May 1st.- Lew Yŏ-chaou (劉獄昭), and Tsin Tŭh-ying (岑毓英) have petioned that the surviving officers and soldiers, and also those who were killed when driving the nests of robbers out of Shun- ning-foo (in Yunnan), Seih-ko, and other places, may receive marks of distinction. His Majesty has issued an Edict referring the matter to the proper Board.
(2) Ying-yuen ( 英元) President of the Board of Censors, and Member of the Imperial Household, petitions with regard to the following case. Lëw Yin-lin with his brother-in-law, Le Tëen-king, opened a shop in their native village to gain a livelihood. On the night of the 29th day of the 9th month of the 10th year of the present reign, a band of thieves broke open the door of the house, frightened the inmates by firing off matchlocks, and carried away 120 Taels in silver, together with more than 30 receipt tickets. Tëen-king's mother coming out to prevent the thieves from stealing the property, they murdered her, and carried off the booty. The robbers afterwards bribed the prefect, and escaped punishment. The petitioner prays that the prefect may be punished, and the thieves arrested and brought to trial. -- His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.
(3) Tsae-yaou (載耀) a Member of the Imperial Household, petitions the Emperor to grant him one month's leave of absence for the recovery of his health. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
2nd. -- His Excellency Chang Shoo-shing (張樹聲) acting Governor General of the Two Këang, together with His Excellency Gan-seih, officer of Revenue for the province of Këangsoo, petition. Formerly, during the Ming Dynasty, a temple was erected and sacrifices offered to Chang
Kwŏh-we (張國維) Deputy Governor of Soochow. This temple having fallen into decay, being more than one hundred years old, and being now under process of restoration, the petitioners pray the Emperor graciously to order that the matter be recorded in the Sacrificial Register and that sacrifices be offered to the aforesaid official every Spring and Autumn. -- His Majesty commands the Board of Rites to consult and report.
(2) His Excellency Lew Yŏ-chaou (劉獄昭) Governor General of Yunnan and Kwei-chow, and His Excellency Tsin Yŭh-ying (岑毓英) Deputy Governor of Yunnan, petition the Emperor to the effect that, as the province of Yunnan is now tranquillized, the Examinations for the second literary Degree may be held during the present year (癸酉 1873.)--His Majesty replies that the matter has been referred to the Board of Rites.
May 4th.-- The Sacrificial Board petition the Emperor to proceed in person to the Altar of Heaven to offer sacrifice. They also pray His Majesty to appoint a Reader for the occasion. Khing-fuh (慶福) has been appointed. This Board further pray that two Officers of the Guards may be appointed distributors of the sacrificial meat &c, and His Majesty has nominated Wăn-show and Tseuen-yew.
(2) Le Hung-chang (李鴻章) petitions the Emperor as to a request made by the Literati of Tëen-tsin (天津) for permission to build a temple to Tsang Kwŏh-fan (曾國藩) at that place. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
5th. -- Tŏ-lun-poo-paou-ying petitions the Emperor on behalf of the garrison at Kho-poo-too. The soldiers collected in that place are numerous, in consequence of the presence of the Rebels, and the rations usually allowed are therefore insufficient. The petitioner begs that 100,000 Taels may be sent to make up the deficiency. His Majesty orders the Board of Revenue to deliberate at once, and report on the matter.
6th. -- A petition has been presented from the Officers of the Guards, praying the Emperor to appoint officers to patrol within the walls of the temple of Heaven (to exclude spectators during the offering of the sacrifices.) His Majesty has appointed T'sing-how (the father of the Empress) and five others.
(2) Tsăng Peih-kwang (曾璧光) petitions the Emperor for 1,000,000 catties of Zinc, to sell in order to raise a fund to meet the expenditure at the approaching examination for the second literary degree in the province of Kwei-chow. His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of the petition.
7th. -- To-morrow the Emperor will pass through the Khëen-tsing-mun, the Ta- tsing-mun, and the Ching-yang-mun gates, and, passing along the stone road, will enter the Altar gate, and proceed to the Temple of the Imperial Expanse (Heaven) to bum incense. Afterwards His Majesty will enter the Palace of Abstinence.
(2) Ying-yuen (英元) Presents a petition from a Military graduate of the district of We, in the province Shan-tung, regarding the murder of his nephew. The victim was enticed by a shopkeeper to spend the night in his house, on the 23rd of the 8th month of the past year ; and on that night the murder was committed, and the body was laid at the door of a third person, who immediately informed the Che-hëen. That Magistrate examined the wounds on the body, and arrested the murderer who, however, escaped punishment by bribery. The Criminal judge was then appealed to, but that official referred the case back to the District Magistrate. The petitioner prays the Emperor to issue orders that the case be properly tried. His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.
(3) Le Tsung-he (李宗羲) returns thanks to the Emperor for his appointment as Viceroy of the Two Këang, and announces that he has taken over the seals of office. The petitioner considers that, notwithstanding his own stupidity, no one in ancient times has ever enjoyed so much of the Imperial favour as he has.
8th. -- To-morrow about 4 a.m. the Emperor will offer sacrifice (to Heaven), after which he will remain a short time at the Palace of Abstinence. His Majesty will then go out at the Altar gate, and, entering the Ching-yang-mun gate from stone road, will proceed to the Temple of the God of War to offer incense ; after which he will return to the Palace by the Ta-tsing-mun gate.
9th.-- I, Wang K'hae-t'ae (王凱泰) the Deputy Governor of Fŭh-këen province, kneel and petition, having received the Imperial permission to express my sentiments on certain subjects. I have respectfully read in the Court Gazette of the 26th day of the 1st month of the present year, an Imperial order to the effect that all the Princes and Ministers, together with the high officials of each province should discharge their duties to the Emperor with justice and fidelity. I perceive that, from the moment your Majesty commenced to reign, your sole object has been to govern your subjects well. Since I entered upon office I have never in the most minute degree made any return for the Imperial bounty, although, whether in your Majesty's presence or not, I have always aimed at doing so. I feel ashamed that I have no matured plans or ideas to lay before your Majesty, and yet I dare not, consulting my own ease, refrain from expressing my simple and stupid thoughts. I will, therefore, respectfully select certain matters which I have myself witnessed, and which require alteration ; and, arranging these under six heads, pray your Majesty to permit me to treat of them in extenso,
[The only part of the essay of sufficient interest for translation is the following regarding purchase of office.]
With regard to putting a stop to the practice of purchasing office in order to uphold the laws relating to official appointments : History records that Sze-ma Sëang-joo* obtained office by purchase. Also, it is recorded in a book of the Han Dynasty, that the people were ordered to send in money cheques in order to be appointed to office. Thus, the practice of purchasing office is of ancient date. It was necessary that there should be an overplus of money in a family, in those days, to enable the candidate for office to make such a present as would be considered a suitable return for the Imperial favour in appointing to office. Even men of talent were to be found among these purchasers of office. From the period of the diminution of the price of purchase to the present time, more than 100 Taels are required for an appointment to inferior rank, and more than 1,000 Taels for a slightly higher appointment. The appointment to Taou-tai or Prefect, according to ancient rule, cost more than 10,000 Taels, but this is now reduced to 3,000 or 4,000 Taels. If a family are poor, and a member of it wishes to enter on the public service, he must either beg money from his relatives and friends, or he must borrow from merchants, and then expend
* Commonly called the Compassionate Huaiciaxi. It is said that his pity for women was so great, that his garments were always stained with tears. One of his favoarite sayings was entitled ' Females attract Males,'
his principal to obtain profit (i.e. buy office.) Such vileness surpasses all description ! &c.
May 11th. -- Ting Paou-chin'g (丁寶楨) junior guardian to the heir apparent, an officer of the first rank, and Deputy Governor of Shan-tung, presents a supplementary petition. Of all the ten Foos in the province of Shan-tung, T'ae-gan-foo is the most wretched. Its boundary touches on Tse-ning-chow and three other districts ; the place is remote and extensive ; and official duties are onerous ; so that this place is different from all others in the province. Beyond the extra allowance granted by the Emperor, no perquisites can be obtained there. The extra allowance for this Foo is 3,000 taels, of which sum only 40 per cent is received by the Prefect after all deductions. This sum not being sufficient to meet all expenses, it has become necessary to implore the Emperor to grant some pecuniary relief to the prefect. The petitioner suggests that 26 per cent alone be deducted from the extra allowance, for the army expenses ; that the allowance be paid in silver of market value ; and that the deductions for constables and for embankments remain as heretofore, the remainder, amounting to 600 taels, being in future not deducted. This arrangement, the petitioner proposes, should commence from the spring of the present year. The treasurer of the province wrote to the petitioner urging him to lay this matter before the Emperor. His Majesty orders the proper Board to consult and report.
(2) Tŏ-lun-poo (托輪布) and others present a supplementary petition. It is on record that His Excellency the Assistant Minister K'hwei-chang and others, formerly prayed the Emperor that ten teachers of foreign drill and two Ensigns might be sent from Tientsin (天津) in the Province of Chili, to the Boundary (Ili) to give instruction to the soldiers there. It is also on record that King-lëen 景廉 the Adjutant General of Woo-loo-muh-t'se wrote to the effect that his Cantonment having received orders to adopt the foreign rifle, the soldiers must be drilled to use it, and teachers must be employed to instruct them thoroughly. Instructors have accordingly been sent to these places. The Ensigns sent to the Boundary have now returned, having fulfilled their commission ; and the Instructors in foreign drill, finding that the climate (水土 ) does not agree with them, have applied for permission to return to the Cantonment to which they belong. His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of the petition.
(3) Ting Paou-ching (丁寶楨) petitions on behalf of a degraded Che- hëen. Choo Sëang-ke, the Che-hëen of Foi-ching District, (Shantung), was formerly degraded to a subordinate position, in consequence of a defalcation in his accounts which he could not make up, and his property was confiscated. The deficiency amounted to the sum of Tls. 1,468.80, together with taxes received but unaccounted for to the amount of 288 Taels, 20 cents, 4 candareens, and 7 cash. Since his degradation, this official has paid up these sums, and both the Provincial Treasurer and the Criminal Judge have written to request the petitioner to pray the Emperor to restore the delinquent to office, and to forgive his crime, as he has paid back the money. Not only has the criminal made good the deficiency in his accounts, but he is now thoroughly ashamed of his conduct, and hence the petitioner prays the Emperor to give him back his peacock's feather, and to restore him to his former rank. His Majesty replies that the petition has been laid before the proper Board.
I2th. -- Lew Chang-yew presents a supplementary petition. Some time ago the petitioner received a despatch ordering Fŭh- urh-kwŏh-ch'un to repair to Peking to receive a new appointment ; and making Ten- Shoo-san an officer of the fourth grade, with the appointment of Criminal Judge in the province of Kwang-se. The Taou- tae of Yew-këang was appointed to fill the latter post until the arrival of Yew Shoo- săn. Fŭh-urh-kwŏh-ch'un entered upon his office on the 8th day of the 12th month of the past year ; and having discharged his duties, since that time, with diligence, he has now arrived in Peking in obedience to the Imperial command.
The petitioner, in another petition, prays that the aforesaid Taou-tae of Yew- këang may receive some other appointment, as Tew Shoo-săe, for whom he has hitherto acted, has entered upon his office. His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of both petitions.
13th. -- Tang Chang-seun, the Deputy Governor of Chě-këang, petitions to the effect that the tribute junks of that province have all sailed for Peking.
(2) King-lin (景霖) petitions that four officials, members of the Board which controls the affairs of the Palace who have subscribed together and repaired the Imperial road, may be rewarded with honorary titles. His Majesty grants the petition.
(3) Tsae-t'seen (載遷) petitions. The petitioner considers that, having been appointed by the favour of the Emperor to take charge of the Imperial Tombs, he is bound to discharge the duties of his office to the best of his ability. On entering upon office the petitioner reverently examined the gold and silver utensils, together with the furniture covers, &c., and found that every thing was correct according to the various entries in the books. Also, there was no deficiency in the number of the oxen and sheep reared in the folds and pens, for sacrificial purposes. The money and rice in treasury and granary were all correct, together with the various materials to be used in repairs. The petitioner also examined into each return made by the various officials employed ; and reverently and carefully inspected the Fung-shwuy arrangements at each grave, and found them to be excellent. The trees also are all in a flourishing condition. His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of the petition. May 14th. -- Le Han-chang (李瀚章) petitions with regard to information given by a merchant against Major Chang Wang-teen, for issuing false cheques. An officer was appointed to inquire into the matter, and he found the accusation to be correct ; whereupon the Major was ordered to pay the money due to the merchant, was expelled from the Cantonment, and was sent back to his native place. The petitioner, on examining into the case, finds that the Major acted in the manner reported, with an intention to cheat, and he is therefore a worthless fellow to whom no mercy must be shown. The petitioner therefore prays the Emperor to degrade the criminal from his rank in the army, and to punish him severely as a warning to others. -- His Majesty grants the petition. (2) The Governor-General of the eastern bank of the Yellow River, petitions the Emperor with regard to a vacancy caused by the death of Captain Fan Ching-këe, and recommends an officer, a native of Shan-tung, who is young and strong, and is also well skilled in naval tactics, Â«to supply his place. -- His Majesty refers the matter to the Board of War.
15th.-- Ting Paou-ching (丁寶楨) presents a supplementary petition. The 18th day of the 4th month of every year is the day for sacrificing to the T'ae Mountain (泰山) The Emperors have always made grants of incense and sacrificial offerings to the Deputy Governor, the Provincial Treasurer, and the Criminal Judge, to be offered up by one chosen amongst themselves ; and the present year's offerings have been brought to Shan- tung by a Member of the Palace Board. The petitioner himself cannot go to offer the customary sacrifices to the Mountain, in consequence of his being obliged to superintend the cultivation of the land, and he has therefore deputed the Provincial Treasurer to sacrifice to the T'ae Mountain on the usual day, in order to respond to the sincere intention of the Emperor in seeking happiness for his subjects. -- His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of the petition.
(2)Hëa Yew-lun (夏猷綸) the acting Taou-tae of T'ae-wan (Formosa), petitions the Emperor, returning thanks for his appointment. The petitioner states that on the 1st day of the 2nd month of the present year, he entered upon his office by preparing a table, with incense, and worshipping with his face towards the Palace. -- His Majesty acknowledges the receipt of the petition.
(3) Yih Yung (奕榕) a Member of the Imperial Household, petitions with regard to a vacancy caused by the death of Adjutant General Tsae Hwuy, and praying the Emperor to appoint some officer to the vacant post. On the 12th day of the 3rd month the deceased petitioned the Emperor for a month's leave of absence in consequence of serious illness. His disease increasing, and no relief being experienced from medical treatment, he died on the 19th. The petitioner himself went to see the sick man when dying, and the latter observed that he hated himself for becoming suddenly ill, because, in consequence he could only requite the Emperor's favour shown towards him, in the Coming Age -- (i.e. when he shall again appear in the world). Although this officer was 60 years of age when he was appointed Adjutant- General, yet his mind was strong and active, and he performed his duties with the utmost care and diligence. His eldest and second son were both with him at the time of his death, having retired from office on the death of their mother ; and
* This Mountain is the Olympus of China, and is regarded as the great Ancestor of all other mountains, and the offspring of Heaven and Earth. It has been worshipped from the commencement of the Empire: See Shoo-king, Canon of Shun,
they carefully prepared his coffin and grave clothes, and buried him. -- His Majesty defers filling the vacancy for the present.
May 16th.-- Yung Tseuen (榮全) presents a supplementary petition on behalf of his Secretary, Kaou Tih-shen, a graduate of the third Degree, (進士) and a native of Honan. This official has been now absent from his home for 28 years, during which period of time he has acted as Secretary in the Cantonment of the petitioner. His father became ill and died in an inn at Peking, and the son could not go to see him before his death. His mother is now upwards of 80 years of age, and he wants to return home to see her ; but, as the petitioner cannot dispense with a Secretary at present, the latter has been ordered to remain at his post. -- His Majesty, in compliance with the prayer of the petition, rewards this Secretary by appointing him Prefect, with the rank of Salt Commissioner.
(2) The same official presents another supplementary petition in reference to the case of an Adjutant-General whose carelessness in drilling his soldiers led to a riot, in consequence of which the Emperor degrade him, together with the Captain- General and three other officers of his Cantonment. The Adjutant-General has since shown diligence in searching out rebels, in the place to which he was banished ; and he has also collected together under his command the soldiers of two cantonments which, being without a commander, were disbanded. In consequence of these services, the petitioner prays the Emperor to restore this officer and his companions to their former rank. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
May I7th. -- The Emperor issues a decree concerning certain officers. The abilities and merits of General Koo-kih-keih-t'ae have long been brought before His Majesty's notice ; the proper Yamun is therefore ordered to consult and draw up a report in this case in order that the General may be rewarded according to law. His Majesty also orders that the General's grandson be presented at Court when he is old enough. -- The Taou-tae of Ning-hëa in the province of Kan-suh is dismissed from, office, as he is lazy and cannot perform his duties satisfactorily. -- Le Tun-lin, who was formerly degraded from office, is to be sought for and restored to his rank in Kan-suh.
18th.-- Chang Shoo-shing (張樹聲) returns thanks for his appointment to the office of Deputy Governor of Këang-soo province. He arrived at Soochow on the 22nd day of the 3rd month, when he worshipped towards the Palace in the usual manner, and commenced his official duties.
(2) Chang-shun (長順) presents a supplementary petition, to the effect that his subordinate, King-kwei, a member of the office controlling the dependant states, although discharging his duties with accuracy and diligence, is however weak in constitution, and cannot endure the cold. The petitioner therefore prays the Emperor to allow that official to return to Peking, and to issue orders that some one else be sent to the petitioner in his stead.
19th. -- His Excellency Viscount Tso Tsung-tang, (左宗棠) commissioned by the Emperor, Governor-General of Shen- se and Kan-suh, kneels and petitions with regard to the driving out of the nests of rebels from their newly built city near Suh- chow in Kan-suh province, and from their Temple erected for worship. From the 12th month of the past year to the 10th day of the first month of the present year, the rebels suffered constant defeat, and several of their leaders were killed. On the night of the 10th, the spies reported that the rebels were about to be reinforced by the arrival of more than 4000 men, and with more than 1000 camels bearing provisions. This reinforcement was marching secretly towards the north gate of the city. Orders were immediately given to attack this force, of which several scores were killed, and 18 prisoners were taken, with more than 200 camels. The rebels afterwards erected a strong fort, which was attacked at several points at once, and a numberless amount of rebels were killed. During the attack on this fort, the rebel artillery suddenly ceased firing, and while the Imperial troops were wondering what was the matter, the rebels were observed putting two matrons to death in front of their lines, as a charm to save them from defeat. The engagement was again commenced ; numbers of rebels were killed at various times, and finally the fort was completely destroyed.
20th.-- -On the 21st (of the first month) the rebels, Cavalry and Infantry, to the amount of more than 1,000 men, made a sortie, and attacked one of the Cantonments of the Imperial troops, but were finally defeated. On that night about midnight, orders were given to attack and destroy the Temple erected by the rebels for worship. The strongest soldiers were chosen for this service, and ambuscades were laid close to the temple on three sides. About 4 o'clock in the morning the guns were brought to bear upon the building, and the troops opened fire, throwing in shell. The rebels, being alarmed, made a hasty sortie, and were surprised by the ambuscade in that quarter, who defeated and scattered them in all directions. At day-break , scale ladders were brought up, and the city was entered on the west side ; and the troop who scaled the walls then opened the gates and admitted their companions. The Temple was thus taken, and not a rebel in it escaped. This place of worship the Mahomedans say is the tomb of their early ancestors, who died on their first coming to China, and whose shades all rest there. Hence their respect for this building and their desperate defence of it. The petitioner prays the Emperor to confer titles of honour upon the officers and soldiers who fell during this campaign, in order to appease their souls. His Majesty grants the petition.
May 21st. -- On the 28th of the present month (May 24th), in consequence of the great scarcity of rain for some time past, the Emperor will go to the Ta-kaou-tëen temple to offer prayers. His Majesty has also appointed two of the Princes and two other officials to pray for rain in four other temples.
(2) Le Hung-chang [李鴻章] presents a supplementary petition in consequence of information received from the Prefect of Shin-chow, in the province of Chihli, regarding the great distress existing in that locality in consequence of continued inundations. The walls of the city which were last repaired in the 19th year of the Emperor K’ëen-lung (1755) have now for a long time fallen into decay, and the Prefect has issued a proclamation calling upon the resident gentry of the place to subscribe according to their ability, in order that the suffering people may be employed to repair them. The works were commenced on the 12th of the third month, and the petitioner, in making these particulars known to the Emperor, prays His Majesty graciously to bestow rewards upon the contributors when the walls are completed.
(3) The same Official presents another petition to the following effect. The Autumn term for the trial of prisoners is now approaching, and the petitioner being at present at Tien-tsin, where he is engaged in regulating matters concerning the foreign merchants, and in receiving the Imperial tribute sent by sea, cannot at present return to his own duties. He therefore proposes that the Provincial Treasurer, the Criminal Judge, and the Che-hëen of Paou-ting, be sent to his Yamun to conduct the trials in his stead, and thus avoid delay.
May 21st. -- The sub-prefect of Peking petitions the Emperor to the following effect. Yesterday the petitioner received a letter from his family, who reside in Kwang-se, stating that his mother has been seized with vertigo and cannot move without assistance ; and he therefore prays the Emperor to allow him to return home until his mother recovers. -- His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.
(2) Le Hung-chang (李鴻章) presents a supplementary petition. Last year great distress prevailed in Tien-tsin and the surrounding country in consequence of inundations ; and a General, degraded some time ago, an officer of the first rank and decorated with the peacock's feather, gave Tls. 1,000 for the relief of the sufferers. The petitioner therefore prays the Emperor to reward him for his liberality. -- His Majesty commands that the General be restored to his former rank and honours.
(3) Ts'een Ting-ming (錢鼎銘), Deputy Governor of Honan, petitions in reference to a dutiful daughter who cut a piece of flesh from her arm, in order to cure her father of his sickness. In the present Holy Dynasty, filial piety rules the Empire, and this doctrine originates in the female sex. The petitioner's birth place is Tae-tsang in the province of Këang-soo. In the district of Chin-yang there lived a daughter remarkable for her filial piety, whose name after her marriage, was Mrs. Wang. In the fifth year of the reign of the Emperor Hëen-fung, this young lady's father became dangerously ill, and his filial daughter, lighting incense sticks, announced (to the gods) her desire to sacrifice her own body for her father's sake. After this announcement, her father's illness increasing, and his physicians being unable to cure him, this filial daughter secretly cut off a piece of flesh from her arm, and putting it into the medicine prescribed, gave it to her father who, on eating it, immediately recovered. Some time afterwards the daughter's female attendants, perceiving the mark on her arm, questioned her as to the cause and learned from her the facts already stated. There was not a single individual of all those who heard the narrative, who was not struck with amazement. Shortly after this, the young lady was married to a graduate of the first degree, and she faithfully discharged all the duties of married life. In the sixteenth year of the Emperor Hëen- fung in consequence of her excessive grief for the death of her father, she pined away and died in a year after that event ; being then only 29 years of age. The petitioner examined into the case when at home, and could not endure to conceal the facts ; and he now prays the Emperor to order, as His Majesty has always done in such cases, that a triumphal arch be erected to the memory of the deceased daughter, in order to make known her filial piety.-- The Emperor refers the case to the Board of Rites. May 22nd. -- King-lin (景霖) kneels and petitions in reference to the appointment of two cooks to prepare the sacrificial victims at the King-ling cemetery, and recommends two efficient persons to the Emperor. -- His Majesty appoints the two persons recommenced, and states that the proper Board has been informed of the matter.
(2) Ying-yuen (英元) petitions with regard to an appeal case. A dispute arose between two persons, with regard to a piece of land to which both laid claim ; and one of them, with an accomplice, set upon the other and killed him. The wife of the murdered man gave information of the murder at the Che-hëen's office ; but the murderer bribed the brother of the murdered man to go to the Che-hëen and make a statement to the effect that there was no necessity whatever to inquire further into the matter. The father of the plaintiff in the case informed the wife of the deceased what had taken place, so that enmity arose between him (the father) and the brother of the deceased ; whereupon this brother, meeting him on the bank of an adjoining river, demanded money from him as a pretext, and when refused, killed him and threw the body into the river. The plaintiff went to seek for his father's body but could not find it ; so the grandfather of the plaintiff went to lodge information at the magistrate's office ; the police runners, however, put him into prison, on pretence that the District Magistrate had ordered them to do so. The plaintiff therefore, being in great distress about the affair, has laid his complaint before the Prefect and the Criminal Judge, both of whom referred him back to the District Magistrate. This case is now referred to His Majesty, who replies that the petition is recorded.
May 22nd.-- Ying-yuen (英元) petitions the Emperor with regard to information which he has received from a native of the district of Nuy-hwang, in the province of Honan. The informant states that two of his relatives, in consequence of their poverty, stole some fuel from a neighbour to cook their food. This theft coming to the ears of the neighbour, the latter had them both arrested, together with another brother who took no part whatever in the theft. The three prisoners were taken before the District Magistrate, and having been beaten were set at liberty. The brother who was wrongfully accused, harbouring revenge in his heart, declared that he would kill the neighbour who had brought the false accusation against him. This threat coming to the ears of the neighbour, he hired an assassin to kill the guiltless brother, and instructed him to bring back with him some proof that the deed had been accomplished. The assassin subsequently cut off the man's left ear, and taking it to the neighbour as proof that his adversary was killed, received the promised reward. This neighbour, however, afterwards discovered that his adversary was not killed, but merely had his ear cut off ; so he led on his son and others, armed with Swords, to the house of the latter and, binding him, led him away by force and bribed the police runners to put him into prison. He then consulted with them to murder the prisoner, and the Magistrate being deceived with a false report of the prisoner's illness, the latter was murdered by some mans or other, and the body was concealed. The petitioner prays the Emperor to issue instructions in this case. -- His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.
May 23rd. -- Ting-paou-ching (丁寶楨 ) petitions with regard to an Overseer of Rivers who, regardless of the laws of the Empire, defrauded the Imperial Treasury of the sum of Tls. 445, 3 mace, 7 candareens, and 2 cash. The petitioner prays the Emperor to degrade this officer from his rank, and to order him up to Peking to be tried for his offence. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
May 24th. -- An Imperial Edict has been issued to the following effect. The Censor Wănming (文明) informs the Emperor that certain servants of the palace have transgressed the laws by riding in a disorderly manner, and prays His Majesty to prohibit a repetition of such conduct. On the 13th of the present month, after the performance of the sacrifices, and before the return to the palace, suddenly all the Eunuchs rode about in disorder each striving to get before the others. From the Ching-yang-mun gate through all the other gates they kept the very centre of the road, and the rest of the Imperial attendants followed their example in this respect. Such conduct is contrary to law. They did not dismount until they arrived up close to the Woo-mun gate, and the guards at the gate did not attempt to prevent this irregularity. The petitioner prays the Emperor to prohibit this conduct for the future. Whenever the Imperial cortege sets out or returns to the palace, the attendant officials should all follow in an orderly manner, but the conduct of the Eunuchs and the other attendants, on the occasion reported by the petitioner, was most unbecoming, and they all deserve to be reprimanded. His Majesty issues stringent orders to the commander of the Eunuchs and the captain of the guards at the Woo-mun gate ; and commands that the laws which bear upon the case be posted up for the information of all concerned.
May 25th. -- The office of Imperial guards petitions the Emperor to appoint officials to superintend the sacrifices to the dead beyond the frontiers of China. -- His Majesty appoints two officers for that purpose.
(2.) The Prince Kung (恭親王) and others return thanks to the Emperor for graciously bestowing upon them presents of gauze (for summer wear).
(3.) An Imperial edict says : The sub-Prefect of Peking petitions to the effect that his eldest son is now District Magistrate at Ting-hing in the province of Chihli,* and he therefore considers it his duty to pray the Emperor to remove the latter to some other post. -- His Majesty commands the Board of officers to consult and report on the case.
(4) Shaou Hang-yu (邵亨豫) presents a supplementary petition. Chang- kwŏh-gan, General-in-chief, Lieutenant- Colonel Chang Këae-fŭh, and an officer of the second rank of the 9th degree named Chow Tang-yun, some time ago left their own Cantonment, and joined that of the General-in-Chief in the province of Kan- suh. These officers have been guilty of forging money cheques and settled orders, which they intended to use for the purpose of cheating. They were not allowed to make use of those false documents, however, having been put under arrest by the Prefect of Keen- chow, and the General of the Cantonment. As the Emperor alone can degrade officers of high rank, the petitioner prays His Majesty to deprive the two first mentioned of their commissions.
* It is contrary to law that father and son should hold official appointments in the same province.
and to issue orders that the three be punished for their lawless conduct. His. Majesty grants the petition, and orders that the culprits be tried and punished according to law.
May 26th.-- The Censor Ying-yuen (英元) petitions with regard to three relatives who were murdered by two persons who laid claim to a well, which has been in the possession of the family of the deceased persons from time immemorial. As this case has not been properly tried by either the District Magistrate, the Taoutai, or the Criminal Judge, each of whom were applied to by the relatives of the murdered persons, the petitioner prays the Emperor to issue orders that the case be properly investigated. -- His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.
May 27th.-- Ting Gan (安定) presents a supplementary petition on behalf of a deceased General of Division who was attached to the Plain Yellow Banner, This officer was formerly employed in the province of Shan-se, and in consequence of his excellent management, together with the terror with which he inspired all rebels, the whole district under his charge enjoyed perfect tranquillity. He cared for neither heat nor cold, but both by day and by night patrolled the country, and eventually died from over-exertion. In consequence of these services, and this officer's death being caused by excessive zeal in the performance of his duties, the petitioner prays the Emperor to confer posthumous honours upon the deceased. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
(2) Yung Yŭh (榮毓) and two other officials present a petition. The Chief Official at the Chang-ling Mausolea has now been in office for five years ; and the petitioners pray the Emperor to allow him to retain his office for another period of five years, as a reward for his excellent management. His Majesty grants the petition.
(3) Ting Gan (安定) presents a petition on behalf of a General-in-chief whose mother has lately died. In consequence of this calamity, the petitioner prays the Emperor to grant the General 100 days leave of absence, and to issue orders that some other officer be appointed to take charge of his command during that period. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
May 28th.-- The Emperor issues an Edict. "In consequence of the scarcity of rain during this spring. His Majesty went in person, on the 28th day of the 4th month, to the Ta-kaou-tëen temple to burn incense, and also sent four officers to offer incense and prayers at four other temples. On the 3rd of the present month the refreshing rain descended, owing to the protection of the Luminous Azure (昊蒼)* for which His Majesty is thankful, and on the 5th day of the month intends to proceed in person to the Ta-kaou-teen temple to burn incense and return thanks, and also to send the same four officials to return thanks at the other temples.
(2) The Council of War presents a supplementary petition praying the Emperor to appoint officials to examine the Imperial Records. -- His Majesty appoints four officers to perform that duty.
(3) Hung keun (洪均) the Public Examiner for the province of Hoo-pih, petitions the Emperor to appoint one Pă-kung (拔貢) t at King-chow-foo, as the scholars in that prefecture are learned and numerous. -- His Majesty refers the patition to the Board of Kites and Ceremonies.
(4) Mŭh-too-shĕn petitions the Emperor in reference to the requirements of the Infantry under his command. It is the duty of the petitioner to provide watchlocks, banners, tents, and uniform for his soldiers, and he prays the Emperor to issue orders to the proper Board to supply him with money for that purpose.
May 29th. -- Ts'ëen Ting-ming, the Deputy Governor of Ho-nan, petitions. The petitioner has examined into the case of Lëw King-gan, formerly acting Prefect at Kwang-chow, and finds that that official has not been guilty of the two charges brought against him, and for which he was degraded, viz. , permitting robbers to harass the people, and appropriating public money to his own use. He, however, fined one Fung Yew-tsing the sum of Tls. 500, and put the money into a fund used for repairing the Temple of Confucius. Doubts, however, arose as to whether the Prefect did not appropriate that sum to his own use. Moreover, instead of buying materials to repair the examination stalls he, without consulting any one, took some trees from the public grounds in order to make the necessary repairs. As this act was a slight infringement of the law, it cannot be asserted that there was no ground whatever for degrading him. The petitioner prays the Emperor to order the Board to
*That is, 昊天上帝, or the deified Fŭh-he, whose body is the visible Heaven, and whose soul or "Mind" is the subtle Ether.
t A literary degree between the usual first and second degrees, conferred once in twelve years.
consult as to the punishment to be inflicted in this case, a warning to others. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
May 30th. -- Woo-tan presents a supplementary petition in reference to Captain Yang Poo-tsing, stationed at the town of Sung-pwan, and who, when formerly Commander of the Cantonment at Mow-chow, (in Sze-chuen,) killed one of the people and falsely asserted that the murder was committed by some soldiers. It was proved however on the trial that no soldiers were present when the man was killed. The soldiers themselves denied the charge, and insisted that Yang Poo-tsing himself was the criminal. The latter, when interrogated, refused to confess ; and the petitioner therefore prays the Emperor that he may be degraded and tried for the offence by the Criminal Judge. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
May 31st.-- Lew Khwan-yih (劉昆一) presents a supplementary petition. A graduate of the first degree, of the District of Tsing-këang, named Tăng Tsung- yu, was killed in the second month of the seventh year of Hëen-fung, when leading on his soldiers against the rebels ; and the Emperor bestowed an hereditary title of honour on his son. The son had not then attained his majority, so he only received half of the pension attached to the title. Afterwards, in the seventh year of the present reign, he obtained the degree of Military Sew-tsae, and the petitioner therefore prays that the full pension may be now given to him, and that he may be allowed to attend the Examination for the second literary degree. -- His Majesty refers the case to the Board of War.
(2) Lew Khwan-yih (劉昆一 ) an officer of the first rank, and Deputy Governor of Këang-se, deprived of honours, but retained in office, presents a petition to the effect that he has found on investigation, that two officials who purchased office, and who have now acted as District Magistrates for one year, are worthy of being retained in office. -- His Majesty refers the case to the Board of Rites and Ceremonies.
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