CHAPTER XLVI. ORACLES AND OMENS

In recording these instances of prophecies and omens (which might be multiplied tenfold), it is desired to show how one main set of ideas pervaded the whole. We should not be too ready to ridicule them, or to hint at "after the event." Our own Scriptures are full of similar prophecies, and what is good for us is good for the Chinese. If the celestial movements can be foretold, why not corresponding terrestrial movements, each corner of the earth being on the meridian of something? In the infancy of science, it is rather a question of good faith than of truth; and even the truth, if we insist on expecting it, was rudely guessed at by such great thinkers as Tsz-ch'an and Shuh Hiang.