As she uttered these words, she speedily took the jade over from the hand of the waiting-maid, and she herself fastened it on for him.

When Pao-yü heard this explanation, he indulged in reflection, but could not even then advance any further arguments.

A nurse came at the moment and inquired about Tai-yü‘s quarters,

and dowager lady Chia at once added, “Shift Pao-yü along with me, into the warm room of my

suite of apartments, and put your mistress, Miss Lin, temporarily in the green gauze house; and when the rest of the winter is over,

and repairs are taken in hand in spring in their rooms, an additional wing can be put up for her to take up her quarters in.”

“My dear ancestor,” ventured Pao-yü; “the bed I occupy outside the green gauze house is very comfortable; and what need is there again for me to leave it and come and disturb your old ladyship’s peace and quiet?”

“Well, all right,” observed dowager lady Chia, after some consideration; “but let each one of you have a nurse, as well as a waiting-maid to attend on you;

the other servants can remain in the outside rooms and keep night watch and be ready to answer any call.”

At an early hour, besides, Hsi-feng had sent a servant round with a grey flowered curtain, embroidered coverlets and satin quilts and other such articles.

Tai-yü had brought along with her only two servants; the one was her own nurse, dame Wang, and the other was a young

waiting-maid of sixteen, whose name was called Hsüeh Yen. Dowager lady Chia, perceiving that Hsüeh

Yen was too youthful and quite a child in her manner, while nurse Wang was, on the other hand, too aged, conjectured that Tai-yü would, in all her wants,

not have things as she liked, so she detached two waiting-maids, who were her own personal attendants,

named Tzu Chüan and Ying Ko, and attached them to Tai-yü‘s service.

Just as had Ying Ch’un and the other girls, each one of

whom had besides the wet nurses of their youth, four other nurses to advise and direct them,

and exclusive of two personal maids to look after their dress and toilette,

four or five additional young maids to do the washing and

sweeping of the rooms and the running

about backwards and forwards on errands.