the Governor of Beiping, Gongsun Zan, while on his way with his

the Governor of Beiping, Gongsun Zan, while on his way with his force of fifteen thousand, passed through the county of Pingyuan. There he saw among the mulberry trees a yellow flag under which marched a small company. When they drew nearer, he saw the leader was Liu Bei.

“Good brother, what do you here?” asked Gongsun Zan.

“You were kind to me once, and on your recommendation I was made the magistrate of this county. I heard you were passing through and came to salute you. May I pray you, my elder brother, enter into the city and rest your steed?”

“Who are these two?” said Gongsun Zan, pointing to Liu Bei’s brothers.

“these are Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, my sworn brothers.”

“Were they fighting with you against the Yellow Scarves?” asked Gongsun Zan.

“All my success was due to their efforts,” said Liu Bei.

“And what offices do they fill?”

“Guan Yu is a mounted archer; Zhang Fei is a foot archer.”

“Thus are able people buried!” said Gongsun Zan, sighing. then he continued. “All the highest in the land are now going to destroy the rebellious Dong Zhuo. My brother, you would do better to abandon this petty place and join us in restoring the House of Han. Why not?”

“I should like to go,” said Liu Bei.

“If you had let me kill him that other time, you would not have this trouble today,” said Zhang Fei to Liu Bei and Guan Yu.

“Since things are so, let us pack and go,” said Guan Yu.

So without more ado, the three brothers, with a few horsemen, joined Gongsun Zan and marched with him to join the GREat army.

One after another the feudal lords came up and encamped.

Their camps extended over seventy miles and more.

When all had arrived, Cao Cao, as the head, prepared

sacrificial bullocks and horses and called all the lords

to a GREat assembly to decide upon their plan of attack.

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A few days later came Cao Cao’s two cousins

A few days later came Cao Cao’s two cousins, Cao Ren and Cao Hong, each with one thousand followers. these two were accomplished horsemen and trained in the use of arms.

then drill began, and Wei Hong spent his treasure freely in buying clothing, armor, flags, and banners. From all sides poured in gifts of grain.

When Yuan Shao received Cao Cao’s call to arms, he collected all those under his command to the number of thirty thousand. Then he marched from Bohai to Qiao to take the oath to Cao Cao. Next a manifesto was issued:

“Cao Cao and his associates, moved by a sense of duty, now make this proclamation. Dong Zhuo defies Heaven and Earth. He is destroying the state and injuring his prince. He pollutes the Palace and oppresses the people. He is vicious and cruel. His crimes are heaped up. Now we have received a secret command to call up soldiers, and we are pledged to cleanse the empire and destroy the evil-doers. We will raise a volunteer army and exert all our efforts to maintain the dynasty and succor the people. Respond to this, O Nobles, by mustering your soldiers.”

Many from every side answered the summons as the following list shows:

1. Governor of Nanyang——Yuan Shu

2. Imperial Protector of Jizhou Region——Han Fu

3. Imperial Protector of Yuzhou Region——Kong Zhou

4. Imperial Protector of Yanzhou Region——Liu Dai

5. Governor of Henei——Wang Kuang

6. Governor of Chenliu——Zhang Miao

7. Governor of Dongjun——Qiao Mao

8. Governor of Shanyang——Yuan Yi

9. Lord of Jibei——Bao Xin

10. Governor of Beihai——Kong Rong

11. Governor of Guangling ——Zhang Chao

12. Imperial Protector of Xuzhou Region——Tao Qian

13. Governor of Xiliang——Ma Teng

14. Governor of Beiping——Gongsun Zan

15. Governor of Shangdang——Zhang Yang

16. Governor of Changsha——Sun Jian

17. Governor of Bohai——Yuan Shao

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these contingents varied in size, from ten thousand to thirty thousand, but each was complete in itself with its officers, civil and military, and battle-leaders. They were heading for Capital Luoyang.

“What good fortune for the world that this is so!” said Wang Yun.

“What good fortune for the world that this is so!” said Wang Yun.

With this Wang Yun himself poured out a goblet for Cao Cao

who drained it and swore an oath. After this the treasured

sword was brought out and given to Cao Cao who hid it under

his dress. He finished his wine, took leave of the guests, and left the hall. Before long the others dispersed.

  the next day Cao Cao, with this short sword girded on, came to the palace of the Prime Minister.

  “Where is the Prime Minister?” asked he.

  “In the small guest room,” replied the attendants.

  So Cao Cao went in and found his host seated on a couch. Lu Bu was at his side.

  “Why so late, Cao Cao?” said Dong Zhuo.

  “My horse is out of condition and slow,” replied Cao Cao.

  Dong Zhuo turned to his henchman Lu Bu.

  “Some good horses have come in from the west. You go and pick out a good one as a present for him.”

And Lu Bu left.

“This traitor is doomed!” thought Cao Cao. He ought to have struck then, but Cao Cao knew Dong Zhuo was very powerful, and he was afraid to act. He wanted to make sure of his blow.

Now Dong Zhuo’s corpulence was such that he could not remain long sitting, so he rolled over couch and lay face inwards.

  “Now is the time,” thought the assassin, and he gripped the good sword firmly.

  But just as Cao Cao was going to strike, Dong Zhuo happened to

look up and in a mirror he saw the reflection of Cao Cao behind him with a sword in the hand.

  “What are you doing, Cao Cao?” said Dong Zhuo turning suddenly. And at that moment Lu Bu came along leading a horse.

  Cao Cao in a flurry dropped on his knees and said, “I have a precious sword here which I wish to present to Your Benevolence.”

Dong Zhuo took it.

It was a fine blade, over a foot in length,

inlaid with the seven precious signs and very keen——a fine sword in very truth.

Dong Zhuo handed the weapon to Lu Bu while

Cao Cao took off the sheath which he also gave to Lu Bu.

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tender grass, Flushes with joy as the swallows pass;

“Spring and the GREen of the

tender grass, Flushes with joy as the swallows pass;

tender grass, Flushes with joy as the swallows pass;

The wayfarers pause by the rippling stream

, And their eyes will new born gladness gleam;

With lingering gaze the roofs I see Of the

Palace that one time sheltered me.

But those whom I sheltered in all righteousness,

Let’s not stay in silence when the days pass useless?”[yip, yip, yip]

the messenger, sent by Dong Zhuo from time to

time to the palace for news of the prisoners,

got hold of this poem and showed it to his master.

“So he shows his resentment by writing poems, eh! A fair excuse to put them all out of the way,” said Dong Zhuo.

Li Ru was sent with ten men into the palace to consummate the deed. The three were in one of the upper rooms when Li Ru arrived. The Emperor shuddered when the maid announced the visitor’s name.

Presently Li Ru entered and offered a cup of poisoned wine to the Emperor. The Emperor asked what this meant.

“Spring is the season of blending and harmonious interchange, and the Prime Minister sends a wine cup of longevity,” said Li Ru.

“If it be the wine of longevity, you may share it too,” said Empress He.

then Li Ru became brutally frank.

  “You will not drink?” asked he.

  He called the men with daggers and cords and bade the Emperor look at them.

  “the cup, or these?” said he.

  then said Lady Tang, “Let the handmaid drink in place of her lord. Spare the mother and her son, I pray!”

“And who may you be to die for a prince?” said Li Ru.

then he presented the cup to the

Empress once more and bade her drink.

 She railed against her brother, the feckless He Jin,

the author of all this trouble. She would not drink.

Next Li Ru approached the Emperor.

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Fear seized them in its grip and they were silent, all but Yuan

Fear seized them in its grip and they were silent, all but Yuan Shao who said,

“The Emperor was innocent of any fault,

and to set him aside in favor of a commoner was rebellion and nothing else!”

“the empire is in my hands!” cried Dong Zhuo.

“When I choose to do this thing, who will dare to say nay?

Think you my sword lacks an edge?”

  “If your sword is sharp, mine is never blunt!”

said Yuan Shao as his sword FLASHed out of the sheath.

  the two men stood face to face amid the feasters.

Dong Zhuo was on the point of slaying Yuan Shao, but Li Ru checked him, saying, “You must not kill rashly while the business hangs in the balance.”

Yuan Shao, his sword still unsheathed, left the assembly. He hung up the seals of his office at the east gate and went to Jizhou Region.

Dong Zhuo said to Imperial Guardian Yuan Wei, “Your nephew behaved improperly, but I pardon him for your sake. What think you of my scheme?”

“What you think is right,” was the reply.

“If anyone opposes the GREat scheme, he will be dealt with by military law!” said Dong Zhuo.

the ministers, thoroughly dreaded, promised obedience, and the feast came to an end.

Dong Zhuo asked Counselor Zhou Bi and Commander Wu Qiong what they thought of the flight of Yuan Shao.

Zhou Bi said, “He left in a state of GREat anger. In such a state of excitement much harm may ensue to the present state of affairs, especially as the Yuan family have been noted for their high offices for four generations, and their proteges and dependents are everywhere. If they assemble bold people and call up their clients,

all the valiant warriors will be in arms,

and the east region of the Huashang Mountains

will be lost. You had better pardon Yuan Shao and give him a

post. He will be glad at being forgiven and will do no harm.”

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“If I could only find a master to serve,” said Lu Bu.

“If I could only find a master to serve,” said Lu Bu.

“the clever bird chooses the branch whereon to perch;

the wise servant selects the master to serve.

Seize the chance when it comes, for repentance ever comes too late.”

“Now you are in the government.

Who think you is really the bravest of all?”, asked Lu Bu.

“I despise the whole lot except Dong Zhuo.

He is one who respects wisdom and reveres scholarship;

he is discriminating in his rewards and punishments. Surely he is destined to be a really GREat man.”

  Lu Bu said, “I wish that I could serve him, but there is no way, I fear.”

  then Li Su produced his pearls and gold and the jeweled belt and laid them out before his host.

  “What is this? What does it mean?” said Lu Bu.

  “Send away the attendants,” requested Li Su. And he went on,

“Dong Zhuo has long respected your bravery and sent these by my hand. Red Hare was also from him.”

  “But, if he loves me like this, what can I do in return?”

Li Su said, “If a stupid fellow like me can be a general in the Imperial Tiger Army, it is impossible to say what honors await you.”

“I am sorry I can offer him no service worth mentioning.”

Li Su said, “there is one service you can do, and an extremely easy one to perform; but you would not render that.”

Lu Bu pondered long in silence, then he said, “I might slay Ding Yuan and bring over his soldiers to Dong Zhuo’s side. What think you of that?”

“If you would do that, there could be no GREater service. But such a thing must be done quickly.”

And Lu Bu promised his friend that he would do the deed and come over on the morrow.

So Li Su took his leave. That very night, at the second watch, Lu Bu entered, sword in hand, into his master’s tent. He found Ding Yuan reading by the light of a solitary candle.

Seeing who came in, Ding Yuan said,

“My son, what is afoot?”

“I am a bold hero,” said Lu Bu.

“Do not think I am willing to be a son of yours!”

“Why this change, Lu Bu?”

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He will certainly abandon Ding Yuan’s service for yours.”

Dong Zhuo could not reply for Lu Bu,

eager for the fight, rode straight at him.

Dong Zhuo fled and Ding Yuan’s army came on.

The battle went in Ding Yuan’s favor,

and the beaten troops retired ten miles and made another camp.

Here Dong Zhuo called his officers to a council.

“This Lu Bu is a marvel,” said Dong Zhuo.

“If he were only on my side, I would defy the whole world!”

At this a man advanced saying, “Be content, O my lord!

I am a fellow villager of his and know him well:

He is valorous, but not crafty; he will let go principles,

when he sees advantages. With this little,

blarneying tongue of mine, I can persuade him to put up his hands and come over to your side.”

Dong Zhuo was delighted and gazed admiringly at the speaker.

It was Li Su, a general in the Imperial Tiger Army.

“What arguments will you use with him?” asked Dong Zhuo.

“You have a fine horse, Red Hare, one of the best ever bred.

I must have this steed, and gold and pearls to win his heart.

Then will I go and persuade him.

He will certainly abandon Ding Yuan’s service for yours.”

“What think you?” said Dong Zhuo to his adviser Li Ru.

“One cannot grudge a horse to win an empire,” was the reply.

So they gave Li Su what he demanded——a thousand ounces of gold,

ten strings of beautiful pearls, a jeweled belt,

and Red Hare——and these accompanied Li Su on his visit to his fellow villager.

Li Su reached the camp and said to the guard,

“Please tell General Lu Bu that a very old friend has come to visit him.”

He was admitted forthwith.

“Worthy brother, have you been well since we last met?”

GREeted Li Su while bowing.

“How long it is since we last saw each other!”

replied Lu Bu, bowing in return. “And where are you now?”

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the founder of Shang Dynasty. After King Tang’s death, Yi Yin

 

“But this is the banquet chamber,

and state affairs should be left outside.

The matters can be fully discussed tomorrow.”

His fellow guests persuaded Ding Yuan to leave,

and after his departure Dong Zhuo said,

“Is what I said just and reasonable?”

[e] Yi Yin was was helper and prime minister of King Tang,

the founder of Shang Dynasty. After King Tang’s death, Yi Yin

served his sons and grandson. Soon after Tai Jia,

King Tang’s grandson, ascended the throne, he committed many faults,

and Yi Yin, acting as regent, exiled Tai Jia to Tong Palace——the burial place of King

Tang. After three years Yi Yin returned him the throne.

Tai Jia eventually became an enlightened emperor.

Shang Dynasty lasted for 650 years (BC 1700-1050)。

It was this act of Yi Yin rather than his services

in building up an empire that has made him immortal.

Whether he did right in temporarily dethroning

the king was open to question, until a final verdict was rendered

by Mencius who thought that his ends amply justified his means.

This historical event attests the extent of the

power exercised by a prime minister in those days. ……

[e] Huo Guang (BC ?-68) a general and regent of Han.

After Emperor Wu died, Huo Guang became regent to

three successive emperors, and the second one had been

the Prince of Changyi, who was on the throne for only

twenty-seven days. Huo Guang had the Prince of Changyi

declared unfit to rule and deposed him. Even though Huo Guang

contributed much to the empire’s stabilization,

after he died, he was distanced by the

emperor and most of his family

were executed for conspiracy charges. ……

“You are mistaken, Illustrious Sir,” said Lu Zhi.

“Of old Emperor Tai Jia of the Shang Dynasty was

unenlightened. Wherefore the sage Minister Yi Yin*

immured him in the Tong Palace till he reformed.

Later the Prince of Changyi ascended the throne,

and in twenty-seven days he committed more than

three thousand categorical faults. Wherefore Regent

Marshal Huo Guang* declared in the ancestral temple

that the Prince of Changyi was deposed. Our present

Emperor is young, but he is intelligent, benevolent,

and wise. He has not committed a single fault. You, Sir,

are an imperial protector of a frontier region and not a

metropolitan official and have had no experience in state

administration. Neither have you the

pure intentions of Yi Yin and Huo Guang

which qualified their actions. The Teacher said:

‘Only with Yi Yin’s purpose can one act like Yi Yin.

Otherwise, such a deed is treason.’”

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the improper influence allowed them by the emperors and

What Cao Cao said was this:

“the eunuch evil is of very old standing,

but the real cause of the present trouble is in

the improper influence allowed them by the emperors and

the misplaced favoritism they have enjoyed. But a gaoler would

be ample force to employ against this kind of evil, and getting rid of

the main culprits is quite enough. Why increase confusion

by summoning troops from the regions?

Any desire to slay all of them will speedily become known, and the plan will fail.”

“then, Cao Cao, you have some scheme of your own to further,” said He Jin with a sneer.

Cao Cao left the meeting, proclaiming, “The one who throws the world into chaos is He Jin!”

then He Jin sent swift, secret letters far and wide to several bases.

It must be recalled that Dong Zhuo had failed in his attempt to

destroy the Yellow Scarves rebellion. He would have been punished

if he had not bribed the Ten Eunuchs heavily for their protection.

Later, through connections in the capital, he obtained rapid promotions

from General to General of the Front Army, to Lord of Aoxiang, to Imperial

Protector in the western region of Xizhou and Commander of

an army of two hundred thousand troops. But Dong Zhuo

was treacherous and disloyal at heart. So when he received the

summons to the capital, he rejoiced GREatly and lost no

time in obeying it. He left a son-in-law, Commander Niu Fu,

to look after the affairs of Xizhou and set out for Luoyang.

Dong Zhuo took with him a huge army and four

generals——Li Jue, Guo Si, Zhang Ji, and Fan Chou.

Dong Zhuo’s adviser and son-in-law, Li Ru, said,

“Though a formal summons has come,

there are many obscurities in it.

It would be well to send up a memorial stating plainly

our aims and intentions. Then we can proceed.

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And they wept bitterly.

And they wept bitterly.

The Emperor turned angrily to Liu Tao, saying,

“You also have servants: Why can’t you bear with mine?”

And thereupon the Emperor called to the guards to eject Liu Tao and put him to death.

Liu Tao cried aloud, “My death matters nothing.

The pity is that Han Dynasty, after four centuries of reign, is falling fast!”

The guards hustled him away and were just about to carry out the

Emperor’s order when a minister stopped them, shouting,

“Strike not! Wait till I have spoken with His Majesty.”

It was the Minister of the Interior, Chen Dan. He went in to

the Emperor, to whom he said,

“For what fault is Counselor Liu Tao to be put to death?”

“He has vilified my servants and has insulted me,” said the Emperor.

“All the empire would eat the flesh of the eunuchs if they could,

and yet, Sire, you respect them as if they were your parents.

They have no merit, but they are created nobles. Moreover,

Feng Xu was in league with the Yellow Scarves.

Unless Your Majesty looks to it, the state will crumble!”

“There was no proof against Feng Xu,” replied the Emperor. “

About the Ten Eunuchs, are there none faithful among them?”

Chen Dan beat his forehead on the steps of the throne and did

not desist from remonstrance. Then the Emperor grew angry and

commanded his removal and imprisonment with Liu Tao.

That night Liu Tao and Chen Dan were murdered.

Then the eunuchs sent a forged edict to Sun Jian making

him Governor of Changsha, with orders to suppress

the rebellion of Ou Xing. In less than two months

Sun Jian reported the county all tranquil. For this he was created Lord of Wucheng.

Further, Liu Yu was made Imperial Protector of

Youzhou to move against Yuyang and suppress Zhang Ju and

Zhang Chun. Liu Hu of Daizhou recommended Liu Bei to Liu Yu. Liu Yu

welcomed Liu Bei and gave him rank of commander and sent him against

the rebels. He fought with and worsted them and entirely broke their spirit.

Zhang Chun was cruel, and his leaders turned against him. One of his officers

then slew him and brought in his head, after which the others submitted.

The other leader Zhang Ju saw that all was lost and killed himself.