Storehouse of Laughter – Chapter 2

笑府卷二 腐流部

老童生

虎出山而回。呼肚饑其黨曰。今日固不遇一人乎。對曰。遇而不食。問其故。對曰。始一和尚來。因䏲氣不食。次一秀才來。因酸氣不食。最後一童生來。亦不曾食。問童生何為不食。曰。怕咬傷了牙齒。

末句。舊云筋骨老凝不堪食。少蘊籍。年少童生須仔細防老虎。

Old student

A tiger returned from a day out on the mountain. Upon hearing its stomach rumbling, its companion said: “Didn’t you encounter a single person today?” The first tiger said: “I met some but didn’t eat them.” The second asked why. The first replied: “First there was a monk who came by, but he stank and I couldn’t bear to eat him. Then there was a graduate (xiucai) who came by, but he had a sour smell and I couldn’t bear to eat him. Last there was a student (tongsheng) who came by, but I had even less interest in eating him.” When asked why he didn’t eat the student, he said: “I didn’t want to injure my teeth.”

窮秀才

有初[死]見㝠王者。㝠王謂其生前受用太[過]。判來生做一秀才。與以五子。吏禀曰。此人罪重。不應如此善。遣王笑曰。一箇窮秀才。許多兒子。活累殺他罷了。

Poor scholar

A man was facing Hades soon after his death. The Lord of Hell said to him: “You have done much wrong in your life. I decree that you shall be reborn as a scholar (xiucai) and that you shall have five sons.” The lord’s lackeys said to him: “This man has done great wrong! He doesn’t deserve such generosity!” Whereupon the lord laughed and said: “For a poor scholar to have so many sons to feed will be punishment enough.”

晝寢

一師晝寢。及醒。謬言曰。我乃夢周公也。明晝。其徒効之。師以界方擊醒。曰。汝何得如此。徒曰。亦往見周公耳。師曰周公何語。荅曰。周公說昨日並不曾會尊師。

Napping

A teacher was napping in the daytime. When he woke up, he lied, saying: “I was just dreaming of the Duke of Zhou.” The next day, his student also started napping, but the teacher woke him up sharply, saying: “Why are you napping in the day?” The student replied: “I just went to see the Duke of Zhou.” The teacher asked him what the Duke said, and he replied: “The Duke said that he didn’t meet you yesterday, sir.”

This is a reference to the Analects, Shu Er 5: “The Master said, ‘How grieved I am that for such a long time I have not dreamed of the Duke of Zhou!'” (子曰:「甚矣吾衰也!久矣吾不復夢見周公。」)

沒坐性

夫婦夜卧。婦持夫𫝑問何物。夫曰先生也。婦曰既是先生。有館在此。請他一處。雲雨畢。明早。妻以二雞子煖酒。啖夫。々笑曰。我知你是謝先生了且問你先生如何。妻曰。先生儘好。只嫌他沒坐性些。

No staying power

A husband and wife were lying together at night. The wife laid her hand on her husband’s crotch and asked what this was, and the husband replied: “This is your teacher.” The wife said: “Since this is a teacher, there is a schoolhouse here, why doesn’t he come inside.” And there was much stormy thunder. The next morning, the wife prepared chicken and hot wine to feed her husband. He laughed and said: “I know you must be thanking your teacher. How was he?” The wife said: “My teacher was very good, it was just a pity that he did not have staying power.”

不但沒坐性。還怕嫌他罷軟。

Not just lacking in staying power – one fears that he was insufficiently firm.

道學相罵

兩人道詬于途。甲曰。你欺心。乙曰。你欺心。甲曰。你沒天理。乙曰。你沒天理。一道學聞之。謂門人曰。小子聼之。此講學也。門人問。相罵。何謂講學。曰。說心說理。非講學。而何。曰既講學。何為相罵。曰你看如今道學軰那箇是和睦的。

Scholarly dispute

Two people were arguing on the road. A: “You’re lying!” B: “You are lying!” A: “You don’t have any principles!” B: “You don’t have any principles!” A dusty old scholar overheard this, and told his follower: “Listen to this carefully. This is called debate.” The follower said: “No, they’re arguing, not debating.” The scholar said: “They speak about matters of the heart and of the head, how is this not debate?” The follower said: “If this is debate, then what would an argument sound like?” The scholar said: “Have you ever heard an even-tempered debate among scholars?”

問孔子

兩道學先生議論不合。各自詫眞道學。而互詆為假。久之不决。乃共請正于孔子。孔子下階。鞠躬致敬而言曰。吾道甚大。何必相同。二位老先生皆眞正道學。丘素所欣仰。豈有偽哉。兩人各大喜而退。弟子曰。夫子何䛕之甚也。孔子曰。此軰人哄得他去勾了。惹他甚麼。

Consulting Confucius

Two dusty old scholars had a long-running dispute – each considered his own interpretation to be the truth, and the other’s to be false. Unable to resolve it between themselves, they decided to seek the opinion of Confucius. Confucius came down from on high, made the customary salute, and said: “My way is very broad; why need there be exact agreement? Both of you gentlemen have correct interpretations. I appreciate both; neither may be said to be false.” They were both overjoyed and withdrew. One of the disciples asked Confucius: “Why did you have to flatter them so?” Confucius replied: “With people like these, just pander a bit to them and move on. Why encourage them?”

不問馬

一道學先生在官時。馬廄焚。童僕共救滅之。回報。道學問之曰傷人乎。對曰幸不傷。但馬尾燒𨚫了此。道學大怒。責治之。或請其罪。曰豈不聞孔子不問馬。如何輙以馬對。

Don’t ask about the horses

A dusty old scholar was in his study, when the stables caught fire. A servant boy helped to put it out, and reported the incident to his master. The scholar asked: “Was anyone hurt?” The boy replied: “Thankfully not, but the horse’s tail was a bit singed.” The scholar was extremely angry, and punished the boy. He asked what he had done wrong, and the scholar replied: “Don’t you know that Confucius didn’t ask about the horses? Why did you then tell me about the horses?” (A reference to the Analects, Xiang Dang 12: “The stables caught fire. The Master returned from court, and asked, ‘Was anybody hurt?’; he didn’t ask about the horses.” 廄焚。子退朝,曰:「傷人乎?」不問馬。)

行房

有道學先生行房。既去褻衣。拱手大言曰。吾非。為好色而然也為祖宗綿血食也。乃凸一下。又曰。吾非為好色而然也為朝廷添戶口也又凸一下。復曰。吾非為好色而然也。為天帝廣化育也。又凸一下。或問弟四凸說甚麼。有識者曰。如此道學先生。只三凸便完了。還有甚說。

Having sex

A dusty old scholar was having sex. After tossing aside his clothes, he folded his hands in a salute and declared: “I am not doing this from lustfulness, but to carry on the ancestral line,” and then he thrust once. He then spoke again: “I am not doing this from lustfulness, but to make our empire bountiful,” and he gave another thrust. And once again: “I am not doing this out of lustfulness, but to be fruitful and multiply,” and he gave another thrust. A disciple asked: “What did he say before the fourth thrust?” A knowledgeable man replied: “What more is to be said? A dusty old scholar such as this would have been finished in three thrusts.”

女道學

一儒家女新婚。交歡之際。陰道先生。此女忽穿衣下地。整容向末萬福。夫驚問故。荅曰僣先了。

A woman literatus

The daughter of a scholarly household was having sex on her bridal night, when she climaxed first. Thereupon she hurriedly threw on her clothes and went down on the ground. Composing herself, she curtsied to her husband. He was shocked, and asked her what she was doing. She replied: “I had presumed to come before you.”

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