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A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chao Fei-yen

151 Chao Fei-yen 趙飛燕. Died B.C. 6. Daughter of a musician named 馮萬金 Fêng Wan-chin, she was trained as a dancing-girl; and her grace and lightness were such that she received the name of Fei-yen "Flying Swallow." At her father's death, she and her sister 合德 Ho-tê took the surname of Chao, and found their way to the capital. There she was seen in B.C. 18 by the Emperor Ch'êng Ti, when his Majesty was roaming the city in disguise. The two girls were forthwith placed in the Imperial seraglio; and Fei Yen became favourite concubine, to the exclusion of the famous Pan Chieh-yü. In B.C. 16 she was raised to the rank of Empress Consort, Ho-tê being honoured with the title of 昭儀 Lady of Honour; but on the death of the Emperor she was driven by Palace intrigues to commit suicide.