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Ancient China and classical Chinese stuff: 开元天宝遗事


againstwind

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againstwind

Due to my interest in the history of Tang Dynasty, I am reading some historical stuff written in classical Chinese about Tang Dynasty in recent several months. The genre of what I have been reading is note (笔记). I’m not sure whether such genre exists in English. Anyway, I found lots of fun in these stuff.

So I’m going to put some of them on our forum. With rough translations in modern Chinese (They were highlighted. Find them carefully.:) ), I hope it will benefit learners studying classical Chinese or anyone who are interested in ancient history of China.

This time I choose a few short tales from the book 开元天宝遗事, which tells tales in the Kaiyuan era and Tianbao era. More relevant information consists in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Xuanzong_of_Tang_China

Of course, if it’s still hard to understand the content, someone may translate them into English. That will be appreciated.

○解语花

明皇秋八月,太液池有千叶白莲,数枝盛开。帝与贵戚宴赏焉,左右皆叹羡。

久之,帝指贵妃,示于左右曰:“争如我解语花。”

农历八月太液池有千百朵白莲开花。唐明皇(李隆基)与贵族们赏花,他们都表示赞叹和羡慕。过了很久,皇帝指着杨贵妃,对旁边的人说:“哪里比得上我的解语花。(指杨贵妃善解人意)”

○吸花露

贵妃每宿酒初消,多苦肺热,尝凌晨独游后苑,傍花树,以手举枝,口吸花

露,藉其露液润于肺也。

杨贵妃晚上喝了酒觉得又苦又热,就在凌晨一个人到后花园游览。她站在花树旁边,手举着树枝,吸着花露,用它来滋润自己的肺。

○梦中有孕

杨国忠出使于江浙,其妻思念至深,荏苒成疾,忽昼梦与国忠交因而有孕,

后生男名朏。洎至国忠使归,其妻具述梦中之事。国忠曰:“此盖夫妻相念,情

感所致。”时人无不讥诮也。

杨国忠到江浙地区出差,他的妻子非常想念他,不久就生病了。有一次她在白天梦见与丈夫交和,后来生了个儿子,取名叫杨朏。不久杨国忠回来了,妻子告诉他梦中的事。杨国忠说:“这应该是因为我们相互思念的缘故。”对此,当时的人们没有不讥笑的。

○肉阵

杨国忠,于冬月常选婢妾肥大者,行列于前,令遮风,盖藉人之气相暖,故

谓之“肉阵”。

杨国忠在冬天常常选高大丰满的婢女,让她们站在自己面前为自己挡风,他把这叫做“肉阵”。

○梦笔头生花

李太白,少时梦所用之笔头上生花。后天才瞻逸,名闻天下。

李太白(李白)还是孩子的时候,梦见自己用的笔上长出了花朵。后来果然很有才华,全国都知道他的名字。

○醉圣

李白嗜酒,不拘小节,然沈酣中所撰文章,未尝错误,而与不醉之人相对议

事,皆不出太白所见。时人号为“醉圣”。

李白喜欢喝酒,不拘小节,但是他醉的时候写的文章并没有错误,而且还能跟没醉的人讨论事情。当时的人都叫他“醉圣”。

○美人呵笔

李白于便殿对明皇撰诏诰。时十月大寒,冻笔莫能书字。帝敕宫嫔十人侍于

李白左右,令执牙笔呵之,遂取而书其诏。其受圣眷如此。

李白在宫殿上为唐明皇写文章。当时是农历十月,天气非常冷,毛笔冻住了不能写字。皇帝于是命令十几个侍女到李白旁边,用嘴对着笔呵气,然后李白就用那只笔写完了文章。 他多么受皇帝关心啊!

○金牌断酒

安禄山受帝眷爱,常与妃子同食,与所不至。帝恐外人以酒毒之,遂赐金牌

子系于臂上。每有王公召宴,欲沃以巨觥,禄山即以牌示之云:“准敕断酒。”

安禄山受到皇帝的喜爱,常常和杨贵妃一起吃饭。皇帝担心有人在酒里下毒要毒死安禄山,于是给他一块金牌让他系在手臂上。每当贵族们请安禄山吃饭,并让他喝酒,他就出示金牌说:“我受皇帝命令不能喝酒。”

○蜂蝶相随

都中名姬楚莲香者,国色无双,时贵门子弟争相诣之。莲香每出处之间,则

蜂蝶相随,盖慕其香也。

首都(长安)有一个很有名美女叫楚莲香,长得非常漂亮,当时的贵族青年都争相去拜访她。楚莲香无论走到哪,都会有蜜蜂和蝴蝶追随,大概它们也喜欢她身上的香味。

○香肌暖手

岐王少惑女色,每至冬寒手冷,不近于火,惟于妙妓怀中揣其肌肤,称为

“暖手”,常日如是。

岐王(a Prince)年轻时喜欢美女,每到冬天时天气寒冷,手也很凉,可他并不用火来取暖,而只是把手放到漂亮女人的怀里,他把这叫做“暖手”,而且经常这样干。

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studentyoung

I would like to take this one!:mrgreen:

○醉圣

李白嗜酒,不拘小节,然沈酣中所撰文章,未尝错误,而与不醉之人相对议事,皆不出太白所见。时人号为“醉圣”。

Drunk Genius

Li Bai loved drinking and he was so rakish. While being drunk, he could write articles without errors, and he could discus official business with those didn’t get drunk, who thought that their views couldn’t be better than Li’s. People in those days called him “Drunk Genius”!

Thanks!

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purepearl

解语花

明皇秋八月,太液池有千叶白莲,数枝盛开。帝与贵戚宴赏焉,左右皆叹羡。

久之,帝指贵妃,示于左右曰:“争如我解语花。”

Flower of Lady

Several lotuses bloomed shining white amid the myriad green leaves in Taiye Lake in the eighth month of the lunar year. The Emperor and the royal relatives held a banquet admiring the flowers. A good while later, the Emperor gazed at Yang Guifei, his favorate imperial lady, and said to others, "My flower of lady outshines them all".

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purepearl

○吸花露

贵妃每宿酒初消,多苦肺热,尝凌晨独游后苑,傍花树,以手举枝,口吸花

露,藉其露液润于肺也。

Sucking Dew on Flower Petals

Yang Guifei often felt bad hangovers after drinking. So much so that she once walked alone in the royal garden in the small hours. Leaning against a blooming tree, she held down a flower-clustered branch to suck the dew from the flower petals to quench down her thirst.

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fayetian
]○蜂蝶相随

都中名姬楚莲香者,国色无双,时贵门子弟争相诣之。莲香每出处之间,则

蜂蝶相随,盖慕其香也。

No one could compare beauty with Chu Lianxiang, a famous beauty in Chang An. Aristocratic youths of the time competed with each other over visiting her. Wherever she was, bees and butterflies followed her. Probably they liked her fragrance.

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fayetian
○梦中有孕

杨国忠出使于江浙,其妻思念至深,荏苒成疾,忽昼梦与国忠交因而有孕,

后生男名朏。洎至国忠使归,其妻具述梦中之事。国忠曰:“此盖夫妻相念,情

感所致。”时人无不讥诮也。

pregnant in dream

Yang Guozhong traveled for business to Zhe Jiang. His wife was sick for missing him. One day, she had sex with her husband in dream and pregnant, then birthed a baby called Yang Fei. When Yang Guozhong came back, her wife told him what she dreamed. He said:" That's because we missed each other so much." Everyone razzed them for that.

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