Ryann

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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Alarmed by the portent, he hastily dressed and went forth

“God is helping us,” said Prince Xian.

they followed whither the fireflies led and gradually

got into a road. They walked till their feet were too sore

to go further, when, seeing a heap of straw near the road,

they crept to it and lay down.

This heap of straw was close to a farm house.

In the night, as the farmer was sleeping, he saw in a

vision two bright red suns drop behind his dwelling.

Alarmed by the portent, he hastily dressed and went forth

to look about him. Then he saw a bright light

shooting up from a heap of straw.

He hastened thither and then saw two youths lying behind it.

“To what household do you belong,

young gentlemen?” asked the farmer.

the Emperor was too frightened to reply,

but his companion said, “He is the Emperor.

There was a revolution in the Forbidden City,

and we ran away. I am his brother, Prince of Chenliu.”

the farmer bowed again and again and said,

“My name is Sui Lie. My brother Sui Yi is the former

Minister of the Interior. My brother was

disgusted with the behavior of the eunuchs

and so resigned and hid away here.”

the two lads were taken into the farm,

and their host on his knees served them with refreshment.

It has been said that Min Gong had gone in

pursuit of Eunuch Duan Gui. By and by Min

Gong overtook Duan Gui and cried,

“Where is the Emperor?”

“He disappeared! I do not know where he is!”

Min Gong slew Duan Gui and hung the

bleeding head on his horse’s neck. Then

he sent his troops searching in all directions,

and he rode off by himself on the same quest.

Presently he came to the farm. Sui Lie,

seeing what hung on his horse’s neck,

questioned him and, satisfied with his story,

led him to the Emperor. The meeting

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grass on the river bank and hid. The soldiers scattered

He Miao looked around:

 

 

His enemies hemmed him in on every side.

He was hacked to pieces.

Yuan Shu bade his soldiers scatter and seek out all

the families of the eunuchs, sparing none.

In that slaughter many beardless men were killed in error.

Cao Cao set himself to extinguish the fires.

He then begged Empress He to undertake the

direction of affairs, and soldiers were sent to

pursue Zhang Rang and rescue the young

Emperor and the young Prince of Chenliu.

Meanwhile, Zhang Rang and Duan Gui had

hustled away the Emperor and the Prince.

They burst through the smoke and fire and

traveled without stopping till they reached the

Beimang Hills. It was then the third watch.

They heard a GREat shouting behind them

and saw soldiers in pursuit. Their leader,

Min Gong, a commander in Henan,

was shouting, “Traitors, stop, stop!”

Zhang Rang, seeing that he was lost,

jumped into the river, where he was drowned.

the two boys ignorant of the meaning of all this

confusion and terrified out of their senses,

dared not utter a cry. They crept in among the rank

grass on the river bank and hid. The soldiers scattered

in all directions but failed to find them.

So they remained till the fourth watch,

shivering with cold from the drenching dew and

very hungry. They lay down in the thick grass and

wept in each other’s arms, silently,

lest anyone should discover them.

“This is no a place to stay in,”

said Prince Xian. “We must find some way out.”

So the two children knotted their clothes

together and managed to crawl up the bank.

They were in a thicket of thorn bushes,

and it was quite dark. They could not see any

path. They were in despair when, all at once,

millions of fireflies sprang up all about them

and circled in the air in front of the Emperor.

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He Jin was panic stricken and looked about for a way to escape,

He Jin was panic stricken and looked about for a way to escape,

but all gates had been shut. the eunuchs closed him in,

and then the assassins appeared and cut He Jin into halves.

[hip, hip, hip] Closing the days of the Hans, and the years of

their rule were near spent, Stupid and tactless was He Jin,

yet stood he highest in office, Many were they who advised him,

but he was deaf as he heard not, Wherefore fell he a

victim under the swords of the eunuchs. [yip, yip, yip]

So He Jin died. Yuan Shao and Cao Cao waited long.

By and by, impatient at the delay, they called through the gate,

“Thy carriage awaits, O General!”

For reply the head of He Jin was flung over the wall.

A decree was proclaimed: “He Jin has contemplated

treachery and therefore has been slain!

It pardons his adherents.”

Yuan Shao shouted, “the eunuchs have slain the

High Minister. Let those who will slay

his wicked party come and help me!”

then one of He Jin’s generals, Wu Kuang, set fire to

the gate. Yuan Shu at the head of his guards burst in and

fell to slaying the eunuchs without regard to age or rank.

Yuan Shao and Cao Cao broke into the inner part of the

Palace. Four of the eunuchs——Zhao Zhong, Cheng Kuang,

Xia Yun, and Guo Sheng——fled to the Blue Flower

Lodge where they were hacked to pieces. Fire raged,

destroying the buildings.

Four of the Ten Regular Attendants——Zhang Rang,

Duan Gui, Cao Jie, and Hou Lan——led by Zhang Rang

carried off the Empress, Emperor Bian, and Prince Xian

of Chenliu toward the North Palace.

Lu Zhi, since he had resigned office, was at home,

but hearing of the revolution in the Palace he donned

his armor, took his spear, and prepared to fight.

He saw Eunuch Duan Gui hurrying the Empress along

and called out, “You rebel, how dare you abduct the Empress?”

the eunuch fled. The Empress leaped out of a

window and was taken to a place of safety.

General Wu Kuang burst into one of the inner halls

where he found He Miao, sword in hand.

“You also were in the plot to slay your own brother,”

cried Wu Kuang. “You shall die with the others!”

“Let us kill the plotter against his elder brother!”

cried many.

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“Go to the General and confess your faults,

“Go to the General and confess your faults,” said the Empress.

“If we did, then should we be cut to mincemeat!

Rather summon the General into your presence

and command him to cease.

If he will not, then we pray but die in your presence.”

Empress He issued the requisite command.

He Jin was just going to her when Secretary Chen

Lin advised him not to enter, saying,

“the eunuchs are certainly behind the order and mean your harm.”

But He Jin could only see the command of the

Empress and was oblivious to all else. Said he,

“Clearly, this is an edict from the Empress. What harm?”

“Our plot is no longer a secret,” said Yuan Shao.

“Still you may go if you are ready to fight your way in.”

“Get the eunuchs out first!” said Cao Cao.

“Silly children!” said He Jin.

“What can they do against the man who

holds the forces of the empire in his palm?”

Yuan Shao said, “If you will go,

then we will come as a guard, just as a precaution.”

Whereupon both Yuan Shao and Cao Cao chose

five hundred best men under their command,

at whose head they placed Yuan Shu, a brother of

Yuan Shao. Yuan Shu, clad in mail, drew up

his troops outside the Forbidden City’s entrance,

while Yuan Shao and Cao Cao, holding swords, went as escort.

When He Jin neared the Palace of Happiness,

the officers from the Inner Bureau said,

“The orders are to admit the Regent Marshal and none other.”

So the escort was detained outside.

He Jin went in proudly. At the Gate of Grand Virtue,

he was met by Zhang Rang and Duan Gui,

and their followers quickly closed in around him.

He Jin began to feel alarmed.

then Zhang Rang in a harsh voice began to revile him:

“What crime had Empress Dong committed that she should

have been put to death? And when the Mother of the

Country was buried, who feigned sickness and did not attend?

We raised you and your paltry, huckstering family

to all the dignity and wealth you have,

and this is your gratitude! You would slay us.

You call us sordid and dirty: Who is the cleaner?”

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