(15.2) Sīmǎ Lǎng 司馬朗 [Bódá 伯達]

Sīmǎ Lǎng appellation Bódá was a Hénèi Wēn man. (1)

司馬朗字伯達,河內溫人也。〔一〕

  • Sīmǎ Biāo’s Xùzhuàn states:
    • Lǎng’s grandfather [Sīmǎ] Juàn appellation Yuányì was extensively learned and liked the ancient, was elegant and easy and had great magnanimity. He was eight chǐ three cùn [~1.9m] tall, his belt ten wéi, strong and stalwart in ceremony, unique among all others, and all the local groups and clansmen all attached around him. His office reached Administrator of Yǐngchuān.
    • [Sīmǎ Lǎng’s] father Fáng appellation Jiàngōng was by nature upright and just. Even when at a banquet, his authoritative presence did not change. He enjoyed studying the biographies of the important officials in the Hànshū, and could recite several tens of thousands of words. When young he was an official in the province and prefecture, served as Magistrate of Luòyáng and Intendant of Jīngzhào, and due to old age was transferred to Cavalry Commandant. He maintained his will and went home, closed the door and kept to himself. All of his sons, though they were capped and adults, if they were not ordered “go forward” they did not dare go forward, if they were not ordered “sit” they did not dare sit, and if they were not directed to be heard they did not dare speak. The solemnness between father and son was like this. Aged seventy-one years, Jiàn’ān twenty-fourth year [219] he ended. He had eight sons. Lǎng was the eldest, and next was Jìn Xuān Huángdì [Sīmǎ Yì].

〔一〕 司馬彪序傳曰:朗祖父雋,字元異,博學好古,倜儻有大度。長八尺三寸,腰帶十圍,儀狀魁岸,與眾有異,鄉黨宗族咸景附焉。位至潁川太守。父防,字建公,性質直公方,雖閒居宴處,威儀不忒。雅好漢書名臣列傳,所諷誦者數十萬言。少仕州郡,歷官洛陽令、京兆尹,以年老轉拜騎都尉。養志閭巷,闔門自守。諸子雖冠成人,不命曰進不敢進,不命曰坐不敢坐,不指有所問不敢言,父子之間肅如也。年七十一,建安二十四年終。有子八人,朗最長,次即晉宣皇帝也。

Aged nine, there was a visitor who used his father’s appellation. Lǎng said: “To be casual of another man’s parents is to be disrespectful to one’s own parents.” The guest apologized to him.

九歲,人有道其父字者,朗曰:「慢人親者,不敬其親者也。」客謝之。

Aged twelve, he was tested in the classics and became a Child-Cadet. The examiner because [Sīmǎ Lǎng] had a strong and large body suspected that Lǎng had lied about his age, and interrogated him. Lǎng said: “My [kinsmen] inside and out are all of the sort to grow large. Though I am young, I do not have the manner of relying on my height. To denigrate age in order to mature early is not my intention.” The examiner was impressed with him.

十二,試經為童子郎,監試者以其身體壯大,疑朗匿年,劾問。朗曰:「朗之內外,累世長大,朗雖稚弱,無仰高之風,損年以求早成,非志所為也。」監試者異之。

Later soldiers rose up East of the Passes. Former Inspector of Jìzhōu Lǐ Shào’s family resided in Yěwáng, near rugged mountains, and he desired to move to reside at Wēn. Lǎng said to Shào: “Does the analogy of teeth [being cold without] lips only apply to Yú and Guó? Wēn and Yěwáng are like that [teeth and lips]. Now if you leave to reside here, that is only to postpone destruction to another time and that is all. Moreover you sir are one who the people of the state look toward. Now the bandits have not yet even arrived, so [if you go] the counties about the mountains will certainly be alarmed, and this will disturb and displace the people’s hearts and open the way for traitors and rebels. I on behalf of the prefecture worry for you.” Shào did not listen. The people near the mountains indeed rebelled, or fled inland, or were plundered by bandits.

後關東兵起,故冀州刺史李邵家居野王,近山險,欲徙居溫。朗謂邵曰:「脣齒之喻,豈唯虞、虢,溫與野王即是也;今去彼而居此,是為避朝亡之期耳。且君,國人之望也,今寇未至而先徙,帶山之縣必駭,是搖動民之心而開姦宄之原也,竊為郡內憂之。」邵不從。邊山之民果亂,內徙,或為寇鈔。


At the time Dǒng Zhuó forced Heaven’s Son to move the capital to Cháng’ān, while Zhuó remained at Luòyáng. Lǎng’s father Fáng was Censor Managing Documents and was to move west [with the Emperor], but as the Four Corners of the realm were in upheaval, he sent Lǎng to lead the family and retainers to return to their home county. Someone reported that Lǎng wished to run away, so he was seized and brought to Zhuó. Zhuó said to Lǎng: “You sir and my deceased son are the same age, yet you turn your back on me!”

是時董卓遷天子都長安,卓因留洛陽。朗父防為治書御史,當徙西,以四方雲擾,乃遣朗將家屬還本縣。或有告朗欲逃亡者,執以詣卓,卓謂朗曰:「卿與吾亡兒同歲,幾大相負!」

Lǎng therefore said: “You wise lord rely on the virtue of high times, and when encountering many conflicts all at once, can clearly remove from the masses the lowly, and widely raise up the virtuous. This is truly to think things over thoroughly, and will lead to the restoration of order, with authority and virtue to lead to prosperity, and achievement and work to lead to renown. But the problem of soldiers daily increases, and the provinces and commanderies are in chaos. Within the suburbs and borders the people cannot peacefully work, and abandon their homes and property, and flee to hide in exile. Even though gates on all sides are shut and forbidden, and punishments are increased to executions, yet it still does not stop it. That is why I am in this city. May you wise lord clearly consider past events, slightly think things over. Then your honored name will be like the sun and moon, and Yī [Yǐn] and Zhōu[-gōng] could not compare.”

朗因曰:「明公以高世之德,遭陽九之會,清除群穢,廣舉賢士,此誠虛心垂慮,將興至治也。威德以隆,功業以著,而兵難日起,州郡鼎沸,郊境之內,民不安業,捐棄居產,流亡藏竄,雖四關設禁,重加刑戮,猶不絕息,此朗之所以於邑也。願明公監觀往事,少加三思,即榮名並於日月,伊、周不足侔也。」

Zhuó said: “I also understand this. Your words sir are meaningful.” (1)

卓曰:「吾亦悟之,卿言有意!」〔一〕

  • Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Lǎng in this answer only praised and narrated Zhuó’s merits and virtues, and did not warn or advise and nothing more. In the end he did not explain things, and yet Zhuó so easily said “I also understand this. Your words sir are meaningful”! Such words between guest and host do not solve problems.

〔一〕 臣松之案朗此對,但為稱述卓功德,未相箴誨而已。了不自申釋,而卓便云「吾亦悟之,卿言有意」!客主之辭如為不相酬塞也。


Lǎng knew that Zhuó would certainly be destroyed, and feared he would be detained, so he divided his property to bribe Zhuó‘s officials and asked to return to his home town. When he arrived he said to the [town] elders: “Dǒng Zhuó rebels, and has become the enemy of all Under Heaven. This is the time for loyal officials and righteous soldiers to rise up. This commandery borders the land of the capital, east of Luò[yáng] is Chénggāo, and the northern border is the great [Yellow] River. If the righteous troops rising up cannot advanced, then they will undoubtedly be stopped here. Therefore this is a land that will be torn apart by war, and those here will not be at peace. It is best that now while the roads are still clear to bring all our clans and go east to Líyáng. Líyáng has camps and troops. Zhào Wēisūn formerly wed into our hometown, commands a camp and leads troops and horses, and can be our leader. If later there is a change, we can still look around and it will not be too late.”

朗知卓必亡,恐見留,即散財物以賂遺卓用事者,求歸鄉里。到謂父老曰;「董卓悖逆,為天下所讎,此忠臣義士奮發之時也。郡與京都境壤相接,洛東有成皋,北界大河,天下興義兵者若未得進,其勢必停於此。此乃四分五裂戰爭之地,難以自安,不如及道路尚通,舉宗東到黎陽。黎陽有營兵,趙威孫鄉里舊婚,為監營謁者,統兵馬,足以為主。若後有變,徐復觀望未晚也。」

The elders were nostalgic [for their hometown], and none followed him. Only Zhào Zī of the same county led his family and retainers and went with Lǎng.

父老戀舊,莫有從者,惟同縣趙咨,將家屬俱與朗往焉。

After several months, all the provinces and prefectures east of the Passes raised troops, the armies numbering several hundreds of thousands, and all gathered at Xíngyáng and Hénèi. The Generals could not unite together, and let their troops plunder and rob, and half of the people died. Afterward, the soldiers East of the Passes scattered, Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] and Lǚ Bù fought one another at Púyáng, and Lǎng therefore led his family back to Wēn. That year there was a great famine, and people ate each other. Lǎng gathered and cared for his clansmen, educated his younger brothers, and would not because of the difficult times neglect his duties.

後數月,關東諸州郡起兵,眾數十萬,皆集滎陽及河內。諸將不能相一,縱兵鈔掠,民人死者且半。久之,關東兵散,太祖與呂布相持於濮陽,朗乃將家還溫。時歲大饑,人相食,朗收恤宗族,教訓諸弟,不為衰世解業。


Aged twenty-two, Tàizǔ summoned him to join the office of the Excellency of Works, and sent him out as Magistrate of Chénggāo. He resigned due to illness, and returned as Chief of Tángyáng. In his government affairs he was generous and kind, he did not use whip or cane, yet the people did not violate laws. Before this, there were people who moved to live in the capital. Later the county was recruited to build boats, and the people who moved were afraid it could not be done [with only the people remaining] and therefore secretly returned to assist them. The love he received was like this.

年二十二,太祖辟為司空掾屬,除成皋令,以病去,復為堂陽長。其治務寬惠,不行鞭杖,而民不犯禁。先時,民有徙充都內者,後縣調當作船,徙民恐其不辦,乃相率私還助之,其見愛如此。

He was transferred to Magistrate of Yuánchéng, he entered [Court] as Registrar to the Chancellor.

遷元城令,入為丞相主簿。

Lǎng believed: “The reason the realm Under Heaven collapsed was because Qín had abolished the Five Ranks [of nobility] system, and because the commanderies and states no longer made preparations for hunting and practicing warfare. Now though the Five Ranks cannot yet be restored, the provinces and commanderies could be ordered to together prepare troops, outside guarding against the foreigners in the four directions, and inside establishing authority against the errant, and this plan was best.”

朗以為天下土崩之勢,由秦滅五等之制,而郡國無蒐狩習戰之備故也。今雖五等未可復行,可令州郡並置兵,外備四夷,內威不軌,於策為長。

He also believed: “It is appropriate to again use the well-field [land distribution system]. Previously the people had each accumulated estates for many generations, and it was difficult to take them away, so things reached to the present. Now after the great chaos, the people were scattered, the land and property has no owner, and all could become public fields, and so it is suitable to at this time to restore it [the well-field land distribution].”

又以為宜復井田。往者以民各有累世之業,難中奪之,是以至今。今承大亂之後,民人分散,土業無主,皆為公田,宜及此時復之。

Though his suggestions were not implemented, later the provinces and prefectures prepared troops, and this was Lǎng’s original idea.

議雖未施行,然州郡領兵,朗本意也。

He was transferred to Inspector of Yǎnzhōu, his government had great effect, and the people praised him. Even when with the army, he always wore plain clothes and ate coarse food, acting frugally to lead his subordinates. He liked ancient books on human relations. People from his hometown Lǐ Dí and others obtained great reputation, but Lǎng always disparaged them. Later Dí and the others were discredited, and the people of the time admired [Sīmǎ Lǎng’s foresight].

遷兗州刺史,政化大行,百姓稱之。雖在軍旅,常麤衣惡食,儉以率下。雅好人倫典籍,鄉人李覿等盛得名譽,朗常顯貶下之;後覿等敗,時人服焉。

Zhōng Yáo and Wáng Càn published an opinion: “Without sagely men there cannot be grand peace.”

鍾繇、王粲著論云:「非聖人不能致太平。」

Lǎng believed: “Though the sort of people as Yī [Yǐn] and Yán [Yuān] are not sagely men, if there are many of them working together, then grand peace can be reached.” (1)

朗以為「伊、顏之徒雖非聖人,使得數世相承,太平可致」。〔一〕

  • (1) Wèishū states: Wén-dì enjoyed Lǎng’s opinions, and ordered to secretly copy and record his writings.
  • Sūn Shèng states: Though Yáo was wrong, Lǎng also was not right. In the past: “Tāng appointed Yī Yǐn, and those who were not benevolent were removed.” The [jīng] says: “The Yán family’s son, was he not close [to reaching perfection]? If there was something not good he was never unaware, and once aware he never did it again.” By these words, to be a sagely man and take part in great worthiness, maintain principle when coming and going, be the same when relaxing or preparing, resist the degradation of customs over time, and in reason never surrender to the heterodox. To ascend to greatness, how can one wait for generations to pass? “If good men govern for a hundred years, they would be able to overcome violence and end killing.” It is also said: “Do not tread footsteps and do not enter houses.” In the discussions of many generations, it was like this! The coming of great worthiness is intrinsic to the situation.

〔一〕 魏書曰:文帝善朗論,命祕書錄其文。孫盛曰:繇既失之,朗亦未為得也。昔「湯舉伊尹,而不仁者遠矣」。易稱「顏氏之子,其殆庶幾乎!有不善未嘗不知,知之未嘗復行」。由此而言,聖人之與大賢,行藏道一,舒卷斯同,御世垂風,理無降異;升泰之美,豈俟積世哉?「善人為邦百年,亦可以勝殘去殺」。又曰「不踐跡,亦不入于室」。數世之論,其在斯乎!方之大賢,固有間矣。

Jiàn’ān twenty-second year [217], he went with Xiàhóu Dūn, Zāng Bà, and others on the campaign against Wú. Arriving at Jūcháo, there was a great epidemic among the army soldiers. Lǎng personally toured among them distributing medicine. He fell ill and died, at the time aged forty-seven years.

建安二十二年,與夏侯惇、臧霸等征吳。到居巢,軍士大疫,朗躬巡視,致醫藥。遇疾卒,時年四十七。

His Will specified only plain clothes and head-cloth [instead of headdress], and restriction to everyday clothes, and the people of the province mourned him. (2)

遺命布衣幅巾,斂以時服,州人追思之。〔二〕

  • (2) Wèishū states: Lǎng was near death, and said to the officers and troops: “I the Inspector have deeply received the state’s favor and kindness. I managed [land covering] ten thousand lǐ, but though my small achievements are not yet achieved I encountered this illness, and cannot save myself, and have failed to repay the state’s kindness. After I am gone, there is to be only plain clothes and head-cloth and restriction to everyday clothes. Do not disobey my wish.”

〔二〕 魏書曰:朗臨卒,謂將士曰;「刺史蒙國厚恩,督司萬里,微功未效,而遭此疫癘,既不能自救,辜負國恩。身沒之後,其布衣幅巾,斂以時服,勿違吾志也。」

When Míng-dì [Cáo Ruí] ascended, he gave title to Lǎng’s son Yí as Marquis of Chāngwǔ precinct, with fief of 100 households. Lǎng’s younger brother Fú also gave his son Wàng [adopted over] to continue Lǎng’s lineage. Yí died, and Wàng’s son Hóng succeeded. (3)

明帝即位,封朗子遺昌武亭侯,邑百戶。朗弟孚又以子望繼朗後。遺薨,望子洪嗣。〔三〕

  • (3) Jìn zhūgōng zàn states: [Sīmǎ] Wàng appellation Zǐchū was Fú’s eldest son. He had ability and insight, and early had reputation. During Xiánxī [264-265] his rank reached Excellency of Works, and when Jìn ascended he was given fief as King of Yìyáng, was promoted to Grand Commandant and Marshal-in-Chief. At the time Fú was Grand Minister. Father and son both occupied rank above the Excellencies, and since the past dynasties this has never happened before. Hóng appellation Kǒngyè had fief as King of Héjiān.

〔三〕 晉諸公贊曰:望字子初,孚之長子。有才識,早知名。咸熙中位至司徒,入晉封義陽王,遷太尉、大司馬。時孚為太宰,父子居上公位,自中代以來未之有也。洪字孔業,封河間王。


Previously Lǎng had always traveled together with Zhào Zī, whose office reached Minister of Ceremonies, and was a great scholar of the age. (1)

初朗所與俱徙趙咨,官至太常,為世好士。〔一〕

  • (1) [Zhào] Zī appellation Jūnchū. His son Fēng appellation Zǐzhòng was a Jìn General of Elite Cavalry with fief as Duke of Dōngpínglíng. For both see the Bǎiguānmíng Zhì “Treatise on Bureaucracy Members.”

〔一〕 咨字君初。子酆字子〔仲〕,晉驃騎將軍,封東平陵公。並見百官名(志)。

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