Xú Gàn 徐幹 [Wěicháng 偉長], Chén Lín 陳琳 [Kǒngzhāng 孔璋], Ruǎn Yǔ 阮瑀 [Yuányú 元瑜], Yìng Chàng 應瑒 [Déliǎn 德璉], Liú Zhēn 劉楨 [Gōnggàn 公幹]
Hándān Chún 邯鄲淳 [Zǐshū 子叔], Fán Qīn 繁欽 [Xiūbó 休伯], Lù Cuì 路粹 [Wényù 文蔚], Gǒu Wěi 苟緯 [Gōnggāo 公高]
Yìng Chàng’s younger brother Qú 應璩 [Xiūliǎn 休璉], Qú’s son Zhēn 應貞 [Jífǔ 吉甫]
Ruǎn Yǔ’s son Jí 阮籍 [Sìzōng 嗣宗]
Jī Kāng 嵇康 [Shūyè 叔夜]
Huán Wēi 桓威
Wú Zhì 吳質 [Jìzhòng 季重]
Wáng Càn appellation Zhòngxuān was a Shānyáng Gāopíng man. His great-grandfather [Wáng] Gōng and grandfather [Wáng] Chàng, both were Hàn Three Excellencies. (1) His father [Wáng] Qiān, was General-in-Chief Hé Jìn’s Chief Clerk. [Hé] Jìn because [Wáng] Qiān was a famed Excellency’s descendant, wished to together form marriage-alliance, met his two sons, in order to choose. [Wáng Qiān] did not accept. For illness resigned, died at home.
- (1) Zhāng Fán’s Hàn jì states: [Wáng] Gōng appellation Bózōng, had high reputation in the world Under Heaven. In Shùn-dì’s time became Excellency Commandant. Earlier, Shānyáng Administrator Xuē Qín for deceased wife did not cry, was about to encoffin, overlooking it said: “Fortunate to not die young, what is there to regret?” When [Wáng] Gōng’s wife died, [Wáng] Gōng with his sons together with cane went in mourning clothes, at the time some people ridiculed the two. [Wáng] Chàng appellation Shūmào was named among the Eight Eminents. In Líng-dì’s time he became Excellency of Works, due to flood disaster was dismissed, and Lǐ Yīng also was dismissed and returned to former prefecture, the two men for their upright guidance were not tolerated at the time. The world Under Heaven because [Wáng] Chàng and [Lǐ] Yīng were high gentlemen, the various direct speaking direct acting followers all revered them, and wished to tread their wake, fearing the would not reach. It happened that continuously there were disasters and strangeness, and those speaking of matters all said the Three Excellencies were not these men, and should therefore be changed, to have [Wáng] Chàng and [Lǐ] Yīng replace them, then auspicious omens would certainly arrive. Because of this the eunuchs deeply resented them, and [Lǐ] Yīng was executed and though [Wáng] Chàng therefore was deposed, he ended at home.
Xiàn-dì westward shifted, Càn moved to Cháng’ān, Left Central Cadet General Cài Yōng met and was impressed with hi. At the time [Cài] Yōng’s talent and scholarship were famed, valued heavily in Court, always chariots and riders filled the alleys, guests filled the seats. Hearing Càn was at the door, with inverted slippers welcomed him. Càn arrived, in years young, appearance and shape short and small, all seated were completely surprised, [Cài] Yōng said: “This is Excellency Wáng’s grandson, with unique talent, I cannot compare. My house’s books and registers and written works, completely should be given to him.”
Aged seventeen years, the Excellency of Works recruited him, Imperial Order appointed him Yellow Gate Attendant Cadet, but as the western capital was disturbed in chaos, all he could not accept. Therefore he went to Jīng Province to depend on Liú Biǎo. [Liú] Biǎo because Càn’s appearance was common and his body weak and openly simple, did not deeply value him. (1)
- (1) Your servant Sōngzhī states: ‘Appearance was common,’ says that his appearance failed his actual quality. ‘Openly simple’ is simple and easy.
[Liú] Biǎo died. Càn urged [Liú] Biǎo’s son [Liú] Cóng, having him submit to Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo]. (2) Tàizǔ recruited him as a Chancellor’s Official, bestowed noble rank as Marquis Within the Passes. Tàizǔ set liquor at Hànbīn, Càn presented goblet congratulations saying: “Recently Yuán Shào rose at Hé’s north, wielding great army, ambition to occupy the realm Under Heaven, however he liked worthies but could not use them, and therefore eccentric scholars left him. Liú Biǎo was at ease in Jīng-Chǔ, sitting and watching the times change, himself believing Xībó could be imitated. Scholars that fled the chaos to Jīng Province, all were within the seas’ greatest heroes; [Liú] Biǎo did not know how to appoint them, and therefore his state was endangered and without assistance. The day your enlightened excellency settled Jì province, you descended carriage and at once repaired its armor and soldiers, collected its greatest heroes and employed them, and so swept across the realm Under Heaven; reaching to pacifying the Jiāng and Hàn, guiding its worthy eminences and installing them in lines of seats, causing within the seas to join heart, watching and hoping for governance, civil and military together employed, heroes complete strength, this is the Three King’s rise.”
Later he was promoted to Military Planner Libationer. When Wèi was established , he was appointed Attendant Internal. Of various things he often knew, when asked he never did not answer. At the time old ceremonies fell into neglect, in raising and establishing systems and regulations, Càn always standardized it. (3)
- (2) Wénshì zhuàn records Càn’s persuasion of [Liú] Cóng stating:
- “I your servant have a humble plan, and wish to advance it to you General, is it permitted?”
- [Liú] Cóng said: “I wish to hear it.”
- Càn said: “The realm Under Heaven is in great chaos, powerful figures all rise, all of a sudden, strong and weak is not yet divided, and therefore people each and every have their own heart and that is all. Just at this time, family after family wish to be Emperors and Kings, men after men wish to be Dukes and Marquis. Observing the successes and failures of the ancients to the present, those able to first see key opportunities, are then always able to receive their fortunes. Now you General judge yourself, how do you compare to Excellency Cáo?”
- [Liú] Cóng was not able to reply.
- Càn again said: “If going by what I Càn have heard, then Excellency Cáo is a hero among men. His power and strategy dominates the times, his intelligence and planning overcomes the age, he destroyed the Yuán clan at Guāndù, drove Sūn Quán beyond the Jiāng, pursued Liú Bèi to Lǒngyòu, defeated the Wūhuán at Bǎidēng, the remaining foreigners swept away and settled, going on and on like a spirit, in ways that cannot be counted. In today’s matter, what will occur already can be known. If you General are able to listen to I Càn’s plan, roll up armor and turn spear, answer Heaven and obey command, and so submit to Excellency Cáo, Excellency Cáo will certainly heavily esteem you General. To protect self and preserve clan, to long enjoy fortune and blessings, and pass it down to later successors, this is the absolutely secure plan. I Càn encountered chaos and exile, entrusted life to this province, was immersed in you General father and son’s heavy care, dare I not thoroughly speak?”
- [Liú] Cóng accepted these words.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Sūn Quán from before this time, was still with the central states at peace, and had not yet clashed troops, how can it say ‘drove Quán beyond the Jiāng?’ Wèi Wǔ [Cáo Cāo] in the Thirteenth Year  campaigned against Jīng Province, Liú Bèi only after several years then entered Shǔ, [Liú] Bèi never once traveled to the Guān and Lǒng, and yet in the year of campaigning against Jīng Province, it yet says ‘pursued [Liú] Bèi to Lǒngyòu, already it is abnomrally wrong; also Báidēng is in Píngchéng, also where Wèi Wǔ did not travel, the northern campaign against the Wūhuán, with Báidēng was never close to there. By this one can know Zhāng Zhì forged these words, and was not aware his falseness was itself exposed. All that [Zhāng] Zhì falsely forged and absurdly made, cannot be listed, and those of this sort, cannot be compiled.
- (3) Zhì Yú’s Juéyí Yāozhù states: At Hàn’s end’s tragic chaos, they were without jade girdle ornaments. Wèi Attendant Internal Wáng Càn noted old girdle ornaments, and first restored making them. The present’s jade girdle ornaments, received their methods from Càn.
Previously, Càn with someone together traveled, read a roadside monument, the person asked: “Are you able to blindly recite it?” Said: “Able.” Therefore with his back turned he recited it, and did not miss a single word. Watching people play wéiqí (igo), the board broke, Càn for them restored it, the players did not trust him, with cloth covered the board, and had him again set up another board for them. When comparing them, there was not a single difference. His powerful memory was like this.
By nature he was good at calculation, in making calculations, he thoroughly understood its reasoning. He was good at writing prose, at lifting brush easily completed, without any corrections, at the time people always believed he composed beforehand, however again carefully thinking and deeply considering, they also could not add to it. (1) He wrote poems, rhapsodies, discussions, comments of sixty piān.
- (1) Diǎnlüè states: Càn’s talents were high, in debate he responded quickly. Zhōng Yáo, Wáng Lǎng, and others, though each were Wèi’s ministers, in court memorials and comments, all set down brush and were unable to match.
Jiàn’ān Twenty-first Year , he accompanied the campaign against Wú. Twenty-second year  spring, on the road he of illness died, at the time aged forty-one years. Càn’s two sons, were by Wèi Fěng enticed, and were executed, succession cut off. (2)
- (2) Wénzhāngzhì states: Tàizǔ at the time campaigned in Hànzhōng, heard Càn’s sons had died, and sighed and said: “If I were there, I would not have let Zhòngxuān be without descendants.”
Earlier Wén-dì as Five Office General, and Marquis of Píngyuán [Cáo] Zhí both enjoyed literary scholarship. Càn with Běihǎi’s Xú Gàn appellation Wěicháng, Guǎnglíng’s Chén Lín appellation Kǒngzhāng, Chénliú’s Ruǎn Yǔ appellation Yuányú, Rǔnán’s Yìng Chàng appellation Déliǎn, Dōngpíng’s Liú Zhēn appellation Gōnggàn all met with friendly relations.
[Xú] Gàn became Excellency of Works Military Planner Libationer Official and Associate, Five Office General Literary Scholar. (1)
- (1) Xiānxián Xíngzhuàng states: Gàn was was pure and profound in form and principle, the Six Conducts cultivated and prepared, sharp of hearing and remembered extensively what he heard, grasping brush completed composition, thought little of officialdom and salary, and did not indulge in wordly glory. During Jiàn’ān, Tàizǔ specially added honors, due to illness he rested. Later he was appointed Shàng’ài Chief, also due to illness he did not accept.
[Chén] Lín formerly was Hé Jìn’s Registrar. [Hé] Jìn wished to execute the various eunuchs, the Dowager-Empress did not listen, [Hé] Jìn therefore summoned fierce generals everywhere, having all lead troops toward the capital city, wishing to by this coerce and frighten the Dowager-Empress. Lín advanced remonstrant: “The Yì says ‘following deer without guidance,’ proverb has ‘covering eye to seize sparrow.’ These small things yet cannot be cheated to accomplish ambition, so all the more for the state’s great affairs, how can they by deceptively established? Now you General control Imperial Authority, grasp military force, like dragon soar and tiger leap, high and low at heart; to in this way enact affairs, is no different from rousing great furnace to singe a hair. Merely act quickly like the sound of thunder, enact authority and establish decisively, oppose method in accord with principle, the Heavenly Man follows this; but you instead release sharp weapons, and furthermore summon others. Great troops gather together, the strong becoming imposing, is what is called reversing grip of shield and spear, to give to the other the handle; achievement certainly will not succeed, and it will become the beginning of chaos.” [Hé] Jìn did not accept his words, and indeed by this brought about disaster.
Lín fled the troubles to Jì Province, Yuán Shào had him write literary compositions. When the Yuán clan was defeated, Lín submitted to Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ said: “You in the past for [Yuán] Běnchū sent letters, but could have condemned me and nothing more, the slanders stopping on this body, why then send it up to my father and grandfather?” Lín apologized for his fault. Tàizǔ loved his ability and did not punish.
[Ruǎn] Yǔ when young received study from Cài Yōng. During Jiàn’ān Capital Protector [General] Cáo Hóng wished to have him serve as his letter writer, but Yǔ to the end would not yield. Tàizǔ both had Lín and Yǔ serve as Excellency of Works’ Military Planner Libationers, controlling Record Keepers, (1) and of the army and state’s written dispatches, many were by Lín and Yǔ composed. (2) Lín transferred to Below Gate Commander, Yǔ became Granary Department Official and Associate.
- (1) Wénshìzhuàn states: Tàizǔ heard of Yǔ’s reputation, summoned him, he did not answer, continuously met with pressure, and therefore fled into the mountains. Tàizǔ sent men to burn the mountains, captured Yǔ, and sent him, and he was summoned to enter. Tàizǔ at the time was campaigning in Cháng’ān, greatly entertaining guests, was angry that Yǔ would not with him speak, and had him with the performers line up. Yǔ was good at discerning notes, able to play zither, and therefore stroked strings and sang, thus composing a song: “Abundant abundant heaven’s gate opens, great Wèi answers phase shift. Green canopy patrols Nine Provinces, where east and west people complain. Gentlemen for the one who understands them die, women for the one who pleases them play. Gratitude and righteousness if spread free, how can other men disorder?” Making the tune was nimble, the note and sound unique and sublime, at the time crowning the seated, and Tàizǔ was greatly pleased.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Yú sir’s Diǎnlüè and Zhì Yú’s Wénzhāngzhì both say Yǔ at Jiàn’ān’s beginning claimed illness to avoid conscription, and would not to Cáo Hóng yield. Obtaining Tàizǔ’s summons, he at once cast aside staff and rose. There could not have been this matter of fleeing into the mountains and burning him out. Also Diǎnlüè records that when Tàizǔ first campaigned in Jīng Province, he sent Yǔ to compose letter to Liú Bèi, and when campaigning against Mǎ Chāo, he also sent Yǔ to compose letter to Hán Suì, and these two letters at present both survive. Reaching to before Cháng’ān, [Hán] Suì and the rest were defeated and fled, and Tàizǔ first in the Sixteenth Year  was able to enter the Passes and that is all. Yet Zhāng Zhì says at the time of first obtaining Yǔ that Tàizǔ was at Cháng’ān, this also is ridiculous. Yǔ in the Seventeenth Year  died, Tàizǔ in the Eighteenth Year  received tally as Duke of Wèi, yet it says Yǔ’s song lyrics said: ‘Great Wèi answers phase shift,’ and one can even more know this is extremely absurd. Also its lyrics say: ‘How can other men disorder,’ its meaning is not completely said. What Yǔ would say, would certainly not be like this.
- (2) Diǎnlüè states: Lín composed various letters and dispatches, the drafts completed and presented to Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ previously had bitter headaches, on that day his illness occurred, lying down he read what Lín had composed, and stammered and rose and said: “This healed my illness.” Repeatedly he gave heavy bestowments. Tàizǔ once sent Yǔ to compose letter to Hán Suì, at the time Tàizǔ happened to be about to go out, Yǔ followed in attendance, and therefore on horseback completed the draft, finished writing and presented it. Tàizǔ picked up writing brush wishing to finalize it, but indeed he had nothing to add or remove.
[Yìng] Chàng and [Liú] Zhēn each were by Tàizǔ recruited, becoming Chancellor’s Officials and Associates. Chàng was transferred to Marquis of Píngyuán’s retainer, later became Five Office General’s Literary Scholar. (1) Zhēn for disrespect was punished, the punishment finished and he was appointed to office. (2) Both wrote literature and rhapsodies of several tens of piān.
- (1) Huà Jiào’s Hànshū states: Chàng’s grandfather Fèng, appellation Shìshū, was talented and clever and good at recitation, and therefore everyone said: ‘Yìng Shìshū reads book, Five Phases all below.” He wrote Hòuxù of over ten piān, and was the era’s Classicist. During Yánxī [158-167], he reached Colonel Director of Retainers. His son Shào appellation Zhòngyuǎn, also had wide learning and much knowledge, and was outstanding in service. He compiled Fēngsútōng and others, altogether over a hundred piān, and though the words were not standard, the era admired his wide learning.
- Xù Hànshū states: Shào also wrote Zhōng Hàn Jíxù [Middle Hàn’s Compiled Narrations], Hàn Guānyí [Hàn Official Ceremonies] and Lǐyí Gùshì [Ritual Ceremony Former Practices], altogether 11 zhǒng, 136 juàn. Court Regulations and Bureaucracy Cermeonies, that they were not lost, was because Shào recorded it. His rank reached Tàishān Administrator. Shào’s younger brother Xún, appellation Jìyú, was an Excellency of Works’ Official, and was Chàng’s father.
- (2) Wénshì Zhuàn states: Zhēn’s father Liáng, appellation Mànshān, originally named Gōng, when young had purity and ability, for his literary learning met with esteem, and ended as Yěwáng Magistrate.
- Diǎnlüè states: Emperor Wén [Cáo Pī] once bestowed on Zhēn a Kuòluò belt, later its crafter died, he wished to borrow it to make a copy, and therefore wrote letter teasing Zhēn saying: “Objects because of men are valued, therefore those in the hands of the lowly, do not reach the sides of the honored. Now though I request it, do not fear that it will not return.” Zhēn answered: “I Zhēn have heard Jīngshān’s jade, glorifies the fundamental ruler’s treasures; Suíhóu’s pearls, illuminate the multitudes’ goodness; Nányín’s gold, tops a seductive beauty’s head; Húndiāo’s tails, are swen in the attending ministers’ headscarves. These four treasures, are found below rotten stones, within dirt and mud, and yet are raised up above a thousand years, beyond the colored fields of the past, and also all were not at first able to reach honor. What the honored wear, are by the humble made. What the the noble ride, are by the lowly tested. Therefore grand houses first completed have the crafters first standing below it, auspicious grain first ripening have the peasant farmer first tasting its granules. I Zhēn regret [only] having this belt, and am without other sublime ornamentation, and if it truly is unique, it can be presented.” Zhēn’s words in cleverness were all like this, and by this he was specially by the various noble sons [of Cáo Cāo] close and favored. After this the Heir-Apparent [Cáo Pī] once invited various literary scholars, they became intoxicated and sat together happily, and he ordered his wife lady Zhēn to come out and pay respects. Of those seated everyone all bowed, but [Liú] Zhēn alone was upright and stared. Tàizǔ heard this, and therefore arrested [Liú] Zhēn, reducing death sentence to labor.
[Ruǎn] Yǔ in the Seventeenth Year  died. [Xú] Gàn, [Chén] Lín, [Yìng] Chàng, [Liú] Zhēn in the Twenty-Second Year  died. Emperor Wén’s letter to Yuánchéng Magistrate Wú Zhì states: “In past years was sickness and plague, of my close and old friends many departed in this disaster. Xú [Gàn], Chén [Lín], Yìng [Chàng], Liú [Zhēn] in the same time together passed. Observing the ancient and present literary men, their sort do not protect delicate conduct, few are able to for reputation and integrity establish themselves. But [Xú Gàn] Wěicháng alone embraced culture and character, quiet and content with few desires, having the will of Jī mountain, and can be called a refined gentleman. He wrote Zhōnglùn of over twenty piān, its words and meanings refined and elegant, sufficient to be transmitted to posterity. [Yìng Chàng] Déliǎn always was remarkable in narrating and creating ideas, his talent and learning sufficient to write books, his beautiful ambitions were not achieved, so very lamentable! [Chén Lín] Kǒngzhāng’s essays were special and invigorating, but a bit complicated. [Liú Zhēn] Gōnggàn[‘s writings] had outstanding air, but was not vigorous. [Ruǎn Yǔ] Yuányú’s notes are graceful, sufficient to enjoy. [Wáng Càn] Zhòngxuān alone was good in ballads and rhapsodies, a pity his form was weak, and could not raise up to his words; as for his strengths, of the ancients none can surpass him. In the past Bóyá broke his strings for Zhōng Qī [never playing music again after his death], Zhòngní threw away his favorite meats for Zǐlù [never enjoying it again after his death], such is the pain of the difficulty in meeting an intimate friend, the wounds of none being able to match those closest. Those masters though do not yet match the ancients, they were the exceptional of our time.”
- (1) Diǎnlùn states: The recent literary men, Lǔ-guó’s Kǒng Róng, Guǎnglíng’s Chén Lín, Shányáng’s Wáng Càn, Běihǎi’s Xú Gàn, Chénliú’s Ruǎn Yǔ, Rǔnán’s Yìng Chàng, Dōngpíng’s Liú Zhēn, these seven masters, in scholarship were without omission, in words were without falseness, all were like refined horses crossing a thousand lǐ, of high level and all galloping. [Wáng] Càn excelled in ballads and rhapsodies. [Xú] Gàn had outstanding air, however he was not of [Wáng] Càn’s level. Like [Wáng] Càn’s Chūzhēng, Dēnglóu, Huáifù, Zhēngsī, [Xú] Gàn’s Xuányuán, Lòuzhī, Yuánshàn, Júfù, even Zhāng [Héng] and Cài [Yōng] do not surpass, however their other writings cannot be praised thus. [Chén] Lín and [Ruǎn] Yǔ’s essays and notes, are the present’s exceptional works. Yìng Chàng was harmonious but not strong; Liú Zhēn was strong but not confidential. Kǒng Róng’s form and air were high and sublime, surpassing other men, however he was not able to maintain discussion, his reasoning unequal to his words, so that he used miscellany to ridicule and mock; as for his strengths, he was of Yáng [Xióng] and Bān [Gù]’s class.
From Yǐngchuān’s Hándān Chún, (1) Fán Qīn, (2) Chénliú’s Lù Cuì, (3) Pèiguó’s Dīng Yí and Dīng Yì, Hóngnóng’s Yáng Xiū, Hénèi’s Gǒu Wěi and others, they also had literary talent, but were not with these seven ranked. (4)
- (1) Wèilüè states: Chún originally named Zhú, appellation Zǐshū, was broadly learned and had talent, and also was good with the Cāng, Yǎ, Chóng, Zhuàn, and Xǔshì Zìzhǐ. In Chūpíng’s time [190-193], he from the Three Adjuncts became a guest of Jīngzhōu. Jīngzhōu internally submitted , Tàizǔ had previously heard of his name, and summoned him to meet, and was deeply respectful and impressed with him. At the time the Five Office General [Cáo Pī] was widely involved with exceptional classicists, and also had heard Chún’s name, and therefore summoned Chún wishing to have him in the Literary Scholarship offices. It happened that the Marquis of Línzī [Cáo] Zhí also sought Chún, and Tàizǔ sent Chún to visit [Cáo] Zhí. Zhí first obtained Chún and was deeply happy, brought him inside to sit, without first with him conversing. At the time the weather was hot, [Cáo] Zhí therefore called his regular followers to fetch water and bathed himself, and applied face powder, then with bare head and chest, with a Hú dance practiced the five hammer exercises, jumped ball and sword fenced, reciting various exceptional stories of several thousand words and finished, and said to Chún: “Sir Hándān how about it?” Therefore he then again put on clothes and head-dress, fixed his appearance, and with Chún discussed the fundamentals of the universe and nature, the meanings of categories of things and distinguishing them, and afterward debated the rankings of the goods and bads of the worthy sages and famed officials and ardent heroes from Xīhuáng and onward, ranking and praising the ancient to the present’s literary works and rhapsodies and eulogies, and how to order officials and government matters, and also debated the influence of using military actions and soldiers relying on ambush. Then he ordered the kitchen manager, and alcohol and roasts were delivered, those seated in attendance were speechless, none able to with them match. Reaching evening, Chún returned, and to those he knew he sighed at [Cáo] Zhí’s ability, calling him a “Heavenly Man.” But at that time the successor had not yet been established, Tàizǔ briefly had intentions on [Cáo] Zhí, and Chún repeatedly praised [Cáo[ Zhí’s ability, and because of this the Five Office General was not pleased. Reaching Huángchú’s beginning , he appointed Chún as Academic Scholar Dispensing Matters Internal, Chún made a Target Pot rhapsody of over a thousand words and presented it, Wén-dì for the work, bestowed silk of a thousand pǐ.
- (2) Diǎnlüè states: Qīn appellation Xiūbó, used literary talent in critical debate, when young obtained reputation about Rǔ and Yǐng. Qīn was both skilled in writing records, and also good in poems and rhapsodies. His letters with the Heir-Apparent, recorded speech transferred meanings, were all skillful and beautiful. He became Chancellor’s Registrar. Jiàn’ān Twenty-third year  he died.
- (3) Diǎnlüè states: Cuì appellation Wényù, when young studied under Cài Yōng. During Chūpíng, he accompanied the Imperial Chariot to reach the Three Adjuncts. At Jiàn’ān’s beginning, for his high talent he with Jīngzhào’s Yán Xiàng were selected to be Secretariat Cadets. [Yán] Xiàng for having both civil and military ability, was sent out to be Yáng Province Inspector. Cuì later became Military Planning Libationer, and with Chén Lín, Ruǎn Yǔ and others managed records. When Kǒng Róng had faults, Tàizǔ sent Cuì to prepare memorial, to explain and enumerate [Kǒng] Róng’s crimes, its overall outline saying: “[Kǒng] Róng in the past was at Běihǎi, saw the Ruling House was not secure, recruited and gathered followers and armies, wishing to plot against course, saying: ‘I am the Great Sage’s descendent, but destroyed was Sòng, why must the one to possess the realm Under Heaven use metal blades?'” It also said: “Róng is of the Nine Ministers, but does not honor Court ceremony, without headscarf goes about, is irreverent in the palace halls. He also in white robes Mí Héng discussed wantonly, [Mí] Héng with Róng further praised and raised up each other. [Mí] Héng said to Róng: ‘Zhòngní did not die.’ Róng answered: ‘Yán Yuān lives again.'” Overall it spoke of Róng in this sort, its words very many. After Róng was executed, men observed that it was by Cuì composed, and none did not commend his talent and fear his writing brush. Reaching Ninteenth Year, Cuì was transferred to Confidential Documents Director, and followed the main army to Hànzhōng. In connection to violating prohibitions and requsting donkey he was submitted to law [executed]. The Heir-Apparent previously with Cuì was friendly, heard of his death, and for him sighed and mourned. When he ascended the Emperor’s Throne, he specially employed his son as a Chief Clerk.
- Yú Huàn states: Observing and examining the gone, of Lǔ Lián and Zōu Yáng’s kind, citing example and category, to explain and conclude, truly they were the most significant of the time’s literature and debate. Now considering Wáng, Fán, Ruǎn, Chén, Lù various men from beginning to end in writing purpose, also how were they not like the past? What was not discussed, was because the time and era were different and that is all. I also was humbly wondered by their not being extensively employed, and about it asked Minister Herald Wéi Zhòngjiāng, Zhòngjiāng said: “Zhòngxuān was harmful in loose simplicity, Xiūbó was without standard and restraint, Yuányú was ill and his form weak, Kǒngzhāng truly was coarse and sparse, Wénwèi’s nature inclined toward anger and brutality, to be like them, is not but to burn a candle to boil gruel. That they did not rise high, overall was because of this. However a gentleman does not blame it on one man, like the example of red lacquer, though it is not an evergreen tree, it has its luster and is also an impressive sight.
- (4) Yí, Yì, and Xiū’s matters, all are in Chén Sī-wáng’s [Cáo Zhí’s] Biography [SGZ 19].
- Xún Xù’s Wénzhāng Xùlù states: Wěi appellation Gōnggāo. When young he enjoyed literary scholarship. During Jiàn’ān, he was summoned for appointment as Military Planning Official, Wèi Heir-Apparent Resident, shortly promoted to reach Cavalier Regular Attendant, Yuè Cavalry Colonel. Aged forty-two, Huángchū Fourth Year  he died.
Chàng’s younger brother Qú, Qú’s son Zhēn, all for literary essays were known. Qú’s office reached Internal Attendant, Zhēn during Xiánxī was Advisor to Chancellor of State’s Military Affairs. (1)
- (1) Wénzhāng Xùlù states:
- Qú appellation Xiūliǎn, was widely learned and enjoyed writing prose, and was good at writing notes. In Wén and Míng’s reigns, he successivley held office as Cavalrier Regular Attendant. The King of Qí succeeded the throne, he was gradually promoted to Attendant Internal, General-in-Chief’s Chief Scribe. Cáo Shǎung controlled the government, and many times violated law and regulation, Qú made a poem to mock this. Though his words were overall harmonious, it often was cutting on the time’s important matters, and the world all shared it. He returned as Attendant Internal, managing writings. Jiāpíng Fourth Year  he died, posthumously titled Minister of the Guard.
- Zhēn appellation Jífǔ, when young for talent had reputation, and was able to discuss and debate. During Zhèngshǐ, Xiàhóu Xuán was flourishing with reputation and influence, Zhēn once with Xuán seated composed a five word poem, and Xuán praised and enjoyed it. He was nominated as High Level, and successively held prominent position. When Jìn Wǔ-dì [Sīmǎ Yán] became Supporting the Army General-in-Chief, he appoitned Zhēn as Advisor to Military affairs. When the Jìn House ascended, he was promoted to Heir-Apparent’s Internal Companion, Cavalier Regular Attendant. Also for his classicist learning he with Grand Commandant Xún Yǐ compiled and settled new ritual, but the matter was not yet enacted. Tàishǐ Fifth Year  he died.
- Zhēn’s younger brother Chún. Chún’s son Shào, during Yǒngjiā [307-313] became Yellow Gate Attendant Cadet, and was by Sīmǎ Yuè killed. Chùn’s younger brother Xiù. Xiù’s son Zhān, was Defending South General-in-Chief, Jiāng Province Inspector.
[Ruǎn] Yǔ’s son Jí, had talent and elegance splendid and outstanding, but was unconventional and wanton, his conduct and self had few desires, taking Zhuāng Zhōu as a model. His office reached Infantry Colonel. (1)
- (1) Jí appellation Sìzōng.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Jí was broad minded and uninhibited, and did not confine to ritual and custom. His nature was of utmost filial peity, in residing in mourning though he did not always use restraint, but his pain almost destroyed his character. Yǎn Province Inspector Wáng Chǎng requsted to with him meet, and to the end of the day was not able to with him talk, [Wáng] Chǎng sighed and admired him, himself believing he could not comprehend him. Grand Commandant Jiǎng Jì heard of and recruited him, later he became Secretariat Cadet, Cáo Shuǎng’s Advisor to the Army, and due to illness returned home. After over a year, [Cáo] Shuǎng was executed, and the Grand Tutor and General-in-Chief then appointed him Attending Official Internal Cadet. Later the Court discussed his high reputation, wishing to honor and esteem him, Jí because the world had many changes, accepted salary and nothing more. He heard the Infantry Colonel post was vacant, its kitchen having much fine alcohol, the camp people good at brewining alcohol, and requested to be the Colonel, and therefore drank excessively and became intoxicated, leaving behind the world’s affairs. Once he ascended Guǎngwǔ [mountain], looking at where Chǔ and Hàn had battled, and then sighed and said: “That time is without exceptional talents, to have a petty fellow [Liú Bāng] achieve fame!” At the times he followed his whims to alone ride carriage, did not follow the roads, and when the carriage could go no further, then he would grieve and cry and return. Jí when young once traveled to Sūmén mountain, Sūmén mountain had a recluse, no one knew his name or surname, he had several bamboo vessels, mortar and pestle and nothing more. Jí followed him, and with him discussed grand antiquity’s ways of inaction, and discussed the principles of the Five Emperors and Three Kings, and the Sūmén recluse had scornful expression of not listening. Jí then faced him and made a long whistle, clear sound resounding, the Sūmén recluse changed expression and laughed. Jí then went down, the Sūmén recluse also whistled, like a phoenix’s sound. At that, Jí took the Sūmén recluse’s discussion to influence his own thoughts. He sang: “Sun vanishes not around west, moon comes out from cinnabar depths, yáng essence hidden and not seen, yīn light replacing its strength. Stop stop in a flash, loathing loathing about to again fall, wealth and honor lowering and rising between, poor and lowly why should it end.” He also sighed and said: “Heaven and Earth in six directions open, stars fall and sun and moon collapse, I soaring above should have what concerns?” Jí’s mouth did not discuss men’s faults, and he was naturally exuberant, and therefore he was by scholars of ritual and law Hé Céng and others deeply opposed and hated. General-in-Chief Sīmǎ [Zhāo] Wén-wáng always protected him, and he died of old age.
- His son Hún appellation Zhǎngchéng.
- Shìyǔ states: Hún for tranqulity and having few desires, had fame in the capital. He became Heir-Apparent’s Companion. Early died.
At the time there also was Qiáo prefecture’s Jī Kāng, his writing magnificent, liked discussing Lǎo and Zhuāng, and esteemed the eccentric and acted as an adventurer. Reaching into Jǐngyuán, in connection to a matter he was executed. (1)
- (1) Kāng appellation Shūyè.
- According to Jīshìpǔ “Jī clan registers”: Kāng’s father Zhāo, appellation Zǐyuán, was Commander of Army Provisions Managing Documents Attendant Censorate. Elder brother [Jī] Xǐ, appellation Gōngmù, was for Jìn a Yáng Province Inspector, Minister of the Imperial Clan.
- [Jī] Xǐ for Kāng made a biography that said: “The family for generations were classicist scholars, when young he had exceptional talent, did not follow the crowd, high and bright and willful, did not care for fame, generous and magnanimous. His learning was not from teachers received, extensively spread with much heard, grown he liked the work of Lǎo and Zhuāng, peaceful without desires. By nature he enjoyed medicine, once selecting Imperial use drugs. He was good at writing prose and discussions, playing zither and singing poems, satisfied keeping it to imself. He believed in divine transcendents, but that it was gained natural, not by accumulated study attained. As for guiding and caring with reason, to extend life, like Ānqī and Péngzǔ’s story, it could by goodness be sought and attained.; he wrote a Yǎngshēng piān [Essay on Maintaining Health]. Knowing that those valuing self by this declined their lives, those seeking benefit certain to lose their character, he went beyond and alone attained, and therefore abandoned worldy affairs, leaving behind exterior of dust. He compiled and recorded high antquity and after’s sagely worthies, hidden recluses, withdrawn hearts, remaining names, gathering them into a biography and appraisal, from Hùndùn reaching to Guǎn Níng, altogether 119 men, overall they were those that sought it from within the cosmos, and sent it out beyond a thousand years. Therefore of the world’s people none obtained and named it.”
- Yú Yù’s Jìnshū states: Kāng’s family was originally surnamed Xī 奚, Kuàijī 會稽 men. Earlier from Kuàijī they moved to Qiáo’s Zhì county, changing to the Jī clan, taking from the Jī 嵇 character’s top, adding “mountain” 山 to be their surname, this overall was their ambition’s origin. Another saying is that Zhì had a Jī mountain, the family settled on its side, and therefore took it as clan name.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states:
- Kāng resided in Hénèi’s Shānyáng county, and those with him traveling, never once saw him happy or hurt. With Chénliú’s Ruǎn Jí, Hénèi’s Shān Tāo, Hénán’s Xiàng Xiù, [Ruǎn] Jí’s elder brother’s son [Ruǎn] Xián, Lángyé’s Wáng Róng, Pèi man Liú Líng together were friendly, roamed in the bamboo forests, called the Seven Worthies.
- Zhōng Huì was with the General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Zhāo] intimate, heard of Kāng’s name and went to meet him. [Zhōng] Huì was a famed Excellency’s son, for talent and ability was noble and trusted, his horse was fat and his clothes light, and guest-retainers followed him like clouds. Kāng on a winnow basket squatted and hammered metal, [Zhōng] Huì arrived, and he did not meet with courtesy. Kāng asked [Zhōng] Huì: ” What is heard and comes? What is seen and goes?” [Zhōng] Huì said: “Something is heard and comes, something is seen and goes.” [Zhōng] Huì deeply resented him.
- The General-in-Chief [Sīmǎ Zhāo] once wished to recruit Kāng. Kāng already spoke of being cut off from the world, and also with his cousin’s son was not friendly, and avoided it going to Hédōng, some saying he was avoiding the world. When Shān Tāo became Selection Department Cadet, he nominated Kāng to succeed him, Kāng answered in letter refusing, and therefore explained himself as being unable to bear common customs, not that he belittled Tāng and Wǔ. The General-in-Chief heard this and was furious.
- Previously, Kāng with Dōngpíng’s Lǚ Zhāo’s son [Lǚ] Xùn and [Lǚ] Xùn’s younger brother Ān were close and friendly. It happened that [Lǚ] Xùn was lewd with [Lǚ] Ān’s wife lady Xú, and falsely accused [Lǚ] Ān of being unfilial, and they arrested him. [Lǚ] Ān called on Kāng to be his witness, and Kāng righteously did not betray heart, and made clear the situation. [Lǚ] Ān also was utmostly ardent, and had ambition to relieve the world. Zhōng Huì urged the General-in-Chief to take advantage of this to eliminate them, and therefore they killed [Lǚ] Ān and Kāng.
- Kāng facing execution was at ease, holding zither and playing, and soon after sighed and said: “Elegant sound hence is cut off.” At the time of people none did not mourn him.
- Previously, Kāng gathered drugs in Jí prefecture in Gòngběi mountain, and met the recluse Sūn Dēng. Kāng wished to with him speak, [Sūn] Dēng was silent and did not answer. At the time he was about to leave, Kāng said: “Master you indeed have nothing to say?” [Sūn] Dēng then said: “Your talent is much but your experience little, it will be difficult to be spared in the present world.” When encountering the Lǚ Ān matter, he made a poem blaming himself that said: “Wishing to have few faults, slanderous talk boils over. Nature not harming things, repeatedly reaching blame and resentment. In the past shamed Liǔ Xià, now shamed Sūn Dēng. Inside betraying former heart, outside shaming good friend.” Kāng’s written essays and discussions were sixty to seventy thousand words, all by the world enjoyed and sung.
- Kāng Biézhuàn [Kāng’s Supplementary Biography] says: Sūn Dēng said to Kāng: “Your nature is fierce and your talent exceptional, can you escape?” When Kāng was facing death his words were: “Yuán Xiàoní once accompanied me in studying Guǎnglíng Sǎn, I always firmly did not teach it. Guǎnglíng Sǎn now is lost!”
- It is with what [Sūn] Shèng recorded not the same.
- Also Jìn Yángqiū says: Kāng met Sūn Dēng, Dēng faced him long whistling, passing time and not speaking. Kāng took leave to return, saying: “Sir you really have nothing to say?” Dēng said: “A pity!”
- These two documents both were by Sūn Shèng writen, and yet they are entirely different like this.
- Kāng Jí Mùlù states: [Sūn] Dēng appellation Gōnghé, not know from where man, no family or dependents, and at Jí county northern mountain lived in a cave. In summer then he weaved grass to make garments, in winter then he covered himself in hair. He enjoyed reading the Yì and playing zither, and all that met him were close and pleased with him. Every time they visited his home, at once he gave them his clothes and food and drink, and they could not decline.
- Shìyǔ states: Guànqiū Jiǎn rebelled, Kāng had strength, and moreover wished to raise troops to answer him, and about this asked Shān Tāo, Tāo said: “Cannot.” [Guànqiū] Jiǎn also was already defeated.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī cites the base biography saying Kāng during Jǐngyuán in connection to a matter was executed, but Gān Bǎo’s, Sūn Shèng’s, Xí Zuòchǐ’s various books, all say Zhèngyuán Second Year , Sīmǎ [Zhāo] Wén-wáng returned from Yuèjiā, and killed Jī Kāng and Lǚ Ān. Going by Shìyǔ it says Kāng wished to raise troops to answer Guànqiū Jiǎn, and therefore says after defeating [Guànqiū] Jiǎn they then in answer killed Kāng. This truly is not correct. Shān Tāo became Selections official, wished to nominate Kāng to succeed him, Kāng in letter refused, the matter is clearly verifiable. According to Tāo Xíngzhuàng, [Shān] Tāo beginning in Jǐngyuán Second Year  was appointed Official Division Cadet. Jǐngyuán and Zhèngyuán are seven to eight years apart, by Tāo Xíngzhuàng examining it, it seems the base biography is verified. Also Zhōng Huì’s Biography also says [Zhōng] Huì while Colonel Director of Retainers executed Kāng; [Zhōng] Huì was Director of Retainers during Jǐngyuán. Gān Bǎo says Lǚ Ān and his elder brother Xùn were friendly with Zhōng Huì, [Lǚ] Xùn was a Chancellor of State’s Official, and also was favored by Sīmǎ [Zhāo] Wén-wáng, and therefore supported [Lǚ] Ān’s execution. As [Sīmǎ Zhāo] Wén-wáng in Jǐngyuán Fourth Year  as Zhōng [Huì] and Dèng [Ài] pacified Shǔ afterward, first accepted Chancellor of State position; if [Lǚ] Xùn while a Chancellor of State’s Official destroyed [Lǚ] Ān, how could it be in the year of defeating Guànqiū Jiǎn that they killed Jī [Kāng] and Lǚ [Ān]? This also is Gān Bǎo’s error, mutually inconsistent.
- Kāng’s son Shào, appellation Yànzǔ, when young had reputation. Shān Tāo recruited him as Confidential Document Cadet, praising Shào as fair and warm and clever, having literary thinking, and also understood music, and would be successful. The Emperor [Sīmǎ Yán] said: “If Shào is like this, he can be the deputy, not worth making him a cadet.” Therefore he successively held prominent position.
- Jìn Zhūgōng zàn states: Shào with Shān Tāo’s son Jiǎn, Hóngnóng’s Yáng Zhǔn were together friendly, but Shào most had loyal and upright nature. As Attendant Internal he followed Huī-dì on northern campaign against the King of Chéngdū, the Ruling Army was utterly defeated, the hundred officials all fled, only Shào alone with his body shielded and defended, and therefore died at the Emperor’s side. Therefore he repeatedly was commended and esteemed, posthumously titled Grand Commandant, posthumous name Zhōng-Mù-gōng “Loyal and Reverent Duke.”
During Jǐngchū, Xiàpī’s Huán Wēi came from orphaned and humble origins, aged eighteen years he wrote the Húnyú Jīng, depending on the way to see intentions. He was Qí State Below the Gate Documents Aide, Excellency of Works’ Bureau Official, later becoming Ānchéng Magistrate.
Wú Zhì was a Jǐyīn man, for his literary talent was with Emperor Wén friendly, office reaching Shaking Authority General, Acting Staff Regional Commander of the Hé’s north’s various military affairs, fief as a ranked Marquis. (1)
- (1) Wèilüè states: Zhì appellation Jìzhòng, for talent and learning communicated extensively, and was by the Five Offices General [Cáo Pī] and the various lords [sons of Cáo Cāo] were treated with ritual and loved; Zhì also was good at situating between the brothers, like the previous ages’ Lóu Jūnqīng traveling between the five Marquis. When the Hé’s north was pacified and settled, the Five Office General became the successor son, Zhì with Liú Zhēn and others all sat in attendence to him. When [Liú] Zhēn was reprimanded, Zhì was sent out to be Zhāogē Chief, later promoted to Yuánchéng Magistrate. Afterward the main army went on western campaign , the Heir-Apparent was south at Mèngjīn’s small city and with Zhì wrote letter that said:
- Jìzhòng [I hope you are] without troubles! Though the roads are near, government responsibilities have limits [keeping us from meeting in person], [I] hope to speak of my thoughts, but they cannot be expressed. Where you govern is rustic and base, [my] letter of inquiries arrives, increasing and adding to your toils. Every time recalling of the former days of Nánpí’s travels, truly it cannot be forgotten, both subtly pondering the Six Classics, freely rambling the Hundred Schools [of thought], dànqí [‘pellet chess’] set up, to the end playing, high discussion amusing hearts, sorrowful zither pleasing the ear. Galloping across the northern fields, eating in southern inns, floating sweet melons in clear springs, pouring vermillion plums in cold waters. When day light was gone, [we] continued by the bright moon, in the same carriage together riding, to roam the rear gardens, carriage wheels gently turning, guest retainers without sound, pure breeze in the night rising, sorrowful whistle subtly blowing, happiness going and sorrow coming, chilled in hurt and grief. I looked back and said, this happiness is difficult to keep, and you and your companions, all believed it so. Now indeed [we are] separated, each in one region. [Ruǎn Yǔ] Yuányú long ago passed away, becoming something else, every time remembrance of it arrives, when can it be said? Right now is the time for organizing surrounding guests, scenery and breeze fanning things, weather pleasantly warm, multitudes of fruits in great numbers. At the time harnessing carriage and traveling, to the north following the Hé’s bend, followers blow whistles to announce to the road, Literary Scholars entrusted to ride in the rear chariots, the season is the same but the times different, the things the same but the people different, my toils are what? Now sending rider to Yè, therefore having him on bent road passing. [I] go, take care of yourself!
- Twenty-third Year , the Heir-Apparent again with Zhì wrote letter that said:
- Years and moons easily gained, since our parting it has been four years. Three years of not meeting, the Dōngshān [poem] yet sighed at its distance, so all the more when surpassing it, the melancholy how can it be born? Though letters go and return, it is not enough to resolve these toils and bonds. In past years was sickness and plague, of my close and old friends many departed in this disaster. Xú [Gàn], Chén [Lín], Yìng [Chàng], Liú [Zhēn], in the same time together passed, the pain how can it be spoken of? In former days of traveling, when going then sharing carriage, when stopping then joining mats, how could they suddenly be lost? Every time reaching feasting and drinking, string and bamboo [music instruments] together playing, intoxicated to ear buring, looking up and composing rhapsody and poem, at these times, suddenly not aware knowing such happiness. It is said a hundred years [lifetime] is divided, to long together protect one another, how can it be imagined that within a few years, it would be completely withered and fallen, speaking of it pains the heart. [I have] compiled their remaining writings, all into one collection. Observing their surnames and personal names, they are already a ghost record, in recollection of former travels, yet they are in heart and eye, but these sirs have become soil and earth, what can again be said? Observing the ancient and present literary men, their sort do not protect delicate conduct, few are able to by reputation and integrity establish themselves. But [Xú Gàn] Wěicháng alone embraced culture and character, quiet and content with few desires, having the will of Jī mountain, and can be called a refined gentleman. He wrote Zhōnglùn of over twenty piān, its words and meanings refined and elegant, sufficient to be transmitted to posterity. [Yìng Chàng] Déliǎn always was remarkable in narrating and creating ideas, his talent and learning sufficient to write books, his beautiful ambitions were not achieved, so very lamentable! [Chén Lín] Kǒngzhāng’s essays were special and invigorating, but a bit complicated. [Liú Zhēn] Gōnggàn[‘s writings] had outstanding air, but was not vigorous. [Ruǎn Yǔ] Yuányú’s notes are graceful, sufficient to enjoy. [Wáng Càn] Zhòngxuān alone was good in ballads and rhapsodies, a pity his form was weak, and could not raise up to his words; as for his strengths, of the ancients none can surpass him. In the past Bóyá broke his strings for Zhōng Qī [never playing music again after his death], Zhòngní threw away his favorite meats for Zǐlù [never enjoying it again after his death], such is the pain of the difficulty in meeting an intimate friend, the wounds of none being able to match those closest. Those masters though do not yet match the ancients, they were the exceptional of our time, the present living already do not match them. The later born can be feared [as eventually surpassing them], but the coming will have difficulty, but I and you sir will not see them. In passing years [I have] already grown up, what [I] harbor are ten thousand thoughts, at times considering them, so that then at night [I] cannot close my eyes. In what time can it again be like the past days? Already [I] have become an old man, only I am not yet white haired. Guāng-Wǔ [Liú Xiù] said: ‘[My] years are already thirty, in the army ten years, what [I’ve] experienced is not [just] one [thing].’ Though my virtue does not match his, in years [I am] with him equal, like a dog or sheep in character, wearing a tiger or leopard’s markings, without the brightness of the multitudes of stars, borrowing the light of the sun and moon [Translater’s Note: This may be a reference to his father], every action observed closely, when can this be changed? [I] fear forever [I will] not again gain those former days’ travels. Youth truly should strive hard, once a year passes, how can it again be gained? The ancients pondered bright candle night travels, truly this was proper. Recently how have [you] amused yourself? Have [you] again written something or not? To the east looking to town, write and narrate heart.”
- [Translater’s Note: Cáo Pī was thirty two in 218]
- Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that though the base biography overall records the Heir-Apparent’s letter, of its beautiful words many were omitted, now I therefore all from what Wèilüè narrated provide its words.
- The Heir-Apparent succeeded the King’s throne , and also with Zhì wrote letter that said: “In Nánpí’s travels, there were three of us, my great father’s dragon flying [promoting officials], some were generals some were marquis. Now only you my sir, stay delayed in lower position, of those that followed me in my travels and lodging, you alone do not reach the gate. Bottles empty jars disgraced, can I be without shame? Roads are not called far, now we again mutually hear.” Previously, Cáo Zhēn and Cáo Xiū also with Zhì and the rest were all at Bóhǎi traveling and residing, at the time [Cáo] Xiū and [Cáo] Zhēn also as clansmen relatives both received noble rank and fief, were sent out as ranked Generals, and Zhì therefore became a Chief Clerk. The King attended to Zhì having hopes, and therefore spoke of those two men to comfort him. At first Zhì was from lowly family, rarely traveled among wealthy relatives, and overall did not with those of his hometown interact. Therefore though he himself became official, in his home country yet he was not considered famous. When Wèi possessed the realm Under Heaven, Wén-dì summoned Zhì, and sharing Imperial Chariot met at Luòyáng. He arrived, was appoitned North Internal Cadet General, fief as a raked marquis, Envoy Wielding Staff as Commander of Yōu and Bìng’s various military affairs, headquarters at Xìndū. During Tàihé [227-233], he entered Court. Zhì himself because he would not by his home prefecture be respected, said to Excellency over the Masses Dǒng Zhāo: “I wish only to drown my hometown.” [Dǒng] Zhāo said: “Wait for now. I am aged eighty years, and when I cannot get any older then you can drown me.” [Translator’s note: Dǒng Zhāo was also a Jǐyīn man]
- Shìyǔ states: The King of Wèi once went out on campaign, the successor son [Cáo Pī] and Marquis of Línzī [Cáo] Zhí both saw him off beside the road. [Cáo] Zhí praised and narrated achievements and virtues, his speech orderly, those around stared, and the King also was pleased. The successor son was frustrated and at a loss, Wú Zhì in his ear said: “When the King is about to go, you can weep.” At the goodbyes, the successor son wept and bowed, the King and his attendants all cried, and therefore all believed [Cáo] Zhí’s words were very magnificent, but his sincerity did not match.
- Zhì Biézhuàn states:
- The Emperor once summoned Zhì and Cáo Xiū to a joyous meeting, ordering Empress Guō to go out and meet Zhì and the rest. The Emperor said: “You look up and carefully look at her.” His utmost closeness was like this.
- Zhì in Huángchū Fifth Year  attended Court in the capital, Imperial Order on the Upper General and Speciall Advanced on down to all meet where Zhì was, and the Chief Officer provided supplies, they drank to intoxication, and Zhì wished to be exhaustively pleased. At the time the Upper General Cáo Zhēn was fat, Central Manager of the Army Zhū Shuò was skinny, Zhì summoned performers, and had them talk of fat and skinny. [Cáo] Zhēn because he was noble, was shamed seeing the performance, and angrily said to Zhi: “You wish to with your guard retainers come face me?” Elite Cavalry General Cáo Hóng, Light Chariots General Wáng Zhōng said: “General if you wish to make the Upper General admit being fat, then you should first become skinny.” [Cáo] Zhēn’s became all the more angry, drew saber and glared eyes, saying: “Who dares make light of me, I will behead.” Therefore he cursed the seated. Zhì gripped sword and said: “Cáo Zǐdān, you are not a table top’s meat, I Wú Zhì swallowing you would not move my throat, chewing you would not move my teeth, how dare you rely on power to be arrogant?” [Zhū] Shuò therefore rose and said: “His Majesty sent us to come to you to have fun, why go this far?” Zhì looked back and shouted at him: “Zhū Shuò, you dare break seat?” The various Generals all returned to their seats, [Zhū] Shuò was impatient, and increasingly angry, returning drew sword and chopped the ground. Therefore they then stopped.
- When Wén-dì passed away, Zhì in memorium made a poem that said:
- Grief grief harbored flourishing sorrow
- Flourishing sorrow cannot be resided
- Moving leaning unable to sit
- Exiting entering steps wavering hesitating
- Recalling immersion in sagely ruler’s grace
- Glorious rank with the masses different
- Self saying forever ending body
- Willful air barely yet unfolding
- How intentions accorded then abandoned
- Abaonding us returning to yellow clay
- Desolate desolate without one to rely on
- Tears falling like liked pearls
- Following loss without gain
- Body died name not written
- Generous regret self forceful exhort
- Almost yet ardent man
- Tàihé Fourth Year , he entered as Attendant Internal. At the time Excellency of Works Chén Qún controlled Secretariat affairs, the Emperor newly oversaw all matters, and Zhì as the assisting great ministers, where the foundations of security and danger, to the Emperor enthusiastically praised: “Elite Cavalry General Sīmǎ Yì, loyal and wise and utmostly fair, is the State Altar’s servant. Chén Qún is an unhurried scholar, not a talent to be a state’s chancellor, occupies heavy position but does not personally serve.” The Emperor deeply accepted this. The next day, there was cutting Imperial Order reprimanding [Chén] Qún, but the realm Under Heaven because no Excellency of Works could match Chángwén, that is Qún, said it was without truth. Zhì that year in summer died.
- Zhì previously relied on power to be reckless in conduct, posthumous name Chǒu-hóu “Disgraceful Marquis.” Zhì’s son Yìng then sent up letter saying it was unjust, reaching Zhèngyuán [254-256] posthumous name was changed to Wēi-hóu “Powerful Marquis.” Yìng appellation Wēnshū, was a Jìn Secretariat. Yìng’s son Kāng, appellation Zǐzhòng, had reputation at the time, and also reached great position.