Order by phone Call us at to order by phone. E-book In order to read our eBooks you have to download Adobe Digital Editions and register on the Adobe website as well. Pearl S. Buck Pearl Sydenstricker Buck — was an American writer and novelist. As the daughter of missionaries, Buck spent most of her life before in Zhenjiang, China. Her novel The Good Earth was the Read more. There are no reviews for this product.
Silence fell upon all and laughter ceased.
Imperial Woman: The Story of the Last Empress of China - Pearl S. Buck - Google книги
One girl leaned fainting upon a serving woman, who pinched her arms and the lobes of her ears to restore her. Inside the Audience Hall, the Chief Eunuch was already calling their names and ages, and each must enter at the sound of her name and her age. One by one they passed before the Emperor and the Dowager Mother. But Yehonala, the last, drifted away from her place, as though forgetfully, to pet a small palace dog who had come running through an open door. The creature was a sleeve dog, one of those minute beasts that Court ladies keep half starved in puppyhood and dwarfed enough to hide within a wide embroidered sleeve.
At the door the Chief Eunuch waited. The tiring women had already scattered and she was left alone, playing with the dog. She had almost deceived herself that indeed she had forgotten where she was and why. She had heard of these little dogs that looked like lions, but no commoner was allowed to keep them, and she had never seen one until now. He rushed at her and seized her arm.
Have you forgotten?
Are you mad? The Emperor waits! He waits, I tell you—why, you deserve to die for this—. She wrenched herself loose and he hurried to the door and shouted out her name again. Her age, seventeen years, three months and two days—. She entered without noise or affectation, and walked slowly down the length of the immense hall, her long Manchu coat of rose-red satin touching the tip of her embroidered Manchu shoes, set high on white soles and center heels.
Her narrow beautiful hands she held folded at her waist, and she did not turn her head toward the Throne as she passed slowly by. The Dowager Mother stared at Yehonala with unwilling admiration. I warn you, she said, this girl has a fierce temper.
I see it in her face. She is too strong for a woman. What does it matter if she has a temper? She can scarcely be angry with me. He had a youthful petulant voice, thin and boyish in its quality. It is better not to choose a strong woman who is also beautiful, she reasoned.
A sensible face, good looks, but—.
A coarse skin, the Emperor said rebelliously. Doubtless she had smallpox as a child. In spite of the powder on her face, I saw its marks. Yehonala was now directly in front of him. Stay, he commanded her. She stopped, her face and body in profile, her head lifted, her eyes gazing into distance as though her heart were somewhere else. Slowly, as though indifferent, she obeyed.
Upon the Emperor she should not look higher than his knees.
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He sat immobile for a long instant. Then he spoke. If you are chosen by the Son of Heaven, her mother had said, serve first his mother, the Dowager Mother. Let her believe that you think of her day and night. Learn what she enjoys, seek out her comfort, never try to escape her. She has not many years to live. There will be plenty of years left for you. Yehonala remembered these words. On that first night after she had been chosen she lay in her own small bedroom, within the three rooms given her to use.
ISBN 13: 9781559210355
An old tiring woman was appointed by the Chief Eunuch to be her servant. Here she must live alone except when the Emperor sent for her. That might be often or never. Sometimes a concubine lived within the four walls of this imperial city, virgin until she died, forgotten by the Emperor unless she had means to bribe the eunuchs to mention her name before him.
But she, Yehonala, would not be forgotten. When he was weary of Sakota, to whom indeed he owed a duty, he might, he must, think of her. Yet would he remember? He was accustomed to beauty, and even though their eyes had met, could she be sure that the Son of Heaven would remember? She lay upon the brick bed, made soft by three mattresses, and considered. Day by day she must now plan her life and not one day could be wasted, else she might live solitary, a virgin forgotten.
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She must be clever, she must be careful, and the Imperial Mother must be her means. She would be useful to the Dowager Empress, affectionate, unfailing in small and constant attentions. And now beyond this she would ask to be taught by tutors. Books of history and poetry, music and painting, the arts of eye and ear, these she would ask to be taught.
For the first time since she could remember she had time to possess for her own, leisure in which to train her mind. She would care for her body, too, eat the best meats, rub her hands soft with mutton fat, perfume herself with dried oranges and musk, bid her serving woman brush her hair twice daily after her bath. These she would do for her body, that the Emperor might be pleased. But her mind she would shape to please herself, and to please herself she would learn how to brush characters as scholars do and to paint landscapes as artists do, and she would read many books.