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He who plays with fire will get burnt

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He who plays with fire will get burnt

Postby chungyn » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:49 am

He who plays with fire will get burnt
大義滅親 Da4 Yi4 Mie4 Qin

It was during the reign of Zhou King Ping (周平王 770BC to 720BC) of the
Zhou Dynasty (周朝 1134BC to 256BC) that in 757BC the ruler of the State
of Wei (衛國) was Ji Yang (姬揚). The State of Wei was located in the present
day of Qi county (淇縣) of Henan province (河南省). Ji Yang married Zhuang
Jiang (莊姜), the daughter of the ruler of the State of Qi (齊國 present
day Lin Zi county 臨淄縣 of Shandong province 山東省).

Despite being married for many years Zhuang Jiang and Ji Yang did not have
any children. Desiring a child (preferably a son), Ji Yang married the two
sisters, Li Gui (厲媯) and Dai Gui (戴媯), from the State of Chen (陳國
present day Huaiyang county 淮陽縣 of Henan province). The elder sister
Li Gui did not bear Ji Yang any children, however, the younger sister Dai
Gui bore him two sons. The elder one was named Wan (完) and the other Jin
(晉). Zhuang Jiang, the first wife of Ji Yang nurtured Wan as if he had
been her own son.

Ji Yang married a third time. This time he married a lady-in-waiting in
his palace. This girl also give birth to a son, Zhou Xu (州吁). Ji Yang
only loved Zhou Xu who was spoiled by his father. Zhou Xu spent most of
his childhood indulging in martial art and dreaming about war and its spoils.

Shi Que (石碏), an old official, who was the eighth generation offspring
of Kang Shu (康叔), the founder of the State of Wei, was unhappy about the
behaviour of Zhou Xu. He complained to Ji Yang that Zhou Xu was supposed
to be filial piety but he was evil, wicked, vicious and crooked. He advised
Ji Yang not to spoil and pamper him. He also told Ji Yang that in order
to avoid future trouble after his death, Zhou Xu should be inducted as
the heir apparent of Wei. However, Ji Yang ignored Shi Que's advice.

One of Shi Que's sons, Shi Hou (石厚) was a good friend of Zhou Xu. Together
they often went hunting and trekking the countryside, causing all sorts
of troubles to the local peasants. Eventually, Shi Hou was forbidden by
his father from seeing Zhou Xu. Shi Que even went so far as to incarcerate
his son at his home. However, Shi Hou managed to escape and went to live
with his good friend Zhou Xu.

In 735BC the old ruler Ji Yang died and Wan became the new ruler of Wei
who ruled Wei until 719BC. Shi Que retired.

Shi Hou told Zhou Xu that he should be the ruler as he was much better than
Wan. Shi Hou taught Zhou Xu on how to murder the new ruler.

The central authority in the land at that time was Zhou King Ping who died
in 720BC and his grandson Ji Lin (姬林) succeeded him and was crowned Zhou
King Huan (周桓王719BC to 697BC). A month later, Zhou King Huan invited
Wan for an audience with him.

The night, before his departure to the capital Chengzhou (成周 present day
Luoyang 洛陽 city in Henan province 河南省), Zhou Xu invited his eldest
brother Wan for a feast. Zhou Xu and Shi Hou planned to kill Wan when he
arrived for the dinner, however, Wan arrived with 50 body guards. While
toasting Wan's health and a safe journey, Zhou Xu took out a dagger and
stabbed his brother at the back and killed him. Zhou Xu then coerced Wan's
guards into confessing that Wan died of a natural causes. Jin the younger
brother of Wan fled to the State of Xing (邢國 present day Xing Tai county
邢台縣 of Hebei province 河北省).

Zhou Xu became the new ruler. The people of Wei were not happy with Zhou
Xu. There was no way that he could persuade the people to recognize him
as the rightful ruler. He asked Shi Hou for advice. He told Zhou Xu to re-employ
his father because people respected him.

Bearing gifts, Zhou Xu went to see Shi Que and ask him to come back and
work for him. Unfortunately for Zhou Xu, Shi Que turned down his offer on
the ground that he was too old.

Finally Shi Hou went home and begged his father to come out of retirement
to serve the State. Shi Que advised them to go to the capital and pay homage
to the Zhou King Huan. If the King accepted Zhou Xu's request for an audience
than he would have the implied support of the King, and therefore be regarded
as the rightful ruler of Wei.

Zhou Xu and Shi Hou could not just simply seek an audience with the King
without a reason. Shi Que advised them to go to the State of Chen and asked
its ruler to convince the King for an audience with Zhou Xu. The ruler of
Chen was Bao (鮑) who was a loyal and respectful official of the Zhou Court.

Zhou Xu and Shi Hou were very happy to visit the State of Chen. However,
unbeknownst to the two, Shi Que bit his finger and used the blood from his
finger and wrote a letter to his best friend Bao, the ruler of Chen telling
him how Zhou Xu and his son Shi Hou murdered the previous ruler of Wei.
Shi Que asked Bao to arrest them when they arrived in his State.

Zhou Xu and Shi Hou were arrested when they arrived at Chen. The ruler of
Chen sent a message back to Shi Que stating that he had in custody of Zhou
Xu and Shi Hou,
and was awaiting further instructions from Shi Que.

Shi Que left Zhou Xu's case to the Wei Court to decide. It decided that
Zhou Xu should die for what he had done to his elder brother Wan. They sent
an executor to Chen and had Zhou Xu executed. Shi Que sent his family butcher
to Chen and had his own son killed. Shi Que then sent for Jin who was installed
as the new ruler of the State of Wei (衛國). The year was 718BC and the
official title of Jin was The Duke of Wei Xuan Gong Jin (衛宣公晉元年) who
ruled the State of Wei until 700BC.

People said that Shi Que killed his own son to up-hold the law.
He sacrificed his own son for the sake to up hold the law of the country.

"子從殺君之賊, 國之大逆,
不可不除, 故曰大義滅親"

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