一枝紅艷露凝香

秦淮歌女單艷雯嫁寧王之子學士孟嶠為妻。對艷雯有栽培之恩的沈蘭陵則入贅寧王府,娶了孟嶠之妹─孟香綸。鍾情於孟嶠的歌樓大姐江夢霞心有不甘,遂思報復。一年後,艷雯生下兒子任亭。在滿月酒席當晚,夢霞成功混入王府,並毒死孟嶠。孟嶠誤會艷雯與蘭陵有染,死前寫下遺書譴責艷雯和蘭陵,致使二人被逐出王府,任亭則被香綸強行留下。十八年後,對當年之事一無所知的任亭欲與艷雯相認。香綸對任亭出示孟嶠遺書,使任亭質問艷雯。蘭陵勸解不得,又誤傷任亭,匆忙逃去。寧王以新仇舊恨,決意抓艷雯處以「浸豬籠」之刑。蘭陵劫持寧王失敗。危急之際,夢霞良心發現,現身坦認一切,並畏罪自殺。艷雯、蘭陵的冤情得以洗雪。



A Pedestal of Rouge Fragrance

(this title is a line from Li Bai's poem in praise of the emperor's beautiful concubine Yang Guifei)

 

Shan is a songstress on the Qinhuai River who marries imperial scholar Meng, son of Prince Ning. The songstress ’s mentor, Lanling, also takes up residence at the palace following his marriage to Meng’s sister, Xianglun. Envious of what has happened, the senior songstress Jiang, who has long desired the scholar Meng, decides to seek revenge.

 

One year after Shan and Meng’s wedding, Shan gives birth to a son, Renting. On the evening of the banquet celebrating the child’s first month since its birth, Jiang succeeds in entering the prince’s palace and poisons Meng. Mistaken that Shan has had an affair with his brother-in-law, Meng writes a letter condemning the two on his deathbed. Although the pair is subsequently banished from the household, babyRenting is kept at the palace by his aunt, Xianglun.

 

As Renting turns eighteen, oblivious of what actually transpired, he wishes to reinstate Shan as his mother.Renting ’s aunt reveals her brother’s letter to the young man and makes him confront his own mother. When the aunt’s husband, Langling, tries to intercedehe accidentally injures RentingLangling is forced to flee after the incidence, which leads Grandfather Prince Ning to retaliate by arresting Shan and having her drowned as punishment for her past crimes and their current consequences. In order to derail the process,Langling attempts to kidnap Prince Ning but does not succeed. Moved by her guilty conscience, the original culprit, Jiang, finally admits all her conspiratorial deeds and later commits suicide. The names of Shan andLangling are finally cleared.