Lǐ Fēng 李豐, Xǔ Yǔn 許允, Wáng Jīng 王經
[Xiàhóu] Xuán appellation Tàichū. When young he was well known, and when capped he became Cavalier Yellow Gate Attendant Cadet. Once he advanced to meet, with the Empress’s younger brother Máo Zēng together sat, Xuán was shamed by this, and his displeasure showed in his expression. Míng-dì [Cáo Ruì] resented this, and demoted him to Feather Forest Supervisor. At Zhèngshǐ’s [240-249] beginning, Cáo Shuǎng assisted the government. Xuán was [Cáo] Shuǎng’s father’s sister’s son. He was gradually promoted to Cavalier Regular Attendant and Central Protector of the Army. (1)
- (1) Shìyǔ states: Xuán at the time had reputation for knowing men, became Central Protector of the Army, selected out and employed military officials, accompanying battle and Ivory Gate standard, and none were not outstanding talents, and many became governors of provinces and managed prefectures. His establishing of law and sending down of instructions, to the present all became later standards.
Grand Tutor Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng asked him about the time’s affairs, and Xuán commented believing:
“The governing of talent and employing of men, is the state’s handle, and therefore the measuring [of ability] is concentrated at the Terrace Pavilion [division of the Secretariat], and is the superior’s division; filial conduct is stored in village lanes, [distinguishing] merits and drawbacks is assigned to village men, and is the subordinate’s narration. Wishing to purify teaching and investigate selection, is in understanding division and narration, and not having them interfere with one another and nothing more.
Why is this? If superiors exceed their divisions, then one fears because of this it is not fundamental, and the fast path to interference in power will open; if subordinates cross their courses, then one fears Heavenly Rank will outside communicate, and the gates of critical power will become many. Heavenly Rank with subordinates communicating, is common men commenting on handles [of power], critical power having many gates, is the origin of tangles and chaos. From since when the province and prefecture Central Rectifiers graded and measured official ability, it has been years, yet there are knots and tangles, and one does not yet hear of orderliness. How is this not divisions and narrations joining wrongly, each losing their importance as the reason? If ordering Central Rectifiers to only investigate conduct and discuss groupings, discussing groupings then should in conduct be equal, and this can be for choosing officials.
Why is this? If filial conduct is made known at the family gates, how can one not be loyal and respectful in office? If benevolence and forgiveness are praised among clan to the ninth degree, how can one not attain governance? If righteousness is decisively enacted in village groups, how can one not endure matters and appointment? In these three sorts, selected by Central Rectifiers, though not occupying their office titles, this appointment to office can be understood.
Conduct has large and small, comparison has high and low, then the circulation of what is appointed, also becomes clear and distinguished. Why must one send Central Rectifiers to interfere with mechanism of measuring [ability] below, and grasp critical handles entrusted and wielded above, subordinates and superiors infringe on each other, so producing confusions and wrongs? Moreover the Terrace Pavilion oversees subordinates, investigating achievement and checking wrongs, associates of the multitude of duties, each have their office chiefs, morning to evening investigating each other, so none are investigated like this; the comments of villages, by their intentions are handled, yet causing craftsmen officials to lose rank, everyone hurries in worry, wishing custom to be pure and tranquil, how can this be obtained?
Heavenly Terrace is high and remote, what the masses are cut off in thought. Those able to reach it, then change what is near, who does not cultivate ornamentation to obtain what they seek? If what is sought has path, then cultivating their own family gates, already is not as good as personally attaining eminence with the village groups. Personally attaining eminence with village groups, already is not as good as personally seeking it in provinces and the country. If opening this road, yet one worries their ornamentation truly will depart from fundamentals, and although again sternly reproaching Central Rectifiers, commanding with punishments, yet it will have no benefit.
How can it compare to having each command their division, office chiefs then each with their associates’ ability or wrong present to the Terrance Pavilion, the Terrace Pavilion then in accordance to the office chief’s ability or wrongs grade, consulting the village virtue and conduct ordering, draft their discussion comparison, to not act with bias. Central Rectifiers then only investigate their conduct and legacy, distinguishing their high and low, examining and settling grouping and class, and do not enable rising or falling. The Terrace Pavilion gathers it, like by their selection, and if some have wrongs, then its responsibility is on the relevant manager. The office chief’s grades, the Central Rectifiers’ groupings imitate, comparing and following sequence and employing them, if there is not praised, responsibility is outside. That being the case inside and outside together participate, gains and losses in place, mutually forming and restraining, who would be able to ornament? This then the people’s hearts are settled and matters and reason obtained, the commoners can be tranquil customs and official ability examined.”
He also believed:
“The ancients in establishing office, was to relieve and raise the various living things, to gather and order people and things, and therefore they were by lords and elders managed and governed them. Managing and governing is primarily wishing to unify and specialize, unifying then office appointment is settled and superior and subordinate are secure, specializing then duty and enterprise are cultivated and matters are not confused. When matters are simple and enterprise cultivated, superior and subordinate are together secure and the not governed are not had. The Former Kings established all states, although their details cannot be obtained and investigated, however division of border and drawing of boundary, each guarded territory, then there are no form of redundant accumulations and restraints.
Below investigating Yīn and Zhōu’s Five Rank narration, there were small and large and noble and lowly distinction, and also no lords or officials or ministers or people yet having two strands mutually restricting. When official strands are not unified, then duties and enterprise is not cultivated; when duties and enterprise are not cultivated, then how can matters obtain simplicity? When matters are not simple, then how can the people obtain tranquility? When the people are not tranquil, then wrong and evil together rise, and treachery and falseness grow and spread. The Former Kings understood this, and therefore specialized their duties and unified their strands of enterprise.
Beginning from the Qín era, they did not teach sagely principles, using selfishness in managing duties, treachery in treating subordinates; fearing foremost officials would not cultivate, they established Supervisor Governors to direct them, and fearing the commanding supervisors would tolerate crookedness, they established Managing Investigators to inspect them; the ministers and governors wore out each other, the supervisors and investigators managed each other, people harbored different hearts, superior and subordinates had different affairs. Hàn carried on these strands, and none were able to rectify and reform. At Wèi House’s rise, days had no time to reach, the Five Rank standards, though difficult to finally restore, can coarsely establish ritual standards to unify government regulation.
The present Chief Clerks, all rule officials and people, spanning heavily by prefecture administrators, wearying by Inspectors. If considering what the prefectures absorb, only in overall comparisons, then with the provinces they are the same, and there is no need for this redundancy. It is appropriate to abolish prefecture Administrators, and only appoint Inspectors; if Inspector duties are preserved then supervising and investigating is not abolished, the prefecture officials in the tens of thousands, can return personally to farming work, and so reduce superfluous expenditure, and increase wealth and grow grain. This is first.
Talents of large counties, all can endure serving as prefecture Administrators, litigation of rights and wrongs, at every creation thoughts are different, obedient following then there is peace, valuing only oneself then there is conflict. The beauty of harmonizing stew, is in combining the different, the benefit for superior and subordinate, is in being able to relieve each other, obediently following then there is peace, this is lute and zither in one sound, sweeping away and removing it, then offices reduce matters and simplify. This is second.
Also officials managing prefectures, have duties in supervising the various counties, but act in protecting their factions and kin, villages and towns and old friends, and if they cannot assist, yet in their work they draw out and stamp, and the people are destitute and suffer, and misfortune is created from this, if all together are united, then chaos’s origins would itself be blocked. This is third.
Now carrying on from decline and detriment, the people are exhausted, worthy talents are very few, those able to be appointed to affairs are scant, the prefectures’ and counties’ good officials, are often not even one, the prefectures receive the county’s completion, their severe are below, and their officials above are selected, the prefectures then first select, and this is so that the officials closest to the people, are concentrated in obtaining the lowest, and those officiating people’s lives, are always obstinate and base. Now if they are combined, of officials many selected that are pure and good will serve duties, great cultivation will spread and circulate, and people and things will obtain peace. This is fourth.
Regulations cause counties of ten thousand households, to be called prefecture Administrators, five thousand and above, to be called Commandants, a thousand households and down, Magistrates and Chiefs as before, from Chief and above, investigate class and promote use, transferring by ability to rise, what is governed also increases, this is narration to advance ability and effect achievement. If regulation is unified and settled, then official ability has sequence, government and achievement orderly and enlightened. This is fifth.
If abolishing prefecture Administrators, counties all directly communicating, matters will not be restricted and partitioned, and officials will not be kept stagnant. The Three Dynasties’ manner, though it cannot yet be certain, cultivation of simplifying and unifying, maybe can be reached. Making conveniences for the people and reducing expenditure, is in this.”
He also believed:
“Ornamentation and simplicity in alternating use, is like the four seasons alternately rising. The Ruler embodies Heaven’s reasoning of things, and must in response to harm relieve and reach it, at the time of filling simplicity then ornament by ritual, at the time of grand extravagance then relieve it by simplicity. Now carrying on at the Hundred King’s end, Qín and Hàn’s remaining flow, the world’s customs are full of ornamentation, and it is appropriate to greatly reform it to change the people’s hopes. Now the regulations from the Excellencies and ranked lords down, the ranks from General-in-Chief on up, all obtain robes of fine silk brocade, gauze of beautiful silk, white raw silk, gold and silver ornaments and engravings, and from these on down, multicolored dress, reach to the poorest people, and although superior and subordinate are ranked, each showing their distinction, however in the regulation of Court minsters, they are already comparable to the Utmost Honored, and the dark and yellow colors, already reach to subordinates. Wishing to have markets not sell gorgeous colors, merchants not convey difficult to obtain goods, workers to not make engraved things, cannot be done. Therefore it is appropriate to use great reason as foundations, standardize and define ancient methods, the appropriateness of marking and character, seeking their center, to be ritual and regulation. Chariot and carriage and dress and seal, all should follow character simplicity, prohibit and remove final custom gorgeous things, have families managing Court, and houses with rank, to no longer have brocade and fine ornamentations, no multi-colored dress, delicate and dainty things, from superior to subordinate, so that plain simplicity is distinguished, showing rank and nothing more, do not allow surpassing one or two distinction. If bestowing for achievement and virtue, the Ascended’s grace can specially apply it, all shown to relevant managers, and afterward worn and used. Superiors in cultivating subordinates, is yet like wind bending grass. If plain simplicity in instructions rising in this Court, then hearts full of extravagance will on their own disappear below.”
[Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng‘s reply letter said: “Investigating officials and selecting people, eliminating redundant officials, changing dress regulations, all are greatest goodness. Rites by village originally enacted, the Court’s investigating of affairs, overall is as you explained. Yet between them they complement each other’s practices, and in the end cannot be changed. In Qín’s time there were no Inspectors, only prefecture Administrators and Chief Clerks. Hàn’s House though had Inspectors, they carried out six regulations and nothing more. Therefore Inspectors were called ‘conveyed by carriage,’ their subordinates called ‘Attending Officials,’ they did not reside in permanent headquarters, their officials did not become [Court] ministers, and afterward they transferred again as official managers and that is all. In the past Jiǎ Yì also worried about dress regulations, and although Hàn Wén [Liú Héng] personally wore coarse silk, yet he could not have high and low follow his intentions. One fears these three matters, will have to wait for the worthy and able and afterward be achieved and that is all.”
Xuán also wrote letter: “Although Hàn Wén [Liú Héng] personally wore coarse clothes, yet he did not reform law and standards, inside and outside there was usurping and imitating of dress, favored ministers received unlimited bestowments, by these observations, it seems to indicate he established his own reputation, but did not have intention to sincerely judge and manage regulations. Now if your Excellency and lordship command the age’s foremost ministers, chasing the legacy of high antiquity, then it will prosper to utmost governance, restraining ends and ordering origins, if regulation and settling is above, then cultivating conduct will reach the masses. It is about time appropriate for change, maintain eagerly attentive heart, on day order is sent, the subordinates’ answer will be like echo following sound, if holding down to modesty, saying: ‘Wait for worthy and able,’ this would be Yī [Yǐn] or Zhōu[-gōng] not rectifying Yīn’s or Jī’s standards. I humbly cannot understand this.”
Shortly after this, he became Campaigning West General, with Acting Staff as Commander of Yōng and Liáng Provinces’ various military affairs. (1) With Cáo Shuǎng they together raised the Luò valley campaign, and at the time people ridiculed them. [Cáo] Shuǎng was executed, and Xuán was summoned to Minister Herald, and in several years was transferred to Minister of Ceremonies.
- (1) Wèilüè states: When Xuán was promoted, Sīmǎ [Shī] Jǐng-wáng succeeded him as Protector of the Army. Protector of the Army presided over the various officers, and was tasked with managing military official selection, and from beginning to end those that held this office, could not stop bribery. Therefore at the time Jiǎng Jì became Protector of the Army, there was a saying: “If wishing to seek an Ivory Gate standard, then obtain a thousand pǐ [of silk]; a hundred men commander, five hundred pǐ.” [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng with [Jiǎng] Jì was friendly, and asked about this to [Jiǎng] Jì, [Jiǎng] Jì had no way to explain it, and therefore made fun saying: “In Luò’s market purchases, if one coin is lacking then it cannot be.” Therefore they faced each other and laughed. Xuán succeeded [Jiǎng] Jì, and therefore could not stop these affairs. When [Sīmǎ Shī] Jǐng-wáng succeeded Xuán, he reorganized law orders, and of men none dared violate.
Xuán because of [his connection to Cáo] Shuǎng was restrained, inside was not satisfied. Internal Documents Director Lǐ Fēng although always was by General-in-Chief Sīmǎ [Shī] Jǐng-wáng closely treated, however had private intentions on Xuán, and therefore joined with the Empress’s father Merit Grandee Zhāng Qī, and plotted wishing to have Xuán assist the government. [Lǐ] Fēng both inside held handle of power, his son bestowed with a princess, and also with [Zhāng] Qī both were Féngyì men, and therefore [Zhāng] Qī trusted him. [Lǐ] Fēng secretly ordered his younger brother Yǎn Province Inspector [Lǐ] Yì to request to enter Court, wishing to have him command troops to enter, to join strength and rise up. It happened that [Lǐ] Yì’s request to enter Court was not permitted.
Jiāpíng Sixth Year Second Moon, they were about to appoint a Noble lady [to the harem], and [Lǐ] Fēng and the rest wished to therefore manage overlooking the pavilion, the various gates had stationed troops, to execute the General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī], and have Xuán succeed him, and [Zhāng] Qī as Elite Cavalry General. [Lǐ] Fēng secretly spoke with Yellow Gate Supervisor Sū Shuò, Yǒngníng Bureau Director Yuè Dūn, Excess Follower Deputy-Director Liú Xián and others, saying: “You all resided inside, and had many violations of law, the General-in-Chief is strict and stern, and repeatedly spoke of these, and [what happened to] Zhāng Dāng can be a warning.” [Sū] Shuò and the rest all agreed to follow orders. (2)
- (2) Wèishū states: Xuán by nature was noble, but because of [Cáo] Shuǎng was deposed and demoted, and always was discontent and not satisfied. Internal Documents Director Lǐ Fēng with Xuán and the Empress’s father Merit Grandee Zhāng Qī secretly plotted to create chaos. [Zhāng] Qī with [Lǐ] Fēng were of the same prefecture, was a deceptive and opportunistic man, was as Dōngguǎn Administrator summoned, was of the Empress’s family, and also was not satisfied, and therefore all together plotted. Previously, [Lǐ] Fēng himself believed that he dealt with classified matters, and [his son Lǐ] Tāo also a ranked Marquis and Giving Affairs Central, was bestowed with the princess of Qícháng, had responsibility inside and outside, his heart could not be at ease, and secretly said to [Lǐ] Tāo: “Xuán is Within the Seas an important man, and moreover has great appointment, but at the age and time when most robust he always met with removal, and also was Cáo Shuǎng’s own outer [female-side] younger cousin, and with the General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī] has resentment. I have obtained Xuán’s letter, and deeply for it was sorrowful. [Zhāng] Qī has ability and employment, but was removed from leading troops and horses and large prefecture, and returned to sit at home in alley. Each could not achieve their ambition, and I wish to have you of secret plans inform them.” [Zhāng] Qī once was ill and lying down, [Lǐ] Fēng sent [Lǐ] Tāo to ask after his illness, and [Lǐ] Tāo’s screen attendant said to [Zhāng] Qī: “[Lǐ] Tāo was bestowed with princess, father and son are in critical positions close, but the General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī] controls matters, and we always fear we do not meet with clear trust, and the Minister of Ceremonies [Xiàhóu Xuán] also harbors deep sorrow. Your lordship although has honor as the Empress’s father, safety and danger cannot yet be known, and you all with [Lǐ] Tāo’s family have the same anxieties. [Lǐ] Tāo’s father wishes to with your lordship plan this.” [Zhāng] Qī was silent for a good while and then said: “In difficulties on the same boat, how can I escape? This is a great affair, and if not successful immediately disaster will reach our clans.” [Lǐ] Tāo therefore went to report to [Lǐ] Fēng. They secretly spoke with Yellow Gate Supervisor Sū Shuò and others, and Sū Shuò and others replied to [Lǐ] Fēng: “By your lordship’s plans.” [Lǐ] Fēng said: “Now there is appointing a Noble lady, the various Regiment troops all garrison the gates, His Majesty overlooks the pavilion, because of this then together coerce him, and command the various official men and troops, to at once execute the General-in-chief. You all should together secretly tell them this intention.” [Sū] Shuò and the rest said: “If His Majesty unexpectedly does not follow, then what?” [Lǐ] Fēng and the rest said: “The matter has authority and appropriateness, if at the time he does not trust and follow, then he can be forced to leave and that is all. How could he be able to not follow?” [Sū] Shuò and the rest agreed. [Lǐ] Fēng said: “This is a destroying clans matter, you all must keep it secret. If the matter is successful, you all will be given fiefs as Marquis and be Regular Attendants.” [Lǐ] Fēng again secretly informed Xuán and [Zhāng] Qī. [Zhāng] Qī sent his son [Zhāng] Miǎo with [Lǐ] Fēng to together join, to together plan to raise up matters.
- Shìyǔ states: [Lǐ] Fēng sent his son [Lǐ] Tāo to plan and reply to Xuán, and Xuán said: “It should be detailed and that is all,” and did not report.
The General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī] slightly heard their plot, invited [Lǐ] Fēng to meet together, [Lǐ] Fēng was unaware and went, and immediately was killed. (3)
- (3) Shìyǔ states: The General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī] heard of [Lǐ] Fēng’s plot, and Resident Wáng Yàng pledged his life to invite [Lǐ] Fēng: “If [Lǐ] Fēng has no preparations, the situation and authority will compel him and he will certainly come; if he does not come, I [Wáng] Yàng alone am enough to control him; if he knows the plot is leaked, he will with armies surround himself, with long halberds self defend, directly enter Yúnlóng gate, seize Heaven’s Son and ascend Língyún Terrace, atop the terrace is three thousand men and weapons, calling and drumming to gather armies, and for this, I [Wáng] Yàng am not sufficient.” The General-in-Chief therefore sent [Wáng] Yàng with chariot to welcome him, [Lǐ] Fēng saw he was forced, and accompanied [Wáng] Yàng and arrived.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states: The General-in-Chief reproached [Lǐ] Fēng, [Lǐ] Fēng knew disaster had arrived, and therefore with stern expression said: “You father and son [Sīmǎ Yì and Sīmǎ Shī] harbored treachery, and are about to overturn the State Altars, I regret my strength is inferior, to be unable to take and exterminate you and that is all.” The General-in-Chief was furious, and had warrior with saber pommel hit [Lǐ] Fēng’s lower back, killing him.
- Wèilüè states: [Lǐ] Fēng appellation Ānguó, was former Minister of the Guard Lǐ Yì’s son. During Huángchū [220-226], because of his father’s appointment he was summoned to accompany the army. Beginning at the time he was in plain clothes [not yet an official], at seventeen years, at Yèxià he had reputation for purity, discerning people, Within the Seas he was praised, and none did not take note of him. Later he accompanied the army to Xǔchāng, and his reputation daily increased. His father was unwilling for him to be like this, and therefore ordered him to shut his gates, and had him cut off relations with guests. Previously, Míng-dì was at the East Palace, and [Lǐ] Fēng was among the Literary Scholars. At the succession to the Honored Position, they obtained a Wú surrendered man, and asked: “The Jiāng’s east has heard of whom among the central states’ famed scholars?” The surrendered man said: “We have heard of a Lǐ Ānguó.” At the time [Lǐ] Fēng was a Yellow Gate Cadet, Míng-dì asked his attendants where Ānguó was, and the attendants answered with [Lǐ] Fēng. The Emperor said: “[Lǐ] Fēng’s name really reached to Wú and Yuè?” Later he was transferred to Cavalry Commandant and Giving Affairs Center. After the Emperor passed, he became Yǒngníng Minister Charioteer, but as his reputation exceeded the facts, his ability and employment was little. During Zhèngshǐ [240-249], he was promoted to Attendant Internal Secretariat Deputy-Director. When [Lǐ] Fēng was in the Terrace Division, he always frequently claimed illness. At the time Terrace regulations, was that if illness reached 100 days then salary was ended, [Lǐ] Fēng was ill for several tens of days, then temporarily rose, then stopped and again rested, and was like this for several years. Previously, [Lǐ] Fēng’s son [Lǐ] Tāo was selected to be bestowed with princess, [Lǐ] Fēng although outside declined it, inside he did not deeply dislike it. [Lǐ] Fēng’s younger brothers [Lǐ] Yì and [Lǐ] Wěi, served within several years, and both were successively prefecture Administrators. [Lǐ] Fēng once among people prominently reprimanded his two younger brothers, saying they should use honorable positions for [lost passage]. When Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng was chronically ill, [Lǐ] Wěi was a 2000 dàn [rank official], unrestrained in alcohol, ruined Xīnpíng and Fúfēng two prefectures but [Lǐ] Fēng did not summon him, and everyone believed he was relying on favor. When Cáo Shuǎng controlled the government, [Lǐ] Fēng relied on playing the two Excellencies off each other, not joining with anyone, and therefore at the time there was slanderous letter: “Cáo Shuǎng’s power heats like soup, the Grand Tutor father and sons cool like paste, Lǐ Fēng and his brothers are like wandering light.” Its meaning was that [Lǐ] Fēng although outside showed purity and tranquility, but inside he schemed matters, resembling wandering light. When [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng memorialized to execute [Cáo] Shuǎng, he stopped his carriage below the watchtower, with [Lǐ] Fēng communicated, [Lǐ] Fēng was terrified, with rapid breath, his legs bent to the ground and unable to rise. Reaching Jiāpíng Fourth Year  after [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng died, the Internal Documents Director was vacant, the General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī] consulted and asked the Court ministers: “Who can fill it?” Someone pointed to [Lǐ] Fēng. [Lǐ] Fēng although knew this was not a prominent position, yet because he was connected by marriage to the state, thought he should attached to the Utmost Honored, and therefore bowed and did not decline, and therefore memorial employed him. [Lǐ] Fēng was in the Internal Documents for two years, the Emperor often alone summoned him to speak, and it is unknown what they said. [Sīmǎ Shī] Jǐng-wáng knew they were discussing about him, invited [Lǐ] Fēng, but [Lǐ] Fēng would not honestly answer, and therefore killed him. These matters are secret. [Lǐ] Fēng from beginning to end served two Courts [Míng-dì, King of Qí], and did not have his family property in his thoughts, relying on government salary and nothing more. [Lǐ] Tāo although was bestowed a princess, [Lǐ] Fēng always ordered him to not to use it to infringe and take, and when bestowed with coins and silk, at once it was given out to family and clansmen. When bestowed with palace women, most gave them to their younger clansmen, but [Lǐ] Fēng all gave to his various sister’s sons. After he died, managers confiscated his family property, but his family had no excess savings.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states: In the night they sent [Lǐ] Fēng’s corpse to the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Justice Zhōng Yù would not accept it, saying: “This is not what the law office manages.” He was informed of the situation, and moreover ordered to, and therefore accepted. The Emperor was furious, and was about to ask how [Lǐ] Fēng died, the Dowager-Empress was afraid, called the Emperor to enter, and he therefore stopped. Envoy was sent to arrest [Lǐ] Yì.
- Shìyǔ states: [Lǐ] Yì’s later wife, was Cavalier Regular Attendant Xún Yì’s older sister, and said to [Lǐ] Yì: “The Internal Documents matter is discovered, you can before [arrest] letter arrives flee to Wú, why sit and wait for death? Who among your attendants can together go with you through water and fire?” [Lǐ] Yì was thoughtful and had not yet answered, his wife said: “You are in a big province, and do not know who can with you together die or live, leaving also is not to escape.” [Lǐ] Yì said: “Our two sons are small, I will not go. Now only I will be connected and die, the two sons will certainly be pardoned.” Indeed it was as [Lǐ] Yì said. [Lǐ] Yì’s son [Lǐ] Bīn, was Yáng Jùn’s wife’s sibling’s son. At Jìn Huī-dì‘s beginning, he became Hénán Intendant, and with [Yáng] Jùn together died. See Jìnshū.
The matter was sent down to managers, and they arrested Xuán, [Zhāng] Qī, [Sū] Shuò, [Yuè] Dūn, [Liú] Xián and the rest and sent them to the Minister of Justice. (4)
- (4) Shìyǔ states: Xuán reached the Minister of Justice, and would not agree to confess. Minister of Justice Zhōng Yù personally went to oversee the management of Xuán. Xuán with stern expression reproached [Zhōng] Yù: “What should I confess? You are a Director Scribe Responsible, you can make one for me.” [Zhōng] Yù believed because he [Xiàhóu Xuán] was a famed scholar, his integrity was high and unable to be bent, but the lawsuit had to be finished, and in the night for him wrote a confession, having it agree with the already known matters, and shedding tears showed it to Xuán. Xuán looked at it, and nodded and nothing more. [Zhōng] Yù’s younger brother [Zhōng] Huì, was younger than Xuán, and Xuán would not with him interact, and that day with [Zhōng] Yù sat and acted familiar with Xuán, but Xuán paid no heed.
- Sūn Shèng’s Záyǔ states: Xuán was in prison, [Zhōng] Huì therefore wished to act familiar with and befriend Xuán, and Xuán with stern expression said: “Sir Zhōng why do you pressure me like this?”
Minister of Justice Zhōng Yù memorialized: “[Lǐ] Fēng and the rest plotted to coerce the Utmost Honored, to without authority execute the highest minister, Great Rebellion Without Principle, and it is requested to discuss what to do by law.” Therefore there was meeting of the Excellencies and Ministers and Court councilors by the Minister of Justice’s comment, and all believed: “[Lǐ] Fēng and the rest each received unique favor, managed classified matters, [Zhāng] Qī took advantage of the honor of being an outer relative-by-marriage, Xuán served as the reign’s minister, and also occupied ranked position, but harbored and hid disastrous heart, scheming vicious rebellion, communicating and involving with eunuchs, instructing them with treacherous plans, but feared and dreaded Heaven’s authority, did not dare to make prominent his scheming, and therefore wished to coerce ruler and threaten the ascended, unrestrained in his treachery and tyranny, plotting to execute good supporter, usurping his established position, and so was about to overturn the capital’s houses, endangering the State Altars. [Zhōng] Yù’s rectification all should be by law, and reply to [Zhōng] Yù to put it into effect.” Imperial Order wrote: “Princess of Qícháng, was the late Emperor’s beloved daughter, pardon her three sons from death.” Therefore [Lǐ] Fēng, [Xiàhóu] Xuán, [Zhāng] Qī, [Yuè] Dūn, [Liú] Xián and the rest all were exterminated to the third degree, (5) the rest of their kin relocated to Lèlàng prefecture [on the northeastern frontier].
- (5) Wèishū states: [Lǐ] Fēng’s son [Lǐ] Tāo, as he was bestowed with princess, was forced to commit suicide in prison.
Xuán’s character was tolerant and he had magnanimity and generosity, and as he was about to be beheaded at the East Market, his countenance did not change, and his movements were at ease. At the time he was aged forty-six years. (6) During Zhèngyuán [254-255], to continue meritorious ministers’ generations, fief was given on [Xiàhóu] Shàng’s cousin’s grandson [Xiàhóu] Běn as Chānglíng precinct Marquis, with fief of 300 households, to serve as [Xiàhóu] Shàng’s descendant.
- (6) Wèilüè states: Xuán from when he from the west returned, did not interact in human affairs, and did not gather beauties.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Previously, Xiàhóu Bà was about to flee to Shǔ, and called on Xuán wishing to go together. Xuán said: “How can I pointlessly live as a guest of bandits and caitiffs?” Therefore he returned to the capital. When the Grand Tutor [Sīmǎ Yì] died, Xǔ Yǔn said to Xuán: “You have no further worries.” Xuán sighed and said: “Shìzōng, how can you not see the situation? This man [Sīmǎ Yì] yet could because my family and I are younger treat with me, but [Sīmǎ Shī] Zǐyuán and [Sīmǎ Zhāo] Zǐshàng cannot tolerate me.” Xuán once wrote Yuè Yì, Zhāng Liáng, and Běn Wú Ròuxíng Lùn, its words and purposes reached far, and all were passed through the generations. When Xuán was arrested, General of the Guard Sīmǎ [Zhāo] Wén-wáng shed tears and pleaded for him, but General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī] said: “Have you forgotten the gathering at Excellency of Works Zhào’s burial?” Before this, Excellency of Works Zhào Yǎn died, the General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī] and his brothers gathered at the burial, the guests were in the hundreds, Xuán arrived late, the crowd of guests all rose from their mats to welcome him, and the General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī] because of this feared him.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Cáo Shǎung in Zhèngshǐ Fifth Year  campaigned against Shǔ, at the time Xuán was already Commander of Guānzhōng, reaching the Tenth Year , after [Cáo] Shuǎng was executed and exterminated, only then did he return to Luò[yáng]. According to Shàodìjì [SGZ 4], Excellency of Works Zhào Yǎn in the Sixth Year  died, Xuán then was unable to attend [Zhào] Yǎn’s burial. If this is saying Xuán entered Court, the Annals and Biographies also do not have such a matter. This seems absurd and not true.
Previously, Central Manager of the Army Gāoyáng’s Xǔ Yǔn with [Lǐ] Fēng and Xuán were close and friendly. Before this there was a forged and sent written Imperial Order, appointing Xuán as General-in-Chief and Yǔn as Excellency Commandant, to together control Secretariat affairs. There was an unknown man before daylight riding horse with Imperial Order register handed over to Yǔn’s gate official, saying: “It is an Imperial Order,” and then at once galloping away. Yǔn immediately burned the letter, and did not report it to Sīmǎ [Shī] Jǐng-wáng. Later [Lǐ] Fēng and the rest’s matter was discovered, Yǔn was relocated to be Defending North General, with Acting Staff as Commander of the Hé’s north’s various military affairs. Before he set out, for giving out government property, he was arrested and sent to the Minister of Justice, relocated to Lèlàng, and on the road died. (1)
- (1) Wèilüè states: Yǔn appellation Shìzōng, was of a for generations dominating clan. His father [Xǔ] Jù served successively as Managing Agriculture Colonel and prefecture Administrator. Yǔn when young with the same prefecture’s Cuī Zàn both had reputation in Jì Province, and was summoned to enter the army. In Míng-dì‘s time he became Secretariat Selections Department Cadet, with Chén state’s Yuán Kǎn opposed, and together in connection to duty affairs, all were arrested and sent to prison, and Imperial Order’s intentions were strict and cutting, and they would die, but those upright believed it to severe. Yǔn said to [Yuán] Kǎn: “You are a meritorious minister’s son, and law answers the Eight Commentaries, and you do not need to worry about death.” [Yuán] Kǎn knew his meaning, that they were receiving severity. Yǔn’s punishment indeed was repealed, and he was sent out as a prefecture Administrator, gradually promoted to Attendant Internal Secretariat Central Manager of the Army. Yǔn heard Lǐ Fēng and the rest had been arrested, and wished to go meet the General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Shī], had already gone out the door, but hesitated and was uncertain, in the middle of the road went back to fetch scallions, and [Lǐ] Fēng and the rest had already been dealt with. The General-in-Chief heard Yǔn was advancing quickly, was bewildered and said: “I myself arrested [Lǐ] Fēng and the rest, and do not know why the scholar officials are hurried?” At the time of the Court ministers the hurrying were many, but everyone all believed his meaning was Yǔn. It happened Defending North General Liú Jīng died, and the Court appointed Yǔn to succeed [Liú] Jīn. He had already received Staff and transfer, and went out stopping at outer residence. The General-in-Chief with Yǔn wrote letter: “Although Defending North has few matters, yet it commands and manages a direction, and one hopes you can shake civilization drums, establish red integrity, serve your home province, this is what is called showing embroidery for day travel.” Yǔn’s heart was deeply pleased, with those in the Terrace exchanged news, and wished to change his drums and horns and banners and flags. His elder brother’s son previously heard everyone say that Yǔn previously met with suspicion, and warned Yǔn: “Merely going and you will get it, why do this?” Yǔn said: “You are a coarse scholar and do not understand, I am by this honoring the state and that is all, and therefore seek them.” The Emperor as Yǔn was about to go out, then had Imperial Order to gather the various ministers, the various ministers all collected, and the Emperor specially led Yǔn to be close to him; Yǔn previously was a Attendant Internal, and looking back about to with the Emperor take leave, he shed tears and sobbed. The meeting finished, ending and going out, Imperial Order hurriedly ordered Yǔn to leave. It happened that mangers memorialized that Yǔn previously had without authority taken kitchen coins and grain and given it to various performances and his subordinate officials, and therefore he was arrested and sent to the Minister of Justice, interrogated to the end, and was spared death and relocated to the frontiers. Yǔn in Jiāpíng Sixth Year Autumn relocated, his wife and children could not accompany him, and on the road not yet arrived, that year’s winter he died.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Yǔn was a Official Division Cadet, selecting prefecture Administrators. Míng-dì suspected his selections were not ordered, summoned him to enter, and was about to apply punishment. Yǔn’s wife lady Ruǎn barefooted went out, and said: “An enlightened ruler can be with reason contested, but difficult to with emotion pleaded.” Yǔn nodded and entered. The Emperor angrily questioned him, Yǔn replied: “Such-and-such prefecture Administrator though term limit document first arrived, his year term limit is afterward, though the Administrator is behind, the day limit is ahead.” The Emperor first obtained the matter and investigated it, and therefore released and sent him out, and observing his clothes were damaged, said: “This is a pure official,” and gave bestowment on him. At Yǔn’s sending out as Defending North[ General], he was pleased and said to his wife: “I knew I would be pardoned.” His wife said: “The disaster is seen in this, what pardon is there?” Yǔn was good at appraising seals, was about to be appointed, but as the seal was not good, sent for it to again be carved, and it was like this three times. Yǔn said: “Although the seal is newly completed already it has been disgraced.” He asked the seal deliverer, and indeed it had fallen in the lavatory. Xiāngyìnshū states: “Appraising seals methods originally came from Chén Chángwén, [Chén] Chángwén told it to Wéi Zhòngjiàng, seal craftsman Yáng Lì followed [Wèi] Zhòngjiàng’s methods, and told it to Xǔ Shìzōng. [Yáng] Lì used methods to divine good and bad fortune, out of ten correct eight to nine. [Wèi] Zhòngjiàng asked [Chén] Chángwén: ‘From whom did you obtain these methods?’ [Chén] Chángwén said: ‘Originally it came from Hàn’s era, there was Xiāngyìn, Xiānghù jīng, and also Yīng jīng, Niú jīng, and Mǎ jīng. Seal craftsman Zōng Yǎng told this method to Chéng Shēnbó, and therefore there are twelve schools of appraisal methods passed through the generations.” Yǔn’s wife lady Ruǎn was worthy and wise but ugly, Yǔn at the first meeting was amazed, and after the marriage ceremony was complete, he had no intention to again enter. The wife sent maidservant to observe him, and she said “There is guest surnamed Huán.” The wife said: “This certainly is Huán Fàn, who will urge him [Xǔ Yǔn] to enter.” Soon afterward [Huán] Fàn indeed urged him. Yǔn entered, and immediately again rose, the wife clutched his garment to keep him. Yǔn looked back and said to the woman: “Women have Four Virtues, how many do you have?” The woman said: “What I this new bride lack is only appearances. Gentlemen have a hundred conducts, how many do you have?” Xǔ [Yǔn] said: “All are prepared.” The woman said: “Gentlemen have a hundred conducts, and virtue is head. You enjoy beauty but do not enjoy virtue, how can you say all are prepared?” Yǔn had shamed look, knew she was out of the ordinary, and therefore became close with and valued her. They had two sons, [Xǔ] Qí, [Xǔ] Měng, when young had reputation. Yǔn later was by [Sīmǎ Shī] Jǐng-wáng executed, a family servant fled to enter and tell the woman [lady Ruǎn], the woman was just at [loom] machine, her expression and look did not change, and said: “I early knew it would be like this.” The family servant wished to hide the sons, and the woman said: “It has no relation to the boys.” Later they moved to where the tomb was, [Sīmǎ Shī] Jǐng-wáng sent Zhōng Huì to observe them, and if their talents and skills and virtues could match their father, they were to be arrested. The boys asked their mother, the mother answered: “Though you are good, your talents and abilities are not many, be direct your thoughts when with [Zhōng] Huì conversing, show you have no worries, do not show utmost sorrow, when [Zhōng] Huì stops then stop. Also you can somewhat ask about Court affairs.” The boys followed this. [Zhōng] Huì returned report, provided all their circumstances and answers, and in the end they escaped disaster, all because of their mother’s instructions. Although [Zhōng] Huì was skilled in appraising, yet he lost to a worthy woman’s wisdom. Indeed it helped her posterity, so that fief was given on her sons and grandsons and nothing more.
- Shìyǔ states: Yǔn had two sons, [Xǔ] Qí appellation Zǐtài, [Xǔ] Měng appellation Zǐbào, and both had government ability and talent and learning. During Jìn’s Yuánkāng [291-299], [Xǔ] Qí became Colonel Director of Retainers, [Xǔ] Měng Yōu Province Inspector.
- Fù Chàng’s Jìn Zhūgōng Zàn states: [Xǔ] Měng’s ritual and music was refined and elegant, and at the time the most excellent. [Xǔ] Qí’s son [Xǔ] Xiá appellation Sīzǔ, for his purity was praised, rank reached Attendant Internal. [Xǔ] Mèng’s son [Xǔ] Shì appellation Yízǔ, had talent and ability, reached Púyáng Inner Scribe and Píngyuán Administrator.
Qīnghé’s Wáng Jīng also also with [Xǔ] Yǔn both were praised as Jì Province’s famed scholars. During Gānlù [256-260] he became Secretariat, and in connection to the Duke of Gāoguì village’s matter was executed. At first Jīng was a prefecture Administrator, Jīng’s mother said to Jīng: “You are a farming family’s son, now your service reaches 2000 dàn. Things going too far is inauspicious, you can stop.” Jīng did not listen, and successively served as Inspector of two provinces, Colonel Director of Retainers, and in the end was destroyed. (1)[Xǔ] Yǔn’s friend of the same prefecture Cuī Zàn, also once said warning of flourishing too much in the world to Yǔn. (2)
- (1) Shìyǔ states: Jīng appellation Yànwěi, previously was Jiāngxià Administrator. General-in-Chief Cáo Shuǎng gave him fabric of twenty pǐ ordering him to sell to Wú, Jīng did not send the letter, resigned office and returned. His mother asked the reason he returned, and Jīng honestly replied. His mother because Jīng led troops and horses but without authority left, had the escort official cane Jīng fifty strokes. [Cáo] Shuǎng heard this, and did not again punish him. Jīng became Colonel Director of Retainers, and recruited Hénèi’s Xiàng Xióng as Commanding Office Attending Official. When Wáng Yè went out, he did not explain Jīng’s intentions, and so it reached disaster. At Jīng’s execution in the East Market, [Xiàng] Xióng wept for him, moving the whole market. The punishment reached Jīng’s mother, and Yōng Province former subordinate Huángfǔ Yàn with his family wealth paid for the burial.
- Hàn Jìn Chūnqiū states: Jīng was arrested, and took leave of his mother. His mother’s expression did not change, and laughing she answered: “Of men who does not die? In the past the reason I did not stop you, was because I feared you would have no where to be. To like this share fate, what regret is there to have?” Jìn Wǔ-dì Tàishǐ Inaugural Year  Imperial Order said: “Former Secretariat Wáng Jīng, although he violated law, yet his holding to his will is laudable. His family was destroyed, and my thoughts always pity this, and appoint Jīng’s grandson as a Cadet Internal.
- (2) Xún Chuò’s Jìzhōu Jì states: Zàn’s son Hóng, appellation Liángbó, was pure and respectful and had unselfish will, and became Jìn Official Department Secretariat and Minister of Agriculture.