(12.1) Cuī Yǎn 崔琰 [Jìguī 季珪]

Cuì Yǎn appellation Jìguī was a Qīnghé Dōngwǔchéng man. When young he was simple and inarticulate, good at fencing, and favored military affairs. At twenty-three years, his village appointed him as Rectifier, and only then did he did he develop, studying the Lúnyǔ, and Hán [edition] Shī. At twenty nine years, he then with Gōngsūn Fāng and others from Zhèng Xuán received study. His studies were not yet complete, when Xúzhōu Yellow Scarves rebels attacked and ruined Běihǎi, and [Zhèng] Xuán with his followers arrived at Bùqí mountain to take refuge. At the time grain was in shortage, and [Zhèng] Xuán dismissed and apologized to all his students. Yǎn accepted the dismissal, but everywhere was flooded with bandits, and the western roads were cut off. Therefore he went around the countrysides of Qīng, Xú, Yǎn, and Yù [provinces], easty down to Shòuchūn, south toward the [Yángzǐ] river and [Póyáng] lake. From since he left home it was four years until he returned, and he studied music and books to amuse himself.

崔琰字季珪,清河東武城人也。少樸訥,好擊劍,尚武事。年二十三,鄉移為正,始感激,讀論語、韓詩。至年二十九,乃結公孫方等就鄭玄受學。學未期,徐州黃巾賊攻破北海,玄與門人到不其山避難。時穀糴縣乏,玄罷謝諸生。琰既受遣,而寇盜充斥,西道不通。于是周旋青、徐、兗、豫之郊,東下壽春,南望江、湖。自去家四年乃歸,以琴書自娛。


General-in-Chief Yuán Shào heard of and recruited him. At the time the soldiers were unrestrained, digging up graves, and Yǎn remonstrated: ‘In the past Sūn Qīng said ‘When soldiers are not morally educated, armored troops are unsuccessful, so that even Tāng would not be able to win battle.’ Now the roads are covered in bones, the people have not seen virtue, it is appropriate to order the commanderies and counties to cover up the bones and bury the bodies, to show favor through sorrow and distress, and recall [Zhōu] Wén-wáng’s benevolence.” [Yuán] Shào appointed him Cavalry Commandant.

大將軍袁紹聞而辟之。時士卒橫暴,掘發丘隴,琰諫曰:「昔孫卿有言:『士不素教,甲兵不利,雖湯武不能以戰勝。』今道路暴骨,民未見德,宜敕郡縣掩骼埋胔,示憯怛之愛,追文王之仁。」紹以為騎都尉。

[200] Later [Yuán] Shào led troops to Líyáng, and after that to Yánjīn. Yǎn again remonstrated: “Heaven’s Son is at Xǔ, the people hope you will support and be obedient, so it is better to defend your borders and fulfill your office, in order to bring peace to the realm.” [Yuán] Shào did not listen, and therefore was defeated at Guāndù.

後紹治兵黎陽,次于延津,琰復諫曰:「天子在許,民望助順,不如守境述職,以寧區宇。」紹不聽,遂敗于官渡。

[202] When [Yuán] Shào died, his two sons [Tán and Shàng] fought each other, and in their fighting they wished to obtain Yǎn. Yǎn claimed illness and firmly declined, and therefore was considered to have committed a crime, and was held in prison, and relied on Yīn Kuí and Chén Lín to rescue him and obtain pardon.

及紹卒,二子交爭,爭欲得琰。琰稱疾固辭,由是獲罪,幽于囹圄,賴陰夔、陳琳營救得免。


Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] defeated the Yuán clan and took office as Governor of Jìzhōu, recruited Yǎn as Aide-de-Camp Advisor, and said to Yǎn: “Yesterday I checked the household registers, and see I can obtain a three hundred thousand person army, so this is a large province.”

太祖破袁氏,領冀州牧,辟琰為別駕從事,謂琰曰:「昨案戶籍,可得三十萬眾,故為大州也。」

Yǎn answered: “Now the realm Under Heaven is divided and ruined, the Nine Provinces broken and split, the two Yuán brothers against their own kin used weapons and war, and the whole Jì [province] region is ravaged with bones in its fields. It has not heard of the ruler’s and commander’s benevolent reputation coming forward, asking after its social customs, rescuing it from its utter misery, but instead hears calculations of armored troops, this is what is asked first. Is this what the province’s men and women should hope from your enlightened excellency?”

琰對曰:「今天下分崩,九州幅裂,二袁兄弟親尋干戈,冀方蒸庶暴骨原野。未聞王師仁聲先路,存問風俗,救其塗炭,而校計甲兵,唯此為先,斯豈鄙州士女所望於明公哉!」

Tàizǔ changed his look and apologized to him. At the time all the retainers there lost color.

太祖改容謝之。于時賓客皆伏失色。


[206] Tàizǔ campaigned against Bìngzhōu, leaving Yǎn to tutor Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] at Yè. The heir [Cáo Pī] was about to go out to hunt, changing his clothes and carriage, and his intention was set on departing.

太祖征并州,留琰傅文帝於鄴。世子仍出田獵,變易服乘,志在驅逐。

Yǎn sent letter remonstrating: “One hears that the matter of roaming the fields is what the Shū warned against; when Lǔ secretly watched fish, the Chūnqiū ridiculed it. These were the maxims of Zhōu[-gong] and Kǒng[-zǐ], the two classics illuminating righteousness. When Yīn reflected on Xià Hòu, the Shī appraised this as not remote; when Zǐ Mǎo did not listen to music, the believed it to be envy. These also are examples for the recent, and cannot but be deeply studied. The Yuán clan was wealthy and strong, its noble sons free and wild, roaming about in extravagance, with no righteous reputation to be heard, the wise and noble gentlemen very soon had corrupted intentions, the fierce and robust warriors degenerated in their usefulness, and undoubtedly that is why though they had millions of followers, striding across the [Yellow] river’s north, they ended up with nothing. Now the state is ruined and worn, kindness and peace are not yet established, men and women are anxious for leadership, and what they wish for is virtue. Moreover Excellency [Cáo Cāo] personally leads soldiers and horses, superiors and subordinates all labor wretchedly, and you should observe this great principle, with caution act uprightly, think of the high strategy of governing the state, internally reflecting on close admonishments, externally raising up distant reputation, deeply only reserving yourself, to make yourself a treasure. But you instead dress in lowly clothes in anticipation for a rustic excursion, suddenly hurrying into rugged terrain, your intentions on the petty amusements of pheasants and hares, forgetting the heavy importance of the State Altars, this truly is the sorrow of those who take note. May you burn your feather screens and discard your hunting dress, to hold up to everyone’s expectations, and not order this old servant to commit a crime against Heaven.”

琰書諫曰:「蓋聞盤于游田,書之所戒,魯隱觀魚,春秋譏之,此周、孔之格言,二經之明義。殷鑒夏后,詩稱不遠,子卯不樂,禮以為忌,此又近者之得失,不可不深察也。袁族富彊,公子寬放,盤游滋侈,義聲不聞,哲人君子,俄有色斯之志,熊羆壯士,墮於吞噬之用,固所以擁徒百萬,跨有河朔,無所容足也。今邦國殄瘁,惠康未洽,士女企踵,所思者德。況公親御戎馬,上下勞慘,世子宜遵大路,慎以行正,思經國之高略,內鑒近戒,外揚遠節,深惟儲副,以身為寶。而猥襲虞旅之賤服,忽馳騖而陵險,志雉兔之小娛,忘社稷之為重,斯誠有識所以惻心也。唯世子燔翳捐褶,以塞眾望,不令老臣獲罪於天。」

The heir replied: “Yesterday I received your commendable instructions, and its revealed kind lessons are many, wishing to have me burn feather screens and discard hunting dress. The feather screen is already destroyed, and the hunting dress also discarded. Later if there is anything like this, may you again instruct us all.”

世子報曰:「昨奉嘉命,惠示雅數,欲使燔翳捐褶,翳已壞矣,褶亦去焉。後有此比,蒙復誨諸。」


[208] Tàizǔ became Chancellor, and Yǎn also managed affairs for the East and West Office [of the Chancellor] Departments. When he first joined the East Office, instructions were given [to him]: “You have he manner of Bóyí, the uprightness of Shǐyǔ, praising gentlement admire your reputation and become more pure, strong warriors esteem your name and become strict; this can be said that you are a model for others. Therefore join the East Office, and go fulfill its duties.”

太祖為丞相,琰復為東西曹掾屬徵事。初授東曹時,教曰:「君有伯夷之風,史魚之直,貪夫慕名而清,壯士尚稱而厲,斯可以率時者已。故授東曹,往踐厥職。」

[213] Wèi state was first established, and he was appointed to the Secretariat. At the time the Heir-Apparent was not yet established, and the Marquis of Línzī [Cáo] Zhí had genius and was favored. Tàizǔ was unsure, and with secret letters discussed the matter outside. Only Yǎn publicly answered: “One hears that by the principles of the Chūnqiū, install the son who is elder, and moreover the All-Purposes General [Cáo Pī] is benevolent and filial and intelligent, and should succeed by proper order. I to the death hold to this.”

魏國初建,拜尚書。時未立太子,臨菑侯植有才而愛。太祖狐疑,以函令密訪於外。唯琰露板答曰:「蓋聞春秋之義,立子以長,加五官將仁孝聰明,宜承正統。琰以死守之。」

[Cáo] Zhí was Yǎn’s elder brother’s daughter’s husband. Tàizǔ esteemed [that he dare answer] publicly, sighed in admiration, (1) and promoted him Central Commandant.

植,琰之兄女婿也。太祖貴其公亮,喟然歎息,〔一〕遷中尉。

  • (1) Shìyǔ states: [Cáo] Zhí’s wife wore embroidery, Tàizǔ had ascended a tower and saw her, and because this violated law, she was sent back home and ordered to suicide.

〔一〕 世語曰:植妻衣繡,太祖登臺見之,以違制命,還家賜死。


Yǎn’s in voice and appearance was tall and imposing, his eyebrows thin and eyes bright, his beard four chǐ [~92cm] long, he deeply had majesty and authority, the Court ministers looked to him with respect, and even Tàizǔ also respected and feared him. (1)

琰聲姿高暢,眉目疏朗,鬚長四尺,甚有威重,朝士瞻望,而太祖亦敬憚焉。〔一〕

  • (1) Xiānxián Xíngzhuàng “Backgrounds of Worthies” states: Yǎn was pure and loyal, elegant with far-reaching knowledge, encouraging upright principle, resolute and firm at Court. When the Wèi Clan first began, he was entrusted with judging and selecting talents, always fair and honest in comments, for over ten years. Of the various civil and military talents, many were by him discovered and promoted. Thus the Court was returned to esteem, and the realm Under Heaven praised his fairness.

〔一〕 先賢行狀曰:琰清忠高亮,雅識經遠,推方直道,正色於朝。魏氏初載,委授銓衡,總齊清議,十有餘年。文武群才,多所明拔。朝廷歸高,天下稱平。

Yǎn once recommended Yáng Xùn of Jùlù, saying that though his talent and ability were not sufficient, yet he was pure and held to principle, and Tàizǔ with respect recruited him. Later Tàizǔ became King of Wèi [215], and [Yáng] Xùn published memorial praising his campaign achievements, commending and narrating his splendid virtue. At the time some people laughed at [Yáng] Xùn acting superficially to seek favor, saying Yǎn had made a mistake in recommendation. Yǎn from [Yáng] Xùn obtained the memorial draft and read it, and wrote letter to [Yáng] Xùn: “Examining this memorial, it is quite good and that is all! In time, in time, in time there will be changes.”

琰嘗薦鉅鹿楊訓,雖才好不足,而清貞守道,太祖即禮辟之。後太祖為魏王,訓發表稱贊功伐,褒述盛德。時人或笑訓希世浮偽,謂琰為失所舉。琰從訓取表草視之,與訓書曰:「省表,事佳耳!時乎時乎,會當有變時。」

Yǎn’s original meaning was that the commentators liked to criticize but did not seek out the truth. Someone reported that Yǎn in this letter was arrogant and complaining of the present regime and slanderous. Tàizǔ angrily said: “Proverb says: ‘a daughter was born and that is all.’ ‘That is all’ cannot be ‘quite good.’ ‘In time there will be changes’ in its meaning is impertinent.” Therefore he condemned to penal labor, sent someone to watch him, and it was reported that he had the appearance of not yielding. Tàizǔ ordered: “Though Yǎn met with punishment, yet he still communicated with his retainers, acting as if with market people, to his retainers blew his beard and glared [in anger], as if in resentment.” Therefore he ordered Yǎn to suicide. (2)

琰本意譏論者好譴呵而不尋情理也。有白琰此書傲世怨謗者,太祖怒曰:「諺言『生女耳』,『耳』非佳語。『會當有變時』,意指不遜。」於是罰琰為徒隸,使人視之,辭色不撓。太祖令曰:「琰雖見刑,而通賓客,門若市人,對賓客虯鬚直視,若有所瞋。」遂賜琰死。〔二〕

  • (2) Wèilüè states: Someone obtained Yǎn’s letter, bound it to his head-cloth, and walked through the capital’s streets. At the time there was someone who by nature had grievances with Yǎn, from afar saw Yǎn’s name on the head-cloth, followed and read it, and therefore reported it. Tàizǔ believed Yǎn had secret resentment and slander, therefore arrested him, shaving his head and assigning him to penal labor. The one who reported Yǎn again reported on him saying: “Yǎn as a laborer blew his beard and glared [in anger]. His heart seems to be upset.” At the time Tàizǔ also agreed with this, and therefore wished to kill him. Therefore he sent a great official who understood his intentions to go communicate with Yǎn, ordering the official: “After three days there will be news.” Yǎn did not understand. After several days, the official therefore reported the Yǎn was alright. The Excellency [Cáo Cāo] angrily replied: “Does Cuī Yǎn certainly wish to force me to use blade on him?” The official informed Yǎn of this, and Yǎn apologized to the official and said: “I truly am foolish, and did not know the Excellency’s intentions had come to this!” Then he killed himself.

〔二〕 魏略曰:人得琰書,以裹幘籠,行都道中。時有與琰宿不平者,遙見琰名著幘籠,從而視之,遂白之。太祖以為琰腹誹心謗,乃收付獄,髡刑輸徒。前所白琰者又復白之云:「琰為徒,虯鬚直視,心似不平。」時太祖亦以為然,遂欲殺之。乃使清公大吏往經營琰,敕吏曰:「三日期消息。」琰不悟,後數日,吏故白琰平安。公忿然曰:「崔琰必欲使孤行刀鋸乎!」吏以是教告琰,琰謝吏曰:「我殊不宜,不知公意至此也!」遂自殺。


Previously Yǎn was friendly with Sīmǎ Lǎng. When Jìn Xuān-wáng [Sīmǎ Yì] was about to come of age, Yǎn said to [Sīmǎ] Lǎng: “Your younger brother is intelligent and wise, firm and decisive with outstanding step, probably not what you can match.” (1) [Sīmǎ] Lǎng believed this to be wrong, but Yǎn always maintained this belief.

始琰與司馬朗善,晉宣王方壯,琰謂朗曰:「子之弟,聰哲明允,剛斷英跱,殆非子之所及也。」〔一〕朗以為不然,而琰每秉此論。

  • (1) Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: ‘Step’ can be ‘Special.’ I say this should be ‘outstandingly special.’

〔一〕 臣松之案:「跱」或作「特」,竊謂「英特」為是也。

Yǎn’s younger cousin [Cuī] Lín when young had no reputation, and even of his relatives and clansmen many thought light of him, but Yǎn always said: “This can be said to be a big pot that is late to complete. In the end he will certainly go far.” When Zhuō-jùn’s Sūn Lǐ and Lú Yù first entered the military department, Yǎn also judged them: “Sūn is clever and upright, and can act simply and decisively. Lú is pure and sensible, and a hundred obstacles cannot stop him. Both are Excellency [Cáo]’s talents.” Later [Cuī] Lín, [Sūn] Lǐ, and [Lú] Yù all became close officials. When Yǎn’s friends Gōngsūn Fāng and Sòng Jiē died young, Yǎn cared for their orphans, treating them like his own sons. His reflective understanding and proper righteousness was all of this sort. (2)

琰從弟林,少無名望,雖姻族猶多輕之,而琰常曰:「此所謂大器晚成者也,終必遠至。」涿郡孫禮、盧毓始入軍府,琰又名之曰:「孫疏亮亢烈,剛簡能斷,盧清警明理,百鍊不消,皆公才也。」後林、禮、毓咸至鼎輔。及琰友人公孫方、宋階早卒,琰撫其遺孤,恩若己子。其鑒識篤義,類皆如此。〔二〕

  • (2) Wèilüè states: In the time of Míng-dì [Cáo Ruì], Cuī Lín once with Excellency of Works Chén Qún together discussed the people of Jìzhōu, and [Cuī Lín] praised Yǎn as the foremost. [Chén] Qún used the appraisal “wise but could not preserve himself“ to disparage him. [Cuī] Lín said: “Great men still have chance encounters and that is all, so that people like you can even become esteemed!”

〔二〕 魏略曰:明帝時,崔林嘗與司空陳群共論冀州人士,稱琰為首。群以「智不存身」貶之。林曰:「大丈夫為有邂逅耳,即如卿諸人,良足貴乎!」


Previously, Tàizǔ by nature was envious, and those he could not bear, Lǔ-guó’s Kǒng Róng (1), Nányáng’s Xǔ Yōu (2) and Lóu Guī, all relied on old relations to not act with reverence and were executed. (3) But Yǎn was the most lamented for at the time, and to today it is considered an injustice. (4)

初,太祖性忌,有所不堪者,魯國孔融、〔一〕南陽許攸、〔二〕婁圭,皆以恃舊不虔見誅。〔三〕而琰最為世所痛惜,至今冤之。〔四〕

  • (1) [Kǒng] Róng appellation Wénjǔ
  • Xùhànshū “Continued History Book of Hàn” states:
    • [Kǒng] Róng was Kǒng-zǐ’s twentieth generation descendant. His great-great-grandfather [Kǒng] Shàng was Administrator of Jùlù. His father [Kǒng] Zhòu was Commandant of Tàishān. Róng when young had extraordinary talent. At the time Intendant of Hénán Lǐ Yīng had great reputation, and ordered his doormen to be selective of the guests who passed, so that those who were not worthies of the present age or descendants of families he had associated with he would not meet. Róng was over ten years old, and wished to observe his [Lǐ Yīng]s conduct as a person, and therefore visited [Lǐ] Yīng’s gate, saying to the doormen: “I am a descendant of a family sir Lǐ associated with.” [Lǐ] Yīng met Róng, and asked him: “How were your esteemed ancestors involved with me?” Róng said: “Indeed. My ancestor Kǒng-zǐ with your ancestor sir Lǐ Lǎo[-zǐ] were of comparable virtue and righteousness and were teachers and friends to each other, so I am certainly a distant descendant of a family associated with yours.” Everyone seated was impressed with him, and all said: “This is a special boy.” Grand Internal Grandee Chén Wěi later arrived, those seated with him told [Chén] Wěi, and [Chén] Wěi said: “Those who are intelligent when small, when grown are also not necessarily special.” Róng replied: “It is just as you say. When you sir were in childhood, you must have been very intelligent!” [Lǐ] Yīng greatly laughed, looked back to him and said: “When the brilliant grow up, they will certainly have great talent.”
    • Zhāng Jiǎn of Shānyáng for his internal uprightedness was by Regular Palace Attendant Hóu Lǎn hated, and [Hóu] Lǎn sent published orders down to the provinces and commanderies to arrest [Zhāng] Jiǎn. [Zhāng] Jiǎn was an old friend of Róng’s elder brother [Kǒng] Fóu, and fled to [Kǒng] Fóu. It happened that [Kǒng] Fóu had gone out, at the time Róng was sixteen years, and [Zhāng] Jiǎn because he [Róng] was young did not inform him. Róng knew [Zhāng] Jiǎn was a senior person, yet had a hard-pressed appearance, and said: “Can I alone cannot be your host?” and therefore kept him in the house and hid him. Later the matter leaked out, and the Chancellor of [Lǔ-]guó sent down secret orders to arrest at once, [Zhāng] Jiǎn fled and escaped, and so immediately Róng and [Kǒng] Fóu were arrested and sent to prison. Róng said: “The one who protected and accepted the fugitive was me. I should be held.” [Kǒng] Fóu said: “He came to ask for me, the crime is mine, not my younger brother. I should be held.” The brothers fought over who should get to die, the commandery and counties were doubtful and could not decide, and therefore sent up the matter, and written Imperial Order decided [Kǒng] Fóu would be held. Róng because of this had his reputation shake the far and near, and with Píngyuán’s Táoqiū Hóng and Chénliú’s Biān Ràng all were considered exceptional and were by later people advanced as exemplars. Róng in discussing reason could not match [Biān] Ràng and the rest, but his outstanding talent and widespread knowledge surpassed them.
    • The Excellency Over the Masses and General-in-chief recruited and recommended him as a Highest Degree candidate, and gradually he was promoted to North Army Central Captain, Tiger Elite Internal Cadet General, to Chancellor of Běihǎi, at the time thirty-eight years. After the Yellow Scarves were suppressed, he rebuilt the cities and towns, raised schools, established asylums, recommended worthy talents, and made known Classicist scholars. He recommended Péng Qiú as fair and upright, Bǐng Yuán as with way, and Wáng Xiū as filial and incorruptible. He ordered Gāomì county to for Zhèng Xuán specially establish a village, with the name Zhènggōng village. Also if local people lacked descendants or if wandering travelers died there, all were given coffins and burials. A local commandery man Zhēn Xǐrán for filial conduct was well known, died young, and Róng hated never meeting him, and therefore ordered Pèishí county to establish an altar. His respect for the worthy was all of this sort. He was the commandery for six years, and Liú Bèi memorialized Róng as Inspector of Qīngzhōu.
    • Jiàn’ān first year [196], he was recruited back [to the capital] to serve as Great Craftsman, promoted to Minister Treasurer. At every Court meeting discussion, he always was the leader of discussion, and all the ministers and senior officials all followed him and nothing more.
  • Sīmǎ Biāo’s Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū “Chronicles of the Nine Provinces” states:
    • Róng was at Běihǎi, himself believed his intelligence were exceptional over others, his overflowing ability commanded the age, the grand talents of the time all could not compare to him, and also himself had great ambitions, and moreover wished to raise an army with glorious armor, to with the various worthies compete for achievements, from the sea to Dài [mountain] establish his base, unwilling to labor as an ordinary commandery administrator, or manage affairs as a regional official or attending meetings and nothing more. Instead those he appointed liked the strange and sought to be unique, all were frivolous and superficial talents. As for scholars who studied the ancients, he was falsely deferential, and though he was respectful to them, he did not discuss state affairs with them. Gāomì’s Zhèng Xuán, he praised as Lord Zhèng, and acted with a descendant’s respect. At high discussions and teachings, overflowing with officials, his speech and air were warm and elegant, and he could ponder while reciting aloud. In discussing matters he discovered the true, but it was difficult to act upon. He could only spread a wide net, but his own actions were very sparse. Rents and taxes were examined to be lacking, and in one morning he killed five Investigative Officials. Treacherous people and corrupt officials brought chaos to the government and market, and he also could not govern this.
    • Yōuzhōu elite trops rebelled, reaching Xúzhōu, the troops reached below the walls, and the whole state was afraid. Róng went out to persuade them, ordering them to have no contrary intentions. Then with his Division Colonel he planned a night attack on Yōuzhōu, and the Yōuzhōu army was defeated, and he took over all their army. Shortly afterward, they again returned to rebellion and deserted. The Yellow Headscarves were about to arrive, Róng greatly gathered a drinking party with pure liquor, personally got on horse, resisted them above the Lái river. The bandits sent its upper division to resist Róng, and its two wings forded the river, until they reached his capital city. The city was captured, Róng could not enter it, and moved to Nán county, and his attendants gradually deserted. For successive years it became worse, the matter could not be saved, so he could not defend his four borders, and abandoned the commandery and left.
    • Later he moved to Xúzhōu, as Chancellor of Běihǎi he returned as Inspector of Qīngzhōu, governing from the northern commandery frontiers, wishing to join with the east of the mountains, outside connecting to Liáodōng, obtain advantages of troops and horses, establish a base, and alone occupy one corner, not allying with anyone. At the time Cáo [Cāo], Yuán [Shào], and Gōngsūn [Zàn] were all lined up head to tail, his own troops did not reach several hundred, his grain did not reach ten thousand hú. Wáng Zǐfǎ and Liú Kǒngcí were argumentative and of little ability, but he trusted in them like his guts and heart. Zuǒ Chéngzǔ and Liú Yìxùn were pure and meaningful scholars, but could sit at banquets and nothing more, when speaking of the people’s hopes, could not miss. [Zuǒ] Chéngzǔ urged Róng to entrust himself with a strong state, but Róng did not listen and killed him. [Liú] Yìxùn deserted and fled. Therefore he was attacked by Yuán Tán, from spring to summer, the city had few and the enemy many, and arrows came like rain. However Róng leaned on his table and calmly sat, reading books and conversing as always. The city walls were broken and the army destroyed, he personally fled to the east of the mountains, and his household and family were by [Yuán] Tán captured.
  • Zhāng Fán’s Hànjì “Annals of Hàn” states:
    • Róng was at the commandery for eight years, and barely escaped alive. When the Emperor first moved the capital to Xǔ, Róng believed it was appropriate to follow the old systems, of settling the Ruler’s territory, maintaining the ministers’ departments as a thousand lǐ fief, and therefore asked the Excellencies and Ministers to send up letters to discuss this proposal. At the time the realm Under Heaven was still confused, Cáo [Cāo]’s and Yuán [Shào]’s struggle was not yet settled, so Róng’s proposal showed no understanding of the times. Also by nature he was impetuous and frank, all his life inclined to follow his intentions, and disrespected and ridiculed Tàizǔ.
    • Tàizǔ installed a liquor prohibition, but Róng sent a letter mocking him: “Heaven has the Jiǔqí ‘liquor-banner’ star, Earth has the Jiǔquán ‘liquor spring’ commandery, Man has the virtue of excellent liquor. Therefore when Yáo did not drink a thousand goblets, he could not achieve saintliness. Moreover Jié and Zhòu by their lechery destroyed their state, so now you should order to prohibit marriage.” Though outside Tàizǔ was lenient, yet inside he could not be at ease. Censorate Grandee Chī Lǜ knew his wishes, and used the law to dismiss Róng from office. After over a year he was appointed Grand Central Grandee. Though he remained at home and lost authority, yet guests daily filled his gates. He loved talent and enjoyed liquor, and once sighed and said: “While sitting above a full crowd of guests, with a goblet of wine never empty, I have no worries.” Among the Tiger Elite Guard there was one who resembled Cài Yōng, and every time Róng was drunk, at once he summoned him to sit together and set: “Though there are no elder mature men, yet there are standards of punishments.” His favor of scholars was like this.
  • Xùhànshū states:
    • Grand Commandant Yáng Biāo with Yuán Shù were relatives by marriage, [Yuán] Shù usurped Imperial title, Tàizǔ with [Yáng] Biāo had disputes, and therefore used this to arrest [Yáng] Biāo, and was about to kill him.Róng heard of this, and without time to dress for Court went to meet Tàizǔ and said: “Excellency Yáng for accumulated generations was pure and virtuous, on all four sides greatly influencing. The Zhōushū says ‘Fathers and sons, elder and younger brothers, are not guilty of each others crimes,’ and moreover is this not the Yuán clan’s crime? The ‘s statement ‘Accumulated goodness is passed down’ is only deception of people and that is all.”
    • Tàizǔ said: “It is the state’s intentions.”
    • Róng said: “Suppose of Chéng-wáng wished to kill Shào-gōng, then could Zhōu-gōng say that he did not know? Now the reason why the realm Under Heaven’s tassel wearing scholars admire your enlightened excellency, is because your enlightened excellency is intelligent, benevolent, and wise, assisting the Hàn Court, promoting the upright and correcting the unjust, in order to reach harmony and prosperity and that is all. Now if you unexpectedly kill the innocent, then the realm Within the Seas will see and hear, and who would not be ill at ease? I Kǒng Róng am a son of Lǔ state, and tomorrow I will change my clothes and leave, and no longer go to Court.”
    • Tàizǔ changed his mind, and therefore released [Yáng] Biāo.
  • Wèishì Chūnqiū states:
    • When Yuán Shào was defeated, Róng wrote letter to Tàizǔ that said: “[Zhōu] Wǔ-wáng overthrow Zhòu, and bestowed [Zhòu’s consort] Dájǐ on [his brother] Zhōu-gōng.” Tàizǔ because Róng was widely learned, believed this was recorded in the histories. Later he met and asked him, and [Kǒng Róng] answered: “Considering current matters, I thought it was appropriate and that is all.”
    • Thirteenth year [208], Róng met Sūn Quán’s envoy, said mocking and slanderous words [about Tàizǔ], and met with execution. His two sons were eight years old, at the time playing chess, when Róng was arrested, they sat upright and did not rise. Their attendants said: “Your father has been seized, why do you not rise?” The two sons said: “When the nest is destroyed how are there eggs not destroyed?” Therefore they both were killed.
    • Róng had high reputation and pure talent, and of the generation many mourned him. Tàizǔ feared the far and near would discuss it, and therefore his order said: “Grand Central Grandee Kǒng Róng has already admitted his guilt, yet of the people many follow his false reputation, and few verify the situation, to see that Róng is superficial and gaudy, likes to act contrary, and those dazzled by his deception, no longer investigate his chaotic behavior. This province’s local man reported that Píngyuán’s Mí Héng received and transmitted Róng’s doctrine, that people have no relation to fathers and mothers, like pots and utensils, only serving as container vessels, and also said that if encountering a famine, and if one’s father is not worthy, it is better to support and save other people. Róng violates nature and betrays principle, destroys human order and confuses reason, and though he was unrestrained in the market and at Court, yet I regret that this came so late. So because of these matters listed above, it is announced to the various armies Generals, Colonels, Officials and their subordinates, for all to see and hear.”
  • Shìyǔ states:
    • Róng’s two sons both were just changing milk teeth. Róng was arrested, looked back and said to his two sons: “Why do you not say goodbye?” The two sons both said: “If father has come to this, what is there to say goodbye for!” meaning that they would certainly all die together.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that Shìyǔ’s is saying that Róng’s two sons would not say goodbye, knowing they would certainly all die together, understanding the situation. If it as Sūn Shèng says, it truly is not a good example. Eight year old small children, able to deeply understand disaster and fortune, intelligent to specially understand and outstanding to reach far, then as for the feelings of sorrow and joy, they should also surpass other men, so how could they see their father be arrested and yet not change their demeanor, play chess without rising, as if leisurely and carefree? In the past Shēn Shēng faced disaster and said he did not forget his father, and this feeling was not because he himself was about to die but the regret of abandoning his father. If a father in safety was honored like this, then how much so for one in hardship? [Sūn] Shèng believed this was a good anecdote, not the insulting of a person’s sons! So this was liking the strange and emotional, but not knowing his words violated reason.

〔一〕 融字文舉。續漢書曰:融,孔子二十世孫也。高祖父尚,鉅鹿太守。父宙,太山都尉。融幼有異才。時河南尹李膺有重名,敕門下簡通賓客,非當世英賢及通家子孫弗見也。融年十餘歲,欲觀其為人,遂造膺門,語門者曰:「我,李君通家子孫也。」膺見融,問曰:「高明父祖,嘗與僕周旋乎?」融曰:「然。先君孔子與君先人李老君,同德比義而相師友,則融與君累世通家也。」眾坐奇之,僉曰:「異童子也。」太中大夫陳煒後至,同坐以告煒,煒曰:「人小時了了者,大亦未必奇也。」融答曰:「即如所言,君之幼時,豈實慧乎!」膺大笑,顧謂曰:「高明長大,必為偉器。」山陽張儉,以中正為中常侍侯覽所忿疾,覽為刊章下州郡捕儉。儉與融兄裦有舊,亡投裦。遇裦出,時融年十六,儉以其少不告也。融知儉長者,有窘迫色,謂曰:「吾獨不能為君主邪!」因留舍藏之。後事泄,國相以下密就掩捕,儉得脫走,登時收融及裦送獄。融曰:「保納藏舍者融也,融當坐之。」裦曰:「彼來求我,罪我之由,非弟之過,我當坐之。」兄弟爭死,郡縣疑不能決,乃上讞,詔書令裦坐焉。融由是名震遠近,與平原陶丘洪、陳留邊讓,並以俊秀,為後進冠蓋。融持論經理不及讓等,而逸才宏博過之。司徒大將軍辟舉高第,累遷北軍中候、虎賁中郎將、北海相,時年三十八。承黃巾殘破之後,修復城邑,崇學校,設庠序,舉賢才,顯儒士。以彭璆為方正,邴原為有道,王脩為孝廉。告高密縣為鄭玄特立一鄉,名為鄭公鄉。又國人無後,及四方游士有死亡者,皆為棺木而殯葬之。郡人甄子然孝行知名,早卒,融恨不及之,乃令配食縣社。其禮賢如此。在郡六年,劉備表融領青州刺史。建安元年,徵還為將作大匠,遷少府。每朝會訪對,輒為議主,諸卿大夫寄名而已。司馬彪九州春秋曰:融在北海,自以智能優贍,溢才命世,當時豪俊皆不能及。亦自許大志,且欲舉軍曜甲,與群賢要功,自於海岱結殖根本,不肯碌碌如平居郡守,事方伯、赴期會而已。然其所任用,好奇取異,皆輕剽之才。至于稽古之士,謬為恭敬,禮之雖備,不與論國事也。高密鄭玄,稱之鄭公,執子孫禮。及高談教令,盈溢官曹,辭氣溫雅,可玩而誦。論事考實,難可悉行。但能張磔網羅,其自理甚疏。租賦少稽,一朝殺五部督郵。姦民污吏,猾亂朝市,亦不能治。幽州精兵亂,至徐州,卒到城下,舉國皆恐。融直出說之,令無異志。遂與別校謀夜覆幽州,幽州軍敗,悉有其眾。無幾時,還復叛亡。黃巾將至,融大飲醇酒,躬自上馬,禦之淶水之上。寇令上部與融相拒,兩翼徑涉水,直到所治城。城潰,融不得入,轉至南縣,左右稍叛。連年傾覆,事無所濟,遂不能保鄣四境,棄郡而去。後徙徐州,以北海相自還領青州刺史,治郡北陲。欲附山東,外接遼東,得戎馬之利,建樹根本,孤立一隅,不與共也。于時曹、袁、公孫共相首尾,戰士不滿數百,穀不至萬斛。王子法、劉孔慈凶辯小才,信為腹心。左丞祖、劉義遜清雋之士,備在坐席而已,言此民望,不可失也。丞祖勸融自託彊國,融不聽而殺之。義遜棄去。遂為袁譚所攻,自春至夏,城小寇眾,流矢雨集。然融憑几安坐,讀書論議自若。城壞眾亡,身奔山東,室家為譚所虜。張璠漢紀曰:融在郡八年,僅以身免。帝初都許,融以為宜略依舊制,定王畿,正司隸所部為千里之封,乃引公卿上書言其義。是時天下草創,曹、袁之權未分,融所建明,不識時務。又天性氣爽,頗推平生之意,狎侮太祖。太祖制酒禁,而融書啁之曰:「天有酒旗之星,地列酒泉之郡,人有旨酒之德,故堯不飲千鍾,無以成其聖。且桀紂以色亡國,今令不禁婚姻也。」太祖外雖寬容,而內不能平。御史大夫郗慮知旨,以法免融官。歲餘,拜太中大夫。雖居家失勢,而賓客日滿其門,愛才樂酒,常歎曰:「坐上客常滿,樽中酒不空,吾無憂矣。」虎賁士有貌似蔡邕者,融每酒酣,輒引與同坐,曰:「雖無老成人,尚有典刑。」其好士如此。續漢書曰:太尉楊彪與袁術婚姻,術僭號,太祖與彪有隙,因是執彪,將殺焉。融聞之,不及朝服,往見太祖曰:「楊公累世清德,四葉重光,周書『父子兄弟,罪不相及』,況以袁氏之罪乎?易稱『積善餘慶』,但欺人耳。」太祖曰:「國家之意也。」融曰:「假使成王欲殺召公,則周公可得言不知邪?今天下纓緌搢紳之士所以瞻仰明公者,以明公聰明仁智,輔相漢朝,舉直措枉,致之雍熙耳。今橫殺無辜,則海內觀聽,誰不解體?孔融魯國男子,明日便當褰衣而去,不復朝矣。」太祖意解,遂理出彪。魏氏春秋曰:袁紹之敗也,融與太祖書曰:「武王伐紂,以妲己賜周公。」太祖以融學博,謂書傳所紀。後見,問之,對曰:「以今度之,想其當然耳!」十三年,融對孫權使,有訕謗之言,坐棄市。二子年八歲,時方弈棋,融被收,端坐不起。左右曰:「而父見執,不起何也?」二子曰:「安有巢毀而卵不破者乎!」遂俱見殺。融有高名清才,世多哀之。太祖懼遠近之議也,乃令曰:「太中大夫孔融既伏其罪矣,然世人多採其虛名,少於核實,見融浮豔,好作變異,眩其誑詐,不復察其亂俗也。此州人說平原禰衡受傳融論,以為父母與人無親,譬若缻器,寄盛其中,又言若遭饑饉,而父不肖,寧贍活餘人。融違天反道,敗倫亂理,雖肆市朝,猶恨其晚。更以此事列上,宣示諸軍將校掾屬,皆使聞見。」世語曰:融二子,皆齠齔。融見收,顧謂二子曰:「何以不辭?」二子俱曰:「父尚如此,復何所辭!」以為必俱死也。臣松之以為世語云融二子不辭,知必俱死,猶差可安。如孫盛之言,誠所未譬。八歲小兒,能玄了禍福,聰明特達,卓然既遠,則其憂樂之情,宜其有過成人,安有見父收執而曾無變容,弈棋不起,若在暇豫者乎?昔申生就命,言不忘父,不以己身將死而廢念父之情也。父安猶尚若茲,而況於顛沛哉?盛以此為美談,無乃賊夫人之子與!蓋由好奇情多,而不知言之傷理。

  • (2) Wèilüè states:
    • [Xǔ] Yōu appellation Zǐyuǎn, when young with Yuán Shào and Tàizǔ was friendly. During Chūpíng [190-193] he followed [Yuán] Shào at Jìzhōu, and always sat in attendance commenting and suggesting. At the Guāndù campaign, he remonstrated [Yuán] Shào to not attack Tàizǔ, the story is in [Yuán] Shào’s Biography [SGZ 6]. [Yuán] Shào himself believed he was powerful, and insisted on using all his military strength. [Xǔ] Yōu knew he could not make plans [for Yuán Shào], and therefore deserted to join Tàizǔ. [Yuán] Shào was defeated and fled. When later they obtained Jìzhōu, [Xǔ] Yōu had achievements. [Xǔ] Yōu was overconfident in his services and merits, and at the time would joke with Tàizǔ, every time when they were seated, he had no restraint, even calling Tàizǔ by his childhood name, saying: “So-and-so [note: the historian is observing the taboo on the name unlike Xǔ Yōu], if you had not obtained me, you would not have obtained Jìzhōu.” Tàizǔ laughed and said: “You speak correctly.” However inside he resented him. Later he was traveling out Yè’s Eastern Gate, and turned back and said to his attendants: “If this guy had not obtained me, then he would not be able to go out through this gate.” Someone reported this, and therefore he was arrested.

〔二〕 魏略曰:攸字子遠,少與袁紹及太祖善。初平中隨紹在冀州,嘗在坐席言議。官渡之役,諫紹勿與太祖相攻,語在紹傳。紹自以彊盛,必欲極其兵勢。攸知不可為謀,乃亡詣太祖。紹破走,及後得冀州,攸有功焉。攸自恃勳勞,時與太祖相戲,每在席,不自限齊,至呼太祖小字,曰:「某甲,卿不得我,不得冀州也。」太祖笑曰:「汝言是也。」然內嫌之。其後從行出鄴東門,顧謂左右曰:「此家非得我,則不得出入此門也。」人有白者,遂見收之。

  • (3) Wèilüè states:
    • Lóu Guī appellation Zǐbó, when young was involved with Tàizǔ for a long time. During Chūpíng [190-193] he was at Jīngzhōu’s north border gathering an army, and later joined Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ appointed him a chief General, but did not send him to managed troops, and he always sat together discussing and commenting. When the [Yellow] River’s north was pacified and settled, he followed to Jìzhōu. Later when Tàizǔ and his sons were going out, Zǐbó at the time also followed. Zǐbó turned back to say to his attendants: “This family of father and sons, seem today to be having fun.” Someone reported this. Tàizǔ believed this meant he had internal resentment, and therefore arrested and dealt with him.
  • Wúshū states:
    • Zǐbó when young had valorous aspirations, and always sighed and said: “A man in this age should gather tens of thousands of infantry with thousands of cavalry behind!” His colleagues laughed at him. Later for corruption he fled for his life, was arrested and about to die, was able to escape the prison, the authorities pursued closely, and Zǐbó therefore changed his clothes to be the same as the authorities, the officials did not discover this, and therefore he escaped. At the time the realm Under Heaven’s righteous troops rose up [190], and Zǐbó also gathered an army and joined Liú Biǎo. Later he joined Excellency Cáo, and therefore was employed, and was often involved with military and state great planning. Liú Biǎo died [208], and Excellency Cáo went toward Jīngzhōu. [Liú] Biǎo’s son [Liú] Cóng surrendered, and with his Staff went to welcome Excellency Cáo, the various Generals all suspected it was a trick, and Excellency Cáo asked Zǐbó. Zǐbó said: “The realm Under Heaven is disturbed, everyone is greedy for the ruler’s commands in order to make themselves important. Now he has come with his Staff, so he is certainly sincere.” Excellency Cáo said: “Very good.” Therefore the troops advanced. He favored and rewarded Zǐbó, whose house accumulated a thousand gold, and said: “Lóu Zǐbó’s wealth and happiness can compare to mine, only his power is not the same as mine!” In accompanying the defeat of Mǎ Chāo and others, Zǐbó’s achievements were many. Excellency Cáo always sighed and said: “Zǐbó‘s strategies, I cannot reach.” Later he was riding the same carriage with Xí Shòu of Nán-jùn, saw Excellency Cáo go out, and [Xí] Shòu said: “With a father and sons like this, how merry they are!” Zǐbó said: “When in this world, one should care for oneself, why instead look after another man!” [Xí] Shòu then reported him, and therefore he was executed.
  • Yú Huàn states:
    • The ancients had a saying: “Capturing birds is done with one small net, but spreading just one net in the end will not capture birds. Birds can fly far, and flying far is by the strength of six feathers, but without the assistance of all the feathers, then the flight cannot be far.” By this advice, the establishment of the Great Wèi, though they had accomplished ministers, yet it was not necessarily because of this sort of supporters.

〔三〕 魏略曰:婁圭字子伯,少與太祖有舊。初平中在荊州北界合眾,後詣太祖。太祖以為大將,不使典兵,常在坐席言議。及河北平定,隨在冀州。其後太祖從諸子出游,子伯時亦隨從。子伯顧謂左右曰:「此家父子,如今日為樂也。」人有白者,太祖以為有腹誹意,遂收治之。吳書曰:子伯少有猛志,嘗歎息曰:「男兒居世,會當得數萬兵千匹騎著後耳!」儕輩笑之。後坐藏亡命,被繫當死,得踰獄出,捕者追之急,子伯乃變衣服如助捕者,吏不能覺,遂以得免。會天下義兵起,子伯亦合眾與劉表相依。後歸曹公,遂為所用,軍國大計常與焉。劉表亡,曹公向荊州。表子琮降,以節迎曹公,諸將皆疑詐,曹公以問子伯。子伯曰:「天下擾攘,各貪王命以自重,今以節來,是必至誠。」曹公曰:「大善。」遂進兵。寵秩子伯,家累千金,曰:「婁子伯富樂于孤,但勢不如孤耳!」從破馬超等,子伯功為多。曹公常歎曰:「子伯之計,孤不及也。」後與南郡習授同載,見曹公出,授曰:「父子如此,何其快耶!」子伯曰:「居世間,當自為之,而但觀他人乎!」授乃白之,遂見誅。魚豢曰:古人有言曰:「得鳥者,羅之一目也,然張一目之羅,終不得鳥矣。鳥能遠飛,遠飛者,六翮之力也,然無眾毛之助,則飛不遠矣。」以此推之,大魏之作,雖有功臣,亦未必非茲輩胥附之由也。

  • (4) Shìyǔ states: Yǎn’s elder brother’s grandson [Cuī] Liàng styled Shìwén for his unadorned nature was praised, and was appointed by Jìn as Secretariat and Minister Herald.
  • Xún Chuò Jìzhōujì says that [Cuī] Liàng was Yǎn’s grandson.

〔四〕 世語曰:琰兄孫諒,字士文,以簡素稱,仕晉為尚書大鴻臚。荀綽冀州記云諒即琰之孫也。

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