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A Taiwanese Literature Reader By Nikky Lin

Chapter 1:  A Lever Scale
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A Taiwanese Literature Reader

Chapter 1

A Lever Scale

Loā Hô
(trans. Darryl Sterk)

South of town, Ui-lē Village1 was home to a few gentry families who maintained their station partly by managing official monopolies,2 and to some petty appointed officials, but most of the inhabitants were salt-of-the-earth, peace-loving, stoic folk who stayed dirt poor, despite breaking their backs and pinching pennies.

In the village, Chîn Chit-chham’s family was especially poor, almost destitute.3 His father died before he was born, leaving his poor wife and son with nothing, not even the field he had been tilling,4 which belonged to someone else. If the landlord had taken pity on them, widow and son would have been able to hire some laborers to help with the farm work and make a little money to maintain their income. But rich people are not generally inclined to show charity; otherwise they wouldn’t be rich. The owner rented the land out to someone else to get a few extra dippers