Happy Valentine’s Day to couples and singles! We have talked about a lot of love stories in our podcast and most of them are classic and epic love stories that seem like far from our daily lives. But sometimes it is these not so epic love stories touch us the most. Today we will talk about a man and his not so epic love stories.
This man’s name is Xun FengQian 荀奉倩. We will call him Mr. Xun in our story. In the book A New Account of the Tales of the World 世说 新语, a book complied and edited during the Liu Song dynasty 刘宋 around the year 420 to 479, it says Mr. Xun and his wife have deep love for each other. One winter, his wife was sick and got a fever. Guess what he did? He stood in the yard in the cold until his body is freezing and then went to hold his wife to cool her down. Mr. Xun died not long after his wife’s death.
This story in the book actually meant to criticize men who spend all their time with women. I guess in ancient Chinese culture, men should have ambition in their career and would get despised if they spent too much about women. In the book, it says Mr. Xun used to say, “women should not be praised by their virtue but only their beauty. ” which he was also criticized by other noble men.
His wife was for sure a beauty. In the book XunCanZhuan 荀粲传, it says the daughter of General Cao Hong 曹洪 was a beauty that Mr. Xun fell in love with and married her. He offered her beautiful clothes as she liked and they always enjoyed food and wine together.
It seems like he was doing he believed that admiring the beauty of women than their virtue. However after his wife’s death, people visited him. Mr. Xun was crying but looked like lost his soul. People asked, “if you only care about the beauty of women not virtue, it is easy for you to find another beauty woman to marry. Why do you look so devastated? ” Mr. Xun replied, “it is difficult to meet a charming woman. Although my late wife wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the world, she was really one of a kind.” Mr. Xun died not too long after that at the age of 29.
In ancient China, women was limited with many social rules that they had to have certain virtues to please men. Mr. Xun didn’t care about those limitations on women and value their natural spirits and beauty and treated his wife with respect and love.
世说新语 A New Account of the Tales of the World