Monday, August 27, 2018


Among the more esoteric books in my collection,
is this book.
Some excerpts for your consideration.
THE    " HSI   YUAN    LU "  OR   "

Translated from  the  Chinese


By  HERBERT  A.  GILES,  LL.D.Aberd.,  D.Litt.Oxon.


(Professor  of   Chinese,  Cambridge  University.)




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.

12.-Human  bones.

, 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.




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.




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.







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.



Stoallowing Gold.


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.

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