Qin Huai Ba Yan Liu Rushi (obviously stronger than men, but reduced to a supporting role in history: famous prostitutes who want to commit suicide and die for their country and her husband who is unwilling to obey)

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In 1642, at the end of the Ming Dynasty, a wedding boat swayed with the waves on the river in Fucheng (Songjiang District, Shanghai, China today). It should have added more festive atmosphere to this bustling city. After all, it represents a formal union of men and women, which is worth celebrating.

Strangely, however, the people on the shore did not seem to think so. They shouted angrily around the boat and threw bricks and stones one after another. In a moment, the boat was almost submerged by the malicious rubble, and there was no joy of wedding.

Those who threw tiles and stones were not ordinary local ruffians, but officials and gentry in the area of Fuzheng. Why are these high-profile figures so hostile to the newlyweds?

It turns out that the identity of the couple today is quite unusual

The man is Qian Qianyi, a 60 year old Donglin Party official who is still alive. And the object of such a great man to marry openly was a 24-year-old well-known prostitute who had been a maid, Liu Rushi. High officials openly marry prostitutes? This is simply shocking. Their status is so different. It is no wonder that they will attract strong disgust from the ethical society.

However, if Liu Rushi was afraid of these tiles and stones, she would not be Liu Rushi.


Liu Rushi, also known as “Hedong Jun”, is the portrait of Madam Hedong painted by Wu Zhuo in the Qing Dynasty.

This strange woman, who was sold at birth and had to fall into the dust, but actively resisted the devastation of fate and finally lived her life as a leading role on the historical stage, would not bow to the attack of local officials. Her ambition, however, is big enough to accommodate the tragedy of the collapse of the whole country. She runs for the desire to restore the country and sacrifices her life for her beloved husband and family.

Do you think she cares about the malice of the rubble?

At the beginning of the show, he started the first relationship with Chen Zilong

Before becoming Qian Qianyi’s partner, Liu Rushi was once a famous prostitute in the south of the Yangtze River. He was also known as “eight beauties of Qinhuai River” together with other famous prostitutes. However, behind this seemingly beautiful title, I do not know how much bitterness is hidden. The reason why Liu Rushi became a famous prostitute was not the result of free choice, but the inevitable fate – she was separated from her native family very early and sold to the slave market. Later, she was adopted by Xu fo, a famous prostitute, and embarked on the road of prostitute.


“Eight beauties of Qinhuai River” is the general name of eight famous prostitutes along the Qinhuai River in the late Ming Dynasty, including Liu Rushi. The picture shows chenyuanyuan, known as “the first beauty in the late Ming Dynasty”, who is one of the most famous figures in the eight beauties of Qinhuai.

Fortunately, the vagrant life did not kill Liu Rushi’s will and made her drift with the tide; On the contrary, she appears stronger and more independent. One advantage of engaging in the sex industry in the late Ming Dynasty was that compared with the famous women who followed the etiquette, Liu Rushi had more freedom so that she could develop her own interpersonal network without being constrained. For example, she doesn’t like to associate with rich businessmen. Liu Rushi likes literati with rich education. If she doesn’t have enough education and wealth, she will despise it.

Liu Rushi has been in contact with many scholars. Before meeting Qian Qianyi, the most famous thing is her love affair with chenzilong. Chenzilong had high achievements in poetry and writing, and his character was also quite strong. His final outcome was that he repeatedly took up the army to resist the Qing Dynasty. After being arrested, he threw himself into the river and died. Although chenzilong had not had a chance to prove his loyalty in the Ming Dynasty, Liu Rushi must have seen this temperament from him. Only then could they fall in love with each other. For a time, they lived happily together in the South Building of Songjiang (i.e. Fuzheng) and sang poems every day. What a pair of immortal couples.

Unfortunately, this relationship may only be cherished by the two of them; In the eyes of chenzilong and Yuanpei Zhang, their love is as eye-catching as a thorn. Zhang did not want chenzilong to enjoy the happiness of the whole people and obstructed his relationship with Liu Rushi. Finally, Liu Rushi had to choose to leave on his own and let chenzilong return to his family, drawing a regretful end for the two.


Chenzilong, who is said to have had a relationship with Liu Rushi. Perhaps because of the status of a famous prostitute, Liu Rushi always plays the role of a junior in the relationship.

Is Liu Rushi destined to bear the sad ending of love? Fortunately, she never gave in, let alone gave up, and fate will eventually leave a window for strong people.

In 1638, at the age of only 20, Liu Rushi met Qian Qianyi, a literary leader and a senior official in the court. Although the other was old enough to be her father, she saw from Qian Qianyi excellent upbringing and noble personality. Another section of Liu Rushi’s life is an important fate, which begins here.

Cross the gap between identity and age, and fall in love with Qian Qianyi on an equal footing

After the first meeting, Liu Rushi and Qian Qianyi were amazed at each other’s talent and learning and never forgot. Two years later, the two met again. This time, Liu Rushi disguised himself as a man to visit Qian Qianyi. This move shows not only a unique interest, but also that Liu Rushi wants to be on an equal footing with male scholars. She wants the other party to see that she is not only the object of scholars’ passion, but also a scholar who can communicate with them. Her thoughts and insights are no less than those of men.


The portrait of Hedong monarch by Qian Du in the Qing Dynasty. Liu Rushi, disguised as a man, may brighten the eyes of Qian Qianyi, who is over 50 years old.

Qian Qianyi obviously received this message. He not only fell in love with Liu Rushi, but also respected her. He also built a residence called “I smell room”, which echoes Liu Rushi’s name in the common Buddhist language of “so I smell”.

There is a big difference in their age and status, but they can know and cherish each other. It must be said that it is a very rare fate. Liu Rushi felt Qian Qianyi’s deep affection and was willing to marry him who was almost three times her age. Qian Qianyi is not careless. Although he still has a main room, he doesn’t want to treat Liu Rushi as a concubine. He treated her in a courteous manner and asked his family to call Liu Rushi “madam” and not to be slighted.

Their combination touched the sensitive nerves of the ethical society. Many people regarded it as a shocking move and strongly opposed a famous Confucian official who married a woman who was born a prostitute regardless of her identity and treated her as a wife. But who cares what these people say? For Liu Rushi and Qian Qianyi, the greatest test of their feelings may not be the prejudice of the ethical society, but –

The country is dying. Who wants to take care of the strange news about prostitutes becoming official wives?


Qian Qianyi, who met Liu Rushi, not only married, but was three rounds older than Liu Rushi, but they still fell in love at first sight. ?Source:wikipedia?public domain?

Two years after their marriage, the Ming Dynasty ushered in the end of their fate. Emperor Chongzhen hanged himself in Meishan in 1644. In this wave of destruction, at least dozens of officials and hundreds of eunuchs and palace maids committed suicide, and more than 700 Confucian scholars and gentry in various places committed suicide. Although Qian Qianyi took his family to Nanjing to serve as an official in the Southern Ming Dynasty, he could not change the fate that the Ming Dynasty would soon be completely buried in the hands of the Qing army.

Liu Rushi, with a strong disposition, was also deeply shaken by the tragedy of the fall of the Ming Dynasty. Originally, she was very concerned about world affairs, and even wrote poems to imitate the spirit of men carrying swords and serving the country. However, under the pressure of the times, she could not do anything positive. The only choice is to die at this tragic moment.

Liu Rushi tried to persuade Qian Qianyi to commit suicide and die with her, but perhaps out of cowardice or other considerations, Qian Qianyi did not intend to choose the route of martyrdom to show his loyalty to the Ming Dynasty. An anecdote even says that when Liu Rushi asked Qian Qianyi to dive, he measured the water temperature by hand and said, “the water is too cold.”; Liu Rushi decides to throw himself into the water, but Qian Qianyi hugs her and stops her from dying.

Soon after the Qing army conquered Nanjing, Qian Qianyi and the surviving officials of the Southern Ming Dynasty shaved their hair and surrendered. I don’t know what Liu Rushi would say about her husband who didn’t want to die for his country? They have so different views on the great event of national ruin, can they still be as congenial as in the past?

The heart that wants to protect the home is stronger than the golden stone

Despite the opposition between thought and action, Liu Rushi, as Qian Qianyi’s wife, still deeply cherishes this relationship; In the face of life and death, she did not hesitate to protect her husband at the expense of her life. In 1647, Qian Qianyi was arrested for his involvement in the anti Qing case of Huang Yuqi, and his life was in danger. Liu Rushi personally accompanied the escorted husband and wrote a letter to the emperor, saying that he was willing to die instead of his husband, just to save Qian Qianyi’s life.

Finally, under Liu Rushi’s active running, Qian Qianyi was released the next year and returned home safely. He was very grateful to Liu Rushi for his efforts to save him. For this reason, he sent out a pair of sons: “lament that Linjiang has no filial son, and have a good wife when going through difficulties.” When he was in danger, his son had no road use at all. Instead, Liu Rushi, who suffered from social discrimination, saved Qian Qianyi’s life with the help of women. How can you not be appreciated for being so virtuous; How can we not feel such kindness?

Although Qian Qianyi did not die for his country when the city of Nanjing was destroyed, his heart still turned to the Ming Dynasty. Under the influence of Liu Rushi, although the couple lived in the society ruled by the Qing Dynasty, they privately engaged in the work of fighting against the Qing Dynasty and restoring the Ming Dynasty. It is said that they have always kept in touch with the anti Qing forces. In this life, they can not reverse the fact that Ming died, but their ambition has never been extinguished.

Time is merciless. No matter how much ambition people have, they can’t escape the end of death. Qian Qianyi died at the age of 82 in 1664, leaving Liu Rushi, 46, and their daughter. It’s painful enough to lose a loved one, but Liu Rushi also encountered a more thorny problem, that is, the people of the Qian family came to her to fight for Qian Qianyi’s family property. Seeing that their orphans and widows were bullied, they pestered and insisted on demanding money.

In order to protect his own daughter and keep Qian Qianyi’s other children and family property, Liu Rushi chose the most drastic means to respond to this group of people who were open to money. She hanged herself 34 days after Qian Qianyi’s death in order to clear her mind and get rid of the entanglement of these relatives forever – she had no chance to die for her country in the past, but her life was ultimately to protect her home and leave the world in a heroic way.

Epilogue: Who is the protagonist of history?

In the traditional patriarchal Chinese social culture, Liu Rushi, as a prostitute, is bound to become a supporting role for men. Until the time of Liang Qichao, he still commented on Liu Rushi: “Liu Rushi, chenyuanyuan and Gu Hengbo among prostitutes in the late Ming Dynasty were excellent supporting roles in history.”

Even if, even if the temperament of these women is stronger than that of men, and their talent is more noble than that of men, they will still be relegated to “supporting roles in history”.

However, the historian chenyinque did not think so. With solid research, he wrote a very long biography of Liu Rushi for Liu Rushi, constantly praising Liu Rushi as the most transcendent person in female thought at that time. Although, in this praise, does Chen Yinque really admire the greatness of this wonderful woman, or does he intend to use Liu Rushi, who has a bright color of fighting against the Qing Dynasty and restoring the Ming Dynasty, to metaphor some political feelings that he cannot speak in reality? We don’t know.


Liu Rushi’s farewell biography is chenyinque’s masterpiece after he became blind. The whole book has 800000 words and was completed orally by chenyinque. Did Chen Yinque, who insisted on writing such a large book in his later years, have ulterior motives?

In any case, Liu Rushi is indeed a strange woman beyond the control of fate. She suffered a lot but still did not change her ambition. She has the ambition to protect the country and personally protect her family and love. In the end, fate may still have a cruel and difficult side, but it is reflected by Liu Rushi’s will. Beyond the barriers of gender, nationality, and time and space, Liu Rushi is fully qualified to be the protagonist of history.

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