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Soushenji 457 translation: Tomb of the Faithful Dog

搜神記:義犬冢 (四五七)

This is a translation and annotation of text No. 457 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.

義犬冢 Yì Quǎn Zhǒng [Righteous] [Dog] [Tomb] Tomb of the Faithful Dog

孫權時, Sūnquán shí, [Sun] [Quan] [time] In the time of Sun Quan,

李信純, Li Xìnchún, [Li] [Xin] [Chun] Li Xinchun

襄陽紀南人也。 Xiāngyáng Jìnán rén yě. [Xiang] [Yang] [Ji] [Nan] [person] [it is so]. was a man from Jinan in Xiangyang. Note that this isn’t the city of Jinan (济南) in Shandong province.

家養一狗, Jiā yǎng yī gǒu, [family] [raise] [a] [dog] His family kept a dog

字曰黑龍, zì yuē Hēilóng, [name] [say] [Black] [Dragon] called Black Dragon,

愛之尤甚, ài zhī yóu shèn, [love] [it] [very] [extreme] which he loved very much.

行坐相隨, xíng zuò xiāng suí, [walk] [sit] [each other] [follow] Walking or sitting, they were together;

飲饌之間, yǐn zhuàn zhī jiān, [drink] [food] [them] [between] as for food and drink, between them

皆分與食。 jiē fēn yǔ shí. [all] [share] [together] [eat] all was shared and consumed together.

忽一日, Hū yī rì, [sudden] [one] [day] Then one day,

於城外飲酒大醉, yú chéng wài yǐnjiǔ dà zuì, [at] [city] [outside] [drink] [wine] [big] [drunk] outside the city, Xinchun was drinking wine and got very drunk,

歸家不及, guī jiā bùjí, [return] [home] [not] [reach] and was unable to return home,

臥於草中。 wò yú cǎo zhōng. [lie] [at] [grass] [in] so he lay down in the grass.

遇太守鄭瑕出獵, Yù tàishǒu Zhèng Xiá chūliè, [chance] [governor][] [Zheng] [Xia] [go out] [hunt] Now it happened that Governor Zheng Xia had come out hunting;

見田草深, jiàn tián cǎoshēn, [see] [field] [grass] [deep] on seeing how thick the grass in the field was,

遣人縱火爇之。 qiǎn rén zònghuǒ ruò zhī. [dispatch] [person] [release] [fire] [burn] [it] he sent someone to set it on fire and burn it off. This was done to cause animals to flee so that they could be hunted.

信純臥處, Xìnchún wò chù, [Xin] [Chun] [lie] [place] The place where Xinchun was lying

恰當順風。 qià dàng shùn fēng. [exactly] [at] [follow] [wind] was exactly downwind.

犬見火來, Quǎn jiàn huǒ lái, [dog] [see] [fire] [come] The dog saw the flames approaching,

乃以口拽純衣, nǎi yǐ kǒu zhuāi Chún yī, [thereupon] [with] [mouth] [tug] [Chun] [clothes] and tugged at Xinchun's clothes with its mouth;

純亦不動。 Chún yì bùdòng. [Chun] [same] [not] [move] Xinchun still did not move.

臥處比有一溪, Wò chù bì yǒuyī xī, [lie] [place] [near] [have] [a] [stream] Near the place where he was lying was a stream, Note that 比 is read bì here and means “to be near”.

相去三五十步, xiāng qù sānwǔshí bù, [each other] [go] [three][five][ten] [step] thirty to fifty paces away;

犬即奔往, quǎn jí bēn wǎng, [dog] [immediately] [rush] [towards] the dog immediately rushed over to it;

入水濕身, rù shuǐ shī shēn, [enter] [water] [wet] [body] it went into the water and soaked its body,

走來臥處。 zǒu lái wò chù. [run] [come] [lie] [place] and ran back to the place where Xinchun was lying.

周迴以身灑之, Zhōu huí yǐ shēn sǎ zhī, [circumference] [to circle] [with] [body] [sprinkle] [it] It circled around using its body to sprinkle water,

獲免主人大難, huò miǎn zhǔrén dànàn, [obtain] [avoid] [master] [person] [great] [disaster] in order to avoid calamity for its master.

犬運水困乏, quǎn yùn shuǐ kùnfá, [dog] [transport] [water] [hard-pressed] [tired] The dog was exhausted from transporting the water,

致斃於側。 zhì bì yú cè. [cause] [die] [at] [side] causing it to die by Xinchun's side.

俄爾信純醒來, É ěr xìn chún xǐnglái, [soon] [thus] [Xin] [Chun] [wake] [come round] Soon Xinchun woke up,

見犬已死, jiàn quǎn yǐ sǐ, [see] [dog] [had] [die] saw that his dog had died,

遍身毛濕, biàn shēn máo shī, [all] [body] [fur] [wet] and that the fur on its body was wet,

甚訝其事。 shèn yà qí shì. [very] [shock] [such] [thing] and was deeply shocked that such a thing had happened.

睹火蹤跡, Dǔ huǒ zōngjī, [see] [fire] [trace] [sign] He saw the remains of the fire,

因爾慟哭。 yīn ěr tòngkū. [because] [thus] [grief] [weep] and because it was so, he wept with grief.

聞於太守。 Wén yú tàishǒu. [hear] [by] [governor][] News of this was heard by the governor.

太守憫之曰: Tàishǒu mǐn zhī yuē: [governor][] [feel compassion] [it] [say] The governor felt compassion for it (the dog) and said:

「犬之報恩甚於人。 "Quǎn zhī bào'ēn shèn yú rén. [dog] ['s] [repay] [kindness] [extreme] [to] [man] "A dog's repayment of kindness is greater than man's.

人不知恩, Rén bùzhī ēn, [man] [not] [know] [kindness] Man does not know (true) kindness;

豈如犬乎?」 qǐ rú quǎn hu? " [how] [as] [dog] [?] how can he compare to a dog?

即命具棺槨衣衾葬之。 Jí mìng jù guānguǒ yī qīn zàng zhī. [prompt] [order] [one] [coffin][] [dress] [cover] [bury] [it] He then ordered a coffin, clothing and cover, and had the dog buried. 具 here is a measure word for coffins.

今紀南有義犬冢, Jīn Jìnán yǒu Yì Quǎn Zhǒng, [today] [Ji] [Nan] [have] [righteous] [dog] [tomb] Today in Jinan there is the Tomb of the Faithful Dog,

高十餘丈。 gāo shí yú zhàng. [high] [ten] [surplus] [ten feet] several tens of feet high.

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