A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chao Tun (趙盾)

189 Chao Tun 趙盾 (T. 孟). 7th cent. B. C. Son of Chao Ts'ui, and his successor in the office of Minister, the functions of which he discharged with such stern impartiality that he was feared by the people as the summer sun. His master, Duke 靈 Ling of Chin, was a brutal tyrant. Among other things he amused himself by shooting at his passing subjects from the top of a tower. He put his cook to death for serving up some badly prepared bear's-paws, and committed similar atrocities. Chao Tun felt bound to remonstrate, and accordingly fell into disfavour. The Duke employed an assassin to kill him, and with that intent the latter approached his house early in the morning; but finding Chao in his robes of State, ready to go to Court, he was unable to do the deed, and dashed out his own brains in despair. The Duke then invited him to a banquet, with the same design. Chao, however, was prevented by the fidelity of a retainer from drinking to excess, and again got safely away. Thereupon the Duke let loose after him a fierce dog, which the same retainer slew. Chao then took to flight, but was soon recalled by his cousin 趙穿 Chao Ch'uan, who had slain the Duke in his peach-orchard.