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 , 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.
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 Lǐ, 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  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.
- (2) For Wáng Xiàng’s matter separately see Yáng Jùn’s biography.
- (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.
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