By R.H. Blyth
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Extra resources for Oriental Humour
They are the expression of the will of man, which is poetic, humorous, and deathly. The Chinese, as befits a great race, produced excellent ghost stories in early times. , said to have been selected by Kanpao, T'Jlj(, or the Chin Dynasty, 265 419 A. D. The book itsdf is no longer extant, but many stories are known to have come from it. Here are a few of them. , there was a race of people in the South called Falling-head People; their heads kept on flying about. A certain general, Chuhuan, ~f::j]~, by name, had a servant whose head, while she was asleep, went off out of the house through the hole in the door for the dog, or from the window.
Han Feitsu, who had to commit suicide in 230 B. , was a strange combination of criminal lawyer and Taoist. He was far from having a humorous mind, but some of the admonitory stories he tells in Chapters XXII and XXIII are amusing in their way. Someone presented the King of Chin with the elixir of life. A sentinel drank it all up and was sentenced to death by the enraged monarch. But the sentinel said to the King, "What was presented to you was the elixir of immortality. If Your Highness kills one who has drunk this, it will show that it was not really the elixir of eternal life but a drink of death.
The Man who Forgot how to Forget There was once a man, Yang1i Huatsu of Sung, who whec1 he was in the prime of life suffered from a peculiar illness, that of forgetting everything. He would receive a thing in the morn ing, and forget all about it in the evening, or would give a thing in the evening and forget it in the morning. When in the street he would forget to walk on, and when in his home he forgot to sit down. He could not in the present remember the p lSt, and in the future he could not remember the pre::cnt.