Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 149

Chapter 149


Chen Tingjian won the Zhuangyuan’s title at the age of nineteen, and the Bangyan of the same year was the 22-year-old He Qingxian.

At that time, both of them were students from poor families. Even though they achieved fame in the imperial examination, after a short period of prosperity, they had to face the incompatibility with the wealthy land of the capital.

Therefore, in the first two years of their friendship, Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian ate and lived together, and they were a pair of inseparable friends.

Until the difference in temperament allowed Chen Tingjian to make more and more new friends, while He Qingxian offended more and more people.

When He Qingxian was marginalized and sent to a local post, the relatively powerless Chen Tingjian could do nothing to help.

Since then, the two had embarked on completely different paths to become officials. Chen Tingjian had been promoted higher and higher, while He Qingxian had been promoted and demoted. He even almost beheaded because he wrote a letter scolding Hua Yang’s imperial grandfather.

But one’s early twenties was when a person was at his purest and most passionate, and the friendships formed at that time were also the most sincere.

Therefore, even though the two of them have not met each other for twenty-five years, when they meet again today, they only need to look at each other to know that the other person was still the old friend in their memory. The good qualities that should be there were still there, but the bad qualities that shouldn’t be there were not missing either.

When they first got into the carriage, Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian were very happy. The former hoped that He Qingxian could assist him in implementing his new policy and took this opportunity to gain a firm foothold in the capital and no longer need to take the post outside. The latter hoped that Chen Tingjian could accept the new policy he drafted, and completely restore this decadent and collapsed world to the prosperous times of the founding emperor and his successors, so that the people could truly be stable and the court would be clear.

It was just when He Qingxian took out his thick memorial and Chen Tingjian read it quickly, both of them stopped laughing and started a debate that got louder and louder.

Chen Tingjian originally planned to send He Qingxian all the way to the mansion awarded to this upright official by Emperor Yuanyou, and the two of them would talk freely while drinking.

However, the reality was that as soon as the carriage arrived at the gate of the city, Chen Tingjian got out of the carriage with a black face, changed into his own carriage, and took his two sons into the city first.

Qianqing Palace.

Liu Shou, the commander of Jinyiwei, reported the news passed by his men to Emperor Yuanyou and Empress Dowager Qi in detail.

Emperor Yuanyou: “Is there really a quarrel?”

Liu Shou: “Yes, the people queuing in and out of the city gate heard it. When Cabinet Elder Chen got out of the carriage, he cursed at the person inside, calling him ‘stubborn and obstinate.’ Cabinet Elder He then leaned out of the carriage window and retorted, calling him ‘self-opinionated and pigheaded.'”

Emperor Yuanyou:…

He himself was often lectured by Chen Tingjian, and he often saw Chen Tingjian reprimanding officials who were not doing well in their work. However, except for those few officials who had been demoted to unknown places, there were almost no people who dared to scold Chen Tingjian in person in the past two years.

He was a disciple, and if he wanted to refute Chen Tingjian, he had to be polite and tactful. As for his mother, she trusted Chen Tingjian very much and would only refute one or two things when Chen Tingjian speak up for him. She only hoped that Chen Tingjian could be a strict teacher and not indulge him too much.

After Liu Shou retreated, Emperor Yuanyou looked at Empress Dowager Qi: “Mother Empress, what will happen if He Qingxian refuses to cooperate with Cabinet Elder Chen’s reforms?”

You can’t just summon someone to the capital to be appointed as the cabinet elder, and then drive them back to Nanjing a few days later, right?

Empress Dowager Qi smiled: “Listen to both side and you will be enlightened, listen to one side and you will be confused.”

There was no court meeting the next day, so Chen Tingjian brought He Qingxian, who had just taken office, to pay respect to Emperor Yuanyou and Empress Dowager Qi.

When the two entered the door, Emperor Yuanyou first looked at his teacher and saw that Chen Tingjian was neatly dressed and had a smooth beard. He had a confident and calm demeanor, as if he had not had any trouble with He Qingxian yesterday.

Emperor Yuanyou then looked at He Qingxian, who was very famous but he’d never seen before. This Cabinet Elder He, who was clearly three years older than Chen Tingjian, was half a head shorter than Chen Tingjian and his complexion was wheat-yellow, which was common among farming people. He was thin but his waist was straight, with black beard and hair, and a determined gaze. He looked younger than Chen Tingjian.

Which emperor doesn’t like honest officials?

Emperor Yuanyou had always admired He Qingxian. When he saw the real person, Emperor Yuanyou couldn’t help but praise: “Cabinet Elder He’s graceful demeanor is indeed as proud as the pines on top of the mountain!”

He Qingxian was not polite to Chen Tingjian. Facing the young emperor, the ruler on whom the world’s people’s livelihood depended, He Qingxian felt heartfelt reverence and devotion. He immediately performed a full prostration and kowtow: “This minister’s temperament has never been favored by the monarch or court officials. This minister is deeply grateful for Your Majesty’s appreciation, which allowed this minister to enter the capital and the cabinet. This minister is profoundly moved and, for the rest of one’s life, this minister is willing to serve Your Majesty, offering one’s life in sacrifice, even to the point of death.”

Chen Tingjian stood on the side, looking at his old friend lying on the ground, and then tasted his old friend’s words again, he really didn’t know what to say.

Empress Dowager Qi glanced at him with a smile.

Emperor Yuanyou left the table, personally helped He Qingxian up, and said some words of encouragement that made He Qingxian’s eyes turn red.

However, Emperor Yuanyou also did not forget to speak for Chen Tingjian: “This time Cabinet Elder is able to join the cabinet, it still thanks to Sir’s strong stand against the people opinion.”

That was the truth. Since Emperor Yuanyou announced the new candidates for the Cabinet, the wave of officials who originally opposed the new policy have written letters against He Qingxian. Even officials who have always remained neutral have also written letters against him, which were all suppressed by Chen Tingjian.

He Qingxian glanced at Chen Tingjian faintly and said unceremoniously: “If it’s not for Your Majesty and Niangniang who want to use me, how can he think of this minister.”

A flash of embarrassment flashed across Emperor Yuanyou’s eyes.

Chen Tingjian didn’t care about this. When the monarch and ministers exchanged enough greetings, he brought up the topic of the new policy: “Your Majesty, Niangniang, it is already the winter month, and the annual leave will be in more than a month. The “Land Measurement Regulations” drafted by the cabinet previously, does Your Majesty and Niangniang think it’s feasible?”

Empress Dowager Qi looked at He Qingxian: “Cabinet Elder He has just joined the cabinet. Have you seen this “Land Measurement Regulations”?”

He Qingxian said: “Back to Niangniang, Cabinet Elder Chen has attached a copy in his letter to this minister, but this minister think this regulation is inappropriate.”

Empress Dowager Qi signaled Emperor Yuanyou to take a seat and asked humbly, “Cabinet Elder He please explain in more details.”

He Qingxian raised his head, and said spiritedly: “When Taizu founded the country, he ordered the country’s lands to be measured. At that time, it was calculated that there were 8.12 million hectares in the country. It stands to reason that as the people open up wasteland year after year, the country’s lands should be more and more. But after looking through the tax books for more than two hundred years, the land is getting less and less. If this minister remembered correctly, there are only 4.67 million hectares of farmland registered in the country last year.”

Emperor Yuanyou secretly clenched his fists, whatever was missing was his land!

Chen Tingjian said: “That’s why we have to measure again the land and let the powerful officials and gentry spit out the concealed lands, register it and pay taxes according to the rules.”

He Qingxian: “But the lands they concealed, including some that were not concealed, were also annexed from the hands of the common people. Based on this calculation, the court admitted that the fields they annexed were also in compliance with the law, then what is this called? In this minister’s opinion, the land should be measured again in strict accordance with the laws of our dynasty, and all annexed land should be confiscated and returned to the people. Those who refuse to return it, regardless of imperial clansmen, officials or gentry, should be executed!”

Chen Tingjian: “What you said seems simple, but there are countless officials and gentry in the world who have annexed lands. The court wants to use these officials to measure land but also confiscate their land, which official is willing to do it? Do you thing all the officials in the world as honest as you?”

He Qingxian: “Corrupt officials are indulged step by step. The court should have severely punished corrupt officials in strict accordance with the laws of the Taizu Dynasty. Kill the corrupt officials, and naturally no one will dare to be corrupt again.”

Chen Tingjian: “If you kill them all, who will work for the court? Who dares to be an official at this time? If there are no officials, who do you rely on to enforce the law?”

He Qingxian: “Someone has to take this step. If no one does, what’s the use of just measuring the land? Today, you find some cases of underreporting, and next year there will be new cases of underreporting. If they underreport, the total registered land area remains unchanged, and this portion will have to be accounted by the common people. The common people have already suffering enough; do you want to push them to their deaths by making them bear the taxes that corrupt officials evade?”

Chen Tingjian: “This time the Land Measurement only measured the land, and the total taxes in various places were still implemented according to last year. When the land that were concealed by the powerful officials and gentry were found, then the taxes shared by the common people were naturally reduced. Isn’t it beneficial to the country and the people?”

He Qingxian: “You think those corrupt officials are too stupid. They have been greedy for several lifetimes. There are policies from above and there are countermeasures from below. I can think of several ways they will deal with you. First, you have to measure the land, right? I can count the mountains, forests and tidal flats that cannot be cultivated at all. With so much land, the account books look good. But since the mountains, forests and tidal flats cannot grow food, this part of the tax has to be added to the common people. ”

“Secondly, I am a local official. I can also prepare two kinds of bow ruler . I use the big bow ruler to measure for the officials and gentry. Ten acres of land can only be measured as six or seven acres. Then I use the small bow ruler to measure the common people’s land, ten acres then measured out as thirteen or fourteen acres, so in the end, it becomes the common people who were underreporting their land, and taxes will still fall on them!”

Chen Tingjian: “Then let’s make it clear in the regulations that mountains, forests and tidal flats are not considered land. Anyone who dares to pretend will be punished according to the law. Bow ruler will be uniformly decided and distributed by the imperial court. If local officials dare to change their bow ruler for measurement, they will all be executed if the people expose it!” ”

He Qingxian: “But you still admitted the land annexation. The large amount of land in the hands of the imperial clansmen, officials and gentry is not taxed. For every more acre they annex, the court will collect one less acre of tax!”

Chen Tingjian: “You have to eat one bite at a time, and you have to do things step by step. Now the national treasury is empty, money is urgently needed everywhere to consolidate border defenses, manage the Yellow River, and provide disaster relief in various places. If you still offended all the imperial clansmen, officials and gentry in one breath, and the treasury still has no money, but there will be more internal worries and foreign troubles, is it feasible? If the court cannot sustain itself, the common people will only suffer more. Now, there is a way to make things a bit better for the common people and reduce the court’s internal and external troubles, why not do it? It’s like a family in a storm, watching their thatched cottage about to collapse. They might want to live in a sturdy brick house, but do they have one? Their first priority is to fix the leaking roof of the thatched cottage and nail down some wooden boards over the broken windows. If they dawdle and do nothing, the thatched cottage will collapse!”

He Qingxian wanted to say more, but Chen Tingjian scolded him again: “You are good at dreaming. Can you make all corrupt officials in the world disappear in one day with your dreams alone, or can you make the imperial clansmen, officials and gentry return their fields to the people overnight? If you really have such ability, I will give you the position of Chief Minister immediately!”

He Qingxian: ……

Empress Dowager Qi and Emperor Yuanyou, who were sitting on the chairs without saying a word as if they never existed from beginning to end: …

He Qingxian finally didn’t say anything more.

Chen Tingjian’s breathing gradually calmed down, and his flushed face gradually returned to its former fair and elegant appearance.

The two of them looked at the Empress Dowager and the Emperor at the same time.

As if resurrected from a statue, Empress Dowager Qi made a move and asked Emperor Yuanyou: “What does Your Majesty think?”

Emperor Yuanyou swallowed his saliva, his eyes turned again and again on the faces of the two cabinet elders, and finally said: “The new law will still be based on Sir’s guidelines. But your land measurement regulations do have some hidden dangers. Still ask Cabinet Elder He to amend them one by one, then have the cabinet redraft them before submitting them to Zhen and Empress Dowager for review.”

Chen Tingjian was the first to bow and said solemnly: “This minister accept the order.”

He Qingxian pursed his lips and finally lowered his head: “This minister obey the order.”

The two cabinet elders then retreated one after another.

After leaving Qianqing Palace, the cold wind outside blew over, and Chen Tingjian casually held down his long beard.

Next to him, He Qingxian snorted: “Now I will listen to you. But if in the future you don’t find a way to solve this grave disease of imperial clansmen, officials and gentry annexing people’s land, I will be done with you.”

Chen Tingjian had already return to his calm self. He looked beyond the palace wall into the distance, stroking his beard and said: “Be down to earth, there is no need to rush.”

Inside the palace.

Empress Dowager Qi was still fine, but after the figures of the two cabinet elders completely disappeared, Emperor Yuanyou was shocked to realize that his whole body was stiff. It was because he was too nervous just now.

For a moment, Emperor Yuanyou was really worried that Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian would start fighting.

Empress Dowager Qi looked at her son and said with a smile: “Now you understand why Cabinet Elder Chen has never call He Qingxian to the capital?”

Emperor Yuanyou nodded.

He Qingxian was a good official, but good officials might not be able to get things done. In terms of actual effectiveness, Chen Tingjian was better.

The author has something to say:

That night.

Sun shi: Why are you back early?

Cabinet Elder Chen: I feel tired.

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One thought on “Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 149

  1. Thanks! He qingxian sounds like a really upright perdon, and i admire that! He’s an idealist, and he doesnt want to compromise, and honestly, iadmire him for that. We dont have enough idealists with principles and ability in power. Anyway, the other officials being afraid of he qingxian is so funny! You only fear if you’ve done something wrong looool, except in certain instances which does not apply currently

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