Yu Shaozhi 庾紹之

Yu Shaozhi, known in his childhood as Daofu, who lived in Xinye under the Jin, served as Prefectural Chief of Xiangdong and had a strong sentimental attachment to his maternal cousin, Zong Xie of Nanyang. Shao[zhi] fell ill and died at the end of the Yuanxing era (402-5 CE), but during Yixi (405-19) he suddenly manifested and visited Xie. In appearance and clothing he seemed just as he had in life, except that both of his feet were in shackles. On his arrival, he removed the shackles, placed them on the ground and sat down. Xie asked him how he had managed to return and visit, to which he replied: “I received a temporary pass to return, and because of my fondness for the gentleman, came to call.” Xie enquired about the affairs of spirits and deities, but the replies were always vague and sketchy, not particularly coherent. He would only say: “One should be diligent in advancement, and must never take life. If you are unable fully to break off, you must not slaughter cattle, and, when eating meat, avoid swallowing the heart.” Xie asked: “Do the five organs[1] therefore differ from meat?” He replied: “The heart is the secret residence of the spirit, so the crime is especially severe.” He then asked after his relatives, so they discussed worldly affairs. Towards the end, he again requested wine. Xie was then in possession of prickly ash wine,[2] so laid this out for Shaozhi. The latter reached for his cup but did not drink, remarking that there was a dogwood spirit. Xie asked: “Is it evil?” He replied: “The lower ranks all fear it; I am not alone in this.” Shaozhi’s voice and character was loud and strong, and as he said this there was little difference from his character in life. After a short while, Xie’s son Siuzhi approached. When Shao heard the sound of clogs, he took on a look of great fear. He told Xie: “I have overstepped the limits of my vitality and can afford to stay no longer. I will only be parted from the gentleman for three years.” He then bowed to Xie and rose, vanishing as soon as he had crossed the threshold. Xie later served as Permanent Gentleman-Attendant, and indeed died after three years.

From Mingxiangji.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), vii, 321.2547:

庾紹之

晉新埜庾紹之。小字道覆。湘東太守。與南陽宗協。中表昆弟。情好綢繆。紹元興末病亡。義熙中。忽見形詣協。形貌衣服。具如平生。而兩腳著械。既至。脫械置地而坐。協問何由得來顧。答云。暫蒙假歸。與卿親好。故相過也。協問鬼神之事。言輒漫略。不甚諧對。唯云。宜勤精進。不可殺生。若不能都斷。可勿宰牛。食肉之時。勿啗物心。協云。五臟與肉。乃有異耶。答曰。心者藏神之宅也。其罪尤重。具問親戚。因談世事。末復求酒。協時與茱萸酒。因為設之。酒至杯不飲。云有茱萸氣。協曰。為惡耶。答云。下官皆畏之。非獨我也。紹之為人。語聲高壯。比言倫時。不異恒日。有頃。協兒邃之來。紹聞屐聲。極有懼色。謂協曰。生氣見陵。不復得住。與卿三年別耳。因貫械而起。出戶便滅。協後為正員郎。果三年而卒。出冥祥記


[1] I.e., the heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys.

[2] On this plant, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_ailanthoides.

A New Ghost 新鬼

There was a newly deceased ghost, manifesting in weak, emaciated and fatigued state, that suddenly saw a friend from its living days, who had died some twenty years before, and was plump and strong. They asked after one another: “My friend, we’ve come to this?” and then he said: “I’m starving! My friend must know how everything works, so should favour me with some advice.” His friend the spirit said: “This is extremely simple, but requires the scaring of mortal folk. They must be very scared. Then they will grant my friend sustenance.” The new ghost set off and entered at the east end of a large village. There a family was making vīrya zeal offerings to the Buddha. In the western wing was a millstone, so the ghost shoved at the stone like a human grinding. The head of the household told his juniors: “The Buddha pities our family in its poverty, so ordered a spirit to turn the grindstone.” They thus brought a cartload of grain to give to him. That evening, he ground several hu, wore himself out and left.

He then scolded his ghost friend: “How could a friend be so deceitful? Nonetheless, I’ll go back; it must work now.” He followed a family into the western end of the hall. The family was venerating the Dao. Beside the door was a rice-hulling pestle. The ghost climbed onto it and started operating it like a person would. The people said: “Yesterday a spirit helped some people. Today it has returned to assist us. We should bring some unhusked rice to give to it, and send a servant girl with a winnowing fan.” By the evening, the spirit was exhausted, and hadn’t gained any sustenance. The spirit returned at sunset, and said, indignant: “We’re related by marriage; can anything be more important? How could you be so deceitful? I’ve helped two people, and haven’t got even a bowlful to eat!” His friend the spirit replied: “You’ve suffered bad luck, that’s all. These two households were worshiping the Buddha and serving the Dao; their emotions would be hard to stir. You should now seek a family of commoners and do some mischief. That can’t fail.”

The spirit set off again, finding a house with a bamboo pole in the doorway. He entered and found a group of women eating together before the window. In the courtyard was a white dog, so he picked it up and made it travel through thin air. The family were greatly shocked at seeing this, saying that such strangeness had never happened there before. A diviner told them: “A visiting spirit is seeking sustenance. You should kill the dog and lay out fruit and wine with food. Make offerings to it in the courtyard and you will be rid of it.” The family followed this advice, and the spirit thus received a lot of food. The ghost then continued to make mischief, just as his friend had taught.

From Youminglu.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), vii, 321.2544:

新鬼

有新死鬼。形疲瘦頓。忽見生時友人。死及二十年。肥健。相問訊曰。卿那爾。曰。吾饑餓。殆不自任。卿知諸方便。故當以法見教。友鬼云。此甚易耳。但為人作怪。人必大怖。當與卿食。新鬼往入大墟東頭。有一家奉佛精進。屋西廂有磨。鬼就推〈推字原空闕。據明鈔本補。〉此磨。如人推法。此家主語子弟曰。佛憐吾家貧。令鬼推磨。乃輦麥與之。至夕。磨數斛。疲頓乃去。遂罵友鬼。卿那誑我。又曰。但復去。自當得也。復從墟西頭入一家。家奉道。門傍有碓。此鬼便上碓。為人舂狀。此人言。昨日鬼助某甲。今復來助吾。可輦穀與之。又給婢簸篩。至夕。力疲甚。不與鬼食。鬼暮歸。大怒曰。吾自與卿為婚婣。非他比。如何見欺。二日助人。不得一甌飲食。友鬼曰。卿自不偶耳。此二家奉佛事道。情自難動。今去可覓百姓家作怪。則無不得。鬼復去。得一家。門首有竹竿。從門入。見有一羣女子。窗前共食。至庭中。有一白狗。便抱令空中行。其家見之大驚。言自來未有此怪。占云。有客鬼索食。可殺狗。並甘果酒飯。于庭中祀之。可得無他。其家如師言。鬼果大得食。自此後恒作怪。友鬼之教也。出幽明錄

Ping Shu 馮述

Ping Shu was from Shangdang. During the Jin Yuanxi era (419-20 CE), he served as General in the minister’s headquarters. Returning temporarily to Hulao, he suddenly encountered four people, each holding a rope and cane, who came towards Shu. Shu spurred his horse forward to evade them, but it refused to advance, and each of the four captured one of its hooves, abruptly tipping him over and onto the riverbank. They asked Shu: “Do you want to cross or not?” Shu replied: “The river is deep and unpredictable, and there is no boat. How could it be crossed? Do the gentlemen wish for me to be killed?” The four told him: “There will be no killing. Merely helping the gentleman arrive at his post.” They then grasped the horse’s hooves once more, stepped into the river, and travelled north. Shu could hear the sound of waves but did not feel the water. Just as they were about to reach the bank, the four said to one another: “This person is unclean. How can he be allowed to go?” At that time Shu was wearing his younger brother’s robes, and was deeply afraid that the spirits would abandon him and leave him to drown. He therefore whipped his horse straight up onto the riverbank. Shu then thanked them as he departed: “In your confusion you have done me a kindness. How could I dare to presume upon you further?”

From Xusoushenji.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), vii, 320.2536:

馮述

上黨馮述。晉元熙中。為相府將。假歸虎牢。忽逢四人。各持繩及杖。來赴述。述策馬避焉。不肯進。四人各捉馬一足。倏然便倒河上。問述。欲渡否。述曰。水深不測。既無舟檝。何由得過。君正欲見殺耳。四人云。不相殺。當持君赴官。遂復捉馬腳。涉河而北。述但聞波浪聲。而不覺水。垂至岸。四人相謂曰。此人不淨。那得將去。時述有弟服。深恐鬼離之。便當溺水死。乃鞭馬作勢。逕登岸。述辭謝曰。既蒙恩德。何敢復煩勞。出續搜神記

A Jiangzhou Clerk 江州錄事

Under the Jin, when Huan Baonu[1] was serving in Jiangzhou, there was a copyist named Gan, whose home was below the Linchuan prefectural offices. When, aged thirteen, Gan’s son fell ill and died, he buried the boy amid a crowd of tombs to the east of his house. Ten days later, he suddenly heard the sound of drumming, singing and music coming from the eastern road. Perhaps a hundred people passed along it to reach the Gan household and asked: “Is the copyist there? We came to call upon him, and his virtuous son is also with us.” Only voices were heard; no shapes of bodies were visible. He then brought out several earthenware wine jars and handed them over. They tipped and vanished, and then the two jars returned, both quite empty, and he heard the sound of drumbeats start up again. The Linchuan prefectural chief said that this had been a trick committed by someone, and that they must come forward and identify themselves, but after time passed none had. When Gan was heard to speak of the affair he was very alarmed.

From Youminglu.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), vii, 319.2527:

江州錄事

晉桓豹奴為江州時。有甘錄事者。家在臨川郡治下。兒年十三。遇病死。埋著家東羣冢之間。旬日。忽聞東路有打鼓倡樂聲。可百許人。徑到甘家。問錄事在否。故來相詣。賢子亦在此。止聞人聲。亦不見其形也。乃出數甖酒與之。俄傾失去。兩甖皆空。始聞有鼓聲。臨川太守謂是人戲。必來詣己。既而寂爾不到。聞甘說之。大驚。出幽明錄


[1] This seems to be Huan Si 桓嗣, courtesy name Gongzu 恭祖, childhood name Baonu 豹奴, grandson of Huan Yi 桓彝 (276-328 CE). His brief biography is found at Jinshu 74.1953.

Hu Maohui 胡茂廻

Hu Maohui, who lived in Huainan under the Jin, was able to see spirits. Although he didn’t like to see them, he was unable to stop it. He later travelled to Yangzhou, and returned to Liyang. To the east of the city wall was a shrine, and just then the people were about to make offerings there with a shaman officiating [2526]. As he arrived, a host of spirits were calling out to one another: “Senior officials are coming.” They burst forth one by one from the shrine and set off. Maohui turned to look, and watched two Śramaṇa Buddhist monks approach and enter the temple. The various spirits came in twos and threes and embraced one another in the field next to the temple; staring at the monks, they were all terrified. After a little while the monks departed, and the spirits then returned to the shrine. From then on Maohui made offerings to the Buddha with great sincerity and dedication.

From Fayuan Zhulin.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), vii, 319.2525-26:

胡茂廻

晉淮南胡茂廻。能見鬼。雖不喜見。而不可止。後行至揚州。還歷陽。城東有神祠。正值民將巫祝祀 [2526] 之。至須臾。有羣鬼相叱曰。上官來。各迸出祠去。茂回顧。見二沙門來。入祠中。諸鬼兩兩三三相抱持。在祠邊草中。望見沙門。皆有怖懼。須臾沙門去後。諸鬼皆還祠中。茂廻於是精誠奉佛。出法苑珠林

Zhang Yu 張禹

[2518] During the Yongjia era (307-13 CE), the palace guard commander Zhang Yu once travelled through the Great Marsh. The sky had grown dark when he suddenly spotted a mansion with its gates open wide. Yu thus approached and when he arrived before the hall a maid emerged and greeted him. Tu said: “I was passing when the rain started, and would just like to stay over.” The maid entered to report, and soon emerged again, calling Yu forward. He saw a woman, aged around thirty years, seated under a canopy, and waited on by more than twenty maids, their clothing all luminous and beautiful. She asked Yu what he desired. Yu said: “I have my own food, and only need something to drink.” The woman ordered that a shallow pan be brought out and given to him. He therefore kindled a fire to make soup. Despite hearing the water boil, when tried it remained cold.

The woman told him: “I am a dead person, within my tomb mound. I have nobody to share with, only my sense of shame and guilt.” She then began to weep and told Yu: “I am a daughter of the Sun family from Rencheng County, and my father served as Prefectural Chief of Zhongshan. I left to marry into the Li clan of Dunqiu, and bore a son and a daughter. The boy is eleven sui and the girl seven. After my death, the Lis favoured my former maidservant Cheng Gui. Now my son is always beaten, not even sparing his head or face, and pained to the depths of the heart. I wish to kill this maid, but a dead person’s qi force is weak. I have been waiting to find someone on whom I could rely on, and I beg the gentleman to help with the matter. The rewards would be rich.”

Yu said: “Though I cherish Madame’s words, because killing people is a serious matter, I dare not take on this assignment.” The lady replied: “Why would the gentleman be ordered to take up a knife himself? It is only wished that he speak to Li and his family on my behalf, telling them what I have explained. Li will then regret Cheng Gui, and will have to offer prayers to remove this misfortune. The gentleman will then explain that he himself has power to suppress spirits. When Li hears this he will order Cheng Gui to be present for the matter, and I will have the opportunity to kill her.”

Yu made a pledge to her, and set off the next day, telling Li everything he had been told. Li was shocked and terrified, and told Cheng Gui, who was very frightened. They sought help from Yu, but just then he saw the lady Sun coming in from outside, accompanied by more than twenty female attendants. All carried knives and stabbed Cheng Gui, who immediately fell to the floor and died. Before long, Yu passed through the Great Marsh again, and the woman sent her maids out with fifty bolts of zacai coloured silks to reward him.

From Zhiguai.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), vii, 318.2517-8:

張禹

[2518] 永嘉中。黃門將張禹。曾行經大澤中。天陰晦。忽見一宅門大開。禹遂前至廳事。有一婢出問之。禹曰。行次遇雨。欲寄宿耳。婢入報之。尋出。呼禹前。見一女子。年三十許。坐帳中。有侍婢二十餘人。衣服皆燦麗。問禹所欲。禹曰。自有飯。唯須飲耳。女敕取鐺與之。因燃火作湯。雖聞沸聲。探之尚冷。女曰。我亡人也。塚墓之間。無以相共。慙愧而已。因歔欷告禹曰。我是任城縣孫家女。父為中山太守。出適頓丘李氏。有一男一女。男年十一。女年七歲。亡後。李氏幸我舊使婢承貴者。今我兒每被捶楚。不避頭面。常痛極心髓。欲殺此婢。然亡人氣弱。須有所憑。託君助濟此事。當厚報君。禹曰。雖念夫人言。緣殺人事大。不敢承命。婦人曰。何緣令君手刃。唯欲因君為我語李氏家。說我告君事狀。李氏念惜承貴。必作禳除。君當語之。自言能為厭斷之法。李氏聞此。必令承貴莅事。我因伺便殺之。禹許諾。及明而出。遂語李氏。具以其言告之。李氏驚愕。以語承貴。大懼。遂求救於禹。既而禹見孫氏自外來。侍婢二十餘人。悉持刀刺承貴。應手仆地而死。未幾。禹復經過澤中。此人遣婢送五十匹雜綵以報禹。出志怪

 

Dongfang Shuo 東方朔

[2840] When Emperor Wu of Han (156-87 BCE, r. 141-87 BCE) travelled east, he arrived at the Hangu Pass, where he found a thing in the road, its body several zhang in length (a zhang is c. 3.33m), and like an elephant ox in shape, with dark eyes and a sparking energy, its four feet buried in the earth, moving around but not travelling. The various officials were very alarmed, but Dongfang Shuo[1] requested wine to pour upon it. He poured out several dozen hu, and it disappeared. The emperor asked why, and he replied: “This is called a you (i.e., a ‘sorrow’); it is born of suffering. This must have been the site of a Qin prison, or, if not that, a site where prisoners were gathered and moved. As wine removes sorrows, we were able to make it disappear.” The emperor said: “Only an expert in the natural world could deal with this.”

From Soushenji.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), viii, 359.2839-40:

東方朔

[2840] 漢武帝東遊。至函谷關。有物當道。其身長數丈。其狀象牛。青眼而曜精。四足入土。動而不徙。百官驚懼。東方朔乃請酒灌之。灌之數十斛而消。帝問其故。答曰。此名憂。患之所生也。此必是秦之獄地。不然。罪人徙作地聚。夫酒忘憂。故能消之也。帝曰。博物之士。至於此乎。出搜神記

The Soushenji version of this tale is slightly different to that transmitted via the Taiping guangji:

Wine Dispels Suffering 酒消患

When Emperor Wu of Han (156-87 BCE, r. 141-87 BCE) travelled east, before he emerged from the Hangu Pass, he found a thing in the road, its body several zhang in length, and like an elephant ox in shape, with dark eyes and bright eyeballs, its four feet buried in the earth, moving around but not travelling. The various officials were terrified, but Dongfang Shuo[1] requested wine to pour upon it. He poured out several dozen hu, and it disappeared. The emperor asked why, and he replied: “This is called a huan (i.e., a ‘suffering’); it is born of sorrow. This must have been the site of a Qin prison, or, if not that, then a site where prisoners were gathered and moved. As wine removes sorrows, we were able to make it disappear.” The emperor said: “Ah! Only an expert in the natural world could deal with this!”

Gan Bao 干寶, Soushenji 搜神記 (In Search of the Supernatural: The Written Record) (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1979), 11.131 (Tale 270):

酒消患

漢武帝東遊,未出函谷關,有物當道,身長數丈,其狀象牛,青眼而曜睛,四足入土,動而不徙。百官驚駭。東方朔乃請以酒灌之。灌之數十斛而消。帝問其故。答曰:「此名為患,憂之所生也。此必是秦之獄地。不然,則罪人徙作地聚。夫酒忘憂,故能消之也。」帝曰:「吁!博物之士,至於此乎!」

[1] This is Dongfang Shuo 東方朔 (c.160-c.93 BCE, courtesy name Manqian 曼倩), a famous writer and Daoist of the Former Han court. On him see http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Han/personsdongfangshuo.html; Hanshu 65.2841-74.

Wu Tao 鄔濤

Wu Tao was from Runan. He had skill and knowledge of ancient writings and was committed to the arts of the Way. While travelling he stopped temporarily at the Yiwu County guesthouse in Wuzhou. After more than a month, suddenly a girl appeared, with two serving maids arriving at night.[1] One of the maids came forward and told him: “This young lady is surnamed Wang.” That evening she turned and looked at the gentleman. Tao looked at her, and she was extremely beautiful. He thought, ‘this is the daughter of a great noble’, but did not dare speak. The lady Wang smiled, and said: “The esteemed scholar does not value wine or beauty; how can a mere concubine gain his trust?” Tao then rose and bowed to her, saying: “Such lowly scholars would not dare direct their gaze thus.” The lady Wang ordered a maid to bring her clothing and utensils to Tao’s bedchamber, lighting bright candles and laying out wine and food. They drank several rounds, and then lady Wang rose and addressed Tao: “Your servant is a young orphan without anyone to turn to, and would like to serve the gentleman at his pillow and mat. Would that be acceptable?” Tao initially refused in his humility, but then relented and permitted it in his sincerity. The lady Wang departed at dawn and arrived at dusk, and this continued for several months.

Yang Jingxiao, a Daoist of Tao’s acquaintance, visited and stayed at the residence. On seeing that Tao’s countenance had altered, he advised: “The gentleman has been deluded by spirits and demons. This must be broken off, or death will follow.” Tao questioned him about this in alarm, and then related the whole story. Jingxiao told him: “This is a spirit.” He then provided two amulets, one to attach to clothing, and the other to be fixed above the gate. He said: “When this spirit arrives, she will become very angry. Be careful not to speak to her.” Tao accepted these instructions. When the young woman arrived that night, she saw the token above the gate, let fly a string of curses, and departed, saying: “Remove that tomorrow, or suffer great misfortune.” Tao called on Jingxiao the next day and told him all about it. Jingxiao told him: “When she returns tonight, you should sprinkle her with this water on which I have cast a spell. That will surely bring things to an end.” Tao returned carrying the water. That night, when the woman returned, she was extremely sad and angry. Tao then sprinkled her with the water Jingxiao had treated. Her visits then ceased.

From Jiyiji.

[1] With thanks to Ofer Waldman for the improved translation here.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), vii, 347.2747:

鄔濤

鄔濤者。汝南人。精習墳典。好道術。旅泊婺州義烏縣館。月餘。忽有一女子。侍二婢夜至。一婢進曰。此王氏小娘子也。今夕顧降於君。濤視之。乃絕色也。謂是豪貴之女。不敢答。王氏笑曰。秀才不以酒色於懷。妾何以奉託。濤乃起拜曰。凡陋之士。非敢是望。王氏令侍婢施服翫於濤寢室。炳以銀燭。又備酒食。飲數巡。王氏起謂濤曰。妾少孤無託。今願事君子枕席。將為可乎。濤遜辭而許。恩意欵洽。而王氏曉去夕至。如此數月。濤所知道士楊景霄至舘訪之。見濤色有異。曰。公為鬼魅所惑。宜斷之。不然死矣。濤聞之驚。以其事具告。景霄曰。此乃鬼也。乃與符二道。一施衣帶。一置門上。曰。此鬼來。當有怨恨。慎勿與語。濤依法受之。女子是夕至。見符門上。大罵而去。曰。來日速除之。不然生禍。濤明日訪景霄。具言之。景霄曰。今夜再來。可以吾呪水洒之。此必絕矣。濤持水歸。至夜。女子復至。悲恚之甚。濤乃以景霄呪水洒之。於是遂絕。出集異記

Zhang Yi 張遺

The Prefectural Chief of Guiyang Zhang Yi[1] was from Jiangxia. His courtesy name was Shugao, and he resided in Yanling. Amid his fields there was a great tree, more than ten spans around, that shaded six mu (around 40 acres). Its branches and leaves were luxuriant, and no millet would grow beneath them. He sent a passing traveller to fell it, but after several swings of the axe the tree began to bleed profusely. The traveller was terrified, and returned to tell Shugao. Shugao told him, furiously: “Old trees sweat; what’s so strange about that?” He therefore went in person and hacked at it. A large amount of blood poured out. Shugao hacked at it again, and again, and opened up a hollow space within. A white-haired old man, four or five chi tall (1.3-1.6m), emerged suddenly and stepped towards Shugao. Shugao greeted him with a swing of his blade, and killed him. Four or five old men emerged in the same way, falling to the ground in fear and shock. Shugao carried on as before, quite unruffled. The various people looked on at these beings. Like people but not human, like beasts but not animals, could they be what is known as wood or stone devils, or Kui sprites? In the year he felled the tree, Shu- [2841] -gao was appointed Censor to the Ministry of Works and Governor of Yanzhou.

From Fayuanzhulin. [2]

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), viii, 359.2840-41:

張遺〈搜神記遺作遼。〉

桂陽太守江夏張遺。字叔高。居𨻳〈居上原有隱字。據明鈔本刪。𨻳字原闕。據法苑珠林三一補。〉陵。田中有大樹。十圍餘。蓋六畝。枝葉扶疏。蟠地不生谷草。遣客斫之。斧數下。樹大血出。客驚怖。歸白叔高。叔高怒曰。老樹汗出。此等何怪。因自斫之。血大流出。叔高更斫之。又有一空處。白頭老翁長四五尺。突出趁〈趁原作稱。據法苑珠林三一改。〉叔高。叔高以刀迎斫。殺之。四五老翁並出。左右皆驚怖伏地。叔高神慮恬然如舊。諸人徐視之。似人非人。似獸非獸。此所謂木石之怪。夔魍魎者乎。其伐樹年中。叔 [2841] 高辟司空御史兗州刺史。出法苑珠林。法苑珠林四二作出搜神記

[1] An editor’s note here states that the story is titled (and the character likewise named) Zhang Liao 張遼 in the Soushenji 搜神記.

[2] An editor’s note here states that the Fayuanzhulin reports that the story is taken from the Soushenji 搜神記.

A Wuyuan Soldier’s Wife 婺源軍人妻

In a dingyou year, the wife of a soldier from Jianwei in Wuyuan died, so he remarried. His second wife terribly mistreated his children by the first wife, and the husband was quite unable to stop this. One day, he suddenly saw his dead wife pass through the gate and enter. Furious at the second wife, she said: “Who among the people will not die? How could anyone lack all motherly feelings? Yet you abuse our children like this? I have recently made a complaint to the authorities of the nether world, and they granted me a break of ten days in which I am to teach you. If you then fail to change, I would surely be able to kill the gentleman.” Husband and wife were both terrified and bowed over and over, then provided her with food and drink. They once invited trusted friends from among their neighbours, greeting them and chatting as normal, but these other people could hear her voice, despite only the husband being able to see her. When night fell, she set up a bed in another room. The husband wished to spend the night with her, but was not allowed. When the ten days were up, she was about to depart, but again reprimanded the second wife and urged her to improve. Her words were very [2800] earnest and thoughtful. She escorted the family members together to her tomb, and when they were a little over a hundred paces from the grave, said: “You should all stop here.” She then said her goodbyes in a polite and courteous manner, then departed. Just as she reached a cypress grove all of the family could see her, in clothes and appearance seeming just they had in life. When she reached the tomb, she disappeared.

The officer of the Jianwei Army Wang Yanchang reported that it occurred like this.

From Jishenlu.

Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), viii, 353.2799-800:

婺源軍人妻

丁酉歲。婺源建威軍人妻死更娶。其後妻虐遇前妻之子過甚。夫不能制。一日。忽見亡妻自門而入。大怒後妻曰。人誰無死。孰無母子之情。乃虐我兒女如是耶。吾比訴與地下所司。今與我假十日。使我誨汝。汝遂不改。必能殺君。夫妻皆恐懼再拜。即為具酒食。徧召親黨鄰里。問訊敘話如常。他人但聞其聲。唯夫見之。及夜。為設榻別室。夫欲從之宿。不可。滿十日。將去。復責勵其後妻。言甚 [2800] 切至。舉家親族共送至墓。去墓百餘步。曰。諸人可止矣。復殷勤辭訣而去。將及柏林中。諸人皆見之。衣服容色如平生。及墓乃沒。建威軍使汪延昌言如是。出稽神錄