I have not been able to find evidence sustaining these representations, and propose now to submit to the reader the considerations which prevent me from concurring in them, and have brought me to the conclusions that, before the birth of Confucius, the Book of Poetry existed substantially the same as it was at his death, and that, while he may have somewhat altered the arrangement of its Books and odes, the principal service which he rendered to it was not that of compilation, but the impulse to the study of it which he communicated to his disciples. The discrepancy in the number of the odes as given in the above statements will be touched on in a note.
of the She, or Book of Poetry, before Confucius, digested under four divisions, and much in the same order as at present, there may be advanced the following proofs:—
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