(22.1) Huán Jiē 桓階 [Bóxù 伯緒]

Huán Jiē appellation Bóxù was a Chángshā Línxiāng man. (1)


  • (1) Wèishū states: Jiē’s grandfather Chāo, father Shèng, both successively managed provinces and prefectures. Shèng became Secretariat Documenter, with reputation in the south.

〔一〕 魏書曰:階祖父超,父勝,皆歷典州郡。勝為尚書,著名南方。

He served the prefecture as a Merit Officer. The Administrator Sūn Jiān nominated Jiē as filial and incorruptible, and he became a Secretariat Cadet. At his father’s passing he returned to his hometown. It happened that [Sūn] Jiān struck Liú Biǎo and in battle died, Jiē braved troubles to visit [Liú] Biǎo to ask for [Sūn] Jiān’s body, and [Sūn] Jiān was righteous and gave it.


Later Tàizǔ with Yuán Shào were locked together at Guāndù, [Liú] Biǎo raised the province to support [Yuán] Shào. Jiē said to his Administrator Zhāng Xiàn: “To raise matters but not take foundation in righteousness, has never not been defeated. Therefore Qí [Duke] Huán led the various lords to honor Zhōu, Jìn [Duke] Wén drove away Shūdài to accept the King. Now the Yuán clan opposes this, but Governor Liú supports him, this is the path to seeking disaster. You wise governor must wish to establish achievement and enlighten righteousness, secure fortune and distance from disaster, it is not appropriate to with him be the same.”


[Zhāng] Xiàn said: “In that case where can we turn?”


Jiē said: “Though Excellency Cáo is weak, he wields righteousness and rises, rescuing the Court from danger, serving the ruler’s mandate and suppressing the criminal, who dares not support? Now if you raise the four prefectures to defend the three rivers to wait for his coming, and for him serve as inside support, is it not also possible?”


[Zhāng] Xiàn said: “Excellent.” Therefore he raised Chángshā and the neighboring three prefectures to resist [Liú] Biǎo, sending envoy to visit Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ was greatly pleased. It happened that [Yuán] Shào with Tàizǔ repeatedly battled, and the army could not yet go south. And [Liú] Biǎo urgently attacked [Zhāng] Xiàn, [Zhāng] Xiàn of illness died. The city fell, and Jiē therefore went into hiding. Long after this, Liú Biǎo recruited him as a Attending Official Libationer, wishing to wed him wife with his wife’s younger sister lady Cài. Jiē explained he was already bound in marriage, refusing and not accepting, and therefore claimed illness and retired.


Tàizǔ settled Jīngzhōu [208], heard of his planning for Zhāng Xiàn, was impressed with him, and recruited him as Chancellor’s Official Registrar, promoted to Zhàojùn Administrator. When Wèi state was first established [213], he became Tiger Elite Internal Cadet General Attendant Internal. At the time the Heir-Apparent was not yet decided, and the Marquis of Línzī [Cáo] Zhí had favor. Jiē repeatedly explained Wén-dì’s virtue was excellent and teeth were longer [older in age], and should be the successor, [both] publicly admonishing and privately remonstrating, from beginning to end earnest and utmost. (1) Also Máo Jiè and Xú Yì were unyielding and so little involved in factions, and were by West Department Official Dīng Yí not friendly, [Dīng] Yí frequently spoke of their shortcomings, only due to Jiē being an attendant were they [Máo Jiè and Xú Yì] protected. His favorability and rectifying rescue, was often of this kind. He was promoted to Secretariat Documenter, managing selections and promotions.


  • (1) Wèishū records Jiē’s remonstrant: “Now the Heir Apparent’s benevolence is above the various sons, his name shines within the seas, benevolent and sagely and comprehensive integrity, Under Heaven none have not heard; but the Great King just now about [Cáo] Zhí asks me your servant, and I your servant truly am puzzled by it.” Therefore Tàizǔ knew Jiē was serious in holding to uprightness, and deeply increased his value of him.

〔一〕 魏書稱階諫曰:「今太子仁冠群子,名昭海內,仁聖達節,天下莫不聞;而大王甫以植而問臣,臣誠惑之。」於是太祖知階篤於守正,深益重焉。

Cáo Rén was by Guān Yǔ besieged, Tàizǔ sent Xú Huǎng to rescue him, but it was not resolved. Tàizǔ wished to personally campaign south, and about it asked his subordinates. The subordinates all said: “If the King does not quickly go, now it will be defeat.”


Jiē alone said: “Does the Great King believe [Cáo] Rén and the rest are able to handle the situation or not?”


Said: “Able.”


“Does the Great King fear the two men will hold back strength?”


Said: “No.”


“In that case why personally go?”


Said: “I fear the caitiffs are very many, and [Xú] Huǎng and the rest’s strength is not enough and that is all.”


Jiē said: “Now [Cáo] Rén and the rest reside within multi-layer siege but defend to the death without second thoughts, and this truly is due to the Great King from afar for them influencing. Those occupying ground of ten thousand deaths, certainly have heart to fight to the death; inside harboring to the death will, outside having strong rescue, the Great King citing the Six Armies to show reserve strength, why worry of defeat and wish to personally go?”


Tàizǔ praised his words, and stationed army at Móbēi. The rebels therefore withdrew.


When Wén-dì ascended the throne, he was promoted to Secretariat Director, given fief as Gāoxiāng precinct Marquis, added Attendant Internal. Jiē was ill, and the Emperor personally overlooked and examined, saying: “I just entrusted my six chǐ, entrusted the realm Under Heaven’s Mandate on you, exhort yourself!” Moved fief to Ānlè village Marquis, fief of 600 households, also bestowed on Jiē’s three sons noble rank as Marquis Within the Passes, [Huán] Yòu as the successor son was not given fief, of illness died, and also was posthumously titled Marquis Within the Passes. Later Jiē’s illness was severe, and was sent envoy to be appointed Minister of Ceremonies, he died, and the Emperor for him shed tears, posthumous name Zhēn-hóu “Chaste Marquis.” His son Jiā succeeded. Appointed Jiē’s younger brother Zuǎn as Cavalier attendant Cadet, bestowed noble rank as Marquis within the Passes. Jiā was bestowed Shēngqiān precinct princess, it happened that during Jiāpíng, as Lè’ān Administrator he with Wú battled at Dōngguān, the army was defeated, he died, posthumous name Zhuàng-hóu “Robust Marquis.” His son Yì succeeded. (1)


  • (1) Shìyǔ states: Jiē’s grandson Líng, appellation Yuánhuī, had reputation in Jìn Wǔ-dì’s reign, reached Xíngyáng Administrator, died.


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