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Soushenji No. 69 translation: Hua Tuo Cures a Boil

搜神記:華佗治瘡 (No. 69)

This is a translation and annotation of text No. 355 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.


[_Hua_] [_Tuo_] [cure] [boil] Hua Tuo Cures a Boil

沛國華佗,字元化,一名旉。 [_Pei_] [state] [_Hua_] [_Tuo_],[style name] [_Yuan_] [_Hua_],[one] [name] [_Fu_] Hua Tuo from the state of Pei, whose style name was Yuan Hua, was also named Fu.

瑯邪劉勳為河內太守, [_Lang_] [_Ya_] [_Liu_] [_Xun_] [serve as] [_He_] [_Nei_] [highest] [guard] Liu Xun of Lang Ya was the Grand Protector of He Nei,

有女年幾二十, [have] [daughter] [year] [almost] [two] [ten] he had a daughter who was almost twenty years old,

苦腳左膝裡有瘡,癢而不痛。 [suffer] [foot] [left] [knee] [inside] [have] [boil],[itch] [yet] [not] [hurt] She suffered from her feet, and the inside of her left knee had a boil, which itched but did not hurt.

瘡愈,數十日復發。 [boil] [heal],[several] [ten] [day] [return] [develop] The boil would heal, but after several dozen days it would recur.

如此七八年。 [like] [this] [seven] [eight] [year] It was like this for seven or eight years.

迎佗使視。 [invite] [_Tuo_] [make] [look at] He invited Tuo and had him inspect it.

佗曰:「是易治之。」 [_Tuo_] [say]:[this] [easy] [cure] [it] Tuo said: “This is easy to cure.”

當得稻糠黃色犬一頭,好馬二匹, [then] [obtain] [rice] [husk] [yellow] [colour] [dog] [one] [head],[good] [horse] [two] [_mw_] Then he got one dog the colour of yellow rice husks and two good horses,

以繩繫犬頸, [take] [rope] [tie] [dog] [neck] took a rope and tied the dog’s neck,

使走馬牽犬, [make] [walk] [horse] [pull] [dog] and made the horses walk, pulling the dog.

馬極輒易, [horse] [weary] [regular] [change] When the horses were weary, they were regularly changed, _[極](http://www.zdic.net/zd/zi/ZdicE6Zdic9EZdic81.htm "Meaning of 極") here means 'weary' or 'exhausted'._

計馬走三十餘里,犬不能行。 [estimated] [horse] [walk] [three] [ten] [excess] [_li_],[dog] [not] [can] [go] and once it was estimated that the horses had walked more than thirty li, the dog could not go on.

復令步人拖曳,計向五十里。 [resume] [order] [pace] [person] [drag] [drag],[estimate] [to] [five] [ten] [_li_] He then ordered the person pacing the horses to drag [the dog], estimating to fifty li.

乃以藥飲女, [then] [use] [drug] [feed] [daughter] He then gave the daughter a drug,

女即安臥不知人。 [daughter] [prompt] [peaceful] [lie] [not] [aware] [person] and the daughter promptly lay peacefully, unaware of anyone.

因取大刀,斷犬腹近後腳之前。 [cause] [get] [big] [knife],[break] [dog] [belly] [near] [back] [leg] ['s] [front] Thereupon he got a big knife, and cut the dog’s belly near the front of the back legs.

以所斷之處向瘡口, [take] [that which] [break] ['s] [location] [to] [boil] [mouth] He put the location of the cut to the mouth of the boil,

令去二三寸停之。 [make] [go] [two] [three] [inch] [stop] [it] and held it two or three inches away.

須臾,有若蛇者從瘡中出, [short while][],[have] [like] [snake] [one who] [from] [boil] [middle] [come out] In a short while, there was something like a snake emerging from the middle of the boil,

便以鐵椎橫貫蛇頭。 [then] [take] [iron] [spike] [across] [pierce] [snake] [head] and he then took an iron spike and pierced it through the snake’s head.

蛇在皮中動搖良久, [snake] [at] [skin] [in] [move] [shake] [very] [long time] The snake moved and shook in the skin for some time.

須臾不動,乃牽出, [short while][] [not] [move],[then] [pull] [out] For a short while it did not move, and he then pulled it out;

長三尺許,純是蛇, [length] [three] [foot] [somewhat],[simple] [this] [snake] it had a length of around three feet, and was clearly a snake;

但有眼處,而無瞳子,又逆麟耳。 [but] [had] [eye] [location],[yet] [not have] [pupil][],[also] [backwards] [scale] [that is all] whilst it had eye sockets, it had no pupils, and it also had backwards scales. _麟 here is 鳞._

以膏散著瘡中,七日愈。 [take] [ointment] [spread] [boil] [in],[seven] [day] [heal] He took ointment and spread it in the boil, and in seven days it was healed.

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