the Land Within the Passes, or Guanzhong, was the area surrounding

the Land Within the Passes, or Guanzhong, was the area surrounding Changan.

In the ending years of Wang Mang’s usurpation, rebels ran the country. The Red Eyebrows rebels were one of the most active of the robber bands. They finally captured Changan, and Wang Mang was killed in the fighting. ……

Yang Biao, Minister of the Interior, said, “I pray you reflect. The Land Within the Passes* is all destruction. There is no reason to renounce the ancestral temples and abandon the imperial tombs here. I fear the people will be alarmed. It is easy to alarm them but difficult to pacify them.”

“Do you oppose the state plans?” said Dong Zhuo angrily.

Another official, Grand Commander Huang Wan, supported his colleague, “In the era of Recommencement (AD 23-25), Fan Chong of the Red Eyebrows rebels burned Changan to the ground and reduced the place to broken tiles*. The inhabitants scattered all but a few. It is wrong to abandon these palaces here for a wasteland.”

  Dong Zhuo replied, “the East of the Pass is full of sedition, and all the empire is in rebellion. The city of Changan is protected by the Yaohan Mountains and the Hangu Pass. Moreover, it is near Longyou, whence can be easily brought timber, stone, brick, and building materials. In a month or so palaces can be erected. So an end to your wild words!”

Yet Minister of Works Xun Shuang raised another protest against disturbing the people, but Dong Zhuo overbore him also.

“How can I stop to consider a few common people when my scheme affects the empire?” said Dong Zhuo.

That day the three objectors——Yang Biao, Huang Wan, and Xun Shuang——were removed from their offices and reduced to the rank of commoners.

As Dong Zhuo went out to get into his coach, he met two other officers who made obeisance. They were the Chair of the Secretariat, Zhou Bi, and the Commander of the City Gates, Wu Qiong. Dong Zhuo stopped and asked them what they wanted.

Said Zhou Bi, “We venture to try to dissuade you from moving the capital to Changan.”

Dong Zhuo replied, “You two persuaded me to give Yuan Shao office. Now he has already turned traitor, and you are of the same party!”

And without more ado he bade his

guards take both outside the city

and put them to death. The command

to remove to the new capital immediately was issued.

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“We are short of money and food, and the rich people of Luoyang could

Speaking to Dong Zhuo, Li Ru pointed out,

“We are short of money and food, and the rich people of Luoyang could be easily plundered. This is a good occasion to link them to the rebels and to confiscate their properties.”

Dong Zhuo sent five thousand troops out to plunder and slay. they captured many thousand wealthy householders and, having stuck flags on their heads saying they were Traitors and Rebels, drove them out of the city and put them to death. Their properties were all seized.

the task of driving forth the inhabitants, some millions, was given to two of Dong Zhuo’s commanders, Li Jue and Guo Si. The people were sent off in bands, each band between two parties of soldiers, who drove them torward Changan. Enormous numbers fell by the road side and died in the ditches, and the escort plundered the fugitives and defiled the women. A wail of sorrow arose to the very sky.

Dong Zhuo’s final orders as he left Capital Luoyang were to burn the whole city: Houses, palaces, temples, and everything were devoured by the flames. The capital became but a patch of scorched earth.

  Dong Zhuo sent Lu Bu to desecrate the tombs of the emperors and their consorts for the jewels therein, and the common soldiers took the occasion to dig up the graves of officials and plunder the cemeteries of the wealthy. The spoil of the city, gold and silver, pearls and silks, and beautiful ornaments, filled several thousand carts. With these and the persons of the Emperor and his household, Dong Zhuo moved off to the new capital in the first year of Inauguration of Tranquillity (AD 190)。

Luoyang being thus abandoned, the general of Dong Zhuo at River Si Pass, Zhao Cen, evacuated that post of vantage, which Sun Jian at once occupied. Liu Bei and his brothers took Tiger Trap Pass and the confederate lords advanced.

Sun Jian hastened to the late capital which was still in flames. When he arrived, dense smoke hung all over it and spread for miles around. No living thing, not a fowl, or a dog, or a human being, remained. Sun Jian told off his soldiers to extinguish the fires and set out camping places for the confederate lords.

Cao Cao went to see Yuan Shao and said,

“Dong Zhuo has gone west. We ought to follow and

attack his rear without loss of time.

Why do you remain inactive?”

“All our colleagues are worn out, and there is nothing to be gained by attack,” said Yuan Shao.

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Yuan Shu, confused and frightened, had no word to reply.

Yuan Shu, confused and frightened, had no word to reply.

He ordered the death of the slanderer to placate Sun Jian.

then suddenly they told Sun Jian, “Some officer has come riding down from the Pass to see you, General. He is in the camp.”

Sun Jian therefore took his leave and returned to his own camp, where he found the visitor was Li Jue, one of the much trusted commanders of Dong Zhuo.

“Wherefore come you?” said Sun Jian.

Li Jue replied, “You are the one person for whom my master has respect and admiration, and he sends me to arrange a matrimonial alliance between the two families. He wishes that his daughter may become the wife of your son.”

  “What! Dong Zhuo, that rebel and renegade, that subverter of the Throne! I wish I could destroy his nine generations as a thank-offering to the empire! Think you I would be willing to have an alliance with such a family? I will not slay you as I ought, but go, and go quickly! Yield the Pass and I may spare your lives. If you delay, I will grind your bones to powder and make mincemeat of your flesh!”

  Li Jue threw his arms over his head and ran out. He returned to his master and told him what a rude reception he had met with. Dong Zhuo asked his adviser Li Ru how to reply to this.

Li Ru said, “Lu Bu’s late defeat had somewhat blunted the edge of our army’s desire for battle. It would be well to return to the capital and remove the Emperor to Changan, as the street children had been lately singing:

[hip, hip, hip]“A Han on the west, a Han on the east. The deer (emperor) in Changan shall worry least.”[yip, yip, yip]

Li Ru continued, “If you think out this couplet, it applies to the present juncture. Half the first line refers to the founder of the dynasty, Liu Bang the Supreme Ancestor, who became ruler in the western city of Changan, which was the capital during twelve reigns. The other half corresponds to Liu Xiu the Latter Han Founder who ruled from Luoyang, the eastern capital during twelve latter reigns. The revolution of the heavens brings us back to this starting moment. Thus if you remove to Changan, there will be no need for anxiety.”

Dong Zhuo was exceedingly pleased and said, “Had you not spoken thus, I should not have understood!”

then taking Lu Bu with him, Dong Zhuo started at once for Capital Luoyang.

Here he called all the officials to a GREat council in the

Palace and addressed them, “After two centuries of rule here,

the royal fortune has been exhausted, and I perceive that the aura of rule has

migrated to Changan, whither I now desire to move

the court. All you had better pack up for the journey.”

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the heat of battle ranged to the frozen pole star.

the heat of battle ranged to the frozen pole star.

Worn out, feeling his strength fast ebbing, Lu Bu thought to flee,

He glanced at the hills around and thither would fly for shelter,

then, reversing his halberd and lowering its lofty point,

Hastily he fled, loosing himself from the battle;

With head low bent, he gave the rein to his courser,

Turned his face away and fled to Tiger Trap Pass.

the three brothers maintained the pursuit to the Pass. Looking up they saw an immense umbrella of black gauze fluttering in the west wind.

  “Certainly there is Dong Zhuo,” cried Zhang Fei. “What is the use of pursuing Lu Bu? Better far seize the chiefest rebel and so pluck up the evil by the roots!”

  And he whipped up his steed toward the Pass.

Burning The Capital, Dong Zhuo Commits An Atrocity;
Hiding The Imperial Hereditary Seal, Sun Jian Breaks Faith.

Zhang Fei rode hard up to the Pass, but the defenders sent down stones and arrows like rain so that he could not enter, and he returned. The eight lords all joined in felicitations to the three brothers for their services, and the story of victory was sent to Yuan Shao, who ordered Sun Jian to make an immediate advance.

thereupon Sun Jian with two trusty generals, Cheng Pu and Huang Gai, went over to the camp of Yuan Shu.

Tracing figures on the ground with his staff, Sun Jian said, “Dong Zhuo and I had no personal quarrel. Yet now I have thrown myself into the battle regardless of consequences, exposed my person to the risk of wounds and fought bloody battles to their bitter end. And why? That I might be the means of ridding my country of a rebel and——for the

private advantage of your family. Yet you, heeding the

slanderous tongue of certain counselor, formerly withheld the

supplies absolutely necessary to me, and so I

suffered defeat. How can you explain, General?”

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An ancient poet has told of this famous fight in these lines:

An ancient poet has told of this famous fight in these lines:

the fateful day of Han came in the reigns of Huan and Ling,

their glory declined as the sun sinks at the close of day.

Dong Zhuo, infamous minister of state, pulled down the youthful Bian.

It is true the new Xian was a weakling, too timid for his times.

then Cao Cao proclaimed abroad these wicked deeds,

And the GREat lords, moved with anger, assembled their forces.

In council met they and chose as their oath-chief Yuan Shao,

Pledged themselves to maintain the ruling house and tranquillity.

  Of the warriors of that time matchless Lu Bu was the boldest.

  His valor and prowess are sung by all within the four seas.

  He clothed his body in silver armor like the scales of a dragon,

  On his head was a golden headdress with pheasant tails,

  About his waist a shaggy belt, the clasp, two wild beasts’ heads with gripping jaws,

  His flowing, embroidered robe fluttered about his form,

  His swift courser bounded over the plain, a mighty wind following,

  His terrible trident halberd FLASHed in the sunlight, bright as a placid lake.

  Who dared face him as he rode forth to challenge?

the bowels of the confederate lords were torn with fear and their hearts trembled.

then leaped forth Zhang Fei, the valiant warrior of the north,

Gripped in his mighty hand the long serpent halberd,

His mustache bristled with anger, standing stiff like wire.

His round eyes glared, lightning FLASHes darted from them.

Neither quailed in the fight, but the issue was undecided.

Guan Yu stood out in front, his soul vexed within him,

His GREen-dragon saber shone white as frost in the sunlight,

His bright colored fighting robe fluttered like butterfly wings,

Demons and angels shrieked at the thunder of his horse hoofs,

In his eyes was fierce anger, a fire to be quenched only in blood.

Next Liu Bei joined the battle, gripping his twin sword blades,

the heavens themselves trembled at the majesty of his wrath.

these three closely beset Lu Bu and long drawn out was the battle,

Always he warded their blows, never faltering a moment.

the noise of their shouting rose to the sky, and the earth reechoed it,

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the fighting then ceased, and after their return to camp another

the fighting then ceased, and after their return to camp another council met.

Cao Cao said, “No one can stand against the prowess of Lu Bu. Let us call up all the lords and evolve some good plan. If only Lu Bu were taken, Dong Zhuo could easily be killed.”

While the council was in proGREss again came Lu Bu to challenge them, and again the commanders moved out against him. This time Gongsun Zan, flourishing his spear, went to meet the enemy. After a very few bouts Gongsun Zan turned and fled; Lu Bu following at the topmost speed of Red Hare. Red Hare was a five-hundred-mile-a-day horse, swift as the wind. The lords watched Red Hare gained rapidly upon the flying horseman, and Lu Bu’s halberd was poised ready to strike Gongsun Zan just behind the heart. Just then dashed in a third rider with round glaring eyes and a bristling mustache, and armed with a ten-foot serpent halberd.

[e] Yan was a state in the Warring States period. Located in the northeast, and north of Qi. ……

  “Stay, O twice bastard!” roared he, “I, Zhang Fei of Yan*, await you!”

  Seeing this opponent, Lu Bu left the pursuit of Gongsun Zan and engaged the new adversary. Zhang Fei was elated, and he rode forth with all his energies. They two were worthily matched, and they exchanged half a hundred bouts with no advantage to either side. Then Guan Yu, impatient, rode out with his huge and weighty GREen-dragon saber and attacked Lu Bu on the other flank. The three steeds formed a triangle and their riders battered away at each other for thirty bouts, yet still Lu Bu stood firm.

then Liu Bei rode out to his brothers’ aid, his double swords raised ready to strike. The steed with the flowing mane was urged in at an angle, and now Lu Bu had to contend with three surrounding warriors at whom he struck one after another, and they at him, the FLASHing of the warriors’ weapons looking like the revolving lamps suspended at the new year. And the warriors of the eight armies gazed rapt with amazement at such a battle.

But Lu Bu’s guard began to weaken and fatigue seized him. Looking hard in the face of Liu Bei, Lu Bu feigned a fierce thrust thus making Liu Bei suddenly draw back. Then, lowering his halberd, Lu Bu dashed through the angle thus opened and got away.

But was it likely they would allow him to escape?

They whipped their steeds and followed hard. The soldiers

of the eight armies cracked their throats with thunderous cheers

and all dashed forward, pressing after Lu Bu as he made for the

shelter of the Tiger Trap Pass. And first among

his pursuers were the three brothers.

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Lu Bu was a conspicuous figure in front of the line

Lu Bu was a conspicuous figure in front of the line. On his head was a triple curved headdress of ruddy gold with pheasant tails. He wore a warring velvet-red robe of Xichuan silk embroidered with thousand flowers, which was overlapped by golden mail adorned with a gaping animal’s head, joined by rings at the sides and girt to his waist with a belt fastened by a beautiful lion-head clasp. His bow and arrows were slung on his shoulders, and he carried a long heavy trident halberd. He was seated on his snorting steed Red Hare. Indeed Lu Bu was the man among humans, as Red Hare was the horse among horses.

“Who dares go out to fight him?” asked Wang Kuang turning to those behind him.

In response a valiant general from Henei named Fang Yue spurred to the front, his spear set ready for battle. Lu Bu and Fang Yue met: Before the fifth bout Fang Yue fell under a thrust of the trident halberd, and Lu Bu dashed forward. Wang Kuang’s troops could not stand and scattered in all directions. Lu Bu went to and fro slaying all he met. He was irresistible.

Luckily, two other troops led by Qiao Mao and Yuan Yi came up and rescued the wounded Wang Kuang, and Lu Bu pulled back. The three, having lost many troops, withdrew ten miles and made a stockade. And before long the remaining five commanders came up and joined them. They held a council and aGREed Lu Bu was a hero no one could match.

  And while they sat there anxious and uncertain, it was announced that Lu Bu had returned to challenge them. They mounted their horses and placed themselves at the heads of eight forces, each body in its station on the high ground. Around them was the opposing army in formation, commanded by Lu Bu, innumerable horse and foot, with splendid embroidered banners waving in the breeze.

they attacked Lu Bu. Mu Shun, a general of Governor Zhang Yang, rode out with his spear set, but soon fell at the first encounter with Lu Bu. This frightened the others. Then galloped forth Wu Anguo, a general under Governor Kong Rong. Wu Anguo raised his iron mace ready at his rival. Lu Bu whirling his halberd and urging on his steed came to meet Wu Anguo. The two fought, well matched for ten bouts, when a blow from the trident halberd broke Wu Anguo’s

wrist. Letting his mace fall to the

ground he fled. Then all eight of the

lords led forth their armies to

his rescue, and Lu Bu retired to his line.

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“If you hold a mere magistrate in such honor then I simply

“If you hold a mere magistrate in such honor, then I simply withdraw,” said Yuan Shu.

“Is a word enough to defeat a grand enterprise?” said Cao Cao.

then he told Gongsun Zan to lead the three brothers back to their own camp, and the other chiefs then dispersed. That night Cao Cao secretly sent presents of meat and wine to soothe the three after this adventure.

When Hua Xiong’s troops straggled back and told the story of defeat and death, Li Ru was GREatly distressed. He wrote urgent letters to his master who called in his trusted advisers to a council.

  Li Ru summed up the situation, saying, “We have lost our best leader, and the rebel power has thereby become very GREat. Yuan Shao is at the head of this confederacy, and his uncle, Yuan Wei, is holder of the office of Imperial Guardianship. If those in the capital combine with those in the country, we may suffer. Therefore we must remove them. So I request you, Sir Prime Minister, to place yourself at the head of your army and break this confederation.”

Dong Zhuo aGREed and at once ordered his two generals, Li Jue and Guo Si, to take five hundred troops and surround the residence of Imperial Guardian Yuan Wei, slay every soul regardless of age, and hang the head of Yuan Wei outside the gate as trophy. And Dong Zhuo commanded two hundred thousand troops to advance in two armies. The first fifty thousand were under Li Jue and Guo Si, and they were to hold River Si Pass. They should not necessarily fight. The other one hundred fifty thousand under Dong Zhuo himself went to Tiger Trap Pass. His counselors and commanders——Li Ru, Lu Bu, Fan Chou, Zhang Ji, and others——marched with the main army.

Tiger Trap Pass is fifteen miles from Capital Luoyang. As soon as they arrived, Dong Zhuo bade Lu Bu take thirty thousand soldiers and make a strong stockade on the outside of the Pass. The main body with Dong Zhuo would occupy the Pass.

News of this movement reaching the confederate lords. Yuan Shao summoned a council.

Said Cao Cao, “the occupation of the Pass would cut our armies in two; therefore, we must oppose Dong Zhuo’s army on the way.”

So eight of the commanders——Wang Kuang, Qiao Mao, Bao Xin, Yuan Yi, Kong Rong, Zhang Yang, Tao Qian, and Gongsun Zan——were ordered to go in the direction of the Tiger Trap Pass to oppose their enemy. Cao Cao and his troops moved among them as reserve to render help where needed.

Of the eight, Wang Kuang, the Governor of Henei,

was the first to arrive, and Lu Bu went to give battle with

three thousand armored horsemen. When Wang Kuang had

ordered his army, horse and foot, in battle array,

he took his station under the GREat banner and looked over at his foe.

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“This man looks no common person. And how can the enemy

“This man looks no common person. And how can the enemy know he is but a bowman?” said Cao Cao.

“If I fail, then can you take my head,” spoke Guan Yu.

Cao Cao bade them heat some wine and offered a cup to Guan Yu as he went out.

“Pour it out,” said Guan Yu. “I shall return in a little space.”

  Guan Yu went with his weapon in his hand and vaulted into the saddle. Those in the tent heard the fierce roll of the drums and then a mighty sound as if skies were falling and earth rising, hills trembling and mountains tearing asunder. And they were sore afraid. And while they were listening with ears intent, lo! the gentle tinkle of horse bells, and Guan Yu returned, throwing at their feet the head of the slain leader, their enemy Hua Xiong.

  the wine was still warm!

  This doughty deed has been celebrated in verse:

the power of the man stands first in all the world,

At the gate of the camp was heard the rolling of the battle drums;

then Guan Yu set aside the wine cup till he should have displayed his valor,

And the wine was still warm when Hua Xiong had been slain.

Cao Cao was GREatly excited at this success.

But Zhang Fei’s voice was heard, shouting, “My brother has slain Hua Xiong. What are we waiting for? Why not break through the Pass and seize Dong Zhuo? Could there have been a better time?”

Again arose the angry voice of Yuan Shu, “We high officials are too meek and yielding. Here is the petty follower of a small magistrate daring to flaunt his prowess before us!

Expel him from the tent, I say.”

But again Cao Cao interposed,

“Shall we consider the station of

him who has done a GREat service?”

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“Who dares go out to give battle?” said Yuan Shao.

“Who dares go out to give battle?” said Yuan Shao.

“I will go,” said Yu She, a renown general of Yuan Shu, stepping forward.

So Yu She went, and almost immediately one came back to say that Yu She had fallen in the third bout of Hua Xiong.

Fear began to lay its cold hand on the assembly.

then Imperial Protector Han Fu said, “I have a brave warrior among my army. Pan Feng is his name, and he could slay this Hua Xiong.”

  So Pan Feng was ordered out to meet the foe. With his GREat battle-ax in his hand, Pan Feng mounted and rode forth. But soon came the direful tidings that General Pan Feng too had fallen. The faces of the gathering paled at this.

  “What a pity my two able generals, Yan Liang and Wen Chou, are not here! then should we have someone who would not fear this Hua Xiong,” said Yuan Shao.

  He had not finished when from the lower end a voice tolled, “I will go, take Hua Xiong’s head, and lay it before you here!”

  All turned to look at the speaker. He was tall and had a long beard. His eyes were those of a phoenix and his eyebrows thick and bushy like silkworms. His face was a swarthy red and his voice deep as the sound of a GREat bell.

“Who is he?” asked Yuan Shao.

Gongsun Zan told them it was Guan Yu, brother of Liu Bei.

“And what is he?” asked Yuan Shao.

“He is in the train of Liu Bei as a mounted archer.”

“What! An insult to us all!” roared Yuan Shu from his place. “Have we no leader? How dare an archer speak thus before us? Let us beat him forth!”

But Cao Cao intervened. “Peace,

O Yuan Shu! Since this man speaks

GREat words, he is certainly valiant.

Let him try. If he fails, then we may reproach him.”

“Hua Xiong will laugh at us if we send a

mere archer to fight him,” said Yuan Shao.

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