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The Feast at Hong Gate translation, Pt 3 (史記:卷七:項羽本紀:16)

This is the third 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.

沛公旦日從百餘騎來見項王,至鴻門,謝曰: The next morning Liu Bang went with a hundred or more cavalry to see Xiang Yu at Hong Gate, and apologised, saying:

「臣與將軍戮力而攻秦, "You and I used lethal force to attack Qin;

將軍戰河北,臣戰河南, you fought to the north of the river, and I fought to the south of the river;

然不自意能先入關破秦, but I had not expected that I would be able to enter the Pass first to conquer Qin,

得復見將軍於此。 and that I would be able to see you again here.

今者有小人之言,令將軍與臣有卻。」 Now there are petty rumours, causing differences between you and me."

項王曰:「此沛公左司馬曹無傷言之; Xiang Yu said: "That is what your Left Minister of War Cao Wushang said;

不然,籍何以至此。」 otherwise, how would it come to this?"

項王即日因留沛公與飲。 On that day, because Liu Bang was there, Xiang Yu drank with him.

項王、項伯東嚮坐。 Xiang Yu and Xiang Bo sat facing east.

亞父南嚮坐。 Ya Fu sat facing south.

亞父者,範增也。 Ya Fu is Fan Zeng.

沛公北嚮坐,張良西嚮侍。 Liu Bang sat facing north, and Zhang Liang sat facing west.

範增數目項王,舉所佩玉玦以示之者三, Fan Zeng winked several times at Xiang Yu, holding up the Jade Crescent he was wearing to show Xiang Yu three times; The 玉玦 signifies the ending of a friendship.

項王默然不應。 Xiang Yu was silent and did not respond.

範增起,出召項莊,謂曰: Fan Zeng stood up, and left to find Xiang Zhuang, saying to him:

「君王為人不忍,若入前為壽, "Xiang Yu's concern for others cannot be broken; go in as if to toast his longevity;

壽畢,請以劍舞, when the toast is finished, request permission to do a sword dance,

因擊沛公於坐,殺之。 and thereby strike Liu Bang in his seat, killing him.

不者,若屬皆且為所虜。」 Otherwise, we will all be taken captive."

莊則入為壽,壽畢,曰: So Xiang Zhuang went in a proposed a toast; when the toast was finished, he said:

「君王與沛公飲,軍中無以為樂,請以劍舞。」 "My Lord, you are drinking with Liu Bang, yet there is nothing fun in the camp, so please let me perform a sword dance."

項王曰:「諾。」 Xiang Yu said: "Alright."

項莊拔劍起舞,項伯亦拔劍起舞, When Xiang Zhuang drew his sword and began dancing, Xiang Bo likewise drew his and began to dance;

常以身翼蔽沛公,莊不得擊。 he _[Xiang Bo]_ constantly used his body to shield Liu Bang, so Xiang Zhuang was unable to strike.

於是張良至軍門,見樊噲。 At this, Zhang Liang went to the camp gate and saw Fan Kuai.

樊噲曰:「今日之事何如?」 Fan Kuai said: "What of today's business?"

良曰:「甚急。今者項莊拔劍舞,其意常在沛公也。」 Zhang Liang said: "An emergency. Just now, Xiang Zhuang drew his sword and danced, his goal being Liu Bang."

噲曰:「此迫矣,臣請入,與之同命。」 Fan Kuai said: "That is an emergency! I request to go in take the same fate as him _[Liu Bang]_ ." Fan Kuai means that he will protect Liu Bang or die trying.

噲即帶劍擁盾入軍門。 Fan Kuai thereupon took his sword and shield and went into the camp.

交戟之衛士欲止不內, Two guards with halberds tried to stop him entering;

樊噲側其盾以撞,衛士僕地, Fan Kuai tilted his shield and struck them, and the two guards fell to the floor;

噲遂入,披帷西嚮立, Then Fan Kuai went in, opening the door curtain and standing on the west side;

瞋目視項王,頭髮上指,目眥盡裂。 he stared with rage at Xiang Yu, his hair on end, eyes bulging;

項王按劍而跽曰:「客何為者?」 Xiang Yu held his sword and knelt, saying: "Who is our guest?"

張良曰:「沛公之參乘樊噲者也。」 Zhang Liang said: "This is Liu Bang's bodyguard Fan Kuai."

項王曰:「壯士,賜之卮酒。」 Xiang Yu said: "Warrior! Have a goblet of wine."

則與鬥卮酒。 Fan Kuai was given a goblet of wine.

噲拜謝,起,立而飲之。 Fan Kuai expressed thanks, stood up and drained the cup.

項王曰:「賜之彘肩。」 Xiang Yu said: "Have some pork shoulder."

則與一生彘肩。 Thereupon he was given a raw pork shoulder.

樊噲覆其盾於地,加彘肩上,拔劍切而啗之。 Fan Kuai put his shield on the ground, put the pork shoulder on it, used his sword to slice it up, and ate it.

項王曰:「壯士,能復飲乎?」 Xiang Yu said: "Warrior, can you drink more?"

樊噲曰:「臣死且不避,卮酒安足辭! Fan Kuai said: "I do not flee from death - how could I decline a goblet of wine!

夫秦王有虎狼之心,殺人如不能舉,刑人如恐不勝, The King of Qin has the heart of a monster; he kills as if he cannot kill enough, and punishes as if he fears being bested; 夫 is used to introduce an opinion.

天下皆叛之。 the world rebels against him.

懷王與諸將約曰『先破秦入咸陽者王之』。 King Huai of Chu said to his generals: 'Whoever is first to break Qin and enter Xiangyang will be King of the Guanzhong Plain.'

今沛公先破秦入咸陽, Now Liu Bang is the first to conquer Qin and enter Xianyang,

豪毛不敢有所近, yet does not to dare to occupy and use it in the slightest;

封閉宮室,還軍霸上,以待大王來。 he sealed the government stores, and sent his army back to Ba Shang to await the arrival of the King.

故遣將守關者,備他盜出入與非常也。 He therefore sent generals to guard the Pass, to prevent the movement of looters and other irregularities.

勞苦而功高如此,未有封侯之賞,而聽細說,欲誅有功之人。 He toiled and was meritorious in this way, yet was not bestowed with the reward of a title;

而聽細說,欲誅有功之人。 and now we hear the news that you wish to execute a man of merit.

此亡秦之續耳, That is the pay-back for the man who destroyed Qin!

竊為大王不取也。」 I believe these are not the actions of a king!

項王未有以應,曰:「坐。」 Xiang Yu had no response, saying: "Sit."

樊噲從良坐。 Fan Kuai sat with Zhang Liang.

坐須臾,沛公起如廁,因招樊噲出。 As soon as he had sat, Liu Bang rose to go to the toilet, and thus beckoned Fan Kuai out.

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