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鄜延境内有石油,旧说高奴县出“脂水”,即此也。生于水际,沙石与泉水相杂,惘惘而出,土人以雉尾裛[1]之,乃采 入缶中,颇似淳漆,然之如麻,但烟甚浓,所沾幄幕皆黑。予疑其烟可用,试扫其煤以为墨,黑光如漆,松墨不及也,遂大为之,其识文为“延川石液”者是也。此物后必大行于世,自予始为之。盖石油至多,生于地中无穷,不若松木有时而竭。今齐、鲁间松林尽矣,渐至太行、京西、江南,松山大半皆童矣。造煤人盖知石烟之利也。石炭烟亦大,墨人衣。予戏为《延州》诗云:“二郎山下雪纷纷,旋卓穹庐学塞人。化尽素衣冬未老,石烟多似洛阳尘。”


Mengxi Bitan Chapter 24 Zazhi (Part I) 2

There is petroleum in Fuyan region, which was called “oily water” that was produced in Gaonu County in the past. The petroleum emerges among the sand and pebbles beside water. Being mixed with springs, it often wells up slowly from underground. Local people use the tail feathers of a pheasant to absorb the oily water and then collect it in earthen jars. The petroleum looks like pure paint and burns like hemp stalks. Its smoke is very dark and curtains will be darkened. I believe that the soot can be used, so I collect some of it and make an ink stick which is as dark and bright as black paint. The quality of this kind of ink stick is even better than the one made of pine soot. This type of ink stick is manufactured in large quantities and “Yanzhou Stone Liquid” is the label carved on its surface. I am the first manufacturer of this kind of ink stick and I know that it will certainly become popular, because there is plenty of petroleum in the world which can spring up from the underground inexhaustibly. On the contrary pine trees will be exhausted one day. Nowadays all the pine trees in Qi and Lu regions have already been cut down. Meanwhile mountains covered with pine trees in Taihang, Jingxi and Jiangnan regions have become half bare. People making ink sticks probably still do not know the advantages of the smoke from burning petroleum. Smoke from the burning coal is also very dark and can blacken people’s clothes. I once wrote a poem called “Yanzhou” in a jocular manner, which went as follows:

“It is snowing heavily under Erlang Mountain, People set up tents like those nomadic tribes. The winter is not over though the light-colored clothes have all been blackened,

The smoke of burning petroleum looks like the dust in Luoyang.”


[1] 裛yì:古同“浥”,沾湿。


鄜延路一带有石油,过去所说的高奴县出“脂水”就是这种东西。石油出产在水边,在沙石与泉水相杂的地方,慢慢地溢出,当地人用野鸡尾部的羽毛把油沾上来,收集在瓦罐里。这种油看上去挺象淳漆,燃烧起来象麻杆,但冒出来的烟很浓,把帐篷都熏黑了。我猜想这种烟可以利用,就试着扫了一些烟灰来做墨,结果写出来的字又黑又亮。象漆一般,即使松墨也比不上它。于是,就大量制作,并给它定名叫“延州石液”。这种东西以后一定会在社会上广泛流传,但是我最初制作使用它。石油非常多,地下的蕴藏无穷无尽,不比松木那样有时会用完。现在齐、鲁一带的松木已经砍光,慢慢地连太行山区、京西、江南一带的松山也大部分砍伐得成为秃山了。造墨的人必定不知道用石油 烟的好处。煤的烟也大,将人们的衣服熏黑。我戏作了一首《延州》诗说:“二郎山下雪纷纷,旋卓穹庐学塞人。化尽素衣冬未老,石烟多似洛阳尘。”