Folk Ghost Stories

During the Ming Dynasty, in a remote village outside Suzhou, there was an unusual farmhouse. The house was built near a bamboo forest. There were flower paths and ponds in the front, rockeries and pavilions in the back. The forest was deep and dense with bamboos, like a bamboo forest. The quiet temple. The owner of the house is named Shen Zhou, who is best known for his poetry, calligraphy and painting. The famous romantic talents in history, Tang Bohu and Wen Zhengming, all came from his sect. Shen Zhou came from a scholarly family, but it was not easy to be an official, but he only liked to pay attention to the mountains and rivers. The people who came here to be guests were naturally "there are scholars who talk and laugh, but no white people who come and go". He moved his family here from Suzhou City specifically to avoid the noise of the secular world and seek peace and quiet. However, the trees wanted to be quiet but the wind did not stop. On this day, a rapid knock on the door broke the usual tranquility of the countryside.

The visitor was dressed in green clothes and dressed like a yamen servant. When he spoke, his eyebrows were raised and his voice was raised: "Are you Shen Zhou?" The prefect has ordered you to work in the city and paint for the prefect. Come with us now. &rdquo

Shen Yiyi was stunned, but then he hurriedly stepped forward and begged: "Please keep your voice down and don't disturb my old mother." Let's do this. I'll go early and come back late. I'll paint on time and make sure there's no delay. &rdquo

The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong

It turns out that a new governor, Cao, came to Suzhou City and built a new house. After it was completed, he ordered famous local painters to be recruited to decorate the space between the couplets and beams. As a result, some officials in the yamen who were jealous of Shen Zhou had the idea to include his name in it, and let the dignified painter do the work of a small laborer, which would be considered a humiliation for him.

After the officials left, the friends who were guests at Shen Zhou's house were indignant: "This new eunuch doesn't know your name, sir, otherwise how could he dare to belittle you like this?" I think it would be better for you to ask the dignitaries of the day and ask them to intercede, so as not to do that despicable job. &rdquo

The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong

What my friend said was true. I thought about what kind of person Shen Zhou was. He traveled to Nanjing at the age of 15 and wrote hundreds of rhyme poems. Cui Gong, the governor, was so surprised that he couldn't believe it, so he summoned him to test him face to face with the title "Phoenix Terrace Ode". of literary talent. Shen Zhou "quickly wrote, and his words were brilliant". Cui Gong was so impressed that he called him Wang Bo's resurrection. In the fourth year of Jingtai (1453) , the ghost monk talked about the novel Qi Yiqiong . Wang Hu, the prefect of Suzhou, appreciated Shen Zhou's talent and learning and recommended him to be a good scholar. The door to his official career was opened. Shen Zhou used divination to obtain the "Nine Five" of "escape", and retired to A good name, a firm speech recommendation, a recreational painting, a poem and a poem. His paintings changed from the slender and restrained style since the early Ming Dynasty. They were bold, majestic, and freehand, setting the precedent for a generation of painting style. People at that time, whether they were literati, celebrities, or high-ranking officials, were all honored to have a copy of Shen Zhou's handwriting.

With such a status, he has to be reduced to a slave-like painter. No wonder his friends are so angry. Unexpectedly, Shen Zhou smiled calmly and replied: "I am just a commoner. It is my duty to be recruited by the government to serve. What's the despicable thing about it?" If I were asked to beg those powerful people to be exempted from military service, that would be true contempt! &rdquo

The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong

After that, Shen Zhou went to work in the prefect's mansion every day. Together with many painters, he painted beams, painted columns, and decorated murals. He didn't feel humiliated at all. He went out early and came back late, enjoying it. He worked for several months. After the decoration was completed, Governor Cao came to inspect it in person. He was very happy to see that Shen Zhou had done a great job and even rewarded him with a few coins. Shen Zhou bowed and thanked him.

Soon, Governor Cao went to the capital to report on his work. After talking about his work, the official who listened to the report casually asked: "How is Mr. Shen's health lately?" ” Prefect Cao didn’t know what he was talking about, but he sounded familiar to him, and he didn’t dare to ask Qi Yiqiong in detail, so he could only answer vaguely: “He is in good health!” The next day, Grand Administrator Cao went to visit Li Dongyang, the cabinet scholar. Li Dongyang was a little distracted, but he asked him alone: ​​"Does Mr. Shen have a letter for you to bring?" Governor Cao was at a loss and could only reply: "There is a letter, but it hasn't been delivered yet." ” He really couldn’t figure out where Mr. Shen came from to make the senior officials in the capital miss him so much.

The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong

After hurriedly exiting, Cao Taishou hurriedly visited his good friend Wu Kuan, the minister, and asked him: "Who is Mr. Shen?" ” Wu Shilang told him Shen Zhou’s situation in detail. When he returned to his residence, he asked the entourage who had come to Beijing with him and found out that Mr. Shen was the painter who painted the walls for him. Upon hearing this, Governor Cao was so frightened that he was sweating profusely. He was really ignorant and had humiliated a famous person. The most terrible thing is that I talked nonsense in front of Academician Li. If there is no letter, how can I explain to my boss?

When Grand Administrator Cao returned to Suzhou from the capital, he didn't even dare to go back home. He went straight to Shen Zhou's house to visit, apologized repeatedly, blamed himself, and sincerely requested to stay for a meal and a glass of wine. Shen Zhou had no choice but to treat each other with simple meals, and Cao Cao was flattered. After the meal, there was inevitably another letter asking for help, and someone was sent to the capital overnight.

The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong_The ghost monk talks about the novel Qi Yiqiong

People at the time commented on Shen Zhou as "carefree and detached, forgetting both fame and fortune." Indeed, although he was extremely lofty, he was approachable. Even if vendors, farmers, herdsmen, etc. came to ask for paintings from him, he would never refuse. Even if someone brought a fake painting and asked him to write an inscription, he would be happy to do so. Yes.

According to legend, there was a poor scholar whose mother was seriously ill and had no money to treat her, so he carefully copied one of his paintings and asked for an inscription, so that he could sell it for a few bucks. He was very sympathetic when he saw this, so he slightly modified the painting, inscribed it with a title, and stamped it, and it sold for a high price.

No matter where he goes, people are always "walking outdoors" asking for paintings. Once while traveling to the West Lake, I stayed at a monk's residence in Baoshifeng Peak. People came in droves asking for paintings. My friend wrote a poem with emotion: "Sending paper to the door and asking for pictures, the monk's residence has no place to escape from the mortal world." To return to the east to collect the debt from traveling to the south, he must transform into a golden immortal worth tens of billions. "Maybe because of this, there are many fake paintings handed down from Shen Zhou, which to a certain extent also affects the market value of his works. But for Shen Zhou, what is the meaning of all this?

From a master who is famous all over the world and admired by everyone, to being treated as an ordinary painter all of a sudden, the gap is too big. However, Shen Zhou's "sudden encounter without being surprised, and without getting angry for no reason" reflects the character of Shen Zhou. The precious qualities of a master. Generally speaking, a painter can tolerate being treated like a master, but when a master is treated like a painter, it is often intolerable. This is a watershed. The difference between a master and a painter is not only in the skill of painting, but also in the mind and tolerance towards fame and fortune.

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