This is Part 3 in a translation 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).
Honourable Prefect Chen fled that evening.
(The writer is mocking Chen with the title here.)
Day 26: all of the local military officials have formed a ceremonial entourage to greet the arrival, carrying incense; the Grand Co-ordinator went to occupy the yamen hall and put up an announcement in front of the yamen stating that it was the second year of the Shun Zhi Emperor’s reign of the Great Qing Dynasty; saying that we respectfully receive orders from the Great General of the Ding Kingdom, Prince Yu, and overall stated that those who complied and were obedient would not be harmed in the slightest; but those who resisted and were treacherous would follow the example of Weiyang; Qian Muzhai also put his seal to a statement saying he accepted the government’s efforts to reassure and calm.
(武弁 is a military cap, and a metonym for 武官 – a military official. 錢牧齋 was the most famous literati of 17th century Suzhou.)
That night, the Changzhou County magistrate Li Shuo also abandoned his post and fled.
(李碩 is a name.)
The Provincial Military Commander returned again to reside at Tiger Hill.
Day 27: He was welcomed him into the city walls again, and had soldiers occupy the government intendant office.
The files and household registers were presented to them; military officials, scholars and commoners all followed on one another’s heels, advancing in as an audience; people believed that the major issues had been settled.
(見 here is read xiàn.)
Suddenly in the early hours of Day 29, the Changzhou and Zhenjiang Military Supervisor Yang Wencong and Army Official Zhu Guozhen made a plan together to order the garrison [?] to go in and see Huang Jiazi and reassure and thank him, thus doing what they least expected, capturing Huang Jiazi, Huang Jiamo, Senator Wu Shenjiang and their entourage of 21 people; they were shackled and taken outside the gate; all of them were beheaded and disemboweled and their two trusted assistants were also beheaded.
(監軍 is an army supervisor. 楊文驄 is a famous leader and the younger brother of Ma Shiying (who fled at the beginning of 吳城日記). 都司 is ‘army and government office’. 朱 is a name. 國臣 is an imperial official. 黃 is 黃家鼒 mentioned in the previous section. 謝賞 means to express thanks to a superior. 黃嘉模 and 吳參將 are both names. 親隨 is a close personal aide.)
Zhou Quan caught wind of it and fled in advance, managing to escape death; he rushed to Nanjing to report, stating strongly that the hearts of the people were already in submission, and drawing attention to Army Supervisor Yang’s devious scheme; fortunately he had heard talk of it in advance.
(周 is Assistant Prefect Zhou Quan who made his debut in the previous section. 知風 is something like “heard on the grapevine“. 極言 means to speak bluntly or as strongly as possible.)
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