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A conversation about politics between the Dignitary Zhou and Taoist

The venerable Mr. Zhou, as he used to do for years, in the early morning went to the temple dedicated to the ancestors to ask them for care and blessing. A very pleasant step was to traverse the corridors of a large mansion, to quickly go to the courtyard and reach the pavilion where the family altar was located. Arriving at the place, he bow and spoke the appropriate prayer formula. Then the silk cloth carefully wimed the altar itself, and then decorated it with flowers, which specially chose him his wife Songshu.


Since today the ninth day of the month fell, and the number considered to be exceptionally successful, he decided to ask the former Oracle for clues and the future. The Dostojnik Zhou has always done this only once a month, so as not to abuse the wisdom of the Oracle, and not to offended her too frequent questions. Therefore, after fulfilling his duties to his ancestors, he went to a befriended fortune-telling, who could read and interpret any predictions. The Tang divined was already prepared for a guest party. After a brief greeting, he gave Zhou an elongate vessel, which contained sixty four sticks with numbers corresponding to the hexagram. The old man focused, then chose one of the sticks and gave it to the sage. He opened the book of Change, after which he read the-ordered passage. He then picked up another stick, and the fortune-teller read the relevant text. The action itself repeated six more times. And only then the whole fortune could give a full picture.

"Hmmm," the wise man has been. Zhou's Dostojnik looked at him with a slight concern. Tang's fortune-teller, his friend, never so long wondered.

"Something wrong?" Asked.

"Yes, and not. The words of the Oracle are sometimes unclear, and ambiguous meaning, but it always speaks of great wisdom.

"I know!" I am a mandarin for so many years. I got this dignity still from the old Emperor Guangxu! Ach, the poor emperor, if he now knew what was happening to his successor!

"Yes, yes, but I have not met a surprising set of hexagrams for a long time," he said as an excuse for the Tang divination.

– The mere meaning of predictions can be read like this: The visitor will soon be hosted. The Phoenix and the Dragon will be together, but they won't become one. The young will replace the old, and Yang turns into Ying. The pair of the Phoenix and the dragon symbolize the imperial couple or marriage – a fortune-teller.

– When it comes to the imperial couple – the Dostojnik Zhou has again returned this policy topic – it just would have agreed. Emperor Guangxu is still unsuccessfully battling his aunt for power! Although I recently witnessed myself as officials did not allow the emperor to memoriate the memorial written by the thinker and redirector Kang Youweia. It is true that he criticises the Confucian lyrics of the Song, that they would be falsized, but at least he wants to introduce reforms similar to those carried out by the Japanese Emperor Mutsuhito.

"But what do you say about Zhou Dostojnik?" – He was amazed at the Tang divined. After all, we have been inspired for Japan for centuries! I once heard of an ancient Japanese scholar and advisor to Emperor Shotoku Taishi, who translated the Buddhist sutras from Chinese into Japanese! I even wrote to them extensive comments! He also ordered to send a ship with tens of adolescents to your center on science. When they returned after decades, they were considered scholars. But not only! Shotoku Taishi reportedly planned to introduce in Japan a model of the Chinese government rank system. If he succeeded, the Mandarin would also live in Japan! – Added excited.

– Ach – He sighed the Dostojnik Zhou. "I regret to admit that today this disciple defeated the master! Thanks to the reforms, the Japanese have won the last war with us, and we had to sign a shameful treaty with Shimonoseki. We have lost not only Korea and Taiwan, but we had to open ports, and to this day we are paying the ruined treasury of the huge war reparations – the guy of the Fortune chapped, and then he loudly zakaszlał, trying to catch his breath.


For many months, he started to cough up whenever he was too angry or upset. To calm down, he pulled a small jade bottle from the lap with a intricous pattern depicting a turtle – a symbol of longevity. He unscrewed the nut, which also turned out to be a spoon and took the powder, then ate it.

"It's a cure that has prescribed me my medic." Apparently, the powdered licorice root is supposed to help me with these frequent coughing attacks – he added as if translating. But after a while again began his monologue:

– Our country will fall apart, if we continue to govern us this unresponsible woman Cixi. Do you know what she has done with money for the modernisation of the Chinese fleet? She restored her residence in the Summer Palace and set up a great marble boat! Why do we have one big marble boat, instead of a hundred warships? Hope has remained only in the young emperor, who tends to reformom. Cixi should take care of art, not government. It is much better to paint paintings and calligraphy. She's really talented, and she supports the artists herself! In my opinion, she passed with the vocation. It should be a patron of culture and art, not a ruler.

"You're right." The diviner itself would fit. Emperor Guangxu is so-the truth is the visitor in the palace, and the housemate Cixi. It is also young, as opposed to Cixi, which has already reached a legitimate age. So, and the phrase "the young will replace the old" agrees. And the phrase about Phoenix and the dragon perfectly captures the situation in the palace. The Imperial couple itself: an aunt and a nephew of the supposed to govern together, he as emperor, she as a regent, and still struggling with each other – summed up a fortune teller.

– I don't understand just one: why is Yin supposed to replace Yang? After all, Yin is a female force, and Yang men. Shouldn't it be the opposite? -he was surprised by the dignitared Zhou.

"I just wanted to pay attention to that." Perhaps the difference arises from the fact that the fortune-telling was about you, not the situation outside. And that's very worried. You have to be careful of yourself and especially take care of your health – he warned him a friend.

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12 September 2019

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