The Three Su: a Father and Two Sons-Ending
Witnessing his children launch into fame at such an early age, how could Su Xun not be overjoyed! But after second thoughts, he also grew resentful at the fact that he himself would remain in obscurity all his life. Hearing that Ouyang Xiu recognized people of talent, he sent, through a third person, over twenty essays written by himself, asking for enlightenment. Ouyang found he liked Su's writings. Well versed in phrasing, and unique in style, they were really extraordinary. He then referred Su's works to Han Qi, the Prime Minister at the time, who also took a liking to them. Therefore, the court made an exception, and appointed Su Xun as Jiaoshulang at the Royal Secretariat.
Thus, the father and the sons were simultaneously launched into fame in the capital, to be known as the "Three Su."
Of the three, Su Shi was the best accomplished in literature, and his literary feats were also the greatest of the Northern Song Dynasty. Ouyang Xiu had a high regard for Su Shi. He once told his son: "Remember, in thirty years, people will forget me." What he said proved to be true. Ten years after Su Shi's death, just as Ouyang predicted, people were not talking about him but of Su Shi.
Su Zhe, Su Shi's brother, was also highly gifted. After the brothers had been both designated Jinshi, the Song Emperor Yinzong was so delighted that he said to the empress: "I have two talents for future prime ministers." Su Zhe was even more successful than his elder brother in his official career, eventually reaching the post of Prime Minister. His writings possessed both breadth and depth, making him well worth the name of a great master.
* Su Shi (Dongpo) Cooked a Famous Dish
It is said that when Su Shi (Dongpo) was in charge of Hangzhou, he organized people to dredge up the West Lake and build a long bank around it to prevent the lands from drought and flood. These measures benefited the peasants around Hangzhou a lot, so they always presented him pigs as gifts. Su Shi (Dongpo) couldn't decline their kindness, so he ordered to cut the meat into large cuts, braise them, and sent a cut to every worker who dredged up the lake. The common people also learnt to cook this so-called "Dongpo Meat," and passed it down till today.