Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/224

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of women, and began to study how to make themselves appear splendid in the eyes of men. And the end of it was that the Emperor Gensō died a pitiful and painful death—all because of your light and trifling mind. Indeed, your real character can easily be seen from your conduct in other matters. There are trees, for example,—such as the evergreen-oak and the pine,—whose leaves do not fade and fall, but remain always green;—these are trees of firm heart, trees of solid character. But you say that they are stiff and formal; and you hate the sight of them, and never pay them a visit. Only to the cherry-tree, and the kaido,[1] and the peony, and the yellow rose you go: those you like because they have showy flowers, and you try only to please them. Such conduct, let me assure you, is very unbecoming. Those trees certainly have handsome flowers; but hunger-satisfying fruits they have not; and they are grateful to those only who are fond of luxury and show. And that is just the reason why they are pleased by your fluttering wings and delicate shape;—that is why they are kind to you.

" Now, in this spring season, while you sportively dance through the gardens of the wealthy, or hover among the beautiful alleys of

  1. Pyrus spectabilis.