English Author, Feature and Short Story Writer
""Excellence," besought Kai Lung, not without misgivings, "how many warriors, each having some actual existence, are there in your never-failing band?" "For all purposes save those of attack and defence there are fifteen score of the best and bravest, as their pay-sheets well attest," was the confident response. "In a strictly literal sense, however, there are no more than can be seen on a mist-enshrouded day with a resolutely closed eye.""
""It is well said: 'He who lacks a single tael sees many bargains,'" replied Sun Wei, a refined bitterness weighing the import of his words. "Truly this person's friends in the Upper Air are a never-failing lantern behind his back.""
""When an alluring woman comes in at the door," warningly traced the austere Kien-fi on the margin of his well-known essay, "discretion may be found up the chimney". It is incredible that beneath this ever-timely reminder an obscure disciple should have added the words: "The wiser the sage, the more profound the folly.""
"After secretly observing the unstudied grace of her movements, the most celebrated picture-maker of the province burned the implements of his craft, and began life anew as a trainer of performing elephants."
"Alas! It is well written, "The road to eminence lies through the cheap and exceedingly uninviting eating-houses.""
"Although there exist many thousand subjects for elegant conversation, there are persons who cannot meet a cripple without talking about feet."
"At the mention of the name and offence of this degraded being a great sound went up from the entire multitude Â– a universal cry of execration, not greatly dissimilar from that which may be frequently heard in the crowded Temple of Impartiality when the one whose duty it is to take up, at a venture, the folded papers, announces that the sublime Emperor, or some mandarin of exalted rank, has been so fortunate as to hold the winning number in the Annual State Lottery."
"At this display the elder and less attractive of the maidens fled, uttering loud and continuous cries of apprehension in order to conceal the direction of her flight."
"Before hastening to secure a possible reward of five taels by dragging an unobservant person away from a falling building, examine well his features lest you find, when too late, that it is one to whom you are indebted for double that amount."
"Better a dish of husks to the accompaniment of a muted lute than to be satiated with stewed shark's fin and rich spiced wine of which the cost is frequently mentioned by the provider."
"Do not adjust your sandals while passing through a melon-field, nor yet arrange your hat beneath an orange-tree."
"It is a mark of insincerity of purpose to spend one's time in looking for the sacred Emperor in the low-class tea shops"
"Should a person on returning from the city discover his house to be in flames, let him examine well the change which he has received from the chair-carrier before it is too late; for evil never travels alone."
"The province of philosophy is not so much to prevent calamities befalling as to demonstrate that they are blessings when they have taken place."
"There are few situations in life that cannot be honorably settled, and without loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice upon a dark night."
"When Ling was communicating to any person the signs by which messengers might find him, he was compelled to add, "the neighborhood in which this contemptible person resides is that officially known as 'the mean quarter favored by the lower class of those who murder by treachery'," and for this reason he was not always treated with the regard to which his attainments entitled him, or which he would have unquestionably received had he been able to describe himself as of "the partly-drained and uninfected area reserved to Mandarins and their friends.""