(13.1) Zhōng Yáo 鍾繇 [Yuáncháng 元常]

Zhōng Yáo appellation Yuáncháng was a Yǐngchuān Chángshè man. (1)


  • (1) Xiānxián Xíngzhuàng “Backgrounds of Past Worthies” states:
    • Zhōng Hào appellation Jìmíng was warm and kind and sincere and cautious, extensively studied verse and law, instructed over a thousand students, and became prefecture Merit Officer. At the time Tàiqiū Chief Chén Shí became Xīmén Precinct Chief, and Hào deeply and specially respected him. Shí was younger than Hào by seventeen years, but they always with courtesy cared for each other and together had friendship. When he was recruited to the Office of the Excellencies, he was about to resign [as Merit Officer], and the Administrator asked: “Who can replace you sir?” Hào said: “If you wise governor seek a certain to fit man, the Xīmén Precinct Chief can be employed.” Shí said: “Gentleman Zhōng seems to not take appraising men as his focus. Who knows why he only takes note of me?”
    • Hào became an Excellency over the Masses official. The Excellency set out, the road was muddy, the escorts were afraid of being splashed, and kept away from the Excellency’s carriage by a great distance. The Excellency took the carriage crossbar [to push the carriage himself] and said: “Then today the Excellency over the Masses will go alone!” He returned to the office to the side door, rang the bell but no one came to help him, so when the officials greeted him with clasped hands, the Excellency kept his hands still [to not answer them] and did not look at them. At the time all the Excellency Office’s officials submitted their resignations. Hào was the West Department Official, and at once opened the office gates to call to those who already left, saying: “I your Servant cannot personally explain this to the master. If the Director of Retainers cites regulations, where the Excellency failed to honor the Rites of a chief minister and you could not bear it, then where will you sirs ever find appointment again?” The officials because of this all stopped. The capital officials indeed went the West Department to investigate the reason for the office resignations. Hào was summoned to meet the capital officials, presented the names of the officials, and so the matter was settled.
    • From beginning to end he was recruited nine times to the Three Offices, transferred to Chief of Nánxiāng and Línlǜ, but did not hold office. At the time in the prefecture the elders that all Within the Seas bowed toward were Administrator of Cāngwú Chén Zhìshū of Dìnglíng, former Magistrate of Líyáng Xún Shū of Yǐngyīn, and Hào. Minister Treasurer Lǐ Yīng always honored these three men, saying: “Master Xún’s honesty and knowledge are difficult to match, Chén’s [Zhìshū] and Zhōng’s [Hào] morality can be teachers.” [Lǐ] Yīng’s paternal aunt became Hào’s elder brother’s wife, bore a son [Zhōng] Jìn, who was the same age as Yīng, and also had good reputation. Jìn also was good at his studies and admired the ancients, and was deferential in his conduct. At the time he was a child, [Lǐ] Yīng’s grandfather Grand Commandant [Lǐ] Xiū said: “Jìn resembles my family’s character. When the state is principled he will not be dismissed, and when the state is unprincipled he will [also] escape execution,” and therefore gave [Lǐ] Yīng’s younger sister to wed him. [Zhōng] Jìn was recruited to the provincial offices, and not once suffered a wrong. [Lǐ] Yīng said to [Zhōng] Jìn: “Mèng Kē believed that men who do not have a heart to distinguish good from bad and right from wrong were not men. Younger brother, why do you treat others without distinguishing black from white?” [Zhōng] Jìn once told [Lǐ] Yīng’s words to Hào, and Hào said: “[Lǐ Yīng] Yuánlǐ’s grandfather is an Excellency and his father’s and uncles are all powerful, and he is Excellency Hán’s sister son, and therefore he can act this way and that is all. Guó Wǔzǐ liked to show off other people’s faults, becoming a source of complaint; now is this not the same time? In protecting yourself and your whole family, your way is the right way.” [Zhōng] Jìn died young. Though [Lǐ] Yīng had merits and reputation and his rank reached near the Ministers, yet he died and fell due to disaster.
    • Hào aged sixty-nine died at home. Hào’s two sons Dí and Fū both because of the Partisan Proscriptions were not appointed. Yáo was Dí’s grandson.

〔一〕 先賢行狀曰:鍾皓字季明,溫良篤慎,博學詩律,教授門生千有餘人,為郡功曹。時太丘長陳寔為西門亭長,皓深獨敬異。寔少皓十七歲,常禮待與同分義。會辟公府,臨辭,太守問:「誰可代君?」皓曰:「明府欲必得其人,西門亭長可用。」寔曰:「鍾君似不察人為意,不知何獨識我?」皓為司徒掾,公出,道路泥濘,導從惡其相灑,去公車絕遠。公椎軾言:「司徒今日為獨行耳!」還府向閤,鈴下不扶,令揖掾屬,公奮手不顧。時舉府掾屬皆投劾出,皓為西曹掾,即開府門分布曉語已出者,曰:「臣下不能得自直於君,若司隸舉繩墨,以公失宰相之禮,又不勝任,諸君終身何所任邪?」掾屬以故皆止。都官果移西曹掾,問空府去意,皓召都官吏,以見掾屬名示之,乃止。前後九辟三府,遷南鄉、林慮長,不之官。時郡中先輩為海內所歸者,蒼梧太守定陵陳稚叔、故黎陽令潁陰荀淑及皓。少府李膺常宗此三人,曰:「荀君清識難尚,陳、鍾至德可師。」膺之姑為皓兄之妻,生子覲,與膺年齊,並有令名。覲又好學慕古,有退讓之行。為童幼時,膺祖太尉脩言:「覲似我家性,國有道不廢,國無道免于刑戮者也。」復以膺妹妻之。覲辟州宰,未嘗屈就。膺謂覲曰:「孟軻以為人無好惡是非之心,非人也。弟於人何太無皂白邪!」覲嘗以膺之言白皓,皓曰:「元禮,祖公在位,諸父並盛,韓公之甥,故得然耳。國武子好招人過,以為怨本,今豈其時!保身全家,汝道是也。」覲早亡,膺雖荷功名,位至卿佐,而卒隕身世禍。皓年六十九,終於家。皓二子迪、敷,並以黨錮不仕。繇則迪之孫。

He once with his cousin’s father Yú together arrived at Luòyáng. On the road they encountered a physiognomy appraiser, who said: “This boy has [a future] nobility’s appearance, but will be endangered by water. Be careful!” They went on and within ten lǐ they crossed a bridge, the horse panicked, and he fell in the water and nearly died. Yú because the appraiser’s words were correct greatly esteemed Yáo, and so provided him with funds to allow him to study. He was nominated as xiàolián “Filial and Incorrupt,” (2) appointed Secretariat Gentleman, Magistrate of Yánglíng, and due to illness resigned.


  • (2) Xiè Chéng’s Hòuhànshū states: Nányáng’s Yīn Xiū became Administrator of Yǐngchuān, focused on seeking out the talented, nominated All-Purposes Official Zhāng Zhòng as Fāngzhèng “Upright,” and examined Merit Officer Zhōng Yáo, Registrar Xún Yù, Recording Official Zhāng Lǐ, Criminal Justice Official Dù Yòu, Filial and Incorrupt Xún Yōu, Calculation Official Guō Tú as officials, and so benefited the state’s Court.

〔二〕 謝承後漢書曰:南陽陰脩為潁川太守,以旌賢擢俊為務,舉五官掾張仲方正,察功曹鍾繇、主簿荀彧、主記掾張禮、賊曹掾杜祐、孝廉荀攸、計吏郭圖為吏,以光國朝。

He was recruited to the Offices of the Three [Excellencies], became a Minister of Justice’s Rectifier, and Yellow Gate Attendant-Cadet. At that time, the Hàn Emperor was at the Western Capital [Cháng’ān]. Lǐ Jué, Guō Sì, and others were chaotic in Cháng’ān, and the East of the Passes was cut off. Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] took office as Governor of Yǎnzhōu and first sent envoy to send up a letter. (3)


  • (3) Shìyǔ states: Tàizǔ sent as envoy Advisor Wáng Bì to request orders from Heaven’s Son.

  〔三〕 世語曰:太祖遣使從事王必致命天子。

[Lǐ] Jué, [Guō] Sì, and the others believed: “The East of the Passes wishes to establish their own Heaven’s Son. Now though Cáo Cāo has sent an envoy, he is not genuine,” and discussed detaining Tàizǔ’s envoy to refuse his intentions.


Yáo persuaded [Lǐ] Jué, [Guō] Sì, and the others: “Now heroes all rise up, each pretending they have orders to seize power. Only Cáo of Yǎnzhōu devotes his heart to the Ruling House. Yet you oppose this loyal action, and this will not help your future prospects.”


[Lǐ] Jué, [Guō] Sì, and the others followed Yáo’s words, generously gave rewards in reply, and because of this Tàizǔ’s envoy mission was therefore successful. Tàizǔ had already frequently heard Xún Yù’s praising of Yáo, and also heard of his persuading of [Lǐ] Jué and [Guō] Sì, and increased his admiration [of Zhōng Yáo].


Later [Lǐ] Jué seized Heaven’s Son [195], and Yáo with Secretariat-Gentleman Hán Bīn together made plans. In Heaven’s Son’s escape from Cháng’ān, Yáo exerted great effort. He was appointed Censorate Palace Deputy, promoted Attendant Internal Secretariat Documents Deputy Director, and in recognition for his previous achievements was given fief as Marquis of Dōngwǔ precinct.


At the time Within the Passes Generals Mǎ Téng, Hán Suì, and others each gathered troops and with each other fought. Tàizǔ was already occupied with the east of the mountains, and because of the right [west] of the Passes was concerned. Therefore [197] he memorialized Yáo as Attendant Internal to defend as Colonel-Director of Retainers Wielding Staff of Authority to command all the armies Within the Passes, entrusted with all later affairs, and special discretion to not be confined by regulations. Yáo arrived at Cháng’ān, sent letters to [Mǎ] Téng, [Hán] Suì, and others, explaining to them potential gains and losses, and [Mǎ] Téng and [Hán] Suì each sent a son to enter [Court] as an attendant [and political hostage].


Tàizǔ was at Guāndù [200] and with Yuán Shào was locked in stalemate. Yáo sent over two thousand horses to the army. Tàizǔ wrote a letter to Yáo: “Receiving these sent horses was extremely helpful for this emergency. Right [west] of the Passes is pacified and the Court has no worries looking to the west, and this is your achievement sir. In the past Xiāo Hé defended Within the Passes, providing amble provisions for a successful army, and so too with you.”


After this [202] the Xiōngnú Shànyú rebelled in Píngyáng. Yáo commanded all the armies to besiege them, but had not yet dislodged them when Yuán Shàng’s appointed Administrator of Hédōng Guō Yuán arrived at Hédōng, and his army was very powerful. The various Generals discussed and wished to withdraw, but Yáo said: “The Yuán clan is presently strong, [Guō] Yuán has come, and Within the Passes there are those in secret communications with them. That everything is not in rebellion is only because of our authoritative reputation and that is all. If we abandon this and retreat, it reveals weakness, and of all the people here, who would not become our enemies? Even if we wish to return, would we be able to? This is to first defeat ourselves even before battle. Moreover, [Guō] Yuán is stubborn and aggressive, and will certainly underestimate our army. If he crosses the Fén [river] to make camp, and when he is not yet fully crossed we attack him, he can be greatly defeated.”


Zhāng Jì persuaded Mǎ Téng to join in attacking [Guō] Yuán, and Téng sent his son Chāo to lead elite troops to oppose them. [Guō] Yuán arrived, and indeed recklessly crossed the Fén. His army [wanted to] stop him, but he did not listen. As he was crossing the river and not yet halfway, they attacked and greatly defeated him, (1) beheading [Guō] Yuán, and the Shànyú surrendered. The story is in [Zhāng] Jì’s Biography [SGZ 15].


  • (1) Sīmǎ Biāo’s Zhànlüè states: Yuán Shàng sent Gāo Gàn and Guō Yuán to command troops of several tens of thousand men to with the Xiōngnú Shànyú to invade Hédōng, and sent an envoy to with Mǎ Téng, Hán Suì, and the rest make alliance, and Téng and the rest secretly agreed to this. Fù Gàn persuaded Téng: “The ancients had the saying: ‘Those who follow the way prosper, those who oppose virtue perish.’ Excellency Cáo receives Heaven’s Son and punishes the rebellious, with law and enlightenment governs the state, high and low all follow commands, the righteous are certain to be rewarded, the unrighteous certain to be punished, and he can be said to be following the way. Yuán turns his back on the ruler’s commands, drives on the barbarians to invade the central states, acts lenient but has many jealousies, acts benevolent but has no decisiveness, and though his troops are strong he has truly lost the hearts of the realm, and can be said to be opposing virtue. Now you General both have principle in actions but do not use all your strength, secretly planning to hold to both sides, wishing to sit and observe the outcome, but I fear when the outcome is settled and awards and punishments are given, you General will be first to be beheaded.” Therefore Téng was afraid. [Fù] Gàn said: “The wise turn disaster into good fortune. Now Excellency Cáo and the Yuán are locked in battle, but Gāo Gàn and Guō Yuán alone occupy Hédōng. Though Excellency Cáo has absolutely sure plans, he cannot do anything to prevent Hédōng’s danger. You General truly can lead troops to suppress [Guō] Yuán, so that inside and out both attack him, and certainly take him. With your one move General, you will break Yuán’s arm, resolve the danger to one side, and Excellency Cáo will certainly honor you General, and your merits and reputation will be such that bamboo and silk cannot be enough to record. May you General consider carefully!” [Mǎ] Téng said: “I gratefully accept your guidance.” Therefore he sent his son [Mǎ] Chāo to command elite troops of over ten thousand men, and together command [Hán] Suì’s and the others’ troops, and with Yáo together attacked [Guō] Yuán and the rest, and greatly defeated them.

〔一〕 司馬彪戰略曰:袁尚遣高幹、郭援將兵數萬人,與匈奴單于寇河東,遣使與馬騰、韓遂等連和,騰等陰許之。傅幹說騰曰:「古人有言『順道者昌,逆德者亡』。曹公奉天子誅暴亂,法明國治,上下用命,有義必賞,無義必罰,可謂順道矣。袁氏背王命,驅胡虜以陵中國,寬而多忌,仁而無斷,兵雖彊,實失天下心,可謂逆德矣。今將軍既事有道,不盡其力,陰懷兩端,欲以坐觀成敗,吾恐成敗既定,奉辭責罪,將軍先為誅首矣。」於是騰懼。幹曰:「智者轉禍為福。今曹公與袁氏相持,而高幹、郭援獨制河東,曹公雖有萬全之計,不能禁河東之不危也。將軍誠能引兵討援,內外擊之,其勢必舉。是將軍一舉,斷袁氏之臂,解一方之急,曹公必重德將軍。將軍功名,竹帛不能盡載也。唯將軍審所擇!」騰曰:「敬從教。」於是遣子超將精兵萬餘人,并將遂等兵,與繇會擊援等,大破之。

After this Hédōng’s Wèi Gù rebelled, and with Zhāng Chéng, Zhāng Yǎn, and Gāo Gàn and others joined together to plunder. Yáo again led the various officers and suppressed and defeated them. (2)


  • (2) Wèilüè states: Imperial Order summoned Administrator of Hédōng Wáng Yì. [Wáng] Yì because the realm was not yet settled in his heart was unwilling to be summoned, and the officials and people also felt attached to [Wáng] Yì, so commandery official Wèi Gù and Palace Gentleman-General Fàn Xiān and others each Yáo to plead for [Wáng] Yì. But Imperial Order had already appointed Dù Jī as Administrator, and Jī had already entered the borders. Yáo would not listen to Xiān and the others, and urged [Wáng] Yì to hand over his seals. [Wáng] Yì on his belt wore his seals and ribbons and went directly from Héběi to Xǔ [instead of to Zhōng Yáo in a deliberate snub] and then returned home. Yáo at the time governed at Luòyáng, and himself observed he had lost authority over officials, and therefore sent up a memorial impeaching himself that said: “I your Servant previously sent up word that former General Defending the North and Administrator of Hédōng the Marquis of Ānyáng precinct Wáng Yì was opportunistic and cheating in government office, violated laws and regulations, that he should be impeached, to investigate the truth of his crimes. This was by Imperial Order followed for investigation. As he accepted blame for his crimes, therefore he was pardoned. Also I your Servant sent up word that the officials and people large and small each harbored feelings for his past governance and said [Wáng] Yì would return, resisted Administrator Dù Jī, but now change opinion and together welcome [Dù] Jī as their official. Carefully considering written correspondence, I your Servant due to empty [reputation] received favor and selection, entered [Court] as a close Attendant, while also managing critical judgements, received heavy responsibilities, governing this side region, both without virtuous government to benefit the people and also without authority and punishment to restrain the disrespectful, until it caused [Wáng] Yì to disobey written Imperial Order, commandary official Wèi Gù to deceive and oppress the officials and people, with words of accusations and complaints, passing through stations and roads, gradually losing their courtesy, not revering the ruler’s commands. Now though matters are returned to before, disgraceful reputation flows and is heard, this misfortune is all because my authority and punishments were not effective. I your servant am also ill, from beginning to end for several years, my strength daily declines, my corpse uselessly receiving heavy salary, neglecting my duties and appointment, and my crimes must be by law corrected. I solemnly propose that I, Palace Attendant Administrator, Colonel Director of Retainers, and Marquis of Dōngwǔ precinct Zhōng Yáo, by good fortune received favor, had narrow-minded ability, yet received selection for promotion, was held in close confidence, and received orders to serve as supervisor and emissary. I am fully aware that Imperial Order deeply resents Chief Clerks whose governance is lenient and week, investigates lack of punishments, chronic illness resulting in delays, all duties becoming confused and stopped, and ordinances failing to spread. Though [Wáng] Yì disobeyed administration, he ought to be certainly bound by law. When I presented written report, my actions missed the mark, causing [Wáng] Yì to from afar go to visit the Palace. This violated and shamed the orders, and obstructed and harmed the soldiers. And [Wèi] Gù deceived and forced the officials and people, resisting [Dù] Jī for continuous months. Although now he regrets this, he violated obedience and went against the correct, within the seas is in fear, and the fault is because my authority and punishments were obscure and weak. Furthermore I am chronically ill, am not appointed to the right office, and it is not suitable that I should be a great minister. I am irreverent with bad judgment, disobedient of Imperial Order, do not have the same views as the state, as a servant am not loyal, am devoid of scruples, and greatly disrespectful. Also I do not carry out Imperial Order, and in receiving Imperial Order am not diligent. Also my understanding is hindered, I am taken advantage by subordinates, and am weak and not qualified. By these crimes I solemnly impeach myself, and ask to be taken by legal chariot to the Minister of Justice to be punished for my crime, and for the Minister Herald to remove my fief and territory. I have long been weak from serious illness, from summer it grows stronger and more severe, cannot speak commands to the county, and cannot appoint and manage officials. Therefore I give written letter to the Merit Officer and Advisor Mǎ Shì to handle, resign my cap and walk barefooted, to submit myself for punishment.” Imperial Order would not accept this.

〔二〕 魏略曰:詔徵河東太守王邑。邑以天下未定,心不願徵,而吏民亦戀邑,郡掾衛固及中郎將范先等各詣繇求乞邑。而詔已拜杜畿為太守,畿已入界。繇不聽先等,促邑交符。邑佩印綬,徑從河北詣許自歸。繇時治在洛陽,自以威禁失督司之法,乃上書自劾曰;「臣前上言故鎮北將軍領河東太守安陽亭侯王邑巧辟治官,犯突科條,事當推劾,檢實姦詐。被詔書當如所糾。以其歸罪,故加寬赦。又臣上言吏民大小,各懷顧望,謂邑當還,拒太守杜畿,今皆反悔,共迎畿之官。謹案文書,臣以空虛,被蒙拔擢,入充近侍,兼典機衡,忝膺重任,總統偏方。既無德政以惠民物,又無威刑以檢不恪,至使邑違犯詔書,郡掾衛固誑迫吏民,訟訴之言,交驛道路,漸失其禮,不虔王命。今雖反悔,醜聲流聞,咎皆由繇威刑不攝。臣又疾病,前後歷年,氣力日微,尸素重祿,曠廢職任,罪明法正。謹按侍中守司隸校尉東武亭侯鍾繇,幸得蒙恩,以斗筲之才,仍見拔擢,顯從近密,銜命督使。明知詔書深疾長吏政教寬弱,檢下無刑,久病淹滯,眾職荒頓,法令失張。邑雖違科,當必繩正法,既舉文書,操彈失理,至乃使邑遠詣闕廷。隳忝使命,挫傷爪牙。而固誑迫吏民,拒畿連月,今雖反悔,犯順失正,海內兇赫,罪一由繇威刑闇弱。又繇久病,不任所職,非繇大臣當所宜為。繇輕慢憲度,不畏詔令,不與國同心,為臣不忠,無所畏忌,大為不敬。又不承用詔書,奉詔不謹。又聰明蔽塞,為下所欺,弱不勝任。數罪謹以劾,臣請法車徵詣廷尉治繇罪,大鴻臚削爵土。臣久嬰篤疾,涉夏盛劇,命縣呼吸,不任部官。輒以文書付功曹從事馬適議,免冠徒跣,伏須罪誅。」詔不聽。

From since Heaven’s Son had moved west, the Luòyáng population had been wiped out. Yáo moved people from Within the Passes, and also recruited conscripts, exiles, and former rebels to supplement them, and within several years the population was gradually restored. When Tàizǔ campaigned Within the Passes [211], he was thus able to obtain resources, and memorialized Yáo as Master of the Front Army.


When Wèi state was first established [213], he became Minister Judge [equivalent to Minister of Justice], then promoted to State Chancellor. When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] was at the Eastern Palace [as Heir-Apparent] he bestowed on Yáo an All-Purpose Cauldron, and engraved on it: “The rising power of Wèi is the vassal and assistant of Hàn. Who can do the same [for Wèi, i.e. serve as assistance] is only Zhōng [Yáo]. He works industriously with all his heart and strength, is tranquil and respectful from morning to night, and has no time for leisure and rest. For all the ministers he is a teacher, a model by which to judge.” (1)


  • (1) Wèilüè states: Yáo became State Chancellor, and the Heir-Apparent [Cáo Pī] commissioned an All-Purpose Cauldron for the occasion. The cauldron was completed, and the Heir-Apparent wrote a letter to Yáo: “In the past Huáng[-dì] had three cauldrons, Zhōu had nine treasures [cauldrons], each used one object to prepare one flavor; how can they compare to the fragrance of this Cauldron for all flavors? The greatest culinary uses of this cauldron are to offer sacrifices to God Above, to care for the sagely and worthy, to manifest virtue and pray for blessings; nothing can surpass these in beauty. Therefore if one is not a great man, there is none who can create it; if there is not this cauldron, there is none appropriate for splendid virtue. Now this excellent cauldron surpasses all beauty. Zhōu’s Shīchén, Sòng’s Kǎofù, Wèi’s Kǒnglǐ, Jìn’s Wèi Kē; these four ministers because of their achievements and virtues have their names inscribed on the cauldron. Now the attendants greatly support our Great Wèi, to extend sagely influence. Majestic virtue by this can flourish. The Minister of Ceremonies should decide inscriptions, and decide the sacred vessel’s engravings. Therefore I wrote this inscription, to engrave on the cauldron’s mouth, so that all may use it to raise up great beauty, and pass it down without end.”
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: According to the Hànshū’s Jiāosìzhì “Treatise on Sacrifices,” in the time of Xiào-Xuān [Liú Xún], Měiyáng found a cauldron, and Intendant of Jīngzhào Zhāng Cháng commented to the Ascended: “This cauldron has carved writing: ‘The King commands Shīchén, to govern this Xún village, bestowing on you phoenix flag, embroidered and engraved spears. Shīchén folds hands and bows head to say: I dare raise up the grand commands of Heaven’s Son!’ This is probably bestowed by Zhōu to a great minister, and the great minister’s descendants carved this inscription of the past achievement, and stored it in the Palace Temple.” For the Kǎofù inscription see Zǔoshì Zhuàn. Kǒnglǐ’s inscription is in Lǐjì. These are well known and therefore not recorded here. Guóyǔ states: “In the past at the conquest of Lù campaign, Qín attempted to destroy Jìn’s achievement, Wèi Kē with his own body pursued the Qín army to Fǔshì, personally reaching Dùhuí. This was inscribed on a great bell, so that to the present it has not been forgotten, so his descendants have not failed to prosper.” These were the four inscriptions the Heir-Apparent praised.
  • Wèilüè states: Later Tàizǔ campaigned in Hànzhōng, the Heir-Apparent was at Mèngjīn, heard that Yáo had a jade pendant, wanted it but found it difficult to ask for it. He secretly sent a subordinate of the Marquis of Línzī [Cáo Zhí] to tell Yáo, who quickly sent it. The Heir-Apparent wrote to Yáo: “Comparing jade to virtuous gentlemen is illustrating goodness of poets. [The jade treasures] Jìn’s Chúijí, Lǔ’s Yúfán, Sòng’s Jiēlǜ, Chǔ’s Hépú were valued at more then ten thousand gold, more precious than their capitals, praised in past times, with reputation reaching to ours. Thus Chuíjì was taken from Jìn, fought over by Yú and Guó; Hébì [Hépú] was taken to Qín, and they fought one another. I have seen the records of jade, and they relate fine jade white as pure fat, black pure as lacquer, red like a rooster’s crown, yellow as roasted chestnut. I had heard of these reports, but never seen it myself. Though my virtue is not that of a gentleman, my righteousness not of a poet, but high mountain scenery [good conduct] is what I admire and look up toward. But these four treasures were from long ago, and there is no report of Qín and Hàn having anything to compare. So I searched for many years, but could not find anything, my hopes were unfulfilled, and I was hungry and thirsty without help. Lately I heard Nányáng’s Zōng Huìshū praise that you sir had a fine jade, and I heard this in pleasant surprise, and laughed and applauded. I was about to personally write about it, but afraid my message would be insincere, and therefore sent my brother’s follower Xún Zhòngmào to pass along my message. Then you did not fail to understand and generously met my request, the Yè rider arrived, the jade first came here, I knelt and with both hands opened the box, and its splendor enveloped my eyes. I am only of ordinary appearance, but was able to look upon such an extraordinary treasure, without having to bother even one armored envoy, or damaging the value of linked fortresses, whereas Qín Zhāo[-gōng] at Zhāngtái looked upon [Hépú] and sought to seize it by treachery. Such a precious wonder, I dare not but accept it!” Yáo’s reply letter said: “In the past I was closely appointed, and was bestowed with this jade treasure. The aged Utensil Managers thoroughly understand such relics. It is said that from its complexion, they can determine its origin. I believe there are attendants who greatly value such things, and therefore I scorned it, and so had not offered it before. By good fortune you wished for it, and truly I am very pleased. In the past mister Hé was diligent and serious in his loyalty [in presenting the Hépú], whereas I had to be called upon [to present this treasure], and so I am deeply ashamed.”

〔一〕 魏略曰:繇為相國,以五熟釜鼎範因太子鑄之,釜成,太子與繇書曰:「昔有黃三鼎,周之九寶,咸以一體使調一味,豈若斯釜五味時芳?蓋鼎之烹飪,以饗上帝,以養聖賢,昭德祈福,莫斯之美。故非大人,莫之能造;故非斯器,莫宜盛德。今之嘉釜,有逾茲美。夫周之尸臣,宋之考父,衛之孔悝,晉之魏顆,彼四臣者,並以功德勒名鍾鼎。今執事寅亮大魏,以隆聖化。堂堂之德,於斯為盛。誠太常之所宜銘,彝器之所宜勒。故作斯銘,勒之釜口,庶可贊揚洪美,垂之不朽。」臣松之按漢書郊祀志,孝宣時,美陽得鼎,京兆尹張敞上議曰:「按鼎有刻書曰:『王命尸臣,官此栒邑。(尸主事之臣栒音荀幽地)賜爾鸞旂,黼黻琱戈。尸臣拜手稽首曰敢對揚天子丕顯休命!』此殆周之所以褒賜大臣,(子孫)大臣子孫刻銘其先功,藏之于宮廟也。」考父銘見左氏傳,孔悝銘在禮記,事顯故不載。國語曰:「昔克潞之役,秦來圖敗晉功,魏顆以其身追秦師于輔氏,親止杜回;其勒銘于景鍾,至于今不遺類,其子孫不可不興也。」太子所稱四銘者也。魏略曰:後太祖征漢中,太子在孟津,聞繇有玉玦,欲得之而難公言。密使臨菑侯轉因人說之,繇即送之。太子與繇書曰:「夫玉以比德君子,見美詩人。晉之垂棘,魯之璵璠,宋之結綠,楚之和璞,價越萬金,貴重都城,有稱疇昔,流聲將來。是以垂棘出晉,虞、虢雙禽;和璧入秦,相如抗節。竊見玉書,稱美玉白若截肪,黑譬純漆,赤擬雞冠,黃侔蒸栗。側聞斯語,未睹厥狀。雖德非君子,義無詩人,高山景行,私所慕仰。然四寶邈焉以遠,秦、漢未聞有良匹。是以求之曠年,未遇厥真,私願不果,飢渴未副。近見南陽宗惠叔稱君侯昔有美玦,聞之驚喜,笑與抃俱。當自白書,恐傳言未審,是以令舍弟子建因荀仲茂轉言鄙旨。乃不忽遺,厚見周稱,鄴騎既到,寶玦初至,捧跪發匣,爛然滿目。猥以矇鄙之姿,得觀希世之寶,不煩一介之使,不損連城之價,既有秦昭章臺之觀,而無藺生詭奪之誑。嘉貺益腆,敢不欽承!」繇報書曰:「昔忝近任,并得賜玦。尚方耆老,頗識舊物。名其符采。必得處所。以為執事有珍此者,是以鄙之,用未奉貢。幸而紆意,實以悅懌。在昔和氏,殷勤忠篤,而繇待命,是懷愧恥。」

After several years, he was connected to West Department Official Wèi Fěng who plotted rebellion, so he was dismissed and returned home. (2)


  • (2) Wèilüè states: Sūn Quán declared himself servant and beheaded and sent Guān Yǔ. The Heir-Apparent [Cáo Pī] wrote a letter to inform Yáo, and Yáo wrote in reply: “Former Excellency of Works, from your same prefecture, Xún Shuǎng said: ‘Men must have principled emotion, how can one who favors just my one person be considered favorable! How can one who detests just my one person be considered detestable!’ Considering Sūn Quán, he is quite charming.” The Heir-Apparent also wrote a letter: “Receiving your answer, I know you are fond of the south. As far as Excellency Xún’s [Shuǎng] pure conversation and Sūn Quán’s charm, I grasped your letter and laughed aloud, and could not set it from my hand. If [Sūn] Quán is again treacherous, then I will deal with him with Rǔnán’s Xǔ Shào’s moon and dawn criticism. [Sūn] Quán is good at shifting between two states [Shǔ and Wèi]. Moving between [the advice of] Xún [Shuǎng] and Xǔ [Shào] is also enough to deal with that.”

〔二〕 魏略曰:孫權稱臣,斬送關羽。太子書報繇,繇答書曰:「臣同郡故司空荀爽言:『人當道情,愛我者一何可愛!憎我者一何可憎!』顧念孫權,了更嫵媚。」太子又書曰:「得報,知喜南方。至于荀公之清談,孫權之嫵媚,執書嗢噱,不能離手。若權復黠,當折以汝南許劭月旦之評。權優游二國,俯仰荀、許,亦已足矣。」

When Wén-dì ascended as King [220], he returned as Minister Judge. At the Ascension, he was changed to Minister of Justice, and advanced in fief to Marquis of Chónggāo village. He was promoted to Excellency Commandant, and his fief changed to Marquis of Píngyáng village. At the time he with Excellency over the Masses Huà Xīn and Excellency of Works Wáng Lǎng were all the foremost famous statesmen of the time. After Court Wén-dì said to his left and right attendants: “These three Excellencies are a generation of great men. Later generations will find it difficult to follow after them!” (3)


  • (3) Lùshì Yìlín “Mister Lù’s Unusual Stories Collection” states: Yáo once for several months did not attend Court meetings, and his demeanor was unusual. Someone asked the reason, and he said: “Often a pretty woman comes, and her beauty is out of the ordinary.” The questioner said: “It must be a demon, and should be killed.” The woman later passed by, and would not come forward, stopping outside the door. Yáo asked her the reason, and she said: “Your Excellency has intention to kill [me].” Yáo said: “Not so.” Then he earnestly called to her, and therefore she entered. Yáo’s was resentful, but did not have the heart [to kill], and so when chopping was only able to wound her thigh. The woman at once went out, used new silk floss to wipe the blood but left a trail. The next day he sent someone to search and follow it, and it reached a large burial mound. In the coffin was a pretty woman, with appearance like a living person, wearing white garments, red embroidery waistcoat, wounded in the left thigh, with the waistcoat’s silk floss wiping blood. My father’s younger brother the Administrator of Qīnghé said it in this way.
  • [The Administrator of] Qīnghé was Lù Yún.

〔三〕 陸氏異林曰:繇嘗數月不朝會,意性異常,或問其故,云:「常有好婦來,美麗非凡。」問者曰:「必是鬼物,可殺之。」婦人後往,不即前,止戶外。繇問何以,曰:「公有相殺意。」繇曰:「無此。」乃勤勤呼之,乃入。繇意恨,有不忍之心,然猶斫之傷髀。婦人即出,以新綿拭血竟路。明日使人尋跡之,至一大冢,木中有好婦人,形體如生人,著白練衫,丹繡裲襠,傷左髀,以裲襠中綿拭血。叔父清河太守說如此。清河,陸雲也。

When Míng-dì [Cáo Ruì] succeeded [226], he was advanced in fief to Marquis of Dìnglíng, his fief increased by 500, adding to the previous to 1800 households, and promoted to Grand Tutor. Yáo had a knee disease, and bowing and rising was inconvenient. At the time Huà Xīn also due to great age was ill, so for Court meetings both were given carriages to ride, and the Tiger Guard carried them up the palace hall and sat them down. Because of this afterward if one of the Three Excellencies was ill, this precedent was followed.


Previously, Tàizǔ sent down an order to have commentators discuss the death penalty and mutilation penalties. Yáo believed: “The ancient mutilation punishments were used during the time of the sagely men, and should be restored, to replace the death penalty.” Other commentators believed this was not the way to please the people, so it was set aside. When Wén-dì was overseeing a feast with the various ministers, he made Imperial Order that said: “The Grand Judge wishes to restore mutilation punishments, and this is truly the method of a sagely ruler. The Excellencies and Ministers should together discuss this.” The debate was not yet decided,when there were military affairs, and it was again set aside.


During Tàihé [227-233] Yáo sent up a memorial that said: “The Great Wèi received the Mandate, continuing the legacy from Yú and Xià. [Hàn] Xiào-Wén’s [Liú Héng r.-180-157] reform of the laws was not in accordance with the ancient ways. The former Emperor’s [Cáo Cāo] sagely virtue was undoubtedly bestowed by Heaven, and with regard to the enterprise of the ancient classics, he could all understand them. Therefore in the next generation [Cáo Pī], there was an enlightened Imperial Order to consider restoring the old penalties, to serve as the dynasty’s law. As there was continuous military affairs, therefore it was not yet enacted. Your Majesty follows after the Two Founder’s final intentions, begrudge chopping off feet in order to prevent evil, despise death penalties [wrongly] applied to the innocent, employ the enlightened to study law and order, and with the various ministers together discuss. To remove the right foot in place of the death penalty, this should again be followed in punishments. The Shū says: “The Emperor clearly asked his subordinate peoples, and the widowers and widowed had complaints against Miáo.” This spoke of how Yáo was about to abolish the punishments of Chī Yóu and Yǒu Miáo, and first investigated those of the subordinate people who had complaints. If now is a time when the imprisonment system is confused, inquire with the Three [Excellencies], Nine [Ministers], the various officials and countless peoples, and if to enact like [Hàn] Xiào-Jǐng’s [Liú Qǐ r.-157-141] order, it is to abandon the revision, and those wishing to chop off the right foot follow this. These face-carving, nose-removal, left foot, and castration punishments, by Xiào-Wén were changed to shaving and whipping. Those capable of fornication, from ages twenty to forty-five, though they have a foot cut off, can still be employed and reproduce. Now in the realm Under Heaven the people are fewer than in the time of Xiào-Wén, and as a lower estimate each year there are born 3000 people. Since Zhāng Cāng abolished the mutilation penalties, those executed each year were about 10,000. I your servant wish to reinstate mutilation penalties, so that each year there can be spared 3000 people. Zǐ Gòng asked if being able to bring relief to the people could be called benevolence, and the Maser said: “To speak of benevolence must one be a saint? Even Yáo and Shùn had faults!” He also said: “Is benevolence too far away? I wish to be benevolent, and this benevolence is reached.” Truly if this is followed, then the people will ever be relieved.”


The memorial was presented, and an Imperial Order said: “The Grand Tutor’s learning is superior and his talent high, he gives his heart to government affairs, and also his reasoning in punishment is profound. In this important affair, the Excellencies and Ministers and all the officials are to together judge and discuss this.”


Excellency over the Masses Wáng Lǎng commented, believing: “Yáo wishes to decrease those classified under death penalties by increasing the number of amputation penalties, but this is to take the fallen down and set it up, to change corpses into men. Though I your Servant am foolish, yet I have some small differences in opinion. In the Five Punishments law provisions there are already laws to commute death one grade, and not death sentence is reduced sentence. This has been in effect for a long time already, and does not require bringing back the ancient past’s hatchets and chisels for mutilation penalties and then establish it as the next punishment tier. The previous generations’ benevolent ones could not bear the cruelty of mutilation punishments, and therefore abolished it and did not use it. Since it was not used, it has been centuries. Now if it is again used, one fears the logic of reduced sentences will not be clear in the eyes of the countless people, and the question of mutilation punishments is already widespread with opponents, and this is not how to win over the distant. For now we can adopt Yáo’s wish to reduce death penalties, and reduce deaths to shaving and foot-amputation. If this is too light, we can increase the years of imprisonment. Inside there will be the kindness of sparing death without, and outside there will be no sound of astonishment of amputations and fetters.”


Of the commentators of over a hundred people, those who agreed with [Wáng] Lǎng were the majority. The Emperor because Wú and Shǔ were not yet pacified again set it aside. (1)


  • (1) Yuán Hóng states: [810 character essay on the morality of punishments; not translated here]

〔一〕 袁宏曰:夫民心樂全而不能常全,蓋利用之物懸於外,而嗜慾之情動於內也。於是有進取貪競之行,希求放肆之事。進取不已,不能充其嗜慾,則苟且僥倖之所生也;希求無厭,無以愜其慾,則姦偽忿怒之所興也。先王知其如此,而欲救其弊,或先德化以陶其心;其心不化,然後加以刑辟。書曰:「百姓不親,五品不遜。汝作司徒而敬敷五教。蠻夷猾夏,寇賊姦宄。汝作士,五刑有服。」然則德、刑之設,參而用之者也。三代相因,其義詳焉。周禮:「使墨者守門,劓者守關,宮者守內,刖者守囿。」此肉刑之制可得而論者也。荀卿亦云,殺人者死,傷人者刑,百王之所同,未有知其所由來者也。夫殺人者死,而相殺者不已,是大辟可以懲未殺,不能使天下無殺也。傷人者刑,而害物者不息,是黥、劓可以懼未刑,不能使天下無刑也。故將欲止之,莫若先以德化。夫罪過彰著,然後入于刑辟,是將殺人者不必死,欲傷人者不必刑。縱而弗化,則陷於刑辟。故刑之所制,在於不可移之地。禮教則不然,明其善惡,所以潛勸其情,消之於未殺也;示之恥辱,所以內愧其心,治之於未傷也。故過微而不至於著,罪薄而不及於刑。終入罪辟者,非教化之所得也,故雖殘一物之生,刑一人之體,是除天下之害,夫何傷哉!率斯道也,風化可以漸淳,刑罰可以漸少,其理然也。苟不能化其心,而專任刑罰,民失義方,動罹刑網,求世休和,焉可得哉?周之成、康,豈按三千之文而致刑錯之美乎?蓋德化漸漬,致斯有由也。漢初懲酷刑之弊,務寬厚之論,公卿大夫,相與恥言人過。文帝登朝,加以玄默。張武受賂,賜金以愧其心;吳王不朝,崇禮以訓其失。是以吏民樂業,風流篤厚,斷獄四百,幾致刑措,豈非德刑兼用已然之效哉?世之欲言刑罰之用,不先德教之益,失之遠矣。今大辟之罪,與古同制。免死已下,不過五歲,既釋鉗鎖,復得齒于人倫。是以民無恥惡,數為姦盜,故刑徒多而亂不治也。苟教之所去,罰當其罪,一離刀鋸,沒身不齒,鄰里且猶恥之,而況于鄉黨乎?而況朝廷乎?如此,則夙沙、趙高之儔,無施其惡矣。古者察其言,觀其行,而善惡彰焉。然則君子之去刑辟,固已遠矣。過誤不幸,則八議之所宥也。若夫卞和、史遷之冤,淫刑之所及也。苟失其道,或不免於大辟,而況肉刑哉!漢書:「斬右趾及殺人先自言告,吏坐受賕,守官物而即盜之,皆棄巿。」此班固所謂當生而令死者也。今不忍刻截之慘,而安剿絕之悲,此最治體之所先,有國所宜改者也。

Tàihé fourth year [230], Yáo died. The Emperor wore white [mourning] clothes and led mourning. Posthumous name Chéng-hóu “Accomplished Marquis.” (1) His son Yù succeeded.


  • (1) Wèishū states: The officials discussed giving posthumous name, in recognition that Yáo in the past was Minister of Justice, recognizing reason in punishments and imprisonment, determining suspicions and enlightening doubts, and of the people there were none who complained, and this was like Yú and Zhāng had served Hàn. The Imperial Order said: “The Grand Tutor’s achievements were high and virtues were great, his position was that of Teacher and Protector. In discussing the bestowal of posthumous name, one should first consider all this, and also show his virtuous conduct like Ministers of Justice Yú and Zhāng and that is all.” Therefore it was decided his posthumous name would be Chéng-hóu.

〔一〕 魏書曰:有司議諡,以為繇昔為廷尉,辨理刑獄,決嫌明疑,民無怨者,由于、張之在漢也。詔曰:「太傅功高德茂,位為師保,論行賜諡,常先依此,兼敘廷尉于、張之德耳。」乃策諡曰成侯。

Previously, Wén-dì divided Yù’s fief to give fief to Yáo’s younger brother Yǎn and [Yǎn’s?] son Shào and grandson Yù as full Marquis.


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