Page:A history of Chinese literature - Giles.djvu/36

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that finality in this direction was achieved. It then became known as a Chi = Record, not as a Ching = Text, the latter term being reserved by the orthodox solely for such books as have reached us direct from the hands of Confucius. The following is an extract (Legge’s translation):—

Confucius said: “Formerly, along with Lao Tan, I was assisting at a burial in the village of Hsiang, and when we had got to the path the sun was eclipsed. Lao Tan said to me, ‘Ch’iu, let the bier be stopped on the left of the road; and then let us wail and wait till the eclipse pass away. When it is light again we will proceed.’ He said that this was the rule. When we had returned and completed the burial, I said to him, ‘In the progress of a bier there should be no returning. When there is an eclipse of the sun, we do not know whether it will pass away quickly or not; would it not have been better to go on?’ Lao Tan said, ‘When the prince of a state is going to the court of the Son of Heaven, he travels while he can see the sun. At sundown he halts and presents his offerings (to the spirit of the way). When a great officer is on a mission, he travels while he can see the sun, and at sundown he halts. Now a bier does not set forth in the early morning, nor does it rest anywhere at night; but those who travel by starlight are only criminals and those who are hastening to the funeral rites of a parent.’”

Other specimens will be found in Chapters iii. and iv.

Until the time of the Ming dynasty, A.D. 1368, another and a much older work, known as the Chou Li, or Rites of the Chou dynasty, and dealing more with