(40.5) Liú Yǎn 劉琰 [Wēishuò 威碩]

Liú Yǎn, appellation Wēishuò, was a Lǔ-guó man. When Xiān-zhǔ was at Yùzhōu, he was recruited as an advisor. As was of the same clan surname [Liú], was distinguished and accomplished, and skilled in debate, he was treated very well, and accompanied everywhere, always as a guest. When Xiān-zhǔ settled Yìzhōu [214], he was appointed Administrator of Gùlíng.

劉琰字威碩,魯國人也。先主在豫州,辟為從事,以其宗姓,有風流,善談論,厚親待之,遂隨從周旋,常為賓客。先主定益州,以琰為固陵太守。

When Hòu-zhǔ was enthroned [223], he was given fief as Marquis of Dū village, his rank was second only to Lǐ Yán, and he was appointed Minister of the Guard, Internal Master of the Army, and General of the Rear, later promoted to General of Chariots and Cavalry. However he did not understand state government, and only commanded over a thousand troops, so the Chancellor [Zhūgě] Liàng ridiculed him as nothing more than a spectating commentator. His chariots and clothes and food and drink were said to be extravagant and wasteful, and he was attended on by several tens of maidservants, all of whom could sing and recited for him the Lǔlíngguāngdiàn fù.

後主立,封都鄉侯,班位每亞李嚴,為衛尉中軍師後將軍,遷車騎將軍。然不豫國政,但領兵千餘,隨丞相亮諷議而已。車服飲食,號為侈靡,侍婢數十,皆能為聲樂,又悉教誦讀魯靈光殿賦。

Jiànxīng tenth year [232] he quarreled with General of the Front Wèi Yán, boasted of his own abilities, and so was relieved of his command by Liàng. [Liú] Yǎn wrote a letter of apology to Liàng: “I am by nature empty and incapable, originally had little learning in moral conduct, and also have the deficiency of overindulging in wine. Since the time of the Former Emperor, I have received many and confused instructions, and so have fallen apart. Through my confusion a wise lord can see that my whole heart is with the state, and that I am willing to go through filth, all to provide assistance, and fulfill my duties even to this day. Recently I was intoxicated, and spoke wrongly. Your compassionate favor endured this, and did not send me to face judgment, and through this protected me and saved my life. Though I will certainly restrain myself and correct my wrongs to the death, I shall also swear by the divine spirits. If I cannot follow this pledge, I shall have no face to meet anyone.”

建興十年,與前軍師魏延不和,言語虛誕,亮責讓之。琰與亮牋謝曰:「琰稟性空虛,本薄操行,加有酒荒之病,自先帝以來,紛紜之論,殆將傾覆。頗蒙明公本其一心在國,原其身中穢垢,扶持全濟,致其祿位,以至今日。閒者迷醉,言有違錯,慈恩含忍,不致之于理,使得全完,保育性命。雖必克己責躬,改過投死,以誓神靈;無所用命,則靡寄顏。」

Therefore Liàng sent Yǎn back to Chéngdū to his official position as before.

於是亮遣琰還成都,官位如故。


Yǎn forgot his determination and became muddled and confused. Twelfth year [234] first moon, Yǎn’s wife the Lady Hú entered court to pay respects to the dowager-empress [for the New Year], and the dowager-empress ordered the Lady Hú to stay, and so only after a month did she leave. As the Lady Hú was very beautiful, Yǎn suspected she and Hòu-zhǔ had had an affair, had his servants beat the lady Hú five hundred times, even used his shoe to beat her in the face, and afterward expelled her from his house. Lady Hú reported Yǎn, and Yǎn was placed in prison. The official commented: “Servants are not the people to beat one’s wife. A face is not the place to receive a shoe’s tread.” Yǎn was publicly executed. After this the wives and mothers of the chief ministers no longer entered court for celebrations.

琰失志慌惚。十二年正月,琰妻胡氏入賀太后,太后令特留胡氏,經月乃出。胡氏有美色,琰疑其與後主有私,呼(卒)五百撾胡,至於以履搏面,而後棄遣。胡具以告言琰,琰坐下獄。有司議曰:「卒非撾妻之人,面非受履之地。」琰竟棄市。自是大臣妻母朝慶遂絕。

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s