Stories from History: Not Talking Back When Scolded by Others


PureInsight | July 30, 2007

[] There was a
person named Chen Zhiding who lived outside of the Bianyi gate of
Yangzhou city in the Qing dynasty. He and his three sons made a living
by selling rice in their small grain store. Because they sold rice one
cent cheaper than other stores, all the poor people came to his store
to buy rice. Surprisingly, he accumulated several hundred liangs of silver in just over 4 years.

One night, the thick board covering the trench outside the front door
of the granary was stolen. The next morning, the three sons shouted on
street: "Who took the board? Please return it as soon as possible to
avoid being cursed." After they yelled several times, no one
answered.  That evening, to their surprise, a local rascal, who
was seriously drunk, took off his clothes and stood with his naked his
upper body in front of the store. It was chilly springtime. The drunken
rascal stood in front of the store and called out a stream of curses:
"I stole the board and sold it to buy drink. If you dare to come out, I
will fight you to death. If you do not dare to come out, I will curse
three generations of your ancestors." The three sons could not tolerate
the insult and wanted to go out to argue with him. Zhiding locked the
door and told his sons: "He is drunk and it is dark. It is hard to see
who he is. Let him curse and don't bother to argue with him." The
rascal then took some mud and smeared the front door. He continued to
curse until he lost his voice and was gasping. He finally got bored and
left. Because of being drunk and without clothes on, he got cold and
exhausted from shouting. The rascal died later that night.

The rascal's wife thought: "When he was shouting and insulting the Chen
family, they closed their doors and did not talk back. Neither did they
come out to fight with him. We have no case to appeal to the authority
for justice." Therefore, the wife had to buy the coffin and buried her

Three sons said: "If we had not listened to our father and gone out to
fight with him, how could we have escaped responsibility for his death?"

Our forefathers had unbelievable tolerance.

 (From "The Fragrance of Rain Flowers")

Translated from:

Add new comment