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The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law – P’u Sung-Ling (1622—1679?)
The Strange Stories of P’u Sung-Ling have delighted all classes in China for over two centuries, but about their editor we have little information. He was born in 1622 in the Province of Shantung. Though he studied in order to become a high government official, he was not especially interested in his academic work, and failed to secure his degree. To this failure the idea of his celebrated collection is supposed to be due. He is regarded by the Chinese as a master- critic of style and composition; even in translation it is possible to enjoy some of the niceties of expression in these stories, and their construction is always a delight. Here again, as in the earlier Chinese stories, we perceive the inherent passion of the Chinese for moralizing, though it will be admitted that they are highly skilled in the art of making their morality palatable.

The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law – This story is translated by Herbert A. Giles, and appears in the volume Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, published by Kelly and Walsh, Shanghai, by whose permission and that of the translator, it is here reprinted. (The English publisher is T. Werner Laurie.)
The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law
He gained the master’s degree, died early; and his brother Erh- ch’eng was a mere boy. He himself had married a wife from the Ch’en family, whose name was Shan-hu; and this young lady had much to put up with from the violent and malicious disposition of her husband’s mother. However, she never complained; and every morning dressed herself up smart, and went in to pay her respects to the old lady. Once when Ta-ch’eng was ill, his mother abused Shan-hu for dressing so nicely; whereupon Shan-hu went back and changed her clothes; but even then Mrs. An was not satisfied, and began to tear her own hair with rage. Ta-ch’eng, who was a very filial son, at once gave his wife a beating, and this put an end to the scene.

The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law part 7

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The mortgagee, suspecting it was the same money that had been offered him by Erh-ch`eng, cut the pieces in halves, and saw that it was all silver of the purest quality. Accordingly he accepted...

The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law part 6

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Shan-hu was the next to go, and she found the hole full of silver bullion; and then Ta-ch`eng repaired to the spot and saw that there was no mistake about it. Not thinking it...

The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law part 5

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Erh-ch`eng was quite well off, but his brother would not apply to him, neither did he himself offer to help them. Tsang-ku, too, would have nothing to do with her sister-in-law, because she had...

The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law part 4

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“What sort of a person was the one you sent away?” asked her sister in reply. “She wasn`t as bad as some one I know of,” said Mrs. An, “though not so good as...

The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law part 3

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Ever since Shan-hu had been sent away, Ta-ch`eng`s mother had been endeavoring to get him another wife; but the fame of her temper had spread far and wide, and no one would entertain her...

The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law part 2

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I had better die.” Thereupon she drew a pair of scissors and stabbed herself in the throat, covering herself immediately with blood. The servant prevented any further mischief, and supported her to the house...

The Virtuous Daughter-In-Law part 1

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P`u Sung-Ling (1622—1679?)The Strange Stories of P`u Sung-Ling have delighted all classes in China for over two centuries, but about their editor we have little information. He was born in 1622 in the Province...

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