Friday, May 14, 2010

3 Kingdoms - Chapter One - 5

Romance of the Three Kingdoms
by Luo Guanzhong

8 This person was not especially fond of scholarly pursuits; he was relaxed and peaceful by nature, a man of few words whose facial expression never revealed his joy or his anger. He had great ambition, and was particularly adept at forging relationships with men of outstanding ability. He grew to a height of seven chi and five cun. His ears drooped down to his shoulders, and his hands went past his knees. He could see his ears with his own eyes. He had a striking face, like one of the jade ornaments which adorn so many hats, with lips that were red and plump. He was the descendant of Liu Sheng, Prince Jing of Zhongshan, and he was also a distant descendant of Emperor Jing of Han. His surname was Liu, and his given name was Bei; his style name was Xuande. A long time ago, Liu Zhen, son of Liu Sheng, was granted the title of Ting Marquis Zhuolu by Emperor Wu of Han. Later on, he failed to pay his annual tribute, and so he lost his Marquis status. As a result, this branch of the family had remained in Zhuo County. Xuande's grandfather was Liu Xiong, and his father was Liu Hong. Hong had been recommended by the local government to an official post, based on his record of filial piety and honesty. He took up the post, but died early. Xuande lost his father at a young age, but showed extreme filial piety in attending to his mother. His family was poor; they sold straw sandals and wove straw mats for a living. Their home was in Lousang Village of the same county. To the southeast of their home, was a large mulberry tree, which rose to a height of five zhang. The tree was thickly covered with leaves like the umbrella over a horse drawn chariot. The fortune tellers all said, "This family will definitely produce a man of importance."

Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Lays of Ancient Rome by Macaulay.

More About This Story

This is one of four great novels from China, published when it was the most highly civilization in the world. Map shows China at the time of this story.

Chapter Summary: Three brave men swear an oath of allegiance at the feast in the peach gardens; our heroes' first achievement is the vanquishing of the Yellow Turbans.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

This translation from Wikipedia. See license CC-BY-SA.