All three being of one mind, next day
“I am Guan Yu,” replied he. “I am a native of the east side of the river, but I have been a fugitive on the waters for some five years,
because I slew a ruffian who, since he was wealthy and powerful, was a bully. I have come to join the army here.”
then Liu Bei told Guan Yu his own intentions, and all three went away to Zhang Fei’s farm where they could talk over the grand project.
Said Zhang Fei, “the peach trees in the orchard behind the house are just in full flower. Tomorrow we will institute a sacrifice there and
solemnly declare our intention before Heaven and Earth, and we three will swear brotherhood and unity of aims and sentiments： Thus will we enter upon our GREat task.”
Both Liu Bei and Guan Yu gladly aGREed.
All three being of one mind, next day they prepared the sacrifices, a black ox, a white horse, and wine for libation. Beneath the smoke of the incense burning on the altar, they bowed their heads and recited this oath：
“We three——Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei——though of different families, swear brotherhood, and promise mutual help to
one end. We will rescue each other in difficulty； we will aid each other in danger. We swear to serve the state and save the people. We ask not the same day of birth, but we seek to die together. May Heaven, the all-ruling, and Earth, the all-producing, read our hearts. If we turn aside from righteousness or forget kindliness, may Heaven and Human smite us！”
they rose from their knees. The two others bowed before Liu Bei as their elder brother, and Zhang Fei was to be the youngest of the trio.
This solemn ceremony performed, they slew other oxen and made a feast to which they invited the villagers. Three hundred joined them, and all feasted and drank deep in the Peach Garden.
Liu Bei was twenty-eight when the outbreak
As a child, Liu Bei played with the other village children beneath this tree, and he would climb up into it, saying, “I am the Son of Heaven,
and this is my chariot！” His uncle, Liu Yuanqi, recognized that Liu Bei was no ordinary boy and saw to it that the family did not come to actual want.
When Liu Bei was fifteen, his mother sent him traveling for his education. For a time he served Zheng Xuan and Lu Zhi as masters. And he became GREat friends with Gongsun Zan.
Liu Bei was twenty-eight when the outbreak of the Yellow Scarves called for soldiers. The sight of the notice saddened him, and he sighed as he read it.
Suddenly a rasping voice behind him cried, “Sir, why sigh if you do nothing to help your country？”
Turning quickly he saw standing there a man about his own height, with a bullet head like a leopard’s, large eyes, a swallow pointed chin,
and whiskers like a tiger’s. He spoke in a loud bass voice and looked as irresistible as a dashing horse. At once Liu Bei saw he was no ordinary man and asked who he was.
“Zhang Fei is my name,” replied the stranger. “I live near here where I have a farm； and I am a wine seller and a butcher as
well； and I like to become acquainted with worthy people. Your sighs as you read the notice drew me toward you.”
Liu Bei replied, “I am of the Imperial Family, Liu Bei is my name. And I wish I could destroy these Yellow Scarves and restore peace to the land, but alas！ I am helpless.”
“I have the means,” said Zhang Fei. “Suppose you and I raised some troops and tried what we could do.”
This was happy news for Liu Bei, and the two betook themselves to the village inn to talk over the project. As they were drinking,
a huge, tall fellow appeared pushing a hand-cart along the road. At the threshold he halted and entered the inn to rest awhile and he called for wine.
and deep red lips. He had eyes like a phoenix’s and fine bushy eyebrows like silkworms. His whole appearance was dignified and awe-inspiring. Presently, Liu Bei crossed over, sat down beside him and asked his name.
Meanwhile Zhang Jue led his army into
Regent Marshal and Guardian of the Throne, He Jin, memorialized for general preparations against the Yellow Scarves, and an edict
called upon everyone to fight against the rebels. In the meantime, three Imperial Commanders——Lu Zhi, Huangfu Song, and Zhu Jun——marched against them in three directions with veteran soldiers.
Meanwhile Zhang Jue led his army into Youzhou, the northeastern region of the empire*. The Imperial Protector* of Youzhou was Liu
Yan, a scion of the Imperial House. Learning of the approach of the rebels, Liu Yan called in Commander Zhou Jing to consult over the position.
Zhou Jing said, “they are many and we few. We must enlist more troops to oppose them.”
Liu Yan aGREed, and he put out notices calling for volunteers to serve against the rebels. One of these notices was posted up in the county of Zhuo, where lived one man of high spirit.
This man was no mere bookish scholar, nor found he any pleasure in study. But he was liberal and amiable, albeit a man of few words,
hiding all feeling under a calm exterior. He had always cherished a yearning for high enterprise and had cultivated the friendship of humans of mark. He was tall of stature. His ears were long, the lobes touching his shoulders, and his hands hung down below his knees. His eyes were very big and prominent so that he could see backward past his ears. His complexion was as clear as jade, and he had rich red lips.
He was a descendant of Prince Sheng of Zhongshan whose father was the Emperor Jing*, the fourth emperor of the Han Dynasty. His
name was Liu Bei. Many years before, one of his forbears had been the governor of that very county, but had lost his rank for
remissness in ceremonial offerings. However, that branch of the family had remained on in the place, gradually becoming poorer and
poorer as the years rolled on. His father Liu Hong had been a scholar and a virtuous official but died young. The widow and orphan were left alone, and Liu Bei as a lad won a reputation for filial piety.
At this time the family had sunk deep in poverty, and Liu Bei gained his living by selling straw sandals and weaving grass mats. The
In the first month of the first yea
Zhang Jue studied the wonderful book eagerly and strove day and night to reduce its precepts to practice. Before long, he could
summon the winds and command the rain, and he became known as the Mystic of the Way of Peace.
In the first month of the first year of Central Stability （AD 184）, there was a terrible pestilence that ran throughout the land,
whereupon Zhang Jue distributed charmed remedies to the afflicted. The godly medicines brought big successes, and soon he gained the
tittle of the Wise and Worthy Master. He began to have a following of disciples whom he initiated into the mysteries and sent abroad
throughout all the land. They, like their master, could write charms and recite formulas, and their fame increased his following.
Zhang Jue began to organize his disciples. He established thirty-six circuits, the larger with ten thousand or more members, the smaller with about half that number. Each circuit had its chief who took the
military title of General. They talked wildly of the death of the blue heaven and the setting up of the golden one； they said a new cycle was beginning and would bring universal good fortune to all
members； and they persuaded people to chalk the symbols for the first year of the new cycle on the main door of their dwellings.
With the growth of the number of his supporters GREw also the ambition of Zhang Jue. The Wise and Worthy Master dreamed of empire. One of his partisans, Ma Yuanyi, was sent bearing gifts to gain the support of the eunuchs within the Palace.
To his brothers Zhang Jue said, “For schemes like ours always the most difficult part is to gain the popular favor. But that is already ours. Such an opportunity must not pass.”
And they began to prepare. Many yellow flags and banners were made, and a day was chosen for the uprising. Then Zhang Jue wrote letters to Eunuch Feng Xu* and sent them by one of his followers,
Tang Zhou, who alas！ betrayed his trust and reported the plot to the court. The Emperor summoned the trusty Regent Marshal He
Jin and bade him look to the issue. Ma Yuanyi was at once taken and beheaded. Feng Xu and many others were cast into prison.
“the good fortune of the Han is exhausted, and the Wise and Worthy Man has appeared. Discern the will of Heaven, O ye people, and walk in the way of righteousness, whereby alone ye may attain to peace.”
Such were some of various omens. Emperor Ling, GREatly moved by these signs of the displeasure of Heaven, issued an edict asking
his ministers for an explanation of the calamities and marvels.
Court Counselor Cai Yong replied bluntly： “Falling rainbows and changes of fowls’ sexes are brought about by the interference of empresses and eunuchs in state affairs.”
the Emperor read this memorial with deep sighs, and Chief Eunuch Cao Jie, from his place behind the throne, anxiously noted these signs of grief. An opportunity offering,
Cao Jie informed his fellows, and a charge was trumped up against Cai Yong, who was driven from the court and forced to retire to his country house.
With this victory the eunuchs GREw bolder. Ten of them, rivals in wickedness and associates in evil deeds, formed a powerful party
known as the Ten Regular Attendants——Zhang Rang, Zhao Zhong, Cheng Kuang, Duan Gui, Feng Xu, Guo Sheng, Hou Lan, Jian Shuo, Cao Jie, and Xia Yun.
One of them, Zhang Rang, won such influence that he became the Emperor’s most honored and trusted adviser.
The Emperor even called him “Foster Father”. So the corrupt state administration went quickly from bad to worse, till the country was ripe for rebellion and buzzed with brigandage.
At this time in the county of Julu was a certain Zhang family, of whom three brothers bore the name of Zhang Jue, Zhang Ba, and Zhang Lian, respectively.
“This book,” said the old gentleman, “is the Essential Arts of Peace. With the aid of these volumes, you can convert the world and rescue
With a humble obeisance, Zhang Jue took the book and asked the name of his benefactor.
“I am Saint Hermit of the Southern Land,” was the reply, as the old gentleman disappeared in thin air.
Emperor Huan paid no heed to the good people of his court
Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood In The Peach Garden;One Victory Shatters The Rebels In Battlegrounds.
Domains under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite； after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity. When the rule of the Zhou Dynasty weakened, seven
contending kingdoms sprang up*, warring one with another until the kingdom of Qin prevailed and possessed the empire*. But when Qin’s destiny had been fulfilled, arose two opposing kingdoms, Chu and Han, to fight for the mastery. And Han was the victor*.
the rise of the fortunes of Han began when Liu Bang the Supreme Ancestor* slew a white serpent to raise the banners of uprising,
which only ended when the whole empire belonged to Han （BC 202）。 This magnificent heritage was handed down in successive
Han emperors for two hundred years, till the rebellion of Wang Mang caused a disruption*. But soon Liu Xiu the Latter Han Founder restored the empire*, and Han emperors continued their rule for another two hundred years till the days of Emperor Xian, which were doomed to see the beginning of the empire’s division into three parts, known to history as The Three Kingdoms.
But the descent into misrule hastened in the reigns of the two predecessors of Emperor Xian——Emperors Huan and Ling——who sat in the Dragon Throne about the middle of the second century.
Emperor Huan paid no heed to the good people of his court, but gave his confidence to the Palace eunuchs*. He lived and died, leaving the scepter to Emperor Ling, whose advisers were Regent Marshal Dou
Wu and Imperial Guardian Chen Fan*. Dou Wu and Chen Fan, disgusted with the abuses of the eunuchs in the affairs of the state,
plotted the destruction for the power-abusing eunuchs. But Chief Eunuch Cao Jie was not to be disposed of easily. The plot leaked out, and the honest Dou Wu and Chen Fan were put to death, leaving the eunuchs stronger than before.
It fell upon the day of full moon of the fourth month, the second year, in the era of Established Calm （AD 168）, that Emperor Ling
later the earth quaked in Capital Luoyang, while along the coast a huge tidal wave rushed in which, in its recoil, swept away all the
dwellers by the sea. Another evil omen was recorded ten years later, when the reign title was changed to Radiant Harmony （AD 178）：
Certain hens suddenly crowed. At the new moon of the sixth month, a long wreath of murky cloud wound its way into the Hall of Virtue,
while in the following month a rainbow was seen in the Dragon Chamber. Away from the capital, a part of the Yuan Mountains collapsed, leaving a mighty rift in the flank.
Such were some of various omens. Emperor Ling, GREatly moved by these signs of the displeasure of Heaven, issued an edict asking his ministers for an explanation of the calamities and marvels.
Tou of the Swallow Hills had the right method.
Men at their birth, are naturally good. Their natures are much the same; their habits become widely different.
If follishly there is no teaching, the nature will deteriorate. The right way in teaching, is to attach the utmost importance in thoroughness.
Of old, the mother of Mencius chose a neighborhood and when her child would not learn, she broke the shuttle from the loom.
Tou of the Swallow Hills had the right method. He taught five sons, each of whom raised the family reputation.
To feed without teaching, is the father’s fault. To teach without severity, is the teacher’s laziness.
If the child does not learn, this is not as it should be. If he does not learn while young, what will he be when old?
If jade is not polished, it cannot become a thing of use. If a man does not learn, he cannot know his duty towards his neighbor.
He who is the son of a man, when he is young, should attach himself to his teachers and friends; and practice ceremonial usages.
Hsiang, at nine years of age, could warm his parent’s bed. Filial piety towards parents is that to which we should hold fast.
Jung, at four years of age, could yield the (bigger) pears. To behave as a younger brother towards elders, is one of the first things to know.
Begin with filial piety and fraternal love, and then see and hear. Learn to count, and learn to read.
Units and tens, then tens and hundreds, hundreds and thousands, thousands and then tens of thousands.
The three forces are heaven, earth and man. The three luminaries are the sun, the moon and the stars.
The three bonds are the obligation between sovereign andsubject, the love between father and child, the harmony between husband and wife.
We speak of North and South, we speak of East and West, These four points, respond to the requirements of the centre.
We speak of water, fire, wood, metal and earth. These five elements have their origin in number.
Dip among doorways of the poor.
A MOONLIGHT NIGHT
When the moon has coloured half the house,
With the North Star at its height and the South Star setting,
I can fed the first motions of the warm air of spring
In the singing of an insect at my green-silk window.
With twilight passing her silken window,
She weeps alone in her chamber of gold
For spring is departing from a desolate garden,
And a drift of pear-petals is closing a door.
A TROOPER’S BURDEN
For years, to guard the Jade Pass and the River of Gold,
With our hands on our horse-whips and our swordhilts,
We have watched the green graves change to snow
And the Yellow Stream ring the Black Mountain forever.
A PALACE POEM
High above, from a jade chamber, songs float half-way to heaven,
The palace-girls’ gay voices are mingled with the wind —
But now they are still, and you hear a water-clock drip in the Court of the Moon….
They have opened the curtain wide, they are facing the River of Stars.
ON HEARING A FLUTE AT NIGHT
FROM THE WALL OF SHOUXIANG
The sand below the border-mountain lies like snow,
And the moon like frost beyond the city-wall,
And someone somewhere, playing a flute,
Has made the soldiers homesick all night long.
Grass has run wild now by the Bridge of Red-Birds;
And swallows’ wings, at sunset, in Blacktail Row
Where once they visited great homes,
Dip among doorways of the poor.
A SPRING SONG
In gala robes she comes down from her chamber
Into her courtyard, enclosure of spring….
When she tries from the centre to count the flowers,
On her hairpin of jade a dragon-fly poises.
A SONG OF THE PALACE
Her tears are spent, but no dreams come.
She can hear the others singing through the night.
She has lost his love. Alone with her beauty,
She leans till dawn on her incense-pillow.
Let bugles cry our victory!
The woods are black and a wind assails the grasses,
Yet the general tries night archery —
And next morning he finds his white-plumed arrow
Pointed deep in the hard rock.
High in the faint moonlight, wildgeese are soaring.
Tartar chieftains are fleeing through the dark —
And we chase them, with horses lightly burdened
And a burden of snow on our bows and our swords.
Let feasting begin in the wild camp!
Let bugles cry our victory!
Let us drink, let us dance in our golden armour!
Let us thunder on rivers and hills with our drums!
A SONG OF THE SOUTHERN RIVER
Since I married the merchant of Qutang
He has failed each day to keep his word….
Had I thought how regular the tide is,
I might rather have chosen a river-boy.
I left home young. I return old;
Speaking as then, but with hair grown thin;
And my children, meeting me, do not know me.
They smile and say: “Stranger, where do you come from?”
A bridge flies away through a wild mist,
Yet here are the rocks and the fisherman’s boat.
Oh, if only this river of floating peach-petals
Might lead me at last to the mythical cave!
ON THE MOUNTAIN HOLIDAY
THINKING OF MY BROTHERS IN SHANDONG
All alone in a foreign land,
I am twice as homesick on this day
When brothers carry dogwood up the mountain,
Each of them a branch-and my branch missing.
AT HIBISCUS INN
PARTING WITH XIN JIAN
With this cold night-rain hiding the river, you have come into Wu.
In the level dawn, all alone, you will be starting for the mountains of Chu.
Answer, if they ask of me at Loyang:
One-hearted as ice in a crystal vase.
Has come and gone before I knew.
TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS ADRIFT
IN TROUBLED TIMES THIS POEM OF THE MOON
Since the disorders in Henan and the famine in Guannei, my brothers and sisters have been scattered. Looking at the moon, I express my thoughts in this poem, which I send to my eldest brother at Fuliang, my seventh brother at Yuqian, My fifteen brother at Wujiang and my younger brothers and sisters at Fuli and Xiagui.
My heritage lost through disorder and famine,
My brothers and sisters flung eastward and westward,
My fields and gardens wrecked by the war,
My own flesh and blood become scum of the street,
I moan to my shadow like a lone-wandering wildgoose,
I am torn from my root like a water-plant in autumn:
I gaze at the moon, and my tears run down
For hearts, in five places, all sick with one wish.
THE INLAID HARP
I wonder why my inlaid harp has fifty strings,
Each with its flower-like fret an interval of youth.
…The sage Chuangzi is day-dreaming, bewitched by butterflies,
The spring-heart of Emperor Wang is crying in a cuckoo,
Mermen weep their pearly tears down a moon-green sea,
Blue fields are breathing their jade to the sun….
And a moment that ought to have lasted for ever
Has come and gone before I knew.
TO ONE UNNAMED
The stars of last night and the wind of last night
Are west of the Painted Chamber and east of Cinnamon Hall.
…Though I have for my body no wings like those of the bright- coloured phoenix,
Yet I feel the harmonious heart-beat of the Sacred Unicorn.
Across the spring-wine, while it warms me, I prompt you how to bet
Where, group by group, we are throwing dice in the light of a crimson lamp;
Till the rolling of a drum, alas, calls me to my duties
And I mount my horse and ride away, like a water-plant cut adrift.
THE PALACE OF THE SUI EMPEROR
His Palace of Purple Spring has been taken by mist and cloud,
As he would have taken all Yangzhou to be his private domain
But for the seal of imperial jade being seized by the first Tang Emperor,
He would have bounded with his silken sails the limits of the world.
Fire-flies are gone now, have left the weathered grasses,
But still among the weeping-willows crows perch at twilight.
…If he meets, there underground, the Later Chen Emperor,
Do you think that they will mention a Song of Courtyard Flowers?
TO ONE UNNAMED I
You said you would come, but you did not, and you left me with no other trace
Than the moonlight on your tower at the fifth-watch bell.
I cry for you forever gone, I cannot waken yet,
I try to read your hurried note, I find the ink too pale.
…Blue burns your candle in its kingfisher-feather lantern
And a sweet breath steals from your hibiscus-broidered curtain.
But far beyond my reach is the Enchanted Mountain,
And you are on the other side, ten thousand peaks away.