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Title: “Giving up Life for Lust” 貪色忘命
Year: 1896 Volume: 7 Page Number: 16

Caption Translation: The summer heat is muggy but it gets cooler when night falls. Frivolous young men usually bring with them a woman of pleasure, ride handsome ponies, wield their whips, enjoying themselves outdoors. Surrounded by the dust of this world, they pursue dreams of love. Sometimes their carnal ecstasy ends very badly. Ah, why do these hungry ghosts immersed in lust wantonly give up their lives? A few nights ago, one such libertine was riding in a carriage with an elegant courtesan around Jing’an Temple to enjoy the fresh air. While the carriage passed through the Wang Neighborhood, the warm breeze and the bright moon aroused their desires. They embraced and made love passionately. Just as he was about to climax, the man smiled and took an aphrodisiac drug just like the Cheng Emperor of the Han Dynasty used to do. His semen started to gush out instantly. The courtesan panicked and screamed at the top of her lungs. Her maid, running behind the carriage, was experienced with this sort of thing. When she heard what was happening, she first told the coachman to stop and then told her mistress to bite the man’s lip. Yet in confusion, she bit off the tip of the man’s nose instead.

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The man screamed, “It hurts like hell” and passed out. It was long before the man came to himself again. He was propped up and taken home. We don’t know if he will fully recover. Let this be a warning to those who indulge in carnal pleasure so much as to disregard their own lives!

Translator: Huang Tiying,
revised by Peter C. Perdue

Caption Text:
溽暑未消, 夜涼如洗。 少年輕薄之輩往往偕美妓, 駕名駒, 一鞭斜指, 笑逐西郊, 輒於車塵馬足之間, 作神女襄王之會。 偶或情濃興極, 每必誤事喪身。 吁, 其真色中之餓鬼, 歎何竟甘為亡命之徒也。 前晚有狎客某甲與公陽里某校書同坐轎式馬車, 至靜安寺一帶納涼迎爽。 行至王家厙地方, 風清月朗, 淫興勃然, 不覺相偎相倚, 顛鵉倒鳳, 恣意輕狂, 詎當一洩為注之時, 忽如漢成帝之服海外慎卹膏, 笑吃之, 元精流洩不止。 校書大驚, 失聲狂叫時, 有女傭坐在車後, 固箇中斲輪老手也, 聞殾急令停車, 令校書速將客之人中咬定。 校書倉皇之際悮將客之鼻尖咬下。 客痛極呼曰, 「痛死我也。 」昏暈良久, 始漸蘇醒。 扶臥送歸, 不知能保無碍否。 然世之貪色忘身者亦可以戒矣。

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illustrations from the 1898 edition of the
Dianshizhai huabao, generously provided by
the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
© 2015 Visualizing Cultures

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“Giving up Life for Lust” 貪色忘命 1896 (page 16)

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