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

p. 51

No. XV

He collected Mulberries to support his Mother

During the Han dynasty lived Ts‘ai Shun, whose father died when he was young, and who served his mother very dutifully. It happened that, during the troubles of the time, when Wang Mang was plotting to usurp the throne, there were years of scarcity, in which he could not procure food, and Ts‘ai was compelled to gather mulberries, which he assorted, putting them into two vessels. The red-eyebrowed robber * saw him, and inquired why he did thus. Ts‘ai replied: "The black and ripe berries I give to my mother, the yellow and unripe ones I eat myself." The bandit admired his filial affection, and rewarded him with three measures of white rice and the leg of an ox.

Anxious and fearful, he seeks for food; untiring in his toil, he takes up his baskets and penetrates the thickets of the distant forests, where he finds many mulberry-trees. His hunger now has something to satisfy its cravings; he also remembers his mother, and that he must carry some to her. The ripe and unripe berries he does not put together, but divides them, so that mother and son can each have their proper portion. The chieftain heard of his conduct, and highly praised him, conferring a gift upon him,

p. 52

and speaking of his filial piety to all around. Taking up his rice and flesh, Ts‘ai returned home to his mother with the food; and in their joy they even forgot that the year was one of dearth.


51:* That is, the usurper Wang Mang himself.

Next: No. XVI: He laid up the Oranges for his Mother