Nowadays, when big families train their children, the Confucian Six Arts was a must, especially those large families with deep roots that had their ancestral lines stretching hundreds of years back——there were even ones that claimed to have a thousand year long family history. These families had even more ways to train their children, and in even more careful ways. The upper class ruled the lower class through control over thought. As a result, the saying that “a woman without talent was a virtuous woman” came to be. But the upper echelons completely sneered at this saying themselves.
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They were not like the common people. When their daughters married, they would belong to other people’s families. But for the big families, their daughters were also bargaining chips. They married their daughters to get more benefits, so their daughters must understand music, chess, calligraphy and painting. Not only must they be capable female masters, but also be the confidantes of their husbands.
Could you imagine the husband talking about elegant and poetic subjects, and the wife replied with how many clothes she sewed that day?
For them, needlework was just a hobby to pass the time. Those with truly good craftsmanship were seamstresses, and for families like them they could afford to raise a few dozens of seamstresses, so why bother to do it themselves? Only when they want or need to express their sincerity would they sew something personally. Such needlework represented significance and would not be given away easily.
Their wisdom and knowledge were handed down from generation to generation. There was a strict separation between the men and women in large families. Hiring male teachers? It went against etiquette. It might be fine for girls before the age of ten. But after the age of ten, any man, even their own brother, wouldn’t be seen more than a few times a year.
Hire a female teacher? How could a truly learned woman run around outside? Most educated women inherited their education from their family and they had received the most rigorous education. They must carry on the tradition and teach their own daughters so how could they still teach other families’ daughters?
Therefore, mothers usually educated their daughters. In order to ensure the quality of the next generation in the family, when large families arranged marriages for their children, the first thing to inquire was whether the other’s daughter was virtuous and whether she could read and write.
They had their own wisdom. An excellent lady of a distinguished family must not only be proficient in literature, but also know how to keep the accounts, know how to cooperate with her husband, and learn the art of managing people in the inner courtyard. Essentially, she must be an all around talent.
She must cause her husband to be unable to do without her. She must become a help to her husband and share the power with her husband. Indeed, some of the even more powerful ones could even control their husbands.
Only the daughters cultivated in this way could ensure the prosperity of the family.
Sons, now that was even more important.
In addition to the Confucian Six Arts they had to follow their father and older male relatives to increase their knowledge from childhood. They had to learn even more knowledge and skills. Sometimes they even had to learn the skills of women in the inner courtyard. Not only must they cultivate internally, but also externally.
If they were born with good looks, then that was a natural advantage. But if they weren’t born with good looks, then they must pay great attention to their dress, conversational skills, and mannerisms.
How to walk, how to keep their movements graceful and elegant, what kind of expression they should have on their face when interacting with people, what kind of clothes they should wear on different occasions——all of this must be paid with particular attention.
Chu Lin was a gongzi who was trained in this way.
He was born in Changshu. The Chu family in Changshu might not be one of the largest and most powerful families, but they had a hundred years of family history. The Chu family were not daring or courageous and could be called prudent and cautious. Whenever there was a decision to be made, the whole family would gather to discuss and discuss. Often by the time they came to a conclusion the dishes had already all cooled.
But this also brought them benefits, such as not making mistakes. So after so many years, the Chu family had not experienced any storms.
After Lin Yuan took over Changshu, the family also began to discuss among themselves. They wanted to please Lin Yuan, not mentioning gaining any benefits but at least enough to have Lin Yuan not target their family. So whether it was money or food, so long as the above showed any hints of it they would quickly send it over.
Accordingly, when they heard that Lin Yuan liked men they immediately gave Lin Yuan their best-looking son.
The underlying meaning in the gift was: “This son has no great abilities, he is not a clever man, but he is good-looking and doesn’t cause trouble. He can serve as a tea pourer by your side, or do other things. It’s up to you. Whatever you ask him to do he will do it.”
The feeling was quite a bit like a strong man cutting his wrist.
Lin Yuan didn’t believe it at first. This family was actually willing to send their son away as a plaything?
Didn’t the ancients take their face and pride very seriously?
Song Shizhao cleared it up for him.
“Dong Xian and Emperor Han Ai left a cut-sleeved story back then, and Dong Xian also presented his wife to Emperor Han Ai.” Song Shizhao laughed, “That is also a good story that captures the imagination.” (TN: cut-sleves=homosexual)
Lin Yuan: “…..Mister is joking, it’s just folklore.”
If Emperor Han Ai really had something with Dong Xian, it would prove that he was in good physical condition. How could he not give birth to a single child in his entire life? Lin Yuan felt that the so-called homosexuality was just a cover for Han Ai’s “impotence”.
If Emperor Han Ai really slept with Dong Xian’s wife, then Dong Xian’s wife should have grown a big belly, right? But that did not happen either.
This story was meant to say that Emperor Ai of Han was not a “cripple”, he just had a different sexual orientation from most people.
Song Shizhao mentioned another story from the history books: “In order to win Qi Huan’s love, Yi Ya chopped his young son into minced meat and made meatballs to serve to Qi Huan. This Chu family is nothing compared to that. “
Lin Yuan sighed: “The human heart.”
For status and personal interests and benefits.
These upper-class families could abandon everything, including their own children, and they could even give away their wives.
It was not just gifting away concubines, but gifting away their legally married wife. You must know, this was practically tearing off one’s face and inviting people to step on it.
They were willing to give up their wife, let alone their son.
In this regard, Lin Yuan felt that they were not as good as the common people who could not read a single word.
Originally, Lin Yuan thought that the Chu family was being humble. After all, anyone who saw Chu Lin would think that this was a handsome young man with a jade face and bearing of a phoenix or dragon. Every gesture he made was saturated with the elegance of a refined and cultured gongzi. The maids in the government office would blush when they saw him, and unconsciously began to pay attention to their appearance. In fact, even some of the manservants would blush when they saw him.
But Chu Lin was indeed a dumb beauty.
He was talented and learned, but he didn’t know how to use his talents and knowledge in practical ways. It was just a tool to increase his social value.
But he was very likable. Even if he didn’t say anything, the people who talked to him would be driven to keep the conversation going.
This could be considered a skill.
Lin Yuan had him receive guests. These guests included big merchants and patriarchs of big families, and then——half of these people wanted to steal him away. Even saying such words like: “If Lin grants this request of mine, I will muster up the whole power of my family to supply any pleasures you desire.”
Among them was a big merchant named Qi. He fell in love with Chu Lin sincerely. In order to see Chu Lin, he would frequently bring gifts to Lin Yuan every three to five days. There was no other way as he didn’t have any government affairs, and small business matters were not brought to Lin Yuan and was even more unlikely to be taken care of by Chu Lin so he could only pay for gifts out of his own pocket.
Chu Lin himself didn’t know any of this.
When he was sent to Lin Yuan by his family, he didn’t know what he was actually here for.
No one in the family told him, nor did the people at the government office tell him. He also didn’t have much contact with the outside so he really thought he was here to serve as a servant for Lin Yuan.
Even though he believed in his own superiority, he also knew that even those who were superior in their talents were also subordinate to people in power. As a result, he came without any resistance.
Then he began to receive merchants and patriarchs of large households. Chu Lin felt that he was appreciated by Lin Yuan, so he frequently showed his face in front of Lin Yuan from time to time, just like a peacock showing off its feathers. He just barely refrained from singing at the top of his lungs and letting Lin Yuan know that he still had a lot more abilities.
Sometimes when Lin Yuan saw him acting like a puppy currying favor from him, he would often get the urge to go up and squeeze his face.
Lin Yuan held back.
At the same time, Lin Yuan began to reflect on himself.
Sure enough, men had no moral principles. So long as they look good, they basically weren’t picky whether the target was a man or a woman.
Hmm…..he himself was a man of no moral principles.
Then, Lin Yuan gave Chu Lin more public roles. He began to pass on Lin Yuan’s decree. Seeing this, outsiders, especially the people from large families, felt that being a “male pet” was also a way to climb the social ladder! Such a matter of passing on government orders appeared to be a trivial matter, but it also meant that he could know Lin Yuan’s movements at the earliest possible.
For families, knowing the intentions of those in power meant that they could react more quickly, scratch the itch of those in power in the best manner possible, and then enter the sights of those in power and become favored.
Wasn’t this real power?
As a result, they——collectively sent their sons over.
And all of them were good-looking.
Vigorous youth and beautiful young men. There were ones with faces that were as handsome as Pan An and ones with graceful and elegant demeanors. There were all types, any kind that could be imagined, all of whom were attractive in their own ways. (TN: Pan An=famous male beauty in Chinese history)
It made Lin Yuan seriously happy.
“Originally I had been thinking that there were too few usable people.” Lin Yuan said to Song Shizhao, “I feel much more at ease now.”
These people might not be suitable for being officials, but they all possessed real talents. At least their repertoire of knowledge was enough. Even if they could not be officials, they were absolutely enough to spread culture and ethics among the common people.
What’s more, there were already too few people that he could use, and he was reluctant to let these people remain hidden at home.
But Song Shizhao sighed: “This subordinate had never expected you to have so many calculations.”
It was just an interest in men. Something that could provide material for conversations and gossip, but who would have thought that just because of this, there were more young and strong men under the rule of the South Bodhisattva. Not only that, it also managed to lure out the next generation of those big families who had hid them so well at home.
Taking one step and looking at a hundred steps ahead. Song Shizhao bowed towards Lin Yuan: “The strength of the South Bodhisattva’s mind and the intricacy of your planning makes this subordinate happy to pledge my allegiance.”
Lin Yuan smiled at him: “It’s only a small trick. Mister, Toqto’a was relieved of his military power.”
The current emperor in Dadu was mentally retarded. To be precise, most of the entire court of civil and military officials were mentally retarded. Because they were afraid that the leading general would rebel in this troubled time they took the military power away from Toqto’a. As a result the large Yuan army broke up in an instant, and from then on, the Yuan army had no more power to contend with the rebels.
Song Shizhao: “South Bodhisattva means….”
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “Mister, would you be able to recruit him?”
Song Shizhao looked at Lin Yuan’s eyes.
At this moment, his blood was boiling in excitement!
But Song Shizhao quickly calmed down: “After all, he is a Mongolian…..” How could he be willing to do things for the Han?
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “Am I just fighting the Yuan army?”
Song Shizhao’s eyes widened.
He stood upright and straightened his clothes. Then he knelt down towards Lin Yuan: “This official will succeed with this person!”
He heard the South Bodhisattva above say to him: “Then I shall depend on Mister.”
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Song Shizhao was prostrated on the ground. The South Bodhisattva gave him opportunities to show his strengths, in return even if he was called to be the devil’s blade, he would still be willing!
AN: Among the common people:
“I heard that the most favored person at the South Bodhisattva’s side is the son of the Chu family.”
“I imagine he must be very good in bed!”
“His figure must be the best!”
The Chu Family:
“What? Request marriage?”
“Is he crazy?! Want to marry my son?!”
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