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The Golden Days

The Story of the Stone, Chapters 1-26

Story of the Stone

Cao Xueqin - Author

David Hawkes - Translator

David Hawkes - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780140442939 | 544 pages | 30 Mar 1974 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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Divided into five volumes, The Story of the Stone charts the glory and decline of the illustrious Jia family. This novel re-creates the ritualized hurly-burly of Chinese family life that would otherwise be lost and infuses it with affirming Buddhist belief.
The Story of the Stone Volume 1 Note on Spelling
Introduction

Chapter 1:
Zhen Shi-yin makes the Stone's acquaintance in a dream; and Jia Yu-cun finds that poverty is not incompatible with romantic feelings

Chapter 2:
A daughter of the Jias ends her days in Yangchow city; and Leng Zi-xing discourses on the Jias of Rong-guo House

Chapter 3:
Lin Ru-hai recommends a private tutor to his brother-in-law; and old lady Jia extends a compassionate welcome to the motherless child

Chapter 4:
The Bottle-gourd girl meets and unfortunate young man; and the Bottle-gourd monk settles a protracted lawsuit

Chapter 5:
Jia Bao-yu visits the Land of Illusion; and the fairy Disenchantment performs the 'Dream of Golden Days'

Chapter 6:
Jia Bao-yu conducts his first experiment in the Art of Love; and Grannie Liu makes her first entry into the Rong-guo mansion

Chapter 7:
Zhou Rui's wife delivers palace flowers and finds Jia Lian pursuing night sports by day; Jia Bao-yu visits the Ning-guo mansion and has an agreeable collquy with Qin-shi's brother

Chapter 8:
Jia Bao-yu is allowed to see the strangely corresponding golden locket; and Xue Bao-chai has a predestined encounter with the Magic Jade

Chapter 9:
A son is admonished and Li Gui recieves an alarming warning; a pupil is abused and Tealeaf throws the classroom in an uproar

Chapter 10:
Widow Jin's self-interest gets the better of her righteous indignation; and Doctor Zhang's dianosis reveals the orgin of a puzzling disease

Chapter 11:
Ning-guo House celebrates the birthday of an absent member; and Jia Rui conceives an illicit passion for his attractive cousin

Chapter 12:
Wang Xi-feng sets a trap for her admirer; and Jia Rui looks into the wrong side of the mirror

Chapter 13:
Qin-shi posthumanously acquires the status of a Noble Dame; and Xi-feng takes on the management of a neighbouring establishment

Chapter 14:
Lin Ru-hai is conveyed to his last resting-place in Soochow; and Jia Bao-yu is presented to the Prince of Bei-jing at a roadside halt

Chapter 15:
At Water-moon piory Xi-feng finds how much profit may be procured by the abuse of power; and Qin Zhong discovers the pleasures that are to be had sunder cover of darkness

Chapter 16:
Jia Yuan-chun is selected for glorious promotion to the Imperial Bedchamber; and Qin Zhong is summoned for premature departure on the Journey into Night

Chapter 17:
The inspection of the new garden becomes a test of talent; and Rong-guo House makes itself ready for an important visitor

Chapter 18:
A brief family reunion is permitted by the magnanimity of a gracious Emperor; and an Imperial Concubine takes pleasure in the literacy progress of a younger brother

Chapter 19:
A very earnest young woman offers counsel by night; and a very endearing one is found to be a source of fragrance by day

Chapter 20:
Wang Xi-feng castigates a jealous attitude with some forthright speaking; and Lin Dai-yu makes a not unattractive speech impediment the subject of a jest

Chapter 21:
Righteous Aroma discovers how to rebuke her master by saying nothing; and artful Patience is able to rescue hers by being somewhat less than truthful

Chapter 22:
Bao-yu finds Zen enlightenment in an operatic aria; and Jia Zheng sees portents of doom in lantern riddles

Chapter 23:
Words for the 'Western Chamber' supply a joke that offends; and songs from the 'Soul's Return' move a tender heart to anguish

Chapter 24:
The Drunken Diamond shows nobility of character in handling his money; and the Quiet-voiced Girl provides material for fantasy by losing her handkerchief

Chapter 25:
Two cousins are subjected by witchcraft to the assaults of demons; and the Magic Jade meets an old acquaintance while rather the worse for wear

Chapter 26:
A conversation on Wasp Waist Bridge is a cover for communication of a different kind; and a soliloquy overheard in the Naiad's House reveals unsuspected depths of feeling

Appendix
Characters in Volume I
Genealogical Tables
‘An astonishing book. It recreates a world that would otherwise be utterly lost. One of the best translations into English of our time’ – The Times Higher Educational Supplement

‘A vivid, glowing masterpiece . . . making this classic available to its readers in a form that does justice to the profundity of the original’ – The New York Review of Books