(40.2) Péng Yàng 彭羕 [Yǒngnián 永年]

Péng Yàng appellation Yǒngnián was a Guǎnghàn man, eight chǐ [~1.85m] tall, appearance extremely grand, his disposition and character arrogant, thought little and neglected most people, only respecting his same prefecture’s Qín Zǐchì, recommending him to the Administrator Xǔ Jìng stating: “In the past [Yīn] Gāozōng dreamed of Fù Shuō, Zhōu Wén sought out Lǚ Shàng, reaching to when Hàn [Gāo]zǔ accepting [Lì] Yìjī in plain clothes, this then was how rulers began their enterprise and passed down their governance, glorifying their achievement. Now you wise governor study the ancients of august utmost, grasp at divine spirits, embodying Gōngliú’s virtue, conduct not reducing kindness, the action of purifying temple therefore beginning, the righteousness of rewarding and censuring therefore rising, however the six quills are not yet prepared. I have met reclusive scholar Miánzhù’s Qín Mì, embodying Shānfǔ’s virtue, treading Juànshēng’s uprightness, pillowing stone and washing in rivers [in seclusion], singing in hemp gown, residing in benevolent and righteous route, peaceful in vast lands, of highest integrity and conduct, holding to the true without deficiency, and even the ancient’s hidden recluses, have nothing to add to that. If you wise governor are able to recruit and obtain this man, you will certainly have loyal and honest reputation, rich achievement and generous benefit, establish legacy and set achievement, and afterward record accomplishments in the ruler’s office, flying sound to later ages, is it not also beautiful?”

彭羕字永年,廣漢人。身長八尺,容貌甚偉。姿性驕傲,多所輕忽,惟敬同郡秦子敕,薦之於太守許靖曰:「昔高宗夢傅說,周文求呂尚,爰及漢祖,納食其於布衣,此乃帝王之所以倡業垂統,緝熙厥功也。今明府稽古皇極,允執神靈,體公劉之德,行勿翦之惠,清廟之作於是乎始,褒貶之義於是乎興,然而六翮未之備也。伏見處士綿竹秦宓,膺山甫之德,履雋生之直,枕石漱流,吟詠縕袍,偃息於仁義之途,恬惔於浩然之域,高概節行,守真不虧,雖古人潛遁,蔑以加旃。若明府能招致此人,必有忠讜落落之譽,豐功厚利,建跡立勳,然後紀功於王府,飛聲於來世,不亦美哉!」


Yàng served the province, did not exceed Document Assistant, later also was by the masses of people defamed and slandered to the provincial Governor Liú Zhāng, and Zhāng shaved and bound Yàng as slave scribe. It happened that Xiānzhǔ [Liú Bèi] entered Shǔ, following stream to go north. Yàng wished to join and advise Xiānzhǔ, and therefore went to meet Páng Tǒng. [Páng] Tǒng with Yàng were not previously acquainted, and also it happened that there were guest retainers, and Yàng directly went up to [Páng] Tǒng’s couch, saying to [Páng] Tǒng: “When the guests retire then I will with you talk.” [Páng] Tǒng’s guests then retired, and he went to Yàng’s seat, Yàng also first asked [Páng] Tǒng for food, and afterward together talked, and therefore remained through the night, reaching through the day. [Páng] Tǒng was greatly impressed with him, and Fǎ Zhèng already himself knew of Yàng, and therefore they together conveyed him to Xiānzhǔ. Xiānzhǔ also believed he was unique, and repeatedly ordered Yàng to disseminate military affairs, giving instructions to the various officers, in presenting service he was satisfactory, and is notability and treatment daily increased. When Chéngdū was settled, Xiānzhǔ became designate Yì Province Governor, selecting Yàng as Internal Manager Attending Official. Yàng rose from low position, in one morning occupied position above the province’s people, and his appearance and expression, in boasting became all the more extreme. Though Zhūgě Liàng outside received Yàng, yet inside they could not be friendly. He repeatedly secretly spoke with Xiānzhǔ, that Yàng certainly had large ambitions, and would be difficult to keep the peace. Xiānzhǔ respected and trusted [Zhūgě] Liàng, and added investigation on Yàng’s conduct, his satisfaction [with Péng Yàng] thus slightly weakened, and he demoted Yàng to Jiāngyáng Administrator.

羕仕州,不過書佐,後又為眾人所謗毀於州牧劉璋,璋髡鉗羕為徒隸。會先主入蜀,泝流北行。羕欲納說先主,乃往見龐統。統與羕非故人,又適有賓客,羕徑上統床臥,謂統曰:「須客罷當與卿善談。」統客既罷,往就羕坐,羕又先責統食,然後共語,因留信宿,至于經日。統大善之,而法正宿自知羕,遂並致之先主。先主亦以為奇,數令羕宣傳軍事,指授諸將,奉使稱意,識遇日加。成都既定,先主領益州牧,拔羕為治中從事。羕起徒步,一朝處州人之上,形色囂然,自矜得遇滋甚。諸葛亮雖外接待羕,而內不能善。屢密言先主,羕心大志廣,難可保安。先主既敬信亮,加察羕行事,意以稍疏,左遷羕為江陽太守。


Yàng heard he was about to be distantly sent out, privately he was not pleased, and went to visit Mǎ Chāo. [Mǎ] Chāo asked Yàng: “Your talent and ability are refined and surpassing, the ruler treats you with utmost importance, saying you should with [Zhūgě Liàng] Kǒngmíng and [Fǎ Zhèng] Xiàozhí various men’s level to together drive on, why should you outside be entrusted with small prefecture, to lose people’s original hopes.” Yàng said: “The old leather is deluded, what else can be explained?” (1) He also said to Chāo: “With you outside, me inside, the realm Under Heaven would not be difficult to settle.” [Mǎ] Chāo as an outside traveler came to the state, always harbored apprehension, heard Yàng’s words in great alarm, and was silent and did not answer. Yàng withdrew, and he reported Yàng’s words, and therefore they arrested Yàng and sent him to relevant managers.

羕聞當遠出,私情不悅,往詣馬超。超問羕曰:「卿才具秀拔,主公相待至重,謂卿當與孔明、孝直諸人齊足並驅,寧當外授小郡,失人本望乎?」羕曰:「老革荒悖,可復道邪!」〔一〕又謂超曰:「卿為其外,我為其內,天下不足定也。」超羈旅歸國,常懷危懼,聞羕言大驚,默然不答。羕退,具表羕辭,於是收羕付有司。

  • (1) Yáng Xióng’s Fāngyán [“regional dialects”] states: Enjoin, fish gill, dry, capital, wrinkled face, leather, [can mean] old.
  • Guō Pú’s annotation states: All are appearances of old man’s skin and hair dried up and worn.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī believes skins without hair are called leather. The ancients with leather equipped soldiers, and therefore called soldiers leather, leather yet is soldier. Yàng insulting [Liú] Bèi as old leather, yet was to call him an old soldier.

〔一〕 揚雄方言曰:悈、鰓、乾、都、耇、革,老也。郭璞注曰:皆老者皮毛枯瘁之形也。臣松之以為皮去毛曰革。古者以革為兵,故語稱兵革,革猶兵也。羕罵備為老革,猶言老兵也。


Yàng inside prison with Zhūgě Liàng wrote letter that said: “I your lesser in the past had matters with various lords, believed Cáo Cāo was brutal and violent, Sūn Quán without principle, Shaking Authority [General Liú Zhāng] muddled and weak, that only our lord had the skill of an overlord, and could with him raise enterprise to reach governance, and therefore suddenly and completely ambition to rise up. It happened that our lord came west, I your lesser by Fǎ [Zhèng] Xiàozhí was introduced, Páng Tǒng deliberating between, and therefore was able to visit the lord at Jiāméng, hold hands and converse, discuss the matters of governing the age, speak of the principles of the overlord, establish plan to obtain Yì Province, and the lord also had this consideration and decision, and we mutually approved, and therefore began matters. I your lesser in former province could not escape mediocrity, was sorrowful in net of punishment, and obtained an encounter within changing situation, sought a master and obtained a master, ambition enacted and reputation prominent, from among commoner clothed selected out to be a state’s elite, stealing abundant glory. Generosity distributed to sons, who can surpass this? (1) I Yàng in one morning was wild and contrary, myself seeking to become mincemeat, to become a disloyal and unrighteous ghost! Former people had a saying, ‘left hand holding the ream Under Heaven’s map, right hand cutting throat, even the stupid do not do.’ All the more for I your lesser who can distinguish legumes and wheat! The reason I had complaining and hopeful thoughts, was I did not judge myself, carelessly believing myself first to raise the enterprise, and at the discussion of being thrown to Jiāngyáng, I did not understand the lord’s intentions, my thoughts ceased gratitude, and also due to intoxication, spoke of the ‘old’ speech. This was I your lesser’s extent of lowest foolishness and meager thinking, our lord truly is not yet old. Moreover in setting enterprise, how is it with old or young? Xībó at ninety, did he have declining will? Turning back on my compassionate father, the punishment is a hundred deaths. As for the talk of inside and outside, I wished to have [Mǎ Chāo] Mèngqǐ set achievement in the northern provinces, devoting strength to our lord, together suppressing Cáo Cāo and that is all,dare I have other ambitions? What [Mǎ Chāo] Mèngqǐ said is correct, but he does not distinguish between meanings, it pains a man’s heart and that is all. In the past I once with Páng Tǒng together made pledge, to entrust in following your path, exhaust heart for the lord’s enterprise, pursue the reputations of the ancients, to record achievements on bamboo and silk. [Páng] Tǒng by misfortune died, and I your lesser am destroyed by seeking disaster. In my fall, to whom can I complain! Sir, you are the present’s Yī [Yǐn] and Lǚ [Shàng], and should well with the lord plan affairs, and relieve his great schemes. Heaven understands and earth examines, spirits have awareness, what else is to be said? Only may you sir understand I your lesser’s original heart and that is all. I’ve gone. Strive hard, take care, take care!”

Yàng indeed was executed, at the time aged thirty-seven years.

羕於獄中與諸葛亮書曰:「僕昔有事於諸侯,以為曹操暴虐,孫權無道,振威闇弱,其惟主公有霸王之器,可與興業致治,故乃翻然有輕舉之志。會公來西,僕因法孝直自衒鬻,龐統斟酌其間,遂得詣公於葭萌,指掌而譚,論治世之務,講霸王之義,建取益州之策,公亦宿慮明定,即相然贊,遂舉事焉。僕於故州不免凡庸,憂於罪罔,得遭風雲激矢之中,求君得君,志行名顯,從布衣之中擢為國士,盜竊茂才。分子之厚,誰復過此。〔一〕羕一朝狂悖,自求葅醢,為不忠不義之鬼乎!先民有言,左手據天下之圖,右手刎咽喉,愚夫不為也。況僕頗別菽麥者哉!所以有怨望意者,不自度量,苟以為首興事業,而有投江陽之論,不解主公之意,意卒感激,頗以被酒,侻失『老』語。此僕之下愚薄慮所致,主公實未老也。且夫立業,豈在老少,西伯九十,寧有衰志,負我慈父,罪有百死。至於內外之言,欲使孟起立功北州,戮力主公,共討曹操耳,寧敢有他志邪?孟起說之是也,但不分別其閒,痛人心耳。昔每與龐統共相誓約,庶託足下末蹤,盡心於主公之業,追名古人,載勳竹帛。統不幸而死,僕敗以取禍。自我墮之,將復誰怨!足下,當世伊、呂也,宜善與主公計事,濟其大猷。天明地察,神祇有靈,復何言哉!貴使足下明僕本心耳。行矣努力,自愛,自愛!」羕竟誅死,時年三十七。

  • (1) Your Servant Sōngzhī believes “generosity distributed to sons”, was Yàng saying that lord Liú distributed generosity and grace like to a son, it was granted on himself, and therefore his letter later said “turning back on my compassionate father, the punishment is a hundred deaths.”

〔一〕 臣松之以為「分子之厚」者,羕言劉主分兒子厚恩,施之於己,故其書後語云「負我慈父,罪有百死」也。

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