Appraisal states: The three masters each in their techniques were elite, their use of thinking profound, however a gentlemen in serving heart and spirit, should be in the large and the far-reaching, and therefore to be a scholar with knowledge is to give up that [the small] in order to obtain this [the large].
- Sūn Shèng states: The mysterious study of the not yet evident, the in advance reflection of coming events, even Pí Zào and Zǐ Shèn had their failings, so all the more for those inferior in technique as these. The Wú historians wrote [Zhào] Dá knew the southeast would have a king’s aura, and therefore frivolously rose to cross the Jiāng. Wèi succeeded Hàn’s line, receiving mandate in the central lands, [Zhào] Dá was not able to in advance observe the multitude of sprouting signs, and yet flowed and scuttled to Wú and Yuè. Also he did not know the baseness of being stingy with techniques, and met with belittling in his time, how was it that he was able to in advance see Heaven’s Ways and examine the corresponding omens of Emperors and Kings? In the past the sagely kings observed the patterns of Heaven and Earth, to draw the forms of the Eight Trigrams, and therefore relentlessly achieved their divination strands, transforming shape to the hexagrams, and therefore though the three Yì were different, the divination interpretations in reasoning were unified, how could there be a turning of a trinket able to deeply measure the concealed, thoughts in reply in advance observing, and able to then know of things to come? Common fashions love the strange, absurdly setting up strangeness, to be in the middle of misfortune, is what Zhòngní discarded, and therefore the gentleman’s will is in the large, with nothing else sought.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī believes: [Sūn] Shèng saying: ‘the gentlemen’s will is in the large, with nothing else sought,’ is an old meaning of criticism, not a new statement. The remaining ridicule, is all wrong in reasoning. From when the Central plains were in vicious chaos, reaching to Jiàn’ān, was several tens of years, the people were nearly wiped out, those that reached some small prosperity, were all the survivors of a hundred deaths. The Jiāng’s left though had weapons and armor, it could not compare in extremity to the central states, how can one know that [Zhào] Dá did not calculate the safeties and dangers, knew the disasters would be how many or few, that benefit was in the southeast, and so preserved himself? But he reproaches him for not knowing the Wèi clan was about to rise, and flowing about Wú and Yuè, but of Jīng Fáng and his class, they were yet not able to themselves escape execution, so all the more if [Zhào] Dá yet with secret techniques met with belittling, was it a regret to be stingy? The ancient techniques, overall were not unified, so the achievement of exploring the hidden, how was it only in the hexagrams? If one is able to obtain its essentials, then one can change and understand it, turning one trinket, how is it sufficient to be strange? [Zhào] Dá’s calculations, was thorough in its essential ingenuity to understand the hidden and measure the concealed, how did it shame the ancients? But to use Pí and Zǐ to restrict him, and say [Zhào] Dá was absurd, it is not a true discussion.
- Bàopǔzǐ states: At the time there was a Gě Xiāngōng, every time he drank to intoxication, he always entered into a water pool outside someone’s house to lie down, stayed all day and then went out. Once he followed Wúzhǔ [Sūn Quán] in going out, arrived at Lièzhōu, when returning encountered a great wind, of the boats of the hundred officials many were drowned, Xiāngōng’s boat also sank, and Wúzhǔ was extremely regretful. The next day he sent someone to fish for Gōng’s boat, and climbed up high to look out for it. After a long time, he saw Gōng walk from atop the water, his clothes and shoes not wet, but having intoxicated appearance. At once they met and he said: “I your servant yesterday followed in attendance but Wǔ Zǐxū invited me, and I temporarily went to set up the alcohol, felt disturbed, and at once left him.” Also there was a Yáo Guāng, with fire techniques. Wúzhǔ personally went to test him, amassing reeds of several thousand bundles, had Guāng sit on top, and also with several thousand bundles of reeds wrapped him, and using a fierce wind roasted him. When the reeds were used up, it was said Guāng should have become ash, but Guāng upright sat in the ashes, shook his clothes and rose, holding a one scroll book. Wúzhǔ took this book and read it, and could not understand it.
- It also states: Wú Emperor Jǐng [Sūn Xiū] had illness, and sought a wizard inspect him, obtaining one man. Emperor Jǐng wished to test him, and so killed a goose and buried it in the park, built a small lodge, furnished with bed and tables, placing women’s shoes and clothes and things on top, and then had the wizard inspect it, announcing: “If you are able to say the appearance of the ghost of the woman buried here, then I will apply rewards and at once believe you.” All day and through the night he did not speak, and the Emperor interrogated him urgently, and so he said: “Truly I do not see a ghost, I only see one white goose standing on the grave, so I did not at once report it, I suspect it is the spirits changing and creating this appearance, and so I was watching for its true form to settle. It did not again change, and I do not know the reason, and so did not dare report the truth.” Emperor Jǐng then generously rewarded him. That being the case, when a goose dies it also has a ghost.
- Gě Hóng’s Shénxiānzhuàn [biographies of divine celestials] states: The celestial man Jiè Xiàng appellation Yuánzé was a Kuàijī man, and had various specialist techniques. Wúzhǔ [Sūn Quán] heard of this, and summoned [Jiè] Xiàng to Wǔchāng, extremely venerating and honoring him, calling him as Lord Jiè, for him raised a mansion, and provided him with government screens, bestowing and giving beginning to end accumulating a thousand gold, from [Jiè] Xiàng studying techniques of screening appearance. To test it he returned to the Rear Palace, and when he went out the palace hall gates, none saw him. Also he sent [Jiè] Xiàng to perform transformations, planting melons and vegetables and the hundred fruits, and all on sprouting could be eaten. Wúzhǔ together discussed which of minced fish was the most beautiful [to eat], Xiàng said: “Mullet fish is superior.” Wúzhǔ said: “We are only speaking of nearby fish, that is from out in the sea, how can it be obtained?” Xiàng said: “It can be obtained.” Then he ordered people to in the palace hall courtyard make a square hole, drew water to fill it, and also sought a fish hook. Xiàng rose and baited it, and dropped the line into the hole, and suddenly, he indeed obtained a mullet fish. Wúzhǔ was surprised and pleased, and asked Xiàng: “Can it be eaten or not?” Xiàng said: “I created a living mullet to catch it for Your Majesty, how could I dare catch something that cannot be eaten?” Then he had the kitchen subordinates cut it. Wúzhǔ said: “I hear a Shǔ envoy is coming. To prepare it with Shǔ ginger is extremely good, a pity that there is not enough time for it.” Xiàng said: “How is Shǔ ginger not easy to obtain? May you send someone together with the payment.” Wúzhǔ directed from his left and right attendants one man, with cash of fifty to pay for it. Xiàng wrote one talisman, placing it inside a green bamboo cane, having the traveling man close eyes and ride the cane, and where the cane stopped, to then buy ginger, and again close eyes. This man did as said and rode the cane, suddenly stopped, and had already reached Chéngdū, did not know where he was, asked someone, and the person said it was the middle of the Shǔ market, and then he bought ginger. At the time Wú envoy Zhāng Wēn previously was at Shǔ, and in the market they recognized each other, was extremely surprised, and then wrote letter to send to his family. This man bought the ginger and finished, and clutching the letter and carrying the ginger, rode the cane and closed eyes, and immediately had already returned to Wú, just as the kitchen subordinates were finishing cutting the mince fish.
- Your Servant Sōngzhī believes what Gě Hóng records, probably is to confuse the masses, his writings tend to be passed around the world, and therefore I select and take several things, and record them at the piān’s end. A divine celestial’s techniques, how can it be measured? By your servant’s assumptions, I believe it to confuse the masses, what is called summer insects not knowing of cold ice.