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吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 6

This is Part 6 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).

← Part 5 · *Part 6 * · Part 7 →

初八日,發兵往杭州,行者撞於道,皆騎卒也。 Day 8. Troops were sent to Hangzhou, and everyone they encountered on the road were all cavalry.

申青門未出見,撥兵三十名坐守其家,大費酒食,董君弼家尤被騷擾。 Shen Qingmen [?] has not come out to be seen, and has set up thirty soldiers to sit and guard his house, spending greatly on wine and food, the household of Dong Junbi [?] in particular has been disturbed.

初九日,水兵三千道經吳門,是日午後大雨,至初十日午間止,兵船冒雨而行,當插蒔,乃甘霖也。 Day 9. Three thousand sailors, their route passed through Suzhou; in the afternoon of that day there was heavy rain which continued to noon on Day 10 before stopping; the warships braved the rain and went on; it is right at the time of rice transplanting, and there is good rain.

但戎馬在郊,村農多避匿不蒔,即已蒔之,亦被馬啖,或刈為芻; But there is frontier garrison horses are the suburbs, and many village farmers are fleeing or hiding and not transplanting [their rice]; where the transplanting has been done, they are also eaten by horses, or mowed down to make hay.

負郭之田,戕害甚矣。 The fields bordering the city walls have been severely damaged. (At the time, the rice grown near Suzhou was considered the best in southern China, so this crop is extremely valuable.)

申家守兵忽有令箭撒去,因總督刑部侍郎李延齡幕下,有任兵部職方司者,原籍山東,乃青門舊治下耳。 The soldiers guarding Shen Qingmen's house suddenly received instructions their archers to disperse; the Supreme Commander and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Justice Li Yanling, amongst his entourage, was someone who held an appointment in the Bureau of Operations in the Ministry of War; his registered hometown is in Shandong, under the former rule of Shen Qingmen, and that was it.

李、土二公雖督撫、總鎮之尊,略無章服,同一剃髮垂辮,出則加鈸帽於首,頂撒纓一叢,身穿箭衣,色從其便,即坐堂理事,每皆禿首,且環坐一堂者,恆有六、七人; Mr Li and Mr Tu, although they had the status of Governor's General and Regional Commander, they were completely lacking in official clothing; together they shaved their heads and let their queues hang down; when they went out they then added cymbal-shaped hats on their heads, and on top placed a cluster of tassles, on their bodies they wore archers clothes, the colours according to their convenience; they then sat in hall and managed business, all of them with bald heads, moreover those who sat in a circle in the hall were usually six or seven in number. (These hats are Manchu.)

開府正衙,尊卑並列,乍見之殊覺可訝。 They opened the main yamen, those of high rank and those of low rank were all arrayed, and on first seeing their uniqueness one feels astounded.

李公出示,延見舉、貢、庠生,各府州縣因多缺官,意便宜,欲選任。 Lord Li issued an announcement, inviting an audience of degree holders, tribute students and prefectural students, and because every higher prefecture, prefecture and county lacked many officials, he intended at his discretion to select and to appoint officials.

← Part 5 · *Part 6 * · Part 7 →

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 (this article)
  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
  16. 吳城日記 translation: Diary of Inner City Suzhou, Part 16

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