Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

The ode says,

remains unchanged for a thousand My house, having changed its owner, now years ; but there is not a house belongs to a rich man,

which remains unsold for an hunTherefore I bundle my kin * and my books

dred. If you give it into the hands under my arm, and go over to another

of your children and grand-chilvillage.

dren, they will deliver it to other per• The lofty rooms, which I built myself, I myself dispose of;

sons, with its value diminished. It Unwilling to ruin my posterity, by.leaying is better oneself to seek a purcha

them such extensive possessions. ser, before it is altogether destroyAgain :

ed: then, if you cannot sell it for Within the period of an hundred years, it its price, you still leave behind you must have belonged to some other

the reputation of liberality. It person ;

will be said,

" He knew well And it is surely better to sell it while

enough it was expensive, and therenew, than when become old. The pine trees, the bamboos, and the fore let it go cheap. He did it as

mei flowers must enter the account; a favour; it was not that he was But my kin and my books, my dogs and taken in.” If, on the contrary, my chickens, shall accompany me.

your children or grand-children The scrapstof old verses stuck against the

happen to sell it low, there soon walls ; for these he may fix his price. For the wet-weather clothes, I hanging

arise plenty of discussions. It is without, it is not worth while to bargain.

said, He has wasted the patriHereafter, when, perhaps, I may come, mony of his fathers, and is undu

during my leisure, to pay a visit, tiful. He has dismembered whạt The former master will be called the ho

his ancestors loved, and is wicked. noured guest.

He knows not the difficulty of layThe above detached lines, toge- ing the foundation of a fortune, and ther with the regular stanzas, were is a fool. These three bad names, composed by an eminent person, in are all that his ancestors, who foundthe dynasty of Ming, who sold his

ed the family, and accumulated the house and built another. Selling property, have delivered down to one's house, however, is a trouble. him. It is better to have not a some sort of business; it cannot single brick left you. Though the sufficiently be regretted. What is

man, who has not enough land to there of pleasure in it, that a man stick an awl into, is the cause of should compose all sorts of verses

his posterity acquiring their fortune and rhymes on such a subject ?

with empty hands, they still obtain If you wish to know the nature the credit of not having had an inch of property in this world, learn of ground as a step towards it. that it is altogether transitory. Those men, therefore, who are There is not a river nor hill which fathers and grand-fathers, when

they have arrived at the end of * A musical instrument, common among the

their days, should turn round their # It is usual in private houses to have labels heads and give a look at those who suspended against the walls, on which are inscrib

are coming after them. If, upon ed moral sentences, or verses from the ancient books. These are generally very obscure in their examination, they appear by their import.

conduct to be unworthy children, * The Chinese, in rainy weather, use a sort of cloak, made of the leaves of some vegetable, from it is better to get rid of the prowhich the rain runs off, as if from a thatched roof and completely shelters what is under. It perty at once; thus preventing their is to these garments that the text alludes. becoming the prodigal sons of a

Chinese.

source.

)

frugal father, and receiving the why do I, in speaking of these two ridicule of mankind.

inferior men, make use of such a From ancient times down to the lofty comparison ? The reason is, present, of those persons who have because of these two, the surname been particularly eminent for such of one was Tang, of the other, Yui good sense, there have been only Every one said, they were the dea two.

The one was named Tang- cendants of Tang-yew, and Yuyew; the other Yu-shin.* They, shin; that they took the national seeing that their sons were dege- appellation of those Emperors for nerate, and that afterwards, their their surnames ; and that they were property must inevitably be given descended in a line from them. I up to other persons in a ruined state, therefore speak of the ancestors in thought it better to dispose of it delineating the descendants, in orwith their own hands. There are der to do justice to the original still two lines of an old ode, which allude to this,-they say,

The sensible man had all his anGive splendid arms to grace the sole cestor's disposition ; the stupid fel. dier's side ;

low had

very

little of the character " Give paints and patches to the beau

of his family. They mutually diver. teous bride." If their posterity, they thought, from the abyss. How dissimilar

ged from each other, as the heavens disposed of it for them, it was most

branches sprung from the same probable that they would not find a

stem will be perceived. good receiver. Most inevitably one would contend and another tug,

During the reign of Kea-tsing, * until they fought about it. To say province of Sze-chuen, the Foot

of the dynasty of Ming, in the nothing about their sons and wives

of Ching-too, and the Hëen of having no place to live in, their

Ching-too, there lived a rich man very graves and tombs would not be secure from disturbance. If such

in thriving circumstances.

His then is the case with those who

surname was Tang; his epithet,

Yo-chuen. This man had an impossess the empire, how much more so with the coinmon people.

mense quantity of land. Whenever I am now going to speak of one

he got any money, he delighted

only in buying fields and purchasing person, who was eminent for

sense, and of another, who was deficient; houses ; and of those family uten

ground. But he would build no that they may serve as examples to

sils which are in constant use, he the world. The patrimony of these two persons could not be compared regard to clothes and food, they

would not buy one too many. With to a tile on Tang-yew's house, or to a brick on Yu-shin's wall. But

had no weight with him. His dis

position was to make money by all * These are the names of two famous

sorts of means. As to his extensive emperors, the eighth and ninth from Fohi, the founder of the monarchy. The property in rich lands, no sooner former of these two, after having reigued did they enter into his possession, upwards of seventy years, resigned the * The eleventh emperor of this dynasthrone to the latter; or, at least, made ty. He ascended the throne about the him an associate in the empire with him

year 1521. self. The latter again left the empire out + The foo is a division of the proof his own family.

vince, or seng ; and the hëen of the foo..

$

1

1

than the profits came in. They in- which says, “If a man is very eco creased daily, as the moon towards nomical he must have a prodigal her plenitude. Houses and furni- son.' He 'must inevitably have a ture (he thought) are not only successor who will turn things up. upprofitable, but there is a fear side down; so that Tang's disposi. lest the god of fire * should destroy tion to save will not descend." Une them, and in a moment they should expectedly, however, the son imibecome annihilated. If all the fa- tated his father. From his earliest mily have fine garments, there im- years he commenced a scholar, mediately come unpleasant fellows seeking preferment by all sorts of to borrow clothes. If there are means; and was a titular Sew.tsae.* plenty of victuals, one soon has In his 'eating and drinking, he did people claiming acquaintance, and not seek for luxury; in his clothes taking their seats in quest of food. he wished not for a superabun. There is nothing like being con dance; in his instruments of a. tented with coarse articles ; people, musement, he did not aim at the in that case, will not be begging best. ' It was only on the subject them.

of houses that be differed from his He took fast hold of this idea, other desires. There, indeed, be and, except in buying houses, was not contented with economy. would not spend so much as a To look at the house in which he candareen or a cash.f The state lived, it was like any rich man's of his mind 'being thus, he could nécessary. He was quite ashamed not be at rest with his niggardli- of it. He wanted to be building ness, but wanted also to steal a fine houses; but was afraid to begin, great name, He said, that he was lest the means could not be obtain. descended from the Emperor Tang- ed. He had heard people say, that yew; and that his ancestors had to buy an old house was better than great celebrity. That they lived to build a new one; therefore, in in a thatched house with mud a consultation with his father, he steps ; that what they lived

upon

said, “ If we can buy a handsome was broth and Yuen wine ;--that house, which will be fit for us to they used earthen jars and pots ; live in, we may then look for a and that their garments were of garden, and build a library in it, cloth and deer-skins. The father such as may suit our wish.” Yo. being thus economical, his son chuen, desiring much to become a could not but obey his precepts. Fung-keun,t wished only to flatter People seeing him (the father) pare his son, and, without being aware, simonious in the extreme, began to deviated from his constant opinion. scrutinize him behind his back,

He said, in answer, say

There is no ing, “There is an ancient proverb, necessity to be in a hurry-; in this

* The lowest literary title. The next * Hwuy-lo, the spirit which is sup above it is kiujin ; and the next above posed to preside over fire.

that, tsin-sze. The three first of the + These are the European names for tsin-sze, at each examination, which is the fuen and le. The former is one hun- always conducted by the Emperor himself, dredth part of the leang, or ounce of are called chang-yuen, tan-hwa, and silver ; and the latter, one tenth of the pang-yen. former, or one thousandth part of the + The fathers of persons possessing

eminent rank are thus called.

[ocr errors]

leang:

[ocr errors]

street is a handsome house and gar He, who was building the house, den. It is not yet completely built; was descended from Chunghwa. His but the day of its being finished surname was Yu, his name Haou, must inevitably be the day of its and his epithet Soochin. He was sale; you and I will just wait one who delighted in reading books awhile." The son said, “When of poetry; but did not seek to be people want to sell houses, they an eminent scholar. From the indo not build: when they build dolence of his disposition, he had a houses, they do not intend to sell great aversion to any office; and them. Where is the probability was not cut out for being a Mandathat, when they have finished build- rin. He therefore detached his ing, they intend to sell the house ?” thoughts from a great name, and Yo-cbuen said, Pray where did entirely gave himself up to odes and you get that crochet ?

The man wine, and by these means could who possesses ten thousand pieces not but be reduced to beggary. of gold may build a house which During his whole life, he had costs him only one thousand. But scarcely any other delight than in if a man's possessions in houses and arranging and building gardens and lands are balf and half, he may be summer-houses. From the begin said to be a large tree without a ing of the year to the end, not a root, which must inevitably be day passed without his advancing blown down when the wind comes.

the work. The house which he was Then bow much more nay this man,

now building, he wished to be of who, without possessing an hundred the highest perfection, and not of acres in land, suddenly builds a the common order; he said, house with a thousand rooms, be

other men

hav their fine fields called a tree without a root? He and their numerous acres : pleasures truly will not wait for the wind's

and riches were the concerns of blowing, but will tumble down of others ; on him they had no induhimself! How can there be any

ence." There were only three things question about it?"

in which he truly took an interest,

and which he was determined to have The son, hearing these words, said, that they were very true ; and,

of the best quality These three were, as before, accorded with his father.

the house which he inhabited in the He went seeking only for land, and day, the bed in which he slept at did not come to ask about houses. night, and the coffin in which he He wished that the other man would

was to be laid up after death. Havsoon have finished building ; in or

ing these ideas in his breast,* he der, that the present owner being

went on with the work of eartht gone, he might give the finishing and wood, labouring continually at stroke instead of him.

it, in an indefatigable manner. The rich

(To be continued.) man's plans proved successful : the resulc justified his words. There * The Chinese, like some other eastern are two lines of the “ She-king," anatomists, suppose the heart to be the which are applicable to the case,

seat of ideas.

it l'he Chinese houses are built, in a “ The nest one bird constructs with anx

great measure, of mud. Hence a brickious toil,

layer is called Ne shwäy tseang, “ Ere long another seizes as her spoil.” earth and water workman.”. Asiatie Journ. No. 1.

Vol. 1.

G

“ Let

an

ASIATIC FRAGMENTS, ANECDOTES, &c.

(No. I.)

HINDU ARTIFICE.

life, but the trifling injury he could A late Bombay paper gives the have received by the handling, to following, as an extract of a letter overcome merely his own resistfrom an officer to his friend : ance, and the absurdity of a man's

I was travelling, says the wri- dying from the effect of fancied ter, with a party of officers and a pollution, added to my experience guard of Sepoys; we stopped to of their powers of deception, per. refresh ourselves, and, among the fectly satisfied my mind that this inbabitants of a village, who came

fellow was an impostor. out to view us as objects of curio Desiring my brother officers to sity, one fellow was so unusually leave the business to my manageaudacious as to force himself into ment, I acquainted the natives that the tent where we were dining, I had an infallible mean of knowusing strange gestures, and making ing whether the man was dead or an extravagant noise. Having in not; that, if there was the least vain endeavoured to learn bis mean. spark of life remaining, since the ing, we ordered him out; he re. body had received no injury, I could fused to go, and we then ordered restore him, though the remedy the palanquin-bearers in attendance would be exceedingly severe. They to force him out. On his being thus wanted to remove him, but this I removed to a short distance from would not suffer, well knowing our tent, we soon heard a confused they might make any report they noise and lamentation, and were pleased concerning his death and informed that this fellow, who pre

create much trouble. tended to be a devotee, had swooned I laid bold of his hand, and was away from the effect of pollution, some time before I could feel a in being touched by our palanquin pulse, which completely satisfied bearers, who were parrias. me; but I kept my own counsel.

We rather laughed at this ac- Again the people pressed forward count. Louder lamentations were tumultuously, with an apparent deheard, and word was brought that sign to carry away the body by the man was dead; we went out force; but, ordering the Sepoys and found a great many people as

to advance with fixed bayonets, I sembled round the body, lamenting made them retire to a distance, and complaining loudly of the out- suffering only the bead man to rerage. It became necessary to order main. In vain did I endeavour to our Sepoys under arms, and the persuade them that the man counservants to be on their guard. We terfeited, until, finding nothing else sent for the head man of the vile would do, I assured them I poslage, and the body was thoroughly sessed powers they had no concepexamined by the natives, and pro- tion of, and, without touching the nounced to be dead. There cer- body again, I would convince them tainly appeared no visible signs of of the man being still alive, by

« EdellinenJatka »