The Death of Zilu, A Gentleman

Zilu was one of several students who were regarded highly by Confucius. He was a warrior, and he was famous for his strength. When he wasn’t a student of Confucius, he stirred up trouble to Confucius. But Confucius still was friendly and politely to him. At last Zilu accepted the exhortation of Confucius, and became his student.

Zilu was studious, and he tried to realize his beliefs. When Zilu was a family-minister of Jisun Family in Lu State, Jisun let him superintend workers to dig ditches. Zilu remembered Confucius taught students to have benevolence, so he took his salary-rice to make porridge and invited workers to eat. Confucius heard this news, and sent Zigong to pour out porridge, smash containers and tell Zilu, “The monarch of Lu State has these people, why do you give them food?” Zilu was very angry. He rolled up his sleeves and went to saw Confucius. Zilu said, “Are you dissatisfied that I do benevolent things, sir? It is benevolence that I learn from you. Benevolence is to share own havings and benefits with all people. Today I took my own salary-rice to give people food, why can’t I do?” Confucius answered, “You are so unmannerly. I think you understand me, but you don’t. You don’t understand proprieties as this thing. You give food to people, because you love them. But according to proprieties, the son of Heaven loves all people under the sky, a feudal monarch loves the people in his state, a minister loves the people in his official duty, and an ordinary people loves his family. It is to overstep his authority that a person loves a thing that he can’t love. Now the monarch of Lu has people, but you presume to love them, this is overstepping. Do I wrong you?” At this moment, a messenger of Jisun Family arrived. He blamed Confucius and said, “Our family causes people to work, but you make your student stop their work and give them food. Do you want to contend with our Jisun Family for the favor of people, sir?” Then, Confucius and his students had to leave Lu State.

Afterwards, Zilu became a family-minister of Kong Family in Wei State. In 480 BC, there was a coup d’etat in Wei State. Wei Chu-Gong’s father Kuaikui, who was a deposed Taizi(This title is similar to “crown prince”) and was expelled by his father Wei Ling-Gong, entered the capital secretly in the night and came to the residence of Kong Kui who was in power. With the help of his older sister who was the wife of Kong Kui, he held Kong Kui under duress. Kuaikui commanded his supporters to attack the Palace. Wei Chu-Gong ran away, but Nan Zi, who was the second wife of Wei Ling-Gong and was hated by Kuaikui, killed herself for keeping the dignity of the wife of a monarch.

Kong Kui was held to the Palace. An old family-minister of Kong Kui heard this news, and sent for Zilu and told him the thing. Zilu was angry, and went to the Palace. When he arrived at the exterior gate of the Palace, Zigao, a student of Confucius and a family-minister of Kong Family, ran out and prepared to leave Wei State. Zigao said to Zilu, “The interior gate has closed.” Zilu said, “I will enter.” Zigao said, “You aren’t on the scene, so it isn’t necessary to be involved in his disaster.” Zilu answered, “I get salary from him, so I can’t evade his disaster.” Zigao thought he couldn’t persuade Zilu, and then he left Wei State.

Zilu went to the interior gate, and Gongsun Gan who was a noble of Monarch Family was there. Gongsun Gan said, “It isn’t necessary to enter.” Zilun said, “It’s Gongsun! You gain from Kong Family, and you evade his disaster. But I can’t do so, because I benefit from him, and I must rescue him from danger.” A messenger opened the gate and went out, so Zilu took the opportunity to enter.

Zilu said to Kuaikui who stayed on the balcony, “Why do Taizi so treat Kong Kui? Even if you kill him, other people still follow him.” And he said to others, “Taizi isn’t brave. If I burn a half of the balcony, Kongshu must be set free.” Kuaikui heard the words and feared. He rushed down the balcony, and called his two warriors Shi Qi and Yu Yan to attack Zilu. Zilu was seriously wounded by a ge (An usual long weapon of the Pre-Qin Period). His guan-ribbon which fastened the guan (A kind of ancient Chinese cap for a man) was severed, and his guan fell down. Zilu said, “A gentleman goes to die, and his guan can’t be taken off.” He wore his guan, tied the ribbon, and died, with dignity.

When Confucius who lived in Lu State heard there was a rebellion in Wei State, he said sadly, “Zigao will come here, but Zilu died.” Old Confucius wasn’t able to bear so heavy pain. In the fourth month of the next year, Confucius died.

Ancient Huaxia People loved own national dress, hairstyle and guan profoundly, and they thought these were the most important proprieties. In the last days of Ming Empire, countless people of Huaxia Nationality died valiantly for defending own national dress, hairstyle and guan. But heroic resistance failed. China Dress, Huaxia Hairstyle and Huaxia Guan were destroyed. Since then, Huaxia Proprieties disappeared.

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