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Lu Xun's Final Testament

If I were a great nobleman with a huge fortune, my sons, sons-in-law, and others would have forced me to write a will long ago, wheaeas nobody has mentioned it to me. Still, I may as well leave one. I seem to have thought out quite a few items for my family, among which are:

  1. Don't accept a cent from anyone for the funeral. This does not apply to old friends.
  2. Get the whole thing over quickly. Have me buried and be done with it.
  3. Do nothing in the way of commemoration.
  4. Forget me and look after your own affairs--if you don't, you are just too silly.
  5. When the child grows up, if he has no gifts let him take some small job to make a living. On no account let him become a writer or artist in name alone.
  6. Don't take other people's promises seriously.
  7. Never mix with people who injure others but who oppose revenge and advocate tolerance.

There were other items, too, but I have forgotten them.

I remember also that during a fever I recalled that when a European is dying these is usually some sort of ceremony in which he asks pardon of others and pardons them. Now, I have a great many enemies, and what should my answer be if some modernized person asked me my views on this? After some thought I decided: Let them go on hating me. I shall not forgive a single one of them, either.

No such ceremony took place, however, and I did not draw up a will. I simply lay there in silence, struck sometimes by a more pressing thought: If this is dying, it isn't really painful. It may not be quite like this at the end, of course; but still, since this happens only once in a lifetime, I can take it.

On George Bernard Shaw

After meeting George Bernard Shaw, who was almost a foot taller than he, Lu Xun said: "As we stood side by side, I was conscious of my shortness. And I thought, Thirty years ago, I shoud have done exercises to increase my height."

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