The Half-Remembered Bribe

During the reign of Empress Wu, in Tang dynasty China, the Zhang brothers held inordinate influence, which they wielded with a certain lack of grace and subtlety.  They gladly accepted bribes, but their memories left something to be desired.  One graduate by the name of Xue approached Zhang Changyi, a sibling of the more famous brothers, and offered him fifty ounces of gold in exchange for his services in getting him an appointment.  Changyi agreed, but couldn’t remember the man’s first name.  Unwilling to anger the Zhang brothers, the vice-president of the board was forced to simply appoint every graduate by the name of Xue: sixty men in all.

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