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The Magic Mirror

“... BUT if you would really like to have something that has belonged to me,” said she, “you shall.” Whereupon she took out a mirror and gave it to him, saying, “Whenever you want to see me, you must look for me in your books; otherwise I shall not be visible;”—and in a moment she had vanished. Liu went home very melancholy at heart; but when he looked in the mirror, there was Fênghsien, standing with her back to him, gazing, as it were, at some one who was going away, and about a hundred paces from her. He then bethought himself of her injunctions, and settled down to his studies, refusing to receive any visitors; and a few days subsequently, when he happened to look in the mirror, there was Fênghsien, with her face turned towards him, and smiling in every feature. After this, he was always taking out the mirror to look at her; however, in about a month his good resolutions began to disappear, and he once more went out to enjoy himself and waste his time as before. When he returned home and looked in the mirror, Fênghsien seemed to be crying bitterly; and the day after, when he looked at her again, she had her back turned towards him as on the day he received the mirror. He now knew that it was because he had neglected his studies, and forthwith set to work again with all diligence, until in a month’s time she had turned round once again. Henceforward, whenever anything interrupted his progress, Fênghsien’s countenance became sad; but whenever he was getting on well, her sadness was changed to smiles. Night and morning Liu would look at the mirror, regarding it quite in the light of a revered preceptor; and in three years’ time he took his degree in triumph. “Now,” cried he, “I shall be able to look Fênghsien in the face.” And there, sure enough, she was, with her delicately pencilled arched eyebrows, and her teeth just showing between her lips, as happy looking as she could be, when, all of a sudden, she seemed to speak, and Liu heard her say, “A pretty pair we make, I must allow”—and the next moment Fênghsien stood by his side.

鳳仙

劉赤水,平樂人,少穎秀。十五入郡庠。父母早亡,遂以游蕩自廢。家不中貲,而性好修飾,衾榻皆精美。一夕,被人招飲,忘滅燭而去。酒數行,始憶之,急返。聞室中小語,伏窺之,見少年擁麗者眠榻上。宅臨貴家廢第,恆多怪異,心知其狐,亦不恐。入而叱曰:「臥榻豈容鼾睡!」二人遑遽,抱衣赤身遁去。遺紫紈袴一,帶上繫針囊。大悅,恐其竊去,藏衾中而抱之。俄一蓬頭婢自門罅入,向劉索取。劉笑要償。婢請遺以酒,不應;贈以金,又不應。婢笑而去。旋返曰:「大姑言:如賜還,當以佳耦為報。」劉問:「伊誰?」曰:「吾家皮姓,大姑小字八仙,共臥者胡郎也;二姑水仙,適富川丁官人;三姑鳳仙,較兩姑尤美,自無不當意者。」劉恐失信,請坐待好音。婢去復返曰:「大姑寄語官人:好事豈能猝合?適與之言,反遭詬厲;但緩時日以待之,吾家非輕諾寡信者。」劉付之。過數日,渺無信息。薄暮,自外歸。閉門甫坐,忽雙扉自啟,兩人以被承女郎,手捉四角而入,曰:「送新人至矣!」笑置榻上而去。近視之,酣睡未醒,酒氣猶芳,頳顏醉態,傾絕人寰。喜極,為之捉足解襪,抱體緩裳。而女已微醒,開目見劉,四肢不能自主,但恨曰:「八仙淫婢賣我矣!」劉狎抱之。女嫌膚冰,微笑曰:「今夕何夕,見此涼人!」劉曰:「子兮子兮,如此涼人何!」遂相歡愛。既而曰:「婢子無恥,玷人床寢,而以妾換袴耶!必小報之!」從此無夕不至,綢繆甚殷。袖中出金釧一枚,曰:「此八仙物也。」又數日,懷繡履一雙來,珠嵌金繡,工巧殊絕,且囑劉暴揚之。劉出誇示親賓。求觀者皆以貲酒為贄,由此奇貨居之。女夜來,作別語。怪問之,答云:「姊以履故恨妾,欲攜家遠去,隔絕我好。」劉懼,願還之。女云:「不必,彼方以此挾妾,如還之,中其機矣。」劉問:「何不獨留?」曰:「父母遠去,一家十餘口,俱託胡郎經紀,若不從去,恐長舌婦造黑白也。」從此不復至。踰二年,思念綦切。偶在途中,遇女郎騎款段馬,老僕鞚之,摩肩過;反啟障紗相窺,丰姿豔絕。頃,一少年後至,曰:「女子何人?似頗佳麗。」劉亟贊之。少年拱手笑曰:「太過獎矣!此即山荊也。」劉惶愧謝過。少年曰:「何妨。但南陽三葛,君得其龍,區區者又何足道!」劉疑其言。少年曰:「君不認竊眠臥榻者耶?」劉始悟為胡。敘僚婿之誼,嘲謔甚歡。少年曰:「岳新歸,將以省覲,可同行否?」劉喜,從入縈山。──山上故有邑人避難之宅──女下馬入。少間,數人出望,曰:「劉官人亦來矣。」入門謁見翁嫗。又一少年先在,靴袍炫美。翁曰:「此富川丁婿。」並揖就坐。少時,酒灸紛綸,談笑頗洽。翁曰:「今日三婿並臨,可稱佳集。又無他人,可喚兒輩來,作一團圞之會。」俄,姊妹俱出。翁命設坐,各傍其婿。八仙見劉,惟掩口而笑;鳳仙輒與嘲弄;水仙貌少亞,而沉重溫克,滿座傾談,惟把酒含笑而已。於是履舄交錯,蘭麝熏人,飲酒樂甚。劉視床頭樂具畢備,遂取玉笛,請為翁壽。翁喜,命善者各執一藝,因而合座爭取;惟丁與鳳仙不取。八仙曰:「丁郎不諳可也;汝寧指屈不伸者?」因以拍板擲鳳仙懷中,便串繁響。翁悅曰:「家人之樂極矣!兒輩俱能歌舞,何不各盡所長?」八仙起,捉水仙曰:「鳳仙從來金玉其音,不敢相勞;我二人可歌『洛妃』一曲。」二人歌舞方已,適婢以金盤進果,都不知其何名。翁曰:「此自真臘攜來,所謂『田婆羅』也。」因掬數枚送丁前。鳳仙不悅曰:「婿豈以貧富為愛憎耶?」翁微哂不言。八仙曰:「阿爹以丁郎異縣,故是客耳。若論長幼,豈獨鳳妹妹有拳大酸婿耶?」鳳仙終不快,解華妝,以鼓拍授婢,唱「破窰」一折,聲淚俱下;既闋,拂袖逕去,一座為之不懽。八仙曰:「婢子喬性猶昔。」乃追之,不知所往。劉無顏,亦辭而歸。至半途,見鳳仙坐路旁,呼與並坐。曰:「君一丈夫,不能為床頭人吐氣耶?黃金屋自在書中,願好為之!」舉足云:「出門匆遽,棘剌破複履矣。所贈物,在身邊否?」劉出之。女取而易之。劉乞其敝者。囅然曰:「君亦大無賴矣!幾見自己衾枕之物,亦要懷藏者?如相見愛,一物可以相贈。」旋出一鏡付之曰:「欲見妾,當於書卷中覓之;不然,相見無期矣。」言已,不見。怊悵而歸。視鏡,則鳳仙背立其中,如望去人於百步之外者。因念所囑,謝客下帷。一日,見鏡中人忽現正面,盈盈欲笑,益重愛之。無人時,輒以共對。月餘,銳志漸衰,游恆忘返。歸見鏡影,慘然若涕;隔日再視,則背立如初矣:始悟為己之廢學也。乃閉戶研讀,晝夜不輟;月餘,則影復向外。自此驗之:每有事荒廢,則其容戚;數日攻苦,則其容笑。於是朝夕懸之,如對師保。如此二年,一舉而捷。喜曰:「今可以對我鳳仙矣!」攬鏡視之,見畫黛彎長,瓠犀微露,喜容可掬,宛在目前。愛極,停睇不已。忽鏡中人笑曰:「『影裏情郎,畫中愛寵』,今之謂矣。」驚喜四顧,則鳳仙已在座右。握手問翁媼起居。曰:「妾別後,不曾歸家,伏處巖穴,聊與君分苦耳。」劉赴宴郡中,女請與俱;共乘而往,人對面不相窺。既而將歸,陰與劉謀,偽為娶於郡也者。女既歸,始出見客,經理家政。人皆驚其美,而不知其狐也。劉屬富川令門人,往謁之。遇丁,殷殷邀至其家,款禮優渥。言:「岳父母近又他徙。內人歸寧,將復。當寄信往,並詣申賀。」劉初疑丁亦狐,及細審邦族,始知富川大賈子也。初,丁自別業暮歸,遇水仙獨步,見其美,微睨之。女請附驥以行。丁喜,載至齋,與同寢處。櫺隙可入,始知為狐。女言:「郎無見疑。妾以君誠篤,故願託之。」丁嬖之。竟不復娶。劉歸,假貴家廣宅,備客燕寢,灑掃光潔。而苦無供帳;隔夜視之,則陳設煥然矣。過數日,果有三十餘人,齎旗采酒禮而至,輿馬繽紛,填溢堦巷。劉揖翁及丁、胡入客舍;鳳仙逆嫗及兩姨入內寢。八仙曰:「婢子今貴,不怨冰人矣。──釧履猶存否?」女搜付之,曰:「履則猶是也,而被千人看破矣。」八仙以履擊背,曰:「撻汝寄於劉郎。」乃投諸火,祝曰:「新時如花開,舊時如花謝;珍重不曾著,姮娥來相借。」水仙亦代祝曰:「曾經籠玉筍,著出萬人稱;若使姮娥見,應憐太瘦生。」鳳仙撥火曰:「夜夜上青天,一朝去所懽,留得纖纖影,遍與世人看。」遂以灰捻柈中,堆作十餘分,望見劉來,托以贈之,但見繡履滿柈,悉如故款。八仙急出,推柈墮地;地上猶有一二隻存者,又伏吹之,其跡始滅。次日,丁以道遠,夫婦先歸。八仙貪與妹戲,翁及胡屢督促之,亭午始出,與眾俱去。初來,儀從過盛,觀者如市。有兩寇窺見麗人,魂魄喪失,因謀劫諸途。偵其離村,尾之而去。相隔不盈一矢,馬極奔,不能及。至一處,兩崖夾道,輿行稍緩;追及之,持刀吼吒,人眾都奔。下馬啟簾,則老嫗坐焉。方疑誤掠其母;纔他顧,而兵傷右臂,頃已被縛。凝視之,崖並非崖,乃平樂城門也;輿中則李進士母,自鄉中歸耳。一寇後至,亦被斷馬足而縶之。門丁執送太守,一訊而伏。時有大盜未獲,詰之,即其人也。明春,劉及第。鳳仙以招禍,故悉辭內戚之賀。劉亦更不他娶。及為郎官,納妾,生二子。
  異史氏曰:「嗟乎!冷煖之態,仙凡固無殊哉!『少不努力,老大徒傷』。惜無好勝佳人,作鏡影悲笑耳。吾願恆河沙數仙人,並遣嬌女昏嫁人間,則貧窮海中,少苦眾生矣。」

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