(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.

文聘字仲業,南陽宛人也,為劉表大將,使禦北方。表死,其子琮立。

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.”

太祖征荊州,琮舉州降,呼聘欲與俱,聘曰:「聘不能全州,當待罪而已。」

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

太祖濟漢,聘乃詣太祖,太祖問曰:「來何遲邪?」

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.

聘曰:「先日不能輔弼劉荊州以奉國家,荊州雖沒,常願據守漢川,保全土境,生不負於孤弱,死無愧於地下,而計不得已,以至於此。實懷悲慚,無顏早見耳。」遂欷歔流涕。

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.

太祖為之愴然曰:「仲業,卿真忠臣也。」厚禮待之。授聘兵,使與曹純追討劉備於長阪。

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)

太祖先定荊州,江夏與吳接,民心不安,乃以聘為江夏太守,使典北兵,委以邊事,賜爵關內侯。〔一〕

  • (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.

與樂進討關羽於尋口,有功,進封延壽亭侯,加討逆將軍。又攻羽輜重於漢津,燒其船於荊城。

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.

文帝踐阼,進爵長安鄉侯,假節。與夏侯尚圍江陵,使聘別屯沔口,止石梵,自當一隊,禦賊有功,遷後將軍,封新野侯。

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.

孫權以五萬眾自圍聘於石陽,甚急,聘堅守不動,權住二十餘日乃解去。聘追擊破之。〔二〕增邑五百戶,并前千九百戶。

  • (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.

聘在江夏數十年,有威恩,名震敵國,賊不敢侵。分聘戶邑封聘子岱為列侯,又賜聘從子厚爵關內侯。聘薨,諡曰壯侯。岱又先亡,聘養子休嗣。卒,子武嗣。


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.

嘉平中,譙郡桓禺為江夏太守,清儉有威惠,名亞於聘。

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