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0527 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 527 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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183. COTTON   511

Chou's notice in the Pei-Ch'i shu (44, 4 b; cf. also Pei shih, 81, 11 a-b) does not seem much to countenance this attribution, and the Commissioners of the Ssei-k'u... (117, 20-22; they used a

copy divided into 10 chs.) do not discard the possibility that the Liu-tzü may be a forgery of T'ang times due to Yüan Hsiao-chêng himself. This is certainly an error. Liu-tzïc's remark on a name given by Chou people to a dead rat (§ 16) is quoted in an original note to eh. 6 of Fa-tin's Pien-chêng lun (, VIII, 55 b), completed c. 626, and clearly as taken from an authoritative work already of some age. Moreover, as remarked by Lu Wên-ch'ao, who knew Yüan Hsiao-chêng's work (Ch'iin-shu shih-pu, 29, la), the difference in style and value between the text and the commentary precludes the possibility that both should be the work of one and the same man.

The passage in § 44 of Liu-tzi. reads as follows : « Wên of Chin sowed husked rice (mi), and

Tsêng-tzii planted sheep (ff   fi   [   ts'ai, 'vegetables', given in the Yüan-chien lei-han,

436, 15 b, followed by the Tz'u yüan hsü pien, is a wrong reading] V   ); it was not

because they were stupid by nature, but they did not discriminate between regions (A 1;1%); being men with a great destiny, they were not trained in petty matters. » Wên of Chin is probably the

famous Duke Wên of Chin,     j Ch'ung-êrh, who lived in the 7th cent. B. c. (cf. GILES, Biogr.

Dict., No. 523), and whose biography in the Shih chi (ch. 39; cf. CHAVANNES, Mém. histor., iv, 267-308) presents all the characteristics of a historical novel. Tsêng-tzû is certainly,Tsêng

Shên, a disciple of Confucius (GILEs, Biogr. Dict., No. 2022), and one of the paragons of filial piety. But, in the sources available to me, I find no trace of the tradition alluded to by the Liu-tilt for either Duke Wên of Chin or Tsêng Shên. At any rate, this « planting of sheep » has no direct bearing on the story of the « ground born sheep » which we have next to investigate.

Before passing on to it, I must say something, however, of a text which may serve as a link between the two traditions. Yüan Hsiao-chêng had not only written a preface to Liu-tzû, but

also a commentary. Ch'ien-lung's Commissioners say that both have been lost since Ming times,

but, since they mentioned that Liu-tzû was included in the Tao-tsang, they might have known better : not only the text, but the commentary is there (cf. WIEGER, Canon taoïste, No. 1018),

though without any preface; the Sung edition described in the Ch'in-ting t'ien-lu lin-lang shu-mu hou-pien, 5, 19-20, which gives the commentary, also lacks the preface. On the passage translated above, Yüan Hsiao-chêng's commentary says (Tao-tsang, Commercial Press ed., 9, 4 b) : « Wên of Chin, studying [the methods of] foreign countries, sowed husked rice; although the seeds did

not grow, [the text means] to say that his designs were great... Tsêng Shên of the Lu kingdom, studying [the methods of ] men of foreign countries, cut into small pieces (yI] ts'o) the skin of

sheep, and sowed them with some earth; although they did not grow, his designs were great. » However unsatisfactory, Yüan Hsiao-chêng's gloss implies that there was an early tradition, which I cannot trace, about the sowing of pieces of sheep skin.

The earliest account in the long series of parallel texts concerning the « ground born sheep* occurs in Chang Shou-chieh's commentary on the Shih chi, eh. 123 (TAKIGAWA ed., 123, 12; in

his reconstruction of the extant fragments of the K'uo-ti chih of 642, SUN Hsing-yen [Tai-nan-ko ts'ung-shu ed., 8, 13 a] holds that the quotation is not taken by Chang Shou-chieh directly from the I-wu chih, but is part of a passage of the K'uo-ti chih in which the quotation was already included; I do not see, however, any serious ground for such an opinion) : « 1! Jr Sung Ying's