the two friends took their seats. At first they leisurely replenished their glasses， and quietly sipped their wine； but as， little by little， they entered into conversation， their good cheer GREw more genial， and unawares the glasses began to fly round， and the cups to be exchanged. dongs
At this very hour， in every house of the neighbourhood， sounded the fife and lute， while the inmates indulged in music and singing. Above head， the orb of the radiant moon shone with an all-pervading splendour， and with a steady lustrous light， while the two friends， as their exuberance increased， drained their cups dry so soon as they reached their lips. dongs
Yue-ts'un， at this stage of the collation， was considerably under the influence of wine， and the vehemence of his high spirits was irrepressible. As he gazed at the moon， he fostered thoughts， to which he gave vent by the recital of a double couplet. ivibe rabbit
'Tis what time three meets five， Selene is a globe！ Her pure rays fill the court， the jadelike rails enrobe！ Lo！ in the heavens her disk to view doth now arise， And in the earth below to gaze men lift their eyes.
"Excellent！" cried Shih-yin with a loud voice， after he had heard these lines； "I have repeatedly maintained that it was impossible for you to remain long inferior to any， and now the verses you have recited are a prognostic of your rapid advancement. Already it is evident that， before long， you will extend your footsteps far above the clouds！ I must congratulate you！ I must congratulate you！ Let me， with my own hands， pour a glass of wine to pay you my compliments."
Yue-ts'un drained the cup. "What I am about to say，" he explained as he suddenly heaved a sigh， "is not the maudlin talk of a man under the effects of wine. As far as the subjects at present set in the examinations go， I could， perchance， also have well been able to enter the list， and to send in my name as a candidate； but I have， just now， no means whatever to make provision for luggage and for travelling expenses. The distance too to Shen Ching is a long one， and I could not depend upon the sale of papers or the composition of essays to find the means of getting there."
Shih-yin gave him no time to conclude. "Why did you not speak about this sooner？" he interposed with haste. "I have long entertained this suspicion； but as， whenever I met you， this conversation was never broached， I did not presume to make myself officious. But if such be the state of affairs just now， I lack， I admit， literary qualification， but on the two subjects of friendly spirit and pecuniary means， I have， nevertheless， some experience. Moreover， I rejoice that next year is just the season for the triennial examinations， and you should start for the capital with all despatch； and in the tripos next spring， you will， by carrying the prize， be able to do justice to the proficiency you can boast of. As regards the travelling expenses and the other items， the provision of everything necessary for you by my own self will again not render nugatory your mean acquaintance with me."
Forthwith， he directed a servant lad to go and pack up at once fifty taels of pure silver and two suits of winter clothes.
"the nineteenth，" he continued， "is a propitious day， and you should lose no time in hiring a boat and starting on your journey westwards. And when， by your eminent talents， you shall have soared high to a lofty position， and we meet again next winter， will not the occasion be extremely felicitous？"