As they advanced, the news came to Wang Yun

As they advanced, the news came to Wang Yun, and he consulted Lu Bu.

“they are a lot of rats,” said Lu Bu. “Never mind how many there are of them. Be not in the least anxious.”

So Lu Bu and Li Su went to oppose them. The latter was in advance and met Niu Fu. They fought; Niu Fu was outmatched and retired after suffering a slaughter. But unexpectedly Niu Fu returned in a night attack, found Li Su quite unprepared and drove Li Su’s force some ten miles, slaying many.

  Li Su reported the defeat, and Lu Bu raged at him, saying, “You have sullied my reputation as a warrior and destroyed our fighting spirit!”

  And Lu Bu put Li Su to death, exposing his head at the camp gate.

  Next day Lu Bu advanced his own force and engaged Niu Fu. He overwhelmed Niu Fu and drove him off. That night Niu Fu called in his most trusted man, Hu Chier, to advise him.

  Hu Chier said, “Lu Bu is too doughty a fighter for us to hope to overcome him. Our case is hopeless. Our best course is to desert these four generals, secrete their valuables, and leave the army with just a few of our followers.”

  the plan of Hu Chier was adopted, and the two traitors and some others that very night packed up and made their way out of camp. They were only half a dozen. They came to a river and, while crossing, Hu Chier, tempted by the lust of wealth, slew his companion. Then he went to offer the head of Niu Fu to Lu Bu. Lu Bu inquired into the matter, and when a follower told him the truth, he put the double traitor Hu Chier to death.

  then Lu Bu advanced against the rebels and fell in with Li Jue’s force. Without giving them time to form in battle, Lu Bu attacked. Horses curvetting and spears set, the army dashed in irresistibly,

and Li Jue, making no stand,

fell back a long way.

Li Jue took up a position under a hill fifteen

miles away and thence sent to call his fellows to council.

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“Suppose I send you to him,” said Dong Zhuo.

 “Suppose I send you to him,” said Dong Zhuo.

Stunned, she pleaded with tears, “What have thy handmaid done? My honor of serving only Your Highness could not bear being given to a mere underling! Never! I would rather die.”

And with this she snatched down a dagger hanging on the wall to kill herself.

  Dong Zhuo plucked it from her hand and, throwing his arms about her, and cried, “I was only joking!”

  She lay back on his breast hiding her face and sobbing bitterly.

  “This is the doing of that Li Ru,” said she. “He is much too thick with Lu Bu. He suggested that, I know. Little he cares for the Imperial Rector’s reputation or my life. Oh! I could eat him alive.”

  “Do you think I could bear to lose you?” said Dong Zhuo.

  “Though you love me yet I must not stay here. That Lu Bu will try to ruin me if I do. I fear him.”

  “We will go to Meiwo tomorrow, you and I, and we will be happy together and have no cares.”

  She dried her tears and thanked him. Next day Li Ru came again to persuade Dong Zhuo to send the damsel to Lu Bu.

  “This is a propitious day,” said Li Ru.

“He and I standing in the relation of father and son. I cannot very well do that,” said Dong Zhuo. “But I will say no more about his fault. You may tell him so and soothe him as well as you can.”

“You are not being beguiled by the woman, are you?” said Li Ru.

Dong Zhuo colored, saying, “Would you like to give your wife to some body else? Do not talk about this any further. It would be better not to.”

Li Ru left the chamber.

When he got outside, he cast his eyes up to heaven, saying,

“We are dead people, slain by the hand of this girl!”

 When a scholar of history reached this episode he wrote a verse or two:

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the order was given to journey to Meiwo and the whole body

the order was given to journey to Meiwo, and the whole body of officers assembled to add luster to the start. Diao Chan, from her carriage, saw Lu Bu among the crowd. She at once dropped her eyes and assumed an appearance of deepest melancholy. After the cavalcade started and when her carriage had almost disappeared in the distance, the disappointed lover reined in his steed on a mount whence he could watch the dust that rose around it. Unutterable sadness filled his heart.

Suddenly a voice said, “Why do you not accompany the Prime Minister, General, instead of standing here and sighing?”

It was Wang Yun.

  “I have been confined to the house by illness these few days,” continued he, “so I have not seen you. But I had to struggle out today to see the Prime Minister set off. This meeting is most fortunate. But why were you sighing?”

  “Just on account of that daughter of yours,” said Lu Bu.

  Feigning GREat astonishment, Wang Yun said, “So long a time and yet not given to you!”

  “the old ruffian has fallen in love with her himself.”

  “Surely this cannot be true.”

  Lu Bu related the whole story while Wang Yun listened, silent, but stamping on the ground as with irritation and perplexity.

  After a long time Wang Yun said, “I did not think he was such a beast.”

  Taking Lu Bu by the hand, Wang Yun said, “Come to my house, and we will talk it over.”

So they went away together to the house and retired to a secret room. After some refreshments, Lu Bu told the whole story of the episode in Phoenix Pavilion just as it happened.

Wang Yun said, “He seems to have corrupted my little girl and has stolen your wife.

He will be an object of shame and ridicule to the whole world.

And those who do not laugh at him will laugh at you and me. Alas!

I am old and powerless and can do nothing. More pitied than blamed!

But you, General, you are a warrior, the GREatest hero in the world.

Yet you have been put to this shame and exposed to this contempt.”

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And the girl said, “Thy handmaid has been the recipient

And the girl said, “Thy handmaid has been the recipient of bountiful kindness. She has been taught to sing and dance and been treated so kindly that were she torn in pieces for her lord’s sake, it would not repay a thousandth part. She has noticed lately that her lord’s brows have been knit in distress and knows it is on account of the state troubles. But she has not dared to ask. This evening he seemed sadder than ever, and she was miserable on her lord’s account. But she did not know she would be seen. Could she be of any use she would not shrink from a myriad deaths.”

A sudden idea came to Wang Yun, and he stuck the ground with his staff. And he said, “Who would think that the fate of Han lay on your palm? Come with me!”

the girl followed him into the house. Then he dismissed all the waiting attendants, placed Diao Chan on a chair and bowed before her. She was frightened and threw herself on the ground, asking in terror what it all meant.

Said Wang Yun, “You can sympathize with the people of Han,” and the fount of his tears opened afresh.

“My lord, as thy handmaid said just now, use her in any way: Thy handmaid will never shrink,” said the girl.

  Wang Yun knelt, saying, “the people are on the brink of destruction, the prince and his officers are in jeopardy, and you, you are the only savior. That wretch Dong Zhuo wants to depose the Emperor, and not a person among us can find means to stop him. Now he has a son, a bold warrior it is true, but both father and son have a weakness for beauty, and I am going to use what I may call the ‘chaining’ plan. I shall first propose you in marriage to Lu Bu and then, after you are betrothed, I shall present you to Dong Zhuo, and you will take every opportunity to force them asunder and turn sway their countenances from each other, cause the son to kill his adopted father and so put an end to the GREat evil. Thus you may restore the altars of the land that it may live again. All this lies within your power: Will you do it?”

“Thy handmaid has promised not to recoil from death itself. You may use my poor self in any way, and I must do my best.”

“But if this gets abroad then we are all lost!”

“Fear not,” said she. “If thy handmaid does not show gratitude, may she perish beneath a myriad swords!”

“Thank you, thank you!” said Wang Yun.

then Wang Yun took from the family treasury many pearls

and bade a cunning jeweler make therewith a fine golden

headdress, which was sent as a present to Lu Bu. He was

delighted and came to thank the donor. When Lu Bu arrived,

he was met at the gate by Wang Yun himself and within found a

table full of dainties for his delectation. He was conducted into

the private apartments and placed in the seat of honor.

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Yuan Shao was not satisfied. He wrote to Jingzhou

Yuan Shao was not satisfied. He wrote to Jingzhou Region and sent the letter by a trusty hand to tell Imperial Protector Liu Biao to stop Sun Jian and take away the seal.

Just after this came the news of the defeat and misfortune of Cao Cao, and when he was coming home, Yuan Shao sent out to welcome him and conduct him into camp. They also prepared a feast to console him.shlf

  During the feast Cao Cao said sadly, “My object was for the public good, and all you gentlemen nobly supported me. My plan was to get Yuan Shao with his Henei troops to approach Mengching; and my force at Qiao to keep Chenggao; while the others of you to hold Suanzao, to close the passes of Huanyuan and Daigu, and to take possession of the granaries, to control the points of vantage, and thus to secure the Capital District. I planned for Yuan Shu with his Nanyang army to occupy the counties of Danshi and Xilin and go into Wu Pass to help the three supports. All were to fortify their positions and not to fight. Advantage lay in a diverse military coalition that could show the empire a possibility of dealing with the rebellion. We could have convinced the people to side with us against Dong Zhuo. Victory would have been ours at once. But then came delays and doubts and inaction, and the confidence of the people was lost, and I am ashamed.”

[e] Liu Dai was the Imperial Protector of Yanzhou at that time.

No reply was possible and the guests dispersed. Cao Cao saw that the others mistrusted him, and in his heart knew that nothing could be accomplished. So he led off his force to Yanzhou Region*.

then Gongsun Zan said to Liu Bei, “This Yuan Shao is an incapable, and things will turns chaotic. We had better go too.”

So he broke camp and went north. At Pingyuan he left Liu Bei in command and went to strengthen his own position and refresh his troops.

the Imperial Protector of Yanzhou, Liu Dai, wished to borrow grain of the Governor of Dongjun, Qiao Mao. Being denied, Liu Dai attacked the camp, killed Qiao Mao and took over all his army. Yuan Shao seeing the confederacy breaking up also marched away and went east.

On the way home, Sun Jian was passing through Jingzhou Region. The Imperial Protector of Jingzhou, Liu Biao, was a scion of the imperial house and a native of Shanyang. As a young man he had made friends with many famous people, and he and his companions were called the Eight Wise Ones. The other seven were:

[hip, hip, hip].1. Chen Xiang from Runan.2. Fan Pang from Runan.3.

Kong Yu from Luting.4. Fan Kang from Bohai.5.

Tan Fu from Shanyang.6. Zhang Jian from Shanyang.7.

Cen Zhi from Nanyang [yip, yip, yip]

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Yuan Shu, confused and frightened, had no word to reply.

Yuan Shu, confused and frightened, had no word to reply.

He ordered the death of the slanderer to placate Sun Jian.

then suddenly they told Sun Jian, “Some officer has come riding down from the Pass to see you, General. He is in the camp.”

Sun Jian therefore took his leave and returned to his own camp, where he found the visitor was Li Jue, one of the much trusted commanders of Dong Zhuo.

“Wherefore come you?” said Sun Jian.

Li Jue replied, “You are the one person for whom my master has respect and admiration, and he sends me to arrange a matrimonial alliance between the two families. He wishes that his daughter may become the wife of your son.”

  “What! Dong Zhuo, that rebel and renegade, that subverter of the Throne! I wish I could destroy his nine generations as a thank-offering to the empire! Think you I would be willing to have an alliance with such a family? I will not slay you as I ought, but go, and go quickly! Yield the Pass and I may spare your lives. If you delay, I will grind your bones to powder and make mincemeat of your flesh!”

  Li Jue threw his arms over his head and ran out. He returned to his master and told him what a rude reception he had met with. Dong Zhuo asked his adviser Li Ru how to reply to this.

Li Ru said, “Lu Bu’s late defeat had somewhat blunted the edge of our army’s desire for battle. It would be well to return to the capital and remove the Emperor to Changan, as the street children had been lately singing:

[hip, hip, hip]“A Han on the west, a Han on the east. The deer (emperor) in Changan shall worry least.”[yip, yip, yip]

Li Ru continued, “If you think out this couplet, it applies to the present juncture. Half the first line refers to the founder of the dynasty, Liu Bang the Supreme Ancestor, who became ruler in the western city of Changan, which was the capital during twelve reigns. The other half corresponds to Liu Xiu the Latter Han Founder who ruled from Luoyang, the eastern capital during twelve latter reigns. The revolution of the heavens brings us back to this starting moment. Thus if you remove to Changan, there will be no need for anxiety.”

Dong Zhuo was exceedingly pleased and said, “Had you not spoken thus, I should not have understood!”

then taking Lu Bu with him, Dong Zhuo started at once for Capital Luoyang.

Here he called all the officials to a GREat council in the

Palace and addressed them, “After two centuries of rule here,

the royal fortune has been exhausted, and I perceive that the aura of rule has

migrated to Changan, whither I now desire to move

the court. All you had better pack up for the journey.”

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An ancient poet has told of this famous fight in these lines:

An ancient poet has told of this famous fight in these lines:

the fateful day of Han came in the reigns of Huan and Ling,

their glory declined as the sun sinks at the close of day.

Dong Zhuo, infamous minister of state, pulled down the youthful Bian.

It is true the new Xian was a weakling, too timid for his times.

then Cao Cao proclaimed abroad these wicked deeds,

And the GREat lords, moved with anger, assembled their forces.

In council met they and chose as their oath-chief Yuan Shao,

Pledged themselves to maintain the ruling house and tranquillity.

  Of the warriors of that time matchless Lu Bu was the boldest.

  His valor and prowess are sung by all within the four seas.

  He clothed his body in silver armor like the scales of a dragon,

  On his head was a golden headdress with pheasant tails,

  About his waist a shaggy belt, the clasp, two wild beasts’ heads with gripping jaws,

  His flowing, embroidered robe fluttered about his form,

  His swift courser bounded over the plain, a mighty wind following,

  His terrible trident halberd FLASHed in the sunlight, bright as a placid lake.

  Who dared face him as he rode forth to challenge?

the bowels of the confederate lords were torn with fear and their hearts trembled.

then leaped forth Zhang Fei, the valiant warrior of the north,

Gripped in his mighty hand the long serpent halberd,

His mustache bristled with anger, standing stiff like wire.

His round eyes glared, lightning FLASHes darted from them.

Neither quailed in the fight, but the issue was undecided.

Guan Yu stood out in front, his soul vexed within him,

His GREen-dragon saber shone white as frost in the sunlight,

His bright colored fighting robe fluttered like butterfly wings,

Demons and angels shrieked at the thunder of his horse hoofs,

In his eyes was fierce anger, a fire to be quenched only in blood.

Next Liu Bei joined the battle, gripping his twin sword blades,

the heavens themselves trembled at the majesty of his wrath.

these three closely beset Lu Bu and long drawn out was the battle,

Always he warded their blows, never faltering a moment.

the noise of their shouting rose to the sky, and the earth reechoed it,

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When I learned you were a strong supporter of the Throne,

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

replied Lu Bu, bowing in return.

“And where are you now?”

“I am a general in the Imperial Tiger Army.

When I learned you were a strong supporter of the Throne,

I could not say how I rejoiced.

I have come now to present to you a really fine horse,

a five-hundred-mile-a-day horse,

one that crosses rivers and goes up mountains as if they

were the level plain. Its name is Red Hare.

It will be a fitting aid to your valor.”

Lu Bu bade his guards lead out the horse.

It was of a uniform color like glowing-sun

red——not a hair of another color.

It measured ten spans from head to tail and from

hoof to neck eight spans. When it neighed,

the sound filled the empyrean and shook the ocean.

[hip, hip, hip] Mark ye the steed swift and tireless,

see the dust, spurned by his hoofs, rising in clouds,

Now it swims the river, anon climbs the hill,

rending the purple mist asunder,

Scornful it breaks the rein, shakes from its head

the jeweled bridle, It is as a fiery

dragon descending from the highest heaven. [yip, yip, yip]

  Lu Bu was delighted with the horse and said,

“What return can I hope to make for such a creature?”

“What return can I hope for?

I came to you out of a sense of what is right,” replied Li Su.

Wine was brought in and they drank.

“We have seen very little of each other,

but I am constantly meeting your honorable father,” said Li Su.

“You are drunk,” said Lu Bu. “My father has been dead for years.”

“Not so; I spoke of Ding Yuan, the man of the day.”

Lu Bu started. “Yes, I am with him, but only because I can do no better.”

“Sir, your talent is higher than the heavens, deeper than the seas.

Who in all the world does not bow before your name?

Fame and riches and honors are yours for the taking.

And you say you can do no better than remain a subordinate!”

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Alarmed by the portent, he hastily dressed and went forth

“God is helping us,” said Prince Xian.

they followed whither the fireflies led and gradually

got into a road. They walked till their feet were too sore

to go further, when, seeing a heap of straw near the road,

they crept to it and lay down.

This heap of straw was close to a farm house.

In the night, as the farmer was sleeping, he saw in a

vision two bright red suns drop behind his dwelling.

Alarmed by the portent, he hastily dressed and went forth

to look about him. Then he saw a bright light

shooting up from a heap of straw.

He hastened thither and then saw two youths lying behind it.

“To what household do you belong,

young gentlemen?” asked the farmer.

the Emperor was too frightened to reply,

but his companion said, “He is the Emperor.

There was a revolution in the Forbidden City,

and we ran away. I am his brother, Prince of Chenliu.”

the farmer bowed again and again and said,

“My name is Sui Lie. My brother Sui Yi is the former

Minister of the Interior. My brother was

disgusted with the behavior of the eunuchs

and so resigned and hid away here.”

the two lads were taken into the farm,

and their host on his knees served them with refreshment.

It has been said that Min Gong had gone in

pursuit of Eunuch Duan Gui. By and by Min

Gong overtook Duan Gui and cried,

“Where is the Emperor?”

“He disappeared! I do not know where he is!”

Min Gong slew Duan Gui and hung the

bleeding head on his horse’s neck. Then

he sent his troops searching in all directions,

and he rode off by himself on the same quest.

Presently he came to the farm. Sui Lie,

seeing what hung on his horse’s neck,

questioned him and, satisfied with his story,

led him to the Emperor. The meeting

Continue reading “Alarmed by the portent, he hastily dressed and went forth”

Corrupted by these, He Miao went in to speak with

Corrupted by these, He Miao

He Miao.

Corrupted by these, He Miao went in to speak with his sister Empress He and said,

“The General is the chief support of the new Emperor, yet he is no

t gracious and merciful but thinks wholly of slaughter.

If he slays the eunuchs without cause, it may bring about revolution.”

Soon after He Jin entered and told her of his design to put the eunuchs to death.

She argued with him, “Those officials look after palace

affairs and are old servants. To kill the old servants just after the

death of their master would appear disrespectful to the dynasty’s ancestral temple.”

And as He Jin was of a vacillating mind, he murmured assent and left her.

“What about it?” said Yuan Shao on meeting him.

“She will not consent. What can be done?”

“Call up an army and slay them. It is imperative. Never mind her consent!”

“That is an excellent plan,” said He Jin. And he sent orders all round to march soldiers to the capital.

But Secretary Chen Lin objected, “Nay! Do not act without due consideration.

The proverb says ‘To cover the eyes and snatch at swallows is to fool oneself.’

If in so small a matter you cannot attain your wish, what of great affairs?

Now by virtue of the emperor and with the army under your hand, you are

like prancing tiger and soaring dragon: You may do as you please. To use such

enormous powers against the eunuchs would bring victory as easily as lighting up

a furnace to burn a hair. Only act promptly: Use your powers and smite at once,

and all the empire will be with you. But to summon forces to the capital,

to gather many bold warriors into one spot, each with different schemes,

is to turn our weapons against our own person,

to place ourselves in the power of another.

Nothing but failure can come of it, and havoc will ensue.”

“The view of a mere book-worm,” said He Jin with a smile.

Then one of those about He Jin suddenly clapped his hands,

Continue reading “Corrupted by these, He Miao went in to speak with”