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揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 13

This is Part 13 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 12 · Part 13 · Part 14 →

予復至婦所,婦與眾婦皆伏臥積薪,以血膏體,綴發以煤,飾面形如鬼魅,鑑別以聲。 I returned to where my wife was; she and the other women were all lying prostrate on a pile of firewood, with blood smeared on their bodies, their hair with coal, their faces looking like demons, and only their voices distinguishing them.

予乞眾婦,得入草底,眾婦擁臥其上,予閉息不敢動,幾悶絕,婦以一竹筒授予,口銜其末,出其端於上,氣方達,得不死。 I begged the group of women to let me go under the straw while they held each other on top; I held my breath and did not dare to move, almost suffocating; my wife gave me the end of a bamboo tube, and I held the end of it in my mouth, breathing in and out through the top, able to get air, and survived that way.

戶外有卒一,時手殺二人,其事甚怪,筆不能載。 Outside the door was a soldier who at that moment killed two people, his behaviour extremely monstrous, such that one cannot express it with a brush.

草上諸婦無不股栗,忽哀聲大舉,卒已入室,復大步出,不旋顧。 On top of the straw all the women did not move a muscle, when suddenly there was a large, frightful sound: the soldier had entered the room, but then gone out again in big steps, turning without looking.

天亦漸暝,諸婦起,予始出草中,汗如雨。 The sky then gradually darkened, and all the women got up; when I first came out of the straw, I was sweating like rain.

至夕,復同婦至洪宅,洪老洪嫗皆在,伯兄亦來,雲是日被劫去負擔,賞以千錢,仍付令旗放還; That evening, I went back with my wife to the Hong residence; Old Mr Hong and Old Mrs Hong were both there, and my second elder brother also arrived, saying that that day he'd been captured and made to carry a burden, and had been compensated with a thousand coins; then they'd given him an official flag and released him to return;

途中亂屍山疊,血流成渠,口難盡述。 On the road the disordered corpses were piled like mountains, the blood flowing into streams - it is hard to describe it completely.

復聞有王姓將爺居本坊昭陽李宅,以錢數万日給難民,其黨殺人,往往勸阻,多所全活。 Then we heard that a gentleman surnamed Wang from who originally resided at the Li residence in Zhaoyang, was giving his several tens of thousands of coins to stricken people; his fellows had been killed, but he had dissuaded [the soldiers?] , thus saving his life.

是夜悲咽之馀,昏昏睡去。 That night there was more mournful sobbing, and faintly we fell asleep.

次日,則念九矣。 The next day was the 29th.

← Part 12 · Part 13 · Part 14 →

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
  13. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 13 (this article)
  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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