klausnick/莫罗佐夫·尼科莱/профан (klausnick) wrote,

The Chinese ghost

The Chinese ghost

The Chinese ghost is by no means always a malevolent person, as, indeed, has already been made clear from the affecting narrative of the ghost who passed an examination. Even the spectre which answers in China to the statue in ' Don Juan,' the statue which accepts invitations to dinner, is anything but a malevolent guest. So much may be gathered from the story of Chu and Lu. Chu was an undergraduate of great courage and bodily vigour, but dull of wit. He was a married man, and his children (as in the old Oxford legend) often rushed into their mother's presence, shouting, " Mamma ! mamma ! papa's been plucked[НВ1] again ! " Once it chanced that Chu was at a wine party, and the negus [НВ2] (a favourite beverage of the Celestials) had done its work. His young friends betted Chu a bird's-nest dinner that he would not go to the nearest temple, enter the room devoted to coloured sculptures representing the torments of Purgatory, and carry off the image of the Chinese judge of the dead, their Osiris or Rhadamanthus. Off went old Chu, and soon returned with the august effigy (which wore " a green face, a red beard, and a hideous expression") in his arms. The other men were frightened, and begged Chu to restore his worship to his place on the infernal bench. Before carrying back the worthy magistrate, Chu poured a libation on the ground and said, " Whenever your excellency feels so disposed, I shall be glad to take a cup of wine with you in a friendly way." That very night, as Chu was taking a stirrup cup before going to bed, the ghost of the awful judge came to the door and entered. Chu promptly put the kettle on, mixed the negus, and made a night of it with the festive fiend. Their friendship was never interrupted from that moment. The judge even gave Chu a new heart (literally) whereby he was enabled to pass examinations ; for the heart, in China, is the seat of all the intellectual faculties. For Mrs. Chu, a plain woman with a fine figure, the ghost provided a new head, of a handsome girl recently slain by a robber. Even after Chu's death the genial spectre did not neglect him, but obtained for him an appointment as registrar in the next world, with a certain rank attached.

[НВ1]проваливать (на экзамене)

[НВ2]негус (род глинтвейна)

Tags: Китай, духи

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