Who was more impassioned in his nature, who was more formed for love, than the great Han Koong Shew, known in the celestial archives as the sublime Youantee, brother of the sun and moon?—whose court was so superb—whose armies were so innumerable—whose territories were so vast—bounded as they were by the four seas, which bound the whole universe? yet was he bound by destiny to be unhappy, and thus do I commence the wondrous Tale of Han—the sorrows of the magnificent Youantee.
Yes, he felt that some one thing was wanting. All his power, his wealth, his dignity, filled not his soul with pleasure. He turned from the writings of the great Fo—he closed the book. Alas! he sighed for a second self to whom he might point out—“All this is mine.” His heart yearned for a fair damsel—a maid of beauty—to whose beauty he might bow. He, to whom the world was prostrate, the universe were slaves, longed for an amorous captivity, and sighed for chains. But where was the maiden to be found, worthy to place fetters upon the brother of the sun and moon—the magnificent master of the universe? Where was she to be found?
Ti-tum, tilly-lilly, ti-tum, ti.
Yes, there was one, and but one, worthy to be his mate, worthy to be the queen of a land of eternal spring, filled with trees, whose stems were of gold, branches of silver, leaves of emerald, and whose fruits were the fragrant apples of immortality. And where was this moon, fit bride unto the sun? Was she not plunged in grief—hidden in a well of her own tears—even in the gardens of joy? Those eyes which should have sunned a court of princes, were dimmed with eternal sorrow. And who was the cause of this eclipse, but the miscreant, gold-loving minister, Suchong Pollyhong Ka-te-tow.
The mandarins were summoned by the great Youantee, the court in its splendour bowed down their heads into the dust of delight as they listened to the miracle of his eloquence. “Hear me, ye first chop mandarins, peers, lords, and princes of the empire. Listen to the words of Youantee. Hath not each bird that skims the air, its partner in the nest? Hath not each beast its mate? Have not you all eyes which beam but upon you alone? Am I then so unfortunately great, or so greatly unfortunate, that I may not be permitted to descend to love? Even the brother of the sun and moon cannot, during his career on earth, exist alone. Seek, then, through the universe, a maiden for thy lord, that like my brother, the sun, who sinks each night into the bosom of the ocean, I too may repose upon the bosom of my mate. Seek, I say, search each corner of the world, that its treasures may be poured forth at our golden feet, and one gem be selected for our especial wear. But first, O wise men and astrologers, summon ye the planets and stars of destiny, that they may ascertain whether, by this conjunction, aught of evil be threatened to our celestial person, or to our boundless empire.”