A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chao P'u

178 Chao P'u 趙普 (T. 則平). A.D. 916-992. A native of 薊 Chi-chou in Chihli, whose family moved to Lo-yang in Honan. As a youth he was grave and reserved. In 954 he entered the service of Chao K'uang-yin, founder of the Sung dynasty, as secretary, tended the future Emperor in an illness, and became his friend. He was present when his master was invested by the army with the Imperial robes, and was left in charge of the capital while the sovereign's presence was required elsewhere. In 962 he was placed upon the Privy Council; and from that time became the trusted counsellor of the Emperor, who is said on one occasion to have visited him, unattended, in a snowstorm, so anxious was the monarch to obtain his opinion. The drastic reforms which he initiated brought him unpopularity, and intrigue caused him to fall into disfavour at Court. He was ordered to Yünnan; and although after a year or two he returned, he never completely regained his former position with the founder of the dynasty. The second Emperor, T'ai Tsung, received him back into favour, and made him a Minister; and when he was departing for a high provincial post indited to him a farewell ode. In 992, after holding a variety of posts, he was made Grand Preceptor of the Heir Apparent, and ennobled as Duke. He was a devoted student of the Analects of Confucius, and once said to the Emperor T'ai Tsung, "With one half of this work I helped your father to gain the empire, and now with the other half I am helping your Majesty to keep it." During all his years of official life, he never asked a favour for any of his own relatives. Canonised as 忠獻.