Lóu Xuán appellation Chéngxiān was a Pèi prefecture Qí man. In Sūn Xiū’s time he became Supervising Agriculture Censor. Sūn Hào succeeded the throne, he with Wáng Fán, Guō Chuò, Wàn Yù together became Cavalier Regular Attendants, sent out as Kuàijī Administrator, entered as Minister of Agriculture. The old Restricted Central managers employed close intimates to serve as them, [Wàn] Yù explained that [positions of] close confidentiality and intimate knowledge should employ good men, [Sūn] Hào therefore ordered managers to seek loyal and pure servicemen, to answer these selections, and therefore employed Xuán as Palace Descending Defense Restricted Center Captain, managing the place’s internal affairs. Xuán followed the Nine Ministers grasping saber as attendant guard, upright body leading the masses, followed the law and then acted, in answers was cutting and direct, repeatedly opposing [Sūn] Hào’s intentions, and gradually met with reproach and anger. Later someone falsely reported Xuán with Hé Shào had crossed paths, stopped and together whispered in ears and greatly laughed, slandering and mocking government affairs, therefore he was by Imperial Order investigated and reproached, sent to Guǎng province.
East Tower Director Huà Hé sent up memorial stating: “I your servant humbly believe the form of governing state, is yet like governing family. Those managing fields all should be good and honest. Also it is appropriate to obtain one man to manage their agendas, to compose the network [of laws], and the multitude of affairs are then managed. The Lúnyǔ states: ‘One without action and governing is like Shùn! Respectful self directly south facing and nothing more.’ It says for the appointment one must obtain the man, for one to travel and be at ease. Now Within the Seas is not yet settled, Heaven’s Under has many affairs, matters whether large or small, all should be considered and heard, moving and passing the government seat, laboring and straining your Sagely consideration. Your Majesty sends down thought and observes the ancients, gathering the utmost of skill and culture, applies diligent heart to good principle, in following integrity and conveying aura, it is appropriate to obtain tranquility to expand spirit of thought, breath purely, with Heaven sharing extremity. I your servant morning to night think and ponder, of among the various officials, appointed to manage affairs, sufficient to entrust with weapon, none surpass Lóu Xuán. Xuán is pure and loyal in serving the public, crowning the present age, the masses acknowledge his conduct, none competing with him. Purity then is heart at peace and thoughts direct, loyalty is pondering the correct path and walking it, as with Xuán’s nature, end from beginning it can be ensured, one begs Your Majesty to pardon Xuán’s former transgression, to allow him to reform himself, promote to managing positions, reproach his later actions, to have those selected for office, by talent receive appointment, then Shùn’s respectful self, nearly also can be obtained.”
[Sūn] Hào hated Xuán’s reputation, again exiled Xuán and his son Jù, sending them to Jiāozhǐ officer Zhāng Yì, to have them on the battlefield prove themselves, secretly separately ordering [Zhāng] Yì to kill them. Jù arrived at Jiāozhǐ, of illness died. Xuán with whole body followed [Zhāng] Yì in suppressing bandits, wielding saber on foot wading, on seeing [Zhāng] Yì at once bowed, [Zhāng] Yì could not bear to kill him. It happened [Zhāng] Yì suddenly died, Xuán encoffined [Zhāng] Yì, in the vessel saw the order letters, returned and then killed himself. (1)
- (1) Jiāngbiǎozhuàn states: [Sūn] Hào sent officer Zhāng Yì pursue and bestow on Xuán poison, [Zhāng] Yì because Xuán was worthy, could not bear at once announce Imperial Order and deliver the drugs, Xuán secretly knew this, and said to [Zhāng] Yì: “You should have early told me, what have I to begrudge?” At once he took the drugs and died.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that with Xuán’s pure nobility, he certainly would not because of safety or danger change conduct, with no chance of suddenly bowing to Zhāng Yì, to degrade his integrity. Moreover the turn of disaster had already occurred, how would a hundred bows be escape? What Jiāngbiǎozhuàn says is superior in logic.