美人计

 
měi rén jì (mei ren ji)
Strategy of Beautiful Women

Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This strategy can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamored with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane. Second, other males at court will begin to display aggressive behavior that inflames minor differences hindering co-operation and destroying morale. Third, other females at court, motivated by jealousy and envy, begin to plot intrigues further exasperating the situation.

Han Dynasty China

In 199 BC the Han emperor, Gaozu personally led his army against the invading Xiongnu. The emperor, however, was no match against the cunning tribesmen and he was led into a trap and suffered serious casualties. (See chapter 15) He and his remaining forces retreated to the city of Pingcheng for refuge but were surrounded by some 300,000 horsemen. There the emperor remained surrounded for seven days with no possibility of bringing in either provisions or reinforcements. The emperor thought here was nothing left to do but surrender when his advisor, Chen Ping, came up with another strategy. Chen had a painting made of a beautiful Chinese princess that he secretly delivered to the wife of the Xiongnu commander. Along with the painting he sent a message that read: `My Emperor intends to surrender to your husband and so to win his favor he is sending him a present of one of China's famous beauties to be his concubine.' When the Xiongnu commander's wife saw the painting and read the note she was mad with jealousy. Fearing that such a beautiful rival would steal her husband's affections, she persuaded her husband to lift the siege and return home. The next morning when the emperor awoke he discovered the Xiongnu had left and he was able to return safely to his capital.

Dong Zhuo

When faced with a formidable enemy, try to subdue their leader. When dealing with an able and resourceful commander, exploit his indulgence of sensual pleasures in order to weaken his fighting spirit. When the commander becomes inept, his soldiers will be demoralized, and their combat power will be greatly weakened. This stratagem takes advantage of the enemy's weakness for the sake of self protection.

In the year AD 189, Han Emperor Ling Di died and Emperor Shao Di replaced him. Dong Zhuo deposed Emperor Shao Di and put Emperor Xian Di, a child, on the throne. He forced the puppet emperor to appoint him as top imperial advisor and held power with the backing of Lu Bu, the mightiest warrior of the time.

Court official Wang Yun wanted to ge rid of Dong Zhuo and decided to exploit both their weakness of being lustful. He told his sing-song girl Diao Chan, a great beauty, that there is no peace because of Dong Zhuo. Diao Chan agreed to help, for the good of all.

First, Wang Yun told Lu Bu, "General Lu Bu, this is my daughter Diao Chan. I can present her to you as a concubine." Lu Bu thanked Wang Yun and asked him to pick an auspicious date for the ceremony.

A few days later, after letting Dong Zhuo see Diao Chan dance, Wang Yun told him, "I'm willing to let you have her." When Dong Zhuo accepted, Diao Chan was immediately sent to Dong Zhuo's residence.

When Lu Bu learnt that Diao Chan had been taken as concubine by Dong Zhuo, he went to see her whenever Dong Zhuo was in court. Playing along, Diao Chan said, "My father bethrothed me to you, but the old thief took me by force. Please save me."

Soon, Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu's relationship soured. A few days after Wang Yun's instigation, Lu Bu killed Dong Zhuo.

兵强者,攻其将;将智者,伐其情①。将弱兵颓,其势自萎。利用御寇,顺相保也②。

【注释】

①兵强者,攻其将;兵智者,伐其情:句意:对兵力强大的敌人,就攻击他的将帅,对明智的敌人,就打击他的情绪。

②利用御寇,顺相保也:语出《易经.渐》卦。(卦名解释见计“树上开花”注②)本身九三《象》辞:“利御寇,顺相保也。”是说利于抵御敌人,顺利地保卫自已。

此计运用此象理,是说利用敌人自身的严重缺点,己方顺势以对,使其自颓自损,己方一举得之。

【按语】

兵强将智,不可以敌,势必事先。事之以土地,以增其势,如六国之事秦:策之最下者也。事之以币帛,以增其富,如宋之事辽金:策之下者也。惟事以美人,以佚其志,以弱其体,以增其下之怨。如勾践以西施重宝取悦夫差,乃可转败为胜。

【解析】

势力强大,将帅明智,这样的敌人不能与它正面交锋,在一个时期内,只得暂时向他屈服。这则按语,把侍奉或讨好强敌的方法分成三等。最下策是用献土地的方法,这势必增强了敌人的力量,象六国争相以地事秦,并没有什么好结果。下策是用金钱珠宝、绫罗绸缎去讨好敌人,这必然增加了敌人的财富,象宋朝侍奉辽国、金国那样,也不会有什么成效。独有用美人计才见成效,这样可以消磨敌军将帅的意志,削弱他的体质,并可以增加他的部队的怨恨情绪。春秋时期,越王匀践败于吴王夫差,便用美女西施和贵重珠宝取悦夫差,让他贪图享受,丧失警惕,后来越国终于打败了吴国。

  现代战争中,甚至政治争斗中,也不乏使用美人计的例子。现代美人计有强烈的现代色彩,多采用间谍的方式,利用金钱贿赂,利用美人诱惑,方式变化多端,不可丧失警惕。

【探源】

美人计,语出《六韬.文伐》:“养其乱臣以迷之,进美女淫声以惑之。”意思是,对于用军事行动难以征服的敌方,要使用“糖衣炮弹”,先从思想意志上打败敌方的将帅,使其内部丧失战斗力,然后再行攻取。就象本计正文所说,对兵力强大的敌人,要制服它的将帅;对于足智多谋的将帅,要设法去腐蚀他.将帅斗志衰退,部队肯定士气消沉,就失去了作战能力。利用多种手段,攻其弱点,己方就能顺势保存实力,由弱变强。

前面曾讲到春秋时吴越之战,勾践先败于夫差。吴王夫差罚勾践夫妇在吴王宫里服劳役,借以羞辱他。越王勾践在吴王夫差面前卑躬屈膝,百般逢迎,骗取了夫差的信任,终于放他回到越国。后来越国趁火打劫,终于消灭了吴国,逼得夫差拔剑自刎。

那所趁之“火”是怎样烧起来的呢?原来勾践成功地使用了“美人计”。勾践被释回越国之后,卧薪尝胆,不忘雪耻。吴国强大,靠武力,越国不能取胜。越大夫文种向他献上一计:“高飞之鸟,死于美食,深泉之鱼,死于芳饵,要想复国雪耻,应投其所好,衰其斗志,这样,可置夫差于死地。”于是勾践挑选了两名绝代佳人:西施、郑旦,送给夫差,并年年向吴王进献珍奇珠宝。夫差认为勾践已被他臣服,所以一点也不加怀疑。夫差整日与美人饮酒作乐,连大臣伍子胥的劝谏也完全听不进去。后来,吴国进攻齐国,勾践还出兵帮助吴王伐齐,借以表示忠心,麻痹夫差。吴国打胜之后,勾践还亲自到吴国祝贺。

夫差贪恋女色,一天比一天厉害,根本不想过问政事。伍于胥力谏无效,反被逼自尽。勾践看在眼里,喜在心中。公元前482年,吴国大旱,勾践乘夫差北上会盟之时,突出奇兵伐吴,吴国终于被越所灭,夫差也只能一死了之。

【故事】

汉献帝九岁登基,朝廷由董卓专权。董卓为人阴险,滥施杀戮,并有谋朝篡位的野心。满朝文武,对董卓又恨又怕。

司徒王允,十分担心,朝廷出了这样一个奸贼,不除掉他,朝廷难保。但董卓势力强大,正面攻击,还无人斗得过他。董卓身旁有一义子,名叫吕布,骁勇异常,忠心保护董卓。

王允观察这“父子”二人,狼狈为奸,不可一世,但有一个共同的弱点:皆是好色之徒。何不用“美人计”,让他们互相残杀,以除奸贼?

王允府中有一歌女,名叫貂蝉。这个歌女,不但色艺俱佳,而且深明大义。王允向貂蝉提出用美人计诛杀董卓的计划。貂蝉为感激王允对自己的恩德,决心牺牲自己,为民除害。

在一次私人宴会上,王允主动提出将自己的“女儿”貂蝉许配给吕布。吕布见这一绝色美人,喜不自胜,十分感激王允。二人决定选择吉日完婚。第二天,王允又请董卓到家里来,酒席筵间,要貂蝉献舞。董卓一见,馋涎欲滴。王允说:“太师如果喜欢,我就把这个歌女奉送给太师。”老贼假意推让一番,高兴地把貂蝉带回府中去了。

吕布知道之后大怒,当面斥责王允。王允编出一番巧言哄骗吕布。他说:“太师要看看自己的儿媳妇,我怎敢违命!太师说今天是良辰吉日,决定带回府去与将军成亲。”吕布信以为真,等待董卓给他办喜事。过了几天没有动静,再一打听,原来董卓已把貂蝉据为己有。吕布一时也没了主意。

一日董卓上朝,忽然不见身后的吕布,心生疑虑,马上赶回府中。在后花园凤仪亭内,吕布与貂蝉抱在一起,他顿时大怒,用戟朝吕布刺去。吕布用手一档,没能击中。吕布怒气冲冲离开太师府。原来,吕布与貂蝉私自约会,貂蝉按王允之计,挑拨他们的父子关系,大骂董卓夺了吕布所爱。

王允见时机成熟,邀吕布到密室商议。王允大骂董贼强占了女儿,夺去了将军的妻子,实在可恨。吕布咬牙切齿,说:“不是看我们是父子关系,我真想宰了他。” 王允忙说:“将军错了,你姓吕,他姓董,算什么父子?再说,他抢占你的妻子,用戟刺杀你,哪里还有什么父子之情?”吕布说:“感谢司徒的提醒,不杀老贼誓不为人!”

王允见吕布已下决心,他立即假传圣旨,召董卓上朝受禅。董卓耀武扬威,进宫受禅。不料吕布突然一戟,直穿老贼咽喉。奸贼已除,朝庭内外,人人拍手称快。

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