Virtues of Admonition and Magnanimity: Two Anecdotes
(Minghui.org) Below are two stories from the Tang Dynasty (years 618-906).
Empress Wende Sees Prime Minister's Virtue
“I will definitely kill that scumbag this time!”
Emperor Tang Taizong was with his wife, Empress Wende, when he told her about how he dismissed his court early. The empress, gently curious, asked the reason why.
“It's Prime Minister Wei Zheng again. All he does is criticize me and insult me. I lost face in front of the entire court. Where is my due respect as emperor?”
Hearing this, the empress left. She soon returned, dressed ceremoniously in her full court ensemble and regalia. The emperor was puzzled by her actions.
“Why are you dressed like so?” he asked.
“I heard that only when an emperor is noble and wise will his advisers be honest and loyal. Your Majesty must have been ruling well if Wei dares to express his true opinions. I feel honored to be at your side, Your Majesty, and that is why I am celebrating,” replied the empress.
Prime Minister Lou Shide's Magnanimity
Di Renji and Lou Shide were both prime ministers to Empress Wu Zetian. However, Di never liked Lou.
One day Empress Wu asked Di whether he knew why she placed him in such a high position.
“I possess exceptional abilities and have no need for others. I am talented, virtuous and worldly,” said Di.
“Actually, I didn't know much about you before,” answered the empress. “It was Minister Lou Shide who recommended you to me. He had many great things to say about you, and that is why you're here.”
The Empress showed Di a dozen recommendation letters that Lou wrote for him. Humbled, Di admitted that he was at fault.
From then on, Di was more humble and acknowledged the limits of his abilities.
“I would have never thought that it was Lou who has tolerated me with such great magnanimity. He never seemed to take pride in it,” he would say.