蝶影紅梨記

山東才子趙汝州與名妓謝素秋互相傾慕,二人從未見面,只靠詩箋傳情。趙氏蘭兄錢濟之本反對他與妓女來往,但聞知素秋潔身自愛,終答允安排二人見面。惜一番陰錯陽差,二人終緣慳一面。相爺王黼本欲強納素秋為妾,後被迫改獻素秋及百餘名家妓以獻媚金邦。汝州伺機營救素秋,卻誤以為她服毒自盡,實素秋已被救出。濟之顧念汝州的前途,勸她暫勿相認,使汝州能專注考取功名。素秋被安置在趙府隔鄰的紅梨院,一夜汝州酒醉見一大紅蝴蝶,以為是素秋冤魂化身,追逐至紅梨院。礙於濟之的囑咐,素秋未敢與他相認。濟之促汝州赴京應試,素秋既傷心意中人離去,復被金蘭姊妹出賣,遭王黼強搶回府迫納為妾。後汝州高中狀元,獲新帝任命查核王黼賄賂金邦之案。王黼欲改獻素秋予汝州,他與素秋得以再次會面。後濟



The Butterfly and Red Pear Blossoms / The Red Butterfly

Zhao Ruzhou, a talented scholar from Shandong, is in love with a famous courtesan called Xie Suqiu.Although they have never met before, they communicate by writing letters and poems to each other.Ruzhou’s sworn brother, Qian Jizhi, initially opposes to his sworn brother’s relationship with a courtesan,however, after hearing about Suqiu’s chaste reputation, he agrees to arrange a meeting for the lovebirds. Unfortunately, things go wrong and they fail to meet.

 

Prime Minister Wang Fu has intended to force Suqiu to be his concubine, but instead he presents her, along with over a hundred women he keeps, to the state of Jin for appeasement. Ruzhou tries to rescueSuqiu but is misled into thinking that she has poisoned herself, although she has actually been rescued. Worried about Ruzhou’s future, Jizhi persuades Suqiu not to meet him before he has passed the imperial examination. Suqiu is asked to stay in the Red Pear Yard next to Zhao's house. One night, the drunkenRuzhou sees a large red butterfly, which he takes for the incarnation of Suqiu’s ghost and chases it all the way to the Red Pear Yard. Because of Jizhi’s advice, Suqiu keeps her distance from him. As Jizhi urgesRuzhou to go to the capital for the imperial examination, Suqiu is saddened by the departure of her lover. Worse still, she is betrayed by her sworn sister; Wang Fu abducts her, and takes her back to his place to be his concubine.

 

Having come out first in the examination, Ruzhou is ordered by the emperor to

investigate into Wang Fu’s bribery to the state of Jin. Wang Fu wants to present Suqiu to Ruzhou, and the lovers meet again. Having been told by Jizhi of all that has happened, Ruzhou finally realizes that she is none other than the girl he loves. Wang Fu, as the story ends, reaps what he has sown.