A filial daughter cut her own flesh to cure her father of sickness

Ts’een Ting-ming (錢鼎銘), Deputy Governor of Honan, petitions in reference to a dutiful daughter who cut a piece of flesh from her arm, in order to cure her father of his sickness. In the present Holy Dynasty, filial piety rules the Empire, and this doctrine originates in the female sex. The petitioner’s birth place is Tae-tsang (太倉) in the province of Këang-soo (江蘇).

In the district of Chin-yang there lived a daughter remarkable for her filial piety, whose name after her marriage, was Mrs. Wang. In the fifth year of the reign of the Emperor Hëen-fung, this young lady’s father became dangerously ill, and his filial daughter, lighting incense sticks, announced (to the gods) her desire to sacrifice her own body for her father’s sake. After this announcement, her father’s illness increasing, and his physicians being unable to cure him, this filial daughter secretly cut off a piece of flesh from her arm, and putting it into the medicine prescribed, gave it to her father who, on eating it, immediately recovered. Some time afterwards the daughter’s female attendants, perceiving the mark on her arm, questioned her as to the cause and learned from her the facts already stated. There was not a single individual of all those who heard the narrative, who was not struck with amazement.

Shortly after this, the young lady was married to a graduate of the first degree, and she faithfully discharged all the duties of married life. In the sixteenth year of the Emperor Hëen-fung (咸豐)in consequence of her excessive grief for the death of her father, she pined away and died in a year after that event; being then only 29 years of age.

The petitioner examined into the case when at home, and could not endure to conceal the facts; and he now prays the Emperor to order, as His Majesty has always done in such cases, that a triumphal arch be erected to the memory of the deceased daughter, in order to make known her filial piety.

The Emperor refers the case to the Board of Rites.

(Peking Gazette, May 21st, 1873)

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