Episode 45: The Pier Of An Envious Wife

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Among the seven sins in western culture, envy is one of them. Today we are going to talk about a story of a envious wife.

In the book YouYangZaZu 酉阳杂 俎 from Tang Dynasty 唐朝, it says, there is a place called DuFuJin 妒妇 津in the place LinQing 临清. Du 妒 means envy. Fu 妇means women. Jin 津means piers. So this place is called envious women pier. The reason for it is that in Jin Dynasty 晋朝, a man named LiuBoyu 刘伯玉 had a envious wife whose last name was Duan Mingguang 段明光. The man liked to read the article LuoShenFu 洛神赋, which is a famous literature by CaoZhi 曹植 from the year 223 about the beautiful goddess LuoShen洛神. The goddess LuoShen dawned in the Lake Luo and became the goddess of the lake. The article was mainly about the author’s fantasy for the goddess. This husband Liu Boyu didn’t know much about women I think. He always read the article in front of his wife and said, “ if I could marry a woman like the goddess LuoShen, I would have no regrets in life.”

I mean his wife was already a envious person and not to say he said something like this. The wife Mingguang replied, “you prefer the goddess of the Lake Luo’s beauty over me. If I died, I could be the goddess of lake as well.” Guess what will she do? That night she jumped into a lake and committed suicide.

妒妇津

Seven days after the wife’s death, she showed up in her husband’s dream and told him, “you wanted a goddess and now I am a goddess.” The man suddenly woke up from the dream. After that he had never been across lakes or rivers for his whole life. That’s what a jealous woman would do to her husband.

Later people called the place where the wife suicide “The Pier of An Envious Woman”. Whenever there were women requesting to cross the lake, the boatmen would ask them to mess up their make up and clothing just in case the envious wife, who was the goddess of the lake got jealous and tip over the boats. The envious goddess actually didn’t envy not good-looking women even they dress up. However, in case being considered as ugly, every women especially the not good-looking ones tried to mess up their make up and dresses before they got on the boats.

Mentioned:

妒妇 津 DuNvJin

酉阳杂 俎 YouYangZaZu

曹植 CaoZhi

洛神赋 LuoShenFu

洛神 goddess Luo

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