At a time of crisis: Liu Bei’s legacy
Chen Shou, the author of the annals of the Three Kingdoms, commented: “the first lord was generous and generous. He knew people and treated them well. He had the style of a high ancestor and the tool of a hero.” Liu Bei, the founding emperor of Shu Han, and his ancestor Liu Bang, the great ancestor of Han Dynasty, have many similarities: “he is not very happy with reading, but likes dogs and horses, music, beautiful clothes… He is less talkative, good at servants, and his anger does not show up. He is good at making friends with heroes and fighting for attachment when he is young.” What is even more surprising is that the two often lose battles and run away without their wives and children. In fact, Liu Chan is not Liu Bei’s eldest son. Only God knows how many sons he has lost.
Like Liu Bang, Liu Bei finally established the Shu Han Empire with perseverance. At this time, he was sixty-one years old, six years older than Liu Bang; Liu Bang was forty-seven years old when he started the army, and it took him about seven years; Liu Bei, who was 23 when he started the army, spent 38 years and only occupied a small part of China. They are not very good at fighting, so they have been defeated repeatedly, but their situations are different. Liu Bang was at least a township cadre (Pavilion leader), but Liu Bei made a living selling shoes before he took up the army. However, Liu Bei had read for a few days, and his courtesy to intellectuals was far superior to that of Liu Bang, who peed in the hat of Confucian scholars for many times. Liu Bei is also a standard self-made hero. If they change their positions, Liu Bei will be no worse than Liu Bang, and Liu Bang will be no better than Liu Bei. Reason: maybe Liu Bang can’t help peeing in Zhugeliang’s hat?
Liu Bei, who had made meritorious contributions to the suppression of the Yellow turban army by the school captain zoujing, began his campaign career as a county Lieutenant (equivalent to the deputy county magistrate and director of the Public Security Bureau), and left his post as the supervisor (not the roaring zhangfei) who came to supervise because of the whip; Since then, he has been in the midst of wandering around and constant failure, and has no place to stand. Although he has also won some minor victories, such as Runan’s killing of Caiyang (not the work of Guan Yu), and the defeat of Xiahou Dun and Yu Jin (not the work of Zhugeliang). However, it was only after he and Sun Quan united to defeat Cao Cao in Chibi that they changed the hard times of relying on others, and were able to cross Jingzhou (part of it) and Yizhou in accordance with Zhugeliang’s “Longzhong pair” plan. Their strength suddenly rose, putting great pressure on Cao and sun.
In the 24th year of Jian’an (AD 219), Liu Bei defeated Cao Cao and captured Hanzhong, the throat of Yizhou. The situation seemed to be very good; Moreover, Guan Yu, who guarded Jingzhou, launched the Xiangyang and Fancheng campaigns, flooded the seven armies, beheaded pound, and lowered him to the ban. Cao Cao almost moved his capital. However, under the joint efforts of Cao Cao and Sun Quan, Lu Meng sneaked across the river to attack Jiangling and public security in Jingzhou. Guan Yu was defeated and Maicheng was killed. Two years later, when Liu Bei was proclaimed emperor, he set out in anger and suffered a tragic defeat in Yiling. His hard-earned elite strength was almost exhausted. Liu Bei died in Baidi city because of shame.
At this time, Shu was surrounded by two powerful enemies, Wei and Wu. Inside, there were Huang Yuan, the governor of the Han and Jia dynasties, Zhu Bao, the governor of the Han and Jia dynasties, Yong Kai, the big surname of Yizhou County, and Gao Ding, the king of Yue and Yi. Coupled with the new defeat of Shu, Liu Bei had just died. The new Shu, like a candle in the wind, would be extinguished if he was not careful. Those who had to turn the tide over could not do it. Fortunately, there was Zhugeliang, the “first wise man of the ages” in Shu.
Monarch, Minister and public: Baidi City, Tuogu
The relationship between Liu Bei and Zhugeliang has been regarded as a model of the relationship between monarchs and ministers since ancient times. Liu Bei “paid three visits to the thatched cottage” and Zhugeliang “worked hard” – “two watches paid three visits, one pair of feet for thousands of years”, which is a rare encounter for two generations of “imperial teachers” that scholars who “learned the arts of literature and martial arts, goods and the imperial family” dreamed of. These two are the only monarchs and ministers who can reach the realm of fish and water.
However, such a close relationship between the tongue and the teeth will have disagreements, let alone people? Because Zhugeliang, who advocated Lian Wu, disagreed with Liu Bei’s use of troops in the eastern Wu, he was left in Chengdu by Liu Bei, and Zhu Geliang had to stay: there were few talents in the Shu Kingdom. In addition to Guan Yu’s defeat and Zhang Fei’s assassination, pangtong and FA Zheng, the “Phoenix chick”, died early. In addition to guarding the crown prince Liu Chan, his stay in Chengdu also played a role in “calming the country, comforting the people, supplying military supplies and providing food and salaries”. If Zhugeliang had followed Liu Bei out of the army, the situation might have been different, because Liu Bei was a “general who was always defeated”. His troops were deployed “with a company of 700 miles”. Even Cao Pi, who was not a high military level, pointed out that he would be defeated.
Liu Bei underestimated Lu Xun, the young commander of the state of Wu, and suffered a disastrous defeat. He fell ill in Baidi City, Yong’an (Fengjie County). In the second year of Wu Dynasty (222 AD), liubeizhang summoned Li Yan, the governor of Qianwei Prefecture of Yizhou, to Yongan to worship the decree of the minister; In February of the third year of Zhang Wu’s reign (223 AD), Liu Bei rushed Zhugeliang to Yong’an; In April, Liu Bei spoke to Tuo Gu and Zhugeliang.
Sad and lonely. “Supporting orphans” is an almost inevitable political phenomenon in ancient “family and world” politics. It often occurs when the former king dies early and the heir is young. Kong Anguo said, “you are an orphan and a young king.” And he said, “the last word is to take care of your life.” Therefore, ministers entrusted with solitary duties in later generations are often referred to as ministers who follow orders.
The object of Tuogu should be ministers who meet the conditions of deep loyalty, strong ability, high prestige and good relationship with the former monarch. Loyalty is the first condition. Undoubtedly, Zhugeliang is the most suitable candidate.
When the second man chose Li Yan, Liu Bei took great pains. Li Yan is actually a native of Nanyang, Jingzhou. He became a county magistrate in Chengdu under Liu Zhang because of the war. He often feels sorry for having to give up his talent. When Liu Bei comes, he happens to choose another Emperor Ming. Liu Bei, who was good at understanding people, promoted him to be the prefect of Qianwei and the general of Xingye. Qianwei is an important county of Shu state, adjacent to Chengdu, with abundant products. The “zhi500 baht” coin minted by Liu Bei after he entered Shu state, with the word “Wei” written on the left back, was minted in Qianwei county (the earliest “place name coin” in China). Li Yan rewarded Liu Bei with loyalty. When Liu Bei ascended the throne, he had a vision that “the Yellow Dragon saw Chishui in Wuyang (Qianwei prefecture), and left on the ninth day.”. Therefore, everyone said, “when the king ascends the throne, he will ascend the throne.” The so-called “Yellow Dragon” was actually a vision concocted by Li Yan to persuade him to enter, which was of course a loyal minister to Liu Bei. Later, it became the “Jitian” of Liu Bei. Li Yan is also outstanding in his ability. He once suppressed Ma Qin, Gaosheng, and Gaoding, the aboriginal Haozu.
How did the most famous Tuogu in the history of the annals of the Three Kingdoms proceed?
— the former Lord was dying, and the Prime Minister Liang asked him to be alone. The minister ordered Li Yan to be his deputy; (Biography of the Three Kingdoms)
— the first lord was ill in Yong’an, and he called for wisdom in Chengdu. It was a matter of the future. He said, “if you are ten times as talented as Cao Pi, you will be able to settle the country and eventually decide major events. If your heir can help you, you can help him; if you are not talented, you can take it from yourself.” Liang sobbed and said, “I dare to use up my strength, follow the loyalty Festival, and then die!” The first lord also made an imperial edict, and then the LORD said, “you and the prime minister are doing things like your father.” (Annals of the Three Kingdoms: biography of Zhugeliang)
– “for three years, Yan and Zhugeliang were the first to take charge of diseases. Yan and Zhugeliang were also given a posthumous edict to assist the minor leader. Yan was the central capital to protect the internal and external military, and stayed in Yongan Town.” (Annals of the Three Kingdoms: biography of Li Yan)
At this time, Liu Chan was still in Chengdu and didn’t see Liu Bei’s last face. This is the black humor of history: if Liu Bei had a spirit underground, he would have no face to see Liu Bei. It would be better to miss him than to meet him, just to increase his annoyance and sadness.
Zhugeliang was naturally the No. 1 character when he was in Tuogu. How to understand the No. 2 position of Li Yan? Li Yan is a minister (but does not record the book matters), and his military position is “zhongduhu”, which is equivalent to the military affairs of one or more prefectures such as Yong and Liang, the governors of Sima Yi in the state of Wei. There is only one Prefecture in the state of Shu, and Li Yan’s five prefectures of zhongduhu are far more powerful than the prefectures.
Liu Bei’s choice of Zhugeliang and Li Yan should be said to be painstaking: Zhugeliang is a reliable representative of the elderly in Jingxiang; Although Li Yan was from Jingzhou, he was originally a subordinate of Liu Zhang and a representative of the new generation. Therefore, Liu Bei used him to balance Zhugeliang.
Liu Bei’s support for the orphan was the right one. Compared with Cao Rui of the state of Wei who supported Cao Fang to Sima Yi and Cao Shuang in the same period, Sun Quan of the eastern Wu ended up with Sun Liang’s support for zhugeque and other five people. Although Zhugeliang and Li Yan inevitably had some rights disputes, for example, Li Yan asked to carve the five counties in the east of Yizhou into Bazhou, Zhugeliang did not give permission; Li Yan was dismissed by Zhugeliang for his mistakes, but in general, this is the best support for orphans in history, so it will be remembered forever.
The mystery of Tuogu. There is a great controversy about Liu Bei’s saying that “if you are not talented, you can take it for yourself” in history. Some people say that this has confused China for 2000 years.
It is impossible for us to know what Liu Bei really thinks, so there are different opinions so far. To choose the most important, there are the following statements:
First, say it honestly. Chen Shou also agreed with this statement and spoke highly of it in the commentary of the annals of the Three Kingdoms – Biography of the first lord: “the whole country is isolated from Zhugeliang and has the same mind and spirit. It is true that monarchs and ministers are loyal to the public, and the track of prosperity in ancient and modern times.” Zhao Yi also said, “after thousands of years, I still see his liver and diaphragm. Isn’t it true?” Lu Bi’s collection of the annals of the three kingdoms also said when refuting Sun Sheng’s doubts: “I feel in the middle, but I don’t realize that it is so.”.
Second, the theory of machinations. Some people think that Liu Bei had to be isolated from Zhugeliang and harbored suspicion, so he “harboured cunning” and forced Zhugeliang to show his loyalty, “there is no doubt that he can do it without bleeding” (Wang Fuzhi’s “on reading general learning”). Sun Sheng also believed that “(Liu Bei’s order (Zhuge) was bright, and what was the chaos!”—— “In ancient times, taking care of one’s life will inevitably lead to words; false words are not meant to be isolated.”
Third, there is another saying that the so-called “self taking” is not “self generation”, which means that Liu Chan is unworthy and incompetent. Zhugeliang can choose one of Liu Bei’s other two sons. But it doesn’t make sense in the context. If an emperor was chosen from the other two sons of Liu Bei, why take Cao Pi as an example?
The dispute mainly occurs in the first and second versions. Is it an eternal mystery?
The author ventured to put forward the fourth statement: This is a dispensable polite remark – it has no practical significance in itself, so there is no need to pay attention to this sentence. Why?
First of all, this sentence is not uncommon. If you look at this section alone, you will inevitably have a very deep impression. If you think it is a sentence of “shocking the world”, you will basically agree with Chen Shou. However, in the Three Kingdoms, there have been almost three times of the same thing. The other two times were sun CE and Zhang Zhao: “if Zhongmou (Sun Quan) doesn’t take charge, you will take it yourself.” (Wu calendar) Liu Biao asked Liu Bei to be alone. “He said:” my son is not talented, but all the generals are scattered. After my death, Qing took Jingzhou “(Wei Shu).”
Liu Bei met with Tuogu twice. The first time, he was a trustee; The second is the consignor; The language of Liu Biao is the same as that of Liu Bei, and it is more explicit. “When a man is about to die, his words are good.”. Liu Bei cannot be indifferent. Therefore, Liu Biao’s words of supporting the orphan had a great impact on Liu Bei, and also indirectly affected Chinese history.
It is precisely because such words appear repeatedly on different occasions that their true meaning is the same, that is, “the heir can be assisted, and the child can be assisted”. This question seems to be an alternative question. In fact, there is only one answer, and it will never be replaced. Therefore, the author thinks that it is a polite sentence, which does not necessarily have deep meaning, or even can be ignored.
Secondly, Liu Bei will not give way to Zhugeliang sincerely, because since ancient times, no one will be willing to give away his hard-earned achievements to others. Even if he is the most trusted person, Liu Bei will never get rid of this historical inertia. At the same time, he is not what some people call a conspiracy. If this is a trick, those three times are all insignificant tricks? The reason why Zhugeliang expressed his loyalty was that he was a loyal minister and felt the kindness of Liu Bei. Even without this sentence, he would do his best. If this sentence has pressure, it will only make Zhugeliang work harder.
In fact, Mao Zonggang’s comments on the romance of the Three Kingdoms have made it very clear: “or ask the first lord to order Kongming to take it for himself. Is it true or false? Say: if you think it’s true, it’s true; if you think it’s false, it’s also false.” That’s the point.