(Last updated 2022 June 27)
Zhūgě Jǐn appellation Zǐyú was a Lángyé Yángdū man. (1)
- (1) Wúshū states: Previously the Gě clan was originally people from Zhū county of Lángyé, and later moved to Yángdū. In Yángdū there were already those surnamed Gě, so the people of the time called them the Zhū Gě, and because of this it became their clan name [Zhūgě]. When young, Jǐn traveled to the capital, and studied the Máo [edition] Shī, Shàngshū, and Zuǒshì Chūnqiū. When his mother passed he observed full filial mourning, and afterward respected his stepmother sincerely, deeply obtaining the way to be a son.
- Fēngsútōng states: Gě Yīng was General Crossing Battle-lines, had merits but was put to death. [Hàn] Xiào-Wén-dì recorded this, and gave fief to his grandson as Marquis of Zhū county, and because of this the two together became the clan name [Zhūgě]
- This is different from what is said in Wúshū.
At the end of Hàn he fled from the chaos to Jiāngdōng. When Sūn Cè died, Sūn Quán‘s elder sister’s husband Hóng Zī of Qū’ē met and was impressed with him [Zhūgě Jǐn], and recommended him to Quán, and with Lǔ Sù and the rest together were treated as guests. Later he became Quán’s Chief Clerk, then was transferred to Internal Major. Jiàn’ān twentieth year , Quán sent Jǐn as envoy to Shǔ to restore alliance with Liú Bèi, with his younger brother Liàng mutually meeting, in withdrawing never privately facing.
When he with Quán spoke or remonstrated, he never once was blunt, only slightly describing and vaguely pointing out his intention. If they could not agree, he would abandon the subject and move to something else, and then gradually return to the previous matter and try again, using a similar situation to persuade, and so Quán’s ideas would gradually be resolved.
Administrator of Wú, Zhū Zhì, was the officer who had nominated Quán for office. Quán often had criticisms for him, but usually honored him and so found it difficult to personally criticize him, so he was angry without end. Jǐn guessed the reason, but did not dare reveal it publicly and so he asked to meet privately, and then in front of Quán he wrote a letter discussing physical principles, and so with his own feelings he circuitously hinted at the situation. When he finished and submitted it to Quán, Quán was pleased and laughed and said: “My thoughts have been resolved. The virtue of Yán [Yuān] was to love others well. Is this what that means?”
Quán also disliked Colonel Yīn Mó and seized on a crime to condemn him. All the ministers down spoke on his behalf, and Quán was extremely angry and argued with those who disagreed. Only Jǐn remained silent. Quán said: “Zǐyú, why do you alone not speak?”
Jǐn left his mat and said: “I Jǐn and Yīn Mó and the rest all lost our homelands and our peoples. We abandoned the tombs of our ancestors, carrying our old and young through grass and weeds to submit to an enlightened leader, traveling as exiles, seeking fortune out of confused mists. We failed to sternly control one another and could not repay even the smallest fraction of your generosity. Now Mó has failed to deserve your grace, and this is my fault. It is too late for me to apologize for my mistakes, and so I honestly do not dare speak.”
Quán heard this and was sorrowful, and so said: “For your sake sir I shall pardon him.”
Later he followed in attacking Guān Yǔ , was given fief as Marquis of Xuānchéng, and as General Soothing the South he succeeded Lǚ Méng as Administrator of Nán-jùn, residing at Gōng’ān. Liú Bèi went east to attack Wú . The King of Wú [Sūn Quán] asked for peace, and Jǐn wrote to Bèi: “I have abruptly heard you have come with banners and drums to Báidì, and am concerned that your advisers will believe that because the King of Wú has obtained this province and harmed Guān Yǔ so that your blame and anger are exceedingly great, it is not appropriate to discuss peace. This is to use the emotions of a petty man, and not consider the greater situation. I shall try to explain for Your Majesty the light from severe and the great from the small. If Your Majesty restrains your power and controls your anger and heed my words, then everything can be settled, and there will be no need to consult with other officials. How does Your Majesty’s relation to Guān Yǔ compare to your relation with the Former Emperor [Xiān-dì Liú Xiè]? How does the importance of Jīngzhōu compare with that of the whole land Within the Seas? If you give into your anger, who will carry on the succession [of Hàn]? If you consider these points, it is as easy as turning a hand [in deciding for peace].” (1)
- (1) Your Servant Sōngzhī says: I believe Lord Liú used Yōng-Shǔ as his passes and river [heartlands], Jīng-Chǔ as his flank assistance, Guān Yǔ raised troops about the Miǎn and Hàn, intending to ascend up the state, and though in rectifying the ruler to establish hegemony the achievement could not be certain, it needed to use a great sound to shake the distant, and had its reasoning. Sūn Quán secretly had disastrous heart and assisted Wèi in removing a danger, and so the example of Jiǎn Zōngzǐ rescuing his King, the cause for Excellency Cáo to plan to move the capital, the scheme to restore Hàn, came close to success only to be thwarted. Where the righteous banners directed, It was appropriate that it was toward the Sūn. Jǐn in using great righteousness to reproach Bèi, in answering him what worry was there of having nothing to say? Moreover Bèi and Yǔ in there mutual closeness, were like four limbs, his legs and arms unexpectedly lost, his fury and resentment was already very deep, how could a flowery letter stop him? To record this in the chapter is truly a wasteful inclusion of prose.
At the time someone said Jǐn had sent a separate personal messenger to communicate with Bèi. Quán said: “I and Zǐyú are sworn to ever stand together in life or death. Zǐyú will never turn from me, just as I will never turn from Zǐyú.” (2)
- (2) Jiāngbiǎozhuàn states: When Jǐn was at Nán-jùn, there were men who secretly slandered Jǐn. These words spread as rumors outside, and Lù Xùn memorialized to defend Jǐn [against the accusations] and say that he was not like that, and that such thoughts [of suspecting Jǐn] should be dispersed. Quán replied: “Zǐyú and I have been together for many years, and I treat him like my own flesh and bones [own relative]. We each deeply understand the other. He is not a man to act contrary to principle or speak against righteousness. When Xuándé [Liú Bèi] previously sent Kǒngmíng [Zhūgě Liàng] to Wú, I once said to Zǐyú: ‘You and Kǒngmíng were born of the same womb, and moreover a younger brother follows the elder. This is obedience to righteousness. Why not keep Kǒngmíng here? If Kǒngmíng is willing to follow you, then I will write a letter to explain things to Xuándé. He can follow anyone of his own choosing and that is all.’ Zǐyú replied to me: ‘My younger brother Liàng has devoted himself to someone, will not change from what he has decided, and will not have second thoughts. My younger brother will not stay, just as I would not leave.’ These words are enough to move spirits. Now how can things be like this [as rumored]? All these previous absurd written accusations I have received I showed to Zǐyú and with my own hand wrote to Zǐyú, and have received his reply, discussing the major principles of the relationship between master and servant in the world that never changes. I and Zǐyú can be said to be spiritually connected, and cannot be separated by outside words. I know your intention, and have gathered the memorial that has arrived and shown it to Zǐyú, so that he too can know your intentions.”
Huángwǔ Inaugural Year  he was promoted to General of the Left, commanding Gōng’ān, with Acting Staff of Authority, and given fief as Marquis of Wǎnlíng. (3)
- Wúlù states: Cáo Zhēn, Xiàhóu Shàng, and others besieged Zhū Rán at Jiānglíng, and also sent a division to occupy the central islets [in the River]. Jǐn led a large army to the rescue. Jǐn by nature was liberal and slow, relied on reason and planning, without techniques for answering sudden changes, [so] the fighting was for a long time unresolved. Quán because of this was critical of him. When the spring floods came, Pān Zhāng and others built river fortifications to the upstream, and Jǐn advanced to attack the pontoon bridges. Zhēn and the others retreated. Though there was no great merit, preserving the army and protecting the borders was also an achievement.
Yú Fān was banished for his reckless speech. Only Jǐn spoke on his behalf. Fān wrote a letter to a relative: “Zhūgě is kindhearted and benevolent, and follows Heaven in saving the lives of others. Recently I was indebted to his honest talk that saved and protected me. My accumulated crimes are deep and so I met with thundering punishment. Even if I had the Elder Qí to rescue me, my virtue is not that of Yángshé. It is difficult to hope for a resolution.”
Jǐn was generous and thoughtful of others, and at the time all admired his greatness and elegance. Quán also greatly valued him, and consulted him on important affairs. He once consulted Jǐn and said:
“Recently I received [Lù Xùn] Bóyán’s memorial that Cáo Pī has already died, so the people suffering [in the north] when they look upon our banners will collapse, but for now there will be peace and calm. I have heard [that the new Emperor] always chooses out and employs the loyal and able, is lenient in punishments, confers favor and kindness, lightens taxes and reduces conscription, in order to please the people, and so we are in graver danger than in the time of [Cáo] Cāo. I believe this is incorrect.
Considering Cāo’s conduct, his killing and destruction of the weak was his only fault, and his difference from others and his kin was only his ruthlessness and that is all. In regards to his governance and leadership, since times immemorial there have been few [to match him]. Pī in comparison to Cāo falls uncountably short. Now Ruì cannot compare to Pī, just as Pī cannot compare to Cāo. That he esteems giving out small favors is certainly because his father has died and he knows he is weak, and afraid that the suffering people shall one morning rise up and destroy him. Therefore he reluctantly humbles himself to beg for popular support, desiring only to secure his position and that is all. Is this really a time of their gradual rise in prosperity?
I have heard he has appointed men like Chén [Qún] Chángwén and Cáo [Zhēn] Zǐdān, who are either mere weak intellectuals or relatives of the Imperial clan. Can he really lead powerful talented tiger-valiant generals to govern the realm Under Heaven? When authority is not concentrated, then affairs will become disordered, just as in the past Zhāng Ěr and Chén Yú could not keep peaceful relations and sought to seize power, and so brought disaster on each other. This is as logic dictates. Further, the reason followers like Chángwén could in the past act well was because they had Cāo to grip their heads. They feared Cāo’s prestige, and therefore wholeheartedly worked their hardest and did not dare act wrongly and that is all.
When Pī inherited, his age had already reached adulthood, and in taking the inheritance of Cāo, he added kindness and affection, so that they would be grateful. Now Ruì is young and feeble, following other men in all affairs. The officials of this generation will certainly seek out personal opportunities, band together in factions for gain, each supporting their allies. When things are like this, treachery and slander appear, with everyone accusing and hating each other, and turning against and betraying one another. Just as in the past, the ministers down compete for personal gain, the young ruler cannot control them. How much longer can they last before they are defeated?
That one knows this is true, is that from the past to the present, when has there been four or five people all grabbing the handle of authority without turning against each other and stomping and clawing? The strong will oppress the weak, and the weak will ask for rescue [from us], and this is the way that the chaos will end. Zǐyú, you need only carefully listen to this. Bóyán is often adept at making plans, but I am afraid in this one affair he has a small shortcoming.” (1)
- (1) Your Servant Sōngzhī believes Wèi Míng-dì was at the time an enlightened ruler and himself managed the government. Sūn Quán in this discussion was indeed not correct. But what was recorded by the historians, about the danger of a young ruler, when authority is not held by one, and the situation of how disaster may end, was as Quán said, and it was appropriate to record as a lesson for reflection. Perhaps it could not apply to Míng-dì, but it could describe Qí-wáng [Cáo Fāng]; the reign of Qí-wáng, could it not be said to be proof? [Chén Shòu] did not dare criticize openly, and so was restrained to the memorial’s abstruse words.
When Quán took Imperial title , he was titled General-in-Chief, Commander Protector on the Left, with office as Governor of Yù province. When Lǚ Yī was executed , Quán sent Imperial Orders to obtain criticism and advice from Jǐn and the rest. The discussion is in Quán’s Biography (SGZ 47). Jǐn immediately answered because of the serious matter, and his words were reasonable and logical.
Jǐn’s son Kè had flourishing reputation at the time, and Quán was deeply impressed with his ability. However, Jǐn was always doubtful of him, and said he was not a son who would maintain the family, always worrying and grieving [as a parent]. (1)
- (1) Wúshū states: Previously, Jǐn was General-in-Chief, while his younger brother Liàng was the Shǔ Chancellor. His two sons Kè and Róng both led soldiers and horses and commanded with authority as chief commanding officers. His younger third cousin Dàn also was renowned in Wèi. One clan had dominant figures in three directions, thriving across the world Under Heaven. Though Jǐn’s ability and genius did not reach that of his younger brother, his morality and conduct were exceptional and pure. After his wife died he did not remarry, and though he had a favored concubine who bore him a son he did not promote her [to wife]. His sincere prudence was always like this.
Chìwū fourth year , aged sixty-eight years he died. His will ordered a plain unadorned coffin restrained to everyday clothes, and all matters to be made simpler and more economical. Kè already had his own fief as Marquis, so his younger brother Róng inherited [Zhūgě Jǐn’s] title, took over the affairs of the troops stationed at Gōng’ān (2), and all the personal retainers and officials and troops were closely attached to him.
- Wúshū states: Róng appellation Shūzhǎng. From birth he was pampered and spoiled, when young he was proud and playful，and his learning was wide but not thorough. By nature he was tolerant and lenient, had many skills and arts, and several times went to Court in plain and coarse dress. Later he was appointed Cavalry Commandant. During Chìwū [238-251]，the various commanderies sent squads and the Commandant of Xīndū Chén Biǎo and Commandant of Wú-jùn Gù Chéng each led their followers to establish farms and develop the hills, each numbering several tens of thousands of men and women. Biǎo died of illness, and Quán sent Róng to succeed Biǎo. Later he succeeded his father Jǐn’s command.
When there were no problems beyond the border, in autumn and winter he would shoot and hunt and focus on military arts, and in spring and summer he would have celebrations with guests, give vacations to his officials and soldiers, or else travel long distances for pleasure. At every meeting he would immediately inquire about his guests’ experiences, each would speak of their abilities, and then he would gather them on the same couches and mats and have them compete. Some played chess, some played dice, dart throwing, all of this sort. Then sweet fruit was sent forward, and pure wine leisurely served, and Róng would watch all day without tiring. Róng’s father and elder brother dressed plainly, and though they were in the military, they personally did not adorn themselves. But Róng wore embroidery and brocade, and alone was extravagant.
When Sūn Quán died , he was transferred to General Exerting Martial ability. Later Kè invaded Huáinán, and Róng was given a Staff of Authority, to lead the armies into the region of the river Miǎn and attack the western troops.
When Kè was executed, Commander of Wúnán Shī Kuān was sent to lead Generals Shī Jì, Sūn Yī, Quán Xī, and others to arrest Róng. Róng suddenly heard soldiers had arrived, and was panicked and hesitant, and could not decide on a plan. The soldiers arrived and besieged his city. He drank a drug and died. His three sons were all executed. (3)
- (3) Jiāngbiǎozhuàn states: Before this, in Gōng’ān there was the call of a ghost alligator. A children’s rhyme said: “White alligator calls, turtle’s back flattens. Inside Nán-jùn walls one can live long, hold to the death not leaving righteousness without accomplishment.” When Kè was executed, Róng indeed scraped metal from a seal turtle, swallowed it and died.