Xiuying is the daughter of Li Tingpu,Minister of Personnel. The minister’s wife wants to marry her daughter to cousin Gu Wenyou, who falls out of both the daughter’s and father’s favor for doing no honest work. Impressed by the beauty of his cousin, Gu proposes at the minister’sbirthday, only to be rebuffed.Wang Yuis present at the birthday party with his wife and son, Yulin. Seeing that Yulin is talented and handsome, the minister proposes engagement of his daughter and Wang Yu.
Begrudging Yulin for stealing his love, Wenyou bribes Sun, the matchmaker, to attempt to break up the couple. On the wedding night, the matchmaker steals Xiuying's green jade hairpin and leaves a letter forged by Wenyou, causing Yulin to behave very coldly towards his wife when he suspects that she is unchaste. On the day for the bride to visit her parents a month later, Yulin, who believes that his wife has had an affair with Wenyou, orders her to return on the same day instead of spending the night with her parents. Xiuyingagonizes over her husband's decision to prevent her from performing her filial duty.
Tingpu pays a visit to his daughter and is deeply saddened to see how haggard she is. Yulin threatens to divorce Xiuying, showing the fake love letter as the proof of her infidelity. After questioning the matchmaker,Tingpu discovers the truth. The minister takes his daughter back home to protect her from further abuses. It is now Yulin's turn to regret his rash actions. Yulin’s mother, however, persuades him to apply himself to his studies so as to pass the imperial examination and win back his wife. Yulin comes out first in the highest imperial examination and makes a sincere apology to his wife. The couple is reunited.