In the past, a man of the State of Chu intended to go to the State of Zheng to sell pearls.

First he used rare lily magnolia to make a small exquisite case which he fumigated with the delicate fragrance of osmanthuses and Chinese prickly ashes. Furthermore, the case was inlaid with emerald-green jadeite, and adorned with attractive rosy jade. The whole case was decorated in an extremely exquisite way.

A man of the State of Zheng saw this exquisite case and liked it very much. He bought it with a great deal of money, but he returned the pearl in the case to the man of Chu.

Later, people ridiculed the man of Chu by saying that he was good at selling cases, but not good at selling pearls.

To go too far in the pursuit of form just like letting a presumptuous guest usurp the host's role, which brings about opposite results.