(21.2) Wèi Jì 衛覬 [Bórú 伯儒]

Wèi Jì appellation Bórú was a Hédōng Ānyì man. When young he was early to mature, and for his talent and learning was praised. Tàizǔ recruited him to the Excellency of Work staff, sent him out as Màolíng Magistrate and Secretariat Cadet. Tàizǔ campaigned against Yuán Shào, and Liú Biǎo acted as [Yuán] Shào’s support, and Guānzhōng’s various Generals also stood neutral. Yì Province Governor Liú Zhāng with [Liú] Biǎo had rift, and Jì as Managing Documents Attendant Censor was sent to Yì Province, to order [Liú] Zhāng to send down troops to tie down [Liú] Biǎo’s army. He reached Cháng’ān, the roads were not passable, Jì could not advance, and therefore remained to defend Guānzhōng.


At the time across the Four Quarters there was great return of people, and Guānzhōng’s various Generals often recruited them as retainers. Jì’s letter to Xún Yù said: “Guānzhōng is rich fertile land, recently encountered disaster and chaos, the people that fled into Jīng Province are over a hundred thousand families, have heard their homeland has calmed, and all hope and think of returning. But those that return have nothing to support themselves, the various Generals each compete to recruit and absorb them, making them retainers. The prefectures and counties are poor and weak, and cannot with them fight, and the soldier groups are therefore powerful. If in one morning there is a change, there will certainly be a later worry. Salt is the state’s great treasure, but since the chaos it is scattered and lost, and it is appropriate to like before install envoy to supervise its trade, and with the resulting profit trade plowing oxen. If there are returning people, this can provide for them. Industriously plowing and accumulating grain, to prosper and develop Guānzhōng. Distant people will hear of it, and certainly day and night contend to return. Also if sending a Colonel Director of Retainers to remain and govern Guānzhōng as its master, then the various Generals will be daily weakened, the officials and people daily strengthened, and this is the benefit of using strong foundations against weak enemies.”


[Xún] Yù reported this to Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ followed it, first sending a Visitors Deputy-Director to supervise the salt office, and a Colonel Director of Retainers to govern Hóngnóng. Guānzhōng submitted, and therefore Jì was summoned back, eventually promoted to the Secretariat. (1) When Wèi state was established [213], he was appointed Attendant Internal, and with Wáng Càn together developed the ritual systems. When Wén-dì succeeded the throne [as King, 220], he was moved to the [Wèi] Secretariat. Shortly afterward he returned to the Hàn Court as Attendant Cadet, urged and supported the matter of the abdication of dynasty, and wrote the announcement Imperial Order. When Wén-dì ascended, he was again Secretariat, with fief as Marquis of Yángjí precinct.


  • (1) Wèishū states: Previously, the Hàn Court was moved, and the Terrace Pavilion former affairs were scattered and disordered. From when the capital was at Xǔ afterward, gradually there was restored order, and Jì with ancient principles often corrected and settled things. At the time West of the Passes’s various Generals, though outside seemed to have submitted, but inside could not yet be trusted. Colonel Director of Retainers Zhōng Yáo requested to with 3000 troops enter the Passes, outside claiming to suppress Zhāng Lǔ, inside to threaten and obtain hostage appointments. Tàizǔ sent Xún Yù to ask Jì, and Jì believed:”The west’s various Generals, all are independent actors randomly rising, without intentions to dominate the realm Under Heaven, seeking only security and merry in front of their eyes and nothing more. Now if the state generously gives noble rank and title, they will obtain their ambitions, there will not be great incident, and no worry of rebellion. It is appropriate to plan [against them] later. If troops enter Guānzhōng, to suppress Zhāng Lǔ, [Zhāng] Lǔ is deep in the mountains, the roads are not passable, so they will certainly suspect this, in one move be alarmed and disturbed, the land is rugged and armies strong, one fears it will be worrisome!” [Xún] Yù presented Jì’s proposal to Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ at first agreed with it, but he also let [Zhōng] Yáo manage himself in his appointment, and then followed [Zhōng] Yáo’s proposal. Troops first advanced and the Passes’s Right greatly rebelled, Tàizǔ himself personally campaigned, and only then pacified them, and the dead were calculated in the tens of thousands. Tàizǔ regretted he did not follow Jì’s proposal, and because of this increased his respect of Jì.

〔一〕 魏書曰:初,漢朝遷移,臺閣舊事散亂。自都許之後,漸有綱紀,覬以古義多所正定。是時關西諸將,外雖懷附,內未可信。司隸校尉鍾繇求以三千兵入關,外託討張魯,內以脅取質任。太祖使荀彧問覬,覬以為「西方諸將,皆豎夫屈起,無雄天下意,苟安樂目前而已。今國家厚加爵號,得其所志,非有大故,不憂為變也。宜為後圖。若以兵入關中,當討張魯,魯在深山,道徑不通,彼必疑之;一相驚動,地險眾彊,殆難為慮!」彧以覬議呈太祖。太祖初善之,而以繇自典其任,遂從繇議。兵始進而關右大叛,太祖自親征,僅乃平之,死者萬計。太祖悔不從覬議,由是益重覬。

Míng-dì [Cáo Ruì] succeeded the throne, and advanced his fief to Marquis of Wén village, with 300 households. Jì’s memorial said: “The Nine Articles Law, since ancient times was passed down, to decide and settle punishment and crime, and their meanings are subtle and profound. The hundred lǐ’s Chief Clerks, all should know the law. Criminal law is the what the state honors heavily, but private commentary on it is frivolous and lowly; prison officials are whom the common people’s lives depend on, but those selected are base and lowly. The Ruler’s Government’s detriments, are not certainly not because of this. I ask to establish law Academic Scholars, to go about and educate.” The matter was therefore put into effect.


At the time the common people were destitute and lacking but conscripted labor affairs were abundant, and Jì sent up memorial: “Change in situation [but keeping] strict nature, is strongly what cannot be done, a servant of men speaking it is not easing, a ruler of men receiving it is also difficult. Moreover what men delight in is wealth and nobility and fame and glory, what they despise is poverty and lowliness and death and exile. However these four things are by the ruler above regulated. When the ruler favors them then they have wealth and nobility and fame and glory, when the ruler hates them then they have poverty and lowliness and death and exile; obedience to his direction is what favor originates from, opposition to his intention is what hate follows from. Therefore the servants of men all compete to obey direction and avoid opposition to intention, and this is not sacrificing family for the state, sacrificing oneself for the ruler, who dares violate [the ruler’s] countenance, touch on the taboo, establish a word, and begin a speech? If Your Majesty mindfully examines this, then your subordinate’s situation can be observed. Now commentators often like to be pleasing to the ear, in talking of governance then they compare Your Majesty to Yáo and Shùn, in talking of military campaigns then they compare the two rebels [Wú and Shǔ] to fox and mouse. I your servant believe this is not correct. In the past in Hàn [Emperor] Wén’s time, the vassal lords were strong and great, and Jiǎ Yì repeatedly warned this would lead to danger. All the more now Within the Four Seas is divided into three, the crowds of soldiers display blades, each serving their master. Those that come to surrender, cannot yet be said to give up wrong to return to the good, all say they were forced by destitution and danger, and this with the division of the Six States, have nothing in difference. Now for a thousand lǐ there is no smoke [of habituation], the remaining people are destitute and miserable, if Your Majesty is not carefully mindful, then the withered and weak cannot again be roused. By the , Heaven’s Son’s tools must have gold and jade ornaments, food and drink’s dishes must have the flavors of Eight Delicacies, but reaching famine, then give up meals and surrender dress. Therefore the integrity of extravagance and frugality, must be by observing the times judged. In Wǔ Huáng-dì [Cáo Cāo]’s time, the Rear Palace’s food did not exceed one meat, clothes did not use embroidery, mattresses and mats did not use decorations, and utensils had no red lacquer, but he was able to pacify and settle the realm Under Heaven, and leave behind fortune for his posterity. This is all what Your Majesty personally witnessed. In present affairs, it is appropriate for ruler and servant high and low, to all use resource planning, calculate and inspect the government treasury, and judge income to decide expenditure. Deeply considering Gōujiàn’s methods to nourish the people, only fearing one cannot compare, but the things the Craftsmen make of gold and silver, gradually become ever greater, conscripted labor is without rest, wasteful extravagant daily grows, the treasury daily is consumed. In the past Hàn [Emperor] Wǔ trusted in and sought the Way of spiritual mystics, saying he would obtain the dew beyond the clouds to eat jade bits, and therefore established mystics to manage building high to collect dew. Your Majesty is thorough and wise, and every time hearing cannot but laugh at that. Hàn [Emperor] Wǔ had his seeking of dew, and from this was seen to be wrong, but Your Majesty without seeking dew yet establish works; this does not increase the good but squanders labor, and truly Your Holiness should consider it appropriate to decrease use.” Jì successively for Hàn and Wèi at the time presented loyal advice, all like this.


He received Imperial Order to manage compositions, and also made Wèiguānyí, altogether composing several tens of piān. He liked the ancient writing, bird script, clerical and cursive, nothing he was not good with. At Jiàn’ān’s [196-220] end, Secretariat Right Assistant Hénán’s Pān Xù, and (1) in Huángchū’s time, Cavalier Regular Attendant Hénèi’s Wáng Xiàng, also with Jì together for their writing were prominent. (2) Jì died, posthumous name Jìng-hóu “Venerable Marquis.” His son [Wèi] Guàn succeeded. [Wèi] Guàn during Xiánxī [264-265] became General Defending West. (3)


  • (1) Wénzhāngzhì states: [Pān] Xù appellation Yuánmào, originally named Zhī, changed name to Xù later to avoid taboo name. Some said [Pān] Xù in Xiàn-dì‘s time was Secretariat Cadet, promoted to Right Assistant. Imperial Order because [Pān] Xù had previously been a 2000 dan official, had ability and cleverness both thorough, understood and studied ancient matters, ordered him to also manage his original position, and repeatedly added special bestowments. Twentieth year [215] he was promoted to Dōnghǎi Chancellor. Before he set out, he was kept and appointed Secretariat Left Assistant. That year he fell ill and died, at the time over fifty years. The written order of the Duke of Wèi’s Nine Bestowments, was by [Pān] Xù written. [Pān] Xù’s son [Pān] Mǎn was Píngyuán Administrator, and also for his learning and conduct was praised.
  • [Pān] Mǎn’s son [Pān] Ní appellation Zhèngshū. [Pān] Ní Biézhuàn states: [Pān] Ní when young had purity and talent, and his writing and words were elegant and refined. Previously he answered the Province’s recruitment, later because his father was old he returned to care for him. He resided at home for over ten years, his father died, and he was late to go out and take office. [Pān] Ní once presented Lù Jī with a poem, [Lù] Jī answered it, his four character [poem] said: “Ah mister Pān, generations sincere his elegance, admiring rites of former culture, greatly honoring ancestors.” His rank ended as Minister of Ceremonies.
  • [Pān] Ní’s cousin’s father [Pān] Yuè appellation Ānrén. [Pān] Yuè Biézhuàn states: [Pān] Yuè had beautiful appearance, and early for his talents and cleverness had reputation. His writings were elegant and outstanding. He became Yellow Gate Attendant Cadet, and was by Sūn Xiù killed. [Pān] Ní’s and [Pān] Yuè’s writing and calligraphy, both met with heavy value at the time.
  • [Pān] Ní’s cousin son [Pān] Tāo appellation Tāngzhòng. Jìn zhūgōng zàn: [Pān] Tāo for his wide learning and talent and ability was famed. At Yǒngjiā’s end, he became Hénán Intendant, and came to hard.

〔一〕 文章志曰:勖字元茂,初名芝,改名勖,後避諱。或曰勖獻帝時為尚書郎,遷右丞。詔以勖前在二千石曹,才敏兼通,明習舊事,敕并領本職,數加特賜。二十年,遷東海相。未發,留拜尚書左丞。其年病卒,時年五十餘。魏公九錫策命,勖所作也。勖子滿,平原太守,亦以學行稱。滿子尼,字正叔。尼別傳曰:尼少有清才,文辭溫雅。初應州辟,後以父老歸供養。居家十餘年,父終,晚乃出仕。尼嘗贈陸機詩,機答之,其四句曰:「猗歟潘生,世篤其藻,仰儀前文,丕隆祖考。」位終太常。尼從父岳,字安仁。岳別傳曰:岳美姿容,夙以才穎發名。其所著述,清綺絕倫。為黃門侍郎,為孫秀所殺。尼、岳文翰,並見重於世。尼從子滔,字湯仲。晉諸公贊:滔以博學才量為名。永嘉末,為河南尹,遇害。

  • (2) For Wáng Xiàng’s matter separately see Yáng Jùn’s biography.

  〔二〕 王象事別見楊俊傳。

  • (3) Jìnyángqiū states: [Wèi] Guàn appellation Bóyù. He was pure and had reputation and reason, when young was by Fù Jiǎ know. He was capped and became Secretariat Cadet, and then successively served inside and outside, becoming Jìn’s Secretariat Director, Excellency of Works, and Grand Protector. At Huī-dì‘s beginning he assisted the government, and was by King of Chǔ [Sīmǎ] Wěi killed.
  • Shìyǔ states: [Wèi] Guàn with Fúfēng Inner Scribe Dùnháung’s Suǒ Jìng both were good with cursive script. [Wèi] Guàn’s son [Wèi] Héng appellation Jùshān was Yellow Gate Attendant Cadet. [Wèi] Héng’s son [Wèi] Jiè appellation Shūbǎo had flourishing reputation and become Heir-Apparent’s Herald, and early died.

  〔三〕 晉陽秋曰:瓘字伯玉。清貞有名理,少為傅嘏所知。弱冠為尚書郎,遂歷位內外,為晉尚書令、司空、太保。惠帝初輔政,為楚王瑋所害。世語曰:瓘與扶風內史燉煌索靖,並善草書。瓘子恆,字巨山,黃門侍郎。恆子玠,字叔寶,有盛名,為太子洗馬,早卒。

1 thought on “(21.2) Wèi Jì 衛覬 [Bórú 伯儒]

  1. Pingback: (21.2) Wèi Jì 衛覬 [Bórú 伯儒] – The Layman's Guide

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