Fear seized them in its grip and they were silent, all but Yuan

Fear seized them in its grip and they were silent, all but Yuan Shao who said,

“The Emperor was innocent of any fault,

and to set him aside in favor of a commoner was rebellion and nothing else!”

“the empire is in my hands!” cried Dong Zhuo.

“When I choose to do this thing, who will dare to say nay?

Think you my sword lacks an edge?”

  “If your sword is sharp, mine is never blunt!”

said Yuan Shao as his sword FLASHed out of the sheath.

  the two men stood face to face amid the feasters.

Dong Zhuo was on the point of slaying Yuan Shao, but Li Ru checked him, saying, “You must not kill rashly while the business hangs in the balance.”

Yuan Shao, his sword still unsheathed, left the assembly. He hung up the seals of his office at the east gate and went to Jizhou Region.

Dong Zhuo said to Imperial Guardian Yuan Wei, “Your nephew behaved improperly, but I pardon him for your sake. What think you of my scheme?”

“What you think is right,” was the reply.

“If anyone opposes the GREat scheme, he will be dealt with by military law!” said Dong Zhuo.

the ministers, thoroughly dreaded, promised obedience, and the feast came to an end.

Dong Zhuo asked Counselor Zhou Bi and Commander Wu Qiong what they thought of the flight of Yuan Shao.

Zhou Bi said, “He left in a state of GREat anger. In such a state of excitement much harm may ensue to the present state of affairs, especially as the Yuan family have been noted for their high offices for four generations, and their proteges and dependents are everywhere. If they assemble bold people and call up their clients,

all the valiant warriors will be in arms,

and the east region of the Huashang Mountains

will be lost. You had better pardon Yuan Shao and give him a

post. He will be glad at being forgiven and will do no harm.”

www.bailuhu.net

As a reply Lu Bu made one cut, and Ding Yuan’s head fell to the earth.

As a reply Lu Bu made one cut, and Ding Yuan’s head fell to the earth.

then Lu Bu called the attendants and said,

“He was an unjust man, and I have slain him.

Let those who back me stay. The others may depart.”

Most ran away. Next day,

with the head of the murdered man as his gift,

Lu Bu betook himself to Li Su,

who led him to Dong Zhuo. Dong Zhuo received him with a warm welcome and had wine set before him.

“Your coming is welcome as the gentle dew to the parched grass,” said Dong Zhuo.

  Lu Bu made Dong Zhuo seat himself and then made an obeisance, saying, “Pray let me bow to you as my adopted father!”

  Dong Zhuo gave his newly won ally gold armor and silken robes and spread the feast of welcome. They then separated.

  thence Dong Zhuo’s power and influence increased rapidly. He gave the lordship of Hu (an ancient state) and the rank Commander of the Left Army to his brother Dong Min. He appointed Lu Bu Lord of Luoyang, Commander of Capital District, and Cavalry Commander. Dong Zhuo made himself Minister of Works, Grand Commander, and Commander of the Front Army.

the adviser Li Ru never ceased from urging him to carry out the design of deposing the young Emperor.

the now all-powerful Dong Zhuo prepared a banquet in the capital at which all the officers of state were guests. He also bade Lu Bu post a company of armed men right and left ready for action. The feast began and several courses were served with nothing to distinguish that banquet from any other.

then suddenly the host arose and drew his sword, saying,

“He who is above us being weak and irresolute is unfit for

the duties of his high place. Wherefore I, as of old did Yi Yin

and Huo Guang, will set aside this Emperor giving him the title

of Prince of Hongnong, and I will place on the throne the present

Prince of Chenliu. And those who do

not support me will suffer death.”

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“If I could only find a master to serve,” said Lu Bu.

“If I could only find a master to serve,” said Lu Bu.

“the clever bird chooses the branch whereon to perch;

the wise servant selects the master to serve.

Seize the chance when it comes, for repentance ever comes too late.”

“Now you are in the government.

Who think you is really the bravest of all?”, asked Lu Bu.

“I despise the whole lot except Dong Zhuo.

He is one who respects wisdom and reveres scholarship;

he is discriminating in his rewards and punishments. Surely he is destined to be a really GREat man.”

  Lu Bu said, “I wish that I could serve him, but there is no way, I fear.”

  then Li Su produced his pearls and gold and the jeweled belt and laid them out before his host.

  “What is this? What does it mean?” said Lu Bu.

  “Send away the attendants,” requested Li Su. And he went on,

“Dong Zhuo has long respected your bravery and sent these by my hand. Red Hare was also from him.”

  “But, if he loves me like this, what can I do in return?”

Li Su said, “If a stupid fellow like me can be a general in the Imperial Tiger Army, it is impossible to say what honors await you.”

“I am sorry I can offer him no service worth mentioning.”

Li Su said, “there is one service you can do, and an extremely easy one to perform; but you would not render that.”

Lu Bu pondered long in silence, then he said, “I might slay Ding Yuan and bring over his soldiers to Dong Zhuo’s side. What think you of that?”

“If you would do that, there could be no GREater service. But such a thing must be done quickly.”

And Lu Bu promised his friend that he would do the deed and come over on the morrow.

So Li Su took his leave. That very night, at the second watch, Lu Bu entered, sword in hand, into his master’s tent. He found Ding Yuan reading by the light of a solitary candle.

Seeing who came in, Ding Yuan said,

“My son, what is afoot?”

“I am a bold hero,” said Lu Bu.

“Do not think I am willing to be a son of yours!”

“Why this change, Lu Bu?”

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When I learned you were a strong supporter of the Throne,

“How long it is since we last saw each other!”

replied Lu Bu, bowing in return.

“And where are you now?”

“I am a general in the Imperial Tiger Army.

When I learned you were a strong supporter of the Throne,

I could not say how I rejoiced.

I have come now to present to you a really fine horse,

a five-hundred-mile-a-day horse,

one that crosses rivers and goes up mountains as if they

were the level plain. Its name is Red Hare.

It will be a fitting aid to your valor.”

Lu Bu bade his guards lead out the horse.

It was of a uniform color like glowing-sun

red——not a hair of another color.

It measured ten spans from head to tail and from

hoof to neck eight spans. When it neighed,

the sound filled the empyrean and shook the ocean.

[hip, hip, hip] Mark ye the steed swift and tireless,

see the dust, spurned by his hoofs, rising in clouds,

Now it swims the river, anon climbs the hill,

rending the purple mist asunder,

Scornful it breaks the rein, shakes from its head

the jeweled bridle, It is as a fiery

dragon descending from the highest heaven. [yip, yip, yip]

  Lu Bu was delighted with the horse and said,

“What return can I hope to make for such a creature?”

“What return can I hope for?

I came to you out of a sense of what is right,” replied Li Su.

Wine was brought in and they drank.

“We have seen very little of each other,

but I am constantly meeting your honorable father,” said Li Su.

“You are drunk,” said Lu Bu. “My father has been dead for years.”

“Not so; I spoke of Ding Yuan, the man of the day.”

Lu Bu started. “Yes, I am with him, but only because I can do no better.”

“Sir, your talent is higher than the heavens, deeper than the seas.

Who in all the world does not bow before your name?

Fame and riches and honors are yours for the taking.

And you say you can do no better than remain a subordinate!”

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He will certainly abandon Ding Yuan’s service for yours.”

Dong Zhuo could not reply for Lu Bu,

eager for the fight, rode straight at him.

Dong Zhuo fled and Ding Yuan’s army came on.

The battle went in Ding Yuan’s favor,

and the beaten troops retired ten miles and made another camp.

Here Dong Zhuo called his officers to a council.

“This Lu Bu is a marvel,” said Dong Zhuo.

“If he were only on my side, I would defy the whole world!”

At this a man advanced saying, “Be content, O my lord!

I am a fellow villager of his and know him well:

He is valorous, but not crafty; he will let go principles,

when he sees advantages. With this little,

blarneying tongue of mine, I can persuade him to put up his hands and come over to your side.”

Dong Zhuo was delighted and gazed admiringly at the speaker.

It was Li Su, a general in the Imperial Tiger Army.

“What arguments will you use with him?” asked Dong Zhuo.

“You have a fine horse, Red Hare, one of the best ever bred.

I must have this steed, and gold and pearls to win his heart.

Then will I go and persuade him.

He will certainly abandon Ding Yuan’s service for yours.”

“What think you?” said Dong Zhuo to his adviser Li Ru.

“One cannot grudge a horse to win an empire,” was the reply.

So they gave Li Su what he demanded——a thousand ounces of gold,

ten strings of beautiful pearls, a jeweled belt,

and Red Hare——and these accompanied Li Su on his visit to his fellow villager.

Li Su reached the camp and said to the guard,

“Please tell General Lu Bu that a very old friend has come to visit him.”

He was admitted forthwith.

“Worthy brother, have you been well since we last met?”

GREeted Li Su while bowing.

“How long it is since we last saw each other!”

replied Lu Bu, bowing in return. “And where are you now?”

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“Minister Lu Zhi is the cynosure of the whole country,

Dong Zhuo angrily drew his sword to slay

the bold Lu Zhi, but two other officials remonstrated.

“Minister Lu Zhi is the cynosure of the whole country,

the bold Lu Zhi, but two other officials remonstrated.

“Minister Lu Zhi is the cynosure of the whole country,

and his violent death would stir the hearts of all people!”

said Court Counselors Cai Yong and Peng Bo.

Dong Zhuo then stayed his hand.

then said Wang Yun, “A GREat question like the

deposition and substitution of emperors is not

one to be decided after a wine party.

Let it be put off till another time.”

So the guests dispersed. Dong Zhuo stood at the gate

with drawn sword watching them depart. Standing thus,

Dong Zhuo noticed a spearman galloping to and fro on

a fiery steed and asked Li Ru who that was.

“That is Lu Bu, the adopted son of Ding Yuan.

You must keep out of his way, my lord.”

Dong Zhuo went inside the gate so that he

could not be seen. But next day they reported

to him that Ding Yuan had come out of the city

with a small army and was challenging to a battle.

Dong Zhuo, with his army, went forth to accept

the challenge. And the two armies were drawn up in proper array.

Lu Bu was a conspicuous figure in the forefront.

His hair was arranged under a handsome headdress

of gold, and he had donned a embroidered

thousand-flower fighting robe, a pheasant-tailed helmet,

and breast plate, and round his waist was a gleaming jade

belt with a lion’s head clasp.

With spear set he rode close behind his master Ding Yuan.

Ding Yuan, riding forth, pointing his finger at Dong Zhuo,

began to revile him.

“Unhappy indeed was this state when the eunuchs

became so powerful that the people were as if trodden

into the mire under their feet. Now you, devoid of the

least merit, dare to talk of deposing the rightful

emperor and setting up another.

This is to desire rebellion and no less!”

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the founder of Shang Dynasty. After King Tang’s death, Yi Yin

 

“But this is the banquet chamber,

and state affairs should be left outside.

The matters can be fully discussed tomorrow.”

His fellow guests persuaded Ding Yuan to leave,

and after his departure Dong Zhuo said,

“Is what I said just and reasonable?”

[e] Yi Yin was was helper and prime minister of King Tang,

the founder of Shang Dynasty. After King Tang’s death, Yi Yin

served his sons and grandson. Soon after Tai Jia,

King Tang’s grandson, ascended the throne, he committed many faults,

and Yi Yin, acting as regent, exiled Tai Jia to Tong Palace——the burial place of King

Tang. After three years Yi Yin returned him the throne.

Tai Jia eventually became an enlightened emperor.

Shang Dynasty lasted for 650 years (BC 1700-1050)。

It was this act of Yi Yin rather than his services

in building up an empire that has made him immortal.

Whether he did right in temporarily dethroning

the king was open to question, until a final verdict was rendered

by Mencius who thought that his ends amply justified his means.

This historical event attests the extent of the

power exercised by a prime minister in those days. ……

[e] Huo Guang (BC ?-68) a general and regent of Han.

After Emperor Wu died, Huo Guang became regent to

three successive emperors, and the second one had been

the Prince of Changyi, who was on the throne for only

twenty-seven days. Huo Guang had the Prince of Changyi

declared unfit to rule and deposed him. Even though Huo Guang

contributed much to the empire’s stabilization,

after he died, he was distanced by the

emperor and most of his family

were executed for conspiracy charges. ……

“You are mistaken, Illustrious Sir,” said Lu Zhi.

“Of old Emperor Tai Jia of the Shang Dynasty was

unenlightened. Wherefore the sage Minister Yi Yin*

immured him in the Tong Palace till he reformed.

Later the Prince of Changyi ascended the throne,

and in twenty-seven days he committed more than

three thousand categorical faults. Wherefore Regent

Marshal Huo Guang* declared in the ancestral temple

that the Prince of Changyi was deposed. Our present

Emperor is young, but he is intelligent, benevolent,

and wise. He has not committed a single fault. You, Sir,

are an imperial protector of a frontier region and not a

metropolitan official and have had no experience in state

administration. Neither have you the

pure intentions of Yi Yin and Huo Guang

which qualified their actions. The Teacher said:

‘Only with Yi Yin’s purpose can one act like Yi Yin.

Otherwise, such a deed is treason.’”

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So spoke Li Ru, and the words pleased Dong Zhuo mightily.

So spoke Li Ru, and the words pleased Dong Zhuo mightily.

So the next day Dong Zhuo spread a feast and invited many

guests. As all the officers went in terror of him, no one

dared be absent. Dong Zhuo himself rode up to the garden

last of all and took his place with his sword girded on.

When the wine had gone round several times,

Dong Zhuo stopped the service and the music and began to speak.

“I have something to say. Listen quietly all of you!”

All turned towards him.

“the emperor is lord of all.

If he lacks dignity and behaves in an

unseemly manner, he is no fitting inheritor

of the ancestral prerogatives. He who is now on

the throne is a weakling, inferior to the Prince of Chenliu in

intelligence and love of learning. The Prince is in every way

fitted for the throne. I desire to depose the

Emperor and set up the Prince in his place. What think you?”

the assembly listened in perfect silence,

none daring at first to utter a word of dissent.

But one dared; for suddenly a guest stood up

in his place, smote the table and cried.

“No! No! Who are you that you dare utter such bold words?

the Emperor is son of the late Emperor and has done no wrong.

Why then should he be deposed? Are you a rebel?”

the speaker was Ding Yuan, Imperial Protector of Bingzhou.

Dong Zhuo glared at Ding Yuan, roaring,

“there is life for those who are with me,

death for those against!”

Dong Zhuo drew his sword and made for the

objector. But the watchful Li Ru had noticed

standing behind Ding Yuan a particularly dangerous

looking henchman of his, who was now

handling his halberd threateningly,

and whose eyes were blazing with anger.

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Bao Xin said no more but he left the capital and retired

Dong Zhuo hastily dismounted and made

obeisance on the left of the road.

Then Prince Xian spoke graciously to him.

From first to last the Prince had carried himself most

perfectly so that Dong Zhuo in his heart admired his

behavior, and then arose the first desire to

set aside the Emperor in favor of the Prince of Chenliu.

they reached the Palace the same day,

and there was an affecting interview with Empress He.

But when they had restored order in the Palace,

the Imperial Hereditary Seal, the special seal of the Emperor, was missing.

Dong Zhuo camped without the walls,

but every day he was to be seen in the streets

with an escort of mailed soldiers so

that the common people were in a state of

constant trepidation. He also went in and out

of the Palace careless of all the rules of propriety.

Commander of the Rear Army Bao Xin spoke of

Dong Zhuo’s behavior to Yuan Shao, saying,

“This man harbors some evil design and should be removed.”

“Nothing can he done till the government is more settled,”

said Yuan Shao.

then Bao Xin saw Minister of the Interior

Wang Yun and asked what he thought.

“Let us talk it over,” was the reply.

Bao Xin said no more but he left the capital and retired to the Taishan Mountains.

Dong Zhuo induced the soldiers of the two brothers He Jin and

He Miao to join his command, and privately spoke to his adviser Li Ru about deposing the Emperor in favor of the Prince of Chenliu.

“the government is really without a head.

There can be no better time than this to carry out your plan.

Delay will spoil all. Tomorrow assemble the officials in the

Wenming Garden and address them on the subject.

Put all opponents to death, and your prestige is settled.”

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At the farm they had but one sorry nag and

At the farm they had but one sorry nag and

this they saddled for the Emperor. The young

Prince was taken on Min Gong’s charger. And thus

they left the farm. Not beyond one mile from the farm,

they fell in with other officials and several hundred

guards and soldiers made up an imposing cavalcade.

In the cavalcade were Wang Yun, Minister of the Interior;

Yang Biao, Grand Commander; Chunyu Qiong,

Commander of the Left Army; Zhao Meng, Commander

of the Right Army; Bao Xin, Commander of the Rear Army;

and Yuan Shao, Commander of the Center Army.

Tears were shed freely as the ministers met their Emperor.

A man was sent on in front to the capital there

to expose the head of Eunuch Duan Gui.

As soon as they could, they placed the Emperor on

a better steed and the young Prince had a horse to

himself. Thus the Emperor returned to Luoyang,

and so it happened after all as the street children’s ditty ran:

[hip, hip, hip] Though the emperor doesn’t rule,

though the prince no office fills,

Yet a brilliant cavalcade comes along from

Beimang Hills. [yip, yip, yip]

the cavalcade had not proceeded far when

they saw coming towards them a large body of

soldiers with fluttering banners hiding the sun and

raising a huge cloud of dust. The officials turned pale,

and the Emperor was GREatly alarmed. Yuan Shao rode out in advance.

 “Who are you?” said Yuan Shao.

From under the shade of an embroidered

banner rode out a leader, saying, “Do you have the Emperor?”

the Emperor was too panic stricken to respond,

but the Prince of Chenliu rode to the front and cried, “Who are you?”

“Dong Zhuo, Imperial Protector of Xizhou Region.”

“Have you come to protect the Chariot or to steal it?” said Prince Xian.

 “I have come to protect,” said Dong Zhuo.

“If that is so, the Emperor is here: Why do you not dismount?”

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