Was it Xu Shu's fault that his mommy died? (Novel)

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Unread postby Starscream » Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:39 pm

So all in all, we have to agree that Xu Shu did feel that it would be embarrassing to switch back and forth, especially since he personally informed Liu Bei of his intention to leave his service. It's kind of weird though, that Xu Shu just blew his mission by telling Liu Bei of Cao Cao's actual intention in his so-called diplomatic trip. I wonder how this act of double-crossing can actually be more honorable than simply switching sides again.... I admit, I don't understand the ancients' mentality too well. :lol: Anyway, thanks for bringing out that quote!

Oh yeah, before I forget... Kong Wen mentioned that "historically, Xu Shu willingly left Liu Bei to join Cao Cao". Actually, I don't think that's the case because, Cao Cao got hold of Xu Shu's mother (as a hostage). Xu Shu told Liu Bei in his parting that, “本欲与将军共图王霸之业者,以此方寸之地也。今已失老母,方寸乱矣,无益於事,请从此别。” (I intended to join hands with you for the ultimate conquest starting from this piece of land. However, now that I lost my mother, my directions are lost hence I request to part our ways). Was he truly willing to leave Liu Bei's service? Somehow, the historical and novel Xu Shu seemed to be acting along the same lines to me, i.e. he did not want to leave, but was obliged to do so.
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:44 pm

Starscream wrote:It's kind of weird though, that Xu Shu just blew his mission by telling Liu Bei of Cao Cao's actual intention in his so-called diplomatic trip. I wonder how this act of double-crossing can actually be more honorable than simply switching sides again...

Yeah, Xu Shu is aggravating. I think the difference lies in the fact that, by telling Liu Bei what Cao's plans were, he was only double-crossing in the presence of people who knew he would do it anyway (i.e. his good friends Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang, and Cao Cao, who knew he would do it before he sent him—indeed, he may have counted on it!). If he outright changed sides, then the whole world would see him for a flip-flopper and someone who couldn't be trusted. Even though Liu Bei would trust him, chances are a great deal of Liu Bei's officers, soldiers, and people would have a hard time respecting him.

Starscream wrote:Oh yeah, before I forget... Kong Wen mentioned that "historically, Xu Shu willingly left Liu Bei to join Cao Cao". Actually, I don't think that's the case because, Cao Cao got hold of Xu Shu's mother (as a hostage).

OK, I didn't know that his mother was Cao Cao's hostage, historically. I thought she just died and Xu Shu felt like he had to leave active service and go back home. That would explain how when he got back into service it was in some crappy do-nothing position under the Han court. Do you have a quote handy that shows his mother was a hostage, or just that bit about him leaving because he "lost" his mother?
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:09 pm

Zhuge Liang's SGZ:
They were pursued and routed by Duke Cao, who captured Xu Shu’s mother. Xu Shu farewelled the Former Lord, pointed to his heart and said: “Originally I had intended to assume the undertaking for hegemony with you, my general, relying on this heart of mine. Yet now I have lost my elderly mother, this heart is in turmoil and of no use to your cause. Please allow me to part from you here.” Then he went to see Duke Cao.


The mother did play its part in Xu Shu changing sides though I don't think she was used as a hostage.
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