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Thread: EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI

  1. #11
    Atthree year's intervals, the selection of girls for the emperor wouldbegin. It lasted for several months. First, every family of theMandarin Clan would report their unmarried daughters between ages 13and 17 to the Clan Affairs Management. The management would sendsome officials and eunuchs to check out the girls on the list. Thatwas the first stage of the selection. Many names on the long listwould be crossed out. Those still on the list would be sent into theForbidden City for further sifting. Among those selected, some wouldbe sent to the princes. If lucky, they would become the concubinesof the princes. Some of the selected would be the royal waitingmaids in the palaces. Only a handful of luckiest girls would be inthe presence of the emperor.
    Mostgirls, however, still longed to be selected and live in the ForbiddenCity, either as royal maids or as royal concubines. Even as a royalmaid, if she took the emperor's fancy and had sex with him, she wouldbecome a royal concubine. But as a royal concubine, if the emperorwas never interested in her, she would always live alone, till deathreleased her from the solitary confinement. Just try luck whenselected. But whether a girl was selected or not depended on theemperor himself or the empress dowager if there was one. The girlcould do nothing to that effect.
    Asdestiny had it, LanEr was selected as a royal concubine and sent tolive in the Round-Bright Garden, the Garden of All Gardens, as theforeigners called it. But getting into the palace was only the firststep. If the emperor never looked at her, her fate would bemiserable. Actually the emperor lived in the Forbidden City, not inthe Garden. So LanEr was disappointed. But no worry. The lucky starwas shining over her. The rebels in the southern provinces hadfounded their own regime. It was named The Peaceful Heavenly Kingdom The Qing government armies had been defeated. Reports came in fromthese provinces, bearing bad news. The emperor felt a headachewhenever he read these reports. Therefore, he moved into theRound-bright Garden with the queen, wishing a better environmentwould assuage his headache when he had to read those reports indismay. Now LanEr had the chance. She wanted to approach theemperor, but didn't dare to do so, because there were strict rules ofetiquette everywhere in the palace. One step amiss, regret the wholelife. If she could not go near the emperor, why not let the emperorcome to her? Good idea. She always got good ideas. She was so proudof herself.
    EmperorXianfeng (1831-1861 and succeeded to the throne in 1850) came outfrom the queen's chamber. The queen was from Nugulu family. Herfather was one of the prime ministers. (There was more than one primeministers in Qing Dynasty, because the decision was made by theemperor himself, not by a prime minister.) The queen was kind,benevolent and demure. She never showed her teeth even when grinning.Okay. She never grinned, only smiled. That's what demureness requiredfrom a lady.
    Theemperor sauntered in the royal garden towards his study. Suddenly heheard someone singing from behind a cluster of trees. The voice wasso sweet that it magnetized him to it, like the song of the sirens.No resistance offered on his part. Indeed, the emperor never thoughtof resisting it. He was willing to be drawn to it, to so sweet avoice, a female voice. He was a man. How can a man resist a woman?Besides, he could conclude, from the sweet voice, that she must be abeautiful young girl. Never did an ugly woman have such a sweetvoice. Is there any woman like that? Ugly but with a sweet voice? Hehad best explore it and find the answer for himself.
    Behindthe grove there was a pavilion, in which a girl sat leaning on therailing. From the attire, he knew she was a royal concubine, but anew one he had never set his eyes on before.
    LanErsat in the pavilion, singing her heart out. A bait she threw out. Shehad studied the location. It lay near the everyday route the emperorwould take when he went to the queen? chamber from his study and thenback. Now she saw the emperor coming. The fish to her hook. Thebiggest fish she could get.
    Shegot on her knees to welcome the emperor, who helped her on her feet.The emperor looked attentively at the new concubine. Beautiful.Really beautiful. The most beautiful among all his concubines. Thequeen was not so beautiful. But an emperor chose a queen for herdemureness and decency of behavior, not for her beauty, but chose aconcubine for her beauty. The emperor couldn't take his eyes awayfrom the oval face, the straight nose, crescent-shaped eyebrows,almond-shaped eyes, clear as crystal, peach-colored cheeks with twodimples when smiling, ebony-black hair in a tress, a pretty contrastto her fair skin. She was dressed in a red brocade gown of theMandarin style. The emperor touched her hand, jade-white, with rednails. He felt his heart beating wildly against his rib cage like hewere having a palpitation. The emperor was only in his earlytwenties. His hormones rushed up.
    Sothat night the emperor slept with LanEr. She became known later asRoyal Concubine Yan, the emperor's favorite concubine. Before long,Concubine Yan got pregnant. The queen didn? have any children of herown and Concubine Yan was the only one pregnant among all theconcubines at the time. So she got special treatment. Andehai (knownlater as Little An), the emperor's favorite eunuch, was sent to waiton her and then became her favorite eunuch. Andehai was a youngeunuch with a handsome face and fair complexion. And the mostimportant thing was that he knew how to flatter and to please. If hewere to open a school to teach the skills of flattering, he wouldhave had a lot of students.
    EmperorXianfeng was expecting a son, an heir and a successor. If ConcubineYan gave birth to a girl, her side of the scales would tip up andlose the favorite balance, and also her importance in the eye of theemperor. And also her ambition. But as fate would have it, she bore ason to the great expectation of the emperor. Now her side of thescales sank. Her position in the palace was unshakable. Even thequeen sometimes would yield to her wishes.

  2. #12
    Chapter 4


    EmperorXianfeng had such a strong desire for sex that he couldn't spend asingle night sleeping without a woman beside him in bed. The emperorhad nineteen concubines. According to the palace records about theprocedures for the emperor's sex life, the emperor never went to thechamber of any concubines. Every night before the emperor went tobed, a eunuch brought in a tray on which lay many small rectangularwooden pieces with the names of all the concubines inscribed on them.The eunuch held the tray high above his head on his knees before theemperor. If the emperor decided on someone, he would turn upsidedown the wooden piece with the name on it. Then the eunuch went tothe chamber of the concubine the emperor had chosen. The concubinewas stripped naked. Two other eunuchs put a blanket around her andcarried her on their shoulders to the emperor's bedroom. The eunuchslaid down the concubine at the foot of the emperor's bed and takingthe blanket off of the concubine, they left the emperor's bedroom. The nude concubine crawled to the pillows and lay down beside theemperor. In the morning, the two eunuchs came back to wrap theconcubine in the blanket and carried her back to her own chamber. The date and the name of the concubine were recorded so that if theconcubine got pregnant, they could count the days to make sure thechild was the emperor's flesh and blood, not someone else's. Sincehe was so fond of Royal Concubine Yan, he sent for her into hisbedroom almost every night, even when she was with child. They werehappy together in bed. Sometimes the emperor slept so late that hemissed holding his court.
    Hiscourtiers came early and waited in the resting room, but the emperornever showed up to meet them to hear their reports or havediscussions about all the national affairs. The written instructionsset up and handed down by the ancestors wouldn't allow suchnegligence of state affairs. But the courtiers could do nothingabout it. They were not permitted to go to the emperor's chamber torouse him. The queen could, nevertheless. When she learned it fromthe eunuchs, (eunuchs were all gossips.) she sent her head eunuch tothe chamber the emperor was sleeping in. The head eunuch carried onhis head the book, in which the instructions of the ancestors hadbeen written. He knelt before the chamber door and began to recitethe instructions aloud. When the emperor heard it, he must get downfrom the bed and listen to the recitation on his knees. If theemperor was still sound asleep and didn't hear it, his head eunuchwould go to wake him up. Of course, the emperor would be annoyed,but he couldn't ignore the instructions of his ancestors. He had todress up and go to meet his courtiers. This happened too oftenlately, to the queen's liking. So one day, the queen went thereherself with the book on her head. The emperor's head eunuch saw thequeen coming and went immediately into the chamber to report to theemperor, who jumped out of bed and had barely time to put on hisshoes. He opened the door and found himself face to face with thequeen. He said hastily, ?nough, enough. I'll go now.So the queenwaited at the door till the emperor left for his court session.
    Thenthe queen ordered Royal Concubine Yan to follow her to KunningPalace. (The whole Forbidden City was the emperor's residence, insidewhich there were many buildings. Each building was called a palacein Chinese.) Kunning Palace was a place where the queen held hercourt generally when she wanted to punish someone. The queen was thesecond in power in the Forbidden City.
    "Youshouldn't let the emperor sleep so late and neglect the stateaffairs. Do you know it's your fault?" The queen accused ConcubineYan.
    Inthe Forbidden City, if anyone was accused of anything by his or hersuperiors, no matter it's his or her fault or not, he or she mustsay, 'It's my fault." And then he or she must beg to be punished. Ifthe punishment was inflicted, when it was over, he or she must thankhis or her superiors for being punished. Likewise, if anyone was tobe executed by the order of the emperor or the queen, he or she mustthank the emperor or the queen for the execution. That's feudalChina. Ridiculous?

  3. #13
    SoRoyal Concubine Yan said accordingly, “Yes, it's my fault.” Butshe pleaded, “I can't refuse to be carried to the emperor'schamber.” (Implied, that is no use to be jealous? “I can't tellthe emperor what to do if he wants to sleep late.” (Implied, don'tblame me.)”
    Thequeen flared up and ordered her eunuchs to beat Concubine Yan. Twoeunuchs held her down on the floor. A third eunuch fetched a woodenstick. Just as the stick was being brought down, a voice, panting,shouted, “Stop!” The emperor came to her rescue.
    Whenthe emperor was holding the meeting with his courtiers, one of hiseunuchs came running to whisper to the emperor that the queen tookConcubine Yan to Kunning Palace. The emperor knew at once what wouldhappen. He adjourned the meeting till tomorrow and hurried toKunning Palace, just in time to prevent the beating.
    “Oh,my dear queen,” said the emperor sweetly, “Though Queen have theright to beat her, Queen can't beat her today.(In Qing Dynasty,Emperor and Queen were used to address the emperor and the queen. OrEmpress Dowager was used to address an empress dowager.)

    “Whynot?” The queen looked dubious.
    “BecauseConcubine Yan is pregnant.” The emperor acquainted the queen withthe surprising happy news.
    Theemperor had no son yet. If an emperor had no heir, it was deemed asa sin to his ancestors. So pregnancy in the palace was verysignificant in the eye of the queen. Concubine Yan was spared andsent back to her own chamber.
    “SinceConcubine Yan is pregnant, Emperor should let her have more rest. Emperor should no longer sleep with her till her child is born. Thequeen warned the emperor. (The superiors could use pronouns and namesto address or mention the subordinates.)


    * * *

  4. #14
    Sushunand Duanhua were brothers. Since Duanhua was the elder one, heinherited the title of Prince Zheng when their father died. But theyounger brother was a man of ability and determination. Thebrothers, especially the younger one, had won the emperor's favor byoffering things to the emperor's liking. They often suggested to theemperor how to have fun and even provided him with every possiblediversion and pastime. The most desired fun to the emperor was sex.
    Theyounger brother, Sushun, knew that the emperor could no longer sleepin Concubine Yan's chamber at present. Therefore, he found some verybeautiful women, who belonged to Han Clan (The ruling class of QingDynasty was Mandarin Clan.) and stole them into the Round-BrightGarden, where the emperor lived most of the year while he should livein the Forbidden City. The Round-Bright Garden was located outsidethe capital, Peking. The garden had hills and lakes, trees andflowers that covered almost every inch of the ground with footpathszigzagging among them. Even in the winter, the snowy scene was alsobeautiful. All the buildings, the pavilions and the arbors, wereimitated from the architecture of the famous structures all over thecountry. The emperor liked to live in the Round-Bright Garden, notjust because of its beautiful scenery, but mostly because when he wasin the Forbidden City, he must do almost everything in accordancewith certain etiquette set up by his ancestors, but when he dwelt inthe Garden, there were not so many rules required to observe. Lifewas a bit easier there for him.
    Buthis ancestors had set up a rule that women with small deformed feetwere inhibited to enter any of the emperor's residences. Women ofHan Clan had such feet. So the emperor broke the rule to acceptthem. Among these Han Clan women, one was a widow, some were whoresfrom brothels. All were beauties. One of the whores was originallythe mistress of a courtier, who, when aware of it, sent in a reportof advice, saying that the emperor should not keep Han Clan women inthe Garden. The emperor wrote a sentence on the report and gave itback to the courtier. It said, “You are jealous.” Among all thewomen of Han Clan, there were four beauties the emperor liked best.He named them Apricot Spring, Peach Spring, Peony Spring andCrabapple Spring (Crabapple here means Chinese flowering crabapple.) They were called Four Springs by the maids and eunuchs in the Garden.

  5. #15
    Aftergiving birth to a son, Concubine Yan expected the emperor's visiteveryday, but for a long time the emperor seemed forgetting her. Atlength she came to the knowledge that the emperor kept a lot of HanClan women in the Garden. But she could do nothing about it. Only thequeen could produce the book containing the ancestral instructions. She must seek alliance in the queen. So she went to pay her respectto the queen. She knelt before the queen and kowtowed. The queenbade her to stand up after the ritual.
    “Queen.”She began, “Does Queen know why the emperor looks thinner day byday?”
    “Noidea.” Replied the queen. “What have you heard?”
    “Theemperor has many Han Clan women hidden somewhere in the Garden.”
    “That'sagainst the rule.”
    “So. That's why I must report to Queen. Queen must interfere. I'm notjealous. I'm only concerned with the emperor's health.”
    Therefore,the queen decided to search the garden. Early one morning, many maidsand eunuchs followed the queen into the Round-Bright Garden.Concubine Yan accompanied the queen there. They searched everybuilding, every corner in the buildings, but couldn? find any of theHan Clan women supposed to be there. They had been there before, butwhen the emperor got the wind that the queen would search the garden,he ordered them to be removed to some secret place.
    Itwas said that the emperor liked to have fun outside the ForbiddenCity. He went out in plain clothes. Once he stole out of theForbidden City, strolling in the streets, followed by a eunuch andsome bodyguards, also in plain clothes. He looked this way and that,at all the interesting things he had never seen before. Someone waskneading a few colored doughs. Then picking pieces of dough off fromhere and there, he made a female figure out of them. The hair, theface with a mouth, a nose, eyes and ears, colored clothes, the handsand shoes. Nothing missing. Then he made another, a male figure. The figures were taken after the characters from well-known operas. Looking so vivid. Just wonderful. So the emperor told the eunuch tobuy both and bring them back to his palace. He had them displayed onhis desk. But after a while when the dough dried, there appearedsome cracks on the figures. And the last place the figures ended upin was among the garbage.
    Anothertime when the emperor was sauntering along a narrow street, he saw ayoung beautiful woman standing at the door of a dye shop. She wasthe owner's wife. When he made for the door, the woman stepped asideto let him in. He walked in like he was a customer and talked to thewoman since the husband was in the back of the shop. He said to thewoman that he could make her husband rich if she was willing to behis concubine. The woman was at a loss what to say to such animproper proposal. Just then, the husband came out. The emperorleft with his attendants. Next day a stranger came into the shop. His servants carried in two boxes. A big heavy box they left on thefloor and a small one they put on the table. The man announced thatthe emperor wanted his wife. If he refused, he must drink thepoisonous wine in the cup in the small box. If he agreed, he couldkeep this big box full of gold. Besides, the emperor would make hima government official. He must choose between the two. He had tochoose the latter, even if he loved his wife. The wife was taken andsent to live with the women of Han Clan. Sushun had done anotherfavor to the emperor.

  6. #16
    Chapter 5


    Unfortunatelyfor Emperor Xianfeng, in the second year of his reign, 1851, a greatrebellion broke out in the south of China on a large scale, in areligious cloak. But before that, there had been other rebellions ina religious cloak, too. These rebellions had lasted very long. There were two main rebellious organizations. First was the WhiteLotus Taoists, which had originated in the Yuan Dynasty to fightagainst the Mongolian Clan, who had galloped down south from Mongoliain the far north and after occupying China, had established the YuanDynasty. When the Mongolian Clan had been driven back after theirreign of a little less than a hundred years, the White Lotus Taoistshad been dormant, because the next dynasty, Ming Dynasty, had beenfounded by the same Han Clan. Sometimes, they had killed somecorrupted officials. When the Mandarin Clan had set up their QingDynasty, the White Lotus Taoists had risen up to arms again like anawakened lion or a phoenix rising from the ashes. Especially from1793 to 1802, they had combated against the Mandarin Clan in fiveprovinces in Midwest China. The other main rebellious organizationwas Heaven & Earth Society, first organized in 1786 in Taiwan. After 1793, they had set foot on the mainland. Their branches hadscattered over many provinces, but battled separately, never united.


    * * *


    Sinceearly in Qing Dynasty, many clergymen and priests had come to Chinato save the souls of the Chinese people. They had left theirfootprints everywhere, even in the remote villages. Using thewestern religious theory as their basic creeds, the largest andlongest rebellious organization was born in 1851. It was calledGod-Worshipper Society. There had been quite a few rebellions sincethe Mandarin Clan had crossed the Great Wall and conquered the HanClan. These were really political organizations in a religiouscloak. So was the God-Worshipper Society.
    Theleader of the God-Worshipper Society was then a young man, Hong byname, born on January 10, 1813, in Guangdong Province. His father wasa peasant, tilling the fields to grow vegetables and raisingpoultries. Hong had two older brothers, who helped their father withthe sowing and reaping work. At that time cows were used to ploughthe ground. They had two cows. Though the family was not rich, they had enough to live on. So the father sent his youngest son, Hong,to a local tutor for education, pinning the hope on the son that someday he would pass the government tests and become an official. Butkarma arranged for him to take another road in his life. He failedall the tests. In 1836 after his last test failed, he met withsomeone in the streets of Canton City, who was distributing somebooks. Hong was given a copy, but he kept it at home and never readit. The failure in the tests made him so downhearted that he decidedhe would no longer take the tests. He became a tutor giving classesto children in his village.

  7. #17
    Oneday in May of 1843, he found time heavy on hands. As he wanted toget some book to read for pastime, he came across the copy longforgotten. It was a gospel book written by a Chinese Christian. Thebook charmed him so much after he finished it that he wanted to tellpeople things in the book. So he quit tutoring and startedpreaching. He no more believed in Buddha. He no more believed inConfucius, whom almost all the scholars worshipped. He believed inGod now and created the God-Worshipper Society. He left home foranother province, Guangxi Province (west to Guangdong Province he wasborn in), and turned over a new leaf in his life. He preached invillages after villages there, sowing his seeds. His believersincreased rapidly. He set up his headquarters in Jintian Village,which was like a gunpowder barrel that only needed a match.
    In1850, there were droughts in Guangxi Province. Food was scarce. Thefood merchants raised the prices. People who were starving began toattack the rich people's residences for food. The rich peopleorganized their own guards to resist. The God-Worshipper Society hadits believers in many places all over the province. The believersconsisted of all kinds of people, from rich residents to poor tramps,from charcoal burners to peasants. In 1851, a match was applied tothe gunpowder barrel. A small town police officer, who had been sentto arrest a thief, came across the charcoal burners in the woods nearJintian Village on his way back. He was a corrupted officer andoften racketeered people for money. This time he asked for moneyfrom the charcoal burners, who made charcoals from the tree branchesand lived from hand to mouth. Of course, they refused his demand. As the charcoal burners greatly outnumbered his policemen, he had toleave empty-handed, but he threatened to come back with morepolicemen to arrest them as rebels. The charcoal burners were afraidand gathered in a rich believer's yard for a discussion what to do. Meantime, the police officer happened to meet another rich believerand took his concubine away from him as a vengeance on the believers. Now the gunpowder was ignited. All the believers came to JintianVillage and the leader Hong declared that God was Heavenly Father andJesus Christ was Heavenly Brother and that he was Heavenly Son sentdown by Heavenly Father to save the world. Then he organized them.They called themselves the Peaceful Army, because their purpose wasto bring peace to this world. The uprising took place on January 11,1851.
    Theemperor received the report about the riot seven days later. He sentgovernment armies to quench the rebellion. The Peaceful Army marchedeastbound. They defeated the armies of Qing government and took overquite a few towns, but they didn't stay there long. They continuedthe eastward advance till they came to YongAn City. The word YongAnmeans long safety It's a good name for a city. So they founded akingdom there, called Peaceful Heavenly Kingdom. Hong made himselfthe Heavenly King and gave titles to his chief followers, who werealso leaders of troops. There were so many kings in this kingdom:East King, North King, West King, South King, Shrewdness King,Swallow King, Protection King, Assistant King and Wing King, whoshould be like the wings of a bird to make it fly up.

  8. #18
    Theyput up slogans so that people could know what was their goal. Theirslogans were: If there's land, plough together; if there's food, eattogether; if there're clothes, use together; if there's money, spendtogether. And absolute equality everywhere. Enough food and clothesfor everyone. These slogans fascinated and attracted a vast number ofpoor people, and hence swelled the Peaceful Army.
    Theirsublime aim was to overthrow Qing Dynasty and drive the Mandarin Clanout beyond the Great Wall, back to where they had come from. Anorder stated that anyone in the Peaceful Army, if coming inpossession of anything, must hand in to the Heavenly Treasury andeveryone could get a share from it when needed. Therefore, unlikethe armies of Qing government, the Peaceful Army had good disciplineand was supported by the people. Many young beggars and vagabondsjoined it. Another edict was given that people of the Han Clanshould grow their hair on the front part of their pate and restorethe hairstyle of Han Clan. The male hair style of the Mandarin Clanwas to shave the front part of the pate clean and braid the back partof the hair into a pigtail. When the Mandarin Clan had built uptheir Qing Dynasty, they had ordered all the male people of the HanClan to wear their hair in the same style. Whoever had refused wouldhave been beheaded. Their slogan was: hair or head. (It meant thatif you wanted your hair, you could not keep your head on yourshoulders.) So when the Peaceful Army grew their hair, Qinggovernment called them Long-Hair.
    Whilethe Peaceful Army was celebrating their victory and newly-foundedregime, Qing government gathered large troops and encircled YongAnCity. In March, 1852, the Peaceful Army concentrated its forces andwedged out from the enclosure of the government army. The governmentarmy pursued, but was put to rout. The Peaceful Army headed forGuilin City, the capital of Guangxi Province. They surrounded theCity for a month, but could not take it. So they quit and marchednorthbound.
    Theemperor sent three detachments to attack the Peaceful Army, but werealso beaten. Then the government troops gathered in Wuchang City forthe purpose to prevent the Peaceful Army from going further north. The emperor issued an order to allow cities, towns and even villagesto organize and train their own people for self-protection.
    OnDecember 7, 1852, the Peaceful Army split itself into two sections. One section went on land and the other by water. They obtainedplenty of ships from the government army. Their goal was the Wu-Hanarea, which included Wuchang City, Hanyang City and Hankou City. TheThree Cities were the important military strategic area on the upperYangtze River. Within ten days the Peaceful Army occupied the threecities one after another. The Heavenly King and all his other kingsstayed in Wuchang City to celebrate and recruit while the emperorordered his army commanders to set up defense lines in HunanProvince, Hubei Province and Anhui Province to blockade the advanceof the Peaceful Army towards Nanking City.

  9. #19
    OnFebruary 9, 1853, after the Chinese New Year, the Peaceful Army leftWuchang City, dividing itself again into two sections. They went onland alongside and by water on the Yangtze River. They aimed atNanking City. They took over many cities and towns along the way,like Jiujiang City, Anqing City, which was a very important spot inthe military point of view, and Wuwu City. On March 18, the PeacefulArmy entered Nanking City. They changed the name to Tianking City.(Tianking means the Heavenly Capital.)
    ThePeaceful Army established new law and order in the City. It was verysimple: those who killed others would be executed. No robbery ortheft happened because the excessive things must go to the warehousesof the Heavenly Treasury. Every twenty-five families formed a socialunit. A unit leader was elected. A strong male adult was chosen fromevery family to form the basic military unit. The twenty-fivefamilies worked together and lived together. There was a treasurywarehouse in every unit. Everything they got was stored there andeverything necessary for the living was supplied from there. It wassaid that the foreign governments sent their representatives to havea look in Nanking City, surprised at all these. They thought it wasa revolutionary army and hereby kept strictly neutral between the tworegimes.
    Whenthe message reached the Forbidden City, the emperor lost his appetitein anxiety. He appointed new commanders to organize two detachments. One set up their camp in the area of Purple Golden Mountain not farfrom Nanking City on the southern side of the Yangtze River. It wascalled the South River Camp. The other camped in Yangzhou City onthe northern side of the Yangtze River, hence called the North RiverCamp.

  10. #20
    Chapter 6


    Thehistorians have discussed why the Qing government armies were soeasily defeated and their conclusions are: (1) The military system ofQing Dynasty was that the army controlled by the central governmentwas called Eight-Flag Army and those belonged to the local governmentwere named Green-Camp Army. The Eight-Flag Army could no longerfight after long time of peace (almost two hundred years) and lack oftraining and practice. The old fighters had long been dead. The newgeneration of soldiers all came from rich or well-to-do families. They joined the Army as an honor since there was no occasion forfighting at that time. There really were days fixed for training,but most of them just hired some poor young men to be drilled intheir names for roll-calling. No one knew who's who by face. Now thetime came for the combat, but they didn't know how to fight. As forthe Green-Camp Army, their sole duty was to defend the city or townthey belonged to against small groups of outlaws. They had noexperience in big-time fight on the battlefield, like forming aphalanx, and no training whatever for that matter. (2) Everycommander wanted to be independent and fought separately. Theycouldn't unite as a strategic whole. Especially so was theGreen-Camp Army. They were accustomed to the way that once theychased the rebels out of their jurisdiction, their duties wereperformed. The fleeing rebels were the problem of anotherjurisdiction. (3) There were conflicts of ideas and interestsbetween officials and officers of the Mandarin Clan and those of theHan Clan. The latter looked down upon the former and wouldn't obeythe former. The commanders were all from the Mandarin Clan and allwere no good. (4) In Qing Dynasty, officials were above officers instatus and ranks, but they didn't know how to fight. So officersoften disobeyed them. Quite a few officials just ran away in theface of the enemies. (5) The government officers and soldiers oftendid nasty things to common people like extorting, and so theycouldn't get universal support. When the Peaceful Army assaultedNanking City, there were only five thousand government soldiers todefend it. This was a big city with the circumference of forty-eightkilometers and more than fifteen thousand battlements. Every soldiershould safeguard three battlements. No wonder the Peaceful Armyentered the city like back into their own home.
    Afterthe Heavenly King settled in Nanking City as his capital, he issuedtwo orders. His Heavenly General and Earthly General (their positionequivalent to that of a commander) would march twenty thousand strongnorthbound, detouring Yangzhou City where the government army camped. His Spring General would start from Pukou Town northward. Theinstruction given to them was to advance towards Peking to overthrowQing Dynasty. They fought their easy way through Anhui Province andmet resistance in Hunan Province. But they penetrated the defenseline of the government army and approached Kaifeng City, the capitalof Hunan Province. They assailed the city, but couldn't breakthrough. So they went in a roundabout way and ferried across theYellow River at Yixin Town. They enclosed Huaiqing Town andconquered the government army there, headed by the governor of ZhidiProvince (It's Hebei Province now on the map). They hoofed towardsBaoding City, close to Peking.

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