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Page 126

PART II - CHAPTER X

"My son, you know it must be as your father says. I am nothing but your mother-I know it. Nevertheless, I will speak, even though I may not now command against your father's will. I see no use in your leaving home. Your father and your grandfather completed their learning at home. You yourself have had the most skilled scholars in the city to teach you from your childhood. We even procured T'ang, the Learned, from Szechuen to instruct you in poetry. This foreign learning is unnecessary for one in your position. Going to these far cities you imperil your life, which is not fully yours until you have given us a son to carry on the ancestral name. If you could have married first-"
My brother stirred angrily and shut his fan, which he had been holding open in his left hand. Then he opened it quickly again with a snap. He lifted his eyes, and from under their lids protest leaped out. My mother raised her hand.
" Do not speak, my son. I do not command yet. I only warn you. Your life is not your own. Take care of it."
She bowed her head, and he was dismissed.
I saw him after that but rarely. He came home only twice before my marriage, and we had nothing to say to each other, and we were never

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