How a Courageous Daughter Saved Her Father and Made History

0
208
(Epochweekly, Illustration ZhiQing)

To save her father, a young girl courageously wrote a petition to the Emperor 2,000 years ago. Ban Gu (A.D. 32-92), a Chinese historian and politician, wrote a poem in her praise. The brave and kind girl was Chunyu Tiying of the Han Dynasty.
Tiying‘s father, Chunyu Yi, rose from a humble beginning in Shandong Province, China, to become a well-known physician. Although Yi was very skillful and talented in medicine, he had an erratic temper and despised powerful and wealthy people. He was so selective in taking patients that he offended many high-ranking officers and influential people. In 167 B.C., he was falsely accused of corruption and bribery. The local officers arrested him according to laws of the Han Dynasty and escorted him to the capital to stand trial.
Tiying was the youngest of Yi’s five daughters. All his children were in tears seeing their father being taken away. Looking at the weeping girls, Yi sighed: “All girls and not one son. Useless at the crucial moment!” On hearing her father’s complaint, Tiying wiped away her tears and decided to go on the arduous journey with her father.
When they arrived at the capital, Chunyu Yi was imprisoned while awaiting trial. The Han Dynasty had three cruel corporal punishments for crimes: a tattoo on the face, amputation of the nose, or cutting off the toes. Yi was very likely to get one of the three punishments, hence the reason why the whole family was so sad and worried.
Tiying decided on an innovative way to save her father. She wrote a petition to Emperor Wen. In the letter, she wrote: “My father was an officer and a physician. As an official, he was fair and honest so that local people praised him for his integrity. He now will suffer severe corporal punishment due to a false accusation. Once a man is sentenced to death and executed, he cannot come back to life. It’s terribly sad! Once a man is mutilated, he cannot regrow his limbs, meaning there is no chance for him to compensate for his mistakes. As his daughter, I am willing to redeem my father’s sin by being your servant for the rest of my life. I beg you to spare him from the corporal punishment so that he may have an opportunity to change any incorrect behaviors.”
An Emperor facing the huge undertaking that comes with governing a nation as mighty as China is very unlikely to pay attention to a young girl’s petition. Luckily, Emperor Wen was a kind and filial king, and he ruled the Han Dynasty with filial piety. Tiyng’s reasoning was very well presented and Emperor Wen was deeply moved. Not only did he pardon Tiying’s father, he also exempted Tiying from servitude and abolished the cruel corporal punishments. Benign punishments such as hard labor and whipping were implemented instead.
This is the well-known historical story of Tiying who saved her father in China. Tiying’s courageous endeavor not only freed her father, but also helped to abolish the terrible corporal punishments. Her good deed was beneficial to all generations from then on. It prompted Ban Gu to write the poem in her honor in “Yong Shi”. He wrote: “Many sons are useful, but only I have a daughter like Tiying!”

 

一個勇敢的女兒如何拯救了她的父親並創造了歷史

為了拯救她的父親,一位年輕女孩在2000年前勇敢地上書皇帝。中國歷史學家和政治家班固(A.D. 32-92)寫了一首詩讚美她。

勇敢善良的女孩是漢代的淳于緹縈。緹縈的父親,淳于意,是中國山東省的一名著名的醫生。雖然淳于意醫生在醫學方面非常嫻熟和有才華,但是他不喜奉承,不輕易為王公貴族治病,得罪了不少世家貴冑,在公元前167年,他被顯貴誣告為腐敗和賄賂。當地官員根據漢朝法律將他逮捕,並押送他到京城接受審判。

淳于緹縈是淳于意五個女兒中最年輕的。看到他們的父親被帶走,他所有的孩子都流淚了。看著哭泣的女孩,淳于意嘆了口氣:「生女不生男,遇到急難,沒有一個有用的。」聽到父親的抱怨,緹縈擦乾眼淚,決定和父親一起去。

當他們抵達京城時,淳于意在等待審判期間被監禁。漢朝對犯罪有三種殘酷的肉刑:面部紋身,切除鼻子,或切除腳趾。淳于意很可能得到三個懲罰中的一個,因此全家人都很悲傷和擔心。

緹縈決定以創新的方式拯救她的父親。她向文帝寫了一封請願書。在信中,她寫道:「我的父親是一名官員和一名醫生。作為一名官員,他是公平和誠實的,當地人稱讚他的正直。由於誣告,他現在將遭受嚴厲的肉刑。一旦一個人被判處死刑並被處決,他就無法復活。真是太可悲了!一旦一個人被截肢,他就無法再生四肢,這意味著他沒有機會彌補他的錯誤。作為他的女兒,願以己身為官婢,以贖父罪。我請求你免除他的肉刑,以便他有機會改變不正確的行為。」

一位皇帝正忙於治理很大的中國,因此不太可能關注一位年輕女孩的請願。幸運的是,文帝是一位善良而孝順的國王,他以孝道統治漢朝。緹縈的上書使文帝深受感動。他不僅赦免了緹縈的父親,還免除了緹縈的奴役,並廢除了殘酷的肉刑。相反,實施了諸如苦役和鞭打等良性懲罰。

這是緹縈拯救了她父親的著名歷史故事。緹縈的勇敢努力不僅使她的父親獲得釋放了,還幫助廢除了可怕的肉刑。從那時起,她的事蹟世代相傳。這促使班固寫了一首題名為〈詠史〉的詩,贊揚她。他寫道:「百男何憒憒,不如一緹縈。」

(編者注:全詩,

三王德弥薄,惟后用肉刑。
太仓令有罪,就递长安城。
自恨身无子,困急独茕茕。
小女痛父言,死者不可生。
上书诣阙下,思古歌《鸡鸣》。
忧心摧折裂,晨风扬激声。
圣汉孝文帝,恻然感至情。
百男何愦愦,不如一缇萦。)

Facebook Comments