Huang Gai's bio -- preview and translation help request

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Huang Gai's bio -- preview and translation help request

Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:05 am

Here's the SGZ biography of Huang Gai, one of my favourite Wu generals. There are two sentences in there, though, that I'm uncertain of, and any suggestions on how to translate them would be appreciated. I put my guesses in square brackets.

[edit: Yah, please point out spelling & grammar errors too, as well as parts that don't work in English. Oh and James, I just emailed you the revised bios of Cheng Pu, Han Dang, Zhou Tai, and Jiang Qin. This week is Wu appreciation week. :wink: ]
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Huang Gai (Gongfu)

Huang Gai, styled Gongfu, was a man from Chuanling in Lingling (1). He started off being a minor clerk in the commandery office, but then he was recommended as a 'Filial and Incorrupt'. When Sun Jian recruited a volunteer force, Huang Gai followed him. Sun Jian went on to defeat the Shanyue bandits in the south and sent Dong Zhuo fleeing in the north; he then made Huang Gai Major With a Separate Command. After Sun Jian died, Huang Gai followed Sun Ce and Sun Quan, fighting here and there, doing battle in the fields and conquering cities.

The Shanyue people were insurgent, and Huang Gai was assigned to oversee the troubled prefectures. However, the officers in Shicheng Prefecture were insubordinate and difficult to control. Thus, Huang Gai appointed two officers as heads of the departments. He said to them thus, “The incompetent prefect has only employed men based on their martial abilities, and ignored the needs of the civil offices. Now, the rebels are still at large, and I may be busy with military affairs. Therefore, I give you this document to authorize you to discipline the officers in the various departments, to reprimand their faults and to correct their mistakes. 兩掾所署,事入諾出 ,若有姦欺,終不加以鞭杖,宜各盡心,無為眾先 [Basically: "You two officers had better take your job seriously. I wouldn't punish you with whip or cane if you cheat, but I hope you can do your best"].” At first, all were in fear of him, and night and day they took their tasks seriously. After a while, though, the officers, seeing that Huang Gai did not check their documents, became more relaxed and more lenient. 蓋亦嫌外懈怠, 時有所省 [Huang Gai, annoyed about the laxness in the system, came up with an idea], and collected evidence of several cases where the two department heads were violating the law. And so he held a gathering and invited all the officers to wine and food, and during the meal, he brought out the evidence and interrogated them about it. The two department heads had nothing to say in their own defence, and kowtowing, they begged for forgiveness. Huang Gai said, “Some time ago, I had already set out the decree – ‘Nor whip nor cane will I lay on you’. That was not said in vain.” Thus he had them executed. All within the prefecture trembled.

Later, he was tranferred to be Chief of Chunju and Prefect of Xunyang. In all, he had been put in charge of nine prefectures, and wherever he was at, the land became peaceful. In time he was promoted to be Colonel of Danyang, and there he received popular support from the Shanyue because he put down the powerful and supported the weak.

Huang Gai’s appearance was stern and determined, and he was good at training soldiers. Every time he went on a military expedition, his troops would compete with each other to go first. During the Jian’an reign, he followed Zhou Yu to defend against Lord Cao at Chibi. He suggested the strategem of fire-attack. This is recorded in Zhou Yu’s biography (2). He was made “Martial-sharp” General of the Interior. When the southern tribes in Wuling rebelled and started to take over cities and towns, Huang Gai assumed the duties of the Grand Administrator [of one of the commanderies]. He only had five hundred men with him in the city. Knowing that they would lose in a simple attack, he had the city gates opened. When half of the bandits were in the city already, he struck, and in that battle, several hundred of the enemy were beheaded. The rest fled and returned to their home towns. Huang Gai defeated the leader of the rebels, and pardoned all those who surrendered. Between spring and summer, all the rebellions were quelled, and the chiefs from Ba, Li, You, and Dan who were supporting the rebels changed their ways. Bearing gifts, they asked for pardon, and everywhere within the boundaries of the commendary was peaceful again. Later on, Yiyang prefecture in Changsha was attacked by Shanyue bandits, and so Huang Gai went to fight them again. After that he was promoted to Lieutenant-General. He died of illness while in office.

As an officer, Huang Gai was decisive and determined. He did not tarry on any of his tasks. People in the kingdom remembered him fondly (3). When Sun Quan assumed the throne, he considered Huang Gai’s past merits, and made his son Huang Bing a Marquis of the Interior.

(1) From History of Wu: He was the descendent of Huang Zilian, former Grand Administrator of Nanyang. The branches of his family were scattered, and since his grandparents moved to Lingling, Huang Gai’s family had lived there since. Huang Gai was orphaned at an early age, and endured all kinds of difficulties even when he was just a baby. However, he was full of great ambitions, and even though he was of humble roots, he was not content with being ordinary. Rather, he often spent free time after carrying firewood to learn how to read and write, and to discuss military affairs.
(2) From History of Wu: During the Chibi battles, Huang Gai was hit by a stray arrow, and fell into the icy cold river. He was saved by some soldiers of Wu, but they didn’t know that it was Huang Gai. They lay him in a bed. Huang Gai gathered enough strength to cry out Hang Dang’s name, and when Hang Dang heard it, he said, “That’s the voice of Gongfu!” Thus he turned to him, and weeping, he assisted him to change his wet clothes. And so Huang Gai survived.
(3) From History of Wu: They also drew a portrait of Huang Gai and offered sacrifices to him all year long.
Last edited by Lady Wu on Sun Dec 07, 2003 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Dec 06, 2003 9:42 am

Thank you to Lady Zhuge who helped proofread the Huang Gai bio, as well as giving some feedback! :D
To continue with Wu appreciation week, here is Taishi Ci's biography. There is an earlier version of this that is posted on KMA already, but I had left out the Pei notes in that one. So here is the complete, revised edition (Pei notes and all). Translator's notes have been left out, since this thing is too long already, but they will be included when this is posted on KMA.
Again, please point out any spelling/grammar/stylistics errors. There is also two sentences that I need help with (both in the Pei's notes at the end), and if anyone here who knows Chinese can help me with them it'd be greatly appreciated! Yeah, and I'm ashamed to say that I forgot how the accepted translation of Taishi Ci's famous last words... (Pei note 4)
[James: You can delete this thread or move it to the KMA forum when the translations are finalized...]

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Taishi Ci (Ziyi) (AD 166-206)

Taishi Ci, styled Ziyi, was a man from Huang in Donglai. He was fond of learning when he was a youth, and had served as a clerk in the reporting department in his commandery .
Once, the commandery office and the provincial office had a dispute, and as the matter could not be resolved, they were going to file complaint reports to the court [for arbitration]. Whoever could get his report read first would clearly have an advantage. Now, the provincial report had been sent, and the administrator of the commandery was worried that his version of the story would get there behind that of the province’s. And so, after considering all who could be appointed to the task of delivering the report, he chose the 21-year-old Taishi Ci.

Day and night Taishi Ci travelled, and soon he arrived at Luoyang. He went to the public entrance of the imperial offices, and saw that the provincial officer was still waiting to be admitted. So Taishi Ci said [to the provincial officer], “Sir, are you trying to submit a report?”

At this, the officer answered, “yes.”

“Where is the report?” Taishi Ci asked him again.

“Inside the carriage,” was the reply.

“Are you sure that the report is addressed appropriately?” asked Taishi Ci, “Bring it out and let me have a look.”

Now, the officer had no idea that the man in front of him was from Donglai commandery, and so he brought the report out to him. Taishi Ci, a knife ready in hand, seized the report and destroyed it. The officer jumped up and yelled, “Someone is destroying my report!” Taishi Ci pulled him into the carriage and said to him, “If you, good sir, had not handed me the report, I would have no way of destroying it. This is just fate. I’m not going to be the only one found guilty here. If we both flee silently, we could probably save our lives. Otherwise we will both be punished.”

“You have already destroyed my report for your commandery,” the officer said, ”You’ve already gotten what you wanted. Why would you need to flee?”

Taishi Ci answered, “When I first received orders from the commandery office, I was only supposed to check whether your report had been sent through. However, I went overboard and destroyed your report instead. If I return now, I fear that I would be reproached for doing this, and so I also would like to run away.”

The officer, believing Taishi Ci’s words, departed from the city with him that day. Once Taishi Ci had left the city with the officer, he secretly returned to the city and submitted his report. When the province found out about this, they sent another officer to submit the report. However, the relevant authorities, taking the provincial report to be one trying to hinder the commandery’s, disregarded it, and came to a ruling that was not in the provincial office’s favor. And thus Taishi Ci’s name became known, and he was despised by those from the provincial office. Fearing that he would be harmed by them, he went in to hiding at Liaodong.

The chancellor of Beihai, Kong Rong, was impressed by what he heard about Taishi Ci, and he sent his regards to Taishi Ci’s mother, as well as supplying her with what she needed. Once, Kong Rong was out garrisoned at Duchang in order to deal with a Yellow Scarves uprising, but instead he was surrounded by the bandits, led by one Guan Hai. Taishi Ci happened to have just returned home from Liaodong, and his mother said to him, “Even though you have never met with Chancellor Kong of Beihai in person, he has taken good care of me after you left, just as if he was an old friend of ours. Now he is being besieged by bandits--you should go to his aid!” So, after spending three days at home, Taishi Ci left on foot to Duchang. Since the siege was not completely laid yet, Taishi Ci was able to an opening, and sneaked [into the city] to see Kong Rong by night. He asked Kong Rong for some troops to go out and fight. Kong Rong would not listen to him, but rather decided to wait for outside help. Help did not come, and day by day the enemy encroached. Kong Rong thought about sending an urgent message to Liu Bei, Chancellor of Pingyuan, but none within the city thought that they would be able to break out of the siege. Taishi Ci then asked for permission to go. Kong Rong said, “The enemy’s siege is tight, and everyone has said it would be an impossible task. Even though you have a courageous spirit, this would probably be too difficult to do.”

“In the past, sir,” responded Taishi Ci, “you have been very kind to my aged mother. Out of her gratefulness to you, she sent me to aid you in the times of need, knowing that I would be worthy for some task, and that my coming would be beneficial to you. If I go with everyone else’s opinion and consider this task impossible, wouldn’t I then be unworthy of your kindness, and a disappointment to my mother’s wishes? There is not much time left, sir. Do not hesitate any more!” And so Kong Rong approved of the action.

At daybreak, Taishi Ci took his quiver and bow, mounted his horse, and bade two riders to follow him. Each rider was made to carry a shooting target, and together they rode straight out of the city gates. The enemy troops encamped around the city were all surprised, and infantrymen and riders alike came out [to see what was happening]. Taishi Ci rode to the moat, planted the targets there, and walked across to shoot at them. After shooting for a while, he went right back into the city. He did the same thing the next morning, and some of the enemy rose, but others slept on. Taishi Ci shot at the targets again, and when he was done, he returned to the city. And the next morning, when he did the same thing, none of the enemy got up. Thereupon, he whipped his horse and charged through the encirclement. By the time the bandits realized what was happening, Taishi Ci had already passed through the siege, having shot several people dead in the process. None dared to pursue him.

Thus he arrived at Pingyuan, and persuaded Liu Bei to help, saying, “I, Taishi Ci, am just a commoner from Donglai. I am not related by ties of kinship to Kong Rong, nor even by ties of neighborhood, but I am bound by the bonds of shared hopes and aspirations, and I share his sorrows and misfortunes. Now Guan Hai has risen in revolt, and Kong Rong is besieged. Not having outside help, he is in grave danger. Knowing that you, sir, are known for your benevolence and righteousness, and that you are eager to save others in times of need, Kong Rong had dared to hold on to the defences, and to send me to break through walls of bare blades, risking my life to come to you and beg for your assistance. You, sir, are the only hope for us.”

Liu Bei assumed a serious expression and replied, “Indeed, Kong Rong of Beihai would know that there is a Liu Bei in this world!” At that, he dispatched 3,000 troops to help Taishi Ci to raise the seige.

Upon hearing of the arrival of reinforcements, the bandits lifted the siege and left. After Kong Rong was saved, he became even more impressed with Taishi Ci, and said to him, “You are indeed a good young friend of mine!” When this was all over, Taishi Ci returned to see his mother, who said, “I’m glad that you were able to requite Lord Kong of Beihai.”

The inspector of Yang Province, Liu Yao, was a fellow man from the same commandery as Taishi Ci. When Taishi Ci first returned from Liaodong, he did not have a chance to meet with Liu Yao, and so he crossed the Yangtze to Qu’e to visit him. Before he left for home again, Sun Ce’s forces were approaching. Some tried to convince Liu Yao that he should employ Taishi Ci as Commander-in-Chief, but Liu Yao was concerned, “If I employ Ziyi [in such a high position], would not Xu Zijiang make fun of me?” And so he simply asked Taishi Ci to inspect the troops. Then one day, riding alone, Taishi Ci encountered Sun Ce. Sun Ce had thirteen riders with him – Han Dang, Song Qian, Huang Gai, and men of that caliber. Taishi Ci rode forward to fight them, and began duelling with Sun Ce. Sun Ce stabbed Taishi Ci’s horse, and reaching across he grabbed the short lance that Taishi Ci carried on his back, and Taishi Ci was also able to take Sun Ce’s helmet. Right then, rescue troops from both sides arrived, and so they ceased fighting and returned.

Taishi Ci and Liu Yao both ended up having to flee to Yuzhang and to seek refuge in Wuhu. Within their hiding place in the hills, Liu Yao declared himself Grand Administrator of Danyang. At that time, Sun Ce had already conquered the lands east of Xuancheng, with the exception of the six cities west of Jing prefecture. And so Taishi Ci went to garrison at Jing, and many of the hill peoples came to his support. [Finding out about this,] Sun Ce personally came to conquer this place, and Taishi Ci was captured. Sun Ce cut his bonds off, and, holding his hand, said, “Remember that time at Shenting? If you had taken me there, what would you have done?”

“Who can say?” replied Taishi Ci.

“From this day on, I will share all I have with you,” said Sun Ce, laughing (1) . Then he stationed Taishi Ci as an inspector of the troops, sent him back to Wu to be assigned troops, and gave him the title of “Rank-breaking General of the Interior”.

Later on, Liu Yao died in Yuzhang, and there were tens of thousands of his former subordinates who did not know where to go. So Sun Ce bade Taishi Ci to enlist their service (2) . Those around Sun Ce said to him, “Taishi Ci will definitely go north and never return.”

Sun Ce said, “If Ziyi leaves me, where could he go?” And so went to see him off at Changmen, after having a farewell meal together. Grabbing Taishi Ci’s wrist, Sun Ce said, “When do you expect to return?”

“No later than sixty days from now,” was the reply. And indeed he returned by the promised date (3).

One of Liu Biao’s nephews, Liu Pan, was a man of great prowess and had stirred up trouble repeatedly in Ai, Xi’an, and other surrounding counties. And so Sun Ce divided the district into the prefectures of Haimin, Jianchang, and four others, and had Taishi Ci be the Commander of Jianchang, with the additional duties of administering Haimin and leading the various captains in the defence against Liu Pan. After that, all traces of Liu Pan were lost; he never caused trouble again.

Taishi Ci was 7 chi 7 cun tall, and boasted a beautiful beard. He had great strength in his arms and never missed a target when shooting. Once, he was with Sun Ce fighting the bandits at Mabao. [One of] the bandits was cursing the attackers from the towers within the fort, and he was holding onto the pillar of the tower with his hand. Taishi Ci drew his bow and shot at him, and the arrow pierced through his hand and pinned it onto the pillar. The tens of thousands of surrounding attackers all cheered and applauded at this feat. That’s how great his archery was. When Lord Cao [Cao] heard of him, he sent him a letter sealed in a wooden case. The case was without a note, and contained only the danggui herb . When Sun Quan took over the authority from his brother, he appointed Taishi Ci to be in charge of the affairs of the south, since he had proven himself able to hold Liu Pan at bay.

Taishi Ci died at the age of 41, in the 11th year of Jian’an [AD 206] (4). His son Taishi Heng reached the position of Colonel of the Elite Cavalry (5).

(1) From Annals of Wu: Taishi Ci was defeated at Shenting, and was captured by Sun Ce. Sun Ce, having known his reputation for a long time, immediately released his bonds and courteously invited him for an audience, at which he inquired into Taishi Ci’s views on how he [Sun Ce] should proceed. Taishi Ci replied, “A defeated warrior such as I is unworthy of partaking in the discussion of important affairs."
Sun Ce said, “In the past, Han Xin laid out the strategies [for Han] at Guangwu. Now I also wish to ask an honourable man for his opinion; sir, do not withhold your views!”
“The troops of the province have recently been routed,” said Taishi Ci, “and the men’s hearts dwell on disbanding. If they are dispersed, it will be difficult to gather them again. My wish is to go recruit them by announcing your benevolence, but I fear this plan would not be in accordance with your plans.”
Sun Ce rose to a kneeling position and replied, “This is indeed what I was hoping for. I will look for your return at mid-day tomorrow.” All his men were concerned about it. So Sun Ce said to them, “Taishi Ziyi is a man of fame of Qing Province. He is known to hold honour and righteousness above all, and he will not let me down.”
On the following day, Sun Ce invited his officers to a big feast, and having had the food and wine ready, he set a pole in the sun to track the shadow. Right at noon, Taishi Ci returned. Sun Ce was greatly pleased, and thereafter, he often included Taishi Ci in war councils.

Your servant, Songzhi, notes: The Annals of Wu said that Taishi Ci was defeated at Shenting and captured by Sun Ce then. This is drastically different from the account of the text. I suspect that this may be an erroneous account.
From Jiangbiao Zhuan: Sun Ce asked Taishi Ci, “I’ve heard that you once raided the provincial report for the sake of your commandery administrator, and once went to help Wenju [Kong Rong] and asked to invite Xuande [Liu Bei] to help. Those are all deeds of great courage and honour, and mark you as one of the brilliant men of this world. The revered men of the past do not begrudge incidents like the shooting of the hook and the cutting of the sleeves. I am one who understands you as a friend, and so do not worry about things not working to your desires.” 出教曰:龍欲騰翥,先階尺木者也。 [When he (who?) leaves, Sun Ce admonished him thus: "When a dragon wishes to soar and fly, it first... does what??"]
(2) From Jiangbiao Zhuan: Sun Ce said to Taishi Ci thus: “Governor Liu [Biao] had once reprimanded me for attacking Lujiang for Yuan [Shu]; his words were demeaning but his reasoning was poor. Why do I say this? My late father had several thousand men under him, who ended up being under Gonglu’s [Yuan Shu’s] command. Since my thoughts were on establishing great things, I could not but submit to Gonglu and to beg him for our former troops. Twice I went to him before he gave me a thousand-odd men. Even so, he still had me attack Lujiang; considering the situation of the time, I had no choice but to do it. However, after that, he violated the code of being a minister, and abandoning his good name he acted immorally to assume imperial powers, despite my admonishments. Now, when righteous men are bound together by honour, only a matter of grave consequences can split them apart. This is the story of my relationship with Gonglu, from the beginning when I entreated him for help to the end when I broke my friendship with him.
Now, Liu Yao is dead. I had not the good fortune to meet him in time to discuss affairs of this world. His son is in Yuzhang now, and I wonder if Hua Ziyu [Hua Xin] is treating him well, and if his subordinates from the past are still following him? My friend, you are from the same commandery as him [Hua Xin]. Would you be able to go visit his [Liu Yao’s] son, and to let his followers know of my ambition? If those of [Liu Yao’s former] command would come, bring them here, and if they wish not to come, console them. Also, would you observe what Ziyu’s ways for governing and protecting his land, and whether the people of Luling and Poyang are receptive to him? You may have your say in however many soldiers you wish to bring with you.”
Taishi Ci replied, “I have committed an unforgivable offence against you, but general, you have a heart like that of Dukes Huan and Wen , and your treatment of me exceeds all that I could expect. Revered men of the old times repay life with death, wishing only to be thorough in their observation of the codes of honour, ceasing only when they expire. Since now we are not in a war anymore, I should not bring too many soldiers with me. A score or two of men would suffice to bring me there and back.”

(3) From Jiangbiao Zhuan: When Sun Ce first sent Taishi Ci [on the recruiting mission], opposing views were all around, saying that Taishi Ci could not be trusted yet. Some said that since he came from the same province as Hua Ziyu, Hua might get him to stay behind to be his advisor. Yet some others speculated that Taishi Ci would find employment with Huang Zu in the west, and then go back north along that route. Most were of the opinion that the sending was a mistake. Sun Ce said, “All that you gentlemen have said are wrong. I have thought thoroughly on this matter. Although Taishi Ziyi is courageous and daring, he is not a man of political ambition. His true ambition is to be a honourable man, and his thoughts are guided by the codes of righteousness. He values his words, and once he decides to devote himself to another, neither death nor destruction will cause him to waver. Gentlemen, doubt no more.” However, it was only when Taishi Ci returned from Yuzhang that the suspicions were put to rest.
Taishi Ci came to see Sun Ce, and said to him, “Hua Ziyu is a man of great virtues. However, he has no grand ambitions and he neglects men of talent. Having no other plan, all he could do is protect himself. Also, there’s one Tong Zhi of Danyang who dared to take over Luling, lying that he received an imperial edict making him the grand administrator. Some commoners of Poyang set up their own clan strongholds, putting armed men on their borders, refusing to acknowledge the officers sent by Ziyu. 'We are of a separate commandery now,' they claim, 'and we will only welcome a real grand administrator sent by the Han court.' Not only is Ziyu unable to control Luling and Poyang – recently, there’s one Shangliao tribe near Haimin, where there’s five or six thousand families united in a military alliance, refusing to pay the tax in textiles to the commandery. 發召一人遂不可得, and all Ziyu could do is to turn a blind eye to that.” Sun Ce clapped his hands and laughed, and from then on he had designs for annexing that land. Later on, he managed to conquer Yuzhang.

(4) From History of Wu: On his deathbed, Taishi Ci sighed and lamented, “A man of this world should...
(5) From History of Wu: Taishi Heng was styled Yuanfu. He had been employed as an imperial secretariat as well as grand administrator of Wu commandery, among other posts.
Last edited by Lady Wu on Sun Dec 07, 2003 8:05 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Unread postby Jon » Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:42 pm

Great job, Flo!(I'm a mod so I get to call you that, right?)

I love both of the bios, they are very well translated. But one question, didn't Taishi Ci have a second son? I heard another name... Not sure who it was, though.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Dec 06, 2003 7:42 pm

Jiang Wenming wrote:Great job, Flo!(I'm a mod so I get to call you that, right?)

This has nothing to do with mod-hood. I actually don't like being called Flo, since every time I tell people my name, they're like, "Oh, my grandma/grandaunt's name is Flo!" :x
However, since I am Lady Wu, and Lady Wu was a grandmother, I guess it's ok, as long as you admit to being either Liu Shan or one of the crazy Sun kids :lol:

I love both of the bios, they are very well translated. But one question, didn't Taishi Ci have a second son? I heard another name... Not sure who it was, though.

Why thank you! I don't know about a second son of Taishi Ci, but if you know about him, I'd love to find out...

Two questions I have about the Taishi Ci bio:
(1) Liu Yao was afraid to employ Taishi Ci because he was afraid that Xu Zijiang would make fun of him. Xu Zijiang was the guy who said Cao Cao was going to be a capable minister in a peaceful world but an evil guy in a turbulent one, right (very liberal translation :roll: ). What does he have to do with Liu Yao and why would he make fun of him??
(2) What's the story about Han Xin at Guangwu?
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Unread postby Jon » Sat Dec 06, 2003 7:55 pm

I may have just gotten this from a screen name of someone on another forum, but I think it is Taishi Guang?


...Can I admit to being Zhou Yu? He was.... kind of related to the Sun family...

There's somebody in my family named Flora... She's dead, though, I think.
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Unread postby Rhiannon » Sat Dec 06, 2003 9:27 pm

Whee! I loved them both. I honestly have a new appreciation for Huang Gai in particular:


Huang Gai said, “Some time ago, I had already set out the decree – ‘Nor whip nor cane will I lay on you’. That was not said in vain.” Thus he had them executed. All within the prefecture trembled.



Taishi Ci also seems to be a very intriguing personality to me. Usually, I think of all 'big names' as either major scholars or major warriors, but Ziyi seems to be neither of these.

Oh, and I can call you Flo, Ms. Wu, because I don't know anyone in my family, close or distant, that has that name. My Grandma's name is Jo (Josephine). Besides, I adore you. :wink:

Anyhow, I went through and picked at the texts. As always is in my nature, I'm apologetic for trying to point out possible corrections in someone's work, but there's no real harm in having them said, so I'll get over it. :wink:


Huang Gai's bio:

He started off being a minor clerk in the commandery office, but then he was recommended as a Filian and Incorrupt .


Maybe 'tis just me, but I think it'd read clearer in English if it was written something along the lines of "for the rank of", rather than "as". "Filian and Incorrupt" serves as a very odd noun in an English sentence, since it's not a rank that's in our vocabulary (such as Lieutenant). (Heck, it'd even make sense if you put the rank in single quotes: 'Filian and Incorrupt'.)


The two department heads had nothing to say in their own defence, and kowtowing, the begged for forgiveness.


the = they. :)


Every time he went on a military expedition, his troops would fight to go first.


'fight to go first'.... is there a better way to translate this so that it's clearer? It's vague in context (troops fight on military expeditions). I'm thinking of something that's equivalent of "argued on who would go first".


(3) From History of Wu: They also drew Huang Gai’s likeness and offered sacrifices to him all year long.


"Drew"? I guess, without context, that's very vague to me.



Taishi Ci's Bio:

Some tried to convince Liu Yao that he should employ Taishi Ci as Commander-in-Chief, but Liu Yao was concerned, "If I employ Ziyi [in such a high position], would Xu Zijiang not make fun of me?"


'would Xun Zijiang not make fun of me?' has a vagueness of meaning that I'm hesitant to pick up, but I can be such a critic of English usage. Technically, it means that, if the question was confirmed, Xu Zijiang wouldn't make fun of him. Whereas, if the question was phrased "Would not he make fun of me?", it would mean that he would make fun of him. It's all dependant upon the placement of subject. A casual reader wouldn't likely pick it up, but if you wished to be strict on English usage, "Would not" would be the proper usage.


“From this day on, I will share all I have with you,” said Sun Ce laughing (1)


"Sun Ce, laughing."


When Lord Cao [Cao] heard of him, he sent him a letter sealed in a wooden case. The case was without a note, and contained only the danggui herb .


Not a grammatical, but an askance of a further note of clarification. I saw that the SGZ on KMA notes what this herb is; I'm curious to know what the significance of this is?


Taishi Ci died at the age of 41, in the 11st year of Jian’an [AD 206]


Should that be 11th (or better, eleventh?)
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Dec 07, 2003 8:18 am

Thanks you Jaime!
Wild-Eyes wrote:Whee! I loved them both. I honestly have a new appreciation for Huang Gai in particular:

Taishi Ci also seems to be a very intriguing personality to me. Usually, I think of all 'big names' as either major scholars or major warriors, but Ziyi seems to be neither of these.

Alright! The propaganda is working! Quick, Cai Yan, let's get Lu Kang done so that these poor souls will turn into Wuists before they realise! :lol:

Ok. I'll let the secret behind the danggui out. This is a footnote in the Word version of the bio I have:
The footnote on danggui wrote:The name of the herb danggui in Chinese is also the phrase for “should come back”. The sending of danggui is a suggestion for someone to come to the sender. Cao Cao was thus inviting Taishi Ci to join him. The herb is also known as Dong Quai or Angelica sinensis.

And on "filial and incorrupt":
On 'Filial and Incorrupt', I wrote:The Han administration filled its offices through local recommendation of talented people. “Filial and Incorrupt” is one of the categories which one can be recommended for. Naturally, the official criteria for recommendation for this title is filial piety and upright behaviour. Candidates recommended for this category are not officers yet, but are eligible for official appointments.
"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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Please... some Chinese help... please...

Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:33 am

Please please someone help me with the literal translations for these phrases... as soon as they get figured out the bios can go on KMA...

Huang Gai
兩掾所署,事入諾出 ,若有姦欺,終不加以鞭杖,宜各盡心,無為眾先
The first part is "That which the two officers do as my representative" (署 I take to mean "do as a delegate"). I'm lost on the next clause. The 3rd one is obviously "If there is any cheating". The 4th and 5th are "I'll never put you to the whip or cane" and "best if each of you work the best you can". And I don't know the last one.

蓋亦嫌外懈怠, 時有所省
"Gai also was concerned that.." what's 外 doing there? And does 時有所省 mean "he realised something in time"?

Taishi Ci
出教曰:龍欲騰翥,先階尺木者也。
Ok, obviously Sun Ce was the one doing the admonishing. But who's going out (出)? The dragon bit says that "A dragon wishes to soar and fly". And the last one? The 三國志辭典's note on this is very brief: "In legend, a dragon needs wood to ascend to the heavens." 相傳龍要凴木才能升天 (What the heck? What kind of helpful note is this? And what does this have to do with Taishi Ci?? :x )

發召一人遂不可得
This one I'm willing to believe that it means "[Hua Xin] couldn't get even one person when he summoned them". But 遂 should mean "consequently", right? So shouldn't it be "sent to summon one person consequently cannot get"? But who cannot get what???

Please help......... :cry:
"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 Mega Zarak » Wed Dec 10, 2003 9:37 am

Here's my version, I'm not sure how correct it is. :)

令长不德,徒以武功为官,不以文吏为称。

Being the county's magistrate (Xuan Ling), I'm neither talented nor virtuous. I obtained this post based on military merits and I'm not an official from the civil side.

今贼寇未平,有军旅之务,一以文书委付两掾,当检摄诸曹,纠擿谬误。

Right now, the bandits have not been pacified, and I have military duties to fulfil. As such, I'm going to delegate both of you to be in charge of all the documents, to supervise the various departments, and to point out as well as correct any mistake that they make.

两掾所署,事入诺出,若有奸欺,终不加以鞭杖,宜各尽心,无为众先

Within the jurisdictions of your two offices, while you discharge your responsibility for your administrative duty, even if you lie or cheat, I will ultimately NOT (hehehe.. :D ) punish you with cane or rod, I just hope that both of you will perform your duties well to the best of your abilities, and not set a bad example for the rest.


盖亦嫌外懈怠,时有所省,各得两掾不奉法数事。

Version 1:

Huang Gai was also unhappy with their lazy outlooks, and at some point in time, Huang Gai came to a realization (省悟), and he obtained evidences of the two officials' unlawful activities.

Version 2:

Huang Gai was also unhappy with their lazy outlooks, and at some point in time, some inspections (省察) were carried out, and he obtained evidences of the two officials' unlawful activities.

===========

出教曰:龍欲騰翥,先階尺木者也。

I guess Sun Ce was trying to tell Taishi Ci that just like a dragon that cannot ascend to heaven without its "尺木" , he himself cannot perform great things without people like Taishi Ci assisting him.

Here's an arcane extract taken from (http://ms.chgsh.chc.edu.tw/~chi/chi_ebook/lh2.htm):

短 書 言 : 謂 諸 子 尺 書 。 「龍 無 尺 木 , 無 以 升 天 。 」 意 林 引 新 論 曰: 「 龍 無 尺 木 , 無 以 升 天 ; 聖 王 無 尺 土 , 無 以 王 天 下 。」 周 廣 業 校 改 「 木 」 作 「 水 」 。 引 本 書 下 文 「 龍 從 木 中升 天 」 句 , 亦 改 「 木 」 為「
水 」 。 按 : 論 衡 確 應 作 「 木 」 。 疑新 論 一 本 作 「 木 」 , 不 誤 。 所 云「
短 書 」 , 蓋 謂 新 論 也 。 三 國 吳 志 太史 慈 傳 注 引 江 表 傳 , 孫 策 出 教 曰 : 「 龍 欲 騰 翥 , 先 階 尺木 。 」 師 伏 堂 筆 記 謂 是 「 尺 水 」 , 非 。 段 成 式 酉 陽 雜 俎鮮 介 篇 : 「 龍 頭 上 有 一 物 , 如 博 山 形 , 名 尺 木 。 龍 無 尺木 , 不 能 昇 天 。 」 與 此 文 「 尺 木 」 異 義 。 又 曰 「 升天 」 , 「 又 曰 」 與 下 「 又 言 」 於 詞 為 複。 「 又 」 疑 「 文 」 字 形 誤 。 又 言 「 尺 木 」 , 謂 龍 從木 中 升 天 也 。 盼 遂 案 : 桓 譚 新 論 : 「 龍無 尺 水 , 無 以 升 天 ; 聖 人 無 尺 土 , 無 以 王 天 下 。 」 ( 意林 卷 三 引 。 ) 仲 任 所 謂 短 書 , 斥 此 也 。 惟 「 尺 木 」 , 新論 作 「 尺 水 」 , 應 據 論 衡 改 正 。 三 國 志 太 史 慈 傳 注 引 江表 傳 , 孫 策 教 曰 : 「 龍 欲 騰 翥 , 先 階 尺 木 者 也 。 」 亦 作「 尺 木 」 。 近 年 洛 陽 出 土 隋 楊 暢 墓 志 銘 詞 曰 : 「 誕 此 哲人 , 齊 峰 特 秀 。 尺 木 既 升 , 增 嶠 增 構 。 」 此 文 殆 用 龍 升尺 木 之 事 。 石 刻 確 是 木 而 非 水 , 不 若 寫 本 印 本 之 易 誤 。又 唐 嶲 州 邛 都 丞 張 客 墓 志 銘 云 : 「 飛 謠 海 甸 , 宣 才 江 澳。 雅 政 清 夷 , 仁 風 肅 穆 。 英 英 君 子 , 鸞 鳳 其 族 。 長 逾 千里 , 微 班 尺 木 。 」 考 此 銘 以 木 與 澳 、 穆 、 族 為 韻 , 其 不作 「 尺 水 」 甚 顯 , 明 作 「 水 」 為 誤 。 酉 陽 雜 俎 云 : 「 龍無 尺 木 , 不 能 升 天 。 尺 木 , 龍 頭 上 如 博 山 形 。 」 是 段 氏亦 作 「 尺 木 」 , 明 作 「 水 」 者 , 乃 誤 字 爾 。 俞 理 初 癸 巳類 稿 謂 論 衡 「 尺 木 」 為 「 水 」 之 誤 , 然 又 云 : 「 當 雷 電樹 木 擊 之 時 , 龍 適 與 雷 電 俱 在 樹 木 之 側 , 雷 電 去 , 龍 隨而 上 , 故 謂 從 樹 木 之 中 升 天 也 。 」 是 論 衡 作 「 尺 木 」 明矣 。 俞 據 誤 本 初 學 記 為 證 , 失 之 。 彼 短 書 之 家 , 世俗 之 人 也 , 見 雷 電 發 時 , 龍 隨 而 起 , 當 雷 電 〔 擊 〕 樹 木( 擊 ) 之 時 , 孫 曰 : 「 當 雷 電 樹 木 擊 之時 」 , 疑 當 作 「 當 雷 電 擊 樹 木 之 時 」 。 上 文 云 : 「 盛 夏之 時 , 雷 電 擊 折 樹 木 。 」 是 其 證 。 龍 適 與 雷 電 俱 在樹 木 之 側 , 雷 電 去 , 龍 隨 而 上 , 故 謂 從 樹 木 之 中 升 天 也。

============

I think 遂 can mean something like thereupon. Hence,

發召一人遂不可得

issue summons and thereupon cannot obtain even a single person.

I'm not really sure of this. It's been a long time since I do such stuffs and I think I'm getting rusty. :D
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:28 pm

Great, Great Dear! I like your interpretation of Huang Gai's admonishment, as well as version 2 of the action. And that stuff on the wood and the dragon really cleared it up. (How on earth did you find such arcane text??) :D Thanks a lot.

If there are no more objections or corrections to the text, I'll make the changes and send it over to James.
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