Hung Lou Meng, by Cao Xueqin

Table of Contents

PREFACE.
  1. Chen Shih-yin, in a vision, apprehends perception and spirituality — Chia Yü-ts’un, in the (windy and dusty) world, cherishes fond thoughts of a beautiful maiden.
  2. The spirit of Mrs. Chia Shih-yin departs from the town of Yang Chou — Leng Tzu-hsing dilates upon the Jung Kuo Mansion.
  3. Lin Ju-hai appeals to his brother-in-law, Chia Cheng, recommending Yü-ts’un, his daughter’s tutor, to his consideration — Dowager lady Chia sends to fetch her granddaughter, out of commiseration for her being a motherless child.
  4. An ill-fated girl happens to meet an ill-fated young man — The Hu Lu Bonze adjudicates the Hu Lu case.
  5. The spirit of Chia Pao-yü visits the confines of the Great Void — The Monitory Vision Fairy expounds, in ballads, the Dream of the Red Chamber.
  6. Chia Pao-yü reaps his first experience in licentious love — Old Goody Liu pays a visit to the Jung Kuo Mansion.
  7. Presentation of artificial flowers made in the Palace — Chia Lien disports himself with Hsi-feng — Pao-yü meets Ch’in Chung at a family party.
  8. By a strange coincidence, Chia Pao-yü becomes acquainted with the golden clasp — In an unexpected meeting, Hsüeh Pao-ch’ai sees the jade of spiritual perception.
  9. Chia Cheng gives good advice to his wayward son — Li Kuei receives a reprimand — Chia Jui and Li Kuei rebuke the obstinate youths! Ming Yen causes trouble in the school-room.
  10. Widow Chin, prompted by a desire to reap advantage, puts up temporarily with an insult — Dr. Chang in discussing Mrs. Chin’s illness minutely exhausts its origin.
  11. In honour of Chia Ching’s birthday, a family banquet is spread in the Ning Mansion — At the sight of Hsi-feng, Chia Jui entertains feelings of licentious love.
  12. Wang Hsi-feng maliciously lays a trap for Chia Jui, under pretence that his affection is reciprocated — Chia T’ien-hsiang gazes at the face of the mirror of Voluptuousness.
  13. Ch’in K’o-ch’ing dies, and Chia Jung is invested with the rank of military officer to the Imperial Body-guard — Wang Hsi-feng lends her help in the management of the Jung Kuo Mansion.
  14. Lin Ju-hai dies in the City of Yang Chou — Chia Pao-yü meets the Prince of Pei Ching on the way.
  15. Lady Peng, née Wang, exercises her authority in the Iron Fence Temple — Ch’in Ching-ch’ing (Ch’ing Chung) amuses himself in the Man-t’ou (Bread) nunnery.
  16. Chia Yuan-ch’un is, on account of her talents, selected to enter the Feng Ts’ao Palace — Ch’in Ching-ch’ing departs, in the prime of life, by the yellow spring road.
  17. In the Ta Kuan Garden, (Broad Vista,) the merits of Pao-yü are put to the test, by his being told to write devices for scrolls and tablets — Yuan Ch’un returns to the Jung Kuo mansion, on a visit to her parents, and offers her congratulations to them on the feast of lanterns, on the fifteenth of the first moon.
  18. His Majesty shows magnanimous bounty — The Imperial consort Yuan pays a visit to her parents — The happiness of a family gathering — Pao-yü displays his polished talents.
  19. In the vehemence of her feelings, Hua (Hsi Jen) on a quiet evening admonishes Pao-yü — While (the spell) of affection continues unbroken, Pao-yü, on a still day, perceives the fragrance emitted from Tai-yü‘s person.
  20. Wang Hsi-feng with earnest words upbraids Mrs. Chao’s jealous notions — Lin Tai-yü uses specious language to make sport of Shih Hsiang-yün’s querulous tone of voice.
  21. The eminent Hsi Jen, with winsome ways, rails at Pao-yü, with a view to exhortation — The beauteous P’ing Erh, with soft words, screens Chia Lien.
  22. Upon hearing the text of the stanza, Pao-yü comprehends the Buddhistic spells — While the enigmas for the lanterns are being devised, Chia Cheng is grieved by a prognostic.
  23. Pao-yü and Tai-yü make use of some beautiful passages from the Record of the Western Side-building to bandy jokes — The excellent ballads sung in the Peony Pavilion touch the tender heart of Tai-yü.
  24. The drunken Chin Kang makes light of lucre and shows a preference for generosity — The foolish girl mislays her handkerchief and arouses mutual thoughts.
  25. By a demoniacal art, a junior uncle and an elder brother’s wife (Pao-yü and lady Feng) come across five devils — The gem of Spiritual Perception meets, in a fit of torpor, the two perfect men.
  26. On the Feng Yao bridge, Hsiao Hung makes known sentimental matters in equivocal language — In the Hsiao Hsiang lodge, Tai-yü gives, while under the effects of the spring lassitude, expression to her secret feelings.
  27. In the Ti Ts’ui pavilion, Pao-ch’ai diverts herself with the multi-coloured butterflies — Over the mound, where the flowers had been interred, Tai-yü bewails their withered bloom.
  28. Chiang Yü-han lovingly presents a rubia-scented silk sash — Hsüeh Pao-ch’ai blushingly covers her musk-perfumed string of red beads.
  29. A happy man enjoys a full measure of happiness, but still prays for happiness — A beloved girl is very much loved, but yet craves for more love.
  30. Pao-ch’ai avails herself of the excuse afforded her by a fan to administer a couple of raps — While Ch’un Ling traces, in a absent frame of mind, the outlines of the character Ch’iang, a looker-on appears on the scene.
  31. Pao-yü allows the girl Ch’ing Wen to tear his fan so as to afford her amusement — A wedding proves to be the result of the descent of a unicorn.
  32. Hsi Jen and Hsiang-yün tell their secret thoughts — Tai-yü is infatuated with the living Pao-yü.
  33. A brother is prompted by ill-feeling to wag his tongue a bit — A depraved son receives heavy blows with a rattan cane.
  34. Tai-yü loves Pao-yü with extreme affection; but, on account of this affection, her female cousin gets indignant — Hsüeh P’an commits a grave mistake; but Pao-ch’ai makes this mistake a pretext to tender advice to her brother.
  35. Pai Yü-ch’uan tastes too the lotus-leaf soup — Huang Chin-ying skilfully plaits the plum-blossom-knotted nets.
  36. While Hsi Jen is busy embroidering mandarin ducks, Pao-yü receives, in the Chiang Yün Pavilion, an omen from a dream — Pao-yü apprehends that there is a destiny in affections, when his feelings are aroused to a sense of the situation in the Pear Fragrance court.
  37. In the Study of Autumnal Cheerfulness is accidentally formed the Cydonia Japonica Society — In the Heng Wu Court, the chrysanthemum is, on a certain night, proposed as a subject for verses.
  38. Lin Hsiao-Hsiang carries the first prize in the poems on chrysanthemums — Hsueh Heng-wu chaffs Pao-yü by composing verses in the same style as his on the crabs.
  39. The tongue of the village old dame finds as free vent as a river that has broken its banks — The affectionate cousin makes up his mind to sift to the very bottom the story told by old goody Liu.
  40. The venerable lady Shih attends a second banquet in the garden of Broad Vista — Chin Yüan-yang three times promulgates, by means of dominoes, the order to quote passages from old writers.
  41. Chia Pao-yü tastes tea in the Lung Ts’ui monastery — Old goody Liu gets drunk and falls asleep in the I Hung court.
  42. The Princess of Heng Wu dispels, with sweet words, some insane suspicions — The inmate of Hsiao Hsiang puts, with excellent repartee, the final touch to the jokes made about goody Liu.
  43. Having time to amuse themselves, the Chia inmates raise, when least expected, funds to celebrate lady Feng’s birthday — In his ceaseless affection for Chin Ch’uen, Pao-yü uses, for the occasion, a pinch of earth as incense and burns it.
  44. By some inscrutable turn of affairs, lady Feng begins to feel the pangs of jealousy — Pao-yü experiences joy, beyond all his expectations, when P’ing Erh (receives a slap from lady Feng) and has to adjust her hair.
  45. Friends interchange words of friendship — Tai-yü feels dull on a windy and rainy evening, and indites verses on wind and rain.
  46. An improper man with difficulty keeps from improprieties — The maid, Yüan Yang, vows to break off the marriage match.
  47. An idiotic bully tries to be lewd and comes in for a sound thrashing — A cold-hearted fellow is prompted by a dread of trouble to betake himself to a strange place.
  48. A sensual-minded man gets into such trouble through his sensuality that he entertains the idea of going abroad — An estimable and refined girl manages, after great exertion, to compose verses at a refined meeting.
  49. White snow and red plum blossom in the crystal world — The pretty girl, fragrant with powder, cuts some meat and eats it.
  50. In the Lu Hsüeh pavilion, they vie with each other in pairing verses on the scenery — In the Nuan Hsiang village, they compose, in beautiful style, riddles for the spring lanterns.
  51. The young maiden Hsüeh Pao-ch’in devises, in novel style, odes bearing on antiquities — A stupid doctor employs, in reckless manner, drugs of great strength.
  52. The beautiful P’ing Erh endeavours to conceal the loss of the bracelet, made of work as fine as the feelers of a shrimp — The brave Ch’ing Wen mends the down-cloak during her indisposition.
  53. In the Ning Kuo mansion sacrifices are offered to their ancestors on the last night of the year — In the Jung Kuo mansion, a banquet is given on the evening of the 15th of the first moon.
  54. Dowager lady Chia, née Shih, does away with rotten old customs — Wang Hsi-feng imitates in jest (the dutiful son), by getting herself up in gaudy theatrical clothes.
  55. The stupid secondary wife, dame Chao, needlessly loses her temper and insults her own daughter, T’an Ch’un — The perverse servant-girls are so full of malice that they look down contemptuously on their youthful mistresses.
  56. The clever T’an Ch’un increases their income and removes long-standing abuses — The worthy Pao-ch’ai preserves intact, by the display of a little intelligence, the great reputation enjoyed by the Chia family.

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Last updated Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 21:29