Skip to main content

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。

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE STORY OF MISS LI

Miss Li, ennobled with the title "Lady of Ch‘ien-kuo," was once a prostitute in Ch‘ang-an. The devotion of her conduct was so remarkable that I have thought it worth while to record her story. In the T‘ien-pao era there was a certain nobleman, Governor of Ch‘ang-chou and Lord of Jung-yang, whose name and surname I will omit. He was a man of great wealth and highly esteemed by all. He had passed his fiftieth year and had a son who was close on twenty, a boy who in literary talent outstripped all his companions. His father was proud of him and had great hopes of his future. "This," he would say, "is the "thousand-league colt" of our family." When the time came for the lad to compete at the Provincial Examinations, his father gave him fine clothes and a handsome coach with richly caparisoned horses for the journey; and to provide for his expense at the Capital, he gave him a large sum of money, saying, "I am sure that your talent is such that …

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.'

The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away.

Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.'

Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away.

The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance.

[This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'. 
Osers noted that this story was from oral tradition.…

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry."

"Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The old…