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Thread: Empress dowager cixi

  1. #151
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    Chapter 26

    During the war against the Peaceful Army, Qing government had established a riverine division on the Yangtze River. It had been placed under the command of Elder Zeng. A general was in the direct charge of the division, which consisted of several battalions with an officer as the head of a battalion. The discipline of the division was worse than everyone could imagine. The division soldiers would take off their uniforms and put on plain clothes and robbed the merchant's ships on the Yangtze River of their goods and other valuables. When Elder Zeng had been alive, West Empress Dowager and Yixin had tolerated the conduct of the division because of Elder Zeng. Now Elder Zeng died and many critique reports came to complain about the terrible discipline of the division, which demanded the attention of West Empress Dowager. She then appointed Deputy Minister Peng of Military Ministry as a Royal Representative to investigate the case. A Royal Representative acted on behalf of the emperor and could execute any corrupted officials and officers in emergencies before he reported to the emperor. The ordinary procedures were that the execution of an official or officer must be reported to the emperor and must wait to be approved by the emperor unless in the army during the wartime when a commander could do so without reporting first.
    Royal Representative Peng set out for the Yangtze River area. He was disguised as a countryside squire. He did look like one without his official uniform on, because he was a frugal man and never wore anything in silk or brocade or satin. He started from the upper Yangtze River, then downstream. Everywhere all along the Yangtze River, where there were the division's ships at anchor, he heard or even saw with his own eyes that the division soldiers bullied people and took things from people, even their daughters and sisters.

    http://www.allbook-books.com/html/10...n_in_china.htm

  2. #152
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    Chapter 26

    During the war against the Peaceful Army, Qing government had established a riverine division on the Yangtze River. It had been placed under the command of Elder Zeng. A general was in the direct charge of the division, which consisted of several battalions with an officer as the head of a battalion. The discipline of the division was worse than everyone could imagine. The division soldiers would take off their uniforms and put on plain clothes and robbed the merchant's ships on the Yangtze River of their goods and other valuables. When Elder Zeng had been alive, West Empress Dowager and Yixin had tolerated the conduct of the division because of Elder Zeng. Now Elder Zeng died and many critique reports came to complain about the terrible discipline of the division, which demanded the attention of West Empress Dowager. She then appointed Deputy Minister Peng of Military Ministry as a Royal Representative to investigate the case. A Royal Representative acted on behalf of the emperor and could execute any corrupted officials and officers in emergencies before he reported to the emperor. The ordinary procedures were that the execution of an official or officer must be reported to the emperor and must wait to be approved by the emperor unless in the army during the wartime when a commander could do so without reporting first.
    Royal Representative Peng set out for the Yangtze River area. He was disguised as a countryside squire. He did look like one without his official uniform on, because he was a frugal man and never wore anything in silk or brocade or satin. He started from the upper Yangtze River, then downstream. Everywhere all along the Yangtze River, where there were the division's ships at anchor, he heard or even saw with his own eyes that the division soldiers bullied people and took things from people, even their daughters and sisters.


    http://www.allbook-books.com/html/10...n_in_china.htm

  3. #153
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    Peng went to inspect a battalion and asked the officer how he drilled his men. The officer answered with due reference, “Reply to Your Excellency, the Royal Representative, your humble servant train them how to practice archery.” Peng was surprised to hear that. When every warship was equipped with cannons, the officer still trained his men in archery. What's the use of that? He removed the officer from his post.
    One day, he entered Zhejiang Province and anchored near Jiaxing Town, which was at the Grand Canal. He got on the shore, ensued by his page. He sauntered on the country road, enjoying the scenery on the Grand Canal. There were weeping willow trees on either bank and distant sails against the blue sky. On the road a boy rode on the back of a buffalo, blowing a fife. Royal Representative Peng entered the town by the north gate. He felt hungry and went into a waterfront restaurant. He found an empty table near the window and sat down. Two division soldiers came in and sat at the next table. While eating, Peng noticed that the two soldiers, when they finished a dish, cast the dish out of the window into the water below, because the restaurant counted the dishes served and charged the customer by the count. The two soldiers had no dishes on their table now. They didn't need to pay. Peng left the restaurant after he paid for his lunch. When he was strolling in the street, he saw a big house and went in. It was an entertainment house. Someone would tell stories there. In the back there was a dais, on which stood a table and a chair behind it. The story-teller was supposed to sit there, narrating the story. The rest of the space was occupied by tables and benches. Listeners would sit there. The entertainment house would sell tea and snacks to the listeners. Generally the story-teller would recount an interesting novel in serials such as the Three Kingdoms. He would change his voice to suit the characters of the novel. He could even imitate a female voice. Often at a very intriquing point of the story, he would say, “Time's up today. If my respected listeners want to know how the story will go on, please come early tomorrow.”

  4. #154
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    Peng went to inspect a battalion and asked the officer how he drilled his men. The officer answered with due reference, “Reply to Your Excellency, the Royal Representative, your humble servant train them how to practice archery.” Peng was surprised to hear that. When every warship was equipped with cannons, the officer still trained his men in archery. What's the use of that? He removed the officer from his post.
    One day, he entered Zhejiang Province and anchored near Jiaxing Town, which was at the Grand Canal. He got on the shore, ensued by his page. He sauntered on the country road, enjoying the scenery on the Grand Canal. There were weeping willow trees on either bank and distant sails against the blue sky. On the road a boy rode on the back of a buffalo, blowing a fife. Royal Representative Peng entered the town by the north gate. He felt hungry and went into a waterfront restaurant. He found an empty table near the window and sat down. Two division soldiers came in and sat at the next table. While eating, Peng noticed that the two soldiers, when they finished a dish, cast the dish out of the window into the water below, because the restaurant counted the dishes served and charged the customer by the count. The two soldiers had no dishes on their table now. They didn't need to pay. Peng left the restaurant after he paid for his lunch. When he was strolling in the street, he saw a big house and went in. It was an entertainment house. Someone would tell stories there. In the back there was a dais, on which stood a table and a chair behind it. The story-teller was supposed to sit there, narrating the story. The rest of the space was occupied by tables and benches. Listeners would sit there. The entertainment house would sell tea and snacks to the listeners. Generally the story-teller would recount an interesting novel in serials such as the Three Kingdoms. He would change his voice to suit the characters of the novel. He could even imitate a female voice. Often at a very intriquing point of the story, he would say, “Time's up today. If my respected listeners want to know how the story will go on, please come early tomorrow.”

  5. #155
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    It was almost full house. Only one table was not occupied, which was in the middle just in front of the dais. Peng went there and sat down. All the people there stared at him in consternation. A waiter hurried over and begged him to move, but where could he move to? This was the only empty table in the house. Just then a battalion officer came in, followed by two soldiers. All the faces around him turned pale and the waiter was on the brink of fainting. One of the soldiers shouted to him, “Get away!” The other soldier cried, “How dare you!” Peng stood up and left the house.
    Royal Representative Peng returned to his ship and convened the mayor of the town. When the mayor came, he inquired him about the battalion officer, adding, “Why didn't you punish him?
    “Your Excellency, the Royal Representative, people don't dare to sue him. Your humble servant don't have any evidence against him. Once a man came to my yamen, but next day was found killed at his home.”
    Peng knew that if he sent the mayor to arrest the officer on his ship, the soldiers might riot. So they laid out a plan. The battalion officer got an invitation from the mayor for a dinner party. The officer could not guess why the mayor wanted to give a dinner party, but he could never refused a dinner. When he went into the yamen, it didn't look like to have a party. He was about to turn and leave when he was seized by the policemen in the yamen. He was bought before Peng, who borrowed the mayor's yamen as his interrogating place. When the battalion officer recognized Peng, he knew his punishment was close at hand. Only he didn't know to what extent Peng was to punish him. He kowtowed, begging for his life. Peng had his crimes enumerated and then had him executed to the great delight of the town people.
    After his thorough investigation, he returned to the capital and sent in a report to West Empress Dowager, suggesting to remove the division general and many of his battalion officers. West Empress Dowager approved his report and appointed a new general and many new officers.

  6. #156
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    It was almost full house. Only one table was not occupied, which was in the middle just in front of the dais. Peng went there and sat down. All the people there stared at him in consternation. A waiter hurried over and begged him to move, but where could he move to? This was the only empty table in the house. Just then a battalion officer came in, followed by two soldiers. All the faces around him turned pale and the waiter was on the brink of fainting. One of the soldiers shouted to him, “Get away!” The other soldier cried, “How dare you!” Peng stood up and left the house.
    Royal Representative Peng returned to his ship and convened the mayor of the town. When the mayor came, he inquired him about the battalion officer, adding, “Why didn't you punish him?
    “Your Excellency, the Royal Representative, people don't dare to sue him. Your humble servant don't have any evidence against him. Once a man came to my yamen, but next day was found killed at his home.”
    Peng knew that if he sent the mayor to arrest the officer on his ship, the soldiers might riot. So they laid out a plan. The battalion officer got an invitation from the mayor for a dinner party. The officer could not guess why the mayor wanted to give a dinner party, but he could never refused a dinner. When he went into the yamen, it didn't look like to have a party. He was about to turn and leave when he was seized by the policemen in the yamen. He was bought before Peng, who borrowed the mayor's yamen as his interrogating place. When the battalion officer recognized Peng, he knew his punishment was close at hand. Only he didn't know to what extent Peng was to punish him. He kowtowed, begging for his life. Peng had his crimes enumerated and then had him executed to the great delight of the town people.
    After his thorough investigation, he returned to the capital and sent in a report to West Empress Dowager, suggesting to remove the division general and many of his battalion officers. West Empress Dowager approved his report and appointed a new general and many new officers.

  7. #157
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    A son was born to Prince Yihuan. His wife, the son's mother, was none the other than the sister of West Empress Dowager. The son was later Emperor Guangxu, who succeeded Emperor Tongzhi, the present young emperor. Besides, he was the first cousin of the present emperor. When the boy baby was one month old, there was a feast to celebrate it. West Empress Dowager was happy to have a nephew and gave many things as gifts. All the princes, royal relatives and high-rank courtiers were invited. All other officials were welcome to show up at the feast. On that day the residence of Prince Yihuan was crowded with guests. But birds of a feather gather together. Different people mingled in different groups by their ranks. The princes and imperial relations stayed together in one room. The ministers kept to themselves in another guest room while the critique officials joined each other in still another room. They would be critical of other courtiers and make fun of them in their chitchats. They would laugh at the expense of other people. That's what they often did when they met. A critique official was always learned and had a sharp tongue.
    Ronglu, now promoted to be the deputy minister of Construction Ministry, was put in charge of the arrangement for the feast. He arranged what rank of guests sat in which room. He got two opera troupes to act there and one troupe of acrobatics for the younger guests. Tutor Li, who was teaching the young emperor, liked to mix with the critique officials, though he was also a member of the Secretarial Bureau and could go to the room with the ministers. Many of the critique officials were the famous scholars of the time. Since Tutor Li was also a scholar, he loved to talk about books and poetry rather than vulgar things like food and women. When Tutor Li entered the room, they were talking about the outcome of the final government test of this year. Many critique officials shook their heads and sighed. Some testees, who had passed the test, even had misspellings in their test papers. Correct spelling was the basic requirement. When Tutor Li was told of it, he asked how it could happen. He was surprised to know that most of the appointed examiners were not scholars this year. How could they evaluate an article on the test papers? They were not qualified for that kind of job. Although Tutor Li was made the head of the department of the critique officials, he was not bold enough to criticize anything involving West Empress Dowager. His ambition now was to make the young emperor a scholar. Only a scholar could rule a country well. But he was disappointed in the young emperor, because the emperor didn't like to study hard. The more his natural mother, West Empress Dowager, pressed him, the stronger he detested the learning. Once the emperor couldn't recite a text, Tutor Li couldn't blame him. When he thought that it was deemed the neglect of his duties and that West Empress Dowager would blame him, his tears trickled down his face. Only this could make the young emperor feel ashamed of himself and begin to study hard.
    The empress dowagers thought that if the young emperor could have a companion about the same age to share the classes, it would inspire him in the studies. They decided to let Zaizhen, a son of Yixin, to be the classmate. Zaizhen was really not a good company. He didn't like reading, either. But the emperor gradually liked him because he knew all sorts of things outside the Forbidden City and told the emperor about them in the recesses.

  8. #158
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    A son was born to Prince Yihuan. His wife, the son's mother, was none the other than the sister of West Empress Dowager. The son was later Emperor Guangxu, who succeeded Emperor Tongzhi, the present young emperor. Besides, he was the first cousin of the present emperor. When the boy baby was one month old, there was a feast to celebrate it. West Empress Dowager was happy to have a nephew and gave many things as gifts. All the princes, royal relatives and high-rank courtiers were invited. All other officials were welcome to show up at the feast. On that day the residence of Prince Yihuan was crowded with guests. But birds of a feather gather together. Different people mingled in different groups by their ranks. The princes and imperial relations stayed together in one room. The ministers kept to themselves in another guest room while the critique officials joined each other in still another room. They would be critical of other courtiers and make fun of them in their chitchats. They would laugh at the expense of other people. That's what they often did when they met. A critique official was always learned and had a sharp tongue.
    Ronglu, now promoted to be the deputy minister of Construction Ministry, was put in charge of the arrangement for the feast. He arranged what rank of guests sat in which room. He got two opera troupes to act there and one troupe of acrobatics for the younger guests. Tutor Li, who was teaching the young emperor, liked to mix with the critique officials, though he was also a member of the Secretarial Bureau and could go to the room with the ministers. Many of the critique officials were the famous scholars of the time. Since Tutor Li was also a scholar, he loved to talk about books and poetry rather than vulgar things like food and women. When Tutor Li entered the room, they were talking about the outcome of the final government test of this year. Many critique officials shook their heads and sighed. Some testees, who had passed the test, even had misspellings in their test papers. Correct spelling was the basic requirement. When Tutor Li was told of it, he asked how it could happen. He was surprised to know that most of the appointed examiners were not scholars this year. How could they evaluate an article on the test papers? They were not qualified for that kind of job. Although Tutor Li was made the head of the department of the critique officials, he was not bold enough to criticize anything involving West Empress Dowager. His ambition now was to make the young emperor a scholar. Only a scholar could rule a country well. But he was disappointed in the young emperor, because the emperor didn't like to study hard. The more his natural mother, West Empress Dowager, pressed him, the stronger he detested the learning. Once the emperor couldn't recite a text, Tutor Li couldn't blame him. When he thought that it was deemed the neglect of his duties and that West Empress Dowager would blame him, his tears trickled down his face. Only this could make the young emperor feel ashamed of himself and begin to study hard.
    The empress dowagers thought that if the young emperor could have a companion about the same age to share the classes, it would inspire him in the studies. They decided to let Zaizhen, a son of Yixin, to be the classmate. Zaizhen was really not a good company. He didn't like reading, either. But the emperor gradually liked him because he knew all sorts of things outside the Forbidden City and told the emperor about them in the recesses.

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