East Asia Student

Random Stuff Related to East Asia

Classical Chinese

吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 15

This is Part 15 in an annotation of an extract from 吳城日記 (‘Diary of Inner City Suzhou’). It’s a daily 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 14 · Part 15 · Part 16 →

吳城日記

廿五日,復有兵到,並取米者俱不放出,此兵亦屬過往者。 Day 25. Again there are soldiers arriving, and none of those taking rice are giving it out; these soldiers are also [of the category of] just passing through.

午間,亂民放火燒山塘棧,土公於閶門城上,點民夫百名往救。 At noon, disorderly people set fire to and mountain the embankment storehouses; Mr Tu, from on the city walls at the Chang Gate, sent one hundred citizen workers at go and save them。

回時各攜所取之物,令均配作百堆,土公令每人取一堆以為賞。 When they returned, all of them were carrying things they had taken; they were ordered to match them up into one hundred equal piles, and Mr Tu ordered everyone to take a pile as a reward.

廿六日,吳縣知縣汪爚南到任,湖廣麻城人也。 Day 26. The County Magistrate of Wu County, Wang Yuenan, arrived to take office, he is from Ma City in Huguang. (Huguang was a province in the Ming dynasty; it is now separated into Hubei and Hunan.)

因薛令十三日戕於亂民之手,至是補焉。 Because Magistrate Xue was killed by disorderly people on the 13th, this was his replacement.

眉批:薛令被戕,前未見,此補敘之。 Note: Magistrate Xue was killed, but that was not mentioned previously; it is patched into the narration here.

城中民具呈土公,求護家眷入城,許給令旗以往。 Within the city walls the people all made a petition to Mr Tu, requesting that their wives and children be allowed to enter the city walls; he allowed it and gave the order for the banner men to go and do it *[??]*.

齊門外有父老自縛拜懇土官,亦欲招安。 Outside the Qi gate were some old people who had bound themselves up to visit and earnestly entreat Mr Tu, and also wanting to be given amnesty.

乃樹旗齊門,許其自新。 Thus they had set up flags at the Qi Gate [??], and they were permitted to be make a fresh start. ([自新](http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/6/ZdicE8Zdic87ZdicAA311423.htm) is a binome meaning "turn over a new leaf" or "make a fresh start".)

是夕,楓橋、山塘、下塘及婁門外,又數處放火。 That night, at Maple Bridge, the embankment, the lower dyke and outside the Lou Gate, several more residences were set on fire.

狂逞之徒,猶不悔禍,豈殺運尚未除耶? Those proud and arrogant people - it is as if they do not fear disaster; how can they kill *[sth.?]* and yet they still have not been eliminated? ([狂逞](www.zdic.net/cd/ci/7/ZdicE7Zdic8BZdic82308417.htm) is a binome meaning "proud and arrogant".)

廿七日,齊門已容出城,但盤詰謹嚴。 Day 27. At the Qi Gate people are now being permitted to leave the city walls, but the interrogation is meticulous.

城中民欲往鄉領家眷者,須具一揭及四鄰保結,禀明土公。 Within the city walls there are people who want to go to the countryside to get their wives and children; they all have to go to their neighbours to get letters vouching for them, and then report to Mr Tu. ([保結](http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/9/ZdicE4ZdicBFZdic9D11091.htm) is a letter of guarantee. [禀明](http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/13/ZdicE7ZdicA6Zdic80185869.htm) is a binome meaning "report to".)

又製黃旗一面,上寫都察院給付其圖居民。 They once again made banners, yellow on one side, and wrote on them "the General Inspectorate pays *[??]* the residents of such-and-such sub-sub-prefecture". ([給付](http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/9/ZdicE7ZdicBBZdic9975352.htm) is a binome meaning "to pay", but I'm still not sure what these banners are about.)

土公親加簽押為照,途中便無阻礙。 Mr Tu personally added his signature in accordance, and en route they met no obstruction. ([簽押](http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/13/ZdicE7ZdicADZdicBE196232.htm) is a binome meaning "to sign one's name").

其有竟自鄉間來者,有婦女偕行,方容入城。 Those of them who had actually come from the countryside, and were accompanied by their wives and daughters, were admitted into the city walls.

慮單身行人或是奸細也。 It was considered that those who travelled alone might be spies.

是日領旗下鄉者如市。 That day they ordered the bannermen who had gone into the countryside to go to the marketplaces *[??]*. (I think [如](http://www.zdic.net/zd/zi/ZdicE5ZdicA6Zdic82.htm) here might mean 到, not really sure what the end of this line means though.)

廿八日,未曾啓門放人。 Day 28. They have not yet opened the gates to release people. *[??]*

向來兵丁擄獲婦女無限,戕害及病死者多矣。 Previously, the soldiers captured women as prisoners without limit; those who were killed or injured or died of illness were many.

至是,官令給還完聚,許親屬領去,約有二百餘口。 Up to now, the officials ordered them to be given back completely *[??]*, and permitted their relatives to come and get them, and there were roughly more than two hundred of them.

李公將姦淫兵丁一人穿箭遊示。 Mr Li had a soldier who had committed rape paraded around in archer's clothing to be seen *[??]*.

眉批:法太輕! Note: the law was too lenient!

← Part 14 · Part 15 · Part 16 →

Full text of 吳城日記.

Series: Diary of Inner City Suzhou

  1. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 1
  2. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 2
  3. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 3
  4. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 4
  5. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 5
  6. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 6
  7. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 7
  8. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 8
  9. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 9
  10. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 10
  11. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 11
  12. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 12
  13. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 13
  14. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 14
  15. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 15 (this article)
  16. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 16

Tags