A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Ch'ên Shêng

242 Ch'ên Shêng 陳勝 (T. 涉). Died B.C. 209. A ploughman of the Ch'in State. One day he stood still in the furrows and said to his fellow-labourers, "When I am rich and powerful, I will not forget you." "How is a ploughman going to get rich and powerful?" asked his companions, mockingly. "Ah," replied Ch'ên, "what can swallows and sparrows know of the aims of the snow-goose or the wild swan?" Entering upon a military career, he rose to a rank of some importance; but revolted, together with 吳廣 Wu Kuang, because being prevented by flood from reaching a certain place by a certain date, he was liable under the prevailing law to execution. He seized 蘄 Ch'i in modern Anhui, and established himself at Ch'ên in Honan. The people rose on all sides against the Ch'in officials, and he soon had a large following. His armies however were unsuccessful, and he was driven out of Ch'in by 章邯 Chang Han at the head of a body of enfranchised slaves, whereupon he took to flight, but was slain by his charioteer. He refused to allow himself to be styled Prince of Ch'u, but he is often referred to as Prince of Ch'ên. He was posthumously known as 隱王.