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Showing posts from November, 2016

GRANDMOTHER MENG

The Terrace of Drunken Oblivion is overseen by Grandmother Mèng. Grand-mother Mèng was born in the Earlier (Western) Hàn Dynasty. In her childhood she studied the Four Books and Five Scriptures of the Confucian school; and devoted herself to seriously chanting Buddhist scriptures. In this she immersed her-self until she became unaware of what was past and had no care about the future, but occupied herself in exhorting mankind to desist from taking life and to become vegetarians. At eighty-one years of age, though her hair was white, her complexion was clear as a child's. She was pure throughout her life, unblemished in her virginity. The only name she knew for herself was her surname Mèng. But men called her " Granny Mèng." She retired to the hills and lived as a religious hermit until the Later (Eastern) Hàn. Then certain people, especially sensitive, were able to understand the causes and effects in their previous lives, and liked to beguile others and play tricks, and…

Playing At Hanging.

A NUMBER of wild young fellows were one day out walking when they saw a young lady approach, riding on a pony. One of them said to the others, “I’ll back myself to make that girl laugh,” and a supper was at once staked by both sides on the result. Our hero then ran out in front of the pony, and kept on shouting “I’m going to die! I’m going to die!” at the same time pulling out from over the top of a wall a stalk of millet, to which he attached his own waistband, and tying the latter round his neck, made a pretence of hanging himself. The young lady did laugh as she passed by, to the great amusement of the assembled com-pany; but as when she was already some distance off their friend did not move, the others laughed louder than ever. However, on going up to him they saw that his tongue protruded, and that his eyes were glazed; he was, in fact, quite dead. Was it not strange that a man should be able to hang himself on a millet stalk? It is a good warning against practical joking.
戲縊 邑人…

A Flood

IN the twenty-first year of K‘ang Hsi there was a severe drought, not a green blade appearing in the parched ground all through the spring and well into the summer. On the 13th of the 6th moon a little rain fell, and people began to plant their rice. On the 18th there was a heavy fall, and beans were sown.

Now at a certain village there was an old man, who, noticing two bullocks fighting on the hills, told the villagers that a great flood was at hand, and forth-with removed with his family to another part of the country. The villagers all laughed at him; but before very long rain began to fall in torrents, lasting all through the night, until the water was several feet deep, and carrying away the houses. Among the others was a man who, neglecting to save his two children, with his wife assisted his aged mother to reach a place of safety, from which they looked down at their old home, now only an expanse of water, without hope of ever seeing the children again. When the flood had subsi…

The Self-Punished Murderer

MR. LI took his doctor’s degree late in life. On the 28th of the 9th moon of the 4th year of K‘ang Hsi, he killed his wife. The neighbours reported the murder to the officials, and the high authorities instructed the district magistrate to investigate the case. At this juncture Mr. Li was standing at the door of his residence; and snatching a butcher’s knife from a stall hard by, he rushed into the Ch‘êng-huang temple, where, mounting the theatrical stage, he threw himself on his knees, and spoke as follows:—“The spirit here will punish me. I am not to be prosecuted by evil men who, from party motives, confuse right and wrong. The spirit moves me to cut off an ear.” Thereupon he cut off his left ear and threw it down from the stage. He then said the spirit was going to fine him a hand for cheating people out of their money; and he forthwith chopped off his left hand. Lastly, he cried out that he was to be punished severely for all his many crimes; and immediately cut his own throat. T…

Foreign Priests.

THE Buddhist priest, T‘i-k‘ung, relates that when he was at Ch‘ing-chou he saw two foreign priests of very extraordinary appearance. They wore rings in their ears, were dressed in yellow cloth, and had curly hair and beards. They said they had come from the countries of the west; and hearing that the Governor of the district was a devoted follower of Buddha, they went to visit him. The Governor sent a couple of servants to escort them to the monastery of the place, where the abbot, Ling-p‘ei, did not receive them very cordially; but the secular manager, seeing that they were not ordinary individuals, entertained them and kept them there for the night. Some one asked if there were many strange men in the west, and what magical arts were practised by the Lohans; whereupon one of them laughed, and putting forth his hand from his sleeve, showed a small pagoda, fully a foot in height, and beautifully carved, standing upon the palm. Now very high up in the wall there was a niche; and the pr…

JEN HSIU.

JEN CHIEN-CHIH was a native of Yü-t‘ai, and a dealer in rugs and furs. One day he set off for Shensi, taking with him every penny he could scrape together; and on the road he met a man who told him that his name was Shên Chu-t‘ing, and his native place Su-ch‘ien. These two soon became firm friends, and entered into a masonic bond[170] with each other, journeying on together by the same stages un-til they reached their destination. By-and-by Mr. Jen fell sick, and his companion had to nurse him, which he did with the utmost attention, but for ten days he gradually got worse and worse, and at length said to Shên, “My family is very poor. Eight mouths depend upon my exertions for food; and now, alas! I am about to die, far from my own home. You and I are brothers. At this distance there is no one else to whom I can look. Now in my purse you will find two hun-dred ounces of silver. Take half, and when you have defrayed my funeral expens-es, use the balance for your return journey; and giv…