In ancient times, there was a woman, known as Liang Gu, who lived with her brother’s family with her two children.
One day, her brother went to work, and Liang Gu was at home alone to take care of one of her brother’s sons and her two children. While she was doing laundry in the courtyard, a raging fire broke out in the house, which blocked the three children in the house, and the situation was very critical.
Liang Gu rushed into the house and took the child out to take a look, but found that it was her son who was saved. At this time, the fire became more and more fierce, and if she went in to save the child, her own life was in danger. She was very anxious, thinking to herself: If I can’t save my brother’s child, but my own child is saved, won’t everyone know that I am a selfish person? she once again rushed into the burning house, but the child was not rescued, and she herself was burned to death.
During the Spring and Autumn Period, the Chu State relied on its strength and sent troops to attack the weak Song State. Seeing that the situation was critical, the king of Song State sent envoys to Jin State to ask for help. The king of Jin didn’t want to send troops for the time being, so he sent his envoy Xie Yang to Song, telling Song not to surrender, and Jin’s army would soon go to rescue them.
Unexpectedly, Xie Yang was arrested, and the king of Chu forced him to say the opposite to the Song people, and Xie Yang pretended to agree. Therefore, Xie Yang was under the city of Song State, and took the opportunity to convey the order of King Jin to Song State. Seeing that Yang had deceived himself, the king of Chu was furious and scolded him: “You don’t keep your promise, prepare to die!” Xie Yang replied calmly without fear: “I have accepted the order of our king. No promise. I pretended to agree to the king of Chu in order to fulfill my mission, and I would have no regrets even if I died.” The king of Chu admired Xie Yang’s loyalty and unyielding, so he let him go.
The state of Song and the state of Chu were in a stalemate, and the state of Chu was running out of food. When the King of Chu was about to retreat, Minister Shen Shushi said: “I heard that the people of the Song state have no food. We only need to let the soldiers build houses, grow food, and pretend to live here for a long time, and the Song army will collapse. We are afraid that they will not surrender. Is it?” The king of Chu thought it made sense, so he accepted his opinion.
That night, Hua Yuan, the general of the Song Army, sneaked into the camp of Chu. He called General Chu back and said, “We have now reached the point where we cannibalize human flesh and burn human bones. However, we would rather let the country perish than surrender. If you retreat for thirty miles, we can make peace.” Under Hua Yuan’s intimidation, Zifan had no choice but to agree to retreat. Zifan reported the matter to the king of Chu, who agreed.
The next day, the Chu army retreated thirty miles. Hua Yuan signed a covenant with the state of Chu, and the covenant wrote: “I will not deceive you, and you will have no danger to me.”
bu chi xia wen（not feel ashamed to ask and learn from one’s subordinates）
Confucius was a great thinker, educator, statesman and founder of Confucianism during the Spring and Autumn Period. People all respected him as a saint. However, even a sage such as Confucius did not have all the knowledge and needed to constantly consult others. Confucius never stopped asking questions from different people during his lifetime of learning.
Kongyu, who was at the same time as Confucius, is the minister of Wei. He is not only smart and studious, but also very modest. Kongyu made important contributions to the state of Wei. After his death, the king of the state of Wei gave him the title of “Wen Gong” in order to let future generations learn and carry forward his studious spirit. Later generations Revere Kongyu as Confucius and Confucius as Confucius.
One of Confucius’ students, Zi Gong, was also a man of Wei . He was not convinced that Kongyu was worthy of such a high honor. Once Zi Gong asked Confucius, “Sir, Kongyu is indeed very high in knowledge and talent, but there are many others more outstanding than him. Why should he be given the title of ‘Lord Wen’?” The Confucius answered with a smile, “Kongyu was very diligent and studious, clever and agile, and if he did not understand anything, even if the other person was not in his position or knowledge, he would be generous and modest to ask for advice, and would not be ashamed of it. Therefore, it would not be inappropriate to give him the title of ‘Lord Wen’.”
After this explanation, Zi Gong was finally convinced.
In the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Wang Chen showed his talent as a teenager and was highly appreciated by his friends and relatives. His uncle Fan Ning, a famous scholar at that time, also held Wang Chen in high regard. When famous scholars visited him, he would always let Wang Chen be present to receive him.
Once, when Wang Chen went to visit his uncle, he met Zhang Xuan, a famous scholar. Zhang Xuan had heard that Wang Chen was of great interest and wanted to talk to him. He was older than Wang Chen and naturally wanted Wang Chen to greet him first, so he sat upright and waited. Unexpectedly, Wang Chen saw Zhang Xuan like this, he despised him. They sat opposite each other for a while, and Zhang Xuan left disgruntled.
Afterwards, Fan Ning scolded Wang Chen and said, “Zhang Xuan is an excellent talent in Wuzhong. Why don’t you talk to him? Wang Chen arrogantly replied, “If he really wanted to keep company with me, he could have come to talk to me.” Upon hearing this, Fan Ning, on the contrary, praised his nephew: “You are so graceful and elegant, you are really an excellent talent later.”
Yuchen answered with a smile,” Without an uncle like you, how can I have such a nephew?”
dao ting tu shuo（to pick up what has been heard on the way）
In ancient times, in a village, there were two neighbors, one named Ai Zi and the other named Mao Kong.
Ai Zi is a very learned person, but his neighbor Mao Kong is just the opposite. He has no culture and looks down on Ai Zi very much, thinking that he is a hundred times better than Ai Zi. Therefore, he always wanted to prove that he was stronger than Ai Zi.
One day, Mao Kong told Ai Zi: “A duck lays a hundred eggs at a time”. Ai didn’t believe it. Mao Kong said, “It was born from two ducks.” Aiko still doesn’t believe it. Mao Kong then told Ai Zi, “Do you believe there is a piece of meat that is thirty feet long and twenty feet wide?” Ai Zi still didn’t believe it.
Ai Zi asked Mao Kong: “Whose is the duck you mentioned? Where did the meat fall?”
Mao Kong had no choice but to say, “Everything I say is what I listen to others on the road.”
gao shan liu shui（lofty mountains and flowing water）
In the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), there was a man named Yu Boya. He was a famous lute player who was proficient in melody. When he was young, Yu Boya was bright and eager to learn. He used to worship high people as his teacher and his guqin skills reached a very high level. However, he always felt that he was not able to express his feelings for various things excellently. Knowing his idea, Boya’s teacher took him by boat to Penglai Island in the East China Sea so that he could enjoy the scenery of nature and listen to the waves of the sea. When Boya looked up, he saw the waves surging and the waves splashing. Seabirds flutter and sing in their ears; Mountains and trees, lush, such as into the fairyland. A wonderful feeling arises spontaneously, as if the ear of the harmonious music of nature. He could not help picking up the guqin and playing it, turning the notes at will, blending the beauty of nature into the music. Boya experienced an unprecedented state. The teacher told him, “You have learned.”
Once, a boat trip to Boya. Facing the breeze and the bright moon, his mind was full of thoughts, so he began to play the guqin again, and the sound was melodious. Suddenly heard a shout from the shore. Hearing the sound, Boya got out of the boat and saw a woodcutter standing on the bank. He knew that this man was a good friend and immediately asked the woodcutter to get on board and played for him with great enthusiasm. When Boya played a song of praise for the mountains, the woodcutter said, “Good! Majestic and solemn, like the towering Mount Tai!” When he played to represent the surging waves, the woodcutter said, “Good! Broad and vast, like seeing rolling water, boundless sea general!” Boya was excited and said excitedly, “Bosom friend! You are my bosom friend.” The woodcutter was Zhong Ziqi. The two became very good friends and agreed to meet again the following year.
However, Boya never saw Zhong Ziqi again because he had died of illness. After playing the last piece in front of Zhong Ziqi’s tomb, Boya broke the guqin and never played it again.
an du chen cang(advancing secretly by an unknown path)
After the peasant uprising at the end of the Qin Dynasty, Xiang Yu and Liu Bang fought a four-year “Chu-Han War” to fight for the world. Liu Bang first invaded Xianyang and proclaimed himself King of Guanzhong. Xiang Yu was so powerful that Liu Bang surrendered Xianyang and Guanzhong to Xiang Yu and went to Hanzhong himself.
Next to Hanzhong is Zhang Han. In order to confuse Xiang Yu and prevent Zhang Han from invading, Liu Bang burned down the plank road leading to and from Hanzhong.
Later, Liu Bang became more and more powerful. He appointed Han Xin as a general and sent troops to fight with Xiang Yu. In order to confuse the enemy, Han Xin sent more than 10,000 troops to repair the burnt plank road. Plank road repair project arduous, progress is slow. Zhang Han predicted that the restoration of the plank road is not easy, without warning.
However, the main force of Han Xin’s army had already moved towards Chencang by small roads, and quickly captured Xianyang and occupied Guanzhong.
Han Xin adopted a subtle strategy and won a great victory in capturing Guanzhong. This is where the phrase “hiding in the dark” comes in.
Han Dynasty Xian emperor period, a coup occurred in the court, a minister named Li Jue hijacked the emperor, another minister named Guo Si captured the officials, two people refuse to yield.
Every time Li Jue met Emperor Xian, he always liked to accuse Guo Si endlessly. Emperor Xian had to follow his meaning a few perfunctory. Li Jue was very happy, and thought he had been recognized by the emperor.
Another minister called Huang Fuli and Li Jue is a fellow, Emperor Xian ordered him to mediate the dispute between Li Jue and Guo Si. After the mediation of Huang Fuli, Guo Si agreed to make peace, but Li Jue refused. He said to Huang Fuli, “I have contributed to the war against Lu Bu and served in the government for four years. Now Chang ‘an is so peaceful, everyone knows that. Who is Guo Si? He’s a horse thief, and he wants to be my equal? He must be killed.”
Huang Fuli said, “Dong Zhuo is stronger than you. Lu Bu received his favor but secretly killed him. That’s what happens when you have courage and no strategy. You and Guo Si have taken the Emperor and the officials hostage. Who is more guilty?” Li Jue wouldn’t listen and threw him out.
Later, Li Jue’s general Yang Feng led the army to defect. Li Jue’s power began to wane and he eventually had to flee back to his hometown.
xu zhang sheng shi（make an empty show of strength）
During the Western Han Dynasty, the Huns invaded Shangjun, and Li Guang, as the prefect of Shangjun, was responsible for resisting the attack of the Xiongnu.
One day, an official went out hunting with several entourages. He encountered three Huns and fought with them. All the entourages died, and only one of them was shot and fled back.
Li Guang said: “These people must be the Huns who shot the vultures.” So he immediately led a hundred cavalry to pursue the three Huns. As a result, Li Guang killed two of them and captured one alive.
When Li Guang went back, he suddenly found some Huns cavalry not far away. The Huns cavalry also saw Li Guang, and the two sides confronted each other.
Li Guang’s entourage was very frightened and wanted to run away quickly. Li Guang said: “We are dozens of miles away from our army. If we escape like this, the Hun cavalry will surely chase and kill us, and we will die. If we do nothing, the Hun soldiers will think that we are soldiers to lure the enemy, and they will not dare to attack us.”
Li Guang ordered the soldiers to move forward, and then ordered to take off the saddle. The entourage said: “There are so many enemies, take off the saddle, what if the situation is urgent?” Li Guang said: “Take off the saddle, so that the Huns soldiers can be more convinced that we are soldiers to lure the enemy.” At this time, a general of the Huns soldiers on a white horse came into battle. Li Guang immediately mounted the horse and shot the general on the white horse to death. Then he returned to the original place, took off the saddle, and let the horse lie down and rest.
Until the evening, the Huns soldiers did not dare to advance, and they were afraid that there were ambush soldiers in the Han Dynasty nearby who would attack in the dark and retreat in the middle of the night.
The next day, Li Guang led his entourage back to the military camp safely.
In the late Spring and Autumn Period, the six upper ministers of the State of Jin annexed territories to each other. Zhi Bo is an ambitious man who always tries to expand his sphere of influence.
Once, Zhi Bo planned to annex the territory of Xiangzi of Zhao and besiege him in the city of Jinyang. Xiang Zi of Zhao sent men to Han Kangzi and Wei Huanzi to ask for help. They all knew Zhi Bo’s insatiable appetite, so they joined forces to attack him.
In the end, Zhibo was destroyed because of his greed.