A Story about a Prearranged Marriage

Yi Dou

PureInsight | July 16, 2006

[PureInsight.org] Yao Xiong, an army official in the Song Dynasty, once
made an agreement with the chief of a mountain fort to marry his
daughter to the chief's son. But soon afterwards the chief passed away
suddenly. His wife and son became destitute and people no longer knew
their whereabouts.

Years later, Yao Xiong became a high-ranking general guarding the
border. Once, on his way to the capital to report to the emperor, he
saw an old lady washing clothes next to the road. He noticed how
elegant she appeared, and went over to chat with her. The old lady told
him, "My husband guarded a fort near the border when he was alive. He
had made an agreement with a general with the surname of Yao to marry
my son to his daughter. But after my husband passed away, we were
unable to live there and forced to wander about in destitute. We now
live here selling bread for a living."   

Yao Xiong asked her: "Do you still remember what General Yao looks
like?" The lady said, "We have been wandering about in destitution and
thus can no longer remember how he looks." Yao Xiong said, "I am Yao
Xiong. Since we made the agreement, I have never thought of marrying my
daughter to someone else. My daughter has also been longing for her
future husband day and night. How can we annul the marriage agreement
just because the groom's father passed away?" The old woman cried for a
long time without being able to say anything. Yao Xiong told the old
woman's  son to change into new clothes. They went to the border
where Yao's family lived and held the marriage ceremony between General
Yao's daughter and the poor boy.

Our forefathers believed that "the destiny that brings together lovers
who live far apart is connected by a single thread." Today's people
treat marriage far less seriously. Those who want to get divorced
simply say, "Our feelings towards each other are no longer there."
Stories like that of  General Yao's daughter have become legends.

(From Words and Deeds of Divination and Retrospection)

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