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CHAPTER 120. Recommending Du Yu, An Old General Offers New Plans; Capturing Of Sun Hao, Three Kingdoms Becomes One.

| Articles of Ancient China, English Version - Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel | March 7, 2011

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When Sun Xiu, the Ruler of Wu, knew that the
House of Wei had fallen before the Jins, he also
knew that the usurper’s next thought would be the
conquest of his own land. The anxiety made him ill,
so that he took to his bed and was like to die. He
then summoned to his bedside his Prime Minister,
Puyang Xing, and his heir, Sun Wan. But they two
came almost too late. The dying Ruler, with his last
effort, took the Minister by the hand, but could only
point to his son. Then he died.
Puyang Xing left the couch and called a meeting
of the officers, whereat he proposed to place the heir
on his father’s throne.
Then Wan Yu, Left Army Inspector, rose and
said, “Prince Sun Wan is too youthful to rule in such
troublous times. Let us confer the throne to Sun Hao,
Lord of Wucheng.”
Zhang Bu, General of the Left Army, supported
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his election, saying, “Sun Hao is able and prompt in
decision. He can handle the responsibilities of an
emperor.”
However, Puyang Xing was doubtful and
consulted the Empress Dowager.
“Settle this with the officials;” she replied, “I am a
widow and know nothing of such matters.”
Finally Sun Hao won the day, and in the seventh
month he was enthroned as Emperor of Wu, and the
first year of his reign was Prosperous Beginning (AD
264). Sun Hao was the son of Sun He, a former Heir
Apparent, and grandson of Sun Quan the Great
Emperor. The excluded prince, Sun Wan, was
consoled with the title of Prince of Yuzhang.
Posthumous rank was given to his late father, Sun
He the Scholar Emperor, and his mother, Lady He,
the Scholar Empress. The Veteran Leader Ding
Feng was made Commander of the Right and Left
Armies.
However, the year−style was changed to Sweet
Dew the very next year. The new ruler soon proved
himself cruel and oppressive and day by day grew
more so. Sun Hao indulged in every form of vice and
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chose Eunuch Cen Hun as his confidant and
favorite. When Prime Minister Puyang Xing and
General Zhang Bu ventured upon remonstrance,
both, with all their family, were put to death.
Thereafter none dared to speak; the mouth of every
courtier was “sewn up.”
Another year−style, Treasured Paramount, was
adopted the next year (266), and the responsibility of
the Prime Minister’s office was shared by two
officers, Lu Kai the Left and Wan Yu the Right.
At this time the imperial residence was in
Wuchang. The people of Yangzhou shouldered
heavy tribute and suffered exceedingly. There was
no limit to the Ruler’s extravagance; the treasury was
swept clean and the income of the royal domain
exhausted.
At length Lu Kai, Left Prime Minister, ventured a
memorial, saying:
“No natural calamity has fallen upon the people,
yet they starve; no public work is in progress, yet the
treasury is
empty. I am distressed. The country under the
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Hans has fallen apart and three states have arisen
therefrom. Those ruled by the Caos and the Lius, as
the result of their own folly, have been lost in Jin.
Foolish I may be, but I would protect the state for
Your Majesty against the evils we have seen in the
other divisions. This city of Wuchang is not safe as a
royal residence. There is a rhyme concerning it, the
gist of which is that it is better to drink the water of
Jianye than eat the fish of Wuchang, better to die in
Jianye than to live in Wuchang. This shows the
regard of the people as well as the will of Heaven.
Now the public storehouses are nearly empty; they
contain insufficient for a year’s use. The officers of all
grades vex and distress the people and none pity
them.
“In former times the palace women numbered
less than a hundred; for years past they have
exceeded a thousand. This is an extravagant waste
of treasure. The courtiers render no disinterested
service, but are split into cliques and cabals. The
honest are injured and the good driven away. All
these things undermine the state and weaken the
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people. I beg Your Majesty to reduce the number of
officers and remove grievances, to dismiss the
palace women and select honest officers, to the joy
of the people and the tranquillity of the state.”
But the Ruler of Wu was displeased, and showed
his contempt for the minister’s remonstrance by
beginning to collect material for the building of a new
palace complex to be called the Reflected Light
Palace. He even made the officers of the court go
into the forest to fell trees for the work.
The Ruler of Wu called in the soothsayer Shang
Guang and bade him take the cast and inquire as to
the attainment of empire.
Shang Guang cast a lot and replied, “All is
propitious, and in the year of the ‘mouse’ your blue
umbrella will enter Luoyang.”
And Sun Hao was pleased.
He said to Minister Hua Jiao, “The former rulers
listened to your words and sent generals to various
points and placed defensive camps along the rivers.
And over all these was set Ding Feng. Now my
desire is to conquer Han and avenge the wrongs of
my brother, the Ruler of Shu. What place should be
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first conquered?”
Hua Jiao replied, “Now that Chengdu has fallen
and the Throne there been overturned, Sima Yan will
assuredly desire to absorb this land. Your Majesty
should display virtue and restore confidence to your
people. That would be the best plan. If you engage in
war, it will be like throwing on hemp to put out a fire;
the hemp only adds to the blaze. This is worthy of
careful consideration.”
But Sun Hao grew angry and said, “I desire to
take this opportunity to return to my real heritage.
Why do you employ this ill−omened language? Were
it not for your long service, now would I slay you and
expose your head as a warning.”
He bade the lictors hustle Minister Hua Jiao from
his presence, and Hua Jiao left the court.
“It is pitiful,” said Hua Jiao. “Ere long our silky,
beautiful country will pass to another.”
So he retired. And the Ruler of Wu ordered Lu
Kang, General Who Guards the East, to camp his
army at Jiangkou in order to attack Xiangyang.
Spies reported this in Luoyang, and it was told the
Ruler of Jin. When Sima Yan heard that the army of
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Wu threatened to invade Xiangyang, he called a
council.
Jia Chong stood forth, saying, “I hear the
government of Wu, under its present ruler, Sun Hao,
is devoid of virtue and the Ruler of Wu has turned
aside out of the road. Your Majesty should send
Commander Yang Hu
to oppose this army; and when internal trouble
shall arise, let him attack, and victory will then be
easy.”
The Ruler of Jin issued an edict ordering Yang Hu
to prepare, and so he mustered his troops and set
himself to guard the county.
Yang Hu became very popular in Xiangyang. Any
of the soldiers of Wu who desired to desert to the
other side were allowed to come over. He employed
only the fewest possible troops on patrol duty.
Instead he set his soldiers to till the soil, and they
cultivated an extensive area, whereby the hundred
days supplies with which they set out were soon
increased to enough for ten years.
Yang Hu maintained great simplicity, wearing the
lightest of garments and no armor. His personal
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escort and servants numbered only about a twenty.
One day his officers came to his tent to say that
the spies reported great laxity in the enemy’s camp,
and they wished to attack.
But Yang Hu replied, “You must not despise Lu
Kang, for he is able and crafty. Formerly his master
sent him to attack Xiling, and he slew Bu Chan and
many of his generals, before I could save that city.
So long as Lu Kang remains in command, I shall
remain on the defensive. I shall not attack till there
be trouble and confusion among our enemies. To be
rash and not await the proper moment to attack is to
invite defeat.”
They found him wise and said no more. They only
kept the boundaries.
One day Yang Hu and his officers went out to
hunt, and it happened that Lu Kang had chosen the
same day to hunt. Yang Hu gave strict orders not to
cross the boundary, and so each hunted only on his
own side.
Lu Kang was astonished at the enemy’s
scrupulous propriety.
He sighed, “The soldiers of Yang Hu have so high
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a discipline that I may not make any invasion now.”
In the evening, after both parties had returned,
Yang Hu ordered an inspection of the slaughtered
game and sent over to the other side any that
seemed to have been first struck by the soldiers of
Wu.
Lu Kang was greatly pleased and sent for the
bearers of the game.
“Does your leader drink wine?” asked he.
They replied, “Only fine wines does he drink.”
“I have some very old wine,” replied Lu Kang,
smiling, “and I will give of it to you to bear to your
general as a gift. It is the wine I myself brew and
drink on ceremonial occasions, and he shall have
half in return for today’s courtesy.”
They took the wine and left.
“Why do you give him wine?” asked Lu Kang’s
officers.
“Because he has shown kindness, and I must
return courtesy for courtesy.”
When the gift of wine arrived and the bearers told
Yang Hu the story of their reception, he laughed.
“So he knows I can drink,” said Yang Hu.
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He had the jar opened, and the wine was poured
out. One of his generals, Chen Yuan, begged him to
drink moderately lest there should be some harm
come of it.
“Lu Kang is no poisoner,” replied Yang Hu.
And he drank. The friendly intercourse thus
begun continued, and messengers frequently passed
from one camp to the other.
One day the messengers said that Lu Kang was
unwell and had been ailing for several days.
“I think he suffers from the same complaint as I,”
said Yang Hu. “I have some remedies ready
prepared and will send him some.”
The drugs were taken over to the Wu camp.
But the sick man’s officers were suspicious and
said, “This medicine is surely harmful; it comes from
the enemy.”
Lu Kang cried, “What! Think you that old Uncle
Yang Hu would poison a person? Do not doubt.”
He drank the decoction. Next day he was much
better; and when his staff came to congratulate him,
he said, “If our opponents take their stand upon
virtue and we take ours upon violence, they will drag
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us after them without fighting. See to it that the
boundaries be well kept and that we seek not to gain
any unfair advantage.”
Soon after came a special envoy from the Ruler
of Wu to urge upon Lu Kang prompt activity.
“Our Emperor sends orders for you to press
forward,” said the envoy. “You are not to await a Jin
invasion.”
“You may return and I will send up a memorial,”
replied Lu Kang.
So a memorial was written and soon followed the
envoy to Jianye. When the Ruler of Wu, Sun Hao,
read it, he found therein many arguments against
attacking Jin and exhortations to exercise a virtuous
rule instead of engaging in hostilities. It angered him.
“They say Lu Kang has come to an understanding
with the enemy, and now I believe it,” said the Ruler
of Wu.
Thereupon he deprived Lu Kang of his command
and took away his commission and degraded him
into Marching General. Sun Ji, General of the Left
Army, was sent to supersede Lu Kang. And none
dared to intervene.
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Sun Hao became still more arbitrary and of his
own will changed the year−style once more to the
Phoenix (AD 269). Day by day his life became more
wanton and vicious. The soldiers in every camp
murmured with anger and resentment, and at last
three high officers—Prime Minister Wan Yu, General
L i u P i n g , a n d M i n i s t e r o f A g r i c u l t u r e L o u
Xuan—boldly and earnestly remonstrated with the
Emperor for his many irregularities. They suffered
death. Within ten years more than forty ministers
were put to death for doing their duty.
Sun Hao maintained an extravagantly large guard
of fifty thousand heavy cavalry, and these soldiers
were the terror of everyone.
Now when Yang Hu, on the Jin side of the
frontier, heard that his opponent Lu Kang had been
removed from his command and that the conduct of
the Ruler of Wu had become wholly unreasonable,
he knew that the time was near for him to conquer
Wu. Wherefore he presented a memorial:
“Although fate is superior to human, yet success
depends upon human effort. Now as the geographic
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difficulties of
the South Land are not as those of the Lands of
Rivers, while the ferocity of Sun Hao exceeds that of
Liu Shan, the misery of the people of Wu exceeds
that of the dwellers in Shu. Our armies are stronger
than ever before, and if we miss this opportunity to
bring the whole land under one rule, but continue to
weary our army with continual watching and cause
the world to groan under the burden of militarism,
then our efficiency will decline and we shall not
endure.”
When Sima Yan read this, he gave orders for the
army to move. But three officers—Jia Chong, Xun
Xu, and Feng Dan—opposed it, and the orders were
withdrawn.
Yang Hu was disappointed and said, “What a pity
it is that of ten affairs in the world, one always meets
with eight or nine vexations!”
In the fourth year of Universal Tranquillity, in Jin
calendar (AD 278), Yang Hu went to court and asked
leave to retire on account of ill health.
Before granting him leave to go, Sima Yan asked,
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“Do you have plans to propose to settle the state?”
Yang Hu replied, “Sun Hao is a very cruel ruler
and could be conquered without fighting. If he were
to die and a wise successor sat upon his throne,
Your Majesty would never be able to gain
possession of Wu.”
“Suppose your army attacked now; what then?”
asked the Ruler of Jin.
“I am now too old and too ill for the task,” replied
Yang Hu. “Some other bold and capable leader must
be found.”
Yang Hu left the court and retired to his home.
Toward the end of the year he was nigh unto death,
and the Ruler of Jin went to visit him. The sight of his
master at his bedside brought tears to the eyes of
the faithful old leader.
“If I died a myriad times, I could never requite
Your Majesty,” said Yang Hu.
Sima Yan also wept, saying, “My great grief is
that I could not take advantage of your abilities to
attack Wu. Who now is there to carry out your
design?”
Hesitatingly the sick man replied, “I am dying and
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must be wholly sincere. General Du Yu is equal to
the task, and is the one man to attack Wu.”
Sima Yan said, “How beautiful it is to bring good
people into prominence! But why did you write a
memorial recommending certain people and then
burn the draft so that no one knew?”
The dying man answered, “I bowed before the
officials in open court, but I did not beseech the
kindness of the private attendants.”
So Yang Hu died, and Sima Yan wailed for him
and then returned to his palace. He conferred on the
dead
leader the posthumous rank of Imperial Guardian
and Lord of Juping. The traders closed their shops
out of respect to his memory, and all the frontier
camps were filled with wailing. The people of
Xiangyang, recalling that he loved to wander on the
Xian Hills, built there a temple to him and set up a
stone and sacrificed regularly at the four seasons.
The passers−by were moved to tears when they
read Yang Hu’s name on the tablet, so that it came
to be called “The Stone of Tears.”
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I saw the fragments of a shattered stone
One spring time on the hillside, when, alone,
I walked to greet the sun. The pines distilled
Big drops of dew unceasing; sadness filled
My heart. I knew this was the Stone of Tears,
The stone of memory of long−past years.
On the strength of Yang Hu’s recommendation,
Du Yu was placed over Jingzhou, and the title of
General Who Guards the South was conferred upon
him. He was a man of great experience, untiring in
study and devoted to the Zuo Volume, the book of
commentaries composed by Zuo Qiuming upon the
Spring and Autumn Annals. In hours of leisure, a
copy of Zuo Volume was never out of his hand; and
when he went abroad, an attendant rode in front with
the beloved book. He was said to be “Zuo mad.”
Du Yu went to Xiangyang and began by being
kind to the people and caring for his soldiers. By this
time Wu had lost by death both Ding Feng and Lu
Kang.
The conduct of the Ruler of Wu waxed worse and
worse. He used to give great banquets whereat
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intoxication was universal. He appointed Rectors of
Feasts to observe all the faults committed by guests,
and after these banquets all offenders were
punished, some by flaying the face, others by
gouging out the eyes. Every one went in terror of
these Rectors.
Wang Jun, Imperial Protector of Yiazhou, sent in
a memorial advising an attack upon Wu. He said:
“Sun Hao is steeped in vice and should be
attacked at once. Should he die and be succeeded
by a good ruler, we
might meet with serious opposition. The ships I
built seven years ago lie idle and rotting; we can use
them. I am seventy years of age and must soon die.
If any one three events happen—the death of Sun
Hao, the destruction of these ships, or my
death—then success will be difficult to ensure. I pray
Your Majesty not to miss the tide.”
At the next assembly of officers Sima Yan said to
them, “I have decided to act; I have received similar
advice from Yang Hu and Wang Jun.”
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At this arose Minister Wang Hun and said, “I hear
Sun Hao intends to march north to the Middle Land
and has his army ready. Report says it is formidable
and would be hard to defeat. I counsel to await
another year till that army has lost its first vigor.”
A command to cease warlike preparations was
the result of this counsel. The Ruler of Jin betook
himself to his private chamber where he engaged in
a game of chess with Zhang Hua as opponent. While
at the game, another memorial arrived; it was from
Du Yu. It read:
“Formerly Yang Hu explained his plans
confidentially to Your Majesty, but did not lay them
before the court. The
result has been much debate and conflict of
opinion. In every project there are pros and cons, but
in this the arguments are mostly in favor. The worst
that can happen is failure. Since last autumn the
proposed attack has become generally known, and,
if we stop now, Sun Hao will be frightened and
remove the capital to Wuchang, repair his
fortifications in the South Land and move his
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threatened people out of danger. Then the capital
cannot be assaulted, nor is there anything left in the
countryside to rob. Hence next year’s attack will also
fail.”
Just as the Ruler of Jin finished reading, Zhang
Hua pushed aside the board, rose and drew his
hands into his sleeves, saying, “Your Majesty’s skill
in war is almost divine, your state is prosperous, and
the army strong; the Ruler of Wu is a tyrant, his
people are miserable, and his country mean. Now
you can easily conquer him, and I pray that there be
no further hesitation.”
“How could I hesitate after your discourse?” said
Sima Yan.
Thereupon he returned to the council chamber
and issued his commands. Du Yu was made
Commander−in−Chief and, with one hundred
thousand troops, was to attack Jiangling; Sima Zhou,
Prince of Langye and General Who Guards the East,
was to attack Tuzhong; Wang Hun, General Who
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Conquers the East, to go up against Hengjiang;
Wang Rong, General Who Exhibits Prowess, to
move against Wuchang; Hu Fen, General Who
Pacifies the South, to attack Xiakou. And all
divisions, fifty thousand troops each, were under the
orders of Du Yu. In addition to the land forces, two
large fleets were to operate on the river under Wang
Jun, General Who Shows Dragon Courage, and
Tang Bin, General Who Possesses Martial Bravery.
Marines and lands troops amounted to more than
two hundred thousand. A separate force under Yang
Ji, General Who Holds the South, was sent away to
Xiangyang to coordinate all forces.
The Ruler of Wu was greatly alarmed at the news
of such armies and fleets, and he called to him
quickly his Prime Minister Zhang Ti, Minister of the
Interior He Zhi, and Minister of Works Teng Xun, to
consult how to defend his land.
Zhang Ti proposed: “Send Commander of the
Flying Cavalry Wu Yan to meet the enemy at
Jiangling; Commander of the Flying Cavalry Sun Xin
to Xiakou; I volunteer to take command of a camp at
Niuzhu, together with the General of the Left Shen
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Rong and General of the Right Zhuge Xing, ready to
lend help at any point.”
The Ruler of Wu approved his dispositions and
felt satisfied that he was safe by land. But in the
privacy of his own apartment he felt miserable, for he
realized that no preparations had been made against
an attack by water under the Wei leader Wang Jun.
Then the favorite eunuch Cen Hun asked the
Emperor why he bore a sad countenance, and Sun
Hao told him of his dread of the enemy navy.
“The armies of Jin are coming, and I have
deployed troops for general defense. Only the water
front, by which Wang Jun and his several thousand
battleships sail east along the tide, makes me feel so
worried.”
“But I have a scheme that will smash all Wang
Jun’s ships,” cried Cen Hun.
“What is it?” asked the Ruler of Wu, pleased to
hear this.
“Iron is plentiful. Make great chains with heavy
links and stretch them across the river at various
points. Also forge many massive hammers and
arrange them in the stream, so that when the
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enemy’s ships sail down before the wind, they will
collide with the hammers and be wrecked. Then they
will sail no more.”
Blacksmiths were soon at work on the river bank
welding the links and forging the hammers. Work
went on day and night, and soon all were in place.
As has been said Du Yu was to attack Jiangling,
and he sent General Zhou Zhi with eight hundred
sailors to sail secretly along the Great River to
capture Yuexiang. There they were to make an
ambush in the Bashan Mountains and a great show
of flags along the bank and among the trees. Drums
were to be beaten and bombs exploded during the
day and many fires lighted at night to give the
appearance of a great army.
So Zhou Zhi sailed to the Bashan Mountains.
Next day Du Yu directed the army and the marine
forces in a simultaneous advance. But the navy of
Wu, under Sun Xin, came up, and at the first
encounter Du Yu’s army retired. Sun Xin landed his
marines and pursued. But in the midst of the pursuit
a signal bomb sounded, and Sun Xin was attacked
on all sides by the Jin troops. He tried to retire, but
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the army he had been pursuing, Du Yu’s force,
turned back too and joined in the attack. Wu’s losses
were very heavy, and Sun Xin hastened back to the
city. But the eight hundred Jin soldiers of Zhou Zhi
mingled with the Wu army at the ramparts and so
entered the gates. The Jin soldiers raised signal fires
on the walls.
This maneuver amazed Sun Xin, and he said,
“The northern troops had surely flown across the
river into the city.”
Sun Xin made an effort to escape, but the leader
of Jin, Zhou Zhi, unexpectedly appeared and slew
him.
A fleet of the ships of Wu had accompanied Sun
Xin. The Admiral Lu Jing, saw on the south shore, in
the Bashan Mountains, a great standard bearing the
name of Jin Commander Du Yu. Lu Jing became
alarmed and landed to try to escape, but the Jin
General Zhang Shang soon found and slew him.
At his position at Jiangling, Wu Yan heard of
these defeats and knew his position was untenable,
so he fled. However, he was soon captured and led
into the presence of the victorious general.
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“No use sparing you,” said Du Yu, and he
sentenced the prisoner to death.
Thus Jiangling was captured and all the counties
along the River Xiang and River Yuan as far as
Huangzhou, which surrendered at the first summons.
Du Yu sent out officers to soothe the people of
the conquered counties, and they suffered nothing
from the soldiery. Next he marched toward
Wuchang, and that city also yielded. So the glory of
Du Yu became very great. He then summoned his
officers to a council to decide upon attacking Jianye.
Hu Fen said, “A whole century’s rebellion will not
be reduced completely. The time of the spring rise of
waters is near and our position is precarious. We
should do well to await the coming spring.”
Du Yu replied, “In the days of old, Yue Yi
overcame the powerful state Qi in one battle in Jixi.
Our prestige is now high and success certain, easy
as the splitting of a bamboo, which seems to
welcome the knife after the first few joints have been
overcome. We shall meet no great opposition.”
So Du Yu gave orders to the various leaders to
move in concert against the city of Jianye.
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Now the Jin leader Wang Jun had gone down the
river with his naval force. From his scouts he heard
of the iron chains and the hammers that had been
laid in the river to hinder his progress. But he only
laughed. He constructed great rafts of timber and
placed on them straw effigies of soldiers in armors
and sent them down river with the current. The
defenders of Wu took them for real troops and,
alarmed by their numbers, fled in panic. Then the
great hammers and chains were dragged away as
the rafts drifted on. Moreover, on the rafts they laid
great torches many fathoms long, and very thick,
made of straw soaked in linseed oil. When the raft
was checked by a chain, the torches were lighted
and the chains exposed to the heat till they melted
and broke asunder. Thus the rafts went down stream
conquering wherever they came.
Then the Prime Minister of Wu, Zhang Ti, sent
two generals, Shen Rong and Zhuge Xing, to try to
check the advance of the armies.
Shen Rong said to his colleague, “The forces
above have failed to stop the enemy, and the enemy
will surely come here. We shall have to put forth all
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our strength. If haply we can succeed, the safety of
our South Land is assured. But suppose we fight and
lose the battle, then is our country lost.”
“Sir, you only say what is too true,” said Zhuge
Xing.
Just as they talked of these matters came reports
of the approach of their enemies in irresistible force.
The two leaders were seized with panic and went
back to see the Prime Minister.
“Our country is lost,” cried Zhuge Xing. “Why not
run?”
“We all know that the land is doomed;” replied
Zhang Ti, “but if we make no defense, and no one
dies for his country, shall we not be shamed?”
Zhuge Xing left, weeping; and Zhang Ti went with
Shen Rong to the army. The invaders soon arrived,
and the Jin General Zhou Zhi was the first to break
into the camp. Zhang Ti resisted stubbornly, but was
soon slain in a melee, and Shen Rong was killed by
Zhou Zhi. The army of Wu was defeated and
scattered.
Jin’s army banners waved on Bashan Mountains
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And trusty Zhang Ti in Jiangling fighting died;
He accepted not that the kingly grace was spent,
He rather chose to die than shame his side.
The armies of Jin conquered at Niuzhu and
penetrated deeply into the country of Wu. From his
camp Wang Jun sent a report of his victory to
Luoyang, and Sima Yan was pleased.
But Jia Chong again opposed further fighting,
saying, “The armies have been long absent, and the
soldiers will suffer from the unhealthiness of the
southern country. It would be well to call them
home.”
Zhang Hua spoke against this course, saying,
“The Jin army has reached the very home and center
of the enemy. Soon Wu courage will fail, and the
Ruler of Wu himself will be our prisoner. To recall the
army now would be to waste the efforts already
made.”
The Ruler of Jin inclined to neither side.
Jia Chong turned upon Zhang Hua savagely,
saying, “You are wholly ignorant and understand
nothing; you are bent upon winning some sort of
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glory at the expense of our soldiers’ lives. Death
would be too good for you.”
“Why wrangle?” said Sima Yan. “Zhang Hua
agrees with me, and he knows my wishes.”
Just at this moment came a memorial from the
leader Du Yu also recommending advance,
whereupon the Ruler of Jin decided that the army
should go on.
The royal mandate duly reached the camp of
Wang Jun, and the Jin navy went out to the attack in
great pomp. The soldiers of Wu made no defense,
but surrendered at once.
When Sun Hao, the Ruler of Wu, heard his
armies had surrendered thus, he turned pale, and his
courtiers said, “What is to be done? Here the
northern army comes nearer every day and our
troops just give in.”
“But why do they not fight?” said Sun Hao.
The courtiers replied, “The one evil of today is the
eunuch Cen Hun. Slay him, and we ourselves will go
out and fight to the death.”
“How can a eunuch harm a state?” cried Sun
Hao.
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“Have we not seen what Huang Hao did in Shu?”
shouted the courtiers in chorus.
Moved by sudden fury, the courtiers rushed into
the Palace, found the wretched object of their hate
and slew him, and even feeding on his palpitating
flesh.
Then Tao Jun said, “All my ships are small, but
give me large vessels and I will place thereon twenty
thousand marines and go forth to fight. I can defeat
the enemy.”
His request was granted, and the royal guards
were sent up the river to join battle, while another
naval force went down stream, led by Leader of the
Van Zhang Xiang. But a heavy gale came on. The
flags were blown down and lay over in the ships, and
the marines would not embark. They scattered
leaving their leader with only a few score men.
Wang Jun, the leader of Jin, set sail and went
down the river. After passing Three Mountains, the
sailing master of his ship said the gale was too
strong for him to go on. He wished to anchor till the
storm had moderated.
But Wang Jun would not listen. Drawing his
Three Kingdoms Romance
sword, he said, “I wish to capture Shidou, and will
not hear of anchoring.”
So he compelled the sailing master to continue.
On the way Zhang Xiang, one of the leaders of Wu,
came to offer surrender.
“If you are in earnest, you will lead the way and
help me,” said Wang Jun.
Zhang Xiang consented, returned to his own ship,
and led the squadron. When he reached the walls of
Shidou, he called to the defenders to open the gates
and allow the Jin army to enter. The gates were
opened.
When the Ruler of Wu heard that his enemies
had actually entered the city, he wished to put an
end to his life, but his officers prevented this.
Secretary Hu Zhong and Minister Xue Rong said,
“Your Majesty, why not imitate the conduct of Liu
Shan of Shu, now Duke of Anle?”
So Sun Hao no longer thought of death, but went
to offer submission. He bound himself and took a
coffin with him. His officers followed him. He was
graciously received, and the Jin General Wang Jun
himself loosened the bonds, and the coffin was
Three Kingdoms Romance
burned. The vanquished Ruler was treated with the
ceremony due to a prince.
A poet of the Tang Dynasty wrote a few lines on
this surrender:
Adown the stream ride storied warships tall;
With massive chains some seek to stop their way.
But Jiangling’s independence fades away
And soon “We yield” is signaled from the wall.
Full oft I think of bygone days and sigh,
Along the stream, unmoved, the old hills rest,
While I am homeless on the earth’s broad breast,
Where grim old forts stand gray beneath the sky.
So Wu was subdued and ceased to exist as a
state; its 4 regions, 43 counties, 313 districts,
5,230,000 families, 32,000 civil officers, 230,000
soldiers and military officers, 23,000,000 inhabitants,
its stores of grain and over five thousand large ships,
all fell booty to the victorious Jin Dynasty. In the
women’s quarters of the palace were found more
than five thousand persons.
Proclamations were issued; treasuries and
Three Kingdoms Romance
storehouses were sealed. Tao Jun’s army soon
melted away without striking a blow. Wang Jun was
greatly elated at his success. Sima Zhou, Prince of
Langye, and General Wang Rong also arrived and
congratulated each other.
When Du Yu, the Commander−in−Chief, arrived,
there were great feastings and rewards for the
soldiers. The granaries were opened and doles of
grain issued to the people, so that they also were
glad of peace.
One city only stood out; Jianping, under Governor
Wu Yan. However, he too surrendered when he
heard the capital had fallen.
The tidings of all these successes reached
Luoyang just at the celebration of the birthday of the
Ruler of Jin, and the rejoicings and congratulations
were redoubled. At one of the banquets the Ruler of
Jin did honor to the memory of the late Yang Hu.
Raising his wine cup, and in a voice broken by
emotion, he said, “Today’s success is the merit of the
Imperial Guardian. I regret that he is not here to
share our rejoicings.”
Sun Xiu, General of the Flying Cavalry in Wu,
Three Kingdoms Romance
went away from the court and wailed, facing the
south.
“Alas, ye blue heavens! What manner of man is
this Sun Hao to yield thus the heritage of his family,
won by the sword of General Sun Jian the Martially
Glorious in the brave days that are past?”
Meantime the victors marched homeward, and
Sun Hao went to Luoyang to present himself at
court; and in his capacity of minister, he prostrated
himself at the feet of the Emperor of the Jin Dynasty
in the Hall of Audience. He was allowed a seat.
“I set that seat for you long since,” said the Ruler
of Jin.
“Thy servant also set a seat for Your Majesty in
the south,” retorted Sun Hao.
The Ruler of Jin laughed loudly.
Then Jia Chong turned to Sun Hao and said, “I
hear, Sir, that when you were in the south, they
gouged out people’s eyes and flayed their faces;
what crimes were so punished?”
“Murders of princes and malicious speech and
disloyal conduct were so punished.”
Jia Chong was silenced, for he was ashamed.
Three Kingdoms Romance
Sun Hao was created Lord of Guiming. His sons
and grandsons received minor ranks and other
grades were conferred upon his ministers who had
followed him in his surrender. The sons and
grandsons of the late Prime Minister of Wu, Zhang
Ti, who had perished in battle, were given ranks. The
victorious leader, Wang Jun, was rewarded with the
title General Who Upholds the State. And many
other ranks were conferred to the
Jin officers.
The three states became one empire under the
rule of Sima Yan of the Jin Dynasty. That is domains
under heaven, after a long period of union, tends to
divide; after a long period of division, tends to unite.
Liu Shan, the Emperor of Shu−Han, passed away
in the seventh year of Great Beginning, in Jin
calendar (AD 271); Cao Huang, the Emperor of Wei,
passed away in the first year of Magnificent Peace
(AD 302); and Sun Hao, the Emperor of Wu, passed
away in the fourth year of Prosperous Peace (AD
283); all three died of natural causes.
A poet has summed up the history of these
stirring years in a poem:
Three Kingdoms Romance
It was the dawning of a glorious day
When first the Founder of the House of Han
Xianyang’s proud palace entered. Noontide came
When Liu Xiu the imperial rule restored.
Alas, that Liu Xian succeeded in full time
And saw the setting of the sun of power!
He Jin, the feeble, fell beneath the blows
Of palace minions. Dong Zhuo, vile though bold,
Then ruled the court. The plot Wang Yun
To oust him, failed, recoiled on his own head.
The Li Jue and Guo Si lit up the flame of war
And brigands swarmed like ants through all the
land.
Then rose the valiant and deployed their might.
Sun Ce carved out a kingdom in the southeast,
North of Yellow River the Yuans strove to make
their own.
Liu Zhang went west and seized on Pa and Shu,
Liu Biao laid hold on Jingzhou,
Zhang Lu, in turn held Hanzhong by force.
Ma Teng and Han Sui kept Xizhou.
Tao Qian and Gongsun Zan built up quarters,
Zhang Xiu and Lu Bu challenged the bold.
Three Kingdoms Romance
But overtopping all Cao Cao the strong
Became first minister, and to his side,
Drew many able people. He swayed the court,
Without, he held the nobles in his hand;
By force of arms he held the capital
Against all rivals. Of imperial stock
Was born Liu Bei, who with sworn brothers twain
Made oath the dynasty should be restored.
These wandered homeless east and west for
years,
A petty force. But Destiny was kind
And led Liu Bei to Nanyang’s rustic cot,
Where lay Reposing−Dragon, he who
Already that the empire must be rent.
Twice Liu Bei essayed in vain to see the sage
Once more he went? And then his fortune turned.
Jingzhou fell to him, followed the Lands of Rivers,
A fitting base to build an empire on.
Alas! He ruled there only three short years,
Then left his only son to Zhuge Liang’s care.
Full nobly Zhuge Liang played protector’s part,
Unceasing strove to win first place for Shu;
But Fate forbade; one night for aye his star
Three Kingdoms Romance
Went down behind the rampart of the hills.
Jiang Wei the strong inherited his task
And struggled on for years.
But Zhong Hui and Deng Ai
Attacked the Hans’ last stronghold, and it fell.
Five sons of Cao Cao sat on the dragon throne,
And Sima Yan snatched the court from Cao
Huang.
Before him bowed the kings of Shu and Wu,
Content to forfeit kingly power for life.
All down the ages rings the note of change,
For fate so rules it; none escapes its sway.
The three kingdoms have vanished as a dream,
The useless misery is ours to grieve.
THE END
Three Kingdoms Romance

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