Among the more esoteric books in my collection,
is this book.
Some excerpts for your consideration.
THE " HSI YUAN LU " OR "
INSTRUCTIONS TO CORONERS."
Translated from the Chinese
By HERBERT A. GILES, LL.D.Aberd., D.Litt.Oxon.
(Professor of Chinese, Cambridge University.)
TABLE OF CONTENTS.-BOOK I.
Chapter 1.-General remarks on inquests.
, · 2.- , , , wounds and the death limit.
8.-(1) Printed forin for wounds.
(2) Human skeleton.
4.-(1) Examination of the corpse before burial.
(2) Examination of the corpse after burial.
5.-Preparing corpse for examination.
6.-(1) The first inquest.
" (2) Further inquest.
7.-Decomposition of body at different seasons."
8.-Real and counterfeit wounds.
9.-Examination of female corpses.
10.-Dried up corpses.
, 11.-Examination of decomposed corpses.
, 18.-(1) Examination of bones.
(2) Whether injured before or after death.
14.-0n the bones and veins of the human body.
15.-The blood-dropping test (for kindred).
, 16.-Examination of ground.
CHAPTER H.-GENERAL REMARKS ON EXAMINING 'VOUNDS AND FIXING THE DEATH-LIMIT.
Murders are rarely the result of premeditation, but can be traced in the majority of eases, to a brawl. The statute which treats of wounding in a brawl attaches great weight to the death-limit, which means that the wounded man be handed over to the accused to be taken care of and provided with medical aid, and that a limit of time be fixed, on the expiration of which punishment be awarded according to circumstances. Now the relatives of a wounded man, unless their ties be of the closest, generally desire his death that they may extort money from his slayer; but the accused wishes him to live that he himself may escape death, and therefore leaves no means untried to restore him to health. This institution of the death-limit is a merciful endeavour to save the lives of both.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.-BOOK II.
1.-Death from blows.
2.-Wounds inflicted by the hand, foot, a.nd weapons generally.
3.-Wounds inflicted by wooden or metal weapons, stones, &c.
5.-(1) Knife-wounds. (2) Whether inflicted before or after death.·
6.-Suicide with weapons.
7.-Suicide by strangulation.
8.-Murder passed off as suicide by strangulation.
9.-(1) Drowning. (2) Whether before or after death.
10.-Drowning in wells.
11.-(1) Burning. (2) Whether before or after death.
CHAPTER I.-DEATH FROM BLOWS IN A FIGHT.
Where death, has resulted from blows in a fight, the mouth and eyes will be open, the hair and clothes disordered, and the two arms stretched out. [For just previous to death the mouth will be in full play, and the eyes will be glaring fiercely; the hair and-clothes will get disordered in the scufiie ; and the arms, employed in defeooe, will be-stretched out.] Where there are wounds the skin will separate from the membranebelow and will sound if tapped by the finger. If hot vinegar is applied, the cicatrix will appear. Observe its size and measure its length and breadth. Also note how many wounds there are, either of which would have caused death, but fix on some one in the most vulnerable part as the mortal one. If death occurs either within or without the limit, it may be that medical aid has been of no avail, or from exposure to the air, in which case the face would be yellow and flabby.
Part II.-To Ascertain tvhether the Wounds were inflicted Before or After Death.
·wounds inflicted on the bone leave a red mark and a slight appearance of saturation, and where the bone is broken there will be at either end a halo-like trace of blood. Take a bone on which there are marks of a wound and hold it up to the light ; if these are of a fresh-looking red, the wound was inflicted before death and penetrated to the bone ; but if there is no trace of saturation from blood, although there is a wound, it was inflicted after death.
All men have old scars on their bodies, either from falling down in youth or fighting, being bambooed, boils, &e. Although the place heals in time, the scar never passes away; it takes a darkish hue and remains visible after death. For where the blood has once congealed, it will never resume its former appearance. But old wounds have not the halo-like appearance, are soft to the touch, are on a level with the parts surrounding, and of a dull colour. The flesh and bone are both different from those of a recent wound.
In cases of poisoning from swallowing gold, the flesh of the partridge should be eaten ; for silver, gentian and liquorice-root. Salt used to wash gold, and the fat of -camels, donkeys and horses, as also Spondias amara, will all be found to soften gold ; sheep's fat will act similarly upon silver. If gold or silver has been swallowed, administer the above remedies according to circumstances ; the metal will thus be softened and be easily passed.
In cases of asphyxiation a draught of cold water will bring about a recovery,
-or the juice of turnips poured into the nose and mouth. Move the patient into some
place where the wind can blow upon him; he may thus come round.
Where poison of some unknown kind has been taken with the food or drink,
administer some sweet-grass or Platycodon grandiflorum broth; a cure may thus be
I would note I do not recommend anyone
follow these procedures.
I am not a physician.
This is just a for historical reference.