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100 Famous Women in China
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海外逸士

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加入时间: 2005/11/08
文章: 1583
来自: America
积分: 8889


文章时间: 2018-4-29 周日, 下午8:49    标题: 引用回复

As a rule, once a girl became an imperial concubine, all her family members would get titles. First,her deceased father was given a posthumous honor of the title of the duke of Qi, and her uncle, yang XuanGui, was made the head of the department in charge of feast. Her brother was promoted, too. Especially her male cousin, Yang Guozhong, a low cad before, got promotion after promotion, because he could please the flatter the emperor, till at last, he was made the premier after the death of Li Linfu, the former premier. Yang Guozhong did a lot of bad things like taking briberies and appointing those bribers to be high officials. His two sons married two princesses.
Yang Guozhong was apt to play a kind of game called E-Pu. Each player had five chessmen and whoever moved the chessmen to the end line won the game. Luckily for him, the emperor also liked to play this kind of game. When he found that Yang Guozhong could play so well, he liked Yang so much that he made Yang his premier despite that Yang had no ability to run the country well.
The emperor was so fond of Imperial Concubine Yang, who was like his inseparable shadow, he neglected his levees. He stopped receiving his courtiers and discussing with them the national affairs. He trusted everything to Yang Guozhong, who became the most powerful man of the time. No courtiers dared to offend him unless he didn't care misfortunes befalling him or even death. But Yang Guozhong had gradually and unawares made a lot of personal enemies. His greatest and decisive foe was the warlord An Lushan. In Tang Dynasty, a warlord had really the title of lord administered a certain area, but still obeyed the central government. Only he had his own army. He obeyed the central government solely in name.
Back to the brief biography of Yang Guozhong. In 745, he was appointed a staff official, and hen promoted to be a judge in a city to sentence criminals. In 747, he was summoned to the capital to be a secretarial clerk in the central government. In 748, he had fifteen titles, and four years later, in 752, he became the premier. He reached the peak of his life. His titles were almost as many as forty more. The comparatively important ones were: equivalent to the head of the prosecutor's department; equivalent to the minister of the fiscal ministry; equivalent to the general manager of central bank; equivalent to the head librarian of the national library; equivalent to the minister of the human resources ministry; equivalent to the minister of the labor ministry, etc. etc.
In Tang Dynasty, female relatives of the imperial concubine would get honorary titles, generally Her Ladyship so-and-so. First, her mother was conferred the title of the Ladyship of Liang. Her eldest sister the ladyship of Han, her third sister the ladyship of Guo, and her eighth sister the ladyship of Qin. As Imperial Concubine Yang often thought of her sisters, the three sisters were allowed to move and live in the capital. But Imperial concubine Yang could not foresee that her third sister would give her trouble once she arrived in the capital. (9)
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海外逸士

会员等级:6




加入时间: 2005/11/08
文章: 1583
来自: America
积分: 8889


文章时间: 2018-5-06 周日, 下午9:35    标题: 引用回复

Ladyship Guo (?--756) had the maiden name Yang Yuyao while other sisters' maiden names were unknown. Ladyship Guo was beautiful, but lewd. She had had affairs with Yang Guozhong, her distant cousin, before she was married. Then she was married to the Pei family and gave birth to a son Pei Hui and a daughter. When she became Ladyship Guo, her son married a princess and her daughter was the wife of a prince.
As the three sisters moved into the capital, the emperor gave each a big residence and often summoned them to the palace. They feasted and made merry together. The three sisters, especially the Ladyship Guo, all got in the favor of the emperor. Before long, the lewd Ladyship Guo had affairs with the emperor, for which Imperial Concubine Yang had quarrels with this sister. Ladyship Guo could even directly go into the palace without waiting for the summon from the emperor. A famous poet Zhang Gu wrote a poem about her:
Ladyship Guo enjoys the imperial favor,
She often rides into the palace at dawn.
She's afraid make-up will dirty her beauty,
Only pencils eyebrows lightly to see the emperor.
She became another favorite of the emperor, and even the daughters of the emperor were afraid to offend her or the Yang family. Once two princesses did offend the Yang family, the emperor was angry and took back all the things that he had gifted to those two daughters, and as a result, their husbands were expelled from government offices.
Now the end of the Ladyship Guo. In the rebellion of the warlord An Lushan and his successor (the events will be narrated in the later chapters), Imperial Concubine Yang and her cousin Premier Yang Guozhong both died. The other two sisters were also killed in the chaos. Ladyship Guo, her son and the wife of Premier Yang escaped from the capital to Chencang town. The mayor of the town hated the Yang family just like all people at large since the Yang family members did lots of bad things. When he was told that the three of the Yang family came to the town, he wanted to catch them and began to chase them. Ladyship Guo killed her son and the wife of her cousin. She wanted to kill herself too, but did not succeed. The mayor got her and put her in prison. Later she died in the prison and was buried in a suburb of the town. (10)
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海外逸士

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加入时间: 2005/11/08
文章: 1583
来自: America
积分: 8889


文章时间: 2018-5-13 周日, 下午9:49    标题: 引用回复

An Lushan (703—01/29/757) was a man of minority in the north. He fought for Tang Dynasty and won great martial merits so that he became a lord ruling over three administrative districts. At first, he and Yang Guozhong had joint benefits, but later, when An became a lord, Yang was so jealous of him and started to hate him. Thus, yang laid the foundation of An's rebellion.
As a lord, An must from time to time come to the capital to report to the emperor what had happened in his districts. Sometimes, he saw Imperial Concubine yang with the emperor. He was also struck with her beauty. On the side of Imperial Concubine Yang, she was fully aware of the great age difference between the emperor and herself. Generally speaking, the old emperor must die before her and she knew that the successor, anyone of the emperor's sons, would do unfavorable things to her. She must have someone to back her up for her own safety. She thought that An was a man she could rely for the purpose. Therefore, she often sent for An to see her when the emperor was attending to national business. Gradually, they made love to each other as An was much younger and stronger than the old emperor.
A legend about their love affairs goes like that once during the love-making, An accidentally made a scratch on the skin of one of her breasts. Imperial Concubine Yang was afraid that the emperor would see it when they were together, and so she put a piece of brocade over the spot as a decoration. It was said that this was the origination of the bra nowadays. Believe it or not.
An had a potbelly, and once the emperor asked him what was inside his big belly. An replied that inside was his loyalty to the emperor, who was very happy to hear it. Imperial Concubine Yang liked to take bath and often went alone to Huaqing Pond for it. On her way there, her bodyguards would hold up long pieces of cloth on both sides to form a lane so that no bystanders or passers-by could see her in a imperial coach.
Sometimes she took An along with her to have bath there. Once after An finished his bath, yang ordered her palace maids to put big swaddling clothes on An as if he was a baby. To flatter Yang, An began to call Yang mom. When the emperor heard of it, he gave An baby bath gift. From then on, An openly called Yang mom, but he never called the emperor dad. When asked why, he said that the minority he belonged to only knew mothers, never knew fathers. The emperor laughed it off. (11)
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海外逸士

会员等级:6




加入时间: 2005/11/08
文章: 1583
来自: America
积分: 8889


文章时间: 2018-5-20 周日, 下午8:22    标题: 引用回复

Li Bai (02/08701—12/762) was one of the best known poets in Chinese history. He was a poetic genius and people named him a deity of poetry. He also knew some foreign language. Historians think that he was born in the present Kyrgyzstan in Mid-Asia (At that time, it belonged to Tang Dynasty) and at the age of five, his family moved to Sichuan province in the west of China. Emperors of Tang Dynasty, their family name was also Li. Historians think that the imperial family and Li Bai's family came from the same ancestors.
Li Ke, Li Bai's father, was an officer in Ren town. In 705, Li Bai began his education and in 710, he began to learn all the Chinese classics. In 715, he started to learn swordsmanship. He liked traveling and loved to drink wine, often until drunken. So in the olden time, almost every wine house had put up on the wall a placard, bearing these words, “Drink is the good habit of Li Bai.”
In the eighth moon of 742, he went to the capital. As the emperor had long heard his fame, he summoned Li Bai to his presence. Then Li had the chance to know Imperial Concubine Yang, and whenever the emperor and Yang went to Huaqing Pond, they would take Li along and asked Li to write poems for the occasion. Li became the palace poet, if this could be his title. He was not a courtier, nor an official.
A legend about Li Bai goes like this: there was Bohai State in the northeast of China, which was a vassal state to Tang Dynasty. However, any vassal state always wanted to be independent. So they sent a messenger carrying the Credentials in their own language, saying that if Tang Dynasty had such a talented man that could read their language and write a letter of reply to them, they would always obey Tang Dynasty, or they would be independent. At a levee, the emperor showed the Credentials to all the courtiers, but none of them could read the language. When Li Bai was told about it, Li offered to write the letter of reply. So he came to the levee and translated the Credentials to the emperor. Then he was asked to write a letter of reply, he put up some demands. Because he was eccentric, he had offended some courtiers, including premier Yang Guozhong, by looking down on them as no rivals to him in learning. The head eunuch Gao Lishi didn't like him, too. Now Li took this opportunity to avenge on them. When he sat down at a table, he wanted the head eunuch to take off his shoes so that he could sit cross-legged more comfortably. Then he wanted premier Yang to grind the ink bar in water on the ink slab of stone so that he could dip his brush in the inky water and write on paper. These were thought as insult. Anyway, Li wrote the letter of reply in the language of Bohai State. The messenger was subdued and got the letter back to his state. (12)
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海外逸士

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加入时间: 2005/11/08
文章: 1583
来自: America
积分: 8889


文章时间: 2018-5-27 周日, 下午9:01    标题: 引用回复

Although Li Bai had offended some important persons, the emperor and Imperial Concubine Yang still liked him. One day in the late spring of 743, when the emperor and Imperial Concubine Yang were in the Eaglewood Pavilion and watched the peony in bloom. The emperor summoned palace musicians and wanted them to sing something new. But Li Guinian, the head musician and singer, had nothing new to provide. Therefore, the emperor sent him to find Li Bai so that he could compose new poems to the music. Li Guinian went to the wine house Li Bai frequented and saw Li Bai there, but drunk. Li Bai was carried to the palace. Imperial Concubine Yang bade a maid to sprinkle some cold water on his face, and presently, Li Bai came to like from a swoon. The emperor asked him to get some new poems. So Li Bai wrote three poems to sing the praise of Yang. They read respectively in the following:
The first one,
Clouds think of dress while flowers think of visage,
Spring winds brush the railing, and dews dense.
If not seen on top of the Jade Mountain*,
Will meet at Jade Terrace* under the moon.
*Are places where goddesses dwell.
The second one,
A red peony with dew spread fragrance,
Goddess on Wu Hill heart-broken in vain*.
If Ask who is like her in Han Palace,
It's lovely Flying Swallow** wearing new dress.
*meaning no need to meet goddess when he had his Yang.
**Flying Swallow is the name of the queen in Han Dynasty.
The third one,
Flowers and the Beauty are both happy,
They have Emperor look at them smilingly.
Spring breezes solace Emperor in his sorrow,
As he leans on north railing of Eaglewood Pavilion.
Then someone who hated Li Bai complained to Imperial Concubine Yang that it was not a good comparison of Yang to Flying Swallow in Han palace, because Flying Swallow was not a good woman. So Imperial Concubine Yang began to dislike Li Bai.(13)
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