Hung Lou Meng, Book I

Hung Lou Meng, Book I

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Excerpt: ...also deposited in the Hall of Attained Immortality, in the Garden of Concentrated Fragrance. There was likewise a young waiting-maid, called Pao Chu, who, as Mrs. Ch'in left no issue, was willing to become an adopted child, and begged to be allowed to undertake the charge of dashing the mourning bowl, and accompanying the coffin; which pleased Chia Chen so much that he speedily transmitted orders that from that time forth Pao Chu should be addressed by all as 'young miss.' Pao Chu, after the rites of an unmarried daughter, mourned before the coffin to such an unwonted degree, as if bent upon snapping her own life; while the members of the entire clan, as well as the inmates of the Mansions, each and all, readily observed, in their conduct, the established mourning usages, without of course any transgression or confusion. "Chia Jung," pondered Chia Chen, "has no higher status than that of graduate by purchase, and were this designation written on the funeral streamer, it will not be imposing, and, in point of fact, the retinue will likewise be small." He therefore was exceedingly unhappy, in his own mind, when, as luck would have it, on this day, which was the fourth day of the first seven, Tai Ch'uan, a eunuch of the Palace of High Renown, whose office was that of Palace Overseer, first prepared sacrificial presents, which he sent round by messengers, and next came himself in an official chair, preceded by criers beating the gong, to offer sacrificial oblations. Chia Chen promptly received him, and pressed him into a seat; and when they adjourned into the Hall of the Loitering Bees, tea was presented. Chia Chen had already arrived at a fixed purpose, so that he seized an opportunity to tell him of his wish to purchase an office for Chia Jung's advancement. Tai Ch'uan understood the purport of his remark. "It is, I presume," he added smilingly, "that the funeral rites should be a little more sumptuous." "My worthy sir," eagerly rejoined Chia Chen, more

Product details

  • Paperback | 172 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 9mm | 318g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236704525
  • 9781236704528