Answers

2014-08-29T19:40:18+08:00
Nearly five hundred years ago, the Celestial August and Yung- Lo commanded the worthy official Kouan- Yu to make a bell that the sound thereof might be heard for one hundred Li. He therefore called the master moulders and renowned bellsmiths and all men of great repute and cunning in foundry work to began the labor. But when the metal had been cast, it was discovered that the result was void of worth; for the metals had rebelled one against the other therefore the moulds had to be once more prepared, and the fires rekindled, and the metal remelted, and all the work tediously and toilsomely repeated. The Son of Heaven heard and was angry, but spake nothing. A second time the bell was cast, and the result was even worse. The Celestial August was angrier than before and send Kouan- Yu letter telling him that another failure will cost his life. Ko- ngai, the daughter of Kouan- Yu learned about this and feared the life of his father so she consulted an astrologer and gave her an answer "Gold and brass will never meet in wedlock, silver and iron never will embrace, until the flesh of a maiden be melted in the crucible; until the blood of a virgin be mixed with the metals in their fusion." So Ko-Ngai returned home sorrowful at heart; but she kept secret all that she had heard, and told no one what she had done. At last came the awful day when the third and last effort to cast the great bell was to be made; and Ko-Ngai, together with her waiting-woman, accompanied her father to the foundry, and they took their places upon a platform overlooking the toiling of the moulders and the lava of liquefied metal. Then Ko- Ngai leaped into the white flood of metal and the lava of the furnace roared to receive her. All was shocked including his father and her waiting-woman holding her shoe. But in spite of all these things, the command of the Celestial and August had to be obeyed. It was found that the bell was beautiful to look upon and perfect in form, and wonderful in colour above all other bells. And when they sounded the bell, its tones were found to be deeper and mellower and mightier than the tones of any other bell, reaching even beyond the distance of one hundred li, like a pealing of summer thunder; and yet also like some vast voice uttering a name of Ko-Ngai. And still, between each mighty stroke there is a long low moaning heard and when the people hear that great golden moan they keep silence, but when the sharp and the sobbing of "Hiai!" then, indeed, do all the Chinese mothers whisper to their little ones: "Listen! that is Ko-Ngai crying for her shoe! That is Ko-Ngai calling for her shoe!"
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