During the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period, many women were called Zhao Ji. Zhao Ji, it seems, was a synonym for beauty, but not all of them were virtuous. Zhao Ji, the daughter of Duke Wen of Jin and the wife of Zhao Xie (pronounced Cui), was described in “The Chronicle of the Empress”, but despite her high status, she was still willing to be subordinate, modest and courteous, which is very rare.
Chong Er’s exile, Zhao Xiao followed him
Zhao Xie was one of the five wise men who assisted Duke Wen of Jin to become a hegemon.
In the twenty-first year of Duke Xian of Jin (656 B.C.), there was a rebellion of Lixi. She framed Prince Shen Sheng and forced him to hang himself. Then she framed Prince Shen Sheng and forced him to hang himself. Then she framed Prince Chong Er and Yi Wu and forced Chong Er to leave the capital. Zhao Fei followed Chong Er into exile for nineteen years and moved around several countries. During his exile, he helped Chong Er to escape from danger by offering him many plans.
On his way to escape, Chong Er came to the state of Di. The two women that Di got from the attack on wall, Ji Kui, the older one, was married to Chong Er, and Shu Kui was married to Zhao Zhan. Later, Shu Kui gave birth to a son named Zhao Dun.
Zhao Ji was not jealous and was willing to take a lower position
In the spring of the sixteenth year of King Xiang of Zhou (636 BC), Chong Er returned to the state of Jin as the ruler, and became the Duke of Jin. After his accession to the throne, he made Zhao Shi a superior minister, gave him a fief, and married his daughter Zhao Ji to him. Zhao Ji gave him three sons, namely Zhao Tong, Zhao Bra and Zhao Ying.
Zhao decay assisted Duke Wen of Jin to become the hegemon, and he had great merit and power. As the daughter of Duke Wen of Jin, his wife Zhao Ji persuaded him that he must go to Di to bring his first wife Shu Kui and her son to Jin.
Zhao Wei refused to do so, but Zhao Ji said, “That is not possible. It is unrighteous for a husband to be honored by the king and forget his old one; it is ungrateful for him to like the new one and neglect his old one; it is rude for him to share her suffering with her in times of trouble, but to ignore her when he is rich and famous. How else can a gentleman be a man if he gives up these three rules?”
After Zhao Ji’s persuasion, Zhao Wei finally agreed to go to Di and take Shu Kui’s mother and son to Jin for a reunion. When Zhao Ji saw that Zhao Dun, born to Shu Kui, was of great talent and virtue, she made him the first son of the Zhao family and let her three sons live under her to serve Zhao Dun.
Although Zhao Ji was a princess of Jin, she was a virtuous and modest person, not arrogant or cross. She willingly gave up her position and persuaded Zhao Shi to welcome back his wife Shu Kui and make Shu Kui’s son the first son, leaving herself and her own children to take the lower position. Zhao Ji had no jealousy in her heart, so she naturally had no desire to compete for favor.
Liu Xiang praised her in his “Biography of Women”: “Zhao Wei Ji’s wife, who was a clear and distinctive woman, was not jealous of her offspring, although she was a noble woman, and served Shu Kui, and her son Shi Dun was her heir.