Cảnh Công was a king in China during the Warring States. He had a favorite daughter who he wanted to give in marriage to his loyal general, Án Tử (AT).
One day, the king came to AT’s house for dinner. He took a look at AT’s wife and asked, “Is that your wife?”
AT replied, “Yes, she is your Highness.”
The king said, “Oh Dear, she looks so old and ugly! I have a daughter who is both young and pretty, I’d like her to come into your household to take care of you. Are you interested?”
AT stood up and replied, “My wife is now old and unattractive but she married me when she was young and pretty. Traditionally, women marry young so that they can count on their husband when they are old, they devote themselves to their husbands so that they can be taken care of when they become unattractive. I knew and agreed to that when I married her. I am most grateful to your Highness for your kind offer but believe that you would not want me to accept the royal generosity by betraying my commitment to my wife.”
That said, AT refused to take the hands of the young and pretty princess.
* * * * *
AT is so remarkably loyal to his king as well as his wife.
Beauty is skin deep. It’s most likely that AT’s wife has an inner beauty that comes from virtue that makes her worthy of her husband’s loyalty.