This is the second part of a translation of the story 鴻門宴 (The Feast at Hong Gate) from 史記 (Records of the Grand Historian). You can view the full original text of 史記 here.
The Assistant Minister of Chu was Xiang Bo, the fourth uncle of Xiang Yu;
he was always on good terms with Zhang Liang, Marquis of Liu.
At that time Zhang Liang worked for Liu Bang, and Xiang Bo rode fast by night to Liu Bang’s army;
[Xiang Bo] met privately with Zhang Liang, and told him this matter in its entirety;
[Xiang Bo] wanted Zhang Liang to leave with him.
[Xiang Bo] said: “Don’t follow him [Liu Bang] to your death.”
Zhang Liang said: “I was presented to Liu Bang by the King of Han;
now Liu Bang’s problems are pressing, it would be wrong to flee; I must tell you this.”
Thereupon Zhang Liang went in, and told Liu Bang of this.
Liu Bang was greatly alarmed, saying: “What can we do about this?”
Zhang Liang said: “Who thought of this plan for you, Sire?”
[Liu Bang] said: “A fool advised me, saying: ‘Capture the pass, do not let the Feudal Lords enter it;
內 here is 納.
you will rule all of the lands of Qin.’ So I followed this advice.”
Zhang Liang said: “Do you estimate that your forces are sufficient to face Xiang Yu, Sire?”
Liu Bang was silent, then said: “They are certainly not good enough, so what are we to do?”
Zhang Liang said: “I request to go and speak to Xiang Bo; I will tell him that you would not dare to betray Xiang Yu.”
Liu Bang said: “What is your connection with Xiang Bo?”
Zhang Liang said: “In Qin times we were friends; Xiang Bo killed a man, but I let him live.
Zhang Liang prevented Xiang Bo from being executed for committing murder.
Now the situation is desperate, so he came to inform me.”
幸 here means ‘to visit’.
Liu Bang said: “Which of you is older?”
Zhang Liang said: “He is older than me.”
Liu Bang said: “Invite him here for me; I will treat him like a brother.”
Zhang Liang left, and went to get Xiang Bo.
Xiang Bo promptly went in to see Liu Bang.
Liu Bang raised a goblet of wine to longevity, and arranged a marriage, saying:
“I have entered the pass, yet would not dare change the slightest thing;
I registered the people, sealed the government stores, and waited for the arrival of the generals.
So I dispatched soldiers to guard the pass, in order to prevent looting and other unexpected circumstances.
We waited day and night for the arrival of the generals; how could we dare rebel?
I hope that you will tell your master I would not dare to betray his favour.”
Xiang Bo agreed.
[Xiang Bo] said to Liu Bang: “Tomorrow morning you must come early and apologise to Xiang Yu.”
蚤 here is 早.
Liu Bang said: “Yes.”
Thereupon, Xiang Bo returned by night to [Xiang Yu’s] army, and reported to Xiang Yu what Liu Bang had said in detail.
Thus he said: “If Liu Bang does not first attack the pass, how could you dare to enter it, my lord?
Nowadays if someone has merit and you attack him, it is wrong, and is not as good as treating him well.”
Xiang Yu agreed.