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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.



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