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).
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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.)
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.
Before midday, they retreated following one another and left by the Chang Gate.
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’.)
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.
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