portents in vain. Moreover, beginning last month and continuing without abatement until now, an epidemic has been
rife in the capital. Truly, though we be of tender years, we
are filled with deepest dread and apprehension. By the
Empresses Dowager we have been instructed that these
warnings, transmitted by Heaven to man, are surely indicative
of present deficiencies in our conduct of government...."
Cf. also the penitential edict of the Kuang-hsü Emperor,
issued February 14, 1901, after the disastrous Boxer Rebellion, in which he says that he and the Empress Dowager
had wished to commit suicide at the time of their flight from
Peking in order to "offer atonement to the spirits of our
imperial ancestors." For texts of these edicts, see the Ta‐
Ch'ing Li-ch'ao Shih-lu (Veritable Records of the Great
Ch'ing Dynasty for Successive Reigns) [Tokyo, 1937], Mutsung Sect., chüan 35, pp. 33b-34b, and Te-tsung Sect., chüan 477, pp. 13a-16b; English paraphrases in J. O. P.
Bland and E. Backhouse, China under the Empress Dowager
(London, 1910), pp. 486 and 376-381 respectively (where
the dates are inexactly given as 1861 and February 13, 1901).
I am much indebted to Mr. Joseph Wang, of the Division of
Orientalia, Library of Congress, for kindly locating these
edicts in the Library's copy of the Shih-lu, and copying
them for me.
Mencius, esp. Ib, 6 and 8; Va, 5-6; Vb, 9; VIIa, 31;
Typical of this point of view is the account in Appendix III, passim, of the Book of Changes, describing how
the ancient sages, basing themselves on their examination
of natural phenomena, created the eight trigrams and sixty‐
four hexagrams as graphic symbols of these phenomena, and
then proceeded from these symbols to get the ideas of inventing plows, boats, bows and arrows, houses, and other
artifacts of civilization. Cf. transl. of Legge in Sacred Books
of the East, Vol. XVI (Oxford, 2nd ed., 1899), esp. pp.
353-354, 360-361, 371-374, 377-378, 382-385.
For a detailed survey of this world view, which became
the dominant one in later Chinese philosophy, see the writer's
"Harmony and Conflict in Chinese Philosophy," in Arthur
F. Wright, ed., Studies in Chinese Thought (University of
Chicago Press, 1953), pp. 19-80. It should be stressed that
this was the world view of philosophical sophisticates, not
necessarily shared by all non-philosophical writers. Even
among later philosophical writers themselves, in fact, throw‐
backs to the earlier, more personalistic ways of thinking can
sometimes be found. A good example is Tung Chung-shu
(179?-104? B.C.). Cf. ibid., pp. 43-44, 71.
Cf. the Tso Chuan (Legge, Chinese Classics, V [Hong‐
kong, 1872], pp. 609, 732, 772). The codes of 536 and 501,
belonging to the state of Cheng, were inscribed on bronze
vessels and bamboo tablets respectively; that of 513, belonging to the state of Chin, was inscribed on iron tripods.
J. J. L. Duyvendak, The Book of Lord Shang (London,
1928), pp. 128-129. This is not to deny, of course, that there
have been numerous and bulky law codes in later China.
They were, however, primarily penal, and played a much less
prominent role in Chinese life than that held by law in the
West. Professional lawyers, for example, were virtually non‐
existent in China prior to recent times. For a comprehensive
discussion of Chinese law, see Jean Escarra, Le droit chinois
The word "partial" in the preceding sentence deserves
stress, in that the Chinese Communists, unlike the Confucianists, not only explicitly advocate, but even insist on, the
active participation of the common man in public affairs.
Granted that such participation is usually confined to local
matters, and is carefully guided from above along lines which
severely limit its scope and freedom, it has nevertheless given
to many Chinese a hitherto unknown feeling that they have
a necessary and appreciated public role to play. Illustrative
of the differing Confucian and Communist attitudes toward
the people is the Communist slogan, made with regard to
their army, that "the soldiers are fish and the people water,"
as contrasted with the orthodox statement of the Confucian,
Hsün Tzu (ca. 298-ca. 238 B.C.), that "the people are the
water and the ruler is the boat; the water can support the
boat but it can also sink it." Cf. John K. Fairbank, The
United States and China (Harvard University Press, 1948),
This thesis is developed with great skill, though sometimes to excess and with over ingenuity, by C. P. Fitzgerald
in his Revolution in China (New York, 1952).
The complex and characteristic relation between
priesthood and kingship, Brahmanas and Kshatriyas,
is fundamental in itself and in its implications, and
a brief reflection will be useful for locating it in a
comparative perspective. The fact has surprised
modern authors, most of whom, without conceiving
it clearly, have tried to explain it as the result of a
hypothetical struggle between the two classes, and
have interpreted in that sense certain legends to
which we shall turn hereafter. They have written of
a struggle for the first rank (Lassen), or for "the
presidency, even spiritual" of the society (Dumézil),
or, conversely, of a struggle for "practical power"
(Vedic Index). They are not all of one mind; however, among the different tendencies, one is the persistent rationalist and "anticlerical" mentality accord