还有多少的量呀 更新那么久了 给你点个赞
What a lucky coincidence!
Since my wife's death my mother-in-law in the capital has been worried because my daughter has no one to bring her up.
She has sent two boats with male and female attendants to fetch the child, but I delayed her departure while she was unwell.
I was wondering how to repay you for your goodness in teaching her.
Now this gives me a chance to show my appreciation.
I foresaw this possibility and have written a letter to my brother-in-law urging him to do all he can for you as a small return for what I owe you.
You mustn't worry either about any expenses that may be incurred --- I've made that point clear to my brother-in-law.
Yucun bowed with profuse thanks and asked.
May I know your respected brother-in-law's position?
I fear I am too uncouth to intrude on him.
My humble kinsmen belong to your honourable clan.
They're the grandsons of the Duke of Rongguo.
My elder brother-in-law Jia She, whose courtesy name is Enhou, is a hereditary general of the first rank.
My second, Jia Zheng, whose courtesy name is Cunzhou, is an under-secretary in the Board of Works.
He is an unassuming, generous man who takes after his grandfather.
That is why I am writing to him on your behalf.
If he were some purse-proud, fivolous official I'd be dishonouring your high principles, brother, and I myself would disdain to do such a thing.
This confirmed what Zixing had said the previous day, and once more Yucun expressed his thanks.
I've chosen the second day of next month for my daughter's departure for the capital.
It would suit both parties, surely, if you were to travel together?
Why not drink some more?
Yucun looked out of the window.
It's growing late.
They'll soon be closing the city gates.
Let's stroll back and continue our conversation in town.
With that they paid the bill.
They were on the point of leaving when a voice from behind called out
Congratulations, Brother Yucun!
Yucun turned to look.
But to know who it was, you must read the chapter which follows.
Chapter 3, Lin Ruhai Recommends a Tutor to His Brother-in-Law, The Lady Dowager Sends for Her Motherless Grand-Daughter
Yucun turned and saw that it was Zhang Rugui.
His former colleague who had also been dismissed from his post for the same reason as himself.
Now there was word from the capital that a request for the reinstatement of former officials had been sanctioned, and he was busily pulling strings to find some opening.
Re congratulated Yucun.
Once greetings had been exchanged, in telling him the good news.
Yucun was naturally overjoyed, but after some hurried remarks each went his own way.
Leng Zixing, who had heard everything, at once proposed asking Lin Ruhai to enlist the support of Jia Zheng in the capital.
Accepting his advice, Yucun went back alone to verify the report from the Court Gazette.
The next day he laid his case before Lin Ruhai.
The second, Yingchun, is Jia She's daughter by a concubine.
The third, Tanchun, is Jia Zheng's daughter by a concubine.
The fourth, Xichun, is the younger sister of Jia Zhen of the Ning Mansion.
The Lady Dowager is so attached to these grand-daughters that she makes them study in the Rong Mansion near her, and I hear good reports of them all.
I prefer the Zhen family's way of giving their daughters the same sort of names as boys instead of choosing flowery names meaning Spring, Red, Fragrant, or Jade.
How could the Jia family sink to such vulgarity?
You don't understand.
They named the eldest girl Yuanchuns because she was born on New Year's Day, and so the others have chun in their names too.
But all the girls of the last generation had names like those of boys.
For proof, look at the wife of your respected employer Mr. Lin, the sister of Jia She and Jia Zheng in the Rong Mansion.
Her name, before she married, was Jia Min.
If you don't believe me, check up when you go back.
No wonder my pupil always pronounces mm as mi and writes it with one or two strokes missing.
That puzzled me, but now you've explained the reason.
And no wonder she talks and behaves so differently from the general run of young ladies nowadays.
I suspected she must have had an unusual mother.
If she's a grand-daughter of the Rong family that explains it.
What a pity that her mother died last month.
She was the youngest of four sisters, but now she's gone too.
Not one of those sisters is left.
Before you utter this word, mind you rinse your mouths with clear water or fragrant tea.
If you don't, your teeth will grow crooked and rip through your cheeks.
He had a fearful temper and could be incredibly stubborn and obstreperous.
But as soon as classes were over and he joined the girls he became a different person --- amiable, sensible and gentle.
Because of this, his father thrashed him within an inch of his life, but still that didn't change him.
When the pain became too much for him, he would start yelling, Sister! Little Sister!'
Once the girls in the inner chambers teased him saying.
Why do you call us when you're being beaten?
Do you want us to beg you off?
The first time I called I didn't know it would ease the pain.
But then I discovered that it worked like magic.
So when the pain's worst, I keep on calling Sister.
Have you ever heard anything so ludicrous?
His grandmother indulged him so unwisely that she was often rude to his tutor or blamed her son.
That's why I resigned from that post.
A boy like that is bound to lose the property he inherits and won't benefit by the advice of teachers and friends.
The pity is, all the girls in his family are admirable.
The three girls in the Jia family aren't bad either.
Jia Zheng's elder daughter Yuanchun was chosen to be a Lady-Clerk in the palace of the heir apparent because of her goodness, filial piety and talents.
Even if born into luckless and humble homes, they will never grow up into yamen runners or servants at the beck and call of the vulgar --- they'll turn out celebrated actors or courtesans.
People of this type in the past were Xu You, Tao Qian, Yuan Ji, Ji Kang and Liu Ling, the two families of Wang and Xie, Gu Kaizhi, Chen Shubao, the Tang emperor Minghuang, the Song emperor Huizong, Liu Tingzhi, Wen Tingyun, Mi Fu, Shi Yannian, Liu Yong and Qin Guan.
More recent examples are Ni Zan, Tang Yin and Zhu Yunming. Then there are others like Li Guinian, Huang Fanchuo, Jing Xinmo, Zhuo Wenjun, Hongfo, Xue Tao, Cui Yingying and Zhaoyun.
All of these, in their different fields, were essentially the same.
You're saying that such people may become princes or thieves, depending on whether they're successful or not.
You don't know yet that since my dismissal I've spent two years travelling through different provinces and come across one or two remarkable children.
Hence my guess that this Baoyu you mentioned belongs to the same category.
Let me give you an example no further away than Jinling.
You know Mr. Zhen, who was principal of the Jinling Provincial College?
Who doesn't know him?
The Zhen and Jia families are interrelated and on a very friendly footing.
I've done business with the Zhens a number of times.
Last year when I was in Jinling, someone recommended me to the Zhens as a resident tutor.
I was surprised to find their household so grand, yet it combined wealth with propriety.
Posts like that are not easy to come by.
But although my pupil was a beginner, he was harder to teach then a candidate for the Provincial Examination.
Here's an example of the absurd things he'd say: I must have two girls as company while I study, or I can't learn character my brain gets muddled.
The word “girl” is so honourable and pure, not even the supreme Buddhist and Taoist titles can compare with it.
You with your filthy mouths and stinking tongues must never violate it.
His second child was a daughter, born strangely enough on the first day of the year.
But stranger still was the birth later of a son who came into the world with a piece of clear, brilliantly coloured jade in his mouth.
There are even inscriptions on the jade.
Isn't that extraordinary?
It certainly is. The boy should have a remarkable future.
That's what everyone says.
And for that reason his grandmother dotes on him.
On his first birthday Jia Zheng tested his disposition by setting all sorts of different objects before him to see which he would select.
Believe it or not, ignoring everything else he reached out for the rouge, powder-boxes, hair ornaments and bangles!
His father was furious and swore he'd grow up to be a dissolute rake.
Because of this he's not too fond of the boy.
But the child's still his grandmother's darling.
He's seven or eight now and remarkably mischievous, yet so clever you won't find his equal in a hundred.
And he says the strangest things for a child.
Girls are made of water, men of mud.
I feel clean and refreshed when I'm with girls but find men dirty and stinking.
Isn't that absurd?
He's bound later on to run after women like the very devil.
That doesn't follow.
You don't know how he's come into the world.
I can't vouch for our other branches, but I've always heard that these two houses take great pains over the education of their sons.
It's these two houses I'm talking about.
Just hear me out.
The Duke of Ningguo and the Duke of Rongguo were brothers by the same mother.
The Duke of Ningguo, the elder, had two sons and after his death the oldest of these, Jia Daihua, succeeded to the title.
The elder of his two sons, Jia Fu, died at the age of eight or nine leaving the younger, Jia Jing, to inherit the title.
But he's so wrapped up in Taoism that he takes no interest in anything but distilling elixirs.
Luckily when he was younger he had a son Jia Zhen, to whom he's relinquished the title so that he can give all his mind to becoming an immortal.
And instead of going back to his native place he's hobnobbing with Taoist priests outside the city.
Jia Zhen has a son called Rong just turned sixteen.
Jia Jing washes his hands of all mundane matters, and Jia Zhen has never studied but lives for pleasure.
He's turning the Ning Mansion upside down, yet no one dares to restrain him.
Now for the Rong Mansion, where that curious business I just mentioned took place.
After the death of the Duke of Rongguo, his elder son Jia Daishan succeeded to the title and married a daughter of Marquis Shi of Jinling, by whom he had two sons, Jia She and Jia Zheng.
Jia Daishan has been dead for many years but his wife, Lady Dowager Shi, is still alive.
Their elder son Jia She inherited the title.
The younger, Jia Zheng, was so fond of studying as a child that he was his grandfather's favourite and he hope to make a career for himself through the examinations.
When Jia Daishan died, however, he left a valedictory memorial, and the Emperor out of regard for his former minister not only conferred the title on his elder son but asked what other sons there were, granted Jia Zheng an audience, and as an additional favour gave him the rank of Assistant Secretary with instructions to familiarize himself with affairs in one of the ministries.
He has now risen to the rank of Under-Secretary.
Jia Zheng's wife, Lady Wang, bore him a son called Jia Zhu who passed the district examination at fourteen, married before be was twenty and had a son, but then fell ill and died.
But they're so grand that we've never claimed relationship and are gradually drifting further and further apart.
Don't talk like that.
Both the Ning and Rong branches have declined..
They're not what they used to be.
They used to be enormous households.
How is that possible?
It's a long story.
Last year when I was in Jinling, on my way to visit the Six Dynasty ruins I went to the Stone City and passed the gates of their old mansions.
Practically the whole north side of the street is taken up by their houses, the Ning Mansion on the east and the Rong Mansion adjoining it on the west.
There wasn't much coming and going outside their gates, but over the wall I caught glimpses of most imposing halls and pavilions, while the trees and rockeries of the gardens behind had a flourishing, opulent look.
There was nothing to suggest a house in decline.
For a Palace Graduate you're not very smart.
A centipede dies but never falls down, as the old saying goes.
Although they're not as prosperous as before, they're still a cut above ordinary official families.
Their households are increasing and their commitments are growing all the time, while masters and servants alike are so used to lording it in luxury that not one of them thinks ahead.
They squander money every day and are quite incapable of economizing.
Outwardly they may look as grand as ever, but their purses are nearly empty.
That's not their worst trouble, though.
Who would've thought that each new generation of this noble and scholarly clan is inferior to the last?
A family so cultured and versed in etiquette knows the importance of a good upbringing?