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揚州十日記 translation: Diary of the Ten Days of Yangzhou, Part 19

This is Part 19 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 18 · Part 19

初四日,天始霽,道路積尸既經積雨暴漲,而青皮如蒙鼓,血肉內潰。 On the fourth, the sky cleared for the first time, and on the roads the piled up bodies that had swelled up in the rain were blue and bulging, their flesh and blood breaking down.

穢臭逼人,復經日炙,其氣愈甚,前後左右,處處焚灼,室中氤氳,結成如霧,腥聞百里。 The filthy stench pressed down on people, and heated under the sun, the vapour was all the more extreme; in front and behind, left and right, everywhere they cremated them, forming a fog, the fishy smell going a hundred _li_.

蓋此百萬生靈,一朝橫死,雖天地鬼神,不能不為之愁慘也! These millions of living beings, in one swoop had died, and even Heaven and Earth, spirits and deities could not avoid feeling mournful about it!

初五日,幽僻之人始悄悄走出,每相遇,各淚下不能作一語。 On the fifth, the people in remote areas began to quietly leave, and every time one encountered them, they all shed tears and could not speak a word.

予等五人雖獲稍蘇,終不敢居宅內,晨起早食,即出處野畔,其妝飾一如前日​​; We five people, although we had somewhat recovered, in the end did not dare stay inside the house, and in the morning when we rose to have breakfast, we thereupon went out onto the open bank, which had been returned to its former appearance;

蓋往來打糧者日不下數十輩,雖不操戈,而各制挺恐嚇,詐人財物,每有斃杖下者; Those going back and forth getting provisions now numbered less than ten in a day, and although they did not carry spears, each of them was till very menacing, cheating people out of their belongings, and each time there were those who died by their sticks.

一遇婦女,仍肆擄劫,初不知為清兵為鎮兵為亂民也? When they encountered women, they still seized them, but I do not know if they were Qing troops, regional troops or by disorderly people?

是日,伯兄因傷重,刀瘡迸裂而死,傷哉,痛不可言! That day, my second elder brother's wounds reopened; the blade wounds burst open and he died; pain! pain that I cannot describe!

憶予初被難時,兄弟嫂侄婦子親共八人,今僅存三人,其內外姨又不復論。 I recalled that when we first encountered trouble, there were eight of us - my two elder brothers, my younger brother, my sister-in-law, my nephew, my wife and my son - and now there only remained three of us, not including my wife's sisters.

計揚之人如予之家水知凡幾? Comparing those people of Yangzhou who died compared to my family - who knows how many there were?

其數瀕於死,幸死而不死,如予與婦者甚少,然而愁苦萬狀矣! The number who nearly died, who were lucky and avoided death, such as myself and my wife, were very few, but the pain is ten thousand times!

自四月二十五日起,至五月五日止,共十日,其間皆身所親歷,目所親睹,故漫記之如此,遠處風聞者不載也。 Starting from the 25th of the 4th month, to the 5th of the 5th month, in total ten days, in that internal everything that I personally experienced and saw with my own eyes, I have unrestrainedly recorded it here thus, so that those in distant places can hear about it.

後之人幸生太平之世,享無事之樂; People of later generations who are fortunate enough to live in a peaceful world, enjoy the happiness of not having these problems;

不自修省,一味暴殄者,閱此當驚惕焉耳! those who do not cultivate themselves, and are blindly violent, read this and be properly fearful and respectful!

← Part 18 · Part 19

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
  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 (this article)

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