Below Freezing

The Living, the Dead, and the Path Between  — subtitle

Linora Kingsley is a nine-year-old child; she has light brown hair that reaches down to her waist, hazel eyes, and fair skin; she is curious, dreamy, adventurous, but was born weak, and had to visit the hospital many times when she was younger. Her parents dote on her, and care for her, but all she wants is to be healthy, so she can explore the world. She can rarely go to school during the winter, and she gets extremely ill in the middle of October, so she has to miss a lot of school. She feels left out, and she isn’t as ‘smart’ as people her own age, but she manages to get by, since she learns at home. But, her parents work and they can’t have so much time for her, so she is almost always left with her aunt, who almost doesn’t care of her Niece’s existence. Continue reading “Below Freezing”

Divine Panorama 玉曆寶鈔 中英对照 (恐怖彩图)

The “Divine Panorama,” published by the Mercy of God Yü Ti, that Men and Women may repent them of their Faults and make Atonement for their Crimes.

The pious monk Tan Ch’i[1] was wandering in the mountains one fine day, who encountered the entry to Feng Tu with a sign above the portal reading Exit of the Living, Entry of the Dead. The realm had been thrown open celebrating the birthday of the Great Emperor of Feng Tu. Tan Ch’i was invited to join in and, in view of his great religious merit, asked to carry the Divine Panorama back to the world of the living.

Tan Ch’i presented the Sacred Book to Wu Mi[2], who began distributing copies to all people.

HERBERT A. GILES, Of H.M.’s Consular Service in China, translated the book into English in 1880, and printed by Thomas De La Rue and Co., in London.



On the birthday of the Saviour P‘u-sa, as the spirits of Purgatory were thronging round to offer their congratulations, the ruler of the Infernal Regions spake as follows:—“My wish is to release all souls, and every moon as this day comes round I would wholly or partially remit the punishment of erring shades, and give them life once more in one of the Six Paths.[3] But alas! the wicked are many and the virtuous few. Nevertheless, the punishments in the dark region are too severe, and require some modification. Any wicked soul that repents and induces one or two others to do likewise shall be allowed to set this off against the punishments which should be inflicted.” The Judges of the Ten Courts of Purgatory then agreed that all who led virtuous lives from their youth upwards shall be escorted at their death to the land of the Immortals; that all whose balance of good and evil is exact shall escape the bitterness of the Three States,[4] and be born again among men; that those who have repaid their debts of gratitude and friendship, and fulfilled their destiny, yet have a balance of evil against them, shall pass through the various Courts of Purgatory and then be born again amongst men, rich, poor, old, young, diseased or crippled, to be put a second time upon trial. Then, if they behave well they may enter into some happy state; but if badly, they will be dragged by horrid devils through all the Courts, suffering bitterly as they go, and will again be born, to endure in life the uttermost of poverty and wretchedness, in death the everlasting tortures of hell. Those who are disloyal, unfilial, who commit suicide, take life, or disbelieve the doctrine of Cause and Effect[5], saying to themselves that when a man dies there is an end of him, that when he has lost his skin he has already suffered the worst that can befall him, that living men can be tortured, but no one ever saw a man’s ghost in the pillory, that after death all is unknown, etc., etc.,—truly these men do not know that the body alone perishes but the soul lives for ever and ever; and that whatsoever evil they do in this life, the same will be done unto them in the life to come. All who commit such crimes are handed over to the everlasting tortures of hell; for alas! in spite of the teachings of the Three Systems[6] some will persist in regarding these warnings as vain and empty talk. Lightly they speak of Divine mercy, and knowingly commit many crimes, not more than one in a hundred ever coming to repentance. Therefore the punishments of Purgatory were strictly carried out and the tortures dreadfully severe. But now it has been mercifully ordained that any man or woman, young, old, weak or strong, who may have sinned in any way, shall be permitted to obtain remission of the same by keeping his or her thoughts constantly fixed on P‘u-sa and on the birthdays of the Judges of the Ten Courts, by fasting and prayer, and by vows never to sin again. Or for every good work done in life they shall be allowed to escape one ward in the Courts below. From this rule to be excepted disloyal ministers, unfilial sons, suicides, those who plot in secret against good people, those who are struck by lightning (lit. thunder), those who perish by flood or fire, by wild animals or poisonous reptiles—these to pass through all the Courts and be punished according to their deserts. All other sinners to be allowed to claim their good works as a set-off against evil, thus partly escaping the agonies of hell and receiving some reward for their virtuous deeds. Continue reading “Divine Panorama 玉曆寶鈔 中英对照 (恐怖彩图)”

A String of Chinese Peach Stones

These stories are extracted from the book A string of Chinese peach-stones by Cornaby, W. Arthur (William Arthur), 1860-1921, Published in 1895, Americana.

A String of Chinese Peach Stones
A String of Chinese Peach Stones

The Bittern and the Mussel.

Fable of the Bittern the Mussel. A mussel was sunning itself by the river bank, when a bittern came by and pecked at it. The mussel closed its shell and nipped the bird’s beak. Hereupon the bittern said, ‘If you don’t let me go to-day, if you don’t let me go to-morrow, there will be a dead mussel.’ The shell-fish answered, ‘ If I don’t come out to-day, if I don’t come out to-morrow, there will surely be a dead bittern.’ Just then a fisherman came by and seized the pair of them.” The moral of which word to the wise will be sufficiently obvious to the youngest reader.






By Her Greatest Viceroy, CHANG. CHIH-TUNG, with the Sanction of the Present Emperor, Kwang Hsü





** If a man will not understand in what misfortune consists, disgrace is sure to follow: But if he will only face the difficulty — happiness will ensue.” — The Viceroy.

Edinburgh and London

Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier 1901

Printed by


171-173 Macdougal st.

New York, u. s. A.


Chinese Folktales

Chinese Folktales

Originally Published as Chinesische Märchen (Chinese Fairy Tales) Translated into German by Richard Wilhelm, 1958.

This English Selection Translated from the German by Ewald Osers, and Published by G. Bell & Sons Ltd., 1971.

With sports and embroidered garments Lao Lâi-dze amused his parents

In the Chow dynasty, in the country of Tsoo lived the venerable Lâi-dze (Lao Lâi-dze老莱子), who was very obedient and reverential towards his parents, manifesting his dutifulness by exerting himself to provide them with every delicacy.

When Lao Lâi-dze overheard his parents lamenting one day, “Look at our son, he’s already in his dotage! Surely our own days must be drawing to a close!” His heart could not endure the helpless feelings that arose. Although upwards of severty of years of age, he was so old that he had lost nearly all his teeth, he declared that he was not yet old, even never mentioned the word “old” in their hearing, and usually dressed himself in partycoloured embroidered garments, and like a child would playfully stand by the side of his parents.

One day he accidentally tripped and fell when he carried two buckets of water into the house, he saw the concerned looks on his parents’ faces, he started wailing and crying like a child, and wriggling on the wet floor and soaking his foolish looking wig, this ridiculous show sent the old folks into gales of laughter. From this incident he would often trip up on purpose, sending water showering over the floor, feigning to slip, falling to the ground, wailing and crying like a child, and all these things he did to divert his parents from their melancholy feelings.

Whenever the venerable Lao Lâi-dze acted like a playful child, his mother was delighted, and manifested her joy in her countenance, thus did they forget her old age.

Silkworm Grandmother

Empress Leizu discovered silkworms while having a midday tea, and a cocoon fell in her tea.

One day when empress Leizu was taking a stroll in the royal garden with the Yellow Emperor, she found silkworms eating the mulberry leaves and spinning cocoons. She collected some cocoons, then sat down to have some tea. While she was sipping a cup, she dropped a cocoon into the steaming water. The heat unwrapped the silk, a fine thread started to separate itself from the silkworm cocoon silk until it stretched across her entire garden. Leizu found that she could unwind this soft and lovely thread around her finger.

She then persuaded her husband to give her a grove of mulberry trees, where she could domesticate the worms that made these cocoons. She then invented the silk reel, which joins fine filaments into a thread strong enough for weaving. She also invented the first silk loom which weaves silk thread into fine cloth.

Leizu then shared her discoveries with others, and the knowledge became widespread in China. People remembered her as ‘Silkworm Mother’ or ‘Can Nainai’ till today.