Wang Yun spoke to Cai Yong angrily,Dong Zhuo has

Wang Yun spoke to Cai Yong angrily,

“Dong Zhuo has been put to death as a rebel,

and all the land rejoices. You, a Han minister,

instead of rejoicing, weep for him. Why?”

Cai Yong confessed his fault, saying, “I am without talent, yet know what is right. I am not the man who turns my back on the dynasty and toward Dong Zhuo. Yet once I experienced his kindness, and I could not help mourning for him.

I know my fault is grave, but I pray you regard the reasons. If you will leave my head and only cut off my feet, you may use me to continue the History of Han, whereby I may have the good fortune to be allowed to expiate my fault.”

  All were sorry for Cai Yong, for he was a man of GREat talents, and they begged that he might be spared.

  the Imperial Guardian, Ma Midi, secretly interceded for him, saying, “Cai Yong is famous as a scholar, and he can write glorious history, and it is inadvisable to put to death a man renowned for rectitude without consideration.”

  But in vain, for the High Minister was now strong and obdurate.

  [e] Emperor Wu, aka Liu Che, (reigned BC 141-87) whose reign was longest among the Han emperors. Emperor Wu was perhaps the most influential

Han emperor who concerned not only about expanding territory but also about developing trade with other countries (the Silk Road, for example)。

Emperor paid special attention to longevity, and his court often had elaborate rituals. ……

[e] Sima Qian (BC 145-85) astronomer, calendar expert, and the first GREat Chinese historian, noted for his authorship of the “Historical Records” or Shi Ji, which is considered to be the most important history of China down to the end of the 2nd century. ……

Wang Yun said, “Centuries ago, Emperor Wu* spared Sima Qian* and employed him on the annals, with the result that many slanderous stories have been handed down to us. This is a trying period of GREat perplexity,

and we dare not let a specious fellow

like this wield his pen in criticism of those

about the court of a youthful

prince and abuse us as he will.”

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“What is the meaning of this?” said Dong Zhuo.He is a madman

“What is the meaning of this?” said Dong Zhuo.

“He is a madman,” said Li Su, and he told the guards to drive the fellow away.

Dong Zhuo went in and found all the officials in court dress lining the road. Li Su walked beside his carriage, a sword in his hand. When Li Su reached the north gate of the Forbidden City, he found the soldiers of Dong Zhuo drawn up outside and only the pushers of the Palace carriage, a twenty or so, were allowed to proceed further.

  When Dong Zhuo arrived near the Reception Hall, he saw that Wang Yun and all the other officials standing at the door were armed.

  “Why are they all armed?” said Dong Zhuo to Li Su.

  Li Su was silent as he helped push the carriage forward swiftly to the entrance.

  Suddenly Wang Yun shouted, “the rebel is here! Where are the executioners?”

  At this call sprang from both sides soldiers armed with halberds and spears who attacked Dong Zhuo. He had not put on the breastplate he usually wore, and a spear pierced his breast.

  He sank down in the carriage calling loudly for his son, “Where is Lu Bu?”

  “Here, and with a decree to deal with a rebel!” said Lu Bu, as he appeared in front of his “father.”

  thereupon he thrust his trident halberd through the victim’s throat. Then Li Su hacked off the head and held it up.

  Lu Bu, his left hand holding his halberd,

thrust his right hand into his bosom whence he drew the decree,

crying, “The decree was to slay the rebel Dong Zhuo——no other!”

the whole assembly shouted,

“Wan shui! Live forever! O Emperor!”

A sympathetic poet has written a few lines in pity:

[hip, hip, hip] Await the time, O noble, and be king, Or failing, reap the solace riches bring;

Heaven never is partial,

but severely just,

Meiwo stood strong,

yet now it lies in dust.

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Dong Zhuo turned to Li Su and asked what these things portended.

Dong Zhuo turned to Li Su and asked what these things portended.

“It means that you are going to receive the abdication of the Hans, which is to renew all things: To mount the jeweled chariot and sit in the golden saddle.”

And Dong Zhuo was pleased and convinced with this answer. During the second day’s journey a violent gale sprang up, and the sky became covered with a thick mist.

“What does this mean?” said Dong Zhuo.

  the wily Li Su had an interpretation for this also, saying,

“You are ascending to the place of the dragon: There must be bright light and lurid vapor to dignify your majestic approach.”

  Dong Zhuo had no more doubts. He presently arrived and found many officials waiting without the city gate to receive him,

all but Li Ru who was ill and unable to leave his chamber.

He entered and proceeded to his own palace, where Lu Bu came to congratulate him.

  “When I sit on the throne, you shall command the whole armies of the empire, horse and foot,” said Dong Zhuo.

  That night Dong Zhuo slept in the midst of his escort. In the suburbs that evening some children at

play were singing a little ditty, and the words drifted into the bedchamber on the wind.

  [hip, hip, hip]“the grass in the meadow looks fresh now and GREen, Yet wait but ten days, not a blade will be seen.”[yip, yip, yip]

  the song sounded ominous but Li Su was again prepared with a happy interpretation:

“It only means that the Lius are about to disappear, and the Dongs to be exalted.”

  [e] the staff, the cloth, and the mouths formed the Chinese characters, implied the name of Lu Bu.

Next morning at the first streak of dawn,

Dong Zhuo prepared for his appearance at court. On the way he saw a Taoist,

dressed in a black robe and wearing a white turban,

who carried in his hand a tall staff with a long strip of white cloth attached.

At each end of the cloth was drawn a mouth*.

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“I will kill the wretch, I swear it! In no other way can

“I will kill the wretch, I swear it! In no other way can I wash away my shame.”

“No, no! Do not say such a thing,” said Wang Yun, putting his hand over the other’s mouth. “You will bring trouble on poor me and my family.”

“When one is born GREat, one cannot be patient for long under another person’s domination,” said Lu Bu.

“It needs someone GREater than the Prime Minister to limit the scope of such talents as yours.”

  Lu Bu said, “I would not mind killing the old wretch were it not for the relation in which we stand. I fear to provoke the hostile criticism of posterity.”

  Wang Yun shook his head, saying, “Your name is Lu Bu; his is Dong Zhuo. Where was the paternal feeling when he threw the halberd at you?”

  “I had been misled if you had not said that,” said Lu Bu hotly.

  Wang Yun saw the effect of his words and continued, “It would be a loyal deed to restore the House of Han, and history would hand down your name to posterity perpetually fragrant. If you lend your aid to Dong Zhuo, you will be a traitor and your name will be tainted through all ages.”

  Lu Bu rose from his place and bowed to Wang Yun.

  “I have decided,” said he. “You need not fear, Sir.”

  “But yet you may fail and bring upon yourself misfortune,” said Wang Yun.

  Lu Bu drew his dagger, pricking his arm, and swearing by the blood that flowed.

Wang Yun fell on his knees and thanked him.

“then the Han sacrifices will not be cut off, and you will be their savior. But this must remain a secret,

and I will tell you how the plot shall be worked out.”

  Lu Bu took leave with GREat emotion.

  Wang Yun took into his confidence two colleagues,

Minister Shisun Rui and Imperial Commander Huang Wan.

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Suddenly a voice said, “Why do you not accompany

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.”

A wave of fierce wrath rolled up in Lu Bu.

Banging the table he shouted and roared.

 His host ostentatiously tried to calm him, saying,

“I forgot myself. I should not have

spoken like that. Do not be so angry, I pray!”

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“This is the doing of that Li Ru,” said she. “He is much too thick with

“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:

[hip, hip, hip] Just introduce a woman, Conspiracies succeed;Of soldiers, or their weapons, There really is no need. They fought their bloody battles, And doughty deeds were done;But in a garden summer house The victory was won. [yip, yip, yip]

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.

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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:

[hip, hip, hip] Just introduce a woman,

Conspiracies succeed;Of soldiers, or their weapons,

There really is no need. They fought their bloody battles,

And doughty deeds were done;

But in a garden summer house The victory was won. 

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Thus speaking she seized the curving rail and started into

Thus speaking she seized the curving rail and started into

the lily pond. Lu Bu caught her in his

strong arms and wept as he held her close.

“I knew it: I always knew your heart,” he sobbed. “Only we never had a chance to speak.”

She threw her arms about Lu Bu.

“If I cannot be your wife in this life, I will in the ages to come,” she whispered.

“If I do not marry you in this life, I am no hero,” said he.

“Every day is a year long. O pity me! Rescue me! My lord!”

  “I have only stolen away for a brief moment, and I am afraid that old rebel will suspect something, so I must not stay too long,” said Lu Bu.

  Diao Chan clung to his robe, saying, “If you fear the old thief so much, I shall never see another sunrise.”

  Lu Bu stopped.

  “Give me a little time to think,” said he.

  And he picked up his halberd to go.

  “In the deep seclusion of the harem, I heard the stories of your prowess. You were the one man who excelled all others. Little did I think that you of all heroes would rest content under the dominion of another.”

  And tears rained again!

  A wave of shame flooded his face. Leaning his halberd against the railing, he turned and clasped the girl to his breast, soothing her with fond words. The lovers held each other close, swaying to and fro with emotion. They could not bring themselves to say farewell.

  In the meantime Dong Zhuo missed his henchman, and doubt filled his heart. Hastily taking leave of the Emperor, he mounted his chariot and returned to his palace. There at the gate stood Lu Bu’s well known steed Red Hare, riderless. Dong Zhuo questioned the doorkeepers, and they told him the General was within. He sent away his attendants and went alone to the private apartments. Lu Bu was not there. He called Diao Chan, but there was no reply. He asked where she was, and the waiting maids told him she was in the garden among the flowers.

  So Dong Zhuo went into the garden, and there he saw the lovers in the pavilion in most tender talk. Lu Bu’s trident halberd was leaning on the railing beside him.

A howl of rage escaped Dong Zhuo and startled the lovers. Lu Bu turned, saw who it was, and ran away. Dong Zhuo caught up the halberd and ran in pursuit. But Lu Bu was fleet of foot while his master was very stout. Seeing no hope of catching the runaway, Dong Zhuo hurled the halberd. Lu Bu fended it off and it fell to the ground. Dong Zhuo picked it up and ran on. But by this time Lu Bu was far ahead. Just as Dong Zhuo was running out at the garden gate, he dashed full tilt against another man running in, and down he went.

[hip, hip, hip] Surged up his wrath within him as

the billows heavenward leap. Crashed his unwieldy body

to earth in a shapeless heap. [yip, yip, yip]

We shall presently see who the other runner was

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“Of course you do not understand. Yesterday when I was at court

“Of course you do not understand. Yesterday when I was at court, the Prime Minister told me he had something to talk to me about in my own house. So naturally I prepared for his coming, and while we were at dinner he said, ‘I have heard something of a girl named Diao Chan whom you have promised to my son Lu Bu. I thought it was mere rumor so I wanted to ask if it was true. Beside I should like to see her.’ I could not say no, so she came in and made her bow to the lord of lords. Then he said that it was a lucky day and he would take her away with him and betroth her to you. Just think, Sir: When the Prime Minister had come himself, could I stop him?”

“You were not so very wrong,” said Lu Bu. “But for a time I had misunderstood you. I owe you an apology.”

“the girl has a small trousseau, which I will send as soon as she has gone over to your dwelling.”

  Lu Bu thanked him and went away. Next day he went into the palace to find out the truth, but could hear nothing. Then he made his way into the private quarters and questioned the maids. Presently one told him that the Prime Minister had brought home a new bedfellow the night before and was not up yet. Lu Bu was very angry. Next he crept round behind his master’s sleeping apartment.

  By this time Diao Chan had risen and was dressing her hair at the window. Looking out she saw a long shadow fall across the little lake. She recognized the headdress, and peeping around she saw it was indeed no other than Lu Bu. Thereupon she contracted her eyebrows, simulating the deepest grief, and with her dainty handkerchief she wiped her eyes again and again. Lu Bu stood watching her a long time.

  Soon after he went in to give morning GREeting. Dong Zhuo was sitting in the reception room. Seeing his henchman, Dong Zhuo asked if there was anything new.

“Nothing,” was the reply.

Lu Bu waited while Dong Zhuo took his morning meal. As he stood beside his master, he glanced over at the curtain and saw a woman there behind the screen showing a half face from time to time and throwing amorous glances at him. He felt it was his beloved, and his thoughts flew to her. Presently Dong Zhuo noticed his expression and began to feel suspicious.

“If there is nothing, you may go,” said Dong Zhuo.

Lu Bu sulkily withdrew.

Dong Zhuo now thought of nothing but his new mistress and for more than a month neglected all affairs, devoting himself entirely to pleasure. Once he was a little indisposed, and Diao Chan was constantly at his side, never even undressing to show her solicitude. She gratified his every whim. Dong Zhuo GREw more and more fond of her.

One day Lu Bu went to inquire after his father’s health.

Dong Zhuo was asleep, and Diao Chan was sitting at the head of

his couch. Leaning forward she gazed at the visitor, with one hand

pointed to her heart, the other at Dong Zhuo asleep, and her tears fell.

Lu Bu felt heartbroken. Dong Zhuo drowsily opened his eyes;

and seeing his son’s gaze fixed on something behind him, he turned over and saw who it was.

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You stand, a dainty maiden, Your cherry lips so bright, Your teeth so

You stand, a dainty maiden, Your cherry lips so bright, Your teeth so

pearly white, Your fragrant breath love-laden;Yet is your tongue a sword;Cold death is the reward Of loving thee, O maiden. [yip, yip, yip]

  Dong Zhuo was delighted and praised her warmly. She was told to present a goblet of wine to the guest which he took from her hands and then asked her age.

  She replied, “Thy unworthy handmaid is twenty-one.”

  “A perfect little fairy!” said Dong Zhuo.

  then Wang Yun rose and said, “If the Prime Minister would not mind, I should like to offer him this little maid.”

  “How could I be grateful enough for such a kindness!”

  “She would be most fortunate if she could be your servant,” said Wang Yun.

  Dong Zhuo thanked his host warmly.

  then the orders were given to prepare a closed carriage and convey Diao Chan to the Prime Minister’s palace.

  Soon after Dong Zhuo took his leave, and Wang Yun accompanied him the whole way.

After he had taken leave, Wang Yun mounted to ride homeward. Half way he met two lines of guards with red lamps who were escorting Lu Bu who was on horseback and armed with his trident halberd.

Seeing Wang Yun, Lu Bu at once reined in, stopped, seized him by the sleeve, and said angrily, “You promised Diao Chan to me, and now you have given her to the Prime Minister: What foolery is this?”

Wang Yun checked him, saying, “This is no place to talk; I pray you come to my house.”

So they went together, and Wang Yun led Lu Bu into a private room.

  After the usual exchange of polite GREetings,

Wang Yun said, “Why do you find fault with me, General?”

“Somebody told me that you had sent Diao

Chan to the Prime Minister’s palace in a covered carriage: What does it mean?”

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