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126 CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
less one uses it to stifle his fears." The facts relating to Confucius, his wanderings and life are full of anecdotes relating to his extreme love of the art, and are probably authentic. The family of Confucius still exists in his native province, having passed intact through sixty-eight or sixty-nine generations; they are honored by special privileges and distinctions and are the most notable hereditary aristocracy of China. It may be mentioned here, that all the philosophers and literati of the empire were musicians as well: in this respect strongly resembling the sages of Greece.
The theatre began to progress greatly in this era, (sixth century b. c), and one emperor was censured for devoting too much time to his comedians, and too little to the worthy celebration of the ancestral feast. The arts received a severe check when the Tchin or Tsin dynasty obtained control of the entire realm. These were in reality the first who united the various provinces under one rule, and who bore, with right, the title of Hoang, or emperor. It is from this dynasty that China takes its name (Tchina or Tsina). One of this set of conquerors, Tchi-chi-hoang-ti, desirous of obliterating the memories of former glories, which might prove prejudicial to his own, attempted, in 245 B. c, a proscription of all science and art.
He commanded all ancient books to be burnt, and especially caused strict search to be made for the books which Confucius had collected and