閱微草堂筆記:申鐵蟾損命紀| Guests from the Sky

By: Ji Yun

Issue: September 2 2019

申鐵蟾,名兆定,陽曲人。以庚辰舉人,官知縣,主余家最久。庚戌秋在陝西試用,忽寄一札與余訣,其詞恍惚迷離,抑鬱幽咽,都不省為何語。而鐵蟾固非不得志者,疑不能明也。未幾訃音果至,既而見邵二雲贊善,始知鐵蟾在西安病數月,病愈後,入山射獵,歸而目前見二圓物如球,旋轉如風輪,雖瞑目亦見之。數日,忽暴然裂,二小婢從中出,稱仙女奉邀,魂不覺隨之往。至則瓊樓貝闕,一女子色絕代,通詞自媒,鐵蟾固謝,託以不慣居此宅,女子薄怒揮之出,霍然而醒。越月餘,目中見二圓物如前,爆出二小婢亦如前仍邀之往,已別構一宅,幽折窈窕,頗可愛。問:此何地?曰:佛桑。請題堂額。因為八分書佛桑香界字,女子再申前請,而意不自持,遂定情。自是恒夢遊,久而女子亦晝至,禁鐵蟾弗與所親通,遂漸病劇。時方士李某以赤丸餌之,嘔逆而卒,其事甚怪。始知前札,乃得心疾時作也。鐵蟾聰明絕特,善詩歌,又工八分,馳騁名場。然以風流自命。與人交,意氣如雲,郵筒走天下。中年忽慕神仙,遂生是魔障,迷罔以終。妖以人興,象由心造。才意高廣,翻以好異隕生,可惜也夫.

About Ji Yun

Ji Yun 纪昀 (1724-1805) was an acclaimed Chinese writer, scholar, and politician, who also served as chief editor for the Qing dynasty imperial library. As such, he was charged with censoring texts at odds with the emperor’s intellectual sensibilities. In his later years, he quietly rebelled against this role by writing the five-volume collection, Notes on the Subtle and the Strange. This 1200-piece collection includes Ji Yun’s memoirs about his personal experiences with the supernatural, as well as his investigation of the strange experiences of friends and family members.