The Eighth Dynasty, called Song, which had eight Emperors in the Space of 59 Years.
THIS new Emperor had his Residence at Nan king, his native Place : His Air, his Gate, his Size, in short his whole outward Deportment had something in them inexpressibly Noble and Majestick ; to a great natural Courage he join'd equal Moderation, which appeared principally in his dress, Train, and common Meals, being in all of them remarkably frugal.
This and the four following Dynasties are accounted small in comparison of the others, because they continued but very few Years ; they are called Outai.
China has been hitherto divided into two Empires, the Northern and Southern, each having its proper Monarch.
In the fifty-ninth Year of the Cycle Kao tsou vou ti died, at the Age of sixty-seven : Chao ti his eldest Son succeeded him.
THO' this Prince was seventeen Years old when he ascended the Throne, it was soon perceived he wanted a manly Spirit, because he delighted to busy himself in trifling Things : The Colao, or Prime Minister, took away the Crown from him, and not long after his Life : He was succeeded by Ven ti, the third Son of the Founder of this new Dynasty.
THIS Prince was esteemed on account of his good Nature, Moderation, Justice, and Singular Integrity, he was blamed only for too great an Affection for the Bonzes, whose Protector he openly declared himself : He ordained that the Magistrates should not continue in Office above six Years, and after some other Regulations of this sort, for the Good of his People, he declared War against the Emperor of the North, whose Power daily increased, having already sixteen petty Princes in entire Subjection to him. Ven ti lost the first Battle, but in Process of Time, by the Conduct, and Bravery of Tan tao tsu his Prime Minister, he obtained many Victories over that Emperor. This extraordinary Success of the Prime Minister gain'd him no little Credit and Authority, but it rendered him obnoxious to his Master, who feared too powerful a Subject , and so procured him to be put to death. The News of the Death of this great General being spread abroad, the Northern Men took Courage, and boldly entred the Southern Provinces, renewing the War with more Fury than ever. Ven ti's Troops , no longer commanded by that able General, were defeated in several Actions, but in the twenty-sixth Year of his Reign was the most horrible Slaughter on both sides, insomuch that the Fields were overflowed with the Blood of the Chinese.
At this time the Emperor of the North made a general Massacre of the bonzes in his Kingdom, and burnt all their Temples and Idols. Ven ti was murdered at the Age of Thirty-five by his eldest Son, and the Parricide was kill'd in his turn by his second Brother, who immediately revenged his Father's Death.
THIS Prince was much addicted to Learning, and had the Reputation of a Scholar ; he was likewise well skilled in managing a Horse, and drawing the Bow, and distinguished himself as a keen Sportsman : He was censured for Prodigality, and bellowing his Favours without Judgment or Distinction : He treated those about his Person with a Roughness little suitable to their Rank, often using Sharp and scurrilous Language towards them.
He died in the thirty-fifth Year of his Age, and forty-first of the Cycle, and Fi ti his eldest Son succeeded him.
SCARCE was he upon the Throne but he discovered a cruel and bloody Disposition; many innocent Persons suffer'd by his Orders, and at length he was slain himself in the first Year of his Reign.
His Successor was Ming ti, the eleventh Son of Ven ti, the third Emperor of this Dynasty.
THIS Prince was as barbarous and cruel as his Predecessor, and put to Death thirteen young Princes of the Blood, who Were his Nephews. As he had no Children of his own, he introduced Men among his Women, with a Design to have a Male-Child, mid then presently to kill its Mother, and give th, Child to the Empress, who was barren : He preferr'd Siao tao tching to the highest Post of the Empire, a Man exceedingly ambitious, and who afterwards murdered two Emperors to make his way to the Throne.
Ming ti died, and wag succeeded by Tsang ngou vang, his eldest Son.
THE rough and untractable Temper of this Prince served to cover the Treachery and Perfidiousness of Siao tao tching , who dipp'd his Hands in the Blood of his young Master, being yet but Fifteen Years of Age, when Chun ti, the third Son of Ming it, was advanced in his Room.
THIS young Prince proved like his Brother, and fell a Sacrifice to the Ambition of the Prime Minister, who murdered him in the second Year of his Reign.
By this double Murder Siao tao tching put an end to the Dynasty of Song, and became the Founder of a new Dynasty call'd Tsi. He reigned under the Name of Kao ti.