Liú Yú 劉虞 [Bó’ān 伯安]
Gōngsūn Zàn appellation Bóguī was a Liáoxī Lìngzhī man. He became in the prefecture a Scribe Assistant Below the Gate. He had an imposing appearance and great voice. Administrator Hóu was impressed with him, gave his daughter as wife to him, (1) and sent him to visit Zhuō prefecture’s Lú Zhí to study the classics.
- (1) Diǎnlüè states: Zàn by nature was skilled in rhetoric. Whenever he discussed matters he was not superficial, and always made several different points, never forgetting or making a mistake. The Administrator was impressed with his ability.
Later he became a prefectural official. When Administrator Liú was in trouble and summoned to visit the Minister of Justice, Zàn drove the chariot, and personally attended to him. When Liú was exiled to Rìnán, Zàn prepared grain and meat, and north of Máng [hill] offered sacrifices to his ancestors, raising the libation cup and saying: “Previously I was a son, but now I am a servant, and will soon go to Rìnán. Rìnán has unhealthy air, and perhaps I may not return, so I bid farewell to my ancestors.” He again bowed fervently and rose, and at the time of those watching there were none who did not sob. Liú on the road was pardoned and returned.
Zàn was nominated as a Filial and Incorrupt candidate and became a Cadet, and was sent out as Liáodōng Dependent State’s Chief Clerk. Once he went with several tens of cavalry to patrol Sāi, and encountered several hundred Xiānbēi riders. Zàn therefore retreated to an empty precinct, and said to his following cavalry: “Now if we do not charge through them, then we will all be killed.” Zàn then himself grasped a lance, attached a blade on both ends, and charged and stabbed through the Hú, killing and wounding several tens, but also losing half his riders, and so they escaped. The Xiānbēi were intimidated and afterward did not dare again enter Sāi. He was promoted to Zhuō Magistrate.
During Guānghé [178-184], Liángzhōu rebels rose up. Elite riders from Yōuzhōu were sent, 3000 men, and Zàn was provisionally made acting commander as they went, and so led them there. The army arrived at Jìzhōng. Zhāng Chún of Yúyáng enticed Liáoxī’s Wūhuán Qiūlìjū and others to rebel, plunder Jìzhōng. He styled himself a General, (2) robbed fromt he officials and people and attacked the various cities of Yòuběipíng and Liáoxī Dependent State, and wherever he arrived was left in ruins.
- (2) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū states: Chún declared himself General Completing Heaven and King of Āndìng.
Zàn took command, pursued and attacked Chún with achievements, and was promoted to Cavalry Commandant. The Dependent State Wūhuán King of Tānzhì led his tribe to surrender to Zàn. [Gōngsūn Zàn] was promoted to Internal Cadet-General, given fief as a capital precinct Marquis, advanced to camp in the Dependent State, and fought with the barbarians for five to six years. Qiūlìjū and the others plundered Qīng, Xú, Yōu, Jì, four provinces, doing great harm and Zàn was unable to resist them.
The Court commented that the Minister of the Imperial Clan Liú [Yú] Bó’ān of Dōnghǎi was virtuous and righteous and in the past had been Inspector of Yōuzhōu, was known for his kindness and honesty, the foreign tribes were attached to him, and if he was sent to defend and comfort, the matter could be settled without toiling with armies, and therefore Liú Yú was appointed Governor of Yōuzhōu. (1)
- (1) Wúshū states: [Liú] Yú was a descendant of Dōnghǎi Gōng-wáng “Respectful King”. He encountered a period of decline and chaos, and also was from estranged from the ruler of the time. He was appointed in the county as Household Officier Scribe, and for his ability in government and personal devotion to duty was summoned to become a commandery official, nominated as Filial and Incorrupt to become a Cadet, was promoted to reach Inspector of Yōuzhōu, transferred to Chancellor of Gānlíng and greatly won the hearts of the eastern foreign tribes. Afterward due to illness he returned home, always kept himself subdued, shared in the joys and sorrows of the village groups, had none to match his level but did not act any different because of his reputation and rank, and the local village all took him as an exemplar. Whenever the local village had a law dispute, they did not go to the officials, but instead went to Yú to decide it. Yú used reason to decide sentences, and all great and small respectfully obeyed, and were not resentful. Once there was someone who lost an ox, that in body size and fur color resembled Yú’s ox, and so believed it was his ox, and Yú without dispute gave it to him. Later the owner found his original ox, and then apologized for his mistake. At the time Gānlíng was again disordered, and the officials and people thought that if Yú came to govern and again became Chancellor of Gānlíng, then Gānlíng would be greatly settled. He was summoned and appointed Director of the Secretariat, Minister of Attendants, was treated with the same Courtesy as to the Excellencies, and further became Minister of the Imperial Clan.
- Yīngxióngjì states: Yú became Magistrate of Bópíng, governed uprightly and promoted justice, was noble and lofty but simple and honest. Within the borders there were no robbers, and natural disasters did not occur. At the time the neighboring county had the disasters of locusts, but when they reached the Bópíng border, they flew past and did not enter.
- Wèishū states: Yú was at Yōuzhōu, was peaceful and frugal, and used righteousness and courtesy to enlighten the people. In the time of Líng-dì the Southern Palace was damaged, so when officials were sent to fill posts in the provinces and commanderies, all were required to provide money to assist in repairing the Palace, some paying ten million, some twenty million. The wealthy used their private fortunes, or else took money from the people to provide it. The poor and honest had no way to pay, and some killed themselves. Líng-dì because Yú was poor but upright specially permitted him not to pay money.
[Liú] Yú arrived, sent emissaries among the Hú, informed them of the potential advantages and disadvantages, and asked that they send [Zhāng] Chún’s head. Qiūlìjū and the others heard that Yú had arrived, were pleased, and each sent messengers to surrender. Zàn feared that Yú would have achievement [above his own], and therefore secretly sent people to kill the Hú envoys at the border. The Hú learned of this, and so changed their route to visit Yú. Yú withdrew the garrisoned soldiers, but left Zàn with command of 10,000 infantry and cavalry stationed at Yòuběipíng. [Zhāng] Chún therefore abandoned his wives and children and fled to the Xiānbēi, but was killed by his retainer Wáng Zhèng, who sent the head to Yú. Zhèng was given fief as a full Marquis. [Liú] Yú for his achievement was appointed Grand Commandant and given fief as Marquis of Xiāngbēn. (2)
- (2) Yīngxióngjì states: Yú declined to be Grand Commandant, and instead recommended Minister of the Guard Zhào Mó, Governor of Yìzhōu Liú Yān, Governor of Yùzhōu Huáng Wǎn, and Administrator of Nányáng Yáng Xù, and all were appointed Excellencies.
At the time Dǒng Zhuó arrived at Luòyáng , and promoted [Liú] Yú to Marshal-in-Chief, and Zàn to General Exerting Martiality with fief as Marquis of Jì.
East of the Passes Righteous Troops rose up , and [Dǒng] Zhuó therefore seized the Emperor and moved west. He summoned [Liú] Yú to be Grand Tutor, but the roads were cut off and the letter of order did not arrive.
Yuán Shào and Hán Fù discussed matters, believing: “As they have a Child Emperor controlled by a treacherous minister, the empire Under Heaven has none to turn their hearts to. [Liú] Yú is of the Imperial Clan and has reputation, and the people look to him.” Therefore they nominated Yú to become Emperor. An envoy was sent to Yú, but Yú to the end would not accept. Shào and the others again asked that Yú claim authority over the Secretariat affairs, in order to manage ranks and grant fiefs and titles, but Yú again would not listen, but he did make alliance with Shào and the rest. (1)
- (1) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū states: [Yuán] Shào and [Hán] Fù sent former Administrator of Lèlàng Zhāng Qí of Gānlíng to present the proposal to Yú, to ask that he take Imperial Title. Yú sternly scolded [Zhāng] Qí: “How dare you speak such talk! The loyal and filial way cannot be left. I have received the state’s favor, but the realm Under Heaven is in chaos, and I cannot devote myself to remove the state’s troubles, but I look to the righteous heroes of the provinces and commanderies to use all their strength to face the west and rescue the young ruler. Yet now you absurdly make treasonous plans, and wish to disgrace this loyal servant!”
- Wúshū states: [Hán] Fù wrote a letter to Yuán Shù, saying: “The Emperor is not a son of Xiào-Líng. We wish to follow the example of [the Marquis of] Jiàng and Guàn [Yīng] punishing a child ruler to welcome and enthrone the King of Dài. [Liú] Yú is praised for merit and virtue in government, our civilization has no other, and now among the branches of the ruling house, there are none that can compare to him.” It also said: “In the past Guāng-Wǔ [25-57] was five generations removed from Dìng-wáng [a son of Jǐng-dì, -155-141] and as Marshal-in-Chief commanded the [Yellow] River’s north. Gěng Yǎn and Féng Yì advised him to take Imperial Title, and in the end he succeeded Gēngshǐ [23-25]. Now Lord Liú [Yú] in his descent from Gōng-wáng [a son of Guāng-Wǔ] is also five generations, and he as Marshal-in-Chief commands as Governor of Yōuzhōu. This is the same as with Guāng-Wǔ.” At the time four stars met at jīwěi [constellation], and [Hán] Fù made a prophecy that said a divine man would soon be at Yān’s border. It was also reported that a Jìyīn man, Wáng Dìng [‘the King is decided’] found a Jade seal that had written on it: “Yú will be Heaven’s Son.” It was also reported two suns were sighted at Dài prefecture, and it was said Yú would succeed to the Throne. [Yuán] Shào also wrote a separate letter to report this to [Yuán] Shù. At the time Shù already secretly had a treacherous heart, and believed it disadvantages if the state had a mature ruler, and therefore outside he used righteous principles to answer and oppose it. [Yuán] Shào also sent someone to secretly inform Yú, but Yú because the state had its rightful ruler and because this was not what subjects should say, firmly refused and would not accept. Therefore he threatened to flee to the Xiōngnú to live in isolation, and [Yuán] Shào and the rest therefore stopped. Yú therefore loyally sent tribute [to the Court] and became even more respectful and solemn. All the foreign Qiāng and Hú had tribute to them but the roads were cut off, and all were delivered and went to the capital.
[Liú] Yú’s son Hé was a Attendant Internal and at Cháng’ān. Heaven’s Son wished to return east, and sent Hé to disguise and escape [Dǒng] Zhuó, secretly go through Wǔ Pass to visit Yú, to order him to lead troops to come welcome [the Emperor back east].
[Liú] Hé on the road encountered Yuán Shù, informing him of Heaven’s Son’s intention. Shù wished to gain reinforcements from Yú, and detained Hé and would not send him, and claiming to gather troops to go west ordered Hé to write a letter to Yú. Yú obtained Hé’s letter, and therefore sent several thousand cavalry to join Hé. Zàn knew that Shù had ulterior motives, did not wish to send troops, and stopped Yú, but Yú would not listen. Zàn was afraid Shù would hear and be angered by this, and also sent his younger cousin [Gōngsūn] Yuè to lead a thousand cavalry to join Shù to make alliance, while secretly advising Shù to keep Hé and take over his troops. Because of this, Yú and Zàn had a rift. Hé escaped Shù and came north, but was again detained by [Yuán] Shào.
At the time, [Yuán] Shù had sent Sūn Jiān to garrison Yángchéng to oppose [Dǒng] Zhuó, and [Yuán] Shào had sent Zhōu Áng to seize his headquarters. Shù sent [Gōngsūn] Yuè to join Jiān in attacking Áng, was unsuccessful, and Yuè was struck by a stray arrow and died. [Gōngsūn] Zàn angrily said: “My younger brother’s death was because of Shào.” Therefore he set out his army to camp at Pánhé and was about to take revenge on Shào.
Shào was afraid, and gave from his own girdle the seals and ribbons of Administrator of Bóhǎi to Zàn’s younger cousin [Gōngsūn] Fàn, sent him to that prefecture, hoping to restore alliance. [Gōngsūn] Fàn then led Bóhǎi’s troops to join Zàn, defeating the Yellow Headscarves of Qīng and Xú [provinces]. Their troops were flourishing, and the army advanced to Jiè Bridge. (1)
- (1) Diǎnlüè record’s Zàn’s memorial listing Shào’s crimes: “I your servant have heard that it was since the August [Fú] Xī that there first were rulers and servants and superior and subordinate. Cultivation was used to guide the people, and punishments were used to forbid evil. Now Acting General of Chariots and Cavalry Yuán Shào was entrusted with leadership but plunders and steals nobility, is by nature violent and rebellious, and his actions are coarse and obscene. Previously he was Colonel-Director of Retainers, and at the time the State was in mourning [for Líng-dì]. The Dowager-Empress took charge and the Hé family assisted the government, but Shào turned to evil flattery and could not raise the upright, and so ordered Dīng Yuán to burn down Mèngjīn and summoned Dǒng Zhuó, creating the source of the chaos. This was Shào’s first crime. [Dǒng] Zhuó both entered Luò[yáng] and seized the ruler, but Shào could not by authority or deceit rescue his lord or his father, and instead abandoned his post and duties, bursting forth and fleeing, shaming and disgracing the Mandate, and so turned his back on his superior and lacked loyalty. This was Shào’s second crime. Shào became Administrator of Bóhǎi, secretly raised weapons and horses, and was about to attack Dǒng Zhuó, but did not inform his father and elder brother, and so the Grand Tutor’s [Yuán Kuí] whole family and Minister Charioteer [Yuán Jī] parent and children were in one morning all killed, and so lacked benevolence and lacked filial piety. This was Shào’s third crime. When Shào raised troops, he tarried for two years, did not sympathize with the state’s troubles, expanded his own domain, and therefore took provisions and supplies without hurrying, killed wealthy households to seize their money. The people cried and sighed, and none did not protest in pain. This was Shào’s fourth crime. With Hán Fù he created a false Throne, faked command and Imperial Order, carved gold and jade seals, sent down a written letter in a black bag that was presented and examined and found to say: ‘A written Imperial Order bestows one fief with the Seal of Marquis of Kàng village.’ In the past during the chaos of the Xīn House [that attempted to usurp Hàn] such false actions gradually became treated as real, and now Shào in this bestowal is just like that. This was Shào’s fifth crime. Shào ordered Cuī Jùyè to watch the sun and stars, to bestow treasures and bribes, gather together to eat and drink, set dates for meetings, and attack and plunder prefectures and counties. Is this how a great minister should behave? This was Shào’s sixth crime. Shào with former Tiger-Fang Commandant Liú Xūn together led troops. Xūn still was useful, and had also subdued Zhāng Yáng, but due to petty anger he unjustly harmed Xūn, trusting false slander, killing those with achievement. This was Shào’s seventh crime. Shào also sent up former Administrator of Shànggǔ Gāo Yān, former Chancellor of Gānlíng Yáo Gòng, and unreasonably fined them money. The money was not enough, so both men were killed. This was Shào’s eighth crime. By the righteous way of the Chūnqiū, the son is honored based on the mother. Shào’s mother was a slave girl, so Shào truly is lowly and cannot be a successor. By righteousness it is unsuitable. Therefore by seizing grand and important appointment, he shamed and defouled the royal nobility, and disgraced the Yuán ancestors. This was Shào’s ninth crime. Furthermore Administrator of Chángshā Sūn Jiān previously took office as Inspector of Yùzhōu, drove away Dǒng Zhuó, swept clean the [Imperial] Tombs and Temples, and his achievements had none greater. Shào ordered Zhōu Áng to steal and occupy his place, cutoff Jiān’s provisions, causing him to be unable to go further and enabling [Dǒng] Zhuó to escape execution. This was Shào’s tenth crime. I your servant also received every letter of General of the Rear Yuán Shù, and say that Shào is not of the same sort as Shù. Shào’s crimes are such that all the bamboo of the southern hills are not enough to record them. In the past when the government of the Jī [ruling family of the] Zhōu became weak, the way of the King was delayed, Heaven’s Son moved the capital, and all the lords turned away and rebelled. Therefore Huán of Qí established the Oath of Kētíng, Wén of Jìn held the meeting of treading earth, cut down Jīng-Chǔ all the way to Jīngmáo and punished Cáo and Wèi to demonstrate what was without courtesy. Though I your servant am limited and confused, and my reputation cannot match the ancient worthies, I have received the Court’s favor, and so received important appointment, have duties in wielding the Battle-Ax, and obediently cut down the criminal, and will at once with all the officers and the provincial and commandery troops attack Shào and the rest. If this matter is successful, the criminal will be captured, and the people will continue to learn the loyalty and honesty of Huán and Wén, battle will take form, and front to rear will continue on.” Therefore he raised troops to do battle with Shào, and Shào was unsuccessful.
[Gōngsūn Zàn] appointed Yán Gāng to Jìzhōu [as Inspector], Tián Kǎi to Qīngzhōu, Shàn Jīng to Yǎnzhōu, and also installed appointees to all the prefectures and counties. [Yuán] Shào led his army to Guǎngchuān, ordered his General Qū Yì to lead the vanguard and battle with Zàn, capturing [Yán] Gāng alive. Zàn’s army was defeated and fled to Bóhǎi, and with [Gōngsūn] Fàn returned to Jì. Southeast of the main city he built a small city to be close to [Liú] Yú, and gradually they were on bad terms.
[Liú] Yú feared that Zàn would rebel, so he raised troops to attack Zàn. Yú was defeated by Zàn and fled to Jūyōng. Zàn attacked and overcame Jūyōng, capturing Yú alive, and took Yú back to Jì. At the time [Dǒng] Zhuó had died, and Heaven’s Son had sent an envoy Duàn Xùn to increase Yú’s fief and given him command over six provinces, and to promote Zàn to General of the Front with fief as Marquis of Yì. Zàn falsely accused Yú of seeking to claim Imperial title, and coerced [Duàn] Xùn to behead Yú. (1)
- (1) Wèishì Chūnqiū states: Previously, Liú Yú peacefully gathered the foreign tribes, but Zàn because the Hú and Yì were difficult to resist would not accept them and attacked them, [believing that] if they now gave gifts then [the barbarians] would think lightly of Hàn, and this would only have fame for a time and was not a plan for the long term. Therefore the gifts Yú intended to give were immediately seized by Zàn. Yú several times invited him to meet, but he claimed illness and would not go. When [Gōngsūn Zàn was] defeated in battle [by Yuán Shào], Yú wished to attack him, and informed his East Department Official, a Yòuběipíng man, Wèi Yōu. Yōu said: “Now the realm Under Heaven awaits a lord to serve, so one cannot be without planning officials and fighting men. Zàn has especially great ability in civil and military affairs, and though he has some small faults, you should tolerate him.” Therefore he stopped. After a year, Yōu died of illness. Yú again discussed things with his officials, and secretly ordered the army to attack Zàn. Zàn’s personal guard and retainers were scattered outside, so they were afraid they would be destroyed, and dug through the city’s east gate in order to flee. Yú’s troops had no organization, were not experienced in battle, and further he cared for civilian houses and ordered that they were not to be burned. Therefore Zàn set a fire, and then used elite troops to break through. Yú’s army was greatly scattered, and he fled to Jūyōng city. Zàn captured him and his family retainers and returned, killing the provincial government officials, and all the well-attired good scholars were nearly wiped out.
- Diǎnlüè states: Zàn placed Yú beneath the sun in the market place and said: “If he is meant to be Heaven’s Son, then Heaven will send down rain to save him.” At the time it was the hot peak of summer, with clear skies and no rain, so he thereupon killed Yú.
- Yīngxióngjì states: Yú was about to be killed, so Chancellor of Chángshān Sūn Jǐn, officials Zhāng Yì, Zhāng Zàn, and others out of loyalty and righteous indignation set out, went to join Yú, cursed Zàn with harsh words, and afterward died together [with Liú Yú].
Zàn memorialized [Duàn] Xùn as Inspector of Yōuzhōu. Zàn then became arrogant, remembering offenses and forgetting kindnesses, and many were harmed by him. (2)
- (2) Yīngxióngjì states: Zàn gathered up inside and out all the well-attired [scholar-gentry] students that had exceptional ability, and all were sent and exiled in poor and destitute territory. Someone asked him the reason, and he answered: “Now these well-attired [scholar-gentry] students and wealthy and noble scholars all believe they deserve office, and do not appreciate my greatness.” Those who received favor were arrogant and unrestrained, and many were common fellows, like the former fortune-teller Liú Wěitái, silk trader Lǐ Yízǐ, and merchant Yuè Hédāng, and others. Those three men and he swore an oath of brotherhood. [Gōngsūn Zàn] called himself the eldest, and the three men were the second, third, and fourth. Their wealth all reached hundreds of millions, and some had their daughters taken to wed his sons, always citing past people like Qǔ Zhōu and Guàn Yīng as examples.
[Liú] Yú’s Attending Officials, Yúyáng’s Xiānyú Fǔ, Qí Zhōu, Cavalry Commandant Xiānyú Yín, and others led the provincial troops, seeking to take revenge on Zàn. As Yān state’s Yán Róu was known for kindness and honesty, they all nominated him as Major of the Wūwán. [Yán] Róu led the Wūwán and Xiānbēi and obtained several tens of thousands of barbarian and Hàn men, fought with Zàn’s appointed Administrator of Yúyáng Zōu Dān at Lùběi, greatly defeated him, and beheaded [Zōu] Dān. Yuán Shào also sent Qū Yì and [Liú] Yú’s son [Liú] Hé to lead troops and join [Xiānyú] Fǔ to together attack Zàn. Zàn’s army was repeatedly defeated, and he therefore retreated to Yìjīng and firmly defended. (3)
- (3) Yīngxióngjì states: Before this there was a children’s rhyme that said: “Yān reaches south, Zhào stretches north. In the center no bigger than a grindstone, only there can one escape the world.” Zàn believed this meant Yì, and therefore built a fortress to defend. Among Zàn’s separate officers there were those besieged by the enemy that asked for refuge. He answered: “If I rescue one, then afterward the officers will rely on rescue and not use their strength in battle. Now if I do not rescue them, then afterward they will remember to rely on themselves.” Therefore when Yuán Shào first came north and attacked, Zàn’s southern border separate camps realized they could not resist alone, and also knew they would not see reinforcements, and therefore they killed their own officers [to surrender], or else were destroyed by Shào’s troops, and therefore Shào’s army easily reached [Gōngsūn Zàn’s] Gates.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that of the words of the children’s rhyme none were not all examined. As it is recorded, it appears to lack melody. The song’s words were to lead Zàn to the end to first defend Yì and have no long-term strategy. But Zàn because he had broken the strength of the Yellow Headscarves had grown ambitious and spread his plans, and so installed Inspectors of three provinces and plotted to destroy the Yuán clan, and because of this he was destroyed.
He built ten encircling moats, and between each moat he built a fortress, each five to six zhàng [~12-14m] high, with a tower atop. In the center-most moat he built a citadel, ten zhàng [~23m] high, and himself resided there, storing three million hú of grain. (4)
- (4) Yīngxióngjì states: Zàn deployed all his officers each in towers, and so there were a thousand fortifications. Zàn built a steel gate, and resided atop that tower, dismissing his attendants, having his maidservants and concubines at his side, and [communicating by] pulling up [with pulleys] letters and documents.
Zàn said: “In the past it was said that the affairs of the world Under Heaven were settled by [military] banners, and now considering things, I cannot resolve things, so it is better to rest the troops, and focus on agriculture and livestock. By military principles, hundred-fold fortifications are not attacked. Now I have thousand-fold fortifications. When this grain is eaten up, then one can again consider the affairs of the world Under Heaven again.” He wished to defeat Shào in this way. Shào sent Generals to attack him, but for successive years could not overcome him. (5)
- (5) Hàn Jìn Chūnqiū states: Yuán Shào wrote Zàn a letter that said: “I and you sir previously had alliance and old agreement to go forth by the oath to suppress the chaos, correcting the mistakes of Yí and Shū and distinguishing red from green, said our army strengths were on the same path, following the examples of Qí and Jìn, and therefore discarded seals and ribbons, used the north to lead the south, divided rich spoils in order to obediently do our duty. Is this not a clear explanation of my bare feelings? How could you abandon the hero’s high righteousness and seek to leave a legacy of destruction, stopping and turning and with easily change intentions and send soldiers and horses [led by Gōngsūn Yuè] to plunder and violate Yùzhōu [support Sūn Jiān against Zhōu Áng]? When I first heard armored soldiers were to the south, I personally went to overlook the battle lines, fearing that arrows would suddenly fly forth and violent blades clash, and so by valuing your misfortunes, I acknowledged my faults and therefore sent a letter of earnest sorrow, hoping to mend my ways. But you sir were exceedingly fierce and reckless, boasted of your power, said even Heaven could be conquered and the greatest heroes be destroyed, and indeed ordered your younger brother [Gōngsūn Yuè] to die at the end of a blade point. These words are true and that is all, but you sir refused to realize what was the true source of the disaster, ignored your heart and your guilty self, and wished to flaunt your boundless fury, violating obedience to cross the ford, hiding behind accusations to harm the people, in order to attack me. Therefore you galloped your horses and fired your bowstrings, occupying my territory, cruelly harming the people, and leaving behind white bones. I would not be taken, and led the campaign at Jiè Bridge. At the time your army’s spirits thundered and shook, your horses like lightning set out. My servants and troops gathered together with plans not prepared, and the difference in our strength and our numbers were obvious, but by the assistance of Heaven, a small battle became a great victory, and so you fled and turned away, and so your camps and buildings and grain were taken. Was this not the clear demonstration of Heaven’s authority and good fortune of having courtesy? But your ambition was not yet broken, and so you again gathered your remnant forces, commanded my defected traitors and so burned down Bóhǎi. I again would not be captured, and set up my army along the river. Light troops were sent ahead, the main army had not yet crossed, but you sir were absolutely terrified and your army scattered, without a beating of drums you were defeated, your troops in utter disorder, and both leader and subjects together fled. This again was due to you sir, and not my fault. From then afterward, misfortune and calamity became greater and deeper, and I leading my army could not bear my anger, and so with bodies piled high like a fortress, heads and skulls littered the wilderness, feeling sorrow for the blameless, never did not sigh and weep. Later I received your letter, its words and meaning were humble and subdued, and it spoke of changing your ways. I was very pleased to return to our former friendship and moreover pitied the countless people gone, and so at once summoned back my troops and returned south, agreeing to the letter. It was not even a full period of time when urgent dispatches came from the north, even before I had arrived back. My heart was bitter and lamenting at having been so deceived. One who would be commander of the Three Armies and take appointment as full General should control his anger as bitter frost, be happy as in times of rain, hide away their likes and hatreds, and calmly face things. But you sir are little in virtue, when strong or weak change schemes, when in urgency bow humbly but when not in urgency flee and escape, so that there is no resolution, your words have no integrity, and so caused my strong troops to become as hard as this! You killed both old and young, and the lands of Yōu[zhōu] were indignant and angry, and so the masses rebelled and your friends abandoned you, leaving you isolated with no allies. Further the Wūwán and Huìmò were all in the same province as you sir, but I treated them with special custom, and each exerted their speed and anger, and fought as my vanguard, while the Eastern and Western Xiānbēi led their followers to join me. This was not that my virtue had roused them, but that you sir had driven them away to come here. One in a desolate and dangerous age, who resides in danger of weapons and spears, who inside violated Oath of Alliance and outside lost the hearts of the foreign tribes, raised troops in the provincial soil and brought disaster and misery, when seeking to establish dominance should it not be difficult? I advanced by the western mountains and sent troops to pacify, while Qū Yì dealt with the remainder, and so they feared punishment and to save their lives therefore came to join my great army, so your divided troops were squandered, and those troops now serve as my front, and so your banners and flags taken at Jiè bridge are at the front to meet you as an enemy. When I first heard you sir had carved a golden seal with purple ribbon to make yourself supreme commander, I said because of this I was roused to action, to avenge the disgrace of the Alliance, and therefore in battle was eager, raised high banners and flags, enough to block out light like shadows, but to the end you had no response, so your troops were wiped out, and all pitied this. One who has the fury to pacify the realm Under Heaven hopes to have long-lasting achievement, authority to resist armies, lead and raise weapons and horses, leave no rebel unpunished, no avenger uncaptured, authority and pity together lost, how can one establish reputation? Now the old capital is again subdued, Heaven has nothing to say in repair, criminals perish, the loyal bring change, our civilization is reverent, watching for solemn action, so I restrain my weapons and spears, and let go my oxen and horses, but you sir alone guard your trifling territory, holding to your army, and by your evil reputation quickly weaken, so without virtue can you last long? To be strong without resources to support it is not a good plan. You should forget your regrets and remove your suspicions, and restore good relations with me. If you these words are false, may the August Sky hear of it.” Zàn did not answer, and instead increased his military preparations. He said to Guān Jìng: “Now in all directions tigers fight, but none can sit below my city walls and resist for a year to the next. How can Yuán Běnchū match me?”
Jiàn’ān Fourth Year , Shào led all his armies to besiege him. Zàn sent his son to ask for help from the Black Mountain bandits, and also wished to personally lead his cavalry and break out to the southwestern hills, join with the armies of the Black Mountains and attack Jìzhōu, cutting off Shào’s rear. Chief Clerk Guān Jìng advised Zàn: “Now General all the officers and soldiers are already divided and demoralized and the reason they can still resist is that they are feel attached to their homes and their young and old, and also because you General are the master. If you General resist for several days, Yuán Shào will eventually retreat, and after he retreats, all the armies will certainly be reunited. If you General now leave and go, the army will not be able to defend, Yìjīng will be endangered, and you could lose your foundation. If you General lose your base, you would be alone in the wilderness, and how could you be successful?” Zàn therefore stopped and did not go out. (6)
- (6) Yīngxióngjì states: Guān Jìng appellation Shìqǐ was a Tàiyuán man. He was by nature a ruthless official, who flattered but had no great ability to plan, and was specially trusted and favored by Zàn.
When the reinforcements arrived, both inside and outside would attack Shào. He sent someone with a letter to his son, that when the soldiers arrived they should light a fire as the signal. (7)
- (7) Diǎnlüè states: Zàn sent someone to present a letter to inform his son [Gōngsūn] Xù: “Yuán’s attack is like a fearsome ghost, drums and horns cry as if from the ground, charging up ladders toward my towers. The sun weakens and the moon is trampled, and there is nothing to relive the tedium. You must break through to Zhāng Yān and quickly come with light cavalry. When you arrive set a fire to the north, and I will from the inside set out. Otherwise, I will have no descendants [disown you], and though the world Under Heaven is wide, would you ever be able to have a place to find rest?”
- Xiàn-dì Chūnqiū states: Zàn dreamed of Jì city collapsing, and knew he would certainly be destroyed, so he sent a messenger with a letter to [Gōngsūn] Xù. One of Shào’s sentries captured it, and Chén Lín sent a [fake] reply letter: “One hears that in the past in the time of the fall of Zhōu there were bodies and blood [everywhere]. I believe this cannot be; how can you plan to today charge out yourself?”
- The rest is the same as Diǎnlüè records.
One of Shào’s sentries captured the letter, and they set a fire. Zàn believed the reinforcements had arrived, and so set out to do battle. Shào set up an ambush and greatly defeated him, so he returned to defend. Shào made a tunnel to break through his towers, and reached the center citadel. (8)
- (8) Yīngxióngjì states: Yuán Shào sent a division of attackers to dig a path through the ground, and when the tunnel reached below the tower they set up wooden supports tunnel underground. When they judged that they had reached the center, they set fire to the supports, and the tower at once collapsed.
Zàn knew he would certainly be destroyed, so he killed all his wives and children, and then killed himself. (9)
- (9) Hàn Jìn Chūnqiū states: Guān Jìng said: “I have heard that the superior gentleman who has led another to danger must share in the misfortune. How can I be the only survivor?” Therefore he urged on his horse to charge Shào’s army and died. Shào sent his head to [the capital] Xǔ.
Xiānyú Fǔ then led his armies to swear loyalty to Imperial command. Fǔ was appointed General Establishing Loyalty, with command over the six prefectures of Yōuzhōu. Tàizǔ and Yuán Shào faced one another at Guāndù, and Yán Róu sent an envoy to Tàizǔ to receive orders, and was promoted to Colonel Protecting the Wūhuán. Meanwhile Fǔ personally went to visit Tàizǔ and was appointed Left General Crossing the Liáo, given fief as Marquis of a precinct, and sent back to defend and support his home province. (1)
- (1) Wèilüè states: Fǔ followed Tàizǔ at Guāndù. Yuán Shào was defeated and fled, Tàizǔ was pleased, and looked back to say to Fǔ: “The year before last [Yuán Shào] Běnchū sent Gōngsūn Zàn’s head here and I looked at it and was very surprised and that is all. But now I have overcome him. This was both Heaven’s will, and also by the strength of you few sirs.”
Tàizǔ overcame Nánpí, Róu led his retainers and the Xiānbēi to present prized horses to the army, followed in the campaigns against the Wūhuán of three commanderies, and for his achievement was given fief as a Marquis Within the Passes. (2)
- Wèilüè states: Tàizǔ greatly favored Yán Róu, and always said to him: “I look upon you like my son, and also hope that you will look to me as a father.” Róu because of this attached himself to the Five Office [Cadet-]General [Cáo Pī] as if they were brothers.
Fǔ also led his armies to obedience. When Wén-dì ascended , Fǔ was appointed as Tiger-Fang General and Róu as General Crossing the Liáo, and both were advanced to Marquis of a county, ranked Specially Advanced.