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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On one occasion Dong Zhuo spread a GREat feast for all

On one occasion Dong Zhuo spread a GREat feast for all those assembled to witness his departure; and while it was in progress, there arrived a large number of rebels from the north who had voluntarily surrendered. The tyrant had them brought before him as he sat at table and meted out to them wanton cruelties. The hands of this one were lopped off, the feet of that; one had his eyes gouged out; another lost his tongue. Some were boiled to death. Shrieks of agony arose to the very heavens, and the courtiers were faint with terror. But the author of the misery ate and drank, chatted and smiled as if nothing was going on.

Another day Dong Zhuo was presiding at a GREat gathering of officers who were seated in two long rows. After the wine had gone up and down several times, Lu Bu entered and whispered a few words in his master’s ear.

  Dong Zhuo smiled and said, “He was always so. Take Minister Zhang Wan outside.”

  the others all turned pale. In a little time a serving man brought the head of their fellow guest on a red dish and showed it to their host. They nearly died with fright.

  “Do not fear,” said Dong Zhuo smiling. “Minister Zhang Wan was in league with Yuan Shu to assassinate me. A letter he wrote fell by mistake into the hands of my son, so I have had him put to death. You gentlemen, who have no reason, need have no fear.”

  the officials hastened to disperse. One of them, Minister of the Interior Wang Yun, who had witnessed all this, returned to his palace very pensive and much distressed. The same evening, a bright moonlight night, he took his staff and went strolling in his private garden. Standing near one of the creeper trellises, he gazed up at the sky and the tears rolled down his cheeks. Suddenly he heard a rustle in the Peony Pavilion and someone sighing deeply. Stealthily creeping near, he saw there one of the household singing girls named Diao Chan.

  This maiden had been brought up in his palace, where she had been taught to sing and dance. At twenty-one, she was then just bursting into womanhood, a pretty and clever girl whom Wang Yun regarded more as a daughter than a dependant.

After listening for some time, Wang Yun suddenly called out, “What mischief are you up to there, you naughty girl?”

the maiden dropped on her knees in terror, saying,

“Would thy unworthy handmaid dare to do anything wrong?”

“then what are you sighing about out here in the darkness?”

“May thy handmaid speak from the bottom of her heart?”

“Tell me the whole truth. Do not conceal anything.”

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This bold speech gave new courage to his soldiers

This bold speech gave new courage to his soldiers who now fought fiercely and with such success that Zhao Yun could nowhere force his way in. Yuan Shao was soon reinforced by the arrival of his main body and Yan Liang, and the two armies pressed forward. Zhao Yun could only just get Gongsun Zan safe out of the press. Then they fought their way back to the bridge. But Yuan Shao’s troops still came on and fought their way across the bridge, forcing multitudes of their adversaries into the water, where many were drowned.

Yuan Shao was leading in person and his troops still advanced. But not more than two miles, for soon a GREat shouting was heard behind some hills, whence suddenly burst out a body of troops led by Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei.

At Pingyuan they had heard of the struggle between their protector and his enemy, Yuan Shao, and had at once set out to help. Now the three riders, each with his peculiar weapon, flew straight at Yuan Shao, who was so frightened that his soul seemed to leave his body and fly beyond the confines of heaven.

  His sword fell from his hand and he fled for his life. He was chased across the bridge when Gongsun Zan called in his army, and they returned to camp.

  After the usual GREetings Gongsun Zan said, “If you had not come to our help, we should have been in very bad case.”

  Liu Bei and Zhao Yun were made acquainted with each other, and a warm affection sprang up from the very first so that they were always together.

  Yuan Shao had lost that battle, and Gongsun Zan would not risk another. They strengthened their defenses, and the armies lay inactive for over a month. In the meantime news of the fighting had reached Capital Changan, and Dong Zhuo was told.

  His adviser, Li Ru, went to see his master and said, “the two active leaders of today are Yuan Shao and Gongsun Zan, who are at grips at River Pan. Pretend you have an imperial command to make peace between them, and both will support you out of gratitude for your intervention.”

  “Good!” said Dong Zhuo.

  So he sent the Imperial Guardian, Ma Midi,

and the Minister of the Inner Bureau, Zhao Qi, on the mission. When these men were arriving at the

North of Yellow River, Yuan Shao sent out to welcome them thirty miles from his headquarters

and received the imperial command with the GREatest respect. Then the two officers went to

Gongsun Zan and made known their errand. Gongsun Zan sent letters to his adversary

proposing friendship. The two emissaries returned to report their task accomplished.

Gongsun Zan drew off his army. He

also sent up a memorial eulogizing

Liu Bei, who was raised to

the rank of Governor of Pingyuan.

the farewell between Liu Bei and Zhao Yun was affecting.

They held each other’s hands a long time, their eyes streaming with tears, and could not tear themselves apart.

Zhao Yun said with a sob,

“I used to think Gongsun Zan a true hero,

but I see now that he is no different from

Yuan Shao. they are both alike.”

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On Yuan Shao’s side Yan Liang and Wen Chou were

On Yuan Shao’s side Yan Liang and Wen Chou were Leaders of the Van. Each had one thousand of archers and crossbowmen. They were set out half on either side, those on the left to shoot at Gongsun Zan’s right and those on the right to shoot at his left. In the center was Qu Yi with eight hundred bowmen and ten thousand of foot and horse. Yuan Shao took command of the reserve force in the rear.

In this fight Gongsun Zan employed his new adherent Zhao Yun for the first time and, as Gongsun Zan did not feel assured of Zhao Yun’s good faith, put him in command of a company at the rear. The Van Leader was Yan Guang, and Gongsun Zan himself commanded the center. He took his place on horseback on the bridge beside an enormous red standard on which was displayed the word Commanding General in gold embroidery.

  From sunrise to noon the drums rolled for the attack, but Yuan Shao’s army made no move. Qu Yi made his bowmen hide under their shields. They heard the roar of explosions, the whistling of arrows, and the rattle of the drums, as Yan Guang approached from the other side, but Qu Yi and his men lay closer than ever and never stirred. They waited till Yan Guang had got close on them and then, as the sound of a bomb rent the air, the whole eight hundred men let fly their arrows in a cloud. Yan Guang was quite taken aback and would have retired, but Qu Yi rode furiously toward him, whirled up his sword and cut him down.

  So Gongsun Zan’s army lost that battle. the two wings that should have come to the rescue were kept back by the bowmen under Yan Liang and Wen Chou. Yuan Shao’s troops advanced right up to the bridge. Then Qu Yi rode forward, slew the standard bearer, and hacked through the staff of the embroidered banner. Seeing this, Gongsun Zan turned his steed and galloped away.

  Qu Yi followed. But just as he caught up the fugitive, there came prancing forth Zhao Yun, who rode directly at him with spear ready to strike. After a few bouts Qu Yi was laid in the dust. Then Zhao Yun attacked the soldiers and turned the tide. Plunging forward on this side, dashing in on that, he went through as if there were no antagonists and, seeing this, Gongsun Zan turned and came again into the fight. The final victory was on his side.

From the scouts sent to find out how the battle went, Yuan Shao heard the good news

of Qu Yi’s success in slaying the standard bearer, capturing the flag, and his pursuit. So Yuan

Shao took no further care but rode out with his General Tian Feng

and a few guards to look on at the enemy and enjoy his victory.

“Ha ha!” Yuan Shao laughed. “Gongsun Zan is an incapable.”

But even as Yuan Shao spoke, he saw in front the redoubtable Zhao

Yun. His guards hastened to prepare their bows, but before they could shoot,

Zhao Yun was in their midst, and men were falling before him wherever he went.

The others fled. Gongsun Zan’s army then gathered round and hemmed in Yuan Shao.

Tian Feng then said to his master,

“Sir, take refuge in this empty building here!”

But Yuan Shao dashed his helmet to the ground, crying,

“The brave one rather faces death in

the battle than seeks safety behind a wall!”

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When the news got abroad, more than thirty officers

When the news got abroad, more than thirty officers of Jizhou left their employment and the city. However, Geng Wu and Guan Chun hid in the suburbs to await the arrival of Yuan Shao.

[e] Each region had a capital, which was often of the same name with the region.

they had not long to wait. Some days later, Yuan Shao with his soldiers came, and Geng Wu and Guan Chun tried to assassinate him with knives. This attempt failed. Yuan Shao’s generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou, beheaded Geng Wu and Guan Chun instantly. Thus both of them died, and the object of their hatred entered Jizhou City*.

Yuan Shao’s first act was to confer on Han Fu a high sounding title——General Who Demonstrates Grand and Vigor Courage in Arms——, but the administration was entrusted to four of Yuan Shao’s confidants——Tian Feng, Ju Shou, Xu You, and Peng Ji——who speedily deprived the Imperial Protector of all power. Full of chagrin, Han Fu soon abandoned all, even his family, and rode alone to take refuge with the Governor of Chenliu, Zhang Miao.

  Hearing of Yuan Shao’s invasion, Gongsun Zan sent his brother, Gongsun Yue, to see the usurper and demand his share of the region.

  “I want to see your elder brother himself. He and I have things to discuss,” said Yuan Shao.

  Thus Gongsun Yue was sent back. But after traveling some fifteen miles on the homeward road, Gongsun Yue saw a group of soldiers appear.

  “We are guards of Prime Minister Dong Zhuo!” cried the soldiers.

  Instantly, Gongsun Yue was killed by a flight of arrows. Those of Gongsun Yue’s followers who escaped carried the news to their late master’s brother.

Gongsun Zan was very angry and said, “Yuan Shao prevailed on me to attack, and now he has taken possession. Also he pretends the murderers of my brother were not his people. Shall I not avenge my brother’s injury?”

Gongsun Zan brought up all his force to the attack. Learning the movement, Yuan Shao sent out his army, and they met at River Pan. They halted on opposite sides of the river, over which was a bridge.

Gongsun Zan took his station on the bridge and cried to his enemy, “Renegade, how dared you mislead me?”

Yuan Shao rode to the other end of the bridge and,

pointing at Gongsun Zan, replied,

“Han Fu yielded place to me because he was unequal to the rule.

What concern is it of yours?”

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Liu Biao was friends with all these. He had three famous persons

Liu Biao was friends with all these. He had three famous persons who helped him in the government of his region. They were Kuai Liang and Kuai Yue from Yanping, and Cai Mao from Xiangyang.

  When Yuan Shao’s letter detailing the fault of Sun Jian arrived, Liu Biao ordered Kuai Yue and Cai Mao with ten thousand soldiers to bar the way. When Sun Jian drew near, the force was arranged in fighting order and the leaders were in the front.

  “Why are you thus barring the road with armed troops?” asked Sun Jian.

  “Why do you, a servant of Han, secrete the Emperor’s special seal? Leave it with me at once and you go free,” said Kuai Yue.

  Sun Jian angrily ordered out General Huang Gai. On the other side Cai Mao rode forth with his sword set to strike. But after a few bouts Huang Gai dealt Cai Mao a blow with the iron whip on the armor just over the heart. Cai Mao turned his steed and fled, and Sun Jian got through with a sudden rush.

However, there arose the sound of gongs and drums on the hills behind, and there was Liu Biao in person with a large army.

Sun Jian rode straight up to him and bowing low spoke, “Why did you, on the faith of a letter from Yuan Shao, try to coerce the chief of a neighboring region?”

“You have concealed the state jewel, and I want you to restore it,” was Liu Biao’s reply.

“If I have this thing, may I die a violent death!”

“If you want me to believe you, let me search your baggage.”

“What force have you that you dare come to flout me thus?”

And only Liu Biao’s prompt retirement prevented a battle. Sun Jian proceeded on his way. But from the rear of the second hill an ambush suddenly discovered itself, and Kuai Yue and Cai Mao were still pursuing.

Sun Jian seemed entirely hemmed in.

[hip, hip, hip]What does a man

to hold the state jewel for,

If its possession lead to strife?

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Bian He of the state of Chu (circa BC 800) found a jadestone

Bian He of the state of Chu (circa BC 800) found a jadestone in Jing Mountains and presented it to two Chu kings, but he was sentenced to amputation of both feet because the stone was thought as fake. When a new king took the throne, Bian He tried once more, and this time the stone was recognized as the purest kind of jade. ……

Li Si (BC 280-208) was the statesman who was responsible for most of the radical political and cutural innovations made in Qin after BC 221. ……

Cheng Pu said, “This seal has a history. In olden days Bian He* saw a phoenix sitting on a certain stone at the foot of the Jing Mountains. He offered the stone at court. The King of Chu split open the stone and found a piece of jade. In the twenty-sixth year of Qin Dynasty (BC 221), a jade cutter made a seal from it, and Li Si*, the First Emperor’s Prime Minister, engraved the characters. Two years later, while the First Emperor was sailing in Dongting Lake, a terrific storm arrived. The Emperor threw the seal to the water as a propitiatory offering, and the storm immediately ceased. Ten years later again, when the First Emperor was making a proGREss and had reached Huaying, an old man by the road side handed a seal to one of the attendants saying, ‘This is now restored to the ancestral dragon!’ and had then disappeared. Thus the jewel returned to Qin.

  “the next year the First Emperor died. Later Zi Ying, the last Emperor of Qin and grandson of the First Emperor, presented the seal to Liu Bang the Supreme Ancestor, the founder of Han Dynasty. Two hundred years later, in Wang Mang’s rebellion, the Emperor’s mother, Lady Yuan, struck two of the rebels, Wang Xun and Su Xian, with the seal and broke off a corner, which was repaired with gold. Liu Xiu the Latter Han Founder got possession of it at Yiyang, and it has been regularly bequeathed hereafter.

[e] the Yangtze or Yangzi river, which flows from west to east to the Pacific at Shanghai.

“I heard this treasured seal had been lost during the trouble in the Palace when the Ten Regular Attendants hurried off the Emperor. It was missed on His Majesty’s return. Now my lord has it and certainly will come to the imperial dignity. But you must not remain here in the north. Quickly go home to Changsha, south of the GREat River*, where you can lay plans for the accomplishment of the great design.”

“Your words exactly accord with my thoughts,” said Sun Jian. “Tomorrow I will make an excuse that I am unwell and get away.”

the soldiers were told to keep the discovery a secret. But one among them was

a compatriot of the elected chief of the confederacy——Yuan Shao. He thought this might

be of GREat advantage to him, so he stole away out of the camp and betrayed his master. He went to Yuan Shao’s camp, informed the secret, and received a liberal reward. Yuan Shao kept the informant in his own camp.

Next morning Sun Jian came to take leave, saying,

“I am rather unwell and wish to return to Changsha.”

Yuan Shao laughed, saying, “I know what you are suffering from:

It is called the Imperial Hereditary Seal!”

This was a shock to Sun Jian,

and he paled but said, “Whence these words?”

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they got as far as the foot of a hill in the evening about the second

they got as far as the foot of a hill in the evening about the second

watch, and the moon made it as light as day. Here they halted to reform. Just as they were burying the boilers to prepare a meal, there arose a GREat noise of shouting on all sides and out came the troops of Governor Xu Rong from the ambush fresh to attack.

Cao Cao, thrown into a flurry, mounted and fled. He ran right in the way of the waiting Xu Rong. Then he dashed off in another direction, but Xu Rong shot an arrow after him which struck him in the shoulder. The arrow still in the wound, Cao Cao fled for his life. As he went over the hill, two soldiers lying in wait among the grass suddenly dashed out and wounded his horse, which fell and rolled over. And as he slipped from the saddle, he was seized and made prisoner.

  Just then a horseman came, riding at full speed and whirling his sword up, cut down both the captors, and rescued Cao Cao. It was Cao Hong.

  Cao Cao said, “I am doomed, good brother. Go and save yourself!”

  “My lord, mount my horse quickly! I will go afoot,” said Cao Hong.

  “If those wretches come up, what then?” said Cao Cao.

  “the world can do without Cao Hong, but not without you, my lord!”

“If I live, I shall owe you my life,” said Cao Cao.

So he mounted. Cao Hong tore off his own breastplate, gripped his sword, and went on foot after the horse. Thus they proceeded till the fourth watch when they saw before them a broad stream, and behind they still heard the shouts of pursuers drawing nearer and nearer.

“This is my fate,” said Cao Cao. “I am really doomed!”

Cao Hong helped Cao Cao down from his horse.

then taking off his fighting robe and helmet,

Cao Hong took the wounded man on his back and

waded into the stream. When they reached the further side,

the pursuers had already gained the bank whence they shot arrows.

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the Land Within the Passes, or Guanzhong, was the area surrounding

the Land Within the Passes, or Guanzhong, was the area surrounding Changan.

In the ending years of Wang Mang’s usurpation, rebels ran the country. The Red Eyebrows rebels were one of the most active of the robber bands. They finally captured Changan, and Wang Mang was killed in the fighting. ……

Yang Biao, Minister of the Interior, said, “I pray you reflect. The Land Within the Passes* is all destruction. There is no reason to renounce the ancestral temples and abandon the imperial tombs here. I fear the people will be alarmed. It is easy to alarm them but difficult to pacify them.”

“Do you oppose the state plans?” said Dong Zhuo angrily.

Another official, Grand Commander Huang Wan, supported his colleague, “In the era of Recommencement (AD 23-25), Fan Chong of the Red Eyebrows rebels burned Changan to the ground and reduced the place to broken tiles*. The inhabitants scattered all but a few. It is wrong to abandon these palaces here for a wasteland.”

  Dong Zhuo replied, “the East of the Pass is full of sedition, and all the empire is in rebellion. The city of Changan is protected by the Yaohan Mountains and the Hangu Pass. Moreover, it is near Longyou, whence can be easily brought timber, stone, brick, and building materials. In a month or so palaces can be erected. So an end to your wild words!”

Yet Minister of Works Xun Shuang raised another protest against disturbing the people, but Dong Zhuo overbore him also.

“How can I stop to consider a few common people when my scheme affects the empire?” said Dong Zhuo.

That day the three objectors——Yang Biao, Huang Wan, and Xun Shuang——were removed from their offices and reduced to the rank of commoners.

As Dong Zhuo went out to get into his coach, he met two other officers who made obeisance. They were the Chair of the Secretariat, Zhou Bi, and the Commander of the City Gates, Wu Qiong. Dong Zhuo stopped and asked them what they wanted.

Said Zhou Bi, “We venture to try to dissuade you from moving the capital to Changan.”

Dong Zhuo replied, “You two persuaded me to give Yuan Shao office. Now he has already turned traitor, and you are of the same party!”

And without more ado he bade his

guards take both outside the city

and put them to death. The command

to remove to the new capital immediately was issued.

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Lu Bu was a conspicuous figure in front of the line

Lu Bu was a conspicuous figure in front of the line. On his head was a triple curved headdress of ruddy gold with pheasant tails. He wore a warring velvet-red robe of Xichuan silk embroidered with thousand flowers, which was overlapped by golden mail adorned with a gaping animal’s head, joined by rings at the sides and girt to his waist with a belt fastened by a beautiful lion-head clasp. His bow and arrows were slung on his shoulders, and he carried a long heavy trident halberd. He was seated on his snorting steed Red Hare. Indeed Lu Bu was the man among humans, as Red Hare was the horse among horses.

“Who dares go out to fight him?” asked Wang Kuang turning to those behind him.

In response a valiant general from Henei named Fang Yue spurred to the front, his spear set ready for battle. Lu Bu and Fang Yue met: Before the fifth bout Fang Yue fell under a thrust of the trident halberd, and Lu Bu dashed forward. Wang Kuang’s troops could not stand and scattered in all directions. Lu Bu went to and fro slaying all he met. He was irresistible.

Luckily, two other troops led by Qiao Mao and Yuan Yi came up and rescued the wounded Wang Kuang, and Lu Bu pulled back. The three, having lost many troops, withdrew ten miles and made a stockade. And before long the remaining five commanders came up and joined them. They held a council and aGREed Lu Bu was a hero no one could match.

  And while they sat there anxious and uncertain, it was announced that Lu Bu had returned to challenge them. They mounted their horses and placed themselves at the heads of eight forces, each body in its station on the high ground. Around them was the opposing army in formation, commanded by Lu Bu, innumerable horse and foot, with splendid embroidered banners waving in the breeze.

they attacked Lu Bu. Mu Shun, a general of Governor Zhang Yang, rode out with his spear set, but soon fell at the first encounter with Lu Bu. This frightened the others. Then galloped forth Wu Anguo, a general under Governor Kong Rong. Wu Anguo raised his iron mace ready at his rival. Lu Bu whirling his halberd and urging on his steed came to meet Wu Anguo. The two fought, well matched for ten bouts, when a blow from the trident halberd broke Wu Anguo’s

wrist. Letting his mace fall to the

ground he fled. Then all eight of the

lords led forth their armies to

his rescue, and Lu Bu retired to his line.

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