(54.4) Appraisals [of Zhōu Yú 周瑜, Lǔ Sù 魯肅, Lǚ Méng 呂蒙, with Sūn Quán’s Discussion]

Sūn Quán with Lù Xùn discussed Zhōu Yú, Lǔ Sù, and [Lǚ] Méng stating: “[Zhōu Yú] Gōngjǐn was stalwart and ardent, his courage and resourcefulness double other men, and therefore he defeated [Cáo Cāo] Mèngdé, opening up Jīng province, his distant legacy is difficult to continue, and you now continue it. Gōngjǐn in the past wanted [Lǔ Sù] Zǐjìng to come east, delivering him to me, I feasted and conversed with him, then reaching to the great outlines of the enterprise of Emperors and Kings; this was the first joy. Later Mèngdé taking advantage of the momentum of capturing Liú Cóng, spread word he was about to lead a force of several hundred thousands on water and land to together go downstream. I everywhere invited the various officers, consulting and asking what was appropriate, and none came to first reply, reaching to [Zhāng Zhāo] Zǐbù and [Qín Sōng] Wénbiǎo, both said it was appropriate to send envoy to prepare orders to welcome him [Cáo Cāo], Zǐjìng at once then opposed and said it could not be, urging me to urgently call Gōngjǐn, entrust him with the forces, to oppose and strike him [Cáo Cāo]; this was the second joy. Moreover his decisive strategies in thinking surpassed Zhāng and Sū by far; later though he advised me to lend to Xuándé land, this was one shortcoming, not enough to damage his two strengths. Zhōu-gōng did not seek everything from one person, and therefore I forget his shortcomings and honor his strengths, always comparing him to Dèng Yǔ. Also when [Lǚ Méng] Zǐmíng was young, I said that he took no regard to severity or ease, and was resolute and daring and had guts but nothing more; when he was grown up, his learning increased, and his unusual resourcefulness arrived, and he could be second to Gōngjǐn, but that is only to say that his cultural excellence did not match him [Zhōu Yú]. In planning to capture Guān Yǔ, he surpassed Zǐjìng. Zǐjìng replied to me with letter stating: ‘In the rising of Emperors and Kings, all had their driving on, [Guān] Yǔ is not worth worrying about.’ This was only Zǐjìng inside being unable to handle it, and outside making a great boast. I also forgive this, and do not blame him. However in his building of armies, his garrisons and camps had no failings, his orders were enacted and his restrictions followed, the division borders were without abandoned burdens, the roads without pocketing of lost things, his regulation also was beautiful.”

孫權與陸遜論周瑜、魯肅及蒙曰:「公瑾雄烈,膽略兼人,遂破孟德,開拓荊州,邈焉難繼,君今繼之。公瑾昔要子敬來東,致達於孤,孤與宴語,便及大略帝王之業,此一快也。後孟德因獲劉琮之勢,張言方率數十萬眾水步俱下。孤普請諸將,咨問所宜,無適先對,至子布、文表,俱言宜遣使脩檄迎之,子敬即駮言不可,勸孤急呼公瑾,付任以眾,逆而擊之,此二快也。且其決計策,意出張蘇遠矣;後雖勸吾借玄德地,是其一短,不足以損其二長也。周公不求備於一人,故孤忘其短而貴其長,常以比方鄧禹也。又子明少時,孤謂不辭劇易,果敢有膽而已;及身長大,學問開益,籌略奇至,可以次於公瑾,但言議英發不及之耳。圖取關羽,勝於子敬。子敬答孤書云:『帝王之起,皆有驅除,羽不足忌。』此子敬內不能辦,外為大言耳,孤亦恕之,不苟責也。然其作軍,屯營不失,令行禁止,部界無廢負,路無拾遺,其法亦美也。」


Appraisal states: Excellency Cáo rode on the resources as Hàn’s Chancellor, grasping Heaven’s Son and sweeping away the crowds of the cruel, newly cleansing Jīng’s cities, wielding power over the eastern lands, at the time of the commentators none were not doubtful. Zhōu Yú and Lǔ Sù established single decisive enlightenment, surpassing the models of all people, truly unique geniuses. Lǚ Méng was valorous and had planning and decisiveness, understood military calculations, tricking Hǎo Pǔ and capturing Guān Yǔ were the most ingenious. Previously though he was reckless and rash in killing, in the end he restrained himself, having the capacity of a state’s serviceman, how was he of the sorts of the military officers and nothing more? Sūn Quán’s discussion, its praises and criticisms are appropriate, and therefore it is recorded.

評曰:曹公乘漢相之資,挾天子而掃群桀,新盪荊城,仗威東夏,于時議者莫不疑貳。周瑜、魯肅建獨斷之明,出眾人之表,實奇才也。呂蒙勇而有謀斷,識軍計,譎郝普,禽關羽,最其妙者。初雖輕果妄殺,終於克己,有國士之量,豈徒武將而已乎!孫權之論,優劣允當,故載錄焉。

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