In fact， the ancestors of Lin Ju-hai had， from years back， successively inherited the title of Marquis， which rank， by its present descent to Ju-hai， had already been enjoyed by five generations. When first conferred， the hereditary right to the title had been limited to three generations； but of late years， by an act of magnanimous favour and generous beneficence， extraordinary bounty had been superadded； and on the arrival of the succession to the father of Ju-hai， the right had been extended to another deGREe. It had now descended to Ju-hai， who had， besides this title of nobility， begun his career as a successful graduate. But though his family had been through uninterrupted ages the recipient of imperial bounties， his kindred had all been anyhow men of culture.
the only misfortune had been that the several branches of the Lin family had not been prolific， so that the numbers of its members continued limited； and though there existed several households， they were all however to Ju-hai no closer relatives than first cousins. Neither were there any connections of the same lineage， or of the same parentage.
Ju-hai was at this date past forty； and had only had a son， who had died the previous year， in the third year of his age. Though he had several handmaids， he had not had the good fortune of having another son； but this was too a matter that could not be remedied.
By his wife， nee Chia， he had a daughter， to whom the infant name of Tai Yue was given. She was， at this time， in her fifth year. Upon her the parents doated as much as if she were a brilliant pearl in the palm of their hand. Seeing that she was endowed with natural gifts of intelligence and good looks， they also felt solicitous to bestow upon her a certain knowledge of books， with no other purpose than that of satisfying， by this illusory way， their wishes of having a son to nurture and of dispelling the anguish felt by them， on account of the desolation and void in their family circle （round their knees）。 vibratior