|Brotherhood Sworn in the Peach Orchard|
|…There was a man, last name Guan, first name Yu, style name Yunchang, born in Xieliang County, Pu Prefecture, Pingyang. He was an extraordinary looking man, with almond-shaped phoenix’s eyes, a long beard, and a dark brown face. He was 2.12 meters tall. He loved reading Chunqiu Zuozhuan (Commentary of Zuo on the Spring and Autumn Annals). He was deeply disgusted and angered when he read about the stories of traitors and villains. At that time, the greedy and corrupted governors in his county were bullying and oppressing the masses. So he killed the county magistrate and fled for Zhuo county.
If he had never become a fugitive, how could he ever met likeminded friends?
There was another man, last name Zhang, first name Fei, style name Yide, born in Fanyang County, Zhuo Commandery, Yanbang. His head was round like a leopard’s head. And he had round eyes, swallow jaw and tiger beard. He was over 2m tall. And he talked like enormous bell rang. His family was very rich. One day Guan Yu passed by his door when he was wandering around. He was intrigued by Guan Yu-- an extraordinary looking stranger in rags. He stepped forward and bowed to Lord Guan. And Lord Guan bowed back.
Fei asked: “Where are you from, sir? And, where are you going?” Lord Guan looked at the remarkable looking man in front of him, answered: “I am from Xieliang, the east side of the river. The magistrate in my county was bullying our people, so I killed him. I can’t stay there anymore, so I fled to this place.” Fei admired Lord Guan as a real man with remarkable ambitions. So he invited Lord Guan to a tavern. Fei asked for two, hundred coins liquors. The owner answered and brought the liquors.
Lord Guan thought Fei was not an impertinent man. Over the conversation, they became friendlier and finished the liquor. Lord Guan wanted to buy drinks for Fei, but he did not have any money to afford it. He felt award. Fei said: “How can I let you do this!” Then he asked for more liquor. They started drinking like old friends. That is:
The day when dragon and tiger meet, is the time when king and officers celebrate their meeting.
There was a man, last name Liu, first name Bei, who was styled Xuande. His hometown was Fanyang fiefdom, Zhuo commandery. He was the seventeenth generation of Emperor Jing of Han, and the descent of the Jing king of Zhongshan state. Xuande had a big dragon nose and long phoenix eyes. His back was like Yu’s back, and his shoulders were like Tang’s shoulders. He was 1.72m tall. His arms hung down below his knees. He never showed his emotions on his face. He liked making friends. He lost his father when he was little. He and his mother relied on weaving mats and straw sandals. In the southeastern corner of their backyard, stood a 16.5m tall mulberry tree The shape of the leaves resembled the canopy of a chariot. It could be seen from a great distance. People passed by predicted that there must be a man of distinction coming from this family where this unusual tree located. When Xuande was a boy, he played with other boys beneath the tree, yelling: “I am the emperor, and this is the Changchao palace.” His uncle Liu Deran heard this, said: “Don’t say this kind of thing that might get us killed.” Deran’s father was Yuanqi. Yuanqi’s wife said: “We should throw him out of our family.” Yuanqi refused: “The boy in our family is not an ordinary one. Don’t you say that again!” When Xuande was fifteen years old, his mother sent him to study with Lu Zhi, the administer of Jiujiang. Xuande did not like studying, but games, beautiful clothes and music.
One day, Xuande went to the tavern after he sold out all the straw sandals. Guan and Zhang noticed this extraordinary looking man who had indescribable fortune. Then Guan offered Xuande a drink. Xuande was very excited to see these two outstanding men, so he took the drink and drunk it up. After this, Fei offered another drink. Xuande drank that one up as well. Fei invited Xuande to join the conversation. After three rounds, they fell asleep together until they sobered up the next morning.
Fei suggested: “This place is not nice enough. If you two don’t mind, I would like to invite you to my house to have another drink.” They agreed and followed Fei to his home. There was a peach orchard in the back of his house. A pavilion stood in the orchard. Fei set up the drinks, and invited Lord Guan and Xuande to the pavilion. Over the conversation, three of them stated their birth years: Xuande was the eldest, Lord Guan was the second, and Fei was the youngest. Then they regarded the eldest as the elder brother, the younger ones as younger brothers. They sacrificed a white horse for the sky and a black cattle for the earth. It did not matter when they were born, they just wish they could die together. Three of them swore their brotherhood. From that day, they did everything together.
Xuande noticed that the Han dynasty was in great danger just as piled-up eggs. Robbers were everywhere, and the masses were suffering. …
- ↑ note: Bing Province in the Han dynasty.
- ↑ GJCM notes: one chi in the Han dynasty equaled about 23 cm, Guan Yu is 9.2 Chi tall.
- ↑ Note: You Province in the Han dynasty
- ↑ GJCM notes: Zhuo commandery lay in You Province, a province in the north of China of that time.
- ↑ GJCM notes: 1 Zhang equals 3.33m. The tree was over 5 Zhangs.