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04: April

April 1st and 2nd. -- His Majesty has issued an Edict remitting three-tenths of the taxes due this year from five districts through which he passed on his journey to the Eastern Mausolea, in consequence of the apparent poverty of those districts.

(2) Wăn-kwei announces that 10th day of the second month of the present year he arrived at Hwae-gan and took over the seals of office, in obedience to His Majesty's orders. 

Le Hŏ-nëen, an officer of the first rank, Governor General of the provinces of Fuh-keen and Chě-këang, and Acting General for the defence of Fuh-chow-foo, together with Wang K'hae-tae, the Deputy Governor of Fuh-këen province, kneel and petition in reference to the accumulation of law cases at T'ae-wan (Formosa), in order that a period of time may be speedily assigned, within the limits of which all cases must be completed, and praying that certain laws may be altered, with a view to the clear understanding of prison discipline. The petitioners respectfully present this petition praying that our Holy Emperor may deign to glance at it. 

The territory of T'ae-wan is extensive, and the population are violent in action, and fierce in temperament; hence, litigations and imprisonments are numberless.  According to established law, all ordinary vagabond culprits and expelled soldiers, together with those who have committed capital crimes, must be brought before the Taou-tae of T'ae-wan for trial; and this official, having examined fully into the matter, must draw up a report of each case, to be forwarded to the Censorate at Peking for final adjustment. And, those criminals who are condemned to be beheaded or strangled, together with soldiers expelled for murder and all vagabond culprits, must be sent up to Peking to be re-examined, within the limit of time specified for each case. Lately, in consequence of the inability, through want of time, of the Ghe-hëen and his subordinates to attend fully to matters relating to the military, and also to their additional duty of settling the numerous matters arising between foreign and native merchants, it has been impossible to avoid neglecting some cases while attending to others. Moreover, in consequence of the violence of the litigants, it is by no means easy always to come to a satisfactory solution of a case ; so that these criminal cases have accumulated beyond all control. In addition to all this, in consequence of T'ae-wan being widely separated from the mainland by water, the transmission of prisoners involves considerable expense.  From these causes, all those officials who have hitherto held office in T'ae-wan have been behind hand in their work, and the more cases have accumulated the more hopeless has their final adjustment become. The execution of those guilty of heinous crimes has in many cases been long deferred ; and those guilty of lesser crimes have frequently wasted away miserably in prison. If a limit be not assigned for the proper adjustment of such cases, how can their accumulation be avoided, or the value of human life be maintained ? 

His Majesty grants the prayer of the petitioners, that a limited period be allowed for each kind of criminal case, within which it must be fully completed. 

April 4th. -- The Emperor issues an Edict, with the consent of the Two Empresses, that the chair bearers and attendants of the Imperial party shall each receive a present of one tael daily from the Treasurer. 

(2) Chang Shoo-shing, acting Governor-General of the Two Këang, Salt Commissioner for the north and south of the Hwae River, and Deputy-Governor of the province of Këang-soo, petitions the Emperor to grant permission to the Salt Merchants of Yang-chow to erect a temple to Tsăng Kwŏh-fan 曾國藩, whose talents are well known both to Foreigners and Chinese, in which that deceased official may be sacrificed to in the Spring and Autumn of each year. His Majesty grants the petition. 

(3) Chang Shoo-shing petitions the Emperor to permit the Gazetted general-in-chief Woo Chang-king to resume his official duties, as the three years of mourning for his mother have expired. His Majesty grants the petition. 

April 6th. -- The Emperor has issued an Edict as follows : His Excellency of the Imperial Presence, Prince Shun 醇親王 petitions with regard to a literary gentleman who, when the Imperial cortege was passing through his native place, knelt and presented his card, bearing his name and official rank ; and the petitioner prays us to examine into the offence and punish it.  Now this gentleman desired to look at Us in a friendly manner, so he knelt down by the road side and gazed upon Us, which was perfectly allowable. To present his card, however, was an unlawful act. The offender may be forgiven for this time ; but if any country gentleman shall hereafter attempt to commit the same offence, he must be prohibited from doing so, in order that the law may be obeyed. Respect this. 

(2) His Excellency Earl Li Hung-chang, Governor-General of the province of ChihU and member of the Imperial Council, kneels and petitions in reference to the deceased Taou-tae of Soo-chow, Sung-keang and T'ae-ts'ang, named Woo Heu 吳煦. This official arrived at his post during the winter of the eighth year of the Emperor Hëen-fung 咸豐 (1857), and entered upon his duties with diligence ; showing compassion towards the people, all of whom experienced his kindness on numberless occasions. In the 4th month of the 10th year of the same reign, Soochow, Sung-këang and T'ae-ts'ang were lost, and the rebels advanced from the south-west, in vast numbers, to attack Shanghai Fo-këen and Cantonese vagabonds, at the East and North gates, seized this opportunity to plunder and commit incendiarism.  The Taou-tae, who was residing in the city at the time, exhorted the soldiers and volunteers to diligence in the discharge of their duties, and devised many expedients for the defence of the city, so that after the lapse of seven days and seven nights the rebels began to retire. During the winter of the eleventh year of the same reign, the capital city of Che-këang province was also lost. The rebels, advancing from Cha-poo, destroyed in succession Fung-hëen, Kin-shan, Ch'uen-sha, and Nan-hwuy, so that the Hwang-poo -- 浦 (i.e. 黃浦) alone lay between them and Shanghai on the eastern side, while on the south-west, the rebels were within ten miles of that city. On their approach, the troops placed outside for the defence of the city ran away in disorder without firing a shot, and the affrighted merchant and people fled in crowds, in order to avoid the approaching calamity. False reports were propagated on all sides, and during each night several alarms were given. The Foreigners 西國人 outside the North gate however, had troops to protect themselves, which were still available for purposes of defence. The Taou-tae, considering his own troops weak, and the enemy strong ; and that if his own forces were not reliable, he certainly could not use those of the Foreigners ; assembled the gentry together for consultation, and to apply they resolved in a body to Tsăg Kwŏh-fan 曾國藩 for reinforcements. It was stated by some that, as the forces of the enemy were numerous, and the expense of transmitting the reinforcements would be very great, this plan must be abandoned.  TheTaou-tae, however, remarked that since matters had come to such a pass there was no time to consider any other plan. In the spring of the first year of the present reign, having made a calculation as to the expense, he hired foreign steamers and forwarded a despatch from the literary gentry to Gan-hwuy requesting that reinforcements might be sent down ; and from the moment the sound of the approaching troops was heard, the minds of the people were set at rest. Finally, in consequence of the Taou-tae thus making a stand, by himself, in the midst of the enemy, and constantly placing himself in danger, and also killing a multitude of the rebels, the entire district. East and West, was rescued from calamity. 

In consequence of the hardships which the Taou-tae underwent at this time, and his neglect of either eating or sleeping, his hair became white, although he was only 60 years of age, and he eventually died from over exertion. The petitioner prays the Emperor to grant the request of the literary gentry, and to permit them to erect a temple at Shanghai to the honour of the Taou-tae. -- His Majesty grants the petition. 

April 7th.--Chang-shun (長順) petitions the Emperor with regard to the troops continually arriving at Woo-ching.  It is absolutely necessary to give these soldiers presents of Tea and Tobacco exclusive of their pay, but there are no funds available for the purpose. The petitioner therefore prays the Emperor to set apart 2,000 Taels from the military treasury to meet this necessary expenditure. The Emperor acknowledges the receipt of the petition. 

April 8th. -- The Emperor issues an Edict to the effect that to-day a person named Chang Keen having visited the Imperial residence at which His Majesty was making a temporary stay, the intruder is to be handed over to the Board of Punishments, in order that his conduct may be inquired into. 

(2) The Emperor arrived at the palace to-day about 4 o'clock p.m. -- Muh-lung-ah (.穆隆阿) returns thanks to the Emperor for gifts received from His Majesty, to offer in sacrifice at his ancestral tombs.* 

Note.* -- When the Prince sent Confucius a present of undressed meat, he used to cook it and offer it in sacrifice to his ancestors. Lun-yu, Ch. XIII. 

April 9th. -- An Imperial Edict has been issued to the following effect. The Office of Supplies petitions Us to institute an inquiry as to the cause of dilatoriness in the official appointed to provide Camels for the Imperial party. It appears that on the 11th day of the present month, the Camels which should have been in attendance to carry the luggage of the two Empresses and their suite, did not arrive in proper time. On the 10th they were also late in arriving. Such conduct is most unseemly. We order that both Hang-shang and Shoo-yun, the two officials appointed to attend to the luggage, be handed over to the authorities for regulating the affairs of the palace, to be dealt with.  Moreover, We command the Governor of Peking to look into the accounts of the Office of Supplies, and to see whether or not the number of the Camels is rightly stated, or whether any overcharge has been made for them ; and if there is anything wrong, let the delinquents be punished according to law. Consultation should be held, 9^ to how a change may be henceforth effected, and mules employed to convey the luggage, in order to avoid loss of time ; and We therefore further command the Office of Supplies and the Governor of Peking carefully to examine into the established custom in this respect and to report. Respect this. 

(2) Another Edict states as follows ; 

Ming-shen (明善) petitions that the person who has charge of the Imperial Carts may be dismissed from office, and that others implicated may be punished according to their respective deserts. The mules provided for the carts of the two Empresses on the present journey, were weak and half-starved, and perfectly useless in wet weather ; and the drivers could not urge them on quickly. All this is decidedly wrong. We command that Hae-ling, the Superintendent of the Imperial stables, with his subordinate, Paou-tsëang, be both handed over to the palace authorities for severe punishment. The petitioner, who has the general oversight of this department^ has shown himself unable to correct any error arising in the management of these carts ; so that those preceding the bearers of the Tiger-tailed spears were at last thrown into a state of confusion, crossing each other backwards and forwards in a most undignified manner.  Truly a most lax and careless affair ! We therefore order that the petitioner himself be handed over to the proper Board to be dealt with. We further command that their Excellencies Tsae-s&n and Tsae-heun, Commanders of the Guards, who have shown their inability to command, be also handed over to the proper Board for punishment. Let the other matters be dealt with according to the prayer of the petition. Respect this. 

(3) Wang Shoo-shway (王書瑞) the keeper of the seal of the Board of Revenue, petitions that the regulations in reference to the purchase of raw silk in the province of Chekiang may be revised, in order to avoid loss to the merchants. 

This year the reception of taxes for the public service, from that province, depends chiefly on the amount contributed by merchants, and of these the silk merchants contribute the largest share.  Formerly these merchants have not contributed less every year than 1,000,000 cash, and they gave that amount with promptitude,- and without any pressure being exerted upon them, inasmuch as their money was not squandered or heaped up through covetousness, or stolen for private use by the tax-gatherers. During the past year or so, however, losses have been sustained in the silk trade at Kea- hing-foo and Hoo-chow-foo. Every year, during the Autumn, the officials deputed for the purpose open an office to inspect and receive the silk for sale. During each month from Winter to Spring, the covetousness of these officials as to fees, and the extortions of the tax-gathers, have lately been beyond all bounds ; so that, year after year, when delivering the silk, the merchants have been forced to give in 8 or 9 ounces extra in every catty, at a loss to themselves of more than 3000 or 4000 cash. Hence these officials consider such an appointment to be a highly profitable one, and the higher officers regard such a post as a remedy for their pecuniary distress. The silk merchants however lose their time, and their property is wasted away, being subjected to endless extortion. Such conduct on the part of these officials neither exhibits the benevolence of our Holy Emperor, nor is it in accordance with that respect which is due to the rules of government. 

The petitioner prays the Emperor to do away with these officials in future, and to employ the Hang-chow manufacturers to purchase the raw silk at market price.  His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded. 

10th.-- Hae-Seu (海緒) presents a supplementary petition with regard to the tax on Foreign Medicine (i.e. opium). It is on record that each former Superintendant of Customs, at the expiration of his term of office, himself conveyed this tax to Peking, and the petitioner humbly informs His Majesty that during his term of office the Hwae-ngan and Sŭh-ts'ëen Customs barriers have taken in all, as taxes on Foreign Medicine, 6,666 taels 6 mace and 8 candareens, which he has now brought to Peking and handed over to the Board of Revenue. His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of the petition. 

April 11th. -- The Board of Works petitions the Emperor that the bamboo blinds in all the Palaces may now be repaired. 

(2) An Edict. The Board which controls the affairs of the palace petition in reference to the conduct of two officials who have been guilty of apathy in an important matter. The crockery used at table, at the various Imperial stages, has hitherto been always provided by the District Magistrates along the route, and persons are appointed by the Palace Board to deliver these utensils to the Chief of the Eunuchs, in order that each may be put by in its proper place. During the late journey (to the Tombs), at the Yen-keaou and T'aou-hwa-she stages, some of the Eunuchs caused disturbance by snatching these utensils one from another in striving to be first. A most hateful proceeding ! We have therefore inflicted a severe punishment upon Ma Tsin-he, the Chief of the Eunuchs, and the other delinquents, and have banished them to Hih-lung-këang.  The officials appointed to superintend this department, Ying-kih and Fŭh-min, being unable to keep these Eunuchs in order, the latter caused the disturbance aforesaid ; these two officials thus showing their utter incapacity for their positions. We command that they be deprived of their appointments in perpetuum, as a warning to others. Hereafter, the Palace Board must be careful only to appoint officers of intelligence and ability to this post, who will diligently attend to their duties. And if, hereafter, such improper conduct be repeated, the superintendants of the Eunuchs must report the matter to His Excellency the Principal Officer-in-waiting, who will then report to us with a view to final adjustment. We further command that the superintendants of the carts, who were dilatory in the performance of their duties, be also deprived of their appointments.  Respect this. 

12th. -- An Edict has been issued as follows. Kwŏh-sew (國秀) the Censor of the City, and others, petition that the rice sheds at the five points within the City may be kept open for a longer period than usual, as the time of harvest has not yet arrived, and the poor find it difficult to obtain a livelihood at present. We command that the fifteen sheds of the City be kept open for the distribution of rice for two months longer, according to the prayer of the petition. Respect this.  

13th. -- An Edict is issued as follows. Paou Yuen-shin (鲍源深) petitions to the following effect. Some time ago, while Le K'hing-ngaou (李慶.翱) the Treasurer of Shan-se, was discharging the duties of his office at Poo-chow-foo, one of his parents died ; but, the defence of that place being important, he could not return to his native place to perform the funeral obsequies. He certainly ought to be permitted to go into mourning, and we therefore now give him 100 days leave of absence to return to his native place to put on mourning. It is not necessary that he should resign his post. When the term of mourning has expired, he may come to Peking and present himself at Court. Respect this. 

34th. -- The Members of the Imperial Council Chamber have presented their congratulations to the Emperor on his birthday. The Board of Rites and Ceremonies have also wished His Majesty the 10,000 years of happiness. 

(2) His Excellency Yih-heuen (亦譞) a Minister of the Imperial Presence, petitions for His Majesty's decision in the following case. As the Emperor was proceeding through the Haou-mun gate, an Expectant Taou-tae named She-p'o praying for leave of absence to return to his native place ; Loo-fang the assistant of a Prefect asking leave of absence in consequence of sickness ; and Seu She-fang, a Public Instructor, all knelt down by the side of the Imperial road, and presented their official cards to His Majesty. This was a decided breach of the law ; and the petitioner therefore deems it his duty to pray the Emperor to issue orders to Le Hung-chang (李鴻章) the Governor General of Chih-le to investigate the matter, and to present the official cards of these three officers in due form. -- His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded. 

April 15th. -- The Sacrificial Board petition His Majesty to appoint official to sacrifice to the Wind, the Cloud, the Rain, and the Thunder. His Majesty has appointed three officers for that purpose.  This Board has also petitioned the Emperor to appoint officials to offer sacrifices in the temples of the City Defender, both within and without the City, and His Majesty has deputed two officers to do so. 

April 16th. -- His Majesty has issued an Edict as follows : When respectfully worshipping at the Eastern Mausoleum, and also at the Ting Mausoleum, We noticed a» felicitous piece of ground, to the east of the latter, which is luxuriant and beautiful in aspect, and is surrounded by hills and water. We have prayed the two Empresses to go themselves and inspect this spot in person, and their Majesties have graciously replied as follows, "P'oo-p'sëang-yŭh and P'oo-t'o-yŭh are most decidedly places of felicity in œterwim' Respect this." We, looking up and realizing the tender concern of their Majesties on Our behalf, deem it Our duty to select a propitious day on which to commence building tombs on these spots. 

We command Prince Chun 惇親王 Ts'euen-k'hing, Member of the Imperial Council Chamber ; Ch'un-yew the President of the Palace Board ; and Yung-lŭh Member of the Board of Works, to attend to the Mausoleum at P'oo-ts'ëang-yŭh ; and 

Prince Shun 醇親王 Ying-yuen President of the Board of Censors ; His Excellency K'hwei-ling, Member of the Imperial Council Chamber and of the Board for Official Appointments ; and Ming-shen, Member of the Imperial Council Chamber and of the Board of Works, to attend to the P'oo-t'o-yuh Mausoleum. Respect this. 

(2) Ts'in Yŭh-ying 岑毓英 presents a supplementary petition. When the obstructive Rebels occupied Ta-le-foo 大理府 (in Yun-nan), they seized the Yamun of the General-in-chief, and converted it into a pretended Imperial Palace, and wildly put yellow tiles upon it, usurping the Princely prerogative. They also built an inner city which they falsely designated The Forbidden Precincts.  All the temples, together with the Yamuns of the Taou-tae and Prefect, they completely levelled with the ground ; and of all the official residences, and houses of the inhabitants, there was not one which was not completely altered in appearance, either to make them residences for the pseudo-officers, or places for the banditti to live in ; so that for the space of 18 years, the population could not return to their occupations. Last year the Imperial troops recovered the place by planting earth thunder (digging mines), so that breaches were made in the walls in several places. It was necessary to calculate the expense, and to rebuild the walls ; and I have pulled down the pretended Imperial city and repaired them with the materials.  I have also entirely destroyed the pseudo-magistrates* houses which, contrary to law, were covered with yellow-tiles ; and I have restored the General-in-Chief's Yamun, together with those of the Taou-tae and Prefect, and also the Temples and Examination Halls, to their former condition.  The inhabitants who had fled from the district, I have also invited back to their native places, to pursue their various avocations. I have consoled them under their troubles, and wished them all lasting happiness. The Emperor acknowledges, the receipt of the petition. 

I7th. -- The Members of the Imperial Council Chamber have presented His Majesty with a fruit dish in compartments. 

18th. -- To-morrow-, after business, about 6 o'clock a.m., the Emperor will pass through the Hwa-yuen and Shin-woo gates to the Ta-kaou-teen temple to offer sacrifice. Afterwards, His Majesty will pass through the Yung-suy-tseang-mun gate, and entering the King-shan-se-mun gate will proceed to the Show-hwang temple to worship. His Majesty will then pass through the Peh-ahang gate from the Se-shan road, and entering the Shin-woo gate, will return to the Palace to breakfast.  His Majesty will then hold an audience, and at 7 o'clock will ascend to the K'ëen-tsing Palace, to receive congratulations.  At 8 o'clock, he will take his seat to witness the theatrical performance (in honour of His birthday.) 

19th. -- The Superintendant of the Silk manufactures of Hang-chow petitions the Emperor to remit the usual tribute for two years, in consequence of their inability to pay it owing to the distress caused by the incursions of the rebels. His Majesty grants the petition.  

20th.-- Ying-yuen (英元) a Member of the Imperial Household, and President of the Board of Censors, presents a petition in reference to the following case. In the eighth month of the past year, Wang-keun, the brother of Wang-tseuen, a native of Peking, bought four oxen, one of which dying suddenly, he gave away the carcase in presents. A wicked inhabitant of the same village, named Lĕw-shwang, because he did not receive a present of a portion of the ox, placed himself at the head of a band of ruffians, and going to the house of Wang-keun shot him down, while the rest of the gang, who were armed with swords, fell upon him, and battering in his skull and face, killed him. The petitioner begs the Emperor to issue orders that the matter be investigated. His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded. 

21st. -- The Sacrificial Board petition the Emperor to the effect that the 28th of this month will be a day of abstinence, and that the Brass Man * will be sent to the palace. 

(2) Kwŏh-sëw (國秀) Censor for Peking, presents a petition. The Emperor having given permission to keep the rice sheds open for two months longer than usual, in consequence of the poverty of the people (see Pek. Gaz. for April 12th), the petitioner prays that the Board of Revenue may be ordered to pay the expense of rice and fuel for each day's consumption. This year from 700 to 800, and in some instances 1,000 persons have been fed at these places, the rice being distributed daily. His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded. 

(3) Wang Wan-shaou (王文韶) presents a supplementary petition, praying that the proper Board may be ordered to confer rewards upon two officials connected with the Salt and Tea tax office, for their diligence and carefulness in the discharge of their duties. These officials themselves disclaim any title to further reward, on the ground that they have already received numberless favours from the Emperor.  His Majesty grants the petition. 

April 22nd.-- The Board of War petitions the Emperor to appoint officers to see that the day of abstinence is properly observed, and His Majesty nominates eight officials for that purpose. -- The Sacrificial Board also petition the Emperor to appoint a Reader of Prayers for the occasion, and His Majesty confers thilt appointment upon K'hing-fuh (慶福) 

(2) Paou Yuen-shin (鮑源深) presents a supplementary petition. Chang Shoo-ping informs the petitioner that in the 9th year of the present reign he received

* An image of Buddha carried in procession to the Palace, to remind the Emperor of each day of abstinence. 

the Imperial commission to enlist six Cantonments of troops to protect the River in Shanse province ; and he has now occupied his post for three years. During the past winter he received frequent communications from his mother, whose thoughts were constantly reverting to him, and who resides in the distant province of Këang-soo. Owing, however, to the severity of the winter, and the importance of his duties, he could not venture to ask for leave of absence. Now, the ice being melted, and business being lax, he asks for three months leave to visit his mother.  He puts an officer in his place, to discharge his duties during his absence. His Majesty grants the petition. 

(3) Paou Yuen-shin (鮑源深) Deputy Governor of Shanse, petitions on behalf of Le K'hing-ngaou, the Treasurer of the province. The Emperor gave permission to this official to return to his native place and put on mourning for the death of his mother, and allowed him 100 days leave of absence for that purpose (see Gazette for April 13th.) The petitioner, however, begs on his behalf, that he may be permitted to resign his office and complete the full period of mourning. His Majesty declines answering immediately. 

April 23rd. -- The Deputy Governor of Chěh-këang, named Yang Chang-seun, petitions in reference to the falling down of the stone embankment at the Eastern sea barrier, within the boundary of Nëen-sin.  This disaster was caused by the violence of the waves, and the petitioner has repaired the damage by degrees, by driving piles and forming a new bank. Also, at the Western sea barrier, within the boundary of Ung-sin, the embankment was destroyed by mountain torrents, and this has been also repaired by the petitioner in the same way. The petitioner forwards the accounts for these repairs. His Majesty replies that the matter is laid before the Board of Works. 

(2) Shwuy-lëen-kung-t'ang petitions to the effect that a recently appointed Taou-tae has arrived at his post.  The former Taou-tae of Fung-t'ëen-foo, Kin-chow-foo, and the Shan-h'ae barrier retired from his post in the second month of the past year in consequence of the death of one of his parents, and King-fŭh the Taou-tae of Këwkëang (九江) was ordered to fill the vacancy. His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of the petition. 

24th. -- The Sacrificial Board presents a petition to the Emperor praying for the appointment of officials to distribute the sacrificial offerings -- (see Gazette for April 5th) ; and His Majesty has appointed four officers for that purpose. This Board also petitions that Princes may be appointed to offer prayers and sacrifices to Heaven, Earth, Ancestors, and the Gods of the land. His Majesty has appointed the Princes Ch'ing (鄭), Yu (豫) K'hih (克), and Shun (順). 

(2). An Imperial Edict. Wang K'hae-t'ae petitions with regard to his special duties. He prays that the custom of purchasing office may be abolished, as also the practice of permitting public officers to remain unemployed ; that recommendations of officials may be restrained within proper limits as to their number ; that former anti-extortion allowances may be continued ; that the number of graduates chosen at each examination may be more limited ; and that the army may be well drilled. Each of these suggestions argue ability in the petitioner, and we command the proper Boards to consult carefully on these matters and to report. Respect this. 

(3) An Edict states that Lew Chang-yew and Fung-tsae have petitioned the Emperor to bestow rewards upon certain officials killed in engagements with the rebels at Sze-ngan-foo and Chin-ngan-foo, and that His Majesty has referred the matter to the proper Board. Respect this. 

(4) Ming-ngan petitions with regard to the late robbery of the seal of office belonging to the Board of Punishments at Peking. The petitioner states that the thief has been arrested, tried, and condemned to be beheaded ; and he prays that both himself and the officers who had charge of this seal may be handed over to the Board for punishment. Four officers are appointed to guard the seal in succession, by night. The petitioner frequently exhorted these officers to carefulness in the discharge of their duty, and yet the seal, together with a jacket, were stolen on the 22nd of the first month of the present year, at midnight. The culprit, it appears, lent some money to one of the servants of the Board, who was unable to repay him, but told him that the seal of the Board was made of the best silver, and advised him to steal it and repay himself. The petitioner prays the Emperor to issue orders for the punishment of both these men according to their respective deserts.  His Majesty orders the Board of Punishments to consult about the case and to report. (See also Gazette for March 25th.) 

25th. -- To-morrow the Emperor will pass through the K'ëen-tsing-mun and the How-tso-mun gates, and will ascend to the Chung-no-tëen temple to examine the statistics of the Empire. Afterwards His Majesty will return to the palace by the same route. Let all preparations be completed at 5 o'clock A.M. 

April 26th.-- Shaou Hăng-yu (邵亨豫) the Deputy Governor of Shen-se, presents a petition. Fang Ke-hëen, the Che-hëen of Chang-gan, has been promoted to be Deputy prefect of Ning-shen, and the petitioner prays that the vacant post may be conferred upon Chang Kwō-keun the Che-hëen of Hwa-yin, in consequence of his superior talents and knowledge of business matters. While he has occupied his present post, he has not appropriated any portion of the taxes to his own private use, and he has completed all business connected with his Yamun. -- His Majesty refers the case to the Board of Civil Appointment. 

(2) The post of Che-hëen of the district of Hëen-ning is vacant, and the same official petitions the Emperor to confer the appointment upon Hoo Yuen-cheou, who is at present Che-hëen of Yu-lin, as this official is a scholar, and has never been accused of any irregularity. 

27th. -- Kung Kwang-tsin the Che-heen of Tsing-peen, reports to the same official that the walls of the city, which are more than four le in circumference, having been much injured by the attacks of the Mahomedan insurgents, and their instant repair being absolutely necessary for the protection of the inhabitants, subscriptions were collected, and the restoration of the wall was commenced on the sixth day of the second month of the past year. 

28th.-- Le Hō-nëen (李鶴年) an officer of the first rank, Governor-General of Fŭh-keen and Cheh-këang provinces, and General for the defence of Fuh-chow (福州) petitions that the post now vacant, of acting Captain of the Naval force in Chēh-këang, may be conferred upon T'sae Hing-pang, who is at present a lieutenant in that service. This officer, although formerly degraded, was again restored to his rank by the Emperor, and has now for a length of time discharged all his duties with diligence and zeal.  Hence the petitioner ventures to pray for his promotion. -- His Majesty refers the case to the Board of War. 

29th.-- Yang Chang-seun (楊昌濬) the Deputy Governor of Chē-këang, petitions with regard to the rewriting of the books in which the various particulars of taxes, remitted in the province by the Emperor, were entered ; and which were burnt some time ago by the rebels. -- His Majesty refers the petition to the Board of Revenue. 

(2) Lew K'hwān-yih (劉坤一) presents a supplementary petition. It appears that two officers stationed on the Yellow River, the Commodore Hwang She-lūh, and the Lieutenant-Colonel Yen K'he-kwei, both decorated with a peacock's feather, were formerly dilatory in the discharge of their duties of defence, and transgressed the rules of the force to which they were attached ; and hence they were expelled by the Admiral-in- chief. These officers did not, however, manifest the least repentance for their misconduct, but on the contrary, even dared to enter the cantonment and to implore in a shameless manner that they might be reinstated. Such conduct was presuming and disorderly, and excludes these officers from the slightest hope of mercy. The petitioner prays the Emperor to issue orders that they both be deprived of their peacock's feathers, and that they be degraded to the rank of lieutenants, as a warning to others, and in order to uphold the laws. -- His Majesty grants the petition, and refers the case to the Board of War. 

30th.-- Chang Shoo-shing (張樹聲) Deputy Governor of Këang-soo, and acting Governor General of the Two Këang, petitions, recommending an officer to fill the vacant post of Naval Captain, in the cantonment at Chuen-sha (川沙). The previous occupant of this post, being unfit for his duties, was dismissed. The previous Viceroy, His Excellency Tsăng Kwŏh-fan (曾國藩) several times petitioned the Emperor in this case, but the Board refused to ratify the appointment on the ground that the officer recommended was attached to the land force, and was therefore unacquainted with naval affairs. The fa^t is, however, that he formerly acted as Naval Captain for eight years ; and, for a portion of that time, he was stationed at Chuen-sha. Hence the petitioner again implores the Emperor to confirm the appointment. His Majesty refers the case to the Board of War. 

(2) Chang Shoo-shing (張樹聲) presents a supplementary petition, on behalf of Teen Tsae-tëen, of the official rank of General-in-chief . This officer was formerly General of Division at T'ae-yuen-chin in the province of Shan-se, but was degraded. 

Having been afterwards recommended for his exertions in driving out the rebels, he was reinstated. The petitioner now prays the Emperor to admit this officer to an audience, and His Majesty grants the petition. 

(3) Lew K'hwăn-yih presents a supplementary petition. Shing-yuen, Prefect of Nan-k'hang-foo, and K'hen Tsŏ-lin the Che-hëen of Shan-jaou, having both lost their mothers by death, have retired from office, and the petitioner prays the Emperor to appoint two other officials named in the petition, to supply their places.  His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of the petition.