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Chapter 072-03 양수와 계륵

操正走之間,前面張飛引一枝兵截住,趙雲引一枝兵從背後殺來,黃忠又引兵從褒州殺來。操大敗。諸將保護曹操,奪路而走。方逃至斜谷界口,前面塵頭忽起,一枝兵到。操曰:「此軍若是伏兵,吾休矣!」及兵將近,乃操次子曹彰也。

彰字子文,少善騎射;膂力過人,能手格猛獸。操嘗戒之曰:「汝不讀書而好弓馬,此匹夫之勇,何足貴乎?」彰曰:「大丈夫當學衛青,霍去病,立功沙漠,長驅數十萬眾,縱橫天下;何能作博士耶?」操嘗問諸子之志。彰曰:「好為將。」操問:「為將何如?」彰曰:「披堅執銳,臨難不顧,身先士卒;賞必行,罰必信。」操大笑。建安二十三年,代郡,烏桓反,操令彰引兵五萬討之;臨行戒之曰:「『居家為父子,受事為君臣』。法不徇情,爾宜深戒。」彰到代北,身先戰陣,直殺至桑乾,北方皆平;因聞操在陽平關,故來助戰。

操見彰至,大喜曰:「我黃鬚兒來,破劉備必矣!」遂勒兵復回,於斜谷界口安營。有人報玄德,言曹彰到。玄德問曰:「誰敢去戰曹彰?」劉封曰:「某願往。」孟達又說要去。玄德曰:「汝二人同去,看誰成功。」各引兵五千來迎。劉封在先,孟達在後。曹彰出馬與封交戰,只三合,封大敗而回。孟達引兵前進,方欲交鋒,只見曹兵大亂。

原來馬超,吳蘭,兩軍殺來,曹兵驚動。孟達引兵夾攻。馬超士卒,蓄銳日久,到此耀武揚威,勢不可當。曹兵敗走。曹彰正遇吳蘭,兩個交鋒,不數合,曹彰一戟刺吳蘭於馬下。三軍混戰。操收兵於斜谷界口紮住。操屯兵日久,欲要進兵,又被馬超拒守;欲收兵回,又恐被蜀兵恥笑;心中猶豫不決。適庖官進雞湯。操見碗中有雞肋,因而有感於懷。

正沈吟間,夏侯惇入帳,稟請夜間口號。操隨口曰:「雞肋!雞肋!」惇傳令眾官,都稱「雞肋」。行軍主簿楊脩,見傳「雞肋」二字,便教隨行軍士,各收拾行裝,準備歸程。有人報知夏侯惇。惇大驚,遂請楊脩至帳中問曰:「公何收拾行裝?」脩曰:「以今夜號令,便知魏王不日將退兵歸也。雞肋者,食之無味,棄之可惜。今進不能勝,退恐人笑,在此無益,不如早歸。來日魏王必班師矣,故先收拾行裝,免得臨行慌亂。」夏侯惇曰:「公真知魏王肺腑也!」遂亦收拾行裝。

於是寨中諸將,無不準備歸計。當夜曹操心亂,不能穩睡,遂手提鋼斧,遶寨私行。只見夏侯惇寨內軍士,各準備行裝。操大驚,急回帳召惇問其故。惇曰:「主簿楊德祖,先知大王欲歸之意。」操喚楊脩問之,脩以雞肋之意對。操大怒曰:「汝怎敢造謠,亂我軍心!」喝刀斧手推出斬之,將首級號令於轅門外。 

原來楊脩為人恃才放曠,數犯曹操之忌。操嘗造花園一所;造成,操往觀之,不置褒貶,只取筆於門上書一「活」字而去。人皆不曉其意。脩曰:「『門』內添『活』字,乃『闊』字也。丞相嫌園門闊耳。」於是再築牆圍。改造停當,又請操觀之。操大喜,問曰:「誰知吾意?」左右曰:「楊脩也。」操雖稱美,心甚忌之。

又一日,塞北送酥一盒至。操自寫「一合酥」三字於盒上,置之案頭。修入見之,竟取匙與眾分食訖。操問其故,脩答曰:「盒上明書『一人一口酥,』豈敢違丞相之命乎?」操雖喜笑,而心惡之。


47 The road to safety was not easy. In one direction Zhang Fei barred the way, while Zhao Zilong attacked the rear. Then Huang Zhong came from Baozhou and pressed a slaughter on the flank. Cao Cao's army lost many troops, and he was severely defeated in this triple attack. His commanders gathered about him and took him off toward the Xie Valley. Here a great cloud of dust was seen in the distance.

48 "If that is an ambush, it is the last of me," sighed Cao Cao.

49 The soldiers came nearer, and then Cao Cao recognized not a enemy but his second son, Cao Zhang. As a lad Cao Zhang was a good horseman and an expert archer. He was more powerful than most men and could overcome a wild beast with his bare hands. Cao Cao did not approve of the young man's bent, and often warned him to study instead.

50 "You do not study, but only love your bow and your horse; this is the courage of a mere person. Think you that this makes for an honorable career?"

51 But Cao Zhang replied, "The really noble person ought to imitate such grand men as Wei Qing and Huo Qubing. They won their reputation in the Gobi Desert, where they led a mighty host of hundred thousand, able to overrun the whole world and go anywhere. What have I to do with scholarship?"

52 Cao Cao used to ask his sons what career they found admirable, and Cao Zhang always replied that he would be a leader of armies.

53 "But what should a leader be like?" asked Cao Cao.

54 "He should be endued with firmness and courage, never turn aside from a difficulty, but be in the van of his officers and troops. Rewards should be certain; and so should punishments."

55 Cao Cao smiled with pleasure.

56 In the twenty-third year of Rebuilt Tranquillity (AD 218), the Wuhuan Peoples revolted in Daichun, and Cao Cao sent this son with fifty thousand troops to suppress them. Just as Cao Zhang was leaving, his father read him a homily on his duty.

57 "At home we are father and son, but when a task is given you, you have to consider your duty as a servant of your ruler. The law knows no kindness, and you must beware."

58 When the expedition reached the north of Daichun, Cao Zhang led the array and smote as far as Sanggan in the Gobi Desert, and peace was restored. He had lately heard that his father was at Yangping Pass, and had come to help him to fight.

59 His coming greatly pleased his father, who said, "Now that my golden-bearded son has arrived, we can destroy Liu Bei for certain."

60 Then the army was marched back again and pitched camp at the Xie Valley.

61 Someone told Liu Bei of the arrival of Cao Zhang, and he asked for a volunteer to go out against the newcomer. Liu Feng offered. Meng Da also desired to go, and Liu Bei decided to let both go.

62 "Vie with each other," said he.

63 Each general had five thousand troops, and Liu Feng led the way. Cao Zhang rode out and engaged him, and in the third bout Liu Feng was overcome and ran off. Then Meng Da advanced, and a battle was just beginning when he saw that Cao Cao's troops were in confusion. The cause was the sudden coming of Ma Chao and Wu Lan. Before the enemy had recovered from the panic, Meng Da attacked on another side. Ma Chao's force, who had been nursing their courage for a long time, fought brilliantly, so that none could withstand their onslaught, and they won the day. But in his flight, Cao Zhang met Wu Lan, and he thrust and slew Wu Lan with his spear.

64 After a great fight, Cao Cao ordered his army to retire into camp at the Xie Valley. Here he remained many days, prevented from advancing by Ma Chao and fearing the ridicule of Shu if he should retreat. One day, while he was anxiously trying to decide what to do, his cook sent in some chicken broth. He noticed in the broth some chicken tendons, and this simple fact led him into a train of reflection. He was still deep in thought when Xiahou Dun entered his tent to ask the watchword for that night.

65 Cao Cao at once involuntarily replied, "Chicken tendon."

66 The word was passed on in orders. When First Secretary Yang Xiu saw the order that the watchword was "chicken tendon," he told all his people to pack up their belongings ready for the march. One who saw this went and told Xiahou Dun, who sent for Yang Xiu and asked why he had packed up.

67 Yang Xiu replied, "By tonight's orders I see that the Prince of Wei is soon going to retire. 'Chicken tendons' are tasteless things to eat, and yet it is a pity to waste them. Now if we advance, we cannot conquer; and if we retire, we fear we shall look ridiculous. There being no advantage here, the best course is to retire. You will certainly see the Prince of Wei retreat before long. I have made my preparations so as not to be hurried and confused at the last moment."

68 "You seem to know the Prince's inmost heart," said Xiahou Dun, and he bade his servants pack. The other generals seeing this, also made preparations for departure.

69 Cao Cao's mind was too perturbed for sleep. In the night he got up, took a steel battle-ax in his hand, and wandered privily through the camp. When he got to Xiahou Dun's tents, he saw everything packed and ready for a move. Much surprised, he made his way back to his own tent and sent for that officer.

70 "Why is everything in your camp packed as if ready for the march?"

71 "First Secretary Yang Xiu seems to have private knowledge of the Prince's design to retire," said Xiahou Dun.

72 Cao Cao summoned Yang Xiu and questioned him, and Yang Xiu replied with the chicken tendon incident.

73 "How dare you invent such a story and disturb the hearts of my army?"

74 Cao Cao called in his lictors and told them to take Yang Xiu away and behead him and hang his head at the camp gate.

75 Yang Xiu was a man of acute and ingenious mind, but inclined to show off. His lack of restraint over his tongue had often wounded Cao Cao's susceptibilities. Once Cao Cao was having a pleasance laid out, and when it was completed, he went to inspect the work. He uttered no word of praise or blame; he just wrote the word "Alive" on the gate and left. Nobody could guess what he meant till Yang Xiu heard of it.

76 "'Gate' with 'Alive' inside it makes the word for 'wide'," said he. "The Prime Minister thinks the gates are too wide."

77 Thereupon they rebuilt the outer walls on an altered plan. When complete, Cao Cao was asked to go and see it. And he was then delighted.

78 "But who guessed what I meant?" said he.

79 "Yang Xiu," replied his people.

80 Cao Cao thereafter lauded Yang Xiu's ingenuity, but in his heart he feared.

81 Another time Cao Cao received a box of cream cheese from Mongolia. Cao Cao just scribbled three words "One Cream Box" on the top and left it on the table. The words seemed to have no meaning. But Yang Xiu happened to come in, saw the box, and at once handed a spoonful of the contents to each guest in the room. When Cao Cao asked why he did this, he explained that that was the interpretation of the words on the box, which, resolved into primary symbols, read, "Each person a mouthful."

82 "Could I possibly disobey your orders?" said he.

83 Cao Cao laughed with the others, but hatred was in his heart.



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