Zhāng Tài 張泰 [Bóyáng 伯陽], Páng Dí 龐迪, Zhāng Gé 張閣 [Zǐtái 子臺]
Bǐng Yuán appellation Gēnjǔ was a Běihǎi Zhūxū man. When young he with Guǎn Níng together for conduct were esteemed and praised, the provincial offices recruitment orders he all did not accept. The Huángjīn [“Yellow Scarves”] rose, Yuán led his family and dependents into the sea, living in Yù island’s mountains. At the time Kǒng Róng became Běihǎi Chancellor, nominated Yuán as Yǒudào [“having the way”] candidate, Yuán because the Huángjīn were flourishing therefore went to Liáodōng, with his same prefecture’s Liú Zhèng both having valor and strategy and dominating air. Liáodōng Administrator Gōngsūn Dù feared and hated and wished to kill him [Liú Zhèng], completely arresting and seizing his families, [Liú] Zhèng was able to escape. [Gōngsūn] Dù announced to the various counties: “Any that dares hide [Liú] Zhèng will share the same punishment.” [Liú] Zhèng was distressed and went to take refuge with Yuán, (1) Yuán hid him for over a moon, at the time Dōnglái’s Tàishǐ Cí was about to return [from Liáodōng to the central plains], Yuán took advantage to have [Liú] Zhèng go with him. Shortly afterward he said to [Gōngsūn] Dù: “General you in former days wished to kill Liú Zhèng, because to you he was a threat. Now Zhèng has already left, is your thread not eliminated?” [Gōngsūn] Dù said: “Agreed.” Yuán said: “Your fear of [Liú] Zhèng was due to his intelligence. Now Zhèng that has already escaped, his intelligence will be used, why still keep Zhèng’s family? It is not as good as releasing them, to not double his complaints.” [Gōngsūn] Dù thus sent them away. Yuán also provided for sending off [Liú] Zhèng’s family, and all were able to return to their former prefecture. [When] Yuán was in Liáodōng within one year those that joined Yuán’s residence were several hundred families, traveling scholars and the sounds of lectures did not cease.
- (1) Wèishì Chūnqiū states: [Liú] Zhèng in taking refuge said: “The destitute bird enters your bosom.” Yuán said: “How do you know this bosom can be entered?”
Later he was able to return [to the central plains], Tàizǔ recruited him as an Excellency of Works’ Official. Yuán’s daughter early died, at the time Tàizǔ’s beloved son [Cáo Chōng] Cāngshū also died, Tàizǔ wished to request shared burial, Yuán declined saying: “Shared burial is against the rites. The reason that I Yuán am tolerated by your enlightened excellency, the reason your enlightened excellency accepts me Yuán, is that I am amble to uphold admonishment canons and not change. If I listened to your enlightened excellency’s command, then I would be a mediocrity, and what would your enlightened excellency do?” Tàizǔ thus stopped, transferred offices to Chancellor’s Campaign Affairs. (1) Cuī Yǎn was East Department Official, his records said: “Campaign Affairs Bǐng Yuán, Consultant Cadet Zhāng Fàn, both maintain virtue and are pure in restraint, ambition and conduct loyal and proper, pure quiet sufficient to sharpen custom, chaste firmness sufficient to administer affairs, what is called dragon feather and phoenix wing, the state’s important treasure. Nominating and employing them, then the not benevolent are distant.” Succeeded Liáng Mào as Five Offices General Chief Clerk, he closed his gates and maintained himself, and if it was not a public affair he did not go out. [When] Tàizǔ campaigned against Wú, Yuán accompanied the journey and died. (2)
- (1) Xiàn-dì Qǐjū zhù states: Jiàn’ān Fifteenth Year , first installed Campaign Affairs of two people, [Bǐng] Yuán with Píngyuán’s Wáng Liè both were selected to fill it.
- (2) Yuán Biézhuàn states: Yuán at eleven lost his father, the family was poor, early orphaned. Neighboring was a book house, Yuán passed its side and wept. The teacher asked him: “Why does the boy grieve?” Yuán said: “The orphaned are easily injured, the poor easily emotional. Those with books certainly all have fathers and elder brothers. One, I envy that they are not orphaned; two, I envy that they obtain learning, my heart is sorrowful thus and for that I shed tears.” The teacher also pitied Yuán’s words and for him sobbed and said: “If you desire books it can be.” Replied saying: “I have no money.” The teacher said: “If the boy has ambition, I will instruct you without seeking money.” Therefore he learned books. Within one winter, he could recite the Xiàojīng and Lúnyǔ. From among the children, he stood out as special. When grown, he was as gold and jade in his conduct. He desired to distantly travel for study, visited Ānqiū’s Sūn Sōng. [Sūn] Sōng declined saying: “Your hometown’s sir Zhèng, do you know of him?” Yuán replied: “Yes.” Sōng said: “Sir Zhèng has studied and read the ancient to present, widely read with strong knowledge, reaching deep and conveying the distant, truly a teaching model for scholars. You then abandoned that, treading shoes a thousand lǐ, what is called treating Zhèng as the east house’s Qiū [a reference to the story of Kǒng Qiū’s western neighbor not knowing of him]. You seem to not know and yet say yes, why?” Yuán said: “Professor your words truly can be said to be bitter drugs and good needles. However yet it does not understand your servant’s humble interests. People each have their ambitions, their plans are not the same, therefore then there are those that climb mountains to collect jade, and those that enter the sea to collect pearls, how can it be said that those who climb mountains do not know the depth of the sea or those that enter the sea do not know the height of mountains? Sir you say your servant takes Zhèng as the east house’s Qiū, sir are you taking your servant as the west house’s fool?” [Sūn] Sōng apologized, and also said: “Of Yǎn and Yù’s scholars, I know of many, but never one like you; I will write a letter of introduction.” Yuán valued his intentions, with difficulty took leave of him, carrying the letter and departing. Yuán’s heart believed: ‘in seeking teachers and beginning study, those of high ambitions succeed, it is not by befriending completed; what use is a letter?’ Thus he hid the letter at home and went. Yuán’s formerly could drink alcohol, after his journey, in eight to nine years, alcohol did not touch his mouth. Alone he walked carrying backpack of books, bitterly using his bodily strength, reaching Chénliú then he took as teacher Hán Zǐzhù, Yǐngchuān then schooling from Chén Zhònggōng, Rǔnán then engaging with Fàn Mèngbó, Zhuō prefecture then close with Lú Zǐgàn. On his departure, his teachers and friends because Yuán did not drink alcohol gathered rice and meat to send off Yuán. Yuán said: “Originally I could drink alcohol, but because it damages thinking and cripples enterprise, therefore I cut it off. Now about to distantly depart, because I see this farewell dinner, I can drink for one party.” Therefore they together sat and drank alcohol, to end of day not intoxicated. Returning home he returned the letter to Sūn Sōng, explaining his intentions in not sending the letter. Later he was by the prefecture summoned, installed as Merit Officer Registrar. At the time Lǔ state’s Kǒng Róng was at the prefecture, instructing that selecting calculators should appoint the talents of excellencies and ministers, and so used Zhèng Xuán as a Calculations Official, Péng Qiú as Calculations Scribe, Yuán as Calculations Aide. Róng had someone he favored, always extensively sighing of him. Later he as angry at him, wished to kill him, and the court officials all pleaded. At the time this person also was seated, and knocked head [bowing] to the point of bleeding, but Róng’s intentions were not resolved. Yuán alone did not plead. Róng said to Yuán: “Everyone all pleads but why do you alone not?” Yuán replied saying: “Your enlightened administratorship toward this person originally was not indifferent, always saying by the year’s end you would recommend him, this is what is called ‘my one son.’ Like this, the court officials in receiving favor have never once had one ahead of him, but now you then wish to kill him. Your enlightened administratorship in favoring him, then pulled and placed him as a son, in hating him then pushes and wishes to endanger his body. I Yuán am foolish, and do not know why you favor him? Why you hate him?” Róng said: “He was born in a humble family, I became his brother, selecting out and employing him; he now turns back on kind treatment. If good then advance them, if bad then punish them; this surely is a leader’s way. Formerly Yīng Zhòngyuǎn was Tàishān Administrator, nominated a Filial and Incorrupt candidate, and within ten days and a moon yet killed him. For a leader of men, in generosity and indifference what constancy is to be had?” Yuán replied saying: “Zhòngyuǎn nominating a Filial and Incorrupt and killing him, what righteousness was there? A Filial and Incorrupt candidate is the state’s eminent selection. If nominating him was right, them killing him was wrong. If killing him was right, then nominating him was wrong. The Shī says: ‘Those sorts of people, do not follow their kindness,’ probably to ridicule this. The Yǔ says: ‘Favoring them desiring their life, hating them desiring their death. Both desiring their life and desiring their death is confusion.’ Zhòngyuǎn’s confusion was extreme. Why does your enlightened administratorship seek that?” Rǒng then greatly laughed and said: “I was only joking!” Yuán also said: “A noble man in their words, it comes from the body and is applied to the people. Speech and conduct are a noble man’s pivot trigger. How can there be a wish to kill someone that can be a joke?” Róng had no reply. At the time the Hàn Court was in decline, governance by bribery achieved, Yuán then led his family to enter into the Yù island mountains. The prefecture nominated him as Having the Way candidate, Róng’s letter explained to Yuán saying: “You cultivate character and protect chastity, pure emptiness upholding the high, dangerous country you do not enter, for a long time hidden in happy lands. The Ruling House has many troubles, to the west moved to Hàojīng. The sagely Court labors modestly, categorizing and consulting the eminent. I reach to seek determination, the talley orders earnest and sorrowful. The state about to fall, the widows do not worry about weaving, the family about to perish, Tíyíng made her journey. These are common women, yet maintain this righteousness. Truly looking out to you Gēnjǔ, benevolence is your appointment, reaching hands to save the drowning, rousing the people from troubles. Then if one can quietly reside and rest, not bothering to look to us, calling one a noble man, can it be like this? Gēnjǔ, Gēnjǔ, you can come.” Yuán therefore arrived at Liáodōng. Liáodōng had many tigers, Yuán’s village group alone had no tiger troubles. Yuán once walked and found lost money, collected and tied it to a tree branch, this money was both not taken, but the tied up money increased. Asking the reason, the answers said it was a divine tree. Yuán hated that because of him it became an obscene sacrifice, and so explained it, and therefore those in the borough then restrained their money for [proper] sacrificial offerings. Later Yuán wished to return to his hometown, stopping at Sānshān. Kǒng Róng’s letter said: “Suí Huì was at Qín, Jiǎ Jì at Dí, consultation and admiration are not places, sighs increase longings. Recently I learned you have come by, near at Sānshān. Does the Shī not say: ‘Coming back form Hào, our journey ever lasting.’ Now I send Five Offices officials to present inquiries and notices for the labors of men of boats and oars, of the disasters and fortunes, moving and quiet announcing reassurances. The chaos has not yet finished, the stalwart obstructing troops like chess pieces contend for dominance.” Yuán therefore then returned back. After over ten years, later he then escaped back. He was on the southern journey already for several days, when [Gōngsūn] Dù suddenly became aware. [Gōngsūn] Dù knew that Yuán could not be again pursued, and therefore said: “Sir Bǐng is what is called a white crane in the clouds, not what a net for quails can capture. Also I myself sent him, do not again seek him.” Therefore he escaped danger. From when he returned to his home country, Yuán therefore lectured on the Lǐ and Yuè, recited the Shī and Shū, his gate disciples were several hundred, following on the roads several tens. At the time Zhèng Xuán was widely learned and extensively heard, annotating and explaining the canon, and therefore classicist scholars gathered around him. Yuán also himself was lofty and pure, nourishing ambition and living simply, his mouth without inappropriate speech, body without inappropriate conduct, therefore outstanding and great scholars turned to him. At the time within the seas in Pure Commentary said that Qīng province had the scholarship of Bǐng and Zhèng. Wèi Tàizǔ became Excellency of Works, recruited Yuán as East Pavilion Libationer. Tàizǔ led a northern campaign against the three prefectures Chányú, returned and stationed at Chāngguó, feasting the scholar officials. Intoxicated, Tàizǔ said: “I’ve returned, those maintaining Yè will certainly come welcome, today and tomorrow morning, I judge all will have arrived. Those that will not come, will only be Libationer Bǐng. His speech was not finished, when Yuán first arrived. Those below the gate announced the visitor, Tàizǔ was greatly surprised and pleased, picking up shoes and rising, distantly going out to welcome Yuán saying: “Worthies truly are difficult to fathom and judge! I said you would not be able to come, and yet distantly you’ve condescended to, truly in accord to the hungering emptiness of my heart.” The visitation finished and he went out, in the army the scholar officials that visited Yuán were several hundred people. Tàizǔ wondered and asked them, at the time Xún [Yù] Wénruò was seated, and replied: “You only need ask Bǐng Yuán.” Tàizǔ said: “This sir’s name is heavy, that it also overturns the scholar officials’ hearts?” Wénruò said: “This is an exceptional man of the whole era, the vital elegance of scholars, your excellency should use utmost courtesy to treat him.” Tàizǔ said: “Assuredly this is my original intention.” From this afterward, me met with admiration of increasing weight. Yuán though was in the military offices, he always due to illness rested in his borough, to the end not attending to affairs, and also rarely met anyone. Hénèi’s Zhāng Fàn was a famed excellency’s son, his ambition and conduct was in accord with Yuán, and was extremely close and respectful. Order said: “Bǐng Yuán’s fame is high and virtue great, pure regulation profound in custom, outstanding as a lone peak, and will not be employed by me. I hear Zhāng Zǐpō wishes to learn from him. I fear those that will seek him are many, those that can follow him are few.” The Wèi Heir-Apparent became Five Offices Internal Cadet General, Heaven’s Under turned in admiration, his guest retainers like clouds, but Yuán alone upheld the way and maintained constancy, and if it was not a public affair he did not rashly act. Tàizǔ secretly sent someone to follow and ask him, Yuán said: “I hear a state endangered does not serve the senior ministers, the ruler leaving does not attend to the successor son, this is the canon standard.” Therefore then transferred to Five Offices Chief Scribe, the Order said: “My son is young and not talented, and I fear he is difficult to correct, greedily I wish to impose on you, to rectify and encourage him. Though I say it benefits the worthy, can I not be ashamed?” The Heir-Apparent was feasting, the crowd of guests a hundred and several tens of people, the Heir-Apparent held a debate saying: “If your lord and your father each had a serous illness, and you had a drug of one pill, that could save one person, would you save your lord or your father?” Everyone was divided, some saying father and some saying lord. At the time Yuán was seated, and would not participate in this discussion. The Heir-Apparent consulted Yuán, Yuán angrily replied: “Father.” The Heir-Apparent also did not again bother him.
Afterward Minister Herald Jùlù’s Zhāng Tài, Hénán Intendant’s Fúfēng’s Páng Dí as pure worthies were praised, (1) Yǒngníng Minister Charioteer Dōng prefecture’s Zhāng Gé for simple character was famed. (2)
- (1) Xún Chuò’s Jìzhōu jì states: Jùlù’s Zhāng Pí appellation Shàohǔ. His grandfather Tài appellation Bóyáng had fame in Wèi. Father Miǎo appellation Shūliáo was Liáodōng Administrator. Wrote the famed Zìrán Hǎoxué lùn in Jī Kāng’s Jí. As a man he was liberal and deep and had distant thinking, vast and extensive, so that of those who sought it none could measure. In office served Two Palaces, at Yuánkāng’s beginning became Chéngyáng Administrator, had not yet gone and died.
- (2) Dù Shù’s written Jiājiè appraises [Zhāng] Gé stating: “Zhāng Zǐtái, on looking at him he resembles a lowly simple man, however in his heart he does not know between Heaven and Earth what is beautiful, what is enjoyable, his kindheartedness is such that it seems to be with yīn and yáng joined in virtue. To be a man like this, naturally one cannot be wealthy or noble, however where can suffering and misfortune come? The world has high and bright ones like Zǐtái, all have many admirers, but embodying it not so much.”