(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.


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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!”


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.”


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


Jiànpíng died during Huángchū [220-226].


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