(39.2) Liú Bā 劉巴 [Zǐchū 子初]

Liú Bā appellation Zǐchū was a Línglíng Zhēngyáng man. When young he was well known, (1) and Jīng Province Governor Liú Biǎo continuously recruited him, and nominated him as Abundant Talent candidate, but all he did not accept. [Liú] Biǎo died [208], and Excellency Cáo campaigned against Jīng Province. Xiānzhǔ [Liú Bèi] fled to the Jiāng’s south, and Jīng’s and Chǔ’s various scholars followed him like clouds, but Bā went north to visit Excellency Cáo. Excellency Cáo recruited him as an Official, sending him to recruit Chángshā, Línglíng, and Guìyáng to submit. (2) It happened that Xiānzhǔ plundered and captured the three prefectures, Bā could not send back messenger, and therefore distantly fled to Jiāozhǐ, (3) and Xiānzhǔ deeply for this regretted.


  • (1) Línglíng Xiānxián Zhuàn states: Bā’s grandfather [Liú] Yào was Cāngwú Administrator. His father [Liú] Xiáng was Jiāngxià Administrator, Cleasing Bandits General. At the time Sūn Jiān raised troops to suppress Dǒng Zhuó, and because Nányáng Administrator Zhāng Zī would not give military provisions, killed him. [Liú] Xiáng with [Sūn Jiān] were of the same heart, Nányáng’s scholars and people because of this resented [Liú] Xiáng, raised troops to attack him, with him battled, and he was defeated and fled. Liú Biǎo also previously was not friendly with [Liú] Xiáng, and seized Bā, wishing to kill him, repeatedly sending [Liú] Xiáng’s former closely trusted men to secretly falsely say to Bā: “Governor Liú [Biǎo] wishes to harm you, you can come with us to escape him.” It was like this two to three times, but Bā always did not answer. They reported this to [Liu] Biáo, and [Liú] Biǎo therefore did not kill Bā. At eighteen years, the prefecture installed him as Household Department Scribe Record Keeper Registrar. Liú Xiān wished to send Zhōu Bùyí to with Bā study, but Bā replied: “In the past I traveled about Jīng’s north, at the time wading to teachers’ doors, learning to memorize questions, but not sufficient to have recorded name, inside lacking Yáng Zhū’s methods of defending tranquility, outside lacking Mò Dí’s manner of attending to the times, like the sky’s southern Jī [‘basket’ star], empty and of no use. Bestowed with letter of your wish to have your worthy sister’s son abandon the beauty of phoenixes, to travel in the world of sparrows, how can this enlighten him? Shamed in ‘having like nothing, truth like empty,’ how can I endure it!”

〔一〕 零陵先賢傳曰:巴祖父曜,蒼梧太守。父祥,江夏太守、盪寇將軍。時孫堅舉兵討董卓,以南陽太守張咨不給軍糧,殺之。祥與同心,南陽士民由此怨祥,舉兵攻之,與戰,敗亡。劉表亦素不善祥,拘巴,欲殺之,數遣祥故所親信人密詐謂巴曰:「劉牧欲相危害,可相隨逃之。」如此再三,巴輒不應。具以報表,表乃不殺巴。年十八,郡署戶曹史主記主簿。劉先(主)欲遣周不疑就巴學,巴答曰:「昔游荊北,時涉師門,記問之學,不足紀名,內無楊朱守靜之術,外無墨翟務時之風,猶天之南箕,虛而不用。賜書乃欲令賢甥摧鸞鳳之豔,遊燕雀之宇,將何以啟明之哉?愧於『有若無,實若虛』,何以堪之!」

  • (2) Línglíng Xiānxián Zhuàn states: Excellency Cáo was defeated at Wūlín, and at the time of returning north, wished to send Huán Jiē, but [Huán] Jiē declined saying he could not match Bā. Bā said Excellency Cáo: “Liú Bèi occupies Jīng Province, it cannot be.” Excellency Cáo said: “If [Liú] Bèi plans against us, I will with the Six Armies follow after him.”

  〔二〕 零陵先賢傳曰:曹公敗於烏林,還北時,欲遣桓階,階辭不如巴。巴謂曹公曰:「劉備據荊州,不可也。」公曰:「備如相圖,孤以六軍繼之也。」

  • (3) Línglíng Xiānxián Zhuàn says: Bā went to Línglíng, the matter was unsuccessful, he wished to travel to Jiāo Province, to find road back to the capital. At the time Zhūgě Liàng was at Línzhēng, and Bā with [Zhūgě] Liàng wrote letter: “Carrying on danger and experiencing troubles, meeting upright and pondering righteousness people, who themselves with me follow, carrying on Heaven’s will, complying with things’ nature, it is not that I personally planned to be able to urge them to move. If the road is finished and numbers exhausted, I will entrust my life to the azure sea, and no longer look back to Jīng Province.” [Zhūgě] Liàng pursued and said: “Excellency Liú [Bèi]’s imposing ability dominates the world, occupying Jīng’s lands, none do not turn to his virtue, and Heaven and Man’s goings and comings, already can be known. What else do you wish for?” Bā said: “Accepting order and coming, unsuccessful and returning, this is appropriate. What else do you speak of?”

  〔三〕 零陵先賢傳云:巴往零陵,事不成,欲游交州,道還京師。時諸葛亮在臨烝,巴與亮書曰:「乘危歷險,到值思義之民,自與之眾,承天之心,順物之性,非余身謀所能勸動。若道窮數盡,將託命於滄海,不復顧荊州矣。」亮追謂曰:「劉公雄才蓋世,據有荊土,莫不歸德,天人去就,已可知矣。足下欲何之?」巴曰:「受命而來,不成當還,此其宜也。足下何言邪!」

Bā again from Jiāozhǐ reached Shǔ. (1) Very soon Xiānzhǔ settled Yì Province, and Bā apologized and presented guilt, but Xiānzhǔ did not reproach him. (2) And Zhūgě Kǒngmíng repeatedly praised and recommend him, and Xiānzhǔ recruited him as Left General’s West Department Official. (3)


  • (1) Línglíng Xiānxián Zhuàn states: Bā entered Jiāozhǐ, changed his surname to Zhāng, and with Jiāozhǐ Administrator Shì Xiè discussed and were not in accord, and therefore by Zāngkē road left. He was in Yìzhōu prefecture detained, and the Administrator wished to kill him. The Registrar said: “This is not an ordinary man, he cannot be killed.” The Registrar asked to personally escort him to the Province, and met Yì Province Governor Liú Zhāng. [Liú] Zhāng’s father [Liú] Yān in the past had been by Bā’s father [Liú] Xiáng recommended as a Filial and Incorrupt candidate, met Bā and was surprised and pleased, and every time there was a great affair then he would consult and inquire.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī comments: Liú Yān in Hàn Líng-dì‘s time [r. 168-189] was already Minister of the Imperial Clan and Minister of Ceremonies, sent out as Yì Province Governor, [Liú] Xiáng began at the time Sūn Jiān was Chángshā Administrator as Jiāngxià Administrator, and could not have recommended [Liú] Yān as Filial and Incorrupt; this is clear.

〔一〕 零陵先賢傳曰:巴入交阯,更姓為張。與交阯太守士燮計議不合,乃由牂牁道去。為益州郡所拘留,太守欲殺之。主簿曰:「此非常人,不可殺也。」主簿請自送至州,見益州牧劉璋,璋父焉昔為巴父祥所舉孝廉,見巴驚喜,每大事輒以咨訪。臣松之案:劉焉在漢靈帝時已經宗正太常,出為益州牧,祥始以孫堅作長沙時為江夏太守,不得舉焉為孝廉,明也。

  • (2) Línglíng Xiānxián Zhuàn states: [Liú] Zhāng sent Fǎ Zhèng to welcome Liú Bèi, Bā remonstrated: “[Liú] Bèi is a powerful man. If he enters he will certainly do harm. He cannot come inside.” When he entered, Bā again remonstrated: “If sending [Liú] Bèi to suppress Zhāng Lǔ, it is to release a tiger in the mountains and forests.” [Liú] Zhāng did not listen. Bā shut his doors and claimed illness. When [Liú] Bèi attacked Chéngdū, he ordered inside the armies: “Anyone who harms Bā, exterminate to third degree.” When he obtained Bā, he was deeply pleased.

  〔二〕 零陵先賢傳曰:璋遣法正迎劉備,巴諫曰:「備,雄人也,入必為害,不可內也。」既入,巴復諫曰:「若使備討張魯,是放虎於山林也。」璋不聽。巴閉門稱疾。備攻成都,令軍中曰:「其有害巴者,誅及三族。」及得巴,甚喜。

  • (3) Línglíng Xiānxián Zhuàn states: Zhāng Fēi once visited Bā’s residence, but Bā would not with him speak, and [Zhāng] Fēi therefore was angered and enraged. Zhūgě Liàng said to Bā: “Though Zhāng Fēi is truly a martial person, he respects and admires you. Our ruler now is about to gather and unite civil and martial, to settle a great affair, although you naturally are high and bright, you should slightly lower your intentions.” Bā said: “A man in the world, should deal with the Four Seas’ heroes, how can I with a common soldier together talk?” [Liú] Bèi heard this, and furiously said: “I wish to settle the realm Under Heaven, but Zǐchū concentrates on ruining it. He wishes to return north, borrowing road from here, how can he wish to complete my affairs?” [Liú] Bèi also said: “Zǐchū’s ability and wisdom surpasses others, one like me, is able to appoint and use him; if it were not me it would be difficult to appoint him.” [Zhūgě] Liàng also said: “In logistics planning and strategies inside the tent curtains, I do not match Zǐchū by far! If in beating drums, gathering army gates, having the common people be pleased and brave, I should with others discuss it and that is all.” Previously in attacking Liú Zhāng, [Liú] Bèi with his soldiers and armies made pact: “If the matter is settled, the government treasury’s all things, I have no claim.” When capturing Chéngdū, the soldiers and armies all abandoned shields and spears, going to the various stores competing to take treasures. Thus military supplies were not sufficient, and [Liú] Bèi was deeply worried by this. Bā said: “It is easy and that is all. Merely cast bars worth a hundred coins, fix the various things’ prices, and order officials to manage government markets.” [Liú] Bèi followed this, and within several moons, the government treasury was full.

  〔三〕 零陵先賢傳曰:張飛嘗就巴宿,巴不與語,飛遂忿恚。諸葛亮謂巴曰:「張飛雖實武人,敬慕足下。主公今方收合文武,以定大事;足下雖天素高亮,宜少降意也。」巴曰:「大丈夫處世,當交四海英雄,如何與兵子共語乎?」備聞之,怒曰:「孤欲定天下,而子初專亂之。其欲還北,假道於此,豈欲成孤事邪?」備又曰:「子初才智絕人,如孤,可任用之,非孤者難獨任也。」亮亦曰:「運籌策於帷幄之中,吾不如子初遠矣!若提枹鼓,會軍門,使百姓喜勇,當與人議之耳。」初攻劉璋,備與士眾約:「若事定,府庫百物,孤無預焉。」及拔成都,士眾皆捨干戈,赴諸藏競取寶物。軍用不足,備甚憂之。巴曰:「易耳,但當鑄直百錢,平諸物賈,令吏為官巿。」備從之,數月之間,府庫充實。

Jiàn’ān Twenty-Fourth Year [219], Xiānzhǔ became King of Hànzhōng, Bā became Secretariat, and afterward succeeded Fǎ Zhèng as Secretariat Director. His personal conduct was pure and frugal, he did not manage property estate, and also himself believed his allegiance was not originally [to Liú Bèi], feared he would meet with doubt and suspicion, and was respectful and silent and held to tranquility, withdrawing and without personal dealings, and if it was not a public matter he did not speak. (4)


  • (4) Línglíng Xiānxián Zhuàn states: At the time the central plains’ people’s emotions were not yet unified, heard [Liú] Bèi was at Shǔ, and the Four Quarters craned neck. But [Liú] Bèi was acutely determined in wishing to at once hold true [title], and Bā believed this showing to the realm Under Heaven was not expansive, and for the time being wished to postpone it. He with Registrar Yōng Mào remonstrated [Liú] Bèi, [Liú] Bèi used another matter to kill [Yōng] Mào, and because of this distant people no longer came.

  〔四〕 零陵先賢傳曰:是時中夏人情未一,聞備在蜀,四方延頸。而備銳意欲即真,巴以為如此示天下不廣,且欲緩之。與主簿雍茂諫備,備以他事殺茂,由是遠人不復至矣。

Xiānzhǔ claimed Imperial Title [221], announcing it to Imperial Heaven God Above and Lordly Earth Divine Spirit, all the various writings of conferment and tally orders, all were by Bā composed. Zhāngwǔ Second Year [222] he died. After he died, Wèi Secretariat Deputy-Director Chén Qún with Chancellor Zhūgě Liàng wrote letter, asking for Bā’s news, calling him Sir Liú Zǐchū, deeply and heavily respecting him. (5)


  • (5) Línglíng Xiānxián Zhuàn states: Assisting Wú General Zhāng Zhāo once answered Sūn Quán by saying Bā was narrow minded, and should not have refused Zhāng Fēi too extremely. [Sūn] Quán said: “If Zǐchū had followed the world in being superficial, acting to please [Liú Bèi] Xuándé, dealing with improper people, how could he be sufficient to be praised as a high serviceman?”

  〔五〕 零陵先賢傳曰:輔吳將軍張昭嘗對孫權論巴褊阨,不當拒張飛太甚。權曰:「若令子初隨世沈浮,容悅玄德,交非其人,何足稱為高士乎?」

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