1. Kwang-dze was a native (of the territory) of Mäng and an officer in (the city of) Khî-yüan. He had been dead for more than a thousand years, and no one had up to this time sacrificed to him in Mäng. It was Wang King, the assistant Secretary of the Prefect, who superintended the erection of a Sacrificial Hall (to Kwang-dze), and (when the building was finished) he applied to me for
a composition which might serve as a record of the event; (which I made as follows):--
2. According to the Historical Records (of Sze-mâ Khien), Kwang-dze lived in the time of the kings Hui of Liang (B.C. 370-333 [?]) 1 and Hsüan of Khî (B.C. 332-314). There was no subject of study to which he did not direct his attention, but his preference was for the views of Lâo-dze; and thus it was that of the books which he wrote, containing in all more than ten myriad characters, the greater part are metaphorical illustrations of those views. He made 'The Old Fisherman,' 'The Robber Kih,' and 'The Cutting Open Satchels,' to deride the followers of Confucius, and to set forth the principles of Lâo-dze. (So writes Sze-mâ Khien, but) his view is that of one who had only a superficial knowledge of Kwang-dze. My idea is that Kwang wished to support the principles of Khung-dze, though we must not imitate him in the method which he took to do so. (I will illustrate my meaning by a case of a different kind):--A prince of Khû 2 was once hurrying away from the city in disguise 2, when the gate-keeper refused to let him pass through. On this his servant threatened the prince with a switch, and reviled him, saying, 'Slave, you have no strength!' On seeing this, the gate-keeper allowed them to go out. The thing certainly took place in an irregular way, and the prince escaped by an inversion of what was right;--he seemed openly to put himself in opposition, while he was secretly maintaining and supporting. If we think that his servant did not love the prince, our judgment will be wrong; if we think that his action was a model for imitation in serving a prince, in that also we shall be wrong. In the same way the words of Kwang-dze are thrown out in a contradictory manner, with which the tenor of his writing does not agree. The correct interpretation,
of them shows them to be far from any wish to defame Khung-dze.
3. And there is that in the style which slightly indicates his real meaning. (In his last Book for instance), when discussing the historical phases of Tâoism, he exhibits them from Mo Tî, Khin Hwâ-lî, Phäng Mäng, Shän Tâo, Thien Pien, Kwan Yin, and Lâo Tan, down even to himself, and brings them all together as constituting one school, but Confucius is not among them 1. So great and peculiar is the honour which he does to him!
4. I have had my doubts, however, about 'The Robber Kih (Bk. XXIX),' and 'The Old Fisherman (Bk. XXXI),' for they do seem to be really defamatory of Confucius. And as to 'The Kings who have wished to Resign the Throne (Bk. XXVIII)' and 'The Delight in the Sword-fight (Bk. XXX);' they are written in a low and vulgar style, and have nothing to do with the doctrine of the Tâo. Looking at the thing and reflecting on it, there occurred to me the paragraph at the end of Book XXVII ('Metaphorical Language'). It tells us that 'when Yang Dze-kü had gone as far as Khin, he met with Lâo-dze, who said to him, "Your eyes are lofty, and you stare; who would live with you? The purest carries himself as if he were defiled, and the most virtuous seems to feel himself defective." Yang Dze-kü looked abashed and changed countenance. When he first went to his lodging-house, the people in it met him and went before him. The master of it carried his mat for him, and the mistress brought to him the towel and comb. The lodgers left their mats and the cook his fire-place, as he went past them. When he went away, the others in the house would have striven with him about (the places for) their mats.'
After reading this paragraph, I passed over the four intermediate Books,--the Zang Wang, the Yüeh Kien, the Yü Fû, and the Tâo Kih, and joined it on to the first paragraph of the Lieh Yü-khâu (Book XXXII). I then read how Lieh-dze had started to go to Khî but came back
when he had got half-way to it. (When asked why he had done so), he replied, 'I was frightened, I went into ten soup-shops to get a meal, and in five of them the soup was set before me before I had paid for it.' Comparing this with the paragraph about Yang Dze-kü, the light flashed on me. I laughed and said, 'They certainly belong to one chapter!'
The words of Kwang-dze were not ended; and some other stupid person copied in (these other four Books) of his own among them. We should have our wits about us, and mark the difference between them. The division of paragraphs and the titles of the Books did not proceed from Kwang-dze himself, but were introduced by custom in the course of time 1.
Recorded on the 19th day of the 11th month of the first year of the period Yüan Fäng (1078-1085).
320:1 The elder of two brothers, both famous as scholars, poets, and administrators in the history of their country, and sons of a father hardly less distinguished. The father (A.D. 1009-1066) was named Sû Hsün ( ) with the designation of Ming-yun ( ), and the two names of locality, Lâo-khwan ( ) and Mei-shân ( ). Of the two brothers the elder (1036-1101), author of the notice here adduced, was the more celebrated. His name was Shih and his designation Dze-kân ( ); but he is more frequently styled Tung-pho ( ), from the situation of a house which he occupied at one time. His life was marked by several vicissitudes of the imperial favour which was shown to him and of the disgrace to which he was repeatedly subjected. He was versed in all Chinese literature, but the sincerity of his Confucianism has not been called in question. His brother (1039-1112), by name Keh ( ), by designation Dze-yû ( ) and by locality Ying-pin ( ) has left us a commentary on the Tâo Teh King, nearly the whole of which is given by Ziâo Hung, under the several chapters. It seems to have been Keh's object to find a substantial unity under the different forms of Confucian, Buddhistic, and Tâoist thought.
The short essay, for it is more an essay than 'a record,' which is here translated is appended by Ziâo Hung to his 'Wings to Kwang-dze.' It is hardly worthy of Shih's reputation.
321:1 Compare vol. xxxix, pp. 36, 37, 39, Sze-mâ Khien enters king Hui's death in this year. The 'Bamboo Books' place it sixteen years later, see 'The General Mirror of History,' under the thirty-fifth year of king Hsien of Kau.
321:2 I suppose this incident is an invention of Sû Shih's own. I have not met with it anywhere else. In Ziâo's text for the 'in disguise' of the translation, however, there is an error. He gives instead of .
322:1 See Book XXXIII, pars. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
323:1 Few of my readers, I apprehend, will appreciate this article, which is to me more a jeu d'esprit than 'a record.' It is strange that so slight and fantastic a piece should have had the effect attributed to it of making the four Books which they call in question be generally held by scholars of the present dynasty to be apocryphal, but still Sû Shih avows in it his belief in Book XXXIII. Compare the quotation from Lin Hsî-kung on pp. 296, 297.