Entry

Yong-le: Year 4, Month 4, Day 20

8 May 1406

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The Embroidered-Uniform Guard memorialized that some people had been in contact with envoys of foreign countries and proposed that they be arrested and handed over to the judicial offices to be punished in accordance with the law. The Emperor asked for details and they replied: "They traded rugs and clothing with them and talked for a very long time". The Emperor said: "Release them." The Embroidered-Uniform Guard again said: "Even if their trade in rugs and clothing is taxed, it will still be difficult, in terms of the law, to excuse their contact." The Emperor said: "Laws are established to prevent evil. If laws are too lightly enforced, the people will take the substance of the law lightly. If they are enforced too severely, the people will be in difficulties. In the lesser man's way to make a living, people who are rich will use money to buy goods. People who are poor will sell goods for money. Discussing the price is correct. How can a single price be set. How are they to know the state laws. Release them!"....

Tai-zong: juan 53.4a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 11, page 0795/96

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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-4-month-4-day-20, accessed October 23, 2019