Stories from History: Liu Xizai Maintained High Moral Integrity

Liang Yan

PureInsight | August 19, 2007

[] Liu Xizai was
from Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, during the Qing dynasty. He succeeded
in the highest imperial examination during Emperor Daoquang's reign. He
was first assigned to do compilation and then became an education
officer in the Imperial Academy. He depended on teaching students in
the capital city to make his living and refused to accept assistance
from friends and relatives.

During Xianfeng period, he was assigned to the School for the Emperor's
Sons. He always walked to his office, even during snowstorms. His shoes
and clothes were so old and shabby that emperor's sons laughed at him
in secret and nicknamed him "cook academician." During the Chinese New
Year, the eunuchs of the imperial court usually sent meat and wine to
the officers in the school to seek awards. When they came to Liu's
home. They saw there weren't any curtains hung on the doors or mosquito
netting on bed. They saw Liu, sitting on the floor, using a clay pot to
cook unpolished rice. The eunuchs sighed: "Mr. Liu is so poor. How can
we ask money from him?"

From The Records of Academic Circles written in the Qing dynasty.

Translated from

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