The Fifth Year of Taihe (The Gengwu Year, 370 AD)
1. In spring, the first month, on the day Jihai, the rebel general Yuan Zhen sent his Interior Minister of Liang, Zhu Xian of Pei, and his younger brother the Interior Minister of Runan, Zhu Bin, to secretly meet with Huan Wen, but Huan Wen killed them.
斌 is pronounced "bin".
2. Wang Meng was still besieging Luoyang. He sent a letter to Yan's Inspector of Jingzhou, the Prince of Wuwei Murong Zhu, stating, "We have already cut off the routes to Chenggao and Dumeng Ford. While your ferocious soldiers lingered here, we already sent troops to capture Ye. You cannot hold out at Jinyong any longer, and there is no prospect of reinforcements for you. General, you have the lives of everyone in the city in your hands. How can it be that you will let them all come to harm?" Murong Zhu was afraid, and he surrendered Luoyang, which Wang Meng led his troops into the city to accept.
Yan administered Jingzhou from Luoyang.
Yan's Grand Guard General, the Prince of Le'an Murong Zang, guarded Xinle. He defeated a Qin army at Shimen, and captured the Qin general Yang Meng.
Shimen was at Xingyang. Xinle was also within the borders of Xingyang. Song Bai remarked, "The old city of Xinle is governed by Xinxiang County in Weizhou. Xinle was from the Sixteen Kingdoms era, when the Yan general and Prince of Le'an, Murong Zang, built it."
3. When Wang Meng had left Chang'an, he had brought Murong Ling with him as an advisor, believing he could help serve as a guide. Before leaving, Wang Meng had a drink with Murong Chui, and leisurely said to him, "I will be a long ways from you; what would you like to give me, to serve as a reminder of you?" Murong Chui unbuckled his sword from his waist and gave it to Wang Meng.
When Wang Meng reached Luoyang, he bribed Murong Chui's attendant Jin Xi, and had him falsely act as a messenger from Murong Chui. Jin Xi conveyed this false message (presumably along with the sword) to Murong Ling from his father: "All of us fled to Qin only to escape death. But now Wang Meng holds a grudge against us, and slanders our reputation more each day. Although the Heavenly Prince of Qin seems benevolent on the outside, it is difficult to know what lies in his heart. Even though it is true that I was able to escape death, now I have only become the laughingstock of all the realm. I have heard that the Yan court has come to regret what happened, and our lord and the Empress Dowager regret it most of all. So now I wish to go back east again, and I have sent this message to inform you as well. By now I have already left, so you should hurry on."
The message refers to Murong Wei and Empress Dowager Kezuhun.
Murong Ling was at first doubtful, and hesitated for several days, but in the end could not go against it. Therefore he saddled up his old horse, pretending he was going out hunting, and fled to Murong Zang at Shimen. Wang Meng declared Murong Ling a traitor. Murong Chui, in a panic, tried to flee as well, but when he reached Lantian, pursuit troops overtook him and captured him. Fu Jian met with him in the Eastern Hall, and told him, “There was discord in your clan, and that is why you were cast out and came to me. But your worthy son could not forget where he came from, and he still yearned for his homeland. Everyone has their own desires, and this is no grave fault. Yet Yan will soon be destroyed. Your son disobeyed orders so that he could live, and what a pity that now he has thrown himself into the tiger's maw. But crimes do not extend between brother and brother or between father and son. What need did you have to fear that you were cornered like a wolf?” And so he treated Murong Chui just as before.
The old horse Murong Ling took was the one which he had ridden when he fled from Yan to Qin.
Concerning Murong Ling's yearning for home, the Tan Gong section of the Book of Rites states, "Tai-gong was invested with his fief of Qi, but for five generations (his descendants, the marquises of Qi) were all taken back and buried in Zhou. A superior man has said, 'For music, we use that of him from whom we sprang; in ceremonies, we do not forget him to whom we trace our root.' The ancients had a saying, that a fox, when dying, adjusts its head in the direction of the mound (where it was whelped); manifesting thereby (how it shares in the feeling of) humanity." (Tan Gong Part 1 #27)
It is mentioned in the Zuo Commentary (Duke Xi, 33.8) that in the ancient state of Jin, Ji of Jiu (Xu Chen) recommended Ji Que to Duke Wen of Jin. Duke Wen asked, "Considering that Ji Que's father tried to murder me, can I really give his son office?" The reply was, "The one whom Shun punished was Gun, but the one whom Shun raised to the imperial dignity was Gun's son Yu. In the Announcement to the Prince of Kang it is said, 'The father who is devoid of affection, and the son who is devoid of reverence; the elder brother who is unkind, and the younger who is disrespectful,' are all to be punished, but not one for the offense of the other."
When a wolf rushes forward, it stumbles over its beard, and when it darts away, it trips over its own tail. A 狽 bei is a kind of wolf. When one is born, it is not enough to use one foot. One must use both feet together in order to move forward. So 狼狽 was an expression to mean someone who can neither go forward nor backwards, and had no way to escape.
Yan, seeing that although Murong Ling had rebelled and then had returned, while his father was still treated well in Qin, doubted whether or not Murong Ling had only been sent to plot against them from within. So he was sent away to Shacheng, which was six hundred li northeast of Longdu.
Shacheng was in Shaye. Longdu was another name for Longcheng, since it used to be the Yan capital.
4. Your servant Sima Guang remarks: At the end of the Yin (Shang) dynasty, Weizi rebelled against Yin’s orders. In the age of Duke Mu of Qin, You Yu’s defection led to the conquest of the Western Rong. In King Helü of Wu’s day, Wu Yuan’s (Zixu) flight led to Chu’s defeat. During the rise of Han, Chen Ping defected from and then helped to kill Xiang Ji (Yu). In the early days of Wei, Xu You’s defection led to the rout of Yuan Shao. When it comes to talented ministers of enemy states, it is helpful enough for them to leave their lords, and even more of a benefit to acquire them yourself. Wang Meng knew of Murong Chui's heart and yet did not trust him, nor seek his aid to bring about Yan's downfall. Murong Chui was an officer of immense renown and talents, and had done nothing to arouse suspicion, but had earnestly fled to Qin in his adversity. Wang Meng had no cause to suspect him, and yet out of his paranoia he tried to arrange his death. Such a thing would have only helped Yan to no benefit, and deterred others from seeking refuge with Qin, and for what purpose? Fu Jian had extended himself to gather Yan officers, personally worked to assuage their feelings, favored those working for Yan, and instilled good trust with them. Yet a thing like this came about. Why was Wang Meng so anxious to kill Murong Chui, even so far as to purchase it with filthy lucre? Was he so jealous of the favor shown to Murong Chui that he slandered him? Is this how a virtuous gentleman is meant to act?
King Zhou of Yin (Shang) became more and more cruel by the day. His brother Weizi cast away his sacrificial utensils and fled to Zhou. King Wu of Zhou then told his nobles, "Yin (Shang) bears a heavy crime. We are compelled to campaign against them." So he attacked King Zhou, and killed him. This was the reference for "rebelled against Yin's orders".
It is mentioned in the Records of the Grand Historian that the Western Rong sent You Yu as a messenger to Qin. Duke Mu of Qin retained You Yu for a time, in the meantime sending back to the Rong some royal song-girls, which the King of the Rong was happy to accept. Only then did Duke Mu send You Yu back as well. You Yu remonstrated with the King several times, but to no avail. Duke Mu then sent someone to demand You Yu, and You Yu submitted to Qin. Duke Mu asked You Yu how he might campaign against the Rong, and You Yu described to him their twelve states and the lay of their thousand li of land. Thus was Duke Mu able to conquer the Rong.
The state of Chu killed Wu She. His son Wu Yuan, or Wu Zixu, fled to their neighbor Wu, where King Helü used him to plot against Chu. The Wu army later routed Chu's army, and occupied their capital Ying.
Chen Ping's service under Han is mentioned in Book 9, in the second through fourth years of Emperor Gao's (Liu Bang) reign (205-3 BC).
Xu You's defection from Yuan Shao is mentioned in Book 63, in Emperor Xian of Han's fifth year of Jian'an (200).
This incident is covered in To Establish Peace, in the same year mentioned here.
5. Murong Zang advanced to camp at Xingyang. Wang Meng sent the General Who Establishes Might, Liang Cheng, and the Inspector of Luozhou, Deng Qiang, to attack him, and they drove him off. Deng Qiang remained behind to defend Jinyong, while the Marshal Who Upholds The State, Huan Yin, was appointed as Administrator of Hongnong, and went back to guard Shancheng in Deng Qiang's place.
Wang Meng was still General Who Upholds The State, so Huan Yin was his direct subordinate as Marshal.
Up until now, Qin had governed Luozhou from Shancheng. Since the Inspector, Deng Qiang, had now advanced to camp at Jinyong, this was why Huan Yin took over for him in guarding Shancheng.
6. Fu Jian appointed Wang Meng as Minister Over The Masses and Marquis of Pingyang, with authority over the imperial secretariat. But Wang Meng declined these appointments, saying, "Yan and Wu have not yet been pacified, and you are putting the cart before the horse. I have merely taken a single city, and yet you offer me these three things as a reward for it. Wait until we can overcome these two threats first, then it will be time to talk about promotions!"
By the three things, he meant the Three Excellencies (of which the Minister Over The Masses was one).
Fu Jian replied, “Do you then trample on my heart, just to glorify your own modesty? I have already commanded the ministers to heed you in everything. Even in granting fiefs and conveying awards, you must strive to follow my orders!”
7. In the second month, on the day Guiyou, the rebel general Yuan Zhen died. The Administrator of Chen, Zhu Fu, raised Yuan Zhen's son Yuan Qin as the new General Who Establishes Might and Inspector of Yuzhou, leaving him to guard Shouchun, while he sent another son, Yuan Ganzhi, and the Marshal Cuan Liang to Ye to ask for aid. Yan recognized Yuan Qin as Inspector of Yuzhou, and Zhu Fu as Inspector of Yangzhou.
瑾 is pronounced "qin (q-in)".
8. In the third month, Fu Jian appointed the Supervisor of the Masters of Writing, Quan Yi, as Deputy Director of the Right of the Masters of Writing.
In summer, the fourth month, Fu Jian again tried to appoint Wang Meng as Minister Over The Masses and grant him authority over the imperial secretariat, but Wang Meng continued to decline, so Fu Jian gave up on the attempt.
9. Yan and Qin both sent troops to aid Yuan Qin. Grand Marshal Huan Wen sent his Protector Zhu Yao and others to block them. The Yan soldiers arrived first; Zhu Yao and the others fought them at Wuqiu, and routed them. Jin's Administrator of Nandun, Huan Shiqian, then took the southern city. Huan Shiqian was Huan Wen's nephew.
Wuqiu was originally called Qiutou. When Prince Wen of Jin (Sima Zhao) put down Zhuge Dan's rebellion, he renamed the place to Wuqiu, to celebrate his martial (武 Wu) achievement. Du You remarked, "Wuqiu is in Chenqiu County in Yingzhou."
Emperor Hui of Jin (Sima Zhong) divided Runan, and formed Nandun commandary from part of it. The "southern city" means the southern city of Shouchun.
10. Fu Jian sent reinforcements to Wang Meng, sixty thousand horse and foot under General Who Guards The South, Yang An, and nine other generals, to continue the campaign against Yan.
11. Murong Ling, unable to escape his situation in exile, secretly made plans to start an uprising. He built up support among many thousands of exiles in Shacheng, and treated them all well.
In the fifth month, on the day Gengwu, Murong Ling killed Meng Gui of Yanmen. The city chief She Gui was greatly afraid, and asked to join him. Murong Ling trusted them, and made him one of his personal attendants. He sent his followers east to attack Weide, and killed the City Gentleman Murong Cang. Murong Ling then sent the people of that city to many places east and west, among the various army camps, and all of them went over to him. The General Who Guards The East, the Prince of Bohai Murong Liang, was guarding Longcheng. Murong Ling planned to attack it. However, his younger brother Murong Lin informed Murong Liang, and so Murong Liang closed the gates of the city and held fast.
The Registry of Surnames states, "涉 She is a surname. The Zuo Commentary mentions that the state of Jin had a 'Master She Tuo'. (Duke Ding)" 嬀 is pronounced "gui (j-ei)".
On the day Guiyou, She Gui turned on Murong Ling and attacked him. Murong Ling fled alone on horseback, while all his followers dispersed. She Gui pursued Murong Ling to Xueli Marsh, where he captured and killed him, and then went to Longcheng to report the deed to Murong Liang. Murong Liang executed She Gui, and then had Murong Ling's body collected and buried.
Murong Ling had only made She Gui one of his personal attendants, and this was why She Gui was dissatisfied and attacked him.
12. In the sixth month, on the day Yimao, Fu Jian sent for Wang Meng to meet him at Bashang. He said to Wang Meng, "You will be my agent in Guandong. First break through Huguan, pacify Shangdang, then push quickly against Ye, for they say 'one cannot cover their ears before the thunder roars’. I will personally oversee affairs in the rear, and follow behind in your wake. I will keep you supplied by carts and boats, and advance by land and sea, so that you may fall upon the enemy suddenly."
The Northern Wei records state, "The Qin dynasty formed Shangdang commandary, which was administered from Huguan. During Former Han, it was administered from Zhangzi. Dong Zhuo changed it back to Huguan. Under the Murong clan, it was administered from Anmin, and afterwards it was moved to Huguan again."
Fu Jian quotes a saying from the Huainanzi (Writings of the Masters of Huainan).
Wang Meng replied, "I shall wield your authority, and so bring you a victory. I shall clear out these savage barbarians like the autumn wind blows aside the leaves, so that you may drive your carriage through without even the dust to offend you. However, you must quickly order all the Xianbei under your authority." Fu Jian was greatly pleased.
Wang Meng meant that Fu Jian needed to bring the Xianbei under control.
13. In autumn, the seventh month, on the new moon of the day Guiyou, there was an eclipse.
14. Wang Meng attacked Huguan, while Yang An attacked Jinyang. In the eighth month, Murong Wei ordered the Prince of Shangyong, Murong Ping, to lead an army of three hundred thousand elite soldiers to oppose Qin.
Sima Guang comments in the 考異, "The Chronicles of the Book of Jin say that Murong Ping's army was four hundred thousand, but I follow the account of the 'Annals of Jin'."
Fu Jian then sent Wang Meng and Yan An to lead troops to attack Murong Wei. Wang Meng attacked Huguan, and Yang An attacked Jinyang. Murong Wei sent Murong Ping and others to lead more than four hundred thousand elite soldiers to oppose them.
Murong Wei was concerned about Qin’s invasion, so he summoned the 散騎侍郎 Li Feng, the Attendant of the Yellow Gate Liang Chen, and the Gentleman Attendant of the Palace Secretariat Yue Song to ask them: "What are the Qin soldiers like? Our army has marched to oppose them; will Qin actually offer battle?"
Li Feng answered, "Qin is a small state with weak soldiers; they cannot stand up to our army. Jinglüe (Wang Meng) has only ordinary talent, and cannot compare with the Grand Tutor. There is no cause for concern."
But Liang Chen and Yue Song replied, "When determining victory or defeat, numbers are not important. The Qin soldiers have come a long way and are hungry for battle, and how could they turn it down? We ought to be coming up with a plan for victory, not simply hoping that the Qin army will not offer battle!" Murong Wei was not pleased.
Wang Meng captured Huguan, and took captive the Administrator of Shangdang and Prince of Nan’an, Murong Yue. As he advanced, the counties and commandaries he passed through all surrendered to him, and Yan was greatly afraid.
15. Yan's Attendant of the Yellow Gate Feng Fu asked the Chief Clerk to the Minister Over The Masses Shen Yin, "What will happen now?"
Shen Yin replied, "Ye will certainly fall, and we shall all be taken captive by Qin. But remember that Yue had the year-star (Jupiter) over it when Wu conquered it, and that led to Wu’s calamity. Fortune and virtue are on the side of Yan, and although Qin may temporarily achieve their ambition, Yan will rise again, less than a generation from now."
According to the Zuo Commentary, in the thirty-second year of Duke Zhao, Wu conquered Yue. The historiographer Mo said, "In less than forty years, Yue is likely to have possession of Wu! The year is now in Yue's quarter of the heavens, and Wu, invading that State, is sure to experience an evil influence from it." Du Yu remarked in his Notes, "This 'year' means the 'year-star' (Jupiter). It was divided between Wu and Yue then. Whichever state the year-star hangs over, that state is bound to have good fortune. Wu attacked Yue while Yue had the year-star, and so it acted contrary to nature and suffered misfortune later on."
When Shen Yin mentions "fortune and virtue", he also means that the year-star was hanging over Yan during this time. When Fu Jian later says, "When I extinguished Yan, I violated the year and still achieved victory", he refers to this.
This was the reason for the rise of Later Yan.
16. Huan Wen marched from Guangling with twenty thousand soldiers against Yuan Qin. He appointed the Administrator of Xiangcheng, Liu Bo, as Interior Minister of Huainan, and ordered him to guard Shitou with five thousand men. Liu Bo was the grandson of Liu Kui.
After the death of Emperor Yuan (Sima Rui), Liu Kui had suffered defeat during Wang Dun's revolt, and he fled north to Later Zhao. (This was the same Liu Kui who was killed during Shi Sheng's rebellion, in Book 95).
On the day Guichou, Huan Wen defeated Yuan Qin at Shouchun, and put it under siege. Yan's Guard General of the Left, Meng Gao, advanced with cavalry troops to aid Yuan Qin. When he reached the north bank of the Huai, he was preparing to cross it, but by then Qin's invasion of Yan had resumed, and he was ordered to return.
16. In Shu, the outlaw Li Hong of Guanghan proclaimed a restoration of Cheng-Han, falsely claiming to be the son of Li Shi, and he gathered several tens of thousands of men to him. He declared himself the Sagely King, and his reign title was Fenghuang. Li Gao of Longxi then falsely claimed to be the son of Li Xiong, and attacked and conquered Fucheng, expelling Jin’s Inspector of Liangzhou, Yang Liang.
In the ninth month, Jin’s Inspector of Yizhou, Zhou Chu, sent his son Zhou Qiong to attack Li Gao, and sent Zhou Qiong's son, the Administrator of Zitong, Zhou Yang, to attack Li Hong. Both of them were crushed.
17. Yang An attacked Jinyang. However, Jinyang had many soldiers and ample food, and would be able to hold out for a long time. Wang Meng left the Colonel of 屯騎 Gou Chang to hold Huguan, while he led troops to assist Yang An at Jinyang. They dug a tunnel, and sent the General of Tiger Fang, Zhang Qi, with several hundred braves to go into the city, and with a loud cry they broke the gate, and let in the Qin army. On the day Xinsi, Wang Meng and Yang An entered Jinyang, taking captive Yan's Inspector of Bingzhou, the Prince of Donghai, Murong Zhuang.
The text here writes 苟長 Gou Chang. I believe it should be 苟萇 Gou Chang (a Qin general mentioned several times later on).
Murong Ping feared Wang Meng, and did not dare to advance, but camped at Luchuan. In winter, the tenth month, on the day Xinhai, Wang Meng left General Mao Dang of Wudu to guard Jinyang, while he advanced to Luchuan. There he began a stalemate with Murong Ping.
According to the Commentary on the Water Classic, Luchuan was in the north of Lu County in Shangdang. Kan Yin remarked, "The Lu River was the same as the Zhang River. It flowed through Jizhou."
18. On the day Renqu, Wang Meng sent General Xu Cheng to scout out the Yan army’s layout and condition. Xu Cheng was out all day, not returning until dusk. Wang Meng was furious, and planned to execute him.
The layout means how things stood in terms of the enemy's camp layout, formations, and such. The condition means how things were among the actual enemy soldiers and commanders. Knowing just the physical layout of the enemy camp was not enough to determine victory. Knowing the condition of the enemy's soldiers and commanders, that would provide the means for victory.
Deng Qiang asked him not to execute Xu Cheng, and said to him, "Currently, the enemy are numerous and we few, and we are on the eve of battle. Further, Xu Cheng is a high officer, so show him mercy."
Wang Meng said, "If I do not kill him, the military law will not be upheld."
Deng Qiang stubbornly said, "Xu Cheng is an officer from my commandary. If he must die, I ask that you let him spend his life in this battle." But Wang Meng would not agree.
Xu Cheng was the Administrator of Deng Qiang's native commandary.
Deng Qiang became angry, and returned to his camp, ordering his soldiers to beat the drums and arm themselves, to prepare to attack Wang Meng. When Wang Meng inquired into the commotion, Deng Qiang said, "I have an order to attack a distant foe. Yet now that the enemy is at hand, we are planning to kill each other instead. If that’s the case, I might as well strike first!" Wang Meng spoke to Deng Qiang about his righteousness and his heroism, and he sent word stating, "Let the general halt; I will issue a pardon."
Xu Cheng then emerged, and Deng Qiang sent him to offer his apologies to Wang Meng. Wang Meng took him by the hand and said, "I was only testing General Deng, and yet see how much he treasures even you, just a man from his commandary, much less how much he treasures the entire state! I no longer need fear the enemy!"
19. Murong Ping believed that Wang Meng was worried about how deep into Yan his army had marched, and that he wished to maintain his position for some time. So Murong Ping began to brazenly extort his own soldiers. He blocked off the hills and springs, charged the soldiers for firewood and water, and piled up hills of money and silks. The Yan soldiers became indignant, and none of them was willing to fight.
Hills are a natural source of firewood, and springs a natural source of water. By "blocking off" the hills and springs, it means he sent officers to stop anyone from collecting firewood or drawing water, and demanded money in exchange for access to them.
Jia Gongyan remarked, "Something tall can be called a mound, and a large mound can be called a tomb."
When Wang Meng heard of it, he laughed and said, "How base Murong Ping is! We would not need to fear him even if he had millions of soldiers, much less hundreds of thousands! Now I can definitely destroy him." So he sent the General of Fierce Assault Guo Qing with five thousand riders, and at night they rode by secret trails into the rear of Murong Ping's camp and set his supplies on fire, and the flames could be seen from Ye.
The area around Luchuan was high, and close to Ye. This was why when the fires spread, they could be seen from Ye.
Murong Wei became afraid, and sent the Palace Attendant Lan Yi to reproach Murong Ping, saying, "Prince, you are one of the sons of Emperor Gaozu (Murong Hui). You ought to be praying at the temple of your ancestors for the worries of the state. How could you have gone so far as to vex the soldiers by charging them for firewood and water, and transformed yourself into a merchant? You had full access to all the government stores, so how could anything have been inadequate for you? If the enemy should advance, and the state perish, what good will your money and your silks do you then?" And he ordered the misbegotten money and silks to be distributed amongst the army, and to fight a battle. Murong Ping was greatly afraid, and requested that Wang Meng offer battle.
Murong Hui's temple name was Gaozu.
Li Daoyuan remarked, "When Murong Ping extorted the soldiers, he charged a roll of silk for two 石 of water."
20. On the day Jiazi, Wang Meng went to Weiyuan and swore this oath before the soldiers: "I, Wang Jinglüe, have received the favor of the state, and I have been given greater and greater responsibilities both within the court and among the army. Today, together with all of you, I have penetrated deep into enemy territory. I will exert my utmost to fight even unto death. We will ever advance and never retreat, and together we shall be triumphant, and report our victory to the state. Will it not be glorious when we receive our lord’s favor, and share a cup of wine with our fathers and mothers?" And the multitude all lept up eagerly, each vying with one another to be first. They smashed their pots and abandoned their grain, and with a great shout they surged forward to battle.
The Wei River did not pass through Lu County. The Commentary on the Water Classic mentions a Nie River which flows through western Lu County from Mount Fuzeng. Perhaps the text mistakenly wrote 渭 Wei instead of 涅 Nie? Furthermore, according to Duke Wen's (Sima Guang) 稽古錄, it records Wang Meng as having routed Murong Ping at Qingyuan. Du Yu remarked, "I have heard that there is a Qingyuan in the north of Xi County in Hedong." The other place is relatively far from Luchuan, and I doubt many knew of it. Du You's Tongdian writes it as "Luyuan".
By "receive our lord's favor", he means that once they achieve victory they shall all receive rewards from the court. By "share a cup of wine", he means that once they receive their rewards and return, they may raise a toast to their parents' longevity.
21. When Wang Meng considered the Yan army, he said to Deng Qiang, "In today's affair, we will not be able to defeat the enemy without your help. Victory or defeat is in the offing, so General, exert yourself!"
Deng Qiang replied, "If you can promote me to Colonel Director of Retainers, then you shall have nothing to fear."
Wang Meng replied, "That is beyond what I can do, but I will certainly make you Administrator of Anding and Marquis of ten thousand households." But Deng Qiang was unsatisfied and withdrew.
Qin's Inspector of Yongzhou administered from Anding, which was Qin's largest commandary at that time.
When the battle began, Wang Meng called for Deng Qiang, but Deng Qiang was sleeping and would not heed the summons. So Wang Meng quickly rode to see Deng Qiang and assented to his earlier request. Deng Qiang then eagerly joined the fight. Along with Zhang Qi, Xu Cheng, and others, he plunged into battle on horseback with spear in hand, riding amongst the Yan army. He went in and out among them four times, and no one could match him. In all, he killed or wounded several hundred. In the end, the Yan army suffered a great defeat, and over fifty thousand of their soldiers were captured or killed. As they fled, Qin's forces pursued them, and killed or captured more than another hundred thousand. Murong Ping fled alone on horseback to Ye.
22. Cui Hong, the compiler of the Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms, made this remark: Deng Qiang asked for the laws to be relaxed on account of his fellow officer and countryman, for selfish reasons; he even threatened to attack Wang Meng, baselessly; and on the eve of battle, he demanded the Colonel Director of Retainers post, and compelled his lord to give it to him. For these three reasons, he should have been harshly punished! Yet Wang Meng could contain these shortcomings, and still draw out Deng Qiang’s advantages, like a man who can tame a fierce tiger, or ride a wild stallion, and thereby achieve great success. The Book of Poems says, "When we gather the mustard plant and earth melons, we do not reject them because of their roots." Such could be said of Wang Meng.
This is a verse from the Gufeng poem from the Odes of Bei.
23. The Qin soldiers continued their rapid march to the east. On the day Dingmao, they put Ye under siege.
Wang Meng sent in a memorial stating, "On the day of Jiazi, I completely destroyed the filth of Yan. Now I will fulfill Your Majesty's wishes for benevolence and love. I will appease the people of Yan's six provinces, so that they will not notice the change of lords. In doing so, I shall give no cause for confusion or disobedience, and no harm shall be done."
Wang Meng emphasizes that his victory was on a Jiazi day because it was also on a Jiazi day that King Wu of Zhou defeated King Zhou of Shang.
When Fu Jian read this memorial, he sent back a reply stating, “General, you boast of what has not yet been achieved. The original evil has not been vanquished, and yet you are comparing yourself to the worthies of old. I myself shall follow behind you leading the six armies, ordering them forward like lightning when I see the morning starlight. General, let your soldiers rest and recuperate, and await my arrival. Then we may complete our achievement.”
The Book of Odes has this verse: "By starlight, in the morning, to yoke his carriage." (Ding Zhi Fang Zhong 3, Odes of Yong) It means to order the carriage to set out at first light, just after one sees the stars in the morning. Fu Jian has changed the verse, mentioning lightning instead of the carriage.
24. While Wang Meng was on his way to Ye, the Yan soldiers had plundered the area and then fled. Once Wang Meng arrived, he provided aid and relief to areas near and far. Wang Meng gave out orders for strict discipline, ordering the army not to plunder or harm anyone, and to tightly enforce the laws. When the people of Yan saw that all was at peace, they said to one another, "We never thought that the old Prince of Taiyuan (Murong Ke) would come again!" When Wang Meng heard of it, he sighed as he said, "So this is the trust that Murong Xuangong enjoyed of old from the people!" He ordered a Grand Sacrifice (of a bull, a ram, and a pig) be made in honor of Murong Ke.
Wang Meng's soldiers did not dare to harm anyone around Ye.
Murong Ke's style name was Xuangong, and his noble title was Prince of Taiyuan.
25. In the eleventh month, Fu Jian left Li Wei at Chang'an to take care of his Crown Prince, and the Duke of Yangping Fu Rong to guard Luoyang, while he led another hundred thousand elite troops to Ye. In seven days, he reached Anyang, and there attended a feast for those veterans who had served his father and grandfather of old.
The Records of Jin states, "Anyang County was part of Wei commandary." The "Records" compiled during Northern Wei states, "At the beginning of the Tianping era (534-7), Dangyin and Anyang counties were folded into Ye." There was also an Anyang city in the north of Xiuwu County in Ji commandary.
Fu Hong and his sons had first set out from Fangtou, so there were many of their old veterans who still lived around there. When they heard that Fu Jian was coming, they came to welcome him at Anyang, and held a feast for him.
Wang Meng came to Anyang to pay his respects to Fu Jian. Fu Jian said to him, "In former times, Zhou Yafu did not welcome Emperor Wen of Han at his army camp. Now our army is still a before the enemy, yet you have abandoned your men to come here. How can that be?"
This story about Zhou Yafu is mentioned in Book 15, in Emperor Wen of Han's sixth year (158 BC).
When Emperor Wen went on an inspection of the military camps, all the other commanders left their camps to come welcome him, but Zhou Yafu kept his camp under strict discipline, and he did not welcome the Emperor's group or allow them to enter the camp except by the usual strict supervision. Emperor Wen was impressed, and Zhou Yafu was promoted.
Wang Meng replied, “Zhou Yafu refused admittance to his lord because he sought to build a reputation for himself, but such a thing would be of little use to me. Your Majesty has already granted me a powerful authority, which I have used to annihilate the enemy like fish in a kettle. What then do I have to be worried about? But you, on the other hand, have left the state in the hands of your young son, and brought the imperial carriage so far as to come here. If anything unexpected happened, would there be any time for regrets? Your Majesty has forgotten what I warned you about at Bashang!”
26. Before, Yan's Prince of Yidu, Murong Huan, had led more than ten thousand soldiers to camp at Shating, to act as a rearguard for Murong Ping. When Murong Huan heard of Murong Ping’s defeat, he led his soldiers to camp at Neihuang. Fu Jian sent Deng Qiang to attack Xindu. On the day Dingchou, Murong Huan fled to Longcheng with five thousand Xianbei.
Du Yu remarked, "Shating is in Yuancheng County in Yangping commandary."
Since the Han era, Neihuang County had been part of Wei commandary.
On the day Wuyin, Yan's 散騎侍郎 Yu Wei led a group of more than five hundred people, made up of people from Buyeo, Goguryeo, and hostages from Shangdang, and that night, they opened the north gate of Ye and welcomed in the Qin army. Murong Wei, Murong Ping, Murong Zang, the Prince of Zixiang Murong Yuan, the Guard General of the Left Meng Gao, the General of the Palace Ai Lang, and others all fled towards Longcheng. On the day Xinsi, Fu Jian entered the palace at Ye.
When Yan had sent soldiers to guard Shangdang, they kept the soldiers’ sons and younger brothers at Ye as hostages. Yu Wei was a son of the King of Buyeo, and he secretly led the hostages to open the gate and let in the Qin army.
The Registry of Surnames states, "Regarding the surname Ai, the Annals of Master Yan mentions a Master Ai in Qi, and the Fengsu Tong mentions a Pang Jian whose mother was Lady Ai."
27. When Murong Chui saw all the former Yan nobles, ministers, and servants, he began to look resentful at them. But his minister Gao Bi said to him, "A great king depends upon the materials that his ancestors have left for him, and he relies upon the heroes of an age to support him. If he fails to make use of them when he finds them, be assured that they will all flock to other branches elsewhere. Although our state has been destroyed for now, who knows whether or not it will rise again someday? In my view, you should display a boundless magnanimity towards the old Yan officials. Make yourself as broad as the Yangzi and as vast as the sea, and in so doing you can comfort the people and bind their hearts to you. Every man you win over will be another basket of earth towards your foundation, and soon enough your achievement will rise to a height of nine ren. What good would it do you to get rid of them all because of your anger? That would never help you to become a great king!" Murong Chui approved of this advice, and followed it.
Gao Bi illustrates his point by talking about a mountain, saying that Murong Chui's achievement can, one basket of earth at a time, reach a height of nine ren. One ren equals eight chi. (In other words, nine ren was twenty-four miles.)
Gao Bi dared to offer such advice because he had earlier fled to Qin along with Murong Chui.
28. When Murong Wei fled from Ye, he had more than a thousand riders with him, but after they fled from the city, the riders all scattered, and only a few more than ten remained to follow him. Fu Jian sent the General of Fierce Assault, Guo Qing, to pursue the royal fugitives. During that time, all the roads were filled with difficulties and disorders, so Meng Gao worked to protect Murong Wei and the two Princes, diligently working himself even unto sickness. Whenever they encountered the enemy, Meng Gao would turn and charge forward to face them.
The two Princes were the Prince of Le'an, Murong Zang, and the Prince of Dingxiang, Murong Yuan.
After several days, the group reached Fulu, where they stopped to rest their horses by a tomb. More than twenty enemy soldiers suddenly appeared, each firing arrows. Meng Gao grasped his sword and fought them, slaying or wounding several. But, having exhausted himself, and seeing that his death was inevitable, he rushed upon one enemy and pulled him to the ground, crying out, "What pathetic men you all are!" The remaining enemies, ignoring the emperor, turned their bows against Meng Gao and killed him. When Ai Lang saw that Meng Gao had plunged into battle alone, he rushed to join him in fighting the enemies, until he too was killed.
When they stopped to rest, they removed the saddles from their horses and let them recover.
Murong Wei had lost his horse, but he continued to flee on foot. Guo Qing pursued him and caught up to him at Gaoyang, and ordered his officer Ju Wu to capture the emperor. Murong Wei said, "You miscreant, you dare lay hands on the Son of Heaven?" Ju Wu replied, "I have orders to pursue a rebel; who claims to be Son of Heaven?" So they captured him and brought him back to Fu Jian.
The Registry of Surnames states, "Ju is a surname."
Fu Jian asked Murong Wei why he had refused to surrender and had tried to flee to the northeast. The response was, "A fox dies with its face towards its den. A man who seeks death must first find his tomb." Fu Jian sorrowfully released him, ordering him returned to the palace where the others who had surrendered were.
Murong Wei made this remark because the Murong clan members had all originally been buried at Changli, in the northeast.
From Emperor Mu's eighth year of Yonghe (352), when Murong Jun had first assumed the imperial title, and then handed it down to his son Murong Wei, until this time, Former Yan had existed for nineteen years, and then perished.
Murong Wei reported to Fu Jian on Meng Gao's and Ai Lang's loyalty to him. Fu Jian granted them honorable burials, and appointed their sons as Palace Attendants.
29. When Guo Qing pressed on and arrived at Longcheng, Murong Ping fled to Goguryeo, but they apprehended him and sent him back to Qin.
Yan’s Prince of Yidu, Murong Huan, killed the General Who Guards The East, the Prince of Bohai Murong Liang, and with his remaining soldiers fled to Liaodong. But the Administrator of Liaodong, Han Chou, had already surrendered to Qin. When Murong Huan arrived, Han did not allow him to enter the city; although Murong Huan tried to force his way in, he was unsuccessful. Guo Qing sent his general Zhu Yi to attack Murong Huan. Murong Huan abandoned his army and fled alone, but Zhu Yi caught and killed him.
30. Yan’s various governors, administrators, and commanders all surrendered to Qin. In the various commandaries there were a hundred and fifty seven, with 2,460,000 households, and 9,990,000 people. Yan's palace attendants and treasures were distributed among the officers. Fu Jian issued a general pardon, proclaiming, "I say now regarding those few who are still in hiding, and fear that they cannot submit to my authority, believing that my virtue does not extend to every distant corner, and cannot bring comfort to the four directions, that the weapons of war are now to be put away. Whoever harms one of these people, or trespasses against the commoners, he has also committed a crime against me. Thus do I extend this amnesty over the realm, to offer a new beginning to all."
The four directions were the southeast, the southwest, the northeast, and the northwest.
31. Before the war, when Liang Chen had been an envoy to Qin, he brought along the 侍輦 Gou Chun as his assistant. Whenever Liang Chen made a reply, he never told Gou Chun what it would be, so Gou Chun resented him. When they returned to Yan, Gou Chun said to Murong Wei, "When Liang Chen was at Chang'an, he became very close to Wang Meng. They may be plotting something." Liang Chen then spoke several times of his great esteem for Fu Jian and Wang Meng, and spoke of the need to prepare for Qin's army, since he said they would invade soon.
The office of 侍輦 was created by Yan. It was an office for a minister's assistant.
When Qin indeed invaded Yan, everyone remembered what Liang Chen had said, and Murong Wei then questioned why Liang Chen had known ahead of time that it would happen. After Murong Ping's defeat at Luchuan, he arrested Liang Chen and put him in jail. When Fu Jian entered Ye, he released Liang Chen, appointed him as 中書著作郎, and had him brought to him.
Qin had followed the system that Jin originally had, combining the offices of Custodian of the Private Library and Secretariat Supervisor together.
Fu Jian asked Liang Chen, "Before, you told me that Murong Ping and Murong Chui were both men of rare talents. How was it that they could not come up with some plan to save their state?"
Liang Chen replied, "Heaven directs the rise and fall of states; how can a mere two men oppose it?"
Fu Jian said, “You yourself were not able to find an opportunity to act. You vacuously spoke of Yan's splendor, but in your loyalty you could not save yourself, and rather suffered personal misfortune. Are we meant to call that wisdom?”
Liang Chen replied, “I have heard it said that 'By studying the slightest movements of opportunity, good or ill fortune can be predicted.' But as I am blind and foolish, I could not claim that much. It is fitting that a minister remain loyal, just as it is fitting that a son remain filial. No matter what conclusions his heart may come to, he must ensure his loyalty and his piety from beginning til end. The martyrs of old did not shrink from danger or blink at suffering death, but they died alongside their lords. There have been some among you who, knowing what lay ahead, and choosing between danger and security, they abandoned their state and took no heed of it. But as for me, I could not endure such a thing, much less be given reward for it!”
Some versions add "or ill (fortune)" to Liang Chen's quote.
Liang Chen quotes from the 易‧大傳.
There were many who saw in Liang Chen's fierce loyalty in all things, and Fu Jian's inability to employ the most worthy and having to settle for the mediocre, the imminent downfall of Qin's fortunes.
32. When Fu Jian heard of Yue Wan's loyal service, he regretted not having been able to meet him. He appointed Yue Wan's sons as Palace Attendants.
The story about Yue Wan's reforms was mentioned in the last book, Book 101, in the third year (368.12).
33. Fu Jian appointed Wang Meng as Credential Bearer, Commander over the six former Yan provinces, Grand General of Chariots and Cavalry, with authority equal to the Three Excellencies, and Governor of Jizhou, with his headquarters at Ye. He promoted Wang Meng’s noble title to Marquis of Qinghe, and granted him the former personal items of Murong Ping. He promoted Yang An to be Marquis of Boping; Deng Qiang to be Credential Bearer (or Commissioner Bearing Credentials), General Who Conquers The Caitiffs, Administrator of Anding, and Marquis of Zhending; Guo Qing to be Credential Bearer, Commander of affairs in Youzhou, and Inspector of Youzhou, with his headquarters at Ji, and he was bestowed the title Marquis of Xiangcheng. The other generals also received like rewards according to their merits.
Some versions record Deng Qiang as receiving the rank "Commissioner Bearing Credentials" rather than "Credential Bearer".
To be "bestowed" a noble title meant to receive the actual title, but with no fief or territory along with it. Yi remarked, "At first we had yet to arrange titles, now we began to bestow them."
34. Fu Jian appointed Wei Zhong of Jingzhao as Administrator of Wei, and Peng Bao as Administrator of Yangping. The other former Yan Governors, Administrators, Prefects, chiefs, and other officials were kept on in their former posts. He appointed Yan's Administrator of Changshan, Shen Shao, as 散騎侍郎, and sent him and the 散騎侍郎, Wei Ruju of Jingzhao, to craft garments to distribute to the people, patrol through the Guandong provinces and commandaries, observe and reform the local customs, help to cultivate farming and silkworm raising efforts, ease the suffering of the people, collect and bury the dead, and spread his authority throughout the region. Any parts of the Yan administration that did not benefit the people were changed.
Ye was in Wei commandary, and its Administrator had been a capital Intendent under Yan. Yangping commandary was an adjunct to Wei. This was why Fu Jian changed the administrators of those commandaries.
The remaining former Yan officials were all still shocked and waiting to see what would happen, so in order to calm their anxieties, Fu Jian kept them on in their posts.
Both the people of Yan and Qin were used to craft the garments for distribution. The people in Yan followed the customs of Guandong, while the people in Qin did what appealed to Fu Jian's sense of virtue.
35. In the twelfth month, Fu Jian sent Murong Wei and Empress Dowager Kezuhun, along with the former Yan princes, dukes, and officials, and forty thousand Xianbei households, to Chang'an.
These were the Xianbei who would later rebel and attack Qin.
36. Wang Meng asked that Liang Chen be appointed as his household’s Registrar and acting 記室督. That day, he held a feast with his ministers where he invited the new ministers to attend. During the feast, he said to them, "Men's hearts are truly different. Not so long ago, three Yan ministers came to Qin as envoys. Lord Liang spoke of his court's splendor; Lord Yue spoke of how its army compared to Huan Wen's; Lord Hao spoke of its iniquities."
According to the Jin system, each Duke's household had both a Registrar and a 記室督. Wang Meng combined them in the person of Liang Chen.
The three envoys were Liang Chen, Yue Song, and Hao Gui.
Feng Yan said, "All three of them are now Qin ministers. Might I ask which of them you most agreed with?"
Wang Meng said, "I would have to side with Lord Hao."
Feng Yan replied, "In that case, you would do well to 'reward Duke Ding and punish Ji Bu.'" And Wang Meng laughed heartily.
Feng Yan gave the opposite advice regarding those two ministers to how Emperor Gao of Han (Liu Bang) had dealt with them.
During the Chu-Han Contention between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu, Ji Bu had remained loyal to Xiang Yu to the very end, while Duke Ding had betrayed him and helped Liu Bang. After the war ended, Liu Bang blamed Duke Ding for his disloyalty, saying that it was because of him that Xiang Yu lost, and he executed him. Meanwhile, he pardoned Ji Bu on account of his loyal service.
37. Fu Jian went from Ye to Fangtou, where he held a feast for his father’s veterans, and changed the name of the place from Fangtou to Yongchang, and exempted it from taxation for a generation.
復 here means to exempt from taxation. The "generation" meant during the lifetime of the current lord of Qin.
On the day Jiayin, he arrived at Chang'an, and granted Murong Wei the title of Marquis of Xinxing. He appointed Murong Ping as 給事中, Huangfu Zhen as Commandant of 奉車 and Li Hong as Commandant of 駙馬, and all served the court. He appointed Li Gui as Master of Writing, Feng Heng as Gentleman of the Masters of Writing, Murong De as Administrator of Zhangye, Ping Rui of Yanguo as General Who 宣 Might, and Xiluo Teng as 三署郎. Others were appointed as needed. Feng Heng was the son of Feng Yu.
Murong Ping, Huangfu Zhen, and Li Hong had held the ranks of the Three Excellencies in Yan.
Murong De's appointment as Administrator of Zhangye was why his nephew Murong Chao later fled from Zhangye to the Yao clan.
Han had the offices of 五官署郎, 左署郎, and 右署郎, and so they were usually called the Three 署郎. Under the Jin system, Gentlemen that were over fifty years old were part of the 五官, subordinate to the 左署 or 右署. Qin used this same system of Three 署郎.
During Murong Huang's rise, Feng Yi had made many loyal remonstrances to him.
38. Yan's former Court Historian, Huang Hong, said with a sigh, "Yan will rise again, thanks to the Prince of Wu (Murong Chui)! But I regret that, old as I am, I will not be able to witness it!" And Zhao Qiu of Jijun said, "Heaven lies with Yan, and Qin must crumble. In less than fifteen years, Qin will give way to Yan."
Huang Hong had come to Yan during the initial rise of the Murong clan. When Murong Jun seized the Central Plains, Huang Hong approved of the decision. Many knew of his predictions.
Zhao Qiu refers to the year-star (Jupiter) hanging over Yan at the time of its conquest.
Some versions add the words "and Qin must crumble" to Zhao Qiu's prophecy.
39. Murong Huan's son, Murong Feng, was then eleven years old. He secretly harbored a grudge against Qin. The Xianbei and the Dingling peoples had an affinity, and they often had social dealings with each other.
This was why Murong Feng later rose in rebellion together with the Dingling to attack Qin.
When the Qin minister Quan Yi saw Murong Feng, he said to him, "Child, you have exceptional talents and abilities. Don't be like your father, who went against Heaven's will!"
Feng Yi fiercely replied, “My late father wished to act with loyalty. Although he failed, he behaved as a loyal servant ought to. If I followed your advice, how could that steer me towards virtue?”
Quan Yi quickly made his apologies to Murong Feng. He then mentioned the matter to Fu Jian, and told him, “Murong Feng has such abundant talent, but alas, a wolf-like child has a evil heart. I fear you will not be able to use him.”
In the Zuo Commentary, the Chu minister Ziwen says, "A wolf-like child will have an evil heart." (Huan 4) The text means that the son of a Yan official could not long remain a Qin subordinate.
40. Qin abolished Yongzhou.
Qin had originally split Yongzhou off from Anding, but they now combined the Yongzhou territory back under the region of the Colonel Director of Retainers.
41. During this year, the Duke of Chouchi, Yang Chu, passed away. His son Yang Cuan inherited his position, and broke off relations with Qin. Yang Cuan’s uncle, the Administrator of Wudu, Yang Tong, began to fight with him, and both sides raised troops and attacked each other.
This would be Qin's cassus belli for invading Chouchi.
"You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!"
"We have. You did. We can. No."