Fèi Yī, appellation Wénwěi, was a Jiāngxià Máng man. He was orphaned young, and relied on his second cousin’s father Bórén. Bórén’s paternal aunt was Governor of Yìzhōu Liú Zhāng’s mother. Zhāng sent an envoy to welcome [Bó]rén, and [Bó]rén led Yī to travel and study and entered Shǔ. At that time Xiān-zhǔ settled Shǔ. Yī thereupon remained in the land of Yì[zhōu], and with Rǔnán’s Xǔ Shūlóng and Nán-jùn’s Dǒng Yǔn had equal fame.
At the time when Xǔ Jìng was in mourning for his son, Yǔn and Yī wished to together attend the burial. Yǔn asked his father Hé for a chariot, and Hé sent an open back [cheap] chariot to give him. Yǔn had the appearance of not wishing to board, but Yī easily went ahead and first boarded. When they arrived at the burial, Zhūgě Liàng and all the high-ranking men were gathered together, and their carriages were all very fancy. Yǔn had an appearance of uneasiness, while Yī was quite and composed and at ease. When the chariot attendant returned, Hé heard of this, and knowing that it was like this, he then said to Yǔn: “I often doubted if your and Wénwěi’s good and bad traits were any different, but from now and onward, I can tell.”
When Xiān-zhǔ [Liú Bèi] installed an Heir-Apparent , Yī and Yǔn both became Residents, and were promoted to Companions. When Hòu-zhǔ [Liú Shàn] ascended , he became Yellow Gate Attendant-Cadet.
Chancellor [Zhūgě] Liàng led a southern campaign and returned , and all the officials gathered several tens of lǐ to welcome him. In age and position most were to Yī’s right [senior], but Liàng specially ordered Yī to ride in the same [chariot], and from this among everyone there was none who did not change their opinion of him. Liàng from when he first led a southern campaign and returned appointed Yī as Colonel Manifesting Faith to send as envoy to Wú. Sūn Quán by nature joking and ridiculed and mocked without warning, while Zhūgě Kè, Yáng Chén, and others were talented and learned in debate, and in conversation made difficult pointed remarks at him. Yī answered easily and seriously, and with reason made answers, and to the end he could not be wronged. (1)
- (1) Yī Biézhuàn states: Sūn Quán always sent others to pour good liquor for Yī to drink, watched for when he was intoxicated, and then asked about state affairs, as well as discuss the affairs of the present age, and his difficult words would accumulate on him. Yī at once declined to answer on account of his intoxication, left but compiled [in writing] all that was asked, answered everything, and nothing was overlooked.
Sūn Quán was deeply impressed with him, and said to Yī: “You sir are a virtue of the world Under Heaven, and will certainly become a trusted aide of the Shǔ Court, so I fear you will not be able to come often.” (2)
- (2) Yī Biézhuàn states: Quán then with his own hand presented a Internal Regular [Attendant]’s ceremonial blade and presented it to him, and Yī answered: “I your servant am untalented, and how can I bear [to accept] your eminence’s command? But this blade is a thing to punish those who violate Court and Prohibitions and revolt. I hope that you Great King will exert yourself in establishing great achievement and together support the Hàn House. Though I your servant am ignorant and weak, tot he end I will not turn my back on the care of the east.”
He returned, and was promoted to Attendant Internal.
[Zhūgě] Liàng went north and resided at Hànzhōng , and invited Yī as a Military Advisor. In order to report their intentions, he was frequently sent to Wú.
Jiànxīng eighth year , he was transferred to Central Protector of the Army, and later became Staff-Major. At the time Master of the Army Wèi Yán and Chief Clerk Yáng Yí loathed each other, and every time they sat together they argued, [Wèi] Yán sometimes raised his blade to threaten [Yáng] Yí would sob and weep unreasonably. Yī would often enter and sit between them, and admonish and separate them. To the end of [Zhūgě] Liàng’s time, that both [Wèi] Yán and [Yáng] Yí could each be employed to the fullest, was due to Yī’s ability to resolve matters. Liàng died, and Yī became Master of the Rear Army. Shortly afterward, he succeeded Jiǎng Wǎn as Director of the Secretariat. (3)
- (3) Yī Biézhuàn states: At the time there were many military and state problems, and official matters were troubled and plentiful. Yī had memory and awareness surpassing other men. Every time he inspected and read documents he memorized. After raising it up and glancing a little, he could already know its meaning, so his speed was many times that of other men, and to the end he also would not forget them. He would always in the morning to afternoon manage affairs, and within that interval accept visitors and guests, eat and drink and make merry, and also play games, so that every single person was entertained, but matters were also not neglected. When Dǒng Yǔn succeeded Yī as Director of the Secretariat, he wished to imitate how Yī had acted, and within ten days, matters were disarrayed and sluggish. Yǔn therefore sighed and said: “The talents of men can be this far apart. This is not what I can match. I manage affairs to the end of the day, and yet have no remaining time like that.”
[Jiǎng] Wǎn left Hànzhōng and returned to Fú. Yī was promoted to General-in-Chief, with authority over the Secretariat affairs.
Yánxī seventh year  the Wèi army advanced to Xīngshì. Yī was given a Staff of Authority and led the armies to resist them. The Merit Grandee Lái Mǐn arrived to send him, and was asked to play Encircling Chess. At the time, Feathered [urgent] dispatches were circling around. Men and horses were armored, and preparations had already been made, but Yī and Mǐn remained focused on the game, and their appearance showed no sign of tiring. Mǐn said: “I was only testing you and that is all! You indeed can be relied on, and can certainly handle the enemy.” Yī arrived, the enemy then retreated, and he was given fief as Marquis of Chéng village. (1)
- (1) Yīn Jī’s Tōngyǔ states: When Sīmǎ Yì executed Cáo Shuǎng, [Fèi] Yī established two arguments to discuss and determine the rights and wrongs. Argument A is that Cáo Shuǎng and his brothers were ordinary and mediocre persons and only due to their relation to the Imperial Clan received favor and appointment, and yet became arrogant and extravagant and usurped prerogatives, had relations with criminal persons, privately established their own clique, and plotted to rebel against the state. [Sīmǎ] Yì exerted himself to punish them, in one morning exterminated them, and this was why he was suitable to be appointed, and acted in accordance with the expectations of scholars and commoners. Argument B is that [Sīmǎ] Yì felt that Cáo the second [Cáo Ruì] did not entrust affairs to only one, so how could Shuǎng have any relevance? The management of affairs was not for one particular person, and so he secretly acted as if he did not care. From the beginning he did not give loyal advice or admonishment, and instead in one morning slaughtered them, taking them at unawares, so how can this be a great man acting for the sake of the state or doing what was required? If Shuǎng really had the intention to plot against his ruler, then his rebellion would have already occurred, yet on the day when the troops went out, [Cáo] Fāng was left with Shuǎng and his brothers. [Sīmǎ] Yì, father and son [Sīmǎ Shī] from the rear closed the gates and raised troops, threatening [Cáo] Fāng and ensuring there would be no peace. Would this be called a loyal minister acting in consideration for his lord? From this viewpoint, Shuǎng had no great wrongs that were obvious. If [Sīmǎ] Yì was acting because Shuǎng was extravagant and usurped prerogatives, then the punishment of dismissal would be sufficient, but he exterminated all his relatives, and this was an injustice, cutting off the succession and sacrifices for [Cáo Shuǎng’s father] Zǐdān [Cáo Zhēn], and even Hé Yàn’s son who was a Wèi [Imperial] relative nephew was also exterminated. This was usurpation of power and acting excessively and improperly.
Wǎn decided to resign his provincial duties, and Yī was again given office as Inspector of Yìzhōu. Yī’s achievements and renown in the state were comparable to Wǎn. (2)
- (2) Yī Biézhuàn states: Yī was elegant and modest by nature, and his family did not accumulate wealth. His sons were each ordered to wear plain clothing and eat plain meals, to go out and come in without escorts of chariots or riders, and to differ in no way from ordinary people.
Eleventh year  he went out to station at Hànzhōng. From Wǎn to Yī, though they were outside [the capital], in bestowing rewards and sentencing punishments, they were always first consulted from afar and only afterward was action taken. The trust in them was like this. Later in the fourteenth year  summer, he returned to Chéngdū. Chéngdū astrologists said that the capital city had no place for a Chief Minister, so in the winter he again went north to garrison Hànshòu.
Yánxī fifteenth year , Yī was ordered to establish his own department staff.
Sixteenth year  first day he held a great assembly. A surrendered man of Wèi Guō Xún was seated there. Yī happily drank and became intoxicated, and was by Xún’s hand and blade came to harm. Posthumous name Jìng-hóu “Respected Marquis.”
His son Chéng succeeded, and became Yellow Gate Attendant-Cadet. His younger brother Gōng was bestowed a princess [as wife]. (3) Yī’s eldest daughter became the Heir-Apparent [Liú] Xuán’s consort.
- (3) Yī Biézhuàn states: Gōng became a Secretariat Cadet, and had reputation in his time. Died young.