Zeng Bu Doing a Charitable Deed during a Visit to the Capital City

Yi Dou

PureInsight | January 9, 2006

[PureInsight.org] Zeng Bu was a man from the Song Dynasty (420 – 479 A.D.) During a visit to the capital city, Zeng Bu went downtown and overheard miserable wailing from a nearby house. He sent a servant to inquire about the cause. A man came out of the house, looking defeated and embarrassed. He told Zeng Bu, "I was a government official. Something happened in my family, and I took taxpayers' money for my personal use. The local government is investigating the case. I don't have enough money to pay back the money I stole, so I have no choice but to sell my daughter to a merchant for 400,000 coins [note: 1000 coins was equivalent to 1 gram of silver]. I just brought my daughter over to the merchant's house today. I was bidding farewell to my daughter in tears when you heard us."

Zeng Bu told him, "A typical merchant has to go on business trips all year round and is rarely home. Besides, when your daughter loses her youth and beauty, she might be abandoned. I am also a government official. Why don't you sell your daughter to me instead?" The man replied, "But I have signed a contract with him and have taken his money." Zeng Bu said, "Why don't you return the money to him and take the contract back? If he refuses to sell your daughter back to you, you can always file a civil lawsuit." Next Zeng Bu gave the man 400,000 coins and the man agreed to sell his daughter to him.

Zeng Bu told the man, "Bring your daughter to me three days from now at Wushui outside the west gate of the capital city." Three days later, the man brought his daughter there, but Zeng Bu's boat had taken off three days ago. Apparently he never meant to take the man's daughter. He did a charitable deed without seeking anything in return.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/12/24/35055.html

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