The Story of Nuptial Gallery was written by Ling Wang of the sixteenth century. Adapted from an earlier play called The Story of the Ruined Shed, the play depicts Liu Qianjin, daughter of the prime minister, who offered her nuptial ribbon ball to Lu Mengzheng, an impoverished scholar, and chose him as her husband. Liu’s decision angers her father, and she and Lu are evicted from her father’s residence. Later Lu devotes himself to studying, passes the civil examination, and eventually reunites the family.
Traces in the Snow
Traces in the Snow is set after Liu and Lu’s eviction when they stay in a dilapidated shed. Abysmally poor, they survive on donated food Lu manages to obtain from a nearby temple. One snowy day while Lu is out at the temple to retrieve food, Liu’s mother sends a butler and maidservant who bring rice, coals, and money to the shed and help alleviate their hardship. When Lu returns, he sees a man’s footprints in the snow, which leads him to doubt his wife’s fidelity to him. When he enters home, his suspicion increases further as Liu brings out rice porridge for him to eat. The misunderstanding provokes a quarrel between husband and wife. After Liu explains what happened, Lu apologizes and asks for forgiveness.