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Zheng-tong: Year 14, Month 6, Day 19

8 Jul 1449

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Zhan Ying, instructor of the Confucian school in Hui-chuan Guard, Si-chuan, advised: "Previously, as the bandit son Si Ji-fa of Lu-chuan had repeatedly disturbed the borders, the Emperor ordered the generals to despatch the army and proceed to punish his crimes. However, the Jing-yuan Earl Wang Ji and the Commissioner-in-chief Gong Ju did not manifest the Emperor's wishes and instead gave rein to their own desires. Their luggage required 200-300 carrying poles, and 500-600 porters were employed to carry their variegated silks and other goods. They secretly sent officials of the military commission and other offices to seek great profits. They also dared to deliberately violate the Imperial ancestral instructions and, without permission, applied the punishment of castration. They claimed that they were going to present these people to the Court, but actually retained them for their own use. When the army was on the march, there was absolutely no discipline. The Great Army consisted of 150,000 troops and, from the day it proceeded, there was trampling and injury, without even the slightest pity being shown. Further, there were no plans made for transporting grain and each soldier carried six dou of grain. The carrying of such weight was extremely arduous. How could they be expected to be sharp and valiant! There were even some who ended up hanging themselves for this reason. Over 1,000 horses were sent for the purpose of carrying grain. I do not know what happened to these horses. Also, when they reached the bandit territory next to the Jin-sha River, they attacked but were unsuccessful, and troops were killed by the bandits. Yet, the regional commissioners and other officials sent fisher-people (漁戶) who had come to allegiance back as captured prisoners. Subsequently, they withdrew the army and divided the area between Mu-bang and Ava-Burma. And yet, they claimed their defeat as a victory and cheated Heaven to obtain rewards. Wang Ji and Gong Ju should be subject to detailed investigation. They have trifled with the law and are unrepentant. They harmed the troops and caused victory to be lost. The circumstances of their crime is such that 10,000 deaths would be too light a punishment. Formerly, during the Tang dynasty, when Nan-zhao caused alarm, the attendant censor Li Mi led 70,000 troops to rout them. The troops were defeated, but Yang Guo-zhong announced victory. Fan Zu-yu commented on this with the words of Guan-zi, saying: `When 10,000 li away from the Court, the danger of concealing the truth is extreme.' The Emperor presides over the whole Empire. How could he know of this deception. It is requested that Ji and Ju be arrested and sent to the Judicial Office, so that their crimes can be punished. However, first an honest and able official should be sent to examine and seal the luggage of the various officials, in order that the anger of Heaven might be dissipated and the hearts of the soldiers cheered." The memorial was sent to the Ministry of War, which, together with the Ministry of Justice, advised: "We should send a censor to proceed directly to Yun-nan, where he will, together with the regional inspecting censor and officials of the three offices, fairly examine whether the afore-mentioned crimes of plunder have taken place. On clarifying this point, they should memorialize, so that the matter is clarified and any crimes can be dealt with." The Emperor, having already assigned Ji and so on to proceed on an expedition of elimination against the Miao bandits, especially pardoned him and said: "Ying was aware of this. Have him follow Ju and so on and submit a self-impeachment." Ying was frightened that he would not be pardoned and he subsequently hid in another place.

Ying-zong: juan 179.7b-8b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 30, page 3464/66

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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/zheng-tong/year-14-month-6-day-19, accessed October 17, 2019