"What you say makes your meaning clear enough!" Miao-yue said, when she heard his reply. "Is this rain water from last year?" Tai-yue then inquired. "How is it," smiled Miao Yue sardonically, "that a person like you can be such a boor as not to be able to discriminate water, when you taste it?

What time I can behold their luscious food, with the fine season doth accord When cassias wave with fragrance pure, and the chrysanthemums are decked with frost. Pao-yue had just finished conning it over and was beginning to sing its praise, when Tai-yue, with one snatch, tore it to pieces and bade a servant go and burn it.

Pointing then at Pao-yue, "Look here!" she cried "Is not this human being worthy of you? Is not his station in life good enough for you? Are not our stock and estate sufficient for you? and in what slight degree can he make you lose caste?" Tai-yue rose to her feet, and retired immediately. But Pao-ch'ai shouted out: "Here's P'in Erh in a huff!

But Pao-yue apprehended, in the first place, that his grandmother Chia, would be solicitous on his account, and longed, in the second, to be with Lin Tai-yue, so he hurriedly asked for some tea to rinse his mouth with. "Cousin Secundus," T'an Ch'un and Hsi Ch'un interposed with an ironic laugh, "what's the use of the hurry-scurry you're in the whole day long!

Had he been with any one else, it would have been utterly impossible for her to have brought into play feelings of such resentment, but as it was no other than Tai-yue who spoke the words, the impression produced upon him was indeed different from that left in days gone by, when others employed similar language. Unable to curb his feelings, he instantaneously lowered his face.

At night, after nurse Li had fallen asleep, seeing that in the inner chambers, Tai-yue, Ying Ko and the others had not as yet retired to rest, she disrobed herself, and with gentle step walked in. "How is it, miss," she inquired smiling, "that you have not turned in as yet?" Tai-yue at once put on a smile. "Sit down, sister," she rejoined, pressing her to take a seat.

Pao-yue and Tai-yue were little prepared for this surprise, and they were startled out of their senses. Turning round to see who it was, they caught sight of lady Feng running in, laughing and shouting. "Our old lady," she said, "is over there, giving way to anger against heaven and earth. She would insist upon my coming to find out whether you were reconciled or not.

"Don't be so hard upon our dear ancestor!" Pao-Ch'ai rejoined, a smile playing on her lips. "It's entirely due to that allusion of grandmother Liu's." Tai-yue speedily took up the thread of the conversation. "Quite so!" she smiled. "It's all through that remark of hers! But of what branch of the family is she a grandmother? We should merely address her as the 'female locust; that's all."

When Pao-yue realised that it had not broken, he forthwith turned himself round to get the trinket with the idea of carrying out his design of smashing it, but Tai-yue divined his intention, and soon started crying. "What's the use of all this!" she demurred, "and why, pray, do you batter that dumb thing about? Instead of smashing it, wouldn't it be better for you to come and smash me!"

While he was as yet speaking, Pao-ch'ai entered the room: "Cousin Shih is waiting for you;" she said; and with these words, she hastily pushed Pao-yue on, and they walked away. Tai-yue, meanwhile, became more and more a prey to resentment; and disconsolate as she felt, she shed tears in front of the window.