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IT happened, that at this juncture arrived several great Mandarines of Tah-quay's acquaintance, and seeing him in this situation, trembling like a mouse in the paws of a cat, they said to Tieh-chung-u, "This Mandarine is of great rank, and if he has offended, you must not treat him so as to violate his dignity and honour: but let others, or some of us, know the cause of this difference, that matters may be composed between you." "This man," replied the youth, has deceived the Emperor with false testimony, and is guilty of the greatest crimes: what dignity then, what honour is to be regarded?" "If it be so," replied the Mandarines, "the Emperor ought to be informed of it; that he may punish them, as he shall think proper: but it becomes not you to treat him thus." "You say well;" said Tieh-chung-u, "but being all alone, when I entered the house, if I had not secured him, I should have met with ill treatment." "You are very brave and valiant, said the Mandarines; pray did you come hither to-day, in order to revenge any former quarrel; or to assist these old people?" "For neither of these reasons," answered he, "but by a private order of the Emperor, to apprehend them as persons concealed in this house." "Why does not that order appear? said they, read it to us." He replied, "You shall see it presently."

Tah-quay perceiving so many of his acquaintance near him, began to resume courage; "Do not regard him," he cried out; "there is no truth in what he says: he is no officer under the Emperor: he is no way impowered to execute his orders: he is no Mandarine of justice. He is only come with these pretences, to carry off Han-yuen his friend in a lawless manner, together with his wife, and daughter." "If you have not the Emperor's order, said the others turning to Tieh-chung-u, your coming hither to affront this great Mandarine, and thus to violate his honour and dignity, is a crime of the deepest dye. Feats of this kind might have been more safely performed in some distant village: there you might have appeared a valiant fellow. But here, so nigh the city, and limits of the court, to affront a Nobleman, and thus to disgrace his family and rank, is an unpardonable offence: altho' you had wings, you could not escape. But we must send to the city, for the Mandarines of justice." "That is right, said Tieh-chung-u, let them be called." They were accordingly sent for.

Presently arrived the Che foo, and soon after him, the Che-hien[27] . The Mandarines rel ted to them, what had happened. "We know not, said those Magistrates, on which side lies the truth: if there is the Emperor's order, it must be read." Then the Che-hien commanded a place for a tribunal to to be prepared, and when it was ready, the order to be produced. Before answer could be made, notice was given that Tieh-u-sheh was arrived. Tah-quay "This man, said they, is under close confinement: how came he here?" Here Tieh-u-sheh entered, holding before him the Emperor's order rolled in yellow[28] . His son cried out, "Shew respect to the Emperor's order." On this, they all knelt down. Tieh-u-sheh seeing so many Mandarines present, said, "This order I am commissioned to read; but my eyes being weak, Sir, said he, addressing himself to the Che-foo, be pleased to read it." The Che-foo took the order, and read as follows.

"This order requires Tieh-u-sheh to go to the house of Tah-quay, and to take into custody, Han-yuen, his wife, and his daughter: which three persons, wheresoever concealed, Tieh-u-sheh is hereby impowered to make search after, and to secure." "This order shall continue in force for three days."

When he had done, Tieh-u-sheh, and all the company, made their profound reverence, and rose up. The great Mandarines of Tah-quay's acquaintance departed in silence: leaving only the two Mandarines of the city with them.

"These three persons, said Tieh u-sheh to the Che-hien, are the Emperor's prisoners: to your custody I commit them, while I go to acquaint his Majesty of it, and know his farther pleasure." Han-yuen paid the most profound respect to Tieh-u-sheh, and acknowledged that himself, his wife, and daughter, owed their lives to his great piety and justice: but he told them, they must thank the Emperor alone, for their preservation and safety; then turning to the Che-foo, he said, "I have committed these persons to the care of the Che-hien, in order to carry them to a superior tribunal: but as Tah-quay is a great Mandarine, and of grave and respectable character, you, Sir, are desired to attend him alone to the same audience." Then Tieh-u-sheh, attended by his son, returned back to prison, to await the Emperor's further order.

He then drew up a petition, to acquaint his Majesty of their whole proceedings: which he graciously received, and returned for answer, "You have done well, and have conducted your self through this whole business like a true Mandarine of justice: when the affair is ended you shall be promoted to a higher dignity." Orders were then issued out to release him from prison.

Tah quay in the mean time was not idle: he offered presents to the Mandarines of the tribunal: but none of them durst accept any. The depositions of the injured parties lay too strongly against him; and proved beyond all doubt, the forcible seizure they had undergone, and all the other ill usage they had received. The supreme Mandarine of the audience, seeing no other way to bring off his friend, pronounced judgment as follows. "Tah-quay is advanced in years, and is without issue: this induced him to carry away the young woman[29] : but though he brought her home to his house, it does not appear that he ever offered her any dishonour. He is descended from an illustrious family: several of his ancestors have served the Emperor in the capacity of Generals, and have made extensive conquests: he himself hath also had his share, and given signal proofs of his ability and courage. All this considered, as the carrying off this young woman was from the motives above recited, and was not followed by any violence, he is neither guilty of a great offence, nor deserving of very severe punishment: but this must be left to the determination of his Majesty."

The Emperor issued out this answer to the proceedings of the audience.

"Tah-quay[30] is of an illustrious family; and of a respectable rank: but both these he hath forfeited: he hath made a tyrannical use of his power in forcing away these people: the daughter was already engaged to another; his attempt was therefore the highest injustice: when Tieh-u-sheh delivered in his petition; to secrete them in his house was a contempt of our authority: and to lodge a false accusation against that Mandarine, a great abuse of our confidence. To do justice therefore, 'tis necessary to take away his office: let him also be confined to his house for three years, paying to Han yuen one year's income of his place: and for the sake of his ancestors, let him be excused any farther punishment. The young woman, let Wey-phey marry. Let Han-yuen be advanced to a higher degree. Let Tieh-u-sheh be promoted to the office of Tu-cha-yuen, or Superior of the Viceroys. And lastly, for the Mandarine of the audience, who was judge in this cause, let him be amerced three months of his salary."

The determination of the Emperor being made public, every body admired Tieh-chung-u, for his wisdom and courage. His fame spread abroad, and he was the general topic of conversation. Mandarines from all parts came to make him visits of congratulation[31] ; from morning to night, some or other came to pay him their compliments.

Too much honour and respect conferred on a youth, said the Mandarine pensively to himself, may produce fatal consequences: it may expose him to envy: it may be productive of pride: it may be misrepresented to his prejudice: it may be followed by neglect. "Son, said he, one day calling him to him, the bow will break that is too violently bent: no man should exceed what is fit and becoming. Tah-quay is now a prisoner, but he will one day be at liberty; when you apprehended the people at his house, you disgraced him too much for him ever to forget: he perhaps will hereafter study to requite it, and will pay back the injury, he thinks you have done him. I have now, proceeded he, a great office conferred on me by the Emperor, which I am obliged to attend: whatever be my success, I cannot abandon it: here I must remain: but you are at liberty to go where you please. You have now gained to yourself a great deal of ho-nour; you are admired as a youth of uncommon courage and prudence; nothing at present can add to your reputation; it may be forfeited or tarnished." "Sir, said Tieh-chung-u, I have been so happy, as to entertain the same sentiments myself: far am I from desiring so large a share of the public attention: I had much rather go out of the way of it, did not the duty I owe you, require me to stay, lest you should have occasion for my service." "As to that, replied his father, 'tis no matter; I will excuse you: before I was but a small Mandarine; now I am raised to a superior rank, and fixed above the malice of my enemies: retire therefore from the court, and apply yourself to your studies: nay rather go travel, than continue here. I leave you now to your own direction; but keep a strict guard over your passions: learn to curb your resentment, and to suppress that extravagance of warmth, to which your temper is addicted." Tieh-chung-u bowed in token of obedience, and went in to take leave of his mother. She was concerned to part with him so suddenly, and intreated him to stay a few days longer. He submitted: but before three days were expired, so many people came to visit him that he was quite wearied out. He bad adieu therefore to his father and mother, and set out, attended only by Siow-tan.

He arrived at the city where he had usually lived: but the news of his be-haviour had got there before him: the people were alarmed, and the streets crowded as he passed along. The Mandarines had all notice of his arrival, and visited him in their turns, to congratulate him on his success, and the advancement of his father. "Have I left the court, said Tieh-chung-u, because of the fatiguing frequency of visitants, and am come hither purposely to avoid them? better were it to have staid with my father: there I should have had the advantage of being with him, and of acquiring valuable friends. Here is the same interruption, without the enjoyment of their company. I will, agreeable to my father's permission, go visit the four parts of the world[32] . When this month is expired, I will resign the house, and all that belongs to it, to the care of my steward, and then I will depart.

When that time was elapsed, he ordered his travelling furniture to be packed up, and accompanied with only one servant, began his travels.

[27] In all great cities there is a superior Manda-rine or Governor, stiled Che-foo, who is of the fourth order of Mandarines. There are besides, one or more inferior Magistrates, with the title of Che-hien: whose jurisdiction is notwithstanding often of great extent: these are Manda-rines of the seventh order.
See P. Du Halde, vol. 1. pag. 2. pag. 251, &c.
[28] Yellow is the imperial colour; never worn but by the Emperor, or employed but when he is immediately concerned. P. Du Halde, &c.
[29] The Chinese look upon it of such sacred importance to leave posterity, that almost any means are esteemed allowable, which conduce to that end. See P. Du Halde, vol. 1. p. 303, 304.
[30] Here in the original are recited all his titles, Tah quay gkeou shau lee: of which the two first signify his name; the others his rank, answering to Duke with us. Trans.
[31] The paying of visits is a great article of Chinese politeness: these are made upon every occasion, and are conducted with the most ceremonious formality, in which every thing is regulated by a public memorial; even to the number of bows, the expressions of compliment, titles, genuflexions, and several turns to the right hand and left, &c.
See Du Halde, vol. 1. p. 226.
[32] This, in the mouth of a Chinese, means little more than the Chinese empire. P. Du Halde tells a pleasant story on this subject. One day some of their literati, desiring P. Chavagnac to shew them a map of the world, they sought a long while for China; at length took one of the two hemispheres for it, containing Europe, Africa and Asia: supposing America too large for the rest of the world. The father let them alone in this error, till one of them desiring an explanation of the letters and names in the map: "You see Europe, said he, Africa and Asia; in Asia here is Persia, the Indies and Tartary." "Where then is China, cryed they? He replied, "It is this little corner of the earth, and these are the bounds of it." Upon this they looked astonished at one another, saying in Chinese, Syaute-kin, it is very small. Vol. 1. p. 280.
Perhaps after all, the expression in the text, means only the four points of the compass.