艷陽長照牡丹紅

窮舉人李翰宜因沒錢赴試,在長安市集賣揮春和替人看相。他向賣花女沈菊香搭訕,二人甚是投契。就在翰宜有生意上門之際,成親王桂守陵出遊到市集,看上菊香,欲把她送到教坊學習。菊香為了襄助翰宜而應允。一年後,翰宜得菊香暗中資助,高中解元,成了名士。親王之妹桂豔裳仰慕翰宜,把他迎到教坊見面,翰宜因此才與菊香重逢,瞭解一切。親王本欲迎娶菊香,發現二人相愛,便把翰宜囚禁。親王為逼菊香嫁他,答允放翰宜到蘇州做官,並准許菊香陪翰宜上路。但他又寄信給任職蘇州巡按的門生謝寶童,要他加害翰宜。惟負責筆錄之吳中庸是文盲,書信內容變成相反意思。寶童照信行事,替翰宜和菊香完婚。親王得知,雖生氣亦無可奈何。



The Eternal Peony

Li Hanyi is a poor scholar who cannot afford to attend the imperial examination. He makes a living by selling lucky posters and telling fortunes at the Chang’an market. One day, he strikes up a conversation with the flower girl, Shen Juxiang, and the two become fast friends. Just as Li is attending to some business, PrinceGui Shouling arrives at the market on his tour. He takes a fancy to Shen and offers to send her to an institution to be trained as songstress. Shen accepts the offer, believing that she can be of help to Li.

 

One year later, with the anonymous support of Shen, Li wins second place in the imperial examination and becomes a well-known scholar. Prince Gui Shouling’s sister, Gui Yanshang,has long admired Li and invites him to meet her at the institution. There Li meets Shen again and he is made to understand how she has been his benefactor.

 

Prince Gui Shouling intends to marry Shen; upon finding out that Li and Shen are lovers. He imprisons Li. In order that Shen can marry him, the prince has to agree to release Li and appoint him to an official post in Suzhou. He also agrees to allow Shen to accompany Li on his journey.

 

Behind their backs, Prince Gui sends a letter to the governor of Suzhou, Xie Baotong, instructing him to do violence to Li when he arrives. Unfortunately, the scribe assigned to write this letter, Ng Jonyung, is barely literate and writes the exact opposite instructions. Following the instructions given to him, the governor marries the pair. When the prince finds that out, though outraged, he is left with no choice but to accept their marriage.