A brief history of Chinese fiction

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Polecaj historie

A brief history of Chinese fiction

Table of contents :
Title Page
Preface to the New Edition
1. The Historians' Accounts and Evaluations of Fiction
2. Myths and Legends
3. Works of Fiction Mentioned in the "Han Dynasty History"
4. Fiction Attributed to Han Dynasty Writers
5. Tales of the Supernatural in the Six Dynasties
6. Tales of the Supernatural in the Six Dynasties (continued)
7. "Social Talk" and Other Works
8. The Tang Dynasty Prose Rornances
9. The Tang Dynasty Prose Rornances (continued)
10. Collections of Tang Dynasty Tales
11. Supernatural Tales and Prose Romances in the Sung Dynasty
12. Story-Tellers' Prompt-Books of the Sung Dynasty
13. Imitations of Prompt-Books in lhe Sung and Yuan Dynasties
14. Historical Romances of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties
15. Historical Romances of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties (continued)
16. Ming Dynasty Novels About Gods and Devils
17. Ming Dynasty Novels About Gods and Devils (continued)
18. Ming Dynasty Novels About Gods and Devils (continued)
19. Novels of Manners in the Ming Dynasty
20. Novels of Manners in the Ming Dynasty (continued)
21. Ming Dynasty Imitations of Sung Stories in the Vernacular
22. Imitations of Classical Tales in the Ching Dynasty
23. Novels of Social Satire in the Ching Dynasty
24. Novels of Manners in the Ching Dynasty
25. Novels of Erudition in the Ching Dynasty
26. Novels of Prostitution in the Ching Dynasty
27. Novels of Adventure and Detection in the Ching Dynasty
28. Novels of Exposure at the End of the Ching Dynasty
The Historical Development of Chinese Fiction
Preface to the Japanese Edition

Citation preview

Brief History of A

Chinese Fiction lu Hsun






in the

PeoplP.'s Rr.publir of


Contents P�face to the New Edition Preface


The Historians' Accounts and Evaluations of Fiction



Myths and Legends



Works of Fiction Mentioned


.l'iction Attributed to Han Dynasty Writers



Tales of the Supernatural in the Six Dynast i es



Tales of the Supernatural in the Six Dynasties (Co�tlinu.ed)



Social Talk and Other Works



The Tan g Dynasty Prose Romances



The Tang Dynasty Prose Romances (Conrinued)




Han Dynasty History



Collections of Tang Dynasty Tales



Supernatural Tal es and Prose Romances in th � Sung Dynasty



Story-Tellers' Prompt-Books of the Sung Dynasty



Imitations of Prompt-Books in lhe Sung and Yuan Dynasties



Historical Romances of the Yuan and Ming Dynustics














Ming Dynasty Novel� Ah. a

h uman fal·t· and tige-r's claw'>.

sway over the nine regions of ht·avcn and

He hns


("The Western Mountaino;")

Queen Mother of the West. This deity bears rcscm b lancc to a mortal but J-,al> a l eopn rd\ tail. tigcr'o:; tee th a shrill voice and mattc.d hai r on which she wea rs a tia ra She controb tht: furtc'i and uvenging spiri ts of heaven. (''The Wcstt_•rn Mountains") In Jade Mountain Iivcc; the




is eight

hundred li squaxc, hundreds of thou­

sands of feet high.

On it s summit grows a tree forty feet


in hei gh t which live men can barely span.

There are nine

welJs with jade balustrades a nd nine gates guarded by the

·�7 beast Kat Ming. Here all the dl!itles live. on an eight­ silled clifl' by the Hcd Stream which Yi alone can ascend. ("The

W t•stern Regions




QuC"en Mother of

stool. her




We))t wears a t ia ra and

has a which fe tch tood

In the south :rch i!'> t;,�

Pin�. uf tl:t· end u1 thl' I fc:.:\ uy1!:.J:-ot:

al.;o :•!· ••;,od


'J:·a! poci hnv" deducl!d

te n t that it wao; no t t h e work

K i n g W u kd his men and chariots aga i n st the Shangs. The king of S h ang had a million pick.cu troops in forma­ tion outside lhc ci ty from Huangniao to Chihfu. They

came o n as last as the wind w i th a noise like thunder. and K i ng

Wu's men were afruid. Then to wave h is white banner


King at



ordered the


and the

army of Shang fled. (From the Tni-ping Im perial Encyclopaedia) Ching Shih Tzu wns an early historian w h ose date is un­


His book was lost by the Sui d y n as t y and when .

"a col lection of street go�sip'' he the Han Dynasl :v Histor)'. for this work had

Liu Chi h-ch i e

t !uce

months. if she asked fnr improper m u , i c the an11alist woulc.J decl i ne t o play i t, il she

a ...


for i mpropt:r fond the cook

would dec l i ne to pr no

is insulted, h e w i l l n o t become �•gp;ressi vc.

Taoist phi losophy, though it is not alchemists said .

t he

shnme when he

This l!nacks of

l>Ort of th i ng the

Fict.ion A u rilntt.ed lo Han JJyn usty w·ritcrs



wri t i n gs of hsiao-s1wo sti l l in existence have been

a t t r i bu t ed to H a n d y nal!>ty w r i t ers, hu t n o ne of these

are gen ui ne Han dynasty works.

Frmn the T'iin to the Sung and M i ng dynasth!S, scholars and alchemists forge d "ancient'' work!.. The sc hola rs d1d this for t h e 1 r own amu�o.ement. to show off their tale n t or to d a i m t hat they had acq u i red some rare

manuscri pt ;

the aJ chem 1 sts did

this to l!>pread super­

sti tion, util izing these "ancknt" texts to i mpress t he credu ­ lous.

After t h e Tsin dynasty these forgeries were

ascribed to

l h t n d y nast y a u t hors, just as d u ring t he He hsiao-shuo a lleged to be Han dynasty

w r it i ngs, two were attri but e d to Tu ngfa ng �huo, two t o Pan

Ku, one to K uo Hsien, one to Liu l lsi n . Works about distant lands were attributed to Tungfan g Shuo or Kuo Hsien. t hose about l ocal affairs to Liu Hsi n or Pa n K u. these writ i ngs treat

of the supernatural.

By and large. all

128 One work supposedl y by Tungfang Shuo is the Book of

Deities and Marvels.

Written in the style of The Book of

Mountains and Seas, t h i s has fewer geographic details and

more accou nts of wonders, with an occasional jest thrown in.

Since The Book of Mountains and Seas was little talked of in the Han dynasty, not becoming widely known until the

Tsi n, the Book of Deities and Mar-\)els can hardly date from before that time.

Certain repetitious passages are no doubt

due to the fact that a mutilated text was re-edited and gaps fi lled in with material from Tang and Sung dynasty books. A commentary attributed to Chang Hua of the Tsin dynasty

is also a later fabrication. In the south are plantations of sugar-cane, which grows to a hei ght of a thousand feet with trunks thirty-eight inches round. This tree has many knots and is full of juice as 1;weet as honey.

This juice, sucked, imparts strength

and vigour and helps to check worms. The tape>#orms that infest the human body look like earthworms.

They aid the

digestion but too many are harmful, too few make for in­ d i gestion.

This sugar-cane, like other � nes, can a dju s t

t he

number of worms in the body.

("The Southern Wilderness") The Lying Beast lives in the mountains of the Southwest Wdderness. ln appearance like a rabbit with a human face, it can speak like a human being.

It often cheats men, say­

ing east when it sho u ld be we st and bad when it should be good. tell li es .

Its flesh is delicious, but eating it makes a man

Its other name is R u mour. ("The Southwestern Wilderness")

On Mount K u n1un there is a bronze pillar as high as the sky, and thi s is the pillar of heaven. It has a circumference

of three thousand li a n d rbt.s s heer .

Underneath is a man::.

wi t h an area of a 1 h o usan d square feet where live fairies w ho gov ern the regio n . Above is the giant bird Hsi-yu. This bi r d faces so u t h, sh ields t he Lord of the East with its left w i n g �nd the Queen Mother of the West with its ri g h t . The span of i ts back be t w ee n the two wings is n i neteen thousanLI Li. Every year t h e Queen Mot her of the West mou n t'> one w i n g to m eet the Lord of the East.


("The The

Accormts of

T u n g l ang Shuo,

the Ten


Ce n tra l Wil derness")


also attributed to

of thc tcn conti nent!>, Ts.u, Yin, Hsu an ,

and Ch u-k u . Em­ the Queen :1-;kl'U Tungfar!g Shuo to describe these -;l y l e is .. l�o modelled on The Book of

Yen, C'hang, Y u a 1 1, Liu. Sheng. Fcng-hng




having heard about th ese from

Mother of the Wc�1 .

regi ons to him.


Mou ntains rmd Seas.

The con t i ne t h is was u n kn o wn in China, the e m rcror kept it in the outer treasu r:v . . . . In the lirst y ear of the J l ou Y u an pt' r i od (88 B.C . ) h u ndreds fell ill in the city of Ch a ngan , and more than bali of the�

an d as dark as a mt1 lberry.


But w hen

the emperor burn, w h i c h dc�crihco.; the empe ror's b i rth 1 11 Y i la n Palace, h i s llea t h and bunal and the w o r l dl y Taoists.

to court,

sett i n g a s i de my


rd outside supported . by two maids. �c:venteen, clad

coat sh e


steps and sat down facing east.

wa� splem..l i d yet dign i llcd.


sixteen or

they had alluring e yes

q u i site- feature�. and were u tte rly rav ishing.

mounted the


while the goddess entered

These were gir ls of

in dark silk ;




The goddess In her golden

At her waist she had

a long belt and a sword, on her head a tiara o v er her knotted

hair, and on her feet slippers embroidered with

p hoenixl!s.

She appeared to be

in he r thirties, of med iu m

he1ght, and her beauty, d ivi ne and magnificent, was peer­


She was a true goddess !


em p e r o r knelt

bade him be seated.




Lady Shang y ua n -

,, The Queen Mother rebuked her :

"'You will frighten the

emperor by speaking so sharply, since he still lacks true understanding."

Lady Shang-yuan replied : "A man who desires to under­ �tand the Truth will willingly give his body to a hungry tiger, ignoring personal calamities, braving fire and flood, single-minded and fearless. him to make up his mind.


. .

I spoke sharply to help

If you wish to help him, you

will give him the recipe for discarding his mortal body." The Queen Mother said :

"His mind has long been exer­

cised, but for lack of a good master he is beginning to waver in his beliefs and suspect that no immortals exist. I left my celestial palace and came to the dusty world to strengthen his resolution and free him from doubt. meeting today is one that will be remembered.


As for a

recipe for leaving the earth, I do not grudge it him : in three years' time I shall give him one half of it. to give him the whole, he would not stay here.

If I were But the

Huns are not yet pacified and there are alarms at the fron­ tier : why should he be so impatient to leave his throne and live as a hermit in the woods and hi lls?

A ll depends upon

his faith. If he mends his ways, I shall return." She patted the emperor on the hack. "Follow Lady Shang-yuan's sound advice and you will become an immortal. Take good care !" The emperor, kneeling, replied :

"I shall have it written

in gold and wear it on my person. " Penetrating the Mysteries i n four books, ascribed t o Kuo

Hsien of the Later Han dynasty, consists of sixty anecdotes about fairies, magic and marvels in distant land s.

is explained as follows in the preface :

The title

'·Emperor Wu Ti was

a perspicacious and remarkable monarch, and Tungfang Sbuo in jest gave him good advice, going to the heart of the Truth

so that mysteries were made manifest. Now I have assembled tales hitherto unrecorded in history, and prod uced this work in four books as one form of writing." So, just as in the other works, these legends were attributed to Tungfang Shuo _

too. Kuo Hsien or Kuo Tzu-heng was a citizen of J unan w h o became an imperial academician in the Kuang Wu (A.D. 25-57) . for his frankness.

time of Emperor

FearlesS'and honest. he was noted

The legend of how he extingu ished a fire

with wine was used by the alchemists, and when Fan Yeh compiled the Later Han Dy11asty History he made the mis­ take of classing him as one of them.

Kuo Hsien was first cited

as the author of this work in the Tang Dynasty History, bu r

the Sui Dy11asty History speaks of the author as K uo, not Kuo Hsien.

During the Six Dynasties when tales of the

supernatural were popular, they were often attributed to Kuo Pu of the Tsin dynasty. Thub The Heart of Mysteries and Penetrating the My.�teries were both ascribed to .him. The former work is now lost, but judging by fragments which remain it resembled the Book of Deities and Marvels. Pene­ trating the Mysteries is sti ll complete. Here are two ex tracts from i t : Huang A n was a citizen o f the prefecture of Tai , who served as a soldier in that district. . . . till his whole body was red.

He ate cinnabar

In winter he wore no furs

but invariably sat on a holy tortoise two feet across. He was asked :

"How many years have you sat on this

tortoise ? "

He answered :

"'When divine Fu Hsi invented nets and

snares and caught this tortoise, he gave it to me, and I have been sitting on it ever since.

Its back is flat.


creature shrinks from the light of the sun and the moon, and puts out its head only once every two tho usand yea rs.

Since 1 started sitting on it, its head has emerged live times. . . . " (Book 2) Jn the second year of the Tien H a n period (99 B.C.) the emperor mounted Hoary-Dragon Pavi1ion and, longing to become an i mmortal, summoned a lchemists to talk of dis­ tant lands. Then Tungfang Sh uo left his seat and, pen in hand, advanced to kneel before the emperor. The emperor asked him w hat he had to say. Tungfang Sh uo r�::p lied : ''When I went to the northern extremitks of the earth . I reached t h e Mountain of Fire­ Seeds w here t he sun and moon never shine. A blue d:agon holds a torch in its mouth to light the mountain. There arc gardens with rare trees and herbs where grass shines at mght l i ke u golden lamp, and when plucked for torches reveals gho1.ts. Because Saint Ning I•eng used to eat this herb and k t n ig h t you cou ld sec light shining through his be lly, it i �. also cal!t:cJ Penet rating-the-Dark Plant:• The emperor orc.kred men to pulp th is herb and smear Bright-Cloud Pavi l ion w i t h it. so t h a t he could sit there at uight with no need for candles. This was a lso cal led Ghost­ R ev ealing H c r h . A ma n who bou nd this under h is feet coul d v. al k u pmt the water. (Book 3) 1'1le \-\-'estern

Caflil a l M i.'icetlony i n two



con tains

p re se n t t'd Jtion in s i x books


was made by some Sung d ynasty scholar. A postscript by Ko Hung of the Tsin clyna ... ty suys that he ha d a copy of Li u T Jsin's Han Dynasty History in one hundred h,)oks, and when h e compared i t w i t h t hat c'f Pan K u he found the latter almost entirely based on Liu llsi n's worfl., apart from minor modi­ fica t i ons, though about twenty thousand words of L i u 's text torical a necdote!>.

had been omitted ;

he was therefore copy ing these out as

supplementary material for Pan K u's history.

But the biblio­

graphical section of the Sui Dynasty History does not give the au thor of this work, and in the Tang Dynasty History, The Western Capital MisceLlany is attributed to Ko Hung.

Clearly no one at that time belie.yed t hat Liu Hsin was the


Tuan Cheng-shih wrote in the Yuyang Miscellany :

"Yu Hsin in his poems u sed allusions from Tile Western CapitaL


b ut

'Phrase& like those of




t h ese

out ,

saying :

Wu Chun are hardly suitable


Since then this work has also been attributed to

poetry.' " Wu Ch un.



ma y merely have been sp eaki n g of

W hen Emperor of the Liang dynasty ordered Yi n Y u n to

isolated phrases, however, not of this work. W u Ti (502-549)

compile some ta les, he made a collec t ion based on old texts

includ ing man y q uotations from Til e Western Capital M is­ cellany.

So th1s book must already have bee n i .. Ul'h rich l?i fls t h a t they once more became wel l-off.


chu n was a pre t t y gi rl w i t h c y ehrows l i k e d ista n t hil ls,

face l i!�e h i bi sc u s fl owers u nd a 'imooth, soft sk in.

sh e was roma n t k a n d by Ssu ma l bia ng-ju's

u m·o n v e n t iuna l , she



had heen struck

talents and so eloped w1th h i m .

(Book 2 )

K uo

W ei



W l· n - w e i

was devoted to rrad i ng .


a d t i l' e n of M a o l i n g who

H e sa 1 d that

sinl'e crh Ya. sup­

t•ompill'J hy the D u k e or Chou, contained the n a me Ch u ng, .1 n u p ri g h t a n d loya l s u bject of K mg Hsun n of Chou. it c o u l d not he by t h e d u ke. W hen J q u es­ t ioned Yung l ls l ll ll £ about t his, he tnld me t he work was c o m p i led by d i!>ciples o r Ccnfucius in o rde r to th ro w light on t ht' c l a!.si c s . M y fu t hcr pui ntcu out tha t t h e ancient h i storian Y i i !. related to have u s e d Erh '\' a to teach h i>. son language, '¥\' h i l t! Confucius a l so used t hi work to teach D u ke Ai of Lu. So it seems t ha t Erlr Ya had an early origi r: , a nd that is why pa�t S(.; tlolars a t t ribu ted it to t he D u ke of Chou Pas.. agcs l i ke t ha t concerning C ha ng Ch ung

posc u l y

of C h a ng

wert' latn i nterpola t i ons.

( Book 3) Ssuma

Ch ien

d u n Pg h i s disr. rnce

w rote

the Hisrnricrll

Record.'> in ll l le l 1 u n d n· d aud t h i rt} c hapt('rs a n d t h e scholars of old pra ised his ta lent as a h istorian.

He put the


140 of Po Yi" first of all the biograph ies because Po Yi though

virtuous came to an un happy end ; he clas�cd Hsiang


among the emperors because he felt that some men attained high position not nece��Sarily ow ing to v i rtuous deeds ; his

accounts of Chu Y uan and Chia Y i are passionate, tragic yet restra i ned - he was certainly one of the greatest men of genius in recent ages.

(Book 4) When Chu-chi , Prince of K uangchuan, gathered together some ruffians to dig up the grave of Luan Shu, t hey found that the coffin and all the utensils in it had rotted.

fox, start led by them, ra n away.

A white

They tried to eatch i t

but failed, only injuring its left paw.

That n ight in a

dream t he prin c e saw a man w i th w hitr hair a n d a w hite

"Why did y ou h u r t my left foot '!'' l l c struck at the pri n ce·� l e ft foot. When the princt· awoke. h i s foot w"o; s w �l lcn :md he had a bo il t here: whkh never healell t i l l tht· d q uoted an• lo!>t, but we have fragments of the following four : Lin Yi-ching's Records of Divine Evidence, Wang Yen's Records of Mysterious Man ifestations, Yen Chih­ tui's ColLected Tales of Miracles and Uou Pars Stories Ex­



A l l these works recorded miracles con­

cerning Budd hist scriptures and images to impress the laity and convert them to

Budd hism by convi ncing them that

mi racles did take place.

But later ages considered the� as

,, a works of fic tion. Wang Yen was a native of Taiyuan in the fifth century, who became a Buddhist as a child in Chiao­ chih. After witnessing two "miracles," he wrote ten books recording prodigies concerning Buddhist images, scriptures and pagodas, entitling this work Records of Mysterious Mani­ festations. Here he gave detailed accounts of his own ex­ periences. Many of his excellenf narratives have been preserved in Gems of Buddhist Literature and the Tai-ping Miscellany. Here are three examples : Emperor Ming Ti of the Han dynasty saw i n a dream a god nearly twenty feet in height, with a golden body and a circle of light at his neck. He asked his min isters I he meaning of this dream and was tol d : ''In the west there is a deity called Buddha w h ich resembles the god of You r Majesty's dream. Perhaps that was the one." So the em­ peror sent envoys to India to obtain Buddhist scriptu res and images. When these scriptures and images were displayed i n China, the emperor, princes and nobles worsh ipped Buddha, and were amazed to learn that the spirit Js immortal. After the return of the envoy Tsai Ying with the monks from the west, Kasyapa Matanga and another mo nk, who brought an i mage of Buddha painted by the King of Udhyana, the emperor recognized the god of his dream and ordered paint­ ers to make several reproductions which were kept i n Chingliang Tower in the South Palace and a t the imperial sepulchre by Kaoyang Gate. Moreover, on the walls of the W hite Horse Monastery they painted horses a nd carriages circling the pagoda in accordance with the records. (From Gems of Buddhist Literature) Hsieh Fu of the Tsin dynasty, whose other name was Hsieh Ching-hsu, was a native of Shanyin in Kuaichi. •

He was a high-minded you th who went to live as a hermit on the Eastern Hill, and believing in the great Buddhist religion he was indefatigable in practising his faith.


made a copy of the Surangama-sutra which was kept in the White Horse Monastery.

When the monastery caught fire

and all other objects and scriptures were destroyed, this sutra was merely singed at the edges so that the text re­ mained complete and undamaged.

At Hsieh Fu's death his

friends believed that he must have become a saint, and learning about the sutra they were more amazed. (From Gems of Buddhist Literature) In the Tsin dynasty lived a man named Chao Tai or Chao Wen-ho, a citizen of Peichiu in Chingho . . . .


in his thi rty-fifth year he had a sudden pain in the cheo;t and died.

His corpse was laid on the ground, and since

his heart remained warm and his flesh soft, the body was kept for ten days.

Then one morning, with a gurgling in

his throat, he revived.

He related that when he was newly

dead one man approached his heart and two others rode up on yellow horses followed by two attendants.


carried him eastward for some distance to a great city with high, magnificent buildings nnd dark waUs.

They took him

through the city gate and past two lesser gates. There were thousands of tiled buildings and thousands of men and women ranged in rows.

Five or six officers in dark robes

were registering the names and announced that their list would be examined by the lord of that place. was thirtieth on the list. others went inside.

Chao's name

Soon he and several thousand

The official, who was sitting facing

west, looked through the list · of names and sent Chao Tai southward through a black gate.

There another official in

/6o red was seated before a great halt, calling the roll. He asked Chao : ..What did you do in l ife? What sins have you commit­ ted? What good deeds have you done? I shall weigh your words carefully: see that you speak the t r uth ! I have si x messe ngers constantly in the wort � of men to record their virtues and sins. Since we have cb mplete records. it is no use for you to lie." Chao Tai answered : "My father and elder brother were officials of the two thousand ptcul rank. As I was still young and remained at home to study, I had no post a nd have commi tted no sins." Then Chao was made an oftlcial in charge of water con­ servanc y . . . . A fter this he was promoted to an inspec­ torate in the Pen a l Ministry and given troops an d horse� to inspect Hell. The dungeons he visited used every con­ cei vable torture : there were prisoners whose ton8'Jes wer� pierced with needles M> that they were streaming with blood, others with dishevelled hair and no clothes upon them were being driven along by o ffice rs brandish i ng great clubs. There. were r�o:d-hot beds of iron and pillars of bronze, and men were forced to lie on these beds or grasp these p illars ; bu t when they were bu rned to death they revived again. . . . Huge sword-trees grew on all sides, their stems and leaves like k nives ; yet men fought to climb such t rees as if in sport, though their limbs and heads were severed or cut to pieces inch by inch. Chao saw h i s grandfa t her, grandmother and two brothers in this prison, and at sight of him they wept. As Chao left the gate of Hell two men with documents approached the warder to i nform him that t he fami l i es of three of the inmates had hung up pennons and burned i n­ cense in various temples to redeem their kinsmen's sins, so

61/ that now they could leave and go to a happier region. Then Chao saw three prisoners leave Hel l : u ecen tly dre�-sed they passed through a gate in the south called the Hall of Enlightenment. . . . Chao, having completed his i nsp ec tion , went back to the ministry. . . . The official in charge said : " Because you had done no wrong we made you an i nspect or . If not for t h at , you would have been tortured w1th the rest. " Chao asked : "How must a man live to have happiness after death?'' The oflicial told him : "If yo u are a zealous disciple of Buddha and observe the rules, you will find ha ppiness after death and be spared all punishment." Chao asked again : "S u p pose a man h a s si n ned before he embraces religion, can hi& sins be fo rg i ven afte r he be­ comes a B uddhist?" The official answered : .. All w i l l be forgiven." This said, the official opened hi� casket to look up Chao's age and found that he h ad another thirty years to live. Accordingly he dismissed him. . . . This ha ppe ned on t h e thirteenth day of the seventh month in the fifth y ear of the Tai Shih peri od (.\.D. 269) . (From Gems of Buddltist Literature) As Buddhism spread and more scriptures were in troduced, there came to be various i nterpretations of them. �o rne men embraced religion because life was tra nsient, others were dis­ mayed by the tea ch i ng that a l l is vanity. and to attract these the alchemists invented different scriptures or stra nge tales about the search for immo rtalit y and e li>..i rs. A ll the h siao­ shuo att ributed to Han d yna st y w ri ters. apart from a few by men of letters, seem to belong to this categor y . The


w ho

w rote






famous men of ancient t i mes, thus we ftnd few names belong­ ing to t he Six Dynasties.

But the lost Records of Miracles

w hich is q uoted in later books was written by Wang Fu,


Tsi n dynasty Taoist reputed to be a vain a nd foolish man. During the reign of Emperor Hl.\ei Ti, towards the end of the thi rd century, h e held dispu tations w ith the monk Pai Yuan


was refuted

time and again.




records and i n ven ted the l egend that Lao Tzu vis i t e d the Western Regions and became a Buddha.

H is work seems to

deal entirrly with sai n t s and spirits likl' oth e rs of this kind During the reign of Sun Hao (264-2MO) , appointed Governor of C h ianghsia.

C he n

M i n was

He wa s on h i s way to

h i s post from N a n k i n g when he h eard that men's prayer), were often g ran t e d at the shr i n e in K u ngt i ng. h e went

So t h ither

to pray for a pl'acef u l te rm o f oflice. )ll'o m isi ng t o

present a silver s t aff


H av i n g served h is t erm

sta ff made of iron p la ted w ith silver.


h e had a

When he was tra ns ·

ferred to t he capi tal as a court stew an.�. he pnssed K u ng\ ing

and preseD.ted the sta ff at the shrine before proceedi ng on his journey.

That e ve n i ng t he witch at the shrine made

t his pronou ncement :


M i n promised me a

staff but h a s sent me one plated w i t h silver. it i n t o the water to ret u r n i t to h i m. u n pardonable s i n of dece i t . ''

si lver

I shnll throw

He is g u i l ty of the

W h e n men exami ned t he

staff. t h ey found i t made of i ron a n d duly t h rew i t i nto

the lake.

Then t he sta ff floated on t h e water and made

off as swift as

flight to Chen M in 's boat, so th at the vessel





lmpertal Encyclopaedia)

A great tea-plant grows in Tanchiu ; become wi nged immortals.

people taking it

(From the Tai-ping Im perial Encyclopaedia)

Forgotten Tales in ten books is attributed to Wang Chia of the Tsin dynasty , and was edited by 'Hsiao Yi of the Liang dynasty.

Wang Chia's name appears in the Tsin Dynasty


His other name was Wang Tzu-nien, and he was

a native of Anyang in Lunghsi .

A fter living as a hermit in

Tungyang Valley he went to Changan, but when King Fu Chien invited him to join the government he declined. had the gift of prophecy and spoke in riddles.


When Yao

Chang entered Changan he forced Wang Chia to follow him ; but later enraged by one of Wang's answers he had him killed.

This was approximately in the year 390.

Wang ha�

left some oracles and t h is Forgot ten Tales. all ten books of which are st i l l extant and deal largely with marvels.


existing text has a preface by Hsiao Yi stating that there were originally nineteer. books with two hundred and twenty items ; bu t this was lost in t h e general destruction of books at that time. ar• d the work is now incomplete. Yi who redivided it into ten books.

It was Hsiao

The fi rst nine books of

his edition cover all history from the legendary emperor Fu Hsi u p to t he Eastern Tsin dynasty. while the last deals with t he N ine Fairy Mountains.

There is a discrepancy between

this and the statement in the preface that the book ends with the fall of the Western Tsin dynasty.

The language is some­

what ornate and there is no truth in any of the tales, while

even Hsiao Yi's preface is based on hearsay.

The Ming

dynasty scholar Hu Ying-li n suspee1ed t hat this work was actually written by Hsiao Yi in Wang Chia's name.

Emperor Shao Hao reigned by virtue of the "metal" ele­

m ent.

His mother was Huang Ngo who wove at night in

the Heavenly Palace and drifted by day in a barge through the boundless waters of Chi ungsang.

There was then an

angel of surpassing beauty, the son of the White Emperor. He was the spirit of the Morning Star, who came to the


and sported with

Huanc Ngo, playing haunting


melodies and lingering there, forgetting to return. sang lies on the shore of the Western Ocea n .

There grows

a solitary mulberry tree w hich rises tens of thousands of feet;


leaves arc red, i ts berries purple, it bears fruit

once in t en t housand years, and whoever eats its mulberries

w i l l outl ive Heaven. . . .

The Morning Star ami Huang

Ngo sat together playing a cithern of cedar wood, and leaning u pon it the girl sa ng: How v.1st 1 h c n:ture �ky, h o w wide Cll rth's range,

A rnyJin the end of t h e Han dynast y a t tarhed great importance


defi n i t i ons of c haracter : fame or

infamy might depend on a single


c:xprl!s'>ion of

praise or

From the t hird and fourth crnturie� on wards,

much th ought was also give n tu the choicl! of words i n con­ versa t i o n : men's tal k was metaphys i cal · and their behaviour u nconvention al and l i bera l , di!Tt-ring in these reo;pects from

the l lan dynasty w hen ab�>ol utc moral i ntegrity a nd rectitude were the ideal.

This was due to the spread of Buddhism

which advocated othcrworldliness, as w e l l al-. to the popular­ ity of Taoism.

Rebels aga i nsL Budll h ism might Lurn to Tao­

ism, but the escapist tendency was the same : for these two religions w h ich warred against each other a lso played into each other's hands. talk."

And so arose the fashion of "li beral

After the house of Tsi n mo ved its capi tal south of

the Yangtse, t h is fashion became even more pronounced and none but a few men of distinction stood out against it.

Si nce

this was the vogue, anecdotes and sayings were compiled

from ancient records or contemporary society. works

contain nothing

and dictums ,

but an assort ment

Though these of



they reflect the spirit of the age and they

developed i nto a literary genre distinct from t he tales of t h e supernatural. Accounts of d ifferent individuals had an early origin and

can be fou nd in Lieh Tzu and Han Fei Tzu.

But Lieh Tzu

u 'icd t he m as parables to illust rate h i s philoo;ophy, l la n Fl!i Tzu to ex pound pol i t ical ideas.

Anecdotes were not w r it te n

purely for amusement unt il the Wei dynasty. attai n i ng their h e ight in the Tsin dynasty.

Though recorded sayings w h i c h

followed t h e fashiOn o f t h e time might b e held u p as models, t he y were designed more for entertainment use.

r n the year

t t.a n practical

362, a Tsin dy nast y M:holar named Pci Chi

of Hot u ng compiled an a nthology of fa mou'> sayings from the Ha n dynasty to h is day, calling it t h e Forest of Sayings. T h is enjoyed considera ble popularity unt i l


An con­

it for q uoting h i m wrongly. La ter. however. the w o r k con t i n ued to be mentioned from time to t i me. There


were te n books in al l but by t he Sui dynasty t he!>e were lost. Some q uotations can still be found in other books. Lou H u or Lou Chun-c h i ng was a guest of the llvc mar­ q u i!>es, and every day all five of t hem sent him food. Grow­ i ng t i red of such rich fare, he t ried mix ing the ftsh and meat sent by the live together and the resul t pruved de l i­ CIOus .

This was t h e origin of the ''Five Marquises Dish .'' ( From the Tai-ping Miscellany)

Tsao Tsao said : sleep i n g, or

I do.

"Let no one come near me w he n I a m

I sha l l c u t him do w n without k no w i ng what

Take good care, all o f you !"

he was pretending to


One cold da y when

asleep, his favourite page slipped

/68 in to cover him and Tsao Tsao struck him dead.


that no one dared go near him.

(From Imperial

the Ta i-plng Encyclopaedia)

Chu ng K uai o n c e told people : . "I w ro te something w hen I was young which v,as general fy believed to be by Yuan

Chi, and men fou n d each word full of mea n i ng. When they

knew that I was t h e author, they sa i d no more."

(From the Sequel to a

Guide to Conversation) Tsu Na and Chung Ya u e d to deride each o t her . Chung sa i d to Tsu :

"We men from so u th of the river

are as sharp as a w l s , you from the north arc b l u n t as


Tsu retort e d : "M y bl u n t pestle can smash your ihnrp awl." Said C h u ng : "Thi s i s a magic awl which cannot be smashed." Said Tsu :

pe stl es too, ·· So

"'If t h e re arc ma g ic awls, t here

mus t be mag ic

Chu ng was silenced. ( From

th e


Imperial. Encyclopaedia)

Wang Hui-chih once l od ge d for a short t ime in some­

one's e m pty house and

ordered bamboos to be pl an t ed there. A man asked w h y he w e n t to such trouble when he would not be there l ong. After chanting poe ms for 1\ w h il e , Wang pointed at the bamboo and asked : ''Can one live a single day without this gentleman?"

(From the Tai-ping Imperial Encyclopaedia)

The S�ti Dynasty History mentions another work called Kuo Tzu in three books by Kuo Cheng-chih of the Eastern Tsi n dynasty, a nd the Tang Dynasty History records that K uo Tzu is this work had a commentary by Chia Chuan. lost. but judging by fragments left it was not unlike the Forest of Sayings. Prince Liu Yi-c h i ng (403-444) of the Sung period wrote

Social Talk in eight books, and Liu Hsiao-piao added notes to make ten books.

Now three books are e x tant under the

title New A necdotes of Social


This text was edited

by Yen Shu of the Sung dynasty who c u t out some of the notes ;

but we do not k now who changed the t itle.

Tang dynasty i t was also cal led New Sayings.

In the

Probably the

na me was altered and the words "new anecdotes'' added to d isti nguish it from Social Talk listed by Liu Hsiang of the Han dynasty. Social

The present edition of New Anecdotes of Talk h as thirty-eigh t books dea l ing with d i fferent sub­

jects such as "Virtuous Behaviour," '"Personal Enmity" and

so forth .

I t covers the period from the Later Han to the

Eastern Tsi(l dynasty, contains metaphysical and clever say­ i ngs, records of noble or eccentric actions, as well as ri dicu­ lous e rrors and strange i d iosyncrasies.

The full and erudi t e

notes by L i u l lsiao-piao a d d much t o t h e intt·rcst of thl' whoh!.

These notes are of great value. quoting as they do from more t han four h undred works, most of them no longer extant. However. the contents of the Soduf Talk &ometimr:. overlap w i t h the Forest of .Saying... o f Pei Chi and 1\uo Tzu of Kuo

Cheng-chih. Like t hc tales of marvels, it was proba bly a com­ pilation of old records rather than an original




the Sung Dynasty History tells us that Prince Liu Yi-ching was not a gifted writer himself but that he a:;sembled men

of letters from far and ncar, it is possible that t his work was compiled by many hands.

/ 70 . When Yuan Yu was in Yen be had a fine carriage which he never refused to lend. A man wanted to borrow this carriage to bury his mother, but dared not ask for it. Yuan hearing of this sighed and said : "Though I have a carriage men dare not borrow it. Why should I keep it?" He had the carriage burned. (From the·· section "Noble Actions") Yuan Hsiu had a great reputation, and when Marshal Wang Yen saw him he asked : "What is the difference be­ tween the teaching of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu and that of Confucius?" Yuan answered : "Chiang-wu-tung (might­ not-same) ." The marshal, impressed, made him his secretary a nd he was known as the Three-Word Secretary. (From the section "Literary Talent") Tsu Yo amassed money, Yuan Fu collected �logs, and each saw to these thi ngs himself, sparing n o pains, ti ll i t was hard to say which did the better. Someone cal led on Tsu and found him counting his money. The v isi tor walk­ ed in before Tsu had finished putting it away and two s mall cases were left out which he thrust behind him, with an air of confusion. Someone else called on Yuan Fu and found him waxing his clogs by the fire. murmuring to him­ self completely at his ease : "I wonder how many clogs I shall wear in my life?" So Yuan's superiority was established.

(From the section "C ultured Manners") Society's verdict on Li Yuan-li was : wind in the pines."


"Stern a s the swift

the section "Expressions of


71/ Kungsun Tu made th is appraisal of Ping

Yuan :


white stork i n the c lo u ds cannot be t rapped by a net spread for sparrows." (From the section "Expression!> of Praise") Liu Ling was often drun k and behaved wi ldly, some­ times throwing off his clothes to stay naked

in his room.

When someone saw t h is and laughed, Liu Ling retorted : "Heaven and earth are my home and t hese rooms are my b reec hes .



other gentleme n step



breeches?" (From the section " Ecce n tr i c Behaviour")

Wh e n Sh i h C h u ng asked friends to a feast he would order bea u t iful maids to serve t he wi ne. a nd if any guest d id n o t drain his l' U P


Sh i h would bid hi� guards k i ll the

O nce the chief minister Wang Tao and Marshal

Wang Tun ca lled on Sh i h Chung together.

The chief

miniMer had no head for w 1 ne, but h e forced hi mself to drink till he was drunk.

When it ca me to the marshal's

t urn he delibera tely refused

the w i ne to see w hat Shih a11othcr thrt:e maids were k i ll ed , yet Wang did n 1t t•hange colour and woulrl n ot ll rink . The

would do.

One after

chief minister remonstrated wi t h h i m , but the marshal sai d :

"He i s kil l i ng his o w n serva nts : w h a t concern is that of yours?" (From tbe st:ction "Luxuriouo; Living") Popular 1'ullc in t h ree books hy Shen Y ue h (441-5 13) of the Liang d y nasty must have been rather si milar, b ut this work is los t Emperor W u Ti of Lia ng Mdcred Secretary Yin Y u n (47 1 -529) to compile A necdote.� in thirty books, ten boo ks of which still e xisted during the Sui but disappeared .

after the Ming d ynast y.

Now extracts only remain in such

hz works as the Sequel to a Guide to Conversation and Reposi­ tory of Fiction. Anecdotes also co ns i sted of sayings taken from variou:. so urces, fi rst those of emperors and k ings, then sayings of different dy nasties from the Chou to Southern Ch i in c hronological order. J n the Hs.icn Kang per i od (33�342) of the Tsi n d y n as ty

a scholar named Chou Wei died but came back to li fe.


related that t he Heavenly Emperor had su mmoned h i m . When he was led u p the steps and looked a t the empcror, he saw the d i vi nit y s face was o n e foot across. '

He asked the attendan ts :

"Is this the Heavenly Emperor

named Chang?'' The attenda n ts answe red :

"The old god s

have passed

a way : this is Emperor Ming Ti of W e i ."

(From the Red Pearl Collection) Emperor l hiao W u of Tsi n

don k e y .

H s ieh An

a:.kcd h i m :

(373-396) hRd nl"'/c:: r �ecn


"What do you thin!.. it look:. li ke.

You r Ma 1esty T' The o;:mpcror pu t onc hand over h is mou t h to h i de a

smi le and sa i c.l :

' ' I su ppose i t must l ook l i ke a pig."

(From the Sequel tn a

Guide to Con versution)

Once Co n f u c i us, t ra ve l l i ng through the h i l ls, se nt T;. u Lu to fer fade

at t he

approa c h o f autumn.

Before ICing

Ohl age comes on apace. Have you not see n the trees on t h e river bank'? Serfs break off their boughs a n d water laps at t heir roots. n o l bcl·ause �uch t rees are ha ted by men but on a�.:count of their position. Have w i n t e r will be here.

you not seen the pines a nd sa ndalwood h i g h u p in t he

mou ntamo.;'? Their l eaves real·h u p to the bl ue �ky above w h i le t h e i r roots go down to the netl a('r regions belo w ; on

top t here are monkeys, below red leopards and un icorns;

they J ive o n for tens of t hou�ands of years. felled by no

axe, nor is this because such trees are dear to men but ag11in

on account of their position.

Now you are seeking glory

which is as fleeting as morning dew, with no thought of lasting achievements ; you scorn sainthood and immortality, but prize the vain position of a passi ng day. The proverb says : Women's love lasts but the space of a feast, men's friendship but the time for a dri�e. Alas, my friends, I am distressed for you ! (From the Sequel to a Guide to Conversation) The bibliographical sect ion of the Sui Dynasty History also n:entions the Forest of Jokes in three books by Hantan Chun of the Later Han dynasty.

Hantan Chun's life is given in

the Later Han Dynasty History and in the notes of the His­ tory of the Three Kingdoms.

His other names were Hantan

Chu and Hanlan Tzu-li and he was a native of Yingchuan, a brilliant youth. In the year 1 5 1 , Magistratf. T� Shang of Shangyu wished to erect a memorial to a girl Tsao Ngo. Han­ tan Ch u n , then the magi�trate's pupil, wrote the eulogy on

the spot, dashing it olf without so much as stopping to put in punc tuation or change one word. That was how he made his name. In about the year 2 2 1 , he served as a steward to Emperor Wen Ti of Wei.

The Forest of Jokes is no longer

in existence, and all but about twenty extracts have been lost. Since these jests mock and expose men's weakn�sses, they can be considered as belonging to the same category as Social Talk.

Th is was the beginning of humorous literature in

China. In the land of Lu, a man with a long pole tried to enter the city gate. Neither holding it erect nor sidewise could be enter, and he was at his wit's end.

Then an old man came up a n d sa i d :

"I may not be a

plenty of experience. saw it in half and carry i t i n that way?" sage, but


have had

Why don't you

The man took this advice. (From the Tai-ping Miscellany) Tao-chiu of Pingyuan married a girl named Mo-tai from

Pohai, who was both beautiful and i ntelligent, and they became attached to each other.

After she bore a son Mo­

tai went back to her mother's h ouse ; and her old mother,


me t


son in-law.

d i vorced his wife.

Tao-ty History mentions a collec tion of jokes called Laugh ter i n two books by Yang Sung-fen, but this is enti rely lost. work of his, The Grove of Gouip, was much q u o t e d was more l i ke the SociaL Talk.

but tha t

The Tung Dynusty Hi�;tory

refers to the Records of Jokes by Hou Pai, whose in the Sui Dynasty Histury.

Another ,

life is given

Hou Pai was a native of Wei

Prefecture, a good schol ar who e x ce ll e d in q u i ps and repartee. He beca me a member of the Im perial Al· ad e my . His wit made

him popular w herever he went, and when Emperor Kao Tsu

of Sui heard his reputa tion he made him a compiler of history

of the fifth rank, but I-Iou d i ed one month la ter ,. This was i n the second half of the sixth century.

Th o u gh t h i s w ork

is also l ost. many pa ssag es from it are quoted in the Tai-ping

Miscellany. Hou's own

I t conta ined old tales as we l l :ts de!.criptions of

� x:perience vulga r terms of abuse,

n a tl1er s u pc rfici� l . it someti mes u ses

and occasion a l l y the jokes go too far

and appear in poor taste.

Some den t i ng w ith eve n ts d u ring

the Tang dynasty w ere later i nterpolations, as was often


case in anci ent works, espf'cia1 l y in works or fi ction. D u ring the Kai Huang period ( S H I -600) , a man named Chu Liu-chin wa nt ed to ca l l on Priml' Ministl·r Yang Su. He met Hou Pai a t the satt· of Lhe m i n ist ry and asked Hou

to w ri te h is name on t he card for h i m.

l lou wrote :



After re ce i v ing this ca rd , Yang Su summoned the fellow " "Is your name Six-Catties-and-a-Ha lf ?

and asked h i m :

"No, my name is Chu Liu-chin."

77/ '"then





co l i


Si x-Catties-and -a­

"'I asked Mr. Hou Pai to w ri t e my name : he must have made a mista ke." Thereupon t h e m i n ister sen t for Hou a n d asked :


did you write h i s n a m e w rongl y ?" Hou a nswe red :

try gate to weigh

"I c o ul d not fin d a bn l a n c e at the minis­ hi m . Since he told me his name was

C h u Li u-ch i n , J guesc;cd he m ust be a bout six catt ies anc.l a half." The m i n i s te r laughed lwarti ly.

(From the Ta i-ping MiscelLany) The Puchow

women who m a r ried Shant ung men often

su ffered from goi t re. One man's mother-in-law had a badly swol l e n n ec k .

A fter t h i:o. fellow had been married fo r a few

mon t hs, h i s father- i n - law 5u�pcc t i n g

t hat he w a� a fool h e l d

a great feast to test h is \\ i t i n front of many kinsmen.

He sa i d :

' ' Y ou who h a ve stud ied in Shantung must be

very i n te l l igent .

Hb son-i n-.aw

W i l l y o u t e l l me w h y storks can cry?" answe red :

" l t is t h e w i J l ot


" W h y a re p i n es cvergn·c n '!''

" I t is the \\ i l l of Heaven." "Why d o t he wad'> I U C tree-; h a ve knot n just over fifty. found

iT' the Tang D�·na.�ty

Pai Chu-yi.

h !story

His life is

appended to that of

He left twenty books, uow lost.

The Tai-ping

Miscellany h as one of his prose roman ces Story of a Sing­ .�ong Girl. This tells how the son of a noble family in Ying­ ,

yang becomes enamoured of a singsong girl named Li in Changan. Owing to poverty and illness, he is forced to turn professional mourner ; but Li comes to h is rescue and en­ courages him to study so that he �ses the exami nation and is appointed a staff officer at Chengtu.

This is a delightful

romance owing to its skilful descriptions and the many human and interest i n g touches.

During the Yuan dynasty t his story

was made into a drama called Chuchiang Pool, and in the

Ming dynasty Hsuch Chin-yen wrote another drama on t hi s theme


Embroidered Jacket.


Hsing-chien also

wrote a prose romance enti t le d Three Dreams, wh i c h consists

of three stories : men v is i t a place and mc('t others t here i n

two pcorle dreams. The narrative style is simple The firM of th�:sc t h rc c sto�iP.s i s the

dreams, men see the actions o f o t h t: rs i n d rea ms communicate through and the plot original.


best. During the reign of Empress W u , L� u Y u -c h i u . a s u b­

ordinate officer of Chaoyi, was on his way home one night

after a mission w hen, ten li or so from h is house, the roau took h i m past a Bu d d h ist monastery from whence he heard singing and laughter. Since the monastery's walls were and broken in pl ac es he was able ,


see i nsi de.



he saw a small company gathercc.J there, of a bout a dozen

men and women, feasting together around a table laden with food ; but imagine his a of

p ro.,..: w :w:mc.:� were

"r ua n C'hcn. who w ro t e ! i d l e b u t vmt. t'.\ trcmcl y well­ k nown and influential, and Li 1\ u ng-tso. who ..,· rotc more a n d .

was equally in fl uential alt ��o u gh less famou�. Y uan Chen

(779-83 1 ) of J lont:l m Honan Prefe c t u re was

a government scholar v. ho wty, th e l i braries of d i ffe ren t ki ngdoms were collected to ge t he r a nd to a l l a y d iscontent a m on g t he promi nent scholars of the· for mer states the go v e rn m e n t s u m moned them They produced t h e to court a s h i g h l y paid compiler!>. Taiping Im perial Encyclopaedia and Ch oice mo.�.m ms from the Garden of Literature. each i n a th o u::.a nd buoks, as well as e.../ 1.



five-hund red-book Tai-pi.nM

M iscellany compi led

past w ork s of fiction, anecdotes and unofficial h istories.

from The

compilation of this work s tar ted in the spring or 977 a nd was

completed by t he fol lowing sum mer. the manuscript was th en

I m p e ri a l Bureau of History and ear l y m 98 1 was that t h is work k was not u rge n tly n ee ded the pri nted bloc s were kept i n Taiching Pa v i li on a n d few Sung dynasty scholars had access sent to the

p r i n te d ; but because certam m i n isters a rgued ,

to the book.

The Tut-pin.g Miscellany drew on extensive

sources, making use of 344 past works; thus many lost vol­ umes of fiction from the Han a n d Tsin dynasties down to the F ive Dynasties are represented there. The work was divided into fifty-five sections, some long and some short, giving us an over-all picture of the types of writing popular in the Tsin and Tang dynasties. It is therefore not merely a treasure­ house of stories but an assessment of literary trends also. Here are some of the main sections (at the end are nine books of miscellaneous writing which i nc l ud e Tang prose roman ces) : Immortals (55 books) Fairies (15 books) Monks (12 books) Divine R e tr i b u ti on (33 books) Omens ( 1 1 books) Fate ( 1 5 bo o ks)

Dreams (7 books) Gods (25

books) Ghosts (40 books) Monsters (9 books) S pir i t s (6 books) Incarnations ( l l books) Dragons (8 books) Tigers (8 books) Foxes (9 boo ks) compJier of the Tai-ping Mi:ccelltmy was Li Fang. him were Hsu Hsuan and Wu Shu. both of whom w ro te tales w hich have come down to us. I lsu 1-Isuan (9 16-99 1 ) from Kuangling in Yangchow was a scholar of the Imperial Aca de my in the Southern Tang Kingdom, w ho went to the new capital when his prince surrendered to the house of Sung. He served as The chief

A mo ng 1 he t wclv�..· o L h e rs w h o worked under

/uS secretary of the imperial academy and court officer, but in 991 he was demoted to the post of sub-prefect of Chingnan,

where he fell ill and died of a chill at the age of seventy-six. His life is recorded in the Sung Dynasty History.


taking up residence in the Sung capital he had already started Over & period of twenty years

writing stories about marvels.

he wrote his Investigation of Spirits in six books, containing no more than 150 tales.

When helping to compile the Tai­

ping Miscellany, he wanted to include his own tales but dared not take this decision himself. out Li Fang, who said :

He asked Sung Po to sound

"Of course any tales by Mr. Hsu

must be well worth using."

So his writings were included.

They are rather colourless and flat, however, lacking the old simplicity of the Six Dynasties tales or the romantic colour of the Tang stories.

Early Sung writers tried to make tales

of the miraculous "convincing," and so the decline in this . tradition set in. An old woman Wang of K uangling

had lain ill for

several days when she suddenly told her son :

"After my

death I shall become a cow in the Hao family at Hsihsi, and you had better buy it. You will k now it by the charac­ ter 'Wang' on



Soon she died. Hsihsi was a place west of Hail ing.

There a man named

Hao had a cow with white hair forming the character "Wang" on its belly.

The son sought and found it, bought

it for a roll of silk and took it home. (Book 2) In Kuachun a fisherman's wife fell ill of the wasting

disease, and as this consumption spread several people died. One man declared that if a sick person was nailed up alive in a coffin and abandoned, this epidemic would end.


1 1 9/ long, his own daughter falHng ill, he nailed her aUve in the coffin and put it in the river.

The coffin floated to

Chinshan w here a fisherman saw it, wondered what could be in it, and dragged it ashore. he found the girl still alive.

When he opened the coffin, He kept her in h is cottage,

feeding her with fish and eels till she was cured.

After that

she married the fisherman and is alive to this day. (Book 3) Wu Shu (947-1002) was Hsu Hsuan's son-in-law and a na­ tive of Tanyang in Junchow.

A brilliant youth who was a

rapid writer, he was a government scholar and compiler of the Southern Tang Kingdom.

He went to the Sung capital

when his kingdom fell, became a secretary in the war minis­ try and died at the age of fifty-six.

His life also appears in


Sung Dynasty History. He wrote the Record of Strange Men in the Yangtse and Huat River Valleys in three books.

Twenty-five of these tales have been collected from the Ming dynasty

Yung Lo Encyclopaedia.

They deal with gallant

men, magicians and priests, and are fl l led with descriptions of supernatural events.

Tuan Cheng-shih's

Yuyang Miscellany

written in the Tang dynasty i ncluded a tale about nine gal­ lant brigands and their strange adventures ; but Wu Shu v. as the first to write a book about such strange men ; later some

Ming dynasty scholars took mat�rial from the


to make

Tai-ping Mi.�­ Stories of Famous Swordsmen - passing it

off as an original work - which so encouraged this fashion that from that time to the present day there has been a spate of stories about swordsmen and their miraculous feats. When Cheng Yu-wen served as a staff officer in Hung­ chow, the window of his house overlooked the main street. One day he was sitting at the window just after rain had left the road greasy with mud, when along came a tattered

/u.o u rc hi n se lli n g sh oes, and a young rogue hu mpi ng i n to him knocked his shoes into the mire. with tears for some compensation,

The sma l l boy begged but t h e scoundrel re­

fused wit h an oath.

The boy said : "We have n oth ing to eat at home and l was going to sell these shoes fol'. food , hut now you have dirtied t hem." A sc holar passing by took p i ty on the lad and gave h im some money. The young

from me !

bu ll y cried angrily :

"This bo y w as beggi n g

Can't you m i n d your o w n business ? "

He swo re at the sc ho l a r , who looked thoroughly in­ censed. Admi r i ng t he scholar's sense of justice, Cheng i n­ vited h i m in a nd, mu c h i mpressed by his conversat ion, k e pt h i m there for the n ight. They went on t a l k i ng t ha t night u n ti l Cheng had to go for a w hile to th e in ner apart ments : b u t w h e n he ca me out the sc h o l ar had disappeare c!. Though the outer gate was still shu t there was n o trace of h i m. Soon the scholar returned and sa i d : "I co u l d not sto mach that b u l l y today. I ha ve cut o ff h i s head." l ie toss� d i t to the ground.

Cheng was A Carriage-Loud of Marvel s , C h a n g Shih-cheng's Collection of Marvels, N i ch Ti e n s True­ ing Marvels, C h in Chai-ssu's Mar vels in Loyrmg a n d Pi





Chung-hsu n's

Lei.\'Ure Hours uf



A f ter Empt!ror

Hui Tsung (1 1 0 1 - 1 1 25) u nder the i n fl u ence cf the Taoist pri et:nt talc� from old t o mes wi t h

some slight modificat i o n!> - occasi Onally he received �everal vol umes of t hese - he included t he m as they were w i t h o u t fur t h e r editin g .

j ustice

to th ese

Since he aimed at q uan t i ty

la ll:s of ma rvels.

he c ou ld not do

He wrote th i rty-one short

prefaces however. none of them repetit i ous but all l'ontain­ ,

ing origi nal i d eas .

Chao Yu-shih made a summary of t hes e

in hi s Notes After Enrertatnint; Guest.� . d e sc rib i n g them as "unsurpassed" ; thus he was one who appreciated H ung Mai's worth.

1 2 3/ There were i m i tations of Tang dynasty prose romances too. The Story of Green Pearl, wrongly attributed to a Tang d y nas ty

writer, and The Private Hi st o ry of Lady Yang in

t w o books, were both by Lo Shih of t h e Sung dynasty.

bibliograph ical




t h e S�tng Dynasty H ist CJ r y also

me n t i on s three other tales by this author :

The Story of the

Prince uf 1'eng, The Story of Li Po and The Swry of Hsu Mai, all of w h i c h arc lost.

Lo Shih (930-1007) was a nati ve

•>f Y i h u a ng in F u c h ow who went to the Su ng court from t he

kingdom of Southern Tang and

served a s an assistant im­

perial edi tor, before he�,;oming prefect of Li ngchow.


prese n t i ng a poem to the c o u r t he wac; ap po t n t e d a n i m pe ri a l c omp i le r .

In all he p rese nte d 420 books to t he court dealing

wit h e x a m i nati on!>, ac t� of piety a n d ta les of t h e supernatural.

His a p pu m t me nts inC'I uded the posts of i mpenal editor. com­

p i lt:r of offic1al h i st o ry , master of c eremon y , prefect of C' h u ­

chow, H u a ngcho w a n d Sha ngl· how. a n d fi na l l y a c h ief w i t h honorary titles.

edi tor

H e died at t he age of se ve n t y -ei gh t .

H is life is rel'Ord ed in t he Su ng Dynasty Histnr.v. Lo Shi h was a good geog rap he r abo a n d h e w rote t h e Tai-ping Geo­ graphical Record i n two h u n d red books, q uo t ing from over

a lJUndred 'iourcc�. inc l u d i ng m·casiona l works of lict10n. Tlu! Story of Green Pea r l a m i Tl1e Private History of Lady Yang are based on mate r ia l from his to r lca l lege nds as wel l as from certain ge og ra ph i ca l records.

T h "se st o ri e!'- end

l i k e the Tang romances. but t he t o n e

is more

wit ll a


strai t-laced a nd

so l e mn , as was c ha ra c t e r ist ic of Su n g sc holars.

This is most

dearly seen i n The Story of Greett Pearl.

W heu the Pr mce of C hao �ei7ed power u n lawfully, Sun Hsiu se nt men to Sh i h C hung h • o.�sk for G reen Pearl. . . . Shih returned the wrathfu l answer : "Anything e l se you cou ld have, but n ot G ree n Pea r l . ''

Then Su n slandered S h i h so that his whole family would be wi ped out. W hen guards came to a rrest h i m , Sh i h said to

G reen "This is on account of you." In t ea rs , G reen Pearl rep lied : "I w i l l show my l oya l t y

Pear l :

by dying before you ."

She th rew herself from th e pavi lion and was k i l led.

Chung was taken t o t h e east ma rk e t and exec u ted.

Shih Later

generations called this p a vi l i on G reen Pea rl Pavi l ion ;


stands i n P u k eng Lane near t h e T i Fountai n . east o f Lo­

had a pupil, S u ng Wei, a dazzl i n g bea u t y w h o wac; la ter ta k e n to Em­ pe ror Ming T i "s palact'. In Pa ichow now is a stn·cnn f l ow­ ing from S h u a ngc hio M o u n t a i n to Jnl'l!t t he Y u ngdlOw River w h i c h is k now n a., li rtcn Pea rl R i ver. just as in K ue ic ho w then� arl! Chao-c h u n V i l lage a nd C' hao-c h u n Fair, a n d i n Soochow there arc I Jo.; i Sh i h Valley aoJ l� ouge Pool, a l l named artt'r famous bca u t ico; A t t he fuut of Shuangchio Mo u n ta i n t he rt• i:. a l �o a G re en Pearl W e l l. According to the loca l e l ders, those w h o dri n k from t h is y a ng .

Green Pea r l

skilled in playi n g t he fl u te.

well w i l l h a ve bea uti f u l daugh ters ; b u t so m e wise men in

the vi llage i n g i n g or dancing would a l l u d e to Green Pearl. . . . W hat . pray, is the reason for t h is? It i s because t h ou g h she was no t h i ng bu1 an i ll i t e ra te serving-maid. yet !>u�.:h was her g ra ti t ude to her lord t hat she ca red not for her own life ; !>uch was he r chastity that s he won ad m i ra t i on and p ra ise from poster i ty .

The men who enjoy high emol uments and h igh positions

wi th no sense of h uman i ty or righteousness, becoming turn-

coat s and changing masters dail y , b l i n d to al l but their own interest - these men. I say, are in ferior in i n tegr i t y to such

ls th i s not shamefu l ?

a woman.

I have therefore written

this story, not si mply because of her beauty or as a warn­ i ng, but to critici:�:e tho!>e who have no sense of gratit ude and ju!>tice. Later C h i n Ch un from Chiao County i n Pochow also wrote romances, four of w h ich can bl" fou nd i n N ote.� /mm t h e

Green I.atticed

Sung dy n as t y .

W indo w co m pi l e d by Liu Fu o f the N orther n Chin Ch u n attempted

to imi tate the Tang

llynasty style. but b ot h his manner an d his su bject m a tt e r are

i n ferior,

tho ugh



comes u p on

so me

Most of h i s s t ori es deal with the past. a n d he

p h rase .

great reluctance to touch on recen t events. to the b i gotry of the l i t era t i of the t l me t n �: ti l l she hangs hersel f and how t h ro u gh d i v ine r etrib u t • nr• " h e is changed i nto a �tnn t tN­ I oise.

M i ng sc hol ar!> a d m i red this wcrk and be l ieved it datt•d

from the Han d y nasty on ! o l l ow ing :


cou n t of !.uch passages as the

"Th e u rc h i d -sl'cntcd !mt h v. as f u l l . and the lady

sea ted in it seemed l i ke t ranslu�ent Jade immer�ed i n a cool spring three feet deep."

I n the same way. today. some men

Secret Tales of the J l un Palace hy Yang Shen o f the M i ng dy nasTy for an a ndenl rex t . The Pri1.•ate take t h e �puriow:

Life of Lad)' Swallow attri t'lutcd 1n L i n g lhuan of the Han dy nasty

tell::. the same story b u t in better language. Two of Li Mvu ntuin nnd Tule

other stories by Chin C h u n arc Tute

of the Hot Spring, which deal with the scho lar Chang Yu who

7u6 is on his way back to Chcngtu having failed in th e examina­ tions when at the foot of Li Mountain he hears legends about Lady Yang from the country people.

Some days later he

passes Li Mountain aga i n and dreams

that Lady Yang has summoned him to q uest i o n him about recent e v e nts : she gives him a ba t h and dismisses him .the next d a y . A waking from this dream he writes some poems i n the stat ion house. After this he is walking in the country when a shep h erd hands him a poem given h i m by a lady t he previous day, and t his is Lady Yang's reply to Chang's poems. The Singsong Girl Tan Yi-ko is a story of th e au thor's own t i me. Ta n Y i-ko, a g i rl from a good family w h ich has met with misfortune, goe s t o C h an gsha and becomes a s i ngson g girl. She fal ls i n l ove with Chang C'hen-tzu of J u c h o w . who promises to marry her : but his mother forces him to marry anot her. Three years later his wife dies. and since by this ti me a visi tor from Chang­ '>ha has reproached Cha n g fo r b reak i ng fai t h and p�ail.cC nt ed tu t h e emperor . . . .

The l'mpcrnr badl' Pa o c r h t a k e t h is fl o wer i n her han d Yu S h i h na n a nd sty led h e r the " M istrc ...s o f Howers . -



beside t he c m pc :·o � r :. 1 r h c t i me . d ra f t i n g an edict for t h e northeao;t e x pedition. a n d Pao-erh !>tared hard at him was

for many m i n u te t il l u n h appy to reca l l h o w she was trying out a pen at I .i ngc hun Pav i lion. i n the middle of wri t ing a rep ll' on red silk to Ch iang C h u n g's poem, when Gen e ra l I Ian C' h i n-hu galloped up on his black cha rge r at the head cruelty is e x posed a n d he is exec u t e d . The Story of tlte Lahyrirl.llt te l l s of Emperor Yang T i 's dissipa t i o n in h i s later years. W a ng Yi adv ises him e a rn estl y agai n5t this li fe. a n d h e keeps a wa y from h i 'i harem for t wo days. bu t li nding t i rr. � Jrdg he goes bnck ; then h e hears t h e o me n a nd k n ows t hat Sh u - mo is

his dy nasty is doomed.

T aLes of Sea.� and Mou ntains abo

dea l ., w i t h Em peror Ya ng Ti. d{'!>cribi ng hi h i m and so on t i ll t h ree t a lrs re 'ie rn b l e t he Porgol L en Toles

gr�a te r w�.·a l t h of d e t a i l . w i t h co lloquial ismlt. i '> kso;

e x ce p t for a t erspersed




from t lt e Grt'cn date from the N o r t h er n

t h e laM t11 k wn-. i n l' l udcd in Li u F u '-. l\' o t cs

W iu c/o w. it no

l.a l l il'ed

Su n g peri od , a n d

m u,;t obviou!>ly

d o u b t t l t i .. is true of t h e t w o o t h e rs.

l h (' prc·�ent t e x t t he a u : h u r's name I S g i v e n a :-. Han

Tn ng

dy nasty. but


Wo of

t h o!

t h i � a l l r i bution '" as tr.ade by M i n g M: holars.

M f' n du not l t kc to J i u u n tll"r a d i 5.:-. i l'flted a n d C". t r a v a ga n t

ru ler. b u t

Ta ng d y na�t v E n • pcror M i ng l l uang a n d the Su n g

t hey l i ke to t i.l l k uhout hi111 : !>o the

people e n j u y e d dtscuS!>i ng

.Jy nil s t y pcor l c Emp�:ror \-'ang 1 the



by Chu



l'Ombi ned


Later Lo K u n n-c h u ng of


!. Lor;cs to



t l z e Stl i at• • l Tang Dynasties. w h ic h was rewritten

ol' t he C h i n g d y nasty . o f Lady M e i is b y a n u n k no'' n a u thor. I suspect i r origi nated because !>omcom· saw a pu i n t ; ng of a beautiful Jcu-hu

T h e St ory

lady hold i ng a spray o f plum bJu..,-.om and a t t r i buted i t t o

M i n g H uang. I t relate no good

held Wi ft-moving. Populur Tulu o_t th e l-ive l lynasr ies and Popular Stories of l h c· Capital fol low these two trad itions. l'opular Tales of the Five Dynastie.� are historical romances t h e same.


which must




category ..Storie!> uf t he


Dynastie'>" mentioned by Mcng Y ua n-lao

Th i s work devotes

two books to each ol the Five Dynasties :

Liang, Tang. Tsin,

Han and Chou.


tale opens

v. l l h a poem, the story fol­

lows and another verse end-. the whole. the Later L iang dynasty

The first tale about

(907-923) opens with a summary

of h istory from the earliest t i m es , re l at i ng t h e rise and fall

of d i ffe re n t dynasties.

lt also contains the idea of divine

retribution. L111� � t'.l l ' the dr.t�uns :uu..l ti�cr� fou�hr. Tn LhL· riVL' n� ll.hti•· · · Li.lll)t. T.lll � T•in, Hall .llld Chou ; St,lt and v i l lai ns t remble:d. Then there came Li u Chi, the Fi rst Emperor of Han, who took the the

real m from t he Emperor of Chin by no act of treaso n :

Gr11sping three feet of gleaming

He cunqucrcd all the lm1dl

After Liu


Chi lUlled h is ri va l Hsiang Yu and founded

the empire of Han, he grew suspici ou s of his three best supporters, Han Hsin, Peng Yueh and Chen Hsi,

them killed.

and had

Then, wrongl y slain, t hey appealed to the

Heavenly Empero r , and Heaven took pity on t hem because they had been slaug h tered though in nocent, and decreed that their spirits should be born again as three heroes. H a n Hsin's spirit went to t h e

family of Tsao and became Ts.ao

Tsao, Peng Yueh's sp i r i t went to the famil y of Sun and

beca me Sun Chuan. while Chen Hsi's spiri t went to the an d became Liu Pei . These three carved up the Han empire between them . . . and th e story of

i mperial house

their t h ree states


kno w n as the History of Three

Kingdoms. . . .

The !.tory -teller proceeds fro m the Tsin to the Tang dynasty, then to th e rebell ion of Huang Chao (875-884) and Ch u Wen's establishment of the La t er Liang dynasty. Th e second part is missing, but the story should concl ude with the end of t h at dynasty. Cer ta i n parts of the na r rat iv e are long�r and m o re detailed than otherl>. The narrator's treatment of im­ po rt an t historical events is ra t h er summary. but mi nor inci­ dents a re e-laborated. For the reao..J c r's entertai nment, he- i n ­ troduces parallel cases, s ho rt \' erses a n d jokes. Here i ea!>tern land haH no Budd h i s t !.Crip­


Thuo;; I have been o rdered tn fetch .,u tra s:·

The scholar sa id :

"You have a l rea d y set oiT t w i ce lo

find su tras and met w i t h trouble

hair v.- ay . I f you go 11 ga i n ,

you w i l l r i s k a t h o u sa n d death!>."

"How do y o u know '1" as k ed the master. "1 am no other than the k i ng of eig h l }'-fnur t h o usa nd monkeys w t th b ro nze heads and i ro n brow!> who l i v e i n

Pu rple C loud Ca vern o n the

Moun tain o f Flowers and

Fru it. 1 have come to h e l p you get t h ese sutra!>. There ;� re a m i llion stages on t h ts JOu rney and you m u s t pass t h i rty­ six kingdom!>, all be!>et with danger." "1 ' h b i s a most fortu nate encoun ter," !>a i d the ma'itcr.


t he

men or the eastern lan d


bt'nc li l greatl y !'

for th w i t h lw c-l-a nged t h e sch olar's name to Friar -:'vl on k e y , a nd a l l seven of t he m \\ � n t o n t h e fo l l ow i n � day Monkc• made this vcr�c to mark the occasion : M i l lio>n' nl �t.ICl'' 1 h.IH Pd'" · .

Cnnti.l� hl·rc h J .l :rr. , l!twol tht. �rl·� · 11\d!l.tt't : My v.-holm spreuci t h ro u g h all the coun­ t ry. On the liftrc n t h of the �even t h month at no o n , a lotus ba rge d es,·cnds fwrn t hl He•n· c n ly Palat·c and Tr1pi tnka rides re t u r n

ro Fragra n t

Wood Monnst c r y .

pi lgrims reach C h i na aga i n. t he

�n., ·


on it to the Western Paradise. The emperor gives Monkey the title of Great Saint of Bronze Sinews and Iron Bones. Tales of the Hsuan Ho Period used to be a t tri buted to the Sung dynasty, but i n it are q uotations from scholars whose names seem those of Y uan dynastY. men. This work must either da t e from the Y uan dynasty or have been written in t he Su ng with interpolations added in th e Yua n . T f ce rtai n of t he expression� appear to helong to t he Sung d y na�ty. t h is be due to t he fact t hat much of t he work was copied re cords and not wri t ten in the a u t ho r's own words . This book is div ided into two parts, starti ng w i t h may

from ea r l i er

the sage k i ngs Yao a n d S h u n and e nd i n g with Emperor K ao Southern Su n g capital at L i nan. present-day Jlan gch ow. The narrative follow" a c hrono ­ Ts u n g 's e!>tabl i s hm cn t of the


o r der l i ke t he pop u l a r h i stories, but sect i o n� of ot her

records a rt' e mbod ied ver ba t i m i nstead of being r wri t ten in t he vern al· u la r. t he see sections, all of w h ic h are w r i t t e n in t he vcrnaculnr : On the eve of t h e Lantern Festival in

t he 'iixth year of

t he Hsuan Ho pe r iod fmm a red cord fastened to the palace ,

gatl' a stork flew down wi th an l•dict in I ts beak.

An offic. e r

took th is a nd u n folded it to announce the decrer to the

p opu l ace .

Then guan!


huldmg g i l ded p l acards ra i sed


the capital su rged fo rwa rd li ke clouds or billo ws, wearing sprip'> of plum and wi l l ow on their heads. So t hey ca me to Sc·1- Mon�tcr Molinta i n to see sho ut and the c i t i zens

the l a n ter n s.

Three or four o ffici a l s of noble rank w ho

were above Hsuantelt Gate . . . were ordered by the em­ p e ro r to scatter go l d and silver l·oins for t he l: i t i zens. \ uan

Tao. the officer i n c harge of s i n gs o n g girls, wrote these verses abo u t this d istribution of •argcsse : Till citi1cns enjoy the �pl•.:r.lcll".

Gi8d of this peoccful reil(n .wd thion is the t w enty-chapter edition revised,

preface, by Wa ng Shen -hsl ll . This novel Tsc o[ Pc ichow ra i ..ed a revolt by mea n s magic. Accord i ng to t h e olli c i a l Sung Dynast y

accord i ng t o t he

descri bes how Wang


son.:ery a nd

History. W a ng Tse wa:, a

nat i v e of Choehow w h o moved

du ri n g a f a m i ne to P ck h o w .

In 1 047 he a.s:o.umed t he t i t ( (' i na u g u ra t e d t he Tch Sht•ng Era , s i x t y -�ix days h i :. rebellio n wa� t• r u s h e d . The novel on t he�c h a pp e n m g� . It open� w i th a native of

o f Pn nce of Tu n gp i n g a n d

but aft e r



Pic n r h o w

n a med H u

H i ., \\- ifc bu r n s t h e

f l ao who posc t b g ra sp i ng and cruel. t h ey use pca1..


magic mean� to get money a nd grain fro m t h e government



o rd e r

t o rai�t· a n army and start a rebellion.

Wen Y e n - p u leads troop!> to suppre!>S t hem, and when Chang Luan, Pu

Chi and the monk see tha t Wang is not ruling well,

1 67/ they leave him.

Even so, Wen cannot defeat W a ng's magic.

Then Monk Tan-tzu transforms h i msel f into Chuke Sui to h elp the ge ne ra l , Ma Sui contrives to spli t Wang Tse's lips

so that he ca n no longer utter in c an ta t i o ns , and Li Sui and his troops dig an u n de rgro u nd tunnel by w h i c h th e y enter

the city.

So Wang Tsc and Y u ng -erh are capt ured.


the three men are al l na med S u i . this n ove l

was called The and Its Su ppession by the 1'hree Suis. T h e po p ula r edition of th i!. novel has forty c h apters w i th a pre face by C'hanr. Wu-chiu w hich says th a t t h is boolo. was r e vise d by Feng Meng-l ung. Th i s eui t lon wa� made in 1620 and has fifteen a d d i t i o n a l c hapters in!.erted at the beginnmg, Sorcerer's


describing how a monkey learn-; magic from a goddess, how t h is magic is stol e n by Monk


and hm" t he fox fa i r y

There a re five o t her a dd i t i ona l c h apters

learns her magic.

describing !>O rcl: ry , a n d


a d d i t i o n to some rm re l y i maginary

C'pisodes c er t a m o l der legends have beC'n I n corporated.


i n s tan c e . in C h a pt er l'J Tu C hi-:.ht'ng se l ls c h a rm s and uses

his magic t o c u t o il h is son's ht'ad, cover:. i t w i t h a q u i l t and

hod y

JOi n s tht' head t n the

h is

-;k i l l .

cOVl'rs i t w i t h


a g.d i n ;

hu l because h e boast s of

t h l· c h i l d 's soul a '1 d n Ll O d ll' o.; h o r . Th ough T u u t ters ag u m i ng the character of le ge nd s and w hen ,

/ r 72 scholars took these and improved on them the written ac­ counts appeared. At the end of the Sung dynasty, Kung Kai wrote an encomium on the thirty-six men of Liangshan, stat­ ing in a prefatory note : "Stories of Sung Chiang are told in popular legends but these are "tlot worth our attention, though such men as Kao Ju and Li Sung recorded them and scholars did not disapprove." Though the records of Kao Ju and Li Sung can no l onger be found, this shows that by the end of the Sung dynasty written accounts already existed . The Tales of the Hsuan Ho Period is a compilation of various old records, and the section dea l ing with the gathering togeth­ er of the Liangshan rebels is probably one of the earliest written accounts. The episodes here are as follows : (1) Yang Chih, escorting thC' i mperial tribute, is held up by the snow and fails to complete his mission on time ; (2) Yang Chih is • driven by poverty to sell h is sword and kill a man. for which he is exiled to WeiC'how ; (3} Sun Li takes Yang Chi h to the Taihang Moun tains to become a rebel ; (4) Chao Kai and others rob t he bearers of imperial tri bute-; (S) S u ng Chiang sends a messa!e so t hat Chao Kai may escape ;

(6) Sung

Chiang kills a woman a nd leaves a poem ; (7) Sung Chiang receives a message from heaven ; (8} Sung Chiang goes to Liangshan to seek Chao Kai; (9) Sung Chiang and the others rise in revo l t : ( 1 0) Sung Chiang goes to thank the god of the Eastern Mountain ; (1 I ) Chang Shu-yeh persuades the rebel

leaders to s� rrender ; (12) Sung Chiang achieves distinction by defeating Fang La and is made a governor.

But this accou nt i n the Tales of the Hsuan Ho Period already di ffers considerably from the encomium of Kung Kai. According to Kung, Sung Chiang was one of the thirty-six rebel leaders, while in the tales he is set apart from the others. Certain names like Wu Chia-liang, Li Chin-yi, Li Hai, Yuan Chin, K uan Pi-sheng, Wang Hsiung, Chang Ching and Chang

17�/ Ch e n occur in

the tales and in the encomium wi th sl i ght dif· The

fe re n c cs , and not all the epith et s arc identical either.

Yuan d y n asty playwrights often wrote about the Liangsha n rebels, e!.pecia lly Sung Chiang, Yen Ch i n g a n d Li K uei ; but their characters app ear rather di fferent from the later ver· sions, t hough Sung Ch i ang is described by them t oo as a



gen ero us

chara c ter.


Tai of the Yuan

dynasty, however, left some a n ecdotes record ing t h e words of a boatman w ho told h i m t h a t Sung C h ia ng had a wi ld, im­ r u l s i w na t u re

t h i 'i i s q u ite u n l i k e the other versions.


doubt a t t h a t t i me ma ny such


l e ge n ds were current. a n d

con ­ Th e n men �tart ed �rlcct i ng certai n of t h e legends ami com p i led them i n t o one great m•v el, making t he story more con�istcnt and rea d a b l e . This , ., how we come to have rhc later Sfwi fl 11 Cfwan. The writer or com p i l er wa s be­ lieved tu he Lo K uan-c h u n g or Shih N ai-an. Perhaps Sh ih N a i -an wrote t h e book a n d Lu K u a n -c h un g rev i �e d i t , o r Shih o.;ta rtecl t he book a n d Lo l'Ompleted it. The ea rl i est ' crsion of SJJ 11i Hu Clluan no longer exists thoup,h wri t r e n accounts existed they we r e hrief and

tra d i c tory.

Chou Lia ng-k u n g !>atd t "l at it was ge nera l l y bel ieved th a t Lo

K u an -c h u n g wrote t h i .., novel in om.: h u n d re d chapters, be­

preamble : t he n in t h e Chia Ching pe r iod ( 1 521- 1 566) Kuo Hs u n renrinted t he work , cu tti ng ou t the prea m bles a nd !rav ing the m a i n t e x t on ly . Hr o mitte d

g i nning e a c h w t t h some





M o t h er

Lamp-Wick. for


sepa ra te story-tellcr·s tale-s inserted into this novel by Lo Kuan-chung. Otl•!!r d et ai l s a bout the

w h ich

wrre ori g i na l l y

fi rst version a re not known. There a rc six

e xisti ng editions, rour of them important.

One edition has one hundred and fifteen chnpters and Lhc

name of Lu K u a n -chu ng as the compiler. Ming dynasty

this was p ri n ted

At the

e n d of the

in o n e volume with The

lr74 Separate editions are not

Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

known. This version starts when Marshal Hung sets free the monsters by mistake, then the hundred and eight rebels as­ semble at Liangshan, they surrender, defeat the Kitai Tartars and su ppress the revolts of Tien Hu. Wang Chi ng and Fang " La ; after that Lu Chih-shen dies in Liuho and Sung Chiang is poisoned ; miracles take place and the rebels become gods. Th� language of t his version is rough and uneven, ami most

of the poems interspersed in it are vulgar ; thus it seems to be an early un polished version. it is close to it.

Though not the original text,

Here is a passage describi ng how Li n C h u ng

is e xiled to Changchow for offending Kao Ch iu.

There he is

put in c harge of the army fodder, and d u ring a snowstorm leaves his tumbledown h ut to buy wine.

After Lin C hu ng had put down his baggage he �aw t hat the building was in ruins ami t hought : the winter in this hut?


How can I pass

As soon as the s now stops I must

find a mason to repair i t."

He warmed himself at the fire

by the earthen bed but still feeling cold ti e though t :

now the old



said there is a market-place five li awa y :

w h y not go ami b uy some wine there ?" So he left, slinging the wine gourd over his lance and heading east.


going a few h u ndred yards he saw an old temple. Chung bowed before the shrine protect me !


said :

I shall come later to make offerings."

he went another li and saw an inn. inside and the in nkeeper asked :


"May t h e gods


He marched straight

"Where do you come

from, sir?" Lin Chung said :

"Don't you rt>cognize this wine gourd ?"

The innkeeper said : [he fodder depot.

"That belongs to the old guard at

Since you are one of us, please be seated

and let me treat you to a meal to show my welc(,me."

I,/ When Lin Ch u n g had finished his meal, he bou g h t a leg of bee f and a gourdful of w i n e


and with these hanging

fro m his s p ear he started back. It was g ro w in g late.


he h u r ri e d back to his lodgings he cried out i n horror.


seems that a n-seeing H e av en protec ts lo yal and gal lant men : this s no wstor m ha d e v i d entl y saved his life.

For his

t wo-roomed thatched hut had c ol l apsed under the w ei g ht of t he snow


An edi t i on w i th a hun dred and ten chapters has similar conte n ts , and a ver.;ion w i th a h undred and twenty-four chap­ ters, written

in b roken


o fte n uni n telli g ibl e la ng u age


a l so

belongs to t h e same category.

Then t h e re is t h e 1 00-chaptcr e d ition which states in the

preface that the aL• t hor was Shih Nai-an but the novel was edited by Lo K uan-chung.

This version was pro d u c ed by

K u o Hsun's fa m i l y during t h e C h ia Ching period, with a prefa ce by Wang Tai-han who used the pen-name Tien-tu­

wa i c he n g . -

I have not see n this book.

edition with

a p re face and

A n ot her 1 00 c h ap ter -

c om m e nt a ry by Li Ch i h was

probably base,l on Kuo Hsun's edit i on, a n d this also states

t hat the work was co mpiled by Sh i h Nai-an and rev ise d by Lo K uan-ien�hung and Li Tzu-cheng, and believed that brigandage should not be supported but attacked in works of literature."

By the Ching

dynasty the si tuation had changed, for then scholars con­ sid ered :

"Though these


made a false start, t hey re­

pented, mended their ways and did good deeds.

This was

com mendable and their military ac hievements should not be forgotten.''

So they took

the last part of the 1 1 5-chapter

edition, starting from Chapter 67, and published it as a se­

q uel to t he 70-cha pter edition u n d e r the t i tle : The Suppres­ sion of Four Rig Rrvol ts. Th is seq uel has a prc.'face dated 1 792 hy S h ang-hsin-c hu-shih (a gentleman seeking amusement) .


40 c hn pter Sequel co Sl, u i Chuan appeared by a writer who called hi msel f a "Relic

Early in the Ching dynasty a


of t he Sung dynasty," and with a comme n t nry by Yen-tang­

(a woodcutter of Mou nt Yen tang) . Th.is is a sequel to the 1 00-chapter edition. It tells how after Sung Ch iang died some o f the brigand leaders fought for the state against the Golden Tartar� wi t ho u t success; then L i Chun shan-chiao

led some of the others out to sea and eventually he became

of Sia m . Thi!-> en d i ng remmds one of the �ang d ynas t y Curly Beard. Th e preamble sa ys that the writer i!lo unk nown b u t was probably a contem porary


romance The M a n w i t h t h e

of Shi h Nai-an and Lo K uan�hung.

l u fact he was Chen

Chen, a native o [ Chekiang who l i ved a t the end of the Ming dynasty.

A ll his other works nave been l ost.

book was intended as an entertainmen t , onism to the Manchus.

Though t h is it reveals h i s antag­

During the reign of Tao Kuartg

(182 1 - 1 850) in t he Ching dy nasty there appeared another

/IS-4 70-chapter sequel to Shui Hu Chuan by Yu Wan-chun with an extra concluding chapter.

This novel is called The Sup­

pression of the Rebels, but it is the reverse of the other se­ quel.

The author kills off all the brigand leaders, claiming

that Sung Chiang never came ovet to the government side or helped to suppress Fang La, but that he was captured and executed by Chang Shu-yeh . chapter edition. jen.

This follows the abridged 70-

Yu Wan-chun had the pen-name Hu-lai-taC!I­

The son of an official in Canton, he distinguished him­

self in a war to suppress an uprising of the Yao minority ; then he became a physician in Hangchow, and later embraced religion, dying in 1849.

He wrote this sequel between 1826

and 1 847, taking twenty-two years over it, but died without having finally polished it.

Tn 1851 h is son Yu Lung-kuang

edited the manuscript and had it printed. Some of the descrip­ . tions in this seq ue l come up to the standard of Shui Hu

Chuan, and there are some remarkably good passages outside the range of the original.

So this should be considered one

of the more outstanding i mitations of famous masterpieces. Many other historical romances were written in the Ming and Ching dyna�ties.

Some Ming dynasty romances dealt

with the early times of Yao and Shun and the Hsia dynasty, others with the Chou dynasty and the Warring State!', the Han dynasty, the Tsin, Tang and Sung dynasties. suc h works appeared in the Ching dynasty.

Even more

Some attempted

to include all the past twenty-four dynasties in a single vol­ ume, while others were a


of old records ;


these were merely imitations of The Romance of the Three

Kingdoms which fell far short of the original. Even the best among them were restricted by history and the dependence on old records ; the language is crude and the authors dared not give free rein to their fancy or write detailed descriptions. Thus Tsai Ao, commenting on The Romance of the States of

185/ Eastern Chou, said :

l i ke fiction. . . .

..You may call t h is h istory, yet it reads

But i f you call it fiction, a l l the stories in

it come from classical record!>."

He mea nt t h is as praise, but

this is precisely the shortcoming of these h istorical romances. Ot her romances abo u t specific hi!.torical periods laid em­ phasis on one individual or group of people.

In Wu Tzu­

mu's Rem iniscences of Hangchow he tells us that i n the second httlf of the t hirteenth century a story-tel ler named Wang- l iu-tai-fu drew crowds t o ht:ar h is tales about famous generals and the recovery of terri tones in t h e Sung dynasty. The:.e !>hould be included as hi!>torical romances too.

Slw i

Hu Clr u n n is a work of this ki nd , and lat er there were more

novels of t h i s type.

O n e of the more i m portant i:. Th e Ro­

mance of Ming Dynasty Heroes.

This work came from Kuo

l·bu n's fam i l y and de:.cribes the generals w ho h el ped t o found t he M i r 1 g dyna�ty, paying special attention to the achieve­ ments of K u o Y i ng w ho was K uo H!>u n's ancestor.


there is t he 'fm c: H istory (If Min� D:vnusty Heroe.� which There were stories ahout Yo Fei by

attack& Kuo Y i ng.

Hsi u ng Ta-pcn. Y u Yi ng-ao a nd T�ou Y uan-piao, a l i of whom described t he achievements of this Sung dy na�ty general and his unjust dea t h.

Later there appeared 1'l1 e Co111 pletc Story

of Yo Fci, e laborat ing on the carlier records.

I n : he Ching

dynasty there was the Romance of the W itclr Tang Sai-erh by Lu Hsiung, dealing w i t h the revolt t h is woman raised i n Shan tung.

There was a n a nonymous romance about Wei

Chu ng-hsicn, a n evil e u nuch of t he Ming dynasty.


t here were •;tories about brave generals in t he Hsuch famiJy during tht: Tang dynasty, and in the Yang family du ring the Sung dynasty, as weU as General Ti C hing of the Sung dynasty and others.

These stories, t hough crudely written,

were porular. O t h e r novels about historical flgures, written for purposes of slander or on account of personal grudges, we can pass over in silence.

16 A-ling Dynasty

Nol'els A bou t

Gods and


• T

I I E Hsuan Ho pe n od of t h e Sung dyna!>ty wa!> t he time when Taoist wor� h i p and be l ief in a l c hemy a n d s o rc e r y were at t h e i r hc1ght. Du ring t h e Yuan d ynas t )' , Buddhism v. a s t h e most 1Jopu lar rrl i �ilm . t h oug h Tao ism w a s also cs­ tcemcJ � nd fa i t h m Taobt mag ic was w id espread . Early in

Taoism cleclined, but by t he si xtel'nth cen­ t u ry it wa� in ,·ogue aga in. 1 he a lc hemist Li Tzu and t he B u d d h ist priest C h1-yao in the la lltr �alf of the fifteen th c e n t u ry a nd t h e Ta rta r Yu )' u ng at t he beginning of t h e si x teen t h bccam� h igh olliC' ials t hn n ks to their sk ill a s magi­ They w ere famous, powerful nnd admired by a l l . c lans. Natura l l y there w a o; murh talk o f magic lore w hich c o ul d not but lea v e us marl\ on l i tera t • • CI!. For rcnturieos a s t ru ggle for supremacy raged bet w een Confucianism, Taoh.m a n d t h e M i n g dynn�ty

Buddhism. till these three religions decided to tolerate each

other and con)oo i dcr thcmsclv� as ste m m i ng from a � i ng l e

/J 8 8 source.

Then all concepts o f right and wrong, true and false,

good and evil, merged to be redivided into two main camps :

I ca l l this the st ruggl e between

orthodoxy and heterodoxy.

gods and devils, though no spec i a l name for such literature In the fiel d of fiction, Th�. Sorcerer's Revolt and Suppression by the Three Suis w ri tten at the beginning exi'>ted.



this kind and had many successors. After t h e Sung dynas t y t hese stori e s were not necessari l y based on Taoi st lore but on folk legends. Though often crude uneven and ha rdl y worth read­ ing, they had a strong h old on the peopl e . Some were polish­ the Ming dynasty was one of the earliest novels of


ed and ed i ted by scholars to form the base of later master­ pieces.

such l cgl n ds is The Four Romance.� This cons is ts of four !>eparate novels

One early collection of

of Wandering Saint s.

written by three men. but jud gin g by t h e


• The editor of th i s w o rk i'i unknown,

edi tions still in exist en ce it v. as proba bly

p u bl i shed i n t he Ming d ynas t y . The fi rst of t h ese fou r

The Eight Saints

or The

Voyage to the f.ast,

two vol u mes · an d fi fty-si x ch ap t e rs given as W u Y uan-ta i .



is d i v t d e d into

The wri t er s '

name is

T h e story tells how t h� c l u h-footed

saint Li Hsuan attains sainthood and teaches the Truth to


Ch ungl i Chuan, w h o i n t u rn teaches Lu Tung-ping.

these men teach Han Hsiang and Tsao Y u : a n d Chang K uo. Lan Tsa i


h o and Sister Hu attain sa i nt hood too.

t he e ight sai n ts


O ne day th ey a l l attend a feast

These are

in pa rad ise .

They are crossing the Eastern Sea on their wa y back


l a de n

w i th p re ci o us objects, w he n a youn g dragon takes a fancy to Lan Tsai-ho's jade castanets and steals them.

A great tight

ensues. The eig h t saints set tire to t he ocean and the defeated

dragon king asks angels from heaven to help him, but they arc vanquished too. to mediate ;

Then th e goddess Avalokitesvara comes world is at peace once

they go away and the

mo re . Th e la n gu age is a m i x t u re of classicisms and colloq u ia l is

l.' x preS!> i on!-l, and t he i nl'idcnts a r e d isjointed f o r t h is wo rk made up of folk l egends stru ng together. The se



Prince Hua-k11ang

or The Voyage

vo l u m e s and eigh tl'en c ha p te rs .

to che

The a t.J thor

is Yu Hsi a n g- to u , a publisher at the end ot the M i n g dy na st y

w h ose name appear!'. in some l.'di t i om. of Three

This !>to r y



The Romance of

a bou t the angel


M i ao-chi­

hsiang. who offends Buddha by k1 l l i ng a de mon and is se n t

down to he t he sun of Mother Horse-Ear.

Be i� t h e Three­

he a v e ng e s

Eye d G od w i t h d i \ i ne powers :

his father and

goes to Hea ven t o steal a golden spear hut is kiJ ied by th�

T he n

Hea venly Emperor.

he i r. reborn i n the ho use of the

Fiery P r i n ce and w h i le s t u d y i n g u n der the god he �teals an­

o t h e r gold sw o rd a nd make� it i n to a gol d brick, w i t h w h i c h

he p l u ys havoc i n

l l ca v e n .

d e kats him w i th water, h e fa m i l y as l l u a - k u a n g :

re ta i ns

now, hr goe� to I ron F a n h e

J e l l and

Lhl' H ea ve n l y Emperor

t h e d i v i ne power!> which he

de i t i es, causing great t ro u ble o n ea r t h

him. Bel·ause he has lost h i!. gold brick

fi nd

a go l d pa god a , and mee t i ng

Pri nces!>

make her his W i fe. He overcomt:s various mon­


u n t i l t h e god pn ng e n t i tl e d Life of the Tripituka Muster nf the Great Tzu­ cn Monastery has been pre�en·ed a mong t h e Buddhist canons. N .1 m i ra cl es arc reco rd ed here. yd t he l a t e r kgends abound in elcmt:nts of the supernatural. Mon k e y , Sa n d y and mon­ �ter'i in v a r iou s strange lands have a l r e ad y appeared in t h e dtantt:fablc versio n . w h i le one e a r l } play o f t he G u l den Tar­ t ar period a lso deal!. wi th H suun-t!>ung'o; tra \'eh..

� n the Yuan

Wu Chang- l i ng's pl av Tri ritnku Gnr \ We�r r o Fim1 Buddhist Canons contain., such i nc i uc n ts a� t he c a pt ure of


Mo n key and his L·onversion to B udd h 1 s m



a!> we l l as such

as Sa n d y . Pigsy, t h e Red Boy . lea v i ng the cave

monkey J q n � t ram.. formed

p u rs ull .



I n :t flash

hitnstlf a n d -vanhhed i n t o

t he water. The god nicd :

"Th i'> monkey m u., t have

so me li�h f l r s h ri m p.

catc h h i m ."

t· h a

n geJ 1 n t o

Le t m e turn i nto a cormora n t

W h e n Monkey saw thr" go d coming, he changed i nto

bu star d a nd llew to a tre e .



Then the god w i t h his catap u l t

k nocked t he bird dow n on the !;lope, but

a search h e could not lind it.

He went

t h o u g h he made

back to report t h at

the monkey king ha d been beaten and d is ap pe a re d without

a trace.

The Hea ven ly Prince l ooked i nto h is magic m irror a n d excla i med :

"The m o n k ey


gon e to y o u r

t e mple at

K ua nkou." Then the god Erh-lang went ba1:k to K u a n k o u .

Mon k e y

q u i c k l y t ook t h e l i k e n ess o f t h e g o d a n d sa l i n the ma i n hall.

Erh - l a n g t h ru !o. t at h i m w i t h h i s spear. � o n kc y warded

olf t he b l o w , resu med hb o w n form a nd �Lartcd li g h t i n g aga i n .

M o n ke} wan ted to r�:t u rn to hb mo u n t a i n but he

wa!. o;urro u ndcc..l by angel'>. a l l c han t i n g i ncantation:..


denly Erh - lu n g a ppeared w i th o t he r gods in t h e clouds and saw t ha t M o n key's strength would soon be spc m .


t h e Pat ri a rc h t h re w down a magic rmg w h i e h h i t M o n kcy on t h e head so t ha t ht• fel l .

Next Erh-la ng's hound l>f'ized

h i m by tht" �: h est a n d h e s t u m bled.

Fi n a l ly Erh-la ng a nd

others w i t h spears t ook h i m pri�oncr a n d p u t h nn i n chams. But !\i ncc M o n key ca n n o t be k i l led by lire or t h c !.word.

Budd h a i mp r i�ons h i m

u n der Five Element� M o u n ta i n . ur­

him to \\o ait for a mo nk who w i l l pass t h i s v. ay i n sca n: h of B u dd h i st su t ras. The n e x t fo u r chapt ers !"e l a te h o w W e i C h e n g k i l l� t h e d rago1 1 , Em prror Ta i Tsu ng v i !. i t s l l e l l . c..l e ring

Liu C h u a n pr�:se n ts 1 hc me lon a n d l l suan-t!.ang 1!. ordered to

,et o u t to

11 n d

Hull d h i � L


From the fou rtee n t h

l' haptl'r o n w a rds w e read o f t he d i sd p le!. t he monk fi nds on


wa y and t h e perils the}' enco u n t er. e n d i n g w i t h t h ei r

a r r i v a l a t t he i r desti uut ion a n d t he ir rc:t u rn to t he East after o bt a i n i ng the s u t ras.

There a r e t hrl"C d i sl'i piC's :

Pigsy a n d Sandy, a s w e l l


as a d ragon-h or'>c. T h e y ex perience

more t ha n t h i r t y da ngcro u !\ a d v e n t u res. the c h i c r being at W u c h u a ng Monastery, Table Mou n t �t i n . F i re-Cloud Cave. the Rivcr-Joming-lfcavcn,


Mo u ntain.


Echo Monastery and d ur i n g t h e i r enco u n ter with



Th under­ t he Si x­

Mo'!it of these stories are briefly told . but

/t96 sometimes jokes are inserted for t h e readers' amuseme n t . Here is t h e d e sc r i pt i o n of t h e battle at Fire-Cloud Cave : Then t he t u t el ary deities in t he neigh bo u rhood of the mo u n t ai n gat h ered round t o P�.Y t h e i r respects and i n t ro­

duce the mselves.

"This is W i t hered- P i n e V a l l ey


t h ey �a id.

"N e a r by i "

l l ed Fi re- Cloud Cave, w here l i ve� t he s o n of t h e Ox Mo n s te r. His name is R ed Boy a nd he u�c-. div i ne fire wh ich no o n e can w i t hsta nd.'' When Mo nkey hea rd t h is he d ismisc;ed the local de i tie�

a mou nta i n cave




and went w i t h Pigsy to t h e cave to fi nd t he l�ed


Boy. . . . The monster ordered hi!. tol lowers t o bring o u t l i w­

J l e came o u t

w heel carts an d fa l l i n to ba t t le format ion.

with his spear a n d fou g h t SC\- e ral r o u nd s w i nt M u n k c � .

and Pigsy joined i n . Th e n the monster w h i r led a bout a nd struc-k h i s nose so t h a t tlame� �pu rtcd fort h A l l t he carts started blazing fie rc e l y . Pigsy said : Bro t he r , let's go ! I �hall �uon be com­ pletely roasted, a nd i f h e adds �pil-e he w i l l ha \- e a gl)Od meal.'" T ho u g h Mo n k e y wa!t not afraid of li re, he cou ld not stand smuke. So t h l· t w o of t h e m h;.d to ru n bac k . .


T h ey

pe rs u ade A va lokitesvara t o he l p them, s h e cha nges

swords i n to a l o t us pedestal a n d catches the mon�tcr by

t ric k


The monster rev ol ts a n d t h e gods i m p ri son h i m w i t ! :


a gol d r i n g a nd spri nkle sweet dew o n h i m , after w hi c h h e goes meek l y

oil' to Potalaka Mou ntai n. One scene from Wu Pilgrimage to the West, T he Conver­

C ha n g lin g s drama, -



sion of the Demon Mother," shows how the R ed Bo y was rescued and has th is line :

"Be merci ful. Budd h a , an d r !>h a l l

help Tripitaka in h i s pi l grima ge to t he West.

H you spare

·1 0 '.C



...fl._ �




. \,..

C,, 1


�' \ I ,

.i ,' r!I .




1 -


'. ....


�·' I

1 ,, ' 1,1� .. . • ,. . - ....

' � . ,.l \._ • . '.i ' � ;...... ; '- • . • \.'-·-·· � \... '


� .



I " .._

\ : · ;,

:.� .. •·.·


� ·"'l

. · ·.


, '•



. '-·


�;-- •\ \ ':\ : '. c J •

c h an ge th ei r forms : Monkey tra ns­ forms h i mself into a sparrow, an egret, a fi sh . a water snake, w hile the god chan ges i n to a k i t e , a stork, a c o rmorant an d a c ra ne. Then Monkey bt:comc� a b us ta rd and the go d , scorn­ i n g to co nte n d w ith '>Ul'h a low creature. takes h is own form

a ga in

and knocks the bird off

a cliff wi th h i s catapult.

Tak ing ad vantage of this o p p o r t un i ty . Monkey rolled down t he cilff and crouching dov..-n c h a n ged h i msel f into a w aysi de shr i ne. l l is m ou t h wide open wa!t t h e doorway, his

ueth were: the door-flaps, his

Buddha, and h i s eyes the w in d o w s. do wi t h




image l)f

k nowing what to

his ta i l , he s t u ck it up b eh i nd l ik e a flag-pole.

When Erh-lang

arrived nt t he foot of the cliff in search had just k n ocke d over, a l l h e found

of the busta rd that hC'

was t h is small temple.

He s tare d at it hard till he noticed

the flag-pole s ti ck i ng u p behind and said with a laug h : '"That's M o nkey !

He's try in� h i s trkks o n me aga i n. I t l:m ples. but n eve r one w it h a flag-pole behind it. D e pend upon it. t h i s ani mal is u p to mischi ef. If h e gets me i nside, he w i ll b i te mt" W h y should I go i n ? I'll clench my fist a nd k n ock dow n t he w i n d o ws fi rst, the n k ick down the doors."' When Monkey h ea rd this . . . he ma de a tiger-spring Erh -lan g searched h a rd llp and d isapp e a red into the air. an d down. . . . Half way up t he sky he came across t h e Heavenly PrinL�, who was hol d i ng t h e monster-detecting have se e n many

/zoz mirror, his son Nocha at his side.

He asked :

"Prince, have

you seen Monkey?" "He hasn't been up here," said the pri nce .

"I've been

looking out for him." Erh-Jang told him what had : happened, how they had changed i nto different forms and how he had caught the small monkeys, concluding :

"He changed into a temple ,

but before I cou l d sma sh it he d isappea red again." The prince looked in his mirror and burst out laughing. "Make has t e . my lord !'' he cried.

"That monkey ha� made

himself invisible to escape from the cordo n and gone to your temple at Kuankon . . .


Now as soon as Monkey re ac hed Kuankou, with one

shake he took the form of Erh-lang, then descended from the clouds and went straight to the shrine.

The guardian

spirits. n o t knowing he w a s an i mp os t or , bowed ro w elco me their lord.

Mon ke y !oat d o wn in their midst to inspect the

offerings. and !m.W 1 hat Li Hu had st:nt meat, Chang Lung

had promised presents, Chao Chia had prayed for a son. and Chien Ping had asked to be c u red of a d i sease . was look i n g rou n d w h e n someone announced : Lord Erh -I a n g


"Anot her

is here !"'

The guardian spirits turned h ast i l y - and were amazed.

Erh-lan g demanded :



crcaturt: ca l l i ng h i mself the

Great Sage and Paragon of Heaven been ]Jere ?"

"We've not seen any Great Sage,'" they said. "But there's another Lord Erh-lang inside inspecting the offerings." The god rushed in and as soon as Monkey saw h i m he _ "Don't shout, my

changed into his true form and said : lord !

This temple is in my nam e now !"

Erh-lang raised his three-pro nged , dou ble - blade d mag ic lance and lunged at Monkey's face. took out his needle :

Monkey dodged and

one shake and the needle was as

203/ thick as a bowl.

He darted forwa rd and stru ck back.


ing and shouting they fought their way out of the temple. t hrough the mist and cloud,

st r uggl i ng as they went, till

once more they reached the M ountain of Flowers and Fruit.

The Four Heavenly Princes were keeping a strict guard, a n d now the Heavenly Generals Kang and Chang came to meet Erb-lang and surrounded M o n k e y , prc�ing in on every


But t h e most dari ng flights o f tancy occur in the eighty­ .ts t h e hattie with t he R hinoceros J\1urruwcrl palm Jcnr fan brill!!& r.un anJ dew, And help i& &f'lll by h n•,ts of an!!el• blc••··J : The r:.mp1n1 o, rerum• to llnddho�'� yukteamed,

it, the monster

away m y wand and I

Since it saiu 11 kne" me, I suspect it is So I IHIVt. come to report t h is, and J ne kind enough � n order an i n\'estigation

ple n d id opport u n i t y . " But going to the f8tt" ht: fou nd i t �hut, w h i l e pa s ted on the yueh s m as h e d heaven u p r

black-lacquered door was a s l i p of papc::r sayi n g : "On t he I am go i ng to visit the Y e l low Emperor and !!.hall be away for ten days. l apo logize fur not be i ng here to

t w e n t i et h

w e lc om e visitors.''

As soon as M on ke y saw t h i s he turned


A CO'-' k n ca r by c row ed t h n:e t i me o; : it was nearly


He we n t on for a fe w milli.ot•!> of


but co u l d not

All of a o; u dden , however, he saw a swarthy-fa�cd man sc-o.teu in a h i g h pavtlion. "So there a re br iga nds in t he ancient world too,'' t hought M a n k e)' w i t h a sm ile. •'Here's one on show with his face smeured with charcoal." A t't" w paces further on he said : find the First E mpe- ror o f Ch i n .

/zt8 "No, t h is i s no brigand. I t must be a sh rin e to C h ang Fei." But then he mused : have a cap. . . .

..If this were Chang Fei he ought to

Instead he's wearing an emperor's crown

and he looks amazingly dark. Dark E mpe r or .

This must be Great Yu, the

lf he will give me some c harm s to exordze

devils, r need not look for the Chin emperor."

Dra w i ng

nearer, he saw a ston e pillar before t he pav il io n wi th a

white flag on it bearing an inscr i p tion written in p u rple : ''Hsiang Yu the Pre-Han Dilettante.'' laughing a nd said :

Mon key bur'>t o u t

"The p rove rb is rig ht :

l t doesn't do

to count you r chickens before they're ha t c hed . guesses were wrong. . . .

So a l l my

Th i s is simply Lady Y u's h u s­

band." Then i t occurred to him :


s neake d i n to this world

of the past to lind the emperor of C h i n . to b011 row some­ thing that would move t he mountain.

Hen· h; Hsiang Y u ,

the conqueror o f Ch u , who comes after him i n history : how i� i t l h a v e n 't found the Ch i n emperor yet '! w hat :

J k now

I'lt go up t h ere and as k Hsiang Yu w here he is.

That 's the idea."

He gave a leap and lookt>d roun d . . .

then shook himse l f and changed i n t o Lady Y u .

lie mou n t­

ed t he pavilion step wip i n g his eye!'. on a silk h an dk e rch i e f taken from h i s sleeve, a n d pe ep ed from be h i n d t h is hand­ kerch ief at Hsiang Y u , looking both a n gr y and ap peali n g. W he n

Hsi a n g

turned away.


threw h i mself o n h i s k nees. Monkey

With swift strides Hsia ng Yu carne rou nd

and kneeled aga i n, pleadi ng : husband !

" M y love, take pity on your

G ive me a smile !"

Monkey sai d not hing t i l l Hsiang Yu shed tears of despair. Then with a blu�h Monkey pointed at him and repr oac hed him :

.. You scoundre l !

You, a gr e at gene ral , could not

1 1 9/ even protect a weak woman. sitting u p so h igh?" Hsiang



Aren't you :�.shamed to be



dared not reply.

Monkey looked rather touched and helped h i m up, saying :

"The proverb tel ls us that a man's k.nee:&. ar(' precious as gol d .

You m ustn't kneel �o easi l y i n fut urt:."

19 No vl�ls o f !Ha.nners in lhe 1\fing Dyn asl.y

CT"\ U Rl NG .L.../ novels

t he h e y d a y of ro mances about gods and


a bout the alTair!> of men bega n to be written.

The�e had the same th cmcll a� the yin- Lzu -rrh t y pe of 5ung

dynasty s t o ri c !. : the joy!> a n d �orrows o f h u man l i fe , separa · tions a nd enco u n t ers or

won a great repu tatj o n . These two books, with the Pilgrimage

to the West, were �tyled "The


A mazinll Romances."

Chin Ping Mei was first printed in Soochow in 161Q. It wu


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fillS Jki

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l l l tl\tr:l l io,J ! J um au :.. I J < ll l l ll•ll ol pub[!,Jt,·J a i u · ul 163&

t :,)m

l'111g .\lt·i

Z Z J/ supposed to have a hundred c h a pt e rs b u t Ch a p te rs 53 t o 57 .

were m iss i ng and those we have now were added at the flrst

printing. •

The a ut h o r is unknown.

Since the Ming scholar

Shen Tch-fu stated that the w ri t e r was an eminent scholar of t hr mid-sixtee n t h century, it was thought t ha t he might

be Wa ng Shih-chen or one of his pupils.

Then t he legend

was spread that wh e n Wang wrote t his n o v e l he smeared the

poi son in order to k i l l h is enemy Yen Shi h-fan.

paper with

though oth ers i m pu ted t h is to Tang Shun-c h i h , hence the e d i t i on pu blished by C han g C h u-rn

in the seco nd hal l of t h e

seve n t eenth cent ury bega n w l l h an cs!.ay in praise of filial

piety. The c en t ra l cha rac t e r in Chin Ping Me1 is Hsi men Ching

who a ppe a rs also in

Shui Hu Chnun.

H!->imen Ch ing is a

c i t i zen of Ch i ngho who ncglcet� study a n d d e v o tes all his

t i me to pleasmc.

H e ha i n ad d i t i o n to his

w ifr. and is f ri e n d l y with ··a bu nc h of toadies, back-biters

and u ps ta r ts


Becoming i nfa tuated w 1 t h Go lden Lotus, he \\' u the Elder in o rd er to po-;!.ess her.

poisons her h u !.hand

Wu's b r o t h e r Wu Sung seeks to aveng'! him. but k i lls another rnan by

mi!>tak.: a nc..l J or

Mengc h o w


t ll i !. crime i � t attooed a n J c>. i led to

Hsiml'll, co n l: d e n t that he is now sec ure, gtvcs

h i m se l f up to debauchery am.l makes love to Spring Plum,

Golden Lotus' maid.

l i e has a uo t h cr alTair with Li Pi ng-erh,

w h om he m a kes h i� conc ubi ne too. By dish onest pract ices he acq u i res a fo rt un e l i Ping-erh b ea rs h i m n son , Hsimen bribes .

Censor Tsai to g i vr him th� ra nlt of n captai n o[ t he imperial

guards, and he becomes an o u t -a nd-ou l profligate.

He uses

aphrodisiacs. i n d u l ges in licentious pleasure, takes bribes and

breaks the law.

Golden Lotus, jealous of Ping-erh, plays a

cru e l trick on her ch i l d

d i es of a i.Jroken heart.


that it


k i l led and Ping-erh later

Then Golden Lotus d oes her best to

please H si m e n, lJ u t one n ight h'! dies suddenly of an over-

/222 dose of aphrodisiacs. She and Spri ng Plum become the mis­ tresses of Hsimen 's son-in-law . Chen C hing-chi, but w hen th is is re por t ed by an ot h e r co n c u b ine , Hs u ch-ngo, they are driven out of the house. G olden Lotus goes to l ive w i t h Mrs. Wang until s he can find an ot he r husb,ind ; but Wu Su ng returns after an amnesty and kills her. S p ri n g Plum is sold as a c on­ c u bine to an offic ial named C hou and having given birth to a

so n is made his wife.

Hsueh-ngo is kidna pped and sold to

Spring Plum, w h o vents her spi t e on her before selli n g


as a prosti t ute . Then Spr i n g Plum pretend s t hat Chen C h i ng­ c h i is her b ro t he r and takes h i m into her h usband's hou">c

lovers aga i n . W he n Chou is a ppoi nted a fo r h i s part i n s u p p ressi ng Sung C h iang's revolt, Chen Ching-c-h i is his aide-de-c-am p. T h e n the Golden Tartars strike sou th. Chou is killed in ba ttle a nd Spring Pl um, now h av i n g an afl"a i r w i t h h is son. dies one ni ght a f ter ex­ cessive d e ba u c he ry . When t he G old e n Tartars approach Chingho, Hsimen"s w i fe takes h i s son Hsiao-ko to Ts i n a n . on the way mee t i ng M o n k Pu-c h i ng who lea d 'i t h em to Y u ngfu Monas tery and reveals to them the divine retribution. Hsiao­ wh e re they become

garrison commander

ko becomes a monk. ta k ing the name M ing ·wu. The w riter shows t h e most profound undc-rsta ndinf!. or the life of his time. his d escri p ti ons are clear yet subtle, pene­ trating yet h ighly suggest ive. and for t he sa "c llf con traM he someti mes portrays two q uite d ifferent aspects of life. His wri ting halos su.:: h a var i e t y of hu man i nterest that no novel of that period c o u l d surpass it. Th is i s why i t was a t t r i b u te d to Wang S h i h -c hen. It is not true to sa y that Chin Ping Mei deals o n l y w i t h the pro lligat es and loose women of urban soc iety. for J-hi men c o m es of a wea l t hy fami l y and h i s friends i n c lud e nobles, influen tia l men and scholars.

Hence this pre ·

sentation of such a fam i ly is in e ffec t a c o n d e m n a t i o n of t h e whole

r u ling class, not si mply

a story disparaging l o w society

22 J / "You scoundrel !"' said Golden Lot us. those slippers !"

"Y ou've reminded

Spring Pl um, show him

me of some t h i n g I'd forgotten.

She turned back to Hsimen, "Do you

recognize these slippers ?" "Indeed l don't," said H si men.

"What a picture of i nnocence !" j eered G olden Lotus.

"A fi n e way you ca rr i ed on wi th Lai-wang's wife behin d

my back, trea1.uring h er s l i n k i ng s l i ppers like some jewel i n y o u r card-box with wri ting paper a n d in�.:ense in that cav e in the ganlen. the y '!

Are t hey sul:h tre nsu re s ?

W h a t use are

No wonller th a t cursed bitch went to Hel l when she

died !" And p oint m g at Autumn A s ter, she scolded : "This stu p i d creature produced them, thinking they were mine.

I ga ve her a good beatmg !''

She ordered Spring Plum :

''Throw t hese objects away at once." S p ring Plum passed the slipper!. on t he floor and said w i th a glance a t Au tumn Aster :

" You can ha v e them."

Aster pi c l< ed t h em up. remark i ng : ''Madam's sl ippers are so sma l l . 1 can hardly get one of my to es in." " You cursed s l a ye !" exploded Golden Lotus. '"Why say 'madam' ! Sne mu:-r 11a .;c been your master's mot her in his last existence : o t h �.; rw isc why shl•u ld he keep th�.:se Au tumn

as a tre asu re ·?

No doubt thev 're a family heirloom.


d isgust ing !''

As A u t u mn A�f er was walk ing o u t, Golden Lot us called

" Br i ng me a k n i fe ! Let me chop the bitch's up a n d throw the bnl> i n to a pis!> ·po t . !>O that s he'll have to stay in Hell a nd n ever come to life agai n." She rounded o n Hsimen : " T he 'if\dder y o u look, the smaller her back.

� I i pper!>

1'11 cu t t h e m up. "

Hs imen laug h ed. "You bi tch ! I don't care a da m n. " .


Just t hrow th em away.

(Ch ap ter 28)

When the time came to light the lamps, Censor Tsai said : I have p u t y o u to a great d ea l of trouble today : "

let us call an end to this feast."

leave the _table, but before the atten­ "Wait a Won't you ha ve a rest in the back room,

He stood up to

dants could l igh t h i m out Hsimen i nt e r posed :

moment ! .


SI T . " .

They went to Emerald Pav i l i o n . . . and as the door closed two prettily t ricked out singsong gi rls appeared by the steps and came forward t o kowtow. . . . At si g h t of them the ce nso r was loath to leave. "You are really too kind," he said. "Bu t I can't acce pt th i s. " "This is n o different Hsimen repl ied w i t h a chuckle : from ancient times w hen Hsieh An a mused hi mself with girls i n the Eastern Mountain." "J fear T h a ve not Hsi e h An's talent," retorted Tsai . ''but y ou are a s c u ltured a ge n tle m an as Wang Hsi­ chih." . . . As they found paper and ink at


p avi l i o n ,

Tsai de­ Hsi men told a hoy to gri n d the i nk well and hold the paper steady. This C en so r Tsa i 'ha!. a t leal-.t an accompli!.11ed scholar : he picked up the pen and dashed oiT a poem in a flas h under the lamp. . . . cided to write a poem to m a rk the occasion.

(Chapter 49) The characters i n Ming dynasty novels of exposure a re usually based on real persons, fo r the writers used this means to get even with their enemies; but often the identi Hcation

According to Shen Teh-fu, Chin Ping Mei was "Tsai Ching and his son stood for Yen S u ng and Yen Shih-fan ; Lin Ling-su for Tao C h un g-w e n , Chu Mie n for Lu Pi ng . The o t her char-

is difficult.

also an attack on contemporary figures :

22)/ acters, too, represented real persons."

This b e i ng the case,

the chief character Hsimen Ching must have stood for some particular indiv i d ual .

The start of t h e novel says :


was a wealthy and noble family w hich came to a sorry end : all its craft and scheming came to nothing, all its k i nsme n

and co n n ect ions proved broken reeds.

After enjoying a few

short year� of splendou r it left be hi n d a dishonoured name.

T h ose beauties who made the most of th e ir charms to corn­ pete for their master's favour had t hei r pleasure, but in the

end their corpst"s lay in t h e shadow of the lamp a . : d t h e i r blood was spilt in lonely ch ambers ." book delves into Buddhist lore.

The final section of the

Hsimen's son is asl eep in the

monastery when the mon k leads hi-; mother and others i n ,

and poi nts with h i s wand ; at once t h e lad t u r n s i n to lisimen Ching h i mse lf in a cangue and 1 rou c hain-;.

When the monk

points with h is wand aga i n t h e son rea p pear� once more . fast asleep.

He is a rcinrarnat i o n of Hsimen. By this rath e r

unusual ending the author mea nt t hat the sin!. of the fath e rs

arc visi ted on their sons and can be d ispelled only by knowl­ edge of the Truth.

Though the ot her fi n c-sou ncling theory

t hat t h is book wao.; w r ; : t e n hy a son to a venge h is t'a t h er adds piquancy to the talc, thcrt" is no gen u i n e ev idence to support


If we look at Cl1 in Ping M1 · 1 from th e pui n t of v iew of lite rature , it is a no,·el of manners which gives a· truthful and penetrating p i r t u re of l i fe.

Since it was w ritten during t he

latter part of th e Ming dynas t y when things were not going

w e ll , the tone is harsh and bitter.

B ec a . J se there are numer­

ous descriptions of pr i vate life a n d many amorous passages,

later readers who concentrated un t h is aspec t of the novel to the exclusion of others gave it a bad na m e , condemning it as pornography.

Actually, at that time, such descriptions

were the fashiou.

During th e second half of the fifteenth

1u6 century the alchemist Li Tzu and Monk Chi-hsiao rose to eminence by teaching the arts of love, while in the sixteenth century Tao Chung-wen won the emperor's favour by pre­ scribing aphrodisiacs and for this �as promoted to the rank of minister and ennobled. This deca dent trend by degrees spread to scholars too :

Chief Censor Sheng Tuan-ming and High

Commissioner Ku Ko-hsiao became officials by passing the examinations, but achieved high rank by presenting recipes for aphrodisiacs.

Since such sudden prosperity gave rise to

envy, other men tried by every means to procure remarkable drugs and talk about the art of love and the use of aphro­ disiacs was q u i te open. ture :

the honour in

This vogue left its mark on l i tera­

which alchemists were held



general use of drugs were accompanied by moral laxity and debauchery.

Thus the fiction of that period deal!P either with

gods and demons or with amorous arts. But

Chin Ping Mei is so o;u perbly written that, setting

a:>ide its pornographic descrtptions, this


a remarkable novel

in many ways; whereas later w ritt:rs of this school laid stress on sex alone and dealt with such abnormal behaviour that their characters seem to be sex-maniacs.

The Human Has­

sock, which judging by its style may be the work of

i s comparatively good.

Li Y u ,

B u t inferior works of th is sort are

pure pornography with no pretensions to the name of litera­ ture.

They were printed in small volumes most of which,

after being banned several times, are now lost. During the reign of Wan Li (1 573-1620) there appeared a novel called Yu Chiao Li (Jade-Charming-Prune) said to be by the author of Chin Ping Mei.

Yuan Hu ng-tao, who was

told its plot, describes it as a continuation of Chin Ping Mei in which different characters receive their d ue deserts.


the Elder in his next existence becomes a philanderer, Golden Lotus a wanton who is finally condemned to death, Hsimen

227 /

a cuc ko l d whose wife and concubines are unfaithful to him. Shen Teh-fu after reading the first part of t h i s book con­ demned it as

u t terl y obscene and immoral. . . .


The em­

peror is a Golde n Tartar, t h e rivalry between the ministers Hsia Yen and Yen Sung is hinted at, while, curiously enough, other high officials of Chia Ch i n g s reign appear under their '

rea l na mes. . . .

But t he style is s pi ri te d and l i v el y

better i f possi ble than that of Chin Ping Mei.''

has di s a pp ea red .



This book

Th ou gh a novel of the same name exists,

t he c on ten ts arc not as descri bed here and it must be a la ter w or k


There is another 64-cha pter Sequel to Chin Ping Mei as­

cri bed to a l'l'rta i n Priest Tzu-yang.

C h a pte r 62 relates that

during the Eastern Han dynasty rhcre lived a sat n t in Liao­

tung named Ti ng Li ng-wei and that fi ve hu ndred y e ars l ater

t he r e l iv e d a sa i nt a t Hangchow na med Ti n g Yeh-hao, who

w hen he lef t the w or l d predicted that after a not h er fi ve cen­

turie� there w u u l d appear a &ccond reincarnation of Ting Yeh­ hao.

Accordi ngly, at the end of the Miug dynasty, a nativ e

or T u n g h ai wi th t h e same n a me came here, resign ing his of­

fi c i a l post to bL·comc


orkst calling himself Tzu-) ang.


novel o pens w i t h a comn�entary on a TaOJ!>� tnt ct by Tmg


of C'h uchen g

in Shn'1tung, and the preface says :

"After an evil man bu r n ed IT'v Astrology in the southern

capi tal and a great change ca m e about in society l ceased to

speak of re l i gi o us matters.

N ow o u r sagacious sov e re i gn is

prop agat m g religion and h as written a pr ef ace to the Taoist

canon for t he moral e n ligh tenmen t uf hi& s u bje cts . . . . " From t h i s i t a ppears that this novel was by Ting Yao-kang and written at the beg i n n i ng o ! t he C h i n g d y na st y.

Ti ng

Yao ka ng as a government scholar in his youth be lon ged �o -

literary societies i n the Yangtse Valley, a n d failing to obtain

any official pos i tio n he wrote Astrology in ten books.


/zz8 1 647 he went to Peking, became a se n i o r licentiate, worked as a tutor, and won some reputation as a poet. Later he was appoi nted a county examiner and magistrate of Huian, but he did not go to this post. He l Qst his eyesight in his sixties ' and called himself the Indolent Priest. l ie died at the age of seventy-two, having l ived from about 1620 to 169 1 . The works he has left i nclude po em s, essays and fou r plays. His t rea tise on astrology was a compilation of po rte nts and omens from past dynasties, but we do n ot k now how th e hook came to be bu rned : the Records of Chucheng Cormty m e rel y states t hat it was presented to Ch u ng Yu-cheng of Yitu. This sequel em bod i es rat h e r si mplified ideas a bout divine retribution. Monk Pu-ching i s t he r ei nc a r n a t i o n of a bod­ hisa tt va w ho o n e day distributes food to h ungr y ghosts, tel l­ ing t h e m the evil fates in sto re for them, a nd a l l. hi� prophe­ cies come true. Hsimen C h i ng is reinca rn a t ed as Chi n-ko, the son of Shen Yut:h. a r ich citize n of Ka ifcng. He lives opposite Shen's brother-in-law, Li e u t en an t Yuan, w ho has a daughte r named Chang-chieh - Pi ng-er h 's reinca rnation. She is in S hen's house one day when the emperor"s favourite, Li Sh ih -sh ih , is struck by her bea u t y and uses the i mperial in­ fluence to carry her off, cha n g in g h er name to Yi n -pi ng. When the Golden Tartars take Kaifeng, the c i t i zens of the capital scatter and Chin-ko becomes a beggar. Yin-ping is forced to turn p rostitute and has a lover named Cheng Yu­ c hing; she becomes the concubine of Landlord C hai, but runs away with her lover and hangs herself after being trick­ ed by Miao Ching. The second half of t he novel tells the story of Mei-yu, the da ugh ter of Captain Kung in Kaifeng. Longi ng for a life of luxury and comfort, she becomes the concubine of a Tartar, but his w ife is jealous and t reats her so crue lly that she determi ne s to commit s uic id e . She learns in a dream, however, that she is the re inc a r na ti on of Spring

229/ Plum while the Tartar's wife is her old rival Hsuch-ngo ; then s h e embraces religion and forgets her resentmen t in her wor­ ship of B udd ha thus atoning for her sins. ,

Gol de n Lotus is

reborn as Chin-kuei, daughter of Lieutenant Li of Shantung,

and her husband, Liu the Club-Foot, is a reincarnation of p u nish men t for his sins.

Chen Ching-chi whose deformity is a

Chin-kuei in her m isery falls under a spell and dies after a long i llness. The rest of t h is novel is concerned with the punishment of sins i nterspersed with h istorical events. q uotations from B udd h i st

There are l"·:lpious

Taoist and Confucian works and commentaries, each r u nnin g i n to hundreds of words ; but the ,

mai n preoccupation is with the philosophy of di vine retribu­

t ion.

The a u t hor exp lains :

"'Before spe ak ing of Buddhism,

Taoism and Confucianism, we should Mart with

the principle

of retributio n ;

but si nce empty talk unsupported by evidence is useless, w e should start with the novel Chin Ping Mei." M i n g dynasty authors of pornography used divine retribu­ tion to justify their writing.

Thus the author says :


changes take p l ac e in the relations between hu�band and

w i fe . . . for they hav, to .ttrme for generation after genera­ tion of sins.

So they dwwn them!>Cives in the river of lust,

or consume thcmo;;e lves utterly in the fire o f passio n . w h o le of

Chin Ping Mei


deals wit h lust. " hile the sequel

'lhows that all is vanity ; and from lust and vanity we turn to the

Buddhist Tru Lh ."' This book is not entirely Buddhist, co n ta i n s Confucian and Taoist ideas as well,

however, but

much in the same way us the novels about gods and demons.

Bu t sin ce •h.: author appears to luv special emphasis on good



tole ra nc e


he pokes fun at those who ind ulge i n

idle talk about the unity o f the three rel i g ions o r

make vain

attempts to compare their relative merits. The following ex­ tract describes how t he Confuciuns and Taoists fight over Li

Shih-shih's confiscated house which has been made into a convent.

In the Convent of the Great Awakening, Buddhism pros­ pered. Then the Taoist pries� of the Temple of Heaven and the students of the Confucian college started a dispute over this plot of land, and when the judge could not settle their dispute they appealed to the army headquarters of the Tartar prince.

This mansion was a very large one, they

contended, and both monks and prostitutes lived there.


it were simply made into a convent. there was danger of

i mmoral conduct : it should therefore be t urned into a gov­ ernment office with half the back-garden set aside for a Hall of Three Religions, where Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist sermons cou ld be delivered.

The pllincc granted

this request, and all was w e l l.

Once the Taoi st priest saw that this place was divided up instead of coming entirely to him, he did not care for

it. Then the scholars Wu Tao-li and Pu Shou-feng setzed th is opportun i ty to collect money - three silver cents for each subscriber - · - till they had between three and four hun­ dred taels of silver and could bu i ld a hall with three cham­ bers. They !.hould have placed Buddha in the middle, with Lao Tzu on his left and Confucius on h i s right ; but in order to give pride of place to their own re1 igion they put Confucius in the centre, to show that Confucianism is rhe orthodox faith. They converted the pavilions in th e garden into studies, as well as Yin-ping's dres.c: ing-room and bed­ room. . . . Instead of studying religion, these fine gentle­ men, dilettantes and hedonists, drank and wrote poems every day in the Hall of Three Religions and had a fine time studying feminine charms.

They called the place the

2 p/ College of Triple Nothingness, i mplyi ng that all three reli­ gions amounted to not hi ng . The novel Flower Shadows on the Screen in forty-eight chapters was also considered as a sequel to Chin Ping Mei. Actually it is simply a rehash of the last book in which the names and n umber of chapters are changed and all talk of retribution curtailed. This novel, which was never completed, was also called R etribution in Three Generat io11s.

A pparently

there were more incidents to follow, unless the author count­ ed the poisoning of Wu t he Elder as retri bution for slns in a previous life, making three generations in this � ay.

20 1Vovels of Jltlan.ners in t.ll e lUing Dynnsty (Continued)


t i o ns.


populari t y of Chi11 Ping Mei, ¥11 Chiao U and other novels of t his t y [lc gave rise to a host of i m ita­ t hese later work!> w ere not altogether the different t y pes of c h a rac te rs and adven tures,


same, l1aving

the ti tles followed the established t raditio n ; thus we have Yu-Chiao-Li, 1 Ping Shan Leng Ym. and others. The stories dealt with talen ted scholars and beautiful girls, with relined, romantic ac t ions

as fa i l u res a n d successes in the examinations a nd other cha nges of fort u ne. Since they started with many misadventures but always ended happily, they were known as ''pleasant tales." Though the p lo ts o fte n



as wel l

I jrule-Cbarmint;·P,·ar. ThouAh Cbit�o Li mentioned above, it i�

this has the �11me translitc1atioo not the same buok.



zn/ seem reminiscent of Tans dynasty romances, there is no real





coinc idence


t he



both cases were nearly al way s scholars, making the stories appear similar though writ ten in different ages.

Yu-Chiao­ Li and Ping Shan Lerag Yen h ave been translated into French, while another novel of this type, Hao Chiu Chuun, has been rendered into French as well as German. So these works are bet ter known abroad than in China.

Yu-Chiuo-Li, a novel in twen ty chapters. with no auth or's name. is also called The

Strnngc Story of Two Beautit>!. It fi ftee n t h century there

rela tes that towards the middle o f the

lives an o fficial, Pai Hsuan, who has no son.

In his old age

a d a ughter , H u n g-y u . is born to him and proves a talented She wins a reputation by wri t i ng a poem o n chrysan­


for her father, a n d Censor



Ti n g-c hao in­

structs his son Y a n g Fang tn a � k for her ha n d.

When the

young man cal ls, Pai asks h i s brother-in-law, Academician Wu, to test h is scholarsh ip. Academic ian W u escorted Yang Fa ng to the pav i lion.

a nd ra ising hi:. head t he yo u ng man saw t h e in!'cription :

l'u Ku H.mun. he sc rut i ni 7 cd W hen


Confident t hat he k new these charactet s,

them in temly . acad e mic i an saw

was written by

the sc holar

t h is h(; remarked :




His .ca l l i graphy

is spirited and mas l e rly." Y a n g Fang, eager t o air h i s kno w ledge. sa id :

indeed !

The last c ha ra c t e r

kao, He pr o no un c e d

first two, fu


hsuan is co.nmonplace. bu t


are sup1·rb." t he word:. fu

this q u otnt ion from the

ll ao.

not realizing t ha t in

Book of !,m�gs the kao should read


The academ ida n , hearing this, was able to s i ze him up



mer�ly made some amhiguous reply.

(2 34 So Pai refuses the offer, and Yang in his resentment rec­ ommends that Pai be sent to the Tartar camp to bring back the abducted emperor.

Pai leaves, entrusting his daughter

to Academician Wu, who takes her to Nanking.

There h e

i s s o impressed by th e poem writteri on a wall b y S u Yu-pai

that he wants to marry Hung-yu to him ; but Su, mistaking some

other girl

for her, dec l ines .


wrath fully


the examiner to strike Su's name from the list of scholars, and since news has just come of Pai Hsuan's triumphant

return and promotion the examiner obeys. Su sets off for On the way he falls i n with

the capital to fi nd hi s uncle.

some young men writing verses in i mitation of Hung-yu's poem on the willow, who tel l him that the best poet wi ll win her hand. Su writes a verse too which is stolen by Chang Kuei-ju, who passes i t off to Pa i as h is o w n and i� taken on

as Psi's secretary.

Another suitor also poses as Su. but

before long he and Chang exposr each other. Now Su, i m­ pressed by Hung-yu's poe:m, starts north t.o ask Academician Wu's help in ·arranging a match with her.

On the road he

is robbed and taken in by a family named Li, in whose house he meets young Lu Meng- l i , who is so struck by his talent

that he begs Su to marry h is sister.

Su goes to the capital

and does bri lliantly in the examination ; young Lu has d isa p peared.

is Hung-yu's cousin , who has Pai family. Unable to f i nd travelling u nder an assumed brilliant youth named Liu in

but on h i s return

Little does he know that Lu gone to Nanking to join the a






a temple there.


meets a

He decides

to marry both h is daughter and his niece to Liu. "There I happened to meet this young fellow Li u



is from Nanking too and a true gentleman . . . . Struck by his good looks and learning, and sure that he would

23 5/ soon












I thought of marrying Hung-y u to h i m ­

only I was afraid my niece might think that unfair.


the other hand, if I married my niece to him, my daughter might well call me an unnatural father.

1t is quite out

of the q uestion, though, to find another scholar as good as this o ne.

In ancient times two sisters married the sage

king Shun, and these two cousins are deeply attached to each other.

They are bosom friends, quite i nseparable.

So I offered both girls to him.

This has put me in a good

humour over this." Both girls are upset, however. because they want to marry Su .

Then Liu comes to Pai's house and turns out to be Su ,

who was under an assumed name in Shanyin.

And when

Pai also discloses his real name. they are both surprised and delighted.

So the marriage

takes place.

lt emerges that

Lu Meng-li is actually a girl. who travelled in disguise and. in offering her sister to Su in marriage, was really offering herself. Ping Shan Le11g Yen is a


t wenty-chapter novel by Ti-an­

Sheng Po-crh of t he Ch ing dynasty said this was

written by Chang Po-shan in his teens and tin ished by some older man.

Chang Po-shan lived i n Kang Hsi's reign.


poem he wrote on plum blos1.om at the age of ni ne grea tly i mpressed h i s tutor:

b u t though h t s precocity l e d Sheng

to attribute this novel to him, the style seems rather that of a pedant than a boy.

The novel speaks of the good old

days, but since there is no indication of the date at which

it was written, we do not know what period in the past is meant.

In this story, the imperial astrologer reports that

there are signs of li te rary genius in the stars and the emperor

joyfull y orders a searl!h to be made for talent.


/z; 6 to see a wh ite swallow, he i nstructs his officials to write

poems on it ; and when t h e officials fail to satisfy him, Chan­

cellor Shan Hsien-jen presents a poem by his daughter Shan Tai.

This poem is as follows : A �pe�k of \1. hile laments the �etlin!l sun, Her plum:tgc micl white blouom dors not show; She scorn< tu borrnw rillrucnu from the crow, Or feed hcn.ciE on anything but snow. She leaves n �hadow, £lying throullh black night; She plucks ted petal�. but they m ak e nu nains ; Within n·tmil ion go1tcs in wealth and pomp Immaculate :md spotleu she remains.


emperor s u m mons Shan

Tai and


her advice.

Impressed by her intel ligence, he presents her wi t h a jade ruler "to measure t h e talents of the e mp ire wand "to command violence.

and a gold protect herseTf against

l i terature a nd


When the time comes for her to marry, if a n y

fool tries to win h e r b y force s h e c a n strike him over t h e head w ith th i s wand a n d k i ll h i m without fear of punish­





bearing the ino;;c ription : Literature."



w ith



"Ta len ted W o man, Glory of Our

A t this t i me Shan Tai is no more t han ten .

Her fat her builds a Jade R u ler Pavilion to house t he jade ruler and Shan Ta i studies there.

She is now exceedingl y

famous, and crowds come to ask for her ca ll igraphy.


she writes a poem making fun of a young noble, her enemies spread the rumour tha t none of her writings are genu i n e ; b u t w hen t h e emperor orders m e n o f letters t o compete with

h er they are a l l ou tdone, the slanderer is p u n ished a nd her fame grows.

A vi llage girl , I.eng Chiang-hsueh, w ho has

also written poems since her childhood, offends Sung Hsin w ho con trives to sel l her as a slave to the Shan family. the way there C hia n g h su eh -


writes a poem aud meets a

young scholar of Loyang named Ping Ju-heng, but they arc

z n/ separated








revealing her gifts, she soon becomes such a favourite that

her poems are shown to the emperor too.

Ping Ju-heng,

eager to tlnd other talented men, makes friends with Yen Pai-ha n , a brilliant poet from a wealthy and noble family. These two scholars are recommended to the court, but not l i k i ng to receive official posts through recom mendation they

go to the capital for the examination and under assumed Shan Tai reads

names ask for an interview with Shan Ta i .

some satirical




Chiang-hsueh to try them ou t. young







The girls outdo the


A nother

disgui son i n t he same

bea u tifu l men.

t h is girl a nd Shui dares not refuse h im o pe n l y but tricks h i m i nt o marrying his niece i nstead. W h e n this i s discovered, K uo in his rage determines ui�trict, is ben t on marrying

to g ir l

ru in Shui and seize Ping-h�i n, bu t by a clever ruse the escapes.

Kuo u rges the loca l magistrate to forge a compe l l i ng her t o marry him, but T i eh w ho i!. p resent t1iM:overl> t h e plot and thwarts i t . earning Ping-hsin's grat ir ude. When Tieh l'> ud d en ly falls ill, s!:e take� h i m h o m e n nd nurses h im for JJ vc days. After K u o's third attempt to st'ize Pi n g- h �i n hao;; fniled. T i e h and Ping­ hsin marry. but do not co ru. um nta tc thei r ma rr i age . Kuo's fa ther pre v a i ls on a censor to report : "This o u ng man and girl are sha ring one room and m u s t be l ivmg in sin ; yet her parents are conJoning t h e matter - t h is is cou nter to all mora li t y . ' ' When the case is investigated the empe ror discovers the truth, and when Pn1g-hsi n is sum moned to court the e mpress finds that s h e is stiH a virgin. Tl;e slanderers are p u n is hed, Tieh and Ping- hs i n are commended, ordered to go t hro u gh the wedd i ng again to uphold morality, and urged to cu l t i va te even greater virtue. government

o rder


/2.40 The Iron Flower Fairy Tale in twenty-six chapters is by Y un-feng-shan-jen. It tells of a citizen of Hangchow, Tsai C hi-chih who goes w it h h is friend Wang Yueh to his an­ cestral garden to enjoy the flowq_rs, staying t here till the blossoms fade. Later they meet again in the capital and both have children . They pledge to marry their son a nd daughter to each other and become even closer friends. Wang's son Ju-chen is a clever child who can wri te poems by the ti me he is seven. He and Chen C h iu- l i n g pass the first examination w h i le in their ea rl y teens. They arc stay­ ing in the ancestral garden to enjoy t he flowers and write poems when one n i g h t Chen meets a g irl named Pu Chien­ h un, who often appears there a f ter da rk. After the flowers are uprooted by a storm, h o w eve r, o;he stops com i ng. Because Wang fall'i o n e v i l days ami his son fai ls to pas!> •t he higher examinations, Tsai dcddes to ma rry h is daughter to a r ic he r man, I Jsia Y u ::t n - h s u . J u - c h e n ·� compamon. C h e n who has pasc;ed the exam i nation, urges hb close f.riend Su Tn1-1·heng to arrange a tno tch between him and Jo-Ian so that he can t u rn h e r over later to J u -c h e n . But the girl runs a way to stay in t he househo ld of Su's u nc l e . l bia Y u a n-hsu comes from a respectable family but b a worth less fe ll ow. H a ti ng his sister Ya o-t· h i h beca use s h e despises hi m, h e arranges to present her t o the palact' ; but o n t h e way t o the capital Yao-chih's boat capsizes and she i s rescued by su·s uncle. This uncle makes Ju-chen his secretary a nd Tsai, lonely in h is old age, makes him his godson, after which the young man marries Su's cousin, Hsi ng-ju. Chen asks for the hand of Yao-ch i h b u t is refused ; h owever they elope together one night. By now Su has defeated some pirates and become a saint. One day he writes to J u-chen and Chen telli ng them that the real Yao-chih is still i n his uncle'� house and Chen's wife is a monster : he m ust use the ,


24Ji thunderbol t




dest r oy




mons t e r

flees and su•s uncle marries the true Yao-chih to Chen.


day, visitin g Su's uncle, Ju-chen is amazed to see the former maid of Tsai's daughter Jo-lan. that she is betro t hed

to J u chen -



uncle rea lizes

he marries her to him.


Both cou ples live to be ovt:r e i g h ty and after ta k i ng elixirs ,

11 i ven th em by Su die peacefu l ly in t h e i r be d 'S -- i t i� com­ mon l y bel ieved t hat they have become immortals. This novel was written lat er than the others.

The author

apparently wanted to break the o ld pa tt er n by i ntroduc i ng more


wi th


inciden ts.

result can



seen from



wel l


h i s pre f a c e :

"Earlier novel ists a imed at descri b i ng the ad ve n tu res of talen ted scholars and bea u t iful ladies for the re a d ers delectation. But they were often careless i n the choice of t i t les : Pit7g .Siwn Leng Yen simply l ists four surnam�� as the t i t le, w h i le Yl' C'hitw lA selects one c h a racter ou t of each one of thre e '


They used these sli pshod met hods not bec ause t hey

despi sed thei r charac ters but becau!.e t h is is an easy way

a nove : .

to write

Thi� hook is in a category apart . . . .

Readers w i l l lind matter com·e1 ning i ron, flowers and fairic ..


e nfol d ing

ladies. .




tal c



r. c h o la rs



" U n fort u nately the � t y lc is rough and the plot

Moreover, by i nserting a'-·�:ou n t s of war .md the supernatural the a u t hor o verstepped the bound:- of t hi s type con f u sed . of novel.


21 l\1in g Dynasty ltnitations of Su ng Stories in

_4' MON G the

�/ 1.

Su ng d y na st y


Venutcu lu r

�tor ie� in thl' verna c u lar

t h o •ie t h� t exercised t h e greate'>t i n fl u e nce on la ter

fic t ion w e re t h l! historical romanL't'S. T h e n� were m a n y such. uescribcd m C ha ptcr� 1 4 and I 5. a nd mos t of the M i ng dynn'ity story-tel lers Wl'tl' fa mous for their h i!>torical ro­ manCl·s too. They alsn told rl' l lg i o u s taks basl·d on Budd h ist as

ca n o ns but

there were few '>torics a bout o rd i na ry people.

Ry the e nd o f the M i ng d y n a�ty, however. popular stories

about u rban l i fe were re v i v ed : some w e re Sung taks re told,

These !-�lorics of urban l tfe w o n w ide popular ity, hut t he i r old names were fo rgo t t en and they cca 'ied to be known as "tales of the market-place." The t"arl i est i m po r t a n t col lection of forty of these tales was IUU.'i tratcd Srories Ancient ami Modern . The Tien-hsu­ c h a i Boohhop a dvertisl'd this as fol lows : "Our bookshop has bought one h u n d red and twenty stor ies by famous men so me new crea t i o ns.



- --- --

. - r._ -- - - -



_ .



- - ... --







-- ·




_ _

lJiu.t r.nion I 1 1 1m .1 11 t' ld cdu ""' . 1 1 !!> '" ' -'• • to lr',tlll .lin: puhhshcJ in tl.c s.:\ •'l'tCC o l l h Lt.lltU t )

liJ u,trJ.tion from ::m o!J cd i r ior. ul Ama:zmr: StnT"cs p uhli· J,Ld i n Lhl· 'cvt:r • t t:�rah ct·nr rrr}

ancient a n d modern, a n d here as a start we arc publ ishing one t h ird of the m . " Sk y-Lodge stated :


A preface by t he Master-of-the-Green­ "Mao-yuan-yeh-s. h i h h as a fi ne collection

popular tales new and old.

AL t h e p u bl ishers' requ est

he selected forty tall!s l i kely to have a beneficial i n fl uence

on p u blic morality and these arc bei n g pri n ted in one collec­ t i on." Then

There was no mention o f s.u hseq uent publica t i ons.


e n ti t led

fi rs.t


Stories to Enlighten Men a n d Stories t o Warn



si m i lar




I have not read t he::.e b u t merel y seen t h e table of �.:ontcn\�.

talc!>. twen ty-one 11l11 stra terl St or ies Ancir11t and Modem , :md

The lirst co llection contai n s twenty ·four

of t h t: m from

t h e t h rel' ot hl'r'i a l so were i nc i U1..kd i n thl' t wo ot lwr collcct ionc; ;

so 1 t seems to be based on an i ncomplete t e x t of t h e Illu strated Srurie.�. Storie.� to W arn Men ha� for t y ta les a nd a prt:face

w ritten in 1 624 by Wu-ai-ch u-shi h .

It contain' scvl'n t a l rl>

Popu l11r Stories of the Capital. 1.h owmg t h 3 t these col kc· t ious i ncl ude a number of old �tnric., and art.• not a l l The t h i rd colkct ion. Stnries to i m i tation::. b y Mmg writers. A wuken Men, also has fo rt y �tones a n d a preface da ted 1 627 from the

by K o-y i-c h u-:.h i h who says : a n d h tstorics th ere are t h osl' t ha t


lay ::.t ress o n

"OutMde t he C o n f ' l c i a n ca non�

ri l i ng" k no\\ n as l1.�iao-.�ll lW. theore l knl

o bscu re , w hile th ose t ha t con�c ntra t e 011 l i terary


be l' tnbc l l ish­

a rg u ment� t e nd


omatc a nd u n a ble to a ppea l to ord i nary Storie.� to A wake11 Men i'i !wi ng p u b­ lished after Stories to btligi/ Ten .1\.ff'll u n d Srnl'it·.� ro Warn Men .'' Obviously Storie:> to A wtJke n .'\1£'n wus the last of t h e 1 h ree co l lec tio ns. Si nce one of ; b storic!., Fi (rcen Strit'SS m e n ts a rc often


Th i s is w h y

of Ca�h . i s a bo fo u n d in Popular Stol it's of tir e Capital , t h i�

l'Ollcction appare n t l y con t a i ns old 'itorics ton. I n Sung-�.· han -lao jc n 's preface to

Old we find this remark :

Strange Tnlcs



"Mo-han-chai edited and ampli-

fled The Sorcerer's Revolt and lts Suppression by the Three Suis in a skilful manner, rounding off the story . . . . His three collections, Stories to Enlighten Men, Stories to Awaken Men and Stories to Warn Men. coiltain excellent descriptions of society and manners, joy and sorrow, separations and

Now The Sorcerer's Revolt and Its Su ppression by the Three Suis has a preface by Chang W u -c h i u wh ich reunions."

states that t his novel was completed by his friend Lung-tzu ­


We k n ow, t h e n . that t he se three collections w e re by

t he same scholar. for Lung-tzu-yu was the pen-name of Fcng

Yu-lung or Feng Meng-lung, a ci tizen of Changc how and the

Mao-yuan-ych-s h i h

menti oned


Illu strated Stories 1\ncient and Modern.

t he



A t the e nd of the

M in g d y na sty F e n s w a � a senior licentiate and magistrate of



w rote

so me






fond of jokes a n d doggerel he was not highl y regarded 8!. a

poe t ."'

He wa s a competent play w right, wrote A Tale of Two Heroes and compi l ed a l'Ollection of ten other plays

which was wel l k n own and i ncluded his own "All Th ings


Well ,"


Roma n t ic





Having a 'ipcc ial l i k i n g for fiction. he rewrote The Sorcerer·.�

Revolt and Its Suppression hy tfte Three Suis, compiled three

col lect ions of !>lories an d asked Shcn Tch-fu to make a copy

of Chin Ping Mei for p u blication, t hough t h is edi tion never came out.

Five of t h e seven tales from the Popular Stories of t11e Capital deal with the reign of Kao Tsung in Lhe t wel f t h

l'en t ury w h i le the earl iest is set in


eleventh centu ry .

As the'>e stories were based on recent happenings they were

fairly realistic. Thic; i s not the case in Stories to Awaken Men , which has two stories from t he Han dynasty, eleven from t he Sui and Ta n g dyna111 ties, and many were based on early tales.

Since customs and conventions had changed

'-4 5 /

the i n t e rve n i ng centu rie-.. t heo.;c ea r l y 1 1l l es podded out '>t' C' m ra t h e r d ul i . I : I t:\· en '>loric'> '�'t i n the Sung dy nasty arc l i ve l ier, a n d i t i s pns..;i bl c t h at 0 1 hers, besides ri fterm Strim�s of Cash . wtrc ada p t C'tl from promnt­ hooks a l :lY or.: concerned wit h rt:cC' n t l' veu t:'-o.l !! t'·, , ! ,• ..,. · : 1 h l r; � t l w t' ' li!:l�c­

:\1r:-. C' l i �l·.., -,. l h •·n; t a · n t L:0'1 1 J I I J J 1 l l '

j ,. i d

\\'lwn O i d wa �

t h l' l :.� d

n :\.' � i •i1 plc

W a n g rn�d C h d �h i h -) u c� n obc r,·cd t b , -;it':I U \ •.·.

a ! kc,:. t f

, _.

. · l • ·IJ.

u !J �·· yn ur

" ! ' h a t 's ri[!.h t ." 1- lo


I don't ex pect a n y other

thanks." C hen said : "Let me tell you a joke Once the Em­ peror of Hea ven wa n ted to fix. up a marriage with thl' Emperor of Earth. He though t : 'As we are both em­ peror!o, we mu-.t get another emperor for go-between.' So he asked the god of the hearth to do the job. When t h e Emperor of Earth stt w the hearth god h t: cnt:d out in astonishment : 'Wh y is t h i s go- bt·twecn !> O dark ?' 'Dark?' said the hearth god . 'Can any go-be t ween be fair?' " Old Wang and Chu burst out l aughing. Then Chu and Chen played chess till it was dark. From their liking for ch.-�s the whnle busi ness hegun, AnJ th is all t h e


of t h a t old tortoise Wang. ruining our da u gh t er's l ife . . . . "

Si nce C' h u



been afraid of hi!> wife he

ma i n ta i ned an u n ha ppy !>li enee. let t i ng her ru n on c ursi n g or s,·o lding

a-> s he pleased.

board. !- h e came u po n t h e



played t h is ac c u rse d game up t h i s marriage and r u i ned my

just because you

ttlge r h c r t h a t you lh. l•d

daugh ter !'' !>he rug ed .


One day, t u r n i n g out a eup­ C'he!>o.; set and fk w i n to a passion.

" W h y !:.hould I keep t h e t h in g that

all this trouble?''

She ll o u nc t' d to the dut �r. hurled

the ..: h cs!:. picCl'S i n to the !>trect a nd sma s h t! d the board.

Chu W J !\ a m i l d man who co u l d do not h i ng w hen h is wife was in a temper cxee pl keep < • ,lt of her w a y . As for To­ l u, !> h e was to o shy to s. b u t

in th ose days w h e n so l d ieri ng was at a would bu y hi-; wares. no one was im­ prc!>scd by his ID !t>nts. Though he co&Jid wrac h u nd reds of poems, he cou l d not tight bat tles. defeat invaders or s u pp rcs!> re volt�. t he refo re he was 1Jnwan red. The only cu�tomcr for Jung Yu's po e try was l ht• singsong girl C h in Fen�. N i n e t t."c n and pcerlessly lovely, a tine singer and da nce r she was q u i et by na t u re averse to aU noise and p re m i u m nohody


She was o vcr­ A n d since he was at a loose end and Chin Feng v al u ed hi m, he d i�p l a ye d all b usc l e

but passionately


dev o te d to poetty.

joy€"d to fi n d a poet l i ke .l u ng Y u

/Z'jO in his b ag like any pedlar. From that day Chin Fe ng took no other lovers, a nd Jung Yu spent all h i s leisure hours w i th her on the West Lake . . . . the wares onward

Making the Drunkard Sober



of fifteen

a collection

stories compiled by Ku-kuang-sheng· of Shantung.

All t he

stories date from the Ming dynasty except one a bou t a man who changes into a


is a Tang dynasty tale. in the reign of the last Ming


Since some deal with events

emperor, the book must have been written at the end of t h e The wrt t mg is tr e n c ha n t but ovcrsimpli ftcd, showing the strong influence of thl· s tory tel lers tradition . This collection is even m ore pocked w i th m ora l teaching and admonitions than t h e Second Series of West Lake Telles. Tho u gh the story-tel l ers' tales of th e Sung dyn asty occasional­ ly po i n t e d a moral too. their ma i n pu r po se was to .e n t ertain the townsfolk. The M ing t mi tators. however, arc so con ­ cerned w i t h morali7.ing that they seem to forget t h at their chief funrtion should be to enterta i n . M oreo ver t hey speak with relish of official honours f ro m the v i e wpoi n t of the l itera t i So alt hou g h t h e form is unchanged the spint is worlds apart. Thus thl· fo u rteent h story i n th is colkction tells h o w M r . Mo of J J uainan marries h i s d a ug h te r t o a scholar named Su. Later she leaves h er husband on account of his po ve r ty and marries an innkeeper. T h en the scholar passes the h ighesi exami nation. Returning home in t ri u m ph past the i nn he catches sight of his form e r w i fe and descends fro m h is chair to greet her. She passes the meeting oiT c al m ly though at heart she feels very bitter. And fi nally. dynasty.







u nable to bear the neighbours' jeers, s h e hangs herself. story is obviously written


in defence of poor scholars.

. . . Su saw sitting beh i nd t he counter a very pretty, former wife. He tho ught to him-

proper woman - his

z pZ self :

"I'll greet her and see how she treats me. .,

ordered his bearers to stop.

sunshade above him, dressed in walk ed




his robes of office, he



inn keeper

counting money in a short jacket a nd breeches. of an official he slunk out.


With attendants hold i ng a was

At sight

The woman had recl)gnized

Su the moment he aligh ted from h is chair. yet she neither blushed nor frowned but kept an

impassi ve face.


scholar stepped forward to bow .respectful ly. Without returning his bow, the woman said :

"Get on

w i t h your job as an offic i a l while I get on with my job ·­ selling w i ne."

The scholar left with a smile.

\�'hcn watcr's �pilt \ , •u can 1 et•icvc it never. And once d•\•lrCl'ci a pair mue. she repented her hastine�.

but there wa!> not h ing to he llonc. Nnw >ick .u hc.ut �h·· n•r.c,l h,·r f.nc, R 3!. wearing a fox-fur cap w hen the k i n g gave him audh�nce. Intrigued

was sent as \!nvoy

by t his cap, the king asked : •• 'What is that -- sn thick and warm ?'

"The envoy w ld h im it was fox fur. "'The king said :

I have n e v er heard of the animal. How

do you write the word 'fox'? "Sketching the character in t he a i r, the envoy reported : On my right this is a big 'melon.' on my left a small 'dog.' " All of them roared with laughter





A few months later she went back with Wan Fu




After a year he returned to Tsinan on business and his

fox-wife accompanied him.

One day after she had been

closeted for some time w i th several cal lers. sh e told her husband : "I c o me from Shensi, bu t because we were fated to meet I put u p h e re for a l o ng time. Now my bro t hers arc here and I must go back with t h em . l cannot stay with you." He tried to keep her, bu t she left nlme the Jes'i.

("The Fox's J oke'') Her brot h er Tao was a good d ri n ker who had n ever been the worse for l i q uor. One day Ma rece ived a visit from his f r i end Tseng. w ho h a d never found a n y o n e t o match h i s c a p a d t y , and he urged Tseng t o compete w u h h i!. brot her-i n-law . . . . They started dri n k i ng ea rly m t he morning and wen t on a l l day and a l l n ight t i l l the fou rt h • watch . eac h fi n i �hmg a h u ndred pots of w i ne. Tht•n Tseng.

thoro u g h l y

drun k , fe l l sound asleep. w h i le Tao

started to h i� bedroom.

Once out o f t h e door he t·amc to

a bed of ch rysanthemums.

Th�re he fell do w n . shed hi�

clothe-; ami c:hangcd i n to a c h ry!.an t he m um a., tall 3!. a m a n . w i t h a doze n flowers as large as list'> on 1 1 . J n grea t

alarm Ma told h i s w i fe. w ho ran to t he spo t , pul led up the Hower and left it on the g ro u nd . .. llow co u ld Itt: get so d ru n k ?" she e xclai med.

Having thrown "orne clothes over the flower. she made

her h us band go away with her, warn i ng h i m not to look. Wht·n

he wen t

back the n e x t morni ng, h e found h i s

brother-in-law l yi n g there drunk. Then Ma realized that they were c hrysanthemu m spiri ts. but t h is only made h i tn

love and respect her t he more. After this Tao grew more careless and d rank with even greater abandon. . . . A t the Festi val of Flowers. Tseng ca me again with h"O servants

carry i ng a va t of w i ne in which herbs had been steeped

2J9/ to invi te Ma's brother-in-law to d rin k with him . . . . Once more Tseng became so drunk that he had to be t'arried home.

And once more Tao fe l l to the ground and turned

i n to a chrysanthemum.

Not afraid this time, Ma pu l l ed the plant up as before and stayed at hand to wa tc h the But wheu he had waited for some time transformation. the leaves b eg a n to w i t h e r


and in dismay h e went t o t el l

his wife. She cried o u t

in horror :

"You have k i l le d my br othe r !"

R u'\h i ng to the sr>ot, she fou n d t h e pl a nt h a d wi t here d Overcome with grief she plu ck e d some stems, planted them .

in a pot and took it to her room, watering

it e..-ery day. wit h remorse and resen t men t towards Tseng. A few days Iuter, w hen they heard t ha t Tse n g had died

Ma was li l l e d

of over-dri nki ng, the fl o w e r i n In thl' ni nth m on t h

it produced

the pot began to spro ut sma l l flowl·r w ith white .

d u ri ng the reign of C h ia Ching. Considerably later there w as Ta l es to Quench Sorrow by T!>ou Tao-te r of the Board of R i tes and Lec tu re r. He was fi.ve times Chief Exami ner and t h ree ti me� M i n ister of R i te later he h ad a drea m in v. hich

h e wa s haled before the J udge flf Hell on a charge of When he rcal·hcd the court he �w a dishev­


elled woman w i t h a n:d scarf k n o t t t'd tig h t l y round h er neck. w h o wept l'!S � he accused h i m of w i thholding medi­

cine from h e r.

The d ol.' tor retort ed :

"Medicine i5 t o save l ife - how

could I k i l l a c h i ld for the sake o f ga i n '! yourstead of saving one l i fe. you

Whom c l !.c s1, o u l d I bl a me but you ?,.

The judge sighed and said :

"You are arguing according

to 1 he a to poi n t a moral and ed uco:�te men and t hey are not really \\ Orks of ficti on.

shang Hermitage in twenty-four 1 848.

23 Nond.s of Social. Satire i.n the Ching Dynasty

� H E element of social satire in anecdote� of the T�i n and 1 Tang dyna!>ties increased considerably d u ring the Ming dynasty, especiall y i n the novels of mannt>rs.

However, t he

writers of such books usua l ly slipped m descri ptions of some

low type of folly as a fo i l to the genius of some bri l li ant


Hence these characters are seldom very true to life,

serving merely as a peg on which to hang jokes.

I n certain

of the better w orks, t he c haracterization may be penetrating and the sarcasm sharper than a razor's edge. yet w i t h the exception of the Sequel

to the Pilgrimage to thP West,


main object of sa tire always seems to be one particular i n ­ dividual or family.

One o;uspects t h a t the wn ter's bitterness

springs from some private grudge rather than from public­ spirited indignation whi c h made him usc h i s pen to attack social iniq uities.

The book which comt>s closest h• cri tic izing

society as a whole is

Chung Kuei the Ghost Catcher,

a story



e.ul� C'dilion oE T be s, bnlar: puhli�hc. J iu 180�

2n/ i n ten chapters probably written in the Ming dynasty.


au thor takes a ll so r ts and l'ondi tiono; of men and compares t h e m to ghosts, a n a lysing thei r characters thorough l y one by one ;

bl u nt

but his

attacks ve rge on downright abu..e, for he

d i d not know the fine art of i n n uendo. Wu Ching-tzu's Tlte Sclzulars is the fi rst novel i n w h ic h a w r i ter c ritici zes C h i n a 's firo;t novel of

sa l i rc Wu C h i ng-tzu was a n u t t vr pro v i nce

A n h wri


of C h ua nc h i a o

A b r i l liant boy

w ith

Cou n t y in t h e a

rl'marka l'lle

memory, he 'h a� c l ec t l'd to th e govcru m e u t col lege. a go od k n ow l edge of po::ms a t a

cJa..,sical l i tera t u re and

moml' l l t 's notkl· ;


l i e had

cnuld toss off

but his gl'twrn!'i t y an d poor

b u o; r nc!'s sense made J1 i m run thro u g tt hh rmmerty in a fe 1"

yean," u ml.', re d u c i n g


to re l a t i H' po\ ert� .

In J 7.l 5 . Chao

K u o-l i n . govl"rnor ol A n hwe1. recnrnmcndcll h i m for the gov­

e rn m e n t e x a m i nat i on

t o 1\ a n k i ng a ncl

I I'! rnovcd

or l e tters t h ere.



w here

t or sdwlar�.

sac r i ril'cd

sta r t ing w i t h

he did n nt

hel·ame t h e lemkr o f thC' men

-;age� a t I ll



H a i n i n g-Fhl'h e r�>



Moun t .

t l • i rty worth i es W u . W hen their h b house. heco m­

h t m ll red : m ll

Tai-p0 t'f the 1\ i n gdom


f u nds were ex h a u .. ted W u C'hi ng-tzu sold mg e v e n poMcr.

take it.

I ll! u n d hi!'> friends raiseu money to

t o a m: i c n t



I n his hl tl' r years h..: ..:allelf ll l m:.t"lt Mland v i v i dly revp led i n

these pages, wh i l e a panorama of the w hole c ou n t ry is un ­

folded before the reader's eyes . plot, however.

The novel has no

!. wa r t h y face and mao;si\ e p a un ch. h e ba rgcd about in his

shabby, t hihoot s, dried dates and

hoi led ehcst n u ts ; a n d M u C h u n-,;ha ng bought a few

cash's w i thou t worry i ng a bo u t L h e i r taste. Then, t i red o u t , he l i m red back t h ro u g h Chi ngro Gate to h i s lodgi ngs. dosed t � e door an d went to bed. Sti lf from too m uch wa lking, he !>pent the next day in bed. The day a f ta, h o w e v er. he got u p to visit the Mounta i n of the G ua r d i a n Deity. worth of e a c h to tah.e the edge oil' his a p re t i t c


(Chapter 1 4) W h e n Wu Chi ng-tzu descri bes t h l' poverty of

Fan Chi n's

fam i l y , its su dde n affluence after his success in t he provmcial exa m ina tion, and his

his obc;erv; mce o f the prorcr mourning for mo t h er without u single word o f Cl'nsurt: Fan's hy poc r i&y ,

is made clearly evident.

This is an excellent example of in­

nuendo and a thoroughly biting attack : First Mr. Chang paid h is respect.s, then Fan Chin saluted The magistrate, havi rig politely declined their

his patron.

homage, invited them to sit down and drink tea.


exchanging some remarks with Mr. Chang he praised Fan

Chin's essay and asked, "Why did you not sit for the higher examination?" "My mother has died,'' Fan Chin explained. mourning."

"I am in

Magistrate Tang gave a start and hastily called for a plain gown to change i nto, after which he bowed them into an inner spread. . . .



was brought and the table

They took their places. . . .

The iups and

chopsticks were inlaid with silver and Fan Chin hc'iitated to use them.

The magistrate was puzzled until Mr. Chang

told him with a laugh :

"On act:ount of his mourning, Mr.

Fan is reluctant to use these cups and chopsticks."

The magistrate instantly ordered them to be c hanged for a porcelain cup and ivory chopsticks. Sti l l Fan C'h i n would not eat. "He does not use these either," said Mr. Chang. Finally plain bamboo chopsticks were produced. and all was well.

Seeing Fan Chin's strict observance or the rules

of mourning, Magistrate Tang was afraid he would not eat meat - and there were no vegetable d ishes prepared.


to his relief, he saw Fan Chin pop a large shrimp ball from the dish of birds' nests into his mouth. (Chapter 4) There are many other passages describing hypocrites and braggarts and attacking conventional morality.

We are told

that Wang Yu-hui was delighted when his daughter killed

279/ herself because her husband had died.

Bu t by the time he went to t he temple to set her shrine i n its place, he "was begi nning to feel quite sick at heart." Later he remarked, "My w ife 's constant crying was more than I could bear . " (Ch ap t er 48) Here penetrating i n sig ht is sh ow n into the clash between his conscience and moral con ventions. It is remark­ a ble the extent to which th e author, who lived at th e begin­ n i ng of the C h i ng dynasty a nd was limi ted by the Confucian moral code!'i, could revolt against them and express genuine feeli ng. The novel co ntains som e pos iti ve characters too. Tu Sh ao -c h i n g is a po rt rait of Wu C h i n g-tzu himself. Then there

are Tu Sh e n-c h i n g (th e author's brother Ching-jan) , Yu Yu­ teh (Wu Meng-ch uan ) and Chuang Sh a o-k u an g (Che ng M ie n (" h uan g ) . All th ese are ti ne c haracters . The climax of the n ove l comes with the sac rifice at Tai-po's temple. Some years ­

la ter the s� h ola rs i n N an ki n g die out and t h e temple falls into disrepair, but remarkable men appear among the towns­ folk : a c a l l i graph e r a ven d or of spills, the owner of a t ea ­ ,

house and a ta i lor.

Of t hese t h e tailor, Ching Y uan, is t h e

mo�t o u tstandi ng. He l i ve!. i n Three M o unta i ns St reet . After t he day's work is over, he plays the lyre an d wrues poems for h is own am use m e nt , oc�a sionall y calling on friends.

day when Ching Y uan had lini�hed his n.eal and . : . He had an old friend there named Yu. w h o l i ved at the back of t he mou n ta i n. Yu d i d not st ud y or trade but owned a market garden worked by his sons. . . . When Ching Y uan ar r i ved Old Yu sa id : "I ha ven' t seen you, bro th e r , for some time. Ha,·e you been very busy?" "I have ," replied Ching. "Today was my first chance to get a w a y to sec yo u . " "I've just made a pot of tea. Do have some." One

was free, he walked to Chin gli an g Mountain .

/z8o He poured out a cup and passed it to Ching, w ho sat dow n .

"This tea looks. smells a n d tastes delic ious, u ncle," said " W here do you get such good water"!"

Ch i ng .

"We're better off t h an you fo� in t he south city.


can drink from all the wells here in the west.''


ancients longed for a Peach Blossom

they l'n u ld escape from t h e Bl ossom Stream 1n


world. I

is needed. To

St rea m where

d o n ' t t h i n k any P eac h

l i ve q u ietly a nd con tentedly

g re en plot in the city, as you do. u ncle. is as good as

be i ng an i mmortal."

"Yes, but t ht're's not h ing I ca n t u rn my h a nd to.

1 could p l a y the ly re as you do. b ro t h e r. t o paso.; t h e time.

no\\ .

1 w io;h

That w will d•c o fruitletiS death. Even �o, when :dl fuud is gone. birds lly to t h e w1uld�. Leavin g nnthing hut b:m:, na ked eanh hchin!>. However, he had not given up h ope. u nl ike t he a u t hor of C hapter 1 , "beset by poverty and i l lness in his o l d age a nd sinking into dec l i ne." So alt hough the seq uel breatheo; an a t mo!>phcrc of melancholy, the Chia family fi nally rec.;overs its l ost fortune instead of being l eft with not h i ng "but the hare naked earth." Kao Ngo was not the only one to w r i t e a seq u e l to the eighty cha rters. Y u Pi ng- p o , study ing the m a r gi n a l notes in one of the first eighty- c h a pter ed itions, discovered that t here was an earlier sequel of t h i rt y chapters w hi c h a pparentl y described how t h e Chia family broke up, Pao-yu became very poor a nd tinnily turned monk. We have no means ot dis­ covering more de t a i l s. Then Chiang Jui-tsao in his studies on Chinese fiction su y s : "Tai Cheng-fu once saw another old version in w h ic h the sequel to the first eigh 1 y chapters was q ui t e d i fferent. After the dukes' property was conliscat­ ed, t he C h ia family went downhill ; Pao-chai died early, Pao­ y u had no means of support and became a night-watchman; H:o.iang- y u n became a beggar and married Pao-yu in the end. Such a version was said ttl be in the possessi o n of Gov­ . . . ernor Wu Yun-!>heng's fam i l y . " Though t h ese two se,]uels may not accord entirely with the author's intention, they

/z 9 8 both provide a gloomy, hopeless ending which agrees with the hints given early in the novel. There have been many later seq uels : Hou-hung-lou-meng, Hung-lou-hou-meng, Hsu-hung-lou-meng, Hung-lou-fu-meng, Hung-lou-meng-pu, Hung-lmt-pu-meng, Hung-lou-chung­ meng, Hung-lou-chia-meng, llrmg-lotil:huon-meng, Hung-lou­ yuan-meng, Cheng-pu-hrmg-l.nu , Kuei-hung-lou, Hung-lou­ meng-ying and so forth. Most of these resemble K ao Ngo's sequel in t ry i ng to bring about a more satisfactory ending; some, viewing all t h e chief c haracters as bad examples, tind fault and make harsh stric t u res.

Ac tual l y, according to the

original novel. the author was merely relating true incidents and no sarcasm was intended, only regret over his misspent l ife.

That is why readers l ike this novel. and w h y it is still

so highly regarded and popular.

On the other hand, this is

rather unusual when v iewed fro m the conventions� stand ; that is w hy some t'cl t the conclusion was unsa tisfactory and tried to give the buol.. a happy ending.

This shows the d if­

ference in men's understanding and Tsao Hsueh-chin's great­ ness. Let me q uote another passage in co nc l usion : . . The author says : the

After a certain dream, I c on c e a l ed

true c i rcu mstances and borrowed

magic rock to write this novel.


. .

the legend of

t he

T have wasted my

l i fe i n vain pur!'>u i ts, a nd at the end of a windy a nd dusty road have found myseli a complete

fai l ure


But when I

think of all the women I have k nown and compared their qualities with m i ne, I realize t hei r su periority i n beha v i o ur and understanding.

I , with all my digni ty of man hood,

cannot measure up to t hose girl , and m tht;

process saw t h e whole of North C h in a

He travelled through Szech uan, K weichow a n d Hu nan to the Yangtse River before returning home. His rich e x perience gave an added distinction to his w riting . . . bu t a s by th is ti me his ha ir was t u rn i ng w hite, he a bandon ed a ll hope of pro m i ­ .

. . .

nence i n the official world t o concentrate o n writ i ng."


wrote this novel in twenty books for his friends, not for

301 / pu b l ic ation plete.


and the work when later published was incom­

There is one complete edition which is probably

fi ni sh ed by another hand, but neither edition

bears any

According to Chin Wu-hsiang of Kia ngy i n the author was Hsia Ch ing-ch u . The County Records of Kiangyin pu bl ish ed in the reig n of K ua ng Hsu describes h i m a s follo ws : "Hsia Ch ing-chu was a county scholar, b ri ll ia n t learned and well-versed in h i st ory and the Confucian clas!.ics as well as the h undred schools of thought, ceremony , m usic military sc ience law an d punishment, astronomy and mathe­

author's name.





He t ro ve l l e d virtual ly all over China and made friends w i th famous and a ble me n . . . . " Mention i� made

matics. . . .

of other books by him on Confuciani s m and history, as well

as noems a n d essays. This accords w i t h t he sta t e me nt in the preface to the novel ; hut si nc e Hsia is l isted after C ha o Hsi­ ming. a scholar. u n der Chien Lung. he must still have been alive in Chien L ung's re i gn A Rust ic's Idle Talk i s a la rge work i n I 54 chapters. lt is .

d i v i d e d into twen t y books, each hearing one word from t h e follow i ng pronouncemen t :

"A t ruly rem a rk able work breath­

i ng the spi ri t of Conf u c i a n is m by a ge n tl ema n peerless in tht­

a rts of war a n d peace.'' Th i s was t h e author's own estim11.te. The work incl udes many topi cs as listed at t he beginning : "Narratives, philosophical dissertations. d i sc u ssi Cl n s of t h e c lassic and history, exhortat ions t o l o y al t y o nd fil ial piety, teachings on pol icy and strategy, military sc i em: c prosody, .




mat hematics.




h u man

emot ions. advocacy of Co n fu ci a n morality ami att a� k s on het�:: r odoxy."

Th e hero W en Po is :

A man of steel, prod i gi o u s sc n i u s, m ag n ific e n t poet and profo und scholar. He seeks no official pos t but possesses

astounding political acumen, is no philanderer but a great

/502 lover. In his style he brooks comparison with the anc i ent masters, in mil ita ry science he equals the finest strategists. He unites phenomenal physical strength with a gentle, frail appearance, combines extreme boldness with the utmost caution. As an ast ronomer and mathematician. he surpasses all other learned men; wh ile in �edic i ne, which to him is simply a hobby, he ranks with the best physicians. I Je is the most loyal of f ri ends a c hampion of Confucian moral­ ity ; indeed he is the mos t si ncere Co n fucian a scholar of absol ute integ ri t y . The ch i ef concern of his life has been to upho l d orthodo iCy and refute u northodox v iews. W i t h h i s u n sur pa�cd intclligeuce h e can solve problems which baffle other men and make pronouncements that no other l'an make. .


(Chapter 1 ) !>Overeign i s o n the t h ro ne \v en ful­ fils al l his J.mhitions, wins ra pid and high advancemen t and finds a l l hi;; wishc!' gran ted. l-k exorci Les evi l spirits and destroys monster� ; barba ria ns are awed by. his might and h i s family enjoys every bl essing. He ac h i e ves tremendous feat'> in time of peace a k i l l a s a writer Trtc e n dless parallelisms hold up t he action, and the descri ptions of t:vcnts and feeli ngs are lifeless. The style not only falls far short of t he euphuistic prose of t he Six Dynasties, but lacks Chang Ts u s wit and livrli n ess. As an example. let U!'> q uote t h i � description o f h o w Tou i s forced by h i s father to d('scrt Ai-ku : '

. The fn thcr, con ccrn ('d at h ea rt for h i s son be h a ves ou t ward l y i n an overbeari ng man n e r One w h o strikes at a rat does not care if a vessel i� brok e n ; one who chases a duck may frighten love bi rds as we l l The pig is driven back to its sty. the dog is o rde red h ome. The sheep has gone astray a n d i ts pen must be mended ; the tiger is locked up where it cannot escape ; the rampan t dragon is chained to an i ron pi l lar; the agile monkey is h umbled by a straw whip. The m aide n knits sad br o ws by the rose tre l l is and pines away by the ivy-covered wall, for w ho can fat hom ,




Sll/ her sorrow? The thoughts of her heart are known to her alone. Bitter are the l otus seeds ; well-nigh dried the bam­ boo's tears; like a fall of snow the senseless willow catkins; l ike hanging thread the helpless cherry blossom. Spring has passed and summer is half gone. In vain she waits, their vows of love are ended. He enters her dreams and sorrow reigns in her breast. How can she forget her wrongs, how shake off her woe ? When will her lyre's broken strings be mended? When will her Jover ret urn to her pavili on? He has left her far, far behind; she is waiting long, long in vain. Once they w ere separated in the same district ; now mountains and rivers come between. In her fan�:y. he has departed for many y ears : she longs for him as for one i n a distant l and. . . . (Chapter 2)

An abridged version of this noveJ annotated by Fu Shcng­ ku of Y ungl·hia a p peared in 1 879. A fter the reigns of Y u ng C heng and Chien Lung, scholars in the Yangt�e Valley were -;o cowed by persecution that

t hey avoided an.v referent.:e to history and t urned to textual cri t i cism of ancien t phiJ.--, sophical works and philol ogy. or to the m inor arts.


concentrated on factual detaiJs and

were opposed to em pty tal k ; th:.;.s crudit iun 'h a s the vogue. Later these men of l e tters assu t'led l earned a i rs ; a 11 d si nce llction was considered trivial and unimportant, bei ng based on hearsay and gossip, they would not stoop to i t. However one scholar, Li J u-ch en, wrote the Flower,�; in 01e Mirror. Li was a native of Tahsing County in f'hihJi, born in 1 763 or thereabouts. He showed i nte ' l i �P. n ce at an early age and looked down on the fashionable pukn essay. I n 1 782 he ac­ companied his brother to Haichow w here he had Lin Ting­ kan as his tutor, and in addition to literature he studied

/3 1 1 p h on ol o gy. Lin.

A cco rdi ng to him, he learned a grea t deal from

He w as then about twenty years old.

Ma n y of his

fr iend s were i n terested in phonology. and Li himself became

most pro ficie nt in this science. A l th o ug h h e al so d i s ti ng u i sh ed

h i mself in d ivination, ast ro l og y , c al l igraph y and chess, he

never rose to promi nence and em1dU h i s life as a li centiate. Toward& the end. an i mpecunious. disappoin ted scholar, h e

wrote this novel for his own am u sement , t a ki ng more than t e n years over it.

In 1828 a pri n t e d edition appeared, two years

b e fore he d ied in his early sixties.

His work on pho n o l ogy ,

J a ys stress on the prar t ka l value of t he science a nd on modern pr o n u nc i a tio n, showing that he


Mirror of Sound.�.

ha d the courage to c hal l e n ge o l d c on ven tions .

Because he

was an au t ho ri t y w h o dared to hreak the old rules, h is erudi­ t i o n d i d not p re ven t h i m from w riting fiction. h owev er ,

a rts

an d

he th e

i nterminably.

ue\ o ti! S


c l a s s ic s .


s pi n n in g

space out


I n h is novel, d i s c u�s i ng

t h ese


d i ssertations

Thus hi-; great ka rning pro v ed a h andi c ap too.

in the Mirror has one hu ndre d cha pters. The story. br i efly , i� as follow s : E mp ress Wu, w a n t i ng to enjoy flowers in w i nter. give� ord ers for the hundred flowers to hlossom. The Hower godd esses dare not disobey, b u t they a rc p u n i s he d by be i ng sen t down to earth as a h u n dred mortal women. Th e scho lar Tang Ao, who has passed t h e high est Flowe,·s

exam i n a t i o n , is a cc used of being i n league with certain rebels

and demoted.

He longs to hecome a n immortal and goes

w it h his brotht!r-in-law, Merchant Lin, on a voyage.


visit strange lands, meet st ra nge peo ple and sec many curious

customs and remarkable monsters. fi n d

Ta ng is lucky enough to

a magi c herb wh ich mak e s h i m i mmortal, and goes i n to

the mountains n e v er to re turn .

His da ugh ter Hsiao-shan sets

out in se arc h of he r father, but visits st ra nge pl ac es and has many dangerous adventure/:i without fi nd ing h im .

H owe ver,

P JI from a woodcutter in t he mountains she receives a letter from her fa ther i n which he renames her Kuei-chen and promises that after she has passed the exami nat ion t hey will meet again. She goes on t o a deserted grave called Flowers-in-the­ M i rror, thence to Moon-in-the-Water V i l lage , and finally to Lamenting-Fal len-Flowers Pa v i l io n. Here there is a s to ne tablet with a hu nd re d names on i t , the first of which is Shih Yu -ta n a n d th e last Pi Chuan-chen. Her own name is eleventh on the list. names :

l l e re

is the comment which follows this list of

The Master of the Pav i lion comments : Shih Yu-tan (Jiistory-obscure-search) a nd Ai Tsui-fang (Lament-a l l ­ flowers) h ead the list beca use t he M a st e r has se: nc he d through t h e o bsc u r i t i es of h is to r y and found much i n ­ t ere st i n g matter. He laments that all s uc h flowers remain u n k nown and t he re fore record& these storie�. . . . The Ii!tt e n ds with the n a m es l l ua Tsa i-fang (Flower-aga in-blossom) and Pi Ch uan-chl·n (Com pkt ing-all-v i rtur) . because t h e se flowers ont·e u nknown will ga i n i m mortali ty thanks to t h i s story. w hich is as i f they had bloso.;omed aga i n.

these h u n d re at t h e price agreed on.

com pro m ise was ''

So a

reac h e d a n d t he ser v i n g-ma n left . . . .

T h e t ra nsact i ons we h a v e !>ecn certa i n l y give a pi ct u re

of gen t lemanly conduct.'' ob�erveeveral t 1 mcs and thl!y went on.


. .


next moment Tang plucked a green plant from the road­ side.

It had a leaf l i ke a pine-needle b u t was emerald

gree n , and o n it was a seed the size of a grain of mu�tard.

R emoving t his seed and poi n t i ng at t he leaf. he said :


you have j ust eaten one plant, brot her, kt me eat t his to

keep you company." With that he swallowed the leaf, laid the seed i n his palm and blew on it.

At o nce there sprouted another green

l eaf l ike a pine-needle, a bo u t one foot in height. again and it gre w another f o o t


H e blew

He blew t h ree times t i l l

i t was t hree feet h igh, whereupon he a t e i t .

"If y ou go on munching a t t h i s rate. brother, you'll soo n have eaten a l l the p lants here !" laughed Lin.

"1 l o w docs

this seed change into a plant l ike tha t'?"

"This is the herb called Soaring. otherwise k nown as

M ustard-in-the-Palm," wa s To'•, answer.

"\Vhen y ou hold

the seed in your palm nnd blov. on it, ir grows :1 fc•ot eai ngle h ar d w oo d bcJ.

The m a i d parted 1

he �.:urtains and nt l lcd :

" l l c rc is M r. Tu. si r ! ..

Mei m u ttered �orn c t ll i ng in h i � skcp. Then Tu �at on the cuge •>f t he hcJ a •H J Sd \\ b nv. J c ..: n a n d haggard h i s friend h a d gro w n . l i e L1c n t o v e r t i ll' pi l lo \11 a n d cal led ou t i n a low voice, h i:-. t eu rs fa l l i ng ccaught a priest's

gu w n ,


s.traw h a t a nd sandal1o.

ou tside, he went back to Plum a l l fh . e h1gh

of hb

Lucki ly

\\- O mcnfolk were t here, and ft ndu.g them i n

sp i ri t s. q u i t e unaw are o f

twi nge or compunction . w i t h a :, i gh :

Leaving t hese purc hases

Bloswm Pavilion.

··s i m·e

I care ?''

h i s i n tentions. he felt a

But a f ter a l i t t le t hought he 5.Uid

I ha v e

s.rcn through love, \\- h y should tChapter

So he goes Mo u n tain . cubi nes



a mi brcomes an i mmortal in Tientai

F i n a l ly he l'Otnes home to make his wife and con­

i m mortals,



twCI genera t ions of the Chin

fami ly may a l l go up to heaven. \Cha pter 6 1 ) By this time

C h i n's sun has passed h igh i n the c x a m i nn tions, and his old friends t h ank to h is help have bt.-come immorta1s too.


over, one by one, the thirty-six singsong girls he has known rejoin the ranks of the fairies ; for they were goddesses in charge of different flowers, who fell from heaven because they longed for the world.

Now that their time on earth is

over, they become fairies again.

�pter 64)


Soon after Hung Lou Meng was printed many sequels to the novel appeared, all with a happy ending.

This in­

terest persisted for a long time; i ndeed it was not till the . end of the Tao Kuang period that such books ceased to be wri tten.

And even then the influence of the novel Hung

Lou Meng remained widespread.

Since ordinary families

had not so many members or such adventures and could not therefore be described in the style of the great novel, later writers wrote of prostitutes and brothels i nstead. three

While the

novels just mentioned differ in

their treatment and artistic q uality, their underlying spirit is the same-= all de­ scri be handsome men and beautiful women in romantic situa­ tions. only the new cha racters and scenes were taken from the prostitutes' quarters, because readers were tired of meet­ ing characters li ke Precious Clasp and Black Jade again and again in settings like the Takuan Garden.

However, Lives of

Shanghai Singsong Girls gives a realistic picture of brothels and exposes their iniq uities ; the author wanted to "teach a moral lesson based on his own ex perience," so that readers migh t "explore the secrets of the courtesans' q uarters and un­ derstand it'> nature, thereby realizing that those who behave so admirably in his presence are worse than dev ils behind his back.

Though today they seem dearer than wives, to­

morrow they may spit poison more deadly than the venom of snakes and scorpions." (Chapter 1) Evidently the purpose of the book is different from that of earlier novels, and this marks the end of the romantic trad ition in the literature deal­ ing with singsong girls.

n •/ Lives of Shang11ai Singsong Girls has sixty-four chapters. According to some scholars the aut hor, whose pen-name is H ua-yeh-lien-nu ng, was Han Tzu-y un of Sungchiang. A good chess-player and an opium addict, Han spent many years in Shanghai, where he edited a newspaper. Since he squan­ dered all his money on prostitutes and knew them wel l , he saw through all their tricks. This novel appeared i n 1 892, two chapters being published each week, and it was most popular. The c hief character, Chao Pu-chai, comes to Shang­ hai at the agt' of seventeen to visit his u ncle H ung Shan­ ch ing. He goes to brothels and. owing to h is inexperience. becomes more and more i nvolved till Hung sends him home. He slips back to Sh anghai, however, and goes from bac.l to worse, ending up a!. a rickshaw boy. The novel in its original form ended here. The twenty-eighth chaptt'r was the la�t to appear in serial form. Though Chao is the main character. t h e storieo; about h i m do not amount to much : his adventures i ntroduce us to other characters like the merchants in foreign concessions or other diso;ol ute young men . There are many descriptions of brothelo.; of every claso;. The construction is reminiscent of 'i'he Sclwl.Jr.�. for a number of ten uously re­ lated stories are put toge ther to form a novel. When t he author desl·ribes t he heartle�sness of singsong girls - not t hat one wou ld expect prostitutes to take love seriously · t he de­ scriptlOns are realistic with lit tle exaggeration. So the writer was sincere w hen he said that his aitn was to give a truthful picture as v ivid a!. life. H ere is a passage describing how Chao Pu-chai went w i t h his friend Chang Hsiao-ch u n to a brothel just after his arri val in Shanghai : When Wang saw Hsiao-chun she rushed at him, cryil, g : "Wel l ! So you lied t o me ! You said you were going home for a couple of mont hs, but this i 1:. the first time you've

shown up since then. Is this a co u ple of months or a cou p le

of years? . . :·

H siao-chun smiled sheepishly and coaxed her :

be angry.



me exp lain ."


He w h i spered something to

He had not had time to say much, however, when Wang "How clever yo u are ! You wa nt to t hrow the wet blanket on someone else so

leaped to her fee t and said gri m l y :

that you can get away, isn't that i t ?'' "N o. no !" protested Hsiao -c h u n fra n t i c a l l y.


"That's not

Let me fi n i s h explai ning."

The girl c u rled up on his knees to listen , and he s p oke!

to her i n a low vokc.

Pre se n t ly he jerked h is c h i n towa rds

C'huo, and \\' a n g turned t o give t h e you ng m a n an appra is­ mg look w h i l e Hsiao-e h u n went on speak ing.

"Then w hat ahout

y ou ? " she asked.

"The same as before."

Not t i l l then did !>he forgive him. trimmed the la m p .

She st ood up a n d

Then she asked Chao h is name a n d

l ook e d him ·over care f ull y .

Chao turned his face a w a y

prete nding to be rea di ng a n o ti c e .

A t t h is poi nt a middle­

age d maid came u ps t a i r!> carrying a kettle in one h a nd and two cases of opi u m i n the o t h e r . . . . opium on t h e tra y , l i t


w i th the kettle.

Leaning against opi u m . "Come

Having put the

the opi u m lamp and m a d e

tea, she

Hsiao-ch u n , Wang started baking the

W h e n 'he no t ice d Chao s i t t i ng all alone, she said :



l ie on the bed.''


had been hop i ng for this invitation, went

over at once and lay on the other side.

He watched t he

girl prepare the o pi u m , fill the pipe and pass it to Hsiao­ c h u n , who smoked i t all i n one breath. . . . third p i pe was read y Hsiao-ch un said :

When the

"I've had enough."

3 Hf Then Wang turned round a n d o ffered th e pipe to Cha o. Since the yo u n g man was i nexperi e n c ed t he pipe went o u t before he had smoked half. As t he girl sp e a red the opiu m with t h e needle t o put it back on th e lamp, Chao seized th e chance t o sq u eeze her wrist. She reached out and pinched his leg hard, sending a t h ri l l of pain a nd p l ea s ure t hrou gh hi m . Whe n C h ao fi n i she d s m o k i n g he glanced at Hs i ao c h u n w ho was l y i n g wllh half-closed eye.

I n h i s oid agl" "te

l i vrd alone w i t h o n l y pen d:1u i n h. for compa n y :lnd wrote

I b i s n o v e l t o n m u "arne i nsta n t lea pe d thro u g h it.



The n he fl u ng w i de t he door

He fe lt



cold a i r as some weapon '>la�hcd a t h i m , bu t he w a rd ed

ofl' the bl ow w i t h the fl a t of his



he intepl'eptcu

one blow after a n o t he r . stari ng i n t e n t l y t h ro u gh t he da rk ­ ness li t only


st a r s he saw a ma n i n :1 bla d , c l ost"- l i t t i ng

jerkin wh o was vt"ry q u i c k and l i gh t on h i !> fee t .

J i k e the fellow he had met a t M i u o Market .

a n ts sa id sou n d . that


word :


Conte n t

sled was t he o n l y h i m.,cl r, C "h to "advocate a rev ival of the old morality."

The Travels of Mr. Derelict

is a novel in twenty chapters

by Liu Ngo (circa 1850- 1 9 1 0) , who used the pen-name Hung­ tu-pai-lien-shcng.

It has a preface by the author w ri tte n in

the autumn of 1 906 in Shanghai.

Some say that the last few

c hapters were written by his son.

Liu Ngo or Liu Tieh-yun

wa s a native of Tantu in Kiangsu.

He was a good mathema­

tician as a youth. and well-read, but too much of a l i ber al to observe the usual conventions.

Later he regretted h is dis­

play of eccentricity and stayed at home to study for more than a year, after w h ich he became a p h ys ic i an in S hanghai . Then he gave up medici ne and went i n to business, only to lose all his capital. I n 1 888 the Yellow River flooded its banks a t Chengchow and Liu Ngo, working under Wu Ta-che.ng, was successfu l i n c u rhi ng t h e flood. He w on a name for hi mself and was appointed to a prefcctship. Du r ing h i s two years' stay in the ca p i ta l he presented a m e morial u rgi ng the

bui lding of ra ilw ay s and the opem ng o f mine s i n Shansi. for

w hich he was muc h a bused and even called a traitor. At the t i me of the Y1 Ho Tuan Movement he bought cheap gra i n from a state gran a ry from t he foreign troop occupym g Pe­ k ing, and with this he relieved the destitute, the reby saving many lives ; hu t a fe w years later he was impeached for the purchase of government g ra i n and ex iled to Sin kiang where he died.

His novel d e scri bes the t rav�·ls, views a n d adven­

tures of

Tie h-y i n g or Mr.


The descriptions of

scene ry Rnc.J in c i dent s are often well-written.

The author ex­

presses his own views too and in many places attacks bureau­ crac y.

One episode co ncer n s an officia l , Kang Pi, who


lieves that a man named Wei and his daughter are responsible for the death of thi rteen people.

Wei's servant tries to save

them by offering Kang Pi a bribe, but the latter considers this a proof of their guilt.

This story aims to show that a

strict official could be worse than a corrupt one. This was ' an original approach and the author j)rided h imself on it. "All men k n ow that l'Orrupt officials are bad, but few know t h a t

strict olftcials are even worse. For whereas a corrupt official k nows his own fau l ts and dares not play the tyrant openly. a strict official i magineo; that since he never takes bri bes h e is free to do as he l i kes. Th en self-confidence and personal prej­ udice may lead h i m to k ill the i n n oc e nt or ev e n endanger

the st a t e . 1 have seen many such offi c i als w ith my own eyes :

H�u Tung a n d Li Pi ng-heng a rc notable exa mples. . . .

lier novels of censure h ad e x posed



fau l ts of corr u pt

officia ls : this is thl: first t o rc wa l t he dam agl' don� by strict

officials." The runners d r a gged in Wei and h is daugh ter, already

They kneeled down before ihe judge and Kang pj took from his pocket the ba n k order for a t housand tacls of s i l v er a n d t he note o f hand for hve thousa nd live half dead.

hundred tae l s . . . .


These he ordered the r u n ne rs to show

W hen they den ied uny know ledge of this .




l a u ghed sarcast ica lly.

"So you don't understand ?

Let me tell you !


a scholar named Hu came to call on me and presented me

with a thousand tacls o f silver, prom i s i ng to pay me more

if 1 l e t you off. . . . I f yo u are not guilty of these murders,

w h y should your fa mi l y offer me bribes of se veral thousand taels of silver?

Th a t is my fi rst piece of evidence against

you. . . . I told Hu : 'If one life is reckoned as worth five hundred tacls, you ought to pay me six thousand ftve h u n-

J63i If you were not guilty your agent would surely


have said :

'They had nothing to do with these murders.

If you will help us, we don't mind paying you seven or eight thousand, but we can't pay six thousand five hundred.' Instead of t his, though, he agreed to my estimate. my second piece of evidence against you.

That is

So take my

advice : since you will have to admit your guilt sooner or later, you had better spare yourselves the agony of torture."

Father and daughter kowtowed again and again. plead­ ing :

"Your Honour, we are innocent !

Indeed we are !''

Kang Pi banged the table and bellowed :

won 't con fess, even after what I have said?

"So you still G i v e t hem the

linger-screws again." Like a c l ap of t h u nder the ru nners shouted assent . . .

an d were just about to torture the prisoners when Kang Pi cried :

"Wai t !

Comf' here, warders. a nd l i !>te n to m e . . . .

F i rs t you dec1de whether the case If your palms are greased, yo u apply the

I know all yo u r tricks. is serious or not.

torture l ightly so t hat the c u lp ri t s do not suffer too m u�h.

i s tou serious to be pardoned a nd the prisoner ym· money. you ki ll him on the spot with suci­

But if a case

has g i ven

den t orture !tO t h a t hl' n ee d not have his hl'ad cut off :t nd

J shall be punished for k illing men du ri ng q ue st i o n i ng .

k n ow your ways.


Torture the girl first today, but don't let

her lose con sc i o usness .

Whcr. she is fain ting cas� on·, and

tig hten the screw!> again w he n s he has recov ered.

We shall

t or t u re them slowly for ten w hole days a nd see that they

con fl'SS, howcvrr stu bborn thC'y think they arC' . . . . "

(Chapter 16)

A Flo\A•er in an Ocean of Sin was lirst published in the of Fiction in 1907. It was described a s a

magazine Forest





One- Who-Loves-Freedom and re-

;, 64 corded by the Sick-Man-of-Eastern-Asia." work of Tseng Pu, a scholar of Changshu.

In fact it was the The first chapter

serves as a prelude, and it is said that sixty more will follow. The story starts with a scholar named Chin Chun who comes first in the palace examination, aJ\d goes on to describe the . last thirty years of the Ching dyn asty ; it was probably i n­ tended to end with the Revolution but was left unfin ished after twenty chapters. This scholar Chi n is really Hung Chu n of Soochow who was appointed chief examiner in Kiangsi . He passed through Shanghai on his way home because of one parent's death, and made the celebrated cou rtesan Fu Tsai­ yun his concubine.

Later he was appointed ambassador to

England. and there was much gossip because he took her with him.

After Hung's death in Peking, his concubine went back

to Shanghai and returned to her old trade, changing her name to Tsao Meng-lan. Later sti l l she went to Tientsi l\ and took the name Golden Flower.

D u ri ng the Yi 1 l o Tuan Movement

she was the mist ress of Count Waldersee, comma nder of the allied armies. and exercised considerable i-nfluence. This novel with its sati rical approach to the scholar and his concubine gives excellent descriptions of the high offi(· i a ls and men or letters of the t ime. True, i t often exaggerates like other novels of exposure; nevertheless i t has the merits of a compact and well-conceived plot and a n elegant style. characters are based on real persons.

V i rtually all the

The scholar Li Chun­

keh in the book has been shown to be the a u thor's tutor Li Tzu-ming.

Since this was a man whom he knew i n ti mately,

one would expect the characterization to be convinci ng ; yet even



find occasional exaggerations and episodes

which appear unnatural.

It was the fashion at that time to

use hyperbole and not to be content with simple touches. Here is an example :

Wea r i n g civilian dress, Hsiao-yen hi re d a light c arriag e

and o r de red the driver to take him to Paoanssu Street

the south of t h e city.


The autumn air was fr esh , the horse

raised a light dust ; i n no time at all he reached the gate and his c arr ia ge drew up in the shade of two great elms.

The servant was about to announce h i m when he waved

h im aside, sayi ng :

"No need !"

He jumped light1y d ow n

and wa1ked in. ,On the gate was a new co u pl e t written i n an e lega n t y e t flow i n g hand on t w o pink str i ps o f paper : This home hnhl� a collection of a hundred thn·J�a nd bonk,, Anc.l an offici�[ without n ro•t srayin� idle for a thnu ...lm1 yc.. ra.

Hsiao-yen smi led at th i s.

Inside t he gate was a spiri t­

scre e n , t u r n i n g east he saw three room s on the north cor­ and


Beyond lay a small court a nd wist a ria dark w i th

fol iage.

pass i n g dow n

th is


he came to a


Hibi scus was i n bl o o m there, its bri l liant red blos­

soms full -blown . From t hr three quiet chambers with their bamboo c u r ta i ns n o sound at a l l cou l d be: heard.

A va gra nt

breeze brought Hsiao-yen t he fa i nt scent of herbs bei n g brewed withm. and l i fting t he c u r tain he stepped i ns ide .

A boy w ith h i s hair i n

a k n o t , a t att e red fan i n o ne ha nd.

wa s wDtch ing the medic:ine by the east w a l l of the h al l .

He stood up at t he sight of l l s i ao -y e n .

Just then from the

i n ne r room a vo i ce d1an t ed :

·'Wc.a t in u. n mp of \ilk unc.ler the lnmp, T pr.YI idls tinl.. l c, Cumcs thl' lady of my c.lrcam�."

Hsiao-yen walked i n, askin� w i t h 11 laugh : "Who is this lad y of your drea ms?" He four,J Li Chun-keh in a shabby


gown and

straw sandals,

tugging cheerfully at his short

;,66 beard as he sat reading on his old bamboo couch.

When Li

saw him, however, he promptly lay down and breathed hard over his dog-eared vol u me, saying in a voice that quavered :

"I am sorry 1 can't get up to welcome you - I

am not well." "When did you fall ill?" asked Hsiao-yen.

"How is it

that l never heard of this?"'

"Tt started on that day when you all decided to cele­

brate my birthday. all.

I'm afraid

I didn t deserve such honour from you "

1 shan"t be able to join you r party in Re­

cli n i ng-Cloud Garden today."

'"I expect you j ust caught a slight chi ll. all rig h t when you have had some medicine.

You shou ld b e We sti l l h o pe

you w i l l come, sir, and shall be most disappo i n ted if you fail us."

As Hsiao -ye n was �peaking he glanced round and

saw a sheet of wri ting paper half under t h e p n lo w with

many names on i t ; bu t st rangr to sa y none had proper t i tl es

attached, only the word s "Silly fool."

Hsiao-yen, p u zzled,

wanted to have a c loser look when he heard two people coming in t hrough the small gate . low voices and treading l ightly. bamboo curtain swished.

They were speaking in

Before Li cou l d speak, the

B u t i f you want to know who

these visitors were, you will have to read the next chapter.

(Chapter 1 9) There were seq uels to this novel by other hands, such as

The Martyrs' Blood and SeqLtel to a Flower in un Ocean of Sin, but these were inferior works. Numerous other books of this type dealt w i th social abuses, but most of them were poor imitations of those we have described.

There was a great deal of criticism of society but

little genuine l iterature ;

the majority of these novels were

hastily written and unfinished.

There were also libellous

works attacking private individuals, and some authors proved i n genious in writing invective but weak in narrative. Grad­ ual ly this type of literature degenerated into mere material for gossip-col umns.



first fifteen of the twenty-t!ight chapters o[ t his Brief

History of Chinese Fiction were printed in October last


From Chu Yi-tsun's Collected Poem.� of the Ming

Dynasty, Volume 80, I subseq uent ly found the name of the author of the Sequel to Shl4i Hu Clwun, while much addi ­ tional material on this man appears in H u Shih's preface to t he novel.

Again, from the first section of Hsieh Wu-liang's

Two Great Masters of Popnlar Literat11re, I learned t hat one old edition of the Romance of the Tang 1Jyn1.1sty gives Lo Kuan- tale wa:, taken to Japan during his lifetime. 1�s a matter of fact. his writing is ratlwr flippant and not of the highest order, but he has a lively style. Towards Lhe middle of the dghth century

the fashion

cha nged, and there were many writers of fict ion.

Even those who despised short stories now started to write them. Th i s was connected with certain developments in the civil service

/�88 of that time.

The cand i dates for the government


tions were in the habit of givi ng a sample of their writi ng to

influential figures at court when first they reached the capital

If these compositions - usually their best poems - were praised, they would be h ighly ·:-:-egarded and have a better chance of passing the examinations. was or great importance.

So this sample-writing

The men or the lat e r eighth cen­

tu ry grew rather tired of poetry, and some scholars who used stor i es instead won fame through them. Then even :hose who disapproved of fi ction fe l t con�tra i nt:d Lo wri te it, and short

stories were all th e rage. 'fhe Story of the Pillow, wri t t e n by Shen Chi-chi during the Ta Li era, w as v�ry widel y known. The p l o t is briefly n!> fol lows : A man named Lu who wa:; trav el l i ng to Han tan lamented h is bad l u c k Th en he m e t an old man namect Li.i who gave h im a pillow. ;nd w h e n he slept on t his he dreamed th a t he marricll a girl of the Tsui fami l y in C h i n gho. (A:. this was t hen a mosl il l us t riou s family, such a m a tch was a great honour.) He passed the government examinations anll after rt:peated promotion be­ came a minist e r and a c e nsor but o ther jealous oiUciais had h im demoted and ha n b h cd to Tuanchow. A few years la ter he wus appointed palace sccrt:tary with th� title of Duke of Yen. Th e n he grew old a nd d ied after a long illness. At this point he woke u p, and found t ha t not enough ti me had passed to cook a pan of rice. Th is story was a wa rning agai nst undue ambition and setting too much s t ore by oflicialdom. wealth and fame. In the M in g dynast y Tang Hsien-tsu wrote Dream of Hantan. and i n the Chi ng dynasty Pu Sung­ ling wrote A Sequel tn the Dream w hich was included in the Strange Tales of Liao-chai. Both of these were based on .


Sh e n Chi-chi's story.

Another eminent writer of that time was Ch en Hung, who with his friend Pai Ch u-yi witnessed the rebellion of An


Lu-s an du ri ng which t h e emperor's favourite, Lady Yang, died.

They were sn moved by this tragedy t ha t Pai Chu-yi

wrote The Eternal Grief a n d Chen B u ng a tale to accompany this poem.

His story ha d a great i n fl u ence later. a n d in t h e

Chi ng dynasty Hu ng Sheng based h i s drama The Palace of Eternal Youth on it .

Pai C h u-y i's brother Pai J lsing-chicn

was also a fa m o u s writer.

H i s Story of a Singson g Girl t e lls

how the son of a n o te d Yingyung family went to the capital and led a l i fe of dissipation. When he h ad spent all his money he h a d to earn h is J i v i n g ac; a professional m ou r ner, h eJ r i ng

to carry coffins and sing d i rges . Later, a girl n a m ed Li rescued

h i m and made i t possi ble for h im to study, so t hat he passed the

examinat i ons und beca me a staff officer. Pai Hsi ng-chien has an excel l t' n t sty le. and telb a mov i n g story. T h i s tale also cxt'rted a 1:ons idcrable influence on su bseq uent l i tera­ t ure. i ns piring t h e Yuan d rama Chuchiang Pool and the Ming

dra m a the EmbroidC'recl Jacket lJy 1:-Isueh Chi n-yen.

ThC' Tang sc h ola rs did not write m uc h a bout t he s upe r­

natu ral , and made it

take second place. The re are. of

c ourse ,

some collection-> of s h ort gho·4 storic:; w h i c h were sti ll i n ­ fl uent'cd by earl ier wri ' · ngo;.

of Mysteries and

Example., o f t h ese are

Mot1stcrs by N i u Seng-j u , the

Accounts YJLyang

More Abom My.�teries and Monster.� by Li Fu-yrn, RC'con.� of a Pulacc Clwmber by Chan g Tu, t h e Tuym� Miscellany by Su N go, and Strange Tales by Pei H s i n g . But t h ese Tang dynasty tales have more elaborate ploto; a nd arc be t tt' r written t han t h e i r Six Dy n as­

Miscellany by Tuan Che ng-s h i h

ties cotrnterparts. Apart from t h ose u l rcady memiont'd, two other Tang story­ wri ters df'se r ve special attentiOn ht>causc t hey did much to shape the course oi later litera ture.


is Yuan Chen, whp

wrole l i ttle but c!lrricd great weight and

was wcJJ k nown.

The otfier is Li 1\. ung-tso, who w rote more and had a great

influence too, but later enjoyed less fame. Now let us con­ sider these two men separately. Yuan Chen, or Yuan Wei-. Lo K uan-c hung wao;. not the first to tell this story cithl·r, for Sung Chiang was a historical figure. an outlaw whose e xploits had been popu lar legends since the Southern Sung dynasty. During the Sung and Yuan dynasties, K ao Ju, Li Sung and others wrote about h i m. After the fall of the Sung dynasty K ung Sheng-yu w rote in praise of the thirty-si x men headed by Sung Chiang. 1 n the Tale.ty, however. when the foreign invaders became masters, those loyal to the fal len dynas ty mourned in :-.ccrc t and forgot t h e sufferings caused by the outlaws, feeli ng a

new sympathy for· them.


instance, one such scholar. C'hen C hen, under the pen-name of ''Woodcu tter in novel. I n

Yen tang Mou ntain" w rote a seq uel to t he th i s he made the outlaws who survived Sung C h iang

fight agai n�t the Golden Tartars.

When they were defeated,

40�1 Li Tsun took them across the sea and became king of Siam. This shows that Chen's sympathy for the outlaws was due to the conquest of China by foreign foes.

Later, when circum­

stances changed again and men forgot their patriotism, during the Tao Kuang era Y u Wan-chun wrote another sequel to the novel, in which all the outlaws, i ncluding Sung Chlang, were wiped out by government troops.

His style is spirited and

he paints a vivid picture, but his ideas are rather deprc!>si ng.

5. The Two Main Trends in ilfing Novels Though the Yuan dy nasty was a splendid age for drama, t here was l i ttle written in the way of Iiction ; we shall t here­ fore pass on to t he novels of the Ming d y nast y .

In the mid­

dle of this d ynasty, during the Jirst hal f of the �ixteenth century. a n u mber of novels appeared.

These show two main

trends : they deal either with wars between gods and demons, or else with human a ffairs. Let us examine t hem one by one. Clashes betwP.en gods and demons became a common topic owing to the influence of religion and alchemy a 1 that time.

During the Hsuan Ho era of the Sung dy nasty there was

much Taoist w orship ; in the Yuan dynasty both Buddhism and Taoism flourished and alch,•mists were highly i !'l fl uential. In the Ming dynasty these religions began to lose ground, but during the Cheng H ua era they gained strength again a n d w e read o f t h e celebrated alchemist Li Tzu a n d t h e Buddhist monk Chi Hsiao, while in the Cheng Teh era there was the foreign priest Yu Y ung.


al l t hese men became officials,

thanks to their religion or magic arts, there was an upsurge of superstition, t he influence of which can be seen in litera­ ture.

Through the ages the struggle l'letween the t h ree main

/404 re ligions of China - Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism has never been resolved. In general, however, they com­ promised and tolerated each other, until finally they were considered to stem from "one origin." When a new religion arose, it was regarded as heterodox and there would be argu­ ments. But once it was looked u n as comi ng from the same origi n, all persecution ceased. Not till the next new school appeared would those who p rided themselves o n being orthodox attack the unorthodox heretics again. Religious con ception s were very vague, and what was descri bed as orthodox or unorthodox in fiction d id not mean Con fucian­ ism versus Bu dd hi sm, Taoism versus Buddhism, or Confucian­ ism, Taoism and Buddhism versu s t he White Lotus Cul t . It sim ply meant a str ugg l e between two beliefs not c lear l y d e ­ fined. So 1 give i t the general descrip tion of story about gods and demons. Let us take three novels to i l lustrate t h.is trt'nd : The Pilgrimage to t h e Wc.�t . the Canonization of the Gods and the Expedition to the We.�tern Ocean. I. The Pilgrimage to the West. For a long time t hi s book was wrongl y attributed to a Yuan dy na st y · priest. C h iu C hu ­ chi ; b u t Chiu 's Pilgrimage to the West in three volumes is a travel account which can sti l l he found in co l l ec t i o n s of Taoist canons. This confusion arose bccaul>e t he two books have the same name, an d the novel was prin ted at t h e be­ ginning of the Ch i n g dynasty with the prefac e of Chiu C h u ­ chi's book. I n fact t h e author o f the novel was W u C h t'ng­ en of Shanyang Cou n ty, Kiangsu. Th i s was stated in the Records of Huainan Prefecture co m pi le d in the Ming dyn as ty , but the Ching dynasty edition of these records omitted t h is fac t . The novel as we have it now co ns i sts of a hundred chapters. First it tells how Monkey S u n Wu-kung reach ed sainthood, w hy the monk Tri pi taka set ou t to Look for Bud­ dhist canons, how they passed through eighty-one perils and


40J/ finally returned to China. This novel was not entirely Wu's creation, for earlier we have referred to the chantefable deal­ ing with Tripi taka's search for Buddhist canons, which already contained such characters as Monkey and the river­ god and accounts of various strange incidents. Some Yuan dynasty dramas also used material from this story, and in the early Ming dynasty there was another brief version of it. From thi s we can see t hat the story of Tripitaka's journey to the west in search of Buddh ist canons grew by degrees i nto a legend between the end of the Tang and the Y uan dynasties. and was often wr it ten t n simple st(Jry form. In the Ming dy nasty, Wu Cheng-en gathered these legends together and wrote th is long novel. Wu Cheng-en was an adept at hu morous sketches, and he made the monsters i n this story so human that everyone enjoys reading about t hem. This is his art. He also makes readers accept the story light­ heartedly instead or feeling overjoyed or wretched, as they do w hen read i ng T1ze Romance of the Three Kingdoms about the victories and defeats of Liu Pei. For in t his novel all the characters are monsters, the entire thing is amus i ng . and no personal fec ' i ngs obtrude to mar our enjoyment. That is another vi rtue of th e b0ok. As for t he purpose of the novel, some say it is meant to encourage men to study, others that it is Buddh ist, yel others that ir is Taoist. There are many v iews on the subjec t , but to m} mind the book WilS wri tten solely to give p leas u re. Because the author was i nfluenced by C'hinu's t h ree religions, he put i n a l i ttle of them oll : Buddha, K ua ny i n , t he Taoist supreme deity, Nature and so on and so forth. Th us Confucians, Buddhists or Taoists could read what they wanted into it. Jf we insist that the l)Ovel has a moral, the explanation gh en by the Ming dynasty scholar Hsieh Chao-chih is quite adequate : "Monkey repre­ sents the mind, a nd Pigsy the w ill. At first Monkey ran wild,

ascending to heaven or descending to the earth just as he pleased.

Then one incantation controlled him, and made him

obedient and steadfast. Thi s is simply a parable of the control of the mind."

Later there were several sequels to this novel,

but they were merely imitations.

l'ung Yueh's More About

the Pilgrimage is really a sa tire, belonging to a different genre.

Il. The Canonization of the Gods is a nother popular novel. Nothing is known of its author.

Some say that he was a

poor man. who wrote this book to provide his daughter with a dowry ;

but this story has no foundation.

The ideas in

the book seem to be vaguely i nfluenced by the concept of three religions arising from one origin.

Accord i ng to the

novel, Chou-hsin, the last king of the Shang dynasty, went to sacrifice to the goddess N u-wa and wrote a poem which offended her.

The godde!.s sen t three vampires to tfead him

astray. and helped the Chous to overthrow him. many battles between gods and Buddhist sai nts.

There were

On the Chou

side were the orthodox deities, while the S� angs were helped by the u northodox ones.

A t a l l events, this book reveals

t he combined influence of the th ree religions, which repre­ sent the s i de of the gods, opposed to whom are t he demons. I l l . Th e Expedition to the Western Ocean.

This nove l ,

written d u ring t h e W a n Li era, is seldom seen nowadays.


tells how t h e e u nuch Cheng H o led a n expedition t o the western ocean d u ring the Y ung Lo era and pacified thirty­ nine foreign states, making them send tri b u te to China.


cording to the story, a monk named Pi Feng helped Cheng Ho to transport his ex pedition across the ocean a nd conquer other cou ntries by means of magic art, so that he returned in triumph. This story belongs to the same category, for though it deals with wars between d ifferent states, C h i na stands for orthodoxy and the gods, while the foreign lands stand for

407/ heresy and the demons. And this novel re flec ts so met h i ng of the poJ i tica l situation of the time. Because Cheng Ho h ad great fame i n the Ming dynasty und w a s a legendary flgure, after the C h i a Ching era, when Japanese pi rates p i l l aged Chi na's southeast coast and t h t: e m pire was w eak, t h e people naturally reme mbered the good old d a ys That is w h y this novel w a s w ritten. A e u nu c h w a s ma d e t h e hero i n stead of a general a n d magic relied o n i nstead of m i l i ta ry strength owing to the influence of traditional thought, and because .

eu nuchs in the M i ng d y n asty often controlled the army a n d had great au t h o r i ty

This i dea


of de fea t i n g forcignet :. w i t h

m agi c w a s han de d d o w n to the Ching dynasty, a n d w i ddy

bel i e ved in.

I n dee d , the Yi Ho T ua n


made SUl'h

an e x pe r i me n t.

w i th h u ma n a ffa irs, w r i t ten du ring the heyday o r the no vels de�c r i bing w a r!> be t wee n god s and demons. Th ese hook!. abo grew n u t of t he soc i a l con di t i o n '> of t h e t i me , a n d some of t he m , h k e The seco n d type of novel, which llen l t

was a lso

the fi rst t y pe, were closely con nected w i t h the idea!> of the a l c hemists.

Such books usua l l y dcs. Th i s ma n h a d ' ont.> w i fe and t h rcl concubi nes. I ll- fl'll i n l o " c w i th Pan C h i n-l ien or G o l den Lotu-;, poisoned h e r h usband Wu t h e Elder. and made her h i s coneubi n�. Next he ha d an affa i r w i th h e r nut i d , Ch u n-md (Spring P l u rn ) . and an ot h er '

a lfair w ith a woman n a m e d P i n�,.'� J h (Vase ) , whorn he made

his concubine too


Then Ping-e rt. a nd Hsi m e n C h i ng

d i ed,

Golden Lot u s was k i l l e d by her l i rst hu sband's bro t h e r Wu



and Spring Plum di ed after e xcessi v e debauchery.

/401 When th e Golden Tartars invaded Chingho, Hsimen's wife took his son to Tsi na n . A monk meeting them on t he way escorted them to Y ungfu Monastery and converted the boy, who joined the order and took the name of Ming Wu. Be­ cause Chi n-lien, Ping-erh and Ch u n�ei were the chief char­ acters in the book, it was called Chin Ping Mei (Gold-Vase­ Plum) .

Most M ing pornographic novels were aimed at con­ temporary figures, for this was the writers' way of working off a grudge. So Hsimen C hi ng was probably a man whom the author hated, but we have no means of i denti fyi ng him. We do not even know who the a uthor was. Some say that Wang Shih-chen w rote this book to avenge his father, Wang Y u, who was k i l led by Yen Sung. Yen Sung's son Yen Shih­ fan was all-powerful a nd suppressed all memorials to the throne which might i n jure his father. Wang Shih-chen is supposed to have found out that Yen Shi h-fan wa! fond of novels, and to have written this so th a t he w o u ld forget all business while reading i t : · for then criticisms of Y en Sung cou ld reach the l'O u r l . That is why the early Ching edi tions had as preface an essay on fi l ial piety. But this is simpl y a legend. The novel was attribu ted to Wang Shih-chen beca use it is well wri tten and he was the foremost scholar of his day. Later editors adopted this view and inserted the essay on filial piety in o r d('r to forcsta I I l' rit icism of t he pornographic nature of the book. Ther� is no real evidence o f the a uthor's identi ty. Another novel, more pornographic than Chin Ping Mei, was Yu Chiao Li (Jude-Charming-Prune) . This was lost, however. by t he begi nn i ng of the Ching dynasty, and what we have today is n ot the o r ig i nal. A seq uel to Chin Ping Mei by Ting Y ao -kang of Chucheng County, Shantung, is different from the earlier book. it preaches transmigration, a iming to show that evi l will be repaid in the nex t life. The

4091 story describes how in a later existence Wu the Elder be­ comes the amorous lover, wh i l e Golden Lotus becomes i nsa­ tiable in lust and is killed in 1 he end. Hsi men Ching becomes a fool and a cuckold, who lets his wife and concubines have lovers. All later such novels contained sermons. Stories like t his about what happened to people in t heir di fferent exist­ ences might go on for generations and never end. This is a strange and interc:.ting phenomenon, but t here wrre a poet who pa ssed t h e gover n ment e x a m i nat ion at an early age, w host family property was later con liscated. He:: t herdo r ':! had m uc h in common with Pao-yu. But the Chia property was confiscated d u ri ng Pao-y u's l i fet i m e , while in Nala n 's c:.�se it was after his d ea th . There are many other discrepancies, and no t ac­ t ua l l y m uc h s i m i la ri t y . (2) A n o t h e r t heory is t h at t he novel t e l l s t he story of Emperor Shun C h i h and h is conc u bi n e Tu n�. A cC'ording to one tradition. TLJng Hsi!'O-\� a n , a fa mous N a nking cou rtesan, was ca pt u red by t h e Manchu forces v. he n t hey went south, and taken to Peking. She bec� me the emperor's favourite and WdS made an i mpe ri a l conc u hine ; a nd at her dea t h t h e e mperor was so o ve rc o me with g r i e f t hat he went to Wutai Mou ntain and became a monk. As Pao-yu also hccomes a mo nk in t h e end, t hi1. might refer to the em peror's romance. But we k now t h a t t he i m p eria l conc u b i n e T u ng was a Ma n c h u girl, not th e famous courtesan; a m1 when the Manchus took t he Y a n gtr lkt ion

a rc s t i l l very po pular today.

Th ere a re o t her m i n o r t y pes, bu t I have no t i me to go i n t o t he m


As for t he


lict ivtl w r itten s i nce t h e republ i c

was fnundcd, t h is is s t i l l i n t t s i n fa ncy a n d ta n l works have

of this either.

yet appeared.



reall y imr.or­

shall not, therefore, speak



to tlte



n ews that a Japane!.e translation of my Hrief His­

T tory of



is to be p u b l ish ed

i!. ex t remel y

gratifying, but it makes me very conscious of my decl i n e . When I t h i n k back, i t must be fou r or live years ago now

that Mr. Wa taru Masuda used to come nearly every day to m y h ome to discuss thi� book, and occasionall y we had pleas­ ant chats about tht• world of h'ttt'rs at t h u t t i ml'.

In those

am bit i o n to study, but t i me sreeds by : now even my w i fe and son are a burden to

d a ys I sti l l had enough leisure and

me, to say nothi ng of col lec t i ng books. never have a C'hance to revist: t h is


So l shall pro bably

Brief History nf


Dou bt l ess my sa t i sfaction is l ike that of some old

ma n who has laid down his pen w hen he sees h 1s complete w orks publ ished.

But o l d habits art' ha r d to forget and someti mes my atten­ ,

tion is sti l l caught by the h ist o ry of Chinese fic-tion. To speak merely of the more I mportant d iscoveries : l a st

year the late

Professor Ma Lie n s publication of the incomplete t ex t of the '

Stories of Ch ing-ping Hermitage enriched our material on the Sung vernacular tales.

Then Profc�sor Cheng Chen-to's dem­

onstration that the Pilgrimage to the West in the Four Pil­ grimages was a condensation of Wu Cheng-en's n o ve l and

not a forerunner corrects the views 1 expressed in Chapter

/42% 16:

His excellent paper on this appears in his collection Chu

Lou Chi.

Again , the discovery of the original version of

Chin Ping Mei i n Peking, though the language is rougher than that of the popular edition, proves beyond doubt that this novel could not have been writteJ\ by Wang Shih-chen who was from Kiangsu, si nce the dialogue is in the Shantung dialect. I have made no revistons, though. despite all the book's shortcomings.

I have done noth i ng, 1 am merely delighted

by the publication of this J apanese edition and hope there will be time in future to make amends for my slo th.

Th is book, naturally, is one fated to have few readers, yet Mr. Wataru Masuda has bra ved all difllc ulties to translate it. while Mr. Otokich i

Mikame, t he di rector of the Sairosha

Press , is will ing to have it published .

To them .1 am t ru ly

grateful, just as I am grateful to those readers who w i l l take this dry book i nto t heir studies.

Lu H sun Written b) lumplight,

In dex Account nf thr 'iaints

e�ll ftli (t· ) ,

379 Accou nts of a Courtier r-n .



Accouuls o f Awngin� Spirits

( '!A£ .�;;:::>


AccCIII III.\ of limflerllr 1\.fing l l u aJn�

( (I)J �t )� .Jt )

16 1

< iO f ic > ,

Accounts of M11n·els



ami Mon-

( }, n '.1� ) . 106 , 31!9 the '/'en CwJtine11ts

An·mmt.t of

( hffi ii1. ) , 2 9 . 30 , 3 :1 , 378 Accounts




Gi1 Is'

Quarters ( -� r�; il� ) . 3 1 9 Ad vkr. t o M y s1m < itt'l. ntl)a > . s Aftet lhr Dl sas t c1 ( ).lt ;�}J...: ) , 35 i . 360

After the

lu \•asiou

, 71!

Aucntoles of Clrihslwng Hermitage

u;(·�� ·r; ;c > . 2 1 0 - 21 1 of lire .\tti unci Tang Dyuallif'.t ( Jlr·L�If #,; i& ) , 1 64 on�

A ttecdotes


Yin-hsueh -hsuan

( l i J ' 1 i �] �.(! "[ ) ,

t\nt'cd(Hrs of

27 0




< -i'.i fHth :in ; il. > , �;o AnrcdCJies on Brl()h ( =IH�) , 181

Anecdotes 181

on Drama l

Amwls o f the


A'!1ftl! �t�> , States


or :t"IH'Ir y,·� V ictory over the


of C.:hi

fl.:.ri�� > .

< �f. l�l1-!1t

1 54

Annuls of Wl4 and Yttth

152 Amazing Stories

Ancient Ch•·onology

(lj ' i� ) ,

Anerdr)tt!s from Court and Coun­


7 , � I , 50 Accout.ts of


., {r f:k l , 1 6 Am�xation o f

-l.;fj;l .ft.


the Six State,, by

the Emperor of Ch in . The

Jf />Ld l .

151 Assembl)' of Ghosts, An 14 1



/424 (i,litt') 79 (�!E,1t,tfj ) . 104

Bdl of Anecdotu

BoUins che Sea

Book of Deiriu and Marvels

(�:Jft£> . 28, 30, 36, 378 Book of Mountain& and Seas. The

. 6 , 2 5 , 2 9 , 378

7, 12, 17, 19,

Book of Supernatrual

( *'11 #-t� > , 6 Bool.: of


Things, The

. 78

(�JJU'O , 192 .

Chana Tai-ho


Cases of Lord U .


( 11$!�40

( :J-�� > .


Chen Chen

Chen Shih-pin

< !lAd: � ) , 206

O':·j;{tllJ!! ) , 78

Cheng C h un g -kuei Chi Hsieh



( f\- i}'t ) � 9 ( f�H� ) , 6 , 199, 262-

Case.� of I ord Uu . Tl1e

C:iclj �·'�

264, 266, 269, 270, 4 1 1 Chi a Chuan ( 'f.{ 1.j� ) , 69

Ca.�es of Lord Peng, The

( ::,:. ��

Chiang Kuan

CaSts o f Pre fect Pao, The

( -Jt["\l


·� > . 349

:� ) . 3 1 8 ,

3411, . u o

z� ;t > . 3 is , 392 , 4 1 11 , 4 1 9 Cast'S uf l.ord .'ihih, Thr Chud� � > . 348 , 349 , 4 1 9 Chang Chu n-fang < iJiUiJ/;- ) , 121 Chang Feng-yi < 1�J4.S'D , 105

( �t(J� ) , 79 (!j� (f. > , i, 5, 28 , 4 3 ,

Chang Fu-kung Cho ng Hua

45, 110

Chang Kuang-jui Chang Po-shan

Chang Shih -cheng Chang Shu-shen

, 2, 3,

2 3 , 2 6 , 377 , 378 Ch.iu Chu-chi


( rcf_I;:J:;tJ"L > ,


Chou Liang-kung (Ji'il 5:: I) , 181

()Pj \¥. ) , 135

Chou Ml

Choice Blossoms from the GoJrchn of urernture c>Olf.�.q=:.> , 85, 90, ] ] 6 , 39.t Chu Jen-hu < HI .A.f* > , 129 , 1 63 Chu

Yu < Wl f(j ) , 254



389 Chung Kuei the GIIIJ.�I Catchl.'r . 212 , 358 Collected Tales ( �!JM�.;�·p , 270


CnUt'cted J'alf's of MiracLe�

. 1H� > .


Collection of M ar vels

( Jti H :.!;. ) ,





.flll )-: S� > . 20 Stor y



< ill. .ffi· �fl; > . l t:l ;)


grimage, l'he




( 9 ill� i\l. ) ,

Contemporary Sayings

79, au


( :=:li:�

Threl' R eligions, The


Daughter, Tl�

( � �f'l'j ) , 98 , 103

. 1 38 , 1 4 .t




( jllj il/i-.1.U"l> , 206

Corr·fi·lion.� o f Mistakes ( fi) i 'i.l) , 5 Courtesan Named Yang, The ( � ;{.1{'{; ) , 105 Crime ln vo,ving Nine l.ives, A ( '}L-fii; ',-:]-� > . 357 Dark God Chen-wu. The or The

Voyage to the North

Ut1f 1{ A 1-� xJ-:rtJ :u !f ;J� flf . llP ;11: mt iC.> . 1 9 1

UHU t > ,

327 . 417

Dream o f the Print�s.� of Ch in , A

< � � ic > , 88 Dream






( fT.� 1f , I{ *' Ti·:h it. > . 282, 289, 4 1 3 Ei�:ht Eldt'r Gullants, The < :JJ£: 5Jt J�/\.J O , 3·1 9 , -t 1 8 Eight Junior GalLant.�. The < �'l ,1, /UO . 349 , 4 18 Tale




Eight Suints, Tlu.• or The to


(j\.{tli tll �, !ljJJ'i�Wf

the Eusr

11!. ) . 1 88

F.mbr otdered Iackd

92, 389 Eternal Grief. ·n,e

89, 389 C\'ergreen




< -1-: �n ��!ill�n if. f!i· > . 34 9 Expediti•·t�

10 the \Vt'�t , 1 2 6 , 1 64 "Four Great Novels," The, 336

244 , 252 Filial Son Tung Yung,

-f�'!bkf{J ) , 1 32

( ¥:


< )di.

Five Elder Gallants, The

;o , 34 5

( 'J'­

Five Ymmger Gal l an t s. The

U. 'SO , 345 ,

Flowtr a11d

350 ,

llu� Moon. Tire

}] iff > . 322 . 326 in


i HI



( f(.

'>' 1 1 1 .


c rtJ riJ It > , 363, 366


itt tire: Mitrm ( !. ;1·: :: i)� ) ,


312, 31 3





2 31

1-'orest u/ Jokr.� (hy

��.ff;_ ) , 'i 4 . of


jnn ; Fore.tt


Hun l.m ('hun ;

7 6 , 38 1



JHf-> , 78





'ri � 1. ) ,

Marvl'l.�. l.. u's



nf Sayin11-s 38 3 , 386 (hy

Ho l .hong-

ML\:: i !HP . 7 R of



< f.!t iHH-� > . 78 Forgotten









(J.lf � �� > . 1 0!1 , � 5 , 63


Tall's of t h e K a i Y"an

and T�n


jlijftJ}f) , 164





( Jf;l.J..:


( V.' l ibh� ) , 1 8 8 , 200 0�1 ix)i: > , 109 J-'ree 1 'alk Gullu11r Mtdd, The < Jl :9: "� �Jtf�' i·r: ;,r, ) , 336 - 338 , 31!9, 350 The

Garden of Anecdotes



(,'arden of Mar\'rl.�. Tire

Of. y� ) ,

1 9 , 5 1 , 2 6 2 , 38 0





Uterutrrre ( j:;l;


f.o. .t'�. J, !-) ,

&II .


U I. J·�: o; · )




W/r i d-. , 'l ire

1 05

Grr/ '.\ ( 'trwrrber. 1'/rr

( I•� J l j J i L�)

Glimpsi'S n f Sl�rmglwi



�� ) . 3 57

Go.\ SII' Ahuut

26 1

(,'ro\ t'rllUI' 111ury







l lt.ll

Pri Tzu


I ;1� i5"i'� ( �� i:t> ,


Gr ovr of (,'n.\.tip, l hr·

Forc&t of Sayini:S



1t n . 91! , 391


chun ;



( 1 :·H•l

Trih · ! . · .)'

< i\ ;6l{ ) .

( yf, :l t '[ ) , :! G ,


llun ll.�in'.� /)cuth Ill tilt' flunds ol

< L'tlii41r •�t{ci'Jiu'ilt :j') l :: 't> . 1 54 II an T1 u - y u n ( �f. '(- z� ) , 331 H11n1an Chun ( I!Jlirl; i't ) , 74 Emr,ress r.u

Hao Chirr Chuan < �f i>IH7 ) , 233,

238 , 409

Jlao ko-tzu

( i;1, :V.: ·:n, 261 .

Yueh ;





J;j:dl� ) ' 270




(by Yueh Chun ; Nrw and Old

�- �j llil ) ,

2 53

ii� > .


Heart of Mystf'ries.



( -1'­



( firr fl �� ) , 711 Ho Llang-ch un ( (nf Ll (tz ) , 7 8 Hn-sht>ng < fl �U , 1 3·1 , 1 35 , 39 5 li11 Puns eh ( f,Jf l 15m-r l , 26 1 Hou 1'1i CHou Chun-su : � t' i , · r: � hfn , s , s 1 , 7 6 Hsia Ching-c!111 ( Q (� �i ) , 30 I l lsi11o Yi c ��� > ) , 6 3 H.�iau shuo V] ,i\i' l , 1 - 7 , 2 1 - 2 7 , T.l'u-j.m



2 13 ,

52, 61 , 37 1 ,

1 3.1 ,

37 7 - 311 0 ,

Hbtn ('hr -clu

Us1ung Ta pen

1 12 ,

1 35 ,

311 5 .

( � fi'�): ) , 152

C fJ!LA.: i.: ) ,

Hua �n

( i� * > •


1 11 5

< llf;il; fr� ) ,


'l'lmg Kac• (.'iequel

to SludiL.� in Anrienr Hlhl iogru-


�.:.I: :ZMJ:JiD ;;ti ) , 7 ( 'f( !\ll ) , 270

Hsuan Ting Hsueh Tiao

( if l\� ) ,

1 05

1 35 , 3 9 5


A nream of Rrd Mun�im1s


Mai < 1lt32 J , 12 1 , 1 22 , 1 7 1


( ;'J� Ji- )

Hung Shrng

1./lt- Talk

( ir'i


, ';

'i: f�-111�+ �\� ) ,



- 2 1-1 ,


) , 71! , ,


len t h e Fox Fait)'


l · ;o .

8 7 . 2 5 5 , 3111

1\an Sun Tw

Kang Picn

( �k '.i � > ,

( -;','jf,�; ) , 7 ,

Kau Ngo


-!Q, � • , 50 ,

1 09 1 72

( �·� ::'l) ) , 2!18

( ,:':. {� f1· ) , 1 09 wu ·., Conquest of thr .'\lr ·liLI!-S C !!:t -:E{l(H-fS > , 1 5 1



li. illK

Ko Hu11g 41,


( ��,# ) , 37,

:-18 ,


Ku-k uang-�heng Kulln Shih -hao

Kung Ping-chung

Kuo Chens-chih

(jl;!£lf:) , 250 < N tl.t iiD , 26 1 (.�p[; fJir) , 78 ( ·;� rnz > , 69

( 1�7.4! > , 105

Kuo Chih

K u o Hsie n

( � % ) , 27 , 35, 36 ,


( �� �lb ) , 1 7 3 , 1 75 ,



1 7 9 , 1 80 , 1 8 5

l �F� ) , J 7 ,

Kuo l'u


JS. > , 1 2 1 ( �f { ) , 69 , 38 3 l !jr�

K u o Tullo


Lost TalC'.\ of l.iao-chal. Thl'

( 1fGJ ,:;:, ;.\. ,1-.'-t{l ;::� ) , 260



SI'CI C'Iary


98 ,


J{.f �l!� l i·] _.f.. ) , 1 2 1 ( ·} •;•fJ,� > , U C h au- w e i 1 07

, 1 7 5 , 1 78 C h in g ( ""'t ?1� ) , 7 9 ( -�· �-� 1-) , l l i C'hiu-chm Fang < :fiVj ) , 1 1 7 , 1 1 8 Fu < -h';� > , 5 Pu-yen < "1'- i.l r'·,· ) , 1 0 1 , 109,

I.i Chih


l .i




( ...t� f.1 )

389, 39 1 Li Ju-c h cn

Li Kung ·rso

< �HcJ� ) , 3 1 1 ( .A,l; ��· (U , 94 ,


Yi-shnn ;

Ji'J. ) , 1 1 3 , 1 1 5 , 134

J.i Shao-wcn Li Shu

U Tang

Liung Wei-shu

( � !'fUtO ,

Uel' Tzr'


( �1J r ) , 9, 1 0 , 67 Lin.., Hsuan < ft � > . 4 1 , 125 Llos Meng-chu < l.itiJtfl.J) , 101 , 105, 252 Liu Cheng (:fljp lj! ) , 1 05 Liu Chi ng shu ( ;(tl t!{ ;J;. O , 5 1 , 262 , 261 , 380 Liu Fu ( �j j'f. ) , 1 43 Liu Hsiang . 2 5 1

. 3 57 < ffi llt\\t ) , 6 9 . 7 11 ,



N e w Tules

What th e

Muste1 \\'ould Not Talk of;


2 , 22 , 26

Mi&cellany nf Ai Tw

$!:£� > . 78

( (fl,j

jldl· > . 20 7 , 2 1 5

N e "' Suying.t

( rHr 11::: :1;. � ) , 320-322 , -1 17 ( TI:iO ,

)jt ) , 78



M isceUanenu.� Writmgs

Miscellany uf t h e Jade Ifall


< t) ��fhj� ) , 1 0 1 , 109,

Ncl\' lJrcum o f Rerl Mansior. \, 1\

1 04


( ��l l\:W > , 1 01\


1 :J d

li lj� .f.!T �:t ) ' 78 M irror of Theatrkal




Master .:.> f Tunsr• Mnuntuin Lodge.


( also known as Crabbed :;'\{1- tJ���:fjr._:;· , -- � lJ. fh4� .j{ ) , 2 6 1

U111 verse


play :


¥ > ' 1 13 Mi&cellany Within und Without the

N Hi > , 1 1 2 , 250 Man

Mi.'ICellany u f Yi-shan

* �-1 . :!ri

(" � it\ )



New Talr.t L url�r tht l.nmplight

f"t1] .l f ¥r i.!i J , 4 1 0

Nirh Ti.·n

< ti P I > , 1 2 1

Nine Admmtitions o f the Duke of

( ::fi

Uaul(, The

( �� j'� ft. ill! ) , 133

Ninc-"fr1iled Tortoise, The

tu > . 4 17

< JL-'6

1430 Niu Seng-ju . 106 , 389 NoteJ After Ent�taining G•�srs

< 1U! jjt > . 122

of the Chief Sights in the


< t!S�fc!F. > . 135

capital Notu




Latticed < 11":511 � \Sl } , 125, 129,


143 Notes o f t he Yueh-Wt'i


< li'JMt:Q::::!: � iC. > . 264 , 270, 4 1 1 Notes on the West I.ake ( j!limJ iit:1i'; > . 181 Nun Called Miao-chi, The < 1& il IE > . 392 Old



t he


< Ji�:91t�Xf�' > , 89











Of Pil­

ali ihi T'i r() , 206 < S Jii:- :M > . 89 - 9 1 , 95 ,

grimt'lge, The

Pui C'hu-yi

388 , 389








R ivers Bibltographical Nn tf!s

< ITJIHL L; ) , 7 Pai Hsing-chicn

389 Palace







Pan Ku (historian : Sf MJ > , 2 , 3 , 6, 27 , 31 , 33, 34 , 37, 378, 379 Pan Ku (legendary figure ; A

IS> . 10

Pao-weng-lao-jcn < ffll f! �A > • 252 ( Jikj ) , 67

Pei Chi

( j.i Ill ) , 1 1 0. 389 C.=:jf:'frwD , 270 Pt!nf!traling the My1teries ( jt;ij Y!; i� > . 31 , 35, 36, 378 , 379 Pei '\Hsing



Peony Pavilion, The ( tH:I-·� } , 266 Pi Chung-hsun ( .!'/':�� iiU > , 121 Pilgrimage to the West ( i!:9 i1fl

i.C. > . 103, 190 , 1112, 199- 209 , 2 1 3 , 220, 336 , 337. 392, .t o4 , 418 1-R n g Yl.'tl

( 'r d 1 � !!10 ,

232 . 233, 235 , 2� 1 :" 4 09 Portul ar Storif!.� u( the Capital

, 1 35, 1 38 .

14.4 . 2� -1


Popular Tares 11( rhe Fivl'


C:tdt !.t·'Y il; } , 1 3 G , 140,


1 55 , 395

Popular Talk

( f?t i)� ) , 71

Prie�t T.tu-yang ( '\�llflili A > . 227

( ij-;tJ..,: E:

PrinC'f! Huo'J Dau,;htf'r

f#i > . 1 0-1 . 1 26






c :J� !iv.� 'l'f_k ·m�F-Jt�J:ft . ll� ffi ih'i iG > , 1 8 9 ,

th e

4:.1& > . 90, 389


� i!3> . 31 9

Ping Shan


< .P in � P.�Hv > . 1 0 1 , 393 Canal The Mic > . 129 , 1 6 4 Origin o f Thin,;s ( 1U f O . 5 Opening of the


Panchiao MisceUany, The



203 Private





< TX JI-\ '/il' � f{.· > . 33, 37 8

Private Life of Lady Swallow,

< "tJ*.6H7 > . 4 1 , t25, 262



Pr ivate Histury of Lady Yang, The

. 123, 164

OintMlt> ,

Pu Sunp.- Jing

255 ,

Records of Spirits

259 , 26 1 , 262 , 26 9 , 388 , i l O

1 8 , 47 , 8 7 , 38 1

N otes

R andom



Ranrlnm Note.t fro

Ia� >t > .


·rM f.ll "C > ,


Raml11 n r Notes of Rtcord



Shanglrai Traveller




c , · i �>l 'l'rric. > . Record

uo Strange Mt•rt




< Lil �� F.R .�t > .


C"IM'; {�




< i l : itn�: A..-1{ > .


Rt•cortl 11/ tire Courtesan.�· Q•rurter s

ot rr_;.!;. l ,

1 09 , J J 5, 3 1 9

Records u f a l'ulaf'e Chamber

C 'r'C·i:



Rcctu ds of a Rainy Night hy the

Autumn Lamp

C-&H"Hkrf � ) ,

Recor!l,, o f C/1011

( ),',] I$ , !o'd !i ,


J,'h�t > ,

2 , 1 5 , :.! 1 , 2 5 , H i

Rec:orrl.� o f Dil'i•11

lJ.'H..'. > , Rer.nrrls




c, � •roL. .1:; > ,



5o . s s

Rtcorr.J.\ o f Gnrvunccs 1 52 Rt'nmls of Jokes

Rrcon/s of J.ight

I:Vh!.> . 5 2

( ..... ....

O!J'11:t .�� ) ,



( rl!!

C t{ f� i � ) , 5 7 , 58

Rrcords of Southr:rn


1 26




( fJ� Jl,: 1# �-f:.� l ,


< 7k

34 9

Remlni.scences of





1 3 4 , 185

Ht>positnry of Fie-lion 72, 73 Re-trihuti.nrr


( � i o i. JI·O ,



S:� Flower 'illaclows

nn thC' .')crern uf





( .',L� ?,!! (·�� J( ft. ) , 3 1 ;;

7 he

( � I,IJ1J.ft.t�J(l ,






1 66

1 57 ,

Romance of Ming Dynasty Heroes, The

( .'1{ Ellt� ��fi.j , f. idl" J:fr,j;> ,

1 R:i

Romanc·e nf r/u• Slate$ of F.uttern

I 1 2 , 1 8 4 - 185 Rnrrum •


1 57 .

t 5a .

1 8 4 , 199 , 336 ,

397 . 3911 , ·1 0 0 , 4 0 5


Records uJ· Mysteriou.� Manife-stoJ­ tlon s

JX�1- 'Ji> .

1 6 4 , 1 i 3 · 1 7 ·1 ,

Recor d., of M ir ades

< 14


4 , 6 , 4 5 , 1 1 0 , 380 Reign of Eternal Peace, The

Clwu. The


(jf-j f,llj:-Jt ) ,


� .t > .


1 09 , 38 0


Records of

��$: ) .

Yanst�e und Huai River Valle)IS

( � � ii3 > . 6 ,


Romance o f 1/'e crh


( '� fLll5't· !�) .

Ru&til:'s Idle 'l'ol�·. A 300 , 301 , 303

Tang Sai­

J 85

C Jf�R.'i � l .

Sad Tc* of

the Hdang River,

< HII IP � > . 88





sion of ( lli (f��f� ")C ) , 1 32 Sakyamuni's Attainment of Buddha­

hood, , 1 32 Samadhi-sagara-sutra ( p_,y, f4t ::: II� �t9: > . 55 Samyulcta -avadana sutra ( * � 1\llr t� > . 55 Sayings nf Monks ( 1\') tlti� ) , 7 9 __









O:J{ Jtl:-i!t > , 7 9 .�ayings


< �� m tt: > . 79

i� > ' 2 , 2 1 , 22 t lte


< lll l � #l � ie. > . 5 3

1: A_ ) , 4 10


< J>�tl\13

< N-.i#f� � ) , 2 7 3 ,

281 3 5 � 4 1 2 . ·l l 3 '

< M r!1J ) , 35 7

Sea oJ Woe, A

&cond Series of 1'\'l'st Lake Tales

< i'lill'llr -��u . 2!:io Secret

1'ales of th e

: ) ,



Han Palace 1 25

(tJ, �,J. i-lli f(. ) ,

Sequel to a Guide



Con \•ersation

< tj�i!kWJ > , 6 8 ,

1 2 , 14 Sequel to Chin Ping Mei ( ¥:1: 1:}1[

� > . 221 , 23 1 , 408

Sequel to RI'Conb of Spirits

� :pfl ie. > . 4 9 , 262

( if,




the Dream,

* > · 388 , ·1 1 0 Dream

Red Man-

lhC' Pilgrimage to ( 1J tl.!:i i//l iL, ) , 2 7 2








cmd Five Gallants;

-U*= fi.;U. 34 9 ,




Galla/liS, Tile

3-1 9 , if lll 34 9 , 4 1 8


( -l:: � tl-1- / \. (:k: ) ,




< - l; �l] - 1 -�:.. u o .

Shang Chung- hsien

Sl&a11ghai MisceUan :.v








Three Heroes





U!i �H .!J� � p :� !t > , 7







2 98




< �4-ilnr�91. > . 2 53 tu

< �U f ® ic> . 52



to Strange Tales New and

Gatlunts. The

Sequel tn u Flower in an Ocean of




t) tl1- �� �i =t5 > , 78

Fapg-ch lng;


Scholar oj Fengyung, 1'he Scholars, The

Sequel to Social Talk Seq �l


t.9< !!!: � ) , 78

Hsiao-piao :


( k 1ft ill> , 79 The ( Ot]l'

Sayings of Yi Yin, by

to Shui H u Chuan

iiHtt > , 1 & 3 Sequel to Social Talk

Sequeb to A


Sayings of Women



( r�'.j(tjJ 1;1 ) , 1 04 < UI:nO� lt > ,

( i:tll!f.�1f ) , 8 7, 3118 ( it.if!! jj((, ) , 281 Shen YR-chih ( t.tJY. z ) , 87 Shen Yueh < it �{] ) , 7 1 Shih Hui (Shih Chun-mci). (� im , Ji(§:.[t� > . 181 Shen Chi-chi

Shcn Chi-fcng

4HI Shih

Kuang (mJilt) ,

26 Shih Noi-llll

2, 2 1 , 24,

, Sec also New Anecdotes of Social Talk, 69, 74 , 76, 78 , 38 3 , 38 4 , 386

!.ociuL Talk, Imitations or, 7R Sorcrrer's Revolt an d IU Su ppres­ Thret

c -=: it "f tv:;ft..' > ,

ts7 · 1 58 ,

167 , 18R , 24 4 , 398

Exemplifying H iC. > . s , 57


{�fli ) . Stories w

•(; ) ,


1 66 ,

l'amous Sword.tmera. ( 1J�

1 10 , 1 19

Aww 1 Ml'll

< ftli! Ll!@ (1\!itlt

oo -;; > . 243, 244

Swies '"


Marvels < tlE

24 3 . 244 .'itorks to Enlightl'll Men

Warn Men ( �iU")Jii ��- ) ,

243, 252

< :f.�

Story of a Singsong Gi'l

f'< ) . 92, 389

Story of An


l-'lhl i iJ� l ,

J O li 'itm y o f Chiu Hu, Tire

i!i > , 1 3 2

Story of Er.erna! Grief,

tlile:"' ) .

89, 164






< ifi!H'r

Story of Hsu Mai, The


184 Story of

Lady Mei (-� leW > , 129,

Story of

< *�' "iJj

< 4" 1�i .$'rf'j ) ,


1 23 of Liu l'i. Thr

t > . 104 Story of

fi--T > .

Pri��ee Tan of Yer1


3, 16

Story of Shang-ching

< J -. tfH'i > ,

105 S&ory of tire Lah:,vri"tiL

< !tUnc. > ,

1 2 9 , 164 Stury Clf

the Pillow. Tl1e

i�) ' 8 5 ,

Story of




< tt �J

tire Prim:.e of Teng, T11e

< .'1'-::HHv > . 12a

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