Skip to main content

Ching K'o trying to assassinate the King of Ch'in

Prince Tan of the State of Yen, for some cause or other had been living in Ts'in as a hostage.

There he had been treated most cruelly by King Chung, so that when he returned to his home his heart was burning with a desire to revenge his wrongs. He was determined that Chung should die, for nothing short of his death would satisfy him. In order to accomplish his purpose he consulted with a man named King-k'o as to the means by which it could be carried out. The latter volunteered to do the bloody deed, but the question was, How was he to penetrate through the guards that surrounded the king, so that he could get near his person ?

At that time there was living in Yen a traitorous general Fan-yu Chi from Ts'in, for whose head Chung had offered a thousand pieces of gold and high official employment. King-k'o proposed that this man should be executed, and that he should take his head to Chung and seize the opportunity of murdering him. The prince, who by this time had become Duke, revolted from this proposal, not only because he was under his protection, but also because he had been kind to him when he was living in Ts'in. King-k'o said, "If you have any scruples about the matter I shall settle it with Fan-yu himself."

He accordingly visited him and told him that a plan was being matured to kill Chung, and that he was the man that had been appointed to assassinate him. He soon found that he had a willing listener, for he had suffered terribly, and he was prepared to assist in any scheme that would bring sorrow upon his enemy. King-k'o then showed him that his great difficulty was in devising some way by which he could approach the tyrant. " There is only one way," he continued, "that I can see out of the difficulty. " "And what is that ? " eagerly asked Fan-yu. " By taking your head," he replied, " for you know that he has offered a large reward to the man that brings it to him." " Most willingly will I give my life," he said, "to rid the world of a man who has not only sought my destruction, but has also murdered my wife and family and driven me a hopeless fugitive from my home."

He accordingly committed suicide, and King-k'o, with his head and a map of Yen, showing its boundaries and productions. Prince Tan then obtained the sharpest possible dagger, refined it with poison, and gave it to Ching K'o. Prince Tan and other guests wore white clothing and white hats at the Yi River to send the assassins off. Ching K'o sang a song "wind blow, river freeze. The hero fords, never returns!"

Ching K'o proceeded to the court of Chung, under the pretence of bringing Fan-yu's head, and also of pointing out to him how easily he could conquer Yen and add it to his dominions. He was received with the greatest honour by the king, but whilst King-k'o was showing him the map, and waiting for a propitious moment in which to stab him, Chung saw the gleam of his knife, and starting up in the greatest alarm began to struggle with the would-be assassin, who was soon overcome and slain. He was so enraged at this attempt on his life that he determined to avenge himself by invading Yen. This he did, and soon this state was added to his own.
Jing Ke


Popular posts from this blog

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry." "Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The o

The Legend of The Three-Life Stone

The Buddhist believe metempsychosis, or the migration of the souls of animated beings, people's relationships are predestined through three states of life: the past, present, and future life. Legend has it that there's a road called Yellow Spring Road, which leads to Fogotten River. Over the river there's a bridge called Helpless Bridge (Naihe Bridge), at one end of the bridge sits a crimson stone called Three-life Stone. When two people die, they take this route to reincarnation. if they carve their name on the Three-life Stone together while they pass the stone, they are to be predestined to be together in their future life. Although before their rebirth they will be given a MengPo Soup to drink and thereby their memory of past life are obliterated. In reality, San-Sheng Shi (三生石), or Three-Life Stone is located beside Flying Mountain near the West Lake, Hangzhou. On the stone, there is seal with three Chinese characters that say "The Three-life Stone," and a de

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.' The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away. Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.' Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away. The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance. [This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'.  Osers noted that this story was