(6.5) Appraisal [of Dǒng 董, Two Yuán 袁, Liú 劉]

Appraisal states:

Dǒng Zhuó was ruthless as a wolf and cruel as a bandit, violent and without benevolence, from since writing and recording onward, there has never been one like this. (1) Yuán Shù was extravagant and impudent, that his glory did not last to his end, he brought on himself. (2)

Yuán Shào and Liú Biǎo, both had authoritative appearance and character, well known in that age. Biǎo strode across the Hàn’s south, Shào like an eagle rose to the Hé’s north, however both were outwardly generous but inwardly hateful, enjoyed planning but were without decisiveness, had talents but could not employ them, heard good advice but could not accept it, deposed the principal son to establish the lesser son, abandoning ritual to esteem favor, so that their later posterity fell into distress, their State Altars were overturned, and it was not misfortune. In the past Xiàng Yǔ turned back on Fàn Zēng’s plans, and so lost his king’s enterprise; Shào killing Tián Fēng, then was more extreme than [Xiàng] Yǔ by far!

評曰:董卓狼戾賊忍,暴虐不仁,自書契已來,殆未之有也〔一〕。袁術奢淫放肆,榮不終己,自取之也。〔二〕袁紹、劉表,咸有威容、器觀,知名當世。表跨蹈漢南,紹鷹揚河朔,然皆外寬內忌,好謀無決,有才而不能用,聞善而不能納,廢嫡立庶,舍禮崇愛,至于後嗣顛蹙,社稷傾覆,非不幸也。昔項羽背范增之謀,以喪其王業;紹之殺田豐,乃甚於羽遠矣!

  • (1) Yīngxióng jì states: In the past giants were sighted at Líntáo and the Bronze Men were cast, Líntáo produced [Dǒng] Zhuó and the Bronze Men were destroyed; the world had Zhuó and great chaos was created, great chaos was created and Zhuó’s body was exterminated, so things occur.

〔一〕 英雄記曰:昔大人見臨洮而銅人鑄,臨洮生卓而銅人毀;世有卓而大亂作,大亂作而卓身滅,抑有以也。

  • (2) Your Servant Sōngzhī believes that Jié and Zhòu were without principle, Qín and [Wáng] Mǎng were indulgent and brutal, and all were so for accumulated years, and afterward the multitude of evils were made known. Dǒng Zhuó from when he seized power, reaching to his fall and death, calculating the days and moons, it was not more than three years, yet the disasters were as high as mountain peaks, the poisons flowed across the four seas, his cruel traitorous nature, even ravenous wolves cannot match. “Records have never had,” these words are proper. However the appraisal states “cruel as a bandit,” and also says “without benevolence,” “cruel as a bandit” and “without benevolence” these words are too extreme. Yuán Shù was without a minuscule of achievement, a sliver of goodness, and yet in a savage and confused time, absurdly declared and established himself, those of righteousness wrung their hands, and men and ghosts together resented him. Even if he were respectful and frugal, yet still he would certainly perish in no time, yet the appraisal still says: “extravagant and not lasting to the end,” it is not sufficient to observe his great evil.

  〔二〕 臣松之以為桀、紂無道,秦、莽縱虐,皆多歷年所,然後眾惡乃著。董卓自竊權柄,至于隕斃,計其日月,未盈三周,而禍崇山岳,毒流四海。其殘賊之性,寔豺狼不若。「書契未有」,斯言為當。但評既曰「賊忍」,又云「不仁」,賊忍,不仁,於辭為重。袁術無毫芒之功,纖介之善,而猖狂于時,妄自尊立,固義夫之所扼腕,人鬼之所同疾。雖復恭儉節用,而猶必覆亡不暇,而評但云「奢淫不終」,未足見其大惡。

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