There was also a pair of scrolls consisting of black-wood antithetical tablets, inlaid with the strokes of words in chased gold. Their burden was this:
On the platform shine resplendent pearls like sun or moon,
And the sheen of the Hall fa?ade gleams like russet sky.
Below, was a row of small characters, denoting that the scroll had been written by the hand of Mu Shih, a fellow-countryman and old friend of the family, who, for his
meritorious services, had the hereditary title of Prince of Tung Ngan conferred upon him.
The fact is that madame Wang was also not in the habit of sitting and resting, in this main apartment, but in three side-rooms on the east, so that the nurses at once led Tai-yü through the door of the eastern wing.
On a stove-couch, near the window, was spread a foreign red carpet. On the side of honour, were laid deep red reclining-
cushions, with dragons, with gold cash (for scales), and an oblong brown-coloured sitting-cushion with gold-cash-spotted
dragons. On the two sides, stood one of a pair of small teapoys of foreign lacquer of peach-blossom pattern. On the teapoy on
the left, were spread out Wen Wang tripods, spoons, chopsticks and scent-bottles. On the teapoy on the right, were vases from
the Ju Kiln, painted with girls of great beauty, in which were placed seasonable flowers; (on it were) also teacups, a tea service and the like articles.
On the floor on the west side of the room, were four chairs in a row, all of which were covered with antimacassars, embroidered with silverish-red flowers, while below,