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Yong-le: Year 17, Month 10, Day 12

30 Oct 1419

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An envoy was sent with instructions for San-lai Bo-mo-la-zha-di-lai, the king of the country of Siam, as follows: "I reverently took on the Mandate of Heaven and I rule the Chinese and the yi. In my rule, I embody Heaven and Earth's love and concern for the welfare of all things and look on all equally, without distinguishing between one and the other. You, king, have been able to respect Heaven and serve the superior and have fulfilled your tribute duties. I have been greatly pleased by this for a long time. Recently, Yi-si-han-da-er Sha, the king of the country of Melaka inherited the throne. He has been able to to carry on his father's will and has personally brought his wife and children to the Court to offer tribute. This loyalty in serving the superior is no different from yours. However, I have learned that, without reason, you have intended to send troops against him. With the dangerous weapons troops carry, when two sides meet in combat, it is inevitable that there will be great injuries on both sides. Thus, those who are fond of using troops do not have virtuous hearts. The king of the country of Melaka has already become part of the within, and he is a minister of the Court. If he has committed an offence, you should report details to the Court. You must not rashly send troops on this account. If you do so, is this not the same as having no Court? Such actions will certainly not be your wishes. Perhaps it is your ministers using your name in despatching troops to pursue private quarrels. You should consider such matters deeply and not allow yourself to be deceived. If you develop good relations with neighbouring countries and do not engage in mutual aggression, the prosperity which will result will be limitless. King, you should bear this in mind!"

Tai-zong: juan 217.1a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 14, page 2161/62

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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/yong-le/year-17-month-10-day-12, accessed November 18, 2019

Comments

Yong-le: Year 17, Month 10, Day 12

"You mu st not rashly send troops on this account. If you do so, is this not the same as having no Court?"

"If you develop good relations with neighbouring countries and do not engage in mu tual aggression, the prosperity which will result will be limitless. King, you should bear this in mind!"

"must" and "mutual" have been partially italicized and separated from the rest of the word- typo or (more likely) some automated program that has been over zealous?

[editor: Thanks for spotting this. It has been fixed.]