REPERTOIRE

Man Jiang Hong(满江红)

Source: 院办 Date: 2012-03-16

Man Jiang Hong

满江红

   In the early Southern Song Dynasty, the Jin State in the north mustered a mighty force to intrude Song again after occupying the Central Plains. Yue Fei led the Yue Army to rise and resist the intrusion, together with other generals. He contacted the volunteer troops along the Yellow River and the Huaihe River and told them to fight in support of his troops, which advanced northward and achieved one victory after another. After thrashing the elite troops of Jin, they reached the south bank of the Yellow River. People were fired up. The volunteer troops scattered in different areas all expressed their eagerness to fight under the banner of Yue. The situation seemed especially favorable for the crossing of the Yellow River and the recovery of the last land.

   To prevent their defeat, the rulers of the Jin regime played the peace talk trick. Through Qin Hui, the influential official they had won over, by manipulating Emperor Gaozong's implicit fear that, if the war against Jin was won, Emperor Qizong, his predecessor who had been held captive, would return and claim the throne, they affected the emperor and proposed a peace talk. Concurrently, Yue Fei and his troops were at a rally at a ferry point by the Yellow River, pledging their resolution to carry the northward expedition to the end. The general recited his newly composed poem, Man Jiang Hong, and was ready to cross the river. All of a sudden, the news came that Emperor Gaozong ordered the withdrawal of all the forces to participate the expedition. He issued 12 directives in succession within a day and ordered Yue Fei to return. At the news, people flooded in front of Yue’s horse and urged him to launch the expedition. The wail of soldiers and civilians filled the place. Ten years’ effort went up in a smoke in one day.

   Yue Fei returned to the capital and expressed his strong opposition to the peace talk proposal. To get red of him, the two evil-mind men, Qin Hui and Emperor Gaozong, jailed Yue Fei, who had committed his life to the service of the country, together with Yue Yun, his son, and Zhang Xian, a general under him, on the charge of treason that he ‘might have committed’. That was the most notorious frame-up in Chinese history, which resulted in the execution of the three men at Fengbo Pavilion.

   Before he was executed, Yue Fei met Jiu Gao, his friend and loyal subordinate who had visited him in disguise. A man who abhorred evils as deadly foes, Niu decided to lead the Yue Army to rebel against the court. Yue admonished him to value the principle of loyalty. He told his constant friend that the archenemy remained the Jin troops and that he should preserve the strength of the Yue Army on guard against Jin’s prospective intrusion. Niu Gao accepted his advice with forbearance. Yue Fei calligraphed a scroll, saying ‘Recover Our Last Land’, and entrusted the cause to Niu Gao. Niu and Mrs. Yue bid farewell to Yue Fei with tears in eyes. The hero’s unfulfilled ambition and the injustice he received were tear-jerking. In the vehement singing of Man Jiang Hong, Yue’s patriotism will be remembered for ages to come.