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


He wept to the Bamboos, and Shoots sprang up

Mêng Tsung, who lived in the Chin dynasty, lost his father when young. His mother was very ill, and one winter's day she longed to taste a soup made of bamboo shoots, but Mêng could not procure any. At last he went into the bamboo grove, and, clasping the bamboos with his hands, wept bitterly. His filial love moved Nature, and the ground slowly opened, sending forth several shoots, which he gathered and carried home. He

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made a soup of them, which his mother tasted, and immediately recovered from her malady.

In winter, when the forests are unsightly and bare, and the bamboos sombre and gloomy, for plants to send forth their branches is surprising and unexpected. But it is impossible to root out the true filial nature from men who have it, although senseless and ignorant people, not understanding its power, ridicule them, calling them mad. The young Mêng Tsung dutifully served his mother, and morning and evening waited on her to receive her commands. His mother was ill, and desired the delicacy of a soup made from bamboo shoots; but in dreary winter, Nature still concealed her fruits awaited. With anxious haste he goes to the cheerless forest, which he enters, seeking for them; but not finding the shoots, he entreats the bamboos with tears. One petition from his inmost heart ascended to the threshold of heaven, and the deities were delighted, laughing with pleasure. A miracle is wrought, the ordinary course of nature is reversed, and suddenly the pearly shoots appear in the forest.

Next: No. XIX: He slept on Ice to procure Carp