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The 24 Filial Exemplars (3)

Zēng Shēn 曾参

3. SHE BIT HER FINGER AND PAINED HIS HEART

Zēng Shēn of the Zhōu dynasty was called Zǐ-yú (=Disciple of the Master). He was extremely filial to his mother. Shēn once went to the mountains to gather firewood. A guest came to the house, and his mother had no arrangements [to entertain him]. She longed for Shēn , who did not return. Then she bit her finger, drawing blood. Suddenly Shēn felt a pain in his heart. He shouldered the firewood and returned home. Kneeling, he asked his mother what the matter was. His mother said: "A guest came unexpectedly. I bit my finger to alert you." Later, verses praised him, saying:
His mother has just bitten her finger,

When her son's heart aches uncontrollably;

He shoulders his wood to return and is not too late;

The tie between mother and child [lit.: bones & flesh] is so deep.
三、 啮指心痛
周。曾参。字子舆。事母至孝。参曾采薪山中。家有客至。母无措参不还。乃啮其指。参忽心痛。负薪以归。跪问其母。母曰。有客忽至。吾啮指以悟汝耳。后人系诗颂之。 诗曰
母指方缠嚙。儿心痛不禁。负薪归未晚。骨肉至情深。
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3. Niè Zhǐ Tòng Xīn
Zhōu. Zēng Shēn. Zì Zǐyú. Shì mǔ zhì xiào. Shēn cháng cǎi xīn shān zhōng. Jiā yǒu kè zhì. Mǔ wú cuò. Wàng Shēn bù huán. Nǎi niè qí zhǐ. Shēn hū xīn tòng. Fù xīn yǐ guī. Guì wèn qí gù. Mǔ yuē: Yǒu kè hū zhì. Wú niè zhǐ yǐ wù rǔ ěr. Hòu rén xì shī sòng zhī.
Shī yuē:
Mǔ zhǐ fāng cái niè. Ér xīn tòng bù jīn. Fù xīn guī wèi wǎn. Gǔròu zhì qíng shēn.


三、嚙指心痛
周。曾參。字子輿。事母至孝。參曾採薪山中。家有客至。母無措參不還。乃嚙其指。參忽心痛。負薪以歸。跪問其母。母曰。有客忽至。吾嚙指以悟汝耳。後人系詩頌之。 詩曰
母指方纏囓。兒心痛不禁。負薪歸未晚。骨肉至情深。
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