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吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 10


This is Part 11 in an annotation of an extract from 吳城日記 (‘Diary of Inner City Suzhou’). It’s the official log of Suzhou (specifically the small, walled area in the centre) from the year 1645, a year after the Manchus took Beijing, marking the end of the Ming dynasty and the beginning of the Qing (明末清初).

As always, if you notice a mistake or have any suggestions, please share them in the comments at the end of the page.

· Part 10 ·

 

十四日天曉,既無重兵壓境,城中兆姓之不能遷者,周子靜授意,令群聚往軍門懇求,辨其倡亂非屬城市小民,李公始雖盛怒,後銷霽顏。
On the dawn of the 14th day, since there was no heavy military force to control the area, within the city walls of the vast numbers of people who could not move away, Zhou Zijing incited them, he had them go to the garrison to make a plea, to explain that those had been calling for rebellion didn’t belong to the category of ‘petit bourgeois'; although Mr Li was enraged at first, afterwards he regained his composure.
(兆姓 is a binome for ‘vast numbers of people’. 周子靜 is a name. 小民 is like 小市民.)

是日晨刻,仍有執大明義師旗者二三千人,從吳趨坊南上至飲馬橋,遇北兵數騎衝下,便爾奔散,僅傷一失隊北兵於中途。
During the dawn of that day, there were still two or three thousand people holding banners saying “Righteous Army of the Great Ming”; they went from southern Wuqu District all the way up to Yinma Bridge, and encountered several cavalry from the Northern Army who rushed them down; they then fled and scattered, and only injured one member of the Northern Army who had been separated from his unit on the way.

未至日午,相率退出閶关去矣。
Before midday, they retreated following one another and left by the Chang Gate.

晚間,李、土二公各出示安民,察此舉,系楊監軍餘孽勾連海寇為祟,大兵到日追剿,城中良民,不必驚恐,但煩協力守城,緝拿奸細耳。
That evening, Mr Li and Mr Tu both each put out an announcement to calm the people, saying they’d investigated this incident, and found out that the remnant evil elements of Military Supervisor Yang have conspired with ocean pirates to commit evil; when the great army arrives they will pursue and eliminate them, and the good people within the city walls should not be alarmed; but we trouble you to coordinate your strength in defence of the city and to capture spies.
(勾連 is a binome meaning ‘to conspire with’.)

南北二童子門相繼爇,遂令將水城門俱堅閉下閘,夜間民夫上城防守。
In the North and South two small side gates burned in succession; so then they gave orders to firmly shut all the lower sluice gates at the city walls, and at night the men of the city ascended the city walls to defend them.

 

· Part 10 ·

Full text of 吳城日記.


  • 陆善

    Hey hey,

    In the penultimate paragraph, where it says “但须协力守城”, 须 should actually be 烦.

    So, it gives you something like “Dear people of the city, could we trouble you to coordinate your strength in defence of the city, and to capture enemy agents? Why, thank you kindly.”

    Or thereabouts.

    • http://eastasiastudent.net/about Hugh Grigg (葛修远)

      Great stuff, thanks again 陆善.