Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 3.djvu/22

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PREFACE.

gleaned from it for the Sacred Texts; and if we were to launch out into the three supplements to it of ℨo Khiû-ming, Kung-yang, and Kû-liang, the result would not repay the labour. A translation of the whole of ℨo's supplement, much the most important, is given in my work on the Khun Khiû, published at Hong Kong in 1872.

There is another short treatise attributed to Confucius,—the Hsiâo King, or 'Classic of Filial Piety.' Though not like one of the five great works that have been described, it was the first to receive the denomination of a King,—and that from the lips of the sage himself,—if the account which we have received of the matter is to be relied on. This little work does not come to us, like the Khun Khiû, as directly from the pencil of Confucius, but in the shape of conversations between him and his disciple ℨăng-𝔷ze, put on record in the first place, probably, by some members of ℨăng's school. No portion of the ancient literature has more exercised the minds and engaged the attention of many of the emperors of successive dynasties. The Hsiâo seems to me an attempt to construct a religion on the basis of the cardinal virtue of Filial Piety, and is open to criticism in many respects. A translation of it is given in the present volume.

The classical books are often spoken of as being 'the five King' and 'the four Shû.' The King have all been separately referred to above; the four Shû is an abbreviation for the Shû or Books of the four Philosophers. The first is the Lun Yü, or 'Discourses and Conversations,' occupied chiefly with sayings of Confucius and conversations between him and many of his disciples. The second is the Works of Mencius, perhaps the greatest thinker and writer of the Confucian school after the Master. I hope to be able to give both these works. The third of the Shû is the Tâ Hsio, or 'Great Learning,' ascribed, like the Hsiâo, to ℨang-𝔷ze. The fourth is the Kung Yung, or 'Doctrine of the Mean,' the production of ℨze-sze, the sage's grandson. Both of these treatises, however, are taken from the Lî Kî. The whole of the Four Books were translated and published by me in 1861.