Norman Hinsdale Pitman
Illustrated by Li Chu-T’ang
E. P. Dutton & Co.
Another beautifully illustrated collection of Chinese folktales and fables; 12 full-colour plates accompany the stories, along with some ornamental headers and drop capitals. The book itself is a wonderful volume of fables about talking animals, traditional tales about emperors, dragons, Guanyin, and some mysterious travelling jugglers. (Above: Doctor Dog and Honeysuckle)
‘One beautiful spring day two men strolled into the public square of a well-known Chinese city. They were plainly dressed and looked like ordinary countrymen who had come in to see the sights. Judging by their faces, they were father and son. The elder, a wrinkled man of perhaps fifty, wore a scant grey beard. The younger had a small box on his shoulder.
At the hour when these strangers entered the public square, a large crowd had gathered, for it was a feast day, and every one was bent on having a good time. All the people seemed very happy. Some, seated in little open-air booths, were eating, drinking, andsmoking. Others were buying odds and ends from the street-vendors, tossing coins, and playing various games of chance.
The two men walked about aimlessly. They seemed to have no friends among the pleasure-seekers. At last, however, as they stood reading a public notice posted at the entrance of the town-hall or yamen, a bystander asked them who they were.
“Oh, we are jugglers from a distant province,” said the elder, smiling and pointing towards the box. “We can do many tricks for the amusement of the people.”’
Read this book online:
(via Project Gutenberg)
Download as a PDF file: