“This is the money the people use now.” The official below carefully presented a string of copper coins to Lin Yuan.
After Lin Yuan took it over, he took a closer look. The front of the coin was inscribed “the most upright treasure”, and the back was “luck” and “authorized currency”, and there were also banker’s anti-fraud numerals.
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This was the copper coin of the Yuan Shun Emperor period.
Lin Yuan had never made copper coins before——it was not stable enough, and the territory was not big enough, even if he made the money himself, it was not easy to circulate.
Made into paper money? The acceptance by the people would probably be fine. After all, the Yuan Dynasty did a good job on banknotes, but anti-counterfeiting was too troublesome.
Lin Yuan felt that it was a step backwards if he used copper coins and gold and silver.
After all, there were already banknotes, and if they went back to using copper, gold and silver, Lin Yuan couldn’t help feeling that it would be a pity.
Lin Yuan asked: “Can the common people outside still use money?”
Was this money available in the surrounding prefectures and counties, or was it only used in Pingjiang?
This was the first time the official saw Lin Yuan and his heart practically felt as if it would jump out of his chest. He deeply felt that this was the closest moment he was to promotion in his life. He quickly said: “Only food is exchanged outside, and one can’t even buy a catty of grains with a hundred coins. Not even the cheapest grain.”
Lin Yuan nodded: “This money can no longer be used.”
The official swallowed and said: “Yes, yes, my Lord is right!”
Lin Yuan looked at this official, who was about 60 years old. If this was peaceful times, he would be at the age when it was time to retire and honorably return to his hometown. However, the retirement of officials at this time was different from modern times. There was no fixed time for retirement. However, for most officials, if their children were capable, they would retire in advance. After all, if the elderly don’t step down, the newcomers would not be able to come up. No emperor would be willing to let all the members of a single family be high officials. But as minor officials, then it would be fine. To the emperor, it was just a few more people to do chores.
But there were also some who knew that their children and grandchildren would not be able to take over their positions. So despite being seventy or eighty years old, so long as the emperor did not say anything, they would pretend not to know their age and continue to work.
“Then, we’ll still make copper coins.” Lin Yuan said to the official, “On the front engrave “God Bless China”, and on the back engrave…..we’ll discuss it in a few days…..”
He still had to think about it. To make copper coins, he needed to have an era name. Should he become the emperor at this time?
It was inconsistent with his plan so Lin Yuan could only say to the official: “Use the current reign money for now.”
The official didn’t know what Lin Yuan was thinking, but it was not like he could ask, so he said quickly: “My Lord is right!”
Lin Yuan was amused by this sixty year old man, and asked him with a smile, “Where are you from?”
The official quickly said: “This official is a native of Pingjiang, my surname is Sun, Sun Zhilin!”
This person had a loud voice, and when he spoke it sounded like a roar. As his face flushed red, he actually looked a few years younger.
“What did you do before?” Lin Yuan asked again.
Sun Zhilin’s eyes bulged bigger——he was born with small eyes and it always seemed like he was squinting at people. In order not to make Lin Yuan feel that he was being disrespectful, he bulged his eyes vigorously and did not dare to blink: “This official was originally in charge of farmsteads!”
The farmsteads belonged to the government. Every year, the money and grain earned in the farmstead had to be handed over to the granary. This job could not be said to be good or bad.
The good thing was that there must be some opportunities to embezzle money or grain. Although it would not be too much, it would also definitely not be too little.
The bad thing was that there was no access to the center of power while being in this position. Even the minor officials below had more speaking power than him.
A group of officials went down in Pingjiang, so he finally had a chance to be promoted.
Lin Yuan asked him: “How is your family now?”
Sun Zhilin smiled brightly: “Very good, in fact, better than before! This is all because of my Lord, and the people of Pingjiang know this! No one is more wise than my Lord.”
It was not an unpleasant thing to be praised by others, and Lin Yuan was also used to it. After a few more words with Sun Zhilin, he then let him go.
It would be best to not hurry on making new money.
After the copper coins were released, circulating it was still a big problem.
Money was only meaningful if it circulated, otherwise it was dead money.
He could not be in a hurry. Indeed he couldn’t be in a hurry.
Lin Yuan sat in tje chair with no expression on his face, thinking about what he had done along the way.
Some things had been carried out too urgently.
It shouldn’t be so urgent.
He must seriously reflect on himself.
He wanted to change everything that should be changed at once, but he never considered that with the world being so chaotic and the people’s hearts being so unstable, good things sometimes could turn into bad things. If there came along people with evil intentions…..
Lin Yuan finally discovered that Song Shizhao was right about one thing, that the people were too tired.
The people needed to recuperate, and Lin Yuan had become too fast for the people to keep up.
Lin Yuan felt a little weak, leaning back on the chair. The tea on the side was already cold, but without him saying anything, the servants did not dare to come in to change the tea. He finished the cup of cold tea and felt that both his throat and stomach were cold.
He hadn’t felt this powerlessness for a long time.
Was he wrong?
Lin Yuan felt that his thinking was correct, and that what should be changed should be changed.
But he shouldn’t be so fast, and the methods he used shouldn’t be so straightforward and brutal.
Lin Yuan instructed his servants: “Invite Manager Song to come over.”
The servant responded with an affirmative, and within half an hour, the person he wanted to see had already arrived.
Lin Yuan personally invited Song Shizhao in.
“Mister.” Lin Yuan stood in front of Song Shizhao and said, “After thinking about it, I found that it is Mister who is reasonable.”
Song Shizhao was now very clear about his position, and he dared not act spoiled in front of Lin Yuan, so he quickly said: “This official also thought about it. This official was wrong and my Lord’s direction is right. It is this official who is too ignorant.”
The two looked at each other, and Lin Yuan sighed: “Today’s Pingjiang is not my Pingjiang.”
This piece of land belonged to him, but the people have not given him their hearts. For Gaoyou, the South Bodhisattva was the life-saving medicine and the only vitality they could grasp in their hands, and therefore they could quickly keep up with Lin Yuan’s pace. But it was not so much as keeping up, in truth, it was because they didn’t think about anything. Whatever Lin Yuan said to do, they would do it. And as a result, Lin Yuan felt that such efficiency was normal.
But it was not.
Pingjiang was a counterexample.
The people of Pingjiang lead a quiet and peaceful life, and they were all considerably well off. Even the most ordinary households didn’t have to worry about food and clothing. Even small households had servants, and those who were a little wealthier had a collection of books at home——in this era, not everyone could have a collection of books. Generally speaking, books were passed on from father to son, from son to grandson. Only through passing down from generation to generation, could a family be regarded as having a foundation of profound learning inherited over the generations.
And only dozens of books could be called a collection of books.
Although movable type prints already exist, books had always been things of the ruling class and not everyone could read them. Otherwise there would not be so many illiterate people.
During peaceful times, books were wealth. The more books in a family, the more noble the family and the higher the social status.
Back then, when father Lin asked to marry Yang shi, what he valued was the collection of books in father Yang’s hands. The Yang family was poor and could barely even eat, and yet they still weren’t willing to sell their books. They would rather starve to death with those books.
It was a pity that father Lin’s plan fell through. After Yang shi got married, father Yang relied on father Lin’s betrothal gift for temporary relief, and then adopted a boy from another branch of the Yang family. The collection of books and family properties were naturally passed on to this boy.
If there were too many scholars, the people would become rebellious. They felt that they understood ten thousand truths and were just lacking in luck. In such a case, each and every one could rocket straight up into the sky.
Instead, people who didn’t read books were obedient. They didn’t understand any big truths. They only knew what the people above said to be the truth.
It was only then that Lin Yuan understood why the ancients had always restricted the people from reading——in addition to the expensive pen, ink, paper and inkstone, the most important thing was governance.
Lin Yuan said to Song Shizhao: “There is something to trouble you, Mister.”
Song Shizhao: “This official will definitely carry it out properly.”
Lin Yuan: “Hold a literary meeting, those scholars…..should be harnessed.”
Lest they get in the way, having high standards but little ability, speaking of major principles and the words of the sages every time they opened their mouths. In Lin Yuan’s eyes, they were not as useful as the farmers who planted the land. At least farmers could produce food. What could these people do?
Unable to produce, only knowing to follow what the books say without any flexibility, and even as officials——Lin Yuan was afraid that they would go out to harm a whole region of people.
Song Shizhao smiled and said: “Then leave it to this official.”
So Song Shizhao chose more than 20 families, and invited their sons or grandsons to participate in the literary meeting. A literary meeting was an elegant event, that was, a group of people sitting inside chatting and drinking while writing a few poems or writing a few words. If one wanted to be slightly bolder, they could call over some courtesans, and any written poems could be sung by these courtesans. Having one’s poems be known in such a way would just be an apocryphal story of the literati.
Lin Yuan sometimes didn’t understand these people. This group of people looked down on courtesans the most, but it was this group of people who also praised courtesans the most.
Ten out of ten exemplifying an ancient version of “that smells delicious”. (TN: internet slang used for someone who refused to do something only to do it later and end up face-slapping oneself)
All those who received invitations sent by Song Shizhao went, and they were all very excited.
After all, although Song Shizhao was left out in the cold before, he was recently brought back to the side of the South Bodhisattva again. Compared to before, his treatment was obviously better than before.
Was it still a bad thing to hug such a golden thigh?
Besides, the South Bodhisattva had not yet started holding an imperial examination, and there was no other chance to get promoted. But so long as Song Shizhao was willing to recommend them, would it not be easy to become an official based on their ability?
Song Shizhao first chatted with each one of them, visiting them from house to house. He was able to call out the names of every one of them. He even knew who their father was, whether there were any famous people in the family, and the book collections of each family, praising this group of scholars so much that they couldn’t help feeling smug.
Then Song Shizhao said: “Now that the South Bodhisattva has arrived in Pingjiang, there are many things to do. Unfortunately, there are not enough people to do it.”
This group of scholars began to sigh along with him and said, “How can this be good!”
“Yes, after all, there are few scholars, and even fewer people understand the truths. What do the common people know? They are just ignorants.”
Song Shizhao praised them again, saying that they were all rare talents, and he was afraid that they would not be willing to help out. After all, scholars were proud and noble, and if he rashly invited them to be officials, he feared that they would feel humiliated.
This group of scholars also said: “How can this be, Manager Song, everyone is responsible for the rise and fall of the world. Although we are scholars, we also know the priorities, how can we be that unreasonable?”
So Song Shizhao was happy, and immediately chose a few people to go with him to see the South Bodhisattva.
Before the other scholars could speak, he took the chosen ones away.
Lin Yuan also conferred them with official positions——positions had no real power and only looked good on the surface.
When these scholars came home, they finally woke up from their daze. They were actually officials now?
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As soon as they appeared, the other scholars looked at them in envy and jealousy. The most powerful thing about scholars was their pen and mouth. They united together and planned to drag those people down from their high seats. As for who would go up on these seats when the time came, then that would be decided later.
But in this way, these people began to become Lin Yuan’s yes-men.
After all, they had also discovered that it was not difficult to be an official. So long as the South Bodhisattva saw them in his eyes, they could amaze the world with a single brilliant feat.
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