A scene of desolation
Zhai Gong was a Han dynasty government official. Because he held a very high-ranking and powerful position, many of his friends, relatives, and even acquaintances whom he barely knew often went to visit him. Day after day, horses and chariots were lined up in front of his house; it was really as if "the courtyard was as crowded as a marketplace."
However, Zhai Gong was removed from office. All people then stopped going to see him, and the place in front of his house was so empty that sparrows would fly about and stop to rest on his doorstep.
Shortly after, Zhai Gong was reinstated. After hearing the news, his friends and relatives all once again began to ride their horses or drive their chariots back to visit him.
Zhai Gong, however, was now unwilling to see them because he realized the real intention of them.