Who Cares – Chapter 137
Chapter 137 Literary Treasure
Emperor Sheng Yuan had received the “Subset Commentary” presented by Supervisor of Attendants since half a month ago, and many civil servants from poor families wanted to elect Xu Guangzhi as the chief examiner of the imperial examination, and even more students from all over the world cheered and made a big splash for him.
Obviously, he had refuted him twice before, reducing Xu Guangzhi’s reputation to the mud, but he still had the ability to jump out, and each time he jumped harder and harder. This showed how ambitious this person was, how tough he was, and how high his ability was. Perhaps because last time he was dependent on the powerful people and lost to the heart of the common people, this time he learned the lesson and took control of the people’s hearts first, and replaced the target with the world’s students.
How many students were there in the world? Thousands upon thousands, with endless follow-up, and how many of them could get the guidance of great teachers? One in ten thousand! Xu Guangzhi was precisely looking at this point that he dared to cross many great Confucian giants and write the “Subset Commentary”, because he knew that as long as this book spread, the poor students all over the world would become his loyal fans. Immediately afterwards, he published an article expounding his views on “The Teacher’s way”, branding himself as a pioneer who dared to be the first, the vanguard of promoting Confucianism, degrading those who rebuked him as Shu dogs that bark at the sun, completely blocked the mouths of all the present age’s scholars.
This first punch and second punch smashed down one after another, and it really opened a way for him to reach the sky. Because of Madam, Emperor Sheng Yuan hated the house and its crows, and immediately wanted to dismiss the memorial, but because of his high reputation, if he suppressed him again, it could chilled the hearts of students all over the world, so he could only delay.
Whenever Supervisor of Attendants asked about it, Emperor Sheng Yuan said that he had not fully understand the “Subset Commentary” and had to ponder it more. After all, the promotion of the compulsory reading list for the imperial examination was a major event, so it had to be controlled. However, Supervisor of Attendants had already planned in advance, and just waiting for the emperor’s approval, then he would join hands with Xu Guangzhi to write a few more Confucian commentary books, gain a name for himself, win over students, and expand his power.
Some people were waiting, and Emperor Sheng Yuan was also waiting. From what he knew about Madam, she seldom hated a person, but once she did, she would fight to her last breath. In the first two rounds, she fought with Xu Guangzhi to the end, there was no reason why there was no movement this time, so he sent a secret guard to inquire, and sure enough, he got the news that Madam was also writing a book.
Warriors fight with blade and sword’s shadows, in bloody rain and bloody storm; scholars fight with words and brush,. Madam, are you going to start a literary war with Xu Guangzhi? Thinking like this, Emperor Sheng Yuan was looking forward to it, and he also opened the “Subset Commentary” and read it carefully, trying to find out any errors and omissions.
In this way, time naturally passed quickly, and unconsciously half a month had passed. Emperor Sheng Yuan found seven or eight doubts, recorded it in a booklet, and waited until he could ask Madam for advice in the future, but one day he received a stack of manuscripts from the dark guard, saying that it was Madam’s masterpiece.
“It finished so soon?” Emperor Sheng Yuan was surprised, he opened two pages and couldn’t help but chuckle. Madam, Madam, apart from being a rogue, hypocritical, and duplicitous, you are also arrogant and vindictive, use brush and paper as a knife, and really do not leave Xu Guangzhi any way to live.
“(xué ér shí xí zhī) “, Xu Guangzhi misunderstood the words “ ” and “ “, and actually made Madam to go through all of Confucius’s works to prove the true meaning of those two words, not let go of the slightest negligence.
Emperor Sheng Yuan could almost imagine her reading at night with the lights on and writing hard, and he could also imagine she went through the words one by one with her white fingertips. She was really not hesitating at all, when she decided to do something, she would try to do her best.
Taking out his booklet and comparing it with Madam’s manuscript, Emperor Sheng Yuan was ashamed. He thought that he had worked hard and made great progress, but compared with Madam, he was still far behind. Presumably that the students outside who take Xu Guangzhi as their teachers were even lower.
When Emperor Sheng Yuan secretly decided to increase the difficulty of the imperial examination and select the real talents, another dark guard came to report that Madam’s article had provoked a literary war, and now all the great scholar have gathered in the tea house opposite the literary notice. If there was an article that attracts their attention, they would immediately write an article to refute or comment.
The literary thought of an experienced scholar in the literary circle could not be compare with ordinary people, because there was mountain of books and sea of ink hidden in the heart, once they had an inspiration they could immediately write it down, no need to ponder over it too much. Therefore, in just half a day, Madam’s article had already led to more than a dozen masterpieces. One was more profound than the other, one was more subtle than the other, the literary giants seemed to be competing with each other. First, they used three quarter of their power to test each other, when they saw that their opponents were very good, they showed their real skills. Later, more and more masters participated. In order not to be inferior, they even took out their hidden ability.
This made it advantageous for the students who came to watch. They felt that this article was exquisite, and that article was peerless. Even if they had a few hundred pairs of eyes, they couldn’t read it all, and their hearts were burning with anxiety.
Emperor Sheng Yuan did not expect that Madam would make such a big move, but at present it was a good thing, and immediately dispatched the Guards to protect the literary notice, and one article was not allowed to be overlaid on another article; no one was allowed to take it at will; one eight (八) shape stone wall were not enough to post it, then another wooden wall was added; after nightfall, all articles have to be copied and backed up, and finally recorded it in a book.
Since ancient times, the people of the Central Plains have the habit of. They loved to hide and tuck any secret skills they have mastered, and never divulge these even to their own disciples. Therefore, many skills or learning have gradually declined. Such a grand occasion where they tried to one-up each other and revealed everything they know, was simply unheard and unseen before.
When talking about inciting people’s hearts, Madam was still the best on this matter. Instead it was Xu Guangzhi who was dragged over by her and used as a target, and suffered a huge secret loss in vain. Didn’t you see that each of these great scholars had to step on Xu Guangzh in their article? It was also a trend brought by Madam.
While paying attention to the progress of the situation, Emperor Sheng Yuan was full of admiration for Madam. Seeing that she had quietly hid away and no longer participated in the follow-up literary war, he was relieved. Now that her pseudonym had been exposed, if she mix in it again, she might have the reputation of being rampant among the younger generation. But her age and gender gave her the most comprehensive protection. Just one sentence “Don’t care about women” could stop the mouths of many literary giants and made her knowledge more noticeable.
A woman was only three points high, and when she spread out she could get seven points recognition, and with Madam’s great talent, no one could belittle her against their conscience at this moment. However, in the future, if she use the name of the Innkeeper to post again, her authority and influence might be greatly reduced. People in the world despised women, this was a common practice and could not be changed.
When Madam becomes the Empress of Wei Kingdom, she will no longer be slight by anyone, and Zhen will make her the most honorable woman in the world. Thinking like this, Emperor Sheng Yuan finally calmed down, tore the note that recorded the slander towards Madam into pieces, and threw it into the brazier and burned it.
The next day, there was silence in the court hall. Several civil court ministers who had previously urged Xu Guangzhi to become official were silent, sweating like a waterfall, secretly praying that half a month passed, and the emperor had forgotten their memorials. But heaven failed people’s wishes, to their surprise the emperor took out a book, which was undoubtedly the “Subset Commentary”, and then took out a thick stack of manuscripts, and said solemnly, “Yesterday, a literary war broke out in Yanjing, which really opened Zhen’s perspective, it turns out that the battle for literary and academic names is no less powerful than the battle for city and territory. Zhen spent a day and a night reading the masterpieces of the great scholars, and these twelve sichen (tn: 24 hours) was far better than years of bitter reading, it stirred up the literary thought in one’s mind, and leave a rich aftertaste!”
He casually threw the “Subset Commentary” aside, his tone was cold, “Zhen almost got duped by this master Xu again. Last time the policy theory broke my law and discipline in the court, this time wrote a book and messed up my literary exam. If Zhen approve your memorials and this book is listed as one of the required read for the imperial examination, it is equivalent to making Xu’s words superior to the Sage’s words; making Xu’s Neo-Confucianism authoritarian in Wei’s literary world. Ten or twenty years later, which scholar can understand the real thoughts of Confucius and Mencius? All become Xu Guangzhi’s mouthpiece and supporters!”
Resolutely brushing off the book, he said word by word, “Today’s students are all disciples of the Son of Heaven, not the disciples of others! If anyone wants to form faction inside and outside the court, and use power for personal gain, don’t blame Zhen for shooting thunder! Xu Guangzhi is ambitious and his scheme is not small, Zhen really dare not use him, and whoever recommends him to enter the officialdom in the future, first settled his own official hat and then talk about it!”
People, who couldn’t stand Xu Guangzhi’s way of recruiting disciples and monopolizing the academic’s court officials, today were ready to stop him from becoming official, but they didn’t expect the emperor to completely block his front and back road himself, which was really gratifying.
“Your Majesty is wise!” One person bowed down and everyone surrendered, and the matter was thus over.
There was silence in the hall for a moment, and then everyone saw the Emperor Teacher walked forward and said slowly, “Your Majesty, the minister has a memorial to submit. Although Xu Guangzhi is fishing for fame, but he also set a precedent, to seek a good teacher for the students all over the world, so his original intention is still good, still ask Your Majesty to calm down his anger. This minister feels the Wei students’ thirst for knowledge, implore Your Majesty to summon the world’s great scholars to jointly create a Confucian treasure book to pass on to the present and future generations. In addition, please call the great masters of Hundred School of Thought to cast another encyclopedic collection, so as not to make the culture of the Central Plains decline and wilt down, and don’t let us teachers wither.” After the words finished, he fell down and knelt reverently.
Emperor Sheng Yuan had a keen political sense, and immediately realized the huge benefits hidden in what Emperor Teacher said. Creating a Confucian treasure book could quickly establish the status of Confucianism in the country, and laid a solid foundation for the smooth implementation of the art of imperialism; Casting the Hundred Schools of Thought’s treasure book, this huge temptation would surely attract countless talents and scholars to gather in Yanjing, and they could be used by the court.
After the war, although Wei Kingdom owned a vast land, most of the people fled beyond the pass or overseas, for fear that the barbarians would come to power and harm the Han people; and Xu Guangzhi shouted the slogan “Dismiss the hundred schools and revere only Confucianism” had also scared away all the scholars of the Hundred Schools of Thought. What did Wei Kingdom lack the most now? In addition to government income was talent.
The Jiuli people were good at martial arts but not proficient in literature, and they were not loyal to Emperor Sheng Yuan, so he could not use or dare to use them. On top of that, there were too few poor officials under his command, so that he couldn’t completely eliminate the influence of the noble family in the government, just because they monopolized the academics and talents.
Legalist, Military School, physician, historians, farmers, Mohist… scholars from Hundred Schools of Thought were the pillars of the country. If they could gather in Yanjing and flood into the court, what’s the problem with the? What’s the problem with Xue The Thief? Wei Kingdom would definitely become powerful within five years!