Covjek minimalnih mogucnosti Chovjek minimalnih mogucnosti. Lumea pe care ti-o doreste inima Lumea pe care tsi-o doreshte inima. Osjecas li nesto kad radim ovo? Osjecash li neshto kad radim ovo? Doktor Vampir i ego mokhnatyye drug'ya. Dobrodosli u standardnu nocnu moru Dobrodoshli u standardnu nocnu moru.
Dva zanimljiva mishljenja o noveli. Ru Guin Aashura K. Copyright c Al von Ruff. Librivox 12 , X Minus 1 12 , into-tv 9 , science fiction 8 , into-movie 4 , humorous 2 , time travel 2 , Merril01 2 , space travel 2 , first contact 2 , Merril05 2 , Merril02 2 , crossover 1 , greek mythology 1 , SF: Once he saw a man asking for aid to print and distribute the Kan-Ying P'ien. He wanted to help the man, and having no means, pawned his clothing. With the cash thus realized he gratified his pious desire, but on this account had to go without warm clothing in winter. Even when he was thirty years of age, he was as poor as ever.
He went to the capital to try his fortune, but nobody seemed to recognize his abilities. To gain a living he was obliged to compose and copy for other people, poems which were to be dedicated to Kwang Ti. New Year's Eve was approaching and the chief mandarin had some official business to attend to at the shrine of Kwang Ti. He sent one of his clerks who was a man of good judgment, and he greatly admired the work of Shang, hung up in the shrine, and asked the poor scholar to accompany him home as a guest of honor. On the night of the fifteenth of January, the festival of lanterns, the chief mandarin, according to custom, decorated his garden and tested the poetical and calligraphic skill of his invited friends in competitive games, the best compositions to be attached to the lanterns.
Since the result was not very satisfactory, the clerk recommended the poor scholar who stayed at his house. Shang was at once summoned and his unusual talents were admired by the whole company. It happened that evening that the Emperor came to inspect the illumination, and he was greatly impressed by the beautiful handwriting of the inscriptions. He had their author presented to him, and recognizing his worth, conferred a high literary degree upon him. From that time, Shang's promotion was rapid till he was honored with the highest literary title and occupied the very important position of secretary to the Emperor.
One day after his regular work at the Court, he went to the shrine of Kwang Ti to give thanks for his prosperity. The priest received him very cordially, and when the ceremony was over, let him take a rest in the temple when lo, Kwang Ti appeared to him in his ethereal form and said: Keep on cultivating piety in your heart as before, be loyal and faithful to your superiors as well as to the State, and never think of abusing the power which is yours at present.
Coming to know the reason of his unparalleled success in life, he advised others to follow his example and made many converts. He may be compared to St. Peter or the Archangel Michael. In the illustration, the inscription over the entrance of the temple reads literally: The people in the province of Chiang-Hsi had an objection to raising daughters, and on that account there were a great many bachelors there. The governor wanted to put a stop to the inhuman custom of drowning infants, and so he summoned some of his old councilors to see what measures could best be taken to effect this.
Old state documents were consulted and it appeared that many of the preceding governors had attempted the same reform but had signally failed. So the task seemed to be beset with insurmountable difficulties. After a meeting with his councilors the governor retired, still thinking that there must be some method which would effectively put an end to the barbarous practice, and he thought, what could cause people to suppress parental love but the expense and trouble they must undergo at the time of giving their daughters in marriage.
If there were built a sort of public nursery where all the female children could be provided for by the state, the cruelty of drowning girls would naturally cease. While going over the old records, the governor had found that there were deserted temples and shrines to which a regular annual revenue was still attached. He thought these revenues might be used with great benefit to the public. In the morning he would go to the temple of the Heavenly Mother and ask her gracious assistance for this scheme. That same night the priest of the temple was informed in a dream by the Heavenly Mother concerning the governor's humane project and his impending visit in the morning.
She added that though his philanthropic scheme had not yet been executed, the very thought of lovingkindness that prompted it, had caused a commotion in heaven and he was attended by a host of angels. According to the divine command, every preparation was made in the temple to receive the governor. After due salutation, the priest inquired whether his mission was about the establishment of a nursery. The governor was greatly surprised to find him well informed in regard to the secret plan which had not been divulged to anybody.
The priest then told him all about the previous night's communication from the Heavenly Mother. The benevolent plan was successfully put into execution and general prosperity began to reign in the district. The governor was promoted by the Emperor and died at an advanced age, surrounded by his children who were all prosperous and respected.
King Tsing, while on his way to a large gathering, passed through a district called Chun-Hoa, where there lived a young girl who was possessed of evil spirits. When King passed the night at her home, the demons did not dare to enter, but they returned as soon as he left the house. The young girl asked them the reason and they answered, "We are afraid of King.
But the good man simply wrote these four words on a slip of paper: The demons never dared to return. This true story goes to prove that the presence of a good man can put evil spirits to flight. If the presence of a good man keeps demons away, the same result might be effected in his absence, if the demons can be made to believe that the good man whom they fear is actually present. It is a common belief that the mere name of a person or god is as efficient as its owner, and hence is to be kept sacred. In this way, according to the faith of the early Christians, miracles are performed in the name of Jesus.
Yuen, having conceived a violent hatred against an acquaintance, set out one morning, knife in hand, with the purpose of killing him. A venerable man sitting in a convent saw him pass, and was amazed to observe several scores of spirits closely following him, some of whom clutched his weapon, while others seemed endeavoring to delay his progress. About the space of a meal-time the patriarch noticed Yuen's return, accompanied this time by more than a hundred spirits wearing golden caps and bearing banners raised on high. Yuen himself appeared with so happy a face, in place of his gloomy countenance of the early morning, that the old man sadly concluded that his enemy must be dead and his revenge gratified.
But in passing this convent door better thoughts came to me as I pondered upon the distress his wife and children would come to, and of his aged mother, none of whom had done me wrong. I determined then not to kill him, and return thus promptly from my evil Purpose. It hardly needed the sage's commendations to increase the reformed murderer's inner contentment, imparted by the train of ghostly helpers; he continued on his way rejoicing.
Its insertion here is justified since it illustrates a quotation from the Kan-Ying P'ien which is almost literal and is inscribed in a corner of the picture. Wu Chien-Chiu of Shan-Yu had wonderful muscular strength, and nobody in his town could beat him at boxing or fencing. He became so overbearing that any person who dared affront him was sure to pay a penalty for it. He borrowed the property of others without ever returning it, and he compelled people to do things for him under threats of severe punishment. One summer evening he went up to the tower to cool off in the breeze.
When the people who had gathered there saw the ruffian come they ran away, except one old man who seemed quite indifferent to his presence. Your mother's womb sheltered you for ten long months, and your mother's arms took tender care of you for three more years. Your parents wanted you to grow and mature into a good, serviceable citizen of the Empire.
When you would achieve something for the State, your family name would become known and glorified. You have undoubtedly some unusual talents. Why, then, degrade yourself thus and become the useless fellow you are now? The State loses in you a serviceable citizen, and the spirits of your parents feet disgusted with you, This is greatly to be deplored.
Wu felt so much ashamed that he had a chill of cold perspiration, and he said: The old gentleman replied: If you repent and start on a righteous march onward, you will certainly become a just man and command the respect of others. Wu was serious in his reform and having joined the army was finally promoted to the rank of general. Wang An-shih, a high magistrate of the Sung dynasty A. People complained, officers demurred, and the emperor expressed surprise; but he would say, "Heavenly omens should not be heeded, human discontent need not be minded, and there is no sense in following the ancestral laws.
While the magistrate was performing the customary Buddhist rite, he thought he faintly perceived in the flame of a burning candle the image of his son, bound hand and foot in a cangue,  crying: Later An-shih fell in disgrace; he lost his position and died miserably in exile.
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Now it happened that soon afterwards, one of An-shih's relatives was taken ill, and swooned, and when he recovered, he said that he had been ushered into a special department in hell, where hung the sign: Though he did not mention the name of this unfortunate person, every one around knew that it was Wang An-shih of whom he spoke.
When An-shih's daughter inquired what could be done, the sick man simply said: The inscription above the door reads, translated verbatim, "Eternally Prohibited Depravities and Crimes," which means that here is the department for punishing evil-doers of this class. It is interesting to notice that the Chinese conception of the maws of hell which has apparently developed quite independently of Christian influence, is nevertheless, practically the same.
This may be seen by a comparison of the lower part of the illustrations of this story and the next with the typical conception of hell as held in Christendom during the Middle Ages. Our picture is a reproduction of a German woodcut made at the time of the Reformation, but similar representations can be met with in the literature of the same age in other Christian countries.
The Chinese conception was directly derived from India, indirectly from Babylon, and the Christian view can be traced to the same source. He also employed himself indefatigably, although he was often in poor health, in copying many good books to be distributed among his neighbors. When he was asked why he exerted himself so much in spite of his physical weakness, he replied that he was not trying to seek any reward, but simply wanted to give relief to his mind, which could not be kept idle for one moment. One day he went to sea, and encountering a strong gale, found himself stranded on a lonely island.
The scenery was very beautiful and he was full of joy, when suddenly there appeared to him a Taoist scholar who said: You have hitherto done good work in distributing sound moral tractates, and this not for the sake of courting a good opinion of yourself from others, but simply from pure unaffected good-will.
Many scholars are clever enough, yet they do not employ their talents for the true cause; they abuse them in writing immoral, seditious books; but they are now suffering in the infernal regions the consequences brought on them by their own acts. I shall take you there and let you see by way of contrast how much better your fate is. Then they went through space to that strangest of lands. The Taoist explained everything they saw there. All kinds of torture were being applied to those immoral writers, who, while in the world, stirred up man's beastly nature and allured many good people to an early downfall.
The stranger also showed him a stately-looking man in the palace, who had been a good, upright officer when on earth, punishing every crime that tended to disturb social and political peace, and was now superintending this department in the world below. Ever since, he is wont to tell his neighbors how horrible the scene was which he had seen on his visit to hell. In the upper right hand corner we see King Yama, the sovereign of the under world, seated on a throne with one of his attendants. A temple in the district of Wu-Kung-Hien contained a library which students from the district school often consulted.
One winter day, four of them used some of the sacred books for fuel to heat the room, while another burned one book to warm some water for his toilet. Only one of their number, Kang Tui-Shan by name, was indignant at their conduct, but he dared not offer a word of censure. The next night Kang Tui-Shan had a dream in which he and his fellow-students were led before the tribunal of the three divine Lord-Superior Magistrates.
The four students struck their foreheads against the ground and besought pardon for their crime, but were condemned to death. The one who warmed water for his toilet was doomed never to receive any advancement during his life. Finally the god asked Kang Tui-Shan why he had not remonstrated with his companions.
- Chronological Bibliography: Robert Sheckley.
When he awoke Kang wrote down his. They are the gods of heaven, of earth, and of water. Their birthdays are celebrated on the fifteenth of the first, seventh, and tenth months, respectively. The first distributes blessings, the second forgives sins, and the third saves from fire. Six months later the plague spread in their country and all four perished with their families, while the student who burned the sacred books to heat water was still, in his old age, merely a poor schoolmaster. He died from starvation in the seventh year of the reign of Shih-Tsung of the Ming dynasty A.
Now it is a greater sin to waste sacred books than to mock and slander sages and saints. Paper, whether written or printed, often contains maxims that wise men have bequeathed on us. If we use it for unclean purposes, if we trample it underfoot, instead of carefully preserving it, we are committing a crime as serious as if we slandered them. The first rank in the list of doctors.
Among Western authors, Milton in his "Areopagitica" on the freedom of the press, uses very vigorous language, saying: I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's teeth, and, being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book: Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. It is true, no age can restore a life, whereof, perhaps, there is no great loss; and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole nations fare the worse.
In the garden of the city of Sieu-Shui-Siuen, there once lived a man by the name of Fan Ki, who led a wicked life. He induced men to stir up quarrels and lawsuits with each other, to seize by violence what did not belong to them, and to dishonor other men's wives and daughters. When he could not succeed easily in carrying out his evil purposes, he made use of the most odious stratagems. One day he died suddenly, but came back to life twenty-four hours afterward and bade his wife gather together their relatives and neighbors. When all were assembled he told them that he had seen the king of the dark realm who said to him, "Here the dead receive punishment for their deeds of evil.
The living know not the lot that is reserved for them. They must be thrown into a bed of coals whose heat is in proportion to the extent of their crimes and to the harm they have done their fellows. The assembled company listened to this report as to the words of a feverish patient; they were incredulous and refused to believe the story.
But Fan Ki had filled the measure of crime, and Yama, the king of hell, had decided to make an example of him so as to frighten men from their evil ways. At Yama's command Fan Ki took a knife and mutilated himself, saying, "This is my punishment for inciting men to dissolute lives. The rumor of these occurrences spread afar, and people came from every direction to see the mangled body of the unhappy man.
His wife and children were overcome with grief and shame, and closed the door to keep out the curious crowd. But Fan Ki, still living by the ordeal of Yama, said in inarticulate sounds, "I have but executed the commands of the king of hell, who wants my punishment to serve as a warning to others. What right have you to prevent them from seeing me? For six days the wicked man rolled upon the ground in the most horrible agonies, and at the end of that time he died.
This story teaches us what punishments are in store for evil-doers. How dare men act contrary to what they know to be just and right! He observed all necessary religious disciplines and recited the sutras with reverence. One day, however, he became so intoxicated that he forgot himself. He stripped off his garments and slept facing the north. Waking up in the night, he showed his disrespect toward the constellation, when suddenly he heard a series of thunderclaps in the northwestern quarter, and lo! Awed by this unexpected turn of affairs, P'ang hastily put on his clothing and was at the point of paying due homage to the Lord, when a god with dark face and dragonlike whiskers, carrying a golden rod in his hand, came down from above.
He severely censured Pang for his offence, saying: Therefore, your violation of them becomes doubly punishable. P'ang humbly begged for divine mercy, excusing his deportment by the temporary derangement of his mind. People are still praising his unparalleled sincerity. Even in darkness men must not unbridle themselves and yield to their wanton passions.
We will let you go at present, but you will have to suffer for your offence later on in life by receiving some civil punishment. Ever since, P'ang shut himself up in his house and did not dare to go outside lest some misfortune should befall him. But how could a poor mortal escape heavenly ordained punishment? One day he received an invitation from one of his honorable relatives who had just been promoted to an eminent official position at the capital.
He accepted gladly and went to the capital. While there, he went out and in at pleasure. Once he passed by an Imperial shrine, and, not knowing the official regulations, kept on riding apace. Thereupon the guard of the shrine arrested him for the offence, and the judge sentenced him to one hundred stripes. Fang then came to realize the significance of the divine prophecy. There was a shrine to the water-goddess in the village of Ch'ing Ch'i, and her image that was placed there was so nicely carved that it looked like a real goddess of splendid beauty.
The villagers made her the guardian of the district and paid her great respect. It was the second month of the year when the pear-blossoms on the grounds were very pretty, that a party of young students was passing by and admired the flowers. One of them lifted the curtain that was hung before the image of the goddess and exclaimed: If she were alive I would make her my mistress! His friends were shocked, but he laughed at their scruples, saying that spirits and gods have no reality; that it is well enough for the people to believe in and fear them, because such superstition made them the more amenable.
He then composed a libelous poem and wrote it on the wall, but his friends did not say anything more, knowing the uselessness of their advice. He had a roll on his table and declared to them: Even a plain, ordinary woman should be respected by you; and how much more this is true of a holy goddess, you all must know. According to a report I have received it seems there is one of your number who has insulted the goddess of Ch'ing Ch'i.
When the students met the following morning, they learned that each had the same dream during the night. Yet the offender himself was obdurate and said: What harm can an image of clay do to me? He entered an examination cell, and having written down his seven essays with unusual vigor and brilliancy, felt assured of his. But when the night was far advanced, there appeared before him the goddess of water with her attendants. She censured him for both his grave offence and impenitence, and then ordered her maids to strike him with their sticks until the student lost his mind and destroyed all of his papers.
When he was carried out of the cell in the morning, he was unconscious and died soon. The row in the corner is inscribed with the words, "Heaven-Character Number," which means "number one. It contains the thousand most important characters used in daily life and no two characters are alike. In the days of the Ming dynasty A. His posthumous name was Tu, and his honorary title Liang-Chin. He was gifted with unusual capacity and had acquired a scholarship as thorough as it was varied.
At the age of sixteen he received the Bachelor's degree, and had always been first in all examinations. But when he had reached the age of thirty, he found himself in such straits that he was obliged to give lessons for a livelihood. Although he had faithfully observed these rules of conduct for many years, he failed seven times in competitive examination for the second degree.
He married and had five sons; the fourth. According to Chinese views it is impious to throw away paper on which characters are inscribed, because words, both printed or written, are deemed to partake of the spiritual nature of the Tao; and this notion is not altogether foreign to the Western idea that the Logos or "word" is the incarnation of God. There is a class of Taoist monks who devote themselves to the task of collecting and burning all scraps of inscribed paper to spare their writing the sorry fate of defilement. His third son, a child of rare intelligence and charming features, had two black spots under the sole of his left foot.
He was an especial favorite with his parents, but one day when he was eight years old, while playing in the street he lost his way and no one knew what had become of him. Yu Kong had four daughters, but only one lived, and his wife lost her sight from mourning for her children.
Although he worked incessantly year after year, his misery only increased from day to day. So he examined himself, and finding he had committed no great sin, became resigned, although not without murmuring, to heaven's chastening hand. When he had passed the age of forty, every year at the end of the twelfth moon he wrote a prayer on yellow paper and burned it before the Spirit of the Hearth, beseeching him to carry his vows to heaven. This practice he continued for several years without having the slightest response. When he was forty-seven, he spent the last evening of the year in the company of his blind wife and only daughter.
Gathered together in a room very scantily furnished, the three tried to console one another in their afflictions, when all at once a knock was heard at the door. Yu Kong took the lamp and went to see who it was, and lo, there stood a man whose beard and hair were partly whitened by age. The stranger was clad in black and wore a square cap. He entered with a bow and sat down. Yu Kong was filled with wonder and paid him every mark of respectful deference.
Death has robbed me of nearly all my children, my wife has lost her sight, and we can hardly earn enough to keep us from hunger and cold. Moreover," he added, "I have never ceased importuning the Spirit of the Hearth and burning before him written prayers. Concerned only to acquire empty renown you sent to heaven unacceptable prayers, filled with murmurings and accusations. I fear that your visitation is not yet at an end. Yu Kong was frightened. I have sworn to do good, and for a long time have carefully followed the rules which are laid down for men.
Can you then say that I have worked for mere vainglory? Yet your pupils and fellow students often use the leaves of ancient books to redress the walls of their rooms and to make envelopes; some, indeed, even use them to wipe off their tables. Then they excuse themselves by saying that although they soil the paper, they burn it immediately afterwards. This happens daily under your eyes and you say not a word to prevent it.
Indeed when you yourself find a scrap of written paper in the street you take it home and throw it in the fire. While you suffer others to trespass, tell me please what good does it do that you act rightly? It is true, too, that every month you set animals at liberty that have been doomed to death; but in this you blindly follow the crowd and act only according to the counsel of others.
It would even seem that you remain undecided and irresolute if others do not first set the example. Good feeling and compassion have never been spontaneous in your heart. You have kids and lobsters served on your table, without considering that they, too, are endowed with the breath of life. As to the sins of the tongue, you shine by reason of your readiness of speech and force of argument and never fail to silence all who dispute with you, but you are insentient to the fact that thereby you wound others' feelings and lose their friendship.
Often, too, carried away by the heat of discussion, you take advantage of your superiority and taunt your opponents with biting sarcasm. You pierce them with the bitter darts of your tongue and thus draw upon you the anger of the gods. You are unaware of the number of your offences which are recorded in the spiritual world, and yet you picture yourself the most virtuous of men.
Who is there who pretends to deceive me? Do you think any one can impose upon heaven? Would you have sufficient control over yourself to imitate the sage Lu Nan-Tze if you were placed in a similar position? When he once found himself obliged to pass the night in a house whose only other occupant was a woman, he lighted a lamp and read aloud until morning to avoid exposing her to unjust suspicions. You are deceiving yourself. If this is the way you have followed the precepts which you have sworn to observe, what need is there to speak of others?
The Supreme Master has charged a spirit to keep careful account of your good and evil deeds, and for several years he has not found a single virtue worth recording. When you are alone and given over to yourself, I see nothing in your heart but thoughts of avarice, of envy, of selfishness; thoughts of pride, of scorn and of ambition; and thoughts of hate and ingratitude towards your benefactors and your friends.
These thoughts grow on you;. The gods have already recorded a vast number of them and the punishment of heaven is increasing daily. Since you have not even time to escape the calamities which threaten you, what use to pray for happiness! At these words Yu Kong was panic-stricken.
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He prostrated himself upon the earth and burst into a torrent of tears. Have mercy upon me and save me! When you hear a noble word, you are for the moment carried away with zeal and emulation, while if you witness a good action, your heart leaps for very joy. But as soon as these things are out of your sight and hearing, you forget them at once.
Faith has not planted her roots deeply in your heart, and therefore your good principles have no solid foundation. Then, too, the good words and actions of your whole life have never been anything but empty show. Have you ever done a single thing that betrayed a noble motive? And yet, when your heart is full of wrong thoughts which surround and bind you on all sides, you dare ask heaven for the rewards which only virtue can claim. You are like a man who would sow only thistles and thorns in his field and expect a rich harvest of good fruit. Would not that be the height of folly?
You must first bring forth a crop of pure and noble thoughts, and after that you may direct your efforts to the accomplishment of good. If an opportunity comes to do a good action which is within the limits of your strength, hasten to do it with a firm and resolute heart, without calculating whether it is large or small, difficult or easy, or whether it will bring you any advantage.
If this good act is above your strength, use the same zeal and effort in order to show your sincere intention. Your first duty is patience without limit, your second, tireless perseverance. Above all, keep yourself from indifference and avoid self-deception. When you have followed these rules of conduct for a long time you will reap untold benefits.
If you make haste to carry them out with all your might you may appease heaven and cause it to change its decision. While speaking the stranger entered farther within the house. Yu Kong rose eagerly and followed. But on approaching the hearth, the weird visitor vanished. Then Yu Kong realized that it was the Spirit of the Hearth who presides over the destiny of men.
He at once burned incense in his honor and prostrated himself in grateful acknowledgment. The next day which was the first day of the first month of the year, he directed prayers and praise to heaven. He avoided his former errors and began to do well with a sincere heart. He changed his literary name to Tseng-I Tao-Jen which means "the Taoist bent on the purification of his heart," and then wrote out a vow to banish all blameworthy thoughts.
The first day he was besieged by a thousand conflicting thoughts; now he fell into doubt, and again into indifference and inaction. He allowed hours and days to pass fruitlessly and it was not long before he returned to the path in which he had before lost his way. At last he prostrated himself before the altar of the great Kwan Yin  whom he worshiped in his home, and shed tears of blood.
If I relax a hair's breadth may I fall into the depths of hell. From that moment he controlled his thoughts, words, and actions as if spirits were constantly at his side. He dared not permit himself the slightest wavering. Whenever anything occurred to him that might be of use to man or beast, he did not. Kwan Yin, or in full Kwan-Shih-Yin Tze-Tsai, is the Buddha of mercy, a divinity which is peculiarly Chinese, having incorporated features of the founder of Buddhism but being represented as a goddess.
She is the most popular deity in China and is in many respects comparable to the Virgin-Mary in Roman Catholic countries. Her name in Tibet is Tara; her Chinese name is an abbreviation of the Sanskrit Avalokitesvara , which means the Isvara , or sovereign Lord, and avoloki , on-looking, i. He hastened to undertake it with enthusiasm, and stopped only after its complete accomplishment.
He did good as often as he found opportunity and spread benefits in secret far and wide. He performed every duty faithfully and applied himself to study untiringly. He practiced humility, bore insults, and endeavored to influence to well-doing all the men that he met. The days were not long enough for his good works. On the last day of each month he made a list on yellow paper of all his acts and words during the thirty preceding days and burned it before the Spirit of the Hearth.
Yu Kong soon ripened in the practice of noble deeds. While he was up and doing every one of his acts was followed by a thousand good results, and when he rested no blameworthy thought troubled the serenity of his soul. So he continued for three years. The Minister himself went to invite him, and brought him and his family to the capital. One day while still sojourning in the capital, he went to visit a eunuch whose name was Yang Kong. Yang introduced his five adopted sons whom he had purchased in different parts of the realm to be a comfort to him in his old age; and there was among them a youth of sixteen years, whose face seemed somehow familiar to Yu Kong.
So he asked him where he was born. The name of my family and also my native village are very dim in my memory. Yu Kong was surprised and deeply moved. Begging the youth to uncover his left foot he recognized the two black spots and cried out, "You are my son! Yang Kong rejoiced at the good fortune of this happy meeting and allowed the father to take his son home. The blind mother embraced her son tenderly and shed tears of sorrow and joy. The boy wept too and pressing his mother's face between his hands, gently touched her eyes with his tongue and instantly she recovered her sight.
From this time Yu Kong gave up his situation and took leave of Chan Kiang-Lin to return to his native village. The Minister, however, affected by the nobility of his tutor's character, would not permit him to leave until he had presented him with many rich gifts. Having reached his native country, Yu Kong continued his good deeds with increased zeal.
His son married, and had in his turn, seven sons, all of whom lived to inherit the talents and renown of their grandfather. Yu Kong wrote a book in which he told the history of his life before and after his happy conversion, and gave the book to his grandsons to learn from his experiences. He lived to the. According to a very ancient belief spittle is possessed of magic power. We read in the Gospel that Jesus used it for healing both the deaf Mark vii. Shen of Tai-Ts'ang was wealthy, but a brutal and inhumane man who treated his fellow-citizens shamefully, and especially exhibited his bad character in damaging their instruments and machines, or any utensils which were used by workers in tilling the soil, manufacturing, fishing, hunting, and other occupations of life.
Once when he was building a guest hall in his house, he hired Liu of a neighboring village, well known as a skilled sculptor, to carve some figures on pillars and beams; but when the artist had finished his work Shen refused to pay him the stipulated sum. The sculptor remonstrated and the dispute was finally settled by a lawsuit against Shen, who for this reason began to scheme for revenge. Some time later, the Buddhist Priests in a southern metropolis intended to have the statues of five hundred Arhats carved for their temple, and having heard of Liu's fame, invited him to compete for the task.
Shen thought his opportunity had come. So he hired a man to join Liu's party. While on the way, this villain, following the instructions of Shen, spoiled the instruments of the sculptor and absconded without being discovered. When Liu on his arrival could use none of his tools he was unable to compete with the native sculptors, whereby he lost his employment and became quite destitute. Since Shen continued in his evil practices, his daughter-in-law warned him that unless he reformed, heaven would certainly visit the family with misfortune; but Shen resented her words and drove her from his home charging her with impudence, and disobedience.
Before she was more than a mile or so away from the house, there came a sudden terrific outburst of thunder and lightning, and she hid herself in the woods near by. Then she saw a scarlet dragon come out of the black clouds and enter Shen's residence. The building was completely wrecked, everything inside destroyed and every living thing instantly killed. No member of the family escaped, except the daughter-in-law who had been driven out. Heaven favored her and she lived a long and prosperous life. The thunder demon holds a mallet in either hand and is surrounded by a circle of drums and flames.
Lightning is represented as a woman from whose hands flow streams of flame. The scarlet dragon is the storm sweeping over the country leaving destruction in its wake. Ho Kwan of Kuang Nan was a kindhearted man and never killed any living thing. He had a jar containing one thousand pieces of silver which he kept in a casket. The white ants, of which there were so many in his district, invaded the casket and ate part of the silver.
When his family found what had happened, they traced the ants to a hollow cave where millions of them were living. They thought if they put all of these ants in a crucible, perhaps they could recover a part of the lost silver. But Ho objected to the scheme, saying: So they let the matter drop. That night he dreamed that scores of soldiers in white armor came to him, asking him to enter a carriage which they had with them and to come to the palace of their king.
Ho Kwan proceeded with the soldiers to a town where the people looked prosperous and the buildings were all magnificent. Numerous officers came to meet him and took him to a splendid palace. The king, clad in royal fashion, descended from the throne, and, cordially saluting Ho Kwan, said: While not forgetting your kindness, the lack of strict discipline among my people caused you some trouble recently, but by your mercy they have again been saved from calamity.
How could I let your kindness go unrequited this time?
There is a certain tree near your residence readily identified, under which in olden times a certain person buried a jar full of silver. Just dig that out and keep it for yourself. You are the unicorn of mankind the emblem of perfect goodness that will never hurt any living soul. It is a pity that you are now too old to enjoy the fruits of your kindness yourself, but your descendents will reap what you have sown. After this Ho Kwan was escorted back to his own house as before, by armed soldiers.
When he awoke he meditated on the dream and found it to be the work of the ants. So he dug up the place as told by their king and recovered a jar buried therein these many years. His son became an eminent scholar. The spirit of the sleeper is supposed to go out into the distance.
Sometimes we find the dreamer pictured in a sleeping posture with the dream curves which envelope the vision proceeding from his head. In the county of Hsiang-Tan in Hu-Kuang there was an old and much respected gentleman. He had three sons who did not care for culture and refinement but spent every day in sports and roaming through the mountains. One day the three went out hunting with a large company of young people and they met unexpectedly an old man in white garments who knelt and thus addressed them: It is now springtime when everything in nature is starting to life again.
If you pay no attention to the tenderness of heart as practiced by holy men. I, poor old creature, have seven young children in my family, and there is not time to remove them to a place of safety; but if you, gentlemen, have pity on us, we will never forget your mercy and will reward you later. The three leaders of the party did not exactly understand what the old man wanted but without further thought promised to do as he had requested. When the old man was gone some of the party began to wonder who he could have been and whence he might have come into this wilderness; and they argued that his appeal to their sympathy did not sound human.
Possibly he was the spirit of some old wild animal living around in the mountains. Upon this suggestion they pursued him, and seeing him enter a cave, spread a net before it and started a fire in the entrance. Suddenly a white stag darted forth from the hole, and breaking through the besiegers, climbed tip to a near rock, and then assuming the form of an old man, turned back to the hunting party, exclaiming: You shall have to pay a penalty for this heartless act.
A calamity ten times greater than I have suffered, will befall your family. The three young men tried to shoot him, but he caught up the arrows in his hands and breaking them to pieces disappeared. Later, there came to their house a Taoist monk who predicted for them an imperial career and great prosperity for the future. Incited by this prophecy, they organized a rebellion in which many of their friends joined, for the purpose of overthrowing the reigning dynasty and establishing a new government under their own leadership. While the preparations were going on secretly, somebody betrayed their conspiracy to the authorities.
Soldiers were immediately dispatched to their home, and, surrounding the house, put every one of the family under arrest. On examination they were found guilty of treason. Seventy members of their families and associates were executed according to law; but nobody ever knew what became of the Taoist monk who had been the real leader of the scheme. He as well as the man who had betrayed them disappeared.
Dark and drear the mountain lowers, Wild is nature on the wild! Mother, mother, let me go! Swift before him, as the wind, Panting trembling, flies the hind. Still unwearied, with the bow Of death, behind her flies the foe. Shall my herds before thee fall? Room there is on earth for all!
There are Bible societies in Europe and America, the contributors to which deem it meritorious to publish and propagate the canonical books of Christianity; and in China we meet with analogous sentiments which prompt people to spread abroad religious books proclaiming the moral principles of their faith. The Chinese think to gain merit by writing, copying, or publishing such books as the Kan Ying-P'ien , and our illustration represents a publishing office maintained either by some pious man who is possessed of sufficient wealth, or an association inspired by the same motive.
We see in the lower left-hand corner two engravers busily employed in writing characters upon engraving blocks. At the right-hand table where the three men are printing with brushes, we see another tract, the Kung Kuo Ko, which means "the Table of Merits and Demerits"--a curious little book which is incorporated as an appendix to the Chinese copy of the Kan Ying P'ien in our possession. It contains a list of all good and evil deeds, and marks their value in figures in a system similar to that in use in our schools.
At the end of the book there are blanks for lists of both meritorious and demeritorious deeds, for the sums total on both sides, and for the statement of the balance. The pile of tracts which is just being carried to the shelves is a volume of the same book, as may be recognized by the first word kung, "merits. The stacks in the background contain the following books: