A Dream in Red Mansions
Zhen Shiyin saw Lingtong Jade in dream
Jia Yucun secretly fell in love with a girl
There was a Renqing Lane in the bustling Gusu City.
An ancient Hulu Temple was standing in its center.
Beside the temple existed a family whose master was Zhen Shiyin.
His wife Feng was virtuous and the whole family lived a happy life.
He had a three year old girl named Ying Lian.
It could be said that the family was well to do.
Shiyin was reading in his study in a summer day.
He was tired and fell asleep at the writing desk.
He met a monk on the way with a Taoist beside him.
The Taoist seemed to think and then asked the Monk:
I saw you bring a stupid thing, where are you going?
Without thinking too much the monk blurted out:
Young men and women in love are unable to fulfill their passion.
They vied with each other going to man’s world to get married.
They will experience things in the man’s world only for pleasure.
It’s better to let the stone go with them so as to gain knowledge.
The Taoist was not satisfied and asked questions constantly:
You have an evil chance to undergo disaster in man’s world?
The monk laughed and said: It’s really interesting and unique.
Near Sansheng Stone on the bank of the western Linghe River,
There’s Jiangzhu grass that has undergone storms.
And Tongling Stone hid itself in the Qinggeng Peak.
A magic stone is to be a servant girl named Shen Ying.
She waters Jiangzhu grass affectionately day and night.
Through self-cultivation Jiangzhu grass became a fairy maiden at last.
She wants to repay the watering grace to Shen Ying and made a vow.
Fairy maiden Ying Huan came here to ask Jiangzhu grass:
Are you willing to go to the man’s world to requite favors?
Fairy maiden Jiangzhu said: the magic stone watered me.
Even if the water is not magic water she is till quite kind.
Today she undergoes a disaster and goes to the man’s world.
I’m willing to go with her to repay favors with tears in my life.
This matter is really curious with many stories coming out.
After hearing all these stories the monk said continuously.
People talk about love but in fact they’re eating forbidden fruit.
They date each other secretly and elope yet this is only a dream.
These infatuated young ones pour out love in the man’s world.
Maybe this is a true love but not sweet words coming to naught.
The monk invited the Taoist to make a tour of the man’s world.
On after seeing can one know whether a real love exists or not.
The Taoist was extremely delighted and happily said he could go.
He was willing to go with the monk to make a clear observation.
Shiyin did not know what the real meaning of the stupid thing was.
He kept asking the monk constantly and the two ones were smiling.
The monk said nothing about the stone but let him to have a look.
Shiyin took it over and had a look and found that it was a nice jade.
Four characters were carved in the jade with interest and charm.
Lingtong were carved in front side and Baoyu were in back side.
There were still more characters but they were too small to tell.
Shiyin wanted to look carefully but the monk did not allow him.
The monk said it was terrible because Fairy maiden Jinghuan came.
A great sound could be heard clearly and Shiyin was scared to death.
The sweet dream was fully broken he found he was still at home.
The burning sun was shining and the banaca leaves got withered.
The wet nurse came over to him with Ying Lian in her arms.
Taking over Ying Lian Shiyin carried her and walked outside.
Meeting odd things at the door he saw a monk and a Taoist.
With disheveled hair and dirty faces they talked mad things.
The monk saw Ying Lian and then madly cried and yelled immediately.
He said she was out of luck and would hurt her parents sooner or later.
He said Ying Lian was too young and it was better to let him have her.
Shinyin felt strange and hurriedly went back home without hesitation.
The monk laughed and chased him muttering incantations：
Be vigilant when fireworks finished after Lantern Festival.
On hearing these Shiyin felt it was quite an ominous omen.
He was going to walk out and ask the reason of this matter.
But the Taoist said to the monk quite unexpectedly:
We can temporarily part without thinking too much.
We’d better do our own things with no need to be in a hurry.
After things are well done I’ll go into Moungshan Mountain.
After you find me we can go together.
We make a tour in the Taoxuhuanjing.
The two ones vanished at once after saying that.
Recalling the dream Shiyin cried over split milk.
Who could expect that they were two immortals!
He was very upset because he couldn’t find them.
All of a sudden he saw a man going out of the neighbor.
He turned out to be a lodger with the name of Jia Yucun.
Yucun was a scholar in a family declined in wealth and position.
He came here alone and then led a penniless and desolate life.
Running out of travelling expenses he lived in the temple.
He made a living by selling calligraphy and writing articles.
Seeing Shiyin, Yucun stepped over greeting and asking:
You’re leaning on door with any news for me to learn?
With a smiling face Shiyin said that he had no news at all.
He walked out with his daughter only to relieve boredom.
Boring and lonely he couldn’t but invite Yucun.
He asked Yucun to sit in his study for a chatting.
A visitor was reported to come and Shiyin left temporarily.
When patiently waiting Yucun read books to kill boredom.
While reading books he found a little girl outside the window.
With a pretty face she picked and inserted a flower in her hair.
Who was the girl? She turned out to be a servant girl of Zhen family.
Picking flowers, she wanted to leave but looked at into the window.
She caught sight of a scholar whose looks were rather uncommon.
With shabby old clothes yet he had a dignified appearance anyway.
The girl looked back and wanted to avoid meeting him.
Yucun delightedly thought she had a mind to love him.
He looked at Zhen Shiyin who was still busy accompanying the visitor.
Waiting for too long a time he felt boring and so sneaked back home.
Just in the night of mid-autumn festival Shiyin entered the temple.
He came to invite Yucun to drink some wine and relieve boredom.
In a state of drunken ecstasy Yucun exclaimed over the dog's life he led.
He had no money to go to the capital to take the imperial examinations.
On hearing it Shiyin had mercy immediately upon Yucun.
He asked the servant boy to take over some relief silver.
The silver summed up to fifty liang with cold protective clothing.
Yuncun felt deeply grateful and left for home already at midnight.
Time passed like flowing water and Lantern Festival came again.
The Zhen Family ordered a family retainer to carry Ying Lian out.
They came out to enjoy the sight of fireworks and festive lanterns.
Seeing the nice scene of flowing light and color they were happy.
It was over mid-night the family retainer went to the toilet.
When he was back a few minutes later a disaster fell down.
Little Ying Lian vanished no one knew her whereabouts.
Shiyin and his wife fretfully looked for her everywhere.
Shiyin did his utmost to look for Ying Lian yet without seeing her at all.
He missed his daughter so deeply that he got sick and fully bedridden.
As the saying goes misfortunes never come singly.
His neighbor caught fire on the fifteenth of March.
The temple turned to dust and ashes and so did Zhen Family.
Shiyin and his wife sadly went to his father-in-law for shelter.
As a scholar how could Shiyin be qualified for management?
His father-in-law Feng Su was good at cheating and bullying.
Deeply missing his daughter Shiyin was too miserable.
He led a hard life with too many problems to deal with.
Meeting bad eggs he deeply regreted and always heaved sighs.
Depression made him seriously sick and to suffer unspeakably.
With the help of a walking stick Shiyin strolled in the street.
Occasionally raising his head Shiyin found a laming Taoist.
Wearing humble clothes, the Taoist was dirty and crazy.
He was muttering incantations in a sorrowful melody：
All know immortal is good an’ only feats-fame are unforgettable.
Where are generals an’ ministers? Tombs’re overgrown by grass.
All know immortal is good an’ only gold an’ silver are unforgettable.
Gathering is too little but eyes’ll close when having much gathering.
All know immortal is good but only the pretty wife is unforgettable.
Say grace everyday when he’s alive but go with others on his death.
All know immortal is good and only descendants are unforgettable.
There’re too many infatuated parents yet with too few dutiful sons.
On hearing it Shiyin asked: What did you say?
Just now I only heard you say so many “good”.
The Taoist answered him very clearly in no hurry.
It’s good for you to have heard the word of good.
You must know that countless things exist in the world.
The word of good means finish and finish means good.
If it’s not to finish and that won’t be good.
If you want a good and a finish is needed.
The Taoist isn’t so simple he said that’s a song of good.
On hearing this Shiyin realized a large church at once.
Floating in the air he followed the Taoist going far away.
On learning this news his wife wailed with great sorrow.
The young servant girl Jiao Xing walked out to buy needles and thread.
She saw the new county magistrate Yucun come to take his new office.
Yucun did not forget grace and entertained the people of Feng Family.
He gave them four pieces of exquisite silk satin with two packs of silver.
The father-in-law of Shiyin received a letter.
Yucun wanted Jiao Xing to be his concubine.
Who was this Little Jiao Xing? She was the then servant girl.
He didn’t forget she once picked flower outside the window.
Yucun parted with Shiyin years ago to take the imperial examination.
Chosen as Jinshi he was the new county head with power in hand.
But Shiyin was not here and Ying Lian disappeared.
Heaving a sigh he was laden with great anxiety now.
Unexpectedly Jiao Yucun had all his goods in the window.
He couldn’t enjoy popular support because of corruption.
His term of office was less than a year and was dismissed.
It seemed that he had nothing wrong but he felt ashamed.
He left his post and sent the property to his native place.
He had a travel faraway and disappeared from the scene.