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A Man of Yen Returned to His Native Country

There was once a man who, though born in Yen, was brought up in Ch'u, and it was only in his old age that he returned to his native country.

On the way thither, as they were passing through the Chin State, a fellow-traveller played a practical joke on him. Pointing to the city he said: 'Here is the capital of the Yen State'; whereupon the old man flushed with excitement. Pointing out a certain shrine, he told him that it was his own village altar, and the old man heaved a deep sigh. Then he showed him a house, and said: 'This is where your ancestors lived'; and the tears welled up in his eyes. Finally, a mound was pointed out to him as the tomb where his ancestors lay buried, whereupon the old man could control himself no longer, and wept aloud. But his fellow-traveller burst into roars of laughter. 'I have been hoaxing you,' he cried; 'this is only the Chin State.' His victim was greatly mortified; and when he arrived at his journey's end, and really did see before him the city and altars of Yen, with the actual abode and tombs of his ancestors. his emotion was much less acute.

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