|Caogao : (caogao chaobai) 草稿 :(草稿抄白) / [Yan Mo zhu 嚴謨著].|
JapSin I, (38/42) 41/4
Cao gao 草稿 (chaobai 抄白).
By Yan Mo 嚴謨.
Manuscript, five unnumbered folios and
cover page. Chinese bamboo paper,
one volume. 24.3 x 14.3 cm.
The cover bears the title: Cao gao with chaobai (copied from correspondence) written in small characters. An inscription (three lines) reads: 此本煩為寄上李老師 (Please present this to Li laoshi). The Latin inscription reads: “Scriptus Ien Pauli.”The first folio consists of a letter from Yan Mo to Father José Monteiro in which he begs to learn the main points of argument that the two religious orders had raised against the Chinese Rites and the replies given by the Jesuits. He also wants a summary of the letter in a European language sent to him by Charles Maigrot (顏老師). The letter also mentions that he was sending to Monteiro his writing on Confucius and on the grain sacrifice (keji 稞祭), together with a full list of all his works to be placed at the end of all his works. He finally expresses his wish to send copies of the same to Simão Rodrigues (Li laoshi 李老師), to the Jesuits in Beijing and to Adrien Greslon (Nie laoshi 聶老師) of Jiangxi.
Folios 2 and 3 are headed: Jida Li laoshi tiaowen mulu 輯答李老師條問目錄 (A list containing answers collected in reply to the questions of Li laoshi), 閩漳嚴保琭定猷氏 (by Paul Yan, [zi] Dingyou, of Min-Zhang). This manuscript is basically the same as the Li shi tiaowen 李師條問 (Jap-Sin I, [38/42] 40/2), except for the order which has been slightly altered. There is one question in reply to an inquiry of Monteiro’s which is not in the former manuscript.
Folio 4 contains a letter from Yan Mo to Simão Rodrigues in which he informs him that the Christians of Zhangzhou have been without sacraments for a year owing to the prohibition of the Chinese Rites. “Because of this we feel that we are in hot water or in fire!” He greatly hopes that the Jesuits in Beijing will do something to check the influence of the two religious orders. At the end he says that the Li shi tiaowen has been more fully developed at the request of Monteiro.
From the above letter we know the family name of Yan Mo’s brother-in-law was Cai 蔡, though this was not mentioned in the letter to Monteiro. Now, in the Cao gao 草稿 ([38/42] 41/2a) there are three Christians mentioned with the family name Cai, namely Petrus, Theophilus and Ludovicus. Probably one of these is the brother-in-law of Yan Mo, mentioned in the letter to Rodrigues.
On folio 5, in a discussion of the honor given to Confucius there is a statement that reads: “This reply, collected to satisfy the inquiry of Li laoshi, has been revised.” Seemingly the discussion was directed against the treatise Bianji by Francisco Varo, O.P. (cf. Jap-Sin I, [38/42] 40/5). For Yan Mo it was hard to understand why anyone should object to giving Confucius the title of shengren 聖人 on the grounds that this was the title given only to saints of the Catholic Church. Yan Mo would retort that the title shengren had been given to Confucius long before the missioners came to China. It had merely been borrowed from the Chinese as the title for a saint of the Catholic Church. According to him, therefore, calling Confucius shengren had nothing to do with religion, since the meaning of this title differed so greatly from that of saints as used in the Catholic sense.
Source: Albert Chan, SJ, Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 66-67.