All three being of one mind, next day

All three being of one mind, next day

“I am Guan Yu,” replied he. “I am a native of the east side of the river, but I have been a fugitive on the waters for some five years,

because I slew a ruffian who, since he was wealthy and powerful, was a bully. I have come to join the army here.”

then Liu Bei told Guan Yu his own intentions, and all three went away to Zhang Fei’s farm where they could talk over the grand project.

Said Zhang Fei, “the peach trees in the orchard behind the house are just in full flower. Tomorrow we will institute a sacrifice there and

solemnly declare our intention before Heaven and Earth, and we three will swear brotherhood and unity of aims and sentiments: Thus will we enter upon our GREat task.”

Both Liu Bei and Guan Yu gladly aGREed.

All three being of one mind, next day they prepared the sacrifices, a black ox, a white horse, and wine for libation. Beneath the smoke of the incense burning on the altar, they bowed their heads and recited this oath:

“We three——Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei——though of different families, swear brotherhood, and promise mutual help to

one end. We will rescue each other in difficulty; we will aid each other in danger. We swear to serve the state and save the people. We ask not the same day of birth, but we seek to die together. May Heaven, the all-ruling, and Earth, the all-producing, read our hearts. If we turn aside from righteousness or forget kindliness, may Heaven and Human smite us!”

they rose from their knees. The two others bowed before Liu Bei as their elder brother, and Zhang Fei was to be the youngest of the trio.

This solemn ceremony performed, they slew other oxen and made a feast to which they invited the villagers. Three hundred joined them, and all feasted and drank deep in the Peach Garden.

the next day weapons were mustered. But there were no horses to ride. This was a real grief. But soon they were cheered by the arrival of two horse dealers with a drove of horses.

“Thus does Heaven help us!” said Liu Bei.

Liu Bei was twenty-eight when the outbreak

Liu Bei was twenty-eight when the outbreak

As a child, Liu Bei played with the other village children beneath this tree, and he would climb up into it, saying, “I am the Son of Heaven,

and this is my chariot!” His uncle, Liu Yuanqi, recognized that Liu Bei was no ordinary boy and saw to it that the family did not come to actual want.

When Liu Bei was fifteen, his mother sent him traveling for his education. For a time he served Zheng Xuan and Lu Zhi as masters. And he became GREat friends with Gongsun Zan.

Liu Bei was twenty-eight when the outbreak of the Yellow Scarves called for soldiers. The sight of the notice saddened him, and he sighed as he read it.

Suddenly a rasping voice behind him cried, “Sir, why sigh if you do nothing to help your country?”

Turning quickly he saw standing there a man about his own height, with a bullet head like a leopard’s, large eyes, a swallow pointed chin,

and whiskers like a tiger’s. He spoke in a loud bass voice and looked as irresistible as a dashing horse. At once Liu Bei saw he was no ordinary man and asked who he was.

“Zhang Fei is my name,” replied the stranger. “I live near here where I have a farm; and I am a wine seller and a butcher as

well; and I like to become acquainted with worthy people. Your sighs as you read the notice drew me toward you.”

Liu Bei replied, “I am of the Imperial Family, Liu Bei is my name. And I wish I could destroy these Yellow Scarves and restore peace to the land, but alas! I am helpless.”

“I have the means,” said Zhang Fei. “Suppose you and I raised some troops and tried what we could do.”

This was happy news for Liu Bei, and the two betook themselves to the village inn to talk over the project. As they were drinking,

a huge, tall fellow appeared pushing a hand-cart along the road. At the threshold he halted and entered the inn to rest awhile and he called for wine.

“And be quick!” added he. “For I am in haste to get into the town and offer myself for the army.”

Liu Bei looked over the newcomer, item by item, and he noted the man had a huge frame, a long beard, a vivid face like an apple,

and deep red lips. He had eyes like a phoenix’s and fine bushy eyebrows like silkworms. His whole appearance was dignified and awe-inspiring. Presently, Liu Bei crossed over, sat down beside him and asked his name.

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Meanwhile Zhang Jue led his army into

Meanwhile Zhang Jue led his army into

Regent Marshal and Guardian of the Throne, He Jin, memorialized for general preparations against the Yellow Scarves, and an edict

called upon everyone to fight against the rebels. In the meantime, three Imperial Commanders——Lu Zhi, Huangfu Song, and Zhu Jun——marched against them in three directions with veteran soldiers.

Meanwhile Zhang Jue led his army into Youzhou, the northeastern region of the empire*. The Imperial Protector* of Youzhou was Liu

Yan, a scion of the Imperial House. Learning of the approach of the rebels, Liu Yan called in Commander Zhou Jing to consult over the position.

Zhou Jing said, “they are many and we few. We must enlist more troops to oppose them.”

Liu Yan aGREed, and he put out notices calling for volunteers to serve against the rebels. One of these notices was posted up in the county of Zhuo, where lived one man of high spirit.

This man was no mere bookish scholar, nor found he any pleasure in study. But he was liberal and amiable, albeit a man of few words,

hiding all feeling under a calm exterior. He had always cherished a yearning for high enterprise and had cultivated the friendship of humans of mark. He was tall of stature. His ears were long, the lobes touching his shoulders, and his hands hung down below his knees. His eyes were very big and prominent so that he could see backward past his ears. His complexion was as clear as jade, and he had rich red lips.

He was a descendant of Prince Sheng of Zhongshan whose father was the Emperor Jing*, the fourth emperor of the Han Dynasty. His

name was Liu Bei. Many years before, one of his forbears had been the governor of that very county, but had lost his rank for

remissness in ceremonial offerings. However, that branch of the family had remained on in the place, gradually becoming poorer and

poorer as the years rolled on. His father Liu Hong had been a scholar and a virtuous official but died young. The widow and orphan were left alone, and Liu Bei as a lad won a reputation for filial piety.

At this time the family had sunk deep in poverty, and Liu Bei gained his living by selling straw sandals and weaving grass mats. The

family home was in a village near the chief city of Zhuo. Near the house stood a huge mulberry tree, and seen from afar its curved

profile resembled the canopy of a wagon. Noting the luxuriance of its foliage, a soothsayer had predicted that one day a man of distinction would come forth from the family.

In the first month of the first yea

In the first month of the first yea

Zhang Jue studied the wonderful book eagerly and strove day and night to reduce its precepts to practice. Before long, he could

summon the winds and command the rain, and he became known as the Mystic of the Way of Peace.

In the first month of the first year of Central Stability (AD 184), there was a terrible pestilence that ran throughout the land,

whereupon Zhang Jue distributed charmed remedies to the afflicted. The godly medicines brought big successes, and soon he gained the

tittle of the Wise and Worthy Master. He began to have a following of disciples whom he initiated into the mysteries and sent abroad

throughout all the land. They, like their master, could write charms and recite formulas, and their fame increased his following.

Zhang Jue began to organize his disciples. He established thirty-six circuits, the larger with ten thousand or more members, the smaller with about half that number. Each circuit had its chief who took the

military title of General. They talked wildly of the death of the blue heaven and the setting up of the golden one; they said a new cycle was beginning and would bring universal good fortune to all

members; and they persuaded people to chalk the symbols for the first year of the new cycle on the main door of their dwellings.

With the growth of the number of his supporters GREw also the ambition of Zhang Jue. The Wise and Worthy Master dreamed of empire. One of his partisans, Ma Yuanyi, was sent bearing gifts to gain the support of the eunuchs within the Palace.

To his brothers Zhang Jue said, “For schemes like ours always the most difficult part is to gain the popular favor. But that is already ours. Such an opportunity must not pass.”

And they began to prepare. Many yellow flags and banners were made, and a day was chosen for the uprising. Then Zhang Jue wrote letters to Eunuch Feng Xu* and sent them by one of his followers,

Tang Zhou, who alas! betrayed his trust and reported the plot to the court. The Emperor summoned the trusty Regent Marshal He

Jin and bade him look to the issue. Ma Yuanyi was at once taken and beheaded. Feng Xu and many others were cast into prison.

the plot having thus become known, the Zhang brothers were forced at once to take the field. They took up grandiose titles: Zhang Jue

the Lord of Heaven, Zhang Ba the Lord of Earth, and Zhang Lian the Lord of Human. And in these names they put forth this manifesto:

“the good fortune of the Han is exhausted, and the Wise and Worthy Man has appeared. Discern the will of Heaven, O ye people, and walk in the way of righteousness, whereby alone ye may attain to peace.”

Support was not lacking. On every side people bound their heads with yellow scarves and joined the army of the rebel Zhang Jue, so

that soon his strength was nearly half a million strong, and the official troops melted away at a whisper of his coming.

In the first month of the first yea

In the first month of the first yea

Zhang Jue studied the wonderful book eagerly and strove day and night to reduce its precepts to practice. Before long, he could

summon the winds and command the rain, and he became known as the Mystic of the Way of Peace.

In the first month of the first year of Central Stability (AD 184), there was a terrible pestilence that ran throughout the land,

whereupon Zhang Jue distributed charmed remedies to the afflicted. The godly medicines brought big successes, and soon he gained the

tittle of the Wise and Worthy Master. He began to have a following of disciples whom he initiated into the mysteries and sent abroad

throughout all the land. They, like their master, could write charms and recite formulas, and their fame increased his following.

Zhang Jue began to organize his disciples. He established thirty-six circuits, the larger with ten thousand or more members, the smaller with about half that number. Each circuit had its chief who took the

military title of General. They talked wildly of the death of the blue heaven and the setting up of the golden one; they said a new cycle was beginning and would bring universal good fortune to all

members; and they persuaded people to chalk the symbols for the first year of the new cycle on the main door of their dwellings.

With the growth of the number of his supporters GREw also the ambition of Zhang Jue. The Wise and Worthy Master dreamed of empire. One of his partisans, Ma Yuanyi, was sent bearing gifts to gain the support of the eunuchs within the Palace.

To his brothers Zhang Jue said, “For schemes like ours always the most difficult part is to gain the popular favor. But that is already ours. Such an opportunity must not pass.”

And they began to prepare. Many yellow flags and banners were made, and a day was chosen for the uprising. Then Zhang Jue wrote letters to Eunuch Feng Xu* and sent them by one of his followers,

Tang Zhou, who alas! betrayed his trust and reported the plot to the court. The Emperor summoned the trusty Regent Marshal He

Jin and bade him look to the issue. Ma Yuanyi was at once taken and beheaded. Feng Xu and many others were cast into prison.

the plot having thus become known, the Zhang brothers were forced at once to take the field. They took up grandiose titles: Zhang Jue

the Lord of Heaven, Zhang Ba the Lord of Earth, and Zhang Lian the Lord of Human. And in these names they put forth this manifesto:

“the good fortune of the Han is exhausted, and the Wise and Worthy Man has appeared. Discern the will of Heaven, O ye people, and walk in the way of righteousness, whereby alone ye may attain to peace.”

Support was not lacking. On every side people bound their heads with yellow scarves and joined the army of the rebel Zhang Jue, so

that soon his strength was nearly half a million strong, and the official troops melted away at a whisper of his coming.