I wrote out a translation of the Yi King, embracing both the Text and the Appendixes, in 1854 and 1855 ; and have to acknowledge that when the manuscript was completed, I knew very little about the scope and method of the book. I laid the volumes containing the result of my labour aside, and hoped, believed indeed, that the light would by and by dawn and that I should one day get hold of a clue that would guide me to a knowledge of the mysterious classic. Before that day came, the translation was soaked, in 1870, for more than a month in water of the Red Sea. By dint of careful manipulation it was recovered so as to be still legible; but it was not till 1874 that I began to be able to give to the book the prolonged attention necessary to make it reveal its secrets. Then for the first time I got hold, as I believe, of the clue, and found that my toil of twenty years before was of no service at all.
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