Never Forsake a Wife Who Shared a Life of Poverty with You
(Clearwisdom.net) One day during the Donghan Dynasty (25-220), the first Emperor Guangwu Liu Xiu (6 B.C. to 57 A.D.) had an older sister, Princess Huyang, whose husband died. Liu Xiu was chatting about each official of the dynasty with her to see which one she would like to get remarried to. Princess Huyang said after a while, "Nobody is better than Dasikong (a very high position title) Mr. Song Hong. He is very virtuous, and has dignity and manners."
Liu Xiu nodded his head and said, "I am considering this matter now."
Soon afterward, Liu Xiu called Song Hong to come visit. Meanwhile, he had Princess Huyang hide behind a divider. Liu Xiu smiled, and started the conversation, "People say, 'When you obtain a high position, you change friends, and when you are rich, you change wives.' Does this make sense to you?"
Mr. Song Hong replied very solemnly, "I've only heard people say, 'Never forget friendship during your hardships, and never forsake a wife who shared a life of poverty with you.''
Liu Xiu had to tell his older sister Princess Huyang, "There is no way for you to marry him!"
(Story from Zizhitongjian - "The Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government," compiled by Mr. Sima Guang between the years 1067 and 1084 during Song Dynasty, and first printed at Hangzhou City in 1086. The whole work comprises 294 chapters, and it covers the period from 403 BC to 959 AD.)