(29.3) Zhū Jiànpíng 朱建平

Zhū Jiànpíng was a Pèi-guó man. He was a master of physiognomy, gave readings on the streets, and was correct without a single error. When Tàizǔ [Cáo Cāo] was Duke of Wèi he heard of him, and summoned him to take appointment as a Cadet.

朱建平,沛國人也。善相術,於閭巷之間,效驗非一。太祖為魏公,聞之,召為郎。

When Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] was Five Office General he hosted a gathering of over thirty men. Wén-dì asked him how long he would live, and also ordered him to appraise all the guests. Jiànpíng said: “General, your life span is eighty, but at forty you will suffer a small hardship, and I hope you will guard yourself well.”

文帝為五官將,坐上會客三十餘人,文帝問己年壽,又令遍相眾賓。建平曰:「將軍當壽八十,至四十時當有小厄,願謹護之。」

To Xiàhóu Wēi he said: “When you are forty-nine you will be a Provincial Governor, but will suffer a hardship. If this hardship can be endured, you can reach seventy, and reach rank as Excellency.”

謂夏侯威曰:「君四十九位為州牧,而當有厄,厄若得過,可年至七十,致位公輔。」

To Yīng Qú he said: “You at sixty-two will be a trusted official, but will also suffer a hardship. One year before you pass, if you will see a white dog, that those around you cannot see.”

謂應璩曰:「君六十二位為常伯,而當有厄,先此一年,當獨見一白狗,而旁人不見也。」

To Cáo Biāo he said: “You will occupy a state but at fifty-seven suffer a disaster with warfare. It is better to avoid this.”

謂曹彪曰:「君據藩國,至五十七當厄於兵,宜善防之。」


Previously, Xún Yōu of Yǐngchuān and Zhōng Yáo were good friends with him. Yōu died first, and his sons were still young. Yáo cared for their household, and wished to arrange marriages for the concubines. He wrote a letter: “I and Gōngdá together had Jiànpíng appraise us. Jiànpíng said: ‘Though sir Xún is younger, later his affairs will be handed over to sir Zhōng.’ At the time I joked: ‘I will only be arranging a marriage for your Ā Wù and that is all.’ Who could have thought he really would leave us early, and my joke would come true? Now I wish to marry off Ā Wù, and find a good match for her. Thinking back to Jiànpíng’s ability, even Táng Jǔ and Xǔ Fù cannot compare!”

初,潁川荀攸、鍾繇相與親善。攸先亡,子幼。繇經紀其門戶,欲嫁其妾。與人書曰:「吾與公達曾共使朱建平相,建平曰:『荀君雖少,然當以後事付鍾君。』吾時啁之曰:『惟當嫁卿阿騖耳。』何意此子竟早隕沒,戲言遂驗乎!今欲嫁阿騖,使得善處。追思建平之妙,雖唐舉、許負何以復加也!」


Wén-dì in Huángchū seventh year [226] was forty and seriously ill, and said to his attendants: “When Jiànpíng said eighty, he was speaking of both day and night together. This is my end.” Soon after, he indeed ended.

文帝黃初七年,年四十,病困,謂左右曰:「建平所言八十,謂晝夜也,吾其決矣。」頃之,果崩。

Xiàhóu Wēi became Inspector of Yǎnzhōu, aged forty-nine. In the twelfth moon first week he fell ill, remembered Jiànpíng’s words, and believed he was certain to die, so he composed his final will and prepared his funeral, and all was managed. In the last week he improved, and almost recovered. On the thirtieth day, evening, he invited many officials to a drinking banquet, and said: “My hardship has almost passed. Tomorrow morning when the roosters cry I will be fifty, and will have made it through what Jiànpíng had warned of.” After Wēi had seen his guests out, his illness returned, and that night he died.

夏侯威為兗州刺史,年四十九,十二月上旬得疾,念建平之言,自分必死,豫作遺令及送喪之備,咸使素辦。至下旬轉差,垂以平復。三十日日昃,請紀綱大吏設酒,曰:「吾所苦漸平,明日雞鳴,年便五十,建平之戒,真必過矣。」威罷客之後,合瞑疾動,夜半遂卒。

Qú at sixty-one became a Palace Attendant. In the government offices, he saw a white dog. He asked everyone else, but none had seen it. Therefore he threw many celebrations, quickly traveled all around, and threw feasts to amuse himself. After a year, at sixty three he died.

璩六十一為侍中,直省內,欻見白狗,問之眾人,悉無見者。於是數聚會,并急游觀田里,飲宴自娛,過期一年,六十三卒。

Cáo Biāo was given fief as King of Chǔ. At fifty-seven, he plotted with Wáng Líng, and was forced to suicide.

曹彪封楚王,年五十七,坐與王淩通謀,賜死。

All his predictions of this sort came true, but cannot be given in detail, and so these few are recorded. Only Excellency of Works Wáng Chǎng, General Attacking the North Chéng Xǐ, Central Army Commander Wáng Sù received incorrect assessments.

凡說此輩,無不如言,不能具詳,故粗記數事。惟相司空王昶、征北將軍程喜、中領軍王肅有蹉跌云。

Sù at sixty-two was gravely ill, and all the physicians believed he could not be saved. Sù’s wife asked if he had anything to say, and Sù said: “Jiànpíng judged I would reach seventy and my rank reach the Three Excellencies, but now both have not yet come. What is there to fear?” But Sù indeed died.

肅年六十二,疾篤,眾醫並以為不愈。肅夫人問以遣言,肅云:「建平相我踰七十,位至三公,今皆未也,將何慮乎!」而肅竟卒。


Jiànpíng was also good at judging horses. Wén-dì was going out and obtained a horse. Jiànpíng encountered it on the road and said: “This horse will die today.”

建平又善相馬。文帝將出,取馬外入,建平道遇之,語曰:「此馬之相,今日死矣。」

When the Emperor was about to mount the horse, the horse was disturbed the fragrance of his clothes and startled and bit Wén-dìon the knee. The Emperor was furious, and immediately killed it.

帝將乘馬,馬惡衣香,驚囓文帝膝,帝大怒,即便殺之。

Jiànpíng died during Huángchū [220-226].

建平黃初中卒。

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