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A

CHINES E-E N G L I S H DICTIONARY

BY

HERBERT A. GILES

Hon. M. A. ( Cantab,), Hon. LL. D. (Aberd,)

Professor of Chinese in the University of Cambridge and sometime H.B.M . Consul at Nvngpo

MeyaXcoN ctTroXiaeaiNstN evyeNec ajaapTHjaa

SECOND EDITION, REVISED & ENLARGED

PARAGON BOOK GALLERY, LTD. 14 EAST 38th STREET NEW YORK, N. Y. 10016

First Edition

Published in Shanghai, China 1892

Second Edition, Revised 6* Enlarged

Published in Shanghai, China and London 以12

Or 0 /

CHINESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY

PART I

By the same Author :

Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio、 2nd edition Gems of Chinee Literature Historic China and other Sketches

Chuang Tzu^ Mystic、 Moralist、 and Social Reformer Chinese Sketches

Chinese withoui a Teacher、 6th edition Record of the Buddhistic Kingdoms Remains of Lao Tzic

Synoptical Studies in Chinese Character f

Handbook of the Szvatow Dialect From Swatow to Can f on Overland Dictionary of Colloquial Idioms

A Chinese Biographical Dictionary 2579 lives, with full Index Catalogue of the Wade Library y Cambridge Chinese Poetry in English Verse

San Tzu Ching text, translation, and notes, 2nd edition

A Glossary of Reference on subjects connected with the Far East、 3^ edition A History of Chinese Literature

China and the Chinese^ six Lectures delivered at Columbia University, 1902

An Introduction to the History of Chinese Pictorial Art、 with 16 Illustrations

Adversaria Sinica、 Nos. 1 9, with Illustrations

Religions of A ncient China

Chinese Fairy Tales

The Civilization of China

China and the Manchus

TO

THE MEMBERS OF H.B.M. CONSULAR SERVICE

AND

in China

OTHER STUDENTS OF THE CHINESE LANGUAGE

this Dictionary

IS SYMPATHETICALLY OFFERED

IN THE HOPE

THAT IT MAY LIGHTEN THE BURDEN

OF WHAT MUST ALWAYS BE A TOILSOME TASK

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I

Dedication Page

Preface . . . vii

Extracts from Preface to First Edition . xi

Dialects . xvi

Tables :

I. Insignia of Official Rank . . . . i

II. The Family Names . . . . , . . i

III. The Chinese Dynasties . 8

IV. Topographical . . . 22

V. The Calendar . . . . 26

VI. Miscellaneous. The Chinese Digits . . . 33

The Chinese Decimal System . 34

The 214 Radicals . 35

Radical Index . 37 84

PART II

A Chinese-English Dictionary

i 171 1

Vll

PREFACE.

The First Edition. Twenty years have now elapsed since this Dictionary was published in Shanghai, after having been in preparation for some eighteen years previously. The work of printing then occupied nearly two years, in spite of such manifold advantages as a printing-office specially built for the purpose by Messrs. Kelly and Walsh and placed under the able management of Mr. John Morris, native com¬ positors to set up the Chinese types, and skilled literary natives to aid in revising the proofs.

The Second Edition, •— The Dictionary in its present form must be carefully distinguished from a mere re-issue, under the cover of a new title-page, a new preface, and an altered date, I successfully resisted the great temptation to stereotype the first edition, a course which is profitable to the author but very unprofitable to the future student, :feeling sure that many years must pass away before anything like a satisfactory Chinese Dictionary could be laid definitively before the public. Early editions of the kind, in any language^ have seldom if ever come at all near to perfection and when it is remembered that Liddell and Scott’s famous lexicon, with all the wealth of Greek scholarship available on its behalf, has had to run through .many editions before teaching its present degree of accuracy of research, some con¬ sideration may perhaps be extended to a work which has even now attained only to its second stage of existence. The preparation of the present edition may be said to have begun simultaneously with the appearance of the first edition, and during this interval the following improvements have been carried out

(1) Many useful additions have been made to the meanings, or definitions, of the leading characters, and the number of cross-references has been largely increased.

(2) A very large number of new illustrative phrases, drawn from all krnds of sources, have been inserted^ including a great many examples of modern terms, for the latter of which I am chiefly indebted to my eldest son, Mr. Bertram Giles, now H. B. M. Consul at Chcang-sha. In this connexion the accompanying table may be of interest, showing as it does the gradual development of the Chinese-English dictionary since the days of Morrison, the great pioneer.

COMPARATIVE TABLE OF NUMBER OF PHRASES UNDER VARIOUS CHARACTERS, TAKEN AS SPECIMENS, TO ILLUSTRATE THE PROGRESS OF CHINESE-ENGLISH LEXICOGRAPHY.

Morrison, 1819

English

Medhurst, 1843

English

Williams, 1874

American

Giles, 1892

English

GILES, 1912 English

to speak .

II

15

28

96

129

mountains .

17

6

19

89

IO9

to be born . . . . .

21

27

42

13s

162

to strike . •—•••»

23

21

24

167

172

stones .......

20

19

23

76'

89

as if .

8

6

l8

78

112

[ viii ]

Morrison, 1819

English

Medhurst, 1843

English

Williams, 1874

American

Giles, 1892

English

GILES, 1912

English

spiritual .

l8

26

37

74

102

wine .

H

12

21

72

89

path, doctrine . . . .

11

13

33

246

261

colour .

25

19

29

57

86

generation .

23

12

32

55

75

ornament . .

18

20

22

91

125

pen . . ......

12

12

21

58

84

pictures ••••..

4

. I

24

42

75

affairs .

28

9

23

51

69

vapour .

16

18

38

98

126

God, heaven ....

41

31

34

159

g eye .

7

11

26

128

157

thing * .

9

20

16

42

6l

to want . . . .

8

/i 2

21

6l

77

9 cause .

H

12

22

58

74

dark .

12

18

18

54

64

應0 ught .

10

13

19

61

78

moon . e.

13

14

22

61

76

origin ...... •.

20

10

19

52

73

Morrison gave no aspirates, a defect many times, worse than would be the omission of the rough breathing in a Greek lexicon. Medhurst attempted aspirates, but omitted many and wrongly inserted others. Williams gave the aspirates correctly, and marked the five theoretical tones and also the Peking tones but he provided too few phrases, and mistranslated a large number of those, partly from reverting to the old and inaccurate renderings of classical phrases instead of adopting the new and accurate translations of Dr. Legge. He further followed Morrison in substituting a vertical stroke for the leading character in all the illustrative entries, though this tiresome system had already been discarded by Medhurst. As to number of phrases, it is there, so it seems to me, thiat the strength or weakness of a Chinese dictionary may be said to lie. It is impossible to exhaust the meanings of a Chinese character by definitions, each word being (to quote from Professor Sonnenschein) “like a chameleon, which borrows its colour from its environment.”

(3) Sixty-seven new characters have been added, bringing the total number up to 10,926 in all; the original numeral arrangement, however, of the first edition which enabled persons to use this book as a Chinese telegraphic code, as it actually has been used at the various Consulates in China, remains undisturbed.

With the aid of the 學檢韻 Ch{u hsuek chien yun, the Rhymes have been carefully revised, and a numeral has been added to each of the 106 standard rhymes, showing its place in its own particular gfoup, and enabling the student to turn it up- readily in the 文韻府 wen yiln fu. Thus, “R. 6 •” stands for. the sixth rhyme under whichever of the four tones may happen to be given at the foot of the column of dialects to the left of the leading character. But as in the P、ei wen yiin fu the even tone is divided into 上平 and 下平、 the combination “ll. 6 •” refers in this case only to the former, and the sixth of the latter class is specially marked “R. 6a.”

[ ix 1

(5) — Since the appearance of the first edition in 1892, I have published A Chinese Biographical Dictionary、 which contains 2579 lives and to this the student is now referred for names which are printed without any Chinese characters, in order to complete, if necessary, the sense of an entry wjiich might otherwise be obscure. Number references to the same work are also attached to the Emperors given in the chro¬ nological tables at the end of thje Dictionary.

(6) The Tables have undergone a close revision, and in lieu of some which did not meet with general approval, the methods devised by the late John Williams, F. R. S. for the conversion of Chinese and English dates have been added. These will be found of considerable use to the student who may not possess the valuable, though occasionally inaccurate, Concordance des Chronologies Nionthtiques、 Chinoise et Europeenne^ by the late P- Hoang.

(7) — Even to the list of short-hand or abbreviated characters some few additions have been made while the Radical catch-words, which on every left-hand page of the Index in the old edition had been printed on the wrong margin, have now been adjusted in accordance with convenience for use,

(8) A number of duplicate sentences, which had escaped notice in the old edition, have been cut out, together with a great deal of other matter which time has shown to be of less value to the student than had been originally anticipated. In the old edition, the dictionary proper, exclusive of Tables, Index, etc” filled 1354 pages; in the present edition, the same portion runs to 1710 pages.

(9) The last fascicule of the old edition was issued in 1892, and the Dictionary was most cordially and kindly received by the public as an up-to-date work. Twenty years of further excursions into Chinese literature have however disclosed many weak points, careless slips, and downright blunders. Some few of my contem¬ poraries have done good service by systematically noting these down, and calling my attention to them. First and foremost I have to mention Mr. E. von Zach, Consul-General at Singapore for Austria- Hungary, whose efforts in this direction have been of incalculable value towards securing^ a higher degree of accuracy in the present work than was attained in the first edition. I am also indebted to Mr. C. F. Hogg for notes published in the last volume of the now defunct China Review、 and for others which he kindly placed at my disposal after the disappearance of the Review and again, to the Rev. H. W, Moule for a small collection of similar criticisms I do not say that I have in every case accepted the emendations proposed by these scholars, my own experience being that correction of the mistakes of others usually involves a fixed percentage of mistakes of ones own. Still, I am very grateful for the assistance offered, and can only wish that more students had followed this excellent plan.

(10) As regards typography, the fount here employed will, I trust, meet with general approval, being both larger and clearer than that used for the first edition. The printing of this edition, which was placed in the hands of Mr. G. Peltenburg, Director of the firm of Messrs Brill and Co., Leiden, and most efficiently carried out under the supervision of Mr. J. B. van Duuren, senior Chinese compositor of that firm, occupied from first to last no less than four years.

(11) There remains now only the question of proof-reading. It is of course all-important lor a dictionary that typographical errors should be as nearly as possible non-existent and to secure this end the task of proof-reading was performed by three persons, without any assistance from native scholars, as in the case of the first edition. Of these three, I was naturally one ; but time has played havoc with my capacity as a proof-reader, and but for the most efficient services of the other two, the result would have been very different from what I believe has ilow been achieved. Another of the trio was my second son, Mr. Lionel Giles, M. A, (Oxon), Assistant in the Oriental Department of the British Museum. To him I am indebted pot only for careful revision of every proof, but also for numerous valuable suggestions and additions as the work was going through the press. Last in numerical order, but easily first in all that constitutes

[ X. ]

the technical skill of the proofreader, comes my wife. I have already had ogcasion to, acknowledge her valuable services to the first edition, then confined chiefly to the English text. It only remains to say that in this second edition she undertook, oftener in sickness than in health, to revise the Chinese text as well as the English, a task which only those who know the elusive shades of difference in many Chinese characters will be able fully to appreciate. Great, however, as are my personal obligations for all she has accomplished in this sense, I venture to think that the students who may consult this dictionary, and find the irritation of typographical errors, especially in the Chinese, reduced to a reasonable minimum, will be still more deeply indebted. To these, with all respect, I would commend the popular Chinese maxim : 水思源 When you drink, of the water、 ihink of the spring.

Cambridge, Jwie 12、 1^12. HERBERT A. GILES.

[ xi ]

EXTRACTS FROM PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.

The Characters, It was originally intended to print every character with strict accuracy, the standard of such accuracy being of course K1ang Hsi. This design was very soon abandoned altogether as regards the small characters used for the entries, and slightly modified as regards the large or leading characters under which the entries are arranged.

For the small characters it was in fact imperative to use such a fount as was available not to mention that no strictly accurate fount of Chinese type has as yet been cast. In the case of the large characters, I have followed K4ang Hsi, but only so far as is consistent with practical results. Contemporary usage is the first and principal object of a dictionary, and K‘ang Hsi is already out of* date. No .pne writes now-a-days; on the other hand, every one writes and and 百. Yet the first character is right according to K‘ang Hsi, and the second and third and fourth are wrong, much as this may surprise not merely the ordinary foreign student but even accomplished native scholars. K‘ang Hsi is further very inconsistent in the matter of “phonetics •” Sometimes in a long list of characters which have obviously the same phonetic, a few will, be written with some slight change [see the groups under Nos. 762 1-7625, i3)567-i3i593, and many others). Sometimes the same phonetic will appear with a different number of strokes. E.g. is given under twelve strokes, while is supposed to have only eleven ; has only twelve, while has fourteen. Again, under 棱*, K‘ang Hsi says “a wrong form of 梭;” but the latter character occurs only in the Supplement where it is said to be “a wrong form of 棱”! Similarly, the very common does not occur at all as a substantive character in K‘ang Hsi, though it is given in the entry under These examples might be multiplied indefinitely. It will suffice to say .that —when I started on my journey into the realms of lexicography, I regarded K‘ang Hsi as a Bucephalus on whose tail— 蠅附 騾尾一 a foreign fly might safely get an advantageous lift. But I soon found myself unable to follow the manifold vagaries of my guide, and determined to treat the characters in general solely with a view to the practical utility of my book. In this sense, many little points have been ignored, in order not to waste over trifles the time of students about to grapple with a sufficiently arduous task. Allowing for ordinary shortcomings, the characters in this Dictionary will be found to be as commonly written at the present day.

Duplicate Characters. Many characters have two or more sounds. In such cases, the various sounds will be found given in their places, with a reference to that particular sound (and number) under which the character is treated. Thus, is pronounced chiao\ chio 狹、 and chiie^. It is treated under chic^ and is also entered under both chiao and chiiek so that if any one sound of a character is known, its place in the Dictionary can be readily traced without a more prolonged search in the Radical Index

Phonetic Arrangement. The various sound-groups of characters are sub-arranged according^ to their phonetics. Thus under the sound jyu, is followed by ,圩 ,宇 ,杼, etc., and by ,唱 ,愚

i xii 1

etc., •— a plan which very much facilitates search when the sound of any character is known. [Typogra¬ phical difficulties, however, have sometimes compelled a departure from this rule.]

The Tones Each character is marked at its right-hand top corner with a number denoting its tone in Pekingese. When the character in question is in the entering tone, an asterisk is added. The fact is that there is no actual standard of Peking pronunciation, a remark which applies as much to sound as to tone. One Peking man says an^\ another, nan、. The kuets and the huts are often confused. Take the character 月包 No. 8701. The Manchus in Peking say p^ao1 the Chinese inside the city say pao' •、 the Chinese outside the city say p^ao1. The Manchus again call a cat mao1 the Chinese call it mac^. It is happily now unnecessary to enlarge upon the importance of an accurate knowledge of the tones. All serious students of the new school regard a study of the tone-system of China as an integral part of the labour to be expended upon the acquisition of Chinese.

The Dialects. Beneath the number attached to each character will be found its rhyme (R.) as given in the 文韻府 P、 ei-wen-yiin-fu. This is followed by the romanization of the character by Mr. Parker, in the Cantonese, Hakka, Foochow, Wfenchow, Ningpo, Peking, Mid-China, Yangchow and Ssuchluan dialects, as well as in Korean, Japanese, and Annamese, each being distinguished by its initial letter. These sounds are followed by the theoretical tone, which governs the entire list in practice, except in cases where necessary changes are noted by tone-marks.

The Entries. An attempt has been made to arrange the entries according to the, order of the definitions in the heading. The result has only been partially successful, though perhaps successful enough to justify the attempt. It was also desirable to bring together all sentences containing the same combinations of characters and the latter end could often be attained only at the expense - of the former. Names of animals, trees, plants, etc., taken mostly from the works of O. F. von Moellendorff, Bretschneider, and Augustine Henry, will generally be found at the end of the list. As they stand, the entries have been inserted with a view to illustrate so far as possible the various meanings and shades of meaning attached to each character. They have been for the most part laboriously collected from books read and conver¬ sations held during a long stretch of years. The best of the sentences quoted by K4ang Hsi have been incorporated, after having been searched out, in almost every case, in the work of the author quoted. It was not feasible to name the particular book in each case ; this would have increased too much the size of a sufficiently bulky volume. I may well take this opportunity to acknowledge my deep obligations to the imperishable achievements of Dr. Legge, Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford. Before his time, no one seemed to know what accurate translation from Chinese into English meant. Now, a faithful rendering with ordinary reservations of the whole body of the Confucian Canon is the property of the world at large. Exclusive of my own reading in Chinese literature, I have ransacked for the purposes of this Dictionary the writings of my contemporaries. I have adopted the recent revision of early chronology by Edouard Chavannes, and similar improvements by other explorers. Thus, under all the departments of investigation some new feature has been added, some new fact brought to light, some old fallacy exploded.

No division of phraseology into classical and colloquial has been made, for the simple reason that no real line of demarcation exists. Expressions are used in ordinary conversation which occur in the Odes. The book-language fades imperceptibly into the colloquial

Phrases have been sometimes repeated under different characters -occasionally by accident, but as

I xiii ]

a rule with a view to save the student’s time. The place of insertion is usually determined by the most important character in a phrase, or by the first character but reference should be made to one and all of the characters before search is abandoned. The difficulty has never been what to put in, but what to leave out. No fewer than sixty different names for Peking have been given ; yet the list is probably not exhausted.

Botanical names are sometimes written with the 140th radical and sometimes without; in searching, therefore, this Radical may be added or subtracted as required. Some phrases are purposely given in wrongly written forms, because such forms happen to be in common use. A large number of entries have been introduced to illustrate the best and highest planes of Chinese thought. Others, as affording glimpses into political, commercial, and social life. Proverbs, household words, and even nursery rhymes, occur among the hundred thousand examples which go to make up this book. Even a general reader might find it not without interest to glance through the entries under the characters for wine (No. 2260), doctor (No. 5380), crime or punishment (No. 1 1,910), drunk (No. 11,913), to gamble (No. 12,049), and many others of the same class.

And as the main object of this Dictionary is to facilitate the study of Chinese by the presentment of a large number of idiomatic phrases covering as much ground as possible, it follows that the ultimate test of value will be accuracy of translation. If it can be shown with due allowance for human fallibility that the entries are wrongly rendered into English, then the toil of years will have been thrown away. At the same time, without wishing to escape in the smallest degree the consequences of the above challenge, I may be permitted to make two remarks.

In a compilation on the lines of the present work, time is an important factor. Between the first and last sentences formally inserted in this Dictionary, without counting earlier memoranda, no less than eighteen years elapsed. Interpretations of difficult phrases often take a different hue when seen by the light of maturer study and although every effort has been made to check early work, some small fry always manage to slip through the closest meshes. Again, with regard to many classical phrases, proverbs, and even every-day expressions, the Chinese themselves are not always agreed as to the interpretation. This feature is of course not wanting to western languages : yet it is partly in consequence of this that, early explorers jumped to the fatal and foolish conclusion that Chinese was an ambiguous language, an error which unfortunately persists with the less well-informed down to the present day. To begin with, there is an obvious confusion in terms : ambiguity is confounded with obscurity, which is of course quite another matter. It is also forgotten that other languages present equal difficulties in point of obscurity to students who are but tyros. Five schoolboys will readily turn out five widely different versions of a passage from an ordinary Latin author. Yet we do not call Latin an ambiguous language, but rather seek the flaw in the wit of the translator who fails to unravel the true sense. That the book-language of China is often obscure to the last degree may be readily admitted but it is not to any appreciable extent more ambiguous than that of any other language. Indeed were it so, it is impossible to conceive how the official correspondence of this huge empire, conducted as it is with the most precise formalism, or the vast commercial correspondence of some three hundred millions, could have been successfully carried on for so many centuries past.

It may be added that the majority of the entries taken down from books have been trai^sj^ited with reference to their original position in the text; in such cases, other persons^ numbers、 genders, etc., wo. Id often be equally applicable. Sometimes, where guidance seems necessary, the sentences are translated literally or word for word, and the sense is made clear by a gloss. Sometimes, in view of simplicity or because a similar combination has been dealt with above, the English analogue is given without further remark.

[ xiV j

Grammar. The Chinese themselves, during their twenty to thirty centuries of literary activity, have never produced a grammar of their own language. They have never attempted to teach their schoolboys composition by the foolish and unscientific method of synthesis. Their scholars commit whole volumes to memory, and read widely. Success in composition, proportionate to the talents of each student, follows as a matter of course.

They have not even an equivalent term for “grammar,” so that when foreigners undertook to supply a want that nobody had ever felt, the first thing to do was to coin a phrase. Thus, we have had 文法 (Gonqalves), 讀書 作文法 (Medhurst), 言备 (Marshman), 文學 (Crawford), 語例暑 and 說法 (Wade), and many others. Julien contented himself by calling his Syntax e Nouvelle a 指南 “compass” or guide to the study of Chinese; in which he showed his customary sound sense. Altogether, it seems impracticable to deduce any set of rules which will guide the foreign student satisfactorily either in composition or in the translation of an ordinary Chinese author, through which rules the traditional coach and horses cannot be rapidly and ruthlessly driven. The dictum of Marshman, author of the Clavis Sinica, that “the whole of Chinese grammar depends upon position” has been regarded for many years as a golden key to the written language of China. But he who learns any number of rules of position and then attempts to apply them synthetically, will have more disappointments in store than another student who has spent the same time in reading extensively and absorbing into his system as much as possible of that elusive mysterious quiddity which we call the genius of the language.

It may indeed be said that no Chinese character can be definitely regarded as being any particular part of speech or possessing any particular function, absolutely, apart from the general tenor of its context. [It is simply a root-idea in the abstract.] It may have the force of a verb, a preposition, or anything else but rather from the subtle influence of its surroundings than from any inherent power [or position] of its own. Voice, mood, tense, person, case, number, etc., must be determined, not by any rules which can be written down beforehand and applied as occasion requires, but by the context, by usage, by pro¬ bability, by inference, and by the general drift of the subject. There is no noun-substantive in the Chinese language which might not, at the fiat of a master, be flung from his pen as a verb. Position, the value of which should be learnt analytically from authors and not synthetically from grammars, is cast in poetry to the four winds of heaven, though a given line will have but one signification to the practised reader. This Dictionary will supply sentences without number to which grammarians will have some trouble in making their rules apply and it is in this sense that Chinese is essentially supra gra m 77ta ticam . The character means “to go into;” but 入木 means “to put into a coffin •” So means ato wound,” and means “the wind but 傷風 (an ellipsis for 受傷 於風) means a to catch cold \ 傷弓 之鳥驚 曲木 means “a bird that has been wounded by a bow is afraid of a crooked stick \ and 傷春 means “to (be wounded) grieve for the loss of the spring.” The character “a comb” would be called by grammarians a noun-substantive but 風沐雨 means “combed by the wind and washed by the rain’” though of course it might be rendered “the wind for a comb, the rain for a bath •” It is perhaps a good instartce how the genius of the Chinese language supplies the fundamental and leaves accessories to the reader/

The combination 化作 means “caused to appear” or “changed himself into,” according t0y the requirements of the text while 警寇 which is apparently to warn rebels” really means “to warn (the populace of the approach of) rebels •” The character means u to cut open;” yet 此千剖 does not mean u Pi-kan cuts open” but that Pi-kan himself was disembowelled. There is a passage from the Odes in every-day use which says of a nation’s troubles 不可 5^ with the obvious but scarcely grammatical or positional meaning “they are beyond the reach of medicine.” It is easy to point to such phraseology

[ XV ]

as 欲逮人 “to wish to catch up others” and 逮於人 “to be afraid of being caught up by others” as illustrating how the passive voice is formed by auxiliary particles ; but when we come to another such phrase as 求於人 “not to seek from others,” we feel that the grammatical ground .is giving way beneath our feet and leaving us where we ought to have begun in the domain of common sense and the fixed usage of the language. Without this “usage,” fixed only as regards each individual example, grammar would batter in vain even against su^h an elementary combination as 不見. We find * 不見 “not to see a person for a day;” 有東 西不見 “there are things missing 二人忽 然不見 “the two men suddenly vanished;” 不見隹 “it is not very good;” and 不見疼 “it is not painful •” The phrase 俗邪字 can only mean “耶 is a vulgar form Qf •” We know this from the influence of the 字, without which it might mean exactly the reverse. So 死罪 means “the penalty of death;” but does not mean “the penalty of life” which would be nonsense. The usage of the language makes it mean some “penalty which can be exacted from the living •” [One of the great obstacles to the easy apprehension of Chinese poetry is the almost arbitrary way in which words may be transposed. Thus, to take some simple examples, 臥月明 is put for 臥于 明月中 to sleep in the moonlight ; 笛弄 腕風 for 當腕風 而弄笛 to play the flute in the evening breeze ; 開紅樹 for 花開滿 樹俱紅 the trees are covered with red blossoms; and so on.]

Difficulty of Chinese. A close observer has not hesitated to declare that “the Chinese language requires the age of Methuselah to overtake it.” Yet an ordinary Chinaman practically manages to overtake it in less than an ordinary life-time. The foreigner is of course at a disadvantage. He generally begins late in life. .And it is only of recent years that his early stages have been smoothed by such books as are ready to the learner’s hand in almost all other important languages. When I came to China, more than twenty- five years ago, I was turned into a room with an abridged edition of Morrison’s Dictionary and a teacher who did not know a single word of English. Such were the facilities early in 1867. But from that date onwards a change came over the scene, and now the would-be Student of Chinese has only to pick and choose. And as he passes out of the elementary stage, he finds in every direction some translation or vocabulary or other work of research to carry him rapidly on to points which had previously been attained only by infinite toil and perseverance. The coming generation of sinologues, ^once through the years of initial drudgery, will be able almost to begin where their predecessors left off. We may therefore look forward with confidence to a more brilliant epoch of Anglo-Chinese scholarship than circumstances have hitherto been able to produce. The acquisition of Chinese need no longer be regarded as a hopeless task. Good speakers of all the dialects are now found in every part of China many indeed speak so well as not to be distinguishable from natives. The book-language naturally presents far more serious difficulties; but the number of promising students to the front at the present day is greater than it has ever been, while their equipment is that of scientific ordnance compared with the battering-rams and ballistse of the ancients.

For some years past the cry on all sides has been for a new Dictionary. Waether this one will fill the void or not, or if so for how lofcng, are questions upon which it would be impertinent for me to speculate. It is the best thing I could do with the forces at my control. It is a votive offering, however humble, for the honour and advancement of the British Consular Service.

H.B.M. Consulate, Ningpo,

8th November 1892.

XVI

The principles upon which the various sounds of each character are given under this scheme are as follows :

(i ‘) The theoretical Chinese rhyming word is given, as is always done in the Korean and Japanese native-made diction¬ aries. This is a new departure in European lexicography, but it is of absolute import¬ ance, for in serious poetical composition, a divergence from rule is not permissible beyond certain limits. And this holds good as much for Japanese and Korean, where there are really no tones at all, as for Cantonese, which has more actual tones than the theory of rhymes can possibly require. Having the theoretical rhymes before them, students will be able to judge for themselves how far each dialect is practically consistent. It will be seen at once that Dr. Chalmers* scheme for in¬ venting a syllabic spelling or

system calculated to represent each modern dialect is totally impracticable.

(2.) The tone and series is always written at the foot of the different local sounds. Where there is no lower or upper series distinction to any but even tones, as is the case in the four Mandarin dialects, the additional information of the series dis¬ tinction can do no harm. Where two tones are given, thus, “even and rising,” it means that the even tone is the more general ; and when two tones and two series are given, the first series refers to the first tone. Where, as in Hakka, the lower rising and upper even tones sound in practice the same, and the two series thus become confused, there is still no reason to make a special mark; in this particular case, however, when a character which should be, for instance, sinking, or upper rising, is sounded upper even, or lower rising, it is impossible to say which of the two latter tones is, or originally was intended, now that they have coalesced. Examples will be found under the characters

绑, and 耗, and 亞. Where, as in Japanese and Korean, tones have absolu¬ tely no existence, once more the extra infor- niation can do no possible harm. Where, as in Pekingese, the entering tone has no real existence, there the modern tone is always marked according to Wade’s Sylla¬ bary duly revised and corrected. Where, as in Cantonese, the upper entering tone is subdivided into two, the tone is specially marked only when the character is read in the most recently discovered or recently

named tone, namely the so-called A

THE DIALECTS.

chung yep. A circle is used for this pui- pose; thus, ^ sekQ. It will be noticed

that the rhymes are occasionally irregular. In some specific cases, as for instance in

the case of the words 所*, 爹* 奉, etc., the irregularity is universal, and points to some apparent mistake in early lexico¬ graphy. In others, such as ,咳 ,歉,

,奴 ,象 ,摔 ,孝 ,肯 ,“ ,項,

etc., the irregularities are very general. A number of modern characters in colloquial use fail to correspond with the rhymes;

such arc ,扔 ,梓 ,打 ,呢 . The

rising and sinking tones are very irregu¬ larly divided off from each other in many cases; this is notably so in the case of

the rhymes and 翰. It must be

mentioned, however, that the distinction between rising and sinking is still incom¬ plete in many parts of China. In Ningpo it is hardly possible to say that there is any such distinction at all, in either lower or upper series; in Yangchow and Wenchow the distinction is very slight, and only perceptible to practised ears. In Hakka the upper rising and the sinking tone or tones are much confused, or rather are inverted in a way which appears to have method in it. Thus, it is unnecessary to mark specific irregularities in cases where whole classes are liable to irregularity; yet this is done