(35.5) Appraisal [of Zhūgě Liàng 諸葛亮]

Appraisal states: Zhūgě Liàng as Chancellor of State, comforted the common people, showed ritual and course, simplified official duties, followed authority regulations, opened sincere heart, spread just principles; those of utter loyalty and beneficial to the times even if he resented them he was certain to reward, those violating law and neglectful even if he was close to them he was certain to punish, those admitting guilt and repenting even if it was serious he was certain to release, those of roaming words and skillful deceit even if it was light he was certain to kill, goods no matter how small were rewarded, evils no matter how minute were censured. All matters were thorough and precise, all matters reasoned by fundamentals, adhering names based on truth, falseness not tolerated; in the end within the country, all feared and loved him, his punishments and government though were harsh and yet there were no complaints, as his use of heart was just and admonishments were clear. It can be said that his great ability in government, was right after Guǎn [Zhòng] and Xiāo [Hé]. However in repeated years he mobilized armies, was not able to accomplish achievement, overall answering changes in commanding strategy was not his strength. (1)


  • Yuán-zǐ states:
    • Someone asked: “Zhūgě Liàng was what kind of man?”
    • Yuán-zǐ said: “Zhāng Fēi and Guān Yǔ with Liú Bèi together rose, were claws and teeth and belly and heart ministers, but were military men. He very late obtained Zhūgě Liàng, and therefore made him his assistant and minister, and the various subjects were pleased and submitted, because Liú Bèi was sufficient to trust [others] and Liàng sufficient to be valued. Reaching to his receiving of the six chǐ orphan, he took in the whole state’s government, served a mediocre ruler, concentrated power but did not lose courtesy, acting as a ruler and yet the state’s people did not suspect him, in this way then the hearts of the ruler and subjects and the common people happily supported him. In enacting law he was harsh and yet the state’s people were pleased to submit, in using the people he exhausted their strength and yet subordinates did not complain. His troops went out and in like guests, not acting like bandits, the grass cutters were not harassed, as if inside the state. His use of troops, stopped like a mountain, advanced and withdrew like the wind, the day his troops set out, the realm Under Heaven was shaken, and yet people’s hearts did not worry. Liàng’s death to now has been several tens of years, the state’s people [still] sing and think of him, like Zhōu men think of Shào-gōng. Kǒng-zǐ said: “Yōng could face south,” Zhūgě Liàng had this.”
    • Also asked: “When Zhūgě Liàng first sent out against Lǒngyòu, Nán’ān, Tiānshuǐ, and Āndìng three prefecture’s peoples rebelled to answer him, if Liàng had quickly advanced, then the three prefectures would not be the central states’ possession, but Liàng slowly went and did not advance; soon after the government troops went up to Lǒng, the three prefectures were retaken, Liàng was without a chǐ or cūn of achievement, losing this opportunity, why?”
    • Yuán-zǐ said: “Shǔ’s troops were light and frivolous, its good officers few, when Liàng first set out, he did not yet know the central state’s strength or weakness, and therefore was suspicious and tested it; moreover one who greatly gathers does not seek short-term achievement, and therefore he did not advance.”
    • Also asked: “How do you know he was suspicious?”
    • Yuán-zǐ said: He first set out slowly and heavily, garrisons and camps doubled, those that later turned to surrender did not yet advance troops wishing to battle, Liàng was valorous and able to fight, the three prefectures rebelled but did not quickly answer, and this roused his suspicions.”
    • Said: “How do you know he was valorous and able to fight?”
    • Yuán-zǐ states: “When Liàng was at Jiētíng, the front army was greatly defeated, Liàng’s camp was away by several lǐ, but he did not rescue; the government army met with them, again he slowly went, this was his valor. Liàng in moving army, is calm but unyielding; calm and so easy to move, unyielding and so can advance and retreat. Liàng’s laws and orders were clear, reward and punishment trusted, the soldiers followed commands, went through difficult terrain and did not look back, this was his ability to fight.”
    • Said: “Liàng led army of several tens of thousands, but that which he built, was like the achievement of several hundreds of thousands, this was his strangeness. On arrival the made camp ramparts, wells and kitchens, latrines and privies, fence barricades, pass blockers, all complied with straightedge markers, and in a moon’s passing, he left it like he had first arrived, the labor costly and only good for ornamentation, why?”
    • Yuán-zǐ said: “Shǔ men are light and frivolous, Liàng therefore firmly used them.”
    • Said: “How do you know it was so?”
    • Yuán-zǐ said: “Liàng governed truth and did not govern names, his ambitions large and what he wished long-term, he did not seek the short-term and fast.”
    • Said: “Liàng enjoyed building government offices, residences, bridges, roads. These are not urgent tasks. Why?”
    • Yuán-zǐ states: “A small state’s worthies and talents are few, and therefore he wished to have them esteem strictness. In Liàng’s governance of Shǔ, farm fields developed, granaries filled, weapons sharpened, accumulated stores were abundant, Court meetings were not flowery, roads were without intoxicated men. Roots are established and therefore tips are governed, having remaining strength and afterward then attend to small affairs, this is how to encourage achievement.”
    • Said: “Your discussion of Zhūgě Liàng, then has evidence. Yet with Liàng’s talents, few were his achievements, why?”
    • Yuán-zǐ said: “Liàng was one that maintained roots. His answering of changes, then was not his strength, and therefore he did not dare use his shortcomings.”
    • Said: “However you my good sir beautify him, why?”
    • Yuán-zǐ said: “This is the assured worthy’s foresight, how can it be blamed? to be able to know one’s shortcomings and not use them, this is a worthy’s greatness; to know one’s shortcomings then one knows one’s strength. The previously noted and spoken of that were not correct, Liàng did not use. This is what I say was correct.”
  • Wú Minister Herald Zhāng Yǎn wrote Mò jì, its narrated Zuǒ Piān lùn discusses Liàng with Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng in writing, stating:
    • The Hàn Court overturned, the realm Under Heaven collapsed and ruined, towering figures fought hoping for the divine vessels. The Wèi clan spanned the central lands, the Liú clan occupied Yìzhōu, both wielding troops within the seas, to for the world be overlord ruler. Zhūgě and Sīmǎ two chancellors, encountered opportune meeting, entrusted self to an enlightened ruler, one collecting achievement in Shǔ-Hàn, one gaining reputation in Yī and Luò. When [Cáo] Pī and [Liú] Bèi died, the later successor inheriting governance, each received appointment to protect, to assist and support the young ruler, did not turn back on sincerity of promise, also were the whole state’s exemplar subject, an overlord’s worthy aide. With accumulated past ages to observe recent matters, the two chancellors’ merits and drawbacks, can be obtained in detail.
    • Kǒngmíng raised Bā and Shǔ’s lands, treading one province’s earth, compared to a great state, his battle soldiers and people, overall were one ninth, but with tribute and gifts to Great Wú, he resisted and matched the northern enemy, employing plowing and battling with squads, punishment and law orderly and just, raising infantry soldiers of several tens of thousands, leading on to Qíshān, sighing with ambition to water his horses on the Hé and Luò.
    • Zhòngdá occupied a realm Under Heaven tenfold in land, wielding an army to conquer all, occupied firm city walls, swarmed elite troops, was without intention to capture enemy, attended to protecting himself and nothing more, allow his opponent Kǒngmíng to come and go as he wished.
    • If this man [Zhūgě Liàng] had not died, ending his ambition and intentions, to for successive years consider and think, each day raising plans, then Liáng and Yōng [provinces] would not shed armor, the central states would not release saddles, and the decision of victory or defeat, also would not be resolved. In the past Zǐ Chǎn governed Zhèng, the vassal lords did not use troops, the Shǔ Chancellor was close to this. Compared to Sīmǎ, was he not yet superior!
    • Someone said: Soldiers are a vicious tool, battle is a dangerous affair, one possessing the state not protecting security within the borders, pacifying and calming the common people, but enjoys opening and developing territory, campaigning Under Heaven, is not good strategy. Chancellor Zhūgě truly had a rectifying aide’s talent, however he occupied isolated territory, battle soldiers were not more than fifty thousand, and he could have closed the passes and defended rugged terrain, ruler and subjects without problems. In vain he labored the armies, no year without campaign, unable to advance a smallest bit of territory, open the foundations of the ruler, and caused the state’s interior receive this desolation and ruin, the western lands suffered from this conscription and toil. Wèi’s Sīmǎ Yì was talented in using troops and armies, and could not be easily thought light of. In judging the enemy and advancing, the military schools were cautious. If the Chancellor certainly had a plan for him, then one does not see undisturbed accomplishment; if he was without plan and attacked him, then it is not what the enlightened and wise would praise, the ideas those within the seas would turn toward. I humbly am doubtful, and request an explanation.
    • Answer states: One hears that Tāng with seventy lǐ and Wén-wáng with a hundred lǐ territory possessed the realm Under Heaven, and all used campaigns to settle it. Those that by deference ascended the ruler’s throne, were only Shùn and Yǔ and no other. Now Shǔ and Wèi were enemy battling states, situation not allowing both to be ruler, from [Cáo] Cāo and [Liú] Bèi’s time, strong and weak were shown and distinct, but [Liú] Bèi yet set out troops to Yángpíng, taking Xiàhóu Yuān. [Guān] Yǔ besieged Xiāngyáng, about to force Cáo Rén’s surrender, alive captured Yú Jīn, at the time the north’s large and small were apprehensive, [Cáo Cāo] Mèngdé personally set out to Nányáng, Yuè Jìn and Xú Huǎng and others were the rescue, the siege was not then resolved, and therefore Jiǎng Zǐtōng said at the time there was plan to move from Xǔ across the Hé, it happened that our [Wú] state attacked and captured Nánjùn, [Guān] Yǔ then released the army. [Liú Bèi] Xuándé compared with [Cáo] Cāo, in amount of intelligence and strength, number of soldiers and armies, ways of using troops and moving armies, cannot in the same year be spoken of, yet he was able to temporarily seize victory, and at the time he also was without the power of Great Wú’s counterbalance. Now Zhòngdá’s talents, were less than Kǒngmíng, the time’s situation, was different from former days, [Liú Bèi] Xuándé still resisted and fought, so how could Kǒngmíng not send out the army to plot against the enemy? In the past Yuè Yì with a weak Yān’s army, combined following troops of five states, driving out a strong Qí, taking down over seventy cities. Now Shǔ-Hàn’s soldiers, were not less than Yān’s army, the joining of ruler and subject, that faith was as to Yuè Yì, moreover with our state as lips and teeth in support, east and west mutually answering, head and tail like a snake, in power heavy and great, not less than the troops of five states, what dread of the opponent can there be? Soldiers by surprise are victorious, restricting the enemy is by wisdom, land wide or narrow, men and horses many or few, cannot be relied on. I have observed his form in governing state, at the time both solemn and orderly, his legacy teachings on posterity, its words and meanings are earnest and sincere, explaining plans to advance and take, loyal strategies boldly spoken, righteous service to the master, even the ancients’ Guǎn [Zhòng] and Yàn [Yīng], what could they add to it?
  • Shǔjì states: During Jìn’s Yǒngxīng [304-306], Defending South General Liú Hóng reached Lóngzhōng, observed Liàng’s former residence, established stone tablet memorial at the gate, ordering Grand Tutor’s Official Qiánwèi’s Lǐ Xīng to make the inscription which said:
    • Heaven’s Son commanded me, to on the Miǎn’s north bank, listen to drums and forever ponder, the various past worthies’ bequeathed light, ascend grand mountain to distantly watch, visit Zhūgě’s former home. Overall divine objects answer opportunity, great vessels are without region, connecting men is not sluggish, great virtue is not constant. Therefore the Gǔfēng set out and the Zōuyú cried, cloud and thunder ascend and submerged scales rise. Zhì removed hemp at the third meeting, Ní obtained recruitment and lifted garment, Guǎn Bào changed to receive command, Gòng was grateful to return home, differently master Xú in plucking treasure, released Hidden Dragon from deep hiding, greatly befriending sir Liú at first meeting, commending you my sir’s cycling conduct. Those having a master who knows them, then have goodness to devote their lives, and therefore in three dividing our Hàn’s tripod, spanning our border uncultivated, resisting and contending our northern side, galloping charging our Wèi border. Outstanding ah my sir, alone containing Heaven’s spirits. Is it divinities’ respect, is it man’s vitality? How deep in thinking, how pure in virtue! Different worlds connect in dreams, regretful to not at same time live. Considering your eight formations, are not in Sūn and Wú, the ingenuity of wooden ox, then is not Bān’s model, the achievement of divine crossbow, how a subtle wonder! Thousand wells level bricks, also how mysterious! In the past at Diān and Yāo, with name and without legacy, how can they be like you my companion, great planning and sublime picture? When Zāng Wén died, for words he met with praise, also he is not like you, words and conduct both summoned. Yíwú reversed stand, Yuè Yì did not finish, how can they compare to you, enlightenment and sageliness  held and infused. Overlooking the end receiving entrusting, your yielding surpassed Xǔ Yóu, back to screen administering affairs, the people’s speech do not flow. Punishments true as Zhèng, teachings beautiful as Lǔ, Shǔ’s people know shame, the Hé and Wèi secured. If not Gāo then Yī, better than Guǎn and Yàn, how following sagely declaration, fervent and repeatedly sighing. In the past you here hid, choosing only this house, where benevolence and wisdom reside, ability without limit open. Sun stored and moons various, time perishing in dusk, who is able to not die, the noble have legacy remaining. Only your accomplishments, shift wind in coming ages, singing songs and standards, cowards become strict. Distant ah remote oh, its plans outstanding, altogether like you my sir, are difficult to investigate through. The past’s disobedience, ten thousand lǐ differently  scrawled. Now I come to think, and face your former village. Hàn Gāo returned spirit to Fēng and Pèi, Tàigōng five generations yet returned to Zhōu, thinking not of two to seem, hoping of influence abundance. Ghost yet with spirit, how can it be noted all!
  • Wàng Yǐn’s Jìnshū says: Lǐ Xīng, Mì’s son, originally named Ān.

〔一〕 袁子曰:或問諸葛亮何如人也,袁子曰:張飛、關羽與劉備俱起,爪牙腹心之臣,而武人也。晚得諸葛亮,因以為佐相,而群臣悅服,劉備足信、亮足重故也。及其受六尺之孤,攝一國之政,事凡庸之君,專權而不失禮,行君事而國人不疑,如此即以為君臣百姓之心欣戴之矣。行法嚴而國人悅服,用民盡其力而下不怨。及其兵出入如賓,行不寇,芻蕘者不獵,如在國中。其用兵也,止如山,進退如風,兵出之日,天下震動,而人心不憂。亮死至今數十年,國人歌思,如周人之思召公也,孔子曰「雍也可使南面」,諸葛亮有焉。又問諸葛亮始出隴右,南安、天水、安定三郡人反應之,若亮速進,則三郡非中國之有也,而亮徐行不進;既而官兵上隴,三郡復,亮無尺寸之功,失此機,何也?袁子曰:蜀兵輕銳,良將少,亮始出,未知中國彊弱,是以疑而嘗之;且大會者不求近功,所以不進也。曰:何以知其疑也?袁子曰:初出遲重,屯營重複,後轉降未進兵欲戰,亮勇而能鬥,三郡反而不速應,此其疑徵也。曰:何以知其勇而能鬥也?袁子曰:亮之在街亭也,前軍大破,亮屯去數里,不救;官兵相接,又徐行,此其勇也。亮之行軍,安靜而堅重;安靜則易動,堅重則可以進退。亮法令明,賞罰信,士卒用命,赴險而不顧,此所以能鬥也。曰:亮率數萬之眾,其所興造,若數十萬之功,是其奇者也。所至營壘、井灶、圊溷、藩籬、障塞皆應繩墨,一月之行,去之如始至,勞費而徒為飾好,何也?袁子曰:蜀人輕脫,亮故堅用之。曰:何以知其然也?袁子曰:亮治實而不治名,志大而所欲遠,非求近速者也。曰:亮好治官府、次舍、橋梁、道路,此非急務,何也?袁子曰:小國賢才少,故欲其尊嚴也。亮之治蜀,田疇辟,倉廩實,器械利,蓄積饒,朝會不華,路無醉人。夫本立故末治,有餘力而後及小事,此所以勸其功也。曰:子之論諸葛亮,則有證也。以亮之才而少其功,何也?袁子曰:亮,持本者也,其於應變,則非所長也,故不敢用其短。曰:然則吾子美之,何也?袁子曰:此固賢者之遠矣,安可以備體責也。夫能知所短而不用,此賢者之大也;知所短則知所長矣。夫前識與言而不中,亮之所不用也,此吾之所謂可也。吳大鴻臚張儼作默記,其述佐篇論亮與司馬宣王書曰:漢朝傾覆,天下崩壞,豪傑之士,競希神器。魏氏跨中土,劉氏據益州,並稱兵海內,為世霸主。諸葛、司馬二相,遭值際會,託身明主,或收功於蜀漢,或冊名於伊、洛。丕、備既沒,後嗣繼統,各受保阿之任,輔翼幼主,不負然諾之誠,亦一國之宗臣,霸王之賢佐也。歷前世以觀近事,二相優劣,可得而詳也。孔明起巴、蜀之地,蹈一州之土,方之大國,其戰士人民,蓋有九分之一也,而以貢贄大吳,抗對北敵,至使耕戰有伍,刑法整齊,提步卒數萬,長驅祁山,慨然有飲馬河、洛之志。仲達據天下十倍之地,仗兼并之眾,據牢城,擁精銳,無禽敵之意,務自保全而已,使彼孔明自來自去。若此人不亡,終其志意,連年運思,刻日興謀,則涼、雍不解甲,中國不釋鞌,勝負之勢,亦已決矣。昔子產治鄭,諸侯不敢加兵,蜀相其近之矣。方之司馬,不亦優乎!或曰,兵者凶器,戰者危事也,有國者不務保安境內,綏靜百姓,而好開闢土地,征伐天下,未為得計也。諸葛丞相誠有匡佐之才,然處孤絕之地,戰士不滿五萬,自可閉關守險,君臣無事。空勞師旅,無歲不征,未能進咫尺之地,開帝王之基,而使國內受其荒殘,西土苦其役調。魏司馬懿才用兵眾,未易可輕,量敵而進,兵家所慎;若丞相必有以策之,則未見坦然之勳,若無策以裁之,則非明哲之謂,海內歸向之意也,余竊疑焉,請聞其說。答曰:蓋聞湯以七十里、文王以百里之地而有天下,皆用征伐而定之。揖讓而登王位者,惟舜、禹而已。今蜀、魏為敵戰之國,勢不俱王,自操、備時,彊弱縣殊,而備猶出兵陽平,禽夏侯淵。羽圍襄陽,將降曹仁,生獲于禁,當時北邊大小憂懼,孟德身出南陽,樂進、徐晃等為救,圍不即解,故蔣子通言彼時有徙許渡河之計,會國家襲取南郡,羽乃解軍。玄德與操,智力多少,士眾眾寡,用兵行軍之道,不可同年而語,猶能暫以取勝,是時又無大吳掎角之勢也。今仲達之才,減於孔明,當時之勢,異於曩日,玄德尚與抗衡,孔明何以不可出軍而圖敵邪?昔樂毅以弱燕之眾,兼從五國之兵,長驅彊齊,下七十餘城。今蜀漢之卒,不少燕軍,君臣之接,信於樂毅,加以國家為脣齒之援,東西相應,首尾如蛇,形勢重大,不比於五國之兵也,何憚於彼而不可哉?夫兵以奇勝,制敵以智,土地廣狹,人馬多少,未可偏恃也。余觀彼治國之體,當時既肅整,遺教在後,及其辭意懇切,陳進取之圖,忠謀謇謇,義形於主,雖古之管、晏,何以加之乎?蜀記曰:晉永興中,鎮南將軍劉弘至隆中,觀亮故宅,立碣表閭,命太傅掾犍為李興為文曰:「天子命我,于沔之陽,聽鼓鼙而永思,庶先哲之遺光,登隆山以遠望,軾諸葛之故鄉。蓋神物應機,大器無方,通人靡滯,大德不常。故谷風發而騶虞嘯,雲雷升而潛鱗驤;摯解褐於三聘,尼得招而褰裳,管豹變於受命,貢感激以回莊,異徐生之摘寶,釋臥龍於深藏,偉劉氏之傾蓋,嘉吾子之周行。夫有知己之主,則有竭命之良,固所以三分我漢鼎,跨帶我邊荒,抗衡我北面,馳騁我魏疆者也。英哉吾子,獨含天靈。豈神之祗,豈人之精?何思之深,何德之清!異世通夢,恨不同生。推子八陳,不在孫、吳,木牛之奇,則非般模,神弩之功,一何微妙!千井齊甃,又何祕要!昔在顛、夭,有名無跡,孰若吾儕,良籌妙畫?臧文既沒,以言見稱,又未若子,言行並徵。夷吾反坫,樂毅不終,奚比於爾,明哲守沖。臨終受寄,讓過許由,負扆蒞事,民言不流。刑中於鄭,教美於魯,蜀民知恥,河、渭安堵。匪皋則伊,寧彼管、晏,豈徒聖宣,慷慨屢歎!昔爾之隱,卜惟此宅,仁智所處,能無規廓。日居月諸,時殞其夕,誰能不歿,貴有遺格。惟子之勳,移風來世,詠歌餘典,懦夫將厲。遐哉邈矣,厥規卓矣,凡若吾子,難可究已。疇昔之乖,萬里殊塗;今我來思,覿爾故墟。漢高歸魂於豐、沛,太公五世而反周,想罔兩以髣彿,冀影響之有餘。魂而有靈,豈其識諸!」王隱晉書云:李興,密之子;一名安。

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