連城璧

東周戰國年間,詭詐相欺,攻伐相殺。趙國人藺相如擅雄辯、有智謀、通時世,然鵬運未致,忝為宦者令繆賢舍人。趙王得至寶和氏璧,秦王聞得,遣使傳書趙王謂願以十五城易和氏璧。趙王與眾臣商議不能定案。是時秦強趙弱,既患秦國得璧後不履行諾言給予城池,更恐拒絕秦國而至兵臨邯鄲城下。相如受繆賢所薦為王獻策,以趙獻璧而秦不履諾過在於秦,且絕秦侵凌之藉口。相如願為國出使,誓保原璧歸趙。秦廷獻璧,秦國君臣意態不莊無意換城。相如以璧有瑕將之取回。秦君欲強奪,相如持璧倚柱,義正詞嚴斥責秦國無信欺世。隨後待機著人偷運和氏璧返國,秦君怒甚,惟相如義理正名秦君只好釋之。相如返國,趙王宴喜。相如以原璧歸趙有功於國體,得封賜厚贈。



Jade Disk / A Medallion for Fifteen Cities

The Warring States Period is a time of plots, deception, and endless conflict. Lin Xiangru is a citizen of Zhao who is clever, eloquent, and familiar with current affairs. However, for the time being he is only a guest under the roof of Miao Xian, head of the eunuchs.

 

Learning that the king of Zhao has acquired a precious jade disk, the king of Qin sends an envoy to offer the king of Zhao fifteen cities in exchange for the disk. The king of Zhao discusses the matter with his ministers, but they fail to make a decision— since Qin is a more powerful country than Zhao, the king and ministers are afraid that Qin may refuse to give up the cities after the disk is presented and send their troops to the capital of Zhao. Being an advisor to the king, Lin tells him that Qin will be blamed and have no right to invade if the king of Qin goes back on his word. Lin offers to take the disk to Qin as an envoy and promises to bring it back intact.

 

At the Qin court, the king and ministers show no serious intention to keep their promise. Pointing out a tiny flaw on the disk, Lin takes it back. When the king of Qin tries to seize it, Lin threatens to smash it against a pillar and sternly accuses Qin of dishonesty. Eventually, Lin arranges to have someone smuggle the disk back to Zhao. Though infuriated, the king of Qin has to releaseLin. When he returns to his country, Lin is received with a banquet by the king of Zhao, who gives him a handsome reward for returning the disk and helping to maintain the dignity of the state.