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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Feng Menglong and Hou Huiqing : records of anguish in fiction and song Loo, Courtney Erin 2006

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F E N G M E N G L O N G A N D H O U H U I Q I N G : R E C O R D S O F A N G U I S H I N F I C T I O N A N D S O N G b y C o u r t n e y E r i n L o o B . A . , T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 2 0 0 3 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S i n T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S ( A s i a n S t u d i e s ) T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A O c t o b e r 2 0 0 6 © C o u r t n e y E r i n L o o , 2 0 0 6 Abstract This thesis seeks to examine Feng Menglong's M^uI (1574-1646) relationship with the courtesan, Hou Huiqing, in light of the ideological and social tensions of late Ming culture. Though romances between scholars and courtesans is not a new topic in the study of Chinese literature, I seek to explore a more personal side of Feng by analyzing his lesser-known collections of song poetry, specifically narrative sanqu in Taixia xinzou (Celestial Airs Played Anew, 1627). The study of these poems is important because they represent the only surviving song suites of Feng's - a total of sixteen sets. I am centrally concerned with the representation of failed love affairs in song poetry, as seen through Feng's personal experiences and the experiences of his close literati friends. In analyzing his collections of fiction and song, I seek to establish a relationship between Feng's writings on scholar-courtesan romance and his valorization of zhenqing or "genuine sentiment". Though romantic love and genuine emotion are central preoccupations of Feng writings, they do not retain the same degree of importance throughout the different genres of his works. I argue that there is a great divide between the public themes of Feng's fiction and the private sentiment of his songs. Feng's songs are not only "private and particular," but they are remarkable for their intensely emotional tone, articulated from a male perspective rather than being projected onto the figure of the woman who is jilted by her male lover. In fiction however, Feng's depiction of scholars and courtesans reverts to a more conventional morality. In stories published after his separation from Hou, Feng sought to put traditional hierarchies in critical perspective but did not advocate a complete break from the traditional social order. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Acknowledgements iv Introduction 1 Chapter One Seeking "the Genuine" in Popular Song: Hou Huiqing in Annotation 9 Chapter Two Resenting the Fickle Lover: Hou Huiqing in Art Songs 16 i . Dating Feng's Collections and the Question of Yuan Zhongdao 32 Chapter Three Tales from the Pleasure Quarters: Narrative Sanqu in Taixia Xinzou 37 Chapter Four Rewriting Romance: Scholars and Courtesans in Popular Fiction 61 Conclusion 74 Appendix of Translations 77 Bibliography 98 iii A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s F i r s t a n d f o r e m o s t , I w o u l d l i k e to t h a n k m y a d v i s o r a n d m e n t o r , D r . C a t h e r i n e S w a t e k , f o r h e r u n t i r i n g s u p p o r t of m e as b o t h a n u n d e r g r a d u a t e a n d g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t . T h i s thes is h a s b e n e f i t e d n o t o n l y f r o m h e r c a r e f u l r e a d i n g a n d c r i t i c i s m , b u t e s p e c i a l l y f r o m the m a n y h o u r s w e s p e n t t oge the r t r a n s l a t i n g the d i f f i c u l t l a n g u a g e o f F e n g M e n g l o n g ' s s o n g s . S h e h a s f o r e v e r c h a n g e d m y o u t l o o k o n the i m p o r t a n c e of u s i n g d i c t i o n a r i e s . I a m a l s o t h a n k f u l f o r the g e n e r o u s s u p p o r t a n d m e n t o r s h i p o f D r . A l i s o n B a i l e y , w h o h a s n e v e r f a i l e d to l e n d m e h e r t i m e a n d e n c o u r a g e m e n t w h e n I n e e d e d i t m o s t . O v e r m y m a n y y e a r s at U B C , she h a s r e a d c o u n t l e s s d ra f t s o f p a p e r s , p r o p o s a l s , a n d p r e s e n t a t i o n s a n d o f f e r e d v a l u a b l e f e e d b a c k e a c h t ime . I a m a l so g r a t e f u l f o r the f e e d b a c k I r e c e i v e d f r o m D r . S c h m i d t w h o w a s k i n d e n o u g h to s e r v e o n m y c o m m i t t e e a n d p r o v i d e s u g g e s t i o n s to m y t r a n s l a t i o n s . T h i s thes is g r e w o u t o f a s h o r t e r p a p e r I w r o t e fo r h i m i n h i s s e m i n a r o n p r e - m o d e r n C h i n e s e p o e t r y . M a n y t h a n k s g o to m y f r i e n d s a n d f a m i l y i n V a n c o u v e r fo r t he i r s u p p o r t a n d p a t i e n c e i n the c o m p l e t i o n o f th i s pro jec t . I a m e s p e c i a l l y g r a t e f u l f o r t he f r i e n d s h i p o f Z h a o L i n g y u n , w i t h o u t w h o s e t i m e a n d s u p p o r t the w r i t i n g o f m y thes is w o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n p o s s i b l e . R e s e a r c h f o r t h i s thes is h a s b e e n g e n e r o u s l y f u n d e d b y the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a (2003), the S o c i a l Sc i ences a n d H u m a n i t i e s R e s e a r c h C o u n c i l o f C a n a d a (2004-2005), a n d the F u k i e n C h i n e s e A s s o c i a t i o n (2005). Introduction In the late Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Feng Menglong MWul (1574-1646) wrote and collected many stories, songs, and poems about the love affairs between scholars and courtesans. This was also a case of art mimicking life experience as Feng was a frequent patron of the Jiangnan pleasure quarters, where, in the seventeenth century, the social and literary visibility of courtesan culture reached its zenith in the region south of the Yangzi river. As a native of Suzhou, Feng was at the centre of an intellectual culture where disenfranchised literati romanticized their relationships with courtesans as ones of compassion, temperament, and intellectual compatibility. These women were especially praised in literature for their abilities to recognize talent (cai zt) and sentiment (qing tit) in previously unrecognized men. As Timothy Brook has written, the last century of the Ming dynasty was "a time of cultural brilliance, innovative ideas, and endless pleasure, [but it was] also a time of confusion and anxiety."1 In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, the monetization of silver and its flow into China from Japan and Spanish-America helped to stimulate commercial prosperity in the fertile region south of the Yangzi river. This prosperity accelerated cultural development and created an environment in which the arts and humanities flourished. Though this economic boom popularized education and spread literacy, it also had the negative effect of increasing the number of examination candidates competing for degrees.2 From the late fourteenth century to the year 1600, the number of its 1 Timothy Brook, The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China (Berkeley: University Of California Press, 1998), 154. 2 Shuhui Yang and Yunqin Yang, trans, Stories Old and New: A Ming Dynasty Collection, comp., Feng Menglong (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000), xix. 1 candidates taking the civil service examination grew exponentially, yet the bureaucracy that supplied official appointments for successful candidates did not grow accordingly.3 A n unfair selection process that was designed more to eliminate candidates than select the best scholars disillusioned generations of men who had spent their entire lives preparing to sit the exams. Many scholars of the late Ming who had fared poorly in their examinations, Feng Menglong included, came to live as city hermits (shiyin rfj|ft) in the metropolises of the Yangzi River Delta, particularly Suzhou, Hangzhou, and the former capital Nanjing, where economic and cultural capital was concentrated. Though these frustrated scholars dwelt in the urban centres, they valued eremitism and eccentricity as markers of their autonomy from a corrupt bureaucracy. Some men like Feng redirected their talents to professional writing in order to sustain a livelihood. Lamenting their lack of recognition, these disaffected scholars actively sought comfort in the "flower lanes" and pleasure quarters where they hoped to play out the male fantasy that a man's failed career would somehow be compensated for by the love of a talented and charming woman.4 Courtesans were seen as the ideal companions for frustrated scholars because of their ambiguous position in late Ming culture. In one sense, as Paul S. Ropp suggests, courtesans were honorary literati, who "occupied the only place in society where women 3 M e n w h o rece ived the lowest d e g r e e of shengyuan (L icent ia te) i nc reased by twen ty fo ld a n d a t the prov inc ia l level (Juren I P A ) , on ly o n e ou t of eve ry o n e hund red cand ida tes cou ld success fu l l y p a s s . S e e B e n j a m i n A . E l m a n , " C h a n g e s in C o n f u c i a n Civ i l S e r v i c e E x a m i n a t i o n s f r om the Ming to the Q i n g D y n a s t i e s , " in B e n j a m i n A . E l m a n and A l e x a n d e r W o o d s i d e , e d s . . Education and Society in Late Imperial China, 1600-1900 ( B e r k e l e y : Un ive rs i t y of Ca l i fo rn ia P ress , 1 9 9 4 ) , 1 1 1 - 4 9 . 4 Hsu P i - c h i n g , " C o u r t e s a n s and S c h o l a r s in the Wr i t i ngs of Feng M e n g l o n g : T r a n s c e n d i n g S t a t u s a n d G e n d e r , " Nan Nu: Men, Women, and Gender in early and Imperial China 2.1 ( 2 0 0 0 ) : 4 5 . 2 c o u l d o p e n l y s o c i a l i z e w i t h m e n w h o w e r e no t the i r h u s b a n d s . " 5 T h e la te M i n g c o u r t e s a n w h o w a s ce leb ra ted i n p o e t r y a n d p r o s e w a s no t a n o r d i n a r y p ros t i t u te , b u t a h i g h l y c u l t u r e d en te r ta ine r s k i l l e d i n the arts, m u s i c , a n d l i te ra tu re . 6 C o u r t e s a n c u l t u r e f l o u r i s h e d in the J i a n g n a n r e g i o n , i n par t , as a r e s p o n s e to the n e e d s of l i te ra t i . T h o u g h a c o u r t e s a n o f ten e q u a l e d o r e v e n s u r p a s s e d h e r s c h o l a r l o v e r i n ta lent , i t w a s h e r u n w a v e r i n g d e v o t i o n to h i m tha t w o n h i g h p ra i se . I n a d d i t i o n to her fa i t h fu lness , she w a s ab le to a p p r e c i a t e he r l o v e r ' s ta len t (cai zf) a n d g e n u i n e s e n t i m e n t (zhenqing Jtfff), w h i c h h a d p r e v i o u s l y g o n e u n r e c o g n i z e d b y the s c h o l a r ' s p o l i t i c a l l y a m b i t i o u s pee rs a n d e x a m i n e r s . A t the u p p e r l eve l s of the p r o f e s s i o n , the m o s t f a m o u s c o u r t e s a n s i n C h i n a w e r e ab le to t r a n s c e n d the soc ia l l i m i t a t i o n s i m p o s e d u p o n the i r g e n d e r a n d en joy a r e n o w n u n a t t a i n a b l e b y o the r w o m a n . 7 Y e t d e s p i t e these p r i v i l e g e s e n j o y e d b y the e l i te , a c o u r t e s a n w a s s t i l l a w o m a n w h o d i d no t f i t a n y w h e r e i n the C o n f u c i a n k i n s h i p s y s t e m a n d i t w a s p r e c i s e l y th i s is w h y d isa f fec ted s c h o l a r s i d e n t i f i e d so s t r o n g l y w i t h her . If a f rus t ra ted s c h o l a r w a s a m a n w i t h o u t a l o r d , a c o u r t e s a n w a s a w o m a n w i t h o u t a f a m i l y , p r o b a b l y s o l d i n t o s e r v i t u d e b y h e r i m p o v e r i s h e d pa ren ts . T h e r e f o r e , e v e n the m o s t f a m o u s c o u r t e s a n d e s i r e d the r e d e m p t i o n a n d respec tab i l i t y of m a r r i a g e , h o p e f u l l y to one of h e r w e a l t h y , t a l e n t e d , a n d sens i t i ve l ove r - c l i en t s . In b e c o m i n g th is m a n ' s l ega l c o n c u b i n e , she c o u l d escape he r n o t o r i e t y a n d l i v e a l i fe of w i f e l y v i r t u e . 5 Paul S. Ropp, "Ambiguous Images of Courtesan Culture in Late Imperial China," in Writing Women In Late Imperial China, eds. Ellen Widmer and Kang-I Sun Chang, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), 18. 6 For more detailed studies on the talented and tragic Late Ming courtesan see, Dorothy Ko, Teachers of the Inner Chamber: Women and Culture in Seventeenth Century China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994); "The Written Word and the Bound Foot: A History of the Courtesan's Aura," in Ellen Widmer and Kang-I Sun Chang, eds., Writing and Women in Late Imperial China, 74-100 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997); and Wai-Yee Li, "The Late Ming Courtesan: Invention of a Cultural Ideal," in ibid, 18-73. 7 Ropp, 18. 3 It w a s d u r i n g th is p e r i o d w h e n s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , a n d i n d i v i d u a l v a l u e s w e r e i n f l ux , tha t a c c o u n t s of r o m a n c e s b e t w e e n ta len ted s c h o l a r s a n d cou r tesans b e c a m e p o p u l a r w i t h the r e a d i n g p u b l i c . M a n y f i c t i ona l r o m a n c e s w e r e i n s p i r e d b y rea l - l i fe l o v e s to r ies , s u c h as tha t i n v o l v i n g the late M i n g poe t C h e n Z i l o n g l ^ - f i l (1608-1647) a n d the c o u r t e s a n L i u R u s h i $|I#H;I| (1618-1664). 8 A s a m a r g i n a l m e m b e r of the i n te l l ec tua l e l i te a n d a f r e q u e n t p a t r o n of the e n t e r t a i n m e n t quar te rs , F e n g M e n g l o n g ' s o w n w r i t i n g s a b o u t s c h o l a r -c o u r t e s a n r o m a n c e s w e r e i n f u s e d w i t h b o t h a s t r o n g sense of l i te ra t i f r u s t r a t i o n a n d a d e e p s y m p a t h y fo r the w o m e n w h o o c c u p i e d so m u c h of h i s t ime . T h o u g h cou r t esans w e r e at the b o t t o m of the g e n d e r a n d s o c i a l h i e r a r c h i e s , he s a w in t h e m the capac i t y fo r t r ue f e e l i n g a n d m a g n a n i m o u s sp i r i t . I n l i fe a n d i n l i t e ra tu re , c o u r t e s a n l o v e r s b e c a m e fo r s c h o l a r s the u l t i m a t e zhiyin ^Def o r " o n e w h o u n d e r s t a n d s the t u n e " . T h o u g h F e n g w a s a se l f - p ro fessed ' l a d y - k i l l e r a m o n g c o u r t e s a n s ' , 9 h i s m o s t a r d e n t l o v e w a s fo r the f a m o u s S u z h o u c o u r t e s a n , H o u H u i q i n g f ^ S U P (dates u n k n o w n ) , a w o m a n w h o w o u l d l e a v e a l a s t i n g i m p r e s s i o n o n F e n g ' s co l l ec t i ons of p o p u l a r l i t e ra tu re , b o t h f i c t i on a n d s o n g . L i k e m o s t r e l a t i o n s h i p s of the hear t , the de ta i l s of the i r a f fa i r are s p e c u l a t i v e , b u t w e d o k n o w fo r ce r ta in that H o u a b a n d o n e d F e n g to m a r r y a n o t h e r m a n a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y , he p o u r e d o u t h i s fee l i ngs for h e r b y c o m p o s i n g th i r t y p o e m s u n d e r the t i t le, " Y u a n l i s h i " MMM ( P o e t r y o n S o r r o w o v e r S e p a r a t i o n ) . 1 0 In k e e p i n g w i t h l i t e ra ry f a s h i o n , m e m b e r s o f h i s s o c i a l c i r c l e r e s p o n d e d to F e n g ' s l oss w i t h the i r o w n c o m p o s i t i o n s a n d toge the r these 8 This love affair has been extensively studied by Kang-I Sun Chang. See her book, The Late-Ming Poet Ch'en Tzu-lung: Crisis of Love and Loyalism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991). 9 Feng Menglong W&inl, GuazhierW&5l (Hanging Branches), modern facsimile of Ming woodblock edition (ca. 1608-1617), in Feng Menglong quanji 'MW-WL^kM (The Collected Works of Feng Menglong) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1993), 5.20a. 1 0 See Dong Sizhang's MftffiS (1586-1628) statement in Taixia xinzou ±M§x^ (Celestial Airs Played Anew, 1627) in Feng Menglong quanji, 7.13b. Dong was Feng's close friend and confidante. He wrote the preface to Feng's collection of sanqu, Wanzhuan ge fB$faK (Songs of Charm and Harmony). 4 p o e m s w e r e c o l l e c t i v e l y p r i n t e d i n Yutao ji fHP§||jj| ( R e c o r d s of A n g u i s h ) , a w o r k tha t is n o l o n g e r ex tan t . F o r t u n a t e l y , there are o ther sou rces a v a i l a b l e to us that r evea l a b r o a d e r r a n g e o f e m o t i o n s tha t F e n g fel t fo r H o u be fo re a n d af ter t he i r e v e n t u a l s e p a r a t i o n . T h e s e s o u r c e s i n c l u d e h i s a n t h o l o g i e s of p o p u l a r s o n g (shidiao xiaoqu B#!H/J |^fll), F e n g ' s o w n ar t s o n g s (sanqu i&ES), a r * d se lec ted s to r ies f r o m h i s f a m o u s Sanyan ELm (Three W o r d s , ca.1620-1627) c o l l e c t i o n . T h i s thes is seeks to e x a m i n e F e n g ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h H o u H u i q i n g b y a n a l y z i n g h i s c o l l e c t i o n s of f i c t i on a n d s o n g t h r o u g h the s p e c t r u m of p e r s o n a l n o s t a l g i a a n d c u l t u r a l a t t i t udes i n f l ux . T h o u g h s c h o l a r - c o u r t e s a n r o m a n c e w a s a f a v o u r i t e t o p i c o f F e n g ' s w r i t i n g s , I a m c e n t r a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f f a i l ed l o v e a f fa i rs i n s o n g p o e t r y , p a r t i c u l a r F e n g ' s p e r s o n a l expe r i ences a n d the e x p e r i e n c e s of h i s c lose l i te ra t i f r i ends . W h a t w e r e h i s e th i cs o n l o y a l t y a n d l o v e a n d h o w d i d the v i o l a t i o n of s u c h n o r m s v a r y b e t w e e n g e n r e s ? It w a s i n the l i t e ra tu re of the la te M i n g that the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n s c h o l a r s a n d c o u r t e s a n s r e a c h e d i ts h i ghes t l e v e l of c rea t i ve e x p r e s s i o n , b u t to w h a t ex ten t w a s F e n g ' s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f th is b o n d a n i d e a l i z e d p r o j e c t i o n o f r o m a n t i c l o v e , o r the " s a l t y c y n i c i s m " 1 1 of a j i l t ed l o v e r ? F e n g ' s e th ics o n l o y a l t y a n d l o v e r e s o n a t e d w i t h the hear tbea t of h i s t ime . H e w a s d e e p l y i n f l u e n c e d b y the late M i n g p h i l o s o p h e r s , W a n g Y a n g m i n g Tr.P^Ofl (1472-1529 a n d L i Z h i (1527-1602), w h o s e r a d i c a l i d e a s o n i n d i v i d u a l i s m a n d s p o n t a n e i t y w e r e re f l ec ted i n the w r i t i n g s o f m a n y i dea l i s t i c s cho la r s , F e n g M e n g l o n g i n c l u d e d . W a n g ' s n o t i o n o f " " i n n a t e k n o w l e d g e " (liangzhi S.^11) s t ressed tha t e v e r y p e r s o n k n o w s f r o m b i r t h the d i f f e rence b e t w e e n g o o d a n d e v i l . S u c h k n o w l e d g e is i n t u i t i v e a n d d o e s no t r e q u i r e soc i a l 1 1 Hsu Pi-ching, "Courtesans and Scholars in the Writings of Feng Menglong," 43. 5 r u l e s a n d i ns t i t u t i ons i n o r d e r to be c u l t i v a t e d . 1 2 F e n g a lso f o l l o w e d the t each ings o f L i Z h i , w h o s e theo r i es e l e v a t e d the h u s b a n d - w i f e r e l a t i o n s h i p to the h e a d o f a l l h u m a n re l a t i ons , p l a c i n g it a b o v e the sub jec t - l o rd a n d p a r e n t - c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p s . L i b e l i e v e d l o v e b e t w e e n a m a n a n d w o m a n to be the m o s t s p o n t a n e o u s a n d thus m o s t s incere o f a l l h u m a n e m o t i o n s b e c a u s e i t d i d n o t d e r i v e f r o m a n y sense of o b l i g a t i o n . 1 3 It w a s W a n g ' s n o t i o n of " i n n a t e k n o w l e d g e " a n d L i ' s e m p h a s i s o n the h u s b a n d - w i f e r e l a t i o n s h i p that h e l p e d to p r o m o t e r o m a n t i c l o v e b e t w e e n the t w o sexes as the m o s t p o w e r f u l of h u m a n e m o t i o n s . T h i s s p o n t a n e o u s a n d g e n u i n e e m o t i o n (zhenqing I t f f f ) s t o o d i n d i rec t o p p o s i t i o n to the fa l seness a n d c o r r u p t i o n of the late M i n g e x a m i n a t i o n c u l t u r e a n d a l l o w e d the d e v o t e d c o u r t e s a n a n d ta l en ted s c h o l a r to u n i t e i n a c o m p a n i o n a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p . T h o u g h r o m a n t i c l o v e a n d g e n u i n e e m o t i o n are cen t ra l p r e o c c u p a t i o n s of F e n g ' s w r i t i n g s , t h e y d o n o t re ta in the s a m e d e g r e e of i m p o r t a n c e t h r o u g h o u t the d i f f e ren t gen res o f h i s w o r k s . I n e x a m i n i n g h i s co l l ec t i ons , w e f i n d a grea t d i v i d e b e t w e e n the p u b l i c t h e m e s o f F e n g ' s f i c t i on a n d the p r i v a t e s e n t i m e n t o f h i s s o n g s . A s P a t r i c k H a n a n sugges ts , F e n g ' s s o n g s a re n o t o n l y " p r i v a t e a n d p a r t i c u l a r , " b u t the i r p r i m a r y subject a n d v a l u e is l o v e - as d e p i c t e d i n the a f fa i rs of F e n g a n d h i s f r i e n d s w i t h cou r tesans . 1 4 T h e s e p o e m s are r e m a r k a b l e n o t jus t b e c a u s e they are the o n l y s u r v i v i n g s o n g su i tes b y F e n g , b u t b e c a u s e they p r o v i d e r e a d e r s w i t h a rare g l i m p s e i n to h i s e m o t i o n a l l i fe . F e n g ' s s o n g su i tes a b o u t H o u H u i q i n g e x h i b i t a p a r t i c u l a r v u l n e r a b i l i t y a n d " e x t r e m e hea r tb reak i n re j ec t i on . " 1 5 1 2 See, William Theodore DeBary et al., ed., Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol.1 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 842-57. 1 3 Ibid, 865-71. 1 4 Patrick Hanan, The Chinese Vernacular Story (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981), 95. 1 5 Ibid., 95. 6 T h e r e is n o a t t emp t to d i s g u i s e F e n g ' s a n g u i s h o v e r the loss of h i s zhiyin ^ P i l r , the o n e w h o u n d e r s t a n d s h i m . F e n g p resen ts the c o m p l i c a t i o n s of f a i l e d af fa i rs i n a n u a n c e d l i g h t w h e r e f i c k l e l o v e r s a re b o t h c o n d e m n e d fo r the i r b r e a c h of p r o m i s e a n d so re l y m i s s e d fo r t he i r f a i l u r e to r e t u r n . F e e l i n g s are p r a i s e d for the s i nce r i t y w i t h w h i c h t hey are e x p r e s s e d , a n d are n o t j u d g e d b y a n y m e a s u r e o f r a t i ona l i t y . I n f i c t i o n h o w e v e r , F e n g ' s d e p i c t i o n of s cho la r s a n d cou r t esans rever ts to a m o r e c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y . In s to r ies p u b l i s h e d after h i s s e p a r a t i o n f r o m H o u , F e n g s o u g h t to p u t t r a d i t i o n a l h i e r a r c h i e s i n c r i t i ca l p e r s p e c t i v e b u t d i d no t a d v o c a t e a c o m p l e t e b r e a k f r o m the t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l o r d e r . 1 6 T h o u g h h i s f a i l e d a f fa i r w i t h H o u lef t h i m d e v a s t a t e d a n d b i t ter , th is d i d n o t p r e v e n t h i m f r o m w r i t i n g c o m p a s s i o n a t e l y a b o u t the l i v e s o f o t h e r s i n g i n g g i r l s . I n h i s f i c t i on , cou r t esans h a v e the ab i l i t y to t r a n s c e n d the i r g e n d e r a n d s o c i a l r o les , b u t are a l w a y s r e i n e d i n at the e n d of the s to ry b y F e n g ' s m o r a l m e s s a g e tha t f i de l i t y in l o v e , no t b e a u t y a n d ta lent , is the sures t w a y to a s c h o l a r ' s hear t . F e n g ' s c o n c e p t of i d e a l l o v e i n v o l v e d b o t h s i nce r i t y of e m o t i o n a n d pe rs i s tence i n d e v o t i o n . A n y v i o l a t i o n of th is e th i c w a s g r o u n d s fo r p u n i s h m e n t - be i t i l l ness , d e a t h , o r p u b l i c h u m i l i a t i o n , a f i ck le l o v e r d i d n o t h a v e a h a p p y e n d i n g i n F e n g ' s v e r n a c u l a r f i c t i on . It is n o t the i n t en t i on of th is thes is to e m p h a s i z e the p r i m a c y of H o u H u i q i n g ' s ro le i n F e n g ' s w r i t i n g s , n o r is it sens ib le to a t t emp t a r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of t he i r r o m a n t i c n a r r a t i v e . T h e l i t e r a r y r e m n a n t s of the i r a f fa i r are no t o n l y i n c o m p l e t e , b u t a lso v e r y o n e - s i d e d . H o u ex is ts o n l y t h r o u g h the m e m o r i e s of he r f o r m e r p a t r o n a n d there is n o r e c o r d a v a i l a b l e of h e r o w n w r i t i n g s to o r a b o u t F e n g . T h u s , she is , l i k e m o s t cou r tesans of th is p e r i o d , a n object of the m a l e l i te ra t i g a z e . W e c a n l ea rn a b o u t he r l i fe a n d cha rac te r o n l y t h r o u g h h e r i n f l u e n c e 1 6 Hsu, 45. 7 o n F e n g ' s l i fe a n d w o r k s . T h e e x a m i n a t i o n of h i s f i c t i on a n d s o n g d o e s n o t r e v e a l a n y s i n g u l a r p o r t r a y a l of scho la r s a n d cou r tesans , b u t a s p e c t r u m of e m o t i o n s tha t are b o u n d o n l y b y the l i m i t s of F e n g ' s i m a g i n a t i o n . E t h i c s o n l o y a l t y a n d l o v e , h o w e v e r , a re b o u n d b y the c o n v e n t i o n s of gen re . B e it p r i v a t e a n g u i s h i n s o n g o r p u b l i c a d o r a t i o n i n f i c t i on , the p a r t i c u l a r s of s c h o l a r a n d c o u r t e s a n r o m a n c e s w e r e a sub ject ma t te r c lose to F e n g ' s hear t . T h e g o a l o f th i s essay there fo re , is to e x a m i n e the i n f l u e n c e of p e r s o n a l l o v e a n d loss o n a m a n w h o ce leb ra ted a b o v e a l l e lse , the c a p a c i t y f o r g e n u i n e s e n t i m e n t (zhenqing 8 C h a p t e r O n e S e e k i n g " t h e G e n u i n e " i n P o p u l a r S o n g : H o u H u i q i n g i n A n n o t a t i o n T h e ear l i es t m e n t i o n of H o u H u i q i n g is i n F e n g ' s a n t h o l o g y o f S u z h o u f o l k s o n g s , Shange |±|ljft ( M o u n t a i n Songs ) , a ten juan c o l l e c t i o n o f ve r ses r e c o r d e d i n l o c a l W u d ia lec t . A c c o r d i n g to O k i Y a s u s h i , Shange da tes b e t w e e n 1611 a n d 1616 a n d m e r i t s a t t en t i on for b o t h i ts sub jec t m a t t e r a n d l i n g u i s t i c s t y le . 1 7 O k i a r g u e s that F e n g , b y u s i n g l o c a l d ia lec t , is ab le to e x p r e s s an au then t i c i t y i n l o v e far r e m o v e d f r o m the f o r m a l cons t ra in t s of l i t e r a r y C h i n e s e , a lbe i t o n e tha t m a n y readers c o n s i d e r e d v u l g a r (li {M). P a t r i c k H a n a n f u r t he r o b s e r v e s that " i n t he i r l u s t y ce leb ra t i on of sex, the [ m o u n t a i n ] s o n g s are u n h a m p e r e d b y C o n f u c i a n m o r a l i t y . " 1 8 O f p a r t i c u l a r in teres t to th is p a p e r is the f i rs t f o u r juan o f th is a n t h o l o g y w h i c h are d e v o t e d to q u a t r a i n s a b o u t secret l o v e a n d i n t i m a t e fee l i ngs . T h e w o m e n w h o a p p e a r i n these f o u r - l i n e s o n g s are r e m a r k a b l y b o l d a n d ac t i ve , b o t h i n the i r e x p r e s s i o n of d e s i r e a n d p u r s u i t o f l o v e . M a n y songs i n Shange w e r e p e r f o r m e d i n a n d i n s p i r e d b y b r o t h e l s a n d tea h o u s e s w h e r e l i te ra t i l i ke F e n g w o u l d take the o p p o r t u n i t y to r e c o r d t h e m i n w r i t i n g . T h u s i t is n o s u r p r i s e that cou r t esans or , " s i n g i n g g i r l s " (jinii ffiic), fea tu re p r o m i n e n t l y t h r o u g h o u t th is a n t h o l o g y a n d it is i n a c o m m e n t a p p e n d e d to one o f these s o n g s that F e n g f i rs t m e n t i o n s h i s b e l o v e d H o u H u i q i n g . I n a n i n t e res t i ng m o m e n t o f p e r s o n a l r e f l ec t i on F e n g takes i s s u e w i t h the ra t i ona le that g o v e r n s the e m o t i o n a l b e h a v i o u r of c o u r t e s a n s b y c o m m e n t i n g o n the las t l i ne of the f o l l o w i n g s o n g , " M a n y " (Duo I n H e a v e n , w h e n the s tars a re m a n y , the m o o n does n o t sh i ne . I n a p o o l , w h e n f i sh are p l e n t i f u l , the w a t e r is no t c lear . 1 7 Oki Yasushi AfclM, "Women in Feng Menglong's Mountain Songs," in Writing Women In Late Imperial China, ed. Ellen Widmer and Kang-I Sun Chang, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), 131. 1 8 Oki, 131; Hanan, 89. 9 In cou r t , too m a n y o f f i c ia ls d i s r u p t the l a w . If s is ter takes too m a n y l o v e r s , i t d i s t u r b s he r hear t . 1 9 In F e n g ' s a n n o t a t i o n to th is s o n g , he once reca l l s a s k i n g a c o u r t e s a n , H o u H u i q i n g , that as a w o m a n i n her p r o f e s s i o n , " y o u h a v e k n o w n m a n y m e n , is y o u r hear t n o t c o n f u s e d ? " (MV-5SA#^ ' y5TJi#^SL5P)- In r e s p o n s e to h i s q u e r y , H o u e x p l a i n s tha t f a m o u s c o u r t e s a n s , s u c h as herse l f , m u s t k e e p the i r w i t s a b o u t t h e m m u c h l i k e the s h r e w d e x a m i n e r w h o r a n k s c a n d i d a t e s i n a l o g i c a l sequence of me r i t : W e c o u r t e s a n s a l w a y s h a v e o u r o w n ros te r of n a m e s . T h o s e w h o g i v e m e e x t r a s u m s of m o n e y are no t h e l d u p to th i s s t a n d a r d - b u t so f e w are t hey tha t I c a n c o u n t t h e m o n m y f i nge rs : f i rst , s e c o n d , u p to ten . T h e s e q u e n c e w i l l be v e r y c lear . A t t imes , a m a n ' s a f fec t ion fo r m e m a y g r o w o r d i m i n i s h [as is e x p r e s s e d in g i f ts that i nc rease o r d i m i n i s h i n v a l u e ] , a n d h i s s t a n d i n g w i l l r i se o r fa l l a c c o r d i n g l y . If I h a p p e n to get a [man] of e x t r a o r d i n a r y stuff , the re is n o h a r m i n d e m o t i n g s o m e o n e e lse to p r o m o t e h i m . T h i s is the o u t c o m e o f m y l i fe . I l o o k to th i s as m y g u i d e . I c a n n o t e x c e e d [ this m e a s u r e ] , a n d to t u r n m y t h o u g h t s t o w a r d s a d i f fe ren t a v e n u e w o u l d no t b e as sa t i s fac to ry . H o w c o u l d I b e c o n f u s e d ? s, U p o n h e a r i n g these w o r d s , F e n g s i g h e d i n a d m i r a t i o n , n o t jus t fo r he r f i n a n c i a l a c u m e n , as K a t h r y n L o w r y sugges ts , b u t a lso fo r he r e n l i g h t e n e d ab i l i t y to d e t a c h herse l f f r o m the 1 9 Feng Menglong M'-PM, Shange (Mountain Songs), in Feng Menglong quanji, 4 :9 . Translation of "Duo" by Kathryn Lowry,The Tapestry of Popular Song in 16th and 17th Century China: Reading, Imitation and Desire (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 320. 2 0 My translation of Feng's comment is based on Kathryn Lowry's (2005; 321) translation, but differs significantly on the translation of this phrase, "there is no harm in demoting someone else to promote h im" (bufang chuzhi ^Afr'jSlilsl.-). I believe Hou's use of this phrase is made in relation to her roster of scholar names, though Lowry translates the phrase as, "it behooves me to take a risk". 10 s e n t i m e n t s o f h e r c l ien ts , r e a r r a n g i n g the i r r e l a t i ve p o s i t i o n s as the n e e d a r i ses . 2 1 I n r e a l i z i n g the necess i t y of p a t r o n a g e to the " o u t c o m e of he r l i f e " ( l^-^ln^)/ H o u l o o k e d to the r a n k i n g of c l i en ts as he r " g u i d e " (tu H | ) b e c a u s e w i t h o u t it, he r hea r t w o u l d be t h r o w n i n t o t u r m o i l . F e n g ' s h u m o r o u s a n d a f fec t ionate tone w h e n w r i t i n g a b o u t H o u H u i q i n g sugges ts to m e tha t the c o u p l e w a s s t i l l t oge the r at the t i m e o f Shange''s p u b l i c a t i o n . H o u d i d n o t b e c o m e f a m o u s u n t i l she w a s r o m a n t i c a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h F e n g a n d after the i r e v e n t u a l b r e a k - u p , she " m a r r i e d o u t o f h e r p r o f e s s i o n " (congliang It, as O k i sugges ts , Shange w a s f i rs t p u b l i s h e d b e t w e e n 1611 a n d 1616, that w o u l d p u t F e n g i n h i s late th i r t i es o r ea r l y fo r t ies a n d w o u l d s i tua te the w r i t i n g of h i s c o m m e n t s i n the f r u s t r a t i n g yea rs he s p e n t p r e p a r i n g for the p r o v i n c i a l e x a m i n a t i o n s . In th is less t h a n f r u i t f u l p e r i o d of s t u d y , F e n g p u b l i s h e d a n d w r o t e m a n y h a n d b o o k s o n the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu h i s c h o s e n e x a m s p e c i a l t y , b u t n e v e r s u c c e e d e d i n p a s s i n g the e x a m s h i m s e l f . 2 2 A f t e r d e v o t i n g d e c a d e s to the s t u d y of o r t h o d o x C o n f u c i a n texts, F e n g ' s m o t i v a t i o n b e h i n d the c o l l e c t i o n o f these f o l k s o n g s w a s t w o f o l d : the sea rch fo r that w h i c h w a s g e n u i n e (zhen H), a n d a d e s i r e to c h a l l e n g e e n t r e n c h e d n o t i o n s of l i t e ra ry p rac t i ce , n o m a t t e r if o r h o w i t o f f e n d e d the l i kes of ' r e s p e c t a b l e ' soc ie ty . S i m i l a r to the g r a p h i c s e x u a l d e s c r i p t i o n s that r u n t h r o u g h o u t the a n t h o l o g y , a c o u r t e s a n ' s f r a n k d i s c u s s i o n of m o n e t a r y t r ansac t i ons w o u l d h a v e b e e n c o n s i d e r e d v u l g a r , e s p e c i a l l y to the f rus t ra ted scho la r s w h o p ro jec ted the i r fan tas ies o n to t hese w o m e n . J u d i t h 2 1 Lowry, The Tapestry of Popular Song, 321. 2 2 Feng published three important guidebooks for exam candidates specializing in the Chunqiu: Guide to the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu zhiyue # f M f £ | , 1620), New Light on the Central Ideas of the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu dingzhi canxin # f ^ g ? B # i f , ca.1623), and A Spring and Autumn Annals Thesaurus (Chunqiu hengku #fjJcSflS, 1625). 11 Z e i t l i n no tes that a c o u r t e s a n w a s e x p e c t e d to rece ive " g i f t s " ra ther t h a n p a y m e n t s f r o m her c l i en t s b e c a u s e " t h i s s h a d o w y a n d eas i l y m a n i p u l a t e d d i s t i n c t i o n i m p l i e s tha t she , i n t u r n , b e s t o w s h e r f a v o u r s v o l u n t a r i l y as a r e t u r n gi f t , ra ther t h a n f u l f i l l i n g a set p a y m e n t f o r [sexual ] s e r v i c e . " 2 3 In F e n g ' s eyes , H o u ' s c o n f e s s i o n o n the necess i t y of the "g i f t e c o n o m y " to a c o u r t e s a n ' s s u r v i v a l is b o l d . H e r r a t i ona le fo r l i s t i n g c l i en t s i s a n o b v i o u s r e v e r s a l o f ro les i n the " f l o w e r r e g i s t e r s " (huabang ttW) - a m a l e p rac t i ce of r a n k i n g cou r t esans a c c o r d i n g to the g r a d i n g s y s t e m fo r t o p e x a m i n a t i o n c a n d i d a t e s , a p rac t i ce i n w h i c h F e n g w a s a n ac t i ve p a r t i c i p a n t . 2 4 In H o u ' s r e m a r k s , h o w e v e r , m a l e c l i en ts b e c o m e the object of f e m a l e s c r u t i n y a n d the i r s t a n d i n g s w i l l f l uc tua te a c c o r d i n g to the i r assessed v a l u e , f i n a n c i a l o r o t h e r w i s e . T h o u g h w e m a y n e v e r k n o w the f u l l con tex t of h e r c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h F e n g , H o u ' s r e m a r k s a b o u t f i sca l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n w o u l d f o r e s h a d o w a d e v a s t a t i n g t u r n i n the i r a f fa i r . D e s p i t e r e p e a t e d a t t e m p t s at the p r o v i n c i a l e x a m i n a t i o n , F e n g n e v e r o b t a i n e d a t i t le h i g h e r t h a n L i c e n t i a t e (shengyuan), the l o w e s t p o s i t i o n of d e g r e e h o l d e r s , a n d sou rces sugges t that H o u e v e n t u a l l y lef t h i m to m a r r y a w e a l t h y m e r c h a n t . T h e ear l ies t i n d i c a t i o n o f the i r b r e a k - u p is c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n a n o t h e r of F e n g ' s s o n g a n t h o l o g i e s , Guazhi'er ^ U j r E (ca. 1608 - 1 6 1 7 ) , a c o l l e c t i o n o f f o l k s o n g s a l l s u n g to the s a m e p o p u l a r t une , " T h e H a n g i n g B r a n c h . " A l t h o u g h th is co l l ec t i on da tes be fo re the p u b l i c a t i o n 2 3 Judith Zeitlin, "Notes of the Flesh and the Courtesan's Song in Seventeenth-Century China," in The Courtesan's Arts: Cross-cultural Perspectives, eds., Bonnie Gordon and Martha Feldman (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 77. 2 4 The two most famous rankings of courtesans are the Beauties of Suzhou (Wuji baimai ^USSM, 1617) and the Beauties of Nanjing (Jinling baimei -M^WM, 1618). Both publications circulated freely among a literary public obsessed with the intrigues of courtesan romance. Feng provided commentary for the Beauties of Nanjing, an expensively illustrated publication featuring courtesans in garden settings. In her chapter, "Reproducing Wu-Dialect," Lowry (2005) points out that a deluxe edition of Shange was published close on the heels of these courtesan rankings to feed a commercial demand for "rustic" (bili W> f l ) elegance, 282. 12 of Shange, i t is i n a la ter e d i t i o n of Guazhi'er tha t w e f i n d the v e r y last of F e n g ' s " Y u a n l i " #5 Hf ( S o r r o w o v e r Sepa ra t i on ) p o e m s : T h e c raze fo r poe t r y , the o b s e s s i o n w i t h w i n e , n o m o r e ! I n m y s i c k n e s s , I o f ten s h u t m y d o o r s i n d a y t i m e . T h e u t m o s t m i s e r y i n o n e ' s en t i re l i fe Is to t r y to s u m m o n the s o u l at the yuanyang g r a v e . 2 5 S i n c e F e n g d i d no t exp ress a n y sense o f r esen tmen t i n h i s Shange c o m m e n t s o n H o u H u i q i n g , the i n c l u s i o n of the " Y u a n l i " p o e m i n Guazhi'er s e e m s v e r y o u t of p l a c e if the c o u p l e w a s s t i l l toge ther . A l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n fo r th is , as H s u P i - c h i n g sugges ts , is that the Guazhi'er ex tan t t o d a y is n o t the f i rs t e d i t i o n a n d m u s t c o n t a i n r e v i s i o n s F e n g m a d e after h i s loss o f H o u H u i q i n g . 2 6 If the " Y u a n l i " p o e m w a s the o n l y a v a i l a b l e sou rce a b o u t the e n d o f the i r a f fa i r , r e a d e r s w o u l d be l ed to a s s u m e that i n w r i t i n g these ve rses , F e n g w a s m o u r n i n g the death of h i s l o v e r , as s u g g e s t e d b y the i m a g e r y of the yuanyang g r a v e [MMM)- Yuanyang are m a n d a r i n d u c k s w h o m a t e fo r l i fe , a n d are t h u s a s y m b o l of c o n j u g a l f i de l i t y w h i l e a yuanyang g r a v e i m p l i e s that t w o l o v e r s a re b u r i e d toge ther i n d e a t h b e c a u s e u n f o r e s e e n c i r c u m s t a n c e s h a v e f o r c e d t h e m apa r t i n l i fe . I n the " Y u a n l i " p o e m , F e n g a p p e a r s to be a n g u i s h e d b y h i s fu t i l e e f for t to s u m m o n h e r s o u l b a c k . Y e t o the r sou rces i n d i c a t e that H o u d i d n o t pass a w a y , b u t a c t u a l l y lef t h i m to m a r r y ano the r . H o w then c a n w e e x p l a i n F e n g ' s u s e o f g r a v e i m a g e r y ? T h e con tex t o f the s o n g i n Guazhi'er is k e y to o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g . In " G a n ' e n " (Gra te fu l ) , the s o n g to w h i c h F e n g 2 5 Feng Menglong W&ffl,, Guazhi'er Wt&Si (Hanging Branches), modern facsimile of Ming woodblock edition (ca. 1608 -1617), in Feng Menglong quanji WiW%&Hk (The Collected Works of Feng Menglong), ed., Wei Tongxian SKsJjf (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1993), 2.2a. Translation by Hsu Pi-ching, "Courtesans and Scholars in the Writings of Feng Menglong," 57. 2 6 Ibid., 57 n50. 13 a p p e n d e d h i s p o e m , the s i n g e r exp resses a l o n g i n g des i r e to g r o w o l d toge the r w i t h h e r l o v e r : " e a t i n g a n d d r i n k i n g toge ther b y d a y , a n d s h a r i n g a b e d at n i g h t " (B K P U ^ i S , rJc'FS l"]£fcJrrj)- A n d w h e n d e a t h s h o u l d h a p p e n to m e e t t h e m , she l o o k s t o w a r d s the d a y w h e n they w i l l " b e toge ther b e l o w the e a r t h " (itk~F|rj]{i^^,). I n v o w i n g to sha re " i n l i fe one r o o m , i n d e a t h o n e t o m b " (^MUJjpjtlR]^, ^ E M ' J M I H I T ^ ) / the s i n g e r ' s s e n t i m e n t r e s o n a t e d d e e p l y w i t h F e n g b u t h i s d e c i s i o n to r e s p o n d w i t h h i s " Y u a n l i " p o e m sugges ts to m e a c r u e l t w i s t o f fate: H o u ' s a b a n d o n m e n t t u r n e d h i s b e d i n to a t o m b w h e r e he l a y a l one i n t o r m e n t . 2 7 T h u s the s o u l he is a t t e m p t i n g to s u m m o n is n o t h i s f o r m e r l o v e r ' s , b u t h i s o w n b r o k e n sp i r i t . If w e c o n s i d e r the a r r a n g e m e n t of s o n g s i n Guazhi'er, F e n g ' s c o m m e n t s to " G a n ' e n " (G ra te fu l ) are s i g n i f i c a n t i n a n o t h e r l i gh t . E a c h sec t i on (bu j§|3) o f th i s t en - chap te r a n t h o l o g y is d e s i g n a t e d a o n e - w o r d t i t le tha t re fers to " a z o n e of s e n t i m e n t o r a p o e t i c f o r m . " 2 8 " G a n ' e n " a p p e a r s i n the s e c o n d c h a p t e r of Guazhi'er u n d e r the s u b - s e c t i o n of " J o y " (Huan WO- A s the t i t le of the s o n g sugges ts , the a n o n y m o u s s i n g e r is so t h a n k f u l fo r her l o v e r tha t she feels " u n a b l e to r e p a y h e r deb t of g r a t i t u d e " (f\&$$i§-). In d e c l a r i n g the i n t e n s i t y of he r p a s s i o n for h i m , she m a k e s a s o l e m n v o w to l i v e toge ther w i t h h i m as o n e i n l i fe a n d d e a t h . F e n g ' s " Y u a n l i " p o e m is e q u a l l y i n tense i n i ts m e d i t a t i o n o n l o v e b u t e n t i r e l y o p p o s i n g i n i ts sen t imen t . W h e r e a s " G r a t e f u l " is a j o y o u s d e c l a r a t i o n o f p a s s i o n , F e n g ' s p o e m is a pass i ona te c r y of m i s e r y (qi <f|). T h e t ie that b i n d s these ve rses toge the r the re fo re , i s n o t the s e n t i m e n t o f the s p e a k e r , b u t the s h a r e d v a l u e o f the i r " g e n u i n e n e s s " (zhen JC), a q u a l i t y F e n g s o u g h t to e x p r e s s i n a l l o f h i s s o n g a n t h o l o g i e s . In r e f l e c t i ng o n h i s 2 7 Hsu, Pi-ching, "Celebrating the Emotional Self: Feng Meng-lung and Late Ming Ethics and Aesthetics," (Ph.D. diss., University of Minnesota, 1994), 43. 2 8 Lowry, 217. These loosely defined section headings in chronological order are: Love (S< %), Joy (Huan K ) , Longing (Xiang *B), Parting (B/e M), Grudges (X; lift), Resentment (Yuan S ) , Response (Gan >:§), Songs [on Objects] (Yong t&), Mocking (Nue ;£) , and Miscellaneous (Za IH) pieces that include long narrative songs. 14 p e r s o n a l l oss o f H o u H u i q i n g , F e n g d i v e r g e s f r o m the sec t i on ' s t h e m a t i c u n i t y b u t c o m p l e m e n t s the s i nge r ' s i m m e d i a c y a n d s i nce r i t y of p a s s i o n b y r e v e a l i n g the a g o n i e s ecs tas ies o f l o v e as m e r e l y t w o s i des of the s a m e c o i n . C h a p t e r T w o R e s e n t i n g the F i c k l e L o v e r : H o u H u i q i n g i n A r t S o n g s T h e fact that H o u dese r ted F e n g i n s t e a d of p a s s i n g a w a y is m a d e c lea r i n h i s a n t h o l o g y , Taixia xinzou ^ H f f i l (Ce les t i a l A i r s P l a y e d A n e w ) , a c o l l e c t i o n of sanqu fulfil (art s o n g s ) 2 9 p u b l i s h e d i n 1627.30 Taixia xinzou is s i g n i f i c a n t b e c a u s e it is the o n l y s u r v i v i n g w o r k c o n t a i n i n g F e n g ' s songs , a to ta l of s i x teen sets w i t h a l l b u t one o r t w o h a v i n g a c lea r p e r s o n a l re fe rence . 3 1 T h o u g h he w a s n o t a p r o m i n e n t o f f i c i a l , n o r w a s he r e g a r d e d as a g rea t poe t , F e n g j u d g e d h i s o w n sanqu c o m p o s i t i o n s to be, " d e v o i d of l i t e ra r y b r i l l i a n c e , b u t s u r p a s s i n g a l l o the rs i n one t h i n g , that i s , g e n u i n e n e s s " (M^&MSCt, f&^—^MA, S jtf.).32 T h i s s e n t i m e n t is e s p e c i a l l y t rue of the f i v e su i tes of s o n g s d i r e c t l y r e l a t i n g to h i s l oss o f H o u H u i q i n g : " D u a n ' e r y i b i e " t lSLl (In M e m o r y of o u r S e p a r a t i o n o n the S e c o n d d a y of the D u a n w u fes t i va l ) , " Y u a n m e n g " fS-W (Resen t f u l D r e a m ) , " Y u a n l i ci" ?&M.fM (Ci o n R e s e n t m e n t at Sepa ra t i on ) , " Y o u h u a i " ;|H ( T h o u g h t s ) , a n d " S h i J i " I f ( V o w o n C o u r t e s a n s ) . 3 3 2 9 Here sanqu is translated as "art song" to distinguish it from the more colloquial "popular song" (xiaoqu /.hffi, literally "minor qu") discussed earlier in this paper. James L. Crump translates sanqu as "free verse" (i.e. verse unattached to drama). See his Songs from Xanadu: Studies in Mongol-dynasty song poetry (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies, 1983), 2. 30 Taixia xinzou (1627) is edited by Feng who also wrote a preface that is no longer included in modern facsimiles. The preface from the Ming edition at Beijing University Library is reprinted in Lu Shulun HfSffHr, Feng Menglong yanjiu MW-nWt^t (Research on Feng Menglong) (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe, 1987) 132-3. 3 1 Hanan, 95. 3 2 This comment follows one of Feng's sanqu about Hou Huiqing, "You huai" #g» (Thoughts), Taixia xinzou 10:14. 3 3 Feng Menglong, Taixia xinzou ABff^ (Celestial Airs Played Anew), modern facsimile of Ming woodblock edition (1627), in Feng Menglong quanji MW-nii&M (The Collected Works of Feng Menglong), ed., Wei Tongxian WttsM (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1993),11:15; 7:15; 7:8; 10:14; 10:15. 1 6 F e n g ' s sanqu i n Taixia xinzou d o n o t e x p r e s s the r o m a n t i c i d e a l i s m of c o m p o s i t i o n s a u t h o r e d b y h i s f r i e n d s , 3 4 b u t ra ther the e x t r e m e h e a r t b r e a k o f f a i l e d l o v e . A s O k i Y a s u s h i s u g g e s t s , F e n g ' s s o n g sui tes are r e m a r k a b l e for t h e i r i n t e n s e l y e m o t i o n a l t o n e , a r t i c u l a t e d f r o m a m a l e p e r s p e c t i v e r a t h e r t h a n b e i n g p r o j e c t e d o n t o the f i g u r e of the w o m a n w h o is j i l t e d b y h e r m a l e l o v e r . 3 5 T h e c o m m o n t h e m e that r u n s t h r o u g h o u t h i s v e r s e s is a s e n t i m e n t e n c a p s u l a t e d b y the C h i n e s e t e r m , yuan w h i c h c o n v e y s the d u a l e m o t i o n s of s o r r o w a n d r e s e n t m e n t : s o r r o w o v e r h i s s e p a r a t i o n f r o m H o u a n d r e s e n t m e n t t o w a r d s h e r f i c k l e n e s s i n l o v e (boqing Wfm)- I n w r i t i n g h i m s e l f as the j i l t e d l o v e r , F e n g o s c i l l a t e s b e t w e e n w a l l o w i n g i n s e l f - p i t y a n d c o n d e m n i n g H o u for h e r u n f a i t h f u l n e s s . T h o u g h h i s s e n t i m e n t c o u l d b e j u d g e d as e x c e s s i v e b y s o m e , F e n g m a k e s n o a p o l o g i e s for h i s g e n u i n e o u t p o u r i n g of f e e l i n g s , a q u a l i t y he w a s q u i c k to d e f e n d o v e r the m e r i t s o f l i t e r a r y f la i r . I n h i s p r e f a c e to " D u a n ' e r y i b i e " iiffi^'IHM (In M e m o r y of o u r S e p a r a t i o n o n the S e c o n d d a y of the D u a n w u fest iva l ) , F e n g sets a n o s t a l g i c m o o d for h i s s o n g as he r e c a l l s the t i m e a n d p l a c e of h i s b r e a k - u p f r o m H o u : T h e s i x t h d a y of the f i f th m o n t h is t h e o n e y e a r a n n i v e r s a r y of m y l o s s of H o u H u i q i n g . W i t h e a c h d a y she r e c e d e s f u r t h e r i n t o the d i s t a n c e , a n d e v e n i f I w i s h e d w e c o u l d g o b a c k to the w a y t h i n g s w e r e last y e a r o n t h i s d a y t h a t w e s e p a r a t e d , i t is i m p o s s i b l e . I a m so b r o k e n - h e a r t e d ! I w a s c o m p o s i n g v e r s e s i n m y s t u d i o w h e n s u d d e n l y I f i n i s h e d [ c o m p o s i n g ] a s o n g i n t h e shangdiao [ m o d e ] . W h e r e c a n I f i n d a s i n g e r w h o s e v o i c e i s so p o w e r f u l that , i f the w i n d i s f a v o u r a b l e , t h i s s o n g w i l l r e a c h the ear of m y b e l o v e d ? A l a s ! E v e r y y e a r I h a v e th is d a y , a n d e v e r y y e a r I a m w i t h o u t H u i q i n g . W h a t n e e d is t h e r e for p e o p l e to t e l l m e h o w s a d t h i s is , for I a m a l r e a d y s a d ? 3 6 3 4 Because Taixia xinzou was edited by Feng, it contains sanqu composed by many of his close friends including Dong Sizhang MWf?l (1586-1628), Shen Boming tfc{6BJ3(1583-1665), and Feng's patron, Shen Jing cfclf (1553 - 1610) who was the founder of the Wu Jiang School of Drama (^ylM). 3 5 Oki Yasushi A~fclU, "Fu Boryu to.gijo" yfii^fiS t (Feng Menglong and Singing Girls), Hiroshima daigaku bunkgakubu kiyd ^ft^c^X^Si i f f l -S vol. 48 (1989): 71-91. 36 Taixia xinzou, 11:15; translation is mine. See the Appendix for the full translation of the song. 17 ^mtm~, mmmmm, irnxms, w-hmm^ T h e p re face b e g i n s w i t h a d e c l a r a t i o n of F e n g ' s l oss (shi ^ ) w h i c h c o u l d be i n t e r p r e t e d as H o u ' s d e a t h , b u t is la ter r e v e a l e d to be a p h y s i c a l s e p a r a t i o n f r o m he r as he exp resses a d e s i r e for h i s s o n g to " r e a c h he r e a r " . E v e n t h o u g h a y e a r has p a s s e d s ince the i r i n i t i a l b r e a k - u p , F e n g is o b v i o u s l y s t i l l d e v a s t a t e d at the e v e n t of he r l e a v i n g . H e w r i t e s i n the s e c o n d ve r se , " P a r t e d a yea r as i f p a r t e d a l i f e t ime , m y t h o u g h t s are t h o u s a n d s u p o n m y r i a d s of l o v e " m^W&M, M S ^ P ) . I n the s e c o n d a n d t h i r d s o n g s o f the su i te , F e n g reca l l s the s igh ts a n d s o u n d s o f the D u a n w u f es t i va l - the m i l d l y w a r m w e a t h e r , the c o m m o t i o n of d r a g o n boa t s o n the r i ve r , a n d the b l o o m i n g of the p o m e g r a n a t e f l o w e r (liuhua - a l l i n a n a t t emp t to recons t ruc t the scene o f the i r p a r t i n g . I n h i s d r e a m - l i k e state o f m i s e r y , F e n g c a n e v e n r e m e m b e r t he l o v e l i n e s s of h e r " g r a s s - l i k e e y e b r o w s " (meicao a n d the " f l o w e r e d p a t t e r n of [her] s k i r t (qunhua flrft)- I n the t h i r d s o n g , h o w e v e r , F e n g sh i f ts h i s a t ten t ion to the p resen t : To the tune "Jade Oriole" I i m a g i n e y o u n o w i n r e d m a n s i o n s a n d d e t a c h e d g a r d e n s , C u t t i n g n e w s i l k robes a n d t r y i n g t h e m o n . Y e s t e r d a y the D u a n w u feas t i ng b e g a n , B u t I h a d n o in te res t i n a t t e n d i n g the boa t races . H o w c a n the th ree -year o l d m u g w o r t 3 7 h e a l m y s o r r o w a n d h e l p m e r e c o v e r f r o m th is l o v e s i ckness? [Seeing] the zvusesi e v e r y y e a r a d d s to the m i s e r y o f o u r s e p a r a t i o n . W h o c a n I b l a m e fo r h a n g i n g the xiuhu i n f ron t of m y w i n d o w ? 3 8 O n c e a g a i n , I a m f r i g h t e n e d a w a k e b y m y n i g h t m a r e s . "The mugwort (ai3c) is believed by Chinese people to ward off evil spirits and heal a wide array of illnesses and ailments. This medicinal plant is especially associated with the Duanwu festival when it is the custom for every household to hang the mugwort inside their home. 3 8 The wusesi Sfe&l is a five-coloured anklet or necklace worn for good luck and protection from evil during the Duanwu festivities. The xiuhu If^ g functions in much the same way as the wusesi but it is usually worn by children or hung inside of homes. 18 i mm mmm$L mmmmmm. mmmm^, \&mmm%L O n c e a g a i n i t is s u g g e s t e d that H o u has n o t p a s s e d a w a y , b u t is m e r e l y s e p a r a t e d f r o m F e n g , a p p a r e n t l y , as he e n v i s i o n s , i n a f f l uen t s u r r o u n d i n g s w h e r e she is ab le to ta i l o r f i ne s i l k robes at h e r l e i s u r e . T h e p r e p a r a t i o n of n e w c l o t h i n g is a lso a s y m b o l of c e l e b r a t i o n , a n d p e r h a p s a n a s s u m p t i o n b y F e n g that she is o b l i v i o u s to the p a i n s of h i s l o v e s i c k n e s s . H e c a n n o t eat, n o r c a n he s leep b e c a u s e he is f r i g h t e n e d a w a k e b y n i g h t m a r e s . I n the f o u r t h s o n g , F e n g i n v o k e s the sp i r i t of Q u Y u a n EW. (340 B C - 278 B C ) , the fa te fu l h e r o o f the Duanwu f e s t i va l w h o t o o k h i s o w n l i fe i n p o l i t i c a l p ro tes t . To the tune "Yulin Oriole" D o n o t c u t the cat ta i ls , D o n o t c o o k the m i l l e t , F o r o n th is d a y , I c a n n o t s w a l l o w [any f ood ] . In m y s t u d y , I fo rce m y s e l f to i d l y take m y l e i s u r e , A n d c a s u a l l y b e g i n to r e a d " E n c o u n t e r i n g S o r r o w . " I c o n d o l e w i t h Q u Y u a n W h o c o u l d no t q u e s t i o n H e a v e n , Y e t I w i l l a sk H e a v e n [my ques t i on ] . H e a v e n ! [mm) :mm, wgm,*T«B. mmmmmm,wmmmm. ^ mm, ^ pf-^m, m^m^. W h i l e f o r c i n g h i m s e l f to take l e i su re i n h i s s t u d y , F e n g c a s u a l l y b e g i n s to r e a d the " L i S a o " i H f l ( E n c o u n t e r i n g S o r r o w ) , a n anc ien t p o e m i n c l u d e d i n Q u Y u a n ' s Chuci (Songs o f C h u ) . T h i s re fe rence is s u g g e s t i v e of F e n g ' s u n s u c c e s s f u l " s e a r c h for the g o d d e s s , " a b e a u t i f u l w o m a n w h o does no t r e c o g n i z e h i s ta len ts a n d w h o d o e s no t w a n t to be h i s l ove r . In the " L i S a o , " Q u Y u a n uses the e ro t i c i m a g e r y of the s h a m a n songs tha t w e r e c u r r e n t i n 19 h i s h o m e state. T h e ru le r that fa i ls to h e e d Q u ' s a d v i c e is p r e s e n t e d as the p a s s i o n a t e l y d e s i r e d b u t u n a t t a i n a b l e g o d d e s s , w h i l e the m i s u n d e r s t o o d o f f i c i a l a p p e a r s i n the ro le o f the eage r su i t o r . 3 9 F e n g ' s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h Q u ' s p l i g h t c o u l d s i g n i f y b o t h r o m a n t i c a n d p o l i t i c a l f a i l u res . T h e p a s s i o n a t e o u t c r y of the las t l i ne is a re fe rence to ano the r w o r k i n the Chuci, a t t r i b u t e d to Q u Y u a n , " H e a v e n l y Q u e s t i o n s " (Tianwen ^fal), w h i c h poses o v e r o n e h u n d r e d q u e s t i o n s a b o u t H e a v e n , E a r t h a n d the af fa i rs of m e n . T h e s e q u e s t i o n s are o f s u c h g rea t i m p o r t a n c e tha t o n l y H e a v e n c o u l d a n s w e r t h e m , a n d so I a r g u e that F e n g ' s i n v o c a t i o n o f Q u Y u a n he re c o n v e y s a b u r n i n g des i r e to h a v e H e a v e n a n s w e r h i s q u e s t i o n : w h y d i d H o u H u i q i n g l e a v e h i m for ano the r m a n ? T h i s q u e s t i o n , l i ke Q u Y u a n ' s , r e m a i n s u n a n s w e r e d a n d F e n g e n d s h i s s o n g b y e x p r e s s i n g h o w m u c h he s t i l l m i s s e s H o u . A s the su i t e c o n c l u d e s , he w o n d e r s w h e t h e r o r n o t she is h a p p y a n d is o n l y ce r ta i n o f h i s o w n g u t -w r e n c h i n g m i s e r y . C o d a : K n o w i n g y o u r h a p p i n e s s a n d r e s e n t m e n t at th is m o m e n t , I a m o v e r w h e l m e d b y m y o w n d e s p o n d e n t f ee l i ngs a n d c a n n o l o n g e r e n d u r e th is to r tu re . I a m o n l y a f r a i d that i f nex t y e a r I t h i n k m o r e a b o u t th is d a y , I w i l l s u r e l y g o i n s a n e . mm In a n o t h e r s o n g su i te , " Y u a n l i ci" f&WM (Ci o n R e s e n t m e n t at S e p a r a t i o n ) , F e n g ' s d e s p o n d e n t f ee l i ngs t u r n to b i t te rness as he ref lects o n the reasons for the b r e a k - u p w i t h 3 9 Wilt Idema and Lloyd Haft, A Guide to Chinese Literature (Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, 1997), 40. For translation and discussion of the "Li Sao" see David Hawkes, The Songs of the South: An Anthology of Ancient Chinese Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets (London: Penguin Books, 1985). 20 H o u a n d the ro le he p l a y e d i n the i r a f fa i r . H o u is n o l o n g e r the u n a t t a i n a b l e g o d d e s s of the p r e v i o u s su i te , b u t a c o l d a n d f i ck le l o v e r w h o has cast h i m as ide i n v a i n : To the tune "Embroidered Belt" H a s i t e v e r h a p p e n e d that o n e b e c o m e s a c c u s t o m e d to the m i s e r y o f s e p a r a t i o n ? E s p e c i a l l y w h e n sub jec ted to th is abuse . C a n i t b e that I o n l y t o o k the p l a c e w h e r e y o u w e r e l a c k i n g a l o v e r , A n d y o u w e r e o n l y m y f l ee t i ng w i f e ? I s l a p m y face. H a d I k n o w n I w o u l d i n c u r th is u n j u s t deb t , w o u l d I h a v e ag reed to get i n v o l v e d ? O t h e r s cu rse m e fo r b e i n g a y o u n g v a g r a n t . In the c o u r t e s a n qua r te rs there is n o sho r t age of l o v e m a k i n g b e t w e e n m e n a n d w o m e n , Y e t I h a v e b e c o m e a f o o l i s h s o u l that l o n g s fo r a p lace to rest. 4 0 T h e m o o d o f th is o p e n i n g s o n g , l i ke the t i t le o f the su i te sugges ts , is r esen tmen t , yuan F e n g accuses H o u of u s i n g h i m as he r subs t i t u te l o v e r to f i l l the g a p s o f h e r e m o t i o n a l l i fe . 4 1 W h e r e a s he h e l d her u p to the s ta tus of w i f e , she d i d no t rec ip roca te the i n tens i t y of h i s f e e l i n g s a n d w o u l d e v e n t u a l l y rep lace h i m w i t h a n o t h e r m a n . F e n g d e p i c t s h i m s e l f as the so le i n v e s t o r i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p , w h o h a s r i s k e d h i s hea r t a n d r e p u t a t i o n for a w o m a n w h o m a k e s " a f o o l i s h s o u l " (chun hunling jfiJEitfl) ou t of h i m . I n the s e c o n d s o n g , F e n g b l a m e s H o u for f a i l i n g to c h e r i s h the i r t e n d e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , t u r n i n g h i m in to , " a y o u n g m a n w h o m u s t su f fe r the l o n g n i g h t s a l o n e " {^^t&WM^'MM. 1 ^ 0 . T h i s i m a g e r y of the deso la te b e d c h a m b e r ca l l s to m i n d F e n g ' s " Y u a n l i " p o e m w h e n he Feng, Taixia xinzou, 7:8. Translation is mine. See the appendix for the full six verses. Hsu Pi-ching, "Courtesans and Scholars," 58. 21 c o m p a r e s h i s u t m o s t m i s e r y to the m a n d a r i n d u c k g r a v e (MMM) w h e r e a l l a t t emp ts to s u m m o n h i s s o u l p r o v e fu t i le . T h e l a n g u a g e o f the sanqu, h o w e v e r , is less f i g u r a t i v e a n d so too is the target of h i s resen tmen t . F e n g ' s b i t te rness t o w a r d s H o u inc reases as he reca l l s the a p p a r e n t l a c k of r e m o r s e at he r d e p a r t u r e i n the t h i r d s o n g : To the tune "The Master's Prelude" W h e n she left, there w a s n o t h i n g to h o l d h e r back . A t that t i m e I w a s ha l f n u m b [ w i t h gr ie f ] . I h a d n o t o f f e n d e d he r w i t h so m u c h as a s i ng l e w o r d , S o h o w d i d she p r e s u m e to b r u s h m e off w i t h a [par t ing ] g l ance? T h e scen t o f a b r i a r rose i n t he e n d r u n s to w i l d n e s s , A n d the m o r e I s p e a k of it, the h a r d e r i t is to f o r g i v e s u c h f i c k l eness i n l o v e . I c a n n o t b e l i e v e that y o u l o o k u p o n [yourse l f ] as a n o r d i n a r y w h o r e , 4 2 W h o w o u l d eas i l y b u r y y o u r pee r l ess pipa o u t of s igh t . [*!'iii:<j!l mnmm mmizmumm, mmmwwm, ^ mimmmmnw T h e p r a c t i c a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n that F e n g o n c e h e l d i n s u c h h i g h r e g a r d , is n o w d i s m i s s e d as c o l d n e s s tha t n u m b s h i s b o d y w i t h gr ief . T h e o n c e c l e v e r r a n k i n g o f m a l e c l i en ts has b e c o m e the s h a r p s t i n g of re jec t ion a n d F e n g s t r ugg les to c o p e w i t h h i s fa l l f r o m f a v o u r . H e c o m p a r e s H o u H u i q i n g to the scent of a w i l d rose , a b e a u t y that is b o t h e x q u i s i t e (because e p h e m e r a l ) a n d w i l d (because it at t racts the a t ten t i on o f o thers) . T h o u g h th is too is the n a t u r e of f a m o u s cou r tesans , F e n g c a n n o t b r i n g h i m s e l f to f o r g i v e s u c h " f i c k l e n e s s i n l o v e " . In the f o u r t h s o n g , F e n g p r o c l a i m s that H e a v e n is i g n o r a n t to " t h e b i t t e rness of s e p a r a t i o n " (ku libie^MM) a n d does n o t u n d e r s t a n d the p r i n c i p l e s of co r rec t m a t c h - m a k i n g . 4 2 The term, xiaxie f«tjj|5, carries the meaning of 'narrow and winding streets' used of the districts where prostitutes resided. See Hanyu da cidian MH^MM (Great Chinese word dictionary) 13 vols., (Hong Kong and Shanghai: Hanyu da cidian, 1986-90), vol.5, 52b. 22 In the p e n u l t i m a t e s o n g of the sequence , he goes o n to l a m e n t tha t the p o t e n t i a l w e a l t h of a s c h o l a r ' s l e a r n i n g c a n n o t m e a s u r e u p to the a c t u a l w e a l t h of a m e r c h a n t : To the tune "Third Ranking Scholar" S u d d e n l y , I t h i n k of p l a n s ca re l ess l y m a d e ; A n d of the y o u n g M o l e w h o w a s so ga l l an t a n d b r a v e . 4 3 It is d e c e i v i n g to say that " t h e s t u d y of b o o k s w i l l e a r n y o u a t h o u s a n d b u s h e l s o f r i c e " , B e c a u s e , i n c o m p a r i s o n , the m e r c h a n t ' s w e a l t h ] is g reater . I take these fee l i ngs a n d c o m p l a i n to m y e s t e e m e d s is ter , F o r s ince o u r s e p a r a t i o n , I h a v e b e c o m e e m a c i a t e d . 1 -W I:] T h e i m p l i c a t i o n is that H o u left F e n g to m a r r y a m e r c h a n t , s o m e o n e w h o c o u l d p r o v i d e h e r w i t h c o m f o r t s tha t a m a n of shengyuan s ta tus c o u l d n o t p o s s i b l y a f f o r d . A s w e s h a l l see i n F e n g ' s f i c t i on , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n h i s s c h o l a r - c o u r t e s a n r o m a n c e s , i t is u s u a l l y a n e v i l m e r c h a n t w h o tears the l o v e r s apar t . W a s th i s v i l l a i n o u s p o r t r a y a l of m e r c h a n t s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of late M i n g s o c i a l t ens ions , o r is F e n g s i m p l y g i v i n g v e n t to a p r i v a t e des i r e to exac t r e v e n g e o n the m a n w h o r o b b e d h i m of h i s t rue l o v e ? 4 4 T h e p u b l i c a t i o n of Taixia xinzou i n 1627 is no t w i t h o u t s i g n i f i c a n c e . T h i s y e a r s a w the t h i r d a t t e m p t b y F e n g to pass the t r i e n n i a l p r o v i n c i a l e x a m i n a t i o n s h e l d i n N a n j i n g . In the l o w e r Y a n g z i r e g i o n , the c o m p e t i t i o n fo r p r o v i n c i a l deg rees (juren I f l A ) w a s e s p e c i a l l y i n tense a n d b y n o m e a n s fa i r . B e c a u s e the q u o t a s the g o v e r n m e n t i m p o s e d o n the n u m b e r s o f s u c c e s s f u l c a n d i d a t e s f a v o u r e d c u l t u r a l l y - l e s s d e v e l o p e d areas, o n l y one p e r c e n t of 4 3 Mole gfj is the name of the Kunlun slave in a Tang chuanqi, whose ability to scheme on his master Cui's behalf enabled him to abduct a beautiful singing girl from the household of a powerful court official. This chuanqi is authored by Pei Xing ftff (dates unknown) and entitled "The Kunlun slave" (Miift m. 4 4 Hsu Pi-ching, "Courtesans and Scholars," 58. 23 c a n d i d a t e s f r o m th i s a rea c o u l d pass the i r e x a m s . 4 5 F e n g t r a v e l l e d to the s o u t h e r n cap i t a l n o less t h a n th ree t imes : i n 1618, 1624, a n d a g a i n i n 1627. A t the age of 53, he s e e m s to h a v e lost a l l h o p e i n o b t a i n i n g the juren If* A d e g r e e a n d f i n a l l y r e s i g n e d h i m s e l f to a l i v e l i h o o d of p r o f e s s i o n a l w r i t i n g . In the c l o s i n g s o n g of " Y u a n f i ci" he w r i t e s : " A f t e r a l l , w h e r e i n b o o k s is there a face of j a d e ? " (^MWi^ffl^MiUlS.)- H a v i n g ne i t he r the success of an o f f i c i a l career , n o r the l o y a l t y of h i s b e l o v e d H o u H u i q i n g , i t is n o w o n d e r that F e n g w a s i n d e s p e r a t e n e e d of a n ou t le t fo r h i s f rus t ra t i ons . I n a n o t h e r of h i s art songs , " Y u a n m e n g " (Resen t f u l D r e a m ) , F e n g c o n t i n u e s h i s b i t te r l a m e n t a b o u t H o u b y re f l ec t i ng o n the c o n f l i c t i n g e m o t i o n s he feels for he r b y d a y a n d b y n i gh t . T h o u g h he ea rnes t l y t r ies to p u t h e r o u t of h i s m i n d , she fo i l s h i s r e s o l v e b y c o m i n g to h i m i n d r e a m s . H e w r i t e s i n the f i rs t s o n g : To the tune "Great Victory" A b e l o v e d fo r l i fe is d i f f i cu l t to e x p e l f r o m the d e p t h s of o n e ' s hear t , S h e is l i k e a g o l d e n c a n g u e w i t h a j ade l ock . M y l o v e b e t r a y e d , he r h o n o u r l a c k i n g , I c a n let h e r go . A s t h i n g s are , i t is a w a s t e to rec i te ve r ses [about her ] . B e s i d e s she is n o "s ta te t o p p l e r " 4 6 w h o c a n n o t be f o u n d ; Jus t a m a k e r of c l o u d s a n d r a i n , w h a t w o r t h d o e s she h a v e ? [If] t h i s ha te fu l l o v e i n the e n d b o r e n o f ru i t , S o I m u s t h o l d u p h i g h the s w o r d of w i s d o m , 4 7 A n d cu t d o w n th is l o v e d e m o n . 4 8 ixwm wmmmmm, mmmm. 4 5 Shuhui Yang, "Introduction," in Stories Old and New: A Ming Dynasty Collection, comp., Feng Menglong (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000), xx. 4 6 The term qingchengqingguo W$MM is a famous literary cliche describing a woman beautiful enough to cause the fall of a city or state. 4 7 The term, huijian is a Buddhist term for the 'sword of wisdom' which cuts through the illusions of the material world. 48 Taixia xinzou, 7:15. Translation is mine, see appendix for full translation. 24 In c o m p a r i n g H o u to " a g o l d e n c a n g u e w i t h a j ade l o c k " , F e n g is e x p r e s s i n g the e x q u i s i t e p a i n of u n r e q u i t e d l ove , a s p e c i a l k i n d of t o r tu re that has p a r a l y z e d h i m w i t h gr ie f . S h e is to h i m , a yuanjia a p e r s o n that he b o t h l o v e s a n d ha tes . F e n g is no t o n l y r esen t f u l a b o u t t he i r b r e a k - u p i n th is s o n g , b u t feels b e t r a y e d b y h e r a p p a r e n t l a c k o f h o n o u r . H e c o n t i n u e s h i s a t tack b y r e l e g a t i n g H o u to he r p r o f e s s i o n : she is " j us t a m a k e r of c l o u d s a n d r a i n , w h a t w o r t h d o e s she h a v e ? " . A f t e r a l l , i t is the n a t u r e o f cou r tesans to h a v e s e x u a l e n c o u n t e r s ( " c l o u d s a n d r a i n " o r yunyu S H ) w i t h m a n y m e n , a n d F e n g m u s t r e m i n d h i m s e l f o f t h i s as he s t r u g g l e s to e x p l a i n h e r d e p a r t u r e . A f t e r c o n c e d i n g that h i s a f fa i r w i t h H o u w a s " a b a n q u e t that h a d a b e g i n n i n g a n d a n e n d " Cg'HJS'WHI^f^) i n s o n g t w o , F e n g desc r i bes h o w he is v i s i t e d b y H o u i n h i s d r e a m s i n s o n g s th ree to f i ve . T h o u g h h i s e v e r y w a k i n g h o u r is c o n s u m e d w i t h t h o u g h t s o f he r , he c a n n o t e v e n escape he r i n s leep b e c a u s e h e r " f r a g r a n t s o u l " (fanghun 5 = r c o m e s to s t i r u p h i s f ee l i ngs at n i g h t : " H o w she vexes m e ! S o u l a n d sp i r i t c o m i n g a n d g o i n g , w h a t a h e l p l e s s s i t u a t i o n ! " {'\\MxA, Rj^ffelRl). H o u a p p e a r s be fo re h i m as a d i s e m b o d i e d sp i r i t a n d a r o u s e s h i s des i r e to k i s s her : " t he t i p o f m y t o n g u e is d r i p p i n g w i t h s w e e t s a l i v a " (f§"5E ^WfltSs^M)- T h o u g h he s t i l l bears the b u r d e n of h i s b i t te r fee l ings , i n h i s m i n d he " f a l l s a g a i n i n t o a r i v e r of l o v e " (fJMlIM). In the o p e n i n g l i nes of the t h i r d s o n g , F e n g d r e a m s of a n e n c o u n t e r w i t h a d i s e m b o d i e d H o u (she is d e s c r i b e d as a " s h e - g h o s t , " (guipo |§,H). T h e y b o t h h a v e t r a n s f o r m e d in to m a n d a r i n d u c k s , e m b l e m a t i c of e n d u r i n g l o v e , a n d b u i l d a nes t toge ther . T h i s fan tasy is i n t e r r u p t e d b y the chat te r o f b i r d s at d a w n , w h i c h a b r u p t l y t e r m i n a t e s the d r e a m . W h e n F e n g a w a k e s , he e x p e r i e n c e s h i s loss of H o u a n e w . I n a sanqu t i t l ed , " Y o u h u a i " ^ ' I H ( T h o u g h t s ) , F e n g c o n t i n u e s to w r i t e a b o u t the t r o u b l i n g ef fects of h i s d r e a m e n c o u n t e r s . W i t h l o v e s i c k n e s s o c c u p y i n g a l l h o u r s o f h i s d a y , 25 F e n g a t t emp ts to d i s t rac t h i m s e l f w i t h w r i t i n g b u t is en t i r e l y u n s u c c e s s f u l . H e w r i t e s i n the s e c o n d s o n g : To the tune "Qi'er" U n a b l e to d e f e n d m y s e l f aga ins t s o u l - s t a r t l i n g w o r d s [ spoken ] i n a d r e a m , I u s e m y w r i t i n g to o v e r w h e l m m y l o v e s i c k n e s s . T u r n i n g m y t h o u g h t s to e s s a y - w r i t i n g , I c a n n o t p r o d u c e a s i n g l e w o r d , E v e r y t h i n g I w r i t e is s t i l l a l o v e p o e m . B r u s h a n d i nk , i n k s tone a n d p a p e r , H o w c a n y o u fo rce a p e r s o n l i k e th is? E v e n i f [my w r i t i n g we re ] to w i n m e w e a l t h a n d g o l d , T h i s w o u l d n o t c o m p e n s a t e fo r these w o r d s o f l o v e s i c k n e s s . m. mmmm, w^mmxmm? mm&^m, tttmmnm-. P e r h a p s it w a s d u r i n g th i s p e r i o d of w r i t e r ' s b l o c k tha t F e n g c o m p o s e d the s ix sanqu d e v o t e d to h i s b r e a k - u p w i t h H o u H u i q i n g . T h o u g h he t r ies to concen t ra te o n m o r e s e r i o u s l i t e ra ry p u r s u i t s , e v e r y cha rac te r that f l o w s f r o m h i s b r u s h is a l a m e n t o n h i s b r o k e n hear t . H e e v e n b l a m e s h i s w r i t i n g i m p l e m e n t s fo r c o e r c i n g h i m i n to c o m p o s i n g l o v e p o e t r y : " B r u s h a n d i nk , i n k s tone a n d p a p e r , h o w c a n y o u force a p e r s o n l i k e t h i s ? " . It is no t s p e c i f i e d w h a t k i n d o f w r i t i n g F e n g w i s h e s to p u r s u e , b u t th is s o n g sugges ts he su f fe rs f r o m a l o v e s i c k n e s s so seve re that it c a n n o t be r e m e d i e d b y the p r o s p e c t of r i ches e a r n e d t h r o u g h l i t e ra r y success . In the t h i r d s o n g , F e n g d i rec ts h i s r e s e n t m e n t t o w a r d s H e a v e n . In a m a n n e r s i m i l a r to " Y u a n l i ci" w h e r e he accuses H e a v e n o f b e i n g o b l i v i o u s to the b i t t e rness of s e p a r a t i o n , 4 9 F e n g takes i ssue w i t h the p o w e r s - t h a t - b e fo r g i v i n g l i fe to l o v e r s w h o are d e s t i n e d to par t . To the tune "Yellow Oriole" O n e p a i r con ten ted i n l ove , . I r e c k o n tha t e v e n H e a v e n has n o t b e e n k i n d . 4 9 In "Yuanli c i " Feng writes, "Heaven is ignorant, so how can it know the bitterness of separation?" (ban wuzhi, zenshi de ku libie -RWm, %$&W$;Wiffl). 26 R e a d y it w a s to let the t w o o f u s d i e of o u r l o v e . T h e tree l eaves h a v e b r a n c h e s , A n d the m a l e b i r d s h a v e f ema les . O l d H e a v e n g a v e l i f e to m e , s o w h y d i d i t g i v e l i fe to y o u ? V e x a t i o n g i v e s w a y to l augh te r . If i t w e r e no t for the c u t t i n g o f the l o t us root , H o w c o u l d the t h r e a d s that k e e p it t oge the r a p p e a r ? T h o u g h F e n g a p p e a r s f rus t ra ted at H e a v e n ' s w i l l i n g n e s s " t o let the t w o of us d i e of o u r l o v e " , an a b r u p t c h a n g e of a t t i t ude i n t r u d e s i n the s e v e n t h l i ne , as " v e x a t i o n g i v e s w a y to l a u g h t e r " — a b i t te r l a u g h t e r p e r h a p s , as F e n g c o m e s to the s u d d e n r e a l i z a t i o n tha t w i t h o u t the a g o n y o f s e p a r a t i o n , he m i g h t n e v e r h a v e r e a l i z e d the p o w e r o f h i s e n t a n g l e m e n t w i t h H o u . T h e s o n g ' s c o n c l u d i n g l i nes a l l u d e to a l o t us roo t that has b e e n cut , b u t w h o s e c l i n g i n g f i b res r e m a i n t a n g l e d together . T h e i m a g e i s a c o n v e n t i o n a l f i g u r e fo r l o v e r s w h o h a v e b e e n f o r c i b l y s e p a r a t e d . E v e n t h o u g h the i r a f fa i r h a s e n d e d , l o v e l i n g e r s o n . W h e t h e r o r no t th i s re fers to m u t u a l l o v e b e t w e e n F e n g a n d H o u o r F e n g ' s o w n l i n g e r i n g a f fec t ions is a m b i g u o u s . In the p e n u l t i m a t e s o n g of the sequence , F e n g a l l u d e s to the reason fo r h i s b r e a k - u p w i t h H o u : i t w a s ne i t he r a l ack of l o v e n o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g , b u t a t h i r d p a r t y w h o c a m e b e t w e e n t h e m : To the tune "Clustered Imperial Park" A l t h o u g h there are r o m a n t i c deb ts [to be p a i d ] , A n d i n the M i n i s t r y of D e w d r o p s T h e r e is j oy A n d there is s o r r o w , T h e r e has n e v e r b e e n a j oy a n d s o r r o w l i k e th is . I m y s e l f c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d th is s t range af fa i r : W h e n t w o p e o p l e w h o s e hear ts are as s o l i d as i r o n , f i f e , mum 27 W h o w a s the m a g n e t that p u l l e d us apar t? mmm • mnmmm, mmm, '&mm.mmsk° @» In d e c l a r i n g h i s j oy a n d s o r r o w as u n r i v a l l e d b y " m i n i s t r y of d e w d r o p s " , 5 0 F e n g d i s m i s s e s a l l pas t r o m a n t i c a f fa i rs w h e n c o m p a r e d to the d r a m a of h i s o w n . H e then goes o n to q u e s t i o n the i r o n - l i k e b o n d b e t w e e n h i m s e l f a n d H o u . If the i r hear ts w e r e t r u l y " a s s o l i d as i r o n " Midlife), w h a t w a s the m a g n e t i c fo rce that p u l l e d t h e m apar t , o r p e r h a p s m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e , w h o w a s th is p e r s o n tha t c a m e b e t w e e n t h e m ? W a s th is m a g n e t the w e a l t h y m e r c h a n t F e n g a l l u d e s to i n " Y u a n l i ci"? It a p p e a r s f r o m these las t t w o s o n g s that H o u ' s d e c i s i o n to l eave he r l o v e r c a u g h t F e n g b y s u r p r i s e a n d w a s m a d e e v e n m o r e d e v a s t a t i n g b e c a u s e they l o v e d e a c h o the r s t i l l . If l o v e w a s no t the reason fo r H o u ' s d e p a r t u r e th is c o u l d h a v e s h a r p e n e d the s t i n g o f re jec t ion i f she chose to a b a n d o n F e n g fo r the w e a l t h a n d s e c u r i t y a m e r c h a n t c o u l d p r o v i d e . In the last of F e n g ' s sanqu a b o u t h i s a f fa i r w i t h H o u H u i q i n g , " S h i J i " f|#£ ( V o w o n C o u r t e s a n s ) , F e n g is so u p s e t b y h i s f a i l ed l o v e af fa i r that he s w e a r s a s o l e m n o a t h n e v e r to r e t u r n to the p l e a s u r e q u a r t e r s a g a i n , a s ta temen t v e r i f i e d b y h i s g o o d f r i e n d , D o n g S i z h a n g HJDf'M (1586-1628). 5 1 F o r the o n l y t i m e i n h i s w r i t i n g s a b o u t H o u , F e n g i m p l i e s tha t she a l so e x p e r i e n c e d s o r r o w a n d p a i n w h e n the t w o p a r t e d w a y s , w i t h o u t d o w n p l a y i n g h i s o w n s u f f e r i n g . In the o p e n i n g s o n g he w r i t es : 5 0 The "ministry of dewdrops" is an office in Heaven dealing with romantic affairs that take place outside the confines of proper marriage. The reference to dew drops implies that the man and woman meet secretly at night and wake up from their tryst amid the morning dew. 5 1 In an appendage to "Yuanli ci" (Taixia xinzou, 7:8), Dong Sizhang comments on Feng's abandonment of the pleasure quarters: "After Ziyou lost Huiqing, he completely gave up visiting courtesans - something he used to be fond of doing" S&HW, i i ^wHi i t f ) . 28 To the tune "Assemble the Worthy Guests" [ W h e n ] s w e a r i n g a n o a t h of l o v e be fo re the m o u n t a i n s a n d sea , w h o w o u l d d a r e to s p e a k r eck l ess l y? It s e e m s that th is f a i l e d a f fa i r is a n a b y s s [that separa tes us ] . F r u i t l e s s s k i l l s that d i s s e m b l e at e v e r y t u r n H a v e c a u s e d b i t te r r e s e n t m e n t i n b o t h o f u s . A t Z h a n g Te r race ask M i s s L i u , h o w c o u l d H i s L o r d s h i p L i con fe r h e r [on h i s f r i e n d H a n Y i ] ? 5 2 H a v i n g t r u l y b e e n e x p o s e d , S h e c o u l d no t s t o p - u p the g o s s i p that l e a k e d o u t l i k e w a t e r i n a w i c k e r s t ra ine r . 5 3 F e n g ' s re fe rence to Z h a n g Te r race ( I H E ) is a n a l l u s i o n to the T a n g chuanqi t i t l ed , " T h e S t o r y o f M i s s L i u " ( L i u s h i z h u a n $JPJ3cfH), b y X u Y a o z u o t^Mii. (dates u n k n o w n ) . T h i s s to ry is a b o u t a b e a u t i f u l c o n c u b i n e w h o w a s set o n p r e s e r v i n g he r chas t i t y , b u t c o u l d n o t b e c a u s e she w a s p a s s e d o n to seve ra l d i f f e ren t m e n aga ins t h e r w i l l . It is u n c l e a r w h e t h e r o r n o t F e n g is s u g g e s t i n g tha t H o u m a r r i e d a n o t h e r m a n u n d e r s i m i l a r c i r c u m s t a n c e s , b u t it is o b v i o u s tha t he sees h i m s e l f i n the ro le of H a n Y i - the p o o r , b u t t a l en ted s c h o l a r w h o is p o w e r l e s s to r e c l a i m h i s l o v e r f r o m a w e a l t h i e r m a n . I n " T h e S to r y of M i s s L i u " i t is a h i g h -r a n k i n g g e n e r a l w h o tears the l o v e r s apar t , a n d i n F e n g ' s case, i t a p p e a r s to h a v e b e e n a m e r c h a n t . T h i s s o n g a lso sugges ts that the b r e a k - u p o f the i r a f fa i r d i d no t re f lect p o s i t i v e l y o n H o u , w h o s e l i a i s o n w i t h F e n g h a d m a d e he r f a m o u s . F e n g a c k n o w l e d g e s the g o s s i p that s u r r o u n d e d the i r a f fa i r , r e v e a l i n g that H o u s u f f e r e d a loss of face i n a d d i t i o n to h i s o w n 5 2 Miss Liu WliUo was originally the favourite concubine of Mr. Li sj l^?. who gives her as a gift to his good friend, Han Yi $fjfl. See the Tang chuanqi, "The Story of Miss Liu" (Liushi zhuan $PRi$), by Xu Yaozuo rfrfMii (dates unknown). For translation and discussion of the story, see Paul Rouzer, Articulated Ladies: Gender and Male Community in Early Chinese Texts (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), 216-224. 53 Taixia xinzou 10:15. Translation is mine, see appendix for all four verses. 29 d a m a g e d r e p u t a t i o n . O f a l l the f i ve sanqu d i r e c t l y r e l a t i n g to h i s l oss of H o u H u i q i n g , " V o w o n C o u r t e s a n s " a p p e a r s to be the m o s t b a l a n c e d p o r t r a y a l o f the i r s e p a r a t i o n , p r o v i d i n g the b r ie fes t o f g l i m p s e s i n t o the m i n d s e t of H o u . H e w r i t e s i n the s e c o n d s o n g : To the tune "Yellow Oriole" I a m a l o n e l y boa t los t i n s t o r m y w e a t h e r ; I a m w e a k a n d w e a r y f r o m l o v e s i c k n e s s , so w h y d o I r e m a i n he re? O n l y b e c a u s e m y a r m s c a n n o t free t h e m s e l v e s f r o m the k n o t of he r b l a c k t resses. M y f o r m e r l o v e for the c o u r t e s a n q u a r t e r s H a s t u r n e d i n to r esen tmen t fo r flowers a n d h a t r e d fo r w i n e . In the p l a c e w h e r e y o u n g m e n ga ther , I a m a s h a m e d to h a v e f a l l en b e h i n d o the rs , A n d I b e g h e r to ga ther i n H e r fast f a l l i n g tears, A n d d i rec t t h e m to s o m e o the r l o v e . [felt ft] T h i s las t re fe rence to he r " fas t f a l l i n g t e a r s " rep resen ts a r e v e r s a l of ro les f r o m h i s p r e v i o u s p o r t r a y a l o f H o u i n " Y u a n l i ci" (Ci o n R e s e n t m e n t at S e p a r a t i o n ) . 5 4 S h e is n o l o n g e r the s to ic w o m a n w h o n u m b s h i m w i t h gr ief , b u t a t e a r f u l l o v e r w h o i n s p i r e s i n F e n g h i s o w n sense of i n d i f f e r e n c e : s i nce he is n o l o n g e r the object of h e r a f fec t ion , she s h o u l d r i g h t l y d i r e c t he r s o r r o w s to the m a n w h o is. A r e w e to b e l i e v e tha t th is is a m o r e f a i t h fu l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the i r b r e a k - u p scene o r a c l eve r r e v i s i o n of ' f ac ts ' to res tore a s m a l l pa r t o f F e n g ' s d i g n i t y ? L i k e the de ta i l s of the i r a f fa i r , the a n s w e r to th i s q u e s t i o n r e m a i n s u n c l e a r . W h a t w e d o k n o w for ce r ta in is tha t H o u ' s d e p a r t u r e h a d s u c h a l a s t i n g effect o n F e n g that h i s p r e v i o u s l o v e for the p l e a s u r e qua r te r s " t u r n e d i n t o r e s e n t m e n t fo r f l o w e r s a n d h a t r e d fo r w i n e " . A n y n o s t a l g i a fo r the l o v e t h e y o n c e s h a r e d o r h o p e fo r a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n is n o w g o n e . W h e r e a s F e n g once r e c a l l e d the r e d p o m e g r a n a t e f l o w e r that b l o o m s i n the See verse three of "Yuan li ci" in Taixia xinzou 7:8. 30 s p r i n g , he is n o w so de fea ted to c o m p a r e h i s l o v e fo r H o u to the w i n t e r D a p h n e ( S j ^ T t ) , s i g n a l l i n g that a l l b e a u t i f u l t h i ngs m u s t c o m e to a n e n d . 5 5 In the f i na l ve rse o f h i s s o n g , F e n g m a k e s a s o l e m n v o w to n e v e r a g a i n v i s i t the c o u r t e s a n qua r te rs : "I w i l l a b a n d o n the re jec ted b o r d e l l o a n d n o t g o t h e r e " CMfiiMW^fS^fi:^.)- T h o u g h sou rces c lose to F e n g i n d i c a t e tha t he d i d i n d e e d s tay t rue to h is w o r d , there is c o n t r a s t i n g e v i d e n c e s u g g e s t i n g F e n g h a d a n o t h e r c o u r t e s a n l o v e r af ter h i s b r e a k u p w i t h H o u . I n the nex t sec t i on of th is chap te r , I w i l l d i s c u s s the theor ies b e h i n d H o u ' s a b a n d o n m e n t o f F e n g a n d a t t emp t to p r o v i d e b o t h a c h r o n o l o g y of F e n g ' s c o l l e c t i o n s a n d a t i m e f r a m e fo r the c o u p l e ' s s e p a r a t i o n . I n d o i n g so I a r g u e that the l u re of the p l e a s u r e q u a r t e r s w a s too s t r o n g for F e n g to reject a l toge ther . H i s c o n t i n u e d i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h c o u r t e s a n s a n d h i s i n t i m a t e k n o w l e d g e of the i r d a i l y l i v e s sugges t a s t r o n g i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the v a l u e s these w o m e n u p h e l d , v a l u e s that c o u l d n o t be o v e r s h a d o w e d b y the p a i n of F e n g ' s p e r s o n a l loss . See verse one of "Duan'er yibie" in Taixia xinzou 11:15. 31 D a t i n g F e n g ' s C o l l e c t i o n s a n d the Q u e s t i o n o f Y u a n Z h o n g d a o In the s u m m e r o f 1617 there a p p e a r e d a " f l o w e r r eg i s te r s " (huabang b o o k fo r w h i c h F e n g p r o v i d e d c o m m e n t a r y . T h i s b o o k , the Beauties ofSuzhou (Wuji baimai ^ I S H f t f ) , w a s a n e x p e n s i v e l y i l l u s t r a ted p u b l i c a t i o n f e a t u r i n g cou r t esans i n g a r d e n se t t i ngs . 5 6 E a c h s i n g i n g g i r l i n the reg is ter w a s a s s i g n e d a p a r t i c u l a r f l o w e r a n d r a n k e d l i ke the t op h u n d r e d c a n d i d a t e s i n the m e t r o p o l i t a n e x a m i n a t i o n . A s P a t r i c k H a n a n m e n t i o n s , F e n g a p p e a r s u n d e r p s e u d o n y m as the l o v e r of o n e L i u H a n x i a n g , the n i n t h m o s t b e a u t i f u l c o u r t e s a n i n the r a n k i n g . 5 7 T h e e d i t o r of the b o o k , W a n Y u z i , c red i t s F e n g w i t h d i s c o v e r i n g the c o u r t e s a n be fo re she b e c a m e f a m o u s . L i u is i n c l u d e d i n a p i c t u r e s t a n d i n g b e s i d e a b e a r d e d a n d m o u s t a c h i o e d m a n i n s c h o l a r ' s robes, p r e s u m a b l y F e n g M e n g l o n g h i m s e l f . A s the s to ry goes , F e n g t r a v e l l e d to H u b e i b e t w e e n 1612 a n d 1617 to s t u d y the Spring and Autumn Annals ( C h u n q i u ^fX)> h is c h o s e n e x a m spec ia l t y . I n the seve ra l yea rs he w a s a w a y , the c o u r t e s a n ' s a f fec t ions fo r h i m c o o l e d a n d " h e r d o o r [became] as b u s y as a m a r k e t p l a c e . " 5 8 If F e n g ' s a f fa i r w i t h L i u H a n x i a n g w a s rea l t h e n are reade rs to a s s u m e tha t h i s " v o w o n c o u r t e s a n s " (Sh i Ji I f w a s no t , o r i n s t e a d m e r e w o r d s c o m p o s e d i n a n g e r ? M o r e o v e r , t h o u g h w e k n o w fo r ce r ta in that F e n g t r a v e l l e d to H u b e i i n the 1610s a n d p u b l i s h e d s e v e r a l m a n u a l s o n Chunqiu i n the 1620s, L i u H a n x i a n g is n e v e r m e n t i o n e d i n a n y of h i s ex tan t w o r k s . W a s th i s c o u r t e s a n s i m p l y a f i c t i ona l cha rac te r i n F e n g ' s l i fe o r p e r h a p s a f i c t i o n a l i z e d a c c o u n t of F e n g ' s r o m a n c e w i t h H o u H u i q i n g ? T h e p e r s o n a l a c c o u n t f r o m h is sanqu a n d the s to ry o f fe red f r o m the f l o w e r reg is te r d o no t s e e m to c o r r o b o r a t e o n e ano the r . 5 6 Zhou Zhibiao JliZJI, preface and comp, Wuji baimai ^MSWt (Beauties of Suzhou), 2 juan and addenda fu (Hosa Bunko, Nagoya, 1617). 5 7 Hanan, The Chinese Vernacular Story, 90. 5 8 Ibid, 90. 32 F e n g is r esen t f u l t o w a r d s H o u i n h i s s o n g s b e c a u s e she lef t h i m fo r a n o t h e r m a n , a n d no t , as the o the r s o u r c e sugges ts , b e c a u s e of c o o l e d a f fec t ions a n d a s u d d e n s u r g e i n h e r p o p u l a r i t y . P a r t o f the r e a s o n w h y i t is so d i f f i c u l t to c o n f i r m the de ta i l s of t he i r a f fa i r is the c o m p l i c a t i o n s i n c o n s t r u c t i n g a t i m e f r a m e fo r t he i r s e p a r a t i o n . W i t h the e x c e p t i o n o f Taixia xinzou (1627), a l l of the w o r k s i n w h i c h H o u H u i q i n g is m e n t i o n e d h a v e a m b i g u o u s p u b l i c a t i o n da tes . Guazhi'er is b e l i e v e d to h a v e b e e n p u b l i s h e d b e t w e e n 1608 a n d 1617, Shange b e t w e e n 1611 a n d 1616, a n d Yutao ji ( R e c o r d s of A n g u i s h ) , the c o l l e c t i o n of p o e m s w r i t t e n i m m e d i a t e l y af ter F e n g ' s b r e a k - u p w i t h H o u , is n o l o n g e r ex tant . C o l l e c t i o n P u b l i c a t i o n da te Shange \MWK ( M o u n t a i n Songs ) 1 6 1 1 - 1 6 1 6 Yutao ji HPf| jjl ( R e c o r d s of A n g u i s h ) N o l o n g e r ex tan t Guazhi'er (The H a n g i n g B r a n c h ) 1608 - 1617 Wuji baimei ^fTS"M (Beau t ies of S u z h o u ) 1617 Taixia xinzou A H f / f i t (Celest ia l A i r s P l a y e d A n e w ) 1627 S i n c e Shange r ep resen ts the ear l ies t m e n t i o n of H o u a n d g i v e s e v e r y i n d i c a t i o n that the c o u p l e w a s s t i l l t oge the r at the t i m e of p u b l i c a t i o n , w e c a n a s s u m e tha t F e n g a n d H o u s e p a r a t e d af ter 1611 b u t s o m e t i m e be fo re the s u m m e r of 1617 w h e n the f l o w e r reg is te r p i c t u r i n g F e n g w i t h a n o t h e r c o u r t e s a n w a s p u b l i s h e d . T h e c o m p i l a t i o n of Yutao ji m u s t a l so f i t b e t w e e n th i s s i x y e a r p e r i o d (1611-1617) s ince la ter e d i t i o n s of Guazhi'er (ca.1608-1717) i n c l u d e a " Y u a n l i shi" fSfflf.Wf ( S o r r o w o v e r Sepa ra t i on ) p o e m i d e n t i f i e d as b e i n g f r o m th is c o l l e c t i o n . T h e s u r v i v i n g w o r k s i n w h i c h H o u H u i q i n g is m e n t i o n e d b y F e n g s u g g e s t that the c o u p l e s e p a r a t e d i n the 1610s, ye t the m o d e r n C h i n e s e s c h o l a r , G a o H o n g j u n h a s a d i f f e ren t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of even t s s u r r o u n d i n g the i r b r e a k - u p . H e b e l i e v e s that i n 1596, H o u H u i q i n g a b a n d o n e d F e n g to m a r r y the f a m o u s l i te ra tus , Y u a n Z h o n g d a o M.4'iS (1570-1623), 33 the y o u n g e r b r o t h e r o f Y u a n H o n g d a o M^a'M. (1568-1610) . 5 9 A c c o r d i n g to p e r s o n a l a c c o u n t s g a t h e r e d f r o m Y u a n Z h o n g d a o ' s a n t h o l o g y , Kexue zhai qianji ( C o l l e c t i o n f r o m Jade S n o w S t u d i o , 1618), Y u a n f a i l e d the p r o v i n c i a l e x a m i n a t i o n s fo r the t h i r d t i m e i n 1595 a n d t u r n e d to the S u z h o u p l e a s u r e qua r te r s to seek c o m f o r t i n the a r m s of c o u r t e s a n s . 6 0 H s u P i - C h i n g p r o v i d e s a n a r r a t i v e of h i s e n c o u n t e r w i t h H o u H u i q i n g : Y u a n Z h o n g d a o a b a n d o n e d h i m s e l f to the p l e a s u r e of the c o m p a n y o f s i n g i n g g i r l s o n the l a k e of W u l i n f r o m the s e v e n t h to the n i n t h m o n t h . H e w a s t h e n r o b b e d , s t r i c k e n b y i l l ness , a n d f o r c e d to b e g i n the c o u r t e s a n s ' q u a r t e r s i n S u z h o u . A c o u r t e s a n t o o k care o f h i m a n d i n the f i f th m o n t h ( p r e s u m a b l y i n 1596), he m a r r i e d her . In the n i n t h m o n t h of that yea r , h i s w i f e sent h i m a let ter c o n g r a t u l a t i n g h i m fo r a c q u i r i n g a n e w m a t e a n d u r g i n g h i m to r e t u r n h o m e fo r the sake of the i r c h i l d r e n . In r e p l y , he w r o t e tha t the n e w w o m a n w a s of a l o w l y s ta tus a n d , k n o w i n g l i t t le a b o u t the w i f e l y d u t i e s of s e w i n g , w e a v i n g , a n d c o o k i n g , w a s n o f i t w i f e fo r h i m . 6 1 I n t w o o the r p o e m s f r o m h i s s t u d i o c o l l e c t i o n , " B i e H u i q i n g " 5j[JS=jJSl ( S a y i n g g o o d b y e to H u i q i n g " a n d " G a n h u a i s h i " f^f i l lKr ( P o e m s o n a r o u s e d e m o t i o n s ) , Y u a n i n d i c a t e s that he lef t the c o u r t e s a n a n d n e v e r r e t u r n e d to her , d e f e n d i n g h i s ac t ions b y s ta t i ng w o m e n w e r e a l l b a d k a r m a a n d w o u l d o n l y h o l d h i m d o w n . 6 2 I n G a o H o n g j u n ' s e x p l a n a t i o n , H o u H u i q i n g a b a n d o n e d F e n g to m a r r y Y u a n Z h o n g d a o a n d w a s herse l f i n t u r n a b a n d o n e d b y Y u a n . 5 9 See Gao Hongjun W$S%, "Guazhi'er er chengshu kaoji Feng Menglong Hou Huiqing lianli yuanwei," in Tianjin gudai renwu lu ^ r W f ^ A#5^ (Ancient literary figures of Tianjin), eds., Nan Bingwen, et al., vol.2, 40 (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 1993), 39-44. 6 0 See the following works, "Fangge zengren" Mfclf A (Singing a song as a gift), "Nei ji" f*jtf (Letter from my wife), and "Da" § (Reply) in Yuan Zhongdao's anthology, Kexue zhai qianji faj'Si'Siiij-ft (Collection from Jade Snow Studio) (Taipei: Weiwen tushu chubanshe, 1976, modern facsimile edition of the original 1618 edition), 2: 16b-18a, 18a-b, 19a-b. 5 1 Hsu Pi-ching, "Celebrating the Emotional Self: Feng Meng-lung and Late Ming Ethics and Aesthetics," 44. 62 Ibid, 44; Yuan, Kexue zhai qianji, 2:40a-b, 5:5a-b. 34 T h o u g h th is t w i s t i n F e n g ' s r o m a n t i c n a r r a t i v e represents k a r m i c r e t r i b u t i o n at i ts best , t he re are s e v e r a l p r o b l e m s w i t h G a o ' s t h e o r y o n the m a n w h o r o b b e d F e n g o f h i s zhiyin. F i r s t a n d f o r e m o s t is that Y u a n Z h o n g d a o w a s no t a m e r c h a n t , b u t a s t r u g g l i n g s c h o l a r jus t l i k e F e n g M e n g l o n g . B o t h m e n f a i l e d to pass the p r o v i n c i a l e x a m i n a t i o n s th ree t i m e s , b u t u n l i k e F e n g , Y u a n w e n t o n to o b t a i n h i s jinshi deg ree , a lbe i t b e l a t e d l y at the age of fo r t y -s i x . I n F e n g ' s sanqu a b o u t h i s b r e a k - u p w i t h H o u , he m a k e s seve ra l re fe rences to the b i t te r fate of a p o o r s c h o l a r w h e n c o m p a r e d to that o f a w e a l t h y m e r c h a n t . T h o u g h Y u a n d i d b e c o m e s u c c e s s f u l la ter o n i n h i s career , 6 3 at the t i m e of h i s m a r r i a g e to H o u i n 1596, he w o u l d h a v e b e e n t w e n t y s ix y e a r s of age, a n d a c c o r d i n g to G a o H o n g j u n , i n a d i r e state o f p o v e r t y . T h a t H o u t o o k p i t y o n th is w r e t c h e d m a n a n d c a r e d fo r h i m as he b e g g e d i n the c o u r t e s a n q u a r t e r s is n o t i n k e e p i n g w i t h the c o l d a n d f i ck le l o v e r that F e n g d e p i c t s i n h i s s o n g s . A l s o p r o b l e m a t i c is the t ime f r a m e o f Y u a n ' s m a r r i a g e to H o u a n d the p r o b a b i l i t y tha t she d i d no t e v e n k n o w F e n g M e n g l o n g i n 1596, w h o at that t ime , w o u l d h a v e b e e n a m e r e t w e n t y - t w o yea rs of age. If w e accep t O k i Y a s u s h i ' s d a t i n g of Shange as 1611-1616, a n d the a s s u m p t i o n that F e n g a n d H o u w e r e s t i l l t oge the r at the t i m e o f i ts c o m p i l a t i o n , then Y u a n Z h o n g d a o w o u l d no t h a v e b e e n a fac to r i n the i r b r e a k - u p . T h e H o u H u i q i n g i n Y u a n ' s a n t h o l o g y w a s e i the r d i f f e ren t f r o m the c o u r t e s a n w i t h w h o m F e n g fe l l i n l o v e , o r the s a m e H o u H u i q i n g , b u t o n e w h o h a d l o n g b e e n s e p a r a t e d f r o m he r f o r m e r h u s b a n d . A l s o u n l i k e l y is the p o s s i b i l i t y that F e n g a b a n d o n e d the p l e a s u r e qua r te r s at s u c h a y o u n g age, ye t s t i l l m a n a g e d to w r i t e , p u b l i s h , a n d co l lec t so m a n y s to r ies a b o u t r o m a n t i c a f fa i rs w i t h the v e r y w o m e n he c l a i m e d to reject. F u r t h e r m o r e , Taixia xinzou d i d no t a p p e a r 6 3 Together with his two brothers, Yuan Hongdao (1568-1610) and Yuan Zongdao (1560-1624), Yuan Zhongdao formed a literary club in Beijing known as the Grape Society CfwWA)- They were collectively known as the "three Yuan brothers from Gongan" (i>^rHS) and used their Grape Society as a forum for literary reform. 35 u n t i l 1627 w h e n F e n g w a s f i f t y - th ree y e a r s o f age . C o u l d it be p o s s i b l e that the i n f a m o u s s e p a r a t i o n w h i c h w r e n c h e d h i s hear t h a p p e n e d m o r e t h a n th i r t y y e a r s be fo re h i s sanqu w e r e p u b l i s h e d ? W i t h o u t f u r the r i n f o r m a t i o n , w e c a n o n l y specu la te . 36 Chapter Three T a l e s f r o m t h e P l e a s u r e Q u a r t e r s : N a r r a t i v e sanqu i n Taixia xinzou T h i s c h a p t e r c o n t i n u e s m y p r e v i o u s d i s c u s s i o n o f F e n g M e n g l o n g ' s s o n g s b y e x a m i n i n g t w o of h i s n a r r a t i v e sanqu i n Taixia xinzou, " Q i n g l o u y u a n " WIS#5 ( A C o u r t e s a n ' s L a m e n t " a n d " S o n g y o u f a n g j i " MlsCfJiik (Fo r a F r i e n d S e e k i n g a C o u r t e s a n ) . 6 4 T h e t h e m e of l o v e a f fa i rs b e t w e e n s c h o l a r s a n d cou r t esans is the s a m e , b u t u n l i k e F e n g ' s o w n c o m p o s i t i o n s a b o u t h is b r e a k - u p w i t h H o u H u i q i n g , the n a r r a t i v e s a b o u t h i s f r i e n d s ' r e l a t i o n s h i p s are w r i t t e n f r o m a grea ter e m o t i o n a l d i s t ance . T h o u g h these sanqu a l s o d e a l w i t h the i n t i m a t e e x p e r i e n c e of t h w a r t e d l o v e , t hey d o no t c o n v e y the b i t te r r e s e n t m e n t that F e n g e x p r e s s e s a b o u t h i s o w n fa i l ed af fa i r . I ns tead , c o u r t e s a n s are t rea ted w i t h a g rea t d e a l o f s y m p a t h y a n d are v a r i o u s l y d e p i c t e d as m o u r n f u l beau t i es s c o r n e d b y f i c k l e m e n o r p o w e r l e s s v i c t i m s of f i sca l o p p o r t u n i t y . It seems that F e n g ' s s e p a r a t i o n f r o m H o u d i d no t de te r h i m f r o m w r i t i n g c o m p a s s i o n a t e l y a b o u t the l i v e s of o the r s i n g i n g g i r l s . A t t a c h e d to each c o m p o s i t i o n is a n e labo ra te p re face e x p l a i n i n g the e v e n t s o f the r o m a n t i c t rys t a n d c l ea r l y d e f i n i n g the m o r a l s u p e r i o r i t y of the f a i t h f u l l o v e r . T h e s o n g su i tes that t h e n f o l l o w r e p r o d u c e the n a r r a t i v e set fo r th i n the p re face . T h e p re face is c r u c i a l i n c o n t e x t u a l i z i n g the m a n y o b s c u r e a l l u s i o n s F e n g uses to c o n v e y the s e n t i m e n t s o f h i s s p e a k e r . I n " Q i n g l o u y u a n " F e n g takes o n the v o i c e o f the j i l t ed c o u r t e s a n a n d i n " S o n g y o u f a n g j i " he a d o p t s the p e r s o n a o f the h e r o i c scho la r . T h o u g h the sub ject m a t t e r o f these s o n g s is n o t h i s o w n e x p e r i e n c e , it is s t i l l o f a d e e p l y p e r s o n a l n a t u r e a n d h e l p s to l e a d r e a d e r s to a c lea re r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of F e n g ' s a t t i t udes o n l i fe a n d l o v e . Taixia xinzou 12:9 ; 5:2. 37 I w i l l b e g i n m y d i s c u s s i o n of F e n g ' s n a r r a t i v e sanqu w i t h " Q i n g l o u y u a n " . T h i s p a r t i c u l a r c o m p o s i t i o n i s as l o n g as i t i s c o m p l e x : a ta le f r o m the p l e a s u r e q u a r t e r i n t h i r t een sets of m e e t i n g s , p a r t i n g s , a n d u n f i l l e d p r o m i s e s . T h o u g h th is p o e m bea rs the cha rac te r of " s o r r o w a n d r e s e n t m e n t " (yuan g^) i n i ts t i t le , the s a m e charac te r that d e f i n e s the s e n t i m e n t of F e n g ' s c o m p o s i t i o n s a b o u t H o u H u i q i n g , " Q i n g l o u y u a n " c o n v e y s the e m o t i o n s of l a m e n t , ra the r t h a n i n d i g n a t i o n , h e n c e m y c h o i c e of t r a n s l a t i o n . T h e n a r r a t i v e f o l l o w s the rea l l i fe a f fa i r o f F e n g ' s f r i e n d , M r . L i u f i j , a n d h i s c o u r t e s a n l ove r , B a i X i a o f a n F=l 'Mi. H e w r i t e s i n the p re face : M y f r i e n d , a ce r ta in M r . L i u f r o m D o n g s h a n , h a d b e e n o n i n t i m a t e t e r m s w i t h B a i X i a o f a n . L a t e r the t w o w e r e s e p a r a t e d . A g a i n no t too l o n g ago , h o w e v e r , I a c c o m p a n i e d h i m to v i s i t h e r . T h e c o u p l e e x c h a n g e d the i r l o v i n g t h o u g h t s o n the pas t s ix yea rs , w e e p i n g a l l the w h i l e . It w a s a shor t v i s i t , b u t t h e y sec re t l y a g r e e d to meet a g a i n s o o n . L i u , h o w e v e r , n e v e r d i d s h o w u p a g a i n . N o w , e v e r y t i m e I h a p p e n to see X i a o f a n , she is i n tears. O h , i n th i s w o r l d , is there rea l l y a m a n as hear t less as L i S h i l a n g ? I h a v e t hus c o m p o s e d t h i s sanqu for X i a o f a n . 6 5 T h e c o m p o s i t i o n of th is sanqu rep resen ts a r e v e r s a l of ro les fo r F e n g . A p a r t f r o m the i n t r o d u c t i o n , F e n g w r i t e s h i s ve rses i n the v o i c e o f B a i X i a o f a n , the j i l t ed c o u r t e s a n w h o is a b a n d o n e d b y h e r s c h o l a r l o v e r . T h o u g h m a l e l i te ra t i w r i t i n g t h e m s e l v e s as a b a n d o n e d w o m e n is n o t h i n g n e w i n C h i n e s e l i t e ra tu re , F e n g seems to i d e n t i f y s t r o n g l y w i t h the p l i g h t of th is p a r t i c u l a r s i n g i n g g i r l , so m u c h that he d e d i c a t e s the c o m p o s i t i o n to her . P e r h a p s he s a w v i s i o n s of h i s o w n f a i l e d a f fa i r w i t h H o u , o r p e r h a p s h e w a s m o v e d b y the l o y a l t y of he r l o v e . I n a n y case, i t is m a d e c lear to readers w h o the w r o n g e d p a r t y i s . F e n g c o m p a r e s h i s Taixia xinzou 12:9. Translation of the preface by Hua-yuan Li Mowry, Chinese Love Stories from Ch'ing-shih (Hamden: Archon Books, 1983), 33. For a complete translation of "Qinglou yuan" see my appendix. 38 f r i e n d , M r . L i u , to the hear t less L i S h i l a n g ^"f~ a cha rac te r b a s e d o n the T a n g poe t , L i Y i ^.mf . (748-827), a n d i m m o r t a l i z e d i n the c l a s s i c a l tale b y J i a n g F a n g MW (f l . ea r l y 9 t h c e n t u r y ) , " T h e B i o g r a p h y of H u o X i a o y u " (If'hlEI©-). L i S h i l a n g is the u n f a i t h f u l l o v e r of H u o X i a o y u Hf'ME, a b e a u t i f u l c o u r t e s a n . H e a b a n d o n s h e r af ter p l e d g i n g h i s e te rna l l o v e . N o t o n l y d o e s he n e v e r s e n d for H u o , b u t he m a r r i e s a n o t h e r w o m a n at h i s m o t h e r ' s u r g i n g . H u o X i a o y u d i e s o f g r ie f a n d p r o c e e d s to h a u n t L i a n d h i s w i v e s as a v e n g e f u l ghos t . In " A C o u r t e s a n ' s L a m e n t , " M r . L i u a n d B a i X i a o f a n r e n e w the i r p l e d g e of l o v e af ter s i x y e a r s of s e p a r a t i o n , b u t L i u b r e a k s h i s c o m m i t m e n t a n d n e v e r re tu rns to her . B a i regre ts the p r o m i s e she m a d e a n d the fee l i ngs she r e v e a l e d , a n d F e n g is lef t to w i t n e s s h e r tears, s h o w i n g h i s s y m p a t h y fo r the c o u r t e s a n b y c o m p o s i n g the sanqu i n h e r v o i c e , n o t h i s f r i e n d ' s . H e w r i t e s i n the f i rs t s o n g : To the tune "Step by Charming Step" In the l o n e l y a u t u m n w i n d a u t u m n l eaves d a n c e , A n d I t h i n k of a l l the s a d a u t u m n r h a p s o d i e s [ever w r i t t en ] . T i m e passes i n the b l i n k of a n eye , [But ] w h e r e h a v e y o u p u t T h e t i m e fo r o u r l o v e r ' s t rys t? I s c ra t ch m y h e a d a n d regret that b a c k t hen , I c o n f e s s e d m y t rue fee l ings to y o u fo r n o [good] r e a s o n . » m a « f f , mmmmm,* mimm®, K ^ I E s&m? m i t mfrtn, & * M « t f sip. T h o u g h the t h e m e o f the a b a n d o n e d w o m a n i n t r a d i t i o n a l C h i n e s e l i t e ra tu re is o f t e n assoc ia ted w i t h f r us t ra ted m a l e a m b i t i o n , i t is c lear i n F e n g ' s c o m p o s i t i o n that h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h B a i X i a o f a n is of a p e r s o n a l na tu re : b o t h w e r e re jected b y f i ck le l o v e r s . In the f i rs t s o n g o f the sequence , F e n g i n v o k e s the s o r r o w f u l m o o d of a u t u m n as B a i re f lec ts o n the p a s s i n g o f t i m e a n d the r e a l i z a t i o n that he r b e l o v e d w i l l no t r e t u r n to her : " w h e r e h a v e 39 y o u p u t the t i m e fo r o u r l o v e r ' s t r y s t ? " , she asks h i m . T h i s s o n g s t a n d s i n con t ras t to the p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d sanqu, " D u a n ' e r y i b i e " i n w h i c h F e n g reca l l s a s p r i n g t i m e scene : h i s p a r t i n g f r o m H o u o n the s e c o n d d a y o f the D u a n w u F e s t i v a l . 6 6 I m a g e s of m i l d l y w a r m w e a t h e r a n d b l o o m i n g p o m e g r a n a t e f l o w e r s are u s e d to create a n o s t a l g i c m o o d for t he s o n g . I n " Q i n g l o u y u a n , " h o w e v e r , B a i l o o k s b a c k o n h e r l o v e a f fa i r w i t h L i u f r o m the p e r s p e c t i v e of " l o n e l y a u t u m n " (M'M^k), the s e a s o n s i g n a l l i n g the e n d of b e a u t i f u l t h i n g s . T h e s e c o n d s o n g of the sequence is a l a m e n t o n the c o u p l e ' s s ix y e a r s of s e p a r a t i o n , o r ra ther L i u ' s s e p a r a t i o n f r o m B a i X i a o f a n . T h e l y r i c s to th is s o n g e m p h a s i z e tha t the c o u r t e s a n r e m a i n e d l o y a l to h e r l o v e r d e s p i t e h i s p r o l o n g e d absence a n d i n sp i t e o f the r i d i c u l e she r e c e i v e d f r o m o thers . F e n g w r i t e s : To the tune "Cassia over the Southern Bough" I ea rnes t l y t h i n k of y o u a n d g e n u i n e l y l o n g fo r y o u ; I su f fe r t h r o u g h the d a y a n d su f fe r t h r o u g h the n igh t . A l t h o u g h the c o l d m o u t h s o f o the rs r i d i c u l e m e , I s t i l l ea rnes t l y take y o u r s i de . N o w a d a y s , th is is b e c o m i n g q u e s t i o n a b l e ; I see be fo re m e s ix w a s t e d yea rs . W h a t t r e a c h e r o u s w a t e r o r f i e ry v o l c a n o is there, T o p r e v e n t the t rave le r f r o m [ c o m i n g to me ]? T h e r e is n o t race of h i m , N o r s o u n d . A n d w e r e I to seek h i m i n a d r e a m , n o d r e a m w o u l d there be . • [ T £ « f W ] . T h a t B a i X i a o f a n s u f f e r e d so d i l i g e n t l y i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of h e r l o v e r ' s r e t u r n is a c l ass i c n a r r a t i v e f r o m the C h i n e s e l y r i c a l t r a d i t i o n o f s e l f - p i t y i n g m a l e l i te ra t i c o m p a r i n g t h e m s e l v e s to dese r ted w o m e n . Y e t , i n w r i t i n g h i m s e l f as th is m o u r n f u l c o u r t e s a n , F e n g is 6 6 Taixia xinzou, 11:15. 40 n o t l a m e n t i n g a l a c k of r e c o g n i t i o n f r o m h i s l o r d , b u t s i m p l y p r o j e c t i n g the hea r t ache o f h i s o w n e x p e r i e n c e . N o t o n l y does B a i w a i t p a t i e n t l y fo r L i u to r e t u r n to he r , b u t she a r d e n t l y d e f e n d s h i s absence : " A l t h o u g h the c o l d m o u t h s o f o the rs r i d i c u l e m e , I s t i l l ea rnes t l y t ake h i s s i d e " (fiMlifv P tMfi, TC ill fMjlalfS). It is no t u n t i l the last ha l f o f the s o n g that she b e g i n s to q u e s t i o n h i s c o m m i t m e n t a n d h e r o n c e s t u b b o r n n e s s t u r n s i n to defeat . In the t h i r d s o n g of the sequence , B a i X i a o f a n a p p e a r s to h a v e g i v e n u p h o p e that L i u w i l l r e t u r n to her , b u t F e n g la ter r evea l s t h r o u g h a l l u s i o n s that the c o u p l e en joys a b i t ter -s w e e t r e u n i o n af ter m a n y y e a r s of h a r d s h i p . H e w r i t e s : To the tune "Willow's Shaking Gold" I n h i d d e n r o o m w i t h c r i m s o n d o o r , I l a z i l y o p e n m y f rag ran t t r o u s s e a u . P a s s i o n has d i s s i p a t e d . F u t i l e fo r P a s s i n g R a i n to t h i n k of C h u ; T h e w a n d e r i n g sp i r i t [sti l l ] w i s h e s to enc i r c l e W u . F o r t u n a t e i t w a s fo r [S ima] X i a n g r u to c o m e to h i s senses, A n d p a y a n o t h e r v i s i t to h i s " s t o v e m i n d e r " . I hea r h i m s p e a k a b o u t h i s i n n e r m o s t f ee l i ngs , a n d it w a s n o t h i s i n t e n t i o n [to l eave me ] af ter a l l . S w e e t are the f ru i ts o f h a r d s h i p , L i k e g rass that has w i l t e d a n d a g a i n r e v i v e s . T o n i g h t w e s h o u l d de fe r the ta l k o f o u r j o y a n d l o v e A n d f i rs t w e s h o u l d e x p o u n d o n m y s o r r o w . It is a l so m e n t i o n e d b y F e n g i n h i s p re face that L i u a n d B a i m e e t a n d pa r t s e v e r a l t imes , b u t fo r the u n s u s p e c t i n g reader (or l i s tener ) , th is i n f o r m a t i o n w o u l d be h a r d to g l e a n . A t th i s p o i n t i n the n a r r a t i v e , s c h o l a r a n d c o u r t e s a n h a v e r e u n i t e d af ter s i x y e a r s o f s e p a r a t i o n , a n e v e n t to w h i c h F e n g h i m s e l f w a s a w i t n e s s : "I a c c o m p a n i e d [L iu ] to v i s i t h e r " (ftpHff-fH), he 41 w r i t e s i n h i s p re face . T h e k e y to u n d e r s t a n d i n g the i r s to ry l ies i n i n t e r p r e t i n g F e n g ' s use of a l l u s i o n to t w o f a m o u s l o v e af fa i rs , o n e b e t w e e n a k i n g a n d g o d d e s s , a n d the o the r b e t w e e n a s c h o l a r a n d b e a u t y . T h e f i rs t a f fa i r i m p l i e s s e p a r a t i o n , a n d the s e c o n d i m p l i e s r e u n i o n . I n the s e c o n d s o n g of " Q i n g l o u y u a n , " B a i X i a o f a n is o b s e s s e d w i t h l o v e , a n d n o w i n the t h i r d s o n g , she is l a n g u i s h i n g i n i ts d e p r i v a t i o n . S i n c e " p a s s i o n has d i s s i p a t e d " (M.M PI she is e v e n re luc tan t to care for h e r a p p e a r a n c e : "I l a z i l y o p e n m y f r a g r a n t t r o u s s e a u " (#S'IHIi). In the nex t l i ne of the s o n g , F e n g re in fo rces the n o t i o n of s e p a r a t e d l o v e r s b y m a k i n g re fe rence to the a f fa i r b e t w e e n K i n g X i a n g of C h u £ t JB3? . a n d the g o d d e s s of W u m o u n t a i n M l i l l f ^ C , a u n i o n so b r ie f i t takes p l a c e i n a d r e a m . F e n g w r i t e s , " f u t i l e fo r P a s s i n g R a i n to t h i n k of C h u " (fJ'M£tf M). T h i s sen tence a l l u d e s to the C h i n e s e e u p h e m i s m " c l o u d s a n d r a i n " (yunyu U M ) , o r l o v e m a k i n g , m a d e f a m o u s b y S o n g Y u ^ 3 1 , a t h i r d c e n t u r y B C o f f i c i a l f r o m the k i n g d o m of C h u . In the p re face to the p o e m a t t r i bu ted to h i m , " R h a p s o d y o n G a o t a n g P e a k " (MMM), S o n g Y u p r o v i d e s the m o s t f a m o u s v e r s i o n of the K i n g ' s e n c o u n t e r w i t h the g o d d e s s : O n c e u p o n a t ime , K i n g X i a n g of C h u v i s i t e d the h i g h ter race at Y u n m e n g ( D r e a m of C l o u d s ) w i t h S o n g Y u , w h e n he g a z e d off t o w a r d the l o d g e of G a o t a n g . A b o v e it w a s a m a s s of c l o u d y v a p o r s [...] A n d the k i n g a s k e d S o n g Y u , " W h a t v a p o r is tha t?" W h e r e u p o n S o n g Y u r e p l i e d , " T h a t is w h a t t h e y c a l l ' t he c l o u d s of d a w n ' . " A n d a g a i n the K i n g : " W h a t is m e a n t b y ' t he c l o u d s of d a w n ' . " S o n g Y u : " O n c e u p o n a t i m e one of the k i n g s be fo re y o u v i s i t e d G a o t a n g . H e g r e w w e a r y a n d l a y d o w n to rest d u r i n g d a y t i m e . H e d r e a m e d t h e n of a w o m a n , w h o s a i d to h i m , "I a m the G o d d e s s o f W u M o u n t a i n a n d a m a so jou rne r he re at G a o t a n g . W h e n I h e a r d that m y l o r d w a s v i s i t i n g G a o t a n g , I w a n t e d to sha re a b e d w i t h y o u . " T h e n the k i n g e n j o y e d her . A n d w h e n she left , she s a i d o n p a r t i n g : I a m f o u n d o n W u M o u n t a i n ' s s u n l i t s l ope , O n the s teeps of the h i g h h i l l . I n the ea r l y m o r n i n g I a m the c l o u d s of d a w n , 42 In the e v e n i n g I a m the p a s s i n g r a i n . E v e r y m o r n i n g a n d e v e r y e v e n i n g b e n e a t h the Te r race of L i g h t . 6 7 ^ mm^mm^mmwzm, mnmzm, 3? Eh -t^5feit^ MM , MMBM, ^m\UZ~k fa, MMBZ%, mMfflMB , I l t t o Aim^-Z. iMlf-EI: g •&m\hzm, MEzm/mms, mmm/mmmm, mmzr. F e n g ' s a l l u s i o n to th is s to ry is m e a n t to sugges t a p a s s i o n a t e af fa i r that is cu t shor t . T h o u g h the c o u p l e ' s u n i o n is f l ee t ing , the i r s e p a r a t i o n b e c o m e s p e r m a n e n t . T h e k i n g , h o w e v e r , is so m o v e d b y h i s d r e a m e n c o u n t e r w i t h " p a s s i n g r a i n " (xingyu f r M ) , the e v e n i n g m a n i f e s t a t i o n of h i s g o d d e s s l o v e r , that he d e c i d e s to b u i l d a t e m p l e i n h e r h o n o u r . 6 8 In " Q i n g l o u y u a n " , F e n g reve rses the s e n t i m e n t of S o n g Y u ' s ta le a n d it is P a s s i n g R a i n w h o y e a r n s fo r K i n g X i a n g , o r B a i X i a o f a n w h o l o n g s for L i u , e v e n t h o u g h she has accep ted the fact that he w i l l n o t r e t u r n . I n the nex t l i ne of the s a m e s o n g , F e n g m a k e s re ference to a n o t h e r f a m o u s l o v e af fa i r , tha t b e t w e e n the ce leb ra ted fu poet , S i m a X i a n g r u W]||^ @$n (179 - 117 B C ) , a n d h i s w i f e , Z h u o W e n j u n ( f l . 150-115 B C ) , a l so a t a l en ted poet . W h e r e a s the p r e v i o u s a l l u s i o n to " c l o u d s a n d r a i n " is m e a n t to i n v o k e f ee l i ngs of s e p a r a t i o n , the a l l u s i o n to th i s f a m o u s c o u p l e s i gn i f i e s a l o n g a w a i t e d r e u n i o n . F e n g w r i t e s : " F o r t u n a t e it w a s fo r [S ima] X i a n g r u to c o m e to h i s senses , a n d p a y ano the r v i s i t to h i s ' s t ove m i n d e r ' " ( { B J ^ f f i i P l i r f f . Wt\)VM'B 1/1). T h e k e y to u n d e r s t a n d i n g F e n g ' s m e s s a g e l ies i n the n a r r a t i v e of th is l o v e a f fa i r : Z h u o W e n j u n w a s the b e a u t i f u l d a u g h t e r o f a w e a l t h y S i c h u a n e s e f a m i l y w h o w a s w i d o w e d at the age o f s e v e n t e e n . W h e n she r e t u r n e d h o m e to l i v e w i t h he r pa ren ts , she fe l l i n l o v e w i t h a 6 7 Translation by Stephen Owen, An Anthology of Chinese Literature, 189. 6 8 The temple is called "Clouds of Dawn" (Chaoyun Hit), the daytime manifestation of the goddess. 43 p o o r w r i t e r , S i m a X i a n g r u . S h e e l o p e d w i t h h i m a n d w a s s o o n d i s o w n e d b y he r f a m i l y . T h e t w o l o v e r s o p e n e d a s h o p toge the r w h e r e Z h u o w a s i n c h a r g e of h e a t i n g the w i n e . T h u s , " s t o v e m i n d e r " (danglu ''M;WL), o r " s h o p m i n d e r " , re fers to Z h u o . W h e n S i m a X i a n g r u la ter b e c a m e f a m o u s he t h o u g h t of o b t a i n i n g a c o n c u b i n e , b u t Z h u o W e n j u n w a s so e n r a g e d at th i s i d e a that she t h rea tened to b r e a k i t of f w i t h h e r h u s b a n d a n d it is s a i d she c o m p o s e d a p o e m , " B a i t o u y i n " E Z I S J P T " ( A S o n g of W h i t e H a i r ) to exp ress h e r f u r y . U p o n r e a d i n g th is p o e m , S i m a X i a n g r u w a s so m o v e d that he r e t u r n e d to h i s w i f e . T h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s s u r r o u n d i n g M r . L i u ' s r e t u r n to B a i X i a o f a n are u n c l e a r . P e r h a p s h e h a d a c h a n g e of hea r t l i k e S i m a X i a n g r u , o r p e r h a p s h i s r e t u r n to the c o u r t e s a n w a s a m e e t i n g o f c o n v e n i e n c e . A s F e n g e x p l a i n s i n h i s p re face , " t he c o u p l e e x c h a n g e d the i r l o v i n g t h o u g h t s o n the pas t s ix yea rs , w e e p i n g a l l the w h i l e " (M/X^fMM, VJ^I^ 'S^). In the s e c o n d ha l f of the t h i r d s o n g , the c o u r t e s a n l ea rns that i t w a s n o t h e r l o v e r ' s i n t e n t i o n to l e a v e her , b u t n o e x p l a n a t i o n is p r o v i d e d fo r h i s absence . W h i l e she a c k n o w l e d g e s the h a p p i n e s s o f the i r r e u n i o n , B a i X i a o f a n is q u i c k to i n f o r m M r . L i u of the p a i n he has c a u s e d her : " T o n i g h t w e s h o u l d de fe r the ta l k of o u r j oy a n d l o v e a n d f i rs t w e s h o u l d e x p o u n d o n m y s o r r o w " (4~ T h e f o u r t h s o n g is a c o n t i n u a t i o n of the c o u r t e s a n ' s l a m e n t . F e n g w r i t e s , "I d i d n ' t t h i n k that he w o u l d l eave m e a l one for so l o n g , I d i d n ' t t h i n k that he w o u l d n ' t w r i t e a le t ter fo r so l o n g " ( / F i t JkM&XU, ^MykMXM). T h o u g h w e k n o w that M r . L i u lef t B a i to w a i t fo r s ix l o n g yea rs , w e a lso l e a r n f r o m F e n g ' s p re face that he l eaves he r a s e c o n d t i m e s h o r t l y af ter t he i r r e u n i o n w i t h the p r o m i s e to m e e t a g a i n s o o n . In the f i f th s o n g , B a i X i a o f a n exp resses h e r s o r r o w at the scene of h i s d e p a r t u r e : 44 To the tune "River Water" U n k i n d H e a v e n at the t ime of d a w n ; I nd i f f e ren t boa t as it o n c e a g a i n h u r r i e s a w a y . I l o o k o n h e l p l e s s l y a n d c a n n o t t h i n k of a n y t h i n g to s t op J i a o f u . 6 9 I t ake m y recent s o r r o w a n d c o n t i n u e o n w i t h m y pas t r e c o r d . T h i s t e m p o r a r y j oy is sent of f o n a r o a d w i t h o u t e n d . If h a p p y , t h e n h a p p y o n the o r d e r of the eas te rn w i n d , Y e t I w o r r y that th is i l l - fa ted b e a u t y , C a n n o t e n d u r e the in ju r i es of f o r m e r d a y s . ^ t n w ^ i . ^fobWiftxfe, mmm-tittxMo ^^mm T h o u g h F e n g m e n t i o n s i n the p re face that t he i r m e e t i n g is br ie f , i t a p p e a r s f r o m th i s s o n g tha t L i u takes h i s l e a v e of the c o u r t e s a n w i t h the b r e a k i n g of d a y , h u r r y i n g a w a y b y b o a t w h i l e she l o o k s o n h e l p l e s s l y . W h e r e a s i n p r e v i o u s s o n g s , B a i X i a o f a n a r d e n t l y d e f e n d s her l o v e r ' s p r o m i s e to r e t u r n , the s e n t i m e n t e x p r e s s e d i n t h i s s o n g is o n e o f d o u b t a n d s c e p t i c i s m . N o t o n l y is her j oy t e m p o r a r y , b u t it is " s e n t off o n a r o a d w i t h o u t e n d " . H e r l o v e r has a b a n d o n e d he r be fo re , so she h a s e v e r y r e a s o n to q u e s t i o n h i s s i nce r i t y . In the last l i ne of the s a m e s o n g , B i a o X i a o f a n ref lects o n the u n f o r t u n a t e l i ves of b e a u t i f u l g i r l s (WlfoftLM) a n d states, "[I] c a n n o t e n d u r e the in ju r ies of f o r m e r d a y s " . In the s i x t h s o n g , h o w e v e r , the c o u r t e s a n a p p e a r s to h a v e o n c e a g a i n t a k e n h e r l o v e r ' s p l e d g e to hea r t a n d is w a i t i n g pa t i en t l y for h i s r e t u r n . To the tune "Jade Branch" I . s topped s i n g i n g a n d d a n c i n g A n d w a i t fo r the m a n d a r i n d u c k s to c a l l " j i d u . " W i l l i n g to be a p l a i n - r i c e t h o r n - h a i r p i n w i f e 6 9 This is an allusion to Zheng Jiaofu gRjcHf of the Zhou dynasty (1022 BC-256 BC) who met two fairy maidens while traveling by the Han River. The tale dates back to at least the Western Han period (206 BC-9 AD), to Liu Xiang's I'J[Sj (79-8 BC) Liexian zhuan ^Milifll (Biographies of Exemplary Immortals), but its location does not appear to have been specified then. 45 I d o n o t e n v y o the rs ' h e a v y p o w d e r a n d t h i c k r o u g e . T h e w a y of D o n g t i n g L a k e is d e e p e n o u g h to m a k e a t e a r y - e y e d chart . 7 1 M o l i P e a k is h i g h e n o u g h to b l o c k m y s o r r o w . 7 1 L i p - b i t i n g teeth tear at m o u t h ' s r o u g e . I e n d u r e the d u s k a n d w e a r o u t m y e m b r o i d e r e d sk i r t . .[3£5c"!x:] nmn, # n n » f ! o #%mkmxm, smmmm In the f i rs t l i ne o f the s o n g w e l e a r n that the c o u r t e s a n t u r n s a w a y f r o m h e r p r o f e s s i o n a n d s tops t a k i n g c l i en ts , a l l i n the h o p e s that she m a y s o m e d a y be M r . L i u ' s " p l a i n - r i c e t h o r n -h a i r p i n w i f e " . T h e s ta tus of the p o o r e s t w i f e w a s s t i l l h i g h e r t h a n that of a f a m o u s s i n g i n g g i r l a n d as B a i X i a o f a n e n v i s i o n s h e r f u t u r e w i t h L i u , she l o o k s d o w n u p o n h e r c o u r t e s a n s is te rs w h o a d o r n t h e m s e l v e s w i t h " h e a v y p o w d e r a n d t h i c k r o u g e " . It seems as i f the l u r e of w i f e l y r espec tab i l i t y w a s m o r e t h a n e n o u g h to f u e l B a i ' s h o p e s that he r l o v e r w o u l d r e t u r n , d e s p i t e h i s f a i l u r e to d o so p r e v i o u s l y . In the s e c o n d ha l f of the s o n g , h o w e v e r , the d i s t ress o f u n c e r t a i n t y f i n a l l y ca tches u p w i t h B a i a n d h e r c o n f i d e n c e b e g i n s to w a n e . S h e w a i t s fo r h i m b y d a y a n d b y n igh t , w e a r i n g o u t h e r e m b r o i d e r e d sk i r t a n d b i t i n g h e r l i p s i n w o r r y . In the s e v e n t h s o n g , B a i X i a o f a n c o n t i n u e s to exp ress he r d o u b t s a b o u t L i u ' s r e t u r n w h i l e h e r o w n c o m m i t m e n t to the i r p l e d g e s e e m s as s t r o n g as ever . T h o u g h h e r l o v e r m a y n o t h o l d u p h i s e n d of the b a r g a i n , she is d e t e r m i n e d to r e m a i n l o y a l . To the tune "Jade chemise" T h e l o v e of m y m a n w a s l i k e the m o r n i n g d e w . 7 0 The phrase, "teary-eyed chart" (leiyantu M&liiil), may play on the Confucian idea that rivers at times produce charts with markings on them; usually the omens are auspicious. 7 1 Moli Peak MffiM is one of the seventy-two peaks on Junshan ffil.i island in the middle of Dongting lake WilMiDi in Hunan. 46 C a s t as i de s ince that d a y , [our l ove ] w a s d o o m e d to f a i l . W h y w o u l d he seek a g a i n h i s o l d s w o r d ? P r o b a b l y b e c a u s e o l d l o v e s are s l o w to w i t h e r . F r o m n o w o n , I w i l l s t r i c t l y o b s e r v e the J ian ta i m a n d a t e . N i g h t s w i l l be l o n g , a n d m y m u s i n g s m a n y . the m o r n i n g d e w . H i s f i c k l eness s t a n d s i n con t ras t to B a i X i a o f a n ' s d e d i c a t i o n a n d F e n g u s e s t w o a l l u s i o n s i n th is s o n g to d r a w o u t the t h e m e o f l o y a l t y b e t w e e n m e n a n d w o m e n . W h e n the c o u r t e s a n asks , " W h y w o u l d he seek a g a i n h i s o l d s w o r d ? " (^-^{^MtkMM^.), she is q u e s t i o n i n g a m a n ' s l o y a l t y to h i s f i rs t l o v e . T h e " o l d s w o r d " (gujian tiiM) is a n a l l u s i o n to E m p e r o r X u a n ( 9 1 B C - 4 9 B C ) o f the W e s t e r n H a n d y n a s t y ( 2 0 6 B C - 9 A D ) , w h o r e m a i n e d l o y a l to h i s f o r m e r conso r t aga ins t the a d v i c e of h i s m i n i s t e r s a n d e l e v a t e d h e r to the p o s i t i o n o f E m p r e s s once he a s s u m e d the t h r o n e ( re fe r r i ng to he r as the " o l d s w o r d of m y y o u t h " . H e n c e f o r t h " o l d s w o r d " c a m e to re fer to a f o r m e r (and f i rst) c o n s o r t (yuanpei jt Rl). In the con tex t of th is s o n g , h o w e v e r , " o l d s w o r d " re fers to B a i X i a o f a n , an o l d l o v e r . T h o u g h she h o p e s that the i r l o v e w i l l be " s l o w to w i t h e r " , B a i has n o g u a r a n t e e that L i u w i l l r e m a i n f a i t h fu l to he r . H e h a s b r o k e n h i s w o r d of h o n o u r be fo re , yet , t h i s d o e s no t de te r h e r f r o m m a k i n g a p l e d g e to " s t r i c t l y o b s e r v e the J ian ta i m a n d a t e " (jfMaffi). T h i s m a n d a t e is a n a l l u s i o n to a ter race n a m e d J ian ta i MM i n the d i s t r i c t of J i a n g l i n g iL^t i n H u b e i ( w h i c h is nea r the Y a n g z i r i ve r ) . A s the s to ry goes , K i n g Z h a o of C h u Ml fp-T . lef t h i s w i f e at th i s p l a c e w h i l e he w e n t o n a t o u r a n d w h e n the Y a n g z i f l o o d e d the te r race c o l l a p s e d , c a u s i n g h i s w i f e to d r o w n (because she r e f u s e d to l e a v e the ter race a n d save herse l f ) . B e c a u s e o f h e r u n w a v e r i n g l o y a l t y to the k i n g , L i u X i a n g I 'J |R] (79 - 8 B C ) i n c l u d e d h e r 47 In the f i rs t l i n e , the c o u r t e s a n a c k n o w l e d g e s tha t M r . L i u ' s a f fec t ions w e r e s h o r t - l i v e d l i k e b i o g r a p h y i n Lienii zhuan 'M&W ( B i o g r a p h i e s of E x e m p l a r y W o m e n ) . B a i X i a o f a n ' s a d h e r e n c e to the J ian ta i m a n d a t e is t h u s s y m b o l i c of l o y a l t y u n t o d e a t h . It is i n t e r e s t i n g to n o t e he re the d o u b l e s t a n d a r d for p r o v i n g onese l f . A m a n s h o w s l o y a l t y b y c h o o s i n g a s i n g l e w o m a n f r o m a m o n g m a n y . A w o m a n s h o w s l o y a l t y b y s a c r i f i c i n g h e r l i fe . I n the e i g h t h s o n g , L i u ' s p r o l o n g e d absence b e g i n s to take a s e r i o u s t o l l o n the c o u r t e s a n , so m u c h that she f i n d s i t d i f f i c u l t to f u n c t i o n i n d a i l y l i fe : "I c a n n o t s p e a k m y m i n d s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d l y a n d i n f ron t of o the rs I fo rce m y s e l f to act l i v e l y " H i , I^ J A l l l j M f 1 ! 1 ? ! ^ ) . S h e is so d i s t r a u g h t w i t h l o v e s i c k n e s s that she b l u r t s o u t L i u ' s n a m e u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y , i n c u r r i n g the r i d i c u l e of o the rs . T h e n i n t h s o n g o f " Q i n g l o u y u a n " r ep resen t s a t u r n i n g p o i n t i n the sanqu. B a i X i a o f a n h a s los t a l l h o p e tha t he r l o v e r w i l l r e t u r n fo r her . W h e n she rea l i zes that she has b e e n a b a n d o n e d , no t once , b u t t w i c e , b y the s a m e m a n , he r d o u b t t u rns i n to d e s p a i r a n d d e s p a i r t u r n s i n to resen tmen t . T h o u g h F e n g w r i t e s i n the v o i c e of the j i l t ed c o u r t e s a n , h e r w o r d s c o u l d eas i l y b e c o m e h i s o w n d e n u n c i a t i o n of H o u H u i q i n g : " Y o u w i l l n e v e r u n d e r s t a n d m y p a s s i o n a t e hear t , a n d o n c e a g a i n , as be fo re , [you] are a f i ck le l o v e r " (-— $ W L V / ¥ ^ t n > MifcMyE'MWX)-B a i c o n t i n u e s he r b i t ter l a m e n t o n M r . L i u i n the ten th s o n g b y r e f l e c t i ng o n the w a s t e d y e a r s she spen t i n l i m b o . "I s u f f e r e d y e a r s of neg lec t f r o m h i m , a n d o n l y w o n a s i n g l e n i g h t o f h a p p i n e s s " " f t f ^ ) - T h i s s i ng l e n i g h t re fers to the i r b r i e f r e u n i o n after s ix yea rs of s e p a r a t i o n . B u t , as F e n g w r i t e s i n the p re face , " L i u n e v e r d i d s h o w u p " a n d n e v e r m a d e g o o d o n h i s p r o m i s e to r e t u r n . " N o w , e v e r y t i m e I h a p p e n to see X i a o f a n , she is i n tears . " T h i s b r o k e n p r o m i s e i n s p i r e s B a i X i a o f a n to c o m p a r e h e r f i ck le l o v e r to the n o t o r i o u s Y o n g W u : " S p e a k i n g of the taste of the o n e I l o v e , h e is q u a l i f i e d to be a Y o n g W u " ("f$}ffl,®$&"|SfcI MWMM). T h i s is a n a l l u s i o n to a s e l f - s e r v i n g m a n w h o l i v e d 4 8 d u r i n g the S p r i n g a n d A u t u m n p e r i o d (722 B C - 481 B C ) . Y o n g W u MM., a l so k n o w n as Y i Y a , i m p r e s s e d D u k e H u a n of Q i ^M.'k ( d i e d 643 B C ) w i t h h i s c u l i n a r y s k i l l s b y b o i l i n g h i s o w n s o n i n a s o u p a n d o f f e r i n g i t to h i s l o r d . 7 2 T h e D u k e h a d s ta ted p r e v i o u s l y tha t he h a d tas ted m a n y t h i n g s i n h i s l i fe , b u t n e v e r h a d the o p p o r t u n i t y to eat b o i l e d i n fan t . W h e n Y o n g W u c o m p l i e d w i t h the D u k e ' s w i s h e s , he b e c a m e s y n o n y m o u s w i t h m e n w h o k n o w h o w to p l e a s e the i r s u p e r i o r s . In th is p a r t i c u l a r s o n g , h o w e v e r , the a l l u s i o n to h i m takes o n a d i f f e ren t m e a n i n g . F e n g ' s re ference to Y o n g W u i m p l i e s a m a n w i l l i n g to h u r t the o n e he l o v e s m o s t i n o r d e r to get a h e a d . In the e l e v e n t h s o n g of the sequence , B a i X i a o f a n accepts he r m i s e r a b l e fate as the a b a n d o n e d w o m a n , b u t s t i l l w i s h e s to m a k e h e r fee l i ngs k n o w n to M r . L i u . T h o u g h he r w o r d s s u g g e s t a sense of c l o s u r e , the c o u r t e s a n d e s p e r a t e l y seeks v a l i d a t i o n for the s u f f e r i n g she e n d u r e s , v a l i d a t i o n f r o m the v e r y m a n w h o causes he r so m u c h p a i n . To the tune "Rowing the river" H e is no t one to re l y o n A n d I r e c k o n that o u r m a r r i a g e d e s t i n y is at a n e n d . H o w c a n I s e n d m y h u m b l e f ee l i ngs b y ' f l y i n g s l a v e ' ? 7 3 S p r e a d i n g o p e n let ter p a p e r , I f i rs t s t a i n e d it w i t h tears. W h e n w a i t i n g for h i m , I w a s so i n f a t u a t e d , A n d w h e n cast as i de b y h i m , I w a s so p a i n e d . vmm mmm, mm^m-* ^>t^&%mm wmmftmm* mtm mmx, mmmmx* 7 2 This story is recorded in the chapter titled, Xiaocheng (/MP}) of the book Guanzi (W'-T). 7 3 The term feinu MiZ, or "flying slaves", refers to carrier pigeons. This term was popularized by the famous Tang poet and minister, Zhang Jiuling •MJL&i (678-740) who reared pigeons at home. When he needed to send letters to his friends or relatives, he tied the letter to a pigeon's leg and the pigeon would "deliver the letter to wherever he told it to go" (KUfSi^MftftZ). Zhang called them "flying slaves." This story is recorded in Kaiyuan Tianbao yishi "^ji.ti'iiiW^ (Forgotten matters of the Kaiyuan (713-741) and Tianbao (742-756) periods), compiled by Wang Renyu 3={rJ?. 49 S i n c e she c a n n o t re l y o n h i m to k e e p h i s w o r d , the c o u r t e s a n ' s d r e a m s o f " m a r r y i n g o u t o f the p r o f e s s i o n " (congliang are o v e r . H e r r e s p o n s e to th is r e a l i z a t i o n is to w r i t e d o w n h e r f e e l i n g s o n tea r - s ta ined p a p e r , a n d h o p e that h e r let ter w i l l r each h i m . In F e n g ' s l a m e n t o n H o u H u i q i n g , " Y u a n l i ci", he a l so w a n t s h i s f i ck le l o v e r to u n d e r s t a n d h i s p a i n : "I take these f e e l i n g s a n d c o m p l a i n to m y e s t e e m e d s i s t e r " OI#lifctittJr£Pif M M ) . A s F e n g w e l l k n o w s , the a n g u i s h of a b a n d o n m e n t is b e i n g lef t b e h i n d a n d w o n d e r i n g w h e t h e r o r no t y o u r l o v e r k n o w s y o u r s u f f e r i n g . In the p e n u l t i m a t e s o n g of the s e q u e n c e , the c o u r t e s a n l o o k s t o w a r d s a f u t u r e w i t h o u t L i u a n d w o r r i e s w h a t w i l l b e c o m e of a w o m a n w h o has w a s t e d he r y o u t h o n the w r o n g m a n . To the tune "Good luck" I o n l y w o r r y that [my beau t y ] has w i t h e r e d w i t h the [ s u m m e r ] g rass , A n d that one less p a i r o f d u c k s w i l l f l y of f [ this year ] . O u r secret a p p o i n t m e n t w a s for the n e w a u t u m n , B u t a u t u m n is a l r e a d y o l d . E v e r y d a y I ask l i t t le s ister a b o u t m y h a g g a r d face. B a i X i a o f a n ' s c o n c e r n s are qu i t e c o n v e n t i o n a l fo r a s i n g i n g g i r l , b u t a l so v e r y rea l . S i n c e she s p e n t s i x yea rs of he r l i fe a n d career w a i t i n g fo r L i u to r e t u r n , her d a y s as a f a m o u s c o u r t e s a n are p r o b a b l y ove r . B r o k e n i n m i n d , b o d y , a n d sp i r i t , she c a n o n l y t h i n k of the p a i r of d u c k s tha t w i l l n o t f l y off toge ther th i s yea r . In r e a l i z i n g that the da te of h e r l o v e r ' s t rys t pjm~mn, nm^m^ numm^mr^ has l o n g s i nce p a s s e d , she b e c o m e s p a r a n o i d a b o u t he r f a d i n g l o o k s a n d seeks d a i l y r e a s s u r a n c e f r o m the m a i d : " e v e r y d a y I ask l i t t le s is ter a b o u t m y h a g g a r d face. 50 As "Qinglou yuan" concludes, Feng returns once more to the allusion of King Xiang H3r. and the goddess of Wu mountain 3?lil#^C, a love affair suggesting permanent separation. Coda All over Yang terrace, I will search for King Xiang And as soon as I see him, I will die [for him] Thus, winning the reputation of being a woman who defends her honour to the death. mm] i i i f f i i n , -M>M£&m, &mnmwteffiWo In Song Yu's interpretation of the story, the king cherishes his encounter with the goddess, but does not actively seek her out.74 In Feng's interpretation, however, Bai Xiaofan takes the role of "passing rain" fxM (the goddess) and returns to the terrace of their lover's tryst. She then waits for the king and offers her life as sacrifice to him, the ultimate act of loyalty. That the courtesan is willing to "defend her honour to the death" is a quality in women that moved Feng greatly and it is no coincidence that he chooses to leave this final impression on his readers. In fact, Feng was so moved by the courtesan's dedication that he was inspired to write a play about the couple's affair. We learn this information from a comment appended to the end of "Qinglou yuan": Ziyou later wrote the play, Shuangxiong ji (A Pair of Heroes), projecting Bai Xiaofan in the role of Huang Suniang, and Mr. Liu as Liu Shuang. This play so moved Mr. Liu that he eventually married Xiaofan and thereby got her name removed from the list of courtesans. Who says that a writer's brush cannot work miracles?75 See page 35 for my discussion of Song Yu's rhapsody. Translation of by Hua-yuan Li Mowry, 3 3 . 51 Shuangxiong ji St$t§5 ( A P a i r of H e r o e s ) w a s F e n g ' s f i rs t p l a y a n d , as P a t r i c k H a n a n sugges ts , w a s p o s s i b l y w r i t t e n as ea r l y as 1602. 7 6 T h i s p u b l i c a t i o n da te is p u z z l i n g b e c a u s e i t p r e c e d e s Taixia xinzou (1627) b y t w e n t y - f i v e yea rs , ye t the c o m m e n t a p p e n d e d to the sanqu c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e s the p l a y as w r i t t e n later t h a n the sanqu. It is p o s s i b l e that the s o n g su i te w a s c o m p o s e d l o n g be fo re i ts p u b l i c a t i o n , b u t the reasons fo r d o i n g so are u n k n o w n . T h o u g h the p l o t of the chuanqi f ocuses o n the m i s a d v e n t u r e s of t w o s w o r n b r o t h e r s , the l o v e a f fa i r b e t w e e n L i u S h u a n g ( M r . L i u ) a n d H u a n g S u n i a n g (Ba i X i a o f a n ) is cen t ra l . T h e c o u r t e s a n i n the p l a y is d e s c r i b e d as h a v i n g a " n o b l e a n d r o m a n t i c " sp i r i t , a n i r res i s t i b le c o m b i n a t i o n that p r o m p t s F e n g ' s rea l - l i f e f r i e n d , M r . L i u , to r e t u r n fo r B a i X i a o f a n a n d f u l f i l l h i s p r o m i s e to m a r r y he r , r e m o v i n g he r n a m e f r o m the l i s t of cou r t esans . T h o u g h the r e a l X i a o f a n c o u l d n o t i n s p i r e h e r l o v e r to r e t u r n , i n the e n d , i t is F e n g ' s f i c t i ona l c r e a t i o n o f a w o m a n tha t s u c c e e d s i n m o v i n g a m a n ' s hear t . " W h o s a y s tha t a w r i t e r ' s b r u s h c a n n o t w o r k m i r a c l e s ? " ( m t i i A H^tMifi). I n the s e c o n d n a r r a t i v e sanqu I w i l l b e d i s c u s s i n g , " S o n g y o u f a n g j i " i^MWii'k (Fo r a F r i e n d S e e k i n g a C o u r t e s a n ) , F e n g c o m p o s e s f i v e s o n g su i tes a b o u t the i n t e r r u p t e d l o v e a f fa i r b e t w e e n h i s f r i e n d , Y u a n S h u d u JcEittP ( s t y l ed W u y a MM, da tes u n k n o w n ) , a f a m o u s p u b l i s h e r , 7 7 a n d the c o u r t e s a n W a n g S h e n g d o n g ZE^E^ . 7 8 S i m i l a r to the s t r uc tu re o f " Q i n g l o u y u a n " , th is sanqu is a l so p r e f a c e d b y a n e labora te i n t r o d u c t i o n tha t na r ra tes the c o u p l e ' s m e e t i n g a n d s e p a r a t i o n . F e n g w r i t e s : 7 6 Hanan, The Chinese Vernacular Story, 91. 7 7 Yuan Shudu MiSU was most famous for his 120 chapter edition of Shuihu zhuan 7JcSJ# (The Water Margin). 78 Taixia zinzou 5:2. 52 Wang Shengdong was a famous beauty and no sooner did she meet my friend, Wuya, than they formed an intimate attachment. In the future, they planned to share a long companionship, but Shengdong was compelled to support her family, and by [the time of Wuya's] next visit, she had already been sold to be a courtesan in Yue. Wuya is truly a man rich in feeling. He found out that the house [into which she was sold] was surnamed Hou and determined [the location of] the establishment. That very day he packed his bags and was about to visit her in the Six Bridges Quarter. I have composed this poem to see him off. In this love story, Feng is inspired by the heroic scholar, Yuan Wuya, a man he describes as being "rich in feeling" (duoqing zhong ^ t r t f ! ) - the opposite of the fickle Mr. Liu. Though his encounter with Shengdong is fleeting, his attachment to her is strong, so much that he sets off to find her after she has been sold to another establishment in Hangzhou, the Six Bridges Quarter (/X'^^E^P).79 In "Qinglou yuan" we never learn the reason why Bai is abandoned, but in "Songyou fangji" is it clearly stated that Wuya and Shengdong are forced apart by financial difficulties, specifically those of her family. It is impossible to determine whether or not this burden implies her natal family, or instead the business transactions of her courtesan 'mother' (i.e. the madam). Whatever the case, it is likely that the person who sold Wang Shengdong received a generous payment for the famous beauty. Though Shengdong is the inspiration for Wuya's call to action, Feng speaks in the voice of the heroic scholar in this poem, and not the singing girl who has been sold against her will. Feng admires Wuya for his loyalty to the courtesan, his commitment to their pledge, and his willingness to pursue his love at any cost. 7 9 The Six Bridges (liuqiao TN^) are associated with a famous scenic view of the West Lake (Sigj) in Hangzhou, called "Spring Dawn on the Su Causeway" (f^ #ii). 53 In the opening song suite the scholar is upset to discover that his beloved is gone. No sooner did the couple form an intimate attachment (moqi than the courtesan was sold into another establishment, and by the time of Wuya's next visit, Wang Shengdong is already on her way to Hangzhou where she will take up residence in the Six Bridges Quarter. Feng writes: To the tune "The Happy Disciple" Affairs of the heart are hard to discern; No hero appeared in the green bowers [to rescue her for me]. Cherished pearl and hidden jade, Are snatched away in mid-journey. Oh despair! The roadside willow is pulled up by its roots. The wall flower is also moved to another place. I myself should not have been drawn in by love's charms, [But] the sweetness it stirred in me is truly fine, Hard to give up at once. vmy-m ^mnmm, y^m-mmm, t » i w , -im^m^o mm, & When Wuya laments that "no hero appeared in the green bowers" (^FM T T=f IS a l^) , he is alluding to the the Tang tale by Xu Yaozuo frt-Hfe (dates unknown), "The Story of Miss Liu" (Liushi zhuan fl/Pftffl), in which a xia ifc (hero) rescues a beautiful concubine on behalf of her lover, a poor scholar. This is not the only time Feng refers to this tale. In "Shi Ji" | f (Vow on Courtesans), Feng compares himself to Han Yi t$$$ - the poor, but talented scholar who is powerless to reclaim Miss Liu from a high-ranking general. In Feng's affair, it is a wealthy merchant who steals Hou Huiqing and in "Songyou fangji", Feng projects his friend in the same role of disenfranchised scholar whose "cherished pearl and hidden jade are snatched 5 4 away" by some other man. Though Wuya chastises himself for "being drawn in by love's charms," he cannot bear to give up the sweetness it stirs in him. In the second song, the scholar reflects on the bright future he envisioned with Wang Shengdong, a "long companionship" (jiuyao ^35) that could have led to marriage. The lines from this suite as well as Feng's preface suggest that the couple was only together for a single night, despite the intimate bond they formed. The brevity of their affair, however, is matched only by the lover's incendiary passion and Feng uses images of flame and fire to play up the intensity of their feelings. To the tune "Path of Tied Brocade" I sigh repeatedly; At that time our bright future was already planned. I only hoped for a slow and peaceful [life]. Who could have known that fire soon would separate Wu from Yue? How I miss the happiness of her two smiling dimples; How I miss the sound of her warbling tongue. Adorable, from first glance so warm, I whisper secret thank-yous in my lovely maid's ear. Just as our feelings burst into flame, Who was it that restricted the night to [only] five watches? It is like at the way station where you must part with [a lover] in such a short moment. The couple plans to grow old together and enjoy a "slow and peaceful [life]", but their new world is soon turned upside down. Feng compares the lover's separation to the fires of war that divided the kingdoms of Wu >J| and Yue He, two powerful states during the Spring and 5 5 A u t u m n P e r i o d (770 B C - 476 B C ) . 8 0 H e t h e n goes o n to desc r i be the b u i l d u p of t he i r m u t u a l a t t r ac t i on as " f e e l i n g s [that] b u r s t i n t o f l a m e " (imiMiEik.^) after o n l y o n e n i g h t . A s W u y a reca l l s the f i v e w a t c h e s of the i r t i m e s p e n t toge ther , he e n v i s i o n s the h a p p i n e s s o f h e r s m i l e , the s o u n d of h e r v o i c e , a n d the w a r m t h of h e r p r e s e n c e : " A d o r a b l e , f r o m f i rs t g l a n c e so w a r m , I w h i s p e r secret t h a n k - y o u s i n m y l o v e l y m a i d ' s e a r " (Wlfli: Jl,l]Eff "Kl, l^fgii ifa^Mi T h e t h i r d s o n g su i te is f u l l o f a l l u s i o n s that sugges t the e n d of an a f fa i r , b u t m o s t i n t e r e s t i n g is F e n g ' s a l l u s i o n to the f a m o u s H a n g z h o u c o u r t e s a n , S u X i a o x i a o P ' N ' K H e w r i t e s : " A t X i l i n g M o u n d , [Su X i a o x i a o i s b u r i e d , ye t s t i l l she wa i t s ] i n v a r n i s h e d c a r r i a g e w i t h b r o k e n w h e e l ; h e r l o v e r s ' k n o t h a s c o m e u n d o n e , b u t the m u n d a n e w o r l d i n w h i c h h e r f l o w e r b l o s s o m e d r e m a i n s " (Hl^ft l ] i l$f&#f, 1$ M<bffl(.ffltti£). S u X i a o x i a o , a l so a l l u d e d to i n F e n g ' s p re face , w a s a f a m o u s c o u r t e s a n a n d p o e t f r o m Q i a n t a n g i n the S o u t h e r n Q i D y n a s t y (479-502). F e n g i n f o r m s u s tha t W a n g S h e n g d o n g w a s " s o l d to b e a S u X i a o i n Y u e " (W^M^M'b^:), o r i n o the r w o r d s , she w a s s o l d to be a c o u r t e s a n i n H a n g z h o u , as Q i a n t a n g is p resen t d a y H a n g z h o u a n d f o r m e r c a p i t a l of the Y u e k i n g d o m . A c o m m o n s to ry s u r r o u n d i n g the l i fe of S u w a s h e r a f fa i r w i t h a y o u n g s c h o l a r t r a v e l i n g to the c a p i t a l to w r i t e the e x a m i n a t i o n s . B e c a u s e he w a s i n a d i r e state o f p o v e r t y , S u X i a o x i a o g a v e the s c h o l a r s e v e r a l taels of s i l ve r , b u t s a d l y he n e v e r r e t u r n e d to h e r af ter c o m p l e t i n g the e x a m i n a t i o n s . In a n y even t , i t seems tha t she d i d no t w i s h to m a r r y o u t o f h e r p r o f e s s i o n , p r e f e r r i n g to share h e r b e a u t y w i t h the c o m m o n p e o p l e w h i l e s h o w i n g a c e r t a i n d i s d a i n fo r the w e a l t h y . In h e r late teens, S u X i a o x i a o d e v e l o p e d a n i l l ness a n d d i e d at the age of 19. F o r m o r e t h a n a t h o u s a n d y e a r s , he r t o m b w a s s i t u a t e d b e n e a t h the W e s t e r n 8 0 The war between Wu and Yue is recorded in the Wuyue Chunqiu ^WM^'k-56 Mound (Xiling H|£) in Hangzhou before it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). On her gravestone was a quatrain believed to have been penned by the courtesan herself. It reads as follows: "Su Xiaoxiao's song" WMW-'hWi I ride the coach with varnished sides, My love rides a dark mottled horse. Where will we tie our lover's knot? Under the pine and cypress of Western Mound Su Xiaoxiao's life and works would later inspire the Tang dynasty poet, Li He ^ j=i (790-816). Famous for his unconventional and imaginative style, Li He took the courtesan's quatrain and transformed it into a ghostly apparition, "The Tomb of Su Xiaoxiao" (W/b'bM)-** In this reworked poem, the dirt, grass and trees of Xiling mound become the furnishings of a ghost carriage in which the spirit of Su Xiaoxiao waits patiently for her lover to return. In Feng's allusion to the courtesan, it is unclear to which poem he is referring. Xiling mound is mentioned in both, but in Su's quatrain it is the place of her lover's tryst, and in Li's poem, it . is the plaice of her burial. Su Xiaoxiao clearly refers to Wang Shengdong, a courtesan whose 8 1 T rans la t i on by S t e p h e n O w e n in Classical Chinese Literature: From Antiquity to the Tang D y n a s t y (New Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U P , 1 9 9 6 ) , 4 9 0 . 8 2 T h e ful l t ex t and t rans la t ion of Li He 's p o e m . T rans la t i on by S t e p h e n O w e n , Ib id . , 4 9 0 . Lit t le S u ' s T o m b Dew on the h idden orch id Is l ike an e y e wi th tea rs . No th ing that t ies a t r u e - l o v e - k n o t , F lowers in m is t , can ' t bea r to cu t . T h e g r a s s l ike the r id ing c u s h i o n , T h e p ines l ike the ca r r i age roof. T h e w ind is her sk i r t T h e wa te r s her p e n d a n t s . T h e c o a c h wi th po l i shed s ides i i l i '-M'., A w a i t s in the twi l ight . C o l d a z u r e cand le l igh t S t r ugg l i ng to sh ine . B e n e a t h the W e s t e r n M o u n d W i n d b lows the ra in . B.W.W. 57 "lover's knot" (jietongxin &p |W|>L>) has also come undone, but why has the wheel of her carriage broken down? Does this imply the ravages of time? A woman who will wait for her lover even in death? Or does it suggest the physical evidence of a long journey on the road. Perhaps it is Shengdong's journey away from Wuya as she leaves to take up residence in a new establishment. In the fourth and penultimate song of the sequence, Yuan Wuya questions how a love pre-destined by karma could be ended in a single day. The heroic scholar is building up the courage to reclaim his beloved courtesan, but first he must convince himself of their fated union. Had he known sooner of their eventual separation, would it have been better if the lovers never met, or would he have bought Shengdong her freedom on that very day? To the tune "Ancient Wheel Terrace" I stamp my feet in vain; These lovebirds do not yet have a marriage certificate, And the double star is destined to part before its time. I have seen the flower house and moon pavilion with their singing and dancing girls, But more and more I think of my former romance. Could she be a goddess of love, an immortal beauty? [Our love] predestined by karma? One night's pledge [led to] a brief union. How could I possibly describe it? It would be better if we never met each other in the first place. Had I known sooner that this affinity of three lifetimes, Marriage destiny of one hundred years, Would be cast aside in a single day, How could I have begrudged emptying my coffers [to buy out her contract]? From now on, it would be useless to speak of jade pestles or Indigo Fields. m£&, f s a s ^ ^ H M , jtM^iM^itsjo MtTMizmm, m, nmn^mmh &%\=t£&fr, ^mm, -58 The "double star" (shuangxing SUM) that is destined to part before its time refers to the legend of the Weaving Maid (qiannti and Herdboy (niulang 4^ 1$)/ two celestial lovers who are separated and only permitted to meet once every year on the seventh day of the seventh month (qiqiao ~bI5). Yuan Wuya then compares Shengdong to "an immortal beauty" and "a goddess of love". He returns to the pleasure quarters to seek comfort for his failed affair, but this only serves as a reminder of his former romance. In reflecting on their union of just one night and their affinity of past, present, and future, Wuya declares that he would have emptied his coffers to buy out her contract. But, since the courtesan has already been sold, he remarks that it is "useless to speak of jade pestles and Indigo fields" (MEBIEft"-•feSgft). This is an allusion to the Tang chuanqi, "Pei Hang" (HM) by Pei Xing HfPJ (825-880) about a young man who uses a jade pestle and mortar as betrothal gifts to propose to a goddess. The two then enjoy a happy and long lasting marriage. Thus, Feng is implying that it is useless for Wuya to speak of marriage proposals. Since Shengdong is not present to accept, no amount of jade from Lantian mountain (famous for its jade), would secure the couple's happiness. In the coda, Wuya declares his intention to seek out the courtesan: The wealthy household is like a sea, but in the end, I must follow her there. Having found out bits and pieces [of information], I head towards the Six Bridges Quarter to look for her all over. mm We learn from Feng's preface that Wuya determined the name and address of the establishment into which Shengdong was sold. It was surnamed Hou \?k, which also carries the meanings of wealth and nobility. In the first line of the coda, Feng writes, "the wealthy 59 household is like a sea, but in the end, I must follow her there" (iWlWM^MU). This refers to a line from a poem attributed to Cui Jiao $M (Yuanhe 806-20, xiucai), "To a servant girl" (Zengqu bi flai^).83 The speaker of the poem loses his lover when she marries into a wealthy household and it is so difficult to see her again, it is like entering a deep sea (houmen yiru shenruhai {|=f"!—AWttt'M). It is very likely that the Hou household that purchased Shengdong was also very wealthy, but we never find out for certain. This narrative, like the love affair between scholar and courtesan, is interrupted before its time. As Wuya heads towards the Six Bridges Quarter to reclaim his lover, we can only imagine the possible outcomes of his journey. Cui Jiao's poem and my translation of, "To a servant girl" (Zengqu bi PSi^): im-Amnm, mt-mmnx. The wealthy sons follow one by one; Green pearls fall [like] teardrops on a woven towel. The wealthy household is like entering a deep sea; From now on, this dejected lad is a stranger. 60 Chapter Four Rewriting Romance: Scholars and Courtesans in Popular Fiction I will now turn my attention to Feng's popular fiction, specifically two short stories from his Sanyan H U (Three Words)84 collection that are romances rewritten from earlier source stories. Departing from the expression of private sentiment prevalent throughout his songs, Feng's anthologies of popular fiction adopt a more didactic approach when extolling the merits of romantic love, especially love between scholars and courtesans. Though "genuineness" (zhen JQ is still prized over orthodox Confucian values, Feng requires his fictional couples to endure more rigorous tests of character before they can end up together happily. In his popular and art song anthologies, genuine sentiment is praised indiscriminately for its challenge to the norm, but in fiction, Feng emphasizes fidelity in love as the key to romantic success, especially for women. Men were tempted by wealth and social rank, but could move between lovers at their leisure. Yet, because it was so difficult for courtesans to remain sexually faithful to a single man, a woman possessed of such moral integrity would be praised over any other with only beauty and talent to their name. Was this the missing quality that Feng so desperately sought in his beloved Hou Huiqing? And to what extent did Feng project his own persona into these romances? As we shall see in the following discussion, Feng did not hesitate to cut across gender and social boundaries when sympathizing with his characters, suggesting both a personal and public demand for loyalty and recognition. 8 4 Feng anthologized three collections of vernacular fiction under the common title of Sanyan. These collections in chronological order are, Gujin xiaoshuo "tr4~'hsft (Stories Old and New, c.1620), also known as Yushi mingyan i#Ur.njj=; (Illustrious Words to Instruct the World), Jingshi tongyan W W W (Comprehensive Words to Admonish the World, 1624), and Xingshi hengyan ffilittltf (Constant Words to Awaken the World, 1627). 61 Of all the stories edited and written by Feng, by far the most revealing of his personal anxieties is Feng's revised romance of L iu Yong $ P ^ k (987-1053), a famous poet of the Northern Song dynasty (960-1126). The historical Liu Yong was a gifted lyricist of ci f j i j , a frustrated pursuer of an official career, and the darling of the entertainment quarters - a man with whom Feng could identify.85 L iu was remembered as a talented but eccentric man whose refusal to conform to 'respectable' society earned him plenty of criticism from his peers. Precisely for these reasons, Feng admired L iu as a man possessed of genuine feeling (zhenqing j f c f i f ) . Like Feng, L iu spent much of his days in the company of singing girls who adored him for his obvious talents. His sensual lifestyle was made infamous in a sixteenth century popular tale, "The Story of the Wanjiang Tower" (Liu Qiqing shi jiu Wanjiang Lou ji W W H P I#ffi5tff S I B ) / 8 6 in which L iu is implicated in a sexual scandal. In this earlier source story, L i u allegedly has a courtesan kidnapped and raped because she has refused him sexual service - a vulgar depiction of a kindred soul that Feng found completely unacceptable. In rewriting the Liu Yong romance, Feng defends Liu as a man of good taste and refinement and attempts to repair the damage to his reputation. In Feng's revised version of this story, "Famous courtesans mourn L i u the Seventh in the spring breeze" (Zhong mingji chunfeng diao Liuqi ^<^f3$|5#JH,rf3W"t),87 L iu Yong is redeemed and takes on the role of the romantic hero, using his powers as a county magistrate to save a beautiful courtesan and reunite her with her lover. In the earlier source 8 5 Hsu Pi-ching, "Courtesans and Scholars in the Writings of Feng Menglong," 40. 8 6 This tale is probably of Yuan (1279 - 1368) origin but was first recorded in Hong Pian's WM (fl. 1522-66, Liushijia xiaoshuo /N+^'h'sft (Sixty Stories), compiled under the title Qingpingshan tang huaben fpf'I'ili^ BiS^ (1550) (Shanghai: Gudian wenxue chubanshe; Beijing: Wenxue guji, 1955), juan 1. 8 7 Feng Menglong, Gujin xiaoshuo P S ^ ' K B S (Stories Old and New, c.1620), chapter 12. 62 story, Liu is depicted as a heartless brute who orders a courtesan shamed in the most violent of ways, but in Feng's revision if is a wealthy merchant who takes on the role of villain. In fact, villainous merchants play a significant role in the story and serve to test the strength of a courtesan's devotion. Though Liu is the most coveted patron of courtesans in all the land, he reserves his deepest love for the singing girl, Xie Yuying a courtesan of remarkable beauty and learning. His affection for her, however, stems not from these qualities, but for her ability to recognize his poetic talent. She is to him a zhiyin fSlTlf/ one who understands him and appreciates his talents and inner worth. When they meet for the first time in Jiangzhou, Xie Yuying shows him a collection of his own lyrics handwritten in fine penmanship, not knowing that the man who stands before her is the author himself. She explains to him, "These are poems by the gifted scholar Liu the Seventh of the Eastern Capital. I am a great admirer of his poems. Every time I hear his works read out loud, I write them down and bind the pages into volumes"(l tb75^^^'-?fPt 'gAJ 3 i ff / F ' ^ S ^ L ^ M ' S l f f A & f f ' tt^f^^cfx1)-88 In narcissistic fashion, Liu draws out her praise for him before finally revealing his identity. Upon hearing his confession, Xie Yuying is so overcome with love and admiration for him that she swears a solemn vow to serve him as a wife. When he leaves her eventually to take up a minor post she promises to turn away all other patrons and wait for his return in three years time. It is during these three years of office that Liu comes across the beautiful courtesan, Zhou Yuexian M l ^ l t i j , who falls prey to the machinations of an evil merchant. This villain is the reincarnation of Liu Yong in the source story and is aptly named by Feng, Squire Liu 8 8 Shuhui Yang and Yunqin Yang, trans, Stories Old and New: A Ming Dynasty Collection, comp., Feng Menglong (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000), 211. 63 " t h e s e c o n d " ( L i u ' e r yuanwai #J—M^f-)- I n F e n g ' s r e v i s e d r o m a n c e , the h e r o a n d v i l l a i n are s e p a r a t e d : i t is S q u i r e L i u w h o uses h i s w e a l t h to s h a m e Z h o u i n to s u b m i s s i o n a n d fo rce h e r to b e c o m e h i s e x c l u s i v e m i s t r e s s ; c o n v e r s e l y , i t i s M a g i s t r a t e L i u w h o i n t e r v e n e s o n h e r b e h a l f a n d u s e s h i s o w n m o n e y to m a r r y the c o u r t e s a n to he r l o v e r . I n o r d e r fo r F e n g to i d e n t i f y so s t r o n g l y w i t h L i u Y o n g , i t w a s n e c e s s a r y fo r h i m to res tore h i s cha rac te r ' s m o r a l i n t eg r i t y . H e e v e n a d d s a m a r g i n a l c o m m e n t s t a t i n g tha t h i s v e r s i o n o f the i n c i d e n t is the " a u t h e n t i c o n e " , a n d n o t to be c o n f u s e d w i t h the v u l g a r " W a n j i a n g T o w e r . " A f t e r r e u n i t i n g the y o u n g c o u p l e , L i u is m o v e d to reca l l h i s o w n d e v o t e d l o v e r , X i e Y u y i n g , a n d t r ave l s b a c k to J i a n g z h o u to see her . U p o n a r r i v a l , he is d i s m a y e d to d i s c o v e r tha t she h a s r e s u m e d he r o l d p r o f e s s i o n a n d t a k e n u p w i t h a w e a l t h y m e r c h a n t o f h e r o w n , S q u i r e S u n M.M^• F e n g is q u i c k to p o i n t o u t tha t th i s m e r c h a n t is l a c k i n g i n l i t e ra r y taste, b u t l a v i s h e s m o r e t h a n a t h o u s a n d tae ls o f s i l v e r o n Y u y i n g o v e r the s p a n of a yea r . T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n se rves a d u a l p u r p o s e : it r evea l s b o t h the c o u r t e s a n ' s g r e e d a n d the i m p l i c a t i o n tha t m e r c h a n t s m u s t p a y m o n e y fo r the se rv i ces of cou r t esans , a v u l g a r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the e y e s o f the a u t h o r , yet , as H o u H u i q i n g o n c e c o n f e s s e d , a n u n p l e a s a n t i n the case o f c o u r t e s a n s . 8 9 T h o u g h X i e Y u y i n g d o e s k e e p h e r p r o m i s e fo r a y e a r a n d t u r n s a w a y a l l p a t r o n s , she s o o n r u n s o u t o f m o n e y a n d c a n n o t a f f o r d to c o v e r h e r d a i l y expenses . T h e f i sca l rea l i t i es o f c o u r t e s a n d e v o t i o n r e q u i r e d a great sac r i f i ce b y the w o m a n . F o r X i e Y u y i n g to p r o v e he r l o y a l t y to b o t h L i u a n d the au tho r , she w o u l d h a v e h a d to l i v e a l i fe o f d e s t i t u t i o n , c o m f o r t e d o n l y b y the t h o u g h t o f h e r zhiyin's r e t u r n . H e r p h y s i c a l s u f f e r i n g w o u l d v a l i d a t e h e r m o r a l w o r t h , b u t th is is a test that she d o e s no t p a s s a n d S q u i r e S u n s teps i n to f i l l he r f i n a n c i a l 8 9 See Feng's comments about Hou Huiqing in Shange 4:9. 64 needs. After a year has passed without any word from Liu, Xie Yuying begins to question his sincerity and is easily persuaded by others to start taking clients again. Though he has not seen her for three years, Liu is still devastated that she has gone back on her word. In verses reminiscent of those Feng wrote lamenting his loss of Hou Huiqing, Liu composes a ci and posts it on the wall for Yuying to find: To the tune "Tapping the Wutong Tree" With lovely dimples and bewitching charm, Bestowed by heaven a beauty divine, Tenderly she attended to my needs Using her artful ways to win my heart. On parting, she promised to meet again And pledged to me the rest of her life, That such fragile feelings might vanish Has ever since been preying on my mind. Now here I am, but the house is empty, Without a sincere word of love. Goaded by evil counsel, She broke her word of honour. I ask Song Yu 9 0 of Lantai, Fine poet and man of many talents: Where is one to turn now for more clouds and rain?91 9 0 Song Yu 5(55 was a famous poet from the third century BC who is supposed to have lived in the state of Chu. Anecdotes about Song Yu portray him as the ideal courtier: a handsome and well-spoken man who was as talented in composition as he was popular with women. Liu, and his alter-ego, Feng Menglong, would have viewed him as a kindred spirit. 9 1 Shuhui Yang and Yunqin Yang, trans, Stories Old and New: A Ming Dynasty Collection, comp., Feng Menglong (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000),216. 65 T h e s e c o n t r a s t i n g verses , a c o m m o n feature o f ci p o e t r y , r e p r e s e n t the c o n f l i c t i n g e m o t i o n s o f L i u ' s h e a r t b r e a k . I n the f i rs t s t a n z a , L i u p a y s t r i b u t e to Y u y i n g ' s b e a u t y a n d t a l e n t , a r t f u l s k i l l s t h a t f i r s t c a p t u r e d h i s a t t e n t i o n . H e t h e n goes o n to r e c a l l the scene of t h e i r p a r t i n g a n d t h e d e v o t i o n w i t h w h i c h she p l e d g e d h e r c h a s t i t y . I n t h e s e c o n d s t a n z a , h o w e v e r , L i u ' s e m o t i o n s t u r n to r e s e n t m e n t as h e c o n t e m p l a t e s h e r b r e a c h o f p r o m i s e . I n t h e w o r d s o f h i s p r o t a g o n i s t , w e c a n d i s t i n c t l y m a k e o u t F e n g M e n g l o n g ' s o w n v o i c e , h a r p i n g o n t h e p e r e n n i a l t h e m e o f f i c k l e l o v e . T h i s w o u l d h a v e b e e n a n a p p r o p r i a t e l y t r a g i c e n d i n g to the s t o r y , b u t F e n g r e w r i t e s the r o m a n c e i n f a v o u r o f a h a p p y e n d i n g a n d t h e f i c k l e c o u r t e s a n h a s a c h a n g e o f h e a r t . U p o n r e a d i n g t h e p o e m left b y L i u , X i e Y u y i n g is c o m p l e t e l y o v e r c o m e w i t h s h a m e at t h e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t h e h a s k e p t h i s p r o m i s e a n d r e t u r n e d f o r h e r . S h e i m m e d i a t e l y p a c k s h e r b e l o n g i n g s a n d a b a n d o n s S q u i r e S u n w i t h o u t so m u c h as a p a r t i n g w o r d . H e r r e j e c t i o n of the w e a l t h y m e r c h a n t i n f a v o u r of h e r t r u e l o v e r , a t a l e n t e d b u t u n r e c o g n i z e d s c h o l a r , r e p r e s e n t s a s w e e t scene of v i n d i c a t i o n for b o t h L i u Y o n g a n d F e n g . S h e t r a v e l s to t h e E a s t e r n C a p i t a l i n s e a r c h o f h e r zhiyin w h o w e l c o m e s Y u y i n g ' s r e t u r n a n d a l l o w s the c o u r t e s a n to f u l f i l l h e r o r i g i n a l p r o m i s e to s e r v e h i m as d e v o t e d w i f e . T h e e n d of t h e s t o r y d e p i c t s L i u ' s u n j u s t r e m o v a l f r o m office at the h a n d s o f a v e n g e f u l P r i m e M i n i s t e r . W h e n h e h e a r s the n e w s of h i s d i s m i s s a l , L i u ' s r e a c t i o n is o n e o f b i t t e r i n d i g n a t i o n : " A l l those h o l d i n g off ice n o w a d a y s are n o t h i n g m o r e t h a n b e n i g h t e d i l l i t e r a t e s . H o w c a n s u c h m e n b e e x p e c t e d to to lerate a g i f t e d p o e t l i k e m e ? " (#^$SJll, ' W>^Pf^^i^M ' MWl^^^HiW)-92 S t r i p p e d of h i s o f f i c i a l t i t le , L i u w i t h d r a w s c o m p l e t e l y f r o m s c h o l a r l y l i f e a n d t a k e s u p r e s i d e n c e i n the p l e a s u r e q u a r t e r s . A s F e n g 9 2 Ibid., 219. 66 p r e p a r e s to c o n c l u d e h i s ta le he m a k e s a f i n a l e f for t to e leva te L i u Y o n g ' s p o e t i c ta len t a n d a l s o to d e f e n d h i s o w n r e v i s i o n s to the ea r l i e r s o u r c e s to ry . 9 3 I ns tead of m e r e l y p a s s i n g a w a y of s i c k n e s s o r d i sease , L i u is s u m m o n e d b y the Jade E m p e r o r 3 6 ^ to l e n d h i s d i v i n e ta len t to the r e w r i t i n g o f a n u n a c c e p t a b l e t une . I n l e a v i n g the w o r l d b e h i n d h i m , L i u a n s w e r s a h i g h e r c a l l i n g o f se rv i ce w h e n he is f i n a l l y r e c o g n i z e d b y the r u l e r of H e a v e n . T h o u g h he d i e s w i t h o u t a p e n n y to h i s n a m e , h i s c o u r t e s a n a d m i r e r s a l l p o o l the i r m o n e y toge the r to g i v e L i u Y o n g a n h o n o u r a b l e b u r i a l . O n the d a y of h i s f u n e r a l , the c i t y i s b l a n k e t e d i n a sea of w h i t e s i l k as the s i n g i n g g i r l s d e s c e n d u p o n h i s g r a v e to p a y the i r las t respec ts . T h e o f f i c i a l s , o n t he i r pa r t , are o v e r c o m e w i t h s h a m e at the i r f a i l u re to r e c o g n i z e a m a n o f s u c h g rea t w o r t h . T h e t h e m e of r e c o g n i t i o n (or m i s r e c o g n i t i o n ) f i n d s fu r the r e x p r e s s i o n i n the s e c o n d s t o r y o f o u r d i s c u s s i o n , " D u S h i n i a n g S i n k s the J e w e l B o x i n R a g e " ( D u S h i n i a n g n u c h e n b a i b a o x i a n g tt+J^^^HK'ffi )-94 T h i s is a n o t h e r e x a m p l e of a s c h o l a r a n d c o u r t e s a n r o m a n c e tha t F e n g r e v i s e d f r o m a n ea r l i e r s o u r c e s to r y ; i n th is case it is a late M i n g c l ass i ca l ta le b y S o n g M a o c h e n g 5^ fS@ (1569-1620) t i t l ed , " T h e Fa i t h l ess L o v e r " ( F u q i n g n o n g z h u a n iJlfff fjlflt).95 C o m p a r e d w i t h the p r e v i o u s ta le a b o u t L i u Y o n g i n w h i c h F e n g l e n d s h i s s y m p a t h i e s to the m a l e p ro tagon i s t , the s t o r y o f D u S h i n i a n g rep resen ts a r e v e r s a l of ro les , b o t h g e n d e r a n d s o c i a l . In th is s to ry , the f a m o u s c o u r t e s a n , D u S h i n i a n g is m o r a l l y s t r o n g e r t h a n the w e a k - m i n d e d scho la r , L i J ia ^ ^ P , w h o fa i l s to r e c o g n i z e h i s l o v e r ' s w o r t h . 9 3 Shuhui Yang, Appropriation and Representation: Feng Menglong and the Chinese Vernacular Story (Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, 1998), 134. 9 4 Feng Menglong, Jingshi tongyan t^SJi a (Comprehensive Words to Admonish the World, 1624), juan 12. Later the story is included in his anthology, Qingshi leiyue fS^ SIHg (A Classified Outline of the History of Love, ca. 1628), under the shortened titled, Du Shiniang tt+Jg. 9 5 Song Maocheng 5k$|;vf, Jiuyueji ~)\M$k (Nine Flutes, ca. 1612), juan 5. For a discussion of the classical tale's origin, see Patrick Hanan's article, "The Making of the Pearl-Sewn Shirt and the Courtesan's Jewel Box," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 33 (1973): 124-53. 67 As Yang Shuhui suggests, Du Shiniang is an allegorical yin figure, symbolizing the position of a loyal minister who is unappreciated by his lord.96 In sympathizing with her plight, Feng Menglong is invoking the Chinese lyrical tradition of self-pitying male literati comparing themselves to deserted women. With this in mind, it is not difficult to see why Feng goes to great lengths in elevating the courtesan in both moral and political power. Feng's renaming of this story represents a shift of emphasis from male scholar to female courtesan. Song Maocheng's classical tale is entitled, "The Faithless Lover," which suggests in its highly accusatory tone, a narrative centred on Li Jia. In changing the title of his vernacular tale to "Du Shiniang Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger," Feng Menglong is inverting the hierarchy of superior male and inferior female by making Shiniang the focal point of his story. Not only does he identify with the yin position of the deserted courtesan, but he celebrates the story of her devotion as a model of ideal love. From the onset of the story, it is clear that the young scholar, L i Jia, is not a man of talent, but someone who has purchased his place in one of the Imperial colleges, despite having never passed the provincial examination. In fact, there is very little mention of literary skill in this story and no exchange of poetry, as in the relationship between Liu Yong and Xie Yuying. Though Du Shiniang is already a famous courtesan when she first encounters Li , her greatest value, as portrayed in this version of the story, is her sincere devotion to her scholar-husband, not her beauty or talent. In the same line of reasoning, L i is not deficient because he lacks poetic talent, but because he loves money and fails to reciprocate the loyalty of his courtesan-wife. It is the couple's inability to see each other in Yang Shuhui, Appropriation and Representation, 134. 68 their true colours that makes for one of the most passionate and tragic endings of Feng's romantic tales. Though Du Shiniang is the most famous courtesan of the pleasure quarters, she eventually gives in to Li's untiring pursuit. The scholar, for his part, is immediately taken with her beauty and spares no expense in gaining her favour. At the beginning of the story, Shiniang appears impressed by the young scholar's attentions, and even more so by his lavish spending on her. As the proverb says, "a friendship based on money will end once the money is spent" (yi li xiangjiao zhe, li jin er shu J ^ I J A E K ^ ' ^ I M M ^ M ) , but Shiniang's devotion to Li seems only to increase with the diminishing of his funds, proving that her affection for him is genuine.97 The more time the couple spends together, the more deeply in love they fall and eventually they swear solemn vows never to love anyone else. But, in order to be together as husband and wife, Feng requires that the couple encounter several obstacles. The first of these is Du Shiniang's lack of freedom. It is no surprise that the mistress does not want to part with her most celebrated singing girl. Instead, she concentrates all of her efforts towards separating the lovers. Li has long since exhausted his wealth in the pleasure quarters and the mistress sees him as a financial liability, monopolizing Shiniang's time without spending any money. When efforts to shame him away from her establishment fail, the mistress offers to release Shiniang if her scholar-lover can buy her out, knowing full well that he can never afford the required sum. Though Shiniang has accumulated considerable wealth as a famous courtesan, she places the responsibility on Li to come up with the money, urging him to ask his friends for help. As Patrick Hanan suggests, Shiniang is testing Li's commitment when she hides her 9 7 Xianyi Yang and Gladys Yang, trans., The Courtesan's Jewel Box: Chinese stories of the 10th to 17th centuries (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 1981), 248. 69 wealth from him.98 In order to collect three hundred taels in ten days times, Li will have to humble himself before his friends in the name of love. Like the proverb says, "to speak of a loan is to put an end to a friendship" (shuo zhu qian bian wuyuan WMWiWMffik)-'" Shiniang knows that none of his friends will lend him the money, but she wants to see that her lover is willing to make an effort for the sake of their happiness. Just as she predicts, all of Li's friends refuse his requests citing various reasons of financial hardship, but in truth, they recognize him as a young libertine who would waste their money on a worthless singing girl. It is not until Shiniang offers to provide half of the sum herself that Li is able to beg a friend for the other half, securing the couple's freedom. The contrast between weak scholar and strong courtesan is made even sharper in the scene where Shiniang bids farewell to her courtesan sisters. As a condition for her release, Shiniang must leave behind all of her valuable possessions - the beautiful clothing and expensive jewellery that she received as gifts from wealthy patrons. That she follows him loyally, despite his lack of funds suggests to readers the intensity of her love. Fortunately for Shiniang, her fellow singing girls do not see it fit to send their sister away in rags. The scene of the farewell banquet represents a crucial moment of recognition. Like the courtesans who collectively mourn at Liu Yong's grave, the sisters of the pleasure quarters pool their monies together to send Shiniang and her lover off in style, presumably to live a happy life of companionate marriage. They celebrate her release from the demimonde as a tribute to her greatness: "You were the chief among us" (shizi weifengliu lingxiu ^t$MMiffiv${&), said the Hanan, "The Making of the Pearl-Sewn Shirt and the Courtesan's Jewel Box," 148. Yang, The Courtesan's Jewel Box, 251. 70 courtesans.100 In recognition of Shiniang's worth, all of her courtesan friends attend the banquet to provide the couple with entertainment - music, singing, and dance - each taking her turn to honour their sister. Whereas scholar Li's friends dismissed him as a foolish rake and turned down his requests for money, Shiniang's sisters bestow upon her generous gifts of clothing, money and jewellery - gifts that she chooses to keep secret from her lover. As the couple makes arrangements for their journey home, Shiniang doles out just enough money to cover their expenses, never letting on to the true extent of her fortune. Li Jia, on the other hand, is shamed at his financial dependence and is kept by his wife in a perpetual state of uncertainty. In every instance that she produces yet another fifty taels of silver, he is surprised and delighted at their stroke of seeming luck. It is on this fateful journey that scholar and courtesan encounter their greatest test of devotion, once again in the form of an evil merchant, Sun Fu J ^ g , a salt merchant from Xinan. When the lovers are on a boat that is docked for the evening, Sun Fu hears Shiniang singing and vows to make her his own. He arranges a meeting with L i and proceeds to convince the young scholar to sell the courtesan to him. Feng makes several changes to the tavern scene where Li Jia succumbs to the evil merchant. In the original text of Song Maocheng's classical tale, the anonymous Xinan merchant preys upon scholar Li's fear of his father and chastises him for his lack of propriety.101 To marry a singing girl was a very unfilial act and would not make up for Li's failure to pass the examinations. The merchant warns him against incurring the rage of his father by returning home empty handed. Furthermore, he plants the seed of suspicion in Li 1 0 0 Ibid., 256. 1 0 1 See Patrick Hanan's full translation of the classical tale in his article "The Making of the Pearl-Sewn Shirt and the Courtesan's Jewel Box," 139-46. 7 1 J ia 's m i n d b y s u g g e s t i n g that S h i n i a n g is a f i c k l e c o u r t e s a n w h o is b o u n d to a b a n d o n h i m i n f a v o u r of a n o t h e r l o v e r . In the v e r n a c u l a r ta le , h o w e v e r , F e n g m a n i p u l a t e s the t a v e r n scene b y e m p h a s i z i n g the ro le of m o n e y - S u n F u ' s p o s s e s s i o n o f it, a n d L i J ia 's des i r e fo r it. T h e v u l g a r t r a n s a c t i o n of ' m o n e y - f o r - c o u r t e s a n ' i s m e a n t to of fset the p u r i t y of S h i n i a n g ' s d e v o t i o n . I n the c l ass i ca l ta le, the X i n a n m e r c h a n t u r g e s L i to g i v e u p h i s l u s t f u l d e s i r e s i n f a v o u r o f f i l i a l d u t y a n d of fers a "gift" of m o n e y as r e w a r d . I n cont ras t , S u n " the w e a l t h y " (fu g ) i n F e n g ' s v e r n a c u l a r ta le p r o p o s e s a d i r ec t p a y m e n t of o n e t h o u s a n d tae ls fo r S h i n i a n g . S c h o l a r L i is no t p e r s u a d e d o n a n y m o r a l g r o u n d s , b u t b e c a u s e h e fears the f i n a n c i a l r e p e r c u s s i o n s of h i s fa ther 's d i s p l e a s u r e : i n m a r r y i n g a c o u r t e s a n , L i w o u l d p r o v e "un f i t to i n h e r i t h i s f a m i l y ' s p r o p e r t y " (bukan chengji jiaye ^iW^MMM)- T h u s , h e ag rees to the m e r c h a n t ' s o f fe r i n o r d e r to ex t r ica te h i m s e l f f r o m a d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n , a c c e p t i n g the m o n e y a n d b e t r a y i n g h i s l o v e r i n a s i n g l e t r ansac t i on . W h e n L i J i a revea l s h i s c h a n g e of hea r t to S h i n i a n g , she p r e t e n d s to s u p p o r t h i s d e c i s i o n a n d w i l l i n g l y b o a r d s the m e r c h a n t ' s v e s s e l . S h e t h e n w a i t s fo r the m o n e y to e x c h a n g e h a n d s be fo re a c c u s i n g he r l o v e r o f b e t r a y a l a n d t a k i n g d r a m a t i c a c t i o n . S h i n i a n g ca l l s b a c k fo r h e r case o f p e r s o n a l b e l o n g i n g s a n d p r o c e e d s to d u m p p r i ce l ess j e w e l s i n t o the o c e a n to the s h o c k a n d h o r r o r of b o t h L i a n d S u n . S h e c r ies : I h a v e o p e n e d th is b o x i n f r o n t of a l l these p e o p l e to s h o w y o u tha t a p a l t r y t h o u s a n d tae ls is n o t h i n g to m e . I h a d j e w e l s i n m y casket , b u t y o u , a las , h a d n o eyes . Fa te m u s t be aga ins t m e . I e s c a p e d f r o m the b i t te r lo t of a c o u r t e s a n o n l y to be cast as i de b y y o u ! ' 0 2 Yang, The Courtesan's Jewel Box, 270. 72 Here Shiniang, and by proxy, Feng Menglong, is invoking the theme of youyan wuzhu WBSIfP; 1 ,^ or "eyes without sight", a common lament of frustrated scholars who feel unrecognized by their lords. Shiniang is heartbroken at her lover's lack of devotion, but she is equally guilty of her own accusation: though Li Jia fails to recognize her worth as a loyal concubine, she in turn fails to perceive the weakness of his moral integrity - a character flaw that remains unchangeable despite her repeated efforts. It is their shared failure to recognize worth, good or bad, that leads to the tragic suicide of Du Shiniang, who, after losing the faith of her lover, throws herself into the river and dies. In this final moment of resolve, the courtesan succeeds in upholding her chastity and securing her place above the fickle scholar. 73 Conclusion T h e a i m of th is essay has b e e n to e x a m i n e F e n g ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h H o u H u i q i n g i n l i g h t o f the i d e o l o g i c a l a n d soc ia l t ens i ons o f la te M i n g c u l t u r e . In a n a l y z i n g h i s c o l l e c t i o n s o f p o p u l a r a n d art s o n g , w e c a t c h a rare g l i m p s e i n t o the e m o t i o n a l l i fe of a m a n d e e p l y a f fec ted b y p e r s o n a l l o v e a n d loss . I n the late M i n g d y n a s t y , cou r tesans b e c a m e f i g u r e s o n t o w h i c h s c h o l a r s p ro jec ted the i r anx ie t ies a n d i n F e n g ' s case, H o u H u i q i n g b e c a m e h i s p e r s o n a l e m b l e m of f a i l e d l o v e a n d p o l i t i c a l f r u s t r a t i o n . W h e n the c o u p l e w a s s t i l l t oge the r at the t i m e o f Shange's p u b l i c a t i o n , F e n g a d m i r e d the c o u r t e s a n fo r h e r e x q u i s i t e sense o f d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . H o u w a s n o t o n l y p o s s e s s e d of b e a u t y , ta lent , a n d g e n u i n e f ee l i ng , b u t she w a s a l s o ab le to r e c o g n i z e the i n h e r e n t v a l u e of m e n , a q u a l i t y d e s p e r a t e l y s o u g h t af ter b y the l i te ra t i o f the t i m e . In the s t i f l i ng e x a m i n a t i o n c u l t u r e o f la te M i n g C h i n a , g e n e r a t i o n s o f d i s a f f e c t e d m e n s o u g h t c o m f o r t i n the a r m s o f e q u a l l y m a r g i n a l i z e d cou r t esans . T h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h e y f o r m e d a n d the l o v e a f fa i rs t hey s h a r e d w e r e ones b a s e d o n m u t u a l r e c o g n i t i o n . T h o u g h F e n g h a d s e v e r a l l o v e r s be fo re a n d af ter h i s a f fa i r w i t h H o u , h i s b r e a k - u p w i t h the S u z h o u c o u r t e s a n w o u l d be the m o s t d e v a s t a t i n g e m o t i o n a l e v e n t o f h i s l i fe , as r e c o r d e d i n the n u m e r o u s s o n g su i tes he w r o t e a b o u t her . T h e p r i v a t e t h e m e s o f h i s sanqu e m p h a s i z e the p r i m a c y of g e n u i n e f ee l i ng , e s p e c i a l l y w h e r e l o v e r s are c o n c e r n e d , b u t i n h i s o w n p o e m s to o r a b o u t H o u , h e a r t b r o k e n re jec t ion l eaves the m o s t l a s t i n g i m p r e s s i o n . W h e r e a s he o n c e p r a i s e d H o u fo r h e r f i n a n c i a l a c u m e n , h i s d e p i c t i o n of h e r i n a r t s o n g is m u c h less f l a t te r i ng . In Taixia xinzou, H o u ' s i n f i d e l i t y is v i l i f i e d a n d he r a b a n d o n m e n t o f F e n g fo r a w e a l t h y m e r c h a n t is the cause o f m a n y s leep less n i gh t s . T h o u g h h e t r ies to p u t 74 h e r o u t o f h i s m i n d , the c o u r t e s a n c o m e s to h i m i n d r e a m e n c o u n t e r s , s t i r r i n g h i s e m o t i o n s to d e l i r i o u s he igh t s . Y e t d e s p i t e h i s o u t p o u r i n g o f s o r r o w a n d resen tmen t , w h i c h m a y be j u d g e d as e x c e s s i v e b y s o m e , F e n g takes a s t a n d aga ins t the fa lseness of ' r espec tab le ' soc ie t y a n d s u c c e e d s i n t u r n i n g h i s p e r s o n a l a n g u i s h i n t o a p a s s i o n a t e c e l e b r a t i o n o f qing. F e n g ' s f a i l e d af fa i r w i t h H o u lef t h i m b r o k e n i n sp i r i t , b u t th i s d i d n o t p r e v e n t h i m f r o m w r i t i n g s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y a b o u t the l i ves o the r s i n g i n g g i r l s . In the n a r r a t i v e sanqu I d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r three, " Q i n g l o u y u a n " a n d " S o n g y o u fang j i " , F e n g h a s w r i t t e n t w o s o n g su i t es a b o u t the a f fa i rs o f h i s f r i e n d s w i t h f a m o u s cou r tesans . T h o u g h l a c k i n g i n the b i t te r r e s e n t m e n t o f s o n g su i tes a b o u t H o u , these sanqu c a p t u r e the c o m p l e x e m o t i o n s o f l o v e , l o n g i n g , a n d regret . In the f i gu re of B a i X i a o f a n , F e n g s p e a k s i n the v o i c e of the j i l t ed l o v e r , a p e r s o n a w i t h w h o m h e is f a m i l i a r . T h e c o u r t e s a n is a d m i r e d fo r h e r p l e d g e of chas t i t y , b u t it i s h e r pe r s i s t ence i n l o v i n g a m a n u n d e s e r v i n g o f h e r a f fec t ions tha t m a k e s B a i a m o d e l of F e n g ' s i d e a l l o v e . I n " S o n g y o u f a n g j i " , F e n g s p e a k s i n the v o i c e of the h e r o i c s c h o l a r , h i s f r i e n d a n d d i s c i p l e , Y u a n W u y a . W h e r e a s B a i X i a o f a n is m e a s u r e d a g a i n s t a f e m a l e s t a n d a r d o f l o y a l t y i n l o v e , Y u a n is ce l eb ra ted as a m a n w h o is r i c h i n f ee l i ng . H i s a f fa i r w i t h W a n g S h e n g d o n g is r e m a r k a b l e b e c a u s e of h i s d e c i s i o n to p u r s u e h e r af ter o n l y o n e n i g h t toge the r . H i s d e v o t i o n to th i s s i ng l e c o u r t e s a n a n d the i n t i m a c y o f t he i r b o n d i n s p i r e s F e n g to na r ra te the i r s to ry . T h o u g h r o m a n t i c l o v e a n d g e n u i n e f e e l i n g are the r u l i n g v a l u e s of F e n g ' s s o n g s , t h e y d o n o t r e t a i n the s a m e i m p o r t a n c e i n F e n g ' s f i c t i on , w h e r e e m o t i o n a l v u l n e r a b i l i t y g i v e s w a y to the d i c ta tes o f C o n f u c i a n m o r a l i t y . I n r e w r i t i n g r o m a n c e s b e t w e e n s c h o l a r s a n d c o u r t e s a n s , F e n g s o u g h t to a d d r e s s the s o c i a l c o n c e r n s of h i s t i m e b y c e l e b r a t i n g qing as the i n s p i r a t i o n fo r h e r o i c ac t i on . In the s to r ies o f L i u Y o n g a n d D u S h i n i a n g , the s e n s u o u s 75 e x p e r i e n c e of c o u r t e s a n r o m a n c e is v a r i o u s l y e x p r e s s e d as t r ia ls o f m o r a l i n t eg r i t y , w h e r e the t e m p t a t i o n s o f w e a l t h a n d p o w e r se r ve to e x p o s e the u n w o r t h y . W o m e n i n p a r t i c u l a r , a re h e l d to h i g h e r s t a n d a r d s of s e x u a l f i d e l i t y b u t c o u l d s u r p a s s the i r m a l e l o v e r s i n v i r t u e fo r t he i r d e v o t i o n to the p r i n c i p l e of t rue f ee l i ng . T h o u g h F e n g M e n g l o n g d i d no t a d v o c a t e a c o m p l e t e b r e a k f r o m the s o c i a l o r d e r , h i s w r i t i n g s a b o u t s c h o l a r s a n d cou r t esans p u t t r a d i t i o n a l h i e r a r c h i e s i n c r i t i ca l p e r s p e c t i v e a n d h e l p e d to b r i n g m a r g i n a l i z e d m e n a n d w o m e n to the cen t re of c u l t u r a l i d e a l s . I n a t i m e o f g rea t u n c e r t a i n t y a n d r a p i d c h a n g e , h i s a t t i t udes o n l o v e , l i fe , a n d l i t e ra ry p u r s u i t s p l a c e d h i m i n a u n i q u e p o s i t i o n w h e n c o m p a r e d to h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s . L o v e b e t w e e n m e n a n d w o m e n w a s a cons tan t t h e m e i n F e n g ' s w r i t i n g s , ye t s t i l l w e k n o w l i t t le a b o u t the p e r s o n a l a f fa i rs o f a m a n w h o w r o t e so p a s s i o n a t e l y o n the sub ject o f r o m a n c e . T h e s o n g s su i tes I h a v e d i s c u s s e d i n th is thes is is a s ta r t i ng p o i n t i n p r o b i n g the d e p t h s of F e n g ' s e m o t i o n a l c a n d o u r , b u t f u r t h e r s t u d y is n e e d e d o f Taixia xinzou i n o r d e r to c o n s t r u c t a m o r e c o m p l e t e p r o f i l e . 76 Appendix Translations of Feng Menglong's Songs "Many" In Heaven, when the stars are many, the moon does not shine. In a pool, when fish are plentiful, the water is not clear. In court, too many officials disrupt the law. If sister takes too many lovers, it disturbs her heart.103 [#] I once asked a famous courtesan, Hou Huiqing, "as a courtesan, you have known many men, is your heart not confused?" She replied: No. We courtesans always have our own roster of names. Those who give me extra sums of money are not held up to this standard - but so few are they that I can count them on my fingers: first, second, up to ten. The sequence will be very clear. At times, a man's affection for me may grow or diminish (as is expressed in gifts that increase or diminish in value), and his standing will rise or fall accordingly. If I happen to get a [man] of extraordinary stuff, there is no harm in demoting someone else to promote him. This is the outcome of my life. I look to this as my guide. I cannot exceed [this measure], and to turn my thoughts towards a different avenue would not be as satisfactory. How could I be confused? For a long time, I sighed in admiration for her. Although Huiqing's explanation is master's dictum, there is another type of person who could remain undisturbed [by so many lovers]. In this world, there still exist people with unwavering appetites for sex and no understanding of the heart. Conversely, the one whose mind can be thrown into confusion is a mediocre maid.1 0 4 ^•gmzmmmw*: "mnmx%%, -^nmi^ " B-. wMii-h ji'jKiir-c i&Bmmf%, Jfmm-m%, immt, * . %m±f&%, mt&m, y m n ± , mmn&* miz w?" i&mmxZo mm, ?mm&imm, mtAm^y^. • 1 0 3 Translation by Kathryn Lowry,The Tapestry of Popular Song in 16th and 17 t h Century China: Reading, Imitation and Desire (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 320. 1 0 4 My translation of Feng's comment is based on Kathryn Lowry's (2005; 321) translation, but differs significantly on the translation of this phrase, "there is no harm in demoting someone else to promote h im" (bufang chuzhi ^RftSUBO- I believe Hou's use of this phrase is made in relation to her roster of scholar names, though Lowry translates the phrase as, "it behooves me to take a risk". 77 " I n M e m o r y o f o u r S e p a r a t i o n o n the S e c o n d d a y o f the D u a n w u f es t i va l P r e f a c e : T h e s i x t h d a y of the f i f th m o n t h is the o n e y e a r a n n i v e r s a r y of m y l oss of H o u H u i q i n g . W i t h e a c h d a y she recedes f u r t h e r i n to the d i s t ance , a n d e v e n i f I w i s h e d w e c o u l d g o b a c k to the w a y t h i n g s w e r e las t y e a r o n th is d a y tha t w e s e p a r a t e d , i t is i m p o s s i b l e . I a m so b r o k e n - h e a r t e d ! I w a s c o m p o s i n g v e r s e s i n m y s t u d i o w h e n s u d d e n l y I f i n i s h e d [ c o m p o s i n g ] a s o n g i n the shangdiao [mode ] . W h e r e c a n I f i n d a s i n g e r w h o s e v o i c e is so p o w e r f u l that , i f the w i n d is f a v o u r a b l e , th is s o n g w i l l r e a c h the ear o f m y b e l o v e d ? A l a s ! E v e r y y e a r I h a v e th is d a y , a n d e v e r y y e a r I a m w i t h o u t H u i q i n g . W h a t n e e d is the re f o r p e o p l e to te l l m e h o w s a d th i s i s , fo r I a m a l r e a d y s a d ? " H u a n g y i n g ' e r " T o d a y is the D u a n w u fes t i va l a n d the w e a t h e r is m i l d l y w a r m , I ca l cu l a te that th is d a y is the exac t o n e y e a r a n n i v e r s a r y o f o u r s e p a r a t i o n . I h a v e fe l t l o v e s i c k n e s s d u r i n g e a c h o f the f o u r seasons , T h e p o m e g r a n a t e f l o w e r is o n c e a g a i n i n b l o o m . T h e d r a g o n boa t s are c r e a t i n g a s t i r [on the r i ve r ] , A n d I a g a i n c a n r e c o g n i z e the scene of o u r p a r t i n g . I a m too m i s e r a b l e to speak , F o r e a c h n e w d a y y o u recede f u r t h e r i n t o the d i s tance A n d m y n e w regrets l i n k u p w i t h o l d s o r r o w s . " J i y i n g ' e r " P a r t e d a y e a r is as i f p a r t e d f o r a l i f e t ime , M y t h o u g h t s are t h o u s a n d s u p o n m y r i a d s of l o v e . [I r e m e m b e r ] y o u r g rass - l i ke e y e b r o w s a n d the flowered p a t t e r n o f y o u r s k i r t w e r e so v e r y l o v i n g , Jus t l i k e a n o b s c u r e d r e a m i n w h i c h w e l i v e as h u s b a n d a n d w i f e . [ M y ] l o v e f o r y o u w a s d e e p , b u t m y l u c k w a s s h a l l o w ; I a m no t w o r t h y e n o u g h to be y o u r l o v e r . I n c l o i s t e r e d g a r d e n , Y o u r face is [beaut i fu l ] l i k e a p e a c h b l o s s o m , 1 0 5 B u t [ now ] that y o u are gone ] w h o w i l l s i n g the ve rses of o u r s to r y? 1 0 5 The phrase "Xiej ia" t f ^ is a generic name for a cloistered beauty (an allusion to a story about a beauty surnamed Xie, who was kept fast within a garden by her admirer. The phrase, "taohua renmian" (W£AM) is a reference to the poem, "In the Capital's Southern Village" (HfSMffiEE), by the Tang dynasty poet, Cui Hu mm (797 jinshi): One year ago today, I stood inside this gate and saw, A young woman's face and a peach blossom tree complement each other in beauty. This beautiful face, I do not know where she has gone, But the peach blossom tree is as before, swaying happily in the spring breeze. 78 " Y u y i n g ' e r " I i m a g i n e y o u n o w i n r e d m a n s i o n s a n d d e t a c h e d g a r d e n s , C u t t i n g n e w s i l k robes a n d t r y i n g t h e m o n . Y e s t e r d a y the D u a n w u feas t i ng b e g a n , B u t I h a d n o in te res t i n a t t e n d i n g the b o a t races . H o w c a n the th ree -yea r o l d m u g w o r t 1 0 6 h e a l m y s o r r o w a n d h e l p m e r e c o v e r f r o m th is l o v e s i ckness? [See ing] the wusesi e v e r y y e a r a d d s to t he m i s e r y o f o u r s e p a r a t i o n . W h o c a n I b l a m e for h a n g i n g the xiuhu i n f r on t of m y w i n d o w ? 1 0 7 O n c e a g a i n , I a m f r i g h t e n e d a w a k e b y m y n i g h t m a r e s . " Y u l i n y i n g " D o n o t cu t the cat ta i ls , D o n o t c o o k the m i l l e t , F o r o n th is d a y , I c a n n o t s w a l l o w [any f ood ] . I n m y s t u d y , I fo rce m y s e l f to i d l y t ake m y l e i s u r e , A n d c a s u a l l y b e g i n to r e a d " E n c o u n t e r i n g S o r r o w . " I c o n d o l e w i t h Q u Y u a n W h o c o u l d no t q u e s t i o n H e a v e n , Y e t I w i l l a sk H e a v e n [my ques t i on ] . H e a v e n ! " M a o ' e r z h u H u a n g y i n g " T h e c l e v e r w i f e a n d b o o r i s h h u s b a n d , H o w b i t te r a n d resen t fu l they a re ! B u t i t is e s p e c i a l l y [ t ragic] fo r the t a l en ted s c h o l a r a n d b e a u t i f u l w o m a n no t to b e w h o l e A n d t h u s , e v e r y y e a r o n th is d a y m y tears s t r e a m d o w n . I a m so a s h a m e d T h a t m y u n r e q u i t e d l o v e is a b s o l u t e l y w o r t h l e s s , no t e v e n g o o d fo r ha l f a c o p p e r c o i n . C o d a : K n o w i n g y o u r h a p p i n e s s a n d r e s e n t m e n t at th is m o m e n t , I a m o v e r w h e l m e d b y m y o w n d e s p o n d e n t f ee l i ngs a n d c a n n o l o n g e r e n d u r e th is to r tu re . I a m o n l y a f r a i d tha t i f nex t y e a r I t h i n k m o r e a b o u t th is d a y , I w i l l s u r e l y g o i n s a n e . ""'The mugwort (ai3c) is believed by Chinese people to ward off evil spirits and heal a wide array of illnesses and ailments. This medicinal plant is especially associated with the Duanwu festival when it is the custom for every household to hang the mugwort inside their home. 1 0 7 The wusesi HH&Ji is a five-coloured anklet or necklace worn for good luck and protection from evil during the Duanwu festivities. The xiuhu St#g functions in much the same way as the wusesi but it is usually worn by children or hung inside of homes. 79 mm] zw, >yym^mi n^mn^mm, %mxm [H:ft5S] wmm. '\mmm,my±mmmm. mmm,Mmx mitm, mmm,mmm,yrm. mm&mmm,mm ®m$mffiffl&, m&wmymn, Rimm^mm Ci on Resentment at Separation" "XiuDai'er" Has it ever happened that one becomes accustomed to the misery of separation? Especially when subjected to this abuse. Can it be that I only took the place where you were lacking a lover, And you were only my fleeting wife? mm] 80 I slap my face. Had I known I would incur this unjust debt, would I have agreed to get involved? Others curse me for being a young vagrant. In the courtesan quarters there is no shortage of lovemaking between men and women, Yet I have become a foolish soul that longs for a place to rest. "Qi'er huan" Wretched sinner; How can a thousand thoughts tugging at one's heart, Pour forth like a wave that rushes down with the current. There is no sign of tender flattery, Not to mention skillful attentiveness. With sorrow in my throat, By chance I will ask the flying swallow, "Do you miss Wang Xie, of former times?"108 In my heart, I am mindful of her feelings, But to no avail, I remain a young and lonely man who lies awake during the long night. "Dashi yin" When she left, there was nothing to hold her back. At that time I was half numb [with grief]. I had not offended her with so much as a single word, So how did she presume to brush me off with a [parting] glance? The scent of a briar rose in the end runs to wildness, And the more I speak of it, the harder it is to forgive such fickleness in love. I cannot believe that you look upon [yourself] as an ordinary whore,109 Who would easily bury your peerless pipa out of sight. "Qi'er" Oftentimes my inner turmoil is difficult to part with, 1 0 8 The phrase, "lSi$3?.J$J" is a literary cliche, originating from the famous Tang dynasty (618-907) poem, "Raven Robe Lane" ( J § S # ) by Liu Yuxi g'J^Si (772-842). The Wangs and the Xies are two very wealthy and talented families that produced many high officials and talented authors in the Wei Jin period (5 dynasties). Wang Xie is meant to mean Feng Menglong, a talented, but not wealthy scholar. The following translation is by Stephen Owen, Classical Chinese Literature, Vol. I: From Antiquity to the Tang Dynasty (New York: Columbia University Press), 862: Beside Red Sparrow Bridge wild plants are in flower, At the entrance to Raven Robe Lane evening sunlight sinks down: The swallows that once were before the halls of the former Wang's and Xie's Now fly into the homes of the common peasantry. 1 0 9 The term, xiaxie #$|S, carries the meaning of 'narrow and winding streets', used of the districts where prostitutes resided. 81 A n d o n c e a g a i n I m u s t r e i g n i n c r a z y t h o u g h t s a n d w i c k e d [ in fer ior ] s c h e m e s . T h e y say that Z h a o j u n b r o u g h t peace [to the e m p i r e ] w h e n she lef t to m a r r y a n o t h e r A n d the H a n e m p e r o r [ c o u l d d o n o t h i n g ] b u t cas t h e r a s i d e a n d d i s c h a r g e he r . T h e fate that b r i n g s l o v e r s toge ther , t he i r p a r t i n g s a n d m e e t i n g s , a l l o f these are H e a v e n ' s dec ree . If H e a v e n is w i l l i n g to to lera te p e o p l e ' s sh i f t less w a y s , T h e n w e w o u l d s i n g o u t to H e a v e n o n e hea r t y " Y e s S i r ! " B u t s i nce one c a n n o t a l ter the dec ree o f H e a v e n , H e a v e n is i g n o r a n t , S o h o w c a n i t k n o w the b i t te rness o f s e p a r a t i o n ? " S a n x u e s h i " S u d d e n l y , I t h i n k o f p l a n s ca re less l y m a d e ; A n d o f the y o u n g M o l e w h o w a s so g a l l a n t a n d b r a v e . 1 1 0 It is d e c e i v i n g to say that " t h e s t u d y of b o o k s w i l l e a r n y o u a t h o u s a n d b u s h e l s of r i c e " , B e c a u s e , i n c o m p a r i s o n , the m e r c h a n t ' s w e a l t h ] is g reater . I t ake these fee l i ngs a n d c o m p l a i n to m y e s t e e m e d s is ter , F o r s i nce o u r s e p a r a t i o n , I h a v e b e c o m e e m a c i a t e d . " Q i ' e r " T h e r e is n o e n d to th is u n s o l v e d case o f l o v e s i c k n e s s ; H o w is i t tha t I spen t the bet ter p a r t o f m y l i fe e n t a n g l e d [ in th i s af fa i r ]? A f t e r a l l , w h e r e i n b o o k s is the re a face o f j ade? I a m f i l l e d w i t h s u c h e m p t i n e s s as I s i t be fo re m y w i n d o w a n d r e a d f i ve c a r t l o a d s of b o o k s . I t ake these fee l i ngs a n d c o m p l a i n to m y e s t e e m e d s ister : S i n c e w e h a v e p a r t e d h a v e you b e c o m e e m a c i a t e d ? 1 1 0 Mole J§fj is the name of the Kunlun slave in a Tang chuanqi, whose ability to scheme on his master Cui's behalf enabled him to abduct a beautiful singing girl from the household of a powerful court official. This chuanqi is authored by Pei Xing Hff| (dates unknown) and entitled "The Kunlun slave" iX) . For an English translation of the story, see Classical Chinese Tales of the Supernatural and Fantastic, ed. Karl S.-Y. Kao (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985), 351-70. 82 mm, mzmmftmiw mw&$mmm, mmmm mmwmm. " D r e a m of R e s e n t m e n t " " D a s h e n g y u e " A b e l o v e d fo r l i fe is d i f f i cu l t to e x p e l f r o m the d e p t h s o f o n e ' s hear t , S h e is l i k e a g o l d e n c a n g u e w i t h a j ade l o c k . M y l o v e b e t r a y e d , h e r h o n o u r l a c k i n g , I c a n let he r go . A s t h i n g s are, i t is a w a s t e to rec i te ve r ses [about her ] . B e s i d e s she is n o "s ta te t o p p l e r " 1 1 1 w h o c a n n o t be f o u n d ; Jus t a m a k e r of c l o u d s a n d r a i n , w h a t w o r t h d o e s she h a v e ? [If] t h i s h a t e f u l l o v e i n the e n d b o r e n o f ru i t , S o I m u s t h o l d u p h i g h the s w o r d of w i s d o m , 1 1 2 A n d cu t d o w n th i s l o v e d e m o n . 1 1 3 1 1 1 The term qingchengqingguo iWsSMHQ is a famous literary cliche describing a woman beautiful enough to cause the fall of a city or state. The term, huijian is a Buddhist term for the 'sword of wisdom' which cuts through the illusions of the material world. 113 Taixia xinzou, 7:15. Translation is mine, see appendix for full translation. mm^mm^m, m^>bmr^. mmmmmmmx, Aim, mmmAAm. trxmmi mm^Mmt i=m±i 83 " Q i ' e r " E v e n if, c o m p a r e d to y o u , [she we re ] as u n i q u e a n d ra re as the Jade F l o w e r , H a v i n g b e e n p l u c k e d [by o thers ] , [ love] c a n n o t be . If l i k e y o u she [swore ] she c o u l d n ' t f o rge t m e a m i d s t f l o w e r s b y m o o n l i g h t , [ H e r oa th ] w o u l d be s w o r n i n v a i n , h o w c o u l d i t c o n q u e r [ m y hear t ]? W e l l I k n e w tha t th i s [affair] w a s a b a n q u e t tha t h a d a b e g i n n i n g a n d a n e n d , 1 1 4 Y e t I w a s a f f l i c ted w i t h a l i n g e r i n g s i c k n e s s tha t k n e w n o d a y o r n i g h t . " B u s h i l u " M i s t a k e i n a d r e a m : W e t r a n s f o r m i n to m a n d a r i n d u c k s a n d m a k e a nest , I k n o w tha t she is a f e m a l e g h o s t ' 1 5 o n e a r t h a n d i n h e a v e n , H a - h a ! I n a n i ns tan t w e a s k e d a b o u t e a c h o the r a n d o f f e red o u r c o n g r a t u l a t i o n s ; H o w l u c k y y o u are to j u m p f ree f r o m the c lear , vas t , a n d b o t t o m l e s s w a v e . 1 1 6 O u r l o v e l i k e f i re , O u r h a p p i n e s s as v a s t as the s k y , Is b r o k e n b y the s o n g o f a b i r d . " D i a o j i ao ' e r x u " B e f o r e m y eyes is [ you r sp i r i t ] , i l l u s o r y a n d w h i r l i n g , T h e t i p of m y t o n g u e is d r i p p i n g w e t w i t h s w e e t s a l i v a . U p o n m y s h o u l d e r s I s t i l l b e a r the b u r d e n of b i t te rness , I n m y m i n d I f a l l a g a i n i n to a r i v e r o f l o v e . I t h i n k of h e r as a w i l l o w that s p r o u t s , A f l o w e r l i k e a b u d , A s h a d o w d i f f i c u l t to g r a s p , W i n d d i f f i c u l t to t ie d o w n , [ A w o m a n ] w h o h a s s p r e a d h e r ne t i n the b u s t l i n g m a r k e t p l a c e . 1 1 7 I n the pas t , o u r m e e t i n g s w e r e f e w , B u t n o w a d a y s m y d r e a m s are m a n y . H o w she v e x e s m e ! S o u l a n d sp i r i t c o m i n g a n d g o i n g , W h a t a h e l p l e s s s i t u a t i o n ! 1 1 4 The phrase, guanyanxi'gWiffi, is a large feast to the standards of an official. The phrase, youtuan yousan-^M^Wt, has a literal meaning of "convening and dispersing" so I translate it in this poem as the beginning and end. 115 %M<3&)guipo (guipopo): HYDCD (12-453A) gives two meanings for guipo: a term of abuse used for Wu Zetian, and in dialect, a term used for a widow. For guipopo it has two meanings: 1) a female goddess, 2) a female ghost. The second of the second set of meanings appears best to fit this context. 1 1 7 The term, zhangluo (HYDCD 4-130B): to spread a net (to catch something). I think it refers to the lady, a prostitute, who plies her trade in the market place. The contexts for this phrase given in HYDCD had a mostly negative cast. 84 " Q i ' e r " I m a d e a n o a t h fo r th is l i f e t ime to n e v e r t h i n k o f her , B u t w h o c o u l d h a v e k n o w n tha t she w o u l d c o m e in to m y d r e a m s a n d r e m i n d m e . A h a p p y m e e t i n g d u r i n g the d a y is d i f f i c u l t to seek for , B u t h o w c a n I a v o i d th i s e v i l l o v e s i c k n e s s d u r i n g the n i g h t ? I ha te h e r fo r l e a v i n g w i t h o u t a t race, A n d c o m i n g w i t h o u t a s h a d o w ; Y e t I h a v e g r o w n a c c u s t o m e d to l o s i n g face. F r e q u e n t l y I toss a n d t u r n A n d th i s s l e e p y b r o t h e r c a n n o t d o z e off. C o d a S w e e t h e a r t , the w a y y o u c o n d u c t y o u r s e l f is s o f i ck le , A n d o f t en t imes y o u r f r ag ran t s o u l c o m e s [to m e i n d r e a m ] to s t i r u p m y s e n t i m e n t s ; I m i g h t as w e l l p a i n t h e r po r t r a i t a n d o f fe r sacr i f i ces to her . •Ms? mmm^wmmmmm, mmm-[f4~~ ] wnmt, immmtk-m, mmxmx±.mm, %M mwmx^x, wikmtffi. msmvtmg, %%&mmrwm. m&±mmmm, MM ^mimm. mmmtsm, mm, §m^, mmm, rm^ 85 i^mk^ikM, m$u¥^mm mmmmm^, mm ? tut. " T h o u g h t s " " J i x i a n b i n " I a m l o v e s i c k a l l h o u r s of the d a y ; W h a t m o m e n t is there w h e n I a m n o t l o v e s i c k ? I ask , o f pas t cases, w h o s e l o v e s i c k n e s s c o u l d p o s s i b l y c o m p a r e [to m i n e ] ? W e r e she i n f u t u r e to rec i te a t h o u s a n d l i nes of l o v e p o e t r y , N o m a t t e r h o w g l i b h e r t o n g u e , S h e w o u l d no t s w a y m y m i n d i n the s m a l l e s t b i t . F r o m the d a y w e p a r t e d u p u n t i l n o w , A n excess of tears h a s s t a i n e d m y g o w n . " Q i ' e r " U n a b l e to d e f e n d m y s e l f aga ins t s o u l - s t a r t l i n g w o r d s [ spoken ] i n a d r e a m , I u s e m y w r i t i n g to o v e r w h e l m m y l o v e s i c k n e s s . T u r n i n g m y t h o u g h t s to e s s a y - w r i t i n g , I c a n n o t p r o d u c e a s i ng l e w o r d , E v e r y t h i n g I w r i t e is s t i l l a l o v e p o e m . B r u s h a n d i n k , i n k s tone a n d p a p e r , H o w c a n y o u fo rce a p e r s o n l i k e th i s? E v e n i f [ m y w r i t i n g we re ] to w i n m e w e a l t h a n d g o l d , T h i s w o u l d n o t c o m p e n s a t e fo r these w o r d s o f l o v e s i c k n e s s . " H u a n g n i a o ' e r " O n e p a i r c o n t e n t e d i n l o v e . I r e c k o n tha t e v e n H e a v e n h a s no t b e e n k i n d . O n e p a i r c o n t e n t e d i n l o v e , I r e c k o n tha t e v e n H e a v e n has n o t b e e n k i n d . R e a d y i t w a s to let the t w o o f u s d i e of o u r l o v e . T h e tree l e a v e s h a v e b r a n c h e s , A n d the m a l e b i r d s h a v e f ema les . O l d H e a v e n g a v e l i fe to m e , so w h y d i d i t g i v e l i fe to y o u ? V e x a t i o n g i v e s w a y to l a u g h t e r . If i t w e r e n o t fo r the c u t t i n g o f the l o t us root , H o w c o u l d the t h reads that k e e p i t t oge the r a p p e a r ? " C u y u l i n " A l t h o u g h there are r o m a n t i c deb ts [to be p a i d ] , A n d i n the M i n i s t r y of D e w d r o p s T h e r e is j o y A n d there is s o r r o w , T h e r e h a s n e v e r b e e n a j oy a n d s o r r o w l i k e th is . I m y s e l f c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d th is s t range af fa i r : W h e n t w o p e o p l e w h o s e hear ts are as s o l i d as i r o n , W h o w a s the m a g n e t that p u l l e d u s apar t? C o d a W h e n w e s u d d e n l y m e t b y c h a n c e , It w a s H e a v e n - s e n t . If w e d i d n ' t see e a c h o the r e v e n fo r a sho r t t ime , I w a s l o v e s i c k . It is f i t t i ng to c a l l y o u a m a s t e r a d e p t at c o n t r o l l i n g the c r a z y d e m o n o f l o v e . Win *Bii-B-r--H#, rn-^mm? m®Bffl&m% mmm mmm, ^±mn*mi f i M i t T O miff, ^mmmmm? mmm i i j i a ^ i , g7jcwi, ^mm, mim, mm. ? V o w o n C o u r t e s a n s " " J i x i a n b i n " [ W h e n ] s w e a r i n g a n o a t h of l o v e be fo re the m o u n t a i n s a n d sea , w h o w o u l d d a r e to s p e a k r e c k l e s s l y ? It s e e m s that th is f a i l e d a f fa i r is a n a b y s s [that separa tes us ] . F r u i t l e s s s k i l l s that d i s s e m b l e at e v e r y t u r n H a v e c a u s e d b i t te r r e s e n t m e n t i n b o t h of u s . A t Z h a n g Te r race ask M i s s L i u , h o w c o u l d H i s L o r d s h i p L i con fe r h e r [on h i s f r i e n d H a n Y i ] ? H a v i n g t r u l y b e e n e x p o s e d , S h e c o u l d n o t s t o p - u p the g o s s i p tha t l e a k e d o u t l i k e w a t e r i n a w i c k e r s t ra ine r . " H u a n g y i n g ' e r " I a m a l o n e l y b o a t los t i n s t o r m y w e a t h e r ; I a m w e a k a n d w e a r y f r o m l o v e s i c k n e s s , so w h y d o I r e m a i n he re? O n l y b e c a u s e m y a r m s c a n n o t f ree t h e m s e l v e s f r o m the k n o t of h e r b l a c k t resses. M y f o r m e r l o v e fo r the c o u r t e s a n qua r te r s H a s t u r n e d i n to r esen tmen t fo r flowers a n d h a t r e d for w i n e . I n the p l a c e w h e r e y o u n g m e n ga ther , I a m a s h a m e d to h a v e f a l l e n b e h i n d o the rs , A n d I b e g h e r to ga ther i n H e r fast f a l l i n g tears, A n d d i r ec t t h e m to s o m e o the r l o v e . " Y u c u l i n " F r o m n o w o n , O u r l o v e is c a n c e l l e d w i t h the s t r oke of a b r u s h . E a c h w i n t e r D a p h n e H a s i ts o w n b l o s s o m . I n the g a m e o f l o v e o u r th ree e n c o u n t e r s a re f i n i s h e d . 1 1 8 E v e n i f w e h a d the c h a n c e to m e e t a g a i n , w e c a n n o t be i n t i m a t e l i k e the d a y s of the pas t . I w i l l n o t hes i ta te , L i k e her , to s l i p a w a y . I c a n n o t s u m m o n u p a r i v e r f u l l of s o r r o w . C o d a I w i l l p u r s u e , at l e i su re , th is p a s s i o n a t e hea r t [of m i n e ] . A f o r c e d i n t i m a c y i n the e n d , w a s o n l y a t e m p o r a r y a f fec t ion . I w i l l a b a n d o n the re jected b o r d e l l o a n d n o t g o there. 1 1 8 The phrase sanhe has numerous meanings according to HYDC (1-196A), among them: 1) the convergence of Yin qi M,, Yang qi, and the qi of Heaven; 2) To meet three times; 3) three bouts or rounds (of a contest); 4) The combining of three into one (entity); and other more arcane meanings. 88 mmm] mm mm. mmmm^dmm mm Mim,mywK • mmm mmwmfo, mmwm&w Rmwmmmmm. mmm mm, mmmmtK. ^mmmx&, mmk, mnm mmm y$mwB. $mm, mmm, m^mmm. mm] A C o u r t e s a n ' s L a m e n t " P r e f a c e : M y f r i e n d , a ce r ta i n M r . L i u f r o m D o n g s h a n , h a d b e e n o n i n t i m a t e t e r m s w i t h B a i X i a o f a n . L a t e r the t w o w e r e s e p a r a t e d . A g a i n no t t oo l o n g ago , h o w e v e r , I a c c o m p a n i e d h i m to v i s i t he r . T h e c o u p l e e x c h a n g e d the i r l o v i n g t h o u g h t s o n the pas t s ix yea rs , w e e p i n g a l l the w h i l e . It w a s a sho r t v i s i t , b u t t h e y sec re t l y a g r e e d to m e e t a g a i n s o o n . L i u , h o w e v e r , n e v e r d i d s h o w u p a g a i n . N o w , e v e r y t i m e I h a p p e n to see X i a o f a n , she is i n tears. O h , i n t h i s w o r l d , is there rea l l y a m a n as hear t l ess as L i S h i l a n g ? I h a v e t h u s c o m p o s e d t h i s sanqu f o r X i a o f a n : " B u b u j i a o " I n the l o n e l y a u t u m n w i n d a u t u m n l eaves d a n c e , A n d I t h i n k of a l l the s a d a u t u m n r h a p s o d i e s [ever w r i t t en ] . T i m e passes i n the b l i n k of a n eye , [But ] w h e r e h a v e y o u p u t T h e t i m e fo r o u r l o v e r ' s t rys t? I s c r a t c h m y h e a d a n d regre t tha t b a c k t h e n , I c o n f e s s e d m y t rue fee l i ngs to y o u fo r n o [good] r e a s o n . " G u i h u a b i a n n a n z h i " I e a r n e s t l y t h i n k of y o u a n d g e n u i n e l y l o n g fo r y o u ; I su f fe r t h r o u g h the d a y a n d su f fe r t h r o u g h the n igh t . A l t h o u g h the c o l d m o u t h s o f o the rs r i d i c u l e m e , I s t i l l ea rnes t l y take h i s s i de . N o w a d a y s , th is is b e c o m i n g q u e s t i o n a b l e ; I see be fo re m e s ix w a s t e d y e a r s . W h a t t r e a c h e r o u s w a t e r o r f i e r y v o l c a n o is there, T o p r e v e n t the t rave le r f r o m [ c o m i n g to me]? T h e r e is n o t race of h i m , N o r s o u n d . A n d w e r e I to seek h i m i n a d r e a m , n o d r e a m w o u l d there be . " L i u y a o j i n " I n h i d d e n r o o m w i t h c r i m s o n d o o r , I l a z i l y o p e n m y f rag ran t t r o u s s e a u . P a s s i o n has d i s s i p a t e d . F u t i l e f o r P a s s i n g R a i n to t h i n k of C h u ; T h e w a n d e r i n g sp i r i t [sti l l ] w i s h e s to enc i r c l e W u . F o r t u n a t e i t w a s fo r [S ima] X i a n g r u to c o m e to h i s senses, A n d p a y a n o t h e r v i s i t to h i s " s t o v e m i n d e r " . I h e a r h i m s p e a k a b o u t h i s i n n e r m o s t f ee l i ngs , a n d i t w a s n o t h i s i n t e n t i o n [to l e a v e m e ] af ter a l l . S w e e t are the f ru i t s of h a r d s h i p , L i k e g rass that h a s w i l t e d a n d a g a i n r e v i v e s . T o n i g h t w e s h o u l d de fe r the ta l k o f o u r j o y a n d l o v e A n d f i rs t w e s h o u l d e x p o u n d o n m y s o r r o w . " Y u a n l i n h a o " I d i d n ' t t h i n k that h e w o u l d l e a v e m e a l o n e fo r so l o n g , I d i d n ' t t h i n k tha t he w o u l d n ' t w r i t e a let ter fo r so l o n g , I d i d n ' t t h i n k that he w o u l d c ross the P e a c h B l o s s o m S p r i n g a g a i n , 1 1 9 A n d e v e n less d i d I t h i n k tha t he w o u l d take to the r o a d so s o o n A n d a g a i n b e c o m e a roo t less [ w a n d e r e r ] . " J i a n g ' e r s h u i " U n k i n d H e a v e n at the t i m e o f d a w n ; I nd i f f e ren t boa t as i t once a g a i n h u r r i e s a w a y . I l o o k o n h e l p l e s s l y a n d c a n n o t t h i n k of a n y t h i n g to s top J i a o f u . 1 2 0 I t ake m y recen t s o r r o w a n d c o n t i n u e o n w i t h m y pas t r e c o r d . 1 1 9 See Tao Qian's l*)yf (365-427) famous poem, "Peach Blossom Spring" (Taohua yuan ®$ZM)-1 2 0 This is an allusion to Zheng Jiaofu ij$3clf of the Zhou dynasty (1022 BC-256 BC) who met two fairy maidens while traveling by the Han River. The tale dates back to at least the Western Han period (206 B C - 9 AD), to Liu Xiang's $Jft (79-8 BC) Liexian zhuan J'ljfilifil (Biographies of Exemplary Immortals), but its location does not appear to have been specified then. 90 T h i s t e m p o r a r y j oy is sent of f o n a r o a d w i t h o u t e n d . If h a p p y , t h e n h a p p y o n the o r d e r o f the eas te rn w i n d , Y e t I w o r r y that th is i l l - f a ted b e a u t y , C a n n o t e n d u r e the in ju r ies of f o r m e r d a y s . " Y u j i a o z h i " I s t o p p e d s i n g i n g a n d d a n c i n g A n d w a i t fo r the m a n d a r i n d u c k s to c a l l " j i d u . " W i l l i n g to be a p l a i n - r i c e t h o r n - h a i r p i n w i f e I d o n o t e n v y o the rs ' h e a v y p o w d e r a n d t h i c k r o u g e . T h e w a y . o f D o n g t i n g L a k e is d e e p e n o u g h to m a k e a t e a r y - e y e d char t . 1 2 1 M o l i P e a k is h i g h e n o u g h to b l o c k m y s o r r o w . 1 2 2 L i p - b i t i n g tee th tear at m o u t h ' s r o u g e . I e n d u r e the d u s k a n d w e a r ou t m y e m b r o i d e r e d sk i r t . " Y u b a o d u " T h e l o v e of m y m a n w a s l i k e the m o r n i n g d e w . C a s t a s i d e s ince tha t d a y , [our l ove ] w a s d o o m e d to f a i l . W h y w o u l d he seek a g a i n h i s o l d s w o r d ? P r o b a b l y b e c a u s e o l d l o v e s are s l o w to w i t h e r . F r o m n o w o n , I w i l l s t r i c t l y o b s e r v e the J ian ta i m a n d a t e . N i g h t s w i l l be l o n g , a n d m y m u s i n g s m a n y . " Y u s h a n g o n g " I c a n n o t s p e a k m y m i n d s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d l y . I n f r on t of o the rs I fo rce m y s e l f to act l i v e l y . I c a n n o t h e l p b u t s h o w m y ta i l w h e n t r y i n g to h i d e m y h e a d . T h e r e i s n o t h i n g to s top the bu t te r f l i es a n d bees f r o m c a l l i n g o u t to m e . W h e n b u s y o r d r u n k , I s u d d e n l y b l u r t o u t y o u r n a m e , so I c a n n o t b l a m e o thers fo r i n s u l t i n g m e . H o w c a n I m a k e excuses? T h e d r i n k i n g a n d feas t i ng w i l l e v e n t u a l l y e n d a n d the s u n w i l l g o d o w n . " S a n x u e s h i " O u r k a r m i c deb t g a v e r ise to hate , w h e n w i l l i t e n d ? H o w m a n y c o i n s m u s t I s p e n d d i v i n i n g [the fu ture ]? A l l d a y I d e s p e r a t e l y g a z e i n t o the d i s t ance , B u t n o let ter c o m e s ; a l l n e w s of y o u c o n v e y e d [by others ] is base less . Y o u w i l l n e v e r u n d e r s t a n d m y p a s s i o n a t e hear t , A n d o n c e a g a i n , as be fo re , [you] are a f i c k l e l o v e r . 1 2 1 The phrase, "teary-eyed chart" (leiyantu jRBKH), may play on the Confucian idea that rivers at times produce charts with markings on them; usually the omens are auspicious. 1 2 2 Moli Peak is one of the seventy-two peaks on Junshan tf I.LI island in the middle of Dongting lake MMM in Hunan. 91 " J i a o s a n c h e n g " I s u f f e r e d y e a r s of neg lec t f r o m h i m , A n d o n l y w o n a s i ng l e n i g h t o f h a p p i n e s s . S i n c e the d a y I t e n d e r l y s a w h i m of f a n d r e t u r n e d h o m e i n s h a m e , M y b r o w c reased [ in f r o w n ] a n d h a s n e v e r s m o o t h e d . I n v a i n e a c h m o r n i n g I p r a i s e B u d d h a a n d b u r n i ncense . I n v a i n e a c h e v e n i n g I ask e v e r y o n e I m e e t to s e n d m y let ter [to h i m ] . S o w o r r i e d , I c a n n o t m a n a g e . S p e a k i n g of the taste of the one I l o v e , H e i s q u a l i f i e d to be a Y o n g W u . " C h u a n b o z h a o " H e is n o t o n e to re l y o n A n d I r e c k o n tha t o u r m a r r i a g e d e s t i n y is at a n e n d . H o w c a n I s e n d m y h u m b l e f ee l i ngs b y ' f l y i n g s l a v e ' ? 1 2 3 S p r e a d i n g o p e n let ter p a p e r , I f i rs t s t a i n e d i t w i t h tears. W h e n w a i t i n g fo r h i m , I w a s so i n f a t u a t e d , A n d w h e n cast as i de b y h i m , I w a s so p a i n e d . " J i ao j i ao l i n g " I o n l y w o r r y that [my beau t y ] h a s w i t h e r e d w i t h the [ s u m m e r ] g rass , A n d tha t o n e less p a i r of d u c k s w i l l f l y of f [ this yea r ] . O u r secre t a p p o i n t m e n t w a s fo r the n e w a u t u m n , B u t a u t u m n is a l r e a d y o l d , A n d e v e r y d a y I ask l i t t le s is ter a b o u t m y h a g g a r d face. C o d a A l l o v e r Y a n g ter race, I w i l l s e a r c h fo r K i n g X i a n g A n d as s o o n as I see h i m , I w i l l d i e [ for h i m ] T h u s , w i n n i n g the r e p u t a t i o n o f b e i n g a w o m a n w h o d e f e n d s h e r h o n o u r to the d e a t h . 1 2 3 The term feinu JIIM, or "flying slaves", refers to carrier pigeons. This term was popularized by the famous Tang poet and minister, Zhang Jiuling WJi^ (678-740) who reared pigeons at home. When he needed to send letters to his friends or relatives, he tied the letter to a pigeon's leg and the pigeon would "deliver the letter to wherever he told it to go" (ftgfS2 .^/HttSi). Zhang called them "flying slaves." This story is recorded in Kaiyuan Tianbao yishi WJiA'MMW (Forgotten matters of the Kaiyuan (713-741) and Tianbao (742-756) periods), compiled by Wang Renyu ~£A-M-92 ymjkn^AM, ym&famxm, y^mmmm, m y$mwA7jm, y%\>bMftxtiL, mmfmm^ *JAftlijM, S t M i i . ^ S l M ® * ? [ B E i l i ^ ] I f f @ # R t , l^AltjH#^o ^^^MMUsS, x° [M=M] &mfawmB, mm-wim° mmwmmm m&, mmjx^^o ummmimmm±, umm vwmm mm] pjm^M, # f i 4 ^ # c m^m^, m mm] mmm^m^m, -^m^^m, &mnm%\mma F o r a F r i e n d S e e k i n g a C o u r t e s a n " W a n g S h e n g d o n g w a s a f a m o u s b e a u t y a n d n o s o o n e r d i d she m e e t m y f r i e n d , W u y a , t h a n t h e y f o r m e d a n i n t i m a t e a t tachmen t . In the fu tu re , t h e y p l a n n e d to share a l o n g c o m p a n i o n s h i p , b u t S h e n g d o n g w a s c o m p e l l e d to s u p p o r t h e r f a m i l y , a n d b y [the t i m e o f W u y a ' s ] nex t v i s i t , she h a d a l r e a d y b e e n s o l d to b e a c o u r t e s a n i n Y u e . W u y a is t r u l y a m a n r i c h i n f e e l i n g . H e f o u n d o u t tha t the h o u s e [ into w h i c h she w a s so ld ] w a s s u r n a m e d H o u a n d d e t e r m i n e d [the l o c a t i o n of] the e s t a b l i s h m e n t . T h a t v e r y d a y he p a c k e d h i s b a g s a n d w a s a b o u t to v i s i t h e r i n the S i x B r i d g e s Q u a r t e r . I h a v e c o m p o s e d th i s p o e m to see h i m off: " Y a n z i l e " A f f a i r s of the hea r t are h a r d to d i s c e r n ; N o h e r o a p p e a r e d i n the g r e e n b o w e r s [to rescue he r fo r m e ] . C h e r i s h e d p e a r l a n d h i d d e n j ade , A r e s n a t c h e d a w a y i n m i d - j o u r n e y . O h d e s p a i r ! T h e r o a d s i d e w i l l o w is p u l l e d u p b y i ts roo ts . T h e w a l l f l o w e r is a l so m o v e d to a n o t h e r p l a c e : 94 I m y s e l f s h o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n d r a w n i n b y l o v e ' s c h a r m s , [But ] the swee tness i t s t i r r ed i n m e is t r u l y f ine , H a r d to g i v e u p at once . " J i n c h a n d a o " I s i g h r e p e a t e d l y ; A t tha t t i m e o u r b r i g h t f u tu re w a s a l r e a d y p l a n n e d . I o n l y h o p e d fo r a s l o w a n d p e a c e f u l [ l i fe]. W h o c o u l d h a v e k n o w n that f i re s o o n w o u l d separa te W u f r o m Y u e ? H o w I m i s s the h a p p i n e s s of h e r t w o s m i l i n g d i m p l e s ; H o w I m i s s the s o u n d of he r w a r b l i n g t o n g u e . A d o r a b l e , f r o m f i rs t g l ance so w a r m , I w h i s p e r secret t h a n k - y o u s i n m y l o v e l y m a i d ' s ear . Jus t as o u r f ee l i ngs b u r s t i n to f l a m e , W h o w a s it that res t r i c ted the n i g h t to [on ly ] five w a t c h e s ? It is l i k e at the w a y s ta t i on w h e r e y o u m u s t p a r t w i t h [a l ove r ] i n s u c h a sho r t m o m e n t . " P u t i a n l e " A t W u l i n g s t r e a m , Y o u c a n p a s s t h r o u g h [on en t rance ] b u t [ u p o n y o u r re tu rn ] the s t r e a m d r i e s u p ; 1 M i d s t s m o k e at C h u Te r race , P a s s i o n w a s q u e n c h e d . 1 2 5 A t X i l i n g M o u n d , [Su X i a o x i a o is b u r i e d , ye t s t i l l she wa i t s ] i n v a r n i s h e d c a r r i a g e w i t h b r o k e n w h e e l ; H e r l o v e r s ' k n o t has c o m e u n d o n e , b u t the m u n d a n e w o r l d i n w h i c h h e r f l o w e r b l o s s o m e d r e m a i n s . I b l a m e he w h o B y s o m e l u c k y chance s to le p e r f u m e , p i l f e r e d jade . " G u l u n t a i " I s t a m p m y feet i n v a i n ; T h e s e l o v e b i r d s d o no t ye t h a v e a m a r r i a g e cer t i f i ca te , A n d the d o u b l e star is d e s t i n e d to p a r t be fo re i ts t ime . I h a v e seen the f l o w e r h o u s e a n d m o o n p a v i l i o n w i t h the i r s i n g i n g a n d d a n c i n g g i r l s , B u t m o r e a n d m o r e I t h i n k of m y f o r m e r r o m a n c e . C o u l d she b e a g o d d e s s of l o v e , a n i m m o r t a l b e a u t y ? [ O u r l ove ] p r e d e s t i n e d b y k a r m a ? O n e n i g h t ' s p l e d g e [ led to] a b r i e f u n i o n . 1 2 4 See Tao Qian's I&IM (365-427) famous poem, "Peach Blossom Spring" (Taohua yuan M\MM)-At Wuling stream ( iSMM) , a fisherman discovers the entrance to Utopia, but upon his return, he cannot find his way back. 1 2 5 This refers to the love affair between the goddess of Wushan (M.\hWk) and King Huai of Chu. 95 How could I possibly describe it? It would be better if we never met each other in the first place. Had I known sooner that this affinity of three lifetimes, Marriage destiny of one hundred years, Would be cast aside in a single day, How could I have begrudged emptying my coffers [to buy out her contract] From now on, it would be useless to speak of jade pestles or Indigo Fields. "Coda" The wealthy household is like a sea, but in the end, I must follow her there. Having found out bits and pieces [of information], I head towards the Six Bridges Quarter to look for her all over. fcmzmm, m%mm&, &mmmz., mu%m, i j . mm, mmmmr, mw>-Vc\xm\mm° mm, mmn®Bi&o R^mmmb, x.m%\—x mmm- &&m, mmmmmm^ i P i M s i i i i , Mn=frtiL&M, ®fattW7*ffi%m B i b l i o g r a p h y B r o o k , T i m o t h y . The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China. B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y O f C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1998. C h a n g , K a n g - I S u n . The Late-Ming Poet Ch'en Tzu-lung: Crisis of Love and Loyalism. N e w H a v e n : Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1991. C r u m p , J a m e s L. Songs from Xanadu: Studies in Mongol-dynasty song poetry. A n n A r b o r : U n i v e r s i t y of M i c h i g a n C e n t e r fo r C h i n e s e S t u d i e s , 1983. D e B a r y , W i l l i a m T h e o d o r e et a l . , eds . Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol.1. N e w Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 200. 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H o n g K o n g a n d S h a n g h a i : H a n y u d a c i d i a n , 1986-90. H a w k e s , D a v i d . The Songs of the South: An Anthology of Ancient Chinese Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets. L o n d o n : P e n g u i n B o o k s , 1985. H o n g , P i a n $ t f |g (f l .1522-66). Liushijia xiaoshuo 7\~T'M/hM (S ix ty S tor ies ) , c o m p i l e d u n d e r the t i t le Qingpingshan tang huaben t f t ^ I - U ^ l r j ^ (1550). S h a n g h a i : G u d i a n w e n x u e c h u b a n s h e ; B e i j i n g : W e n x u e gu j i , 1955. H s u , P i - C h i n g . " C e l e b r a t i n g the E m o t i o n a l Sel f : F e n g M e n g - l u n g a n d L a t e M i n g E t h i c s a n d A e s t h e t i c s . " P h . D . d i ss . , U n i v e r s i t y of M i n n e s o t a , 1994. . " C o u r t e s a n s a n d S c h o l a r s i n the W r i t i n g s of F e n g M e n g l o n g : T r a n s c e n d i n g S ta tus a n d G e n d e r . " Nan Nil: Men, Women, and Gender in early and Imperial China 2.1 (2000): 40-77. I d e m a , W i l t a n d L l o y d H a f t . A Guide to Chinese Literature. A n n A r b o r : C e n t e r f o r C h i n e s e S t u d i e s , T h e U n i v e r s i t y of M i c h i g a n , 1997. K a o , K a r l S. Y . , e d . Classical Chinese Tales of the Supernatural and Fantastic. B l o o m i n g t o n : I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1985. K o , D o r o t h y . Teachers of the Inner Chamber: Women and Culture in Seventeenth Century China. S t a n f o r d : S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1994. . " T h e W r i t t e n W o r d a n d the B o u n d Foo t : A H i s t o r y of the C o u r t e s a n ' s A u r a . " In Writing Women In Late Imperial China, e d s . E l l e n W i d m e r a n d K a n g - I S u n C h a n g , 74-100. S t a n f o r d : S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1997. 99 L i , W a i - Y e e . 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