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北夷橐離國王侍婢有娠，王欲殺之。婢對曰：「有氣大如雞子，從天而下，我故有娠。」後產子，捐於豬溷中，豬以口氣噓之， 不死；復徙置馬欄中，欲使馬藉殺之，馬復以口氣噓之，不死。王疑以為天子，令其母收取，奴畜之，名東明，令牧牛馬。東明善射，王恐奪其國也， 欲殺之。東明走，南至掩淲水，以弓擊水，魚鱉浮為橋，東明得渡。魚鱉解散，追兵不得渡。因都王夫餘，故北夷有夫餘國焉。
楚共王有五子：子招、子（圉）〔圍〕、子干、子、棄疾。五人皆有寵，共王無適立，乃望祭山川，請神決之。 乃與巴姬埋璧於太室之庭，令五子齊而入拜。康王跨之；子（圉）〔圍〕肘加焉；子干、子皆遠之；棄疾弱，抱而入，再拜皆壓紐。 故共王死，招為康王，至子失之；（圉）〔圍〕為靈王，及身而弒；子干為王，十有餘日；子不立，又（）〔俱〕誅死，皆絕無後。 棄疾後立，竟續楚祀，如其神符。
廣文伯、河東蒲人也，其生亦以夜半時，適生，有人從門呼其父名，父出應之，不見人，（有）〔見〕一木杖，植其門側， 好善異於眾。其父持杖入門以示人，人占曰：「吉。」文伯長大學宦，位至廣漢太守。文伯當富貴，故父得賜杖，其占者若曰： 〔以〕杖當〔得〕子〔之〕力矣。
光武帝建平元年十二月甲子生於濟陽宮後殿第二內中，皇考為濟陽令，時夜無火，室內自明。皇考怪之，即召功曹（吏） 〔史〕充蘭，使出問卜工。蘭與馬下卒蘇永俱之卜王長孫所。長孫卜，謂永、蘭曰：「此吉事也，毋多言。」是歲，有禾生〔屋〕景天備火中， 三本一莖九穗，長於禾一二尺，蓋嘉禾也。
Chapter XIII. Auspicious Portents (Chi-yen).
Whenever men are predestinated for something grand by Heaven, auspicious portents are seen on Earth. When such appear on Earth, Heaven's destiny is at work. There are different kinds of omens, either do they appear in the men themselves or they are lucky signs, or take the form of a sort of halo.
Huang Ti is reported to have been an embryo for 20 months, before he was born. After birth his intelligence was marvellous. Weak as he was, he could already speak. When he was full-grown, he took the lead of all the feudal princes, who submitted to his sway. He taught the bears to fight, and thus defeated Yen Ti, who was completely routed. His nature was different from that of other people, therefore he remained for ten months longer in his mother's womb. Being predestined to become emperor, he taught the creatures, and they were subservient to him.
Yao's body was like the sun, when closely inspected, viewed at a distance, he appeared like a cloud. When the great flood rose up to the sky, and snakes and dragons did mischief, Yao employed Yü for the regulation of the water and the expulsion of the snakes and dragons. The water, when regulated, flowed eastward, and snakes and dragons absconded. His bones were abnormal, thence the extraordinary events. As he was endowed with a wonderful intellect, portents appeared in things. Since by fate he was to become noble, he ascended the imperial throne as a marquis of T`ang.
Previous to his meeting with Yao, Shun was living unmarried in a nasty, out-of-the-way place. Ku Sou1 together with Hsiang2 attempted to kill him. They bade him complete the building of a granary, and kindled a fire underneath. They directed him to dig a well, and then they threw earth down from above. Shun contrived to get out of the granary unharmed by the fire, and to make his escape from the well by one side, unhurt by the earth. 3 When Yao heard of this, he summoned him, and gave him an office on trial. Shun filled his post with great credit, and no disorder occurred. He would enter a solitary, big forest without being pounced upon by tigers and wolves, or being bitten by vipers or snakes. In the midst of thunderstorm and a gushing rain-shower he did not go astray. 4 Men bent upon his assassination, could do him no harm, and wild birds and reptiles with venomous stings were unable to wound him. Suddenly he attained imperial sway, and mounted the throne of the son of heaven.
Prior to Hou Chi's5 time, his mother 6 walked upon the footstep of a giant. Others say that she put on Ti Ku's7 clothes, or that she rested in Ti Ku's place. At all events, she became enceinte with a child, which she cast away in a narrow alley, regarding it as an ill omen. But oxen and horses did not dare to tread upon it. She placed it on ice, but the birds covered it with their wings. From all these auspicious signs converging on the baby's body, the mother learned, what wonderful qualities it possessed. Therefore, she brought it up. When Hou Chi had attained to manhood, he assisted Yao, and rose to the rank of a minister of war.
The Wusun8 Prince bearing the surname of K`un Mo had his father slain by the Hsiung-nu,9 and was himself thrown into the desert, still alive. The birds fed him on flesh, which they carried in their beaks. The Shan Yü10 was amazed at this, which appeared to him supernatural. He took care of the boy, and, when he had grown strong, he gave him a military post. After he had won many laurels, the Shan Yü put the people formerly obeying his father again under Kun Mo's command, and directed him always to guard the Western City. 11
Hou Chi was not to be cast away, therefore the oxen and horses did not kick him, and the birds covered and protected him with their plumage. K`un Mo was not doomed to die, therefore the birds came with flesh in their beaks to feed him.
A servant girl of the king of T`o-li12 of the northern Yi13 was with child. The king wanted to kill her. The girl said by way of apology:---"A vapour, big as an egg, descended from heaven, and made me enceinte." Afterwards, she was delivered of a child, which she threw away into a pig-stye. The pigs sniffed at it, but it did not perish. Then it was removed again to the horse stable, in order that the horses should kill it, but the horses also only sniffed at it, and it did not die. The king thereupon imagined that the child would become a sovereign, and therefore ordered the mother to take it back, and had it nursed by his slaves. The boy received the name of Tung Ming. He was employed as a shepherd for cattle and horses. As he was an excellent archer, the king got afraid, that he might deprive him of his kingdom, and therefore wished to kill him. Tung Ming went southward to the Yen-hu river, where with his bow he shot fish and turtles in the water. They formed a floating bridge, enabling Tung Ming to cross. Then the fish and turtles separated again so, that the troops pursuing him could not follow. Subsequently he became king of Fu-yü. Among the northern Yi there is a kingdom of Fu-yü.14
When Tung Ming's mother first became pregnant, she perceived a vapour descending from heaven, and, when she threw the newly born away, pigs and horses sniffed at him. After he had grown up, the king desired to kill him, but the fish and turtles, which he had shot, formed a floating bridge. According to heaven's fate he was not to die, therefore he was saved from pigs and horses. As he was predestinated to become king of Fu-yü, the fish and turtles formed a bridge to help him.
When Yi Yin15 was about to be born, his mother dreamt that she saw a man, who said to her:---"Water flows from the mortar. 16 Forthwith travel eastward." The mother took note of this, and, on the next morning, found out that really water came out from the mortar. 17 She went 10 Li eastward. When she looked back to her native place, all was under water. Yi Yin's destiny was not to be drowned, consequently his mother had a dream, and went away.
The same principle holds good for the city of Li-yang.18 Those whose fate was like that of Yi Yin, were certainly roused beforehand, and removed to another place before the catastrophe.
When Duke Hsiang of Ch`i got into trouble, Duke Huan, the crown-prince, had to fight for his throne with Tse Chiu.19Kuan Chung assisted Tse Chiu, Pao Shu20 stood by Duke Huan. Kuan Chung in a combat against duke Huan, shot at him with arrows, and hit him on the buckle of his belt. Man is generally 7 feet high, 21 the belt clasps the waist, and the buckle attached to the belt covers only a spot less than an inch wide. Its smallness makes it difficult to be hit. Moreover, the pointed edge is curbed on its polished surface. All the arrows hitting the buckle are deflected. Yet Kuan Chung just hit the buckle in the middle. The arrow struck against it, and then fell down without deviating into the flesh on either side. Duke Huan's fate was wealth and honour, and a god helped him, so that the arrow hitting his buckle did not hurt him.
King Kung of Ch`u22 had five sons:---Tse Chao, Tse Yü, Tse Kan, Tse Hsi, and Ch`i Chi, who all were much liked by him. But having no son from his first wife, whom he might make his successor, he sacrificed to the mountains and rivers, and invoked the decision of the gods. Together with his second wife Pa he buried a jade badge in the ancestral hall, and bade his five sons to enter after having feasted, and make obeisance. The later king K`ang stepped over it, Tse Yü reached it with his elbow, Tse Kan and Tse Hsi both remained far from it. Ch`i Chi was carried in as a baby. With each prostration he pressed on the top of the jade badge. When King Kung died, Tse Chao became King K`ang,23 but his son lost the kingdom. Tse Yü became King Ling,24 but was himself assassinated. Tse Kan reigned but ten odd days. Tse Hsi did not come into power, and even was afraid of being beheaded. All were exterminated and left no progeny. Ch`i Chi mounted the throne later, and continued the sacrifices of the house of Ch`u, for such had been the presage. 25
The duration of the reigns of these princes corresponded to the distance they kept from the jade badge, when prostrating themselves. The piece of jade was in the earth, while the five sons, unaware of it, entered one by one, and bowed nearer or farther off. When they pressed down the top of the jade ornament, they were, so to speak, induced by their spirits to kneel down.
T`u An Ku of Chin26 out of hatred destroyed the sons of Chao Tun.27 After the death of Chao So,28 his wife had a posthumous child. When T`u An Ku heard of it, he sought it in the Palace. 29 The mother put it into her pantaloons, and swore the following oath:---"The whole Chao family will be lost, if the child cries, it will not be so, if it does not utter a sound." While being searched for, it did not cry at all. Then its escape could be effected, and its life be saved. Ch`êng Ying Ch`i30 carried it away, and concealed it on a mountain. During Duke Ching's time, 31Han Chüeh mentioned it to the duke, who together with Han Chüeh raised the orphan of Chao to his former rank, so that he could continue the sacrificial rites of his family under the name of Wên Tse. The orphan of Chao did not utter a sound, as though its mouth had been closed. Thus the elevation of Wên Tse was predetermined by fate.
The mother of Han Kao Tsu, dame Liu, reposed on the banks of a large lake. In a dream, she met with a spirit. At that time there was a tempest with thunder and lightning. In the darkness a dragon appeared on high. The son, of which she was delivered, had an excellent character, but was very fond of wine. He would buy wine on credit from Mrs. Wang and mother Wu. When he was drunk, he stopped, and lay down to sleep. Mrs. Wang and mother Wu then always saw some miraculous signs about him. Whenever he remained to drink wine, the price of the wine then sold was many times as much as usual.
Later on he walked into the lake, and cut a big snake into pieces with his hand. An old woman filled the roads with her wails, crying that the Red Emperor had killed her son. This miracle being very striking was much talked about. 32
Ch`in Shih Huang Ti used to say that in the south-east there was the spirit of a son of heaven. Therefore he travelled eastward in order to suppress it. This was Kao Tsu's spirit. Together with Lü Hou he concealed himself amidst the marshes in the Mang and T`ang Mountains. 33 When Lü Hou with other people went in search for him, they always saw a vapour rising in a straight line above him, and thus discovered where he was. 34
Later on Kao Tsu agreed with Hsiang Yü that whoever first entered the gates of Ch`in, should be king. Kao Tsu arrived first, which was deeply resented by Hsiang Yü. Fan T`sêng35 said:--- "I pray to look at his vapours. They all take the shape of a dragon, and have five colours:---they are those of the son of heaven. He must be despatched forthwith."
When Kao Tsu went to thank Hsiang Yü, the latter and Ya Fu36 hatched a plot to kill him. At their instigation Hsiang Chuang performed a dance with a drawn sword. Hsiang Po, who knew their intentions, began to dance together with Hsiang Chuang, and no sooner was the sword raised over Kao Tsu's head, than Hsiang Po covered him with his own body so, that the sword did not fall, and the murderous plot was not carried out. 37 At one time, Kao Tsu was rescued by Chang Liang and Fan K`uai,38 and after all got off unhurt. Thereupon he swayed the whole empire.
When his mother conceived him, the spirit of a dragon made its appearance. When he grew up, peculiar clouds were seen about the wine shop. During the night, he killed a snake, and the snake's old mother lamented, and cried. Ch`in Shih Huang Ti and Lü Hou saw an aureole above him. Hsiang Yü planned his assassination, but Hsiang Po protected him, and the scheme fell through. He found such helpmates as Chang Liang and Fan K`uai. For there being signs pointing to his future wealth and honour, all things obeyed him, and men lent him their help and support.
A younger brother of the Empress Dowager Tou,39 of the name of Kuang Kuo, was, at the age of 4 or 5 years, robbed from his poor family, and sold, his people not knowing his whereabouts. More than ten times he was sold again to other families, till he came to I-yang.40 There he went on the hills for his master to make charcoal:---When it grew cold at night, over a hundred people lay down under the coal. The coal collapsed, and all were crushed to death, save Kuang Kuo, who managed to escape. He then divined himself, and ascertained that, after a certain number of days, he would be made a marquis. He left his home, and betook himself to Chang-an.41 There he learned that the Empress Tou had lately settled her family at Kuan-chin in Ch`ing-ho.42 He reported himself to the emperor. The Empress Dowager prevailed upon Ching Ti to grant him an audience. What he replied to the questions about his origin proved true, and the emperor made him rich presents. At the accession of Wên Ti,43Kuang Kuo was created a marquis of Chang Wu. When the coal heaps came down, more than a hundred people were killed, only Kuang Kuo escaped. Being preserved by fate for wealth and honour, he did not only keep alive, but was made a marquis to boot.
Yü Tse Ta, a native of Tung Kuan in Ch`ên-liu44 came into the world at night. His mother beheld something like a skein of silk over him, which went up to heaven. She asked other people's advice about it. All were agreed that it was an auspicious fluid foreboding honour, which reached up to heaven. Yü Tse Ta, when grown up, became an official, and was promoted to the rank of Minister of Education.
Kuang Wên Po45 from P`u-fan46 in Ho-tung47 was likewise born about midnight. At that time some one called his father's name from without doors. The father went out, and replied, but nobody was to be seen, only a big wooden stick was planted next to the door. He understood well that it was different from common ones. The father took the stick into his house, and showed it to somebody, who prognosticated the future from it, saying:---"A lucky omen, indeed. When Kuang Wên Po is grown up, he will study, and in his official career be appointed prefect of Kuang-han." 48Kuang Wên Po was to be wealthy and honoured, therefore his father was presented with the stick. The diviner, as it were, implied that the stick represented the strength of the child.
On the day Chia-tse49 in the twelfth moon of the first year Chien-p`ing,50 when the Emperor Kuang Wu Ti saw the light in the second hall of the seraglio in the rear of the Chi-yang palace, 51 his father was magistrate of Chi-yang.52 During the night this room was lighted of itself without there being any fire. His father summoned the secretary Ch`ung Lan, and despatched him to consult a fortune-teller. For that purpose Ch`ung Lan, accompanied by the groom Su Yung, went to Wang Ch`ang Sun's place. Wang Ch`ang Sun said to the two:---"That is a lucky thing, I cannot say more." That same year a blade of grain grew among house-leek and wall-pepper. It had three roots, one stalk, and nine ears, and was by one to two feet higher than a common one, it being an auspicious blade. 53
At the beginning of Yuan Ti's54 reign a phenix alighted on the Chi-yang kung. Hence there exists still to-day in the Chi-yang palace a phenix cottage. Yuan Ti together with Li Fu and others travelled into the region of Ch`ai.55 On the road they fell in with insurgents, and greatly alarmed, fled to the old cottage of Chi-yang. When they arrived, they beheld a red glare like fire just south from the road leading to the old cottage. A stream of light went up to heaven, and after a moment was gone.
At Wang Mang's time, the Lord Marshal Su Po A could distinguish the currents of air. When, on an embassy, he passed through the suburb of Ch`uang-ling,56 he found the air very brisk and fresh. Kuang Wu Ti came to Ho-pin,57 where he had an interview with Su Po A. He put to him the question:---"How did you know that a lucky wind was blowing, minister, when you passed Ch`uang-ling?"---"Only because I saw the air brisk and fresh" was Su Po A's reply.
Ergo, when by Heaven's decree a new man is to rise, and a wise emperor to come forth, the manifestations of the original fluid before and after can clearly be made out. 58 But, when there is only a succession of power, and a continuation of former institutions, insomuch as the latter serve as a basis, then the manifestations of the heavenly fluid are not worth mentioning. 59 When there is a complete revolution, and a new dragon rises, he starts from very small beginnings, and passes first through all sorts of calamities, as in the case of Han Kao Tsu and Kuang Wu Ti.60 Were they not ushered in with wonderful signs from heaven, men, and spirits, and great splendour?
1. The harsh and unfeeling father of the virtuous Shun.
2. Shun's wicked brother.
3. Cf. Mencius Book V, Pt. I, chap. II (Legge p. 222-223) and Shi-chi chap. I, p. 23.
4. Vid. Shu-king Pt. II, Book I, chap. II.
5. A mythical personage, the "Lord of the Grain," said to have been Director of Husbandry under Yao and Shun.
6. The word mother, required by the context, must be supplemented in the original.
7. A legendary emperor prior to Yao, Hou Chi's father, after one tradition.
8. A Kirghis tribe settled in the N. E. of Ferghana in the 2nd cent. b.c. (Shi-chi chap. 123, p. 4).
9. The powerful Turkish tribes, which were China's northern neighbours during the Han time, perhaps the Huns. Long wars were waged between the Chinese and the Hsiung-nu.
10. The title of the chieftain of the Hsiung-nu.
11. This passage is taken almost literally from the Shi-chi chap. 123, p. 9v. The Shi-chi still adds that K`un Mo was suckled by a she-wolf.
12. A State in northern Corea, Ma-tuan-lin chap. 324, p. 14v., where our passage is quoted.
13. Barbarous, non Chinese tribes in the east.
14. In Liaotung.
15. The chief minister of T`ang, the founder of the Shang dynasty 1766 b.c. Many legends are current about his origin.
16. In ancient times holes in the earth were used as mortars.
17. Namely the underground water.
18. Cf. p. 136.
19. In 686 b.c. Duke Hsiang was assassinated by his nephew Wu Chih (Ch`unch`iu III, 8). Tse Chiu was a brother of Duke Huan.
20. Kuan Chung and Pao Shu Ya were bosom-friends. At the recommandation of Pao Shu Ya, Kuan Chung, later on, entered into the service of Duke Huan, whom he had first opposed.
21. The ancient Chinese foot was much smaller than ours.
22. 589-558 b.c.
23. 558-543 b.c.
24. 539-527 b.c.
25. The Shi-chi chap. 40, p. 14 tells this story with nearly the same words, and has taken it from the Tso-chuan, Duke Ch`ao 13th year. Vid. Legge, Chinese Classics Vol. V, p. 650, 1st col. and Chavannes, Mém. Historiques Vol. IV, p. 367.
26. A minister of the State of Chin 597 b.c.
27. Also a minister of Chin and rival of T`u An Ku.
28. Likewise slain by T`u An Ku.
29. Chao So's widow, being a daughter of the ducal house of Chin, had sought refuge in the palace.
30. A faithful adherent of Chao So.
31. 598-579 b.c.
32. Cf. the detailed account given in Chap. XVII.
33. The Mang Mountains were situated in Honan, the T`ang Mountains in Kansu.
34. These myths about the first emperor of the Han dynasty are related in almost the same words in the Shi-chi chap. 8, p. 1v.
35. The famous counsellor of Kao Tsu's rival, Hsiang Yü.
36. The title of Fan T`sêng.
37. The story is told more in detail in the Shi-chi chap. 7, p. 14v.
38. Partisans of Kao Tsu, whose success is to a great extent due to their efforts.
39. The wife of the emperor Wên Ti, 179-156 B.C., and the mother of Ching Ti, 156-140.
40. A district in Honanfu.
41. The capital under the former Han dynasty.
42. Ch`ing-ho, a State in Honan, the present prefecture of K`ai-fêng-fu, of which Kuan-chin formed a district.
43. Probably a misprint for Wu Ti; for Wu Ti, not Wên Ti succeeded Ching Ti.
44. In K`ai-fêng-fu (Honan).
45. The T`ai-p`ing-yü-lan quoting this passage writes T`ang Wên Po. Nothing more is to be learned about this person from the cyclopedias.
46. The modern P`u-chou in Shansi.
47. Literally:---the country east of the (Yellow) River.
48. An ancient name of the region about Ch`êng-tu and T`ung-ch`uan in Sse-chuan.
49. The first number of the sexagenary cycle.
50. 6-2 B.C.
51. This palace, once used by the Emperor Han Wu Ti as a travelling lodge, had been closed. Kuang Wu Ti's father finding his yamen too wet to live in, had moved into the old palace, and installed himself in the halls at the back.
52. The modern T`sao-chou-fu in Shantung.
53. Cf. T`ai-p`ing-yü-lan (Kuang Wu Ti) where the Tung-kuan Han-chi is quoted.
54. Han Yuan Ti 48-32 B.C. The Tung-kuan Han-chi relates that the phenix came down at the birth of Kuang Wu Ti, 6 B.C.
55. An old name of T`ai-an-hsien in Shantung.
56. A city in Honan.
57. Under the Han a district "north of the Yellow River," corresponding to the modern P`ing-lu-hsien in Shansi.
58. In case of a great political revolution.
59. In case of regular succession, the son following the father.
60. Both founders of new dynasties.
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