26
Apr
10

Portraits of Thirty-three Swordsmen – 22 Li Sheng

No. 22 Li Sheng: killing [him] would not be an act of courage, just make him afraid.

Scholar Li Sheng often travelled around the western mountains of Hong Zhou. On one snowy night, he was drinking with scholar Lu Qi and five or six of his friends when one person had a random comment: “with snow coming down like this, one could not go out.” Li Sheng replied “What do you want, I can go.” The person said: “I have some books in Xingzi, can you get them for me?” Li Sheng said “yes” and left. He returned with the books before the party started dispersing. Xingzi is more than 300 Li (1 Li = 0.5 km) away.

A daoist priest at Youwei Temple was often rude to Li Sheng. Li said to himself “I can’t kill him, I will just make him afraid.” One day, the daoist was sleeping behind closed doors. Li Sheng asked a young servant to knock on the daoist door and retrieve Li’s dagger. When the daoist rose [to answer the door], he saw that the dagger was stuck in front of his bed, the handle still vibrating. From then on he changed his attitude and was always courteous to Li.

Note
* The original word here is chǔ Shi 處士, meaning a scholar who is not an official.

李胜

書生李胜,嘗游洪洲西山中。与處士盧齊及同人五六輩雪夜共飲。座中一人偶言:“雪勢如此,因不可出門也。”胜曰:“欲何之?吾能住。”人因曰:“吾有書籍在星子,君能為我取乎?”胜曰:“可。”乃出門去,飲未散,攜書而至,星子至西山凡三百余里也。

游帷觀中道士,嘗不禮于胜。胜曰:“吾不能殺之,聊使其懼。”一日,道上閉戶寢于室,胜令童子叩戶,取李處士匕首。道士起,見所臥枕前插一匕首,勁勢猶動,自是改心禮胜。

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