Xīn Pí appellation Zuǒzhì was a Yǐngchuān Yángdí man. His ancestors during Jiànwǔ [25-56] from Lǒngxī moved east. Pí accompanied his elder brother [Xīn] Píng in following Yuán Shào.  Tàizǔ became Excellency of Works, recruited Pí, but Pí could not answer the orders.  When Yuán Shàng attacked his elder brother [Yuán] Tán at Píngyuán, [Yuán] Tán sent Pí to ask Tàizǔ to make peace. (1)
- (1) Yīngxióngjì “Records of Heroes” states: [Yuán] Tán and [Yuán] Shàng battled outside the gates, and [Yuán] Tán’s army was defeated and fled north. Guō Tú advised [Yuán] Tán: “Now you General have a small state and few troops, your provisions are few and your power weak, and if [Yuán Shàng] Xiǎnfǔ comes you cannot match him for long. I humbly believe you can call Excellency Cáo to come attack [Yuán Shàng] Xiǎnfǔ. If Excellency Cáo comes, he will certainly first attack Yè, and [Yuán Shàng] Xiǎnfǔ will return to the rescue. You General can lead your troops and go west, and everything north of Yè can be captured. If [Yuán Shàng] Xiǎnfǔ’s army is defeated, his troops will flee and desert, and you can also take and use them to resist Excellency Cáo. Excellency Cáo resides afar and if he comes, his supply lines cannot be maintained, and he will certainly himself flee and go. At that time, everything north of Zhào-guó would be ours, and that would be enough to resist Excellency Cáo. If you do not do this, you cannot last.” [Yuán] Tán at first would not accept, but later followed this. He asked [Guō] Tú: “Who can be sent?” [Guō] Tú answered: “Xīn [Pí] Zuǒzhì can.” [Yuán] Tán therefore sent Pí to visit Tàizǔ.
Tàizǔ was about to campaign into Jīngzhōu, and moved to Xīpíng. Pí met Tàizǔ and explained [Yuán] Tán’s intentions, and Tàizǔ was greatly pleased. After several days, he again wished to first pacify Jīngzhōu, and let [Yuán] Tán and [Yuán] Shàng destroy each other. On another day at a drinking party, Pí observed Tàizǔ‘s demeanor, knew there was a change, and said this to Guō Jiā. [Guō] Jiā informed Tàizǔ, and Tàizǔ asked Pí: “Can [Yuán] Tán be trusted? Can [Yuán] Shàng certainly be defeated or not?”
Pí answered: “Your enlightened excellency has no need to ask about trust or deception, you need only discuss their power and that is all. When the Yuán brothers first attacked each other, they did not consider others capable of taking advantage, they only considered that the realm Under Heaven could be settled for themselves. Now in one morning he calls for help from your enlightened excellency, and so their situation can be known. [Yuán Shàng] Xiǎnfǔ sees [Yuán Tán] Xiǎnsī is in trouble but cannot take him, and so his strength is exhausted. Their troops are defeated outside, their strategic ministers executed inside, the brothers slander and quarrel, their state is divided into two; for years they battle and campaign, from the armor and helmets grow lice, and moreover there is drought and locusts, and famine arriving simultaneously. Their state has no granary stores, their roads no bags of grain. Natural disasters are sent from above, human affairs are destitute below, and people whether foolish or wise, all know everything is collapsing. Now is the time of Heaven destroying Yuán Shàng.
“Military strategy says that a rock hard fortress with moats and a million armored troops but with no grain cannot be defended. Now if you go attack Yè, if [Yuán] Shàng does not go return to the rescue, then he cannot defend himself. If he returns to the rescue, then [Yuán] Tán will follow at his heel. With your enlightened excellency’s power, and a destitute and weak enemy, striking weary and beaten bandits is nothing more than a fast wind shaking autumn leaves.
“Heaven has delivered [Yuán] Shàng to your enlightened excellency, but your enlightened excellency does not take him and instead attack Jīngzhōu. Jīngzhōu is plentiful and happy, and that state is not yet in trouble. Zhònghuī had the saying: ‘Capture the chaotic and ridicule the doomed.’ Now the two Yuán do not attend to distant strategy but plot against the near, and this can be called chaotic. The settled have no food and the wandering have no provisions, and this can be called doomed. In the morning they cannot plan for the evening, and the people cannot survive, but you do not pacify them, wishing to wait for another year; in another year there might be good harvest, and they might know their doom and correct and reform their virtue, and you would lose the critical opportunity to use troops. Now if because of his request for rescue you console him, your profit could not be larger. Moreover of all the bandits everywhere, none are greater than those to the [Yellow] River’s north. If the River’s north is pacified, then the Six Armies will flourish and the realm Under Heaven be shaken.”
Tàizǔ said: “Excellent.” Therefore he permitted peace with [Yuán] Tán, and moved to Líyáng. Next year he attacked Yè, overcame it, and memorialized Pí as Consultant Cadet.
Long afterward,  Tàizǔ sent Regional Protector Cáo Hóng to pacify Xiàbiàn, and sent Pí and Cáo Xiū to advise him. The Order said: “In the past Gāozǔ [Liú Bāng] was greedy and lecherous, but [Zhāng] Liáng and [Chén] Píng rectified his faults. Now [Xīn Pí] Zuŏzhì’s and [Cáo Xiū] Wénliè’s worries are not light.”  The army returned, and he became Chief Clerk to the Chancellor.
 Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] succeeded, and promoted him to Internal Attendant, and gave fief as Marquis Within the Passes. At the time there was discussion to change the calendar. Pí believed: “The Wèi Clan followed the succession of Shùn and Yǔ, following Heaven and obeying the people; as for Tāng and Wǔ, they settled the realm Under Heaven through battle, and therefore changed the calendar. Kǒng-zǐ said: ‘Use the seasons of Xià.’ The Zuǒshìzhuàn states: ‘The Xià repeatedly used Heaven’s standards.’ Why must we oppose this?” The Emperor praised and followed this.
The Emperor wished to relocate Jìzhōu military families of a hundred thousand households to strengthen Hénán. At the time for successive years there was locusts and famine, and the various officials believed this could not be, but the Emperor’s intentions were very definite. Pí and the Court Ministers together asked to meet, and the Emperor knew they wished to remonstrate, and with angry demeanor met them, and of all of them none dared speak.
Pí said: “Your Majesty wishes to relocate military families, for what plan?”
The Emperor said: “You say my relocation of them is wrong?”
Pí said: “Truly it is wrong.”
The Emperor said: “I will not discuss it with you.”
Pí said: “Your Majesty does not consider me to be unworthy, installed me as an attendant, and appointed me to an office of planning and discussion, how can you not discuss it with me? My words are not personal, but for considering the State Altars, so how can you be angry at me?”
The Emperor did not answer, and rose to go inside. Pí followed and pulled his garment, but the Emperor forced his clothes away and did not return, and after a long time he then went back out, and said: “Zuǒzhì, what was so extremely urgent that you grabbed me?”
Pí said: “Now if you relocate them, then you will lose the people’s hearts, and also there are no provisions.”
The Emperor therefore relocated only half.
Once he accompanied the Emperor in shooting pheasants. The Emperor said: “Shooting pheasants is so pleasant!”
Pí said: “For Your Majesty it is a deep pleasure, but for your subjects it is a deep hardship.”
The Emperor was silent, and afterward only rarely went out.
General-in-Chief of the Upper Army Cáo Zhēn campaigned against Zhū Rán at Jiānglíng, and Pí went as Master of the Army. He returned, and was given fief as Marquis of Guǎngpíng precinct.
The Emperor wished to greatly raise armies to campaign against Wú. Pí remonstrated: “The people of Wú and Chǔ are behind rugged terrain and difficult to control. If principle is strong afterward they will submit, if principle is weak they will first rebel. Since ancient times there was this worry, and not only at present. Now Your Majesty rules Within the Seas, so those that do not submit, how can they last long? In the past Wèi Tuó declared himself Emperor, Zǐyáng usurped Imperial title, and within a few years, some became subjects and some were killed. Why was this? The disobedient path cannot long be preserved, but with great virtue there are none who do not submit. Right now the realm Under Heaven is newly settled, the lands broad but people few. One should first plan and afterward send out the army, and still face matters with caution, but moreover now the plans have flaws and yet you still wish to use them, and I your Servant truly cannot see the benefit. The Former Emperor [Cáo Cāo] repeatedly raised an elite army, but only reached the [Yángzǐ] River and turned back. Now the Six Armies are not stronger than back then, but you again follow that [plan], and this is not easy. For today’s plan, none is better than following Fàn Lǐ’s caring for the people, modeling after Guǎn Zhòng’s effective government, then Chōng state’s Garrison Farms, and enlightening Zhòngní’s care for the long term. Within ten years, the strong warriors will not yet be old, the young will be grown and ready for battle, the millions of people will know righteousness, the officers and soldiers will think of devoting themselves, and then afterward when you use them, then after the campaign there will not be another raising of armies.”
The Emperor said: “Is your intention to leave the enemy for my descendants?”
Pí answered: “In the past Zhōu Wén-wáng left dealing with Zhòu to [Zhōu] Wǔ-wáng, only because he knew it was not time. If it is not time, how can it be successful?”
The Emperor indeed campaigned against Wú, reaching the [Yángzǐ] River and returning.
 Míng-dì [Cáo Ruì] succeeded, and advanced him to Marquis of Yǐng village, with a fief of 300 households. At the time Internal Documents Supervisor Liú Fàng and [Internal Documents] Director Sūn Zī were trusted by the ruler, they managed and decided the government at the time, and of the great ministers none did not befriend them, but Pí would not deal with them. Pí’s son [Xīn] Chǎng remonstrated: “Now Liú [Fàng] and Sūn [Zī] manage affairs, and everyone attaches to them like shadows. You should slightly yield your intentions, and get involved in the dust. Otherwise you will certainly be slandered.”
Pí sternly said: “Though the Ruler Above cannot yet be praised as intelligent and enlightened, he is not ignorant and inferior. I conduct myself for my own reasons. Even if I am not at peace with Liú [Fàng] and Sūn [Zī], they can only prevent me from being one of the Three Excellencies and nothing more, so what danger is there? How can there be a gentleman who out of a desire to be an Excellency destroy their high moral integrity?”
Supplemental Followers Deputy-Director Bì Guǐ memorialized: “Secretariat Deputy-Director Wáng Sī is industrious and a long-serving official, but his loyalty and planning is not as good as Xīn Pí. Pí should replace [Wáng] Sī.”
The Emperor asked [Liú] Fàng and [Sūn] Zī, and [Liú] Fàng and [Sūn] Zī answered: “Your Majesty’s employment of [Wáng] Sī was because you truly wished to obtain his effectiveness, and not honor false reputation. Pí truly is bright and suitable, but his nature is stubborn and overspecialized. We hope your Holiness will deeply investigate this.” Therefore he was not employed, and sent out as Minister of the Guard.
The Emperor was about to repair palaces, the people were pressed into labor, and Pí sent up memorial that said: “I hear that Zhūgě Liàng is planning military action and training troops, and Sūn Quán obtaining horses from Liándōng, so judging their intentions, it seems they wish to come to the left and right. To prepare for all contingencies was the ancients’ good government, but now the palaces are greatly raised, and also for years grain and wheat are not collected. The Shī says: ‘The people already suffer labor, until it is small prosperity, with this favor to the central states, to pacify all four directions.’ May Your Majesty plan for the State Altars.”
The Emperor answered: “When the two rebels are not yet destroyed but palaces are repaired, is the time for those with direct criticism to establish their names. The Ruler’s capital should be managed at the same time as the people labor, so that later generations have no need to again add to it; this was Xiāo Hé’s plan for Hàn’s regulations. Now you sir are Wèi’s important minister, and also should understand this great planning.”
The Emperor also wished to flatten Běimáng [mountain], to atop it establish a watchtower, to overlook Mèngjīn. Pí remonstrated: “The nature of Heaven and Earth is to have the high be high and low be low. Now to oppose this, is both to be wrong in reason, and also to waste people’s strength, and the people cannot bear the labor. Moreover if the Nine Rivers should overflow, and its flood cause harm, and the hills are all razed, then what can resist it?” The Emperor therefore stopped. (1)
- Wèilüè “Summary of Wèi” states: Zhūgě Liàng encircled Qí mountain, could not overcome it, and retreated. Zhāng Hé pursued him, and was by a stray arrow hit and died. The Emperor begrudged losing [Zhāng] Hé, held Court and sighed saying: “Shǔ is not yet pacified but [Zhāng] Hé is dead, what can be done?” Excellency of Works Chén Qún said: “[Zhāng] Hé was truly an elite General, what the state depended upon.” Pí in his heart believed that thought [the loss of Zhāng] Hé was unfortunate, but he was already dead, and it was inappropriate to inside show the Ruler’s weak intentions, and show to the outside lack of greatness. Therefore he opposed [Chén] Qún: “Excellency Chén, what speech is this? At the end of Jiàn’ān  the realm Under Heaven could not be a day without Wǔ Huángdì [Cáo Cāo], but after the state lost him, yet Wén Huángdì [Cáo Pī] accepted the Mandate, and in the age of Huángchū [220-226], it could also be said that it could not be without Wén Huángdì. But when he left the realm Under Heaven, yet Your Majesty’s Dragon rose. Now what the state is lacking, is it Zhāng Hé?” Chén Qún said: “It is as Xīn Pí says.” The Emperor laughed and said: “Excellency Chén can be said to be quick to change.”
- Your Servant Sōngzhī believes: In comparing people there must be coherence, to take examples to show categories. Therefore the superior gentleman in their words are not careless and that is all. Pí wished to improve the Ruler’s intentions, and should have brought up someone in the category of Zhāng Liáo. How could the death of one General be compared against the examples of the Imperial Ancestors? It was very inappropriate words, and nothing can surpass it. Advancing it violates category, and withdrawing it seems flattery. [Xīn Pí] Zuǒzhì was honest and upright, and should not have been like this. Wèilüè is already difficult to trust, but Mister Xí [Zuòchǐ] also followed and passed on this, and I humbly say this man’s received falsehoods were not few.
Qīnglóng second year  Zhūgě Liàng led armies out against Wèinán. Before this General-in-Chief Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng repeatedly requested to battle [Zhūgě] Liàng, but Míng-dì to the end would not listen. That year he was afraid he could not restrain him, and therefore sent Pí as Master of the Army to the General-in-Chief, and Envoy Wielding Staff of Authority. The Six Armies were all respectful, obeyed Pí’s authority and judgements, and none dared disobey. (1)
- Wèilüè states: [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng repeatedly wished to advance to attack, but Pí prohibited it and would not listen. Though [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng was willful in conduct, yet he always submitted to Pí.
[Zhūgě] Liàng died. He again returned as Minister of the Guard. He died, posthumous name Sù-hóu “Solemn Marquis.” His son Chǎng succeeded, and during Xiánxī [264-265] became Administrator of Hénèi. (2)
- Shìyǔ states: Chǎng appellation Tàiyōng, his office reached Minister of the Guard. Pí’s daughter Xiànyīng wed Minister of Ceremonies Yáng Dān of Tàishān. Her daughter’s son Xiàhóu Zhàn made her a Biography:
- Xiànyīng was intelligent and had ability in appraisal. Previously Wén-dì [Cáo Pī] and Chén Sī-wáng [Cáo Zhí] competed to become Heir-Apparent, and afterward when Wén-dì was chosen , he hugged [Xīn] Pí’s neck and joyfully said: “Lord Xīn do you know how happy I am?” [Xīn] Pí told this to Xiànyīng, and Xiànyīng sighed and said: “The Heir Apparent succeeds the Ruler, Ancestral Temples, and State Altars. In succeeding the Ruler he cannot be not sorrowful, in ruling the state he cannot be not fearful. When he should be sorrowful he is happy, how can he last long? Is this Wèi’s misfortune?”
- Her younger brother [Xīn] Chǎng became General-in-Chief Cáo Shuǎng’s Military Advisor.  Sīmǎ [Yì] Xuān-wáng wished to execute [Cáo] Shuǎng, and because [Cáo] Shǎng had gone out, closed the city gates. Major to the General-in-Chief Lǔ Zhī commanded [Cáo] Shuǎng’s troops, broke the gate and chopped the bars, and went out the city gates to join [Cáo] Shuǎng, and came to call on Chǎng to go with them. Chǎng was afraid, and asked Xiànyīng: “Heaven’s Son is outside, the Grand Tutor [Sīmǎ Yì] closes the city gates, and people say he is about to harm the state. In this matter what can be done?”
- Xiànyīng said: “The world Under Heaven has things that cannot be known, but from my judgment of this, the Grand Tutor was forced to have no choice but to act thus. When Míng Huángdì was about to perish, he grasped the Grand Tutor’s arm, and entrusted later affairs to him, and this story is still told among the Court ministers and that is all. Moreover Cáo Shuǎng and the Grand Tutor both received trusted appointments, but [Cáo Shuǎng] alone seized power, acted proud and extravagant, was not loyal to the Ruling House, not upright in humane principle. This uprising is only to execute Cáo Shuǎng and nothing more.”
- Chǎng said: “That being the case will the matter be successful?”
- Xiànyīng said: “How can it not be successful? [Cáo] Shuǎng’s ability is no match for the Grand Tutor’s.”
- Chǎng said: “That being the case then can I not go out?”
- Xiànyīng said: “How can you not go out? Duty is man’s great righteousness. When an ordinary man is in difficulty, yet others pity them. If you wield staff for another but then abandon this matter, it is inauspicious, and cannot be. Moreover dying for another, accepting appointment for another, is the duty of the trusted aide. You must follow the army and nothing more.”
- Chǎng therefore went out. [Sīmǎ Yì] Xuān-wáng indeed executed [Cáo] Shuǎng. After the matter was settled, Chǎng sighed and said: “If I had not planned with my elder sister, I would have failed to act righteously.”
-  When Zhōng Huì became Western Defense General, Xiànyīng said to her nephew Yáng Hù: “Why is Zhōng [Huì] Shìjì setting out west?”
- [Yáng] Hù said: “He wishes to destroy Shǔ.”
- Xiànyīng said: “[Zhōng] Huì in handling affairs is without restraint, and this is not the way to last long as a subordinate. I fear he has other ambitions.”
- [Yáng] Hù said: “Aunt, please say no more.”
- Afterward [Zhōng] Huì invited her son [Yáng] Xiù to be his Military Advisor, and Xiànyīng was worried and said: “On another day when I see Zhōng Huì set out, I worried for the state. Today the trouble reaches my family, but this is the state’s great affair, and I cannot stop it.”
- [Yáng] Xiù firmly asked to resign to Sīmǎ [Zhāo] Wén-wáng, but Wén-wáng would not listen. Xiànyīng said to [Yáng] Xiù: “It has already happened. Protect yourself. The ancient superior gentlemen, when entering [home] were filial to their parents, when going out were moral to their state. When in office think of your responsibilities, when in challenge think of your position, and do not leave suffering for your father and mother and nothing more. When among the army, what can save you, is only benevolence and forgiveness! You be careful of that!” [Yáng] Xiù indeed survived.
- Xiànyīng at seventy nine years, in Tàishǐ fifth year  died.