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


He slept on Ice to procure Carp

During the Chin dynasty lived Wang Hsiang, who early lost his mother, and whose stepmother

p. 56

[paragraph continues] Chu had no affection for him. His father also, hearing many evil reports against him, in course of time ceased to regard him with kindness. His mother was in the habit of eating fresh fish at her meals, but winter coming, the ice bound up the rivers. Wang unloosed his clothes, and went to sleep on the ice in order to seek them; when suddenly the ice opened of itself, and two carp leapt out, which he took up and carried to his mother. The villagers, hearing of the affair, were surprised, and admired one whose filial duty was the cause of such an unusual event.

The river is firmly bound up by ice, and the fish are hidden in their deep retreats. Perturbed and anxious, Wang goes out to seek the fish, apparently forgetting that it was winter. His resolution is fixed, and although it is at the risk of his life, he will go. He was not dismayed at the coldness of the snow, nor terrified at the fierceness of the winds. Even the wicked spirits were deterred from injuring him, and dared not molest him. If metals and stones can be opened, shall ice be considered too difficult to cleave? The frisking fish came up on the surface of the water, obedient to the hand of him who would take them out. A thousand ages cannot efface the remembrance of the crack in the ice, nor obliterate the fragrant traces of so worthy a deed.

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