|Tongsu gushi 通俗故事 bound with Qianziwen 千字文.|
[JapSin I, 58 A]
JapSin I, 58 A
Two texts, forty-seven folios with Arabic numbers, bound together in one volume.
The cover bears a Latin inscription: “Est Liber exercitiorum alicujus S.J. patris qui primo anno didicit linguam sinicam monstrat laborem intensissimum et methodum illius temporis. I. Lingua vulgaris per historiuntulas. II. 1000 caracteres pueris addiscendi cum notulis Latinis P. S.J.”
Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, p. 112. [Go to Qianziwen 千字文. [Jap-Sin I, 58 A 2]
JapSin I, 58 A 1
Tongsu gushi 通俗故事.
By an anonymous author.
Manuscript in one volume, twenty-five folios with Arabic numbers (eight columns in each half folio marked with blue lines). In rebinding the top margins have been cut away together with some of the characters. No date. 23.5 x 16 cm.
On folio 1r, written horizontally, are the characters gong 宮, shang 商, jue 角, zhi 徵 and yu 羽, the five notes of Chinese traditional music. Under the character shang 商 are written zhong 忠, xiao 孝, lian 廉 and jie 節, which are the four virtues of loyalty, filial piety, incorruptibility and integrity. The signature of Lu Zixiu 魯子秀 is clearly written by a foreigner. However, in Pfister there is no such name among the Jesuit missioners.
As the Latin inscription says, the book is a primary text for beginners. Many of the stories are taken from popular Chinese legends. One of them, The Chinese orphan (Zhao shi gu’er 趙氏孤兒), was translated in its dramatic form by Joseph de Prémare in 1735. There are also two stories taken from Catholic sources: the wise judgment of King Solomon on the claim of the two women to a son and the martyrdom of a Christian girl who would not practice idolatry. There are also jokes and fairy tales. Though the handwriting is fairly dexterous, nevertheless there are a number of mistakes in the characters. This makes one think that the author was a catechist in the mission who often served as instructor to the missioners.
Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 112-113.
Local access Digital Archives ARSI Jap-Sin I-IV folder [JS-I-58a]
Online at ARSI via Internet Archive.