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The Book of Filial Duty, by Ivan Chen, [1908], at


He carved Wood and served his Parents

During the Han dynasty lived Ting Lan, whose parents both died when he was young, before he could obey and support them; and he reflected that for all the trouble and anxiety he had caused them, no recompense had yet been given. He then carved wooden images of his parents, and served them as if they had been alive. For a long time his wife would not reverence them; and one day, taking a bodkin, she pricked their fingers in derision. Blood flowed immediately from the wound; and seeing Ting coming, the images wept. He inquired into the circumstances, and forthwith divorced his wife.

He remembers his parents, but cannot see them; so he carves wood to represent their persons. He believes that their spirits are now the same as when they were alive, and his quietless

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heart trusts that their spirits have entered the carved images. He cannot rest until he has made their statues, so strong is his desire to nourish and reverence them. He now reveres them, although dead, as if they were alive; and hopes they will condescend to dwell in his ancestral hall.

Next: No. XIII: For his Mother's Sake he would bury his Child