Nian Gengyao was a senior general in the Qing dynasty of ancient China. When he was guarding Xian, he anxious to find a group of talented people to be his aides. A scholar by the name of Jiang Heng went there to seek a position on the advice of a friend. General Nian was very appreciative of his ability and said to Jiang: "You are very likely to be the number one scholar next year." Because of his prestige and power, many examination officers did not even dare to go against his wishes.
After a few days there, Jiang Heng observed general Nian being extremely arrogant and extravagant. He said to a friend: "General Nian's virtue cannot match his power. I am afraid calamity will soon fall upon him. Let us immediately leave." When his friend didn't want to follow his advice, Jiang Heng used the excuse of illness and left.
In less than a year, general Nian was executed because of some affair and all his aides and staff were implicated. Only Jiang Heng was free from trouble.
It looks like disaster usually stays away from people who do not seek fame and profit.
From Xiaoting Miscellaneous Records
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