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The Life of Confucius

1.  The ancestry of the sage And have you foreigners surnames as well? This question has often been put to me by Chinese. It marks the ignorance which belongs to the people of all that is external to themselves, and the pride of antiquity which enters largely as an element into their character. If such a pride could in any case be justified, we might allow it to the family of the K'ung, the descendants of Confucius. In the reign K’ang-he, twenty-one centuries and a half after the death of the sage, they amounted to eleven thousand males. But their ancestry is carried back through a period of equal extent, and genealogical tables are common, in which the descent of Confucius is traced down from Hwang-te, the inventor of the cycle, B.C. 2637. The more moderate writers, however, content themselves with exhibiting his ancestry back to the commencement of the Chow dynasty, B.C. 1121. Among the relatives of the tyrant Chow, the last emperor of the Yin dynasty, was an elder brother, by …

The Biography of Wang Yang-Ming

THE BIOGRAPHY OF WANG YANG-MING
Ancestry and Birth
The Teacher was named Shou-jen ( 守仁 ) and Po-an ( 伯安).1 His –ancestor, at the time of the Western Chin dynasty was Wang Hsi-chih (王羲之), a general of the right division of the army; and the ancestral home was at Shanyin in the province of Chekiang. Twenty-three generations later, Wang Shou, an official of rank, moved the home to Yüyao, also in Chekiang. At the time when the Ming dynasty first came into power, Wang Kang, who lived six generations before Wang Yang-ming, lost his life in the service of his emperor, at the hands of the aborigines in Canton Province. His son, Wang Yen-ta, wrapped his father's remains in sheep's skin and took them back to Yüyao. A censor named Kuo Shun reported this to the emperor, who had a temple erected in honor of the father at Tseng in the province of Canton. In the fourth generation Wang Yu-chun was requested by Emperor Yung Lo to become an official, but refused, styling himself "the old …