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Zheng-tong: Year 8, Month 6, Day 4

30 Jun 1443

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Liu Qiu, an expositor-in-waiting in the Han-lin Academy was sent to prison where he died. Qiu had submitted a memorial saying: ".....The evil weapons of soldiers are terrifying and bring harm to people. They are repugnant to the Way of Heaven. When the Gao Emperor of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D) used the military to pacify all under Heaven, he was not without the best troops and yet he was defeated by the Xiong-nu at Bai-deng. In the end, the defeat was not reversed and thus we know that Heaven hates the use of troops. For example, troops have been employed for repeated years in Lu-chuan, and seven or eight in ten have been killed. The military expenses and rewards expended are incalculable. Now this ulcer still has not been cured and the Ding-xi Marquis Jiang Gui is again being sent to receive from Ava-Burma the bandit chieftain Si Ren-fa whom they have captured. If Ava-Burma's words are to be believed, the troops will obtain the bandit and return. Then all that will happen is that he will be shown to the Court, dismembered in public and his remains will be put on show on the thoroughfare. However, Ava-Burma will push for rewards for its achievements and will seek the division of Lu-chuan's land between itself and Mu-bang. If this is not granted, they will harbour resentment. If they are given the land, both these yi areas will grow by half in terms of territory and population. Their power will grow and later it will not be possible to control them. While eliminating one Lu-chuan, we will be producing two more Lu-chuans. If something goes awry, the fighting will go on without end and many will indeed meet their deaths. I have seen in the Records of the Emperors that many major criminals have been shown sympathy, pardoned and ordered to serve as soldiers. Such benevolence indeed accords with Heaven and Earth's love for all living things. Now, in order to obtain a single, skulking bandit who has lost his territory, tens of thousands of innocent troops are being sent to their place of death. Further, the bandit's son Si Ji-fa in Lu-chuan has already sent people to come and offer tribute. He is regretting his errors and begging that they be forgiven. It would be best to order the Jing-yuan Earl Wang Ji to send people to instruct Ava-Burma that it is unnecessary to send the bandit alive, that it is only necessary to behead him and present his head, and then they will be given rich rewards. Also, Si Ji-fa should be ordered to give up all the territory on his four boundaries and it should be divided among the stockades of those yi who have newly come to allegiance. He should then be given a minor post, whereby he can guard his old territory. In this way, troops will not have to be employed, and the area can still see peace. I believe that we should call back Jiang Gui and stop the Hu-guang, Si-chuan and Gui-zhou troops. This will save the lives of 10,000 troops and accord with Heaven's wishes...." The five military commissions, six ministries and the Censorate were ordered to jointly deliberate on the memorial. They all said: "Of all the things Qiu has spoken of, only the proposal on selecting the official for the Court of Imperial Sacrifice should be approved. It is requested that the Ministry of Personnel promote the Han-lin Senior Compiler Dong Lin." When this became known, he himself requested that he be appointed to the post of official in the Court of Imperial Sacrifice. Qiu was implicated in Lin's affair, arrested and placed in the Embroidered-Uniform Guard. After several days, Ma Shun, guard commander of the Embroidered-Uniform Guard prison, advised that Qiu had died of illness. His corpse was dismembered and disposed of. Shun did this in accordance with the wishes of the eunuch Wang Zhen...

Ying-zong: juan 105.2b-6a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 27, page 2124/31

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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/zheng-tong/year-8-month-6-day-4, accessed December 06, 2019