His father-in-law, Feng Su, by name, was a native of Ta Ju Chou.

His father-in-law, Feng Su, by name, was a native of Ta Ju Chou. Although only a labourer, he was nevertheless in easy circumstances at home.

 

When he on this occasion saw his son-in-law come to him in such distress, he forthwith felt at heart considerable displeasure.

Fortunately Shih-yin had still in his possession the money derived from the unprofitable realization of his property,

so that he produced and handed it to his father-in-law, commissioning him to purchase, whenever a suitable opportunity presented itself,

a house and land as a provision for food and raiment against days to come. This Feng Su, however,

only expended the half of the sum, and pocketed the other half, merely acquiring for him some fallow land and a dilapidated house.

Shih-yin being, on the other hand, a man of books and with no experience in matters connected with business and with sowing and reaping,

subsisted, by hook and by crook, for about a year or two, when he became more impoverished.

In his presence, Feng Su would readily give vent to specious utterances, while, with others, and behind his back,

he on the contrary expressed his indignation against his improvidence in his mode of living,

and against his sole delight of eating and playing the lazy.

Shih-yin, aware of the want of harmony with his father-in-law, could not help giving way, in his own heart,

to feelings of regret and pain. In addition to this, the fright and vexation which he had undergone the year before,

the anguish and suffering (he had had to endure), had already worked havoc (on his constitution);

and being a man advanced in years, and assailed by the joint attack of poverty and disease, he at length gradually began to display symptoms of decline.

Strange coincidence, as he, on this day, came leaning on his staff and with considerable strain,

as far as the street for a little relaxation, he suddenly caught sight, approaching from the off side,

of a Taoist priest with a crippled foot;

his maniac appearance so repulsive,

his shoes of straw, his dress all in tatters,

muttering several sentiments to this effect:

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