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揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 12

This is Part 12 in an annotation of 揚州十日記(‘Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou’). Like 吳城日記, it’s a daily log 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).

This diary covers the Yangzhou massacre (also known as “The Ten Days of Yangzhou”) , and was written by 王秀楚(Wang Xiuchu). You can read about these events, as well as see more translations of the text, in Lynn A. Struve’s book on the topic.

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

吳城日記

← Part 11 · Part 12 · Part 13 →

予謂此地人迳已熟,不能存身,當易善地處之; I said that this place had become well-known to people, we couldn't hide ourselves there, and should go somewhere better.

而婦堅欲自盡,予亦惶迫無主,兩人遂出,並縊於梁; But my wife was determined to kill herself, and I likewise was so frightened I had lost control; the two of us went out and hanged ourselves from the rafters;

忽項下兩繩一時俱絕,並跌於地。 suddenly the two lengths of rope both broke at once, and we fell to the ground.

未及起,而兵又盈門,直趨堂上,未暇過兩廊。 A moment later soldiers filled the gate again, and hurried into the hall, taking no time to go through the two corridors.

予與婦急趨門外,逃奔一草房,中悉村間婦女,留婦而卻予,予急奔南首草房中,其草堆積連屋,予登其顛,俯首伏匿,复以亂草覆其上,自以為無患矣。 My wife and I hurried anxiously out of the door and fled to a thatch hut; inside it was all peasant women, who let my wife stay but not me; I anxiously rushed to another thatch hut to the south, inside which straw was piled up to the ceiling; I climbed up to the top of it and lowered my head to conceal myself, and then disorderly placed grass on on top, and thought that I would be without misfortune.

須臾卒至,一躍而上,以長矛搠其下,予從草間出乞命,复獻以金; Suddenly soldiers arrived and leapt on top in one go, using long spears to thrust below; I came out from the grass and begged for my life and then gave them some money;

卒搜草中,又得數人,皆有所獻而免。 The soldiers searched in the grass and got several more people, all of them giving money and escaping.

卒既去,數人復入草間,予窺其中,置大方桌數張,外圍皆草,其中廓然而虛,可容二三十人。 The soldiers then left, and several people went back into the grass; I spotted in the midst that there were placed several large square tables, all surrounded by straw on the outside, and under them it was wide open and empty, and could contain twenty or thirty people.

予強竄入,自謂得計,不意敗垣從半腰忽崩一穴,中外洞然,已為他卒窺見,乃自穴外以長矛直刺; I strove to scuttle under them, and said to myself that I'd found a good plan, not expecting that the wall, from halfway up, suddenly collapsed leaving a hole, and from outside the hole there were already more soldiers peering in to look, and then from outside the hole they used long spears to pierce right in;

當其前者無不被大創,而予後股亦傷。 Of those in front, there were none who weren't seriously injured, but I was behind and was only injured on my leg.

於是近穴者從隙中膝行出,盡為卒縛,後者倒行排草而出。 Those near the hole tried to crawl out on their knees, but they were all caught by the soldiers, whilst those behind got out in a line through the straw.

← Part 11 · Part 12 · Part 13 →

Sources

Series: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou

  1. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 1
  2. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 2
  3. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 3
  4. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 4
  5. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 5
  6. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 6
  7. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 7
  8. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 8
  9. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 9
  10. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 10
  11. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 11
  12. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 12 (this article)
  13. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 13
  14. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 14
  15. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 15
  16. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 16
  17. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 17
  18. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 18
  19. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 19

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