G. C. (George Carter) Stent.

The jade chaplet in twenty-four beads; online

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source, of which the play of Chang-pan-po is one.

. Chang-pan-po, or Queen Mi s Devotion. 23

How brave ! He valued his life as if 'twere but a
feather's weight.

At Chang-pan-po the bloody sweat in streaming torrents

Exhaust and faint was General Chao-tztl-lung. 1

Liu-hsuan-te* fled for refuge towards Chiang-ling, 3 intend-
ing there his forces to recruit,

But unexpectedly, on the Tang-yang road, encountered
the pursuing troops.

Fierce was the fight around him; midst the forest of
swords and spears monarch and ministers were scattered.

Amid the tramp of marching in the wilderness, and the
hoarse shouts of slaughter, the Crown Prince was lost.

Queen J// 4 carried A-tou in her bosom.

1 Chao-tzu-lung. A general, and the hero of the play, called
variously Chao-tzit-lung, Chao-yun, and Tzu-lung.

2 Liu-hsiian-te, not at this time Emperor, was the Emperor of Shu,
afterwards Hou-'Han ; according to the best historian, Cku-tzu-yang,
who considers him as being the rightful possessor of the throne.
Another historian, Ssu-ma-kuang, styles Liu-hsiian-tc a rebel, and in-
variably writes the word "invasion" in reference to any expedition to
the frontiers.

8 In Hu-pei.

* Mi-fu-jn, one of Liu-hsiian-te 1 s two queens, the other, Kan-fu-
j$n, was the mother of A-tou, but Mi-fu-jen was the preserver of the
child, sacrificing her own life to save his, the more worthy of praise
as not being the child's own mother.

24 The Jade CJwplet.

Night came on apace, her tears fell trickling in the
autumn breeze.

Wounded by an arrow, from midnight senseless she lay
upon the desert turf,

With but the faintest breathing one little thread not
snapped until the break of day,

When the queen again revived from her death-like faint,

That delicate and graceful body cold as ice.

Suddenly by her side she heard the autumn crickets

Felt too the arrow- wound's throb-throbbing pain :

Slowly she opened wide her " almond eyes " and flutter-
ing fire-flies saw ;

Raising her drooping breast she then perceived A-tou
still nestled there :

The fallen leaves thickly bestrewed the ground, her form
was covered with the ice-cold dew

She saw far far away in space the few and fading stars
not yet dispersed, and the moon's shadowy slanting rays.

Weak, fearful as she was, the trembling queen sat up,

And saw the cold mist settled o'er the earth, the
withered herbage beaten down :

Her dark-blue sleeves concealed by dust, her skirt all
soiled ;

Chang-pan-pO) or Queen Mi s Devotion. 25

Her blood-stained shoes her stockings red with gore.

Stretching her hand towards her. bosom to caress the

She perceived that he was motionless and silent;

Queen Mi became alarmed, her colour fled, she gazed
intently on him :

In truth the little A-tou was sleeping soundly, having
fairly tired himself and cried himself to sleep.

Turning her face towards the tender child she cried
" Awake ! "

And saw the Prince's tiny hand gently unclose, his eyes
slowly open wide.

Seeing her, with anxious brow and pouting lips

His little face he in her bosom thrusts, and tumbles it in
search of nutriment.

The Queen distressed, exclaimed, " My heart ! my life !
arouse !

My child ! and does he want his breast ? Ah, you are
hungry ! "

She could only sigh, " Oh, bitter fate, my little one is
famishing !

And I know not whither your own mother wanders ! "

Closely Queen Mi embraced the Prince, her heart op-
pressed with grief.

26 The Jade Chap let.

The little A-tou, patient and good, never even moaned.

At this time the mists gradually disappeared, the sky
became bright ;

The sun appeared, reddening each mountain summit and
tree top.

She then perceived upon the banks of that ensanguined
stream the cawing crows,

And amidst heaps of slain were arrows, broken bows.

Betattered tents, gongs, drums and flags bestrewed the
ground ;

War steeds in numbers too, saddleless, in wild confusion
pranced and neighed.

Sad, sad at heart Queen Mi looked o'er the plain.

Viewing the scene she thinks " 'Tis hard to tell if he, the
Emperor 1 's preserved ;

Perhaps Queen Kan has also lost her life :

I also do not see Mi-shu, Mi-fang? nor yet Chien-yung?

No tidings either of Chang-feif the third brother.

1 Lit. 'Huang-shu, the Emperor's uncle. Liu-hsiian-te at this time
had not been proclaimed Emperor of the 'Hou'Han : he was the
uncle of 'Han, so that the queen generally speaks of him as ' ' the
Emperor's uncle."

2 Mi-shu and Mi-fang, two generals, brothers of Queen Mi.
* Chien-yung, one of Liu-hsiian-tPs generals.

4 Chang-fei, Liu's third brother, also a general.

Chang-pan-po, or Queen Mi's Devotion. 27

They must, when with their troops amid the turmoil of
the strife, have fallen with Chang-sharfs Chao-tzu-hmg.^

Should it be that Prince and Minister all have fallen by
7>^ 2 -the rebel's hand,

And I, a woman, with no place to fly to, and I fear
unable to nourish this poor orphan child."

The queen indulging in this strain, thought but of death.

But looking on A-tou, nestling in her breast, she dissolved
in tears,

And sighed : " His father has wandered half his life, and
has but this one child.

A drop of bone and blood, a child, a very babe.

Now, if I would prove my thorough faithfulness to him?
this child must die.

But when I reach the ' yellow springs ' 4 how could I face
the ancestors of Liu's house ? "

In this distressing strait the queen bent down her head
and wept,

1 Chao-tzii- lung's native place. He is called Chang-shan's Chao-

2 Tsao was the king of Wei and at war with Liu ; the queen
speaking of him invariably calls him the rebel Tsao, or Tsao the rebel.

8 Queen Mi as a faithful wife would feel bound to immolate herself
on the death of her husband, but if she does so what is to become of the

* When I die.

28 The Jade Chaplet.

When, suddenly, in the distance, she saw the rebel troops
marching o'er the plain.

Anxious, unable, too, to tend her gaping wound,

She clenched her silvery teeth ; supporting herself by
the head of a tomb, she raised her form erect ;

And by the roadside saw a cotter's house that by the
rebel Tsao had been destroyed by fire ;

But half the earthen walls remained, these would conceal
her form.

Embracing fast the child, fainting at every step she
struggled on.

Brave woman ! for this orphan's sake she nobly bore her
pain !

She reached the earthen wall, and round about a well
just by its side

Saw footprints, blood stains on the tangled herbage, the
ground all red.

She felt the racking agonising pain of her deep wound ;

Her panting breath came short, and hard to catch ;
while from her empty chest

Came trembling plaintive sounds ; sweat streamed down
her pallid face ; she closed her beauteous eyes,

And bowed her gem-like neck ! her golden ornaments
came out, releasing clouds of soft dishevelled hair.

Chang-pan-po. or Queen Mis Devotion. 29

But, ah! she indistinctly sees it must be yes, the sheen
of banners !

She gasps ! she hears, or thinks she hears, the roll of
battle drums :

In danger, with strength exhausted, prone upon the

Suddenly she heard a voice exclaim, " Ah ! she must be
hidden here ! "

With precious sword and " spirit spear" reeking with the
smell of blood ;

His jewelled mail and silvered robe besmeared with
dust ;

His lustrous eyes, so large and bright,
Showed a devoted heart, a noble mind.
Queen Mi was hid behind the old well's boundary stone.
And Chao-yiirts horse came eastward of the earthen
wall :

He saw the queen clasp A-tou to her breast, and sit
with drooping head,

So grieved, so sad ; her hair disordered, her face all
soiled, her beauty spoilt.

Chao-tzii lung in haste sprang from his saddle, stuck
spear in ground, and fastened up his steed.

Raised up his robe, knelt down and made obeisance.

30 The Jade Chaplet.

Bowing again his head, he said, " My queen has been
alarmed, the Prince I trust is well ?

This is all Chao-y tin's fault, a general with no ability."

Queen Mi with mingled grief and joy exclaimed, " The
Emperor, is he alive ? "

Tzu-lung replied, " He broke through the dense mass
that surrounded him and fled direct eastward."

The queen exclaimed, " The fortune of the Emperor is
the Empire's fortune ; who went with him ? "

Tzu-lung bowing his head, replied, " f-tt accompanied

Queen Mi, nodding her head, said, " General, no need
for ceremony." *

Chao-yun arose and bowing, said,

" My honoured lady, I beseech you, deign but to ride
your servant's horse,

And when we break their ranks, then tightly clasp the
Prince, and do not be alarmed."

The queen exclaimed, " And you will fight on foot ? "
The hero cried, " Yes, even so.

Depend but on your servant's zeal, bravery and loyalty.

Quick, I beseech you, lady, haste, mount the horse.

1 The general during the dialogue has been on his knees.

Chang-pan-po, or Queen Mi's Devotion. 3 r

And Chao-yun dares to risk his life to be imperial guar-
dian back to camp."

Queen Mi heaved one long sigh, and with falling tears

Exclaimed, " Now do I know and see my husband's
clear perception.

Tis hard to tell, yet his clear eye could read and know
his man.

That Chao-tzii-lung in time of need woul be to him his
greatest help a brother." *

Timid and weak, with strengthless limbs the queen knelt
down and said :

" This kneeling posture is not to the general but to his

Alarmed, the brave general fell upon his knees, and
lowly bent his head.

The noble woman in plaintive tones with bitter falling

Looked at the brave general, and sadly pointing to her

Exclaimed, " Have pity on this poor, bewildered, help-
less babe !

His father, now alas ! is getting old and at his knees he
has no other child.

1 Lit. shoulders and arms.

32 The Jade Ckaplet.

Your Prince, this precious burden, I now entrust to you :

His sad fate life, death, safety or ruin, all rest with

I look to you, one-half to your loyalty and faith, and
one-half to your hoard of hidden virtue,

And Hsuan-te will not be alone in gratitude to you for
this great act of kindness :

The ancestors of Liu's house now mouldering in their
graves will all be deeply grateful too."

Chao-tzu-lung, his heroic heart racked with grief, could
only sigh assent with bended head.

Queen Mi arose, loosened her broidered scarf,

Took A-tou from her breast, and raised him in her arms ;

With saddened heart, her beauteous face close to the
Prince's pressed,

Crying, " My child, this day our destiny 's complete,
mother and child must separate.

My little injured one ! ah ! heed not thy mother's tender
sighs, nor fret for her.

Nay do not cry, my child, and when you see your

Say that your other mother enough, enough, you would
speak for me, but, alas, you cannot."

Then turning to the loyal man she said, " Now I take
A-tou and deliver him to you ;

Chang-pan-po, or Queen Mi's Devotion. 33

Careful injunctions to you I know I need not give.

But, oh ! when horse and man collide when swords and
lances flash, they have no eyes.

Then look you to the Prince, guard well his life, protect-
ing too your own.

My child is delicate, his little bones are frail.

Place him beneath your corselet, next your heart, yet
not too tightly, nor so very loose."

Tzu-lung exclaimed : " Lady, I entreat you, mount my
horse, and in your bosom hold the Prince.

I then will, with my single spear, on foot, fight through
the rebel force."

The queen, with solemn mien, exclaimed, " General, you
mistake :

I, a woman, suffering from a painful wound, how could I
accompany you ?

Besides, I cannot ride ; 'tis you must use the horse.

How could you hope, on foot, with your one spear to
fight your way through hosts ?

Take it. One A-tou saved by you is better far than
thousands like myself :

This child is the successor of Liu's house his heir.

Man may live till a hundred years, then comes the
' great limit ' at last he must die. '


34 The Jade Chaplet.

My death to-day will be a blessed one, and its cause
fully known.

Make for me many obeisances to the Emperor.

Bid him not be sorrowful but ever study his people's

With his ' three-foot blade ' sweep clean the rebels, and
exterminate his country's foes.

One hand supporting high the bright red sun, and
making glorious and prosperous the dynasty of Han.

Remember well my words take the child, and go ! "

The loyal hero would not take the Prince, but besought
the queen to accompany him :

The impetuous woman, steeling her heart, placed down
the crying babe ;

Turned her fair form, plunged into the ancient well, and
gave her spirit up to Hades ;

Her noble spirit returning back to heaven :

But her beauteous form was hid in the cold and lonely
waters of the well over which the zephyrs played.

Her spotless life, her words, her acts, all were admirable.

Her nobleness and loyalty were bright as the red sun in
the azure sky.

Chao-tzii-lung, with his spear overturned the earthen
wall and covered in the well.

Chang-pan-po, or Queen Mis Devotion. 35

Burst through the cordon that surrounded him, saved
A-toii) and safely joined Liu.

The composition of my leisure hours has made me weep.
The entrusted orphan's fate

I've writ, that ages hence men shall feel ashamed and
emulate a woman.

D 2

36 The Jade Chaplet.



WHAT true " Son of Han ' ;1 knows not " Chao-tzb-lung s " 2


Front and foremost 'tis writ in the annals of fame ;
His deeds both in cottage and palace are sung,
Even infants are taught to lisp "brave Chao-tzu-lung!"

Whose step was so light ? He could outrun the deer :

Who braver than he ? His heart knew not fear.

W T hose voice was more gentle? Whose eye was more

bright ?
A child with his friends, but a lion in fight.

How often in many a hard-foughten field,

Has his daring breast been an emperor's shield !

1 Chinese.

2 Chao-tzu-htng. One of the generals of Liu-pai.

Chao-tzu-lung. 1 7

o _/ /

E'en his bitterest foe by his prowess was -struck,

And cried, " He is brave, his whole body 's all pluck ! " !

But oh ! what a lustre did one noble deed shed,
Like a halo of light, round the young hero's head !
By its bright rays encircled that action sublime
Comes down to us softened and hallowed by time.

In the carnage at Chang-pan 2 was heard a wild shriek,

So startling so piercing it blanched every cheek :

" Where 's the child the young crown prince the little

He 's lost ! He is dead ! He is left with the foe.

Oh, save him ! my infant ! your Emperor's son !
The child of his old age ! he has but that one !
You rescued his mother save him!" and she clung
She a queen to the knees of the brave Chao-tzu-lung!

1 Hun shen tu shih tan. This expression was first made by Liu-
pai, who witnessing his bravery, exclaimed in a burst of admiration,

" His whole body 's all pluck " ! To this day he is commonly spoken
of as Hun tan chiang ckun, ' ( The all pluck general. "

2 Chang-pan, or Chang-pan-po. Name of the place where the
battle was fought.

38 The Jade Chap let.

Twice before had he dashed through the midst of the strife,

Dealing death to his foes, but each time saving life : *

He then fought for honour, now^ more noble more

He a third time dared death a poor infant to save.

Through the ranks of the foe he once more fiercely fought,
And o'er that vast plain the child eagerly sought
'Mongst the dead and the dying but ah ! who can tell
His delight when he found it asleep near a well !

Unloosing his mail, he tore open his vest

Placed it tenderly still fast asleep in his breast ;

There he felt it was safe, for he knew every dart

That would harm that dear babe must be aimed at his heart.

Far away the blue smoke of his camp fires is seen,
There, the poor mother waits but the foe lies between :
What recks he ! He thinks them a handful at most ;
With that child in his bosom, he could conquer a host.

Again he charged madly, while every blow

From his death-dealing brand laid an enemy low :

1 He had just saved a wounded general and the queen.

Chao-tzu-lung. 39

He cuts through them all, and the battle field rung
With the triumphant shout of the brave Chao-tzu-lung !

They pursue us ! On ! On ! faster still trusty steed !
The life of a prince rests on your strength and speed !
Brave horse ! How he gallops ! proudly arching his

For the heir of an empire he bears on his back.

With nostrils distended with wild glaring eyes,
On ! On ! faster faster the gallant horse flies :
Reeking panting nay sobbing, with strength almost gone,
With heart well-nigh bursting he still gallops on !

Hark ! the clatter of hoofs they are drawing more near ;
The hoarse cries of his foes they are close in his rear :
A loud shout which even his stout heart appals
A crash ! and the jaded horse staggers and falls !

The child ! he is safe ! up my poor beast once more !
Let us cross but this plain and all danger is o'er :
Up and on ! and once more the steed's mettle is tried,
As pursued and pursuers gallop on side by side.

4O The Jade Chap let.

On again, gallant steed, we must fight as we fly !
On ! with firmly clenched teeth and a resolute eye,
He whirls round his blade, blows fall thick as hail,
But oh ! how he guards that dear child 'neath his mail !

On, fighting and flying, their track o'er the plain
Is marked by the corses of foes he has slain ;
Will it never be ended that unequal fight ?
On ! one struggle more ! there's the river .in sight !

" Chang-fei* on your life keep those demons at bay,
I have the child safe ! " he has just strength to say :
He crosses the bridge, and before him he sees
The mother awaiting him under those trees.

And what a glad shout did that brave hero greet,
As he sprang from his horse threw himself at her feet
And exclaimed, as exhausted he sank on the ground,
" Thy dead son is living, he was lost and is found."*

* Chang-fei. Another of Liu-pats generals.

"* Liu-pai, the father of the child, thought so much of the heroism
of Chao-tzu-lung, that he dashed the babe to the ground as worthless.
The incidents contained in this ballad are also to be found in the San-
kuo-ckih, and are historical facts.


" BUBBLING SPRING " had a daughter the clear " Tiny Rill,'
Who could scarcely have been an inch wide ;

When she longed for a change, so she stole down the hill,
And trickled away from " Spring's " side.

" Tiny Rill " ran away with no thought of fear,

And careless of what she had done ;
She was free and her bright face, transparent and clear,

Gleamed and glistened again in the sun.

Over green fields and meadows on " Tiny Rill " ran ;

(The little precocious coquette !)
She was pretty she knew, and thus early began

Gaily flirting with all that she met.

Her favours on both sides she'd gracefully shower,

Regardless to whom they might be ;
One moment she'd kiss the sweet lips of a flower,

The next lave the root of a tree.

42 The Jade Chap let.

Put your face down to hers, your hand merely dip
In her bosom a clear draught to quaff;

She would slip through your fingers, or glide by your lip,
Rippling off with a silvery laugh.

On ran " Tiny Rill," and the farther she went,

The deeper and broader she grew ;
Her clear limpid beauty and winding ways lent

A charm to the scenes she passed through.

All at once a great change came o'er " Tiny Rill ; "

She wore not the same placid look ;
More giddy more joyous, more beautiful still,

She now brawled along " Purling Brook."


Recklessly hurling

Herself 'gainst the rocks in frolicsome fun.

Incessantly dashing
Her glittering spray in the face of the sun.

Adventures of " Tiny Rill" 43

She would leap from one rock to another in play,

Tumble down on her pebbly bed ;
Like a Naiad, let the dazzling, sun-smitten spray

Fall, in prismatic gems round her head.

Sometimes she would lash herself into a rage,

And rush roaring and seething along,
Till a bit of smooth ground would her anger assuage,

And she'd liquid! y murmur a song.

"Purling Brook's" voice was clear as a u gold floating bell'" 1

But, oh ! what melodious tones
Her bosom produced as it rose and it fell,

In sighs over "musical stones /" 2

Ere long she gave over her frolicsome ways,
They passed like a phase of some dream ;

Imperceptibly gliding from wild " Brook-hood's " days
Into translucent " Pure Crystal Stream."

1 Fou-chin-chung. This is probably poetical imagery, in allusion
to the musical sound of running water. Frequent mention, however,
is made in ancient books of a certain metal which floated on the water.

2 Ching. It is said that the musical properties of this peculiar
stone were first discovered by some priests, who, while performing their
ablutions in a brook were attracted by the sweet sounds caused by the
water rippling over it. Its uses as a bell are too well known to need

44 The Jade Chaplet.

She was pure as crystal just take a sly peep
In her eyes, but don't too rudely stare :

You'll see in their depths down, down, oh ! so deep,
Yourself clearly photographed 1 there !

There wasn't a flower that grew on her banks,
But would waft her a sweet-scented sigh ;

They all offered love, but with murmuring thanks,
She demurely and gently passed by.

She glided on smoothly and quite self-possessed,

Unless, as was sometimes the case,
The willow would bend down and toy with her breast,

Or the gentle breeze dimple her face.

The meanderings of "Pure Crystal Stream" were soon past,
And she now " Flowing River" became ;

But contact with filthy pollution at last,
Soiled her hitherto unsullied name.

She indeed looked majestic as onward she flowed,
And her breast heaved and swelled with the tide,

1 A slight liberty mirrored or reflected would have perhaps been
more correct.

A dven t^cres of ' ' Tiny RilL " 45

For handsome and gallant ships now proudly rode
On her broad bosom near a mile wide.

But, alas ! all her pureness and clearness were gone,

She could never more transparent be :
Through marshes and swamps " Flowing River " rolled on,

And rushed into the arms of " Deep Sea."

Soon she mingled with " Billows " and big " Mountain


And from one to another was tossed ;
Till, like other poor " Rills " who had thus found their

She became irretrievably lost.

" Bubbling Spring " mourned her absence for long dreary

And daily he weeps for her still :
For what are all rivers and streams but the tears

" Spring " sheds for the lost " Tiny Rill ? "

46 The Jade Chaplet.


MY lover, yes, my lover has come !


And has presented me with a chain puzzle,
With nine, oh ! nine chain links ;
Both hands both my hands cannot open it ;
I take a knife to sever it,
But I cannot cut it asunder.

I-tu-ya- tu -i- tu-yu ,

Whoever can open this my chain puzzle
With nine, oh ! nine chain links,
I will be I will be his wife,
And he shall be my husband

Yes, my husband.


: The Chain Puzzle is given without any attempt at versification,
and, not from any special merit the composition may possess, but as a
fair specimen of the weak and diluted style of songs, we in the West
call " sentimental." It is translated almost literally.

The Chain Puzzle. 47

My lover lives in the city ;

T live in a road-side village ;

And I yes I

Live in a road-side village;

Although not very far from you,

I am shut out southward of the city gate,

And 'tis difficult for us to meet.


Could we but change into a pair of birds
We'd soar up up to heaven :
Fly, yes, fly even up to heaven,
And then as rapidly descend.
There is besides a ship, yes, a ship
There we would meet.


The snow-flakes whirling round,
Fell three feet deep :
Three feet three inches deep,
And whirling, whirling formed
A beauteous snowy being
Who in my bosom fell ;
I clasped him to my breast.


48 The Jade Chaplet.

The first watch struck.


The second watch,

I waited for you, yet you did not come,

No, you did not come.

The third watch,

The drum told me 'twas midnight.

The fourth watch, the drum

The drum and cocks proclaimed the hour.


The fifth watch,

The crowing cocks announced the dawn,

Day, yes, day has broke :

The flowered curtains

Ivory couch

Embroidered coverlet

Downy pillows :

I think while on my pillow,

2 4 5 6 7

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