Calling A Stag A Horse
In Qin Dynasty, there was a powerful and evil counselor named Zhao Gao.
Zhao Gao wanted to rebel, but he didn’t know how many people in the court would stand by his side.
So he worked out a way to test the people.
He presented a deer as a tribute to the emperor in front of the court, and said that it was a swift horse.
The emperor not accepting his statement said, "This is obviously a deer."
Then, Zhao Gao took this opportunity to ask the court, "Is this a deer or a horse?"
In the court, those who didn’t dare to go against Zhao Gao agreed with him and said that it was a horse, those who dared to go against Zhao Gao said that it was a deer.
Later, Zhao Gao remembered the counselors who didn’t agree with him and persecuted them to solidify his power.
This story is still popular even today. People use this idiom to describe someone who calls white black.
Give up halfway
During the Warring States Period (475-221BC), there was a man called Yue Yangzi in State Wei.
Yue Yangzi felt that he should go out and visit scholars to enrich his knowledge. So he set off.
A year later, he came back home suddenly. "Why have you returned?" asked his wife in surprise, "You’ve only spent one year studying with scholars."
"I come back because I missed you very much."
Without saying anything, his wife took a pair of scissors and went to the loom at which she had worked.
Pointing at the half done brocade, she proclaimed : "This brocade is woven from the finest silk.I wove one strand after another to produce the brocade. Now if I cut it, all my previous work will be wasted. It’s the same with your studies. You can acquire knowledge only through diligence. Now, you’ve given up halfway. Isn’t it the same as cutting the brocade on the loom?"
Yue Yangzi was moved by what she said. He again left home to visit scholars. Several years later he became a knowledgable man.