Free Chinese Lesson - Chinese Reading: Tale of Peach Blossom Spring

桃花源记 (táo huā yuán jì)
Author: 陶渊明 (táo yuān míng)
Jin Dynasty, 晋朝 (jìn cháo)

晋太元中,武陵人捕鱼为业。缘溪行,忘路之远近。忽逢桃花林, 夹岸数百步,中无杂树,芳草鲜美,落英缤纷。渔人甚异之。复前行,欲穷其林。





During the Jin Dynasty's Taiyuan Period, there was a man from Wuling who made his living by fishing, he was traveling along a creek, with no sense of how far away he was from his original path. All of the sudden, he found a peach blossom grove, and on both sides across the creek with a hundred-feet wide land, no other trees but peach grew, the luxuriant grass was fresh and sweet, and petals fell in riotous profusion, the fisherman thought that this was strange. Going on forward, he passed through the whole grove.

Upon reaching the end of the grove, he came upon another mountain. There was a small hole in the mountain, and there seemed to be a light coming from it. So he left his boat, and entered the hole. The opening was so narrow, only one person could squeeze through it. Continuing on for over tens-of-feet distance, he found the view instantly clearing up. The land was spacious, houses were set out in neat order, there were fields, beautiful pools, with mulberry, bamboo and the like. Everywhere was well-connected with crisscrossing footpaths between fields, while chicken and dogs could be faintly heard. All the farmers were plowing, sowing or weeding back and forth, the clothing of men or women were similar to the people outside. The people, old and young, seemed happy and pleased with themselves.

Upon seeing the fisherman, they were terribly surprised, and asked where he came from. The fisherman answered their questions one by one. And then he was invited to visit their houses, feasting on their wine and chicken for dinner. As the news of the stranger in the village spread, all the villagers wanted to inquire about what had happened. The host told the stranger that his ancestors evaded the Qin Dynasty's social disorder amidst the turmoil of war, and brought their wives, children and good neighbors to this place, they never went out again, and were eventually separated from the human beings outside. While asking about which dynasty it was, the host did not know about the Han Dynasty, and knew even less about the Wei Dynasty or the Jin Dynasty. The fisherman told them what had taken place outside, and all of them sighed sadly. Besides the first household, the rest also invited him to visit their own houses respectively, entertaining him with food and drinks. He had stayed cordially for several days, and then he departed. The local people living in the utopia-like cave said to him: "Don't say anything about us to anyone outside. "

He went out, got into his boat, paddled the boat along the waterway, making a mark everywhere. Arriving at Wuling County, the fisherman visited the magistrate, reporting what he had seen. At once the prefecture official sent men to detect the exact cave according to the marks made by the fisherman, but they got confused, and failed to find the exact route.

Liu Ziji from Nanyang Town, who was a respectable scholar, upon hearing about this, eagerly tried to seek the place. But he sought in vain, and died of illness in the end. Afterwards, nobody made inquires about it.

  táo  / peach /

  táo  / (surname) / pleased / pottery /

晋 /   jìn  / name of a dynasty /

  yuán  / root / source / origin /

  líng  / mound / tomb / hill / mountain /

缘 /   yuán  / along / predestined affinity / reason / edge /

狭 /   xiá  / narrow / narrow-minded /

  qī  / creek /

qī  / creek /

属 /   shǔ  / belong to / category / be subordinate to / genus (taxonomy) / be born in the year of (one of the 12 animals) / family members / dependants /

  qín  / (surname) / name of a dynasty /

  wèi  / (surname) / name of a dynasty /

骥 /   jì  / thoroughbred horse / refined and virtuous /

  suì  / forthwith /

  lǜ  / rate / frequency /

shuài  / to lead / command /

  tiáo  / tufts of hair on children /