I want to know, for example, the whole story of that Chinese maiden whom the butterflies took to be a flower, and followed in multitude,—so fragrant and so fair was she. Also I should like to know something more concerning the butterflies of the Emperor Gensō, or Ming Hwang, who made them choose his loves for him. … He used to hold wine-parties in his amazing garden; and ladies of exceeding beauty were in attendance; and caged butterflies, set free among them, would fly to the fairest; and then, upon that fairest the Imperial favor was bestowed. But after Gensō Kōtei had seen Yōkihi (whom the Chinese call Yang-Kwei-Fei), he would not suffer the butterflies to choose for him,—which was unlucky, as Yōkihi got him into serious trouble. … Again, I should like to know more about the experience of that Chinese scholar, celebrated in Japan under the name of Sōshū, who dreamed that he was a butterfly, and had all the sensations of a butterfly in that dream. For his spirit had really been wandering about in the shape of a butterfly; and, when he awoke, the memories and the feelings of butterfly existence remained so vivid in his mind that he could not act like a human being. … Finally I should
Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/208
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