Spiritual matters told by a great scholar of the Qing Dynasty over 300 years

Yuan Mei, a genius of the Qing Dynasty, once heard a strange story from the great scholar Qian Daxin. Qian Daxin was a native of Jiading, Jiangsu Province, and this strange story happened in his hometown of Shangyu, Shaoxing.

Qian Daxin was a scholar during the Qianlong period (1728-1804 AD), the eighteenth century, a very accomplished historian, the “History of the Song Dynasty”, “History of Yuan”, in addition to jinshi, phonetics on the text is very well established, the astronomical and calendar science is also specialized. Qian Daxin, a great scholar, told Yuan Mei, a talented man, about the spirit world, and Yuan Mei wrote it down in “Zi Bu Bu Yan”.

He said that the Shaoxing Shangyu County Government Office has an ancient tomb in the backyard, it is said that the new county magistrate to this post, must first go to the City God Temple to pay respect to the City God, and then to this ancient tomb worship. This practice, which has been followed for hundreds of years.

During the Qianlong period, there was a Shangyu County magistrate surnamed Ran. When he arrived, the county courthouse officials in the ceremonial room, according to the custom, also invited him to go to pay respect to the ancient tomb. Ran asked, “In the past, when the magistrate arrived, there was not to go to pay respects?” The official of the ceremony room answered truthfully, “Only Master Zhang was stubborn and did not go to the ancient tomb. Now this master Zhang has become the Hubei cloth minister!” When Ran heard this, he said, “Then I will have to learn from this Master Zhang!”

Ran did not go to pay respect to the ancient tomb, and did not take it to heart. One day, he was hearing a case in the public court. Suddenly, a man dressed in ancient clothes and ancient crown arrived in a carriage and swaggered up to the public hall. Ran shouted a rebuke to inform the official why there is a guest not to report!

Before his words could be heard, the visitor came forward and dragged Ran to the study. The study was full of rambling, querulous words, but it was hard to hear them clearly, only that Ran and the visitor seemed to be arguing. Not long after, the magistrate found that the visitor suddenly did not know where to go, but Ran has passed out on the floor, unconscious.

At this time, a ghost attached to Ran spoke: “My surname is Su Song, a scholar at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, was the county magistrate of Shangyu County. Later died in the war and was buried here. The famous Liu Bo-wen (Liu Bo-wen name Ki, the word Bo-wen, born in 1311 AD), counted as my descendant! You have the audacity to not come to pay respects to me after taking office!”

When someone refuted the ghost by telling the example of the former magistrate Zhang who did not visit the ancient tomb when he took office, the ghost said, “Zhang was very lucky at that time, so I could not do anything to him. Now his luck will run out, and when it does, I will gouge out his eyes!”

Ran’s family was terrified, so they knelt around the ground and begged the ghost for mercy, and promised to prepare more sacrificial offerings to it. It took a while for Ran to wake up. After waking up, Ran also felt scared, so he put on his official clothes and went to the ancient tomb to pay his respects. Soon, he was indeed at peace.

Not long after, the former magistrate Zhang, who did not pay respect to the tomb, was blinded and made a mistake in his post as the chief secretary of Hubei.

Source: “Zi Bu Bu Yan