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Showing posts from December, 2012

A Mandarin Condemned To Be Chair-bearer in the Land of Shadow

Once a wealthy man invited witches to his home to call up a vision of his father, who had died a few months before. It will make the story more plain by explaining that the old man had been a mandarin, who had been notorious everywhere wherever he had held office for his avaricious, grasping disposition. His ability to accept bribes was immense, and no case came before him but was finally decided not on its own merits, but by the amount that either the prosecutor or the defendant was able to give him.

When he died he had a grand funeral, and houses and wives and concubines, and male and female slaves, fashioned at great expense in paper, were burned at the grave, which by some mysterious and unexplained way were to follow him into the Land of Shadows, where he could set up house on the same princely scale that he had been accustomed to on earth. Nothing had been neglected that money could purchase to make his life in the Dark World as thorough a success as it was possible to ensure, …

Kung-Ming offered the empty city to his enemy

On one occasion Kung-ming had sent on a large army that he had collected to fight with the rival general Si-ma Yi who was nearly as able as himself, whilst he followed behind, hoping to reach it before the enemy came into contact with it. He was proceeding leisurely along, when he was suddenly disturbed by a rush of defeated soldiers who were flying in the utmost disorder as though pursued by a successful foe. He found to his dismay that these were his own men, who had been routed and dispersed by the opposing army; and so thoroughly had they been demoralized by their defeat that all the influence and prestige that he possessed had no power to stay their flight, or to induce them to gather round his standard and once more follow him to meet the enemy.

The panic indeed was so universal and the fear of the pursuing enemy so great, that he was deserted by every one excepting two of the most devoted of his followers, and with these he retreated to the city of Han-chung that lay some mile…