CHAPTER XXIX. CURIOUS CUSTOMS

In laying stress upon the barbarous, or semi-barbarous, quality of the states (all in our days considered pure Chinese), which surrounded the federal area at even so late a period as 771 B.C., we wish to emphasize a point which has never yet been made quite clear, perhaps not even made patent by their own critics to the Chinese themselves; that is to say, the very small and modest beginnings of the civilized patriarchal federation called the Central Kingdom, or Chu Hia - "All the Hia" - just as we say, "All the Russias."

In allotting precedence to the various states, the historical editors, of course, always put the Emperor first in order of mention; then comes CHENG, the first ruler of which state was son of an Emperor of the then ruling imperial house; next, the three Protectors Ts'i, Tsin, and Sung; then follow the petty states of Wei, Ts'ai, Ts'ao, and T'eng, all of the imperial family name, or, as we say in English, "surname," and all lying between the Hwai and the Sz systems (T'eng was a "belonging state" of Lu). Then come half a dozen petty orthodox states of less honourable family names; next, three Eastern barbarian states, which had become "Central Kingdom," or which, once genuine Chinese, had become half barbarian; and finally, Ts'u, Ts'in, Wu, and Yiieh, which were frankly, if vaguely, "outer barbarian-Tartar."

It has already been demonstrated that there is evidence, however imperfect, to show that the mass of the population of Ts'u and Wu were of decidedly foreign origin. Even as to Ts'i, which was always treated as an orthodox principality, it is stated that the founder sent there in or about 1100 B.C. "conformed to the manners of the place, and encouraged manufactures, commerce, salt and fish industries." On the other hand, the son of the Duke of Chou (the first vassal prince appointed by his brother the Emperor) changed the customs of Lu, modified the local rites, and induced the people to keep on their mourning attire for three full years. It was considered that the Ts'i policy was the wiser of the two, and it was foretold that Lu would always "look up to" Ts'i in consequence of this superior judgment on the part of Ts'i. On frequent occasions the petty adjoining "Chinesified" states, of which Lu was practically the mesne lord, are stated to have been "tainted with Eastern barbarian rites." From and including modern Sue-chou (North Kiang Su) and eastward, all were "Eastern barbarians"; in fact, the city just named (mentioned by the name of Sue in 1100 B.C., and again about 950 B.C., as revolting against the Emperor) perpetuates the "Sue barbarians" country, which was for long a bone of contention between Ts'i and Ts'u, and afterwards Wu; and the name "Hwai savages" proves that the Lower Hwai Valley was also independent. The Hwai savages, who appear in the Tribute of Yue, founder of the Hia dynasty, 2205 B.C., revolted 1000 years later against the founders of the Chou dynasty. They were present at Ts'u's first durbar in 538 B.C., and are mentioned as barbarians still resisting Chinese methods so late as A.D. 970. In Confucius' time the Lai barbarians (modern Lai-thou Fu in the German sphere) were employed by Ts'i, who had conquered them in 567 B.C., to try and effect the assassination of Confucius' master. Six hundred years before that, these same barbarians were among the first to give in their submission to the founder of Ts'i; and in 602 B.C. both Ts'i and Lu had endeavoured to crush them.