But one wild, howling waste his mind within:

But one wild, howling waste his mind within:

But one wild, howling waste his mind within:

Addled his brain that nothing he could see;

A dunce! to read essays so loth to be!

Perverse in bearing, in temper wayward;

For human censure he had no regard.

When rich, wealth to enjoy he knew not how;

When poor, to poverty he could not bow.

Alas! what utter waste of lustrous grace!

To state, to family what a disgrace!

Of ne’er-do-wells below he was the prime,

Unfilial like him none up to this time.

Ye lads, pampered with sumptuous fare and dress,

Beware! In this youth’s footsteps do not press!

But to proceed with our story.

“You have gone and changed your clothes,” observed dowager lady Chia, “before being introduced to the distant guest. Why don’t you yet salute your cousin?”

Pao-yü had long ago become aware of the presence of a most beautiful young lady, who, he readily concluded, must be no other than the daughter of his aunt Lin. He hastened to advance up to her, and make his bow; and after their introduction, he resumed his seat, whence he minutely scrutinised her features, (which he thought) so unlike those of all other girls.

Her two arched eyebrows, thick as clustered smoke, bore a certain not very pronounced frowning wrinkle. She had a pair of eyes, which possessed a cheerful, and yet one would say, a sad expression, overflowing with sentiment. Her face showed the prints of sorrow stamped on her two dimpled cheeks. She was beautiful, but her whole frame was the prey of a hereditary disease. The tears in her eyes glistened like small specks. Her balmy breath was so gentle. She was as demure as a lovely flower reflected in the water.

Her gait resembled a frail willow,

agitated by the wind. Her heart,

compared with that of Pi Kan,

had one more aperture of intelligence;

while her ailment exceeded (in intensity) by three degrees the ailment of Hsi-Tzu.