Sacred Texts  Earth Mysteries  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Mythical Monsters, by Charles Gould, [1886], at

p. 398




The Shwoh Win says: "The dragon is the chief of scaly reptiles: in the spring he mounts the heavens, in the autumn he frequents the streams. This is favourable." Again, "When the dragon walks he is called sah, when he flies he is a yao."

The Kwang Ya says: “When he has scales he is a Kiao* when he has wings a Ying-Lung when horns a Kiu-Lung without horns a Chih-Lung.

The Ming Wuh Kiai of the Odes says the dragon has horns at five hundred years, at one thousand years he is a Ying-Lung.

The P‘i Ya Kwang Yao says: "The dragon has eighty-one scales. This is nine times nine, nine is the yang (male principle). The dragon is produced from an egg, in which he is enfolded." Again, it says that the Néi Tien says: "Dragon-fire comes in contact with moisture and there is smoke, with water and it is consumed (i.e. a man may extinguish it with water)."

The Fang Yen says: "Before the dragon has ascended to heaven he is a P‘an § Lung." The Yih King says: "When his clouds move the rain falls, and the various things put forth their forms at the time he rides upon the six dragons and ascends the heavens." "The first nine: The hidden dragon is inactive. The diagram indicates that the subtile ether is below. The second nine: When the dragon is seen in the

p. 399

fields it is profitable to meet the great man. The diagram indicates that virtue is extended. Fifth nine: The flying dragon appears in the heavens: The diagram indicates the great man creates." Again, "The dragons contend in the wilds, their blood is azure and yellow." Again, "Thunder is a dragon."

The Yuen-Ming-Pao section of the Ch‘un ts‘iu says: "The dragons begin to speak, yin and yang * are commingled"; thence, it is said, the dragon ascends and clouds are multiplied. The Yih King, in all the diagrams, clearly says: "The summer winds arise and the dragon mounts the skies."

In the Yuen-Shăn-K‘i of the Hiao King it is said: "Virtue approaches the fountains and the yellow dragon appears. It is the Prince's image."

In the "Tso-K‘i" of the Hiao King it is said: "The Emperor is filial, the heavenly dragon bears the plans and the earthly tortoise issues a book." The Ho-t‘u says: "Yellow gold after one thousand years produces a yellow dragon, azure gold after one thousand years, the azure dragon; red and white dragon is also thus. Black gold after one thousand years produces the black dragon."

The Twan-ying-t‘u says: "The yellow dragon is the chief of the four dragons, the true beauty of the four regions. He can be large or small, obscure or manifest, short or long, alive or dead; the king cannot drain the pool and catch him. His intelligence and virtue are unfathomable; moreover he ensures the peaceful air, and sports in the pools." Again, it says: "The yellow dragon does not go in company, and does not live in herds, He certainly waits for the wind and rain, and disports himself in the azure air. He wanders in the wilds beyond the heavens. He goes and comes, fulfilling the decree; at the proper seasons if there is perfection he comes forth, if not he remains (unseen)."

The Shi Ki says: "The bright moon pearl is concealed in the oyster, the dragon is there."

Books of the after Wei dynasty say, "Persia has three pools." They narrate that a dragon lives in the largest, his wife in the second, and his child in the third. If travellers sacrifice, they can pass; if they do not sacrifice they encounter many storms of wind and rain.

Lü-lan asserts that Confucius said, "The dragon feeds in the pure (water) and disports in the clear (water)."

Sun-k‘ing-tsz says: "The accumulated waters form the streams, the Kiao-Lung is brought forth." Han-Féi-shwoh-nan says: "Now as the dragon is a reptile he can be brought under control and ridden.  But below his throat are tremendous scales, projecting a foot. If a man should come in contact with them he would be killed."

p. 400

Kwan-tsz says: "The dragon's skin has five colours, and he moves like a spirit; he wishes to be small and he becomes like a silkworm; great, and he fills all below heaven; he desires to rise, and he reaches the ether; he desires to sink, and he enters the deep fountains. The times of his changing are not fixed, his rising and descending are undetermined; he is called a god (or spirit)."

Hwai-nan-tsz says: "The dragon ascends and the brilliant clouds follow." Again, he says: "This Kiao-Lung is hidden in the streams, and his eggs are opened at the mound. The male cries above and the female cries below, and he changes; his form and essence are of the most exalted (kind). Man cannot see the dragon when he flies aloft. He ascends, and wind and rain escort him."

The Tihing P‘ien says: "Wings beautiful grow for the flying dragon; hair soft like that of a calf on the ying dragon; scales only for the Kiao-Lung. Only in pools is found the Sien-Lung." Chang-hang said: "How the Ts‘ang-Lung meets the summer and aspires to the clouds, and shakes his scales, accomplishing the season. He passes the winter in the muddy water, and, concealed, he escapes harm." Pan-ku, answering Pin-hi, said: "The Ying-Lung hides in the lakes and pools. Fish and turtle contemn him, and he does not observe it. He can exert his skill and intelligence, and suddenly the clear sky appears. For this reason the Ying-Lung, now crouching in the mud, now flying in the heavens, appears to be divine."

Lun-hang says, "When the dragon is small, all the fish are small; this is divine."

Pao-pòh-tz says *: "There are self-existent dragons and there are worms which are changed into dragons." Again, he says: "Among the hills the Ch‘ău day, called the rain master, is a dragon." Hwai-nan-tsz said: "The Chuh-Lung is north of the goose gate concealed in the Wei-Ü mountain." The Shan-hai-king says the god of the Chung-shan is called Chuh-Lung. When he opens his eyes it is day, when he shuts his eyes it is night. His body is three thousand li long.

The Shui-king-chu says: "The Yulung considers the autumn days as night. But the dragon descends in the autumn and hibernates in the deep pools; how then can he say that autumn is night?" It also says: "There is a divine dragon in the vermilion pools at Kiao-chew. Whenever there was a drought, the village people obstructed the upper tributaries of the pool, and many fish died; the dragon became enraged at such times, and caused much rain."

The Kwah-ti-t‘u says: "At the dragon pool there is a hill with four lofty sides, and within them is a pool seven hundred li square; a herd of dragons live there, and feed upon the many different kinds of trees.

p. 401

[paragraph continues] It is beyond Hwui-ki forty-five thousand li." Again, it says: "If you do not ride on a dragon you cannot reach the weak waters * of the Kwan-lun hill."

The Poh-Wuh-Chi says: "If you soak the dragon's flesh in an acid (and eat it), you can write essays." Again, it says: "The Tiao-sheh is in form like a dragon, but smaller. It likes danger; hence it is appointed to guard decayed timber." Again, it says: "The dragon lays three eggs. The first is Ki-tiao. He goes ashore and cohabits with the deer or deposits his semen at the water's edge, where it becomes attached to passing boats or floating wood and branches. It appears like a walnut, it is called Tsz-chao flower, and constitutes what is mentioned in the Tao-ch‘u as dragon-salt." Again, it says: "Below the dragon-gate every year in the third month of spring, yellow carps, two  fish, come from the sea, and all the streams, with speed to the contest. But seventy-one can ascend the dragon-gate in a year; when the first one ascends the dragon-gate there is wind and rain. It is followed by fire which burns his tail, and then he is a dragon."

The Shih-I-Ki says: "East of the hills of Fang-chang there is a dragon plain where there are dragon skins and bones like a mountain: spread out they would cover one thousand five hundred acres. To meet him when he sloughs his bones is like the birth of a dragon. Or it is said the dragons constantly wrangle at this place. It is enriched with blood like flowing water."

The Shuh-I-Ki says: "In the Funning district there are the isles where the dragons are buried. Fu-loo says the dragons shed their bones at these isles, the water now contains many dragon-bones, in these mountains, hills, peaks, and gorges. The dragons make the wind and rain. There are dragons’ bones everywhere, whether in the deep or shallow places; there are many in the ground. Teeth, horns, vertebral columns, feet, it seems as though they are everywhere. The largest measure one hundred feet or exceed one hundred feet. The smallest are two feet or three or four inches. The bones are everywhere. Constantly when looking for anything they are seen." Again, it says: "It is told of the Kuh mountains in Ki-cheu that when the dragon is a thousand years old, he enters the mountains and casts his bones. Now there is a dragon hill, from the midst of the hill issues the dragon's brains."

The K‘ié-Lan Records at Loh-yang  say: "You cannot trust the hills in the west. They are too cold. There is snow both winter and summer. In the hills there is a pool where a bad dragon lives; long ago some merchants rested near the pool, until the dragon became enraged, abused, and killed them. A priest, §Pan-T‘o, heard of it, and, leaving his seat to the pupils, went to the kingdom of Wuchang to

p. 402

learn the Po-lo-man incantations; he mastered them in four years, and returned to his seat. He went to the pool and invoked the dragon. The dragon was transformed into a man, repented, and followed the king. The king then removed." Again, it says: "To the west of the kingdom of Wuchang there is a pool in which the dragon prince dwells. There is a monastery on the banks of the pool, in which there are more than fifty priests. Whenever the dragon prince does anything marvellous, the king comes and beseeches him, using gold, precious stones, pearls, and valuables, throwing them into the pool. Afterwards they are cast up and the priests gather them. This monastery relies upon the dragon for food and clothing and the means to assist people. Its name is 'Dragon Prince Monastery.'"

The Ts‘i-ti records say there is a well in the city of Ch‘áng-ping at the brambles; when the water is disturbed a spiritual dragon comes and goes. So the city is called the dragon city.

The Shi-San-Tsin records say Ho-li has also the name Dragon Gate. Great fish collect below it, in number one thousand. They cannot ascend. If one ascends it is a dragon. Those which do not ascend are fish. Hence it is called the "Pao-sai-lung-man. (Great carp ascend the dragon gate and become dragons; those which do not ascend prick the forehead and strike the cheek.)" Again, it says: "The Lung-sheu mountains are sixty li long; the head enters the Wei waters, the tail extends to the Fan streams. This head is two hundred feet high; his tail descends gradually to a height of fifty or sixty feet. It is said that long ago a strange dragon came out from south of the mountains to drink the Wei waters. The road he travelled became mountain. Hence the name."

The Kiao-Cheu-Ki says: "In Kiao-chi at Fung-ki-hien there is a dyke with a dragon gate; the water is one hundred fathoms deep. Great fish ascend this gate and become dragons. Those which cannot pass, strike the cheek and puncture the forehead, until the blood flows. This water is continually like the Vermilion pool."

The annals of Hwa-yang say: "Only at Wu-ch‘ing district does the earth meet the gate of heaven; the dragon which mounts to heaven and does not reach it, falls dead to this place, hence when excavating you find dragon-bones."

The I-Tung-Chi says: "Twenty li west of Lin-fung-hien is a stone dragon, among the cliffs is a rock like a dragon. In a year of drought wash it, and it rains." Again, it says: "At Yen-T‘ang there is a pond called Smoky Pond; it is north-east of the city ten li. Its depth has never been ascertained. It is reported that long ago a man caught a white eel, and was about to cook it, when an old man said, 'This is the dragon of the river Siang; I fear calamity will follow.' The man was angry, and, regarding the words as vain, proceeded. The next day the whole village was submerged."

p. 403

The Kwoh-Shi-Pu says: "At the time of the spring rains the carp springs through the dragon gate and becomes transformed. At the present time, in Fan-cheu of Shansi, there is a cave in the mountains; in it are many cast bones and horns of dragons. They are collected for medicine, and are of five colours. It is recorded in the Chw‘en that north of the Wu-t'ai hills, below the terrace, is Azure Dragon Pool, about one-third of an acre in extent. The Buddhist books say five hundred evil dragons are confined (here). Whenever it is mid-day a thick mist gradually arises. A pure priest and candidates for the priesthood may see it. If a nun or females approach then there is great thunder, lightning, and tempest. If they come near the pool, he certainly will belch forth poisonous breath and they will die at once. Foreigners say that in Piolosz there is a spiritual dragon which goes and comes among the granaries. When a servant comes for rice the dragon vanishes. If the servant comes constantly for rice the dragon does not suffer it. If there is no rice in the granaries, the servant worships the dragon, and the granaries are filled."

Yuin-Chu-Tsih records: "If one sees a dragon's egg in the lake or river there will certainly be a flood."

The Nan-Pu-Sin-Shu says: "The dragon's disposition is ferocious, and he fears bees’-wax, loves jade, and the King-ts‘ing delight to eat the flesh of cooked sparrows. For this reason men who eat sparrows do not cross the sea."

The Pah-mung-so-yen says: "The perverse dragon, when rain is wanted, sneaks away into old trees or into the beams of houses. The thunder god pulls him out."

Wu-ch‘ăn-tsah-ch‘ao says: "There is a great dragon which sloughed his skin on the brink of the Great Lake. Insects come out from his scaly armour. Instantly they are transformed into dragon-flies of a red colour. If men gather them they get fever and ague. If men nowadays see these red dragon-flies they call them dragon-armour, also dragons’ grandsons, and are unwilling to hurt them."

Pi-shu-suh-hwa says: "In Suh-chan and Hang-cheu the twentieth day of the fifth month is called the day of the separation of the dragons. Therefore, in the fifth and sixth months, whenever there is thunder, and the clouds crowd together, if they see a tail bent down, and stretching to earth from among the clouds, moving like a serpent, they say, 'The dragon is suspended.'"

Tsu-tz say: "The spiritual dragon leaves the water and dwells in the dry place, and the mole, crickets, and ants annoy him."

Kung Sun Hung replied to Tung Fang Shoh, saying: "Before the dragon has ascended he is of a sort with fish and turtles; after he has ascended the heavens his scales cannot be seen."

Siu Tsung Yuen answered an inquirer, saying: "The Kiao-Lung ascends to the heavenly fountain. He pervades the six regions (North,

p. 404

[paragraph continues] South, East, West, Above, Below). He moistens all things. Shrimps and the leech cannot depart one foot from the water."

The Shwoh-Wan says: "The Kiao belongs to the dragon species. When a fish attains three thousand six hundred [years?] it becomes a Kiao; on attaining this much the dragon flies away." Again, it says: "[Dragons] without horns are Kiao."

The P’i-Ya says: "The Kiao's bones are green, and they can bring their heads and tails together and constrict anything; hence they are called Kiao. A popular name for them is 'the horse's lasso.'" Another author says the Kiao's tail has fleshy rings; they are able to compress any creature, and then tear it with the head.

The Shuh-I-Ki says the eye-brows of a Kiao unite, and their uniting is a proof that it is a Kiao.

The Siang-Shu (Book of Physiognomy) says that when the eye-brows unite the epithet Kiao is applied, because the Kiao Shăn has crossed eye-brows.

The Yueh-kiu (Divisions of Seasons) says that the season of autumn is unfavourable to the Kiao.

The Kia-Yü (Family Discourses) says that if a stream contains fish, then no Kiao will stay in it.

Hwai-nan-tsze says that no two Kiao will dwell in one pool.

The Shan-Hai-King says the Kiao is like a dragon and snake, with a small head and fine neck. The neck has white ornamentations on it. The girth (?) is five cubits; the eggs of the capacity of three catties; and it can swallow a man.


398:* Defined by Williams "as the dragon of morasses and thickets, which has scales and no horn, corresponding very nearly to the fossil iguanodon." Vide the description (ante) from the Pan-Tsaou-Kang-mu, &c.

398:† Ying—correct, true.

398:‡ According to Williams, this is a young dragon without a horn, although others, as in the text, say with one.

398:§ P’an—to curl up, to coil.

399:* The male and female principle.

399:† See the notices in the body of the work from the Shan Hai King.

400:* See the description of the dragon from the P’au-Tsaou-Kang-mu.

401:* Waters of such specific gravity that even a feather would sink.

401:† Probably a pair from each stream.

401:‡ In Foh-kien.

401:§ Probably equivalent to "abbot."

Next: Appendix IX. Appendix to the Chapter on the Sea-Serpent