(62.1) Shì Yí 是儀 [Zǐyǔ 子羽]

Shì Yí, appellation Zǐyǔ, was a Běihǎi Yínglíng man. He was originally surnamed Shì 氏. He began as a county clerk, and later became a prefecture official. The Prefectural Chancellor Kǒng Róng ridiculed Yí, saying the word “Shì 氏” was people 民 without a head, and should be changed to Shì 是, and so he indeed changed his surname. (1)

是儀字子羽,北海營陵人也。本姓氏,初為縣吏,後仕郡,郡相孔融嘲儀,言「氏」字「民」無上,可改為「是」,乃遂改焉。〔一〕

  • (1) Xú Zhòng comments: When the ancients created surnames, either they were by how they were born, or by their formal office title, or by an ancestor’s name. All these were a good system, and provided information on one’s ancestry and clan. Therefore it was said that blessings were given by earth and fate was given by clan name. This was the standard of the ancient kings, so that brilliant origins and powerful beginnings and clear and manifest achievements and virtues, would not be forgotten by descendants. Now to abandon a word and change a character is an unparalleled prohibition, and to formally change one’s surname is to forget one’s origins and betray one’s ancestors, and moreover is a deception! In telling a person to change his surname and so betraying his clan, Róng did wrong, while Yí did something that cannot be allowed.

〔一〕 徐眾評曰:古之建姓,或以所生,或以官號,或以祖名,皆有義體,以明氏族。故曰胙之以土而命之氏,此先王之典也,所以明本重始,彰示功德,子孫不忘也。今離文析字,橫生忌諱,使儀易姓,忘本誣祖,不亦謬哉!教人易姓,從人改族,融既失之,儀又不得也。

Later he joined Liú Yáo and fled the chaos to take refuge east of the Jiāng. [Liú] Yáo’s army was defeated, and Yí moved to Kuàijī.

後依劉繇,避亂江東。繇軍敗,儀徙會稽。


When Sūn Quán began his great enterprise, he sent a well composed letter to invite Yí. After meeting, he was appointed to the personal staff, to handle classified documents, and appointed Cavalry Commandant.

孫權承攝大業,優文徵儀。到見親任,專典機密,拜騎都尉。


When Lǚ Méng planned to attack Guān Yǔ, Quán consulted Yí, and Yí agreed with the plan, and advised Quán to listen to it. He followed in the attack on Yǔ, was appointed Loyal Righteousness Colonel. Yí declined, so Quán wrote an order: “Though I am no Zhào Jiǎnzǐ, why must you wrong yourself as a Zhōu Shè?”

呂蒙圖襲關羽,權以問儀,儀善其計,勸權聽之。從討羽,拜忠義校尉。儀陳謝,權令曰:「孤雖非趙簡子,卿安得不自屈為周舍邪?」


After Jīngzhōu was settled, the capital was moved to Wǔchāng, and he was appointed Assistant-General, later given fief as Marquis of a capital precinct, and made an Internal Attendant. [Sūn Quán] wished to have him command troops, but Yí stated he did not have the ability and so refused to accept.

既定荊州,都武昌,拜裨將軍,後封都亭侯,守侍中。欲復授兵,儀自以非材,固辭不受。

During Huángwǔ [222-229], Yí was sent to Wǎn to join Liú Shào to assist in baiting Cáo Xiū. [Cáo] Xiū came and was greatly defeated, and he was promoted to Supporting-General, joined the court to manage the Secretariat’s affairs, judge the various outer officials, while also managing court cases. He was also ordered to instruct [Sūn Quán’s] various sons in literature and studies.

黃武中,遣儀之皖就將軍劉邵,欲誘致曹休。休到,大破之,遷偏將軍,入闕省尚書事,外總平諸官,兼領辭訟,又令教諸公子書學。


When the Imperial Chariot moved east [229], the Heir-Apparent [Sūn] Dēng remained to defend Wǔchāng, and Yí was tasked with assisting the Heir-Apparent. The Heir-Apparent respected him, and consulted him first in all affairs and afterward acted. His fief was advanced to Marquis of a capital village. Later he followed the Heir-Apparent back to Jiànyè [232], and was appointed Attendant Internal and Internal Law Enforcer, to judge the affairs of officials and manage court cases as before.

大駕東遷,太子登留鎮武昌,使儀輔太子。太子敬之,事先諮詢,然後施行。進封都鄉侯。後從太子還建業,復拜侍中、中執法,平諸官事、領辭訟如舊。

Censor Official Lǚ Yī falsely accused former Administrator of Jiāngxià Diāo Jiā of slandering and mocking the state government. Quán was furious, arrested and imprisoned Jiā, and ordered a complete investigation. At the time everyone else was terrified of [Lǚ] Yī and all said they had heard him. Only [Shì] Yí alone said he had never heard this. Therefore he was then investigated for many days. An Imperial Order demanded a severe investigation, and so all the officials were afraid for him. Yí said: “Now that the blade is already at my neck, would I dare hide the truth for the sake of Jiā, and so bring about clan extermination and become a disloyal villain? I have only said what I have heard and know from the beginning to end.” He only answered with facts, and did not change them. Quán therefore ended the investigation, and Jiā was also spared. (1)

典校郎呂壹誣白故江夏太守刁嘉謗訕國政,權怒,收嘉繫獄,悉驗問。時同坐人皆怖畏壹,並言聞之,儀獨云無聞。於是見窮詰累日,詔旨轉厲,群臣為之屏息。儀對曰:「今刀鋸已在臣頸,臣何敢為嘉隱諱,自取夷滅,為不忠之鬼!顧以聞知當有本末。」據實答問,辭不傾移。權遂舍之,嘉亦得免。〔一〕

  • (1) Xú Zhòng comments: Shì Yí went as a traveler in an uncommon direction, becoming a guest and official of the Wú court. While on duty he was faced with lies and slander and extermination, but remained his firm and resolute authority. He commanded the county like a water-clock, and even in a dangerous and desperate crisis, he did not join the others in harming another. He was not lax in avoiding actions against justice, and can be said to be a loyal and valiant and just gentleman. Though Qí Xī left Shūxiàng, we celebrate the departure of Zhū Yún. Why is this? Loyalty is not flattering the ruler. Bravery is not fearing to stand up. Generosity is not selfish hoarding. Righteousness is not following the crowd’s wrongs. With these four virtues, he added literary quickness, esteeming modesty and following obedience, remained as Tutor for the two palaces, protected himself and cared for his reputation, was that not also suitable?

〔一〕 徐眾評曰:是儀以羈旅異方,客仕吳朝,值讒邪殄行,當嚴毅之威,命縣漏刻,禍急危機,不雷同以害人,不苟免以傷義,可謂忠勇公正之士,雖祁奚之免叔向,慶忌之濟朱雲,何以尚之?忠不諂君,勇不懾聳,公不存私,正不黨邪,資此四德,加之以文敏,崇之以謙約,履之以和順,保傅二宮,存身愛名,不亦宜乎!


When the Shǔ Chancellor Zhūgě Liàng died [234], Quán was concerned of the state of the western province, and sent Yí as envoy to Shǔ to reaffirm the alliance and friendship. As envoy he served satisfactorily, and was afterward appointed Secretariat Deputy-Director.

蜀相諸葛亮卒,權垂心西州,遣儀使蜀申固盟好。奉使稱意,後拜尚書僕射。


When the South [Heir-Apparent’s] and Lǔ two palaces were first established [242], Yí was initially Tutor to the King of Lǔ. Yí disliked that the two palaces were so similar and close, and so presented a memorial: “I privately believe the King of Lǔ is naturally upright and admirably moral, skilled in both civil and military affairs, and the present arrangements are suitable to prepare him to defend the four corners of the realm, and serve as the state’s protector. I proclaim his virtue and quality, announce his prestige, so that he is the state’s great guide, and what the land within the sea hopes for. But as a servant my words are wild and coarse, and cannot convey my feelings. I believe the two palaces should be abolished, to clearly distinguish an order of precedence, and settle the basic matter.” The letter was submitted [and refused] three to four times. As Tutor he was loyal to the end, frequently gave counsel and warning. In managing affairs he was diligent and to people he was respectful.

南、魯二宮初立,儀以本職領魯王傅。儀嫌二宮相近切,乃上疏曰:「臣竊以魯王天挺懿德,兼資文武,當今之宜,宜鎮四方,為國藩輔。宣揚德美,廣耀威靈,乃國家之良規,海內所瞻望,。但臣言辭鄙野,不能究盡其意。愚以二宮宜有降殺,正上下之序,明教化之本。」書三四上。為傅盡忠,動輒規諫;事上勤,與人恭。


He did not manage much property, and did not accept charity, and his residence did not hoard riches. Next to his house was a neighbor who raised a large mansion. Quán went out and saw this, and asked who lived in the large mansion. His attendants said: “It appears to be Shì Yí’s house.” Quán said: “Yí is frugal. It is certainly not.“ He asked, and was told it was indeed another house. [Shì Yí] was known and trusted like this.

不治產業,不受施惠,為屋舍財足自容。鄰家有起大宅者,權出望見,問起大室者誰,左右對曰:「似是儀家也。」權曰:「儀儉,必非也。」問果他家。其見知信如此。


His clothes were not fine quality, and he did not eat large meals. He gave to the poor, and his home did not raise livestock. Quán heard of this, visited Yí’s residence, and asked to try the vegetarian food. After personally tasting it, he sighed, and increased [Shì Yí’s] salary and bestowed fields and houses. Yí repeatedly refused, and others were moved by his generosity.

服不精細,食不重膳,拯贍貧困,家無儲畜。權聞之,幸儀舍,求視蔬飯,親嘗之,對之歎息,即增俸賜,益田宅。儀累辭讓,以恩為戚。


He frequently made recommendations for office, and never spoke of the shortcomings of others. Quán once reproached him for not reporting affairs and determining right and wrong. Yí replied: “With an enlightened ruler above, the servants below are dutiful, and fear they will not be successful. I honestly do not dare with my limited viewpoint offer comment, to disturb the Superior’s perspective.”

時時有所進達,未嘗言人之短。權常責儀以不言事,無所是非,儀對曰:「聖主在上,臣下守職,懼於不稱,實不敢以愚管之言,上干天聽。」


He managed state affairs for several decades, and never once committed a wrong. Lǚ Yī repeatedly spoke ill of the officers and ministers and great officials, and one was accused of committing a crime four times, but he never once accused [Shì] Yí. Quán sighed and said: “If men could all be like [Shì] Yí, then what use would there be for laws?”

事國數十年,未嘗有過。呂壹歷白將相大臣,或一人以罪聞者數四,獨無以白儀。權歎曰:「使人盡如是儀,當安用科法為?」


When he was lying gravely ill, his final will was for a plain coffin and only a seasonal shroud, and his funeral to be conservative. At age eighty-one years he died.

及寢疾,遺令素棺,斂以時服,務從省約,年八十一卒。

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