One day the Emperor was riding toward the hunting

One day the Emperor was riding toward the hunting grounds and noticed his newly found uncle respectfully standing by the roadside.

“I should like to see my uncle display his hunting skill,” said the Emperor.

  Liu Bei mounted his steed at once. Just then a hare started from its form. Liu Bei shot and hit it with the first arrow.

  the Emperor, much struck by this display, rode away over a slope. Suddenly a deer broke out of the thicket. He shot three arrows at it but all missed.

  “You try,” said the Emperor turning to Cao Cao.

  “Lend me Your Majesty’s bow,” Cao Cao replied.

  Taking the inlaid bow and the golden-tipped arrows, Cao Cao pulled the bow and hit the deer in the shoulder at the first shot. It fell in the grass and could not run.

  Now the crowd of officers seeing the golden-barbed arrow sticking in the wound concluded at once that the shot was the Emperor’s, so they rushed up and shouted “Wan shui! O King! Live forever!”

  Cao Cao rode out pushing past the Emperor and acknowledged the congratulations.

  they all turned pale. Guan Yu, who was behind Liu Bei, was especially angry. The silkworm eyebrows stood up fiercely, and the red phoenix eyes glared as, sword in hand, he rode hastily forth to cut down the audacious Prime Minister for his impertinence.

  However, Liu Bei hastily waved him back and shot at him a meaning glance so that Guan Yu stopped and made no further move.

  Liu Bei bowing toward Cao Cao said, “Most sincere felicitations! A truly supernatural shot, such as few have achieved!”

“It is only the enormous good fortune of the Son of Heaven!” said Cao Cao with a smile.

then he turned his steed and felicitated the Emperor. But he did not return the bow; he hung it over his own shoulder instead.

the hunt finished with banqueting;

and when the entertainments were over,

they returned to the capital,

all glad of some repose after the expedition.

ashchc.com

“The Hsüeh family have plenty of money, so that if your Worship

“The Hsüeh family have plenty of money, so that if your Worship adjudicates that they should pay five hundred,

they can afford it, or one thousand will also be within their means; and this sum can be handed to the Feng family to meet the outlay of burning incense and burial expenses. The Feng family are, besides, people of not much consequence,

and (the fuss made by them) being simply for money, they too will, when they have got the cash in hand,

have nothing more to say. But may it please your worship to consider carefully this plan and see what you think of it?”

“It isn’t a safe course! It isn’t a safe course!” Yü-ts’un observed as he smiled. “Let me further think and deliberate; and possibly by succeeding in suppressing public criticism, the matter might also be settled.”

These two closed their consultation by a fixed determination, and the next day, when he sat in judgment, he marked off a whole company of the plaintiffs as well as of the accused,

as were mentioned by name, and had them brought before him. Yü-ts’un examined them with additional minuteness, and discovered in point of fact, that the inmates of the Feng family were extremely few,

that they merely relied upon this charge with the idea of obtaining some compensation for joss-sticks and burials; and that the Hsüeh family,

presuming on their prestige and confident of patronage, had been obstinate in the refusal to make any mutual concession,

with the result that confusion had supervened, and that no decision had been arrived at.

Following readily the bent of his feelings, Yü-ts’un disregarded the laws,

and adjudicated this suit in a random way;

and as the Feng family came in for a considerable sum,

with which to meet the expense for incense and the funeral, they had, after all,

not very much to say (in the way of objections.)

sh419ccc.com

“Your worship,” remarked the Retainer smiling, “displayed, in years

“Your worship,” remarked the Retainer smiling, “displayed, in years gone by, such great intelligence and decision, and how is it that today you, on the contrary,

become a person without any resources! Your servant has heard that the promotion of your worship to fill up this office is due to the exertions of the Chia

and Wang families; and as this Hsüeh P’an is a relative of the Chia mansion, why doesn’t your worship take your craft along with the stream, and bring, by the

performance of a kindness, this case to an issue, so that you may again in days to come,

be able to go and face the two Dukes Chia and Wang?”

“What you suggest,” replied Yü-ts’un, “is, of course, right enough; but this case involves a human life, and honoured as I have been, by His Majesty the Emperor,

by a restoration to office, and selection to an appointment, how can I at the very moment, when I may strain

all my energies to show my gratitude, by reason of a

private consideration, set the laws at nought? This is a thing which I really haven’t the courage to do.”

“What your worship says is naturally right and proper,” remarked the Retainer at these words,

smiling sarcastically, “but at the present stage of the world, such

things cannot be done. Haven’t you heard the saying of a man of old to the effect

that great men take action suitable to the times. ‘He who presses,’ he adds, ‘towards what is auspicious and avoids what is inauspicious is a perfect man.’

From what your worship says, not only you couldn’t, by any display of zeal, repay your obligation to His Majesty, but, what is more,

your own life you will find it

difficult to preserve.

There are still three more considerations

necessary to insure a safe settlement.”

sh419in.com

On his return, he had already changed his hat and suit

On his return, he had already changed his hat and suit. All round his head, he had a fringe of short hair, plaited into small queues, and bound with red silk.

The queues were gathered up at the crown, and all the hair, which had been allowed to grow since his birth, was plaited into a thick queue, which looked as black and as glossy as lacquer. Between the crown of the head and the extremity of the queue, hung a string of four large pearls, with pendants of gold,

representing the eight precious things. On his person, he wore a long silvery-red coat, more or less old, bestrewn with embroidery of flowers. He had still round his neck the necklet, precious gem, amulet of Recorded Name, philacteries,

and other ornaments. Below were partly visible a fir-cone coloured brocaded silk pair of trousers, socks spotted with black designs, with ornamented edges, and a pair of deep red, thick-soled shoes.

(Got up as he was now,) his face displayed a still whiter appearance, as if painted, and his eyes as if they were set off with carnation. As he rolled his eyes, they brimmed with love. When he gave utterance to speech, he seemed to smile. But the chief natural pleasing feature was mainly centred in the curve of his eyebrows. The ten thousand and one fond sentiments, fostered by him during the whole of his existence, were all amassed in the corner of his eyes.

His outward appearance may have been pleasing to the highest degree, but yet it was no easy matter to fathom what lay beneath it.

There are a couple of roundelays, composed by a later poet, (after the excellent rhythm of the) Hsi Chiang Yueh, which depict Pao-yü in a most adequate manner.

The roundelays run as follows:

To gloom and passion prone, without a rhyme,

Inane and madlike was he many a time,

His outer self, forsooth, fine may have been,

sh419wk.com

Your aunts and sisters-in-law, standing on the right and left

“Your aunts and sisters-in-law, standing on the right and left,” dowager lady Chia smilingly explained, “won’t have their repast in here, and as you’re a guest, it’s but proper that you should take that seat.”

Then alone it was that Tai-yü asked for permission to sit down, seating herself on the chair.

Madame Wang likewise took a seat at old lady Chia’s instance; and the three cousins, Ying Ch’un and the others, having craved for leave to sit down,

at length came forward, and Ying Ch’un took the first chair on the right, T’an Ch’un the second, and Hsi Ch’un the second on the left. Waiting maids stood by holding in their hands,

flips and finger-bowls and napkins, while Mrs. Li and lady Feng, the two of them, kept near the table advising them what to eat, and pressing them to help themselves.

In the outer apartments, the married women and waiting-maids in attendance, were, it is true, very numerous; but not even so much as the sound of the cawing of a crow could be heard.

The repast over, each one was presented by a waiting-maid, with tea in a small tea tray; but the Lin family had all along impressed upon the mind of their

daughter that in order to show due regard to happiness, and to preserve good health, it was essential, after every meal, to wait a while, before drinking any tea,

so that it should not do any harm to the intestines. When, therefore, Tai-yü perceived how many habits there were in this establishment unlike those which

prevailed in her home, she too had no alternative but to conform herself to a certain extent with them. Upon taking over the cup of tea, servants came once

more and presented finger-bowls for them to rinse their mouths, and Tai-yü also rinsed hers; and after they had all again finished washing their hands, tea was

eventually served a second time, and this was, at length, the tea that was intended to be drunk.

“You can all go,” observed dowager lady Chia, “and let us alone to have a chat.”

Madame Wang rose as soon as she heard these words, and having made a few irrelevant remarks, she led the way and left the room along with the two ladies, Mrs. Li and lady Feng.

Dowager lady Chia, having inquired of Tai-yü what books she was reading,

“I have just begun reading the Four Books,”

Tai-yü replied.

“What books are my cousins reading?”

Tai-yü went on to ask.

sh419hh.com

Tai-yü shortly entered the Jung Mansion, descended

Tai-yü shortly entered the Jung Mansion, descended from the carriage, and preceded by all the nurses, she at once proceeded towards the east,

turned a corner, passed through an Entrance Hall, running east and west, and walked in a southern direction, at the back of the Large Hall. On the inner side of a ceremonial gate, and at the upper end of a spacious court, stood a large main

building, with five apartments, flanked on both sides by out-houses (stretching out) like the antlers on the head of deer; side-gates, resembling passages through

a hill, establishing a thorough communication all round; (a main building) lofty, majestic, solid and grand, and unlike those in the compound of dowager lady Chia.

Tai-yü readily concluded that this at last was the main inner suite of apartments. A raised broad road led in a straight line to the large gate. Upon entering the Hall,

and raising her head, she first of all perceived before her a large tablet with blue ground, upon which figured nine dragons of reddish gold. The inscription on this

tablet consisted of three characters as large as a peck-measure, and declared that this was the Hall of Glorious Felicity.

At the end, was a row of characters of minute size, denoting the year, month and day, upon which His Majesty had been pleased to confer the tablet upon Chia

Yuan, Duke of Jung Kuo. Besides this tablet, were numberless costly articles bearing the autograph of the Emperor. On the large black ebony table, engraved

with dragons, were placed three antique blue and green bronze tripods, about three feet in height. On the wall hung a large picture representing black dragons,

such as were seen in waiting chambers of the Sui dynasty. On one side stood a gold cup of chased work,

while on the other, a crystal casket.

On the ground were placed,

in two rows, sixteen chairs,

made of hard-grained cedar.

goash419.com

Lin Tai-yü entered the door with the creepers, resting on the hand of

Lin Tai-yü entered the door with the creepers, resting on the hand of a matron.

On both sides was a verandah, like two outstretched arms. An Entrance Hall stood in the centre, in the middle of which was a door-screen of Ta Li marble, set in an ebony frame. On the other side of this screen were three very small halls. At the back of these came at once an extensive courtyard, belonging to the main building.

In the front part were five parlours, the frieze of the ceiling of which was all carved, and the pillars ornamented. On either side, were covered avenues, resembling passages through a rock. In the side-rooms were suspended cages, full of parrots of every colour, thrushes, and birds of every description.

On the terrace-steps, sat several waiting maids, dressed in red and green, and the whole company of them advanced, with beaming faces, to greet them, when they saw the party approach. “Her venerable ladyship,” they said, “was at this very moment thinking of you, miss, and, by a strange coincidence, here you are.”

Three or four of them forthwith vied with each other in raising the door curtain, while at the same time was heard some one announce: “Miss Lin has arrived.”

No sooner had she entered the room, than she espied two servants supporting a venerable lady, with silver-white hair, coming forward to greet her. Convinced that this lady must be her grandmother, she was about to prostrate herself and pay her obeisance, when she was quickly clasped in the arms of her grandmother, who held her close against her bosom; and as she called her “my liver! my flesh!” (my love! my darling!) she began to sob aloud.

The bystanders too, at once, without one exception, melted into tears; and Tai-yü herself found some difficulty in restraining her sobs. Little by little the whole party succeeded in consoling her, and Tai-yü at length paid her obeisance to her grandmother. Her ladyship thereupon pointed them out one by one to Tai-yü. “This,” she said, “is the wife of your uncle,

your mother’s elder brother;

this is the wife of your uncle, her second brother;

and this is your eldest sister-in-law Chu,

the wife of your senior cousin Chu.”

www.sh419ee.com

 

Dame Feng, Shih-yin’s wife, upon hearing the tidings

Dame Feng, Shih-yin’s wife, upon hearing the tidings, had such a fit of weeping that she hung between life and death;

but her only alternative was to consult with her father, and to despatch servants on all sides to institute inquiries.

No news was however received of him, and she had nothing else to do but to practise resignation,

and to remain dependent upon the support of her parents for her subsistence. She had fortunately still by her side,

to wait upon her, two servant girls, who had been with her in days gone by; and the three of them, mistress as well as servants,

occupied themselves day and night with needlework, to assist her father in his daily expenses.

This Feng Su had after all, in spite of his daily murmurings against his bad luck, no help but to submit to the inevitable.

On a certain day, the elder servant girl of the Chen family was at the door purchasing thread, and while there,

she of a sudden heard in the street shouts of runners clearing the way, and every one explain that the new magistrate had come to take up his office.

The girl, as she peeped out from inside the door, perceived the lictors and policemen go by two by two;

and when unexpectedly in a state chair,

was carried past an official, in black hat and red coat, she was indeed quite taken aback.

“The face of this officer would seem familiar,” she argued within herself; “just as if I had seen him somewhere or other ere this.”

Shortly she entered the house,

and banishing at once the occurrence from her mind, she did not give it a second thought.

At night, however, while she was waiting to go to bed, she suddenly heard a sound like a rap at the door. A band of men boisterously cried out:

“We are messengers,

deputed by the worthy magistrate of this district, and come to summon one of you to an enquiry.”

Feng Su, upon hearing these words,

fell into such a terrible consternation that his eyes stared wide and his mouth gaped.

What calamity was impending is not as yet ascertained,

but, reader, listen to the explanation contained in the next chapter.

www.sh419cz.com

“Excellent!” cried Shih-yin with a loud voice, after he had heard

“Excellent!” cried Shih-yin with a loud voice, after he had heard these lines; “I have repeatedly maintained that it was impossible for you to remain long inferior

to any, and now the verses you have recited are a prognostic of your rapid advancement. Already it is evident that, before long, you will extend your

footsteps far above the clouds! I must congratulate you! I must congratulate you! Let me, with my own hands, pour a glass of wine to pay you my compliments.”

Yü-ts’un drained the cup. “What I am about to say,” he explained as he suddenly heaved a sigh, “is not the maudlin talk of a man under the effects of wine. As far as the subjects at present set in the examinations go, I could,

perchance, also have well been able to enter the list, and to send in my name as a candidate; but I have, just now, no means whatever to make provision for

luggage and for travelling expenses. The distance too to Shen Ching is a long one, and I could not depend upon the sale of papers or the composition of essays to find the means of getting there.”

Shih-yin gave him no time to conclude. “Why did you not speak about this sooner?” he interposed with haste. “I have long entertained this suspicion;

but as, whenever I met you, this conversation was never broached, I did not presume to make myself officious. But if such be the state of affairs just now,

I lack, I admit, literary qualification, but on the two subjects of friendly spirit and pecuniary means, I have, nevertheless, some experience. Moreover, I rejoice

that next year is just the season for the triennial examinations, and you should start for the capital with all despatch; and in the tripos next spring, you will, by

carrying the prize, be able to do justice to the proficiency you can boast of. As regards the travelling expenses and the other items, the provision of everything

necessary for you by my own self will again not render nugatory your mean acquaintance with me.”

Forthwith, he directed a servant lad to go and pack up at once fifty taels of pure silver and two suits of winter clothes.

“The nineteenth,” he continued, “is a propitious day, and you should lose no time in hiring a boat and starting on your journey westwards. And when, by your

eminent talents, you shall have soared high to a lofty position, and we meet again next winter, will not the occasion be extremely felicitous?”

Yü-ts’un accepted the money and clothes with but scanty expression of gratitude. In fact, he paid no thought whatever to the gifts, but went on, again drinking his wine, as he chattered and laughed.

It was only when the third watch of that day had already struck that the two friends parted company;

and Shih-yin, after seeing Yü-ts’un off,

retired to his room and slept, with one sleep all through,

never waking until the sun was well up in the skies.

sh419ll.com

“Excellent! first rate!” exclaimed the Bonze. And at the conclusion

“Excellent! first rate!” exclaimed the Bonze. And at the conclusion of these words, the two men parted, each going his own way, and no trace was again seen of them.

“These two men,” Shih-yin then pondered within his heart, “must have had many experiences, and I ought really to have made more inquiries of them; but at this juncture to indulge in regret is anyhow too late.”

While Shih-yin gave way to these foolish reflections, he suddenly noticed the arrival of a penniless scholar, Chia by surname, Hua by name, Shih-fei by style

and Yü-ts’un by nickname, who had taken up his quarters in the Gourd temple next door. This Chia Yü-ts’un was originally a denizen of Hu-Chow, and was also

of literary and official parentage, but as he was born of the youngest stock, and the possessions of his paternal and maternal ancestors were completely

exhausted, and his parents and relatives were dead, he remained the sole and only survivor; and, as he found his residence in his native place of no avail, he

therefore entered the capital in search of that reputation, which would enable him to put the family estate on a proper standing. He had arrived at this place since

the year before last, and had, what is more, lived all along in very straitened circumstances. He had made the temple his temporary quarters, and earned a

living by daily occupying himself in composing documents and writing letters for customers. Thus it was that Shih-yin had been in constant relations with him.

As soon as Yü-ts’un perceived Shih-yin, he lost no time in saluting him. “My worthy Sir,” he observed with a forced smile; “how is it you are leaning against the

door and looking out? Is there perchance any news astir in the streets, or in the public places?”

“None whatever,” replied Shih-yin, as he returned the smile. “Just a while back, my young daughter was in sobs, and I coaxed her out here to amuse her. I am just now without anything whatever to attend to, so that, dear brother Chia, you

come just in the nick of time. Please walk into my mean abode, and let us endeavour, in each other’s company, to while away this long summer day.”

After he had made this remark, he bade a servant take his daughter in, while he, hand-in-hand with Yü-ts’un, walked into the library, where a young page served tea.

They had hardly exchanged a few sentences,

when one of the household came in,

in flying haste, to announce that Mr.

Yen had come to pay a visit.

www.shlfco.com