it, day by day, moistened its roots with sweet dew. This purple pearl grass, at the outset, tarried for months and years; but being at a later period imbued
with the essence and luxuriance of heaven and earth, and having incessantly received the moisture and nurture of the sweet dew, divested itself,
“This resolution it is that will evolve the descent into the world of so many pleasure-bound spirits of retribution and the experience of fantastic destinies; and this crimson pearl blade will also be among the number. The stone still lies in its original place, and why should not you and I
Yü-ts’un speedily looked at him, (and remembered) that this person had, in past days, carried on business in a curio establishment in the capital, and that his surname was Leng and his style Tzu-hsing.
While speaking, he made Yü-ts’un sit down at the same table, and ordered a fresh supply of wine and eatables; and as the two friends chatted of one thing and another, they slowly sipped their wine.
a daughter, whose infant name was Ying Lien. She was just three years of age. On a long summer day, on which the heat had been intense, Shih-yin sat leisurely in his library. Feeling his hand tired,
he dropped the book he held, leant his head on a teapoy, and fell asleep.
Of a sudden, while in this state of unconsciousness, it seemed as if he had betaken himself on foot to some
“The votaries of voluptuousness of these days will naturally have again to endure the ills of life during their course through the mortal world,” the Taoist remarked; “but when, I wonder, will they spring into existence? and in what place will they descend?”
“The account of these circumstances,” the bonze ventured to reply, “is enough to make you laugh! They amount to this:
there existed in the west, on the bank of the Ling (spiritual) river, by the side of the San Sheng (thrice-born) stone, a blade of the Chiang Chu (purple pearl) grass. At about the same time it was that the
block of stone was, consequent upon its rejection by the goddess of works, also left to ramble and wander to its own gratification, and to roam about at pleasure to every and any place. One day it came
within the precincts of the Ching Huan (Monitory Vision) Fairy; and this Fairy, cognizant of the fact that this stone had
, he, with listless step, came up to a spot encircled by hills and streaming pools, by luxuriant clumps of trees and thick groves of bamboos. Nestling in the dense foliage stood a temple. The doors and courts were in ruins. The walls, inner and outer, in disrepair. An inscription on a tablet testified that this was the temple of Spiritual Perception. On the sides of the door was also a pair of old and dilapidated scrolls with the following enigmatical verses.
Behind ample there is, yet to retract the hand, the mind heeds not, until.
Before the mortal vision lies no path, when comes to turn the will.
voluptuousness, the transmission of this voluptuousness into passion, and the apprehension, by means of passion, of its unreality, forthwith altered his name for
that of “Ch’ing Tseng” (the Voluptuous Bonze), and changed the title of “the Memoir of a Stone” (Shih-t’ou-chi,) for that of “Ch’ing Tseng Lu,” The Record of
Pages full of silly litter,
Tears a handful sour and bitter;
All a fool the author hold,
But their zest who can unfold?
much as if she were a brilliant pearl in the palm of their hand. Seeing that she was endowed with natural gifts of intelligence and good looks, they also felt solicitous
to bestow upon her a certain knowledge of books, with no other purpose than that of satisfying, by this illusory way, their wishes of having a son to nurture and of
dispelling the anguish felt by them, on account of the desolation and void in their family circle (round their knees).
But to proceed. Yü-ts’un, while sojourning at an inn, was unexpectedly laid up with a violent chill. Finding on his recovery, that his funds were not sufficient to
Being unable for a considerable time to prosecute her studies,
full of self-contradictions; and, in fact, the contrast to those maidens in my work, whom I have, during half my lifetime,
seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. And though I will not presume to estimate them as superior to
“My only object has been that men may, after a drinking bout, or after they wake from sleep or when in need of relaxation
from the pressure of business, take up this light literature, and not only expunge the traces of antiquated books, and obtain
a new kind of distraction, but that they may also lay by a long life as well as energy and strength; for it bears no point of
similarity to those works, whose designs are false,
whose course is immoral. Now, Sir Priest, what are your views on the subject?”
K’ung K’ung having pondered for a while over the words, to which he had listened intently, re-perused, throughout, this record of
the stone; and finding that the general purport consisted of nought else than a treatise on love, and likewise of an accurate
transcription of facts, without the
This Lin Ju-hai’s family name was Lin, his name Hai and his style Ju-hai. He had obtained the third place in the previous triennial examination, and had, by this time, already risen to the rank of Director of the Court of Censors.
He was a native of Kú Su. He had been recently named by Imperial appointment a Censor attached to the Salt Inspectorate, and had arrived at his post only a short while back.
The only misfortune had been that the several branches of the Lin family had not been prolific, so that the numbers of its members continued limited;
and though there existed several households, they were all however to Ju-hai no closer relatives than first cousins.
Neither were there any connections of the same lineage, or of the same parentage.
Ju-hai was at this date past forty; and had only had a son,
“Brother stone,” he forthwith said, addressing the stone, “the concerns of past days recorded on you possess, according to your own account, a considerable amount of interest, and have been for this
reason inscribed, with the intent of soliciting generations to hand them down as remarkable occurrences. But in my own opinion, they lack, in the first place, any data by means of which to establish the name
of the Emperor and the year of his reign; and, in the second place, these constitute no record of any excellent policy, adopted by any high worthies or high loyal statesmen, in the government of the state,
or in the rule of public morals. The contents simply treat of a certain number of maidens, of exceptional character; either of their
love affairs or infatuations, or of their small deserts or insignificant talents; and were I to transcribe the whole collection of them,
they would, nevertheless, not be estimated as a book of any exceptional worth.”
“Sir Priest,” the stone replied with assurance, “why are you so excessively dull? The dynasties recorded in the rustic histories, which have been written from age to age, have, I am fain to think, invariably
are but a counterpart of each other. What is more, these works, throughout all their pages, cannot help bordering on extreme licence. The authors, however, had no other object in view
than to give utterance to a few sentimental odes and elegant ballads of their own, and for this reason they have fictitiously
of your society.” “My dear Sir,” answered Yü-ts’un, as he got up, also in a conceding way, “suit your own convenience. I’ve often had the honour of being
your guest, and what will it matter if I wait a little?” While these apologies were yet being spoken, Shih-yin had already walked out into the front parlour. During his
absence, Yü-ts’un occupied himself in turning over the pages of some poetical work to dispel ennui, when suddenly he heard, outside the window, a woman’s
cough. Yü-ts’un hurriedly got up and looked out. He saw at a glance that it was a servant girl engaged in picking flowers. Her deportment was out of the common;
her eyes so bright, her eyebrows so well defined. Though not a perfect beauty, she possessed nevertheless charms sufficient to arouse the feelings. Yü-ts’un
unwittingly gazed at her with fixed eye. This waiting-maid, belonging to the Chen family, had done picking flowers, and was on the point of going in, when she of a sudden raised her eyes and became aware of the presence of some person
inside the window, whose head-gear consisted of a turban in tatters, while his clothes were the worse for wear. But in spite of his poverty, he was naturally
As she indulged in this train of thought, she could not restrain herself from turning her head round once or twice.
When Yü-ts’un perceived that she had looked back, he readily interpreted it as a sign that in her heart her thoughts had been of him, and he was frantic with irrepressible joy.
“This girl,” he mused, “is, no doubt, keen-eyed and eminently shrewd, and one in this world who has seen through me.”
The servant youth, after a short time, came into the room; and when Yü-ts’un made inquiries and found