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.