A civilian named Shentu Dun in Luoyang obtained an unearthed tripod of the Han Dynasty from Shenchuan, Chang'an.
On the tripod, the crisscross designs of clouds and ancient hornless dragons were bright and clear. Lu Sheng, his neighbour on the west, took a fancy to it instantly. He asked a coppersmith to cast a tripod in imitation, soaked and dyed it with a strange decoction, dug a pit and buried it underground.
After three years, he dug it out. Owing to the decoction and corrosion of the earth, the copper surface of the tripod changed and looked very much like Shentu Dun's genuine tripod.
One day, Lu Sheng presented this fake tripod to an influential official, who was so pleased as if he had got a treasure that he invited guests to a banquet to appreciate it together.
At the time, Shentu Dun was also present. He knew in his heart that Lu Sheng's tripod was a fake. He said: "I also have a tripod of about the same shape as this one. But I don't know which one is genuine."
The influential official asked him to fetch it at once. After he examined it for a long time, he said: "This one is not genuine."
The guests also chimed in and said one after another: "It is indeed not genuine."
Shentu Dun was quite perturbed and argued on just grounds, but the others rallied together to attack him, ridiculed and even insulted him, so he said no more.
When he returned home, he sighed: "I didn't know until today the power of authority, which can confound right with wrong and pass off the fake as the real thing."
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