At last the servant brought his dinner, for which he had no appetite. He could ill abide the long delay between the dinner hour and the regular time for his father's retiring. The time did come, however, and when the lights were extinguished and his father had gone to sleep, he took his trusty servant, and, scaling the back wall, they hurried to the house of Chun Yang Ye.
As they approached they heard someone playing the harp, and singing of the "dull pace of the horn's when one's lover is away." Being admitted, they met the mother, who, with some distrust, received Toh Ryung's assurances and sent him to her daughter's apartments.
The house pleased him ; it was neat and well-appointed. The public room, facing the court, was lighted by a blue lantern, which in the mellow light resembled a pleasure barge drifting on the spring flood. Banners of poetry-hung upon the walls. Upon the door leading to Chun Yang's little parlor hung a banner inscribed with verses to her ancestors and descendants, praying that "a century be short to span her life and happiness, and that her children's children be blessed with prosperity for a thousand years." Through the open windows could be seen moonlight glimpses of the little garden of the swinging girl. There was a miniature lake almost filled with lotus plants, where two sleepy swans floated with heads beneath their wings, while the occasional gleam of a gold or silver scale showed that the water was inhabited. A summer-house on the water's edge was almost covered with fragrant spring blossoms, the whole being enclosed in a little grove of bamboo and willows, that shut out the view of outsiders.
While gazing at this restful sight, Chun Yang Ye herself came out, and all was lost in the lustre of her greater beauty. She asked him into her little parlor, where was a profusion of choice carved cabinets and ornaments of jade and metal, while richly embroidered mats covered the highly-polished floor. She was so delighted that she took both his hands in her pretty, white, soft ones, and gazing longingly into each other's eyes, she led him into another room, where, on a low table, a most elegant lunch was spread. They sat down on the floor and surveyed the loaded table. There were fruits preserved in sugar, candied nuts arranged in many dainty, nested boxes; sweet pickles and confections, peal's that had grown in the warmth of a summer now dead, and grapes that had been saved from decay by the same sun that had called them forth. Quaint old bottles with long, twisted necks, contained choice medicated wines, to be drunk from the little crackled cups, such as the ancients used.
Pouring out a cup, she sang to him: "This is the elixir of youth ; drinking this, may you never grow old; though ten thousand years pass over your head, may you stand like the mountain that never changes." He drank half of the cup's contents, and praised her sweet voice, asking for another song. She sang: "Let us drain the cup while we may. In the grave who will be our cup-bearer. While we are young let us play. When old, mirth gives place to care. The flowers can bloom but a few days at best, and must then die, that the seed may be bom. The moon is no sooner full than it begins to wane, that the young moon may rise."
The sentiments suited him, the wine exhilarated him, and bis spirits rose. He drained his cup, and called for more wine and song; but she restrained him. They ate the dainty food, and more wine and song followed. She talked of the sweet contract they had made, and anon they pledged themselves anew. Not content with promises for this short life, they went into the future, and he yielded readily to her request, that when death should at last o'ertake them, she would enter a flower, while he would become a butterfly, coming and resting on her bosom, and feasting off her fragrant sweetness.
The father did not know of his son's recent alliance, though the young man honestly went and removed Chun Yang's name from the list of the district gee sang, kept in his father's office; for, now that she was a married woman, she need no longer go out with the dancing-girls. Every morning, as before, the dutiful son presented himself before his father, with respectful inquiries after his health, and his rest the preceding night. But, nevertheless, each night the young man's apartments were deserted, while he spent the time in the house of his wife.
Thus the months rolled on with amazing speed. The lovers were in paradise. The father enjoyed his work, and labored hard for the betterment of the condition of his subjects. Never before had so large a tribute been sent by this district. Yet the people were not burdened as much as when far less of their products reached the government granaries. The honest integrity of the officer reached the King in many reports, and when a vacancy occurred at the head of the Treasury Department, he was raised to be Ho Joh Pansa (Secretary of Finance). Delighted, the father sent for his son and told him the news, but, to his amazement, the young man had naught to say, in fact he seemed as one struck dumb, as well he might. Within himself there was a great tumult; his heart beat so violently as to seem perceptible, and at times it arose and filled his throat, cutting off any speech he might wish to utter. Surprised at the conduct of his son, the father bade him go and inform his mother, that she might order the packing to commence.
He went; but soon found a chance to fly to Chun Yang, who, at first, was much concerned for bis health, as his looks denoted a serious illness. When he had made her understand, however, despair seized her, and they gazed at each other in mute dismay and utter helplessness. At last she seemed to awaken from her stupor, and, in an agony of despair, she beat her breast, and moaned: "Oh, how can we separate. We must die, we cannot live apart"; and tears coming to her relief, she cried: "If we say goodby, it will be forever ; we can never meet again. Oh, I feared it; we have been too happy - too happy. The one who made this order is a murderer; it must be my death. If you go to Seoul and leave me, I must die. I am but a poor weak woman, and I cannot live without you."