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CHAP. III. [22] 

THE Mandarine Tieh-u-sheh, was not two days longer in prison, before the Emperor sent him a private answer to his petition. When every body was retired, he opened it, and found an order to go, and apprehend the persons in question: at this he greatly rejoiced, and making an offering of fire, prayed for the Emperor [23] . Then he took the letter, and folded it up again: and proposed to his son, to set out both of them upon the search. "Pardon me, Sir, said Tieh-chung-u, that must not be. It will excite suspicion: somebody will acquaint Tah-quay of your being abroad, and we shall be disappointed. Let me rather go privately, and when I have broke open the gates, and found the three persons, do you be ready, mount your horse, and bring with you the Emperor's order, openly proclaiming it to be a power to apprehend them." To this his father assented.

By this time the Mandarine of the prison came, and inquired what news? for he saw, that they had been making an offering of fire. Tieh-u-sheh injoining him secrecy, informed him of the private order he had received. He then said to his son, "Now go, but be very careful." The youth accordingly withdrew, and went to tell his mother all that had happened. He then asked her for his brazen mace, weighing twenty catty[24] : which although so heavy, he had been able to manage at eleven or twelve years old, but his parents had taken it from him, lest he should do mischief with it. His mother was suprized at his demand, and said, "Your father ordered me to lay it up, and never give it you: why do you ask for it? "I am going, replied Tieh-chung-u, to the den of a tiger: if I have not that with me, how shall I defend myself?" When he had received it, he asked for wine, and drank till he made his heart glad: after which, he put on his soldier's habit, and his other dress over it; then ordered a white horse to be got ready, which he mounted, commanding twenty servants of the house to come after him at a distance, but Siow-tan to follow him near.

This done, he rode softly on, 'till he was got without the gate of the city: then he set out full speed, till he came to a splendid palace. Here he stopped and alighted. Walking about a little, he came to a court, with three gates, very strong and lofty, and curiously wrought: over the middlemost of these, were inscribed the three characters, Yanghien tang, or the name of the palace. These gates he perceived to be too strong, and too closely shut, for him possibly to open them: but he imagined there must be another entrance besides this to so magnificent a building: and looking round, in an alley he discovered a little gate painted red; over which was this inscription: 


Tieh-chung-u finding a crack in the door, peeped through, and saw a great many servants waiting within, and whispering to one another. He then withdrew as softly as he could to his servant: and taking off his upper coat, which covered his soldier's dress, and grasping at the same time his arms, mounted his horse; appearing with all the glory of an hero, or rather an angel[25] , in the beauty and gracefulness of his person, and brightness of his arms.

"Go now, said he to Siow-tan, and acquaint the servants that are behind to come up: afterwards you shall go to the great Mandarine your master in the prison, and desire him to come presently." Then riding up to the red gate, and there dismounting, he knocked, and called out, saying, "I come here by the Emperor's order, and must speak with the Mandarine Tah-quay; acquaint him with it immediately." The servants answered roughly, "Our master is not here, he is at his palace in the city." " 'Tis false, said he, he is here in the house: ye slaves, do ye mean to oppose the commands of the Emperor?" They stood silent. "Open the door, proceeded he, without delay." One of the servants answered, "As our master is not here, who dares open the door? And if it were open, who dares enter, in defiance of the Emperor's order to the contrary?" Tieh-chung-u in a rage answered, "I have the Emperor's order: if you don't open the door, I shall open it myself." Then lifting up his foot against the gate, and striking the lock with his brazen mace, at one blow he burst it open; this done, he entered, notwithstanding all the resistance of the Mandarine's people. Upon this, some of them ran to acquaint their master, who was employed in examining and punishing the old people, each of them apart, for refusing him their daughter: remonstrating, that it was in his power to make them amends; and that as they were poor, it was foolish obstinacy not to comply with his desires. Poor as they were, they replied, they could not consent to things so unreasonable. "I am a Doctor of the law, said the old man, though of the second degree, and of no mean extraction; and had rather live in indigence, than act so unworthily: your riches will have no effect upon me." Tah-quay grew outrageous at this, and commanded him to be stripped naked, and bound, in order to be whipped. At this instant four or five of his people came running in, who cried out, "Bad news! a very bad affair has happened!" He inquired what. They told him, a very bold young man had forced open the door, under pretence of the Emperor's order.
By this time, Tieh-chung-u was advanced as far as the great hall: at which Tah-quay was greatly surprized, and was going to hide himself: but the other came too suddenly upon him. "Ching-leao, your servant Sir, said the youth as he came forward: I am come here by the Emperor's order, to speak with you: why are you denied to me?" "If you have such an order, said the other, why did not you advise me of it before-hand, instead of forcing your way in, with so much noise, impertinence, and insult?" Tieh-chung-u answered, that his order was private, and admitted of no previous notice. Then advancing, with one hand he seized him, and with the other his sword: asking him at the same time, if the Emperor did not give this, for a house of retirement and pleasure, and not for a place to administer public justice: and if so, why was that person stripped naked, and bound? "That man, said he, is my servant, and neither public justice, nor the Emperor, are concerned in what I do to him." "I am not his servant, cry'd the old man, I am a Doctor of law, and independent of him." "If you are a Doctor, said Tieh-chung-u, how came you to be chastised here in this manner? what is your name?" He replied, "Han-yuen." "If your name is Han-yuen, when the Emperor's order came out for your appearance, why did you conceal yourself?" Then looking back, he gave a signal to Siow-tan to call in his servants. "Here, said he to them, take that old man into custody, he is a person under cognizance of the Emperor's tribunal." Tieh-chung-u then renewed his question, why he came there? "I was forced here, answered he, on account of my daughter: and had no more power to resist, than a kid has to withstand a tiger.[26] If you had not come as you did, I know not whether I should have been alive by this time." He then asked him, "Is your daughter here, or your wife?" he answered, "My wife is in an adjoining room; my daughter also is within: she every day persists in her refusal of Tah-quay, and would rather die by her own hands than submit: so that I know not, whether she be dead or alive." Tieh-chung-u at this was deeply affected, and sent his people instantly to secure the mother and daughter. This alarmed Tah-quay, who began to bluster: "How dare you, said he, violate this place, by breaking open the doors, and laying hands on the owner. If I have done amiss, you ought to produce the Emperor's order: without it, you are guilty of an unpardonable outrage." This said, he endeavoured, but in vain, to force away his hand. He then called out to his people, to come and assist him: but Tieh-chung-u bade them it do at their peril: "Who will dare to offer violence to me, who act under the Emperor's authority? who will lay hands on me?" So saying, he took their master by the girdle, and swung him round, beating down the people, that came to his assistance: until he cried out, "Forbear, forbear; dispute with him no longer." 

[22] This is CHAP. II. in the Translator's manuscript.
[23] The Editor could meet with no account of this custom; which yet should seem to be the usual one on these occasions.
[24] The catty or catte is the Chinese pound, and contains sixteen tael: as the tael contains ten mace:—sixteen catte make twenty pounds Portugueze weight, sixteen ounces to the pound. Twenty catty are therefore equivalent to twenty five European pounds.
See P. Semedo's hist. part 1. chap. 2. p. 52.
N. B. Maces are still in use among the guards that attend a Vice-roy, &c. when he goes in procession. P. Du Halde, vol. 1. p. 253.
[25] i. e. Genius or spirit. See not. p. 17.
Altho' the Chinese must differ considerably from us in their notion of spirits, the Translator hath every where used the word angel: and as it is only employed in figurative allusion, the Editor hath ventured to retain it.
[26] The tiger is almost the only beast of prey known in China: but this beast is exceedingly fierce and dreadful, often committing terrible ravages. See L'Embassade, &c. par Nieuhoff, part 2d. p. 97. Kircheri Chin. p, 52.
This animal seems to furnish out the imagery of the Chinese, as constantly as the lion does that of Homer.