Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ancient China Tombs And Remains

-XV.). Again, when the imperial power collapsed in 771 B.C., the first Earl of CHÊNG consulted the imperial astrologer as to where he had better establish his new fief: his own idea was to settle southwards on the borders of the Yang-tsz; but he was dissuaded from this step on the ground that the Ts'u power would grow accordingly as the Chou power declined, and thus CHÊNG would all the easier fall a prey to Ts'u in the future if she migrated now so far south. The astrologer makes another observation which supports the view that Ts'u and orthodox China were originally of the same prehistoric stock. He says: "When the remote ancestor of Ts'u did good service to the Emperor , his renown was great, yet his descendants never became so flourishing as those of the Chou family." In 597 B.C., when the Earl of CHÊNG really was at the mercy of Ts'u, he said: "If you choose to send me south of the Yang-tsz towards the South Sea, I shall not have the right to object"; meaning, "no exile, however remote, is too severe for my deserts." In 549, when the Tsin generals were marching against Ts'u, they were particularly anxious to find good CHÊNG guides who knew the routes well. Finally, in 541, a Tsin statesman made the following observations to a prince of Ts'u, who was then on a mission to Tsin, by way of illustrating for his visitor the conquests and distant expeditions of ancient times:--
"The Emperor Shun was obliged to imprison the prince of the Three Miao ; the Hia dynasty had to deal with quarrels in Shan Tung and Shen Si; the Shang dynasty had to do the same in Kiang Su; the early Chou monarchs the same in North Kiang Su and South Shan Tung: but, now that there are no able emperors, all the vassals are at loggerheads. Wu and P'uh are giving you trouble; but it is no one's concern but yours."
From all this it is quite plain, though the Chinese historians and philosophers never seem to have discerned it clearly themselves, that the cultivated or orthodox Chinese, that is, the group of closely related monosyllabic and tonic tribes which alone possessed the art of writing, and thus inevitably took the lead and gradually civilized the rest, covered but a very small area of ground even at the time of Confucius' death in 479 B.C., and were completely ignorant of everything but the bare names of all the regions surrounding this orthodox nucleus, which nucleus was therefore rightly called the "Central State," as China is, by extension, now still called.

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