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揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 17

This is Part 17 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 16 · Part 17 · Part 18 →

火亦漸滅,遙聞炮聲三,往來兵丁漸少,予婦彭兒坐糞窖中,洪嫗亦來相依。 The fires then gradually went out, in the distance we heard three cannon shots, and the soldiers going back and forth gradually reduced; my wife and our son Peng sat in a dung cellar, and Old Mrs Hong also came and joined them.

有數卒擄四五個婦人,內二老者悲泣,兩少者嘻笑自若; Several soldiers had captured four or give women, amongst them two old ones who were sobbing, and two young ones who were giggling and enjoying themselves;

後有二卒追上奪婦,自相奮擊,內一卒勸解作滿語,忽一卒將少婦負至樹下野合,馀二婦亦就被污,老婦哭泣求免,兩少婦恬不為恥,數十人互為奸淫,仍交與追來二卒,而其中一少婦已不能起走矣。 from behind two soldiers caught up and seized a woman, and they [the soldiers] came to blows with each other; one of the soldiers mediated, speaking in Manchu; suddenly a soldier hoisted up one of the young women and committed adultery with her under a tree; the other two women were likewise defiled, and the old women wept, begging for exemption; the two young women were calm and shameless as a dozen men took it in turns to rape them and then handed them over to the two soldiers who'd caught up; one of the young women could not stand up or walk afterwards.

予認知為焦氏之媳,其家平日所為,應至於此,驚駭之下,不勝嘆息。 I recognised her and knew she was a daughter-in-law of the Jiao family; in normal times her family was like that, but in these shocking circumstances I could not help but sigh with regret.

忽見一人紅衣佩劍,滿帽皂靴,年不及三十,姿容俊爽,隨從一人,衣黃背甲,貌亦魁梧,後有數南人負重追隨。 I suddenly saw someone in red clothes with a sword at his waist, wearing a Manchu cap and black boots, less than thirty years old, looking handsome and smart; he had following him a man in yellow clothes with armour on his torso, and his appearance was likewise tall and sturdy; behind them were several southerners bearing heavy loads and following them.

紅衣者熟視予,指而問曰: The one in red clothes regarded me, and then pointed and said:

“視予,爾非若儔輩,實言何等人?” "Looking at you, you are not like these others - truthfully tell me what kind of person you are."

予念時有以措大而獲全者,亦有以措大而立斃者,不敢不以實告,紅衣者遂大笑謂黃衣者曰: I thought at that moment that there were those who had survived because they were scholars, and likewise those who had been killed because they were scholars, and didn't dare to speak truthfully; the man in red clothes then laughed loudly and said to the one in yellow clothes:

“汝服否?吾固知此蠻子非常等人也。” "Are you convinced? I am certain this southern savage is not an ordinary person."

復指洪嫗及予問為誰? Then he pointed at Old Mrs Hong and asked me who she was.

具告之,紅衣者曰: I told him everything, and the man in red clothes said:

“明日王爺下令封刀,汝等得生矣!幸勿自斃。” "Tomorrow the Venerable Prince will give an order to sheath the blades, and you all shall live! Trust me, and do not kill yourselves."

命隨人付衣幾件,金一錠,問:“汝等幾日不食? ” He gave orders to his entourage to give us a few items of clothing and an ingot of money, and asked: "How many days have you not eaten?"

予答以五日,則曰:“隨我來。” I replied that it had been five days, and then he said: "Come with me."

予與婦且行且疑,又不敢不行,行至一宅,室雖小而貲畜甚富,魚米充軔,中一老嫗,一子方十二三歲,見眾至,駭甚,哀號觸地。 My wife and I were both trusting and suspicious, daring and not daring to go, and we arrived at a residence; although the the house was small, the stores there seemed extremely abundant - fish and rice filled the place; within was an old woman and a boy of twelve or thirteen years old; they saw the crowd had arrived and were extremely startled, wailing in anguish at the contact.

紅衣者曰:“予貸汝命,汝為我待此四人者,否則殺汝,汝此子當付我去。” The one in red clothes said: "You are spared your life; you must treat these four people I have brought well, or I will kill you; hand me that boy of yours."

遂挈其子與予作別而去。 Thereupon he took the boy and took leave of us.

← Part 16 · Part 17 · Part 18 →

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
  17. 揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 17 (this article)
  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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