Remembering the occurrence of the previous night, he meant to write a couple of letters of recommendation for Yü-ts’un to take along with him to the capital,   to enable him, after handing them over at the mansions of certain officials, to find some place as a temporary home. He accordingly despatched a servant to ask him to come round, but the man returned and reported that from what the bonze said, “Mr. Chia had started on his journey to the capital, at the fifth watch of that very morning, that he had also left a message with the bonze to deliver to you, Sir,Read More →

“Excellent!” cried Shih-yin with a loud voice, after he had heard these lines; “I have repeatedly maintained that it was impossible for you to remain long inferior to any, and now the verses you have recited are a prognostic of your rapid advancement. Already it is evident that, before long, you will extend your footsteps far above the clouds! I must congratulate you! I must congratulate you! Let me, with my own hands, pour a glass of wine to pay you my compliments.” Yü-ts’un drained the cup. “What I am about to say,” he explained as he suddenly heaved a sigh, “is not the maudlinRead More →

Yü-ts’un lost no time in smiling and replying. “It would be presumption in my part to think so,” he observed. “I was simply at random humming a few verses composed by former writers, and what reason is there to laud me to such an excessive degree? To what, my dear Sir, do I owe the pleasure of your visit?” he went on to inquire. “Tonight,” replied Shih-yin, “is the mid-autumn feast, generally known as the full-moon festival; and as I could not help thinking that living, as you my worthy brother are, as a mere stranger in this Buddhist temple, you could not but experienceRead More →

When the guests had taken their leave, Shih-yin did not go back to rejoin Yü-ts’un, as he had come to know that he had already left.   In time the mid-autumn festivities drew near; and Shih-yin, after the family banquet was over, had a separate table laid in the library, and crossed over, in the moonlight, as far as the temple and invited Yü-ts’un to come round. The fact is that Yü-ts’un, ever since the day on which he had seen the girl of the Chen family turn twice round to glance at him, flattered himself that she was friendly disposed towards him, and incessantlyRead More →

Shih-yin at once stood up. “Pray excuse my rudeness,” he remarked apologetically, “but do sit down; I shall shortly rejoin you, and enjoy the pleasure of your society.” “My dear Sir,” answered Yü-ts’un, as he got up, also in a conceding way, “suit your own convenience. I’ve often had the honour of being your guest, and what will it matter if I wait a little?” While these apologies were yet being spoken, Shih-yin had already walked out into the front parlour. During his absence, Yü-ts’un occupied himself in turning over the pages of some poetical work to dispel ennui, when suddenly he heard, outside theRead More →

“Excellent! first rate!” exclaimed the Bonze. And at the conclusion of these words, the two men parted, each going his own way, and no trace was again seen of them. “These two men,” Shih-yin then pondered within his heart, “must have had many experiences, and I ought really to have made more inquiries of them; but at this juncture to indulge in regret is anyhow too late.” While Shih-yin gave way to these foolish reflections, he suddenly noticed the arrival of a penniless scholar, Chia by surname, Hua by name, Shih-fei by style and Yü-ts’un by nickname, who had taken up his quarters in theRead More →

“The spirit of malignity and perversity, unable to expand under the brilliant sky and transmuting sun, eventually coagulates, pervades and stops up the deep gutters and extensive caverns; and when of a sudden the wind agitates it or it be impelled by the clouds, and any slight disposition, on its part, supervenes to set itself in motion, or to break its bounds, and so little as even the minutest fraction does unexpectedly find an outlet, and happens to come across any spirit of perception and subtlety which may be at the time passing by, the spirit of right does not yield to the spirit ofRead More →

He was about to come in, when he caught sight of two priests, one a Taoist, the other a Buddhist, coming hither from the opposite direction. The Buddhist had a head covered with mange, and went barefooted. The Taoist had a limping foot, and his hair was all dishevelled.   Like maniacs, they jostled along, chattering and laughing as they drew near. As soon as they reached Shih-yin’s door, and they perceived him with Ying Lien in his arms, the Bonze began to weep aloud. Turning towards Shih-yin, he said to him: “My good Sir, why need you carry in your embrace this living butRead More →

Tzu-hsing upon perceiving the weighty import of what he propounded, “Please explain,” he asked hastily, “the drift (of your argument).” To which Yü-ts’un responded: “Of the human beings created by the operation of heaven and earth, if we exclude those who are gifted with extreme benevolence and extreme viciousness, the rest, for the most part, present no striking diversity. If they be extremely benevolent, they fall in, at the time of their birth, with an era of propitious fortune; while those extremely vicious correspond, at the time of their existence, with an era of calamity. When those who coexist with propitious fortune come into life,Read More →

Shih-yin received it. On scrutiny he found it, in fact, to be a beautiful gem, so lustrous and so clear that the traces of characters on the surface were distinctly   visible. The characters inscribed consisted of the four “T’ung Ling Pao Yü,” “Precious Gem of Spiritual Perception.” On the obverse, were also several columns of minute words, which he was just in the act of looking at intently, when the Buddhist at once expostulated. “We have already reached,” he exclaimed, “the confines of vision.” Snatching it violently out of his hands, he walked away with the Taoist, under a lofty stone portal, on theRead More →