March 1st. -- The Censor Woo Fung-tsaou petitions that all prefects, Magistrates, and other officials, who are all bound to discharge the duties of their several offices to the best of their abilities, may be retained for a more lengthened period at their several posts. This plan, the petitioner thinks, will ensure a more thorough knowledge, on the part of each official, of the requirements of the district under his jurisdiction, and will thus enable him to repress vice and uphold virtue.
Mar. 2nd. -- An Edict. Ma Gan-poo, a member of the Imperial Council, petitions that the proper Board may be ordered to consult and express commiseration for the misfortunes of certain gentry who, together with one of the common people, have committed suicide under the following circumstances.
In the province of Yun-nan, the Keu-jin Twan Tang-yun, the Sew-tsaes Ma Kwang-tsaou and Yang Ying-kwei, together with an aged man named Soo Yu were all forced by the rebels to assume rank as officials. These persons committed suicide in succession, and thus profoundly displayed their adherence to rectitude. Ma Kwang-tsaou, although a Mahometan, yet would not join the rebels, and hence he is worthy of especial commendation. We command that the names of the other four persons who committed suicide be also given in to the Board in order that they may receive commiseration according to their respective merits. Moreover, we grant permission that their tablets be placed in the hall of Ancestors at their native place Ta-le-foo, and that a triumphal arch be erected to their memory, in order that all may be made acquainted with their fidelity and rectitude.
From the first disturbance of the aforesaid province by the rebels, to the present time, the gentry and common people, whether Mahometans or Chinese religionists, who have committed suicide, are all deserving of pity; and we command the Governor and the deputy Governor of the province to open an office for enquiry, and to petition on behalf of all such cases; but on no account to trust to vague reports. The rebel Too Wan-sew has for many years caused disturbance in the province, and both Mahometan and Chinese religionists resident there have suffered from the tyranny of the insurgents. Those who have thus fallen amongst the robbers could not escape being pressed into their service. We suppose that, their persons being thus in danger, they had no means of rescue from their perilous position and therefore they must not be ranked with those who willingly, and of their own accord, took part with the rebels. The head rebel having been already executed, and the bandits all exterminated, the rebels at other places, hearing of all this, will be overcome with fear. Wherever the soldiers have appeared, besides those executed in consequence of having all along sided with the rebels, there have been others found who, owing to the force of circumstances have been pressed into the service of the latter, and these We order the Board to deal leniently with, with a view to their renovation. We further command the Governor and Deputy Governor of the aforesaid province strictly to, charge both Chinese religionists and Mahometans, that they must not on any account accuse any person falsely through enmity. Thus We desire to manifest, towards Our erring subjects. Our desire for their reformation. Respect this.
(2) I Ting Paou-ching the Deputy Governor of Shantung kneel and petition in regard to enquiry made, and the arrest trial, and condemnation of the rebel who murdered the Prince Sang-tsing; and also, praying that the Civil and Military officials who have exerted themselves in this matter, may be rewarded according to their respective merits, in order to excite gratitude and stimulate to greater exertion.
After the province of Shan-tung was cleared of rebels in the seventh year of the present reign, some few who leaked out of the net availed themselves of a favourable opportunity to create disturbance, and I gave repeated orders to both the Civil and Military authorities of the place, without regarding landmarks, rigorously and secretly to reconnoitre and search for rebels, and, as opportunity offered, to arrest them and bring them to justice. The Tuaou-tae of Yen-chow-foo, fo-chow-foo, Tsaou-chow-foo, and Tse-nan-foo, named Chang-keng, has made enquiry and arrested the rebel Chang Ling-yun, the murderer of the Prince Seng-kih-lin-sin, together with another rebel named Shang Hing-pan who leaked out of the net; both of whom were concealed
on the boundary line between Ho-nan and Gan-hwuy. The Taou-tae having consulted me on the subject, I sent a Too-sze attached to the Leang-shan Cantonment, named Kea Tsung-keang, and others, to proceed with all dispatch to the place mentioned, and to lay some plan for arresting the bandits. The officer sent a spy from Lew-tsze-tseih in Po-chow, who enticed Shang Hing-pan out of the village where he lived, and then the soldiers advancing in a body seized upon him. On examining this prisoner it was discovered that Chang Ling-yun, hearing that the authorities were on the look-out for him, escaped and lay in concealment at Wa-yang-heen, his native place. Tea Tsung-keang then conveyed the prisoner to Yung-ching-yuen, which place was near at hand, and delivered him up to the authorities there to be imprisoned, while he himself hastened on to Wa-yang district, assembled together the soldiers and police runners there, and preserving a rigid silence as to their object, arrested Chang Ling-yun, and finally escorted both prisoners to Shan-tung. I then, in conjunction with the Criminal Judge, Le Yuen-hwa, interrogated both the prisoners. We found that Chang Ling yuen has consorted with the rebels for many years, and that he has caused disturbance in several provinces; moreover, that he committed the heinous crime of murdering the Prince. His wickedness is great and his villainy excessive. I then sent the Judge, Le Yun-hwa with the Major-General of the Foo-yun's troops, named Mo Tsoo-shen to procure an Imperial warrant to put the rebel Chang Ling-yuen to death by cutting in pieces, and to pluck out his heart and offer it as a sacrifice in the Ancestral Hall of Seng-koh-lin-sin, in the capital city; thus displaying the justice of the laws of the Empire, and rejoicing the hearts of the people. Shang Hing-pan was immediately beheaded.
Kea Tsung-keang and others who gave orders that the aforesaid rebel should be silently arrested, and who, marching to the boundary of the province, succeeded in immediately seizing him, have thereby acquired a certain amount of merit, and I beseech your Majesty graciously to order the proper Board to reward them. -- His Majesty grants the petition.
March 4th. -- Ying-leen petitions with regard to an officer who should retire from office in consequence of the death of his father, and in reference to a petition praying the Emperor to allow him to remain some time longer at his post, as an efficient successor had not been found to supply his place. His Majesty had previously given permission to this officer to remain at his post, but the petitioner having since, discovered that a like application was made, in a similar case, to the previous Emperor Heen-fung and refused, now prays the Emperor to reverse His decision, and to insist upon the aforesaid official retiring from office during the period of mourning. His Majesty grants the petition.
Mar. 5th. -- Yang Chang-sing presents a supplementary petition, in reference to a frontier guard arresting rebels without first assembling together the local authorities to take part in the arrest, by which course of conduct a disturbance was caused.
Now, according to the evidence of Tae Chang-tsang an inhabitant of Hwang Gan-yuen, his nephew Tae Wei-show incurred the enmity of one Chin Seaou-tang, by whom he was seized, bound, and carried off to the house of a literary graduate named Paou Kin-tsing. It appears moreover, that this man who carried off the plaintiff’s nephew murdered two women. A Major General of no character, named Pwan Kaou-shing, was halting at Yang-koh-gaou in the district of Lo-tsing-yuen, and trusting to the partial statements of certain gentry and people, he without assembling the authorities of the district, seized Tae Wei show, and put him to death. The guiltless son of the local rebel Hang Ta-san, who had long ago escaped from the net, was also arrested by this officer beyond the boundary of the province, and lives were lost on that occasion. Truly this was a most wicked and erroneous proceeding. The petitioner prays that all concerned in these offences may be punished according to their several degrees of guilt. His Majesty grants the petition.
Mar. 7th. -- I, Shaou Hǎng-yu the Deputy Governor of Shen-se, kneel and petition with regard to instituting an enquiry into the murder of three members of one family, and bringing the guilty to justice.
I find that Ho Wan-chang an inhabitant of Kea-chow, for some reason or other killed Lew Wei-she and her two sons. The Chechow of the district has ascertained the facts of the case and written to me on the subject, and I myself have had the criminal brought before me for examination. Ho Wan-chang, it appears, is a native of Kea-chow and a fellow townsman of Lew Tang-jin, the husband of the murdered woman, and no enmity has hitherto existed between the murdered woman's husband and himself. In the 8th month of the 6th year of the present reign, Lew Tang-jin borrowed a Tow of rice from Ho Wan-chang, promised
to return it soon. After a while Lew Tan-jin was carried off by the rebels, and Ho Wan-chang on several occasions asked the woman Lew Wei-she to pay him back the rice; but all to no purpose. After this, Lew Wei-she wishing to go away on a visit to her parents, gave a box containing her head ornaments to Ho Wan-chang's mother to keep for her until her return home. Ho Wan-chang hearing of this, on his return to the house, and knowing that Lew Wei-she was a woman of violent disposition, advised his mother to return the box at once. His mother Ho Mo-she then asked Lew Wei-she to come over to her house to receive back the box, and to see that the lock was untouched. Lew Wei-she having taken away the box, afterwards accused Ho Wan-chang of having taken some of her head ornaments out of it, and she made frequent disturbances about the affair, the neighbours always advising her, and endeavouring to put an end to the quarrel. On the 23rd day of the 7th month of the 7th year of the present reign, Ho Wan-chang again went to Lew Wei-she and asked her to return the borrowed rice, but she abused him and seizing him by his queue, gave him a beating. Upon this Ho Wan-chang seized a large knife which was lying near the door, and wounded Lew Wei-she with it, in the neck; upon which she fell down and rolled about on the ground, still abusing him, and declaring that she would never cease to carry on the quarrel with him. Ho Wan-chang upon this conceived an instantaneous hatred against her, and again attacking her with the knife, cut her throat. At this time her eldest son Lew Ying-tseen seized hold of Ho Wan-chang's clothes and began to call out for help; whereupon, Ho Wan-chang not being able to free himself immediately used the knife, and wounding Lew Yang-tseen in the neck flung him off upon the ground. The second son Lew Xeaou-tse was sitting upon the stove-bed crying, and Ho Wan-chang again using the knife struck him with it and killed him.
The prisoner being brought before the provincial judge, and repeatedly examined as to his crimes, did not at all deny any of the above facts. Now, I find that according to law, whoever kills three guiltless persons in the same family shall be put to death by cutting into pieces; all his property shall be handed over to the relatives of the murdered persons; and his wife and family shall be banished to the distance of 2,000 le. Now, this Ho Wan-chang has killed three unfortunate members of one family, which is a most wicked crime, and he ought therefore to suffer the punishment ordered by the law; and It having judged him for his offence, now pray for a warrant for his execution, and that your Majesty will command the Criminal Judge, and the Major General of the Foo-yuen's troops, to have the Criminal bound, and led to the market place, and there put to death by cutting into pieces. The prisoner, I find on enquiry is poor, and does not possess any property whatever; so that the portion of the aforesaid law which relates to property, need not be taken into consideration. His wife was not an accomplice in his crime, so that it may perhaps be sufficient punishment to banish her to a shorter distance than that commanded by the law. His Majesty grants the petition.
Mar. 8th -- An edict has been issued in reference to a petition lately presented to the Emperor by the Censor Yuen Fang-ching, complaining of the conduct of certain officials. The former Taou-tae of Le-ning-foo in the province of Kan-suh, named Shoo Che-han was accused of preventing an attack upon the rebels in consequence of having received a heavy bribe from them. Also, Seaou Taou-yuen, an officer in command of a Cantonment, was accused of being secretly in league with the rebels. His Majesty ordered Tsuo Tsung-tang to inquire into the matter and to report; and this officer states that the complaint made against Shoo Che-han, of having received a bribe from the rebels to become their accomplice, has no foundation in fact. This officer while at the quarters of the Show-pei did however extort presents from several officers. Also, the recent acting Che-heen of Tsing-yuen named Kin-ling made him a present of some Taels in order to hush up a case in which the Che-heen had given an erroneous judgment. There is no doubt whatever that the said Taou-tae did exact presents on his birthdays, but the amount which he thus received in presents it is impossible to ascertain. Since this official has thus been proved guilty of the meanness of receiving bribes, His Majesty commands that he be degraded from office, and return to his native place, never again to be employed in the public service. An official has been ordered to see that this Taou-tae is expelled at once from office and not suffered to remain at his post on any pretence whatever, as a warning to officers addicted to mean practices. As there is no evidence whatever against Seaou Taou-yuen, the accusation against him being proved to be untrue, no further proceedings are to be taken in his case.
March 8th. -- Yih-yung-tsae-yaou informs the Empeior of the arrest of the rebel leader Wang-sze-ta-taou and another. The entire band of these robbers consisted of more than 200 bandits and they have already been pursued and scattered by the Mongol troops; the leading bandits, Wang-sze-ta-taou and another being made prisoners. The petitioner begs that, in accordance with the laws respecting robbers, murderers, incendiaries, and those who band together to the number of 100 and upwards, the Imperial warrant may be issued subsequent to the trial, and both Wang-sze-ta-taou and his companion may be beheaded in the public market place, and their heads placed on bamboo poles, to be exposed upon the highway as a warning to others. As the officers who arrested these rebels, cannot be asserted to be devoid of a certain degree of merit, the petitioner prays that he may be rewarded. His Majesty grants the petition.
(2) A petition was recently presented to the Emperor to the effect that a General of Chang-chow-chin, in the province of Fuh-keen was unfit to discharge the duties of his post. His Majesty, however, ordered Le Go-neen to inquire into the matter, and that official reports that the General's abilities are good; that he is young and vigorous; and that he is quite capable of commanding his troops. He is therefore ordered to remain at his post.
10th. -- The Board of Rites petitions the Emperor to prohibit the killing of animals for food on the 15th day of the second moon (March 13th -- in consequence of the want of rain). This Board also informs His Majesty that the 26th (Marcn 24th) is one of the dread days of mourning for the dead.
(2) Tsung-tae, a member of the imperial Household, and others are promoted to the fifth rank, and honorable mention is made of the Taou-tae Le K'heu-hǎng and others for their services to the State.
(3) His Majesty commands that the property of two Che-hëens who have appropriated money from the District treasury for their own use, shall be seized, in order to make up the deficiency, and to maintain the importance of upright conduct with regard to the expenditure of the public funds.
(4) I, the Censor Woo Hung-gan, kneel and petition, presenting my ideas, which resemble coarse grass, on six points which I consider worthy of your Majesty's attention on Your accession to the throne.
First, Your Majesty should regulate your conduct by the example of your Ancestors. The Emperor is the pattern all the officers and the myriads of the people must follow in their conduct. If the Emperor's example be according to rectitude, then He is not under the necessity of issuing any commands; the model which He presents is sufficient to ensure obedience. If on the contrary His example is not according to rectitude; then, although He may issue orders for ever, yet no one will think of obeying them. Thus self-culture is the first and most important duty of an Emperor.
Secondly. An Emperor should employ wise counsellors to assist Him in the Government. In ancient times Yih warned the Emperor Yu, that in the employment of wise counsellors He should not harbour any distrust towards them in his mind. Confucius also told Duke Gae, that if he respected the wise, he would never be in doubt as to his own duty. A kingdom must be governed by the wise, and therefore your Majesty in taking upon yourself the government of this Empire, should, in the first place, gather around you those who have a reputation for wisdom.
Thirdly. Your Majesty should weigh well the capabilities of those officials whom You employ in the public service. If all who are so employed be well chosen, then, whatever may be tending to decay will again commence to flourish; but it not, then everything will fall to ruin. It is therefore highly important that this rule should be observed.
Fourthly. Your Majesty should love your people, and thus strengthen the very foundation of Your Government. For, I have heard it said that the people of a country resemble the animating principle in man; and hence, they should be loved by the Sovereign as a man loves his life.
Fifthly. Your Majesty must distinguish between true and false statements made in petitions and draw your own conclusions accordingly.
Sixthly. Your Majesty must perform every duty thoroughly, in order to secure good results. Of all evils under Heaven, the worst is, to have a mere reputation without possessing the reality. Hence, whoever performs his duty scrupulously may be assured that good results will follow.
These six duties are all important, and I therefore implore your Majesty carefully to attend to each. I have drawn them up solely in obedience to your Majesty's command.
March 12th. -- His Majesty goes to-morrow to worship in the temple of the god of literature.
14th. -- An Edict has been issued with regard to a petition presented to the Emperor by Too-kea-urh, on behalf of certain officers who have successfully guarded the North-west frontier against the attacks of the rebels. The petition was accompanied by a list of the names of those officers who distinguished themselves most. His Majesty grants the petition, and refers the matter to the proper Board.
Mar. 15th. -- Tih-ying-toh-kih-twan petitions in reference to the capture of certain rebels who escaped arrest hitherto^ and lay for some time iu concealment.
On a former occasion a number of escaped rebels were arrested, and being brought to trial were condemned. The petitioner has already informed His Majesty of this fact, and the case is now on record. The band of rebels to which the present petition refers has been assembled together for years, and the bandits have been in the habit of suddenly appearing and disappearing in various places and causing disturbance. During the winter season orders were given to the proper officials, that vigorous measures should be taken for the arrest of these bandits, and that no mercy whatever should be shown towards them. Subsequent to this order information was received from the Tung-che named Hoo-lan and from the Tso-ling named Fǔh-urh-kwǒ-chun that they sent an officer to arrest the rebels. Three rebels who were seized, confessed on examination that they belonged to the followers of a rebel chief named Wang Tëen-ying. While these three prisoners were going under escort to the Magistrate's office, one of them named Ma-chin was seized with severe illness and died, and the remaining two were then sent forward to be tried for their offence. Orders were then issued to the proper authority to investigate the matter minutely. It appears that the two prisoners and their deceased companion were always addicted to evil practices, and usually spent their time in gambling and chess-playing. In the 10th month of the 10th year of the present reign, they fell into the company of two of the rebel chiefs, and of their own accord joined the bandits. Each man was mounted and armed, and there were more than 60 men belonging to the band whose names were unknown to the prisoners. The rebels went about everywhere seeking for plunder, and rifled the house of one Chang Kwang-fǔh against whom they entertained a grudge. While on the latter expedition they fell in with an officer sent to arrest rebels, with soldiers and police runners under his command; whereupon the two rebel chiefs, Wang Tëen-ying and Le Wan-yin, leading on their bands to the attack, killed the officer and five men under his command. They then set fire to the houses around, and flung the dead bodies into the flames, after which they retreated in a body to Tsing-shan-paou. The three prisoners, however, seizing upon some plunder, left the banditti at this time, and hid themselves in various localities.
In the 7th month of the past year these three bandits joined another company of rebels who have all been since executed, and with them, plundered all those against whom they had any grudge. But hearing at this time of the arrest of one of their companions, the three absconded and hid themselves; and after a time were themselves arrested. They were at once rigorously examined and made a full confession of their guilt. All the circumstances already detailed are strictly correct, and the wickedness of these rebels has been great in the extreme. The petitioner prays that the two surviving prisoners may be put to death and their heads exposed on the highway. His Majesty replies that the Board of Punishments is informed of the case.
March 15th. Ma-gan-poo presents a supplementary petition. From the time that the rebels first caused disturbance in Yunnan to the present date, the number of Literati and common people who have committed suicide in that province has been very great. As, for example, the Keu-jin Twan Tǎng-yun, who, at his native place, lived in attendance upon his mother, and whose filial piety was manifest to all. The rebel Too Wan-sew endeavoured to entice him to accept office with the insurgents; but he pleaded his aged mother as his excuse for refusing to do so. His mother, however, subsequently died, and then this rebel again pressed him to join them; but he again refused on the ground that he must attend to his mother's obsequies. But, when the funeral rites were completed, he immediately strangled himself at the grave; thus in a dignified manner acting in accordance with propriety. Such filial piety and determination are worthy of imitation. There were also the privileged graduate Ma Kwang-tsaou, the Sew-tsae Yang Ying-kwei, and Soo Yu the elder of the people, and others who, because the rebels wanted to force them to take office amongst them, took poison one after the other, and terminated their lives. All these brilliantly displayed a lofty propriety. The petitioner having examined into all these particulars, finds that they
are strictly correct, and cannot endure that such deeds should be forgotten. He considers it to be his duty to implore the Emperor graciously to command the proper Board to take this matter into consideration, and to bestow tokens of commiseration upon the deceased. Also, to permit the placing of their tablets in the ancestral hall, and the erection of a triumphal arch to their memory, at their native place, Ta-le-foo, in order to make known their fidelity and propriety. Besides those already mentioned, there were not a few other persons who committed suicide; but as the place where these events occurred is at a distance from the Capital, it is impossible to ascertain all the facts clearly. The petitioner therefore considers it to be his duty to pray the Emperor to order the Governor-General and the Deputy Governor of Yunnan to open an office for inquiry, similar to those established in other provinces, and to make extensive inquiries as to the facts, and report; in order that all the deserving may be commiserated, to induce others to follow their example; and that the tender compassion of His Majesty may be made manifest.
16th. -- Foo-ho presents a supplementary petition. From the time that your Majesty's slave entered upon office to the present date, my expenditure has been overwhelming as a flood, and everything has been so dear as to require the expenditure of an enormous amount of money. I draw but 80 Taels a month * at present, which is not sufficient to meet my expenses. On examining the Records, I find that the Ts'au-tsan of Tǎ-urh-pa-hǒ-tae should receive yearly the sum of 1,600 Taels. Deducting from this the sum of 300 Taels, for the usual percentage taken from each officer's allowance, a yearly sum of 1,200 Taels remains. I your slave dare not dictate as to what my allowance should be, but I implore your Majesty graciously to consider whether this increased allowance may be granted or not, to enable me adequately to meet my expenses, and to avoid getting into difficulties. I leave the matter entirely with your Majesty, whether I may draw this increase of allowance or not: I simply considered it to be my duty to petition your Majesty on the subject. -- His Majesty replies that the proper Board has been ordered to take the case into consideration.
17th. -- Chen Mow-këen, President of the Board of War, and member of the Imperial Council, petitions the Emperor with
i.e. "Anti-extortion allowance” as Mr. Meadows designates it,
regard to the periodical inspection of the army. This 12th year of the present reign, being the proper period for reviewing the troops of the four provinces Fǔh-këen, Chě-keang, Kwang-tung, and Kwang-se, the petitioner begs His Majesty to appoint officers for that purpose. His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.
(2.) We, your Majesty's slaves Yu-kǒ, Tsae-tsan, and King-ling, kneel and petition, respectfully offering certain information, praying your Majesty to take the matter into consideration.
Your slave Yu-kǒ, during the early part of the first month of the present year was suddenly seized with influenza, while about to discharge his duties in obedience to Imperial orders received. He did not immediately venture to pray for leave of absence, nor did he desire in the least to relax his efforts in the discharge of his duties. At present, although he has called in a doctor to cure him, yet he does not improve under medical treatment. We find, on respectful examination, that in the 12th month of the 11th year of the present year, your Majesty granted the petition of the T’ae-chang-sye, and ordered your slave Yu-kǒ to superintend the sacrifices at the Heaou-ling tomb, on the 1st day of the second month. At the present time, the illness of your Majesty's slave Yu-kǒ has considerably increased, and he fears that he shall not be able to attend to his duties at the appointed time, and hence we respectfully pray Your Majesty graciously to grant him 20 days leave of absence. We humbly consider that the ceremonies performed at the Imperial tombs are most important, and now the season for performing them is near at hand; so that, if we delay to petition Your Majesty to appoint a substitute, there will not be time to arrange the matter properly. We therefore, after frequent consultations together, pray that Your Majesty's slave Tsae-tsan be sent at the appointed time to the Heaou-ling tombs, reverently to superintend the sacrifices there. -- His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded, and that Yu-k6 is granted 20 days leave of absence.
18th.-- The Governor General Keaou Sung-nëen petitions with reference to the repairing of the banks of the Yellow River, which have been injured by the ice during the severe frost of last winter. The accumulated ice outside the city of Shen-chow formed a complete bridge. His Excellency prays that the local authorities may be ordered to fill up those portions of the banks from which the soil
has been washed away, and to repair them thoroughly.
(2) Ting Paou-ching presents a supplementary petition. On the 19th day of the 12th month of the 11th year of the present reign, this Official presented a petition on behalf of the Che-hëen of Leih-ching who displayed zeal in pressing the payment of the grain tax. In that petition he wrongly stated the rank of the Che-hëen, and he now prays the Emperor to issue orders to the proper Board to consult and inflict punishment upon him for his mistake. His Majesty commands the Board to deal leniently with the offender.
19th. -- An Edict has been issued by the Emperor, commanding that when His Majesty has set out on his journey (to the Tombs) on the 6th day of the 3rd month, the Prince Shun, Chen Maow-këen member of the Imperial Council, the presidents Maou Chang-he and Sung-lun, together with Ying-yuen the Commander-in-chief of Infantry, shall all remain at Peking to attend to State affairs. The first mentioned four officials are to attend in rotation at the palace by night; and the three who are not required on night duty are permitted to go off duty at 3 o'clock p.m. Ying-yuen shall be on duty at the palace during the day time, and is not required to attend there at night; he may therefore return from business about noon. Respect this.
March 19th. -- Swan-lëen-kung-tang petitions on behalf of the prefect of E-chow, who has caused a large number of robbers to be arrested and brought to justice. On the 14th day of the 7th month of the 11th year of the present reign, more than 40 robbers on horseback plundered a pawnshop and afterwards set fire to it. On the 16th day fifty or sixty robbers penetrated like rats into a Cantonment to plunder, and afterwards, rushing into two pawnshops, plundered them of money and goods. In consequence of these depredations committed in the district under his jurisdiction, the aforesaid Prefect was deprived of office, and two months were allowed him for the arrest of the thieves. During the limit of time allowed, he has arrested a great number of these robbers and caused them to be executed; so that, although he acted carelessly at first, he afterwards showed diligence in pursuing the thieves, and the petitioner therefore implores the Emperor to reinstate him in office. His Majesty grants the petition.
20th – Le Hung-chang (李鸿章) petitions the Emperor in reference to a careless Che-hëen. This officer not guarding his Yamun with sufficient care, a band of insurgents attacked and plundered it, and the petitioner prays that this official may, in consequence, be deprived of office. His Majesty grants the petition.
21st. -- Chen Mow-këen, a member of the Imperial Council and President of the Board of War, petitions the Emperor in reference to a certain Secretary, who changed two characters in a petition, thereby altering the sense of a passage. His Majesty, some time ago, ordered the Board of Punishment to deal with the offender, but the latter has since absconded. The petitioner prays that he may be pursued and arrested, in order to assert the dignity of the law. The Emperor replies that the case is recorded.
(2) Koo-kih-keih-tae petitions that a certain Magistrate, whose term of office has just transpired, may be permitted to remain for another period of three years at his post, in consequence of his thorough acquaintance with his duties, his diligence, and the multiplicity of business not yet completed. This official has also been the means, by his exertions, of bringing many of the rebels to trial, regardless of the great trouble required of his own part in order to do so. His Majesty grants the petition.
22. -- Chan E-sze petitions His Majesty to the effect that on the 26th (March 24th) sacrifice should be offered in the Fung-sěen-teen temple, and praying the Emperor to depute a high official to perform the ceremonies for His Majesty on that occasion.
(2) Tae Chang-she petitions the Emperor to appoint a reader of prayers and a master of ceremonials at sacrifices, and His Majesty has appointed K'hing-shing and K'hing-fuh to these posts. The petitioner also prays His Majesty to appoint examiners of ceremonials at the Eastern and Western Mausolea, and the Emperor has commanded K'hing-shing and Ah-chang-ah to undertake the duties of that office.
(3) The Board which takes the oversight of all the branches of the Imperial family petitions the Emperor to appoint some official to take charge of the Eastern Mausoleum, and His Majesty has appointed Duke T'sëen to that office.
(4) Chang Shoo-shing presents a supplementary petition to the following effect. The Naval and Military forces for the protection of the province of Këang-soo are disposed over Chun-gan-foo, Yang-chow-foo, and Se-chow-foo in the northern division of the province, and over Soo-chow-foo and Chang-chow-foo in the Southern division, in all more than 30 Cantonments, which were formerly under the command
of Tsêng Kwǒh-fan (曾国藩) and were appointed by that officer to their several stations to guard the districts and to preserve them from disturbances. These forces are dispersed over a wide extent of country, and it is greatly to be feared that they may become careless in the performance of their duties, and may raise disturbances, if they are not constantly inspected. Hence the petitioner thinks it necessary that an officer of high rank should be appointed in order to guard against this danger, and to call them out for drill, in order to avoid indulgence in idleness. The petitioner finds on enquiry that the expectant Taou-tae, named Le Fung-chang, who holds the official rank of Criminal Judge, and who was formerly in the Cantonment of Tsêng Kwǒh-fan (曾国藩) and Le Hung-chang (李鸿章) is well fitted for this office, as he is possessed of great firmness and fidelity, and well understands all military and naval tactics, as well as the dispositions of the men stationed at the aforesaid Cantonments. The petitioner therefore prays that this official be sent to inspect the entire force. His Majesty grants the petition.
23rd. -- The Emperor issues the following Edict. Le Han-chang petitions in reference to an officer commanding a Cantonment, who has been deposed and brought to trial for taking upon himself to give orders to certain troops who raised a disturbance about their rations; and the petitioner asks to be informed respecting Our wishes in this case. The deposed officer Tae Chang-ling is a native of Hoo-nan, and was attached to the Cantonment of General Sëaou Tih-yang, whom he assisted in the performance of the duties of the camp. After Sëaou Tih-yang was killed in an engagement, the authorities of Shen-se issued a proclamation forbidding the Volunteers to go to the General's house to demand the rations due to them. This deposed officer, however, conceived a daring plan, and collecting a number of the Volunteers together, went to the house of the deceased and fiercely demanded their rations. Moreover, he, on his own responsibility, commanded the Volunteers to destroy the Granary, from which they carried off a quantity of grain. This man truly exhibited the disposition of a vagabond. We command that he be punished with the utmost rigour, by being banished to Hih-lung-këang without hope of reprieve. We further command that the entire case be settled according to the terms of the petition. The affair has been laid before the proper Board. Respect this.
(2) Chang Shoo-shing presents a supplementary petition. Le Chaou-ping, General of Këang-nan, informs the petitioner that his yamun was formerly supplied with the Imperial Warrant, Flags, and Shields ; but, since the 11th year of the Emperor Hëen-fung's reign, all their official insignia have been lost. The province is now, however, in the enjoyment of peace, and the yamun has been gradually rebuilt; the General, therefore, considers it his duty to apply for another grant of these articles, and begs the petitioner to pray the Emperor to comply with his request. The petitioner now implores the Emperor to take the matter into consideration, and to order the proper Board to make the grant according to law, that confidence may be established. His Majesty replies that the case has been referred to the proper Board.
(3) Tsae-tsan and King-ling inform the Emperor that His Excellency Duke Foo-kwǒh of the frontier guard; has made a vacancy by illness. The petitioners received the news of the Duke's death from His Excellency's door-keeper. They pray the Emperor to appoint an officer to fill the vacant post.
March 23rd. -- I Wang Yung-keih, an officer of the Tale-sze, an official of the second rank, and Inspector of the Left Wing school for the members of the Imperial Family, kneel and petition in reference to both schools, that certain matters which require adjustment may be speedily attended to, and a return to the ancient laws for the regulation of the schools be effected, in order that talent may be fostered, and a good foundation laid for the future.
In my humble opinion, schools are established for the members of the Imperial Family in order to assist talent for the benefit of the Kingdom, and also to illustrate the close affection which should subsist between relations. The school is divided into two wings. Right, and Left; and four officials are appointed as teachers in each. Two overseers with eight assistants are also appointed to each school; and a Prince of the Imperial Family is appointed to take the general superintendence of both schools. Moreover, Your Majesty has appointed Members of the Hanlin, officers of the first and second rank, to manage and examine the schools with undivided attention. These regulations are most complete, and are most profound in conception: the intention always being that all the children of the Imperial Household, along the entire line of Emperors, being born and brought up in rich
and noble families, should be sent to these schools to study ; to enlarge their powers of perception in order to prevent them from sinking down in social rank, and to rectify their dispositions so as to drive out all pride and self-conceit. Thus they will become humble in their ideas, exalted in talent, will reject all the hollow customs of the world, and so for ever preserve their high position.
The teachers in these schools are engaged for a term of three years. At the expiration of this term, an inquiry is instituted as to whether each has perfectly discharged his duties or not. If he has, then His Excellency the Superintendant gives a certificate to that effect, and the teacher is sent to the office for the oversight of the branches of the Imperial Family, in order that he may be presented to the Emperor, and His Majesty besought to confer some appointment upon him as a reward for his diligent exertions in teaching. In all generations there have been illustrious members of the Imperial Household; and which of all these distinguished personages has not been taught and cherished by some Holy Emperor? At present, however, these schools have almost become useless.
From the ninth year of the present reign, I have been commissioned by your Majesty to superintend the Imperial school of the Left Wing, and my duty is, strictly to enjoin all the officials employed, to attend diligently to the duties of the school. On entering this school for the first time, I found several officials engaged in teaching, and the number of scholars present was more than twenty. After this I frequently visited the school, and found that the pupils became daily more lazy and inattentive, and sometimes the school resembled a wilderness, there not being a single pupil in it; and, on inquiry of the teachers about the matter, they stated that they now scarcely ever see the face of a pupil. When a subject is given out for a theme, very few write anything about it, and, on asking the reason of this, the teachers replied that the pupils pleaded poverty as an excuse for refusing to apply themselves to study, and alleged that as they had not any rice to eat it was very difficult to exert diligence in learning. They made these excuses because, heretofore, according to established law, each pupil was in the habit of receiving three Tow of rice every month, and also, at certain intervals, paper, pencils and ink were given to them. In summer they received a grant of rice, and in winter a grant of charcoal. But, since the funds for these perquisites have been decreased, the monthly allowance of rice, together with the other allowances, has all been curtailed. The former allowance of three Tow of rice has been reduced to one-fifth of that quantity, and the less we say as to the other allowances, the better. The present grant of rice is merely sufficient for two days' consumption; to come regularly to school in order to study and to write themes, is perfectly impossible. Thus these schools are merely established in name, but in point of fact they have no real existence. Those families who are wealthy employ teachers for their children at home; but those who can do this average only one in ten, while those who have not the means of doing so, average nine in ten. Hence I fear that the greater portion of the children merely pass their time in play, and become vulgar, neither understanding the labour of sowing and reaping, nor the advantage of composition and study, and only obstructing their talents by idleness; all which is most pitiable. The teachers, too, in each of these schools, who depend upon teaching in order to gain a reputation for themselves, pass months and years unemployed; and both they and the superintendant can only patiently and silently endure, feeling their hearts weighed down, as it were by sickness.
When I presided over the district of Peking, I found, at Examination term, several pupils who are members of the Imperial Household, at the Kin-tae-shoo-yuen school, who presented themselves for examination. I deemed it necessary to make some present to these; so, selecting those whose themes were of the first and second order of merit, I presented them with a small sum of money to buy oil for their study lamps, thus showing my love for their talents and my pity for their poverty. I am humbly aware that our Emperor entertains the firmest affection towards His relatives, and bestows favours upon them with the utmost benevolence; in fact, that there does not exist any benefit which He is unwilling to confer upon them. Yet, the pupils who enter the aforesaid schools, do not receive their monthly allowance of rice according to established custom, but remain in ignorance of Your Majesty's benevolence and partiality towards them, and of your wish to induce them to study. Moreover, the grant of rice which the scholars in both schools should receive, only amounts to 500 or 600 stone, yearly. When any place in Your Majesty's dominions suffers from either inundation or drought, and a petition is presented to that effect, Your Ma-
jesty does not hesitate to remit the grain tax due from that place, even to the amount of one or two hundred thousand stone weight. The tax is remitted without the least delay. Also, in Peking, at the Poo-tse-tang and the Kung-tih-ling, together with the Wang-shoo-yuen at T'ung-chow, every year daring the winter season rice is distributed from the Granaries by Your Majesty's gracious benevolence, to the amount of from five or six hundred stone weight down to three or four hundred. If such liberal grants are made to the suffering people, ought not the scholars in the schools mentioned, who depend upon Your Majesty for nurture, to receive also some little bounty? I pray, if it be in accordance with Your Majesty's wishes, that orders may be issued to the Council for the oversight of the members of the Imperial Family, to consult together in reference to the strict observance of the laws regarding these schools; the monthly distribution of rice, according to ancient custom ; in what manner those pupils who are diligent may be encouraged to perseverance and the idle punished ; how the masters may give instruction with undivided attention ; and whether, if when their term of engagement has expired, they are found to have neglected their duties, they ought not to be still retained at their posts for a longer term, in order to ascertain whether they improve in this respect or not. Those masters who are diligent should be rewarded, and the careless cautioned, so that all may diligently attend to their duties, and the pupils, like the wise men of old, may become eminent for their virtues. Thus the pupils of these schools, understanding the classical writings and regulating their conduct aright, may become, if they attain the highest point, the bulwarks of the Empire, and if not, at least not miss the rank of gemmed sceptres in the Kingdom. In this way the gracious benevolence of our Holy Emperor will shine forth conspicuously, His sense of duty be praised by all, and He Himself will be more and more glorified throughout all ages.
Whether my stupid and idiotic opinions are right or wrong, and whether they ought to be adopted or not, it is nevertheless my duty to make them known, and humbly to beg your Majesty to deign to glance at my communication, and to favour me with instructions. -- His Majesty replies that the petition is recorded.
March 24th. -- Yu-sze, in consequence of a communication received from Hoo-too-kih too, a native of Tung-koo-urh, petitions the Emperor to give names to three temples which are at present without inscription Boards. When the Boards are put up, both gods and men will thank His Majesty for his bounty.
25th. -- The Board of Revenue petitions the Emperor with regard to their seal having been stolen from the public office. The box in which it was kept was found broken open, and the slips of paper which bound it were torn off. His Majesty orders that the officers who had charge of the seal be handed over to the Board of Punishments to be dealt with.
26th. -- Lew Ting-sze appeals to the Censor Ying-yuen against a certain Che-hëen who imprisoned the father of the plaintiff upon a false accusation. The father died during his imprisonment, and the body was found lying stripped, with the leg broken.
29th. -- Felt caps and cloth collars are now changed; and the white fur cuffs of long and short cotton coats are laid aside.
(2) Lew Chang-yew, the Deputy Governor-General of Kwang-se, reports the death of Sëay-lun, Prefect of Hwae-gan-foo, and prays His Majesty to confer the vacant post on Shaou-^h, the present acting pre-fect, who has gained the hearts of the people.
(3) The Governor-General of Sze-chuen petitions that, as all the roads are now passable, the country being free from rebels, the examinations for the second Degree 进士 may be held this year for the various provinces. His Majesty refers the matter to the Board of Bites and Ceremonies.
30th.-- The Board of Bites and Ceremonies petition the Emperor to appoint a Duke of the Imperial Family to preside over sacrificial offerings. His Majesty has appointed Prince Juy to that office. -- This Board also petitions that the cool summer caps may now be worn. His Majesty orders this change to commence from the 20th day of the month (April 16th).
(2) Le Han-chang 李鸿章petitions to the effect that Lieutenant-Colonel Tae Chang-ling has been tried for causing disturbance in his Cantonment (see Gazette for March 23rd), and prays that, according to law, he may be banished to the distance of 4,000 le, and be sent to a new colony to render his punishment more severe; also, that he be required to rebuild the Granary which was pulled down during the riot, and to make good the stolen grain. His Majesty replies that he will take time to consider the matter.
(3) The same official announces the death of the father of a General of Division at Ghin-kan-chin, in consequence of which the General ought to resign his post, and prays the Emperor to confer the appointment upon General Wang Yung-chang. His Majesty delays His decision for the present.
(4) The same official presents a supplementary petition to the effect that His Majesty would be pleased to summon Chang Këen-ke, who has charge of the Revenue of the province of Hoo-pih, to the Imperial presence, as his term of office, three years, has now expired; and that some other official may be sent to supply his place for the present. His Majesty consents.
31st. -- To-morrow, about 6 o'clock a.m.. His Majesty goes to the temple of the Eastern Mountain to offer sacrifice, and to partake of the flesh of the victims offered. f
(2) Ying-han, the Deputy Governor of Gan-hwuy, petitions in reference to the trial of Ian Yung-kwang, the District Magistrate of Mung-ching-heen, for pertinaciously demanding unpaid taxes. Moreover it is reported that he gave orders to his subordinates to make the taxes a pretext for demanding money. Believing these charges to have foundation, the former Deputy Governor petitioned the Emperor to degrade this Magistrate from office. The present petitioner has minutely examined into the case, and finds that when this official was first appointed, taxes were due in all parts of the province of Gan-hwuy. The Rebels had burnt the Records of the Mung-ching-hëen district, so that the taxes had not been collected for a long time, and this District Magistrate being made aware of the fact, issued a proclamation calling upon the shopkeepers to pay up all arrears, and appointed his Secretary and Doorkeeper to attend to the matter. Certain of the shopkeepers refusing to pay these taxes, the District Magistrate wrote orders demanding payment, which he sent to them; but they imagined that the Magistrate was endeavouring to cheat them, and so much discussion arose. According to the evidence given before the Prefect of Ying-chow-foo, it is perfectly true that accounts were not clear, in consequence of the Records of the district having been burnt by the Rebels. All the money which the Che-hëen succeeded in collecting, he duly
* One of the principal Mountains of China, sacrificed to by the Emperors from the earliest ages. See Shoo-King, Canon of Shan. This Eastern Mountain is the Olympus of China, and is worshipped throughout the Empire as the Ancestor of all mountains.
t The Emperor offers an Ox a Sheep and a Fig, &c., on these occasions.
handed over to the Revenue Officer of the province without diminution; therefore, as he has already been deprived of office for acting on his own responsibility, no further punishment is necessary. His Secretary not having given the magistrate sufficiently clear information with regard to the accounts, ought, according to law, to receive 80 blows from the larger bamboo and be dismissed from his situation. The shopkeepers have already paid up their taxes, and their former doubts were reasonable, so, these may be exempted from punishment. The doorkeeper has absconded, and he must therefore be sought for and brought to trial. His Majesty orders the Board of Punishments to report on the case.
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