Page images
[ocr errors][subsumed]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ON CHINESE LITERATURE. per would, if he were to imitate Letter II.

this character ; that is, by run(Continued from page 377.]

ning over the vuilines of each BUT to return. We owe to the stroke with a double thin line, so Tuperior talents and judicions dif that the blank between should crimination of the Emperor Lim-ti, new how much he is to cut away the last but one of the Han, about in the plate, to obtain the proper 168 A.C., the complete revival of lic thickness of the trokes. Hence terature, and the ultimate improve the trandator of Kien lum (lee ments and clailifications of charac- Eloge, &c. p. 190) calls there ters, by eliablishing the use of letters, “Lettres primitives, en thore eight styles of writing called "traits correfpondans, ou à traits

“ doubles.' But notwithlanding REZA

the account given of thein, ibid, we

may conclude, from what I have Çin-pa-ti-chven- riu, or eight lub

above ftated, that this fort of Itantial (efential) antient writings

writing is applicable to all forts of the dynasty Çin, which, al

of characters that are susceptible though first invented or adopted

of heavy strokes, by delineating by Li-fu (see " Eloge de la Viile

them in the manner of engravers. de Moukden,” p. 190) under the

The Chim-cu-tum fays, that this Çin, as the name indicates, yet

hand-writing is used in diplomas ihey had hitherto been neglected,

on conferring dignities and boand promiscuously used, on account

nourable offices, of the many wars during the Han, ' that had greatly injured the renew.

TV 2 al of literature. The following claf

S toke Chum-ru, or writlification may therefore be consider ing of infects. The reader must pared with great propriety as finally ticularly oblerve that the word established by Lim-ti.

Chum, although meaning chieflvin

fećts,is to be taken here, as the ChiTa-chuon, or great nese works above quoted direct us,

in its widest and philosophical antient letters : the form and use of

meaning of animal kingdom in gethese characters have been sutrici

neral; embracing the ornainental ently described above, at page 373.

characters formed with tadpoles, feathers, birds, ferpents, &c.

To prove that the character small antient letters. For an ac

Chum is taken occasionally in such count of these characters, like. an extenlive signification, I Mall wise, the reader is referred to what

translate a singular clailification of has been ftated above, pp.374,375.

animals according to the Chinese The present use of them is in im

naturalists, which will be found perial proclamations, decrees, &c.;

in the explanation annexed to this they are also adopted for orna character in almost all the Chie mental inscriptions, as well as the

nese dictionaries with European above, and almost all the following

interpretation. I tranNate the antient forms.

following from the famous one by

F. Francis Dias, in Spanish, in Ke-fu, or en the Royal Library at Berlin (see

an account of it in Miscellan, graving of seals. My little book Berolin., tom. I, p. 87), where, Vu-kien-fie (lee above, p. 375), belides other matter, we read as fola gives, as a specimen of this writ- lows: " Also a general mane of ing, the same character Ke, but " animals, which either have fea. delineated as an engraver on cope “ thers, and there are three huda Vol. I.



[ocr errors]

Sico-chuen, or

[ocr errors]

“ dred and fixty lpecies of them, tioned at pp. 375, 376. It pared " the Eagle being the nobleft ;--, the way to the invention of the “ or have wooi, or hair, and modern now in use, of which I fhall " there are three hundred and speak in my next Letter. “ fixty fpecies of them, the no. These eight antient styles of writ.

ings are not only adopted for the “ blest being the

purposes above llared, but also for “ Ki lin, a fort of Unicorn, or

pretaces, and in executing certain

complimentary and clegant produce fabulous animal ;-or bave

tions, wherein the same character is “ scales, and there are three hun“ dred and fixty fpecies of them,

written in a hundred various wars,

by drawing it in all the differens " the nobleit being the

founs of each of the above right

FE and other autient Ayles. This we “ Lum, or Dragon, a sort of tabu- mas easily conceive, if we recollect " lous.chimera ;- or have shells. that the Ilih,, only muit " and there are three hundred be liable to innumerable variations; “ and fixty Species of themi, the wbile the observations made on the “ noblest being the Tortoife ;-or III, Siao-chuen, allure us, that it is “ are born naked, and there are not less copious in a variety of forin's " three hundred and listy species than the IVth. (See Note s.]

“ of them, the noblert being Man. Tlie characters thus written, F. *** " In all, one thousand eight hun. Parrenin informis us (see Lettres 1 dred species."

d'un Mifi, à Pékin, in 8vo. à Paris, The Chinese authors say that 1782),are chiefly the three following, this species of writing is used for inscriptions on banners, and colours : 1. The chara&er Yeu?), of all forts.

(1) Dr. Hager, in his Analynn - Mu-in, or moulds p. L, translates the word Xpu by an age;

to that by sending it written in onze Bor impresion. Theic characters, hundred different forms it would illias the name exprelles, are intend- ply the coarse hyperbolical tattery of oil for feals : they partake of both withing a man to live ten thoujäxt the Ta-chuen and Siau-chucn, yeurs !!! wbich is more than any eafithough more of the former. There ern mythological account ever alligrad is, betides, great fancy in fcals;

to any of the femigods, or other imate fimne are in Kuteu, and other

ginary iniraculous beings. The fable

of China, rejecied by all the learned, fancy fiyles, as defcribed above.

asigns eren 18,000 years of age to each

of the three frit fuppoled families imaX 4-, or writing gined to have lived previous to Fo-li ty for mandarines' houses.

many ages: but it mentions ten, trelre,

d fivle au linore emperors of the lame name, of hand-writing uied by the candi- which succeilively reigned in the lame . datesior doctoribip, or otherhonor period, so that it is not to one man that able offices, in writing their themes. They have gven such a long reign, but Z

to one family, which being divided, it Chu r, or writ. perer makes 2000 years for each ind

vidual. Some Chinele chronologists, ing for military inftruments : indeed, called by F. Martla ylee Taadopted for military orders, or to

bleau Chronologiquc,v. Il moji estrata

pant, allow 96,961,740 years to have embellish bows, spears, quivers, &c.

elapted from the first man down to Confucius. By such wild and incohe.

runt a'rounts Mr. De Guignus mutt .ing called Li.

have been milled, (Vol.1, lit. des Huns ; This is the last of

and theauthor of the Mém.des Milior., - the anticut band writings, mene vol. XIII, f. 176), it the latter to the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »