Zhāng Miǎo 張邈 [Mèngzhuó 孟卓]
Chén Dēng 陳登 [Yuánlōng 元龍]
Lǚ Bù, appellation Fèngxiān, was a Wǔyuán prefecture Jiǔyuán man. For his bravery and martial ability, he received appointment from Bìng Province, the Inspector Dīng Yuán was Cavalry Commandant, stationed at Hénèi, and appointed Bù as his Registrar, and showed him great trust and favor. When Líng-dì ended  [Dīng] Yuán led his troops to Luòyáng. (1) He plotted with Hé Jìn to kill all the Yellow Gate [eunuchs], and was appointed Metal Mace Bearer.
- (1) Yīngxióngjì states: [Dīng] Yuán styled Jiànyáng. Originally he came from a poor family, acted coarsely and roughly, had military valor, and was good at riding and shooting. He was appointed an official in Nán county, in receiving instructions he did not refuse difficult ones, and during emergencies and the pursuit of bandits he was always at the front. In known documents there were few officials employed like that.
[Hé] Jìn failed, Dǒng Zhuó entered the capital, intending to rebel, and desired to kill [Dīng] Yuán and take over his soldiers and army. [Dǒng] Zhuó, because Bù was trusted by [Dīng] Yuán, enticed Bù and ordered him to kill [Dīng] Yuán. Bù beheaded [Dīng] Yuán and presented the head to [Dǒng] Zhuó, and [Dǒng] Zhuó appointed Bù as Cavalry Commandant, deeply favored and trusted him, and they swore to act as father and son.
Bù was adept with bow and horse, his bodily strength surpassed other men, and he was called Fēi-Jiāng “Flying General.” He was promoted to Internal Cadet-General and given fief as marquis of a capital precinct. [Dǒng] Zhuó because he treated men without courtesy was concerned others were plotting against him, so wherever he went he always has Bù as his bodyguard. However, [Dǒng] Zhuó by nature was stubborn and mean, angering him was not hard, and once due to a minor frustration he grabbed a hand axe and threw it at Bù. Bù was strong and fast and dodged it, (1) and apologized to [Dǒng] Zhuó, and [Dǒng] Zhuó also settled down. Because of this he secretly hated [Dǒng] Zhuó.
- (1) The Shī[jīng] states: “[They have] no strength and no courage, [yet they] rear the steps of disorder.” Commentary says: “Strength means powerful.”
[Dǒng] Zhuó often sent Bù to guard the inner gates, and Bù and one of [Dǒng] Zhuó’s attendant maidservants had illicit relations. He was afraid the affair would be discovered and his heart could not be calm.
Before this, Excellency over the Masses Wáng Yǔn, because Bù was powerful and vigorous in his province, treated him very well. Later Bù visited [Wáng] Yǔn, and told how [Dǒng] Zhuó had almost killed him. At the time [Wáng] Yǔn and Deputy-Director Shìsūn Ruì were secretly planning to kill [Dǒng] Zhuó, and he informed Bù to have him serve as their inside agent. Bù said: “But we are like father and son!”
[Wáng] Yǔn said: “You sir are surnamed Lǚ, and are not his bone and flesh relative. Now you are always afraid he will kill you. How can you be said to be father and son?” Bù therefore agreed with them, and with his own hand and blade assassinated [Dǒng] Zhuó. The story is in [Dǒng] Zhuó’s biography [SGZ 6].
[Wáng] Yǔn appointed Bù as General Exerting Martial authority, with Acting Staff, ceremony equal to the Three Excellencies, and advance in fief to Marquis of Wēn, and together they controlled the Court and government. Since after Bù had killed [Dǒng] Zhuó, he was suspicious and hateful of the Liáng Province men, and the Liáng Province men all hated him. Because of this Lǐ Jué and others banded together and returned to attack Cháng’ān city. (1)
- (1) Yīngxióngjì states: Guō Sì was north of the city. Bù opened the city gates, led troops to face [Guō] Sì, and said: “Let us both withdraw troops, and ourselves personally decide victory.” [Guō] Sì and Bù then dueled, and Bù with a spear stabbed [Guō] Sì. Riders behind [Guō] Sì then came forward to rescue [Guō] Sì. [Guō] Sì and Bù then each withdrew.
Bù could not resist them, and [Lǐ] Jué and the rest entered Cháng’ān. Sixty days after [Dǒng] Zhuó died, Bù was already defeated. (2) He led several hundred riders through Wǔ pass and sought to join Yuán Shù.
- (2) Your Servant Sōngzhī comments that Yīngxióngjì states that according to records, Bù on the fourth moon twenty-third day killed Zhuó, and on the sixth moon first day was defeated and fled. At that time there was no intercalary moon, so it was less than sixty days.
Bù because he killed [Dǒng]] Zhuó believed he had avenged [Yuán] Shù [whose kinsmen had been killed by Dǒng Zhuó] and expected to receive good treatment from him. [Yuán] Shù detested his repeated betrayals and refused and would not receive him. He went north to join Yuán Shào. [Yuán] Shào and Bù attacked Zhāng Yān at Chángshān. [Zhāng] Yān had elite troops of over ten thousand and cavalry of several thousand. Bù had an excellent horse called Chìtù “Red Hare.” (1) He with his close followers Chéng Lián, Wèi Yuè, and others always led charges to break enemy lines, and so defeated [Zhāng] Yān’s army, but he sought profit for his troops and army, and his officers and soldiers robbed and plundered, so [Yuán] Shào resented him.
- (1) Cáománzhuàn states: At the time people had a saying: “Among men there is Lǚ Bù. Among horses there is Chìtù.”
Bù became aware of these feelings, so he asked to leave [Yuán] Shào. [Yuán] Shào was afraid [Lǚ Bù] would return and do him harm, so he sent strong troops in the night to surprise and kill Bù, but was unsuccessful. After the affair was exposed, Bù fled to Hénèi (2), and joined Zhāng Yáng.
- (2) Yīngxióngjì states: Bù because of his achievements in helping the Yuán was arrogant and dismissive to [Yuán] Shào’s subordinate officers, and believed he should himself receive some government appointment, and that he was not honored enough. Bù asked to return to Luò, and [Yuán] Shào took Acting authority to appoint Bù as Colonel-Director of Retainers. Outside [Yuán Shào] said he would send him off, but inside he wished to kill Bù. The next day before the departure, [Yuán] Shào sent thirty armored soldiers, saying they would escort Bù. Bù had them stop outside his tent, and sent people to play drums and strings inside as a trick. [Yuán] Shào’s soldiers laid down. Bù soon left his tent and escaped, and the soldiers did not notice. In the middle of the night the soldiers rose up and chopped up Bù’s bed and sheets, and reported [Lǚ Bù] was already dead. The next day, [Yuán] Shào investigated, and learned Bù was still alive, so he closed the city gates. Bù thereupon escaped and left.
[Yuán] Shào ordered his army to pursue him, but they were all afraid of Bù, and none dared approach. (3)
- (3) Yīngxióngjì states: [Zhāng] Yáng and his personal retainers and officers all received summons from [Lǐ] Jué and [Guō] Sì to join together and plot against Bù. Bù heard this, and said to [Zhāng] Yáng: “You and I are of the same province. If you kill me, you will not benefit. It would be better to sell me to [Guō] Sì and [Lǐ] Jué for favor and rewards.” [Zhāng] Yáng therefore outwardly pretended to agree to [Guō] Sì and [Lǐ] Jué, but inwardly he actually protected Bù. [Guō] Sì and [Lǐ] Jué resented him, and instead sent down a written Imperial Order to appoint Bù as Administrator of Yǐngchuān.
Zhāng Miǎo, appellation Mèngzhuó, was a Dōngpíng Shòuzhāng man. When young he had reputation as a adventurer, roused up the poor and rescued the needy, completely depleting his family resources, so many warriors joined him. Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] and Yuán Shào were both friends with [Zhāng] Miǎo. He was recruited for public office, and for his high merits appointed him Cavalry Commandant, then promoted to Administrator of Chénliú. In the chaos of Dǒng Zhuó , Tàizǔ and [Zhāng] Miǎo together first raised righteous troops. At the Battle of Biàn river, [Zhāng] Miǎo sent Wèi Zī to lead troops to follow Tàizǔ.
When Yuán Shào became the Alliance Leader, he acted arrogantly, and [Zhāng] Miǎo criticized and reproached [Yuán] Shào. [Yuán] Shào ordered Tàizǔ to kill [Zhāng] Miǎo, but Tàizǔ would not obey, reproaching Shào: “Mèngzhuó is our close friend, and whether right or wrong we should tolerate him. Now when the world Under Heaven is not yet settled, we should not harm one another.” [Zhāng] Miǎo learned of this and increased his regard for Tàizǔ. When Tàizǔ attacked Táo Qiān, he ordered his family: “If I do not return, you may rely on Mèngzhuó.” Later he returned and met [Zhāng] Miǎo, and they shed tears. Their closeness was like this.
Lǚ Bù left Yuán Shào to join Zhāng Yáng, and along the way he met [Zhāng] Miǎo, and when they departed they grasped hands and together swore an oath [of friendship]. [Yuán] Shào heard of this and greatly hated it. [Zhāng] Miǎo feared that Tàizǔ would eventually obey [Yuán] Shào and attack him, so his heart could not be at calm.
Xīngpíng first year  Tàizǔ returned to attack [Táo] Qiān. [Zhāng] Miǎo’s younger brother [Zhāng] Chāo with Tàizǔ’s officer Chén Gōng, Internal Cadet Advisor Xǔ Sì, and Wáng Kǎi all joined together to rebel against Tàizǔ. [Chén] Gōng said to [Zhāng] Miǎo: “Now heroes are all rising up, and the world Under Heaven is divided and in ruins. You sir command armies across a thousand lǐ in a land open on all four sides to battle, wielding a sword and looking around, and can also be considered a hero among men, yet you instead are controlled by another [Tàizǔ]. Is this not a disgrace! Now the provincial army is away on an eastern campaign [against Táo Qiān], so this place has been emptied. Lǚ Bù is a powerful warrior, good in battle and unstoppable in his advance. If you seize authority and welcome him, you can together govern Yǎn Province, observe the situation in the world Under Heaven, and wait for changes in opportunity. This is also the time to dominate all.” [Zhāng] Miǎo agreed with this.
Tàizǔ had previously sent [Chén] Gōng to command the troops left to station at Dōng-jùn, and so [Chén Gōng] led his army to invite Bù east to become Governor of Yǎn Province, and [Lǚ Bù] occupied Púyáng. All the prefectures and counties submitted, and only Juànchéng, Dōng’ē, and Fàn remained loyal to Tàizǔ. Tàizǔ led his army back and returned, and fought with Bù at Púyáng. Tàizǔ‘s army was unsuccessful, and they were in a stalemate for over a hundred days. At that time there was drought, locusts, and little grain, and the common people ate each other. Bù went east to camp at Shānyáng. During the second year  Tàizǔ recaptured all the cities [of Yǎn Province], and attacked and defeated Bù at Jùyě. Bù went east and joined Liú Bèi. (1)
- (1) Yīngxióngjì states: Bù met [Liú] Bèi, and was deeply respectful to him, saying to [Liú] Bèi: “You and I are both men from the frontier. I saw soldiers rising up east of the Passes, and so wished to execute Dǒng Zhuó. I killed [Dǒng] Zhuó and went out east, but of the officers east of the Passes there were none who supported me. They all sought to kill me and that is all.” He invited [Liú] Bèi into his own tent and sit on his wife’s bed, and ordered his wife to pay respects. They poured wine and ate and drank, and he called [Liú] Bèi his younger brother. [Liú] Bèi thought Bù’s speech was inappropriate, and outside he pretended to agree but inside he was displeased.
[Zhāng] Miǎo followed Bù, leaving [his brother Zhāng] Chāo to command the family followers camped at Yōngqiū. Tàizǔ attacked and besieged it for several months, and slaughtered it, beheading [Zhāng] Chāo and his family. [Zhāng] Miǎo went to Yuán Shù to ask for troops to rescue them but before he arrived he was killed by his own troops. (2)
- (2) Xiàn-dì Chūnqiū states: Yuán Shù discussed claiming Imperial title. [Zhāng] Miǎo said to Shù: “Hàn reigns by the virtue of fire. It ended [by usurpation of Wáng Mǎng 9-23] but was restored [by Guāng-Wǔ 25-57]. Its beneficial virtue is abundant and flows, and there was born an enlightened lord. You my lord occupy a critical central role. Entering you receive the benefit of the upper place [Imperial throne], and going you are looked up to by the masses. Even Huá [Wúhài] and Huò [Guāng] could not reach this height, and the deepest springs cannot match this importance. You can be said to be towering and imposing, and could never turn to treachery. How can you abandon all this and wish to usurp? I fear you fortune will not go so far, and disaster shall soon overcome your line. Zhuāng Zhōu spoke of how someone prepared to sacrifice an ox, raised it for many years, dressed in embroidery, grasped the sacrificial knife, and entered the temple door, but then at that time [for sacrifice], the sacrificial calf could not be found.”
- According to the base biography, [Zhāng] Miǎo was going to [Yuán] Shù, but before he arrived he died. Yet here it says he criticized the idea of taking Imperial title. It is unclear which is correct.
[Liú] Bèi went east to attack [Yuán] Shù. Bù attacked and captured Xiàpī. [Liú] Bèi returned and surrendered to Bù. Bù sent [Liú] Bèi to garrison Xiǎopèi. Bù declared himself Inspector of Xú Province. (1)
- (1) Yīngxióngjì states: When Bù first entered Xú Province, he wrote a letter to Yuán Shù. [Yuán] Shù sent a reply letter: “Previously Dǒng Zhuó created disaster, destroyed the Imperial Household, and brought disaster and harm to my family. I raised troops east of the Passes, but could not kill and destroy [Dǒng] Zhuó. You General executed [Dǒng] Zhuó and sent his head, and so swept away my shame and disgrace, and allowed me to look with clear eyes at the present situation, and in life or death I will not be worthy of it. This was your first achievement. Previously, General Jīn Yuánxiū faced Yǎn Province, but on the way to Fēngqiū he was by that rebel Cáo Cāo repelled and defeated, forced to wander and flee, and was almost destroyed. You General defeated Yǎn Province, and I can again with clear eyes see far and wide. This was your second achievement. Since I was born, I had never heard of this Liú Bèi, but [Liú] Bèi raised troops and fought with me. I relied on your authority and prestige, General, and so was able to defeat [Liú] Bèi. This was your third achievement. You General have done three great achievements for me, and though I am unworthy, I shall respect you in life or death. General, you have for successive years fought in battle, and your army’s food supplies are bitterly few. Now I send grain of two hundred thousand hú, to meet you on the road, and not only this, but with horse relay stations send this message: if among your weapons and arms there are any deficiencies, great or small you need only ask.” Bù received the letter and was greatly pleased, and so he went to [capture] Xiàpī.
- Diǎnlüè states Yuánxiū was named Shàng, a man of Jīngzhào. [Jīn] Shàng with Wéi Xiūfǔ and Dìwǔ Xiūjù of the same prefecture were all famous, and called the Three Xiū [all had xiū in their appellations]. Shàng was previously appointed by Xiàn-dì as Inspector of Yǎn Province. He went east, but Tàizǔ was already governing Yǎn Province. Shàng went south and joined Yuán Shù. When [Yuán] Shù usurped Imperial title, he wished to appoint Shàng as his Grand Commandant, but he did not dare reply, and so secretly sent a man to mock him. Shàng did not act wronged, and Shù did not dare act. In the beginning of Jiàn’ān [196-220], Shàng tried to escape back, and was killed by [Yuán] Shù. After this Shàng and Grand Tutor Mǎ Rìdì were both mourned in the capital. Heaven’s Son praised Shàng as a loyal martyr, sighed for him, and sent an Imperial Order for the ministers to all offer sacrifices, and appointed [Jīn Shàng’s] son Wěi as Palace Gentleman, but Rìdì did not receive the same honors.
- Yīngxióngjì states: Bù on water and land went down[stream] eastward, and the army arrived forty lǐ west of Xiàpī. [Liú] Bèi’s Internal Cadet-General Xǔ Dān of Dānyáng in the night sent Major Zhāng Kuáng to welcome Bù, saying: “Zhāng [Fēi] Yìdé and the Chancellor of Xiàpī Cáo Bào fought. [Zhāng] Yìdé killed Bào, and inside the city is utter chaos and no faith. Our Dānyáng troops have a thousand men camped west within the white city gate. When they heard that you, General, have come east, large and small they were roused up as if reborn. General, if your troops go to the city’s west gate, the Dānyáng army will then open the gate and let you inside.” Bù therefore in the night advanced, and in the morning arrived beneath the city walls. When the day was bright, the Dānyáng troops all opened the gates to welcome Bù’s troops inside. Bù sat atop the gate, and his infantry and cavalry set fires, and greatly defeated [Zhāng] Yìdé’s troops, captured [Liú] Bèi’s wife and children, military supplies, and all the families of [Liú Bèi’s] personal retainers and officers and soldiers. Jiàn’ān first year  sixth moon in the middle of the night, Bù’s officer Hǎo Méng of Hénèi rebelled, and led troops into where Bù had established his Xiàpī government office. They came outside the side doors of the office hall, and together shouted and attacked the side door, but the side door was strong and they could not enter. Bù did not know who was rebelling, and could only lead his wife bareheaded and undressed and go through the lavatory and climb over the walls to escape. They went to the camp of Commander Gāo Shùn, and went over [Gāo] Shùn’s gates to enter. [Gāo] Shùn asked: “General did you not notice anything?” Bù said: “There was the sound of a Hénèi accent.” [Gāo] Shùn said: “It is Hǎo Méng.” [Gāo] Shùn immediately led troops into the office, and with bows and crossbows together shot [Hǎo] Méng’s army. [Hǎo] Méng’s army fled in confusion, and in the daylight returned to their former camp. [Hǎo] Méng’s officer Cáo Xìng rebelled and fought with him. [Hǎo] Méng stabbed [Cáo] Xìng, and [Cáo] Xìng chopped off [Hǎo] Méng’s arm. [Gāo] Shùn chopped off [Hǎo] Méng’s head, and sent [Cáo] Xìng on a stretcher to Bù. Bù interrogated [Cáo] Xìng, who said: “[Hǎo] Méng was following Yuán Shù’s plot.” [Lǚ Bù asked] “Who were all the plotters?” Xìng said: “Chén Gōng was an accomplice.” At the time [Chén] Gōng was seated there, his face turned red, those near him watched him. Bù, because [Chén] Gōng was an important officer, did not investigate. [Cáo] Xìng said: “[Hǎo] Méng always because of this [plot] asked [me to join], but I said General Lǚ is a great officer with divine ability, and cannot be attacked, but was unaware that [Hǎo] Méng’s insanity could not be stopped.” Bù said to [Cáo] Xìng: “You are a great warrior!” and treated him well. The wound healed, and he was sent to pacify [Hǎo] Méng’s former camp and take command over those troops.
[Yuán] Shù sent his officer Jǐ Líng and others with thirty thousand infantry and cavalry to attack [Liú] Bèi, and [Liú] Bèi asked for rescue from Bù. Bù’s officers said to Bù: “General, you have always wished to kill [Liú] Bèi. Now you can let [Yuán] Shù do it for you.”
Bù said: “Not so. If [Yuán] Shù defeats [Liú] Bèi, then to the north he can connect with the officers in Tàishān, and I would be surrounded by [Yuán] Shù. I cannot but go to the rescue.” Then he gathered a thousand elite infantry and two hundred cavalry, and hurried to go to [Liú] Bèi. [Jǐ] Líng and the rest heard Bù had arrived, and all restrained their troops and did not dare return to the attack. Bù set up camp one lǐ southwest of Pèi, and sent invitations to [Jǐ] Líng and the rest, and [Jǐ] Líng and the rest also invited Bù and they ate and drank together.
Bù said to Líng and the rest: “[Liú Bèi] Xuándé is my younger brother. My younger brother has been surrounded by you gentlemen, and so I have come to help him. I by nature do not enjoy participating in quarrels, but I do enjoy resolving quarrels.”
Bù ordered a gate attendant to at the center of the camp gate set up a halberd. Bù said: “Gentlemen, watch me shoot the halberd’s small blade. If I make this shot you gentlemen shall withdraw, but if I miss you may stay and settle your quarrel.”
Bù lifted his bow and shot the halberd, right in the center of the small blade. The officers were all startled and said, “General, you indeed have the authority of Heaven!” The next day they again had a celebration, and afterward each side withdrew.
[Yuán] Shù wished to bind Bù to him as ally, and so sent his son to wed Bù’s daughter, and Bù permitted this. [Yuán] Shù sent as envoy Hán Yìn to inform of his usurpation of Imperial title to Bù, and also to request and bring back the girl. Chancellor of Pèi Chén Guī was concerned that when [Yuán] Shù and Bù completed their marriage alliance, then Xú and Yáng [provinces] would be joined by them and bring disaster to the state, and so he went to persuade Bù: “Excellency Cáo has welcomed Heaven’s Son and assists in the government of the state, his authority commands the age, and he shall soon campaign across the land within the Four Seas. General, you should plan to cooperate with him and seek to be as secure as Tài mountain. Now if you make marriage alliance with [Yuán] Shù, you will receive reputation for injustice in the world Under Heaven, and will certainly be as vulnerable as a pile of eggs.” Bù also resented that [Yuán] Shù had not accepted him earlier. His daughter was already on the road, but he he summoned her back and ended the marriage, and sent Hán Yìn in shackles [to the Imperial Court in Xǔ], who was beheaded in the Xǔ marketplace.
[Chén] Guī wished to send his son [Chén] Dēng to meet Tàizǔ, but Bù would not agree to send him. At that time an envoy arrived, appointed Bù as General of the Left. Bù was greatly pleased, and agreed to send [Chén] Dēng to convey his message of gratitude. (1)
- (1) Yīngxióngjì states: Previously, Heaven’s son was at Hédōng, and hand wrote a letter summon Bù to come receive him. Bù’s army had no livestock or accumulated food, and could not go, and so sent an envoy to present a letter. The Court appointed Bù as General Pacifying the East with fief as Marquis of Píngtáo. The envoy at the Shānyáng border lost the letter. Tàizǔ also hand wrote a letter praising and appreciating Bù, speaking of his efforts to welcome Heaven’s Son and intentions to settle the world Under Heaven, and also sent an Imperial Order to capture Gōngsūn Zàn, Yuán Shù, Hán Xiān, Yáng Fèng, and others. Bù was greatly pleased, and in return sent an envoy to present a letter to Heaven’s Son that said: “I your servant originally sought to welcome to welcome the Imperial Chariot, but knew Cáo Cāo was loyal and filial, and had welcomed the capital to establish at Xǔ. I your servant previously fought with Cāo, but now Cāo protects and supports Your Majesty. I your servant am an outer General, and wish to obey as a soldier, but am afraid I am under suspicion, and therefore await guiltily at Xúzhōu, and with a sense of propriety do not yet dare personally visit.” He answered Tàizǔ: “I am a man who committed a crime and deserved punishment, but by your hand was given appreciation and generously met praise and rewards. When I again receive Imperial Order to capture Yuán Shù and the rest, I will follow the command be be successful. Tàizǔ also sent Commandant Preparing Chariots Wáng Zé as envoy, to present an Imperial Order and bestow the seal as General Pacifying the East to promote Bù. Tàizǔ again hand wrote to Bù: “The Shānyáng garrison sends to you General the lost conferment. As the state lacks good metal, I from my own family took good metal to again fashion a seal. As the state lacks purple ribbons, I took my own girdle for a purple ribbon to show my intentions. General the envoy you sent was not good. Yuán Shù has proclaimed himself Heaven’s Son. General you must stop him, yet your envoy did not send a reply letter. The Court trusts you General. Again send up an envoy, to demonstrate your loyal and honest intentions.” Bù therefore sent Dēng to present his letter of thanks, and also present a good ribbon to answer Tàizǔ.
[Chén] Dēng met Tàizǔ and explained that because Bù was valiant but had no planning ability and easily changeable, it was suitable to plan against him early. Tàizǔ said: “Bù has a wolf-cub’s wild heart, and truly it will be difficult to keep him long. Aside from you sir, there is none able to investigate his feelings.” He then increased [Chén] Guī’s salary to the 2000 dàn level, and appointed [Chén] Dēng as Administrator of Guǎnglíng. At their parting, Tàizǔ held [Chén] Dēng’s hand and said: “The matters of the east, I will entrust to you.” He ordered [Chén] Dēng to secretly gather armies to act as an inside agent.
Originally, Bù had sent Dēng to ask to become Governor of Xú Province. When Dēng returned, Bù was angry, and grabbed a halberd and chopped a table saying: “Your father advised me to cooperate with Excellency Cáo and cut off the marriage alliance with [Yuán Shù] Gōnglù. Now the one thing I requested has not been answered, while you father and son have both been heavily rewarded. I have been sold out by you and that is all! When you spoke for me, what was it that you said?”
[Chén] Dēng was not alarmed, and gently answered him: “When I met Excellency Cáo, I said: ‘Treating the General is like raising a tiger: it must be given its fill of meat. If it is not full then it will devour people.’ The Excellency said: ‘It is not as you said. It is like raising a hawk. When it is hungry it can be used. If it is full then it will fly away.’ His words were like this.” Bù understood, and settled down.
[Yuán] Shù was angry, and joined his strength with Hán Xiān, Yáng Fèng, and others, sending his chief officer Zhāng Xūn to attack Bù. Bù said to [Chén] Guī: “Now Shù’s army has come because of you. What is to be done?”
[Chén] Guī said: “[Hán] Xiān and [Yáng] Fèng and Shù have only joined their armies together and that is all. Their plans cannot be settled, and they cannot support one another. My son [Chén] Dēng has planned against them, comparing them to a group of chickens that cannot perch together, and so can be separated and captured.” Bù used [Chén] Guī’s plan, and sent someone to persuade Xiān and Fèng to join with them and together attack Shù’s army. All of [Yuán Shù’s] army’s supplies would be permitted to go to [Hán] Xiān and [Yáng] Fèng. Thereupon [Hán] Xiān and [Yáng] Fèng joined them, and [Zhāng] Xūn was greatly defeated. (1)
- (1) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū records Bù’s letter with Xiān and Fèng: “You two Generals guided the Imperial Chariot to come east, and done a great achievement to the state that should be written on bamboo and silk as a lesson for all ages. Now Yuán Shù rebels, and you should together punish and attack. How can you instead join with treacherous ministers and return to attack me? I have the achievement of killing Dǒng Zhuó, and so with you two Generals we each are ministers with [loyal] achievements. We should therefore now join together to attack and destroy Shù and establish an achievement for the world Under Heaven. This opportunity cannot be missed.” [Hán] Xiān and [Yáng] Fèng received the letter, and so made plans to follow Bù. Bù advanced his army, and from [Zhāng] Xūn’s camp was several hundred paces. [Hán] Xiān and [Yáng] Fèng at the same time set out, beheading ten officers, and the killed and injured and drowned in the river were uncountable.
- Yīngxióngjì states: Bù afterward went with [Hán] Xiān’s and [Yáng] Fèng’s two armies went toward Shòuchūn, advancing by land and water, plundering everywhere they passed, arriving up to Zhōnglí, taking their great gains and returning. When they crossed back north of the Huái [river], they left a letter to [Yuán] Shù that said: “You relied on the strength of your army, and often spoke of your fierce officers and martial soldiers, wishing to destroy and absorb us, but was always restrained and that is all. Though I lack valor, like a tiger I crossed south of the Huái, and the whole time I was there, you scurried off like a rat to Shòuchūn, and no one showed their head. Where were those fierce officers and martial soldiers? You liked to speak boastfully to deceive the world Under Heaven, but can the people Under Heaven be completely deceived? The ancients when they did battle sent messengers between them. I was not the first to speak out to send messanges. We are not far from you, and we can await your answer.” After Bù had crossed, [Yuán] Shù himself commanded 5000 infantry and cavalry and raised arms beside the Huái, but Bù’s cavalry was all north of the river and they all jeered and laughed at them and went back. At the time Dōnghǎi’s Xiāo Jiàn was Chancellor of Lángyé, governed at Jǔ, and he defended and held the city and would not communicate with Bù. Bù wrote a letter to [Xiāo] Jiàn: “The world Under Heaven raised troops, and because of this I executed Dǒng Zhuó and that is all. I killed [Dǒng] Zhuó and came to the east of the Passes, wishing to ask for troops to go west to welcome the Imperial Chariot and recover the capital region of Luò[yáng], but all the officers for themselves returned to fighting one another, and none could think of the state. I am a man of Wǔyuán, over five thousand lǐ from Xú Province, so the northwest is my importance place, and I have not now come to fight together over the southeastern land. Jǔ and Xiàpī are not far from each other, and should join together. If you sir take a prefecture as an Emperor, then counties are [its vassal] Kings. In the past Yuè Yì attacked Qí, and in a breath captured from Qí over seventy cities, and only the two cities Jǔ and Jímò had not fallen. The reason for this was because they had Tián Dān with them. Though I am not Yuè Yì, you sir are also not Tián Dān. May you receive my letter and consult it together with wise advisors.” [Xiāo] Jiàn obtained the letter, and sent his Registrar Jī Jiān to send up gifts, offering as tribute five good horses. [Xiāo] Jiàn was then defeated and replaced by Zāng Bà, who captured all of [Xiāo] Jiàn’s resources and supplies. Bù heard of this, and himself led infantry and cavalry toward Jǔ. Gāo Shùn remonstrated him: “General, you personally killed Dǒng Zhuó, and your authority shakes the eastern and northern peoples. You sit upright and look around, and far and near all naturally fear and obey. It is inappropriate to frivolously personally set out with the army. If perhaps you are not successful, your reputation will be disgraced.” Bù would not listen. [Zāng] Bà feared that Bù had come to plunder and harm, so he indeed ascended the city walls and defended. Bù could not dislodge them, and so retreated and returned to Xiàpī. [Zāng] Bà afterward made peace with Bù.
Jiàn’ān third year , Bù returned to rebellion and joined Shù, sending Gāo Shùn to attack Liú Bèi at Pèi, and defeated him. Tàizǔ sent Xiàhóu Dūn to rescue Bèi, who was defeated by [Gāo] Shùn. Tàizǔ personally came to campaign against Bù. When he arrived below the city walls, he sent to Bù a letter explaining his potential disaster and fortunes. Bù wished to surrender, but Chén Gōng and others were afraid for their own crimes [against Tàizǔ], and stopped his plans. (1)
- (1) Xiàn-dì Chūnqiū states: Tàizǔ‘s army arrived at Péngchéng. Chén Gōng said to Bù: “It is appropriate to oppose and attack them. Using fresh [troops] to attack tired [troops], you cannot fail.” Bù said: “It is better to wait until they come to attack, then drive them into the Sì river.” When Tàizǔ‘s army attacked and the situation was desperate, Bù went up the White Gate tower and said to the army’s soldiers: “If Minister Cáo does not oppress me, I am willing to submit to his wise excellency.” Chén Gōng said: “That rebel Cáo Cāo, how can you call him wise excellency? Today if you surrender to him, it would be like throwing an egg at a rock. How can you expect to survive!”
Bù sent someone to ask for rescue from Shù and personally led over a thousand riders out to battle, but was defeated and fled, and returned to defend the city, and did not dare come out. (2)
- (2) Yīngxióngjì states: Bù sent Xǔ Sì and Wáng Kǎi to report his emergency to [Yuán] Shù. [Yuán] Shù said: “Bù did not send me his daughter, and it is proper that he is about to be defeated. Who do you come again?” [Xǔ] Sì and [Wáng] Kǎi said: “If Your Wise Majesty do not now rescue Bù, you are defeating yourself and that is all! If Bù is destroyed, Your Wise Majesty will also be destroyed.” [Yuán] Shù at the time claimed Imperial Title, which is why they called him Wise Majesty. [Yuán] Shù therefore mobilized troops to show support for Bù. Bù was afraid that because his daughter had not arrived [Yuán] Shù would thus not send troops to rescue, so he wrapped his daughter in silk and tied her atop his horse, and in the night went to send his daughter to Shù, but they came across Tàizǔ’s sentries, and were blocked and shot at and could not cross, so they returned to the city. Bù intended to command Chén Gōng and Gāo Shùn to defend the city and personally command cavalry out to cut Tàizǔ’s supply lines. Bù’s wife said: “General you wish to personally go out to cut Lord Cáo’s supply lines. [Chén] Gōng and [Gāo] Shùn always do not get along. As soon as you go out General, [Chén] Gōng and [Gāo] Shùn will certainly not work together to defend the city. If there is a problem, then General how can you support yourself? I hope you, General, will think and plan this over, and not be misled by [Chén] Gōng and the rest. I your woman was previously at Cháng’ān, and was abandoned by you General, and relied on Páng Shū to secretly hide me and that is all. Now you again do not look after me.” Bù heard his wife’s words, and became worried and depressed and could not come to a decision.
- Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Chén Gōng said to Bù: “Lord Cáo has come from afar, and his strength cannot last long. If you General with infantry and cavalry go out and establish a camp, you can establish strength outside, while I command the remaining army to close and defend inside. If they go toward you General, I can lead troops to attack their rear. If they come to besiege the city, you General can provide rescue from outside. Within ten days, their army’s provisions will certainly be exhausted, and we can attack and destroy them.” Bù agreed with this. Bù’s wife said: “In the past Cáo treated [Chén Gōng] Gōngtái as well as for a newborn, and yet he still abandoned him and came [to you]. Now you General have not been more generous to Gōngtái as Lord Cáo, yet you wish to entrust the whole city and your wife and children to him, and alone with the army set out far away. If in one day there is a change [rebellion], than how can I still be your wife General?” Bù therefore stopped.
[Yuán] Shù also could not rescue him. Though Bù was strong and ferocious, he had no plans but many suspicions, and could not settle factionalism, though he trusted his officers. The officers all had their own intentions and doubts, and therefore in every battle they were defeated. Tàizǔ constructed a moat and besieged for three moons, and high and low all lost the will [to fight]. His officers Hóu Chéng, Sòng Xiàn, and Wèi Xù bound Chén Gōng and led their armies to surrender. (3)
- (3) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū states: Previously, Bù’s cavalry officer Hóu Chéng sent a retainer to herd fifteen horses, and the retainer took all the horses and fled, heading to Pèi city, hoping to join Liú Bèi. [Hóu] Chéng personally led riders to pursue them, and took back all the horses and returned. All the officers gathered with gifts to congratulate [Hóu] Chéng, and [Hóu] Chéng brewed five to six hú of liquor and hunted and gained over ten pigs. Before the feast, he first offered half the pigs and five dòu of liquor himself in a visit to Bù, presented them and knelt and said: “We are surrounded by your grace, General. We pursued and regained the lost horses, and all the officers have come to offer congratulations. I have brewed a little liquor and hunted some pigs, but do not yet dare have a feast, and first offer it up with humble intentions.” Bù was greatly furious and said: “I have forbidden alcohol, but you have brewed liquor, and all the officers are feasting together and making ties of brotherhood. Are you all plotting to kill me?” [Hóu] Chéng was greatly terrified and left, discarded all the brewed liquor, and returned the gifts to all the officers. Because of this he was doubtful of his position. When Tàizǔ was besieging Xiàpī, [Hóu] Chéng thereupon led his army to surrender.
Bù and his bannermen climbed the White Gate tower. Soldiers surrounded and pressed them, and so they came down and surrendered. Thereupon Bù was taken alive and bound. Bù said: “The bounds are too tight. Loosen them a little.”
Tàizǔ said: “In binding a tiger they cannot but be tight.”
Bù said: “Wise Excellency, you had only me to worry about. Now that I am already submitted, the world Under Heaven is nothing to worry about. You wise excellency can command the infantry, and order me to command the cavalry, and then the world Under Heaven will be all but settled.”
Tàizǔ had a look of doubt. Liú Bèi came forward and said: “Would you wise excellency not meet how Bù handled Dīng [Yuán] Jiànyáng and Grand Teacher Dǒng [Zhuó]?” Tàizǔ nodded to him. Bù therefore accused [Liú] Bèi: “You are the most untrustworthy one!” (4)
- (4) Yīngxióngjì states: Bù said to Tàizǔ: “I treated my officers well, but my officers in the face of danger all betrayed me and that is all.” Tàizǔ said: “You turned your back on your wife, and favored your officers’ women. How can this be treating them well?” Bù was silent.
- Xiàn-dì Chūnqiū states: Bù asked Tàizǔ: “Wise excellency, why have you lost weight?” Tàizǔ said: “Sir, since when did you know me?” Bù said: “In the past at Luò[yáng], we met in the Wēn clan’s garden.” Tàizǔ: “Right, I had forgotten. The reason I have lost weight is because I regret not recruiting you earlier.” Bù said: “Huán of Qí shot the buckle to [forgive and] employ Guǎn Zhòng as his Chancellor. Now you can employ me to exhaust myself as your trusted aide, and serve you in charging forward. How about it?” Bù’s bindings were tight, and he said to Liú Bèi: “Xuándé, you are in an honored seat as guest, and I am a bound prisoner. Can you not say one thing to ask for lenience?” Tàizǔ laughed and said: “Why do you not say that [to me] but instead complain through him?” [Tàizǔ] intended to spare him, and ordered to unloose the bindings. Registrar Wáng Bì hurried forward and said: “Bù is a dangerous captive. His army is nearby outside. He cannot be set loose.” Tàizǔ said: “Originally I wished to spare you, but my Registrar instead will not permit it. What of it?”
Thereupon Bù was strangled to death. Bù and [Chén] Gōng, [Gāo] Shùn, and others all had their heads sent to Xǔ, and then buried there. (5)
- (5) Yīngxióngjì states: [Gāo] Shùn in his conduct was pure and dignified, he did not drink wine, and he did not accept gifts. He commanded over 700 troops called the Thousand Men. Their armor and weapons were all elite and in good order, and every time they attacked none were not defeated. They were called the Breaking-Lines Battalion. Shùn always admonished [Lǚ] Bù, saying: “Those who destroy their own family and state are not necessarily those lacking loyal servants or wise subordinates, but those who do not use them and that is all. General, when you act, you do not consider matters thoroughly, are always fond of speaking wrongly, and your mistakes are uncountable.” Bù knew he was loyal, but could not use his [warning]. Bù after Hǎo Méng rebelled neglected Shùn further. Because Wèi Xù was an outer and inner relative, [Lǚ Bù] always took Shùn’s commanded troops and gave them to Xù. When it was time for attack and battle, then Shùn would be returned command of Xù’s commanded troops. Shùn also to the end did not have any resentment.
When Tàizǔ captured [Chén] Gōng, he asked Gōng if he wished to live for his elderly mother and daughter or not. Gōng answered: “I have heard those who filially govern the world Under Heaven do not exterminate a man’s kin, and those who benevolently care for the land within the Four Seas do not end a man’s sacrifices [by posterity]. My elderly mother[’s fate] is with you, not with me.” Tàizǔ summoned and cared for his mother to the end of her life, and arranged a marriage for his daughter. (1)
- (1) Yúshì Diǎnlüè states: Chén Gōng, styled Gōngtái, was a man of Dōng-jùn. He was firm, outspoken, stern, and strong, and from youth associated with all the well-known scholars within the Seas. When the world Under Heaven fell into disordered, he first followed Tàizǔ but later had doubts, and then followed Lǚ Bù. He made plans for Bù, but Bù every time would not follow his plans. At the defeat at Xiàpī, soldiers seized Bù and Gōng. Tàizǔ met both of them, and with them discussed what to do with their lives, and so Bù asked to live. Tàizǔ said to Gōng: “Gōngtái, you always said you had abundant wisdom and planning. Now how did you come to this?” Gōng looked back and directed at Bù: “Only because this man would not follow my words did it come to this. If he had listened, then we would not have been captured.” Tàizǔ laughed and said: “In today’s affairs what do you have to say?” Gōng said: “For a servant who is not loyal, and son who is not filial, death is the natural outcome.” Tàizǔ said: “If you [are executed] like this, then what of your elderly mother?” Gōng said: “I have heard that those who with filiality rule the world Under Heaven do not harm a man’s kin. My elderly mother’s protection or destruction is with you wise lord.” Tàizǔ said: “What of your wife and children?” Gōng said: “I have heard those who benevolently govern the world Under Heaven do not cut off a man’s sacrifices [by posterity]. My wife and children’s protection or destruction is also with you wise lord.” Tàizǔ had not yet answered, when Gōng said: “I ask to go to my death, in accordance with military law.” Thereupon he hurried and went out, and would not be stopped. Tàizǔ wept and saw him off. Gōng would not return or look back. After Gōng died, Tàizǔ cared for his family and provided for all their needs.
Chén Dēng, appellation Yuánlōng, in Guǎnglíng had authority and reputation. He also in the settling of Lǚ Bù had achievement, and was advanced to General Subduing Waves. Aged thirty-nine years he died.
Later Xǔ Sì and Liú Bèi were both seated guests of Governor of Jīngzhōu Liú Biǎo, and [Liú] Biǎo and [Liú] Bèi together discussed the people of the world Under Heaven. [Xǔ] Sì said: “Chén Yuánlōng is a scholar of the lake and sealands, [but] barbaric without end.”
[Liú] Bèi said to [Liú] Biǎo: “Is what sir Xǔ has said right or wrong?”
[Liú] Biǎo said: “Suppose I wish to say wrong, but then this sir is an excellent scholar, and would not inappropriately speak false words. Suppose I wish to say right, but Yuánlōng is renowned greatly in the world Under Heaven.”
[Liú] Bèi asked [Xǔ] Sì: “When you sir say he is barbaric, is there a reason?”
[Liú] Sì said: “Previously in the chaos I happened to pass Xiàpī, and met Chén Yuánlōng. Yuánlōng has no courtesy in caring for guests, and for a long time would not face or speak with me. He kept himself up sitting atop a large bed, and had guests sit below the bed.”
[Liú] Bèi said: “You sir have have reputation of a state scholar. Now the world Under Heaven is in great chaos, the Emperor has lost his place. [Chén Dēng] hoped that you would worry for the state and forget your home, and have intentions to bring salvation, but you sir asked for land and residence, and in your words there was nothing workable. This was what Yuánlōng would not speak of. Why should he have spoken with you sir? If it were me, I would lie a hundred chǐ above, and have you sir lie on the ground, and what would be the difference between the high or low bed?”
[Liú] Biǎo greatly laughed. [Liú] Bèi therefore said: “Those like Yuánlōng in civil and military courage and ambition could only be sought for in ancient times and that is all. Now it is difficult to find those that can compare.” (1)
- (1) Xiānxián Xíngzhuàng states:
- Dēng was loyal and bright and straightforward, by nature thorough with great ability, and when young had the ambition to support the age and bring relief to the people. He read extensively in the classics, was elegant in literature and art. Of the old canonical essays, there were none he did not research and understand. At age twenty-five years, he was nominated as Filial and Incorrupt, appointed Chief of Dōngyáng, cared for the old and orphaned, and cared for the people as if for his own injuries.
- At the time, the era suffered [food] shortages and the people were hungry, so the Provincial Governor Táo Qiān memorialized Dēng as Colonel Managing Agriculture, and so he traveled appraising soil and fields, thoroughly dug irrigation, and the rice paddies were abundant and grew. He was sent  as envoy to Xǔ, and Tàizǔ appointed Dēng as Administrator of Guǎnglíng, with orders to secretly gather an army to plan against Lǚ Bù. When Dēng was at Guǎnglíng, he made clear and investigated reward and punishment, and his prestige and reputation spread about. The pirate Xuē Zhōu’s followers were over ten thousand households, but were helpless and returned to obedience. Before the end of the year, he had achievement in transforming [the commandery] and the common people feared but loved him. Dēng said: “They can be employed now.” Tàizǔ arrived at Xiàpī, and Dēng commanded the commandery troops to serve as the army’s front lines. At the time  all of Dēng’s younger brothers were within Xiàpī’s city walls, and Bù seized as hostages Dēng’s three younger brothers, hoping to use them to ask for peace. Dēng would not be stopped, and advanced and besieged and daily pressed hard. Bù’s subordinate Zhāng Hóng feared to be involved, and in the night freed Dēng’s three younger brothers and sent them out to Dēng.
- When Bù was executed, Dēng for his achievements was promoted to General Overcoming Waves, and greatly received popular support between the Jiāng and Huái, so he had ambition to subdue and absorb the south of the Jiāng. Sūn Cè sent an army to attack Dēng at Kuāngqí city . When the rebels first arrived, their banners and armor blanketed the river. [Chén Dēng’s] followers down, because the present rebel army was ten times the number of the commandery troops, were afraid they could not resist, and suggested withdrawing the army to flee from them, and leave the city empty, since a naval force occupying land could not long reside there, and would certainly withdraw and go.
- Dēng in a stern voice said: “I received the state’s commands, and have come to defend this land. In the past when Mǎ Wényuān was at this post, he could to the south pacify all the hundreds of Yuè peoples and to the north wipe out all the Dí peoples. If I cannot restrain and destroy the vicious evildoers, how can I flee from bandits and so do wrong? I set out to serve the state, to uphold justice and bring order to the chaos, and following natural order we must overcome.” Therefore he closed the gates and defended, and showing weakness would not do battle. The officers and soldiers restrained their voices, and remained silent as if there were no men. Dēng ascended the city walls and observed the circumstances, and knew [the enemy] could be attacked. Therefore he commanded the officers and soldiers in the night to ready their weapons, under darkness open the southern gate, and led the army into the rebel camp, and the infantry and cavalry wreaked havoc afterward. The rebels were utterly terrified, and with harnesses could not but return to their boats. Dēng with his own hand beat the army’s drums, commanding the troops to board them, and the rebels were thereupon greatly defeated, and all abandoned their ships and fled. Dēng followed up on the victory and pursued, beheading some ten thousand enemies.
- The rebels were angry and mournful and raised up a great many troops to go face Dēng. Dēng knew he could not match them, and sent his Merit Officer Chén Jiǎo to ask help from Tàizǔ. Dēng secretly went out from the city ten lǐ and set up a army camp there, ordered to gather a great amount of firewood, and placed two bundles together every ten paces, and after finishing went back. He ordered in the night to light them all on fire, and the fire thus grew visible. Atop the city walls he announced celebrations as if the great army had arrived. The rebels saw the fires and were very alarmed and scattered. Dēng commanded the troops to pursue, and beheaded on the order of ten thousand.
- Dēng was transferred to Administrator of Dōngchéng. Guǎnglíng’s officials and people were attached to his favor and virtue, and together left the commandery to follow Dēng, and old and young and with children on their backs followed him. Dēng in the morning spoke and ordered them to return, saying: “As Administrator in your commandery, I frequently reported Wú bandits, and by good fortune overcame them and brought relief. How can you all sirs worry that you will not receive a good leader?”
- Afterward when Sūn Quán came to power across the Jiāng, every time Tàizǔ faced the great Jiāng he would sigh and regret not earlier using Chén Yuánlóng’s plans, and order to bestow pigs to provide for his [Chén Dēng’s] fighting subordinates. Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] recalled and praised Dēng’s achievements, and appointed Dēng’s son Sù as Palace Cadet.