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


He resigned Office to seek his Mother

In the Sung dynasty lived Chu Shou-ch‘ang, whose mother, Liu, when he was seven years of age, left the family because she was hated by his father's wife; and mother and son did not see each other for about fifty years. It was during the reign of Shên Tsung that Chu resigned his official station and went into the Ch‘in country, and there made an engagement with his family "that he would not return until he had found his mother." He then travelled into T‘ung-chou, where he discovered his mother, who at that time was over seventy years of age.

Thus Chu exclaimed: "I have a mother; but, alas! separated, we abide in different villages.

p. 59

[paragraph continues] It was not the free will of my mother which led her thus to forsake her son, but the envious mistress who compelled her to go. Without a mother, on whom shall I rely? to whom shall I pour out my sorrows and cares? Now I am grown older and have become an officer, but as yet I have been unable to return the kindness of my parent. In what place, among all the countries under heaven, does she live? I am determined to resign my office and seek her abode, not deterred from the trouble of the search. To effect it, I will part from my family and no longer be a companion with them; I will not return till I find my mother, and they need not await in expectation of me." Heaven directed his way, and he came into T‘ung-chou, where she resided. When the mother and the son met each other, joy and grief arose together—joy for the meeting after fifty years, sorrow that they had been so long apart. But now, in one hour, all their long-accumulated griefs were laid aside, and joy and gladness filled their hearts. Chu possesses the true heavenly disposition, and honours and riches cannot destroy his affection for his mother.

Next: No. XXIV: He watched by his Mother's Bedside