[Chén Shòu’s] Appraisal states:
Xún Yù was pure and refined reaching elegance, had the air to assist Kings, but could only foresee future events, and was unable to fulfill his ambitions. (1)
- (1) Of the commentators of the time, many ridicule [Xún] Yù for helping the Wèi Clan, and so overthrowing the Hàn’s reign, saying the change in place between master and servant [Hàn and Wèi] was truly because of [Xún] Yù. Though later he took moral position to oppose it, there was nothing that could be done to change course. His achievements were against righteousness, and he recognized this and was remorseful. Chén [Shòu] in this appraisal is also of the same opinion as these present views. Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that these words truly have not understood [Xún Yù’s] far reaching thinking. How could [Xún] Yù have not known Wèi Wǔ’s [Cáo Cāo’s] ambition, that he was not the declining Hàn’s loyal servant? Indeed at that time the Ruler’s power was already declined, the weakening already severe, powerful figures looking on like tigers, people harboring treacherous hearts, so without the ability to resist the chaos and planning to force obedience, then the Hàn House’s fall would have been even more sudden and the common people would have suffered terribly. If one wishes to assist the heroes of the time and restore order, if not this man [Xún Yù] then who else could do it? Therefore governing in disaster is like treating urgent illness, like saving the body. Breaking through obstacles like rescue ships to commoners, the extension of the Liú clan’s rule by two generations, how are these not Master Xún’s foundational planning and benevolence and mercy reaching the distant? And when the hegemony was already powerful, the destruction of Hàn already obvious, then he sacrificed his life, to show his true nature, preserving great righteousness at that time, and announcing his honest heart down for a hundred generations; this can be said to be bearing heavy load down a long road, and righteous ambition and conduct established. To say that it was not fulfilled, this is almost slander!
Xún Yōu and Jiǎ Xǔ almost developed flawless strategies, were capable of adapting to and judging changes, second only to [Zhāng] Liáng and [Chén] Píng! (2)
- Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that the structure of arranged biographies should be organized together by similarities. Zhāng [Liáng] Zǐfáng was a noble and lofty scholar, and truly not of the sort as Chén Píng. However Hàn’s strategic ministers were only [Zhāng] Liáng and [Chén] Píng and no others. If they were not arranged together, then others would have no place to attach, and therefore previous historians combined them, and this was appropriate. The Wèi Dynasty had a great many of the same sort as [Jiǎ] Xǔ. That [Jiǎ] Xǔ was not placed with the chapter of Chéng [Yù] and Guō [Jiā] but was arranged with the two Xún was a mistake in classification. Moreover comparing [Xún] Yōu and [Jiǎ] Xǔ in their personal conduct is like comparing moonlight to a candle! Their light may be the same, but their origins are different. Now this appraisal of Xún [Yōu] and Jiǎ [Xǔ], speaking of them together, is a great mistake in how distinguishing should be done.