Stories of Honorable Men in Ancient Times
(Minghui.org) The following two stories are taken from the ancient Chinese book "Taiping Guangji", which can be translated as "The Extensive Records of the Taiping Era" (太平广记). The book is a collection of stories compiled under the editorship of Li Fang, first published in 978. The book is divided into 500 volumes and is a collection of about seven thousand stories originally from the Han, Tang and Early Song Dynasties.
Humbled by a Noble Act, Invaders Withdraw
Xun Jubo, an honorable man in ancient times, was visiting a sick friend when a foreign army invaded the city.
His friend said, “I am on the verge of death, so please leave and protect yourself.”
Xun responded, “I have traveled a long way to see you. My conscience will not let me leave you when you face danger. That is something a friend would never do.”
The invaders broke into the city and were surprised to see Xun. They said, “Everyone in this city has taken flight to escape us. Who are you? Why do you dare to remain behind?”
Xun responded, “My friend is near death. How can I leave him? Please don't hurt him. I am willing to take his place and die for him.”
Astounded by these words, the invaders said to each other, “We are the unrighteous who have invaded the country of righteous people.”
They quietly withdrew and the entire city was saved.
At the end of the story, the author of Taiping Guangji complimented Xun Jubo for his virtue in a poem:
“Live and death are crucial.Virtue comes first.God bless goodness and punish craftiness.Jubo moved the heart of invaders, thus saving the city.An action like that of Jubo even invaders admire.”
An Emperor Admires Unflattering Words
The first emperor of the Northern Qi Dynasty, which was founded by Emperor Wenxuan (550-559), invited all of his civil and military officers to a feast.
They drank and were merry, with the emperor urging everyone to keep drinking and have a good time.
Husi Fengle, a military officer, sang, “Drunk in the morning, drunk at night. Drunk every day. There is no time to discuss state affairs.”
The emperor heard Husi Fengle and said, “Fengle's song is unflattering. He is a good man.”
At the end of the story, the author of Taiping Guangji complimented Husi for his integrity in a poem:
"Given a lord with integrity and an upright court,the country will be prosperous.A good man never flatters.The emperor's words are plain and honest.Among ancient kings, many were wise."