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The Heartless Husband

When a few months had passed, Sir Hu said to his subordinates: “I have a daughter who is very pretty and good, and would like to find a son-in-law to marry into my family. Do you know of any one who might answer?”

His subordinates all knew that Mosu was young and had lost his wife. So they unanimously suggested him.

Sir Hu replied: “I have also thought of that gentleman, but he is young and has risen very rapidly. I am afraid he has loftier ambitions, and would not care to marry into my family and become my son-in-law.”

“He was originally poor,” answered his people, “and he is your subordinate. Should you care to show him a kindness of this sort, he will be sure to accept it joyfully, and will not object to marrying into your family.”

“Well, if you all believe it can be done,” said Sir Hu, “then pay him a visit and find out what he thinks about it. But you must not say that I have sent you.”

Mosu, who was just then reflecting how he might win Sir Hu’s favor, took up the suggestion with pleasure, and urgently begged them to act as his go-between in the matter, promising them a rich reward when the connection was established.

So they went back again and reported to Sir Hu.

He said: “I am much pleased that the gentleman in question does not disdain this marriage. But my wife and I are extremely fond of this daughter of ours, and we can hardly resign ourselves to giving her up. Sir Mosu is young and aristocratic, and our little daughter has been spoiled. If he were to ill-treat her, or at some future time were to regret having married into our family, my wife and I would be inconsolable. For this reason everything must be clearly understood in advance. Only if he positively agrees to do these things would I be able to receive him into my family.”

Mosu was informed of all these conditions, and declared himself ready to accept them. Then he brought gold and pearls and colored silks to Sir Hu’s daughter as wedding gifts, and a lucky day was chosen for the wedding.

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