A String of Chinese Peach Stones

Thou art the Man.

Or “Will your Excellency be pleased to enter the Jar?” This is a proverbial expression referring to Zhou Xing, who was an official of T’ang dynasty under the reign of Empress Wu, Zhou was a great extortioner, and the Empress was troubled by his evil deeds, so Her Majesty sent Lai Juncheng, an under-official to call upon him, and bade him relate the supposititious case of a mandarin guilty of certain grave offences, inquiring what should be done to him.

‘ For such rascality,’ was the reply, ‘ hanging is too good. Let a great jar of oil be prepared, and boil him alive in it.’

Lai ordered a jar to be set up in Zhou’s garden, filled up full jar of oil, and set fire underneath.

‘Will your Excellency be pleased to enter the jar?’ exclaimed the Imperial messenger.”

At that time, Zhou realized he was the man, and confessed his crime and beg for pardon.

 

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