Drama‎ > ‎Tchao Chi Cou Ell‎ > ‎

THE Little Orphan of the Family of Tchao.

posted 18 Jan 2016, 14:11 by Jim Sheng   [ updated 19 Jan 2016, 15:17 ]







Little Orphan of the Family of Tchao.






Tou NGAN COU, alone.


A MAN seldom molests a Tiger, and yet

a Tiger is always mischievous to a Man.

If we do not satisfy ourselves, when occasion

offers, we are sure to repent. I am

Tou ngan cou, Prime Minister of War in

the Kingdom of Tsin: The King Ling cong, my

Master, had two Servants in whom he placed intire

Confidence; the Business of the one was to rule the

People, and was called Tchao tun; the other was to

govern the Army — that's myself: Our Employments

have set us at Enmity, and I have always been

desirous of destroying Tchao, but have not been able

to compass my Design. Tchao so his Son has married

the King's Daughter; I hired a Ruffian to rake

a Dagger, get over the Walls of Tchao tun's palace,


 and kill him but the Wretch, attempting to

execute my Orders, beat his Head against a Tree and

died the Spot : One Day Tchao tun went out

to animate the husbandmen in their Labour, and

found under a Mulberry-tree a Man half dead with

Famine; he gave him Victuals and Drink as long as

he would, and saved his Life : About this time

western King made his Majesty a Present of a great

Dog, called Tchin ngao, who gave him to me; him

I trained up to destroy my Rival in the following

manner: I Shut up the Dog in a By-Room, ordered

him to be kept from eating four or five Days ;

at the bottom of my Garden I had placed a Man of

Straw dressed like Tchao, and of the same size, in the

Belly of which were put the Entrails of a Sheep ; I

shew'd him the Entrails, and let him go, when he

soon tore in pieces the Man of Straw, and devour'd

The Contents : After this he was shut up close again, kept

from eating, and brought back to the same Place ; as

soon as he perceived the Man of Straw he fell barking,

I then let him go when he fell upon the Image, tore

out the Entrails, and devour'd them as before : This

Exercise lasted hundred Days, at the end of which

I went to Court, and sail publickly to the King,

Prince, here is Traitor has a Design upon your

Life; the King earnestly demanded who the Traitor

Was; I reply'd, The Dog your Majesty gave me can

distinguish him the King seemed pleas'd with it :

Formerly, he, in the Reigns of and Yao and Chun

there was a Sheep that could discover a Criminal by

Instinct, and am so happy as to see something like

it in my Reign; where is this wonderful Dog? I

sent for him to the King, and at the same moment

was near the King in his usual Dress; as

soon as Chin ngao saw him he fell a barking; the King

ordered me to let him loose, faying, Surely Tchao tun

must be the Traitor; upon which let him go, and

pursued Tchao tun, who ran as fast as he could


 thro' the Royal Apartments, but by misfortune my

Dog displeased a Mandarin of War, who killed him ;

Tchao tun ran out of the Palace with a design to get

into his Chariot and four Horses, but I had taken

care to send away two of them, and broke one of the

Wheels, so that it was not fit to be used; but there

appeared a bold able Fellow, who with his Shoulder

supported the Chariot, and drove the Horses with

his Hand, and so conducted it through Passage between

the Mountains and saved the Life of Tchao tun:

Who was this Fellow? why the very same that Tchao Tun

had brought back from the Gates of Death : As

for myself I staid with the King, and told him what

was going to do for his Service, and upon the spot

Caused all the Family and Domesticks of Tchao

to be massacred to the number Of three hundred;

there only remains Tchao  so with the Princess his

Wife; he is the King's Son-in-law, and it will not

be proper to put him publickly to Death; however

to hinder a Plant from growing again it is necessary

to destroy even the smallest Root ; I have counterfeited

the King's Order, and have sent to Tchao so, as

from him, three things, a Cord, a poisonous Draught,

and a Dagger, with Orders to chuse one ; my Commands

will be executed, and I wait for an Answer.




TCHHAO SO, and the PRINCESS his wife.




I am Tchao so, and I have such a Mandrinate:

Who would have thought that Tou ngan cou, urged

by Jealousy, Which always divides th Mandarins Of

the Army and the Mandarins of Letters, should deceive

the King, and cause him to put to death our

whole Family to the number of three hundred persons:

Princess, hearken to the last Words of your

Spouse ; I know you are with Child, and if it happens


 to be a Daughter I have nothing to say ; but if

It should be a Boy I'll give him a Name before he

is born, and would have him called Orphan of

Tchao ; bring him up carefully that he may one Day

revenge his Relations.



 Alas! you overwhelm me with Grief.


An ENVOY from the KING enters, and say,

I bring from his Majesty a Cord, Poison, and a

Dagger, and I have Orders to make these Presents to

his Son-in-law ; he may chuse which of the three he

pleases, and after his Death I must shut up the Princess

his Wife, and turn her Palace into a Prison; the

Order imports that there should not be a Moment's

delay: (Perceiving Prince, he says] Tchao so, kneel

down, and hear the King's Order, [He reads] Because

your Family is guilty of High-Treason a that

belong to it have been executed besides yourself; but

remembering that you are my Son-in-law I was not

willing to put you publickly to death ; I have therefore

sent you three Presents, commanding you to chuse

one. [The Messenger continues, and says] The Order

directs also that your Wife should be shut up in the

Palace, with strict Prohibition not to let her go out,

with design that the Name of may be quite

extinct ; the King's Order admits of no delay, therefore

make haste, and put yourself to death.



 Alas! Princess, what is to be done in this Misfortune ?

[He sings, bewailing his lot.



O Heaven! take pity on us, our whole Family

have been massacred, and these unfortunate Wretches

lie unburied.


TCHAO SO, singing

I Shall have no Grave no more than they : Princess,

 remember what I required you to do. 



I shall never forget it.

[Tchao so repeats to the Princess, singing, the last Advice

that he gave her, and kills himself with the





Alas! my Spouse; this Sight will kill me with





Tchao so has stabbed himself, and is dead, and his

Wife is imprisoned in her own House, I must therefore

go and give an Account of my Commission.

[Then he repeats two or three verses.


The End of the Prologue.






TOU GAN COU, and Attendants.


I FEAR that if the Wife of Tchao so should bring

her Son into the World, when he is grown up he

will become a formidable Enemy, for which reason

keep her up in the Palace as in a Prison. It is

almost Night, I wonder why the Messenger stays so

Long; I cannot see him coming back.


Enter a SOLDIER.


The Princess is brought to bed of Son, called The

Orphan of the Family of Tchao




Is this true? What! this little Imp be called The

Orphan of the Family of Tchao? I will let him live a

Month, for I shall have opportunity enough to make

away with the little Orphan; I'll send Orders to Han

Kouê that he may guard the Entrance of the Palace