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Xuan-de: Year 2, Month 10, Day 28

16 Nov 1427

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The Auxiliary Court of State Ceremonial memorialized and presented the letter sent to the An-yuan Marquis Liu Sheng, regional commander [of Jiao-zhi] by Li Li and others of Annam. The letter read: "We have heard that Mencius said: `It requires a perfectly virtuous prince to be able, with a great country to serve a small one. It requires a wise prince to be able, with a small country, to serve a large one. He who with a great state serves a small one delights in Heaven. He who with a small state serves a large one, stands in awe of Heaven.' Formerly, when the Tai-zu Emperor first ascended the throne, our former king of Annam was the first of all the countries to bring tribute. He was given special praise and the seal of king was conferred upon him. For generations, the borders were protected and tribute was provided to the Court without fail. When Li Ji-li engaged in evil, overturned the ancestral hall, was deceitful to the Court above and brought suffering to the people below, the Tai-zong Emperor raised an army to punish the evil and bring solace to the people. When things were pacified, it was Imperially commanded that a male descendant of the Chen line be sought to offer the Chen family sacrifices. At that time, because they had suffered Ji-li's evil, all of the Chen family had fled to distant places and thus it was impossible at that time to seek them out. There is however a descendant of the Chens, named Hao. He hid himself in Laos for 20 years. The people of this country have not forgotten the kindness of the former Chen kings and they have already sought Hao from his exile. They want Hao to continue the sacrifices at the ancestral hall. All the people are unanimously agreed in this. I and the others being rude in behaviour, dare to express impetuous words, rashly advise of this to the Imperial threshold and humbly seek Your Majesty's compassion. This memorial is thus submitted to the Emperor in the hope that it meets with Heaven's grace. If, in accordance with the Tai-zong Emperor's wish to restore the broken line, it is proclaimed that the Chens, whose line of succession was broken, are to be restored, not only will Hao be receiving the grace of Heaven and Earth, but all the people of the country will enjoy Heaven's endless grace."

Xuan-zong: juan 32.8b-9a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 17, page 0830/31

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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/xuan-de/year-2-month-10-day-28, accessed November 17, 2019