By a certain day, they reached Ching Tu; and Yü-ts’un

By a certain day, they reached Ching Tu; and Yü-ts’un, after first adjusting his hat and clothes, came, attended by a youth, to the

door of the Jung mansion, and sent in a card, which showed his lineage.

Chia Cheng had, by this time, perused his brother-in-law’s letter, and he speedily

asked him to walk in. When they met, he found in Yü-ts’un an imposing manner and polite address.

This Chia Cheng had, in fact, a great penchant above all things for men of education, men courteous to the talented,

respectful to

the learned, ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and to succour the distressed, and was, to a great extent, like his

y his brother-in-law, he therefore treated Yü-ts’un with a consideration still more unusual, and readily strained all his resources to assist him.

On the very day on which the memorial was submitted to the Throne, he obtained by his efforts, a reinstatement to office, and

before the expiry of two months, Yü-t’sun was forthwith selected to fill the appointment of prefect of Ying T’ien in Chin Ling. Taking

leave of Chia Cheng, he chose a

propitious day, and proceeded to his post, where we will leave him without further notice for the present.

But to return to Tai-yü. On the day on which she left the boat, and the moment she put her foot on shore,

there were forthwith at her

disposal chairs for her own use,

and carts for the luggage, sent over from the Jung mansion.

Lin Tai-yü had often heard her mother recount how different was her

grandmother’s house from that of other people’s; and having seen for herself how

above the common run were already the attendants of the three grades, (sent to

wait upon her,) in attire, in their fare, in all their articles of use,

“how much more,” (she thought to herself) “now that I am going to her home,

must I be careful at

every step, and circumspect at every moment!

Nor must I utter one word too many, nor make one step more than is

proper, for fear lest I should be ridiculed by any of them!”

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By a certain day, they reached Ching Tu; and Yü-ts’un

By a certain day, they reached Ching Tu; and Yü-ts’un, after first adjusting his hat and clothes, came, attended by a youth, to the

door of the Jung mansion, and sent in a card, which showed his lineage.

Chia Cheng had, by this time, perused his brother-in-law’s letter, and he speedily

asked him to walk in. When they met, he found in Yü-ts’un an imposing manner and polite address.

This Chia Cheng had, in fact, a great penchant above all things for men of education, men courteous to the talented,

respectful to

the learned, ready to lend a helping hand to the needy and to succour the distressed, and was, to a great extent, like his

y his brother-in-law, he therefore treated Yü-ts’un with a consideration still more unusual, and readily strained all his resources to assist him.

On the very day on which the memorial was submitted to the Throne, he obtained by his efforts, a reinstatement to office, and

before the expiry of two months, Yü-t’sun was forthwith selected to fill the appointment of prefect of Ying T’ien in Chin Ling. Taking

leave of Chia Cheng, he chose a

propitious day, and proceeded to his post, where we will leave him without further notice for the present.

But to return to Tai-yü. On the day on which she left the boat, and the moment she put her foot on shore,

there were forthwith at her

disposal chairs for her own use,

and carts for the luggage, sent over from the Jung mansion.

Lin Tai-yü had often heard her mother recount how different was her

grandmother’s house from that of other people’s; and having seen for herself how

above the common run were already the attendants of the three grades, (sent to

wait upon her,) in attire, in their fare, in all their articles of use,

“how much more,” (she thought to herself) “now that I am going to her home,

must I be careful at

every step, and circumspect at every moment!

Nor must I utter one word too many, nor make one step more than is

proper, for fear lest I should be ridiculed by any of them!”

www.sh419cc.com

“Quite so; that’s just my idea!” replied Yü-ts’un

“Quite so; that’s just my idea!” replied Yü-ts’un; “I’ve not as yet let you know that after my degradation from office, I spent the last couple of years in travelling for pleasure all over each province, and that I also myself came across two

extraordinary youths. This is why, when a short while back you alluded to this Pao-yü, I at once conjectured, with a good deal of certainty, that he must be a

human being of the same stamp. There’s no need for me to speak of any farther than the walled city of Chin Ling. This Mr. Chen was, by imperial appointment, named Principal of the Government Public College of the Chin Ling province. Do you perhaps know him?”

“Who doesn’t know him?” remarked Tzu-hsing. “This Chen family is an old

connection of the Chia family. These two families were on terms of great intimacy, and I myself likewise enjoyed the pleasure of their friendship for many a day.”

“Last year, when at Chin Ling,” Yü-ts’un continued with a smile, “some one recommended me as resident tutor to the school in the Chen mansion; and when I moved into it I saw for myself the state of things. Who would ever think that that

household was grand and luxurious to such a degree! But they are an affluent family, and withal full of propriety, so that a school like this was of course not one easy to obtain. The pupil, however, was, it is true, a young tyro, but far more

troublesome to teach than a candidate for the examination of graduate of the

second degree. Were I to enter into details, you would indeed have a laugh. ‘I

must needs,’ he explained, ‘have the company of two girls in my studies to enable me to read at all, and to keep likewise my brain clear. Otherwise, if left to myself,

my head gets all in a muddle.’ Time after time, he further expounded to his youn

attendants, how extremely honourable and extremely pure were the two words representing woman, that they are more valuable and precious than the

auspicious animal, the felicitous bird, rare flowers and uncommon plants. ‘You may not’ (he was wont to say),

‘on any account heedlessly utter them,

you set of foul mouths and filthy tongues! these two

words are of the utmost import!

Whenever you have occasion to allude

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“Quite so; that’s just my idea!” replied Yü-ts’un

“Quite so; that’s just my idea!” replied Yü-ts’un; “I’ve not as yet let you know that after my degradation from office, I spent the last couple of years in travelling for pleasure all over each province, and that I also myself came across two

extraordinary youths. This is why, when a short while back you alluded to this Pao-yü, I at once conjectured, with a good deal of certainty, that he must be a

human being of the same stamp. There’s no need for me to speak of any farther than the walled city of Chin Ling. This Mr. Chen was, by imperial appointment, named Principal of the Government Public College of the Chin Ling province. Do you perhaps know him?”

“Who doesn’t know him?” remarked Tzu-hsing. “This Chen family is an old

connection of the Chia family. These two families were on terms of great intimacy, and I myself likewise enjoyed the pleasure of their friendship for many a day.”

“Last year, when at Chin Ling,” Yü-ts’un continued with a smile, “some one recommended me as resident tutor to the school in the Chen mansion; and when I moved into it I saw for myself the state of things. Who would ever think that that

household was grand and luxurious to such a degree! But they are an affluent family, and withal full of propriety, so that a school like this was of course not one easy to obtain. The pupil, however, was, it is true, a young tyro, but far more

troublesome to teach than a candidate for the examination of graduate of the

second degree. Were I to enter into details, you would indeed have a laugh. ‘I

must needs,’ he explained, ‘have the company of two girls in my studies to enable me to read at all, and to keep likewise my brain clear. Otherwise, if left to myself,

my head gets all in a muddle.’ Time after time, he further expounded to his youn

attendants, how extremely honourable and extremely pure were the two words representing woman, that they are more valuable and precious than the

auspicious animal, the felicitous bird, rare flowers and uncommon plants. ‘You may not’ (he was wont to say),

‘on any account heedlessly utter them,

you set of foul mouths and filthy tongues! these two

words are of the utmost import!

Whenever you have occasion to allude

shj419.com

“The spirit of malignity and perversity, unable to expand

“The spirit of malignity and perversity, unable to expand under the brilliant sky and transmuting sun, eventually coagulates, pervades and stops up the deep gutters

and extensive caverns; and when of a sudden the wind agitates it or it be impelled by the clouds, and any slight disposition, on its part, supervenes to set itself in

motion, or to break its bounds, and so little as even the minutest fraction does

unexpectedly find an outlet, and happens to come across any spirit of perception and subtlety which may be at the time passing by, the spirit of right does not yield

to the spirit of evil, and the spirit of evil is again envious of the spirit of right, so that the two do not harmonize. Just like wind, water, thunder and lightning, which, when they meet in the bowels of the earth, must necessarily, as they are both to

dissolve and are likewise unable to yield, clash and explode to the end that they may at length exhaust themselves. Hence it is

that these spirits have also forcibly to diffuse themselves into the human race to find an outlet, so that they may then completely

disperse, with the result that men and women are suddenly imbued

with these spirits and spring into existence. At best, (these human beings) cannot be generated into philanthropists or perfect men; at worst, they cannot also embody extreme perversity or extreme wickedness. Yet placed among one million beings, the spirit of intelligence, refinement, perception and subtlety will be above

these one million beings; while, on the other hand, the perverse, depraved and inhuman embodiment will likewise be below the

million of men. Born in a noble and wealthy family, these men will be a salacious, lustful lot; born of literary,

virtuous or poor parentage, they will turn out retired scholars or men of mark; though they may by some accident be born in a

destitute and poverty-stricken home, they cannot possibly, in fact, ever sink so low as to become runners or

menials, or contentedly brook to be of the common herd or to be driven and curbed like a horse in harness. They will become, for a certainty, either actors of

note or courtesans of notoriety; as instanced in former years by Hsü Yu, T’ao Ch’ien, Yuan Chi, Chi Kang, Liu Ling, the two families of Wang and Hsieh, Ku Hu-

t’ou, Ch’en Hou-chu, T’ang Ming-huang, Sung Hui-tsung, Liu T’ing-chih, Wen Fei-ching, Mei Nan-kung, Shih Man-ch’ing, Lui C’hih-ch’ing and Chin Shao-yu, and

exemplified now-a-days by Ni Yün-lin, T’ang Po-hu, Chu Chih-shan, and also by Li Kuei-men, Huang P’an-cho, Ching Hsin-mo, Cho Wen-chün; and the women

Hung Fu, Hsieh T’ao, Ch’ü Ying, Ch’ao Yün and others; all of whom were and are of the same stamp, though placed in different scenes of action.”

“From what you say,”

observed Tzu-hsing,

“success makes (a man)

a duke or a marquis; ruin, a thief!”

www.shg419.com

“The spirit of malignity and perversity, unable to expand

“The spirit of malignity and perversity, unable to expand under the brilliant sky and transmuting sun, eventually coagulates, pervades and stops up the deep gutters

and extensive caverns; and when of a sudden the wind agitates it or it be impelled by the clouds, and any slight disposition, on its part, supervenes to set itself in

motion, or to break its bounds, and so little as even the minutest fraction does

unexpectedly find an outlet, and happens to come across any spirit of perception and subtlety which may be at the time passing by, the spirit of right does not yield

to the spirit of evil, and the spirit of evil is again envious of the spirit of right, so that the two do not harmonize. Just like wind, water, thunder and lightning, which, when they meet in the bowels of the earth, must necessarily, as they are both to

dissolve and are likewise unable to yield, clash and explode to the end that they may at length exhaust themselves. Hence it is

that these spirits have also forcibly to diffuse themselves into the human race to find an outlet, so that they may then completely

disperse, with the result that men and women are suddenly imbued

with these spirits and spring into existence. At best, (these human beings) cannot be generated into philanthropists or perfect men; at worst, they cannot also embody extreme perversity or extreme wickedness. Yet placed among one million beings, the spirit of intelligence, refinement, perception and subtlety will be above

these one million beings; while, on the other hand, the perverse, depraved and inhuman embodiment will likewise be below the

million of men. Born in a noble and wealthy family, these men will be a salacious, lustful lot; born of literary,

virtuous or poor parentage, they will turn out retired scholars or men of mark; though they may by some accident be born in a

destitute and poverty-stricken home, they cannot possibly, in fact, ever sink so low as to become runners or

menials, or contentedly brook to be of the common herd or to be driven and curbed like a horse in harness. They will become, for a certainty, either actors of

note or courtesans of notoriety; as instanced in former years by Hsü Yu, T’ao Ch’ien, Yuan Chi, Chi Kang, Liu Ling, the two families of Wang and Hsieh, Ku Hu-

t’ou, Ch’en Hou-chu, T’ang Ming-huang, Sung Hui-tsung, Liu T’ing-chih, Wen Fei-ching, Mei Nan-kung, Shih Man-ch’ing, Lui C’hih-ch’ing and Chin Shao-yu, and

exemplified now-a-days by Ni Yün-lin, T’ang Po-hu, Chu Chih-shan, and also by Li Kuei-men, Huang P’an-cho, Ching Hsin-mo, Cho Wen-chün; and the women

Hung Fu, Hsieh T’ao, Ch’ü Ying, Ch’ao Yün and others; all of whom were and are of the same stamp, though placed in different scenes of action.”

“From what you say,”

observed Tzu-hsing,

“success makes (a man)

a duke or a marquis; ruin, a thief!”

www.shg419.com

of the capital, foolishly hobnobbing with all the Taoist priests

of the capital, foolishly hobnobbing with all the Taoist priests. This Mr. Chen had also a son, Chia Jung, who is, at this period, just in his sixteenth year. Mr. Ching

gives at present no attention to anything at all, so that Mr. Chen naturally devotes no time to his studies, but being bent upon nought else but incessant high

pleasure, he has subversed the order of things in the Ning Kuo mansion, and yet no one can summon the courage to come and hold him in check. But I’ll now tell

you about the Jung mansion for your edification. The strange occurrence, to which I alluded just now, came about in this manner. After the demise of the Jung

duke, the eldest son, Chia Tai-shan, inherited the rank. He took to himself as wife, the daughter of Marquis Shih, a noble family of Chin Ling, by whom he had two

sons; the elder being Chia She, the younger Chia Cheng. This Tai Shan is now dead long ago; but his wife is still alive, and the elder son, Chia She, succeeded

to the degree. He is a man of amiable and genial disposition, but he likewise gives no thought to the direction of any domestic concern. The second son Chia

Cheng displayed, from his early childhood, a great liking for books, and grew up to be correct and upright in character. His grandfather doated upon him, and

would have had him start in life through the arena of public examinations, but,

when least expected, Tai-shan, being on the point of death, bequeathed a petition, which was laid before the Emperor. His Majesty, out of regard for his

former minister, issued immediate commands that the elder son should inherit the estate, and further inquired how many sons there were besides him, all of whom

he at once expressed a wish to be introduced in his imperial presence. His Majesty, moreover, displayed exceptional favour, and conferred upon Mr. Cheng

the brevet rank of second class Assistant Secretary (of a Board), and commanded him to enter the Board to acquire the necessary experience. He has already now been promoted to the office of second class Secretary. This Mr. Cheng’s wife, nèe Wang, first gave birth to a son called Chia Chu, who became a

Licentiate in his fourteenth year. At barely twenty, he married, but fell ill and died soon after the birth of a son. Her (Mrs. Cheng’s) second child was a daughter,

who came into the world, by a strange coincidence, on the first day of the year. She had an unexpected (pleasure) in the birth, the succeeding year, of another son, who, still more remarkable to say, had, at the time of his birth, a piece of

variegated and crystal-like brilliant jade in his mouth, on which were yet visible the outlines of several characters. Now,

tell me, was not this a novel and strange occurrence? eh?”

“Strange indeed!”

exclaimed Yü-ts’un with a smile;

“but I presume the coming experiences of this being will not be mean.”

shf419.com

of the capital, foolishly hobnobbing with all the Taoist priests

of the capital, foolishly hobnobbing with all the Taoist priests. This Mr. Chen had also a son, Chia Jung, who is, at this period, just in his sixteenth year. Mr. Ching

gives at present no attention to anything at all, so that Mr. Chen naturally devotes no time to his studies, but being bent upon nought else but incessant high

pleasure, he has subversed the order of things in the Ning Kuo mansion, and yet no one can summon the courage to come and hold him in check. But I’ll now tell

you about the Jung mansion for your edification. The strange occurrence, to which I alluded just now, came about in this manner. After the demise of the Jung

duke, the eldest son, Chia Tai-shan, inherited the rank. He took to himself as wife, the daughter of Marquis Shih, a noble family of Chin Ling, by whom he had two

sons; the elder being Chia She, the younger Chia Cheng. This Tai Shan is now dead long ago; but his wife is still alive, and the elder son, Chia She, succeeded

to the degree. He is a man of amiable and genial disposition, but he likewise gives no thought to the direction of any domestic concern. The second son Chia

Cheng displayed, from his early childhood, a great liking for books, and grew up to be correct and upright in character. His grandfather doated upon him, and

would have had him start in life through the arena of public examinations, but,

when least expected, Tai-shan, being on the point of death, bequeathed a petition, which was laid before the Emperor. His Majesty, out of regard for his

former minister, issued immediate commands that the elder son should inherit the estate, and further inquired how many sons there were besides him, all of whom

he at once expressed a wish to be introduced in his imperial presence. His Majesty, moreover, displayed exceptional favour, and conferred upon Mr. Cheng

the brevet rank of second class Assistant Secretary (of a Board), and commanded him to enter the Board to acquire the necessary experience. He has already now been promoted to the office of second class Secretary. This Mr. Cheng’s wife, nèe Wang, first gave birth to a son called Chia Chu, who became a

Licentiate in his fourteenth year. At barely twenty, he married, but fell ill and died soon after the birth of a son. Her (Mrs. Cheng’s) second child was a daughter,

who came into the world, by a strange coincidence, on the first day of the year. She had an unexpected (pleasure) in the birth, the succeeding year, of another son, who, still more remarkable to say, had, at the time of his birth, a piece of

variegated and crystal-like brilliant jade in his mouth, on which were yet visible the outlines of several characters. Now,

tell me, was not this a novel and strange occurrence? eh?”

“Strange indeed!”

exclaimed Yü-ts’un with a smile;

“but I presume the coming experiences of this being will not be mean.”

shf419.com

All men spiritual life know to be good,But fame to disregard

All men spiritual life know to be good,

But fame to disregard they ne’er succeed!

From old till now the statesmen where are they?

Waste lie their graves, a heap of grass, extinct.

All men spiritual life know to be good,

But to forget gold, silver, ill succeed!

Through life they grudge their hoardings to be scant,

And when plenty has come, their eyelids close.

All men spiritual life hold to be good,

Yet to forget wives, maids, they ne’er succeed!

Who speak of grateful love while lives their lord,

And dead their lord, another they pursue.

All men spiritual life know to be good,

But sons and grandsons to forget never succeed!

From old till now of parents soft many,

But filial sons and grandsons who have seen?

Shih-yin upon hearing these words, hastily came up to the priest, “What were you so glibly holding forth?” he inquired. “All I could hear were a lot of hao liao (excellent, finality.”)

“You may well have heard the two words ‘hao liao,’” answered the Taoist with a smile, “but can you be said to have fathomed their meaning? You should know that all things in this world are excellent, when they have attained finality; when they have attained finality, they are excellent; but when they have not attained finality, they are not excellent; if they would be excellent, they should attain finality. My song is entitled Excellent-finality (hao liao).”

Shih-yin was gifted with a natural perspicacity that enabled him, as soon as he heard these remarks, to grasp their spirit.

“Wait a while,” he therefore said smilingly; “let me unravel this excellent-finality song of yours; do you mind?”

“Please by all means go on with the interpretation,” urged the Taoist; whereupon Shih-yin proceeded in this strain:

Sordid rooms and vacant courts,

Replete in years gone by with beds where statesmen lay;

Parched grass and withered banian trees,

Where once were halls for song and dance!

Spiders’ webs the carved pillars intertwine,

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His father-in-law, Feng Su, by name, was a native of Ta Ju Chou.

His father-in-law, Feng Su, by name, was a native of Ta Ju Chou. Although only a labourer, he was nevertheless in easy circumstances at home.

When he on this occasion saw his son-in-law come to him in such distress, he forthwith felt at heart considerable displeasure.

Fortunately Shih-yin had still in his possession the money derived from the unprofitable realization of his property,

so that he produced and handed it to his father-in-law, commissioning him to purchase, whenever a suitable opportunity presented itself,

a house and land as a provision for food and raiment against days to come. This Feng Su, however,

only expended the half of the sum, and pocketed the other half, merely acquiring for him some fallow land and a dilapidated house.

Shih-yin being, on the other hand, a man of books and with no experience in matters connected with business and with sowing and reaping,

subsisted, by hook and by crook, for about a year or two, when he became more impoverished.

In his presence, Feng Su would readily give vent to specious utterances, while, with others, and behind his back,

he on the contrary expressed his indignation against his improvidence in his mode of living,

and against his sole delight of eating and playing the lazy.

Shih-yin, aware of the want of harmony with his father-in-law, could not help giving way, in his own heart,

to feelings of regret and pain. In addition to this, the fright and vexation which he had undergone the year before,

the anguish and suffering (he had had to endure), had already worked havoc (on his constitution);

and being a man advanced in years, and assailed by the joint attack of poverty and disease, he at length gradually began to display symptoms of decline.

Strange coincidence, as he, on this day, came leaning on his staff and with considerable strain,

as far as the street for a little relaxation, he suddenly caught sight, approaching from the off side,

of a Taoist priest with a crippled foot;

his maniac appearance so repulsive,

his shoes of straw, his dress all in tatters,

muttering several sentiments to this effect:

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