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Snow In Summer.

ON the 6th day of the 7th moon of the year TingHai (1647) there was a heavy fall of snow at Soochow. The people were in a great state of consternation at this, and went off to the temple of the Great Prince to pray. Then the spirit moved one of them to say, “You now address me as Your Honour. Make it Your Excellency, and, though I am but a lesser deity, it may be well worth your while to do so.” Thereupon the people began to use the latter term, and the snow stopped at once; from which I infer that flattery is just as pleasant to divine as to mortal ears.

夏雪

丁亥年七月初六日,蘇州大雪。百姓皇駭,共禱諸大王之廟。大王忽附人而言曰:「如今稱老爺者,皆增一大字;其以我神為小,消不得一大字耶?」眾悚然,齊呼「大老爺」,雪立止。由此觀之,神亦喜諂,宜乎治下部者之得車多矣。
  異史氏曰:「世風之變也,下者益諂,上者益驕。即康熙四十餘年中,稱謂之不古,甚可笑也。舉人稱爺,二十年始;進士稱老爺,三十年始;司、院稱大老爺,二十五年始。昔者大令謁中丞,亦不過老大人而止;今則此稱久廢矣。即有君子,亦素諂媚行乎諂媚,莫敢有異詞也。若縉紳之妻呼太太,裁數年耳。昔惟縉紳之母,始有此稱;以妻而得此稱者,惟淫史中有林喬耳,他未之見也。唐時,上欲加張說大學士。說辭曰:『學士從無大名,臣不敢稱。』今之大,誰大之?初由於小人之諂,而因得貴倨者之悅,居之不疑,而紛紛者遂遍天下矣。竊意數年以後,稱爺者必進而老,稱老者必進而大,但不知大上造何尊稱?匪夷所思已!」
  丁亥年六月初三日,河南歸德府大雪尺餘,禾皆凍死,惜乎其未知媚大王之術也。悲夫!

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