China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  It is hardly open to doubt that
the Chinese annalist finds in these remote ages as much interest and
instruction - Page 20
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It Is Hardly Open To Doubt That The Chinese Annalist Finds In These Remote Ages As Much Interest And Instruction

As we should in the record of more recent times, and proof of this may be discovered in the fact

That the history of the first four dynasties, which we must dismiss in these few pages, occupies as much space in the national history as the chronicle of events from Tsin Chi Hwangti to the end of the Ming dynasty in 1644, at which date the official history of China stops, because the history of the Manchu dynasty, which has occupied the throne ever since, will only be given to the world after it has ceased to rule. We must not be surprised at this discursiveness, because the teachings of human experience are as clearly marked in those early times as they have been since, and Chinese historians aim as much at establishing moral and philosophical truths as at giving a complete record of events. The consequences of human folly and incompetence are as patent and conspicuous in those days as they are now. The ruling power is lost by one family and transferred to another because the prince neglects his business, gives himself over to the indulgence of pleasure, or fails to see the signs of the times. Cowardice and corruption receive their due and inevitable punishment. The founders of the dynasties are all brave and successful warriors, who are superior to the cant of a hypercivilized state of society, which covers declining vigor and marks the first phase of effeteness, and who see that as long as there are human passions they may be molded by genius to make the many serve the few and to build up an autocracy.

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