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The Book of Filial Duty, by Ivan Chen, [1908], at

No. IX

He hired himself out as a Labourer to support his Mother

In the time of the Han dynasty lived Chiang Ko, who, when young, lost his father, and afterwards lived alone with his mother. Times of trouble arising, which caused them much distress, he took his mother on his back, and fled. On the way he many times met with companies of robbers, who would have compelled him to go with them and become a bandit, but Chiang entreated them with tears to spare him, saying that he had his aged mother with him; and the robbers could not bear to kill him. Altering his course, he came into the district of Hsia-p‘ei, extremely impoverished and reduced, where he hired himself out and supported his mother; and such was his diligence that he was able to supply her with whatever she personally required.

Passing over the hills and wading through the streams, he carried his mother with much

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difficulty. It was during a year of famine, when all the inhabitants of the land were in confusion from the scarcity of food, and engagements were frequent between the soldiers and the bandits, and signal fires were lighted on the high hills. Chiang was fearful lest the robbers should meet him on the road and plunder him; and they did seize him, regardless of his cries and tears, and were about to rob him; but when they knew of his filial piety and affection for his mother, they permitted him to proceed. While journeying, he was too poor to procure any food beyond the bare necessaries of life; and because he could not provide comforts and delicacies for his mother, he was grieved as if it had been his fault. He went and hired himself for labour; with the greatest diligence he adhered to his purpose to maintain his mother; and soon the stranger obtained an abundance of food and clothing. This success caused his mother to rejoice, and they were both delighted, she forgetting her former hardships in the joy that filled her breast.

Next: No. X: He fanned the Pillow and warmed the Bedclothes