Lu Xun's bio -- a preview, and some questions

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Lu Xun's bio -- a preview, and some questions

Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:29 am

Guys and Gals --
The long-awaited for Lu Xun biography has been completed! Well, the translation is still in draft form, and I'm doing a bunch of editing on it now. However, the editing is going painfully slow, at 45 min/page (and the whole thing is 16 pages long before additional notes etc). So I would like your opinion on whether this is useful, or whether I should quit and get some sleep. Basically, here are the two new features of the new translation (in addition to the text being proofread :lol: ):

:arrow: Inclusion of the Chinese characters for names of people and places, as well as names of official positions.
:arrow: Explanation of culture and historical terms whose meaning cannot be deduced from the text. (This is given in roman numerals, to differentiate it from Pei Songzhi's notes.)

This is the first 5 pages:
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Lu Xun (陸遜), styled Boyan (伯言), was originally named Yi (議). A native of Wu (吳), in the commandery of Wu (吳), Lu Xun comes from a prosperous and famous family east of the Yangtze River(1). Since he was orphaned at a young age, he lived with his grandfather Lu Kang (陸康), who was then the grand administrator of Lujiang (廬江). When Lu Kang found out that he was about to be attacked by Yuan Shu (袁術), who had long borne a grudge against him, he sent Lu Xun and his own family back to Wu for safety. Since Lu Xun was several years older than Lu Kang’s son Lu Ji (陸績), he kept his family in order for him.

(1) Lushi Shi Song: Lu Xun’s grandfather, Lu Yu (陸紆), had the style name of Shupen (叔盆). He was a virtuous man, quick in wits, and served as a Colonel of the City Gates. Lu Xun’s father, Lu Jun (陸駿), who had the style name of Jicai (季才), was magnanimous and trustworthy, greatly loved by the different families in the clan. The highest rank he held was Chief Commandant of Jiujiang (九江).

When Sun Quan (孫權) was made a general, Lu Xun was twenty-one years of age, and began his career by working in Sun Quan’s office. After serving as a consultant clerk of both the Department of the East and the Department of the West (i), he was sent out to the field as chief commandant (都衛) at Haichang (海昌) garrison, in care of the civil affairs of the prefecture as well(2). The prefecture had suffered years of drought, and so Lu Xun opened up the stores of grain to relieve the poor, as well as personally encouraging and overseeing farming. The people benefitted greatly from his governing. At that time, there were many outlaws taking refuge in the Wu, Kuaiji (會稽), and Danyang (丹陽) areas. Lu Xun petitioned to Sun Quan to attack them, listing the advantages of doing so. Now, there was one Pan Lin (潘臨), the “general-in-chief” of the bandits in Kuaiji, who had been a scourge of the area, and who had evaded arrest through the years. And so Lu Xun took the soldiers in his command and went straight into the holdings of the outlaws. Wherever he went the outlaws submitted to him, and his command grew to 2,000 soldiers. Then, when the leader of the Poyang (鄱陽) bandits, You Tu (尤突), staged a rebellion, Lu Xun went to quell it. For that, Lu Xun was made Colonel Who Settles Majesty (定威校尉) , and made to garrison at Lipu (利浦).

(i) Departments under the jurisdiction of a general.

(2) From the Eulogy of the Portraits in the Lu Ancestral Temple: Haichang is located in the current day prefecture of Yan’guan (鹽官).

Sun Quan gave Sun Ce's (孫策) daughter’s hand in marriage to Lu Xun, and often sought his advice on various affairs of the realm. Lu Xun suggested, "At present, the conquerers have each taken a portion of the land and fortified their stands. They wait and watch like wolves; and thus, in order to defeat the enemies and bring peace to the land, we need many people to assist us. However, the Shanyue (山越) bandits are still at large, owing to their geographically strategic hideouts. If we do not pacify them, it would be difficult for any other long term conquests to go far. Thus, we should lead an army to pacify them and in the process, recruit the best forces amongst them to join us." Sun Quan accepted his proposal and appointed him as Company Commander of the Right Guard (i). Around that time, Fei Zhan (費棧), the leader of the bandits at Danyang, was given seal and cord of office (ii) by Cao Cao, rallied the Shanyue people to coordinate an attack with him. Lu Xun was then sent by Sun Quan to annihilate Fei Zhan. Seeing that Fei Zhan had a greater army than himself, Lu Xun had a great number of flags made, and sent drummers and buglers to various strategic points. Concealed by the darkness of night they slipped all around the hills and valleys, and all of a sudden revealed themselves in great fanfare and charged towards the enemy. The enemy troops dispersed instantly. Lu Xun thus stationed his men at the three eastern counties (iii), drafting the able-bodied to be soldiers, and sending the weaker ones to manage agricultural lands. In the process, some ten thousand elite soldiers were added to the ranks and the remnants of the bandits were destroyed. Where Lu Xun’s army passed by, bandits were cleared out, and eventually Lu Xun returned to the fort at Wu Lake (蕪湖).

(i) A personal guard force, established by Wu.
(ii) The seal and cord are the official . Cao was bribing insubordinate factions in Wu land holdings to create trouble for the Sun family.
(iii) Danyang, Xindu (新都), and Kuaiji. The mountainous terrain in these commanderies were inhabited by the Shanyue.


Chunyu Shi (淳于式), the grand administrator of Kuaiji, reported to Sun Quan that Lu Xun enlisted commoners unnecessarily, disturbing the peace of the area. Later on, Lu Xun reported back to the capital, and in a conversation [with Sun Quan], praised Chunyu Shi for being an excellent official. Sun Quan said, "Chunyu Shi had set accusations against you, but yet you praise him. Why is this so?"

Lu Xun replied, "Chunyu Shi's mind is on taking care of his people, and that was why he criticized me. It would not do if I, in turn, denounce him in order to seek your approval."

Sun Quan said, "You have indeed the conduct of a trustworthy person! Not all could do what you have done."

When Lü Meng (呂蒙) was on sick leave and about to leave for Jianye (建業), Lu Xun went to pay him a visit. "Guan Yu (關羽) is stationed close to the borders," said Lu Xun, "should we devise a long-term plan, to reduce this threat?"

"What you said is right," replied Lü Meng, "but I'm gravely ill now."

Lu Xun said, "Guan Yu, proud of his own valour, is disdainful towards others. He has just accomplished something great, and now he has become overly arrogant, seeking only to strike northward. Since he hasn't suspected much activity from our side, once he hears of your illness, his defences will certainly drop. So if we can take him by surprise, he is certain to be captured. It would be best if you could have an audience with the lord and devise a plan."

"Guan Yu's known for his military prowess," said Lü Meng, "and has been a difficult enemy. Now that he's in charge of Jing Province (荊州), he has been benevolent towards the people. Furthermore, morale is high on his side due to his recent victories. It may not be so easy to defeat him."

Lü Meng thus came to the capital city. Sun Quan asked him, "Who would you recommend to replace you?" Lü Meng answered, "Lu Xun has far-reaching plans, and is able to take up great responsibility. Looking at his way of thinking, I think he would be the one capable for the great task at hand. Also, since his name is not well-known yet, Guan Yu would not be wary of him. Thing cannot be better! If he is employed, those from without will not see what we are up to, while we, from within, can seek an opportune time to strike and to defeat [Guan Yu]." And thus Sun Quan summoned Lu Xun, and made him replace Lü Meng as Lieutenant-General, Inspector of the Right Division (偏將軍右都督).

Once Lu Xun arrived at Lukou (陸口), he wrote to Guan Yu thus,

“Short time ago I had the good fortune to witness your feats at battle: leading your army with discipline, you accomplished great victory with the least effort. How awesome and admirable that was!
Now that our common enemy is defeated, it is a time most meet for us to build an alliance. Having heard of your good news, I turn my mind to the command that has been entrusted to me, thinking always to follow your footsteps in conquest, and to fulfill the ambitions of our lords together.
Recently, unworthy though I am, I have been ordered to take up a post here in the west. I long to see even a speck of your glory, and to have your good counsel to bear in my mind.”

And he wrote on:

“Since Yu Jin (于禁) and company were captured, everyone near and far proclaimed your name in praise. Not even the leadership of Duke Wen of Jin (晉文公) of yore, shown at Chengpu (城濮) (i) -- nor even the strategies demonstrated by Lord Huaiyin (淮陰) at Zhao (趙) (ii) -- can match what you have done.

I have heard that Xu Huang (徐晃) and his remaining mounted troops are stationed nearby, poised to strike. Though their number is few, Cao Cao (曹操) is a cunning scoundrel, and there is no knowing what he would do in his wrath -- I would be afraid that he will secretly increase the troops there, in order to carry out his malicious plans. It is true that their army is fatigued, but they still have might in them. Furthermore, after a victory in battle, one is in danger of underestimating the enemy. The ancients who were skilled at warfare heightened their defences even in the sight of a victory. Thus, I pray that you, O General, will plan far ahead, and ensure that your victory be complete.

I am but a student of the letters, unlearned, dull, unworthy in all regards. And thus I am overjoyed to have such a majestic and virtuous neighbour! My joy is indeed overflowing. Even though we have not had the chance to cooperate yet, I keep you in my thoughts. And so I dared to write thus to you, hoping that you will understand what is on my mind."

(i) During the Spring and Autumn era, Duke Wen of Jin scored a huge victory over the forces of Chu (楚) at Chengpu city.
(ii) Lord Huaiyin was Han Xin (韓信). Once, while at war with the Zhao state, he chose 2000 choice horsemen, and had them hide in the hills. Once the main forces got engaged in battle with the enemy, he told them, they were to ride straight into the Zhao camps, and replace the Zhao banners with their own Han banners. With this strategy, Han Xin defeated the Zhao troops and annexed the lands of the Zhao state.


After Guan Yu had read Lu Xun's letter, he perceived not just a tone of respect and humility in the letter, but also a desire to depend on him. Thus he felt greatly at ease and unthreatened. Upon hearing this, Lu Xun reported the matter [to Sun Quan], listing the crucial details for the capture of Guan Yu. Sun Quan secretly led his armies up the River and commanded Lu Xun and Lü Meng as vanguards. Soon after their arrival, Gong’an (公安) and Nanjun (南郡) fell. Lu Xun proceeded, after being made designated Governor of Yidu (宜都) and given the rank of Lieutenant-general Who Pacifies the Borders (撫遠將軍) and the noble title of Marquis of Huating (華亭侯). Meanwhile, Liu Bei's own Governor of Yidu, Fan You (樊友), abandoned the commandery, and most of the city commanders and the chiefs of the tribal peoples all surrendered. Lu Xun requested for golden, silver and bronze seals to be made and temporarily bestowed on the newly surrendered. This event took place during the 24th year of Jian An during the eleventh month (i).

(i) This happened on the 7th day of the 11th month of the 24th year of the Jian’an reign – New Year’s Day of AD 220 by western reckoning.

Lu Xun sent generals Li Yi (李異) and Xie Jing (謝旌) with some three thousand troops to attack Shu generals Zhan Yan (詹晏) and Chen Feng (陳鳳). Li Yi led the naval troops while Xie Sheng led the land troops. They cut off the main road at the mountainous area leading to the city and defeated Zhan and Chen. Chen Feng was captured alive and he surrendered. After that, the troops (of Wu) continued on to attack Deng Fu (鄧輔), Governor of Fangling (房陵), and Guo Mu (郭睦), Governor of Nanxiang (南鄉); the attackers scored a decisive victory. Wen Bu (文布) and Deng Kai (鄧凱), both of prominent families in Zigui (秭歸), gathered a several thousand men army made up of minority populations and led them to join the ranks of Shu. Lu Xun regrouped his army and ordered Xie Sheng to quell Wen Bu and Deng Kai. Both Wen and Deng escaped and they became officials in Shu. Lu Xun sent someone to coax them to return, and Wen Bu led his men back to surrender. During the entire progress of capturing, recruiting and executing people, there were some ten thousand cases involved. Sun Quan then appointed Lu Xun as Right Commissioner of the Army (右護軍), General Who Subdues the West (鎮西將軍) and further gave him the noble rank of Marquis of Lou (婁侯)1.

(1) In Book of Wu: Sun Quan was pleased with Lu Xun’s achievements, and wanted to award him especially. Though Lu Xun was a high-ranked general and a marquis already, he had yet to go through the regular process of advancement in his home province. Thus, Sun Quan had the governor of Yangzhou (揚州), Lü Fan (呂範), to officially install him as an Aide-de-Camp (別駕從事) and recommend him as a Flourishing Talent (茂才) (i).
(i) During the Han, the normal route to officialdom is to be first recommended as a “Filial and Incorrupt” or a “Flourishing Talent” by the local administration. Of the two, Flourishing Talent is the more prestigious title. Since Lu Xun started off as a clerk in Sun Quan’s field office, what Sun Quan is doing now is to honour him by filling in his “résumé”, so to speak.

During that time, there were scholars who had just submitted to the rule of Wu. Some already had official posts, while others were still not unemployed. Lu Xun petitioned, "In the past, Liu Bang (劉邦) employed many talented people, and Emperor Guangwu's (光武) revival of the dynasty (i) attracted many able individual, so much so that all who were able to manifest the Way (ii) came, regardless of distance. Now Jing Province has just been settled, and there are some talented ones whose talents have yet been recognised. Though I am foolish, I beg you sincerely to promote these people, and hence may all within the four seas look towards us and be willing to join us." Sun Quan respected his words and accepted his proposal.

(i) Emperor Guangwu, a cousin of the former Han court, re-established the Han dynasty after the brief interlude of Wang Mang’s (王莽) usurpation.
(ii) I.e., the teachings of the Confucian school of thought.


In the first year of Huangwu (A.D. 222), Liu Bei (劉備) led a large army to the western borders. Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun as Chief Controller (大都督) and was given the authority and power of the army, with Zhu Ran (朱然), Pan Zhang (潘璋), Song Qian (宋謙), Han Dang (韓當), Xu Sheng (徐盛), Xianyu Dan (鮮于丹), Sun Huan (孫桓) and some other fifty thousand men under his command to repel the attackers. Liu Bei had his troops set camp all the way from the Wu Gorge (巫峽) and Jianping (建平) to the borders of Yiling (夷陵). He set up some tens of army agricultural colonies, and rewarded and enticed the many minority tribes in the land with gold, silk, and official posts to his service. Liu Bei also appointed General Feng Xi (馮習) as Grand Controller (大督), Zhang Nan (張南) as leader of the vanguard, Fu Kuang (輔匡), Zhao Rong (趙融), Liao Chun (廖淳), Fu Rong (傅肜) and others as Vice Controllers (別督). Liu Bei first sent Wu Ban (吳班) to command some thousands of men to set up camps on the plains and challenge the enemy to fight. All the (Wu) generals desired to attack these men led by Wu Ban. Lu Xun said, “This must be a ruse, we shall continue observing instead (1).” Upon knowing that his trick was foiled, Liu Bei led eight thousand ambushing troops out of the valley. Lu Xun said, “The reason why I did not heed your proposal to attack the troops on the plain grounds is precisely because I reckoned that they had a plot behind it.”
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:53 am

It's looking good, Lady Wu. I like the way you've organized the translation--it's very clear and the reader isn't confused by the transitions into Pei's notes.
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Unread postby CaTigeReptile » Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:56 am

Alright! First of all, I love you.

Second, Sleep is the most important thing for you to do.

Anyway. .

Okay, the addition of the Chinese characters is a very nice thing, but after a while a) might get distracting to people or b) people don't have Chinese support and for some reason won't/can't. Sleep is the most important thing.

The "cultural reference guide", I think, is a great idea and is very helpful to those that don't know - less the historical figures, but more the ranks and their importance, or the nuances we wouldn't understand without yourhelp. However, sleep is the most important thing.

Also, just one thing I found (which is no sweat) is in the paragraph that starts with "Lü Meng returned to the capital", somewhere in there is "Thing could not be better!" . . .But I like it that way. :D

And, wow: "Furthermore, after a victory in battle, one is in danger of underestimating the enemy. " I LOVE THIS MAN. He must have been pretty sure in his analysis of Guan Yu's pride that he would write that. He seemed to like the "the best way to hide things is to put them right under the person's nose" type of idea, at least in that letter. .

Thank you so much for translating. I just saw Jiuwan's site yesterday, and man, just. . .thanks, all of you translators, so much for taking all of this effort and time you don't have to take to spread the joy.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:34 am

Wow! Thank you for the speedy feedback! Sorry if I didn't mention this in the first post, but

8-) Cai Yan did the bulk of the translating! 8-)

Everyone, give Cai Yan a round of applause :D

CaTigeReptile -- thank you for the constructive comments! I did worry about people who (a) can't read Chinese and (b) can't get the characters to show up might find the characters a nuisance. Maybe in the final version I'll shrink the font, or put the whole thing in a .pdf (that last idea was inspired by what Empress Zhang and Shu Han Zhao Lie Di over at 3k.net have done with their Zhuge Liang bio -- do go check that out: it's the first-ever translation of Zhuge Liang's bio, and it's nicely done!).

Regarding the ranks -- I'll see what else I can find out about it, and I'll try to pry Cai Yan away from her honours thesis :twisted: to look stuff up. I think there's been a bunch of threads discussing ranks (<a href="http://the-scholars.com/viewtopic.php?t=6957">here</a> is one of them, but my brain is too fried to find the rest), and I think it's high time someone organises all that's been figured out on this forum. Furthermore, I remember vaguely that there's a paper in English published already on this matter............
Last edited by Lady Wu on Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby CaTigeReptile » Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:45 am

Okay, well, I love Cai Yan as well. I don't say "love" lightly.

I have definitely been seeing many rank translations and such, but I was only really referring to when you were talking about, say, the importance of 'filling in Lu Xun's Resume'.

. . .But, after that, most important comment I made was that I thought I told you to go to sleep! :P
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Unread postby Starscream » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:00 am

<bows> Thanks! :oops:
I have to thank Lady Wu for doing the overall editing of the entire biography, something which I cannot and will never bother to do. :oops: My apologies for leaving so many hideous grammatical errors around and also a few of the ranks untranslated (my pet favourite: General of the Twanging Arrows). I have to give credit to CK as well, for helping me in one of the portions of the translation.

As for the ranks, I will check out my school library for any helpful references some time this week, so I'll keep in touch with Lady Wu regarding this. :wink:
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:29 am

The next 4 pages -- that's it for tonight, folks... <me dozing off>
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(1) In History of Wu: All the generals wanted to repel Liu Bei’s troops but Lu Xun felt that it should not be done and he said, “Liu Bei led his troops eastwards on his campaign and their morale is just starting to increase. Furthermore, they are taking advantage of the hgih places and setting defences in difficult terrain. Attacking them now is difficult, and even if we could drive then down, we would not be able to overcome them completely. Should we be unsuccessful, our country may be in danger and this is not a small matter. Right now, the correct move should be to reward and encourage the troops and devise plans and observe enemy’s movements. If this were plains and fields here, we would have to worry about losing men in random charges and mêlées. However, the enemy is moving along the mountainous regions, hence they could not possibly carry out a full-scale attack and instead are stuck between wood and rock. We can thus slowly take control over them by their weakness.” The generals could not understand this, and were thinking that Lu Xun was fearful of Liu Bei. Thus each man was secretly frustrated and angry with him.

Lu Xun then petitioned, “Yiling is a very crucial area as it is the entrance to the rest of the nation. Although it can be taken easily, but it can also be lost easily. Losing Yiling is more than just losing a county: it may even make Jing Provcince vulnerable. If we fight over it today, we have to score a victory. Liu Bei had violated the rules of Heaven; instead of defending his lands, he had the audacity to invade ours. I, Your servant, am not talented; but relying on Your might and majesty, using troops in accordance to the Way to counter those acting against it, our destruction of them is near. After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat. I was skeptical initially if he would lead an attack from both water and land, but now, it is evidently that Liu Bei’s army had left their boats behind to take to the land, and setting camp all over. I observe that from his style of arrangement, there should be no further changes. Your majesty can have set your mind at rest, for there should be no worries for now.”

The Wu generals together proposed, “We should have attacked Liu Bei right away. Now his troops are five to six hundred li into our borders while we have faced off for some seven to eight months already. By this time, Liu Bei would have strengthen his defences at the crucial points and attacking him now would be futile.” Lu Xun replied, “Liu Bei is a sly person and he has had gone through many experiences in war. When he was in the first stages of organising his troops, his thoughts were concentrated, his will unwavering. It would have been impossible to attack him then. By now, they have stationed here long enough but yet without gaining any advantage over us, hence his army is now tired and their morale low. By flanking both front and rear and surrounding the enemy, I reckon that the time for us to capture and defeat Liu Bei has come.” Lu Xun then tried attacking one of Liu Bei’s camps but was unsuccessful. The Wu generals responded, “This is killing soldiers in vain!” Lu Xun replied, “I have just come up with a plan to defeat him.” Following that, Lu Xun had everyone to hold a torch and carried out fire attack to conqueror Liu Bei’s camps. As soon as the fire attack became successful, Lu Xun led all the troops to attack at the same time and beheaded Zhang Nan, Feng Xi, the barbarian king Shamo Ke (沙摩柯), as well as many others, and destroyed forty-odd camps. Du Lu (杜路), Liu Ning (劉寧) and some others from Liu Bei’s camps were cornered into surrendering. Liu Bei ascended Ma’an Mountain and stationed troops at various points to defend. Lu Xun commanded his troops to press on after them closely from all directions. As earth crumbles and tiles smash, Liu Bei’s defences were broken and his men died by tens of thousands. Liu Bei fled through the night, having the guards at the checkpoints (i) hoist loads of abandoned armour and horns to burn on the roads as a roadblock. Liu Bei barely escaped to Baidi City (白帝城). Liu Bei’s boats, ships and weapons, naval and land troops were all captured. Corpses could be seen floating on the waters, obstructing the flow of the Yangtze. Liu Bei was greatly ashamed and angered, he exclaimed, “I am now humiliated by Lu Xun, is this the will of Heaven?”

(i) As his army marched eastward, Liu Bei had various checkpoints built along the way, each equipped with a team of horses used in relaying urgent documents to and from Chengdu.

Earlier on, Sun Huan (孫桓) was given a separate command to attack Liu Bei’s vanguard at Yidao (夷道). He was surrounded by Liu Bei’s army, and sent to Lu Xun for reinforcements. Lu Xun said, “Not yet”. The rest of the generals said, “The General Who Keeps the East in Peace (安東將軍) [Sun Huan] is a kin of our lord. Knowing that he is now surrounded by the enemy, why can’t we send him help?” Lu Xun replied, “General Sun is well respected by his army and officers, the city’s defences are strong and there is sufficient food supply. There is no need for worries. Once my plan is put in action, even if we do not send reinforcements, the general can automatically break out of the enemy’s enclosure.” Indeed, as soon as Lu Xun’s plan was successfully carried out, Liu Bei suffered a great defeat and had to flee. Later, Sun Huan met up with Lu Xun and said to him, “Earlier on, I indeed resented you for your unwillingness to send reinforcements, but now as I see overall success in this battle do I understand that your dispatchment of troops is indeed well-planned.”

During the time when they were defending against Liu Bei’s invasion, many of the generals involved were either once Sun Ce’s subordinates, or aristocrats related to the ruling family one way or another. All of them carried an air of arrogance and refused to cooperate with Lu Xun’s orders. Lu Xun placed his sword on the desk said, “Liu Bei is a famous person and even Cao Cao feared him. Now he is pressing on our borders, and is going to be a difficult foe to counter. Everyone of us here have received much favour from our country, and thus we should unite in harmony to fight this common enemy to repay the country’s kindness. However, as it is, we are not cooperating with one another --- this is not what we should be doing. Although I am but a scholar, I have received my orders from the Lord. The reason why the state is putting you gentlemen to such great inconveniences as to accept my command, is because I have at least some value worth speaking about, and can humble myself for the sake of fulfilling a greater duty. All of us should fulfill our individual duties; how can we be excused from our responsibilities? The military code is rigid and unsympathetic; do not seek to disobey it!” However, it was only until the defeat of Liu Bei that the generals respected Lu Xun, seeing that most of the major strategies were devised by him.

When Sun Quan heard about these matters, he said, “Why did you not report to me right away about the generals’ disobeying military commands?” Lu Xun replied, “I receive great kindness from the country and have been given a position beyond my abilities. Moreover, out of the generals in question, some were the heart and spirit of the state, some fought as her teeth and claws; others were responsible in the building of the country’s foundation in some other way. They were all important and talented people of the country on whom the country relies. Although I have only mediocre qualities, I seek to imitate Xiangru (相如) (i) and Kou Xun’s (寇恂) (ii) putting up with, and working with their colleagues, for the well-being of the state.” Sun Quan laughed and praised him for that, and appointed him as General Who Upholds the State and designated Governor of Jing Zhou (輔國將軍領荊州牧), and reassigned him as Marquis of Jiangling (江陵侯).

(i) Lin Xiangru was a scholar and diplomat in the state of Zhao (趙) during the Warring States period. The King of Zhao held him in high regard and granted him a position above that of Lian Po (廉頗), a famed general. Lian was quite upset, considering himself to have done more for the country than Lin. He swore to humiliate Lin publicly. Having heard that, Lin Xiangru avoided the general, explaining to his subordinates that it is only through friendly cooperation among colleagues that the state can enjoy stability. His words were passed on to Lian Po, who was greatly moved and begged for Lin’s forgiveness, carrying thorned branches on his back as a sign of repentence. The two became great friends thereafter.(ii) Kou Xun was a grand administrator of the Eastern Han. A subordinate of Jia Fu (賈復), a high official, committed murder in Kou’s jurisdiction. Kou put the offender to death, which embarrassed Jia greatly and prompting him to vow to take revenge. Kou hid from Jia to avoid a public conflict. The two were eventually reconciled through the emperor’s intervention.

Then, after Liu Bei had settled down in Baidi, Xu Sheng, Pan Zhang, Song Xian and others contended to persuade Sun Quan that Liu Bei could definitely be captured, and petitioned to continue the attacks. Sun Quan sought Lu Xun's opinions. Together with Zhu Ran (朱然) and Luo Tong (駱統), Lu Xun argued that Cao Pi’s (曹丕) gathering a large army claiming to assisting Wu in attacking Liu Bei in fact concealed hidden agendas. Following this argument, Lu Xun further hastened the imperial court to make a decision to make an immediate retreat. Not long after, the Wei army indeed acted and Wu faced attacks from three directions (1).

(1) In Wu Lu: When Liu Bei heard of Wei's attack, he wrote a letter to Lu Xun, saying, "The enemy [Wei] is already at the junction of the Yangtze and the Han River, if I launch another attack eastward, in your opinion, do you think I can succeed?" Lu Xun replied, "I am afraid that your army is still recovering from the wounds and losses of the previous defeat. This is the time to despatch envoys to forge alliances, to rest and recuperate. This is not the time for you to launch another all-out attack. If you don’t consider this carefully, and attempt an attack again with all the forces in your kingdom, none of those who you send over here to fight will be able to escape with their lives.”
"Whatever you do, don't fall off the bridge! It'll be a pain to try to get back up again." - Private, DW 8
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:45 am

Ugh!!! I keep saying I'm going to sleep!!!

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Soon after, Liu Bei died of illness and his son Liu Shan (劉禪) succeeded the throne. Zhuge Liang (諸葛亮) was put in charge of state affairs, and he sealed an alliance with Sun Quan. According to the administrative needs during that time, Sun Quan ordered Lu Xun to reply Zhuge Liang's letters. In addition, Sun Quan also ordered for his own official seal to be duplicated and this duplicate seal be placed in Lu Xun's office. Every time Sun Quan dispatched letters to Liu Shan or Zhuge Liang, he had Lu Xun read through the letters and make the changes to the tone and appropriateness of the contents when necessary, then seal and deliver them.

In the seventh year of Huang Wu (A.D. 228), Sun Quan ordered Zhou Fang (周魴), the Governor of Poyang (鄱陽), to lay a trap Cao Xiu (曹休), the commander-in-chief of Wei. Cao Xiu was deceived into leading his troops straight into the Wan (皖). At that, Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun as Grand Chief Controller (大都督) and also bestowed upon him the imperial golden axe, commanding him to lead an attack against Cao Xiu(1). When Cao Xiu realised that he was tricked, he was too ashamed to turn back; so, thinking that he had more troops and supplies, he chose to engage Lu Xun's army. Lu Xun personally led the central force and ordered Zhu Huan and Quan Cong (全琮) to take the left and right flanks. The three armies advanced simultaneously, and decisively took on Cao Xiu's ambushing troops. Following that, the Wu troops pursued hard on the fleeing Cao army until they reached Jiashi (夾石), where they annihilated some ten thousand men and won ten thousand over carriages pulled by oxen, horses, mules and donkey as spoils of war. All of the Cao army's equipment and weaponry were looted. After Cao Xiu returned, he died of an ulcer on his back. Lu Xun regrouped his men, and when he passed by Wuchang (武昌), Sun Quan instructed his attendants to shield Lu Xun with his own canopy when entering and leaving the palace doors. All that Sun Quan bestowed upon Lu Xun as reward were imperial items, precious items of the finest grade. The honour Lu Xun received was matched by no one in that era. Soon after, Lu Xun was transferred back to Xiling (西陵).

(1) Lu Ji (陸機) wrote in the Inscription of Lu Xun: The Wei Commander-in-Chief Cao Xiu invaded our northern borders. Lu Xun was awarded the imperial golden axe and put in command of all six armies and the imperial guard, to temporarily act on the Emperor’s behalf. The Lord [Sun Quan] held the whip and personally drive the carriage for him, and all the subjects knelt at his approach.
In Records of Wu: Lu Xun was awarded the gold decorated axe and the King of Wu (Sun Quan) personally drove the carriage in order to honour him.
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Re: Lu Xun's bio -- a preview, and some questions

Unread postby Cao Zijian » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:21 am

Liu Bei also appointed General Feng Xi (??) as Grand Controller (??), Zhang Nan (??) as leader of the vanguard, Fu Kuang (??), Zhao Rong (??), Liao Chun (??), Fu Rong (??) and others as Vice Controllers (??).


Kudos to both Lady Wu and Cai Yan for such an intriguing and captivating bio. Appreciate the time and effort.

Sorry if I am pecking once perfection but isn't the English translation for one of the Vice Controllers Fu Tong instead of Fu Rong?
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Re: Lu Xun's bio -- a preview, and some questions

Unread postby Starscream » Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:44 am

Cao Zijian wrote:Sorry if I am pecking once perfection but isn't the English translation for one of the Vice Controllers Fu Tong instead of Fu Rong?

I think it is written as "rong" 肜 instead of "tong" 彤. The words look similar except for the radicals on the left side. :)
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