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Soushenji 387 translation: Death in Childbirth, a Dot on the Face

搜神記:產亡點面 (三八七)

This is a translation and annotation of text No. 387 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.

產亡點面 Chǎn Wáng Diǎn Miàn [childbirth] [death] [dot] [face] Death in Childbirth, a Dot on the Face

諸仲務一女顯姨, Zhū Zhòngwù yī nǚ Xiǎnyí, [_Zhu_] [_Zhong_] [_Wu_] [one] [daughter] [_Xian_] [_Yi_] Zhu Zhongwu had one daughter, named Xianyi;

嫁為米元宗妻, jià wéi Mǐ Yuánzōng qī, [marry] [become] [_Mi_] [_Yuan_] [_Zong_] [wife] she was married to Mi Yuanzong;

產亡於家。 chǎn wáng yú jiā. [childbirth] [die] [at] [home] she died in childbirth at home.

俗聞產亡者, Sú wén chǎn wángzhě, [custom] [well-known] [childbirth] [die] [those who] It was a well-known custom that those who died in childbirth

以墨點面。 yǐ mò diǎn miàn. [take] [ink] [mark] [face] would have their faces marked with ink.

其母不忍, qí mǔ bùrěn, [her] [mother] [not] [endure] Her mother could not bear it,

仲務密自點之, Zhòngwu mì zì diǎn zhī, [_Zhong_] [_Wu_] [secret] [self] [mark] [her] so Zhongwu marked her in secret himself;

無人見者。 wú rén jiàn zhě. [not have] [person] [see] [those who] nobody saw it.

元宗為始新縣丞, Yuánzōng wéi Shǐxīn xiàn chéng, [_Yuan_] [_Zong_] [become] [_Shi_] [_Xin_] [county] [deputy] Yuanzong became county deputy in Shixin;

夢其妻來上牀, mèng qí qī lái shàng chuáng, [dream] [his] [wife] [come] [to] [bed] he dreamt that his wife came to his bed -

分明見新白妝面上有黑點。 fēnmíng jiàn xīn bái zhuāng miàn shàng yǒu hēi diǎn. [distinguish] [clear] [see] [newly] [white] [make-up] [face] [on] [have] [black] [dot] he saw clearly that on her newly made-up white face was a black dot.

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