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Archive for October 6th, 2010

Wit of Yen Ying

Yen Ying who lived in the six century B.C was a scholar and a wit. He was a very short man. He was once sent by the ruler of Tsi as a diplomat to the kingdom of Chu. The king took one look at him and was displeased. In order to humiliate him he asked,”Are there no better persons in your country to send than you?”
“Of course there are,” answered the diplomat still keeping his poise,” why there are so many able men in our country that when they spread out their long sleeves they can hide the sun and when they perspire, it looks like rainfall.”
“Then why you?”
Yen Ying explained,” My government sends out diplomats to different countries according to the nature of the country to which they will be attached-the clever ones to clever rulers and stupid ones to stupid rulers. I am about the most stupid in my country.That is why I am sent to you.”
Later during the banquet two thieves were brought before the king. When found out that they were the diplomat’s country men from Tsi, the king turned to Yen Ying and asked ‘Why are there so many thieves in your country?”
Yen Ying replied,” Your Majesty, have you seen the little oranges that are grown north of the Huai River? They are from the same seed as the big oranges south of the Huai. It is the climate. People who are born and live in our country do not steal. But when they come to your country, I don’t know why, they go about stealing. It must be the climate of Chu, I suppose. “
(Book of Yentse)
benny

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