Approximately 280 BC was born the first Chinese legalist, Han Fei. He was a comprehensive genius with wide field of knowledge during the Spring-Autumn and Warring States Period (770-221 BC). Actually he was a philosopher inheriting and learning much more from all the classical philosophers or thinkers, such as Confucius (551-479), Lao Zi (540-470 BC), Mo Zi (478-392 BC), Xun Zi (289-238 BC). Han Fei or Hanfei Zi is different from other scholars in the combination between theory and practice. He tried to carry out his scholar thought in social practice. He didn't "tie up his theorysintosthe top of book-pavilion"for flaunting to display of his own greatness. He used to propagate his legalist or policy-reforming thought insgroupsto put his political idealsintosan action. He had done much more contributions to ancient Chinese ideological building. Perhaps he was the first outstanding scholar who explained the theory of Lao Zi. Under the guidance of the Chinese philosophical pioneers, he not only inherited their reasonable ideas but also he created his own new ones.
Han Fei realized that Lao Zi'Tao was about universal law or general rules; and Li was defined as special law of objective world or beings. Even nowadays the Chinese people would like to say "Be Reasonable" that is, doing or speaking something in reasonable way means with Tao-Li as a right standard. He suggested that the administration authority should follow laws to run the state, and not to violate laws to which all the people would obey. He was invited to be an advisor in Kingdom Chin [in T.F Wade (1818-1896) way to imitate the Chinese character's pronunciation] that united several kingdomssintosChina later. At first, the First Sovereign Emperor Chi Shi Huang regarded highly him and hoped he would play an important role in making state policies. However, Prime Minister Li Si of the Emperor was jealous of his great talent and managed to falsely incriminate Han Fei by rigging events and evidence. Therefore he was thrownsintosa prison as a special prisoner. Han Fei could hardly accept such unjust treatment and killed himself pretty soon in 233 BC. His works handed down consisting of 50 articles. One of his especially significant point of views is that "No high officials with crime would avoid being punished, and anyone of the common people doing good to the country should be praised. "Even at present Han Fei's ideal is still so fresh that his popular saying has spread all over China for more than 2200 years.
As a well-known article of Han Fei , Heh's Unique Jade has been composed in the textbook of Chinese. The true story written by Han Fei was included in a Classical Historical Encyclopaedia of China. The general plot like this:Long long ago, there was a farmer Bian Heh founding out a unique jade in the Hills of Kingdom Chu, and he wanted to dedicate it to the king of Chu. The king asked a jewelry inspector to make sure of it. However, the inspector said it's just a rocky one, not jade at all. Being angry, the king decided to have his left foot cut off for the man who told a lie. Later King Wu ascended the throne when King Li died. At this time, Bian Heh still wanted to dedicate his unique jade to the new king again. And he was treated as the same as last time. He lost his another foot, but he never changed his mind and decided to dedicate the jade to the third king when both of the kings died. Bian Heh stopped at the foot of Chu Hills, crying bitterly for three days and three nights until the new king's herald arriving to inquire him. Heh said: "I don't care I lost all my feet but I worry about the false conclusion is still a false one. I'm in great pain for the fact that a true unique jade is considered as a piece of rock, and the man telling the truth is regarded as a liar. That's why I am crying bitterly here all day long."And the new king had his unique jade inspected again. At last the jade was recognized as the true and named Heh'Unique Jade.
The story tells us how hard to seek for the truth from facts. As a legalist in ancient times, how brave and tough Han Fei was while keeping on carrying out his political ideal.