The Shu King: Or, the Chinese Historical Classic, Being an Authentic Record of the Religion, Philosophy, Customs and Government of the Chinese from the Earliest Times

The Shu King: Or, the Chinese Historical Classic, Being an Authentic Record of the Religion, Philosophy, Customs and Government of the Chinese from the Earliest Times

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The Shu King: Or, the Chinese Historical Classic, Being an Authentic Record of the Religion, Philosophy, Customs and Government of the Chinese from the Earliest Times

The Shu King: Or, the Chinese Historical Classic, Being an Authentic Record of the Religion, Philosophy, Customs and Government of the Chinese from the Earliest Times

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The classic known as the Shu king has come down to us from the text compiled by Confucius, or Kong-fu-tse as he was known in China, about the year 500 b.c. The burning of the Books under Che-hwang-ti (b.c. 220), and the wholesale massacre of the Mangwân or Literati by that Nero of the Far East, demolished for a time the records of this priceless work. But on the accession of Wan-ti of the Han dynasty (b.c. 179), the revival of the literature of China was in part accomplished by recourse to those elders of the people who held the historical classic in memory. Such an one was Fuh-sang, an old man of ninety years who lived at Tse-nan-foo in Shantung, who had escaped death by feigning insanity and by the terrible expedient of putting out his own eyes. He was one of the old literati to whom the Shu king ofConfucius was familiar and mostly known by heart. From him the modern text was chiefly obtained.

But in the year b.c. 140, when Kung Wâng, one of the princes of the Lu State, was demolishing one of the former abodes of Confucius, he came upon a large number of books, among which was the Shu king, written in the ancient character. Kung-gan-kwo, a relative of Confucius, deciphered and transcribed this book, which was. subsequently published by him, together with a commentary. All editions of the Shu king are based upon this ancient relic. It is supposed by some Chinese commentators that the original text consisted of one hundred sections, and in . . .

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