short Ghost Story

★ Si Wenlang

Wang Pingzi, a native of Pingyang, went to Shuntian Mansion in Beijing to take the imperial examination and rented a house in Baoguo Temple to live. There was also a scholar from Yuhang who lived in the temple first. Wang Pingzi handed over his business card to visit him because he was a neighbor of Yuhang. But Yu Hangsheng didn't pay him a return visit. Every time I see him in the morning or evening, he behaves very differently. Wang Pingzi was very angry at his arrogance, and their communication with him was severed. One day, a young man came to visit the temple. He was wearing a white hat and white clothes. He looked tall. Wang Pingzi walked up to him and chatted for a few words. His words were humorous and beautiful, and he liked and respected him in his heart. Then he asked the young man about his family background and replied: "The surname of Dengzhou people is Song." Wang Pingzi then ordered the servant to put the chair, and the two people talked and laughed across each other. At this time, Yu Hangsheng happened to come over, and the two of them got up and offered their seats to him. Yu Hangsheng actually sat on the seat of honor with no sign of humility. He suddenly asked Song Sheng: "You are also here to take the scientific examination, right?" He replied: "No. I have such poor materials and never have the ambition to make a career." Yu Hangsheng asked him again: "Which province are you from? People?" Song Sheng told him. Yu Hangsheng said: "You have never wanted to get a treasure name, which is enough to show how smart you are. Speaking of which, there is no one who is proficient in literature and ink in Shandong and Shanxi." Song Sheng continued: "People from the north are certainly very smart. There are very few people who are proficient in calligraphy, but those who are not proficient in calligraphy may not be me, a primary school student; although there are many people in the south who are proficient in calligraphy, those who are proficient in calligraphy are not necessarily you." After he finished speaking, he applauded. Wang Pingzi also echoed vigorously, which caused a roar of laughter. Yu Hangsheng was ashamed and angry. He raised his eyebrows and rolled back his sleeves and shouted loudly: "Do you dare to ask me a question in person and try the eight-part essay?" Song Sheng looked away and said with a smile: "What are you afraid of!" Then he ran back to his residence, took out the scripture and gave it to Wang Pingzi. Wang Pingzi flipped through the book casually, pointed at the book and said, "'The Que party boy will die."' Yu Hangsheng stood up and asked for a pen and paper. Song Sheng pulled him and said, "Just say it with your mouth. I have already completed the part of my problem solving: 'In that place where guests come and go, I saw a person who knew nothing about it!"' Wang Pingzi listened. He hugged his belly and laughed loudly. Yu Hangsheng said angrily: "All of them can't compose and can only curse people casually. How can they be human beings?" Wang Pingzi tried his best to mediate the dispute for them and asked for another good topic. He flipped through the scriptures and said: "Yin has three benevolences." Song Sheng immediately responded: "The performances of the three people are different, but their goals are the same. What does the 'one' mean? We say yes." "Benevolence". It's enough if all gentlemen agree with "Benevolence". Why do everything have to be the same?" Yu Hangsheng then stopped writing eight-part essays, stood up and said, "You are just a little talented." With that said, he left.

Wang Pingzi therefore valued Song Sheng even more. So he invited him to his residence and had a cordial conversation until he talked about how the shadow of the sun moved frequently. Wang Pingzi took out all the articles he had written and asked Song Sheng for advice. Song Sheng read very quickly. After a moment, he had finished reading a hundred articles and said: "You are also a person who has studied the eight-legged essay in depth, right? But when writing an article, you don't pursue certain things. Although I still have the hope of succeeding, I have fallen into the lower class." So I took out the articles I had read and explained them to him one by one. Wang Pingzi was very happy and treated Song Sheng as a teacher. Ask the cook to make dumplings with cane sugar. After Song Sheng ate it, he thought it was very delicious and said, "I have never tasted such delicious food in my life. Please make it again someday!" From then on, the relationship between the two became even closer. Song Sheng comes every three to five days, and Wang Pingzi must prepare dumplings for him. Yu Hangsheng would meet him sometimes. Although he didn't talk to him heartily, his arrogant and arrogant aura immediately weakened. One day Yu Hangsheng showed Song Sheng the eight-legged essay he usually wrote. Song Sheng saw a lot of compliments written in his circle of friends. He looked at them and put them on the desk without saying a word. Yu Hangsheng suspected that Song Sheng hadn't looked at it at all, and asked Song Sheng again to take a closer look. Song Sheng replied that he had finished reading it. Yu Hangsheng was suspicious that he didn't understand. Song Sheng said: "What's so difficult to understand? It's just that the writing is not good!" Yu Hangsheng said: "How can you know that the article is not good just by looking at the comments?" Song Sheng read his article, and then As if I had read it a long time ago, I recited it and criticized it at the same time. Yu Hangsheng was embarrassed and sweating profusely, and walked away without saying anything. After a while, Song Sheng left. Yu Hangsheng walked into the room and insisted on reading Wang Pingzi's article. Wang Pingzi didn't want to show it to him. Yu Hangsheng forced himself to find Wang Pingzi's article. When he saw that there were many circles in the article, he smiled and said, "These look too much like dumplings!" Wang Pingzi, who was originally simple and stupid, only blushed a little. . The next day, Song Sheng came, and Wang Pingzi told him everything Yu Hangsheng did yesterday. Song Sheng said angrily: "I originally thought that Yu Hangsheng would be like Meng Huo. The southerners would never dare to rebel again. How dare this despicable fellow be so rude! I should give him revenge!" Wang Pingzi tried his best to persuade him not to treat people with a simple and frivolous attitude. Song Sheng was grateful and admired Wang Pingzi from the bottom of his heart.

Soon after, the scientific examination was over. Wang Pingzi took out the articles and showed them to Song Sheng. Song Sheng admired them very much. By chance, when Song Sheng and I were visiting the temple's towers and pavilions, we saw a blind monk sitting at the bottom of the corridor, with medicine in front of him to treat people's illnesses. Song Sheng said in surprise: "This is a strange person! He is best at commenting on articles. We should not ask him for advice." So he asked Wang Pingzi to go back to his residence to get the article. I met Yu Hangsheng again and came with him. Wang Pingzi called the blind monk his teacher and bowed to him. The blind monk suspected that he was here to see a doctor, so he asked him what his symptoms were. Wang Pingzi told him everything he wanted to know about the quality of the article. The blind monk smiled and said: "Who is talking too much! I don't even have eyes, how can I comment on the article?" Wang Pingzi asked him to use ears instead of eyes. The blind monk said: "There are three eight-legged essays with more than 2,000 words. Who would have the patience to listen to them for such a long time? It would be better to burn the essays on fire, and I will just use my nose instead of my eyes." Wang Pingzi agreed. Often after burning an article, the blind monk would smell it with his nose and nod his head and say: "Your article followed the example of the great writer from the beginning. Although it is not exactly like everyone else's article, it is almost very close. This article I It happens to be understood with the spleen." He was asked again: "Can you pass the exam?" The blind monk replied: "You can still pass the exam." Yu Hangsheng was not convinced when he saw this, so he first read the articles of the ancient great writers Burn it so you can try the blind monk. The blind monk smelled it again and said: "What a great article. I understood this article with all my heart. If it weren't for the handwriting of Gui Youguang and Hu Youxin, how could I have written such an article!" Yu Hang Sheng was so frightened that he burned his article.

The blind monk said: "I just understood an eight-legged essay, and I haven't seen the whole picture yet. Why did it suddenly change to another person's article?" Yu Hangsheng shied away and said, "That was an article written by a friend, that's all. This article was written by me as a primary school student." The blind monk smelled the ashes left by the fire, coughed several times, and said: "Don't throw it into the fire again! These things are not as good as the others. It won't go down, and I can barely bear it with my diaphragm. If the fever continues, you are really making things difficult for me!" Yu Hangsheng walked away in shame. A few days later, the gold medal list was posted. Yu Hangsheng actually passed the provincial examination, but Wang Pingzi was not on the list. Song Sheng and Wang Pingzi ran to tell the blind monk. The blind monk sighed and said: "Although I am blind, my nose is not blind. The eyes and noses of those examiners are both blind!" After saying that, Yu Hangsheng came, high-spirited and triumphant, and said: " That blind monk, do you also want to eat other people's dumplings? What's the result today?" The blind monk said, "What I'm commenting on is the quality of the article, and I have no intention of discussing the quality of fate with you. What do you think? Go and find all the articles written by the examiners. Each of you will take one and burn it. Then I will know which one is your teacher." Yu Hangsheng and Wang Pingzi went to search together and found ** personal articles. Yu Hangsheng said: "If you make a mistake, what punishment will be given to you?" The blind monk said angrily: "Pull out my blind eyes." Yu Hangsheng began to burn those articles. After each article was burned, the blind monk was furious. Say no. At the sixth chapter, the blind monk suddenly vomited loudly against the wall, and at the same time farted as loudly as thunder.

Everyone couldn't help laughing. The blind monk wiped his eyes and said to Yu Hangsheng: "This is your real teacher. I didn't know it, so I smelled it suddenly. It hurt my nose, pierced my belly, and even my bladder couldn't hold it, so I went out directly from below." !" Yu Hangsheng was extremely angry and walked away angrily, saying as he walked: "I will let you understand tomorrow, don't regret it, don't regret it!" After two or three days, he did not come. I went to see where he lived and found that he had moved away. Later I found out that Yu Hangsheng was the examiner’s disciple.

Song Sheng comforted Wang Pingzi and said: "We scholars should not resent others, but should be strict with ourselves. Only by not resenting others can our moral character be further promoted, and only by being strict with ourselves can we strive for excellence in our studies. Now that we have failed in the scientific examination, It was originally a bad fate. But to be fair, your articles are not the best. If you work hard from now on, there will naturally be people in the world who are blind and understand you." Wang Pingzi stood solemnly. Get up and salute. He also heard that the national examination will be held again next year, so he will not go home and live here to receive advice from Song Sheng. Song Sheng said: "Although firewood and rice are very expensive in the capital, there is no need to worry about running out of money. There is a cellar behind this house, and there is a lot of gold hidden in it. You can get it out and use it." He pointed out the place to him. Wang Pingzi declined and said: "The ancients Dou Yi and Fan Zhongyan were both poor and honest. Today I am lucky enough to be able to support myself. How dare I ruin my reputation by myself!" Wang Pingzi fell asleep after being drunk one day. Then, his servant and cook secretly opened the cellar. Wang Pingzi suddenly woke up and heard a sound behind the house. Those people dug out the gold and the gold was piled on the ground. When those people saw what had happened, they were so frightened that they lay on the ground. When Wang Pingzi was scolding these people, he saw several gold wine glasses, many of which were engraved with words. He took them over and took a closer look. They all had the names of his grandfather. It turns out that Wang Pingzi's grandfather once served as a Langguan in a certain department in Nanjing. He lived here after coming to the capital. He died of a sudden illness. All these golds were left behind by him.

Wang Pingzi was very happy and weighed the gold on a scale, totaling more than 800 taels. The next day, I told Song Sheng about the gold and showed him the wine glasses. I wanted to share it with Song Sheng. After Song Sheng firmly refused, the matter was over. Wang Pingzi took out one hundred taels of gold and gave it to the blind monk, but the blind monk had already left. After a few months, studying hard became even harder. When he took the exam, Song Sheng said to him, "If you don't succeed in this exam, it's probably your fate!" Suddenly Wang Pingzi was punished for violating the rules. Wang Pingzi didn't say anything, but Song Sheng burst into tears and couldn't stop. Wang Pingzi in turn went to comfort and persuade him. Song Sheng said: "I have been jealous of God and have been trapped for a whole life. Today I have brought trouble to my relatives and friends. This is really destined by fate!" It is really destined by fate! Wang Pingzi said: "Of course everything in the world is destined. There is a destiny. Like sir, you are a person who has no intention of making progress, so this is not destined." Song Sheng wiped his tears and said: "I have wanted to say these words to you for a long time, just because I am afraid that you will surprise me. Yes. I am not a living person, I am a ghost wandering around. When I was young, I always failed in the examination room because of my talent and reputation. Later, I pretended to be crazy and acted like a fool and came to the capital, hoping to find a close friend who could bring me to the capital. I passed on his works to him. In the year of Jiashen, I suffered a great disaster. Year after year, I was blown away by the wind like fluffy grass. Fortunately, I love you, so I tried my best to help my friend to make progress and want to The ambitions that have not been realized in life can be achieved with the help of good friends.

Nowadays, the difficulties in studying and scientific examinations are so great, who can remain indifferent!" Wang Pingzi also cried with emotion and asked him: "Why are you staying here and not being promoted?" Song Sheng replied: "God issued an order last year. The Master Kong and the Prince of Hell were assigned to check the ghosts who died in disasters, and only then could the most outstanding ones be prepared for appointment in various departments, and the rest would be allowed to reincarnate in reincarnation. My name has been accepted. The reason why I didn't register was because I wanted to see you succeed in the scientific examination and become a successful person. It made me feel happy. Please let me say goodbye to you today! "Wang Pingzi asked him: "What official position did you choose?" Song Sheng said; "There is a shortage of Si Wenlang in Zitong Mansion, so two ignorant people are temporarily allowed to hold the official seal, so the fate of the literati is reversed. . If you get this official position by chance, it will definitely make the saint's education career prosperous and bright. The next day, Song Sheng came happily and said, "My wish has come true! Master Kong asked me to write an article about human nature and the way of heaven. After reading my article, he looked happy and said that I could manage cultural and educational matters." The Lord of Hell checked the books and wanted to throw me out on the charge of "negligible speech". Master Kong argued with him before the decision was settled. I knelt on the ground and thanked him, and then he called me to several cases and told me: "At present, because of cherishing talents, we only expand some leisure and prominent official positions." You should change your mind and do your job well and not make the same mistakes again. 'Here we can see that the underworld attaches more importance to virtue than culture and studies. You must have not done very well in practice. As long as you accumulate virtue and do more good deeds, don't slack off.

Wang Pingzi said: "As expected, where is Yu Hangsheng's virtue?" Song Sheng said: "I don't know this." However, there is nothing wrong with the rewards and punishments in the underworld. Let’s just talk about the blind monk the day before yesterday. He was also a ghost. He was a famous scholar in the previous dynasty. He was punished by being blind because he threw away too much writing paper in the human world. He was willing to cure diseases and save people to atone for his past sins, so he pretended to be hanging out in the market. Wang Pingzi ordered a banquet to be prepared. Song Sheng said, "No need." All the years of nagging were over at this moment, and I was satisfied to be able to make some dumplings for me to eat again. Wang Pingzi was so sad that he couldn't eat anything. He sat there and let Song Sheng eat dumplings by himself. After a while, he had eaten three bowls. Song Sheng touched his belly and said, "This meal can make me happy." I have been full for three days in a row. I use it to mark your kindness to me! Those dumplings I ate in the past are all behind the house and have turned into fungi. Collecting them can be used as medicine, which is very good for children's wisdom. Wang Pingzi asked him about the date of the meeting, and replied: "Since I already have an official position, I'm afraid I should avoid suspicion." He asked him again: "Can you feel it when I offer wine to you in Zitong's temple?" Song Sheng said: "These are of no benefit." Nine days away is too far to talk about. As long as you are strict with yourself and practice it, you will naturally be reported to the relevant departments in the underworld with official documents. I will definitely know it. "After saying these words, Song Sheng disappeared without a trace after saying goodbye. Wang Pingzi looked at the back of the house, and sure enough, purple-colored fungi grew, and he collected them after exploring them.

There is a tomb built with new soil next to it, and the dumplings seem to be there. Wang Pingzi returned home and worked harder on himself. One night I dreamed that Song Sheng came in a caravan and said: "In the past, because of a small unpleasantness, you accidentally killed a maid, so you were deleted from the official list. Now your loyalty has been cancelled." You have forgiven your past sins. But your destiny is too meager to make progress in the officialdom." This year, Wang Pingzi won the imperial examination in the provincial examination. The next year, another good news came from the spring examination. So he stopped being an official. Wang Pingzi had two sons. One of them was particularly stupid. Once he was given fungi to eat, he became extremely smart. Later, Wang Pingzi went to Jinling for some business, and met Yu Hangsheng on the way. He and Wang Pingzi expressed great enthusiasm for seeing each other after a long separation, and they were particularly courteous, but their hair on the temples was already gray.

Yishi said: "Yu Hangsheng openly brags about himself. It is estimated that the articles he writes are not necessarily without merit. But his arrogant and cunning look makes people unable to bear it even for a moment. God and Human beings have long been disgusted with him, so ghosts and gods also come to tease him. If he can strengthen his moral character, then it will be a common thing for him to encounter those examiners who only write those disgusting articles. , how can we only encounter it once!

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