(24.3) Gāo Róu 高柔 [Wénhuì 文惠]

Gāo Róu appellation Wénhuì was a Chénliú Yǔ man. His father [Gāo] Jìng was a Shǔjùn Commandant. (1)


Róu remained in his hometown, and said: “Now heroes together rise up, Chénliú is a land surrounded on four sides by battle. Although General Cáo [Cāo] occupies Yǎnzhōu, by nature he has plans in all four directions, and will not calmly sit and defend. But administrator Zhāng [Miǎo]’s foremost wishes are with Chénliú, and I fear there will be changes between them, and wish to with you sirs escape them.” Everyone all believed Zhāng Miǎo with Tàizǔ were friendly, and Róu also was young, so they did not agree with his words.


Róu’s elder cousin [Gāo] Gàn was Yuán Shào’s sister’s son, (2) from the Hé’s north called Róu, and Róu led his clan to join him.


It happened that [Gāo] Jìng died in the western province. At the time the roads were dangerous, soldiers plundered unhindered, but Róu braved the perils to visit Shǔ to escort the coffin, working hard through great suffering, with nothing he did not experience, and after three years he returned.


  • (1) Chénliú Qíjiù Zhuàn states: [Gāo] Jìng’s great-great-grandfather [Gāo] Gù would not serve Wáng Mǎng’s reign, was by the Administrator of Huáiyáng killed, and for his ardent integrity had great reputation. [Gāo] Gù’s son [Gāo] Shèn, appellation Xiàofǔ was genuine and honest, and had deep capability. He fostered his elder brother’s orphaned sons of five people, his kindness and righteousness deeply sincere. Chancellor of Lǎngyé Hé Yīng praised his conduct, and gave his daughter to wed him. [Hé] Yīng was General of Chariots and Cavalry [Hé] Xī’s father. [Gāo] Shèn successively was Magistrate of two counties, Administrator of Dōnglái. For old age and illness he returned home, a thatched hut, his pots without any stores. His wife said to him: “You were a administrator for many years, how could you not have stored things to leave for your descendants?” [Gāo] Shèn said: “I take industrious body and pure reputation as my foundation, leaving a two thousand dàn [level office] for them, cannot that also suffice?” His son [Gāo] Shì was utmostly filial, always exhausting effort to provide [for his parents]. During Yǒngchū, locusts caused harm, but alone did not eat [Gāo] Shì’s grain, and Stable Director Zhōu Qiáng memorialized this to the province and prefecture. Administrator Yáng Shùn recommended [Gāo] Shì as a filial son, but he declined and did not go. Later as a Filial and Incorrupt candidate he became a Cadet. The next son [Gāo] Chāng, and [Gāo] Chāng’s younger brother [Gāo] Cì both were Inspectors and prefecture Administrators. [Gāo] Shì’s son [Gāo] Hóng was a Filial and Incorrupt candidate. [Gāo] Hóng begat [Gāo] Jìng.

〔一〕 陳留耆舊傳曰:靖高祖父固,不仕王莽世,為淮陽太守所害,以烈節垂名。固子慎,字孝甫。敦厚少華,有沈深之量。撫育孤兄子五人,恩義甚篤。琅邪相何英嘉其行履,以女妻焉。英即車騎將軍熙之父也。慎歷二縣令、東萊太守。老病歸家,草屋蓬戶,甕缶無儲。其妻謂之曰:「君累經宰守,積有年歲,何能不少為儲畜以遺子孫乎?」慎曰:「我以勤身清名為之基,以二千石遺之,不亦可乎!」子式,至孝,常盡力供養。永初中,螟蝗為害,獨不食式麥,圉令周彊以表州郡。太守楊舜舉式孝子,讓不行。後以孝廉為郎。次子昌,昌弟賜,並為刺史、郡守。式子弘,孝廉。弘生靖。

  • (2) Xiè Chéng’s Hòuhànshū states: [Gāo] Gàn appellation Yuáncái, had talent and ambition great and profound, civil and military ability refined and exceptional. His father [Gāo] Gōng was a Shǔjùn Administrator. His grandfather [Gāo] Cì was a Colonel Director of Retainers.
  • According to Chénliú Qíjiù Zhuàn and Xiè Chéng’s writings, [Gāo] Gàn should be Róu’s cousin’s father, not his cousin. It is unknown which is in error.

  〔二〕 謝承後漢書曰:幹字元才。才志弘邈,文武秀出。父躬,蜀郡太守。祖賜,司隸校尉。案陳留耆舊傳及謝承書,幹應為柔從父,非從兄也。未知何者為誤。

Tàizǔ pacified the Yuán clan, and appointed Róu as Chief of Guǎn. Those in the county had already heard of his reputation, and treacherous officials of several men, all themselves left. Róu announced: “In the past Bǐng Jí oversaw government, an official once had a wrong, yet he tolerated him. All the more for these various officials, who have to me not yet done wrong! Summon them back.” All returned, and each exhorted themselves, and all became excellent officials.


When Gāo Gàn surrendered, very soon after he led Bìngzhōu to rebel. Róu himself submitted to Tàizǔ, Tàizǔ wished to use an excuse to execute him, and appointed him Investigating Treachery Director Scribe, but his execution of the law was proper, and the prison had no remaining deficiencies, and he was recruited as Chancellor’s Granary Department Associate. (1)


Tàizǔ wished to send Zhōng Yáo and others to suppress Zhāng Lǔ. Róu remonstrated, believing “Now if we send the Main Army, in the west Hán Suì and Mǎ Chāo will say it is acting against them, and will support each other and move in rebellion. It is appropriate to first recruit from the Three Adjuncts. If the Three Adjuncts are pacified, Hànzhōng can be taken and settled.” Zhōng Yáo entered the Passes, [Hán] Suì and [Mǎ] Chāo indeed rebelled.


  • (1) Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Róu in executing the law was just and fair, and also from morning to night worked, even using his knees to hold documents and lie down. Tàizǔ once in the night went out, inspecting the various officials, saw Róu, pitied him, and gently took off his fur coat to cover Róu and left. From this he was recruited.

〔一〕 魏氏春秋曰:柔既處法平允,又夙夜匪懈,至擁膝抱文書而寢。太祖嘗夜微出,觀察諸吏,見柔,哀之,徐解裘覆柔而去。自是辟焉。

Wèi state was first established [213], and he became Secretariat Cadet. He was transferred to Chancellor’s Reason Department Official, the Order said: “In the cultivation for governing the settled, ritual is the head. Government for ending chaos, punishment is foremost. Therefore Shùn exiled the Four Vicious Clans, and Gāo Táo was Soldier. Hàn [Gāo]zǔ [Liú Bāng] abolished Qín’s severe laws, and Xiāo Hé settled [new] laws. You Official are pure in record and just in action, enlighten the statues and standards, exhort and sympathize!”


Drummer Trumpeter Sòng Jīn and others at Héféi deserted. By the old laws, when the army on campaign’s soldiers desert, arrest and interrogate their wives and children. Tàizǔ worried this was not enough to stop it, and increased the punishment. [Sòng] Jīn’s mother, wife, and two younger brothers were all arrested, and the manager memorialized to kill them all. Róu advised: “Soldiers deserting the army, truly can be resented, but I humbly have heard among them there are often regretful ones. I humbly say then it is appropriate to pardon their wives and children, one so that among the rebels they will not be trusted, two so that they can be tempted to return. If following the old regulations, it will surely already cut off their hopes, and if [punishment] is again increased, I Róu fear that the soldiers in the army, seeing one man desert, will fear punishment reaching themselves, and also join together and flee, and cannot be again captured and killed. From this heavier punishment will not stop desertion, but will only increase it.” Tàizǔ said: “Excellent.” At once it was stopped and they did not kill [Sòng] Jīn’s mother and younger brothers, and those that lived were very many.


He was promoted to Administrator of Yǐngchuān, and again returned as Legal Department Official. At the time were installed Investigators Lú Hóng, Zhào Dá and others, sent to investigate subordinates. Róu remonstrated: “In establishing offices and dividing duties, each have their responsibilities. Now in installing Investigators, is not the aim of occupying superiors and trusting subordinates. Also [Zhào] Dá and the rest repeatedly use resentment or favor to without authority increase their own power and fortune. It is appropriate to to examine and deal with them.”


Tàizǔ said: “Your knowledge of [Zhào] Dá and the rest, I fear does not match mine. To be able to inspect and distinguish many affairs, if sending worthy men and gentleman to do it, then it cannot be. In the past Shūsūn Tōng employed various bandits, and it was well done.”


[Zhào] Dá and the rest later had their treacherous profiting discovered. Tàizǔ killed them to apologize to Róu.


Wén-dì ascended the throne [220], and appointed Róu as Managing Documents Attendant Censor, bestowed with fief as Marquis Within the Passes, then transferred with additional office as Managing Documents Executor of Law.


Among the people were many who slandered with heretical speech, the Emperor resented them, and if there was a speaker of heresy they were at once killed, and the reporter rewarded. Róu sent up memorial: “Now those speaking heresy are certain to die, and reporters at once rewarded. This causes mistakes to have no way to reverse to correct, and also will open the way to the crafty falsely accusing each other, and is truly not the way to discover and control treachery, or achieve prosperous governance. In the past Zhōu-gōng composed speech, praising Yīn’s ancestors, all to not turn to the petty man’s resentments. With Hàn Tàizōng [Liú Héng], he also abolished orders against heretical speech and slander. I your servant humbly believe it is appropriate to abolish the law on slander and rewarding reporters, in order to spread the benevolence of Heaven caring for all things.”


The Emperor did not at once accept, and those accusing each other increased very many. The Emperor therefore sent down Imperial Order: “Those that dare slander and report each other, are to be punished by the punishment of what was reported.” Thereupon it then ended.


Supervisor Liú Cí and others since Huángchū for several years cited officials and people for treachery and crimes of ten thousand cases, Róu for all asked to investigate false and true, and for the small violations of law, it did not exceed fines. In four years, he was promoted to Minister of Justice.


At Wèi’s beginning, the Three Excellencies had no tasks, and also rarely acted in Court Government. Róu sent up memorial: “Heaven and Earthy by the Four Seasons accomplish achievement, the foremost head by assisting ministers flourish governance; Chéng Tāng wielded on Āhéng’s [Yī Yǐn] assistance, Wén and Wǔ leaned on [Zhōu-gōng] Dàn’s and [Tài-gōng] Wàng’s strength, reaching to Hàn’s beginning, Xiāo [Hé]’s and Cáo [Cān]’s companionship for the founding achievement of the dynasty were heart and backbone. This all were enlightened kings and sagely rulers appointing ministers above, and worthy ministers and excellent assistants as inner aides below. Now the ministers of the Excellencies and assistants, are all the state’s support beams, what the people all look to, but after installing the Three, they are not made aware of government, and therefore each rest and take care at home, rarely having proposals and suggestions, and this truly is not the meaning of the Court honoring and employing great ministers, nor to be called great ministers offering ability to remove wrong. When the ancients in punishment and government had doubts, then at once it was discussed in the below the Huáijí . From now afterwards, if the Court has doubts and discussions and punishments for great affairs, it is appropriate to repeatedly consult the Three Excellencies. The Three Excellencies at days of Court or the new moon, also can specially request to enter, to discuss gains and losses, extensively and thoroughly settle matters, and this may help and raise up Heaven’s message, greatly benefiting great cultivation.” The Emperor praised and accepted it.


The Emperor due to previous resentment, wished to bypass the law to execute Managing Documents Enforcer of Law Bào Xūn, but Róu firmly refused to follow the Imperial Order. The Emperor’s anger was severe, and he therefore summoned Róu to visit the terrace, sending envoy to carry direction to the Minister of Justice to interrogate [Bào] Xūn, [only when Bào] Xūn died was Róu then sent back to his office.


Míng-dì succeed the throne, giving fief to Róu as Marquis of Yánshòu precinct. At the time Academic Scholars held the classics, and Róu sent up memorial: “I your servant have heard following the way and valuing study is the sagely man’s great teaching; commending cultured and esteeming Classicists is the ruler’s enlightened meaning. In the past at Hàn’s end and decline, Ritual and Music collapsed in ruin, warriors battled and tigers fought, taking battle lines as their affairs, therefore causing the crowds of Classicists, to be remote and hidden and not prominent. When Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] first rose, he mourned that it was like this, and during the time of suppressing chaos, he also had the prefectures and counties establish offices of teaching and learning. When Gāozǔ [Cáo Pī] succeed the throne, he therefore began this enterprise, rising to recover harmony, the provinces established lessons and exams, and therefore the scholars Under Heaven, again heard the teachings of schools, and were intimate with the rituals of sacrifices. Your Majesty oversees government, fair and enlightened and astute and wise, spreading and expanding great plan, illuminating and relieving the former course, so even Xià Qǐ’s continuation of foundation or Zhōu Chéng’s succession of enterprise, truly are not better. However now the Academic Scholars all understand the classics conduct and teaching, are the whole state’s pure selection, but enacting promotion and removal limits is too long, and one fears this is not how to esteem and make known Classicist teaching, to reward exertion and discourage idleness. Kǒng-zǐ said ‘Raise the good and teach, and the unable can be encouraged.’ Therefore in Chǔ Rites were explained to the public, and the scholars were acute and elite; Hàn honored Zhuó Mào, and the gentry competed in admiration. I your servant believe that Academic Scholars, dwell with the Way, are exemplars of the Six Arts, and should by the merits and drawbacks in learning and conduct, be cared for with ranks without superior. Kindly esteem the way and teaching, to encourage the scholarly, and cultivation will be great.” The Emperor accepted this.


Later there was great raising of palace halls and residences, the common people were conscripted to labor, widespread selecting of many women, filling up the Rear Palace [harem], in the Rear Palace the Imperial sons continuously died young, and the succession was not yet filled.


Róu sent up memorial: “The two rebels [Wú and Shǔ] are cunning, secretly training themselves, plotting to act with weapons, and cannot be considered helpless; it is appropriate to raise officers and soldiers, mend and repair armor and weapons, and use leisure against their labors. But lately there is raising and building of palace halls and residences, high and low toil and are disturbed. If Wú and Shǔ know the situation, and communicate and plan to join power, again together sending death, it would be extremely difficult to deal with. In the past Hàn [Emperor] Wén cherished the resources of common families, and did not build small terraces for his amusement; [Huò] Qùbìng considered the harm of the Xiōngnú, and had no time for the matter of building a house. Moreover now the losses are not only an expenditure of a hundred gold, the worries are not less than the misfortunes of the Northern Dí. The already roughly finished buildings, are enough for the purpose of Court meetings and feasts. I ask to dismiss the builders, send them to return to agriculture. When the Two Directions are pacified and settled, there can again be slow building. In the past [Huáng-dì] Xuānyuán had twenty five sons, passing down rule for very long; the Zhōu House had Jī [family ruled] states of forty, and their accumulated years were very many. Your Majesty is intelligent and comprehensive, your exhaustive reasoning developed completely, but lately the Imperial sons continuously die young, and auspicious signs of vigor is not yet seen. Of the hearts of your subordinates, none do not worry and grieve. By the Zhōulǐ, Heaven’s Son’s Empresses and Consorts down are 120 women, the number of concubines is already many. I humbly have heard the count of the Rear Courtyard [harem], may have already surpassed it. That the succession is not prosperous, perhaps is because of this. I your servant humbly believe we can select virtuous women, to fulfill the Inner Office’s count, and the rest can be sent back home. Moreover allow your paternal essence rest and recover, focusing on calm as valuable. In this way, then the begetting of children, can be achieved.”


The Emperor replied: “Knowing you minister are loyal and just, devoting heart to the Ruling House, so you can give prosperous advice; in other matters may you also be heard.”


At the time hunting laws were extremely strict. Yíyàng Manager of Agriculture Liú Guī secretly in the Forbidden Inner areas shot a rabbit, and his Merit Officer Zhāng Jīng went to the Investigators and reported him. The Emperor concealed [Zhāng] Jīng’s name, and arrested [Liú] Guī and handed him over to prison. Róu memorialized asking for the reporter’s name. The Emperor was greatly angry and said: “Liú Guī should die, as he dared hunt in my Forbidden Area. Sending [Liú] Guī to the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Justice should then interrogate him. Why ask for the reporter’s name. Would I without reason arrest [Liú] Guī?”


Róu said: “The Minister of Justice is the realm Under Heaven’s justice. Can he based on the Utmost Honored’s happiness or anger defame the law?”


He again sent memorial, his words deeply sincere. The Emperor’s thoughts awoke, and therefore sent down [Zhāng] Jīng’s name. He returned to investigate, and each acknowledged their crimes.


In the regulations of the time, when an official encountered great mourning [for a parent], after a hundred days all had to return to service. There was an Excellency over the Masses official Xiè Hóng who encountered his father’s mourning, later there was a military affair, and he received orders to immediately go, but he plead illness to decline. Imperial Order angrily said: “You are not Zēng or Mǐn, how can you speak of ruin [due to mourning]?” Immediately he was arrested and interrogated.


Róu saw [Xiè] Hóng truly was very emaciated and weak, and sent memorial explaining his matter, that he should be pardoned. The Emperor therefore had Imperial Order: “How filial is [Xiè] Hóng! He is forgiven.”


Previously, Gōngsūn Yuān’s elder brother [Gōngsūn] Huǎng, for his father’s younger brother [Gōngsūn] Gōng was appointed an inner attendant [as hostage]. Earlier when [Gōngsūn] Yuān had not yet rebelled, he repeatedly explained there would be changes. When [Gōngsūn] Yuān plotted rebellion, the Emperor could not bear to behead him in the market, and wished to keep him in prison to kill him.


Róu sent up memorial: “The Shū states: ‘For the criminal cut down their wrongs, for the virtuous make conspicuous their good.’ This is the Ruler’s Regulation’s enlightened standard. [Gōngsūn] Huǎng and his wives are the rebel’s family, and truly should be beheaded, and not leave any behind. But I your servant have humbly heard that [Gōngsūn] Huǎng previously repeatedly himself submitted, explaining [Gōngsūn] Yuān’s disastrous nature, and although he is from a vicious clan, his noble heart can be forgiven. Zhòngní sympathized with Sīmǎ Niú’s anxiety, Qí Xī explained Shū Xiàng’s mistake; these were ancient wonderful principles. I your servant believe [Gōngsūn] Huǎng in faith had reported, and it is appropriate to pardon from death; if he had not reported, then he should be beheaded in the market. Now advancing there is no sparing of his life, withdrawing there is no making know his crime, shut away in prison, to let him end himself, of the Four Quarters observing the state, some will doubt this action.”


The Emperor did not listen, and indeed send envoy to present metal fragment [poison] for [Gōngsūn] Huǎng and his wives and children to drink, bestowing on them coffin and [burial] dress, en-coffining them in their residence. (1)


  • (1) Sūn Shèng states: One hears the Five Emperors had no writing of reporting oath, the Three Kings no matter of alliance prayers, and therefore writing of alliance oath, began from the Three Jì, the creation of hostage appointment, rose from Zhōu Wēi. One of chaste men, then Heaven and Earth can be moved, opportune heart inner sprouts, then gulls and birds do not descend. Moreover if faith is insufficient then requesting objects must be attached, guessing life for oneself then hoping for another must be harbored, what difference is there from grasping ice to seek warmth, or embracing embers hoping for cold? Moreover in discussion of stealing credit, lack of restraint and such, none do not turn back on feeling and enact plans, concealing benefit and forgetting kin, give up harboring compassionate and filial love, or considering disaster of one’s downfall, Therefore Zhōu and Zhèng became enemies, Hàn [Emperor] Gāo asked for the soup [when threatened to have his parents boiled], Kuí Xiāo gave up his son, Mǎ Chāo turned back on his father, these the utmost of ruthless endurance like this, how can these because of hostages be trusted sincerely, and seek appointment [of hostages] for perpetual assurances? The time’s ruler if able to distantly consider on the former king’s utmost Way in preventing evil, to recently reflect on the vicious hearts of crafty unrestrained search for benefit, overcome it by the benevolence of releasing net, convey it by the kindness of coming revival, glorify it by the prestige of thunder, embellish it by the conferring of timely rain, then the disrespectful can be restrained in one morning, the roaring can be bent at knee to the image of Wèi. What need is there to restrain their kin in order to gain their feelings, and pressure those they live to control their orders? If it cannot be so, yet wielding their calculation methods, caging them in order to overpower many, restrain them in order to have all, then although considering one house but numerously summoning across the Four Seas, law formed rustic and narrow, hoping for half temporary benefit, from what cannot but have unbearable punishments, and therefore penalty of offspring killed, also yet disrespects oath for one man, yet speaks of enabling downfall of their brigades, without overcoming leaving raising words and that is all. How can one obtain again the standards of summoning the Four Criminals not arriving, or the righteousness of Sīmǎ Niú obtaining pardon? Supposing that the appointed hostages all did not protect their fathers and elder brothers, then after two or three words, bending pity for their intentions and all sparing them, then the elder men endanger rebelliousness of their kin’s survival. Though the sons and younger brothers are hostages, there is certainly no worry of execution, though the fathers and elder brothers are rebels, in the end there is no fear of destruction of succession. Róu did not investigate and understand this method is not the Way of flourishing Kings, should have began and expanded distant reasoning, cleared these recent systems, but explained law’s inner punishments to plead for one man’s life, and can be said to in his heart store small goods, and not have the substance of rulers. The ancients in killing men, also had their benevolence. Punishment in the prisons, was not yet a failing.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī believes: In distinguishing regulation and matters with reason, the honor obtaining the proper time’s appropriateness, without action empty call of great words yet ends in returning to without use. In the discussion of superficial boasts, not being definite in truth, is like drawing images of demons, yet stumbling to the appearance of dogs and horses. The rise of hostage appointments, was not imitating recent times, and moreover the three directions were in tripartite balance, Liáodōng was remote and far, and detaining their close kin in order to guard against the future, was not wrong. Róu said [Gōngsūn] Huǎng had the good act of first reporting, and should be given the forgiveness of pardoning heart. But [Sūn] Shèng reproaches Róu as unable to begin expanding distant reasoning, showing this was a recent system. Indeed what is to be said of not reaching these words? If saying guessing to guard is wrong, then hostage appointment should be abolished, and indeed it is said in answer the Way of the greatly enlightened former Kings, did not in advance give the appointed life or death. [Gōngsūn] Huǎng’s appointment, was over the years and already a long time, how in obtaining the boundary between killing and sparing, can one discuss to the foundations of reason? It is for what special collection of brambles and complications, matters waiting for judgement, empty discussion of the goodness of punishment enactment, without hearing of what is the truth of right or wrong? These are high sounding and impractical, and also already extreme. Hàn [Emperor] Gāo’s matters were deficient in reason and pressing, held power by sparing kin, and very quickly had ruthless endurance system, and already there were many false accusations. Moreover since ancient times onward, there has never been son and young brother rashly reporting father and elder brother in order to plot to save himself, to secure against rebelliousness, it has never been heard. [Gōngsūn] Huǎng as an elder brother reported his younger brother, and this matter was indeed confirmed, saying [Gōngsūn] Huǎng should be killed, in order to be safeguard, if speaking is also to die, and not speaking also to die, how can it not prevent hearts returning to good, and lose the center of correct punishment? Like Zhào Kuò’s mother, by first requesting arrest was released, Zhōng Huì’s elder brother, by secretly reporting preserved his sons, in ancient and present these comparisons, are overall not few. Huǎng’s former words, the matter was the same as these examples, but alone the treatment was not stopped, and very much can be mourned!

〔一〕 孫盛曰:聞五帝無誥誓之文,三王無盟祝之事,然則盟誓之文,始自三季,質任之作,起於周微。夫貞夫之一,則天地可動,機心內萌,則鷗鳥不下。況信不足焉而祈物之必附,猜生於我而望彼之必懷,何異挾冰求溫,抱炭希涼者哉?且夫要功之倫,陵肆之類,莫不背情任計,昧利忘親,縱懷慈孝之愛,或慮傾身之禍。是以周、鄭交惡,漢高請羹,隗囂捐子,馬超背父,其為酷忍如此之極也,安在其因質委誠,取任永固哉?世主若能遠覽先王閑邪之至道,近鑒狡肆徇利之凶心,勝之以解網之仁,致之以來蘇之惠,燿之以雷霆之威,潤之以時雨之施,則不恭可斂衽於一朝,炰哮可屈膝於象魏矣。何必拘厥親以來其情,逼所愛以制其命乎?苟不能然,而仗夫計術,籠之以權數,檢之以一切,雖覽一室而庶徵於四海,法生鄙局,冀或半之暫益,自不得不有不忍之刑,以遂孥戮之罰,亦猶瀆盟由乎一人,而云俾墜其師,無克遺育之言耳。豈得復引四罪不及之典,司馬牛獲宥之義乎?假令任者皆不保其父兄,輒有二三之言,曲哀其意而悉活之,則長人子危親自存之悖。子弟雖質,必無刑戮之憂,父兄雖逆,終無勦絕之慮。柔不究明此術非盛王之道,宜開張遠義,蠲此近制,而陳法內之刑以申一人之命,可謂心存小善,非王者之體。古者殺人之中,又有仁焉。刑之於獄,未為失也。臣松之以為辨章事理,貴得當時之宜,無為虛唱大言而終歸無用。浮誕之論,不切於實,猶若畫魑魅之象,而躓於犬馬之形也。質任之興,非(防)〔仿〕近世,況三方鼎峙,遼東偏遠,羈其親屬以防未然,不為非矣。柔謂晃有先言之善,宜蒙原心之宥。而盛責柔不能開張遠理,蠲此近制。不達此言竟為何謂?若云猜防為非,質任宜廢,是謂應大明先王之道,不預任者生死也。晃之為任,歷年已久,豈得於殺活之際,方論至理之本。是何異叢棘既繁,事須判決,空論刑措之美,無聞當不之實哉?其為迂闊,亦已甚矣,漢高事窮理迫,權以濟親,而總之酷忍之科,既已大有所誣。且自古以來,未有子弟妄告父兄以圖全身者,自存之悖,未之或聞。晃以兄告弟,而其事果驗。謂晃應殺,將以遏防。若言之亦死,不言亦死,豈不杜歸善之心,失正刑之中哉?若趙括之母,以先請獲免,鍾會之兄,以密言全子,古今此比,蓋為不少。晃之前言,事同斯例,而獨遇否閉,良可哀哉!

At the time, those that killed the Forbidden Area’s deer were killed, their property confiscated by the government, and those able to discover and report them were generously rewarded. Róu sent up memorial: “The Sagely Kings in governing the world, none did not expand agriculture as their work, and reduce expenditure as their resource. When agriculture expands then grain accumulates, expenditure decreases then wealth grows; one who grows wealth and accumulates grain but has the misery of worry, this has never existed. In ancient times, if a man who did not plow, then someone because of that went hungry; if a women did not weave, then someone because of that was cold. Since [your ascension as Emperor] to the Center, the common people have provided much conscripted labor, those personally in the farm fields have decreased, and additionally recently there are hunting prohibitions, so that the herds of deer invade about, destroying and eating new sprouts, everywhere causing harm, and the damage is incalculable. Though the people build obstructions, their strength cannot stop it. Even about Xíngyáng, the circumference of several hundred lǐ, for years there is no harvest, the people’s lives, truly can be sympathized for their hurts. If now the realm Under Heaven’s wealth is very little, yet the losses by deer is very much. If there is sudden conscription for war, or disaster of famine, then there will be nothing to deal with it. May Your Majesty ponder what the previous sages considered, sympathize with the hardships of sowing and reaping, generously relieve the people, allow them to capture deer, and therefore remove the restrictions, then the masses will for a long time be relieved, and none will not be pleased and happy.” (1)


  • (1) Wèi Míngchén Zòu records Róu’s sent up memorial: “I your servant have deeply pondered the reason Your Majesty has not earlier captured these deer, is truly to wish to have them extremely flourish, and then afterward catch them for the army’s and the state’s use. However I your servant humbly believe now the deer only will daily consume, and in the end will not grow more. How does one know this? Now the Forbidden Area is wide and over 1000 lǐ, and I your lower servant calculate at least among them are tigers large and small of 600, wolves of 500, foxes of 10,000. Suppose 1 large tiger every 3 days eats 1 deer, 1 tiger in 1 year has 120 deer, then 600 tigers in 1 year eat 72,000 deer. Suppose 10 wolves each day together eat 1 deer, then 500 wolves in 1 year eat 18,000 deer. Deer fawn newly born, are not yet able to run well, so suppose 10 foxes in 1 day together eat 1 fawn, so in about the 1 moon to run well, then 10,000 foxes in 1 moon together eat deer fawns of 30,000. Altogether in 1 year the eaten are 120,000. The harm from hawks and ospreys, I your servant have not calculated. By this consideration, in the end there is no way for them to grow more, and it is not as good as earlier catching them for use.”

〔一〕 魏名臣奏載柔上疏曰:「臣深思陛下所以不早取此鹿者,誠欲使極蕃息,然後大取以為軍國之用。然臣竊以為今鹿但有日耗,終無從得多也。何以知之?今禁地廣輪且千餘里,臣下計無慮其中有虎大小六百頭,狼有五百頭,狐萬頭。使大虎一頭三日食一鹿,一虎一歲百二十鹿,是為六百頭虎一歲食七萬二千頭鹿也。使十狼日共食一鹿,是為五百頭狼一歲共食萬八千頭鹿。鹿子始生,未能善走,使十狐一日共食一子,比至健走一月之間,是為萬狐一月共食鹿子三萬頭也。大凡一歲所食十二萬頭。其鵰鶚所害,臣置不計。以此推之,終無從得多,不如早取之為便也。」

Shortly after, the Protector of the Army Regiment soldier Dòu Lǐ recently went out and did not return. The Regiment believed he had deserted, and memorialized report to pursue and capture, and seize his wife Yíng and sons and daughters to become government slaves. Yíng repeatedly went to the provincial office, claiming injustice and seeking litigation, but none investigated. Therefore she reported to the Minister of Justice.


Róu asked: “How do you know your husband did not desert?”


Yíng shed tears and answered: “My husband when young was an orphaned, and care for an old woman like a mother, in affairs was extremely respectful and solemn, and also grieves for his sons and daughters, comforting and looking after them and not leaving them. He is not someone frivolous and crafty without regard for family.”


Róu again asked: “Does your husband not with someone have complaint or resentment?”


She answered: “My husband is good, and with others has no resentment.”


He also asked: “Does your husband not with someone have dealings in money?”


She answered: “He once gave money to his fellow Regiment soldier Jiāo Zǐwén, and asked for it but did not obtain it.”


At the time [Jiāo] Zǐwén happened to for a small matter been bound in prison. Róu therefore met Zǐwén, and asked him the reason. While talking, he asked: “Have you ever borrowed another’s money or not?”


Zǐwén said: “Because I am poor, I do not dare borrow another’s money.”


Róu examined that Zǐwén’s expression was shaky, and therefore said: “You in the past borrowed Dòu Lǐ’s money, why do you say you have never?”


Zǐwén was bewildered and thought the matter was discovered, and his reply had no order.


Róu said: “You have already killed [Dòu] Lǐ, and should earlier submit.”


Zǐwén therefore knocked head, and told how he killed [Dòu] Lǐ from beginning to end, and where he was buried. Róu then sent officials and troops, to follow Zǐwén’s words to go dig up [Dòu] Lǐ, and indeed found his body. Written Imperial Order restored Yíng and her children as regular people. It was announced down through the realm Under Heaven, to have [the story of Dòu] Lǐ be a warning.


He was in office for twenty-three years, transferred to Minister of Ceremonies, within ten days promoted to Excellency of Works, later moved to Excellency over the Masses.


Grand Tutor Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng memorialized to dismiss Cáo Shuǎng, the Dowager-Empress’s Imperial Order summoned Róu to be Lent Staff as Acting over General-in-Chief affairs, and occupy [Cáo] Shuǎng’s camp. The Grand Tutor said to Róu: “You have become Zhōu Bó.” [Cáo] Shuǎng was executed, and [Róu] was advanced in fief to Marquis of Wànsuì village.


The Duke of Gāoguì village succeed the throne [254]. He was advanced in fief to Marquis of Ānguó, transferred to Excellency Commandant.


The Duke of Chángdào village succeed the throne [260]. His fief was increased adding with the previous to 4000. From beginning to end fief was given on his two sons as precinct Marquis.


Jǐngyuán Fourth Year [263], aged 90 he died. Posthumous name Yuán-hóu “Fundamental Marquis.” His grandson [Gāo] Hún succeeded. During Xiánxī, they established the Five Ranks, and for Róu and other’s achievements to the previous dynasty, changed the fief of [Gāo] Hún to Viscount of Chānglù. (1)


  • (1) Jìn Zhūgōng Zàn states: Róu’s eldest son [Gāo] Juàn was a General-in-chief’s Official. The next [Gāo] Dàn was successively Inspector for three provinces, Minister Charioteer. [Gāo] Dàn was rash and improper, but his decisiveness and fierceness surpassed other men. The next [Gāo] Guāng appellation Xuānmào, when young studied the family enterprise, understanding and studying legal principle. In Jìn Wǔ-dì’s reign, he was Yellow Sand Censor, with the Central Deputy was the same, was promoted to Acting Minister of Justice, later succeeding the full office. His elder brother [Gāo] Dàn was with [Gāo] Guāng different in conduct, and said [Gāo] Guāng cared for the trivial, and always scorned him, but [Gāo] Guāng in dealing with [Gāo] Dàn was increasingly solemn. He ended as Secretariat Director, posthumously Excellency of Works.

〔一〕 晉諸公贊曰:柔長子雋,大將軍掾,次誕,歷三州刺史、太僕。誕放率不倫,而決烈過人。次光,字宣茂,少習家業,明練法理。晉武帝世,為黃沙御史,與中丞同,遷守廷尉,後即真。兄誕與光異操,謂光小節,常輕侮之,而光事誕愈謹。終於尚書令。追贈司空。

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