Lu Xun/Lu Kang relay

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Unread postby Starscream » Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:24 pm

skipping 2 disgustingly long annotations (they are major put-offs), we continue the story of Lu Kang...

Lu Kang was conferred another rank of Du Hu 都护 (Note: to check). Upon hearing that Xue Ying, the commander of the left army of Wu Cang, was imprisoned for a crime, Lu Kang petitioned saying, "talented individuals are the nation's jewels and the society's treasures; because of them, different administrative matters could be carried out orderly to benefit all. In the past, the Da Si Nong (equivalent to Finance Minister) Lou Xuan, 散骑中常侍 (Note: to check) Wang Fan, the Lord in charge of royal treasury and welfare 少府 Li Xu were talented individuals back then and were famous for their abilities. They were initially favoured by their lords and the way they carried out their duties were socially and legally acceptable. However, they were executed not long after. Either their families were exterminated or they were abandoned in some distant wild lands. Zhou Li (Note: Zhou Rites) explicitly stated a law to release talented individuals for minor errors. Chun Qiu (Note: Spring and Autumn penned by Confucius) explained about forgiving virtuous people. In Shang Shu (Note: one of the main Confucian literatures), it says that, "It is better to err by breaking the law than killing an innocent". However, Wang Fan and the rest were executed even though their crimes were not proven. Their hearts were loyal but yet they were killed, is this not a pity? Moreover, though they were already executed and could not feel any pain, their bodies were burnt and their ashes scattered into the waters. I fear that this action might not be with accordance to what was decreed by the kings nor the objective of the laws laid down to deter wrongdoers. As a result, the civilians are fearful and uncertain and both court officials and the commoners are distraught. Wang Fan and Li Xu were both already dead, so it is too late to regret. However, I sincerely plead with your majesty to spare Lou Xuan and release him from imprisonment. Lately, I have heard that Xue Ying had been arrested. Xue Ying's late father, Xue Zong, was an advisor at the First Emperor (aka Sun Quan)'s side and he had also served Emperor Wen. Xue Ying succeeded his father's position and had been careful in maintaining his actions within ethical boundaries, hence the crime that he has committed now is forgivable. I am worried that the officials in charge (of his arrest) could not understand the background of this matter and should they once more carry out capital punishment, it will cause greater disappointment amongst the civilians. Therefore, I plead for mercy from your majesty to forgive Xue Ying of his wrongdoings, have mercy on all who have erred and carry out penal duties justly. In this way, there will be a cause for joy for all."
”太慢了。“
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Unread postby James » Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:39 pm

I've wondered what is terrible about those long annotations. It is probably the most commonly grumbled about element of a translation. One person even told me that they tend to be much harder to translate. I've usually guessed that they just aren't anywhere near as interesting?

That latest installment is like an entry in a soap opera! :shock:
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Unread postby Starscream » Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:43 pm

James wrote:I've wondered what is terrible about those long annotations. It is probably the most commonly grumbled about element of a translation. One person even told me that they tend to be much harder to translate. I've usually guessed that they just aren't anywhere near as interesting?

That latest installment is like an entry in a soap opera! :shock:

Some annotations are very clear-cut. The one that got us stuck for almost 3 years (we didn't give it a thought during this time) was a very long commentary commending the friendly border relations of Lu Kang and Yang Ku, weighing the merits of maintaining peaceful co-existence. It's okay if I summarise it like this, but to explain the quotes and analogies used, I'd rather swallow a pail of wasabi.

I hope Lady Wu is willing to assist me to see through this particular biography. It's a waste to leave it lying around uncompleted I guess... :?
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Unread postby James » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:04 pm

Starscream wrote:I hope Lady Wu is willing to assist me to see through this particular biography. It's a waste to leave it lying around uncompleted I guess... :?

Haha. I suppose if anything can bring her out of hiding you've got a fair chance of doing so with this project. There are a few others here that might have a chance to help too! Wish I could...

Thanks for answering my odd question. :)
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Unread postby Starscream » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:11 am

And now, Lu Kang continues to petition....

At that juncture, soldiers continued to be mobilised and the civilians were very much exhausted. Lu Kang petitioned saying, "I have heard that Zhou Rites emphasises on following the flow of events and Zuo Zhuan applauds offense when the opportunity is ripe. That is why in the past, Shang Tang mobilised forces to attack Xia Dynasty when the latter was in the state of decadence and for the same reason, King Wu of Zhou campaigned against the fatuous King Zhou of Shang. If the opportunity was not ripe, Shang Tang would rather stay imprisoned in fear and King Wu would wait in Meng Jin and not make unnecessary moves. At present, we are not spending our energies in making the country more prosperous and strengthening our troops, engaging in agriculture, stocking up our granaries, allowing all the officials to have opportunities to utilise their abilities, defining a clear promotion / demotion system to encourage officers at all levels to perform, defining the objectives of punishments and rewards, stating what is prohibited, educating code of ethics to all officials, ruling the people with benevolence, and finally, following Heaven's will; and when the opportunity arises, we conquer the world. Instead, the advices of generals who want only their glory are heeded and the troops are mobilised non-stop for conquest. Our treasury is strained within a short period of time and the soldiers are now suffering from injuries and fatigue. Even if the enemies do not attack us, we have already exhausted ourselves. If we now attempt to fight for rights of sovereignty, and our visions blurred by small gains due to the ill advices of officers seeking personal interests, this is certainly not in the interest of the country's welfare. In the past, Qi and Lu engaged in battle 3 times. Lu won 2 of the battles but was vanquished thereafter. Why was that so? That is due to the difference in strength between the two states. Whatever that was gained in the victory of war was insufficient to cover the losses needed to wage a war. Moreover, relying on military strengths alone without the support of civilians has been proven since the ancient times that, it would be better instead to cease conquest for the moment and invest efforts in building up military strengths and civilians' welfare. When the time is ripe, we have nothing to regret."

That's all for now. Time to make soup. :twisted:
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Unread postby Starscream » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:47 am

A year later, Lu Kang continued to live up to his father's name and the petitions went on...

In the spring of the second year of Feng Huang, Lu Kang was conferred the rank of Da Si Ma and Governor of Jingzhou at where he was stationed. In the summer of the third year of Feng Huang, Lu Kang fell seriously ill. He petitioned saying, "Xi Ling and Jian Ping are border regions of our country. They are located at the lower tributaries of River Chang Jiang and are threatened by the two enemy states. If the enemy ships follow the flow of the river, their ships can travel very swiftly and reach these region in a very short period of time. At this rate, no reinforcements can ever assist in defending these regions should there be attacks. This concerns the safety of our country and not just a petty border invasion. My late father Lu Xun had memorialised his concerns when he was at the western borders and he felt that Xi Ling is the western gate to our country. Although it is easy to defend, it is also easy to lose. Once this place has fallen, it is not a mere lost of a county; the entire Jing Zhou prefecture may not belong to Wu anymore. If there are any troubles arising in these regions, the entire country's forces should be mobilised to defend them. I was previously stationed at Xi Ling and have read my late father's records of events. A request for reinforcement of thirty thousand crack soldiers was made but the officer in charge followed the protocol and did not dispatch the requested number of troops. Ever since Bu Chan's rebellion, the army suffered a great loss. Now the thousand li of land under my jurisdiction can be threatened by enemies from all directions. We have to defend against external invasions and at the same time, maintain peace and order amongst the various tribes internally. I have only a few thousand soldiers on hand and many of them are either old or suffering from fatigue for a long period of time and it is very difficult to handle any crisis in this state. I feel that since the princes are still quite young and have never managed state affairs before, the post of tutors should be established to educate them not to use troops unnecessarily, to avoid hindrance to more crucial matters. Eunuchs in the palaces are establishing their personal recruitment system and thus, those soldiers or commoners who resent against military enlistment would all prefer to enlist themselves as the eunuchs' personal guards. I sincerely plead to your majesty to issue a special decree to make careful investigation and selections in order to reorganize the enlistment of troops. Excessive manpower should be removed from the palaces to replenish the armies at the borders that often have to defend against enemy invasions. By doing so, I hope to have a sufficient eighty thousand troops under my command and at the same time excesses can be reduced, accomplishments rewarded, and wrongdoings suitably punished. If Han Xin or Bai Qi are alive today, they can do nought about the present situation even with their talents. If we do not increase the number of soldiers, if the palace system does not change, I truly worry how this can affect our ultimate goal. After my death, please give more emphasis on the defence at the western regions. I sincerely hope your majesty will give consideration to my words, and after my death, may this spirit live on."

In autumn that year, Lu Kang passed away. His son Lu Yan succeeded his nobilities. Lu Yan's younger brother Lu Jing, Lu Xuan, Lu Ji and Lu Yun each respectively commanded Lu Kang's army. Lu Yan was Shan Jiang Jun 禅将军 and Yi Dao Jian 夷道监 (note: to check; sounds like "guardian of the foreign passes to me"). In the fourth year of Tian Ji, Jin army invaded Wu. General of Dragon Valour 龙骧将军, Wang Jun followed the river flow and wherever he reached, he conquered the areas with ease, just as what Lu Kang was worried about when he was alive. Lu Jing, styled Shi Ren, married a princess and was bestowed the rank of Calvary commander, conferred the rank of Marquis of Pi Ling. He led Lu Kang's army and was further given the rank of Pian Jiang Jun and Zhong Xia Du 中夏督. He was well-versed in literature and was an ardent learner. He penned some ten over books ^(Annotation 2 Part 1). On the fifth day of the second lunar month, Lu Yan was killed by Wang Jun's subsidiary army. on the sixth day of the second lunar month, Lu Jing was also killed and was thirty one years old when he died. Lu Jing's wife was the sister of Sun Hao and like Lu Jing, they were Zhang Cheng's maternal grandsons ^^(Annotation 2 Part 2).

Commentary by Chen Shou: Liu Bei was known to be a hero of his time and was feared by many. When Lu Xun was young, he was not prominent but when he fought battles, he had never lost. I am in awe of Lu Xun's strategies and praise Sun Quan for his ability to recognise talents, and this is the very key to achieving success! Lu Xun was loyal and sincere and worried about state affairs until his dying day, hence he can be said to be a pillar of the state. Lu Kang was righteous and trustworthy, full of talent and strategies. He had his father's persona and was praised by all. He possessed all the good qualities except that perhaps he was less fearsome than his father. Nevertheless, he can be said to succeed his father fully.
Last edited by Starscream on Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Starscream » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:19 pm

Annotation 1 of Lu Kang's bio:

Jin Yang Qiu 晋阳秋 stated that, "Lu Kang and Yang Hu promoted amicable relationship between themselves. Lu Kang tried sending Yang Hu wine on one occasion and the latter tasted it without any suspicion. When Lu Kang fell ill, Yang Hu delivered some medicine to him and Lu Kang also took it. It seemed as if Hua Yuan and Zi Fan were alive again.

Sidenote: Song Hua Yuan and Sima Zi Fan were mentioned in one of the main Spring and Autumn texts called Gong Yang Zhuan. Both were from opposing camps. Sima Zi Fan surrounded the city of Song but he had only 7 days of food supply left, so it was a strike-or-leave situation. He sounded out Song Hua Yuan who told him that the situation inside the city was bad as well. Both men were willing to be truthful to each other as they judged the latter to be a gentleman and would not resort to taking advantage of others' dire situation to score a battle victory. Hence, the annotation compared the amicable relationship of Lu Kang and Yang Hu with these two ancient gentlemen.
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Unread postby Starscream » Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:38 am

Annotation 1 continued...

Han Jin Chun Qiu 汉晋春秋 says, “Though Yang Hu returned soon after, he practiced benevolence to win the Wu people’s trust. Lu Kang always told the border garrison that, “He (Yang Hu) came from the point of benevolence; we are here only for violence. Thus, without having to do battle, we already know who the victor is. We must each maintain our boundary and not attempt to gain any petty advantage.” Henceforth, at the borders of Wu and Jin, neither side tried to snatch the other’s land or food. If cows and horses accidentally crossed the borders, the cattle can be returned by just informing the other party. During a hunt at Mian, Wu army caught some of the animals that Jin army had shot and returned them promptly. When Lu Kang was ill, he asked Yang Hu for medicine. Yang Hu delivered some to him, saying, “This is a good medicine. I mixed it only recently. With your illness, you must take it promptly.” Lu Kang immediately took the medicine. His generals advised him against it but Lu Kang did not reply. Sun Hao heard about the friendly relations at the borders and reprimanded Lu Kang. Lu Kang replied, “We must not lose the trust of others, whether it is a city or village, and more so if it is a large entity like a country. If I do not act as such, I am merely spreading the benevolence of Yang Hu and (our invasion) will not hurt Yang Hu.” Sun Hao thought both Lu Kang and Yang Hu to have forgotten their oaths as subordinates and jeered at them.
”太慢了。“
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Unread postby James » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:26 pm

Should I write Lady Wu begging her to come and help? :twisted:
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Unread postby Starscream » Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:56 am

James wrote:Should I write Lady Wu begging her to come and help? :twisted:

I believe you should. The very next commentary is the indigestible portion that I try not to do.... :lol:

As usual, I tackled the fun parts. :twisted:
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