The Prestigious Family's Young Lady and the Farmer - Chapter 13 part 1
- The Prestigious Family's Young Lady and the Farmer
- Chapter 13 part 1 - Teizhu goes up the mountain
Translated by: Sunshine
At night, the Yang family turned off the lights to retire for the night.
In the east room, Yang Tie Shuan and Wang shi lay down on the kang intending to sleep.
Wang shi’s heart was in a mess. She couldn’t fall asleep, no matter how she tried to sleep as she tossed and turned on top of the kang.
She then jabbed Yang Tieshuan, “This second younger brother is going to get married, what shall we do from hereon?”
Yang Tieshuan was barely able to fall asleep but was wakened up at once. He became jittery and pushed her hand that was jabbing him, “Second brother is taking a wife, how would it affect us later on? What shall we do about what? What ought to be done is to be done!”
Pretend, you go ahead and pretend! Wang shi rolled her eyes in the dark.
If the second younger brother gets married, in the future, the money that needs to be handed over to the public funds would be reduced by half.
The Yang family was not divided. In the family, there were married sons as well as a few unmarried sons. Therefore, a rule was set stating that the family’s land must be cultivated and harvested by everyone together. Usually, everyone had a meal together, and the money was not divided between each and every room, whereas the expenses for the family’s daily expenditures were from public funds.
Usually, on the leisure days from farming, the men would go out for a few days to do some odd jobs. For this sort of income, the unmarried men hand over all of their income to the public funds, while the married men hand over half of the income.
How much money can one earn from doing odd jobs? The Yang family’s main source of income was from Yang Teizhu’s occasional visits to the mountain, and once in a while, there would be a few taels of silver. Thus days in the Yang family, compared to the other peasant households, who solely rely on the harvest from their farms to eat, can be considered slightly comfortable.
Of course, this is also merely a little bit comfortable. After all, their family also raises ‘xucai’, the fourth child. All-day long, he doesn’t do any work, and only reads Books of sages1. There’s also shixiu that needs to be paid from time to time, and not to forget pens, ink, paper and inkstone also need to be bought. Occasionally silver is also needed to bribe before the exam.
In the future, there will be less money handed over to the public funds from the second child. With this many mouths in the family to feed, they still have to provide for the freeloading-to-be-xucai2. One could imagine that the pressure on the public funds would get bigger and bigger. Originally the second eldest had solely undertaken this pressure, but now this responsibility would have to be assumed by all the three rooms. With great difficulty, they were finally able to save a bit of private savings, but now they might have to give it…
Wang shi did not believe that Yang Tieshuan could not understand her concern.
At the thought of being watched by a pair of keen eyes all day long from now on, hoping to gouge speck of blood from their body, Wang shi couldn’t help but shudder and became sleepless.
The next day, early in the morning, while eating breakfast, at the dining table Yang Teizhu after thinking for a while, said that he wanted to hold a wedding ceremony3 and marry Lin Qingwan.
After all this fuss, when all was said and done, he still needs to get married.
“To invite a sedan chair? And have wine?” At Yang Teizhu’s words, He shi slapped the pair of chopsticks on the table. “No! You see which family spends money on a bought daughter-in-law back in this way after all the trouble. Is it all not to make her do work in the house.” One need not worship her as such.
Yang Tiezhu frowned, but his attitude was unusually firm. “Anyway, I don’t want to bring a person back home and take a wife casually. I will officially marry her according to the etiquette.”
Eldest sister-in-law Wang shi beside him interjected, “Second younger brother, the mother is right. Which family buys a daughter-in-law back and escorts them in a bridal sedan chair to marry and also arrange wine?” Isn’t that all money, and it was not like she was an unmarried young miss from some affluent family.
In Wang shi’s perception, or in general villagers’ perception, the young women who are usually bought are not good.
Either missing an arm and having a broken leg, or with a foolish brain and blind. If not they were a servant girl bedded by a man in a wealthy family and so on. Anyway, not a single one of them was normal. Some nearby families bought a wife like this.
Only those who were poor at home and couldn’t afford to marry a wife buy a woman to take as a wife, as they could not afford silver for betrothal gift.
It wasn’t her concern whether Yang Teie Zhu would lose his face when this matter would be spread. Anyway, she would not agree to give money from the public funds for the second brother’s marriage. She would have to stir him up and have this matter fall through.
Yang Tie Zhu didn’t utter a word, but he looked at He shi resolutely.
He shi immediately denied, “No. When this old woman had said it would not happen, then it would not happen.” There was no way she would fish the money out of her pocket.
Although the Yang family’s financial circumstances were pretty good, and the family also had more than ten acres of land. And every time during the leisure days, a few sons would go out to do a few odd jobs to supplement the family, but there was a scholar Yang Xue Zhang who can’t support the family.
Yang Xue Zhang studies in the town academy, and shuxiu needs to be paid every half a year. Every year a few tales of silver were required to pay for the shuxiu, and this was not including the other expenses such as pen, ink, paper, inkstone, and so on. All in all, for the Yang family, this was a huge expenditure. As a result, He shi had always been very tight with the silver in her hands.
Wang shi rolled her eyes, and hypocritically persuaded from the side, “That’s right, second younger brother, you also have to think about the family. The fourth brother has to pay for shuxiu. You also spent twenty taels of silver yesterday to buy a person. Ever since this house was built, we have been short on silver, you are also aware of this matter, you should not make things difficult for mother.” Her voice when saying ‘twenty taels of silver’ was unusually heavy.
Anyway, she would never agree to pay money from the public funds. She did’nt care who hands over more money to the public funds or who hands over less money. Moving the money from public funds is the same as cutting apart her flesh.
Including the twenty-two taels from yesterday, in Wang shi’s perspective, it was the same as cutting her flesh apart. Otherwise, she would not have come back and instigated He shi to make a fuss upon hearing the rumors outside.
Chapter 13 part 2 (Preview)
It was the same hunting. His eldest aunt would dissuade him all various ways, if she were unable to dissuade him, she would worry about his safety. Whereas his family members were never concerned about his safety, they couldn’t wait for him to go to the mountains every day and earn more silver for the family
Both of them were as different as sky and earth.
This was also the reason why Yang Tiezhu was close with Yang shi, not only because his eldest aunt breastfed him, but also because this kind of care from one’s close relatives he had never experienced from his family.
As you might have observed, I have started attaching the preview for the upcoming chapter at the end of each chapter for the last couple of chapters. I thought that in this way, you guys would have something to look forward to the next chapter, as I don’t post everyday. But do let me know if you guys are against it or have other suggestions in the comment box below.
Stay safe, and stay healthy!
P.S. Next chapter would be on Saturday.
- Books of sages(pinyin: shèngxiánshū) usually refer to the Five Classics (wujing) and Four Books (si shu), which collectively create the foundation of Confucianism. The Five Classics and Four Books were the basis of the civil examination in imperial China and can be considered the Confucian canon. The Five Classics consists of the Book of Odes, Book of Documents, Book of Changes, Book of Rites, and the Spring and Autumn Annals. The Four Books are comprised of the Doctrine of the Mean, the Great Learning, Mencius, and the Analects.
- a person who has passed the county level imperial exam
- marriage(pinyin: yíng qǔ), the bridegroom personally escorts the bride in a sedan chair and holds a wedding banquet with wine
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