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The Mad Priest.

A CERTAIN mad priest, whose name I do not know, lived in a temple on the hills. He would sing and cry by turns, without any apparent reason; and once somebody saw him boiling a stone for his dinner. At the autumn festival of the 9th day of the 9th moon, an official of the district went up in that direction for the usual picnic, taking with him his chair and his red umbrellas. After luncheon he was passing by the temple, and had hardly reached the door, when out rushed the priest, barefooted and ragged, and himself opening a yellow umbrella, cried out as the attendants of a mandarin do when ordering the people to stand back. He then approached the official, and made as though he were jesting at him; at which the latter was extremely indignant, and bade his servants drive the priest away. The priest moved off with the servants after him, and in another moment had thrown down his yellow umbrella, which split into a number of pieces, each piece changing immediately into a falcon, and flying about in all directions. The umbrella handle became a huge serpent, with red scales and glaring eyes; and then the party would have turned and fled, but that one of them declared it was only an optical delusion, and that the creature couldn’t do any hurt. The speaker accordingly seized a knife and rushed at the serpent, which forthwith opened its mouth and swallowed its assailant whole. In a terrible fright the servants crowded round their master and hurried him away, not stopping to draw breath until they were fully a mile off. By-and-by several of them stealthily returned to see what was going on; and, on entering the temple, they found that both priest and serpent had disappeared. But from an old ash tree hard by they heard a sound proceeding,—a sound, as it were, of a donkey panting; and at first they were afraid to go near, though after a while they ventured to peep through a hole in the tree, which was an old hollow trunk; and there, jammed hard and fast with his head downwards, was the rash assailant of the serpent. It being quite impossible to drag him out, they began at once to cut the tree away; but by the time they had set him free he was already perfectly unconscious. However, he ultimately came round and was carried home; but from this day the priest was never seen again.

顛道人

顛道人,不知姓名,寓蒙山寺。歌哭不常,人莫之測,或見其煮石為飯者。會重陽,有邑貴載酒登臨,輿蓋而往,宴畢過寺,甫及門,則道人赤足著破衲,自張黃蓋,作警蹕聲而出,意近玩弄。邑貴乃慚怒,揮僕輩逐罵之。道人笑而卻走。逐急棄蓋;共毀裂之,片片化為鷹隼,四散群飛。眾始駭,蓋柄轉成巨蟒,赤鱗耀目。眾譁欲奔,有同游者止之曰:「此不過翳眼之幻術耳,烏能噬人!」遂操刃直前。蟒張吻怒逆,吞客嚥之。眾駭,擁貴人急奔,息於三里之外。使數人逡巡往探,漸入寺,則人蟒俱無。方將返報,聞老槐內喘急如驢,駭甚。初不敢前;潛蹤移近之,見樹朽中空,有竅如盤。試一攀窺,則鬥蟒者倒植其中,而孔大僅容兩手,無術可以出之。急以刀劈樹,比樹開而人已死。踰時少蘇,舁歸。道人不知所之矣。
  異史氏曰:「張蓋游山,厭氣浹於骨髓。仙人游戲三昧,一何可笑!予鄉殷生文屏,畢司農之妹夫也,為人玩世不恭。章丘有周生者,以寒賤起家,出必駕肩而行。亦與司農有瓜葛之舊。值太夫人壽,殷料其必來,先候於道,著豬皮靴,公服持手本。俟周輿至,鞠躬道左,唱曰:「淄川生員,接章丘生員!」周慚,下輿;略致數語而別。少間,同聚於司農之堂,冠裳滿座,視其服色,無不竊笑;殷傲睨自若。既而筵終出門,各命輿馬。殷亦大聲呼:「殷老爺獨龍車何在?」有二健僕,橫扁杖於前,騰身跨之。致聲拜謝,飛馳而去。殷亦仙人之亞也。」

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