LY 9:7 is remarkable as a collation note; it gives a variant of the saying in 9:6. It is doubly remarkable in that the name of the informant ("Lau") is given. It is trebly remarkable in that "Lau" cannot be confidently identified with any early-attested disciple of Confucius. In this supplementary Note, we first take up the complex matter of the name Lau, and then conclude with that is really important about this passage.
The commentators suggest identifying Lau with Chin Jang, supposedly a man of Wei whose personal name Lau ("pen for animals; penned up") would then be, not a synonym, as is usual, but an antonym of his formal name Dz-jang (Jang means "stretch, as a bow, or perhaps as a cithern string"). An alternate formal name is Dz-kai (Kai means "open"), which provides a sort of link between Lau (as an antonym) and Jang (as a synonym). All this more or less works. This information is given in the Disciple List as it is known in our present Kungdz Jya-yw 38, where it appears as entry #33. The rest of that entry summarizes a story from the Dzwo Jwan (in which Confucius dissuades Chin Jang from paying a visit of condolence to the family of the bad man Dzung Lu). But the present KZJY 38 list has borrowed that attested name to replace an unknown figure in the original list; the Shr Ji 67 copy of that list, which has the unknown person in that position, probably reflects the original, unaltered KZJY list (see TOA p275).
We now turn to the Dzwo Jwan story. It is given under the year Jau-gung 20, or 0522. In that year, Confucius was 27 years old. To have contemplated paying a formal visit of condolence, Chin Jang himself would have had to be not less than 20; that is, he was only a little younger than his master. If we envision him as coming from Wei (which is what the later KZJY 38 entry claims), then we must see Confucius as not only attracting disciples, but as attracting them from states other than Lu, before he was 30 years old. This does not seem very likely. It is especially unlikely in view of the early tradition that Confucius himself had a difficult youth, and only established himself later. Then the Dzwo Jwan story is either an invention or an exaggeration. The Dzwo Jwan seems to expect that its readers will recognize Chin Jang, so the notion that such a person had been a disciple of Confucius was probably widespread in the period when that part of the Dzwo Jwan was written, namely the late 04th century. We may tentatively assume that the story is an exaggeration. There are other examples of exaggerated traditions about Confucius and his disciples in the Dzwo Jwan, so there is nothing implausible about that assumption. It leaves us knowing nothing about Chin Jang except his name and origin, unless we can after all get something from LY 9:7.
The person who wrote LY 9:7 had not himself known Confucius, or he would have been able to rely on his own memory for the details of Confucius's early days. He is instead respectful of the memory of "Lau," to the point that he would cite his variant of a Confucius saying alongside the 9:6 one which he got from somewhere else. The writer of LY 9 must be later than the death of Dzvngdz in LY 8:3, which took place in 0436. There are reasons in LY 9 itself (the contact with "Wei," which may reflect contemporary contact with the chief power in that area, namely Hán) to date at least parts of LY 9 to somewhere near the year 0405. But the early portions of the chapter, and this could include 9:7, might be somewhat earlier.
Confucius had died in 0479. A disciple of Confucius's last year would have to have been at least 20 years old in that year, giving a birth year of 0499 (call in 0500) or earlier, and probably earlier. To reach the age of 70 in that culture was somewhat notable; to reach the age of 95 (which is what that disciple would have been in 0905) would be extraordinary. But if we assume that the first few passages in LY 9 were written somewhat earlier, but still well after Dzvngdz's death in 0436, say in 0420, and if we make less extreme assumptions about when "Lau" was born, and in what year he came to Confucius, then we may envision a surviving disciple of about 85, which is definitely remarkable, but at lest imaginable. This assumption has the advantage that it does not credit Confucius with foreign disciples in his own early years, whereas a Wei protégé at the end of his life is much more plausible. The memory of an oldster of 85 or so is valuabale, as a direct contact with the Master, but it is not always going to be the soundest thing in the world, hence the compiler of LY 9 might have hesitated to record Lau's version of the 9:6 saying as the only one, and have given it instead merely as a variant worth considering. Not only does the Wei origin of "Lau", now fit the context better, so do the various ages. Then the data given in KZJY 38 better fit the "Lau" of LY 9:7 than they fit the "Chin Jang" of DJ 10/22. Things seem to be improving. Let us then identify this version of "Lau" as coming from the disciple tradition about the disciples.
It was shown in Appendix 4 that the KZJY 38 list, in its probable original form, is not really a disciple list. What is known, to us and to the Kung family in the middle of the 04th century, about the early disciples is sometimes violently reversed or revised in the KZJY 38 list. The atmosphere of this 04c realignment, with the Kung family taking over from the disciple lineage and refashioning the perceived past of the Analects movement to better suit its own agenda, is explored in our Word Philology paper, which centers on the famous passage LY *9:1. Most of the names on the original KZJY 38 list are people who are not plausible as disciples, but are plausible as the original client circle of Confucius, a circle which was probably interited in part from his father; it consists of people who, like his father, had origins in states other than Lu and thus relied on each other (the "foreign community" in Lu) rather than on the established power brokers of Lu for social support and identity. Then most of what we see in KZJY 38 is the family tradition of Confucius, and it is now understandable why it conflicts with, or originally simply omitted much of, the disciple tradition about Confucius. That disciple tradition is partly recorded in LY 5-9, the chapters written while the school was still headed by first or second generation disciples or (in the case of LY 9), their descendants.
It remains to suppose that our present version of the KZJY 38 list has been, as Appendix 4 says, Analectized, so as to include people who for Analects reasons ought to figure in a really useful list of disciples. That meant replacing the unknown client-family member Chin Ran (the original #33, and a man of no account in the Analects tradition) with the minor but still remembered late disciple Chin Lau (the revised #33 on that list). And the further development of the disciple Chin Lau or Chin Jang in the DJ story of the late 04th century takes its place as one more exaggeration of disciple tradition in Dzwo Jwan. Neither this supposition nor any of those preceding violates biological propriety or otherwise known facts, and we regard it as the best that can be done under present circumstances.
So The "Lau" of LY 9:7 may reasonably be glossed as Chin Lau, formally Chin Dz-jang or Chin Jang for short. This is simply to agree with what everyone already thought. But in the course of arriving at this confirmation of the standard commentary, we have improved on the information previously given for Chin Lau, and put to one side a clearly apocryphal story about him. This is probably a step forward.
The really interesting thing about LY 9:7, however, is that it was written by a man who himself did not know Confucius, but who wrote in a time when people with literal memories of Confucius were still living, and who somewhat (though tentatively) deferred to those memories. If we had no Chin Jang to work with, we would still go through the above calculations for "Lau," and arrive at a date for LY 9 which does not differ greatly from the one reached by a separate argument, from events (invasions of Lu by Chi) and from inscriptions (recording a reprisal invasion of Chi by Hán). The agreement between these two lines of argument is a significant support for our dating of LY 9 and of the chapters on both sides of it.
It will readily be seen that no such extended argument as this could have been accommodated, either in the commentary to LY 9:7 itself, or in the consideration of the text history of KZJY 38 in Appendix 4. The book would have grown out of all reasonable compass, and if somehow published, could not have been afforded by any of its intended readers. Such are the paradoxes of an annotated translation. We can only ask the readers of TOA as it is to bear with them understandingly.
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