Historical Story - Guan Xiu's Encounter with the Duke of Wuyue

Yi Dong

PureInsight | March 1, 2006

[PureInsight.org] At the end of
the Tang Dynasty, Qian Liu, a general from the city of Lingan, occupied
14 counties in the Wuyue Region (today's Zhejiang Province and part of
Jiangsu Province). He bestowed the title of "Duke of Wuyue" on himself.
A monk named Guan Xiu went to visit him and wrote a poem to honor him,
"Three thousand guests gather in a big hall filled with the fragrance
of beautiful powers, the frosty cold of a sword covers fourteen

Qian Liu aspired to become the emperor of China one day. So he ordered
Guan Xiu to change "fourteen counties" in the poem to "forty counties".
He said only then would he agree to meet with Guan Xiu. Guan Xiu
refused to change it. He said, "It is difficult to add counties to
one's rule. It is as difficult to change my poem. I am only a piece of
solitary cloud and a wild crane. Where can't I fly to?" He left the
next day.

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