(37.1) Páng Tǒng 龐統 [Shìyuán 士元]

Páng Tǒng appellation Shìyuán was a Xiāngyáng man. When he was young he was simple and dull, and there was no one yet who took note of him. Sīmǎ Huī of Yǐngchuān was pure and elegant and had understanding of people, when Tǒng was capped he went to meet [Sīmǎ] Huī, [Sīmǎ] Huī was picking mulberries from atop a tree, seated Tǒng below the tree, and they talked together from day until night. [Sīmǎ] Huī was deeply impressed with him, and praised him as the greatest among the southern provinces’ scholars, and from this he gradually gained fame. (1) Later the prefecture appointed him as Merit Officer.

龐統字士元,襄陽人也。少時樸鈍,未有識者。潁川司馬徽清雅有知人鑒,統弱冠往見徽,徽採桑於樹上,坐統在樹下,共語自晝至夜。徽甚異之,稱統當南州士之冠冕,由是漸顯。〔一〕後郡命為功曹。

  • (1) Xiāngyángjì “Records of Xiāngyáng” states: Zhūgě [Liàng] Kǒngmíng as the Hidden Dragon, Páng [Tǒng] Shìyuán as the Phoenix Fledgling, Sīmǎ [Huī] Décāo as the Water Mirror, were all Páng Dégōng’s sayings. Dégōng was a man of Xiāngyáng. [Zhūgě] Kǒngmíng every time arriving at his house, alone bowed below the couch, and [Páng] Dégōng always did not stop him. [Sīmǎ] Décāo once visited [Páng] Dégōng, just as he was crossing the Miǎn, going up to offer sacrifices to his ancestors’ tomb. [Sīmǎ] Décāo directly entered his household, called on [Páng] Dégōng’s wife and children, to have them quickly prepare millet: “Xú [Shù] Yuánzhí said to me that a guest will come to meet me and Lord Páng to talk.” The wives and children all lined up to pay respects below the hall, and hurried to make preparations. Very quickly, [Páng] Dégōng returned, and stood in attention for the meeting, but did not know who was the guest. [Sīmǎ] Décāo was younger than [Páng] Dégōng by ten years, so treated him as an elder brother in matters, called him Lord Páng, and therefore people of the time said that Lord Páng [Páng Gōng] was [Páng] Dégōng’s personal name, but this was not true. [Páng] Dégōng’s son [Páng] Shānmín] also had good reputation, wed Zhūgě Kǒngmíng’s youngest elder sister, became a Wèi Yellow Gate Appointment Gentleman, and died young. His son [Páng] Huàn styled Shìwén, during Jìn’s Tàikāng [280-289] became Administrator of Zāngkē. Tǒng was [Páng] Dégōng’s nephew, when young did not have anyone take note of him, and only [Páng] Dégōng valued him. At eighteen years, he was sent to meet [Sīmǎ] Décāo. [Sīmǎ] Décāo talked with him, and afterward sighed and said: “[Páng] Dégōng truly knows people. This is truly [a boy of] majestic moral character.”

〔一〕 襄陽記曰:諸葛孔明為臥龍,龐士元為鳳雛,司馬德操為水鏡,皆龐德公語也。德公,襄陽人。孔明每至其家,獨拜床下,德公初不令止。德操嘗造德公,值其渡沔,上祀先人墓,德操徑入其室,呼德公妻子,使速作黍,「徐元直向云有客當來就我與龐公譚。」其妻子皆羅列拜於堂下,奔走供設。須臾,德公還,直入相就,不知何者是客也。德操年小德公十歲,兄事之,呼作龐公,故世人遂謂龐公是德公名,非也。德公子山民,亦有令名,娶諸葛孔明小姊,為魏黃門吏部郎,早卒。子渙,字世文,晉太康中為牂牁太守。統,德公從子也,少未有識者,惟德公重之,年十八,使往見德操。德操與語,既而歎曰:「德公誠知人,此實盛德也。」

By nature he was good with people relations, diligent in fostering and mentoring. Every time he praised someone, it often surpassed their actual ability, a person at the time was confused and asked him about it, and Tǒng answered: “Now the realm Under Heaven is in great chaos, customs and principles confused, good people few but evil people many. Suppose we wish to revive good customs, and prolong principled industry; if we do not praise them their reputation will not be enough to be admired, and if it is not enough to be admired then those who follow the good example will be few. Now I recommend ten but am wrong about five, yet still I have gotten half, and those can be lofty examples to teach the present, cause the ambitious to motivate themselves, is this not acceptable?”

性好人倫,勤於長養。每所稱述,多過其才,時人怪而問之,統答曰:「當今天下大亂,雅道陵遲,善人少而惡人多。方欲興風俗,長道業,不美其譚即聲名不足慕企,不足慕企而為善者少矣。今拔十失五,猶得其半,而可以崇邁世教,使有志者自勵,不亦可乎?」

Wú General Zhōu Yú assisted Xiānzhǔ [Liú Bèi] in capturing Jīngzhōu, and was therefore appointed Administrator of Nán-jùn. [Zhōu] Yú died, and Tǒng escorted the body to Wú, and so of the Wú people many heard of his name. When he was about to return west, they all gathered at Chāng Gate. Lù Jì, Gù Shào, and Quán Cóng all went. Tǒng said: “Master Lù [Jì] can be said to be a worn horse that still has outstanding leg strength, Master Gù [Shào] can be said to be a worn ox that can still carry heavy burdens very far.” (2)

吳將周瑜助先主取荊州,因領南郡太守。瑜卒,統送喪至吳,吳人多聞其名。及當西還,並會昌門,陸勣、顧劭、全琮皆往。統曰:「陸子可謂駑馬有逸足之力,顧子可謂駑牛能負重致遠也。」〔二〕

  • (2) Zhāng Bó’s Wúlù “Records of Wù” states: Someone asked Tǒng: “So in your eyes, Master Lù is the superior?” Tǒng said: “Though a worn horse is agile, it carries one person and that is all. Though a worn ox in one day can only go three hundred lǐ, how can what it carries be only one person?” [Gù] Shào visited Tŏng’s lodgings, conversed, and therefore asked: “You have reputation for knowing men. Of you and me who is superior?” Tǒng said: “In teaching proper social customs, appraising and selecting people, I do not reach you. In discussing the secret plans of rulers, seizing on the most critical opportunities, I seem to have a day’s advantage.” [Gù] Shào agreed with these words and became closer with him.

〔二〕 張勃吳錄曰:或問統曰:「如所目,陸子為勝乎?」統曰:「駑馬雖精,所致一人耳。駑牛一日行三百里,所致豈一人之重哉!」劭就統宿,語,因問:「卿名知人,吾與卿孰愈?」統曰:「陶冶世俗,甄綜人物,吾不及卿;論帝王之秘策,攬倚伏之要最,吾似有一日之長。」劭安其言而親之。

He said to Quán Cóng: “You sir are generous and admire reputation, resembling Fán Zǐzhāo of Rǔnán. (3) Though your intelligence is not excessive, yet you are still expetional in this time.”

謂全琮曰:「卿好施慕名,有似汝南樊子昭。〔三〕雖智力不多,亦一時之佳也。」

  • (3) Jiǎng Jì’s Wànjīlùn “Discussion of Myriad Opportunities” says that Xǔ [Shào] Zǐjiāng’s appraisals were not fair, because he promoted Fán Zǐzhāo but hindered Xǔ [Jìng] Wénxiū. Liú Yè said: “Zǐzhāo was promoted from among merchants, in age already with obedient ear [sixty], when withdrawing could preserve tranquility, when advancing could be without carelessness.” [Jiǎng] Jì answered: “Zǐzhāo truly from youth to age maintain cleanliness, but observing his elegance and speech, he was surely no match for [Xǔ] Wénxiū.”

〔三〕 蔣濟萬機論云許子將褒貶不平,以拔樊子昭而抑許文休。劉曄曰:「子昭拔自賈豎,年至耳順,退能守靜,進能不苟。」濟答曰:「子昭誠自長幼完潔,然觀其臿齒牙,樹頰胲,吐唇吻,自非文休敵也。」胲音改。

[Lù] Jì and [Gù] Shào said to Tǒng: “When the realm Under Heaven is pacified, then you and us should together discuss the scholars of the [world within] the Four Seas.” They with Tǒng became very close and returned.

績、劭謂統曰:「使天下太平,當與卿共料四海之士。」深與統相結而還。


Xiānzhǔ governed Jīngzhōu, and Tǒng from Advisor became Magistrate of Lěiyáng, at the county could not govern well, and was dismissed from office. Wú General Lǔ Sù sent Xiānzhǔ a letter that said: “Páng [Tǒng] Shìyuán is not a talent for [managing a small] hundred lǐ [territory]. Employ him with appointment as Internal Manager or Aide-de-Camp, only then can he develop his incredible talent and that is all.” Zhūgě Liàng also said this to Xiānzhǔ, Xiānzhǔ met with him and admired his reputation, greatly entrusted him and appointed him Internal Manager Advisor. (1)

先主領荊州,統以從事守耒陽令,在縣不治,免官。吳將魯肅遺先主書曰:「龐士元非百里才也,使處治中、別駕之任,始當展其驥足耳。」諸葛亮亦言之於先主,先主見與善譚,大器之,以為治中從事。〔一〕

  • (1) Jiāngbiǎozhuàn “Biographies Beyond the Jiāng” states: Xiānzhǔ with Tǒng were leisurely at a feast chatting, and asked: “You were Zhōu [Yú] Gōngjǐn’s Merit Officer. When I went to Wú, I heard this man secretly had a matter where he urged [Sūn Quán] Zhòngmóu to detain me. Was it so? When with a master he is your master. You must not hide anything.” Tǒng answered: “It was.” [Liú] Bèi sighed and said: “I at that time was in danger, but they had rescued me, therefore I could not but go, and almost did not escape Zhōu Yú’s grasp! The realm Under Heaven’s scholars of wisdom and strategy can be seen to have similar plans. At the time [Zhūgě] Kǒngmíng remonstrated me to not go, and his intentions were very severe. He had also thought of this. I believe because I was [Sūn] Zhòngmóu‘s defense against the north, and so he relied on me as his assistance, and therefore I decided to have no doubts. This truly was entering into dangerous paths, and not a plan of absolute security.”

〔一〕 江表傳曰:先主與統從容宴語,問曰:「卿為周公瑾功曹,孤到吳,聞此人密有白事,勸仲謀相留,有之乎?在君為君,卿其無隱。」統對曰:「有之。」備歎息曰:「孤時危急,當有所求,故不得不往,殆不免周瑜之手!天下智謀之士,所見略同耳。時孔明諫孤莫行,其意獨篤,亦慮此也。孤以仲謀所防在北,當賴孤為援,故決意不疑。此誠出於險塗,非萬全之計也。」

His close treatment was second only to Zhūgě Liàng, and therefore with [Zhūgě] Liàng both served as Military Master Internal Cadet-General. (2) [Zhūgě] Liàng defended Jīngzhōu. Tǒng accompanied in entering Shǔ.

親待亞於諸葛亮,遂與亮並為軍師中郎將。〔二〕亮留鎮荊州。統隨從入蜀。

  • (2) Jiǔzhōu Chūnqiū “Chronicles of the Nine Provinces” states: Tǒng advised [Liú] Bèi: “Jīngzhōu is desolate and ruined, the people exhausted completely, to the east is Sūn [Qúan] of Wú, to the north is Cáo [Cāo], so the plan to maintain tripartite balance will be difficult to achieve. Now Yìzhōu’s state is rich and people strong, its population in the millions, four regions with troops and horses, when setting out one can certainly gather, and treasures do not need to be asked for from the outside. Now you can seize it to settle your great enterprise.” [Liú] Bèi said: “Now, the one with which I am like water and fire, is Cáo Cāo. [Cáo] Cāo is suspicious, I am lenient. [Cáo] Cāo is cruel, I am benevolent. [Cáo] Cāo is deceitful, I am loyal. If I am always opposing [Cáo] Cāo, the matter then can be achieved and that is all. Now for a small reason I would lose the faith and righteousness to the realm Under Heaven. I will not take it.” Tǒng said: “This is the time to do what is expedient, and not what can be settled by a single principle. Conquering the small and attacking secretly was the business of the Five Hegemons. Capturing the rebellious and defending the obedient, repaying them with righteousness, after the matter is settled giving fief with large states, how is that turning back on faith? Today if you do not take it, in the end it will be someone else’s benefit.” [Liú] Bèi therefore went.

〔二〕 九州春秋曰:統說備曰:「荊州荒殘,人物殫盡,東有吳孫,北有曹氏,鼎足之計,難以得志。今益州國富民彊,戶口百萬,四部兵馬,所出必具,寶貨無求於外,今可權借以定大事。」備曰:「今指與吾為水火者,曹操也,操以急,吾以寬;操以暴,吾以仁;操以譎,吾以忠;每與操反,事乃可成耳。今以小故而失信義於天下者,吾所不取也。」統曰:「權變之時,固非一道所能定也。兼弱攻昧,五伯之事。逆取順守,報之以義,事定之後,封以大國,何負於信?今日不取,終為人利耳。」備遂行。


Governor of Yìzhōu Liú Zhāng with Xiānzhǔ gathered at Fú. Tǒng suggested a plan: “Now at this meeting, you can seize him, and then you General without using troops can occupy and settle the whole province.” Xiānzhǔ said: “I have newly entered another state, and my grace and faith is not yet made known, so this cannot be.”

益州牧劉璋與先主會涪,統進策曰:「今因此會,便可執之,則將軍無用兵之勞而坐定一州也。」先主曰:「初入他國,恩信未著,此不可也。」

When [Liú] Zhāng returned to Chéngdū, Xiānzhǔ was about to for [Liú] Zhāng campaign north into Hànzhōng. Tǒng again advised:

“Secretly select elite troops, travel day and night, and directly attack Chéngdū. [Liú] Zhāng is both unskilled in military affairs, and also never prepared. When the main army arrives, with one move things will be settled. This is the best plan.

“Yáng Huái and Gāo Pèi are [Liú] Zhāng’s famous Generals, each lead strong troops, defending and occupying Guāntóu, and one hears that they have several times sent letters remonstrating [Liú] Zhāng, urging him to send you General back to Jīngzhōu. Now General before you arrive, send someone to them to report, saying Jīngzhōu has an emergency, and that you wish to rescue it, while simultaneously preparing attire to outwardly look like you will return. These two both respect your great reputation General, and also will be happy that you will leave, and certainly plan to ride with light cavalry to come meet. You General can then seize them, advance and take over their troops, and then head toward Chéngdū. This is the middle plan.

“Retreating back to Báidì, joining up with Jīngzhōu, and slowly return to make plans. This is the worst plan.

“If you delay and do not go, then you will be in great trouble, and cannot last.”

璋既還成都,先主當為璋北征漢中,統復說曰:「陰選精兵,晝夜兼道,徑襲成都;璋既不武,又素無預備,大軍卒至,一舉便定,此上計也。楊懷、高沛,璋之名將,各仗彊兵,據守關頭,聞數有牋諫璋,使發遣將軍還荊州。將軍未至,遣與相聞,說荊州有急,欲還救之,並使裝束,外作歸形;此二子既服將軍英名,又喜將軍之去,計必乘輕騎來見,將軍因此執之,進取其兵,乃向成都,此中計也。退還白帝,連引荊州,徐還圖之,此下計也。若沈吟不去,將致大因,不可久矣。」

Xiānzhǔ therefore followed the middle plan, beheaded [Yáng] Huái and [Gāo] Pèi, returned to head toward Chéngdū, and all that he passed he conquered. At Fǔ he held a great gathering, setting up wine and making merry, and said to Tǒng: “Today’s gathering can be said to be merry.” Tǒng said: “Attacking another man’s state and believing it joyous, is not the warfare of the benevolent.” Xiānzhǔ was drunk, and angrily said: “[Zhōu] Wǔ-wáng attacked [Shāng] Zhòu[-wáng], first singing and afterward dancing. Was he not benevolent? Your words are improper, and you should get out!” Therefore Tǒng immediately left.

先主然其中計,即斬懷、沛,還向成都,所過輒克。於涪大會,置酒作樂,謂統曰:「今日之會,可謂樂矣。」統曰:「伐人之國而以為歡,非仁者之兵也。」先主醉,怒曰:「武王伐紂,前歌後舞,非仁者邪?卿言不當,宜速起出!」於是統逡巡引退。

Xiānzhǔ was regretful, and asked him to return. Tǒng returned to his previous seat, but at first did not look back or apologize, and ate and drank as usual. Xiānzhǔ said: “In that conversation, who was wrong?” Tǒng answered: “You and I were both wrong.” Xiānzhǔ greatly laughed, and feasted merrily as before. (1)

先主尋悔,請還。統復故位,初不顧謝,飲食自若。先主謂曰:「向者之論,阿誰為失?」統對曰:「君臣俱失。」先主大笑,宴樂如初。〔一〕

  • Xí Zuòchǐ states: One who would be overlord, must take benevolence and righteousness as his base, wield faith and obedience as his model; if one thing is not included, then the way is violated. Now Liú Bèi attacked and seized [Liú] Zhāng’s territory, using power to serve his enterprise, turning back on faith and violating human feeling, virtue and righteousness both transgressed, and though by this achievement he prospered, he should have greatly grieved for his defeated enemies, like breaking a hand to preserve the body, what merry can there be? Páng Tǒng feared this speech would be leaked, knew his lord would certainly become aware, therefore in the midst of the everyone rectified his fault, and did not hold to his usual modest way, correcting to the utmost, and thoroughly showing his manner of loyally given honest speech. A superior at fault but who can correct it will have followers, one who can accept success but not hold to it follows reason. One with followers will then ascend the steps to the high palace hall. One following reason will then have all their plans be completed. With one speech three goods were all illuminated, with one remonstrance righteousness was manifested for a hundred generations, this can be said to reach to be a greatest example. If one begrudges their small faults and throw away their great advantage, sympathizes with mistaken speech, will itself cut off from honesty, those able to achieve their enterprise and complete their affairs, there has never been such before.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī believes the plot to attack Liú Zhāng, though the plan came from Tǒng, yet it violated righteousness to achieve merit, and so at its root followed a deceptive path, his heart already was guilty inside, and he restrained himself from happy feelings. Therefore when he heard [Liú] Bèi’ speak with happy words, he was unconsciously frank and answered thus. [Liú] Bèi at the feast drank for too much time, was merry at another’s misfortune, compared himself to [Zhōu] Wǔ-wáng, all without a look of shame. This was [Liú] Bèi being wrong and Tǒng being without fault. This statement “You and I were both wrong” was speech to avoid insulting and that is all. Mister Xí [Zuòchǐ] in this discussion, though the main purpose is not wrong, yet the implications of his words have digressed and dissipated.

〔一〕 習鑿齒曰:夫霸王者,必體仁義以為本,仗信順以為宗,一物不具,則其道乖矣。今劉備襲奪璋土,權以濟業,負信違情,德義俱愆,雖功由是隆,宜大傷其敗,譬斷手全軀,何樂之有?龐統懼斯言之泄宣,知其君之必悟,故眾中匡其失,而不脩常謙之道,矯然太當,盡其蹇諤之風。夫上失而能正,是有臣也,納勝而無執,是從理也;有臣則陛隆堂高,從理則群策畢舉;一言而三善兼明,暫諫而義彰百代,可謂達乎大體矣。若惜其小失而廢其大益,矜此過言,自絕遠讜,能成業濟務者,未之有也。臣松之以為謀襲劉璋,計雖出於統,然違義成功,本由詭道,心既內疚,則歡情自戢,故聞備稱樂之言,不覺率爾而對也。備宴酣失時,事同樂禍,自比武王,曾無愧色,此備有非而統無失,其云「君臣俱失」,蓋分謗之言耳。習氏所論,雖大旨無乖,然推演之辭,近為流宕也。


They advanced to encircle Luò county, Tǒng commanded the armies in attacking the city, and was by a flying arrow struck, and died, at the time aged thirty-six years. Xiānzhǔ grieved, and whenever speaking of it would weep. He appointed Tǒng’s father as Consultant-Gentleman, promoted to Remonstratance-Grandee, and Zhūgě Liàng personally paid respects. He posthumously bestowed on Tǒng fief as Marquis Within the Passes. Posthumous name Jìng-hóu “Tranquil Marquis.”

進圍雒縣,統率眾攻城,為流矢所中,卒,時年三十六。先主痛惜,言則流涕。拜統父議郎,遷諫議大夫,諸葛亮親為之拜。追賜統爵關內侯,諡曰靖侯。

Tǒng’s son Hóng, styled Jùshī, was outspoken and simple and dared criticize wrongdoing, was arrogant to Director of the Secretariat Chén Dī, was by [Chén] Dī held back, and died as Administrator of Fúlíng.

統子宏,字巨師,剛簡有臧否,輕傲尚書令陳袛,為袛所抑,卒於涪陵太守。

Tóng’s younger brother Lín, as Jīngzhōu Internal Manager Advisor accompanied General Defending the North Huáng Quán on campaign against Wú. It happened that the army was defeated, and he followed [Huáng] Quán into Wèi. Wèi gave him fief as a full Marquis, and he reached Administrator of Jùlù. (1)

統弟林,以荊州治中從事參鎮北將軍黃權征吳,值軍敗,隨權入魏,魏封列侯,至鉅鹿太守。〔一〕

  • Xiāngyángjì states: [Páng] Lín’s wife was Xí Zhēn of the same commandery’s younger sister. The matter of [Xí] Zhēn is in Yáng Xì’s Fǔchénzàn “Appraisals of Supporting Ministers.” When Excellency Cáo defeated Jīngzhōu [208], Lín’s wife was from Lín separated, and alone raised their weak daughter for over ten years. Later Lín followed Huáng Quán to surrender to Wèi, and only then were they again reunited. Wèi Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] heard of and praised this, bestowing bed curtains and clothes, in order to make known their righteous moral conduct.

〔一〕 襄陽記曰:林婦,同郡習禎妺。禎事在楊戲輔臣贊。曹公之破荊州,林婦與林分隔,守養弱女十有餘年,後林隨黃權降魏,始復集聚。魏文帝聞而賢之,賜床帳衣服,以顯其義節。

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