пятница, 22 июня 2018 г.

Biography Compilation: Xun You 荀攸 (Gongda 公達), 157–214

Your humble servant compiled this biography using quotes from different sources: Sanguozhi, "To Establish Peace", etc. When several sources contained more or less the same information about the same event I chose the one with a fuller depiction. In case of conflicting sources or complementary data I put them into parallel columns. At the end of each quote the source is specified in []. All sources are listed at the bottom of the page. Cursive text - my commentaries. 

Xún Yōu 荀攸, styled Gōngdá 公達, was [Xún] Yù’s second cousin’s son. His grandfather [Xun] Tán was Administrator of Guǎnglíng. [1]
The Xun family tree can be found here
[Xun] Yōu’s father [Xún] Yí was a Provincial Advisor. [Xún] Yí and [Xún] Yù 彧 were second cousins. [1] 

Wèishū states: At the time of Jiàn'ān nineteenth year [214], [Xun] Yōu was aged fifty-eight. One can can calculate he was older than Yù by six years. [1] 

[Xun] Yōu was orphaned when young. [1] 

Wèishū states: When Yōu was aged seven to eight years, [Xún] Qú became very intoxicated and accidentally injured Yōu’s ear. When Yōu went out and played, he hid it so Qú would not be discovered. Later Qú heard of this, and so was astonished he was early matured like this.[1]
Xun Qu - Xun You's uncle
When Tán died, his former clerk Zhāng Quán asked to guard his tomb. Yōu was aged thirteen, doubted him, and said to his father’s younger brother [Xún] Qú: “This clerk has an unusual countenance, and is probably planning some treachery.” [Xún] Qú in the night woke and interrogated him, and indeed found he had killed someone and was fleeing in exile. From this people saw [Xún Yōu] was special. [1]

Year 189

When Hé Jìn controlled the government, he summoned the famed scholars within the Seas, Yōu and others, over twenty men. Yōu arrived and was appointed Yellow Gate Attendant Gentleman. [1]He Jin also sought widely for men who were wise and able in planning, and he recruited more than twenty, such as He Yong, Xun You, Zheng Tai of Henan and others. He Yong was appointed Captain of the Centre of the Northern Army, Xun You was Gentleman in Attendance of the Yellow Gates, and Zheng Tai became a Master of Writing. He Jin trusted these men completely. [2]

The Master of Writing Lu Zhi also advised him [He Jin] not to call Dong Zhuo, but He Jin would follow neither of them. Zheng Tai resigned his position and went away, observing to Xun You, "It is not easy to assist Lord He!" [2]

Year 190 - 192 (Dong Zhuo assassination plot)

During the disorder of Dǒng Zhuó, soldiers east of the Passes rose up, and Zhuó moved the capital to Cháng'ān. [Xun] Yōu with Consultants Zhèng Tài and Hé Yóng, Palace Attendant Zhǒng Jí, Yuè Cavalry Colonel Wǔ Qióng, and others plotted together and said: “Dǒng Zhuó is as brutal as Jié and Zhòu and all the realm despises him. Though he has gathered strong troops, in truth he is a common fellow and that is all. Now we should assassinate him to appease the common people, then occupy the Xiáo and Hán in assisting the ruler’s mandate, and so command the realm. This was how Huán and Wén rose up.” [1]Before this, the Gentleman in Attendance at the Yellow Gates Xun You, the Master of Writing Zheng Tai, the Palace Attendant Chong Ji and others had made plans, saying, "Dong Zhuo is conceited and cruel, with no allies or friends he can trust. Though he relies on his strong army, he is still just one man, and he can be killed with a single blow." [2]

Before the matter was settled the plot was discovered, and [Hé] Yóng and [Xún] Yōu were arrested and placed in prison. [1]

<…>Zheng Tai fled to Yuan Shu. [2]

[He] Yóng in fear killed himself. [Xun] Yōu spoke and ate and drank calmly as before. [1]

It so happened that [Dong] Zhuó died and so he [Xun You] escaped. [1]

Wèishū says that [Xun] Yōu sent someone to speak with [Dong] Zhuó and so escaped. This is in contradiction. [1]

He resigned his office and returned home, but was again enlisted by the government, recommended to high rank, and appointed Chancellor of Rènchéng, but did not go to that post. [Xun] Yōu, because the lands of Shǔ Hàn were rugged and defensive and the people prosperous, requested to be Administrator of Shǔ-jùn, but the roads were cut off, so he stopped at Jīngzhōu. [1]

Year 196 (Joining Cao Cao)

The Great Progenitor asked Xun Yu, “Who would be able to advise me in your stead?” Xun Yu replied, “Xun You and Zhong Yao.” [3]

Cao Cao had Xun Yu appointed as Palace Attendant with responsibility as Prefect of the Masters of Writing. He asked him about scholars who could make plans, and Xun Yu recommended his cousin Xun You, Grand Administrator of Shu commandery, and Guo Jia of Yingchuan. [2]

When Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] welcomed Heaven’s Son to move the capital to Xǔ [196], he sent a letter to [Xun] Yōu: “Presently the entire realm is in chaos, and it is the time for wise scholars to labor with their minds. Yet you plan to watch and wait for changes while in Shǔ Hàn. Have you not waited enough?” Therefore he recruited Yōu as Administrator of Rǔnán, and he later entered Court in the Secretariat. [1]

Cao Cao called Xun You to be a Master of Writing, spoke with him and was delighted, saying, "Gongda is quite exceptional. Now I can plan things with him, what difficulties will the empire offer?" He made him Master of the Army. [2]

Tàizǔ had often heard of [Xun] Yōu’s reputation, spoke with him and was greatly pleased, said to Xún Yù and Zhōng Yáo: “Gōngdá is no ordinary man. Now that I have him to make plans, what is there to worry about in the world?” and appointed him Master of the Army. [1]

Year 198 (Campaign against Zhang Xiu)

Jiàn'ān third year [198] he followed in the campaign against Zhāng Xiù. [Xun] Yōu said to Tàizǔ: “[Zhang] Xiù and Liú Biǎo rely on each other to be strong, but [Zhang] Xiù for his traveling army relies on [Liu] Biǎo for food. [Liu] Biǎo will not be able to provide, and they will certainly separate. It is better to hold the army back and wait for this, and then we can entice them. If we press them, they will certainly rescue one another.” [1]

Tàizǔ would not follow this, and advanced the army to Ráng, and fought. [1]
In the third month Cao Cao was going once more to attack Zhang Xiu when Xun You said, "Zhang Xiu and Liu Biao are allies, but Zhang Xiu has no established base for his army. The time will come when he will ask Liu Biao for provisions and Liu Biao will not be able to supply him. They will begin to fall out. "The best idea is to hold your army back and wait for this, then find a way to catch Zhang Xiu by himself. If you act too quickly, you will force them to help one another." [2]

Cao Cao rejected this advice, and he besieged Zhang Xiu at Rang. [2]

[Zhang] Xiù was desperate, and [Liu] Biǎo indeed rescued him. The army was unsuccessful. Tàizǔ said to [Xun] Yōu: “Because I did not use your advice it came to this.” Then he set up the army in ambush and returned to battle and greatly defeated them. [1]

Year 198 (Campaign against Lu Bu)

That year [198], Tàizǔ went from Wǎn to attack Lǚ Bù. He arrived at Xiàpī. [Lu] Bù was defeated and retreated to defend. [Tàizǔ] attacked [Lǚ Bù] but could not dislodge him, and after many battles the troops were weary. Tàizǔ wished to withdraw. [1]

Wèishū states: Someone commented that [Liu] Biǎo and [Zhang] Xiù were to the rear, so returning to attack Lǚ Bù would certainly be dangerous. [Xun] Yōu believed: “Biǎo and Xiù are newly defeated, and do not dare move. Bù is violent and ferocious, and also allied with Yuán Shù. If he is given free reign among the Huái and Sì rivers, powerful figures will certainly join him. Now he has just rebelled and his army is not yet united in will. If we go we can destroy him.” Tàizǔ said: “Excellent.” At that time Bù had defeated Liú Bèi while Zāng Bà and others had allied with him. [1]Cao Cao wanted to go himself to attack Lü Bu, but his officers said, "Liu Biao and Zhang Xiu are behind you. If you leave to attack Lü Bu they will certainly become dangerous." Xun You said, "Liu Biao and Zhang Xiu have lately been defeated, and they will not dare make a move. Lü Bu is brave and fierce, and he has now allied himself again with Yuan Shu. If he is allowed to operate at will between the Huai and Si rivers the fighting men there will certainly join him. Before his rebellion gets under way, and before his army is fully organised, this is the time to attack him. If you go at once you can defeat him." "Excellent!" said Cao Cao. [2]

Yōu and Guō Jiā explained: “Lǚ Bù is valiant but lacks planning. Now in three battles he has all been defeated, and his spirit is broken. The commander of the army is the leader, and when the leader is broken then the army has no reason to exert itself. Chén Gōng is wise but slow. Now when Bù’s spirit has not returned and Gōng has not yet made a plan, we must advance quickly and attack them, and Bù can be taken.” [1]

Then they redirected the Yí and Sì rivers to the city, the city was flooded, and they captured Bù alive. [1]

Campaign against Yuan Shao

Boma siege

Yuan Shao sent his officer Yan Liang to attack Liu Yan, Grand Administrator of Dong commandery, at Boma. Ju Shou said, "Yan Liang is careless and impatient. He is brave, but he can-not manage alone." Yuan Shao would not agree. [2]

In the summer, in the fourth month Cao Cao went north to help Liu Yan. Xun You said, "Our soldiers are too few to match the enemy. In order to win, you must divide our opponents' strength. When you come to the Yan Crossing, pretend to send men across the river against his rear. Yuan Shao will certainly turn west to deal with them. If you then send light troops to Boma and surprise the enemy there, Yan Liang can be taken." Cao Cao followed this plan. [2]

As soon as Yuan Shao heard that enemy troops had crossed the Yellow River he immediately detached men west to intercept them. Then Cao Cao led his army on a forced march against Boma. They were still more than ten li away when Yan Liang, very startled, came out to fight. [2]

Battle of Baima

Later he [Cao Cao] followed in rescuing Liú Yán at Báimǎ, and with [Xun] Yōu’s plan they beheaded Yán Liáng, as told in Wǔjì [SGZ 1] [1]:

Cao Cao sent Zhang Liao and Guan Yu to go ahead and begin the attack. Guan Yu saw Yan Liang's standard in the distance. Whipping his horse, he broke through to Yan Liang among the ten thousand men of his army, took off his head and came back. No-one could withstand him. So the siege of Boma was broken, and the people were shifted west up the Yellow River. [2]

Battle of Yan Crossing

As Tàizǔ withdrew from Báimǎ, he sent heavy supply wagons west along the [Yellow] River. Yuán Shào crossed the river and pursued, and the soldiers caught up to Tàizǔ. [1]

As Yuan Shao's army came south from the Yan Crossing, Cao Cao had his soldiers in camp under the southern slope. He sent men to look out, and they reported, "Some five or six hundred horsemen." After a short time they reported again, "Horsemen gradually increasing; too many foot-soldiers to count." "No more reports," ordered Cao Cao. [2]

He had his cavalry get down from their saddles and let the horses go. [2]

All the officers were afraid, and said Tàizǔ should return and defend the camp. [Xun] Yōu said: “This is so that the enemy can be taken. How can we leave?” Tàizǔ looked at Yōu and laughed. [1]The baggage from Boma was still on the road, and the officers thought that since there were so many enemy horsemen it would be better to go back and guard the camp. Xun You said, "This is a trap for the enemy, how can we leave?" Cao Cao looked at him and smiled. [2]

Wen Chou and Liu Bei, commanders of Yuan Shao's cavalry, came up together with five or six thousand horsemen. The officers said again, "Now we can mount." "Not yet," said Cao Cao. [2]

They sent out the heavy wagons to lure out the rebels, and the rebels all rushed ahead, breaking formation. [1]There was a pause, the enemy approached in greater numbers, and some split off to go for the baggage. [2]

"Now!" said Cao Cao, and they jumped on their horses.

Then with infantry and cavalry [Tàizǔ] attacked, and completely defeated [the rebels], beheading their cavalry commander Wén Chǒu. [1]They were fewer than six hundred, but they charged at speed, they completely defeated the enemy, and they took Wen Chou's head. [2] 

Wen Chou and Yan Liang had been Yuan Shao's most celebrated captains, and in just two engagements they had both been killed. Yuan Shao's army was discouraged. [2]

Battle of Guandu

Tàizǔ and Yuán Shào faced one another at Guāndù. The army’s food supplies were almost exhausted. [1]

Yuan Shao's transports came towards Guandu with several thousand waggons of grain. [2]

[Xun] Yōu said to Tàizǔ: “Shào’s transport carts arrive morning and night. The commander Hán Xún is sharp but overconfident. He can be attacked and defeated.” (Your servant Sōngzhī comments: In various documents Hán Xún is also called Hán Měng and Hán Ruò. It is unclear which is correct.)
Tàizǔ said: “Who can be sent?”
Yōu said: “Xú Huǎng can.”
Therefore they sent Huǎng and Shǐ Huàn to intercept them, drove them away, and burned their supply carts. [1]
Xun You said to Cao Cao, "His supplies are on the way. Their commander Han Meng is brave, but he tends to underestimate his enemies. If we attack him he will be destroyed." 
"Whom can we send?" asked Cao Cao. 
"Xu Huang can do it," replied Xun You. 
So they sent the Lieutenant-General Xu Huang of Hedong to go with Shi Huan and intercept Han Meng. They defeated him, put him to flight and burnt the baggage. [2]

At that time Xǔ Yōu came to surrender, and said that [Yuan] Shào had sent Chúnyú Qióng and others to command over ten thousand troops to transport grain, that the officers were arrogant and the troops lazy, and they could be intercepted. Everyone was doubtful. Only [Xun] Yōu and Jiǎ Xǔ urged Tàizǔ to attack. [1]

Tàizǔ therefore left [Xun] Yōu and Cáo Hóng to defend. Tàizǔ personally commanded the attack and defeated them, beheading [Chunyu] Qióng and the others. [Yuan] Shào’s officers Zhāng Hé and Gāo Lǎn burned their siege engines and surrendered, and Shào then abandoned his army and fled. [1]

When [Zhāng] Hé came, Hóng was suspicious and did not dare accept them. [Xun] Yōu said to [Cao] Hóng: “[Zhang] Hé’s plans were not used so he was angry and came. What is there to doubt?” Therefore they accepted the surrenders. [1]

Year 202 (Campaign against Yuan Shao’s sons)

Seventh year [202] he followed in attacking Yuán Tán and [Yuan] Shàng at Líyáng. The next year [203] Tàizǔ turned to attack Liú Biǎo, and Tán and Shàng fought over Jìzhōu. Tán sent Xīn Pí to ask to surrender [to Tàizǔ] and request help. Tàizǔ was about to accept but then asked his subordinates. Many of the subordinates believed that Liú [Biǎo] was strong and should be settled first, while Tán and Shàng were not enough to be worried about. [1]

[Xun] Yōu said: “While the realm faces many affairs, Liú Biǎo sits and defends between the Jiāng and Hàn, and it can be seen that he has no plans elsewhere. The Yuán clan occupies the lands of four provinces with a hundred thousand soldiers. [Yuan] Shào by his generosity gained support, and if his two sons can make peace and maintain his legacy, then they the realm will not be easily settled. Now the brothers have turned on each other, and the two sides will not join forces. If they had stayed united they would be powerful, so powerful they would be difficult to deal with. If we take advantage of their discord, the realm can be settled. This opportunity cannot be missed.” [1]

Tàizǔ said: “Agreed.” Therefore he permitted a marriage alliance with Tán and then returned to attack Shàng. [1]

After this [Yuan] Tán rebelled. He [Cao Cao] followed in beheading Tán at Nánpí. [1]

After Jìzhōu was pacified, Tàizǔ memorialized to give fief to [Xun] Yōu: “Master of the Army Xún Yōu from the beginning was a great assistant and minister. No campaigns were unsuccessful and from beginning to end all enemies were conquered, all because of Yōu’s plans.” Therefore he was given fief as Marquis of Língshù precinct. [1]

Year 207

Although both Xun Yu and Xun You held high positions, they were both humble and frugal. They gave away most of their salaries to their friends and relatives, and left little for themselves at home. [2]

Twelfth year [207], an order was sent down commenting on merits and bestowing fiefs. Tàizǔ said: “In upright loyalty and confidential planning, supporting both the inside and out, [Xún Yù] Wénruò is greatest. [Xún Yōu] Gōngdá is next.” His fief was increased by 400, adding to the previous to a total of 700 households. [1]

Wèishū states: When Tàizǔ returned from Liǔchéng, he passed [Xun] Yōu’s residence and narrated in praise Yōu’s plans and meritorious labors and achievements from beginning to end, saying: “Now the realm is almost settled, and I wish to honor the services of our worthy scholar officials. In the past Gāozǔ sent Zhāng Zǐfáng to choose his own fief of thirty thousand households. Now I also wish your honor to select your own fief.” He was transferred to Central Army Master. [1]

He [Cao Cao] also reported most favourably on the Marquis of Wansui Village, Xun Yu, and in the third month Xun Yu's fief was increased by a thousand households. [Cao Cao] also wanted to have him rank with the Three Excellencies but Xun Yu sent Xun You to make it clear that he would refuse such an honour. After more than ten attempts, Cao Cao gave up the idea. [2]
The Great Progenitor wished to memorialize for Xun Yu to take the position of one of the Three Lords, but Xun Yu made Xun You decline the offer forcefully. He declined over ten times before the Great Progenitor desisted. [3]

Year 212

In 212 - 213, after Cao Cao initially declined the title of the duke of Wei, Xun You and Zhon Yao lead the officials who wrote a petition for Cao Cao to accept the title:  
“Above you would be disobeying the Imperial Court’s favor, below you would be disappointing all the officials, forgetting the great undertaking of serving your ruler, and trusting in the conduct of a common fellow; this is what we, [Xun] You and the rest, all greatly fear.” [7]

The list of officials who petitioned to Cao Cao to accept the title of the duke of Wei after he initially declined (in the original order): 

Xun You ( 中军师陵树亭侯荀攸 )
?Liu Xun ( 平虏将军华乡侯刘勋 )
Liu Ruo ( 建武将军清苑亭侯刘若 )
Wang Zhong ( 扬武将军都亭侯王忠 )
Liu Zhan ( 奋威将军乐乡侯刘展 )
Xianyu Fu ( 建忠将军昌乡亭侯鲜于辅 )
Dong Zhao ( 军师祭酒千秋亭侯董昭 )
Xue Hong ( 都亭侯薛洪 )
Dong Meng ( 南乡亭侯董蒙 )
Wang Can ( 关内侯王粲 )
Chuan Yi ( 传异 )
?Wang Xuan ( 祭酒王选 )
Ren Fan ( 任藩 )
Du Xi ( 杜袭 )
Cao Hong ( 中护军国明亭侯曹洪 )
Cao Ren ( 行骁骑将军安平亭侯曹仁 )
Wang Tu ( 领护军将军王图 )
Wan Qian ( 长史万潜 )
Xie Huan ( 谢奂 )
Yuan Ba ( 袁霸 )
and others 

The full text of this petition in Chinese can be found here: [http://gj.zdic.net/archive.php?aid=17904]

Year 213

When the Wèi state was first established [213] he was appointed Director of the Secretariat [of Wèi].

In the winter, in the eleventh month WEI first established Masters of Writing, Palace Attendants, and six ministers. Xun You was made Prefect of the Masters of Writing <...> [2]

Xun You later became Prefect of the Secretariat of Wei, and he also recommended many virtuous and talented people. [3]

Xun brings up the fact that his famous kinsman Xun You had been asked by Cao Cao to reform penal law, but that by the next reign that chore was only being pursued by one low official. [6]

We know that Xun You compiled a work on Wei official codes titled "Wei guan yi" (魏官仪; although its title is the only available fact, we can speculate that it came a bit later than Yu's legal debate [with Kong Rong about corporal punishment] since it deals with Wei, and also it probably was not about corporal punishment but about official ranks, appointments, procedures, and the like. [6]
"Wei Guan Yi" composed by Xun You was apparently an analog of Han Guan Yi "汉官仪" - the collection of ceremonies, laws and institutions of the Han dynasty.

Year 214

[Xun] Yōu accompanied the campaign against Sūn Quán and died on the road. Whenever Tàizǔ spoke of this he would weep. [1]
In the 5th year of Zhengshi (244) Wei emperor Cao Fang performed sacrifices at the Temple of the Taizu and installed there Xun You's memorial plate.  
The eldest son [Xun] Jī resembled [Xun] Yōu, but died young. The next son Shì succeeded, but had no sons, and the succession ended. During Huángchū [220-226], the succession was restored, appointing Yōu’s grandson Biāo as Marquis of Língshù precinct, with a fief of 300 households. Later the fief was transferred to Marquis of Qiūyáng precinct. During Zhèngshǐ [240-249], Yōu received posthumous title as Jìng-hóu “Venerated Marquis.” [1]


Xun You was very quiet, but he was wise and prudent. [2]

Yōu maintained confidentiality in his planning. [1]

He had always followed Duke Cao of WEI on his campaigns, and made plans with him in his tent, but no-one, not even his sons and nephews, ever knew what he proposed. [2]

Wèishū states: Yōu’s father’s sister’s son Xīn Tāo once asked Yōu to speak of how Tàizǔ had captured Jìzhōu. Yōu said: “An aide was sent by Yuán Tán to ask to surrender. The King himself went to pacify him. What would I know?” After this, Tāo and everyone else did not dare ask about military and state affairs. [1]

Tàizǔ always praised him: “Gōngdá is outwardly simple but inwardly brilliant, outwardly timid but inwardly valiant, outwardly weak but inwardly strong. He does not flaunt his good abilities and never boasts of his toils. His wisdom can be reached, but his modesty cannot. Even Yán-zǐ and Níng Wǔ cannot surpass him.” [公達外愚內智,外怯內勇,外弱內彊,不伐善,無施勞,智可及,愚不可及,雖顏子、甯武不能過也。] [1]
Cao Cao often praised Xun You and once said, "Gongda is intelligent but appears foolish; he is courageous but appears cowardly; he is resilient but appears weak. He neither flaunts his talents nor brags about his achievements. You may be as intelligent as him, but you can't pretend to be foolish as well as he does. Even Master Yan and Ning Wu cannot be compared to him." [8]
Yan-zi - Yan Hui, the favorite disciple of Confucius.
Níng Wǔ - Ning Yu  (寗兪, posthumous name Wuzi 武子), a minister in the state of Wei during the reign of duke Cheng (ascended the throne in 634 BC). After the duke was overthrown, Ning Yu kept his head down by acting stupid while secretly working to engineer the duke’s return to power in 632 BC.  
In this appraisal Cao Cao refers to this passage from Lunyu about Ning Yu:

Confucius said: "When the Way was being practiced in his state, Ning Wuzi showed his wisdom. When the Way was not being practiced, though, he played the fool. Someone might be able to match his wisdom, but no one can match his foolishness." (子曰:「甯武子,邦有道則知,邦無道則愚。其知可及也,其愚不可及也。」)
Fùzǐ states:
Question: Who were the greatest and most worthy gentleman of recent times?
Answer: Director Xún [Yù] was benevolent, and Master of the Army Xún [Yōu] was wise. These can be said to be the greatest and most worthy gentlemen of recent times. <...> Tàizǔ said: “When Director Xún advanced the good, he advanced it without rest. When Master of the Army Xún removed an evil, he opposed it without end.” [1]

He [Co Cao] also said, "The two prefects Xun grew ever more reliable in their judgement of men. For as long as I live I shall never forget them." [2]
The Great Progenitor said, “The two Prefects Xun’s [Xun Yu and Xun You] evaluation of people proves to be more and more true in time. I shall never forget what they say.” [3]

When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] was at the Eastern Palace [as a son and heir], Tàizǔ said to him: “Xún Gōngdá is a paragon to all men. You must respect him with the highest courtesy.” When Yōu was ill, The heir [Wén-dì] inquired as to his health, and personally bowed at his bedside. He received special honor in this way. [1]

Wèishū records Tàizǔ‘s order: "I and Xún Gōngdá traveled together for over twenty years, and never once did he err." He also said: "Xún Gōngdá is a true sage, the sort meant by the saying: 'Kindhearted and moderate in all ways'. Kǒng-zǐ said: 'Yàn Píngzhòng was good to other men and ever respectful.' Gōngdá was that sort of man." [1]
Yàn Píngzhòng - Yan Ying, served as prime minister to the state of Qi during the Spring and Autumn period. His courtesy name was Zhong (Chinese: 仲), and because of his posthumous title of "Ping" (Chinese: 平; pinyin: Píng), he is often known in sources as Ping Zhong (平仲). Sometimes Yan Ying is also called "Yan-zi". In folklore he is remembered for his creative stratagems, such as killing three warriors with one peach, subduing the enemy with a wine vessel, etc.
Chen Shou: Xún Yōu and Jiǎ Xǔ almost developed flawless strategies, were capable of adapting to and judging changes, second only to [Zhāng] Liáng and [Chén] Píng! [5]

Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that the structure of arranged biographies should be organized together by similarities. Zhāng [Liáng] Zǐfáng was a noble and lofty scholar, and truly not of the sort as Chén Píng. However Hàn’s strategic ministers were only [Zhāng] Liáng and [Chén] Píng and no others. If they were not arranged together, then others would have no place to attach, and therefore previous historians combined them, and this was appropriate. The Wèi Dynasty had a great many of the same sort as [Jiǎ] Xǔ. That [Jiǎ] Xǔ was not placed with the chapter of Chéng [Yù] and Guō [Jiā] but was arranged with the two Xún was a mistake in classification. Moreover comparing [Xún] Yōu and [Jiǎ] Xǔ in their personal conduct is like comparing moonlight to a candle! Their light may be the same, but their origins are different. Now this appraisal of Xún [Yōu] and Jiǎ [Xǔ], speaking of them together, is a great mistake in how distinguishing should be done. [5]

In about the late-220s or early 230S, Xun Can [Xun Yu's son] "proposed" <...>  that his father Xun Yu had not been as brilliant as [Xun] You, who he said should receive particular admiration. [Xun] Yu had been "guided by highest virtues and led a strict and orderly life, following the norms so as to accord with events and matters" [軌儀以順物]. Xun You, however, had been "unconcerned with externals - a completely cautious and secluded man" [不治外形, 慎密自居而已]. If we try to fathom Can's mind, Xun You acted as the appealing model of a mystery adept. Yu was politically active and willing to mold affairs by following norms; You, in contrast was above petty norms. The social subtext is that Can was willfully switching fathers. This infuriated Can's brothers. After all, their father had been a top political figure. Why should his Confucian accommodation to the needs of governing, in fact his martyrdom, now be trumped by Zhengshi tropes about who and what was sagely? We might pay attention to the words of the Xun family acquaintance who recorded this episode (whom I discuss briefly, below); he said the brothers were "debators who used classicist-exegete arts" in contrast to Can, whose "only preference was discoursing the Dao." [6]

Xun Can may have been drawing on well-known quips about the two Xun ancestors, especially one made ostensibly by Cao Cao that was first carried by Pei Songzhi, quoting from the 3d-c. Fuzi (see SGZ, zhu 10, p. 325). The Fuzi context is about posthumous praise that both Xuns received from their contemporaries - Yu praised for jen (associativeness, human-bonding), and You for zhi (knowledge, skill). [6]

Friendship with Zhong Yao

[Xun] Yōu was friends with Zhōng Yáo. Yáo said: “Whenever I must do something, I think over it again and again, until I believe there is nothing left to be done. But then I ask Gōngdá, and then he always points out something that I had missed.” [1]

<...>Xún Yōu of Yǐngchuān and Zhōng Yáo were good friends with him [Zhū Jiànpíng]. Yōu died first, and his sons were still young. Yáo cared for their household, and wished to arrange marriages for the concubines. He wrote a letter: “I and Gōngdá together had [Zhu] Jiànpíng appraise us. Jiànpíng said: ‘Though sir Xún is younger, later his affairs will be handed over to sir Zhōng.’ At the time I joked: ‘I will only be arranging a marriage for your Ā Wù and that is all.’ Who could have thought he really would leave us early, and my joke would come true? Now I wish to marry off Ā Wù, and find a good match for her. Thinking back to Jiànpíng’s ability, even Táng Jǔ and Xǔ Fù cannot compare!” [4]

Gōngdá from beginning to end created twelve unusual strategies that only [Zhong] Yáo knew about. Yáo was compiling them together for publication but before it was finished he died, and so it was lost to later generations. (Your servant Sōngzhī comments: Zhōng Yáo died sixteen years after [Xun] Yōu. What was so difficult about compiling Yōu’s unusual strategies? And when he was past eighty, did not he not fear that the plans Yōu had made while on campaign would not be passed down to later generations? What a pity!) [1]


[3] - Xun Yu SGZ http://kongming.net/novel/sgz/xunyu.php

[6] - Xun Xu and the Politics of Precision in Third-Century AD China. Howard L. Goodman

[7] - Looking at the Court Orders surrounding the bestowal of the title of Duke of Wei https://jiuyangda.tumblr.com/post/155556375401/looking-at-the-court-orders-surrounding-the

[8] - Xun You Wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xun_You

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