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-> -> -> In A Plum Garden, Cao Cao Discusses Heroes; Using The Host's Forces, Guan Yu Takes Xuzhou
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《曹操煮酒論英雄,關公賺城斬車胄 - In A Plum Garden, Cao Cao Discusses Heroes; Using The Host's Forces, Guan Yu Takes Xuzhou》

1 曹操煮酒... :
卻說董承等問馬騰曰:「公卻用何人?」馬騰曰:「見有豫州牧劉玄德在此,何不求之?」承曰:「此人雖係皇叔,今正依附曹操,安肯行此事耶?」騰曰:「吾觀前日圍場之中,曹操迎受眾賀之時,雲長在玄德背後,挺刀欲殺操,玄德以目視之而止。玄德非不欲圖操,恨操爪牙多,恐力不及耳。公試求之,當必應允。」吳碩曰:「此事不宜太速,當從容商議。」眾皆散去。
In A Plum Garden,...:
"Who is it?" was the question on the lips of the conspirators.
Ma Teng's reply was, "The Imperial Protector of Yuzhou, Liu Bei. He is here and we will ask him to help."
"Though he is an uncle of the Emperor, he is at present a partisan of our enemy, and he will not join," said Dong Cheng.
"But I saw something at the hunt," said Ma Teng. "When Cao Cao advanced to acknowledge the congratulations due to the Emperor, Liu Bei's sworn brother Guan Yu was behind him, and grasped his sword as if to cut down Cao Cao. However, Liu Bei signed to him to hold his hand and Guan Yu did. Liu Bei would willingly destroy Cao Cao, only he thinks Cao Cao's teeth and claws are too many. You must ask Liu Bei, and he will surely consent."
Here Wu Shi urged caution, saying, "Do not go too fast. Let us consider the thing most carefully." They dispersed.

2 曹操煮酒... :
次日黑夜裏,董承懷詔,逕往玄德館中來。門吏入報,玄德迎出,請入小閣坐定。關、張侍立於側。玄德曰:「國舅夜至此,必有事故。」承曰:「白日乘馬相訪,恐操見疑,故黑夜相見。」玄德命取酒相待。承曰:「前日圍場之中,雲長欲殺曹操,將軍動目搖頭而退之,何也?」玄德失驚曰:「公何以知之?」承曰:「人皆不見,某獨見之。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
Next day after dark Dong Cheng went to Liu Bei's lodging taking with him the decree. As soon as Dong Cheng was announced, Liu Bei came to greet him and led him into a private room where they could talk freely. The two younger brothers were there as well.
"It must be something unusually important that has brought Uncle Dong Cheng here tonight," said Liu Bei.
"If I had ridden forth by daylight, Cao Cao might have suspected something, so I came by night."
Wine was brought in, and while they were drinking, Dong Cheng said, "Why did you check your brother the other day at the hunt, when he was going to attack Cao Cao?"
Liu Bei was startled and said, "How did you know?"
"Nobody noticed but I saw."

3 曹操煮酒... :
玄德不能隱諱,遂曰:「舍弟見操僭越,故不覺發怒耳。」承掩面而哭曰:「朝廷臣子,若盡如雲長,何憂不太平哉!」玄德恐是曹操使他來試探,乃佯言曰:「曹丞相治國,為何憂不太平?」承變色而起曰:「公乃漢朝皇叔,故剖肝瀝膽以相告,公何詐也?」玄德曰:「恐國舅有詐,故相試耳。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
Liu Bei could not prevaricate and said, "It was the presumption of the man that made my brother so angry. Guan Yu could not help it."
The visitor covered his face and wept.
"Ah," said he, "if all the court ministers were like Guan Yu, there would be no sighs for lack of tranquillity."
Now Liu Bei felt that possibly Cao Cao had sent his visitor to try him, so he cautiously replied, "Where are the sighs for lack of tranquillity while Cao Cao is at the head of affairs?"
Dong Cheng changed color and rose from his seat.
"You, Sir, are a relative of His Majesty, and so I showed you my inmost feelings. Why did you mislead me?"
But Liu Bei said, "Because I feared you might be misleading me, and I wanted to find out."

4 曹操煮酒... :
於是董承取衣帶詔令觀之。玄德不勝悲憤。又將義狀出示,上止有六位:一,車騎將軍董承;二,工部侍郎王子服;三,長水校尉种輯;四,議郎吳碩;五,昭信將軍吳子蘭;六,西涼太守馬騰。玄德曰:「公既奉詔討賊,備敢不犬馬之勞。」承拜謝,便請書名。玄德亦書「左將軍劉備」,押了字,付承收訖。承曰:「尚容再請三人,共聚十義,以圖國賊。」玄德曰:「切宜緩緩而行,不可輕洩。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
At this Dong Cheng drew out the decree he had received and showed it. His host was deeply moved. Then Dong Cheng produced the pledge. There were only six names to it, and these were Dong Cheng, Wang Zifu, Chong Ji, Wu Shi, Wu Zilan, and Ma Teng.
"Since you have a decree like this, I cannot but do my share," said Liu Bei, and at Dong Cheng's request he added his name and signature to the others and handed it back.
"Now let us but get three more, which will make ten, and we shall be ready to act."
"But you must move with great caution and not let this get abroad," said Liu Bei.

5 曹操煮酒... :
共議到五更,相別去了。玄德也防曹操謀害,就下處後園種菜,親自澆灌,以韜晦之計。關、張曰:「兄不留心天下大事,而學小人之事,何也?」玄德曰:「此非二弟所知之。」二人乃不復言。
In A Plum Garden,...:
The two remained talking till an early hour in the morning when the visitor left.
Now in order to put Cao Cao quite off the scent that any plot against him was in progress, Liu Bei began to devote himself to gardening, planting vegetables, and watering them with his own hands. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei ventured to remonstrate with him for taking to such an occupation when great matters needed attention.
"The reason for this you may not know," replied he.
And they said no more.

6 曹操煮酒... :
一日,關、張不在,玄德正在後園澆菜,許褚、張遼引數十人入園中曰:「丞相有命,請使君便行。」玄德驚問曰:「有甚緊事?」許褚曰:「不知。只教我來相請。」玄德只得隨二人入府見操。操笑曰:「在家做得好大事!」諕得玄德面如土色。操執玄德手,直至後園曰:「玄德學圃不易。」玄德方纔放心,答曰:「無事消遣耳。」操曰:「適見枝頭梅子青青,忽感去年征張繡時,道上缺水,將士皆渴。吾心生一計,以鞭虛指曰:『前面有梅林。』軍士聞之,口皆生唾,由是不渴。今見此梅,不可不賞。又值煮酒正熟,故邀使君小亭一會。」玄德心神方定,隨至小亭,已設樽俎:盤置青梅,一樽煮酒。二人對坐,開懷暢飲。
In A Plum Garden,...:
One day when the two brothers were absent, and Liu Bei was busy in his garden, two generals of Cao Cao, Xu Chu and Zhang Liao, with an escort came from Cao Cao, saying, "The command of the Prime Minister is that you come at once."
"What important affair is afoot?" asked Liu Bei nervously.
"We know nothing. We were ordered to come and request your presence."
All he could do was to follow.
When Liu Bei arrived, Cao Cao met him and laughingly said, "That is a big business you have in hand at home."
This remark made Liu Bei turn the color of clay. Cao Cao took him by the hand and led him straight to the private garden, saying, "The growth of vegetables that you are trying to learn is very difficult."
Liu Bei breathed again. He said, "That is hardly a business. It is only a solace."
Cao Cao said, "I happened to notice the green plums on the trees today, and suddenly my thoughts went back to a year ago when we were thrashing Zhang Xiu. We were marching through a parched county, and everyone was suffering from thirst. Suddenly I lifted my whip, and pointing at something in the distance I said, 'Look at those fruitful plum trees in the forest ahead.' The soldiers heard it, and it made their mouths water. Seeing the plums kindles my appreciation. I owe something to the plums, and we will repay it today. I ordered the servants to heat some wine very hot and sent to invite you to share it."
Liu Bei was quite composed by this time and no longer suspected any sinister design. He went with his host to a small spring pavilion in a plum garden, where the wine cups were already laid out and green plums filled the dishes. They sat down to a confidential talk and free enjoyment of their wine.

7 曹操煮酒... :
酒至半酣,忽陰雲漠漠,驟雨將至。從人遙指天外龍挂,操與玄德欄觀之。操日:「使君知龍之變化否?」玄德曰:「未知其詳。」操曰:「龍能大能小,能升能隱;大則興雲吐霧,小則隱介藏形;升則飛騰於宇宙之間,隱則潛伏於波濤之內。方今春深,龍乘時變化,猶人得志而縱橫四海。龍之為物,可比世之英雄。玄德久歷四方,必知當世英雄。請試指言之。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
As they drank, the weather gradually changed, clouds gathering and threatening rain. The servants pointed out a mass of cloud that looked like a dragon hung in the sky. Both host and guest leaned over the balcony looking at it.
"Do you understand the evolution of dragons?" asked Cao Cao of the guest.
"Not in detail."
"A dragon can assume any size, can rise in glory or hide from sight. Bulky, it generates clouds and evolves mist; attenuated, it can scarcely hide a mustard stalk or conceal a shadow. Mounting, it can soar to the empyrean; subsiding, it lurks in the uttermost depths of the ocean. This is the midspring season, and the dragon chooses this moment for its transformations like a person realizing his own desires and overrunning the world. The dragon among animals compares with the hero among people. You, General, have traveled all lakes and rivers. You must know who are the heroes of the present day, and I wish you would say who they are."

8 曹操煮酒... :
玄德曰:「備肉眼安識英雄?」操曰:「休得過謙。」玄德曰:「備叨恩庇,得仕於朝。天下英雄,實有未知。」操曰:「既不識其面,亦聞其名。」玄德曰:「淮南袁術,兵糧足備,可謂英雄。」操笑曰:「塚中枯骨,吾早晚必擒之!」玄德曰:「河北袁紹,四世三公,門多故吏;今虎踞冀州之地,部下能事者極多,可謂英雄。」操笑曰:「袁紹色厲膽薄,好謀無斷;幹大事而惜身,見小利而忘命:非英雄也。」玄德曰:「有一人名稱八駿,威鎮九州──劉景升可為英雄。」操曰:「劉表虛名無實,非英雄也。」玄德曰:「有一人血氣方剛,江東領袖──孫伯苻乃英雄也。」操曰:「孫策藉父之名,非英雄也。」玄德曰:「益州劉季玉,可為英雄乎?」操曰:「劉璋雖係宗室,乃守戶之犬耳,何足為英雄!」玄德曰:「如張繡、張魯、韓遂等輩皆何如?」操鼓掌大笑曰:「此等碌碌小人,何足挂齒!」玄德曰:「舍此之外,備實不知。」操曰:「夫英雄者,胸懷大志,腹有良謀;有包藏宇宙之機,吞吐天地之志者也。」玄德曰:「誰能當之?」操以手指玄德,後自指曰:「今天下英雄,惟使君與操耳。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
"I am just a common dullard. How can I know such things?"
"Do not be so modest," said Cao Cao.
"Thanks to your kindly protection I have a post at court. But as to heroes I really do not know who they are."
"You may not have looked upon their faces, but you must have heard their names."
"Yuan Shu of the South of River Huai, with his strong army and abundant resources: Is he one?" asked Liu Bei.
His host laughed, "A rotting skeleton in a graveyard. I shall put him out of the way shortly."
"Well, Yuan Shao then. The highest offices of state have been held in his family for four generations, and his clients are many in the empire. He is firmly posted in Jizhou, and he commands the services of many able people. Surely he is one."
"A bully, but a coward. He is fond of grandiose schemes, but is devoid of decision. He makes for great things but grudges the necessary sacrifice. He loses sight of everything else in view of a little present advantage. He is not one."
"There is Liu Biao of Jingzhou. He is renowned as a man of perfection, whose fame has spread on all sides. Surely he is a hero."
"He is a mere semblance, a man of vain reputation. No, not he."
"Sun Ce is a sturdy sort, the chief of all in the South Land. Is he a hero?"
"He has profited by the reputation of his father Sun Jian. Sun Ce is not a real hero."
"What of Liu Zhang of Yizhou?"
"Though he is of the reigning family, he is nothing more than a watch dog. How could you make a hero of him?"
"What about Zhang Xiu, Zhang Lu, Han Sui, and all those leaders?"
Cao Cao clapped his hands and laughed very loudly, saying, "Paltry people like them are not worth mentioning."
"With these exceptions I really know none."
"Now heroes are the ones who cherish lofty designs in their bosoms and have plans to achieve them. They have all-embracing schemes, and the whole world is at their mercy."
"Who is such a person?" said Liu Bei.
Cao Cao pointed his finger first at his guest and then at himself, saying, "The only heroes in the world are you and I."

9 曹操煮酒... :
玄德聞言,吃了一驚,手中所執匙箸,不覺落於地下。時正值天雨將至,雷聲大作。玄德乃從容俯首拾箸曰:「一震之威,乃至於此。」操笑曰:「丈夫亦畏雷乎?」玄德曰:「聖人迅雷風烈必變,安得不畏?」將聞言失箸緣故,輕輕掩飾過了。操遂不疑玄德。後人有詩讚曰:
In A Plum Garden,...:
Liu Bei gasped, and the spoon and chopsticks rattled to the floor. Now just at that moment the storm burst with a tremendous peal of thunder and rush of rain.
Liu Bei stooped down to recover the fallen articles, saying, "What a shock! And it was quite close."
"What! Are you afraid of thunder?" said Cao Cao.
Liu Bei replied, "The Sage One paled at a sudden peal of thunder or fierce gust of wind. Why should one not fear?"
Thus he glossed over the real fact, that it was the words he had heard that had so startled him.
勉從虎穴暫趨身,說破英雄驚殺人。巧借聞雷來掩飾,隨機應變信如神。
Constrained to lodge in a tiger's lair,
He played a waiting part,
But when Cao Cao talked of breaking humans,
Then terror gripped his heart.
But he cleverly used the thunder peal
As excuse for turning pale;
O quick to seize occasions thus!
He surely must prevail.

10 曹操煮酒... :
天雨方住,見兩個人撞入後園,手提寶劍,突至亭前,左右攔擋不住。操視之,乃關、張二人也。原來二人從城外射箭方回,聽得玄德被許褚、張遼請將去了,慌忙來相府打聽;聞說在後園,只恐有失,故衝突而入。卻見玄德與操對坐飲酒。二人按劍而立。操問二人何來。雲長曰:「聽知丞相和兄飲酒,特來舞劍,以助一笑。」操笑曰:「此非鴻門會,安用項莊、項伯乎?」玄德亦笑。操命:「取酒與『二樊噲』壓驚。」關、張拜謝。
In A Plum Garden,...:
The shower had passed, and there appeared two men rushing through the garden, both armed. In spite of the attendants, they forced their way to the pavilion where sat the two friends. They were Guan Yu and Zhang Fei.
The two brothers had been outside the city at archery practice when Cao Cao's invitation had come so peremptorily. On their return they heard that two officers had arrived and led away Liu Bei to the Prime Minister. They hastened to his palace and were told their brother was with his host in the grounds, and they feared something had happened. So they rushed in.
Now when they saw their brother quietly talking with Cao Cao and enjoying a cup of wine, they took up their usual places and meekly stood waiting.
"Why did you come?" said Cao Cao.
"We heard that you, Sir, had invited our brother to a wine party, and we came to amuse you with a little sword play," said they.
"This is not a Hongmen Banquet," replied Cao Cao. "What use have we for Xiang Chang and Xiang Ba of old?"
Liu Bei smiled. The host ordered wine to be served to the two "Fan Kuais" to allay their anxiety.

11 曹操煮酒... :
須臾席散,玄德辭操而歸。雲長曰:「險些驚殺我兩個!」玄德以落箸事說與關、張。張問是何意。玄德曰:「吾之學圃,正欲使操知我無大志;不意操竟指我為英雄,我故失驚落箸。又恐操生疑,故借懼雷以掩飾之耳。」關、張曰:「兄真高見!」
In A Plum Garden,...:
Soon after, the three took their leave and returned homeward.
"We were nearly frightened to death," said Guan Yu.
The story of the dropped chopsticks was told. The two asked what their brother intended by his actions.
"My learning gardening was to convince Cao Cao of my perfect simplicity and the absence of any ambition. But when he suddenly pointed to me as one of the heroes, I was startled, for I thought he had some suspicions. Happily the thunder at that moment supplied the excuse I wanted."
"Really you are very clever," said they.

12 曹操煮酒... :
操次日又請玄德。正飲間,人報滿寵去探聽袁紹而回。操召入問之。寵曰:「公孫瓚已被袁紹破了。」玄德急問曰:「願聞其詳。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
Next day Cao Cao again invited Liu Bei and while the two were drinking, Man Chong, who had been dispatched to find out what Yuan Shao was doing, came to present his report.
Man Chong said, "Gongsun Zan has been completely defeated by Yuan Shao."
"Do you know the details? I should like to know how," interrupted Liu Bei.

13 曹操煮酒... :
寵曰:「瓚與紹戰不利,築城圍圈,圈上建樓高十丈,名曰易京樓;積粟三十萬以自守,戰士出入不息。或有被紹圍者,眾請救之。瓚曰:『若救一人,後之戰者只望人救,不肯死戰矣。』遂不肯救。因此袁紹兵來,多有降之者。瓚勢孤,使人持書赴許都求救,不意中途為紹軍所獲。瓚又遺書張燕,暗約舉火為號,裏應外合。下書人又被袁紹擒住,卻來城外放火誘敵。瓚自出戰,伏兵四起,軍馬折其大半。退守城中,被袁紹穿地直入瓚所居之樓下,放起火來。瓚無路走,先殺妻子,然後自縊,全家都被火焚了。今袁紹得了瓚軍,聲聲甚盛。紹弟袁術在淮南驕奢過度,不恤軍民,眾皆背反。術使人歸帝號於袁紹。紹欲取玉璽。術約親自送至。見今棄淮南欲歸河北。若二人協力,急難收復。乞丞相作急圖之。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
"They were at war, and Gongsun Zan got the worst of it, so he acted on the defensive, building a high wall about his army and on that erecting a high tower, which he called the Yijing Tower. Therein he placed all his grain, one hundred thousand carts total, and took up his own quarters. His fighting troops passed in and out without ceasing, some going out to give battle, others returning to rest. One of them was surrounded and sent to ask Gongsun Zan to rescue him. Gongsun Zan said, 'If I rescue him, hereafter everyone will want to be helped and will not exert himself.' So Gongsun Zan did not go. This disgusted his soldiers, and many deserted to the enemy so that his army diminished. He sent letters to the capital to crave help, but the messenger was captured. He sent to Zhang Yan to arrange with him for a two-pronged joint attack, and those letters with the plans also fell into Yuan Shao's hands. The plans were adopted by Yuan Shao, who gave the signals agreed upon. Thus Gongsun Zan fell into an ambush, lost heavily, and retreated into the city. There he was besieged, and a subterranean passage was pierced into the tower where he lodged. The tower was set on fire, and Gongsun Zan could not escape. So he slew his wife and little ones and hanged himself. The flames destroyed the bodies of the whole family.
"Yuan Shao has added the remnants of the vanquished army to his own and so become yet stronger. His brother Yuan Shu in the South of River Huai, however, has become so arrogant and cruel that the people have turned against him. Then Yuan Shu had sent to say he would yield the title of Emperor, which he had assumed, in favor of Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao demanded the Imperial Hereditary Seal also, and Yuan Shu promised to bring it in person. Now Yuan Shu has abandoned River Huai and is about to move to the North of Yellow River. If he succeeded, the two brothers will control adjoining regions and be dangerous."

14 曹操煮酒... :
玄德聞公孫瓚已死,追念昔日薦己之恩,不勝傷感;又不知趙子龍如何下落,放心不下;因暗想曰:「我不就此時尋個脫身之計,更待何時?」遂起身對操曰:「術若投紹,必從徐州過。備請一軍就半路截擊,術可擒矣。」操笑曰:「來日奏帝,即便起兵。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
It was a sad story, and Liu Bei remembered with sorrow that, in the days of success and prosperity, the dead chieftain, Gongsun Zan, had pushed his interest and shown him much kindness. Moreover he was anxious to know the fate of Zhao Zilong.
In his heart he thought, "What better chance am I likely to get of setting myself free?"
So Liu Bei rose and said to Cao Cao, "If Yuan Shu goes over to join his brother, he will surely pass through Xuzhou. I beg you to give me an army with which to smite him on the way. That will finish Yuan Shu."
"Memorialize the Emperor tomorrow, and I will give you an army," said Cao Cao.

15 曹操煮酒... :
次日,玄德面奏獻帝。操令玄德總督五萬人馬,又差朱靈、路昭二人同行。玄德辭帝,帝泣送之。玄德到寓,星夜收拾軍軍器鞍馬,挂了將軍印,催促便行。董承趕出十里長亭來送。玄德曰:「國舅忍耐,某次行必有以報命。」承曰:「公宜留意,勿負帝心。」二人分別。關,張在馬上問曰:「兄今番出征,何故如此慌速?」玄德曰:「吾乃籠中鳥,網中魚。此一行如魚入大海,鳥上青霽,不受籠網之羈絆也。」因命關,張催朱靈,路昭,軍馬速行。時郭嘉,程昱,考較錢糧方回,知曹操已遣玄德進兵徐州,慌入諫曰:「丞相何故令劉備督軍?」操曰:「欲截袁術耳。」程昱曰:「昔劉備為豫州牧時,某等請殺之,丞相不聽;今日又與之兵,此放龍入海,縱虎歸山也。後欲治之,其可得乎?」郭嘉曰:「丞相縱不殺備,亦不當使之去。古人云:『一日縱敵,萬世之患。』望丞相察之。」操然其言,遂令許褚將兵五百前往,務要追玄德轉來。許褚應諾而去。
In A Plum Garden,...:
So next day Liu Bei went to an audience, and Cao Cao gave him command of fifty thousand horse and foot, and sent Generals Zhu Ling and Lu Zhao with him.
At parting with Liu Bei, the Emperor shed tears.
As soon as Liu Bei reached his lodging, he set about preparations for immediate departure, taking his seal as General and preparing his weapons. Dong Cheng went three miles away from the city to bid him farewell.
"You must not mind my going. This journey will assuredly help on the scheme," said Liu Bei.
"Keep your mind fixed on that," said Dong Cheng, "and never forget what His Majesty requires of us."
They parted. Presently his brothers asked him why he was in such a hurry to get away.
Liu Bei replied, "I have been a bird in a cage, a fish in a net. This is like the fish regaining the open sea and the bird soaring into the blue sky. I suffered much from the confinement."
Then he ordered Zhu Ling and Lu Zhao to march the troops faster.
Now Guo Jia and Cheng Yu had been absent inspecting stores and supplies when Liu Bei left. As soon as they heard of his expedition, they went in to see their master, asking him why he had let Liu Bei go in command of an army.
"He is going to cut off Yuan Shu," replied Cao Cao.
"Formerly, when he was Imperial Protector of Yuzhou, we recommended that he should be put to death, but you would not hear of it. Now you have given him an army. You have allowed the dragon to reach the sea, the tiger to return to the mountains. What control will you have in future?"
So spoke Cheng Yu, and Guo Jia followed in the same strain, saying, "Even if you would not put him to death, you need not have let him go. As the proverb says, 'Relax opposition for one day and age-long harm ensues.' You must admit the truth of this."
Cao Cao recognized that these were prudent counsels, so he sent Xu Chu with five hundred horsemen and imperative orders to bring Liu Bei back again.

16 曹操煮酒... :
卻說玄德正行之間,只見後面塵頭驟起,謂關,張曰:「此必曹兵追至也。」遂下了營寨,令關,張各執軍器,立於兩邊。許褚至,見嚴兵整甲,乃下馬入營見玄德。玄德曰:「公來此何幹?」褚曰:「奉丞相命,特請將軍回去,別有商議。」玄德曰:「『將在外,君命有所不受。』吾面過君,又蒙丞相鈞語,今別無他議,公可速回,為我稟覆丞相。」許褚尋思:「丞相與他一向交好,今番又不曾教我來廝殺,只得將他言語回覆,另候裁奪便了。」遂辭了玄德領兵而回;回見曹操,備述玄德之言。操猶豫未決。程昱,郭嘉曰:「備不肯回兵,可知心變。」操曰:「我有朱靈,路昭,二人在彼,料玄德未敢心變。況我既遣之,何可復悔?」遂不復追玄德。後人有詩讚玄德曰:
In A Plum Garden,...:
Liu Bei was marching as rapidly as possible when he noticed a cloud of dust in the rear and remarked to his brothers, "Surely they are pursuing us."
He halted and made a stockade, and ordered his brothers to be in readiness, one on each flank. Presently the messenger arrived and found himself in the midst of an army ready for battle. Xu Chu dismounted and entered the camp to speak with Liu Bei.
"Sir, on what business have you come?" asked Liu Bei.
"The Prime Minister has sent me to request you to return as he has further matters to discuss with you."
"When a general has once taken the field, even the royal command is of no effect. I bade farewell to the Emperor, I received the Prime Minister's commands, and there can be nothing further to talk about. You may return forthwith and take that as my reply."
Xu Chu was undecided what action to take. He thought, "The Prime Minister cherishes a friendship with Liu Bei, and I have no orders to kill. I can only return with this reply and ask further instructions."
So Xu Chu left. When he related what had occurred, Cao Cao still hesitated to take any action.
"This refusal to return means enmity," said Cheng Yu and Guo Jia.
"Still, two of my people are with him," said Cao Cao. "He will not dare do anything unfriendly, I think. Beside, I sent him and I cannot go back on my own orders."
So Liu Bei was not pursued.
束兵秣馬去匆匆,心念天言衣帶中。撞破鐵籠逃虎豹,頓開金鎖走蛟龍。
He took his arms, he fed his steed,
And fared forth willingly,
Intent to accomplish his King's behest
Deep graven on his memory.
At least he had broken out of his cage,
He heard not the tiger's roar,
He had shaken the shackles from his feet,
As a dragon on high could soar.

17 曹操煮酒... :
卻說馬騰見玄德已去,邊報又急,亦回西涼州去了。玄德兵至徐州,刺史車冑出迎。公宴畢,孫乾,糜竺,等都來參見。玄德回家探視老小,一面差人探聽袁術。探子回報:「袁術奢侈太過,雷薄,陳蘭,皆投嵩山去了。術聲勢甚衰,乃作書讓帝號於袁紹,紹命人召術,術乃收拾人馬,宮禁御用之物,先到徐州來。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
As soon as Ma Teng heard that Liu Bei had set forth, he reported that pressing business called him and marched back to his own region, Xiliang.
When Liu Bei reached Xuzhou, the Deputy Imperial Protector, Che Zhou, came to meet him. When the official banquet was over, Sun Qian and Mi Zhu paid their visit to Che Zhou. Then Liu Bei proceeded to his residence to greet his family.
Scouts were sent out to see what Yuan Shu was doing. They came back with the intelligence: "Yuan Shu's arrogance had driven away his generals, Lei Bo and Chen Lan, who had returned to their mountain fastness in Mount Song. His forces thus reduced, he wrote resigning the imperial style he had assumed in favor of his brother Yuan Shao, who at once commanded his presence. Thereupon he packed up the Palace fittings he had made, got the remnants of his army in order, and marched west."

18 曹操煮酒... :
玄德知袁術將至,乃引關,張,朱靈,路昭,五萬軍出,正迎著先鋒紀靈至。張飛更不打話,直取紀靈。鬥無十合,張飛大喝一聲,刺紀靈於馬下。敗軍奔走,袁術自引軍來鬥。玄德分兵三路,──朱靈,路昭在左,關,張在右,玄德自引兵居中,──與術相見,在門旗下責備曰:「汝反逆不道,吾今奉明詔前來討汝。汝當束手受降,免你罪犯。」袁術罵曰:「織席編屨小輩,安敢輕我!」麾兵趕來。玄德暫退,讓左右兩路軍殺出。殺得術軍尸橫遍野,血流成渠;士卒逃亡,不可勝計。又被嵩山雷薄,陳蘭,劫去錢糧草料。欲回壽春,又被群盜所襲,只得住於江亭。止有一千餘眾,皆老弱之輩。時當盛暑,糧食盡絕,只剩麥三十斛,分派軍士,家人無食,多有餓死者。
In A Plum Garden,...:
When Yuan Shu neared Xuzhou, Liu Bei led out his force of fifty thousand soldiers and four generals —-Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhu Ling, and Lu Zhao. Yuan Shu sent out Ji Ling to force a way through. But Zhang Fei opposed him and attacked without a parley. In the tenth bout Zhang Fei cut down Ji Ling. The defeated troops fled in all directions.
Then Yuan Shu came up with his own army. Liu Bei placed Zhu Ling and Lu Zhao in command of the left wing, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei the right wing, and himself in the center, and so met Yuan Shu.
As soon as the enemy came near, Liu Bei began to abuse him, crying, "O rebellious one, and wicked, I have a command to destroy you! Yield, then, with good grace and so escape your punishment!"
"Base weaver of mats and mean maker of straw sandals! How dare you make light of me?" replied Yuan Shu, and he gave the signal for an attack.
Liu Bei retired, and his generals from the flanks closed in. They smote the army of Yuan Shu till corpses littered the plain and blood flowed in streams. At the same time Yuan Shu's former generals, Lei Bo and Chen Lan from Mount Song, attacked the baggage train and completed the destruction. Yuan Shu tried to retreat to Shouchun, but Lei Bo and Chen Lan barred the road.
Yuan Shu sought refuge in Jiangling, with one thousand troops left of all his army. And these were the weakly ones, able neither to fight nor flee. It was then the height of summer, and their food was nearly exhausted. The whole provision consisted of thirty carts of wheat. This was made over to the soldiers, and the members of his household went hungry. Many died of actual starvation.

19 曹操煮酒... :
術嫌飯粗,不能下咽,乃命庖人取蜜水止渴。庖人曰:「止有血水,安得蜜水?」術坐於床上,大叫一聲,倒於地下,吐血斗餘而死。時建安四年六月也。後人有詩曰:
In A Plum Garden,...:
Yuan Shu could not swallow the coarse food that the soldiers lived on. One day he bade his cook bring him some honeyed water to quench his thirst.
"There is no water, save that tainted with blood," replied the cook. "Where can I get honeyed water?"
This was the last straw. Yuan Shu sat up on his couch and rolled out on the floor with a loud cry. Blood gushed from his mouth and thus he died. It was the sixth month of the fourth year of Rebuilt Tranquillity (AD 199).
漢末刀兵起四方,無端袁術太猖狂。不思累世為公相,便欲孤身做帝王。強暴枉誇傳國璽,驕奢妄說應天祥。渴思蜜水無由得,獨臥空床嘔血亡。
The last days of Han approached and weapons clashed in every quarter,
The misguided Yuan Shu, lost to all sense of honor,
Forgetful of his forefathers, who had filled the state's highest offices,
Madly aspired to become himself Emperor,
Resting his outrageous claim on the possession of the Seal,
And arrogantly boasting that thus he fulfilled the design of Heaven.
Alas! Sick unto death he vainly begged for a little honeyed water;
He died, alone.

20 曹操煮酒... :
袁術已死,姪袁胤將靈柩及妻子奔廬江來,被徐璆盡殺之。奪得玉璽,赴許都獻於曹操。曹操大喜,封徐璆為高陵太守,此玉璽歸操。
In A Plum Garden,...:
Yuan Shu being dead, his nephew, Yuan Yin, taking his coffin and his wife and children, sought shelter in Lujiang. There the Magistrate, Xu Liu, slew all the survivors. Among the possessions Xu Liu found the Imperial Hereditary Seal, which he at once took to the capital and presented to Cao Cao, for which service he was made Governor of Gaoling. Since then the Imperial Hereditary Seal belonged to Cao Cao.

21 曹操煮酒... :
卻說玄德知袁術已喪,寫表申奏朝廷,書呈曹操,令朱靈,路昭,回許都,留下軍馬保守徐州,一面親自出城,招諭流散人民復業。
In A Plum Garden,...:
When Liu Bei heard that Yuan Shu was dead, he prepared a report to the Throne, and sent it to Cao Cao. He sent the two generals deputed by Cao Cao, Zhu Ling and Lu Zhao, back to the capital, keeping the army to defend Xuzhou. He also personally went through the countryside commanding the people to resume their ordinary avocations.

22 曹操煮酒... :
且說朱靈、路昭回許都見曹操,說玄德留下軍馬。操怒,欲斬二人。荀彧曰:「權歸劉備,二人亦無奈何。」操乃赦之。彧又曰:「可寫書與車冑就內圖之。」
In A Plum Garden,...:
Cao Cao was angry when his two officers returned without their man and was going to put them to death. Xun Yu reasoned with him.
"The power was in Liu Bei's hands, and so these two had no alternative," said Xun Yu.
So they were pardoned.
"You should instruct Che Zhou, the Deputy Imperial Protector, to try to destroy him," said Xun Yu.

23 曹操煮酒... :
操從其計,暗使人來見車冑,傳曹操鈞旨。冑隨即請陳登商議此事。登曰:「此事極易:今劉備出城招民,不日將還;將軍丁命軍士伏於甕城邊,只作接他,待馬到來,一刀斬之;某在城上射住後軍,大事濟矣。」冑從之。陳登回見父陳珪,備言其事。珪命登先往報知玄德。登領父命,飛馬去報,正迎著關、張,報說如此如此。原來關、張先回,玄德在後。
In A Plum Garden,...:
Accordingly he sent secret orders to Che Zhou, who took Chen Deng into his confidence and asked his advice.
Chen Deng said, "That is easy. Liu Bei is outside the city, and an ambush in the city gate to attack him on his return from the country will be final. I will attack the escort with arrows from the city walls."
Che Zhou agreed to try this.
Then Chen Deng went to his father to tell him. Chen Gui bade him go and warn the intended victim. Chen Deng at once rode away to do so. Before long he met Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, to whom he told his story. Now Liu Bei was following some distance behind.

24 曹操煮酒... :
張飛聽得,便要去廝殺。雲長曰:「他伏甕城邊待我,去必有失。我有一計,可殺車冑:乘夜扮入曹軍到徐州,引車冑出迎,襲而殺之。」飛然其言。那部下軍原有曹操旗號,衣甲都同。當夜三更,到城叫門。城上問是誰,眾應是曹丞相差張文遠的人馬。報知車冑,冑急請陳登議曰:「若不迎接,誠有疑;若出迎之,又恐有詐。」冑乃上城回言:「黑夜難以分辨,待明早相見。」城下答應:「只恐劉備知道,疾快開門!」
In A Plum Garden,...:
As soon as Zhang Fei heard of the plot, he wanted to attack the ambush, but Guan Yu proposed another plan.
Said he, "Attacking the ambush will be a failure, since we are without the walls. And I think we can compass the death of Che Zhou. In the night we will pretend to be some of Cao Cao's soldiers and entice him out to meet us. We will slay him."
Zhang Fei approved of the plan. Now the soldiers still had some of Cao Cao's army banners and wore similar armor. About the third watch they came to the city wall and hailed the gate. Those on guard asked who they were. The men replied that they were Zhang Liao's troops sent from the capital. This was told Che Zhou who sent hastily for Chen Deng to ask his advice.
"If I do not receive them, they will suspect my loyalty," said Che Zhou. "Yet if I go out, I may be victim of a ruse."
So he went up on the wall and said, "It is too dark to distinguish friends from foes. You must wait till daylight."
"If Liu Bei know our presence, he will attack," shouted back the soldiers. And they begged him to let them in.

25 曹操煮酒... :
車冑猶豫未定,城外一片聲叫開門。車冑只得披挂上馬,引一千軍出城;跑過弔橋,大叫:「文遠何在?」火光中只見雲長提刀縱馬直迎車冑,大叫曰:「匹夫安敢懷詐,欲殺吾兄!」車冑大驚,戰未數合,遮攔不住,撥馬便回。到吊橋邊,城上陳登亂箭射下,車冑繞城而走。雲長趕來,手起一刀,砍於馬下,割下首級,提回望城上呼曰:「反賊車冑,吾已殺之;眾等無罪,投降免死。」諸軍倒戈投降,軍民皆安。
In A Plum Garden,...:
Still Che Zhou hesitated. They shouted louder than ever to open the gate.
Presently Che Zhou girded on his armor, placed himself at the head of one thousand cavalry and went out. He galloped over the bridge, shouting, "Where is Zhang Liao?"
Then lights blazed around, and he recognized Guan Yu with his sword drawn.
"Wretch!" cried Guan Yu. "You would plot to slay my brother, would you?"
Che Zhou was too frightened to make good defense, and he turned to reenter the gate. But as he reached the drawbridge, Chen Deng shot out flights of arrows, wherefore Che Zhou turned aside and galloped along under the wall. But Guan Yu came quickly in pursuit. His sword was raised aloft, and as it came down, Che Zhou fell to the earth.
Guan Yu cut off his head and returned, shouting, "I have slain the traitor. You others need not fear if you only surrender!"
They threw aside their spears and gave in. The excitement calmed.

26 曹操煮酒... :
雲長將冑頭去迎玄德,具言車冑欲害之事,今已斬首。玄德大驚曰:「曹操若來,如之奈何?」雲長曰:「弟與張飛迎之。」玄德懊悔不已,遂入徐州。百姓父老,伏道而接。玄德到府,尋張飛,飛已將車冑全家殺盡。玄德曰:「殺了曹操心腹之人,如何肯休?」陳登曰:「某有一計,可退曹操。」正是:既把孤身離虎穴,還將妙計息狼煙。不知陳登說出甚計來,且看下文分解。
In A Plum Garden,...:
Guan Yu took the head to show Liu Bei and told him the story of the plot.
"But what will Cao Cao think of this?" said Liu Bei. "And he may come."
"If he does, we can meet him," said Guan Yu.
But Liu Bei was grieved beyond measure. When he entered the city, the elders of the people knelt in the road to welcome him. When he reached his residence, he found that Zhang Fei had already exterminated the family of Che Zhou.
Liu Bei said, "We have slain one of Cao Cao's best officers, and how will he stand that?"
"Never mind!" cried Chen Deng. "I have a plan."
Just from grave danger extricated,
A looming war must be placated.
The plan proposed by Chen Deng will be disclosed next.

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