Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION III.: OF COMMENTARIES UPON THE ANALECTS. - The Chinese Classics: Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius (Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean)
Return to Title Page for The Chinese Classics: Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius (Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
SECTION III.: OF COMMENTARIES UPON THE ANALECTS. - Confucius, The Chinese Classics: Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius (Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean) 
The Chinese Classics: Translated into English with Preliminary Essays and Explanatory Notes by James Legge. Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius. Second Edition (London: N. Trübner, 1869).
Part of: The Chinese Classics
About Liberty Fund:
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
OF COMMENTARIES UPON THE ANALECTS.
1.It would be a vast and unprofitable labour to attempt to give a list of the Commentaries which have been published on this Work. My object is merely to point out how zealously the business of interpretation was undertaken, as soon as the text had been recovered by the scholars of the Han dynasty, and with what industry it has been persevered in down to the present time.
2. Mention has been made, in Section I. 6, of the Lun of Prince Chang, published in the half century before our era. Paou Heen, a distinguished scholar and officer, of the reign of Kwang-woo, the first emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty, ad 25—57, and another scholar of the surname Chow, less known but of the same time, published Works, containing arrangements of this into chapters and sentences, with explanatory notes. The critical work of K‘ung Gan-kwŏ on the old Lun Yu has been referred to. That was lost in consequence of troubles which arose towards the close of the reign of the Emperor Woo, but in the time of the Emperor Shun, ad 126—144, another scholar, Ma Yung, undertook the exposition of the characters in the old Lun, giving at the same time his views of the general meaning. The labours of Ch‘ing Heuen in the second century have been mentioned. Not long after his death, there ensued a period of anarchy, when the empire was divided into three governments, well known from the celebrated historical romance, called “The Three States.” The strongest of them, the House of Wei, patronized literature, and three of its high officers and scholars, Ch‘in K‘eun, Wang Suh, and Chow Shang-lëĕ, in the first half, and probably the second quarter of the third century, all gave to the world their notes on the Analects.
Very shortly after, five of the chief ministers of the Government of Wei, Sun Yung, Ch‘ing Ch‘ung, Tsaou He, Seun K‘ae, and Ho An, united in the production of one great work, entitled, “A Collection of Explanations of the Lun Yu.” It embodied the labours of all the writers which have been mentioned, and having been frequently reprinted by succeeding dynasties, it still remains. The preface of the five compilers, in the form of a memorial to the emperor, so called, of the House of Wei, is published with it, and has been of much assistance to me in writing these sections. Ho An was the leader among them, and the work is commonly quoted as if it were the production of him alone.
3. From Ho An downwards, there has not been a dynasty which has not contributed its labourers to the illustration of the Analects. In the Leang, which occupied the throne a good part of the sixth century, there appeared the “Comments of Wang K‘an,” who to the seven authorities cited by Ho An added other thirteen, being scholars who had deserved well of the Classic during the intermediate time. Passing over other dynasties, we come to the Sung, ad 960—1279. An edition of the Classics was published by imperial authority, about the beginning of the 11th century, with the title of “The Correct Meaning.” The principal scholar engaged in the undertaking was Hing Ping. The portion of it on the Analects is commonly reprinted in “The Thirteen Classics,” after Ho An’s explanations. But the names of the Sung dynasty are all thrown into the shade by that of Choo He, than whom China has not produced a greater scholar. He composed, in the 12th century, three Works on the Analects, which still remain:—the first called “Collected Meanings;” the second, “Collected Comments;” and the third, “Queries.” Nothing could exceed the grace and clearness of his style, and the influence which he has exerted on the literature of China has been almost despotic.
The scholars of the present dynasty, however, seem inclined to question the correctness of his views and interpretations of the Classics, and the chief place among them is due to Maou K‘eling, known more commonly as Maou Se-ho. His writings, under the name of “The Collected Works of Se-ho,” have been published in 80 volumes, containing between three and four hundred books or sections. He has nine treatises on The Four Books, or parts of them, and deserves to take rank with Ch‘ing Heuen and Choo He at the head of Chinese scholars, though he is a vehement opponent of the latter. Many of his writings are to be found also in the great Work called “A Collection of Works on the Classics, under the Imperial dynasty of Ts‘ing,” which contains 1400 sections, and is a noble contribution by scholars of the present dynasty to the illustration of its ancient literature.
OF THE GREAT LEARNING.