Imperial Guardian Yang Biao memorialized the Throne, saying,
“The decree issued to me some time ago has never been acted upon. Now Cao Cao is very strong in the east
of Huashang Mountains, and it would be well to associate him in the government that he might support the ruling house.”
the Emperor replied, “There was no need to refer to the matter again. Send a messenger when you will.”
So the decree went forth and a messenger bore it into the East of Huashang. Now when Cao Cao had heard that the court had returned to Capital Luoyang, he called together his advisers to consult.
[e] Duke Wen of Jin （reigned 636-628 BC） was ruler of the western state of Jin during the Spring and Autumn period. He and his successors made Jin a dominant state for nearly 200 years. ……
[e] the Qin Dynasty ended in BC 206. From BC 206 to BC 202, there was actually no emperor in China； and the principal event in this period of anarchy was what we call the Strife between Chu and Han. It was a continuous conflict between Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, the former a native of Wu,
and the latter of Pei. Both of them had been lieutenants under King Huai of Chu. This King, aka Emperor Yi, was a descendant of the old ruling house of the state of Chu, and during
the troubles attending the breakup of the Qin empire, he setup a kingdom on the ruins. Xiang Yu eventually became the leader of Chu army； and he allegedly had King Huai murdered. Liu Bang, now a leader of Han army, mourned King Huai’s death to show his loyal heart.
Xun Yu laid the matter before Cao Cao and the council thus： “Eight hundred years ago, Duke Wen of Jin supported Prince Xiang of the declining Zhou Dynasty, and all the feudal lords backed Duke Wen*. The Founder of the Hans, Liu Bang, won the popular favor by wearing mourning for Emperor Yi of Chu*.
Now Emperor Xian has been a fugitive on the dusty roads.
To take the lead in offering an army
to restore him to honor is to have an unrivaled
opportunity to win universal regard. But you
must act quickly or someone will get in before you.”