Zhūgě Kè appellation Yuánxùn was [Zhūgě] Jǐn’s eldest son. When young he had known reputation. (1) On capping he was appointed Cavalry Commandant, and with Gù Tán, Zhāng Xiū and others attended to the Heir-Apparent [Sūn] Dēng, discussing principles and arts, all of them retainer friends. From [Heir-Apparent’s] Internal Companion transferred to Left Assisting Commandant.
- (1) Jiāngbiǎo zhuàn states: [Zhūgě] Kè when young had talent and reputation, exhibited literary elegance and precocious intelligence, in debate answered opportunities, none could match him. [Sūn] Quán met and was impressed with him, saying to [Zhūgě] Jǐn: “Lántián producing jade, truly it is not false.”
- Wú lù states: [Zhūgě] Kè’s height was seven chǐ six cùn [~1.8 m], had few whiskers and eyebrows, bent nose and wide forehead, large mouth and loud voice.
[Zhūgě] Kè’s father [Zhūgě] Jǐn’s face was long resembling a donkey, Sūn Quán at a great assembly with the various ministers, sent someone to lead one donkey inside, long board on its face, labeled saying: “Zhūgě Zǐyú.” [Zhūgě] Kè knelt and said: “I request pen to add two words.” Therefore, agreed and gave pen. [Zhūgě] Kè continued below it saying: “Donkey of.” All the seated laughed, and so the donkey was bestowed on [Zhūgě] Kè.
On another day they again met, [Sūn] Quán asked [Zhūgě] Kè: “Of your father [Zhūgě Jǐn] and your father’s younger brother [Zhūgě Liàng] who is worthier?” Replied: “Your servant’s father is superior.” [Sūn] Quán asked the reason, he replied: “Your servant’s father knows who to serve, my father’s younger brother does not. By this he is superior.” [Sūn] Quán again greatly laughed. He ordered [Zhūgě] Kè to serve the alcohol, reaching to Zhāng Zhāo’s front, [Zhāng] Zhāo already had intoxicated appearance, would not agree to drink, and said: “This is not the courtesy to care for the elderly.” [Sūn] Quán said: “Are you able to defeat Excellency Zhāng in debate and have him drink it?” [Zhūgě] Kè scolded [Zhāng] Zhāo saying: “In the past Shī Shàngfù was ninety, grasping banner and wielding battle-ax, and yet he was not called old. Now in military affairs, you General are at the rear, and in drink and food affairs, you General are at the front, how can it be said to not care for the elderly?” [Zhāng] Zhāo was without reply, and therefore finished the goblet.
Later a Shǔ envoy arrived, the various ministers all gathered, [Sūn] Quán said to the envoy: “This Zhūgě Kè is skilled and enjoys riding, return and inform your Chancellor [Zhūgě Liàng], to have him send a good horse.” [Zhūgě] Kè therefore bowed in thanks, [Sūn] Quán said: “The horse has not yet arrived and yet you give thanks, why?” [Zhūgě] Kè replied saying: “Shǔ is Your Majesty’s Outer Stable, now that there is generous Imperial Order, the horse is certain to arrive, how dare I not give thanks?”
[Zhūgě] Kè’s talent and quickness was all of this sort. (1)
[Sūn] Quán was extremely impressed with him, wished to test him in service, and ordered him to act as Economical Measurer. Economical Measurer handled military provisions and grain, the written documents were complicated and plentiful, and not what he enjoyed. (2)
- (1) Kè Biézhuàn states: [Sūn] Quán once feasted Shǔ envoy Fèi Yī, in advance ordering the various ministers: “When the envoy arrives, lower head to eat and do not rise.” [Fèi] Yī arrived, [Sūn] Quán for him stopped eating, but the various subordinates did not rise. [Fèi] Yī teased them saying: “The phoenix comes souring, the unicorn spits feed, the donkey does not know, lowering head to eat as before.” [Zhūgě] Kè replied saying: “Then plant a parasol tree, to care for the phoenix. What a common sparrow, declaring itself as coming souring? Why not shoot pellets, to send it back to its homeland!” [Fèi] Yī stopped and ate pastry, and requested pen and composed Mài fù “Rhapsody on Wheat.” [Zhūgě] Kè also requested pen and composed Mò fù “Rhapsody on Grindstones,” all praised it as good. [Sūn] Quán once asked [Zhūgě] Kè: “Recently how have you amused yourself to become fatter and glossier?” [Zhūgě] Kè replied saying: “I your servant have heard that wealth glosses houses, virtue glosses body. I your servant do not dare amuse myself, I cultivate myself and nothing more.” Also asked: “How do you compare to Téng Yìn?” [Zhūgě] Kè answered saying: “In ascending steps and wearing shoes [attending Court], I your servant do not compare to [Téng] Yìn. In turning plans and spinning strategies, [Téng] Yìn does not compare to me your servant.” [Zhūgě] Kè once proffered [Sūn] Quán a horse, first piercing its ear. Fàn Shèn at the time was seated, and mocked [Zhūgě] Kè saying: “Though a horse is a large animal, it is endowed with the spirit of Heaven, now to ruin its ear, how is it not to violate benevolence?” [Zhūgě] Kè answered saying: “For a mother to her daughter, the affection and love is the utmost, she pierces the ear to attach pearls, what is the violation to benevolence?” The Heir-Apparent [Sūn] Dēng once teased [Zhūgě] Kè: “Zhūgě Yuánxùn can eat horse droppings.” [Zhūgě] Kè said: “May the Heir-Apparent eat chicken eggs.” [Sūn] Quán said: “He orders you to eat horse droppings, you have him eat chicken eggs. Why?” [Zhūgě] Kè said: “It comes out the same place.” [Sūn] Quán greatly laughed.
- Jiǎngbiǎo zhuàn states: Once there were white headed birds gathered in front of the palace hall, [Sūn] Quán said: “What kind of birds are these?” [Zhūgě] Kè said: “White-headed fathers.” Zhāng Zhāo believed that he was the oldest among the seated, and suspected [Zhūgě] Kè was using the bird to mock him, and therefore said: “[Zhūgě] Kè is deceiving Your Majesty, one has never heard of a bird named ‘white-headed father.’ Try having [Zhūgě] Kè again find a ‘white-headed mother.’” [Zhūgě] Kè said: “There is a bird named ‘parrot mother,’ which does not have a match. Try having Supporting Wú [General Zhāng Zhāo] then find a ‘parrot father.’” [Zhāng] Zhāo could not answer, and those seated all laughed.
- (2) Jiāngbiǎo zhuàn states: [Sūn] Quán became King of Wú, first installed the Economical Measurer office, employed to manage and handle military provisions, it was not of the Hàn system. First employed Attendant Internal Assistant General Xú Xiáng, [Xú] Xiáng died, about to employ [Zhūgě] Kè. Zhūgě Liàng heard [Zhūgě] Kè would succeed [Xú] Xiáng, and wrote letter to Lù Xùn that said: “My elder brother is aged, and [Zhūgě] Kè by nature is neglectful. Now he is to manage provisions and grain, provisions and grain are the army’s most important, your servant though am far away, I humbly am not at ease. May you sir specially inform the Utmost Honored to transfer him.” [Lù] Xùn informed [Sūn] Quán, at once transferred [Zhūgě] Kè to lead troops.
[Zhūgě] Kè believed Dānyáng was mountainous and rugged, its people many and stalwart, so though previously there had been sent troops, they had only obtained the outer county’s common civilians and nothing more, the rest were deep and far away, none able to capture them completely, and repeatedly himself requested to for the government set out against them, and in three years they could obtain armored soldiers of forty thousand. The mass of commentators all believed Dānyáng’s terrain was difficult and dangerous, adjacent to Wú, Kuàijī, Xīndū, Póyáng four prefectures, the perimeter several thousand lǐ, the mountains and valleys ten-thousand fold, its secluded people, had not ever entered cities, in facing chief officials, all wielded weapons in the fields, bare-headed in the forests and weeds. Fleeing to rest in evil, all together running about. The mountains produced copper and iron, they personally cast into armor and weapons. Their customs enjoy warfare and practice battle, esteem strength, their climbing of mountains and traveling rugged terrain, trampling and charging thickets of thorns, were like fish in moving in deep pools, and apes in swinging in trees. They timely watch for opening, come out to plunder and rob, every time sending troops on campaign, searching their caves and hidings, in battle then they as wasps arrive, in defeat then they as birds flee, from previous ages onward, it cannot be restrained. All believed it difficult. [Zhūgě] Kè’s father [Zhūgě] Jǐn heard this, also believed the matter in the end would not succeed, and sighed and said: “[If Zhūgě] Kè will not greatly raise our house, he will greatly ruin our clan.” [Zhūgě] Kè vigorously explained it was certain to succeed. [Sūn] Quán appointed [Zhūgě] Kè as Succoring the Yuè General, designate Dānyáng Administrator, awarded tally and halberd martial cavalry of three hundred. The appointment completed, ordered [Zhūgě] Kè prepare majestic ceremony with drumming and trumpeting, cleared roads for his return home, at the time his years thirty-two.
[Zhūgě] Kè arrived at office, and then sent letters to the four prefecture’s subordinate cities’ chief clerks, ordering each to protect their borders, clearly set up division squads, to cultivate the ordinary people, and all have them in garrisons reside. Then he divided his inner various officers, to spread troops in the secluded rugged areas, but only to repair barriers, and not with them cross blades, watch for when their grain was about to ripen, then at once release the troops to reap, to have them be without remaining seeds. The old grain was used up, the new fields would not be collected, the ordinary people in garrisons resides, plundering was without income, and therefore the mountain peoples were hungry and destitute, and gradually went out to surrender. [Zhūgě] Kè then again sent down orders saying: “The mountain peoples leaving evil for cultivation, all are to be comforted, relocated to outer counties, and are not to be suspected and be arrested and restricted.” Jiùyáng Chief Hú Kàng obtained surrendered man Zhōu Yí, [Zhōu] Yí was a long-time evil man, due to destitution had been forced to temporarily come out, inside plotted rebellion, [Hú] Kàng bound and sent him to the various offices. [Zhūgě] Kè because [Hú] Kàng had violated instructions, therefore beheaded him as an example, and sent up memorial about the case. The people heard [Hú] Kàng in connection to arresting someone was killed, knew the government only wished to have them come out and nothing more, and therefore the old and young supporting each other came out, and in a year, the count of people were all as originally planned. [Zhūgě] Kè personally commanded ten thousand men, the remainder was divided and given to the various officers.
[Sūn] Quán praised this achievement, sending Secretariat Documents Deputy Director Xuē Zōng to appreciate the army. [Xuē] Zōng first sent letter to [Zhūgě] Kè and the rest that said: “The Shānyuè rely on obstructions, not submitting for successive generations, when relaxed then as rats, when anxious then like wolves look back. The Imperial Emperor in shining awe, ordered officers on western campaign, divine tally inside awarded, the martial forces outside shake. Weapons do not stain edges, armor is not moistened in sweat, the foremost evils are taken, the associates submit to righteousness, cleaning out the mountains and marshes, presenting troops of a hundred thousand. The fields are without remaining bandits, the cities have no damage and treachery. Both sweeping away the vicious and evil and also filling up military equipment. Multitudes of weeds are transformed into good grass. Monstrous beasts become tiger soldiers. Though indeed it was by the country’s authoritative spirit applied, it also was by the trusted foremost commander’s leadership delivered. Though the Shī beautified acting quickly, the Yì praised breaking heads, Zhōu’s Fāng [shū] and Shào [gōng], Hàn’s Wèi [Qīng] and Huò [Qùbìng], how is it worth discussing? The achievement surpasses the ancient people, the merit overtakes former ages. The Ruler Above is joyous and pleased, far away sighs at the news. Moved by the Sìmǔ’s legacy canon, thinking of Yǐnzhì’s old words. Therefore, send the Central Terrace close officials, to deliver rewards and bestowments, to make manifest the abundant achievement, to comfort the labors and toils.” Appointed [Zhūgě] Kè as Terrifying North General, enfeoffed a capital village Lord. [Zhūgě] Kè requested to lead forces to farm Lújiāng and Wǎnkǒu, and therefore with light troops attacked Shū, by surprise capturing its people and returning. He again distantly sent scouts, observing and appraising the vital positions of the path, wishing to plot against Shòuchūn, [Sūn] Quán believed it could not be.
During Chìwū, Wèi’s Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng planned wishing to attack [Zhūgě] Kè, [Sūn] Quán was about to send troops to answer this, a weather observer believed it would not be successful, and therefore relocated [Zhūgě] Kè’s garrison to Cháisāng. [Zhūgě Kè’s] letter to Chancellor Lù Xùn said:
“Yáng Jìngshū transmits pure discussion, believing right now the people are exhausted completely, those holding to virtue and enterprise cannot again be many, and it is appropriate to join with one another to be assisting carriages, above to glorify state affairs, below to treasure one another. But there are those who hate the world and enjoy slandering and damaging one another, to cause oneself to become employed, and internal harms accumulate; those sorts about to advance, their thoughts are not pleased. Hearing this I sigh, truly only able to strike hand. I humbly believe the noble man does not seek preparation in one person, from the Kǒng clan disciples the largest number was three thousand, those seen as exceptional were seventy-two men, reaching to the sort of Zǐzhāng, Zǐlù, Zǐgòng and others of seven men, the second sage’s virtue, however each yet had their short-comings, Shī refused and Yóu condoled, when bestowed did not accept command, so all the more for those below these and without fault? Moreover, Zhòngní did not count what they lacked and invite them to be friends, and did not because of a man’s shortcomings abandon their strengths. Additionally, at the present in seeking servicemen, it is appropriate to be generous to their past. Why? The time’s affairs are complicated, but good men are few, and the country’s office and duties, are always suffering from not being filled. If their character is not evil, their ambition is in devoting strength, then they can be encouraged, and quickly take up appointment. If for a very few inappropriateness and private conduct that is lacking, in all cases it is appropriate to be generous, and not worth in detail reproaching. Moreover, servicemen truly cannot in detail discuss severe restraints, severe restraints then have other worthy sages yet be not secure, so all the more those coming and going. Therefore, it is said to by the way observe men is difficult, to by men observe men is easy, worthy and foolish can be known. From Hàn’s end onward, the central states’ scholar officials like Xǔ Zǐjiāng’s sort, therefore casually defamed and mocked one another, some reaching to disaster. Investigating the origins, it was not due to great enmities, it was only in sitting and restraining oneself they could not be exhaustive in matching ritual, and reproached men completely using standard righteousness. For oneself to not match ritual, then people do not submit. To reproach men using standard righteousness, then the people cannot endure. Inside not submitting in conduct, outside not enduring reproaches, then they cannot but blame one another. Once they begin blaming one another, then petty men are able to appear among them. When they are able to appear among them, then the speech of the three utmosts, permeates into slander, disorderly mistakes in turn arrive, and even in sending the utmost enlightened and utmost close to reside there, yet it is difficult to oneself settle, all the more for one in the gaps, so all the more for those not yet able to understand. Therefore, Zhāng [Ěr] and Chén [Yú] came to bloodied blades, Xiāo [Yù] and Zhū [Bó] did not end well, the origin came from this and nothing more. To not forgive small mistakes, for the minute to reproach one another, after a long time it causes families and households to complain, and the whole country to again be without servicemen of complete conduct.”
[Zhūgě] Kè knew [Lù] Xùn because of this doubted himself, and therefore then expanded his reasoning and praised his intentions. It happened that [Lù] Xùn died, [Zhūgě] Kè was promoted to General-in-Chief, Lent Staff, stationing Wǔchāng, succeeding [Lù] Xùn in managing Jīng Province affairs.
Long after this, [Sūn] Quán was not well, but the Heir-Apparent was young, and so he summoned [Zhūgě] Kè to be General-in-Chief and designate Heir-Apparent’s Grand Tutor, Internal Documents Director Sūn Hóng was designated Junior Tutor. [Sūn] Quán’s illness was severe, he summoned [Zhūgě] Kè, [Sūn] Hóng, and Minister of Ceremonies Téng Yìn, General Lǚ Jù, Attendant Internal Sūn Jùn, to entrust them with later affairs. (1)
- (1) Wú shū states: [Sūn] Quán was lying ill, and discussed who to entrust. At the time the Court Ministers all put their intentions on [Zhūgě] Kè, and Sūn Jùn memorialized him as a vessel to appoint to assist the government, and could be entrusted with great affairs. [Sūn] Quán suspected [Zhūgě] Kè was stubborn and self-confident, [Sūn] Jùn believed of the present Court Ministers none could match him, and therefore firmly guaranteed him, and so summoned [Zhūgě] Kè. Later he summoned [Zhūgě] Kè and the rest to meet in the inner rooms, to accept Imperial Order below the bed. [Sūn] Quán’s Imperial Order said: “My illness is severe, I fear we will not meet again, all affairs are to be entrusted to you.” [Zhūgě] Kè sobbed and shed tears and said: “We your servants all received your generous grace, and will to the death serve Imperial Order, may Your Majesty be calm in spirit, decrease concerns, and do not worry of other affairs.” [Sūn] Quán’s Imperial Order had managers and all affairs be completely unified with [Zhūgě] Kè, only killing or sparing great affairs would afterward be reported [to Sūn Quán]. For him built mansion buildings, established accompanying guard. The various officials and hundred managers bowed and saluted in ceremony, each in order of rank. Of the various law orders if there were any inappropriate, he selected out to report, [Sūn] Quán at once listened to it. Inside and outside were compliant, and everyone was pleased.
The next day, [Sūn] Quán died. [Sūn] Hóng previously with [Zhūgě] Kè were not at peace, feared he would be by [Zhūgě] Kè controlled, kept secret the news of [Sūn] Quán’s death, wishing to fake Imperial Order to get rid of [Zhūgě] Kè. [Sūn] Jùn reported this to [Zhūgě] Kè, [Zhūgě] Kè invited [Sūn] Hóng to consult on matters, and in the middle of the city executed him, and then began mourning. His letter to his younger brother Gōng’ān commander [Zhūgě] Róng said: “This moon sixteenth day Yǐwèi [252 May 21], the greatly departed Imperial Emperor left behind all states, the various subordinates large and small, none do not grieve. As for we fathers and sons and elder brothers and younger brothers, we all received unique favor, not of the sort of the ordinary scribes, and therefore in my mourning, liver and heart are broken and rent apart. The Imperial Heir-Apparent on Dīngyǒu ascended to Honored Title, sorrow and joy joined together, not knowing what to do. I personally received command to look after, to assist and support the young ruler, I humbly judge myself, my talents are not of Bó Lù’s and yet I received the entrusting of Jī gong carrying plots, in fear and shame of the examples of the Chancellors assisting Hàn, afraid to disappoint the Former Emperor’s enlightenment in entrusting me, and therefore worry in shame and anxiety, my thoughts in ten thousand points. Moreover, the people hate their superiors, all actions are watched, when can this change? Now to with blunt and thick appearance occupy protector and tutor rank, the hardships are many and wisdom few, responsibility heavy and plans shallow, who can be lips to my teeth? Recently in Hàn’s age, Yān and Gài met unexpectedly, there was the Shàngguān rebellion, I am in this situation, how dare I be at ease? Also, where you my younger brother are, is interlocked with the rebel dog teeth, you must at this time organize military equipment, lead and discipline officers and soldiers, and be on alert beyond the norm, attend to going out to ten thousand death without consideration for one life, to repay the Court, and be without shame to our predecessors. Also, the various officers prepare defenses in each of their borders, yet fearing the rebel caitiffs will hear of the unspeakable [death of Sūn Quán], and abandon restraint to plunder and rob. The border cities various departments, have already separately been sent down restriction orders, their division commanding officers, are not to rashly entrust their garrisons to directly come hurrying. Though they harbor unbearable mourning and grieving hearts, public righteousness overcomes the private, Bóqín subdued the Róng. If there is violation, it is not a small matter. To use the close to correct negligence, is the ancient people’s enlightened warning.”
[Zhūgě] Kè then was appointed Grand Tutor. Therefore, he ended spying and listening, abolished investigation officers, pardoned desertions, removed pass tariffs, in matters esteemed kind favor, and of the masses none were not pleased. Every time [Zhūgě] Kè went out and in, the Hundred Surnames craned necks, hoping to see his appearance.
Previously, [Sūn] Quán in Huánglóng Inaugural Year  moved capital to Jiànyè, Second Year  built Dōngxīng dam to restrain the lake water. Later in campaigning against Huáinán, the inner ships were defeated, and because of this it was abandoned and no longer maintained. [Zhūgě] Kè in Jiànxīng Inaugural Year  Tenth Moon gathered forces at Dōngxīng, again building a large dam, left and right joining the mountains and building two cities, each leaving a thousand men, sending Quán Duān and Liú Lüè to defend them, leading the army to return. Wèi because the Wú army had entered its border territory, was shamed to receive the insult, and ordered chief Generals Hú Zūn, Zhūgě Dàn and others to lead forces of seventy thousand, wishing to attack and besiege the two fortifications, plotting to destroy the dam restraints. [Zhūgě] Kè raised army of forty thousand, dawn to night going to the rescue. [Hú] Zūn and the rest ordered their various armies to make pontoon bridges to cross, laying them above the dam, dividing troops to attack the two cities. The cities walls were high and steep, and could not be quickly taken. [Zhūgě] Kè sent Generals Liú Zàn, Lǚ Jù, Táng Zī, Dīng Fèng as front division. At the time the weather was cold and snowing, Wèi’s various officers met to drink, observed [Liú] Zàn and the rest’s troops were few, and set aside armor, not wielding spears or halberds, only with helmet and saber and shield, uncovered body along restraints, greatly laughed at them, and did not promptly organize troops. The troops were able to ascend, then drummed and trumpeted and in chaos struck. The Wèi army was alarmed and scattered and fled, fighting to cross the pontoon bridges, the bridges were broken and cut off, they threw themselves into the water, and trampled over one another. Lè’ān Administrator Huán Jiā and others at the same time were all drowned, the dead were several tens of thousands. Former rebelling officer Hán Zōng was Wèi’s front army commander, and also beheaded him. Captured chariots and oxen and horses and donkeys each of several thousand, the supplies and equipment like mountains piled, rousing the forces and returning. Advanced enfeoffment of [Zhūgě] Kè to Yángdū Lord, added Jīng and Yáng provinces Governor, commander of Internal and External various military affairs, bestowed gold of one hundred jīn, horses of two hundred, silk fabric and cloth each ten thousand pǐ.
[Zhūgě] Kè therefore had heart that thought little of the enemy, in the Twelfth Moon had won in battle, and in the next year spring again wished to send out the army. (1) The various great ministers believed repeatedly going out was too much labor, and together remonstrated [Zhūgě] Kè, [Zhūgě] Kè did not listen. Internal Scattered Grandee Jiǎng Yán sometimes firmly argued and was carried out.
- (1) Hàn Jìn Chūnqiū states: [Zhūgě] Kè sent Major Lǐ Héng to go to Shǔ to speak with Jiāng Wéi, to have them together mobilize, saying: “The ancients had a saying, sages cannot make time, the time on arriving also cannot be lost. Now the enemy’s government is with a private house, [at this time Wèi was controlled by the Sīmǎ family] outside and inside are suspicious and divided, troops are oppressed outside, and civilians are resentful inside, from Cáo Cāo onward, they have never had the signs of destruction like now. If we greatly mobilize to attack them, having Wú attack their east, Hàn enter their west, if they rescue the west then the east is empty, if they make the east heavy then the west is light, with a practiced and solid army, taking advantage of a weak and light enemy, defeating them is certain.” [Jiāng] Wéi followed this.
[Zhūgě] Kè then wrote a discussion to argue with the opinions of the masses that said:
“The sky is without two suns, the land is without two rulers, a ruler that did not attend to uniting Heaven’s Under and yet wished to pass down blessings to later generations, from antiquity to now there has never been such. In the past in the time of the Warring States, the various lords were self-confident in troop strength and land size, mutually had rescue and assistance, saying this was sufficient to pass through the generations, of men none could endanger it. Indulging in whims and following wishes, dreading labor and toil, they allowed Qín to gradually enlarge itself, and therefore it conquered them; this was natural. More recently Liú [Biǎo] Jǐngshēng was at Jīng province, had forces of a hundred thousand, wealth and grain like mountains, but did not, when Cáo Cāo was still small, with him compete in strength, but sat and watched his strength enlarge, swallow and exterminate the various Yuán, and after the north was completely settled, [Cáo] Cāo led forces of three hundred thousand to come toward Jīng province, at the time even if there were wise men, they could no longer draw a plan, and therefore [Liú Biǎo] Jǐngshēng’s son, linked arms to request to surrender, and therefore became a prisoner. Overall enemy states wish to swallow one another, and enemies wish to remove one another. To have an enemy and strengthen it, if the disaster is not on oneself, then it is on posterity, it cannot be not distantly considered. In the past Wǔ Zǐxū said: ‘Yuè for ten years increased population, for ten years instructed and taught; after twenty years, Wú will become their pond!’ Fūchāi was self-confident he was strong and large, heard this far-seeing report, and therefore executed Zǐxū and was without heart to prepare against Yuè, and reaching to facing destruction he regretted it; how was it not too late? Yuè was smaller than Wú, and yet became Wú’s downfall, so all the more for the larger! In the past Qín only obtained Guānxī, and yet swallowed Six States. Now the rebels have already obtained Qín, Zhào, Hán, Wèi, Yān, Qí, nine provinces of territory, the territory is all villages of war horses and marshes of soldiers. The present’s Wèi compared to the past’s Qín, the territory is several times greater; Wú and Shǔ compared to the past’s Six States, cannot even reach half of them. However, now that we are able to match them, is only because in [Cáo] Cāo’s time their troops were numerous, reaching to the present they were used up, and the later born are not yet all grown up; this is exactly the time when the rebels are declined and few and not yet flourishing. Additionally, Sīmǎ Yì formerly executed Wáng Líng, and following that he fell and died, his son is young and weak, but controls their great appointment, and even if they have servicemen wise in strategy, they are not yet able to employ them. Right now, to attack them, is the opportunity of their endangerment. The sagely man eager in chasing the times, truly is speaking of today. If we follow the feelings of the masses, and harbor plans to steal ease, believing the barrier of the Cháng Jiāng can be passed down through the generations, and do not discuss Wèi’s beginning to end, and so today then think little of posterity; this is why I ever sigh. From the ancients onward, importance is in growing population, at present the rebel population yearly and monthly grows, but as they are still small, they cannot yet be employed. If again ten and some years pass, their forces will certain be several times those of today, and our country’s lands of stalwart troops, all are already empty and used up, only on seeing these forces can matters be settled. If we do not early employ them, and sitting still to old age, after ten and some years pass, overall, they will have decreased by half, and looking at the younger relative counts they are not enough to discuss. If the rebel forces increase one-fold, and our troops decrease by half, even if we were to have Yī or Guǎn plan against it, they could not do anything. Now those that do not understand far-reaching considerations, certainly will believe these words to be pedantic. For disaster and trouble to have not yet arrived and to yet be ponder worries and anxieties, this assuredly is what everyone considers pedantic. Reaching to when trouble arrives, afterward knocking forehead, even if there are the wise, they also are not able to plan. This then is what the ancients to now have resented, not only for one time. In the past Wú first believed Wǔ Yuán to be pedantic, and therefore trouble arrived and it could not be saved. Liú Jǐngshēng could not consider beyond ten years, and therefore had nothing to bequeath to his descendants. Now I [Zhūgě] Kè am without the talent of ministers, and yet received Great Wú’s appointment of Xiāo and Huò, my wisdom is with the masses the same, my thinking does not understand the distant, and if I do not today for the state expand the borders, in a turn I will grow old, and the enemy will become stronger, and even if I wished to cut my throat to apologize for faults, how would it repair anything? Now I hear of the masses some believe the Hundred Surnames are still poor, and wish to attend to rest, this is to not understand and consider the great peril, and love the small diligence. In the past Hàn zǔ by fortune already himself possessed the Three Qín’s lands, why did he not close the passes and defend rough terrain, to amuse himself, but emptied it to go out to attack Chǔ, his body being wounded and bruised, in the armor growing lice, officers and soldiers loathe distress and bitterness, how was it that they enjoyed blades and forgot security and peace? It was only the consideration that in the long term they could not both survive! Every time reading how Jīng Hán advised Gōngsūn Shù with plans to seize initiative, and recently seeing my father’s younger brother memorializing explanation of plans to with the rebels contend and fight, never once have I not sighed. Morning to night tossing and turning, my thoughts are like this, and therefore I slightly explain my humble speech, to reach to the ends of you various gentlemen. If in one morning I fall and die, my ambitions and plans not established, may you honored sirs have the later generations know of my worries, and think of posterity.”
The masses all believed [Zhūgě] Kè in this discussion wished to certainly enact his words, and therefore none dared again criticize.
Dānyáng Administrator Niè Yǒu previously with [Zhūgě] Kè was friendly, wrote letter to remonstrate [Zhūgě] Kè that said: “The greatly departed Imperial Emperor originally had plan to restrain Dōngguān, the plan was not yet enacted. Now your excellency assists and supports a great enterprise, achieved the Former Emperor’s ambition, the bandits from afar delivered themselves, the officers and soldiers depend on authority and virtue, send out themselves to enact orders, in one morning had extraordinary achievement, how is it not the good fortune of the Ancestral Temples Divine Spirits State Altars? It is appropriate to for a time organize troops and care for and sharpen, watch for quarrel and move. Now to ride on this momentum, wishing to again greatly set out, the natural timing cannot yet be. To yet negligently enact excessive intentions, my private heart cannot be at ease.” After [Zhūgě] Kè wrote his discussion, he made a letter to reply to [Niè] Yǒu that said: “Though you sir have natural reasoning, however you have not yet seen the great calculations. Carefully examining this discussion, can open your understanding.” Therefore, he opposed the masses and set out the army, greatly sending provinces and prefectures forces of two hundred thousand, the Hundred Surnames were disturbed, and he began to lose the people’s hearts.
[Zhūgě] Kè’s intentions were to wish to shine authority in Huáinán, drive on and plunder the people, but of the various officers some criticized this saying: “Now leading the army to deeply penetrate, the people of the borders, will certainly lead one another to keep distant and away, and one fears the troops will toil and yet the achievements will be few, it is not as good at stopping to besiege Xīnchéng, Xīnchéng will be destitute, rescue will certainly arrive, arriving and plotting against them, then they can be greatly captured.” [Zhūgě] Kè followed this plan, turning the army to return to besiege Xīnchéng. Attacked and defended for continuous moons, the city was not taken. The soldiers were weary, and because of hot weather drank water, had dysentery and swelling, the ill were over half, the dead and injured filled the ground. The various camp officials daily reported the ill were increasing, [Zhūgě] Kè believed it deception, wished to behead them, and from this none dared report. [Zhūgě] Kè inside thought the plan had failed, and was ashamed the city was not taken, anger showing in his expression. General Zhū Yì had a quarrel, [Zhūgě] Kè was angry, and immediately took away his troops. Commandant Cài Lín repeatedly laid out army plans, [Zhūgě] Kè would not use them, and he whipped horse to flee to Wèi. Wèi knew the battlefield soldiers were ill, and so advanced rescue troops. [Zhūgě] Kè led the army and left. The soldiers injured and ill drifted and dragged on the roads, some falling into pits and ravines, some met with plunder and capture, the living and dead were angered and pained, large and small crying and sighing, but [Zhūgě] Kè was quiet and at ease. He went out to station a Jiāng’s bank for one moon, plotting to raise farms at Xúnyáng, Imperial Order summoned him continuously, and gradually then he returned the forces. Because of this the masses lost hope, and complaints and insults rose.
Autumn Eighth Moon the army returned, lining up the troops to guide and follow, returning to enter the Office buildings. At once summoned Internal Documents Director Sūn Hēi, and in stern voice said: “How dare you all recklessly make Imperial Orders repeatedly?” [Sūn] Hēi was frightened and asked to leave, and claiming illness returned home. After [Zhūgě] Kè went on campaign, the magistrates and chiefs and office managers that the departments had memorialized to install, were completely dismissed and again selected, to increase the governance of authority and strictness, many were punished and reprimanded, and of those that were about to advance to meet, none were not afraid and stopped. Also, he changed the Night Guard, employing his close and intimates, and again ordered the troops to be strict, wishing to head toward Qīng and Xú.
Sūn Jùn because the people had many complaints, the masses had many resentments, framed [Zhūgě] Kè as wishing to rebel, with [Sūn] Liàng plotted, and set liquor to invite [Zhūgě] Kè. The night before [Zhūgě] Kè was about to meet, he was agitated and disturbed, through the night he did not sleep. The next day when about to wash and rinse, he smelled in the water a putrid odor, the servants gave him his clothes, the clothes also had an odor. [Zhūgě] Kè was bewildered by this, changed clothes and changed water, the odor was as before, his thoughts were melancholy and displeased. When he finished and hastened to go out, his dog bit and pulled his clothes, [Zhūgě] Kè said: “The dog does not wish me to go?” He returned and sat, quickly then again rose, the dog again bit his clothes, [Zhūgě] Kè ordered the attendants to walk the dog, and therefore ascended carriage.
Previously, when [Zhūgě] Kè was about to campaign against Huáinán, there was a filial son wearing mourning hemp clothes that entered the side door, the attendants reported him, and ordered him outside to interrogate him, the filial son said: “I unconsciously entered.” At the time inside and outside were on guard, and also all had not seen him, the masses were all confused by this. After [Zhūgě Kè] went out, in the reception hall where he sat the pillars broke. Since Xīnchéng going out to station Dōngxīng, there was a white rainbow sighted at his boat, and when he returned to pay respects at Jiǎnglíng, a white rainbow again wrapped around his carriage.
When about to meet, he stationed his chariot at the Palace gates, [Sūn] Jùn already hid troops in the curtains, feared [Zhūgě] Kè would not timely enter and the matter had leaked, personally went out to meet [Zhūgě] Kè and said: “If your honored body is not at ease, you can wait at the rear, and I [Sūn] Jùn will go report to the ruler above,” wishing to test [Zhūgě] Kè. [Zhūgě] Kè replied saying: “With my own strength I can enter.” Cavalier Regular Attendants Zhāng Yuē, Zhū Ēn and others secretly wrote letter to [Zhūgě] Kè saying: “Today’s set up is not ordinary, one suspects there is another reason.” [Zhūgě] Kè examined the letter and left. He had not yet gone out the gates, when he met Minister of Ceremonies Téng Yìn, [Zhūgě] Kè said: “Suddenly my stomach hearts, and I cannot enter.” [Téng] Yìn did not know of [Sūn] Jùn’s secret plan, and said to [Zhūgě] Kè: “You have come and are going without yet meeting, now the Ascended has set up liquor to invite you, you are already at the gates, you should put in the strength to enter.” [Zhūgě] Kè hesitated and returned, with sword and shoe ascending the Palace Hall, apologizing to [Sūn] Liàng, and returned to sit. The liquor was set out, [Zhūgě] Kè was suspicious and did not yet drink, [Sūn] Jùn therefore said: “If your illness is not yet recovered, you should regularly drink drugged liquor, and can yourself take it.” [Zhūgě] Kè’s thoughts were then settled, and he separately drank the offered liquor. (1) The liquor had several times been passed, [Sūn] Liàng returned inside. [Sūn] Jùn rose to go to the lavatory, took off his long robes, put on short clothes, and went out saying: “There is Imperial Order to arrest Zhūgě Kè!” (2) [Zhūgě] Kè was alarmed and rose, was about to draw his sword, but [Sūn] Jùn’s blade already came down. Zhāng Yuē from the side chopped at [Sūn] Jùn, cutting and injuring his left hand, [Sūn] Jùn in answer personally chopped at [Zhāng] Yuē, cutting off the right arm. The Martial Guard soldiers all hurried up the Hall, [Sūn] Jùn said: “The one to arrest was [Zhūgě] Kè, now he is already dead.” All were ordered to sheathe blades, and then clean the ground and again drink. (3)
- (1) Wú lì states: Zhāng Yuē and Zhū Ēn secretly memorialized to report to [Zhūgě] Kè, [Zhūgě] Kè showed this to Téng Yìn, [Téng] Yìn advised [Zhūgě] Kè to return, [Zhūgě] Kè said: “[Sūn] Jùn the little fellow has what ability to do evil? I only fear because of drink he will hit.” Therefore he with drug liquor entered.
- Sūn Shèng’s Píng states: [Zhūgě] Kè with [Téng] Yìn were very close, [Zhāng] Yuē and the rest were distant, it was an unusual great affair, in the situation he should show it to [Téng] Yìn, together plan safety and danger. However, [Zhūgě] Kè by nature was domineering, and formerly had ridiculed [Sūn] Jùn, himself did not believe it, and therefore entered, how could [Téng] Yìn’s little advice then lead him to recklessly face disaster? Wú lì is superior.
- (2) Wú lù states: [Sūn] Jùn carrying saber claimed Imperial Order to arrest [Zhūgě] Kè, [Sūn] Liàng stood up and said: “Not my doing! Not my doing!” The wet nurse led [Sūn] Liàng back inside.
- Wú lì says [Sūn] Jùn first led [Sūn] Liàng inside, and afterward went out to claim Imperial Order. It is with the base biography the same. Your Servant Sōngzhī believes [Sūn] Jùn in wishing to claim Imperial Order, should be as in the base biography and Wú lì, it could not have been like Wú lù
- (3) Sōushén jì states: [Zhūgě] Kè had entered and had already been killed, his wife was at home, and said to a maidservant: “Why do you smell like blood?” The maidservant said: “I don’t.” After a while it became all the stronger, and she again asked the maidservant: “Your eyes in looking out, why is it out of the ordinary?” The maidservant stumbled and jumped up, head striking a pillar, waving arms and gnashing teeth and saying: “Excellency Zhūgě has been killed by Sūn Jùn!” Therefore, the large and small knew [Zhūgě] Kè had died, and officials and troops quickly arrived.
- Zhìlín states: Previously [Sūn] Quán was critically ill, and summoned [Zhūgě] Kè to assist the government. When about to go, Marshal-in-Chief Lǚ Dài warned him saying: “The world will soon have many troubles, you in every affair must think ten times.” [Zhūgě] Kè replied saying: “In the past Jì Wén-zǐ thought three times and afterward acted, the master said: ‘Thinking two times is enough,’ now you tell me to think ten times, it is to mean that I am inferior.” [Lǚ] Dài was without a reply. At the time all said he misspoke.
- Yú Xǐ states: To be entrusted with Heaven’s Under is utmost severity, to as a servant of men enact a ruler’s authority is utmost difficulty. To combine these two and manage all affairs, those able to succeed in this are few. If it is not one who can choose and accept out of various plans, inquiring after the wood cutters, empty oneself in receiving others, always feel what is not sufficient, then accomplishment and fame are not achieved, merits and exploits are not established. Moreover, Lord Lǚ [Dài] was the state’s foremost elder, wise in judgement and his understanding far-reaching, but to with thinking ten times warn him, and then to for revealing inferiority be met with refusal, this is [Zhūgě Kè] Yuánxùn’s negligence, and so ingenuity and wisdom are not the same. If he had followed the meaning of thinking ten times, widely consulting the present time’s affairs, listening for the good as quickly as thunder, following remonstration as eagerly as wind, how could he lose his head in the palace halls, and die by a vicious petty man’s blade? The time’s people wondered at his outstanding debating, its speed could be admired, but to sneer at Lord Lǚ [Dài] being without reply as vulgarity, to not think of the considerations of safety and danger from beginning to end, is to rejoice in the flourishing of spring flowers, and forget the sweet tastes of autumn fruits. In the past the Wèi men attacked Shǔ, the Shǔ men resisted them, the elite and strict set out, the Six Armies like clouds disturbed, soldiers and horses wearing armor, feathered dispatches continuously moving, Fèi Yī at the time was the primary commander, carrying the state’s heavy burden, but with Lái Mǐn played encircling chess, his thoughts without weariness. [Lái] Mǐn on taking leave said to [Fèi] Yī: “You certainly are one able to handle the rebels,” speaking of his understanding of strategy and inner determination, his appearance without worried expression. Kuàng Chángníng believed a gentleman in overlooking affairs and fearing, is one is good at planning and succeeds. Moreover, Shǔ was a small state, but was about to face a large enemy, what it planned and what it plotted, was only defending or battling, how could one boast of oneself with abundance, and be at ease without sorrow? This then was the lenience and simplicity of his character, to not guard against the minute, and in the end he by the surrendered man Guō Xiū was harmed, how was it not an omen seen there and disaster completed here? In the past one heard of Chángníng’s evaluation of [Fèi Yī] Wénwěi, now seeing [Zhūgě Kè] Yuánxùn’s opposition to Lord Lǚ [Dài], the two matters in form are the same, and therefore combining and recording them, can be a mirror for warning to posterity, to forever for the world to reflect.
Before this, a child’s rhyme said: “Zhūgě Kè, reed mat robed and bamboo splint gōuluò, why seek the Chéngzǐ Hé?” Chéngzǐ Hé reversed says Shízǐ Gāng. Jiànyè’s south had a mountain ridge, named Shízǐ Gāng [‘Stone Ridge’], where burials were made. Gōuluò is a buckle ornament leather belt, at the time called a Gōuluò belt. [Zhūgě] Kè indeed had his body wrapped in a reed mat with bamboo splints binding the waist, and thrown into this ridge.
- (1) Wú lù states: [Zhūgě] Kè at the time was aged fifty-one.
[Zhūgě] Kè’s eldest son Chuò was a Cavalry Commandant, in connection to the King of Lǔ affair, [Sūn] Quán sent him to [Zhūgě] Kè, ordering him to instruct him, [Zhūgě] Kè poisoned and killed him. Middle son [Zhūgě] Sǒng was Cháng River Colonel. Youngest son [Zhūgě] Jiàn was Infantry Colonel. Hearing that [Zhūgě] Kè was executed, they with a carriage brought their mother and fled. [Sūn] Jùn sent cavalry commander Liú Chéng to pursue and beheaded [Zhūgě] Sǒng at Báidū. [Zhūgě] Jiàn was able to cross the Jiāng, wishing to flee north to Wèi, went several tens of lǐ, and was by pursuing troops seized. [Zhūgě] Kè’s sister’s sons, capital village Lord Zhāng Zhèn and Regular Attendant Zhū Ēn and others, were all exterminated three clans.
Previously, [Zhūgě] Sǒng had repeatedly remonstrated [Zhūgě] Kè, [Zhūgě] Kè did not listen, and he was always apprehensive of disaster. When he died, Línhuái’s Zāng Jūn memorialized begging to collect and bury [Zhūgě] Kè saying:
“I your servant have heard that shaking lightning and thunder arousing, does not end in one morning; great wind charging and blowing, rarely has the utmost sun. However, yet it continues in cloud and rain, and therefore moistens things, and therefore then the authority of Heaven and Earth, cannot continue for days and drench through time, and the anger of Emperors and kings, should not be complete in feeling and exhaustive in intention. As I your servant am mad and foolish, not knowing to avoid taboos, I dare brave punishments of destruction, and invite the meeting of wind and rain. In prostration remembering that former Grand Tutor Zhūgě Kè carried on his ancestor’s flowing intensity, his various uncles and father encountered the exhaustion of Hàn’s blessings, the Nine Provinces were set in a tripod, divided into three sides, and together they walked in loyalty and diligence, glorifying the era’s enterprise. Then reaching to [Zhūgě] Kè, born and grown in the state, raised and educated by sagely cultivation, so that his name was outstanding and great, he served in affairs for accumulated ages, a disastrous heart never sprouted, the Former Emperor entrusted him with the appointment of Yī and Zhōu, assigned all affairs. [Zhūgě] Kè by nature was stubborn, esteemed himself and disparaged others, could not venerate and defend the Divine Vessels, quiet and calm the country’s interior; raising achievement and deploying armies, in not even a year three times setting out, in vain spending soldiers and people, emptying and exhausting the government stores, usurping control of the state, removing and changing by his wishes, wielding punishments to move the masses, large and small holding breath. Attendant Internal and Martial Guard General capital village Lord [Sūn Jùn] also received the Former Emperor’s Imperial Order of entrustment, saw his treachery and oppressiveness, day and moon growing more extreme, feared it was about to sweep through and shake the cosmos, overturn and endanger the State Altars, exerted his authority and anger, vitality piercing the clear sky, planned and thought first of the divine intelligences, wisdom and valor a hundred that of Jīng [Kē] and Niè [Zhèng], personally wielding bare blade, beheading [Zhūgě] Kè in the Palace Hall, the merit exceeding Zhū Xū, the achievement surpassing Dōngmóu. The state’s foremost harm in one morning was greatly removed, sending the head to display it, the Six Armies leapt in joy, the sun and moon, the sun and moon increased in light, wind and dust did not move, this truly was the Ancestral Temple’s divine spirits, Heaven and Men together verifying. Now [Zhūgě] Kè father and his sons of three heads are hung in the market for accumulated days, those that have seen are several tens of thousands, the sounds of curses becoming wind. The state’s great punishment, none have not been shaken, the grown and old and children and young, none have not completely seen it. Human feelings in grading, when joy is utmost then sorrow appears, observing that [Zhūgě] Kè’s nobility was flourishing, of the world none did not with him share in treachery, he himself occupied the terrace as assistant, at central for successive years, now that he has been exterminated, he is no different from birds and beasts, when the watching finishes then feelings will reverse, can they not but be sorrowful and pity? Moreover, a man who has already died, is of the same domain as soil and dirt, chiseling and digging and copping and stabbing, is to add nothing. May the Sagely Court examine the nature of heaven and earth, and have anger not extend for long, and have his townsmen or former officials and people, collect with common soldier uniform, and endow with three cùn coffin. In the past Xiàng Jí received land for burial, Hán Xìn obtained grace of body collection, this then was how Hàn Gāo [Liú Bāng] enacted the acclaim of the divine intelligences. Considering that Your Majesty is kind as the Three August’s benevolence, pass down sorrowful and pitying heart, to have the state’s generosity be applied to the bones of a dead criminal, to have it again receive unending grace, to thus raise acclaim to distant regions, stop the warnings of Heaven’s Under, would it not be grand? In the past Luán Bù violated order for Péng Yuè, I your servant humbly regret this, that he did not first request from the Ruler Above, and seized reputation by private feeling, that he was not executed, truly was only by fortune. Now I your servant do not dare announce my foolish feelings, to reveal Heaven’s grace, and cautiously submit hand-written letter, to presumptuously explain report, and beg the Sagely Court to pity and investigate.”
Therefore [Sūn] Liàng and [Sūn] Jùn agreed to have [Zhūgě] Kè’s former subordinates collect for burial, and therefore sought it from Shízǐ gāng.
- (1) Jiāngbiǎo zhuàn states: The Court ministers had some request to for [Zhūgě] Kè establish a stele to engrave his achievements, Academic Scholar Shèng Chōng believed it was not appropriate. Sūn Xiū said: “In the height of summer he set out the army, the soldiers were wounded and injured, without any measure of achievement, so he cannot be said to be able; he received appointment to be entrusted with the orpham, but died at a petty fellow’s hand, so he cannot be called wise. [Shèng] Chōng’s commentary is correct.” Therefore, it was put to rest.
Previously when [Zhūgě] Kè retreated and the army returned, Niè Yǒu knew he was about to be destroyed, and in a letter to Téng Yìn said: “When the man was strong and flourishing, he could pull out rivers and mountains. In one morning, he is lean and reduced, human feelings are all ended, speaking of it is sorrowful.” After [Zhūgě] Kè was executed, Sūn Jùn feared [Niè] Yǒu, and wished to appoint him Yùlín Administrator, [Niè] Yǒu fell ill and in anxiety died. [Niè] Yǒu appellation Wéntì was a Yùzhāng man. (1)
- (1) Wú lù states: [Niè] Yǒu had ability in speech, when young became a county official. When Yú Fān was exiled to Jiāo province, the county magistrate sent [Niè] Yǒu to send him off, [Yú] Fān with him spoke and was impressed with him, and wrote a letter to Yùzhāng Administrator Xiè Fěi, ordering him to be a Merit Officer. The prefecture at the time had a Merit Officer, [Xiè] Fěi met him, and asked: “County official Niè Yǒu can undertake what office?” Replied saying: “This man in the county is only a minor official, but he can be a Merit Officer’s assistant.” [Xiè] Fěi said: “Commentators believe he should be a Merit Officer; you can vacate it.” Thus, employed him as a Merit Officer. He was sent to the capital, Zhūgě Kè befriended him. At the time discussers said that Gù [Tán] Zǐhēi and [Gù Chéng] Zǐzhí could not have anyone else come among them [in Zhūgě Kè’s circle of friends], [Zhūgě] Kè wished to have [Niè] Yǒu join among them, and because of this he became famed. Later he became a military officer, suppressed Dān’ěr, returned and was appointed Dānyáng Administrator, aged thirty-three he died.