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Histories -> Shiji -> Annals -> Annals of the Five Emperors -> 28

太史公The historian remarks on this as follows:
Most scholars say that the five emperors are deserving of honour,
but the Book of History only refers to Yao, and those who come after him,
黃帝 while the book of the 'hundred families' speaks of the Yellow emperor.
The style of the latter work is not, however, very refined,
and the officials and gentry hardly ever refer to it.
孔子Confucius handed down these works, viz. 'Zai Yu's questions,' the 'virtues of the five emperors,' and 'the genealogies and names of the emperors,'
but the literati doubt that they have been so handed down.
西 I have travelled westward as far as 'hollow cave' hill,
涿鹿 northward beyond Zhuolu,
eastward I have crossed the sea,
while southward I have floated on rafts along the Yangtze and Huai rivers,
黃帝and all the elders whom I met again and again talked of the places where the Yellow emperor, Yao, and Shun dwelt,
and how very different their customs and teachings were.
In short, those who are attached to the ancient literature must be familiar with their sayings.
I have looked at the 'Spring and Autumn' classic, and the 'Narratives of the States,'
which make the 'virtues of the five emperors' and the 'genealogies and names of the emperors' very clear.
I have inspected these works, but not thoroughly examined them,
and the portions I have quoted are none of them unimportant.
There are defects in the book,
and occasionally the views of others may be noted.
Scholars should not think too deeply over the book,
but take the general drift of it,
when it can hardly be called superficial.
There are a few investigations into doctrine,
which I have discussed in the concrete,
and then selected some of the more elegant sentences for quotation.
Thus I have compiled the first chapter of the 'Original Records.'


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