Magistrate, what was your origin?

Byweimiaow

Magistrate, what was your origin?

“Magistrate, what was your origin?”

Liu Bei replied, “I am descended from Prince Sheng of Zhongshan.

Since my first fight with the Yellow Scarves rebels at Zhuo County,

I have been in some thirty battles, wherein I gained some trifling merit. My reward was this office.”

“You lie about your descent, and your statement of services is false!” roared the inspector.

“Now the court has ordered the reduction of your sort of low class and corrupt officials.”

Liu Bei muttered to himself and withdrew. On his return to the magistracy, he took council with his secretaries.

“This pompous attitude only means the inspector wants a bribe,” said they.

“I have never wronged the people to the value of a single coin: Then where is a bribe to come from?”

Next day the inspector had the minor officials before him and forced them to bear witness that their

master had oppressed the people. Liu Bei time after time went to rebut this charge,

but the doorkeepers drove him away and he could not enter.

Now Zhang Fei had been all day drowning his sorrow in wine and had drunk far too much. Calling for

his horse he rode out past the lodging of the inspector, and at the gate saw a small

crowd of white-haired people weeping bitterly. He asked why.

They said, “The inspector has compelled the underlings to bear false witness against our

magistrate, with the desire to injure the virtuous Liu Bei. We came to

beg mercy for him but are not permitted to enter. Moreover, we have been beaten by the doorkeepers.”

This provoked the irascible and half intoxicated Zhang Fei to fury. His eyes opened

wide until they became circles; he ground his teeth; in a moment he was off his steed,

had forced his way past the scared doorkeepers into the building, and was in the rear apartments.

There he saw Imperial Inspector Du Biao sitting on high with the official underlings in bonds at his feet.

“Oppressor of the people, robber!” cried Zhang Fei. “Do you know me?”

But before the inspector could reply, Zhang Fei had had him by the hair and had

dragged him down. Another moment he was outside and firmly lashed to the

hitching post in front of the building. Then breaking off a switch from a willow tree,

Zhang Fei gave his victim a severe thrashing, only staying his hand when the tenth switch was too short to strike with.

Liu Bei was sitting alone, communing with his sorrow, when he heard a shouting before his door. He asked what the matter was.

They told him, “General Zhang Fei had bound somebody to a post and was thrashing him!”

Hastily going outside, Liu Bei saw who the unhappy victim was and asked Zhang Fei the reason.

“If we do not beat this sort of wretch to death, what may we expect?” said Zhang Fei.

Byweimiaow

Zhu Jun returned to Capital

Zhu Jun returned to Capital Luoyang,

was promoted to the General of the Flying Cavalry*,

and received the governorship of Henan. He did not forget those who had helped him to

win victory. Thus he reported the merits of Liu Bei and Sun Jian to the Throne.

Sun Jian, having influential friends and connections to support him, quickly got an appointment

to a post of Commander of Changsha and went to assume the new office. But Liu Bei,

in spite of Zhu Jun’s memorial, waited in vain for preferment, and the three brothers became very sad.

Walking along one day in the capital, Liu Bei met a court official, Zhang Jun, to whom

he related his services and told his sorrows. Zhang Jun was much surprised at

this neglect and one day at court spoke to the Emperor about it.

Said he, “The Yellow Scarves rebelled because the eunuchs sold offices and bartered ranks.

There was employment only for their friends, punishment only for their enemies.

This led to rebellion. Wherefore it would be well to slay the Ten Eunuchs and expose

their heads and proclaim what had been done throughout the whole empire.

Then reward the worthy. Thereby the land would be wholly tranquil.”

But the eunuchs fiercely opposed this and said Zhang Jun was insulting the Emperor,

and the Emperor bade the guards thrust Zhang Jun out.

However, the eunuchs took counsel together and one said, “Surely someone who

rendered some service against rebels resents being passed over.”

So they caused a list of unimportant people to be prepared for preferment by and by.

Among them was Liu Bei, who received the post of magistrate of the county of Anxi, to

which he proceeded without delay after disbanding his army and sending them home

to their villages. He retained two dozens or so as escort.

The three brothers reached Anxi, and soon the administration of the county was so

reformed and the rule so wise that in a month there was no law-breaking. The three

brothers lived in harmony, eating at the same table and sleeping on the same couch.

But when Liu Bei was in public sessions or in company of others,

Guan Yu and Zhang Fei would stand in attendance, were it even a whole day.

Four months after their arrival, there came out a general order for the reduction

of the number of military officers holding civil posts, and Liu Bei began to fear that

he would be among those thrown out. In due course the inspecting official, Du Biao

by name, arrived and was met at the boundary. But to the polite obeisance of Liu Bei,

he made no return, save a wave of his whip as he sat on his horse.

This made Guan Yu and Zhang Fei furious. But worse was to follow.

When the inspector had arrived at his lodging, he took his seat on the dais,

leaving Liu Bei standing below. After a long time he addressed Liu Bei.

Byweimiaow

Zhu Jun saw that the advice

Zhu Jun saw that the advice was good

and followed it. As predicted the rebels ran out,

led by Han Zhong. The besiegers fell upon them as they fled, and Han Zhong was slain.

The rebels scattered in all directions. But the other two rebel chieftains, Zhao Hong and

Sun Zhong, came with large reinforcements, and as they appeared very strong, the imperial

soldiers retired, and the new body of rebels reentered Wancheng.

Zhu Jun encamped three miles from the city and prepared to attack. Just then there arrived a

body of horse and foot from the east. At the lead was one general with a broad open face, a body

as an alert tiger’s, and a torso as a lofty bear’s. His name was Sun Jian. He was a native

of Fuchun in the old state of Wu, a descendant of the famous Sun Zi the Strategist*.

When he was seventeen, Sun Jian was with his father on the River Qiantang and saw a party of

pirates, who had been plundering a merchant, dividing their booty on the river bank.

“We can capture these!” said he to his father.

So, gripping his sword, he ran boldly up the bank and cried out to this side and that

as if he was calling his men to come on. This made the pirates believe the soldiers

were on them and they fled, leaving their booty behind them. He actually killed

one of the pirates. In this way be became known and was recommended for office.

Then, in collaboration with the local officials, he raised a band of one thousand and

helped to quell the rebellion of one Xu Chang, who called himself the Sun Emperor

and had ten thousand supporters. The rebel’s son Xu Hao was also slain with his father.

For this Sun Jian was commended by Imperial Protector Zang Min in a memorial to the

Throne, and he received further promotion to the post of

magistrate of Yandu, then of Xuyi, and then of Xiapi.

When the Yellow Scarves rebellion began, Sun Jian gathered together the youths of his

village, some of the merchant class, got a troop of one thousand five hundred of

veteran soldiers and took the field. Now he had reached the fighting area.

Zhu Jun welcomed Sun Jian gladly and ordered him to attack the south gate of Wancheng.

The north and the west gates were simultaneously attacked by Liu Bei and Zhu Jun, but the

east gate was left free to give the rebels a chance of exit. Sun Jian was the first to mount the

wall and cut down more than twenty rebels with his own sword. The rebels ran,

but the leader Zhao Hong rode directly at Sun Jian with his spear ready to thrust. Sun Jian

leaped down from the wall, snatched away the spear and with it knocked Zhao Hong from

the horse. Then Sun Jian, mounting Zhao Hong’s horse, rode hither and thither, slaying as he went.

The rebels fled north. Meeting Liu Bei, they declined to fight and scattered.

But Liu Bei drew his bow, fitted an arrow, and shot their leader Sun Zhong, who fell to

the ground. The main army of Zhu Jun came up, and after tremendous slaughter,

the rebels surrendered. Thus was peace brought to the ten counties about the Nanyang area.

Byweimiaow

Zhang Fei Whips The Government

Zhang Fei Whips The Government Officer;
He Jin Plots To Kill The Eunuchs.

Dong Zhuo was born in the far northwest at Lintao in the West Valley Land. As the governor

of Hedong, Dong Zhuo himself was arrogant and overbearing. But the day he had treated Liu

Bei with contumely had been his last, had not Liu Bei and Guan Yu restrained their wrathful brother Zhang Fei.

“Remember he has the government commission,” said Liu Bei. “Who are we to judge and slay?”

“It is bitter to take orders from such a wretch. I would rather slay him! You may stay here if you wish to, but I will seek some other place,” said Zhang Fei.

“We three are one in life and in death; there is no parting for us. We will all go hence.”

So spoke Liu Bei, and his brother was satisfied. Wherefore all three set out and lost no time

in traveling until they came to Zhu Jun, who received them well and accepted their aid in

attacking Zhang Ba. At this time Cao Cao had joined himself to Huangfu Song, and they

were trying to destroy Zhang Lian, and there was a great battle at Quyang.

Zhang Ba was commanding some eighty thousand troops. The rebel had led his army to a strong

position in the rear of the hills. An attack being decided upon, Liu Bei was the van leader. On the

rebel side a general of Zhang Ba, Gao Sheng, came out to offer battle. Liu Bei sent Zhang Fei to smite

Gao Sheng. Out rode Zhang Fei at full speed, his spear ready set. After a few bouts Zhang Fei wounded

Gao Sheng, who was unhorsed. At this Liu Bei signaled the main army to advance.

Then Zhang Ba, while still mounted, loosened his hair, grasped his sword, and uttered his incantations.

Thereupon began the wind to howl and the thunder to roll, while a dense black cloud from the heavens s

ettled upon the field. And therein seemed to be horsemen and footmen innumerable, who swept to attack

the imperial troops. Fear came upon them, and Liu Bei led off his troops, but they were in disorder and

returned defeated.

Zhu Jun and Liu Bei considered the matter.

Byweimiaow

In the first month of the first yea

In the first month of the first yea

Zhang Jue studied the wonderful book eagerly and strove day and night to reduce its precepts to practice. Before long, he could

summon the winds and command the rain, and he became known as the Mystic of the Way of Peace.

In the first month of the first year of Central Stability (AD 184), there was a terrible pestilence that ran throughout the land,

whereupon Zhang Jue distributed charmed remedies to the afflicted. The godly medicines brought big successes, and soon he gained the

tittle of the Wise and Worthy Master. He began to have a following of disciples whom he initiated into the mysteries and sent abroad

throughout all the land. They, like their master, could write charms and recite formulas, and their fame increased his following.

Zhang Jue began to organize his disciples. He established thirty-six circuits, the larger with ten thousand or more members, the smaller with about half that number. Each circuit had its chief who took the

military title of General. They talked wildly of the death of the blue heaven and the setting up of the golden one; they said a new cycle was beginning and would bring universal good fortune to all

members; and they persuaded people to chalk the symbols for the first year of the new cycle on the main door of their dwellings.

With the growth of the number of his supporters GREw also the ambition of Zhang Jue. The Wise and Worthy Master dreamed of empire. One of his partisans, Ma Yuanyi, was sent bearing gifts to gain the support of the eunuchs within the Palace.

To his brothers Zhang Jue said, “For schemes like ours always the most difficult part is to gain the popular favor. But that is already ours. Such an opportunity must not pass.”

And they began to prepare. Many yellow flags and banners were made, and a day was chosen for the uprising. Then Zhang Jue wrote letters to Eunuch Feng Xu* and sent them by one of his followers,

Tang Zhou, who alas! betrayed his trust and reported the plot to the court. The Emperor summoned the trusty Regent Marshal He

Jin and bade him look to the issue. Ma Yuanyi was at once taken and beheaded. Feng Xu and many others were cast into prison.

the plot having thus become known, the Zhang brothers were forced at once to take the field. They took up grandiose titles: Zhang Jue

the Lord of Heaven, Zhang Ba the Lord of Earth, and Zhang Lian the Lord of Human. And in these names they put forth this manifesto:

“the good fortune of the Han is exhausted, and the Wise and Worthy Man has appeared. Discern the will of Heaven, O ye people, and walk in the way of righteousness, whereby alone ye may attain to peace.”

Support was not lacking. On every side people bound their heads with yellow scarves and joined the army of the rebel Zhang Jue, so

that soon his strength was nearly half a million strong, and the official troops melted away at a whisper of his coming.

Byweimiaow

Such were some of various omens. Emperor Lin

Such were some of various omens. Emperor Ling, GREatly moved by these signs of the displeasure of Heaven, issued an edict asking

his ministers for an explanation of the calamities and marvels.

Court Counselor Cai Yong replied bluntly: “Falling rainbows and changes of fowls’ sexes are brought about by the interference of empresses and eunuchs in state affairs.”

the Emperor read this memorial with deep sighs, and Chief Eunuch Cao Jie, from his place behind the throne, anxiously noted these signs of grief. An opportunity offering,

Cao Jie informed his fellows, and a charge was trumped up against Cai Yong, who was driven from the court and forced to retire to his country house.

With this victory the eunuchs GREw bolder. Ten of them, rivals in wickedness and associates in evil deeds, formed a powerful party

known as the Ten Regular Attendants——Zhang Rang, Zhao Zhong, Cheng Kuang, Duan Gui, Feng Xu, Guo Sheng, Hou Lan, Jian Shuo, Cao Jie, and Xia Yun.

One of them, Zhang Rang, won such influence that he became the Emperor’s most honored and trusted adviser.

The Emperor even called him “Foster Father”. So the corrupt state administration went quickly from bad to worse, till the country was ripe for rebellion and buzzed with brigandage.

At this time in the county of Julu was a certain Zhang family, of whom three brothers bore the name of Zhang Jue, Zhang Ba, and Zhang Lian, respectively.

The eldest Zhang Jue was an unclassed graduate, who devoted himself to medicine. One day, while culling simples in the woods, Zhang Jue met a venerable old gentleman

with very bright, emerald eyes and fresh complexion, who walked with an oak-wood staff. The old man beckoned Zhang Jue into a cave

and there gave him three volumes of The Book of Heaven.

“This book,” said the old gentleman, “is the Essential Arts of Peace. With the aid of these volumes, you can convert the world and rescue

humankind. But you must be single-minded, or, rest assured, you will GREatly suffer.”

With a humble obeisance, Zhang Jue took the book and asked the name of his benefactor.

“I am Saint Hermit of the Southern Land,” was the reply, as the old gentleman disappeared in thin air.

Byweimiaow

Emperor Huan paid no heed

Emperor Huan paid no heed to the good people of his court

Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood In The Peach Garden;One Victory Shatters The Rebels In Battlegrounds.

Domains under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity. When the rule of the Zhou Dynasty weakened, seven

contending kingdoms sprang up*, warring one with another until the kingdom of Qin prevailed and possessed the empire*. But when Qin’s destiny had been fulfilled, arose two opposing kingdoms, Chu and Han, to fight for the mastery. And Han was the victor*.

the rise of the fortunes of Han began when Liu Bang the Supreme Ancestor* slew a white serpent to raise the banners of uprising,

which only ended when the whole empire belonged to Han (BC 202)。 This magnificent heritage was handed down in successive

Han emperors for two hundred years, till the rebellion of Wang Mang caused a disruption*. But soon Liu Xiu the Latter Han Founder restored the empire*, and Han emperors continued their rule for another two hundred years till the days of Emperor Xian, which were doomed to see the beginning of the empire’s division into three parts, known to history as The Three Kingdoms.

But the descent into misrule hastened in the reigns of the two predecessors of Emperor Xian——Emperors Huan and Ling——who sat in the Dragon Throne about the middle of the second century.

Emperor Huan paid no heed to the good people of his court, but gave his confidence to the Palace eunuchs*. He lived and died, leaving the scepter to Emperor Ling, whose advisers were Regent Marshal Dou

Wu and Imperial Guardian Chen Fan*. Dou Wu and Chen Fan, disgusted with the abuses of the eunuchs in the affairs of the state,

plotted the destruction for the power-abusing eunuchs. But Chief Eunuch Cao Jie was not to be disposed of easily. The plot leaked out, and the honest Dou Wu and Chen Fan were put to death, leaving the eunuchs stronger than before.

It fell upon the day of full moon of the fourth month, the second year, in the era of Established Calm (AD 168), that Emperor Ling

went in state to the Hall of Virtue. As he drew near the throne, a rushing whirlwind arose in the corner of the hall and, lo! from the

roof beams floated down a monstrous black serpent that coiled itself up on the very seat of majesty. The Emperor fell in a swoon. Those

nearest him hastily raised and bore him to his palace, while the courtiers scattered and fled. The serpent disappeared.

But there followed a terrific tempest, thunder, hail, and torrents of rain, lasting till midnight and working havoc on all sides. Two years

later the earth quaked in Capital Luoyang, while along the coast a huge tidal wave rushed in which, in its recoil, swept away all the

dwellers by the sea. Another evil omen was recorded ten years later, when the reign title was changed to Radiant Harmony (AD 178):

Certain hens suddenly crowed. At the new moon of the sixth month, a long wreath of murky cloud wound its way into the Hall of Virtue,

while in the following month a rainbow was seen in the Dragon Chamber. Away from the capital, a part of the Yuan Mountains collapsed, leaving a mighty rift in the flank.

Such were some of various omens. Emperor Ling, GREatly moved by these signs of the displeasure of Heaven, issued an edict asking his ministers for an explanation of the calamities and marvels.

Byweimiaow

The bones of great writers are your brushes, in the School of Heaven

Li Bai

PARTING AT A WINE-SHOP IN NANJING

A wind, bringing willow-cotton, sweetens the shop,

And a girl from Wu, pouring wine, urges me to share it

With my comrades of the city who are here to see me off;

And as each of them drains his cup, I say to him in parting,

Oh, go and ask this river running to the east

If it can travel farther than a friend’s love!


Li Bai

A FAREWELL TO SECRETARY SHUYUN

AT THE XIETIAO VILLA IN XUANZHOU

Since yesterday had to throw me and bolt,

Today has hurt my heart even more.

The autumn wildgeese have a long wind for escort

As I face them from this villa, drinking my wine.

The bones of great writers are your brushes, in the School of Heaven,

And I am a Lesser Xie growing up by your side.

We both are exalted to distant thought,

Aspiring to the sky and the bright moon.

But since water still flows, though we cut it with our swords,

And sorrows return, though we drown them with wine,

Since the world can in no way answer our craving,

I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishingboat.


Cen Can

A SONG OF RUNNING-HORSE RIVER IN FAREWELL

TO GENERAL FENG OF THE WESTERN EXPEDITION

Look how swift to the snowy sea races Running-Horse River! —

And sand, up from the desert, flies yellow into heaven.

This Ninth-month night is blowing cold at Wheel Tower,

And valleys, like peck measures, fill with the broken boulders

That downward, headlong, follow the wind.

…In spite of grey grasses, Tartar horses are plump;

West of the Hill of Gold, smoke and dust gather.

O General of the Chinese troops, start your campaign!

Keep your iron armour on all night long,

Send your soldiers forward with a clattering of weapons!

…While the sharp wind’s point cuts the face like a knife,

And snowy sweat steams on the horses’ backs,

Freezing a pattern of five-flower coins,

Your challenge from camp, from an inkstand of ice,

Has chilled the barbarian chieftain’s heart.

You will have no more need of an actual battle! —

We await the news of victory, here at the western pass!

 

Byweimiaow

But Yueh people talk about Heavenly Mother Mountain

 

Li Bai

TIANMU MOUNTAIN ASCENDED IN A DREAM

A seafaring visitor will talk about Japan,

Which waters and mists conceal beyond approach;

But Yueh people talk about Heavenly Mother Mountain,

Still seen through its varying deeps of cloud.

In a straight line to heaven, its summit enters heaven,

Tops the five Holy Peaks, and casts a shadow through China

With the hundred-mile length of the Heavenly Terrace Range,

Which, just at this point, begins turning southeast.

…My heart and my dreams are in Wu and Yueh

And they cross Mirror Lake all night in the moon.

And the moon lights my shadow

And me to Yan River —

With the hermitage of Xie still there

And the monkeys calling clearly over ripples of green water.

I wear his pegged boots

Up a ladder of blue cloud,

Sunny ocean half-way,

Holy cock-crow in space,

Myriad peaks and more valleys and nowhere a road.

Flowers lure me, rocks ease me. Day suddenly ends.

Bears, dragons, tempestuous on mountain and river,

Startle the forest and make the heights tremble.

Clouds darken with darkness of rain,

Streams pale with pallor of mist.

The Gods of Thunder and Lightning

Shatter the whole range.

The stone gate breaks asunder

Venting in the pit of heaven,

An impenetrable shadow.

…But now the sun and moon illumine a gold and silver terrace,

And, clad in rainbow garments, riding on the wind,

Come the queens of all the clouds, descending one by one,

With tigers for their lute-players and phoenixes for dancers.

Row upon row, like fields of hemp, range thefairy figures.

I move, my soul goes flying,

I wake with a long sigh,

My pillow and my matting

Are the lost clouds I was in.

…And this is the way it always is with human joy:

Ten thousand things run for ever like water toward the east.

And so I take my leave of you, not knowing for how long.

…But let me, on my green slope, raise a white deer

And ride to you, great mountain, when I have need of you.

Oh, how can I gravely bow and scrape to men of high rank and men of high office

Who never will suffer being shown an honest-hearted face!

bailuhu.net

Byweimiaow

I hear people at the fishing-town stumble aboard the ferry

 

Li Qi

ON HEARING AN WANSHAN PLAY THE REED-PIPE

Bamboo from the southern hills was used to make this pipe.

And its music, that was introduced from Persia first of all,

Has taken on new magic through later use in China.

And now the Tartar from Liangzhou, blowing it for me,

Drawing a sigh from whosoever hears it,

Is bringing to a wanderer’s eyes homesick tears….

Many like to listen; but few understand.

To and fro at will there’s a long wind flying,

Dry mulberry-trees, old cypresses, trembling in its chill.

There are nine baby phoenixes, outcrying one another;

A dragon and a tiger spring up at the same moment;

Then in a hundred waterfalls ten thousand songs of autumn

Are suddenly changing to The Yuyang Lament;

And when yellow clouds grow thin and the white sun darkens,

They are changing still again to Spring in the Willow Trees.

Like Imperial Garden flowers, brightening the eye with beauty,

Are the high-hall candles we have lighted this cold night,

And with every cup of wine goes another round of music.


Meng Haoran

RETURNING AT NIGHT TO LUMEN MOUNTAIN

 

A bell in the mountain-temple sounds the coming of night.

I hear people at the fishing-town stumble aboard the ferry,

While others follow the sand-bank to their homes along the river.

…I also take a boat and am bound for Lumen Mountain —

And soon the Lumen moonlight is piercing misty trees.

I have come, before I know it, upon an ancient hermitage,

The thatch door, the piney path, the solitude, the quiet,

Where a hermit lives and moves, never needing a companion.


Li Bai

A SONG OF LU MOUNTAIN TO CENSOR LU XUZHOU

I am the madman of the Chu country

Who sang a mad song disputing Confucius.

…Holding in my hand a staff of green jade,

I have crossed, since morning at the Yellow Crane Terrace,

All five Holy Mountains, without a thought of distance,

According to the one constant habit of my life.

Lu Mountain stands beside the Southern Dipper

In clouds reaching silken like a nine-panelled screen,

With its shadows in a crystal lake deepening the green water.

The Golden Gate opens into two mountain-ranges.

A silver stream is hanging down to three stone bridges

Within sight of the mighty Tripod Falls.

Ledges of cliff and winding trails lead to blue sky

And a flush of cloud in the morning sun,

Whence no flight of birds could be blown into Wu.

…I climb to the top. I survey the whole world.

I see the long river that runs beyond return,

Yellow clouds that winds have driven hundreds of miles

And a snow-peak whitely circled by the swirl of a ninefold stream.

And so I am singing a song of Lu Mountain,

A song that is born of the breath of Lu Mountain.

…Where the Stone Mirror makes the heart’s purity purer

And green moss has buried the footsteps of Xie,

I have eaten the immortal pellet and, rid of the world’s troubles,

Before the lute’s third playing have achieved my element.

Far away I watch the angels riding coloured clouds

Toward heaven’s Jade City, with hibiscus in their hands.

And so, when I have traversed the nine sections of the world,

I will follow Saint Luao up the Great Purit