Yü Yen, 'Metaphorical Words,' stand at the commencement of the Book, and have been adopted as its name.
[paragraph continues] They might be employed to denote its first paragraph, but are not applicable to the Book as a whole. Nor let the reader expect to find even here any disquisition on the nature of the metaphor as a figure of speech. Translated literally, 'Yü Yen' are 'Lodged Words,' that is, Ideas that receive their meaning or character from their environment, the narrative or description in which they are deposited.
Kwang-dze wished, I suppose, to give some description of the style in which he himself wrote:--now metaphorical, now abounding in quotations, and throughout moulded by his Tâoistic views. This last seems to be the meaning of his Kih Yen,--literally, 'Cup, or Goblet, Words,' that is, words, common as the water constantly supplied in the cup, but all moulded by the Tâoist principle, the element of and from Heaven blended in man's constitution and that should direct and guide his conduct. The best help in the interpretation of the paragraph is derived from a study of the difficult second Book, as suggested in the notes.
Of the five paragraphs that follow the first, the second relates to the change of views, which, it is said, took place in Confucius; the third, to the change of feeling in Zäng-dze in his poverty and prosperity; the fourth, to changes of character produced in his disciple by the teachings of Tung-kwo Dze-khî; the fifth, to the changes in the appearance of the shadow produced by the ever-changing substance; and the sixth, to the change of spirit and manner produced in Yang Kû by the stern lesson of Lâo-dze.
Various other lessons, more or less appropriate and important, are interspersed.
Some critics argue that this Book must have originally been one with the thirty-second, which was made into two by the insertion between its Parts of the four spurious intervening Books, but this is uncertain and unlikely.