One of the most disdainful people in his novels is Count Ying.
Perhaps because of his profound life experience, he was almost devoid of the ironic vitriol of the Earl and the like.
The figures of the Earl of Ying have been in social life for thousands of years, and the faces of such figures can still be seen today.
Xiao Xiaosheng's "Jin Ping Mei" has contributed to the history of Chinese novels in many ways, and in terms of character shaping, the typical creation of Count Ying is second to none in the forest of Ming Dynasty novels, and it is not an exaggeration to say that "there is no ancient person before".
Dai Dunbang painting · Earl of Ying
Perhaps readers familiar with literary and artistic theory think that the author's criticism of such figures should not be directly presented by the author, but should be a natural "tendency".
Yet we still see the author's overflowing indignation, perhaps someone like Count Ying has hurt the author?
However, I think that the author will never be so narrow-minded, but see that the figures of the Earl of Ying, or the like of the Earl of Ying, are the cancers of society.
The harm of the special title of "helper" and their actions may not be limited to the corrosion of a certain individual or a small group.
In fact, it has too much destructive power to the whole society, which is impossible to fully express specifically in "Jin Ping Mei".
But once this phenomenon of the Earl of Ying is extended and continued, he is really a corrosive agent of life and human nature.
It is true that Count Ying does not have his own independent story in the novel, not because he is not the protagonist in the novel, but because the characters he plays cannot constitute his own independent story.
To help idle is to help the master to idle.
If the master wants to eat, drink and have fun, and if the master wants to show off his wealth and power, it is impossible to "play childcare" without helping idlers.
Count Ying was a guy who had lost all his family wealth, and in order to survive, he naturally followed the powerful and rich children to help the prostitutes paste food, "playing in the courtyard", and this broken settlement got a "graceful name" - Ying Hanako.
Painting · Helpers
Generally speaking, most of the idle characters are not stupid, but often have a clever energy that cannot be underestimated, and the strange tricks are all familiar.
However, there must be a character that is brazen. It was at this point that Xiao Xiaosheng really sketched count Ying's ugly deeds to the fullest.
Since Count Ying does not have his own independent story, we may as well take a fragment of it and see what this helper looks like.
The Earl of Ying, mainly in brothels, could either make fun of it or take the oil. His first appearance was to accompany Ximen Qing to Lichun Courtyard to comb Li Guijie.
The second time was the Lantern Night, and Ximen Qing went to the Lichun Temple after visiting the lights.
Ximen Qing paid for the wine, and Count Ying shook his tongue to create a laughing atmosphere, and he played on the spot and told a joke about the old bustard, which made everyone laugh.
The reason why this plot is important is because Count Ying shows the complicated feelings of a helper in his second appearance.
He not only ridiculed the old bustard's inflammatory attachment to reflect the sadness brought to him by the cold and warm feelings after the defeat of his family, but also revealed that Xiao Xiaosheng's irony of him was only because he was just making fun of the rich and powerful masters and adding some spices to their depraved lives.
The philosophy of idleness is as Count Ying said: "Nowadays there is still flattery in the old age." ”
That's the key word to know him. "Flattery" is fashion. Count Ying's whole ingenuity was to serve Ximen Qing's pleasure, and he even sought a little satisfaction in this scene.
When you revel in the success of your little cleverness, you must also take some oil to compensate for his despicable and pathetic boring efforts.
Illustration of "Plum in a Golden Bottle" · Count Ying helped prostitute Li ChunYuan
There is also a very prominent feature of Count Ying's career as a helper, that is, he does not hesitate to waste himself in order to flatter himself and survive.
The most typical example is his performance in front of the prostitute Zheng Aiyue.
One day he followed Ximen Qing to Zheng Aiyue's place, poured wine and asked Zheng Aiyue to drink, and Zheng Aiyue deliberately made it difficult for him: "You kneel with Aunt Yue, teach me to punch my mouth, and I will eat." ”
Count Ying still "knelt on the ground after several twists and turns".
However, Zheng Aiyue took advantage of the victory and chased after her: "Thief Hanako, how dare you rudely injure Aunt Yue? ...... You don't say yes, and I don't eat. ”
In the end, Count Ying completely surrendered, hit Zheng Aiyue in the mouth twice, and said in a loud voice: "I don't dare to hurt Aunt Yue anymore." ”
Although this is a small farce of flirting with prostitutes, Count Ying is really ugly.
From this, we deeply understand that all help and leisure are self-contemptuous in order to win the favor of the master, and this kind of behavior of pouring oil for the sake of spirit and material can only pay the last bit of dignity as a human being.
What may be even more disgraceful is their sense of betrayal and betrayal, which may be the inevitable character of their engaging in this kind of industry.
Because "status determines character" (Bacon), there are almost no people who do not understand the "betrayal" of the "profession" of helping idlers.
People who make a living by flattery, patting horses, and oiling, when they lose their old masters, they will do everything possible to turn to the new masters, which is in line with the logic of life.
The difference is that in the "Golden Plum World", Count Ying is the leader of the gang, it is he who advises and advises, it is he who is the most ruthless, of course, the most shameless is also him.
Illustration of Chongzhen's "Golden Plum Bottle"
Ximen Qing died, and when he arrived at the "Second Seventh Scene", he gathered Ximen Qing's former friends led by Count Ying and carried out a unique memorial service for Ximen Qing.
Each of them gave a piece of silver, and after careful accounting, they could still extract a little oil and water from the dead ghost, and they deeply regretted how ximen officials only "disappeared" once!
Although these satires are lost, the shamelessness of outlining the earl of Ying is also three points into the wood.
Before Ximen Qing's bones were cold, Count Ying defected to Erguan Zhang and "did not worship him every day, and told him everything about the size of Ximen Qing's family."
Knowing that Li Jiao'er had returned to the brothel, he immediately told Zhang Erguan that he had single-handedly prompted Zhang Erguan to spend three hundred taels of silver to marry Li Jiao'er into the family and become a second-room lady.
Immediately after that, he also focused on how Pan Jinlian was born with a Peugeot, how versatile, how good fengyue, and fooled Zhang Erguan into wanting to marry Pan Jinlian to his home immediately and use it for himself.
I think that at the beginning, he "tried a hundred ways to inherit" in front of Ximen Qing, but now he is a slave who "seeks concubines to sleep with others" and helps the new master dig the foot of the old master's wall.
Count Ying's despicable act of betrayal was actually more important than the harm to the weak women and widows in Simon's family, which was the kind of immoral behavior denounced by the people.
Here's the thing:
Before Ximen Qing's death, Li San and Huang Si were led by two people, li san, to do an antique business, and the family members Chunhong, Lai Jue and Li San went to the Yanzhou Inspection Yuan to find Song Yushi for approval.
However, on the way back to the approval, they heard that Ximen Qing was dead.
Li Sandun was ill-intentioned, and he consulted with Laijue and Chunhong, and wanted to hide the approval document to vote for Zhang Erguan. If Rulaijue and Chunhong did not go, they would give them ten pieces of silver and let them hide the truth when they returned.
Laijue saw the money open and agreed. Chunhong, on the other hand, refused to be deceived, but was forced by the situation to vaguely accept it.
After arriving home, Chunhong told Uncle Wu the truth.
Uncle Wu and Wu Yueniang also told Count Ying that Li San and Huang Si still owed Benli 650 taels of silver before Ximen Qing's death, and were ready to pass He Qianhu's complaint against Li San and Huang Si.
After Count Ying learned of this information, he first stabilized Uncle Wu, turned around and found Li San and Huang Si, ventilated the news, and made a plan, cleverly tricked, and proposed to bribe Uncle Wu first and isolate Wu Yueniang.
Count Ying's idea of "killing two birds with one stone" and "not losing human feelings, and having an end" made people shudder after listening.
Originally, defecting to Zhang Erguan was not only the freedom of Count Ying, but also the inevitability of his identity and character, but once it became a destructive force in turn, it was really what people called "Zhongshan Wolf".
Gao He Tang Ben 《First Strange Book Golden Plum》
The author Xiao Xiaosheng still seems to be unable to suppress his righteous indignation and disgust with the helpers, and finally published a large paragraph of discussion to express his understanding of the helpers:
The inspector heard:
But those who help idle children in the world are extremely snobs. Seeing that his family was rich and wealthy, and that he was clothed and fed, he tried his best to accept it and praised it as merit.
Or Ken Satan uses it, saying that it is a generous husband for money and righteousness. Smiling and sacrificing sons and wives, everything is done. As soon as he saw that the court was snubbed, he sneered... It is a deep favor on weekdays, and it is regarded as a strange road.
When Ximen Qing treated the Earl like glue, and raced his brothers, he did not eat him, wear him, or accept his on that day?
Shortly after his death, his flesh and bones were still hot, so he did many unrighteous things. It is exactly: it is difficult to draw a tiger and paint a skin, and it is difficult to draw a bone, and it is difficult to know the face of the person and not know the heart.
Xiao Xiaosheng's words are not very profound, but as I said earlier, it seems that the author has a kind of skin pain!
Originally, the world was not just seen in helping idle people.
Originally, the vow of "fire in the fire, water in the water, do not seek to be born on the same day, but only die on the same day" still echoes in the ears, but in the blink of an eye, it will look like a stranger.
No wonder some people say with emotion:
As long as there is still a disparity in wealth, power, and status in the world, it is inevitable that the large and small Ying Earl-like figures will breed and spread, and become the most active roles in society.
This article is written by Professor Ning Zongyi
Article author affilications: Nankai University
This article is published with the author's permission, and the original text is selected from Ning Zongyi's "Twelve Lectures on the Golden Bottle of Plum", published by Beijing Publishing House in 2016. Please indicate the source of the forwarding.