Hsüan Kiang was a princess of Khî, who, towards the close of the seventh century B.C., became wife to the marquis of Wei, known as duke Hsüan. She was beautiful and unfortunate, but various things are related of her indicative of the grossest immoralities prevailing in the court of Wei.
How rich and splendid Is her pheasant-figured
robe 1! Her black hair in masses like clouds, No false locks does she descend to. There are her earplugs of jade, Her comb-pin of ivory, And her high forehead, so white. She appears like a visitant from heaven! She appears like a goddess 2.
436:1 The lady is introduced arrayed in the gorgeous robes worn by the princess of a state in the ancestral temple.
436:2 P. Lacharme translated these two concluding lines by 'Tu primo aspectu coelos (pulchritudine), et imperatorem (majestate) adaequas,' without any sanction of the Chinese critics; and moreover there was no Tî ( ) in the sense of imperator then in China. The sovereigns of Kâu were Wang or kings. Kû Hsî expands the lines thus:--'Such is the beauty of her robes and appearance, that beholders are struck with awe, as if she were a spiritual being.' Hsü Khien (Yüan dynasty) deals with them thus:--With such splendour of beauty and dress, how is it that she is here? She has come down from heaven I She is a spiritual being!'