|时间：2018-10-28 21:06:54｜人气：68 |
|60. 李香君 Li Xiangjun (one of eight famous singsong girls)|
|Li Xiangjun (1624—1653 AD) was also one of the eight well-known singsong girls in the Qinhuai river area, i.e., Nanking city and its vicinity. She was born in Suzhou city and her father was an officer. She had two elder brothers. When her father died, her family turned out destitute. Therefore, when she was only eight, she was adopted by a bawd. She was trained to sing, to play lute, to write poems and knew music. She had a good voice, but seldom sang, unless the visitor was the one she liked. |
When she reached the age of sixteen, she must have her maidenhood done away. She could find a visitor she liked. But the bawd would charge him highly. Then she met a man called Hou Fangyu (1618—1655 AD), a famous scholar at the time. As he did not have so much money to pay the fee, a friend Yuan Dacheng (1587—1646 AD) loaned him the amount. Yuan was a literary man and a dramatist, but he had a low character. He was always ambitious while Hou was not. Afterwards, they quarreled and were no longer friends. It was because Yuan made friends with anyone in hopes that that friend could help him to step up in his official career. However, Hou could not help him there. After their breach, Yuan wanted Hou to pay back the loan. Hou, with the help of the girl, repaid all his debt, by selling her jewels and his borrowing money from other friends and relatives.
There was a little, but important detail I must mention. On the night when Hou did the girl, he gave her a precious gift, which was a round fan of white gauze with an ivory carved frame, which was his family heirloom.
At that time when Manchurian occupied the capital of Ming dynasty, a Ming emperor fled to the south of the Yangtze river and made Ninking city as his temporary capital. Yuan then became a high official in the court of the emperor. As Yuan hated Hou, he wanted to frame Hou, who learned it and escaped to somewhere. And Li Xiangjun shut herself up and never received any visitors. But Yuan told the emperor about the famous girl. So the emperor ordered the girl to be fetched to his presence. The girl could not reject the order of the emperor directly. So she knocked her head against a pillar and her blood splashed on the fan. Another friend of Hou''s, who could paint, got the fan and painted, based on the blood specks, some red peach blossoms. Hence, the fan was called Peach Fan.
Yuan, as a dramatist, wrote a drama named Peach Fan. He urged the emperor to send for the girl by force. She had to enter the palace as a singsong girl. In 1644 AD, the Manchurian army approached Nanking city, the emperor ran away further south. The girl stole out of the palace. She did not know where she could go and sat down on a small bridge. Just then a master, who had taught her to sing, came across her by accident on the bridge. As he knew that the girl had nowhere to go, he took her to Suzhou city, where he lived.
At this moment when the girl was on this bridge, Hou, her man, was not far from her. He came back to look for her. But fate made a joke on them. They missed each other. In 1645 AD, the girl Li went to see Bian Yujing (one of eight singsong girls and they knew each other) in her temple and stayed there for a while. In the autumn this year, Hou found her in the temple and took to his hometown, where his parents and his wife lived. In introduction, he concealed her singsong status, just saying that she was his concubine. As she was nice to everyone in the family, she was welcome and treated well. Therefore, from 1645 to 1652 AD, she led a peaceful and comfortable life.
Then her husband took a trip to somewhere. Somehow, unfortunately, her singsong status was found out by the family. Especially her father-in-law was furious and drove her out of the family to live in a bleak village fifteen li (half a kilometer) away. At the time, Li was pregnant. So the mother-in-law and the wife were sympathetic with her and with the ascent of the father-in-law, sent a maid there to look after her. When the husband returned, he took her back to live in the family house. But she was feeling unhappy for the discrimination. After she gave birth to the baby, she was suffering from TB—Tuberculosis, and died at the age of thirty.