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Chapter 078-04 간웅 조조의 죽음

  曹洪等涕泣領命而出。操令近侍取平日所藏名香,分賜諸侍妾,且囑曰:「吾死之後,汝等須勤習女工,多造絲履,賣之可以得錢自給。」又命諸妾多居於銅雀臺中,每日設祭,必令女伎奏樂上食。又遺命於彰德府講武城外,設立疑塚七十二,勿令後人知吾葬處:恐為人所發掘故也。囑畢,長歎一聲,淚如雨下。須臾,氣絕而死。壽六十六歲,時建安二十五年春正月也。後人有《鄴中歌》一篇,歎曹操云:

鄴則鄴城水彰水,定有異人從此起。
雄謀韻事與文心,君臣兄弟而父子。
英雄未有俗胸中,出沒豈隨人眼底?
功首罪魁非兩人,遺臭流芳本一身。
文章有神霸有氣,豈能苟爾化為群?
橫流築臺距太行,氣與理勢相低昂。
安有斯人不作逆,小不為霸大不王?
霸王降作兒女鳴,無可奈何中不平。
向帳明知非有益,分香未可謂無情。
嗚呼!
古人作事無鉅細,寂寞豪華皆有意。
書生輕議塚中人,塚中笑爾書生氣!

  卻說曹操身亡,文武百官,盡皆舉哀;一面遣人赴世子曹丕、鄢陵侯曹彰、臨淄侯曹植、蕭懷侯曹熊處報喪。眾官用金棺銀槨將操入殮,星夜舉靈櫬赴鄴郡來。曹丕聞知父喪,放聲痛哭,率大小官員出城十里,伏道迎櫬入城,停於偏殿。官僚掛孝,聚哭於殿上。忽一人挺身而出曰:「請世子息哀,且議大事。」眾視之,乃中庶子司馬孚也。孚曰:「魏王既薨,天下震動;當早立嗣王,以安眾心,何但哭泣耶?」群臣曰:「世子宜嗣位,但未得天子詔命,豈可造次而行?」兵部尚書陳矯曰:「王薨於外,愛子私立,彼此生變,則社稷危矣。」遂拔劍割下袍袖,厲聲曰:「即今日便請世子嗣位。眾官有異議者,以此袍為例!」百官悚懼。忽報華歆自許昌飛馬而至。眾皆大驚。須臾華歆入。眾問其來意。歆曰:「今魏王薨逝,天下震動,何不早請世子嗣位?」眾官曰:「正因不及候詔命,方議欲以王后卞氏慈旨立世子為王。」歆曰:「吾已於漢帝處索得詔命在此。」眾皆踴躍稱賀。歆於懷中取出詔命開讀。原來華歆諂事魏,故草此詔,威逼獻帝降之;帝只得聽從,故下詔即封曹丕為魏王、丞相、冀州牧。丕即日登位,受大小官僚拜舞起居。

  正宴會慶賀間,忽報鄢陵侯曹彰,自長安領十萬大軍來到。丕大驚,遂問群臣曰:「黃鬚小弟,平日性剛,深通武藝。今提兵遠來,必與孤爭王位也。如之奈何?」忽階下一人應聲出曰:「臣請往見鄢陵侯,以片言折之。」眾皆曰:「非大夫莫能解此禍也。」正是:

試看曹氏丕彰事,
幾作袁家譚尚爭。

未知此人是誰,且看下文分解。


76 Cao Hong and the others wept as they heard these words, and they left the chamber. Then Cao Cao bade his servants bring all of the rare incenses and fragrances that he burned every day, and he handed out to his handmaids.

77 And he said to them, "After my death you must diligently attend to your womanly labors. You can make silken shoes for sale, and so earn your own living."

78 He also bade them go on living in the Bronze Bird Pavilion and celebrate a daily sacrifice for him, with music by the singing women, and presentation of the eatables laid before his tablet.

79 Next he commanded that seventy-two sites for a tomb should be selected near Jiangwu, that no one should know his actual burying place, lest his remains should be dug up.

80 And when these final orders had been given, he sighed a few times, shed some tears, and died. He was sixty-six, and passed away in the first month of the twenty-fifth year of Rebuilt Tranquillity Era (AD 220).

81 A certain poet composed "A Song of Yejun" expressing sympathy for Cao Cao, which is given here:

82 I stood in Yejun and saw the River Zhang 
Go gliding by. I thought no common human 
Ever rose from such a place. Or he was great 
In war, a poet, or an artist skilled. 
Perchance a model minister, or son, 
Or famous for fraternal duty shown. 
The thoughts of heroes are not ours to judge, 
Nor are their actions for our eyes to see. 
A man may stand the first in merit; then 
His crimes may brand him chief of criminals. 
And so his reputation's fair and foul; 
His literary gifts may bear the mark 
Of genius; he may be a ruler born; 
But this is certain: He will stand above 
His fellows, herding not with common people. 
Takes he the field, then is he bold in fight; 
Would he a mansion build, a palace springs. 
In all things great, his genius masters him. 
And such was Cao Cao. He could never be 
Obedient; he a rebel was, foredoomed. 
He seized and ruled, but hungered for more power; 
Became a prince, and still was not content. 
And yet this man of glorious career 
When gripped by sickness, wept as might a child. 
Full well he knew, when on the bed of death, 
That all is vanity and nothing worth. 
His latest acts were kindly. Simple gifts 
Of fragrant incense gave he to the maids. 
Ah! The ancients' splendid deeds or secret thoughts 
We may not measure with our puny rule. 
But criticize them, pedants, as ye may 
The mighty dead will smile at what you say.


83 As Cao Cao breathed his last, the whole of those present raised a great wailing and lamentation. The news was sent to the members of the family, the Heir Cao Pi, Lord of Yanling Cao Zhang, Lord of Linzi Cao Zhi, and Lord of Xiaohuai Cao Xiong. They wrapped the body in its shroud, enclosed it in a silver shell, and laid it in a golden coffin, which was sent at once home to Yejun.

84 The eldest son wept aloud at the tidings and went out with all his following to meet the procession and escort the body of his father into his home. The coffin was laid in a great hall beside the main building, and all the officials in deep mourning wailed in the hall.

85 Suddenly one stood out from the ranks of the mourners and said, "I would request the heir to cease lamentation for the dead and devote himself to the present needs of state."

86 It was Sima Fu, and he continued, "The death of the Prince will cause an upheaval in the empire, and it is essential that the heir should assume his dignity without loss of time. There is not mourning alone to be seen to."

87 The others replied. "The succession is settled, but the investiture can hardly proceed without the necessary edict from the Emperor. That must be secured."

88 Said Chen Jiao, who was Minister of War, "As the Prince died away from home, it may be that disputes will ensue, and the country will be in danger."

89 Then Chen Jiao slashed off the sleeves of his robe with a sword and shouted fiercely, "We will invest the prince forthwith, and anyone who does not agree, let him be treated as this robe."

90 Still fear held most of the assembly. Then arrived Hua Xin most haste from the capital. They wondered what his sudden arrival meant.

91 Soon he entered the hall and said, "The Prince of Wei is dead and the world is in commotion. Why do you not invest his successor quickly?"

92 "We await the command," cried they in chorus, "and also the order of Princess-Mother Bian concerning the heirship."

93 "I have procured the imperial edict here," cried he, pulling it out from his breast.

94 They all jumped up and down to shout their congratulations. And Hua Xin read the edict.

95 Hua Xin had always been devoted to Wei. As soon as he knew of Cao Cao's death, he drafted this edict and got it sealed by Emperor Xian almost by force. However, there it was: Therein Cao Pi was named as Prince of Wei, First Minister, and Imperial Protector of Jizhou."

96 Cao Pi thereupon took his seat in the princely place and received the exultant congratulations of all the officers. This was followed by a great banquet.

97 However, all was not to pass too smoothly. While the banquet was in progress, the news came: "Cao Zhang, Lord of Yanling, with an army of one hundred thousand troops, is approaching from Changan."

98 In a state of consternation, the new Prince turned to his courtiers, saying, "What shall I do? This young, golden-bearded brother of mine, always obstinate and determined and with no little military skill, is marching hither with an army to contest my inheritance."

99 "Let me go to see the Marquis. I can make him desist," said one of the guests.

100 The others cried, "Only yourself, O Exalted One, can save us in this peril!"

101 Quarrel between two sons of Cao Cao 
Just as in the House of Yuan Shao.

102 If you would know who proposed himself as envoy, read the next chapter.



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