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The spirits of the mountains

嶽神 The spirits of the mountains. An extract is here inserted from the 鄭箋 writings of Chin, who says, that "the president of the four mountains was an officer of the first rank, who attended to the arrangement of the four seasons ; on which account he was put to manage the business of perambulating the mountains of the various quarters. In the time of Yaou, a person of the surname of 羌 Keang filled this office, whose virtue was such as to please the 神嶽 spirits of the mountains, and bring down blessings and prosperity on his descendants." 

An extract from the northern history, speaking of 崔賾 Tsuy-tseih, says: " In the fourth year of 大業 Ta-nee, the magistrate of 藍田 Lan-teen, named 王曇 Wang-tan, obtained in the hills of Lan-teen, a jade stone, in the shape of a man, three or four inches long, which circumstance he reported to the emperor. His majesty by proclamation, enquired of his various ministers, but none of them knew what it portended. Tsuy-tseth, however, replied, saying, 'I have read in the account of the ancestorial temple, at 嵩高 Sung-kaou hill, drawn up by the director of agriculture, in the 魏 Wei state, called 盧元明 Leu-yuen-ming, that there exists a 神人 spiritual being, whose body is made of jade stone, several inches long, which sometimes appears, and is sometimes hidden ; when it does appear, however, it causes the ruling dynasty to be long perpetuated. I humbly submit, that your Majesty has complied with the will of Heaven, and acted according to the wishes of the people, in fixing your capital at 嵩雒 Sung-lo ; thus the 嶽神 spirit of the mountain has appeared, and I beg leave to offer you my congratulations.'" 

In a work entitled 酉陽雜俎 Yew-yang-tsa-tsoo. we read as fellows : " A nun of the Taou sect, named 康紫 K'hang-tsze-hea, once said, that in a dream, she was taken by some one aside, when it was told her, that according to a divine charm, she was appointed to hold the office of general, to inspect the southern mountain ; she was then invested in a suit of armour, made of golden chain-work, and caused to mount on horseback, when followed by more than a thousand persons, she went on the road towards the south ; in a few moments, she arrived at the place, whereupon the 嶽神 spirit of the hill, came out to meet her, and made obeisance in front of her horse ; by the crowing of the cock, however, she was awakened, and found that a beard, comprising scores of hairs, had already grown on her chin." 

In a fugitive piece, composed by 白行簡 Pih-hing-keen, on ruling the empire without disturbing one's robes, we read, " Conform to 星精 the genii of the stars, in order to marshal your generals ; influence the 嶽神 spirits of the mountains, in order to produce ministers of state." Here the genii of the stars are antithetical to the spirits of the mountains, and as the former expression denotes a species of elf or fairy, so the latter must be taken to be something of the same kind. See Morrison's Syllabic Dictionary, p. 916. 

When 張蠙 Chang-pin accompanied 薛郎中 the chamberlain Seih, on his journey to Keang-chow, he made the following couplet : "With a steadfast countenance hand down 天旨 imperial will, and with an anxious heart supplicate 嶽神 the mountain spirits."