A Qing Dynasty Official's Sacrifice Earns Him Good Fortune
2016-11-20
A man named Liu Qi lived in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). When he was the governor of Ningqiang Region, Sh8892nxi Province, he sold his own property to pay taxes for his citizens, who were in debt due to a famine. His generous sacrifice earned the respect and trust of his citizens. As a result of his kindness, his family was rewarded with good fortune.

During a major famine in Sh8892nxi Province in 1699, Liu Qi's region was hit the worst. His people were starving, but there was no grain left in the government stores. Transportation to other regions was difficult, since they were located in a big mountain range. Liu Qi asked the emperor to allow him to borrow grain from neighboring regions, and he promised his citizens that anyone who brought one bucket of grain back would be rewarded with 30% of their haul. With that incentive, his people brought back over three thousand loads of grain in ten days.

Liu Qi was then sent to help Yang County, where he used the same method to encourage people to collect grain. He told the Yang County magistrate, 「We borrowed the grain from the government stores, so if our citizens can't pay back their debts, we have to help them.」

Liu Qi quit his post in 1722 to return to his hometown to mourn his mother’s death. However, since he did not have enough money to pay for his citizens’ debts as he had promised, he sold his property and later asked his brother to do the same, in order to collect enough money to help his citizens to pay the taxes they owed.

Liu Qi later was promoted to be the Jiangxi provincial judge and the governor of Sichuan Province.

Through his selfless actions, he was remembered as one of the most honest and trustworthy high-ranking government officials of the Qing Dynasty.

His actions also earned him and his family good fortune. His son Liu Tongxun, grandson Liu Yong, and great grandson Liu Huanzhi all became high-ranking government ministers. His grandson Liu Yong’s story is cast in a popular TV drama in modern China.

卖掉家产代替百姓交赋税 福及子孙

刘棨,在康熙三十四年,担任湖南长沙县令,以廉明著称。

康熙三十七年,刘棨升任陕西宁羌知州。关中发生大饥荒,汉南尤其厉害。州里没有储粮,地处群山中,运输十分艰难。刘棨请求朝廷允许向邻邑的官仓借贷粮食,与百姓约定:能背负一斗粮食达到本地的,给予三升粮食,不到十天,运输了三千石粮食。封疆大吏按照他的办法赈济其它的县邑,都称赞方便。刘棨又奉命赈济洋县,他对洋县的县令说:「这些粮食是从官仓借贷来的,倘若百姓不能偿还,我们两人应当代百姓支付。」等到了秋天庄稼大丰收,洋县的百姓互相勉励,及时归还借贷的粮食,不需劳烦催促、监督。

康熙四十一年,刘棨因为须为母亲服丧而离任。因为要代替百姓交完赋税,受到拖累不能成行,嘱咐弟弟代替他卖掉他的家产。钱还是不够,他的弟弟卖掉自己的财产来偿还、支付。百姓听说了,争着交钱相助,刘棨推辞、不接受。

刘棨后来当了江西按察使、四川布政使的大官。

康熙五十五年,康熙皇上询问九卿大臣,本朝清廉耿介的,可与伦比的,有哪几个?九卿推荐了四人,刘棨就是其中一个。

刘棨卖掉家产、代替百姓交赋税,得了善报,子孙为官。刘棨的儿子刘统勋、孙子刘墉、曾孙刘镮之,并称为当时的名臣。电视剧《宰相刘罗锅》讲的就是刘棨的孙子——刘墉的故事,反映了中共红朝百姓渴求清官而不得、只能在电视剧里幻想的现实。

(《清史稿卷四百七十六列传二百六十三循吏一》)
    来源: 看中国 责编: Kitt

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