The Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms

Best threads of the SGYYS, for your viewing pleasure.

Unread postby Gabriel » Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:07 pm

"Of old Qi-ji (a miraculous horse), while in Wu-ban, could indeed be said to have been in distress. But when Bo-Lo discovered it and Sun Yu rode on it, it underwent no hardship in galloping with ease a distance of a thousand li. Bo-Lo was one who could skillfully bridle a horse; even so can an intelligent sovereign skillfully bridle his ministers. Bo-Lo made the horse gallop a thousand li; the intelligent sovereign brings peace and prosperity. When officials in the court are excellent, the manifold business of the state will be regualted; when generals command their troops well, disturbances in the various localities will be quelled. Your Majesty may stay in the capital and enjoy happiness. What necessity is there for you to trouble yourself in the imperial carriage and expose your person at the frontiers?

"I have heard that a sheep in a tiger's skin is pleased when it sees grass and trembles when it sees a jackel, for it forgets the tiger's skin it wears. At present, generals are commisioned as badly as this. The saying goes, 'The misfortune is that those who act are ignorant, those who know cannot act.'

"Long ago when Yue Yi had fled to the state of Zhao, in his heart he did not forget Yen; though Lien P'o was in Chu, he desired to become again a general of Zhao. I was born in times of disorder, grew up among the troops, and frequently received instructions from Wu-Huang-Di (Cao Cao), whose generalship, as I observed it in prostration, was equal with that of Sun Wu and Wu Qi, although he did not emulate them. I cherished the hope of being received in audience at court, going through the golden gate and stepping on the jade stairs of the imperial palace, of being appointed an official with a duty to preform, and of being favored with an interrogation even if only for a short moment, so that I might gain gratification of my heart's desire and realize my long-cherished dream. I would then die without any complaint.

"The proclamation issued by the hung-lu for mobilization of troops is very urgent as to the limitation of time, and further I am informed that the Leopards' Tail has been attached to the imperial carriage and the imperial war chariots are spanned; Your Majesty is about to trouble your august person and to disturb your godlike mind. I am sincerely perturbed and do not know where to place myself. I want to grasp a whip and act as a lacky for Your Majesty, to be exposed to the dust and dew before Your Majesty, to apply the wonderful method of Feng-Hou, to follow the teachings of Sun Wu and Wu Qi, to emulate Bu Shang and 'bring out my meaning', to serve in your presence with my life as your vanguard and to end my life under the wheels of the war-chariots. To be sure I cannot bring about any great advantage, but still I hope to be of some little use. Heaven in its loftiness listens from afar, and my feelings are communicated upwards; but in vain do I gaze at the blue clouds and beat my chest, look up towards high Heaven and heave my sigh. Chu Ping said, 'In the state there is a wonder-horse, yet they do not know how to ride on it, but anxiously seek elsewhere.'

"Of old Guan-Shu and Ts'ai-Shu were banished and put to death, the Dukes of Zhou and Shao acted as guardians to King Cheng; when Shu-Yu was punished by death, Shu Xiang acted as regent. The responsibility of the Three Superintendents over the Yin I shall be able to fulfill. The assistance of the erh-nan is not far to seek, for among the members of our illustrious clan and noble family, among the feudal princes, there are certainly those who can fulfill the task.

"The saying goes, 'Without the kinsmen that the Duke of Zhou had, one cannot accomplish the work of the Duke of Zhou.' I hope Your Majesty will attend to this. In recent times, the Han enfeoffed a great many princes of the blood; largest of their territories was composed of tens of walled cities, the smallest was barely sufficient to the offering of sacrifices to their ancestors. They did not have the Zhou institution of the Ji clan, which had five grades of feudal states. Fu-Su in his admonition to the First Emperor of Qin, and Qun-Yu Yue in his rebuke of Zhou Qing-Chen, can be said to have known the needs of the time. Only those who hold power are able to obtain the attention of the empire.

"Therefore, with counsels that can move the sovereign, with power that can put inferiors in awe, the powerful ones control the business of the state. They are not limited to the relatives of the sovereign alone. Where power is, even the distant are certain to be important; where influence has departed, even the relatives are sure to be taken lightly. It was the T'ien clan which seized the State of Qi, not the Lu; it was the Zhao and the Wei who divided the State of Jin; not the Ji. Let Your Majesty take note of this. The officers of different surnames from that of the imperial clan are the ones who monopolize the high ranks in times of prosperity and flee calamity in times of disaster. It is the officers of the same clan as the sovereign who want the state to be at peace, who pray that the family be honored, who share glory in times of prosperity and the disaster in times of decline. But at present the members of the sovereign's clan are neglected and those of the other clans stand in his confidence. I presume to be puzzled at this.

"We hear from MENCIUS, 'When the superior man is poor, he attends to his own virtue in solitude; if advanced to dignity, he makes the whole kingdom virtuous as well.'

"Now I am willing, in the company of Your Majesty, to tread on ice or step on buring charcoal, to climb mountains or drift in torrents; whether cold or warm, dry or wet, high or low, I will share Your Majesty's labors. How can I ever depart from Your Majesty?

"I am full of discontent. If there is anything improper in this memorial in which I express my feelings, I beg you to preserve it in the Archives and not throw it away on the spot. Should the matter be remembered after my death, and if there is any particle that displeases the sage mind of Your Majesty, I beg you to remove it to the Court and let scholars of wide classical learning correct the improper parts of my memorial. This is all I disire."

The Emperor did no more than reply to him with a gracious letter.
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Unread postby Gabriel » Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:37 pm

12. Eighth month (Sept. 14 - Oct. 13). The Emperor decreed in an edict:

"In ancient times, Lords of feudal States visited and paid homage to the royal Court, by which means harmony was achieved and relatives of the blood were held in affection; 'the myriad States were united and harmonized.'

"The reason the late Emperor did not wish to have the various princes of the blood in the capital was to prevent a small beginning from growing gradually and eventually becoming a determining factor in the flourishing and decline of the dynasty at such times as a young sovereign should be on the throne with his mother as regent. Now I have not seen the various princes for twelve years; how can a longing for them not rise in my heart? Hereby the various princes, as well as those of the Lords who are of the imperial clan, are each ordered to bring one heir to visit the court in the first month of next year. Should there be in the future a young sovereign whose mother is in the imperial palace, the regulations of the late Emperor shall be followed formerly. This shall be proclaimed and incorporated in the laws of the land."

13. When Zhuge Liang, the Prime Minister of Han, attacked Qi-shan, Li Ping stayed behind to direct the business of transport of troop provisions. It happened that rain fell continuously. Li Ping feared that he could not transport the provisions without interruption, and sent the ts'an-chun Hu Zhong and the tu-chun Cheng Fan to order Zhuge Liang, in the name of the Sovereign, to return. Zhuge Liang accordingly withdrew his troops. But hearing of the withdrawal, Li Ping feigned surprise and said, "Army provisions are abundant; why have the troops withdrawn at all?" Further he wished to put the tu-yun Cen Shu to death. His object in all this was to exonerate himself from the charge that might be directed against him for not having executed his duties, and to show up Zhuge Liang's fault in not advancing with his troops. Still further he memorialized the Sovereign of Han, explaining to him that the troops were only making a false retreat in order to decoy the enemy and to engage him in a battle. Zhuge Liang produced as evidence all the letters and memorials Li Ping had written in his own hand; from beginning to end they were self-contradictory. Li Ping could not defend himself, but confessed and pleaded guilty. Thereupon Zhuge Liang memorialized the throne on Li Ping's various misdeeds, had him deprived of his rank and appanage and banished him to Zi-tong-chun.

14. He then appointed Li Ping's son Li Feng, to be chung-lang-chiang and ts'an-chun-shih, and issued the following instruction to him.

"I, together with you and your father, have been exerting my utmost to further the cause of the House of Han. This is something even the gods and spirits are informed of, not something which only human beings know. In having the chung-tu-hu appointed to take charge of Han-zhong and entrusting you with the Eastern Pass, I did not share other people's criticism of your father; my sole thought was that my sincerity would move him and everything would turn out satisfactorily. I never expected that he, in the middle, would err.

"In ancient times Chu Qing was disgraced several times, but he was able to make his errors good, thinking on the correct Way; and in the end blessing came upon him in the natural course. I want you to console the chung-tu-hu and encourage him to make good his former deficiency. Although he is now relieved of his duty, all appearances being different from before, yet he has under him slaves, male and female, and retainers to the number of a hundred and several ten persons, while you yourself are a chung-lang and ts'an-chun occupying a position in the ch'eng-hsiang-fu. Considered all in all, your family is still of the upper class.

"If the chung-tu-hu reminds himself of his faults and devotes himself whole-heartedly to the state while you collaborate honestly with Gong-Yen the misfortune can be wiped out and what is lost can be retrieved. Think of this admonition and come to understand my disposition.

"It is only with a long sigh, and shedding tears, that I look at this letter."

15. Zhuge Liang also sent a letter to Jiang Wan and Dong Yun: "Some time ago, when he was about to leave for Wu, Xiao-Qi told me that Zheng-Fang had scales in his stomach and men of his district were of the opinion that he should not be employed. I was of the opinion that scales are things which one ought not infringe upon and no more. I did not expect him to act as a second Su Qin or Zhang Yi; this was indeed beyond my foresight. You may inform Xiao-Qi of this."

16. Winter, tenth month (Nov. 13 - Dec. 11). The Sovereign of Wu had the chung-lang-chiang Sun Bu feign surrender in order to decoy the governer of Yang-zhou, Wang Ling; the Sovereign of Wu laid an ambush of troops at Fu-ling and waited for him.

Sun Bu sent men to tell Wang Ling, "The way is far, and I am not able to come on my own strength. I beg you to send troops to fetch me." Wang Ling submitted the letter from Sun Bu and asked that he be given troops to go and fetch him.

The cheng-tung chiang-chun Man Chong thought the surrender false and did not give him troops. He wrote a letter of reply on behalf of Wang Ling, "Knowing who is true and who false, you wish to avoid calamity and make yourself obedient, to leave behind the unruly and return to the Way. This is very commendable. Now we wish to welcome you; but I am of the opinion that if the troops are too few, they will not be sufficient to protect you, and if they are too many, the matter will inevitably be heard of far away. Therefore you may first think out some secret scheme to bring your true intentions to a successful realization; the details shall be executed in accordance with circumstances as they emerge."

It happened that Man Chong was commanded to come to Court; however, he ordered the chang-shih, in his headquarters left behind, that should Wang Ling wish to come forth and fetch Sun Bu, he should not give him troops. Afterwards Wang Ling demanded troops, but in vain. Thereupon he sent a single tu-chiang with several hundred men of infantry and cavalry under him to proceed and fetch him. Sun Bu launched a sudden attack by night; the tu-chiang was put to flight, more than half of his troops being killed and wounded. Wang Ling was the son of Wang Yun's elder brother.

17. Some time before this, Wang Ling memorialized the throne that Man Chong was too old and yet fond of wine, and that he was not fit for the important provincial post. The Emperor was about to recall Man Chong, when the chi-shih-chung Guo Mu said, "Man Chong has served as prefect of Ru-nan and governer of Yu-zhou, and has earned merit as a provincial official for more than twenty years. When he was stationed at Huai-nan the Wu stood in fear of him. If he turns out to be different from what the memorial says, then we will be giving them a chance. Your Majesty might order him to return to the Court and question him on affairs in the east, at which time you can observe him."

The Emperor followed this advice. When he came, he was found to be strong and healthy; the Emperor thanked him for his labors and sent him back to his post.

18. Eleventh month. On the day Dec. 12, last day of the month, the sun was eclipsed.

19. Twelfth month On the day Jan. 30, 232, Hua Xin, the "Respectful" Lord of Bo-ping, died.

20. On the day Feb. 8, 232, a general amnesty was given in Wu; the reign-title of the following year was to be Chia-ho.
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Unread postby Gabriel » Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:30 pm

Wei: Sixth Year of T'ai-ho (232 A.D.)
Shu: Tenth Year of Chien-hsing
Wu: First Year of Chia-ho

1. Spring, first month (Feb. 9 - Mar. 9). Sun Lu, Lord of Jian-chang, a younger son of the Sovereign of Wu, died. Sun Deng, the Crown Prince, came from Wu-chang to show filial respect to the Sovereign of Wu. He stated that by prolonged absence from 'making his parents bed' and 'inquiring after their health', he had been remiss in his filial duties. He also stated that, since Lu Xun was loyal and assiduous, there was no need to worry about state affairs at Wu-chang. So he stayed at Jian-ye.

2. Second month (Mar. 10 - Apr. 7). The Emperor in an edict altered the term for fiefs of the feudal princes of the blood, in all cases, from prefecture to state.

3. a) The Emperor's favorite daughter Cao Shu died. The Emperor was deeply grieved. He canonized her posthumously as "Virtuous" Princess of Ping-yuan and built a temple to house her spirit in Luo-yang, burying her at the mausoleum of Nan-ling. She was buried together with the great-grand-nephew of the Empress nee Zhen, Zhen Huang, as her consort; he was posthumously enfeoffed as a Lord and an heir appointed to succeed to his rank. The Emperor wished to attend the funeral in person and further wished to travel to Xu-chang.

b) The ssu-k'ung, Chen Qun, admonished him: "Long or short life is determined by fate; preservation or destruction is due to one's lot. Therefore sages regulated rites, both to suppress and to bring forth our emotions, in order to attain the Golden Mean. In the case of the tomb at Fang there was the frugality of abstaining from the work; in the region of Ying and Bo, there was a soul that did not return. 'The Great Man is one who acts in concord with heaven and earth', and thus hands down a norm for eternity; furthermore, 'the boundary-line in the great virtues is not to be transgressed.'

"For the inferior kind of premature death, occuring under eight years of age, the rites do not provide, yet you would now hold a funeral for a child not a year old; in accordance with the rite proper to a grown-up person. Furthermore your prescribe mourning, so that the entire Court is to wear white gowns and weep day and night. Such a thing has never occured since antiquity. Furthermore you would visit the mausoleum and attend the funeral in person. I would wish that Your Majesty suppress and eliminate acts that bring no profit and are harmful, only allowing the various officials to attend the funeral; I beg you not make the trip yourself. This is the innermost hope of the myriad states.

"Further, I hear you are about to travel to Mo-po, but in reality are going to Xu-chang, and that the two palaces of the Emperor and Empress, including high and low, are all proceeding eastward. The entire Court is in astonishment; some say that by this means you intend to avoid the 'declining influence', some say that you intend to change your palace, some do not know the cause at all. But I am of the opinion that fortune and misfortune are determined by fate, calamity and happiness depend on men; and that therefore there is no profit in seeking for security by changing one's abode. Should it be necessary to change the abode for some avoidance, you may repair either the West Palace in Jin-yong-cheng or the Villa at Meng-jin, and stay there for the time being. Why must you expose the entire palace in the wilderness? Furthermore, the people of the rebel regions, when they hear of this, will consider that there is an imperial mourning. The expenditures, public and private, will be beyond calculation. Furthermore, excellent gentlemen and worthy men do not without proper justification change the site of their abodes, so that men of their district may rest easy and feel no fear. Should then the Sovereign over the myriad states, whose rest puts the empire at ease and whose movement causes disturbances throughout the empire, be frivolous in his going and stopping, movement and rest?"

c) The shao-fu Yang Fu said, "When Wen-Huang-Di and Wu-Xuan Huang-Hou [i.e., the late Grand Dowager Empress nee Bien] died, Your Majesty in both cases did not attend the funeral; this was because the foundation of the dynasty had to be regarded as important, and untoward happenings guarded against. Why must you attend the funeral of a mere infant?"

The Emperor listened to neither of them.

4. Third month. On the day Apr. 14, the Emperor travelled east on a tour of inspection; at all the places he passed through, he inquired after persons of high age, widowers, widows, the fatherless, and the sonless, giving them grain and silk.

5. The Sovereign of Wu sent the chiang-chun Zhou He and the chiao-yu Pei Qian to sail to Liao-dong to obtain horses from Gongsun Yuan.

6. a) Now, Yu Fan was by nature free and straightforward; he frequently lost control of himself after drinking. Furthermore, he was inclined to oppose other people, so that he had been greatly slandered. Once upon a time the Sovereign of Wu and Zhang Zhao were holding a discussion on the immortals. Pointing to Zhang Zhao, Yu Fan said, "They are both dead men, and yet they speak of the immortals. Can there be any immortal in this world?" The Sovereign of Wu had been vexed at him for long periods more than once, and he finally banished Yu Fan to Jiao-zhou.

b) When Zhou He and others went to Liao-dong, Yu Fan, hearing of it, considered, "The Man barbarians of Wu-qi ought to be quelled. Liao-dong being out of the way and distant, there would be no advantage in having its envoys come to offer allegiance. Now we are about to throw away our men and wealth to obtain horses; not only is this of no profit to the state, but is also to be feared that we will not get any." He wanted to remonstrate, but did not dare to write a memorial. However, he expressed his thought to Lu Dai, but Lu Dai did not transmit it. The Sovereign of Wu received slanders about him from sycophants and banished him further to Meng-ling in Cang-wu.
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Unread postby Gabriel » Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:26 pm

7. Summer, fourth month. On the day June 13, the Emperor went to Xu-chang.

8. Fifth month (June 6 - July 5), the imperial son Cao Yin died.

9. Autumn, seventh month (Aug. 4 - Sept. 2), the wei-yu Dong Zhao became ssu-t'u.

10. In the ninth month (Oct. 2 - 31). The Emperor reached Mo-po. He repaired his palace in Xu-chang, erecting the halls Jing-fu and Cheng-guang-tien.

11. Gongsun Yuan secretly harbored disloyalty to Wei and made frequent contacts with Wu. The Emperor had Tien Yu, the Prefect of Ru-nan, proceed against him by sea, commanding the various troops of Qing-zhou, and had Wang Xiong, Governer of Yu-zhou, proceed by land to make a campaign against him.

The san-chi ch'ang-shih Jiang Ji admonished the Emperor, "The states that would not conquer us, and the subjects that would not invade our territory or rebel against us, in general should not be attacked without serious premeditation. If they are attacked and yet cannot be controlled, we are only driving them to become our enemies. Therefore it is said, 'When tigers and wolves are in the road, do not pay attention to foxes and badgers; first remove the greater menaces, and the minor ones will disappear of themselves.'

"Now they of the region on the other side of the sea [i.e., Liao-dong] have been serving China most humbly for generations and have annually selected their officials shang-chi and hsiao-lien, who have not been remiss in their duties and offering of tribute. Those who discussed their affairs have commended them. Should we with a single stroke win our victory, the State will not be profited by obtaining their people, nor will it contribute to our wealth by obtaining their resources. But should it turn out to be unsatisfactory, we will only make them resent and lose faith in us."

The Emperor did not listen to him. Tien Yu and his men went, but did not achieve anything, and the Emperor commanded them to disband the troops.

12. a) Tien Yu calculated that the Wu envoys, Zhou He and the others, would soon be returning. The year being at its end, the wind would blow fiercely, so that they would surely be in fear of being blown adrift; and as there was no coast to the east, they would be certain to proceed to Cheng-shan. And at Cheng-shan there was no place were ships could he harbored in safety. So he stationed his troops at Cheng-shan. When Zhou He and his men reached Cheng-shan on their return journey, they encountered wind; Tien Yu commanded his troops to attack Zhou He and his men, whom they killed.

b) Only when he heard of this, did the Sovereign of Wu recall Yu Fan's words. He summoned him for Jiao-zhou, but it so happened that he had died, and his coffin was ordered returned.

13. Eleventh month. On the day Dec. 17, Cao Zhi, "Thoughtful" Prince of Chen died.

14. Twelfth month (Dec. 20, 232 A.D., to Jan. 27, 232 A.D.). The Emperor returned to his palace in Xu-chang.

15. The shih-chung Liu Ye was one with whom the Emperor was intimate and whom he esteemed. When the Emperor was about to make a campaign against Shu, all the court officials, in the palace and without, disapproved. When Liu Ye entered the palace and held parley with the Emperor, he said, "The attack is feasible." When he came out of it and spoke with the court officials, he said, "It is not feasible." Being a man of courage and intelligence, Liu Ye could defend his arguments plausibly either way.

The chung-ling-chun Yang Ji was an intimate official of the Emperor and furthermore respected Liu Ye. He was most adamant in his argument against making the campaign. Whenever he came out from the palace, he would invariably visit Liu Ye and Liu Ye would tell him his views on the inadvisability of the campaign. Afterwards when Yang Ji discussed the campaign against Shu, Yang Ji strongly remonstrated against it. The Emperor said, "You are a mere scholar; how can you know anything of wars?"

Yang Ji excused himself, saying, "I come from among the lowest of the literati, yet Your Majesty has been so over-indulgent as to pick me, put me in the ranks of the elites, and place me above the Six Armies; having a humble mind, I dare not to abstain from expressing my thought completely. My words are indeed unworthy of Your Majesty's attention, but the shih-chung Liu Ye, who was a counsellor of the late Emperor, used to say, 'Shu cannot be attacked.'"

The Emperor said, "When he spoke to me, Liu Ye said that Shu can be attacked!" Yang Ji said, "Liu Ye may be summoned as a witness."

The Emperor summoned Liu Ye to his presence. When the Emperor questioned him, Liu Ye did not answer at all. Afterwards the Emperor received him in single audience, when Liu Ye reproved the Emperor, saying, "Attacking another state is a serious plan; I have had the honor of sharing in this serious plan. I am constantly afraid that I will divulge it in dreams, thereby adding to my crimes. How can I dare to speak of it to other people? Now, war is a matter of deception. Before a war is made, there can never be too much secrecy. Now that Your Majesty has openly exposed it, I fear that the enemy state must have already heard of it too."

Thereupon the Emperor apologized. Coming out from the palace Liu Ye saw Yang Ji and said, "A man who angles for fish, when a big fish his bitten the bait, lets it has its way, and pulls the line only when he can control it; thus he will catch it without failure. Can the aweinspiring prowess of a Sovereign be merely a case of a big fish? You are indeed an honest official, but your counsel is not worthy of attention. You must think finely." Yang Ji also apologized. Such was Liu Ye's ability to cope with emergencies and stand for opposite sides.

Some one said to the Emperor, "Liu Ye is not completely loyal and honest. He is good at discovering what Your Majesty has in mind and then conforming to it. Your Majesty might try speaking with Liu Ye, questioning him in all cases in terms opposite to what you really have in mind. If all of his answers are also opposite to what you have in mind when you questioned him, it will show that Liu Ye is always in conformity with Your Majesty's view. If all his answers are of this sort, there is no way for Liu Ye to conceal his attitude."

The Emperor made the test as he was told, and as was expected, probed to the man's real attitude. From then on the Emperor was estranged from him.

In the end Liu Ye became demented. He was given an appointment outside the palace as ta hung-lu and died of worry.

Master Fu says: Clever falsity is not as good as clumsy honesty. This is indeed true. With his intelligence and resourcefulness, how could Liu Ye, if he had abided by virtue and propiety, and acted with loyalty and truthfulness, have been inferior to the worthy men of the superior class of antiquity? But he relied entirely on his talent and intelligence, not valuing sincerity and honesty. Within, he lost his Sovereign's confidence; without, he was harassed by the common world. In the end he endangered himself. Was it not a pity?
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Unread postby Xu Yuan » Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:20 pm

You will one day be hailed among historians for your painstaking works! Though this Liu Ye... is he the same as the man whom is killed by Cao Cao at Chi Bi? Though that was aclever test, he seemed like a good guy though... guess you don't know someone till you... I don't know that was a strange test.
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:53 am

Xu Yuan wrote:You will one day be hailed among historians for your painstaking works! Though this Liu Ye... is he the same as the man whom is killed by Cao Cao at Chi Bi? Though that was aclever test, he seemed like a good guy though... guess you don't know someone till you... I don't know that was a strange test.


That man was Liu Fu, though there's nothing to suggest that he was actually killed by Cao Cao in history.
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Unread postby Xu Yuan » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:16 am

Yeah, that was Liu Fu, wasn't it? Though this isn't the same Liu Ye as seen in the book, is it?
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Unread postby Gabriel » Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:51 pm

16. Liu Ye once slandered the shang-shu-ling Chen Jiao as monopolizing power. Chen Jiao was afraid and told his son Chen Qian. Chen Qian said, "Our Sovereign is a perspicacious sage and you are his high minister. If there is anything that is not agreeable, you have only to resign from your office." A few days later the Emperor's mind was calmed, as anticipated.

17. The shang-shu-lang Lien Zhao of Luo-an had become a favorite of the Emperor through his talent and ability. He was fond of picking trifiling faults with the various officials in order to fawn upon the Sovereign.

The huang-men shih-lang Du Shu sent up a memorial:

"Prostrating myself, I observe in the shang-shu-lang Lien Zhao's memorial on the tso-ch'eng Cao Fan these words" 'This ought to have been reported as a matter for punishment, but, contrary to the imperial command, the case was handled as an inquest.' Further, I note, 'All those who ought to be charged are to be memorialized separately.'

"The shang-shu-ling Chen Jiao has memorialized, 'I do not dare to exempt myself from punishment.' Yet he also does not dare to explain his position; his intention is sincere and commiserable. I presume to feel pity for him and consider it regrettable for the Court.

"Sages rise without predilection for one particular generation, and rule without changing their people. But when they are born there are always worthy and wise helpers for them; it is they who lead them along the Way and control them by the Rites. The reason why Emperors and Kings of ancient times could help the world and make the people prosper is that they always won the distant people's heart's, and near at hand always completely utilized the intelligence of the various officials.

"Even though the officials at present employed be all elites of the empire, if their strength is not completely utilized, you cannot be said to be efficient in drawing forth their services. If they are not elites of the empire, you cannot be said to be efficient in appointing them.

"Now, Your Majesty worries and works himself on the myriad business of the state, even during the night, yet all business is not happily performed, and laws have become lax. Is this not clear evidence that the 'members' are not worthy? The cause of all this is not only that officials have not been completely loyal, but also that the Sovereign has not been efficient in drawing out their services. Bo-Li Xi was stupid in Yu but wise in Qin. Yu Rang showed no loyalty to Zhong-Hang of Fan, but made his principles clear towards the Earl of Zhi. These are unequivocal evidences from antiquity.

"Were I to say that the entire Court is not loyal, I should be calumniating the entire Court. But the thing can be inferred by extension. Your Majesty is so moved by the deficient state of the treasury and the continuous war that you have even cut down on apparel for the four seasons, and made scant the storage of grain in the imperial granary. Because of your temperance the whole Court has become bright. Of those who share in state affairs, is there any high minister who takes these matters to heart? The chi-tu-yu Wang Cai had an illicit relation with the musical entertainer Meng Si; his crime shook the capital. But is was petty officials who discovered it; the high ministers of the state had not uttered a single word. Has there been, since Your Majesty ascended the throne, any instance in which the ssu-li chiao-yu or the yu-shih chung-ch'eng maintained the laws and controlled evildoers, so that the Court became solemn?

"If Your Majesty thinks that there is no one of excellent talent in the present generation, no worthy helpers for the Court, how can you hope to emulate the distant examples of Ji and Qi? How can you expect men of talent and excellent parts to appear in the coming generation? The so-called worthy men of today are all high officials who enjoy munificent remuration. But the principle of serving their Sovereign is not set up and their public spirit is not whole, because the responsibility for appointments is too concentrated and there are too many taboos in the usages.

"In my opinion, the loyal official is not necessarily an intimate one and the intimate official in not necessarily a loyal one. The reason for this is that when one occupies a place there he is not suspected, matters will be accomplished by themselves. Now if one who is not intimate slanders a man, Your Majesty will suspect that he is secretly taking revenge on a man he hates; if he praises a man, Your Majesty will suspect that he is secretly showing his affection for a friend. The attendants will take advantage of the occasion to speak words of esteem or hate. The result will be that those who are not intimate will not dare slander or praise, for even in administrative measures they will be suspected.

"Your Majesty ought to think of broadening the minds of the Court officials, and encouraging them to correct principles, so that they may have their names recorded in the company of the ancients. If on the other hand men like Lien Zhao are allowed to cause disturbances among them, I fear that the high ministers will protect their persons and preserve their official position, becoming mere onlookers of succession and failures. This will be a warning for coming generations.
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:02 pm

Xu Yuan wrote:Yeah, that was Liu Fu, wasn't it? Though this isn't the same Liu Ye as seen in the book, is it?


It is the one and same. Liu Ye lived for quite a long time.
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Unread postby Gabriel » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:07 pm

"Of old, the Duke of Zhou warned his son the Marquis of Lu, 'Do not cause the high ministers to repine at the Prince's not employing them.' This means that if one is not worthy, he should not be made a high minister; if he has become a high minister, he ought to be employed. When the Shu enumerates Shun's achievements, it praises him for having removed the Four Criminals. It does not say that he removed them merely because they had transgressed, not paying attention to how serious their transgressions were. At present the Court officials do not consider that they are ignorant but think that Your Majesty does not make inquiries of them. How can it be said that Your Majesty follows the Duke of Zhou in his giving employment, and the great Shun in his removing the Four Criminals, thus letting the shih-chung and shang-shu attend you in your chamber when you are at rest and follow you under the embellished carriage when you travel, replying in person to the questions put to them, and each setting forth what he thinks? If such were the case the qualities of the various officials could all be known; the loyal and the able would be promoted and the stupid and inferior would be dismissed. Who would then remain undecided and not exert his utmost? If Your Majesty, with sage perspicacity, will discuss the state's business in person with the various officials, and let these various officials be made to exert their utmost, all will become intimate with you and all will be eager to repay you. Whether they are worthy or stupid, able or not, depends on how Your Majesty employs them. If you rule in this manner, what task is there that cannot be accomplished? If you undertake achievements in this manner, what is there that cannot be achieved?

"Each time there is a war, the edict should invariably be read, 'Who is there to shoulder these worries? Is it I only who should worry?' A recent edict said, 'Those who claim to be concerned for the public weal and to forget their private interests do not always do so in reality. Only when we put the public weal to the fore and our private interests to the rear will things be accomplished as a matter of course.' Having read this illustrious edict in prostration, I know who thoroughly you have probed to the real character of us, your subjects. On the other hand I also wonder at Your Majesty's neglecting the fundamental and worrying yourself about the peripheral. The ability and inability of men are indeed due to their nature. Even I think that the Court officials are not completely executing their duties.

"A perspicacious Sovereign employs men in such a manner that the competent dare not leave their strength unused, and the incompetent are not allowed to occupy positions to which they cannot do justice. If the wrong men are selected for offices, it is not necessarily their fault; that the entire Court should be composed of wrong men in indeed a thing to be wondered at. Your Majesty, knowing that they are not exerting their utmost, worries over their duties in their stead; knowing that they are not competent, you instruct them how to do their work. In such cases, it is not only that the Sovereign toils and the subjects remain at ease; even when sages and worthies are in the same generation, they cannot rule in this manner.

"Then again, why must Your Majesty worry himself because the prohibitions in the government offices are not strict and that private requests among the officials are not eradicated? You have introduced the regulations on receiving and dismissing visitors, yet allow venal under-officials to act as guards at the gates of official buildings. In all these you have not probed to the essence of prohibition. Formerly, during the reign of Han An-Di, the shao-fu Dou Jia gave an official appointment to the innocent son of the elder brother of the t'ing-yu Guo Gong; still he was impeached without let-up. In recent times the ssu-li chiao-yu Kong Xien gave an official appointment to the unruly younger brother of a ta chiang-chun; yet the officals in charge kept silent and showed more partiality because of his influence than if they had actually received his request to do so. This is a case of official appointment given wrongly. Dou Jia was a favorite of the Emperor to whom he was related by marriage, and Guo Gong was not an important minister concerned with the fate of the dynasty, yet matters came to such a pass. Comparing our present state with antiquity, it is that Your Majesty does not superintend the punishments which should be meted out inexonerably to eradicate the sources of partisanship. The regulations for receiving and dismissing visitors, and letting wicked under-officials act as guards at the gates, are not instruments for inducing good rule.

"If my words are to be adopted even a little, what worry is to come from extirpating evil practices? Why nourish men like Lien Zhao? Indeed, to pick out evil practices is a loyal service, but the world hates small men's doing it, since they are not concerned for the humanity of it but thereby seek for their own advancement. If Your Majesty does not reflect on the whole matter, and insists that to incur the displeasure of the multitude and oppose the world is public service, that to accuse other people secretly is doing one's utmost, how is it that men of intelligence and talent do not do such a thing? It is indeed because they are humane that they do not do it. If the whole world turns its back on humanity to run after profit, then there will be a most serious cause of worry for the Sovereign. What rejoicing can there be for Your Majesty?

"Why do you not extirpate the thing in its incipient stage? Those who obey the wishes of the Sovereign in order to curry his favor are all the most shallow and unscrupulous people in the world. They are bent on pleasing their Sovereign's desire only; they are not men who wish to see the world ruled well and the people living in peace. Why does Your Majesty not alter his mind and make it clear to them--would they then perserve in their stand, thereby incurring the displeasure of Your Majesty? That a subject has won the heart of his Sovereign means security. To be placed in a high and prominent position is a glorious thing; to receive a remuration of a thousand piculs is fortune. But there are no subjects, stupid though they be, who would take so much pleasure in these as to incur the displeasure of their Sovereign; if they do so it is because they are urged by their principle, which makes them strong. I think that Your Majesty ought to take pity on them and assist the insidious ideas of confidence, however slightly. How can you accept the insidious ideas of men like Lien Zhao and neglect such men? At present, outside is the enemy looking for his oppurtunity, and in the interior there are the poverty-stricken and inheeded people. Your Majesty must think on measures good and bad for the empire, things right and wrong in the state's business. You must indeed not be indolent!"

18. The Emperor once arrived suddenly at the gate of the shang-shu-t'ai. Prostrating himself, Chen Jiao asked the Emperor, "Wither are you bound, Your Majesty?" The Emperor said, "I want to examine the state documents." Chen Jiao said, "This is my duty and not a thing Your Majesty should take charge of. If I have been remiss in my duty, I request that I be dismissed forthwith. Your Majesty ought to return." The Emperor was ashamed and, turning his carriage, returned.

19. The Emperor once asked Chen Jiao whether His Excellency Sima Yi might be called a minister who, because of his loyalty, could be entrusted with the destiny of the ruling house. Chen Jiao said, "He is one in whom the court lays its hope; as for his being a minister who can be entrusted with the destiny of the ruling house, that is something I do not know."

20. Lu Xun of Wu was leading his troops towards Lu-jiang. Those discussing the matter thought they should hasten to reinforce the place. Man Chong said, "Small as Lu-jiang is, the generals there are strong and the troops are good; they can defend the place for some time. Now the rebels have left their boats and are marching on land for a distance of two hundred li; their rear is cut off. Even if they do not come, we should induce them to come; for the time being we ought to let them advance. I am only afraid that they may flee before we can get hold of them." Thereupon he put his troops in order and proceeded to Yang-yi-kou. Informed of this, the Wu fled by night. At this time, the Wu planned to come every year.

In the first year of Ch'ing-lung, 233 A.D., Man Chong memorialized:

"He-fei has the Jiang and the lake on the south of its city walls; it is distant from Shou-chun in the north. The rebels who would lay siege to it and attack will become powerful once they occupy these waters. Our troops, who come to reinforce the place, must first of all crush the main rebel forces; only then can the siege be relieved. It is very easy for the rebels to come, very difficult for our troops to come with reinforcements. We ought to move the troops from within the city walls. Thirty li west of the place is a high location which can be taken as our base. At this time we should build walls and take defensive action. In this manner we will be drawing the rebels to a level terrain and obstructing their route of retreat. This is a good plan."

The hu-chun chiang-chun Jiang Ji expressed his view: "By first demonstrating our weakness to the world, and then destroying the city walls of He-fei at the raising of the rebels' darts, we will be defeating ourselves without the enemy's attacking us. If things reach such a stage, there will be no end of rout. We must by all means defend our positions north of the Huai river." The Emperor accordingly did not give his approval to Man Chong's plan.

Man Chong again sent up a memorial: "Sun Tzu says, 'War is a matter of deception. Therefore when we are able, we make a show of inability to the enemy; we make him arrogant by yielding him advantage and showing fear to him.'

"This shows that appearance and reality need not necessarily correspond. It further says, 'One who is good at making the enemy move creates appearances for him.' Now to move our fortress further into the interior before the rebels come, is what is known as decoying by creating appearances. If we make the rebels leave water far behind while we ourselves move along the line of advantage, and act from the exterior, then good fortune will be brought about in the interior."

The shang-shu Zhao Zi held Man Chong's plan to be superior, and in the end the Emperor listened to him.
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