Chinese Historical Story: The story of retreat


In the spring and Autumn period, Duke Xian of Jin listened to slander and killed Prince Shen Sheng. He also sent someone to catch Shen Sheng’s brother Chong er. Hearing the news, Chong Er fled the state of Jin and forgot about it for more than ten years.

After thousands of blessings and hardships, Chong Er came to the state of Chu. King Cheng of Chu thought Chong’er would make great achievements in the future, so he greeted him with the courtesy of the nation and treated him as a guest of honor.

The story of retreat

One day, the king of Chu hosted a banquet for Chong’er. They drank and talked. The atmosphere was very harmonious. Suddenly, the king of Chu asked Chong Er, “how can you repay me if you return to the state of Jin and become king one day?” Chong Er thought a little and said, “beautiful women are waiting for you, precious silk, king. You have rare bird feathers, ivory and animal skins, which are rich in Chu. How can there be any rare items in the state of Jin for the king?” the king of Chu said: “Young master, you are too modest. Although you say so, you should show me something?” Chong Er replied with a smile, “if it’s your blessing. If I can really return to power, I’d like to be friendly with your country. If one day there is a war between Jin and Chu, I will order the army to retreat first (one shed is equal to 30 miles) , if I can’t get your forgiveness, I’ll fight you again. ”

Four years later, Chong Er really returned to the state of Jin and became the monarch, the famous Duke Wen of Jin in history. Under his governance, the state of Jin became stronger and stronger.

In 633 BC, the armies of the state of Chu and the state of Jin met in battle. In order to fulfill his promise, Duke Wen of Jin ordered the army to retreat 90 Li and stationed in Chengpu. Seeing that the Jin army retreated, the Chu Army thought the other party was afraid and immediately pursued it. The Jin army took advantage of the weakness of the Chu army’s pride in belittling the enemy, concentrated its troops and defeated the Chu army to win the battle of Chengpu.

The meaning of “retreat and give up” is: it is a metaphor of concession and avoidance to avoid conflict.

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