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where they took the famous oath of brotherhood, which remains to the present day the ideal of fraternal union. The history of the adventures of these remarkable men, forms a considerable part of the popular History of the Three Kingdoms,' already referred to, a work, the influence of which upon the myriads of China, it would be difficult to exaggerate-Temples to Kuan Yü, Liu Pei and Chang Fei are common, and are called San I Miao (E).
'Sai Wêng losing his horse-good luck, after all' (164 5. 莫非是福。). .). This individual lost his horse, upon which others condoled with him. To this he replied, 'Who knows but it is fortunate?' When the horse afterwards returned, his neighbors exclaimed, "How lucky," but he replied, Who knows but it is a misfortune? And so it was, for his son rode the horse, and broke his own leg by being thrown. Upon this, while others again sympathized, the old man (who, like a morning dream, always went by contraries) again observed: Who knows but it is a piece of good fortune?' And so it proved, for a horde of banditti soon came, and impressed all the young men in the neighborhood, but the son of the old man being a cripple, escaped. 'Like Tou of Yên Shan, who distributed his wealth justly' ( *.**.). This man lived in the early days of the Sung Dynasty, at a place called Yu chou (H), the modern Tung chou (H), which subsequently belonged to the state of Yen, when he acquired his appellation 'Tou of Yen.' Although not rich, he was just and generous. He figures as a kind of Chinese Abraham, from the fact that he ruled his household in an ideal manner, and that posterity was granted to him when the hope of such a blessing had passed away. When he and his wife had reached the age of 56, twin sons were born, and by the time they were 65 they had five sons, all of whom became great officers of state. The regulations of his house were as strict as those of the Imperial Palace itself, and even after his sons had become great and famous, their father kept his paternal eye upon them, for he and his wife lived to the age of 130! He has been immortalized in the early lines of the Trimetrical Classic (竇燕山。有義方。五子。 1.) 'Just was the life of Tou of Yen; Five sons he taught, all famous men.'
'Lü Meng Cheng's cap-the matrix of poverty' (7. .). This was a councillor, in the Sung Dynasty, who in early youth was extremely poor. When he afterwards became an official, he kept his ragged cap, to remind him of his antecedents. Hence, employed of one who exhibits the effects of former poverty.
Lü Meng Cheng coming to meals at the temple-always late' (2 * E * *. *7.). Although obliged to beg for a living, a
priest, foreseeing his brilliant future, found a place for him in his temple. According to temple usages, meals are served at the sound. of a bell(). The little priest who did the cooking, jealous of a stranger thus introduced, purposely neglected to sound the bell until the meal was nearly over. Lü Meng Cheng-who was roaming about-was therefore invariably late. Metaphor of anyone or anything behind time. Variations of this legend are also current.
'Chiang T'ai Kung telling fortunes-when one's luck failed he declared there was no remedy for it' (姜太公算卦。倒運難治。) See Mayers' Manual, No. 257. He was once a fortune teller, before he became councillor of Hsi Po (f), (12th century, B.C.). His eccentric habit of angling with a straight iron rod, thus offering as little inducement as possible to the fishes (who were attracted simply by his virtue), has given rise to the familiar saying: 'Chiang T'ai Kung fishing— only those that are willing are taken’(姜太公釣魚。愿者上鈎。), employed as an illustration of spontaneity of action. (See Scarborough, No. 436). He is supposed to have sat upon his fishing perch, in entire disregard of the entreaties of the numerous ministers of state who begged him to come down, and mix in Chou Dynasty politics. Hence the proverb: 'See him seated on his fishing-terrace; he will not move' (看他穩坐釣魚台的不動。) of one who takes no interest in an affair. It was not until the King himself besought him that he came
down, and exchanged his straight rod, for the staff of civil office.
'Like the goddess of child-bearing-two faced' (4**«. 兩臉。). .). This was a concubine of an Emperor of the Sung Dynasty. Her name was Chu () and her surname K'ou (). The principal Empress died without a child, and the Emperor promised the Eastern and Western Empresses, who were perpetually wrangling for the precedence, that whichever first bore a son, should enjoy the honor of being mother to the heir-apparent. A son was first born to the Eastern Empress, but her rival, having bribed the midwife, contrived, when the mother was unconscious, to remove the young child, and to introduce in its place a little fox that had been just skinned. The Emperor was them memorialized on the subject of the monstrosity which had been produced, which resulted in the banishment and degradation of the Eastern Empress. The infant was wrapped up, and given to K'ou Chu to be thrown into the river. She, being unwilling. to commit such a cruetly, saved the child, which, becoming known to the Western Empress, she had K'ou Chu beaten to death. Upon the decease of the Emperor () the young prince succeeded to the throne, and promoted his benefactress to the rank of goddess. Her image in the temples is furnished with a mask, supposed to represent
her appearance at the time of her murder. The proverb is used, of sudden change of front, as for example, a very angry man restored to good humor at the prospect of gain.
'The goddess of child-bearing throwing down her sack-bad for the babies' (7.7.). Used in banter toward one on the loss of capital, or on occasion of any disaster.
'Like Lu Su-no decision' (#6&±**★.). A man of the time of the Three Kingdoms, belonging to the Eastern Wu-without resolution.
'Like Lo Cheng-short-lived' (A⠀✯ «. Ã¤¶...ЯÓ .). A man of the Tang Dynasty, who became a warrior at the age of 14, and was famous for his martial prowess, dying at 20, with a very bad reputation.
'Like Kung Ming-a person of great wisdom' (1.7 7.). "The great councillor of Liu Pei, who owed to the sagacity and military skill of K'ung Ming his success in establishing himself upon the throne." See Mayers' Manual, No. 88. He is known also as Chu Ko Liang () and is one of the most famous men of one of China's most famous eras.
Though the fire burned the Shang Fang valley, it was not the will of Heaven that Ssu Ma should perish’(火燒上方谷、 天意不 ). Ssu Ma I was a famous general under Ts'ao Ts'ao at the time of the Three Kingdoms. (See Mayers' Manual, No. 655). He was once hard pressed by his distinguished antagonist Chu Ko Liang (K'ung Ming, see above), who hemmed him in within a deep. valley, where it was equally difficult either to advance or to retreat. Fire was then set to the underbrush, so that the horses all perished, as well as all the men, with the exception of Ssu Ma I and his two sons, who having dismounted embraced each other with tears, in momentary expectation of destruction. At this critical juncture, a heavy rain. fell, which extinguished the fire. Chu Ko Liang dared not disobey the mandate of heaven, and allowed his prisoners to escape. The saying is used in reference to any signal providential intervention to save life. 'Liu Pei throwing down his child to win men's hearts' (
F. HA). The first Emperor of the Minor Han Dynasty (one of the Three Kingdoms) who owed so much, as stated above, to Chu Ko Liang. A favorite general named Chao Yün (), on occasion of the defeat of Liu Pei by Tsao Tsao, carried the son of Liu When he reached his
Pei in his bosom, fighting and fleeing by turns. master, and delivered up the young prince to his father, his own body was covered with severe wounds. Liu Pei dashed his child on the ground, exclaiming that his general's entire body was nothing but liver
(courage). Alas! that he should receive such wounds for a child of mine.' There seems no reason to question the sincerity of Liu Pei in this famous incident; the expression has however grown into proverbial use as equivalent to stealing men's hearts. See Mayers' Manual, No. 54 and No. 415.
'Like Tu Chih Heng-plotting within with those without' (
..). A man who at the fall of the Ming Dynasty was in league with the rebel Li Tzu Ch'eng (), who entered. Peking. Used in allusion to traitors, &c.
'Chou Yu Chi celebrating his mother's birthday—the family extinguished, its members perish' (L#.KA.). This was a general whose home was at Tientsin, and who heard on his mother's birthday, of the entrance to Peking of the rebel Li Tzu Cheng, just mentioned. On receipt of this intelligence his mother urged him to go to the aid of the Emperor, which his filial care for his aged parent made him unwilling to do. After he had gone, his mother locked herself and all the family into the house, and had it set on fire, that her son might serve his country with a single heart. He was killed in battle, and his mother is regarded as a model of the Virtues!
'Breaking up the cooking boilers, and sinking the boats-a desperate resolution’(破釜舟的。細講。 This refers to Hsiang Chi (項籍). See Mayers' Manual, (No. 165) otherwise known as Pa Wang of Chu (E), B.C. 201. On occasion of crossing the Yellow River to fight a decisive battle, he sank his boats-a proceeding imitated by Cortez in Mexico seventeen centuries latter-and broke up the camp kettles, to render retreat impossible. Met. Victory or death.
That large class of Foreigners in China, who have long and ineffectually struggled either to master the ordinary requirements of Chinese ceremony, or to get rid of it altogether, will hail with enthusiasm the following traditionary sliver in regard to the customs of this same Pa Wang. Pa Wang inviting guests-brusque manners' (E
). He is said to have been as much disgusted as the modern Barbarian, with the inevitable courteous scuffles which ensue whenever Chinese meet, and took an advantage of his authority (unhappily impossible for a Foreigner) to cut short the polite dispute. Seizing each one of his guests by the shoulders, he jerked him into a seat, with the observation: "You sit there!" This alone would have accounted for
* More literally, 'Pa Wang, in inviting guests, put the cord on his bow in a violent manner.' A Chinese bow is so inflexible, that even adepts in military feats are often obliged to lean upon it with all their weight, in order to bend it sufficiently to slip on the cord. Pa Wang, however, whose strength was enormous, disdained such methods, and siezing his bow in both hands, bent it with the muscles of his wrists. His treatment of his guests was conducted in a similarly abrupt manner.
(as it certainly justifies) the immortality which his name has enjoyed for about two thousand years.
'Heaven gives Yen Hui an ingot of gold; such wealth can not enrich one fated to be poor’(天賜顏回一錠金。外財不富命窮人。 The favorite disciple of Confucius was extremely poor. One day a piece of silver was missed, and the suspicions of the other pupils of the Sage, fell upon Yen Hui, because of his well known poverty. The next day Tseng tzu placed an ingot of gold upon Yen Hui's table, with the inscription as above. Given to Yen Hui by Heaven,' when Yen Hui arrived, and saw it, he added the succeeding line, and placed the gold to one side, without looking at it.
(The escape of) Ch'en Yu Liang in plain sight (of his enemy)' ( ). This sententious utterance refers to an occasion when Chen Yu Liang fought with Chu Yüan Chang (✯), otherwise known as Hung Wu (t) the celebrated founder of the Ming Dynasty. The latter is said to have allowed him to escape when defeated, although he saw him fleeing. Yet he was on another occasion overtaken and slain. See Mayers' Manual, No. 105. Used of lost opportunity. 'Little golden lilies-an insecure footing' (A † £ 7
.). This refers to a legend of Yao Niang (). See Mayers' Manual, No. 906-the beautiful concubine of Li Yü () of the Southern Tang Dynasty, which collapsed A.D. 975. Yao Niang was light and graceful, and danced elegantly. The prince ordered an artificer to make golden lily-flowers with movable petals, so that from the apartments of Yao Niang to the principal palace, was a continuous pavement of golden lilies, upon which the steps of Yao Niang seemed rather to resemble flying than walking. Still the prince was not quite satisfied, and desired her to cause her feet to simulate a lily bud unopened, which would be perfection itself. Yao Niang therefore bethought herself of white silk bandages, with which her feet were soon compressed, until at length they were reduced to three inches in length, or the size of an average bud. Arrayed in her red shoes, as she flitted along on the golden lilies, she attained the very beau-ideal of graceful movement. By the time of the Sung Dynasty, the fashion of compression had become universal, and has continued so ever since, except among the Tartars-the reigning dynasty-who dominate the fashions in and about the Capital. To the present day small feet are the badge, not merely of fashion, but of respectability. It is due to Fao Niang (as is supposed), that the term 'golden lilies' () refers to women's feet, and that
"Two little stumps, mere pedal lumps,
In China, you know, are reckoned trumps."
The expression above is used of anything unstable, as a house with