Love and envy talents: three of Cao Cao’s men

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Anyone who has seen the film Red Cliff knows that at the beginning, Cao Cao plans to go out to attack Liu Bei and then attack the eastern Wu. Kongrong pointed out Cao Cao’s ambition in the court. In a rage, Cao Cao held the flag of Kongrong and then led the army to the battle.

This is fiction.

In history, there is no saying that Cao Cao went to war to sacrifice the flag to Kongrong. However, there is no doubt that Kongrong was indeed harmed by Cao Cao. Cao Cao not only killed him, but also his wife, children, old and young.

What kind of person is Kongrong? As soon as I mentioned him, I remembered the allusion “Kongrong let the pear”. At the age of 4, I knew to give the big pear to others. The guests laughed and called him a prodigy.

It’s divine enough. I can’t guarantee that the big pears have worms, so I’ll give it to you.

Has Kongrong ever suffered a loss? He suffered a lot. Also because of talent, love to show off. This can be seen from the fact that his articles focus on discussion. Most of Kongrong’s articles are about advocating enlightenment, advocating benevolent government, recommending talents, and commenting on people. They often express their views directly on current politics, showing their sharp edges and distinctive personalities.

However, working under Cao Cao and showing off their talents are basically not good. Kongrong and Yang Xiu are the only two. You are playing a half naked show. If you see you, you will see yourself shameless. Look how clever Xu Shu is. He is silent. Silence is golden.

In fact, Kongrong was also a righteous man. What’s the matter? At the age of 16, in order to save Zhang Jian, who was persecuted by imperial eunuchs, he fought with his brother Kong Bao to sacrifice his life. This event made Kongrong famous all over the world.

According to records in the book of later Han Dynasty – Biography of Kongrong, in the second year of Xingping (AD 195) of Emperor Xian of Han Dynasty, Liu Bei recommended Kongrong, 42, to be the governor of Qingzhou.

One year later, in the first year of Jian’an (AD 196), Yuan Tan, the son of Yuan Shao, attacked Qingzhou, and Kongrong escaped from Qingzhou.

Later, Kong rongran was transferred to Cao Cao. Cao Cao is a complex man, who loves and envies talents, and is both a gentleman and a villain. He is a complex of contradictions. Knowing Kongrong’s talent, he made Kongrong a minister in Xuchang. The official position of minister is equivalent to the current ministerial level, which is in charge of engineering and construction.

Since taking office, Minister Kong has done a good job and often expressed his insights in the imperial court’s pre imperial meetings. Cao Cao has always attached great importance to him.

However, in 197, something happened. This incident caused Kongrong to bury a curse for himself.

This year, the world was not peaceful. Yuan Shu proclaimed himself Emperor in Shouchun. Cao Cao was very angry. He wanted to destroy Yuan Shu for a while, but he could not. He had no place to vent his anger, so he moved his anger to Taiwei Yangbiao. Because Yang Biao once married Yuan Shu. If you can’t kill far away, get close.

Cao Cao framed Yang Biao, saying that he tried to depose the son of heaven. He wrote a letter to ask for arrest and imprisonment, and sentenced Yang Biao to the crime of treachery.

When Kongrong heard about this, he didn’t have time to wear the imperial clothes, so he ran to Cao Cao to reason. He said to Cao Cao, “Yang Gong has four generations of Qingming virtues, which are admired by the people all over the country. According to the book of Zhou, father, son and brother are not even guilty. How can Yuan Shu’s sin be attributed to Yang Gong?”

Cao Cao was very angry at this time. Why did you mention the book of Zhou? It’s not the right time to show off his talent. But Kongrong’s words are impeccable, reasonable and clear-cut. If Cao Cao kills innocent people indiscriminately, he will lose the hearts of the world. Who will help you in the future?

But Cao Cao still refuses to let Yang Biao go. He asks Xuchang to order man Chong to try Yang Biao’s case. Kongrong had no choice but to act in secret. He asked the minister to order Xun Yu to entrust man Chong, saying that when Yang Biao was tried, please only take a statement and do not torture him.

Man Chong knows all about it. He says he tried Yang Biao, but without asking a word, he tortured Yang Biao according to the law. A few days later, man Chong told Cao Cao that Yang Biao had been tortured, but he didn’t say a word. This man is famous at home. If you don’t figure out his sins, you can’t convince the public, and you will lose the people’s support. This is very bad for you.

Cao Cao had no choice but to set Yang Biao free that day.

At the beginning, Kongrong and Xun Yu felt resentment when they heard that man Chong had tortured Yang Biao. Only then did I know that it was man Chong’s plan to let Cao Cao free Yang Biao.

Yangbiao learned the power of Cao Cao. Now the Han Dynasty is weak and the regime is in Cao’s family. He can’t afford to hide. He lied that his legs have shrunk and he can’t walk for more than ten years. Finally, he escaped from the clutches of Cao Cao.

Kongrong, however, was uninterested and prevented Cao Cao from harming Yang Biao. Instead, he was a little complacent and often disagreed with Cao Cao in a sarcastic and sarcastic way. In the ruling space of absolute power, it is the hobby of many conceited people in history to not put themselves in a correct position, always be arrogant and arrogant, and say strange and sour words. It seems that if you don’t, you won’t show that you have intelligence and you won’t show that you are outstanding.

Satire comes second, and denying major decisions is a rebellion and blow to those in power. For example, Cao Cao issued a prohibition on drinking, saying that drinking parties should be strictly prohibited. In fact, Cao Cao’s original intention was to save food. He insisted that this was also a policy of benefiting the country and the people. But Kongrong quit his job and jumped out to talk loudly, saying that since ancient times, there have been women who have been subjugated. Why not ban women together? Cao Cao was speechless.

It’s OK to oppose it once, but Kongrong objected to it all, which made Cao Cao extremely angry and hated him.

In the 13th year of Jian’an (208 AD), in autumn and July, Cao Cao wanted to attack Liu Biao in Jingzhou. He knew that Kongrong and Liu Bei had always been close. This guy always plays the devil’s advocate. It’s hard to guarantee that he won’t take bad medicine when it comes to the key. So Cao Cao decided to kill Kongrong. However, Kongrong was a famous scholar, and he could not kill anyone. On the one hand, Cao Cao did not want to bear the charge of indiscriminately killing innocent people; On the other hand, as man Chong said, we should obey the public and not lose the hearts and minds of the people.

Then the proper way is murder.

The key to murder lies in careful and rigorous deployment and planning. Cao Cao carefully calculated that it was most appropriate to give Kongrong luozhi the charge. There should be more than one crime.

The murder was then divided into two steps.

Step 1: on August 24 of that year, Cao Cao sent Xi Xie, a guangluxun from Shanyang, to be the censor. Why should Xi Xi be a censor? Because Cao Cao knew very well that this man was incompatible with Kongrong.

Step 2: as soon as Xi Liang took office, Cao Cao immediately ordered him to search for Kong Rong’s mistakes. Xi Xie is both willing and hard-working. He is almost interested in making others interested. He is excited about making Kong Rong.

Soon, Xi Xi found evidence to convict Kongrong. Kongrong once said that “there is no need to use a golden sword for those in the world”. Mao Jin Dao is the traditional “Liu” character. This is the tone of rebellion. In addition, when Kongrong was in Beihai, he saw that the royal family was restless and gathered disciples to plot evil. Later, when he talked with Sun Quan’s envoys, he slandered the imperial court.

It’s a big enough crime. But Cao Cao thought that this crime alone was not strong enough, and ordered chi to continue the secret investigation.

Therefore, Xi Xi collected two unfilial remarks of Kongrong.

One is disrespect for the sage. Kongrong and Youheng boasted to each other. Youheng praised Kongrong and said that you were “Zhongni immortal”; Kongrong praised you Heng, saying that you are “Yanhui reborn”. The two brothers are really thick skinned.

When the other did not respect filial piety and was in famine, Kongrong said to others, “if my father is bad, I would rather give something to others to eat and let my father starve to death”; As for the mother, Kongrong believes that the mother and the son have no love, just like a thing temporarily placed in a pot, after pouring it out, the two sides have no relationship.

Well, there are two major charges, unfaithfulness and unfilial piety. One nostril bleeds, but the fire is hot. The two nostrils bleed together. You are dead. In fact, one piece of treacherous speech is enough to kill Kongrong. Why should Cao Cao have two charges?

This is the wisdom of Cao Cao.

First, the Han Dynasty advocated governing the world with filial piety. Cao Cao’s shrewdness and treachery lie in that he forced Kongrong on the charge of unfilial, which not only caused trouble in his heart, but also showed that he followed filial piety and safeguarded the Han Dynasty. Whether from the political point of view or from the point of view of winning the hearts of the people, it can be said that killing two birds with one stone.

Second, the conviction of Kongrong for unfilial behavior can fully cover up his murder motive. After being unfilial, Kongrong was even more deserving of his crime by adding a “vice crime” of rebellion.

Third, put the unfilial crime in front of the crime of conspiracy as the “main crime”, which also shows your generosity. You Kongrong collaborated with the enemy Liu Bei, you can also not kill you. You can also go to him. I Cao Cao love talents and will never kill talents indiscriminately. But if you are unfilial, you must be executed, which belongs to the “cutting with tears”.

Fourth, punishing crimes by speech also gives a warning to those who are arrogant or seek fame and reputation. They are not allowed to be arrogant or say strange things. Talking strange things, satirizing and sarcasm is not to invigorate the political atmosphere, but to create chaos. In the autocratic regime, you should be the silent majority, without human rights, let alone the right to speak.

Fifthly, these two charges can prove that Kong Rong’s character is questionable. Killing the body will also destroy your reputation, so that you will never be able to turn over. Chen Shou is afraid to write a biography of the annals of the Three Kingdoms. This is called trampling you to death and stepping on tenthousand feet.

Therefore, Cao Cao wrote in his notice: melting violates the way of heaven, defeats ethics and disorderly rites, and hates it even though it is too late.

The notice without the red mark fully expressed Cao Cao’s anger. “It’s still too late to kill you”. It’s too late to kill you.

As a result, Kongrong, who was already a senior Chinese doctor at this time, was sentenced to death. Instead of sacrificing flags, he was executed in the street market, together with Kongrong’s wife and children.

In the past, Jingzhao people made friends with Kongrong. Zhi Xi has repeatedly warned Kongrong not to be too straight. If this goes on for a long time, he will be harmed. At this moment, Kongrong really died. No one in Xuchang dared to collect his body. Only Zhi Xi went away, caressed Kongrong’s body and cried bitterly, saying, “how can I survive if kongwenju gave me up and died?”

Knowing this, Cao Cao immediately ordered the search for Zhi Xi. He wanted to kill him, but later pardoned him.

In fact, long before Kongrong, Cao Cao had already cooked up a murder case. Because the victim’s status, reputation and influence were inferior to Kongrong, he had the right to define it as the second murder case.

The victim of the second murder was Youheng, from pingpingban County, Qingzhou (now Linyi, Shandong).

In terms of talent and learning, you are inferior to Kongrong, but you and Kongrong have one thing in common, that is, they like to disagree in everything, and are more arrogant than Kongrong. The relationship between the two people was very close. Kongrong repeatedly recommended you Heng to Cao Cao, saying that you Heng was also a famous scholar. Cao Cao always had the long cherished wish to attract talents from all over the world, so he promised to meet you.

In private, Kongrong and Youheng appreciated each other and touted each other. Youheng called Kongrong “Zhongni immortal”, which means that Kongrong is a reincarnated Confucius saint. Kongrong said that you Heng was “the resurrection of Yan Hui”. You Heng’s arrogance is actually pale. Speaking of talent and learning, he is just a poet at the end of the Han Dynasty. There is a masterpiece called parrot Fu, which is a work of expressing ambition. And he himself is like a noisy parrot, good at sarcasm and scolding others, but his heart is vicious expansion. Based on this kind of character and virtue, you Heng completely ignored Cao Cao and ridiculed Cao Cao wantonly. Cao Cao wanted to give him a blow, so he called him a drummer, a small role in drumming. This made you Heng very dissatisfied. He wore ceremonial clothes to play the drum. The drum sounded wonderful, but he was reprimanded by the official in charge of etiquette, saying that the drum officials should wear special clothes. You Heng nodded and said yes. When he came to Cao Cao, he slowly took off his clothes one by one until he was naked. Cao Cao was so embarrassed that he forced himself to laugh at the guests and said, “I wanted to humiliate you Heng, but I didn’t expect to be humiliated by you Heng.”.

Even Kongrong thought it was too much for you Heng to seek death. While he blamed you Heng, he also told Cao Cao about his love for talent. So you Heng went to see Cao Cao again, meaning to admit his mistake. Cao Cao was also very happy to learn. Unexpectedly, you Heng was wearing a single coat, with a broken Ge towel on his head and a wooden stick in his hand. He looked like a dissolute man. When he walked to the gate of the camp, he knocked on the ground with a wooden stick and cursed loudly, which was very harsh. Cao Cao was so angry that he thought you Heng was nothing but a sparrow and a mouse.

Cao Cao was angry, but he always paid attention to his words, deeds and image. He tried his best to maintain the reputation of being tolerant and loving talents. If he was not good, he would directly harm Youheng. So he committed murder, this time by killing with a knife. He sent people to escort you Heng to Jingzhou by force and gave Jingzhou Mu Liu Biao.

Liu Biao knew the name of Youheng long ago and regarded him as a guest of honor. He put Youheng in charge of the documents, and pointed out that “the articles and comments are not determined by him”, that is, all the documents and materials of Jingzhou government should be reviewed and approved by Youheng. He attached great importance to and trusted Youheng. But you Heng is still domineering and supercilious. Once when he was out, he happened to have a document to be drafted immediately, so Liu Biao called other secretaries and asked them to draft it together. They were “extremely talented” and managed to write the document. Unexpectedly, as soon as you Heng came back, he took a cursory look at the document and said that it was too smelly. Then he tore it to pieces and threw it on the ground. Then he asked for a pen and paper and wrote a new one to Liu Biao. Moreover, you Heng also ridiculed Liu Biao’s cronies, who in turn punished him and went to Liu Biao to slander him, saying that you Heng asserted that the general could not achieve great things, because although the general was generous and kind, he had the kindness of women and people, and acted indecisively, and would be defeated in the future.

It is unknown whether this remark came from your mouth. But everyone will believe what you Heng said.

Of course, Liu Biao can’t tolerate your arrogance and rudeness. But he didn’t want to bear a bad name, so he sent you Heng to Huang Zu, the governor of Jiangxia.

Liu Biao knew that Huang Zu was grumpy, and his intention was obviously to kill people with a knife. It can be said that Cao Cao, Liu Biao, and Huang Zu were the masterminds of the murder.

After you Heng arrived in Jiangxia, Huang Zu also paid more attention to him at the beginning and asked him to be responsible for drafting documents. You Heng also worked very hard and did a good job. All the manuscripts drafted by him were “light and light, appropriate to each other”. They were written very appropriately and were praised by Huang Zu.

However, you cannot change your nature. In the first year of Jian’an (AD 196), Huang Zu held a banquet on the warship. You Heng said something mean and rude in front of all the guests! Huang Zu scolded him, but he taught Huang Zu a lesson, saying that you are a dead old man, don’t instigate me! In front of the crowd, Huang Zu couldn’t hold his breath, so he ordered people to drag you Heng away and beat him severely. You Heng still scolded, so Huang Zu ordered him to be killed. Huang Zu’s men had been dissatisfied with you Heng for a long time. They got the order, and Huang Zu’s master’s book immediately killed you Heng. You Heng was only 26 when he died.

Although you are not guilty to death, you are not too unjust to die. His death was both caused by his arrogance and concocted by Cao Cao. You Heng exalted himself by belittling others. When he was with Cao Cao, he despised his colleagues. Even people like Chen Qun and Sima Yi’s elder brother Sima Lang disdained Association. He said that he could not make friends with people who killed pigs and sold wine. Even Kongrong and Yangxiu, whom he himself admired, made this comment, saying that only the eldest son Kongrong and the youngest son Yangxiu in the Manchu Dynasty were able to make do, and the rest were not worth mentioning. Kongrong was forty years old at that time. You Heng called him “da’er”. It can be seen that you Heng’s arrogance has gone crazy. Therefore, your death is more or less self – inflicted. Compared with you Heng, the victim of the third murder was wronged.

The victim of the third murder was Yang Xiu. Yang Xiu, with the word dezu, was born in Hongnong Huayin (today’s Shaanxi West Huayin East). He was the son of Taiwei Yangbiao. Yang Xiu is quite different from you Heng. He is a modest man and has been quick thinking since childhood. At the age of 9, a man named kongjunping came to visit Yang Biao. Yang Xiu was busy making tea and giving up his seat because his father was not at home, and brought fruit to entertain kongjunping. Kongjunping picked up a red bayberry and joked: red bayberry is a real yangjiaguo. Yang Xiu immediately asked kongjunping: is the peacock Mr. Kong’s poultry?

Because of his excellent intelligence, Yang Xiu was appreciated and valued by Cao Cao, and entrusted with the title of “always knowing the outside and the inside”, becoming a senior adviser around the Prime Minister Cao Cao. He should be regarded as an important minister. However, Yang Xiu’s cleverness is mostly petty cleverness. Cao Cao was dissatisfied with Yang Xiu after the events of Kuo men and a box of crisps.

First of all, let’s take a look at the kuangmen incident. Cao Cao went to inspect the newly-built prime minister’s residence. After the inspection, he didn’t say a word, but asked people to write a word “live” on the door. Everyone else was confused. Yang xiudang ordered people to tear down the door and rebuild it. He said that the prime minister thought the door was too wide, so he wrote a word “live” on the door. The word “live” in the door “means” wide “and” wide “means” wide “.

The second was the case of a box of crisp candy, which Cao Cao was given a box of crisp candy. Cao Cao took a bite, wrote a word “he” on the box and gave it to the people. The people looked at each other, but Yang Xiu took it and ate it. He said to the people: the prime minister means “one bite for one person”.

In fact, these two small incidents were not enough for Cao Cao to kill Yang Xiu. Next, Yang Xiu secretly intervened in the abolition of the crown prince. He assisted Cao Zhi because he guessed that Cao Cao would establish Cao Zhi. Cao Cao ordered Cao Pi and Cao Zhi to go out of Ye gate to do business, and secretly ordered the gate guards not to let them go. This arrangement was guessed by Yang Xiu. He informed Cao Zhi in advance, saying that if the guard didn’t let him go, you would take the king’s life and kill the guard. Cao Zhi did what Yang Xiu said and killed the gate guard. As a result, Cao Zhi left the city but Cao Pi did not go out. Yang Xiu thought that he had helped Cao Zhi win Cao Cao’s love and respect, but he didn’t know the opposite. In this way, Cao Cao was left with the impression that Cao Zhi was cruel and Cao Pi was kind. Yang Xiu’s cleverness was mistaken by his cleverness. He shook his wits and threw a stone at his own feet. Cao Cao saw through his cleverness. No monarch in history was willing to be seen thoroughly by his ministers. If Yang Xiu guessed what Cao Cao thought and remained silent, he would not have been killed. However, he liked to publicize it everywhere. In the end, he died in the “chicken ribs” incident.

In 219 ad, Cao Cao led his troops into Hanzhong to fight Liu Bei to the death. But Liu Bei would not fight. Cao Cao could not attack, and there was no basis for retreat. It was a dilemma. His subordinates asked him for his password. Cao Cao said two words: chicken ribs. When Yang Xiu heard about it, he immediately packed up and asked why. Yang Xiu said that chicken ribs are tasteless, but it is a pity to abandon them. The prime minister has decided to go home.

As a ruler, Cao Cao hated the idea that others had guessed his mind. In Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao dealt with the “chicken rib incident”, took military discipline seriously, and beheaded Yang Xiu according to the law, which was flawless and eliminated a major hidden danger in his heart. The truth is that half a year later, Cao Cao adopted the method of murder and executed Yang Xiu on the charge of “disclosing state secrets and forming a party for personal gain” by “exposing the world and teaching and communicating with the princes”.

Is this the real cause of Yang Xiu’s death? To be exact, it is only one of them. In addition, there are two major political factors.

1? Yang Xiu violated the taboo of the ancient royal power struggle and participated in the struggle to seize the throne.

2? Mrs. Yangbiao is Yuan Shu’s daughter, and Yang Xiu is Yuan Shu’s grandson. Yang Biao and Yang Xiu’s identity and political concept conflict with the interests of the Cao Wei regime.

In a word, Yang Xiu knows others too well and knows their minds too well, but he doesn’t. this is also the sadness of ancient Chinese intellectuals.

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