(18.4) Wén Pìn 文聘 [Zhòngyè 仲業]

Wén Pìn, appellation Zhòngyè, was a Nányáng Wǎn man. He became one of Liú Biǎo’s chief officers, and was sent to defend the north. When Biǎo died, his son Cóng succeeded.


When Tàizǔ campaigned into Jīngzhōu, Cóng presented the province and surrendered, and called on Pìn to do the same. Pìn said: “I could not defend the province, and must go face my failure and nothing more.”


After Tàizǔ crossed the Hàn, Pìn went to visit Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ asked him: “Why did you come so late?”


Pìn said: “In previous days I could not assist Liú [Biǎo] of Jīngzhōu in serving the state. Though [Liú Biǎo of] Jīngzhōu was gone, I sincerely defended the  Hàn river and protected the land’s border, so that while living I would not betray the young orphan [Liú Cóng], and at death I could without regrets go beneath the ground, but my plan could not be achieved, and so it has come to this. To be honest I was filled with shame, and so I did not have the face to come meet earlier and that is all.“ Then he sobbed and shed tears.


Tàizǔ was saddened by this and said: “Zhòngyè, you are truly a loyal servant.” He treated him generously. He received Pìn’s troops, and sent him with Cáo Chún to pursue and attack Liú Bèi at Cháng’bǎn.


Tàizǔ had just settled Jīngzhōu. Jiāngxià was close to Wú, and the popular sentiment was not calm, so Pìn was sent to be Administrator of Jiāngxià, to assist in managing the northern troops, entrusted with the border affairs, and titled Marquis Within the Passes. (1)


  • (1) Sūn Shèng states: In serving a father or a lord, one can only be loyal and filial to one. Zāng Bà as a youth was known for filial deeds. Wén Pìn shed tears out of loyalty. Yet after one meeting with Wèi , they then turned and accepted a second appointment. How can these upright strong warriors be observed and understood as to why they changed so quickly?

〔一〕 孫盛曰:資父事君,忠孝道一。臧霸少有孝烈之稱,文聘著垂泣之誠,是以魏武一面,委之以二方之任,豈直壯武見知於倉卒之間哉!

With Yuè Jìn he attacked Guān Yǔ at Xún and served with distinctions, was advanced in fief to Marquis of Yánshòu precinct and to General Punishing Rebels. He also attacked Yǔ’s supply wagons at Hàn crossing, and burned his ships at Jīngchéng.


Wén-dì ascended, and advanced his fief to Marquis of Cháng’ān village, with Acting Staff of Authority. With Xiàhóu Shàng they besieged Jiānglíng, and Pìn was sent to camp separately at Miǎnkǒu. He stopped at Shífàn, and went personally with a single squadron to resist the rebels and served with distinction. He was promoted to General of the Rear and given fief as Marquis of Xīnyě.


Sūn Quán led an army of fifty thousand to besiege Pìn at Shíyáng. The situation was critical. Pìn defended firmly and did not move. Quán remained for over twenty days, and then lifted siege and left. Pìn pursued and attacked and defeated them. (2) His fief was increased 500 households, added to the previous 1900 households.


  • (2) Wèilüè states: Sūn Quán once personally led an army of several tens of thousands troops there. At the time there was heavy rain, so the city walls were falling apart, and the people were scattered in the fields, and there was no way to make repairs. Pìn heard that Quán had arrived and did not know what to do, but then thought that if it appeared no one was there it could make them suspicious. Therefore he ordered the people in the hide to stay out of sight, and hid in his residence and would not come out. Quán was indeed suspicious, and said to his followers: “The north considered this man a loyal servant and therefore entrusted him with this commandery. Now I have come yet he does not move. If he does not have some secret plan, then he certainly has rescue outside.” Therefore he did not dare attack and left.
  • Wèilüè’s account contradicts the base biography.

〔二〕 魏略曰:孫權嘗自將數萬眾卒至。時大雨,城柵崩壞,人民散在田野,未及補治。聘聞權到,不知所施,乃思惟莫若潛默可以疑之。乃敕城中人使不得見,又自臥舍中不起。權果疑之,語其部黨曰:「北方以此人忠臣也,故委之以此郡,今我至而不動,此不有密圖,必當有外救。」遂不敢攻而去。魏略此語,與本傳反。

Pìn was at Jiāngxià for several decades, with prestige and favor, and his name shook the enemy state. The rebels did not dare invade. Pìn’s fief was divided to give a fief to his son Dài as a full marquis, while Pìn’s nephew Hòu was given title as marquis within the passes. Pìn died, and was given posthumous title as Zhuàng-hóu “Strong Marquis.” Dài had already died, so Pìn’s adopted son Xiū succeeded. He died and his son Wǔ succeeded.


During Jiāpíng, Huán Yù of Qiáo-jùn was appointed Administrator of Jiāngxià. He was honest and frugal with prestige and kindness, with reputation second to Pìn.


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