Aug. 1st. -- Edict. -- The result of deliberations by the Grand Council, the Six Boards, the Nine Ministers, upon a Memorial relating to the condition of the Grand Canal and Yellow River submitted to the Throne by Ch'iao Sung-nien (喬松年) Superintendant of Yellow River, Wên- ping (文彬), Ting Pao-chen 丁寶楨 Governor of Shantung, and the Censor Yu Po-ch'uan 游百川, having been referred by Us to Li Hung-chang, that officer has memorialized as follows : -- Since the overflow "of the Yellow River at T'ung-wa-hsiang, the old bed has filled up, and during the lapse of years has become quite dry and exposed. There is no means at hand for rehabilitating it, and it would be impossible to turn the waters to their old course past Hsü-chow and Huai-an. The labour or futilizing the Yellow River to fill the Grand Canal, and confining its waters by Dykes, is not at our disposal, and the River Wei is likewise out of the question."
This memorial has gone to the root of the matter. Since it is impossible to direct the Yellow River southwards again with any benefit to the Grand Canal, and there is no other plan likely to be of permanent value, we direct the Board of Revenue to review the whole circumstances, and institute a policy based on Li Hung-chang's suggestions, viz: -- that the Grain Tribute should continue to be forwarded by sea, that the several Viceroys and Governors should forward such of the Tribute as is in kind to Shanghai, there to be shipped for Tientsin, and that such Tribute as has, for economy in transit expenses, been commuted into a money payment, shall, as heretofore, await our disposal. Calamities from the Yellow River in Shantung must of course be guarded against, and We direct Governor Ting Pao-chên to strengthen to that end the present defences constructed by the inhabitants in Chang-ch'iu and Li-ch'ing districts. The repairs conducted by the people of the country at the point of rupture at Hou-chia-lin, cannot be expected to last, and We direct the said Governor to set aside funds for repairing them after the autumn freshets-- converting them into Government dykes of uniform height and width.
The inhabitants of these districts, with their fields so long submerged, are thoroughly worthy of commiseration. We direct the Governor to submit to Us a list for the relaxation or remission of Grain Tribute, and also a plan by which allowances may be made for the injurious effects of the change, on those engaged in the salt-carrying trade from the coast-depots inwards.
Ch'iao Sung-nien will take special care to place dykes to protect the low-lying ground so subject to inundation at Lan-yi and Tung-ming, below the point of rupture.
We direct the High authorities of Kiangsu, Honan and Shantung to report on Li Hung-chang's suggestion that increased grain Tribute should be raised from those who have occupied with their tillage the old river bed between Hsü-chow and Huai-an.
Further, the Board is directed to report on the suggestion that all canal transport should be given up, the grain being purchased and forwarded by sea only. -- Respect this.
(2) Tê-ying and T'o K'o-jui, Generals in command in Tsi-tsi-hae, report an addition they have been compelled to make to the sentence of a man of Imperial Blood named An-ch'ung, for having effected his escape from confinement. His original sentence was -- for being implicated in a poisoning case -- life-long imprisonment in the Amoor district. He had no accomplices in the escape, and committed no crime while at large. He says he attempted his escape because he wanted to see his mother very much, and did not like his present quarters. He is evidently an irredeemable character for thinking of such things, instead of bending his mind to reform. To strike terror into the other convicts, it is requested that he be sentenced to 40 blows and to bear a chain for life. Another runaway convict has been caught, one of the Khorlo (?) tribe of Mongols. His case when investigated by the judge will be reported to the Colonial Office and to the Throne. -- Rescript : Request granted. Let the Board take note.
(3) From the same. Another convict of Imperial blood, Têpao, is under sentence, first, for losing a valuable town to the rebels -- punishment, simple banishment to this spot, to regain his honour in war ; and second, an increase to compulsory military service upon the frontier for misusing his official position as a party to a lawsuit. He is recommended to the Imperial clemency, inasmuch as he has undergone ten years of punishment, and his whole family are in penury for want of his support. The most pathetic point is that his mother died a year or two ago at the age of 90, and the family is obliged to leave her in her coffin unburied, being unable to complete the funeral rites unless T'êpao is allowed to return to his banner and earn a subsistence. -- Rescript : Allowed to return to his Banner. Let the Yamên take note.
August 2nd. -- The Viceroy and Governor of Fukien and Che-kiang recommend an officer to the post of Prefect at Fu-ning-fu, vacant by death : name, Chang Mêng- Yüan.-- Rescript: The Board of Civil Office will report,
(2) Chin Shun, (金順) General in the extreme west of Kansu, recommends for decoration a Taotai and a Sub-Prefect in Shanse Province for their energy in collecting arrears of funds set apart for the maintenance of the army under his command. -- Rescript : Let the Board Report on this.
(3) Li Ho-nien, Viceroy of Fukien, and his colleague report an official change. -- Rescript : Noted.
(4) Chin Shun, in Kansu, reports an official change under him, and requests recognition of his nominee's merits. - Rescript : Granted. Let the Board of War take note.
Aug. 3rd.-- Edict. (1) The Emperor has heard with great grief of the death of Chu Fêng-p'iao, lately of the Grand Secretariat. The title of Senior Guardian of the Heir apparent is graciously sent after him, and a to'-lo pall is granted. His eldest son will, after the period of mourning, take the first vacancy in the grade superior to his present one in the Board of Works, and his grandson, now a Seu-ts'ai by purchase, has the degree of Chü-jên conferred on him.
(2) Daring the last eighteen years of warfare in Yün-nan, the cities and country have been trampled on by rebels, and the people driven away and about in a most pitiable manner. Now the district is approaching to a state of quiet, though the fugitives alive and dead have not yet returned. It would cripple the energies of the people to press for all the accumulated arrears of Tribute ; We therefore graciously remit all taxes previous to 1872, and direct the Viceroy and Governor to obtain for our information through the local magistracy a careful statement of the lands, cultivated and wild, as the case may be, and an estimate of the amount of tax which can be collected during this year. A Lekia was collected by the High Provincial authorities for the support of the army during the troubles, and this must have caused much hardship. We therefore direct that that kind of tax shall for ever be discontinued in this Province, and the High Provincial authorities shall have a proclamation for general information struck off on Yellow, that all may share the bounty, and malpractices of official underlings be prevented. Let the Board take note.
(3) Tu-hsing-ah having supported the recommendation of the Manchu governor of Shêng-king -- that the acting sub-prefect of Ch'ang-t'u-t'ing, by name Chan Ting- yung, should be allowed to continue in his post instead of retiring into mourning for his parent's death, since he has gained all hearts by his energy in putting down brigandage -- We allow this temporarily. This is not to be taken as a precedent in other Provinces. Let the Board take note.
(4) Hu Chia-yü 胡家玉 Chief censor, in a long paper, puts forward a scheme for rendering promotion quicker and steadier among those who have taken the legitimate path to office, viz : passing the Doctor's degree (Tsin-shih). The gist of it is that the patronage of the Tsung- li Yamên should be restricted (it has been nominating 18 men every two years, while the Grand Council could only nominate 8 in three years under stricter requirements) as also that of the High Provincial authorities ; and that the candidates should not be held qualified until they had passed the personal inspection of His Imperial Majesty satisfactorily at two ordinary and one special Audiences, in place of one ordinary Audience as now. It is complained that Doctors, who have a right to expect immediate appointment to a Taotai-ship or a Prefecture, are fain, under stress of year and poverty, either to relinquish official life, or to accept a Magistracy or even lower rank. -- Rescript. Recorded.*
Aug. 4th.-- Edicts.-- (1, 2 and 3) appoint Literary Examiners, (principal and second) for Kiangsi, Chekiang and Hupeh.
(4) Chin Yü-ying 岑毓英 has recommended that for Madame Ho (maiden name Chao) a tablet should be erected commemorating her virtue. Her husband, who died bravely fighting the rebels at Ta- li-fu, has already received Imperial recognition. She, when she saw her husband die, drowned herself in the river. He prays for the usual memorial tablet, and besides a special shrine for her and her husband. We accord what he wishes. Let the Board take note. Respect this.
(5) Ying-yüan, 英元, Chief Censor, records an appeal case. Chên-tu, of Shou- chow in An-hwei, states that others of the same family name banded together to commit robbery with violence on his father. The culprit was caught, and an attempt to bail him out frustrated. The others then made a combined attack with lethal weapons on the complainant's village, but the assailants by the help of the neighbours were beaten off, leaving one dead. This further enraged the ruffians, and they returned to the attack with more than a hundred armed followers and slew the narrator's brother, sister-in-law and two sisters and father, the latter deliberately when he was lying wounded. No justice could be had from the Prefect as his underlings were bribed, and the orders of the High Authorities failed to bring about a hearing. The case has been pending for several years. The murderers, encouraged by impunity, are threatening to put the appellant out of the way, and he in self-defence comes to Peking. -- Rescript : Recorded.
(6) Liu Chang-yu : 劉長佑 Governor of Kwangsi, reports that a Cantonese gentleman named Fêng Yüan-nien, who purchased a B.A. degree, and, further, gained rank of Prefect by his contributions for the War, has passed satisfactorily through the usual year's probation in actual tenure of office which is required of persons who gain office in that manner. It is prayed that he may remain on the permanent staff in that Province. Rescript : Let the Board take note.
* This Memorial discloses a change in the mode of filling the higher ranks of office, -- more weight being given to proved capacity and less to mere literary talent. The " nominees " are men who have distinguished themselves in actual service.
(7) From the same, reports routine changes. -- Rescript : Noted.
(8) From Wu T'ang 吳棠 Governor of Ssŭ-chuan. In accordance with the regulations of the Board of Civil Office, directing that all officers from the rank of Taotai downwards should be deemed of the " Expectant " rank and submit themselves to a year's constant observation at their Provincial Capital, at the end of which time the High Authorities should report on their several capabilities as fit for "arduous " "busy " or "light" duty as the case may be ; -- the Governor proceeds to give the characters of four -all favourably. -- Rescript : Let the Board take note.
(9) From Ting Pao-chên, Governor of Shantung, similar memorial on one officer, character favorable. -- Rescript : Let the Board take note.
Aug. 5th.-- Edict.-- (1) The Censor Shun Huai, 沈淮 has denounced Yang Hung- tien, an Officer in the Board of Revenue, for using his office to obtain bribes and fabricate documents. Let Yang be degraded and handed over to the Board of Punishments, who will report to the Throne, and if there is any foundation for the accusation, he will be severely dealt with.
(2) Appoints a High Commission to hear an appeal in the Province of Che- kiang.
(3) Grants posthumous honours to a Taotai who, after distinguished service against the rebels in Hunan, Hupeh, Kuangsi, Shensi, Kansu, and Ssŭ-chuan, was at last slain in quelling an emeute among the braves in Kueichow Province.
(4) Ting Pao-Chên memorializes again on Judge Chang's retirement into mourning, [see Gazette of 22nd July.] -- Rescript : He is allowed one hundred days mourning after reporting himself at Court.
(5) From the same. (An enclosure.) Reports an appointment he has made to the Naval Stations at Têng-Chow (Chefoo) and Y'ung-ch'ên and also at Pochow. -- Rescript : Noted.
(6) From the same. (An enclosure.) Reports the death by suicide, while under arrest awaiting trial, of one Yang Yu" Chilian. He was the defendant in a a suit for recovery of purchase money, which suit was complicated by the corrupt action of a petty official Hsŭ Wên-hsün. The custodian of Yang has evaded arrest by flight, but is being searched for. Meanwhile Hsŭ and the other parties and witnesses are being forwarded to the Provincial Capital. It is prayed that Hsŭ may be degraded from office for his better examination (scil : torture). -- Rescript : Let Hsü be degraded and severely examined. Let the Board take note.
(7) From the same. (An Enclosure). Recommends that the Brigadier Liu be cashiered for incapacity, and that the Shou- pei (say. Captain) Chên be compelled to resign on account of old age. ~ Rescript : Accorded. Let the Board of War take note.
(8) From the same. (An Enclosure). Reports changes consequent on Chefoo and Yung-chêng being transferred from the Chinese to the Manchu division of the Forces.
August 6th. -- Edict concerning posthumous honours to officers who fell in defending their posts in Yün-nan.
(2) From Ying Yüe and others of the Censorate discloses a dreary tale of wrongs at Ting-Yüan Hsien in Anhuei, of the date of the Tai-Ping Rebellion. A wave from that great flood swept over this district, and left as a result a permanent disturbance of its peace and quiet. One large family (or clan) became purveyors for the Central Force at Nanking ; and the consequent raids on neighbours, and murders, need not be told. The petitioners (and no wonder) failed to get redress from the local and high Provincial Authorities, and ascribe their failure as usual to bribery. -- Rescript : Recorded.
(3) Li Hung-chang reports very favorably on the abilities of Taotai Wei Ch'êng- yüeh, after the year's probation. Rescript ; -- Let the Board of Civil Office take note. [See Gazette of 29 May 1872, page 63 of reprint.]
August 7th.-- The Board of Civil Office presented for H. I. M.'s inspection a copy of the Autumn Quarter's issue of the Red Book.
(2) Edict -- In view of the extraordinary rainfall which has taken place continuously since the beginning of summer and its prolongation till now at the near approach of autumn, severe injury to cultivation may be feared. We therefore propose to supplicate the spirits for clear weather on the 10th August, and burn incense at the Ta-kao temple. On the same day let the Princes Tun, Kung, Shun, and Fow, attend respectively at certain other temples for the same purpose. Respect this.
(3) Contains a long list of punishments pronounced against those responsible for the serious emeute of the soldiery (demanding pay) in Kuei-chow Province, and decorations bestowed on those who quelled it.
(4) (An enclosure.) Li Hung-chang; recommends that no punishment be dealt out to Ching-fuh, theTaot'ai of Shau-hai-knan. That gentleman had arrived at Tientsin from Kiangsi Province on the way to his post in the 8th moon of 1872. He then applied for extension of time to enable him to repair his ancestral tombs at T'ungchow, near Peking. He was ordered to report himself at his post while his request was under consideration, yet he failed to do so till nearly seven months after; -- i.e. not quite a month over time. He pleaded the miriness of the ways in Sheng-king, and the floods and bad weather in the spring, for the extra delay.
The Board of Civil Office has been unable to find any precedent for granting extension of the time within which an officer must reach his post, on the ground of repairing tombs. Yet as the excuse pleaded for the extra delay is borne out by his arrival- vouchers along the line of route, the Imperial clemency is prayed. Rescript : Granted. Let the Board take note.
(5) From the same. Recommends an officer to the post of Superintendent of River Yung- ting. Rescript : Let the Board report on this.
(6) From the same. (An enclosure). Recommends the cashiering of a Lieutenant, for using Government forest-timber (on the range N.E. of Pao-ting-fu) which it was his duty to conserve, for the purpose of repairing a river dyke. Rescript : Let him be cashiered. Let the Board take note.
August 8th. -- Ying-yüen and his colleagues of the Censorate, report an appeal case from I-ning-chow in Kiangsi (near the borders of Hupeh and Hunan). It is the result of an eight years long feud between villages of families named Chang (the present appellants) Tsao, Liu, Han, &c.f for the right to cut forest timber on a certain hill. Murder, arson, and ravages by disbanded braves are incidents in the case. The hill was decided to belong to the Changs by a special deputy from the High Provincial authorities, but the local authorities have been bribed to ignore the decision. The appeal is supported by original documents. Rescript : Recorded.
(2) Ngên-lin 恩麟, Minister President at L'hassa, in Tibet, reports that, since the disgrace and recall of his colleague Tê-t'ai 德泰, he himself has diligently prosecuted his enquiries into malversations. With the aid of his late colleague, he had succeeded in discovering that Wang Lai-i, entrusted with the distribution of tea, curd (or butter?) &c. in bounty at the Ho-lê-tan Lamasery in Further-Tibet, had embezzled to the extent of Tls. 2,991.578. It is now discovered that an expedition Wang reported himself as having conducted against insurgent Lamas at Kang-mu, and its attendant expenses viz : Tls. 6,938.800 are wholly fictitious. This is corroborated by an officer on the spot at Kang-mu, which is a long way from Ho-lê-tan Lamasery. The personal retainers of Wang have been examined, and they confess that once Wang gave them Tls. 800 to get up an idol procession, and one of them was sent into Further-Tibet with tea, opium, boots and "hê-tă" (?) to the value of Tls. 700, to barter with the soldiers for their surplus rations. It is prayed that Wang be cashiered and severely dealt with. -- Rescript : Let Wang Lai-i be at once degraded, and severely punished according to law. Let the Board take note.
August 9th.-- Edict.-- En-lin 恩麟 (Resident Minister of L'hassa) having requested the appointment of an officer to the post at K'oblun, Taifênlawangtochieh is appointed to act there. Let the Board take note.
Ying Han 英翰 Governor of Anhwei recommends promotion for some, and cashiering of other officers.
August 10th.-- Edict (1).-- Shao Heng-yü 邵亨豫 Governor of Shensi has memorialized us that in the summer of 1863, when the city of Yao-chow was in great peril from an attack of Mahomedan rebels, a remarkable answer to prayer was vouchsafed by the Goddess Kuan-yin in turning away the calamity, and also in stopping an unseasonable fall of rain. The inhabitants are deeply and reverently grateful. We have ourselves written out a tablet, which Shao will in person reverently hang up in the said Goddess's temple at Yao-chow, in commemoration of her protection. Respect this.
(2) Wu Chao 吳潮 is appointed an acting Taotai in Honan.
[Here follows a long list of movements in the service.]
(3 & 4) Memorials from the Censorate, on which the Edict of July 29th is based, on recommendations by officers at Peking of posthumous titles on behalf of deceased fellow-townsmen in the Provinces.
(5) Also from the Censorate, recommends a posthumous title for Kao Yen-chi, who died defending Lung-an Hsien in Kuangsi. -- Rescript : Recorded.
August 11th.--Yung-yü 榮毓 and his colleague in charge of the Eastern Tombs report the damage caused by a tremendous storm on 6th July, which uprooted trees and did other mischief. -- Rescript: Will consider the subject.
(2) From the same, reporting the changes caused by a death vacancy.
(3) Censor Têng Ch'ing-lin 鄧慶麟 memorialises. A rigid observance of established law, and a provisional departure from it, allternate with each other as guides of policy. Since the tide of war turned in our favour extraordinary powers have been taken for the purpose of pacifying the country. At present rebels taken alive are summarily executed on the spot. The doctrine of the Code, that a rebellious people must be put down by severe punishments, is one suited only for- emergencies and not as a permanency. In 1869, the Censor Yüan Fang-ch'êng suggested that the old course of law should be followed in the quieted provinces, viz : that the decision of the Local Authorities be revised by the High Authorities, and this was approved by the Throne. Tsêng-kwo-fan, however, then Viceroy of Chihli, in fear lest the embers of rebellion might rekindle, prayed that the summary procedure might still be continued in his province and in Shantung and Honan, hoping to cope thus with the remnants of rebel bands and disbanded braves. This was manifestly a mere temporary expedient. Some years have elapsed since it was first put in force, and many are the cases of summary execution, and rebels and banditti of every sort have been gradually swept off. At that time it was natural that stringent measures should be taken, in view of the anxiety of men's minds; now, however, after the long peace, a change is demanded in favour of the sacredness of human life. The memorialist has read with reverence the Imperial Edict which directed "that the old course of "law should be reverted to when the " banditti had been finally defeated," and looking up beholds the benevolence of the Sacred Heart, which still remembered mercy in the midst of severity. The numerous Courts through which a capital case has to pass, with the final reference to the Throne, effectually provide for a thorough investigation, but the summary infliction of death even though the sufferers are really rebels or bandits, may often be pronounced in the absence of proof personal or material, on a simple accusation in the Courts of First Instance, without waiting for the chance that the evidence may be upset on a rehearing in a higher Court. In the memorialist's opinion this may be made an instrument for carrying out revenge. It behoves us to take double precaution, that the dead may nob be embittered, while the living may take warning : -- the Imperial Benevolence will be shown forth, and Heaven's peace be drawn down by foregoing punishment, even when due. The Imperial Will is prayed as to whether an immediate return to the old procedure may take place, or whether a modification may be introduced by which a capital case may be re-heard at the Provincial Capital. -- Rescript : Recorded.
Aug. 12. --Edict. Censor Hsü T'ing- Kuei (許廷桂) pray's that the Board of Revenue may be directed to choose high officers for a certain purpose. He points out that, on the return of the country to peace, it is proper that the taxation should revert to its old footing, and that all military expenditure be carefully examined, and for this purpose high officials should be selected to make an investigation. The memorial is aimed at a repression of abuses. We direct the High Officials to select several officers of standing and experience, who shall report to us on the Ground-tax, subsidy to other Provinces, Likin, and Grain Tribute (in kind and money) paid by each Province, that the people may be gradually relieved of what is illegal. Also, that careful and experienced officers be told off to scrutinise the military accounts, reporting against all irregularities, and all factitious arrangements for increasing the number of the receivers of pay, and denouncing all other faults without fear or favour. Respect this.
(2) Censor Têng Ch'ing-lin recommends a posthumous title to Ho Wei-Chih, a fellowtownsman of his, who died with his family at P'ing-yang Fu in Shansi. -- Rescript ; Recorded.
(3) From the same. [This is the Memorial quoted in the Edict of 31st July.]
Aug. 13th. -- Edicts (I) and (2) appoint High Commissions for hearing two appeals to the Throne.
(3) Shao Hêng-yü, Governor of Shansi, prays that the Magistrate of An-k'ang Hsien, K'ung Fan-chun 孔煩準, may be temporarily deprived of official rank for his better examination [scil. torture.] This necessity occurs in the investigation of au Appeal case to- the Throne, (already reported.) Shao was named one of the High Commission to hear the case.
Aug. 14th. -- Mao Ching-hsi and Ts'a- Lêng-ah are appointed to report on the repairs necessary at the Western Tombs.
Edicts (2) and (3) appoint Literary Examiners for Kiangnan and Shen-si.
(4) Shên Yê-chien 單懋謙 prays to be relieved of office on account of his many ailments. He has frequently had sick leave, but now gives up hope of speedy recovery. -- Rescript ; Recorded.
(5) Hsü Chên-wei, 許振.緯 Literary Examiner of Shen-si and Kan-su, makes his report on the latter Province. He says Shensi was in a pitiable state indeed, but this is much worse. No examination has taken place for twelve years, the population is less than a tenth of its former numbers, the candidates are reduced from two or three hundred to a few dozen. The effects of the struggle still survive in hatred between the Chinese and Mohammedans, but he does not despair of the Book of Poetry having its due mollifying effect. The Mohammedans should have literary gentlemen to lead and guide them. A few such should be posted in Uroumtsi aud Barkoul, which are several thousand li away beyond the Shamo Desert. -- Rescript : Noted.
Aug. 15th.-- Edict (1) Ming-an 銘安 Lieutenant-Governor of Sheng-king, has memorialized for a high official to be appointed to hear a case involving capital punishment, between a widow Liu (née Li) and a dismissed official. Widow Liu accused the official Ch'i-shan (a Manchu military officer) of having caused her husband's death by unnecessary restraint. When Ming-an had nominated a judge to hear the case, Ch'i-shan remonstrated against the officer named, as likely to be partial. Tu Hsing-ah, Military-Governor of Sheng-king then deputed a judge, and when the widow heard who he was, she denounced him too as prejudiced. We therefore direct Kuang-hsiao 廣孝 to proceed there post-haste, hear and determine the case on its merits and report to us. Let Kuang-hsiao's personal staff accompany him.
(2) The post of Chief Vice-President of the Board of Works will be temporarily filled by Yin Chao-yung, during the absence of Liu Yu-ming, yesterday appointed Literary Examiner of Kiangnan.
(3) Ch'ing-lin 慶林 is continued in his post as Superintendent of the Imperial Factory at Nanking.
(4) Ch'ing-lin (the above-named) reminds the Throne that on the completion of the Bridal Trousseau he recommended to the Throne for promotion to the 5th grade two officers in recognition of their exertions, and this was approved. The Board of Civil Office has* since written to enquire what grade these gentlemen belonged to in the first instance ; an important point, as advancement beyond two grades at a step was contrary to established rule. It appears that the officers in question were of the 8th grade, and that the recommendation was wrong. It is prayed that the proper correction may be made. -- Rescript: Granted. Let the Board take note.
(5) From Tu Hsing-ah. This was the occasion of the Edict of August 3rd, by which the sub-prefect of Ch'ang-tu-ring was allowed to perform official duties in his mourning robes. The officer in question, Chang Ting-yung, cannot be replaced, BO zealous and capable has he proved himself.
August 16th. -- Wang-po 王漙 reports having taken over the seals as Acting Judge of Shansi, on 11th July. Is overwhelmed at this mark of Imperial favour. -- Rescript : Noted.
(2) Pao Yüan-shen, Governor of Shansi, reports the retirement into mourning of the Treasurer Li Ch'ing-ao, and the return of Judge Chiang, who will act in Li's place ; the appointment of Taot'ai Wang-po to act as Judge, and consequent changes below that rank. -- Rescript : Noted.
(3) Contains the thanks of Judge Chiang I-hsio 蔣疑學 for the post of Acting Treasurer of Shansi. -- Rescript : Noted.
(4) Censor Shen-chun, 沈准 on the Shen-si department of the Censorate, reports that a Chu-shih in the Kwang-tung department of the Board of Revenue, named Yang Hung-tien, is living in the style of an officer of far higher rank, and that rumour has it that he has several myriads of taels got by bribery. Yang came to Peking, during the last Emperor's reign, a poor scholar. As immense sums pass through the Board's hands, this looks suspicious and deserves enquiry. -- Rescript : Recorded.
Aug. 17.-- Na-jên 訥仁, an Under- Secretary of the Grand Secretariat, reports himself on his return from inspecting the Western Tombs.
Pao Yüen-shên, Governor of Shansi, reports several official changes. -- Rescript ; Noted.
(2) Tê-shou , 德寿 in handing over charge of the Imperial Factory at Soochow to the new Superintendent Yü-hsiu 毓秀, gives a statement of the balances in those accounts which are still open : -- viz: --
Coronation account Tls, 11,044
Current expenses account , , 21, 717
Wages account ,, 532
Current season's work account ... ,, 2,197
Ordinary account ,, 32,782
Trousseau account ,, 1,205
Received from Kiangsu Treasurer 52,042
Estimate of cost and transport of the Vermilion, Grass-cloth, and Embroidery and other threads at current rates. Tls. 104,805
(3) Yü-hsiu reports having assumed charge (as above).
(4) From Pao Yüan-shên, Governor of Shansi, reports that things will be in readiness for the Chü-jên examinations this year. -- Rescript ; Let the Board take note.
Aug. 18th. -- Edict (1.) Li Hung-chang has addressed to us a memorial stating that the River Yung-ting has filled its channel, reporting for punishment the officials who were engaged on the works, and requesting the appropriate discipline on himself. He states that much rain fell for several weeks in succession this year, and the waters in river and lake rose to an unwonted height. The officers responsible worked day and night to avert danger by opening and shutting sluices and strengthening works. On the 4th and 5th July the rain came down in bucketsful and it became utterly impossible to do anything ; the river overflowed in several places. Li Hung-chang last year reported that he had caged the dragon, and it is therefore an inexcusable fault that, in so short a time afterwards, even allowing several weeks' rain, the river should have broken out. We direct that Chu-tsin, Wang Jên- pao (Magistrate of Ku-an, where the chief damage is) and Li Ch'ao-wei (Superintendent of the Yungting channel) be severally deprived of office, while directed to remain at their old posts, to try and redeem their reputation. The Board is directed to consider on the mode of dealing with Li Hung-chang himself.
(2) Li Hung-chang, on the application of the gentry, proposes a shrine, subsidiary to that dedicated to Sankolinsin, in honour of the then Viceroy of Chili, Ching Hung, who seconded the General's efforts in recovering the Province. We accord this.
(3) Appoints a High Commission to hear an appeal case.
(4) Li Hung-chang, Viceroy of Chihli, presents on his knees a Memorial, in obedience to the Imperial Will, on a permanent scheme based on the present condition of the Yellow River and Grand Canal, and, reverently looking up, prays for the Sacred Glance thereon. Your Minister is in receipt of a despatch from the Grand Council of date 27th February, by which he understands that the members of the Grand Council, the Six Boards and the Nine Ministers are called on by Imperial edict to consider suggestions by Ch'iao Sung-nien, Superintendent of the Yellow River, Wen-pin, Grain Transport Superintendent, Ting Pao-chên, Governor of Shantung, and also censor Yu Po-ch'uan, on this subject. At the sight of this instance of Imperial anxiety to attain to the truth, he is unspeakably affected by reverent awe. Your Minister has from his earliest years been a frequent traveller northwards and southwards ; and since he led the forces against the rebels, has had many occasions for visiting the Yellow River and Grand Canal, especially in forming a cordon round the insurgent troops. Though he has not made special study of rivers, yet his personal inspection, his great travels to and fro, his experience in affairs and in sifting suggestions placed before him, enable him slightly to form an opinion. On knowing the Imperial Desire, he despatched able and painstaking officers to the several points, to collect materials for an exhaustive report to his Sovereign.
Any scheme for managing a river must assuredly be based on the four considerations advanced by Prince Kung and his colleagues, viz : the lie of the land, the laws of water, the labour at disposal, and the amount of danger to be averted. Of these the most important is the power and direction, of the water-pressure. The breach at T'ung-wa-hsiang is about ten li wide, and the newly excavated channel is more than thirty feet deep at the dry season. The bottom of the ancient channel is from twenty to thirty feet above the surface of the full river outside and below the breach, and the old channel must be scooped out 30 feet deeper than it is before the water can again be turned eastward. During Kien Lung's reign the cost to the Treasury was twenty millions and more of Taels. A Grand Secretary, Kung A-kuei, then memorialized the Throne that it would be impossible to find appliances to deepen the channel beyond the depth then accomplished, namely 16 feet ; how would it be possible to deepen it now to 30 feet and more ? That the orifice of ten li wide can be closed, is a figment of the imagination. The breaches made previously during the present dynasty have never exceeded three or four thousand feet in width, yet the repairs to these would constantly give way, never lasting for many years ; how can we curb the water now to any purpose ? The level of the old bed from Lan-i down to Hsü-chow and Huai-an is now between thirty and forty feet above that of the surrounding country, being increased by sand-dunes, and consolidated by lapse of time, -- and it now forms the refuge of the inhabitants from floods, and is covered with villages and cultivated fields. To excavate that for a body of water thirty feet deep which would flow thirty feet above the land on either side would be to court inevitable danger, as anyone with eyes may see. Further, portions are affected by want of moisture during so many years, and during the excavation would be sure to escape notice ; and these, when the upper waters were let in would give way, and make an outlet still worse to mend. Were the plan followed of filling the Grand Canal by the Yellow River water turned Northwards, still some portion of the water must necessarily go South to fill the channel at Tsing-kiang- p'u. Your Minister finds that, in Kia- hing's reign, the bed at the latter point had so silted up that the sluice-gates could not be opened for the grain tribute to pass, while the Yellow River was full in the Summer. The next reign this was the case throughout the year, and the experiment was tried of tapping the Yellow River at Yiian-pu, letting the water into the lakes as reservoirs. The beds of these lakes then got silted up also, and proved of no use for filling the Canal when it was low. The consequence was that frequent recommendations were made to adopt the sea route. The state of the River and Canal was so dangerous that no one could guarantee the state of things for a day. During the close of the Ming Dynasty, and the commencement of the present one, the clear stream of the River Huai was used to scour out the Yellow River channel, and it proved of value for a time ; but subsequently two rivers in one bed appeared likely to bring Heaven, Earth and Man to extremity. Now even if the current were turned to its old course it would not benefit the Canal much, and even if there were any benefit to the Canal, it would be fortunate if no disadvantage accrued otherwise. Your Minister has reverently perused the Edict of Tao-kuang, 5th day of 12th moon of 8th year, in which the words occur : " As to the region where the Yellow River is embanked, the River has for years been filling up its bed ; a token, as experience shows, that a time of unmitigated gloom is close upon us.'' The Sacred Anxiety had grasped the full meaning of it thus early. And if the River were bent to its old course by Hsü-chow and Huai-an, no real benefit would accrue to the transport of the grain Tribute either.
On this proposal by Chiao Sung-nien, of feeding the Canal by the Yellow River, Your Minister would point out that the silting at Tsing Kiang-p'u has arisen from that very plan. In the 23rd year of Kien- lung, the River Superintendent Po stated : "To lead the waters of the Yellow River, laden with mud and sand, into the Canal, would only hasten the fiUing-up of the latter, and is a plan to be adopted only at the very last extremity." In the 16th year of Kia-k'ing the River Superintendent Ch'ên wrote : "The forwarding of the Grain Tribute has been facilitated to the detriment of the Canal. It would be better temporarily to dredge the Canal and cross the River by ferry, than again to turn the Yellow River into the Canal." In Taokuang, 5th year, at the great flooding of the lakes, the Nan- king Viceroy Sun and others suggested this plan of using the Yellow River, and after a few seasons the silting became evident in various ways * * *, -- a proof of its unsatisfactory character. The Sacred Instructions which successive Emperors have deigned to bestow are clear and irrefragable, -- past events have come back as a wheel, and those Instructions remain eternally pertinent. The section of the Canal at Chang-ch'iu is only a few changs broad, and the excavated earth on each bank is mountain-high ; -- if the muddy water of the Yellow River were let in here, and curbed and directed by sluices and levees, the water would rise high, and the silting take place at an increased rate, so that daily manual labour could not keep pace with the daily subsidence. The deposit when dredged out and placed on the accumulations of years on each bank would be carried down again by wind and rain to raise the bed, and the sluice gates would be rendered useless. It it impossible to utilise the Yellow River. The Ministers Wan, and Liu, of the Ming Dynasty, did much harm by this very plan. It is as if you inoculated a new disease instead of giving medicine or put down a riot with a licentious soldiery. The subsequent outbursts in the next reign, at T'ung Wa-hsiang and King Lung- k'au, were simply the result of the above. The land at Lin-taing lies lower than Chang-ch'iu by several dozen feet, and Your Minister cannot believe that a permanent preventive of evil can ever be found for that place. At Ho Ohia-ch'ao the works necessary for stopping the gap and raising a levee are still less easy. There was here no breach of bank, but a huge accumulation of debris overtopping bank and all. There is no solid ground to begin upon, no available material to resist the action of the stream, but merely moving sand, which passes through the hand and slips from under the foot. Work done with it would only serve to provoke the wrath of the torrent, would be swept away to make obstruction lower down, and would be very expensive, -- of no permanent use, but a source of danger. A leak would open into the Canal at another place, the Chaing-ch'iu portion get no benefit, -- and the whole labour be thrown away. The scheme of Sub-Prefect Chiang Tso- chin for diverting the Wei into the Canal, is prompted by the desire of supplying the Canal with clear water north of Chang- ch'iu ; but he forgets that, to do that, an old choked-up bed of the Yellow River must be crossed south of Yuan-tsim-chi, a work of great labour, and also that if the River Huai further south was unable to overmaster the turbidity of the Yellow River, much less could the gentler shallower Wei. His idea was suggested by the successful turning of the T'ai-shan westerly waters into the Canal [accomplished in 1376 by Sung-li, Emperor of the Ming Dynasty] ; but he omits to consider that those streams numbered 180,. draining 16 magistracies, and fed by abundant springs, altogether amply sufficing for the purposes of the Canal ; -- while the Wei is a feeble stream, whose natural outfall to the North would have to be turned South- wards. How can we divide it and turn the different portions different ways, as would be necessary? Again, it is at ordinary times not deep enough for navigation, but in flood it is very turbid. Were we to narrow its course by sluices, these would be broken down by the autumn freshets, and the newly-cut-channel be silted up. Even did neither happen, the salt from the North, the grain from Honan, and all the ordinary traffic would be at the mercy of these sluices -- which shows it to be quite impracticable. If the salt from the North has to change its course at Lin-tsing into the Canal, the salt supply of three Provinces will bethrown into confusion. If other streams were diverted to increase the current of the Wei, and these proved muddy, further disasters would ensue. The old saying runs "The people of Yü-chow 豫 have much cause for fear." [This is the name of the K'ai-fung-foo and neighbouring districts, in the Shu-king.] In fact, every device will end as abortively as that in the South at Tsing-kiang-p'u. The Yellow River and the Wei plans are alike impracticable the labour necessary is not at our disposal.
The melancholy results depicted by Governor Ting as to the Revenue, the water-way, the cities, and the salt interest of Shantung, following on the impossibility of restoring the Huai and the Yellow River to their old courses, are indeed inevitable.
On the Ta-ts'ing River, your minister has to observe that its original channel was a few dozen feet broad. Now from Tung-a-yü Shan down to Li-tsin, the bed has been burrowed out to the breadth of half a li. At the dry season the water is 20 to 30 feet deep, with banks 20 or 30 feet above that. That the bed should contain nine or ten fathoms of water during the fury of the floods when man's strength is worthless, is a circumstance that does not often occur even in answer to prayer. At present the north bank from Ch'i-ho to Li-tsin, and the south bank at Ch'i-tung and P'u-t'ai, are protected by a continuous line of embankments. These are not much more than a dozen feet high, yet are pronounced by the country folk as enough to restrain all but a few feet of the highest floods, and that surplus water they can cope with, -- also that no breaches have taken place.
The streams flowing Easterly have been guarded at important points, and no great damage follows the season's rise and fall. The authorities and people of the cities from Ch'i-ho down to P'u-t'ai have been able for 19 years to avert danger ; if they can continue so, well and good, other* wise the cities must be moved elsewhere. We can consider that when the time comes ; a precipitate removal would be unacceptable to the people. It is only Chün-ch'eng 鄆城 that needs such a measure, as that is situated on a very low level, and is submerged hopelessly.
The salt interests of Shantung unfavourably affected by the action of the Yellow River, have been cared for by the Governor of the Province. The salt stranded on its way South to Honan has been helped to its destination, and no actual salt-famine has occurred, though the price rose.
That absolutely no damage is caused by the Yellow River taking its present course through Shantung cannot be asserted : -- still the local officers may manage to avert any great calamity. In the 18th year of Kien-lung; a breach occurred near Hsü- chow, and as it could not be stopped, the Board-President Sun advocated the diversion of the whole River northwards into the Ta-tsing River (its present course). Again in the 46th year of Kien-lung, after repeated failure of the works at Lan-yang, the same views were put forward by the Grand Secretary Chi-huang, and very many others. Then the River had not turned North, as they proposed to bring about ; and now for us to wish to turn it South again would be to run counter to the manifest tendency of the stream. Tour Minister has reverently perused the following passage in an Edict of the 16th year of Kia-hing :-- "The Yellow River in the South has of recent years silted up its channel, and all the expense of many years, to the amount of thirty million taels, and all the labour has been absolutely fruitless. A new outlay of several tens of millions is in prospect. How can the Treasury endure such a drain?" While the river went South, it cost yearly between seven and eight million taels, and that is more than the official salaries, military expenses, and usual deficit of taxes [that the district would cost the Treasury supposing it to be inhabited]." It was indeed a bottomless gulf, -- since the combined exertions of the whole empire could not cope with the deposit and the vagaries of the stream so as to ensure safety. But now the River has run North for twenty years and no great disaster has happened nor any great expense been incurred, -- very fortunate as compared with past generations. The capital and its neighbourhood, too, have been very prosperous. Since the 5th year of Hien-feng, when the great breach took place at T'ung- wa-hsiang, rebels have given Honan and the south of Shantung scarcely a day's peace ; yet they never set foot across the River, which thus served as a bulwark and saved much work to the armies,-- a further fortune of the Imperial Domain which will be a wonder to all the ages. The comparison will stand with truth, -- as thus : The River runs North, is not very useful, and its damages are slight. The River runs South, is of great value, and its damages are tremendous.
The two cases -- the River and the Canal -- have hitherto been dealt with jointly as one, to the injury of both without permanent effect. At the commencement of the Ming Dynasty the turning south of the River first rendered the Canal serviceable as a continuous grain-route. There is no continuity possible now that the River has turned North. It is impossible to benefit one and the other at the same time. The Saying runs "At the last extremity change your tactics ; the change must do good," -- and this is applicable now. We must start with treating the River as a river, the Canal as a canal. All our action with regard to the Canal must be guided by a caution against taking any old arrangements as a pattern. The two following remarks are decisive : -- If the Canal has water, the grain can come ; if not, not ; -- If you can turn any surplus water southwards for the benefit of that quarter the grain can come ; if not, not.
Up to 1861 the Westerly waters from Tai-shan fed the Canal both North and South of Chang-ch'iu, but after that they poured southwards only, doing great damage to the Canal banks and necessitating a detour on the route of the grain junks by way of the River P'o as far as Pa-li-miao. The Yellow River water had not then reached Chang-ch'iu, and the only method for filling the Canal northwards was by collecting rain-water in tanks, -- a plan which is most temporary in its nature. The plan of using the deposit-bearing Yellow River and dredging out the debris year by year is equally wanting in permanency. To crowd the channel of the Canal with grain junks when dependent on such uncertain supplies, would be a loss not merely of labour alone.
Were we to pursue the system once of old proposed, of following the Yellow River to Li-chin and thence by way of the sea to Tientsin, it would certainly be expeditious ; but boats are not fitted for the Yangtsze, the Canal, and the sea, irrespectively, and the necessary storages at the points of transhipment would be fertile in abuses without honest officers to superintend ; and further, a portage of 200 li and more from Chang-ch'iu to Lin-tsing overland would entail endless expense for carts, bullocks, and the exigencies of weather. Nor at the northern end of this portage could an adequate supply be kept of flat-bottomed boats. This exhausts all the schemes for improving the transport by way of the Canal.
In Your Minister's humble opinion the revenue from Kiangsu and Chekiang is the chief feeder of the Treasury, and the defence of the seaboard is the main point of importance for the integrity of the Empire. Our coast line of several thousand li is traversed by a continuous stream of foreign vessels, for the first time in all the ages, and it is impossible to shut them out now and keep it to ourselves. There is nothing for it, then, but to encourage our own mercantile marine by degrees, and at the same time benefit the Peking Commissariat, by making use of the oceanhighway. The Grain from Kiangsu and Chekiang was already sea-borne, when Your Minister invited some Chinese Merchants to purchase steamers for its conveyance, and this plan has proved somewhat successful. Since the success of our arms, Kiangsi, Kuangtung and Kuangsi have been allowed to commute the Grain tribute for a low money payment, to the great satisfaction of the people. If the Grain tribute were again taken in kind, the transport expenses would be enormous, and would have to be met either by an increased levy from the people -- risking an emeute, or by a drain on Imperial Funds -- which have nothing to spare. It appears therefore right to continue the present commutation, allowing, too, as at present, a discretionary power to the High Provincial Authorities to purchase grain from time to time, and send, it to Shanghai, thence to be forwarded to Tientsin by sea, as the quickest and most convenient route. Should the supply at Peking be found inadequate, more may be purchased with the commutation tribute in the Southern Provinces, directly or through Tientsin merchants, and that without ultimate loss to the Treasury. Your Minister prays that the Board of Revenue may be directed to draw out a permanent scheme in this sense.
Although the Canal cannot be preserved as a continuous route, the Yellow River must not be left out of sight altogether. Our present mode of dealing with it must be according to the saying of the men of old : " Wherever there is water, run up a dyke."
The North Bank above Chang-ch'iu, for 200 li up to Kai-chow, has reliable dykes constructed in ancient times. Below Chang- ch'iu, for the 800 li to its mouth at Li- chin, the North Bank is high and the channel deep. All that is required is for the Governor of Shantung to cause additions to be made from time to time to the dykes made by the local inhabitants.
The Southern Bank from An Shan to the mouth has the Heaven-sent bulwark of the Tai-shan mountains. Above An Shan as far as Tsao-chow Fu, namely 200 li and more, the land lies low. The district was once called the Chü-yay Marsh, 鉅野澤 Sung Dynasty, the Liang-shan Water. From the Sung Dynasty till our own, the locality embracing Tsao-c!iow, Shen-chow, Chü-yay hsien and Chin-hsiang hsien 金鄉, has always been flooded when the River took a burst Northwards, and sometimes many magistracies together have formed a vast sheet of water, confounding in one lake and canal, reaching even to Hsü-chow and Huai-an in the South.
Though the breach at Hou-chia-lin has been well banked, the dykes for a hundred li and more only vary from five to fifteen feet high and cannot be long relied on. A disaster there would involve frightful consequences in Southern Shansi to the waterways, to agriculture, and to the cities. The River too must be expected to go on silting up this its channel northwards, even up to its present mouth. Your Minister therefore prays that the Throne will direct Ting Pao-chên, Governor of Shantung, after the autumn freshets, to furnish an estimate, and funds to meet it, for raising the local constructions to a uniform height and breadth with Government dykes. If it were possible to construct a continuous line of defences as far as Tsao-chow, throwing the responsibility of their custody on the authorities of Southern Shansi, a permanent benefit would accrue. The claims for relaxation of grain tribute deserve to be looked into in the pitiable case of the dozen or so magistracies which have been submerged for ten years and more. The Salt interests (i.e. of the producers and carriers) on the seaboard will require consideration and assistance from time to time.
The breach at Tung-wa-hsiang is some ten lif wide, and there is some danger of the River scooping out a channel to the Eastward unlescs precaution is taken. It has indeed formed for itself a bed at present, but that may be overflowed at any high flood, and the next direction taken by the water under those circumstances would he quite problematical. Your Minister would therefore propose that Chiao Sung-nien, the River Superintendent, should be instructed to consider the steps necessary for constructing a second line of dykes to connect with those at Tsaochow in Shan- tung, on the North Bank ; and another second line from An-shan on the South Bank to connect with the old dyke made by the Kin Dynasty, near the breach at Tung-wa-hsiang. These sixty or seventy li would be cheap and easy of construction, untroubled by any floods during work. For only 20 or 30 li of that distance is the river often full, and for only four or five is it dangerous. Within these outworks, enclosing a space half a li (300 yards) broad by twenty feet or so deep, the River might expatiate and deposit mud at its will, without damage, and would be conducted gently, undisturbed by irritating obstacles, down to the Ta-tsing River, and it would have no need to seek a new channel. The land thus occupied would be relieved of ground-rent in proportion to the amount of crops to be sacrificed, actually or prospectively, so that it may not be wholly abandoned. The people will not be greatly afflicted by such an arrangement.
On the old bed towards Hsü-chow and Huai-an, for a distance of four or five hundred miles, the water can never flow again, and the people have occupied it and raise yearly crops of great abundance. Your Minister prays that the Viceroys and Governors of Shantung, Honan and Kiang- su may be directed to select officers to assess this land, else it will escape taxation.
This memorial on the Grand Canal and Yellow River has been drawn up at the Imperial Desire. As to whether it contains anything of value, Your Minister would present it, kneeling, to the Sacred Glance, and await instruction.-- Rescript : Will consider it.
Aug. 19th. -- An Edict amplifying one already issued on the mode in which posthumous honours must be applied for.
Aug. 20th.-- Edict. The Viceroy at Nanking having recommended for a subsidiary shrine, certain officers who fell in defence of that City, this is accorded. Let the Board take note.
Aug. 21st. -- Edict. -- Li Hung-chang having reported certain Magistrates as defaulters to the Treasury to the amount altogether of Tls. 64 800, Black Dates Piculs 90, Rice Piculs 900, &c., We direct that the property belonging to those officers shall be attached, whether the property is at their official residence, or at their native places. The Governors of the respective Provinces to which the defaulters belong, are ordered to take the necessary steps.
Aug. 22nd. -- Edict. -- Shao Hêng-yü has prayed that Liu Shêng-pao, a general in Kan-su, may be allowed to retire into mourning and perform his father's obsequies. Liu cannot at present be dispensed with, but must continue to perform his duties until the country is quite pacified. In the meantime, to wipe away as much as possible the trouble this must cause to the departed shade, We hereby advance the deceased father one step in rank. -- Let the Board take note.
[Here follows a long list of appointments. ] Aug. 21st & 22nd. --Memorial from Liu Kuen-i, Governor of Kiangsi, on taxation, in continuation of a previous memorial. The memorial is occasioned by one from Hu Chia-yu, a chief Censor, who denounced the illegal excess of taxation in Kiangsi, and prayed that it might be reduced to the legal rate. This excess was sanctioned by the Throne, first on the representation of Tsêng Kwo-fan, the then viceroy, and Shên Pao-chên, the then Governor, ten years ago, and several times since. Previous to that time a much larger rate had been levied. The rates then sanctioned are in force now, and it is prayed they may continue so. For every legal tael one mace of tax on uncultivable land, one tael five mace is levied, and this is distributed thus : -- to the Treasurer one candareen, to the Prefect, five candareens, to the magistrate two mace four candareens, -- held for extraordinary disbursements, one mace, total four mace. The latter items include expenses at the triennial and yearly examinations, the autumn circuits, and the prefectural court expenses ; also in forwarding officers and messengers on their way to Peking, and granting extra assistance towards keeping order in thinly-peopled districts if turbulent, and in raising the salaries of writers in the higher Yamêns to the same rate as those in magistrates' offices. An increase is also levied in the commuted grain-tribute of sixty cents, of which two go to the Taotai, five to the Prefect, thirty-three to the magistrate, and twenty to the extraordinary disbursements ; total, 60 cents. The one candareen allotted to the Treasurer is the only item which can be disallowed, and this affords some, though not much, relief to the Taxpayer. [It brought in Tls. 18,786 to the Treasurers pocket !]
The large proportion allotted to the Magistrates is to meet the expenses of collectors, freight, coolie hire, stationery, and fuel. The salaries of these officials are really inadequate, and it is impossible to force them to bear the additional outlay. They would certainly manage to extort an extra amount from the taxpayers, -- it is better therefore to sanction a known increase than to leave the addition to be fixed by their cupidity. Great amelioration has resulted from the working of this plan, in easing the position of the several officers concerned. The increase in the grain tribute of sixty cents is really necessary, for the commutation was fixed at an unfairly low rate. Rice is never as low as One Tael Ninety cents or 2,000 cash per picul, at which the increased commutation now leaves it. And the increase is not compulsory, for any one by paying at the due date may escape it ; thirty cents more is levied after a certain time, and again thirty cents after a further period. This system of demanding payment for time allowance, was in vogue even under the old regime of levy in kind, and indeed there would be no getting the taxes in at all without a penalty of this sort. -- Rescript : The Memorial has been carefully perused, and its tenor is approved, but let there be great care taken to denounce for severe punishment any departure from the approved scale. Let the Board take note. Respect this.
Aug. 23rd.-- Edict (I). -[A very lengthy list of honours and decorations bestowed on those who helped in any way to retake Ta-li-fu and the other cities occupied by the Mahomedan rebels.]
Edict (2). -- Tsai-ch'ien and his colleagues have prayed that a high officer be commissioned to report on the repairs required at the tombs of the Empresses. Yin Chao- yung is directed to perform that service.
Memorial (3). -- The Censorate reports an appeal case from Honan. The origin of the dispute arose from a contested title to valuable mining property, the appellants shewing good deeds from Kienlung's reign, while the other side fabricated documents purporting to be of date under Yung-lo and other Emperors of the Ming dynasty. The latter were exposed and condemned, but by bribery managed to get out of prison and in revenge collected a rabble who destroyed 2,000 trees on the property, and also killed a nephew of the complainants ; and they have evaded punishment for these acts hitherto for the last four years, -- also by means of bribery. -- Rescript: Recorded.
Memorial (4). -- From the same. Another appeal case. The father of the complainant incurred the wrath of some underlings in the Yamên of the magistrate at Chien-shih, because he had denounced them for forging and using for corrupt purposes an official seal. Friends of the latter by name Hsiang and Huang then dressed up in officers uniform, and collected some hundreds of followers, whom they furnished with red turbans, swords, spears and some light cannon, and sacked and ruined the homestead of the complainants, destroying , every thing in the place, and killing father, cousin, and uncle. Four years have since elapsed in fruitless efforts to obtain justice, as neither the Magistrate nor Prefect will attend to the orders of the Governor or Judge of the province. Rescript : Recorded.
August 24th. -- Prince Tun and others return their thanks for a present of Birdsnests.
Edict (1) Let the Board of Punishment consider and report on the memorial of Vice-President Usia Tung-shan, advising that the rate of punishment pronounced on robbers be altered to the old-established law.
(2) Memorial from Censor Hsü Ting- Kuei, recommending revision of taxation throughout the Empire. [This is quoted fully in the Edict based on it which appeared on 12th August.]
(3) The Governor of Yünnan recommends a special shrine for the father and mother of General Ho Yao-tsêng. The General remained at his post for ten years after his mother's death, and, though broken-hearted, would not allow his natural feelings sway until the province was recovered. The mother had committed suicide during the advance of the rebel troops. The Governor will see to the repair of all the old shrines granted for, distinguished service. -- Rescript: Will consider.
(4) From the same. Records movements in the service. -- Rescript : Recorded.
August 25th. -- Edict. -- Pao Yüan-shên, Governor of Shansi, reports the attainment by Hsü Chi-yü, lately Chief of the T'ai-p'o- ssŭ (Department of State) of the sixtieth anniversary from the passing of his Chü- jên degree, and prays leave to give the usual feast in honour of the occasion. This gentleman passed his Doctor's degree (Chin-shih) very early in life, then while in the Hanlin College was raised to the rank of a Governor of a Province, and finally attained the post from which he but recently retired. He is hereby advanced to the grade of 1st Button, and the feast prayed for is allowed to take place.
(2) Two Memorials from the Governor of Yunnan in favour of posthumous honours to various officers.
Aug. 26th. -- Edict making two appointments in the Board of Revenue.
(2) Four Memorials from the High Authorities of Yunnan and Kweichow requesting bestowal of various honours, and other routine matters.
Aug. 27th.-- Edict.-- Hsü Kang-shên is appointed Acting Chief of the Kuang-lu- ssŭ.
(2) Memorial from Wên-t'ien 文銛 announcing his taking the seals of Office as Hoppo of Canton.
(3) From Pao-sun 寶珣 asking a month's extension of time for reach- ing his post. He caught a fever from a wetting he got in journeying through Chihli, but struggled on as far as Shansi, where he is now detained.
(4) From Shao Hêng-yü, Governor of Shansi. He states that some answers to prayer have been accorded by the Kuan- yin Temple at Yao-chow, and prays for Imperial recognition of the fact. -- Rescript: Under consideration.
Aug. 28th. -- Edict. Records sundry promotions for service in the late successful campaigns.
(2) The Censorate reports an appeal from Kuang-si. The Appellants are Mo Lan-sên, Chou Hsio-mêng and Tsêng Kuang-hua. At Kan- tan-chow a man named Mo Yung-hsi 莫 and his son conducted a raid on the appellant Mo's property, killing and spoliating. As the ringleader could not be caught, his wife and eldest son were beheaded by the Governor's orders. Mo Yung-hsi then fled to Ssŭ- ch'êng, a neighbouring town, and there mustering some members of a secret society to the number of several thousand, led them next spring to Nan-tan and there occupied a hill over against the town, and proceeded to appropriate a great part of appellant Mo's property-- viz : six hamlets and the land adjoining. Appellant moved thirty li off, to another part of his property, but was even there molested, his farm servants frightened away, 37 of his bullocks and three horses being carried off; and finally during the next winter appellant's uncle carried off the whole of his stock including 13,000 piculs of rice. Mo Yung-hsi then brought down a band of Miao-tzŭ to prevent investigation in Court. These filibusters have been able to thwart justice by wholesale bribery, notwithstanding orders from the high authorities, and even the detachment of a body of soldiers to drive them away. Appellant Chou tells a similar tale. -- Rescript : Recorded.
Aug. 29 th. -- Edict. (I) A list of promotions.
(2) Wu T'ang Governor of Sse-chuan, addressed the throne sometime ago asking for an investigation into his conduct, which was aspersed by one Li Hsüan-hai, whom he had dismissed from the post of Magistrate at T'ung-chiang Hsien and reduced to expectant rank for want of experience. Li complained that this was done out of personal spite and from no real grounds. Kuei-yü was directed to examine into the charges, and now has presented his report. The charges that Wu T'ang's suite made him presents of food and money on his birthday, and that when he went on circuit his retinue amounted to a thousand in number and enforced contributions to pay his expenses, are pronounced utterly unfounded. The Taotai T'an Show-ling, is not Wu T'ang’s private Secretary, and was recommended to the Throne for promotion on account of his activity in. forwarding funds to Kueichow, not by Wu T'ang, but by Tsêng Pi-kuang, Governor of Kueichow. On the statements that Prefect Chang Tung had demanded money for himself and Taotai T'an before a certain matter could be done, in proof of which Li propounded two letters, and that Chang Tung had told Li to give Wu T'ang Tls. 2,000, Li himself was examined and he confessed they were baseless. He entered a formal retractation of the charges, and stated that he had always been subject to affections of the head; that his secretary, Pei Shih-p'ei, from the same part of the country, had put him up to making these accusations in the hope of getting back his post, and had fabricated the pretended letters to be used as proofs ; and that Pei had absconded. -- We direct Li to be degraded and dismissed from official employment for ever, and to be kept under strict surveillance in his native place. Pei Shih-p'ei must be strictly searched for and dealt with according to law. -- Kuei Yü in a further memorial states that the number of officers in Sse-chuan who are dangling about waiting for vacancies is very great. The number may be reduced by ordering some to seek for employment elsewhere, -- such as those who came originally as private secretaries, those who purchased rank without indicating the Province they wished to serve in, and those who already have a relative in that Province. Wu T'ang is hereby directed to appoint a period within which all such must leave the Province, and to see that none evade his order either by hiding away or Inventing plausible excuses. Let the Board take note. -- Respect this.
Edicts (3) & (4) appoint High Commissions to hear appeals.
(5) Memorial from Ch'iao Sung-nien, superintendent of the Yellow River. He reports that the River was low after the Spring freshets ; yet not knowing what might happen he took occasion to strengthen the banks, and it was well he did so, for on the 5th July the River rose 3 feet 2, on the 11th 3 feet 5, on the 15th 3 feet 9 : total ten feet and one-tenth. The Hsin 沁 River also rose a total of nearly six feet. Though it rained badly after the 10th July -- more severely than last year-- the works have passed the ordeal safely. It is impossible to say whether next year we may be as fortunate; the local officers have been urged to ceaseless care. -- Rescript : Noted.
(6) Chang Ying, Judge (with Treasurer's rank) of Kuangsi, reports having taken over the seals of office. Rescript : Noted.
(7) An appeal case from the Censorate. This, like the Memorial of the 28th Aug. is occasioned by the filibuster Mo Yung-hsi. The appellant Liu Cheng-pong states that his wife had been carried off by Mo on one of his raids) -- that his brother was just about to take home a lady as his bride in 1868, when Mo came by and snatched her off to be his concubine No. 16, -- that the appellant's wife made her escape and got back to his house last year, and thereupon Mo came with a strong body of picked men and ravaged the place at dead of night. All the inhabitants dispersed in fright, and many have not been seen since. Liu's father, a man of 80, received five wounds -- the marks of which are evidence. No justice has been obtained from the High Provincial authorities. -- Rescript : Recorded.
August 30th. -- Censor Têng Ch'ing-lin had Audience this day on his appointment as Prefect for an early vacancy. [It was he who was snubbed for his memorial on 31st July, upon the accumulation of undecided cases in Moukden and Kirin. Late memorials of his appeared on the 11th and 12th August.]
(2) Edict. Yi-jung, 奕榕, Manchu Military Governor of, Kirin, and this colleagues, report a disastrous fire in the 5th moon which distroyed the city of Alchuku, in that district. Seven thousand odd buildings were burnt down, including the Yamêns, prisons and Bannermen's quarters. Eight lives were lost. The Governing Body is directed to make good in full all the losses sustained by the people. Certain officers who failed to take measures to prevent the fire, and who were remiss in checking its spread, are handed over to the Board for punishment and are also ordered to find means to rebuild the public establishments.
(3) (4) and (5) Edict appointing Literary Examiners for Honan, Shantung and Shansi.
The Grand Council was verbally informed by H. I. M. that the ordinary Court Ceremonies would be dispensed with on the 2nd and 3rd September.
(6) Memorial. -- From Li Hung-chang on the floods from the Yung-ting. This was quoted in the Edict of the 18th August.
(7) From the same, also quoted in an Edict of the 18th August, granting posthumous honour to a former Viceroy of Chihli.
Aug. 31st -- Memorials 1 and 2. -- The newly arrived Brigadier at Chusan announces the date of his taking over seals of office, and returns thanks for the appointment. -- Rescript : Noted.
(3) the Viceroy of Fuhkien and Chekiang recommends an officer for a vacant military post. -- Rescript : Let the Board report on this.
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