The Seventh Year of Yonghe (The Xinhai Year, 351 AD)
1. In spring, the first month, on the day Dingyou, there was an eclipse.
2. Fu Jiàn's Chief Clerk of the Left, Jia Xuanshuo, and others petitioned him that, in accordance with the precedent set when Liu Bei declared himself Prince of Hanzhong, Fu Jiàn himself should assume the titles of chief of Guanzhong affairs, Grand General, Grand Chanyu, and Prince of Qin (and that these should be titles declared under Jin authority). Fu Jiàn angrily replied, "How can I settle for being Prince of Qin! I will soon make my break with Jin, and the offices I claim, you have no means of knowing."
Liu Bei had declared himself Prince of Hanzhong, under nominal Han authority, shortly after he captured that region from Cao Cao in 218.
Fu Jiàn then secretly sent Liang An to incite Jia Xianshuo and the others to ask him to assume the imperial title. Although Fu Jiàn feigned three times his wish to decline the titles, in the end he accepted them.
On the day Bingchen, Fu Jiàn declared himself as Heavenly Prince and Grand Chanyu; he declared the foundation of a state named Qin, and proclaimed a general amnesty. The reign year was changed to Huangshi.
He honored his late father Fu Hong as Emperor Wuhui, with the temple name Taizu. Fu Jiàn set up his wife Lady Qiang as Heavenly Princess, and named his son Fu Chang as crown prince. Among his other sons, Fu Jing was named Duke of Taiyuan, Fu Sheng was named Duke of Huainan, Fu Di was named Duke of Changle, Fu Fang was named Duke of Gaoyang, Fu Shuo was named Duke of Beiping, Fu Teng was named Duke of Huaiyang, Fu Liu was named Duke of Jin, Fu Tong was named Duke of Runan, Fu Sou was named Duke of Wei, Fu Wu was named Duke of Yan, and Fu You was named Duke of Zhao. His brother Fu Xiong was tasked with command of all military affairs, and named as Prime Minister, Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, Governor of Yongzhou, and Duke of Donghai. His nephew Fu Jing was appointed as Grand Guard General and Duke of Xiping, and Guardian of the Two Palaces (Fu Jiàn’s palace and Fu Chang’s palace). Lei Ruo’er was appointed as Grand Commandant, Mao Gui was appointed Minister of Works, Jiang Bozhou of Lüeyang was appointed as Prefect of the Masters of Writing, Liang Leng was appointed as Deputy Director of the Left, Wang Duo was named Deputy Director of the Right, Yu Zun was entrusted as the crown prince's Grand Instructor, Qiang Ping was appointed as Grand Tutor, Duan Chun was named Grand Guardian, and Lü Polou was named 散騎常侍. Jiang Bozhou was Fu Jiàn's uncle on his mother's side, while Qiang Ping was Fu Jiàn's brother-in-law. Lü Polou had originally been a Di chieftain from Lüeyang.
The warlord Duan Kan, who ruled the city Guanggu in Qingzhou, requested from Jin the rank of 内附 of Qingzhou. In the second month, on the day Wuyin, he was appointed as Jin’s General Who Guards The North, with the title Duke of Qi.
3. Ran Min marched against Xiangguo, and besieged it for more than a hundred days. Shi Zhi, under extreme duress, resigned his title as Emperor and claimed only to be King of Zhao. He also sent his Grand Commandant Zhang Ju to beg for an army from Yan, offering to give them the Imperial Seal. His General of the Center Army, Zhang Chun, was also sent to beg for an army from Yao Yizhong. Yao sent his son Yao Xiang with twenty-eight thousand cavalry to ride to Xiangguo's relief.
Before Yao Xiang’s departure, Yao Yizhong said to his son, "Ran Min has thrown away virtue and cast off justice, wiping out the Shi clan. Because of the favor I have received from them, I must have vengeance against him, but old and infirm as I am, I cannot go myself. You are ten times as talented as Ran Min; if you do not capture him, do not show your face here again!"
Yao Yizhong also sent word to Yan, and Murong Jun dispatched his General Who Overcomes Difficulties Yue Wan with thirty thousand men to link up with him.
General Who Overcomes Difficulties was a title created by the Murong clan.
4. When Ran Min heard that Murong Jun was sending aid to Shi Zhi, he dispatched his Assistant 中郎 to the Grand Marshal, Chang Wei of Guangning, to Yan as his envoy. Murong Jun sent Feng Yu to say to Chang Wei, "Ran Min was raised by the Shi clan, and received their beneficence. How dare he overthrow them and proclaim his own state?"
Chang Wei said, "When Tang of Shang overthrew Jie of Xia, and King Wu of Zhou campaigned against King Zhou of Shang, these were for the cause of founding the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Although Cao Mengde was raised by the palace officials of Han, who knew that after he grew up, he would provide the foundation for Wei? How can anyone achieve success if he goes against Heaven’s mandate? The overthrow being already a fact, what use is there to question it?"
Tang of Shang was a vassal of Jie of Xia, the last king of the mythic Xia dynasty. Because of Jie’s faults, Tang overthrew him and established the Shang dynasty.
Feng Yi said, "People say that when Ran Min first rose to the throne, he had cast a golden image, and had it divine whether he would succeed or fail, but the image said he would not succeed. Is it true?"
Chang Wei replied, “I have heard nothing of the sort.”
Feng Yi said, “Everyone coming from the south has reported the same thing. Why hide it?”
Chang Wei replied, “These are lies and slander, perpetrated by those evil ones who wish to besmirch Heaven's chosen, so they make much of reading fortunes or casting lots in the turtle shell. The Lord of Wei grasps the Imperial Seal, and controls the Central Provinces. Can there be any question that he has received the Mandate? But they wish to turn the truth into a lie, and say that he relies upon some golden image!”
The Imperial Seal was a symbol of the Emperor’s right to rule. It was carved from a precious jade by Qin Shihuang. After the fall of Qin, it had passed to Han, and during the Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao took it from the upstart emperor Yuan Shu. The Seal had passed from Wei to Jin, and then first Han-Zhao and then Later Zhao had claimed it in turn when they captured Luoyang.
Feng Yi asked, "And where is the Imperial Seal now?"
Chang Wei said, "At Ye."
Feng Yi said, "Zhang Ju says it is at Xiangguo."
Chang Wei replied, "On the day the barbarians were killed, almost none of them survived in Ye. If any of them did escape the slaughter, it was only through hiding in some ditch or drain somewhere. How could any of them know where the Seal was? This fellow coming here to ask for your assistance is only spinning a wild tale. He cannot offer you anything at all, much less the Seal!"
5. Murong Jun still chose to believe Zhang Ju's claims. To intimidate Chang Wei, he began to gather up firewood beside him, and he sent Feng Yu to secretly remonstrate with him. Feng Yu said to him, "Master Chang, you ought to reconsider, lest you be engulfed by the flames."
Chang Wei sternly replied, "The Shi clan was wild and cruel, and Shi Hu personally led a grand army to attack Yan's own capital. Although he was unsuccessful then and had to retreat, he always held the ambition to conquer Yan. Countless stockpiles of grain, weapons, and soldiers were gathered in the northeast, all for the sake of this dream of conquest. Now the lord of Wei has snuffed out the Shi clan. Although it was not for the sake of Yan, I believe that by doing so, he has purged the source for the old feelings of enmity and resentment. Is this not just? Nor is it strange that he has entrusted me with this task!
"I have heard that when a man dies, though his flesh and bones are cast into the earth, even so his soul ascends to Heaven. Now my lord has already shown me his favor. So be quick to fetch the firewood for my pyre, and send someone to appeal to the Emperor!"
Those around Murong Jun asked for Chang Wei to be executed. But Murong Jun said, "He does not fear even to be killed and buried for the sake of his lord. What a loyal minister! So long as Ran Min's crime goes unpunished, how can I send such a man to his death before him?" So he sent Chang Wei away, putting him up in lodging for the night.
That night, Murong Jun sent a certain Zhao Zhan, who was from the same county as Chang Wei, to try to persuade him. Zhao Zhan said to Chang Wei, "Won't you listen to honest words? The Prince is angry at you, and he is considering exiling you to distant Liao and Jie. What do you think of that?"
Liao and Jie were regions in the far northeast.
Chang Wei replied, "Then I shall shave off my hair and depart. I will take no heed even of the commoners, much less rulers of men! I am not the sort of man who will allow his nature to be perverted. My word is honest and true, and they will not change that though they throw me in the eastern sea!" Having said his piece, Chang Wei reclined against the wall, and refused to say anything further to Zhao Zhan.
Zhao Zhan went to report the matter to Murong Jun. He put Chang Wei in prison at Longcheng.
6. Zhao's Inspector of Bingzhou, Zhang Ping, sent word of submission to Qin. Fu Jiàn appointed him as Grand General and Governor of Jizhou.
7. Murong Jun returned to Ji.
8. In the third month, Yao Xiang and Zhao's Prince of Ruyin, Shi Kun, jointly marched to Xiangguo's relief. Ran Min sent his General of Chariots and Cavalry, Hu Mu, to fight Yao Xiang at Zhanglu, while his general Sun Wei went to battle Shi Kun at Huangqiu. Both of Ran Min’s generals were defeated and fled, with great loss of life.
9. Since his subordinates had been defeated, Ran Min wished to go attack Yao Xiang and Shi Kun himself, but his Guard General Wang Tai remonstrated, saying, "Xiangguo has not yet fallen. Now these forces have come to relieve it. If we march to fight them, we will expose our rear to the enemy still inside Xiangguo, and there is a chance of danger. It would be better to hold fast to our defenses here, settle this matter first, and then turn to face them. If Your Majesty marches out personally, then if there is any defeat, the whole campaign may be lost."
Ran Min was about to agree to this, when the Daoist Fa Rao stepped forward and said, "Your Majesty has held Xiangguo under siege since last year, but we are no closer to success. Now the rebels have arrived, and if you do not go to fight them, who will be willing to fight hereafter? Venus is currently crossing the Mao quadrant, and this augurs the death of the barbarian king: you will meet a hundred victories in a hundred battles, and how can you lose?"
This decided Ran Min, and in a great voice he said, "I shall fight a decisive battle; let any who oppose this part with their heads!" Thus he gathered his troops and marched out to fight against Yao Xiang and Shi Kun.
Meanwhile, Yue Wan was marching towards them with reinforcements from Yan. When they were several li away from the Wei army, Yue Wan sent his cavalry to ride about. The horses dragged bundles of wood behind them, kicking up a great cloud of dust as though a massive army was approaching. The Wei troops were greatly afraid.
Yao Xiang, Shi Kun, and Yue Wan then attacked the Wei army from three sides, and Shi Zhi also marched out of the city and attacked them from behind. The Wei army suffered a great defeat. Ran Min escaped back to Ye with ten riders.
It was earlier mentioned that Ran Min’s son, the Grand Chanyu Ran Yin, had a thousand tribesmen as his personal soldiers. During this battle, the tribesman Litekang and others, planning to surrender to Shi Zhi, seized Ran Yin and the Deputy Director of the Left Liu Qi and went over to Xiangguo. Shi Zhi killed the two prisoners. Hu Mu, the Minister of Works Shi Pu, the Prefect of the Masters of Writing Xu Ji, the Palace Secretary Lu Chen, and others all died in battle, and the Wei army's dead numbered in the tens of thousands.
It was not generally known whether Ran Min had survived, and Ye was plunged into fear, with rumors spreading that Ran Min had died. The Colonel of 射聲 Zhang Ai asked Ran Min to personally go and calm the people's hearts. Ran Min agreed to do so, and the rumors of his death were squashed.
Ran Min executed Fa Rao, the Daoist who had urged him to fight, and his sons by dismemberment. He also posthumously named Wei Xiao as Grand Minister Over The Masses, because Wei Xiao had earlier warned him not to trust Litekang and the other tribesman whom he had entrusted to his son Ran Yin.
Yao Xiang returned to Shedou. Because he had not captured Ran Min, Yao Yizhong was furious and gave him a hundred floggings.
10. From the time when he first came to the throne, Ran Min tried to win over the people of Zhao, opening up the grain stores to distribute among them so as to gain their favor. At the same time, not a month passed when he did not fight against the Qiang and the other tribes.
All of those people, especially the Qiang and other tribes, who had been forced to move from Qingzhou, Yongzhou, Youzhou, and Jingzhou, several million in all, began to ignore the former Zhao laws and started traveling back to their homelands. The roads were clogged, and there was much killing; out of all those seeking to return home, only twenty to thirty percent reached their destinations. The Central Plains were in great turmoil. Because of plague, the people lacked food, and there was no one to till the soil.
11. Shi Zhi sent his general Liu Xian with seventy thousand soldiers to attack Ye. Liu Xian’s army reached Mingguang Palace, only twenty-three li from Ye.
Ran Min was afraid, so he summoned Wang Tai so that he could discuss strategies with him. But Wang Tai, angry that his earlier advice had been disregarded, feigned illness and would not go. Even when Ran Min went to see him in person, Wang Tai stubbornly maintained his pretended illness. Ran Min, furious, went back to the palace, and told those around him, "That Ba slave; how can I let him live? First I will vanquish those barbarians, and then I will come back and behead Wang Tai."
Ran Min gathered his troops and marched out to battle, and completely routed Liu Xian, pursuing his army as far as Yangping, and killing thirty thousand men. Liu Xian was greatly afraid, and he secretly offered to surrender to Ran, and even to kill Shi Zhi on his behalf, so Ran Min let him return to Xiangguo.
After returning to the city, upon hearing that Wang Tai wished to betray him and go over to Qin, Ran Min killed Wang Tai, and executed his clan to the third degree.
12. Fu Jiàn sent messengers to look into the people's suffering. He sought out those of remarkable talents, broadened the tax burden among the people, slacked the regulations on the palaces, discarded useless items, and threw out extravagant clothing. By such measures, he won over all those who had been used to living under Zhao's tyranny.
13. Du Hong and Zhang Ju, the Zhao generals whom Fu Jiàn had driven out of Guanzhong, sent requests asking Jin's Inspector of Liangzhou, Sima Xun, to come aid them.
In summer, the fourth month, Sima Xun led thirty thousand horse and foot to assist them. Fu Jiàn faced Sima Xun’s army at Wuzhang Plains. Sima Xun suffered several defeats there, and in the end he retreated back to Nanzheng.
Fu Jiàn began to believe that his Prefect of 中書 Jia Xuanshuo did not agree with his assuming regal title, and he resented it. When someone reported to him that Jia was secretly coordinating with Sima Xun, he had Jia and his sons executed.
14. Because of the chaos in the Zhao region, a man from Baohai, Pang Yue, led several thousand households over to Wei. Ran Min appointed Pang Yue as Administrator of Bohai, and sent him to capture that place. The original Administrator of Bohai was Liu Zhun, the nephew of Liu Kui, and a local gentleman also lived there, Feng Fang the younger brother of Feng Yi. They both gathered men to help defend the city. Ran Min appointed Liu Zhun as Inspector of Youzhou, and he sent him along with Pang Yue to jointly divide Bohai.
Murong Jun dispatched Feng Yi to attack Pang Yue, and sent the Administrator of Changli, Gao Kai, to fight Liu Zhun and Feng Fang. This Gao Kai was the son of Gao Zhan.
15. Feng Yi sent his soldiers to build ramparts to oppose Pang Yue. He sent someone to bring a message to Pang Yue: "We are both from the same county, although we have been divided for quite some time. Now even meeting one another is difficult. People have their own feelings regarding the harm or profit of this current business, and there is no need for further discussion. Let us meet together one on one, and write up a mutual agreement that will endure."
Pang Yue greatly trusted Feng Yi, so he went out, and met with Feng Yi outside of the city gate. They both dismissed their escort riders, and addressed one another from their horses. Feng Yi began to talk in his usual way, and thus said, "Both of us were born in the same county, and my respect for you runs deep. That is why I earnestly wish for your continued prosperity. Now that I have received the order to capture you, I cannot help but strive as best I can on your behalf.
“Now Ran Min has only emerged from the chaos of the Shi clan. He does not have the ability to succeed. He only wants to force the realm to bow down to his strength. He will only continue to cause chaos, even though he knows that it is Heaven's mandate that he will be defeated. On the other hand, I know well the virtue of the Prince of Yan. He has set forth to restore justice and quell the chaos, and there is no one who is a match for him. He has already captured Ji, and his armies are moving into the regions of Zhao and Wei. The people are flocking to him from near and far, carrying their children on their back to see him.
“The people are greatly suffering, yearning for the right path. Ran Min's demise is only a matter of time. It should be very clear to you which side will win and which will lose. Ever since the Prince of Yan began his royal design, he has shown himself to be modest, virtuous, and talented. Will you not change your allegiance and come over to our side? You may match the achievements of Zhou Bo and Guan Ying, and leave a legacy to your descendants. Better that than to be the general of a vanquished state, and by your stubbornness bring ruin to your city!"
Zhou Bo and Guan Ying were famous generals who served under Liu Bang.
When Pang Yue heard this, he was upset and could make no reply. Feng Yi had among his escorts a certain Zhang An, a man of powerful strength. Feng Yi admonished Pang Yue until, his spirits downcast, Pang Yue looked away. Zhang An then suddenly dashed forward and seized the reins of Pang Yue's horse, and with them in hand, he rode back to Feng Yi's camp while pulling Pang Yue's horse behind him.
When they returned to the army camp, Feng Yi sat down with Pang Yue. He told him, "It seemed that you would not come to a decision on your own, so I helped us reach the decision together. I did not wish to proclaim my victory over you; rather, what I wished for was for both of us to save the people together."
16. Gao Kai arrived at Bohai, where Liu Zhun and Feng Fang surrendered to him. Murong Jun appointed Feng Fang as Administer of Bohai, and Liu Zhun as Marshal of the Left, with Pang Yue as his army advisor. Murong Jun's fame further spread because of his ability to win over men like Pang Yue.
17. Liu Xian murdered Shi Zhi, along with his Prime Minister, the Prince of Anle Shi Bing, his Grand Governor Zhao Shu, and over ten others. He sent their heads to Ye. The General of Agile Cavalry Shi Ning fled to Boren. Ran Min burned Shi Zhi's head in Ye’s main street, and he appointed Liu Xian as Grand General, Grand Chanyu, and Governor of Jizhou.
18. In the fifth month, Zhao's Inspector of Yanzhou, Liu Qi, fled from Juancheng to surrender to Jin.
19. In autumn, the seventh month, Liu Xian once again led soldiers to attack Ye. Ran Min attacked and defeated him. Liu Xian retreated, and declared himself Emperor at Xiangguo.
20. In the eighth month, Wei's Inspector of Xuzhou, Zhou Cheng, their Inspector of Yanzhou, Wei Tong, their Inspector of Jingzhou, Yue Hong, and their Governor of Yuzhou, Zhang Yu, along with the cities of Linqiu, Xuchang, and others, all defected to Jin.
At this time, Zhou Cheng captured Linqiu and Zhang Yu captured Xuchang.
Wei’s General Who Pacifies The South, Gao Chong, and their General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Lv Hu, arrested their Inspector of Luozhou, Zheng Xi, and then they also surrendered.
21. Murong Jun sent Murong Ke to attack Zhongshan, while sending Murong Ping to attack Wang Wu at Lukou.
Wei's Administrator of Zhongshan, Hou Kan of Shanggu, closed the gates and guarded the city. Murong Ke marched south and secured Changshan. When the army reached Jiumen, Wei's Administrator of Zhaojun, Li Gui of Liaoxi, surrendered to them, and Murong Ke graciously accepted him. He sent Li Gui back to besiege Zhongshan, whereupon Hou Kan surrendered. After Murong Ke entered Zhongshan, he sent several dozen of the major military and gentry families to report to Ji, while leaving the rest of the people to live in peace and security. He issued strict military orders to his soldiers, and so none of the people there were harmed.
When Murong Ping reached Nan'an, Wang Wu sent his officer Zheng Sheng to fight him, but Murong Ping defeated and killed Zheng Sheng.
22. Yue Wan returned from Xiangguo. Murong Jun then knew that Zhang Ju had been lying about Shi Zhi possessing the Imperial Seal, so he killed Zhang Ju.
Ran Min’s envoy to Yan, Chang Wei, had four sons and two daughters at Zhongshan. Since Chang Wei was his prisoner, Murong Jun sent Chang Wei’s children to see him. Chang Wei sent Murong Jun a memorial expressing his appreciation for such grace. Murong Jun sent a response by his own hand stating, "Before, you gave no thought to your own livelihood, careless of which province or place I would have sent you. But in the midst of this great chaos, your children have returned to you. How can that not be Heaven's regard for you? Even Heaven smiles upon you, not to mention myself!" He gave Chang Wei a concubine and three hundred 斛 of grain, and sent him to live in Fancheng.
Yan’s Administrator of Beiping, Sun Xing, was reassigned to be Administrator of Zhongshan. He administered it well, using peaceful and comforting methods, and Zhongshan became at peace.
23. Kuru Guanwei led a multitude from Shangdang to surrender to Yan.
24. Yao Yizhong sent notice asking to submit to Jin.
In winter, the eleventh month, Yao Yizhong was offered the imperial staff of authority, along with the ranks of Grand Commander of the Six Tribes, Commander of Jiangbei affairs, Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, with staff equal in authority to the Three Excellencies, Grand Chanyu, and Duke of Gaoling. His son Yao Xiang was appointed as General Who Pacifies The North, chief of Bingzhou affairs, Inspector of Bingzhou, and Duke of Pingxiang, with the staff of authority.
25. Pang Diao returned to Bohai, seeking to stir up the people against Yan. Yan’s Administrator of Leling, Jia Jian, sent someone to instruct the people, warning them of success and failure. Pang Diao's group scattered, and he himself fled.
26. Among the Tuyuhun, Murong Yeyan passed away, and his son Murong Suixi inherited his command.
The Tuyuhun were another branch of the Xianbei who settled around Lake Qinghai. Their founder, Murong Tuyuhun, was the brother of Former Yan’s founder Murong Hui.
27. Sometime earlier, when Huan Wen first learned of the chaos among the Shi clan, he sent notice to the court asking to lead a campaign to recover the Central Plains, but for a long time there had been no response.
Huan Wen knew that the court had employed Yin Hao to counter him, and was angry. He also knew the sort of man that Yin Hao was, so he did not fear him. Since there was no one else in the state who opposed him, the two of them had been locked in a stalemate for more than a year. Though Huan Wen kept up the appearance of a loyal minister, keeping his subordinates under control, the gentry of the eight provinces all believed that Huan was too dangerous to be employed on behalf of the state.
Despite Huan Wen’s repeated further requests for a northern campaign, none were heeded by the court. In the twelfth month, on the day Xinwei, on the pretext of paying his respects, Huan led forty or fifty thousand soldiers downstream, marching to Wuchang, and the court was greatly afraid.
28. Yin Hao wished to resign his position in favor of Huan Wen, and to send the Imperial Banner of Peace to Huan's army.
The Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Wang Biaozhi, said to the Prince of Kuaiji, Sima Yu, "Yin Hao’s requests are only to save himself, and not to safeguard the state. That must be Your Highness's plan. If Yin Hao resigns his office, then people will be greatly astonished, and the Son of Heaven will sit alone. In this time of peril, whoever holds office must continue to bear the burden, whether that be Your Highness or anyone else!"
Wang Biaozhi also said to Yin Hao, "If the enemy has anyone to condemn, it is you most of all. After you took up your position, this division sprang up. Yet now you wish to play the fool. Who are you fooling? We ought to find a way to ease the tensions. You ought to compose a letter to send to Huan Wen, to demonstrate your sincerity, for the sake of success or failure. Then Huan Wen will surely return back to his command post. If he does not listen to that, then you may issue an edict summoning him to court, and if he does not heed that either, then we will be able to see which side is truly just. What use is there in rushing to give in and acting at once without regard?"
Yin Hao replied, "How difficult it is to decide great affairs, and to grapple with such feelings of defeat. Having heard what you propose, now I believe it can be done."
This Wang Biaozhi was the son of Wang Bin.
29. Jin’s Marshal Who Protects The Army, Gao Song, said to Sima Yu, "You ought to send a letter to Huan Wen, instructing him of disasters and fortune. Then he will go back to his post on his own. If he does not go back, then we send the six armies against him, since his crime will have been made clear!"
Sima Yu thereupon composed a letter to Huan stating, "It is difficult to find a time to pacify the invaders, but the time will soon approach. When it comes to distant conquests on behalf of the state, drawing up grand plans and devising strategies to achieve them, and having the ability to carry them out, who else but yourself is worthy? However, in order to lead a great host on campaign, a foundation of resources must first be established. The ancients all struggled with the difficulties of such operations. It is not an easy thing to chart a new path. That is why I am most unclear on why you have come here.
“Now most unusual requests are being raised, the people are very unsettled, and there has been much talk between them. I believe that even you must have heard of some of it. Those who are careless and court disaster, and who are not held back by any scruples, or who are always on the lookout for some way to shake up affairs, will soon crumble to pieces. By doing so, they give cause for mourning on every side, and the affairs of state are abandoned.
“In these things, I am blind and weak, and my virtues are insufficient to safeguard and comfort the people, or to protect and defend the cities; thus my heart is filled with shame, and I feel ashamed towards my friends. That is why I must entrust you with these things, whether inside or out: the peace of the state and the protection of the dynasty are in your hands. Whether the realm will be safe or in peril depends upon you. First give thought to tranquility within the state, and then conquests beyond the borders may come afterwards. When the imperial tombs have been recovered, then justice will prevail in the world, and it will all be thanks to you. This is my earnest plea; how can you continue to doubt me, or to not do your utmost?"
Huan Wen sent back a reply fearfully stating his apologies, and returned his army to their post.
30. The Jin court planned to go offer sacrifices near the capital. Sima Yu asked Wang Biaozhi, "Should the sacrificial ceremony include an amnesty or not?"
Wang Biaozhi replied, "Since the restoration, the ceremony has always included an amnesty, although I have often said that it should not. Wild and evil men are always trying to test their luck, believing that the sacrifices will certainly have an amnesty again!" Sima Yu agreed with him.
31. Murong Jun returned to Longcheng.
32. Zhai Shu of the Dingling lead all his forces to submit to Yan; they appointed him as Prince of Guiyi.
The Dingling were another northern tribe of Turkish origin. They had lived for a long time under the Xiongnu.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."