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


He watched by his Mother's Bedside

In the Yüan-yu period of the Sung dynasty, Huang T‘ing-chien filled the office of prefect.

p. 60

[paragraph continues] He was of a very filial disposition, and although honourable and renowned, yet he received his mother's commands with the utmost deference. When his mother was seized with illness, he watched her for a whole year without leaving her bedside or even taking off his clothes; and at her death he mourned so bitterly that he himself fell ill and nearly lost his life.

Well-written poetry flows along like rills meandering among the hills and valleys. This instance of a dutiful heart has not as yet been brought into much notice. For a whole year he tended his parent in her illness; and both she who dwelt in the curtained room (i.e. his mother) and he who remained in the hall (i.e. his father) strove to express the merits of their son. It would be difficult to find another child who would have done so—all would be dilatory and unwilling; and where shall we meet another who would undergo such drudgery himself with keenness and pleasure? Although raised to high office, he does not hesitate to perform the most troublesome and minute duties, for he loves his parents; how then can we suppose that he will change from what he was when young and unhonoured?

Printed by Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury.

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