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02: February

Feb. 1st. -- His Majesty announces that, on the fifth day of third month (April 1st), in compliance with the expressed wishes of the two Empresses, He will set out for the following purposes. On the 8th reverently to worship at the Tung-ling tomb; on the 9th, the festival of Tsing-ming, to perform the ceremony of heaping earth upon the Ting-ling tomb. Thence he will proceed to the Lung-gau-teen temple, to offer the great sacrifices to the dead, and thus respectfully announce to them the ardent affection of their child. These ceremonies ended. His Majesty will return to the Palace on the 12th. His Majesty commands each Tamen reverently and diligently to arrange beforehand, and according to established law, the various ceremonies proper to these occasions, and to make all necessary preparations. Respect this.

Feb. 3rd. -- An edict is issued conferring the appointment of Viceroy of the Two Keang upon Le Tsung-he, and commanding His Excellency to arrange and regulate all mercantile transactions t His Excellency is ordered to repair immediately to his new appointment, there being no necessity for him to come to Peking for instructions. Respect this.

Feb. 5th. -- The Emperor issues the following Edict. Chang Shoo-shing petitions us, especially advising against the employment of inefficient officials. He informs against the expectant Che-foo of Keang-soo named Fang Kang-tseuen, and others, five in number, all of whom we order to be deposed from office. Amongst these, however, is Ten Yung-kiai, the District Magistrate of Keang-yen-heen, whose constitution is weak, and he therefore can hardly be expected to use much exertion. This officer's literary attainments are nevertheless excellent; and We therefore, while ordering him to vacate his present post in order to add weight to official rank, require him to send in his name to the proper Board, in order that he may receive an appointment as Public Instructor. For the rest, we order that the terms of the petition be granted. The case has been notified to the proper Board. Respect this.

(2) An Imperial Edict is issued to the following effect.

Chang Shoo-shing petitions with reference to certain Volunteers who have made a pretext to cause disturbance, and prays that the Sergeants of the Cantonments to which they belong may be punished, each according to his guilt.

A Cantonment for instruction in Military exercises has been for some time established


t Between Chinese and foreigners.




at Fung-hwang-shan, within the boundary of Tsing-poo-heen, in the province of Keang-Soo. In the sixth month of the past year, Ho-king the acting Viceroy of the Two Keang, hearing that the Adjutant-General of the Vanguard, named Ghing Tsung-e, and Wang Kin-yuen the Adjutant-General of the Flank Division, were both incapable of managing their troops, immediately deposed them and appointed two other officers in their place. The Volunteers of these two Cantonments hearing that these two officers were deposed forthwith dared, on pretence of talking about rewards due to them, to collect together in a crowd, and to raise a clamour, almost amounting to a mutiny. After this, it appeared on investigation, the four Sergeants, Le Chun-lin and others, connived at the disturbance. Because at the time that the Commander-in-chief of the Cantonments, by name Cheng Hae-aou, resigned his post and returned to his native place, rewards were bestowed upon the soldiers, the present delinquents, following their own inclinations, now demand rewards under false pretences, and even go so far as to excite a disturbance. Assuredly there must have existed an intention to connive at all this.

Although the two deposed officers were not guilty of the crime of deducting from the soldiers' allowances, yet, from the time of their vacating their posts, the petty officers and volunteers under their command assembled in crowds to extort money. All this trouble has arisen from an inability to control their soldiers on ordinary occasions, and both officers are alike guilty in this respect. We command that both be degraded to the rank of Tsan-tsiang ; and that the four sergeants Le Chun-lin, Ching Tsung-jin, Ching Kea-tsai, and Le Kin-tae be deprived of their rank. Le Kin-tae, however, in originating the disturbance and in making a pretext for extortion, is guiltier than the others, and we therefore command that he be sent to Hih-lung-keang, to fill the office of an official suffering punishment, in order to assert the dignity of Military law. Let the others be dealt with in accordance with the terms of the ^petition. The proper Board is acquainted with the case. Respect this.

(3.) The statesman Tih-hwan (Prince Shun-ts'ing) humbly petitions with regard to the Imperial Records. It is essential that a Record should now be compiled of past reigns, in order to manifest obedience to the law, and to preserve a register of the successive transactions of previous Emperors. I respectfully write this present document, stating the matter clearly; and looking up, I pray your Majesty to deign to glance at it.

I have reverently read the Preface to the Record made by the Benevolent Ancestor and Intelligent Emperor, t and I find there that in the 23rd year of the reign of Kang-he, that Emperor gave orders that a Record of the Ta-tsing Dynasty should be composed. The Ancestor of Ages and Magisterial Emperor Tung-ching, in the second year of his reign made important additions to that Record. In the 12th year of Keen-lung, the preceding additions to these Records not being sufficiently clear, an Imperial Edict was issued to separate distinctly and classify each event. In the sixth year of K3a-king, that Emperor granted the petition of the Censor Leang Shang-kwo and deputed a high official to open an office and revise the Records. These Records terminate with the 17th year of the Emperor Kea-king, and the transactions of the 60 years which have elapsed to the present time have not yet been recorded.

I respectfully consider that the sacred virtues, the divine merits, and the perfect knowledge both of Civil and Military affairs which characterized the Emperors Kea-king, Taou-kwang, and Heen-fung, also adorn the character of the Empress-Mother, who for 12 years listened to the discussion of the affairs of State from within the screen; and whose excellent regulations, and vast virtue, have established peace within the four seas. All Her Majesty's plans and regulations should be accurately and successively recorded. Tour Majesty, being now about to ascend the throne, may with propriety record in succession the virtuous deeds of previous Emperors, and for that purpose appoint a high official to open an office and to make a Record, in order to display especial State transactions. We can thus accurately record in succession the most important decisions of former Emperors, which is the subject of my present petition to your Majesty. Whether the matter can be accomplished or not, I humbly leave to the decision of the Empress-Mother and your Majesty.

Feb. 7th. -- Ying-yuen petitions the Emperor for his decision with regard to a man who killed his cousin with a spear, in a quarrel which arose about the building of an embankment to divert a water-course

* These records are composed at the completion of each cycle of 60 years. 

t Kea-king, father of Taou-kwang.




from a field. -- Also, with regard to the case of a person who killed the younger brother of a literary student. The murderer quarrelled with the deceased in consequence of the latter refusing to allow a stream of water to be diverted from his own land to that of the former.

Feb. 8th. -- Chang-gan, a member of the Board of Punishments, petitions that as his leave of absence has now expired, and he is not yet restored to health, a still longer term of exemption from his duties may be allowed him. His Majesty grants the petitioner a further leave of absence to nurse himself.

(2) Woo Hung-gan, a member of the Board of Censors controlling the affairs of the Province of Shan-tung, kneels and petitions, imploring His Majesty's instructions with regard to the proper examination of themes, in order that the dignity of literary attainments may be maintained, and true talent drawn out.

The petitioner sees from the Court Gazette that the Censors Yuen Cheng-yee and Woo Fung-tsao, with Wang Kae-tae the Seun-foo of Foh-keen province, have each addressed the throne with regard to the rigorous prohibition of all underhand practices in the places of public examination, and that they have already received His Majesty's instructions on the subject. Looking up, and contemplating the stimulus given by His Majesty to all literary pursuits, the Petitioner, ever respectfully bearing in mind His Majesty's profoundness of intellect, ventures to suggest that those appointed to select the successful candidates, should unquestionably prohibit all improper practices with the utmost rigour, and that those who inspect the themes should use the greatest care in the performance of their duties.

The Petitioner states that when he became a member of the Han-lin, there were two strict investigations of all themes, by which means he was enabled to ascertain that the number of those candidates who possessed considerable talents was by no means small. Purloined essays, and unmeaning compositions resembling fishes eyes and clouded gems could not, of course, be altogether done away with. Moreover, if any of those candidates whose names appeared on the list of successful competitors at the local examinations in Peking, were either reported by their fellow students as having purloined their themes, or whether detection arose from two themes being exactly alike, in either case a tremendous clamour was always excited. This was reasonable, because the number of vacancies for degrees being limited, all those who succeed in obtaining them by any other means than that of solid merit, do so at the expense of men of learning ; and their subsequent expulsion ia assuredly worse than their not being permitted to enter the examination hall at first. The petitioner therefore considers it his duty to beseech His Majesty to issue stringent orders that future candidates shall all diligently study the meaning of the Classical Books in order to the elucidation of the profound mysteries of the Sages and Worthies. The persons appointed for that purpose should also rigorously examine the themes and make selections from them, utterly rejecting all meaningless and incorrect compositions.

The Petitioner further prays His Majesty to insert all these regulations in the code of laws relating to the management of the Examination Halls, and to command their strict observance, henceforth, in order that all may tremble and obey, and that literary compositions may daily, as incense, ascend higher and higher. The Petitioner adds that whether his stupid and blind suggestions are feasible or not, he humbly leaves to the decision of the Empress-Dowager and His Majesty.

Feb. 8th. -- Woo Hung-gan presents a supplementary petition in reference to the daily increase of robberies in Peking ; the propriety of issuing orders to the officers of the various military stations rigorously to search for all those who shelter the thieves; and the importance of arresting the culprits and thus quieting the minds of the people.

The petitioner has recently heard a rumour that depredations committed by thieves both within and without the city, have latterly been of more frequent occurrence than in former years. Some families have even been plundered twice over, for it has sometimes happened that thieves, because the master of the house attacked has afterwards called in the assistance of others to proceed to arrest them, have in consequence returned and robbed him a second time. The petitioner states that when he received his appointment from the Emperor, on assuming the duties of his new office, he found that the number of thieves arrested at the military stations was exceeding few, in proportion to the number of robberies committed; and that the law which commands that those officials who do not arrest the perpetrators of robberies within a certain period should be reprimanded, had almost become a nullity. Moreover, in the places under the control of the military stations, the soldiers would not patrol and scrutinise each district, so that, consequently, robberies were of frequent occurrence. If then some means be not adopted to put an end to this state of things, how can the peace of orderly families be secured, or the robbers be put down]

The petitioner considers it to be his duty to pray the Emperor to issue orders to the Tung-ling Yamen, and also to the Censors at the five points of the City to give strict orders to their subordinates, diligently to search out and arrest all thieves, without shewing the least mercy. And if, as heretofore, there still be any robbers who have not been brought to justice, or any families who shelter these depredators, let these officials send in accurate information on the subject to their superiors. Further, if the thieves who commit robberies at any of the five points of the City be not arrested within the limit of time assigned for their seizure, then, those who are thus negligent in the performance of their duty should be immediately presented at the Shan-tung Censor's office, in order to be reprimanded according to law. The soldiers of each station should also receive orders thoroughly to patrol every part of their districts, so as to keep each tithing in order, and see that the street gates are kept in proper repair. If they meet with any suspicious looking characters in their rounds, they may at once conclude that there are harbourers of thieves in the neighbourhood, and they should give information of the fact to the proper authorities, in order that stringent precautions may be taken. The officers and gentry at the five points of the City should combine together and lead on the shopkeepers and residents to arrest these thieves, giving their undivided attention to the matter, and not regarding it in the light of an ordinary affair of no consequence. Thus all vestiges of the robbers may be swept away. The petitioner states that his object in presenting this petition, is, secure the arrest of all the culprits referred to: and as to the feasibility of his plans, he humbly awaits the Imperial decision.

Feb. 9th. -- An edict has been issued in reference to the following case. King-leen petitions with regard to an official messenger who has been tried for carelessness in the movement of troops, and he prays His Majesty to punish the offender with severity.

Kwei Hung-yuen, the already degraded Foo-tseang, was sent by the petitioner, in the spring of last year, to reconnoitre the neighbourhood of Sha-shan-tsze, with a view to settling matters there. He did not perform this duty efficiently, but dared to regard his commission merely as a means of obtaining éclat. He wrote a despatch to the Governor-General of Chang-yu-chun, ordering that official to advance his troops, and stating that there was no necessity whatever to give any information about the matter to the Too-tung. The result was, that the troops coming into collision with the enemy, without proper precautions being first taken, were defeated; a most mistaken and blundering affair! This Kwei Hung-yuen has been banished by the Emperor to Hih-lung-keang, to exhaust his strength in hard labour, and all the officers of the various Cantonments along the entire route, have been strictly forbidden to petition for his detention at any station during his journey to that place. Respect this.

(2) An Imperial Edict has been issued relating to a vacancy in the Army caused by the fatal illness of E-luh-tun, late Commander-in-chief at Pa-le-kwan. This officer was entrusted with the defence of that city which had frequently suffered from the attacks of the accursed Mahometans. In the fifth and sixth years of the present reign he again and again drew up his troops, in order to retake Ho-meih, which had fallen into the hands of the rebels; and he discharged his duty honourably on all occasions. The illness of this officer having now terminated fatally, his case demands the exercise of the deepest compassion, and His Gracious Majesty orders that his name be forwarded to the proper Board, in order that some mark of commiseration may be conferred, in accordance with the laws respecting the death from illness of officers on duty. His Majesty further orders that Sha-kih-too-lin-cha-poo be appointed to fill the vacancy thus caused, and that he proceed with the utmost expedition to that station. Respect this.

(3) I, Ying-yuen, your slave, respectfully pray your Majesty's decision with regard to the following case.

It appears on evidence that Chang Ke-seen, the father of a person residing at Tse-tung-heen, in the province of Shan-tung, named Chang Tsang-yee, was beaten to death by Le Chung-tsze and a band of ruffians armed with bludgeons. When this case was first brought before us, your Majesty's slave and others gave orders to an official to {examine minutely into the matter. According to the evidence, Chang Tsang-yee is a native of the district of Tse-tung-heen in Tse-nan-foo in the province of Shan-tung; is 26 years of age; and lives at Yay-kea-chwang in the aforesaid district, gaining his livelihood by agriculture. His sister-in-law Le-she being on improperly familiar terms with a sharper named Kih Show-le, and this coming to the knowledge of his father Chang Ke-seen, the sister-in-law absconded from her family and hid herself. After this occurrence the plaintiff went to Tsow-ping-heen to buy garlic, never giving a thought as to any injury likely to happen to his father, or as to his body lying lifeless on the land belonging to Chang Shing-tsze, and being buried by Yang Yung-keen; all of which happened during his absence. When he ascertained these facts on his return, the plaintiff laid his complaint before the Che-been, praying the Magistrate to exhume the body and to hold an inquest upon it in order to discover the facts of the case. He also prayed that the witnesses Wang Kung-chuen and others might be summoned into court and examined. During the course of the inquest Le-she confessed, in her evidence, that her brother Le Chung-tsze and others banded together and murdered the deceased. After the inquest, however, Kih Show-le bribed the police who, like ants, devour people's substance, and set Le-she at liberty. The plaintiff then went and laid his case before the Che-foo, who wrote to the Che-heen to the effect that he should just pursue after and arrest Le-she and Yang Yung-leen. The rest of the banditti were concealed by a violent country gentleman named Le Luh-keih, belonging to the clan of Le-she. Le Le-tsze and Kih Show-le both absconded. The case was further laid before the Criminal Judge, who also issued orders to the Che-heen to arrest the culprits. The latter, however, remaining still at large, and the plaintiff in consequence becoming anxious about the matter, he forwarded a statement of his case to Peking.

Having examined the evidence of this Chang Ts&ng-yee against Le Chung-tsze and others, respecting the murder of his father, I give full credence to it, and consider it my duty to prosecute and punish the criminals, as a warning to doltish bandits, and to assert the value of human life. I have carefully transcribed the original evidence in this case, and now respectfully present it, waiting for your Majesty's instructions. A respectful petition.

(4) Another petition has been presented to the throne by the same official, in reference to the case of a Shantung man whose grandson was killed in a quarrel which arose between him and a dealer in grain, with regard to the price of some provisions purchased.

Feb. 11th -- I, Chang Shoo-shing, formerly acting as Seun-foo of Keang-soo, and recently appointed acting Tsung-ttih of the Two Keang, kneel and respectfully announce to your Majesty that I, the obscure official, have surrendered my seal of office to my successor, on setting out for my new appointment at Leang-keang; and I pray your Majesty to glance at my statement.

I recently had the honour to receive your Majesty's commands to act as Tsung-tuh at Leang-keang, when I reverently wrote to return thanks for Heaven's (the Emperor's) bounty, and to assure your Majesty that I shall exert the utmost diligence in arranging the public affairs of the provinces under my jurisdiction. His Majesty replies: The matter has been intimated to the proper Board. Respect this.

Feb. 13th. -- An Imperial edict has been issued to the effect that as, on the 26th of the present month, His Majesty purposes to assume the reins of government, after that date all the Provinces and the Nobility on coming to offer congratulations on the birth-days of the two Empresses, or New-year's day, must on each occasion present their Majesties with a jade-stone Joo-e. Respect this.

(2.) I, your slave, Ke-chun, a member of the Board of Censors, and superintendent of the Eastern quarter of the city, kneel and petition your Majesty with regard to certain places suffering from disastrous circumstances. The taxes due on these lands have been already remitted by Imperial bounty, but the husbandmen still suffer in consequence of the failure of the crops, and are placed in a most pitiable condition. I pray your Majesty to issue orders to the local authorities to examine into the matter, in order that the Imperial benevolence may be more widely diffused, and the hearts of the people comforted.

Your Majesty's benevolent rule and pity for your people are well known. Wherever lands suffer from inundation or from drought, your Majesty's bounty is immediately experienced there, a remission of the taxes due is conferred; the suffering people receive comfort and commiseration, and plans are devised for the amelioration of future distress. This year every Chow and Heen in the entire district to the South-east of Peking has suffered from continued inundations, and Imperial orders have been frequently issued for the relief of the people under their distress. Truly the Imperial bounty is abundant and enriching as the dews of heaven! But, that this exceeding favour should be enjoyed by the rich land-proprietors is an easy matter to accomplish, while, on the other hand, it if a difficult thing to secure its full enjoyment to the poor. Those of the people who cultivate their own lands are numerous, while those who merely cultivate land for others are by no means few. To the Eastward of Peking, for instance, the custom in each district has always been for large farmers to portion out their land to tenants who pay a yearly rice-rent, which is never diminished in quantity. When the harvest happens to be plentiful, then the full rental on each mow is of course paid, but if the year has not been a good one in this respect, then, although there is no grain with which to pay the rent, which should therefore remain due, the landlords press for full payment, and the tenants are not able to pay in due time. The landlords then, only thinking of recovering the debt due to them, bring the tenants into Court and prosecute them, and then the latter are fettered and imprisoned -- a most distressing and intolerable calamity, by all means to be dreaded and avoided. Afterwards these oppressed tenants wander about without settled abode, and in a most pitiable condition. Tour slave has heard that in the district of Paou-te-heen, several scores of villages are now suffering from this cause. Your Majesty remits the tax on the land, and the rich landlords make this a pretext to fatten themselves. Truly this is to nullify the compassion which dwells in the heart of the Empress-mother and in your Majesty’s; and also the deep anxiety which your Majesties both entertain with regard to the misfortunes of your people.

Ii is my duty to pray your Majesty to direct the official presiding over Shun-teen-foo to examine into this matter; or to make what regulations may seem to be suitable to the circumstances of the case, and to issue a proclamation on the subject; in order that no husbandman may be rendered homeless, or be without an over-plus to make up for a bad harvest; and that tenants may be protected from the oppression of landlords. Thus may the minds of the people be set at rest, and the Imperial benevolence be received with gratitude by all.

(3) Chang-ting-yoh and Ah-urh-tah-shih-toh petition in reference to a communication received from an officer attached to a certain Cantonment, by name Shaou-hang.

This officer, at his own request, was appointed some time ago to do duty at the Cantonment in Koo. He has now been residing at that place for more than a year, during which time his chief object has been to recompense the favour of his sovereign by the diligent discharge of his duties. Shortly after his arrival at Koo, however, he suffered from loss of power in both legs, so that he had great difficulty in walking; and the soil being damp and the winds cold, his disease increased so much that he could not obtain any relief from medical treatment. When, on a future occasion, there arose a necessity to defend the place against the attacks of the rebels, not wishing to be an impediment to the success of military operations, he petitioned for leave to return to his Banner, in order to get medical advice with a view to his speedy recovery.

The petitioners state that on investigation they are persuaded that the illness of this officer is by no means feigned; and they find that while he was at his post, he discharged all his duties faithfully. The Emperor grants the petition.

Feb. 15th. -- Le Han-chang, the Governor-General of Hoo-Kwang, and an officer of the first rank, petitions the Emperor with regard to the miraculous interposition of a certain deity for the defence of a place under his jurisdiction; and the petitioner begs His Majesty to erect a tablet in commemoration of the event.

A temple to the god of war stands within the Western gate of the city of Seang-yang-foo, in the province of Hoo-peh, and responses to prayers have been frequently obtained at this shrine. In the sixth year of the reign of the Emperor Heen-fung, rebels of the place attacked the city, and made their chief assault upon the west gate, where there were, at the time, but few soldiers stationed. And, although both the soldiers and the resident gentry took vigorous measures to repel the attack, yet they were eventually overcome by the superior number of the enemy. The rebels were now, however, observed to retire suddenly and in confusion, and on enquiry being made of the suffering people on their return to the city, it was ascertained that the rebels saw a bright flag waving over the city, and a tall General, having a long beard and arrayed in green garments, calling up his troops, whereupon they immediately fled, overcome by fear, and thus the threatened danger to the city was happily averted.

Feb. 15th. -- Yong-hang presents a supplementary petition on behalf of Yu-luh a Revenue official, who in the 7th year of the present reign presided over the Army supplies, when a great inundation occurred in Gan-hwuy. During the consequent distress, this officer, by his excellent management, procured sufficient supplies for the soldiers from other places, and the petitioner prays that he may be rewarded with a peacock's feather.

The petitioner further prays that Wang-Bze who has twice acted as Criminal Judge in that province, and who has succeeded in arresting and bringing to justice several ringleaders of the rebels, may be promoted. The Emperor grants both petitions.

(2) Another petition has been presented by the same official, praying the Emperor to excuse an able and talented Taou-tae for not coming up to Peking at the appointed period to present himself at Court. He is prevented from doing so in consequence of the commencement of the ploughing season, during which time his presence is required at his post in order to suppress any irregularities or disturbances which may arise.

(3) Toh-lun-poo addresses the Throne with regard to his receiving the seals of his office and proceeding without delay to occupy his new post. On the 23rd day of the tenth month of the eleventh year of the present reign, the petitioner received a despatch from the acting General, Chang-shan, to the effect that the latter had orders from the Emperor to act as General in command at Woo-le-yaou-soo-tae, while the petitioner himself was ordered to act as Ts'ant'au-tachin at Ko-poo-to. On the third day of the eleventh month, the petitioner returned thanks for the Imperial bounty, and set out on his journey. The weather at that time appeared to be excessively cold on the frontier, and as the snow was several feet deep he was obliged to use camels and horses in order to pursue his journey, and thus moved on step by step to the place of destination. On the 13th day of the twelfth month he arrived at the city of Ko, and on that day received the box containing his seal of office from a messenger named Ming-kwei sent by Chang-shun. The petitioner then placing the seal on a temporary altar prostrated himself before it, in token of gratitude for the Imperial bounty, and thus completed his appointment to office. The Emperor acknowledges the receipt of the communication.

Feb. 17th. -- The Council of War has received verbal instructions to the effect that, subsequent to His Majesty's accession to the Throne on the 26th of the present month, whatever Civil or Military official desires to be presented at Court, must first give in a statement of his position and rank, according to the regulations made on this subject in the reign of the Emperor Taou-kwang, and also in the first year of the Emperor Heen-fung's reign.

(2) The Emperor issues the following Edict. King-ling petitions for money from the Treasury for important repairs. During the third month of the present year, We respectfully received the commands of the two Empresses to visit the Tung-ling tomb. The bridges, however, and the entire road through the different stages require repairing, as well as the Imperial reception palaces; and these repairs should be attended to without delay. The Yung-tse and Chow-pe treasuries being quite empty at present, King-ling prays us to take 12,000 Taels from the Provincial Treasury for this purpose; and we accordingly command Le Hung-chang to send orders to the Provincial Treasurer to pay out this sum, and to appoint an officer to convey it to the Tung-ling tomb about the first day of the second month. There must not be the least delay in paying out the money at the time appointed, lest the accomplishment of the necessary repairs be retarded. Let King-ling immediately appoint an officer to see that this money is used economically, and that all the work is carefully done. And, when the money has all been expended, We require King-ling to draw out an exact statement of expenditure, separating the various items, and to send in the account to the Board for inspection. Let there not be the slightest attempt to falsify the account. Respect this.

Feb. 19th. -- The Emperor issues an edict. King-gan and Chun-jew petition Us with regard to certain tombs which have been broken into by thieves, and they implore Us to issue orders that the matter be inquired into, and the thieves arrested. The tombs of the concubines of the Prince Lun-choo, and the Prince Chun-shan, situated at Urh-le-kow outside the Se-chih-men gate were broken into by thieves and robbed during the first month of the present year. The tomb of the late Tartar General of the city named Chun-ting, which is situated outside the wall of the aforesaid tombs, has also appearance of having been broken into. Now, the laws provide that those who break into tombs must be punished for their crime; and, assuredly, those ought to be visited with still more severe punishment who go the length of breaking into the ancestral tombs of Princes, which are situated in the very precincts of Peking. These thieves are evidently a fearless and dissipated set of ruffians, and the thieftakers are careless in the extreme. We command the police of the Tung-ling Yamun, and of the five divisions of the city, to inquire into this matter, to arrest the thieves without delay, and to send them up to the Board to be punished. And we further command that the watchmen at the tombs be strictly examined in order to discover whether they have been accomplices in this robbery or not. Let these orders be strictly attended to as a warning to all doltish villains. Respect this. 

(2). An edict. Too-hing-ah petitions that leave may be granted to an officer of the Imperial Body-guards, to return to his post at Peking, and that he may be rewarded for his services.

Lo-poo-to-urh-cha-foo is an officer of the first rank in our Imperial Body-guards. He recently accompanied Too-hing-ah with troops to the southern districts of Teeu-tsin, in pursuit of the rebels. Shortly afterwards he was sent to Fung-teen to reconnoitre, and to defend that place against the Insurgents; and he remained there for five years, from first to last diligently discharging his duties. All these services are certainly meritorious to a certain degree, and we therefore command that he further be appointed Foo-too tung in order to shew that strenuous exertion always meets its reward. This officer is also permitted to return to his post at Peking. Respect this.

(3). The Emperor has issued orders to the Astronomical Board to select a propitious day, either in the third or fourth month of the present year, for commencing the repairs at the Imperial tombs.

(4). The Seun-foo of Che-keang petitions with regard to the Che-heen of Chang-hing-heen, who was deprived of office in consequence of embezzling 2,100 Taels tribute money paid into his treasury. This officer has now, however, returned the money within a certain period allowed him for doing so, and the petitioner begs that he may be re-instated in his office. The Emperor grants the petition.


Feb. 20th. -- Ying-yuen petitions with regard to a sum of Tls. 50,000 at present lying in the office of the Superintendent of the salt trade at Leang-hwae, and prays that it may be appropriated to the repairing of the Imperial tombs. The Emperor grants the petition.

(2) Le Hoh-neen petitions with regard to the Ohe-heen of Ning-hwa-heen, in Ting-chow-foo, in the province of Fdh-keen. This officer has twice defeated the rebels in that loeality, and was wounded in one of his engagements with the enemy. Notwithstanding these services, however, on his removal to Nan-tsing-yuen, he was guilty of embezzling a sum of money, and was tried for that offence. His attempted explanation being unsatisfactory, the petitioner prays the Emperor to deprive the criminal of office, and to issue orders that the matter be further investigated.

(3) The Seun-foo of Shan-tung petitions the Emperor to add one Civil and one Military Keu-jin to the list of officials in the provinces of Che-keang and Kwang-tung, as the Literati and Merchants of the former place have subscribed 304,000 Taels, and those at the latter 119,000 Taels, towards the supplies of the troops engaged in the expulsion of the rebels. The addition to the OhS-Ueang list to be made in perpetuum. The Emperor commands the Board to consult and report.

21st. -- An Edict. We have been favoured with instructions from Their Majesties the Two Empresses on the following subject. The triennial examination into the merits of the officers of the Imperial household is intended as an incitement to virtue. All those officials within and without the Empire, both Manchus and Chinese, who reverently attend to the affairs of their various offices, and surpass others in the diligent discharge of their duties, deserve to be especially distinguished above the rest, and to be rewarded in order to manifest the exuberance of the Imperial regard for them. The period has now arrived for holding at Peking this usual investigation into the merits of the various officials, and the Board which superintends all Civil appointments has handed in a list of names for Our inspection.

The Prince Kung is our chief assistant in the government. He has for a long period shown diligence in the discharge of his duties, and has always given his entire attention to our service; neglecting no affair of State whether of greater or minor importance. His strenuous endeavours in our service are worthy of all praise, and he is deserving of our unlimited confidence. We command the overseer of the Imperial family to take the Prince's merit into especial consideration. Wen-tseang a member of the Imperial Council, Paou-keun President of the Board of Punishments, and Le Hung-tsaou. President of the Board of Works have all been faithful assistants in arranging the affairs of government, and has shown the utmost care and diligence in the discharge of their duties. We command the proper Board to take the services of these officials into consideration, and to consult how they may be rewarded. Le Hung-chang the Governor-General of Chihli, and member of the Imperial Council, has given his whole attention to public affairs, his vigour and diligence in the discharge of his duties are of the highest order. Tso Tsung-tang the Governor-General of Shanse and Kan-suh, has shown, in his deliberations, both justice towards the people, and fidelity to his sovereign, he has managed difficult matters and affairs of moment. We command the proper Board to deliberate as to the reward which ought to be bestowed on both these officers for their services. As to all the other officials, we command them to continue as usual 'in the faithful discharge of their duties.

(2) His Majesty has issued orders to the Council of War, that all the Princes and Nobles who come out to receive His Majesty on his return to the city on the eleventh day of the third mouth (from the Imperial Tombs), shall merely wear their usual official dress.

(3) Ting Paou-chin presents a supplementary petition. Bearing in mind the sanctity which attaches to cities as the residences of the Magistracy, the utmost diligence ought to be exercised in patrolling and guarding them; and in every locality in which robberies have taken place in consequence of neglect in this respect, the petitioner has immediately deprived the careless Magistrate of office. Now Tih-tsuy the Che-heen of Yu-ching-heen, and Sung Tsoo-tseun the tyhe-heen of Ohang-shan-heen have sent in information to the petitioner that, during the tenth month of the past year, thieves in both their districts have battered down doors and broken into houses, stealing both money and clothes. In each of these places the booty carried off amounted to more than ninety Taels, and the thieves have neither been arrested nor pursued. Such negligence as this virtually annuls the laws which command the arrest of thieves ; and the petitioner therefore considers it his duty to pray His Majesty to deprive the. two Magistrates aforesaid of their offices, and to appoint a limit of two months for arresting the thieves, and bringing them to trial.

His Majesty grants the petition, and orders the Board of War to punish the two Magistrates according to the prayer of the petition.

(4) The same official presents another supplementary petition in reference to the following case. Shuy-sang the Che-heen of Lae-yang-heen has forwarded information that Sun-she, the daughter of a scholar named Seun King-ling an inhabitant of his district, has from her earliest years been betrothed to a student named Chang Tsae-han, the son of Chang Hung-kew a resident in the same district. The marriage, however, never took place. In the fifth month of the sixth year of the present reign, the Rebels sneaking into that district caused disturbance, and Chang Tsae-han was killed in an engagement, while leading on a party of volunteers to attack them. On the retreat of the rebels, Sun-she, hearing of the death of her betrothed husband, was so grieved that she no longer desired to live. Her relations frequently advised her and endeavoured to comfort her, but she herself resolutely made a vow of perpetual virginity. On the third day of the ninth month of the present year, it will be five years since this girl has gone over to the family of the betrothed husband, to mourn for the deceased and to observe her vow. She has during this period acted with dutiful affection towards the mother of the deceased, and all her neighbours extol her virtue. The petitioner having examined into the matter, and finding all the particulars of the case to be correct, implores his Majesty to take it into his gracious consideration, and to confer a mark of distinction upon the girl. His Majesty grants the petition.

(5) The Governor General of Fuh-keen and Che-keang provinces, and the Seun-foo of Fuh-keen province, petition against an expectant Che-heen in charge of the district salt tax-treasury, for appropriating public money to his own use, and falsifying his accounts. The petitioners pray that he may be degraded from office, brought to trial, and punished. His Majesty grants the petition.

22nd -- King-lin the overseer of silk manufactures of Nan-king, petitions that seven petty officials who have had some trouble in the transmission of silks and satins to Peking for the Emperor's wedding outfit, may be rewarded. The Emperor grants the petition.

Feb. 23rd -- The Emperor issues two Edicts, in the first of which His Majesty acknowledges His obligations to the two Empresses, who for more than ten years have listened behind the screen to the affairs of State, and have favoured his Majesty with their wise and valuable counsels. Through the exertions of their Majesties, in connection with those associated with them in the government, all disturbances have ceased throughout the Empire, and the kingdom enjoys peace and tranquillity. His Majesty expresses His fears lest through inability He may not properly discharge His onerous duties as sovereign of the Empire, and He calls upon all the Princes and State officials to co-operate with him in all future endeavours to promote the welfare of His subjects.

(2) In His second Edict, the Emperor commands the several yamens to make all necessary preparations for His Majesty's worship at the temple of Fung-seen-teen, in imitation of the example of the previous Emperor.

(3) The Emperor respectfully acknowledges the receipt of instructions from their Majesties the two Empresses, exhorting Him to continued diligence in the pursuit of those studies which are necessary for the thorough education of a wise and virtuous sovereign, as well as in the practice of those warlike exercises and feats of horsemanship for which His Majesty's Ancestors have always been renowned.

Feb. 27th -- An Edict is issued by the Emperor in reference to the petition of three officials regarding the assembling of troops in Yun-nan and Kwei-chow, and their driving out the old nests of rebels from Sin-ching, thus clearing the entire water course to the province of Kwei-chow, of these marauders. The boundaries of Sin-ching in Kwei-chow, and Ping-e with other Chows and Heens in Yunnan are contiguous, and the Mahometan rebel Kin Wan-chaou with his bandits herded together in a central point for the purpose of committing depredations in both provinces. Lew Yoh-chaou and others gave orders to the troops of Yunnan and Kwei-chow to unite together and to pursue and exterminate them: also, to destroy utterly all the haunts of these rebels. In consequence of these orders, great numbers were taken prisoners and put to death.

On the fifth day of the tenth month of the past year, the Te-tuh Chow Taou-woo led on the troops in person, and uniting his forces to those of Shin Show-yung pressed forward to the city of Sin-ching, and forced an entrance at the South Gate. He seized the head Mahometan bandit Kin Wan-chaou with others, put them to death, and utterly exterminated all the chief leaders of the rebellion, besides recovering the city of Sin-ching out of their possession; and thus, the entire water course leading to Kwei-chow was completely cleared of rebels.

All the Civil and Military authorities engaged in these transactions are commanded to forward their names to the Board, that they may be rewarded according to their several degrees of merit. Also, those who have fallen in battle must be commiserated according to merit, in order that the souls of these faithful servants of His Majesty may rest in peace. Respect this.

Feb. 28th. -- An Edict. The Censor Woo Hung-gan presents a petition respectfully expressing his own limited views of maters, and as it were looking at heaven through a small tube. The petitioner treats of the several duties of regulating our actions so as to approach our conduct to that of the wise; weighing the capabilities of each official, and commiserating our subjects; discriminating between truth and falsehood in words, and examining into the correctness or incorrectness of alleged facts. Not one of these duties can possibly be dispensed with. In now taking upon ourselves the management of the numerous affairs of State, we must exercise caution and diligence both by day and by night, and not venture to indulge, in the least degree, in luxurious ease and idleness. We must also trust to the Imperial Princes, the Chief Ministers of state, and higher officers of each province, to assist us with their counsel; so that haply great advantage may arise from the collection of various opinions and our subjects may enjoy tranquillity. It is, in fact, a matter of the greatest importance that none but men of ability should be employed in governing a country. We have already issued orders that the higher officials of each province shall only recommend men of known ability, for office; and always carefully enquire into the capabilities of each candidate. If there be found any officers who are distinguished above others for their wisdom and abilities, then let these be recommended to us, as opportunity occurs, in order that they may be appointed to official positions.

From the time that our army has been successful in engagements with rebels, the pay of the soldiers has not been sufficient for their necessities, and We have no means of further replenishing Our treasury. The petitioner informs Us that the officers and gentry who have had the care of the provincial treasuries, have frequently made the public service an excuse for appropriating money to their own use, and have abstracted whatever sums they pleased. This is a most hateful and detestable affair! We command the Tsung-tuh and the Seun-foo of each province to look into this matter in future; and, if such disgraceful conduct is repeated, let the delinquents be immediately degraded and punished. We further command the Board of Revenue to keep an exact account of all sums paid into the treasury from each province, in order to put a stop to such delinquencies.

When petitions are presented to Us, each official petitioning must address Us with perfect sincerity of heart. Hereafter the petitions of all Censors must clearly and minutely state the merits and demerits of Our government, and the grievances of Our subjects, in order that we may be enabled to form a correct decision in each case. All the Presidents of the various Boards in Peking, together with the highest officials of the provinces whose positions give weight to their statements, should, according to opportunity, give especial orders to their subordinates to use the utmost exertion and diligence in sifting each case so as to arrive at the truth; and should enjoin them by all means to avoid glossing over matters, or practising culpable compliance with circumstances; which conduct is only calculated to set at nought the frequent and urgent cautions given them by their superiors. Respect this.