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to baffle which the latter mounted his horse, and, with dishevelled hair and waving sword, betook himself to magic arts. The wind arose with loud peals of thunder, and there descended from on high a black cloud, in which appeared innumerable inen and horses as if engaged. Lew-pei immediately drew off his troops in confusion, and, giving up the contest, retreated to consult with Choo-tsien. The latter observed, • Let him have recourse again to magic; I will prepare the blood of swine, sheep, and dogs, and, placing a party on the heights in ambush, wait until the enemy approaches, when his magic will be all dispersed by projecting the same upon him.' Lew-pei assented to this, and directed two of his leaders, each with a thousand men, to ascend the highest part of the mountain, supplied with the blood of swine, sheep, and dogs, and other impure things.
“On the following day, Chang-paou, with flags displayed and drums beating, came to offer battle, and Lewpei proceeded to meet him ; but scarcely had they joined before Chang-paou put his magic in exercise; the wind and thunder arose, and a storm of sand and stones commenced. A dark cloud obscured the sky, and troops of horsemen seemed to descend. Lew-pei upon this made a show of retreating, and Chang-paou followed him ; but scarcely had they turned the hill when the ambushed troops started up and launched upon the enemy their impure stores. The air seemed immediately filled with men and horses of paper or straw, which fell to the earth in confusion; while the winds and thunder at once ceased, and the sand and stones no longer flew about. When Chang-paou saw his magic thus baffled, he would have retreated at once, but Lew-pei's two leaders made their appearance on either side, while himself and his lieutenant pursued in the rear. The rebels were defeated with great VOL. II
slaughter. Lew-pei, on seeing the flag inscribed • Lord. of Earth,' ran full speed on his horse towards Changpaou, who took to flight, and in his retreat was wounded in the left arm with an arrow discharged at him by his enemy.”
In regard to the word Taou, Reason, which serves as the denomination of the sect under consideration, and with reference to which they style themselves “ doctors of reason,” it would seem that the ancient term philosopher in use among ourselves had very much the same origin. Some persons have spent much time in discussing the mysterious and recondite meanings which in Chinese metaphysics have been attached to the words Taou and Ly; but it would be useless to enter upon such a discussion in a work like the present, and we shall content ourselves with the popular meaning of those terms in connexion with each other, which is simply reason. One of the missionaries of the Romish church supposed that Taou corresponded to the Greek royos; but it has been objected to this, with some truth, that what several of the Chinese books affirm of Taou being the original source and first productive cause of all things, does not so well comport with the definition of the Logos given in the philosophical systems which have adopted that term, and where it has been considered not as the first cause, but rather the first emanation from the Deity.
Laou-keun had four principal disciples, the chief of whom was Chuâng-tsze, concerning whom the Chinese possess an agreeable tale, which has been translated into French by Père Dentrecolles. It may be a relief to the dry dulness of Chinese philosophy, and at the same time illustrative of this sect, if we give an abstract of the story, which is the more particularly deserving of notice, as it has supplied ample materials for the Zadig of Voltaire.
The whole, it will easily be perceived, is a satire on the female sex and on marriage, and might perhaps be meant as an indirect dissuasive against that state. The story commences with an enunciation of the principles of the Chinese Epicurus. “Riches, and the advantages which they bring, are but a short and agreeable dream : honours and reputation resemble a brilliant cloud, which soon vanishes. The affection of those united by blood and other ties is commonly but a vain appearance; the most tender friendships may convert themselves into the bitterest strifes. Let us not wear a yoke because it is of gold; nor bear the burden of chains because they consist of jewels. Let us purify our minds, moderate our desires, and detach ourselves from worldly affections: let us, above all things, preserve ourselves in a state of liberty and joy, which is independent of others.”
Chuâng-tsze, the story proceeds to say, having married a young and beautiful wife, retired to his native country of Soong, the present Shantong, to lead the life of a philosopher. He declined the offer of the sovereign of a neighbouring state, who had been led by the fame of his wisdom to seek his services as minister, with the following apologue :—"A heifer, prepared for sacrifice with high and luxurious feeding, marched in state, arrayed in all the ornaments with which victims are adorned. In the midst of her triumph she perceived some oxen at the plough, and her pride was redoubled. But when, on entering the temple, the victim saw the knife raised in readiness for her immolation, she would gladly have exchanged lots with those whose condition had only just before been despised as inferior to her own.”
One day, as Chuâng-tsze was walking, immersed in thought, at the foot of a neighbouring mountain, he on a sudden found himself among a multitude of tombs; and
being struck with the vast number of them, “ Alas!” exclaimed he, “ here then all are equal ; here there is neither rank nor distinction, but the most ignorant and stupid of men is confounded with the sage himself. The sepulchre is at last the eternal abode of all, and, when we have once taken up our place in the habitations of the dead, there is no possibility of return.” After spending some time in these gloomy reflections, he proceeded along the tombs, and soon found himself near a newly-constructed sepulchre. The hillock of tempered earth was not yet entirely dry. On one side of the tomb sat a young woman in deep mourning, holding in her hand a large white fan, with which she constantly fanned the surface of the ground. Surprised at this sight, he ven
tured to ask whose tomb this might be, and why the lady took such pains in fanning it? She, however, without rising, continued to wave her fan as before, but muttered some words in a low tone, and at the same time let fall a few tears-a proof (thought the sage to himself) that shame rather than timidity prevented her from speaking out. When he had pressed her a little farther to explain herself, she made him this reply :-“ You see a widow at the tomb of her husband, from whom death has unhappily severed her. He whose bones rest in this sepulchre was very dear to me when alive, and loved me in return with an equal tenderness. Even in dying he could scarcely bear to part with me, and his last words were these : “My dear spouse, if you should hereafter think of marrying again,* I conjure you to wait at least until the earth of my grave is entirely dry; after which you have my sanction to espouse whom you please.' Now, as it occurred to me that the surface of this ground, which has been newly tempered, would not very soon dry, I thought I would just fan it a little to assist in carrying off the moisture.”
The philosopher had much ado to avoid laughing outright at this plain avowal. “The woman,” thought he to himself, “ is in a monstrous hurry! How could she have the face to boast of the mutual affection between herself and husband ? If this be love, I wonder what would have happened if they had hated each other!” Then turning to her he said, “ You wish that the surface of this tomb should dry with all speed; but, delicate as you are, this exercise will soon tire you ; let me, therefore, give you some assistance." The young woman immediately rose, and, making him a profound reverence, accepted his offer by presenting • him with another fan exactly like her own. The philosopher, who had the power of invoking spirits, now called them to his aid. He struck the tomb several times with the fan, and all
* Second marriages (as before stated) are rare on the part of women, and reflect some discredit on the widows.