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The Thirty-Six Stratagems by Peter Taylor

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17. Tossing out a brick to get a jade gem

Bait someone by making him believe he gains something or just make him react to it and obtain something valuable from him in return.

Tang Tai Zong was very fond of calligraphy and had always wanted to acquire the most famous calligraphy painting; the Lanting Preface.11 The painting was in the possession of Bian Cai, a monk at Yong Sin Temple. However Bian Cai claimed that he did not actually own the original. And so Tang Tai Zong chose Siao Yi to steal the real Lanting Preface and in disguise he travelled as poor scholar to the Yong Sin Temple, allegedly studying the murals in that temple, and bringing with him two original works by the famous calligrapher Er Wang as bait.

Seeing how impoverished the ...

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