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Soushenji 270 translation: Dong Fang Shuo Pours Wine to Dissolve Trouble

搜神記:東方朔灌酒澆患 (二七零)

This is a translation and annotation of text No. 270 in 搜神記 (Soushenji – ‘In Search of the Supernatural’), a collection of strange happenings compiled by 干寶 (Gan Bao) in the 4th century C.E.

In order to be useful to people studying the text, this translation aims to be literal and close to the original.

東方朔灌酒澆患 [_Dong_] [_Fang_] [_Shuo_] [pour] [wine] [dissolve] [trouble] _Dong Fang Shuo_ Pours Wine to Dissolve Trouble

漢武帝東游, [Han] [Wu] [emperor] [east] [travel] Han Wu Di was travelling to the east,

未出函谷關, [not yet] [exit] [_Han_] [_Gu_] [mountain pass] he had not left Han Gu pass,

有物當道, [have] [thing] [obstruct] [way] when there was something obstructing the way,

身長數丈, [body] [length] [several] [ten feet] its body was several tens of feet long,

其狀象牛, [its] [form] [like] [cow] its form like that of a cow,

青眼而曜睛, [blue-black] [eye] [yet] [dazzle] [eye] its eyes were blue-black yet dazzling,

四足入土, [four] [feet] [enter] [earth] its four feet were in the ground,

動而不徙。 [move] [yet] [not] [change position] and they moved yet its position did not change.

百官驚駭。 [all] [official] [fright] [startle] All the officials were frightened and startled.

東方朔乃請以酒灌之。 [_Dong_] [_Fang_] [_Shuo_] [thereupon] [request] [take] [wine] [pour] [it] Dong Fang Shuo then requested to take take wine to pour on it.

灌之數十斛而物消。 [pour] [it] [several] [ten] [measure] [and] [thing] [disappear] After several dozen measures had been poured on it, the thing disappeared.

帝問其故。 [emperor] [ask] [its] [reason] The emperor asked the reason for this.

答曰:「此名為患, [reply] [say]:「 [this] [name] [as] [trouble] The reply: “This is known as ‘trouble’,

憂氣之所生也。 [sorrow] [vital essence] ['s] [that which is] [produce] [it is so] and is produced by the vital essence of sorrow.

此必是秦之獄地。 [this] [certainly] [is] [_Qin_] ['s] [prison] [place] This certainly must have been the site of a Qin prison.

不然,則罪人徒作之所聚。 [not] [so],[then] [crime] [person] [disciple] [make] ['s] [place] [gather] If not, then it was a place where outlaws gathered.

夫酒忘憂, [now] [wine] [banish] [sorrow] Now, wine banishes sorrow,

故能消之也。」 [so] [can] [disappear] [it] [it is so] so it can make this disappear.

帝曰:「吁!博物之士,至於此乎!」 [emperor] [say]:「[oh]![extensive] [thing] ['s] [scholar],[arrive] [to] [this] [!]」 The emperor said: “Oh, scholar of so many things, your knowledge goes even this far!”

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