Entry

Yong-le: Year 2, Month 8, Day 6

10 Sep 1404

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Pei Bo-qi, attendant minister of Annam, came to inform of an urgent matter. His memorial read:

"My family has for generations served under the Chens of Annam. My forefathers were all "Grand Master" executive officials who died in office. My mother was truly a close relative of the Chens and thus, from the time I was small, I served the king. I was given a title of the fifth rank and later served the Wu-jie Marquis Chen Ke-zhen as his deputy. In the 32nd year of the Hong-wu reign (1399/1400), I acted for Ke-zhen in leading troops to the Eastern Sea to defend against the Japanese (Alt: pirates). Then, the traitorous subject Li Ji-li and his son killed our lord and usurped the throne. He killed the honest and virtuous ministers and wiped out over 110 members of the family. My elder and younger brothers, wife and children were all put to death. They sent someone to arrest me with the intention of slicing me to pieces. However, I had heard of the rebellion which had occurred and had left the army and fled deep into the mountain forests. In deep seclusion and poverty, I lived together with the savages and monkeys. With firm loyalty, I was grieved but had no way to lay plaint.

"Recently, I heard that the Emperor had ascended the throne and had extended his rule to all places. I wished to advise all to the Emperor and request the elimination of the bandit, but I had to undergo all sorts of dangers before reaching the border. I left in the guise of a merchant and in the fourth month of this year (May/Jun 1404), I reached Si-ming. The officials received me and sent me on, and now I am fortunate in being able to be in the Emperor's presence. I know that the traitorous minister Li Ji-li is the son of the deceased military commissioner Li Guo-qi (Alt: Li Guo-mao). Li Ji-li had served the Chen family for generations and desired to steal great glory. When his son Cang was also appointed as a high official, he suddenly achieved his ambition by killing the ruler and grasping power. He changed his name to Hu Yi-yuan and his son was called Hu Di. He usurped a dynastic title and adopted a reign title and, not respecting orders from the Court, he acted wantonly and uncaringly in regard to the people. The people cherished grievances and called on Heaven and Earth and loyal, good officials to hear their sorrows and woes. My sense of righteousness has been aroused and I am rashly entreating Heaven to listen. I pray that you will extend your righteousness of looking on all equally, will pity the innocent people and will raise an army to console the people and punish the evil-doers, which will carry out the great duty of restoring the family whose line of succession has been broken. I can carry a crossbow and arrows, will provide guidance and will advise of Heaven's majesty. The loyal and righteous followers will certainly respond and come together swiftly, capture and exterminate this bandit, cleanse away the treachery and evil and restore the sons and grandsons of the Chen line as rulers of the land. Then, we petty, distant yi will look up to and honour the moral might of the Sage, will reverently offer tribute and will long serve as a foreign feudatory. I am without ability and I venture to offer myself as Shen Bao-xu. I am daring death in my request and humbly pray that Your Majesty will have pity."

The Emperor consoled him and ordered that officers provide him with food and clothing.

Tai-zong: juan 33.5b-6a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 10, page 0584/85

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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-2-month-8-day-6, accessed November 18, 2018

Comments

" ...He changed his name to Hu Yi-yuan and his son was called Hu Di " . Hu Di (胡) . In the Chinese text Ming Shi Lu ( 明實錄 ) written 胡