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0504 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 504 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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488   183. COTTON

(Notes on Chinese literature, 76), whose r* Za CHIN Chih-lung, moreover, is a mistake for

the name of the well-known Sung-chiang author M   rja CH'NN Tzû-lung (he is the man called
« a certain Tsz' lung» in BRETSCHNEIDER, Botanicon Sinicum, I, 83). There are two states of the Nung-chêng ch'üan-shu, one in 60, the other in 46 chs.; but, if we had only the notices in the Ssû-k'u..., 102, 8-9 and 15-16, we could not suspect that both were posthumous compilations, and that CHIN Tzû-lung was to a great extent responsible for both. As a matter of fact, CHIN Tzû-lung acquired Hsü's mss. from his heirs, and in 1639, with the co-operation of

CHANG Kuo-wei and f q FANG Yo-kung, arranged and printed them in '60 chs.; at a later date, he submitted the whole to a fresh revision, and produced the work in 46 chs., but the Ch'ien-lung Commissioners knew it only from a ms. copy, and I am not certain that it was ever printed; all the known copies of the Nung-chêng ch'üan-shu seem to represent the work in 60 chs. (cf. COURANT, Catalogue, Nos. 5369-5392), the preliminaries (fan-li) of which are signed by CHIN Tzû-lung. It is difficult to say to what extent these 60 chs. have been edited by CHANG, FANG, and CHIN. There is no doubt that several chapters, for instance chs. 19 and 20 on European hydraulics, had already been published separately in Hsü Kuangchi's lifetime, i. e. before 1633. Such must also have been the case for 'part at least of the chapter on cotton, since Hsü's «report to the throne» (shu) on the cultivation of cotton was already known to WANG Hsiang-chin, whose Ch' ün fang p'u was published in `1630 (cf. the preface to the Mien p'u section; cf. supra, p. 438); probably it was included in thejC Nung-i tsa shu, « Various reports on agriculture », in 5 chs., which are mentioned separately in the Ming shih, 98, 3a. On the other hand, I doubt whether the Ming shih is right when it registers separately a Nung-chêng ch'üan-shu in 60 chs. as the work of Hsü Kuang-ch'i, and another in 8 chs. as that of CHANG Kuo-wei. In discussing the statements of earlier authors,

Hsü's remarks are invariably introduced with the words t   t i, «Master Hsüan-hu says »;
Hsüan-hu (not « jG ) Yüan-hu », as given by BRETSCHNEIDER on account of a taboo) is Hsü's hao, and it may be that this designation was not used by Hsü Kuang-ch'i himself, but added by the editors; at any rate, Hsü could not have used it in a report to the throne. [So in

Pên-ts'ao kang-mu, another posthumous work, the author's comments begin with Ij   ß
«Shih-chên says ».] Most of the section on cotton has been translated, fairly accurately, by C. SHAW in the Chinese Repository, xvin (not « xiv » as in BRETSCHNEIDER) [1849], 449-469, but SHAW did not always distinguish between quotations from earlier works and original remarks, nor was he aware that « Hsüan-hu » was Hsü Kuang-ch'i himself.

Here is Hsü's refutation of Li Shih-chên : [« The name chi-pei is first found in the Nan-shih (this is a double error; chi-pei was known before the Nan-shih, and the Nan-shih always gives ku-pei, except in one passage which is not the one alluded to by Hsü Kuang-ch'i; cf. supra, p. 440), and has been transmitted down to our days. The meaning is not known, but I suppose it is a foreign word; what the popular writers call mu-mien. The fabrics which are made, called ch'êng, wên ju, wu-lin, pan-pu (on all these names cf. supra, p. 457), po-tieh, 4 hsieh (but with the value of tieh; cf. supra, p. 449), and ch'ü-shun (cf. supra, p. 465) are all this. It is certainly a plant; and if the wu-lu calls it mu-mien (tree-floss), it is because in the south the land is warm so that once sown it flowers and bears fruit for a number of years afterwards, just like the tree