As luck would have it, on a certain day while making a second journey through the Wei Yang district, he heard the news that the Salt Commissioner appointed this year was Lin Ju-hai.
This Lin Ju-hai’s family name was Lin, his name Hai and his style Ju-hai. He had obtained the third place in the previous triennial examination, and had, by this time, already risen to the rank of Director of the Court of Censors.
He was a native of Kú Su. He had been recently named by Imperial appointment a Censor attached to the Salt Inspectorate, and had arrived at his post only a short while back.
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,