By Marcel Granet
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Additional info for Chinese civilization (Meridian books)
May his family perish ! C. ). The life of this saint ends the period Ch'un Ch'iu. Confucius felt himself charged with a mission. He could have accom plished it under the condition of becoming minister to a prince and inspiring his policy. He spent the greater part of his life in travelling from one overlordship to another, seeking for someone who would know how to employ his talent. He proposed to all, to " conform to the rules of the Three Dynasties and to set again in a place of honour the policy of Duke Chu," who had succeeded in consolidating thc power of the dynasty of the Chou at its commencement, thc Virtue of which he (Confucius) wished to restore.
At Ch'u, although pressed by danger, he refused to engage the future of his country by making imprudent promises. The Prince of Ch'u, who saw in him a probable rival, could not make up his mind to have him killed. " He whom Heaven wishes to raise up, who can remove him ? To resist Heaven, is to draw upon oneself Misfortune by force ! " Everywhere people repeated, in speaking of Duke Wen : " Nothing can touch the man to whom Heaven has opened (the way) ! " Companions, who were Sages, followed him faithfully.
RADITIONAL HISTORY men of China set out to paint a picture of a halcyon agc when, with human characteristics, perfect virtue ruled. The heroic figures of the early age in China prescrve, however, a number of mythical features. In Yao and Shun, the first heroes of the Shu-Icing, the effacement of these features is nearly complete. They mingle, however, in a dramatic history of the Mighty Waters, in which thc founder of the first royal dynasty, Yii the Great, plays the principal part,-whilst other tales bring on to the stage different August Ones (Nii-kua, Chu-jung) or other heroes.