It’s hard to stand on one’s feet without an inch of merit: Xu Shu didn’t say a word when he entered Cao Ying

Spread the love




three countries

Xu Shu in romance

In a reference book, there is a saying: “Xu Shu is Liu Bei’s counselor and assists Liu Bei in his confrontation

Cao Cao

? Cao Cao kidnapped Xu’s mother to Cao camp and wrote a letter in the name of Xu’s mother calling Xu to abandon Liu and run to Cao. Xu’s mother thought he had betrayed Liu Bei and died of anger and hatred. Xu Shu was deeply impressed by Liu Bei’s kindness, and from then on he never said a word about political affairs in Cao Ying. ” This story gave rise to a allegorical saying – “Xu Shu entered Cao Ying without saying a word”. This allegorical saying has spread widely, so thousands of Chinese people have entered a misunderstanding——

History of China


According to the biography, “Xu Shu was a member of the long society. In the 12th year of Jian’an, Liu Xian paid a visit to scholars. Shu said: ‘Zhuge Kongming, Wolong also.


Would you like to see it? ” The first lord said, “you are born!” Answer: “this man can see it, but he can’t bend it. The general should take care of it in vain! ” First the LORD went three times to see him. In the 13th year, the concubine’s mother was acquired by Cao Cao. He resigned and said to his heart: “those who wanted to share the hegemony with the general would have an inch of land. Now that I have lost my mother, I am in chaos! It doesn’t help! Please say goodbye! ” Then he learned to practice. “

There is no record of “not saying a word” in this record. What does the official history say?

Official history without biography attached to Zhuge

Although Xu Shu is an important figure in literary works such as the romance of the Three Kingdoms, he does not have a seat in the annals of the Three Kingdoms written by Chen Shou.

As a “Bole”, Xu Shu met the readers in the biography of Zhugeliang, the “thousand mile horse” recommended by him.

There are two references to Xu Shu in the annals of the Three Kingdoms.

These are:

At that time, the former Lord was stationed in Xinye. Xu Shu saw the former Lord, and he was the first master of his weapons. The former Lord said, “if Zhuge Kongming is a wise man, he will be crouching dragon. Would the general want to see it?” The first lord said, “you come with me!” Shu said, “this man can see it. You can’t bend it. The general should take care of it in vain!” Therefore, the first lord became brilliant, and all three directions were seen.

When the former Lord heard of it in fan (city), he led his people southward, followed Liang and Shu, and was pursued by Cao Gong. Uncover the concubine. After resigning from the previous leader, the commoner pointed to his heart and said, “those who wanted to share the overlord’s career with the general should have an inch of land. Now they have lost their mother, and the inch is in chaos. It’s useless. Please leave now!” Then he reached Cao Gong.

These two paragraphs are both from the biography of Zhugeliang in the annals of the Three Kingdoms.

We might as well compare these two paragraphs with the romance of the Three Kingdoms.

In the romance of the Three Kingdoms, Xu Shu appeared in the image of Wuzixu who pretended to be crazy in the city. His first feat after taking refuge in Liu Bei was to defeat Cao Jun Yu Bowang. Because this battle was a victory over many, it made him famous. When the news reached Luoyang, Cao Cao was shocked. In order to win Xu Shu under his command, he sent people to cheat Xu Shu’s mother. Then, he ordered people to forge Xu Shu’s letter to lure Xu Shu to Luoyang. Xu Shu really fell into the trap. Xu’s mother was very surprised to see her son suddenly arrive. After asking the truth, she was very indignant and turned to the back hall to hang a beam to commit suicide. The romance of the three kingdoms also has a poem praising it:

How virtuous Xu’s mother is! She will be remembered forever. It is better to have a good time than to lose. Teach children in many ways, and live in self suffering. Qi is like a hill, and righteousness comes from the heart. Praise Yuzhou and destroy Wei Wu. Fearless of the wok and the axe. For fear of descendants and humiliating our ancestors. The ambush sword flows with the current, and the machine can be broken. Born in its name, die in its place. How virtuous Xu’s mother is! She will live forever!

These things are obviously Luo Guanzhong’s “deduction”. Although there is no separate biography of Xu Shu in the official history, we can still find from the two paragraphs cited above:

(1) Cao Cao did not deceive Xu Shu’s mother to Luoyang, but carried her captive to Luoyang.

(2) Cao Cao did not coerce Xu’s mother into writing a letter to entice Xu Shu to abandon Shu and go to Wei. After Xu Shu arrived in Luoyang, the life and death of Xu’s mother was not recorded in the official history.

After these peripheral doubts have been cleared, we have to turn our attention to our main doubts: what did Xu Shu do after he entered Cao camp?

“Wei Lue” says that Xu Shu became a senior official

In addition to the annals of the Three Kingdoms, there was also a historical work named Wei Lue, which recorded the history of the state of Wei at that time.

There is a paragraph in Wei Lue about Xu Shu:

(Xu) was a son of the Shan family. Be good at swordsmanship. Zhongping did not take revenge for others. He painted his face with chalk and walked away with his hair, which was obtained by officials. Ask his name and keep quiet. The officials are those who are ashamed of the upright posts on the cars and beat drums to command the market. They dare not recognize them. And his party and his allies made him get rid of it. Therefore, he was grateful, gave up his halberd, and became more sparse in his single clothes. He broke down his knowledge, and began to give up his essence. Hearing that they were thieves before them, all living beings refused to stop with them. Blessing means getting up early, often cleaning up alone, listening to scriptures and studying karma, and being proficient in righteousness and reasoning. So he became dear to Shi Tao of the same county. At the beginning of the war, Zhongzhou soldiers began to visit Jingzhou with Taonan, and became especially friendly with Zhugeliang. It was attached to Jingzhou. Kongming and Liu Bei went with each other. Both Fu and Tao came to the north. To Huang junior middle school, taoshili prefect, Diannong school captain; Fu Zhiyou Zhonglang general and the imperial governor Zhongcheng. When Zhugeliang came out of Longyou after catching Taihe, he heard that the officials of Yuanzhi and Guangyuan were just like this. He sighed and said, “there are many evil scholars in Wei Shu. Why are they useless?” After several years of illness and death, there was a monument in Pengcheng, which is now preserved.

What needs to be explained here is that Shi Tao is also called shiguangyuan, and Xu Shu is also called Xu Yuanzhi.

Zhongping, Chuping and Taihe are the year names of Liuhong, Emperor Hanling, Liu Xie, Emperor Xiandi of Han and Cao (Ruiyou), Emperor Ming of Wei respectively. They represent the years 184 to 188 respectively; 190 to 193; The three historical periods from ad 227 to ad 232.

Zhonglang general and Zhongcheng, the imperial historian, were official names respectively.

Zhonglang generals evolved from Zhonglang. In the Qin Dynasty, the position of Zhonglang was set up. In the Western Han Dynasty, it was divided into three departments: five senses, left and right. Each of them had Zhonglang generals to command the emperor’s bodyguards, subordinate to guangluxun. During the reign of emperor Ping, Huben Zhonglang general was appointed to govern Wuben Lang. After the Eastern Han Dynasty, the generals of the unified army also used this name, and the title was added to it. Such as Zhonglang generals of Xiongnu in the early stage and beizhonglang generals in the late stage. In Jian’an, Cao Pi was a general with five official features. His position was equivalent to that of a deputy prime minister. He was a senior bureaucrat.

The official of the imperial governor Zhongcheng began in the Han Dynasty. In the Han Dynasty, Zhongcheng, the censor, was the assistant of the censor’s doctor, also known as zhongzhengfa. LAN Tai in the middle of the hall, in charge of the Secretary of the atlas; To supervise the administration of the monarchy; The internal leader attends the imperial historian, inspects the documents and books of the four sides, and impeachs according to the rules of the public Secretary. At the end of the Western Han Dynasty, the censor’s official was renamed dasikong, and the censor Zhongcheng became the chief officer of the censor’s platform. From the Eastern Han Dynasty to the northern and Southern Dynasties, the power of Zhongcheng was extremely heavy.

The two official positions Xu Shu once held were obviously important positions. Cao Cao’s only talent is his talent. It doesn’t depend on whether you have any false reputation, but on whether you have real talent and whether you have made any contribution to him.

We might as well imagine that if Xu Shu did not say a word after he arrived at Cao Ying, even if his reputation was great, he would not be granted the official posts of “commanding the emperor’s bodyguard” and “supervising the administration of prefectures and states, inspecting the records of the four parties, and impeaching officials according to the rules of the public Secretary”.

In this respect, we might as well make a comparison between Xu Shu and Kongrong.

Kongrong, with the word Wenju, is the 20th grandson of Confucius. According to the records in the book of the later Han Dynasty, he went to the capital with his father when he was ten years old. At that time, Henan Yin and Li became famous all over the world, and were not welcomed by celebrities or family friends. Kongrong wanted to meet the famous man, so he came to Li’s residence alone and said to the doorkeeper, “I am the son of Duke Li. Please inform Duke Li that I want to see him.” After the meeting, Li Ying looked at the hairy child and asked disapprovingly, “what friendship do you have with my family?” Kongrong calmly replied, “my ancestor Confucius and your ancestor Lao Tzu (Li Er) share the same virtue and righteousness, and they are also teachers and friends. Therefore, can’t we be called a good family?” At that time, all the people present could not help but feel sorry for it.

After growing up, Kongrong successively served as an imperial historian, Sikong, Huben Zhonglang general, and Beihai prime minister. Later, he joined Cao Cao.

At first, Cao Cao was kind to him. When Yuan Shao was defeated, Cao Cao married Zhen, Yuan Shao’s daughter-in-law, for his son Cao Pi. Kongrong wrote a letter to Cao Cao, laughing at this move. Cao Cao led his army on an expedition to Wuhuan. Kongrong also mocked that “the former Su Shen family did not pay tribute, and Ding Ling stole suwu cattle and sheep.” So as to get angry. Cao Cao was so angry that he ordered the prime minister’s army to offer a toast to Lu Cui and falsely accused Kongrong: “in the North Sea, when I saw the royal family was restless, I tried to disobey the disciples. He said: ‘after my great sage was destroyed in the Song Dynasty, there is no need for anyone in the world to wear a golden sword!'” as a result, he was sentenced to death for “great treachery, which should be punished with heavy punishment”. At the age of 56, his wife, daughter and son were killed at the same time.

Cao Cao has no mercy on the great celebrities after the saints. He can use what he can and kill what he can’t. If Xu Shu, a robber, has no achievements, how can he become a senior official?

Has there ever been a “silent” person in the enemy camp in history?

The answer is yes, but this person is not Xu Shu, but madam Xi in the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period.

Mrs. Xi was the first wife of the monarch of the state of Xi. Because of her beauty, she was forcibly taken as a concubine by the lecherous monarch of the state of Chu. When she arrived in the state of Chu, Mrs. Xi kept silent all her life. If anything happened, she would write to the silk. At that time, someone asked her curiously why she didn’t say a word. She replied in writing: “a good woman doesn’t marry two husbands. Unfortunately, I was born beautiful, which attracted the king of Chu to see the color, and killed her husband. Since I can’t follow her husband underground, I’m ashamed. What’s the face of talking?”

Later, “Madam Xi” gradually became the name of a woman who was forced to remarry but still had a sense of chastity. In a dream of Red Mansions, Cao Xueqin made Baoyu a monk. When Xi was forced to remarry, he wrote a poem that said, “Madam Xi is the only one who has died because of difficulties through the ages. If you are sad, you can’t be alone!”

In ancient China, a good woman who did not marry her husband was often associated with a loyal minister who did not do anything. From Madam Xi to the state of Chu, people deduced that Xu Shu was silent when he came to Cao Ying. This is probably the origin of the misunderstanding in this article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *