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Chapter 060-05 서촉행

  正商議間,一人自外突入,汗流滿面,大叫曰:「主公若聽張松之言,則四十一州郡,已屬他人矣!」松大驚;視其人,乃西閬中巴人,姓黃,名權,字公衡,現為劉璋府下主簿。璋問曰:「玄德與我同宗,吾故結之為援;汝何出此言?」權曰:「某素知劉備寬以待人,柔能克剛,英雄莫敵。遠得人心,近得民望。兼有諸葛亮,龐統之智謀,關,張,趙雲,黃忠,魏延為羽翼。若召到蜀中,以部曲待之,劉備豈肯伏低做小?若以客禮待之,又一國不容二主。今聽臣言,則西蜀有泰山之安;不聽臣言,則主公有累卵之危矣。張松昨從荊州過,必與劉備同謀。可先斬張松,後絕劉備,則西川萬幸也。」璋曰:「曹操,張魯到來,何以拒之?」權曰:「不如閉境絕塞,棎溝高壘,以待時清。」璋曰:「賊兵犯界,有燃眉之急;若待時清,則是慢計也。」遂不從其言,遣法正行。又一人阻曰:「不可!不可!」

  璋視之,乃帳前從事官王累也。累頓首言曰:「主公今聽張松之言,自取其禍。」璋曰:「不然。吾結好劉玄德,實欲拒張魯也。」累曰:「張魯犯界,乃癬疥之疾;劉備入川,乃心腹之大患。況劉備世之梟雄,先事曹操,便思謀害;後從孫權,便奪荊州。心術如此,安可同處乎?今若召來,西川休矣!」璋叱曰:「再休亂道!玄德是我同宗,他安肯奪我基業?」便教扶二人出。遂命法正便行。法正離益州,逕取荊州,來見玄德。參拜已畢,呈上書信。玄德拆封視之。書曰:「族弟劉璋,再拜致書於玄德宗兄將軍麾下:久伏電天,蜀道崎嶇,未及齎貢,甚切惶愧。璋聞『吉凶相救,患難相扶。』朋友尚然,況宗族乎?今張魯在北,旦夕興兵,侵犯璋界,甚不自安。專人謹奉尺書,上乞鈞聽。倘念同宗之情,全手足之義,即日興師剿滅狂寇,永為脣齒,自有重酬。書不盡言,耑候車騎。」

  玄德看畢大喜,設宴相待法正。酒過數巡,玄德屏退左右,密謂正曰:「久仰孝直英明,張別駕多談盛德。今獲聽教,甚慰平生。」法正謝曰:「蜀中小吏,何足道哉?蓋聞馬逢伯樂而嘶,人遇知已而死。張別駕昔之言,將軍復有意乎?」玄德曰:「備一身寄客,未嘗不傷感而歎息。思鷦鷯尚存一枝,狡兔尚藏三窟,何況人乎?蜀中豐餘之地,非不欲取;奈劉季玉係備同宗,不忍相圖。」法正曰:「益州天府之國,非治亂之主,不可居也。今劉季玉不能用賢,此業不久必屬他人。今日自付與將軍,不可錯失。豈不聞『逐兔先得』之說乎?將軍欲取,,某當效死。」玄德拱手謝曰:「尚容商議。」

  當日席散,孔明親送法正歸館舍。玄德獨坐沉吟。龐統進曰:「事當決而不決者,愚人也。主公高明,何多疑耶?」玄德問曰:「以公之意,當復何如?」統曰:「荊州東有孫權,北有曹操難以得志。益州戶口百萬,士廣財富,可資大業。今幸張松、法正為內助,此天賜也。何必疑哉?」

123 While still discussing the details of the policy, a person forced his way in, his face all running with sweat, and cried out, "My lord, your land of forty-one counties will be lost to you and pass to another if you listen to Zhang Song!"

124 Zhang Song turned a startled look on the intruder, who was Huang Quan of Xiliang, First Secretary in the Imperial Protector's palace.

125 The Imperial Protector said, "Why do you use such language? Liu Bei is of my family, and so I am seeking his support."

126 Said Huang Quan, "I know all about him. He is liberal minded to gain people to his side, and his softness can overcome the hardest. He is bolder than any other. He gains humans' hearts from afar off, and those near him look up to him. He also has the wisest advisers in Zhuge Liang and Pang Tong, and the boldest warriors such as Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Zilong, Huang Zhong, and Wei Yan. But if you call him here as a soldier, think you that he will be content to remain in a lowly condition? And if you treat him as an honored guest, can a state stand two rulers? Hear me, my lord, and you stand secure as Taishan Mountains; be deaf to my words, and your position is as precarious as a pile of eggs. This Zhang Song has lately come home through Jingzhou, where he has certainly been plotting with Liu Bei. Slay this man; and make an end of Liu Bei. That will be for the happiness of this land."

127 "But how else am I to fend off my two enemies?"

128 "Fortify your country, dig out your moats, and raise your ramparts. Then you can wait on events."

129 "If these rebels invade this land, the position will be critical, as when fire singes one's eyebrows. It is idle talk to tell me to wait on events."

130 No notice was taken of Huang Quan, and Fa Zheng was about to set out when another interfered, crying, "No, no!"

131 This was a secretary, Wang Lei.

132 With bowed head Wang Lei stood and said, "My lord will bring misfortune upon himself if he listens to this Zhang Song."

133 "Not so; I make an alliance with Liu Bei in order to withstand Zhang Lu."

134 "Zhang Lu's invasion would be but a skin disease. Liu Bei's entry into this country would be a mortal malady. Liu Bei is an unscrupulous brave. He was once in Cao Cao's service and plotted against him. Then he hung on to Sun Quan and seized Jingzhou. This shows his character and his designs. Think you that you two can dwell together? If you invite him, then Shu is lost!"

135 "No more wild talk!" cried Liu Zhang angrily. "Liu Bei is of my clan and family and will not ravish me of my possessions."

136 He bade the guards escort both men outside and ordered Fa Zheng to set out. So he did, and before long came to Jingzhou. When the salutations were over, Fa Zheng presented his letter, which Liu Bei opened and read:

137 "I, Liu Zhang, a younger brother of our family, now write to General Liu Bei. From my humble place long have I gazed in your direction, but the roads of the West River Land are precipitous, and I have failed to send my tribute. This is to my shame. The victims of misfortune aid each other, and those in trouble support each other. If friends act thus, how much more should members of the same family? Now Zhang Lu is mustering an army of invasion on my northern frontier, much to the injury of my tranquillity. Wherefore I send this letter that you may know of my distress. And if you remember the kindly bonds of family and will play a brotherly part and lead your armies to destroy these ruffians, you will be my eternal protector and I shall be ever grateful. This letter leaves much unsaid, but I await your coming."

138 This letter greatly pleased Liu Bei. He made a banquet for the bearer thereof, and when they had mellowed themselves with wine, he dismissed the attendants and spoke to Fa Zheng in confidence.

139 "Friend, I have long admired you, and Zhang Song extolled your virtues. I shall always feel grateful for this opportunity of hearing you."
140 Fa Zheng bowed, saying, "That is too great praise for a humble emissary from Shu. But they say that horses always neighed in recognition of Bo Le, the supreme judge of horses, and when a person has found his lord, he dies for him. Have you thought further of Zhang Song's proposals, General?"

141 "I have always been a wanderer, often in suffering and sorrow. I have often thought of the wren for even that tiny bird has a twig to rest on; and of the cunning hare, that secures safety with three openings to its burrow. Does not a person need at least a shelter? Your land of the west is fertile and a temptation, but its ruler is of my family, and I cannot plot against him."

142 "Yes. Yizhou is a very paradise. But without a ruler it cannot exist. Liu Zhang knows not how to use the wise people, and his heritage must speedily pass to another. Today it is offered to your hands, and you must not miss the opportunity. You know the saying, that the leader in the hunt gets the quarry. If you will only consent, I will serve you to the death."

143 Liu Bei signified his gratitude. Said he, "Let me reflect for a time and take advice."

144 The banquet terminated and the guest left. Zhuge Liang conducted Fa Zheng to his lodging while his master sat thinking.

145 Then Pang Tong said, "You must decide---not to decide is foolish. You are of high intelligence, my lord, and why do you hesitate?"

146 "What should my reply be?" asked Liu Bei.

147 "You know these surroundings---Sun Quan in the east and Cao Cao in the north---, and with them you cannot attain your ends. Now before you lies a populous, fertile, and rich land, a base with the greatest possibilities. You have the promise of assistance from two men within, and it seems like a gift of providence. Why hesitate?"



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