Stories from History: How Yin Qin Placed First in the Imperial Civil Service Examination

Yi Dou

PureInsight | October 15, 2006

[] During the
reign of Emperor Qianlong (1735 A.D. to 1796 A.D.) in the Qing Dynasty,
there was a young scholar named Yin Qing in the city of Wuxi. One year,
the emperor went to climb a famous mountain called the Tai Mountain and
decided to hold an imperial civil service examination there. When he
heard the news, Yin Qing rushed there to participate in the
examination. On his way there, he passed a place called Qinjiangpu. At
the bookstore there, he accidentally saw a secondhand book that
contained a collection of random historical references. He paid five
cents for the book. On the way to the examination site, he randomly
flipped through the book. He saw one entry in the book that stated,
"The Three Biggest Things in the East are the Tian Mountain, the East
Sea, and the Kong Forest (which refers to Confucius and the graveyard
of Confucius' family).

When he opened up the examination paper, Yin Qing was shocked to see
that the examination was to write an essay on the Three Biggest Things
in the East. After the examination ended, the examination official
selected about a dozen top essays to the emperor for his review. The
emperor finished reading all the essays that were given to him and
became quite disappointed. None of the essays had stated the Three
Biggest Things in the East correctly. He asked the examination
officials, "Wasn't there a single student who knew what the Three
Biggest Things in the East are?" The examination officials said, "One
person knew the answer. But he was eliminated because of his poor
handwriting." Emperor Qianlong was displeased and said, "You are
supposed to measure the person's knowledge. How can you judge the
person by his handwriting?" He asked to review Yin Qing's essay. The
Emperor liked it and selected him as the top scholar on the civil
service examination. Ying Qing was given an official post and reached
the position of state governor in just a few short years.

A human's fame and fortune is predetermined. Why do people find so difficult when they lose out on the things they pursue?

Translated from:

Add new comment