posted 21 Mar 2013, 01:37 by Jim Sheng   [ updated 21 Mar 2013, 01:44 ]
[谷永. 1st Century B.C. A distinguished scholar who by 36 B.C. had risen to be a Censor. In 34 B.C. there was an eclipse of the sun, accompanied by a severe earthquake, which he attributed to the favours shown to the Empress and the ladies of the seraglio. For this he suffered no penalty, but ultimately died in high office. The following memorial refers to the reception of a Hun refugee, named Issimoyen, who was seeking to become a naturalised subject of China.] 


AT the rise of the Han dynasty, the Huns were a frontier curse. Accordingly, presents and honours were heaped upon them, in the hope that they would be led to join the Empire. And now that the Hun Captain has tendered his allegiance and become an officer of this government, his territory being enrolled among the Tributary States of the north,  he can entertain but one feeling towards us, and it behoves us to treat him in a manner different from that of past years. But if with one hand we receive his tribute, while with the other we welcome his fugitive servant,  is not this to clutch with greedy grasp at a single individual and sacrifice the trust and confidence of a nation; to clasp to our bosom a defaulting officer and cast from us the honourable friendship of a prince? 

Possibly the Hun Captain has sent his man here to test our good faith, and the request to be naturalised is but a specious plea. In this case, to receive him would be a breach of duty, and would cause the Hun Captain to separate from us altogether. 

Or it may be the Hun Captain's wish to bring about a separation in this way; and then we should but play into his hands, and enable him to quote his own loyalty against our disloyalty. 

These are the beginnings of frontier troubles, of recourse to arms, and of military expeditions. Let us rather refuse to receive this man. Let us lay bare the integrity of our own hearts, and prevent the operation of any possible ruse by adhering closely to the principles of honest friendship.