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During the fifty years of Emperor Wudi of Han's reign, he fought against the Xiongnu, managed successive disasters, conquered Vietnam, and expanded the political territory of the time to the maximum, and also achieved the unification of the whole country, known as the Ming Emperor.
However, under this series of great achievements of Emperor Wudi of Han, there is always a person behind him, that person is Dongfang Shuo.
Dongfang Shuo's highest official position in his life was Taizhong Daifu, but he was able to accompany Emperor Wudi of Han as a close attendant during the Han Wu Dynasty.
He provided advice to Emperor Wudi of Han, participated in state affairs, and remained famous for thousands of years, from which it is enough to see that Dongfang Shuo himself had extraordinary wisdom and talent.
But what is puzzling is that no matter how much Dongfang Shuo served the country as king, Emperor Wudi of Han never promoted his official position.
Is it that Emperor Wudi of Han has unknown thoughts? Or is Dongfang Shuo actually unworthy of the position? In fact, if you want to understand the relationship between Dongfang Shuo and Emperor Wudi of Han, the focus is on Liu Che's principle of employing people.
A court star of the Han Dynasty
The country is established by talent, and the industry is prosperous by talent. The most prosperous period of the entire Han Dynasty occurred during the reign of Emperor Wudi of Han. And the emergence of this prosperous era is closely related to the influx of talents during the period of Emperor Wudi of Han.
After Emperor Wudi of Han came to the throne, he did not care about his status, paid tribute to corporal and opened up channels.
At that time, the Xiongnu were constantly harassing trouble on the border, and Emperor Wudi of Han saw that Wei Qing was brave and good at fighting, and he was good at riding and shooting, so he promoted him to military commander, completely ignoring that he was only a slave.
Later, Emperor Wudi of Han fell in love with his illegitimate son Huo Qubing and promoted him to a general, so Wei Qing and Huo Qubing became two peerless generals of the Han Dynasty.
Economically, Emperor Wudi of Han appointed Sang Hongyang, a businessman-turned-Jiangnan native who was the first to carry out nationalization reforms in China and implement the salt and iron official system, thereby increasing state revenue.
Prime Minister Gongsun Hong was even favored by Emperor Wudi of Han and jumped from the four walls of his family to become the first person in the Western Han Dynasty to be crowned as Prime Minister.
"The capable people of Han, the Confucians are Gongsun Hong and Zhongshu, the walkers are Shi Jian and Shi Qing, and the straight ones are Ji Yao, Bu Shi."
Under the employment system of Emperor Wudi of Han, for a time, there were many talents in the imperial court, but the most notable of them was Dongfang Shuo.
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Although Emperor Wudi of Han did not care about his origins, he was quite strict in the implementation of behavioral regulations, and once an official's behavior violated the state etiquette law, he was dismissed from office at best, and death at worst.
And Dongfang Shuo is a strange person with a perverse temperament no matter how he looks at it.
However, he was able to serve under Emperor Wudi of Han for the rest of his life, and during the Jin Dynasty, he was the first to be imitated and sought after by literati, and according to historical records, during the Han Dynasty, Dongfang Shuo was an official full of political talent and literary literacy.
But with the advancement of time, in the Jin Dynasty, Dongfang Shuo became a mortal under the stars, his image was full of humor, and he also brought an ethereal fairy atmosphere.
What is the reason for this shift?
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In fact, in the final analysis, it is just distance that produces beauty, because Dongfang Shuo in real history is not a perfect person.
Dongfang Shuo is indeed quite accomplished in various fields such as economy, military, law, astronomy and so on, and is deeply appreciated by the monarch, but like many academic geniuses, Dongfang Shuo is slightly lacking in human relations and political relations.
According to the Chronicle:
"Shuo tasted drunk into the temple, and on the small temple, impeached disrespectfully. There is an edict to be dismissed as a commoner, to be signed by the eunuch. ”
It can be seen that although Emperor Han Wudi valued Dongfang Shuo's talent, he was also dissatisfied with his arrogant behavior, and after Dongfang Shuo went to the toilet in front of the palace drunk, Emperor Han Wudi angrily demoted him to a commoner.
There are more than these records of Dongfang Shuo's virtues, and it is written in the history books:
"With the money he has given, he who marries a young woman in Chang'an, and he who takes a woman for one year old will abandon it, and marry a woman even more, and all the money he gives will be demanded from the woman."
Therefore, Dongfang Shuo is far less perfect than the propaganda of later generations, and he does not fall behind the human weaknesses that mortals should have.
But even so, it didn't take long for Emperor Wudi of Han to reinstate the official of Dongfang Shuo, because Emperor Wudi of Han still attached more importance to the status of Dongfang Shuo's counsellor than the crime of great disrespect.
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Another mirror of Emperor Wudi of Han
Dongfang Shuo is a contradictory individual, he has the elegant feelings and behavior of a reader, but he is unrestrained and uninhibited. But it is also this character trait of his that allows him to act as an advisor well.
Dongfang Shuo had seven consultations in his life, and each time it can be said that he risked being killed, after all, the companion is like the companion tiger, although Dongfang Shuo has the "offense" authority that other officials do not have, but his responsibility is also huge, and his main task is to maintain the long-term feudal rule.
Dongfang Shuo's first advice was that Emperor Wudi of Han planned to use 100 acres of land to expand Shanglin Garden to facilitate his outing.
Faced with this proposal, Dongfang Shuo tried to resist it, because he believed that the expansion would reduce the state revenue, and the final result was that although the emperor appreciated Dongfang Shuo's opinion and rewarded him with 100 taels of gold, the final result was expansion.
On the one hand, because the expansion of Shanglinyuan is very important, on the other hand, it can be seen that Dongfang Shuo only provided another perspective for Emperor Wudi of Han, and it was still Emperor Wudi of Han who really made the decision.
In addition to offending Emperor Wudi of Han, Dongfang Shuo's advice was also very easy to make enemies for himself, such as Princess Guantao, Emperor Wudi of Han. Princess Guantao has always been a lot of help when Emperor Wudi of Han ascended the throne, so now that Emperor Wudi has ascended the throne, her status is also extremely noble.
Princess Guantao favored Dong Wei, and once Emperor Wudi of Han planned to set up a banquet in the Xuan Room and invited the two, and after this news was learned by Dongfang Shuo, he became angry and directly blocked the emperor's holy drive on the road.
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Dongfang Shuo loudly rebuked Princess Guantao and Dong Wei outside the door of the Xuan Chamber, forcing Emperor Han Wudi to come down and walk in by himself, although Dongfang Shuo was so rude, but then Emperor Han Wudi still rewarded Dongfang Shuo with thirty pounds of gold to reward Dongfang Shuo for this behavior.
In addition to counselors, Dongfang Shuo had two other identities, that is, the emperor's attendant and an advisor to the imperial court.
Dongfang Shuo is a close confidant of the emperor, from his repeated "discipline" of the emperor, but was rewarded by Emperor Hanwu, it can be seen that Emperor Hanwu trusts him very much, so Dongfang Shuo has accompanied the emperor all his life, and can be said to be the emperor's attendant.
As for the status of advisor, it was because he was knowledgeable and talented, and Dongfang Shuo's talent was still unique in the talented imperial court.
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"History" tells a story of Dongfang Shuoyan oppressing the ministers:
"There is something in the heavy oak, Emperor Wu asked the left and right ministers who learned the scriptures, they could not know, so he recruited Dongfang Shuo, and Shuo said: This is a tooth."
After Dongfang Shuo said the answer to the tooth, he also asked the emperor to invite him to drink and eat, and Emperor Wudi of Han readily agreed.
But in the last years of Emperor Wudi of Han, Liu Che became more and more extravagant and absurd, and the "Zizhi Tongjian" recorded that in his later years, Emperor Wudi of Han tried to obtain the method of immortality, and even listened to the rumors of wizards:
"Fang Shiyan said that if the gods of Penglai will be obtained, Emperor Wu wants to go to the floating sea to ask Penglai, and the ministers will give advice, and they can't stop it."
Although Dongfang Shuo was also more outspoken and ruthless, Emperor Wudi of Han only regarded these words as a wind in his ears, and he only wanted to become an immortal.
Therefore, in the later period, Dongfang Shuo could no longer persuade the monarch from the perspective of the people as usual, but told Emperor Wudi of Han:
"The nature of the immortal attaining the Dao, if he has no Dao, even if he is an immortal in Penglai, it will not be beneficial."
Therefore, Emperor Wudi of Han gave up the idea of finding Penglai. Until his death, Dongfang Shuo was very worried about the future of the country and said to the emperor: "The rumors are extremely unscrupulous, and the four countries are in turmoil. May Your Majesty be far from the clever, and retreat from rumors. ”
It is a pity that all that Dongfang Shuo did in his later years did not help, and Emperor Wudi of Han was thinking about ascending to immortal status until the moment before his death, and he also listened to the fallacy of the wizard Li Shaojun to refine the elixir, completely ignoring the government of the family country.
Although Emperor Wudi of Han in his later years had no interest in imperial politics, this did not bury that he was indeed a good king who was civilized and martial and humbly loved in the early stage.
In a country, the atmosphere among officials depended largely on the emperor's governing policies and character. The delicate relationship between Emperor Wudi of Han and Dongfang Shuo was also a manifestation of his open-mindedness.
Dongfang Shuo is a smart person, he knows where the emperor's bottom line is, so when Princess Guantao trespassed, he strongly persuaded, there was a tendency to break the net, but in the later emperor cultivation of immortal ascending path, he was euphemistic.
This was because he knew that the late Han Wudi no longer cared about Jiangshan and said too much, and it would be futile, and it might even lead to the scourge of killing.
And the reason why Emperor Wudi of Han was able to allow Dongfang Shuo to offend himself like this was actually a kind of political wisdom, he understood that in a high position, the information he received was filtered layer by layer.
So he needs someone like Dongfang Shuo to provide him with a different perspective, but without giving him a higher position, in the face of decision-making, even if Dongfang Shuo says more, all decision-making power is still on the emperor's side.
And although Dongfang Shuo is deeply favored by the emperor, in fact, because he is not enough in the world, it is very easy to make enemies, but it is not easy to hold the unity party, but also to deter other officials with different intentions, on the other hand, he can also establish the image of a Ming monarch for himself, which is really a good thing to kill two birds with one stone.
It can also be seen from this that Emperor Wudi of Han's political talent is indeed very high, and the decline of the country caused by the absurdity of his later years is more due to the shortcomings of the entire feudal system, because the emperor occupies too large a proportion of the country.
And people are always impossible to be perfect like immortals, because as long as they are people, there will be desires, and Emperor Wudi of Han's desire to be perfect like immortals is the source of his imperfection.
Book of Han