Thursday, 17 April 2008

Forest of anedotes 5 - Hegemons and virtue

晉 人 伐 邢 , 齊 桓 公 將 救 之 , 鮑 叔 曰 : 『 太 蚤 。 邢 不 亡 , 晉 不 敝 , 晉 不 敝 , 齊 不 重 。 且 夫 持 危 之 功 , 不 如 存 亡 之 德 大 。君 不 如 晚 救 之 以 敝 晉 , 齊 實 利 。 待 邢 亡 而 復 存 之 , 其 名實 美 。 』 桓 公 乃 弗 救 。

The people of Jin had attacked Xing, and duke Huan of Qi was about to rescue it. But Bao Shu said: “This is too early. Xing is not destroyed, and Jin has not been weakened. As Jin is not weak, Qi will not prevail. Besides, supporting a state in danger is not as great a deed as restoring it after it was destroyed. You lordship should delay its rescue until Jin is weakened, this would be better for Qi. And waiting until Xing is destroyed to restore it, will earn you a greater fame”. Duke Huan did not rescue Xing.

Duke Huan of Qi was the first hegemon of the Springs and Autumns. As the leader of the feudal princes, he was supposed to rescue small states, like Xing.

No comments: