Rain of Wealth: A Mysterious Encounter and a Lesson Learned

Experience the intriguing tale of a scholar's encounter with an enigmatic old man who brings sudden riches and valuable life lessons.

In Binzhou, there was a scholar who studied in his study. When he heard someone knocking at the door, he opened it and saw an elderly man with white hair, who had an extraordinary and ancient appearance. The scholar welcomed the old man into his house and asked for his name. The old man introduced himself, saying, “I am called Hu Yangzhen, but in reality, I am a fox immortal. I admire your refined sentiments and would like to be with you day and night.” The scholar, originally open-minded, didn’t find it strange and engaged in discussions with the old man about the past and the present. The old man’s knowledge was extremely extensive, his literary style was as splendid as intricate carvings and colorful decorations, and his eloquence was as graceful as a hundred flowers in full bloom, with words flowing like a sparkling stream. At times, he expounded on profound principles and distinguished between various objects and truths, leaving people feeling that he was beyond compare. The scholar was amazed and admired him, so he let the old man stay for a long time.

One day, the scholar quietly implored the old man, saying, “You have shown great kindness to me. However, I am so poor, and with just a simple gesture from you, I could have money immediately. Why don’t you help me a little?” The old man remained silent, seemingly disapproving. After a short pause, he smiled and said, “This is very easy. It just requires a small sum of money as capital.” The scholar followed his advice. Then, the old man and the scholar entered a secret room together, chanted incantations, and performed a ritual. In no time, millions of coins fell from the ceiling, making a clattering sound like a pouring rain. In the blink of an eye, the coins reached the level of their knees, and when they pulled their feet out, they were standing on a pile of coins. The room, about ten square meters in size, was now stacked with coins about three to four feet thick. The old man then looked at the scholar and asked, “Are you satisfied now?” The scholar replied, “It’s enough.” The old man waved his hand, and the coin shower instantly stopped. He then locked the door and left with the scholar.

The scholar was secretly delighted, thinking that he had suddenly become immensely rich. However, when he went to the secret room a while later to get the money, he found that all the money in the room had disappeared, leaving only a dozen or so coins, scattered sparsely. The scholar was greatly disappointed and angrily went to find the old man, accusing him of deceiving him. The old man, also angry, said, “We were originally friends through literature, and I didn’t intend to engage in thievery with you! If you want to fulfill your desires, you should make friends with the gentleman on the beam. I cannot comply with your request!” With that, he flung his sleeves and left.

《雨钱》

滨州一秀才,读书斋中。有款门者,启视,则皤然一翁,形貌甚古。延之入,请问姓氏。翁自言:“养真,姓胡,实乃狐仙。慕君高雅,愿共晨夕。”秀才故旷达,亦不为怪,遂与评驳今古。翁殊博洽,镂花雕缋,粲于牙齿,时抽经义,则名理湛深,尤觉非意所及。秀才惊服,留之甚久。

一日,密祈翁曰:“君爱我良厚。顾我贫若此,君但一举手,金钱宜可立致。何不小周给?”翁嘿然,似不以为可。少间,笑曰:“此大易事。但须得十数钱作母。”秀才如其请。翁乃与共入密室中,禹步作咒。俄顷,钱有数十百万,从梁间锵锵而下,势如骤雨。转瞬没膝,拔足而立,又没踝。广丈之舍,约深三四尺已来。乃顾语秀才:“颇厌君意否?”曰:“足矣。”翁一挥,钱即画然而止。乃相与扃户出。

秀才窃喜,自谓暴富。顷之,入室取用,则满室阿堵物皆为乌有,惟母钱十馀枚,寥寥尚在。秀才失望,盛气向翁,颇怼其诳。翁怒曰:“我本与君文字交,不谋与君作贼!便如秀才意,只合寻梁上君交好得,老夫不能承命!”遂拂衣去。

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