EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI - Page 17
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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.

  3. #163
    Butthe furtive trips of the emperor outside the Forbidden City became sofrequent that he neglected his studies. He often stopped attendingthe classes without any reason, just notifying the tutors, “Noclasses today.” Usually it should be the tutors that gave the noclasses notice, not the other way round. But it was the way with theemperor. What could the tutors say? When the secretaries came to knowit, they discussed the situation. It was serious for many reasons,besides the reason for safety. Yixin was the sixth uncle of theemperor. Yihuan was the seventh uncle. And some old courtiers who hadseen the young emperor grow up. They handed in a report to admonishthe emperor, adding at the end that they hoped that the emperor wouldreceive them and they had more important things to report in person.The emperor got the wind of it already. He didn't want to hear anymore of their expostulation. He didn't even read their report. Thesecretaries and courtiers waited for the emperor to see them, butdays elapsed without any hint that the emperor would see them. Sothey just went in to see the emperor. Since Yixin was the head of theSecretarial Bureau, he began, “Have Emperor read our report?”
    “Notyet.” The emperor, though a bit nervous, pretended to speaknonchalantly. Then he took up the report on his desk. Slitting openthe envelope, the emperor took out the report from it. When he wenthalf way down the page, the color on his face changed, a littlepaler. He put down the report and said, “I know now. I will studyharder. Is that all right?” He sounded irritated. But these oldcourtiers ignored his sentiment.
    “There'smore than that.” said Yixin. He took out another copy and read italoud. Before he could finish it, the emperor shouted indignantly,“What if I let you be the emperor?” Everyone of the courtiers wasstunned. Secretary Wenqiang, who was not well there days, sighed andcollapsed on the floor. The emperor was in panic and regretted. Theeunuchs waiting outside the building rushed in to help SecretaryWenqiang on his feet. Such things had never happened since thebeginning of Qing Dynasty. So Yihuan, the seventh uncle of theemperor, said, “If emperor can watch his behavior, it's a blessingto our Qing Dynasty.”
    “Iknow everything is my fault. What's wrong with my behavior?”
    “Thefirst thing for a young emperor is to study hard. The second thing isthat a young emperor should not do things an emperor shouldn't do.”said Yihuan.
    “Whathave I done to deserve such censure?” asked the emperor.
    “Emperorshould not steal out of the Forbidden City.”
    “That'srumor. How can I do that?” The emperor pleaded.

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