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Jia-jing: Year 18, Month 2, Day 24

14 Mar 1539

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The envoy Ruan Wen-tai and others who had been sent by the Annam chieftain Mo Fang-ying came to Zhen-nan Pass with a request to be permitted to surrender and presenting details of their land and population. Fang-ying's memorial noted: "I bow before the Sage who demonstrates benevolence through forgiveness of transgressions and the pardoning of crimes. Standing in awe of Heaven and obeying orders is the duty of our small country. I humbly note that the land and people of this country all belong to the Heavenly Court and that during the Chens reign and when the Lis carried on, all of the Court's orders were obeyed. Previously, our former king Li Zhou was killed and died without sons. The people of the country jointly promoted his nephew Li Hui to take temporary control of the country's affairs. Li Hui died of illness without sons and the people of the country jointly pushed forward his younger brother Li Kuang as ruler in temporary control of the country's affairs. However, as Li Kuang was only young, a regent was appointed. For six years disorder rocked the country and the roads were blocked, so that it was not possible to request orders from the Court. Also unfortunately Li Kuang was struck by a disease while young and there were no other sons or grandsons. Further, there were no descendants in the branch families and therefore no-one who could succeed to the throne. Thus, as my father Mo Deng-yong was a senior minister and previously had been of some service, he was summoned to take charge of the country's affairs. Above, my father had received the commission of the Lis, while below he was entreated by the people of the country. He knew that, if suddenly there was reckless change among the yi, he would certainly be punished by the Court. However, if he was to decline the duties, the people of the country would have no-one to govern them. My father was thus obliged to respectfully take on the protection of the seal which the Heavenly Court had Imperially conferred, and pacified and settled the people. He subsequently passed on these duties to me. I am anxious that my former lord Li Kuang appointed my father without requesting permission from the Court, and my father accepted the appointment from Li Kuang without receiving orders from the Court. Also, both my appointment and acceptance of the appointment may have been wrong. My father and I are both guilty of presumptuously accepting appointment. The chieftains Fan Zheng-yi, Ruan Wen-tai and Ruan Du of this country have been successively sent with memorials respectfully noting the events and admitting guilt. However, as the prohibitions on entry imposed by the Imperial Court were strictly enforced, for long years not even one envoy could pass. My father and I worried about this day and night. We found no flavour in our food and could not sleep peacefully. We willingly confess the crime of delay and hope that the Imperial Court will forgive those who reform and be lenient in the application of the law with those who admit guilt. Imperial majesty who covers all and contains all, you have especially sent the grand defenders and grand coordinators of Guang-dong/Guang-xi and Yun-nan to proclaim instructions in respect of the Court's majesty and virtue, and to examine the situation in our country. This has allowed my father and I to make a report of explanation, and provided an avenue for us to show our allegiance. I have thus respectfully noted the true details of the land and people of our country and memorialize these. It is humbly hoped that the Heavenly Court, in making arrangements, will provide orders for the people of our country, so that my father and I can obtain release from our mountains of crimes, and so that all the people of our country are contained by the assisting influences of Heaven and Earth. I am thus respectfully offering a memorial noting the situation and admitting guilt." He further memorialized: "Within the limits of this country's territory, are 53 prefectures, 176 counties, 49 subprefectures, and 300,000 households totalling 1,750,000 persons." At this time, the grand defender and grand coordinator of Guang-dong/Guang-xi urgently memorialized his memorial of surrender. It was Imperially commanded that the Ministry of Rites and the Ministry of War jointly deliberate and advise.

Shi-zong: juan 221.16a-17a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 81, page 4593/95

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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/jia-jing/year-18-month-2-day-24, accessed November 17, 2019