I revisited 資治通鑑 during my holidays in early June. This time, I started from the preface. To be exact, this was the letter to the emperor explaining the background of the work (進書表).
As expected, a significant proportion of the preface was devoted to thanking the previous and present emperors for ordering him to accomplish the work and all the support. Interestingly, Sima Guang (司馬光) also thanked the emperor for not asking for staff development reports and research assessment exercises. (前後六任，仍聽以書局自隨，給之祿秩，不責職業。)
As a young academic in the 21th century, I was utterly amazed.