“How dare I expect this?” said Dong Zhuo.

2018年10月19日

上海千花网

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“How dare I expect this?” said Dong Zhuo.

  “From the days of old, those who walk in the way have replaced those who deviate therefrom; those who lack virtue have fallen before those who possess it. Can one escape fate?”

  “If indeed the decree of Heaven devolves on me, you shall be held the first in merit!” said Dong Zhuo.

  Wang Yun bowed. then lights were brought in and all the attendants were dismissed, save the serving maids to hand the wine. So the evening went on.

  Presently Wang Yun said, “the music of these everyday musicians is too commonplace for your ear, but there happens to be in the house a little maid that might please you.”

  “Excellent!” said the guest.

  then a curtain was lowered. The shrill tones of reed instruments rang through the room, and presently some attendants led forward Diao Chan, who then danced on the outside of the curtain.

  A poem praises her:

  [hip, hip, hip] For a palace this maiden was born, So timid,

so graceful, so slender, Like a tiny bird flitting at morn Over the

dew-laden lily buds tender. Were this exquisite maid only mine, For never a mansion I’d pine. [yip, yip, yip]

  Another poem runs thus:

  [hip, hip, hip] the music falls, the dancer comes, a swallow gliding in, A dainty little damsel, soft as silk;Her beauty captivates the guest yet saddens him within, For he must soon depart and leave her there. She smiles; no gold could buy that smile, no other smiled so, No need to deck her form with jewels rare. But when the dance is over and coy glances come and go, Then who shall be the chosen of the fair?

  [yip, yip, yip]

  the dance ended. Dong Zhuo bade them lead the maiden in, and she came, bowing low as she approached him. He was much taken with her beauty and modest grace.

  “Who is she?” said Dong Zhuo.

  “A singing girl. Her name is Diao Chan.”

  “then can she sing?”

  the master bade her sing, and she did so to the accompaniment of castanets. There is a measure describing her youthful beauty:

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