"Don't make any such assertions，" Tzu-hsing remarked with a sigh， "the present two mansions of Jung and Ning have both alike also suffered reverses， and they cannot come up to their state of days of yore."
"Up to this day， these two households of Ning and of Jung，" Yue-ts'un suggested， "still maintain a very large retinue of people， and how can it be that they have met with reverses？"
"To explain this would be indeed a long story，" said Leng Tzu-hsing. "Last year，" continued Yue-ts'un， "I arrived at Chin Ling， as I entertained a wish to visit the remains of interest of the six dynasties， and as I on that day entered the walled town of Shih T'ou， I passed by the entrance of that old residence. On the east side of the street， stood the Ning Kuo mansion； on the west the Jung Kuo mansion； and these two， adjoining each other as they do， cover in fact well-nigh half of the whole length of the street. Outside the front gate everything was， it is true， lonely and deserted； but at a glance into the interior over the enclosing wall， I perceived that the halls， pavilions， two-storied structures and porches presented still a majestic and lofty appearance. Even the flower garden， which extends over the whole area of the back grounds， with its trees and rockeries， also possessed to that day an air of luxuriance and freshness， which betrayed no signs of a ruined or decrepid establishment." sx toys