Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION III.: OTHER COMMENTATORS. - The Chinese Classics: Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius
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SECTION III.: OTHER COMMENTATORS. - Mencius, The Chinese Classics: Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius 
The Chinese Classics: Translated into English with Preliminary Essays and Explanatory Notes by James Legge. Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius. (London: N. Trübner, 1875).
Part of: The Chinese Classics
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1.All the commentaries on Mencius made prior to the Sung dynasty (ad 975) having perished, excepting that of Chaou K‘e, I will not therefore make an attempt to enumerate them particularly. Only three names deserve to be mentioned, as frequent reference is made to them in Critical Introductions to our philosopher. They were all of the T‘ang dynasty, extending, if we embrace in it what is called “The after T‘ang,” from ad 624 to 936. The first is that of Luh Shen-king, who declined to adopt Chaou K‘e’s division of the text into fourteen sections, and many of whose interpretations, differing from those of the older authority, have been received into the now standard commentary of Choo He. The other two names are those of Chang Yih and Ting Kung-choh, whose principal object was to determine the sounds and tones of characters about which there could be dispute. All that we know of their views is from the works of Sun Shih and Choo He, who have many references to them in their notes.
2. During the Sung dynasty, the commentators on Mencius were a multitude, but it is only necessary that I speak of two.
The most distinguished scholar of the early reigns was Sun Shih, who is now generally alluded to by his posthumous or honorary epithet of “The Illustrious Duke.” We find him high in favour and reputation in the time of T‘ae-tsung (977—997), Chin-tsung (998—1022), and Jin-tsung (1023—1063). By imperial command, in association with several other officers, he prepared a work in two parts under the title of “The Sounds and Meaning of Mencius,” and presented it to the court. Occasion was taken from this for a strange imposture. In the edition of “The Thirteen King,” Mencius always appears with “The Commentary of Chaon K‘e” and “The Correct Meaning of Sun Shih.” Under the Sung dynasty, what were called “correct meanings” were made for most of the classics. They are commentaries and annotations on the principal commentator, who is considered as the expounder of the classic, the author not hesitating, however, to indicate any peculiar views of his own. The genuineness of Shih’s “Correct Meaning of Mencius” has been questioned by few, but there seems to be no doubt of its being really a forgery, at the same time that it contains the substance of the true Work of “the Illustrious Duke,” so far as that embraced the meaning of Mencius and of Chaou K‘e. The account of it given in the preface to “An Examination of the Text in the Commentary and Annotations on Mencius,” by Yuen Yuen of the present dynasty, is—“Sun Shih himself made no ‘Correct Meaning;’ but some one—I know not who—supposing that his Work was really of that character, and that there were many things in the commentary which were not explained, and passages also of an unsatisfactory nature, he transcribed the whole of Shih’s Work on ‘The Sounds and Meaning;’ and having interpolated some words of his own, published it under the title of ‘The Annotations of Sun Shih.’ He was the same person who is styled by Choo He ‘A scholar of Shaou-woo.”’
In the 12th century Choo He appeared upon the stage, and entered into the labours of all his predecessors. He published one Work separately upon Mencius, and two upon Mencius and the Confucian Analects. The second of these,—“Collected Comments on the Analects and Mencius,” is now the standard authority on the subject, and has been the test of orthodoxy and scholarship in the literary examinations since ad 1315.
3. Under the present dynasty two important contributions have been made to the study of Mencius. They are both published in the “Explanations of the Classics under the Imperial dynasty of Ts‘ing.”1 The former, bearing the title of “An Examination of the Text in the Commentary and Annotations on Mencius,” forms the sections from 1039 to 1054. It is by Yuen Yuen, the Governor-general under whose auspices that compilation was published. Its simple aim is to establish the true reading by a collation of the oldest and best manuscripts and editions, and of the remains of a series of stone tablets containing the text of Mencius, which were prepared in the reign of Kaou-tsung (ad 1128—1162), and are now existing in the Examination Hall of Hang-chow. The second Work, which is still more important, is embraced in the sections 1117—1146. Its title is—“The Correct Meaning of Mencius, by Tsëaou Seun, a Keujin of Këang-too.” It is intended to be such a Work as Sun Shih would have produced, had he really made what has been so long current in the world under his name; and is really valuable.
[1 ] See Vol. I., Proleg., p. 21.