新華網 2007年01月14日郭建 「狄仁傑為什么招認謀反 」
上下五千年 作者：曹余章 第151則 「狄仁傑桃李滿門」
A verse in praise says:
Licentiousness is the worst evil; do not take this deadly path.
Given a chance to take liberties, he guarded his integrity.
He placed first in the imperial exam, for his virtue moved the Big Dipper.
Even as prime minister, he was never careless in the least.
Licentiousness is worst evil; do not take this deadly path. Licentiousness ranks first among all evils. If you don’t follow this rule, then you commit the number one crime. Anyone who has licentious thoughts and indulges in lust will die rather early.
Given a chance to take liberties, he guarded his integrity. Although the widow at the inn tried to seduce him, he insisted on upholding his personal integrity. He would never fail to behave properly and decently.
He placed first in the imperial exam, for his virtue moved the Big Dipper. He took first place in the highest imperial exam in Tang Dynasty, because his virtue moved heaven and earth.
Even as prime minister, he was never careless in the least. Even though he had become the prime minister, he was never sloppy or negligent in his work. He never sought personal benefits or bent the law to his own favor.
Another verse says:
A renowned official of the Tang dynasty, Lord Di Liang
Served his country with dedication and dispeled all evils
When Wu Zetian assumed the dynastic rule,
Huaiying learned from the earth to preserve the peace.
The reign of Zhenguan continued; the dynasty did not decline.
The people were at peace, just as in the time of Yao and Shun.
With the five grains in abundance, the commoners celebrated the harvest
All within the four seas praised the one who came to enlighten them.
A renowned official of the Tang dynasty, a great prime minister,
Lord Di Liang, that is Di Renjie, served his country with dedication and dispeled all evils. The state of affairs was rather complicated in his time. There were numerous treacherous court officials and crooked traitors in the court. However, they all feared and respected Di Renjie, so he was able to suppress and keep the evil influences under control.
When Wu Zetian assumed the dynastic rule, when she came to power and became the Empress,
Huaiying learned from the earth to preserve the peace. Di Renjie emulated the earth, which is able to grow and nourish all things, and maintained the peace in Tang Dynasty.
The reign of Zhenguan continued; the dynasty did not decline. At this time, the Tang Dynasty was still going strong and had not started to collapse. The times were still as good as in the reign of Zhenguan.
The people were at peace, just as in the time of Yao and Shun. The citizens lived tranquil lives and suffered no disasters. It was as if they were praising the days when the legendary emperors Yao and Shun ruled.
With the five grains in abundance, the commoners celebrated the harvest. At that time, heaven bestowed prosperity upon the people. There was an abundant harvest year after year, with no natural or manmade calamities. Therefore, the citizens rejoiced in peace and had no cares.
All within the four seas praised the one who came to enlighten them. We could say that Di Renjie was expediently manifesting to teach living beings to abide by the rules and laws.
After establishing the Zhou Dynasty, Empress Wu appointed oppressive officials and encouraged a trend of framing those who opposed her. Her government cruelly suppressed rebellion by killing the officials of the Tang Dynasty. At the same time, she frequently dispatched people everywhere to find worthy individuals, whom she valued and assigned important jobs. Therefore, she had a group of capable officials, the most famous of which was Di Renjie.
When Lai Junchen, a brutal official, came to power, he accused Di Renjie of conspiracy and put him in jail. Upon seeing all kinds of the instruments in the inquisition room, Di Renjie knew that he would be killed if he didn’t confess. “A hero would not take a beating at hand.” He sighed and confessed, “Everything will start anew after Her Majesty’s establishment of the Zhou Dynasty. Officials of Tang Dynasty by all means should be killed. I plead guilty.”
Because of this confession, he avoided inquisition by torture and a death penalty. Wang Deyong, a subordinate of Lai, pressed him further and said, “Prime Minister, you can avoid the death penalty, but why don’t you implicate more people to get a lesser charge?”
Di Renjie said, “Heaven is above and earth is below. How can you ask Di Renjie to do such thing!” Then he banged his head against a pillar. He passed out and his blood covered the ground. Seeing this, the official let him off the hook.
In the jail when unwatched by guards, Di Renjie secretly tore open his padded coat and used the cotton pieces to write Empress Wu an appeal. He sewed this petition within his padded coat. When it was spring, during a family member’s visit he requested permission to send it back home to wash. Seeing the blood letter, his son went to the palace to appeal on his behalf.
Lai Junchen tried hard to kill several great officials, forging letters in their name to the Empress Wu saying that they felt their offenses were so heavy that they could not face living in the world and would commit suicide to pay for their offenses.
Empress Wu appreciated Di Renjie’s talents and didn’t believe that he would rebel. She had a strange feeling after she saw the blood letter, thinking: “Didn’t he confess already?” She decided to summon Di Renjie and ask him in person, “Since you say you have been falsely accused, why did you confess?”
“Had I not confessed, I would have been beaten to death,” replied Di.
Later, the death sentence was waived yet he also lost the position of prime minister. He was sent to another city to be a magistrate. When Lai Junchen was killed, Di was called back to act as the prime minister again.