This is a translation and annotation of text No. 381 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.
遼水浮棺 Liáo Shuǐ Fú Guān [_Liao_] [river] [float] [coffin] The Coffin Floating in the Liao River
漢令支縣， Hàn Lìngzhī xiàn, [_Han_] [_Ling_] [_Zhi_] [county] In the Han dynasty in Lingzhi county,
有孤竹城， yǒu Gūzhú chéng, [have] [_Gu_] [_Zhu_] [city] there was a city called Guzhu,
古孤竹君之國也。 gǔ Gūzhú jūn zhī guó yě. [old] [_Gu_] [_Zhu_] [lord] ['s] [state] [it is so] which in ancient times was the kingdom of Lord Guzhu.
靈帝光和元年， Líng dì Guānghé yuán nián, [_Ling_] [emperor] [_Guang_] [_He_] [first] [year] In the first year of the Guanghe reign of Emperor Han Lingdi,
遼西人見遼水中有浮棺， Liáoxī rén jiàn Liáo shuǐ zhōng yǒu fú guān, [_Liao_] [_Xi_] [person] [see] [_Liao_] [river] [in] [have] [float] [coffin] someone from Liaoxi saw a coffin floating in the Liao river;
欲斫破之，棺中人語曰： yù zhuó pò zhī, guān zhōng rén yǔ yuē: [want] [open] [break] [it], [coffin] [in] [person] [speak] [say] he wanted to break it open; the person in the coffin said:
「我是伯夷之弟，孤竹君也。 `Wǒ shì Bóyí zhī dì, Gūzhú jūn yě. [I] [am] [_Bo_] [_Yi_] ['s] [brother], [_Gu_] [_Zhu_] [lord] [it is so] "I am Boyi's brother, the Lord of Guzhu.
海水壞我棺槨，是以漂流。 hǎishuǐ huài wǒ guānguǒ, shì yǐ piāoliú. [sea] [water] [damage] [my] [coffin] [case], [is] [because] [float] [flow] Seawater damaged by coffin, so it is drifting,
汝斫我何為？」 rǔ zhuó wǒ hé wèi? ' [you] [break open] [me] [what] [for] why did you break me out?"
人懼，不敢斫， Rén jù, bù gǎn zhuó, [person] [fear], [not] [dare] [break open] The person was afraid and did not dare break it open,
因為立廟祠祀。 yīnwèi lì miào cí sì. [cause] [for] [set up] [temple] [worship] [sacrifice] and this the reason for a sacrificial temple being set up.
吏民有欲發視者， Lì mín yǒu yù fā shì zhě, [official] [citizen] [have] [want] [show] [look] [those who] Those officials and citizens who want to have a look at the contents of coffins
皆無病而死。 jiē wú bìng ér sǐ. [all] [not have] [disease] [yet] [die] all die, despite having no illness.
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