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Two days ago, the dean of Chinese Language Department of Fudan University in China wrote a condolence letter in memory of the dean of Math Department of the same university who was killed by an angry teacher in his office for some wrongdoings that should have been the responsibility of the university.

Here is the full text:

永珍遇害十日,校方有此说明,以正视听。当初事发突然,行凶之时并无目击者,而死者已矣,凶手在警,亦无从问得事实也。然谣言疾起,毁谤日滋,长篇大论,有如宿构,其势汹汹,席卷全网。唯复旦师生,不为所动。此岂爱校心切,可以罔顾事实?实赖永珍人品口碑,在周围人心目中屹立不倒。君子之泽,三世不斩,区区十日,又何足道。仁者不寿,吾侪所恸,求仁得仁,永珍安息!

Does "求仁得仁" mean "You ask for it and now you get it", implying an irony that "Are you satisfied now"?

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No, 求仁得仁 means "someone willing to die for just causes (principles), and fulfilled this commitment at the end"

仁 in 求仁 doesn't mean kind, it is from the idiom 捨身成仁 (sacrifice one's life for a just cause)

求 - seek --> willing to

仁 - 成仁 (die for principles)

得 - actually

仁 - 成仁 (die for principles)

The article describes 永珍 as someone who held and died for his principles (a praise and a little comforting words)

"You ask for it and now you get it" is 自作自受 (it is a self-inflicted punishment)

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Yes.

求仁得仁 comes from The Analects of Confucius and it's original meaning has no irony. BUT nowadays more and more people use it as sarcasm, exactly like "You asked for it." and the original meaning almost doesn't apply any more.

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It would be a terrible thing to use irony in a condolence letter! I'm sure that is not the case!

People are guessing, Professor 朱刚 has not made clear what he meant when he said 求仁得仁.

The police said 书记王永珍 was killed by 姜文华, who apparently had some psychological problems.

Originally, some people thought, 王永珍 had stolen some research results from 姜文华. Aspersions were cast about 王永珍's moral integrity.

王永珍是个好人,
Wang Yongzhen was a good person,
好人夭折了,
who died prematurely,
我们很悲痛。
we grieve for him.
以前大家都在怀疑、
previously there was some doubt,
谣言很多,
(there were) many rumours,
现在真相昭然,
the facts are now clear,
说明王永珍人品口碑确实很好,
(they) show Wang Yongzhen's moral standing and reputation were impeccable,
得到了清白,
he was innocent,
让他安息吧。
may he rest in peace.

Thus:

求仁得仁: 得到了清白,the truth proved he was a good, kind person

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  • You have to know much background information to understand the letter, but most readers can only read the irony between the line, perhaps it is due to this information gap. Whatever it is, now the university invovled in the case, namely, Fudan University, is quite embarrassed. Jun 21 at 7:10

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