Page:Essays on the Chinese Language (1889).djvu/108

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94
The Cultivation of their Language by the Chinese.

appeared. One of these was by Tuan Yii-tsai (|5 S iS) ^^• Jo-ying (^ ^) who lived from 1735 to 1815 and was an enthusiast in the study of the old language and literature. He produced an edition of the ^' Shuo-wen " which is regarded as supplementary to that by Kuei Fu. Tuan devotes himself to the sounds rather than to the meanings of the characters, and his notes are few but generally good and useful. He gives the syllabic spelling of the characters, and refers these to their places under his seventeen classes of finals for old poetry. In some parts of China students prefer Tuan's edition of the Shuo-wen " to all others, though there are who say that he published it rather to glorify himself than to instruct others.

The other edition, which is in many respects better than Tuan's, is that by Chu Tsun-sheng (-^ ^ g) al. Yun-ch'ien (:fc f|). This was finished in 1833 and published in 1852. Its title, ^' Shuo-wen-t'^ung-hsdn-ting-sheng, explains the aim of the compiler, which was to give a historical account of the meanings and sounds of the characters in the " Shuo-wen." But instead of the old arrangement of the characters, these are given according to their sounds, which are grouped under eighteen phonetics. The final according to the current system is also given for each character, the old form is appended, and to the original explanations of the "Shuo-wen'* the editor adds instances from various authors of early times. The introductory chapters by Chu are also valuable, and he has done good service by collecting numerous examples of characters omitted by Hsu Shen whether by chance or design.

In addition to the above, Hsii Hsiian's edition of the "Shuo-wen*' has been several times reprinted within these two centuries; and in 1839 all the extant writings of his brother on the old dictionary were collected and published in one treatise.

Turning back to the eighteenth century we find, in addition to those already mentioned, several treatises worthy of mention on

mX^^iS.ed. 1808.

^ ^ S M i»l ^ ^; Chalmers in «'Ch. Rev.," vol. ix. p. 297, and Lockhart in " Ch. Rev.," xii. p. 63. Chu Tsun-sheng's worlc is known as the " Phonetic Shuo-wen " and it is referred to by that name in the present work.