To a large extent, the bureaucratic struggle in China’s feudal society was a big struggle of intrigue. Intrigue is not the patent of treacherous officials and thieves. Many loyal ministers are also very familiar with it. Their common rule of the game is: “no matter what the conspiracy or conspiracy, as long as you can win, you are good at it.” Yanying (578-500 B.C.), with the word Zhong, was called Yanzi in later generations. He was a native of Yiwei (now Laizhou, Shandong Province) in the state of Qi. He was born in the family of a doctor of Qi. He was an outstanding counsellor and diplomat in the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period. Yanzi was well-known in the state of Qi. This unsightly and short prime minister was very intelligent. He not only left Yanzi Chunqiu for posterity, but also became famous for his good advice to the king of Qi. He has been sent to foreign countries for many times, and he has been able to fulfill his mission and become a virtuous prime minister. However, for the long-term stability of the state of Qi and for the sake of his official position, such an upright gentleman also needs some intrigues. The most typical example is the famous “two peaches kill three scholars”. At that time, there were three warriors in the state of Qi: Tian Kaijiang, guyezi and gongsunjie. They were famous for their bravery and invincibility in the state of Qi. They were known as the “three warriors” and loved by the king of Qi. The three men became brothers with different surnames because of their mutual pity for each other. They were also called “three outstanding figures of the state of Qi”. They are arrogant and arrogant because of their meritorious deeds. On one occasion, Yanzi, who was already Prime Minister of the state of Qi, met him on the road. They didn’t even say hello. They were very arrogant. Even in front of Duke Qi Jing, they also called him “you and me”. When he was so rude, Duke Jing was naturally unhappy. At this time, the treacherous minister chenwuyu and others were plotting to usurp power. Seeing that the three men were extremely powerful and simple minded, they tried to buy off the past and act with ingenuity to plot to usurp chaos. Yanzi knew that if such evil forces were allowed to expand day by day, they would become future troubles, He took the opportunity to say to Duke Qi: “I think the generals under the wise monarch should understand the etiquette of the monarch and his subjects and understand the rules of the upper and lower levels. In this way, they can stop the violence in China and the enemy in the outside world. The upper level gives him rewards and the lower level is convinced. But now gongsunjie, tiankaijiang and guyezi don’t talk about the etiquette of the monarch and his subjects to the upper level, and they don’t have the virtue of respecting elders to the lower level. They can’t be used to prohibit tyranny at home and to resist the enemy externally. Therefore, they are really harmful It is better to get rid of those who are in national security as soon as possible. ” Duke Jing of Qi also hated these three people for a long time, but he was afraid that they had made outstanding contributions and had a reputation in the state of Qi. If they were punished rashly, they would probably lose the support of the people, so he dared not punish them. At this time, Yanzi just came to advise him, so he pushed the boat with the tide and handed it over to Yanzi. After a while, Duke Lu Zhaogong, the monarch of the state of Lu, visited the state of Qi. Duke Qi Jinggong wanted to take this opportunity to launch a diplomatic offensive to make the state of Lu break away from the alliance with the state of Jin and form an alliance with the state of Qi. Therefore, Duke Qi Jinggong ceremoniously received Duke Lu Zhaogong. At the banquet, Duke Zhao of Lu asked his uncle and sun she to make a gift, while Duke Jing of Qi asked Yanzi to make a gift. Under Duke Jing of Qi, there are three warriors like iron towers, who are the “three heroes of Qi”. Yanzi had been looking for the opportunity to get rid of the three men. At this time, he took it into his heart and went up to Duke Jing and said, “my Lord has planted several rare peach trees. It’s time to harvest peaches this year. I want to go and see them. I want to pick some peaches to taste fresh for the two monarchs. Can I help you?” Duke Jing agreed, and Yanzi asked himself to pick peaches. Yanzi only picked six peaches and said to Duke Jing, “peaches are not ripe, just a few.” In parallel with the wine order, he presented peaches to Duke Lu Zhao and Duke Qi Jing and said, “peaches are as big as a fight. They are rare in the world. If the king eats them, he will live for thousands of years.” Duke Lu Zhao and Duke Qi Jing ate one. Yanzi and uncle sun she praised each other. They both said that each other had made meritorious contributions to the monarch, and each ate one. In this way, there are only two peaches left. Yanzi said to Duke Qi, “there are still two peaches left. I think it’s better to ask the ministers below to say their own credit. Whoever has done more credit will eat peaches.” Duke Qi agreed, and Yanzi sent an order to the ministers below to give credit. The three warriors standing near Duke Qi Jing were the most impatient. Gongsun Jie took the first step and said, “once upon a time, when I was hunting with my Lord in Tongshan mountain, a tiger rushed out and rushed at him. I killed the tiger and saved his life. That’s a big credit!” Yanzi said, “you really contributed a lot to saving the Lord’s life. You should eat a peach.” Yanzi asked Duke Jing to give him a peach and a glass of wine. Gongsunjie thanked him and retired.
At this time, guyezi stepped forward and said, “killing a tiger is nothing. When I crossed the Yellow River with the Lord, a big crocodile bit the Lord’s horse. It was I who fought with the crocodile and killed the crocodile that saved the Lord’s horse.” Duke Qijing interjected, “if it weren’t for guyezi, let alone my horse, even my life would be lost.” Upon hearing this, Yanzi hurriedly asked Duke Jing of Qi to give guyezi a peach and a glass of wine. Guyezi drank wine, ate peaches, thanked him and retired.
Another warrior, Tian Kaijiang, was so angry when he saw that two peaches had been eaten up by the first two men that he shouted: “what is killing the tiger and killing the crocodile? The Lord asked me to fight the state of Xu. I killed the generals of the state of Xu and captured 500 enemies. Even the state of Tan and the state of Ju were attached to us. Is that a big contribution? How do you compare with them? Can I eat a peach with my contribution?”
Yanzi added a few words: “it’s more important to open up new territories than to kill tigers and crocodiles. Just after the peaches have been eaten, let the Lord give you a drink of wine!”
Duke Qi Jing also said, “you are the greatest in terms of credit, but it’s too late!”
Tian Kaijiang was very angry and said, “I won honor for the country and helped the Lord defeat the enemy country. On the contrary, I would rather be a man who kills tigers and crocodiles. What a shame to stand here!” With that, he drew his sword.
Gongsunjie said, “with so little credit, I even grabbed peaches to eat. I’m blushing when I think about it. I won’t live anymore!” Then he pulled out his sword and killed himself.
Guyezi shouted, “the three of us are brothers of life and death. Can I live if you two die?” Then he pulled out his sword and killed himself.
This is the famous story of “two peaches kill three scholars” in Chinese history. Yanzi, a “wily and crafty” guy, killed three “Heroes” with excellent martial arts without any trace. This not only shows his profound political wisdom, but also leaves a hidden rule for future generations in the competition for power in officialdom: plan before you move, no good or evil, victory is great!
As ministers, Tian Kaijiang, guyezi and gongsunjie did not understand the etiquette of being ministers. They were proud of their achievements, arrogant, domineering, bullying the upper and lower levels, and even made people use them to become tools for rebellious conspiracy to usurp the throne. They deserved their own death. Although their death was quite tragic, it was not worth pitying at all.
Yanzi, the virtuous prime minister, is really a model of foresight. Although he knows that these three people have no objection, he also knows that their arrogant personality and straight-minded heart are easy to be used by others. Moreover, these three people have a great reputation in the state of Qi, and will be difficult to deal with once they become chaotic. So he took advantage of the weakness of the three people’s characters to excite their “righteousness” with two peaches. Without bloodshed, he easily eliminated the three political hidden dangers. His taciturn and taciturn strategic wisdom can be described as high!