In the first month of the first yea

Byweimiaow

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.

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