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The hegemony of Ch’u was due to Fan-chi's efforts

King Chuang of Ch’u-held morning audience until late. Fan-chi went down the hall to meet him, saying, "How late you have dismissed court! Are you not hungry and tired?"
King Chuang said, "Today I was listening to loyal and worthwhile discourse, so that I felt neither hunger nor fatigue."

Fan-chi said, "This person Your Highness speaks of as loyal and worthy, is he a guest from one of the other feudal lords, or is he an officer of the Middle Kingdom?"

King Chuang said, "Why it is my Prime Minister Shên."

Fan-chi covered her mouth and laughed.

The king said, "What are you laughing at?"

Fan- chi said, "For eleven years I have been privileged to wait on your Highness when you were bathing and washing your hair by holding your towel and comb and by spreading your coverlet and mat. But there was never a time I was not sending men into Liang and Chêng to seek out beautiful women whom I could bring into Your Highness's presence. There are ten of the same rank as myself, and two who are superior to me. Not that I did not wish to monopolize your affection, but I would not dare for private motives to keep other beauties in obscurity, and I want you to see more of them that you may be happy. Now Prime Minister Shên has been minister in Ch’u for several years, and I have never seen him advance a worthy man or retire an undeserving one. So how does he come to be taken for loyal and worthy?"

At court next morning the King told Prime Minister Shên what Fan-chi had said. Prime Minister Shên withdrew from his place and put forward Sun-shu Ao. After Sun-shu Ao had governed Ch’u for three years, the state of Ch’u became hegemon.

The historiographer of Ch’u, taking brush in hand, wrote in the records, "The hegemony of Ch’u was due to Fan-chi's efforts."

The Ode says,
The hundred plans you think of
Are not equal to the course I was going to take.
Fan-chi is an example of this.

楚庄王听朝罢晏。樊姬下堂而迎之,曰:“何罢之晏也?得无饥倦乎?”庄王曰:“今日听忠贤之言,不知饥倦也。”樊姬曰:“王之所谓忠贤者,诸侯之客欤?中国之士欤?”庄王曰:“则沈令尹也!”樊姬掩口而笑。庄王曰:“姬之所笑,何也?”姬曰:“妾得于王,尚汤沐,执巾栉,振衽席,十有一年矣;然妾未尝不遣人之梁郑之间,求美女而进之于王也;与妾同列者、十人,贤于妾者、二人,妾岂不欲擅王之宠哉!不敢私愿蔽众美,欲王之多见则娱。今沈令尹相楚数年矣,未尝见进贤而退不肖也,又焉得为忠贤乎!”庄王旦朝,以樊姬之言告沈令尹,令尹避席而进孙叔敖。叔敖治楚,三年,而楚国霸。楚史援笔而书之于策,曰:“楚之霸,樊姬之力也。”《诗》曰:“百尔所思,不如我所之。”樊姬之谓也!

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