Huáng Quán appellation Gōnghéng was a Bāxī Lángzhōng man. When young he was a prefecture official, and Provincial Governor Liú Zhāng summoned him to be a Registrar. At the time Aide-de-Camp Zhāng Sōng established recommendation, that they should invite Xiānzhǔ [Liú Bèi], to send him to attack Zhāng Lǔ. Quán remonstrated: “The General of the Left has heroic reputation, now if he is invited and arrived, if we wish to as a guard retainer treat him, then it will not satisfy his heart, but if we wish to as a guest’s courtesy treat him, then one state cannot hold two rulers. If a guest has the security of Tài mountain, then the host has the danger of a pile of eggs. We can only close the borders, to wait for when the rivers are pure.” Liú Zhāng did not listen, and indeed sent envoy to welcome Xiānzhǔ, sending out Quán as Guǎnghàn Chief.
When Xiānzhǔ attacked and captured Yì Province, his commanders divided and separately captured the prefectures and counties, and the prefectures and counties observed the situation and submitted, but Quán closed the city and firmly defended, waited until [Liú] Zhāng bowed and submitted, and then visited and surrendered to Xiānzhǔ. Xiānzhǔ brevet appointed Quán as Assistant General. (1)
When Excellency Cáo defeated Zhāng Lǔ, [Zhāng] Lǔ fled into Bāzhōng, and Quán advanced and said: “If Hànzhōng is lost, then the three Bā cannot be saved, and this is to cut off Shǔ’s legs and arms.” Therefore Xiānzhǔ appointed Quán as Protector of the Army, to command the various officers to welcome [Zhāng] Lǔ. [Zhāng] Lǔ had already returned to Nánzhèng, to the north surrendering to Excellency Cáo, but in the end they defeated Dù Huò, Piáo Hú, killed Xiàhóu Yuān, occupied Hànzhōng, and these all originated from Quán’s plans.
- (1) Xú Zhòng’s Appraisal states: Quán thus loyally remonstrated his ruler, and also closed city and resisted and defended, obtaining the integrity of serving a lord. [Zhōu] Wǔ-wáng dismounted carriage, bestowed Bǐ Gān’s tomb, presented Shāng Róng’s gate, and therefore greatly made visible loyal and worthy scholars, and clearly showed the purpose of the noble. Xiānzhǔ brevet appointed Quán as a General, and this was good, but yet it was meager and little, and not sufficient to make manifest the height of his loyalty and righteousness, and greatly exhort the hearts of the good.
Xiānzhǔ became King of Hànzhōng, and kept office as Yì Province Governor, and appointed Quán as Internal Manager Attending Official. When claiming Imperial Title, and about to go east to attack Wú, Quán remonstrated: “Wú’s men are fierce in battle, and also our navy follows the river flow, advancing is easy but retreating difficult, I your servant request to be the front advance to test the bandits, and Your Majesty should be the rear defense.” Xiānzhǔ did not listen, appointed Quán as General Defending North, to command the Jiāng’s north’s armies to guard against Wèi’s armies, while Xiānzhǔ himself was at the Jiāng’s south. When Wú General Lù Yì rode the river flow to break the encirclement, the southern army was utterly defeated, and Xiānzhǔ retreated. But the road was cut off, and Quán could not return, and therefore led the officers he commanded to surrender to Wèi. Managers enforced the law, and reported and arrested Quán’s wife and children. Xiānzhǔ said: “I turned back on Huáng Quán, Quán did not turn back on me.” He treated them as before. (1)
- (1) Your Servant Sōngzhī believes: Hàn Wǔ [Liú Chè] used empty and deceiving words, exterminating Lǐ Líng’s Family, Ruler Liú [Bèi] refused the statute manager’s execution, and forgave Huáng Quán’s House; the two Rulers goods and faults are so clearly different. The Shī says: “Rejoice gentleman, protect and maintain posterity.” This of Ruler Liú [Bèi] speaks.
Wèi Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] said to Quán: “You abandoned rebellion to effect obedience, do you wish to follow after Chén [Píng] and Hán [Xìn leaving Chǔ for Hàn]?
Quán answered: “I your servant previously received Ruler Liú [Bèi]’s special treatment, surrendering to Wú could not be, returning to Shǔ had no road, and therefore I submitted to your Mandate. Moreover I am a defeated army’s commander, pardoning from death is [already] fortune, how can it be admiring the ancients?” Wén-dì praised him, and appointed him General Defending South, with fief as Yùyáng Marquis, and also Internal Attendant, and had him together ride.
Of Shǔ surrendered men some said they had executed Quán’s wife and children, but Quán knew these were false words, and did not hold funeral, (1) and later he obtained thorough news, and indeed it was like he said. When Xiānzhǔ’s death’s news arrived, Wèi’s various ministers all congratulated but Quán alone did not. Wén-dì investigated Quán’s office supplies, wishing to test and alarm him, sending attendants with Imperial Order to Quán, and during the time he had not yet arrived, they repeatedly urged on the subordinates, the horses were made to gallop, intertwining on the road, and of the office associates and attendant followers none did not break vigor, but Quán’s bearing and countenance were at ease. Later he was given office as Yì Province Inspector, and moved to occupy Hénán.
General-in-Chief Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng was deeply impressed with him, and asked Quán: “In Shǔ there are how many men of your sort?” Quán laughed and answered: “I did not think your enlightened excellency would consider me so heavily!” [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng with Zhūgě Liàng wrote letter: “Huáng Gōnghéng, is a clever gentleman, every time seated he rises and sighs and speaks of you, not giving up talking material.” Jǐngchū Third Year, Shǔ’s Yánxī Second Year , Quán was promoted to Chariots and Cavalry General, Rites Equal to the Three Excellencies. (2) The next year he died, posthumous name Jǐng-hóu “Resolute Marquis.” His son Yōng succeeded. Yōng had no sons, cut off.
- (1) Hàn Wèi Chūnqiū states: Wén-dì gave Imperial Order to hold funeral, but Quán answered: “I your servant with Liú [Bèi] and [Zhū]gě [Liàng] truly trust one another, and they understand I your servant’s original intentions. It is doubtful and not yet certain, and I request to wait for later news.”
- (2) Shǔjì states: Wèi Míng-dì asked Quán: “The realm Under Heaven is tripartite divided, so which land should be the correct succession?” Quán replied: “It should be by Heaven’s Signs decide the correct. Previously Yínghuò [Mars] defended Xīn [sky region] and Wén Huángdì [Cáo Pī] perished, while Wú’s and Shǔ’s Two Rulers were safe and secure; this was his sign.”
Quán left in Shǔ a son Chóng, who became Secretariat Cadet, and accompanied Guard General Zhūgě Zhān to resist Dèng Ài. Arriving at Fú county, [Zhūgě] Zhān lingered and did not yet advance, Chóng frequently urged [Zhūgě] Zhān that they should hurriedly go to occupy rugged defenses, and not let the enemy be able to enter flat ground. [Zhūgě] Zhān yet did not accept, and Chóng went so far as to weep. It happened that [Dèng] Ài increased drive and advanced, [Zhūgě] Zhān led fighting retreat reaching Miánzhú, Chóng commanded and urged on the soldiers, that this was the time to certainly die, and on the battle lines he was killed.