Zhàn Qián 棧潛 [Yànhuáng 彥皇]
Gāotáng Lóng appellation Shēngpíng, was a Tàishān Píngyáng man, Lǔ’s Gāotáng Shēng’s descendant. When young be became a scholar, Tàishān Administrator Xuē Tì ordered him to be a supervisor investigator. The prefecture’s commander of the army with [Xuē] Tì fought and argued, and he used Tì’s personal name and cursed him. Lóng with hand on sword scolded the commander of the army saying: “In the past when Lǔ [Duke] Dìng was insulted, Zhòngní ran up the steps [to defend his lord], [the King of] Zhào [was humiliated by being forced to] play zither for [the King of] Qín, [Lìn] Xiàngrú advanced a clay pot [to the King of Qín to hit play in accompaniment, returning the insult]. Seeing a servant using personal name of his master, by righteousness it must be punished.” The commander of the army lost color, and [Xuē] Tì in alarm rose and stopped him. Later he left office, and took refuge in Jǐnán.
Jiàn’ān Eighteenth Year , Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] summoned him as Chancellor’s Army Consulting Official, later he became Marquis of Lìchéng [Cáo] Huī’s Literary Scholar, transferred to his Chancellor. [Cáo] Huī at Tàizǔ’s passing, did not grieve, and instead traveled and hunted. Lóng with righteousness and uprightness remonstrated, deeply having the integrity of giving guidance.
During Huángchū, he became Tángyáng Chief, and was selected to be the King of Píngyuán’s Tutor. The King succeeded the honored throne, and was Emperor Míng [Cáo Ruì]. Lóng became Giving Affairs Central, Academic Scholar, Attached Horse Commandant. When the Emperor first ascended, of the various ministers some believed it was appropriate to have a musical celebration. Lóng said: “Táng and Yú had grieving of restraint and secrecy, [Hàn] Gāozōng [Liú Héng] had consideration of not speaking, and therefore reached virtue harmonious and splendid, enlightening the four seas,” believing it not appropriate to have celebration. The Emperor venerated and accepted this.
He was transferred to Administrator of Chénliú. Cow-herding commoner Yǒu Mù, aged over seventy years, had utmost conduct, and [Gāotáng Lóng] nominated him as a Calculation Department Official; the Emperor praised him [Yǒu Mù], and specially appointed him Cadet Central to honor him. Summoned Lóng as Cavalier Regular Attendant, bestowed rank as Marquis Within the Passes. (1)
- (1) Wèilüè states: The Grand Scribe sent up [memorial that] Hàn’s Calendar did not match natural timing, and therefore should again advance calculation and investigation of lunar phases, to make the Tàihé Calendar. The Emperor because Lóng’s learning was excellent and deep, and in astronomy was also elite, therefore had Imperial Order sending Lóng with Secretariat Documents Cadet Yáng Wěi and the Grand Scribe Attendant Order Luò Lù together calculate and investigate. [Yáng] Wěi and [Luò] Lù were Grand Scribes, Lóng cited old calendars and they again impeached and memorialized against each other, arguing for several years, [Yáng] Wěi claimed that [Luò] Lù had the eclipses but the moon ends were not thorough, Lóng could not obtain the eclipses but the moon ends were thorough, and Imperial Order followed the Grand Scribe. What Lóng argued though was not successful, yet far and near yet knew his elite ability.
During Qīnglóng, there was great building of palace halls and residences, to the west fetching Cháng’ān’s large bells. Lóng sent up memorial: “In the past Zhōu King Jǐng did not honor and enact [Kings] Wén and Wǔ’s enlightened virtue, neglected [Zhōu] Duke Dàn’s sacred regulations, both casting large coins, and also making large bells, Shàn Duke Mù remonstrated but he did not listen, Língzhōu Jiū opposed and he did not follow, and therefore he was bewildered without return, and Zhōu’s virtue by this declined, and good historians recorded it, to be a perpetual reflection. However the present’s petty men, enjoy speaking of Qín and Hàn’s extravagance to overwhelm your sacred heart, seeking after those fallen state’s inappropriate vessels, conscripted labor is spent and wasted, thus harming virtuous government, and it is not the way to prosper the harmony of Ritual and Music, or protect the form of the divine enlightenment.”
That day, the Emperor visited Shàngfāng, Lóng with Biàn Lán accompanied. The Emperor with Lóng’s memorial gave to [Biàn] Lán, having him debate Lóng saying: “Prosperity and decline is in government, music has what to do with it? If cultivation is not enlightened, how is it a bell’s crime?”
Lóng said: “This Ritual and Music, is governance’s great foundation. Therefore at Xiāo Sháo’s ninth completion, the phoenixes came in attendance, thundering drums sixth change, heavenly spirits thus descended, government thereby was peaceful, punishments thereby were stopped, and this was harmony’s utmost. A new sound set out and echoed, and Shāng Xīn by this perished. Large bells were cast, Zhōu [King] Jǐng by this declined. Survival and destruction’s crucial point, is always by this formed, how can it with falling and rising have no relation? The ruler’s actions must be written, this is the ancient’s principle. To make but not follow, how can it show to later times? The sagely King cheerfully heard their faults, and therefore there was the principle of warning and admonishment; loyal subjects wish to exhaust their integrity, and therefore have righteousness forgetting self.” The Emperor praised this as good.
He was promoted to Attendant Internal, also designate Grand Scribe Director. Chónghuá Palace Hall burned down, Imperial Order asked Lóng: “This is what calamity? By ritual, what prayer to avoid calamity is appropriate?”
Lóng replied: “The appearances of catastrophic change, all are to illuminate and teach remonstrant. Only to lead ritual and cultivate virtue, is able to overcome it. The Yìzhuàn states: ‘Above not frugal, below not economical, disastrous fire burns their residences.’ It also states: ‘Ruler makes high his tower, heaven’s fire becomes disaster.’ Thisis the ruler of men carelessly decorating palaces and residences, not knowing the common people’s exhaustion, and therefore heaven answers it by drought, and fire from high palace halls arise. Heaven Above sends down reflections, to therefore reprimand and inform Your Majesty; Your Majesty should expand and esteem human principle, to reply to Heaven’s intentions. In the past Tàiwù had mulberry and grain grow in Court, Wǔdīng had pheasants perch on tripods, both heard disaster and were frightened, devoted self to cultivate virtue, and after three years, the distant foreigners came to court with tribute, and therefore they were titled Zhōngzōng and Gāozōng. This then is the prevoius dynasties’ enlightened reflection. Now according to old divination, the appearances of disasters of fire, are all remonstrants on towers pavilions palaces and residences. However now the reason that palaces and residences are expanded, is truly that the palace women are plentiful and many. It is appropriate to select and keep the virtuous and restrained, like Zhōu’s regulations, and dismiss the remaining. This then is the reason Zǔjǐ remonstrated Gāozōng, the reason Gāozōng enjoyed long-lasting title.”
Imperial Order asked: “I heard in Hàn Wǔ-dì’s time, Bóliáng burned down, yet there was great raising of palaces to oppose it, this reasoning was what?”
Lóng replied: “I your servant have heard when the western capital’s Bóliáng burned down, Yuè shamans explained plans, for Jiànzhāng’s construction, to suppress fire omens; therefore it was the foreign Yuè shamans’ doing, not a sage’s enlightened remonstrant. Wǔxíngzhì states: ‘Bóliáng burning down, from it afterward there was Jiāng Chōng’s witchcraft against Wèi Heir-Apparent incident.’ Like the zhì says, the Yuè shaman’s Jiànzhāng was without suppression. Kǒng-zǐ said: ‘Disasters are categories answering conduct, essences and spirits mutually affecting, to warn the ruler of men.’ Therefore the sagely ruler observes disaster and reproaches self, withdraws and cultivates virtue, to eliminate and restore it. Now it is appropriate to dismiss and release the people and conscripts. Palace and residence regulations, should follow reduced system, inside sufficient to deal with wind and rain, outside sufficient to explain ritual and ceremony. Clean and sweep where the disaster occurred, do not dare at that place establish and build, fortunate herb and auspicious grain certainly will grow in this land, to reply to Your Majesty’s reverent and respectful virtue. How can one weary the people’s strength, and exhaust the people’s wealth? It truly is not how to convey auspicious omen and embrace distant people.”
The Emperor therefore restored Chónghuá Palace Hall, at the time the prefectures and states had nine dragons sighted, and therefore they changed name to Jiǔlóng ‘Nine Dragons’ Palace Hall.
Língxiāo watchtower began construction, there was magpie nest at its top, the Emperor about this asked Lóng, who replied: “The Shī says: ‘Magpies have nest, turtledoves reside it.’ Now raising palace residences, raising Língxiāo watchtower, yet magpies nesting it, this is the omen of palace residences not yet completed and self not able to reside. Heaven’s intention is like saying, the palace residences not yet complete, and will have a different surname control and govern it, this then is Heaven Above’s admonishment. Heaven’s principle is without kinship, it is only with good men, and cannot be not deeply guarded, cannot be not deeply considered. At Xià and Shāng’s final seasons, both continued form, but did not respect and carry on Heaven Above’s enlightened mandate, only slanderers were followed, overthrowing virtue and following desires, and therefore they perished suddenly. Tàiwù and Wǔdīng observed disaster and were fearful, respectfully accepted Heaven’s warnings, and therefore their flourishing was sudden. Now if resting and ceasing the hundred conscripts, restricting to sufficient use, expanding and esteeming virtuous government, acting in accordance with an Emperor’s standards, remove everywhere what Heaven detests, raise how all people benefit, the Three Kings could be like Four, the Five Emperors could be like Six, how can it only be Yīn’s [Zhōng and Gāo] zōng that turn disaster into fortune and nothing more? I your servant serve as belly and heart, and if can bring many joys to your Sagely Self, secure and preserve the State Altars, I your servant though destroy self and ruin clan, would be like in living years. How can I fear disaster of disobedience, and cause Your Majesty to not hear utmost words?” Therefore the Emperor changed appearance and moved color.
That year, there was comet in in Dàchén [sky region]. Lóng sent up memorial: “When Emperors and Kings moved capital and established city, all first settled the seat of Heaven and Earth State Altars, reverent and respectful in serving it. When about to build Palaces and Residences, then the Ancestral Temples were first, storage and warehouses were next, residence rooms were last. Now the Round Hill, Square Pool, the South and North Suburbs, Enlightened Hall, State Altars, and Spirit Tablets are not yet settled, the System of Ancestral Temples also are not yet by Ritual, but you esteem ornamentation of residence rooms, and the people lose their industry. Outside men all say the use of palace women, with the cost of raising arms for the army and state, in their exhaustiveness are equal. The people cannot bear the orders, and all have resentment and anger. The Shū states: ‘Heaven’s Intelligence comes from our people’s intelligence, Heaven understanding fear comes from our people understanding power.’ Carriage men compose odes, then go toward the five fortunes, the people angrily sigh, then there is power of the six extremes, saying that heaven’s rewards and punishments, follow the people’s words, and obey the people’s hearts. Therefore in overlooking government affairs securing the people is first, then afterward study the ancient transformations, regulate the high and low, from ancient times to now, it has never been not correct. The selection of rafters and inferior palaces, was how Táng, Yú, and Dà Yǔ sent down August aura; jade towers and jeweled rooms, was how Xià Guǐ, Shāng Xīn offended clear Heaven. Now the Palaces and Residences, truly violate ritual regulations, and to further establish Jiǔlóng, the flowery decoration exceeds the previous. Heavenly Comet burns luminous, first rising at Fángxīn [‘room heart’ sky region], crossing Dìzuò [‘Emperor’s seat’ star] and through Zǐwēi [star], this then is August Heaven’s Son loving Your Majesty, and therefore sending down sign of teaching and remonstrant. Beginning and end are all with the honored seat, flourishing in diligence serious and heavy, wishing to certainly awaken Your Majesty; this then is a compassionate father’s earnest instruction, and you should esteem a filial son’s respectful ritual, to take the lead in leading subordinates, to make clear to later posterity, it is not suitable to be negligent, and so double Heaven’s anger.”
At the time the army and state had many affairs, and use of law was very heavy. Lóng sent up memorial that said: “The developing of legacy and passing down of governance, must depend on sagely enlightenment, to support the age and rectify government, also must wait for good assistance, to use ability for numerous achievement to gather and rank things abundant and regulated. The shifting of customs and changing of conventions, announcing enlightenment and principle transformation, to cause the four sides to be together in custom, turn head to face inside, virtue and teaching bright and splendid, the nine regions admiring righteousness, is assuredly not what common officials are capable of. Now managers attend to investigating punishment writings, not taking as foundation great principle, and therefore punishments are used but there is no correction, customs suffer but there is no kindness. It is appropriate to esteem ritual and music, order narrations in the Enlightened Hall, cultivate the Three Harmonies, Great Shooting, and caring for the elderly, build and establish Suburb Temples, honor classicist scholars, raise up reclusive hermits, memorialize standard and regulations, change the Standard Calendar, shift dress color, declare kind fraternity, value thriftiness and simplicity, and afterward prepare the ritual of Fēngshàn, giving credit to Heaven and Earth, to cause the sound of elegant odes to fill the Six Directions, and fine prosperous transformation to drift to later posterity. This overall is the beauty of utmost government, the noble enterprise without end. Then within the nine regions, can by deference be governed, and yet what worry would there be? To not upright its roots and rescue its ends, is like tangling threads, it is not reasonable government. You can order the various Excellencies and Ministers and scholars to connect with classicists, to form and prepare these matters, to create a standard form.”
Lóng also believed: “Changing the Standard Calendar, shifting dress color, distinguishing honored titles, and using different tools, was how since ancient times rulers divinely enlightened their governance, transformed the peoples’ ears and eyes, and therefore the three spring months were called king, to enlighten the three governances.” Therefore he elaborated on old regulations, memorialized and changed them. The Emperor followed his comments, changing Qīnglóng Fifth Year Spring Third Moon to be Jǐngchū Inaugural Year First of Summer Fourth Moon, dress color esteemed yellow, sacrifices used white, following the Earth Standard.
Promoted to Minister of Merits. The Emperor increased the expanding of palace halls, engraving ornaments watchtowers and pavilions, chiseling Tàiháng’s quartz, selecting Gǔchéng’s aragonite, raising Jǐngyáng mountain in Fānglín garden, establishing Zháoyáng hall at Tàijí’s north, casting and making Yellow Dragon and Phoenix strange and grand beasts, decorating Jīnyōng and Língyún towers and Língxiāo watchtower. The hundred tasks in complication rose, the builders were in the tens of thousands, the Excellencies and Minsiters down reaching to students, none did not devote strength, and the Emperor then personally himself dug soil to lead them. But Liáodōng did not submit, Dào Huánghòu [“Mourned” Empress lady Máo] died, Heaven had excessive rain, Jìzhōu’s waters burst through, flooding and drowning people and things. Lóng sent up memorial decisively remonstrating:
It is said: “Heaven and Earth’s great virtue is called life, the Sagely Man’s great treasure is the throne; What protects the throne? Benevolence. What gathers the people? Wealth.” That being the case the people then are the state’s defense; grain and silk then are the people’s lives. Grain and silk without nature are not produced, and without men’s strength are not completed. Therefore the Emperor plows to encourage agriculture, the Empress cultivates silk to complete clothing, and so clearly serve God Above, and announce reverent recompense is granted. In the past at Yī Táng, the world encountered misfortune of imbalances, flood waters rushed the heavens, sending Gǔn to manage it, the service used was not completed, and therefore they raised Wénmìng, following mountains and carving wood, from beginning to end passing years of twenty two. In the extremity of disaster, nothing surpasses that. In the raising of strength and labor, nothing was longer than this. Yáo and Shùn ruler and minister, to the south faced and nothing more. Yǔ went about the Nine Provinces, commoners and elites and ordinary officials, each have their degree and difference, gentleman and petty man, have their dress and badge. Now there is no urgency like that time, but you send the Excellencies and Ministers and grandees together with servants and followers to together supply service and conscripted labor, the four [directions of] Yí hearing of this, is not a praiseworthy reputation, bamboo and silk passing this down, is not a good name. Therefore one with the state and with family, nearby seeks from self, distantly seeks from things, protects and cares and nurtures, and therefore it is said: “Friendly fraternal noble man, the people’s father and mother.” Now high and low are conscripted to labor, sick and exhausted, those plowing and sowing are few, the hungry and starving are all around, without enough to end the year; it is appropriate to increase pity and sympathy, to relieve their destitution.
I your servant observe what past documents and registers record, that between Heaven and Man, there has never not been mutual answering. Therefore the ancient former wise Kings, feared the enlightened Mandate of Heaven Above, adhered to the opposition and following of Yīn and Yáng, vigilant and industrious, for fear that they would violate, and afterward government principle was employed and flourished, virtue with the spirits coincided, and if disaster or strangeness occurred, they feared and corrected government, and there has never been such as those that did not long continue and pass down rule. Then reaching the final end, an ignorant lord and neglectful ruler, did not esteem the commands and course of the former kings, did not accept the straightforward words of upright elites, to instead follow their mood and will, at ease and ignoring warnings of changes, and there has never been not leading to disaster and trouble, reaching to downfall.
Heaven’s Way is already revealed, I ask to by Men’s Way discuss it. The Six Senses and Five Characters, are the same among men. Desire and purity, each has their own. In every action, there is conflict in the heart. If desire is strong and purity is weak, then indulgence is excessive without restraint; if spirit is not regulated, then release overflows without end. Where passion is, is enjoying what is beautiful, but if beauty and good are to be gathered, without men’s labor it is not completed, without grain and silk it is not established. If passion is without bound, then men cannot bear its labor, and things cannot satisfy its demands. If labor and demand are both of utmost, then there will be rising of disaster and chaos. Therefore if one does not restrain passion, there is no way to appease it. Zhòngní said: “A man without consideration of the distant, is certain to have problems nearby.” By this observing it, the systems of ritual and righteousness, is not merely to regulate distribution, but to remove harm and to prosper.
Now Wú and Shǔ the two rebels, are not merely small lands of petty caitiffs and bandits of gathered cities, but rely on rugged terrain and rivers, and wield multitudes, usurping title to declare themselves Emperor, wishing to with the central states contend for supremacy. Now if there are people who come to report, that [Sūn] Quán and [Liú] Shàn both cultivate virtuous government, restore path to purity and frugality, lighten and relax taxation, do not manage trifles and playthings, in action consult aged worthies, and serve and observe ritual regulation, and if Your Majesty heard this, how could you not but be fearful and resentful of this, believing it difficult to in the end suppress and eliminate them, and for the state be worried? If instead the reporter said, those two rebels are both without principle, esteeming extravagance without limit, conscripting their elites and people, doubling their taxation, subordinates cannot bear their commands, and wails and sighs daily increase, and if Your Majesty heard this, how could you not but be agitated and angered at their oppressing of our guiltless people, and wish to quickly apply punishment on them, and next, how could you not but be fortunate of their weariness and weakness and take them without trouble? If it were like this, then you can with easy heart decide, and calculating the service of righteousness also would not be far away.
Moreover Qín Shǐhuáng did not build the foundations of principle and virtue, but built Āfáng Palace, did not worry of changes within the screens, but managed the conscription labor for the Long Fortress. When these rulers and ministers for this calculated, they also wished to establish an enterprise for ten thousand ages, to have their posterity long possess the realm Under Heaven, how could they think that on one morning a common fellow would loudly cry, and all Under Heaven would be overturned? Therefore I your servant believe that if the lords of previous ages knew that their conduct would certainly lead to destruction, then they would not have acted thus. Therefore the rulers of destroyed states themselves say they will not be destroyed, but afterward reach destruction; lords of worthy sages themselves say they will be destroyed, but afterward they do not reach destruction. In the past Hàn Wén-dì was called a worthy ruler, personally acting with frugality, giving kindness to subordinates and caring for the people, but Jiǎ Yì opposed this, believing the world Under Heaven was turned upside down, what was worth crying bitterly for was one, what was worth flowing tears was two, what was worth long sighs was three. All the more now the realm Under Heaven is destitute, the people without stores of grain, the state without livestock to last the year, outside there are strong enemies, the Six Armies violent on the borders, inside there are raising of construction projects, the provinces and prefectures disturbed, if there is alarm of bandits, then I your servant fear the soldiers working on construction will not be able to devote their lives against the caitiffs.
Also, if officers and officials’ salaries, are slightly lowered, compared to the past, by one fifth, and those various retirees are also cut off from granary bestowments, and those unsuitable expenses are all made to be half, this would for the government income be double the old, and the expenses to be a third of the past. But sustaining current use, is all the more insufficient, and beef small taxes, are from beginning to end continuous. On the other hand considering things, overall these various expenses, certainly have their places. Moreover salary and bestowment of grain and silk, is how the ruler of men kindly cares for officials and people and for them manages livelihood, and if now it is abolished, it is to steal their lives. To already obtain it but again lose it, this is to create resentment in the offices. By the Zhōu Lǐ, Great Office handles the nine taxes wealth, to give nine models of use, income has its source, expenses have their place, not interfering with each other and each use has enough. After each has enough, then the remainder is given as tribute, offered to the King for pleasure and enjoyment. Also the superior’s use of wealth, must be investigated by the manager of accounts. Now those who with Your Majesty together sit at court to govern the realm Under Heaven, are not the Three Excellencies and Nine Ministers, but are the terrace pavilion inner subjects, all belly and heart officials, and this should not be taboo, but if they see abundance reduced and do not dare report it, disobey order and flee away, for fear of not being successful, then these are tools, and not unyielding assistants. In the past Lǐ Sī educated Qín Èrshì saying: “To be a ruler of men and not abandon restraint, is to be called by the realm Under Heaven be shackled.” Èrshì used this, and Qín state thus was overturned, and [Lǐ] Sī also had his clan exterminated. Therefore the historian [Sīmǎ] Qiān commented on this not upright remonstrant, to for the world be a warning.
The letter was presented, the Emperor read it, and said to the Internal Documents Supervisor and Director: “Observing Lóng’s this memorial, causes me to be afraid!”
Lóng was critically ill, and by oral dictation sent up memorial:
Zēng-zǐ had illness, Mèng Jìngzǐ asked after him. Zēng-zǐ said: “A bird about to die, its call is sad; a man about to die, his words are good.” I your servant am lying with illness, which increases and does not decrease, and always fear suddenly passing, with my loyalty not yet displayed. I your servant’s red sincerity, how can it only be like Zēng-zǐ? May Your Majesty slightly bend down to examine and read this! Scatter and change the mistakes and errors of past matters, vigorously raise the deep foundations of future matters, to cause spirits and men to turn toward and answer, the different regions to admire righteousness, the four divinities to produce treasures, the jade stars glorious in essence, then the Three Kings can be surpassed, the Five Emperors can be exceeded, and not only follow and continue form and preserve culture and nothing more.
I your servant always resent when the era’s ruler does not think of continuing the government of Yáo, Shùn, Tāng, and Wǔ, but instead follow after the paths of Jié, Zhòu, Yōu, and Lì, none of those are mocked by later ages as confused rulers of destroyed states, and do not ascend to follow the course of Yú, Xià, Yīn, and Zhōu. Oh sorrow! If it is thus, to seek the fundamentals, is like climbing a tree to seek fish, or boil water to create ice, that it cannot be obtained, is obvious. Observing how the Three Ages possessed the realm Under Heaven, sages and worthies completed one another, and over the course of several hundred years, of every chǐ of land none were not their possession, of every man none were not their subject, all states were completely tranquil, the nine regions together joined; the gold of the deer terrace, the grain of the giant bridges, were [so much that they were] without uses, they followed the old ways in facing south, what was this conduct? However Guǐ and Xīn’s sort, relied on their military strength, their knowledge sufficient to refuse remonstrants, their talents sufficient to decorate their wrongs, flatterers were esteemed, terraces and towers were built high, excessive pleasures were enjoyed, entertainers performed, they made extravagant and wasteful music, calming Púshàng’s sounds. Heaven Above did not protect them, its concern thus turned away, their temples and state became ruins, they descended into destruction, Zhòu’s head was hung on white flag, Jié was left in the wilderness; Heaven’s Son’s honor, Tāng and Wǔ gained it. Yet [Zhòu and Jié] had been exceptional men, who were the successors of enlightened Kings. Moreover in the time of the Six States, the realm Under Heaven thundered and burned, Qín then absorbed it, did not cultivate the sagely way, and thus constructed the Palace of Āfáng, built the defense of the Long Fortress, boasting and dazzling the central states, authority such that the hundred barbarians submitted, Under Heaven was shaken and respectful, on the roads only exchanging looks, and they called themselves the root and branch for a hundred leaves, to forever pass down vast glory, how could they be aware at the second generation they would be exterminated, the State Altars collapsed and destroyed? Recently Hàn Xiào-Wǔ continued from the fortunes of Wén and Jǐng, to outside strike the Yí and Dí, to inside raise palaces and halls, and within over ten years, the realm Under Heaven was disturbed. Then he trusted in Yuè witches, blaming Heaven to take out his anger, raising the Palace of Jiànzhāng, with a thousand gates and ten thousand doors, in the end reaching Jiāng Chōng witchcraft rebellion, so that the palaces and residences were estranged, father and son destroyed one another, the poison of the calamity, the disaster flowed through the ages.
I your servant observe that during Huángchū, Heaven had omens of its warnings, unusual sorts of birds, grew up in Yàncháo, mouth and talon and breast red, this was the Wèi House’s great unusual omen, that it is appropriate to guard against eagle wielding [military] ministers within the inner screens. You can select from the various kings, to have them rule their states and manage troops, to go arrange positions, to protect and support the Imperial region, to assist and brighten the Emperor’s house. In the past in Zhōu’s transfer east, Jìn and Zhèng were depended on, in Hàn’s chaos of the Lǚ [consort] clan, they truly depend on [the Marquis of] Zhūxū, these are the enlightened reflections of previous ages. The August Heaven is without favoritism, only virtue does it support. If the people sing of benevolent government, then it increases the length of reign, if subordinates have complaints and sighs, then it gives to and awards the able. By this observing things, the realm Under Heaven that is under Heaven, is not only Your Majesty’s realm Under Heaven. I your servant have hundreds of illnesses, my strength is minuscule, I can only on carriage go out, and return home, and if then I vanish, a ghost yet with awareness, from below the grasses I will repay you.
Imperial Order said: “Your incorruptibility follows from Bóyí, your uprightness surpasses Shǐ Yú, your heart unyielding and pure, speaking boldly without self concern, how can you for a small illness not yet healed, retire yourself home? In the past Bǐng Jí by secret virtue, his illness was removed and his life extended; Gòng Yǔ by holding to integrity, his illness was severe but was relieved and healed. Devote your strength to care for yourself.”
Lóng died, his will ordered a meager burial, restrained to regular clothes. (1)
- (1) Xí Zuòchǐ states: Gāotáng Lóng can be called a loyal servant. The ruler was extravagant and he every time remonstrated against his evils, when about to die he did not forget to worry for the State Altars, his upright words moved his ignorant master, his enlightened warnings were proven after his death, his bold honest speech sufficient to encourage all, his virtuous sound lost but completely manifest, could he not be called loyal and moreover wise? The Shī says: “Listen and use my plan, and there will be no great regrets.” It also states: “If none listen, the great mandate is overturned.” This was speaking of Gāotáng Lóng.
Previously, during Tàihé, Central Protector of the Army Jiǎng Jì sent up memorial stating: “It is appropriate to observe the ancient Fēngshàn [sacrifices].” Imperial Order said: “Hearing [Jiǎng] Jì’s these words, causes my sweat to perspire and flow.” The matter was shelved for several years, later there was discussion on it, and they had Lóng compose its ritual ceremony. The Emperor heard Lóng had died, and sighed and said: “Heaven does not wish to complete my affairs, for scholar Gāotáng to abandon me and die.” His son Chēn succeeded noble rank.
At first, during Jǐngchū, the Emperor because Sū Lín and Qín Jìng and others were all old, was afraid they would not be able to pass down their work. Therefore Imperial Order said: “In the past the foremost sage died, but his remaining words were taught, and preserved in the Six Arts. In the writings of the Six Arts, ritual is also urgent, and cannot be this delayed and abandoned. Customs at the tip turning back on the root, is due to it being a long time since the origin. Therefore Mǐn-zǐ ridiculed Yuán Bó for not studying, Xún Qīng was hateful of Qín burying classicists. If classicist scholarship is abolished, then how can public morals then rise? At present there are great classicist scholars, each and every high in years, in the ways of teachings, who will be their successors? In the past Fú Shēngjiāng was old, Hàn Wén-dì for a successor used Cháo Cuò, the Gǔliáng had little research, Xuān-dì continued it with ten cadets. Thus gather cadet officials of high ability to explain the classics and comment of thirty men, to follow the Minister of Merits Lóng, Cavalier Regular Attendant [Sū] Lín, Academic Scholar [Qín] Jìng, divided to receive the Four Classics and Three Lǐ, the master to prepare for them methods of examination. Xiàhóu Shèng had the saying: ‘Scholars worry of not understanding the classics and arts, if the classics and arts are understood, their gaining purple [ribbons of office] is [easy] like bending down to pluck a grass and that is all.’ Now if among scholars there are those able to investigate the principles of the classics, then give rank and salary to honor and favor them, in no time they will come, how can you but make an effort!” After several years, Lóng and the rest all died, and the scholarship therefore was abandoned.
Previously, Rénchéng’s Zhàn Qián, in Tàizǔ’s time was Lì county magistrate, (1) and once commanded and defended Yè city. At the time Emperor Wén was Heir-Apparent, indulged and music and hunting, in the morning going out and at night returning. Qiān remonstrated: “Kings and Dukes construct rugged terrain to solidfy their states, the capital city inner guard, use warnings against the unexpected. The Dàyǎ says: ‘The successor son maintains the city, so that the city does not fall.’ It also states: ‘Yet it does not consider the far, and so I use great remonstrant.’ If you go to travel the fields, in the morning setting out and at twilight returning, for one day’s amusement of chasing animals, and so forget the troubles without end, I humbly am puzzled by this.” The Heir-Apparent was not pleased, but from then afterward his going out to travel was less frequent.
During Huángchū, Wén-dì was about to establish Noble Concubine Guō as Empress, Qián sent up memorial remonstrating, the story is in the Biographies of Empresses and Consorts [SGZ 5].
In Míng-dì’s time, multitudes of conscription labor tasks all rose, relatives were all separated, Qián sent up memorial that said: “Heaven begat the people and cultivated for them the ruler, in order to envelop all life, prosper and care for the countless populace, and therefore to regulate the Four Seas is not for Heaven’s Son, and dividing up land with borders is not for the vassal lords. In the beginning from the Three Augusts, reaching to Táng and Yú, all with extensive relief applied to the realm Under Heaven, rich virtue to accord, and the multitudes depended on it. From the Three Kings there was decline, passing down to Hàn, the length of governance became increasingly short, tragic chaos increasingly often, and from that time afterward, yet it has not been corrected. Tàizǔ was an eminent sage and divine warrior, cutting down and removing the brutal and violent, restored the ruler’s authority, and thus began the Emperor’s enterprise. Wén-dì received Heaven’s Mandate, to open and restore the Imperial foundations, reigning for seven years, all affairs not yet finished. Your Majesty is of sagely virtue, continuing on the vast program, and should esteem calm, to with the people rest. But the corners are not yet pacified, campaign soldiers distantly garrison, there are matters beyond the seas, displaying banners across ten thousand lǐ, the Six Armies mobilized, on water and land transporting supplies, the common people give up industry, a day’s expenses is a thousand gold. Greatly raising halls and residences, the laborers are in the tens of thousands, the delivered pine trees, stripping mountains and exhausting valleys, unique stones and jades, float on the Hé and Huái, all within the capital borders, has become your personal garden, and what should be supplied for grain harvesting, is used for your garden plants and selected animals. The flourishing of woods and thicket dirt, abundance of deer and rabbit gatherings, injures and harms agricultural work, the lands are filed with thorns, disasters and plagues spread about, people and things are greatly dispersed, above losing harmonious aura, auspicious grain not planted. I your servant have heard that Wén-wáng in building Fēng, began slowly and did not rush, the common people willingly came, and within days it was completed. Língzhǎo and Língyòu were with the people shared. Now the palaces and watchtowers esteem extravagance, the engravings are of utmost intricacy, forgetting Yǒuyú’s management of time, thinking only of Yǐn Xīn’s exquisite households, the restricted region is a thousand lǐ, sufficient for traveling about, beautiful like Āfáng, the conscription labor overwhelms, and I your servant fear the people’s strength is exhausted, and subordnates cannot bear the commands. In the past Qín occupied Xiáohán to control the six directions, themselves believing their virtue as high as the Three Augusts, their achievements as expansive as the Five Emperors, wishing to have their titles reach ten thousand, but in the second generation they were overturned, willing to become a commoner [but unable to], because when the branch and trunk shake, the roots indeed are first pulled out. The sagely kings that governed the world, were enlightened with eminent virtue, employed the accomplished and were intimate with intimates; if the eminent were in office, then achievement and enterprise can flourish, if the close kin are employed, then security and danger they together concern with; deep roots and hard foundations, together with trunk and wings, though undergoing rise and fall, inside and outside there is assistance. In the past Chéng-wáng was young, not yet able to administer the government, Zhōu, Lǚ, Shào, and Bì, together were to the left and right; now there is no Wèi-hóu and Kāng-shū to supervise, and in dividing responsibilities, there also is no Dàn or Shì. The East Palace [of the Heir-Apparent] is not yet established, the realm Under Heaven without a successor. May Your Majesty keep heart on the border passes, forever protect without end, and then within the seas will be fortunate.”
Later he became Yān Subaltern, declined due to illness and did not accept, and died.
- (1) Qián appellation Yànhuáng, see Yìng Qú’s Shūlín.