(11.4) Guó Yuān 國淵 [Zǐní 子尼]

Guó Yuān appellation Zǐní, was a Lè’ān Gě man. He took Zhèng Xuán as a teacher. (1) Later he with Bǐng Yuán and Guǎn Níng and others fled the chaos to Liáodōng. (2)

國淵字子尼,樂安蓋人也。師事鄭玄。〔一〕後與邴原、管寧等避亂遼東。〔二〕

  • (1) Xuán Biézhuàn states: Yuān at first was not yet famed, Xuán appraised him stating: “Guó Zǐní, is a beautiful talent, I have observed this man, he will certainly be the state’s tool.”

〔一〕 玄別傳曰:淵始未知名,玄稱之曰:「國子尼,美才也,吾觀其人,必為國器。」

  • (2) Wèishū states: Yuān was diligent in study and enjoyed the ancients, at Liáodōng, he always lectured and taught in the mountains, of scholars many nominated and admired him, and by this he became famed.

  〔二〕 魏書曰:淵篤學好古,在遼東,常講學於山巖,士人多推慕之,由此知名。

When he returned to his old lands, Tàizǔ recruited him as Excellency of Works Official and Associate, every time there was public Court discussion and commentary, he always directly spoke with stern expression, withdrawing without personal interest. Tàizǔ wished to expand and install garrison-farms, sending Yuān to manage these matters. Yuān repeatedly explained the losses and gains, appraised the land’s resident people, calculated the people and installed officials, made clear laws for achievements and assignments, and within five years the granaries were abundant and full, the common people competed to exhort themselves happily in work.

既還舊土,太祖辟為司空掾屬,每於公朝論議,常直言正色,退無私焉。太祖欲廣置屯田,使淵典其事。淵屢陳損益,相土處民,計民置吏,明功課之法,五年中倉廩豐實,百姓競勸樂業。

Tàizǔ campaigned into Guānzhōng, appointed Yuān as Residing Office Chief Clerk, to preside over remaining affairs. Tián Yín and Sū Bó rebelled in Héjiān, when [Tián] Yīn and the rest were defeated, afterward there were remaining conspirators, and all were to be executed by law. Yuān believed they were not the leaders in evil, and requested to not enact punishment. Tàizǔ followed this, and those that due to Yuān saved their lives were over a thousand men. The written letters about defeating rebels, previously [exaggerated] one as ten, but when Yuān sent up the heads counted, it was the true number. Tàizǔ asked the reason, Yuān said: “The campaigning and suppression of outside enemies, the increasing of the count of beheaded and captured, is to wish to make larger the military achievement, to show to the people. Héjiān is inside our territory, [Tián] Yín and the rest rebelling, though overcoming was quick and with achievement, I Yuān am humbly ashamed of it.” Tàizǔ was greatly pleased, and promoted him to Wèijūn Administrator.

太祖征關中,以淵為居府長史,統留事。田銀、蘇伯反河間,銀等既破,後有餘黨,皆應伏法。淵以為非首惡,請不行刑。太祖從之,賴淵得生者千餘人。破賊文書,舊以一為十,及淵上首級,如其實數。太祖問其故,淵曰:「夫征討外寇,多其斬獲之數者,欲以大武功,且示民聽也。河間在封域之內,銀等叛逆,雖克捷有功,淵竊恥之。」太祖大悅,遷魏郡太守。


At the time there was someone who delivered letter of slander, Tàizǔ hated it, and wished to certainly know who was responsible. Yuān requested to keep the original letter, and not announce and reveal. This letter frequently cited Èr Jīng fù, Yuān ordered his Merit Officer saying: “This prefecture is large, and now is with the capital and Imperial carriage, but few are those with learning. Thus select out the young, to wish to send them to receive teaching.” The Merit Officer selected three men, when about to be sent they were called to meet, and instructed: “What you’ve learned is not yet enough, Èr Jīng is a book of broad things, the world’s people neglect it, with few teaching it, you can seek those able to read it and from them receive it.” He also secretly told the purpose. After ten days they found one able to read it, and therefore went to receive learning. The official therefore requested to to have them make a letter, comparing the letters, it with the delivered letter was of the same hand. They arrested and interrogated, and indeed it was due to his reasoning. He was promoted to Minister Charioteer. He resided in rank of Minister position, but he wore plain clothes and ate vegetarian meals, his salary and bestowments he gave out to old friends and clansmen, with respect and frugality he maintained himself, and died in office. (1)

時有投書誹謗者,太祖疾之,欲必知其主。淵請留其本書,而不宣露。其書多引二京賦,淵敕功曹曰:「此郡既大,今在都輦,而少學問者。其簡開解年少,欲遣就師。」功曹差三人,臨遣引見,訓以「所學未及,二京賦,博物之書也,世人忽略,少有其師,可求能讀者從受之。」又密喻旨。旬日得能讀者,遂往受業。吏因請使作箋,比方其書,與投書人同手。收攝案問,具得情理。遷太僕。居列卿位,布衣蔬食,祿賜散之舊故宗族,以恭儉自守,卒官。〔一〕

  • (1) Wèishū states: Tàizǔ appointed his son Tài as a Cadet.

〔一〕 魏書曰:太祖以其子泰為郎。

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s