2020 March 15

Spring, Standard Moon, King Wǔ reached Luòyáng; Gēngzǐ [220 Mar 15], died.

The King knew men and was good at observing, it was difficult to deceive him with falseness. In recognizing and selecting out genius, he did not care about humble origins, by ability he appointed and employed, and all obtained their use. When facing the enemy on the battle lines, his thoughts were calm and at ease, as if not intending to battle; but reaching to the decisive point of seizing victory, his spirit was overflowing. Merits and labors he appropriately rewarded, not begrudging a thousand gold; for those lacking achievement seeking endowment, not the slightest coin was shared. His use of law was severe and harsh, those with violations were certainly killed, some he would face and weep for them, but to the end none were pardoned. He was temperate in nature and frugal, and did not enjoy illustrious ornamentation. Therefore, he was able to cut down the powerful, nearly pacifying all within the seas.

from Zīzhì Tōngjiān

資治通鑑曰: 春,正月,武王至洛陽;庚子,薨。王知人善察,難眩以偽。識拔奇才,不拘微賤,隨能任使,皆獲其用。與敵對陳,意思安閑,如不欲戰然;及至決機乘勝,氣勢盈溢。勳勞宜賞,不吝千金;無功望施,分豪不與。用法峻急,有犯必戮,或對之流涕,然終無所赦。雅性節儉,不好華麗。故能芟刈羣雄,幾平海內。


Cáo Cāo was a very capable man, at the very least a hero. I am no comrade of Cáo Cāo, but no matter what, I always admire him very much.

— Lǔ Xùn 鲁迅 (1888 – 1936)

鲁迅: 曹操是一个很有本事的人,至少是一个英雄,我虽不是曹操一党,但无论如何,总是非常佩服他。


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