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Classical Chinese Tales of the Supernatural and the Fantastic
 0253313759, 9780253313751

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CLASSICAL CHINESE TALES of the Supernatural and the Fantastic Selections from the Third to the Tenth Century

Edited by Karl S. Y. Kao

INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS Bloomington

CHINESE

LITERATURE

IN

TRANSLATION

Irving Editors Yucheng Lo Joseph S. M. Lau Leo Ou-fan Lee Eugene Chen Eoyang

MRVARD-Yifirlu

Uu&AKV.

© 1985 by Karl S. Y. Kao All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses' Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition. Manufactured in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Main entry under title: Classical Chinese tales of the supernatural and the fantastic. (Chinese literature in translation) Bibliography: p. 1. Fantastic fiction, Chinese--Translations into English. 2. Fantastic fiction, English--Translations from Chinese. I. Kao, Karl S. Y. PL2658.E8C56 1985 895.1'30876108 84-47966 ISBN 0-253-31375-9 1

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Contents Acknowledgments Introduction

ix 1

Abbreviations and References

52

Translators

54

SELECTIONS FROM THE SIX DYNASTIES (222-589) Lieh-i chuan (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Chiang Chi's Dead Son Ts'ai Chili's Wife Sung Ting-po and the Ghost The Man from P'eng-ch'eng Pao Hsiian and the Horse

Shou-shen chi (6) Tung Yung, the Filial Son (7) The Jade Maiden from Heaven (8) Hu-mu Pan and the Lord of T'ai-shan (9) Mi Chu and the Fire Messenger (10) The Temple at Mount Chiang (11) Kan Chiang and Mo Yeh (12) The Filial Girl of Tung-hai (13) Fan Shih and Chang Shao (14) P'an-hu, Progenitor of a New Race (15) The Horse and the Silkworm (16) Wang Tao-p'ing and Wen Yii (17) Chia Yii and the Prefect's Daughter (18) Li 0 Sent Back from the Dead (19) Su 0, the Murdered Woman (20) Ch'in Chii-po and the Ghosts (21) The Daughter of the King of Wu (22) Lu Ch'ung and the Girl Named Wen-hsiu (23) Ni Yen-ssu and the Goblin (24) Chang Hua and the Fox (25) Father and the Fox

56 58 59 61 62

64 65 69 71 72 73 76 77 79 81 84 85 87 89 92 93 95 99 101 104

vi

Contents

(26) Li Chi, the Serpent Slayer (27) The Turtle Woman

105 107

Shen-hsien chuan (28) The Old Man of the River (29) Chang Tao-ling, the Taoist Patriarch (30) Tso Tz'u, the Thaumaturge

108 110 115

Ling-kuei chih (31) A Foreign Master (32) Chi Chung-san and the Ghostly Musician

121 123

Chen-i chi (33) Hsieh Yiin and the Entrapped Tiger (34) Ch'in Shu and the Woman Who Lived Alone

125 127

Sou-shen hou-chi (35) Yuan Hsiang and Ken Shih (36) The Daughter of Hsu Hsiian-fang (37) The Pure Maiden of the White Waters

129 130 132

Ch'i-hsieh chi (38) Tung Chao-chih and the King of the Ants (39) Hsu eh Tao-hsiin, the Tiger-man

134 135

Yu-ming lu (40) Liu Ch'en and Juan Chao (41) Huang Yuan and Miao-yin (42) Chen Ch'ung and the Earth God (43) The Girl Who Sold Ceruse (44) P'ang A and the Infatuated Girl (45) One Named Kuang from Yu-hang (46) Shu Li, the Shaman (47) The Cypress Pillow

137 139 141 143 145 146 147 149

Lu-i chuan (48) Ou Ming and What-you-will (49) Wei Chao's Last Words

151 152

Shu-i chi (50) Ou Ching-chih and the Corpse Easter (51) The Girl of the Chu Family (52) Huang Miao Transformed into a Tiger

154 155 156

tisii ChT i-hsieh chi (53) The Spirit of the Clear Stream Temple

159

Contents

vii

(54) The Scholar from Yang-hsien

161

Ming-hslang chi (55) Fo-t'iao, the Buddhist Saint (56) Chao T'ai and His Experiences in Hell (57) Ch'eng Tao-hui's Return from Hell

164 166 172

Huan-yuan chi (58) Iron Mortar, the Wronged Ghost (59) Sun Yuan-pi, the Avenging Ghost (60) Yuan Hui's Revenge

176 178 180

SELECTIONS FROM THE T'ANG (618-906) (61) The Disembodied Soul (62) Old Woman Feng (63) Biography of 'Red' Li (64) A Record of Three Dreams (65) Li Chang-wu (66) Lament from the Hsiang River: A Prose Version (67) Huo Hsiao-yii (68) The Story of Ling-ying (69) The Li-yang Traveler (70) The Prefect of Ch'ien-yang (71) Ch'i T'ui's Daughter (72) Ts 'en Shun (73) Kuo Yuan-chen (74) Chang Feng (75) Hsiieh Wei (76) The Inn of Betrothal (77) Li Ching (78) Old Chang (79) Li Tzu-mou (80) The Merchant's Wife (81) Chin Yu-chang (82) Ch'eng-shih's Uncle (83) Ts'ui Hsiian-wei (84) The Man from Lu Mountain (85) The Highwayman Monk (86) Third Lady of the Wooden Bridge Inn (87) Wei Tan (88) Hsiao Tung-hsiian (89) Sun K'o (90) Cheng Te-lin (91) Wei Tzu-tung (92) Ts'ui Wei

184 187 190 193 197 205 209 223 241 244 248 253 258 263 266 271 275 281 288 290 293 295 297 301 304 307 311 315 321 328 335 340

viii

Contents

(93) The K'un-lun Slave (94) Nieh Yin-niang (95) Hung-hsien

351 357 363

(96) Wang Chih-ku

371

Bio-bibliographic Notes

380

Appendices A. Maps B. Chronology of Chinese History from the Chou to the T'ang Dynasty Bibliography

391 394 395

Acknowledgments I would like to thank Professor Joseph S. M. Lau for his initial suggestion that I undertake this project as a part of the Indiana translation series. He has been verysupportive through the years during which the manuscript was being prepared. To the friends, colleagues, and former and current students of mine who have taken the time to do the translations, some under pressure of meeting their own deadlines, I owe a debt of gratitude. Their names are given here with their past or present affiliations: Pedro Acosta (Yale University), Michael Broschat (University of Washington), Chris Connery (Princeton University), Kenneth J. DeWoskin (University of Michigan), Rick Harrington (Yale University), George Lytle (Yale University), William H. Nienhauser, Jr. (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Perng Ching-hsi (National Taiwan University), Laurie Scheffler (Yale University), Simon Schuchat (Harvard University), Madeline Spring (University of Colorado), Paula Varsano (Princeton University), Douglas Wilkerson (Yale University), and Cordell D. K. Yee (University of Wisconsin, Madison). I have checked all the translations against the originals and have taken the liberty of making emendations when there were slips and errors. I am responsible for any remaining editorial oversights. Special thanks are due to Jean Kelly, Rick Harrington, Douglas Wilkerson, Michael Fuller, and Pedro Acosta for going over the manuscript at the various stages of its preparation and making suggestions for stylistic improvements; especially to Douglas who also did the typing of the entire draft manuscript. Susan Cherniack's scholarship and editorial skills saved me from many errors and inconsistencies in the style of documentation and reference. I am most grateful for her asssistance. My thanks, too, to Professors Kenneth J. DeWoskin and Anthony C. Yu for their suggestions regarding the entry selection and the arrangement of the anthology; to Professors Hans Frankel, Stephen Owen, and Hugh Stimson for their advice on

X

Acknowledgments

various aspects of the introduction; and to Debbie O'Connor Harvey for her help with the maps. While working on this project I received two grants from the A. Whitney Griswold Faculty Research Fund of Yale University which have helped support the research and defray the costs of secretarial services. The pieces translated by Professor DeWoskin have all been published before. They are reprinted by permission from Renditions: A Chinese-English Translation Magazine, No. 7, Spring 1977, published by the Comparative Literature and Translation Center, The Chinese University of Hongkong. I wish to thank the editors for granting this permission. Except for "Father and the Fox," the titles of these translations have been changed to conform with the standards of this anthology. For purposes of easy identification, the original titles are listed below, with the new titles following in parentheses: "Three Who Would Be Mated" ("The Temple at Mount Chiang"), "A Boat Companion" ("The Turtle Woman"), "A Filial Girl" ("The Filial Girl of Tung-hai"), "The Fire Messenger" ("Mi Chu and the Fire Messenger"), and "The Girl-Eating Serpent" ("Li Chi, the Serpent Slayer").

Introduction The stories presented here are selections from Chinese narrative genres known as chih-kuai (records of anomalies) and ch1 uan-ch' i (accounts of the extraordinary). These are fictional narratives in classical language produced mainly during the Six Dynasties (317-589) and the T'ang (618-906) respectively, although the anecdotal tradition which included chih-kuai flourished until the beginning of the twentieth century. For the ch'uan-chTi selections, only those that involve supernatural or supranormal phenomena (which we will refer to as T'ang chih-kuai) are included to maintain a sense of homogeneity of the materials that the terms "the supernatural" and "the fantastic" of the title hope to suggest. These terms are used to signal certain qualities detectable in these stories, but we must hasten to add that the tales collected here have features and characteristics distinct from the supernatural and the fantastic of' the Western tradition. In the West, the supernatural as a literary genre may include myths, the folktale, and the fairy tale: it features supernatural beings such as gods and goddesses, fairies and demons, and goblins and ghosts in an extended narrative. Events in the fantastic narrative often include manifestations of the irrational and the eerie which may evoke the sense of uncanniness and at times inspire horror. The fantastic is a mode of representation associated with works ranging from the gothic novel to the horror story, a mode practiced by such authors as Walpole, Poe, Hoffmann, Henry James, and Pynchon. Although differentiable in literary history, the supernatural and the fantastic both belong to the category of literary fantasies and share the same notion of otherness by providing an alternative to the experiences of the common-sense, mundane world. Recently there has been much interest shown in the supernatural and the fantastic by way of the study of myths and fairy tales. With respect to the fantastic in particular, these critical efforts have made possible the description of the subject

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Classical Chinese Tales

in a rigorous manner.1 Despite overlapping in certain aspects, the supernatural and the fantastic can be differentiated in terms of the nature of the events presented and of the reader's perception of the events--whether he accepts them as real, rejects them as illusory, or is left suspended in indeterminacy. The last of these, according to Tzvetan Todorov, is what distinguishes the fantastic from its neighboring genres. In the present anthology, the terms "fantastic" and "supernatural" have their own particular areas of reference. To avoid confusion, it may be advisable to make a preliminary clarification of their specific usages at this point. First of all, the fantastic and the supernatural are to be understood primarily as referring to the types of reality represented rather than to the mode of representation employed. In Western literature, the supernatural and the fantastic, as their association with the term fantasy suggests, are conceived mainly from the angle of creative perception (the author's projection of his vision) rather than from that of the reality represented. Within the Chinese context, the opposite orientation is assumed: Six Dynasties chih-kuai particularly are considered as the "records" of facts and observable natural phenomena (or hearsay). In the Chinese tradition, the distinction between "fantastic" and "supernatural" is based on the nature of these "facts." Thus, some of the tales here may be considered as belonging to the category of the supernatural in that they represent phenomena that exist beyond the observable world or occurrences that apparently transcend the laws of nature; while other tales are fantastic because their stories involve what is supranormal or so highly extraordinary as

1

For recent critical studies of the fantastic and the supernatural in the West, see, for instance, Eric S. Rabkin, The Fantastic in Literature (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1976); Tzvetan Todorov, The Fantastic. A ^Structural Approach to a Literary Genre, tr. Richard Howard (Cleveland: Press of Case Western Reserve Univ., 1973) and Rosemary Jackson, Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion (London: Methuen, 1981). The last two are especially useful not only for their rigorous analyses of these genres and modes, but for their observations on the relationship of the genres to the psychological and epistemological outlooks of the time.

Introduction

3

to become unnatural, though not necessarily supernatural. Underlying the recording of the supernatural stories is a belief in supernaturalism and magic, as well as an acceptance of the unnatural and the supranormal at their face value as factual. These events were recorded in the first place, in fact, because of their testimonial value to supernaturalism. Insofar as that belief was never completely discredited in traditional Chinese culture (particularly in the popular strand of that culture), both the supernatural and the fantastic phenomena are accepted by the reader (or the author) as real due to their "origin" in the natural world. In this sense, the distinction between the supernatural and the fantastic is not chronological: both the supernatural and the fantastic are to be found in Six Dynasties and T'ang works of chih-kuai. This point is important to bear in mind, for in the West the fantastic is distinctly a later product than the supernatural in literary history. If the Western supernatural shares with the Chinese species the belief in magic and the marvelous (where participation of gods and goddesses in human affairs and man's communion with nature were still possible), the development of the Western fantastic is a corollary to a change of consciousness that began to be felt in the eighteenth century, a change which arose as part of a differentiation of the self and the other, as part of a new conception of the self and its relationship with the outside world. The fantastic was a product of an uneasy, "pulverized" consciousness resulting from the loss of faith in the unity of man and nature with the advent of the Enlightenment, when the belief in animism and magic was no longer possible. Upon the Chinese scene there was no such schism of consciousness; rather, in the T'ang dynasty, there was a change in literary awareness, in the attitude towards the processing of the represented reality (instead of the conception of reality itself).2 In addition, the Chinese supernatural and fantastic, never caught in the experience of alienation from nature, rarely inspire horror. Nor are they tormented by any indeterminacy in the 2

Although the dichotomy of fact and fantasy eventually became a problem that called for a resolution, early chih-kuai existed primarily as records of supernatural and fantastic phenomena. This point will be picked up again later.

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Classical Chinese Tales

character's or the reader's attitude towards the supernatural manifestation in the human world that characterizes the Western fantastic. With these broad distinctions established, we may now turn to look at the phenomena of the supernatural and the fantastic (i.e., the kuai phenomena) more specifically by differentiating various types of kuai in terms of their cultural origins. Following that, we will briefly discuss the questions of the compilation and preservation of chih-kuai collections. The classification of types here will later serve as the basis for the description of the structures of chih-kuai narratives. I.

A typology of the kuai phenomena

The Six Dynasties chih-kuai (CK hereafter), as a genre, appeared in the form of collections of relatively short pieces of anomalous and supernatural events, and took the factor of kuai as the basic generic feature.3 Mostly narrative, CK pieces sometimes may be composed of nothing but descriptions of strange objects or accounts of some irregular state of affairs. This body of writing is considered to contain prototypes of Chinese fiction, or Chinese fiction in its first manifestation. It influenced and contributed to the formation of later fiction in both the classical and vernacular languages. In addition, it served as a source of allusions for poetry in later eras and often provided plots for the dramas of the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Originating mainly in folk traditions, the CK narratives are legends and stories associated with popular culture and reflecting the belief systems of the people. But popular culture is often only the refraction of certain convictions and outlooks of high culture, as the two realms inevitably influence each other. Most of the kuai types can be traced back to cultural themes in the sanctioned belief systems of the state, and often appeal to conventional philosophical

3

Although the term chih-kuai was used in some of the titles of the Six Dynasties collections of the fantastic and the supernatural, it was not considered a generic term then. Hu Ying-lin£$$fJ$ (1551-1602) was the first critic to use it as a generic label in his classification of fictional and miscellaneous writings in the classical language.

Introduction

5

and religious authority. From the selections in this anthology six basic constituent types of the supernatural and fantastic can be identified,1* some of which are familiar in other cultures. In the Chinese context, they may appear independently or in conjunction with each other, and in a variety of shapes.5 1.

2. 3.

4.

5.

k

5

Portents and augury: irregularities in the natural order seen as portents or signs with cosmological significance. Necromantic communion: manifestations of ghosts and spirits and pneumatological communication. Animistic phenomena: manifestations of animal transformations and transformations of the inanimate objects of nature, and their interactions with human beings. Communion with transcendent beings: manifestations of fairies and deities and their trafficking with humans. Thaumaturgic phenomena: manifestations of magic feats and transformations associated with fang-shih 'if (thaumaturges) and Taoist magicians.

Previous studies of the early CK, such as Liu Yeh-ch'iu M'll&j&y Wei Chin Nan-pei-chr ao hsiao-shuo (Shanghai: Ku-chi ch'u-pan-she^|||fJMtt , 1961); Lawrence Chapin Foster, "The Shih-i chi and Its Relationship to the Genre Known as Chih-kuai hsiao-shuo," (Diss. University of Washington [Seattle], 1974); and Kenneth J. DeWoskin, "The Sou-shen chi and the Chih-kuai Tradition: A Bibliographic and Generic Study," (Diss. Columbia University, 1973), have clarified the nature and the types of supernatural phenomena to an extent. The following is an attempt to achieve a greater refinement and systematization in the distinction of the types by tracing them back to their cultural sources. Any attempt at the categorization will be in competition with the traditional systems such as those registered in the T ai-p ing kuang-chi (A Comprehensive Record Compiled in the T1ai-p1ing Reign Period), a work compiled in 977-978, today the largest single reservoir of the pre-Sung fictional materials in the classical language. Divided into ninety-one categories (about two-thirds of them have to do with the supernatural and

Classical Chinese Tales

6 6.

Retributive phenomena: divine retributions and miracles related to the Buddhist faith and native Chinese beliefs.

These phenomena are all associated with particular aspects of Chinese culture, and their origins are thereby traceable. They are however all quite complex: each of them could constitute a field of inquiry in itself. Our explanation and reference to them, of necessity, must be sketchy. In the list of types given above (which is not exhaustive), the first phenomenon, that of augury, is related to the Chinese cosmological theory that conceives of a correspondence between human affairs and the cosmic order of being. Human affairs (including the conduct of government), in other words, share the principles of operation that underly the workings of the universe, and must abide by the same set of rules. Violation of these rules is a violation of cosmic principles which will cause a disruption of the natural order and the appearance of irregularities in nature.6 Conceptualized in the yin-yang anc * wu-hsing f-f* (Five Phases) theories at the end of the Former Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 24), this belief took on the specific form of chT an-wei (apocryphal interpretation of classics and deciphering of omens),7 a

6

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the fantastic), the classification system used is unsatisfactory, not to say unwieldy, for critical and descriptive purposes. For a translation of these categories, see Edward H. Schafer, "The Table of Contents of the Tr ai-p* ing kuang-chi," CLEAR: Chinese Literature, Essays, Articles, Reviews, 2:2 (July 1980), 258-63. References to unusual natural phenomena are not infrequent in early Chinese history. A well known example is the one alluded to in the "Metal-bound Casket" (Chin-t'eng) chapter in the Book of Documents which relates how an unseasonal storm uprooted and flattened the trees and grain when the Duke of Chou was slandered and how they were restored miraculously when his name was cleared. For a theoretical exposition of the yin-yang and wu-hsing theories and their analogical application in human relationships and other fields of human activity, see Shih-chi ii%t 74, "Tsou Yen" ; Tung Chung-shu's Ifrf If (187-104 B.C.) Ch'un-ch'iu chs . 42-64; and the "Wu-hsing" chapter of Pan K u ' s M / I ]

Introduction

7

government supported trend not curbed until the Sui dynasty (581-618). Unusual occurrences in nature, interpreted as omens in accordance with the yin-yang and wu-hsing theories, were often recorded in official histories since the Han. The histories, in turn, became an important source for the CK compilers.8 Included in this class of signs are premonitory dreams (featured regularly in Chinese prognostications) and children's ditties that, in the manner of a riddle, often foretell the downfall of a political figure or calamitous affairs of the state. In itself, the appearance of a portent does not usually have much potential for narrative development, and it often occurs together with, or is assimiliated into, other kuai types. The related phenomenon of the accurate prediction of the future by divination based on the I-ching or by Taoist arts, however, may be told independently for its own sake. The second type of kuai phenomenon, the necromantic communion, derives from the belief in the existence of spirits, and in particular, of spirits as the manifestations of departed souls. Associated with various cultural phenomena such as ancestor worship, shamanistic cults, and the cult of fang-shu -jj (alchemy and necromancy, see below), the belief is conceptualized in as early a text as the Mo-tzu ^ (latter half of fifth century B.C.), if not earlier. The "Ming kuei" chapter of Mo-tzu affirms the existence of ghosts (many citations from earlier records are offered as "proofs" of their existence) for a moralistic purpose and stresses the precept of retribution: ghosts will reward the worthy and ineluctably punish the evil.9 The often-cited statement by Kan Pao ^ , one of the most important of all CK authors, that his purpose in compiling the Sou-shen |iL(In Search of the Spirits) was to provide evidence that "the

8

9

(32-92) Pai-hu t'ung^^iii. Chapter 6 of the 20-chuan edition of Sou-shen chi for instance, is taken from the "Wu-hsing chih" sections of Han shu ~|f 27 and Hou Han shu || 23-28. Although this edition comes down to us from the Ming (1368-1644), it probably reflects the contents of the original edition rather closely. See Mo-tzu chi-chieh ch. 31, "Ming kuei" (Clarifying the Matter Regarding Ghosts) (Shanghai: Shih-chieh shu-chu it $ , 1936), pp. 197-218.

8

Classical Chinese Tales

way of spirits is not an illusion,"10 can be placed squarely in this tradition. The existence of ghosts is the basic issue, and in the CK accounts the "evidence" is often presented in the form of pneumatological communication between the living and the dead. Often the phenomenon is presented in terms of the crossing of the boundary between "the light" (ming ) and "the dark" (yu jgjg) (or "the visible" and "the invisible"), with a sense of transgression suggested by its abnormality. As a realization of this evidence, marriage between a human and the spirit of a dead person (involving an after-life sexual union) and the transmission of a message from the world beyond to the human world through dreams are the most frequently encountered situations in CK tales. In this context, Mt. T'ai (or T'ai-shan j/jfe-Ji ) is a common locale for the stories, as it is the place, in Chinese belief, to which the souls of the dead were taken (see footnote 2 to the first story, "Chiang Ch'i's Dead Son"). In the Chinese traditions, there are two kinds of ghosts, or kuei . Besides the apparitions of the dead, kuei also designates supernatural beings existing in the animistic world, where animal transformations and transformations of inanimate objects, the "emanations" from nature, are part of natural reality.11 These creatures are properly called yao -4k , kuai and ching %% (goblins and demons), shan-kuei and shui-kuei (genii and nymphs), and chr ih-mei and wang-liang (ogres, evil spirits of forests and waters). These creatures or beings inhabit the world of nature, the world beyond human civilization. They normally lurk in the wilderness, but occasionally may intrude into the human world to beguile humans (e.g., appearing in the form of a woman in order to seduce a man). Accounts of strange creatures from the lands peripheral to China or unfamiliar to its culture, such as those recorded in the works that follow the tradition of Shan-hai ching dl (Classic of Mountains and Waters), can also be considered as belonging to this 10 11

See Preface to Kan Pao's Sou-shen chi. The "Ming kuei" chapter of Mo-tzu differentiates three kinds of kuei'. besides the spirits of the dead and the emanations of nature, there are "celestial spirits" (trien-kuei ^ ^ ), most of them being the spirits of dead persons who had eminent careers when alive. (See Mo-tzu chi-chieh, p. 216).

Introduction

9

type of story. Such creatures normally do not interact with humans, and the accounts of them are more descriptive than narrative (they are therefore only sparsely represented in this anthology). The fourth type of supernatural tale presents trafficking between transcendent beings and humans. Sometimes the transcendent beings are female deities who come from a world opposed to the netherworld of type two mentioned above, and sometimes they are good fairies that may be contrasted with the wild creatures of the uncivilized world of type three. Their involvements and relationships with humans, again often by way of marriage, are mostly benevolent in nature. The relationships also involve a crossing of the boundary as in types two and three. Although such cross-boundary relationships are not considered a transgression, they tend to last only for a limited amount of time, as in the necromantic situation. Culturally, this type seems to stem from the same roots that gave rise to the myths of goddesses and divine women in China,12 but it tends to be conflated with the Taoist tradition when realized in CK. As a result, a human's union with a female deity, or his sojourn in the land of the immortals, tends to become an act symbolizing the state of transcendence to which Taoist adepts aspire. The ways the supernatural elements are manifested in the remaining two types of kuai are very much determined by their connections with the Buddhist and native religious traditions. What is labeled as the kuai of the thaumaturgic phenomena (type 5) arose largely from the immortality cult and the alchemical practices common to popular Taoism and its precursor, fang-shu (thaumaturgy).13

12

13

See Edward H. Schafer, The Divine Woman: Dragon Ladies and Rain Maidens in T'ang Literature (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1980). Originating in the Warring States period (465-221 B.C.) and closely related to shamanistic practices, fang-shu was a major cult of indigenous origin. Its magic arts include astrology, divination, necromancy, geomancy, alchemy, and communication with the dead and with transcendent beings, many of these later, to be assimilated by popular Taoism. Among the early devotees to the occult were the First Emperor of Ch'in (r. 246-210 B.C.) and several of the Han emperors and royal princes (Emperor Wu-ti and the Prince of Huai-nan,

10

Classical Chinese Tales

As seen in the present collection, this strand of stories comes mainly from the Shen-hsien chuan t^liljl^ (Biographies of Deities and Immortals) by Ko Hung (280-340) (cf. the biography sections for fang-shih magicians in the Hou Han shu % and San-kuo chih g) ). They relate primarily the thaumaturgic manifestations of fang-shih magicians and Taoist adepts or neophites engaged in magic transformations or the pursuit of the alchemic art of eternal life. The kuai of divine retributions, the last type listed above, are of two kinds: that of the native origins and that associated with Buddhism. Buddhist stories of retributions are mostly manifestations of the working of the karmic law. As CK, they occur most often in the context of the "eyewitness" report of Buddhist hell (accounts of tortures and punishments meted out to sinners in Yama's court according to the nature of their transgressions in life) and the revenge of the spirits who were wronged when alive. On the whole, tales of Buddhist retributions (and other features such as magic transformations) are assimilated into the vernacular, oral tradition, rather than the classical traditiion. The main element retained in the Buddhist tales composed in the classical language (particularly after the T'ang dynasty) is the manifestation of karma and predestination as they are conjoined with features of Taoist narratives. The indigenous conception of retribution may be considered as parallel to the social and ethical precepts of reciprocation that govern human relations in Chinese society in general. More specifically, belief in the divine retribution probably is related to the idea of a transcendent intelligence (Heaven) that controls human conducts by a system of reward and punishment.15 In CK

Liu An y\i , were the most famous). For a study of its relationship with CK, see Wang Yao , "Hsiao-shuo yii fang-shu" ,]- f r & - j r in Chung-ku wen-hsiieh lun-chi rf £ -K^irto jjfc (Shanghai: Ku-tien wen-hsiieh ch'u-pan-sh e £ faH, 1956), pp. 85-110. 1( * For a study of the spread of Buddhism in China from early times to the Six Dynasties, see E. Ziircher, The Buddhist Conquest of China (Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1959). 15 In the Shu-ching, "K'ang kao" , for instance, it is stated that Heaven will punish the bad and bless the good, much as the spirits would do, as explained in

Introduction

11

stories, the working of retribution often takes the form of a good turn done to a supernatural being by a human who is later rewarded unexpectedly for what he did. The above is an account of some of the most prominent of the themes seen in Six Dynasties CK. However, any particular story is likely to have two or more such themes combined in a single frame of presentation. This syncretic tendency is especially true of the CK in its later development, where, for example, originally distinct Taoist and Buddhist tales tend to become mixed. By the T'ang dynasty, necromantic wonders are often combined with natural aberrations from stories of immortality cults. In fact, with the T'ang CK, the issue is not so much what kinds of anomalies or supernatural themes are presented in a tale, as how they are represented (regarding this point, more below). Nevertheless, with respect to kuai typology, T'ang tales did introduce some types of anomalies of their own, as some of the Six Dynasties types gradually disappeared or were excluded from CK writings. The tales based on "true" Taoist biographies and Buddhist miracles, for instance, were recognized as distinct in subject and were removed from the category of fictional narrative in the T'ang to form specialized anthologies. On the other hand, the old notion of predestination, blending the Buddhist karmic law with the idea of cyclical alternation of wu-hsing theory, became increasingly prevalent. As for the newly introduced themes, the readily observable ones include the following, some of which were not really new, as their origins could be traced back to an earlier time. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Black magic that transforms humans into beasts. The process of alchemical concoction manifested as a psychological trial of perilous encounters. Dragon lore that features human involvement in the family feuds of dragon clans. Predestination or revelation of what is in store for a man in the future.

the Mo-tzu referred to above. For, a discussion of retributions in general in Chinese tradition, see Lien-sheng Yang, "The Concept of Pao as a Basis for Social Relations in China," in Chinese Thought and Institutions, ed. John K. Fairbank (The University of Chincago Press, 1973), pp. 291-309.

12

Classical Chinese Tales 5. 6.

New kinds of strangeness involved in dream phenomena. Knight-errantry that admits supernatural/fantastic elements.

The first of these, the theme of black magic, may be considered in the larger context of magic transformations in CK. Three kinds of human transformations may be distinguished in CK stories: the self-induced transformation of the Taoist and Buddhist saints, the metamorphosis of man into beast or other creatures without apparent cause,16 and the transformation of humans into bestial forms caused by a third party, usually through the use of black magic. The first two kinds are common in the Six Dynasties; the third is new in the T'ang, but can be traced back to the black magic of wu-ku sorcery in the shamanistic tradition.17 Although occurring early in its folk provenance, the phenomenon does not appear often in the early CK. In this anthology, it is represented for the first time by the T'ang tale "Third Lady of the Wooden Bridge" (86).18

16

17

18

An implicit cause might be found in the concept of retribution, such as suggested in entry (52), "Huang Miao." Cf. type six of the Six Dynasties kuai, above. Ku is a kind of black magic usually practiced by female shamans which inflicts harm on the victim with poisonous insects normally administered secretly with food. The ghosts of the victims dying from certain kinds of such ku witchery also become the slaves of the witch. For a study of ku black magic, see John K. Shryock and H.Y. Feng, "The Black Magic in China Known as Ku," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 55 (1935), 1-30. From the similarity of the transformation motif in this story with that of the Circe episode in the The Odyssey (ch. 10) and some of Apuleius1 tales, Yang Hsien-i ^'C-iaLconsiders its source to have been in northeastern Africa and suggests that the story came to China with merchants from the Middle East. He points out that Pan-ch'iao ("the Wooden Bridge" of the title), the locale of the story, was a seaport where foreign traders congregated in T'ang times. See his "I yli ou-shih" (Incidental Notes Gathered from the Work of

Introduction

13

The second theme, the alchemical pursuit, which is somewhat similar to the trials of Taoist neophites, but depicted in terms of a psychological quest, is seen in tales like "Hsiao Tung-hsiian" (88).19 The source of this particular motif has been identified as the legend of the "Lieh-shih ch'ih" £1 ± (The Pool of the Man of Fortitude) contained in the Hsi-yii chi (Records of the Western Regions) by Hsiian-tsang (596-664), 2 0 an origin which explains the striking, foreign flavor of the psychological theme of these stories, one which would yield readily to a Jungian interpretation. Type three, tales about the feuds of dragon clans and the involvement of human beings in these affairs, seems to be a new strand in the T'ang, but in fact it evolved out of earlier myths and legends of water gods and goddesses and animal lore.21 Originally a totem for many Chinese tribes, the dragon is generally presented in early philosophical texts as an auspicious symbol or as a real creature associated with rain and water. By T'ang times, dragon lore is found in a wide variety of sources (including Buddhist sources), which present the creature with various shades of meaning. The dragon is at once divine (hence superior to man) and bestial (hence inferior to man). It

19

20

21

Translation), T u - s h u ^ V , 9 (1979), 118-24, esp. pp. 121-23. But cf. "Tsao tz'u" % (Animal Husbandry) in Liao-chai chih-i IffpJ^ where such witchery was said to be native to certain parts in southern China. The number in parentheses following the title is the story's entry number in this anthology. The best known of them is probably "Tu Tzu-ch'un" translated and anthologized in Y. W. Ma and Joseph S. M. Lau, ed., Traditional Chinese Stories: Themes and Variations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), pp. 416-19. See Hori Kentoku iSi f#. , ed. Kaisetsu Saiiki Tokyo, 1912), pp. 507-510. See Schafer, The Divine Woman, esp. ch. 5; and Wen I-to Rfl-JK "Fu-hsi k ' a o " < j £ | ^ and ^'Lung feng" jgl , in his Shen-hua yii shih jft (Peking: Ku-chi ch'u-pan-she-fe^S-HjB^jy, 1956), pp. 3-68, 69-72. For dragon lore current in T'ang, see the entries concerning the creature preserved in Tr ai-pT ing kuang-chi (chs. 418-25), esp., the entry "Chen-tse tung" % i% in 418 and "Liu Yi chuan" in 419.

14

Classical Chinese Tales

is considered as the most spiritual and intelligent (ling ) among the "scaly creatures" (of the "five categories of creatures"), as man is the most spiritual and intelligent among the "bare-skinned creatures;" and this is so because the dragon observes the ethical precepts and moral code of the human.22 Type four, predestination, is an old theme from the Six Dynasties, but it appeared there only occasionally and was often subordinate to other themes (such as in "Lu Chung" [22], where it appears as a secondary motif supplementing the necromantic theme). In the T'ang the theme became prevalent. Chinese belief in predestination probably has to do with the wu-hsing theory, but in the early stage, it was associated with the notion of the Heavenly Decree that controls the fate of a ruling house. We begin to have a distinct statement relating to the determination of a person's fate in Pan Ku's (32-92) Pai-hu t'ung, where three kinds of ming ^f (destiny) are specified for a man, one of them, tsao-ming $ ^ , being what will happen in his life.23 Predestination developed into a prominent theme in T'ang CK very likely due to the re-enforcement in the belief given by the Buddhist doctrin of karma. The manifestation of the concept in T'ang stories (e.g., a

22

23

Regarding the five categories of creatures, see Ta Tai Li-chij^ffi.^itZ,, 5.5; cf. the portrayal of the dragon given in "The Legendary Marriage at Tung-t'ing" (i.e., "Liu Yi chuan") in Ma and Lau, pp. 346-54. The other three being: feathered, furred, and shelled. For a study of this story and its sources of influences, see Uchida Michio fi] jIL^* , "'Ryu Ki den' ni tsuite .Tohoku daigaku bungakubu kenkyu nempo , 6 (1955), 107-41; and Curtis P. Adkins, "The Hero in T'ang Ch'uan-ch'i Tales," in Critical Essays on Chinese Fiction, ed. Winston Yang and Curtis P. Adkins (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1980), pp. 17-46. See Pai-hu t'ung, "T'ien-ming lun" ^ ^ ttfT. The other two of the three ming are shou-ming ^j^fT (alloted span of life) and sui-ming f^^jf (fortunes incurred according to one's deeds in life). See also Wang Ts'ung (27-97), Lun hengi&'&f, "Ch'u lin p' ien" $ & , "Ming i p'ien" % , and "Ming lu p'ien" ^ , where a person's destiny is thought to be determined by the mixture of different chr i ^ at the point of his

Introduction

15

predetermined marriage) is often described with the Buddhist terminology, such as ' yuan (cause5 a predestined relationship). Types five and six, the kuai associated with dreams and knight-errantry, involve basically only human beings in the field of action (as opposed.to other types which feature non-humans as agents of the supernatural occurrences). Accounts of strange phenomena generated in dreams seem to point to a conscious exploration of mental states as the source of supernatural "reality," a reality derived from fantasy or originated within instead of without. As such, this represents a vein of psychologically oriented fiction in the direction of the Western fantastic and surrealism. In the Chinese tradition this vein has never been allowed to develop fully. The farthest it has gone has been the parapsychological dreams of CK stories.24 In T'ang tales, dreams occasionally are shown to consist of genuine kuai (see, for instance, "A Record of Three Dreams" [64]), but on the whole they are used primarily as an allegorical vehicle, to show the Taoist-Buddhist view of the ephemerality and the illusion of human life. As for the presentation of the superhuman skills of hsia , or Chinese knight-errants, we can detect a tendency of the imagination to produce a wish-fulfillment type of fantasy from historical materials and earlier narrative genres. The hsia genre in the late T'ang is traceable to the literary accounts of yu-hsia i^i (wandering men of martial skills, or swordsmen) recorded in the Shih-chi (Records of the Grand Historian) by Ssu-ma Ch'ien gj/iftiit (1457-90? B.C.), and its popularity reflected socio-historical conditions similar to those of the late Warring States period (475-221 B.C.) when the yu-hsia first

2U

conception. The only major example of a novel that makes an attempt to liberate itself from the rationalistic tradition in the dream narrative is the Ming work Hsi-yu pu 26 ffa (Supplement to Journey to the West) by Tung YUeh -g (1620-1686) (translated as Tower of Myriad Mirrors by Shuen-fu Lin and Larry Schulz. [Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1978]). On the dream phenomena in T'ang fiction, see Y. M. Ma, "Fact and Fantasy in T'ang Tales," CLEAR, 2:2 (July 1980), 167-81, and David R. Knechtges, "Dream Adventure Stories in Europe and T'ang China," Tamkang Review, 4 (Oct. 1973), 101-119.

16

Classical Chinese Tales

flourished. During the last half of the T'ang, local military governments (chieh-tu-shih ^Mj^* or fan-chen grew increasingly more powerful and were more and more unruly in their rivalry for power as though they were autonomous states independent of the central government. Swordsmen were enlisted for their services in these rivalries. As a consequence, emphasis on the precept of "loyalty" and on the endeavor to "right wrongs by taking the law in one's own hand," which characterized the behavior of the original breed of knights-errant, is replaced in late T'ang tales by an emphasis on the display of superhuman prowess, sometimes so intensified as to become plainly supernatural. Here the rhetorical device of hyperbole, properly applied, has produced some of the most effective narratives in this anthology. An additional feature shown in these stories--the Taoist tendency to make the hsia hero or heroine retire from the human world after his or her accomplishment of a miss ion--indicates the unorthodox or non-Confucian nature of the solution the hsia provides to social and political problems. As the nature of the supernatural and fantastic events plays a forceful role in determining the shape of the narrative, the six types discussed above also entail different narrative structures, which shall be discussed later. Before dealing with the structural question, we should briefly look into the question of the compilation of CK collections. II.

Compilation of Six Dynasties Collections

It was during the Six Dynasties that CK collections started to appear in great number.25 But what were the reasons for such a sudden surge, and who were the authors/compilers of these collections? Owing to the "unorthodox" status accorded by traditional scholars to fiction or hsiao-shuo (which literally means "small

25

According to Yen Mao-yuan ^ X ^ ^ E , "Wei Chin Nan-pei-ch'ao chih-kuai hsiao-shuo shu-lu fu k'ao-cheng" % , Wen-hsiieh nien-pao 6 (Nov., 1940), 45-72, there are altogether sixty-four collections extant in partial or complete form. Fu Hsi-hua , "Liu-ch'ao chih-kuai hsiao-shuo chih ts ' un-i" -h 'hit ^ , Han-hsiieh , 1 (1944), 169-210, lists thirty-two. Cf. n. 58.

Introduction

17

talks"), not much information about the circumstances surrounding the compilation of CK collections has been preserved. Understanding the CK as a narrative literature depends very much on clarifying the circumstances and motivations for the compilation of the collections, but few facts about them are available. The problem is aggravated further by frequent fabrications or false attributions of authorship. We often have to rely on indirect information and conjecture to relate the collections to their historical circumstances. Literary activity in the Six Dynasties period was conducted mostly within circles of closely related men of letters, including sovereigns, members of the royal houses, and their ministers, usually scholar-officials. Coteries of educated men often engaged in intellectual exchanges on topics ranging from literature to politics and philosophical and moral issues. Their exchanges were conducted in the form of highbrow debates as well as social gossip.26 Some CK anthologies of the Six Dynasties and earlier were probably put together by men such as these, who were associated with the royal courts. Among them were literati-officials such as court historians as well as the peripheral members like fang-shih magicians, although it is not clear in what manner these men undertook the work and to what extent they can be said to have actually written the entries in these collections. For all we know, the work of compilation may have involved the gathering of hearsay and legends and recording them in one's own words or those of one's informant. Sometimes it may have been simply a culling and transcribing of materials from

26

See, for instance, anecdotes recorded in Shih-shuo hsin-yii t£ by Liu I-ch' ing .J |||| (403-444) which also reveal much about the value systems of the day. This text has been translated in its entirety by Richard B. Mather as A New Account of Tales of the World (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1976), with detailed notes added. A good example of intellectual debates held in the southern courts is the controversy associated with Fan Chen's (fl. 487) argument against the Buddhist idea of reincarnation, presented in the "Shen mieh lun" ^(Discourse on the Extinction of the Spirit after Death). This presentation of his thesis provoked a series of attacks and counter-attacks.

18

Classical Chinese Tales

existing written sources. One of the earliest known collections, Lieh-i chuan f'J% (Display of Marvels) has been attributed to Ts'ao P'i f £ (186-226), Emperor Wen of the Wei dynasty it'iji7 . Ts'ao P'i grew up under the influence of Ts'ao Ts'ao (155-220), a man who maintained a robust interest in many intellectual matters in addition to his political activities, and might well have had an intellectual curiosity about CK materials as a result of personal contact with fang-shih magicians at court. But it is unikely that he would have compiled such materials to advance the belief systems they represented.27 On the other hand, it is not unreasonable to think that fang-shih magicians or men connected with their profession might have been responsible for starting such collections as a way of propagating their beliefs and advancing their careers. They might have gathered or written the materials for the members of the ruling class, especially for the sovereigns themselves, for the purpose of entertaining them, courting their favors, or winning their faith in the magic arts.28 Collections with kuai phenomena of predominantly Buddhist and Taoist origins were apparently compiled by men who advocated and practiced the religious faith reflected in the collections. The author of the Shen-hsien chuan iill (Biographies of the Deities and Immortals), Ko Hung ^ (280-340), also wrote the Pao-pr u-tzu The Master Who Embraces Simplicity), a

27

28

See Ts'ao Chih, "Pien-tao lun" (Discourse on the Differentiation of the Tao) in Ts'ao Tzu-chien chi p'ing-chu erh-chung f ed. Ting Yen T - ^ (Taipei: Shih-chieh shu-chu # f r ^ fa , 1973), pp. 155-5 9, for an account of the summoning of the fang-shih to the capital by Ts'ao Ts'ao and Chih's own contacts with them. Ts'ao Ts'ao's purpose of calling them to the capital, according to Chih, was to prevent the fang-shih from "beguiling the people with their witchery." The Ts'ao brothers, including P'i and Chih, were said to be suspicious, even contemptuous, of these thaumaturges, although Ts'ao Chih admitted that some of the magicians had suprahuman abilities because of their long periods of devoted self-cultivation. Cf. commentaries on San-kuo chih, Wei shu f 1, "Wu-ti" , and 29, "Fang-shih chuan" ^ £ . For an argument in support of this theory, see Wang Yao, "Hsiao-shuo yii fang-shu."

Introduction

19

philosophical text which states an unequivocal belief in the existence of transcendent beings and in the possibility of humans achieving immortality through correct alchemical cultivation.29 His writing of the Shen-hsien chuan may be seen as an attempt to elevate the Taoist faith by creating a canon of hagiography to embody the mysteries of the faith. Similarly, the presumed author of the Shih-i chi ^"iH tt (Records of Historical Remnants), Wang Chia ^ -Ik (d. ca. 390), was a renowned hermit and Taoist adept versed in the art of pi-ku (abstinence from grains as part of the regimen of the immortality cult).30 Such collections as the Ming-hsiang chi ^ fh¥ (Manifestations from the Dead) by Wang Yen £ (5th Cent.) and Huan-yuan chi iH 'iLit^ (Accounts of Requiting Grievances) by Yen Chih-t'ui ^fj 531), were compiled by literati-officials with the explicit intention of propagating their Buddhist credo. Stories in some collections sometimes reflect the conflicts or rivalries between a belief system stemming from the native culture, such as shamanism or Taoism, and another stemming from a foreign culture such as Buddhism (see, for instance, "Shu Li," [46])--indicating a religious motivation in their compilation. Liu I-ch'ing (403-444), Prince of Lin-ch'uan of the Liu Sung dynasty and author of the Shih-shuo hsin-yii (see n. 23), is credited (probably correctly) with the authorship of the Yu-ming lu t«I£l Bfl ^.(Records of the Dead and the Living) because he embraced the Buddhist faith near the end of his life. Many of the CK anthologies are works by official or self-appointed historians. As Kenneth J. DeWoskin has argued, the origin of CK collections had much to do with 29

30

See Pao-p'u-tzu, 2, "Lun hsien" f^^JJ (Discourse on the Immortals). For a translation of the text, see James R. Ware, tr. Alchemy, Medicine, Religion in the China of A.D. 320: The Nei P'ien of Ko Hung (Pao-pu tzu) (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1966), pp. 33-52. The Shih-i chi is sometimes considered to be outside the chih-kuai tradition, due to both its contents and form of presentation. It lists pre-historical and historical figures and their deeds, which may or may not be supernatural/fantastic, in a chronological order from the legendary Three Emperors to the Chin dynasty. The last (tenth) chapter is devoted to descriptions of exotic mountains and fairy islands. For a study and translation, see Foster, "The Shih-i chi.u

20

Classical Chinese Tales

the historians1 gathering of materials for writing the dynastic histories. The rapid expansion of fields of learning at the time gave historians license to admit non-canonic subjects into their purview, including expertise in foreign things and exotic places and objects.31 The best example of this is Kan Pao, who was appointed by Emperor Yuan of the Chin dynasty %vC'ft (r. 317-323) to compile a history of the Chin: the materials collected in the Sou-shen chi may well be the by-product of what DeWoskin has described as an "ethnographic" endeavor carried out primarily for the official work. Another historian-compiler of a CK anthology is Wu Chun (569-519), who was also a well known literary stylist of his time. From these various cases, it may be generalized that the motivations of the Six Dynasties compilers are of three types: they were either explicitly tendentious, disinterested, or implicitly tendentious. Anthologies with an explicit tendentious purpose are mostly religious in nature; whereas the disinterested collections comprise mainly the ethnographic field work undertaken by historians (i.e., disinterested, at least theoretically speaking). Within this group may also be placed collections such as the Sou-shen hou-chi jljl jM. (Sequel to the Search for Spirits) and Shu-i chi (Records of Marvels). Although it may be assumed that materials in these have been preserved mainly with an "objective" attitude toward their value as "historical facts," the material is by no means unrelated to the subjective persuasion of the collectors, since the very nature of the materials themselves (fiction given the credibility of fact) involves such a question. Kan Pao's Sou-shen chi is a case in point: in his effort to preserve all materials, including those of supernatural phenomena, he was also guided by his personal belief in the factuality of the supernatural.32 In

31

32

See Kenneth J. DeWoskin, "The Six Dynasties Chih-kuai and the Birth of Fiction" in Chinese Narrative, ed. Andrew H. Plaks (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1977), pp. 21-52. According to Chin shu it % 82, Kan Pao was said to have been moved to compile the Sou-shen chi by two extraordinary events he had witnessed: one was a maid of his father's being discovered alive after more than ten years of entombment in his father's grave; the other was

Introduction

21

a less obvious manner, the intellectual curiosity of the ruling class concerning those folk materials may well have been mixed with the practical consideration of using them to observe the common people's values and beliefs, as well as their attitudes toward the ruling house, as in the tradition of collecting folk songs. The theory suggested by various scholars that these materials were used by the displaced northern ruling class as an aid to their understanding of the local southern culture is grounded in this practical consideration. Be it implicitly or explicitly motivated, the Six Dynasties attitude towards the CK revolved essentially around the question of facticity: the phenomena recorded were in general accepted as real. The possibility of considering CK materials as figments of the imagination, as pure literary fantasy, was a problem that never rose to the level of conscious consideration (this is the main point that distinguishes the Six Dynasties attitude from that of the T'ang). Moreover, there was an unconscious motivation for the interest in CK that underlies this attitude of unquestioning facticity. The phenomena recorded in CK literature carried with them the assumption that the natural world (including the supernatural) was governed by the same set of laws as that of the human world. Recognition and acceptance of the supernatural as part of the reality of the natural world allowed man to participate in a larger reality beyond the rationalistic one. Such a "naturalization" of the human world allowed for the maintenance of a holistic view of life; it made possible a sense of unity with the entire environment, both internal and external. III.

The rise of T'ang chih-kuai

Criticism of CK as unreliable sources of history by later historians developed gradually,33 but by the T'ang the change was complete, and with it there occurred a shift in the attitudes of T'ang authors towards their own writing

33

his brother's revival after appearing to be dead for several days. The most outstanding critique being presented in Liu Chih-chi's ^ ^ ^ ( 6 6 1 - 7 7 1 ) Shih-t'ung . For a discussion of the process, see DeWoskin, "The Six Dynasties Chih-kuai

22

Classical Chinese Tales

of CK. Apparently the quality of being fantastic and supernatural still distinguished the narrative fiction of T'ang CK, but on the whole, the perspective had changed from that of a fact/fiction dichotomy to an orientation which was concerned essentially with the esthetic of presentation. The Six Dynasties writers presented their materials as given or found, and except for a few cases, there was a lack of self-consciousness in the process of presentation. For T'ang writers, matters of presentation in general came to occupy the forefront of their consideration. In literary transmission the holistic perception of nature and the sense of unity with supernatural realities that characterized the Six Dynasties attitude persisted in most of the T'ang CK.3/f Nevertheless, there was a growing tendency in literature to feed on the cultural themes found in CK tales, rather than looking to nature as the only source of literary creativity. The new CK literature was now generated mostly through the reprocessing of old literature and the explorations of its linguistic properties and literary conventions. It is a creativity based on the use of literary motifs, instead of reference to the external reality. In other words, even as "naturalization" remained an accepted stance towards the facticity of supernatural events, the process of their assimilation into the "natural" was seen from a new point of view: the "raw materials" of kuai were being transformed by the newly evolving T'ang literary imagination into the products of a "civilized" world.35 From the vantage point of literary history, the rise of ch'uan-ch* i has been attributed to a number of factors and conditions or stimuli. These can be summarized as follows: (1) the conditions bequeathed by the narrative tradition of

3t

* In contrast, historiography came to deem the supernatural as fictitious and therefore unsuitable for inclusion in histories. 35 Hu Ying-lin perceived this shift of literary consciousness which he considered to be the distinguishing characteristic of T'ang ch'uan-ch'l (see his Shao-shih shan-fang pi-tsr ung A/ ^ Jj % If jit 36. Taipei: Shih-chieh shu-chii, 1963, p. 486). Lu Hsiin later gave further prominence to this observation; see his A Brief History of Chinese Fiction, tr. Hsien-yi Yang and Gladys Yang (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1976), pp. 80-81.

Introduction

23

Six Dynasties CK and the descriptive skills developed in pTien-wen iC (parallel prose); (2) a reinforcement of the use of the narrative mode by the ku-wen (archaizing prose) movement; (3) the stimulus provided by the oral story-telling tradition; and (4) the increasing importance to men of letters of the civil service examinations and particularly of the chin-shih ^t degree examination which tested, among other subjects, the ability to write literary compositions. The legacy of the Six Dynasties CK provided T'ang writers with examples of a new narrative outside the orthodox historiographic tradition, as well as a storehouse of story materials for reworking. These materials, which possessed the inherent interest of being fantastic, provided an appealing alternative to the subject matter of history and work-a-day reality. Six Dynasties prien-wen also contributed to the development of the ch'uan-ch'i. A T'ang attempt to press the parallel structures of pT ien-wen into the service of both narrative and descriptive purposes can be seen in the story, Yu-hsien k u liii (Abode of the Playful Goddesses).36 Although the form failed to prove effective for narrative, and the endeavor was not repeated again until the Ch'ing dynasty, the effect of parallel structure on description in T'ang CK is evident. (Indeed, the use of parallel prose manifested itself even in the vernacular fiction in later ages.) The influence of p'ien-wen was thus on stylistic refinement and literary elegance rather than on the practice of narrative per se. The ku-wen movement, a reaction against the artificiality and ornamentation of prien-wen, may also have contributed to the writing of ch' uan-chr i. Han Yii ^'©-(768-824) and Liu Ts 'ung-yiian (773-819) , two influential ku-wen writers of the T'ang, for example, composed some of the most refreshing and ingenious narrative fantasies and "biographies" {chuan /\%) of the contemporary plebeians.37 36

37

For a translation of this story, see The Dwelling of Playful Goddesses, tr. and ed., Howard S. Levy (Tokyo: Dai Nippon Insatsu, 1965). Han Yii's Preface to "Shih-ting lien-chu" ^ f & M tf (Linked Verse on the Stone Tripod) (Han Ch'ang-li chi 21. Peking: Commercial Press, 1958) is a well known example of fantasy; it also creates a fictional situation for the display of some striking verses. His "Mao Ying chuan" is an allegory given in the

24

Classical Chinese Tales

The best way to evaluate the relation, however, is to say that the movement provided a flexible style and effective tool for recounting events in the form of ku-wen prose. Story-telling, known to have been popular at least from the mid-T'ang on, seems also to have supplied a stimulus for fiction in classical prose: besides the stories given during the Buddhist sermons, for instance, "Li Wa chuan" \% commonly recognized to be based on a story transmitted orally.38 Finally, there was the external condition of the civil service examination system. After the late seventh century, the examination system was the main channel through which the government recruited its civil servents and the literati sought advancement in officialdom. Insofar as the practices of t ou-chiian "presentation of scrolls" (to the prospective examiners), and wen-chiian , "warming-up of scrolls," did encourage the writing of fictional narrative as a demonstration of a candidate's literary skills, desire for a career in the civil service may have been one of the most immediate and powerful incentives for the actual production of chTuan-chTi, a large number of which are in the CK genre.39

38

39

format of a biography. Liu's biographies of the common people with an interesting personality, such as the "Sung Ch'ing chuan"# >f , "T'ung Ch'u-chi chuan" and "Li Ch'ih chuan" 'f^lf(see also "Biography of 'Red' Li" [63]) are adroit narratives influential in establishing such a biographical sub-genre. The relationship of the ku-wen movement to the flourishing of T'ang fiction in classical language has been the subject of many studies; see, e.g., Ch'en Yin-k'o (Tschen Yinkoh), "Han Yu and the T'ang Novel," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1:1 (1936), 39-43; Wang Yiin-hsi , "Shih-lun T'ang ch'uan-ch'i yli ku-wen yun-tung ti kuan-hsi" iXitife kg,fypffflifr, rpt. in Wen-hsiieh i-ch1 an hsuan-chi (Peking: Chung-hua, 1960), pp. 321-32; and Y. W. Ma, "Prose Writings of Han YU and Chruan-ch'i Literature," Journal of Oriental Studies, 7:1 (Jan., 1969), 195-220. For a translation of the story see Ma and Lau, pp. 163-71. The practice of t'ou-chiian and wen-chiian as a means of

Introduction

25

How and to what extent the factors discussed above may have contributed to the rise of T'ang ch*uan-ch'i and chih-kuai remains a subject of debate and speculation. A possible area of related inquiry is the question of personal motivation as seen from the internal evidence of the works themselves. As in the Six Dynasties collections, the motivation may be of two general classes: it may be with or without pragmatic purpose. Included in the former is the practical use of literature for career advancement mentioned above (this may also be the most compelling motivation). More specifically, stories may be used pragmatically for entertaining one's superior, courting favors from someone in power, or attacking one's political enemies, the last of these often appeared in allegorical mode. Considering the fact that political allegories are found so commonly in the poetry of the T'ang and before, such a pragmatic application of the fictional genre is only to be expected; what is surprising is that there are no more than a few examples that can be readily identified as such.40 Under the category of non-pragmatic purposes may be given the moralistic (or didactic) uses of the genre (e.g., "The World inside a Pillow,"41 which preaches the Taoist outlook by showing the ephemeral and illusory nature of

self-advertisement by the candidates to the prospective examiners was previously thought to have encouraged or called for the writing of chr uan-ch'i stories (particularly in the case of wen-chiian). This notion was first suggested by Ch'ao Yen-wei ^ ^ f f (f 1. 1195) in his Ylin-lu man-ch'ao ^ >|l JB^ , and advanced in modern times by Ch'en Yin-k'o "fjjt^'tii" and Liu K'ai-jungrjf'J ^ ^ j recently it has been contested by most scholars. For an account, see e.g., Victor H. Mair, "Scroll Presentation in the T'ang Dynasty," HJAS, 38:1 (1978), 35-60, esp. n. 17. Despite the argument against the importance of tou-chiian in relation to ch' uan-ch' i, there is evidence of young scholars presenting their fictional writings to the established literary figures and officials of the day as a means of "self-advertisement," particularly in the latter part of the dynasty. In this respect the practice did contribute to the production of the stories, although it may not necessarily have contributed to the establishment of ch'uan-ch'i as a popular genre from the very start.

26

Classical Chinese Tales

worldly successes in officialdom) and also the use of the form simply for self-expression or the display of artistic skills. This last attitude is best illustrated by Han Yii's in his writing of "Mao Ying c h u a n ' ' ( T h e Biography of Fur Tip) which, as Liu Tsung-yuiian sees it, is primarily an expression of the vivacity of literary imagination and a literary play on the subject of literature itself. To this category also belongs most of the T'ang narrative fiction that makes use of the CK motifs transmitted by Six Dynasties stories . With this kind of writing, attention is turned away from the question of what is represented to the intrinsic matter of literary processing--the processing of existing motifs, either by recombination or accretion, or their use as a framework for the insertion of poetic passages or the display of descriptive skills in parallel prose. (It is in this sense that the prien-wen heritage and the ku-wen movement may be seen to have contributed to the development of this narrative form to a full-fledged art.) Just as the conflicting ideas of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism were being integrated by the philosophical syncretism of the time, the question of fact or fiction was viewed in terms of a tale's historicity rather than its factuality. In this view, a fictional figure may be seen to have the same

40

kl

For the portrayal of the T'ang literati in general and their attempt to advance their careers by association with, and through the patronage of, the established literary figures of the time, see Hans H. Frankel, "T'ang Literati: A Composite Biography," in Confucianism and Chinese Civilization, ed. Arthur F. Wright (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1975), pp. 103-21. "Chou Ch'in chi-hs ing" $ ff (Journey in the Chou and Ch'in Regions) was said to have been attributed to Niu Seng-ju (779-847) by his political enemy as a way of implicating him--since the story contains irreverant references to the deceased members of the T'ang royal family. "Pai-yuan chuan" ^ (Story of the White Ape), as has been suggested by some critics, was composed to ridicule Ou-yang Hsiin ^/J ££/(557-641) for his looks. Although not always representing valid interpretations, cases such as these do point out the traditional reader's tendency to see the pragmatic use of the genre by the authors. Ma and Lau, pp. 435-37.

Introduction

27

value as a historical personage insofar as the figure embodies certain historically affirmed qualities. Both kinds of materials, fictional and historical, were absorbed by the literary imagination as valid substance for the ch'uan-ch'i narrative. Through this process the "raw materials" of the supernatural/fantastic were "civilized" for the presentation of a coherent perception of the cultured world of the T'ang. This phenomenon may be better grasped by examining the narrative structure itself, as the structures of CK closely reflect, and are dictated by, the thematic contents. In the next two sections we shall turn our attention to the formal properties of CK. Before proceeding to the next two sections, the reader without previous acquaintance with CK writings is urged to sample some of the stories so that he may follow the discussion more easily. IV. Narrative structures of Six Dynasties chih-kuai There are two types of structural organization in Six Dynasties CK that need to be considered: the arrangement of the entries in the collection and the narrative structures of the individual pieces. The organization of a collection may follow a geographical arrangement (as in the case of collections in the Shan-hai ching tradition) or a chronological one (e.g., the Shih-i chi and certain chapters of the Shou-shen chi) . If we take the example given by the 20-chuan edition of the Sou-shen chi as proof, a collection's arrangement can be of importance for the reading of individual entries in that the correct understanding of an entry sometimes requires elucidation from the context of the chapter in which it is found.42

42

"Kan Chiang and Mo Yeh" (11), a story made famous by Lu Hsiin's adaptation, "Forging the Swords," in his Old Tales Retold (Ku-shih hsin-pien £ £ # "Chih chien" fe^ £. jj^,ed. Sou-shen chiy [Peking: Chung-hua, 1979], p. 220). The version in ffsii Ch i-hsieh chi is the same as that in Chi-i chi (compiled in late T'ang by Hsiieh Yung-jo , fl. 820); the version in Tiao-yu chi (believed to have been compiled in the early T'ang) is more or less similar to that of the 20-chiian SSC. Wang Shao-ying believes that the first half of the version in the 20-chiian SSC is based on the wording of Chi-i chi and the second half on that of the Pai-hai SSC version, which differs from the

Introduction

39

issue in later adaptations of CK stories (or their motifs) into other genres such as vernacular fiction and drama. In the context of T'ang tales and their relationship to Six Dynasties CK, such adaptations are likewise of the highest importance, and we will consider them in terms of the contrasting operations of generalization and particularization, condensation and elaboration, and other rhetorical procedures. V.

Narrative structures of T'ang chih-kuai

Generally speaking, T'ang fiction in the classical language is an enriched form of Six Dynasties CK. It is distinguished by the self-consciousness of its representation, as opposed to the earlier CK which simply report or transcribe something "given." One of the earliest examples of T'ang tales, the "Ku-ching chi""£,£|Ll£ (The Story of the Ancient Mirror), with its relatively crude method of linking the episodes by the itineration of a character, already bears such marks of processing. Another example, the "Yu-hsien k' u" ' I J - j ( T h e Abode of the Playful Goddesses), uses the basic situation of a visit to the fairies' abode ostensibly for playful displays of verse and parallel prose in a narrative frame. To account for this shift of conception and attitude, we need to introduce the notion of narration (the act of narrating) as another element in the analysis of CK structures. This element refers to the conscious use of a voice both for the presentation of the story and for evaluating and commenting on the events narrated. Thus in addition to the structure of narrated contents, with the T'ang classical short story, there exists a dimension of formal organization in the process of presentation. As has been observed by other critics, the formal organization of a standard T'ang tale may be seen to consist of three parts: (1) an introduction which identifies the main character (or characters) by a somewhat formulaic enumeration of temporal and spatial setings, the

Chi-i chi version mainly in that Lei Huan is the one who recognizes the efficacy of the memorial post, instead of Chang Hua. The TPYL version cited here agrees with the Chi-i chi on this point, and owing to its cryptic style, it reads much like a condensation of a fuller story like that preserved in the Chi-i chi.

40

Classical Chinese Tales

main character's occupation and personal qualities (the last two items are not obligatory); (2) the main body of the narrative with one or more event sequences (the story itself); and (3) an epilogue which contains a meta-textual appraisal of the story recounted, an explanation of the source of the story, and, sometimes, a brief mentioning of the descendents of the main character, in the fashion of a historical biography.50 The tripartite form suggests the influence of the lieh-chuan />J 1 j|- (biographies) format of official histories, the application of which in an inchoate manner was already visible in Six Dynasties CK. But it was in T'ang times that this format started to be codified and regularly observed like a generic convention (although the introduction and epilogue in T'ang CK are sometimes given cryptically, without clear distinction of, to use the terms of the French structuralists, the diegetic and extra-diegetic levels--the level of the "represented story" and that of the "act of presentation"). As in earlier CK, the structural patterns of the main body--the most important part of the narrative--vary with the type of kuai in question (including the new types introduced in the T'ang). The structural factors of participants, settings, and the nature of the event mentioned above can still be used for the description of the individual tales. Unlike the early CK, however, T'ang tales are narratives produced by literary conventions: they are works that follow their own rules of operation and are not merely transcriptions of facts. From this conventionalization there emerge certain general principles that govern the event organization and affect the narrative development in T'ang tales in a general (as well as a specific) sense. Most of the events that make up a story are no longer perceived as "natural" and may now be more appropriately called topoi or motifs (which may be defined as units or sequences of events identifiable as adapted from existing literary or cultural sources, or sequences

50

See Kondo Haruo , Todai Shosetsu no kenkyu Ji (Tokyo: Kasawa shoin 1978); and Sarah Yim, "Structure, Theme and Narrator in T'ang Ch1 uan-ch1i," Diss. Yale Univ. 1979. For a structural study of the narrative in biography format, see William H. Nienhauser, Jr., "A Structural Reading of the Chuan in the Wen-yiian ying-hua," Journal of Asian Studies, 36:3 (May 1977), 443-56.

Introduction

41

recognizable as recurrent in contemporary works of T'ang literature; see below). These motifs mainly appear in T'ang tales by the application, individually or simultaneously, of two basic operations: accretion (including recombination of existing motifs) and transformation (allotropic variation, elaboration, condensation, and qualitative change). Accretion is the more common of the two, and many T'ang CK show upon analysis that they are constructed of a combination of motifs accumulated in the narrative tradition. "Li Chang-wu" (65) is such a case. This story has as its basic motif the sexual reunion of a living person with the spirit of a deceased lover (derived from the necromantic kuai). The presentation of the "pneumatalogical" reunion is preceded, however, by an elaborate description of the lovers' initial meeting (which resembles the courtship of a non-CK story),51 and followed, first, by a ritualistic exchange of poems at the parting after the reunion (a motif existing both in the CK and non-CK traditions), and, then, the longing of the male character expressed in the chanting of poems (cf. "Huang Yuan" [41] and "Lu Ch'ung" [22]). The story then ends with the motif of the recognition of the out-of-this-world gift by a man with esoteric knowledge (cf. ending of "Lu Ch'ung"). The accrued motifs, however, have all undergone some kind of transformation. When we compare the main unit of the "reunion with the spirit" in this story with that of, say, "The Daughter of the King of Wu," 52 we clearly see that the motif has been elaborated by the addition of the neighboring woman as the "helper" or mediator and the old sweeping maid as the "harbinger" of the arrival of the mistress, as well as by the specification of other details such as the manner of the spirit's appearance and disappearance, the movement of the Morning Star as the marker of the end of the respite for the ghost, etc.

51

52

See, e.g., "The Courtesan Li Wa," in Ma and Lau, pp. 163-171. The notions of transformation and the comparative procedure necessarily presuppose the concept of the norm, which is a complex problem that we cannot pursue here. "The Daughter of the King of Wu" is chosen because it is representative of the type, with its nexus of necromantic motifs; the operations mentioned are seen relative to this story, not to a norm.

42

Classical Chinese Tales

Besides elaboration and specification, transformation of motifs may be manifested in the opposite direction: by condensation and generalization which are similarly perceived by the reader as stylistic variations (cf. the two versions of the Chang Hua story cited above). Furthermore, a motif may be transformed in a qualitative sense by a change of perception regarding the same set of events--as, for instance, in "Kuo YUan-chen" (73), where the rite of sacrifice associated originally with the fertility cult is viewed in the story as a beast-monster's victimization of the village people. Event-sequences seen as motifs may be appreciated in connection with what we have discussed above under the topic of CK typology. In the context of T'ang CK, however, they can be more adequately re-classified according to different principles that take into consideration the factors of authorial control (as a dimension of narrative) and reader perception. These considerations start with the question of what underlies or motivates the selection of events and event-sequences for representation in the story. In other words, what are the reasons that determine the author's choice of certain events that result in the actualized text as well as in the structural pattern of the narrative? Three kinds of determinants can be discerned in the selection decision with respect to T'ang tales: they may be loosely distinguished as cultural (or generic), social, and personal dictates. The culturally determined selection of events (and the resultant pattern) includes the adaptation of modes of action and events derived from myths, legends, the occult, and other ritually based courses of action, as well as literary prototypes (motifs) bequeathed by the earlier CK narratives themselves. The choice of events here is determined by the tradition (or the chosen prototype) and follows a prescribed course endorsed by the traditional perception of the phenomenon or relationship. A relatively simple and unadulterated example of this is "Chang Feng" (74), where the "man-transformed-into-tiger" motif (including the devouring of some human victims) is followed by the "confrontation" of the re-metamorphosed man by the descendant of one of his victims, years later (cf. "Hsiieh Tao-hsun" [39]; "Huang Miao" [52]). This is the most prevalent type of dictate (or plotting) in T'ang CK, but the manifestations are often complicated by the combination and transformation of motifs (see below).

Introduction

43

Also ritualistic in a way, the second type of pattern derives from some set course of action sanctioned by society. It may have been passed down through the tradition or taken from a contemporary trend, such as the pursuit of an official career by following a prescribed series of actions. This type of pattern is well illustrated by the young traveler's "dream" in the "World Inside a Pillow" (Ma and Lau, pp. 435-38), which reflects the "ideal career" of any ambitious young man in T'ang society (i.e., passing the chin-shih exam, marriage with a girl from one of the powerful clans, rise in the officialdom to the highest positions both in the military and civil branches, etc.).53 One would expect that such a publicly sanctioned human course of action would have little to do with the kuai phenomenon, but T'ang writers often achieve a fantastic effect simply by couching the social pattern of events in a supernatural/fantastic frame of perception: in "World inside a Pillow," the essential events of a lifetime are made to unfold in an unnaturally induced dream. Another good example is "Wei Tan" (87), in which the "strangeness" of the story is achieved simply by taking the life story (official career) of a historical personage and framing it within a "preordination" motif, making the events appear to conform to some prescribed course. Both the cultural and social modes of event pattern are prescribed, because of their ritualistic and public provenance. Therefore, even when the participants are seen to be the agents of their own action, and engaged in active pursuit of certain goals, the course of events in terms of narrative development is nevertheless pre-determined and externally determined--the authorial choice of action has to conform to the prescription. In contradistinction, the third kind of event pattern, the personal, can be seen to originate from the character himself, and in this sense depends on an internal motivation in the development of events. Here, the motor force of the action can be seen to lie with the participant--as it is related to the person's desires, the volitional upholding of certain principles, or 53

In this regard, it is interesting to note that many of the T'ang chih-kuai feature a hero who becomes the experiencer of the strange events often right after he has failed the civil service exam; see, for instance, "Kuo Yuan-chen" (73), "Sun K'o" (89), etc.

44

Classical Chinese Tales

the pursuit of an individualized goal. Such internally motivated action sequences, relatively rare among tales of the mid-T'ang, are found mostly in stories with characters of the anti-type; but, in the late T'ang they start to appear in greater numbers in the "knight-errantry" and "swordsman" stories. In one example, "The Merchant's Wife" (80), the actions of the title character (her unconventional way of cohabiting with a stranger; her shocking act of infanticide at the end) are seen to be dominated by the motive of personal revenge, by which her behavior is later explained. The author's use of a character's motivation for the selection of events is a technique rarely seen in the Chinese tradition, but, when properly utilized, it often achieves a striking narrative effect. (See editor's note to the "Merchant's Wife" for other examples). It must be noted that the three kinds of event patterns (and their constituent units) discussed above tend to be used in combination rather than in isolation, as seen in the example of "Li Chang-wu" (65). How are the accrued motifs then integrated to form a coherent narative? To describe the process of integration, we need to introduce the notion of hierarchical relation and the concept of framing in the reading of T'ang tales. Combinations of narrative units, or motifs taken from different sources, are not carried out in a haphazard manner. They are organized either with a sense of coordinate relationship or by means of a hierarchical subordination where one of the motifs assumes the position of the highest node under which the others are integrated or subsumed. The motif that occupies the highest node becomes the matrix of the story in terms of event layout. For example, the "harbinger" motif (represented by the old sweeping lady) in the "Li Chang-wu" story mentioned above, may be described as a unit in a ritualistic sequence of events which has been fitted into the higher unit of "necromantic reunion;" the latter may be understood as the matrix of the story. Subsumption of different units under the top-most unit of motifs gives coherence to the narrative by the integration of all units to form a larger single one. This top-most matrix unit in turn serves as the frame through which the significance of the events is to be perceived, interpreted, and understood.5k The recognition of the matrix status of a

54

A frame unifies a series of discrete event units by

Introduction

45

motif in the narrative (and its cultural association) is a process required for a correct reading of the text. As is to be expected, the event matrices passed down from the Six Dynasties CK tradition become the most common types of frames used in T'ang tales. Other non-CK matrices are often subsumed under them. Examples of this are too numerous to mention. But there are a few exceptions or ambiguous cases that deserve attention. In "Huo Hsiao-yii" (67), for instance, a love story based on a social pattern of events is followed by a manifestation of the supernatural; but the latter (the supernatural) is integrated into the former, which then forms the highest level unit in the hierarchy, rather than the other way round.55 The supernatural manifestation becomes a metaphoric statement for the intensity of the heroine's passion that sustains itself after her physical demise, or, if one prefers, a dramatization of the protagonist Li Yi's jealousy (see n. 1 of the story). This reversal also explains why the story seems basically different from the others in the anthology. An even more problematic example is "Wang Chih-ku" (96), where the main body of the narrative is composed of two parts--Ch1ang Chih-fang's notorious indulgence in hunting (based on history) and Wang

55

giving them a name. Take, for instance, the following series: a housewife getting into a car, driving to the gas station, filling the car with gas, driving to a supermarket, parking the car, going into the building, picking up grocery items, paying for them at the check-out, etc.,--these can be given the name of "grocery shopping." Outside this frame, the act of "taking the car to the gas station," or "picking up items of groceries," can be part of something else or a self-contained act in itself. For a theoretical examination of the concept of frame and our perception of reality and action, see Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis'. An Essay on the Organization of Experience (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1974); and for a study of this cncept from a linguistic perspective, see Wallace Chafe, "The Recall and Verbalization of Past- Experience," in Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, ed. Roger W. Cole (Bloomington and London: Indiana Univ. Press, 1977), pp. 215-36. Theoretically it is possible to determine the hierarchy and establish the frame in a formal procedure, but this

46

Classical Chinese Tales

Chih-ku's nocturnal adventure (based on the lore of the fox fairy and a qualitatively transformed motif of necromantic communion). Each of the two parts, in fact, could stand independent of the other because each is structurally self-contained.56 However, in the final analysis, the second part must be subsumed under the first, i.e., the supernatural episode must be lodged inside that part of the narrative which uses a human, social matrix. This is a case of literary derivation that verges on parody, and it is this understanding that allows the unrelated event patterns (each of which has the potential of serving as a matrix) to be fused in order to achieve a kind of coherence for the story (see also editor's note to the story). Accretion of matrix-like motifs such as those seen in "Wang Chih-ku" sometimes leads to an unstable hierarchical structure, where events are framed by more than one structure, each exerting force on the other. This results in a situation which calls for or requires multiple perspectives in reading. In such a case, one may either resort to a subjective choice for the interpretation of the piece or let the multiple frames stand in competition and accept the possibility of conflicting significances. "Ts'ui Wei" (92), for instance, has this characteristic. But "The Story of Ling-ying" (68), the longest entry in the anthology, appears to be especially confusing in its assimilation of a great variety of CK motifs. In addition to the many allusions to the dragon lore of the time and an assortment of motifs such as family feuds, transboundary communication, the extension of human assistance to a different kind of being in the "invisible" world, and the themes of chastity and loyalty, the text also provides the matrix for a display of literary skills (speech constructed in parallel prose) and argumentative eloquence. Overall, the story is probably best interpreted from a thematic perspective according to which the defense of chastity is the ultimate consideration that motivates the other actions. It is because of her desire to remain faithful to

56

is not the place to discuss such a problem. For a model of the process, see Teun van Dijk, "Action, Action Description, and Narrative," New Literary History, 6:2 (1975), 273-94. Cf. "Chang Tao-ling" (29) discussed above. The differences in the processing and the degree of integration between the two are nonetheless obvious.

Introduction

47

her dead husband's memory that Lady Ling-ying is forced into exile. The exile in turn brings about other sequences of self-defense and requests for help from the human administrator of the region. In this sense, the motivation coincides with the thematic notion that serves as the frame of the story to tie in all the details. From this perspective, the story may be seen as an "answer" to the pattern of significance plotted out in the most famous of all T'ang stories about dragons: "Liu Yi chuan" (or "The Legendary Marriage at Tung-t'ing" in Ma and Lau, pp. 346-54). There the dragon lady's marriage with Liu Yi at the end violates the notion of female chastity despite the faithful adherence by both the human and the draconic characters to other Confucian principles much lauded elsewhere in that text. 57 Thus, not only may a motif constituted of events serve as the frame of reading, but so may a thematic viewpoint; the story of Ling-ying, in this light, represents a "rectification" of the Taoist outlook dominant in the "Liu Yi chuan" by a more orthodox Confucian stance. As a conclusion to our consideration of the structural properties of T'ang CK, it should be pointed out that the mode of "interpretation" discussed above pertains primarily to the reading of event sequences in terms of a meaningful or coherent plot. It does not deal with questions of the psychological and sociological significance of the motifs, nor does it view the materials in the collection from the folklorist or religious perspectives --these have seemed the "natural" approaches to the CK materials, and previous studies have usually assumed such approaches. We leave such an undertaking to the specialists in those fields and to the readers who are so inclined. After the T'ang, Chinese fiction in the classical language suffered a decline in quality, if not in quantity. Despite the new interest in chih-kuai in the Sung, fiction in the classical language had to await the revival of artistic creativity during the Ming and Ch'ing to achieve renewal. However, the literary legacies of Six Dynasties and T'ang narrative fiction were inherited by other genres 57

The story contains a hint of a conflict between the Confucian and Taoist outlooks, with a resolution favoring the latter. Note, for instance, the specifics of Liu Yi's failing the exam at the beginning and his gaining immortality at the end.

48

Classical Chinese Tales

popular during the Sung dynasty and later. The earlier classical fiction provided the newer genres with both source materials and with narrative inspiration. Many of the plots and motifs of chih-kuai and chruan-ch'i lived on in vernacular fiction in the form of hua-pen (story-telling) adaptations and in drama of both the tsa-chii (variety play) and chr uan-chr i (play about extraordinary affairs) types. They also survived in a variety of prosemetric narrative forms that were part of the gamut of popular entertainments. These transformations of motifs involve cross-generic operations and constitute an interesting area of study in themselves. In the Ming and Ch'ing revival of fiction in the classical language, self-reflexive derivation of narrative from the linguistic and literary properties of the genre became an increasingly more prevalent phenomenon. Following Ch'i Yu's if tft (1341-1427) Chien-teng hsin-hua $ J;T$rr (New Tales Told under the Lamp) and other Ming works, P'u Sung-ling's (1640-1715) Liao-chai chih-i (Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio) achieved a new height of narrative art that emulated and at times surpassed the standard of T'ang authors. In large part, it did so by transforming motifs new and old and by the application of rhetorically informed literary processing. This method was followed by the best authors among the subsequent host of Ch'ing pi-chi hsiao-shuo (notebook fiction) writers, including Shen Ch'i-feng vft JJS5L (*>. 1741) and Hao-ko-tzu 2nd half of 18th Cent.). VI.

The anthology and the translations

According to different counts, at least forty, and perhaps as many as sixty CK collections were produced before and during the Six Dynasties. Although the contents of many of these are completely lost or have been recovered only in part, all together about three thousand items of various length have been preserved.58 About sixty 58

According to Foster; see his "Shih-i chi/1 p. 43 and Appendix I, where sixty-four titles of CK collections are given. Yuan Hsing-p'ei fcYT^ and Hou Chung - i 'xfc&SL , ed. Chung-kuo wen-yen hsiao-shuo shu-mu ^ I s l ' J m & ^ S (Peking: Peking University Press, 1981) lists about sixty from the Six Dynasties, of which forty-four are extant partially or in their entirety.

& 1?3

Introduction

49

ch' uan-chr i collections with CK items also are known to have been produced in the T1ang--approximately half of them are extant in their entirety or in part--as well as thirty or so pieces that circulated individually.59 Even without counting those in such extensive but uneven collections as the Yu-yang tsa-tsu (§1ffiffiby Tuan Ch' eng-shih^J^ ^ (d. 863), T'ang CK tales also run to at least several hundred in number. The ninety-odd pieces selected here represent a rather limited sampling of the entire extant corpus. In selecting these pieces, my first consideration has been the story quality of the entries. As a great many of the CK from the Six Dynasties were not necessarily chosen for inclusion in their original collections for their narrative interest, the representation of the genre here may be said to be biased: it does not try to capture the impression one might have in reading the original collections as a whole. The second criterion used in the selection is the representativeness of the pieces with regard to the CK typology discussed in the earlier section of this introduction. Even so, certain types may be disproportionately represented due to their greater narrative interest. Since the anthology is intended to show the development of the supernatural and the fantastic in the classical language from the formative period to their maturity in T'ang, I have not avoided the inclusion of pieces that have previously been translated, except for a few that are readily available in the excellent anthology Traditional Chinese Stories: Themes and Variations, often cited above. Space limitations have forced the elimination of many interesting pieces worthy of inclusion. A classification of the entries according to thematic grouping has been rejected in favor of the more traditional arrangement by chronological order, although only approximate dates can be assigned to many of the items or the collections from which they are taken. Selections from the Six Dynasties are given as running entries under the title of each collection. Those from the T'ang are given by separate entry, each starting with a new page, to suggest their status as individual works with a certain 59

About ninety titles of T'ang CK are given in Yuan and Hou (see preceding note), of which about thirty are individual pieces (ten no longer extant) and sixty are collections (about half are extant in their entirety or in part).

50

Classical Chinese Tales

degree of literary refinement. In the T'ang section, independently circulated pieces (including those by Shen Ya-chih and Liu Tsung-yiian, taken from their collected works) are given before the selections from various ch'uan-ch'i collections. Arrangement of the entries without a thematic classification may be disorienting to some readers, but the discussion of the basic CK types and the composite forms of their narrative structures given above, as well as sundry information supplied in the comments (translator's and editor's endnotes) attached to the entries, may help situate each piece in its context and serve as an orientation. Regarding the translations, the variety of styles presented by the many participants in the project will, I hope, suggest the range of the originals. Most of the translations were done with the general guideline of rendering the original as faithfully as readability would permit. There are a few specific points that require explanation. The Six Dynasties entries (and some from the T'ang) do not have titles; the titles added in the translation are, for the most part, those given in the Tr ai-p'ing kuang-chi or other modern editions, which usually follow the convention of referring to a piece by the main character's name, to which we often add an epithet or appendage for mnemonic purposes. This is done for easy reference to the original. The temporal and spatial settings, often formulaic and seemingly irrelevant to the action of the story, constitute background factors significant for the reader familiar with the cultural and physical associations of the time and place specified. Sometimes a story (e.g., "Ts'ui Wei" [92]) is as much about the locale as it is about the legend associated with the place. At the risk of being obtrusive, modern equivalents for places and dates have been inserted to provide the context and give some sense of these relationships. Regarding the character's age, the number of sui Jfe or nien (years) is rendered directly without subtracting one for closer approximation (except in "Hsiao Tung-hsiian" [88], where a strict identification of the child's age towards the end is required by the nature of the story) . For the terms of weights and measures, both approximation in Western systems and transliteration of the Chinese terms are allowed insofar as they do not violate the general sense of the original (a chang is a little more than ten feet; a li about one third of a mile, which is

Introduction

51

sometimes rendered as a "mile;" a tan about one hundred and ten pounds). The night hours (7P.M. to 5A.M.) are divided into five watches. Each watch covers two hours, the third watch being the midnight period. Translations of official titles in different pieces likewise have not been coordinated and made uniform. The sources of the selections and the texts used for translation are indicated at the end of each entry. Besides the text upon which the translation is based (the first item given), other sources are suggested for purposes of comparison when textual discrepancies exist or annotations are available. Finally, the notes at the end of the entries provide various kinds of information (textual background and intertextual relationships) and short critical comments (topics related to theme, structure, and other points of interest and significance). Unless indicated as "Translator's Notes," they are provided by the editor. For these notes, I have benefited from previous studies of chih-kuai and chTuan-ch1i and from the existing Chinese and Japanese anthologies, especially the recent annotated selections from Trai-p'ing kuang-chi edited by Wang Ju-t'ao and his colleagues. A section of brief bio-bibliographic information about the collections and the authors is given at the end of the book, together with maps and a chronological chart of the periods covered by the events of the stories.

Abbreviations and References CSTY

Ching-shih t'ung-yen ch'u-pan-she, 1957.

i£ilt %

.

Peking:

Tso-chia

FYCL

Fa-yuan chu-linitri^H-

HCHC

Hsu Ch' i Hsieh chi In Ku-shih wen-fang hsiao-shuo. Vol. VII. Rpt. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1934.

HSHY

Hsiang-shih heng-yen SItt'/if. wen-hsiieh, 1956.

HYC

Huan-yuan chi i 3 L . The Pao-yen-trang mi-chi r edition in Pai-pu ts ung-shu chi-chreng, 18.

IWC

I-wen chi jfc W • The recension edition in T'ang-jen hsiao-shuo yen-chiu. Ed. Wang Meng-ou. Vol. II. Taipei: I-wen yin-shu-kuan, 1973, pp. 107-254. Tales are referred to by the number that corresponds to the order of their listing in this edition.

IWLC

I-wen lei-chii • 2 cases. Chung-hua shu-chii, 1959.

KCHS

Ku-chin hsiao-shuo tfe"^'hltfL (i. e. , Yil-shih ming-yen Peking: Wen-hsiieh ku-chi, 1955.

LCCI

Liao-chai c h i h collated by Chang ch'u-pan-she, 1978.

PHCC

P'ei Hsing Ch'uan-ch'i . Ed. Chou Leng-ch'ieh. Shanghai: Ku-chi ch'u-pan-she, 1980.

SF

Shuo-fu l-^L . Han-fen Lou edition. Commercial Press, 1972.

. SPTK Ch'u-pien edition.

- . Yu-ho.

Peking:

Rpt:

Jen-min

Shanghai:

2 vols. Comments Shanghai: Ku-chi

Rpt: Taipei:

53 SHC

Shen-hsien chuan tsrung-shu edition.

SSC

Sou-shen chi VZLftftl. Ed. Wang Shao-ying. Chung-hua shu-chii, 1979.

SSHC

Sou-shen hou-chi Ed. Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1981.

Wang

TPHYC

T'ai-p'ing huan-yii chi Wen-hai ch1u-pan-she, 1963.

.

TPKC

T'ai-p'ing kuang-chi ^ Chung-hua shu-chii, 1981.

TPKCH

T'ai-p ing kuang-chi hsuan fa ^ 2 vols. Ed. Wang Ju-t'ao et al. Chi-nan: Ch'i Lu shu-she, 1980.

TPYL

T'ai-p'ing yii-lan Chung-hua shu-chii, 1960.

4 vols.

YYTT

Yu-yang tsa-tsu edition.

Ts'ung-shu

Chang

Chang

Yu-ho,

ed. Pekin

-.

Tseng-ting Han

Wei

Peking:

Shao-ying.

Rpt. Taipei:

10 vols.

Peking:

Rpt. Peking: chi-ch'eng

T'ang Sung ch' uan-ch' i hsiian 8 : Jen-min wen-hsiieh, 1979.

Hsii

Hsii Shih-nien, ed. T' ang-tai hsiao-shuo hsiian ^'Ji^VL^L' Honan: Chung-chou shu-hua, 1982.

Lu

Lu Hsiin, ed. Ku hsiao-shuo kou-ch 'en l l l ' l i ' f u . 2 vols. In Lu Hsiin san-shih-nien chi, vols. 6-7. Rpt. Hong Kong: Hsin-i ch1u-pan-she, 1970).

Wang

Wang

Pi-chiang, ed. T'ang-jen hsiao-shuo Hong Kong: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1973.

The editions of the official histories are those of the Twenty-four Histories published by Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii; Shih-chi (1957), Han shu l < % % (1962), Hou Han shu (1965), San-kuo chih Slfl & (1959), Chiu T'ang^shu%%% (1975), and Hsin T'ang shu % (1975).

Translators Acosta, Pedro (1), (2), (3), (4), (71), (72), (73), (83), (93), (94)

(5), (33), (34),

Broschat, Michael (6), (8), (13), (14), (15), (18), (19), (21), (22), (23), (24), (31), (32), (45), (46), (52), (66) Broschat, Michael and Kao, S. Y.

(68)

Connery, Chris (35), (36), (37), (49), (53), (54), (58), (59), (60) DeWoskin, Kenneth J. Harrington, Rick Kao, S. Y.

(38), (39),

(48),

(9), (10), (12), (25), (26), (27) (65), (79), (80), (87)

(50), (51), (70), (81)

Lytle, George

(55), (56), (57)

Nienhauser, William H., Jr. Perng Ching-hsi Scheffler, Laurie Schuchat, Simon Spring, Madeline Varsano, Paula Wilkerson, Douglas (77), (78)

(63)

(16), (17), (20) (62), (69), (84), (85), (86) (89), (91), (92), (96) (44), (64) (82), (88), (90) (28), (29), (30), (74), (75), (76),

Yee, Cordell D. K. (7), (11), (40), (41), (42), (43), (47), (61), (67), (95)

Selectionsfromthe T'ang (618-906)

LIEH-I CHUAN

(1) Chiang Chi's Dead Son

When Chiang Chi was General of the Garrison,1 his wife saw their dead son in a dream. In tears he said to her, "Life and death are different roads! When I was alive, I was the descendant of ministers. Now, beneath the ground, I am a petty sergeant in Mount T'ai's2 realm of the dead. Because of the lowliness of this position and the hardships it entails, I am indescribably haggard. The singer Sun A who lives west of the Imperial Temple has today received the command to become magistrate of Mount T'ai. I would like you to have the marquis, my father, enjoin Sun A on my behalf that I might obtain a happier position." When he finished speaking, his mother suddenly awoke.. The following day she told Chiang Chi what had occurred. Chiang Chi said, "Dreams are like that. You needn't think it strange."

1

2

Chiang Chi was a native of the state of Ch'u who came to be Grand Commandant in the state of Wei. His biography is in San-kuo chih 14, pp. 450ff. Mt. T'ai is T'ai-shan, one of the five sacred mountains in China. This is the site on which the Han emperors performed major sacrifices to Heaven and Earth. With the introduction of Buddhism into China, it became confused with the T'ai-shan of the Ten Buddhist Hells and was identified as a branch of Yama's court. T'ai-shan Wang, the God of T'ai-shan, thus, became the lord of departed souls and judge of the dead (see Ku Yen-wu, Jih chih lu, 30, 28b-19a [SPPY edition]; cf. Po-wu chih, 1/20 [Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1980], p. 10).--Ed. - 56 -

i

The Six Dynasties

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The following night the mother again dreamt of her son who told her, saying, "I have come to greet the new magistrate, and have been stationed temporarily beneath the temple. I am able to return to see you for a while just before he departs. The new magistrate is to start on his journey by noon tomorrow, but before his departure there will be much to do, so that I won't be able to come back again. I will make my eternal farewell here and now. The marquis has a stubborn nature and is not easily prevailed upon. That is why I have voiced my plaint to you, Mother. I would like you to beseech the marquis once more. What would be the harm in putting this to a test!" Thereupon he related Sun A's physical appearance in great detail. After the sun had risen, the mother spoke to the marquis once more, saying, "Last night I had another dream of our son's plea. Even though it is said that dreams are nothing to believe in, this is just too coincidental. What would be the harm in trying an experiment?" Chiang-chi thereupon dispatched someone to the Imperial Temple to inquire about Sun A, who, sure enough, was there. His physical appearance proved to be in every way as Chiang Chi's son had described him. Chiang Chi wept and said, "I had almost turned my back on my son!" He then sent for Sun A and told him the whole affair. Sun did not fear his imminent death, but was instead pleased that he was to become magistrate of Mount T'ai. He feared only that Chiang Chi's words might not be reliable. Thus he said, "If it is as you say, General, it is as I wish. Yet what position does your worthy son wish to receive?" Chiang Chi answered, "Give him whatever is desirable in the underground." Sun responded, "Then it shall be done as you instruct!" The general then rewarded him amply, and having finished speaking, he sent him home. Chiang Chi was anxious to know the outcome of his test. He had a man posted every ten paces from the gate of his garrison headquarters to the foot of the Imperial Temple, in order to pass on news of Sun A. Early the next morning the news arrived that Sun had developed a pain in his chest. By mid-morning it was reported that Sun's condition had worsened, and at noon Sun's death was announced. Chiang Chi said in tears, "Even though I am in sorrow over my son's misfortune, I am nonetheless pleased to learn that the dead retain their sentience." A month later, Chiang Chi's son reappeared and told his mother,. "I have been made Recorder of Events!"

58

Classical Chinese Tales i

(Lu, pp. 139-40; TPKC, 276.11)

Tr. Pedro Acosta

Note: Based on the proposition that "the dead retain their sentience," this story features dreams as a special "zone" for the cross-boundary communication between the dead and the living. Notice that there is a shift of interest in the story's event-line--a shift from the original topic of the son's pleas for a different position to that of the manner of Sun A's death. This also to betray the real purpose of the story, which is to show that spirits do exist. The father's "conversion" at the end is similar to what happens in "The Daughter of the King of Wu" (21), discussed in Introduction, Sec. IV.

(2) Ts'ai Chih's Wife

Ts'ai Chih of Lin-tzu [in Shantung] was a county clerk. Once he was summoned to the district seat to see the prefect, and lost his way. He arrived at the foot of Mount T'ai,1 where he saw what seemed to be a city wall. He entered and presented his card of introduction. He saw an official whose solemn insignia suggested the rank of prefect. After he had been refreshed with wine and food, the official gave him a letter, saying, "May I entrust you to take this letter to my daughter's son?" Ts'ai asked, "Who is Your Excellency's grandson?" His host replied, "I am the God of Mount T'ai. My grandson is the Lord of Heaven." The clerk was startled and only then realized that he was not in the realm of men. He set out from the gate and let the horse take him where he was to go. After a while, he suddenly came upon the T'ai-wei Palace2 where the Lord of Heaven was enthroned. He was flanked by ministers in attendance who looked exactly like those in the court of the Son of

1 2

See n.2 of "Chang Chi's Dead Son" (1). T'ai-wei is one of the three groups of stars known as "celestial parapets" (san-yuan). Included in T'ai-wei formation is a "palace" constellation which believed to correspond to the palace of the emperor, was titled the Son of Heaven.

the the was who

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59

Heaven, the emperor in the human world. When Ts'ai had handed over the letter, the Lord commanded him to sit. He gave him wine and food, and inquired, "How many persons are there in your family?" Ts'ai answered, "My parents and my wife have all passed away. I have not as yet remarried." The Lord said, "How many years ago did your wife die?" Ts'ai said, "Three years ago." The Lord said, "Do you wish to see her?" Ts'ai said, "I praise the benevolence of the Lord of Heaven!" The Lord thereupon directed the Secretary of the Board of Revenue and Population to issue an order to the Divinity of the Destinies to register Ts'ai Chih's wife again in the Book of the Living. He then commanded her to join Ts'ai Chih and leave with him. When he awoke, Ts'ai returned home. He opened his wife's grave and saw her form, which, sure enough, had come to life. After a while she sat up and began to speak to him as she had done in the past. (Lu, p. 145; TPKC, 375.13)

Tr. Pedro Acosta

Note: Ts'ai's role as a "messenger" is reminiscent of that of the shaman as a spiritual medium. The story of a human getting involved in the business of gods (and receiving a reward for the favor done to them) is elaborated in the more celebrated case of Liu Yi of the T'ang tale "The Legendary Marriage at Tung-t'ing" (Ma and Lau, pp. 346-54). There the human messenger-agent also gains a wife for his service to the dragons. Cf. "Hu-mu Pan" (8) and also "The Story of Ling-ying" (68).

(3) Sung Ting-po and the Ghost When Sung Ting-po1 of Nan-yang [a commandery in southwestern Honan] was young, he once traveled by night and ran into a ghost. Sung asked who he was, and the ghost said, "I am a ghost." The ghost then asked Sung, "And who are you?" "I, too, am a ghost," Ting-po deceived him.

1

The versions in TPKC and FYCL identify the hero as Tsung Ting-po.

60

Classical Chinese Tales i

"Where are you going?" "I am going to Yuan market."2 "I am going there, too." They traveled together for several miles. Then the ghost said, "We are walking too slowly. How about taking turns carrying each other?" "Very well," replied Ting-po. The ghost first carried Ting-po for several miles, then said, "You are too heavy. You must not be a ghost." "I am a new ghost," said Ting-po, "That's why my body is heavy." Ting-po then carried the ghost, and the ghost was almost weightless. Thus they alternated carrying each other. Ting-po then said, "I am a new ghost, so I do not know what ghosts should fear most." The ghost replied, "The only thing we do not like is human spittle." They continued on their journey. The road led up to a river, and Ting-po had the ghost go across first. He listened to the ghost as he crossed but heard no splashing sounds at all. Ting-po then went across himself, but he could not help making splashing noises. "Why was there a noise?" asked the ghost. "It is because I have only recently died," said Ting-po, "so I am not used to crossing rivers. Don't think it strange of me!" They continued on their way and were about to reach Yuan market when Ting-po lifted the ghost to his shoulders, holding him in a firm grip. The ghost let out a loud cry of surprise and begged to be put down. Ting-po no longer heeded him, but went straight to Yuan market, where he set the ghost on the ground. The ghost turned into a lamb, so Ting-po put him up for sale. Fearing that the ghost would transform himself yet again, Ting-po spat on him. He received 1500 copper coins for the lamb, and then went on his way. From that time the story went about that Ting-po sold a ghost for 1500 copper coins. (Lu, pp. 16/393)

141-42;

TPKC,

321.14;

FYCL,

10.107a;

cf.

SSC

Tr. Pedro Acosta

2

In Nan-yang.

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61

Note: The dramatic mode employed here suggests a certain degree of consciousness of presentation. That the ways of the ghost can be learned and that there is always a way of dealing with the unknown make the world of the ghost and the unknown less terrifying than it otherwise would be. To be versed in the lore of ghosts thus also serves a practical purpose.

(4) The Man from P'eng-ch'eng

In P'eng-ch'eng [modern Hsu-chou, Kiangsu] there was a man who took a wife but did not like her, so he spent the nights outside his home. After several months the wife asked, "Why don't you come back in at night?" The man said, "You've been coming out to visit me every night. What's the need for me to come back in?" The woman said, "I've never done that!" Her husband was surprised. The woman said, "You have a mind to carry on an affair, and must have been bewitched by something. If anyone comes again, grab and detain her until you can get a torch to shine on her and see what she really is." Later on, the person he had expected returned in the guise of his wife. She approached the house but hesitated before going inside when someone pushed her from behind. Having gotten her on the bed, the husband seized her and said, "Why do you come out every night?" The woman said, "You have been having an affair with the girl in the house to the east. In dismay I invented the story of the goblin, hoping the wedding oath would keep you from having an affair." The husband released her and slept with her. In the middle of the night it dawned on him, and he reckoned: "Goblins deceive humans. This isn't my wife!" He took hold of her and in a frenzy shouted for a torch. Meanwhile she began to shrink bit by bit, and when she was visible he beheld her. It was a carp, about two feet in length. (Lu, pp. 146-47; TPKC, 469.7)

Tr. Pedro Acosta

Note: A psychological origin for the "goblin" (the supernatural) is hinted at here, but it is overridden at the end.

62

Classical Chinese Tales i

The matter of "confused identity" presented in the story has the potential for a tragic (or comic) development. But the possibility is forestalled because the story is interested primarily in recording the kuai | the notion of "mistaken identity" will be fully explored as a literary motif only later in Ming and Ch'ing drama.

(5) Pao Hsiian and the Horse

Of old there was a Director of Retainers from Shang-tang [modern Ch'ang-chih county, Shansi] by the name of Pao Hsiian, styled Tzu-tu. While still young he had been appointed as the Official Who Presents Accounts. Once during a journey in this capacity, he met a student traveling alone on the road. The student suddenly developed a pain in his chest, whereupon Pao Hsiian dismounted his horse and massaged him, yet the student died without warning. Pao Hsuan did not know his name, but he found on his person a scroll of the Su-shu text1 and ten ingots of silver. He sold one of the ingots to arrange for a burial and secreted the rest inside the coffin. The text he placed upon the student's abdomen. Pao wept for him, saying, "if your soul has cognition, it should let your family know that you are here. As I am on an official mission, I cannot tarry long." He thus bade farewell and departed. Upon his arrival at the capital, a fine steed began to follow him about. No one could approach the animal; only Pao Hsiian could come near it. Once, after he returned home, he went on a journey and lost his way. He happened to pass by the house of a marquis in the region west of Han-ku Pass. As the sun had set, Pao sought shelter, asking a servant of the household to present his card to the master. When the servant saw the fine steed, he went back inside and reported to the marquis, "The guest outside is the thief who stole the fine 1

Su-shu, or Book of Simplicity, is a moral tract attributed to Huang Shih-kung, the old man who reputedly gave Chang Liang (d. 189 B.C.) a book on military strategy. The phrase in this context may also mean "a silk scroll of writings."--Ed.

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steed you once lost!" The master said, "Pao Tzu-tu of Shang-tang is a reputed scholar.2 He will surely have something to say about this." The marquis then asked Pao Hsiian, "How did you get this horse? It is one we lost some years ago." Pao Hsiian replied, "Years ago, I was going to present the accounts when I met a student who died suddenly on the road." He then recounted the whole affair. Upon hearing this, the marquis, was awestruck and said, "That was my son!" He then traveled to the burial site and opened the coffin in which he saw the silver and the book as Pao had said. Taking his family with him, the marquis later went to the capital to see the emperor and recommended Pao for his laudable deeds. Thereupon, Pao Hsiian's reputation spread. His son Yung and his grandson Yii were also made Director of the Retainers after him. When they became dukes, they all rode piebald horses. That is why there was a song from the capital which went: The piebald horses of the Pao clan! Thrice were they Director of Retainers; They were then made dukes. Jaded though their horses were, Their gallop was superb. (Lu, pp. 137-38; IWLC, 83.4b; TPYL, 250.1181b) Tr. Pedro Acosta Note: In this story uncanny animal intelligence is treated as a kuai phenomenon of the fantastic sub-genre. A dog's intelligent behavior, particularly its loyalty to its master, is also a common theme in CK.

2

For Pao's official 3086ff.--Ed.

biography,

see

Han

shu

72,

pp.

SOU-SHEN CHI

(6) Tung Yung, the Filial Son

During the Han Dynasty there was a man by the name of Tung Yung from the area of Ch' ien-ch' eng [near modern Po-hsing in Shantung]. When young, he lost his mother, so he lived alone with his father. He worked very hard in the fields, following behind their small cart when there was no longer room to ride. Then his father died, and he had no means by which to provide for a funeral. So, he sold himself as a slave in order to pay for the funeral expenses. His master knew of his personal worth, gave him some ten thousand cash, and sent him off. In the third year of the Yung-hsing reign period [153-155], his mourning had come to an end, and he wished now to return to his master to serve his indentured obligation. On the way he encountered a woman who said to him, "I would serve you as your wife." Tung accepted, and they went along together. When they reached the home of Tung's master, the master said, "The money I gave you was a gift." Tung said, "Due to your graciousness my father was able to receive burial. Although I am an unworthy person, I must insist upon doing my utmost to repay your great kindness." So the master asked, "What is your wife able to do?" "She can weave," Tung said. "If you insist on the payment, then ask your wife to weave for me a hundred bolts of fine silk cloth." Thereupon, Tung's wife wove for the master, finishing after ten days. As they left the house, the woman said to Tung, "I am the Weaving Girl of Heaven. Because of your extreme filial devotion, the Emperor of Heaven asked me to help you repay

- 64 -

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your debt." So saying, she rose into the air and departed. Where she went no one knows. (SSC 1/28) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: This is an example of the adaptation of a miracle story for the purpose of propagating Confucian moralities. Derived from the "Hsiao-tzu chuan" (Story of the Filial Son) ascribed to Liu Hsiang (77-6 B.C.), this SSC version in turn became a source of adaptations by later story tellers, including a prosimetric version in the pien-wen style (see Wang Ch'ung-min et al., eds., Tun-huang pien-wen chi [Peking: Jen-min wen-hsiieh, 1957], pp. 109-13.)

(7) The Jade Maiden from Heaven

Hsien Ch'ao, styled I-ch'i, served under the Wei Dynasty [220-265] as assistant magistrate of Chi-pei Prefecture [present-day Fei-ch'eng County in Shantung Province]. One night during the Chia-p'ing reign period [249-253], while sleeping alone, he dreamt that a goddess came to offer herself to him. She explained that she was a jade maiden1 from heaven and her native place was Tung-chun.2 Her family name was Ch'eng-kung, and her given name was Chih-ch'iung. Because she lost her parents at an early age, the King of Heaven took pity on her and sent her down to marry someone. During his dreams, Ch'ao's spirits were enlivened as he delighted in the girl's uncommon beauty. After waking, he would think back longingly on her. To him she seemed both real and unreal. All this went on for three or four nights.

1 2

A kind of Taoist goddess. The former name of an area comprising part of northwestern Shantung and southern Hopeh. The jade girl seems to be referring to her original place of birth before her transformation into a goddess. According to religious Taoism, a person could transcend human existence and become an immortal through yoga, alchemy, or macrobiotics.

66

Classical Chinese Tales i

Then one day she appeared in person, riding in a curtained carriage followed by a retinue of eight maids. She wore a robe of embroidered silk damask, and her face and bearing were just like a celestial beauty's. She told Ch'ao she was seventy years old, but to him she looked only about fifteen or sixteen. In her carriage was a five-piece set of decanters and goblets made of blue and white porcelain, together with some rare delicacies and wine, all of which she shared with Ch'ao. "I am a jade girl dispatched from heaven to seek a husband," she said to him. "I have come to you not as a reward for your virtue, but because it was fated that we become husband and wife. Though this match won't do you any good, it won't bring you any harm either. At least you will always have the use of light carriages, ride stout horses, feast on exotic foods, and have all the tapestries you want. Because I am a goddess, I cannot bear you a son. But since I am not the jealous type, I would not stand in the way if you were to take another wife." They then became husband and wife. The girl gave Ch'ao a poem. It read: Whirled and wafted, I float between the Po-hai Gulf and P'eng-lai Island3 Crashing, smashing, the "cloud stones" sound.4 The iris needs no moisture For the highest virtue has its appointed season. Would a goddess come down for no reason?-It is fate that sends me to help you. Heed me, and your relatives, close and distant, will all prosper Disobey me and you will bring down disaster... This is the most important part of the poem. The entire poem contains more than two hundred words and cannot be recorded here in full.

3

4

P'eng-lai is one of the mythical island homes of Taoist divinities. The meaning of this verse is unclear. Some commentators believe that "cloud stones" are a percussion instrument similar to the stone drum. [The term yiln (cloud) may be an abbreviation for yiin-pan (cloud-patterned clappers), while shih (stone) itself refers to a stone drum.--Ed.]

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The girl also wrote a seven-chuan commentary on the Book of Changes, with the trigrams and images classified according to their judgments.5 The commentary was profound and could be used for divination. It thus resembles Master Yang's Great Mystery6 and Mr. Hsiieh's Central Classic.1 Ch'ao had no difficulty in understanding the ideas in the commentary and used it to foretell the future. He and the jade maiden had lived as husband and wife for seven or eight years when his parents matched him with another woman. Ch'ao, however, continued to meet the jade maiden, dining with her every other day and sleeping with her every other night. She came at night and left at dawn--her movements as swift as lightning. No one but Ch'ao ever saw her. They used a house that had seldom been occupied, so she went unseen. But people heard voices inside the house and became curious. They asked Ch'ao what was happening, and Ch'ao revealed the affair. The jade girl then wanted to leave. "I am a goddess," she said to Ch'ao. "I did not want others to know about my relationship with you. Because of your carelessness, everything about me has been exposed. Now I cannot see you anymore. Since we have been together for several years, our love for each other is deep. When separated, how can I help feeling sad? But under the circumstances there is no other way out. Both of us must be strong." She told her servant to serve them some wine. Then she opened a box and took out two silk gowns, which she gave to Ch'ao along with^ajpoem. She then held his arms and bid him a tearful farewell. After she composed herself she climbed into her carriage and departed quickly--as if on wings. Ch'ao grieved for several days and nearly fell ill.

5

6

1

8

The Book of Changes, or I ching, is a divination manual which may date from the eighth century B.C. It consists of short oracles or judgments arranged under sixty-four hexagrams. Yang Hsiung (53 B.C.-A.D.18) wrote this book, Great Mystery or Trai hsiian, in imitation of the I ching. Central Classic is Chung ching. No such work is listed in the bibliographies of the Chinese dynastic histories. A city which served as capital during various periods. It was located twenty li northwest of present-day Loyang County in Honan Province.

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Five years later Ch'ao received orders to go to Loyang8 as an emissary. On his way westward, while on a road beneath Fish Mountain [in modern Tung-o County, Shantung] north of the Chi River, he gazed toward the end of the winding road ahead and saw a carriage drawn by a team of horses. The carriage and horses looked like the jade maiden's. Ch'ao spurred his horse and dashed ahead to make sure. They were hers. She opened the curtain to her carriage, and when they saw each other they were overcome with sadness and joy. Ch'ao then steadied the horse on the left and took the reins. Together he and the jade maiden rode to Loyang where they resumed their relationship as husband and wife. They still lived there during the T'ai-k'ang reign period [280-289]. The jade girl did not come every day. She would always come on the third day of the third month, the fifth day of the fifth month, the seventh day of the seventh month, the ninth day of the ninth month, and the fifteenth day of the eleventh month. She would spend the night and then depart. To commemorate her, Chang Min [fl. 275-280] composed a "Rhapsody on the Goddess."9 (SSC 1/31; IWLC, 79.1b-2a) Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note: This story is to an extent typical of CK stories about marriage with a transcendent being, yet it shows a diverging development from what might be the original pattern (seen, for instance, in the preceding story "Tung Yung"). Although it still retains the motif of "eventual separation," an assertion of the human wish for a more permanent relationship is suggested in the atypical ending here.

9

The SSC version has "Chang Mao-hsien" (i.e., Chang Hua, 232-300) for "Chang Min;" the correction is made according to the version cited in IWLC. Chang Hua also wrote a fu with the same title, which has been lost. For Chang Min's work, see IWLC, 79.51b.--Ed.

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(8) Hu-mu Pan and the Lord of T'ai-shan

Hu-mu Pan of T'ai-shan [east of T'ai-an County, Shantung], courtesy name Chi-yu,1 once went by the foot of Mt. T'ai where, amongst the trees, he unexpectedly encountered a crimson-clothed official of the rank of Groom who called out to Pan, "The Lord of T'ai-shan2 summons you." Pan was startled and drew back, too frightened to reply. Then another groom came out and called to him, so he walked with them for several dozen steps. One of them then asked him to momentarily close his eyes, and in no time Pan was in front of some official buildings with guards and sentries of great majesty and solemnity. He was then ushered into a large hall where he made obeisance to the lord. The lord had a meal set out for him, and then said to him, "My reason for seeing you is none other than to entrust you with a letter to take to my son-in-law." "Where is your daughter," asked Pan. "My daughter is the wife of the Lord of the Lo River,3 replied the Lord of T'ai-shan. "I will take your letter, but how am I to reach him?" asked Pan. "Go to the central confluence of the river, then strike your boat and call out for a servant. Someone should come to receive your letter," the lord said. Pan bade farewell and departed. The grooms once again had Pan close his eyes and in a short while he was on the same road as before. Then he went westward, did as the spirit had instructed, and called out for the servant. Momentarily a maid-servant did indeed appear. She took the letter and submerged. Not long after, she reappeared and spoke to Pan, "The Lord of the River would like to see you for a moment." She too asked Pan to close his eyes. Presently, he arrived and paid his respects to the Lord of the River. Then the lord had a grand feast set out, and he was courteous and attentive to Pan. When Pan was about to leave, the Lord of the River

1

2

3

For a reference to Hu-mu Pan in history, see San-kuo chih 6, p. 192.--Ed. The Lord of T'ai-shan is in charge of summoning souls after death; see "Chiang Ch'i's dead Son" (1), n. 2. Technically, this would make the Lord of T'ai-shan's daughter Fu-fei, whom other traditions hold to be a daughter of the sage-king Shun.

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addressed him, "I am grateful for your coming so far to deliver the letter, and yet there is nothing valuable here to give you in return." Thereupon he ordered his attendants, "Bring those green silk shoes of mine," which, he then gave to Pan. Pan went out, closed his eyes and was immediately back in the boat. Then he went to Ch'ang-an where he spent a year before returning to T'ai-shan. As he reached the same outskirts on his way home, he dared not pass by surreptitiously, so he drummed on a tree announcing his name. "I have returned from Ch'ang-an and wish to present some news." Presently, the grooms appeared and took Pan in via the same method as before, whereupon he presented a letter. "When you leave I shall again recompense you," said the Lord of T'ai-shan. When Pan had finished speaking with his host he excused himself to go to the privy. All of a sudden he saw his deceased father, shackled and fettered. In all there were several hundred others like him. Pan advanced to greet his father, and crying profusely, asked, "How have you come to this?" "My existence after death has been most miserable," said his father. "i have been banished here for three years. It's already been two years and the agony cannot be endured. I know that your services have been appreciated by the illustrious Lord of T'ai-shan. Please present my case and beg that this sentence be removed, and beseech him that I be made the local spirit back home." Pan did as he was asked, and kowtowing, he presented the request. The Lord of T'ai-shan said, "The living and dead travel two different roads--they are not to approach each other. I have no compassion in this case." Pan pressed his request with great fervor before the lord finally allowed it. Pan then took leave and returned to his home. After little more than a year, almost every one of his sons died. In great dread he once again made his way to T'ai-shan, knocked on a tree and requested to be seen. The previous grooms then met him and presented him to the lord. Pan explained the reason for his visit, "My previous words to you were unreasonable and stupid. After I reached home my sons began to die one by one--they are almost all gone. I now fear that the calamity may strike again. I have come to report to you my situation, hoping to receive your pity and help." The Lord of T'ai-shan clapped his hands and laughed loudly. "This is why I warned you before that the living and the dead travel two different roads and they are

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not to approach each other!" He then ordered those outside to summon Pan's father. Shortly, he arrived at the hall and the Lord of T'ai-shan questioned him, "After returning to the local shrine of your own village, you ought to have tried to bring good fortune to your own household. Why now are your grandsons almost all dead?" "I was gone so long from my native village," he replied, "that I was very happy to get back. And then there was lots of wine and food set out for me. Then I began to long for my grandsons and I summoned them." The Lord of T'ai-shan then dismissed him from the place; he could only cry profusely and depart. Pan returned home, and thereafter when he had more sons, there was never any trouble. (SSC 4/74) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: The motifs of message-bearing and intercession for a loved one among the dead are similar to those found in "Ts'ai Ch'i's Wife" (2). Even as it bears out the theme that "the dead retain their sentience," the spiriting away of the grandchildren by the old man out of love for them also shows a wry humor in its ghostly sense of humanity.

(9) Mi Chu and the Fire Messenger

Mi Chu,1 styled Tzu-chung, was a native of Chu Prefecture in Tung-hai [a commandery covering what is now southern Shantung and eastern Kiangsu]. His family had been merchants for generations, and their accumulated wealth was vast. Once, returning from Lo-yang and still some distance from home, he saw a beautiful young lady by the roadside beckoning him to give her a ride. When they had traveled what could have been just a bit more than twenty liy she thanked him and started to leave. "I am a messenger from heaven, on my way to burn down the house of Mi Chu of Tung-hai," she said, "and I am telling you this because I am grateful for your having given me the ride." Mi Chu pleaded with her to relent. She replied, "I fear I must burn it down. But even so, you could hurry along and I will go at a leisurely pace. In any case, by noon, the

1

For Mi's biography, see San-kuo chih 38, p. 969.--Ed.

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fire must begin." Hi Chu rushed right back. The instant he arrived home he removed all of his treasures from the house, and exactly at noon, a great fire broke out. (SSC 4/87) Tr. Kenneth J. DeWoskin Note: An example of a kuai phenomenon that outside of the types given in the Introduction.

falls

(10) The Temple at Mount Chiang

During the Hsing-ning period [363-370],1 a son of the Minister of Ceremonies Han Po, a son of the K'uai-chi Palace Minister Wang Yiin, and a son of the Grandee Attendant Liu Tan traveled together to the temple atop Mount Chiang.2 The temple was filled with a number of images of ladies, all with very upright and respectable demeanor. After becoming thoroughly inebriated, each of the three young men picked an image and joked about spending the night with her. That very night, after retiring, they each had the same dream--the deity of the temple, Lord Chiang, sent a messenger with the following instructions: "Our sons and daughters are all homely, and we are honored that you have looked upon some of them with favor. A day has been selected for a meeting, and we look forward to welcoming you over here." Each of the men on his own recognized that this was no ordinary dream, but when they compared notes and found that their dreams were the same, coinciding to the last detail, they were absolutely terrified. They immediately prepared sacrifices and returned to the temple to beg forgiveness for their indiscretion. But once again they had a dream, this time that Lord Chiang himself came down to announce, "You gentlemen have already looked upon my daughters with a real

1

2

The text reads "Hsien-ning period" [275-280], which conflicts with the dates of the historical figures mentioned here; change made acording to Wang Shao-ying's suggestion (see SSC, p. 59).--Ed. For the biographies of Han Po, Wang Yiin, and Liu Tan, see Chin shu 75, pp. 1992ff.; 93, pp.2420ff.; and 61, p. 1676, respectively.--Ed.

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eagerness to join them. The appointed day will soon be upon us. How can we allow you to change at this late date and accept your regrets?" Shortly thereafter, the three men passed away. (SSC 5/94) Tr. Kenneth J. DeWoskin Note: Chiang-shan, or Mount Chiang, a famous lankmark in the suburb of Mo-ling (modern Nanking), was named after an official, Chiang Tzu-wen (late Han), who died there during a campaign against the rebels. (It was formerly known as Chung-shan.) The first five entries of chtian 5 of SSC (5/92-96) are all concerned with revelations of the god of Mount Chiang. As pointed out by Wang Shao-ying (SSC, p. 59), the official positions of Han Po, Wang Yiin, and Liu Tan mentioned in the text were attained by these men only after Kan Pao's death or after the original compilation of the Sou-shen chi. Like many others in the 20-chuan edition, this story must have been a later addition.

(11) Kan Chiang and Mo Yeh

Kan Chiang and his wife Mo Yeh lived in the state of Ch'u.1 He once made a pair of swords--one male, one female--for the king.2 But since it had taken him three years to finish the swords, the king was angry and wanted to kill him. Kan Chiang had a talk with his wife, who was

1

2

A state which once covered Hunan, most of Hupeh, and parts of Anhwei, Kiangsi, Kiangsu, and Honan (740-330 B.C.). In the Wu YUeh ch'un-ch'iu (Chronicles of Wu and Yiieh), the couple were said to be from the state of Wu. The King of Wu, Ho Lu (514-496 B.C.) asked Kan Chiang to make a pair of swords. The iron which the latter used for the purpose would not melt until his wife cut off her hair, clipped her finger nails, and threw both into the furnace. When the swords were forged, the yang (male) one was called Kan Chiang, and the yin (female) one, Mo Yeh. See Wu Yueh ch1un-ch'iu, (rpt. Taipei: Shih-chieh shu-chii, 1959), 4, pp. 76-78.--Ed.

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pregnant and about to give birth. "I took three years to make the swords for the king," he said. "The king is angry and will certainly kill me. If the baby turns out to be a boy, after he grows up tell him this: Go out the door and look toward the mountain to the south. There is a pine tree growing out of a stone. A sword has been stuck into the tree." Kan Chiang took the female sword to the palace and presented it to the king. The king was already incensed, and upon realizing that only the female sword had been brought, and that the male was missing, grew even more furious. He had Kan Chiang killed immediately. Mo Yeh's son was named Ch'ih. When he reached manhood he asked his mother, "Where's my father?" "Your father made swords for the King of Ch'u," his mother answered. "it took him three years to finish them, so the king lost his temper and killed him. Before he left, he told me to tell you to go out of the house and look toward the mount in the south. There is a pine tree growing out of a stone. A sword has been stuck into the tree." The son went out of the house and looked south. He did not see the mountain, but only a pine post on a stone base in front of the hall. He split the post with an ax and found a sword. Afterwards he thought day and night only of avenging his father's death on the King of Ch'u. One night the king saw Mo Yeh's son in a dream: his brows were one foot apart,3 and he spoke of his desire for vengeance. After this the king offered a reward of one thousand gold pieces for the capture of Mo Yeh's son. Upon hearing of this, Ch'ih fled to the mountains where he wandered about wailing. There he met a stranger who said to him, "You are so young. Why are you wailing so bitterly?" "I am the son of Kan Chiang and Mo Yeh," he replied. "The King of Ch'u killed my father, and I want to avenge his death." 3

Wide foreheads were believed to be characteristic of men of excellence. [The hero's one-foot wide forehead is derived from a pun that contains a riddled message to the king in his dream. The name Ch'ih (or "red") is homophonous with the word for the length measure "foot." In other versions the hero is sometimes referred to as Mei-chien-ch'ih (lit., Red-Spot-between-the-Brows).--Ed.]

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"I've heard that the king has set a price of one thousand gold pieces on your head," the stranger said. "if you give me your head and sword, I will avenge your father's death for you." "I would be very much obliged!" said Ch'ih, who then drew his sword over this own throat. Still standing erect, he held his head and sword with both hands and presented them to the stranger. "I won't fail you," the stranger said. Only then did the young man's corpse fall over. The stranger took the head to the King of Ch'u. The king was delighted. "This is the head of a brave man," the stranger told the king. "it should be boiled in a cauldron." The king did as the stranger said. But after three days and nights, the head still did not dissolve. It leaped out of the boiling water, glaring with rage. "The young man's head has not dissolved," the stranger said to the king. "Perhaps Your Majesty should come over here and take a look. Only then will it dissolve." When the king went over and looked down into the cauldron, the stranger pointed the sword at him--the king's head dropped into the water. The stranger directed the sword at his own head. It too fell into the water. The three heads all dissolved so that there was no telling them apart. The liquid was drained from the cauldron, and all the bones were buried in one spot. The burial site thus became known as the "Grave of the Three Kings." It is located in what is now North I-ch'un County in Ju-nan Prefecture [in modern Honan]. (SSC 11/266) Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note: A spin-off of the legend of the famous swords and their makers recorded in f/u Yiieh ch' un-ch' iu, this story consists of a complex of themes and motifs: revenge, knight-errantry, the supernatural manifestation of a severed head, etc. It appealed strongly to the Chinese imagination and was circulated widely during Chin times. Many distantly separated locations were identified as the site of the Grave of the Three Kings. The laconic description of the young man's self-beheading is striking and effective, though the action itself is puzzling. The device of conveying a message in a riddle, while thematically functional, adds a sense of mystery and depth to the text as well.

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Lu Hsiin rewrote and expanded the story, altering the tone somewhat (see "Forging the Swords" in his Old Tales Retold, tr. Yang Hsien-yi and Gladys Yang [Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1972], pp. 74-95).

(12) The Filial Girl of Tung-hai

During the Han Dynasty, a filial girl in Tung-hai [a commandery covering what is now southern Shantung and eastern Kiangsu] devoted herself to the care of her mother-in-law. One day the old lady told her, "Your dedication in caring for me has made your own life miserable. I am old and do not cherish what years may remain for me. You have been fettered to me for too many of your youthful years." The mother-in-law then hung herself. Her daughter went to the authorities and made a charge, "This girl has murdered my mother," so they then arrested her, bound her, and flogged her mercilessly to get to the bottom of the crime. Unable to withstand the torture, the filial girl pleaded guilty to the crime she had not committed. At that time Yii-kung was the warden and said, "This girl spent more than ten years in devoted care for her mother-in-law. She is known for her filial piety and could not possibly have committed murder." But the magistrate remained unconvinced, and Yii-kung, having failed to talk sense into the magistrate, clutched the execution order and with tears in his eyes took his leave. For three years thereafter, the prefecture experienced continuous drought, without a single drop of rain. A subsequent magistrate took office and Yii-kung told him, "The filial girl should not have died; she was executed unjustly by the former magistrate, and we are now paying the price." The new magistrate went immediately in person to perform a sacrifice at the grave of the girl. Because he marked the grave in this fashion, the heavens poured forth rain and the year's crops were abundant. The Chang-lao chuan says,1 "The filial girl was named Chou Ch'ing. When she was about to be executed, she pointed to five pennants suspended some hundred feet above

1

An alternate reading of the text here is "The old people passed down these words, 'The filial girl...'"--Ed.

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her cart on a bamboo staff and swore to the crowd around her, 'if I am guilty, I die willingly and my blood will flow into the ground. If I die unjustly, let my blood contrarily flow upward. ' No sooner had the ax fallen than her blood, green-yellow, streamed to the pole and flowed up, up to the highest pennant, streamed over the flags and poured down." (SSC 11/290) Tr. Kenneth J. DeWoskin Translator's Note: This story will be recognized as one of the sources of the celebrated Yuan play by Kuan Han-ch'ing, "injustice to Tou 0." Editor's Note: Cf. Han shu 71, pp. 3041-42, where a similar story is recorded.

(13) Fan Shih and Chang Shao

During the Han Dynasty [206 B . C .-A. D. 220 ] there was a man. by the name of Fan Shih, styled Ssu, courtesy name Chu-ch'ing, from Chin-hsiang in Shan-yang [in modern Shantung].1 He was a friend of Chang Shao of Ju-nan [in modern Honan], whose courtesy name was Yuan-po. They both attended the Imperial Academy together. Sometime later the two took leave to return to their respective homes. "in two years' time I should return, and will go to your place to pay my respects to your parents and see your wife," said Fan Shih to Chang Shao. They then both agreed upon the future date. Later when the time was just about due, Yuan-po related the whole plan to his mother and asked that she prepare a meal in expectation of Fan Shih's arrival. "You've been separated for two years," said his mother, "and your agreement involves such a long distance. How can you be so trusting?" "Chu-ch'ing is a trustworthy gentleman," replied Chang Shao. "He will never go back on his word." "Then, that being so, I will make some wine for you two."

1

For his official 2676-79.

biography,

see Hou Han shu

87, pp.

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When the time came, Fan Shih did indeed arrive. They went into the main hall to pay their respects to Chang Shao's mother. They drank together and were extremely happy. Then they parted once more. One night sometime thereafter, Yiian-po became seriously ill. His neighbors Chih Chun-chang and Yin Tzu-cheng watched over him from morning to night. As Chang Shao was about to expire he sighed and said, "I'm so' sorry I won't be seeing my friend-unto-death." "But Chun-chang and I have taken such good care of you," protested Yin. "If we could not be called friends-unto-death, who else could it be that you seek?" "You two are just my friends-in-life. Fan Chii-ch'ing in Shan-yang is the one I mean by friend-unto-death." Shortly thereafter he died. Suddenly, Fan Shih, at his own home, saw Chang Shao in a dream, wearing a black headdress with a trailing strap and dragging his slippers. Chang called out to Fan Shih, "Chli-ch'ing, I died on such-and-such a day and ought to be buried soon to stay forever in the underworld. You have not forgotten me thus far, but could you possibly make it to the funeral in time?" Fan Shih woke up in a daze, and sighing mournfully began to cry. Then he donned clothes proper for the mourning of a friend and hurried off in order to attend the funeral. Before he could get there, however, the funeral had already begun. The procession had already reached the open grave and the bearers were about to lower the casket, but it would not go in. Chang Shao's mother held onto the casket. "Yuan-po," she said, "is it that you want something?" She then held back the casket. Time passed, and a pure white cart with matching steeds could be seen in the distance, its driver yelling and wailing as it approached. Chang Shao's mother looked at it and said, "That must be Fan Shih." When Fan arrived, knocking his head against the coffin, he spoke to the casket. "Go on, Yuan-po. The dead and living travel two different paths. We will be parted forever from now on." Those gathered for the burial, numbering about a thousand in all, broke into tears. Fan Shih then took the bier strap and led the casket forward. The casket now went on its way. He stayed by the grave afterward to arrange for trees to be planted around the tomb. Only then did he leave. (SSC 11/299; Hou Han-shu 87, 2676-77) Tr. Michael Broschat

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Note: Similar in wording to the biography of Fan Shih in Hou Han shu, MTu hsing lieh-chuan" ("Biographies of Men with Extraordinary Character"), 81, 2676-77, the story is better known through its vernacul ar hua-pen version entitled "Fan Chu-ch'ing chi shu sheng-ssu-chiao" (A Date for the Chicken and Millet Meal between Fan Chli-ch'ing and his Friend-unto-Death, KCHS, 16). There is also a play based on this story by Kung T'ien-ting (fl. 1294) entitled "Fan Chang chi shu" (A Date for the Chicken and Millet Meal between Fan and Chang).

(14) P'an-hu, Progenitor of a New Race

In the time of Emperor Kao Hsin, 1 an old woman who lived in the royal palace developed an ear infection that went on for some time. A doctor tried to cure it by extracting an earwig as big as a silkworm's cocoon. After the woman had left, the doctor placed the insect in a gourd and covered it with a plate. Sometime later the head-insect turned into a dog with multi-colored markings. In accordance with its origin it was called P'an-hu (plate-gourd) and was subsequently raised as a pet. During that time, the Jung barbarians under General Wu became strong and often crossed over the border. The king sent a general on a campaign against this menace, but Wu could not be captured. The king then declared that anyone who obtained the head of General Wu of the Jung would be rewarded with a thousand catties of gold, enfeoffed with an area of ten thousand households, and given the hand of the king's youngest daughter in marriage. Sometime afterwards P'an-hu went to the royal chambers carrying a head between his teeth. The king examined it closely. Sure enough it was the Jung general Wu. What was he to do? "P'an-hu is an animal," chorused the ministers. "He cannot be given official rank. Neither can he take a wife. Although he has done something of merit, no rewards can be bestowed."

1

One of the legendary early emperors. See Shih-chi 1, p. 13. The interpretation of this story is influenced by the parallel account in Hou Han shu 86, p. 2829.

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Now the king's daughter heard of this and said to the king, "My Lord has promised me to anyone in the country who can accomplish the task. P'an-hu came bearing the head and has rid the country of an evil. Heaven's will has decreed that it should be this way--it is not merely the wisdom and strength of a dog! A king must take seriously his decrees; a vassal must take seriously his declared allegiance. You must not turn your back on a covenant made clearly before the entire country for the sake of my insignificant person. That would be to court calamity for the country." The king felt fearful of her words and followed her council. He commanded that his youngest daughter should go with P' an-hu,. The dog took the girl to the Southern Mountains2 where the grass and vegetation grew luxuriant and plentiful, and where no men had been. Once there, the young woman got rid of the clothes she had been wearing, took on the relationship of servant to the dog, wore only clothes she could make on her own, and followed P'an-hu up mountains and through valleys. They lived in dwellings formed by rocks. The king was grieved and thought of her often. Finally he sent someone to try to look for them, but the heavens produced a great storm, and the mountains trembled while clouds darkened ovehead. The emissaries would go no further. During some three years the young woman gave birth to six sons and six daughters. Sometime after P'an-hu died, they divided into couples as husband and wife. Weaving and plaiting bark from trees, they colored it with dyes made from grasses and fruits. They were fond of colorful clothing which was tailored in such a way as to allow for a tail-like appendage. Later, the mother of all of these people returned to her royal home and related her story to the king. When he sent emissaries to meet with the new people, the heavens no longer sent rain. Their clothes were well-patterned, their speech sounded like foreign music, they squatted while eating and drinking, and they loved the mountains as much as they detested cities. The king, in accordance with their wishes, granted them famed mountains and broad grasslands, and called them by a name meaning "tribal minority." Today

2

Probably the Ch'i Mountains in western Kansu Province.

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the members of these minority groups seem slow-witted, but are crafty in reality. They like to stay in one place and value their customs. Because they received a different temperament from heaven, they are treated differently by the law. When transporting crops and engaging in trade, they are not required to have tokens of passage through the passes, nor do they pay taxes. Leaders in such cities as they do have are provided with seals of authority by the Han Chinese government. For official caps they wear otter skins, symbolizing the importance of water to their livelihood. The tribes of the modern commanderies of Liang, Han, Pa, Shu, Wu-ling, Ch'ang-sha, and Lu-chiang are all of this group. Their custom of using fish and meat mixed together with grain, and knocking on their drinking trough while calling out in worship of P'an-hu still exists today. So it is that people say: "Bare thighs and short garments --the sons and grandsons of P'an-hu!" (SSC 14/341; cf.

Hou Han shu 86, p. 2829.) Tr. Michael Broschat

Note: This is one of the few myths of generation to be found in the SSC; it closely resembles the version given in the Hou Han shu. For a study of the myth of the origin of the tribe in southwest China and the relationship between Pan-hu and Fu-hsi, see Wen I-to, "Fu-hsi k'ao," in Shen-hua yii shih (Peking: Ku-chi ch'u-pan-she, 1956), pp. 3-68, esp., pp. 55-68; see also Derk Bodde, "Some Chinese Tales of the Supernatural: Kan Pao and His Sou-shen c/?i," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 6 (Feb., 1942), 338-57, esp. n. 33, for references to studies of the Pan-hu myth.

(15) The Horse and the Silkworm

There is an old story from ancient times of a man who went far from home on an expedition leaving no one at home but his daughter. A stallion they had was cared for personally by this daughter. Living all alone in this isolated place she missed her father terribly, and once joked to the horse, "If you could go bring my father back, I would marry you!"

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The horse then took up the challenge, broke its restraining rope and made straight for the place where her father was. He was most pleasantly surprised to see it, and then took hold of it and mounted. The horse kept gazing in the direction from which it had come and whinnying mournfully. "There is no apparent reason why this horse should act this way," said the father. "Something must be wrong at home!" and he quickly rode home. When they got back the horse was given extra fodder for its extraordinary concern, but it would not eat. Each time it saw the girl go in and out of the door it would stomp and kick in both joy and anger. And this did not happen only once. The father found it most strange and secretly questioned the girl. She told her father everything, and they concluded that it must surely be for this reason that the horse was acting up. "Don't tell anyone," said her father. "I'm afraid we would disgrace our household. For the time being do not go in or out of the door." He took up his crossbow and killed the horse, the hide of which he set out in the sun in the courtyard to dry. Once, when the father had gone, the daughter and a neighbor girl were playing by the hide. Kicking it, the daughter said, "You were just an animal and yet you wanted to marry a human! Why have you brought upon yourself this tragedy of being butchered and skinned?" But she had not even finished speaking before the horsehide rose quickly from the ground, wrapped itself around the girl, and took off. The neighbor girl was in shock and dared not try to save her. She ran to tell her father. When the father returned a search was begun, but they had already disappeared. Several days later they were found among some branches of a large tree. Both girl and horsehide had been completely transformed into silkworms and had spun silk on the branches. The cocoons were large and thick, much different from those of ordinary silkworms. The neighbor women took them down and raised the silkworms, getting much more silk from them than from ordinary worms. In consequence, the tree was named sang (mulberry) [homophonous with the word for "mourning"]. From then on the common people strove to plant this kind of tree and it is what we cultivate today.

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So when we talk about mulberry silkworms, they in fact come from a breed different from the silkworm of old. (SSC 14/350) Tr. Michael Broschat Translator's Note: The story proper seems to end as above, but the SSC text has another ending tagged onto it, much of which, as pointed out by Wang Shao-ying (SSC, pp. 173-74), is taken from Cheng Hsiian's commentary to a relevant passage of Chou li (The Rites of Chou). I cannot find an attribution of ch*en to horses in either Shih-chi or Chou li, as stated in the text. The translation of this portion of the text is speculative: According to the Astronomical Treatise of the Shih chi, ch'en is the "horse star." The Book of Silkworms says: "When the moon faces ch'eny rinse the silkworm eggs." This is because silkworms and horses are of the same nature. In the Rites of Chou,1 there is the line: "Prohibit the second crop of silkworms. Commentary to that line states: "There cannot be two things larger than one another. By 'prohibiting the second crop of silkworms,' one avoids harming horses." It was a custom during the Han for the empress herself to gather mulberry leaves, and sacrifice to the silkworm spirits who are called Lady Wan-yii and Princess Yii. The 'Princess' is, of course, a term of respect for women, while Lady Wan-yii was the first to cultivate silkworms. So, when people today call silkworms by the name "daughter," that is a term passed on from olden times. Editor's Note: An example of another myth of origin. This story has been incorporated into a poem by Feng Chih (b. 1905) entitled "Ch'an ma" (The Silkworm Horse), in which the image of the horsehide wrapping itself around the girl is likened to that of a cocoon enclosing a silkworm.

1

This attribution is in error; see Wang's notes, SSC, pp. 173-74.

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Classical Chinese Tales i (16) Wang Tao-p'ing and Wen Yii

During the reign of the Shih-huang Emperor [221-209 B.C.] of the Ch'in dynasty, there lived one Wang Tao-p'ing, a native of Ch'ang-an. While a youth, Wang and Wen-yii, 1 who was the daughter of T'ang Shu-chieh from the same village and was beautiful both in features and in bearing, swore to be husband and wife. Shortly afterwards Wang Tao-p'ing was conscripted for a campaign, and for nine years was detained in the south. Seeing that their daughter had grown up, Wen-yu's parents promised her in marriage to Liu Hsiang. Their daughter, serious about her sworn love for Tao-p'ing, resisted the idea. When her parents pressured her, however, she could not but choose to marry Liu Hsiang. Three years passed, and all the while Wen-yu was depressed and unhappy. She thought of Tao-p'ing so often, and her bitterness and grief grew so deep that she finally died of a broken heart. Three years after her death, Tao-p'ing returned home. He inquired of a neighbor about Wen-yii. The neighbor replied, "She loved you deeply, but, compelled by her parents, she married Liu Hsiang. Now she's dead." Tao-p'ing asked the whereabouts of the tomb, and the neighbor took him to the grave site. There Tao-p'ing wailed and moaned, cried and howled. Three times he called the girl's name, while walking around the tomb, distracted by his great grief. Finally Tao-p'ing made a wish, "We swore by heaven and earth to keep each other for life. Who would have expected the intervention of the official duty which severed us and made your parents marry you to Liu Hsiang. We didn't plan it that way, and now we are separated forever. If your spirit still exists, let me see you for one last time: if you don't have a spirit, then farewell forever!" With this he wailed again. After a few moments, the girl's soul appeared from the tomb and asked Tao-p'ing, "Where did you come from? We have been separated for such a long time. I did swear to be your wife for life, but I was forced by my parents to marry Liu Hsiang. For three years I thought of you day and night until growing remorse cost me my life. Now I am severed from you by the underworld. My thoughts for you

1

In the SSC text, the girl's name is Fu-yii; change made according to the Pai-hai text.--Ed.

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did not cease with my death; I still seek to fulfill our love. My body is still intact, and I can come to life again and still be your wife. Open the tomb now and break the coffin. Get me out and I shall live again!" Having considered what she said, Tao-p'ing opened the door of the tomb. He examined the girl only to find that she was alive! She then returned home with Tao-p'ing. Astonished by this, Liu Hsiang, her husband, filed a suit with the prefect. The prefect checked the laws but was unable to find anything applicable to the case. He reported to the emperor. The emperor decided that she should be the wife of Tao-p'ing. She lived to be one hundred and thirty. Surely this was a case of sincerity so intense that it moved heaven and earth to bring about such a result. (SSC, 15/359) Tr. Perng Ching-hsi Note: This entry presents another variation on the necromantic theme. As Wang Shao-ying suggests, this story may have been taken from Kou Tao-hsing's Sou-shen hou-chi (see SSHC, p. 130); Kou's version in turn seeems to be an elaboration of entry 15/360 of SSC. The piece thus represents an interesting case in which textual derivation is interconnected with the history of the compilation of the 20-chuan SSC.

(17) Chia Yii and the Prefect's Daughter

During the Chien-an reign [196-220] of Emperor Hsien of the Han dynasty, Chia Yii of Nan-yang [in modern Honan Province], whose courtesy name was Wen-ho, died of a disease. When he was brought to Mount T'ai by an underworld official,1 the Controller of Life checked his own books and said to the officer, "You were supposed to bring me the Wen-ho of another county; why did you bring in this man? Send him away immediately."

1

The Lord of Mt. T'ai is in charge of the souls of the dead; see "Chiang Chi's Dead Son" (1), n. 2.--Ed.

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It was sundown, so Wen-ho lay down under a tree outside the wall for the night. He saw a young girl coming towards him by herself and asked her, "You seem to come from a good family. Why are you walking abroad? What is your name?" The girl replied, "I am a native of San-ho [in modern Kweichow Province]. My father is the prefect of Yi-yang [modern Huang-ch'uan County, Honan]. I was brought here yesterday, but today they set me free. Now it is already sundown, and I would like to avoid any compromising circumstances. Judging by your appearance, you must be a virtuous person. That's why I have stopped, hoping for protection by staying at your side." Weh-ho said, "My heart is already charmed by you. Let us begin our joyful communion tonight." The girl answered, "I have heard from my aunts that chastity is a girl's virtue, and purity her good name." Thus, despite Weh-ho's repeated entreaties, she remained unmoved. When dawn came, they went their separate ways. Now, as Wen-ho had been dead for two days, the wake was already over. About to bury him, someone noticed that the color was returning to his face. They felt below his heart and found it was warm. Moments later he came to. Later, Wen-ho went to Yi-yang to verify what he had experienced. He presented his calling card to the prefect and asked, "Did your daughter pass away and then revive?" He then went on to describe the girl's countenance and bearing, dress and coloring, and how he had repeatedly propositioned her. The prefect went inside to ask his daughter. Her answer matched Wen-ho's description exactly. Greatly surprised, he married his daughter to Wen-ho. (SSC 15/361) Tr. Perng Ching-hsi Note: The moral of the story is: if the precepts of proper conduct prevail in the underworld, how much more should they be observed in the human world.

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(18) Li 0 Sent back from the Dead

Sometime in the second month of the fourth year of the Chien-an reign [196-220], a sixty-year-old woman, Li 0 from Ch'ung County in Wu-ling [approximately modern Hunan], died of an illness. At the time of this story she had already been buried outside the city for fourteen days. She had a neighbor by the name of Ts'ai Chung, who knew that Li 0 was rich. Reckoning that she must have been buried with money and treasures, he went and forced open the grave to look for the loot. He used an axe to open the casket, but after several blows he heard Li 0 speaking from within the casket, "Ts'ai Chung, watch out for my head!" Ts'ai was terror-stricken and fled the scene immediately. It happened that he was seen by a county official and was brought in for punishment. According to the law, he should have been executed in the market place. Now Li 0's son went to remove his mother as soon as he heard she was alive and took her home. When the Grand Administrator of Wu-ling heard that Li 0 had been resurrected, he summoned her and inquired about what had happened. "I heard," replied Li 0, "that the Arbiter of Life had mistakenly summoned me. When I got there I was then sent back. As I passed out of the western gates I happened to see my cousin, Liu Po-wen. We were both startled and asked about each other's situation, with tears falling in sorrow and sadness. "'Po-wen,' I said, 'one day I was mistakenly summoned here and have now been sent to return home, but since I do not know the way, I can't walk by myself. Could you possibly get an escort for me? Also, it's already been more than ten days since I was called here, and my body has been interred by my family. When I return, how am I going to get out?' I will ask for you,' said Po-wen. He then sent the porter to inquire of the Chancellor of the Bureau of Households: 'The Arbiter of Life mistakenly summoned the woman Li 0 of Wu-ling and now she is being sent back. She has been here for several days. Her body has lost its life and been buried. What should she do in order to get out? Moreover, she is weak and must walk alone. Shouldn't she have an escort? She is my cousin and you would be doing me a great favor if you could take care of this.' The

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chancellor replied, 'There is a man named Li Hei from the western district of Wu-ling who is also being sent back. He can be her escort. At the same time, tell Li Hei to pass by Li O's neighbor, Ts'ai Chung, and have him free her. ' "Then I was able to leave. When I said goodbye to Po-wen, he said to me, 'I'm writing a letter for you to give to my son, T'o.' "Then I came home with Li Hei, and that's the way it was." "One certainly doesn't know all that goes on in the world," sighed the Grand Administrator when he had heard the story. He then sent a memorial to the throne: "Although Ts'ai Chung did indeed break into the grave, he was made to do so by ghosts and spirits. He couldn't have helped it, even if he hadn't wanted to break in. It would be appropriate to be lenient in this case." The imperial decree granted a lenient treatment. Personally, however, the Grand Administrator wished to determine the validity of the story, and so sent an official on horseback to interrogate Li Hei in the western district. Li's story was found to corroborate the tale. Liu Po-wen's letter was then given to his son T'o, who recognized the paper as having been among the writing materials in a box buried at the time of Po-wen's death. There was clearly writing still on the letter, but no one understood the script. At that, Fei Ch'ang-fang1 was asked to read it. "Dear T'o: I must accompany the Lord of the Underworld on a tour of inspection and should be at the watercourse in the southern part of Wu-ling at noon on the eighth day of the eighth month. Be sure to be there." At the appointed time, T'o, who had brought his whole family, awaited his deceased father. In a short while, he did indeed arrive. They heard the faint sounds of men and horses, and when they went to the water they heard a shout: "T'o, you've come! Did you get the letter I sent with Li 0?" T'o answered, "it's because we got it that we're here!" Po-wen then asked about all of the family members 1

Fei Ch'ang-fang was a famous necromancer (fang-shih) of the Later Han dynasty, known for his ability to summon spirits and ghosts; he has a biography in ffou Han shu, but it seems purely legendary in nature. He was from Ju-nan in modern Honan.

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one by one. Mournful and subdued, he said, "Life and death are two different paths, so I don't often get news of you. Since I passed away my grandchildren have really become numerous!" Only after quite a while did Po-wen say to T'o again, "This coming spring there will be much sickness. I'll give you this pellet of medicine with which you should smear the gates and doors. That way you will avoid the terrible plague next year." He left suddenly after speaking, without showing himself to the family. That next spring there was indeed a great epidemic. Ghosts could be seen in broad daylight. Only to the home of T'o did they not dare to go. When Fei Ch'ang-fang inspected the medicine ball, he said, "This is the brain of Fan-hsiang, the god who protects against pestilence."2 (SSC 15/362; cf.

Hou Han shu chih 17, pp. 3348-49) Tr. Michael Broschat

Note: This story displays a combination of the themes of "resurrection" and "communication with the dead" (cf. "Hu-mu Pan" [8] and "Chia Yu" [17]), both of which are vividly depicted. The grave-robbing mentioned in the story may reflect a common practice of the time.

(19) Su 0, the Murdered Woman

Ho Ch'ang of the Han Dynasty, a native of Chiu-chiang [modern Shou County, Anhwei], was Inspector of Chiao Province [modern Ts'ang-wu County, Kwangsi].1 He went on a

2

1

The text of this story is given virtually word for word in Liu Chao's (fl. 502-519) commentary in the Hou Han shu. Several characters appear more reasonable, so the HHS text has been followed throughout. Other versions of this story give the name of Ho Ch'ang as Chou Ch'ang. While Ho is fairly well known (died A.D. 105), none of the events or places given in this story in any way fit what we know of him. That other versions give the surname Chou might indicate that Ho Ch'ang is

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tour of inspection to Kao-an County,2 Ts'ang-wu Commandery [northern Annam], staying the night once in the Pavilion of Running Snowgeese. Before the night was even half over, a woman appeared from beneath the building, calling out, "My name is Su 0, courtesy name Shih-chu, and I lived originally in Hsiu-li village, Kuang-hsin County [one of the ten counties in Ts'ang-wu Commandery]. I lost my parents early, and have no brothers, but married into the Shih family of the same county. Due to my ill fate, my husband died too, leaving only various silks totalling one hundred and twenty rolls and a slave girl named Fetch Wealth. "Thus, I was orphaned, deprived, and weak, and there was no way of sustaining myself. So I decided to go to the neighboring county to sell the silk. I rented a cart and ox from a fellow countyman, Wang Po, at a price of twelve thousand cash. Being myself on the bed of the cart with the silk, I had Fetch Wealth take the reins. We arrived outside this pavilion last year, on the tenth day of the fourth month. "it was almost dark; no travelers could be seen on the road.' We dared not go further but decided to put up here. Fetch Wealth suddenly had a bad stomach cramp so I went to the house of the Precinct Head to beg water and fire. The Precinct Head came to our cart carrying a spear and halberd, and asked me, 'Where have you come from, young lady, and what have you got in your cart there? Isn't your husband here? How is it you're traveling alone?' 'Why are you so interested?' I replied. "Then he grabbed my arm and said, 'A young man appreciates a fair woman: I hope to find pleasure in you. ' I was terrified and wouldn't go with him. "He then grabbed his knife and stabbed me in the side. I was dead with one blow. He also stabbed Fetch Wealth, who died as well. Then he dug a hole near the base of the building and buried me undeneath, my maid on top, took our goods, and left. Thereafter, he killed the ox and burned the cart, throwing the metal hubs and the ox bones into an empty well east of the pavilion. "I have died an unjust death, the grievance of which could move even Heaven. Yet I have no one to plead my case, so I have come on my own to reveal the situation to

2

not the original hero of this story. This should be Kao-yao (in modern Canton).

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it

Ch'ang said, "I'd like to exhume your corpse. But is there any proof that it is you?" "I was dressed completely in white, with green silk slippers, none of which has yet deteriorated. I hope that you will inquire at my native village and have my bones returned to my dead husband." And with a little digging, it proved to be so. Ch'ang hurried home and sent out officials to apprehend Kung Shou, who under torture admitted all. He then went to Kuang-hsin County to investigate the case; what he found accorded with Su O's story. Shou, together with his parents and brothers, was imprisoned. In his official report to the emperor about Kung Shou, Ch'ang said, "Under normal conditions murder does not involve punishment of the whole family, but Kung Shou showed himself vicious to the highest degree. He has hidden his crime for many years, and the king's law has not been able to bring him to justice thus far. Seldom is it necessary, even once in a thousand years, for a ghost to plead its own case. Thus I request executing them all in order to testify to the existence of spirits and ghosts, and to aid other-worldly punishment." The emperor followed his recommendations. (SSC 16/348; TPYL, 884.3927a; TPHYC, 159, 393b-394a) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: This is basically a story about the "rectification of an unjust death." The unfolding of the murder in the ghost's own words adds a touch of realism in its detailed account. The plot is prototypical of some types of detective stories developed in later vernacular fiction.

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Classical Chinese Tales i (20) Ch'in Chu-po and the Ghosts

Ch'in Chii-po, of Lang-ya [southeast of modern Chu-ch'eng County, Shantung], was sixty. Once he walked at night while drinking. Going by the P'eng-shan Temple, he was surprised to see his two grandchildren coming to greet him. However, having helped him for a hundred paces or so, they grabbed his neck, pushed him to the ground, and one of them cursed, "Old slave, you clobbered me on such and such a date, and I am going to kill you now!" Chu-po remembered that he had beaten the child on that specific date. He therefore feigned death, and they left him there. Returning home, Chii-po was going to punish the two grandchildren, but, shocked, they both kowtowed and protested, saying, "How could we, your own flesh and blood, possibly have done such a deed? It must have been some demons. Please test them again." Chii-po saw what they meant. A few days later, he pretended to be drunk and passed by the same temple. Again he saw the two grandchildren coming to help him. Chii-po quickly grabbed them, holding them so tight that the demons could not move. Upon returning home, he found them to be two figurines. He burned them until they were scorched and cracked, front and back. He then left them out in the yard. At night they both fled. Chii-po reproached himself for not having slain them. More than a month later he once again feigned drunkenness and walked home at night, carrying a sword with him. However, he kept this secret from his family. As it grew very late and he was still not home, his grandchildren, fearing that he might be bothered by the same demons again, went together to fetch him. Chii-po stabbed them to death. (SSC 16/390) Tr. Perng Ching-hsi Note: The source of this story is the "i-ssu" (Delusion) chapter of Lii-shlh chr un-chr iu (The Chronicle of Lii-shih) (SPTK ed.)> 22, 161b, where the relationship between the human characters is identified as that of father and sons. The impact of the story is enhanced by its laconic style. The encounter with the ghosts is reminiscent of "Sung Ting-po" (3), but the comic mood there is replaced

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here by a tragic one owing to the different turn of affairs at the end. The moral seems to be: when the supernatural is not understood and dealt with properly, it may become a source of disaster.

(21) The Daughter of the King of Wu

King Fu Ch'ai of Wu [r. 495-473 B.C.] had an eighteen-year-old daughter named Purple Jade who was intelligent and attractive. There was a nineteen-year-old youth by the name of Han Chung who was knowledgeable in Taoist arts. The girl liked him, and after secret meetings and an exchange of confidences, she agreed to marry him. Han was to study in the region of Ch'i and Lu,1 and as he was about to leave he requested his parents to ask for her hand in marriage. The king was angry and refused to give his daughter. As a consequence, Purple Jade died from grief and was buried outside the main gate of the palace. Three years passed and Han Chung returned. He inquired of his parents, and they told him, "The king was enraged, and the girl died from grief. She's been buried for some time." Han Chung cried with great sorrow and, preparing a sacrificial animal and some funerary paper money, went to mourn by her tomb. The soul of Purple jade came out from the tomb and, seeing Han Chung, said in tears, "After you left, your parents came to ask the king for my hand. It seemed that we would certainly realize our wish. But who would have thought that after we parted I should meet my death. What is one to do?" She then turned her head to one side and sang, There is a crow in the southern mountain, And a net spread over the mountain in the north. But the crow flies away; What can that net do? It was my wish to follow you,

1

This region, roughly the area of Shantung Province, was the location of the school of Confucius.

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Classical Chinese Tales i But slanderous talk was too much. Grief brought on an illness, And I ended my life beneath the Yellow Mound. That my fate was ill-Whose fault is this injustice? The finest of the feathered creatures, Is known by the name of phoenix. If on one day the male is lost, It grieves for three full years. Though there are many other birds around, There is no one to be her mate. Thus I present a miserable appearance, To meet with you so resplendent. So far apart, my heart is still with you. How could I forget you even for a brief moment!"

The song finished, she broke into sobs, and asked Han Chung to return with her to the tomb. "The dead and the living travel different paths," Han said. "I fear I would be transgressing by doing so; I dare not agree to your request." "The dead and the living travel different paths," she said. "I too know that. But once we part today, we will never meet again. Do you fear that I will harm you as a ghost? I am sincere in my affection for you. Could it be that you don't believe me?" Moved by her words, Han Chung escorted her back to the tomb. There Purple Jade provided him with drink and feast, and he stayed for three days and nights, during which time they completed the rites of husband and wife. As Han was about to go, Purple Jade brought out a brilliant pearl a full inch in diameter to give him, saying, "Now my name has been sullied, and my wishes denied, what else is there to say? Take care of yourself hereafter. Should you happen to go by my home, give my respects to my father." When Han came out he did indeed go to see the king, to whom he told what had happened. In great anger the king said, "My daughter is already dead; Han Chung is but fabricating a lie to slander a departed soul! This is nothing more than opening the grave to steal the treasure, and then sheltering himself under the pretense of having seen ghosts and spirits!" The king made a quick move to arrest Han Chung, but he got away and went to Purple Jade's tomb to tell her. "Don't worry," she said. "I'll go now to explain to my father."

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The king was grooming himself when suddenly he saw Purple Jade. Startled and shocked, he was happy but also grieved. "How is it that you have come back to life?" he asked. Kneeling, Purple Jade replied, "in the past the student Han Chung came to ask for my hand, but you refused. My name was sullied and my hopes dashed, finally resulting in my death. Han Chung returned from far away, and hearing that I was already dead, brought gifts for the dead to my grave in mourning. Moved by his deep sincerity, I appeared to him and subsequently presented the pearl to him. He did not break into the grave, and I hope that you do not prosecute him." The king's wife overheard her daughter's voice and came out to embrace her, but Purple Jade disappeared like smoke. (SSC 16/394) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: See Introduction, Sec. IV, for a discussion of the structural features of the story.

(22) Lu Ch'ung and the Girl Named Wen-hsiu

Lu Ch'ung was from Fan-yang [near modern Peking]. Some thirty li west of his family home was the tomb of Privy Treasurer Ts'ui. When Ch'ung was twenty, he went off hunting to the west on the day before the winter solstice.1 When he saw a river-deer, he drew his bow and took aim. He hit it and it fell, but then rose again. Lu set off after it, not realizing he was going quite far. Suddenly, he saw a lone settlement north of the road. It had high gates and tiled roofs all around, just like government offices. He had, however, lost sight of the river-deer. A guard standing by the gate sang out: "Please come in!" "What offices are these?" Lu Ch'ung 1

This was the time when the powers of ghosts and spirits were at their height,*just before their exorcism. See Derk Bodde, Festivals in Classical China (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1975), esp. the section concerning "La." Cf. William G. Boltz, "Philological Footnotes to the Han New Year Rites," JAOS, 99:3 (1979), 423-39.

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inquired. "The offices of the Privy Treasurer," the guard replied. "My clothes are objectionable," said Lu. "How could I dare to see the Treasurer?" Then another man, presenting a bundle of new clothing, said, "The Treasurer has made these available to you." Lu then dressed for an audience, and went in to see the Privy Treasurer where he stated his name. After a few rounds of wine, the Treasurer said to Lu, "Your deceased father has not considered my family lowly. He recently sent me a letter asking my youngest daughter's hand for you. That is why I have invited you to come here." Although Lu was quite young when his father passed away, he had by then learned to recognize his father's handwriting. He sobbed woefully and offered no protests. The treasurer then sent orders within: "Young Mr. Lu has arrived. Have the young lady begin her makeup." Then to Lu he said, "You may proceed to the eastern hall." At sunset a message from the inner chamber was sent to say, "The young lady has finished her preparations." From the eastern hall Lu saw the bride descend from her carriage. Standing at each end of the mat they bowed to each other. The festivities lasted for three days, during which time a feast was provided. When that was over, Ts'ui said to Lu Ch'ung, "You may return home now. The bride has shown to be pregnant. Should she produce a boy, it will be turned over to you; have no fear. Should it be a girl, we will keep it for ourselves." Ts'ui then ordered a carriage for the guest. Lu bade farewell and left. Ts'ui's daughter saw him to the main gate where she took his hand and both shed tears. Going out of the gates, Lu saw an ox cart harnessed to a blue ox, while the clothes he had worn previously, along with the bow and arrows, were also still there outside the gate. Ts'ui then relayed instructions to someone, who brought forward a bundle of clothes. Exchanging comments with Lu, he said, "The marriage relation has just been formed, and to part so soon is very sad. I'm giving you another set of clothes together with a roll of bedding." Lu got onto the cart which seemed to move as quickly as lightning. Soon he was back at his own home and his family members were relieved. Amidst the questions and answers, he discovered that Ts'ui was already dead, and felt remorseful at having entered his tomb.

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Four years after his departure from the tomb, on the third day of the third month,2 Lu Ch'ung was gamboling about in the river when he suddenly saw two ox carts on the river bank which appeared to him to be bobbing up and down. Then they drew close to the bank--as Lu's companions all ^ witnessed. When Lu went over and opened the back door of one of the carts, he saw the young woman from the Ts'ui family together with a three-year-old boy. He was delighted to see them and was about to take her hand when she pointed instead to the cart behind her, saying, "The Treasurer wants to see you." Having gone over to pay his respects to the Treasurer, Lu then came back to inquire of the girl. She held the child up to give it to him and then handed him a bowl made of gold, with which she presented a poem as well: Shining, bright, an Angelwort3 so pure; Resplendent beauty, oh so attractive A gorgeous blossom, brilliant in its time. Its especial fineness shows a spiritual wonder. Containing gems of beauty, it has not yet attained full bloom. In mid-summer it meets with frost and falls away. Its radiant aspect, hence forever extinguished, in darkness. Never have I traveled the roads of the human world, And not been aware of the workings of yin and yang, Yet a superior man unexpectedly came to call. Our meeting was brief, our parting quick; All was controlled by spirits and gods. What can I give to my beloved? A bowl of gold and a lovely child. For all our love and care, we shall be forever parted. Great sorrow breaks my heart.

2

3

The Lustration Festival, a day on which people cleansed themselves and prayed to drive off evil. See Bodde, p. 273-88. I.e., ling-chih, or Ganodecma lucidum, a kind of tree fungus with a shiny surface.

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When Lu had taken the child, the bowl, and the poem, the two carts suddenly disappeared. When he took the child back, all said that it was either a ghost or a goblin. But spitting on the child produced no change in its appearance.k Then they asked of the child, "Who is your father?" The boy walked straight over to Lu Ch'ung's arms. At the beginning people felt repulsed by the weirdness of the entire affair. Then as they read and circulated the poem, they began to be moved by this example of the mysterious communication between life and death. Lu later mounted his vehicle and went to the market to sell the bowl. He kept the asking price high, not wishing to sell it quickly, hoping that someone would recognize it. An old female servant did recognize it and went home to inform her mistress, "There is a man in the marketplace riding in a cart who offered for sale the bowl from the coffin of the girl of the Ts'ui family!" Her mistress was a sister of the Ts'ui family. She sent her son to see about it, and sure enough it was as the old servant had said. Getting up on the cart, he announced his name and spoke to Lu, "in former times my aunt married the Privy Treasurer. She gave birth to a daughter, but the girl died before she was married. My mother was sad at this and gave a golden bowl as a gift, which was laid in the coffin. May I hear how you came by it?" Lu told him the story. This provoked a sad sigh from the lad as well. Then he returned to tell his mother. She set out to visit Lu Ch'ung's household where she met the child and examined him. All the various relatives had gathered. The boy had the appearance of the Ts'ui family, but also that of Lu Ch'ung. The child and bowl were all evidence, and the aunt said, "My niece was born toward the end of the third month of the year. Before the birth the father said, 'Spring is warm (quen) and we would have wished her to be good (xiou) and strong,' so they named her Quon-xiou [Wen-hsiu in modern pronunciation], or 'Warm-goodness.' The name was portentous of what was to happen."5 4

5

See "Sung Ting-po" (3) for the supposed effect of spitting on ghosts.--Ed. The name is portentous because the shuang-fan of /quan/ and /xiou/ produced by the double application of the fan-chr ieh spelling process, once in each direction (combining the initial of /quen/ with the final of /xiou/

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The boy then grew up to be a man of talent and rose in the course of his career to the rank of Commandery Administrator with a stipend of two thousand tan.B His sons and grandsons were all officials, and the line has continued to the present day. One descendent, Lu Chih, style name Tzu-kan, was quite famous throughout the empire.7 (SSC 16/397; cf. TPKC, 316.4) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: In this story, the phenomenon of necromantic marriage is combined with ch' an-wei notion of "predestination," which includes a belief that the configuration of a person's name may predetermine the person's fate.

(23) Ni Yen-ssu and the Goblin

Of old in the state of Shu [220-280] there was a native of Chia-hsing [in modern Chekiang Province, between Hangchow and Shanghai] by the name of Ni Yen-ssu, who lived in the western outskirts of that county seat. One day he discovered that a ghost or goblin had entered his house. It conversed with people there, and ate and drank like a human, but it was invisible! Now among Ni's servants there was one maid who was always cursing the mistress of the house behind her back. The ghost said, "I will report you to the master!" Ni

6

7

and the initial of /xiou/ with the final of /quen/), results in the new word pair /qiou/ /xuan/, which means "afterworld marriage." The word for "afterworld" (lit. "dark") should be /qiau/ (/yu/ in modern pronunciation) but in the Six Dynasties, /-iou/ and /-iau/ were treated as belonging to the same rhyming category. I am grateful to Professor Hugh Stimson for his help with this note.--Ed. See Hans Bielenstein, The Bureaucracy of Han Times (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1980) for these titles and their significance. The tan is a dry measure for grain, as well as a weight of 133.33 pounds. See Hou Han shu 64, p. 2113.

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punished the servant, and there was no one who dared again to curse the masters behind their backs. Ni had a young concubine, and the goblin asked for her, so Ni finally invited a Taoist adept to exorcise it. When wine and cooked meat were all set out, the goblin took straw and excrement from the privy and smeared it all over the food. Then the Taoist began furiously beating his drum, summoning the various gods to help. The goblin picked up a chamber pot, and blew on it to produce the sound of a bugle from above the altar. Shortly, the Taoist felt something cold traveling down his back. Startled, he took off his robe, only to discover the chamber pot. With that, the Taoist quit and left. That night Ni and his wife talked secretly beneath the blankets, venting their vexation about the presence of the goblin. From high on the ceiling beams, the goblin addressed Ni, "You and your wife are maligning me, so I shall cut up your beams!" Chop, chop, began the sound. Ni was terrified that the rafter would break, so he got a torch to take a look. But the goblin blew it out, and the cutting sounds became more intense. Now afraid the room would cave in, he ordered all the family to evacuate the house and then fetched a torch again. He saw that the rafter was just as usual. With a great laugh the goblin asked of Ni, "Are you going to bad-mouth me again?" When the Commandery Director of Agriculture heard of all this he said, "This spirit surely is just a lowly creature like the fox." Thereupon the goblin went over to him and said, "You took several hundred bushels of grain from your office and secreted them away somewhere. How dare a corrupt official like you talk about me? I am going to report your crime to your superior and have them get back the grain you stole." Greatly frightened, the Director of Agriculture apologized. From then on no one dared talk about the goblin. After some three years it left; no one knows where it went. (SSC 17/405) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: When the ghost or goblin is mischievous like the one presented here, the true origin of the supernatural begins to reveal itself. This piece is an exception to the general rule that the supernatural in CK is to be taken as real. A satiric projection seems to be at work here.

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(24) Chang Hua and the Fox

Chang Hua, styled Mao-hsien, was Minister of Public Works in the time of Emperor Hui [r. 290-307] of the Chin. One day there appeared a speckled fox iii front of the tomb of King Chao of Yen [290-259 B.C.]. It was very old and could transform itself. In this instance it changed into a student who wished to go see Chang Hua. On the way it inquired of the spirit of the memorial post in front of the tomb, "Judging from my talent and appearance, do you think I am qualified to see Minister Chang?" "With your extraordinary intelligence, there should be nothing you cannot accomplish," replied the post, "But Chang is very wise and perceptive, and I think he'll be very difficult to ensnare. You will certainly meet with disgrace if you go and probably won't be able to come back. Not only will you lose your virtue attained only with a thousand years' cultivation, but you will involve me in an unpleasant manner as well." The fox paid no heed but, visiting card in hand, went off to meet with Chang. When Chang saw his youthful elegance, clean and light like jade, and that he was dignified in manner, self-confident and poised, he truly respected him. When they talked about literature, the student's critical acuity became clear. Hua had never heard the like before. Then they talked of the three histories,1 investigated the hundred philosophies, discussed obscure passages in Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, elucidated the arcane meaning of the Feng and Ya sections of the Shih ching, embraced the ten sages,2 plumbed the three factors,3 probed the eight schools of Confucianism,4

1

2

3 u

The Shih chi, Han shu and Tung-kuan Han-chi (a history of the Later Han compiled by Pan Ku and others, Tung-kuan being the name of the hall where the compilation took place).--Ed. The ten disciples of Confucius: Yen Hui (Tzu-ylian), Min Hsiin (Tzu-ch' ien) , Jan Keng (Po-niu) , Jan Yung (Ch'ung-kung) , Chai Yii (Tzu-wo), Tuan-mu Ssu (Tzu-kung), Jan Ch'iu (Tzu-yu), Chung Yu (Tzu-lu), Yen Yen (Tzu-yu), and Pu Shang (Tzu-hsia).--Ed. Heaven, Earth, and Man.--Ed. Those related to the names of Tzu-chang, Tzu-ssu, Yen,

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and examined the five rites.5 Hua was always bested. Sighing, he said, "How could there be a youth like this in the world? If he is neither a ghost nor goblin, then he is surely a fox!" Chang then stationed men to guard him, even as he was receiving him as his guest. "You ought to revere the worthy and embrace the masses," said the student, "and treat well the good while pitying the incapable. But instead, you hate others who are learned. Mo-tzu loved all. Would he act like this!" Having finished his speech, he sought to leave, but Hua had already set men at the doors, and he could not get out. He then addressed Hua once again, "There are men and horsemen stationed at your gates. That must mean you are suspicious of me. I fear that in the future men of the world will keep their tongues to themselves. Wise scholars and clever counselors will glance at your gates but will not come in. I find this possibility deeply regretable for you." Hua did not even reply, but put his men even more on their guard. In time, Prefect Lei Huan of Feng-ch'eng [modern Nan-ch'ang County, Kiangsi], styled K'ung-chang, a scholar of profound knowledge, came to visit Hua. When Hua told him about the scholar, K'ung-chang said, "if you are suspicious, why not call the hunting dogs to test him?" And so Hua ordered the hunting dogs out for a test. With no expression of fear whatsoever, the fox said, "I am by nature talented and knowledgeable, but now for some reason you consider me an evil spirit and try to test me with dogs. Even if you should test me, could I be worried?" When Hua heard this, he became even more angry. "This must truly be an evil genius," he said. "I've heard that forest goblins fear dogs, but that dogs can only detect creatures of up to a few hundred years of age. They cannot discover thousand-year-old spirits. Only by getting a thousand-year-old tree and illuminating the creature with it can its true form be made apparent." "How can we find a thousand-year-old spirit tree?" asked K'ung-chang. "It is said that the memorial post in front of the tomb of King Chao of Yen is already a thousand years old," replied Hua. He then sent someone to chop down the wooden post.

5

Meng, Ch'i-tiao, Chung-liang, Sun, and Yueh-cheng.--Ed. The rites of sacrifice, marriage, burial, and diplomatic and military protocol.--Ed.

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When the servant was about to reach the place where the post was, a small child clad in green appeared from nowhere and inquired of the servant, "Why have you come here?" "A youth came to visit Minister Chang," said the servant. "He is of extraordinary talent and has a way with words. The suspicion is that the youth is an evil goblin, and I have been sent to obtain this memorial post with which to illuminate him." "So, the old fox was not so wise after all," said the green-clad one. "He didn't listen to me. Now today his mistake has involved me as well. How can I escape?" He let out a yell and began to cry; then suddenly disappeared. When the servant cut down the post, blood flowed. He then returned with the tree, whereupon it was ignited and used to illuminate the student. He turned out to be a speckled fox. "If these two creatures had not happened upon me," said Chang Hua, "They would not have met their match for another thousand years!" They then cooked the fox. (SSC 18/421; cf. TPKC, 442.11; Pai-hai version in SSHC, p. 90) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: See Introduction, Sec. IV, for a discussion of this story. On Chinese legends of fox fairies, see J. J. M. De Groot, The Religious System of China, vol 4 (Leyden, 1901), pp. 188-96; vol. 5 (Leyden, 1907), pp. 576-600; see also Bodde, "Some Chinese Tales of the Supernatural." At this stage in the development of Chinese folklore, fox fairies are generally regarded as inimical to humans. In later representations, after the T'ang, they tend to become friendly and to appear as females when they take up the human form, often just to seduce men. In their dealings with men, they often desire nothing more than love and affection from them. In fact, they look suspiciously like humans, and it is only their yearning for sexual fulfillment that makes them "foxy."

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Classical Chinese Tales (25) Father and the Fox

During the Chin Dynasty, in Wu-hsing [Chekiang Province] there was a man who had two sons. On a number of occasions when they were at work in the fields, their father showed up, scolded them, cursed them, chased them around, and beat them. The boys reported this to their mother, and she in turn questioned the father about it. He was astonished, but he realized it must have been a demon, so he ordered his sons to slay it. The demon, however, kept to itself and did not put in another appearance. At home the father was worried, fearing that his sons might be suffering some trouble at the demon's hands. So he went out to the fields to see for himself, whereupon his sons took him to be the demon, killed and buried him on the spot. The demon then reappeared, took on a likeness of the father, and proceeded to report to the rest of the family that the boys had taken care of the problem. The sons returned at dusk and they all celebrated together. For many years not one of them realized what had actually happened. Sometime later a priest passing by the house remarked to the boys, "Your father has a very malevolent aura about him." They went in and reported this to their father, who forthwith flew into a rage. The boys went outside and told the priest to move on, but he instead walked right into the house chanting an incantation. The father was immediately transformed into a large fox and scurried under the bed where they were able to corner and kill him. Only then did they realize that earlier they had slain their own father. They reburied him with a proper funeral, but one son killed himself because of what they had done, and the other died of remorse soon after. (SSC 18/422; cf. FYCL, 42.498b) Tr. Kenneth J. DeWoskin Note: This story is classified in its original context in the SSC as dealing with the anomalies of fox spirits. It is tempting, however, to see a psychological dimension in the patricide motif here; cf. "Ch'in Chii-po" (20).

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(26) Li Chi, the Serpent Slayer

Mount Yung-ling is situated in Min-chung Province in Tung-yueh [present day Fukien]. It is over twenty li high. In a crevice on its northwest side there lives a giant serpent, between seventy and eighty feet long and more than ten feet around. The local people lived in constant terror of it, and commanders from the Tung-chih garrison as well as local officials from the surrounding towns had perished in substantial numbers. Oxen and sheep were sacrificed to the serpent, but to no avail. Either from someone's dreams or from a sorceress it was learned that the serpent would only be satisfied if it were given nubile girls to devour. The commander and local officials agonized over this prospect, but the baneful influences continued unabated. As a result, they sought out daughters born to slaves and daughters born to criminals and reared them to the age of puberty. On the first day of the eighth month, they conducted a ceremony and sent one young girl off to the mouth of the serpent's cave. The serpent emerged and gobbled her down; and so it continued for several years until nine girls in all had been consumed. But one year they began their preparations for the event, and discovered in their search for the young girl, that there were none to be found. The family of Li Tan, which lived in the prefecture of Chiang-lo [modern Nan-p'ing County, Fukien] had six daughters and not a single son. The youngest girl, named Chi, wanted to answer the call and go off, but her parents would not hear of it. She argued, "Father and Mother, you have been accursed; six children you have begotten but not a single son. You have offspring, but it is as though you have none at all. Lacking the virtue of T'i-ying,1 I cannot feed and look after you. There is no point in your wasting food and clothing on me; my life is of benefit to no one, and the sooner I die the better. Now, if you were to sell me, it

1

T'i-ying was the youngest daughter of Ch'un-yii Yi, an official during the former Han Dynasty. Ch'un-yii Yi had been convicted of a crime and sentenced to receive the severe punishment of death by laceration. T'i-ying wrote a letter of suplication to the emperor, offering herself as slave in exchange for her father's release. The emperor was moved and revoked the sentence.

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would mean a little money which you could well use to support yourselves. Wouldn't that be for the best?" Her mother and father were altogether too fond of her to do that, and to the end they were not willing to let her go. But Chi slipped out on her own accord, and they were powerless to stop her. Chi requested from an official a well-sharpened sword and a dog which would attack snakes. On the first day of the eighth month, she went to the serpent's shrine and sat down inside. Chi had prepared in advance several measures of steamed rice balls, soaked with a mixture of honey and coated with roasted barley flour. She placed these in front of the serpent's cave, and it emerged. Its head was as large as a grain bin, and its eyes were like mirrors, a full two feet across. The serpent picked up the scent of the rice balls first and went to eat them. That was the moment Chi released the dog. He leaped forward and sunk his teeth into the creature. Chi attacked from behind, striking again and again with her sword. The pain from the wounds was so severe that the serpent squirmed out, slithered as far as the shrine, and died. Chi went into the cave and found the bones of the nine girls. She gathered them up and carried them outside. "Because you were timid and weak, you were devoured by the serpent," she cried. "it is really a great pity!" And then she made her way home in a leisurely fashion. When the King of Yueh heard this tale he summoned Chi to be his queen, appointed her father governor of Chiang-lo, and bestowed gifts upon her mother and sisters. From that time on, Tung-chih was never again bothered by spirits or weird things. A ballad about Chi's exploit is still sung today. (SSC 19/440; FYCL, 42.496b-497a) Tr. Kenneth J. DeWoskin Note: The theme of virgin sacrifice suggests a comparison with fertility cult traditions. This story may be considered an anti-type in the CK genre as it debunks the supernatural in celebration of human courage and rationality.

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107 (27) The Turtle Woman

Chang Fu, a native of Ying-yang1 [modern Ying-tse County, Honan Province] , had been on a voyage and was returning home by way of some rather desolate waterways, when he happened upon a young lady of extraordinary beauty. It was nightfall, and since she was traveling alone in a small boat, she addressed Fu saying, "it is getting dark and I am terrified of tigers. I don't dare continue traveling through the night." Fu asked her what her name was, how it was she traveled in this small boat without any protection against the elements, and so forth. He invited her to come aboard his boat to avoid the rain. This exchange had been very agreeable, so she did in fact climb aboard Fu's boat to spend the night with him; the little craft in which she had been riding was tied alongside. Shortly after the third watch that night, the rain ceased and the moon began to shine brightly. Fu looked down at the girl, only to discover a big sea turtle lying there with its head pillowed against Fu's arm. He leapt up with a start and then tried to catch the turtle, but it slipped away quickly into the water. What had previously been the small boat turned out to be the rotten remains of a log raft, a little over ten feet long. (SSC 19/443; TPKC, 468.7) Tr. Kenneth J. DeWoskin Note: The beguiling of a man by an animal spirit, presented in an unadorned manner; cf. "The Man from P'eng-ch'eng" (4).

1

The TPKC version has "Po-yang," a prefecture located on the eastern bank of Lake Po-yang, Kiangsi Province-Ed.

SHEN-HSIEN CHUAN

(28) The Old Man of the River

No one knew the Old Man's name. During the reign of Emperor Wen [179-56 B. C.] of the Han dynasty, the Old Man made a round hut out of straw on the banks of the Yellow River. Now, the emperor read the Lao-tzu and liked it very much. He ordered all of the princes and ministers to recite it. But there were many things which he could not understand, and there was no one who could explain them. When the ministers heard this, all advised him that the Old Man of the River could explain the meaning of the Lao-tzu.1 The emperor then dispatched messengers with his questions to the Old Man. But the Old Man replied, "The Way is to be revered; Virtue is precious.2 You cannot inquire about it from afar." So the emperor visited the hut and made his inquiries in person. The emperor said, "'All of the land under heaven belongs to the sovereign. All of the people within our lands are the subjects of the sovereign.'3 Within these bounds, the sovereign is one of the Four Supremes.h

1

2

3 k

A Lao-tzu text with commentary attributed to Ho-shan Kung, the Old Man of the River, was found in circulation for the first time during the Wei-Chin period. The attribution is generally believed to be spurious. The Lao-tzu is known as the Classic of the Way and Power/Virtue, or Tao-te ching. Shih-ching (Book of Songs), #205. The Four Supremes of Taoism are the Way, Heaven, Earth, and the Sovereign. - 108 -

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Although you have the Way, still you are my subject. Why will you not stoop to me? Do you regard yourself as the nobler of the two of us?" The Old Man clapped his hands, sat down, jumped up, and then was seen to rise slowly in thin air, until he was a dozen yards above the ground. Looking up and down, he answered, "Up here I do not touch heaven; in the middle I am not concerned with mankind; I do not dwell on the earth below. How can I be a subject?" The emperor then came down from his carriage and kowtowed. "With my lack of virtue I am unworthy of the position inherited from my forefathers. My abilities are meager, my responsibilities great, and I am greatly distressed at my lack of accomplishment. Though I rule over all, and in my heart honor the Way, I am ignorant, and there is so much which I do not understand! My only wish is that you might instruct me." The Old Man then gave a simple book in two fascicles to the emperor. "Study it thoroughly," he enjoined. "All of the difficulties in the scriptures are explained. But the contents must be revealed to others only with discimination. It has been seventeen hundred years since I annotated this scripture, and I have only passed it into three hands. You are the fourth to receive it. Do not show it to anyone who is undeserving." When he finished speaking, the Old Man simply disappeared. In a moment all was dark and shrouded in mists and clouds; heaven and earth were obscured. The emperor treasured the volumes he had received very highly. There are people who believe that because Emperor Wen was so enthralled by the words of Lao-tzu, and since no one could understand them completely, a god came down to earth solely in order to instruct him. Lest the emperor not believe with all his heart, he was shown these miraculous manifestations of divine power. As it is said: The sage does not have a constant heart, but takes the heart of a common man.5 (SHC, 3.1; TPKC, 10.1) Tr. Douglas Wilkerson Note: The thaumaturgic feats described here are typical of Taoist hagiography. The jealousy shown in guarding esoteric knowledge strongly hints at the motivation of the

5

Lao-tzu (Tao-te ching), chapter 49.

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story: the old man of unknown origin was probably "invented" to mysticize both the Tao-te ching text and its commentary tradition.

(29) Chang Tao-ling, the Taoist Patriarch

Chang Tao-ling was a native of the country of P'ei [modern P'ei County, Kiangsu Province]. He was a student in the National Academy, thoroughly acquainted with the Five Classics. Late in his life he sighed, "This will do nothing to help me live longer." So he took up the search for immortality. He obtained a prescription for making the Yellow Emperor's Nine Tripod Pills,1 and wanted to prepare some, but the ingredients required were extravagantly expensive. Now Tao-ling's family was not well off; he thought of amassing the capital by cultivating the fields or raising cattle, but he was not familiar with these lines of work. Thus he never succeeded in making the pills. Hearing that the people of Shu [modern Szechwan] were sincere and could be easily converted, and that there were many famous mountains there, he went with his disciples to live on Goose Call Mountian. There he wrote a Taoist book in twenty-four sections. He spent his time distilling his thoughts and refining his desires.

1

The Yellow Emperor is a figure purported to be the successor to Shen-nung who ruled before the Hsia dynasty (ca. 2200-1554 B. C.). He is also purported to be the originator of the military arts and of tuned music. As inventor of medical arts and author of a secret scripture of pharmocology, he is a favorite figure in the Chinese alchemical tradition. The Nine Tripods were those of the Great YU, a pre-Hsia ruler. They were said to be in the form of the nine regions of China, or to bear pictures of all the phenomena of nature. For the locus classicus of the recipe, and the explanation, see Pao-p'u-tzu, "Nei-p'ien," 4, 5a-7a; also Nathan Sivin, Chinese Alchemy. Preliminary Studies (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1968), pp. 68, 155-56.

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Suddenly there appeared to him men descending from heaven. Chariots came by the thousands, and horsemen by the tens of thousands. The innumerable golden chariots were canopied with feathers and drawn by dragons and tigers. Some of the men called themselves Recorders from" under the Heavenly Pillar, others Youths of the Eastern Ocean. They gave Tao-ling instruction in the Orthodox, Luminous, and Awe-inspiring Doctrine. With it Tao-ling could heal sickness. Consequently the people gathered around him, serving him as their teacher; diciples came to his door by the tens of thousands. Tao-ling then instituted a system of Head Disciples, and delegated responsibilities to them, as though they were ministers and officials. He also set up rules of provision in writing, whereby the followers in turn would be responsible for providing rice, silk, untensils, paper, pens, firewood, and other necessities. He ordered some to lead people in repairing the roads. Those who refused would become seriously ill, so all of the roads and bridges in the county were repaired in response to his orders. The people of this area cut down grass, cleaned up cesspools, and did all manner of things which Tao-ling wanted. The less intelligent ones did not realize that Tao-ling had come up with all of these ideas himself, but rather thought that these written orders had been sent down to them from heaven. Tao-ling was not happy meting out punishments, but instead wanted to rule the people with honesty and humility. He made a written regulation that all those who were sick had to enumerate all the evil deeds they had committed in the past, which he would write down and throw into the water, commanding them to make a pact with the gods that they would not commit the transgressions again. Their lives were the security for this pledge, so the people took it to heart. Thus when people fell ill, they had to confess their past transgressions; in so doing they would be healed, but at the same time they would be put to shame when the evil deeds were revealed, so they dared not repeat the offense. Fearing heaven and earth, they reformed their ways. From this point on, those who had sinned repented and changed for the better. Tao-ling became very wealthy, and he was soon able to purchase the necessary drugs to make his elixir. The elixir prepared, he swallowed only half the presciption, not wanting to ascend to heaven just yet. Even so, he was

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able to divide himself into many dozen bodies. There was a pond in front of Tao-ling's residence upon which he often enjoyed himself, drifting about in a boat. Now many Taoist guests came to his residence, filling the courtyard and the passageways. Often there would be one Tao-ling seated in this room eating and drinking and talking with the guests, while the real Tao-ling would be out on the water. In his work of healing he adhered to the methods bequeathed by the untitled sages and uncrowned rulers, merely making minor changes and shifting the order of ingredients, but on the whole he followed their prescriptions. In the regulation of his ch'i2 (pneuma), and in taking herbs and minerals, he followed the ways of immortals, making no alterations. He told everyone, "There are many amongst you who have not yet rid themselves of vulgar attitudes and put aside the things of this world. You mav receive my guidance and direction in the regulation of ch' i, the performance of exercises, and the intercourse of male and female; or you may receive my prescription for taking herbs that will enable you to live for several hundred years. But the secret meaning of the Nine Tripods is granted only to Wang Ch'ang. And later there will be one arriving from the east, who will also attain to this. He will arrive exactly at midday on the seventh day of the first month." Then he gave a complete description of the man's appearance. When the appointed time came, a Chao Sheng did arrive from the east. None of them had seen him before, yet his appearance was just as Tao-ling had described it. Tao-ling tested him seven times. When Sheng had passed all of the tests, he passed on to him the text on the making of the elixir. The seven tests are as follows. First, when Sheng approached Tao-ling's gate, he was not announced to the master, instead Tao-ling had people revile and curse him for more than forty days. He remained there exposed to the elements, and refused to leave. He was finally admitted. For the second test, Sheng was sent out into the fields to guard the millet and attend the animals. Toward evening Tao-ling sent a woman of extraordinary beauty. She told him that she was on a long journey and needed a place to

2

Taoist breathing exercises which led to the possession of magical powers, or enhanced those which one already possessed.

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spend the night. She slept on a bed right next to Sheng. The next morning she said her foot hurt and did not leave. She stayed several days and flirted with Sheng, but Sheng retained his integrity to the end. As the third test, Sheng spied thirty crocks of gold by the side of the road. He walked by without taking any. For the fourth test, Tao-ling ordered Sheng to go into the mountains to collect firewood. Three tigers sprang up in front of him and began tearing his clothes with their teeth, though they did not harm his body. Sheng was not afraid and did not turn a hair. He said to the tigers, "I am a Taoist practioner. As a youth I did nothing wrong. I have come a thousand li to serve a divine teacher and seek the way to immortality. Why are you doing this to me? You must have been sent by mountain spirits to test me." In a moment the tigers left him. Fifth, Sheng bought more than ten bolts of silk in the market. As soon as he had finished paying for them, the merchant insisted that he had not recieved the money. Sheng then removed his own clothes in order to pay for the silk. He showed no sign at all of being penurious. As the sixth test, Sheng was sent out to guard the grain fields. A man approached him and kowtowed, begging for food. His clothes were in tatters, his face filthy, his body covered with sores. The stench and filth were disgusting. Sheng's countenance reflected the pain he felt on seeing this man. He took off his own clothes to put them on this man. He fed him with his own food, and then sent him on his way with his own rice. Finally, Tao-ling took all of his disciples up onto a very steep precipice on Cloud Terrace Mountain [modern Kuan-yun County, Kiangsu Province]. Below the edge a peach tree grew out of the rock wall, sticking out like a man's arm. It looked down over an unfathomable abyss. The peach tree was loaded down with fruit. Tao-ling said to his disciples, "if there is someone who can get these peaches, I will tell him the essentials of the Way." At that time there were more than two hundred disciples lying on their stomachs and looking over the edge at the tree. With trembling knees, and perspiration flowing down their faces, none dared look down for very long. Not one of them failed to retreat some distance from the edge, confessing his inability to complete the task. Only Sheng advanced and said, "With the protection of spirits, how can there be any danger? As long as our

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sagely teacher is here, he will not let us die in this gorge. If our teacher has instructed us to do this, it must be possible." He then threw himself off the cliff and down onto the tree, landing solidly on the trunk. He filled the breast of his robe with peaches, but the rock face was very precipitous, and there was no way he could clamber up it and get back to the top. So he proceeded to throw the peaches up one by one, two hundred and two peaches in all. Tao-ling collected them and divided them among his disciples, giving one to each. Tao-ling himself ate one and reserved one, waiting for Sheng. He then reached out his arm to Sheng. Everyone there saw his arm extend twenty or thirty feet to reach him, and suddenly Sheng was back up on top again. Tao-ling gave him the peach which he had reserved. When Sheng had finished eating the peach, Tao-ling began prancing about at the edge of the cliff, laughing and saying, "Chao Sheng's heart is truly sincere. He was able to throw himself onto the tree without losing his footing. Now I want to try and jump down there. I should be able to get some very large peaches." They all remonstrated with him, but Sheng and Wang Ch'ang remained silent. Tao-ling then threw himself out into the void, but instead of landing on the tree, he just disappeared. They looked all around for him--above them was the open sky, below them a bottomless abyss, with no paths of any sort. They were all overcome with surprise and grief, and cried sadly. After some time Sheng and Ch'ang said to each other, "Our teacher is like a father to us. How can we stand here contentedly, when he has thrown himself into this bottomless crevass?" They both threw themselves over the edge, and landed right in front of Tao-ling. He was sitting under a canopy with his legs crossed. When he saw Sheng and Ch'ang he laughed, "I knew you would come." He then proceeded to complete their instruction in the Way. After three days they returned to their old abode to put things in order. The amazement and sadness of all the disciples continued unabated. Sometime later the three of them, Tao-ling, together with Sheng and Ch'ang, rose straight up into the sky in broad daylight. The disciples looked after them long and hard, until the three disappeared among the clouds.

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When Tao-ling first came to the mountains of Shu he took only half a dose of his elixir. Consequently, though he did not rise up into heaven at that time, he had already become a terrestrial immortal. Because Tao-ling wanted to effect the transformation of Chao Sheng, he put Sheng seven times to the test, and thereby ascertained Sheng's sincere aspirations. (SHC, 4.3; TPKC, 8.3) Tr. Douglas Wilkerson Note: The first part of this story is based on the life of Chang Lu, Tao-ling's grandson, given in San-kuo chih 8, pp. 263-64 and Hou Han shu 75, pp. 2435-36. This story is rewritten in a vernacular version in "Chang Tao-ling ch'i-shih Chao Sheng" (KCHS, 13). See Introduction, Sec. IV, for a brief discussion of the story's structures.

(30) Tso Tz'u, the Thaumaturge

Tso Tz'u,1 styled Yuan-fang, was a native of Lu-chiang [the central region of modern Anhwei Province]. He knew the Five Classics thoroughly and was well-versed in astrology. He perceived that the prosperity of the Han dynasty was about to decline and that rebellions would soon arise throughout the empire. Sighing, he said, "When such decline and lack of order occur, high officials are in danger of falling, and those with much wealth will be killed. Glory in such an age is not worth of coveting." So he studied the Taoist way, and acquainted himself well with the arts of alchemy. He was able to command spirits and demons, and could conjure up meals without lifting a finger. He secluded himself in deep meditation inside the Mountain of the Heavenly Pillar [in modern •Anhwei Province], and obtained the Classic on the Nine Pills and Liquid Gold from a stone chamber. He was then able to change himself into myriad forms, too many to be enumerated here.

1

For his official biography, see Hou Han shu 82B, pp. 2747-48.

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When Duke Ts'ao of Wei2 heard of this, he summoned him and locked him in a stone chamber. A guard was posted around it, and his supply of food was cut off for a full year. But when he was brought out, he looked the same as when he had gone in. Duke Ts'ao said to himself: everyone has to eat, yet Tso Tz'u could do this; he must be a sorceror. Therefore, Duke Ts'ao decided to kill him. Tso knew this, and asked to return home. "Why do you suddenly make such a request?" asked the duke. "I know you want to kill me," he replied, "So I ask to leave." "I really had no such intention," the duke said. Now coming to respect Tz'u's worthy aspirations, the duke dared not detain him further without cause. He prepared a feast as a farewell gesture. "As I am going away now," Tso said to the duke, "I beg to share a cup of wine with you." "Fine," replied the duke. At that time the weather was cold, but the wine had been warmed up and was still hot. Tso removed his Taoist hairpin to stir the wine. In a short time the hairpin had completely dissolved, as if it were an ink stick being ground for ink. Now, when the duke heard Tso entreat him to share a cup of wine, he thought Tso would have him drink first. But instead Tso had removed his hairpin to stir the cup. It now appeared that in fact he had used it to divide the wine in the goblet into two halves, which now were separated by about an inch. Tso drank half the cup, and then offered the other half to Duke Ts'ao. The duke was displeased, and, as he did not drink it straight away, Tso asked to finish it off himself. When he had finished drinking, he threw the cup up to the rafters. It hung there in mid-air, bobbing up and down like a bird in flight. It seemed on the verge of falling, yet did not. Everyone fixed their gaze on the cup. After some time it finally fell; by then Tso had disappeared. Inquiring after him, they found that Tso had returned to his home. Now Duke Ts'ao wanted all the more to kill him, to test whether or not he could escape death. He sent out an order for Tso's arrest. Tso hid himself among a flock

2

Ts'ao Ts'ao (155-220), who was enfeoffed as the Duke of Wei in 213; for his biography, see San-kuo chih 1, pp. 1-55.

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of sheep, and those sent to capture him could not find him, so they counted the number of sheep, and, as they had suspected, there was one sheep too many. Thus they knew that Tso had turned himself into a sheep. Addressing him among the sheep, they assured him that their master only wanted to see him and that he need fear no harm. Suddenly a large sheep came forward and knelt down, saying, "is it me that you are looking for? The off icials said to each other, "This kneeling sheep is surely Tso." But as they tried to lay hold of it, the whole flock of sheep spoke up saying, "is it me that you are looking for?" Again the constables had lost Tso, whereupon they gave up the search. Later, someone who knew Tso's whereabouts informed Duke Ts'ao. The duke again sent out some constables, and this time they captured him. It was not that Tso had been unable to conceal himself, but, in order to show his magical transformations, he let himself be captured and put into prison. As the jailer prepared to flog Tso, he found that there was one Tso inside the cell, and another outside. He could not tell which was the real one. When Duke Ts'ao heard this, his grew even more angry. He had Tso led out of the city for execution, but in a twinkling Tso was gone. The soldiers shut fast the gates of the city and searched for him. Some who did not know Tso asked for a description of him. They were told that he was blind in one eye, and was wearing a coarse, dark turban and an unlined black robe. If anyone saw a man fitting this description, they were to arrest him. But then all the people in the city became blind in one eye, and were wearing dark, coarse turbans and black robes. In the end they could not be told apart. Duke Ts'ao then ordered everyone to search for Tso and to kill him on sight. Eventually someone recognized him and cut off his head to offer it to the duke. The duke was greatly pleased, but when he went to see the head, it was but a bundle of straw. Going to examine the body, they found that it had disappeared. Sometime later a man came from Ching-chou [in modern Hupeh Province] and reported having seen Tso there.

3

For his official biography, see San-kuo chih 6, pp. 210ff., and Hou Han shu 74B, pp. 2419ff.

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The governor of Ching-chou, Liu Piao,3 also believed that Tso was deluding the people, and planned to capture and kill him. Knowing Liu's intentions full well, Tso decided to visit him while he was deploying his troops, so that he could display his magical powers. He asked for an audience with Liu, saying that he had a small gift which he wanted to present to the troops. The magistrate said, "You, Taoist, are alone in a foreign place. My troops are many. What can you give to them?" Tso repeated what he had said, so Liu had him show his gift. All he had was a gallon measure of wine and a packet of dried meat, but ten men together could not lift them. Tso went and got these himself, and with a knife he cut up the meat and tossed it on the ground. He asked one hundred people to take up the wine and the meat to give it to the soldiers, three cups of wine and a piece of meat each. They found that it tasted like ordinary meat. Every one of the more than ten thousand men ate and drank his fill, yet they still had not finished the packet; and the wine filled its container as before. Besides the troops, there were a thousand guests present who also got very drunk. Liu was greatly surprised, and gave up any thought of harming Tso. After a few days Tso left Liu to go to Eastern Wu.u In Tan-t'u [modern Tan-t'u Conty, Kiangsu] there was a certain Hsu To who possessed magical powers, whom Tso wanted to see. At his gate there were several guests with ox-drawn carts. They lied to Tso, telling him that Hsli was out. Quite aware that the guests were lying to him, Tso turned and went on his way. Immediately after that the guests saw that their oxen were walking on the branches of a poplar tree. When they climbed the tree, they could not see the oxen, but when they got back down, the oxen were back in the tree again. What is more, all the hubs of the cart wheels sprouted thorns, each about a foot long. They could not cut these off, nor could they move the carts.

14

Wu was one of the Three Kingdoms (220-280) . It occupied the area south of the Yangtze River from the eastern border of modern Kweichow province to the coast. In this story Tso Tz'u shows his miraculous powers by traversing all three kingdoms (or what was shortly to become the three kingdoms): Wei in the Ts'ao Ts'ao episode, Shu in the Liu Piao episode, and now Wu.

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The guests were terribly frightened and notified Master Hsii, saying, "Just now there was a one-eyed old man at the door. We saw that he had no important business and so lied to him saying that you were not in. Shortly after he left, this befell the carts and oxen. We don't know what this is all about." "You fools!" cried Master Hsii. "That was Master Tso coming to visit me. How could you deceive him? Run after him quickly and you may catch him." All of the guests spread out to search for him. Upon reaching Tso they surrounded him and kowtowed, apologizing for their misdeed. Tso was easily appeased and sent them back. When they returned, the carts and oxen had returned to normal. Tso went to see the Wu general Sun Ts'e,5 the Rebellion Queller, and realized that Sun also wanted to kill him. Once, Sun went on an outing, and asked Tso to accompany him. He had Tso walk ahead in front of his horse, planning to stab him from behind. Tso wore a pair of wooden clogs, held a bamboo stick for a walking staff, and seemed to toddle slowly. Sun gripped his whip and laid it to the horse. Spear in hand, he pursued Tso, but was unable to catch up with him. He finally realized that Tso had magical powers, and gave up his chase. Some time later Tso told the immortal Lord Ko6 that he was about to go to Mount Huo [i.e., the Mountain of the Heavenly Pillar] to concoct pills of immortality. He subsequently ascended as an immortal. (SHC, 5.5; TPKC, 11.5) Tr. Douglas Wilkerson Note: See Ts'ao Chih's "Pien Tao lun" for an account of Ts'ao Ts'ao's summons of the fang-shih to the court, and Ts'ao Chih's personal experiences with them; discussed in the Introduction, Sec. II.

5

6

Sun Ts'e was the elder brother of Sun Ch'iian, who later later became Emperor of Wu. For Ts'e's biography, see San-kuo chih 46, pp. HOlff. Ko Hsiian (164-244), the granduncle of Ko Hung, author of the Pao-pru-tzu. He was said to have studied alchemy with Tso Tz'u; cf. "Ko Yuan" [i.e., Ko Hsiian], in SHC, 7.7b-lib.

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The narrative of Tso's perigrinations seems to prefigure the "episodic narrative" of the picaresque-like novels of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties.

LING-KUEI CHIH

(31) A Foreign Master

In the twelfth year of the T'ai-yiian reign [376-397], there came an "Enlightened One" from outside of China who could swallow knives, belch fire and spit out pearls, jade, gold, and silver. He claimed that he had learned the skills from laymen, not from Buddhist priests. Once on a journey he encountered a man who was carrying a load over his shoulders on a carrying pole. On the top of the load at one end was a small basket of about one liter capacity. "I'm really tired from walking," said the magician to the bearer. "I'd love to ride on top of the load you're carrying." The bearer found this very strange. Thinking that this was surely a lunatic, he replied, "I'd very much like to oblige you, but where exactly were you thinking of sitting?" "By your leave," answered the magician, "I would like to sit right in that little basket of yours." The bearer was struck even more by the strangeness of the answer. "if you can get into that basket, you're certainly not of this world." He thereupon put down the load and the magician stepped into the basket. The basket was no bigger, nor was the magician any smaller. Upon lifting the load the bearer also noticed that it was no heavier than before. After walking several miles the bearer stopped to rest beneath a tree. He called out to the magician to eat with him, but the magician said that he had his own food and did not wish to come out. In the basket there was enough room for dishes and utensils, for both food and drink to be laid

- 121 -

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out, as well as room for plenty of good cooked foods. In fact, he returned the invitation to the bearer himself. Before they had half finished, the magician said to the bearer, "I think I'd like to have a female companion for the meal." Again he coughed something up, this time a young girl of about twenty who in both dress and countenance was extremely attractive. The two of them then began to eat together. When the meal was about over, the magician fell asleep. The girl turned to the bearer, "I have a boyfriend whom I'd like to bring out to eat with me. When my magician husband wakes, don't tell him about this!" She then produced from her mouth a young man who ate with her in the basket. Now, even though there was activity involving three people, the basket was no wider than before. Not much later, the magician began to stir as if he were about to awaken so the girl put her boyfriend in her mouth. The magician awoke and said to the bearer, "Let's go!" whereupon he put the girl into his mouth. Then he did the same with the eating utensils. When they arrived in the captial, they found a family there that was very wealthy and of high rank. Their wealth could be measured in the tens of thousands but they were very stingy as well, and not in the least kind to others. "I will try to loosen the miser's purse," said the magician to the bearer, and up he went to the house. There he found a fine horse, much prized by the rich family, tied to a post. He then made the horse disappear. The next day the horse could be seen inside a five-peck earthenware vessel. There was no way anyone could break it and get the horse out. No one could figure out what to do. At this point the magician walked over to the family members and said, "if you will make a meal for one hundred people in order to save the destitute of the region, then the horse can be removed." In desperation the head of the clan then arranged this meal, and when it was over, the horse returned to the post. The next day, the parents of the rich man were in the hall as usual, when they suddenly disappeared. The whole family became anxious --where were they? When someone opened a cupboard he was surprised to find the parents in a vase! No one knew how to remove them. The head of the family again went to the magician to seek his help.

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"Now you should make food and drink for a thousand people," the magician replied. "if you feed the impoverished among the common people, your parents will then be released." When that had been done, the parents were found back in the hall again. (Lu, pp. 202-203; TPYL, 737.3270a) Tr. Michael Broschat Translator's Note: Certain difficulties with this story, as well as its lack of unity, seem to arise from its origin as an incomplete transmission of an Indian Buddhist tale.

(32) Chi Chung-san and the Ghostly Musician

Chi Chung-san1 was of a very high character indeed. He liked to wander about and stop as his mind dictated. Once when he was traveling to the southwest, he arrived at a pavilion several tens of li outside of Loyang called Hua-yang where he put up for the night. There was absolutely no one around that night, so he was alone in the pavilion. Since in the past people had been killed there, travelers stopping there often regarded the pavilion as very inauspicious. But Chi was of a quiet and relaxed temperament and had no fears at all. During the first watch of the night he picked up his zither and played a few tunes in an elegant tone and easy manner. Then, from out of thin air a voice praised his performance. Strumming his zither he called out to the voice, "Who are you, sir?" "I am a dead person," it answered. "I have been hidden away here for some thousands of years. I've come out to listen because when I heard you playing just now, the sounds were so pure and harmonious, just as I used to enjoy so much. My death was unfortunately not what my fate had in store for me, so my corpse is in mutilated shreds. It

1

Chi (or Hsi) K'ang (223-262), who held the position of Chung-san ta-fu (Palace Attendant Grandee) in the Wei court; for his biographies, see San-kuo chih 21, pp. 605ff. and Chin shu 49, pp. 1369ff.

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would not be right for me to meet you. It's just that I love your playing and would like to approach you, hoping you won't be revolted. Please continue to play a few more tunes." Chi began once again, and beating the rhythm on his instrument, said, "it's already getting late. Why don't you reveal yourself. Of what importance is the corporeality of mortality!"2 A person's head appeared, supported by a pair of hands. "Hearing you play, I'm overcome with happiness. It's as if I were momentarily reborn!" They then spoke together of the fine points of music. The corpse spoke clearly and eloquently. "Please let me have the zither for a moment," the head asked of Chung-san. Chung-san handed over the zither and the corpse played several tunes, but none were extraordinary. Only the tune "Kuang-ling-san" was beyond comparison in its exquisiteness. Chung-san learned it from him and after only half of the night he had gotten it down completely. None of what he had learned and played before could be compared with it. The corpse made Chung-san swear that he would never teach the tune to another person. Nor was he to reveal his name. At dawn, he said to Chung-san, "Although I've known you only this one night, it is worth one thousand years. Now we have to part and never meet again--how sad it is!" (Lu, pp. 198-99; TPKC, 317.11) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: This is a piece that apparently grew out of, and subsequently enhanced, Chi Kang's legendary reputation for his rendition of the "Kuang-ling-san" (Strains of Kuang-ling). The story provides an explanation of the supposedly "otherworldly" quality of the tune (and its rendition), at the same time it shows the power of music to move even the spirit of the dead. Chi was executed by Ssu-ma Chao and was said to have asked for a zither to play this particular tune before his death. He also wrote a "Fu on the Zither" (Ch'in fu).

2

This is an allusion to a phrase from the Taoist text, Chuang-tzu.

CHEN-I CHI

(33) Hsieh Yiin and the Entrapped Tiger

Hsieh Yiin of Li Yang [in modern Anhwei Province], styled Tao-t'ung, was fifteen years old, when he was taken captive by Wang Mien, cohort of Su Chiin,1 the renegade, and became a servant in the household of Chiang Feng, in Tung Yang [a commandery in modern Chekiang]. One day, while walking on the mountain as he was wont to do, he saw a dog inside a tiger trap. Feeling sorry that it suffered from hunger, he decided to give it some food. As he entered the trap, he suddenly saw a tiger perched on a wooden beam, looking upwards. Hsieh Yiin said to the tiger, "This trap was originally set for you, yet I have almost died in its clutches. If you do not kill me, I will release you." He then opened the trap and let the tiger out. After the rebel uprising had been pacified, Hsieh Yiin traveled to the district capital, Wu Ch'eng [in Chekiang], to clear himself. The prefect Chang Ch'iu, who was in the process of determining who had been in collusion with the renegades, paid no heed to Hsieh Yiin's avowal of innocence in this matter, but had him tortured most harshly. Then Hsieh Yiin saw a person in a dream who said to him, "it is easy to come in here, but difficult to get out. You have a compassionate heart. I shall deliver you." When he 1

Su Chiin was Inner Officer (Nei-shih) under emperor Ch'eng (r. 325-342) of the Chin. He turned against his sovereign and attempted to seize power, at which time his troops were said to have slaughtered thousands of people. His rebellion was quelled through the combined efforts of Yii Liang, Wen Ch'iao, and T'ao K'uan. - 125 -

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awoke he saw a young man dressed entirely in yellow standing at a distance beyond the bars. Even so, he could occasionally enter the cell to speak with Hsieh Yiin. The turnkey realized that the visitor was no ordinary human being, and thereby Yiin's unjust sentence was eventually revoked. Once Hsieh Yiin had obtained his release, he decided to go to Wu-tang Mountain.2 The Lord Yii Liang,3 heard of his story and, out of sympathy, provided him with money and grain. Hsieh Yiin was then able to reach Hsiang-yang, where he saw a Taoist adept who said to him, "My teacher Tsai, the master Meng-sheng, is indeed no ordinary mortal. He instructed me earlier, 'If someone comes from the east seeking me, you may bring him over.' You must be the person he spoke of." Hsieh Yiin thereupon followed him. As they entered the mountain, he fasted for three days before he saw the master. Upon seeing him, he realized this was the man who had appeared in his dream. The Master asked Hsieh Yiin, "Did you not wish to see the yellow-clad man?" He then gave him three pellets of magic herbs. Taking them, Hsiin never felt hungry or thirsty again, and he was rid of other desires as well. The Master had no fixed dwelling place, but wherever he went, propitious clouds and purple mist would gather above him, and a far-reaching fragrance would pervade the mountain and valley. (Lu, p. 156; TPYL, 43.206a-b; TPKC, 426.11) Tr. Pedro Acosta Note: This is basically a story about "a favor (to a supernatural being) returned." The motif is here combined with that of "an adventure in the world beyond." As described in the story, "the master" has about him much of a Taoist immortal.

2

3

In Hupeh, to the north of Hsiang-yang, renowned as an abode of Taoists. President of the Secretariat (Chung-shu ling) under emperor Ch'eng; see also n. 1.

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The Six Dynasties (34) Ch'in Shu and the Woman Who Lived Alone

Ch'in Shu, a native of P'ei Commandery [modern-day Hsiao County in Kiangsu], had his home in Hsiao-hsin Village, Ch'u 0 [Tan-yang County, Kiangsu]. Once, during the I-hsi reign period [405-418, Eastern Chin], he was returning home after a visit to the capital. After he had traveled a little more than twenty ii, the sky darkened and he lost his way. Noticing in the distance the glow of a fire, he went to seek an overnight lodging. A young woman came out and said, "I am but a feeble female living all alone. I am in no position to let a guest spend the night." Ch'in Shu implored, "I had meant to make my way along the road, but the dark night has made it impossible for me to proceed. I beg you to let me stay in the outer quarter." The girl consented. Once Ch'in Shu had gone inside and sat down, he dared not take his ease in sleeping, for the woman was alone in the house, and he was fretful lest her husband arrive. The woman said, "Why are you so restless? Be reassured that nothing harmful will happen." She then laid out food before him, though all the edibles were rather old. Realizing that she lived alone, Ch'in Shu made a proposal to her, "Considering that you are not betrothed, and since I am not yet married, I wish to join with you in wedlock. Will you consent?" The woman smiled, saying, "I regard myself as unworthy. I am not fit to be your mate." Even so, they slept together. As dawn approached, Ch'in Shu was about to leave. They rose and bade farewell to each other while holding hands. The woman said in tears, "Meeting you this time, I shall have no hope of ever seeing you again." She gave him a pair of rings, which he tied to his waistcord, and escorted him out. Ch'in Shu hastened to leave, his head lowered. After he had walked several dozen steps, he turned about to see where he had spent the night. It was a grave mound. Some days later the rings were gone, but the tie remained as it had been before. (Lu, p. 158; TPKC, 324.1) Tr. Pedro Acosta

an

Note: Such a remark as "the edibles were rather old" is "index" to the otherwor Idliness of the woman's

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existence. Signalling of the presence of the supernatural by this kind of indexing motif is not uncommon in CK. The ending here probably is influenced by the Cheng Chiao-fu story (see "Cheng Te-lin" [90], n. 3), where gifts from the goddesses disappeared as soon as the human returns to the normal world or passes out of the "other state."

SOU-SHEN HOU-CHI

(35) Yuan Hsiang and Ken Shih

Yuan Hsiang and Ken Shih, of Yen County, K'uai-chi Commandery [modern Sheng County, Chekiang Province], went hunting. After passing over ridge after ridge they came upon a herd of mountain goats six or seven head strong deep in the mountains, and gave chase. They passed over a narrow and precarious stone bridge. The goats went on, with Ken and his companion in pursuit. They passed over a steep, sheer, rose-colored cliff. It was named "The Roseate Rampart." Water poured down from above, the width of a bolt of cloth. The people of Yen called this a "cascading cloth."1 Along the path was a gate-like cave, through which they could pass with ease. Upon entering they found an open plain, where all plants and trees smelled sweet. There was a small house there in which two maidens lived. They were fifteen or sixteen years of age, lovely to behold, and were dressed in blue robes. One was called Lustrous Pearl, and the other . 2 Seeing the two men approach, they cried out happily, "We've waited so long for you to come," and thereupon they became husband and wife. One day the ladies went out, saying that there was another who had found a husband, and they were going off to celebrate. They walked together above the precipice, the sound of their sandals crisply resounding. The two men thought of returning home and in secret went in search of 1

2

This is one of the fir^t occurrences of the term p'u-pu, now the common term for waterfall. Two characters are missing in the original. - 129 -

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the way. The women caught them in time and brought them back. But learning of their longing for home, the ladies said, "You may go as you please." They gave a wrist sachet to Ken and his companion with the warning, "Take care not to open this." The two men then returned home. Later, when they were out again, Ken's family opened the sachet to take a look. The sachet resembled a lotus blossom. Removing one layer revealed yet another, with five layers in all. At the center was a small azure bird, which flew away. When Ken returned and learned of this, he was despondent for a short while. Some time later, when Ken had gone to plow in the fields, his family came with his meal as was their custom, and they observed him motionless in the field. Approaching him for a closer look, they found but an empty husk of skin, like a cicada's molt. (SSHC, 1/3; TPYL, 41.195a-b)

Tr. Chris Connery

Note: A typical piece about a "sojourn in fairyland." The description of the fairies hastening to celebrate another wedding is a nice touch. The enigmatic image of the sachet must contain an allusion yet to be identified. The blue bird is usually associated with the Queen Mother of the West, by now a prominent figure in the Taoist pantheon.

(36) The Daughter of Hsu Hsuan-fang Feng Hsiao-chiang of Tung-p'ing [in Shantung] was the magistrate of Kuang-chou [P'an-yii County in Canton] during the Chin dynasty [265-420] . His son was named Pony, and was a little over twenty years old. One night he slept alone in the stable, and dreamed of a maiden of eighteen or nineteen who said to him, "i am the daughter of Hsu Hsiian-fang of Pei-hai [I-tu County in Shantung], the previous magistrate here. It was my ill fortune to die in my youth; I have been dead now for four years. I was unjustly killed by a demon. According to .the Book of Life, I was to live into my eighties. Now it is agreed that I may live again, but I must rely on someone named Pony in order to return to life. We are also destined to be man and wife. Can you do your part to bring me back to life?"

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Pony answered, "Yes." She then gave Pony the time of her next appearance. When the appointed day came, hair covered the floor before Pony's bed. He ordered it to be swept out, yet it only grew more distinct. Pony began to realize that this was the woman of his dream. He ordered everyone out, and gradually a forehead appeared, followed by a face, then by a neck and shoulders, and all at once the entire body. Pony asked her to sit on the bed in front of him. She talked to him and hfer words were quite delightful. She then lay with Pony, but warned him, "Be careful. I'm still ethereal." He asked at what time she could finally appear, and she answered, "I must return to life by repossessing my original body; the day has not yet come."1 She then stayed in the stable.2 Everyone heard the sound of their voices. As the day of her revival approached, the maiden taught Pony the way to resurrect her. When she finished speaking, she departed. Pony obeyed her instructions. When the day came he took a scarlet cock, a plate of millet, and a quart of clear wine, and spread them over her grave. When he had finished performing the rites, he dug up her coffin ten paces from the stable. As he opened it and looked at her, he found her appearance to be the same as before. He delicately lifted her out, wrapped her in felt, and placed her in a curtained bed. There was a faint warmth near her heart and breath came from her mouth. Pony ordered four servant girls to care for and nurture her. They kept her eyes moist with the milk of a white goat; eventually she was able to open them. Soon she could take porridge, and shortly afterward she could talk. Within two hundred days she could walk with a cane. After a year her color, skin, and strength were all back to normal. A message was sent to Mr. Hsii, and everyone in the clan came. An auspicious day was selected, bridal gifts were presented, and they became man and wife. They gave birth to two sons and a daughter. The oldest boy, Yiian-ch'ing, served as Palace Library Clerk in the early years of the Yung-chia reign [307-313] of the Chin Emperor Huai. The second son, Ching-tu, served as Grand Tutor. The daughter 1

2

The text here may also read, "I must wait until the original day of birth; it has not yet come."--Ed. The text is corrupted: wang (went to) probably should read chu (stayed in)--Ed.

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was married to Liu Tzu-yen of Chi-nan, who had been offered a position at court, but declined it; he was the grandson of Liu Yen-shih. (SSHC 4/41)

Tr. Chris Connery

Note: The descriptions of the girl's materialization from the floor of the bed chamber and of her slow return to a normal state of existence are both details rarely found in CK stories of resurrection. The piece's origin in the south (Canton) may explain the distinctiveness of the imagination we see here.

(37) The Pure Maiden of the White Waters During the Chin Dynasty in the reign of the Emperor An-ti [r. 397-418], there lived in Hou-kuan County [now Min-hou County in Fukien Province] a certain Hsieh Tuan. He lost both father and mother at an early age, and being without family or relations, was raised by a neighbor. As a young man of seventeen or eighteen years, he was respectful, diligent, unassuming, and never strayed into wrongdoing. When he first went to live on his own, he still had no wife, and his neighbors were all concerned for him. They planned to get him married, but as yet had not succeeded. Tuan retired at nightfall and rose early. He farmed with all his strength, never stopping day or night. One day in the fields he found a great snail as big as a three gallon jug. He thought it a wondrous creature, took it home, stored it in a water jar, and raised it for about a fortnight. . Tuan would go to the fields each morning, and when he returned, he would find in his house food, drink, and boiled water, as if someone had prepared them for him. Tuan thought that this must be his neighbors' charity. After many days of this he went to thank them, but they said, "We certainly have done nothing of the sort; what cause is there for thanks?" Tuan assumed that they had misunderstood him. But after this occured several times, he went again to his neighbors for a more straightforward inquiry. They just laughed and said, "You've already taken a wife on your own, and you keep her hidden in your house

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where she tends your hearth. Yet you say it is we who cook for you!" Tuan became pensive and puzzled, not knowing what the explanation could be. On the following day he set out at cock crow, but returned home in secret at dawn. From beyond the hedge he spied into his house, and saw a young girl appear from out of the jar. She went to the hearth and lit the fire. Tuan then went into his house, and made directly for the jar to look for the snail. He saw only the girl.1 Going over to the hearth, he asked her, "Where are you from, my young lady, you who have come to cook for me?" The girl was terrified and sought to return to the jar but could not. "I am the Pure Maiden of the White Waters, from the Milky Way. The Lord of Heaven took pity on you, orphaned so young, and yet so respectful, diligent, and unassuming. Thus he gave me the mission of keeping your hearth and cooking for you. In ten years you would have been rich and married, and I would then have returned home. But now for no reason you've spied on me and caught me unaware. My true form has been revealed, and thus I can remain here no longer. Now I must go and leave you. Still, in the future you should be moderately well off. Apply yourself well to farming and fishing. I'll leave you this shell. Use it for storing rice and grain, and you'll never be wanting." Tuan begged her to stay, but she steadfastly refused. Suddenly the sky turned to wind and rain, and in an instant she was gone. Tuan set up a shrine for her and performed sacrifices on the seasonal festival days. He lived comfortably for the rest of his life, but he never became rich. Eventually one of his neighbors married his daughter to him, and he later reached the rank of local magistrate. Today by the roadside can be found the Shrine to the Pure Maiden. (SSHC 5/49; TPKC, 62.5)

Tr. Chris Connery

Note: Again we have here the theme of the good and the industrious receiving help from heaven (cf. "Tung Yung" [6]). This story is the source of the T'ang tale "Wu K'an" in the Yiian-hua chi (see Chang, pp. 193-94).

1

The TPKC version has "shell" for "girl."--Ed.

CH'I-HSIEH CHI

(38) Tung Chao-chih and the King of the Ants

Tung Chao-chih, of Fu-yang County [modern Hang County, Chekiang Province] in the state of Wu, was once taking a boat across the Ch'ien-t'ang River. In midstream he saw an ant crawling on a short reed. Scurrying back and forth on the reed, it seemed fearful and anxious. Tung said, "It fears death." He thereupon took a rope and caught the reed. He wanted to bring it up onto the prow of the boat, but someone on the boat scowled, "That is a poisonous insect. You can't keep it alive. If you bring it on board, I will stomp it to death." In his heart Tung felt great pity for the ant. It happened that the boat reached the bank just then and the ant was able to climb out along the rope. That night Tung dreamed of a man dressed in black, leading hundreds of men. The man came to thank him, and said, "I was careless and fell into the river. Thanks to you, my life was saved. I am the Insect King. If you are ever in any trouble, call on me." Ten-odd years later, there were bandits and robbers west of the river. While passing by the mountain area of Yu-hang [east of Hang-chou], Tung was pressed into a bandit gang by their chief, and ended up bound in the Yu-yao [south of Hang-chou Bay] prison. All of a sudden he remembered his dream of the ant king. As he was tossing the idea about in his head, a fellow prisoner asked him about it. Tung said, "The ant said that when a crisis came, I should let him know. Now how can I let him know?" A prisoner said, "Take a couple of ants in your hand and pray to them."

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Tung did as he said, and that night dreamed of a man in black who said, "You should go quickly to Yii-hang Mountain. The emperor will soon declare an amnesty." He then awoke. The ants had already finished gnawing through his cangue, and thus he was able to escape from the prison. He crossed the river and took refuge on Yii-hang Mountain. In a short while amnesty was declared and he was free. (Lu, pp. 231-32; TPKC, 473.8) Tr. Chris Connery Note: Again "a good turn repaid" (cf. "Hsieh Yiin" [33]). The story here probably is motivated specifically by the Buddhist belief of retribution.

(39) Hsiieh Tao-hsiin, the Tiger-man

In the fourth year of the reign of the Emperor Hsiao Wu [r. 372-396] of the Chin Dynasty [265-420], Hsiieh Tao-hsiin of An-lu County in the Chiang-hsia Commandery [in Hupeh Province] was twenty-two. He had been brilliant from an early age, but succumbed to an epidemic disease and, following his cure, went mad. A hundred remedies could not restore his sanity. Then he took some powdered drugs and began to dash around wildly, completely unrestrainable. All of a sudden, he simply vanished. He had turned into a tiger and subsequently devoured countless people. One day there was a girl picking mulberries beneath a tree. The tiger approached and ate her. When he finished eating, he hid her jewelry among some boulders, thinking he would remember where to find them when he became a man again. After a year he returned home, a man once more. Later he went to the capital and became an official, serving as Palace Attendant. One night when he was talking with a group of friends, the conversation shifted to matters of mysterious metamorphoses in the universe. Hsiieh Tao-hsiin spoke up, "Long ago I was sick and went mad, and then became a tiger. For a full year I gobbled men down. He then recounted locales and names of his victims. Among those with him were men whose fathers, sons, or brothers he had eaten, and they began to wail and cry. They seized him and brought him before a judge. He later starved to death in a Chien-k'ang [modern Nanking, Kiangsu] prison.

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(Lu, p. 232; TPKC, 426.10) Tr. Chris Connery Note: The transformation of a human into a tiger is a common motif in CK. The fact that such stories always include the taking of human lives by the tiger-man seems to point to a metaphoric or allegorical origin of the stories. A "man-eating tiger" is a common metaphor for an evil, avaricious magistrate (see, e.g., "Feng Shao" in Shui-i chi, Lu, p. 169, where the metaphoric origin of the man-into-tiger motif is made explicit). In the cases where this phenomenon is treated as factual, the cause of the metamorphosis is variously given; see, e.g. "Huang Miao" (52) and other related entries in TPKC, 426-33.

VU-MING LU

(40) Liu Ch'en and Juan Chao

In the fifth year of the Yung-p'ing reign period [58-75] under Emperor Ming of the Han dynasty, Liu Ch'en and Juan Chao of Yen-hsien [in southwestern Sheng County, Chekiang Province] went together to the T'ien-t'ai Mountains [in Chekiang Province]1 to gather mulberry bark. There they got lost and could not find their way back. After thirteen days their provisions were completely used up, and they were about to starve to death. At this point they happened to see a peach tree laden with fruit at the top of the mountain. The cliffs were steep, the streams deep, and there was no path leading up to the top. But by grabbing vines, they were able to climb to the top, where they each ate several peaches. Their hunger was then abated, and they regained their strength. On their way down they scooped some water into their cups and were about to wash their hands and rinse their mouths when they saw some rape turnip leaves being swept downstream from the mountain. The leaves were quite fresh. A cup also drifted by--it contained sesame seeds mixed with cooked rice.

1

The T'ien-t'ai range, consisting of a series of famous mountains, has been known for its association with religious Taoism ever since the Han dynasty. In the sixth century, Chih-k'ai founded the T'ien-t'ai School of Buddhism here. The mountains have been the site of many renowned Taoist and Buddhist temples.--Ed. - 137 -

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"There must be someone not far from here," the two men remarked to each other. They dove into the water, swam upstream two or three ii, crossed the mountain, and emerged in a large stream. By the stream were two extremely beautiful girls. When they saw the two men coming ashore with the cup, they smiled and said, "Master Liu and Master Juan, that's the cup we lost. Bring it over here." Liu Ch'en and Juan Chao did not know them, yet the two girls called them by their family names as if they were old friends. Moreover, the girls seemed delighted to see them. "Why did it take so long for you to come?" the girls asked before inviting the two men into their home. Their house was roofed with bamboo. There were two wooden beds, one by the north wall and the other by the south wall. Both beds were draped with scarlet satin curtains on which were hung gold and silver bells. At the head of each bed there were ten maids. The two girls issued the following orders, "Master Liu and Master Juan have traversed mountains and valleys. Although they just have had the carnelian fruit, they are still hungry and tired. Hurry and make us something to eat." The meal, consisting of rice with sesame seeds, dried mountain goat, and beef, was exquisite. When they had finished eating, wine was passed around. And then another group of girls entered, each earring three or four peaches in their hands. They smiled as they spoke to the two girls, "We present these to celebrate the arrival of your grooms." After the wine, music was introduced. Amid the festivities, Liu and Juan were in high spirits, but still felt somewhat apprehensive. At sundown each was told to sleep on one of the beds. The two girls went to them for the night, speaking so soothingly and tenderly that they forgot their cares. Ten days later the two men asked to return home. "You are fortunate that fate led you here," the girls replied. "How can you wish to go back?" So Liu and Juan stayed for another half year. When they saw the signs of spring and heard birds singing, they became even more homesick and pleaded for permission to go home. The girls said, "if you are still bound by worldly desires, what can we do?" They summoned the maidens who had come before, and all thirty or forty of them gathered to entertain their guests with music. They all accompanied Liu and Juan and showed them the way back.

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Upon returning home, they found that their old friends and relatives had all died, and the town had completely changed, so that they no longer recognized anything. Byinquiry they finally located their seventh-generation grandchildren, who said they had heard that their ancestors had gone to the mountains and had been unable to find their way back. In the eighth year of the T'ai-yiian reign period [376-396] Liu and Juan suddenly left. No one knows where they went. (Lu, pp. 247-48; TPYL, 441.194b-195a) Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note: Of all the Six Dynasties CK, this is probably the piece most frequently alluded to. Generations of later poets, dramatists, and fiction writers have been fascinated by the story probably because of its presentation of the archetypal theme of "encounter with the fairies." The refined style of the narrative and description no doubt contribute to the appeal of the piece. See also Introduction, Sec. IV, for a brief discussion of the story.

(41) Huang Yuan and Miao-yin

Early one morning Huang Yuan, a native of T'ai-shan [in Ch'ien-an County, Shantung Province] who lived during the Han dynasty, opened his gate and, to his surprise, found a black dog crouched outside, guarding the house as if it had been raised there. Yuan put a leash on the dog and went hunting with his neighbors. Toward sunset he saw a deer and let the dog loose. The dog ran so slowly that Yuan himself had to give chase. But in spite of all his efforts, he could not catch up with the deer. After they had run several ii, they came to a cave. Yuan went a hundred paces inside, and suddenly came upon a broad thoroughfare. Locust trees and willows were planted in rows, surrounded by a wall. Yuan followed the dog through a gate and saw a row of perhaps several dozen houses. All of the residents were girls--every one attractive in appearance and attired in an elegant robe. Some strummed lutes and zithers, while others played chess.

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When Yuan reached the northern pavilion, he saw that it had three rooms. Two girls stood guard, looking as if they were expecting someone. When they saw Yuan, they looked at each other and smiled. "The black dog has brought Miao-yin's groom," they said. One of them stayed outside, while the other entered the pavilion. Moments later four maids came out, saying that the Lady of Supreme Purity1 had given them this message for Master Huang: "I have a young daughter who has just pinned up her hair.2 According to a preordained decree, she should become your wife." Since it was already dusk, they led Huang Yuan inside, where there was a hall which faced south. In front of the hall was a pool in which there was a platform with a hole one foot in diameter in each of the four corners. From each of the holes light shone on a curtain and a mat. There he saw Miao-yin, who was endowed with a delicate charm and was attended by beautiful maids. Having gone through the wedding rituals, she and Yiian went to bed as if they had known each other for years. A few days later Yiian wanted to go home for a time to tell his family what had happened. Miao-yin said, "Men and spirits follow different paths. We were not meant to stay together for long." The next day she gave him the pendant that hung at her waist, and bade him farewell. Looking down at the steps where they were to part, she wept. "We will probably never meet again, and that makes my love even stronger," she said. "if you have any feelings for me, at dawn on the first day of the third month, please fast and purify yourself and make a sacrificial offering." Four maids escorted Huang Yiian out the gate. In half a day he was home, but his memory was somewhat hazy. But each year on the appointed day he saw a curtained carriage that seemed to fly through the air. (Lu, pp. 250-51; TPKC, 292.5) Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note:

1

2

The motif of "necromantic union" is here fused

Name of the daughter of Hsi Wang Mu (Queen Mother of the West). "Supreme Purity," or T'ai-chen, is the pneuma (ch'i) of the Great Ultimate (T'ai-chi). At the age of fifteen a girl pinned up her hair to signify her coming of age.

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with that of "marriage with a fairy." The story is also given a Taoist touch by the introduction of a bride with a Taoist genealogy. Cf. "Lu Ch'ung" (22).

(42) Chen Ch'ung and the Earth God

Chen Ch'ung, a native of Chung-shan [present day Ting County in Hopeh Province] whose courtesy name was Shu-jang, was appointed magistrate of Yun-she [located northwest of modern day Mien-yang County in Hupeh Province]. He had arrived at the vicinity of [nearby] Hui-huai when a man suddenly came to see him and said that the son of the earth-god would like to pay Chen a visit. Moments later he arrived--a handsome youth. After they sat down and exchanged greetings, the youth said, "My father has sent me here. He desires the honor of becoming a relative of yours and would like to give my younger sister in marriage. I have come to inform you of this." Chen was astonished. "I have passed the prime of my age, and besides, I already have a family," he said. "What reason is there for this proposal?" "My sister is young and has few rivals in beauty," the earth-god's son said. "She would certainly be a good match. How can you refuse?" "I am an old man," Chen said. "Since I now have a wife, how could I tolerate such a violation of propriety?" They argued back and forth several times, but Chen did not change his decision in the least. The earth-god's son grew angry. "My father will come here himself," he said. "I'm afraid you won't be able to defy him." After the son left, Chen saw men wearing turbans and wielding horsewhips on both banks of the river. They marched in formation, and their ranks were quite deep. Finally the god himself arrived, with shields and insignia before and behind him as if he were a feudal lord. He rode in a carriage with green banners and red trim. There were also several covered carriages. The girl rode in an open carriage with several dozen brocaded wind screens and eighteen maids lined up in front. Their clothes were more elegant and colorful than any Chen had ever seen.

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On the bank, next to Chen, a tent was pitched and a straw mat set out. The god descended from his carriage and, leaning against a low bench, sat on a white felt cushion. He had a jade cuspidor and a tortoise-shell holder for his handkerchiefs, and in his hand was a white whisk. The girl, however, remained on the east bank, her carriage flanked by eunuchs holding white whisks. Her maids stood in front. The god directed a steward to order Chen to sit down before him, and Chen found himself facing sixty musicians. Music was ordered. The instruments all looked like porcelain. The god addressed Chen, "My daughter is lowly, but I love her dearly. Because of your moral character and good reputation, I wish to join her with you in marriage. I thus sent my son to inform you of my intentions." "I am old and haggard," Chen said. "I already have a family. Moreover, my son is already grown. Even if I wanted a large dowry, I wouldn't dare accept." "My daughter has just turned twenty," the god said. "She is a true beauty and was brought up properly; in her the four virtues1 are complete. She is now on the opposite bank. Don't cause any trouble--just go through with the ceremony." Chen resisted strenously. Thinking that the god might be, in fact, a demon, he drew his sword and laid it, drew his sword and laid it across his lap, intending to fight to the death. He said nothing more to the god. The god was incensed and called for three leopards and two tigers. They opened their mouths, revealing a deep red; they roared, the sound splitting the ground; and they leaped straight up. All this was repeated several dozen times. They persisted in their menacing behavior throughout the night without being able to move Chen. Finally they had no alternative but to leave. One pullcart remained, along with several dozen people who still wished to receive Chen. Chen traveled on to Hui-huai and stopped at the official lodging in the county seat. When the carriage and welcoming party reached the gate, a man wearing a turban and unlined robe bowed to Chen and said: "Stop here. You must not go any further."

1

Proper behavior, proper speech, proper demeanor, proper employment (or deeds).

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Chen remained there for more than ten days before venturing to go on. He saw a man wearing a turban and holding a horsewhip. The man followed him until he arrived at his home. A few days later he fell ill and died.2 (Lu, pp. 297-98; TPKC, 318.22) Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note: On the motif of interception by a local deity, cf. "Ts'ai Chih's Wife" (2); and on a marriage imposed by a god, cf. "Huang YUan" (41). Ch'ung's resistance against the threats of the wild beasts seems to resemble one of the trials that Chao Sheng undergoes in "Chang Tao-ling" (29).

(43) The Girl Who Sold Ceruse

There was once an extremely wealthy family that had only one son. The parents pampered their son and allowed him to do as he pleased. Once when he was strolling around the marketplace, he saw a beautiful girl selling ceruse. He fell in love with her but could not express his feelings except by buying the powder from her. He went to the marketplace every day, but as soon as he bought the powder, he left without a word. Eventually the girl grew deeply suspicious. The next time the young man came, she asked, "What do you do with all the powder you buy?" "I am in love with you," he replied, "But I haven't dared to say so. I constantly long to see you, and I buy powder just so I can admire your beauty." The girl was touched and promised to meet him the next evening. On the appointed evening the young man lay calmly in his room and waited for the girl to come. Toward dark she arrived. He was overwhelmed with joy and, grabbing her arm, he said, "I've waited so long for this!" He leapt up transported and suddenly died. The girl was frightened and 2

The TPKC text is followed for the translation of this sentence. Lu's text reads: "A few days later his wife fell ill and subsequently died." The latter text seems to contain a corruption: kuei (arriving at home) is mistaken for fu (wife).--Ed.

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at a loss as to what to do, so she simply slipped out, and waited until dawn to return to the powder shop. At breakfast that morning the young man's parents wondered why he had not risen. They went to his room and found that he had died. While making arrangements for their sons's funeral, they opened his chest and discovered the ceruse--one hundred pouches, large and small, all in a pile. "This powder must have something to do with my son's death," said his mother. The youth's parents roamed through the marketplace, buying ceruse. Finally they came to the girl and found that her palmprints matched those on their son's pouches. "Why did you kill our son?" they asked. The girl began to sob and gave a full account of what had happened. The parents, however, were skeptical and took her to court, where she said, "I am by no means unwilling to die. I only ask to see the body once more so that I may mourn for him." The prefect granted her request. She went immediately to the body and embraced it, weeping bitterly as she spoke, "it's really unfortunate that this happened. If your spirit is aware of my grief, I'll have no regrets." At once the young man revived. After he explained what had happened, he and the girl were married. They had many descendants. (Lu, p. 296; TPKC, 274.1) Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note: Cf. "Wang Tao-p'ing" (16). The resurrection theme here is embedded in a background of socio-economical reality. ffua-pen stories later will often have similar occurences of the supernatual amidst the realistically depicted social setting.

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(44) P'ang A and the Infatuated Girl

In the prefecture of Chii-lu [modern Ning-chin County, Hopeh] there was a man by the name of P'ang A who was handsome and carried himself well. The Shih family of that same prefecture had a daughter who took a liking to him after she chanced to see him from the inner quarters of her house. Not long thereafter, P'ang A saw this girl coming to pay a call on him. P'ang A's wife was a very jealous woman, and when she heard of this, she ordered her maidservant to tie up the girl and send her back to the Shih family. However when they were halfway there, the girl transformed herself into a wisp of smoke and disappeared. Thereupon the maidservant went straight to see the Shih family and told them the story. The father of the Shih family was shocked and said, "My daughter has never even stepped outside this house. How can you spread such slander as this?" From then on P'ang A's wife took even more care to keep an eye on him. A few nights later she came across this girl in the study, whereupon she herself tied her up and took her back to the Shih family.1 When the father saw her he stared dumbfoundedly and said, "I just came from inside and saw the girl working with her mother. How could she be here?" He th en ordered a maidservant to call the girl to come out. As soon as the girl came out, the one who had been tied up vanished like smoke. The father suspected that there must be a reason for this, so he sent for the mother to ask the girl about it. The girl said, "Last year I once stole a glance at P'ang A when he came to our house and ever since then I have felt confused. Once I dreamt that I went to visit P'ang A, and when I reached the entrance to his house, I was tied up by his wife." Mr. Shih said, "How extraordinary that there are such strange matters as this in the world! Indeed, when one's feelings are deeply affected, the spirit will manifest itself in mysterious ways. Thus the one who disappeared must have been her spirit." After this the girl made a vow that she would never marry. Some years later, P'ang A's wife suddenly contracted a terrible illness, and neither doctors nor

1

The other TPKC version has "P'ang A's father" instead of his wife who kept watch and tied up the girl.--Ed.

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medicines were able to save her life. After her death P'ang A sent betrothal gifts to the Shih girl and took her to wife. (Lu, p. 303; TPKC, 358.1) Tr. Madeline Spring Note: This is one of the earliest CK stories that relate the detachment of the soul from the body to assume an independent existence of its own. The most celebrated of the stories treating this subject is the T'ang tale "The Disembodied Soul" (Li hun chi) (61), which became the source for many Yiian and Ming stories and plays. The story's appeal to later writers seems to lie in the theme stated in the story itself: "when one's feelings are deeply affected, the spirit will manifest itself in mysterious tt ways. The "detached soul" as a metaphor for unsuppressible passions is to appear later as the central theme of T'ang Hsien-tsu's (1550-1617) intriguing play, The Peony Pavilion.

(45) One Named Kuang from Yii-hang

Once, toward the end of the Sheng-p'ing reign period [357-361] there was an old man from Ku-chang [modern An-chi County, Chekiang] who had a daughter. They lived together deep in the mountains. One day a certain Kuang of Yii-hang [east of Hang-chou, modern Chekiang] came to ask for the daughter's hand in marriage, but her father refused. When the old man later died of an illness, the daughter went into town to buy a coffin. Along the way she happened upon Kuang and told him what had happened. "I'm very strained at the moment," said the girl. "if you would go back to my house and watch over my father s corpse, then when I return I'll be your wife." Kuang agreed to this. The girl then said, "There are pigs in our pen. Go ahead and kill one for sacrificial meat." Kuang went on to the girl's home, but when he got there he heard sounds of joyous clapping and gleeful dancing from within the house. At first puzzled, he looked in from outside the fence, only to see a number of ghosts in the main hall, playing with the old man's corpse. Kuang picked

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up a big stick and ran into the room, yelling wildly. The ghosts scattered. Kuang watched over the corpse, and meanwhile also killed the pig. That night he looked up to see an old ghost near the corpse, begging for a piece of the meat. Kuang grabbed the ghost's arm, and the ghost could not get away as Kuang held on ever more tightly. At that moment, from beyond the door to the house, he heard several ghosts calling out to him, "That old ghost is really just too greedy for food!" "Then it was you who killed the old man!" said Kuang to the old ghost. "if you quickly return his spirit, I'll let you go. Otherwise you will never get away!" "My son and the others killed the old man," said the old ghost. He then cried out to his son, "You may return him." Gradually, the old man returned to life, and so the old ghost was released. When the daughter returned with the casket, she was surprised and cried to see her father alive. And so it was that Kuang came to take the daughter as his wife. (Lu, pp. 265-66; TPKC, 383.5) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: Cf. "Sung Ting-po" (3) and "Ch'in Chu-po" (20). The ghosts in this particular story have much in common with humans in their voracity, gullibility, cunning, and cowardice.

(46) Shu Li, the Shaman

In the prefecture of Pa-ch'iu [modern Hsia-chiang County, Kiangsi] there lived a shaman by the name of Shu Li, who died of an illness in the first year of the Yung-ch'ang reign [322-323]. As was the custom, the Earth God prepared to escort him to T'ai-shan Mountain,1 the first stop in the soul's journey after death. On the way they passed an attendant of the underworld who was in a Buddhist temple. The Earth God asked him, "What kind of place is this?" and the attendant answered, "A house of The Enlightened." Now, the common people called shamans

1

See "Chiang Chi's Dead Son" (1), n. 2.

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"enlightened people," so the Earth God said, "This man is also an enlightened man." Thus, he turned Shu over to the attendant. When Shu entered the gate he saw several thousand tiled rooms, all hung with bamboo curtains and furnished with beds and couches, men and women having separate areas. There were people reciting the sutras, some singing hymns and some leisurely eating. It seemed everyone was happy beyond expression. Now, Shu's documents and name had already reached the gates of T'ai-shan but he had not. The Earth God was sent for and questioned. He replied, "On the way we saw several thousand tiled rooms. When I inquired of the attendant he said that they were for The Enlightened, so I handed him over." A spirit was dispatched to bring him back. Meanwhile, Shu, who was still exploring the tiled rooms, saw a person with eight hands and four eyes carrying a gold pestle come towards him to crush him. Terrified, he ran back out of the gates. The spirit was already at the gates to meet him, so he escorted Shu to T'ai-shan. The magistrate of T'ai-shan asked Shu, "When you were in the world of mortals, what did you do?" Shu said, "I served thirty-six thousand spirits, performed exorcisms for people, and presided over temple sacrifices, sometimes killing cows, calves, pigs, sheep, chickens, and ducks." The magistrate said, "You flattered spirits and killed living creatures, so to repay your guilt you shall be subjected to a hot grill." The magistrate had an official lead Shu to the place of burning. There the shaman saw a creature with the head of an ox and the body of a man who held an iron prong. He skewered Shu on it and tossed him onto an iron grill upon which he was turned until his body was thoroughly scorched. The shaman pleaded in vain for death. He was subjected to this torture for two days and one night, experiencing the most intolerable sufferings. The magistrate then asked of the controller of rewards and punishments: "Did Shu Li complete his allotted life span? or are we depriving him of his due?" Checking the records, it was found he still had eight years to live, so the magistrate said, "Bring him here." Using the iron prong the ox-headed man again skewered Shu, moving him to the edge of the place of burning. The magistrate said, "We're going to send you back to live out the rest of your allotted life. Never again kill living creatures or engage in licentious sacrifices."

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Shu was suddenly returned to life and subsequently gave up his occupation as shaman. (Lu, p. 262; TYCL, 78.931a; TPKC 283.1) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: An example in which elements of native shamanism and legends related to the lord of T'ai-shan are used to propagate Buddhist doctrines, particularly the injunction against killings of any kind for any purpose.

(47) The Cypress Pillow

For more than thirty years the curate of the temple at Lake Chiao [in Anhwei Province]1 had a pillow made of cypress. In it there was a small crack. A local merchant, T'ang Lin,2 once came to the temple to pray for good fortune. The curate said to him, "You're not married yet? Then you may sleep beside this crack." The curate bade Lin enter the crack. Lin saw vermilion gates, jade palaces, gemmed terraces, all of which surpassed anything in the ordinary world. He met Grand Marshal Chao, who arranged a marriage for him. Lin raised six children, four boys and two girls. He was also appointed Assistant Director of the Imperial Library and soon promoted to Attendant Within the Yellow Gates. All the time he was in the pillow, Lin never thought of going home, but he eventually ran into trouble and adversity in his career. It was then that the curate told him to come back out, and there was the pillow in front of him. Lin felt as if he had spent several years inside it, but in reality he had been there only an instant. (Lu, p. 314; TPKC, 283.3; TPHYC, 126.183a-b) Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee

1 2

Also known as Lake Ch'ao.--Ed. The TPHYC version gives the character's name as Yang Lin.--Ed.

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Note: This is another of the CK themes which exerts a far-reaching influence on later literature. The story's treatment of dream represents the standard allegorical treatment in the Chinese tradition, both Buddhist and Taoist. Note that the shift in the experience of time which occurs inside the pillow is shown to be directly opposite to that experienced in a fairyland (see, e.g., "Liu Ch'en and Juan Chao" [40]); here "several years" in the dream world is but an instant in reality. The best known T'ang tale based on this story is "Chen-chung chi" (The World inside a Pillow) by Shen Chi-chi (7507-800) (Ma and Lau, pp. 435-38); the best known of the Yuan and Ming plays based on it are "Huang-liang meng" (The Yellow Millet Dream) by Ma Chih-yiian (12507-1323) (in collobration with three other playwrights) and "Han-tan chi" (On the Way to Han-tan) by T'ang Hsien-tsu (1550-1617). See Han-liang Chang, "The Yang Lin Story Series: A Structural Analysis," in China and the West: Comparative Literature Studies, ed. William Tay, Ying-hsiung Chou, and Heh-hsiang Yuan (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1980), pp. 195-216, for a detailed discussion of this story and other related works.

LU-I CHUAN

(48) Ou Ming and What-you-will

Long ago, Ou Ming, a townsman of Lu-ling [now in Chi-an County, Kiangsi Province], went traveling as a trader. Every time his path crossed Lake P'eng-tse, he would throw from the boat all that he had with him, explaining that this was a ritual offering. After doing this for many years, he was once again crossing the lake when he saw within it a great road, swirling with wind and dust. There came up to him a score of officials in simple robes, riding horse-drawn chariots. They said that they were sent for him by the Lord of the Blue Deep. Ou Ming knew that these were spirits, but he dared not refuse to go with them. An instant later he could see lictors and officials waiting in the distance beneath the gate to a ministry. Ou Ming was terrified and inquired of the lictors, for he feared that he would not be allowed to return home. "Fear nothing! The Lord of the Blue Deep, noting that at all times you have behaved with ritual propriety, has requested your presence. He is sure to offer you valuable presents. Do not accept any of them, but ask for a 'what-you-will.'" When they arrived, the lord indeed presented Ou Ming with silk and fabrics. Ou Ming declined them all and instead asked for a 'what-you-will.' The lord was greatly surprised; Ou could discern that there was reluctance in him. But finally forcing himself to comply, the lord called What-you-will out, and ordered her to go with Ou Ming. What-you-will was the name of one of the Lord of the Blue Deep's servant girls: she obtained for him all that he wanted. After Ou Ming returned home with What-you-will, his every want was satisfied, and in a few years he was very wealthy. - 151 -

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Ou Ming grew proud and self-satisfied; he fell out of love with What-you-will. At cock crow one New Yearfs morn he called out, "What-you-will!" What-you-will did not get up, and Ou Ming became furious. He was on the point of beating her, so she fled. Ou Ming followed her to the compost and manure pile. On this pile was a mass of wood and kindling that had been swept out on the previous day, the last day of the old year. What-you-will escaped through the wood pile and disappeared, but Ou Ming did not know this. Assuming that she was still hiding amidst the kindling and manure, he took out his cane and beat upon the pile to force her out. When a long time had passed and she had not come out, he knew that he had failed. He said, "You just keep making me wealthy, and I'll never beat you again." Nowadays at cock crow on New Year's morn, people go out to beat their manure piles. It is said that this is to make one wealthy. (Lu, pp. 414-15; TPYL, 472.216a-b) Tr. Chris Connery Note: An example of a legend given to explain the origin of a custom or a ritualistic practice. The practice however might have in fact originated from a linguistic association with the expression "what-you-will" (ju-yuan).

(49) Wei Chao's Last Words

Wei Chao was a man of the Hung-shou Precinct and excelled at the Book of Changes. On his deathbed he wrote some words on a tablet, which he presented to his wife. "After I am gone," he said, "there will come a time of great poverty and famine. Though it shall be so, you must be careful never to sell this house. Five years hence, in the spring time, there will come a government official, surnamed Kung, to stay in this precinct. This man owes gold to me. Present this tablet to him. Take care to obey my every word." As he finished speaking, he died. Just as he had said, the succeeding times were indeed very hard, and though on many occasions the widow thought of selling the house, mindful of her husband's words, she desisted. On the appointed day, the official Kung did in

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fact stop in the precinct. The widow thereupon took the tablet to present to him. The official took the tablet with some hesitation, not understanding its significance. "But I've never set foot in this area in all my life. How could this have happened?" "My husband wrote this on his death bed in his own hand. My command was to do thus. I dare not fabricate the truth." The official pondered for a long while, and finally it dawned on him. "What abilities had your honored husband?" The widow replied, "My deceased husband excelled at the Book of Changes, yet he never divined for a single soul." "Aah...it becomes clear," said the official. He turned to his attendants and ordered the milfoil stalks to be brought out. He tossed the divination stalks, and when the hexagram was complete, clasped his hands together and sighed, "Extraordinary! Wei Chao had in his lifetime wholly fathomed the hidden ways, and yet he never revealed it, and no one had ever heard of him. Truly he held up an accurate mirror to success and failure and could forsee the coming of good and evil." The official Kung thereupon explained to the widow Wei, "I owe you no gold, for your husband has his own. Knowing, however, that after his death there would be a brief time of hardship, he hid his treasure until prosperity would return. He didn't tell you or your son, for he feared that the gold would be too soon exhausted, and that you would never know a respite from poverty. He knew that I was skilled in the Book of Changes, and thus wrote this tablet to communicate his plan. There are 500 catties of gold, kept in an azure urn with a brass cover. It is buried by the eastern end of your hall, one fathom from the wall and nine feet deep." The widow went and dug up the gold; all was as divined. (Lu, pp. 415-16; Chin shu 95, p. 2480; TPYL, 728.3230b) Tr. by Chris Connery Note: An example of the kuai about the efficacy of divination done according to the I-ching. This entry is very similar to what is recorded in Chin-shu about Wei Chao, from which this may have been derived.

SHU-I CHI

(50) Ou Ching-chih and the Corpse Eater

Ou Ching-chih, a "camp man"1 of Nan-k'ang Prefecture [modern Kan County, Kiangsi], took a boat trip with his son one day during the first year of the Ylian-chia reign period [424-53]. They started from the prefectural seat and proceeded far upstream to a secluded branch of the river. The place was remote and desolate, completely cut off from the outside world; no human being had ever set foot there before. They went ashore in the evening to camp for the night. There Ching-chih had a stroke and died unexpectedly. His son built a fire to keep vigil over the body. Suddenly he heard someone wailing mournfully in the distance, calling out, "Uncle!" Ou's son was mystified and frightened. Presently the mourner came into sight. It was a creature the size of a man, with long hair reaching down to its feet and completely covering the features of its face. As it came closer, it called Ou's son by name and tried to console him. Seized with fear, the son threw all the wood in to kindle the fire, so that it might shine on the creature. The creature said, "I have come to offer my condolences and to comfort you. Why are you frightened and make the fire blaze up like that?"

1

In the Six Dynasties, commoners of a defeated state were sometimes kept as bond peasants to work the land of their captors. They were called ying-hu or ying-min (camp people) , and were accorded a status lower than that of ordinary peasants. - 154 -

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It then sat down by the head of the corpse to mourn. Stealing a look at the creature, the son saw it bend over and cover the face of the corpse with its own. In an instant, the corpse's face was clean of flesh, the skull exposed. The son was terrified, and sought to drive the creature away, but there was nothing at hand he could use as a weapon. By the time he turned to look again, only the bones of the body were left; and in another moment, even the skin and bones had been consumed. It was never known what kind of monster or evil spirit that creature was. (Lu, p. 176; TPKC, 324.6) Tr. S. Y. Kao Note: An example of the type of kuai featuring evil creatures that inhabit the wild terrain beyond the pale of human civilization. Here narrative purpose is subservient to that of description and portrayal.

(51) The Girl of the Chu Family

Ts'ui Chi of Ch'ing-ho [in modern Hopeh Province, bordering on Shantung] once stayed in Ch'ing-chou [modern I-tu County, Shantung] while on a journey. A Chu family there had a daughter who was delicate and beautiful beyond comparison. With all the means at his disposal, Ts'ui courted her and proposed to make her his concubine. One night around midnight, Ts'ui heard someone knocking at the door. Putting on his clothes, he came to answer it and saw the girl standing outside, her face covered with tears. In a choked voice she said, "I was seized by a sudden illness and have just lost my life. I am forever deprived of your love and unable to share the happiness of life with you. Such pain and grief is unbearable!" She then took out of her bosom two measures of silk and gave them to Ts'ui, saying, "Lately I have been weaving this silk, and had intended to make a shirt and a pair of trousers for you. But I have not yet started cutting the cloth. I shall now present this to you as a gift." Ts'ui in return gave her a piece of brocade eight feet long. Receiving it, the girl said, "We shall never see each other again!" When she finished speaking, she disappeared and was seen no more.

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As soon as the sun came up, Ts'ui went to ask about her at her home. Her father said, "My daughter was suddenly taken ill last night, and passed away during the night." Ts'ui asked, "Is any silk missing from your house?" Her father said, "My daughter had woven two measures of silk and left them in the chest. After her death, her mother took them out to make graveclothes for her, but they suddenly disappeared when her mother was not watching. Ts'ui then related what he had just experienced. (Lu, pp. 190-91; TPYL, 817) Tr. S. Y. Kao Note: A variation "P'ang A" (44).

on

the

"necromantic"

theme;

cf.

(52) Huang Miao Transformed into a Tiger

In the Yiian-chia reign [424-454] of the Liu Sung, Huang Miao, a man from P'ing-ku in Nan-k'ang [in modern Kiangsi Province], was a provincial clerk. He was given leave, but did not return to his post on time. As he traveled north, back to the province, he happened to pass by Kung-t'ing Lake where he entered a temple and prayed that he be saved from punishment and, furthermore, that he be allowed to go home for a visit. If indeed those prayers were answered, he would offer pork and wine in a sacrifice. Huang went back to his province to find that all he wished for had been granted, and so he set off for home. His allowance being rather low, he did not pass the temple on his way but took another road instead. When he reached the outskirts of the city, he moored his boat next to his friends' for the night. In the middle of the night the boat suddenly began to move down the river on its own. It moved swiftly like the wind until, some time approaching the fourth watch [1-3 A.M.], it reached Kung-t'ing; only then did Huang Miao realize what was the matter. He saw that there were three people on board, all wearing black clothing, who bound him with some rope they were carrying. Still in the dark of night, they approached the temple and stopped below the steps. There he saw a god clad in yellow and white brocade robes who looked like a forty-year-old man. From a beam was hung a pearl as large as a catapult ball, so brilliant it lit the room.

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Someone from outside reported, "Here is Huang Miao of Pring-ku, who vowed to offer pork and wine as sacrifices for the realization of his wishes, but has tried to evade his promises on his way home. We were ordered to arrest' him and have brought him." His sentence was "to be banished for three years," during which time he was to "take thirty people." An official of the spirits was sent to accompany Miao to the deepest part of the mountain forests. He was chained to a tree, and fed daily with raw flesh. Overcome with frustration, his mind grew fuzzy. He began to feel hot flashes and cold chills. His body ulcerated, and everywhere he began to grow animal-like fur. After ten days fur covered his entire body and he grew claws and fangs. All he desired now was to pounce and kill like an animal. At this point the spirit official removed his chains and released him, letting him go wherever he wanted. By the end of the three years he had managed to kill twenty-nine people. His next intended victim was a girl from Hsin-kan [modern Ch'ing-chiang County, Kiangsi], but she was of an aristocratic family and did not usualy leave her home. Finally it happened that she went out via the back gate, in the company of some female members of the family, to visit other relatives. Since she was last in the procession, he was able to grab her. Because this young woman had been so difficult to get to, five years had passed before the full contingent of thirty people was realized. Then the spirit official escorted him back to the temple, where the god ordered him released. He was fed with salted rice, and his fur began to shed and his normal hair grew out. His claws and fangs dropped off, and the nails grew in their place. After fifteen days he resumed the human form, and his thinking and feelings returned to normal. He was then escorted onto the main road. Later, the prefectural magistrate summoned Miao to make a report of what had happened to him. They checked out the persons "taken" by him by inquiring of the families involved. All turned out as he had said. A scar remained on his thigh from where a lance had wounded him while in his animal state. Eight years after he had returned home, Miao died of an epidemic. (Lu, pp. 175-76; TPKC, 296.2) Tr. Michael Broschat

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Note: A variation on the "man-into-tiger" theme. Here the metamorphosis is explained as a punishment for an unfulfilled vow (cf. "Hsiieh Tao-hsun" [39]). This piece has the appearance of a "werewolf" story, but the basic orientation and the ambience are different from those in Western horror stories.

HSU CH'I-HSIEH CHI

(53) The Spirit of the Clear Stream Temple

Chao Wen-shao of K'uai-chi [modern Shen County, Chekiang] served as Eastern Palace Attendant. He lived by the middle bridge of the Clear Stream [a stream in northeast Nanking], one lane away from the home of Imperial Secretary Wang Shu-ch'ing. Their homes were about two hundred paces apart. One autumn night under a fine moon, Chao grew wistful and homesick. He leaned against his gate and sang the song "Western Crows in Night Flight." His singing was sad and plaintive. Suddenly a girl of fifteen or sixteen years, wearing the blue clothes of a maidservant, came up to him and said, "The Lady of the Wang house sends me to convey a message to the Attendant: she heard your song, and it delighted her very much. We are having a fete observing the moon, and I was sent to convey her greetings."1 The evening was young and Chao suspected nothing. He gave a courteous reply and extended an eager invitation to the lady. In an instant the woman arrived. She was seventeen or eighteen; her gait and countenance were lovely. She had two servant girls in attendance. When Chao asked her where her home was, she raised her hand and pointed toward the house of Imperial Secretary Wang, saying, "There. I heard your singing and have come to visit you. Could you do

1

The "message" portion of the speech is rendered according to the version in the Yiieh-fu shih chi, ed. Kuo Mao-ch'ien (Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1979), 47, p. 684. - 159 -

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another song, please?" Chao then sang for her "Grass Grows on Mesa Rock." His singing was rich and pure, and the song deeply touched the maiden's heart. She said, "if there is a vase, why worry that we can get no water."2 She turned to her servants and said, "Go get the kTung-hou lute that we may play for the Attendant." In a moment they returned. The maiden plucked a few notes: the rippling beauty of her music touched Chao. She then ordered one of the maids to sing the song "Hoarfrost." She herself loosened the belt of her robe, which was then tied to the body of the lute, and beat in time to the song. The words of the song went: Wind blows at sunset, Falling leaves cling To the branches. This thread of desire in a scarlet heart, Alas, you feel it not. A song of hoar frost, It pervades the foredawn curtain; What sense in keeping an empty bed? I sit and await the hoarfrost fall. The refrain sounded, and the hour was late. He invited her to stay overnight, and they slept together. At the fourth watch bell, they parted. She took a golden hairpin and gave it to Chao; he gave her in return a silver bowl and a porcelain spoon. In the morning Chao went out and happened to come to the Clear Stream Temple. As he rested on the spirit dais, he noticed a bowl and became suspicious. When he checked behind a screen, he found the porcelain spoon. The belt was tied to the lute as before. In the temple was an image of the lady spirit, with two servant girls in blue robes standing in front of her. Chao looked closely and saw that they were his companions of the previous night. He left, never to return again. This was in the fifth year of the Yuan-chia reign period [424-454] of the Liu Sung Dynasty.

2

The lyrics of Chao's song are lost; they may have contained the image of the vase as a metaphor for a romantic sentiment.--Ed.

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(HCHC, 8b-9b; cf. the version cited in Yiieh-fu shih-chi, 47, pp. 684-85) Tr. Chris Connery Note: According to Kuo Mao-ch'ien's preface to the "Song of the Spirit of Clear Stream Temple," the goddess was the third younger sister of Chiang Tzu-wen, the god of the shrine at Mount Chiang (see entry [10]). Notice how the notion of a romantic liaison between a human and a goddess is treated with opposing attitudes in this piece and in story (10). The young men in the latter, one remembers, were made to pay with their life for their blasphemous remarks. The goddess in the present story was a favorite subject for many T'ang poets as well.

(54) The Scholar from Yang-hsien

Hsii Yen was a native of Yang-hsien [modern I-hsing County, Kiangsu] and lived during the Eastern Chin Dynasty [317-420]. While traveling in the mountains of Sui-an [to the south of I-hsing] , he came upon a scholar of about seventeen or eighteen years lying by the roadside. The young scholar said that his feet hurt, and begged to be carried in Hsu's goose basket. Hsii took this for a joke, but the scholar proceeded to enter the basket. The basket grew no wider and the scholar grew no smaller. He curled up next to the two geese, who showed not the slightest surprise. Hsii carried the basket on, finding it not a bit heavier. As Hsii prepared to rest beneath a tree, the scholar came out of the basket and said, "I would like, sir, to prepare for you a simple repast." "Most fine," said Hsii. The scholar then spat from his mouth a bronze chest. In the chest were comestibles of various kinds, a cornucopia of delicacies from land and sea. The tableware was all of bronze, and the aromas and flavors were of a delicious fragrance rarely found in the world. After many rounds of wine, the scholar said to Hsii, "I have a woman accompanying me, and I desire now to invite her out for a while." "Most fine," said Hsii. The scholar then spat from his mouth a girl of about fifteen or sixteen years. Her

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clothing was beautiful and delicate, her looks without equal. She joined the feast. Soon the scholar was in a drunken slumber, and the girl said to Hsii, "Although I am married to this scholar, my heart is elsewhere. I have secretly brought a man with me. As the scholar is asleep, I'd like to call him out for a while. Please, sir, say nothing." "Most fine," said Hsii. The girl then spat out a man of about twenty-two or twenty-three years. He, too, was clever and handsome. As he exchanged greetings with Hsii, the scholar began to stir from his sleep. The girl then spat out an embroidered screen. The scholar wished her to lie with him. The man said to Hsii, "Although there is love in this woman for me, her heart is not wholly mine. I too have a secret traveling companion, and I'd like to see her for a while. I beg you, sir, not to divulge a word." "Fine," said Hsii. The man then spat out a woman of about twenty years. Together they tippled and teased for some time. Hearing the scholar stirring, the young man said, "They've awakened," and took the woman he had spat out and returned her to his mouth. In an instant, the scholar's wife appeared, and saying to Hsii, "The scholar will wake," she swallowed the young man and sat alone facing Hsii. After awakening, the scholar said to Hsii, "This brief nap has stretched so long. How bored you must have been, all alone. But the day is late, sir, and I must part with you." He then swallowed the woman and put all the bronze tableware back in his mouth, leaving out a bronze platter about two feet wide. "I have nothing to present to you, sir," he said, "but will give you this in remembrance." Later during the T'ai-yiian reign period [376-397] Hsii was serving as a Documentation Director. He used the platter in entertaining the Palace Attendant Chang San. Chang read the inscription on the platter, which said that it was made during the Han Dynasty in the third year of the Yung-ping reign period [58-75]. (HCHC, 4b-6a) Tr. Chris Connery Note: Apparently an adaptation of "A Foreign Master" (31), this version "naturalizes" the magician and gives a greater sense of unity to the story by concentrating on just one magic feat and developing to a greater extent the

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notion of "the container as the contained." The replacement of the original ending with the souvenir motif (cf. "The Daughter of the King of Wu" [21]) also conforms with a native Chinese pattern.

MING-HSIANG CHI

(55) Fo-t'iao, the Buddhist Saint

It is not known from what country the Sramana1 Fo-t'iao of the Chin Dynasty [265-420] came. He came to Ch'ang-shan [in modern Chekiang Province] where he accumulated years of spiritual practice. He esteemed the pure and simple and did not make a show of literary elegance; his contemporaries all respected him for this. There were two brothers who lived in Ch'ang-shan, and they honored the Dharma. They lived about one hundred li away from Fo-t'iao's monastery. The wife of the elder brother became gravely ill, and she was transported to the side of the monastery in order to be close to the physician and the treatment. Since the elder brother was a disciple of Fo-t'iao, during the day he was often in the monastery, seeking advice and practicing the Way. One day, Fo-t'iao unexpectedly went to the home of the brothers. The younger brother asked about his sister-in-law's ailments and also inquired how his elder brother was doing. Fo-t'iao replied, "The patient is more or less all right, and your brother is as usual." After Fo-t'iao had left, the younger brother mounted his horse and likewise went to the monastery. He told his elder brother that Fo-t'iao had come to their home during the morning. The elder brother was surprised and said, "The venerable monk has not left the monastery since early this morning; how could you possibly have seen him?" The

1

A Sramana, Chinese sha-men, is an ascetic, religious wanderer, monk, or religious mendicant. In Chinese usage, it refers more specifically to Buddhist monks. - 164 -

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brothers took their dispute to Fo-t'iao and asked him. Fo-t'iao only smiled; he did not answer them. The brothers were both astonished. Sometimes Fo-t'iao would go alone deep into the mountains, staying for a year or half a year at a time, with only a few pecks of dry cooked rice given to him as offerings. Yet when he returned there would always be some left over. Once someone followed Fo-t'iao into the mountains for. several tens of li. At evening there was a heavy snowfall, and Fo-t'iao entered a tiger's den in a crevice in the rocks to spend the night. The tiger returned and lay down outside, in front of its den. Fo-t'iao said, "How ashamed I feel at having taken this place away from you!" But the tiger stopped up its ears deferentially and went down the mountain. The person who had followed him was terrified. Fo-t'iao foretold the time of his death, which was approaching, and everyone near and far came to see him. Fo-t'iao bade them farewell, saying, "Heaven and earth are long-lasting, yet one day even they will collapse and be destroyed; how much more is this true of people and other things--how could these last forever? If one can root out the Three Impurities2 and concentrate the mind on the Real and the Pure, then although our several bodily forms may be different, yet in spiritual attainment we will indeed be the same." Tears flowed from the eyes of all those gathered around him. Fo-t'iao returned to his quarters and sat properly in meditation position, covered his head with a cloth and abruptly passed away. Several years after he passed away, eight lay disciples of Fo-t'iao went into the West Mountains to chop wood. They suddenly saw Fo-t'iao atop a high cliff, wearing fresh, clean clothing, and with an air of ease and happiness about him. They were all amazed and overjoyed. Making obeisance, they asked, "is Your Reverence still alive?" He answered, "I am always 'naturally alive.'"3 He

2

3

The Three Impurities, or san-kou, also known as the Three Poisons, or san-tu, are greed, hatred, and delusion. These three basic impurities fuel samsara (the round of birth and death) and keep sentient beings chained to suffering. I think there may be a pun in the Chinese here. This brief exchange may be literally translated as: "is Your Reverence still existing here?" "I am always naturally

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asked for news of old acquaintances, and then, after a long while, he left. The eight men then stopped what they were doing and returned to their homes. There they told their brothers in the Dharma what had happened, but there was no way for the congregation to verify it. Thereupon they went together to Fo-t'iao's grave and opened his coffin: there was no corpse to be found inside. (Lu, pp. 459-60; FYCL, 37.435a-b) Tr. by George Lytle Note: The magic feats recounted here may be compared with those performed by Taoist saints in the stories selected from the Shen-hsien chuan ([28]-[30]). In general, Buddhist tales from the Ming-hsiang chi are more extended and less erratic in style than other CK stories, possibly due to their circulation as sermon pieces.

(56) Chao T'ai and His Experiences in Hell

Chao T'ai, styled Wen-ho, was a native of Pei-ch'iu in Ch'ing-ho [in modern Hopeh, bordering on Shantung] during the Chin Dynasty [265-420]. His grandfather had been governor of the capital. He was commended by his prefecture as a Hsiao-lien licentiate.1 A prince s government drafted him to take office, but he did not accept it. He had a reputation in his village for diligent study of books and documents. Only in his later years did he accept an appointment for government, and he died in his post as Grandee of Remonstration. When Chao T'ai was thirty-five years old, he felt a sudden pain in his heart and died a moment thereafter. His corpse was laid out on the ground, but his heart remained

1

(of myself) existing." Tzu-tsai, literally "naturally (of itself) existing," is a term frequently seen in Buddhist texts, meaning free and at ease, free from delusion, free from the fetters of worldy existence, liberated, lord of oneself. Hsiao-lien was a title of certification for the civil service, established in the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220); the certificate denotes the qualities of hsiao and lien, or filial devotion and personal integrity.

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warm, and his body flexible. The corpse was kept for ten days. Then one morning there was a noise like rain in his throat. And shortly after, he came back to life. Chao T'ai said that when he had first died, he dreamt that a person approached his body, right next to his heart. Then came two more men, riding yellow horses. Two of their attendants, one on either side of him, propped him up, supporting him under his arms. They then proceeded toward the east for he knew not how many miles, and arrived at a large city wall, lofty and towering high above them. The color of the wall was dark black, like tin. They took Chao T'ai in through the city gate. After passing through a double gate, they came upon several thousand tile-roofed buildings. There were also several thousand people, men and women, young and old, standing in ranks. Five or six civil officers, wearing black clothing, were going through a list of names, one by one, saying that these people were to be presented before the Magistrate for review. Chao T'ai's name was thirtieth on the list. After a moment, Chao T'ai and several thousand other people, both men and women, were all taken in at the same time. The Magistrate sat facing westward, and after glancing briefly at the name list, he sent Chao T'ai through a black gate to the south. There was a person wearing scarlet clothing sitting in a great room and calling out names in order, asking the people what they had done during their lives: "What sins and transgressions have you committed? What blessed and good deeds have you done? Be careful to reply truthfully, because we have dispatched emissaries from the Six Departments, who reside permanently in the human world, recording good and evil point by point, and the record is explicit and detailed. You cannot get away with a lie." Chao T'ai answered, "My father and elder brothers are all government officials, each with a salary ranking of two thousand piculs of rice. I study a little at home, and have not taken up a profession. Neither have I committed any evil." Then Chao T'ai was assigned a mission as Inspector of Waterworks, and he took more than twenty thousand people to transport sand and shore up river banks. He worked diligently day and night. Later, he was promoted to Supervisor of Waterworks, whence he came to know about all the hells. He was given horses and soldiers and was sent on a mission to inspect the works in the hells.

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The bitter and harsh punishments meted out to sinners varied amongst the different hells that he saw. In one, needles were poked through the sinners' tongues, and blood flowed out, covering the body. In another, the sinners were bare-headed, their hair covering their faces, and their bodies naked, their feet unshod. They walked by pulling each other along, while from behind, someone carrying large clubs drove them on. Iron beds and bronze pillars were heated through and through, and then these people were forced to embrace them. They were burned up on contact, but then brought back to life to suffer more punishments. In yet another hell, sinners were cooked in huge cauldrons over hot stoves. Their bodies and heads would come apart and sink, and they would churn about with the boiling water. Demons with pitchforks stood by the side. There were three or four hundred people standing on one side, waiting to enter the cauldron; they were seen to embrace each other and cry bitterly. In another, there were countless tall, broad sword trees, the roots, trunks, branches, and leaves all made from swords. A crowd of people were cursing each other, and they would climb up the trees of their own accord, as if delighted to do so. Thus their bodies and heads were severed and sliced, cut into pieces. Chao T'ai saw his grandfather and grandmother, and two of his younger brothers in this hell. As he saw them, they all wept in sorrow. When Chao T'ai came out through the gates of hell, he saw two people carrying documents come to speak to the officials, saying that there were three people whose families had hung pennants and burned incense in stupas and monasteries for their benefit, to save them from their sins. As a result, these sinners could now come out and go to the mansions of the blessed. Presently he saw three people come out of hell. They were now fully clothed in ordinary, undamaged clothing. They went southward to a gate with the name "The Great Mansion of the Shining Forth of the Light." It had a triple gate which glowed with a vermilion hue. Chao T'ai saw these three people enter the mansion, and, following them, he likewise entered. In the foreground, there was a large palace decorated all over with precious jewels; the refined brilliance dazzled the eyes. Couches were made of gold and jade. He saw a godly person whose beautiful countenance was impressive and extraordinary--handsome to an unusual

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extent--who sat upon one of these seats. By his side were a host of Sramanas2 standing in attendance. Then he saw the Magistrate come and pay his respects to this godly man by saluting him. Chao T'ai asked who this person was, that the Magistrate should be so extremely courteous toward him. A civil official said that he was called World-Honored One, Master of Salvation, and that he had vowed to lead all beings out of the evil paths of existence3 and make them hear the scriptures. Then Chao T'ai was told that one million nine thousand people had all left hell and entered this City of One Hundred Li.k Those who had arrived here had all honored the Dharma, and although their conduct in life had been deficient, they still could be saved, and thus the scripture Dharma5 had been established for them. Within seven days, in accordance with the amount of good or evil they might do while in this city, they would be sent to their new rebirths or be liberated altogether. In the short time before he left, Chao T'ai had seen ten people ascend into the sky and depart. After Chao T'ai left this mansion, he saw another city which was more than two hundred li square, and its name was City of Transformation. Those whose purgation in hell was finished came to this city to receive their new birth in accordance with their karma. Chao T'ai entered this city and saw that there were several thousand districts filled with buildings roofed with earthenware tiles. Each district contained neighborhood subdivisions and alleys. In the exact center was a tile-roofed building, tall and impressive, with colorfully decorated railings and latticework. There were several hundred bureau officials who were examining and collating documents, saying that those who had engaged in killing6 were to become mayflies

2

See "Fo-t'iao" (55), n. 1. The evil paths or destinies are usually listed as three: the paths of animals, of hungry ghosts, and of beings in hell. The path of the asuras, or titans, is sometimes counted as an evil path. ** This appears to be the same city that Chao T'ai is currently in, although the gate by which he entered had another name. 5 I.e., the method of salvation revealed in the scriptures, or the method of salvation consisting of listening to and reflecting on the scriptures. 6 The Buddhist prohibition against taking life extends to

3

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which are born in the morning and die in the evening; those who engaged in stealing and robbery were to become pigs and sheep, to be butchered and cut up by others; those who engaged in sexual wantonness were to become cranes, ducks, and deer;7 the double-tongued were to become owls;8 those who did not repay their debts were to become donkeys, mules, oxen, and horses.9 When Chao T'ai had completed his mission of inspection, he returned to the waterworks office. An overseer at the office said to him, "You are the son of an elder; what sin have you committed that you should come here?" Chao T'ai replied, "The men of my family all have salaries of two thousand piculs of rice. I was commended to receive the Hsiao-lien licentiate and a prince's government drafted me for a post, but I did not accept it. I cultivated my will and kept my thoughts on the good, not being polluted by the multitude of evils." The overseer said, "You have committed no sin and thus have been made to serve as the Supervisor of Waterworks. Otherwise, your condition would be no different from that of those people in hell." Chao T'ai asked the overseer, "What should a person do in order to receive a happy retribution after death?" The overseer only replied that the followers of the Dharma who strive energetically and uphold the precepts will receive a happy retribution without the least bit of punishment. Chao T'ai again asked, "As for the siris committed by a person before he has begun to serve the Dharma, are these sins wiped out after he begins to serve the Dharma?" The overseer replied, "They are all wiped out." When they finished speaking, the overseer opened a bound box and looked up Chao T'ai's ordained life span, discovering that he still had another thirty years to live. He thereupon sent him back. As they were about to part, the overseer said, "You have now seen just what the retribution for sins in hell is like; you should tell this to the people of the world, and advise them to do good. The effects of good and evil committed by a person follow

7

8 9

all sentient beings, not just human beings. Many types of birds and mammals are thought by Chinese Buddhists to be slaves of lust, and thus rebirth as one is seen as appropriate retribution for sexual wantonness. Owls were considered birds of ill omen. These are all beasts of burden; in this way, they would be repaying their unpaid debts.

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him like the shadow of his body and the echo of his voice. Shouldn't one be careful?!" At that time, there were about fifty or sixty people of all degrees of relation, both paternal and maternal, who were attending Chao T'ai's body. They all heard Chao T'ai tell his story. Then Chao T'ai personally wrote an account in order to make it known to his contemporaries. This happened on the thirteenth day of the seventh month of the fifth year of the T'ai-shih reign [265-274] of the Chin dynasty. Chao T'ai thereupon engaged members of the Sangha10 and convened a great Mass for the sake of his grandfather and grandmother, and the two younger brothers. He also ordered all his sons and grandsons to mend their ways and honor the Dharma, and enjoined them to strive energetically after the good. When his contemporaries heard that Chao T'ai had died and been revived, and had seen the results of good and evil deeds, they came to call upon him to ask him about his experiences. At that time, ten people, including the Imperial Officer Sun Feng of Wu-ch'eng [in modern Shantung Province] , and the Marquis of the Land Within the Pass (Kuan-nei), namely Hao Po-p'ing of Ch'ang-shan [in modern Chekiang Province], gathered together at Chao T'ai's house, and, with great sincerity, inquired about what he had seen. Every one of them was dreadfully frightened by what he heard, and thereupon decided to honor the Dharma. (Lu, pp. 453-55; FYCL, 12.133a-134b; TPKC 377.1) Tr. George Lytle Note: This piece gives one of the most extensive and graphic accounts of Buddhist hell of all CK stories (cf. the vision of hell presented in the pien-wen story "The Great Maudgalyayana Rescues His Mother from Hell," Ma and Lau, pp. 441-55). At the same time it incorporates an exposition of Buddhist doctrines through both the reported speech and action. There is no doubt that the vision presented in the story is a product of a zealous religious imagination. Inclusion of relatively elaborate description is also a trait that sets Buddhist tales apart from other CK stories.

10

The Sangha is the order of Buddhist monks and nuns.

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Classical Chinese Tales i (57) Ch'eng Tao-hui's Return from Hell

Ch'eng Tao-hui, styled Wen-ho, was a native of Wu-ch'ang [in modern Hupeh] during the Chin dynasty [265-420]. During his life, he honored the Way of Five Pecks of Rice1 and did not believe in the Buddha. He would often say, "Of the orthodox ways since ancient times none has surpassed that of Lao-tzu. Why would anyone believe the deceitful babble of barbarians and take it for a superior teaching?" In the fifteenth year of the T'ai-yuan reign period [376-397], he became ill and died. But the area beneath his heart remained warm, so his family did not have his body prepared for burial. After several days he revived. He said that when he first died, he saw ten or so people tie him up, putting him under arrest, and take him away. They came across a bhikshu2 who said, "This man has accumulated blessed karma in former lives. He must not be tied up." Thereupon they untied him and drove him on in a more relaxed manner. The road was level and even, but on either side there were thickets of bramble so dense that one could not even get a foothold among them. Sinners were being driven through these brambles, forced to scurry among them. As their flesh caught on the thorns, their howls and groans pierced one's ears. When they saw Ch'eng walking on the level road, they all sighed in envy, "Even walking along the road the disciples of the Buddha have it better than others." Ch'eng Tao-hui said, "I do not honor the Dharma." Someone among them said with a sympathetic smile, It is just that you have forgotten, that's all."

1

2

This was a Taoist religious sect of the later Han and Chin, which in its beginnings stressed surrender of all or a portion of the convert's wealth to the local priestly leaders or representatives of the sect, redistribution of this wealth among the poor and needy, charity, and the communal life, somewhat similar to the ways of early Christianity as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. But, as with Christianity, the more extreme communistic and idealistic tendencies were soon dropped. The more wealthy converts, however, were still required to contribute five pecks of rice to the local leadership, ostensibly for distribution to the poor and support of the leadership. A Buddhist monk.

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Ch'eng Tao-hui then remembered that in a former life he had honored the Dharma, and since that life he had already passed through five births and five deaths, having forgotten his original aspiration. In his present life, while he had been alive, he fell in with evil people when he was yet very young, before he could distinguish the true from the false, and thus was led astray into the false way. Arriving at a large city, he then entered directly into an audience hall. There he saw a man of about forty or fifty years of age, seated facing the south. Seeing Ch'eng, he was surprised and said to him, "You should not have been brought here." But there was one person, wearing an unlined turban and holding a record book, who said in response, "This man has destroyed shrines to local gods and commited murder. He should indeed have been brought here." The bhikshu whom Ch'eng Tao-hui had met earlier had followed him into the hall and now did his utmost to argue on Ch'eng's behalf. He said, "Destroying a shrine to a local god is no sin. This person has accumulated much blessed karma in former lives, and although committing murder is serious, the time for retribution has not yet arrived." The man seated facing south then said, "The one who made his arrest should be punished." Then he asked Ch'eng to be seated, and apologized to him, saying, "The petty spirits were mistaken and unruly and have wrongly had you brought here. But this is also due to your having forgotten your former lives, thus not knowing to honor the teaching of the great, right Dharma." Ready to send Ch'eng back, he temporarily made him General in Charge of Review and Inspection and sent him to tour the hells. Ch'eng then joyfully took his leave. He was then led on his way. He passed many cities, all of which were hells. There were crowds of many millions of people, all receiving retribution for their sins. He saw dogs snapping at the sinners, biting them into a hundred pieces. Their flesh fell off and was scattered; their flowing blood covered the ground. And there were also flocks of birds with beaks like sharp pointed spears. They flew very swiftly, venomously attacking the sinners, as if thirsty for their blood. They pierced their mouths, pecking holes all the way through their bodies. The people so tormented writhed and screamed, and their sinews and bones broke apart and fell off. The rest of what Ch'eng Tao-hui saw was more or less the

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same as that seen by Chao T'ai and Hsieh Ho,3 so it will not be repeated here. Only the above two items are peculiar to this account, and thus they have been recorded in detail. After Ch'eng had seen all there was to see, he was sent back. Again he saw the bhikshu whom he had met earlier. He gave him a bronze object shaped like a small bell and said, "When you return home, leave this outside the door; do not take it into the house. On such-and-such a day of such-and-such a month of such-and-such a year, you will be in danger. At that time be alert and careful; in passing through this, your life will be extended for another nine or ten years." At that time, Ch'eng's home was to the south of the Grand Avenue in the capital, and he could see himself as he returned. When he reached Locust Tree Bridge, he saw three cousins of his speaking with each other in a carriage, mourning his demise. As he arrived at the gate, he saw a maidservant weeping as she went on her way to market. Neither the people in the carriage nor the maidservant saw him. As he was about to enter the gate, he put the bronze object in a tree outside the gate. Bright light shone from the object, floating up and filling the sky. After a long while, the light again became small and then abruptly vanished. As he arrived at the door, he smelled the stench of the corpse, which disgusted him and made him feel rueful. At that time many guests and relatives were coming in to mourn for Ch'eng, and many of them were bumping into him,4 so he could not linger any longer. Therefore he entered the corpse and suddenly revived. He told about coming across the people in the carriage and the maidservant on her way to market; the people involved all verified his account.5

3 h

5

For Chao T'ai's experiences, see entry (56).--Ed. I.e., his spirit body--the people "bumping into" him moved right through his spirit body, unaware of its presence, though he himself might find it disquieting or otherwise disturbing. In this connection, see Raymond Moody, Jr., Life After Life (New York: Bantam Books, 1976), pp. 44-45. For similar verifications in modern accounts of near-death experiences, see Moody, pp. 98-107, "Corroboration."

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Later, Ch'eng became an Imperial Justice Officer, and once, as he was going to participate in the hearing of a case in the West Hall, he suddenly felt vexed and oppressed before he had taken his place, and he was unable to recognize anyone. Only after half a day elapsed did he recover. He calculated the time and date, and it was indeed the time about which the monk had warned him. Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to Canton where he served as provincial governor. He died during the sixth year of the Yuan-chia reign [424-453] of the Liu Sung dynasty at the age of sixty-nine. (Lu, pp. 480-82; FYCL, 69.841a; TPKC, 382.2) Tr. George Lytle Note: The presentation of experiences in Hell is used here specifically to show the supremacy of Buddhist faith over that of Taoism (cf. "Shu Li" [46]). The former is shown to have a comprehensiveness of vision and philosophical scope that the latter lacks, but above all, to possess a superior practical efficacy in this world and the afterlife. The authorial intrusion in the middle section marks the presence of an extradiegetic narrative voice not commonly found in the CK narrative. The reference to Chao T'ai's story seems to testify to both the wide circulation of that story and to the prominence of the role of Hell in the propagation of Buddhist faith.

HUAN-YUAN CHI

(58) Iron Mortar, the Wronged Ghost

A certain Hsii of Tung-hai [now in Canton Province] lived during the Liu Sung dynasty [420-479]. His first wife, nee Xu, gave birth to a boy, whom she named Iron Mortar. When Lady Xu died, Mr. Hsii married a Lady Ch'en. Lady Ch'en was evil and cruel; her heart was set on the death of Iron Mortar. She gave birth to a boy, and at his birth she incanted, "if you do not exterminate Iron Mortar, you are not my son!" She named him Iron Pestle, wanting a pestle with which to pound the mortar. She beat Iron Mortar, and inflicted all manner of suffering and abuse. When hungry he was not fed; when cold she would not pad his clothing. By nature Mr. Hsii was a simpleton of weak constitution, and he was often away from home. In time the wife gave full vent to her vicious cruelty, and Iron Mortar finally died of cold, hunger, and beatings. He was then sixteen. A few weeks after his death, his ghost suddenly returned home. He climbed onto Lady Ch'en's bed and said, "I am Iron Mortar. I merited not an ounce of blame, yet found only cruelty and evil. My mother has registered her complaint in Heaven. I come now with a warrant from the Heavenly Inspector to take Iron Pestle. It is ordained that Iron Pestle shall suffer a serious illness; his suffering shall be as great as my own. His death date has been fixed, and I am staying here in wait." His voice was as when he lived. Family and guests could not see him, yet they heard his words. He then took up a position on the rafters. Lady Ch'en went down on her knees in supplication, slapping her own face. She prepared libations in offering. The ghost said, "No need for that.

- 176 -

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You starved me to death. Do you expect to make up for that with just one meal?" At night Lady Ch'en complained of him in a whisper. The ghost lashed out, "You dare to complain against me! I should chop your beam down." There followed the sound of a saw, and sawdust drifted down. The rasping made it seem that the beam was indeed about to fall, and the whole household fled outside. But when later they shone a light on the beam, it was still whole, just as before. The ghost also cursed Iron Pestle, "You, who killed me, sit so contentedly at home, taking it easy. I'll burn your house down!" A fire blazed forth. Smoke and flames raged furiously, and chaos reigned throughout. In a second the fire had extinguished itself. The thatching on the house was as before, and no damage was suffered. Daily the ghost cursed and reviled. Sometimes he would sing a song, the words of which went, 0 Peach Blossoms, Helpless if you fall in heavy frost. 0 Peaches, Your lives cut short by heavy frost... His singing Was plaintive and sad. It seemed that he was lamenting the life that he had not known. At that time Iron Pestle was six years old. He took sick when the ghost arrived. His body ached and his stomach was swollen; his coughing prevented him from eating. The ghost beat him constantly, and where blows struck, dark, livid brui,ses would appear. In a little over a month, Iron Pestle died, and the ghost was never seen nor heard from again. (HYC, 17a-18b; FYCL, 92.1109a-b; TPKC, 120.6) Tr. Chris Connery Note: Cf. "Ni Yen-ssu" (23), in which the ghost (or goblin) acts rather like the one in this story, but in a much more playful mood than the avenger here.

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Classical Chinese Tales i (59) Sun YUan-pi, the Avenging Ghost

Wang Fan, magistrate of Fu-yang County [in Chekiang Province] during the Chin Dynasty [265-420], had a concubine, Peach Flower, who was an enchanting beauty. She carried on adulterous liaisons with Wang's subalterns, Ting Feng and Shih Hua-ch'i. Once, when Wang was away on a journey, Sun Yuan-pi, his quartermaster, heard the tinkling of bangles and pendants in Ting Feng's house, and went to investigate. He saw Peach Flower in bed with Ting. Yuan-pi knocked on the door and denounced them to their faces. Peach Flower promptly stood up, gathered up her skirt, rearranged her temple curls, and scurried off to an inner chamber. Yuan-pi also saw Hua-ch'i wearing a musk sachet on his belt that had belonged to Peach Flower. The two men were terrified that YUan-pi would report them, so they accused him of having had an affair with Peach Flower. Wang Fan was imperceptive and did not investigate this further, so he had Yuan-pi killed. Ch'en Ch ao, present at the time, had pressed for Yuan-pi s conviction. Later, when Wang Fan was serving in a different office, Ch'en Ch'ao journeyed forth from the city to see him. He traveled as far as Ch'ih-t'ing Mountain [in modern Kansu Province], where it thundered and rained at dusk. Suddenly Ch'ao was taken by his arm and leg and dragged through a swamp. A flash of lightning revealed a ghost. His face was black and blue, and his eyes were without pupils. He said, "I am Sun Yuan-pi. I registered my complaint with the Emperor of Heaven, and judgement has already been reached. Long have I waited for you, and finally we meet!" Ch'ao kowtowed until his blood flowed. The ghost said, "As Wang Fan was the principal party throughout this affair, he should be killed first. Chia Ching-p'o and Sun Wen-tu,1 of the Hall of Dark Mystery in Mount T'ai,2 together preside over the Registry of Birth and Death. The spirit of Peach Flower has already been confined at the 1

2

Chia was a scholar of the Eastern Han, who served under Emperor Ho-ti (r. 88-105); nothing is known of Sun's life. Regarding Mount T'ai as a stop for the spirit of the deceased, see "Chiang Chi's Dead Son," n. 2, p. 000.--Ed.

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Blue Woman Pavilion. That is the name of the third hell in the Yellow Springs,3 and is reserved for female spirits." Toward daybreak, the ghost suddenly disappeared. When Ch'ao came to Yang-chou and arrived at Wang's house, he dared not tell him what had happened. But then he saw the ghost come in from outside and pass through Wang's bed curtains. That night, soon after falling asleep, Wang had a terrible nightmare. His family called him, but were unable to wake him up. They led a black ox in and faced it toward him, placing a peach-wood figurine on the left side to hold the reins.4 Toward dawn there came a brief respite, but in ten days he was dead. His concubine also died violently. Ch'ao fled to Ch'ang-kan Temple and changed his name to Ho Kuei. Five years later, during the festival on the third day of the third month,5 he was enjoying wine by a river bank. He said, "I finally no longer need live in terror of that ghost." He then lowered his head, and there in the stream was the ghost's image. The ghost reached out his hand and gouged Ch'ao's nose. Blood gushed forth, amounting to more than a quart. In several days he was dead. (HYC, 20b-22a; TPKC, 129.2) Tr. Chris Connery Note: Adultery, conspiracy, betrayal, and revenge--the story here has all the ingredients for the making of a powerful drama. Although the piece fails to explore their dramatic potential fully and places emphasis on just the theme of vengeance, one can still feel the force of the violence contained in this potent mix.

3 4 5

I.e., the world of the dead. A practice designed to exorcise evil ghosts. A day of lustration; see "Lu Ch'ung" (22), n. 2.--Ed.

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Classical Chinese Tales (60) Yiian Hui's Revenge

Yiian Hui,1 Prince of Ch'eng-yang during the Northern Wei Dynasty [386-557], had, on behalf of Emperor Hsiao-chuang, plotted the assassination of Er-chu Jung.2 When Er-chu Chao3 entered Loyang and killed the Emperor Hsiao-chuang, Yiian departed in fear and took refuge with K'ou Tsu-jen, magistrate of Loyang. Tsu-jen1s father, uncle, and brother were all governors, and had all attained their positions due to the support of Yiian Hui. But when Er-chu Chao offered a marquisate encompassing ten thousand households as a reward for Yiian Hui's death, Tsu-jen beheaded him and sent him to Er-chu Chao. He also confiscated one hundred catties of Yiian*s gold and fifty head of horses. When Chao received Yiian*s head, he did not award the marquisate. One night Chao dreamed of Yiian Hui, who said, "There are two hundred catties of gold and one hundred horses of mine at the home of K'ou Tsu-jen. You may take them." Chao awoke and said, "The house of Ch'eng-yang was indeed of great wealth. When the order for arrest was carried out yesterday, there was not an ounce of gold or silver received with it. This dream is probably true." In the morning he ordered the arrest of K'ou Tsu-jen. Tsu-jen also dreamed of Yuan Hui, who said to him, "This will suffice to avenge myself." Tsu-jen had in fact only confiscated one hundred catties of gold and fifty horses, but Chao did not believe him. From his relatives, Tsu-jen privately raised an additional thirty catties of gold and thirty horses, and these he sent

1

2

3

Great-great-grandson of Emperor T'ai-wu (r. 423-452). His father Yiian Luan was made Prince of Ch'eng-yang, part of present day Shantung Province, and this position was inherited by Yiian Hui. He served as magistrate of Ho-nei in modern Honan Province, and under Emperor Hsiao-chuang (r. 528-530) served as Grand Protector. [For an account of his plot against Er-chu Jung and his betrayal by K'ou Mi, styled Tsu-jen, see Wei shu 19B, pp. 510-13.--Ed.] ?-530 A.D. His rise to power came in the reign of the Emperor Hsiao-ming (r. 515-528) of the Northern Wei for his efficacious suppression of bandits. His power steadily grew under Hsiao-chuang until the emperor became wary of him and had him killed. Second younger brother of Er-chu Jung.

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to Chao. The requisite number was not reached, though, and Chao became furious. He hung Tsu-jen by the head from a tree, weighted his feet with stones, and flogged him to death. (HYC, 7b-8a; FYCL, 84, p. 1009b; TPKC, 127.5) Tr. Chris Connery Note: Interpretation of historical incidents and political intrigues in terms of the Buddhist law of retribution is typical of the stories collected in the Huan-yuan chi.

Selections from the Six Dynasties (222-589)

184 (61) The Disembodied Soul by Ch'en Hsiian-yu

In the third year of the T'ien-shou reign period [690-692], Chang Yi, a native of Ch'ing-ho [in Hopeh Province] took up residence in Heng-chou [present-day Heng-yang County, Hunan Province] because of his official duties. He was a mild-mannered man with only a small circle of acquaintances. He had two daughters, but no sons. The older daughter died at an early age, but the younger one, Ch'ien-niang, was the epitome of virtue blessed with beauty. Chang Yi's nephew from T'ai-yiian [in Shansi Province] Wang Chou was intelligent and handsome even as a child. Chang thought so highly of his nephew that he was often heard saying, "Someday I will give Ch'ien-niang to him in marriage." After they grew up , Chou and Ch'ien-niang constantly longed for each other--even in their dreams. No one in their families knew of this, so when one of Chang's colleagues, an appointee to the Ministry of Personnel, asked for his daughter's hand, Chang gave his consent. When the girl heard about this she became dejected. Chou felt deeply offended. He asked for permission to go to the capital, claiming that he had been transferred to a government post there. Chang tried to stop him, but seeing that he could not be dissuaded, he finally saw him off with lavish gifts. Suppressing his resentment and sorrow, Chou said goodbye and boarded a boat. By sunset he reached the mountains several li away. Still awake at midnight, Chou suddenly heard footsteps--someone was running on the riverbank and soon arrived at his boat. Chou asked who it was. It was Ch'ien-niang; she had run after him in her bare feet. Chou was beside himself with wonder and delight. He took hold of her hand and asked how she had managed to come. "Even in my dreams I couldn't stop thinking of you and your affection for me," she replied, weeping. "I was about to be forced to marry someone else, and knowing that your feelings for me had not changed, I decided to give up my life for you. It is for this reason that I have run away from home."

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Chou was overjoyed since this was more than he had even hoped for. He hid Ch'ien-niang in the boat and sailed on the rest of the night. Making two day's journey in one, they were able to reach Shu [approximately present-day Szechwan Province] in a matter of a few months. They lived there for five years. During that time Ch'ien-niang gave birth to two sons. Although she did not write to her parents, she often thought of them. One day she spoke to Chou and broke down in tears, "Because I could not be unfaithful to you, I followed you in spite of my filial obligations. I haven't seen my parents for five years. In all the world how could there be a daughter as disrespectful as I've been?" Chou was moved and he comforted her, "Don't worry. We're going back." With that they left for Heng-chou. When they arrived, Chou first went alone to Chang1s home to apologize for eloping with his daughter. "What nonsense are you talking about?" Chang asked, "Ch'ien-niang has been lying sick in her room for years." "But she is in the boat at this very moment!" Chou insisted. Chang was astounded and sent one of his servants to see if it was true. Ch'ien-niang was indeed inside the boat. She appeared healthy and cheerful, and asked the servant about her parents. But the astonished servant ran to report back to Chang. When the girl in the room heard this report, she happily rose from her bed, put on some make-up, and changed her clothes. She smiled but did not say a word as she walked out to greet the other girl. As soon as they met, their bodies became one, and their two sets of clothes fused together. Ch'ien-niang's family kept this affair a secret because it was so bizarre. Only a few relatives knew about it. Chou and Ch'ieng-niang died forty years later. Their two sons passed the civil service examination after going through the local selection process. One became a deputy magistrate and the other the sheriff of a subprefecture. In my youth I, Hsiian-yu, often heard this story. It has many versions, and some people say that it is pure fantasy. Near the end of the Ta-li reign period [766-780] I happened to meet Chang Chung-kuei,1 Prefect of Lai-wu [in Shantung

1

The second character of the prefect's name is problematic; kuei is chosen according to the Yii-chTu chih

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Province], who informed me of the events recounted here. Chang Yi was Chung-kuei's grand uncle2 and that enabled him to know all the details of this story, so I wrote down what he said. (Wang, p. 358.4)

49; Hsu, pp.

22-24; Chang, pp.

13-15; TPKC,

Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note: Reference to the "historical source" at the end of the story will become a generic convention of T'ang ch 'uan-ch'i. This is the source for the YUan play Ch' ien-nii li hun (The Soul of Ch'ien-nii Leaves Its Body) by Cheng Kuang-tzu (fl. 1294), and it also influences the portrayal of the heroine's dream, death, and revival found in T'ang Hsien-tzu's (1550-1617) play, The Peony Pavilion (Mu-tan t'ing). "The Golden Phoenix Hairpin" by Ch' li Yu (1341-1427) (Ma and Lau, pp. 400-403) is an narrative elaboration of this story in the classical language. Cf. "P'ang A" (44), and editor's note to the entry.

2

version; see Chang, pp. 14 and 238.--Ed. Most version have "uncle" for "grand uncle;" amendment here is made according to the Yu-ch'u chih version; cf. Chang, p. 238.--Ed.

The T'ang

187 (62) Old Woman Feng by Li Kung-tso

Old Woman Feng was the wife of a miser from a village in the prefecture of Lu Chiang [in modern Anhwei Province]. Destitute, widowed, and childless, she was both scorned and ignored by the other villagers. In the fourth year of the Yiian-ho reign period [806-820], the areas of Huai and Ch'u [roughly modern Honan and Hupei Provinces] experienced a disastrous harvest. Old Woman Feng went to Shu [in modern Anhwei, west of Lu-chiang] in search of food, passing the Grazing Calf Villa on the way. As evening fell, a rainstorm arose, so she stopped beneath a mulberry tree. Suddenly she noticed a single hut at the edge of the road, with lanterns all ablaze. She approached it, hoping to find refuge for the night. There she saw a young woman, slightly over twenty years old, of lovely countenance and beautiful attire. Holding a child of about three years of age, she was leaning against the gate and weeping sadly. As the old woman went closer, she also noticed an elderly man and woman sitting on a couch. Their manner was mournful and subdued, and they spoke in whispers. It appeared as though they were demanding something from the young woman, in a rather menacing manner. Seeing Old Woman Feng approach, the two gave up and left without a word. The young woman eventually stopped weeping. She went inside and prepared some food, tidied the couch, and invited Old Woman Feng in to eat and rest. The old woman asked her about herself. The young woman strarted to cry again and explained, "The father of this child is my husband. Tomorrow he is going to take another wife." "Who were those two old folks? What business do they have with you that made them so angry?" Old Woman Feng questioned. "They are my parents-in-law. Now that their son is to take another wife, they wanted me to hand over my baskets and chest, scissors and knives, and sacrificial implements to the new bride. I was unwilling to part with these things, so they are displeased with me." "And where is your former husband?" Old Woman Feng continued. "I am the daughter of Liang Ch'ien, the magistrate of Huai-yin [in modern Kiangsu Province]. Through my marriage

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I have been in the Tung family for seven years. I had two boys and one girl. Both boys have stayed with their father, and the girl is this child here. My husband is Tung Chiang, whose home is in the town up ahead. He is a deputy official in Ts'o County1 and is quite wealthy." Even as she spoke, the young woman could not control her sobs. Old Woman Feng found nothing suspicious in her tale, and having tasted good food and found a comfortable room after being hungry, weary, and cold for so long, she fell silent. The young woman wept until dawn. Then Old Woman Feng took her leave, and after traveling for twenty li, arrived at T'ung-ch'eng County [in Anhwei]. In the eastern section of the county was a great mansion, with screens and curtains extended, and a feast of lamb and wild goose prepared. The people bustling about told her that there was going to be a wedding celebration in the official's family that night. She asked who the bridegroom was to be, and Tung Chiang was the answer! "Tung has a wife. How does he come to marry again?" theold woman asked. "Tung's wife and daughter have passed away," the villagers replied. Old Woman Feng protested, "Last night I was caught in the rain, and stayed overnight in the home of Tung's wife, the former Miss Liang. How can you say she is dead?" The villagers asked her where this had taken place, and on hearing her answer, said it was the site of Miss Liang's grave. They asked her about the appearance of the two old people, and said that they were the late father and mother of Tung Chiang. As Tung Chiang was from Shu-chou, the villagers were able to provide these details about him. When someone informed Tung Chiang of what Old Woman Feng had reported, he accused her of spreading superstitious and malicious rumors, and had her driven off under military guard. When she told the villagers about it, they all gave a deep sigh for her. That night Tung's wedding took place.

1

There are two possibilities as to which county this refers to. One is located southwest of Yung-ti Prefecture, Honan Province. The other (the same character, but pronounced "Tsan") is north of Kuang-hua Prefecture, Hupei.

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In the fifth month of the summer of the sixth year of Yiian-ho, I, Li Kung-tso, a deputy official of Chiang-huai [the area between the Yangtze and Huai Rivers] was dispatched to the capital. On returning to Han-nan [in Hupeh Province], I met up with Kao Yiieh of Po-hai [in Shantung Province], Chao Tsan of T'ien-shui [in Kansu Province], and Yii Wen-ting of Honan at a post house. At night we swapped tales of the macabre, each of us speaking of that which he had seen or heard. Kao Yiieh recounted these events, and that is how I came to record them. (Wang, p. 98; Hsu, pp. 132-35; IWC, 38; TPKC, 343.2) Tr. Laurie Scheffler Note: The old theme of "the dead retain their sentience" is here invested with human pathos, and the tale becomes a moving testimony against the brevity of the living's memories of the dead.

190

Classical Chinese Tales i (63) Biography of 'Red' Li by Liu Tsung-yiian

"Red" Li was one who wandered the lakes and rivers.1 He once said, "I am good at writing poetry similar to that of "White" Li [Li Po, 701-762]. Therefore he gave himself the name "Red" Li. He paid a visit to Hsuan-chou [modern Hsiian-ch'eng in Anhwei Province] where the local people gave him lodgings. After several days a friend of his who was related to him by marriage came to join Li at his lodgings. Red was just then speaking to a woman and his friend teased him about this. Red replied, "She proposed to me--I am going to marry her." The friend was astonished and said, "You, sir, have a wife in good health and your own mother is still alive.2 How could this take place? Can it be that you are suffering some malady or delusion?" The friend then took some "cinnabar snow"3 to feed him but Red refused to eat it. Presently the woman came back and spoke with Red. Then she took a scarf and began to strangle him. Red helped her himself, using both hands, until his tongue hung completely out. His friend called out and saved him. The woman let the scarf loose and ran off. "Have you no manners?!" Red said to his friend angrily. "I was going to be with my wife. Why did you do that?" He then went to the window, wrote a letter, rolled it up and sealed it. He wrote another letter and sealed it in the regular manner. When finished, he went to the privy. He stayed there a long time. His friend followed him and saw Red embracing the toilet-jar. He was cackling and, with a glance to each side, was just about to stick his head down into it. The friend entered and dragged him out upside down. Again Red replied in great furor, "I had

1

2

3

Those who "wander the lakes and rivers" are usually considered outside of normal conventions and have generally rejected the world in some way. Mothers were usually in charge of marriage arrangements. And of course such behavior by Red could hardly be considered filial. A Taoist concoction which served as a medicine as well as a drug of immortality and an aphrodisiac.

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already entered the hall and faced my wife. Her appearance can't be matched anywhere in the world. The decorations of her hall are grand, ornate, and richly beautiful, and an air of pepper and orchids arises there in profusion.k Looking back at your world it is like a privy to me, while the residence of my wife can't be distinguished from the Heavenly Emperor's residence in the Celestial City. Why then do you keep pestering me so?" Only then did his friend know that what Red had encountered was none other than a privy spirit. He gathered the servants and they agreed on a plan: They must immediately get away from this privy. They traveled ten miles away to spend the night. During the night Red again went to the privy. After some time, they followed him and found that he had gone in again. They lifted him out, washing off the filth, and kept watch around him until dawn. Then they left for another county. The county officials were in the midst of a banquet when they arrived. Red paid his respects to them, showing no sign of his previous strange behavior. As the wine was going around, his friend hardly had a chance to speak before he noticed that Red had already left. He hurried after him. Red had entered the privy and raised up the bench to block the door so that no one else could get in. His friend called out and told the others the situation. They dismantled the walls and entered. Half of Red's face had already sunk down into the excrement. Again they brought him out and washed him. The county officials then summoned a shaman who was skilled in exorcism to guard Red. Red's appearance was normal. Midway through the night those who were guarding him tired and fell asleep. When they awoke, they called to him and went to look for him. They saw his feet outside the privy. Red had been dead for some time. They could only take his corpse and return it to his home. When they read the letters he had written, they found that they were farewells to his mother and wife. His words were like those of a normal human being. Mr. Liu (Tsung-yuan) comments: "The Biography of 'Red' Li" is no falsehood. Was it his sick psyche which caused this? Or was there indeed a privy spirit? Red's

k

The fragrance of pepper and orchids was considered an aphrodisiac, and was infused in various manners into the walls of the harem or the boudoir.

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reputation is known throughout the rivers and lakes. In the beginning he was a scholar, no different from any other man. Once deluded by a supernatural being, he became like this, rejecting the world as a cesspool and seeing a cesspool as the Celestial City of the Heavenly Emperor. The significance of these ideas is clear. The present generation knows only to laugh at Red's delusion. When they reach the point that they must decide what is right or wrong, what to take and what to give, what to face and what to turn their backs on, there are few who would not be like Red. Those who would take the trouble to regulate themselves so as not to be moved by desire or profit are to be congratulated! How can people find the time to laugh at Red? (Liu Tsung-yiian chi [Collected Works of Liu Tsung-yiian] , ed. Wu Wen-chih et al. 4 vols. [Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1979], vol. 2, 17, pp. 481-83.) Tr. William H. Nienhauser, Jr. Translator's Note: That "Red" Li (Li Ch'ih) was a real person is highly questionable. Su Shih (1037-1101) claimed to have seen his poetry--which he did not view as in any way reminiscent of Li Po's verse--but there is no other record of Red's corpus. More likely he is an allegorical character created by Liu Tsung-yiian to bemoan his having been deceived by the wiles of Wang Shu-wen (as Lin Shu [1852-1924] has argued); cf. Chang Shih-chao, Liu-wen chih-yao (A Guide to Liu [Tsung-yiian]'s Prose) 3 vols. (Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1971), vol. 1, 17, pp. 550-52. The privy goddess is an old folk tradition known as "K'eng San-ku" (Third Aunt of the Pit). (I am grateful to Professor Wu Pai-t'ao of Nanjing University for this information.)

The T'ang

193 (64) A Record of Three Dreams by Pai Hsing-chien

There are some dreams that people have which are different from the ordinary kind. There are those in which one person dreams about going someplace and another person encounters him in the dream. There are those in which one person is doing something and another person dreams about it. There are also those in which two people dream the same dream. * * -jV * "JV During the time of Empress Wu [r. 684-704], Liu Yu-ch'iu1 was serving as an adjutant in Ch'ao-i [in modern Shensi Province]. He was often sent out as an envoy and on one occasion did not return until late in the night. When he was a little more than ten li from his home, he passed by the courtyard of a Buddhist hall. He could hear sounds of singing and laughter and general frivolity from within the temple. The wall to the temple was not very high and was broken in places, so he was able to see everything inside. When Liu bent down to peek in, he saw more than ten men and women sitting around a table enjoying a feast together. He saw that his wife was seated among them, talking and laughing. At first Liu was dumbfounded and could not think of any way to explain this. He watched for a long time, convinced that his wife should not be there, yet he could not tear himself away. He scrutinized her appearance and behavior closely, but there was no doubt that she was his wife. He decided to go and investigate, but the gate to the temple was closed and he could not get inside. He grabbed a piece of tile to throw at the party, hitting a big wine jar and a washing jug, both of which shattered under the blow. Immediately all of the guests scattered and disappeared. Liu climbed the wall and went in. He and his followers could see that not a soul was in the hallway, and the entrance to the temple was closed as before. Liu's astonishment grew greater and greater, and finally he got on his horse and galloped back home.

1

For his official biographies, see Chiu T'ang shu 97, pp. 3039ff. and Hsin T'ang shu 121, pp. 4327ff.--Ed.

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When he got to his house his wife had just gone to sleep. Hearing Liu come in, she got up and, after exchanging news of what happened while they were apart, his wife laughed and said, "I just had a dream that I was on an outing to a temple with more than ten people, none of whom I knew, and we were eating together in the hall. Someone threw a broken tile from outside, upsetting all the cups and dishes, and just then I woke up." Liu also told her everything that he had seen. This is what is called one person dreaming about going someplace and another person encountering him in reality. •>v

*

V?

*

*

In the fourth year of the Yiian-ho reign period [806-820] Yuan Wei-chih of Honan,2 who was serving as Examining Censor, was sent abroad on a mission to southern Szechwan. Some ten days later my elder brother Lo-t'ien,3 Li Shao-chih of Lung-hsi [in modern Kansu Province], and I were on an outing together to Ch'u-chiang [i.e., Crooked River]. We got to the compound of the Tz'u-en Temple,4 visited all of the quarters, and lingered there for a long time. After it had grown dark, we went together to Shao-chih's house in the Hsiu-hsing Li district5 where we ordered some wine, toasted each other and had an extremely enjoyable time drinking together. My brother put down his cup for a while and said, "Wei-chih must be at Liang-chou [modern Chao-hua County, Szechwan] by now." He asked for a brush and wrote a poem on the wall of the room. It goes as follows: Spring comes; I have no way to break my springtime melancholy. In my drunkenness, I break off flowers and stems to make wine tallies.6

2 3 4

5

6

Yuan Chen (779-831).--Ed. Po (or Pai) Chu-i (772-846).--Ed. Constructed in 648 by order of Emperor Kao-tsung (then heir apparent) for the repose of his mother's soul. It was located near Ch'u-chiang Lake.--Ed. Located on the eastern side of Ch'ang-an, not far from Ch'ii-chiang. - -Ed. For keeping count of the number of cups drained.

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Suddenly I think of an old friend who has gone far away. I count the days of his trip: today he must be in Liang-chou. It was then the twenty-first of the month. About a fortnight later an envoy from Liang-chou arrived and we received a letter from Wei-chih. At the end of the letter there was a postscript with a poem entitled "Poem Recording a Dream." It reads: I dreamt you and your brother were at the head the Ch'u-chiang Canal, And I followed you also into the Temple Benevolent Kindness. My subordinate officials ordered someone saddle up the horses; When I awoke I was in the ancient city Liang-chou.

of of to of

The day and month of this poem were exactly the same as those of the poem written on the wall after the excursion to the temple. This is what is called a dream in which one person is doing something and another person dreams about it. •sV

•JV

•jV

it

•jV

During the Chen-yuan reign period [785-805] Tou Chih from Fu Feng and Wei Hsiin from the capital were traveling together from Po [in modern Honan Province] to Ch'in [in modern Shensi Province]. On their way they spent the night in an inn at T'ung-kuan Pass [in modern Shansi Province]. Tou dreamt that when they arrived at Flowery Peak Temple they saw a tall, dark shamaness, wearing an azure skirt and a white chemise. She greeted them on the road and bowed to them, and asked that she be allowed to pray to the gods on their behalf. Tou could not extract himself, so he let her have her way. He asked her name, and she replied that she was from the Chao clan. Upon awakening, he told Wei Hslin about his dream. On the following day, as they approached the temple, they saw a shamaness approach and greet them. Her appearance and dress were just as in the dream. He told Wei, "That dream has been borne out." Then he ordered his attendants to

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look inside his bags and take out two strings of cash to give to her. The shamaness clapped her hands and burst out laughing loudly. She said to her associates, "This is just like what I dreamt." Wei was surprised and asked her about this. She answered, "Last night I dreamt of two people coming from the east. One of them, a short one with a beard, agreed to have offerings and prayers made, and I received two strings of cash from him. This morning I told this to my colleagues and now it has come true." Tou then asked the shamaness her family name and her associates said, "She is of the Chao clan." From start to finish the two dreams matched up perfectly. This is what is called two people dreaming the same dream. v? * -A"jV * I, Hsing-chien, say, "in the Ch*un-ch*iu (Spring and Autumn Annals) and books of philosophy and history many dreams have been mentioned, but they have yet to record these three types of dreams. The dreams that people in the world dream indeed must be innumerable, but they have yet to list these three kinds of dreams. Are they just coincidental, or are they caused by some law of predetermination? That is something I cannot answer. I have written these down in detail so as to keep them as a record. (Wang, pp. 108-09; Hsu, pp. 160-65;

SF 4.23b-24b) Tr. Madeline Spring

Note: The first dream is most striking for the breakdown of the boundary between reality and dream in a material sense. For some later examples of a similar motif, see "Ku-tu Hsia-shu" in Ho-tung chi (Wang, pp. 110-11) and "Chang-shen" in Chuan-i chi (Wang, pp. 111-12); see "Scholar Chang" (Ma and Lau, pp. 439-40). With regard to the second dream, see also Meng Ch'i's (fl. 886) Pen-shih shih (Poems with a Background Story), chiian 5; this story may have been invented to provide a "context" for the poems cited in it. Most of the characters mentioned in these dreams are historical figures. "Feng-yang shih-jen" of LCCI, 2.16, combines all three types of dream in one tale.

The T'ang

197 (65) Li Chang-wu by Li Ching-liang

Li Chang-wu, styled Li Fei, came from a family from Chung-shan [in modern Ting County, Hopeh]. He was very clever and quick at learning everything from the time of his birth. He was also well lettered, and had achieved a high level of accomplishment in composition. Although he held a lofty opinion of himself because of his moral standards, he disdained to put on an air of refinement. But, having a handsome visage, he had a pleasant effect on all who met him. He was best of friends with Ts'ui Hsin from Ch'ing-ho [in modern Hopeh] . Hsin was also a gentleman of refinement, who in particular had a large collection of antique objects. Because of Chang-wu's quickness and intelligence, Hsin often called on him for discussion and debate. On those occasions, Chang-wu was always able to plumb deep secrets and search out hidden origins. His contemporaries compared him to Chang Hua1 of the Chin [265-419]. In the third year of the Chen-yuan reign period [785-804], Ts'ui Hsin was transferred to Hua-chou [in modern Honan at the city of Cheng-chou] as assistant magistrate, where Chang-wu paid him a visit from Ch'ang-an. After a few days, while he was out strolling along a street in the northern part of the city he saw an extremely beautiful woman. Using a ploy to excuse himself, he said to Hsin, "I must visit with some relatives outside of the county." He then went on to take apartments in the home of this fair woman. The master of the house was named Wang, and this was his son's wife. Chang-wu was delighted with her and they engaged in a secret affair. He stayed there for over a month, spending upwards of thirty thousand, the girl's contribution doubling that amount. Their two hearts became coupled in harmony and their happiness was complete. Not long after, some business came up and Chang-wu was called back to Ch'ang-an. Tenderly they took leave of one another. Chang-wu gave her a bolt of silk depicting "mandarin ducks with necks entwined" in its weave, and

1

Author of Po-wu chih, known for his erudition; see "Chang Hua and the Fox" (24).

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presented a poem which went: The duck and drake silk, Who knows with how many threads2 it's woven? After parting, when we seek to be entwined love, We will long for the time before we parted.

in

The girl gave him in return one white jade finger-ring and also presented him with a poem which went: Twisting the finger-ring, thinking of the other; Seeing the ring will strengthen your thoughts of me. I wish you forever to fondle it, Following the ring around without end. Chang-wu had a servant named Yang Kuo. The son's wife gave him a thousand in cash as a reward for his diligence in serving his master. They parted and eight or nine years went by. Chang-wu's home was in Ch'ang-an, so he had no means of communicating with her. In the eleventh year of the Chen-yuan reign period, since his friend Chang Yuan-tsung lived in Hsia-kuei County [neighboring Hua-chou], Chang-wu again went from the capital to visit Yuan. Struck with thoughts of former joys, he turned his carriage across the Wei River to ask after the girl. It was dark when he got to Hua-chou. He planned to stay at the Wang family's rooming house, but when he got to the gate it was desolate, lacking all trace of activity. There were only benches outside for guests. Chang-wu could only imagine that they had passed away, or had given up their trade for farming and moved to the country. Or perhaps they had simply been invited to some relatives' for a gathering from which they had yet to return. So he rested for a moment at their gate, thinking of looking for other lodgings. Then he saw a woman, their neighbor to the east, and went over to speak to her. "The elders of the Wang family have gathered up all their affairs and set out traveling. The son's wife has been dead for two whole years," she said.

2

"Threads" of silk puns with "longing" in Chinese.

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After going into more detail, she said, "My surname is Yang, the sixth born. I am the wife of their eastern neighbor." Eventually she asked, "What is the gentleman's surname?" Chang-wu informed her. "Did you have a servant by the name of Yang? Yang Kuo--wasn't it?" she inquired again. He said he did. This caused her to burst into tears, saying, "Since my marriage, I have been in this neighborhood for five years. I was close to Madame Wang. She would often say, 'My husband's residence is really like an official post station. I've seen a lot of men pass through. Many tried to flirt with me, and they would always be throwing their money around--giving me sweet talk and strong vows. But I would never be moved. Then some years ago there was a refined Mr. Li who stayed for a while In our house. When I first saw him, I lost myself to him unwittingly. Afterwards I secretly served by his pillow and mat, and truly experienced blissful love. Now I have already been parted with him for several years. With my longing heart I have been able neither to eat all day nor sleep all night. I have been led all over by my husband, so I would not be able to see him even if he were to return. Since I cannot trust the others in my family, I ask you to seek his identity by appearance and name if he should come. If he comes close to the description, I bid you serve him respectfully and reveal to him my feelings. If there is a servant by the name of Yang Kuo, then it surely is he.' "Before two or three years had passed, as the girl lay ill on her death bed, she reiterated her commission, saying, 'I am of a humble position, but I was fortunate enough to receive the gentleman's affection. I have long yearned for him, and now I have become ill. It is doubtful that I will be cured. About my former request: if by chance he should come here I wish you to convey my grief held even in death and the remorse of this eternal parting. Beg him to stop here so that our spirits may meet in the world of shadows.'" Chang-wu then entreated the woman to open the gate. He ordered his servants to buy fodder and foodstuffs. Just as he was about to lay out his bedroll, a woman carrying a broom came out of the house to sweep the ground. She was unknown even to the neighbor's wife. The report from one of Chang-wu's servants was that she said she was someone

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from the house. He then pressed her with questions himself. "The dead woman of the Wang family feels the depth of your love," she said slowly in reply. "She would like to meet with you, but she was afraid that the living would be frightened, so she sent me ahead to let you know." "This is exactly the reason I have come here," replied Chang-wu. "Even though the light and the dark are two different roads and men are properly afraid, feelings of longing get through. Of this I really have no doubt." His statement finished, the woman carrying the broom departed joyfully. Presently, she opened the door, not to be seen again. Food and drink were prepared and the sacrifices brought out. After taking the meal by himself, Chang-wu went to bed. At about the second watch [9-11 p.m.] the light which was to the southeast of the bed suddenly flickered. This occurred two or three times. Chang-wu knew something strange was taking place. He ordered the candle moved to the further end of the wall, the southeast corner of the room, whereupon he heard a stirring in the northern corner. What seemed like a human form gradually appeared. As the form advanced five or six paces, one could make cut its face and see its clothes. It was the wife of the proprietor's son. There was nothing different from her previous appearance; only her movements seemed lighter and quicker and her voice softer and clearer. Chang-wu got down from the bed and took her in his arms. It was truly the joy of a lifetime. "Ever since I have been on the register of the dead I've forgotten all of my relations," she said. "But my heart is tied to you as it was before." Ch'ang-wu made love to her with extra tenderness, and nothing seemed different; only she would constantly ask someone to look for the Morning Star. When it appeared, she would be able to linger no longer, but would have to leave. Between their moments of love, she commended the neighbor woman, Yang-shih, saying with gratitude, "Without this person, who would have conveyed my deep grief?" When it came to the fifth watch [3-5 a.m.] someone said it was time for her to return. The girl tearfully got down from the bed and went out the gate arm in arm with Chang-wu. They gazed up at the Milky Way and she began to sob in her grief. She went back into the house where she unfastened an embroidered purse which was on the sash of

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her skirt. From the bag she took an object and presented it to Chang-wu. The object had the blue-green color of the heavens; its substance was hard and fine. It was cold like jade and shaped like a small leaf. Chang-wu didn't recognize it. The girl said, "This is called the Mo-ho jewel. It comes from the Mystery Garden of the K'un-lun Mountains and is not come by easily even there. I was recently lolling on the Western Summit with the Lady Goddess of Jade City when I saw this thing on top of a mound of jewels. I was enchanted and asked her about it. The Lady Goddess then took it and gave it to me, saying, 'Each time immortals of the Celestial Caves find this gem, they all consider it glorious.' Since you are acquainted with esoteric ways and have a knowledge of fine things, I present it to you. You must cherish it forever. There is nothing like it in the human world." Then she presented him with a poem which went: The Milky Way is already sloping down; The spirits have to make their crossing. I wish you to return and embrace me once more. Till the end of heaven we will hereafter be parted. Chang-wu took a white jade jeweled hairpin to requite her and matched her poem with a reply which went: It is destiny that the obscure and the clear be separate; Who can say if there will ever be a fair reunion? I bid you farewell, for parted we must be. Yet I lament: for what place are you bound? They clung to each other and wept for a while. girl presented another poem:

Then the

Before when we parted, we longed for another meeting; Now when we part it will be until the end of heaven. The new sorrow together with the old grieving, Are forever bound in the reaches of the deep underworld. Chang-wu answered her:

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Classical Chinese Tales i Another meeting cannot be expected, forever and ever; By our former grief we have aready sought each other out. Along the road of our parting there will be no travel or news. By what means shall I convey my heart's love?

Their hearts spoken and their parting complete, she crossed over to the northwest corner. She took a few steps and turned around again to look at him. "Master Li, don't suppress your thoughts of this person from the underworld," she said, wiping away her tears. Then she stood transfixed in her sobs again. But seeing that the sky was about to lighten, she hastened to the corner, and that was the last she was seen. The empty room was left with a vacant feeling; only the cold lamp flickered, nearly burning out. Chang-wu hurriedly packed and left Hsia-kuei Prefecture to return to Wu-ting village in Ch'ang-an. The prefect of Hsia-kuei and a certain Chang Yiian-tsung . drank wine and feasted with him. After they had all had a fair amount of drink, Chang-wu, caught up in his own thoughts, composed a poem to commemorate the events. The poem went: As the rivers do not flow back west, nor does the moon remain full, They cause a man to lament upon the ancient city wall; In the desolate morning light we shall part at the forked road, Not knowing how many years will pass before we meet again. Having chanted the poem, he parted with the prefect and other officials. He traveled for a few miles alone and along the way started to compose and chant poems again to vent his feelings. He suddenly heard a sigh of appreciation in the air. It was a tone strained with melancholy. He listened more carefully. It was none other than the wife of Mr. Wang's son. "in the world of darkness we have our alotted area of movement," she was heard saying. "After we part from this time, there will never be a day when there can be intercourse. I knew of your caring thoughts, and so I

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braved the guards of the underworld to come from afar and bid you farewell. Take care of yourself always." Chang-wu felt for her even more than before. When he got back to Ch'ang-an he spoke of all this with his comrade in the study of the Tao, Li Tsu of Lung-hsi [in modern Kansu] . Li was moved by the sincerity of his feelings and composed a poem: The pebbles have sunk into the vastness of the ocean,3 The man with the sword is parted by the breadth of the heavens.4 You know there will be no day of reunion; The sorrow of a torn heart; the sadness of the setting sun. Chang-wu by now was working for the provincial governor at Tung-p'ing [modern Yun-cheng in Shantung]. Making use of his leisure, he asked a jeweler to look at the Mo-ho gem he had received. The jeweler knew nothing about it and dared not cut it. Later he was sent to Ta-liang [i.e., K'ai-feng, in modern Honan] on a mission, where he again called upon a jeweler, who this time was able to make something of it. Following its natural shape, he cut it into the likeness of a dentate oak leaf. Whenever he was sent to the capital, he kept this jewel close to his breast. Once he was on a street in the eastern part of the city when he chanced to see a Buddhist monk of foreign origin who suddenly approached his horse and bowed. "The gentleman has a precious gem upon his breast," he said. "Might I beg to see it?" He led Li to a quiet spot where it was brought out for inspection. The monk turned it over for a bit and said, "This is a most precious thing which comes from Heaven. It

3

k

An allusion to a story about the daughter of the mythic emperor Yen-ti who was drowned in the Eastern Sea. She was transformed into a bird which daily carries sticks and stones attempting to fill that ocean. See Shan-hai ching, chiian 3, s.v. "Northern Mountains." An allusion to Kan Chiang and Mo Yeh, the sword makers who forged a pair of swords for the King of Wu. Kan Chiang was killed by the king when he presented only one of the pair upon their completion. See entry (11).--Ed.

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is not to be found in the world of men." Whenever Chang-wu passed through Hua-chou, he called on Yang-shih. He does so to this day. (Wang, pp. 56-58; Hsu, pp. 90-97; Chang, pp. 39-44; IWC, 22; TPKC, 340.3) Tr. Rick Harrington Note: See Introduction, Sec. V, for a discussion of the use of early CK motifs in this tale. The many poems inserted in the story suggest, among other things, that the display of literary skills was very much on the author's mind when he composed the piece.

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(66) Lament from the Hsiang River: A Prose Version by Shen Ya-chih

The "Lament from the Hsiang River" tells of events rare and wondrous, things never before written of by scholars. But sentimental people are often over-indulgent. Here I wish to give a general account, just to write of what is true and nothing more. My friend Wei Ao is fond of writing yiieh-fu; I have followed his lead and expanded upon it, in response to his recitation.1 Sometime during the Ch'uei-kung reign period [685-689] of Empress Wu, the imperial presence was residing in the Shang-yang Temple in Loyang. One morning the Imperial Scholar Cheng set off from the Bronze Camel District and that night crossed over the Lo River bridge under a bright moon. As he did so he heard a most mournful crying coming from beneath the bridge. The scholar dismounted and followed the sound to its source, where he found a very lovely young lady. Shyly covering her face with her long sleeve, she said, "I am an orphan raised by my elder brother, but his wife is hateful and is always making trouble for me. Today I decided to jump into the river. I cannot help momentarily lamenting my own misery." "Would you be able instead to come home with me?" asked the scholar. "I will serve you even as your maid and servant," she replied. Thus she went to live with Cheng, and came to be called the River Maid of the Fan. She could recite from memory the Ch'u Songs such as the "Nine Songs," "Summoning the Soul," and the "Nine Arguments." Also, she would often recite her own lines of lament modeled on tunes of this style. Her composition was uncommonly beautiful--no one of the time was her match. In this style she came to write the "Poem on the Play of Sunlight:" The flowers are this time.

1

so

luxurious, so

Wei's work is not extant.--Ed.

brilliant at

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Classical Chinese Tales i Having planted seeds of fragrant and green shoots, She now harvests the redolent flowers. She builds her abode with magnolia petals and lives among the calyxes; In the inner chamber she secretly adorns herself. With the pretty coyness of youth She holds up the thin mist as a veil. Intoxicated with the diffused light, Her gaze lingers over the eAdless span of waves and shore. She is happy all day, contented through the night, Her dancing like swaying willow branches, alluring in motion swift or slow. Her face flushes; she sings of the flourishing flora. The gauze-like ripples glitter, the water weeds swing and swirl.

Cheng was rather poor, and once the River Maid took a length of light silk from a small basket and gave it to Cheng to sell. A foreigner paid a thousand cash for it. And so they lived for several years until Cheng was going to take a trip to Ch'ang-an again. That night she told the scholar, "I am a concubine of the dragon of the Hsiang River. I was banished from the Dragon Palace for an offence, and so came to marry you. My time has come to an end, and I may not stay with you any longer. I want to say goodbye," wherupon they embraced and the tears fell. The scholar tried to keep her but was unable, and she was gone. More than ten years passed when an elder brother of Cheng was made Censor of Yiieh-chou [in modern Hunan]. As it happened to be the shang-ssu festival,2 the whole clan went on an outing. They climbed to the Yueh-yang Tower located in the city of Yiieh-yang on the banks of the 2

Originally a spring festival of cleansing by bathing in the river, held on the shang-ssu day of the third month. In the Six Dynasties, the date was changed to the third day of the third month, and part of the festivity was to drink wine on the river banks. By the T'ang this had become the day for the Spring Outing; cf. "Lu Ch'ung" (22), n. 2.--Ed.

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Yangtze River. They set out a feast, and looked out north toward 0-chu Isle. As everyone was enjoying the music, Cheng was seized by sadness and recited, My feelings have no bounds, forlorn like the expanse of the waves. Remembering those happy moments, my thoughts roam amidst the three rivers of the Hsiang... Even before he had finished, a painted boat came floating down the river. In its center was a decorated tower, about a hundred feet tall; on it could be seen curtains, railings, and painted ornaments. From the parted curtains there emerged musicians playing strings, woodwinds, and percussion instruments. They were all as beautiful as fairies, their clothes colorful like misty rainbows, with expansive, trailing sleeves and skirts. From among them, one stood up and began to dance. Wearing a frown, sorrowful, and a little resentful, the dancer looked like the River Maid. Now singing while she danced, he heard, Winding upstream against blue mountains, I come to the bend of the Yangtze, Traversing the waves of the Hsiang River, with its soft green watery skirts. My feelings for you are suppressed like furled lotus leaves; If we don't return together, what will I do? Her dance finished, she folded her arms and stared distantly at Cheng. Within the tower everyone else was looking and enjoying her dance. But after a while, wind and waves crashed in fury, and the boat was lost to sight. I heard this story in the thirteenth year of the Yiian-ho reign period [806-820] from my friends. Having added all the poems, I have named the story "Lament from the Hsiang River," to match it with "Longing amidst Misty Waters" by Nan Chao-ssu.3

3

The style name of Nan Tso (fl. 828). The work mentioned here is no longer extant, but the story is preserved in LLi-ch' uang hsin-hua (New Tales from within the Green Window, compiled during the Southern Sung). It tells of

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(Wang, pp. 157-58; Hsu, pp. 244-51; IWC, 24; Shen Ya-chih, Shen Hsia-hsien wen-chl, 2.1a-2a; TPKC 298.5) Tr. Michael Broschat Note: The lyricism that permeates this piece makes it representative of those T'ang tales which are intent on capturing moods and atmosphere rather than telling a story. The incorporation of poems often contributes to the creation of lyric moods.

the romantic encounter between a student by the name of Hsieh and a nymph. Ch'in Kuan's (1049-1100) poem titled "Yen-chung yuan" (Lament from amidst the Mist) may be related to the same subject.--Ed.

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209 (67) Huo Hsiao-yu by Chiang Fang

During the Ta-li reign period [766-779] Li Yi,1 a native of Lung-hsi [present-day Wu-wei County, Kansu Province], earned the chin-shih degree (Doctor of Letters) at the age of twenty. In the sixth month of the following year, while awaiting further testing on magisterial subjects by the Ministry of Personnel, he went to Ch'ang-an. There he found lodgings in the Hsin-ch'ang quarter. Li came from an eminent family, and even as a child, he had displayed intellectual ability and literary talent. His elegant verses were acknowledged as unsurpassed. Even established literary masters were unanimous in their praise of him. Li held himself in high esteem and longed to find a mate worthy of his talent. He searched extensively among courtesans, but for a long time enjoyed no success. In Ch'ang-an there was a matchmaker named Pao Shih-i-niang.2 She had once been a bondmaid in the household of the late Prince Consort Hsiieh, but she had redeemed her contract and had been married for more than ten years. She was a gifted speaker, tactful as well as accommodating. There was hardly a family of consequence she had not visited. Those who enlisted her aid always met with success, and for this reason she was considered a leader in her profession. Li once confided his desire to her, and since he had not been sparing in his gifts to her, she felt obliged to help him. One afternoon a few months later, Li was relaxing in the southern pavilion of his lodgings when he suddenly heard someone knocking urgently at the gate. Upon learning that

1

2

Li Yi (748-827) earned the chin-shih degree in 769 and later served in a variety of official posts. According to his biographies in the T'ang dynastic histories, his literary reputation at one time equaled that of the poet Li Ho (791-817). In addition to his poetry he was famous for his cruelty to women--excessive jealousy became know as "Li Yi's sickness." His reputed friend Wei Hsia-ch'ing (fl. late eighth to early ninth centuries), who held several official posts, appears as a minor character later in the story. Literally "eleventh lady," used here as a proper name.

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Pao Shih-i-niang had come, he straightened his clothes and went out to greet her. "Madame Pao, what brought you here today so suddenly?" he asked. "Have you been having beautiful dreams?"3 Pao asked with a smile. "You should be, since a goddess has been banished to earth who thinks nothing of money and property, but values only charm and wit. A beauty like her would be the perfect match for you, Shih-lang.'"* At this Li jumped for joy, his spirits were sent soaring. He took hold of Pao's hand, and bowed and thanked her, "If she is really what you have said, I will serve her for the rest of my life. Even meeting death, I would have no regrets." He then asked for the girl's name and address. Pao told him everything about her, "She is the youngest daughter of the late Prince Huo.5 Her style name is Hsiao-yu. The prince was extremely fond of her. Her mother, whose name was Ching-ch'ih, was the prince's favorite maid. After the prince's death, her brothers no longer considered her part of the family because of her lowly origin on her mother's side. They just gave the girl and her mother some money and sent them away. Her family name has since been changed to Cheng, so hardly anyone knows that she is the daughter of a prince. In all my life I've never seen one with her charm and beauty, not to mention her cultivated sensibility and refined manners. She is also well-versed in music and literature. "Yesterday the girl's mother asked me to find a suitable young man for her daughter, and I told her all about you. She recognized your name and was extremely pleased. "She and her daughter live on Old Temple Lane in the Sheng-yeh quarter of town. Their house is located right at the entry to the lane, and has a gate for horse carriages. I've already made an appointment for you to see them 3

4

5

This sentence literally means "Has Su Ku-tzu had a beautiful dream?" It is believed to have been a proverb popular during the T'ang. Its origin is unknown. Pao Shih-i-niang implies that Li should have had a dream presaging his introduction to a desirable mate. Literally "tenth young master," used here as a proper name. Li Ylian-kuei, Emperor Kao-tsu's (r. 618-626) fourteenth son.

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tomorrow at noon. When you arrive at the head of the lane, just look for a maid named Cassia." After Pao left, Li prepared for the visit. He sent his page, Autumn Goose, out to borrow a black horse and golden bridle from his cousin Shang, a military administrator in the capital district. That evening Li washed his clothes, took a bath, and made himself presentable. He was so excited that he could not sleep at all. At dawn he put on a hat and examined himself in the mirror, worrying about his appearance. He paced back and forth anxiously until it was about noon. Then he called for his horse and rode swiftly to Sheng-yeh. At the appointed place he saw a maid standing there waiting for him. "Aren't you Li Shih-lang?" she asked. Li dismounted and told her to take the horse to the stable. Then he hurried inside the gate and bolted it. He saw Pao coming out to meet him. "What kind of young man are you, barging in like this?" she teased. While they were still bantering with each other, Pao led Li through an inner gate into a courtyard. In the courtyard there were four cherry trees along with a parrot in a cage which hung in the northwest corner. When the parrot saw Li, it squawked, "Someone is coming! Lower the curtain!" Li was reserved and timid by nature. When he heard the parrot talk, he was so startled that he dared not go any further. While he hesitated, Pao led Ching-ch'ih down the steps to greet him. Ching-ch'ih invited him inside where they sat facing each other. Although she was more than forty years old, she was still a captivating beauty; her voice was seductive and her smile infectious. "I have heard of your talent and wit," she said to Li. "Now that I have seen how handsome and elegant you are, I know that your reputation is well-deserved. My daughter may not be well-educated, but at least she is not too ugly. She would be a good match for a gentleman like you. Pao Shih-i-niang has often suggested this to me, and now I would like to offer my daughter to you in marriage." Li thanked her, "This is more than a lowly, slow-witted man like me would dare hope for. If you do make me your choice, I will consider it a great honor for the rest of my life."

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Food and wine were ordered, and Hsiao-yu was asked to come out from the eastern chamber. Li greeted her with a bow, feeling as if the entire room had been transformed into a bower of jade and jasper trees bathing each other with light--so bright and dazzling were her glances. She sat down beside her mother, who said to her, "Li Shih-lang is the author of the lines you like so much, When the breeze stirs the bamboo and blows open the curtain, I imagine it is my lover who comes.6 Isn't one look at him better than a whole day of reciting his poems to yourself?" Hsiao-yu lowered her head, smiling, and whispered, "His appearance surpasses his reputation.7 Such a man surely needs such looks to match his talent." Li rose and bowed, saying, "The young lady admires talent, and I adore beauty. Our virtues match well, for beauty and talent are thus united." The mother and her daughter glanced at each other and broke into laughter. After several rounds of wine Li stood up and asked Hsiao-yu to sing. At first she was unwilling, but then her mother prevailed on her to sing a few songs in her clear, resonant voice. It was already dusk when the feast broke up. Pao led Li to the western chamber to rest. It was secluded in a courtyard and richly decorated with elegant curtains. Pao told the two maids Cassia and Washing Sand to take off his boots and belt.

6

7

These lines are similar to those composed by Ts'ui Ying-ying in Yuan Chen's (779-831) "Ying-ying chuan" (The Story of Ying-ying): "I await the moon in the western chamber,/Where the breeze comes through the half-opened door./Sweeping the wall the flower shadows move;/I imagine it is my lover who comes." (James R. Hightower, tr. "The Story of Ying-ying," in Ma and Lau, p. 140). "Ying-ying chuan" bears some resemblance to "Huo Hsiao-yu." Ts'ui Ying-ying, like Huo Hsiao-yU, is abandoned by her lover. But Ying-ying's lover, Chang, claims he does so to preserve his integrity. Read wen ming pu-ju chien mien for chien mien pu-ju wen ming.--Ed.

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Before long Hsiao-yii entered. She spoke in a gentle, alluring manner, and even as she took off her silk robe, she comported herself with grace. Then they lowered the bed curtain, laid their heads on the pillow, and gave themselves up completely to their passion. Li felt that the meetings on Mount Wu and the Lo River8 could not surpass this experience. At midnight, however, Hsiao-yii looked at Li and suddenly began to weep. "Since I am a courtesan, I know I am no match for you," she said. "You love me now for my beauty. I am afraid that when my beauty fades, your affection will shift to someone else. I will then be a vine with no support, a fan thrown out in autumn. That is why I cannot help feeling sad at the height of our joy." When he heard this, Li was moved. He cradled her head in his arm and comforted her, "Today I have fulfilled my life's dream. Even if my bones were crushed to powder and my body torn to pieces, I swear that I would never leave you. How can you say such a thing? Please get me a piece of silk so that I may put my oath in writing." Hsiao-yii stopped crying. She had her maid Cherry raise the bed curtain and hold a candle while she gave Li a brush and inks tone. When not playing music, Hsiao-yii enjoyed poetry and calligraphy. Her chestful of brushes and inkstones had all come from the prince's household. She brought out an embroidered bag and then pulled out a three-foot length of white silk with black lines. She gave this product of Yiieh9 to Li to write on. Li had a quick mind and dashed off a pledge as soon as he took up the brush. He said his love was as high as a mountain and as deep as a river, his faithfulness as constant as the sun and moon. Every line was so sincere

8

9

"Mount Wu" is an allusion to Prince Hsiang of Ch'u's (r. 651-618 B. C.) meeting with a goddess on top of Mount Kao-t'ang. The goddess said she lived on Mount Wu. This encounter is described in Sung Yii's (fl. third century B. C.) "Kao-t'ang fu" (Rhapsody on Mount Kao-t'ang). "Lo River" is an allusion to the poet Ts'ao Chih's (192-232) dream that he met the goddess of the Lo. Ts'ao Chih wrote his "Lo-shen fu" (Rhapsody on the Goddess of the Lo) to commemorate his dream. An area famous for its silk products, located in present-day Chekiang Province.

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and earnest that it would have moved anyone who read the pledge. After he finished writing, Hsiao-yii had the pledge stored inside a jeweled box. From then on they lived in perfect harmony like a pair of kingfishers frolicking in the clouds. They were together day and night like this for two years. In the spring of their third year together, Li passed the examinations held by the Ministry of Personnel and was appointed Registrar of Cheng-hsien [present-day Cheng-chou, Honan Province]. In the fourth month, just before setting out for his post, he also planned a visit to his parents in the Eastern Capital, Loyang.10 At his departure many of his friends and relatives from Ch'ang-an attended his farewell banquet. It was the time of year when signs of spring still remain as the splendor of summer begins to show itself. After the party was over Li and Hsiao-yii became preoccupied with thoughts of separation. "With your talent and reputation you will win many admirers," Hsiao-yii said to Li. "A host of people will seek marriage with you. Since your parents are still living and you do not have a wife, you will certainly find a good match on this trip. Your pledge to me will become but empty words. Nevertheless I do have one small favor to ask of you. Would you be so kind as to listen to it?" "What have I done to offend you? How can you speak like this?" Li said in disbelief. "Please tell me your wish and I will gladly listen." "I am just eighteen and you are but twenty-two," Hsiao-yii said. "You still have eight years before you reach the age for marriage. I would like to have your love just for those years in exchange for a lifetime's happiness. After that it still would not be too late for you to select a bride from a noble family and live with her in contentment and harmony like the union between Ch'in and Chin. 11 I would then renounce this world, cut my hair, and put on the nun's habit. This would fulfill my life's wish." 10

11

The city which served as the capital of China at various times, it was located twenty li northwest of present-day Loyang County in Honan. Cheng-hsien was just a short distance east of Loyang. Two states during the Spring and Autumn Period (722-468 B.C.) which were bound by marriage ties.

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Ashamed and touched, Li could not hold back his tears. "By the light of the sun I promised to be faithful to you even in death," he said. "I am only afraid that even if we spend the rest of our lives together, that still would not be long enough to satisfy my love. Why would I dare think of anyone else? Please do not doubt my sincerity--just try to live your life as usual and wait for my return. By the eighth month I will return to Hua-chou [present-day Cheng County, Shensi] and send someone to fetch you. We shall see each other again before long." Several days later Li took his leave and headed east. Within ten days of assuming his post he asked for leave to go to Loyang to visit his parents. Before he reached home, his mother had arranged for him to marry a cousin of his, Miss Lu. Since his mother was strict and stubborn, Li, although reluctant, did not dare reject the proposal. He paid a visit to Miss Lu's parents to thank them for their daughter's hand and to set a date for the ceremony. The Lu family was a very prominent one. Anyone who asked to marry one of their daughters had to pay a million in cash as a betrothal gift, or else the proposal would not be accepted. Because his family was poor, Li had to borrow the money. He used excuses to take leave from office to see friends and relatives in distant places, traveling between the Huai and Yangtze rivers from autumn till summer. Li realized that he had broken his promise to call for Hsiao-yii. But hoping that she would give up on him, he sent her no messages and told his friends not to disclose his whereabouts. After Li failed to return as promised, Hsiao-yii made several inquiries as to what had happened to him. But the excuses and evasions she received in reply differed each day. She frequently resorted to consulting mediums and diviners. After more than a year of anguish and anxiety her health deteriorated and she fell ill in her lonely chamber. Her faith never wavered even though Li had not sent her a single letter. She gave presents to his friends and relatives so that they might tell her some news. She pressed on with her search so hard that her financial resources were nearly exhausted. As a result she often had her maid secretly sell some of the clothes and jewels in her trunk. Most of these were sold in the western marketplace through a pawnshop owned by Hou Ching-hsien.

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Once she told her maid Washing Sand to take an amethyst hairpin to Ching-hsien*s shop. On the way Washing Sand met an old imperial jeweler. When he saw what she held in her hand, he stepped forward to take a closer look. "I was the one who made this hairpin," he said. "I was ordered to make it shortly before Prince Huo's daughter pinned her hair up for the first time.12 Since I was rewarded with ten thousand in cash, I have never forgotten it. Who are you and how did you come to have this pin?" "My young mistress is none other than Prince Huo's daughter," Washing Sand said. "Separated from her family, she has entrusted herself to the wrong person. The man to whom she has promised herself left for the Eastern Capital and has since sent her no word. This has made her so upset that she has been ill for almost two years. She told me to sell this so that she would be able to pay people who might help her find out what has happened to him." The jeweler wept bitterly. "How can children from noble families suffer such a fate?" he lamented. "Although my life is nearly at end, when I see such changes in fortune, I cannot help feeling sad." He then led the maid into Princess Yen-huang's13 mansion and told her Hsiao-yii*s story. The princess was so touched that for a long while she could only sigh. She gave the maid one hundred and twenty thousand in cash to provide for her mistress. By this time Li had raised enough money for the betrothal gift and had returned to Cheng-hsien. The girl to whom he was engaged lived in Ch'ang-an, and in the twelfth month Li again asked for leave to go there for his wedding ceremony. He rented a secluded house and tried to keep its location a secret. Li had a younger cousin named Ts'ui Yiin-ming, who held the ming-ching (Doctor of the Classics) degree. He was extremely kindhearted and in the past had often accompanied Li to Hsiao-yii's place. There he had shared in their festivity, drinking and chatting with them. Now whenever he heard any news about Li, he faithfully reported it to Hsiao-yii. Since Hsiao-yii had often supplied him with food and clothing, Ts'ui felt indebted to her. So when Li arrived in the city Ts'ui told her about it.

12

13

At the age of fifteen girls had their hair pinned up in a ceremony marking their coming of age. Kao-kuo, Emperor Su-tsung's (r. 756-763) daughter.

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Hsiao-yii sighed resentfully, "How could this be?" She asked her friends and relatives to urge Li to visit her. He knew that she had become seriously ill because he had broken his promise. But he felt so ashamed that he could not bring himself to go see her. To avoid visitors who came on Hsiao-yii's behalf, he left his lodgings at dawn and returned in the evening. Meanwhile Hsiao-yii wept day and night, neglecting even to eat or sleep. She longed to see him just once, but never had the opportunity. She was so beset by anxiety and resentment that her illness grew worse, confining her to bed. Quite a few people in Ch'ang-an came to know of Hsiao-yii's plight. Those romantic by nature were moved by Hsiao-yii's love; those who were righteous and chivalric resented Li's unfaithfulness. It was already the third month of the year, when many people went on spring outings; Li and several friends went to the Ch'ung-ching Temple 14 to look at peonies. They strolled in the western hallway and took turns reciting poetry. Among Li's companions that day was his close friend Wei Hsia-ch'ing, a native of the capital. He said to Li, "The scenery is so beautiful--the grass and trees are so luxuriant. Isn't it a pity that Hsiao-yii has to languish alone in her chamber? You really are a cold-hearted man to be able to abandon her. A man shouldn't be like this. You ought to reconsider your behavior." While Wei Hsia-Ch'ing was lamenting and scolding his friend, a knight-errant suddenly appeared, wearing a light yellow tunic and wielding a bow and arrow. He looked handsome and dashing, and was splendidly attired. A northern barbarian boy with closely cropped hair attended him. They walked behind Li and Wei and overheard their conversation. The knight-errant suddenly stepped forward and bowed before Li. "Aren't you Li Shih-lang?" the knight-errant asked. "I am originally from Shantung; my family is related to the northern barbarians by marriage. Although I have no literary talent, I enjoy meeting with accomplished men of letters. I admire your brilliance and have long hoped to meet you. It is really fortunate that I have come upon you today. My humble abode is not far from here. There I will

lt

* Located in the Ching-an quarter of central Ch'ang-an.

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entertain you with song and music. Eight or nine dancing girls and more than ten fine horses will be yours to enjoy. My only wish is that you honor me with your presence.1' Li's companions were all pleased by this, and the entire party rode off with the knight-errant. They quickly passed through several sections of town before arriving at the Sheng-yeh quarter. Li noticed that they were near Hsiao-yii's home and did not wish to go any further. So he made up an excuse and tried to turn his horse around. But the knight-errant pulled on the reins and led his horse back the other way. "How can you turn back on me when my home is just a few feet away?" he said. While they were arguing back and forth they came to the lane where Hsiao-yii lived. Li panicked and whipped his horse in an effort to turn back. But the knight-errant ordered his servants to practically carry Li through the door. He then told them to bolt the gate and shouted, "Li Shih-lang has arrived!" At this the entire household was caught by surprise and rejoiced so loudly that it was heard outside. The night before, Hsiao-yii had dreamed that a man wearing a yellow coat carried Li to her bedside and told her to take off her shoes. Startled, she awoke and told her mother about her dream. Hsiao-yii interpreted the dream herself, "'Shoes' must mean harmony.15 This implies that a man and wife will be reunited. But "taking off one's shoes" must symbolize separation. There will be a meeting and a parting, but the parting will be for good. This means that I shall see him again, but that I will die soon after." Early in the morning she asked her mother to fix her hair. Her mother took no stock in her daughter's dream, supposing that Hsiao-yii had been sick for so long that she was having delusions. But because she insisted, her mother decided to humor her and comb her hair. Just when her mother finished, Li was announced. Hsiao-yii had become so weak that she needed help just to turn over in bed. But when she heard that Li had come she suddenly got up by herself, changed her clothes and went out as if aided by a supernatural power. When she saw Li she could barely control her anger--she gave him an icy

15

The Chinese characters for "shoe" and "harmony" homophones, both being pronounced /hsieh/.

are

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stare without saying a word. She was so frail and delicate that it seemed she could hardly stand the strain. Then she broke down into violent sobbing and occasionally would turn her tear-covered face to look at Li. Looking at her now and thinking of the past affair, everyone present at the scene was moved to tears. After a short while a feast consisting of dozens of courses was brought in from outside to the surprise of everyone there. No one knew where it all had come from, but soon it was learned that the food had been sent compliments of the knight-errant. After the food had been placed on a table everyone sat down to eat. Hsiao-yii turned away from Li, but looked sideways at him for a long time. Then she raised her cup and poured the wine on the ground. "I am a girl who has suffered such a miserable fate," she said. "And you are a man who is so unfaithful. Though I am still young and fair, I will die of regret and sorrow. Though my mother is still living, I will be unable to care for her. Neither will I be able to enjoy silk clothes or gay music again. The sorrow of my death is all your doing. Li Yi, Li Yi, I now take leave of you forever. After I die my ghost will haunt you. Your wives and concubines will know no peace." She reached out with her left hand to hold Li's arm. Then she threw her cup to the ground and with a long wail she died. Her mother picked up her body and placed it in Li's arms, telling him to call her name and revive her. But Hsiao-yii did not come back to life. Li put on mourning clothes and wailed bitterly day and night. The night before the burial he suddenly saw Hsiao-yii in the funeral curtain. She looked as charming and alluring as she had in life. She wore a pomegranate-red skirt, a purple jacket, and a red and green cloak. She leaned against the curtain, her hand holding her embroidered sash. She looked at Li and said, "Since you are taking the trouble to attend my funeral, it seems that you still have some feelings for me. How can I help feeling grieved in the other world?" After this she vanished. The next day Hsiao-yii was buried at Yii-su-yiian16 near

16

A burial ground located south of Ch'ang-an.

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Ch'ang-an. Li mourned at her gravesite and then returned home. A little more than a month later he was married to Miss Lu. Whenever he thought about his past, he felt depressed. In the fifth month of the year he and Miss Lu went to Cheng-hsien together. One night, ten days after their arrival, Li had just gone to sleep with his wife when he suddenly heard a rustling sound outside his bed curtain. Startled, he looked around and saw a handsome young man in his twenties, partially hidden by the curtain, beckoning to his wife. Li leapt out of bed and chased the youth several times around the bed. But the young man suddenly disappeared. After this Li was always filled with suspicion and jealousy. Between him and his wife there was no peace. Some of his close friends tried to convice him that he was wrong, and he felt a little relieved. About ten days later, however, he came home and found his wife playing her lute on the their bed. Suddenly an inlaid box made of rhinoceros horn was tossed in through the door. It landed on his wife's lap. It was little more than an inch in diameter and was wrapped with a silk ribbon tied into a love knot. 17 Li opened the box, looked inside and found two love seeds,18 a kowtow bug, 19 an 20 21 aphrodisiac, and some donkey love charms. Li flew into a rage, roaring like a tiger, and beat his wife with the lute, demanding that she admit her guilt. His wife, herself, however, was unable to explain what had happened. After this he beat her even more violently and treated her with even greater cruelty. Finally he went to court and divorced her.

17

18 19

20

21

Brocade ribbons were tied into elaborate knots and used to convey one's love. Hung-tou or red beans, used to express thought of love. Also known as the "jumping rice bug." When touched it strikes its head to the ground. It was believed to have aphrodisiacal properties. The exact nature of this aphrodisiac, fa-sha-tzu, is unknown. Newborn donkeys were believed to have a meat-like object called a mei in their mouths. If a woman wore one, she would become more attractive.

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Once his wife had left, Li began sleeping with his maids and concubines. But he became suspicious of them too, and even killed some of them out of jealousy. He once went to Kuang-ling [present-day Yang-chou, Kiangsu Province] where he procured a well-known courtesan named Ying Shih-i-niang. She was an alluring beauty, and Li was enchanted by her. But whenever they sat down together, he would admonish her, "I once bought a certain courtesan at a certain place. But she had such-and-such an affair, so I killed her in such-and-such a way." He spoke to her like this every day to frighten her into maintaining her faithfulness. Whenever he left home he would confine Ying to her bed by covering her with a washtub sealed on all four sides, and upon his return he would inspect the tub carefully before letting her out. He also kept an extremely sharp dagger. He often told his maids, "This is made of Ko-hsi steel from Hsin-chou.22 It is especially good for cutting off the heads of unfaithful women." Li never met a woman without becoming suspicious of her. He was married three times, and all of the marriages turned out the same. (Wang, pp. 77-82; Hsu, pp. 98-111; Chang, pp. 45-54; TPKC, 487) Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note: Some of the stylistic features we see in this piece-- detailed physical descriptions, descriptions of socio-economic realities, and the use of direct discourse--will also characterize the realism of vernacular hua-pen fiction. But for the supernatural elements introduced at end, this is a perfect ch'uan-chr i work in the realist vein. The inclusion of supernatural elements in an otherwise realistic piece also serves as an example for the practice of many hua-pen, such as "Ts'ui-tai-shao sheng-ssu yUan-chia" (CSTY, 8) ("Artisan Ts'ui and His Ghost Wife," Ma and Lau, pp. 252-63) and "Tu-shih niang nu-ch'en pai-pao-hsiang" ("Tu Shih-niang Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger," Ma and Lau, pp. 146-59), and others. Ghosts in

22

Present-day Shang-jao in Kiangsi. whose source is near Shang-jao. known for its steel.

Ko-hsi is a stream Hsin-chou was once

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these stories probably should be appreciated more as metaphors than as reality--they are eloquent manifestations of undying human passions. The plot of T'ang Hsien-tzu's play Tzu-ch'ai chi (The Purple Hairpin) is based on this story.

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223 (68) The Story of Ling-ying (anonymous)

Twenty li east of Ching-chou was the old city of Hsiieh-chii,1 in one corner of which lay the Pool of the Good Woman, which covered several square miles. Reeds and rushes grew there in a profusion of dark green, and old trees growing around it contributed to a feeling of loneliness and desolation. The water of the pool was clear and blue, too deep for anyone ever to measure. In it one often saw strange water creatures. The local people had erected a shrine at the edge of the pool dedicated to the Spirit of Ninth Lady. Burning incense at the shrine in times of yearly drought or heavy rain was sure to effect relief. Some two hundred li west of this pond, north of the village of Ch'ao-na,2 lived a water spirit named after its location--the Spirit of Ch'ao-na. The efficacy of his miraculous responses to the people's prayers was regarded as being next only to that of the Good Woman. In the fifth year of the Ch'ien-fu reign period [874-79], when the city of Hsiieh-chu was under the rule of the Military Governor Chou Pao,3 beginning in the fifth month,4 countless cloud masses arose from the two pools in

1

2

3

4

Ching-chou is located on the Ching River in the eastern part of modern Kansu Province. Hsiieh-chii was the Captain of Chin-ch'eng (modern Kao-lan County, Kansu) during the last years of the Sui dynasty (605-618.) He took control of Lung-hsi (eastern portion of modern Kansu) and proclaimed himself Hegemon of Western Ch'in, making Lang-ch'ou his capital. He was defeated and killed by the T'ang forces in Emperor Kao-tsu's (r. 618-626) time. The "city of Hsiieh-chii" apparently refers to a locale once under his control. In modern Kansu, further up river from Ching-ch'uan, at P'ing-liang. A native of Lu-lung (modern Hopeh), Chou was the Military Governor of Ching-yiian (modern Kansu and Ning-hsia) during the reign of Emperor Wu-tsung (r. 841-846). He was made Prime Minister in 882, and later, Prince of Ju-nan. The fifth lunar month is considered unlucky. See Derk Bodde, Festivals in Classical China (Princeton:

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the shape of wondrous mountain peaks and beautiful women, and of rats and tigers. Forceful winds arose which tore roofs from houses and uprooted trees. They were accompanied by great peals of thunder and bolts of lightning. These phenomena would last for several minutes at a time and then cease. Many people were injured, and much of the standing crop was damaged. Chou Pao blamed himself for this natural disturbance, thinking that his government was inadequate, and that the disaster and inauspicious omens were the reproaches of unseen spirits. On the fifth day of the sixth month, during a break from the official affairs of the day, Chou began to feel woozy and wanted to take a nap. He loosened his clothing and lay down. Before he was quite asleep he saw a warrior before him, helmeted and armed, standing below the steps of the hall, halberd in hand. "A female guest has come to call," said the warrior. "She wishes an audience with you; I have come for your orders." "Who are you?" asked Chou Pao. "I am your gatekeeper, in your service for many years now," replied the warrior. Chou was about to look into this a bit more, but saw two black-clad servant girls ascend the steps and kneel before him. "Ninth Lady has come from her rural residence," they said, "to seek an audience with you. She has sent us, her attendants, to make the announcement to you, sir." "I am not acquainted with Ninth Lady," replied Chou, "nor is she a relative of mine. How dare I receive her on such short notice..." But before he could finish speaking, auspicious mists and fine rain appeared, and the air was permeated with an extraordinary fragrance. Suddenly, there descended out of thin air a young woman of about seventeen or eighteen. Her garments were unadorned and plain in color, and her person was most refined and attractive. She stopped in the courtyard outside. Her features and deportment were beautiful and elegant, without comparison in this world. With her were some ten or so attendants all freshly garbed, like ladies-in-waiting to a princess. Moving with a graceful dignity, she slowly approached the spot where Chou had been sleeping. He was about to withdraw, out of

Princeton University Press, 1975), esp. pp. 308-14.

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politeness, and wait inside until she should make her intentions known to him, when the attendants hurried forward to stop him. 'Because of your high sense of justice," they said, "the princess thought she could confide in you her innermost thoughts. She would like to tell you of the great wrong done to her. Can you bear not to save her from her predicament?" Chou immediately asked her to ascend the steps to the hall. The rite of greeting between the guest and the host was most solemn and respectful. As she took her seat on the dais, an auspicious mist filled the air and a purplish haze spread over the courtyard. Her head was lowered in a reserved manner, and she had the expression of someone who was troubled. Chou, ordering sweet wine poured and delicacies set out, treated her with great respect. Suddenly she drew back her sleeves, got up from the mat, and slowly began, "For these many years that I have lived in the outskirts of this city, you have supplied me most comfortably with food and drink; I'm truly in your debt. Although I live a solitary life and am unable to repay you, I shall never forget your kindness. The generosity you have extended to a widow makes me feel even more indebted to you. But since the visible and the invisible take different paths, your movements and mine do not coincide, and I have never come to call on you. Now, due to the urgency of my situation and the dictates of the circumstances, I can no longer hide myself and remain silent. If you would allow me the liberty, I shall dare to expose my feelings." "I do wish to hear your story," replied Chou, "And I particularly hope to know your family background. If there is anything I ought to do, how would I dare to use the difference between our two worlds as an excuse. 'A Gentleman will sacrifice even himself for the sake of Humaneness'--that would be an act of great resolve. To step even into 'burning flames and boiling water' in order to rectify an injustice--that is my principle." "My family lineage stems from Mao County in K'uai-chi,"5 she replied. "The clan made its home in a pool off the eastern ocean, and our homestead and the ancestral graves there represent more than one hundred generations. But

5

Near modern Ning-po, Chekiang Province, but closer to the ocean.

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finally the family came upon unpropitious times, and disaster fell upon our house. Over five hundred of the clan members were burnt to death in a holocaust that was master-minded by a man named Yii, and the succession of the clan was nearly brought to an end.6 Those who escaped bore a deep rancor against this enemy; but they could only hide themselves in a far away mountain cave, unable to avenge themselves and right the wrong. "During the T'ien-chien reign period [502-520] of the Liang dynasty, Emperor Wu, who had a fondness for strange objects, decided to send someone to the Dragon Palace in the Withered Mulberry Isles to obtain rare treasures. He devised a plan to win the favor of the Lord of Tung-t'ing's seventh daughter, the Master Treasurer for the palace, with roast swallows and other wondrous delicacies.7 It was learned that Yii P'i-lo, a descendant of our family enemy, had earlier quit his post as White River Gentleman in Mao County, and now wished to answer the summons of Emperor Wu for this mission. He harbored evil intentions, and with such a commission he would have been able to use the pretext of seeking treasure to enter the Dragon Palace and destroy our entire clan. Owing to the percipience of Lord Chieh,8 it became known that Yii requested the mission for strictly personal reasons, and wanted only to trample upon innocent victims. Realizing that this would in fact result in disaster both for Yii and for the imperial mission itself, Lord Chieh spoke of the situation to Emperor Wu, who then prevented him from going. In his place the emperor sent Lo Tzu-ch'un of Ou-yiieh in Lo-li County, Ho-p'u Commandery [in modern Kwangtung Province].

6

7 8

The dragon lore to which Ninth Lady refers here is based on a legend recorded in the "Liang ssu-kung chi" (Legends of the Four Wise Men of the Liang Dynasty). Fragments of this work are preserved in TPKC 81 and 418.9, and Shuo-fu 113 of the 120-chiian edition. The TPKC 81 fragment contains allusions to the holocaust engendered by Yii P'i-lo's ancestor and Yii's own attempt to prosecute the Tung-t'ing dragons in the time of Emperor Wu of Liang (r. 503-549). Dragons were said to have a weakness for roast swallows. One of the "four wise men;" his name is given as Wan Chieh. See TPKC, 81.4.

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"My own ancestors, who were ashamed of living so close to their enemy, and wary of the possible peril, left to avoid the danger, and moved to An Village in Chen-ning County of Hsin-p'ing Commandery.9 They covered all traces of their existence by changing both their surnames and given names. Clearing brambles and boring out caves, they built their homes there. Our ancestors became like the Hu and Yiieh tribes of the border regions. For the last three generations we have lived in this area. My ancestor was first made Ling-ying Chun, Lord of Miraculous Responses, and shortly thereafter received the title Ying-ling Hou, Divine Sage Marquis. Later, because of the effective succor extended by the hidden spirit, and because of his merit and grace which reached to all the common people, he was enfeoffed as P'u-chi Wang, Salvation King. His power and charity affected others, and he was respected by all at the time. I am the ninth daughter of that king. "When I was fifteen I was married to a younger son of the Stone Dragon of Hsiang Commandery [covering parts of modern Kwangtung and Kwangsi Provinces]. My husband was by nature hot-tempered, and was then at an age when one is wont to act impulsively. Neither the law nor his stern father could curb him. He was cruel in his dealngs with people, and cared nothing for the rites and received teachings. Before a year was out, he was struck by Heaven's punishment--our lineage was blighted and our descendants cut off; his deeds were removed from the books, and his name stricken from the register. In this I alone was left unharmed. "My parents then ordered me to marry again, but I would not give in. Kings and lords came to make offers, and carriages followed one another in a steady stream. But, sincerely resolved, I would rather have mutilated myself than yield. My parents were angry at my determination and sent me away to live in isolation in this area. I have had no news of them for thirty-six years now. Though I have yet to gain their understanding and win back their love, I am most content to have lived here, away from the crowd. "Recently, the little dragon of Ch'ao-na, because his youngest brother has not yet married, has been secretly trying to arrange our marriage. With sweet words and generous gifts, he insisted on bringing about the match,

9

In modern Shensi Province, further down the Ching River from Ching-ch'uan, and closer to Hsi-an.

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even after my blunt refusal. Although I might die and be reduced to nothing, I will never accept this proposal. Therefore, Ch'ao-na went to work on my father and tried to arrange the matter through him. His plan was to send his youngest brother to live in the western part of my parents' royal domain, where he could bribe my father in hopes of eventually contracting this marriage. Since my father knew that I would not be persuaded, he told Ch'ao-na to set his forces against me. I armed my domestic guards, some fifty men in number, and led them out to fight on a plain in the outskirts of the city. Outmatched in number, thrice we fought and thrice we were defeated. My troops were exhausted and there were no reserve forces on which to draw. I was just about to gather up the remainder of the defeated and scattered troops to make a last ditch effort, when I thought about the 'roaring waters of Chin-yang' and the 'blazing fires in the palace of T'ai-ch'eng:'10 if I were to be captured, I would be disgraced by an insubordinate knave. Then, in the netherworld, I would not be able to face the son of the Stone Dragon, my husband. "As the Shih-ching poem says: Floating there, the cypress boat, In the middle of the river. Drooping there, his two tufts of hair, Surely he is my mate! To death I swear there will be no other! Oh Mother, oh Heaven, Such unrelenting pressure.11

10

11

"Chin-yang" refers to the attack on the Viscount of Chao at Chin-yang (south of modern T'ai-yiian, Shensi) by the Duke of Chih and the Viscounts of Han and Chao, all vassals of Chin, in the Spring and Autumn period. During this attack, the water from the Chin River was diverted to flood the city. "T'ai-ch'eng" refers to the attack on Emperor Wu of Liang at T'ai-ch'eng (modern Nanking) by the rebellious general Han-ching who set fire to the imperial palace. Mao #45. According to Wei Hung's preface, this poem expresses the resistance of Kung-chiang, the widow of Kung-po, against her parents' pressure to remarry after her husband's death. The translation of the last line follows Chu Hsi's reading.

The T'ang This is the oath of the widow of the heir of Wei. also the poem: Who Who Who Who But

229 There is

says rats have no teeth? else ate through my wall? says you have no family? else presses suit against me? though you sue me, never will I obey you! 12

This means that when Duke Shao was in power, degenerate and disruptive customs waned, and the teaching of chastity and sincerity was strengthened; therefore brutes and bullies could not violate chaste women. "Now your teachings, my lord, have not only spread among the human world, but have penetrated to that of the spirits, and serve as a model for both the past and present. Your instructions on chastity emulate those of Duke Shao! If I could only hope to make use of your reserve forces for a short time in order to squelch that overbearing bully and preserve my chastity, you would not only help me keep my oath of constancy, but would also make manifest your intentions of helping those in distress. I am most sincere and earnest, and hope you will help me accomplish this." Although Chou Pao approved of this in his heart, taken_ab.a._ck her eloj^ueii.ce and wished to put her off with an excuse in order to observe her reply. "Troubles have increased on the borders," he said, "and the dust of battle may be seen in the distance. Our territory is being invaded by the enemy on the western border--already more than thirty counties have fallen. The imperial court is discussing the matter of raising troops to recover the lands. Day and night I await orders and dare not relax. If not today, then tomorrow, the campaign will begin. Though I share your anger and indignation, I do not now have the opportunity to do as you request." "in the past," she replied, "King Chao of Ch'u [r. 515-489 B.C.] considered the mountain ranges of Fang-ch'eng as his city walls, and the Han River but a pond within his territory.13 All the lands of the Ching and Man tribes were 12

13

Mao #17. The preface explains this poem as a chaste girl's rebuke of a suitor who tries to force her into marriage by pressuring her with a court suit. The expressions, "the ranges of Fang-ch'eng as the city

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in his possession. With the wealth bequeathed by his family, he made alliances with other powerful states and received help within from 'the three loyal ministers.'11* But as soon as the Wu troops attacked, the whole country fled like startled birds and vanished like dispersing clouds. There was no time to defend the city; all took flight as fast as running rabbits. The jade insignia of the state was carried off, the ancestral temple flattened, and the power of the great state could not protect even the buried bones of its previous kings.15 When Shen Pao-hsu sought troops from the state of Ch'in to help, he shed tears of blood over all the Ch'in court and howled for seven days, not ceasing day or night. Duke Ai-kung of Ch'in took pity on his plight and finally sent troops to restore Ch'u and rout Wu. Only in this way was an endangered state preserved. "The Mi family16 had a very strong state during the Spring and Autumn period, but Shen Pao-hsu was a grandee of a weakened land. Their arrows spent, the troops decimated, he humbled himself and presented his entreaties without reservation, and with such earnestness that he eventually moved the powerful state of Ch'in. In comparison I am even more helpless, being just a woman. My parents have rebuked me for my chastity, and a bullying ruffian has tried to take advantage of me, a powerless widow. How could such dire need not affect the heart of any humane person?"

14

15

16

wall" and "the Han River but a pond within his territory," occur as descriptions of the immensity of the state of Ch'u in the Tso-chuan. The story of the conquest of Ch'u by Wu Tzu-hsii and its subsequent restoration by Shen Pao-hsu can be found in Shih-chi, "Ch'u shih-chia," and Tso-chuan Ting-kung 4,5; cf. Crump, J. , Chan-kuo ts'e (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), pp. 232-35. Ch'iieh Wan, Yang-ling Chung, and Chin Ch'eng, who were killed by the Ch'u Prime Minister Tzu-ch'ang in 515 B.C., the year after King Chao acceded to the throne (see Tso-chuan Chao-kung 27). After taking Ch'u, the victorious general, Wu Tzu-hsii, whose father and brother had been killed by King P'ing of Ch'u (King Chao's father), had his corpse exhumed and flogged. The name of the ruling house of Ch'u.

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231

"Your ancestors were from the realm of the spirit, Ninth Lady," said Chou Pao, "and your own family branch represents a distinguished line. You live among the wind and clouds, while we mortals wriggle on the ground in ignorance, most certainly under your control. How is it then that you have become weakened before mortals and have gotten into this kind of predicament?" "The reputation of my clan," she replied, "is known all over the world. The residents of P'eng-li [a lake in modern Kiangsi Province] and Tung-t'ing, for example, are my maternal grand uncles, and those of the Ling and Lo Rivers [both in southeastern Kwangsi] are my cousins. Counting all sorts of relatives, close and distant, we make up over a hundred clans. All live scattered among the old states of Wu and Yiieh, each with its own land. At the eight rivers around Hsien-ching17 in the north, half of them are relatives of our line. "if I were to dispatch an emissary with a short message to P'eng-li and Tung-t'ing, summoning the Ling River and the Lo River as well, they would lead the light troops of Wei-yang,18 and command the crack army of the eight rivers. Summoning the god of the Yellow River, Feng Yi, and enlisting the great canyon spirit, Chii Ling, they would drum up the great waves of Tzu-hsii,19 and agitate the monsterous spirits of Yang Hou. 20 Driving on Lieh Ch'iieh21 and ordering on Feng Lung,22 they would raise violent winds and churn up vicious tides. There would be men advancing by a hundred different routes at once, six armies on the march. Success would come with one battle and the puny

17

18

19

20

21 22

Also called Hsien-yang; in modern Shensi, near Hsi-an. The eight rivers are: Ching, Wei, Pa, Ch'an, Lao, Chiieh, P'an, and Hao. Modern Yang-chou city, in Kiangsu Province, near the mouth of the Yangtze, here designating the entire area of Wu and Yiieh. Wu Tzu-hsii (d. 484 B.C.), a minister of the state of Wu who led the attack on Ch'u (see n. 14 above). He was later killed by the king of Wu, Fu-ch'a, and his body, according to one account, was thrown into the Yangtze River, where he became the god of the tidal bore. A feudal lord who committed suicide by drowning in a river. His spirit became a river god. A spirit associated with lightning. A spirit controlling the clouds.

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dragon Ch'ao-na would be smashed into smithereens. Then the thousand miles of the Ching river would become nothing but a dirty ditch. What I say could be realized--there is no doubt about it. "Not long ago, the Lord of Ching-yang23 and my granduncle Tung-t'ing, who had been related by marriage for years, had a falling out over a problem in a marriage between the two families. It resulted in the abandonment of Tung-t'ing's daughter by her husband. This so enraged another of my grand uncles, Ch'ien-t'ang,2k that in a fit of anger he destroyed many lives and damaged the crops with tumultuous waters. The pathetic creature of the Ching River was also killed.25 Even today the wheel ruts and horses' tracks left during the battle are still present on the banks of the Ching, and historical records are still extant--there is no question but that it happened. "Now I have been implicated by Heaven in the affair of my husband's clan, and have not yet received pardon from the gods. Therefore, I have tried to avoid notice by retiring from sight. That is also the reason for my enduring this plight. If then you, sir, should not understand my true feelings and decide to excuse yourself with the demands of other affairs, what I have just recounted will be repeated. I shall not try to avoid reproach by the gods." Chou Pao then acceded to her request. They drank up the last cup of wine and cleared away the food. She bowed twice and left. Chou did not awaken until late afternoon. What he had seen and heard in the dream was still as vivid as reality. The next day he ordered fifteen hundred troops to be stationed by the temple next to the pool. On the seventh day of the month, while it was still dark outside, the cocks began to crow and Chou Pao prepared to get up. Suddenly there appeared before his curtain a person who had

23

24

25

In modern Shensi, further down the Ching River from Hsin-p'ing; see n. 9. The name of the Che-chiang river as it nears Hangkow in Chekiang Province. The account of this feud between the Ching-yang and Tung-t'ing dragons, and Ch'ien-t'ang's avenging of his niece's wrong, is based on the story "Liu Yi chuan" (see TPKC, 419; for a translation see Ma and Lau, pp. 346-54).

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walked through the tapestry curtains, and who appeared to be a toilet attendant. He called out to her for light, but there was no reply. In a harsh voice he reproved her, but she replied, "There is a distinction between the dark and the light. Please do not threaten me with a lamp." Chou Pao realized then that there was something strange about her. He fell silent and held his breath. Finally he addressed her, "You are Ninth Lady, I presume?" "I am a servant of Ninth Lady. Yesterday you kindly sent your troops to rescue us from danger. But because there is a difference between the affairs of the visible and those of the invisible, they cannot be utilized. If you are able to honor the original agreement, we hope that you will rethink this matter." Presently the gauze window brightened, and as he watched silently, with eyes fixed, she disappeared from sight. He considered the situation for quite some time before it dawned upon him. Quickly summoning the scribe, he commanded him to select some five hundred cavalry and fifteen hundred infantry from the ranks of fallen soldiers. From among these he chose one Sheriff Meng Yiian to act as Commanding Officer, and transferred them all to the control of the spirit of the Pond of the Good Woman. On the eleventh he withdrew the troops which he had stationed at the temple. Then, right in front of his outer office, and for no apparent reason, an armored soldier fell to the ground, his mouth moving and his eyes blinking. He did not respond to questions, but neither did he appear to be dying. They placed him in the outer corridor, and he finally came to at daylight. A man was sent to question him. "At first I saw a man," he answered. "He was wearing a black garment and came from the east. He greeted me politely and said, 'The princess has received a great kindness from your master, the Prime Minister, to prevent her ruin. But unfortunately it was not completely sincere. We would like to rely on your great intelligence to convey a message from the spirit world. Please do not refuse, but do your best for us.' "I was in a hurry to find an excuse to refuse, but he grabbed me by the sleeve, and I fell down unconscious. Soon I awoke and found that I was walking in the company of the black-clad figure, close upon his heel, and then suddenly we arrived at the temple. With repeated calls and quick steps we arrived before a curtain from behind which

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the princess addressed me, 26 saying, 'The other day your master took pity on my isolation and danger, and that is why you were stationed in this area. Marching up and down the road, you must be tired. "'We are honored with another loan of soldiers from your master and are deeply satisfied with his sincerity. We can see that the troops and mounts are spirited and strong, their armor and weapons sharp and ready. It is only that Sheriff Meng Yuan has little ability and a low position, and he lacks a knowledge of strategy. On the ninth of this month a mounted force of more than three thousand attacked my borders. I sent Meng Yuan to lead the newly arrived troops to lure them on, and then attack them on the plain. His ambush preparations were not thorough and he was defeated by the invading troops. I truly need a capable officer. Would you quickly return and relay this message?' With that she spoke no more. I took my leave, feeling dizzy as if drunk. That's all I remember." Chou examined the story and found that it coincided with his own dream. Wanting to take care of this business once and for all, he decided to send Cheng Ch'eng-fu, the Commander of Chih-sheng Pass 27 to replace Meng Yuan. During the evening office hours on the thirteenth of that month, incense was burned and wine offered on the drilling field behind the office complex, and Chou Pao formally requested Ninth Lady to accept the candidate. On the sixteenth, the command staff of Chih-sheng Pass sent a report that "at midnight on the thirteenth just past the Commander of the Pass died suddenly." Chou was surprised, and with a sigh sent a man to see about it as quickly as possible. Reaching the pass, he found that Cheng was indeed dead. Only his heart and back were not yet cold, and the body, awaiting burial in the summer months, did not decompose. His family found it most strange. Then suddenly one night a fierce, cold wind blew up sand and set stones rolling, tore roofs from houses and uprooted trees. Standing grain and new shoots were bent to the ground. The wind stopped in the morning, but then clouds and fog covered everything, and did not disperse for 26

27

As a low ranking male soldier, he is not allowed to present himself to the female commander face to face. Also called Chih-fu Kuan, the Vanquishing Pass; located in Kansu. It was under the command of Chou Pao as Military Governor of Ching-ylian.

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several days. One evening there was a sudden clap of thunder, resounding as if the heavens were being ripped asunder. Just at that moment Ch'eng-fu was heard moaning inside the coffin, so the family tore open the casket to examine him. After a long while he regained consciousness. That night relatives and neighbors gathered at the house. Their grief gave way to happiness when, after two days, he had fully recovered. When his family inquired what had happened, he said, "At first I saw a man wearing a purple sash riding a black horse, followed by some ten people. At the door he dismounted and told me to come near. After a ceremonious greeting he handed me a missive he had been holding in his hands, and said, 'The princess "had a dream of obtaining an effective minister,"28 whereby she knew that you possess great talent for leadership. She wishes to follow the custom established at Nan-yang,29 by seeking to exterminate a clan foe. She has sent me to present this gift in order to extend her respects to you, and hopes that you will help us rebuild our state. She hopes that you will not insist on her "making three trips" before assenting to help us.' "I did not have time to respond, except to say that I did not deserve her esteem. In the midst of polite exchanges, the presents were already being displayed below the steps: saddled horses, arms, brocade, articles of enjoyment, and a quiver and bow case, all laid out in the courtyard. I was not allowed to decline, so I bowed twice and accepted them. Then they urged me to mount a chariot which was drawn by an extraordinarily handsome steed, freshly caparisoned, with a tidy and dignified driver. In no time we had driven more than a hundred miles. Over three hundred armored cavalry came to meet us as escorts, with equipage fit for a great general, and I was more than satisfied. Before long we could make out a great city in the distance with high crenelated walls and deep moats. I was confused as to where we were. We set up tents on the 28

29

Literally, "a dream of the wind blowing clear the dust." This refers to the Yellow Emperor's dream that eventually led to his obtaining a prime minister to help him rule (see Shih-chi> 1, pp. 6-8). A reference to the story that Liu Pei (162-223) went three times to the residence of Chu-ko Liang (181-234) in Nan-yang, modern Honan, to ask him to be his councillor.

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outskirts of the city, where music was played and a feast set out. When the banquet was over we entered the city. Crowds lined the streets like walls, and runners rushed to and fro with messages. The gates through which we passed were innumerable. We reached a place which looked like a government office. Aides bade me dismount and change clothes, after which I went in to see the princess. She relayed instructions that we were to meet as host and guest. Since I had accepted the assignment as well as the equipment for service, I thought I was her subject, so I protested and entered with my uniform on. She agreed to a protocol lower than that between host and guest, but again ordered me to remove my arms, as a sign of special regard for me. "I took off my weapons, and went in deferentially with small, quick steps. I saw the princess seated in the hall. After paying my respects in the manner of a subject to his lord, I was called to ascend the platform. I again bowed twice and then went up the west side. Several dozen court ladies--their faces powdered red, their eyes lined with black whorls, their hair coiled upon their heads like dragons and phoenixes --stood in waiting. Another several dozen were plucking stringed instruments and playing flutes, all in profusely flowery and amazing costumes. There were others--with golden girdles and trailing purple robes, ornamented sashes and glimmering hairpins --who scurried back and forth. Many more with light furs and great belts, with white jade around their waists, waited below the dais. "She then gave orders to five or six female guests, each having more than ten attendants, who entered in close file, one after the other. I held my hands together in front of me as a gesture of respect, not daring to bow. After they were seated, several deputy officers were also ordered to sit down. Music began and wine was called in. As it was poured, the princess drew back her sleeves, raised her cup and was about to speak about the reason for her invitation, when suddenly we heard signal fires being lit on all sides and voices calling out, 'Ten thousand of Ch'ao-na's bandit troops attacked at dawn today. They destroyed our defensive fortifications and have just crossed our borders. They are pushing in from all direct ions --beacon fires are burning everywhere. Please send out troops to reinforce

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"Those seated looked at each other and paled. The women did not wait to take leave of each other but hastened away unceremoniously. I followed the officers and descended the steps to give thanks and then stood at attention to await orders. The princess came up to the balustrade and addressed me, 'I have received your master, the Prime Minister's extraordinary favor,' she said. 'He has taken pity on the fact that I am alone, and has repeatedly sent troops to rescue me from difficulties. Since our vehicles and armor are inadequate, we need to rely on strategy. He has not abandoned me in my insufficiency and has sent you to assist us in just such an emergency. I hope that you will not use the fact that this place is hidden and remote as an excuse, but will lend us your help where we are most in need.' "Then she gave me two more battle horses, a suit of gold armor, banners and flags, the standard and axe (emblems of authority), and many other treasured articles. They filled the courtyard as well as the eyes, and could not be counted. Two palace ladies presented me with the insignia of Commanding Officer, together with sumptuous gifts. I saluted them and departed. Then I summoned the various officers and took command of the troops; voices sounded and resounded. "That night we left the city. Repeated scoutings always brought back the same information: the enemy strength was steadily increasing! I was familiar with the hills and streams of the area, and with the terrain in general. The whole area was desolate. We set out that night for a point about a hundred li from the city, where I divided the troops and placed them in a number of strategic spots. I made clear the rewards and punishments involved, and harangued the three armies. Then I set up three ambush sites and waited for the enemy. Just as the sky grew light, the preparations were finished. The enemy was over-confident from its previous successes and advanced carelessly, still thinking that our troops were under the command of Meng Yiian. I personally led the light cavalry and watched them from on high. We saw the dust rising all around us; their formations were ordered and strict. I sent the light troops first to provoke an attack, appearing weak in order to draw them on. Then I supplemented them with men bearing short swords who steadily withdrew while keeping the enemy engaged. The sound of metal and leather resounded in the air and sent shock waves through the

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ground. I led my troops away, pretending defeat, and the enemy responded with an all-out forward thrust with their best troops. At the sound of the rolling drums, the troops in ambush arose together. The battle raged over an area of ten miles--we closed in on them from all directions. Their army was totally routed and the dead lay like vines upon the ground. They fought as they ran, and the ruffian Ch'ao-na managed to slip through the mesh of blades, though those who escorted him could not have numbered more than ten. I selected thirty cavalrymen on swift horses to pursue him, and finally deposited him alive under the commanding flag. "From all of this, blood and flesh dyed the grass and bushes, and fat and grease oozed over the plain. The stink of flesh permeated the air, and recovered weapons were piled like mountains. The enemy leader was hurried to the princess by light cart. She ascended the Pavilion of Northern Pacification to accept him, while officials and all the people of the state gathered together. When taken to the front of the pavilion and accused of violating the rules of decency, Ch'ao-na replied, 'I deserve death,' and with that would not utter another word. She ordered him taken under guard to the marketplace for execution by quartering. But as this was about to be carried out, a messenger from the king arrived in a carriage, bearing an urgent order to pardon the criminal. The message said, 'The crime of Ch'ao-na is my crime. You may pardon him to lessen my guilt.' The princess was overjoyed to hear from her parents again and addressed the officers, 'Ch'ao-na's irresponsible actions were at my father's instigation. We shall pardon him today, also at my father's command. My former refusal to obey was because of my vow of chastity. It would not be right for me to be defiant again.' "So she ordered his bonds undone and sent one mounted soldier to escort him home. Before he reached Ch'ao-na, however, he died on the road, overcome by shame. "As for me, I was greatly rewarded for my success against the enemy. Soon, with proper ceremony, I was made Great General of Pacification, with an income of thirteen thousand households in the north. In addition I was given noble housing, carriages and horses, precious objects, clothes, servants, parks and gardens, a residence in the capital, banners, and armor. Then she rewarded the other generals; their gifts were inferior.

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"The next day there was a large banquet with only five or six invited guests. The six or seven ladies I saw before came to sit with us. They were so beautiful, truly captivating. We drank happily all night. "When the wine first arrived, the princess raised her cup and said, 'My misfortune is that I was widowed very young. Heaven has bestowed upon me my constancy, and I did not follow my strict father's orders. I have lived in seclusion here for thirty-six years, where, distraught and disheartened, I had yet to find respite from my distress. I was threatened by a neighborhood bully and was very nearly ruined. If not for your master, the Prime Minister's extraordinary favor, and, General, your brave martial prowess, I would have been made "a silent widow of the Marquis of Hsi, forced into marriage"30 and become the prisoner of ChTao-na. Such kindness and enduring favor I will never forget!' "Then she picked up a jewel-studded drinking vessel and had someone present it to 'General Cheng.' I stepped back from the mat and drank after bowing twice. At this time I began to feel like going home, and since this was a reasonable and sincere request, she gave permission for a month's leave. When the feast ended, I left the palace. "The next day, after a grateful leave-taking, I assembled some thirty men under my command and returned along the road by which I had come. I heard only chickens and dogs in the places we passed. It was quite mournful. Soon we reached home where we saw my family all crying. The casket was set up with a canopy solemnly arranged over it. One of my men told me to get into the casket through a crack. I was about to go forward when I was lifted up by those around me. Suddenly I heard a clap of thunder, then, awakening, I became conscious." From this time on, Cheng Ch'eng-fu disengaged himself from the management of his family's estate, and entrusted the future affairs entirely to his wife and sons. Sure enough, at the end of a month he passed away without an illness. Just before his sudden death, he said to his relatives, "Formerly, I was employed for my military 30

A reference to Hai Kuei, a widow from the state of Hsi (annexed by Ch'u in 680 B.C.) who was taken captive by the victorious Ch'u conqueror to whom she refused to speak, even after bearing two children by him (see Tso-chuan, Chuang-kung 14).

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strategies, and I performed my duty among the ranks. Although less than spectacular, my service did have some results. But having the misfortune to be slandered, I was assigned to my present position and became frustrated in my ambitions. A man of aspiration ought to stir up great winds, push aside great waves, lift great mountains for cracking eggs, and channel the eastern ocean to douse a firefly. He ought to arouse within himself a fierce, combative spirit, as in hawks and hounds, to act for people in righting wrongs. Soon I shall be given such opportunities, and it will not be long before I am parted from you." On the thirteenth of that month, a traveler set off very early from the city of Hsiieh-chu and traveled for some ten li before dawn broke. Suddenly he saw the dust of vehicles rise in front of him, together with banners of brilliant colors and several hundred armored men and horses. One man, surrounded by the others, appeared stately and regal. Taking a closer look, he found that it was Cheng Ch'eng-fu. The traveler was caught by surprise and stood still beside the road watching the procession. It passed before his eyes like wind and clouds towards the Pool of the Good Woman. In a brief moment it had disappeared"completely. (Hsu, pp. 343-363; TPKC, 492) Tr. Michael Broschat and S. Y. Kao Note: See Introduction, Sec. V, for a discussion of this story. The long passages of speech studded with parallelisms and literary allusions are occasions for the author/character to vaunt rhetorical skills and argumentative eloquence. Chou Pao himself calls attention to this at one point in the story. This is a feature that characterizes many T'ang ch1uan-ch'i.

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241 (69) The Li-yang Traveler

by Tai Fu (Kuang-i chi) During the K'ai-yiian reign period [713-756], there was a poor scholar who went to Ho-shuo [modern Hopeh] seeking officials who might reward him for his writing. Finding no one who was willing to assist him, he turned and set off toward Li-yang [in modern Honan, northeast of Chun County]. The sun had already set, and there was still a great distance ahead of him. Suddenly he saw a house at the side of the road, with quite a large frame and roof. As he would need a place to stay for the night, he went over and knocked at the gate. After a very long time, a servant came out. The traveler said, "It is late in the day, and I cannot reach my destination tonight. Would it be possible for me to stay over here in the servants' quarters?" The servant replied, "i shall go and ask the master of the house." He went back inside the house, and soon the shuffling of shoes was heard. An elegantly dressed gentleman emerged. He had a noble bearing and looked quite handsome and dignified. He had the servant invite the traveler inside, where they exchanged greetings. He asked, "Have your travels been difficult? I have only a humble cottage, which is not suitable for someone of your station." The traveler secretly thought the man a bit strange, and wishing to be able to find out more about him, went with him into the main hall. The host was quite adept at discussing lofty topics. When he spoke of events following the Northern Ch'i dynasty [550-577] and Northern Chou dynasty [557-581], his descriptions were so vivid it seemed as if he had witnessed the events with his own eyes. The traveler asked him his name, to which he replied, "I am Hsiin Chi-ho of Ying-ch'uan [in modern Honan, near Hsu-ch'ang municipality]. My ancestors held official posts here, which is how I came to live in this place." He ordered wine and food to be set out, all of which were pure and fresh, but not very tasty. After a while, the host ordered some bedding to be set up in the guest lodge. He invited the traveler to enter, and sent a maidservant to spend the night with him there. The traveler waited until they had become intimate with each other, and then asked her, "What official position

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does your master now hold?" She answered, "He is Chief Advisor to the River Spirit. You mustn't tell anyone." Suddenly from outside they heard a cry of pain. Stealing a look out the window, the traveler saw his host sitting on a folding stool, surrounded by lanterns. A man stood before him, hair disheveled and completely naked. The attendants called out a whole flock of birds to peck at his eyes, so that his blood stained the ground. The host looked furious. "You still dare to abuse me?" he demanded. The traveler asked, "Who is that man?" The maidservant responded, "Why should you want to know other people's business?" After he pressed her for an answer, she explained, "That is the magistrate of Li-yang. He frequently goes hunting, and has often pursued his prey here, trespassing through our walled enclosure. That is why he is being punished." The traveler made a mental note of this. The next morning he looked about and saw only a large burial mound. On asking a passerby about it, he was told that it was the grave of the official Hsiin. When the traveler arrived at Li-yang, the magistrate declined to see him on account of an eye ailment. The traveler said, "I can heal it." The magistrate rejoiced, and then invited him in, whereupon the traveler told him all that had transpired. "That's true. I have been through that area," said the magistrate. Then he secretly ordered the village officials to gather many thousands of bundles of firewood and pile them at the side of the grave. One day he had a group of assistants set fire to the wood and move the gravesite. His eyes then began to heal. He thanked the traveler generously, but did not tell him what he had done. Later, the traveler returned to the original gravesite. There he saw a man with a scorched head and scalded face, dressed in tatters. He had been squatting among weeds and brambles, but now walked straight up to the traveler, who did not recognize him. The man said, "Don't you remember staying at my house?" The traveler was astounded. "How did this happen?" he asked. The man answered, "Earlier, I was persecuted by the magistrate, but I know that this was not your intention. It was simply my own bad fate." The traveler was overcome with remorse for what he had done. He prepared a small feast for him and burned his old

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clothes as an offering to him.1 The ghost happily accepted these and disappeared. (TPKCH I, pp. 342-45; TPKC, 333.1) Tr. Laurie Scheffler Note: A framing of new motifs and events within the old motif of "interaction between the living and the dead."

1

Burning his clothes was a way of sending them into the spirit world, so the spirit would be properly clothed there.

244

Classical Chinese Tales (70) The Prefect of Ch'ien-yang

by Tai Fu (Kuang-i chi) Sometime during the T'ang dynasty, the prefect of Ch'ien-yang [in modern Shensi Province]--whose name has not been passed down--decided one day that he would exchange the life of a layman for the Buddhist faith. So he began to chant sutras and recite scriptures in great earnest, and at the end of little more than a month, multicolored clouds were seen to gather above his house. He had a vision of a Boddhisattva astride a lion who appeared to him and proclaimed with a fanfare, "Your vows of faith and your pious endeavors are most noble and lofty. Supreme enlightenment will soon be within your reach. Stay firm in your faith and devote yourself whole-heartedly to the doctrines of the church. Beware of ever relaxing in your devotion and being defeated in your purpose!" With that, it flew into the air and disappeared from sight. The prefect then practiced meditation by shutting himself up in a room and abstaining from food for six or seven days. His family were very much worried; they feared that his insistence on starving himself would damage his health and shorten his life. It happened that the Taoist priest Lo Kung-yiian1 was on his way from Szechwan to the capital [Ch'ang-an], and his journey took him through the region of Mt. Lung [in modern Shensi]. The prefect's son consulted him about the cause of his father's strange behavior. Kung-yiian answered, laughing, "This is the working of the heavenly fox. But it can be taken care of quite easily." So he wrote out some charms to effect a cure, and told the son to cast some of them into the well on the family compound. This being done, the door to the meditation room was opened, and they found his father, the prefect, totally emaciated from

1

A Taoist priest that Emperor Hsiian-tsung invited to his court. In a story about him given in TPKC 22.1 he is shown to be engaged, together with another Taoist, in a contest of magic with Chin-kang San-tsang (Vajramati), a renowned Buddhist monk, for the amusement of the emperor. His maigc is described as being more subtle and powerful than that of the Buddhist monk. Cf. "Lo Ssu-yiian" in Hsin T'ang shu, 204, p. 5811.

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starvation. He was forced to swallow some of the written charms, and with that suddenly recovered his clarity of mind. From then on he never spoke of his desire to practice that religion again. A few years later, he retired from office and returned to his native place. His home was in the countryside, with the wide plains stretching out for miles on end. One day, stick in hand, he was out on a leisurely walk when he saw in the distance a man with the look of nobility coming out of the mulberry grove from the south. Accompanied by over a dozen of attendants on horseback, the man had the appearance of a king followed by his entourage. To stay out of the way, the prefect went back to his house. But the horsemen soon stopped in front of the house and sent in a message, saying that a certain Liu Ch'eng would like to have an audience with him. The prefect was taken by surprise: as he did not recognize the name, what could be the reason for this man's wanting to see him? Nevertheless, the prefect came out to greet him and invited him inside. After being seated, the visitor turned to the prefect and said, "You do me a great honor in promising me this marriage. I dare not refuse and have come now as you asked." Now, the prefect had a daughter, who, when he was in office, had been just ten years old, but by this time had already turned sixteen. He said, "I have never seen you before. How could there ever be such a marriage agreement?" Ch'eng replied, "if you do not agree to the marriage, it will not be difficult to bring you around." He then stood up and put his hand to his mouth; suddenly the whole house shook and trembled violently. Water erupted from the well, mingling with the waste matter that flowed out of the privy; objects in the house flew all over. The prefect could do nothing but agree to the wedding proposal. The wedding was held the next day, preceded by the exchange of nuptial gifts. After the wedding, Ch'eng continued to live in the house. Because of the lavish wedding gifts and other wealth he brought along, the household was not particularly displeased by his presence. Some time later the son of the prefect went on a trip to the capital, and while there, he sought out Kung-yiian to ask his advice on this matter. "The fox was capable of only the easiest kinds of tricks before," said Kung-yiian, "but now he has mastered the art of casting spells and

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hexes with written charms; he probably has even surpassed me in it now. I don't know what we can do!" However, Kung-yiian soon yielded to the son's persistent importuning, and memorialized the throne to ask permission to leave court for a time. When the two of them returned to the prefect's house, Kung-yiian ordered a platform erected about a dozen paces from the house. Walking stick in hand, Ch'eng came out of the house, walked right up to the platform, and started to rail at the old Taoist priest, demanding an explanation of what he had in mind, betraying not the least sign of fear or concern. When the platform was completed, Kung-yiian challenged Ch'eng to a duel. Ch'eng seated himself in front of the house, while Kung-yiian sat on the platform. The latter gave the first blow and hit Ch'eng with an object which sent him tumbling onto the ground, unable to get up for some time. Then Ch'eng took his turn and returned the attack with an object of his own; Kung-yiian took a fall, just as Ch'eng had before. Back and forth they took turns in the bout for several dozen rounds. Then Kung-yiian suddenly said to his disciples, "Next round when he attacks, I shall make it appear that he has killed me. You are to act as though I were dead. Then I shall best him with the most divine of the magic arts." So when Ch'eng struck again, Kung-yiian fell and rolled over on the ground, and his disciples began to wail loudly. Delighted with having dealt his enemy a fatal blow, Ch'eng relaxed. Seizing the opportunity, Kung-yiian sent out a spirit to attack him. Caught off guard, Ch'eng panicked and, finding himself quite exhausted, changed into an old fox. Having regained his posture, Kung-yiian used his sitting stool to capture the fox, and then bagged it in a big sack. He then returned to the capital by a government stagecoach. When he showed the fox to Emperor Hsiian-tsung [r. 712-56], the emperor was rather amused. Kung-yiian respectfully clarified the matter by saying, "This is a heavenly fox, which must not be put to death. The appropriate way to deal with it is to banish it to the eastern frontier." So he wrote out a charm and sent the fox into exile in Hsin-lo.2 The fox received the charm and flew off. To this day the natives of Hsin-lo still worship 2

A state in the southeastern part of Korea, under T'ang suzerainty during Hsiian-tsung' s reign.

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a deity by the name of Liu Ch'eng. (TPKC, 449.2) Tr. S. Y. Kao Note: The rivalry between Buddhism and Taoism is again made the explicit subject here, with the former shown in an inferior light this time (cf. "Shu Li" [46] and "Ch'eng Tao-hui" [57] where Buddhism has the upper hand). Notice how the competition is now manifested in a form that is more physical than philosophical. Emperor Hsiian-tsung in fact favored Taoism over Buddhism, although priests of both religions were invited to the imperial court and asked to debate the merits of their respective faiths.

248

Classical Chinese Tales (71) Ch'i T'ui's Daughter by Niu Seng-ju (Hsiian-kuai iu)

In the Yiian-ho reign period [806-820], the daughter of Ch'i T'ui, governor of Jao-chou [in Kiangsi], was wed to a certain Mr. Li of Lung-hsi [in Kansu] . As Mr. Li was taking the chin-shih1 examination, his wife, now pregnant, was sent to her father's house. When the final month arrived, she was moved to a rear chamber in the eastern section of the house. That night, she dreamt of a man in impressive clothes and headwear who glared at her wrathfully. With one hand on his sword, he rebuked her, saying, "You shall not contaminate this room with your fetid filth! Move away quickly, or suffer the consequences!" The following day, she told her father. Ch'i T'ui, who had always been an upright man, said, "I am the lord of this piece of land. What miscreant spirit dares to transgress against it?" Several days later, as the girl was giving birth, she suddenly saw the man from her dream, who approached the bed curtain and beat her savagely. In a few moments she was dripping blood through her ears, nose, and eye sockets; she died shortly thereafter. Her parents were grieved by their daughter's untimely death, but despite their regrets, it was too late for remedy. They dispatched a courier to inform her husband, so that she could be taken for burial with the Li clan when he arrived. Meanwhile she was provisionally interred beside the official highway, slightly over ten miles northwest of the commandery. Mr. Li, who was in the capital, had failed the examination. As he was about to return home, he received news of the death and went on his way to Jao-chou. By the time he arrived, his wife had already been dead for six months. Mr. Li was somewhat aware of the manner of her death, of her having been deprived of life in her prime. In the depths of his mourning he longed to redress the injustice.

1

A doctorate of letters.

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The sun was setting as he approached the outer wall of the city. Suddenly he saw a woman in the wilderness who, from her looks and adornments, did not appear to be merely a rustic maiden. Li's heart was stirred. He stopped his horse to get a closer look at her, but she disappeared amidst the trees and plants. Li dismounted to look for her. When he found her, he realized it was actually his wife. They wept when they saw each other. His wife said, "Shed no more tears. It is my good fortune that I shall be able to live again. Long have I awaited your coming. My father in his uprightness does not believe in ghosts and spirits. I am but a woman and could not press my plaint alone. Now that we have seen each other, there is hope, although it is rather late." Li said, "What can be done!" The girl replied, "Five li due north from here is P'o-t'ing village, where there lives an old man surnamed T'ien who teaches the village children. He is the immortal magistrate of Chiu-hua Cave,2 though no one knows this. If you beseech him with utmost earnestness, we may yet hope to obtain his help." Li thereupon hastened to see Master T'ien, whom he greeted by walking towards him on his knees and repeatedly offering obeisance, saying, "A lowly mortal from this world presumes to seek help from the great immortal!" At the time the old man was lecturing to the village children on the Classics. Startled upon seeing Li's obeisance, he hastened to stop him, and said, "I am but a wizened old derelict destined to die any day now. How is it that you say such things, sir?" Li repeatedly made obeisance and kowtowed without stopping. The old man became all the more uneasy, especially as Li stood before him from dawn to dusk, his hands folded in a gesture of respect, never taking a seat. The old man lowered his head for a long time, then said, "Since you are so earnest about it, I shall not evade you any more." Mr. Li then kowtowed until blood showed and proceeded to tell him of his wife's grievance. The old man said, "Long have I known of this, but you did not initiate a charge earlier. As it is now, the lady has decayed, and it is too late to reclaim her. Just now I resisted your approach because I do not as yet have a plan. 2

Chiu-hua is the name of a mountain range in Anhwei; it is celebrated for its associations with the various sects of both Buddhism and Taoism.

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Nevertheless, I will try to settle this matter for you." He rose and left through the northern door. After he had walked a little more than a hundred paces, he stopped at a mulberry grove. He gave a long yodel and suddenly there appeared a large official's edifice surrounded by turrets. The guards were richly garlanded with emblems of power after the fashion of kings. Master T'ien now appeared in a purple robe and sat at the bench, flanked by a retinue of officials in waiting. A great summons for the deities of various regions was shouted forth. Shortly thereafter, there arrived over ten units of riders, each consisting of more than a hundred horsemen, galloping to the court. Their leaders each stood over ten feet in height, imposing in stature and countenance. They lined themselves up outside the door. Tidying their headgear and uniforms, they all appeared nervous and asked each other, "What could be the matter?" Not long thereafter, the deities of Mount Lu, of the four sea-bound rivers,3 and of Lake P'eng-li, among others who had been summoned, made their entrance. Master T'ien said, "Lately the daughter of the governor of this province was killed by a violent spirit as she was giving birth to a baby. The matter is a grave injustice. Are you aware of it?" They all prostrated themselves to respond, "We are." Again he asked, "Why has it not been brought for settlement before the court?" They all replied, "Penal cases must have their plaintiff. Since no one filed a complaint, there was no way to initiate the proceedings." Someone asked, "is the name of the miserable assailant known?" Someone else answered, "it is Wu Jui,4 prince of the P'o district [in Kiangsi] of the Western Han [206 B.C.-A.D. 25]. What is presently the governor's residence was in the past Wu Jui's dwelling place. To this day he perseveres in his bellicose ways, attacking and occupying territory and spreading his terror everywhere. The people are helpless before him." Master T'ien said, "Seek him out."

3 k

The Yangtze, Huang-ho, Huai, and Chi. Wu Jui was Prefect of Po-yang under the Ch'in dynasty (221-207 B.C.). He later helped Liu Pang in his struggle against the Ch'in. Upon the establishment of the Han under Liu, he was enfeoffed as Prince of Ch'ang-sha, but his line lasted only four generations, after which the princedom was abolished.

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After a while, Wu Jui was brought bound. The master interrogated him, but he would not confess, whereupon it was ordered that Mrs. Li be sought out. Much later, Li's wife and Wu Jui were seen to be confronting each other in court. In the time that it takes to eat a meal, Wu Jui had submitted. He said, "it must be that she was in a weakened state after giving birth and that, upon seeing me, she died of fright. I did not mean to cause her death." Master T'ien said, "Whether you kill someone by means of a stick or a sword, does it not amount to the same?" He then ordered that Wu Jui be handed over to the heavenly gendarmes for punishment. Turning to Mrs. Li's affair, he directed that her allotted life-span be looked up. Soon a clerk announced, "She was to have lived another thirty-two years. She would have given birth to four sons and three daughters." The master said to the assembled officials, "Mrs. Li's allotted life-span is long indeed. If she is not made to live again, justice will not be served. How do you see it?" An old official stepped forward and said, "in Yeh-hsia [in Hopeh], during the Eastern Chin [317-420], there was a man who suffered an untimely death, a case very similar to this one. A predecessor of yours, Lord Ko,5 decided to unite the souls to make up a body. He then returned him to the world of the living, where the man's eating habits, speech, desires, and pursuits were all as they had been before. At the end of his life, however, there was no trace left of him." Master T'ien said, "What does it mean 'to unite the souls?'" The official said, "Living people have three heavenward-ascending souls and seven earthward-descending souls. When they die, their souls scatter and have nothing onto which they can hold. It is now possible to gather the souls to form a single body, which may be glued together with the resin used to repair the strings of a musical instrument. You, Your Excellency, may then release it onto the streets, and it will be exactly the same as the old body." Master T'ien approved. He turned towards Li's wife and said, "is it all right with you if we handle it this way?" Li's wife replied, "Very much so!" A clerk then brought in seven or eight girls, all of them exactly like Li's wife. 5

Ko Hsiian (164-244), who studied the Tao with Tso Tz'u (see entry [30]) and was later deified by the Taoist church.--Ed.

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They were huddled together, at which time a man carrying a bowl of unguent looking like malt gruel came up and applied it to the body of Li's wife. Mrs. Li felt as though she had fallen from the sky onto the earth, and she stayed queasy for some time. As the sun rose, all that had been visible during the night disappeared. There remained only Master T'ien along with Mr. and Mrs. Li, all in the mulberry grove. Master T'ien said to Mr. Li, "I have exerted myself on your behalf, and fortunately the matter has been accomplished. You may now take her back to see her relatives. Say only that she has been resuscitated, but be careful not to mention anything else. Henceforth I myself will not be seen again." Mr. Li then returned with his wife to the provincial capital. The entire household was astonished and would not believe them. Much later, however, they realized that she was truly alive. From this point on she bore several children, and there were many among her relatives who knew her story. They said, "She differed only in that her movements seemed lighter, not like those of ordinary people." (Wang, pp. 209-211; TPKC, 358.10; cf. TPKC, 44.1) Tr. Pedro Acosta Note: Here is a kind of magic power possessed by a Taoist adept not seen in the stories from the Six Dynasties: the magician's command over deities. Presented with verve, this manifestation of magic power is used as a frame for various other motifs, such as the rectification of an unjust death and the resuscitation of a dead person by the reassemblage of the "souls." The fact that the tale is given in TPKC under the category "Thaumaturges and Immortals" also makes it clear that the show of magic power is to be taken as the subsuming motif. For the names of the different hun (the aspiring souls) and the p'o (the base souls), and the Taoist concept of them, see Yun-chI chTi-chrien, chuan (SPTK Ch'u-pien ed.), 54, "Hun shen," pp. 375a-378c.

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253 (72) Ts'en Shun by Niu Seng-ju

(Hsiian-kuai lu)

Ts'en Shun of Ju-nan was styled Tzu-po. As a youth he was fond of studying and was well-read; in his adult years he was particularly keen on military craft. Wandering in Shan-chou [modern day Shensi] , he was poor and had no home. A relative of his on his mother's side by the name of Lu had a mountain residence which he was on the point of closing out. Shun asked to live,there. Someone tried to dissuade him, but Shun said, "A person's fate is ordained by heavenly decree. What is there to fear?" In the end he went to live there. After a year had passed, Shun would often sit in his study all alone. Not even the members of his family were allowed to disturb him. Once, in the middle of the night, there came the sounds of war drums, one knows not whence. As soon as Shun stepped outside the house, the sound disappeared. He was pleased that he had controlled himself, for he took it to be a blessing from Shih Lo.1 He prayed to him, saying, "This must mean that the soldiers of the netherworld are helping me. If so, please let me know of the time when I will be rich and prosperous." Several nights later, he dreamt that a man wearing armor and helmet came before him and reported, "General Golden Elephant bids me speak with you, Mr. Ts'en. At night, there was a state of alarm in our military fortress, and much clamoring and wrangling was heard. You have honored us with your approval of our presence, and we dare not disobey your command. You have ample emoluments in store, and we hope you cherish your own future. "Since you are a person of lofty plans, may we beseech you to lower yourself and extend a favor to our humble nation? Presently an enemy state has transgressed our ramparts, and we are seeking a worthy man to take the place of honor to guide us. Knowing of your virtuous reputation and ability, we wish you to lead us as we take up our banners and halberds." 1

A barbarian chieftain of the Chieh tribe (one of the "Five Nomads," or Wu-hu) who lived during the Chin dynasty (281-420). He had apparently been deified by this time.

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Shun thanked him, saying, "Bright and enlightened is the general. His troops are high-spirited and well disciplined. I am honored to receive his noble message, bestowed on such a lowly person as myself. But I shall readily put myself at his disposal, as a horse or dog would serve his master." As the emissary left with this reply, Shun suddenly awoke, startled and quite beside himself. He sat up to ponder the significance of his dream. Suddenly, drums and battle horns were heard all around, and their sound steadily intensified. Shun adjusted his head piece and stepped down from the bed. He bowed twice and prayed. In a short while, a wind blew in through the window, and the curtain fluttered and played about. Then, under the lantern, there suddenly appeared several hundred iron-clad horsemen galloping left and right, all just a few inches in height. They were well armored and carried swords and spears. They scattered about like so many stars. In the twinkling of an eye, cloudlike formations of troops gathered in from the four directions. Shun was frightened, but he composed himself and observed the events. Shortly thereafter, a soldier brought him a letter, saying: "The general sends a message." Shun accepted it and read: Our country borders on the land of the Hsiung-nu.2 Continuous military campaigns have been conducted for many dozen years. Our generals are old, and our soldiers exhausted. Their bodies are frost-bitten and they sleep in their armour. Heaven itself sets up our mighty enemy; their power cannot be withstood. You, sir, have cultivated your virtue such that you may bring forth your accomplishments at a suitable time. Many times have we received good tidings from you, and hope to entrust ourselves to your gracious promise. But you, illustrious sir, are an official of the human world who will enjoy great prosperity in a sagely generation. How can our small state dare look to you for help? However, now the kingdom of T'ien-na has gathered its troops and joined forces in the

2

Barbarian tribe which frequently invaded Ch'in and Han dynasties.

China

in the

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northern mountain, and has set a date to launch their attack. The battle is planned for midnight. It is not sure that we will be able to destroy them. We remain in dread and fear. Shun thanked the messenger. Then, lighting more lamps in his room, he sat down to watch the developments. After the midnight hour, drums and battle horns were heard everywhere. Just before this, the rat's hole in the lower portion of the eastern wall had turned into the gate of a fortress. There were enemy garrisons like mountains. After three alarums of the brass and drums, soldiers entered through four gates. Brandishing myriad pennons and riding like the wind, they formed rows on two sides. At the eastern wall was the army of T'ien-na. At the western wall was the army of the Golden Elephant. After they were each in formation, the military advisor stepped forward and said in verse: Let the heavenly horse fly diagonally for three positions then stop; Let the generals move crosswise and command the four directions. The curtained chariots enter directly without hovering; The spirit army in their order makes no precarious movements. The king said, "Very well." Thereupon drums were beaten, and a single horse from each army strode forward, going diagonally for three feet then stopping. After another roll on the drums, a soldier from each side moved crosswise one foot. Another roll of the drums, and the chariots advanced. In this manner, the drums became steadily more excited, and more troops came out from each side. Arrows and stones were exchanged in disorder. Soon after this, the army of T'ien-na were defeated and put to rout. The dead and wounded lay scattered on the ground. Their king galloped southward in flight on a lone horse, while several hundred men headed towards the southwest corner where they took refuge. Just before this, the king of Golden Elephant had seated himself on a mortar for grinding medicine which was in the southwest corner. Exactly at noon it was transformed into a fortress. His army was greatly enspirited and proceeded

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to gather its troops, while corpses were transported on carts across the field. Shun observed all this from a crouching position. At this point, a horseman approached him and proclaimed, "Yin and Yang each have their place; he who comprehends this will prosper. Awe-inspiring in our heavenly power, our wind-like steeds mounting up in unison, we have been victorious in this first battle. What do you think of this, illustrious sir?" Shun said, "Your courage, general, reaches the bright sun. You rely on heaven's own law and act only at the appropriate time. I have observed your divine transformations of strategies drawn from arcane texts. Your success pleases my beyond words." The battle continued in this manner for several days, victory and defeat alternating between the two sides. The countenance of the king was august, and his majestic deportment was without equal. He gave sumptuous feasts, and he brought for Ts'en Shun countless gems and treasures. Shun achieved glory in this, and all that he desired was provided. Later on he gradually came to isolate himself from his family and friends, never even stepping out of his room. His relatives were bewildered by this and could not ascertain the reason. Since Shun's appearance became increasingly haggard, as if possessed by spirits, his relatives all realized that something was wrong. They inquired about this, but he would not answer. Eventually they managed to get him tipsy on strong wine, and in his drunkenness he let the truth slip out. Thereupon they secretly prepared spades and shovels. When Shun came out to go to the privy, they confined him there, and started to dig in his room. After excavating eight or nine feet, they suddenly came upon a hollow space. It was an old tomb. In the tomb there was a brick altar on which there were several objects buried with the dead, as well as pieces of armor and helmets by the hundreds. In front there was a golden couch and a chess board upon which the horse pieces had been arrayed, all made of gold and copper. There, the affairs of the battle were fully displayed. Only then did they realize that the words of the military advisor had referred to the movement of horses in a game of chess. They then set it afire and leveled the ground. Many were the treasures they obtained, all of them having been stored in the tomb. When Shun became aware of this he awoke with a start and vomited. From then on he

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was well provided for and contented with his life. And the house was never again haunted. The time was the first year of the Pao-ying reign period [762-763], (Wang, pp. 207-08; TPKC, 369.7) Tr. Pedro Acosta Note: The analogical operation that transforms the deployment on the chess board into "the affairs of battle" is, in a way, comparable to the mechanism of the mock-heroic. But here the literary process is effected without a parodic or comic intention. The battle can also be seen as a "blown-up" metaphor, the action being an enactment of a language initially employed in a different referential context for a different purpose. Cf. "Ts'ui Hsllan-wei" (83).

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(73) Kuo Yuan-chen by Niu Seng-ju

(Hsiian-kuai lu)

As a young man, during the K'ai-yiian reign period [713-742], Kuo Yuan-chen, Duke of Tai-kuo,1 failed the civil service examinations and left Chin-chou [modern Lin-fen County, Shansi] to go to Fen-chou [modern Hsi County, Shansi]. Traveling by night, he lost his way in the dark. After a long time, he saw the light of lantern flames in the far distance. He took it to be a human dwelling place and crossed over to seek it out. After eight or ten ii, he came upon a house; its gate and structure were lofty. Upon entering through the gate, he saw lanterns and candles flickering brilliantly in the corridor and the main hall, and sacrificial meats arranged as if it were a home with a daughter about to be married. Yet everything was silent and there was no one about. The duke tethered his horse before the western corridor and ascended the steps. He paced back and forth inside the hall, not knowing what sort of place it was. Suddenly, he heard the sound of a girl weeping in the eastern apartments of the main hall--a sobbing which would not stop. "Who is that weeping in the hall?" asked the duke. "Are you a human being or a spirit? Why have things been arranged this way? And why are you weeping here alone?" "in the local shrine of this village," said a voice, "there is a Black General who can send down both adversity and good fortune upon the people. Every year he seeks a mate from among the villagers, so they must choose the fairest of all the virgins and wed her to him. Even though I am homely and unworthy, my father coveted the five hundred strings of cash, so he secretly had me chosen. This evening several of us village girls came here for a banquet. They made me drunk with wine and left me behind, locked in this room, to be married to the General. Today, my mother and father have abandoned me to die, so now I am very frightened and sad. Are you indeed a human being? If you can save me, I will be willing to wait on you as a

1

For his official biographies, see Chiu T'ang shu 97, pp. 3042ff. and Hsin Trang-shu 122, pp. 4360ff. This story takes place before his rise in officialdom; the title of the duke is used anachronistically.--Ed.

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servant for the rest of my life." The duke said in great anger, "When will he come?" "During the second watch." "if I am to call myself a gentlemen, I must use all my resources to save you. If I do not succeed, I am willing to die in the attempt and be buried along with you, but I will never let you die an ignoble death at the hands of a lascivious spirit!" The girl was somewhat reassured. The duke sat on the western steps, moving his horse north of the hall and ordering his servant to stand in front, as if he were a groomsman. Not long thereafter, there appeared the brilliance of flames together with many horse-drawn carriages. Two purple-robed retainers entered the building and then went out again, saying, "The prime minister is here." After a while two yellow-vested retainers likewise entered and came out again, also saying, "The prime minister is here." The duke was delighted to hear that and thought to himself: I will be prime minister, and so it is certain that I shall overcome this evil spirit. The general then descended slowly from his carriage, while his retainers informed him again of the situation. The ger\eral said, "Let us enter." As he made his entrance, he was protected by spears and swords, bows and arrows, until he came to the eastern steps. The duke had his servant step forward and announce, "Bachelor of Arts Kuo salutes you." Then they made obeisance in the form of a long bow with hands in front. The general said, "How did the Scholar happen to come to this place?" Kuo said, "I heard the general was to be married this evening, so I wished to act as groomsman." The general was pleased and asked him to take a seat. They sat facing each other, speaking and laughing with great mirth. The duke had a sharp dagger in his bag with which he thought to stab the general. So he asked, "Has the General ever eaten venison before?" The general replied, "in these parts that is hard to come by." The duke then said, "I happen to have some of that precious stuff with me, which I obtained from the imperial kitchens. I would like to slice it and offer it up to you." The general was delighted. So the duke rose to pick up the venison and the small dagger. Havng cut the meat, he placed it in a small dish and asked the general to help himself to it. Pleased, the

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general stretched out his hand to take some, not suspecting that anything might be amiss. The duke saw that he was not on his guard, so tossed the meat aside, snatched the general's hand, and hacked it off at the wrist. The general shrieked in agony and ran off. Startled, his retainers fled behind him. The duke held onto the hand, took off his cloak, and wrapped it around the hand. He then directed his servants to go outside and have a look, but everything was still and there was no one to be seen. The duke then opened the door and said to the weeping girl, "The general's hand is here. If one follows the traces of his blood, one will note that he is bound to die ere long. Since you have been spared, you can come out and eat." The one who had been weeping came out. She was a very beautiful girl of seventeen or eighteen. She made obeisance to the duke, saying, "I pledge my service to you." The duke made efforts to persuade her not to do this. As soon as the sun came up, they opened the clothing wrap to look at the general's hand and saw the hoof of a boar. Suddenly they heard the sound of weeping gradually approaching. It was the girl's parents, along with her brothers and some village elders, who came bearing a coffin to gather up her corpse and prepare it for burial. When they saw the duke and the girl, both quite alive, they were surprised and made inquiries. The duke told them all that had transpired. The village elders were angry that the duke had crippled their deity, and said, "The Black General is the guardian deity of this village. We have been worshipping him for a long time. We marry him to a girl every year, so that we may be saved from other mishaps. If this ceremony is delayed, he will torment us with wind, rain, thunder, and hail. To what avail have you, a stranger, wounded our deity? We have done nothing against you, yet you bring disaster upon us. We should kill you in order to appease the Black General. At the very least we shall have to take you before the magistrate." They ordered some youths to seize the duke. The latter retorted, "You are old in years, but you are inexperienced in human affairs. I am a reasonable man, so all of you listen to what I say. When deities offer their protection in accordance with a heavenly mandate, is it not the same as when the nobles of the land govern the nation by receiving the imperial mandate?"

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To this they replied, "That is so." The duke continued, "If the nobles sought to satisfy their lusts among the people, would the emperor not be angry? If they were to torment and victimize the people, would the emperor not punish them? If what you call the general were a 'worthy deity,' how could he have the hooves of a boar? Heaven would not appoint a lustful demon-beast as a guardian spirit. A lustful demon-beast is a criminal both in heaven and on earth! Since it was out of justice that I sought to execute him, how could I have been wrong? There is not a single man with a sense of justice among you, so you have made your girls meet such a vile death at the hands of a demon-beast every year. The transgressions which you have accumulated have moved heaven itself! How can you know that heaven did not send me here to redress this disgrace? Heed my words, and I shall rid you of him, so that you will never again have to go through with this terrible wedding. What do you say?" The villagers realized the truth of what they had heard and cheerfully exclaimed, "We are willing to follow your orders." The duke thereupon ordered several hundred men to accompany him in order to surround the general. All these men carried such implements as bows and arrows, swords, spears, shovels, and spades. They followed the trail of blood, and after only twenty li traced it into a large grave pit. They surrounded it and hacked away at it, and it soon became as large as the opening of a huge earthenware jug. The duke commanded that wood be gathered for a fire. They threw in the flaming branches to light up the inside of the pit. It was like a large room inside. There they saw a large boar, his front hoof missing, lying in a pool of blood. The boar charged through the smoke, but collapsed within the ring of men that fell upon him. The villagers rejoiced and congratulated each other. They collected money as recompense for the duke, but he would not accept it, saying, "I am doing this to rid you of an evil. I do not sell my services as a hunter." The girl who had been saved then bade farewell to her parents and relatives, saying, "I am very fortunate to be human, and a daughter who has never left her lady's chamber, so that I am guilty of nothing for which I should be killed. Today, out of greed for five hundred strings of

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cash,2 you have attempted to marry me off to a demon-beast. You were cruel enough to lock me up and desert me. How can this be proper for a human being to do? If it had not been for the fyenevolence and courage of Mr. Kuo, I would be dead by now. I have died through my parents, and now I have been reborn through this gentleman. I would like to follow him, never again to think about my native village." She then made obeisance in tears so that she might follow him. The duke tried many arguments in an attempt to dissuade her, but he could not stop her, so he took her in as a concubine. She bore him several children. The uprightness of the duke was evidenced in the high offices to which they attained. It is clear that the matter had been preordained. Even though the duke was a traveler in a distant land, and was confronted with an evil spirit, in the end he could not have been harmed. (Wang, pp. 212-14; Chang, pp. 131-34; SF, 15.2b-4a) Tr. Pedro Acosta Note: In addition to his moral and physical courage in confronting the demon, the hero here is also endowed with skills of persuasion that help him turn an adversive situation into a favorable one. The capacity of the T'ang tales to incorporate arguments is again manifested here. In his official biography, the duke is said to have had a jen-hsia (chivalric) temperament in his young days. Here he may be considered an "anti-type" in the chih-kuai genre in that he uses his reason and will power to triumph over the supernatural (cf. "Li Chi" [26]). This is a situation that diverges from what is shown in stories like "Chang Hua" (24) where the laws of the supernatural are employed to overcome the supernatural itself.

2

Read wu-pai-min for wu-pai-wan.- - Ed.

The T'ang

263 (76)TheInnofBetrothal by Li Fu-yen (Hsii Hsiian-kuai

lu)

Once towards the end of the Yiian-ho reign period [806-821], Chang Feng of Nan-yang [in modern Honan Province] stopped at the Inn of the Waylaying Mountain in Fu-t'ang County, Fukien Province, during his travels in Ling-piao [an area covering modern Fukien, Kwangtung and Kwangsi] . The sun was just about to set in a sky washed clean by a recent rain, and the vibrant colors of the surrounding mountains could still be seen beyond the rising mists. Staff in hand, he set off to see the scenery, but did not realize how far he had gone. Unexpectedly he happened on a stretch of lovely jade-green grass which stretched out for more than one hundred paces. Nearby stood a small thicket. Taking off his clothes, Feng hung them on the trees and propped his walking stick against them. He threw himself onto the grass and rolled about. Reaching a peak of ecstatic frenzy, he trampled down the grass like a wild beast. When he had had enough, he got up, only to find himself transformed into a brightly striped tiger. The sharpness of his claws and teeth, and the strength of his mighty chest made him feel like the lord of the jungle. So up he sprang, racing across mountains and gulleys as quickly as lightning. Late that night he felt very hungry and, finding himself near a village, slackened his pace to a slow walk. But nowhere could he find a dog or pig, or a colt or calf, or any similar morsel to eat. He vaguely remembered that he was to capture Inspector Cheng of the Foochow [in modern Fukien] court, so he hid himself by the side of the road to wait. Before long a man, who appeared to be an official sent to meet Inspector Cheng, approached on foot from the south. Seeing someone coming, he asked, "The Inspector from Foochow by the name of Cheng Fan plans to spend the night in the inn down the road. Can you tell me when he will •

oil

arrive? "I am one of his servants sent to inquire about the arrangements for him," said the man. "He will be along shortly."

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"is he alone, or are there others coming with him?" inquired the official. "When I pay my respects I don't want to make a mistake." "Of the three, he will be the one dressed in light green." Now all this time Feng had been eavesdropping on their conversation. The account could not have been more detailed if Feng had asked the questions himself. Knowing all this, Feng crouched down by the side of the road to wait. Presently Cheng Fan appeared with a great retinue of servants. Dressed in a light-green robe, he was quite fat and proceeded in a very dignified manner. Just as he was passing by, Feng leapt upon him, grabbed him between his teeth, and ran off up the mountain. As it was not yet light, no one dared give chase. Feng then ate his fill, leaving behind the less tasty hair and entrails. Walking all alone through the mountain forests, Feng said to himself, "I was a human. How can I enjoy being a tiger, confined to these deep, dark forests? I should find that stretch of grass and turn back into a man." Carefully retracing his steps he arrived there at sunset. His clothes were hanging as he had left them; his staff still stood against the tree. Even the rich green grass was just as before. Again he jumped onto the grass and rolled over and over, this way and that. Satisfied, he got up and found that he had regained his human form. He put his clothes back on, picked up his stick and went back. The whole affair had taken only one day. Now when Feng's servant first realized that he could not find Feng, he was very much alarmed. He made inquiries in the neighborhood and was told that Feng had gone off into the mountains, staff in hand. The servant searched for him along many paths, but there was no trace of him to be found. Seeing his master return, he was overjoyed and asked what had happened. "I was looking for a mountain stream when I ran across a hermitage," he lied. "I stopped to discuss Buddhism and didn't notice how the time slipped away." "Today a tiger ate Inspector Cheng of Foochow not far from here. They have searched for his remains without finding a thing. The woods around here are full of wild animals. It's better not to go out alone. When you didn't return, I was distraught. But now I'm delighted to see that you've come back safe an sound."

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After this incident, Feng left to continue on his journey. In the sixth year of the Yiian-ho reign period, he spent the night at a government inn in Huai-yang [in modern Honan]. The innkeeper there treated all of the guests to a feast. One of the guests took charge of the after-dinner entertainment and arranged a game. "We'll take turns, and each of you must tell about something strange that has happened to you. If it is not strange enough, you'll be penalized." When Feng's turn came around, he told about his affair at Waylaying Mountain. Seated at the foot of the table was a chin-shih scholar named Cheng Hsia, the son of Inspector Cheng. Enraged by the story, he grabbed a knife to attack Feng in order to avenge his father. The other guests managed to keep him away from Feng, but Hsia would not be quieted, and took the case to the Prefectural Commandant. The commandant sent Hsia south to Huai-nan [encompassing modern Hupeh, Kiangsu, and Anhwei, south of the Huai River], ordering the ferryman not to allow him to recross the Huai River. Feng went west and changed his name to escape from Hsia. Public opinion puts the case this way: "Learning of the murder of one's father one must take action to avenge it. But this murder was committed unintentionally. If he insisted on killing Feng, Hsia would have to be penalized for his actions." He therefore ran away, and never did avenge his father. (Wang, pp. 218-19; cf. TPKC 429.5) Tr. Douglas Wilkerson Note: Here we re-encounter the "man-into-tiger" motif (cf. "Hsiieh Tao-hsun" [39] and "Huang Miao" [52]). This piece is marked by stylistic refinement in certain aspects of its representation of the motif. The attention paid to the description of the man-tiger's inner state, a conscious reflection on the metamorphosis, is not seen in earlier versions. The "public opinion" formula used at the end may be likened to the Appraisal (tsan) section in official historical biographies.

266

Classical Chinese Tales (75) Hsiieh Wei by Li Fu-yen (Hsii Hsiian-kuai

lu)

In the first year of the Ch'ien-yiian reign period [758-760] Hsiieh Wei held the position of Keeper of Documents in Ch'ing-ch'eng County [modern Kuan County] in Szechwan. At the same time Chou P'ang was Assistant Magistrate, and Lei Chi and P'ei Liao were military officers. In the autumn of that year, after being sick for a week, Hsiieh Wei suddenly lost consciousness. He lay still, as if dead, and made no response, even to shouts. However, the region around his heart remained slightly warm. His family was not willing to have him put into a coffin right away, but continued to hover around him and care for him. After twenty days he suddenly let out a long sigh and sat up. Addressing those about him, he said, "How many days have I been out of the human world?" "For twenty days," they replied. "Go take a peek at the officials and see if they aren't eating minced fish. Tell them I have recovered, and that I have something very strange to tell them. Ask them all to stop eating and come hear me." A servant went and looked, and sure enough they were just about to eat some minced fish. He relayed what Wei had said, and they all stopped eating and came to him. Wei said, "Did you order the yamen runner Chang Pi from the Judiciary Department to get a fish?" "Yes, we did," they replied. Turning to Pi he asked, "The fishmonger Chao Kan had a huge carp but tried to give you a small one for the officials. You found the big one hidden among the reeds and carried it back. Just when you returned to the yamen, the officials of the Judiciary Department were sitting on the east side of the gate, and those of the Police Department on the west side, playing chess. As you came to the steps, Chou and Lei were gambling and P'ei was eating peaches. You told about Kan's hiding the big carp, and then P'ei the Fifth ordered him whipped. You handed the fish over to the Cook Wang, who happily killed it. Is that right?" Inquiring amongst themselves, they discovered that it was so. "But how did you know all of this?" they asked. "The carp you killed was I!"

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Startled, they said, "We want to hear all about it." "When I first became ill, the heat was so oppressive that I could hardly bear it. Then suddenly I felt so stifled that I forgot about my illness and set off on a hike to seek respite from the heat. I did not realize that I was dreaming. When I got out of the city my spirits soared. I felt like a caged bird or animal regaining its freedom, quite oblivious of myself. "Gradually I worked my way up into the mountains. But climbing in the mountains made me feel even more stifled, so I went down to walk along the river bank. I could see that the stream and pools were deep and clear; the autumn colors they reflected were attractive. Not a ripple stirred the surface, which embraced the sky like a mirror. "Suddenly I felt that I wanted to bathe. I pulled off my clothes there on the bank and jumped in. I'd played in the water when I was a child, but hadn't been back in since coming of age. But now I felt completely at ease and at home, and very relaxed. "I said, 'Men don't swim as quickly as fish. How can I ride a fish and move powerfully through the water?' "A fish beside me replied, 'I venture to say that you may not be willing, but if you are, it would be easy to swim like a real fish, and not just ride on one. I've got a plan for you.' And with that he disappeared. "Moments later a fish-headed man many feet in length came up to me, riding on the back of a small whale, followed by many dozen fish. Announcing Ho Po's1 proclamation, he said, 'Living in cities and roaming the waters--to float above and to be submerged: these are two different worlds. If one does not feel in his element here, he should never come down through the waves. Keeper of Documents Hsiieh, you desire to swim idly in the depths, and long for complete freedom and leisure. Taking delight in the vastness of the realm, you have come to embrace the clear rivers. Repelled by the feeling of being among the craggy mountains, you have thrown away your official's hairpin in that illusory world. You will temporarily assume a scaled body; but remember that instantaneous change will not last forever. For the time being you will be a red carp in East Lake. But! If you turn over boats with great waves, you have transgressed in this unseen world; and if you let the bait entice you and ignore the

1

The god of the Yellow River.

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slender hook, you will be harmed in the visible world above. Beware of losing your self-possession, to the shame of your kind. These are your constraints.' "After hearing this, I looked at myself, only to find that I had already taken on a fish's form. I immediately swam away, going wherever I pleased. Up to the waves and down to the depths of the lakes, there was nowhere I could not easily go. I jumped and coursed through all the great rivers and lakes. But as I was assigned to stay in East Lake, I returned there every evening. "Suddenly I became very hungry but could not find anything to eat. A boat came by and I followed along behind it. Then I saw Chao Kan throw out a fishing line. The bait was very enticing, but in my heart I knew it was forbidden. Then suddenly it was right in front of my mouth. "'I'm a man," I said, 'Only temporarily turned into a fish. I can't eat this or I'll swallow the hook.' Then I gave it up and went away. "But in another instant the hunger became intense. I thought, 'I am an official playing in the role of a fish. Even if I swallow the hook, how can Chao Kan kill me? He will certainly return me to the yamen.' So I swallowed it. "Chao Kan pulled in the line and out I came. Just before I landed in his hand, I called out, but Kan didn't hear me. He put a string through my gills, and then tied me among the rushes. "Soon Chang Pi came by and said, 'Lieutenant P'ei wants a fish--a big one.' '"I didn't get any big ones,' replied Chao, 'But I have some small ones here weighing over ten catties all together.' "'The orders are to get a big one. How can I take the small ones?' "Then Chang looked in the rushes, found me there, and picked me up. 'I am the Keeper of Records in your yamen,' I said, this time to Pi. 'I'm swimming in these rivers in the form of a fish. Why did you not salute me to show proper respect?' "Pi didn't hear me. He just picked me up and walked off, and despite my steady stream of curses, he simply ignored me. "Entering the yamen gate, I saw the officials sitting and playing chess. I shouted to them all, but not a single one answered. One said laughingly, 'it's frightening when a fish gets to be more than three or four catties.'

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"We then went up the steps. Chou and Lei were in the midst of their gambling, and P'ei was munching on peaches. All were pleased by the size of the fish, and they wanted to send it to the kitchen right away. "Pi told of Kan hiding the big fish and trying to give him small ones to satisfy the requisition. P'ei got angry and ordered him beaten. "I said to all of you, 'I am your colleague, and may be killed today. Ignoring my pleas, you do not let me go, but rush me off to my execution. Where is your humanity?' "I shouted and I wept, but you three didn't even turn a hair. You just handed me over to the mincemeat maker. Cook Wang, who was just sharpening a knife, was happy to see me and tossed me onto the table. "Again I cried out, 'Cook Wang! You've been my mincemeat maker for a long time. How can you kill me? Why don't you attend to my words and relate them to the other officials?' "But Cook Wang didn't seem to hear. He held my neck firmly on the chopping board, and lopped off my head. As my head fell, I came back to my senses. And then I called you here." Evey one of the officials was amazed. They were awakened to a new sense of pity for all living things. For every one of them--Chao Kan when he caught the fish, Chang Pi when he picked it up, the minor officials playing chess, the three officials by the stairs, and Cook Wang as he was about to kill it--had seen the fish's mouth move, but had not heard a thing. From then on Wei's three friends gave up minced fish, and never ate it again as long as they lived. Wei recovered and was never again troubled by illness. He was later promoted to Assistant Magistrate of Hua-yang [modern Hua-yang County, Szechwan], where he died. (Wang, pp. 225-27; TPKC, 471.11) Tr. Douglas Wilkerson Note: This piece presents a metaphorphosis told for the explicit purpose of attempting to waken the reader to "a sense of pity for all living things." A comparison with a similar story entitled "Chang Tsung" (TPKC, 132 .16)--where the protagonist was turned into a fish, caught, and actually consumed by his friends, because of his own love for minced fish--may point up more clearly the Buddhist ideas of reincarnation and karmic retribution lying behind the present story.

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The Taoist flavor seen especially in Ho Po's proclamation, reveals a syncretic mixture of Buddhist and Taoist beliefs often found in T'ang literature. Cf. "Chang Feng" (74); see also TPKC, 471.6-10 for other instances of "man-into-fish" transformations. The hua-pen story "Hsiieh Lu-shih yu-fu cheng-hsien" (HSHY, 26) is a vernacular adaptation of this tale.

The T'ang

271 (76) The Inn of Betrothal by Li Fu-yen (Hsii Hsiian-kuai

lu)

Wei Ku of Tu-ling [in modern Kwangtung Province] was orphaned early. He hoped to get a wife while still young and tried many ways to find a mate, but in the end was never successful. In the the second year of the Yiian-ho reign period [806-821], on his way to tour Ch'ing-ho [in modern Shantung Province], Ku stopped overnight at an inn south of Sung-ch'eng [modern Shang-ch'iu, Honan Province]. One of the guests at the inn mentioned the daughter of P'an Fang, the former magistrate of Ch'ing-ho, as a possible match, and arranged for him to meet the matchmaker early the next morning at the gate of the Temple of Dragon Prosperity. Ku hoped eagerly for a wife. So he started out very early the next morning, and arrived at dawn while the moon was still shining brightly over the horizon. An old man was sitting on the steps leaning against a cloth bag and holding a book up to the moonlight as he perused it. Ku walked up closer to sneak a glance at the book, but he could not read the writing. It was neither the old spidery seal script, nor the modern standard script, nor was it the ancient "tadpole" style. It was not even Sanskrit. Puzzled, Ku asked, "Father, what sort of book are you reading? When I was young I studied hard and learned the scripts of the world. I'd say there aren't any that I don't know. I can even read Sanskrit from India. Yet I have never seen this kind of writing before. What is it?" "This is not the writing of this world," the old man laughed, "How could you have seen it before?" "If not of this world, then what is it?" "The script of the underworld." "How do inhabitants of the underworld come to be here?" "it is you who started travelling too early, rather than that it is unnatural for me to be here," the old man replied. "All of the officials from the underworld look after the affairs of men; can we who take care of these affairs remain in the dark? At this hour, some of those who travel along the road are men and some are ghosts. It is just that you cannot distinguish between the two." "if that is so, then of what are you in charge?" said Ku. "I'm in charge of all the marriage contracts on earth."

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Delighted, Ku replied, "I was orphaned when young. For a long time now I've been searching for a mate so that I might continue the family line with many offspring. Over the last ten years I've tried many ways but have never been successful. I've arranged a meeting today to discuss the possibility of marrying the daughter of Magistrate P'an. Will I succeed?" "Not yet," said the old man. "if the destinies do not match, you wouldn't be successful even if you were to take off your cap and gown and ask for the hand of a gambler's or a butcher's daughter. How much more so in the case of a Provincial Adjutant? Your wife is just three years old. When she is seventeen she will join you." Then Ku asked, "What is in your bag?" "Only red string," said the man, "to bind the feet of husband and wife. At birth I use it to secretly tie them together. Though their families be enemies, though they be separated by the gulf between wealth and poverty, or even stationed at opposite corners of the empire--even in states as different as Wu and Ch'u; once bound with this string, they cannot avoid each other. Your foot has already been tied to hers. What good will courting others do?" "Where is my wife then?" asked Ku. "What does her family do?" "She's the daughter of Old Lady Ch'en who sells vegetables north of the inn." "Can I see her?" "Old Ch'en often brings her along. She sells vegetables in the market. You can come along with me and I'll show her to you." It was already light, but the person Ku was expecting still had not come. The old man rolled up the scroll, picked up his bag, and set off. With Ku following behind, he entered the market place. Along came an old, one-eyed woman carrying a three year old girl. They appeared shabby and destitute. Pointing, the old man said, "That is your wife." Ku was enraged, "Can I kill her?" "She is destined to live on an endowment from heaven. Because of her son she will enjoy the position of a titled lady. How can you kill her?" The old man then disappeared. "That old devil's crazy notion!" ranted Ku. "I'm the scion of a great house and will certainly take a proper wife. If I can't have a proper marriage, then at least

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I'll take a pretty and accomplished singing girl, or an outstanding beauty. How could I marry the lowly daughter of this old one-eyed woman?" He sharpened a knife and handed it to his servant. "You have always taken care of my affairs. Can you kill this girl for me? I'll give you ten thousand cash." "Surely," answered the servant. The next day the servant hid the knife in his sleeve and went into the marketplace. In the midst of the crowd he stabbed the girl and then ran off. The whole market was thrown into an uproar, and in the confusion Ku and the servant managed to get away. "Did you get her or not," asked Ku. "I aimed for the heart, but unfortunately I struck her between the eyes." After this incident Ku made many attempts to find a wife, but was never able to. Fourteen years later, out of appreciation for his late father, he was made Administrative Adjutant of Hsiang-chou [modern An-yang County, Honan]. The governor, Wang T'ai, assigned him to be the head of the Judiciary Department, to take charge of court cases and litigations. Impressed with his competence, Wang T'ai gave his daughter to him in marriage. She was about sixteen or seventeen and very fair. Ku was extremely delighted. But between her eyes she usually fixed a beauty mark. Even when she was taking a bath and during her leisure hours it never came off. This continued for about a year and puzzled Ku greatly. Then suddenly he remembered his servant telling him about striking the little girl between the eyes. Ku pressed his wife for an explanation. In tears she replied, "I am the adopted child of the magistrate and not his natural daughter. My father used to be the magistrate of Sung-ch'eng. He died in office when I was still a babe-in-arms. My mother and brothers also died soon after. The only place I could live then was with my wet nurse, Mrs. Ch'en, in a village south of Sung-ch'eng. Since it was close to the inn, she sold vegetables there for a living. "Mrs. Ch'en was very tender-hearted and couldn't bear to leave me, even for a short time. When I was three she carried me into the marketplace where I was stabbed by a deranged bandit. The scar is still here, and that is why I cover it with a beauty mark. Seven or eight years ago my uncle took up office in Lu-lung [modern Lu-lung County,

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Hopeh] , whereupon I was able to move in with him. Out of kindness he gave me to you in marriage as his daughter." "Did Mrs. Ch'en have just one eye," asked Ku. "But how could you know?" "It was I that stabbed you." He continued, "It is strange. It is fate." Then he proceded to explain everything to her, and thereafter treated her with even greater respect. Somewhat later she bore him a son which they named K'un. He later became the Grand Warden of Yen-men [in modern Shansi] , and she was enfoeffed as Dowager Lady of T 1 ai-yiian. Thus we know that our secret fate is fixed and cannot be changed. When the magistrate of Sung-ch'eng heard of these events, he renamed the inn "The Inn of Betrothal."1 (Wang, pp. 223-24; TPKC 159.1; cf. TPKC, 160.3) Tr. Douglas Wilkerson Note: Here is a story that is surely constructed for the purpose of illustrating the notion of predestination, its pattern of events being dictated mainly by that theme. It might be expected that in works with such an orientation, the choice of subject matter would not be particularly important, as the stories are bent solely on making a conceptual point. But the fact that the operation of predestination is often shown with certain "privileged" topics (such as the match in a marriage, and the course of one's offical career; see, e.g., [87] and [90]) seems, on the other hand, to suggest an obsession with these topics on the part of T'ang writers.

1

"Betrothal" marriage."

literally

means

a "fixed

or

predetermined

The T'ang

275 (76)TheInnofBetrothal by Li Fu-yen (Hsii Hsiian-kuai

lu)

Before Li Ching served in the T'ang court and was made Duke of Wei, 1 he often hunted around Mount Huo [in modern Huo County, Shansi Province], and on these occasions would lodge and eat there. The elders of the mountain village were very much impressed with his extraordinary qualities, so they always treated him well. And as time went by, their hospitality grew ever more friendly. One day Ching happened on a herd of deer and gave chase. As evening drew near he felt he should go back, but he could not bring himself to give up the chase. In the gloom he lost his way and had no idea how to return to the village. For some time he went about disconsolately, becoming more and more distressed. Straining his eyes in the dark, he finally caught a glimpse of lamplight and galloped toward it. The light was coming from a great mansion with red lacquered gates and high roofs and walls. Only after he had knocked at the gate for a long while did a servant come out to ask him what he wanted. Ching told him that he had lost his way and asked if he could spend the night there. The man said to him, "The masters of the house have all gone away. Only the ladies are at home. It is impossible for you to spend the night here." "Please ask and see if there might not be some chance that I could stay here," pleaded Ching.

1

As field marshal for Li Shih-min, Li Ching (571-649) played a vital role in putting Li Shih-min on the throne of China. He became President of the Board of Justice, but was subsequently sent to the western border to fight against the Turks, giving the Chinese more control in Central Asia than ever before. Upon his return he was made Junior Vice President of the Department of State Affairs, and after another campaign in the west, was enfeoffed as Duke of Wei. He is the author of a military treatise, Li Wei-kung wen-tui (The Duke of Wei on Military Strategy). His official biogrpahies are in Chiu T'ang shu 67, pp. 2475ff. and Hsin T'ang shu 93, pp. 3811ff.

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So the servant went in and asked. When he returned he said, "At first the mistress was not willing to let you stay. But since it is dark and you have lost your way, she felt she couldn't refuse you her hospitality." He then invited Ching into the reception room. A moment later a maid came in to announce, "The mistress is coming." Then in came the lady of the house, who was probably a bit over fifty, wearing a short white jacket over a blue skirt. She appeared refined and noble, as might be expected of a genteel lady in the home of one of the great nobles of the realm. Ching advanced and paid his respects. She returned his greetings, saying, "My sons are all away, so it is not really proper for me to allow you to remain here. However, it is now dark, and you have lost your way. If I didn't let you stay here, where could I send you? But this house is in the midst of mountainous wilds, and my sons sometimes return late in the night and create quite a clamor. Please do not be startled if this should happen." Ching replied that he would not be. They then sat down to dinner, which was most tasty, except that there was an unusual preponderance of fish on the menu. After dinner the mistress went back to her chambers. Two maids brought in bedding and laid out beautiful mats and perfumed coverlets for Ching. On leaving, they closed the doors and locked them from the outside. Left alone, Ching thought to himself, "What sort of creatures can these be that come in late at night and create a clamor out here in the wilds?" Too afraid to sleep, he remained sitting up in bed and listened for any strange sounds. Towards midnight he heard an urgent pounding on the gate and the sound of someone running to answer it. The messenger at the gate said, "I have an order from Heaven. Go tell your master that he must make it rain for seven li2 around this mountain, and that it must be done by the fifth watch [3-5 A.M.]. Do not delay. And don't send down a deluge either!" The man who had answered the door took the order and went inside to present it to his mistress. Ching then heard her say, "Heaven has ordered us to make rain, but neither of my sons has returned yet. I have no way to comply with the command, yet we will surely be punished if the rain does not fall in time. Even if I send

2

TPKC version reads "seventy ii."--Ed.

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a message to my sons, it will be too late, and the children and servants here cannot be entrusted with such responsibility. What am I to do?" A little maid suggested, "I've just seen the guest in the reception room, and can tell that he is no ordinary person. Perhaps you could ask him to do it." Delighted by this idea, the mistress went herself and knocked on the door of the room in which Ching was staying. "Are you asleep, sir? I would like to see you for a moment." "I will be right out," answered Ching. He then descended the stairs at the front of the hall to meet her. "This is not the home of ordinary people," began the mistress, "but a dragon palace. My eldest son has gone to the Eastern Ocean to attend a wedding, and my younger son is away escorting his sister on a trip. I must comply with a command from Heaven and make rain. But my sons are a total of more than ten thousand li from here, and I cannot notify them in time. Nor can I find anyone else to do it for them. I wonder if I might trouble you to help us for a short time." "But I am just an ordinary man," he replied. "I cannot ride on clouds, so how can I make rain for you? But if you can tell me how, I will gladly do as you ask." "There will be no problem if you do just as I tell you." She ordered the major-domo to bring out the piebald horse and the rain vessel, which turned out to be a small vial. Tying this in front of the saddle, she said, "Don't tug on the bit and bridle when you ride; give the horse free rein. When it begins to paw at the ground and neigh, then take one drop of water out of the vial, and put it on the horse's mane. Be careful that you don't pour out any more than that." Ching mounted the horse, which took off and rose into the air. Before long they were high up in the sky. Amazed by the speed and steadiness of the horse, Ching did not realize that he was already up in the clouds. The wind rushed past him as swiftly as an arrow, and thunder and lightning came from the hooves of the horse. At the spot where the horse pawed and reared, Ching hastily let a drop fall from the vial. Presently the lightning stopped, the clouds parted, and there below him Ching saw the village in which he often lodged. "I have caused the people in this village so much trouble," he thought to himself, "and feel vey much endebted for their kindness, yet I have no way to repay

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them. They have had no rain there for a long time, and the crops are about to wither. Since I now have the rain here in my hands, why should I be so grudging with it?" Since one drop was hardly enough to wet the ground, he shook out twenty drops. A moment later the rain stopped again and the horse returned home. The mistress was in the reception room weeping when he returned. "How could you have disobeyed so grossly? You were told one drop, but you sent down twenty feet of rain! One drop from the vial is equivalent to a foot of rain on the ground. By midnight there were twenty feet of water standing in the lower parts of the village. How could anyone survive there? I have already been punished with eighty blows of the heavy rod." She then bared her back, which was covered with bloody marks. "My sons will also be implicated in this affair. Oh, what am I to do?" Ching was ashamed and terrified, and did not know what to say. "You are just a mortal," she continued, "and don't understand the ways of clouds and rain. I really cannot blame you for your mistake. But I fear that when the masters return, something terrible will happen to you. You had best leave here quickly. "Even so, I have put you to a great deal of trouble for which you have not yet been repaid. Living here in the mountains, I have nothing suitable to present to you. But I will offer you two slave girls. Take one or both, just as you please." She called for the two slave girls to come in. One came in from the eastern corridor: she was very pleasing to look at, and appeared to be quite good-natured. The other came in from the western corridor: she had a fiery temper and stood by the door defiantly. "I am a hunter," thought Ching. "I spend my time fighting against wild animals. If I take only one of these maids, and the pleasant one at that, they will think I am afraid." So he replied to his hostess, "I dare not accept both of these girls, but since you are offering them to me, I will take the angry one." The mistress smiled and said, "is that all you want?" He bowed and took his leave, the slave girl following him outside. A few paces from the gate he turned to look back, but the mansion had disappered. He then turned to ask the slave girl about this, but she was gone too. He found the road back and set off for the village by himself.

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At dawn he caught sight of the village, but it was completely covered with water as far as the eye could see. A few branches on the larger trees could still be seen but there was not a soul in sight. Subsequent to this he led his soldiers in a campaign against rival forces and border tribes.3 His fame spread over the whole empire, but he never did reach the office of Prime Minister. Surely this was because of the choice he made between the two slave girls. It is said that Prime Ministers come from east of the pass, while generals come from west of the pass.1* Is this not what the girls coming from east and west meant? These two slaves symbolized public servants. If he had taken both of them, he would have been both general and Prime Minister. (Wang, pp. 228-30; TPKC, 418.14; TPKCH II, pp. 72-76) Tr. Douglas Wilkerson Translator's Note: The enormous Chinese bureaucracy was divided into two parts, civil offices and military offices, and the holders of one type of office rarely held the other type. The terms used to designate these two branches (wen and wu, which correspond to hsiang and chiang, or Prime Minister and general, as mentioned in the story) were also associated with the attributes of decorum, learning, and refinement, on the one hand, and with braggodocio, martial skills, and a certain roughness, on the other. These two sets of characteristics are embodied by the two slave girls. The folk saying which is cited as the ostensible reason for Li Ching's failure to become Prime Minister is not without foundation, for the states lying to the east of Han-ku Pass included Lu and Ch'i, the home of Confucius and the traditional seat of learning, while those west of the pass included Ch'in, the first state to unify China by military might, and condemned throughout Chinese history for its barbaric cruelty and infamous treatment of the Confucian tradtion. Li Ching's choice of the slave girl from the west, made in order to maintain his pride and his

3

k

Li Ching was responsible for putting down the rebellion of Hsiao Hsien of Ching Chou and Fu Kung-to of Tan-yang. He also defeated the Turkish Khan Hsieh-li and the T'u-yu-hun, a Hsien-pei tribe living around Koko Nor. Han-ku Pass, in the northeastern part of Hsin-an County, modern Honan.

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image as a hunter, was certain evidence of his inability to fulfill the duties of Prime Minister. Editor's Note: The incident described in this story is included in Ch'u Jen-huo's (c.1630-c.1705) Sui T'ang yen-i, ch. 3.

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281 (78) Old Chang by Li Fu-yen ( ffsii Hsiian-kuai

lu)

Old Chang was an aged gardener in Liu-ho County, Yang-chou [in modern Kiangsu Province]. In his neighborhood lived a man named Wei Shu. During the T 1 ien-chien reign period [502-520] of the Liang dynasty Wei Shu had finished his term of service as an official in the regional capital of Yang-chou and came to live in Liu-ho. Wei's eldest daughter by this time had come of age, so he sought out a local matchmaker, and instructed her to find a good match for his daughter. Old Chang was delighted to hear of this. He waited for the matchmaker outside of Wei's gate. When the matchmaker came out, Old Chang pressed her to come to his home, where he prepared wine and snacks for her. After a good part of the wine had been consumed, he said to the matchmaker, "I have heard that there is a girl in the Wei household who is ready to be married, and that they have asked you to find a good husband for her. Is this so?" "Yes," replied the matchmaker. "it is true that I am not as strong as I used to be, but I can make a living with my gardening. Please ask for her hand in marriage on my behalf. If I should be successful in this request, I would reward you handsomely." The matchmaker abused him soundly for such a notion and left. Some days later he sent another invitation to the matchmaker. She responded, "Why don't you consider what you are asking? What girl from a respectable family would want to marry an old gardener like you? It is true that the Weis are poor, but there are many fitting husbands from respectable families still to be found for this girl.1 Think of how preposterously ill-suited you are! How can I embarrass myself in front of the Wei family just for a cup of your wine?"

1

The Wei family had been a very important family in north China, but by the time of this story they had moved south because of war and foreign invasion, and lost most of their property. Nevertheless, they still retained their respectability.

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"Please put in just one word for me," he insisted. "if it does no good, then I will resign myself to my fate." Unable to refuse his request, the matchmaker took the risk of bringing up his suit before Wei. "You may think I am not well off," shouted Wei angrily, "but who would have thought that you would be so impudent? Such a thing could never happen in this house) And who is this gardener, that he dares to come up with such a proposal? Of course the old man is not worth wasting my breath on, but how could you be so grossly indiscriminate?" "I know I was wrong, sir," pleaded the matchmaker, "but the old man forced me to ask. I really couldn't do otherwise." "You tell him for me," Wei snapped, "that if he can come up with five hundred strings of cash by tonight, then you may proceed with the match!" The matchmaker left him and went to report to Old Chang. "Certainly," replied Old Chang to the proposition, and before long a heavily laden cart arrived at the gate of the Wei household. Everyone in the house was astonished. "I spoke only in jest!" said Wei. "if this old codger is just a gardener, how could he have come up with all of this? I made the proposal because I was sure he wouldn't have the money, but here it is already. I wonder what I should do now." He sent someone in to ask his daughter about the proposed match. Instead of getting upset, she said, "Surely this must be what is in store for me." So Wei agreed to Old Chang's proposal. Old Chang married Wei's daughter, but he kept on with his gardening. He continued to carry fertilizer, till the ground, and sell vegetables without interruption. And his new wife pitched in to do the washing and cooking wihout the slightest sign of embarrassment or shame. Her relatives despised this, but they were not able to stop her. A few years passed, and some relatives and friends of Wei's advised him, "While it is true that you are poor, there must be some other suitable families in the neighborhood who are also poor. How could you marry your daughter to an old gardener? And since you have decided to abandon her, why don't you send them off somewhere further away?" A few days later Wei prepared some wine and invited his daughter and Old Chang to come join him. After priming them with the wine, Wei hinted at the suggestion of his friends.

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Old Chang stood up and said, "The reason I didn't leave immediately was because I thought you might have wanted to have your daughter nearby. But as you are now pressing us to leave, there is nothing easier. I have a little land at the foot of Wang-wu Mountain [in modern Shensi Province, between Yang-ch'eng and Heng-ch'ii counties]. I'll return there tomorrow." At dawn the next day he came to take leave of Wei. "if you should think of us in a few years, send my brother-in-law to visit us south of Heaven's Altar Mountain [near modern Liu-ho County, Shensi]." Old Chang told his wife to mount the donkey and helped her with her sun hat. He then picked up his walking stick and left, following her. After that nothing more was heard from them. Some years later, Hsii began to miss his daughter, and thought that, with her hair disheveled and her face smudged with dirt, he might not be able to recognize her any longer. He sent his son I-fang to visit her. Arriving at the southern part of Heaven's Altar Mountain, I-fang met a K'un-lun slave2 ploughing the fields with an ox. "Does Old Chang live around here?" asked I-fang. The slave threw down the switch he was carrying and bowed to I-fang, saying, "Why have you waited so long, Master? The village is not far from here. I will take you there." And with that they went off together toward the east. Crossing over a mountain they came to a river; after the river was another mountain--this went on more than ten times in succession. But the scenery changed gradually, and before long began to look unlike anything to be found in the realm of mortal men. Descending the last mountain, they suddenly espied on the northern bank of a river a great estate with vermilion doors and countless towers. All manner of flowers and trees grew there in profusion, surrounded by enchanting, misty clouds. Cranes and peacocks strolled about the grounds or flew here and there, while the sound of song and pipe in the distance enchanted the ears. Pointing toward this mansion, the K'un-lun slave said, "This is the Chang estate." 2

The K'un-lun were dark-skinned people believed to come from Southeast Asia or southern India. Many of these exotic people were made slaves in China during this time, and particularly during the subsequent T'ang dynasty; cf. "The K'un-lun Slave" (93).

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I-fang's astonishment was indescribable. When he reached the gate he was met by purple-clad servants who bowed and led him into the reception hall. The splendid appointments of the hall were such as I-fang had never before laid eyes on. An exotic perfume pervaded the house and filled the entire valley. With the approaching sound of tinkling jade sash ornaments, two maids appeared. "Master is coming," they announced, and with that he saw a dozen gorgeous maids walking in pairs as if heading a procession. A man wearing a riding cap, and dressed in pearls and silk and silk-embroidered shoes, entered slowly behind them. A maid led I-fang up to pay his respects. The man was tall and appeared to be quite young--but on looking closely, I-fang realized that it was Old Chang! "Toiling in the world is like being in the midst of a fire," said Old Chang. "Before you have had time to cool yourself down, the flames of worldly care blaze and crackle again. There is not a moment of peace. How have you managed to live in a world like that? When your honorable sister has finished touching up her hair, she will receive you." He then bowed and asked I-fang to be seated. Before long a maid came in to announce, "Mistress has finished combing her hair." She then took I-fang inside, where he saw his sister at the front of a great hall. The beams were made of fragrant woods; tortoise shell decorated the doors; the window frames were of jade, and the curtains bejeweled. All of the steps were as cool and as smooth as jade, but he could not tell what they were made from. The elegance of his sister's attire was unlike anything he had ever seen. They exchanged greetings, but after she had asked about their parents, she seemed to have nothing more to say to him. Shortly thereafter the food was brought in. All of the dishes were indescribably exquisite and delicious. After dinner I-fang was lodged in one of the inner rooms. The next morning at dawn Old Chang and I-fang were sitting together. One of the maids entered and whispered something in Old Chang's ear. He smiled and replied, "But we have a guest in the house. How can I be away all day?" Turning to I-fang he said, "My sister wants to go to P'eng-lai Mountain3 for a bit, and would like your honorable sister to go along as well. However, we will

3

The legendary home of immortals, located in the ocean to the east of China.

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return before sundown. Please make yourself comfortable here." Old Chang bowed and went out. In a moment rainbow-colored clouds appeared in the courtyard, and fabulous birds flew down to the sound of strings and pipes. Old Chang and the two women each mounted a phoenix, while a dozen or so servants mounted cranes. Steadily they rose up into the sky, heading due east. Looking after them until they disappeared, one could still faintly hear the sound of music. Left behind by himself, I-fang was waited on very attentively by the maids. Towards evening the faint sound of reed pipes was heard, and the procession returned. Arriving in the courtyard, Old Chang and his wife greeted I-fang, "it must have been very lonely staying here by yourself. But this is the residence of divine immortals, and not a place to which ordinary mortals may come. It is your destiny that you have been allowed to come here, but you cannot remain here long. You must agree to leave tomorrow." The next day I-fang's sister came to bid him farewell, and pressed him to relay her greetings to their parents. Old Chang said, "The human world is far from here, so letters will be of no use." He then gave I-fang four hundred ounces of gold and an old staw hat saying, "if you run out of money, you can get ten million from Old Wang, the apothecary, in the northern section of Yang-chou. Take this hat as a pledge." They took leave of one another, and again the K'un-lun slave showed I-fang the way. When they reached Heaven's Altar, the K'un-lun slave bowed and left. When I-fang returned home with the gold, his family were greatly surprised. After asking him about it, some believed he had encountered an immortal, some thought it was witchery, but none of them really understood what he had experienced. The gold was spent in the course of five or six years. I-fang wanted to claim the money from Old Wang, but was afraid that Old Chang had lied to him. Someone said to him, "How can you claim the money with just a hat? You haven't a single written word to prove what you say." But when the financial difficulties became unbearable, his family forced him to go, saying, "Even if you don't get the money, what harm is there in going?" So I-fang set off for Yang-chou. Old Wang was in the shop selling medicine when I-fang came in. Stepping forward, I-fang asked him, "What is your name, old man?" "I'm called Wang," he replied.

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"Old Chang told me to come and get ten million in cash. I've brought this hat as a pledge." "I have the money here, but is this really the hat?" "You can examine it yourself. Don't you recognize it?" Before Old Wang could answer, a young girl came out from behind the black shop-curtain and said, "Old Chang used to pass by here. He once asked me to sew up the crown of his hat, but at the time I had no black thread, so I sewed it up with red instead. I can recognize both the thread and the stitching." She took the hat to examine it, and found it to be the same one which she had repaired. They then gave I-fang the money to take back with him. He was finally convinced that Old Chang really was an immortal. The family again missed their daughter, so they sent I-fang back to Heaven's Altar Mountain to find her. When he arrived, all he saw were innumerable mountains and rivers. The road which he had taken before was nowhere to be found. He met several woodcutters, but none of them knew where Old Chang lived either. Thoroughlydisappointed, he made his way back home. The whole family resigned themselves to the fact that the ways of men and immortals are separate, and that they would never be able to see their daughter again. They also looked for Old Wang, but he was gone too. Many years later, I-fang was passing through the northern shop district of Yang-chou again, when his eyes fell on the K'un-lun slave from Old Chang's house. The slave approached him and said, "Well, sir, how is your family? Although Mistress cannot return home, she knows everything that goes on there, as if she were still serving you in person." Reaching into his bosom, he took out ten catties of gold which he presented to I-fang, saying, "Mistress told me to give this to you. My master is inside this wineshop drinking with Old Wang. If you will sit here for a bit, I will go in and tell him you are here." I-fang sat there underneath the wineshop banner. The time dragged on toward evening, but still Old Chang did not appear. He then went in himself to take a look. The shop was filled with customers, but the two old men were not there, and the K'un-lun slave was nowhere to be seen either. I-fang pulled out the gold to examine it, and found that it was real; much amazed, he made his way home again. The gold was enough to buy food for many years. From then on no more was heard of Old Chang. (TPKC 16) Tr. Douglas Wilkerson

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Translator's Note: Considering the fact that this tale was written at a time when social and political life in China was overwhelmingly dominated by a few aristocratic and wealthy families (the Weis among them), the marriage portrayed here can be seen as a biting parody of contemporary social conditions. Social reality is turned on its head when Old Chang turns out to have all that the Weis lack, and more. Editor's Note: This story also represents a new development of the Taoist sub-genre of chih-kuai. Acquisition of magic powers as symbolic of attaining a "transcendent state," common in the Six Dynasties representation, is here replaced by the possesion of material wealth. With this change, the framing theme of "an immortal incognito" also becomes prominent in the Taoist tales of the T'ang and later eras (cf. "Wei Chao" [49], "Ch'i T'sui's Daughter" [71], and "The Man from Lu Mountain" [84]). This piece is retold in a hua-pen entitled "Chang Ku-lao chung kua ch'u wen-nii" (KCHS, 33) (see "The Fairy's Rescue" in Cyril Birch, tr., Stories from a Ming Collection [New York: Grove Press, 1958], pp. 173-98.)

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Classical Chinese Tales (79) Li Tzu-mou by Hsiieh Yung-jo

(Chi-i chi)

Li Tzu-mou was the seventh son of Prince Ts'ai of the T'ang. He was a strikingly stylish and talented man, and since he was quite musically inclined, he especially liked to play the flute. In all the world there was none to equal his ability. According to an old custom in Chiang-ling [in modern Hupeh Province] , colorful lanterns were set out on the evening of the first full moon of the first month of spring. At that time the gentlemen and ladies would crowd along the river in their canopied carriages where they could easily watch the events. Tzu-mou was traveling to Ching-men [in Chiang-ling, on the southern bank of the Yangtze River] when he encountered these festivities. He remarked to the friends with him that if he were to play a tune on his flute, he could quiet the crowds and cause the tumult to subside. His traveling companions immediately approved of his proposal. So Tzu-mou climbed a tall building and started to play on a veranda which overlooked the crowd below. As soon as the clear notes were sounded, all the merriment came to a halt. People walking stopped in their tracks; those sitting down got up to listen. Not until a long time after the music had ceased did the crowd resume its clamour. Tzu-mou was confident of his abilities and pleased with himself. Then suddenly an old man appeared. He came from a small boat below the building and was chanting a poem. His visage was distinguished and commanded respect. The words of his song were clear even at a great distance. Tzu-mou honored him with the guest's seat and hastened forward to show his respect. The old man addressed Tzu-mou, saying, "Judging from your flute playing just now, you must be the descendant of a prince. Your skills are extremely advanced. What a pity that your instrument is so ordinary." "This flute of mine was given to me by the former emperor," Tzu-mou replied. "if you refer to marvels of the spirit world, then I am ignorant. But as far as music is concerned, this is a perfect treasure. During my whole life I have seen over ten thousand flutes, but none of them could be compared with this one. You consider it common? There must be a reason."

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"I have been studying since I was small, and haven't grown tired of it even in my old age," the old man said. "I would not prize your flute very highly. If you do not believe me, I will play it for you." Tzu-mou gave the flute to him, whereupon the old man took a breath to play a few notes. As soon as the note sounded, the flute shattered. All those present were startled. None could make out who this person was. Tzu-mou kowtowed and entreated him to show him the real treasure. The old man responded, "You wouldn't be able to play the one I own." He then sent a small boy to bring it from the boat. Tzu-mou took a close look and saw that it was made of white jade. The old man presented it to Tzu-mou, and asked him to play a tune. He played till his breath was nearly exhausted, but not the slightest sound could be heard. Tzu-mou was completely flustered, and he felt an even greater respect for this old man. The old man then taught him to play a little tune. Those present all felt chills run through their bones. The old man then said, "Seeing your deep devotion to the art, I shall play a piece for you." The pure notes were exceedingly moving as they flooded the air with reverberant harmonies. They seemed to exceed the normal range of the five notes and six registers. Before the piece was finished, a gust of wind billowed up and the waves began to roll. Clouds and rain obscured everything. In an instant it cleared up again, but the old man was nowhere to be found. (TPKCH I, pp. 60-63; TPKC, 82.4) Tr. Rick Harrington Note: The rhetorical device of gradation (an increasing degree of intensity implied in a comparison of two or more units) and that of hyperbole (overstatement) are the techniques used here for the depiction of the art of flute playing (and the quality of the instrument). The supernatural, or rather the fantastic, presented in this piece thus, in fact, is an inevitable result of the combined application of these two devices. The event described here belongs to a category of CK concerned with the "magic" of music and of objets d'art in general; cf. the playing of the zither in "Chi Chung-san" (32). Another renowned figure featured in legends of flute playing is Li Mo (see TPKC, 204.23-24).

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Classical Chinese Tales (80) The Merchant's Wife by Hsiieh Yung-jo

(Chi-i chi)

During the T'ang dynasty [618-906], a captain of Yii-kan County [in modern Kiangsi Province] by the name of Wang Li traveled to the capital for reassignment. He rented rooms in the Ta-ning district. There had been some mistake in the documentation, and his orders were tabled by the officer in charge. So he wound up spending all his resources, and lost his servant and horse. Reduced to total poverty, he became quite haggard and often begged for his meals at a local Buddhist temple. One day, while returning alone from the temple late in the evening, he saw a beautiful woman walking along the same road. She seemed to be following him--sometimes walking ahead, sometimes lagging behind--so he struck up a cordial conversation with her, and they found one another quite agreeable. He then invited her to his lodging, and there they enjoyed each other's tender affections. The next day she asked Li, "How has your life come to such miserable straits? I have quite enough to manage on, living here in the Ch'ung-jen district, so perhaps we could live together." Li was quite pleased with her as a woman, and also found the offer of material help desirable, so he said, "My desperate situation has brought me almost to the gutter. I dared not hope for such concern as this. But how do you make your living?" She answered him, "I was the wife of a merchant. My husband has been dead for ten years, but I still have the old business in the commercial district. I go to the market place in the morning and make about three hundred cash by the time I come home in the evening. That is enough to get by on. Since you have yet to obtain your next appointment, and since your resources will not allow for travel now, if you did't find me too common, you could stay with me while you wait for the winter allotment. Li accepted her offer. He looked over her place and found it neither overly elegant nor too lowly. She even gave Li all the keys to the locks. Before she left in the morning, she would first prepare each day's food for Li. When she returned she also brought rice, meat, money, and other goods and gave them all to Li. Never a day was she remiss in this. Wishing to lighten her work load, Li

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suggested that she hire or buy a servant. But she refused with a variety of excuses, and Li did not want to push her. After a year a son was born. Now she would return an extra time at midday in order to feed it. After having lived with Li for two years, she returned one evening in an agitated state. She told Li, "I have an adversary who has done me wrong, and I have borne this deep injury for a long time. I have been watching for an opportunity for revenge, and today I have realized my wishes. Now I must leave the capital and leave you behind on your own. I bought this house for five hundred strings of cash.1 The deed in the wind screen. I now give it to you along with everything in it. I can't take the baby away. Please take care of him, since he is your son also." Having finished, she wiped away her tears and started off. Li could not stop her; but when he looked into the leather bag she was carrying, he saw a man's head! Li was shocked. The woman smiled and said, "Don't be frightened or worried. This affair will not incriminate you." She then lifted the bag and leapt over the wall. Her body moved like a bird in flight. Li opened the gate to see her off, but she had already vanished. He was pacing about in the courtyard when suddenly he heard her return. Li opened the gate to receive her. She said, "I'm going to feed the baby again to soften the pain of leaving." She cuddled the child, and then abruptly went off again, with only a wave for Li. He took the lantern back and lifted the bed screen. The child's head was severed from its body. Li was aghast. That whole night he was unable to sleep. He bought a horse and servant with the valuables which she had left him, and .traveled to a nearby city to await the development of this affair. For a long time he heard no news at all. That year Li got an appointment and sold the house to return to service. He never heard from her again. (TPKCH I, pp. 67-70; TPKC 196.5) Tr. Rick Harrington Note: A story of the hsia category, this is one of the earliest examples to successfully utilize a controlled narrative point of view (i.e., a limited perspective, here that of the character Wang, as opposed to the omniscient

1

A string is made up of one thousand cash.

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one normally found in traditional Chinese narrative). The technique of holding back from the reader the character's motives, for the purpose of creating suspense, is applied even more effectively in "Hsia nii" of LCCI ("The Lady Knight-Errant," Ma and Lau, pp. 77-81). Lu Hsiin also uses this traditional technique effectively in his "Medicine" (Yao).

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293 (81) Chin Yu-chang by Hsiieh Yung-jo

(Chi-i chi)

Chin Yu-chang was a native of Ho-nei [modern Hopeh Province], but for five years he lived on Chung-t'iao Mountain in P'u-chou [in modern Shansi] as a hermit. In the mountain valley there was a girl who came daily to the nearby mountain stream with a pitcher to fetch water. She was extraordinarily beautiful. Observing her from his nearby study, Yu-chang's heart was quite captivated by her. One day when the girl came to draw water, Yu-chang put on his slippers and walked over to the door to strike up a conversation with her. "To whose family do you belong, my fair lady, that you come here to draw water so often?" "The mountain steam does not have an owner," smiled the girl. "Whoever needs water may draw from it. I come here every day for what we need. But I did not know that you live here; please forgive me if I have disturbed you. I live in the village nearby. My parents passed away when I was very young and, living with my aunt ever since, my life has been hard and afforded me no chance to rest. I don't know what will become of me." "I take it you are not married then," Yu-chang said. "Since I was just thinking of setting up a family, may we not find fulfillment in each other? I hope you will not reject my proposal." "if you do not think that I am too homely," the girl replied, "how dare I go against your wishes. But we must wait until tonight, before I can obey your command." When she finished speaking, she left with the water. That night she did indeed come as she had promised. Yu-chang greeted her and took her to the bedroom; thereby they became man and wife. Their love and respect for each other grew deeper and deeper as the days went by. It was Yu-chang's habit to sit up studying until midnight, and the girl always stayed up with him. They spent half a year together like this. One night when Yu-chang was applying himself to the books as usual, his wife did not come to sit with him, but instead waited on him standing. When Yu-chang questioned her, she gave him an evasive answer. Yu-chang finally told her to go to bed. "When you come to bed tonight," his wife said, "please

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do not bring in the candle. I would be most grateful if you would do that for my sake." Later Yu-chang went to bed with the candle, and found under the cover, in his wife's place, a skeleton of dry bones. He sighed for a long time, lost in his sad contemplations. He then covered the skeleton with the quilt again, and in an instant, it turned back into his wife. "I am not a human," she said with great agitation to Yu-chang. "I am the spirit of a skeleton from the south side of the mountain. On the north side, there is a Prince Unfading Light who is the master of all spirits. In the past I used to go and serve him once every month. But for the past half year, since I have been with you, I have not been to his place. Recently I was taken by his spirit lackeys and was dealt a hundred strokes with an iron rod. The torture was unbearable. Lately I have been hoping to effect a final transformation into human form, but you unexpectedly shone the light on me. Now the whole affair is exposed. You must not stay here any longer. Leave as quickly as possible, for in this mountain, everything has a spirit associated with it, and I fear that some of them might harm you." As she finished speaking, she was overcome with sorrow and her face covered with tears; then suddenly she could not be seen any more. Grief-striken, Yu-chang left the mountain. (TPKC, 364.9) Tr. S. Y. Kao Note: The diversity of subject matter found in a ch'uan-chf i collection, such as seen in this story arid the two previous entries, is not uncommon in T'ang anthologies. This piece returns us to the usual CK subject matter; it shows a subtype of the "necromantic union" (cf. "Scholar T'an," Ma and Lau, p. 387) combined with a new motif, the "evil master," a motif to be developed further in "Nieh Hsiao-ch'ien" by P'u Sung-ling (LCCI, 2.7; see also Ma and Lau, pp. 404-409). This piece seems to show a lack of care in presentation: many transitions are unprepared, and some of the crucial actions of the protagonist are left unexplained. All these seem to indicate that this is a condensed or truncated account of a more refined version. The emotive content of the situation, however, posseses an evocative power of its own which works in spite of the crude style of narration.

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295 (82) Ch'eng-shih's Uncle by Tuan Ch'eng-shih (Yu-yang tsa-tsu)

Toward the end of the Chen-yuan reign period [785-804], Ch'eng-shih's uncle was traveling from Hsin-an [modern Ch'u County, Chekiang] to Loyang. He arrived at Kua-chou Isle [in the Yangtze River, in modern Chiang-tu County, Kiangsu], at dusk, and passed the night on board his boat. Deep in the night, as he was playing his lute, he thought he heard the sound of someone sighing outside of the boat. Each time he stopped playing, the sound disappeared. This happened four times before he finally loosened the strings of his lute and went to bed. He dreamt of a woman in her early twenties, gaunt and dressed in tattered clothing. She stepped forward, bowed, and said, "My surname is Cheng and my given name is Ch'iung-lo; I come from Tan-t'u [a county in modern Kiangsu] . My parents died when I was very young, and I became the ward of a widowed sister-in-law. But unfortunately she too passed away and I came to Yang-tzu [a ford in Chiang-tu] to search for my aunt. "One night when I was staying at an inn, a city official's son named Wang Wei-chii got drunk and was about to rape me. I knew that there was no escape, so I tied my scarf around my neck and killed myself. He then stealthily sunk my body in the gully west of the fish market. "The next night I appeared twice in the dreams of the Yang-tzu magistrate, Shih I-liu, but he paid me no heed and did nothing about the matter. Then I caused a 'vapor of injustice' to rise from the rock on the river, hoping that the omen of the inauspicious mist would result in someone sending in a report to the throne. But I have been harboring this bitter resentment for forty years, and there has been no one to wash it away. "My parents were both very talented at playing the lute. When I chanced to hear the sound of your lute, sir--its enchanting tones filling the air with harmony--my heart was touched and "my breast felt heavy with grief. I arrived here unaware of my own movements." Subsequently Ch'eng-shih's uncle went to Wen Valley in Ho-ch'ing County [in modern Honan], north of the Lo River, to call on his brother-in-law, P'an Yiian-tse. Ever since his youth, Yiian-tse possessed magic powers. Ch' eng-shih' s uncle had only been staying with him for a few days when

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Yiian-tse suddenly asked him, "However did you come upon this spirit-woman who has been following you? Please allow me to drive her away!" With that, he set up a lantern and burned incense as he put his magic powers into action. Within a short time, there came a rustling sound from behind the lantern. Yiian-tse said, "That means she wants paper and a brush." He cast paper and brush into the shadow of the lantern, and within moments the paper quickly whirled down before the lantern. When they took a look, they found that writing completely filled the scroll. She had written mostly in seven-character verse. The words were grievous and pained. Yiian-tse immediatedly ordered that they be recorded, saying that the writing of ghosts does not last long before dissolving into nothingness. By morning the paper looked as though it had been smeared with coal; not a single word remained legible. Yiian-tse again commanded that some wine, dried meat, and paper money be set out, and he availed himself of the dimming light at dusk to burn them all in the road. A wind arose and whipped the ashes into an eddy, quickly lifting them several chang off the ground. At that point they could faintly hear the sound of someone weeping. All two hundred sixty-two characters of the poem set forth her deep sense of injustice. Because their meaning is not entirely clear, they will not be given here. But four of the lines go like this: The pain that fills my soul cannot be spoken; And whom could I tell of a heart that is broken? Spring gives birth to the myriad things, yet it never gives me new life, But above all I am grieved that my youthful spirit has no one to turn to. (YYTT, Hsii-chi, 3, pp. 190-91; TPKC, 341.7) Tr. Paula Varsano Note: This is essentially a "lyric" piece (cf. "Lament from the Hsiang River" [66]) combining two basic motifs: "the plaint^ of a wronged ghost" and "the zither playing" (cf. "Su 0" ' [19] and "Chi Chung-san" [32]). The unresolved murder case and the injustice suffered by the spirit, though unsatisfactory in the narrative sense, seem to enhance the pathos of the story.

The T'ang-

297 (84)TheManfromLuMountain by Tuan Ch'eng-shih (Yu-yang tsa-tsu)

In the T'ien-pao reign period [742-756] of the T'ang dynasty, there was a recluse named Ts'ui Hsuan-wei who lived in the eastern part of Loyang. He was an adept in the Taoist arts and had been eating chrysanthemums and wild mushrooms for thirty years. Because he had run out of these herbs, he led his household servants to Mount Sung1 to pick mushrooms, returning home only after a year had passed. His house was empty, and wild brambles filled the courtyard. It was a spring evening. The wind was cool and the moon bright, so he did not go to bed, but stayed in the courtyard. The servants were told not to disturb him unless there was a good reason. After the third watch, there appeared a girl with the looks of a housemaid who said, "Sir, you are back! I am accompanying a few girls to the Upper Eastern Gate of the city to the home of our aunt. May we rest here for a while?" Hsiian-wei gave his consent. Presently the maid entered, leading more than ten persons. One of them wtih a green skirt stepped forward and said, "My surname is Yang." Pointing to another person, she said, "She is Li," and to still another, she continued, "She is T'ao." Then pointing to a small woman clad in red, she said, "She is surnamed Shih, and called Ah Ts'o."2 Each was attended by several maidservants. When the introductions were over, Hsiian-wei invited them to sit with him in the moonlight and asked them their reason for coming out. They answered, "We had been wanting to go to the house of Eighteenth Aunt Feng3 for may days, but since she said that she would come to see us herself, we did not go. This evening we decided to pay her a visit."

1

2

3

OneVof the five sacred mountains of China, located in what is now Honan Province. These surnames all have a double meaning: "Yang" literally means poplar, "Li" means plum, "T'ao" literally means pottery, but puns with t'ao, "peach," and "Shih" refers to shih-liu, "pomegranate." Pun on "wind."

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Before everyone had sat down, there was an announcement at the gate, "Aunt Feng has arrived." All were surprised and pleased and went to receive her. The one surnamed Yang said, "The master of this place is most kind. It is very pleasant to stay here awhile; surely no other place would be as nice." Hsiian-wei also came out to meet the one surnamed. Feng, whom he found rather aloof in speech; her bearing had 'the style and air of being in a grove.'4 They greeted each other and went inside. Every one of them was exquisite in appearance, and the courtyard grounds were suffused with a penetrating fragrance. All assembled ordered wine to be brought in, and everyone went over in turn to offer wine to the aunt while singing a song. Hsiian-wei remembered the songs sung by two of them: one wearing a red skirt and the other dressed in white. The first sung this song: Bright and clear, a jade face purer than the white snow, Not to say, at such a time of the year, when you face the lucent moon; Singing this song, I dare not complain against the spring wind; I sigh only that all my splendor, unnoticed, will soon be scattered. The other sung this: Scarlet clothes, sprinkled with dew, swing and sway; Rouge lightly applied, a bud appears all the more slender. I grieve that I will not retain my roseate face-Yet I dare not complain that the spring wind lacks feeling. Then it was Eighteenth Aunt Feng's turn to offer drink. Moving about carelessly, she upset the jug and drenched Ah Ts'o's clothes. Ah Ts' o grimaced angrily and said,

4

A description applied to Hsieh Tao-yiin (2nd half of the fourth century), comparing her to the Seven Worthies of the Bamboo Grove. (see Shih-shuo hsin-yii XIX, 30; Mather, p. 355). Here it may also suggest the identity of Aunt Feng.--Ed.

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"Everyone has made obeisance and pleaded with you, but it is not my nature to beg and plead." She rose abruptly in anger and turned away. Eighteenth Aunt said, "The little girl has had too much to drink!" Then they all stood up and took their leave outside the gate. Eighteenth Aunt Feng headed south, while all the others went towards the garden in the west and parted. Hsiian-wei seemed to see nothing strange in that. The following night they came again and said, "We wish to go to Eighteenth Aunt's place." One among them, Ah Ts'o, said in anger, "What's the use of trying to supplicate that old woman! If there are any problems, we can seek help from the recluse. May we, sir?" Ah Ts'o turned to Hsiian-wei and continued, "My companions and I all live in the garden, and every year many of us are twisted by ill winds. Our existence being so unsafe, we ask Eighteenth Aunt to spare us. Last night, however, I could not go along with her. From now on, it is unlikely that we will ever be spared again. Perhaps you would not mind protecting us? We will not fail to repay you." Hsiian-wei then said, "What power have I to help you?" Ah Ts'o said, "All you need to do is, each year, on the first day of the year, make a red banner for us, drawing on it the markings of the Sun, the Moon, and the Five Planets. Then you must stand it in the eastern part of the garden, and we will be safe from destruction by the wind. The new year's day has already passed, but on the dawn of the twenty-first day of this month, when the winds begin to blow, raise the banner as we have said to protect us from disaster. " When Hsiian-wei promised he would do this, they all thanked him in unison, saying, "We will not forget your kindness." They then paid their respects and departed. Hsiian-wei followed them under the moon to see them off. They went over the wall, entered, and then were seen no more. He did as he had been asked to do, raising the banner on the appointed day. On that day the west wind shook the ground and, working its way up from the southern part of Loyang, it toppled trees and made sand fly, but in the garden not one of the many flowers even moved. Hsiian-wei then realized: the fact that the girls had said that they were Yang, Li and T'ao, along with the peculiarity of their clothing and appearance, all showed that they were flower spirits. The red-clad girl named Ah

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Ts'o was a pomegranate, while Eighteenth Aunt Feng was the goddess of the winds. For several nights afterwards, the girl surnamed Yang and the others came to offer him their thanks. Each bore packages many tan in weight, all of which contained plum and peach blossoms. "If you eat these, your life will be prolonged and you will avoid old age," they advised Hsiian-wei. "if you are willing to stay at this place always, protecting all of us, you will be able to attain immortality." By the beginning of the Yiian-ho reign period [806-821], Hsiian-wei was still alive, and had the appearance of a man in his thirties. (YYTT, Hsu-chi, 3, pp. 416.10)

198-99; Chang, pp. 190-92; TPKC, Tr. Pedro Acosta

Note: Here we have another example of the use of analogical operations (cf. "Ts'en Shun" [72]). Tales of this type often provide occasion for versification; the better known among them include "Ylian-wu-yu" (Figment-of-the-Imagination) (TPKC, 369.8; Wang, pp. 197-98) and "Tung-yang yeh kuai lu" (The Nocturnal Visitors of Tung-yang) (TPKC, 490; Wang, pp. 199-204). In these pieces fantastic creatures are openly acknowledged to be phantoms of the mind, created from linguistic association. This story is used as the prologue in the hua-pen story "Kuan-yuan-sou wan feng hs ien-nii" (The Old Gardener Rewarded by Flower Fairies) (HSHY, 4), which tells of how an old gardener was given immortality for his devotion in caring for flowers.

The T'ang-

301 (84) The Man from Lu Mountain by Tuan Ch'eng-shih (Yu-yang tsa-tsu)

In the Pao-li reign period [825-826], there was a man who lived on Lu Mountain in Ching-chou [in modern Hupeh Province]. He often peddled saltpeter and lime, frequently doing business at the peasant market south of the town of White Whirlpool. From time to time, he would perform extraordinary feats, and on the whole remained unfathomable to the people. A merchant by the name of Chao Yiian-ch'ing, who was curious by nature, noticed his abilities and wished to study with him. He frequently purchased goods from Lu,1 and sometimes would come with tea and refreshments, pretending to seek Lu's advice as to how to make a profit. Lu was on to him, and responded saying, "You are not really interested in the affairs of the market. What is your true intention?" Chao then answered, "I have noticed, master, that you hide your true self and power. Yet your own abilities at divination surpass the divination arrived at by means of the turtle shells and milfoil stalks. I beg you to instruct me in it." Lu laughed and said, "Well, we can put my prophecy to the test this very day. Your landlord will experience a great calamity at midday. If he heeds my words, he can avoid it. You can tell him that towards noon, a workman will arrive carrying a sack on his back. In the sack will be over two ounces of silver. He will try to cause trouble. Tell your landlord to shut the door, and forbid his wife and children to respond to him. At midday, the man will begin to yell and curse roundly. He must take his family to the water to avoid this man. If so, nothing will happen to him, except that he will lose thirty-four hundred cash." At that time, Chao was rooming with the Chang family. He hurried there to warn Chang. Chang had always revered Lu's powers, so he shut his gate and waited. As midday neared, a man appeared who looked just as Lu had described. He knocked at the gate, seeking to buy rice, and became incensed at receiving no answer. When he began to kick at the door> Chang piled up several bamboo bedmats to keep him

1

The man is identified by the name of the place from which he comes.

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out. Presently, several hundred people gathered. Chang then led his wife and children out the back gate to avoid his seeing them. It was just about noon when the stranger left. He walked several paces, then suddenly tumbled to the ground and died. The stranger's wife arrived at the scene, and the group of onlookers all related what had happened. The woman was deeply grieved. She went to Chang's house and accused him of being responsible for her hunsband's death. The judge at first was unable to pass judgment. The crowd of people related how Chang had shut his gate and left the scene. The judge addressed Chang, saying, "You certainly are not guilty. However, you must take care of his burial." Chang was happy to comply with the ruling. The stranger's wife was also satisfied with the decision. When Chang bought the coffin, it cost him exactly thirty-four hundred cash. As a result, people came to Lu in great numbers. He found this irritating, and finally left in secret to go to Fu-chou [in modern Hupeh]. When he reached the border, he moored his boat near the home of the scholar Li Ch'i.2 When someone told Li of Lu's extraordinary abilities, Li went to consult him. At the time, Li was about to take a trip to the capital to seek out some friends who might support him in his career and wished to know if it would be an auspicious undertaking. Lu instructed, "You must not set off on any journey this year, or a calamity may occur at any time. In back of the building you live in, there is a vat filled with money and covered by a plank of wood. It is not yours. The owner is now but three years of age. Under no circumstances may you use even one piece of this money. Were you to use it, there would definitely be a disaster. Are you capable of heeding my words?" Apparently frightened, Li thanked him. Lu departed, and before the waves had even settled, Li, laughing, called to his wife and said, "if Lu's words are true, why need I look any further for what I want?" Then he ordered the family servant to dig up the land. After digging no more than a few feet, they did indeed hit upon a plank of wood. They 2

This man's name is Lu Ch'i in the Chinese text, this Lu being orthographically different from the diviner's name. We have taken the liberty of changing it to Li to prevent confusion with the latter.

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removed it to find a huge vat filled to the brim with coins. Li was ecstatic. His wife knotted some straw together and drew the coins onto the strands. When she had strung almost ten thousand coins, their children were suddenly seized with headaches of unbearable intensity. "Could Lu's prediction be coming true?" Li wondered aloud. He raced off on his horse to catch up with Lu and confessed that he had disobeyed the latter's injunction. Lu cried angrily, "If you use the money, tragedy will befall your own flesh and blood. It is up to you to weigh which you value most--your family or financial gain!" He then paddled his boat away without a single backward glance. Li sped home, and with a sacrificial ceremony, reburied the money. His children instantly began to recuperate. Lu arrived in Fu-chou and spent time with some friends going on leisurely walks. Once, on the road, they encountered six men in fine attire. The smell of liquor coming from them was enough to make one's nose turn up in disgust. Lu suddenly yelled at them, "if you scoundrels do not repent, your days will be numbered!" The men all bowed down to the ground and exclaimed, "We will never do it again!" As Lu's companions looked on amazed, he explained, "These characters are all bandits." These are some of the strange events associated with him. Chao Yiian-ch'ing told of how Lu sometimes appeared young, sometimes old, and of how he ate only sparingly. Lu once told Chao, "In this world, there are many assassins who are capable of hiding their form. The Taoist, once he masters the art of making himself invisible, can change his form at will if he does not practice the art for twenty years. This is called 'Achieving Detachment'. After twenty years, his name will be recorded among the earthly immortals." He also asserted, "When the assassin dies, his corpse disappears." His discourses were usually strange like these, for he himself was probably one of the divine ones or an immortal. (YYTT, 2, pp. 22-24; TPKC, 43.2) Tr. Laurie Scheffler Note: This is a story of the magic arts of a Taoist thaumaturge, reminiscent of Six Dynasties presentations both in its conception and episodic mode. But note that the episodes are now given as examples of the magic power of a Taoist adept, rather than simply as a record of manifestations of marvels.

304

Classical Chinese Tales (85) The Highwayman Monk by Tuan Ch'eng-shih (Yu-yang tsa-tsu)

Early in the Chien-chung reign period [780-783], a scholar by the name of Wei was moving with his family to Ju-chou [in modern Honan] when they met a monk on the same road. Since they were traveling side by side, Wei and the monk chatted about many different topics, and a congenial feeling grew between them. With evening drawing near, the monk pointed to a fork in the road and said, "A few li from here is my humble monastery. May I invite you to stop there?" Wei assented, and instructed his family to go onward. The monk thereupon ordered his own followers to hurry ahead and prepare food and accomodations for them. After traveling more than ten li they still had not reached their destination. Wei questioned the monk, who pointed to a spot where trees were faintly visible in the dusk, and said, "That is the place." When they reached the spot, however, the monk kept on walking. The sun had already set, and Wei became suspicious. Having always been an expert marksman, he now stealthily drew out a slingshot bow1 and several pellets which were in his boot. Holding ten or more of the bronze pellets, he upbraided the monk, "Your disciple has a schedule to keep. Just now, out of eagerness for your enlightening discussions, I accepted your invitation. Yet we have already traveled over twenty li without arriving. What is the meaning of this?" The monk replied only that they should keep on going. When the monk had gone another hundred paces, Wei realized that he was a robber. He took a shot at him, striking the monk right in the back of his head. At first, it seemed the monk did not feel a thing. Only after Wei had shot off five pellets at him did the monk reach up and touch his head. He said calmly, "it isn't nice to play jokes on people." Wei saw there was nothing he could do and did not draw his bow again. At last they arrived at an isolated villa, where over a score of people carrying torches came out in welcome. The monk invited Wei into a hall to sit. "Don't distress yourself," he said with a smile. Turning to the servants,

1

A bow-like arrows.

instrument

that shoots

pellets

instead

of

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he asked, "Have you done as I told you in providing for the ladies?" The monk then spoke again to Wei, "Please go and comfort the ladies personally, but come back here as soon as things are settled." Wei went and saw his wife and children settled in another place, where they were amply provided with all they needed. As they looked at each other, tears came into their eyes. Wei then returned to the monk. The monk took Wei's hand and said, "This humble monk is a robber. Originally I had evil designs on you. I had no idea that you were so skilled. If it had been anyone else but me, they should never have been able to defend themselves against you. Now, though, I have changed my mind. I hope that you will put your suspicions to rest. The shots you just aimed at me are all still here." So saying, he raised his hand, and upon pressing the back of his head, five pellets fell out. The next moment, a banquet of steamed calf was set out. The meat had over ten daggers stuck in it, and it was encircled by seasoned dumplings. The monk bowed to Wei, inviting him to sit down, and continued to speak, "I have several sworn brothers whom I would like to have come out and pay their respects to you." As soon as he finished speaking, five or six men with vermilion cloaks and great wide sashes appeared and stood in a line below the steps. The monk called to them, "Bow to the gentleman. Had it been one of you who ran into him a while ago, there would be nothing left of you now." When the meal was finished, the monk said, "I have long made this my occupation. Now that I am entering the twilight of my years, I wish to rectify my former misdeeds. Unfortunately, one of my young followers has surpassed me with his skills. I entreat you to settle this matter for t! me. He then called for one Fei-fei to come and greet Wei. Fei-fei was only about sixteen years old. He wore an emerald cloak with long sleeves and had a complexion as pure as tallow. The monk addressed Fei-fei, "Go and attend the gentleman in the rear hall!" Next, he handed Wei a sword and five pellets, and said, "I beg you to employ all of your skill to kill him, so that he will no longer be a source of worry to me." Then he led Wei into the hall and locked him in. There was nothing inside the hall, save for a brightly lit lantern in each of the four corners. Fei-fei stood

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there wielding a short riding crop. Wei raised his bow and aimed with perfect accuracy, but the pellet merely fell to the ground with a clatter. Suddenly Fei-fei leapt up to the rafters and started to skim about the walls, as swiftly as a monkey. Wei used up all his pellets without once hitting his mark, so he,drew the sword and chased Fei-fei with it. Fei-fei dodged and feinted with lightning speed, always keeping a pace ahead. Wei sliced away at the whip, cutting it into several sections, but was unable to harm Fei-fei. Only at long last did the monk open the door and ask Wei if he had been able to do away with the noxious fellow. Wei related all that had happened. The monk turned sadly to Fei-fei and said, "The gentleman has proven that you will always live a life of crime." The monk and Wei spent the rest of the night discussing swordsmanship and archery. When it neared dawn, the monk accompanied Wei to the main road and presented him with a gift of one hundred bolts of silk. With tears in their eyes, they parted. (YYTT 9, pp. 70-71; TPKCH I, pp. 228-32; TPKC, 194.3) Tr. Laurie Scheffler Note: Included in the TPKC category 194, "Hao-hsia" (heroic knights-errant), this piece presents a type of hsia different from that of the Warring States period. The emphasis in the earlier genre on the obtaining of justice through private, often violent, means is replaced here by a narrative that stresses the fantastic nature of the martial arts employed. The description of Fei-fei's fighting skills here is prototypical of many of the episodes in Ch'ing detective stories that contain wu-hsia (martial knight-errant) segments. Cf. entries [93]-[95] below.

307

The T'ang(86) Third Lady of the Wooden Bridge Inn by Hsiieh Yii-ssu (Ho-tung chi)

In western Pien-chou Prefecture [in modern Honan Province] during the T'ang dynasty, there was a Wooden Bridge Inn, run by a certain Third Lady. It was not known where she came from. She lived alone, was over thirty years of age, and had no children or relatives. The inn had several rooms, where she made an occupation of selling food. Yet she appeared quite wealthy, and owned many donkeys. Often when public and private carriages passed by, drawn by road-weary animals, she would lower the price of her donkeys in order to supply the travelers with fresh ones. Everyone praised her for her benevolence, and travelers from near and far sought refuge at her establishment. During the Yuan-ho reign period [806-820], a traveler named Chao Chi-ho, from Hsii-chou Prefecture [modern Hsii-ch'ang municipality in Honan], passed this inn on his way to the Eastern Capital [i.e., Loyang]. About six men were already lodged there, each occupying a simple bed-stall. Chi-ho, arriving after them, was given a bed in the deepest corner of the inn, situated against the wall of the proprietress's own bedroom. At dinner time, the provisions that Third Lady made for the guests were quite generous. She offered great quantities of wine that evening, and drank together with the guests in an atmosphere of general merriment. Chi-ho was not in the habit of indulging in liquor, but he did enjoy the conversation and laughter. By the time of the second watch [9-11 pm] , the guests were all drowsy from their drinking, and each went to bed. Third Lady retired to her chamber, shut the door firmly, and blew out her candle. Everyone slept deeply, except for Chi-ho, who lay awake tossing and turning. From the next room, by and by, he heard Third Lady making sounds as if she were moving things about. He happened to find a crack in the wall, and peeping through it, saw her take a candle from under a shade and light it. She then proceeded to draw from a chest a plow, together with a wooden ox and a wooden man, each about six or seven inches tall. She placed them before a small stove and spat water on them. The ox and the man immediately began to walk about. The

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little man hitched up the ox to the plow, and proceeded to plow a little spot before the bed, going back and forth several times. Next she drew from the chest a package of buckwheat seeds and handed them over to the little man to plant. In an instant, they began to grow. Blossoms opened and the wheat ripened. She then ordered the little man to cut it down and hull the grain, which yielded seven to eight sheng measures.1 This she placed in a small mill, and ground it into flour. She put the wooden man back into the chest, then baked several cakes with the flour. Soon, when the cock began to crow, but before the guests arose to start on their journeys, Third Lady arose, lit the lanterns, and set the newly baked cakes on the dining table for her lodgers to snack on. Chi-ho, heart pounding, swiftly took his leave. Once outside, he concealed himself behind the gate to watch. The guests sat around the table and ate the cakes. But before they could finish, they suddenly fell to the ground and began to bray. In a flash, they were all transformed into donkeys. Third Lady drove them all behind the inn, and took possession of their goods and money. Chi-ho spoke of this to no one, and secretly envied her for her magical powers. Several months later, Chi-ho was returning from the Eastern Capital. When he got near to the Wooden Bridge Inn, he prepared buckwheat cakes of the same size as those Third Lady had prepared. He again spent the night at the inn, and Third Lady was as cheery and pleasant as before. Further, as he happened to be the only guest that night, she treated him with even greater hospitality than she had on the previous occasion. As the night deepened, she courteously asked if there were anything he wanted. Chi-ho replied, "I shall set out tomorrow morning. Would you kindly prepare some snacks at your convenience?" Third Lady answered, "Of course. Just have yourself a good night's sleep." After midnight, Chi-ho spied on her, and every detail of her actions was as before. At daybreak, Third Lady prepared a platter of food which, as expected, was filled with baked cakes. When she had done setting it out, she went to bring out some more food. Chi-ho seized on her absence to replace one of her cakes with one that he had prepared earlier, without her seeing him do so.

1

One sheng is equal to .906 dry quart measures.

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As Chi-ho was about to leave, he sat down to eat, and said to Third Lady, "It just so happens I myself have some cakes. Please take yours back and save them for the other guests." Then he took his own cake and ate it. As he ate, Third Lady brought some tea out to him. Chi-ho invited, "Won't my hostess kindly share her guest's cakes with him?" He chose for her the cake he had secretly taken from her platter, and gave it to her. As soon as she had swallowed the first bite, she fell to the ground and began to bray. Then and there she was transformed into a donkey, healthy and robust. Chi-ho mounted the donkey and set off on his travels, taking along the wooden man and wooden ox. But he was unable to figure out her magic spells, and failed to reproduce what she had done. Chi-ho drove the transformed donkey onward, journeying far and wide with her. She never stumbled or missed a step on the road, and could travel 100 11 a day. Four years later, they were riding into the T'ung-kuan Pass, and came to a place about five or six 11 east of the Hua Yiieh Temple.2 Suddenly there appeared an old man at the side of the road. He clapped his hands and, laughing heartily, exclaimed, "Third Lady of the Wooden Bridge Inn! How did you come to take this bodily form?" He then took up the donkey's reins and addressed Chi-ho, "Although she had transgressed, falling into your hands has certainly been punishment enough. How pathetic she is! I beg you to set her free from this point on." The old man then grasped the donkey's mouth and nose with his hands, and tore open the beast. Third Lady jumped out of the hide, looking exactly as she had before the transformation. After bowing to the old man, she ran off and disappeared, never to be heard of again. (TPKCH I, pp. 136-40; TPKC 286.4) Tr. Laurie Scheffler Note: One of the most interesting stories in this anthology, this piece presents a type of kuai that some believe has a foreign origin. Both the use of food in casting a spell and the mode of imagination shown in the

2

T'ung-kuan is located in the east of modern Shensi Province. Hua Yiieh (i.e., Hsi Yiieh, the Western Peak) is one of the Five Sacred Peaks, located in Hua-yin County, Shensi.--Ed.

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imitative ritual of "farming," however, are found in the native tradition of wu-ku magic; cf. LCCI, 2.15, "Tsao ch'u" (Animal Husbandry). See Introduction, Sec. I, esp. n. 18.

The T'ang-

311 (87) Wei Tan by Hsiieh Yii-ssu (Ho-tung chi)

Wei Tan was an Inspector General of Chiang-hsi1 during the T'ang dynasty. Nearing forty, he had yet to pass the civil service exam on the Five Classics. Once, while riding about on his broken-down donkey, he came to the Central Bridge in Loyang where he saw that a fisherman had caught a large turtle several feet in girth. He placed it on the bridge where it gasped and wheezed on the brink of death. Quite a crowd of onlookers had gathered, all of whom would have liked to buy it and cook it. Only Tan showed any pity. He asked how much it would cost. The fisherman said that if he could get two thousand he would sell it. At this time of year the weather was quite cold, and Wei could not trade the jacket and pants which he was wearing, so he exchanged his sorry mount for the turtle, which he placed back in the water before walking off. During those times there was a certain Master Calabash whose origins were unknown and whose comings and goings were odd and flighty, but who could divine like a spirit. So Wei came several days later, seeking a divination. Master Calabash jumped out of his slippers to welcome him through the door. His delight was evident as he asked Wei, "Why have you come so late? I have been craning my neck after you for days." Wei said he had come there seeking a consultation, whereupon the Master said, "My friend Chief Administrator Yiian can't say enough about your fine qualities. He has specially dispatched me to seek your acquaintance. I hope it will be convenient for you to accompany me." Wei considered this for a while. He knew that he had heard of no one by that name in that office so he replied, "The Master has made a mistake. I have only come to find out what poor lot may be in store for me."

1

I.e., Chiang-nan-hsi-tao (Western Chiang-nan Circuit). It consisted approximately of what is now Kiangsi, Hunan, and Anhui; its administrative seat was Hung-chou (modern Nan-ch'ang, Kiangsi). For Wei's biography, see Hsin T'ang shu 197, pp. 5629ff.--Ed.

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Calabash said, "Yes, but that's something beyond me. I'm unable to divine your fortunes. Lord Yuan is my mentor. We must go to him to discover the details of your future." He accompanied Wei with his walking stick to the T'ung-li district. Along a secluded alleyway in a quiet neighborhood they saw a small gate. A moment after Master Calabash knocked on it, a doorman opened the gate and invited them inside. After ten or so paces they went through a single leafed door, where, after another ten paces, they saw a large door. It had an imposing and beautiful aspect such as would suit the house of a lord. Now there were several maidservants who first came out to greet the guest, all of whom were extremely beautiful. The place was bedecked with splendid objects and redolent with rare scents. An old man with white eyebrows and beard then appeared, attended on each side by a maid. He was seven feet tall and draped in a robe tied with a sash. He introduced himself as Yuan Chiin-chih2 and initiated salutations to Wei with full ceremony.3 Wei was taken by surprise. He hurriedly gave his salutations while saying, "I am but a poor and insignificant man. I shouldn't think that a venerable gentleman like yourself would condescend to receive such a one as me. I don't understand." The old man answered, "When I was at the point of death, it was you who let me live. Such a debt of kindness is beyond repayment. Of course, the one who has acted decently need not pay this any mind, but he who receives a kindness must try to requite it, even with his own death." Wei was taken aback. He realized that this was the turtle, though he would never say so straight out. Various delicacies were brought out as the entire day slowly slipped by. When it became dark and Wei was about to take his leave, the old man brought out a sheaf of writings from his breast pocket. He gave them to Wei saying, "I know that you wish to have a divination, so I have copied down from the heavenly officials all of your future appointments, salaries, movements and addresses. With these I would repay you. All of these accomplishments and deprivations are a part of your fate; the value of this

2 3

The surname Yuan puns on the word "turtle."--Ed. Wei would normally have been expected to greet elderly host first.

the

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copy is simply to let you know them beforehand." Then turning to Master Calabash, he said, "Would you be kind enough to loan me fifty thousand in cash to get another mount for Mr. Wei. He must leave for the west shortly. I would be much obliged." Wei bowed twice and took his leave. The next day Master Calabash brought the fifty thousand cash to the inn to take care of Wei's expenses. Everything was written in the copy which Wei received. The next year in the fifth month he would pass the first exam. It also told what year he would pass the next set of examinations, albeit without distinction. He would become a military official of Hsien-yang [in modern Shensi, near Ch'ang-an] and the next year be promoted to the capital as a certain official. It listed seventeen such promotions. All of them had the year, the month, and the day. During the last year listed he would be transferred to Chiang-hsi as Inspector General and achieve the title of Grand Imperial Inspector. Three years later an acacia in front of his office would blossom, whereupon there would be another change of post, and he would move back north. After that nothing more was said. Wei constantly held onto and prized the papers. Right from passing the first exam to becoming the Inspector General of Chiang-hsi, the day and the month were always correct for each promotion. There was an acacia tree in front of the yamen at Hung-chou [Nan-ch'ang, in modern Kiangsi] which had been there through many months and years. A local saying had it that if this tree should ever blossom, the incumbent magistrate should be prepared for the worst. During the eighth year of the Yiian-ho reign period [806-820], during Wei's term in office, the tree suddenly blossomed one morning. Wei then left office and perished while on the road. From the time Wei first encountered Chief Administrator Yiian, he had considered him rather odd. Afterwards he went to the site of Yiian1 s old residence each time he came to Loyang to try to look for him, but he never met him again. He asked Master Calabash about this. Calabash replied, "He is the 'spirit dragon.' His location and form changes often. How can one find him?" Wei said, "if that is so, then how could the calamity on the Central Bridge have occurred?" Calabash answered, "No one is free from difficulties. Be he commoner or sage, 'spirit dragon' or earthworm, when

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calamity strikes there is no escape. Why should he be any different from others in this respect?" (TPKCH, I, pp. 122-27; TPKC, 118.13) Tr. Rick Harrington Note: Her the motif of "a good turn repaid" is used to introduce the mystery of predestination. In so doing, this tale is able to reveal the future as history; cf. Introduction, Sec. I.

The T'ang-

315 (88) Hsiao Tung-hsiian by Hsiieh Yii-ssu (Ho-tung chi)

Hsiao Tung-hsiian, a Taoist priest of Ling-tu Temple on the Mountain of the King's Chamber,1 was determined to learn how to smelt the pill of immortality. Years came and went, but still he did not succeed. After some time, he came upon an immortal who presented him with The Secret of the Great Transformation,2 saying, "This work contains complete instructions for concocting the pill of immortality. But you still must find another who is of the same mind as you, so that the inner and outer positions may complement each other in the concoction. Only then can you succeed. Go then, and begin your search!" Tung-hsiian roamed about the world, traversing the Five Peaks and the Four Seas, passing through renowned mountains and strange realms, cities both teeming and deserted--he did not miss a single place inhabited by humans. Yet in over ten years he failed to find a partner. During the middle of the Chen-yuan reign period [785-805], Tung-hsiian was on his way from the east of Chekiang to Yang-chou [in modern Kiangsu] when he arrived at the Tu-t'ing shiplock where he stopped and handed the boat over to an innkeeper. In the river thousands of boats were lined up end to end, squeezing together in the narrow

1

2

The Mountain of the King's Chamber, or Wang-wu, is located in Shanhsi Province, southwest of Yang-ch'eng Prefecture. It is actually a configuration of three peaks arranged to form what seems like a large chamber. Tradition has it that this is where the Yellow Emperor went to inquire about the Way. "Transformation" here refers to the term "transforming the pill of immortality." This is the process by which the original powder is melted down to become a kind of liquid silver and then, after a long time, transforms back into the powder. According to the Pao Pru-tzu, after the ninth round of smelting the ingredients, the spirit in the cauldron causes the transformation of the ingredients. After that, one need take only a tiny amount of the mixture to attain immortality and ascend to heaven.

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water way. When the lock opened, all vied to get through first, the boats in front and behind jostling each other out of the way. The boatmen pressed forward with all their might. Just then Tung-hsiian caught sight of a man whose boat pinned his arm back and broke it. Onlookers shuddered at the sight, but the man's face did not even pale--indeed, not a sound escaped his lips. Slowly he turned and went inside the boat where he soothed himself with food and drink as though nothing had happened. Tung-hsiian exclaimed that this man was remarkable indeed and rejoiced within, thinking, "What can this be but heaven coming to my aid?" Tung-hsiian asked him his name; he replied that it was Chung Wu-wei--Non-action to the End. He struck up a friendship with him, and their conversations often turned to the elevating subject of the Tao. From then on, the two men never parted company and together went to the Mountain of the King's Chamber. Once there, Tung-hsiian pulled out the text of The Secret of Transforming the Pill of Immortality and showed it to his companion. Wu-wei pored over it, and they discussed its contents carefully together. By the end of two or three years, they succeeded in completely cultivating their behavior in accordance with their learning. Tung-hsiian then came to see Wu-wei and told him, "On the evening when we carry out the smelting, I shall perform the magic ritual to maintain the efficacy of the process. You shall stand guard over the cauldron. If you can maintain complete silence until the fifth watch, then hand in hand, we shall ascend to heaven." Wu-wei replied, "Though I possess no other skill, to maintain complete silence and utter no sound is, as you know, within my capacity." For ten days they worked on the construction of the altar, tended the golden furnace, and prepared the cauldron. Tung-hsiian circled the altar, performing the ritual, as if he were treading the void. Wu-wei sat before the cauldron, upright with folded arms, swearing in his heart that he would not speak, even if it meant his death. After the first watch, he suddenly saw two Taoists descend from the heavens. They said to Wu-wei, "Our Lord in Heaven sent us to ask you whether or not you are doing this in order to attain enlightenment." Wu-wei did not respond.

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A while later, there appeared a host of immortals, calling themselves names like Wang Ch'iao and An Ch'i,3 who said to him, "Just now our lord sent two of his servants to demand that you explain what you are doing. Why did you not reply?" Wu-wei still would not speak. Presently he saw before him a woman of about sixteen years old, her face of unsurpassed beauty, the tones of her voice alluring and soft, her gauze robes many-colored and brilliant; the musk exuding from her body could have made the earth tremble. She lingered for a long time, teasing and toying with Wu-wei. But he paid her no heed. In a flash there appeared tigers and wolves, and a dozen kinds of other wild, ferocious beasts, baying and screeching, running and leaping. They bared their teeth and opened their jaws, but Wu-wei did not move. A moment later he saw his deceased grandparents and parents, and all of his loved ones who had passed away, line up and stand before him. They demanded, "How can you remain silent upon seeing us!" Though tears fell from his eyes, Wu-wei persisted and said not a word. Suddenly he saw a Yaksha, a messenger from hell, three chang tall, who had eyes like the red of lightning sparks and a mouth as red as blood. His vermilion hair stood out as erect as bamboo poles; his teeth were like a saw and his claws like hooks. He rushed up to Wu-wei, but Wu-wei did not budge. Then a man clothed in a yellow robe led two strongmen to him and said, "The Great King has ordered that you be arrested. If you do not wish to go, simply state your reasons. Then you will not be apprehended." Wu-wei did not respond. The yellow-robed man commanded the two strongmen to lead him away; Wu-wei had no choice but to follow. Soon they came to a court, said to be the court of the King of Equality. Seated facing south, and leaning on a table, the king was imposing and severe, and spoke to Wu-wei in a harsh voice, "You are not due to be brought here. If you can say something to extricate yourself, then we shall set you free." Wu-wei did not respond.

3

Wang Ch'iao of the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220) and An Ch' i-sheng of the Ch'in (249-207 B. C.) were both men with supernatural powers who had encountered and intrigued the emperors of their respective times.

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The King of Equality then commanded that Wu-wei be taken to hell. There he saw all those who were receiving punishment--there were hundreds and thousands of varieties of tortures. The pain and misery was beyond description. Upon his return, the King said, "if you do not speak, you shall enter among them." Although Wu-wei was profoundly frightened, in the end he persisted in silence. The King of Equality said, "Since you persist, I order that you be reincarnated, that you may not be allowed to return to that place where we first found you." Thereupon Wu-wei began to feel confused, and his mind turned blank as if he had lost consciousness. And then, all at once, he became aware that his body was reincarnating to join the aristocratic household of the Wang family of Ch'ang-an. Even when first in his mother's womb, he still remembered his earlier oath against speaking. Once born, his features were as those of a normal baby, yet he did not give forth a single cry. The third of the month marked exactly one month since the day of his birth, and the Wang household held a great party for their friends and relatives, a party which was one vast expanse of excited talk and music. His wet nurse carried him out in her arms to be passed around among the guests, cooed over and cuddled. The parents said to one another, "One day our son will be a man of noble stature." So they named him Noble Gentleman. The baby grew brighter and more perceptive every day, but he just would not release a cry. He began to walk when he was two years old, but his frailty made it difficult. At the age of four or five, although he was not able to speak, his actions betrayed a high degree of cultivation. At nine, as soon as he took up a pen he was able to complete an essay. Ever since then, whether engaged in activity or sitting in repose, and even when he was joyfully romping around, he had to be fully supplied with paper and ink. By the time he had become a young man of twenty and had undergone the capping ceremony, he was very handsome, and his bearing was always graceful and elegant. He was quite the civilized gentleman. However, because of his muteness, he would not consent to enter government service. His life was as luxurious as a prince's, replete with gold and jade. Servants and concubines sang and played the gongs; his lived sumptuously.

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When he was twenty-five, his parents found a wife for him. Like him, she was also of a distinguished household; moreover, her face and figure surpassed those of any beauty of the age. Skilled in handiwork and talented in music, she was in every way extraordinary. Noble Gentleman's official name was Shen-wei--Attentive to Detail. He lived a life of contentment and conducted himself with self-esteem. He had been married one year when his wife gave birth to a boy--handsome, quick, gentle and intelligent--in every way beyond compare. Shen-wei adored the child to a degree that far surpassed the bounds of common attachment. One morning Shen-wei and his wife went to enjoy themselves in the spring garden. There in the garden was a great flat boulder, large enough to seat ten people. His wife, the baby cradled in her arms, mounted the rock and abruptly said to Shen-wei, "I can see that your love for me is deep, but if you do not speak for me today, I shall batter your son to death!" Shen-wei was not able to wrest his child away from her, and she raised her arms and dashed the child against the rock so hard that its brains gushed out. Shen-wei clutched at his breast in agony and involuntarily uttered a cry of horror. Then his mind turned hazy and he awoke, realizing he was once again seated before the cauldron. The great flat boulder of moments before was in fact the cauldron. Just then the magic ritual which Tung-hsiian was performing upon the altar was on the verge of completion. The sky was just turning light when, all of a sudden, he heard Wu-wei moan quietly. Just as quickly, the cauldron disappeared. The two men looked at each, overcome with grief. Afterwards they continued to temper their hearts and cultivate their behavior, and later on simply disappeared from the earth. (TPKCH, II, pp. 44-46; TPKC, 44.4) Tr. Paula Varsano Note: This is one of the many stories derived from the tale given in the "Lieh-shih ch'ih" episode of the Hsi-yii chi (Records of the Western Regions) by Hsiian-tsang (cf. "Wei Tzu-tung" [92] and "Tu Tzu-ch'un," Ma and Lau, pp. 416-19). This version achieves a greater coherence than the others, in that the episode illustrative of Chung Wu-wei's capacity to endure his trials is short but

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effective, and it is well integrated into the main section of the story. The "trial" section, however, lacks the finished quality of the "Tu Tzu-ch'un" version, even though none of the latter's psychological implications is lost. The psychologically induced visions of an ascetic are common topics in Western literature (e.g., Flaubert's Le tentation de Saint Antoine), but in the Chinese tradition, such visions are usually understood in a moral or religious sense. Regarding the visions, cf. "Chang Tao-ling" (29). The "human attachment" that impedes the completion of the alchemical process apparently has a 'negative" implication in the story. Such an implication goes some way to show how different the outlook reflected in the piece is from that of the modern secular era.

321

The T'ang (89) Sun K'o by P'ei Hsing (Ch'uan-ch'i)

During the Kuang-te reign period [763-765] there was one Sun K'o, a graduate of the hsiu-ts'ai examination. After failing in the civil service examinations, he wandered about in the vicinity of Loyang. When he reached the banks of the Lake of the Prince of Wei1 there suddenly appeared before him a great mansion, its bricks and timbers all new. Others on the road pointed at it and said, "That's the Yiian family mansion." K'o went up to it and knocked on the door but heard no sound from within. Beside the door was a small room, with a tidy curtain screening it. K'o thought it must be a waiting room for guests, so he parted the curtain and entered. After some time, he suddenly heard the sound of someone opening a door. A girl appeared in the courtyard: her beauty was striking, and the radiance of her person lit up the surroundings; she was like a pearl freshly washed in splendid moonlight, a seductive willow half hidden by mists. Her orchid fragrance purified the spirit; her bright jade lustre cleansed one of dust. K'o supposed she was the daughter of the master of the house. He could do nothing but stare at her stealthily. The girl picked a day-lily2 from the courtyard. She stood fixed in thought for a long time and then began to murmur a poem: When others see you they forget their sorrows, But for me you are only a decaying weed. Only green mountains and white clouds Can unroll the joy stifled in my breast. She appeared quite miserable as she recited this. A few moments later, when she came over to open the curtain, she suddenly caught sight of K'o. Startled and embarrassed, she went back in the door, and sent out a maid to question

1

2

A lake located to the south of Loyang off the Lo River. It was allotted by Emperor T'ai-tsung (r. 626-649) to his son T'ai, the Prince of Wei.--Ed. I.e., hsilan-ts' ao, a plant which is said to cause one to forget sorrow.

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him. She asked, "Who are you, and how did you come to be here?" So K'o pretended he was looking for a place to rent and said, "I am very sorry to have intruded upon the young lady. My brazen behavior was inexcusable. Please convey my apologies to the young lady." The maid then reported to her mistress. The girl said, "My clumsiness and my homely appearance, more crude because I have not attended to my make-up, has already been seen by the young gentleman who was watching through the curtain for such a long time. How dare I avoid seeing him now? I hope the young gentleman will briefly wait inside the hall--let me attend to my ornaments and I will come out shortly." K'o, attracted by her beauty, was overwhelmed with joy and asked the maid, "Who is she?" She replied, "The daughter of high official Yuan.3 She was orphaned young and so has no marriage connections. She lives in this mansion with only three or five of us servants. The young lady has sought to marry, but so far nothing has come of it." After a good while, she came out to see K'o. Her beauty and voluptuousness surpassed anything he had ever seen. She ordered the maid to bring in tea and fruit, saying, "As you, sir, have no house in which to spend the night, why don't you just move your bags and baggage into our halls?" Pointing to the maid, she said to K'o, "If later you should need anything, just tell her." K'o was bashfully grateful and expressed his thanks. K'o had not yet married. Having observed how handsome and desirable the girl was, he engaged a go-between and asked for her hand. The girl happily accepted his offer, so he took her as his wife. Lady Yuan was very well to do, possessing great amounts of gold and silk. On the other hand, K'o had long been poor. For him to suddenly come into possession of a splendid carriage, and beautiful clothes and jewelry, surprised his relatives and made them curious. They frequently came to nose about, but K'o did not tell them the truth.

3

The woman's surname, Yuan, is a homophone for "ape;" in the course of the story, this becomes significant.

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As K'o was arrogant and haughty, he did not seek fame or rank. Instead, he drank large quantities of wine and sang without restraint every day in the company of the powerful and aristocratic. He spent three or four years like this without leaving Loyang. Then one day he unexpectedly encountered his cousin, Chang Hsien-yiin, a Taoist layman. K'o said to him, "it's been quite some time since we've met, and I rather long for some friendly talk. I hope you will let me bring my quilt and enjoy an evening of conversation with you." Master Chang agreed to the arrangement. At midnight, as they were aBout to go to sleep, Master Chang took K'o's hand and confided, "Your stupid elder brother is an adept in the Tao. Just now, in your words and complexion, I observed a rather thick demonic vapor. Has anything peculiar happened to you? If so, be it great or small, please tell me about it. If you don't, you will come to ruin." K'o replied, "I haven't run into anything in particular." Master Chang continued and said, "Man's natural endowment is, in essence, Yang. Demons have a Yin anima. If the hun, the aspiring soul, is protected and the po, the base soul, is exhausted, then a man will live a long life. If the po is dominant and the hun dissipated, a man dies immediately. Thus, by nature, a ghostly being is without form and entirely Yin, and the immortals have no shadow and are entirely Yang. The plentitude and decrepitude of the Yin and Yang, the tugging battle of the aspiring and base souls--if they cause one's constitution to lose its equilibrium even slightly, it will inevitably become apparent in one's complexion. Just now, I have observed that among your various humors the Yin has taken the place of the Yang. There is degeneration in the bowels, the genuine essence is already dispersed, the cognitive faculties are gradually being defeated, and the vital fluid approaches exhaustion. The spine is wobbling and the bones are about to turn to dust; the complexion is no longer ruddy. You must have been transmuted by something strange and bizarre. How can you obstinately conceal it and not reveal its source?" Startled into awareness, K'o explained the circumstances of his marriage. Greatly astonished, Master Chang said, "Obviously, this is it! But what's to be done?"

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K'o said, "Your younger brother has deliberated about the matter. What's so strange about it?" Master Chang said, "is it possible that, in all of the world, Lady YUan doesn't have a single relative? Furthermore, she is perceptive, intelligent and very capable--that's enough to be considered strange." Then K'o told Chang, "All my life I've been in difficulties and unable to get ahead. For a long time I lived in cold and hunger. Thanks to my fortunate marriage, I've been able to enjoy some rest. I couldn't bring myself to be disloyal. How could I plot against her?" Angrily Master Chang said, "A man who is unable to serve other men--how can he serve a ghost? Tradition say s, 'demons from humans rise.' If men don't make trouble, the demons do not of themselves appear. Furthermore, what is the relative importance of your body and your loyalty? Your body is being destroyed, yet you are loyal to the kindness of a demon! A little boy three feet tall knows it is wrong--how much more so should a grown man?" Master Chang continued, "I have a magic sword, equal in power to one made by Kan Chiang.4 Whatever monsters there are will be destroyed when confronted with it. Its miraculous power has never failed; its victims are too numerous to count. Tomorrow morning, take it with you. If you sneak it into your room, you will certainly see her true form to her mortification, just as Wang Tu saw the true form of the maid, Parrot, in his magic mirror.5 Otherwise you will not be able to pull yourself away from your conjugal affections." So, the next day K'o was given the sword. Master Chang grasped his hand and said farewell, "Be on the watch for an approriate moment and hide the sword well!" K'o took the sword and hid it inside the chamber, but his conscience was uneasy. Lady Yuan got wind of his scheme, and very angrily upbraided K'o, saying, "You were poor and I made you happy and prosperous. You brush aside all of my kindness and loyalty to you, and act in this evil manner. What kind of man are you! Even dogs and pigs wouldn't eat what you leave! How can you expect to call yourself a man of rectitude among the world of men?"

4 5

A famous ancient smith; see "Kan Chiang and Mo Yeh" (11). A reference to the early T'ang story "The Ancient Mirror" (Wang, pp. 3-14); Parrot was the name of a maidservant who was in reality a thousand year old racoon.--Ed.

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Rebuked in this manner, K'o's face flushed with shame, his conscience ridden with guilt. He kowtowed and said, "I received these instructions from my cousin. It wasn't my own idea. Let me drink an oath in blood to prove that I shall never dare have any such ideas again." Beads of sweat fell from him and he prostrated himself on the ground. Lady Yiian searched for and found the sword, then broke it into pieces, as if it were no more than a light lotus stalk. K'o was even more frightened and seemed about to jump up and run away, when Lady Yiian said with a sneer, "That charlatan, Master Chang! He can't instruct his younger cousin in the Tao of loyalty, and instead incites him to acts of treachery and violence. I have observed your heart, however, and am certain it is not this way. We have already been married for several years. What do you have to worry about?" Only then did K'o begin to feel more at ease. Several days later, he went out again. Encountering Master Chang, he said, "Without any reason at all you sent me to pull the tiger's whiskers; I was lucky to escape the tiger's mouth!" Master Chang asked about the sword, and K'o told him all. Greatly frightened, Master Chang exclaimed, "I didn't expect anything like that!" He was terrified and dared not visit K'o again. In the space of about ten years, Lady Yiian raised two sons. She ran the house very strictly, not liking disorder. Then K'o went to Ch'ang-an to visit his old friend, Prime Minister Wang Chin. Wang recommended him to Governor General Chang Wan-ch'ing of the Nan-k'ang commandery [modern Te-ch'ing in Kwangtung Province] as Staff Supervisor of Planning and Administration, so K'o gathered his household and started on his way. Whenever Lady Yiian encountered green pines and tall mountains, she stared at them without moving for a long time, as if unhappy. On their arrival at T'uan-chou [modern Kao-yao County, Kwangtung] Lady Yiian said, "Halfway from here along the river is the Gorge Cliff Temple. In the past a monk sponsored by my family, named Hui, lived in seclusion at this temple. I haven't been there for several decades. This monk is very advanced in age now and is very good at explicating doctrine and inspiring one to transcend the dust and dirt. If we eat a meal prepared by him, it will surely bring good fortune to our journey south." "All right," said K'o.

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They prepared a food offering suitable for the monk. When they arrived at the temple, Lady Ylian's spirits rose. She changed her clothes and arranged her makeup. Taking her two children by the hand, she pointed out the old monk's courtyard, as though familiar with its paths. K'o was rather surprised by this. She then took a green jade choker and presented it to the monk, saying "This is an old article from the temple." The monk was puzzled. After the midday meal they saw several dozen wild apes, arm in arm under the tall pines, eating on the Sermon Platform. After calling out mournfully, they grabbed the vines and jumped about restlessly. Lady Yuan appeared disconsolate, and suddenly asking for a brush, she inscribed on the monk's wall: Feeling kindness now, the heart is enslaved-How easily the power of change sinks into smoke. Better to follow my companions and return to the mountains And utter a long yodel deep in the clouds and mist. She threw the brush to the ground and stroked her two sons while sobbing bitterly. She then said to K'o, "Take care of yourself! I will never see you again!" With that she tore off heir clothes and changed into an old ape. Chasing after the other crying apes, she clambered up the vines into the trees and departed. Just before she disappeared in the depths of the mountain, she turned back again to look. K'o was shocked and frightened. He felt as if his soul had flown and his spirit dissolved. For a long time he stroked his sons in grief. He then asked for an explanation from the old monk, who had finally realized what had happened. "I raised this ape when I was still a Buddhist novice. During the K'ai-yiian reign period [713-742] there was an imperial emissary, Kao Li-shih,6 who passed through here and took a liking to her nimble wits and exhanged some bolts of silk for her. I heard that when he reached Loyang, he made of her a present to the Son of Heaven. At the time there were imperial emissaries coming and going, and many said that her intelligence surpassed even that of

6

Emperor Hsiian-tsung's (r. 712-56) favorite eunuch.

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men. For a long time she was trained and tamed inside the Shang-yang Palace. At the time of the An Lu-shan rebellion [755-763], they completely lost track of her. Alas! I did not expect that today I would again see this creature and witness her strange transformation. The green jade choker was originally presented by a foreigner from Ho-ling in the southern seas. It was worn by the ape and went away with her. At last I understand!" Deeply saddened by all this, K'o moored his boat on the riverbank for six or seven days. He then took his two sons and turned the boat back toward home, as he was no longer able to take up his post. (PHCC, pp. 1-6; Wang, pp. 279-82; TPKC 445.3) Tr. Simon Schuchat Note: This is one of the best known T'ang tales that feature an ape as a main character (cf. "Pai-yuan chuan," TPKC, 444.4; Wang, pp. 15-17). The story may have grown out of earlier legends about animal spirits as harmful seducers, but here the female avatar is treated sympathetically (cf. "Chin Yu-chang" [81] and "Miss Jen," Ma and Lau, pp. 339-45). The interference of the Taoist cousin reminds one of the more extensive struggles between the Buddhist monk and the snake spirit in the legends of the White Snake (see "Eternal Prisoner under the Thunder Peak Pagoda," Ma and Lau, pp. 355-78). Note the incorporation of the expository mode in the speech in which the Taoist philosophizes about the human constitution. This tale was made into a Yiian drama, but the text has not been preserved.

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Classical Chinese Tales (90) Cheng Te-lin by P'ei Hsing (Chruan-ch'i)

During the Chen-yuan reign period [785-805], Cheng Te-lin was a captain from Hsiang-t'an, living in Ch'ang-sha.1 He had a cousin living in Chiang-hsia whom he would go and visit once a year. On his way up the Hsiang River, he would cross Tung-t'ing Lake and go through Hsiang-t'an where he would often meet up with a certain old man selling chestnuts from his rowboat. Although his hair was already white, he had a youthful face. Often when Te-lin spoke to him, their coversation would turn to the profound. Once Te-lin inquired, "There is no dried food in your boat. What, then, do you use for nourishment?" "Just chestnuts," answered the old man. Te-lin loved wine, and always brought pine-resin wine with him on his travels. Each time he visited Chiang-hsia and came across the old man, he would treat him to some wine. The old man would drink without much ado, nor did he express his gratitude. Once after Te-lin had visited Chiang-hsia and was on his way back to Ch'ang-sha, he docked his boat at the base of Yellow Crane Pavilion.2 Docked at his side was a very large

1

2

All of the towns mentioned in this story are along the Hsiang River. Chiang-hsia is northernmost, located in modern Hupeh Province. Moving south, we come to Hsiang-t'an, on the bank of the Tung-t'ing Lake. Ch'ang-sha is in Hunan, south of the lake. Pa-ling, mentioned later in the story, is on the northern side of Tung-t'ing Lake, where the Hsiang joins with the lake. The legendary Yellow Crane Pavilion (Huang-ho Lou) is located in Wu-ch'ang County, Chiang-hsia Prefecture, Hupeh. There are many legends associated with this pavilion. According to one of them, the pavilion was built by a wine merchant to commemorate a miraculous event. Being generous, this merchant made a practice of allowing a certain gentleman to drink without charge. The gentleman repayed his kindness by painting a yellow crane on the wall which could dance in time with the songs of the guests. The merchant made a great deal of money by charging admission for people to see it. Later on the gentleman returned and caused the crane to fly

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boat carrying a salt merchant, a certain Master Wei, who also happened to have arrived at Hsiang-t'an and that night was drinking wine with some friends from other boats in honor of the next day's parting. Wei had a daughter who lived in the helm of the boat, so a girl from another boat also came along to pay her respects before their departure. The two girls sat together talking and laughing. Shortly before midnight, they heard a young scholar chanting a poem somewhere on the river which went as follows: Something bumps my swift, light boat, I feel it in my heart. Wind still and waves calm, the moonlight is gossamer. The night is deep; I float on the river, trying to dispel my melancholy thoughts, And pick up the red lotus; its fragrance stirs my robes. The girl from the neighboring boat was very good at writing, and noticing that Miss Wei had a scroll of red letter-paper in her make-up chest, took it out and wrote down the lines they had just heard, chanting them all the while. But there was no way to know who had composed them. As dawn approached, they went their separate ways. Te-lin's boat and Wei's boat set off from Chiang-hsia at the same time. Two days later, they passed the night together again on the banks of Tung-t'ing Lake. Te-lin's boat was beached rather close to Wei's. Miss Wei was beautiful and charming--her face like a sparkling flower, her hair like clouds, her feet were lotus buds, her eyes full of gentle lustrous ripples, her hibiscus figure bathed in dew, fresh as the moon and colorful as pearl. She sat dangling a fishing line from her porthole. Thus, Te-lin could watch her undetected, and was enchanted. Then he took a swatch of red silk, and on it wrote a poem: With dainty hand dangling faces the porthole;

a

fishing-line,

she

down from the wall by playing on a flute. He mounted it and together they disappeared into the clouds.

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Classical Chinese Tales Red lotus, the color of autumn, lends beauty to the Long River. As the goddesses could untie their pendants and cast them to Cheng Chiao-fu,3 You should also have some gleaming pearls, and I'd beg you for a pair.4

Resolutely, he attached the red silk to her fish-hook. When she pulled in the line, she found the poem, and recited and looked over it for a long while. Yet no matter how many times she read it, she still did not understand its meaning. She was not skilled in writing, and embarrassed at being unable to reply, she took the poem that the girl from the neighboring boat had jotted down on the red paper the other night, and cast it in on the end of her fishing line. Te-lin thought that it was composed by Miss Wei, and this made him quite happy; one can just imagine his unbridled joy. Nevertheless, there was no way to understand the meaning of the poem, and he was unable to further express his feelings to her. From then on, the girl cherished that swatch of red silk and wore it around her arm. Under bright moon and clear wind, Wei's boat quickly unfurled its sail and set off. But as the wind grew stronger and the waves became alarmingly rough, Te-lin in his small boat did not dare go on with them. His hopes dashed, he was filled with resentment and anguish. Later, as night came on, a fisherman talking to Te-lin said, "The wealthy merchant with the big boat just drowned in the lake with his whole family." Te-lin was in shock, his mind a muddled haze. He was wound up in misery for a long time, unable to suppress his grief. Around midnight, he wrote two poems entitled, "Two Poems Mourning the River Beauty." One of them said:

3

4

Cheng Chiao-fu was walking along the Chiang river when he spied two beautiful river sprites. He asked them to give him their girdle pendants, and they did so. But when he had walked but a few paces, he discovered that the pendants had vanished from the breast of his robe. He turned to look at the spirits, but they too had disappeared. See the Lieh-hsien chuan (Biographies of the Immortals). A pair of pearls often refers to the tears of mermaids.

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Stop blowing, Oh stormy winds on the lake. Bubbles of foam begin to break up, moonlight is gossamer. Submerged in my secret thoughts of her--the sidelong waves are now but tears. Would that, with my mermaid, I could shed them face to face. The other one read: On Tung-t'ing a gentle wind; reed blossoms in autumn. Her dark moth-brows just departed; grief at the tiny waves. Tears drip on white duckweed, you don't see, Moon bright on the river, a seagull lightly flying. When the poems were completed he poured a libation and tossed them into the sea. The purity of his sentiment reached the gods, and his piercing sincerity called forth a response. His plea succeeded in touching the Spirit of the River, who brought it to the Palace of the Water Gods. The Prince of the Water Gods looked it over and summoned the corps of souls who had died by drowning. He asked, "Who here is the beloved of Master Cheng?"--but Miss Wei had no way of knowing what was the origin of the poems. An attendant frisked her upper arm and found the swatch of red silk. He told the prince, who said, "in a future day, Te-lin shall be the illustrious magistrate of our region; moreover, he has always treated me with kindness. We can't but restore you to life." The prince summoned the attendant to lead Miss Wei back to Master Cheng. Miss Wei looked at the Prince of the Water Gods and saw that he was an old man. She then turned and followed the attendant. They traveled with great speed and encountered no obstacles. As they neared the end of the road, she could see a vast lake whose green water was deep and wide. Then she was pushed in by the attendant. Now sinking, now bobbing up, she was in terrible distress. It was already midnight and Te-lin had not yet gone to sleep. Instead, he was still reciting the poem on the red letter-paper, grieving bitterly. Suddenly, he felt some^hJjig_hit his boat. The boatman had already gone to sleep, so Te-lin picked up a candle and shone it upon the

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object. He could make out some clothing of embroidered silk. It looked like a person. Alarmed, he rescued her from the water. It was Miss Wei, still bearing the red silk on her arm. Te-lin was overwhelmed. Gradually, the girl came back to life, but was not able to speak again until morning. She then told Te-lin that the Prince of the Water Gods had restored her to life out of gratitude to him. Te-lin asked, "Who is this prince?", but try as she may, she could not explain. He subsequently took her as his wife, realizing that there was something extraordinary about all this. He took her back with him to Ch'ang-sha. Over the next three years, Te-lin was often selected for promotion to posts variously located. He desired to have the position as head prefect of Li-ling [in modern Hunan Province] . Miss Wei said, "You will only obtain the position in Pa-ling [modern Yueh-yang County, Honan]. "How do you know that?" "Before, the Prince of the Water Gods said that you would be the illustrious magistrate of his region. Since Tung-t'ing is part of Pa-ling, the selection probably will bear out the prediction." Te-lin took note of her words. As a result of the nominations, he was made prefect of Pa Ling. When Miss Wei came to join him there, some people were sent to welcome her. As her boat approached Tung-t'ing, adverse winds kept preventing it from advancing, so Te-lin sent five boatmen out to meet her and bring her in. Among them was one old man who seemed rather negligent. Miss Wei grew angry and spat at him. The old man turned and looked over his shoulder at her. "it is I who restored you to life that day in the Palace of the Water Gods. Yet instead of being grateful, you now display your anger!" Only then did Miss Wei realize who he was. Her heart pounding, she invited the old man to board her boat, paid her respects to him, and offered him wine and delicacies. Then she bowed deeply and said, "My father and mother must still be in the Palace of the Water Gods. Would it be possible for me to find them and pay my respects?" "Yes, it can be done," he replied. Within moments, the boat appeared to sink beneath the waves, but this time she felt no discomfort. Suddenly, they arrived at the palace as before. Her whole family clung to her boat, crying and wailing, as she went to visit her parents.

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Their residence was a distinctive mansion, and in no way different from those on earth. When she asked them if there was anything that they required, they said, "Whatever sinks in the river can get to this place. But because there is no fire with which to cook, the only thing we eat is chestnuts." Then they took out several pieces of silver, and handed them to their daughter, saying, "We have no use for these down here, so let us give them to you. . .now, you mustn't stay too long." So they hurried her off, and she took her leave of them after grievous weeping. Then the old man used a brush to write in large characters on Miss Wei's scarf: In former days a chestnut man at the river's mouth, Accepted several sips of your pine-resin wine. Giving life to your wife in return for your kindness, I wish all the best to Cheng Te-lin of Ch'ang-sha. When he had finished writing, he was escorted from the boat by hundreds of his attendants to return to the Palace of the Water Gods. A second later, the boat emerged at the tidewater; everyone on the boat had witnessed this event. Only after Te-lin had thought long and hard about the meaning of this poem did he realize that the old man from the Palace of the Water Gods was the man from long ago who sold chestnuts. Several years later, a certain scholar named Ts'ui Hsi-chou presented Te-lin with a poetry scroll containing "A Poem on Picking up Lotus Flowers on the River at Night." It was none other than the poem on red paper that Miss Wei had given to Te-lin. Te-lin felt suspicious about this poem and questioned Hsi-chou. He replied, "Many years ago, I had docked my little boat at the O-chu Port in Chiang-hsia. The moon on the river was bright, and I had not yet gone to bed when some small object knocked against my boat. Its sweet fragrance assailed my nostrils, and I picked it out of the water and looked at it. It was a garland of lotus flowers. Because of this I composed a poem which I then chanted aloud for a long time. I respectfully submit that this is the truth." Te-lin sighed and said, "it was all fated."

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From that time on, he never again dared to Tung-t'ing Lake. He eventually attained the high post of censor.

cross

(PHCC, pp. 10-13; Wang, pp. 187-89; TPKC 152.1) Tr. Paula Varsano Note: Listed as an anonymous work in TPKC, this piece is attributed to P'ei Hsing by some Sung sources. Note the similarity in the stylized descriptions of the heroines in this piece and in "Sun K'o" (89) by P'ei. Predestination again is the framing theme; cf. "The Inn of Betrothal" (76).

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335 (91) Wei Tzu-tung by P'ei Hsing (Chruan-ch'i)

In the Chen-yuan reign period [785-805] there lived one Wei Tzu-tung, a righteous and ardent man. Often he wandered around the area of Mount T'ai-po [in modern Shensi Province], staying at the estate of General Tuan. Tuan had long known of Wei's prowess and courage. One day, as he and Tzu-tung were gazing over the mountain valleys, they saw a very small path which appeared to have once had foot-prints. Tzu-tung asked his host, "Where does it lead?" General Tuan replied, "in the past there were two monks living on top of this mountain. Their temple buildings, stately and magnificent, were situated in a grove beside a spring of great beauty. It was built during the K'ai-yiian reign period [713-742] by the great monk Wan-hui1 and his followers. It appears that they compelled spirits to do all the work--it isn't the sort of thing of which human strength is capable. Some woodsmen say that the monks became the food of ogres, since they haven't been seen for two or three years. Also, I've heard people say there are two Yakshas2 on the mountain, but no one even dares go near the temple to find out." Angrily, Tzu-tung said, "I am anxious to redress such evil violence. What sort of creatures are these Yakshas that they dare to eat people! I swear to you that I will bring back these Yakshas' heads to your gate this very evening!" The general, trying to dissuade him, quoted the saying, "There is no grief at the death of a man fool-hardy enough to try to beat up a tiger with his bare fists and cross rivers without a boat."3 1

2

3

Lit., "A-Round-Trip-of-Ten-Thousand-Miles." The monk was so named because of a feat he supposedly had performed in his youth. He was said to have carried a message from his parents to his conscripted brother, who was stationed on the frontier, and returned the same day, a trip totalling ten thousand 11.--Ed. Demons that fly like violent meteors, messengers of evil in Buddhist mythology. Analects 7:11, "Shu-erh."

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But Tzu-tung did not listen. He took up his sword, straightened his clothes, and set right out--no force could have restrained him. Sadly the general said, "Master Wei will have only himself to blame for the consequences." Tzu-tung held onto vines and climbed up stones until he reached the hermitage, which was silent and desolate. He noticed the two cells of the monks, their doors wide open. Sandals and utensils were all in order, the quilts and pillows were neatly arranged, but dust had settled and accumulated over everything. He also saw slender weeds growing luxuriantly in the Buddha Hall, amongst which great beasts appeared to have slept. Many wild boars, black bears and the like hung on the four walls, as well as left-overs from butchering and broiling. There were also saucepans, a cauldron and firewood. Tzu-tung then realized that the woodsmen's words were not lies. Reckoning that the Yakshas had not yet arrived, he uprooted a cypress tree, as big in diameter as a bowl, and removed its branches and leaves to make a big staff. He then barred the door, blocking it with a stone Buddha. That night the moonlight shone as brightly as the dawn. Before midnight, a Yaksha arrived, bearing a deer. Enraged by the locked door, it let out a great yell and rammed its head against the door, breaking the stone Buddha and stumbling to the ground. Tzu-tung brought the cypress tree down on its head, killing it with his second stroke. He then dragged the body inside and shut the door again. In a moment, another Yaksha arrived. As though infuriated that the first one had not opened the door to greet him, it also roared angrily, butted against the door and stumbled to the threshold. Again Tzu-tung struck it, and it also died. Knowing that both the male and female had perished, and that there would be no more of their kind, Tzu-tung shut the door, cooked the deer and ate. The next morning he cut off the two Yakshas' heads and brought them to Tuan with the left-over venison. Much amazed, the general said, "You are truly the equal of Chou Ch'u!"4 They then cooked the deer and drank wine in great 4

Chou Ch'u (240-99 A.D.) was a native of Yang-hsien (modern I-hsing in Kiangsu Province). According to tradition, he ran wild in his youth, until his father compared him to a much-feared tiger and snake, saying that they were the "three calamities." Ch'u then beheaded the snake, shot the tiger and reformed his own

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joy. The people who came from far and near to look on were like a wall. A Taoist priest emerged from the thick crowd and bowed to Tzu-tung, saying, "I have a sincere request and wish to speak openly to the Venerable One. May I?" Tzu-tung said, "My entire life is spent in relieving people's anxieties. Certainly you may speak." The Taoist said, "I have devoted my mind to the cultivation of the Tao and set my heart on obtaining the medicine of immortality for many days. Two or three years ago, there was an immortal who mixed a brazier of Dragon-tiger elixir for me.5 I have taken over his cave and attended to the mixture for some time now. "Now this medicine of immortality is almost finished, but there have been evil spirits who, several times, have entered the cave and knocked against the brazier. The medicine was nearly ruined and scattered. I hope to find a man of unyielding fortitude to protect it with his sword. If this immortality elixir is perfected, it will certainly be generously shared. I do not know if you would be willing to make a trip for this or not." Tzu-tung said enthusiasticly, "it would fulfill my life-long wish!" Thereupon he grabbed his sword, and left with the Taoist. They crossed narrow passes and climbed steep places among the high peaks of T'ai-p'o. About halfway up the mountain was a stone cave, around a hundred or so paces in width. This was the Taoist's elixir preparing room. There was only one disciple there. The Taoist said briefly, "Tomorrow morning, at the beginning of the fifth watch [3-5 a.m.], would you please take your sword to the entrance of the cave and stand guard. If you see any strange beasts, merely strike them with your sword." Tzu-tung said, "I shall carefully follow your instructions." He placed a candle outside of the cave entrance and waited. In a while, a large venomous snake, several chang in length, with golden eyes and snowy teeth, spitting out a thick mist of poisonous vapor, was about to enter the cave. Tzu-tung struck it with his sword, which appeared to split

5

character. Dragon and tiger refer to the elements of water and fire, respectively. Dragon-tiger elixir is a common name for Taoist elixirs.

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its head. In a moment, it changed into pale mist and vanished. After about the time it takes for a meal, there appeared a young woman of matchless beauty who held lily blossoms in her hands and approached with leisurely steps. Again Tzu-tung drew his sword against her; she disappeared like a cloud of vapor. After another such pause, as dawn approached, a Taoist priest appeared mounted on a crane, riding the clouds. Followed by a very majestic entourage, he approached Tzu-tung and said appreciatively, "The evil spirits are all done away with! My disciple's elixir is almost finished. I have come now to test it." He lingered around, as if waiting for the arrival of dawn before entering the cave. He told Tzu-tung, "I'm pleased that the Taoist's elixir is finished. Now I have a poem; you may try to match it. It goes like this: Kowtow for three autumns, ask of the True Spirit; When Dragon and Tiger mix, the smelting of gold is done. When the crimson snow6 has frozen, the body may cross over into immortality; Atop the P'eng-lai7 jug rise multi-colored clouds. Tzu-tung pondered it and thought, "This is the master of the Taoist priest." He then put down his sword and made obeisance. All of a sudden, the Taoist forced his way into the room. The cauldron cracked and exploded, leaving nothing behind. The Taoist priest wept bitterly; Tzu-tung was filled with remorse. It was all his fault. The two men then cleaned the cauldron dish in a stream and drank from it. Later, Tzu-tung took on an even more youthful appearance and went away to Nan-yiieh.8 No one knows where he ended up, but to this day, the Yakshas' skeletons can be seen at General Tuan's estate. Nor does anyone know where the Taoist went. (PHCC, pp. 30-32; Wang, pp. 282-84; TPKC, 356.7) Tr. Simon Schuchat

6 7 8

"Crimson snow" refers to the immortality elixir. P'eng-lai is a Taoist paradise. Mount Heng in modern Hunan, one of the five sacred peaks.

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Note: The similarity of the second part of this story to that of "Hsiao Tung-hsiian" (88) is obvious--here, too, the theme of alchemical quest is related to the "Lie-shih ch'ih" story in the Hsi-yii chi (see Note to [88]). This piece again provides us with an example of a non-unitary plot. Notice also how the endings of both this story and "Hsiao Tung-hsiian," when compared with that of "Tu Tzu-ch'un" (Ma and Lau, pp. 416-419), betray a sense of wish-fulfillment on the authors' part by hinting that the seeker eventually obtains his goal (disappearance from the human world means the success of the quest). A "happy ending" is also often added to the Ming and Ch'ing adaptations of earlier works that do not end happily; cf. the hua-pen story "Tu Tzu-ch'un san ju Ch'ang-an" (HSHY 37). Regarding the nature of the first part of the story, cf. "Li Chi" (26) and "Kuo Yiian-chen" (73).

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Classical Chinese Tales (92) Ts'ui Wei by P'ei Hsing

(Chruan-chTi)

During the Chen-yuan reign period [785-805] there was one Ts'ui Wei, the son of the former Inspector Ts'ui Hsiang. Ts'ui Hsiang was a well-known poet who ended his career as an assistant to the governor of Nan-hai [a T'ang commandery, including present-day Kwangtung and Kwangsi] and died in office. Wei continued to live in Nan-hai, feeling quite at ease there. Uninterested in attending to the family property, he expended his resources in entertaining gallant, chivalrous men, so it was not many years before his inheritance was all gone. Often he would stay at Buddhist hostels. On the day of the chung-yuan festival1 the people of Pan-yii [i.e., Kuang-chou, or Canton] set out their best wares in the temples and presented all kinds of plays and entertainments at the K'ai-yiian Temple. Wei went to watch them. There, he saw an old beggar woman being beaten by a shopkeeper for kicking over someone's wine jar as she tripped. He reckoned the wine-jar's value to be scarcely a string of cash. Wei pitied her and took off his gown to pay for the jar. The old woman left without a word of thanks. Some time later, she returned and said to Wei, "Thank you for ending my troubles the other day. I am skilled in the use of moxibustion to cure tumors. Now I have a little mugwort to give you from the Hill of the King of Yueh's Wells [to the north of Kuang-chou] . Whenever you find a tumor, you need only burn a little--it not only cures suffering, it adds to the beauty of the skin!"2 Wei laughed and took it; the old woman suddenly vanished.

1

2

The chung-yuan festival occurred on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, according to the lunar calendar. It was the day of sacrifice to the deceased ancestors, and coincided with the Ullambana festival, the Buddhist 'All Souls Day,' when sacrifices are made to the 'hungry ghosts.' The last clause may also read, "it will also help you obtain a beautiful lady," presaging the events to come.--Ed.

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Several days later, when he visited the Hai-kuang Temple, Wei met an old monk with a tumor in his ear. He took out the mugwort to try and moxibust it: the result was as she had said. The monk was very grateful and said to Wei, "I have nothing to give as a gift, except for chanting sutras to bring you good luck and blessings. At the foot of this mountain, however, there is one Old Man Jen, a man with tens of thousands of strings of cash in treasure, who also has this illness. If you can cure him, he will certainly reward you generously. Please permit me to write you a letter of introduction." Wei agreed. When Old Man Jen heard the news, he jumped up in delight. He received Wei with the greatest of deference. Wei took out the mugwort and with one burning the tumor was cured. Old Man Jen told Wei, "Thank you, sir, for curing my suffering. I am unable to reward you generously, but I would like to present you with a hundred thousand coins. I hope you will feel at home here and stay awhile, instead of rushing off in haste." So Wei stayed there a few days. Wei was skilled in music. When he heard the sound of a ch' in zither being strummed in the front quarter of his host's house, he inquired of a household servant about it, who replied, "It's the master's beloved daughter." So Wei asked for her ch1 in and plucked at it. The girl listened in secret and developed a fondness for him. This Old Man Jen's family sacrificed to a demon, called the One-footed God. Every three years they needed to kill a man to feed this demon. The time was already fast approaching and still they had no victim. Old Man Jen heartlessly summoned his sons for a scheme, saying, "The guest is not a blood relative of ours; we may use him as a sacrifice.3 I've heard it said, even great kindness goes unrepaid--how much more so the curing of a little wart!" He therefore ordered them to prepare for the sacrifice and planned to kill Wei around midnight. They had already secretly bolted the room where Wei slept without his realizing it. The girl had overheard the scheme. Stealthily, she took a knife and told Wei through a crack in the window, "My family worships a demon. This very night they will kill you and sacrifice you to it. You can take this, break the

3

Text amended according to Wang Meng-ou's suggestion; see Tr ang-jen hsiao-shuo yen-chiu, I, (Taipei: I-wen yin-shu-kuan, 1971), p. 152.--Ed.

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window and run away. Otherwise, you'll soon be dead. Take this knife away with you, too, so that I won!t be implicated." Wei was terrified. His heart throbbed and beads of sweat flowed. Wielding the knife, and taking along his mugwort, he slashed the window lattice and jumped out, tore the bolt from the door, and escaped. Old Man Jen soon realized what had happened and led ten or so household servants, all waving swords and holding torches, out after Wei. They chased him for six or seven li and nearly caught up with him. Wei strayed from the path and fell into a large abandoned well. His pursuers lost his trail and returned. Although Wei had fallen into a well, he landed on a pile of withered leaves and so was unharmed. At dawn, he looked around. He found himself in an enormous cave, more than a hundred chang deep and with no way out. The four sides sloped away into empty space. It was large enough in diameter to hold a thousand people. In the center was a coiled white serpent, several chang in length. In front of it was a stone depression like the bowl of a mortar. From above, something resembling sweet honey dripped into the mortar, from which the snake drank. On closer examination, Wei realized that the serpent was no common creature, so he kowtowed and addressed it, "Dragon King, I have unfortunately fallen in here. I hope you will take pity on me and not harm me." Then he drank what the snake had left and was no longer hungry or thirsty. Upon carefully observing the serpent's lip, he saw that it also had a tumor on it. Grateful for the snake's pity, Wei wanted to cure it with moxibustion, but he could do nothing without a means of lighting the mugwort. Only after some time had passed did a spark happen to fly into the cave. Then Wei lit the mugwort, explained the process to the snake, and moxibusted the tumor. No sooner had he applied his hand than the tumor fell to the ground. The serpent had long been hampered in its drinking and eating, so the removal of the tumor was a great relief. So, as a gift to Wei, he spat out a pearl, an inch in diameter. Wei would not accept it and explained to the snake, "You, Dragon King, can bring clouds and rain, you are as unfathomable as Yin and Yang. You divinely transform yourself as you like and travel wherever you wish. You must have the power to rescue the drowned and the lost. If

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you can help me return to the human world, then I will engrave your kindness on my heart, and be eternally grateful to you. Only to return--I do not desire any treasure." The snake then swallowed the pearl and uncoiled as though it were about to set off. Wei bowed again, straddled the snake and departed with it. Rather than heading towards the entry, they only proceeded further into the interior of the cave for perhaps several dozen li. It was dead silent and pitch dark inside. But the snake's glow threw light in every direction. Frequently he saw paintings of ancient men, all in caps and sashes. Finally they reached a stone gate. On the gate was the image of an animal with a ring of gold in its mouth, quite bright and clear. The snake lowered his head and set Wei down without entering itself. Wei was under the impression that he had reached the human world. He entered the door, but all he saw was a broad, empty chamber, perhaps more than a hundred paces long, with the walls of a cave, all hollowed out to make rooms. Several of these chambers in the middle section had beautifully embroidered curtains, hung with gold and painted purple, ornamented with emeralds and pearls which sparkled like clusters of bright stars. In front of each curtain was a gold incense burner. On the incense burners were flood dragons, luan- and /en^-phoenixes, turtles, snakes, swallows and peacocks; out of all their mouths came the lush, sweet-smelling smoke of incense. To one side was a small pool, walled with gold, and holding silver water, with wild ducks, seagulls, and other such creatures floating within, all carved of fine jasper and jade. Against the four walls stood couches, all decorated with the tusks of elephants and rhinoceri. When Wei examined them, he found that these ancient articles were still new. Wei felt puzzled as to what this cave really was. After a little while, he took up a ch'in and tried to play it. The latticed doors, on all four sides, opened. Maidservants in blue clothes came out and said with a laugh, "The Jade City Master has brought the young gentleman of the Ts'ui family." They then went back in. In a moment, there were four women, in gowns with trailing rainbow colored skirts and coiffures in an antique style, who said to Wei, "What son of Ts'ui dares to enter the Unfathomable Palace of the Emperor?" Wei set aside the ch'in and bowed twice; the women also made obeisance. Wei said, "if this is the Unfathomable Palace of the Emperor, where is the emperor?"

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They said, "Right now he has gone off to a banquet given by Chu Jung, the god of fire." Then they asked Wei to sit down and play the ch'in. Wei then played the "Tartar Reed-pipe." The women asked, "What tune was that?" He replied "it's the 'Tartar Reed-pipe." "What is the 'Tartar Reed-pipe?'" they asked. "We have never heard of it." "Ts'ai Wen-chi of Han, the daughter of Board Secretary Ts'ai Yung, was taken by barbarians to the north. When she returned, stirred by her experiences among the barbarians, she strummed the ch1 in and wrote this tune. It's sound resembles the mournful sobbing of Tartars playing their t» i* pipes. The women were all delighted and said, "This is indeed a marvelous new song!" Then they poured out sweet wine and passed it around. Wei made obeisance and earnestly asked for permission to return to the human world. The women said, "Master Ts'ui, your coming here to meet us has been predestined. What's the hurry in returning? We hope you can stay a little longer. The emissary from Goat City5 will soon arrive. You may then leave with him." And they informed Ts'ui, "The emperor has already decreed that Lady T'ien should serve you as a wife. You shall see her in a moment." Master Ts'ui could not fathom what they were talking about and did not dare reply. They called a lady-in-waiting to summon Lady T'ien. She was unwilling to come, saying, "Without recieving the emperor's command, I dare not see Master Ts'ui." Again they ordered her to come out, but she would not.

k

5

For an account of Ts'ai Wen-chi's (i.e., Ts'ai Yen's) story and the lyrics of the "Tartar Reed-pipe" song, see Kuo Mao-ch'ien (12th cent.), Yiieh-fu shih-chi (Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1979), 59, pp. 860-65.--Ed. I.e., Yang-ch'eng, an old name for Canton. According to legend, in the Chou dynasty (1134-250 B.C.) five immortals in different colored robes descended from heaven, each mounted on a colored goat, and presented the people there with spikes of rice as a gift. When they departed, the goats were left behind and subsequently changed into five goat statues.--Ed.

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To Wei they said, "Lady T'ien is gentle, virtuous and beautiful: no one in the world can compare with her. We hope that you will treat her well. This is indeed a predestined match. She is the daughter of the King of Ch'i." "The King of Ch'i--who is that?" asked Master Wei. "His name was Heng,"6 said the women. "At the beginning of the Former Han, Han destroyed Ch'i and he went to live on a sea-island." A little later, a light shone onto their seats. When Wei lifted his head, he dimly saw the Milky Way in the cave above, as it appeared in the human world. The four women announced, "The emissary from Goat City has arrived!" Then a white goat gradually descended from the emptiness, in a brief moment coming to rest among the seats. On its back sat a man in stately gown and cap, holding a large brush and a letter written on green bamboo slips, in seal script,7 which he placed on the incense table. The four women ordered a servant girl to read it: "The Governor of Kuang-chou, Hsii Shen, has died. His position is to be taken by the Frontier General of Annam, Chao Ch'ang."8 The women poured out sweet wine for the emissary to drink, and said, "Master Ts'ui desires to return to Pan-yii and hoped you will take him along." The emissary willingly agreed. Turning to Wei, he said, "Later you must exchange services with me: refurbish my clothes and repair my temple, in order to pay back the favor." Wei could only murmur in agreement. The four women said, "The emperor has commanded that the young gentleman be given the state treasure, the Sun Mirror Pearl. Take this and return home. There will be a

G

7

8

Towards the end of the Ch'in dynasty (249-207 B.C.) T'ien Heng, who succeeded his brother as Prince of Ch'i, was one of the main opponents of Hsiang Yii. After the latter's defeat at the hands of Liu Pang, Tien Heng was also driven to a coastal island in the south. He later committed suicide on the way to Loyang to see Liu Pang, the newly enthroned emperor of the new Han dynasty.--Ed. The writing style used in the Ch'in and early Han periods (249-ca. 200 B.C.). For the biography of Hsii, see Hsin T'ang shu 143, pp. 4694-95; for that of Chao Ch'ang, see Chiu T'ang shu 151, pp. 4063 and Hsin T'ang shu 170, pp. 5175-76.--Ed.

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barbarian who will have a hundred thousand strings of cash to exchange for it." They then ordered a serving girl to open a jade container, took the pearl and handed it over to Wei. Wei bowed twice and received it with both hands. To the emissary and the four women he said, "I have never seen this emperor. Why am I so favored by him?" The four women said, "Your ancestor wrote a poem on the King of Yiieh's Terrace, which so moved Hsii Shen that he had the temple restored. The emperor felt obligated by it. He has also written a poem to match that of your ancestor, which makes his intention of bestowing the pearl quite apparent. It needs no explanation. How could you not know it?" Wei said, "I don't know what poem of the Emperor's you're talking about." The woman commanded the serving girl to write on the Goat City Emissary's brush holder: A thousand year old terrace at the corner of the road, overgrown and crumbling: The prefect once took the trouble to refurbish it with scented plaster. Now that you have repaired it, I am deeply obliged by your concern. I shall present you with a beautiful woman and a bright pearl. Wei said, What was the emperor s original name? One of the women said, "You will learn it later on." Another woman said to Wei, "On the chung-ylian festival, you must prepare good wine and rich dishes in the meditation room of the P'u-chien Temple in Kuang-chou. Then we will accompany Lady T'ien there." Wei then bowed twice and said farewell. As he was about to mount the emissary's goat and leave, one of the women said, "We know you have some Pao-ku mugwort--you may leave us a little." As Wei had no idea who Pao-ku was, he merely left them the mugwort which he had with him. In the twinkling of an eye they came out of the cave and walked on flat ground, and then he lost sight of the emissary and his goat. Gazing at the starry sky, he saw it was already the fifth watch. Suddenly he heard the sound of the bells of P'u-chien Temple. When he reached the temple, the monks gave him some of their morning gruel. He then returned to Kuang-chou.

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Master Ts'ui had earlier rented a room in a temple hostel. When it was light, he went to the hostel to inquire about it. They said, "it's already been three years!" The master asked Ts'ui Wei, "Where did you go, that for three years you have not returned?" Wei did not answer truthfully. When he opened his door, he found that dust had covered the bed. The sight saddened him greatly. He inquired about the magistrate: Hsii Shen had indeed died and Chao Ch'ang had replaced him. Then he went to the Persian trade office and tried to sell the pearl quietly. There was an old barbarian who, after one look at it, prostrated himself and clasped his hands, saying, "You have come from the tomb of Chao T'o, King of Southern Yiieh!9 Otherwise, you would not have been able to obtain this jewel. This particular pearl was buried along with Chao T'o." Then Ts'ui truthfully told all. Now he knew that the emperor was Chao T'o, also known as the Martial Emperor of Southern Yiieh. He then exchanged the pearl for a hundred thousand strings of cash. Master Ts'ui asked the barbarian, "How did you know all this?" The barbarian replied, "This Sun Bonfire Pearl is a state treasure of my country, Arabia. At the beginning of the Former Han, Chao T'o sent remarkable men with superhuman abilities to cross the mountains and navigate the seas, to steal it and bring it back to Pan-yii. That was already a thousand years ago. My country has astrologers, versed in prognostication, who said that in coming years this state treasure would return, so my king summoned me to prepare a large ship, heavy with treasure, to sail to Pan-yii to search for it. Today I have acquired what I have sought." He then took out liquid jade to polish and wash the pearl. Its gleam filled the room. The barbarian hurriedly set sail for Arabia. Having obtained this gold, Wei once again had some property.

9

During the Ch'in dynasty, Chao T'o (?-137 B.C.) was Prefect of Nan-hai. When the Ch'in empire fell, he took Nan-hai and two other prefectures, Kuei-lin and Hsiang, to form the state of Nan-yiieh. In 196 B.C. the Han Emperor Kao-tsu (r. 206-195 B.C.) enfoeffed him as Prince of Nan-yiieh. During the time of Empress Lu he declared himself Martial Emperor of Nan-yiieh, and attacked Chang-sha. During the reign of Emperor Ching-ti (r. 157-41 B.C.), he submitted again to Han rule.

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He tried to seek out the Goat City Emissary, but there was no trace of him to be found. Later, while on business in the Temple of the City God, he suddenly noticed among the statues of gods one resembling the emissary. He then saw tiny writing on the god's brush holder, which was just what the serving girl had inscribed. He prepared wine and dried meat for an offering, and had repairs made to the temple, for he then knew that Goat City was in fact the city of Kuang-chou, in whose temple there were five goats. He went again to Old Man Jen's house, but a village elder told him, "That's the tomb of Military Officer Jen of Nan-hai."10 And he climbed the Terrace of the King of Yiieh, where he saw his father's poem which read: At the head of the Hill of the King of Yiieh's Wells, the pine and poplar are old. Autumn grass grows on top of the King of Yiieh's Terrace. An ancient tomb--no sons or grandsons for many years; And rustic men walk along the tracks and make of them a thoroughfare. Accompanying it was the King of Yiieh's poem in reply, a poem rather extraordinary in words and script. He inquired about it of the abbott, who said, "Minister Hsii Shen, after climbing this terrace, was so moved by Censor Ts'ui's poem that he had the terrace renovated; the halls and the altar were restored to their former brilliance and glory." On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, Wei took an abundant supply of delicacies and sweet wine and spent the night in a monk's cell in the P'u-chien Temple. Around midnight the four women arrived, accompanying Lady T'ien. She was beautiful and elegant in appearance and bearing, cultured in speech and refined in thought. The four women and Master Ts'ui drank and joked until it was almost dawn, then said goodbye. After bowing twice to them, Wei gave them a letter to present to the King of Yiieh, expressing his respect and gratitude. He then returned to his house with Lady T'ien.

10

I.e., Jen Hsiao; he was the Governor of Nan-hai before Chao T'o.

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Some time later Wei asked the lady, "If you are the daughter of the King of Ch'i, how was it that you married a man of Southern Yiieh?" She replied, "My country was destroyed and my family wiped out. It was my misfortune to be captured by the King of Yiieh and made his royal concubine. When the King died, I was buried along with him. Now I don't even know what time this is. The boiling of Master Li 11 seems only yesterday." Whenever she remembered the past, tears came to her eyes. Wei asked, "Who are those four women?" "Two were given by King Yao of the Ou-yiieh, and two were entered into service by King Wu-chu of the Min-yiieh,"12 she said. "All of them were buried alive with the King." He then asked, "Before, the four women spoke of Pao-ku. Who is that?" She said, "Pao Ching's daughter, the wife of Ko Hung.13 She often performed moxibustion in Nan-hai." Wei then sighed in amazement, thinking of that old woman in earlier days. He inquired further, "They called that serpent 'Jade City Master.' Why?" She explained, "in the past, Master An Ch'i regularly rode that dragon to pay his respects in the Jade Capital,14 so it is called the 'Jade City Master.'"

11

12

13

14

Li Shih-ch'i, a native of Kao-yang (in modern Hopeh), was a famous persuader at the beginning of the Han dynasty. The King of Ch'i thought Li had betrayed him, and had him boiled alive.--Ed. The Ou-yiieh and the Min-yiieh are two tribes in Kuang-tung and Fu-kien, respectively, conquered and sinicized during the Former Han. Pao-ku was a woman of the Chin dynasty (265-420), famous for her skill at moxibustion. Pao Ching was an official in Nan-hai and later a Taoist scholar; he was said to have lived more than a hundred years. Ko Hung was a great Taoist scholar, author of the Pao-p'u-tzu, who retired to Mount Lo-fu to practice alchemy. Master An Ch'i was a mythological magician of the time of the First Emperor of Ch'in, who was said to have spent three days and nights in conversation with him. Jade City is the residence of the Celestial Emperor.

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Because Wei had drunk the dragon's leftover foam in the cave, his skin was young and delicate, and his sinews and ligaments were nimble and light. He continued to live in Nan-hai for more than ten years, then gave away his gold and property and devoted himself to the Tao. Later Wei took along his wife to Lo-fu Mountain15 in order to seek out Pao-ku. After that, no one knows where he went. (PHCC, pp. 14-21; Wang, 274-79; TPKC, 34.2) Tr. Simon Schuchat Note: A version of the archetypal theme of "underground journey," set in a southern locale, this story is rich in CK motifs, historical associations, and symbolic patternings. The historical and mythological frames of reference link the precedents and consequences in a tightly-knit interconnection; and despite their complexity, the motifs and events at the end all fit together, like the pieces in a jig-saw puzzle. The action is unified also by a retribution theme. Within the parallel settings of Goat City (mythological) and the Tomb of the King of Southern Yiieh (historical), we see a father's instrumentality in bringing about the renovation of the king's terrace matched by the son's refurbishing of the emmissary's temple at the end. The sequences of events involved may be seen to complete a series of the motifs of "a favor repaid," forming an interconnected pattern of retribution. By the use of history and legends, the narrator is able to employ a consistent point of view based on the "limited consciousness" of the protagonist and yet maintain the intelligibility of the complex events. The explanations given through Lady T'ien's words at the end, however, read more like footnotes than effective narrative.

15

A mountain in Tseng-ch'eng County of Kwangtung Province, where Ko Hung reputedly transformed himself and became an immortal.

351

The T'ang(93) The K'un-lun Slave by P'ei Hsing (Ch'uan-ch'i)

In the Ta-li reign period [766-780] of Emperor Tai-tsung, there was a scholar by the name of Ts'ui. His father was an illustrious official and a good friend of the most eminent minister of the court. He was foremost in merit among the officials of the age and had been granted the Highest Rank of noblemen. Young Ts'ui at this time was a member of the Imperial Guard, and his father sent him off to inquire after His Excellency the Lordship in his illness. The young Ts'ui had a countenance that was pure as jade. He was of good moral character, austere and uncompromising; his deportment was serene and his speech refined. His Lordship, after ordering a singing girl to roll up the curtain, asked young Ts'ui to enter his parlor. Ts'ui saluted him respectfully and explained his father's commission. His Lordship was greatly pleased and took a liking to him, and so bade him sit down to chat. During that time, three singing girls of unsurpassed beauty remained at His Lordship's side bearing golden bowls which contained cherries. These they peeled, moistened in sweet cream, and presented to him. His Lordship then directed a singing girl wearing a red silk garment to give one of the bowls to Ts'ui that he might partake of its contents. The young Ts'ui felt embarrassed in the presence of the singing girl and his face reddened, so that he could not eat anything. His Lordship had the singing girl with the red silk garment feed him with a spoon, so that he had no choice but to eat, provoking smiles on her face. Then Ts'ui took his leave. His Lordship said, "When you have some leisure, young man, you must come and visit me, as I do not wish that we should become estranged." He then ordered the singing girl with the red silk garment to escort Ts'ui to the courtyard. There Ts'ui looked back and saw the girl raise three fingers, turn her palm three times, and then point to a mirror in front of her bosom, saying, "Remember." After this she said nothing else. Ts'ui went back ho®ie, reported to his father His Lordship's words, and then returned to his study. He became totally infatuated with the thought of the girl.

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All day long he remained speechless, his visage downcast; he was so distraught and meditative that he could not bring himself to eat. In his distress, he recited a poem, which went: By mistake I went to travel on the peak of P'eng-lai mountain; A jade maiden with bright earrings blinked her eyes of stars. Vermilion doors half covered the moon of the forbidden palace, Which illumined the lovely iris, a beauty grieving on the snow. No one could understand the meaning of this. At that time, there was in the house a K'un-lun slave1 called Mo-le, who eyed his young master and said, "What matter have you in your mind that you cannot put an end to your sorrow? Why do you not tell me about it?" Ts'ui replied, "What does someone of your status know, yet you ask me about matters of the heart?" Mo-le said, "if you would just tell me, I am sure I can find a solution for you. No matter how distant and difficult, I will be able to carry it out." Ts'ui marveled at the strangeness of the slave's words, so he told him everything. Mo-le said, "This is but a small affair! Why did you not let me know sooner and spare yourself this suffering?" Ts'ui then spoke of the girl's mysterious gestures, after which Mo-le said, "What is the difficulty in understanding that? Raising three fingers simply means that there are ten units of apartments for housing the singing girls in the home of His Lordship, and that hers is the third. Turning the hand three times, you will count fifteen fingers, which are the equivalent of fifteen days. The small mirror before her bosom--does it not mean that she would expect you on the night of the fifteenth day, when the moon will be as round as a bronze mirror?" Ts'ui was delighted and could not control himself, so he said to Mo-le, "What scheme have you for overcoming my melancholy?" To this Mo-le responded with a smile, saying, "The fifteenth night will be two nights from now. Please give me two rolls of dark green gauze and I will make you some clothes which will allow freedom of movement. But in

1

See "Old Chang" (78), n. 2.--Ed.

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the home of His Lordship there is a fierce dog who guards the gate to the singing girls' chambers. Strangers cannot get through; the dog is trained to kill anyone who attempts to enter. It is supremely alert and is as ferocious as a tiger, being a purebred from Ts'ao-chou [in modern Shantung] from Meng Hai's days.2 In the entire world, I alone am capable of killing this dog. I will slay it for you this evening." Thereupon Ts'ui feasted him with wine and meat. At the third watch, Mo-le left carrying a mace. He came back in the time it takes to eat a meal, saying, "The dog is already dead, so there is nothing barring the way." On the appointed night, during the third watch, he made Ts'ui put on the green clothes, then he placed him on his back and crossed over ten walls. He then entered the singing girls' quarter, stopping at the third door. The ornamented door was not shut and a golden lantern emitted a weak light. They saw only the girl sitting inside, heaving long sighs, as if waiting for someone. She had just taken off her jade earrings and her makeup, like a jade piece neglected for all its beauty, a pearl in desolation still retaining its luster. They heard her recite a poem, which said: In the deep valley, the weeping orioles are sorrowful over Master Juan3 Who secretly came beneath the flowers to loosen the pearl ornaments.4 Emerald clouds drift and break, no more news is received; In vain does one use a jade flute, awaiting in grief the coming of phoenixes.5

2

3

4

5

Meng Hai may refer to the leader of a peasant uprising in Ts'ao-chou during the late Sui (589-618).--Ed. Juan Chao, said to have ascended T'ien-t'ai mountain along with Liu Chen to gather herbs. There they encountered some fairy women, who detained them for half a year (see "Liu Ch'en and Juan Chao," [40]). "Loosen the pearl ornaments" refers to Cheng Chiao-fu's encounter with the goddesses on the bank of the Han River (see "Cheng Te-lin" [90], n. 3).--Ed. Hsiao Shih was a man of the Spring and Autumn Period (722-484 B.C.) who was skilled at playing the flute. Duke Mu of Ch'in married his daughter Nung Yii to him.

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The guards were all asleep, and there was silence all about. Ts'ui then slowly lifted the curtain and entered the room. In a moment the girl noticed that he had come and, springing from her bed, she seized Ts'ui by the hand, saying, "I knew of your cleverness, Young Master, and that you could fathom that which is not uttered, so I spoke to you by means of my hand. Yet I do not know what magic you have availed yourself of to come in here!" Ts'ui told her Mo-le's scheme in its entirety and how he had brought him there by carrying him on his back. The girl said, "Where is Mo-le?" Ts'ui said, "On the other side of the curtain." She then asked Mo-le to enter and served him wine in a golden bowl. The girl then said to Ts'ui, "My family was originally wealthy. We lived in the north. My present master was the local overlord, and he compelled me to become his attendant. I could not take my life, yet I have been living at the expense of principle. Even though I have kept my face powdered, my heart has been most sullen. Even though I have jade chopsticks with which to pick up my food, golden braziers that exude fragrance; I live behind door-screens made of mica and wear nothing but silk; my covers are embroidered quilts and I sleep among pearls and fine green jade--this is not what I want, and I feel as though I were fettered and manacled. Since your worthy retainer possesses magic powers, why do you not free me from this prison? If I am able to attain my wish, I would not regret even if I were to die. I would like to be your servant and wait upon your person." Ts'ui was worried and did not speak, but Mo-le said, "Since the young lady is so determined, this is but a simple matter!" The girl was very pleased. Mo-le first asked to carry out the girl's bags and dressing case, which required three trips. After this was done he said, "I fear it will soon be dawn." So saying, he placed young Ts'ui and the girl on his back and flew over the ten lofty walls. None of His Lordship's guards awakened. Mo-le thus returned to Ts'ui's study and there they hid the girl.

Hsiao taught her how to play the flute and sing the songs of phoenixes, so that later on a phoenix did indeed come to them. Duke Mu of Ch'in then built a phoenix terrace for them. Eventually they both went away (Nung Yii on a phoenix and Hsiao Shih astride a dragon) to become immortals.

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Only at dawn did His Lordship's household become aware of what had happened; they also saw that the dog was dead. His Lordship exclaimed in astonishment, "Our gates and walls have always been unassailable, our doors heavily locked. Under the circumstances, it appears as though someone flew over them without leaving a trace. This must be the work of a knight-errant! But do not allow the news to spread. That would only be bringing more trouble on ourselves." The singing girl remained hidden at Ts'ui's home for two years. But one day, when she went out in a small carriage to view the flower blossoms along the Crooked River, she was espied by a servant of His Lordship's household. He informed His Lordship of this, who thought it all most unusual. He summoned Ts'ui and made inquiries of him. Young Ts'ui, fearing grave consequences, did not dare keep anything from His Lordship, but recounted the affair in detail: it was all due to Mo-le's carrying her away on his back. His Lordship said, "This singing girl has committed a grave wrong. But she has been serving you more than a year, so I will not press the matter further. Still, we must be rid of this other threat to humanity." He then ordered fifty armored soldiers, heavily armed with weapons, to surround Ts'ui's residence in order to arrest Mo-le. Mo-le took a dagger and flew over the high wall, flitting past like a winged bird, as fast as a falcon. A volley of arrows shot towards him like rain, but none hit their mark. In a moment he vanished without anyone seeing in which direction he had gone. Ts'ui's household was quite alarmed. Later on His Lordship regretted what he had done and grew so afraid that each night he had more household lads protect him with swords and halberds. Only when a full year had passed did this finally stop. More than ten years later, a member of the Ts'ui household saw Mo-le selling herbs in the marketplace at Lo-yang, his appearance no different from before. (PHCC, pp. 6-9; Wang, pp. 267-69; Chang, pp. 151-54; Hsu, pp. 389-94; TPKC, 194.1) Tr. Pedro Acosta Note: The kind of kung-fu skills described here makes this a fantastic piece, while the exotic origin of the character Mo-le also enhances this quality.

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The fascination this story has exerted on the Chinese mind is borne out by its many adaptations by later writers, particularly playwrights. There are at least three plays known to be based on this story: Tao Hung-hsiao (Theft of Hung-hsiao, the Girl in Red Silk) by Yang No (late 14th century), Hung-hsiao chi (Story of Hung-hsiao) by Liang Ch'en-yii (15217-1594?) and K'un-lun nu (The K'un-lun Slave) by Mei Ting-tso (1553-1619).

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357 (94) Nieh Yin-niang by P'ei Hsing (Ch' uan-ch'i)

Yin-niang was the daughter of Nieh Feng, a general from Wei-po [covering parts of modern Hopeh and Shantung Provinces] in the Chen-yuan reign period [785-804]. When she was only ten years old, a nun came begging for food at the house of Nieh. Upon seeing Yin-niang, she was pleased and said, "Sir, please let me take this girl that I may instruct her." Nieh was greatly angered and rebuked the nun, who said, "Even if you hide her in an iron chest, sir, I will still snatch her away." That night, Yin-niang did indeed vanish. Nieh Feng was very much alarmed and had her searched for, but there were no clues to her whereabouts. Her parents longed for her but could do no more than look at each other and weep. Five years later, the nun brought Yin-niang back and said to Nieh Feng, "She has completed her tutelage. You may have her." She then suddenly disappeared. The entire household cried with delight. They asked her what she had learned, and she replied, "At first I did nothing but read sutras and recite incantations." Nieh Feng did not believe her and persisted in his questioning. Yin-niang then said, "If I tell you the truth, I am afraid you will not believe me. What is the use?" Nieh Feng said, "Just tell the truth then." She replied, "When I was taken away by the nun, we traveled I don't know how many miles. At dawn, we reached a big, bright stone cave. There were no inhabitants for many paces around, only plenty of apes, pines, and creepers for a great distance. Two girls were already there, each also ten years of age. Both were bright and beautiful. They did not eat, and could fly over sheer cliffs without losing their footing, like nimble gibbons going up a tree. The nun made me take a pill and gave me a sword which she told me always to keep at my side. It was about two feet long and so sharp that one could cut a hair by blowing it against the edge. She directed me to learn to climb by following two girls who were there, and I gradually felt my body become as light as the wind. "A year later, I could attack and kill monkeys without ever missing a single one. Afterwards, I struck at tigers and leopards, and I always succeeded in cutting off their

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heads. By the third year I was able to fly, and if I struck out at hawks and falcons, I would hit them all. The blade of my sword gradually shrank to five inches. When flying birds encountered it, they would not know where it came from. "During the fourth year, the nun left the two girls to keep watch over the cave and took me to a city somewhere. She pointed out a man and enumerated his wrongdongs, saying, 'Go and sever his head for me, and do not let him realize what you are doing. If you calm your nerves, it ^ will be as easy as killing birds.' She gave me a ram's horn dagger, the blade of which was three inches wide. I then hacked off the man's head in broad daylight without anyone seeing me. I put the head in a pouch and returned to my mistress, who used a potion to change it into water. "In the fifth year, she said, 'A certain major official is guilty of transgression. For no reason at all he has brought harm to many. Go at night to his bed chamber and cut off his head. ' I again took up my dagger and entered his chamber, passing through the cracks in the door without difficulty. I then lay on my stomach upon a beam. At dusk, I made off with his head and returned. The nun said in great anger, 'Why are you so late?' I replied, 'I saw him playing with a child. It was so touching I could not bring myself to carry out the task right away. ' The nun scolded me, saying, 'From now on, when you run into his kind again, you are first to kill the loved one, and then you may slay the man.1 I acknowledged my mistake. The nun said, 'I will open up the back of your head and secrete the dagger there without any harm to you. When you have need of it, draw it out.' Then she added, 'You have already mastered your craft. You may go home.' Thereupon she escorted me back, saying, 'Only after twenty years have passed will we see each other again.'" When Nieh Feng heard these words he was very much afraid. At nightfall she would disappear arid then return in the morning. Nieh Feng no longer dared make inquiries of her, and as a result, he also came to lose his affection for her. One day, a mirror grinder1 happened to come by 1

Mirrors were made of bronze and occasionally needed grinding to recover their luster. Mirror-grinding was a specialized craft. The mirror was heated until it was red hot. It was then submerged in water, removed, and put to a grinding stone.

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their door. The girl said, "This man may be made my husband." She informed her father, who dared not gainsay her and married her to the man. Since the husband could do nothing but grind mirrors, her father kept them both generously supplied with food and clothing. They lived by themselves in a separate house. Several years later her father died. The regional commander of Wei-po, knowing something of her exceptional qualities, took her into his service by offering her payments of gold and silk. Several more years passed in this way. In the Yiian-ho reign period [806-820], the regional commander of Wei-po was not getting along well with Liu Ch'ang-i,2 viceroy of Ch'en-chou and Hsii-chou [both commanderies in Honan province]. He thus ordered Yin-niang to assassinate him. Yin-niang took leave of the regional commander and went to Hsii-chou with her husband. Viceroy Liu, who was an adept in the magic arts, already knew that she was coming. He summoned one of his officers and bade him go early the next day to the northern part of the city, there to await a man and a woman coming up to the gate astride a black and a white donkey. They would hear a magpie screech and the husband would shoot it with a slingshot bow3 but fail to hit it. The wife would then take the husband's bow and slay the bird with a single pellet. He was to make obeisance to them and say that the viceroy, wishing to see them, has bid him to welcome them at a distance. The officer went to meet them as directed. Yin-niang and her husband said, "His lordship must be versed in the arcane arts. Otherwise, how could he have known of our coming? We wish to see Lord Liu." The viceroy gave them audience. Yin-niang and her husband paid their respects and said, "We deserve ten thousand deaths for plotting against you!" Liu replied, "Not so. It is a common matter for each man to be loyal to his master. But there is no difference between Wei-po and Hsii-chou now. I hope you will remain here and will not doubt my intentions." Yin-niang admitted her fault, saying, "Your Lordship has no 2

3

Liu Ch'ang-i (?-813) was a military governor supportive of the central government; for his biography, see Chiu T'ang shu 151, pp. 4056-57 and Shin T'ang shu 170, pp. 5166-67.--Ed. A bow-like weapon that projects pellets instead of arrows.--Ed.

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one worthy at his side. I wish to leave the other lord and declare my allegiance to you. Your Lordship's divine perspicuity has made a convert of me." She knew that the regional commander of Wei-po was not the equal of Viceroy Liu. The viceroy asked what she had need of. She said, "Two hundred cash a day would suffice." It was done as she requested. Not knowing where the donkeys had gone, the viceroy had them searched after, but no one knew where they were. Later on they secretly looked inside Yin-niang's bag and found two paper donkeys, one black and one white. After somewhat more than a month had passed, Yin-niang said to the viceroy, "My former master does not know when to stop. He will surely send someone in my place. Allow me to cut off a strand of my hair, tie it to a red tassel, and place it before the regional commander's pillow, in order to show him my determination not to return." The viceroy gave his consent. During the fourth watch, she returned and said, "I have relayed my message. The night after tomorrow night he will send Ching-ching-erh to kill me and carry off your head. When the time comes, I will do everything to destroy the assailant. Please do not be concerned." Viceroy Liu was candid and valiant, and showed no fear. That night, in the candle light after midnight, there appeared two streamers, one red and one white, floating about as though attacking each other around the four corners of the viceroy's bed. After a long time, someone fell to the ground from midair, head and body separated. Yin-niang also came out and said, "Ching-ching-erh has been slain." She moved the body outside and used drugs to change it into water, leaving not a single hair behind. Yin-niang said, "On the night after tomorrow night he will send K'ung-k'ung-erh the Adroit. K'ung-k'ung-erh's magic is such that no human can understand its use, no spirit can follow its tracks. He4 can enter the netherworld from the heavens; he can disappear and leave no trace of his shadow. My own arts are no match for his. We'll therefore have to rely on Your Lordship's good fortune. Please wear a collar made of Khoten jade5 and sleep with it. I will turn into a cootie and conceal

k

5

K'ung-k'ung-erh's sex, like that of Ching-ching-erh, is not clear from the text. Khoten, a place in Sinkiang renowned for fine jades.

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myself in your innards to wait it out. Besides this there is no escape." The viceroy heeded her advice. During the third watch, before his eyes had been closed long, he heard a sharp ringing sound from something striking at his neck. Yin-niang jumped out of the viceroy's mouth and congratulated him, "Your Lordship no longer has anything to fear! This person is like a fierce falcon. If he fails to accomplish his goal in a single blow, he will turn and go away, ashamed over the failure. Before the watch is over, he will be a thousand miles away." Later, they looked at the jade and saw that it had been cut by a dagger, the mark quite long. From then on the viceroy treated Yin-niang with great generosity. In the eighth year of the Yiian-ho reign period [806-820] , when Liu left Hsii-chou to pay a court visit to the emperor, Yin-niang chose not to accompany him, saying, "Henceforth I will roam in the mountains and rivers to search for Accomplished Persons."6 She asked only that her husband be given a sinecure. The viceroy did as they had agreed and gradually came to lose track of her whereabouts. When the viceroy died in office, Yin-niang came to the capital on her donkey and wept before his coffin before disappearing again. During the K'ai-ch'eng reign period [836-840], the viceroy's son Liu Tsung was made governor of Ling-chou [roughly the area of modern Szechwan Province]. In his travels, he met Yin-niang on a plank-trail along a precipice in the Shu [Szechwan] mountains. Her countenance was as it had been in earlier days, and she still rode a white donkey. She was pleased to see him, and said, "Don't go to Ling-chou. A great calamity is in store for you there." She took out a pellet of drugs and bade Liu Tsung swallow it, saying, "Next year you must resign your post and return to Loyang [the eastern capital]. Only thus will you avert disaster. My drugs will protect you for but a year." Liu Tsung was not much of a believer in such things. He offered her colored silk, but Yin-niang did not accept any of it. Instead, she drank with Tsung and left only when she was inebriated.

6

Those who have attained immortality.

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One year later, Liu Tsung still had not resigned, and indeed soon died at his post in Ling-chou. After this, no one ever saw Yin-niang again. (PHCC, pp. 22-25; Wang, pp. 270-72; Chang, pp. 155-58; Hsu, pp. 389-401; TPKC, 194.5) Tr. Pedro Acosta Note: This is a rare example of a CK story with a description of the training of a hsia (here an assassin). The contests of magic between Yin-niang and Ching-ching-erh and K'ung-k'ung-erh move the story from the category of the fantastic into that of the supernatural. These episodes have inspired many imitations by later writers. The professionalism shown in the nun's attitude towards assassination is consistent with her aim of ridding society of evil. But her zealotry also points to an ethical problem in this time of political disorder. As reflected in Yin-niang's amoral criterion in the choice of a master, the chivalric code of the original hsia has by now totally disappeared. The skills and magic are here enlisted to serve the purposes of military governors in rivalry with each other for power (cf. the next entry, "Hung-hsien"). The plot of a play by Yu T'ung (1618-1704) entitled Hei Pai wei (The Black and White Donkeys) is based on this tale.

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363 (95) Hung-hsien by Yiian Chiao (Kan-tse yao)

Hung-hsien [lit., Red Threads] served as a maid in the household of Hsiieh Sung,1 the Military Governor of Lu-chou.2 She was an accomplished lute player, and since she was also well-versed in the classics and histories, Sung placed her in charge of his correspondence, designating her as his private secretary. One evening at a military banquet Hung-hsien remarked to Sung, "The deerskin drum sounds so sorrowful--the drummer must have something on his mind." Sung, who had a keen sensibility for music, replied, "it seems that you are right." He summoned the drummer and asked him what the matter was. "My wife died last night," the drummer said. "But I dare not ask for leave." Sung at once gave him permission to go home. After the Chih-te reign period [756-758] there was unrest north and south of the Yellow River.3 The Chao-i Division was established with a garrison post at Fu-yang.4 Sung was ordered to defend this stronghold and restore order in Shan-tung.5 Because this was a time just after much blood had been shed, and the military government had just been instituted, the emperor ordered Sung to give his

1

2

3

k

5

Hsiieh Sung C? -773), a participant in the An Lu-shan rebellion of 755. Like many rebel generals, he was allowed to retain command of his army and govern a large tract of land after his surrender to the T'ang. As a military governor, he won a reputation for administrative effectiveness. A region encompassing the greater portion of present-day Shansi and Hopeh; its administrative seat was located at what is now Ch'ang-chih, Shansi. I.e., the instability in the wake of the An Lu-shan rebellion. The Chao-i (i.e. Shining Righteousness) Division had its headquarters at what is now An-yang County in Honan. Fu-yang is now Tz'u County in Honan. The region east of T'ai-hang Mountain, including modern Hopeh, Honan, and Shantung.--Ed.

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daughter in marriage to the son of T'ien Ch'eng-ssu,6 the Military Governor of Wei-po,7 and in addition to match his son with the daughter of Ling-hu Chang,8 the Military Governor of Hua-chou [Hua County, Honan]. After being so bound by marriage, the three governors were obliged to regularly dispatch messengers to one another. T'ien Ch'eng-ssu suffered from pulmonary emphysema. It was so unbearable during the summer that he often said, "if I could move my garrison to Shan-tung and breathe the cool air there, I would live several years longer." Ch'eng-ssu thus began to marshal his troops, selecting three thousand of the best of them. Each of these men was ten times fiercer and braver than the ordinary soldier. He called them his "Palace Guards," lavished favors on them,9 and regularly assigned three hundred of them to stand guard around his mansion at night. It seemed that Ch'eng-ssu would march on Lu-chou on any auspicious day. News of the impending invasion so agitated Sung that he talked to himself day and night, trying in vain to think of a solution. One night, when the outer gate to his mansion had already been shut and the watch posted, Sung paced back and forth in his courtyard, supporting himself with a staff. Only Hung-hsien was with him. "My Lord, you have been worried this past month even while eating and sleeping," Hung-hsien said. "There seems to be something on your mind. Could it have something to

6

7

8

9

T'ien Ch'eng-ssu (704-778) served as a general under An Lu-shan. After surrendering, T'ien was made a military governor, but still proved to be unruly. In 775 he annexed the territories which had been under Hsiieh Sung's jurisdiction. Administrative district that once consisted of five prefectures in Hopeh. Its headquarters was located at Wei-chou (modern Ta-ming). Ling-hu Chang (?-773), a general under An Lu-shan, was made a military governor after his surrender to the T'ang government. This seems to have been based on historical fact. According to the Chiu T'ang shu , T'ien Ch'eng-ssu selected ten thousand of his best troops and made them his personal guards. He called them his "Palace Guards," an appellation normally reserved for the emperor's own troops. The Hsin T'ang shu says that T'ien was so fond of his troops that he called them "heroes of heaven."

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do with the neighboring territories?" "What troubles me concerns the survival of the country," Sung said. "I'm afraid it is something beyond your comprehens ion." "I am a girl of lowly station, but I might be able to help you," Hung-hsien insisted. Sung thus felt compelled to tell her everything. "I succeeded my grandfather and my father in becoming a military officer10 and have received many favors from the state,"11 he said. "if I lose this territory, a hundred years of achievement will vanish in a single day." "This is no problem," Hung-hsien said. "There is no reason for you to be so distressed. Let me go to Wei-chiin [i.e. Wei-chou] to survey the situation and find out the real strength there. I shall start out at the first watch and should report back to you by the third. I only ask that you first prepare a swift horse for a messenger and write a letter of greeting. Then you won't have to do anything but wait for my return." Sung was greatly surprised. "I must have been blind to have failed to see that you are a person of extraordinary ability!" he said. "But what if you fail and hasten the arrival of calamity instead?" "I certainly won't fail you in this mission," she responded. She went into her chamber and outfitted herself for travel. She combed her hair into a bun in the style of the Wu-man tribe.12 and clasped it with a gold hairpin shaped like a phoenix. She put on a purple embroidered jacket and a light pair of black shoes. Over her breast she carried a dagger engraved with dragons, and on her forehead she wrote

10

11

12

Hsiieh Sung's grandfather, Jen-kuei, served as a general under the T'ang Emperor Kao-tsung (r. 650-684). His father, Ch'u-yii, was military governor of Fan-yang (now Peking) during the K'ai-yiian reign period (713-742). Perhaps a reference to his treatment after his surrender to the T'ang. See note 1. The Wu-man aborigines lived in southern Szechwan and eastern Yunnan. Aborigines of southern China were collectively known as the Man tribes. Chinese accounts describe them as having mallet shaped coiffures and knots shaped like clenched fists. The Wu-man, or "Black Barbarians" were so named for their women's long black dresses.

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the name of the god T'ai-i.13 She then took leave of Sung by bowing twice and vanished instantly. Sung retreated to his chamber, shut the door, and sat tensely with his back to a candle. In the past he had usually felt the effects of wine after only a few cups, but this night he drank more than ten flasks without feeling intoxicated. Suddenly Sung heard the morning bugle blowing in the wind and a sound like that of a leaf falling to the ground. Startled, he inquired what had happened--it was Hung-hsien who had returned. Sung felt relieved and greeted her solicitously. "Did everything go well?" he asked. "I wouldn't dare fail you," she replied. "Was anyone hurt or killed?" "it didn't come to that. I only took a gold box from the head of T'ien Ch'eng-ssu's bed as proof that I was there." Hung-hsien continued, "Last night I reached Wei-chun at three quarters before midnight. I passed through several gates before arriving at T'ien's sleeping quarters. I heard his Palace Guards snoring like thunder in the hallway outside his room. I saw other soldiers in the headquarters marching down another corridor, shouting orders like the wind. "I opened the left door leaf to T'ien's room and made my way to his canopied bed. Inside I saw your kinsman sound asleep with his legs propped up. His head rested on a carved rhinoceros horn pillow, and his topknot was tied with a yellow crepe ribbon. In front of his pillow there was a sword engraved with the seven stars of the Northern Dipper14 and in front of the sword there was an open gold box. T'ien's own birth date and the names of the gods of the Northern Dipper15 were written inside it. Spread out around it were fragrant incense and beautiful jewels. Even inside his jade-studded canopy he was displaying his might, his only thoughts being of the success of his present life. Little did he know that I could have ended it, even as he 13 14

15

T'ai-i, god of the North Star. Star swords were believed to possess supernatural powers. The gods of the Northern Dipper were greatly revered in Taoism. They supposedly descended into the Taoist adepts' body to prepare it for immortality.

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dreamt in his magnolia hall. Why should I have taken the trouble to capture him? It only made one feel pity. "By this time the candles and incense burners had died down. Attendants were everywhere along with vast arrays of weapons. Some snored, leaning their heads against folding screens. Others slept stretched out, holding towels and dusters. I pulled out their hairpins and even fastened their jackets and robes, but none of them woke up--it was almost as if all of them were in a coma. I just took the gold box and headed back here. "I had traveled nearly two hundred li after leaving through the western gate of Wei when I saw the Bronze Tower16 rising high and the Chang River [in Honan] flowing eastward. The early morning winds were blowing across the wilderness, and the moon had already sunk behind the trees in the distance. Tense when I went, now on the way home I felt free and easy, and forgot all about my exhausting journey. This was only a small token of my gratitude for your appreciation. "Within six hours I made a roundtrip of seven hundred ii, entering dangerous lands and passing through five or six cities. I did all this for no other purpose than to alleviate your worries. I wouldn't dare complain to y6u about my hardships." When she finished, Sung dispatched a messenger with a letter for T'ien Ch'eng-ssu. It read: "Last night a stranger came here from Wei after taking a gold box from your bedside. I dare not keep it, so I am sending it back with this letter." The messenger rode from morning to evening and reached Wei by midnight. He saw that Ch'eng-ssu's troops had been searching for the missing gold box and were filled with fear and doubt. He knocked on Ch'eng-ssu's gate with his whip, requesting an emergency audience. Ch'eng-ssu met him immediately. When presented with the box Ch'eng-ssu almost fell down in shock. He invited the messenger to stay and tried to ingratiate himself with the man by giving him a feast and showering him with gifts.

16

I.e., T'ung-t'ai, shortened form of T'ung-ch'iieh t'ai (Terrace of the Bronze Sparrows). Built by Ts'ao Ts'ao (155-220), it stood in the northwest corner of the city of Yeh, west of Lin-chang County in Honan.

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The next day Ch'eng-ssu sent a messenger to present Sung with thirty thousand bolts of silk, two hundred thoroughbred horses, and many other fitting gifts. Ch'eng-ssu's letter to Sung read: To you I owe my life. I now recognize my faults and will reform. From now on I will give you no cause for concern. I shall be at your disposal anytime, even as a servant, and dare not presume to be treated as a relative. It would only be fitting for me to guard your carriage from behind as you go out, and lead the horse as a vanguard when you come in. I organized my Palace Guards to defend against bandits and thieves. They had no other purpose. Now I have ordered them to remove their armor and have allowed them to return to their homes. Within one or two months communications were resumed between the regions north and south of the Yellow River. Hung-hsien then asked for permission to leave. Sung replied, "You were born in my household. Where will you go? And just when I need you most, how can you talk of leaving?" "I was a man in my previous life," Hung-hsien said. "I wandered about, studying Shen Nung's books on medicinal herbs,17 and saving people in distress. Once I came to a village where a pregnant woman had suddenly been stricken with a stomach ailment. I prescribed daphne blossom wine,18 and the woman and two unborn children died. With one act I killed three people. As punishment, the Lord of the Underworld had me reborn as a girl. I was cast into the lot of a serving girl whose character was governed by the Star of Thievery.19 Fortunately I was born into your household where I have lived for nineteen years. I have been treated with the utmost kindness and have lived in unmatched splendor--so much so that I have grown weary of fine silk and have had my fill of rare delicacies.

17

18 19

Shen Nung, legendary emperor who is supposed to have introduced agriculture and herbal medicine into China. Daphne genkwa, a poisonous plant. Another text has Hung-hsien describing her character as "ordinary, common."

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"Now that the nation has been restored to order, there will be great rejoicing. T'ien and his likes violated the principles of heaven, so I had to put a stop to their activities. By going to Wei-chun that night, I expressed my gratitude for your kindness. In addition, two regions were preserved intact, the lives of ten thousand people were saved, an unruly subject came to know fear, and loyal officials can thus be secure in their plans for the country. For a girl like me, all this is no small accomplishment. It is enough to redeem my past crime, and I may be restored to my original form. I should withdraw from the dusty world and concentrate my mind on spiritual matters, purifying my vital essences so that I may transcend life and death."20 "If you insist on leaving," Sung said, "I'll give you a thousand pieces of gold so that you can sustain yourself while living in the mountains." "This is a matter of the next life," Hung-hsien said. "How can one plan for anything in advance?" Sung realized that he could not stop her, so he held a sumptuous farewell feast for her. The banquet hall was crowded with guests. Sung dedicated a song to her and asked one of the guests, Leng Chao-yang, to compose the lyrics: Singing "Plucking Water Caltrops,"21 we lamented in the magnolia boat; When we parted, our spirits melted away in the hundred-foot tower. She returns like the Goddess of the Lo River,22 riding the morning mist;

20

21

22

According to Taoist belief, a person could attain immortality by performing breathing and gymnastic exercises designed to circulate one's ch'i (vital pneumas) throughout the body. Title of a yiieh-fu (Music Bureau) lyric by Emperor Wu of Liang (r. 502-550) describing a maiden separated from her lover. I.e., Lo-fei, the Lo River being a tributary of the Yellow River which has its source in Shensi. In Ts'ao Chih's (192-232) "Lo-shen fu" (Rhapsody on the Goddess of the Lo) she is described as having an airy figure and riding a cloud chariot.

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the river

As the song ended Sung broke down in grief. Hung-hsien bowed to him and wept. She excused herself from the feast, saying she had been overcome by the wine. She was never seen again. (Wang, pp. 260-62; Hsii, pp. TPKC, 195.1; SF, 19.25a-27a)

378-89; Chang, pp.

145-50;

Tr. Cordell D. K. Yee Note: The controlled description of action and the creation of moods by indirection and suggestion make this one of the most artistically satisfying pieces in this anthology. As an example of the artistry of the story, note how Hung-hsien's penetration into the chamber goes through several "layers" until it reaches, beyond the person of T'ien Ch'eng-ssu, the inner-most symbolic objects in the gold box. The conflict between the military governors portrayed here, as has been pointed out by critics, closely reflects the political realities of the time. The Ku-chin shih-hua explains that Hung-hsien was given to Hsiieh Sung as a "gift" when she was thirteen, and that she got her name from the fact that the palms of her hands were marked by lines that looked like red threads (see Hsii, p. 382). Later adaptations of this tale include a lost hua-pen version and a play by Liang Ch'en-yii (1509-1581) entitled Hung-hsien nii (The Girl Named Red Threads).

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371 (96) Wang Chih-ku by Huang-fu Mei (San-shui hsiao-tu)

In the eleventh year of the Hsien-t'ung reign period [860-873] of . Emperor Yi-tsung, Chang Chih-fang,1 the Regional Commandant of the Lu-lung Army2 and Honorary Left Executive of the Department of Ministries, submitted a memorial requesting an imperial audience. A favorable, edict from the throne granted the request. Now, the Chang family had originally been the hereditary rulers of Yen [the area around modern Peking], and the people there had willingly submitted to their benign government. Their rule followed the precepts of "a polite reception of honored guests on the terrace of Chao," and "a soothing treatment of the brave men of the Yi River."3 Their territory was fertile and their troops numerous. Because of this, the central government had let them do much as they pleased, never interfering with their administration. However, when Chih-fang came to inherit his position, since he had been raised together with silk-trousered fops, he acted like a feudal lord in control of an enormous territory, and never paid any attention to the welfare of the people. He indulged in drinking in his chambers and went hunting in the outer suburbs all day. In

1

2

3

Son of Chang Chung-wu. He was Honorary Vice President of State Affairs before being exiled as Governor of K'ang-chou (modern Te-ch'ing County, Kwangtung); he returned to the the capital as Great General, Honorary Left Executive of the Department of Ministeries. When Huang Ch'ao invaded the capital, Chang made a plan to destroy the rebel forces, but the rebels found out about it and slaughtered his family. His arrogant behavior and his love for hunting, described in the story, are grounded in history. A commandery controlling what is now the area of Hopeh; its administrative seat located at Yu-chou (southwest of modern Peking).--Ed. These two expressions from the Intrigues of the Warring States and Szu-ma Ch'ien's Records of the Grand Historian (Shih-chi), respectively, indicate that in the area under their control, the Chang family followed correct ritual and employed talented men.

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order to befriend them, he grandly rewarded his leather-capped hunters, and his generous favors reached even green-turbaned laborers. Toward the evening of his life there was great resentment toward him among the troops under his command. Only then did Chih-fang himself begin to feel uncomfortable. Listening to the advice of his adjutants, he decided to move his entire family west to the capital [i.e., Ch'ang-an]. Emperor Yi-tsung gave him the post of Great General of the Military Guard of the Left. But Chih-fang continued to fly his hawks and chase with his yellow hounds, and never involved himself in the responsibilites of guarding the Imperial Palace. He constantly set up nets and traps on the public roads so that eventually no dogs or boar were left. Those maids and servants who displeased him were killed immediately. It was said, "Within the immediate reach of imperial authority no one may kill without permission." But Chih-fang's mother said, "is there anyone more honored than my son?" One can imagine from this the extent of his transgressions! As a consequence, the Censors enumerated their accusations and transmitted them upwards, asking that Chih-fang be prosecuted. The Son of Heaven did not want to turn him over to the courts, so he demoted him to the post of Chief of Palace Affairs for Prince Ch'ao4 and sent him off to work in Loyang [i.e., the Eastern Capital]. Although Chih-fang went off to the Eastern Capital, he did not mend his ways--he became even more extreme in his indulgence in outings and hunting trips. On all sides of Loyang, flying and running creatures all recognized him, and on seeing him, would screech and howl as they fled. There was one Wang Chih-ku, a graduate among the local officials of Loyang. Although he had some Confucian learning and could read, fate was against him and he failed in the spring office selection. He had returned to live at home, above the Three Rivers,5 and occupied himself with drinking wine and playing football, rambling and roaming throughout the vicinity. It happened that someone mentioned his name to Chih-fang, and Chih-fang sent him an invitation. He observed that Chih-ku was a good talker with a smooth tongue. Often, he was so charmed by the talk that he unconsciously moved forward on his mat. From that

4 5

Li Jui, son of emperor Hsiian-tsung (r. 847-58). The Yi, Lo, and Yellow Rivers, by Loyang.--Ed.

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day on they became close friends. During the winter of the jen-ch*en year [i.e., 892] in the eleventh month, Chih-ku awoke one morning at dawn. In his heatless, rented room he felt out of sorts, as if cloaked in a cloud of sorrows, and fell into a deep depression. He went on foot to Chih-fang's mansion. When he arrived, Chih-fang was hurrying out to the fields on a hunt. "Can you accompany me?" he asked Chih-ku. But because of the bitter cold, Chih-ku hesitated. Chih-fang turned to a servant and said, "Go and bring a black work coat." He asked Chih-ku to wear it; Chih-ku put it on under his formal gown, then gathered the reins and departed with the others. As they passed through the Eternal Summer Gate, it began to hail. From Yi-ch'iieh Mountain6 on, dense snow fell. They crossed eastward over the Yi River, walking south along the foot of the north face of Wan-an Mountain.7 The archer's arrows hit many targets. The men filled bird-shaped goblets with wine and roasted rabbit shoulder, not paying the slightest attention to the bitter winter. Toward sunset, the sleeting sky cleared up and the snow stopped. Suddenly a large fox appeared before Chih-ku's horse. Carried along by the wine, he galloped after it for several li, but never caught it, and meanwhile lost the way back to his hunting companions. Shortly, small birds began chirping in the misty dusk. He had no idea where he was. He heard the faint sounds of the evening temple bells from Loyang and felt as though he were walking among woodsmen's trails and the paths of ancient times. In a moment, the mountains and streams turned very dark, as though it were already halfway through the first watch [7-9 p.m.]. He looked into the distance and saw some bright torch fires. By the light reflected from the snow he picked his way toward them. Having gone what seemed a little more than ten li, he arrived at a grove of tall trees with intertwined branches. In the clearing was a vermilion gate and a bright partition wall, a mansion such as those of the Imperial Palace. Chih-ku reached the gate and dismounted. Here he thought he could pace back and forth and wait for dawn. But after a short wait the noise of his horse shaking its

6

7

About ten li to the south of Loyang, also known as Dragon Gate Mountain.--Ed. About forty li southeast of Loyang.--Ed.

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reins was heard by the gatekeeper, who asked through the partition wall, "Hey, who is out there?" Chih-ku replied, "I am Wang Chih-ku of T'ai-yiian,8 graduate of the first examination from Ch'eng-chou [i.e., Loyang]. I have a friend who returned to a hermit's life in the K'ung-t'ung mountains. Today I had a farewell banquet for him on the banks of the Yi River and had too much to drink. Then, after taking leave of him, I was unable to stop my horse from galloping away on its own, so I lost my way and ended up here. At dawn I shall go. I hope I will not be rebuked for this." The gatekeeper said, "This is the estate of the Vice Governor of Nan-hai, Middle Deputy of the Imperial Censorate Ts'ui.9 The master of the house has lately received an imperial summons to go to the palace, and the young master is off serving as an accountant on a campaign to the west. There are only women and servants here--you cannot stay long. I dare not decide whether you can stay at all, so I will make this known and get instructions." Although Chih-ku was uneasy and nervous, it was already the middle of the night and he had no where else to go. So he politely folded his hands and waited. In a few minutes someone came from inside, holding a beeswax candle, grasping a key to open the door, and led a nurse out. Chih-ku bowed and again explained how he had come to be there. The nurse said, "The lady of the house asks me to say that the master and son are both away from home. According to the rules of propriety, it is not proper for her to receive guests. However, we live in the midst of deep mountains and great marshes. If we insist on sending you off where fierce wolves howl, that would be to 'see someone in trouble yet not rescue him.' Please stay the night in the outer hall. In the morning you may depart." Chih-ku expressed his thanks, then followed the nurse inside. They passed a double door. On one side was a high-ceilinged, broad-beamed waiting room, with a new and ornate curtain. She set out a silver lamp, prepared a beautifully embroidered mat, and instructed Chih-ku to sit 8

9

All Wangs in the T'ang tales tend to claim they belong to the T'ai-yiian clan, one of the most powerful clans in the T'ang.--Ed. The Ts'ui family of Shantung was one of the clans which matched the Wangs in power.--Ed.

The T'ang-

375

down. After three rounds of wine, there was a table full of food--leopard embryo, bream bellyfat, all the delicacies of sea and land. From time to time the nurse came in to urge him to eat more. When he had finished eating, the nurse asked Chih-ku about his family's status, including his relatives on both his mother's and his father's sides. Chih-ku answered all of her questions. Then she said, "You, sir, come from a good family; your appearance and carriage are lofty and pure like gold and jade. Steeped in the histories, you conduct yourself with virtue and uprightness. Truly, a worthy man for a virtuous lady. Our mistress dearly loves her young daughter, now of marriageable age. We have made use of go-betweens in the past to seek a proper match, but have met with no success. But 'what night is tonight?--to find her ideal mate.'10 Perhaps the well-known harmony of Pan Yiieh and Yang Ch'ung-wu11 can be repeated. And an omen for the arrival of a phoenix pair is before us. 12 What do you think?" With a serious expression Chih-ku said, "My paltry learning is shamed 'by comparison with the sounds of gold;' my talents are 'nothing like lustrous jade.' How can I ever expect to have a family? Mired in the mud, I am worried by my present plight. I can hardly believe that by losing my way I have come to be the favored object of your choice, and that I have been visited by such auspicious fortune in the midst of the night. This is 'to hear propitious sounds in the Offices of Lu,' 13 and 'to approach the benevolent atmosphere of the Ch'in Terrace.'14 The two who traveled among the immortals did not experience such kindness!15 The Three Stars are sending forth their light,16 and I fear the

10 11

12 13 14 15

16

A quotation from the Book of Odes, #118. Pan Yiieh was a poet of the Chin dynasty. His marriage with Yang Ch'ung-wu was known as a felicitous alliance between two families. A pair of phoenixes represents a very good match. A periphrasis for marriage. A periphrasis for advancement in rank. The two men referred to are Liu Ch'en and Juan Chao, who wandered in the world of the immortals (see "Liu Ch'en and Juan Ch'ao" [40]). The Three Stars are the stars of the Heart Constellation of the Twenty-eight Houses of the Chinese zodiac. Their appearance signals an auspicious time for marriage.

376

Classical Chinese Tales

matter will not be consumated. To be accepted by an exalted family, solicited as a good match — isn't this what I have wanted all my life?" Pleased, the nurse giggled as she went back inside to report. Then she came back out, conveying the reply of the lady of the house, '"Since I married into the house of Ts'ui, my behavior has always been virtuous. As one who upholds the model of p in and fan,17 I venerate by husband. Our relationship is like the harmony of ch'in and se. 18 I am concerned only for my young daughter and would like to marry her to a gentleman. Now that you have agreed to lower yourself to make this connection, my life-long wish has been fulfilled. Let a message be sent to the capital posthaste; it is by no means far from here. Have a hundred carriages prepared at the wedding; this would hardly be extravagant. I am very content, and look on you with the greatest satisfaction.'" Chih-ku bowed, as solemn and respectful as a stone bell. "I am as small as a grain of sand, and as insignificant as an insect; my future is dim and my life without prospects. Yet a rich, powerful family has unexpectedly chosen me as their son. I swear by the waters that I will be forever faithful.19 With the greatest anticipation I await the good news." Again Chih-ku bowed. Playfully, the nurse said, "Upon the wedding night, when the beautifully embroidered clothes are removed, and the mirror cases opened; when you see her appearance as splendid as the moon, and you two are as secluded as if in a distant cloud--will you remember my help?" Gratefully, Chih-ku said, "I am mortal, yet I have climbed to the Milky Way. If there had been no one to recommend me, how could I have done it? I swear in my heart, I will remember your kindness forever, carrying it in my bosom like the pendant hanging from my belt." And

17

18

19

In the Book of Odes, the p'in and fan waterplants represent the authority of the husband. The ch'in and se are two types of zithers, used to symbolize harmonious and joyful marital relations. "Swear by the waters" alludes to the assurance of continuous trust and friendship given by Ch'ung Erh, the heir apparent of the state of Ch'in during the Spring and Autumn period, to his retainer-advisor Hu Yen when they returned from a long exile together (see Tso-chuan, Hsi-kung 24).--Ed.

The T'ang-

377

again he bowed. Before long blazing pine torches appeared in the courtyard. The night was coming to an end. The nurse asked Chih-ku to remove his clothes and rest. As he took off his formal gown, the black work coat was revealed. Ridiculing him, the nurse said, "How can a big-sleeved scholar be wearing the clothes of a corvee laborer?" Chih-ku said apologetically, "Actually, this is something I borrowed from one of my friends. It isn't my own, in fact." Then she asked from whom it was borrowed. He answered, "This was borrowed from Chang Chih-fang of Lu-lung, of the Deartment of Ministries." Startled, she let out a cry and fell to the ground. Her complexion turned the color of cold ashes. She then picked herself up and, without looking back, went inside to report. In the distance Chih-ku heard loud cursing, "My lady, the gentleman you sent me to wait on is one of Chang Chih-fang's friends." Then he heard the lady of the house say, "Send him off quickly, let's not create any bad feelings." So maids and house boys came out in a crowd, holding big torches and dragging white clubs, and started up the stairs. Panic-stricken, Chih-ku stumbled to the center of the courtyard, looking around defensively and mumbling apologies. With curses descending upon him, he barely got out of the gate. Even as he did so, the gate was being bolted shut. Behind him he could hear the clamour continuing. Frightened and confused, Chih-ku stood on the side of the road for quite some time feeling sorry for himself. As he tried to take refuge under a broken wall, he saw his horse across the way. Mounting his horse, he fled the spot. In the distance he caught sight of a huge fire; it seemed as if the whole prairie were ablaze. He loosened the reins and rode toward it. When he arrived, he found a tax-collector's cart, with men feeding their oxen and sitting around a fire. He asked where he was and was told that he was south of the thatched inn on the east bank of the Yi River. Pillowing his head on his reins, he napped in the saddle. After the time it takes to eat a meal, he awoke. By then the east was silent and empty, and he had calmed down. He raised his whip and set out along the main road. By the time he had reached the gates of the capital, several of Chang Chih-fang's riders had come out to search for him. Only after riding a considerable distance did

378

Classical Chinese Tales

they arrive at Chih-fang's mansion. When Chih-ku saw Chih-fang he was so angry he could not speak. It took Chih-fang some time to calm him down. After they were seated, Chih-ku told the story of this strange affair in the middle of the night. Chih-fang rose and slapped his thighs, saying, "So these ogres and goblins in the mountains and forests know that in the human world there is a Chang Chih-fang!" He made Chih-ku rest a bit. Collecting an additional several dozen men, all warriors and hunters, he treated them to mugs of wine and shoulder of suckling pig. With Chih-ku they again rode southward. When they reached the north side of Wan-an Mountain, Chih-ku went ahead to guide them. The tracks of his horse were visible in the snow. As they headed toward a cypress grove, they saw untended tombstones and steles in an overgrown area where felled trees lay half-buried in the thick underbrush. In the midst of the grove rose a line of more than ten large burial mounds, surrounded by criss-crossing animal tracks and riddled with fox and rabbit burrows. Chih-fang commanded that nets and traps be stretched on all sides, after which they were to lie in wait. Inside this enclosure men with torches and shovels dug and smoked the animals out. Shortly a pack of foxes suddenly came rushing out of the burrows, only to be scorched and burned by the fire and caught in the nets, or shot to death by the twanging bows. Altogether they carried home with them more than a hundred head of fox, both large and small. The Man of Three Waters [i.e., Huang-fu Mei, the author] says: Alas for Master Wang! Not only was he born into the world without luck, but to be insulted by foxes and badgers--isn't that even greater misfortune? Had it not been for Honorable Chang's coat, he would have died an untimely death in the burrows of filthy animals. When I was a student in the Tun-hua district of Loyang, the Master of Literary Arts, the Honorable Hsii T'ung of Po-hai [in modern Hupeh] told me this story. Though this is "talk of anomalies,'20 still it is based on fact, so I record it here.

As allusion to Confucius' refusal to speak about "anomalies, violence, the supernatural, and the disorderly." (Lun-yu 7:20, "Shu-erh").--Ed.

The T'ang-

379

(Wang, pp. 289-92; Chang, pp. 164-73; TPKC, 455.1) Tr. Simon Schuchat Note: Wang Chih-ku's nocturnal adventure conflates two distinct motifs, the "necromantic union" and the "marriage with a Taoist maiden" (cf. "Lu Ch'ung" [22] and "Huang Yuan" [41]). The adaptations of the motifs produce a new kind of "sojourn in fairyland," in which the match-making (equivalent to the courtship ritual) and the marriage are parodied. The florid language used in the match-making scene, replete with parallelisms and arcane allusions, is in itself a mockery of Chih-ku's status as a failed scholar. The parodic use of old motifs here brings the evolution of the CK genre to a new phase, as fact and fiction are now made to intermingle in a playful way, in contrast to the Six Dynasties attitude that simple-mindedly claimed all the supernatural as factual. It is this intentional mixture of history and fantasy that enables the author to assert in the "appraisal" section that, while writing about anomalies, he has in fact kept intact the spirit of the Confucian dictum on the topic. This entry is entitled "Chang Chih-fang" in TPKC. For a discussion of the use of history and fiction as the basic frame in this story, see Introduction, Sec. V.

Bio-bibliographic Notes These notes are divided into two sections: Six Dynasties (including Western Chin) and T'ang. Entries in each section are given alphabetically, those in the first section according to the title of the collection, and those in the second according to the author's name.

I.

Six Dynasties

Chen-i chuan

(Discerning Marvels)

This title is recorded in the Sui-shu f% "J Bibliographic Treatise (Ching-chi chih (SSCCC, hereafter) and attributed to Tai Tso > about whom we know nothing except that he lived in the late part of Eastern Chin dynasty (317-420) and once served under general Liu Yii % ] ^Hr (363-422, founder of the Liu Sung dynasty) in a western military campaign. The text, originally in 3 chuan , has not survived. Seventeen items have been gleaned from various sourcess and preserved in Lu, pp. 153-61. Ch'i Hsieh chi &f£(Ch'i

Hsieh's Records)

Registered in the SSCCC, it was later attributed to Tung-yang Wu-i jfjj^ , a Cavalier Attendant during the Liu Sung dynasty (420-479). Originaly in 7 chiian, the text is no longer extant; fifteen items are preserved in Lu, pp. 229-36. Hsu Ch'i Hsieh Chi Records)

% f§ It (A Sequel to Ch'i Hsieh's

This collection is listed in the SSCCC under the name of Wu Chiin (469-520). A Liang writer celebrated for his prose style, Wu occupied the position of Court Draftee

389 Bio-bibliographical Notes (feng-ch' ao-ch' ing^^&Vk) and wrote the Ch'i ch'un-ch'iu (Chronicles of the State of Ch'i). A collection of his literary works, Wu-ch'ao-ch'ing chi survives. His CK work in 1 chiian has also survived in several editions, including that contained in Ku-shih wen-fang hsiao-shuo Huan-yiian chi ti

(Accounts of Requiting Grievance)

Also known as Yiian-hun chih 'Jkfife/fe (Accounts of Ghosts with Grievances), the text is registered in the SSCCC and is known to have been written by Yen Chih-t'ui (531-590?), a well known Confucian scholar who served in the courts of the Liang, Northern Ch'i, Northern Chou, and Sui successively. Best known for his Yen-shih chia-hsiin ^ f t ( D o m e s t i c Instructions of the Yen Clan), he was versed in history as well as lexicography and etymology, and took part in the compilation of the rhyme dictionary Ch' ieh-yiln The Huan-yiian chi text in 1 chiian (a recension consisting of thirty-six stories) exists in several editions; the one in Pao-yen-t'ang pi-chi ^^tfl^f&lsL was used for the translation. See Albert E. Dien, "The Yiian-hun chih (Accounts of Ghosts with Grievances): A Sixth-Century Collection of Stories" in Wen-lin, ed. Chow Tse-tsung (Madison, Milwaukee, and London: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1968), pp. 211-28, for a study of the textual history and contents of this work. Lieh-i chuan

f|lljf (Display of Marvels)

This work is attributed in the SSCCC to Ts'ao P'i (187-226), Emperor Wen of Wei, a rather unlikely candidate as author or even compiler. In the Bibliographic Treatises of both the Chiu T'ang shu %%% and Hsin T'ang shu , the text is attributed to Chang Hua (233-300), the renowned poet, scholar, and official of the Chin dynasty, who was also known for his exotic and esoteric learning. As the author of the CK collection Po-wu chih j^^fy (Record of All Things Strange), he is a reasonable candidate for the authorship of Lieh-i chuan, but no other evidence has been found to support this ascription. Originally consisting of 3 chiian, the text is no longer extant; about fifty entries are preserved in Lu, pp. 131-46.

382

Bio-bibliographical Notes

Ling-kuei chih'^fy^u

(Records of Spirits and Ghosts) 4A



The author is known only as a certain Mr. Hsiin (fl. 4th century). The title is registered in SSCCC as consisting of 3 chiian, which are now lost. Twenty-four items are gathered in Lu, pp. 195-204. Lu-i chuan

1 f| (Registry of Marvels)

The title is not found in the Bibliographic Treatises either the Sui or T'ang histories, and its author unknown. Probably compiled in the fifth century, the text is represented by twenty-seven entries gathered in Lu, 407-18. Ming-hsiang chi

of is now pp.

nifestations of the Dead)

Compiled by Wang Yiian (fl. late 5th century), a Buddhist layman from his youth, who served at one point in his life as the Magistrate of Wu-hsing ^r during the Liang. According to Wang's preface to the collection cited in the Fa-yuan chu-lin, he was moved to compile the text after having witnessed two revelations of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Registered in the SSCCC as consisting of 10 chiian, the original text has since been lost. One hundred thirty-one entries are gathered in Lu, pp. 447-534. Shen-hsien Immortals)

chuan ffy^iU^^

(Biographies

of

Dieties

and

This collection was written by Ko Hung % (290-370), author of the alchemical and philosophical text Pao-p'u-tzu ^S- 4 b & (The Master Who Embraces Simplicity), and the grand-nephew of Ko Hsiian ^ ^ (164-244), the Immortal Ko of the Taoist church. Hung himself served in the Chin court, but was said to have preferred a post in Canton so that he might have ready access to cinnabar, an essential ingredient for alchemy. He spent his last years on Lo-fu Mountain j&k JU (in Cheng-ch'eng , Kwangtung) , seeking immortality. Registered in the SSCCC as consisting of 10 chiian (eighty-four entries, with an additional eight in some

383 Bio-bibliographical Notes editions), it is now extant in various editions. Wei tsrung-shu ^ % edition has been used translation. Shu-i

The Han for the

(Records of Marvels)

Attributed to Tsu Ch'ung-chih (429-500), a mathematician and astronomer who lived in the state of Southern Ch'i (he is known for having calculated the value of 7C [Ludolphian number] to the sixth place after the decimal point). His interest in CK seems to suggest that such material also attracted the "scientific minds" of the time, be it as entertainment or as material for investigation. Listed in the SSCCC as consisting of 10 chiian, ninety of the items are gathered in Lu, pp. 163-93. There is another text with the same title attributed to Jen Fang fi Vq (460-508), extant in 2 chiian, which has been suspected as a T'ang forgery. Sou-shen chi

(In Search of Spirits)

Compiled by Kan Pao -p ^jjf (fl. ca. 317), who was at one time appointed Government Historian by Emperor Yuan of the Chin (r. 317-22) and wrote the history of that dynasty entitled Chin-chih % (Records of Chin). The material gathered in the Sou-shen chi might have been related to his collection of materials for this history. In the SSCCC the text is said to consist of 30 chiian, but it exists today mainly in two other versions: a 20-chiian version (compiled in the Ming by Hu Ying-1 in ) anc* a n ^-chiian version (the Pai-hai %% edition, also a Ming recension). Some, but not all, of the stories in the shorter version are also found in the 20-chiian version. The selections in this anthology were taken from the 20-chiian version, and the translations are based on Wang Shao-ying's critical, annotated edition (Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1979). Among the Tun-huang manuscripts is a text by Kou Tao-hsing also entitled Sou-shen chiy containing only a few pieces that have a story similar to those in the 20-chiian version. The text can be found in Wang Ch'ung-min et al., ed., Tun-huang pien-wen chi (Peking: Jen-min wen-hsiieh A^fy-K^ , 1957). Both this and the 8-chiian (Pai-hai) version are included in Wang

384

Bio-bibliographical Notes

Shao-ying>£. ed. Sou-shen hou-chi (Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1981), pp. 115-145, and pp. 73-114, respectiv ely. For a comprehensive study of Sou-shen chi and its textual history, see Kenneth J. DeWoskin, "The Sou-shen-chi and the Chih-kuai Tradition: A Bibliographic and Generic Study" (Diss. Columbia Univ., 1973). Sou-shen hou-chi m t m c

(Sequel to In Search of Spirits)

Attributed to the famous poet T'ao Ch' ien (365-427); but this attribution has been discredited by most scholars. Given in the SSCCC as consisting of 10 chiian, the text has survived in various editions. The one used for this translation is the Wang Shao-ying edition (see the previous entry), which has a total of one hundred and seventeen items. Yu-ming lu ttfej^W (Records of the Dead and the Living) Attributed to Liu I-ch' ing (403-444), Prince of Lin-ch'uan 0L?a)ll (in modern Kiangsi), author of Shih-shuo hsin-yii , and a well known patron of men of letters. In addition to Yu-ming lu, he is credited with the authorship of another CK collection Hsiian-yen chi 'j[ °f Divine Evidence). Listed in the SSCCC as consisting of 30 chiian, the text is no longer extant. Over two hundred items from other sources are gathered in Lu, pp. 237-322; many of them are also found in the 20-chiian Sou-shen chi.

II.

T'ang

W

Anonymous, "The Story of Ling-ying" (Ling-ying chuan

^

The work of an unknown author who very likely lived during the late T'ang, this tale represents an accumulation of the major motifs of the dragon lore of the T'ang. Circulated individually, the text has been anthologized in various collections, including TPKC.

385 Bio-bibliographical Notes The translation is based on the annotated text given in Hsii Shih-nien , ed. Tr ang-tai hsiao-shuo (Honan: Chung-chou shu-hua ch'u-pan-she c f 7 f f j % ^ # , 1982). Ch'jm Hsuan-yu

, "The Disembodied Soul" (Li hun chi

From the date given at the end of the tale, it can be inferred that Ch'en flourished around 779. Other than this, nothing is known of the author's life. The text of "Li hun chi" was included in the I-wen chi J | fjft % (A Collection of Strange Tales), a late T'ang anthology, compiled around 840-846 by Ch'en Han, which contains some of the best, and probably the most widely circulated T'ang tales. For a recension of the contents of I-wen chi, hereafter IWC, see Wang Meng-ou £ , T'ang-jen hsiao-shuo yen-chiu f^A^,(Studies of T'ang Stories), Vol. 2 (Taipei: I-wen yin-shu kuan > 1973). This tale is listed as entry 37 in this edition. Chiang Fang

, "Huo Hsiao-yii" (Huo Hsiao-yii

Renowned for his literary talent even as a young man, Chiang Fang (fl. 813-825) was a member of the Imperial Academy. Due to his involvement in factional conflicts, however, he was demoted and sent away from the capital to serve as Prefect of T'ing-chou *J'I*J (in modern Fukien Province), and later of Lien-chou ^/J-]-] (in modern Kwangtung). The piece is also included in IWC (40). Hsiieh YU-ssu ^ Ho-tung)

%

, Ho-tung chi

St!> (Tales

from

Nothing is known of the author's life. From the text, it could be inferred that he composed some of the pieces in this collection in the middle of the ninth century. Said to have been modelled on Niu Seng-ju's Hsiian-kuai lu (q.v.), the text originally consisted of 3 chiian (see Ch'ao Kung-wu [fl. 1131-62], Chiin-chai tu-shu chih > chiian 15) but has not survived. Thirty-four pieces are preserved in TPKC.

386

Bio-bibliographical Notes

Hsiieh Yung-jo of Marvels)

Chi-i chi %

(Collection of Tales

Two brief references to Hsiieh's life found in different sources indicate that he was at one time (during the period 821-824) Prefect of Kuang-chou (in modern Honan Province) and later (sometime during the period 827-835) Magistrate of I-yang A^ jJjj^ (in modern Honan). He was known to have been a lenient but efficient administrator. This collection, also known as Ku-i chi~jz%%l> (Tales of Marvels from the Past), is extant in 2 chiian, and contains sixteen entries (additional pieces can be found in TPKC). It exists in various editions, including a modern punctuated one (published by Peking, Chung-hua shu-chii). This collection is characterized by its use of well-known literary and political figures as the central characters in most of its tales, a quality which has not been reflected by our selections. Huang-fu Mei , San-shui hsiao-tu 2Pieces by the Man from San-shui)

'1

(Short

A native of San-shui ^.tY* (modern Shensi Province), Huang-fu Mei is known to have been the Superintendent of Records in Lu-san County Ja , Honan, around 873. He wrote the pieces in this collection in 910 when he was staying in the Shansi area. Originally in 3 chiian, it now exists in several 2-chiian editions, including a modern, punctuated one (Peking: Chung-hua shu-chii, 1960) which has thirty-five stories (plus an addendum of twelve pieces). Li Ching-liang ^ ^ ^

, "Li Chang-wu" (Li Chang-wu

)

Nothing about the author's life is known except that he took and passed an exam in the capital in 794. This story is also found in IWC (13), entitled "Pi-yii hsieh-yeh" (The Oak Leaf of Green Jade). Li Fu-yen Continuation Anomalies)

, of

Hsu the

Hsuan-kuai lu Accounts of Mysteries

and

A native of Lung-hsi (modern Kansu Province), Li Fu-yen (fl. 830-840) was a younger contemporary of Niu Seng-ju

387 Bio-bibliographical Notes (q.v.) and wrote his collection of stories after the example set by the latter's Hsiian-kuai lu (q.v.). The text, sometimes called Hsii Yu-kuai lu k/'ftifc, was originally available in either a 10- or a 5-chuan edition. The only extant version consists of 4. chiian in various editions with a total of twenty-three entries (thirteen additional entries are found in TPKC). Li Kung-tso

"Old Woman Feng" (Lu-chiang Feng-ao

Li Kung-tso (7707-850) was acquainted with Po Chii-i , the famous poet, and his brother, Po Hsing-chien (q.v.), and was said to have listened to the latter's telling of the story of Li Wa ("The Courtesan Li Wa," Ma and Lau, pp. 163-71) and urged him to write it down. But he is known to us now mainly as the author of four chruan-chri stories of considerable importance. "Lu-chiang Feng-ao" is also anthologized in IWC (16). Liu Tsung-yiian

"Biography of

'Red' Li" (Li Ch'ih

) A close associate of Han Yii ^ ^ , Liu Tsung-yuan (773-819) spent most of his official career first in Yung-chou S^i'H (in modern Hunan Province) and then in the remote prefecture of Liu-chou *]•)•] in Kwangsi. Besides being an outstanding ku-wen essayist, Liu is known also for his descriptive pieces inspired by the landscape of Yung-chou, for his poetry, and for several tales in the allegorical mode. He has an official biography in both the Chiu T'ang shu (160, pp. 4213ff.) and Hsin T'ang shu (168, pp. 5132ff.). For the text of "Biography of 'Red' Li" used for the translation, see the entry note. Niu Seng-ju , Hsiian-kuai lu Mysteries and Anomalies)

(Accounts of

One of the most active political figures of his time, Niu Seng-ju (779-848) was made Prime Minister in 823. He led a faction which contended with the faction headed by Li Te-yii (787-848). Control of the government alternated between these two men until Li's death in 848. Niu's prominent political position may have lent weight to his CK

388

Bio-bibliographical Notes

tales and increased their influence, though they were most surely the work of his younger days. Many CK writers openly acknowledged their debt to Niu in their own writing of CK stories. Also known as the Yu-kuai lu and Yiian-kuai lu , the collection originally consisted of 10 chiian, but is now extant in a b-chiian version which has a total of forty-four stories (thirty-three are found in TPKC). P'ei Hs ing ^ , Ch'uan-ch'i ^ Strange Tales)

^

(Transmission

of

P'ei Hsing (fl. 853-878) was secretary to the Ching-hai (in modern Kiangsu Province) Military Governor Kao P'ien M? Orft sometime between 860 and 874, and was promoted to the position of Lieutenant Governor in 878. His writing of the stories collected in Ch' uan-ch' i may have had something to do with the fact that his superior officer Kao was gullible in the matter of dieties and immortals and had a taste for stories about them. The text, in 3 chiian, has been preserved only in fragments; thirty-one pieces are collected in Chou Leng-ch'iehfflt^lflP*,ed. P' ei Hsing Ch'uan-ch' (Shanghai: Ku-chi ch'u-pan-she, 1981). Po Hsing-chien^^f-^ , "A Record of Three Dreams" meng c h i ^ ^ f ^ )

(San

A younger brother of Po Chii-i, Hsing-chien (775?-826) is best known in literary history for his "Li Wa chuan" ("The Courtesan Li Wa," Ma and Lau, pp. 163-71), which Li Kung-tso (q.v.) was said to have heard him tell in person. He is mentioned in the official biographies of Po Chii-i in both Chiu T'&ng shu (166, p. 4358) and Hsin T'ang shu (199, p. 4305). The text of "A Record of Three Dreams" has been preserved in a hand-copied Ming editon of Shuo-fu (the Han-fen Lou 'jr edition); the second dream is similar to a story recorded in Meng Ch'i's i. ^ Pen-shih shih (Poems with Stories behind Them), chiian 5 (see Wang Meng-ou, T'ang-jen hsiao-shuo yen-chiu, vol. 3, p. 85) . Shen Ya-chih;'j£&, "Lament from the Hsiang River: A Prose Version" (Hsiang chung yuan tz'u

389 Bio-bibliographical Notes A chin-shih of the Yiian-ho reign period (806-820), Shen Ya-chih (7817-832?) was a literary talent befriended by Li Ho (790-816) and admired by Li Shang-yin jTj$_ (813-58), two of the most talented poets of the late T'ang. Several variants are given of the title: in IWC (23) it is called "Hsiang chung yiian" (Lament from the Hsiang River). In one edition of his collected works (Shen r

>

Hsia-hsien wen-chi), the terms tz u (prose) follows "Hsiang chung yiian " the other extant edition has chieh (explanation) instead; and in TPKC, it is called "T'ai-hsiieh Cheng-sheng" (Scholar Cheng of the National University). Tai Fu , Kuang-i chi ^ of Marvels)

Comprehensive Record

Nothing is known of T'ai's life except that he passed an exam in 757. Originally in 20 chiian, the text is now lost, but some entries have survived in other sources. About three hundred are given in TPKC. Tuan Ch'eng-shih \J^K ^ , Yu-yang tsa-tsu (Miscellanies from the Southern Side of Yu Mountain) The son of a prime minister, Tuan Ch'eng-shih (d. 863) had a smooth official career in the T'ang court. He is mentioned briefly in the biographies of his father, Tuan Wen-ch'angfeistI , in both Chiu Tr ang-shu (167, p. 4369) and Hsin Trang-shu (89, p. 3764). The possession of a large collection in the family library may have facilitated his compilation of the Yu-yang tsa-tsu. Preserved in several collectanea, the text exists in 20 chiian, with a supplement of 10 chiian. The Tsung-shu chi-ch'eng edition has been used for the translaton. The contents of the collection are composed of both selections from earlier texts and Tuan's own compositions. Yiian Chiao Rains)

, Kan-tse yao if

^

(The Lays of Sweet

The son of Yuan Tzu , a minister and military governor under Emperor Hsien-tsung (r. 805-819, see Hsin Trang-shu, 151, pp. 4824ff.), Chiao was at one time the President of

390

Bio-bibliographical Notes

the Board of Rites (Board of Punishments, according to one source) and subsequently became Governor of Kuo-chou 24 • Tokyo: Heibon sha

taikei ,

, ed. Todai denki shu ^ ^ ^ . 2 vols. Tokyo: Heibon sha, 1964. \ /Roberts, Moss, tr. and ed. , (with the assistance of C. N. ^ Tay). Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies. New York: Pantheon Books, 1979. Uchida Sennosuke and Inui Kazuo IML-^^L , ed. Todai denki felK'&lft . Tokyo: Meiji shoin, 1971. Wang Chi-chen. Traditional Chinese Tales. New York: Columbia University Press, 1944. Yang Hsien-yi and Gladys Yang, tr. The Dragon King's Daughter: Ten T'ang Dynasty Stories. Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1962. . Old Tales Retold. By Lu Hslin. Peking: Foerign Languages Press, 19 72. . The Man Who Sold a Ghost. 1958; rpt. Hong Kong: The Commercial Press, 19 74. . Lazy Dragon: Chinese Stories from the Ming Dynasty. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Co., 1981. II.

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