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100 Famous Women in China
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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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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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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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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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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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文章时间: 2018-6-03 周日, 下午8:29    标题: 引用回复

Li Bai felt that it would not be good for him to stay longer in the palace. Next year, he left the capital forever. Then he started to travel again. He met Du Fu (712—770) and they turned to be best friends ever since. When An Lushan rebelled, wishing to help quench the rebellion, Li Bai accepted the invitation of Prince Yong in the twelfth moon of 756, to be his counselor. But before long, Prince Yong offended the emperor, and was executed. All his men were taken as prisoners. Li Bai was exiled to somewhere in the present Guizhou province in the southwest of China. On the way, he was pardoned. He was then fifty-nine. When he reached the age of sixty-one, he was told that General Li Guangbi was commanding a large army to attach the rebels, he wanted to join them, but he had to return halfway, because he fell sick. Next year he died of some kind of disease and was buried at Dangtu.
A legend about his death goes like that he was watching the bright moon, as he had written a lot of poems about the moon, but he was then drunk. He wanted to pick up the moon in the water and fell in the river and was drowned. A romantic death.
When Imperial Concubine Yang found the secret meeting of the emperor with Imperial Concubine Plum, she was unhappy. The emperor was so fond of Yang and did not want her to be unhappy. So on the Double Seventh Night (7th night of 7th moon every lunar year), the emperor met Yang in Longevity Hall in the palace. There is a legend about Double Seventh Night. The youngest daughter of the mother goddess, the girl weaver, stole from heaven to the human world to enjoy herself. Then she came across the cowboy, a mortal. She fell in love with him. The mother goddess learned it and got infuriated. She ordered the daughter to come back to heaven and her daughter had to obey. But the cowboy did not want to part with the beautiful girl and ran after her. The mother goddess used her hairpin and drew a line between her daughter and the cowboy. The line she drew became a celestial river (denoting the Milky Way in the sky). The cowboy could not cross it and cried himself to be sick. The daughter sympathized with the cowboy and begged her mother to have pity on the cowboy. Therefore, the mother goddess agreed for them to meet once a year on the Double Seventh Night. But the cowboy had no way to cross the celestial river. It was said that magpies formed a bridge, magpie bridge, to help the cowboy to go over the river. However, there is another end for the legend. The mother goddess changed her daughter, the girl weaver, to be Vega and the cowboy to be Altair so that they could only look at each other across the Milky Way.(14)
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文章时间: 2018-6-10 周日, 下午8:39    标题: 引用回复

On that night, the emperor and Yang made their love vow about their eternal love, not just in this life, but also in every next life, till eternity. Imperial Concubine Yang liked to eat litchi, which only grew in the south of China (at that time). To please the girl he deeply loved, the emperor ordered fresh litchi to be fetched to the capital by military dispatch on horseback. Du Mu, a famous poet of Tang Dynasty, had a couplet to describe this event:
As a horse gallops through dusts, the imperial concubine smiles;
And no one knows that it’s the litchi that is coming.
The poet's sarcasm lies there: military dispatch should be used for conveying urgent military messages, not for the purpose to satisfy the personal taste of an imperial concubine.
Once Imperial Concubine Yang had a quarrel with the emperor. Generally no one dared to bicker with the emperor. Only Yang knew that the emperor loved her so much that he would not take it to heart if she quarreled with him. But this time, the emperor got furious and drove her away from the palace. Yang had to go back to her mother's residence. Anyway, after a while, the emperor thought of Yang and sent the eunuch Zhang Taoguang there to see how the imperial concubine passed her days. Seizing the opportunity, Yang cut a strand of her hair and let the eunuch take it to the emperor. Seeing this, the emperor was scared, because in old Chinese tradition, if a girl cut a strand of her hair and sent it to the boy, it meant that she would have nothing to do with the boy any more. Their relationship would thus end. That's why the emperor was afraid as he was so fond of Yang. Therefore, he sent his favorite eunuch Gao Lishi to fetch Yang back to the palace. Imperial Concubine Yang used it just as a method to go back to the side of the emperor. So when Gao Lishi came to take her back to the palace, she was delighted and immediately got into the coach. And the emperor and Yang reconciled.
The second offense happened one morning in the seventh moon of 746. She made the emperor enraged, and the emperor drove her away again. But at lunch time, the emperor began to think of her and he refused to eat anything. His favorite eunuch wanted to assuage the emperor and mentioned that since the imperial concubine left in a hurry, she did not take all the stuff she needed. Could his slave gather all the things and take to her? The emperor gave his consent. Then her clothes, cosmetic things, her trinkets, and so on and so forth, loaded one hundred carts. The emperor also let the eunuch bring her the food she liked. In the afternoon, the emperor thought of Yang more and got restless. The eunuch implored the emperor by continuous kowtowing to let the imperial concubine back to the palace. So in the evening, Imperial Concubine Yang was permitted to come back. Yang also admitted her wrong doing and begged the pardon of the emperor. So the emperor and Yang made up again.
The rebellion started on12/16/755 AD and ended on 02/07/763, almost seven years. (15)
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文章时间: 2018-6-17 周日, 下午8:49    标题: 引用回复

At the beginning of Tang Dynasty (618—907 AC), their military forces were almost centered round the capital for the purpose of strong defense. The farther from the capital, the weaker was the defense force. At the north frontier, the Tang government totally entrusted the defense on minorities. So the minorities had their own troops. Since Tang Dynasty enjoyed long-time peace till the present emperor, the army was not used to fighting and the whole forces became weak while the forces of the minorities became strong. The strongest army belonged to An Lushan, a minority nobility. He had an ambition to invade Tang Dynasty and rule over it. He just waited for a chance.
The emperor Xuanzong, since he had Imperial Concubine Yang, had neglected the national affairs and let the premier Yang Guozhong, the cousin of the imperial concubine, decide on everything. Yang Guozhong, a low cad when young, had an ability to flatter, to please anyone he wanted to. As now he became the imperial brother-in-law, he did everything to please the emperor and so he got the entire trust from the emperor. Under his administration, the whole officialdom went corrupt. Common people led a bitter life and hated Yang family. They wished that some day someone would come to kill all the Yang family members.
As An Lushan got stronger, Yang Guozhong felt a threat from An and was afraid that some day An would endanger his power and safety. Therefore, he always slandered An to the emperor. Then, An felt a threat from Yang, too. So An Lushan revolted using the excuse to expel Yang Guozhong from the government lest he should bring more harm to the nation and the people. At that time, Tang government had only 80,000 soldiers to defend the capital while An had 150,000 soldiers, as other minorities all obeyed and supported An.
On the ninth day of the eleventh moon of lunar calendar (equivalent to 12/16 AD) in 755, in Fanyang city, An Lushan declared his mutiny against Tang government. Most towns and cities in the north were soon taken by An's troops. When the emperor was reported about the insurrection on the fourteenth day of the same moon, he ordered general Feng Changqing to defend Luoyang city, which was a strategic spot in battles. If An wanted to come to the capital, he must occupy Luoyang city first. Then the emperor appointed his sixth son Prince Rong to be the grand marshal and general Gao Xianzhi as the vice marshal. (16)


http://www.allbook-books.com/html/100_famous_women_in_china.htm
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文章时间: 2018-6-24 周日, 下午11:01    标题: 引用回复

Accordingly, An marched to attack Luoyang city and, on the twelfth day of the twelfth moon, he entered the city. Generals Feng and Gao had to escape to the city more important strategically, which was called Tong Pass. Later, the emperor executed both for failure of the defense of Luoyang city, and appointed another general Ge Shuhan as the vice marshal in charge of the defense of Tong Pass, which was easy to defend and hard to attack.
On the first day of the first moon next year, An Lushan declared himself to be the emperor of Dahan Dynasty. As Tong Pass was difficult to take, General Ge adopted the tactic to void direct combat and only stayed in the city. In the first moon of 756, An Lushan sent his son An Qingxu to assault the city, but was defeated by general Ge. An's army was blocked and could not make any progress forward for several months. Then An Lushan got a stratagem and ordered his general Cui Qianyou to conceal the strong troopers somewhere, and displayed his old, weak, or even sick soldiers to Tang's spy. When the emperor got the false information, he issued an edict to general Ge to take the initiative to assail the rebellious army. Although Ge knew that it was a wrong decision, he had to obey, with sighs and tears for the predictable failure.
On the fourth day of the sixth moon, general Ge was forced to lead his army out from the city and marched to attack An's army. An's general Cui laid an ambush on the south ridge of the mountains, between which there was a narrow valley the Tang army must go through if they wanted to attack An's army. It means that Tang troops fell into the ambush unexpectedly. When arrows and stones came down from the mountains, Tang soldiers had to scatter for shelters and many were killed. When Ge wanted to defend the city, he had gathered 200,000 men. After the battle, he had only 8,000 left when he escaped to the city. On the ninth day, general Cui occupied the city and general Ge escaped again to a small town nearby. Finally he was captured by An's army. Then An's army marched toward ChangAn city, the capital of Tang Dynasty. (17)
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文章时间: 2018-7-01 周日, 下午8:21    标题: 引用回复

At the same time, a detachment of the revolting army was sent to attack Jiuyang town to the east of the capital. Zhang Xun, the general in charge to defend the town, had only 8,000 soldiers against 130,000 rebellious troops. For many times, he defeated the assault of the enemies. He and his soldiers held the town firmly for three hundred days, which gave time for the government to gather troops. But he ran short of provisions and other necessities until the day he had not but to kill his own wife as food to feed his soldiers. In China, in great famine, people would eat dead bodies. If they could not find dead bodies, they would exchange each other's babies. One family ate another family's baby. Such things did happen in the history of China. However, as the enemies outnumbered Zhang's troops, Zhang at lost fought to death and the town was occupied by the enemies. Thirteen days afterwards, the government army came and subdued the enemies. The revolt thus ended.
When the emperor was reported of the approach of the rebellious army, he escaped south together with his imperial family members and also Imperial Concubine Yang and Yang family members, guarded all the way by his imperial bodyguards. One day when they reached the place called Makuipo, the soldiers killed Yang Guozhong, the premier and cousin of Imperial Concubine Yang, as they had long held a drudge against the Yang family. After they killed all Yang family members, they were not satisfied and demanded the emperor to let the imperial concubine die. They were afraid that if the imperial concubine was still alive when peace restored, she would surely revenge the death of her family members on the soldiers. Their leader General Chen put up the demand to the emperor, who, for his own safety, had to agree. So Imperial Concubine Yang hanged herself on a tree and was buried on the spot. But after the rebellious army was conquered and peace was restored, the emperor went back to the capital. Then he sent his favorite eunuch there for the purpose to carry the body of the imperial concubine Yang back to the capital and re-bury her among the imperial graves. When the temporary tomb was dug open, there was no corpse seen. It was empty.
Therefore, the emperor thought that Yang was not dead and went to some islands to live with goddesses there. Chinese people in the ancient time believed that there were islands in the East Sea, on which dwelt goddesses. Then the emperor asked a taoist from Linqiong to search for the soul of the Imperial Concubine Yang from heaven to the nether world, including those islands on the sea. Then the legend was continued in a poem by a famous poet at the end of this tale.
Another legend about her end goes like that when the emperor ordered the death of Imperial Concubine Yang, someone in the bodyguards took Yang away for her beauty and they hid somewhere to lead a common life as an ordinary couple. That's why the temporary tomb was empty.
And still another legend coming from Japan is like that the bodyguards leader General Chen could not harden his heart to kill such a beauty and used one of her maids to die instead of her. He secretly had someone to escort her to Japan. She was warmly welcomed in Japan as an imperial concubine from Tang Dynasty. She lived there for thirty years more and died at the age of sixth-eight. The famous Japanese ★违反论坛条例!★ star Momoe Yamaguchi declared that she was the descendant of the imperial concubine Yang. (1Cool
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文章时间: 2018-7-08 周日, 下午8:34    标题: 引用回复

44. 薛濤 Xue Tao (a famous poetess and a courtesan)

Xue Tao (768—832 AD) was a famous poetess in Tang dynasty. She was born in ChangAn city, the capital. Her father was a petty official and moved to Chengdu city. When her father died, she lived in this city ever since.
She could write poems and knew music at the age of eight. Once her father composed a couplet, “There is an old tree in the courtyard, Its tall trunk rising into clouds.” He wanted his daughter to write another couplet so that the four lines could make a poem. She immediately wrote, “Its boughs welcome birds from north to sough, Its leaves send away winds coming and going.” Her father was glad and proud of her. But historians said that these two lines were the exact description of her own fate as she later became a courtesan that welcomed visitors coming and saw visitors going.
After the death of her father, her family, mother and herself, fell into poverty. She had to become a singsong girl in a whorehouse at the age of sixteen. As a singsong girl did not have love-making with any visitors. She only entertained them with her song or music play, or wrote a poem or painted something for them. As she was beautiful and talented, she was well-known in the area. Her visitors were all local officials and men of letters. Her nickname was “Poetic whore.”
The governor of that time liked her talent very much and often sent for her to his residence to entertain his guests by chanting poems of her own composition. Thus she made acquaintance with many famous poets and scholars at the time. She even fell in love with one of them, but their love had no result. The governor adored her poetic talent, and tried to get an official title for her from the central government, but of no avail. When this governor died, the next governor came. He liked her too, and canceled her registration in her prostitute record. She became a free ordinary woman. Then she always wore a Taoist costume. She seldom had visitors now. She lived a quiet life in old age. She made a kind of paper called Xue Tao paper, which was slightly pink. The paper was widely used at the time.


上一次由海外逸士于2018-7-15 周日, 下午8:09修改,总共修改了2次
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文章时间: 2018-7-08 周日, 下午8:36    标题: 引用回复

45. 魚玄機 Yu Xuanji (a famous poetess and a female Taoist)

Yu Xuanji (844—871 AD) was a famous poetess in the late Tang dynasty. At first her name was Yu Youwei. In 894 AD when she was five, her family moved to another town and she started her study at a local school. In 854 AD when she was ten, the family moved back to her hometown, where she began to get acquainted with a famous poet at the time. They wrote poems to each other ever since.
In 858 AD, she was fourteen. A scholar Li Yi (?--?) wrote a poem on the wall of Chongzhen Temple. It was traditional for ancient poets to write poems wherever they could, such as on the walls of a temple, of a wine house, or even on a cliff wall of a scenic spot. When the girl read it, she liked it and then married Li Yi as a concubine through the introduction of her acquainted poet. As Li had a wife, Yu could only be a concubine. His wife was so jealous that Li did not dare to bring the girl home. He just let her stay in Xianyi Temple.
A few years later, her husband deserted her because he was a man liking new love partners, except his wife, whom he was afraid of. Yu began to travel east in the autumn of 861 AD. Next spring, she returned to where she started her trip, ChangAn city. In 866 AD when she turned twenty-two, she became a female Taoist in Yanyi Temple and changed her name to Yu Xuanji, which was better known to us. In that period of time, many men of letters came to seek her favor, but she favored none. She treated everyone coming to visit her equally as a friend. She did not remarry anyone. She kept writing poems, fifty-one in all that we know today. Although she was a Taoist, she was a famous woman, and had a maid to wait on her. Once she was so angry with her maid that she beat her accidentally to death. For this crime, she was executed. A famous couplet from one of her poems is so written:
It is easy to get a precious antique,
But hard to have a boy of true love..
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文章时间: 2018-7-22 周日, 下午8:46    标题: 引用回复

46. 杜秋娘 Du Qiuniang (a famous poetess)

Du Qiiuniang (971--? AD) was a poetess. At the age of fifteen, she became a concubine of Li Qi (741—807 AD), who was a relative of the imperial family. He was a corrupt official and once when the emperor wanted him to go to the capital, he was afraid that he would be killed. Therefore, he rebelled, but failed and killed. Du Qiuniang was then taken to the palace. She became a concubine of the emperor, who died in 820 AD. Then the crown prince succeeded the throne and was Emperor Muzong (795—824 AD). Now Du Qiuniang was a middle-aged woman. The new emperor let her be the nanny of his son. When she grew too old, the emperor let her go back to her hometown, Nanking city, where she was born. She died naturally. Her famous poem is thus:
I advise you not for gold-woven dress to care,
But advise you for precious time of youth to care.
If flowers are in full bloom and worth picking, just pick,
Don't wait till no more flowers, then on empty boughs pick.
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文章时间: 2018-7-29 周日, 下午8:04    标题: 引用回复

47. 花蕊夫人 Ladyship Pistil (a humorous poetess)

Ladyship Pistil (?--976 AD) was her nickname. She was a favorite concubine of the king of the present Sichuan province. As she liked flowers, such as peony, the king gave her this nickname, which was known to us. She was pretty and clever, and could write poems. The king led a lewd dissipated life and his kingdom became weak. At that time, outside Sichuan province, the whole country was under the rule of Song dynasty. Therefore, in 965 AD, Song dynasty sent army to invade the kingdom. The king surrendered, and of course died later. The ladyship was captured. It was said that she became the concubine of the emperor of Song dynasty till her death. There was a famous and humorous poem we know till today, which is:

The king puts up the flag of surrender on battlements;
How can his lady know in the deep palace?
Forty myriad soldiers take off armors in unison;
No one of them is a man. (meaning no one fighting to death.)
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文章时间: 2018-8-05 周日, 下午10:03    标题: 引用回复

48. 穆桂英 Mu Guiying (the third of the four heroines)

Mu Guiying (982--?) was one of the four heroines. The other three were Hua Mulan, Fan Lihua, and Liang Hongyu. All are included in this book. There was a Yang family in Song dynasty. All the family members were fighters, including females, two daughters and seven daughters-in-law. Mu was married to the sixth son. Her fighting skills were the first among all the females. Her father was originally the chieftain of outlaws. They camped on a mountain, called Mu Camp. The government sent Yang family to conquer the Mu Camp, and the sixth son of the family came out to challenge. The daughter Mu Guiying galloped out to face the challenger, whom she captured after a few rounds. She wanted to marry the son and then surrendered to the government. It was thus settled. The heroine became a member of Yang family.
Then Liao tribe in the north invaded Han dynasty, and Yang family was sent again to defend the territory. The heroine was the commander and by using some ruse, defeated the Liao tribe. They never dared to invade Song dynasty till later the tribe was conquered by Jin tribe. That was her great merit. Then when a revolt took place in Guangxi province in the south, she and her husband went there to subdue it. So she was conferred the title of Marquise Huntian. When a minority state called Xixia in the west invaded the country, she and all other female fighters went to resist the invasion. At the time, all males in the family died in different battles or occasions. The survivors were all widows. In one of the combats with Xixia, Mu was killed in an ambush of the enemy, but the remaining women vanquished the Xixia army.
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文章时间: 2018-8-12 周日, 下午8:05    标题: 引用回复

49. 李清照 Li Qingzhao (a very famous poetess)
Li Qingzhao (1084—1156 AD) was a famous poetess in Song dynasty ((960—1279 AD), born in Mingshui town of Shandong province. Her father was an official and a famous writer of the time as well. And her maternal grandfather had been a premier. When she was still a young girl, her well-written poems were known in the capital in the literary circle. In 1101 AD, she married Zhao Mingcheng (1081—1129 AD), who was also an official. In 1107 AD, the couple moved to Qingzhou town. They liked to buy books, especially books of old and precious editions. Every time when the husband bought a good edition from the market after work, the couple would enjoy reading it together after supper. Their life was simple and pleasant.
At that time, there was a minority in the north, named Jin tribe, that often invaded into Song dynasty. In 1127 AD, when the poetess was forty-four, the army of Jin tribe marched south and attacked the town, they had to escape south across the Yangtze River, and next spring they arrived in Jiangning city. As they had to desert their belongings when they fled from the Jin tribe, now they lived in poverty.
After the death of her husband, she moved to Shaoxing town in Zhejinag province, and lived alone in the house of a local family. In the third moon of 1131 AD, the only things, some old paintings, that left to her, were all stolen overnight. Next year, she went to Hangzhou city to marry another man, but was divorced a few months later, because she found that the man was a corrupt official, who was put in prison afterwards. Then she lived alone and always kept writing poems till the end of her life. But she had only forty-five poems handing down to us. All were well-known to us.
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文章时间: 2018-8-19 周日, 下午8:27    标题: 引用回复

50. 梁紅玉 Liang Hongyu (the fourth of the four heroines)

Liang Hongyu (1102—1135 AD) was famous to us as a fighter against the Jin tribe invading Song dynasty. Her family fled from north to south to avoid the slaughter and pillage of the Jin tribe. They came to where the general Han Shizhong camped his army. Somehow, she became a military singsong girl and came to know the general Han. She was a special girl, who knew how to use sword. Therefore, the general Han married her.
She fought together with her husband Han (1089—1151 AD), the commander of an army. In the third moon of 1129 AD, the Jin tribe army took two towns and was about to invade the capital. The emperor and courtiers were in panic. A couple of courtiers wanted to betray the emperor, but were afraid of commander Han, who was then at the frontier defending the Song territory. So they took his wife Liang Hongyu as hostage. When Han marched his army towards the capital, they had to release Liang. When Liang joined Han, they came to the capital to kill the traitors. The emperor was ecstatic and gave Liang the title of Ladyship Yangguo. In addition, the emperor gave her monthly salary, which only male officials and officers could have. As a female she was the first one to have such a treatment.
Then Liang and Han marched north to defend the border. The number of the enemy was double, even triple greater than theirs. However, they used a better strategy to defeat the enemy. For more than ten years, the Jin tribe did not even dare to advance facing such defenders. So there was temporary peace at the frontier till the death of the couple. The Jin tribe was later conquered by Mongolians, who afterwards marched south and annihilated Song dynasty and established their Yuan dynasty (1271—1368 AD), which was overthrown by Ming dynasty. (see next episode)
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文章时间: 2018-8-26 周日, 下午8:27    标题: 引用回复

51. 馬皇后 Empress Ma (a virtuous woman)

Empress Ma (1332—1382 AD) was the wife of Zhu Yuanzhang (10/21/1328—06/24/1398 AD), the first emperor of Ming dynasty (1368—1644 AD). She was nicknamed Big Feet, because at that time, women generally bound their feet small as a fashion, but women in the countryside still kept their natural size of feet. So did Ma.
When Ma was a child, her parents died and she was adopted by a close friend of her father, Guo Zixing (1312—1355 AD). It was then towards the end of Yuan dynasty. There were many groups of rebels against the Mongolians. Guo was one of them. At that time, Zhu Yuanzhang was only a poor vagabond. Once he became a monk for a living. When the rebellion rose, Zhu joined Guo's group and fought bravely and achieved great merits. Therefore, Guo married his adopted daughter, Ma, to him. Once at a time, food was scarce and everyone had a limited ration. In this period of time, Guo doubted that Zhu was not faithful to him, and so cut his ration. Ma had to share hers with Zhu furtively.
After death of Guo in fight, Zhu became the leader of the group. With the elapse of time, he got many followers and finally wiped out other groups. At last he overthrew the Yuan dynasty and founded his Ming dynasty. He was Emperor Taizu of Ming dynasty. His wife was the empress. She had born five sons and two daughters for him.. Zhu was a cruel man and when his empire was steadfast, he began to kill the generals, who had helped him to conquer opponents, one after the other. When the empress learned it, she advised him not to do so. His reason to kill the generals was because he was afraid that these powerful generals might, just might, betray him and endanger his empire. The empress saved the rest of them. When the empress was seriously sick, he and his courtiers all wished to hold some ceremony in temples to pray for her longer life. But she opposed it, saying that birth and death were decided by destiny, what was the use of prayer. Her last will to her husband was to treat people and courtiers nicely and trust in them for the good of the country. She died at the age of fifty-one.
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文章时间: 2018-9-02 周日, 下午8:41    标题: 引用回复

52. 唐賽兒 Tang SaiEr (a female leader of rebellion)

Tang SaiEr (1399--? AD) was the leader of the up-rising peasants. She was not illiterate and learned fighting skills from her father. At fifteen she got married, but soon her husband died. Then she shaved her hair and became a Buddhist nun. The second emperor of Ming dynasty, Emperor Chengzu, used a lot of peasant labor to build palace and other constructions, etc., so that the peasants were all angry against the government. Tang then founded a religion called White Lotus and a lot of peasants believed it and joined it. Tang named herself Buddhist Mother. In 1420 AD, White Lotus took up arms and began to attack towns. The mayors of the towns either escaped or were killed. Other groups of up-rising peasants joined them.
When the emperor was reported of it, he sent a messenger to negotiate with them, only wanted them to surrender. Of course, Tang refused. The emperor send army and his army was vanquished several times. The process of the battle was like this. The government army surrounded the mountain, on the top of which camped the rebels. Tang thought of a stratagem. She sent someone to the government army, saying that there was scarcity of water and most of the rebels wanted to surrender. Only their leader Tang refused. She wanted to break through the line in the east that night. Therefore, the commander of the government army maneuvered most of his force to the east in hopes to wipe out the rebels. But at night, the rebels came down to assault the west side of the government army with not many soldiers there. These soldiers were defeated and the rebels went round to attack the back of the most part of the government army and put them to rout.
At last when the emperor sent armies that outnumbered peasant force, which was defeated and Tang escaped to no one knew where. No one knew the end of her either. The emperor ordered to arrest all the Buddhist nuns and checked them one by one to see if there mingled Tang, but in vain. Anyway, the believers of the White Lotus religion scattered all over the nation. Only they could not gather enough force to riot again.
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文章时间: 2018-9-09 周日, 下午8:56    标题: 引用回复

53. 万貴妃 Imperial Concubine Wan (a woman nineteen years older than emperor)

Imperial Concubine Wan (1428—1487 AD) was originally a maid in the palace in charge of apparels of the grandmother of emperor Xianzong of Ming dynasty, and then became his concubine when he took over the throne. When this emperor was still the crown prince, he often went to see his grandmother and saw the maid, who was nineteen years older than he. She joked with him and played with him. They got more and more familiar with each other. As time elapsed, they liked each other. When the grandmother died, he took the maid to his living quarters as his maid.
When he became the emperor, the empress dowager wanted to choose an empress for him. It was surely done, but he did not like the empress whom the empress dowager selected for him. He liked Wan better and made her his concubine. No one understood why he preferred a woman nineteen years older than he, but not the young empress and other concubines of his age or even younger. Of course, though she was much older than he, she was still a virgin when the emperor married her.
As a favorite concubine, she did not respect the empress. Once she offended the empress, who ordered her to be beaten by her maids. Wan went to the emperor and complained bitterly. So the emperor deposed the empress and confined her in a separate room of the palace. He wanted to make Wan as the empress, but the empress dowager opposed it because she was too old and had been only a maid. Generally an empress must come from the family of a courtier of high rank. The empress dowager appointed another concubine as the empress. This empress was afraid of concubine Wan and often exercised forbearance and let Wan do whatever she liked. In the feudal China, a husband and a wife should come from the families of almost the equal social status. But a concubine did not matter. Some wealthy families had concubines often coming from poor families, or even from whorehouses. Girls from rich families were not willing to be concubines, who were only a step-up better than maids. Even the parents would not allow that.
Although Wan was not the empress, she was powerful and acted as an empress. She bore a son for the emperor, who was happy to have an heir. However, the baby died within the month. Then she was jealous of other concubines who were with child. She would let them drink some drugs to abort the child. No one in the palace dared to say anything about it. So the emperor did not know of it. Nor did the empress dowager.
Once the emperor sighed and regretted that he did not have a successor yet. A eunuch secretly told him that he did have a successor, secretly kept somewhere lest the boy be killed or poisoned. As the emperor often had ★违反论坛条例!★ with any concubine or even any maid, he could not know which one was pregnant. Once he had ★违反论坛条例!★ with a petty female palace official, who became pregnant soon. There were some female officials in the palace just like male officials in the government, to be in charge of some special departments in the palace. As the emperor never saw this female official again, he did not know that she was with child. But Wan learned it and sent someone to watch over her. If this woman bore a daughter, it was okay and she was safe. If this woman bore a son, she and her son would lose both lives. Then the woman bore a boy and told a eunuch to throw the baby outside the palace and leave it to his fate, lest he be murdered by concubine Wan. The eunuch thought that as the emperor did not have a successor yet, he should keep this baby alive. Therefore, he took it to the deposed empress who hid it and fed it without Wan's knowing of it.
When the emperor learned it, he wanted to see his son and so the boy of six was brought to his presence. He immediately made this son as the crown prince. Later the emperor had some other sons with other concubines. All the sons were well guarded. Not long afterwards, Wan died.
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文章时间: 2018-9-16 周日, 下午8:42    标题: 引用回复

54. 秦良玉 Qin Liangyu (a woman with many official titles)

Qin Liangyu (1574—1648 AD) was a female general and strategist with great fighting skills. She had a lot of titles such as left governor (next to governor), magistrate somewhere in Sichuan province, head general of an army somewhere, Marquise of Zhongzhen (literally meaning loyalty), and first-rank ladyship, etc., the only female who had so many official titles in the history.
In 1592 AD, she married Ma Qiancheng, a magistrate. She helped her husband to train an army, called White Cudgel Army. In 1599 AD, she marched her army and defeated the rebels in west of the country. In 1613 AD, When her husband died, she took over the position and became the high-rank official. In 1620 AD, she sent her brothers, one elder and one younger, with three thousand White Cudgel armymen, to Shenyang city in the northern China, for a defensive combat. At that time, a minority there often invaded Ming dynasty (1368—1644 AD).
In the third moon of 1621 AD, she herself marched her army there and defeated the minority. In the ninth moon of the same year, she was sent by the emperor to Sichuan province and conquered the rebels there. Next year,she took back Chengdu city and Chongqing city occupied then by rebels. In 1623 AD, she wiped out all the rebels in that area in Sichuan province. At that time, the Manchurian turned strong and often invaded Ming dynasty. In 1630 AD, they took four towns and threatened the safety of the capital. No other generals but female general Qin came to the rescue and drove back the invaders.
In 1634 AD, another group of rebels entered Sichuan province, she went there to drive them away. In 1640 AD, still another group of rebels entered to Sichuan province. Why they wanted to occupy Sichuan province was because the land features were easy to defend and hard to attack, and besides, there produced provisions galore, enough to feed the army or rebels. So the female general went there again to vanquish this group of rebels. In 1646 AD, the Manchurian army occupied Peking, the capital of Ming dynasty and marched south. General Qin was already over seventy and took Sichuan province as her base to resist the Manchurian army. In 1648 AD, on the twenty-first of the fifth moon, she died at the age of seventy-five. She had started her fighting career at twenty-six and fought for forty-four years. She was a unique female in the history.
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文章时间: 2018-9-23 周日, 下午9:09    标题: 引用回复

55. 柳如是 Liu Rushi (one of eight famous singsong girls)

Liu Rushi(1618—1664 AD)was one of the eight well-known singsong girls in the Qinhuai river area, i.e., Nanking city and its vicinity. She was the most beautiful girl among the eight girls. She was versed in painting and calligraphy. In 1628 AD when she was ten years old, she was adopted by a bawd and so became a singsong girl later. Before receiving visitors, every singsong girl got special training in many fields such as writing poems, playing zither or lute, painting and calligraphy, singing or dancing so as to entertain visitors.
As a rule, a famous singsong girl never had any action with male visitors, who were mostly men of letters. They came to see her just to ask a scroll of calligraphy or painting from her own creation, or have a pleasant conversation with the girl to diverse his sad mood or make him happy, or listen to the girl sing or watch her dance. Nothing more. They never thought of having love actions with such famous talented girls. If they needed that, they could go somewhere else. Sometimes, of course, she would fall in love with one of the visitors. So did she, when she met Chen Zilong (1608—1647 AD), who was a petty official in Nanking city, but a learned man. Chen already had wife, who was very jealous. Chen did not dare to take the girl home and they lived together in Songjiang city. Afterwards when the wife came to know it, she went to Songjiang and made a scene. Therefore, Liu went back to where she came from.
In 1638 AD, when she was twenty years old, she met Qian Qianyi (1582—1664 AD), who was a high-rank official. He was twenty-eight that year. In 1640 AD, they met again. Qian took Liu for a tour among mountains and on streams. They had a happy time of the life. They chanted poems to each other. Liu liked the man very much, though he was over fifty then, while she was only twenty-two. They married anyway. She bore a daughter for him. In 1644 AD, the Manchurian army occupied the capital of Ming dynasty and marched to Nanking city. Many scholars opposed the Manchurian because they were another tribe, not Han tribe. The Manchurian arrested anyone who was against them. In 1647 AD, Qian was arrested too. Next year, Liu went round to see all her friends or even just acquaintances to ask for help. At last Qian was released from the jail. He was so grateful to his wife.
In 1664 AD, on the twenty-fourth day of the fifth moon, Qian died of some kind of disease. Liu became a widow. The kinsfolk wanted to divide the legacy of Qian. Liu could not endure it and hanged herself on the twenty-eighth day of the sixth moon, only thirty-four days after the death of her husband.
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文章时间: 2018-9-30 周日, 下午9:51    标题: 引用回复

56. 馬湘蘭 Ma Xianglan (one of eight famous singsong girls)

Ma Xianglan (1548—1604 AD) was one of the eight well-known singsong girls in the Qinhuai river area, i.e., Nanking city and its vicinity. Although she was plain, she was especially talented in painting. She could plain orchid and bamboo very well. A painting of orchid in black ink by her is stored in Tokyo museum in Japan and looked upon as a precious curio of the country. She could sing and dance. She could write poems, besides painting. She also knew music. Once she wrote an opera. She herself conducted a group of troupers to perform it.
Because of her talent and pleasant conversation manner, she was well-known and had lots of visitors. Almost all the visitors would bring her some gifts, and so she saved quite much money. She had a small cottage built at the riverside, named Orchid Cottage. Sometimes if some young learned men came to see her, and when she accidentally knew that they wanted to go to the capital for government tests, but did not have so much money for the traveling and food and board expenses in the capital, she would donate enough money to them out of her own pocket.
When she grew old, she was looking for a man who could be her life mate. But none of her visitors became her favorite. At the age of twenty-four, she did meet one, Wang Zhideng (1535—1612 AD), a man of talent and learning. Though they were not married, they were best friends for more than thirty years. Things in the world always go against one's wishes. Once Wang had a chance to go to the capital for an official position. Ma was happy for him. He implied that if he could get promotion, he would come to marry her. When want left, Ma stopped receiving guests. She waited for the man to come back to marry her. But she was disappointed, because Wang was supplanted by his colleagues. When he returned he felt so ashamed of himself that he did not go to see Ma. On the contrary, he moved to live in Suzhou city. Marriage was out of the question.
During these long years, they kept in touch as best friends. Since Wang lived in Suzhou city, and she lived in Hangzhou city, she often went to Suzhou city to visit him. When Wang was seventy years old, she went there to celebrate his birthday. She took tens of singsong girls for the feast and she herself sang for him in spite that she was also growing old. When she returned, she fell sick and died at the age of fifty-seven. Wang wrote a poem in memory of her.
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文章时间: 2018-10-07 周日, 下午9:10    标题: 引用回复

57. 顧橫波 Gu Hengbo (one of eight famous singsong girls)

Gu Hengbo (1619—1664 AD) was one of the eight well-known singsong girls in the Qinhuai river area, i.e., Nanking city and its vicinity. Among all the eight singsong girls, her life experience was simple, but she got the highest social status among them. She was also talented in writing and painting. She also had a lot of visitors. Once a man called Gong Dingzi (1615—1673 AD) came to visit her. He fell in love with her at the first sight. In 1641 AD, she married him, who was a famous scholar. When the Manchurian came and established their Qing dynasty, he became a high-rank official. So many scholars of Han tribe called him traitor. But she got the title of First-Rank Ladyship because of her husband from Qing dynasty. She died of disease in their residence in Peking. She was the only one of the eight singsong girls that had an official title.
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文章时间: 2018-10-14 周日, 下午9:36    标题: 引用回复

58. 卞玉京 Bian Yujing (one of eight famous singsong girls)

Bian Yujing (1623—1665 AD) was one of the eight well-known singsong girls in the Qinhuai river area, i.e., Nanking city and its vicinity. She was born in Nanking city and her father was an official, but died early. She had good education, and so she knew music and could play zither. She could also write poems and paint, and could practice calligraphy. After the death of her father, she had to become a singsong girl for a living. Her charm and ability attracted a lot of visitors.
Once at the gathering of literary men, she met a man called Wu Meicun (1609—1671 AD), who was a high-rank official. She was fond of him and hinted that she wanted to marry him. But at the time, a brother-in-law of the emperor wanted to take her as his concubine, and so Wu was afraid of getting into trouble and ran away from her. But Bian remained where she was. No one took her away. Two years afterwards, she would marry a man, but when she learned that the man was a good-for-nothing, and therefore, she married her maid to him instead of herself. She left the place, dressed like a female Taoist.
In 1650 AD, she went to Changshu town, where Liu Rushi lived with her husband Qian. The couple knew Wu Meicun. When Wu came to see Qian, they told Wu that Bian stayed here now. Qian wanted to let Bian and Wu meet again. So he let his wife invited Bian to their house. Bian did come, but she said that she did not feel comfortable right then and asked Liu to lead her to a guest room upstairs. She came, but she did not see Wu. Maybe, she was still irritated with Wu for running away.
Next year, she intentionally went to where Wu lived to see him. She said that she came just to say hello to him. She was dressed in a female Taoist costume. She played zither that night for Wu and some friends. In 1653 AD, an old good-hearted doctor let her stay with him as a friend. She began to believe in Buddhism and refused to see any former friends. She spent three years to copy a Buddhist sutra and gave it to the doctor in return for his good hospitality. She wrote it with her blood, not in ink. She died peacefully at an old age. When Wu learned her death he came to salute her tomb and wrote a poem in memory of her.
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