Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 76
Through the two finger holes made by Chen Jingzong, Hua Yang looked inside with a little anxiety.
She saw her father-in-law sitting behind the table at the front, explaining the “Wei Zheng Chapter” of “The Analects of Confucius” to the children.
“Confucius said: ‘Guide them with government, regulate them with punishment, and the people are free but without shame.'”
“‘Dao’ means guidance and governance, ‘Zheng’ means government, ‘Qi’ means regulation, and ‘Xing’ means punishment. Do you remember it?”
“Okay, Dalang, tell me what this sentence means.”
Dalang stood up. From Hua Yang’s angle, she could only see the side of Dalang’s face, which was very tense.
Facing the book in his hand, he was probably still sorting out his words, and during this period, Chen Tingjian kept looking at him, showing no signs of anger.
Finally, Dalang spoke: “It means, it means, use decrees to guide the people and use punishments to discipline the people, so that the people will not violate the law and will not feel shame.”
Chen Tingjian had no expression on his face, turned his eyes, and asked Erlang: “Is your elder brother’s explanation correct?”
Erlang stood up, thought for a moment, and said: “The first part is correct, but the saying ‘people are free but without shame’ is wrong. This sentence should mean that although the people are afraid of punishment and dare not commit crimes, they have no sense of shame and do not know what etiquette, righteousness and shame are. For instance, in the case of committing murder, even though people refrain from wanton killing to avoid legal consequences, their actions might still be inconsistent with propriety. People with a sense of shame should also consciously observe etiquette.”
Hua Yang nodded involuntarily. Erlang said it very well. He also gave examples to prove it, making it clear and easy to understand.
She looked at Dalang worriedly again.
Dalang’s face turned red and his head had already dropped.
Chen Tingjian snorted, looked at his eldest grandson and said: “You are the older brother, but you can’t understand it as well as your younger brother. First of all, the meaning of this sentence is not difficult at all. Even if you are not sure about the meaning of the last sentence, compare it with the following sentence “Guide them with virtue, regulate them with etiquette, there is shame and integrity” You should also know that these two sentences are contrasting. Furthermore, Confucius advocated conducting government with virtue. This is what every teacher will emphasize again and again before talking about “The Analects of Confucius”. How could a sage who preaches etiquette and benevolence think that it is enough to govern the people by law alone? As long as you are willing to use your brain more, you will not make such a small mistake. ”
At this moment, Dalang’s face was no longer red, but turned pale. Hua Yang even suspected that Dalang would cry if her father-in-law continued to speak.
Fortunately, her father-in-law didn’t speak further.
Dalang sat down, and Wan Yi beside him quietly shook her brother’s hand.
After reading this paragraph and explaining the meaning, Chen Tingjian asked the children to recite it three times.
Hua Yang breathed a sigh of relief inexplicably and left the two finger holes.
Although Chen Jingzong didn’t come over to take a look, he could heard the voices inside. Looking at Hua Yang, he whispered: “What would you do if he said this to you when you were a child?”
Hua Yang pursed her lips.
If she were seven years old, she would definitely cry if her father-in-law scolded her so mercilessly in front of other people.
“Doesn’t Father even know how to take care of Dalang’s face?” she asked in a low voice.
Chen Jingzong sneered: “Where would he care? He will only think that this is the consequence that Dalang should bear after making a mistake. If he knows any shame, he should not do it again next time.”
Hua Yang was silent for a moment and sighed: “Probably only a child as smart as Erlang can satisfy Father. As long as he doesn’t make mistakes, he doesn’t have to worry about being scolded by Father.”
Hua Yang felt fortunate again, in terms of intelligence, her brother was not inferior to Erlang.
Chen Jingzong’s gaze on her seemed to say “stupid fairy”.
When the reciting ended, the teaching began again.
Hua Yang “bribed” Wan Yi so she could eavesdrop today. She wanted to observe for a while and continued to looked inside through the finger hole.
It was time for Chen Tingjian to talk about the next paragraph, so he asked Erlang to read it first.
Erlang had a good performance just now. Knowing that his grandfather was very satisfied with him, his expression was inevitably a bit proud. He picked up the book and started reading in a measured tone: “Confucious said: ‘At ten, I am determined to learn, at thirty, I am established. At forty, I am without doubt. At fifty, I know the destiny. At sixty, my ears deaf…”
Before Hua Yang noticed anything was wrong, Chen Jingzong’s muffled laugh suddenly could be heard next her.
At the same time, there was a “pop” sound on the table, which shocked her whole body.
Ignoring Chen Jingzong, Hua Yang quickly looked inside.
Then she saw her father-in-law’s angry look. When a person got angry, their breathing became heavier. Her father-in-law’s beard fluttered slightly when he breathed heavily.
Chen Tingjian’s anger was directed at Erlang: “Say it again, at sixty and what?”
Erlang’s face was also pale, with a hint of confusion. He leaned closer to the book and nervously repeated: “At sixty, my ears deaf, no, my ears obedient!”
Oops, he mispronounced a word!
And “deaf” was not a good word. When he was playing in the garden, he often heard some stewards scolding the little maids and servants whether they were deaf and couldn’t hear instructions clearly!
“It’s written clearly in black and white. If you can’t do such a simple thing, how can I expect you to serve the country in the future!
“Don’t be complacent just because you think you’re smart. There are no shortage of people likein this world, brilliance when he was young but unaccomplished when he grew up. If you don’t curb your arrogance, you will be the next one!”
Erlang’s face turned red, but he was more cheerful than Dalang and was not so thin-skinned. He was still afraid, but not to the point of being scared to tears by his grandfather.
Hua Yang outside the window felt that there was no need to listen anymore.
She looked at Chen Jingzong and silently walked down the steps.
Not long after, the couple returned to Siyi Hall.
Chen Jingzong went to the bathroom and came out after washing his hands. He saw her sullenly leaned on the couch in the side room, tilting her head and looking out the window, not knowing what she was thinking.
Chen Jingzong did not disturb her. He sat on the end of the couch and observed her silently.
Hua Yang was thinking about her brother.
Her brother had both Erlang’s intelligence and Dalang’s sensitivity, but her brother had been sealed as the crown prince since early age and was not as timid as Dalang.
In other words, her brother was more like Chen Jingzong, he had the courage to resist her father-in-law. But Chen Jingzong had only resisted her father-in-law alone, there was no one else to suppress him. Unlike her brother, he also had father emperor and mother empress on top. In addition to being parents, father emperor and mother empress also shouldered the imperial power. As long as her brother carry the title crown prince, he would be bound by the imperial power and etiquette. If he openly rebelled against her father-in-law, father emperor, mother empress, then the heavy etiquette shackles would press on him.
In her previous life, Hua Yang always thought that her brother truly respected her father-in-law.
The emperor enjoyed many privileges. Like the imperial grandfather and father emperor, if they wanted to favor any minister, even if someone puts that said minister’s crimes in front of them one by one, the imperial grandfather and father emperor could find a way to deal with it and kept the people they wanted to protect.
Therefore, even if her father-in-law really committed those crimes in the previous life, as long as her brother favored her father-in-law, as long as her brother was willing, her brother could forgive and forget.
However her brother didn’t protect her father-in-law, either because her brother hated evil like an enemy, couldn’t tolerate any sand in his eyes, and didn’t want to be a partial emperor, or because hatred for her father-in-law had already sprouted in his heart.
In the past, Hua Yang always felt that there was no reason for her brother to hate her father-in-law. It was her father-in-law’s reforms that made the treasury sufficient for common people to have enough food and clothing. He was such a good minister and loyal to the court, how could he be hated by the emperor?
But today, Hua Yang, who witnessed her father-in-law’s harsh teaching, suddenly realized that her brother had reasons to hate her father-in-law.
Chen Jingzong hated her father-in-law when he was a child, but the two had a father-son relationship. Chen Jingzong understood that her father-in-law was strict because he hoped that his son would succeed. Therefore, when Chen Jingzong grew up, he only disrespected his father-in-law in terms of etiquette, rather than truly disowning his father.
Her brother and father-in-law were just monarchs and ministers. The relationship between teachers and students should have been the icing on her father-in-law’s cake, but it turned into hatred due to her father-in-law’s strictness.
Should she blame her brother for losing his righteousness due to personal hatred?
Hua Yang could blame him, but he was her biological brother, a flesh and blood brother. Everyone asked him to be a wise monarch, but in addition to being a crown prince, he was also an ordinary child. He could get angry and aggrieved, and after suppressing it for a long time, then coupled with being too impulsive due to young age…
The Chen family and their descendants could blame her brother. As a sister, Hua Yang was angered by his impulsiveness, but she could also understand the frustration that her brother must endure and could not vent.
She still hoped that in this life she could change her father-in-law’s teaching style, so that it would be good for both her brother and her father-in-law, so that one could be happy and the other would not be let down, affecting the whole family.. Her brother was destined to be the next emperor, and the people of this dynasty couldn’t live without her father-in-law.
In the face of the overall situation, Hua Yang’s feelings for her brother and her admiration for her father-in-law were nothing.
The turbulent emotions gradually calmed down, Hua Yang breathed out gently, and looked away from the blue sky outside the window, only to realize that Chen Jingzong had been sitting opposite her. She was leaning against the west wall, and he was leaning against the east wall. One hand hanging down at his side, while the other resting on his bent left knee, looking at her with an unreadable expression.
Hua Yang: “Why do you look at me like that?”
Chen Jingzong: “Like what?”
Hua Yang: “Anyway, it’s different from your usual frivolity.”
Chen Jingzong: “Maybe I became serious a long time ago, and you just discovered it.”
She glared at him and looked at the teapot on the table.
Chen Jingzong consciously got off the couch, poured a cup of tea, and brought it to her.
Hua Yang moved to the edge of couch and wanted to take the tea cup, but Chen Jingzong pushed her hand away and insisted on feeding her.
Hua Yang drank two sips, and Chen Jingzong drank the rest. The tea cup was placed on the side. He then sat down, looked at her and said, “You didn’t seem very happy just now. Did you find that the old man is not as good as you think, so you don’t admire him anymore, so your love the house and its crow is gone, so you’re starting to regret this marriage?”
She was really speechless by him: “You think more than I do.”
Chen Jingzong: “After all, you are the Princess, and I am a Prince Consort who can be abandoned at any time. If we are just an ordinary couple, why should I worry about you running away?”
Hua Yang raised her eyebrows: “What do you mean? If I were an ordinary lady, would you dare to beat and scold me at will?”
Chen Jingzong: “Why do I want to beat you? The meaning of ordinary couples is that even if one day you want to divorce, if I don’t let go, you will only be my wife for the rest of your life.”
The tern “wife” sounded vulgar and rustic to Hua Yang.
“Don’t worry, I still admire Father, and I have no regrets about marrying into your Chen family.”
Instead, Chen Jingzong showed a complicated expression: “Even when he’s like that, do you still think he is good?”
Hua Yang smiled: “He’s too harsh, but he’s not harsh on me. Why should I hate him?”
Chen Jingzong was stimulated by her gloating smile. He walked away for a few steps, turned around again, looked at her and said, “They say husband and wife are one. I thought when you saw his true face, you would feel sorry for the suffering I experienced when I was a child, and then will never be partial to the old man again!
Hua Yang: “Dalang is indeed very pitiful, but your face is thicker than the city wall. No one needs to feel sorry for you.”