East Asia Student

Random Stuff Related to East Asia

Classical Chinese

揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 16

This is Part 16 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 15 · Part 16 · Part 17 →

驟聞足聲騰猛,慘呼震心,回顧牆畔,則予伯兄復被獲,遙見兄與卒相持,兄力大,撇而得脫,卒走逐出田巷,半晌不至; Suddenly we heard footsteps and fierce galloping, and inhuman shouting that shook one's heart; I turned back to look at the wall on the bank, and saw my second elder brother being captured again; from a distance I saw him struggling with a soldier; my brother's strength was great, and he cast off the soldier and got away; the soldier walked away to the field alleyway, not reaching it for some time;

予心方搖搖,乃忽走一人來前,赤體散發。 my heart still shook, and then suddenly a person walked in front of me, their body bare and hair scattered.

視之,則伯兄也; I looked at them, and it was my second elder brother;

而追伯兄之卒,即前之劫吾婦而中途捨去者也。 and the soldier who was chasing my second elder brother was the one from before who had seized my wife, abandoned her on the way and left.

伯兄因為卒所逼,不得已向予索金救命,予僅存一錠,出以獻卒,而卒怒未已,舉刀擊兄,兄輾轉地上,沙血相漬,注激百步。 My second elder brother, forced by the soldier, could not avoid asking me for money to save his life, but I only had a few ingots left; I took them out and gave them to the soldier, but he was angry and did not stop, taking out his blade and striking my brother; my brother writhed around on the ground, blood flowing and soaking the sand, flowing a hundred paces.

彭兒拉卒衣涕泣求免,(時年五歲)卒以兒衣拭刀血再擊而兄將死矣。 Our son Peng (at that time five years old) tugged at the soldiers clothes and sobbed, begging for exemption, but the soldier used the boy's clothes to wipe the blood from his sword and then struck our brother to near death.

旋拉予發索金,刀背亂擊不止,予訴金盡,曰: He spun round and pulled my hair, demanding money, using the back of his blade to strike me endlessly; I pleaded that my money had run out, saying:

“必欲金即甘死,他物可也。” "If it must be money then I will gladly die, but I can give you other items."

卒牽予發至洪宅。 The soldier pulled me by the hair to the Hong residence.

予婦衣飾置兩甕中,倒置階下,盡發以供其取,凡金珠之類莫不取,而衣服擇好者取焉。 My wife's clothes and ornaments were all inside two pots, and I overturned them under the stairs, taking it all out to present to the soldier for him to take things; of all of the gold and pearl items, there were none he didn't take, but of the clothes he only selected the finer items.

既畢,視兒項下有銀鎖,將刀割去,去時顧予曰: Once that was done, he saw that my son had on his neck a silver chain, and used his blade to break it off; when he left he looked at me and said:

“吾不殺爾,自有人殺爾也。” "I didn't kill you, but there are still people who will kill you."

知洗城之說已確,料必死矣。 Then I knew that the rumours of an extermination were correct, and thought that I would definitely die.

置兒於宅,同婦急出省兄,前後項皆砍傷,深入寸許,胸前更烈,啟之洞內府; I put my son in the house and with my wife rushed out to save my elder brother; the front and back of his neck was all cuts and wounds, as deep as an inch, and on his chest it was even more intense, opened up into holes into the internal cavity.

予二人扶至洪宅,問之,亦不知痛楚,神魂忽瞶忽蘇。 The two of us supported him to the Hong residence, and when we asked him, he was beyond feeling pain, his spirit coming and going.

安置畢,予夫婦復至故處躲避,鄰人俱臥亂屍眾中,忽從亂屍中作人語曰: When we had made him secure, my wife and I returned to our hiding place; the neighbours were all lying amongst the disordered corpses, and suddenly from amongst the disordered corpses came a human voice saying:

“明日洗城,必殺一盡,當棄汝婦與吾同走。” "Tomorrow there is going to be an extermination in the city, and they will definitely kill everyone; you should abandon your wife and leave with me."

婦亦固勸餘行,餘念伯兄垂危,豈忍捨去? My wife also strongly urged me to go, but I still thought of my second elder brother being close to death - how could I bear to give him up?

又前所恃者猶有馀金,今金已盡,料不能生,一痛氣絕,良久而蘇。 Besides, before I had relied on still having some more money, but now it had completely run out, I guessed I could not survive, and with this painful last breath, I passed out for a good while.

← Part 15 · Part 16 · Part 17 →

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
  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 (this article)
  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

Tags