Historical Tale: Zeng Shuqing Selling Clayware

PureInsight | March 26, 2006

[PureInsight.org] During the
Northern Song Dynasty, there was a person named Zeng Shuqing who lived
in the city of Jianchang. Once he bought a large amount of clayware
from the Western River region and was planning to take the clayware to
sell in the north. Suddenly he heard that a famine had broken out in
the north and he decided to cancel his trip. Just then a person came to
see him and wanted to buy his clayware. After the transaction was
complete, Zeng asked the person what he was planning to do with the
clayware. The person replied, "I am planning to take the pieces to the
north and sell them there." Zeng immediately said, "I had originally
planned to do the same thing. But I heard that a famine has just broken
out in the north. If the clayware pieces are transported to the north,
it might be difficult to sell them there. Therefore I cancelled my
trip." That person immediately backed out of the deal and left with the
money that he had planned to pay Zeng for the clayware. Because he
couldn't sell the clayware, Zeng's entire family soon fell into a
destitute situation with no food and no way to keep warm.

Zeng Suqing demonstrated his high moral standard when he told the truth
and refused to make life difficult for someone else even at the expense
of his own family's welfare. His conduct won the admiration of the
people. Later on, he successfully passed the imperial civil service
examination and ended up becoming a high-ranking official. That might
have been a reward fro his kind deeds.

(From The History of the Song Dynasty)

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