Duke Huan of Qi
“Enlightenment” is the beginning of the Tao, “breaking” is the continuation of the Tao, “learning” is the transformation of the Tao.
Duke Huan of Qi was originally a generation of heroes. With the assistance of the virtuous Prime Minister Guan Zhong and baoshuya, he became the first overlord of the princes in the spring and Autumn period. In his later years, his will declined, he spoiled his concubines, used adultery, and became a sycophant. He had six sons, all of whom were born from concubines and all of whom were qualified to inherit the throne. Duke Huan of Qi first established Zhao as the crown prince, while Shu Diao, Yi Ya and others wanted to establish Wuji as the crown prince. They were extremely dissatisfied with Guan Zhong and slandered him many times by taking advantage of his status as a courtier. When Guan Zhong warned Duke Huan to stay away from the three men, he was reluctant to part with them. After leaving for a few days, he felt that life was very difficult, because other people were not as good as these three people, and their work was in line with his wishes. So he recalled the three men to his side.
When Guan Zhong was critically ill, Duke Huan asked his ministers who could be prime minister, but Guan Zhong didn’t give a positive answer. Duke Huan asked Yi Ya how he was doing. Guan Zhong said such people were unreliable. Duke Huan asked about Fang Fang again. Guan Zhong said that such people were disloyal. Duke Huan asked how Shu Diao was. Guan Zhong said that such people were not really loyal. Guan Zhong exposed the three courtiers and thought that they all had other intentions and could not be entrusted with important tasks.
When Duke Huan fell ill, Yi Ya and Duandiao took the opportunity to start. After Guan Zhong’s death, Duke Huan of Qi was old and had many internal favours. His body was difficult to support. Therefore, the power of the court fell to the court coup and Duke Huan was imprisoned in the palace. First, they passed on a false imperial edict, forbidding Duke Huan’s sons and ministers to visit the palace. Later, they cut off Duke Huan’s diet. Only a palace maid yan’e crawled in from the cave to serve him. Duke Huan asked her why she was so hungry and thirsty that no one sent water and food. Yan’e told him that Yi Ya and Shu Diao had been making trouble outside and blocking the court for a long time. Duke Huan didn’t realize it until he died, but it was too late. Finally, he died with hatred, and yan’e also hit the pillar and died.
After Duke Huan was starved to death, he changed his teeth and kept his secrets secret. He also poisoned the court officials who gathered at the gate of the palace. Then the eldest son Wugui ascended the throne. Other princes vied to occupy the left palace, the right palace and other important strongholds, making the whole Qi a hell on earth. But the body of Duke Huan was ignored.
In the following year, Duke Xiang of song joined forces with other princes to attack Qi, and such bandits as Yiya and Duandiao were either killed or absconded. After the turmoil, the national strength of the state of Qi was far beyond that of Duke Huan when he was the overlord. If Duke Huan of Qi could listen to the advice of Guan Zhong and other virtuous officials and stay away from Yi Ya and other sycophantic officials, he would not end up in such a miserable situation. The prosperity of Qi could last longer.
Even if the true masters are not very talented, they can still get the world and govern the world well. This is because they are good at employing people with high morality and talent to help themselves. As a monarch, there must be some key people around to help him. So how to handle the relationship between himself and these people has become a direct factor in the success or failure of a monarch. Duke Huan of Qi died miserably in the palace, but no one knew it. The reason why he ended up so miserably was that he failed to grasp the relationship between himself and his cronies.
To put it more thoroughly, Duke Huan of Qi was defeated because he failed to understand people well. Duke Huan misused people because he didn’t realize it. Finally, he personally sent himself to the tiger’s mouth. “One leaf blinds the eyes” means that Duke Huan of Qi, who can’t understand others thoroughly, mistook these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” for real sheep with hypocritical faces. Naturally, he will inevitably become the food of these “wolves”. Such a tragic end, just because there is no “Enlightenment”!