To what family do you belong? "Cheng-chong answered: 'I am Mr. Ni, living at Tong-ku-an. As I was passing before your house I was attracted by strange sounds. Then through a hole in the door I saw an old man crying, a dancing nun, and a man in mourning singing. Why did the nun dance, the bereaved man sing, and the old man weep?
"Cheng-chong was unable to imagine the cause of these strange proceedings, so he asked his companion to call the master of the house. "In answer to the summons, the man in mourning made his appearance. The king, with low and respectful salutation, said: "'We have never before met. "'True, was the reply, 'but whence are you? How is it that you should come to find me at midnight?
Consequently he was able to turn in a clear essay upon the subject, which, upon examination, the king found to be free from error. "Cheng-chong then bestowed the degree of doctor upon the man, and ordered that he be brought into his presence. "Upon the man's appearance, the king asked: 'Do you know who I am? It is I who last night advised you to be present at this examination.
"Why, yes," replied the monk. "And to prove my statement let me tell you a story: "Many years ago there was in Cho-sen a king named Cheng-chong. He was celebrated throughout his kingdom for his goodness. It was a habit with him to disguise himself in ordinary clothing and then to go out and mingle with the common people.
In this way he was often able to discover opportunities for doing much good to his subjects. "One night Cheng-chong disguised himself as a countryman, and, taking a single friend along, started out to make a tour of inspection among his people, that he might learn the details of their lives.
Be sure to be there, and you may be fortunate enough to secure a position which will remove all fear of poverty from your household. "Having thus spoken, Cheng-chong bade the man good night and went at once to his palace. "Very early in the morning he caused proclamation to be made that an examination would be held that day, at a certain hour.
Raise your head and look at me. "With fixed gaze the man looked at the king, and recognized his benefactor. He at once bowed himself to the ground in gratitude, and in words of the most humble sort returned his thanks. "'Go at once, said Cheng-chong, 'and return to your wife and old father. Make them happy with the good news you have for them.
Yung Pak already knew that Korean women who devote their lives to religious service kept their hair closely clipped, so the monk did not need to explain his reference to a bald-headed nun. "'On this account," said the man to Cheng-chong, 'my father broke out into mourning in these words: ""Why have I lived to this age? Why did I not die years ago?