TRANSLATION OF THE PEKING GAZETTE FOR 1873.
January 4th. -- To-morrow, at 7 o'clock in the morning, the Emperor will proceed from the Palace to the Chung-ching Temple to burn incense.
A petition was forwarded to the Emperor a short time ago, by the Footae of the province of Shense, complaining that the Public Instructor in the district of Hing was incapacitated, by old age, for the proper discharge of his duties ; and praying that the official might therefore be deprived of his office. The Emperor gave his consent, and the Footae was entrusted with the execution of the sentence. In consequence however of delay on the part of that official, the Public Instructor died before being formally deprived of office. The Footae therefore now forwards a further communication to His Majesty, charging himself with culpable carelessness, and neglect of public business, and beseeches His Majesty to inflict an adequate punishment upon him. The Emperor orders the proper Board to forgive the Footae.
(2) The Footae of Honan prays the Emperor to inflict capital punishment upon a notorious criminal. The culprit is a military officer formerly of the rank of Tseen- tsung, but already deprived of that rank in consequence of robberies committed by him. Re has since been found guilty of coining copper cash and adulterating silver money ; and is, besides, the associate of thieves and robbers. The Emperor replies that the case is recorded,
Jan. 5th. -- A petition has been received from the Footae of Che-keang to the following effect. The District Magistrate of Seen- kin has resigned his post, having been transferred to the District of Shih-mun, and a communication has been received from the proper Board recommending three officers as candidates for the vacancy. The first candidate being prevented by illness from accepting the office, the Foo-tae prays that it may be conferred upon the second, named Shin Chung-suy, on whose behalf he had already petitioned the Emperor. His Majesty orders the Board for the appointment of officials, to take the matter into consideration.
(2) A further communication from the same official refers to the promotion of the Che-foo of Tae-chow to the rank of Taou* tae, and prays the Emperor to nominate some one to the vacant post. The petitioner adds, that the. expectant Che-foo, named Chin-keung, is an officer of ability and fully equal to the proper discharge of the duties of that office, and he therefore prays His Majesty to appoint him to it. His Majesty consents.
(3) Le Hung-chang prays the Emperor to promote a deserving officer. The candidate is decorated with the peacock's feather, and has already been promoted to the rank of Adjutant-General. He formerly accompanied the petitioner in an expedition against the Rebels, has received several wounds in engagements, and is well acquainted with the tactics of war. He is an honorable man, intelligent, and a strict disciplinarian. The Grace of Heaven (i. e. the Emperor) is implored on behalf of the officer, that further honours may be conferred upon him. The Emperor consents.
Jan. 6th.-- I, the Foo-tae of Shang-tung, named Ting Paou-ching, Junior Guardian to the Heir Apparent, and an Officer of the fir-t rank, humbly present a communication.
Your Majesty recently issued an order that I should investigate a certain case, and I have now done so in conjunction with the Criminal Judge.
Sen Sze-tae is an inhabitant of the District of Tsaou. His brother, Sen Wan-sew by name, has been for some time acquainted with a man named Lew Pun-leih, with whom he was for a period on good terms. One day Seu Wan-sew requested their eldest brother, named Seu Hih-hoo (the Black Tiger) to borrow 200 cash from Lew Pun- leih. The latter refused to lend the money and also gave Seu Hih-hoo a beating ; and the two combatants were at last separated by some persons who were looking on. In consequence of this quarrel, an ill feeling arose between Seu Wan-sew and Lew Pun- leih. Shortly after this incident a relative of Seu Wan-sew, named Seu Yew-mei, who
resided at a distance, fell ill and died, and was buried at the place where he died. Seu Wan-sew being now at enmity with Lew Pun-leih turned this incident to the injury of the latter, and conceived the plan of going to the office of the District Magistrate to inform against him, to the effect that he had killed his relative with a spear and had hidden the body in the ground. This plot coming to the ears of Lew Pun-leih caused him no slight uneasiness, and he therefore employed persons to go to Seu Wan-sew and arrange the matter with him. Seu Wan-sew, however, refused to come to terms, and going to the District Magistrate's office brought an accusation against him there. The magistrate, as the body was not produced, refused to try the case ; so Seu Wan-sew went to the Che-foo and laid the matter before that official. The Che-foo replied that he would send orders to the District Magistrate to try the case ; but the latter, as before, declined to investigate the matter. Seu Wan-sew then went to the Taou- tae with his complaint, and that official replied that he would issue orders to the Che-foo to try the case. The Ohe-foo then arrested Seu Wan-sew and put him in prison for safe keeping.
Seu Wan-sew's father, now dreading the consequences of his son's crime in lodging a false accusation, offered money to the police runners to change his son's name, but they refused to comply with his request ; and in the meantime, before the trial came on, Seu Wan-sew fell sick and died in prison. Sew Sze-tae about this time returned from a distant place where he was engaged in trade, and hearing the whole story, without making a proper enquiry into it, went to the District Magistrate's office to offer his evidence in the case, but the magistrate declined to examine him. He then came up to Peking and lodged his complaint at the Tsung- li Yamun, so that the case at last came to the knowledge of your Majesty.
Your Majesty's decision in the matter was to the effect that Seu Sze-tae did not intentionally desire to inflict injury upon any one. But the laws state that, if two men strive together, and one kills the other with a spear ; or if one man kills another through revenge, then such criminals are equally deserving of punishment. Further, if any one, without having himself clearly investigated a case, shall volunteer information concerning it, he shall receive 100 strokes of the bamboo, and shall be banished to a distance of 3,000 le. To do what one ought not to do, is punishable with 80 blows.
We have carefully looked into the whole matter. As Seu Wan-sew is now dead we need not give any opinion concerning his conduct, Seu Sze-tae is fully aware of his fault, and begs that mercy may be extended to him ; there is no necessity therefore to punish him; still less is it necessary to do anything further regarding Lew Pun-lieh, as he is the injured party in the case.
We respectfully present this communication, and await further orders from your Majesty.
The Emperor replies that the Board of Punishments shall be ordered to report upon the case.
Jan. 7th. -- I, Ying-yuen, President of the Board of Censors and a member of the Imperial Household, with others, kneel and petition in reference to a matter: which has come to our knowledge, and pray for your Majesty's instructions.
Hwang Yuh-gan, Imperial reader and member of the Imperial College, with others, have forwarded evidence and a petition to my office, praying earnestly that I would beseech your Majesty to confer honorary posthumous titles in a certain case.
I, in conjunction with my Colleagues have examined closely into the matter. In their evidence the petitioners state that they are natives of the province of Hoo-pih, and on examination we find that To-shan formerly held in succession the offices of Che-foo of Seang-yang-foo, acting Che-foo of Woo-chang-foo, and finally acting Criminal Judge and Superintendent of the Imperial Granaries in the , Province of Hoo-pih ; he was a Manchu, of the Bordered Blue Banner, and held the literary degree of Keu-jin. He was chosen from amongst the members of the Board of Punishments, and sent to Hoo-pih in the third year of the reign of Heen-fung, to fill the office of the Che-foo at Seang-yang-foo.
At that time the Rebels from the Two Kwangs had penetrated into the prefecture of Tih-gan and the department of King-mun in the province of Hoo-pih, and each of these places being successively deserted, they at length approached Seang-yang. The officer mentioned, closely defended this place, the Literati and the people all trusting to him without fear. When acting Magistrate at Woo-chang, after the Rebels had been defeated at that place, he soothed and tranquilized the people, and repaired all devastations. A short time afterwards, the Rebels advanced and threw Han-yang into confusion, and again surrounded and attacked Woo-chang, whereupon he vigorously defended that place, and swearing that he would sacrifice his life in doing his duty, he caused himself to be let down by a rope from the city wall, and with his troops attacked the Rebels in the rear, killing some and taking others prisoners. The soldiers' rations afterwards coming suddenly to an end, and the city being in great danger, he again led his forces to the attack, and killed seven of the enemy. Being himself wounded in the arm, and the blood flowing into the sleeve of his dress, he quickly returned on horseback to his Ya-mun. He then handed over his seal of office to his soldiers, and committed suicide by throwing himself down a stone well in the courtyard.
Both the Viceroy Yang-pei, and the Commander-in-chief Kwan-wan have already petitioned your Majesty, and have received the assurance that this case should be taken into consideration, and the deceased commiserated according to the regulations regarding officers of the third rank, and with the liberality customary in such cases. Moreover the Literati and people of Woo- chang and Seang-yang have already implored permission to erect a tablet to this renowned officer, and in such case your Majesty has granted the prayer of the petitioners.
Having humbly examined the records concerning officers who have recently committed suicide, viz, the Che-foos Kiu Yun- mun, Tuh Pe-tsung, Wan-ching, and Le Tsae-wau ; the Che-chow Le-yuen ; and the Che-heens Shang Na-poo, Le Pei-fuh, and Wang Ngan-show ; I find that all these officers have had honorary posthumous titles conferred upon them by the Imperial bounty. Now To-shan's death was most pitiable, and corresponds in all the circumstances of it with the cases just cited ; and therefore your Majesty is now petitioned to confer honorary posthumous titles in this case also. We having examined the evidence of Hwang Yuh-gan and others concerning To-shan the late acting Che-foo at Woo-chang, &c. , dare not prevent the case from reaching your Majesty's ears. We have closely examined the original evidence in the case, and now respectfully and reverentially present the same for your Majesty's perusal.
The Emperor replies that the petition is recorded.
Jan. 7th. -- I, Lew Yoh-chaou, the Viceroy of Yun-nan and Kwei-chow, deprived of rank but retained in office ; and I Tsin- Yuh-ying, Deputy-Governor of Yun-nan, kneel and petition your Majesty in reference to certain officers and soldiers killed in Kwan-jih and Poo-neu-he. These places were for many years infested by rebels, of whom several ringleaders were caught and executed ; and the officers and soldiers mentioned, were killed in engagements with them in E-tung and E-nan. In accordance with your Majesty's expressed will that all officers recommended for their bravery in the field should be rewarded, we respectfully present our report, and looking up, pray your Majesty to examine into the matter.
We find on examining the translations of former years that these officers and soldiers, belonging to E-tung and E-nan in the province of Yun-nan, attacked and defeated the rebels in the city of Ching-keang-foo ; and after they had scattered each nest of rebels at Chuh-yuen, Keaug-na, Le-tse, Mow-kih, and Na-to-jih, there still remained five places at Yue-chay-heang in Ling-gan-foo from which the rebels were not yet driven out, and where they herded at no great distance from the province. The intention was, first to exterminate the rebels in these places, and then to drive out those in the West in order that all suffering might terminate.
We have already deliberated together on this matter, and have come to the determination to present a petition on the subject to your Majesty. When I Yuh-ying left the province in order to lead out the army and quell the disturbances, we marched by different roads to the attack, and rooted out each neat of rebels in Teen- sin and Yue-chay-heang : moreover, we swept away the entire entrenchment of rebels at Woo-shan, outside the city of Kwan-jih, broke down the four gates, and entered the city ; all which transactions have been already successively reported to your Majesty.
We shall now take the names of other brave civil and military officers belonging to the encampments at E-tung and E-nan, and transcribe them all clearly and in order, and respectfully present the list for your Majesty's perusal ; praying earnestly for your Majesty's favourable regard. Amongst these there are some whom we especially recommend for reward, as having exhibited extraordinary valour on all occasions, and who have already received commendation from your Majesty's "vast and superabundant compassion.
This necessary petition includes all who have been promoted already to the several ranks of Corporal and Sergeant, together With the meritorious officers of higher grade, not at present employed ; all of whose names are, in addition, recommended by us to be placed upon the Records of the Board of War. [The names of those who lost their lives during the troubles are next enumerated ; viz. , 60 killed and 51 who died of disease in the camp.]
Jan. 8th. -- Chang-gan petitions the Emperor that he may be allowed to resign his office in consequence of illness. The Emperor refuses to accept his resignation, and allows him another month for the recovery of his health.
(2) An edict has been issued to the following effect. Petitions have been presented to the Emperor by the Censors, and also by a member of the Board which regulates appointments to official rank, on behalf of the District Magistrate of ,Ching-ko, in the province of Shen-si, on whom His Majesty is implored to confer posthumous honours. This Magistrate, by name She Tso-lin, was killed in a most cruel manner by the long-haired rebels, in the reign of the preceding Emperor, on the frontiers of the province of Shense. The compassion of the Emperor is sought in consequence of the distressing circumstances attending his death. The Emperor grants the request of the petitioners.
(3) The Emperor is informed as to the amount of money expended on repairing the Canals and the Peih-long lake in the prefecture of Hoo-chow. The nature of the repairs, the number of workmen employed, and the various sums actually paid are all mentioned in detail.
Jan. 9th. -- A common servant, by name LeHwang-hen, having been found guilty of a grave offence, the Emperor is prayed to inflict an adequate punishment upon him. This man was formerly a domestic servant in Shang-ching in the district of Hoo-nan. He associated much with the writers in the office of the Che-chow. Assuming a false name he deceived his companions, represented himself as being a Kwang-chow man, and by bribery eventually obtained the office of assistant to the Che-chow. He also procured a literary degree for his son by bribery, and actually had him appointed an Examiner of the candidates for the degree of Keu-jin. Both of these men being guilty of such meanness, their case should be strictly investigated and the matter satisfactorily arranged. The Emperor has issued orders that the father be immediately deprived of his office and his sealed credentials taken from him. The purchase of a literary degree for his son must also be examined into, and the name assumed by the latter in order to obtain it must be ascertained. The son must further be deprived of his degree, and the whole case settled according to law, in order that the distinction in ranks may asserted, and the dignity of office maintained. The case is laid before the proper Board.
Jan. 1 0th. -- An Imperial Edict states that from the commencement of the Winter season very little snow has fallen, and hence the land is much in want of moisture. His Majesty earnestly and devoutly looks for a change of weather in this respect, and considers that prayers should be respectfully offered in order to obtain a good fall of snow. In order to obtain this blessing, the Emperor will proceed to the Ta- kaou Temple, on the 13th of the present month, to offer incense. His Majesty also issues orders to certain Princes and Nobles to repair to four other temples in Peking for the same purpose.
(2) Petitions have been presented from several districts, praying for a reduction in the grain tax in consequence of the incursions of rebels, want of rain, &c. The soldiers in the province of Keang-soo complain of the deficiency of their rations, and the Foo-tae petitions for an increase of allowance for them. The Emperor consents.
(3) The Emperor has issued the following Edict. The Censor Woo Fung-tsaou petitions, stating that he has received reliable information from his native place, concerning certain gentry and people, with matrons and unmarried women, who have suffered death ; some losing their lives in action with the enemy, and some dying in a more lingering manner; but all being worthy of commiseration.
This Censor, besides receiving reliable information from Che-keang, his native place, has also received a list of names amounting to 165 persons, both male and female ; the first name on the list being that of the Keu-jin, Kin Yue-neuh, and we have given orders to the proper Board to investigate the matter.
Besides those who have already received honours, there are others, all of whom we have ordered to be recompensed according to law, and with due respect to the distinction of rank. Moreover we have given permission to the relatives of the deceased to collect money and build temples to their honour.
The deaths of the two persons Kaou Urh- shau, and Kaou-go are singularly distressing ; and we have ordered the proper Board to deliberate and bestow liberal marks of commiseration upon them in order to make known their faithfulness. The entire list has been made out and handed to the proper Board. Respect this.
Jan. 11th. -- An Edict has been issued in reference to the petition of Kwei-chang and others, praying that the Manchu soldiers who attacked and exterminated certain sneaking rebels, may have their names published and be rewarded according to the order of merit.
In the 9th month of the present year, some bands of Mohamedan rebels were sneaking about the city of Woo, and the Dukes Che-ti'h-gan-twan and Too-poo-too- urh-tsz, leading out their forces, followed them up and finally exterminated them, having defeated them previously in several engagements at King-sih-too. The Emperor orders that they all be rewarded according to their several merits.
(2) The Inspector of the Salt Department at Canton, Chung Keen-keun, petitions in reference to his further appointment as Criminal Judge.
In accordance with the commands of the Emperor, he has received the seal of the latter office, and now returns thanks to Heaven (the Emperor) for His bounty. On the 24th day of the ninth month, in the present year, he received notice of his appointment from the Viceroy and the Foo- tae. In consequence of the promotion of the Criminal Judge Tseun-to to the vacant post of officer in control of the Revenue for the province of Canton, he has been ordered to vacate his present appointment and to fill the post of Criminal Judge for a time.
(3) I your servant King-lin kneel and petition in reference to certain officials who have control over the affairs of the Palace, that their faithful services, in repairing the roads along which the Dragon Chair passes, at their own expense, may be rewarded. The evidence in this matter I respectfully transcribe and present, beseeching your Majesty to take the matter into consideration.
Ta, San-ah, Wan-yen, and Hoo-puh, members of one of the Boards, together with the writer Leen-peih, have respectfully examined all the Imperial Dragon Chair sheds, belonging to the Imperial tombs, erected at the Nan-sin-ching gate, whence at all proper periods for offering sacrifice the Imperial attendants reverently carry out the Dragon Chair and pass along to the Great and Little West Gates. Because of the excessive rain which has fallen this year, the road outside the Great Western Gate was flooded, and the water washed it away to the extent of more than 30 chang in length, more than 10 in breadth, and to the depth of more than two feet. The road outside the Little West Gate was washed away to the extent of more than 40 chang in length, 13 in breadth, and two feet five inches in depth. The drains also were rendered irregular, thus making the road completely impassable.
On both sides of these roads are lands which are private property ; and during the summer and winter months, when reverently carrying out the Dragon Chair, the bearers were always obliged to tread down the crops in order to pass along with safety.
From the Sinching Gate to the Imperial tombs, the distance is more than 10 le, and the pathway here had also been washed away in some places. All these damages have now been completely repaired, with the exception of the deep ditch along the road from the Great to the Little West Gate, which at present endangers the tombs. Earth ought to be carried without delay to fill this up, and stone steps should be built. The quantity of stone required for this purpose, however, is very great, and if it be purchased from a hill which- is private property, and which is several le -distant from the tombs, the excavating of the hill, and the carriage of the stone, will cause very great expenditure both of money and labour.
At the Fung-shwuy wall, towards the South, a quantity of stone has been left on the ground, which was not required by the masons, and my informants think of carrying away these stones so as to clear the Fung-shwuy space, and make it look neat ; and thus render the Imperial road for the Dragon Chair still better adapted for use. Moreover the drains on each side of the road must be deepened, and willow trees planted at short distances, and then the entire road will be rendered durable, and secured from injury by water. If it be not quickly repaired, there is great danger that when rain again falls in excess, it will be still more difficult to put it in order.
The officials above mentioned have ever enjoyed the Imperial bounty, for which they have never yet made the slightest return, beyond always cherishing the remembrance of it in their hearts ; and they now entreat me to petition your Majesty on their behalf. They make all these repairs themselves as a recompense, but they most certainly do not consider the matter to be worthy of your Majesty's consideration. If they only receive permission to order the preparation of the materials this winter, next spring they will collect the workmen together, and quickly make all the necessary repairs, in order to manifest their zeal.
I, your servant, have myself already examined the roads along which the Dragon Chair is borne; and, as these have not been repaired for several years, they are precisely in the state represented by the petitioners. Since these officials have applied for permission to make the necessary repairs at their own expense, they show themselves to be imbued with a public spirit. They desire, besides ordering the preparation of the necessary materials in order to commence the works next springy reverently and according to propriety, to submit a full statement of the matter for your Majesty's approval, and for the information of the proper Board.
(4) Too Hing-ah presents a supplementary petition, and again addresses the Emperor in reference to a communication received from Duke No-lin-pe-lih Commander-in-Chief of the Mongol troops and Inspector of Batteries.
The horses under this officer's control have been used in the service for a length of time ; and some of them are completely worn out, so that they are perfectly useless whenever it is necessary to go in pursuit of rebels. Now according to the representation of Prince Ta-urh-han, the officer commanding the second Battery named Pei-yen-to-kih-ta-keuh-lah, together with the commanders of the third Battery named respectively Elih-hwang-poo-leih-tse and Sih-hwang-cho-puh, have each given 50 horses, 150 in all, to the public service.
Further, an inhabitant of Chang-too- ting named Wang E-shun has presented 10 horses with a request that they may be inspected and received, and then distributed for use amongst the troops. This the Duke considers it his duty to inform the petitioner of, in order that the generosity of the donor may be made known.
The petitioner having examined into all these particulars concerning the presentation of horses to the Batteries for the use of the Soldiers, considers that they exhibit an amount of zeal in the public service sufficient to cause one to leap with joy ; and truly it is not proper that such disinterestedness should be allowed to go unrewarded. The petitioner prays, not only that Wang E-shun may be presented with an empty button * ; but especially, that His Majesty would deign to allow each of the three officers above mentioned to wear a peacock's feather in order to stimulate their exertions in the public service. The petitioner considers it to be his duty to implore His Majesty to give orders to the Officers of the cantonments to investigate the facts of these cases and to report.
The Emperor orders the proper Board to deliberate on the subject, and petition.
* The insignia of office without rank.
January 12th.-- An Edict has been recently issued in reference to the Imperial Minister Ganlin, stationed at Le-
tsau, who took it upon himself to confer a peacock's feather, and who further employed another person to perform his own duty of inspecting the soldiers' tents. Imperial orders were, issued
that the name of this official should be sent into the proper Board, that judgment might be passed upon him ; and he was ordered to come up to Peking, that the case might be properly arranged. He was further ordered to remain for the present where he is, and diligently to discharge the duties of his office, as a newly appointed Imperial Minister has not yet been sent to fill his place.
Now, according to a petition received from this Gan-lin, Tih-t'ae has forcibly seized upon the seal of office, and he prays the Emperor to transmit His Majesty's instructions concerning this transaction. Tih-t'ae's petition does not accord with the sentiments of Gan-lin, in the original copies of dispatches forwarded to the Emperor. Tih-t'ae perversely put his own interpretation upon the orders transmitted to Gan-lin, giving them a false meaning ; and pressed Gan-lin to give up the seal of office to himself, and to set out for Peking. Tih-t'ae is truly a dolt and incapable of filling the post of Assistant. Let him be deposed and return to his Banner. The proper Board is acquainted with the case. Bespect this.
(2) Tso Tsung-tang presents a supplementary petition in reference to an acting General at Se-ning-ching and acting commander of the centre, named Ma Pun- yuen; together with the acting Chefoo at Se-ning-foo, named Ma kwei-yuen, both being Mahomedans of that place and acting officials there, and yet daring to indulge in wrong practices. They first invited the officers of the army to pursue after the Mahomed an rebels in Shan-se, and when they had made an advance for that purpose, these two officials caused the rebels to attack the soldiers, and besides, caused the whole body of the insurgents to attack the city of Se-ning-foo. Their wickedness is exceedingly great.
Now, because the soldiers utterly exterminated the insurgents, these two rebellious officers, being greatly embarrassed, absconded, taking their families with them. Hwang Poo-heen has been appointed General at Se-ning-ching ; but, as he is at present in command of the troops stationed at Wei-yuen-paou to defend that place against the sneaking rebels, he can not immediately fill his new appointment.
The post of Che-foo at Se-ning-foo has been conferred upon Tang Ching-wei, who is at present presiding over the province of Shen-se, and therefore, also finds it difficult to assume the duties of his new appointment at once. I find that the commander-in-chief at Hoo-nan, named Ho Tso-lin, whose tactics and bravery are unexceptionable, might in the meantime be sent to fill the vacancy of General at Se- ning-ching, and the commander of the two cantonments at Buy and Ting, named Lung Seih-king, who has been at Shen-se in command of the Volunteers for many years, might at once follow to Se-ning, diligently to transact business and to fill the other vacancy there for the present.
The General's seal was taken away by Ma Pun-yuen when he absconded, and the seal of the Che-foo of Se-ning-foo, although found, cannot be used again. I had seals cut on wood when orders were first given to Tso-lin to act as General at Se-ning- ching, and when Lung Seih-king was sent as Che-foo to Se-ning-foo ; but it is my duty to pray your Majesty to make the matter known to the proper Board, in order that metal seals may be cast for the General at Se-ning-ching, for the Che-foo of Se-ning-foo, and forwarded to them by express, in order that all business may be transacted so as to inspire confidence. Moreover, these, together with all other metal seals, ought to be sent up to Peking td be properly examined. I respectfully forward this supplemenary petition for your Majesty's perusal. -- The Emperor replies that the case has-been laid before the proper Board. Respect this.
January 12th. -- A supplementary petition from Yang Chang-seun. According to a communication received from the Board of Kites, every official recommended to fill a vacancy as Taou-tae, Che-foo, Che-chow, or Che-heen, must remain a year in the province to which he has been appointed, in order that it may be seen whether he is able to undertake an arduous post, or is merely fit for a light one. This rule must henceforth be strictly adhered to.
(2) Tso Tsung-tang presents a supplementary petition. Examining into the suicide of Major Kin-sin, at Kaou-kea- paou, I find that he was one of the military officers appointed to keep the people in subjection at Yen-suy, in the province of Shen-se ; and his death; which occurred in the 9th month of the 8th year of the present reign, caused a vacancy in that office. The then acting Imperial Envoy Muh-too- shen, petitioned the Emperor that Le Fa-ko, whose name stood first on the list of candidates, should fill the vacancy. Now, according to a communication received from Board of War in reply, they have not yet been clearly informed of the present rank of this officer who is thus recommended for promotion, and there are no means of ascertaining the facts of the case. They add, that the case ought to be minutely and clearly investigated, and the result embodied in a petition.
Since receiving this order from the Board to examine into the case, I have also received a communication from the Commander-in-chief at Shanse, named Nuy Ching-kwan, who has minutely examined into the successive steps of Le Fa-ko's promotion in corroboration of my petition, proving my statement of the case to be correct. In addition to this communication forwarded to the Board, I venture to beseech your Majesty to take this case into consideration.
The Emperor replies that the Board of War shall deliberate on the matter.
January 13th. -- Lew Chang-yew presents a supplementary petition. The General appointed to the command of the troops at Yew-keang-chin, named Chow Shing- chuen, is at present in command of the Cantonment in Kwang-se, and cannot fill his new appointment immediately. In consequence of this. Whang Chung-king has been appointed to act for him for the present ; who, although he has not, as yet, committed any error in the transaction of business, will nevertheless find it difficult to avoid remissness if he should remain at the post for any length of time.
I have been informed that General Keo- loo-ta-san. Assistant Adjutant-General at Tsing-chow, is upright in disposition and intelligent, and displays ability in controlling the soldiers under his command ; I therefore implore Heaven (the Emperor) graciously to permit him to act as General at Yew-keang-chin. As the affairs of the Cantonment require the presence of an officer in order to their proper arrangement, I respectfully pray your Majesty to issue instructions on this subject.
The Emperor replies -- Let the petition be granted. The Board of War has received the necessary information. Respect this.
(2) Lew Chang-yew presents a supplementary petition. I have received a despatch from the Board to the effect that, on the first day of the tenth month of the eleventh year of the present reign, an Imperial Edict was issued, ordering Fuh-urh- kwo-chun, the Criminal Judge of Kwangse, to come up to Peking to await orders, and ordering Yen Shoo-san to fill the vacancy consequent upon his removal from office.
Now, Fuh-urh-kwo-chun, according to his despatch forwarded to me, is fully aware that he ought reverently to obey your Majesty's orders, and immediately set out on his journey, and he therefore requests me to send an official at once to fill his place. I find on examination, that Yen Shoo-san cannot, for some time, go to that province. Fuh-urh-kwo-chun must necessarily go up to Peking, and the duties of his office as Criminal Judge must be discharged by some official sent temporarily for that purpose, in order that the importance of official business may be maintained. I find on examination that Seay Ke-chaou, the Taoutae of Yew-keang, is possessed of deep and accurate knowledge and ability, and may be entrusted to fill the office for the present ; and that Ling- kwan, expectant Taoutai, who is both active and diligent, may be allowed to fill the post vacated by the latter official.
Besides sending despatches to these officials, it is my duty to present this supplementary petition.
(3) I Hea Tsze-yang, the Literary Officer of Szechuen, reverently kneel and petition, informing your Majesty that the examinations for the year are now complete, and presenting the report for your Majesty's perusal.
I humbly submit that, when in the sixth month of the present year, I returned to this province, the examinations both in the Eastern and Northern districts had terminated, and I wrote a despatch on the subject, for your Majesty's information. After I had forwarded that despatch, I immediately rode express to the Western part of the province, to conduct the examinations at Keung-chow, Yachow, and Ning-yuen-foo, where, according to custom, the yearly and triennial examinations are both held.
Now, in the middle period of the ninth month, the examinations at these places were all brought to an end. A literary spirit was manifested at Keang-chow, at Ming-shan in Ya-chow, and at Se-chang in Ning yuen, almost to the same degree as in the Eastern parts of the province ; and besides, there were several districts which ranked second to these in the display of literary talent.
In the Military examinations, in the use of the Bow, in Horsemanship, and in general dexterity, the youth of the chief city of Keung-chow excelled, and other places ranked second to this. At each place where I have held an examination, I have strictly shut every door and closed up every way of approach, in order that those graduates who, in forgetfulness of their duty to the public recommended unqualified candidates, might be discovered and degraded. I always search out those who write themes for others, together with those who assume false names, and I hand them over to the proper authority in order to be dealt with rigorously, in order that other candidates may strictly obey the rules. When these examinations are over, I go by express to the provincial city, in order to hold the triennial examination for Ching-too.
The present is the year for selecting students for the degree of Keu-jin, and the candidates must be strictly examined in order to cut off those who are undeserving of promotion. Again I return from Keen-chang and the surrounding districts to the provincial city, the by-roads by which I journey being dangerous and difficult to travel by. Within the boundary of Meen-ning are two mountains, and men like monkeys, who are all nevertheless quiet, and do not venture out of their nests to cause disturbance. In autumn the crops there are most abundant, sufficient to soothe your Majesty's breast.
The annual examinations in the Province of Sze-chuen being all completed, and the transactions at each place being reverently transcribed in accordance with my duty, I kneel and present my petition for your Majesty's perusal.
(4) Wang Wan-shan presents a supplementary petition to the following effect.
In the Province of Hoo-nan, at the first payment of tribute, the name of a former Che-heen of Ling-ling, viz., Hoo Ting- hwae, appears on the list, as having paid out more than 83,000 Taels.
On examination I find that this entry has reference to the expenditure of an officer who lived at the beginning of the reign of Heen-fung. When the Kwang-se rebels sneaked off to Ling-ling in Hoo- nan, which was the first place in which they caused disturbance, the expenses consequent upon driving them off were very great ; and the amount received from the Treasury not being much, it was necessary to borrow money from the country gentlemen and merchants, under a promise that it should be returned when peace was established ; all of which is already on record. Afterwards, however, as the money in the Treasury was small in quantity, none was granted for the purpose, although frequently asked for. All this took place many years ago ; and since it is not convenient to levy a tax, the only resource is to implore your Majesty to add to the number of Civil and Military officials, and thus the meritorious zeal of these persons in the public service will never be forgotten.
Now, I find that in the 9th year of the present reign, the Board of Revenue, with the consent of your Majesty established a new regulation, to the effect that in return for levies made in any province, the number of graduates should not be added to more than once. I think that at the time when Hoo Ting-hwae borrowed money to pay the soldiers, he immediately petitioned on the subject ; and also that the compensation made at, other places, after the affair was over, was different from that made in his own district. Moreover, the gentry and merchants who lent the money lived in the beginning of the reign of Heen-fung, and the rewards were granted in the 6th year of the present reign, before the new regulation came into force. It is my duty to bring before your Majesty the fact, that if any province subscribes 20,000 Taels, the number of Civil and Military officials may each, according to the old rule, be increased by one appointment ; so that, since the district of Ling-ling has subscribed 40,000 Taels, four additional appointments may be made to their number at the place, in order to extend promotion and inspire gratitude.
I have received communications from Criminal Judges and Taou-taes connected with the office for the compensation of contributors to the supplies of the army, begging me to petition on the subject ; and I find no error on again investigating the present case. May I be permitted to look up and earnestly implore the grace of Heaven (the Emperor) to grant that, for the 83,000 Taels, the entire sum borrowed by Hoo Ting-hwae for the payment of the army, three additional appointments may be made to the Civil and Military posts, from the old residents of Ling-ling, and one from the more recent residents. From what year this selection is to commence, I pray your Majesty to inform the proper Board, in order that instructions may be issued accordingly.
Besides this, I pray your Majesty to add to the number of Literary Graduates at the native place of any officer who may contribute money for the public service. But, in case such officer does not state in his application that he possesses a receipt to prove that he had so contributed, I respectfully pray that his application for compensation, in accordance with the regulation, may be refused.
The Emperor orders the proper Board to deliberate and petition.
January 14th. -- Yang Chang-seun presents a supplementary petition as follows.
In the neighbourhood of the Tae-hoo lake on the boundary of the provinces of Keang-soo and Che-keang, the streams are numerous, and for some time past robbers have been in the habit of suddenly rushing out and again disappearing, lying in wait to plunder. They open places in which they assemble together to gamble ; and defend their stolen property, bolting in and out of the Customs barrier. There is no wickedness which these men do not perpetrate. Hitherto each Foo-tae has given orders to seize them and to deal rigorously with them, and great numbers of them have been already executed. Afterwards, the two Provinces uniting their forces together, Puh Seau-urh and others were seized and put to death ; after which, all traces of robbers gradually ceased. At the commencement of the present year, the merchants travelled without molestation, and the inhabitants lived in peace, but in the sixth month these robbers re-appeared, and passing in and out of the barrier defended their stolen property. They grasp weapons and resist the soldiers, showing plainly that they are remnants of the old gang who have escaped, seizing a favourable opportunity to crawl out of the net. If these culprits are not speedily exterminated it will be an easy thing for them to excite sedition.
Since making a clear enquiry into this matter, I have notified the names of some of the robbers, and given orders for their arrest ; also, I have ordered the Chefoo expectant, named Lin Tsoo-shuh, and the expectant assistant Chefoo, named Chow Kwang-koau to unite with the authorities of each Foo and Heen, and without regard to boundary to search every place ; sending special orders on the subject to Keangsoo. Before long, I received intelligence that more than thirty thieves had been caught in succession. In Keangsoo province the ring-leader Tseen Kin-sang has been captured, and I have sent orders to the Chefoo of Keaou-hing, named Heu Taou-kwang to bring him to trial, as he has been guilty of frequent acts of violence and robbery, besides resisting the authorities and carrying off women. His wickedness is great beyond all bounds, and there need be no hesitation in putting him to death. In accordance with an Edict issued by your Majesty, I have sent orders that he be executed at the place where his crimes have been committed, in order to serve as a warning to others. And with regard to the others, their crimes being of less magnitude, I have ordered that they be punished according to their several deserts. I have also sent orders to the various Civil and Military authorities, whenever they have an opportunity, diligently to go in search of robbers.
On inquiring into the case of these culprits, I find that they have all, for many years, been addicted to the practice of violence and wickedness, and have even dared to league together in one traitorous band, scheming how to perpetrate frequent acts of lawlessness ; truly they are a most trifling and stupid set !
When these men first commenced their depredations, the officials sent to deal with them immediately gave themselves up to searching them out, and arresting them, in order to establish tranquillity, and banish danger from these localities ; thus soothing your Majesty's breast. There are also other officials, both Civil and Military, who have in a lesser degree distinguished themselves in this affair, from whom I ask your Majesty's permission to select a few for reward, in order to encourage them and to stimulate them to greater exertion.
The Emperor replies ; let all these officials be rewarded, but not rashly in excess of their services. Respect this.
Jan. 15th. -- I, Keaou Sung-neen, presiding over the Yellow River to the coast of Ho-nan ; I, Wan-ping, acting Viceroy, superintending the transit of grain, and presiding over the Revenue of the province of Shantung ; and I, Ting Paou-chen, holding the office of junior Guardian to the Heir apparent, and Seun-foo of Shantung, kneel and petition with regard to making provision for the transit of grain during the coming year. We have met together and examined into the dredging of the River and the repairing of its banks, and we have calculated the expense of repairing those parts which chiefly require attention for the convenience of travellers. We implore your Majesty to condescend to glance at our report.
We are humbly of opinion that before we can arrange the transit of the grain, we must first put the river in order. Formerly, when the course of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal separated, the Grand Canal at the south of the Province, according to an ancient regulation, was partially dredged once a year, and thoroughly dredged once in every three years, so that every junk coming from the South could sail along without obstruction. From the time when the waters of the Yellow River mixed with those of the Grand Canal, the latter have suffered serious detriment, becoming gradually more and more shallow and obstructed. The grain from the places to the north of the Yang- tsze has been transmitted by the Yellow River for several years, and we are of opinion that, should this shallowness of water again occur, as heretofore, wherever the defect may be, the only means of regulating the Grand Canal will be the cleansing out of the Yellow River. As the entire labour and expense must necessarily be great, and the work cannot be accomplished in a short space of time ; from all the places which require repair along the Grand Canal, those which most require attention ought to be selected and repaired first, in order that the grain junks may be able to pass along without obstruction.
Jan. 16th. -- The Viceroy of Chih-li petitions on behalf of Tih-shing, an officer presiding over the Koo-pih-kow Government Express, who is also one of the officers appointed to manage the affairs of Dependant States, and a member of the Board which regulates appointments to official rank. The term of three years for which thiÂ» officer was appointed to preside over the Koo-pih-kow express having expired, the petitioner prays that he may be allowed to remain in that office for another year, in consequence of the diligence and ability shown by him in the discharge of his duties.
(2). The Seun-foo of Shen-se petitions that the Che-heen of Yan-kang-heen may be deprived of office in consequence of his inability to control the thieves in his district. These robbers go in and out of the city through an aperture caused by the falling down of a portion of the city wall. They armed themselves on one occasion, and entering the shop of a money-changer, forcibly took away all the silver and cash they could find, and wounded the owner of the house. They also attacked the neighbours who cried out for assistance, and wounded some of the watchmen and police who came to secure them. The petitioner prays that this inefficient officer may be handed over to the proper Board for punishment.
(3). Tseng Yuh-yuen petitions the Emperor that Fan Keung-chang, an expectant assistant Che-foo, may be permitted to fill, temporarily, the vacancy caused by the late decree which deprived Tseen Mow- ling, the Che-foo of Ta-le-foo, of office.
(4). Hwang-yu, member of the Imperial Council, petitions the Emperor on behalf of certain gentry and people, including women, of his native place, Gan-hwuy, 622 in number ; and also on behalf of 216 graduates, all of whom committed suicide on the approach of the rebels. The petitioner implores that permission may be given to collect subscriptions and to erect a monument to their memory.
Jan. 18th and 19th. -- The Emperor issues a decree as follows.
The Censor Woo Hung-gan petitions in reference to the numerous thefts daily committed in the city of Peking. He prays that orders may be issued to put a stop to such practices, and to pursue and arrest the thieves. Peking is the venerated city through which the wheel of the Imperial chariot roll, how then can it be turned into a place for blustering thieves to carry on their disorderly practices ? Since, according to the petition of this Censor, frequent robberies are committed both within and without the city, and but few of the thieves have been arrested ; this virtually nullifies the established law, that the Police are to be reprimanded if they cannot arrest robbers within the time allotted for doing so.
The soldiers at the various military stations do not patrol their allotted bounds in pursuit of thieves, so that frequent robberies take place. This is certainly a neglect of duty on their part. We order the City Censors to issue strict orders to the officials in their Yamens, diligently to examine into this matter, and to arrest all thieves. If any concealed thefts are allowed to go unpunished, the careless officials in such cases must be immediately deprived of office, and information of the matter must be forwarded to us. And, in cases where, as heretofore, the thieves are not arrested within the limit of time allowed for their capture, then the delinquents must be reprimanded, and the slightest degree of leniency must not be exercised towards them, in order that all vestiges of robbers may be purged away, and the city properly protected.
(2) His Majesty issues the following decree. An officer in control of the Imperial Household petitions with regard to a theft which has been discovered on an examination of the armoury in the Twan- men-low, and His Majesty is requested to order an investigation. All the arms used by the soldiery are stored up in the Twan- men-low ; and heretofore, the Hoo-keun- ying garrison have had orders to mount guard there. In the tenth month of the present year, the officer of the guard discovered, on examination, that swords in this armoury were deficient to the number of ninety-three, and the arrow cases to the number of eight. On the 15th of the present month, the officers on guard, on first going into the armoury to examine , the number of arrows, perceived that on the eastern side of the building a window had been forced open ; but this was not regarded as being at all suspicious, and was only looked upon as the result of carelessness ; which was certainly a most disgusting idea of theirs. Further, the guard themselves have been guilty of the theft. Orders must be issued to the officer of the guard to investigate this matter. The breaking open of the window was entirely owing to the negligence of the soldiers on guard ; let them therefore be handed over to the Board of punishments to be strictly examined ; and let the officer of The guard who has been so remiss in the performance of his duty, be also handed over to the Board for punishment, in order that it may be known henceforth with what rigour and closeness all places under guard must be scrutinized. His Majesty commands the officer of the guard to deliberate as to the best means of establishing greater security in future, and to petition on the subject. The statements contained in the present despatch, with regard to the armoury having been entered by thieves during the eighth month of the first year of the present reign ; these thieves being still at large ; and, the guard not having yet been rigorously punished, each of whom imitated the carelessness and neglect of his companions, His Majesty commands that the Board of punishments petition as to the true state of the case.
January 26 and 27. -- According to an Edict issued, Tso Tsung-tang petitions in reference to the loss of certain boxes of small sycee during the passage of the Yellow River. He prays that the lost money may not be exacted, but that the officer appointed to convey it be punished ; and also, that orders may be issued to search for the thieves who have divided and secreted the plunder.
Woo-Jin-show, the Tung-che who has since been forgiven and restored to office, was sent from the department of army Supplies at Shen-se, to Yun-cheng in the province of Shan-se, to convey the tribute paid by the Canton Merchants, amounting to 60,000 Taels. In the 6th month of the present year, while conveying the boxes across the Yellow River, a sudden storm arose, the boats were overwhelmed by the winds and waves, and 11 boxes of sycee, containing in all 11,000 Taels, were lost overboard. After this occurrence, Chang Mih-hung and others, boatmen of Yung- tse-heen, were examined as to the dragging of the river and dividing and concealing two boxes of sycee. Besides the 1,200 and odd Taels which were dragged for and recovered, there still remains a sum of more than 700 Taels which was stolen by Yang Hih-moon and othen. In the second place the officer in charge of these boxes was not sufficiently careful, and his fault in this respect cannot be excused. His Majesty commands that he be handed over to the Board for reprimand. The Seun-foo of Shan-se is also commanded to give strict orders to the authorities to appoint a limited time for the pursuit and arrest of the thieves who dragged the river and stole the money, in order that they may be punished, and not suffered to escape out of the net. With regard to the remaining 9,000 Taels lost overboard ; since evidence has been adduced that this sum was lost in a storm Which suddenly overwhelmed the boat in which it was being conveyed, His Majesty, of his bounty, forgives the loss of that sum, and further orders that the entire matter be arranged as decreed. The proper Board is informed of this decision, respect this.
Jan. 29th-- 31st. -- The Imperial Astronomical Board present a communication to the effect that the wind now arises in the Kan * quarter, so that longevity may be expected.
(2) The officer who takes the oversight of all branches of the Imperial family, has cast a Horoscope and presented it for His Majesty's inspection.
(3) To-morrow t His Majesty will eat meat ; at 7 o'clock A.M. He will take His seat at table.
(4) To-morrow (Jan. 31st) His Majesty will go out at the Hwa-yuen-men gate, pass through the Shin-woo-men, and enter the Pih-shan-men, passing along the Se-shan- loo road to the Show-Hwang-Tien temple. When His Majesty has concluded his worship there, He will return to the Palace by the same route. Let all preparations be completed by 7 o'clock a.h.
(5) The President of the Board which presides over appointments to official rank, together with the President of the Board of War, and the President of the Board of Censors, have each presented a return as to the general observance of the day of abstinence.
(6) To-day (Jan. 31st) the Emperor reverently sacrificed at the temple of Ancestors. King-fuh, a Shaou-king of the Tae-chang-szse, read the praters on this occasion in a loud dear voice, and has, therefore, by His Majesty's bounty, been rewarded with a peacock's feather. Respect this.
* The Kan Diagram of the Yih-king ; one of the eight divisions of the Universe.
t Jan. 80th ; the day after New-Year's day. His Majesty sacrifices and abstains from meat on the first day of each year.
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