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Two years after the death of his brother, the poet Po Chü-i leaves a letter at his tomb to keep him up to date with family developments - particularly those which affect his son Tortoise. These are the some of the details which Po Chü-i feels will be of interest beyond the grave:

'Everyone in the family except Su-su is in good health. Tortoise shows a leaning towards literature and I read the Book of Odes and the Book of History with him every day. In two or three years he should, I think, be quite ready to take his examinations. Yao-lien is on the farm at Fu-li; he is still unmarried. Shai-hsiang is in the salt administration at P'eng-tse. We have good news of both of them. As Bone Helmet, Stone Bamboo and Scented Hairpin have been so long in our service I took the opportunity at the end of your mourning to give them their freedom. I have put together your writings. There are twenty rolls in all. I shall ask His Excellency Mr Ts'ui to write a preface and shall bequeath the book to Tortoise.

Did you get any benefit from the good works done by the whole family on behalf of your soul last year? Did you come to take the offerings we made at morning and evening on the first and fifteenth days of each month.'

Quoted Bamber Gascoigne The Treasures and Dynasties of China, Cape 1973, page 193-4

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