The Golden Days (The Story of the Stone, Volume 1)
Cao Xueqin, David Hawkes
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The Story of the Stone (c.1760) is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The first part of the story, The Golden Days, begins the tale of Bao-yu, a gentle young boy who prefers girls to Confucian studies, and his two cousins: Bao-chai, his parents' choice of a wife for him, and the ethereal beauty Dai-yu. Through the changing fortunes of the Jia family, this rich, magical work sets worldly events -- love affairs, sibling rivalries, political intrigues, even murder -- within the context of the Buddhist understanding that earthly existence is an illusion and karma determines the shape of our lives.
Translated by David Hawkes.
blessed if I can make head or tail of it. You tell us now: just what manner of thing is this “visitation” ?’ Jia Lian undertook to do so. ‘Our present Emperor, who has always had a great sympathy for the common man, believes that the filial affection of a child for its parents is the most important thing in the world, and that family feeling is the same everywhere, irrespective of social rank. He has found that in his own case, even after seeing the Ex-Emperor and Ex-Empress morning, noon and
women and four maids in addition to the occupant’s existing maids and nannies, and there were other servants whose sole duty was sweeping and cleaning. On the twenty-second of the second month everyone moved in. The silent, deserted garden suddenly came to life - Live flowers on silk-embroidered flowers up-glanced, And unguent scents the scents of spring enhanced as the bevy of gaily-dressed, chattering girls spread themselves through its quiet walks. But to return to our hero. Life for
dear,’ he said addressing her. ‘Can you take a message for us ? Tell him that Mr Jia from West Lane is here.’ On learning that the visitor was a member of the clan, the maid became less concerned about concealment and engaged the limpid eyes in bolder scrutiny of his features. The object of her scrutiny now addressed her: ‘Don’t bother about the “West Lane” stuff! Just say that “Yun” has called!’ The girl reflected for some moments, then, with a half-smile, she said: ‘If I were you, Mr Jia,
triumph, he made these wild allegations, unmindful of who might hear them. But one heroic soul was moved to mighty anger by his wanton words. This was Jia Qiang, a member of the Ning-guo branch of the family of the same generation as Jia Rong. He had lost both his parents when a small child and been brought up by Cousin Zhen. At sixteen he was even more handsome and dashing than Jia Rong and the two youths were inseparable friends. Any establishment as large as the Ning household always contains
have been pestering her. She asked us to keep you here while she went to tell. When Lady Wang first heard, she was so angry that she fainted, but now she’s come round again and is asking for you to be brought to her. Come along, then! Off we go!’ At these words Jia Rui’s soul almost left its seat in his body. ‘My dear nephew, just tell her that you didn’t find me here!’ he said. ‘Tomorrow I will reward you handsomely.’ ‘I suppose I could let you go easily enough,’ said Jia Qiang. ‘The question