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Copied from The Imperial and asiatic quarterly review and oriental and colonial record, April 1907, page 391: http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA391&dq=Early+Chinese+History:+Are+The+Chinese+Classics+Forged%3F&id=2R4YAAAAYAAJ#v=onepage&q=Early%20Chinese%20History%3A%20Are%20The%20Chinese%20Classics%20Forged%3F&f=false
Early Chinese History: Are the Chinese Classics forged? By Herbert J. Allen, F.r.g.s. If anyone wishes to know all that the Chinese themselves have to say about the destruction of the classics and their gradual recovery, almost all the necessary information is to be found in Professor Chavannes' Mdmoires Historiques (introduction), five volumes of which have already been noticed in the Asiatic Quarterly Review. Moreover, Professor Chavannes deals critically with the authors of the Mtmoires themselves ; with the unearthing of buried documents ; the questions of writing, paper, printing, etc.; the rival calendars and their discrepancies in dates, and so on. The Chinese themselves are absolutely the sole authorities touching their own early history and records ; but the Western public is so profoundly ignorant of Chinese antiquity that any eccentricities may be confident of a hearing, or at least of a publisher. One instance of Mr. Allen's methods will suffice: he thinks that the well-known work of Mencius, which is commonly eponymously called " Mencius " (Meng- tsz), was probably forged (three centuries after his supposed existence) by Sz-ma Ts'ien (100 B.c.), joint author with his father of the Mtfmoires Historiques ; and that Sz-ma Ts'ien, who is stated by himself to have travelled over a great part of China, and who was (in Mr. Allen's opinion) a Buddhist (150 years before Buddhism was officially heard of in China), may have fraudulently manufactured the personal name " Meng-tsz " out of the place-name " Meng- tsz," now (after 2,000 years) a modern treaty-port near the French frontier in Tonquin ! Now, apart from the fact that the vowels in the two distinct words Mdng are etymo- logically different, and are only the same in a few dialects even now ; apart from the fact that the initials in the two words tsz are also essentially different, and are even now different in different dialects ; apart, also, from the fact that the region in Yiin Nan province where Meng-tsz is never was really settled by Chinese colonists at all before Kublai Khan's time, about A.d. 1260; that it was ultra- barbarian and ruled by Siamese Kings ; and that the syllable Meng really represents the Shan word muong (" country" or " region "), still applied to all place-names thereabouts, it is certain that Sz-ma Ts'ien never visited that remote region at all. Mr. Kingsmill has suggested a Sanskrit origin for the Confucian classic of the Odes ; Mr. Herbert Giles has expressed his opinion that the Taoist work of Lao-tsz is a forgery (and forged 200 years after we are told by the dynastic historians a dozen times over that the Chinese Empress actually had a copy in her hands). Mr. Herbert Allen now goes one step further, and expresses the opinion that Sz-ma Ts'ien practically forged nearly the whole classical literature of China! If so, whence did he acquire the literary art at all? It is like saying that Newton invented the Ptolemaic system in order to have the glory of disproving it. Mr. Allen's book is, to crown all, dreadfully unreadable ; it is, in short, impossible from beginning to end, with scarcely an orthodox line in it.
E. H. Parker.