Physiognomy

Zǐ Qí had eight sons. Having arranged them before him, he called Jǐu Fàng Yīn, and said to him, ‘Look at the physiognomy of my sons for me;–which will be the fortunate one?’

Yīn said, ‘Kǔn is the fortunate one.’ Zǐ Qí looked startled, and joyfully said, ‘In what way?’

Yīn replied, ‘Kǔn will share the meals of the ruler of a state to the end of his life.’

Not long after this, Zǐ Qí sent off Kǔn to go to Yàn, when he was made prisoner by some robbers on the way. It would have been difficult to sell him if he were whole and entire, and they thought their easiest plan was to cut off (one of his) feet first. They did so, and sold him in Qǐ, where he became Inspector of roads for a Mr. Qǔ. Nevertheless he had flesh to eat till he died.

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