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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. The Viceroy subsequently received the Imperial permission to deprive him of his rank and bring him to trial; but he was then being punished by a higher power in the realms of darkness below. See the Peking Gazette.

李司鑒

李司鑒,永年舉人也。于康熙四年九月二十八日,打死其妻李氏。地方報廣平,行永年查審。司鑒在府前,忽于肉架下奪一屠刀,奔入城隍廟,登戲臺上,對神而跪。自言:「神責我不當聽信奸人,在鄉黨顛倒是非,著我割耳。」遂將左耳割落,拋臺下。又言:「神責我不應騙人銀錢,著我剁指。」遂將左指剁去。又言:「神責我不當姦淫婦女,使我割腎。」遂自閹,昏迷僵仆。時總督朱雲門題參革褫究擬,已奉俞旨,而司鑒已伏冥誅矣。邸抄。

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