(24.5) Wáng Guàn 王觀 [Wěitái 偉臺]

Wáng Guàn, appellation Wěitái, was Dōng-jùn Lǐnqiū man. When young he was orphaned and poor but strong-willed. Tàizǔ summoned him to become a Literary Official to the Chancellor, then sent out as Magistrates of Gāotáng, Yángquán, Zàn, and Rèn, and wherever he was he was praised for his government.

王觀字偉臺,東郡廩丘人也。少孤貧勵志,太祖召為丞相文學掾,出為高唐、陽泉、酇、任令,所在稱治。

When Wén-dì ascended [220], he entered Court as a Secretariat Official and Supervisor in the Ministry of Justice, and was sent out as Administrator of Nányáng Zhuō-jùn. North of Zhuō bordered the Xiānbēi, and several times there were raids and plundering. Guàn ordered that all families larger than ten on the border were to garrison together and construct a fortress. At the time there were some who were unwilling, so Guàn sent for assistants from the Court to help the local peoples, and did not set a deadline, only ordering that the work must be finished. Thereupon the government officials and the people cooperated and without realizing it within ten days the construction was complete. Once the defenses were prepared, the raiding ceased.

文帝踐阼,入為尚書郎、廷尉監,出為南陽、涿郡太守。涿北接鮮卑,數有寇盜,觀令邊民十家已上,屯居,築京候。時或有不願者,觀乃假遣朝吏,使歸助子弟,不與期會,但敕事訖各還。於是吏民相率不督自勸,旬日之中,一時俱成。守禦有備,寇鈔以息。

When Míng-dì ascended [226], he sent down an Imperial Order that the situations in the prefectures and counties were to be classified into Severe, Middling, Peaceful. The classifier wished to report the prefecture [Zhuō] as Middling or Peaceful. Guàn told him: “This prefecture is near the outer barbarians, and repeatedly suffered raiding, so why do you not report it as Severe?”

明帝即位,下詔書使郡縣條為劇、中、平者。主者欲言郡為中平,觀教曰:「此郡濱近外虜,數有寇害,云何不為劇邪?」

The classifier said: “If the prefecture is classified as Severe, I am afraid that your honor’s son will be summoned to Court [as hostage].”

主者曰:「若郡為外劇,恐於明府有任子。」

Guàn said: “A ruler is one who acts for the sake of the people. Now if the prefecture is classified as outer and Severe, then the labor conscription and tax demands will be decreased. How can I as Administrator for selfish reasons turn my back on my prefecture’s people?”

觀曰:「夫君者,所以為民也。今郡在外劇,則於役條當有降差。豈可為太守之私而負一郡之民乎?」

Therefore it was reported that the prefecture situation was outer and Severe, and later he sent a son to take appointment [as hostage] at Yè. At the time Guàn only had one son who was still very young. His public-minded heart was like this.

遂言為外劇郡,後送任子詣鄴。時觀但有一子而又幼弱。其公心如此。

Guàn’s cultivated himself to be honest and pure, was a model to his subordinates, who imitated and adopted his spirit, so that there were none who did not strive hard themselves.

觀治身清素,帥下以儉,僚屬承風,莫不自勵。


When Míng-dì moved to Xǔchāng, he summoned Guàn as a Secretary Assistant to the Censorate with authority over the Prison. At the time [the Emperor made] many impulsive appointments and was very temperamental, but Guàn was not a flatterer. Grand Commandant Sīmǎ Xuán-wáng requested Guàn be an Advisor Palace Official. He was promoted to the Secretariat, sent out as Intendant of Hénán, then transferred to Minister Treasurer.

明帝幸許昌,召觀為治書侍御史,典行臺獄。時多有倉卒喜怒,而觀不阿意順指。太尉司馬宣王請觀為從事中郎,遷為尚書,出為河南尹,徙少府。

General-in-Chief Cáo Shuǎng ordered the Timber Official Zhāng Dá to divide some house-building timber and send it to him for personal use. Guàn heard of this, and all the records were seized and taken from the [timber] government office. The Ministry of the Treasury had three Esteemed Reserve Offices that contained many rare treasures, and Shuǎng and the others coveted them, and often sought to obtain them, but hated that Guàn always followed the law, and so he was transferred to Minister Charioteer.

大將軍曹爽使材官張達斫家屋材,及諸私用之物,觀聞知,皆錄奪以沒官。少府統三尚方御府內藏玩弄之寶,爽等奢放,多有干求,憚觀守法,乃徙為太僕。

When Sīmǎ Xuán-wáng executed Shuǎng, he appointed Guàn as Acting Internal Supervisor of the Army, to seize and occupy the camp of Shuǎng’s younger brother Xī, and bestowed title as Marquis within the Passes. He returned to the Secretariat and was also appointed Imperial Relative Commandant.

司馬宣王誅爽,使觀行中領軍,據爽弟羲營,賜爵關內侯,復為尚書,加駙馬都尉。

When the Duke of Gāoguì village ascended [254], he was given fief as Marquis of Zhōngxiāng precinct. Shortly after this he was made Grandee Official, than transferred to Right Deputy-Director.

高貴鄉公即位,封中鄉亭侯。頃之,加光祿大夫,轉為右僕射。

When the Duke of Chángdào village ascended [260], he was advanced to Marquis of Yángxiāng, his fief increased by 1000 households, added with the previous to a total of 2500 households. He was promoted to Excellency of Works, firmly declined but was not permitted to refuse, and an envoy arrived to bestow the office. He was in office for a few days, when the Ascended sent him seals and ribbons of office. He immediately took his carriage and went back home.

常道鄉公即位,進封陽鄉侯,增邑千戶,并前二千五百戶。遷司空,固辭,不許,遣使即第拜授。就官數日,上送印綬,輒自輿歸里舍。

He died at home. His will ordered that he be buried in a plain coffin, without treasures or tools, and without a grave mound and trees. His posthumous title was Sù-hóu “Solemn Marquis.” His son Kuī succeeded. During Xiánxī [264-265], the Five Ranks of nobility was established. In honor of Guàn’s service to the previous dynasty, Kuī’s fief was changed to Viscount of Jiāodōng.

薨于家,遺令藏足容棺,不設明器,不封不樹。諡曰肅侯。子悝嗣。咸熙中,開建五等,以觀著勳前朝,改封悝膠東子。

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