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The Dreamer Wakes

The Story of the Stone, Chapters 99-120

Story of the Stone

Cao Xueqin - Author

Gao E - Author

John Minford - Translator

John Minford - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780140443721 | 384 pages | 02 Dec 1986 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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The Story of the Stone (c. 1760), also known by the title of The Dream of the Red Chamber, is the great novel of manners in Chinese literature.

Divided into five volumes, of which The Dreamer Wakes is the fifth, it charts the glory and decline of the illustrious Jia family (a story which closely accords with the fortunes of the author’s own family). The two main characters, Bao-yu and Dai-yu, are set against a rich tapestry of humour, realistic detail and delicate poetry, which accurately reflects the ritualized hurly-burly of Chinese family life. But over and above the novel hangs the constant reminder that there is another plane of existence – a theme which affirms the Buddhist belief in a supernatural scheme of things.

The Story of the Stone Volume 5 Note on Spelling
Preface

Chapter 99:
Unscrupulous minions make use of their master's virtue to conceal a multitude of sins; and Jia Zheng is alarmed to read his nephew's name in the 'Peking Gazette'

Chapter 100:
Caltrop disturbs an elaborate seduction and inspires bitter resentment; Bao-yu learns of a distressing betrothal and laments an imminent departure

Chapter 101:
In Prospect Garden a moonlit apparition repeats an ancient warning; and a Scattered Flowers Convent the fortune-sticks provide a strange omen

Chapter 102:
Illness descends upon the Jia family in Ning-guo House; and charms and holy water are used to exorcize Prospect Garden

Chapter 103:
Jin-gui dies by her own hand, caught in a web of her own weaving; Yu-cun encounters an old friend in vain, blind to the higher truths of Zen

Chapter 104:
Drunken Dime at large again - a small fish whips up a mighty storm; our Besotted Hero in agony once more - a chance thrust quickens a numbed heart

Chapter 105:
The Embroidered Jackets raid Ning-guo House; and Censor Li impeaches the Prefect of Ping-an

Chapter 106:
Wang Xi-feng feels remorse for the consequences of her past misdeeds; and Grandmother Jia prays for the family's deliverence from further calamity

Chapter 107:
Impelled by family devotion, Grandmother Jia distributes her personal posessions; favoured with an Imperial dispensation, Jia Zheng recieves his bother's hereditary rank

Chapter 108:
A birthday party held for Sister Allspice necessitiates a false display of jollity; and ghostly weeping heard at the Naiad's House provokes a frech outburst of grief

Chapter 109:
Fivey shares a vigil, and receives affection meant for another; Ying-chun pays her debt to fate, and returns to the Realm of Primordial Truth

Chapter 110:
Lady Jia ends her days, and returns to the land of shades; Wang Xi-feng exhausts her strength, and forfeits the family's esteem

Chapter 111:
A devoted maid renders a final service, and accompanies her mistress to the Great Void; a villainous slave takes his revenge, and betrays his masters into the hands of theives

Chapter 112:
Admantina discharges a karmic debt and recieves a blow from the Hand of Providence; Aunt Zhao concludes a deadly feud and sets out on the road to the Nether World

Chapter 113:
Xi-feng repents of her former misdeeds, and entrusts her child to a village dame; Nightengale softens a long-standing animosity, and warns to ter besotted master

Chapter 114:
Wang Xi-feng ends her life's illusion and returns to Jinling; Zhen Ying-jia recieves the Emperor's favour and is summoned to the Palace

Chapter 115:
A private obsessoin revived confirms Xi-chun in an ancient vow; a physical likeness verified deprives Bao-yu of an imagines friend

Chapter 116:
Human destinies are revealed in a fairy realm, and the Stone is restored to its rightful owner; mortal remains are transported to their terrestrial home, and duty is discharged by a filial son

Chapter 117:
Two fair damsels conspire to save the jade, and forestall a flight from earthy bondage; an infamous rogue takes charge of the mansion, and assembles a gang of cronies

Chapter 118:
Provoked by a ranking antipathy, Uncle and Cousin plot the ruin of an innocent maid; alarmed by riddling utterances, Wife and Concubine remonstrate with their idiot master

Chapter 119:
Bao-yu becomes a Provincial Graduate and severs worldly ties: the House of Jia receives Imperial favour and renews ancestral glory

Chapter 120:
Zhen Shi-yin expounds the Nature of Passion and Illusion; and Jia Yu-cun concludes the Dream of Golden Days

Characters in Volume 5
Genealogical Tables
‘One of those rare books that deepen one’s understanding of what it means to be human, that changes one’s view of life’ – The Times Higher Educational Supplement

‘Of all the classic Chinese novels, The Story of the Stone is indisputably the greatest masterpiece’ – The New York Review