Hé Yàn 何晏 [Píngshū 平叔]
[Cáo] Shuǎng appellation Zhāobó, when young because he was of the Imperial Clan and solemn and serious, Míng-dì [Cáo Ruì] at the East Palace [as an Imperial son], was very close with and favored him. At the succession to the throne, he became Cavalier Attendant Cadet, eventually promoted to City Gate Colonel, added Cavalier Regular Attendant, transferred to Martial Guard General, and his favorable treatment was unique.
The Emperor was lying ill, and therefore summoned Shuǎng to enter the inner room, appointing him General-in-Chief, with Acting Staff and Battle-Ax, as Commander over Internal and External various military affairs, control of Secretariat Documents affairs, to with Excellency Commandant Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng together receive posthumous Imperial Order to support the young ruler.
Míng-dì passed, and the King of Qí [Cáo Fāng] succeeded the throne, adding to Shuǎng Attendant Internal, changing fief to Marquis of Wǔ’ān, with fief of 12000 households, bestowing the honor to with sword and shoes ascend the palace hall, enter Court without hastening, and pay respect and bow without using personal name.
Dīng Mì drew a plan, having Shuǎng report to Heaven’s Son, to send out Imperial Order to transfer [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng to Grand Tutor, outside to with good title honor him, inside wishing to control Secretariat Documents memorial matters, first coming through himself, and so obtain regulation over effective power. (1) Shuǎng’s younger brothers [Cáo] Xī became Central Manager of the Army, [Cáo] Xùn Martial Guard General, [Cáo] Yàn Cavalier Regular Attendant and Attendant Discussion, and the remaining younger brothers, all as ranked marquis in attendance accompanied [the Emperor], exiting and entering the forbidden inner doors, their nobility and favor none could surpass.
- (1) Wèishū states: Shuǎng had his younger brother [Cáo] Xī to compose his memorial: “I your servant’s deceased father [Cáo] Zhēn, served in matters for Three Courts, entering as senior minister, going out as high officer. The Former Emperor with I your servant and close ministers his remaining wishes, to reward order and select for promotion, manage troops sternly, advancing without loyal respectful accumulated conduct, withdrawing without Gāoyáng’s public integrity. The Former Emperor’s sagely form was not at ease, and though I your servant hurried, attending his illness with drugs, already without sincere supporting day’s answer, and humbly with Excellency Commandant [Sīmǎ] Yì together received posthumous Imperial Order, both ashamed and afraid, not what settled report. I your servant have heard Yú Shùn ordered worthies, with Jì and Qì as first, Chéng Tāng commended achievement, with Yī and Lǚ as head, carefully selecting and expansively promoting, what merits and drawbacks obtain, this truly is assisting the world’s and expanding the people’s great principle, recording merit and repaying achievement’s order and management, since ancient times, there has not been deficiency. Now I your servant and diffident and muddled, my rank crowning at the Court’s head, considering only to have surpassed in order, my inner heart is shamed and fearful, and dare express my feeling, and explain and write the truth. The realm Under Heaven’s attaining the Way are three, called Virtue, [noble] Rank, and Tooth [age]. [Sīmǎ] Yì by nature is high and bright and fair and honest, occupies position above the Excellencies, his reputation sufficient to calm the masses, righteousness sufficient to lead subordinates; this is the first. He harbors great planning, both civil and martial, yet establishes campaign achievement, near and far giving credit; this is the second. Ten thousand lǐ whirling banner, personally receiving posthumous Imperial Order, supporting and shining the Imperial House, inside and outside turn to him; this is third. Moreover he is aged, ordering and guiding the state, form perfecting the Court’s governance. In discussing virtue then he surpasses Jífǔ and Fánzhòng; in examining achievement then he passes Fāngshū and Shàohǔ. Altogether these several, [Sīmǎ] Yì truly simultaneously holds them. I your servant hold empty reputation but am placed to his right [senior], and the people Under Heaven will say that I your servant by being of the Imperial Clan see personal gain, knowing advancement but not knowing declining. Your Majesty is lofty, understanding categorization, and if you investigate I your servant’s words, I your servant believe it is appropriate to appoint [Sīmǎ] Yì as Grand Tutor and Marshal-in-Chief, above to manifest Your Majesty’s understanding of advancing the worthy, middle to make know [Sīmǎ] Yì’s true civil and martial ability, below to allow I your humble servant to escape slander and ridicule.”
- Therefore the Emperor sent Internal Document Supervisor Liú Fàng and Director Sūn Zī to make Imperial Order: “In the past Wú Hàn assisted Guāng-Wǔ, had the achievement of campaigning and settling the Four Quarters, and became Marshal-in-Chief, his name praised to the present. The Excellency Commandant [Sīmǎ Yì] in form and tread is upright, his achievements covering Within the Seas, the Former Emperor originally from beginning to end wished to advance his rank quickly but did not last long, and therefore it was too late and not put in effect and that is all. Now the General-in-Chief [Cáo Shuǎng] recommends that the Excellency Commandant should be Marshal-in-Chief, to accord with the Late Emperor’s original intention, and also release decline and yielding, advance virtue and esteem merit, and therefore wish to make known the worthy and good, discuss order, rank following seniority. Even the sort as [Zhōu-gōng] Dàn and [Shào-gōng] Shì took as exemplar and teacher Lǚ Wàng, and their consideration was in craning neck to be placed below him, how was there a mistake? I deeply praise it. I only because the Former Emperor assuredly knew the noble gentleman is pleased with heaven and understands fate, fine and small trifling doubt, not enough to be dreaded, and so considered Bórén Péngwáng’s writings, and therefore acted with irresolution, had intention but was unsuccessful and that is all! This also was the Former’s Emperor deeply respected great minister, care and favor deep and generous to the utmost. In the past Chéng-wáng established the Protector and Tutor offices, and more recently Hàn Xiǎnzōng had Dèng Yǔ as Grand Tutor, all in order to exceptionally esteem significant governance, certain to have honor. Thus the Excellency Commandant is made Grand Tutor.
Nányáng’s Hé Yàn, Dèng Yáng, Lǐ Shèng, Pèiguó’s Dīng Mì, Dōngpíng’s Bì Guī all had reputation, and were interested in advancing at the time. Míng-dì because of their pretensions restrained and dismissed them all; when Shuǎng maintained the government, then they again sought advancement, and were appointed as close aides [lit. stomach and heart]. [Dèng] Yáng and the rest wished to have Shuǎng established [military] authoritative reputation in the realm Under Heaven, and urged him to send campaign against Shǔ, Shuǎng followed their advice, and [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng opposed them but could not prohibit them.
Zhèngshǐ Fifth Year , Shuǎng then went west to Cháng’ān, greatly sending troops of sixty to seventy thousand men, following Luò valley to enter. At the time, Guāngzhōng’s Dī and Qiáng peoples’ transports could not provide supplies, of the oxen and horses and mules and donkeys many died, and the people cried out and wept on the road. They entered the valley and went several hundred lǐ, the rebels held the mountains as defenses, and the troops could not advance. Shuǎng’s Advisor to the Army Yáng Wěi for Shuǎng explained the circumstances, that it was appropriate to quickly return, or else they would be defeated. (2) [Dèng] Yáng with [Yáng] Wěi fought in front of Shuǎng, and [Yáng] Wěi said: “[Dèng] Yáng and [Lǐ] Shèng will ruin the state’s affairs, and can be beheaded.” Shuǎng was not pleased, and therefore led the army back. (3)
- (2) Shìyǔ states: [Yáng] Wěi appellation Shìyīng was a Féngyì man. Míng-dì repaired the Palaces and Residences, and [Yáng] Wěi remonstrated: “Now making Palaces and Residences, is to chop and cut down the pines and cypresses above the people’s tombs, destroy stone tablet and pillar monuments, sinning against the deceased, wounding a filial son’s heart, and cannot for later generations be an example.”
- (3) Hàn Jìn Chūnqiū states: Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng said to Xiàhóu Xuán: “The Chūnqiū says the responsibility on great virtue is heavy. In the past when Wǔ Huángdì [Cáo Cāo] a second time entered Hānzhōng , he was almost greatly defeated, and this you know. Now Xīngpíng road’s condition is rugged, Shǔ has already first occupied it, if advancing and unable to obtain battle, retreating and met with being cut off, the downfall of the army is certain. Then who will take this responsibility!” [Xiàhóu] Xuán was afraid, spoke to Shuǎng, and led the army to retreat. Fèi Yī advanced troops to occupy Sānlǐng to intercept Shuǎng, Shuǎng fought on rugged terrain in a hard battle, and barely obtained passage. The sent out oxen and horses for transport, were all died or lost. The Qiáng and Hú complained and sighed, and the Pass’s west was all empty and wasted.
Previously, Shuǎng because [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng‘s years and virtue were both high, always like a father treated him, and did not dare alone act. When [Hé] Yàn and the rest were advanced and employed, all together encouraged and supported him, persuading Shuǎng that power should not be entrusted to another. Therefore he appointed [Hé] Yàn, [Dèng] Yáng, [Dīng] Mì as Secretariat Documenters. [Hé] Yàn managed selection and promotion, [Bì] Guǐ was Colonel Director of Retainers, [Lǐ] Shèng was Intendant of Hénán, in all affairs rarely again following [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng therefore claimed illness and avoided Shuǎng. (1)
- (1) Previously, [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng because Shuǎng was Wèi’s close minister, always advanced him forward, and Shuǎng because [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng‘s reputation was heavy, also drew back below him. At the time this was praised. [Dīng] Mì and Bì Guī and others were advanced and employed, and repeatedly said to Shuǎng: “[Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng has great ambitions and has deeply obtained the people’s hearts, and cannot be endorsed and truly trusted in.” Because of this Shuǎng was always suspicious and guarded. Although his courtesy and appearance remained, yet in his actions, all were no longer following [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng‘s strength could not resist, and he moreover feared disaster, and therefore avoided him.
[Hé] Yàn and the rest controlled the government, together dividing up Luòyáng and Yěwáng’s Managing Agriculture Division’s mulberry trees and farm fields of several hundred qǐng, and destroyed cleansing land as their personal property, taking advantage of their power to seize government property, taking opportunity to request what they wished from the provinces and prefectures. The managers watched the situation, and none dared disobey orders. [Hé] Yàn and the rest with Minister of Justice Lú Yù by nature were not at peace, and because [Lú] Yù’s official had a small mistake, had severe writing send [Lú] Yù to the law, having the manager first seize [Lú] Yù’s seal and ribbon, and only afterward memorialize report. Their actions and power was like this.
Shuǎng’s drink and food and chariots and clothing, imitated the Imperial carriage; craftsmen treasures and toys, filled up his house; wives and concubines filled his Rear Courtyard, and he also secretly took the Former Emperor’s Talent concubines of seven to eight women, and his offices and officials, teachers and workers, drums and horns, elite family’s sons and daughters of thirty-three people, all became his performers and musicians. He forged Imperial Order documents, sending out Talent concubines of fifty seven women to Yè terrace, and having the Former Emperor’s Fair concubines teach and practice performance. He usurped the Grand Musician’s musical instruments, and the Military Store’s prohibited weapons. He made cavern residences, fine engraving all around, repeatedly with [Hé] Yàn and the rest meeting inside, drinking liquor and making merry.
[Cáo] Xī deeply was by this greatly worried, and repeatedly remonstrated to stop this. He also composed documents in three piān, explaining how arrogance and wantonness overflowing led to disaster and destruction, his words and meaning deeply cutting, but did not dare reprimand Shuǎng, and relied on admonishing his various younger brothers to show to Shuǎng. Shuǎng knew this was toward himself directed, and was very displeased. [Cáo] Xī sometimes because his remonstrants were not accepted, would weep and leave.
[Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng secretly against them made preparations. Ninth Year  Winter, Lǐ Shèng went out as Inspector of Jīng Province, and on the way visited [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng claimed his illness was severe, showing weak appearance. [Lǐ] Shèng could not tell, and said it was genuine. (2)
- (2) Wèimòzhuàn states: Shuǎng and the rest ordered [Lǐ] Shèng to take leave of [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng, and also examine and observe him. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng met [Lǐ] Shèng, and [Lǐ] Shèng himself explained that he had no achievements, but received special favor, and was appointed to his home province, and was visiting to pay respects and take leave, and did not expect to receive the special favor, of obtaining a personal meeting. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng ordered two maidservants attend at his side, grasped robes, and the robes fell [from his hands]. He also pointed up at his mouth, saying he needed a drink, the maidservants presented porridge, [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng grasped the cup to drink the porridge, and the porridge all spilled and wet his bosom. [Lǐ] Shèng pitied this, and for him wept, saying to [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng: “Now the Ruler Above is still young, the realm Under Heaven relies upon your Enlightened Excellency. The masses say your Enlightened Excellency is old and ill, how who would have thought your honored body is like this!” [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng very softly spoke, to be able to breath and communicate, saying: “I am aged and very ill, and my death is in days. You will be entrusted with Bìng Province, Bìng Province is close to the Hú, you must deal with it well, I fear we will not meet again, what of it?” [Lǐ] Shèng said: “I am returning to my home [běn] province, not Bìng Province.” [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng then again acted confused, and said: “You will arrive at Bìng Province, work hard and care for yourself!” He disordered his words, acting as if speaking nonsense. [Lǐ] Shèng again said: “I am returning to Jīng Province, not Bìng Province.” [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng then seemed to understand, saying: “I am aged, my thoughts confused, and did not understand your words. Now you return to be your home [běn] Province’s Inspector. Flourish virtue and heroism, well establish achievement. Now I will with you take leave, and considering my vitality is becoming weak, later we will certainly not again meet, and therefore I wish to use my own strength, to set up altar, for life and death for us to take leave. Have [my sons] the brothers [Sīmǎ] Shī and Zhāo join with you as friends, you cannot abandon each other, for the sake of my trifling heart.” Therefore he wept and sobbed. [Lǐ] Shèng also deeply sighed, and answered: “I am only receiving your teaching, and must still wait for orders.” [Lǐ] Shèng took leave and went out, and with Shuǎng and the rest met each other, saying: “The Grand Tutor’s speech was mistaken, his mouth could not take cup, and he pointed south as north. He also said I would go to Bìng Province, and I answered saying I would return to Jīng Province, not Bìng Province. Slowly and slowly speaking with him, and when he took note, then he knew I would return to Jīng Province and that is all. He also wished to set up altar to send me off. We cannot abandon him, and should care for him.” Again he to Shuǎng and the rest shed tears and said: “The Grand Tutor’s illness cannot be relieved, it makes one grieve.”
Tenth Year  Standard Moon, the Imperial Chariot held Court at Gāopíng Tomb, and Shuǎng and his brothers all followed. (1) [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng commanded troops and horses, first occupying the Military Storage, then going out to garrison the Luò river pontoon bridge.
- (1) Shìyǔ states: Shuǎng and his brothers had previously repeatedly together gone out, Huán Fàn said: “In governing all affairs, managing Restricted Troops, it is not appropriate to together go out. If there is closing of the City Gates, who will let you in?” Shuǎng said: “Who dares do that?” But because of this they no longer together went. Reaching this then they [again] all went out.
He memorialized about Shuǎng: “I your servant in the past from Liáodōng returned, and the Former Emperor [Cáo Ruì] had Imperial Order for Your Majesty and [your brother] the King of Qín and I your servant ascend to the Imperial bed, grabbed I your servant’s arm, deeply for later affairs worrying. I your servant said: ‘The Two Founders [Cáo Cāo, Cáo Pī] also entrusted I your servant with later affairs, this Your Majesty has personally seen, there is nothing to bitterly worry about; if ten thousand to one there is something not to your wishes, then I your servant will by death carry out your Enlightened Imperial Order.’ Yellow Gate Director Dǒng Jī and others, the Talent concubines and those attending the illness, all heard and know this. Now General-in-Chief Shuǎng turns back on the Mandate, destroying and disordering the state’s regulations, inside usurping Imperial prerogatives, outside seizing authority and power; breaking up the various Regiments, completely seizing the Restricted Troops, the various offices and critical posts, are all installed with those close to him; inside the Palace Hall the Night Guard, the long serving men were all expelled and sent out, wishing to install new people to establish his personal plans; based on these altogether, his indulgences daily became more extreme. Outside was already like this, and he also had Yellow Gate Zhāng Dāng serve as [Yellow Gate] Commander-Supervisor, to specially together communicate, to watch and observe the Utmost Honored, spy the Divine Vessels, split apart the Two Palaces, and harm their bone and flesh kin. The realm Under Heaven is tumultuous, the people harbor apprehension, Your Majesty is but dependent on them for position, how can you long be safe? This is not the Former Emperor’s Imperial Order to Your Majesty and I your servant to ascend to the bed’s original intention. Though I your servant am decayed in age, dare I forget those previous words? In the past Zhào Gāo had extreme intentions, and the Qín clan by this was destroyed; the Lǚ and Huò were early cut off, and Hàn’s reign lasted long. This then is for Your Majesty’s great reflection, the time for I your servant to receive command. Excellency Commandant your servant [Jiǎng] Jì, Secretariat Documents Director your servant [Sīmǎ] Fú and others, all believe Shuǎng has no heart for his master, and his brothers should not command troops of the Night Guard, and have memorialized to Yǒngníng Palace. The Dowager-Empress’s Order to I your servant is like this memorial to be put into effect. I your servant at once order the managers and Yellow Gate Director to dismiss Shuǎng’s, Xī’s, and Xùn’s officials and troops, to as Marquis return to their mansions, to not remain about the Imperial Carriage; if they dare remain, then by Military Law deal with the matter. I your servant then strive over illness, to command troops to garrison Luò river’s pontoon bridge, to watch and observe anything out of the ordinary.” (2)
- (2) Shìyǔ states: Previously, [Sīmǎ Yī] Xuān-wáng led troops from below the watchtower hurried to the Military Storage, passed Shuǎng’s gate, and someone forced the carriage to stop. Shuǎng’s wife Liú was afraid, went out to the office, and said to the banner men defending commander: “My husband is outside. Now troops have risen, what about that?” The commander said: “Madam do not worry.” Therefore then went up the gate tower, drew crossbows and arrows and wished to shoot. Officer Sūn Qiān from behind called them to stop saying: “The realm Under Heaven’s affairs cannot yet be know!” It was like this three times, and [Sīmǎ Yī] Xuān-wáng therefore was able to pass.
Shuǎng obtained [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng‘s memorial of affairs, did not pass it on [to the Emperor], and was distressed and did not know what to do. (1)
- (1) Gān Bǎo’s Jìnjì states: Shuǎng kept the Imperial Carriage lodged at the Yī river’s south, cut trees to make a barricade, and sent garrisoned armored troops of several thousand to serve as guard.
- Wèimòzhuàn states: [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng said to his younger brother [Sīmǎ] Fù: “His Majesty is outside and cannot sleep outside, urgently send curtains and the Grand Office supplies to go where he is.”
Minister of Agriculture Pèi state’s Huán Fàn heard troops had risen, did not answer the Dowager-Empress’s summon, claimed to have Imperial Order to open Píngchāng Gate, seizing swords and halberds, wiping out the Gate Captain, hurrying south to Shuǎng. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng knew this and said: “[Though Huán] Fàn draws strategy, Shuǎng certainly will not use [Huán] Fàn’s plan.”
[Huán] Fàn advised Shuǎng to send the Imperial Carriage to Xǔchāng, and recruit outer troops. Shuǎng and his brothers hesitated and were undecided. [Huán] Fàn again said to [Cáo] Xī: “Today, if your family sought to be poor and lowly again could you obtain it? Even a common fellow grabs a hostage of one man, yet hoping to live, and now you with Heaven’s Son follow each other, if you give order to the realm Under Heaven, who dares not answer?” [Cáo] Xī still could not accept.
Attendant Internal Xǔ Yǔn, Secretariat Documenter Chén Tài advised Shuǎng, to early himself admit blame. Shuǎng therefore sent [Xǔ] Yǔn and [Chén] Tài to visit [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng, to accept blame and ask for death, and then conveyed [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng‘s memorial [to the Emperor]. (2)
- (2) Gān Bǎo’s Jìnshū states: Huán Fàn went out to go to Shuǎng, [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng said to Jiǎng Jì: “The wisdom bag has gone.” [Jiǎng] Jì said: “Though [Huán] Fàn is wise, a weak horse loves its stable, Shuǎng certainly cannot employ him.”
- Shìyǔ states: [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng sent Xǔ Yǔn and Chén Tài to explain and talk with Shuǎng, and Jiǎng Jì also sent letter to communicate [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng‘s intentions, and also sent Shuǎng’s trusted Palace Central Colonel Yǐn Dàmù to speak with Shuǎng, that he only wished to dismiss him from office and nothing more, by the Luò river swearing pledge. Shuǎng believed him, and dismissed troops.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Shuǎng had dismissed troops, and said: “I have not lost ability to be a wealthy old man.” [Huán] Fàn wept and said: “Cáo [Zhēn] Zǐdān was a great man, but begat you brothers, mere sacrificial calves! How could he have imagined that today that because of you all the clan would be exterminated!”
Therefore they dismissed Shuǎng and his brothers, to as Marquis return to their mansions. (3)
- (3) Wèimòzhuàn states: Shuǎng and his brothers returned home, and orders to Luòyáng county sent people of eight hundred, sending Commandant division to surround Shuǎng’s mansion’s four corners, at each corner build a high tower, ordering people atop to watch Shuǎng’s and his brothers’ movements. Shuǎng’s plans were destitute and he was gloomy, grasped crossbow and went into the Rear Garden, and atop the towers people then called out: “The Former General-in-Chief goes southeast!” Shuǎng returned to his office hall, with his brothers together discussed, not yet knowing what [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng‘s intentions really were, and composed a letter to [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng: “I the lowly Shuǎng am in grief and fright, by insolence provoked calamity, and should receive extermination. Previously I sent household people to seek provisions, and to now they have not returned, for several days we have been lacking, and dare trouble you for rations, to continue through the days and nights.” [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng obtained the letter and was greatly alarmed, and promptly replied in letter: “Previously I did not know you lacked provisions, and deeply harbor apprehension. I have ordered to send rice of 100 hú [~2 kL], together with dried meat, salt fermented beans, and large soybeans.” It was quickly sent. Shuǎng and his brothers did not understand the changing situation, and were immediately pleased, saying they would not die.
Previously, Zhāng Dāng privately selected Talent concubines Zhāng and Hé and others for Shuǎng. They suspected his treachery, and arrested [Zhāng] Dāng to punish his crime. [Zhāng] Dāng explained that Shuǎng with [Hé] Yàn and the rest secretly plotted rebellion, and previously trained troops, waiting within three moons wishing to set out, and therefore they arrested [Hé] Yàn and the rest sent down to prison.
At the meeting of the Excellencies and Ministers and Court ministers for court discussion, they believed: “By the Chūnqiū‘s principles: ‘The ruler’s kin are not to be Generals, if Generals then they must be executed.’ Shuǎng is of a cadet branch, for generations was immersed in unique favor, personally received the Former Emperor’s hand posthumous Imperial Order, entrusted with the realm Under Heaven, but harbored disastrous heart, belittling and abandoning the Mandate, and then with [Hé] Yàn and [Dèng] Yáng and [Zhāng] Dāng and the rest plotted against the Divine Vessels, [Huán] Fàn was in their faction and also a criminal, and all were in Great Rebellion Without Principle.” Therefore they arrested Shuǎng, [Cáo] Xī, [Cáo] Xùn, [Hé] Yàn, [Dèng] Yáng, [Dīng] Mì, [Bì] Guī, [Lǐ] Shèng, [Huán] Fàn, [Zhāng] Dāng and others, all executed, clans exterminated to the third degree. (1)
- (1) Wèilüè states:
- Dèng Yáng appellation Xuánmào was Dèng Yǔ’s descendant. When young he obtained scholarly reputation in the capital. In Míng-dì‘s time he was Secretariat Documents Cadet, sent out as Magistrate of Luòyáng, in connection to a matter was dismissed, appointed Central Cadet, and also entered as simultaneously Internal Documents Cadet. Previously, [Dèng] Yáng with Lǐ Shèng and others were pretentious friends, and were in the Internal Documents, were pretentious in matters, and were dismissed and sent out, and therefore not again employed. At Zhèngshǐ’s [240-248] beginning, he was then sent out as Administrator of Yǐngchuān, transferred to General-in-Chief’s Chief Clerk, promoted to Attendant Internal Secretariat Documenter. [Dèng] Yáng as a man liked money, and when previously was in inner office, permitted Zāng Ài to receive prominent office, and [Zāng] Ài gave his father’s concubine to [Dèng] Yáng, and therefore the capital of this said: “For office trade women to Dèng [Yáng] Xuánmào.” Every time he recommended someone who was approved, many were comparable to this. Therefore Hé Yàn in selections being unable to obtain people, was due to [Dèng] Yáng being unfair and disloyal, and therefore they were the same in punishment, all because their making of friends was improper.
- Dīng Mì appellation Yànjìng. His father was [Dīng] Fěi appellation Wénhóu. Previously, [Dīng] Fěi followed Tàizǔ, and Tàizǔ because [Dīng] Fěi was of his hometown, was specially tolerant of and favored him. [Dīng] Fěi by nature liked wealth, repeatedly made requests that violated law, but always obtained forgiveness. He became Managing the Army Colonel, governing all inside and outside, at every proposal, mostly he was followed. At Jiàn’ān’s [196-220] end, he followed Tàizǔ in campaigning against Wú. [Dīng] Fěi accompanied in travel, and because his family’s oxen were lean and destitute, therefore privately exchanged them for government oxen, was by someone reported, and was arrested and sent to prison, his office seized. Later Tàizǔ asked [Dīng] Fěi: “Wénhóu, where is your seal and ribbon [of office]?” [Dīng] Fěi also knew he was being teased, and answered: “I exchanged it for pastry and that is all.” Tàizǔ laughed, and turned to speak to those around him: “East Department Official Máo [Jiè] repeatedly reported this family, wishing to have me heavily punish. It is not that I do not know this man is not pure, indeed that is so. I have [Dīng] Fěi, like others have a thieving dog yet good at catching rats. Though the thieving is a small loss, yet it protects my pocket’s stores.” Therefore he restored [Dīng] Fěi’s office, employing him as before. Later after several years, he was ill and died. [Dīng] Mì when young did not make friends, only extensively reading books and classics. As a man he was profound and resolute, and had ability and planning. During Tàihé [227-232], he once resided at Yè, borrowing someone’s empty house, living inside. But a [Cáo family] King also wished to borrow it, did not [Dīng] Mì had already obtained it, and directly opened the door and entered. [Dīng] Mì saw the King, kept legs crossed on the couch and did not rise, and called to his servants: “Who is this? Hurry and send him out.” The King was angry at his lack of respect, and returned to send up word. Míng-dì arrested [Dīng] Mì, bound him in Yè’s prison, but because he was a meritorious minister’s son, pardoned and let him out. Later the Emperor heard he had his father’s manner, and summoned and appointed him Degree Branch Cadet Internal. Cáo Shuǎng was generally close with him, at the time when Shuǎng was Martial Guard General, he repeatedly to the Emperor praised him as able to be greatly employed. It happened that the Emperor passed, Shuǎng assisted the government, and therefore selected [Dīng] Mì as Cavalier Regular Attendant, then transferred to the Secretariat Documents. [Dīng] Mì as a man outside appeared negligent, but inside had many worries. At the Terrace Cabinet, he repeatedly made impeachments, and those in the Terrace feared him, and matters could not be enacted. Also he thought little of nobility, many were by him ignored, and though he with Hé Yàn and Dèng Yáng and others were of the same rank, yet he belittled all of them, and only deferred to Shuǎng. Shuǎng also respected him, and of his advice none he did not follow. Therefore at the time there was slanderous letter that said: “In the terrace are three dogs, two dogs with viciousness that cannot be hidden, one dog relying on silence [Mò] becoming a poison pocket.” [Note: This rhymes.] The three dogs spoke of Hé [Yàn], Dèng [Yáng], Dīng [Mì]. Mò was Shuǎng’s childhood appellation. The meaning was to say the three dogs all wish to bite people, but [Dīng] Mì was the worst. The memorials sending Dowager-Empress Guō out to reside in separate palace, and sending the King of Lè’ān [Cáo Yǔ] north to Yè, and also sending Wén Qīn back to Huáinán, all were [Dīng] Mì’s plans. Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng because of this specially and deeply resented him.
- Bì Guǐ appellation Zhāoxiān. His father appellation Zǐlǐ, during Jiàn’ān was Managing Agriculture Colonel. [Bì] Guǐ because of his talent and ability, when young had reputation. When Míng-dì was at the East Palace, Guǐ was a Literary Scholar. At Huángchū’s [220-226] end, he was sent out as Chief Clerk. When Míng-dì succeeded the throne, he entered as Yellow Gate Cadet, his son was bestowed a princess, and his residence was wealthy. He was promoted to Inspector of Bìng Province. At Bìng Province, he was called Arrogant Hero. At the time many northern barbarians repeatedly caused trouble, harming the officials and people, and [Bì] Guǐ at once sent out army to strike Xiānbēi Kēbǐnéng, and was defeated. Central Protector of the Army Jiǎng Jì memorialized: “Bì Guǐ’s former loss, is already done and cannot be undone, but one fears afterward it could happen again. People’s aptitudes have their strengths and weaknesses, which cannot be forcefully changed. [Bì] Guǐ has civil elegance and ambition, and this is his good attribute. Now he has lost in Bìng Province, can be moved to another province, and if he enter [the capital] to occupy prominent position, it will not damage his virtue, and for the state would truly be good. This is the critical for safety or danger, and may your Sagely Grace investigate this.” Reaching Zhēngshǐ, he entered as Central Protector of the Army, transferred to Attendant Internal Secretariat Documenter, promoted to Colonel Director of Retainers. By nature he was with Cáo Shuǎng friendly, and each time he advised Shuǎng, he was mostly followed.
- Lǐ Shèng appellation Gōngzhāo. His father [Lǐ] Xiū appellation Zǐlǎng, had wisdom and planning. Zhāng Lǔ previously was General Defending North, [Lǐ] Xiū was his Major, his family at Nánzhèng. At the time Hànzhōng had sweet dew fall, [Lǐ Xiū] Zǐlǎng observed Zhāng Lǔ had elite troops of several tens of thousand men, had four sides of solid defenses, and therefore declared that the Red Aura [of Hàn] had for a long time declined, the Yellow House would soon rise, and wished to have [Zhāng] Lǔ claim title, but [Zhāng] Lǔ would not listen. It happened that [Zhāng] Lǔ was defeated, and Tàizǔ because he had advised [Zhāng] Lǔ to inward submit, bestowed rank as Marquis Within the Passes, installed Scattered Office Cavalier Follower, moved him to Yè. Reaching Huángchū [220-226], he served successively in Shàngdǎng and Jùlù two prefectures as Administrator, later because of age returned, appointed Consultant Cadet. [Lǐ] Shèng when young traveled about the capital, elegant with ability and wisdom, and with Cáo Shuǎng was friendly. Míng-dì banned the pretentious, and someone reported [Lǐ] Shèng’s party had the Four Clevers [Xiàhóu Xuán etc.] and Eight Eminents [Zhūgě Dàn etc.], each with reputation. Using this he was arrested, but because those joined with him were many, therefore he obtained pardon, prohibited [from office] for several years. The Emperor passed, Cáo Shuǎng assisted the government, and [Lǐ] Shèng became Magistrate of Luòyáng. Xiàhóu Xuán became General Campainging West, and appointed [Lǐ] Shèng his Chief Clerk. [Xiàhóu] Xuán also with [Lǐ] Shèng was generous. The Luò valley campaign, was suggested by [Lǐ] Shèng in setting out, and because of this Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng was displeased with [Lǐ] Shèng. He successively was promoted to Adminsitrator of Xíngyáng, Intendant of Hénán. [Lǐ] Shèng from beginning to end as an Adminsitrator, not once was not equal to the task. He was Intendant for over a year, the Office Hall’s front room broke, and he ordered someone to again repair it, a small wodden bean suddenly fell, exactly hitting the office stone tiger statue’s head, breaking it. After ten days, he was promoted to Inspector of Jīng province, but had not reached this office and was destroyed.
- Huán Fàn appellation Yuánzé, was of a for generations powerful clan. At Jiàn’ān’s end, he entered the Chancellor’s Office. During Yánkāng , he became Feather Forest Left Supervisor. As he had literary scholarship, he with Wáng Xiàng and others managed the compilation of the Huánglǎn. In Míng-dì‘s time he was Central Manager of the Army Secretariat Documenter, promoted to General Campaigning Caitiffs and East Internal Cadet General, Envoy Wielding Staff as Commander over Qīng’s and Xú’s various Military affairs, with headquarters at Xiàpī. He with the Inspector of Xú Province Zhèng Qí fought over residence, and drew Staff wishing to behead [Zhèng] Qí, was by [Zhèng] Qí memorialized, was considered improper, and due to the matter he was dismissed and returned. He again became Inspector of Yǎn Province, was discontent and could not obtain his intentions. He also heard he would be transferred to Governor of Jì Province. At the time Jì Province was subordinate to the Defending North, and the Defending North General Lǚ Zhāo for talent and honesty was appointed and advanced, and originally had been after [Huán] Fàn. [Huán] Fàn said to his wife Zhòngcháng: “I could be of the [Nine] Ministers, and to the Three Excellencies kneel and that is all. I cannot to Lǚ Zǐzhǎn bow.” His wife said: “You previously were in the east, and because you wished to without authority behead the Inspector of Xú Province, everyone said it was difficult to be your subordinate. Now you are shamed to bow to Lǚ, this is also being difficult to be your superior.” [Huán] Fàn was angry her words were touching and true, and therefore with a saber pommel struck her abdomen. His wife at the time was pregnant, and therefore miscarried and died. [Huán] Fàn also indeed claimed illness, and would not go to Jì Province. During Zhèngshǐ he was appointed Minister of Agriculture. [Huán] Fàn previously was at the Terrace Cabinet, and was praised for making matters known, and as Minister of Agriculture, he also for purity and frugality was praised. [Huán] Fàn once copied out from the Hànshū various miscellaneous things, following his own deliberations, naming it Shìyào Lùn. Jiǎng Jì was Excellency Commandant, and once with [Huán] Fàn met below the Altars, the various Ministers lined and seated were several men, [Huán] Fàn in his bosom had his compilation, wished to show it to [Jiǎng] Jì, saying that [Jiǎng] Jì with open mind would read it. [Huán] Fàn took out his book to show to those around, and those around passed it to show [Jiǎng] Jì, but [Jiǎng] Jì would not read it, and [Huán] Fàn in his heart resented this. Therefore while discussing other matters, he became angry and said to [Jiǎng] Jì: “My ancestors were of meager virtue, how could they be like Your Excellency’s sort?” Although [Jiǎng] Jì by nature was firm and resolute, he also knew that [Huán] Fàn was stubborn and resolute, looked askance and did not answer, and each departed. When [Huán] Fàn was in Pèi prefecture, his official rank was next after Cáo Zhēn. At the time when Cáo Shuǎng assisted the government, because [Huán] Fàn was a long resident of the same hometown, from among the Nine Ministers specially respected him, but they were not very close. When [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng raised troops, closing the city gates, because [Huán] Fàn understood affairs, therefore summoned him, wishing to appoint him Central Manager of the Army [to replace Cáo Xī]. [Huán] Fàn wished to answer the summons, but his sons remonstrated him, that because the Imperial Chariot was outside, it was not as good as going out south [to join the Emperor]. [Huán] Fàn hesitated a while, and his sons again hurried him. [Huán] Fàn wished to go but the Ministry of Agriculture Assistant and officials all stopped [Huán] Fàn. [Huán] Fàn would not agree, and therefore hurried out to Píngchāng city gate, but the city gate was already closed. The Gate Captain Sī Fán was formerly [Huán] Fàn’s nominated official, [Huán] Fàn called to him, raising in his hand block to show him, and pretending said: “There is Imperial Order summoning me, you quickly open the gate!” [Sī] Fán wished and asked to see the Imperial Order’s writing, but [Huán] Fàn shouted at him, saying: “Are you not my former official? How dare you?” Therefore he opened it. [Huán] Fàn went out of the city, and turned back and said to [Sī] Fán: “The Grand Tutor plots rebellion, you should follow me and go!” [Sī] Fán on foot went but could not catch up, and so hid to the side. [Huán] Fàn to the south met Shuǎng, and urged Shuǎng and his brothers to take Heaven’s Son to Xǔchāng, and summon help across the Four Quarters to support themselves. Shuǎng hesitated, and [Cáo] Xī also had nothing to say. [Huán] Fàn himself said to [Cáo] Xī: “The situation is already clear, what use was your study of books for? Was it to today for your household to collapse!” All did not speak. [Huán] Fàn again said to [Cáo] Xī: “Your Separate Regiment is near the watchtower’s south, Luòyáng’s Managing Agriculture headquarters is outside the city, summon them to your cause. Now going to Xǔchāng, will not take more than one night [i.e. two days journey], and Xǔchāng’s separate [military] storehouses, are sufficient to prepare resistance. The only concern is grain and provisions, but the Minister of Agriculture insignia is with me.” [Cáo] Xī and his brothers were silent and did not follow. Into the night until the fifth beat, Shuǎng then threw his saber to the ground, saying to his followers: “I judge the Grand Tutor’s intentions, is also not more than wishing to have us brothers submit to him. I alone am in discord with the far and near and that is all!” Therefore he advanced to say to the Emperor: “Your Majesty should compose Imperial Order dismissing I your servant from office, and answer the Dowager Empress’s Order.” [Huán] Fàn knew Shuǎng had dismissed himself, but he [Huán Fàn] would certainly be implicated for giving his advice. [Huán] Fàn therefore said: “Today I because of you brothers will have my clan exterminated!” Shuǎng and the rest were dismissed, the Emperor returned to the palace, and therefore ordered [Huán] Fàn to accompany. He arrived at Luò river pontoon bridge’s north, saw [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng, and dismounted the carriage and knocked head [on the ground] and said nothing. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng called [Huán] Fàn by surname: “Grandee Huán, what were you doing?” The Imperial Chariot entered the Palace, and Imperial Order had [Huán] Fàn restored to his previous position. [Huán] Fàn went to the watchtower to memorialize apologies, and waited for reply. It happened that Sī Fán visited the Minister Herald to give himself up, and also reported how [Huán] Fàn had previously gotten out. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng therefore furiously said: “Falsely accusing someone of rebellion, by the law what is the response?” The manager said: “By the law, the same punishment as for rebellion.” Therefore they arrested [Huán] Fàn below the watchtower. At the time the people seizing [Huán] Fàn were very hurried, and [Huán] Fàn said to the officials: “Slow down, I also am a righteous man and that is all.” Therefore he was sent to the Minister of Justice.
- Shìyǔ states: Previously, Shuǎng dreamed of two tigers biting the Thunder Lord [deity], the Thunder Lord like a two shēng bowl, placed in the courtyard. Shuǎng hated this, and asked of this to a diviner, and Spirit Terrace Assistant Mǎ Xún said: “Fear troops.” [Mǎ] Xún withdrew, and told his wife: “Shuǎng will by troops be destroyed, in not more than ten days.”
- Hàn Jìn Chūnqiū states: Āndìng’s Huángfǔ Mì in [Zhèngshǐ] Ninth Year  Winter dreamed he reached Luòyáng, from the Temple went out, seeing chariots and cavalry of very many, with people presenting things to the Temple and saying: “Execute General-in-chief Cáo Shuǎng.” He awoke and reported this to his townspeople, and the townspeople said: “You wish to be like the Cáo [state] man who dreamed [of the future destruction of Cáo state]. But the Court has no Gōngsūn Qiáng so what of it? Moreover Shuǎng and his brothers command powerful troops, and also have power over Secretariat Document affairs, so who dares plot against them?” [Huángfǔ] Mì said: “Shuǎng does not have Shūzhènduó’s invitation [of Gōngsūn Qiáng], if he loses Heaven’s critical ways then he is lost, why depend on a [Gōngsūn] Qiáng? In the past, Hàn’s Yán Xiǎn, relied on [his younger sister] the Dowager Empress’s honor, to have power and authority over the state, and could be said to have reached utmost severity, but nineteen eunuchs in one morning made him a corpse, so all the more for Shuǎng and his brothers.”
- Shìyǔ states: Previously, Shuǎng went out, his Major Lǔ Zhī remained at the office, heard there was a situation, and commanded his camp cavalry to chop through the gate to go out and join Shuǎng. Shuǎng was executed, and he was selected to Censorate Internal Assistant. When Shuǎng gave up his seal and ribbon, and was about to go out, Registrar Yáng Zōng stooped him and said: “Your Excellency holds the Ruler and grasps power, why give it up like this and go to the East Market [for punishment]?” Shuǎng did not listen. Manages memorialized [Yáng] Zōng urged Shuǎng to rebellion, but [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng said: “Each has their master,” spared him, and appointed him Secretariat Documents Cadet. [Lǔ] Zhī appellation Shìyīng was a Fúfēng man. Later his position advanced to Specially Advanced Merit Grandee. [Yáng] Zōng appellation Chūbó, later became General Calming East Sīmǎ [Zhāo] Wén-wáng’s Chief Clerk.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Xiàhóu Zhàn’s inscription for [Lǔ] Zhī and Gān Bǎo’s Jìnjì both say when Shuǎng was executed, [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng then selected [Lǔ] Zhī as Inspector of Bìng Province, and [Yáng] Zōng was a Advisor to the Army Securing East. They with the Shìyǔ are not the same.
During Jiàpíng, to continue a meritorious minister’s succession, fief was given on [Cáo] Zhēn’s cousin’s grandson [Cáo] Xī as Xīnchāng precinct marquis, fief of 300 households, to serve as [Cáo] Zhēn’s descendants. (2)
- (2) Gān Bǎo’s Jìnjì states: Jiǎng Jì believed Cáo Zhēn had achievement and ability, and it was not appropriate to cut off sacrifices, and therefore had [Cáo] Xī [note: Cáo Zhēn’s cousin’s grandson 熙, not his son 羲] be his descendant. [Jiǎng] Jì also resented that his words had broken promise to Shuǎng, and fell ill and died.
[Hé] Yàn was Hé Jìn’s grandson. His mother lady Yǐn became Tàizǔ‘s consort. [Hé] Yàn grew up in the palaces, was also bestowed with a princess, and when young for his exceptional talent was well known. He liked Lǎo’s and Zhuǎng’s teachings, and composed Dàodé Lùn and various literature and rhapsodies and writings altogether ten piān. (1)
- [Hé] Yàn appellation Píngshū
- Wèilüè states: At the time Tàizǔ was Excellency of Works, he accepted as concubine [Hé] Yàn’s mother and also adopted [Hé] Yàn. At this time Qín Yílù’s son Ā’sū also accompanied his mother to the Excellency’s house, and both met with favor like the Excellency’s sons. Sū was [Qín] Lǎng. Sū by nature was cautious and prudent, but [Hé] Yàn had nothing he feared, his clothes and adornments imitated the Heir-Apparent’s, and therefore Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] specially detested him, always not calling his surname and appellation, always calling him ‘False son.’ [Hé] Yàn was bestowed with princess, and also was lecherous, and therefore during Huángchū’s [220-226] time he had no appointment. When Míng-dì was enthroned, he was sidelined in superfluous offices. Reaching Zhèngshǐ’s beginning, he attached to Cáo Shuǎng, and also because he had talent and ability, therefore Shuǎng employed him as Cavalier Attendant Cadet, promoted to Attendant Internal Secretariat Documenter. [Hé] Yàn previousy was bestowed with princess, obtained noble rank as a Ranked Marquis, and also his mother was in the Inner court, and so [Hé] Yàn by nature cared for his own pleasure, in all activities white cosmetic powder did not leave his hands, when walking he looked back at his shadow. [Hé] Yàn became Secretariat Documenter, managed selections and promotions, and of those he was close to for a long time, many were selected for promotion.
- Wèimòzhuàn states: [Hé] Yàn’s wife the princess of Jīnxiāng, was [Hé] Yàn’s younger sister of the same mother. The princess was virtuous, and said to her mother the King of Pèi’s Dowager: “[Hé] Yàn’s wrongs daily increase, how can he protect himself?” Her mother laughed and said: “Isn’t it that you envy [Hé] Yàn?” Very soon [Hé] Yàn died. They had one son, five to six years, and [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng sent someone to seize him. [Hé] Yàn’s mother hid the son in the King’s Palace, to the envoy beat her own cheeks, begging to spare his life. The envoy reported everything to [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng also heard [Hé] Yàn’s wife had made prescient words, and his heart was secretly impressed with them; moreover for the King of Pèi, he specially spared and did not kill.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Previously, Xiàhóu Xuán, Hé Yàn and others had reputation flourishing at the time, and Sīmǎ [Shī] Jǐng-wáng also was among them. [Hé] Yàn once said: “Thinking with depth, and therefore able to reach the realm Under Heaven’s will, Xiàhóu [Xuán] Tàichū is that. Thinking with precision, and therefore able to accomplish the realm Under Heaven’s affairs, Sīmǎ [Shī] Zǐyuán is that. Thinking with spirituality, to not be swift but be fast, to not go but arrive, I have heard of such, but have not yet seen such a man.” Overall he wished to use spirits to compare to himself. Previously, [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng had [Hé] Yàn participate in judging the case against Shuǎng and the rest. [Hé] Yàn harshly judged the group, hoping to obtain pardon. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng said: “Altogther there are eight clans.” [Hé] Yàn listed Dīng and Dèng and the rest of seven surnames. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng said: “You are not finished.” [Hé] Yàn was thoroughly anxious, and therefore said: “Are you speaking of me?” [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng: “Yes.” Therefore they arrested [Hé] Yàn.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Wèimòzhuàn says that [Hé] Yàn took his own younger sister of the same mother as wife, this is something gentlemen could not bear to speak of. Even the King of Chǔ taking his sister-in-law as wife, was very inappropriate already. Supposing such words came from old histories, yet none should automatically believe, so all the more for such inferior history books [as Wèimòzhuàn]. According to the biographies of the Kings and Dukes [SGZ 20], the King of Pèi was by lady Dù. [Hé] Yàn’s mother was surnamed Yǐn. If the princess was with the King of Pèi of the same womb, how could it be said she and [Hé] Yàn had the same mother?
- Huángfǔ Mì’s Liènǜzhuàn states: Shuǎng’s younger cousin [Cáo] Wénshū, took as wife Pèi prefecture‘s Xiàhóu Wénníng’s daughter, named Lìngnǚ. [Cáo] Wénshū died young, and after the mourning, because she was young and had no sons, was afraid her family would certainly marry her off, and therefore cut her hair as pledge. After this, her family indeed wished to marry her off, Lìngnǚ heard, and at once again with knife cut her two ears, and in her regular life she depended on Shuǎng. When Shuǎng was executed, the Cáo clan was completely dead. Lìngnǚ’s father’s younger brother sent up letter that the marriage connection to Cáo clan was cut, and forced Lìngnǚ to return. At the time [Xiàhóu] Wénníng was Chancellor of Liáng, pited that she was young but maintained integrity, and also because the Cáo clan had none remaining, hoped her intentions would stop, and therefore secretly sent someone to persuade her. Lìngnǚ sighed and wept and said: “I also agree with it, and will permit it.” Her family believed this, and let their guard of her decrease a little. Lìngnǚ therefore secretly entered the room, with a knife cut off her nose, covered with blanket and lied down. Her mother called her to speak, she did not answer, removed the blanket and looked at her, the blood had flowed and filled the bed. The family was alarmed, and hurried to go look at her, and none did not grieve. Someone said to her: “A person’s life in the world, is like light dust on weak grass and that is all, why be in such hardship? Moreover your husband’s family is exterminated completely, maintaining this is for whose sake?” Lìngnǚ said: “One hears the benevolent do not by flourishing or decline change integrity, the righteous do not by survival or destruction change heart. At the time when the Cáo clan previously flourished, yet I wished to protect to the end, so all the more now at their decline and fall, how can I bear to abandon them! That is the conduct of beasts. Could I be that?” Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng heard and praised this, and listened to and permitted her plea for a son to adopt, to be the Cáo clan’s descendant, with reputation know through the world.