[one-half]About 800 years ago, a tragic hero, Wen Tianxiang, was born in the land of China.
Wen began as a scholar. Because of his extraordinary knowledge, he became a national pillar and would have had a brilliant future. But unfortunately, he was born in the time of a crisis. The Southern Song Dynasty, which Wen was allegiant to, was precarious in the storm of Mongol conquest.
Kublai Khan’s cavalry came to the south. The principal force of Song was defeated and all of the defensive collapsed.
Defeated once again.
The small court of the Southern Song Dynasty was at stake, and the people were in panic. The black clouds in the sky were much like the fierce army of Yuan Dynasty, which gave tremendous pressure on the entire Lin’an City and made it breathless. At this moment, the hearts of the city and military trembled in fear of the young emperor.
The hero of this story, Wen Tianxiang, used his family wealth to organise the army towards rescuing their emperor.
But unfortunately, the trend of demise of the Southern Song Dynasty had been irreversible. Wen Tianxiang was defeated and captured, and Yuan generals expected him to write a letter to persuade the remnants of the Song Wen to surrender. Instead, Wen wrote a poem to express his refusal: All men are mortal, but my loyalty will illuminate the annals of history forever.
Yuan generals were silent.
After the battle of Yashan, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians of the Southern Song Dynasty jumped into the ocean, becoming martyrs. Wen could not commit suicide under of the surveillance of his captors. He was detained to the North, to see the Yuan emperor Kublai Khan.
Kublai appreciated his talent, and encouraged Wen to work for the Yuan Dynasty. “If you work for our Dynasty, I promise to maintain your position of Prime Minister.”
Wen Tianxiang refused.
On the execution ground, he tidied himself up and bent his knees in worship towards the South. But the story had not ended.
When his wife picked up his body, she found these words on his clothes: Confucius advocated benevolence. Mencius advocated justice. Only when loyalty is done to its best, will benevolence be realised. What will we learn from reading the books of saints? From now on, I can harbor no regrets, because of my clear conscience.[/one-half]
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