(22.4) Chén Jiǎo 陳矯 [Jìbì 季弼]

Chén Jiǎo appellation Jìbì was a Guǎnglíng Dōngyáng man. He fled the chaos to the Jiāng’s east and Dōngchéng, declined Sūn Cè’s and Yuán Shù’s mandates, returning to his home prefecture. Administrator Chén Dēng invited him to be Merit Officer, sent Jiǎo to visit Xǔ, saying: “Below Xǔ the commentators treat me as insufficient, you sir go observe for me, return and give report.” Jiǎo returned and said: “Hearing the discussions far and near, they tend to say your enlightened governorship is arrogant and self-boastful.” [Chén] Dēng said: “Of the harmonious families, with virtue and with conduct, I respect Chén Yuánfāng and his brothers [Chén Qún’s father and uncles]; of the deeply pure and clean as jade, with courtesy and with law, I respect Huà [Xīn] Zǐyú; of the purely cultivated and hateful of evil, with knowledge and with righteousness, I respect Zhào [Yù] Yuándá; of the widely learned with strong memory, unusual and outstanding, I respect Kǒng [Róng] Wénjǔ; of the dominant and prominent, with the strategies of an overlord, I respect Liú [Bèi] Xuándé; with respect like this, what arrogance do I have? The remaining figures are trifling, how are they sufficient to note?” [Chén] Dēng’s elegant thinking was like this, and he deeply respected and befriended Jiǎo.


The prefecture was by Sūn Quán besieged at Kuāngqí, [Chén] Dēng ordered Jiǎo to seek rescue from Tàizǔ. Jiǎo persuaded Tàizǔ saying: “Though our humble prefecture is small, it is a state of opportune form, if immersed in rescue and assistance, to cause it to be your outer screen, then the Wú people’s planning will be broken, Xú region will forever be secured, your martial sound will distantly shake, your benevolence and passion rush and flow, and the not yet following states will watch the winds and attach, to esteem virtue and cultivate authority, this is the ruler’s enterprise.” Tàizǔ was impressed with Jiǎo, and wished to keep him. Jiǎo declined saying: “My home state is overturned, I only hurry to report emergency, even if without Shēnxū’s efficacy, dare I forget Hóngyǎn’s righteousness?” (1) Tàizǔ then sent rescue. The Wú army at once retreated, [Chén] Dēng set up many ambushes, reining in troops to pursue, and greatly defeated them.


  • (1) Liú Xiàng’s Xīnxù states: Qí Duke Huán sought marriage from Wèi, Wèi would not agree, and gave marriage to Xǔ. Wèi was by the Dí attacked, Duke Huán would not rescue, so that the state was destroyed and the lord died. Duke Yì’s corpse was by the Dí people eaten, only the liver remained. Duke Yì had a minister called Hóngyǎn, went out as envoy and returned, devoted life to the liver saying: “The lord is the inside, the minister is the outside.” Then he cut open his belly and put inside the liver and died. Qí Duke Huán said: “Wèi had a minister like this and was still destroyed, I have none, my destruction is at time.” Then he rescued Wèi, and settled its lord.

      〔一〕 劉向新序曰:齊桓公求婚於衛,衛不與,而嫁於許。衛為狄所伐,桓公不救,至於國滅君死。懿公屍為狄人所食,惟有肝在。懿公有臣曰弘演,適使反,致命於肝曰:「君為其內,臣為其外。」乃刳腹內肝而死。齊桓公曰:「衛有臣若此而尚滅,寡人無有,亡無日矣!」乃救衛,定其君。

Tàizǔ recruited Jiǎo as Excellency of Work’s official and associate, sent out as Xiāng Magistrate, Campaigning South’s Chief Clerk, Péngchéng and Lèlíng Administrator, Wèi prefecture West Division Commandant. In Qǔzhōu a civilian’s father was ill, he sacrificed an ox to pray, the county bound him for execution in the market. Jiǎo said: “This is a filial son,” and memorialized to pardon him. Promoted to Wèi prefecture Administrator. At the time there were arrested prisoners in the thousands for successive years, Jiǎo believed: “Zhōu had the regulations of the three standards, Hàn reduced law to three clauses; now to cherish judgment of light or severe, and yet neglect the suffering of being long bound, can be said to be erroneous. All I will personally investigate the charges, and at one time discuss decisions.” The main army went on eastern campaign, he entered as Chancellor’s Chief Clerk. The Army returned, he again became Wèi prefecture [Administrator], transferred to West Department Associate. He followed the campaign against Hànzhōng, returned as Secretariat Documenter. He went ahead and had not yet arrived at Yè, when Tàizǔ passed away at Luòyáng, the various ministers held to custom, believing the Heir-Apparent’s succession to the throne must wait for Imperial Order command. Jiǎo said: “The King passed away outside, Heaven’s Under is frightened. The Heir-Apparent should cut grieving and succeed the throne, to connect with the expectations of the far and near. Moreover the favorite son [Cáo Zhí] is at the side [of the body and escort], if over there they produce a change, then the State Altars will be endangered.” At once he equipped the officials and prepared the rituals, in one day it was all managed. The next morning, using the Queen’s Order, issued report for the Heir-Apparent to succeed the throne, Great Amnesty on all. Emperor Wén said: “Chén Jìbì in overlooking a great matter, his wisdom and strategy surpassed other men, indeed the time’s outstanding talent.” When the Emperor ascended, transferred to the Personnel Division, enfeoffed Gāolíng precinct marquis, promoted to Secretariat Documents Director.

When Emperor Míng succeeded the throne, advanced noble rank to Dōng village marquis, fief of six hundred households. The Imperial Carriage once suddenly stopped at the Secretariat Documents Gate, Jiǎo knelt and asked the Emperor: “What does your Majesty wish for?” The Emperor said: “I only wish to check a written document.” Jiǎo said: “This is your servant’s duty, not what Your Majesty should oversee. If I your servant does not fulfill this duty, then I request to be dismissed. Your Majesty should return.” The Emperor was ashamed, turned the carriage and returned. His bright uprightness was like this. (1) Added Internal Attendant Merit Grandee, promoted Excellency over the Masses. Jǐngchū Inaugural Year [237] died, posthumous name Zhēnhóu. (2)


  • (1) Shìyǔ states: Liú Yè for being early to advance met with favor, and took advantage to slander Jiǎo as concentrating power. Jiǎo was afraid, and about it asked his eldest son Běn, Běn did not know what to do. The next son Qiān said: “The Ruler Above is enlightened and sagely, you father are a chief minister, if now [you two] are not in accord, it will not be more than not becoming an Excellency.” After several days the Emperor was to meet Jiǎo, Jiǎo again asked his two sons, Qiān said: “His Majesty’s thinking was resolved, and therefore he will meet with you father.” He then entered for the whole day, the Emperor said: “Liú Yè framed you, and We had memories of you; our heart was therefore resolved.” With gold of five plates bestowed on him, Jiǎo declined. The Emperor said: “Do you believe it a small favor? You already understand Our heart. It is because your wives and children do not yet understand it.” The Emperor worried for the State Altars, and asked Jiǎo: “Excellency Sīmǎ [Yì] is loyal and upright, can he be said to be a servant of the State Altars?” Jiǎo said: “[He is] looked to by the Court; the State Altars, that is not yet known.”

  〔一〕 世語曰:劉曄以先進見幸,因譖矯專權。矯懼,以問長子本,本不知所出。次子騫曰:「主上明聖,大人大臣,今若不合,不過不作公耳。」後數日,帝見矯,矯又問二子,騫曰:「陛下意解,故見大人也。」既入,盡日,帝曰:「劉曄構君,朕有以跡君;朕心故已了。」以金五鉼授之,矯辭。帝曰:「豈以為小惠?君已知朕心,顧君妻子未知故也。」帝憂社稷,問矯:「司馬公忠正,可謂社稷之臣乎?」矯曰:「朝廷之望;社稷,未知也。」

  • (2) Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Jiǎo originally was the Liú clan’s son, sent out to succeed to his maternal uncle’s clan but married with his original clan. Xú Xuān every time criticized this, and the court discussed this deficiency. Tàizǔ cherished Jiǎo’s talent and capacity, and wished to support and protect him, and so sent down Order that said: “From the tragic chaos onward, customs and teachings have become exhausted and meager, slanderous discussion speech, is difficult to use to commend or censure. Everything from before Jiàn’ān Fifth Year [200] is all not to be discussed. Thus for those slanderous commentators that judged previously, by their punishment punish them.”

  〔二〕 魏氏春秋曰:矯本劉氏子,出嗣舅氏而婚于本族。徐宣每非之,庭議其闕。太祖惜矯才量,欲擁全之,乃下令曰:「喪亂已來,風教彫薄,謗議之言,難用褒貶。自建安五年已前,一切勿論。其以斷前誹議者,以其罪罪之。」

Son Běn succeeded, successively ranked as prefectural administrator, Nine Minsiters. Wherever he was he maintained guiding principles, raising the main form, able to cause the various subordinates to devote themselves. He had talent in managing, did not personally handle small affairs, did not study laws but obtained the Minister of Justice’s title, surpassing Sīmǎ Qí and the rest, refined and precise in civil reasoning. Promoted Defending North General, Lent Staff as Regional Commander over the Hé’s north various military affairs. Died, son Càn succeeded. Běn’s younger brother Qiān, during Xiánxī became Chariots and Cavalry General. (1)


  • (1) Citing Jìn shū states: Qiān appellation Xiūyuān, for Jìn assisted the mandate as a meritorious minister, reached Grand Tutor, enfeoffed Gāopíng prefectural Duke.

  〔一〕 案晉書曰:騫字休淵,為晉佐命功臣,至太傅,封高平郡公。

Previously, Jiǎo became prefectural Merit Officer, sent past Tàishān. Tàishān Administrator Dōng prefecture’s Xuē Tì was impressed with him, and joined with him in close friendship. He teased Jiǎo saying: “A prefectural official yet interacting a two thousand dàn [official], a neighboring state’s master lowering himself to accompany a servant in travels, is it not acceptable?” Tì later became Wèi prefecure and Secretariat Documents Director, all continuing and succeeding Jiǎo.


  • (1) Shìyǔ states: Tì appellation Xiàowēi. Aged twenty-two, from Yǎn province Attending Official he became Tàishān Administrator. Previously, Tàizǔ settled Jì province, with Tì and Dōngpíng’s Wáng Guó as his Left and Right Chief Clerks, later he reached Central Manager of the Army, always he was loyal and dependable and precise in affairs, for generations of officials a model.

  〔一〕 世語曰:悌字孝威。年二十二,以兗州從事為泰山太守。初,太祖定冀州,以悌及東平王國為左右長史,後至中領軍,並悉忠貞練事,為世吏表。

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