Sacred Texts  Confucianism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


He seized the Tiger and saved his Father

In the Han dynasty lived Yang Hsiang, a lad of fourteen, who was in the habit of following his father to the fields to cut grain. Once a tiger seized his father, and was slowly carrying him off, when Yang, anxious for his father and forgetting

p. 50

himself, although he had no iron weapon in his hand, rushed forward and seized the tiger by the neck. The beast let the prey fall from his teeth, and fled, and Yang's father was thus saved from injury and death.

A tiger suddenly appears in the borders of the field, and seizes the man as lightly as he catches a sheep, and drags him off. Yang Hsiang, seeing the sudden peril of his father, was vexed that he had no weapon with an iron head; but being strongly excited and his feelings roused, he ran forward in the path, crying with a loud voice, and grasped the tiger by the neck. The frightened animal fled, nor stopped in its rapid course until it reached the high hills. Yang then, in a gentle manner, raised his father up and led him home, endeavouring to soothe his mind and dispel his fears, and also presented him the golden wine-cup. Among the great number of sages whose reputations are famous, how few of them have been devoted and filial at the hazard of their lives! But this lad, quite young and fair, as soon as he saw his father's danger, risked his own life; surely his fame will spread throughout the country. We have heard of the lady T‘i Ying, who saved her father from banishment, and of young Chu O, who lost her life in trying to rescue her father from drowning; and I think that Yang Hsiang will form a trio with them, and the three be celebrated in the same ode.

Next: No. XV: He collected Mulberries to support his Mother