(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.”


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.


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