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  1. #161
    Whenthe emperor came into power he remembered his study-mate andplaymate, Zaizhen, the son of Yixin and made him his Courtier BeforeThrone so that the emperor could see him more often. When they hadnothing else better to do, Zaizhen would tell the emperor some funnythings. Or something he thought it was funny.
    Oneday, he told the emperor, “The wife of the French envoy came to seemy mother.” The emperor interrupted and asked, “Does a foreignerreally have red eyebrows and green eyes?” (Some eunuch hadmentioned foreigners to the emperor like that.) Ziazheng replied,“They have green eyes, yes. But they don't have red eyebrows.”
    “What'stheir rule of behavior?” asked the emperor again.
    Theirrule is ladies first. When a newcomer arrives, the men must stand up,but the women still sit there. And men always kiss women's hands.”Answered Zaizhen seriously.
    Iwas told that the women and the men mix together. Is that so?”
    Sure.They shake each other's hands. They embrace each other and even kisseach other on the mouth.”
    Haveyou been kissed by a foreign woman?” The emperor was curious. Hewas still a teenager.
    No.I don't have such pleasure. They don't kiss us because they know wedon't like to be kissed.”
    Haveyou touched a foreign woman's hands?”
    Yes.On the day when the wife of the French envoy came to see my mother, Iwent into our guest room too. I was about to withdraw from theirpresence, the French woman asked me to stay. By the way, she canspeak some Chinese, though with an accent. She shook hands with me,but I had gooseflesh all over.”
    Why?Are there thorns on her hand?” The emperor asked innocently.
    No.Thorns only make me painful. But, no. The hair on her hand and arm isvery long.”
    Thatwill look like a monkey's.” The emperor joked.
    Yes.But she is more beautiful than a monkey.” They both laughed.

  2. #162
    Chapter 28

    Seventeenwas the age already mature for sex, but the emperor could not havesex with the queen, whom he loved, for fear that the queen would beblamed by his mother. And he didn't want to have sex with the royalconcubine whom he disliked because his mother had forced her on him. He could not go to the other two concubines if he didn't go to theroyal concubine.
    Hissex life was in crisis. As the emperor gradually knew somethingabout the life of ordinary people outside the Forbidden City, howinteresting it was, he wanted to witness it, to have a taste of thatlife and to see things in the outside world. For diversion, He beganto sneak out of the Forbidden City in disguise and wandered in thestreets. He had meals in some restaurants famous for some specialdishes and visited some bazaars. Once he met a bad courtier, who wassinging a few pieces from some well-known operas. It was customarythat courtiers or even princes liked to sing or even hum some tunesfrom the operas. Some courtiers even acted some scenes from operasas amateurs just for the enjoyment of it. The emperor liked tolisten to the operas, too. When he listened to the bad courtier, heliked his singing. So a few days later, he promoted the bad courtierto a higher position so that the emperor could see more of him. Thebad courtier secretly brought to the emperor some adult books andpictures of naked bodies, which only served to inspire his sexualdesire. Life in the Forbidden City was really tedious. The mostexciting entertainment was to watch operas, but even the emperorcouldn't watch operas everyday. Once or twice he even spent sometime in whorehouses to satisfy his need as a man. He could not go tosome expensive whorehouses because he was afraid to be recognized bysome courtiers, who were the regular patrons there. He could only gowhere no one would know him, where only workers or poor peoplefrequented. But all these activities of the emperor were known toRonglu, who was then in charge of the enforcement of law and order inthe capital and had his men in plain clothes all over Peking togather all kinds of information for him. But he didn't tell anyoneabout the emperor's behavior, only ordered his men to protect theemperor without letting anyone know it.


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