《花染狀元紅》

 

 

書生余鳳聲向來傾慕名妓花艷紅,一日改裝往訪佳人,二人一見傾心。鳳聲承諾他日金榜題名後必迎娶艷紅,二人其後於江頭分別。鳳聲以金團扇訂情,並與艷紅定下白頭之約。鳳聲本為嫡子,惜父母早逝,遂由庶母四姐撫養成人。今鳳聲高中狀元,即奏請當朝天子,求封庶母為太夫人以盡忠孝之道。鳳聲衣錦榮歸,庶母四姐及妹明月偶知鳳聲與風塵女子過從甚密,即嚴加責問並大力反對。四姐更命明月假撰書信,交還訂情信物以回絕艷紅。艷紅以為鳳聲薄倖負情,悲慟下欲出家為尼。四姐見鳳聲為情所困,遂與明月前往一庵堂為他祈福,並偶見庵堂內之題詩。四姐甚欣賞作詩者之才華,欲為鳳聲婚配佳人,於是請求聖旨賜婚。原來題詩者正是艷紅,鳳聲大喜,有情人終成眷屬。

 

 

 

 

 

- The Marriage of the Top Scholar -

 

 

Yu Fengsheng, a scholar, adores a courtesan called Hua Yanhong. One day, he puts on his best clothes and pays a visit to her and the two fall in love with each other instantly. He promises to marry her after he has passed the imperial examination. Later they say goodbye at a riverside. He gives her a round fan made of gold as a keepsake, and the two vows to spend the rest of their lives together.

Fengsheng’s parents died when he was young, so he was brought up by his father's concubine, Sijie. Now that he comes first in the imperial examination, as a devoted son and a loyal subject, he requests the emperor to honour Sijie with an appropriate title. Returning home in glory, he is told off by his mother and his sister Mingyue, both of whom have heard stories about his relationship with a courtesan. Sijie has Mingyue forge a letter and return the keepsake to break off the engagement. Yanhong is so grieved by the thought that Fengsheng has betrayed her that she decides to become a nun.

Seeing how lovesick Fengsheng is, Sijie and Mingyue go to a nunnery to pray for him. There they catch sight of a poem written on the wall. Admiring the poet for her talent, Sijie wants to match Fengsheng and the poet together and asks the emperor for permission. It turns out that the poet is none other than Yanhong and Fengsheng is overjoyed. The story resolves in the marriage of the lovers.