Dame Feng, Shih-yin’s wife, upon hearing the tidings, had such a fit of weeping that she hung between life and death; but her only alternative was to consult with her father, and to despatch servants on all sides to institute inquiries. No news was however received of him, and she had nothing else to do but to practise resignation, and to remain dependent upon the support of her parents for her subsistence. She had fortunately still by her side, to...

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The green gauze now is also pasted on the straw windows! What about the cosmetic fresh concocted or the powder just scented; Why has the hair too on each temple become white like hoarfrost! Yesterday the tumulus of yellow earth buried the bleached bones, To-night under the red silk curtain reclines the couple! Gold fills the coffers, silver fills the boxes, But in a twinkle, the beggars will all abuse you! While you deplore that the life of others is...

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All men spiritual life know to be good, But fame to disregard they ne’er succeed! From old till now the statesmen where are they? Waste lie their graves, a heap of grass, extinct. All men spiritual life know to be good, But to forget gold, silver, ill succeed! Through life they grudge their hoardings to be scant, And when plenty has come, their eyelids close. All men spiritual life hold to be good, Yet to forget wives, maids, they ne’er...

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His father-in-law, Feng Su, by name, was a native of Ta Ju Chou. Although only a labourer, he was nevertheless in easy circumstances at home. When he on this occasion saw his son-in-law come to him in such distress, he forthwith felt at heart considerable displeasure. Fortunately Shih-yin had still in his possession the money derived from the unprofitable realization of his property, so that he produced and handed it to his father-in-law, commissioning him to purchase, whenever a suitable...

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Among the natives of this district bamboo fences and wooden partitions were in general use, and these too proved a source of calamity so ordained by fate (to consummate this decree). With promptness (the fire) extended to two buildings, then enveloped three, then dragged four (into ruin), and then spread to five houses, until the whole street was in a blaze, resembling the flames of a volcano. Though both the military and the people at once ran to the rescue,...

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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...

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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...

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“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...

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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...

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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...

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