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Hung lou meng book 2


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Title:HungLouMeng,BookII
Author:CaoXueqin
ReleaseDate:January,2006[EBook#9604][Thisfilewasfirstpostedon

October9,2003]
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HUNGLOUMENG,BOOKII
OR,THEDREAMOFTHEREDCHAMBER,ACHINESENOVELINTWO
BOOKS


BY


CAOXUEQIN
TranslatedbyH.BENCRAFTJOLY
H.B.M.CONSULARSERVICE,CHINA.


BOOKII
CHAPTERXXV.
Byademoniacalart,ajunioruncleandanelderbrother’swife(Pao-yüand
ladyFeng)comeacrossfivedevils.ThegemofSpiritualPerceptionmeets,ina
fitoftorpor,thetwoperfectmen.

HsiaoHung,thestorycontinues,wasmuchunsettledinhermind.Herthoughts
rolledoninoneconnectedstring.Butsuddenlyshebecamedrowsy,andfalling
asleep,sheencounteredChiaYün,whotriedtocarryouthisintentiontodrag
hernearhim.Shetwistedherselfround,andendeavouredtorunaway;butwas
trippedoverbythedoorstep.Thisgavehersuchastartthatshewokeup.Then,


atlength,sherealisedthatitwasonlyadream.Butsorestlesslydidshe,in
consequenceofthisfright,keeponrollingandtossingthatshecouldnotclose
hereyesduringthewholenight.Assoonasthelightofthenextdaydawned,she
gotup.Severalwaiting-maidscameatoncetotellhertogoandsweepthefloor
oftherooms,andtobringwatertowashthefacewith.HsiaoHungdidnoteven
waittoarrangeherhairorperformherablutions;but,turningtowardsthe
looking-glass,shepinnedherchevelureupanyhow;and,rinsingherhands,and,
tyingasashroundherwaist,sherepaireddirectlytosweeptheapartments.
Whowouldhavethoughtit,Pao-yüalsohadsethisheartuponherthemoment
hecaughtsightofherthepreviousday.Yethefeared,inthefirstplace,thatifhe
mentionedherbynameandcalledheroverintohisservice,HsiJenandthe
othergirlsmightfeelthepangsofjealousy.Hedidnot,eitherinthesecond
place,haveanyideawhatherdispositionwaslike.Theconsequencewasthathe
feltdowncast;somuchso,thatwhenhegotupatanearlyhour,hedidnoteven
combhishairorwash,butsimplyremainedseated,andbroodedinastateof
abstraction.Afterawhile,heloweredthewindow.Throughthegauzeframe,
fromwhichhecoulddistinctlydiscernwhatwasgoingonoutside,heespied
severalservant-girls,engagedinsweepingthecourt.Allofthemwererouged
andpowdered;theyhadflowersinsertedintheirhair,andweregrandlygotup.
Buttheonlyone,ofwhomhefailedtogetaglimpse,wasthegirlhehadmetthe
daybefore.


Pao-yüspeedilywalkedoutofthedoorwithslipshodshoes.Underthepretence
ofadmiringtheflowers,heglanced,nowtowardstheeast;nowtowardsthe
west.Butuponraisinghishead,hedescried,inthesouthwestcorner,someone
orotherleaningbythesideoftherailingunderthecoveredpassage.Acrabappletree,however,obstructedtheviewandhecouldnotseedistinctlywhoit
was,soadvancingastepfurtherin,hestaredwithintentgaze.Itwas,inpointof
fact,thewaiting-maidofthedaybefore,tarryingaboutplungedinareverie.His
wishwastogoforwardandmeether,buthedidnot,ontheotherhand,seehow
hecouldverywelldoso.Justashewascogitatingwithinhimself,he,ofa
sudden,perceivedPiHencomeandaskhimtogoandwashhisface.This
reminderplacedhimunderthenecessityofbetakinghimselfintohisroom.But
wewillleavehimthere,withoutfurtherdetails,soastoreturntoHsiaoHung.
Shewascommuningwithherownthoughts.ButunawaresperceivingHsiJen
waveherhandandcallherbyname,shehadtowalkuptoher.
“Ourwatering-potisspoilt,”HsiJensmiledandsaid,“sogotoMissLin’sover
thereandfindoneforustouse.”
HsiaoHunghastenedonherwaytowardstheHsiaoHsiangKuan.
WhenshegotasfarastheTs’uiYenbridge,shesaw,onraisingherheadand
lookinground,themoundsandloftyplacesentirelyshutinbyscreens,andshe
bethoughtherselfthatlabourerswerethatdaytoplanttreesinthatparticular
locality.
Atagreatdistanceoff,abandofmenwere,inverydeed,engagedindiggingup
thesoil,whileChiaYünwasseatedonaboulderonthehill,superintendingthe
works.ThetimecameforHsiaoHungtopassby,butshecouldnotmusterthe
couragetodoso.Neverthelessshehadnoothercoursethantoquietlyproceedto
theHsiaoHsiangKuan.Thengettingthewatering-pot,shespedonherwayback
again.Butbeinginlowspirits,sheretiredaloneintoherroomandlayherself
down.Oneandall,however,simplymaintainedthatshewasoutofsorts,sothey
didnotpayanyheedtoher.
Adaywentby.Onthemorrowfell,infact,theanniversaryofthebirthofWang
Tzu-t’eng’sspouse,andsomeonewasdespatchedfromhisresidencetocome
andinvitedowagerladyChiaandMadameWang.MadameWangfoundout
howeverthatdowagerladyChiawouldnotavailherselfoftheinvitation,and


neitherwouldshego.SoMrs.HsüehwentalongwithladyFeng,andthethree
sistersoftheChiafamily,andPao-ch’aiandPao-yü,andonlyreturnedhomelate
intheevening.
MadameWangwassittinginMrs.Hsüeh’sapartments,whithershehadjust
crossed,whensheperceivedChiaHuancomebackfromschool,andshebade
himtranscribeincantationsoutoftheChinKangCanonandintonatethem.Chia
Huanaccordinglycameandseatedhimselfonthestovecouch,occupiedby
MadameWang,and,directingaservanttolightthecandles,hestartedcopying
inanostentatiousanddashingmanner.NowhecalledTs’aiHsiatopouracupof
teaforhim.NowheaskedYuCh’uantotakethescissorsandcutthesnuffofthe
wick.“ChinCh’uan!”henextcried,“you’reinthewayoftheraysofthelamp.”
Theservant-girlshadallalongentertainedanantipathyforhim,andnotoneof
themthereforeworriedhermindaboutwhathesaid.Ts’aiHsiawastheonlyone
whostillgotonwellwithhim,sopouringacupoftea,shehandedittohim.But
shefeltpromptedtowhispertohim:“Keepquietabit!what’stheuseofmaking
peopledislikeyou?”
“Iknowmyselfhowmattersstand,”ChiaHuanrejoined,ashecastasteady
glanceather;“sodon’tyoutryandbefoolme!Nowthatyouareonintimate
termswithPao-yü,youdon’tpaymuchheedtome.I’vealsoseenthroughit
myself.”
Ts’aiHsiaosetherteethtogether,andgavehimafilliponthehead.“You
heartlessfellow!”shecried.“You’relikethedog,thatbitLüT’ung-pin.You
havenoideaofwhat’srightandwhat’swrong!”
Whilethesetwonaggedaway,theynoticedladyFengandMadameWangcross
togetherovertothem.MadameWangatonceassailedhimwithquestions.She
askedhimhowmanyladieshadbeenpresentonthatday,whethertheplayhad
beengoodorbad,andwhatthebanquethadbeenlike.
Butabriefintervalover,Pao-yütooappearedonthescene.Aftersaluting
MadameWang,healsomadeafewremarks,withalldecorum;andthenbidding
aservantremovehisfrontlet,divesthimofhislonggownandpulloffhisboots,
herushedheadforemost,intohismother’slap.
MadameWangcaressedandpattedhim.ButwhilePao-yüclungtohismother’s
neck,hespoketoherofonethingandthenanother.


“Mychild,”saidMadameWang,“you’veagainhadtoomuchtodrink;yourface
isscaldinghot,andifyoustillkeeponrubbingandscrapingit,why,you’llby
andbyestirupthefumesofwine!Don’tyouyetgoandliedownquietlyover
thereforalittle!”
Chidinghimthewhile,shedirectedaservanttofetchapillow.Pao-yütherefore
layhimselfdownatthebackofMadameWang,andcalledTs’aiHsiatocome
andstrokehim.
Pao-yüthenbegantobandywordswithTs’aiHsia.ButperceivingthatTs’ai
Hsiawasreserved,and,thatinsteadofpayinghimanyattention,shekepther
eyesfixeduponChiaHuan,Pao-yüeagerlytookherhand.“Mydeargirl!”he
said;“doalsoheedmealittle;”andashegaveutterancetothisappeal,hekept
herhandclaspedinhis.
Ts’aiHsia,however,drewherhandawayandwouldnotlethimholdit.“Ifyou
gooninthisway,”shevehementlyexclaimed,“I’llshoutoutatonce.”
Thesetwowereintheactofwrangling,whenverilyChiaHuanoverheardwhat
wasgoingon.Hehad,infact,allalonghatedPao-yü;sowhenonthisoccasion,
heespiedhimuptohislarkswithTs’aiHsia,hecouldmuchlessthaneverstifle
feelingsofresentmentinhisheart.Aftersomereflection,therefore,anidea
suggesteditselftohismind,andpretendingthatitwasbyaslipofthehand,he
shovedthecandle,overflowingwithtallow,intoPao-yü‘sface.
“Aiya!”Pao-yüwasheardtoexclaim.Everyoneinthewholeroomwas
plungedinconsternation.Withprecipitatehaste,thelanterns,standingonthe
floor,weremovedover;and,withthefirstrayoflight,theydiscoveredthatPaoyü‘sfacewasonemassoftallow.
MadameWanggavewaytoangeraswellasanxiety.Atonetime,sheissued
directionstotheservantstorubandwashPao-yüclean.Atanother,sheheaped
abuseuponChiaHuan.
LadyFengjumpedontothestone-couchbyleapsandbounds.Butwhileintent
uponremovingthestufffromPao-yü‘sface,shesimultaneouslyejaculated:
“MasterTertius,areyoustillsuchatrickster!I’lltellyouwhat,you’llneverturn
toanygoodaccount!YetdameChaoshouldevercorrectandadmonishhim.”
ThissingleremarksuggestedtheideatoMadameWang,andshelostnotimein


sendingforMrs.Chaotocomeround.
“Youbringup,”sheberatedher,“suchablack-heartedoffspringlikethis,and
don’tyou,afterall,adviseandreprovehim?TimeandagainIpaidnonotice
whatevertowhathappened,andyouandhehavebecomemoreaudacious,and
havegonefromworsetoworse!”
Mrs.Chaohadnoalternativebuttosuppresseverysenseofinjury,silenceall
grumblings,andgoherselfandlendahandtotheothersintidyingPao-yü.She
thenperceivedthatawholerowofblistershadrisenontheleftsideofPao-yü‘s
face,butthatfortunatelynoinjuryhadbeendonetohiseyes.
WhenMadameWang’sattentionwasdrawntothemshefeltherheartsore.Itfell
apreytofearsalsolestwhendowagerladyChiamadeanyinquiriesaboutthem
sheshouldfinditdifficulttogiveheranysatisfactoryreply.Andsodistressed
didshegetthatshegaveMrs.Chaoanotherscolding.Butwhileshetriedto
comfortPao-yü,she,atthesametime,fetchedsomepowderforcounteracting
theeffectsofthevirus,andapplieditonhisface.
“It’srathersore,”saidPao-yü,“butit’snothingtospeakof.Tomorrowwhenmy
oldgrandmotherasksaboutit,IcansimplyexplainthatIscaldeditmyself;that
willbequiteenoughtotellher.”
“Ifyousaythatyouscaldedityourself,”ladyFengobserved,“why,she’llalso
callpeopletotaskfornotlookingout;andafitofragewill,beyonddoubt,be
theoutcomeofitall.”
MadameWangthenorderedtheservantstotakecareandescortPao-yübackto
hisroom.Ontheirarrival,HsiJenandhisotherattendantssawhim,andthey
wereallinagreatstateofflurry.
AsforLinTai-yü,whenshefoundthatPao-yühadgoneoutofdoors,she
continuedthewholedayapreytoennui.Intheevening,shedeputedmessengers
twoandthreetimestogoandinquireabouthim.Butwhenshecametoknow
thathehadbeenscalded,shehurriedinpersontocomeandseehim.Shethen
discoveredPao-yüallalone,holdingaglassandscanninghisfeaturesinit;while
theleftsideofhisfacewasplasteredalloverwithsomemedicine.
LinTai-yüimaginedthattheburnwasofanextremelyseriousnature,andshe
hastenedtoapproachhimwithaviewtoexamineit.Pao-yü,however,screened


hisface,and,wavinghishand,badeherleavetheroom;forknowingherusual
knackfortidinesshedidnotfeelinclinedtolethergetaglimpseofhisface.Taiyüthengaveuptheattempt,andconfinedherselftoaskinghim:“whetheritwas
verypainful?”
“Itisn’tverysore,”repliedPao-yü,“ifIlookafteritforadayortwo,itwillget
allright.”
Butafteranothershortstay,LinTai-yürepairedbacktoherquarters.
ThenextdayPao-yüsawdowagerladyChia.Butinspiteofhisconfessionthat
hehimselfwasresponsibleforthescaldingofhisface,hisgrandmothercould
notrefrainfromreadinganotherlecturetotheservantswhohadbeenin
attendance.
Adayafter,Ma,aTaoistmatron,whosenamewasrecordedasPao-yü‘s
godmother,cameonavisittothemansion.UponperceivingPao-yü,shewas
verymuchtakenaback,andaskedallaboutthecircumstancesoftheaccident.
Whenheexplainedthathehadbeenscalded,sheforthwithshookherheadand
heavedasigh;thenwhilemakingwithherfingersafewpassesoverPao-yü‘s
face,shewentontomutterincantationsforseveralminutes.“Icanguarantee
thathe’llgetallright,”sheadded,“forthisissimplyasaddenandfleeting
accident!”
TurningtowardsdowagerladyChia:“Venerableancestor,”sheobserved,
“VenerableBuddha!howcouldyoueverbeawareoftheexistenceofthe
portentouspassageinthatBuddhisticclassic,‘totheeffectthatasonofevery
person,whoholdsthedignityofprince,dukeorhighfunctionary,hasnosooner
comeintotheworldandreachedacertainagethannumerousevilspiritsatonce
secretlyhaunthim,andpinchhim,whentheyfindanopportunity;ordigtheir
nailsintohim;orknockhisbowlofricedown,during,meal-time;orgivehima
shoveandsendhimover,whileheisquietlyseated.’Sothisisthereasonwhy
themajorityofthesonsandgrandsonsofthosedistinguishedfamiliesdonot
growuptoattainmanhood.”
DowagerladyChia,uponhearingherspeakinthiswise,eagerlyasked:“Isthere
anyBuddhisticspell,bymeansofwhichtochecktheirinfluenceornot?”
“Thisisaneasyjob!”rejoinedtheTaoistmatronMa,“alloneneeddoisto
performseveralmeritoriousdeedsonhisaccountsoastocounteractthe


consequencesofretributionandeverythingwillthenbeputright.Thatcanon
furtherexplains:‘thatinthewesternpartoftheworldthereisamightyBuddha,
whosegloryilluminesallthings,andwhosespecialchargeistocasthislustreon
theevilspiritsindarkplaces;thatifanybenevolentmanorvirtuouswoman
offershimoblationswithsincerityofheart,heisabletososuccessfully
perpetuatethepeaceandquietoftheirsonsandgrandsonsthatthesewillno
moremeetwithanycalamitiesarisingfrombeingpossessedbymalevolent
demons.’”
“Butwhat,Iwonder,”inquireddowagerladyChia,“couldbeofferedtothis
god?”
“Nothingofanygreatvalue,”answeredtheTaoistmatron,Ma.“Exclusiveof
offeringsofscentedcandles,severalcattiesofscentedoilcanbeadded,each
day,tokeepthelanternoftheGreatSeaalight.This‘GreatSea’lanternisthe
visibleembodimentandBuddhisticrepresentationofthisdivinity,sodayand
nightwedon’tventuretoletitgoout!”
“Forawholedayandawholenight,”askeddowagerladyChia,“howmuchoil
isneeded,sothatItooshouldaccomplishagoodaction?”
“Thereisreallynolimitastoquantity.Itrestsuponthegoodwillofthedonor,”
Ma,theTaoistmatron,putinbywayofreply.“Inmyquarters,forinstance,I
haveseverallanterns,thegiftsoftheconsortsofprincesandthespousesofhigh
officialslivinginvariouslocalities.TheconsortofthemansionofthePrinceof
NanAuhasbeenpromptedinherbeneficencebyaliberalspirit;sheallowseach
dayforty-eightcattiesofoil,andacattyofwick;sothather‘GreatSea’lampis
onlyatriflesmallerthanawater-jar.ThespouseofthemarquisofChinHsiang
comesnext,withnomorethantwentycattiesaday.Besidesthese,thereare
severalotherfamilies;somegivingtencatties;someeightcatties;somethree;
somefive;subjecttonofixedrule;andofcourseIfeelboundtokeepthe
lanternsalightontheirbehalf.”
DowagerladyChianoddedherheadandgavewaytoreflection.
“There’sstillanotherthing,”continuedtheTaoistmatron,Ma.“Ifitbeon
accountoffatherormotherorseniors,anyexcessivedonationwouldnotmatter.
Butwereyou,venerableancestor,tobestowtoomuchinyourofferingforPaoyü,ouryoungmasterwon’t,Ifear,beequaltothegift;andinsteadofbeing


benefited,hishappinesswillbesnapped.Ifyouthereforewanttomakealiberal
giftsevencattieswilldo;ifasmallone,thenfivecattieswillevenbesufficient.”
“Well,inthatcase,”respondeddowagerladyChia,“letusfixuponfivecattiesa
day,andeverymonthcomeandreceivepaymentofthewholelumpsum!”
“O-mi-to-fu!”exclaimedMa,theTaoistmatron,“Ohmerciful,andmightyP’u
Sa!”
DowagerladyChiathencalledtheservantsandimpressedontheirmindsthat
wheneverPao-yüwentoutofdoorsinthefuture,theyshouldgiveseveralstrings
ofcashtothepagestobestowoncharityamongthebonzesandTaoistpriests,
andthepoorandneedytheymightmeetontheway.
Thesedirectionsconcluded,theTaoistmatrontrudgedintothevariousquarters,
andpaidherrespects,andthenstrolledleisurelyabout.Presently,sheentered
Mrs.Chao’sapartments.Afterthetwoladieshadexchangedsalutations,Mrs.
Chaobadeayoungservant-girlhandherguestacupoftea.WhileMrs.Chao
busiedherselfpastingshoes,Ma,theTaoistmatron,espied,piledupinaheapon
thestovecouch,sundrypiecesofsilksandsatins.“Itjusthappens,”she
consequentlyremarked,“thatIhavenofacingsforshoes,somyladydogiveme
afewoddcuttingsofsilkandsatin,ofnomatterwhatcolour,tomakemyselfa
pairofshoeswith.”
Mrs.Chaoheavedasigh.“Look,”shesaid,“whethertherebestillamongthem
anypiecesgoodforanything.Butanythingthat’sworthanythingdoesn’tfindits
wayinhere.Ifyoudon’tdespisewhat’sworthless,you’reatlibertytoselectany
twopiecesandtotakethemaway,andhavedone.”
TheTaoistmatron,Ma,chosewithalacrityseveralpiecesandshovedthemin
herbreast.
“Theotherday,”Mrs.Chaowentontoinquire,“Isentaservantoverwithfive
hundredcash;haveyoupresentedanyofferingsbeforethegodofmedicineor
not?”
“I’veofferedthemlongagoforyou,”theTaoistmatronMarejoined.
“O-mi-to-fu!”ejaculatedMrs.Chaowithasigh,“wereIalittlebetteroff,I’d
alsocomeoftenandoffergifts;butthoughmywillbeboundless,mymeansare


insufficient!”
“Don’ttroubleyourmindonthisscore,”suggestedMa,theTaoistmatron.“By
andbye,whenMr.Huanhasgrownupintoamanandobtainedsomeofficial
postorother,willtherebethenanyfearofyournotbeingabletoaffordsuch
offeringsasyoumightliketomake?”
AtthesewordsMrs.Chaogaveasmile.“Enough,enough!”shecried.“Don’t
againrefertosuchcontingencies!thepresentisafaircriterion.Foruptowhom
inthishousecanmysonandIcome?Pao-yüisstillamerechild;butheissuch
thathewinspeople’slove.Thosebigpeoplemaybepartialtohim,andlovehim
agooddeal,I’venothingtosaytoit;butIcan’teathumblepietothissortof
mistress!”
Whileutteringthisremark,shestretchedouthertwofingers.
Ma,theTaoistmatron,understoodthemeaningshedesiredtoconvey.“It’syour
ladySecunda,Lien,eh?”sheforthwithasked.
Mrs.Chaowasfilledwithtrepidation.Hastilywavingherhand,shegottoher
feet,raisedtheportiere,andpeepedoutside.Perceivingthattherewasnoone
about,sheatlengthretracedherfootsteps.“Dreadful!”shethensaidtotheTaoist
matron.“Dreadful!Butspeakingofthissortofmistress,I’mnotsomuchasa
humanbeing,ifshedoesn’tmanagetoshiftoverintohermother’shomethe
wholeofthisfamilyestate.”
“Needyoutellmethis!”Ma,theTaoistmatron,atthesewords,remarkedwitha
viewtoascertainwhatsheimplied.“Haven’tI,forsooth,discovereditallfor
myself?Yetit’sfortunatethatyoudon’ttroubleyourmindsabouther;forit’sfar
betterthatyoushouldletherhaveherownway.”
“Mydearwoman,”rejoinedMrs.Chao,“Notletherhaveherownway!why,is
itlikelythatanyonewouldhavethecouragetotellheranything?”
“Idon’tmeantoutteranywordsthatmaybringuponmeretribution,”addedMa,
theTaoistmatron,“butyoupeoplehaven’tgotthewits.Butit’snomatterof
surprise.Yetifyoudaren’topenlydoanything,why,youcouldstealthilyhave
devisedsomeplan.Anddoyoustilltarryuptothisday?”
Mrs.Chaorealisedthattherelurkedsomethinginherinsinuation,andshefeltan


inwardsecretjoy.“WhatplancouldIstealthilydevise?”sheasked.“I’vegotthe
willrightenough,butI’mnotapersongiftedwiththissortofgumption.Sowere
youtoimparttomesomewayorother,Iwouldrewardyoumostliberally.”
WhentheTaoistmatron,Ma,heardthis,shedrewneartoher.“O-mi-to-fu!
desistatoncefromaskingme!”shedesignedlyexclaimed.“HowcanIknow
anythingaboutsuchmatters,contraryastheyaretowhatisright?”
“Thereyouareagain!”Mrs.Chaoreplied.“You’reoneevermostreadyto
succourthoseindistress,andtohelpthoseindanger,andisitlikelythatyou’ll
quietlylookon,whilesomeonecomesandcompassesmydeathaswellasthat
ofmyson?Areyou,pray,fearfullestIshouldn’tgiveyouanyreward?”
Ma,theTaoistmatron,greetedthisremarkwithasmile.“You’rerightenoughin
whatyousay,”sheventured,“ofmybeingunabletobearthesightofyourself
andsonreceivinginsultfromathirdparty;butasforyourmentionofrewards,
why,what’sthereofyoursthatIstillcovet?”
ThisanswerslightlyreassuredMrs.Chao’smind.“Howisit,”shespeedily
urged,“thatanintelligentpersonlikeyoushouldhavebecomesodense?If,
indeed,thespellproveefficacious,andweexterminatethemboth,isthereany
apprehensionthatthisfamilyestatewon’tbeours?andwhenthattimecomes,
won’tyougetallyoumaywish?”
Atthisdisclosure,Ma,theTaoistmatron,loweredherheadforalongtime.
“Wheneverything,”sheobserved,“shallhavebeensettledsatisfactorily,and
whenthere’llbe,what’smore,noproofatall,willyoustillpayanyheedto
me?”
“What’stherehardaboutthis?”remarkedMrs.Chao.“I’vesavedseveraltaels
frommyownpin-money,andhavebesidesagoodnumberofclothesandheadornaments.Soyoucanfirsttakeseveraloftheseawaywithyou.AndI’llfurther
writeanI.O.U.,andentrustittoyou,andwhenthattimedoescome,I’llpayyou
infull.”
“Thatwilldo!”answeredtheTaoistmatron,Ma.
Mrs.Chaothereupondismissedevenayoungservant-girl,whohappenedtobe
intheroom,andhastilyopeningatrunk,sheproducedseveralarticlesof
clothingandjewelry,aswellasafewoddpiecesofsilverfromherownpocket-


money.Thenalsowritingapromissorynoteforfiftytaels,shesurrenderedthe
lottoMa,theTaoistmatron.“Takethese,”shesaid,“inadvanceforpresentsin
yourtemple.”
Atthesightofthevariousarticlesandofthepromissorynote,theTaoistmatron
becameatonceunmindfulofwhatwasrightandwhatwaswrong;andwhileher
mouthwasfullofassent,shestretchedoutherarm,andfirstandforemostlaid
holdofthehardcash,andnextclutchedtheI.O.U.TurningthentowardsMrs.
Chao,sheaskedforasheetofpaper;andtakingupapairofscissors,shecutout
twohumanbeingsandgavethemtoMrs.Chao,enjoininghertowriteonthe
upperpartofthemtherespectiveagesofthetwopersonsinquestion.Looking
furtherforasheetofbluepaper,shecutoutfiveblue-faceddevils,whichshe
badeherplacetogethersidebysidewiththepapermen,andtakingapinshe
madethemfast.“WhenIgethome,”sheremarked,“I’llhaverecoursetosome
art,whichwill,beyonddoubt,proveefficacious.”
Whenshehoweverhaddonespeaking,shesuddenlysawMadameWang’s
waiting-maidmakeherappearanceinsidetheroom.“What!mydame,areyouin
here!”thegirlexclaimed.“Why,ourladyiswaitingforyou!”
Thetwodamesthenpartedcompany.
Butpassingthemover,wewillnowalludetoLinTai-yµ.AsPao-yühadscalded
hisface,anddidnotgooutofdoorsverymuch,sheoftencametohaveachat
withhim.Onthisparticulardayshetookup,afterhermeal,somebookorother
andreadacoupleofpagesoutofit.Next,shebusiedherselfalittlewith
needlework,incompanywithTzuChuan.Shefelthoweverthoroughlydejected
andoutofsorts.Soshestrolledoutofdoorsalongwithher.Butcatchingsightof
thenewlysproutedbambooshoots,infrontofthepavilion,theyinvoluntarily
steppedoutoftheentranceofthecourt,andpenetratedintothegarden.They
casttheireyesonallfourquarters;butnotasoulwasvisible.Whentheybecame
consciousofthesplendouroftheflowersandthechatterofthebirds,they,with
listlessstep,turnedtheircoursetowardstheIHungcourt.Theretheyfound
severalservant-girlsbalingoutwater;whileabevyofthemstoodunderthe
verandah,watchingthethrusheshavingtheirbath.Theyheardalsothesoundof
laughterintherooms.
ThefactisthatLiKung-ts’ai,ladyFeng,andPao-ch’aiwereassembledinside.
Assoonastheysawthemwalkin,theywithonevoiceshouted,smiling:“Now,


arenotthesetwomore!”
“Weareafullcompanyto-day,”laughedTai-yü,“butwhohasissuedthecards
andinvitedushere?”
“Theotherday,”interposedladyFeng,“Isentservantswithapresentoftwo
caddiesofteaforyou,MissLin;wasit,afterall,good?”
“Ihadjustforgottenallaboutit,”Tai-yürejoined,“manythanksforyourkind
attention!
“Itastedit,”observedPao-yü.“Ididnotthinkitanythinggood.ButIdon’t
knowhowothers,who’vehadanyofit,findit.”
“Itsflavour,”saidTai-yü,“isgood;theonlythingis,ithasnocolour.”
“It’stributeteafromtheLaosKingdom,”continuedladyFeng.“WhenItriedit,
Ididn’teitherfinditanythingveryfine.It’snotuptowhatweordinarilydrink.”
“Tomytaste,it’sallright,”putinTai-yü.“Butwhatyourpalatesarelike,Ican’t
makeout.”
“Asyousayit’sgood,”suggestedPao-yü,“you’requiteatlibertytotakeallI
haveforyouruse.”
“I’vegotagreatdealmoreofitoverthere,”ladyFengremarked.
“I’lltellaservant-girltogoandfetchit,”Tai-yüreplied.
“Noneed,”ladyFengwenton.“I’llsenditoverwithsomeone.Ialsohavea
favourtoaskofyoutomorrow,soImayaswelltelltheservanttobringitalong
atthesametime.”
WhenLinTai-yüheardthesewords,sheputonasmile.“Youjustmarkthis,”
sheobserved.“I’vehadto-dayalittleteafromherplace,andsheatoncebegins
makingatoolofme!”
“Sinceyou’vehadsomeofourtea,”ladyFenglaughed,“howisitthatyouhave
notyetbecomeawifeinourhousehold?”


Thewholepartyburstoutlaughingaloud.Somuchso,thattheyfoundit
difficulttorepressthemselves.ButTai-yü‘sfacewassuffusedwithblushes.She
turnedherheadtheotherway,andutterednotaword.
“Oursister-in-lawSecunda’sjibesarefirst-rate!”Pao-ch’aichimedinwitha
laugh.
“Whatjibes!”exclaimedTai-yü;“they’repurelyandsimplytheprattleofamean
mouthandviletongue!They’reenoughtoevokepeople’sdispleasure!”
Sayingthis,shewentontosputterindisgust.
“Wereyou,”insinuatedladyFeng,“tobecomeawifeinmyfamily,whatisthere
thatyouwouldlack?”PointingthenatPao-yü,“Lookhere!”shecried—“Isnot
thishumanbeingworthyofyou?Isnothisstationinlifegoodenoughforyou?
Arenotourstockandestatesufficientforyou?andinwhatslightdegreecanhe
makeyoulosecaste?”
Tai-yürosetoherfeet,andretiredimmediately.ButPao-ch’aishoutedout:
“Here’sP’inErhinahuff!Don’tyouyetcomeback?whenyou’vegone,there
willreallybenofun!”
Whilecallingouttoher,shejumpeduptopullherback.Assoon,however,as
shereachedthedooroftheroom,shebeheldMrs.Chao,accompaniedbyMrs.
Chou;bothcomingtolookupPao-yü.Pao-yüandhiscompanionsgotupina
bodyandpressedthemintoaseat.LadyFengwasthesolepersonwhodidnot
heedthem.
ButjustasPao-ch’aiwasabouttoopenherlips,sheperceivedaservant-girl,
attachedtoMadameWang’sapartments,appearonthescene.“Yourmaternal
uncle’swifehascome,”shesaid,“andsherequestsyou,ladiesandyoungladies,
tocomeoutandseeher.”
LiKung-ts’aihurriedlywalkedawayincompanywithladyFeng.Thetwo
dames,Mrs.ChaoandMrs.Chou,inlikemannertooktheirleaveandquittedthe
room.
“Asforme,Ican’tgoout,”Pao-yüshouted.“Butwhateveryoudo,pray,don’t
askaunttocomeinhere.”“CousinLin,”hewentontosay,“dostayonawhile;
I’vegotsomethingtotellyou.”


LadyFengoverheardhim.TurningherheadtowardsLinTai-yü,“There’ssome
one,”shecried;“whowantstospeaktoyou.”AndforthwithlayingholdofLin
Tai-yü,shepushedherbackandthentrudgedaway,alongwithLiKung-ts’ai.
Duringthistime,Pao-yüclaspedTai-yü‘shandinhis.Hedidnothingthansmile.
Butnotaworddidheutter.Tai-yünaturally,therefore,gotcrimsonintheface,
andstruggledtoescapehisimportunities.
“Ai-ya!”exclaimedPao-yü.“Howmyheadissore!”
“Itshouldbe!”rejoinedTai-yü.“O-mi-to-fu.”
Pao-yüthengaveventtoaloudshout.Hisbodybouncedthreeorfourfeethigh
fromtheground.Hismouthwasfullofconfusedshrieks.Butallhesaidwas
ramblingtalk.
Tai-yüandtheservant-girlswerefullofconsternation,and,withallpossible
haste,theyranandapprisedMadameWanganddowagerladyChia.
WangTzu-t’eng’swifewas,atthistime,alsowiththem,sotheyallcameina
bodytoseehim.Pao-yübehavedmoreandmoreasifdeterminedtoclutcha
swordorseizeaspeartoputanendtohisexistence.Heragedinamanner
sufficienttosubverttheheavensandupsettheearth.
AssoonasdowagerladyChiaandMadameWangcaughtsightofhim,they
werestruckwithterror.Theytrembledwildlylikeapieceofclothingthatis
beingshaken.Utteringashoutof:“Myson,”andanotherof:“Myflesh,”they
burstoutintoaloudfitofcrying.Presently,alltheinmateswereseizedwith
fright.EvenChiaShe,MadameHsing,ChiaCheng,ChiaChen,ChiaLien,Chia
Jung,ChiaYün,ChiaP’ing,Mrs.Hsüeh,HsüehP’an,ChouJui’swife,andthe
variousmembersofthehousehold,whetherhighorlow,andtheservant-girls
andmarriedwomentoo,rushedintothegardentoseewhatwasup.
Theconfusionthatprevailedwas,atthemoment,likeentangledflax.Everyone
wasatalosswhattodo,whentheyespiedladyFengdashintothegarden,a
glisteningswordinhand,andtrytocutdowneverythingthatcameinherway,
oglevacantlywhomsoeverstruckhergaze,andmakeforthwithanattemptto
despatchthem.Agreaterpanicthaneverbrokeoutamongthewhole
assemblage.Butplacingherselfattheheadofahandfulofsturdyfemale
servants,ChouJui’swifeprecipitatedherselfforward,andclaspinghertight,


theysucceededinsnatchingtheswordfromhergrip,andcarryingherbackinto
herroom.
P’ingErh,FengErh,andtheothergirlsbegantoweep.Theyinvokedthe
heavensandappealedtotheearth.EvenChiaChengwasdistressedatheart.One
andallatthisstagestartedshouting,some,onething;some,another.Some
suggestedexorcists.Somecriedoutfortheposture-makerstoattractthedevils.
OthersrecommendedthatChang,theTaoistpriest,oftheYüHuangtemple,
shouldcatchtheevilspirits.Athoroughturmoilreignedsupremeforalongtime.
Thegodswereimplored.Prayerswereoffered.Everykindofremedywastried,
butnobenefitwhateverbecamevisible.
Aftersunset,thespouseofWangTzu-t’engsaidgoodbyeandtookherdeparture.
Ontheensuingday,WangTzu-t’enghimselfalsocametomakeinquiries.
Followingcloselyuponhim,arrived,inabody,messengersfromtheyoung
marquisShih,MadameHsing’syoungbrother,andtheirvariousrelativesto
ascertainforthemselveshow(ladyFengandPao-yü)wereprogressing.Some
broughtcharm-water.SomerecommendedbonzesandTaoistpriests.Others
spokehighlyofdoctors.Butthatyoungfellowandhiselderbrother’swifefell
intosuchgreaterandgreaterstuporthattheylostallconsciousness.Theirbodies
werehotlikefire.Astheylayprostrateontheirbeds,theytalkeddeliriously.
Withthefalloftheshadesofnighttheirconditionaggravated.Somuchso,that
thematronsandservant-girlsdidnotventuretovolunteertheirattendance.They
had,therefore,tobebothmovedintoMadameWang’squarters,whereservants
weretoldofftotaketheirturnandwatchthem.
DowagerladyChia,MadameWang,MadameHsingandMrs.Hsüehdidnot
budgeaninchorastepfromtheirside.Theysatroundthem,anddidnothingbut
cry.ChiaSheandChiaChengtoowereaprey,atthisjuncture,tomisgivingslest
weepingshouldupsetdowagerladyChia.Dayandnightoilwasburntandfires
were,mindlessofexpense,keptalight.Thebustleandconfusionwassuchthat
noone,eithermasterorservant,gotanyrest.
ChiaShealsospedoneverysideinsearchofBuddhistandTaoistpriests.But
ChiaChenghadwitnessedhowlittlereliefthesethingscouldafford,andhefelt
constrainedtodissuadeChiaShefromhisendeavours.“Thedestiny,”heargued,
“ofoursonanddaughterisentirelydependentuponthewillofHeaven,andno
humanstrengthcanprevail.Themaladyofthesetwopersonswouldnotbe
healed,evenwereeverykindoftreatmenttried,andasIfeelconfidentthatitis


thedesignofheaventhatthingsshouldbeastheyare,allwecandoistoallowit
tocarryoutitspurpose.”
ChiaShe,however,paidnonoticetohisremonstrancesandcontinuedashitherto
tofussineveryimaginableway.Innotimethreedayselapsed.LadyFengand
Pao-yüwerestillconfinedtotheirbeds.Theirverybreathshadgrownfainter.
Thewholehousehold,therefore,unanimouslyarrivedattheconclusionthatthere
wasnohope,andwithalldespatchtheymadeeverynecessarypreparationfor
thesubsequentrequirementsofboththeirrelatives.
DowagerladyChia,MadameWang,ChiaLien,P’ingErh,HsiJenandtheothers
indulgedintearswithkeenerandkeeneranguish.Theyhungbetweenlifeand
death.Mrs.Chaoalonewastheonewhoassumedanoutwardshamairof
distress,whileinherheartshefeltherwishesgratified.
Thefourthdayarrived.AtanearlyhourPao-yüsuddenlyopenedhiseyesand
addressedhimselftohisgrandmotherChia.“Fromthisdayforward,”hesaid,“I
maynolongerabideinyourhouse,soyouhadbettersendmeoffatonce!”
ThesewordsmadedowagerladyChiafeelasifherveryhearthadbeen
wrenchedoutofher.Mrs.Chao,whostoodby,exhortedher.“Youshouldn’t,
venerablelady,”shesaid,“indulgeinexcessivegrief.Thisyoungmanhasbeen
longagoofnogood;sowouldn’titbeaswelltodresshimupandlethimgo
backamomentsoonerfromthisworld.You’llalsobethussparinghim
considerablesuffering.But,ifyoupersist,innotreconcilingyourselftothe
separationandthisbreathofhisisnotcutoff,hewillliethereandsufferwithout
anyrespite….”
Herargumentswerescarcelyended,whenshewasspatuponbydowagerlady
Chia.“Yourotten-tongued,good-for-nothinghag!”shecriedabusively.“What
makesyoufancyhimofnogood!Youwishhimdeadandgone;butwhatbenefit
willyouthenderive?Don’tgivewaytoanydreams;for,ifhedoesdie,I’lljust
exactyourlivesfromyou!It’sallbecauseyou’vebeencontinuouslyathim,
incitingandurginghimtoreadandwrite,thathisspirithasbecomeso
intimidatedthat,atthesightofhisfather,hebehavesjustlikearattryingtoget
outofthewayofacat!Andisnotallthistheresultofthebullyingofsucha
meanherdofwomenasyourselves!Couldyounowdrivehimtodeath,your
wisheswouldimmediatelybefulfilled;butwhichofyouwillIletoff?”


Nowsheshedtears;nowshegaveventtoabuse.
ChiaCheng,whostoodby,heardtheseinvectives;andtheysoenhancedhis
exasperationthathepromptlyshoutedoutandmadeMrs.Chaowithdraw.He
thenexertedhimselfforatimetoconsole(hissenior)byusingkindlyaccents.
Butsuddenlysomeonecametoannouncethatthetwocoffinshadbeen
completed.Thisannouncementpierced,likeadagger,dowagerladyChiatothe
heart;andwhileweepingwithdespairmoreintense,shebrokeforthinviolent
upbraidings.
“Whoisit,”—sheinquired;“whogaveorderstomakethecoffins?Bringatonce
thecoffin-makersandbeatthemtodeath!”
Astirensuedsufficienttoconvulsetheheavensandtosubverttheearth.Butat
anunforeseenmomentresoundedintheairthegentlerappingofa‘woodenfish’
bell.Avoicerecitedthesentence:“Ave!Buddhaabletounravelretributionand
dispelgrievances!Shouldanyhumanbeinglieinsickness,andhisfamilybe
solicitousonhisaccount;orshouldanyonehavemetwithevilspiritsandcome
acrossanybalefulevils,wehavethemeanstoeffectacure.”
DowagerladyChiaandMadameWangatoncedirectedservantstogooutinto
thestreetandfindoutwhoitwas.Itturnedouttobe,infact,amangy-headed
bonzeandahobblingTaoistpriest.Whatwastheappearanceofthebonze?
Hisnoselikeasuspendedgall;histwoeyebrowssolong,Hiseyes,
resemblingradiantstars,possessedapreciousglow,Hiscoatintattersandhis
shoesofstraw,withoutahome;Rollinginfilth,and,aworsefate,hisheadone
massofboils.
AndtheTaoistpriest,whatwashelike?
Withonelegperchèdhighhecomes,withoneleglow;Hiswholeframe
drenchingwet,bespatteredallwithmud.Ifyouperchancemeethim,andask
himwhere’shishome,“Infairyland,westofthe‘WeakWater,’he’llsay.”
ChiaChengorderedtheservantstoinvitethemtowalkin.“Onwhathill,”he
askedthosetwopersons,“doyoucultivatetheprinciplesofreason?
“Worthyofficial!”thebonzesmiled,“youmustnotasktoomanyquestions!It’s
becausewe’velearntthatthereareinmatesofyourhonourablemansionina


poorstateofhealththatwecomewiththeexpressdesignofworkingacure.”
“Thereare,”explainedChiaCheng,“twoofourmembers,whohavebeen
possessedofevilspirits.But,isthere,Iwonder,anyremedybymeansofwhich
theycouldhehealed?”
“Inyourfamily,”laughinglyobservedtheTaoistpriest,“youhavereadyathand
apreciousthing,thelikeofwhichisraretofindintheworld.Itpossessesthe
virtueofalleviatingtheailment,sowhyneedyouinquireaboutremedies?”
ChiaCheng’smindwasforthwitharoused.“It’strue,”heconsequentlyrejoined,
“thatmysonbroughtalongwithhim,atthetimeofhisbirth,apieceofjade,on
thesurfaceofwhichwasinscribedthatithadthevirtueofdispellingevil
influences,butwehaven’tseenanyefficacyinit.”
“Thereis,worthyofficer,”saidthebonze,“somethinginitwhichyoudonot
understand.Thatpreciousjadewas,initsprimitivestate,efficacious,but
consequentuponitshavingbeenpollutedbymusic,lewdness,propertyandgain
ithaslostitsspiritualproperties.Butproducenowthatvaluablethingandwait
tillIhavetakenitintomyhandsandpronouncedincantationsoverit,whenit
willbecomeasfullofefficacyasofold!”
ChiaChengaccordinglyunclaspedthepieceofjadefromPao-yü‘sneck,and
handedittothetwodivines.TheBuddhistpriesthelditwithreverenceinthe
palmofhishandandheavingadeepsigh,“Sinceourparting,”hecried,“atthe
footoftheCh’ingKengpeak,aboutthirteenyearshaveelapsed.Howtimeflies
inthemortalworld!Thineearthlydestinyhasnotyetbeendetermined.Alas,
alas!howadmirablewerethequalitiesthoudid’stpossessinthosedays!
“ByHeavenunrestrained,withoutconstraintfromEarth,Nojoyslivedinthy
heart,butsorrowsnoneaswell;Yetwhenperception,throughrefinement,thou
did’streach,Thouwent’stamongmankindtotroubletogiverise.Howsadthe
lotwhichthouoflatehasthadtohear!Powderprintsandrougestainsthy
preciouslustredim.Housebarsbothdayandnightencagetheelikeaduck.
Deepwiltthousleep,butfromthydreamatlengththou’ltwake,Thydebtof
vengeance,oncedischarged,thouwiltdepart.”
Attheconclusionofthisrecital,heagainrubbedthestoneforawhile,andgave
venttosomenonsensicalutterances,afterwhichhesurrenderedittoChia
Cheng.“Thisobject,”hesaid,“hasalreadyresumeditsefficacy;butyou


shouldn’tdoanythingtodesecrateit.Hangitonthepostofthedoorinhis
bedroom,andwiththeexceptionofhisownrelatives,youmustnotletany
outsidefemalepolluteit.Aftertheexpiryofthirty-threedays,hewill,Ican
guarantee,beallright.”
ChiaChengthengaveorderstopresenttea;butthetwopriestshadalready
walkedaway.Hehad,however,noalternativebuttocomplywiththeir
injunctions,andladyFengandPao-yü,inpointoffact,gotbetterfromdayto
day.Littlebylittletheyreturnedtotheirsensesandexperiencedhunger.
DowagerladyChiaandMadameWang,atlength,feltcomposedintheirminds.
Allthecousinsheardthenewsoutside.Tai-yü,previoustoanythingelse,
mutteredaprayertoBuddha;whilePao-ch’ailaughedandsaidnotaword.
“SisterPao,”inquiredHsiCh’un,“whatareyoulaughingfor?”
“Ilaugh,”repliedPao-ch’ai,“becausethe‘Thus-Come’Josshasmoretodothan
anyhumanbeing.He’sgottoseetotheconversionofallmankind,andtotake
careoftheailments,towhichallfleshisheir;forherestoreseveryoneofthem
atoncetohealth;andhehasaswelltocontrolpeople’smarriagessoastobring
themaboutthroughhisaid;andwhatdoyousay,hasheampletodoornot?
Now,isn’tthisenoughtomakeonelaugh,eh?”
LinTai-yüblushed.“Ts’ui!”sheexclaimed;“noneofyouaregoodpeople.
Insteadoffollowingtheexampleofworthypersons,youtrytorivalthemean
mouthofthathusseyFeng.”
Assheutteredthesewords,sheraisedtheportiereandmadeherexit.
But,reader,doyouwanttoknowanyfurthercircumstances?Ifso,thenext
chapterwillexplainthemtoyou.

CHAPTERXXVI.
OntheFengYaobridge,HsiaoHungmakesknownsentimentalmattersin
equivocallanguage.IntheHsiaoHsianglodge,Tai-yügives,whileunderthe
effectsofthespringlassitude,expressiontohersecretfeelings.



Afterthirtydays’carefulnursing,Pao-yü,wewillnownotice,notonlygot
strongandhaleinbody,butthescarsevenonhisfacecompletelyhealedup;so
hewasabletoshifthisquartersagainintothegardenofBroadVista.
Butwewillbanishthistopicasitdoesnotdeserveanyadditionalexplanations.
Letusnowturnourattentionelsewhere.DuringthetimethatPao-yüwasoflate
laidupinbed,ChiaYünalongwiththeyoungpagesofthehouseholdsatupon
watchtokeepaneyeoverhim,andbothdayandnight,theytarriedonthisside
ofthemansion.ButHsiaoHungaswellasalltheotherwaiting-maidsremained
inthesameparttonursePao-yü,so(ChiaYün)andshesawagooddealofeach
otheronseveraloccasions,andgraduallyanintimacysprungupbetweenthem.
HsiaoHungobservedthatChiaYünheldinhishandahandkerchiefverymuch
liketheonesheherselfhaddroppedsometimeagoandwasbentuponasking
himforit,butshedid,ontheotherhand,notthinkshecoulddosowith
propriety.TheunexpectedvisitofthebonzeandTaoistpriestrendered,however,
superfluoustheservicesofthevariousmaleattendants,andChia-yünhad
thereforetogoagainandoverseethemenplantingthetrees.Nowshehada
mindtodropthewholequestion,butshecouldnotreconcileherselftoit;and
nowshelongedtogoandaskhimaboutit,butfearsroseinhermindlestpeople
shouldentertainanysuspicionsastotherelationsthatexistedbetweenthem.But
justasshefaltered,quiteirresolute,andherheartwasthoroughlyunsettled,she
unawaresheardsomeoneoutsideinquire:“Sister,areyouintheroomornot?”
HsiaoHung,uponcatchingthisquestion,lookedoutthroughaholeinthe
window;andperceivingataglancethatitwasnooneelsethanayoungservantgirl,attachedtothesamecourtasherself,ChiaHuibyname,sheconsequently
saidbywayofreply:“Yes,Iam;comein!”
Whenthesewordsreachedherear,ChiaHuiranin,andtakingatonceaseaton
thebed,sheobservedwithasmile:“HowluckyI’vebeen!Iwasalittletime
backinthecourtwashingafewthings,whenPao-yücriedoutthatsometea
shouldbesentovertoMissLin,andsisterHuahandedittometogoonthe
errand.ByastrangecoincidenceouroldladyhadpresentedsomemoneytoMiss
Linandshewasengagedatthemomentindistributingitamongtheirservantgirls.Assoonthereforeasshesawmegetthere,MissLinforthwithgraspedtwo
handfulsofcashandgavethemtome;howmanythereareIdon’tknow,butdo
keepthemforme!”


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