荊釵記

王十朋幼年喪父,家道清貧,與母親相依為命。十朋以荊釵為聘禮,求娶貢元錢流行之女玉蓮,錢愛惜十朋人才,便將女兒許配與他。後十朋赴京應試得中狀元,卻因拒絕丞相莫俟招贅,被外放至嶺南之地潮陽任職。

 

富人孫汝權謀取玉蓮,截去十朋家書纂改,詐稱十朋入贅相府並把玉蓮休棄。繼母強逼玉蓮改嫁未果,玉蓮投江自盡,幸為福建安撫錢載和所救並收為義女。十朋見母,聞玉蓮投江而亡,悲慟非常;錢載和為玉蓮打探消息,卻誤傳十朋病亡。

 

此後五年,十朋調任吉安太守,錢載和升任兩廣巡撫,赴任途中路過吉安。正值上元,十朋到玄妙觀追薦亡妻,恰巧玉蓮亦往追薦亡夫,兩人不期而遇。錢載和聞得此事,宴請十朋,以荊釵為證,知正是玉蓮之夫,使二人得以團圓。



The Romance of a Hairpin

Wang Shipeng and his mother have led a hard life since his father’s death. Wang asks senior licentiateQian Liuxing for permission to marry his daughterYulianWang offers a bramble hairpin as the betrothal gift. The official agrees because he likes the young man’s talent. Soon Wang comes out first in the imperial examination, but he is dispatched to the remote south for a post because he refuses to marry the daughter of Prime Minister Moqi.

 

A wealthy suitor of YulianSun Ruquan intercepts letters sent by Wang to Yulian and distorts the correspondence to say that Wang has remarried at the prime minister’s household; a divorce notice is served. The girl’s stepmother tries repeatedly in vain to force Yulian to remarry. The defiant Yulian attempts to drown herself in a river, but the governor of Fujin province, Qian Zaihe, saves and adopts her. Wangcomes home to his mother and grieves over the news of Yulian’s death. Meanwhile, the governor makes inquiries about Wang on her behalf and is misinformed that Wang has died of illness.

 

Five years later, Wang is transferred to the post of prefect of Ji'an and the governor has been promoted to the post of governor of Guangdong and Guangxi. On his way to his new post, the governor passes by Ji'an, just in time for the lantern festival, a festival for lovers. While praying for the soul of his wife in Xuanmiao Temple, Wang encounters a lady who looks like Yulian, who is praying for her departed husband. Getting wind of the event, Qian invites Wang to a banquet. The hairpin verifies that Wang is indeed Yulian’s husband. The couple is reunited.