Point At The Mulberry But Curse The Locust Tree
To discipline, control, or warn others whose status or position
excludes them from direct confrontation; use analogy and innuendo. Without
directly naming names, those accused cannot retaliate without revealing
Han Dynasty China
After Gaozu had become Emperor he invested many of his followers. One
day while he was strolling along the balcony of his palace he noticed
several ministers milling about below speaking in hushed tones. "What
are they talking about?" he asked his advisor Chang Liang. "Your
majesty does not know? They are plotting a revolt."
"But peace has been restored to the empire. Why should they be
planning a revolt?"
"When your majesty rose from among the common people, it was through
these men that you seized control of the empire. You have become the Son
of Heaven, but those whom you have invested have all been close friends
from the old days. Now these younger officers of your army, reckoning up
the merits they have won, believe that there is not sufficient land in the
whole empire to invest them all. So some of them fear they will not
receive their just allotment. Therefore they plot rebellion."
"What should I do?" asked the Emperor
"Among all your followers whom do you dislike the most?"
"Yong Chi and I are ancient enemies," replied the Emperor.
"You must hurry and invest Yong Chi before anyone else, and make
known what you have done to your other followers. When they see Yong Chi
has been invested, they will all feel assured of their own rewards."
The emperor agreed and held a feast honoring Yong Chi with lands and
titles. When the other ministers left the banquet they said to each other
happily, "If even Yong Chi can become a marquis, the rest of us have
nothing to worry about!"