17.10.2020, 10:46

Trang Quynh, the evil one (continued and end)

Trang Quynh, the evil one (continued and end)
Poster of a cinematographic work on Trang Quynh by director Dô Duc Thinh, released in 2018.
Photo: CTV /CVN

Trang Quynh was full of finesse. However, once he found his master in the matter, with one of the guardians of the palace gates. The latter settled himself in a palanquin similar to that of a minister and, being followed by two or three soldiers who played the part of the escort, carrying parasols, a long pike, he went to the house of Trang Quynh. The latter took him for a mandarin, but, not recognizing him, he asked him who he was. " My duties," replied the other, "are those of + giáo thu + (Literally: teaching official, head of education in a district)".
Trang Quynh received him with honor, inviting him to drink tea and wine. Then the visitor left. The next day, his shift having come, he was watching at the palace gate when Trang Quynh passed by on his way to the court. He recognized him and asked him how he had had the audacity to take the title of giáo thu. The other showed him his spear ( Giáo ) And asked: “ Isn't this spear in the state, is it a private spear? ” Trang Quynh saw that ' he had been played and was very mortified, but what to do about it?
Clever until the end
Another day, the king wanted to test Trang Quynh's insight. He planed a large tree so that both ends were of equal size, and had it painted red. He was then carried into the middle of the palace courtyard. The king summoned Trang Quynh and asked him which side was the trunk and which side was the crown. Trang Quynh did not know what to say at first, but he decided on a ploy. He asked for three days to respond. The king granted them to him.
During the night, Trang Quynh secretly came to defile the trash tree. The next day, the men on duty took him to the river to clean him. Trang Quynh, who was watching them, noticed which side was dipping and concluded that it was the side of the trunk, naturally a denser grain. The next day, the king called him to give his answer. He indicated the side of the trunk and that of the crown, much to the astonishment of the king who praised his insight.
One day, a platter of long-lived fruits (peaches) was brought to the king. Trang Quynh quickly grabbed a piece of fruit and ate it. The angry king ordered him to be taken away and beheaded. " So these are not fruits of long, but very short life!" , says Trang Quynh. The king, charmed by this wit, forgave him.
Poisoned by the king
One day, the king sent for his council to deliberate about Trang Quynh. Trang Quynh, he told them, is a felon; he does a hundred things every day that show his contempt for my authority; he must be destroyed. All council members approved. The king then ordered the head of the mouth service and ordered him to prepare poisoned food for Trang Quynh. He then invited the latter to a feast.
Trang Quynh knew what was in store for him. He summoned his son and said to him: " The king invites me to a feast where he is to have me poisoned. When I am dead, bring my body home, but do not bury me!
. Let me sit in my hammock, and meanwhile play along, beat the drums, offer food and drink without lamenting or appearing sad. If you are asked why these celebrations, say that you are celebrating my return to life, but do not let anyone get inside me. When you learn of the king's death, you can give yourself up to your pain, call the masters of ceremonies and have me buried! ".
The son obeys. The king, who thought that Trang Quynh had died from the poison he had been given, was surprised to learn that his house was thus indulging in joy. Irritated, he called the head chef before him and asked him how it was that Trang Quynh was not dead. He had the poisoned food brought to him for judgment, but no sooner had he smelled them than he vomited blood and died. Trang Quynh's son then put an end to the celebrations and buried his father. This is why the proverb says: " When the king was dead, Trang Quynh died" .
Trang Quynh knew the future of sixty generations; he knew that after ten generations his descendants would become beggars; so before his death he had a tablet made to which his sons were to worship. On one side were engraved his name and titles, on the other the following two lines: " I saved you from the calamity of the beam that was on your head, Save my tenth generation from poverty ".
His children did not know what this inscription meant. The tenth descendant of Trang Quynh reduced to extreme poverty had to resolve to beg. He still had his ancestor's tablet, but he couldn't think of selling it, and no one wanted to keep it for him. So he hid her in a bamboo clump and went to ask for her bread. When he got to a rich man’s house, he began to ask for charity, but the rich man was sleeping in his hammock and could not hear him.
The beggar therefore raised his voice and, seeing that the master of the house was waking up, he said to him: " Get up quickly, lest the roof fall on your head" . The rich man stood up and at that very moment a beam broke and fell right on the hammock. The master of the house was very happy to have thus escaped death. He said to the beggar: " I had a happy fortune. Heaven sent you here to keep me from perishing" . He brought him into his house to give him thanks. He said to him: " I see by the inspection of your features that you are destined for begging, but I will build for you a ferry where you will pass the travelers, in this way you will earn enough to live and you do not you will no longer need to beg " .
The descendant of Trang Quynh was very happy with this adventure and lived a long time with his baccalaureate and his house, endlessly praising the finesse of spirit of his ancestor.
Ông Ngoai /CVN