Page:A history of Chinese literature - Giles.djvu/264

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252 CHINESE LITERATURE

" Chu Hsi said, 'When God is about to send down calamities upon us, He first raises up the hero whose genius shall finally prevail against those calamities.' From this point of view there can be no living man without his appointed use, nor any state of society which man should be unable to put right."

The theory that every man plays his allotted part in the cosmos is a favourite one with the Chinese ; and the process by which the tares are separated from the wheat, exemplifying the use of adversity, has been curiously stated by a Buddhist priest of this date :

" If one is a man, the mills of heaven and earth grind him to perfection ; if not, to destruction."

A considerable amount of poetry was produced under the Mongol sway, though not so much proportionately, nor of such a high order, as under the great native dynasties. The Emperor Ch'ien Lung published in 1787 a collection of specimens of the poetry of this Yuan dynasty. They fill eight large volumes, but are not much read.

One of the best known poets of this period is Liu CHI (A.D. 1311-1375), who was also deeply read in the Classics and also a student of astrology. He lived into the Ming dynasty, which he helped to establish, and was for some years the trusted adviser of its first ruler. He lost favour, however, and was poisoned by a rival, it is said, with the Emperor's connivance. The following lines, referring to an early visit to a mountain monastery, reveal a certain sympathy with Buddhism :

" / mounted when the cock had just begun, And reached (he convent ere the bells were done ; A gentle zephyr whispered o'er the lawn ; Behind the -wood the moon gave way to dawn.

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