incredible extent. In 1707 an anthology of the rang poets was published by Imperial order; it ran to nine hundred books or sections, and contained over forty-eight thousand nine hundred separate poems. A copy of this work is in the Chinese department of the University Library at Cambridge. It was under the T'ang dynasty that a certain finality was reached in regard to the strict application of the tones to Chinese verse. For the purposes of poetry, all words in the language were ranged under one or the other of two tones, the even and the oblique, the former now including the two even tones, of which prior to the 1lth century there was only one, and the latter including the rising, sinking and entering tones of ordinary speech. The incidence of these tones, which may be roughly described as sharps and flats, finally became fixed, just as the incidence of certain feet in Latin metres came to be governed by fixed rules. Thus, reading down-ward from right to left, as in Chinese, a five-word stanza may run: Sharp Flat Flat Sharp sharp flat flat sharp flat sharp flat sharp flat sharp sham flat A seven-word stanza may run: Flat Sharp Sharp flat sharp sharp flat sharp flat flat sharp sharp flat flat sharp flat sharp flat flat flat sharp sharp flat sharp flat sharp sharp The above are only two metres out of many, but enough perhaps to give to any one who will read them with a pause or quasi-caesura, as marked by ° in each specimen, a fair idea of the rhythmic lilt of Chinese poetry. To the trained ear, the effect is most pleasing; and when this scansion, so to speak, is united with rhyme and choice diction, the result is a vehicle for verse, artificial no doubt, and elaborate, but admirably adapted to the genius of the Chinese language. Moreover, in the hands of the great poets this artificiality disappears altogether. Each word seems to slip naturally into its place; and so far from having been introduced by violence for the ends of prosody, it appears to be the very best word that could have been chosen, even had there been no trammels of any kind, so effectually is the art of the poet concealed by art. From the long string of names which have shed lustre upon this glorious age of Chinese poetry, it may suffice for the present purpose to mention the following, all of the very first rank. Meng Hao-jan, A.D. 689–740, failed to succeed at the public competitive examinations, and retired to the mountains where he led the life of a recluse. Later on, he obtained an official post; but he was of a timid disposition, and once when the emperor, attracted by his fame, came to visit him, he hid himself under the bed. His hiding-place was revealed by Wang Wei, a brother poet who was present. The latter, A.D. 699–759, in addition to being a first-rank poet, was also a landscape-painter of great distinction. He was further a firm believer in Buddhism; and after losing his wife and mother, he turned his mountain home into a Buddhist monastery. Of all poets, not one has made his name more widely known than Li Po, or Li T'ai-po, A.D. 705–762, popularly known as the Banished Angel, so heavenly were the poems he dashed off, always under the influence of wine. He is said to have met his death, after a tipsy frolic, by leaning out of a boat to embrace the reflection of the moon. Tu Fu, A.D. 712–770, is generally ranked with Li Po, the two being jointly spoken of as the chief poets of their age. The former had indeed such a high opinion of his own poetry that he prescribed it for malarial fever. He led a chequered and wandering life, and died from the effects of eating roast beef and drinking white wine to excess, immediately after a long fast. Po Chu-i, A.D.772–846, was a very prolific poet. He held several high official posts, but found time for a considerable output of some of the finest poetry in the language. His poems were collected by Imperial command, and engraved upon tablets of stone. In one of them he anticipates by eight centuries the famous ode by Malherbe, A Du Perrier, sur la mart de sa fille. The T'ang dynasty with all its glories had not long passed away before another imperial house arose, under which poetry flourished again in full vigour. The poets of the Sung dynasty, A.D. 960-1260, were many and varied in style; but their work, much of it of the very highest order, was becoming perhaps a trifle more formal and precise. Life seemed to be taken more seriously than under the gay and pleasure-loving Tangs. The long list of Sung poets includes such names as Safi-ma Kuang, Ou-yang Hsiu and Wang An-shih, to be mentioned by and by, the first two as historians and the last as political reformer. A still more familiar name in popular estimation is that of Su Tung-p'o, A.D. 1031–1101, partly known for his romantic career, now in court favour, now banished to the wilds, but still more renowned as a brilliant poet and writer of fascinating essays. The Mongols, A.D. 1260-1368, who succeeded the Sungs, and the Mings who followed the Sungs and bring us down to the year 1644, helped indeed, especially the Mings, to swell the volume of Chinese verse, but without reaching the high level of the two great poetical periods above-mentioned. Then came the present dynasty of Manchu Tatars, of whom the same tale must be told, in spite of two highly-cultured emperors, K'ang Hsi and Ch'ien Lung, both of them poets and one of them author of a collection containing no fewer than 33,950 pieces, most of which, it must be said, are but four-line stanzas, of no literary value whatever. It may be stated in this connexion that whereas China has never produced an epic in verse, it is not true that all Chinese poems are quite short, running only to ten or a dozen lines at the most. Many pieces run to several hundred lines, though the Chinese poet does not usually affect length, one of his highest efforts being the four-line stanza, known as the " stop-short," in which " the words stop while the sense goes on," expanding in the mind of the reader by the suggestive art of the poet. The " stop-short " is the converse of the epigram, which ends in a satisfying turn of thought to which the rest of the composition is intended to lead up; it aims at producing an impression which, so far from being final, is merely the prelude to a long series of visions and of feelings. The last of the four lines is called the " surprise line "; but the revelation it gives is never a complete one: the words stop, but the sense goes on. Just as in the pictorial art of China, sharp flat sharp flat so in her poetic art is suggestiveness the great end and aim of the artist. Beginners are taught that the three canons of verse composition are lucidity, simplicity and correctness of diction. Yet some critics have boldly declared for obscurity of expression, alleging that the piquancy of a thought is enhanced by its skilful concealment. For the foreign student, it is not necessary to accentuate the obscurity and difficulty even of poems in which the motive is simple enough. The constant introduction of classical allusions, often in the vaguest terms, and the almost unlimited licence as to the order of words, offer quite sufficient obstacles to easy and rapid comprehension. Poetry has been defined by one Chinese writer as " clothing with words the emotions which surge through the heart." The chief moods of the Chinese poet are a pure delight in the varying phenomena of nature, and a boundless sympathy with the woes and sufferings of humanity. Erotic poetry is not absent, but it is not a feature proportionate in extent to the great body of Chinese verse; it is always restrained, and never lapses from a high level of purity and decorum. In his love for hill and stream which he peoples with genii, and for tree and flower which he endows with sentient souls, the Chinese poet is perhaps seen at his very best; his views of life are somewhat too deeply tinged with melancholy, and often loaded with an overwhelming sadness " at the doubtful doom of human kind." In his lighter moods he draws inspiration, and in his darker moods consolation from the wine-cup. Hard-drinking, not to say drunkenness, seems to have been universal among Chinese poets, and a considerable amount of talent has been expended upon the glorification of wine. From Taoist, and especially from Buddhist sources, many poets have obtained glimpses to make them less forlorn; but it cannot be said that there is any definitely religious poetry in the Chinese language. History.—One of the labours undertaken by Confucius was connected with a series of ancient documents—that is, ancient in his day—now passing under a collective title as Shu Ching (or Shoo King), and popularly known as the Canon, or Book, of History. Mere fragments as some of these documents are, it is from their pages of unknown date that we can supplement the pictures drawn for us in the Odes, of the early civilization of China. The work opens with an account of the legendary emperor Yao, who reigned 2357–2255 B.C., and was able by virtue of an elevated personality to give peace and happiness to his " black-haired " subjects. With the aid of capable astronomers, he determined the summer and winter solstices, and calculated approximately the length of the year, availing himself, as required, of the aid of an intercalary month. Finally, after a glorious reign, he ceded the throne to a man of the people, whose only claim to distinction was his unwavering practice of filial piety. Chapter ii. deals with the reign, 2255–2205 B.C., of this said man, known in history as the emperor Shun. In accordance with the monotheism of the day, he worshipped God in heaven with prayer and burnt offerings; he travelled on tours of inspection all over his then comparatively narrow empire; he established punishments, to be tempered with mercy; he appointed officials to superintend forestry, care of animals, religious observances, and music; and he organized a system of periodical examinations for public servants. Chapter iii. is devoted to details about the Great Yu, who reigned 2205–2197 B.C., having been called to the throne for his engineering success in draining the empire of a mighty inundation which early western writers sought to identify with Noah's Flood. Another interesting chapter gives various geographical details, and enumerates the articles, gold, silver, copper, iron, steel, silken fabrics, feathers, ivory, hides, &c., &c., brought in under the reign of the Great Yu, as tribute from neighbouring countries. Other chapters include royal proclamations, speeches to troops, announcements of campaigns victoriously concluded, and similar subjects. One peculiarly interesting document is the Announcement against Drunkenness, which seems to have been for so many centuries a national vice, and then to have practically disappeared as such. For the past two or three hundred years, drunkenness has always been the exception rather than the rule. The Announcement, delivered in the 12th century B.C., points out that King Wen, the founder of the Chou dynasty, had wished for wine to be used only in connexion with sacrifices, and that divine favours had always been liberally showered upon the people when such a restriction had been observed. On the other hand, indulgence in strong drink had invariably attracted divine vengeance, and the fall and dis-ruption of states had often been traceable to that cause. Even on sacrificial occasions, drunkenness is to be condemned. " When, however, you high officials and others have done your duty in ministering to the aged and to your sovereign, you may then eat to satiety and drink to elevation." The Announcement winds up with an ancient maxim, " Do not seek to see yourself reflected in water, but in others,"—whose base actions should warn. you not to commit the same; adding that those who after a due interval should be unable to give up intemperate habits would be put to death. It is worth noting, in concluding this brief notice of China's earliest records, that from first to last there is no mention whatever of any distant country from which the " black-haired people " may have originally come; no vestige of any allusion to any other form of civilization, such as that of Babylonia, with its cuneiform script and baked-clay tablets, from which an attempt has been made to derive the native-born civilization of China. A few odd coincidences sum up the chief argument in favour of this now discredited theory. The next step lands us on the confines, though scarcely in the domain, of history properly so called. Among his other literary labours, Confucius undertook to produce the annals of Lu, his native state; and beginning with the year 722 s.c., he carried the record down to his death in 479, after which it was continued for a few years, presumably by Tso-ch'iu Ming, the shadowy author of the famous Commentary, to which the text is so deeply indebted for vitality and illumination. The work of Confucius is known as the Ch'un Ch'iu, the Springs and Autumns, q.d. Annals. It consists of a varying number of brief entries under each year of the reign of each successive ruler of Lu. The feudal system, initiated more than four centuries previously, and consisting of a number of vassal states owning allegiance to a central suzerain state, had already broken hopelessly down, so far as allegiance was concerned. For some time, the object of each vassal ruler had been the aggrandizement of his own state, with a view either to independence or to the hegemony, and the result was a state of almost constant warfare. Accordingly, the entries in the Ch'un Ch'iu refer largely to covenants entered into between contracting rulers, official visits from one to another of these rulers, their births and deaths, marriages, invasions of territory, battles, religious ceremonies, &c., interspersed with notices of striking natural phenomena such as eclipses, comets and earthquakes, and of important national calamities, such as floods, drought and famine. For instance, Duke Wen became ruler of Lu in 625 B.C., and under his 14th year, 612 B.C., we find twelve entries, of which the following are specimens: 2. In spring, in the first month, the men of the Chu State invaded our southern border. 3. In summer, on the I-hai day of the fifth month, Pan, Marquis of the Ch'i State, died. 5. In autumn, in the seventh month, there was a comet, which entered Pei-tou (OW in Ursa Major). 9. In the ninth month, a son of the Duke of Ch'i murdered his ruler. Entry 5 affords the earliest trustworthy instance of a comet in China. A still earlier comet is recorded in what is known as The Bamboo Annals, but the genuineness of that work is disputed. It will be readily admitted that the Ch'un Ch'iu, written through-out in the same style as the quotations given, would scarcely enable one to reconstruct in any detail the age it professes to record. Happily we are in possession of the Tso Chuan, a so-called commentary, presumably by some one named Tso, in which the bald entries in the work of Confucius are separately enlarged upon to such an extent and with such dramatic brilliancy that our commentary reads more like a prose epic than " a treatise consisting of a systematic series of comments or annotations on the text of a literary work." Under its guidance we can follow the intrigues, the alliances, the treacheries, the ruptures of the jealous states which constituted feudal China; in its picture pages we can see, as it were with our own eyes, assassinations, battles, heroic deeds, flights, pursuits and the sufferings of the vanquished from the retribution exacted by the victors. Numerous wise and witty sayings are scattered through-out the work, many of which are in current use at the present day. History as understood in Europe and the west began in China with the appearance of a remarkable man. Ssu-ma Ch'ien, who flourished 145–87 B.C., was the son of an hereditary grand astrologer, also an eager student of history and the actual planner of The stor)cal the great work so successfully carried out after his death. lhso0 By the time he was ten years of age, SA-ma Chien was already well advanced with his studies; and at twenty he set forth on a round of travel which carried him to all parts of the empire. Entering the public service, he was employed upon a mission of inspection to the newly-conquered regions of Ssuch'uan and Yunnan; in no B.c. his father died, and he stepped into the post of grand astrologer. After devoting some time and energy to the reformation Annals of the Lu state. of the calendar, he took up the work which had been begun by his father and which was ultimateiy given to the world as the Shih Chi, or Historical Record. This was arranged under five great headings, namely, (i) Annals of Imperial Reigns, (2) Chronological Tables, (3) Monographs, (4) Annals of Vassal Princes, and (5) Biographies. The Historical Record begins with the so-called Yellow Emperor, who is said to have come to the throne 2698 B.C. and to have reigned a hundred years. Four other emperors are given, as belonging to this period, among whom we find Yao and Shun, already mentioned. It was China's Golden Age, when rulers and ruled were virtuous alike, and all was peace and prosperity. It is discreetly handled in a few pages by SRI-ma Ch'ien, who passes on to the somewhat firmer but still doubtful ground of the early dynasties. Not, however, until the Chou dynasty, 1122–255 B.C., had held sway for some three hundred years can we be said to have reached a point at which history begins to separate itself definitely from legend. In fact, it is only from the 8th century before Christ that any trustworthy record can be safely dated. With the 3rd century before Christ, we are introduced to one of the feudal princes whose military genius enabled him to destroy beyond hope of revival the feudal system which had endured for eight hundred years, and to make himself master of the whole of the China of those days. In 221 B.C. he proclaimed himself the " First Burning Emperor," a title by which he has ever since been known. of the Everything, including literature, was to begin with his Books reign; and acting on the advice of his prime minister, he issued an order for the burning of all books, with the exception only of works relating to medicine, divination and agriculture. Those who wished to study law were referred for oral teaching to such as had already qualified in that profession. To carry out the scheme effectively, the First Emperor made a point of examining every day about 120 lb weight of books, in order to get rid of such as he considered to be useless; and he further appointed a number of inspectors to see that his orders were carried out. The result was that about four hundred and sixty scholars were put to death for having disobeyed the imperial command, while many others were banished for life. This incident is known as the Burning of the Books; and there is little doubt that, but for the devotion of the literati, Chinese literature would have had to make a fresh start in 212 B.C. As it was, books were bricked up in walls and otherwise widely concealed in the hope that the storm would blow over; and this was actually the case when the Chin (Ts'in) dynasty collapsed and the House of Han took its place in 206 B.C. The Confucian books were subsequently recovered from their hiding-places, together with many other works, the loss of which it is difficult now to contemplate. Unfortunately, however, a stimulus was provided, not for the reccvery, but for the manufacture of writings, the previous existence of which could be gathered either from tradition or from notices in the various works which had survived. Forgery became the order of the day; and the modern student is confronted with a considerable volume of literature which has to be classified as genuine, doubtful, or spurious, according to the merits of each case. To the first class belongs the bulk, but not all, of the Confucian Canon; to the third must be relegated such books as the Tao Ti Ching, to be mentioned later on. Ssu-ma Ch'ien, dying in 87 a.c., deals of course only with the opening reigns of the Han dynasty, with which he brings to a close the first great division of his history. The second division consists of chronological tables; the third, of eight mono raohs on the following topics: (1) Rites and Ceremonies, (2) Music, (3) Natural Philosophy, (4) The Calendar, (5) Astronomy, (6) Religion, (7) Water-ways, and (8) Commerce. On these eight a few remarks may not be out of place, (I) The Chinese seem to have been in possession, from very early ages, of a systematic code of ceremonial observances, so that it is no surprise to find the subject included, and taking an important place, in SA-ma Ch'ien's work. The Li Chi, or Book of Rites, which now forms part of the Confucian Canon, is however a comparatively modern compilation, dating only from the 1st century B.C. (2) The extraordinary similarities between the Chinese and Pythagorean systems of music force the conclusion that one of these must necessarily have been derived from the other. The Jesuit Fathers jumped to the conclusion that the Greeks borrowed their art from the Chinese ; but it is now common knowledge that the Chinese scale did not exist in China until two centuries after its appearance in Greece. The fact is that the ancient Chinese works on music perished at the Burning of the Books; and we are told that by the middle of the 2nd century B.C. the hereditary Court music-master was altogether ignorant of his art. What we may call modern Chinese music reached China through Bactria, a Greek kingdom, founded by Diodotus in 256 B.c., with which intercourse had been established by the Chinese at an early date. (3) The term Natural Philosophy can only be applied by courtesy to this essay, which deals with twelve bamboo tubes of varying lengths, by means of which, coupled with the twenty-eight zodiacal constellations and with certain calendaric accords, divine communication is established with the influences of the five elements and the points of the compass corresponding with the eight winds. (4) In this connexion, it is worth noting that in 104 B.C. the Chinese first adopted a cycle of nineteen years, a period which exactly brings together the solar and the lunar years; and further that this very cycle is said to have been introduced by Meton, 5th century B.C., and was adopted at Athens about 330 B.C., probably reaching China, via Bactria, some two centuries afterwards. (5) This chapter deals I% 8specially with the sun, moon and five planets, which are supposed to aid in the divine government of mankind. (6) Refers to the solemn sacrifices to Heaven and Earth, as performed by the emperor upon the summit of Mt. T'ai in Shan-tung. (7) Refers to the management of the Hoang Ho, or Yellow river, so often spoken of as " China's Sorrow," and also of the numerous canals with which the empire is intersected. (8) This chapter, which treats of the circulation of money, and its function in the Chinese theory of political economy, is based upon the establishment in 110 B.C. of certain officials whose business it was to regularize commerce. It was their duty to buy up the chief necessaries of life when abundant and when prices were in consequence low, and to offer these for sale when there was a shortage and when prices would otherwise have risen unduly. Thus it was hoped that a stability in commercial transactions would be attained, to the great advantage of the people. The fourth division of the Shih Chi is devoted to the annals of the reigns of vassal princes, to be read in connexion with the imperial annals of the first division. The final division, which is in many ways the most interesting of all, gives biographical notices of eminent or notorious men and women, from the earliest ages downwards, and enables us to draw conclusions at which otherwise it would have been impossible to arrive. Confucius and Mencius, for instance, stand out as real personages who actually played a part in China's history; while all we can gather from the short life of Lao Tzil, a part of which reads like an interpolation by another hand, is that he was a more or less legendary individual, whose very existence at the date usually assigned to him, 7th and 6th centuries B.C., is altogether doubtful. Scattered among these biographies are a few notices of frontier nations; e.g. of the terrible nomads known as the Hsiung-nu, whose identity with the Huns has now been placed beyond a doubt. Ssu-ma Ch'ien's great work, on which he laboured for so many years and which ran to five hundred and twenty-six thousand five hundred words, has been described somewhat at length for the following reason. It has been accepted as the model for all subsequent dynastic histories, of which twenty-four have now been published, the whole being produced in 1747 in a uniform edition, bound up (in the Cambridge Library) in two hundred and nineteen large volumes. Each dynasty has found its historian in the dynasty which supplanted it; and each dynastic history is notable for the extreme fairness with which the conquerors have dealt with the vanquished, accepting without demur such records of their predecessors as were available from official sources. The T'ang dynasty, A.D. 618-906, offers in one sense a curious exception to the general rule. It possesses two histories, both included in the above series. The first of these, now known as the Old Tang History, was ultimately set aside as inaccurate and inadequate, and a New T'ang History was compiled by Ou-yang Hsiu, a distinguished scholar, poet and states-man of the 11th century. Nevertheless, in all cases, the scheme of the dynastic history has, with certain modifications, been that which was initiated in the 1st century B.C. by Ssli-ma Ch'ien. The output of history, however, does not begin and end with the voluminous records above referred to, one of which, it should be mentioned, was in great part the work of a woman. The History has always been a favourite study with the Chinese, Mirror of and innumerable histories of a non-official character, long History. and short, complete and partial, political and constitutional, have been showered from age to age upon the Chinese reading world. Space would fail for the mere mention of a tithe of such works; but there is one which stands out among the rest and is especially enshrined in the hearts of the Chinese people. This is the rung Chien, or Mirror of History, so called because " to view antiquity as though in a mirror is an aid in the administration of government." It was the work of a statesman of the 11th century, whose name, by a coincidence, was SA-ma Kuang. He had been forced to retire from office, and spent nearly all the last sixteen years of his life in historical research. The Mirror of History embraces a period from the 5th century B.C. down to A.D. 960. It is written in a picturesque style; but the arrangement was found to be unsuited to the systematic study of history. Accordingly, it was subjected to revision, and was to a great extent reconstructed by Chu Hsi, the famous commentator, who flourished A.D. 1130-1200, and whose work is now regarded as the standard history of China. Biography.—In regard to biography, the student is by no means limited to the dynastic histories. Many huge biographical collections have been compiled and published by private individuals, and many lives of the same personages have often been written from different points of view. There is nothing very much by which a Chinese biography can be distinguished from biographies produced in other parts of the world. The Chinese writer always begins with the place of birth, but he is not so particular about the year, sometimes leaving that to be gathered from the date of death taken in connexion with the age which the person may have attained. Some allusion is usually made to ancestry, and the steps of an official career, upward by promotion or downward by disgrace, are also carefully noted. Geography and Travel.—There is a considerable volume of t1 Chinese literature which comes under this head; but if we exclude certain brief notices of foreign countries, there remains nothing in the way of general geography which had been produced prior to the arrival of the Jesuit Fathers at the close of the 16th century. Up to that period geography meant the topography of the Chinese empire; and of topographical records there is a very large and valuable collection. Every prefecture and department, some eighteen hundred in all, has each its own particular topography, compiled from records and from tradition with a fullness that leaves nothing to be desired. The buildings, bridges, monuments of archaeological interest, &c., in each district, are all carefully inserted, side by side with biographical and other local details, always of interest to residents and often to the outside public. An extensive general geography of the empire was last published in 1745; and this was followed by a chronological geography in 1794. The Chinese have always been fond of travel, and hosts of travellers have published notices, more or less extensive, of the Fa Hslen. different parts of the empire, and even of adjacent nations, which they visited either as private individuals or, in the former case, as officials proceeding to distant posts. With Buddhism came the desire to see the country which was the home of the Buddha; and several important pilgrimages were undertaken with a view to bring back images and sacred writings to China. On such a journey the Buddhist priest, Fa Hsien, started in A.D. 399; and after practically walking the whole way from central China, across the desert of Gobi, on to Khoten, and across the Hindu Kush into India, he visited many of the chief cities of India, until at length reaching Calcutta he took ship, and after a most adventurous voyage, in the course of which he remained two years in Ceylon, he finally arrived safely, in A.D. 414, with all his books, pictures, and images, at a spot on the coast of Shantung, near the modern German port of Kiao-chow. Another of these adventurous priests was Hsilan Tsang (wrongly, Yuan Chwang), who left China on a similar mission in Milan 629, and returned in 645, bringing with him six Tsang hundred and fifty-seven Buddhist books, besides many images and pictures, and one hundred and fifty relics. He spent the rest of his life in translating, with the help of other learned priests, these books into Chinese, and completed in 648 the important record of his own travels, known as the Record of Western Countries. Philosophy.—Even the briefest resume of Chinese philosophical literature must necessarily include the name of Lao Tzu, al-Leo Tzu. though his era, as seen above, and his personality are both matters of the vaguest conjecture. A number of his sayings, scattered over the works of early writers, have been pieced together, with the addition of much incomprehensible jargon, and the whole has been given to the world as the work of Lao Tzu himself, said to be of the 6th century B.C., under the title of the Tao re Ching. The internal evidence against this book is overwhelming; e.g. one quotation had been detached from the writer who preserved it, with part of that writer's text clinging to it—of course by an oversight. Further, such a treatise is never mentioned in Chinese literature until some time after the Burning of the Books, that is, about four centuries after its alleged first appearance. Still, after due expurgation, it forms an almost complete collection of such apophthegms of Lao Tzu as have come down to us, from which the reader can learn that the author taught the great doctrine of Inaction—Do nothing, and all things will be done. Also, that Lao Tzu anticipated the Christian doctrine of returning good for evil, a sentiment which was highly reprobated by the practical mind of Confucius, who declared that evil should be met by justice. Among the more picturesque of his utterances are such paradoxes as, " He who knows how to shut, uses no bolts; yet you cannot open. He who knows how to bind uses no ropes; yet you cannot untie "; " The weak overcomes the strong; the soft overcomes the hard," &c. These, and many similar subtleties of speech, seem to have fired the imagination of Chuang Tzd, 4th and 3rd centuries B.c., with theresult that he put much time and energy into the glorification of Lao Tzu and his doctrines. Possessed of a brilliant style and a master of irony, Chuang Tzu attacked the schools of Confucius and Chuang Mo Ti (see below) with so much dialectic skill that the Tzu. ablest scholars of the age were unable to refute his destructive criticisms. His pages abound in quaint anecdotes and allegorical instances, arising as it were spontaneously out of the questions handled, and imparting a lively interest to points which might otherwise have seemed dusty and dull. He was an idealist with all the idealist's hatred of a utilitarian system, and a mystic with all the mystic's contempt for a life of mere external activity. Only thirty-three chapters of his work now remain, though so many as fifty-three are known to have been still extant in the 3rd century; and even of these, several complete chapters are spurious, while in others it is comparatively easy to detect here and there the hand of the interpolator. What remains, however, after all reductions, has been enough to secure a lasting place for Chuang Tzd as the most original of China's philosophical writers. His book is of course under the ban of heterodoxy, in common with all thought opposed to the Confucian teachings. His views as mystic, idealist, moralist and social reformer have no weight with the aspirant who has his way to make in official life; but they are a delight, and even a consolation, to many of the older men, who have no longer anything to gain or to lose. Confucius, 551–479 u.c., who imagined that his Annals of the Lu State would give him immortality, has always been much more widely appreciated as a moralist than as an historian. contucius. His talks with his disciples and with others have been preserved for us, together with some details of his personal and private life; and the volume in which these are collected forms one of the Four Books of the Confucian Canon. Starting from the axiomatic declaration that man is born good and only becomes evil by his environment, he takes filial piety and duty to one's neighbour as his chief themes, often illustrating his arguments with almost Johnsonian emphasis. He cherished a shadowy belief in a God, but not in a future state of reward or punishment for good or evil actions in this world. He rather taught men to be virtuous for virtue's sake. The discourses of Mencius, who followed Confucius after an interval of a hundred years, 372-289 B.C., form another of the Four Books, the remaining two of which are short philosophical Mencius. treatises, usually ascribed ,o a grandson of Confucius. Mencius devoted his life to elucidating and expanding the teachings of the Master; and it is no doubt due to him that the Confucian doctrines obtained so wide a vogue. But he himself was more a politician and an economist (see below) than a simple preacher of morality; and hence it is that the Chinese people have accorded to him the title of The Second Sage. He is considered to have effectually " snuffed out " the heterodox school of Mo Ti, Mo Ti. a philosopher of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. who propounded a doctrine of " universal love " as the proper foundation for organized society, arguing that under such a system all the calamities that men bring upon one another would altogether disappear, and the Golden Age would be renewed. At the same time Mencius exposed Yang Chu. the fallacies of the speculations of Yang Chu, 4th century B.C., who founded a school of ethical egoism as opposed to the exaggerated altruism of Mo Ti. According to Mencius, Yang Chu would not have parted with one hair of his body to save the whole world, whereas Mo Ti would have sacrificed all. Another early philosopher is Hsiin Tzu, 3rd century B.c. He main- Hs&n Tzu. tamed, in opposition to Mencius, who upheld the Confucian dogma, and in conformity with Christian doctrine, that the nature of man at his birth is evil, and that this condition can only be changed by efficient moral training. T:.en came Yang Hsiung, 53–18 B.C., who propounded an ethical criterion midway between the -Jr rival positions insisted on by Mencius and Hsfm Tzu, Hstang. teaching that the nature of man at birth is neither good nor evil, but a mixture of both, and that development in either direction depends wholly upon circumstances. There is a voluminous and interesting work, of doubtful age, which passes under the title of Huai-nan Tzu, or the Philosopher of Huainan. It is attributed to Liu An, prince of Huai-nan, who Huai-naa died 122 B.c., and who is further said to have written on Tzu alchemy; but alchemy was scarcely known in China at the date of his death, being introduced about that time from Greece. The author, whoever he may have been, poses as a disciple of Lao Tzu; but the speculations of Lao Tzu, as glorified by Chuang Tzu, were then rapidly sinking into vulgar efforts to discover the elixir of life. It is very difficult in many cases of this kind to decide what books are, and what books are not, partial or complete forgeries. In the present instance, the aid of the Shuo Wen, a dictionary of the 1st century A.D. (see below), may be invoked, but not in quite so satisfactory a sense as that in which it will be seen lower down to have been applied to the Tao Te Ching. The Shuo Wen contains a quotation said to be taken from Huai-nan Tzu; but that quotation cannot be found in the work under consideration. It may be argued that the words in question may have been taken from another work by the same author; but if so, it becomes difficult to believe that a book, more than two hundred years old, from which the author of the Shuo Wen quoted, should have been allowed to perish without leaving any trace behind. China has produced its Bentleys in considerable numbers; but almost all of them have given their attention to textual criticism of the Confucian Canon, and few have condescended to examine critically the works of heterodox writers. The foreign student therefore finds himself faced with many knotty points he is entirely unable to solve. Of Wang Chung, a speculative and materialistic philosopher, A.D. 27-97, banned by the orthodox for his attacks on Confucius Wang and Mencius, only one work has survived. It consists Wangg. of eighty-four essays on such topics as the. nature of things, destiny, divination, death, ghosts, poisons, miracles, criticisms of Confucius and Mencius, exaggeration, sacrifice and exorcism. According to Wang Chung, man, endowed at birth sometimes with a good and sometimes with an evil nature, is informed with a vital fluid, which resides in the blood and is nourished by eating and drinking, its two functions being to animate the body and keep in order the mind. It is the source of all sensation, passing through the blood like a wave. When it reaches the eyes, ears and mouth, the result is sight, hearing and speech respectively. Disturbance of the vital fluid leads to insanity. Without the fluid, the body cannot be maintained; without the body, the fluid loses its vitality. Therefore, argues Wang Ch'ung, when the body perishes and the fluid loses its vitality, each being dependent on the other, there remains nothing for immortality in a life beyond the grave. Ghosts he held to be the hallucinations of disordered minds, and miracles to be natural phenomena capable of simple explanations. His indictments of Confucius and Mencius are not of a serious character; though, as regards the former, it must be borne in mind that the Chinese people will not suffer the faintest aspersion on the fair fame of their great Sage. It is i elated in the Lun Yii that Confucius paid a visit to the notoriously immoral wife of one of the feudal nobles, and that a certain disciple was " displeased " in consequence, where-upon the Master swore, saying," If I have done any wrong, may the sky fall and crush me!" Wang Ch"ung points out that the form of oath adopted by Confucius is unsatisfactory and fails to carry conviction. Had he said, " May I be struck dead by lightning!" his sincerity would have been more powerfully attested, because people are often struck dead by lightning; whereas the fall of the sky is too remote a contingency, such a thing never having been known to happen within the memory of man. As to Mencius, there is a passage in his works which states that a thread of predestination runs through all human life, and that those who accommodate themselves will come off better in the end than those who try to oppose; it is in fact a statement of the cite i it p u6pov principle. On this Wang Ch'ung remarks that the will of God is consequently made to depend on human actions; and he further strengthens his objection by showing that the best men have often fared worst. For instance, Confucius never became emperor; Pi Kan, the patriot, was disembowelled; the bold and faithful disciple, Tzi:i'Lu, was chopped into small pieces. But the tale of Chinese philosophers is a long one. It is a depart- ment of literature in which the leading scholars of all ages have Book of mostly had something to say. The great Chu Hsi, Changes. A.D. 1130-1200, whose fame is chiefly perhaps that of a commentator and whose monument is his uniform exegesis of the Confucian Canon, was also a voluminous writer on philosophy. He took a hand in the mystery which surrounds the I Ching (or Yih King), generally known as the Book of Changes, which is held by some to be the oldest Chinese work and which forms part of the Confucian Canon. It is ascribed to King Wen, the virtual founder of the Chou dynasty, 1122–249 B.C., whose son became the first sovereign and posthumously raised his father to kingly rank. It contains a fanciful system of divination, deduced originally from eight diagrams consisting of triplet combinations of a line and a broken line, either one of which is necessarily repeated twice, and in two cases three times, in the same combination. Thus there may be three lines =, or three broken lines and other such combinations as = and Confucius declared that he would like to give another fifty years to the elucidation of this puzzling text. Shao Yung, A.D. 1011-1077, sought the key in numbers; Ch'eng I., A.D. 1033–1107, in the eternal fitness of things. " But Chu Hsi alone," says a writer of the 17th century, " was able to pierce through the meaning and appropriate the thoughts of the inspired man who composed it." No foreigner, however, has been able quite to understand what Chu Hsi did make of it, and several have gone so far as to set all native interpretations aside in favour of their own. Thus, the I Ching has been discovered by one to be a calendar of the lunar year; by another, to contain a system of phallic worship; and by a third, to be a vocabulary of the language of a tribe, whose very existence had to be postulated for the purpose. Political Economy.—T his department of literature has been by no means neglected by Chinese writers. So early as the 7th century B.c. Kuan we find Kuan_ Chung, the prime minister of the Ch"i state, Chung. devoting his attention to economic problems, and thereby making that state the wealthiest and the strongest of all the feudal kingdoms. Beginning life as a merchant, he passed into the public service, and left behind him at death a large work, parts of which, as we now possess it, may possibly have come direct from his own hand, the remainder being written up at a later date in accordance with the principles he inculcated. His ideal State was divided into twenty-one parts, fifteen of which were allotted toofficials and agriculturists, and six to manufacturers and traders. His great idea was to make his own state self-contained; and accordingly he fostered agriculture in order to be independent in time of war, and manufactures in order to increase his country's wealth in time of peace. He held that a purely agricultural population would always remain poor; while a purely manufacturing population would risk having its supplies of raw material cut off in time of war. He warmly encouraged free imports as a means of enriching his countrymen, trusting to their ability, under these conditions, to hold their own against foreign competition. He protected capital, in the sense that he considered capitalists to be necessary for the development of commerce in time of peace, and for the protection of the state in time of war. Mencius (see above) was in favour of heavily taxing merchants who tried to engross for the purpose of regrating, that is, to buy up wholesale for the purpose of retailing at monopoly prices; he was in fact opposed to all trusts and corners in trade. He was in favour of a tax to be imposed upon such persons as were mere consumers, living upon property which had been amassed by others and doing no work themselves. No tax, however, was to be exacted from property-owners who contributed by their personal efforts to the general welfare of the community. The object of the tax was not revenue, but the prevention of idleness with its attendant evil consequences to the state. Wang An-shih, the Reformer, or Innovator, as he has been called, flourished A.D. 1021–1086. In 1o69 he was appointed state councillor, and forthwith entered upon a series of startling reforms wan which have given him a unique position in the annals of An- 6ih. China. He established a state monopoly in commerce, under which the produce of a district was to be used first for the payment of taxes, then for the direct use of the district itself, and the remainder was to be purchased by the government at a cheap rate, either to be held until there was a rise in price, or to be trans-ported to some other district in need of it. The people were to profit by fixity of prices and escape from further taxation; and the government, by the revenue accruing in the process of administration. There was also to be a system of state advances to cultivators of land; not merely to the needy, but to all alike. The loan was to be compulsory, and interest was to be paid on it at the rate of 2 % per month. The soil was to be divided into equal areas and taxed according to its fertility in each case, without reference to the number of inhabitants contained in each area. All these, and other important reforms, failed to find favour with a rigidly conservative people, and Wang An-shih lived long enough to see the whole of his policy reversed. Military Writers.—Not much, relatively speaking, has been written by the Chinese on war in general, strategy or tactics. There is, however, one very remarkable work which has come down to us from the 6th century B.C., as to the genuineness of Sun-Tzu• which there now seems to be no reasonable doubt. A biographical notice of the author, Sun Wu, is given in the Shih Chi (see above), from which we learn that " he knew how to handle an army, and was finally appointed General." His work, entitled the Art of War, is a short treatise in thirteen chapters, under the following headings: " Laying Plans," " Waging War," " Attack by Stratagem," " Tactical Dispositions," " Energy," " Weak Points and Strong," " Manoeuvring " Variation of Tactics," " The Army on the March," " Terrain," " The Nine Situations," " The Attack by Fire," and " The Use of Spies." Although the warfare of Sun Wu's day was the warfare of bow and arrow, of armoured chariots and push of pike, certain principles inseparably associated with successful issue will be found enunciated in his work. Professor Mackail, in his Latin Literature (p. 86), declares that Varro's Imagines was " the first instance in history of the publication of an illustrated book." But reference to the Art Section of the history of the Western Han dynasty, 206 B.C.–A.D. 25, will disclose the title of fifteen or sixteen illustrated books, one of which is Sun Wu's Art of War. Agriculture.—In spite of the high place accorded to agriculturists, who rank second only to officials and before artisans and traders, and in spite of the assiduity with which agriculture has been practised in all ages, securing immunity from slaughter for the ploughing ox—what agricultural literature the Chinese possess may be said to belong entirely to modern times, Chen Fu of the 12th century A.D. was the author of a small work in three parts, dealing with agriculture, cattle-breeding and silkworms respectively. There is also a well-known work by an artist of the early 13th century, with forty-six woodcuts illustrating the various operations of agriculture and weaving. This book was reprinted under the emperor K'ang Hsi, 1662–1723, and new illustrations with excellent perspective were provided by Chiao Ping-chen, an artist who had adopted foreign methods as introduced by the famous Jesuit, Matteo Ricci. The standard work on agricul- ture, entitled Nung Che"ng Ch'iian Shu, was compiled by ha.. Hsu Kuang-ch'i, 1562–1634, generally regarded as the Kuang- only influential member of the mandarinate who has ever ch°I. become a convert to Christianity. It is in sixty sections, the first three of which are ievoted to classical references. Then follow two sections on the division of land, six on the processes of husbandry, none on hydraulics, four on agricultural implements, six on planting, six on rearing silkworms, four on trees, one on breeding animals, one on food and eighteen on provision against a time of scarcity. Medicine and Therapeutics.—The oldest of the innumerable medical works of all descriptions with which China has been flooded from time immemorial is a treatise which has been credited to the Yellow Emperor (see above), 2698–2598 B.C. It is entitled Plain Questions of the Yellow Emperor, or Su Wen for short, and takes the form of questions put by the emperor and answered by Earl Ch'i, a minister, who was himself author of the Nei Ching, a medical work no longer in existence. Without accepting the popular attribution of the Su Wen, it is most probable that it is a very old book, dating back to several centuries before Christ, and containing traditional lore of a still more remote period. The same may be said of certain works on cautery and acupuncture, both of which are still practised by Chinese doctors; and also of works on the pulse, the variations of which have been classified and allocated with a minuteness hardly credible. Special treatises on fevers, skin-diseases, diseases of the feet, eyes, heart, &c., are to be found in great quantities, as well as veterinary treatises on the treatment of diseases of the horse and the domestic buffalo. But in the whole range of Chinese medical literature there is nothing which can approach the Pen Ts'ao, or 14n Ts'ao. Materia Medica, sometimes called the Herbal, a title (i.e. Pen recto) which seems to have belonged to some book of the kind in pre-historic ages. The work under consideration was compiled by Li Shih-then, who completed his task in 1578 after twenty-six years' labour. No fewer than eighteen hundred and ninety-two species of drugs, animal, vegetable and mineral, are dealt with, arranged under sixty-two classes in sixteen divisions; and eight thousand one hundred and sixty prescriptions are given in connexion with the various entries. The author professes to quote from the original Pen Ts'ao, above mentioned; and we obtain from his extracts an insight into some curious details. It appears that formerly the number of recognized drugs was three hundred and sixty-five in all, corresponding with the days of the year. One hundred and twenty of these were called sovereigns (cf. a sovereign prescription) ; and were regarded as entirely beneficial to health, taken in any quantity or for any time. Another similar number were called ministers; some of these were poisonous, and all had to be used with discretion. The remaining one hundred and twenty-five were agents; all very poisonous, but able to cure diseases if not taken in over-doses. The modern Pen Ts'ao, in its sixteen divisions, deals with drugs classed under water, fire, earth, minerals, herbs, grain, vegetables, fruit, trees, clothes and utensils, insects, fishes, crustacea, birds, beasts and man. In each case the proper name of the drug is first given, followed by its explanation, solution of doubtful points, correction of errors, means of identification by taste, use in prescriptions, &c. The work is fully illustrated, and there is an index to the various medicines, classed according to the complaints for which they are used. Divination, Cec.—The practice of divination is of very ancient date in China, traceable, it has been suggested, back to the Canon of Changes (see above), which is commonly used by the lettered classes for that purpose. A variety of other methods, the chief of which is astrology, have also been adopted, and have yielded a considerable bulk of literature. Even the officially-published almanacs still mark certain days as suitable for certain undertakings, while other days are marked in the opposite sense. The spirit of Zadkiel pervades the Chinese empire. In like manner, geomancy is a subject on which many volumes have been written; and the same applies to the pseudo sciences of palmistry, physiognomy, alchemy (introduced from Greek sources) and others. Painting.—Calligraphy, in the eyes of the Chinese, is just as much a fine art as painting; the two are, in fact, considered to have come into existence together, but as might be expected the latter occupies the larger space in Chinese literature, and forms the subject of numerous extensive works. One of the most important of these is the Hsuan Ho Hua P'u, the author of which is unknown. It contains information concerning two hundred and thirty-one painters and the titles of six thousand one hundred and ninety-two of their pictures, all in the imperial collection during the dynastic period Milan Ho, A.D. 1119-1126, from which the title is derived. The artists are classified under one of the following ten headings, supposed to represent the line in which each particularly excelled: Religion, Human Figures, Buildings, Barbarians (including their Animals). Dragons and Fishes, Landscape, Animals, Flowers and Birds, The Bamboo, Vegetables and Fruits. Music.—The literature of music does not go back to a remote period. The Canon of Music, which was formerly included in the Confucian Canon, has been lost for many centuries; and the works now avail-able, exclusive of entries in the dynastic histories, are not older than the 9th century A.D., to which date may be assigned the Chieh Ku Lu, a treatise on the deerskin drum, said to have been introduced into China from central Asia, and evidently of Scythian origin. There are several important works of the 16th and 17th centuries, in which the history and theory of music are fully discussed, and illustrations of instruments are given, with measurements in each case, and the special notation required. • Miscellaneous.—Under this head may be grouped a vast number of works, many of them exhaustive, on such topics as archaeology, seals (engraved), numismatics, pottery, ink (the miscalled " Indian "), mirrors, precious stones, tea, wine, chess, wit and humour, even cookery, &c. There is, indeed, hardly any subject, withinreasonable limits, which does not find some corner in Chinese literature. Collections.—Re prints of miscellaneous books and pamphlets in a uniform edition, the whole forming a " library," has long been a favourite means of disseminating useful (and other) Lung Wet information. Of-these, the Lung Wei Pi Shu may be taken pish, as a specimen. In bulk it would be about the equivalent of twenty volumes, 8vo, of four hundred pages to each. Among its contents we find the following. A handbook of phraseology, with explanations; a short account of fabulous regions to the N., S., E. and W.; notes on the plants and trees of southern countries; biographical sketches of ninety-two wonderful personages; an account of the choice of an empress, with standard measurements of the height, length of limb, &c., of the ideal woman; " Pillow Notes " (a term borrowed by the Japanese), or jottings on various subjects, ranging from the Creation to an account of Fusang, a country where the trees are thousands of feet high and of vast girth, thus supporting the California, as opposed to the Mexico, identification of Fusang; critiques on the style of various poets, and on the indebtedness of each to earlier writers; a list of the most famous bronze vessels cast by early emperors, with their dimensions, inscriptions, &c. ; a treatise on the bamboo; a list of famous swords, with dates of forging and inscriptions; an account of the old Mongol palace, previous to its destruction 'by the first Ming emperor; notes on the wild tribes of China; historical episodes; biographical notices of one hundred and four poets of the present dynasty; notes on archaeological, super-natural and other topics, first published in the 9th century; notes for bibliophiles on the care of books, and on paper, ink, pictures and bric-a-brac; a collection of famous criminal cases; night thoughts suggested by a meteor. Add to the above, numerous short stories relating to magic, dreams, bilocation, and to almost every possible phase of supernatural manifestation, and the reader will have some idea of what he may expect in an ordinary " library " of a popular character. It must always be remembered that with the Chinese, style is of paramount importance. Documents, the subject-matter of which would be recognized to be of no educative value, would still be included, if written in a pleasing style, such as might be serviceable as a model. Individual Authors.—In a similar manner it has always been customary for relatives or friends, sometimes for the trade, to publish the " complete works " of important and often unimportant writers; usually, soon after death. And as literary distinction has hitherto almost invariably led to high office under the state, the collected works of the great majority of authors open with selected Memorials to the Throne and other documents of an official character. The public interest in these may have long since passed away; but they are valued by the Chinese as models of a style to be imitated, and the foreign student occasionally comes across papers on once burning questions arising out of commercial or diplomatic intercourse with western nations. Then may follow—the order is not always the same—the prefaces which the author contributed from time to time to the literary undertakings of his friends. Preface-writing is almost a department of Chinese literature. No one ever thinks of publishing a book without getting one or more of his capable associates to pro-vide prefaces, which are naturally of a laudatory character, and always couched in highly-polished and obscure terms, the difficulty of the text being often aggravated by a fanciful and almost illegible script. Prefaces written by emperors, many examples of which may be seen, are of course highly esteemed, and are generally printed in coloured ink. The next section may comprise biographical notices of eminent men and women, or of mere local celebrities, who happened to die in the author's day. Then will follow Records, a title which covers inscriptions carved on the walls of new buildings, or on memorial tablets, and also notes on pictures which the author may have seen, places which he may have visited, or allegorical incidents which he may have imagined. Then come disquisitions, or essays on various subjects; researches, being short articles of archaeological interest; studies or monographs; birthday congratulations to friends or to official colleagues; announcements, as to deities, a cessation of whose worship is threatened if the necessary rain or fair weather be not forthcoming; funeral orations, letters of condolence, &c. The above items will perhaps fill half a dozen volumes; the remaining volumes, running to twenty or thirty in all, as the case may be, will contain the author's poetry, together with his longer and more serious works. The essential of such a collection is, in Chinese eyes, its completeness. Fiction.—Although novels are not regarded as an integral part of literature proper, it is generally conceded that some novels may be profitably studied, if for no other reason, from the point of view of style. With the novel, however, we are no longer on perfectly safe ground in regard to that decency which characterizes, as has been above stated, the vast mass of Chinese literature. Chinese novels range, in this sense, from the simplest and most unaffected tale of daily life, down to low—not the lowest—depths of objectionable pornography. The San Kuo Chih, an historical romance based upon a period of disruption at the close of the San Kuo Chih. LITERATURE] 2nd century A.D., is a delightful book, packed with episodes of battle, heroism, self-sacrifice, skilful strategy, and all that goes to make up a stirring picture of strenuous times. Its author, who might almost have been Walter Scott, cannot be named for certain; but the work itself probably belongs to the r3th century, a date at which the novel begins to make its appearance in China. Previous to that time, there had been current an immense quantity of stories of various kinds, but nothing like a novel, as we understand the term. From the 13th century onwards, the growth of the novel was continuous; and finally, in the 17th century, a point was reached which is not likely to be surpassed. The Hung Lou Meng, the author of which took pains, for political reasons, to conceal his identity, is a creation of a very high order. Its plot is intricate and original, and the denouement startlingly tragic. In the course of the story, the chief clue of which is love, woven in with intrigue, ambition, wealth, poverty, and other threads of human life, there occur no fewer than over four hundred characters, each one possessed of a distinctive personality drawn with marvellous skill. It contains incidents which recall the licence tolerated in Fielding; but the coarseness, like that of Fielding, is always on the surface, and devoid of the ulterior suggestiveness of the modern psychological novel. But perhaps no work of fiction has ever enjoyed such vogue among literary Liao chat. men as a collection of stories, some graceful, some weird, written in 1679 by Fu Sungling, a disappointed candidate at the public examinations. This collection, known as the Liao Chai, is exceedingly interesting to the foreign student for its sidelights on folklore and family life; to the native scholar, who professes to smile at the subject-matter as beyond the pale of genuine literature, it is simply invaluable as an expression of the most masterly style of which his language is capable. Drama.—Simultaneously with the appearance of the novel, stage-plays seem to have come into existence in China. In the earliest ages there were set dances by trained performers, to the accompaniment of music and singing; and something of the kind, more or less ornate as regards the setting, has always been associated with solemn and festive occasions. But not until the days of the Mongol rule, A.D. 126o-1368, can the drama proper be said to have taken root and flourished in Chinese soil. The probability is that both the drama and the novel were introduced from Central Asia in the wake of the Mongol conquerors; the former is now specially essential to the everyday happiness of the Chinese people, who are perhaps the most confirmed playgoers in the world. There is an excellent collection of one hundred plays of the Mongol dynasty, with an illustration to each, first published in 1615; there is also a further large collection, issued in 1845, which contains a great number of plays arranged under sixty headings, according to the style and purport of each, besides many others. There is one Hsi Hsiang famous play of the Mongol period which deals largely Y in plot and passion, and is a great favourite with the educated classes. It is entitled Hsi Hsiang Chi, or the Story of the Western Pavilion; and as if there was a doubt as to the reception which would be accorded to the work, a minatory sentence was inserted in the prolegomena: " If any one ventures to call this book indecent, he will certainly have his tongue torn out in hell." So far as the written play is concerned, its language is altogether unobjectionable; on the stage, by means of gag and gesture, its presentation is often unseemly and coarse. What the Chinese playgoer delights in, as an evening's amusement, is a succession of plays which are more of the nature of sketches, slight in construction and generally weak in plot, some of them based upon striking historical episodes, and others dealing with a single humorous incident. Dictionaries.—The Erh Ye.., or Nearing the Standard, is commonly classed as a dictionary, and is referred by native scholars generally to the 12th century sec. The entries are arranged under nineteen heads, to facilitate reference, and explain a large number of words and phrases, including names of beasts, birds, plants and fishes. The work is well illustrated in the large modern edition; but the actual date of composition is an entirely open question, and the insertion of229 woodcuts must necessarily belong to a comparatively• late age (see Military Writers). With the Shuo Wen, or Explanation of Written Words, we begin the long list of lexicographical works which constitute such a notable feature in Chinese literature. A scholar, named Hsu Shen, S Wen. who died about A.D. 120, made an effort to bring together huo and analyse all the characters it was possible to gather from the written language as it existed in his own day. He then proceeded to arrange these characters—about ten thousand in all—on a system which would enable a student to find a given word without having possibly to search through the whole book. To do this, he simply grouped together all such as had a common part, more or less indicative of the meaning of each, much as though an English dictionary were to consist of such groups as and so on. Horse-collar Horse-flesh Horse-back Horse-fly Horse-chestnut and so on. Hsu Shen selected five hundred and forty of these common parts, or Radicals (see Language), a number which, as will be seen later on, was found to be cumbrously large; and under each Radical he' inserted all the characters belonging to it, but with no particular order or arrangement, so that search was still, in many cases, quite a laborious task. The explanations given were chiefly intended to establish the pictorial origin of the language; but whereas no one now disputes this as a general conclusion, the steps by which Hsu Shen attempted to prove his theory must in a large number of instances be dismissed as often inadequate and sometimes ridiculous. Nevertheless, it was a great achievement; and the Shuo Wen is still indispensable to the student of the particular script in vogue a century or two before Christ. It is also of value in another sense. It may be used, with discretion, in testing the genuineness of an alleged ancient document, which, if an important or well-known document before the age of Hsu Shen, would not be likely to contain characters not given in his work. Under this test the Tao re Ching, for instance, breaks down (see Huai-nan Tzu). Passing over a long series of dictionaries and vocabularies which appeared at various dates, some constructed on Hsu Shen's plan, with modifications and improvements, and others, known as phonetic dictionaries, arranged under the finals according to the Tones, we come to the great standard lexicon produced under the auspices, and now bearing the name of the emperor K'ang Hsi, A.D. 1662-1723. But before proceeding, a rough attempt may be made to exhibit in English terms the principle of the phonetic as compared with the radical dictionary described above. In the spoken language Phonetic there would occur the word light, the opposite of dark, and this would be expressed in writing by a certain dries. nsymbol. Then, when it became necessary to write down light, the opposite of heavy, the result would be precisely what we see in English. But as written words increased, always with a limited number of vocables (see Language), this system was found to be impracticable, and Radicals were inserted as a means of distinguishing one kind of light from another, but without altering the original sound. Now, in the phonetic dictionary the words are no longer arranged in such groups as Sun-light Sun-beam Sun-stroke Sun-god, &c. according to the Radicals, but in such groups as, Sun-light Moon-light Foot-light Gas-light, &c. according to the phonetics, all the above four being pronounced simply light, without reference to the radical portion which guides towards the limited sense of the term. So, in a phonetic dictionary, we should have such a group as Brass-bound Morocco-bound Half-bound Spell-bound Homeward-bound Wind-bound and so on, all the above six being pronounced simply bound. To return to " K'ang Hsi," as the lexicon in question is familiarly styled, the total number of characters given therein K'angHsL amounts to over forty-four thousand, grouped no longer under the five hundred and forty Radicals of Hsu Shen, but under the much more manageable number of two hundred and fourteen, Hung Lou Meng. Dog-days Dog-kennel Dog-collar Dog-meat Dog-nap 230 . as already used in earlier dictionaries. Further, as the groups of characters would now be more than four times as large as in the Shuo Wen, they were subdivided under each Radical according to the number of strokes in the other, or phonetic part of the character. Thus, adopting letters as strokes, for the purpose of illustration, we should have " dog-nap " in the group of Radical "dog" and three strokes, while " dog-days " and " dog-meat " would both be found under Radical " dog' with four strokes, and so on. The two hundred and fourteen Radicals are themselves arranged in groups according to the number of strokes; so that it is not a very arduous task to turn up ordinary characters in a Chinese dictionary. Finally, although Chinese is a monosyllabic and non-alphabetic language, a method has been devised, and has been in use since the 3rd century A.D., by which the sound of any word can be indicated in a dictionary otherwise than by simply quoting a word of similar sound, which of course may be equally unknown to the searcher. Thus, the sound of a word pronounced ching can be exhibited by selecting two words, one having the initial ch, and the other a final ing. E.g. the sound thing is given as Chien ling; that is ch[ien fling=thing. The Concordance.—Considering the long unbroken series of years during which Chinese literature has always, in spite of many losses, been steadily gaining in bulk, it is not astonishing to find that classical, historical, mythological and other allusions to personages or events of past times have also grown out of all proportion to the brain capacity even of the most brilliant student. Designed especially to meet this difficulty, there are several well-known handbooks, elementary and advanced, which trace such allusions to their source and provide full and lucid explanations; but even the most extensive • of these is on a scale incommensurate with the requirements of the scholar. Again, it is due to the emperor K'ang Hsi that we possess one of the most elaborate compilations of the kind ever planned and carried to completion. The P'ei Wen Yun Fu, or Concordance to Literature, is a key, not only to allusions in general, but to all phraseology, including allusions, idiomatic expressions and other obscure combinations of words, to be found in the classics, in the dynastic histories, and in all poets, historians, essayists, and writers of recognized eminence in their own lines. No attempt at explanation is given; but enough of the passage, or passages, in which the phrase occurs, is cited to enable the reader to gather the meaning required. The trouble, of course, lies with the arrangement of these phrases in a non-alphabetic language. Recourse has been had to the Rhymes and the five Tones (see Language) ; and all phrases which end with the same word form one of a number of groups which appear under the same Rhyme, the Rhymes themselves being distributed over five Tones. Thus, to find any phrase, the first point is to discover what is its normal Rhyme; the next is to ascertain the Tone of that Rhyme. Then, under this Tone-group the Rhyme-word will be found, and under the Rhyme-word group will be found the final word of the phrase in question. It will now only remain to run through this last group of phrases, all of which have this same final word, and the search—so vast is the collection—will usually yield a satisfactory result. The P'ei Wen Yun Fu runs of course to many volumes; a rough estimate shows it to contain over fifteen million words. Encyclopaedias.—In their desire to bring together condensed, yet precise, information on a large variety of subjects, the Chinese may be said to have invented the encyclopaedia. subjects, not the earliest work of this kind, the T'ai Ping Yu Lan is the first of any great im- portance. It was produced towards the close of the loth century A.D., under the direct supervision of the emperor, who is said to have examined three sections every day for about a year, the total number of sections being one thousand in all, arranged under fifty-five headings. Another similar work, dealing with topics drawn from the lighter literature of China, is the T'ai Ping Kuang Chi, which was issued at about the same date as the last-mentioned. Both of these, and especially the former, have passed through several editions. They help to inaugurate the great Sung dynasty, which for three centuries to follow effected so much in the cause of literature. Other encyclopaedias, differing in scope and in plan, appeared from time to time, but it will be necessary to concentrate attention upon two only. The third emperor of the Ming dynasty, known as Yung Lo, A.D. 1403-1425, issued a commission for the production of a work on a scale which was colossal even for China. His idea was to collect together all that had ever been written in the four departments of (I) the Confucian Canon, (2) History, (3) Philosophy and (4) General Literature. including astronomy, geography, cosmogony, medicine, divination, Buddhism, Taoism, arts and handicrafts; and in 1408 such an encyclopaedia was laid before the Throne, received the imperial approval and was named Yung Lo Ta Tien, or The Great Standard of Yung Lo. To achieve this, 3 commissioners, with 5 directors, 20 sub-directors and a staff of 2141 assistants, had laboured for the space of five years. Its contents ran to no fewer than 22,877 separate sections, to which must be added an index filling 6o sections. Each section contained about 20 leaves, making a total of 917,480 pages for the whole work. Each page consisted of sixteen columns of characters averaging twenty-five to each column, or a total of 366,992,000 characters, to which, in order to bring the amount into terms of English words, about another third would have to be added. This extraordinary work was never printed, as the expense would have been too great, although it was actually transcribed for that purpose; and later on, -[LITERATURE two more copies were made, one of which was finally stored in Peking and the other, with the original, in Nanking. Both the Nanking copies perished at the fall of the Ming dynasty; and a similar fate overtook the Peking copy, with the exception of a few odd volumes, at the siege of the legations in 1900. The latter was bound up in 11,100 volumes, covered with yellow silk, each volume being i ft. 8 in. in length by i ft. in breadth, and averaging over z in. in thickness. This would perhaps be a fitting point to conclude any notice of Chinese encyclopaedias, but for the fact that the work of Yung Lo is gone while another encyclopaedia, also on a huge scale, designed and carried out some centuries later, is still an important work of reference. The T'u Shu Chi Ching was planned, and to a great extent made ready, under instructions from the emperor K'ang Hsi (see above), and was finally brought out by his successor, Yung Cheng, 1723-1736. Intended to embrace all departments of T'0 slut. knowledge, its contents were distributed over six leading categories, which for want of better equivalents may be. roughly rendered by (1) Heaven, (2) Earth, (3)-Man, (4) Arts and Sciences, (5) Philosophy and (6) Political Science. These were subdivided into thirty-two classes; and in the voluminous index which accompanies the work a further attempt was made to bring the searcher into still closer touch with the individual items treated. Thus, the category Heaven is subdivided into four classes, namely—again, for want of better terms—(a) The Sky and its Manifestations, (b) The Seasons, (c) Astronomy and Mathematics and (d) Natural Phenomena. Under these classes come the individual items; and here it is that the foreign student is often at a loss. For instance, class a includes Earth, in its cosmogonic sense, as the mother of mankind; Heaven, in its original sense of God; the Dual Principle in nature; the Sun, Moon and Stars; Wind; Clouds; Rainbow; Thunder and Lightning; Rain; Fire, &c. But Earth is itself a geographical category; and all strange phenomena relating to many of the items under class a are recorded under class d. Category No. 6, marked as Political Science, contains such classes as Ceremonial, Music and Administration of Justice, alongside of Handicrafts, making it essential to study the arrangement carefully before it is possible to consult the work with ease. Such preliminary trouble is, however, well repaid, the amount of information given on any particular subject being practically coextensive with what is known about that subject. The method of presenting such information, with variations to suit the nature of the topics handled, is to begin with historical excerpts, chronologically arranged. These are usually followed by sometimes lengthy essays dealing with the subject as a theme, taken from the writings of qualified authors, and like all the other entries, also chronologically arranged. Then come elegant extracts in prose and verse, in all of which the subject may be simply mentioned and not treated as in the essays. After these follow minor notices of incidents, historical and otherwise, and all kinds of anecdotes, derived from a great variety of sources. Occasionally, single poetical lines are brought together, each contributing, some thought or statement germane to the subject, expressed in elegant or forcible terms; and also, wherever practicable, biographies of men and women are inserted. Chronological and other tables are supplied where necessary, as well as a very large number of illustrations, many of these being reproductions of woodcuts from earlier works. It is said that the T'u Shu Chi Ching was printed from movable copper type cast by the Jesuit Fathers employed by the emperor K'ang Hsi at Peking; also that only a hundred copies were struck off, the type being then destroyed. An 8vo edition of the whole encyclopaedia was issued at Shanghai in 1889; this is bound up in sixteen hundred and twenty-eight handy volumes of about two hundred pages each. A copy of the original edition stands on the shelves of the British Museum, and a translation of the Index has recently been completed. Manuscripts and Printing.—At the conclusion of this brief survey of Chinese literature it may well be asked how such an enormous and ever-increasing mass has been handed down from generation to generation. According to the views put forth by early Chinese antiquarians, the first written records were engraved with a special knife upon bamboo slips and wooden tablets. The impracticability of such a process, as applied to books, never seems to have dawned upon those writers; and this snowball of error, started in the 7th century, long after the knife and the tablet had disappeared as implements of writing, continued to gather strength as time went on. Recent researches, however, have placed it beyond doubt that when the Chinese began to write in a literary sense, as opposed to mere scratchings on bones, they traced their characters on slips of bamboo and tablets of wood with a bamboo pencil, frayed at one end to carry the coloured liquid which stood in the place of ink. The knife was used only to erase. So things went on until about 200 B.c., when it would appear that a brush of hair was substituted for the bamboo pencil; after which, silk was called into requisition as an appropriate vehicle in connexion with the more Yung Lo Ta Ties,. delicate brush. But silk was expensive and difficult to handle, so that the invention of paper in A.D. 105 by a eunuch, named Tsai Lun, came as a great boon, although it seems clear that a certain kind of paper, made from silk floss, was in use before his date. However that may be, from the 1st century onwards the Chinese have been in possession of the same writing materials that are in use at the present day. In A.D. 170, Tsai Yung, who rose subsequently to the highest offices of state, wrote out on stone in red ink the authorized text of the Five Classics, to be engraved by workmen, and thus handed down to posterity. The work covered forty-six huge tablets, of which a few fragments are said to be still in existence. A similar undertaking was carried out in 837, and the later tablets are still standing at a temple in the city of Hsi-an Fu, Shensi. With the Tang dynasty, rubbings of famous inscriptions, wherein the germ of printing may be detected, whether for the style of the composition or for the calligraphic excellence of the script, came very much into vogue with scholars and collectors. It is also from about the same date that the idea of multiplying on paper impressions taken from wooden blocks seems to have arisen, chiefly' in connexion with religious pictures and prayers. The process was not widely applied to the production of books until the loth century, when in A.D. 932 the Confucian Canon was printed for the first time. In 981 orders were issued for the Tai Ping Kuang Chi, an encyclopaedia extending to many volumes (see above) to be cut on blocks for printing. Movable types of baked clay are said to have been invented by an alchemist, named Pi Sheng, about A.D. 1043; and under the Ming dynasty, 1368-1644, these were made first of wood, and later of copper or lead, but movable types have never gained the favour accorded to block-printing, by means of which most of China's great typographical triumphs have been achieved. The process is, and always has been, the same all over China. Two consecutive pages of a book, separated by a column containing the title, number of section, and number of leaf, are written out and pasted face downwards on a block of wood (Lindera tziii-mu, Hemsl.). This paper, where not written upon, is cut away with sharp tools, leaving the characters in relief, and of course back-wards, as in the case of European type. The block is then inked, and an impression is taken off, on one side of the paper only. This sheet is then folded down the middle of the separating column above mentioned, so that the blank halves come together, leaving two pages of printed matter outside; and when enough sheets have been brought together, they are stabbed at the open ends and form a volume, to be further wrapped in paper or pasteboard, and labelled with title, &c. It is almost superfluous to say that the pages of a Chinese book must not be cut. There is nothing inside, and, moreover, the column bearing the title and leaf-number would be cut through. The Chinese newspapers of modern times are all printed from movable types, an ordinary fount consisting of about six to seven thousand characters. See J. Legge, The Chinese Classics (1861–1872) ; A. Wylie, Notes on Chinese Literature (1867); E. Chavannes, Memoires historiques (1895–1905) ; H. A. Giles, Chuang Tzu (1889), A Chinese Biographical Dictionary (1898), and A History of Chinese Literature (1901); A. Forke, Lun-Hing (1907); F. Hirth, The Ancient History of China (1908); L. Giles, Sun Tzu (1910). (H. A. GI.)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.