Page 3 of 29 FirstFirst 123456789101113 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 283


  1. #21
    Theemperor was chocked by the message. He scraped up all his forces onhand, including the regiment of his bodyguards, one hundred and fiftythousand in all. By that time, the detachments of the Peaceful Armyhad reached Tianjin City. The mayor had a section of the dike dugopen. The water from the Grand Canal deluged the area and blockedthe advance of the Peaceful Army. It was winter already. Thesoldiers of the Peaceful Army were all from the south of China, wherethe climate is warm. They could not stand the cold of the north andhad to beat a retreat. They were assaulted by the government army intheir way to withdraw. The Qing government used Mongolian cavalry toattack the Peaceful Army. Four hooves were much quicker than twofeet. Spring General of the Peaceful Army was killed in the battle. Heavenly General was surrounded, waiting for rescue. The HeavenlyKing did send reinforcement twice, but the reinforcement didn't reachHeavenly General because it was blocked by the government army. TheMongolian cavalry that was encircling Heavenly General broke a partof the dike of a nearby river. The flood soaked the provisions andgunpowder of the Peaceful Army. As a result, Heavenly General wascaptured and executed. Earthly General escaped with two thousandsoldiers, but was ambushed, captured and executed, too. The goal toseize Peking failed, because forty thousand of the Peaceful Armycould not fight against one hundred and fifth thousand of thegovernment army. It was in 1855.
    However,warfare went on at both sides of the Yangtze River. In April, 1856,Swallow King of the Peaceful Army vanquished the North River Camp ofthe government army. Then in July of the same year, Swallow King andWing King together beat the South River Camp. The Peaceful Army hadthe control of the entire area of the Yangtze River. Therevolutionary cause reached its summit.
    EmperorXianfeng ordered some of his courtiers to organize new troops in thesouthern provinces. One of the courtiers was Zeng Kuofan of the HanClan. Zeng was born in 1811 in a landlord family. He passed all thegovernment tests in 1838 and was promoted to be the Right DeputyMinister of Etiquette Ministry. When Emperor Xianfeng succeeded tothe throne, he got another title of the Left Deputy Minister ofJudicial Ministry.
    Zengexercised the self-education of his own character. He believed inpatience, perseverance, honesty and hidden wisdom (to show you arenot clever, or even stupid). These were his principles in all thethings he undertook. There were different ways to organize troops. The way Qing government adopted was that everyone at the right agecould join the troops, and the officers were appointed by thegovernment. The officers and soldiers didn't even know each other. There were no other ties between them. Zeng followed another way. He appointed those he knew well as his officers and let his officersrecruit their own soldiers, mostly from the same village or from thesame neighborhood. They were familiar with each other and cared foreach other. The ties between them were not mere militarydisciplines. So the morale was different. Furthermore, most of hisofficers were literate, some even learned, while many officers in thegovernment army were illiterate; some even couldn't write his ownname, or know his own name if when shown to him. The high-rankgovernment officers if illiterate, had secretaries to do the writingjob for them when needed.

  2. #22
    Zengnamed his army Xiang Army. (Xiang is the substitute word for HunanProvince just like N. Y. for New York State. This was invented fortelegram purpose. One word that stands for a province can save moneywhen sending a telegram.) In 1853 when Xiang Army was just born, itwiped out a group of outlaws like testing the sharpness of the edgeof a new sword. Then it beat a division of the Peaceful Army. Atthat time, two detachments of the Peaceful Army had been fighting inthe area of the Yellow River, trying to reach Peking. Some otherdetachments went back westward and took Anqing City and Wuchang Cityagain. They met with Xiang Army in the district between the XiangRiver and the Puyang Lake and defeated the young and inexperiencedXiang Army there. As Zeng gathered his beaten troops, he reorganizedand trained them, both on land and on the Yangtze River. After that,Xiang Army marched eastward and conquered the detachments of thePeaceful Army and took back Wuchang City once more. Wuchang City waslike a ball being played in the field, sometimes falling into thehands of the Peaceful Army and sometimes gotten by the governmentarmy. But the detachments that had been defeated were not the mainforces of the Peaceful Army. Now Xiang Army advanced furthereastward, both on land and by water, and suddenly faced the Wing Kingof the Peaceful Army at Jiujiang City. Troops headed by Wing Kingwere one of the main forces of the Peaceful Army and so Xiang Armywas subdued again. Wing King proceeded towards the upper YangtzeRiver and occupied Wuchang City once again. Now the Peaceful Armycontrolled a vast area of the Yangtze River, from Wuchang City in thewest to Nanking City in the east, like the sun clambering at thezenith. It was 1856.
    Thefatal turning point of the Peaceful Army from victory to failure wasthe inside murdering of each other. It happened in that same year. When the Peaceful Army had just been formed, Heavenly King had madeEast King take charge of everything like his prime minister. Later,South King and West King had been killed in the battles. When theyhad settled in Nanking City as the capital, except for Heavenly King,there were only three powerful kings left: East King, North King andWing King. Other kings were not so powerful. East King was veryconceited and often bullied other kings. He had even no properdecorum for Heavenly King, who began to suspect that East King mightusurp his position as the head king. Other kings, especially NorthKing, harbored a grudge against East King, who didn't even know. When they had been fighting the government army, they had known thesignificance of unity and solidarity. But when they had won the dayover the North River Camp of the government army, the victory hadturned their heads. Heavenly King and North King commenced to plotagainst East King, who never had thought that such lethal dangercould have come to him.

  3. #23
    Oneday, Heavenly King and North King sent their faithful men to assailthe residence of East King, who didn't have enough bodyguards todefend himself and was slain. Then the massacre began. His family,his
    Relativesand his faithful followers were sought after and all put to death. It was said that the number of the people butchered amountedestimably to twenty thousand. All that time, Wing King was in AnqingCity. When
    Helearned the bloody incident, he hurried back to the capital to blameNorth King for the slaughter. North King flared up in rage andschemed to assassinate Wing King, who got the wind of it and escapedunder the cover of night back to Anqing City. North King had thefamily of Wing King murdered. When back to Anqing City, Wing Kinggathered his troops. He had a great deal of supporters among thePeaceful Army because he was always trustworthy and nice to people. When Heavenly King got the message that Wing King would bring histroops to the capital, he panicked and executed North King. Then hehad the severed head of North King sent to Wing King to pacify him. When Wing King arrived in the capital, many other kings suggestedthat Wing King should take charge of everything like East King haddone before. But Heavenly King feared that Wing King would become athreat to him some day and so he made his two brothers kings to helphim. His eldest brother was made Safety King and his second brotherFortune King. The two kings often interfered with whatever Wing Kingwas carrying out. This made Wing King uneasy. Being afraid to losehis life senselessly like East King and North King, Wing King had toleave the capital with his own troops to go westward for his ownindependent development. From then on, he didn't keep in contactwith Heavenly King anymore. He didn? want to have anything to dowith Heavenly King.
    Fourkings were dead and one king was forced to leave. This greatlyweakened the Peaceful Army. The government army seized theopportunity to counterattack. Xiang Army occupied Wuchang Cityfinally. Another government army took Hanyang City. A detachment ofXiang Army had Jiujiang City in control. Therefore, the banners ofthe Peaceful Army were no longer perceived in Hunan Province andJiangxi Province. Wing King fought his way from Zhejiang Provincethrough Jiangxi Province and Fujian Province, then across Hunanprovince, back to Guangxi Province, where he had taken up arms inrevolt five years before. Qing government reorganized their NorthRiver Camp and South River Camp, which approached Nanking City again.
    Withfive kings gone, two of the other kings became powerful. One wasShrewdness King, who was in Anqing City and the other was LoyaltyKing, who stayed in the capital to defend it.

  4. #24
    A couple of things.

    There's spacing issues that make it difficult to read. I saw that someone else pointed out the problem and you responded that it doesn't happen in a different forums. That may be, but since it's happening here, not many are willing to try and read this. So you're not getting much feedback.

    Second, this section is visible to guests, meaning posting here counts as published. I'm surprised no one warned you before this.

    What I read has potential. I confess that the spacing problem was annoying enough for me to quit early.

  5. #25
    Sorry, but I can't control this problem. In my manuscript, from which I post, every word space is OK. I don't know why some words stick here as appear on the forum. This book is already published. it can be got on amazom.com

  6. #26
    Withfive kings gone, two of the other kings became powerful. One wasShrewdness King, who was in Anqing City and the other was LoyaltyKing, who stayed in the capital to defend it.
    InSpring of 1857, in the provinces between the Yellow River and theYangtze River, there arose another rebellion, which was known as theNian Army, one hundred thousand strong. They often allied with thePeaceful Army. Qing government had to divide its forces to combatboth the Nian Army and the Peaceful Army simultaneously. The NianArmy also called the leaders kings. Every king led a detachment, butthey did not have a head king. They fought separately, never unifiedas a whole, though they assumed the same name. They never set up acapital. They went here and there, never stayed at one place long. The leader of the largest detachment was called Fertility King witheighty thousand fighters. In 1858, he took control of Fengyang townand aimed at Peking. In September of 1858, the Peaceful Army led bySwallow King and Loyalty King subjugated North River Camp again atPukou Town, and then annihilated a detachment of Xiang Army of sixthousand soldiers in Anhui Province. A brother of Zeng was killed inthe action. No more threat to Nanking City from the north. ThenAction King and Loyalty King of the Peaceful Army worked out astratagem. Loyalty King marched toward Hangzhou City, the capital ofZhejiang Province, feigning an attack to it. This area was veryimportant to the government army because they got all the provisionsfrom there. So the South River Camp maneuvered eastward to defendthe city. A tiger, once out of its lair, was vulnerable. NowLoyalty King turned around to meet the advancing South River Camp ofthe government army while Shrewdness King, Action King, Service King,Assistant King and five generals attacked the rear and flanks ofSouth River Camp, which couldn't resist the blow of ten fists andwere scattered on May 5, 1860, and its commander committed suicide. Besides Jiangsu Province (Nanking City is its capital), the PeacefulArmy possessed Zhejiang Province and Fujian Province, though theylost all the provinces west to Anqing City, which had been attackedsince spring of 1860 by Xiang Army under the command of anotherbrother of Zeng (Younger Zeng to distinguish from Elder Zeng).
    Whenthe shocked reports of the defeats of the two Camps lay on theemperor's desk, he was too downhearted to even have a meeting withhis courtiers. He had been ambitious when he had succeeded to thethrone many years before. He had wanted to restore his empire to itsformer glory and prosperity. But contrary to his fond hopes andwishes, the whole situation turned from bad to worse. He felt tootired and depressed to prod the leaning empire, nodding to fall. Hegave up his hope and ambition. He didn't want to read any more ofsuch sad reports. He would play the ostrich, burying his head in thesands. So he started to indulge himself in sex and merry-making.

  7. #27
    InQing Dynasty, a royal maid serving in the Forbidden City would eitherbe released to her parents' home or be married to anyone theemperor's whim took to when she reached the age of twenty-five unlessshe had become the emperor's concubine before that age. So almostevery year, the emperor would select some new ones to replace thosereleased. This took place even in the heat of the warfare betweenthe rebels and the government. Girls from thirteen to seventeen ofage must be reported to the Clan Affairs Management, which would dothe sifting among girls on the list. After that, only a small groupof most suitable girls were qualified to be presented before theemperor, who would choose from them himself. That day, many urgentreports from the war districts appeared before the emperor, demandinghis immediate attention. He must read them at once and discuss withthe courtiers about the military situations there and about how toinstruct his commanders to maneuver their troops. He was back to hispalace later than usual.
    Allthe time, the girls were standing in the receiving room of theemperor, waiting for him. They were not permitted to sit down. Justimagine: if you were as young and standing for hours, how would youfeel? Hungry. Exhausted. Irritated, maybe. Dare not complain. Wishing you were dead then and there. One of the girls was boldenough to complain aloud, ?t's the war time. Emperor still selectsmaids.The eunuch in charge panicked because if the emperor heard ofit, not only the girl would be executed, but he would also bepunished. He bellowed at her, ?hut up. You'll be beaten if youcomplain again. He was told that the emperor would soon come. Hedidn't want the girl to cause trouble for him, and for her, too. Butthe girl continued as if she hadn't been interrupted, ?'m not afraidof death, let alone beating.The eunuch was really piqued. He raisedhis right hand, intending to slap her face.
    Theemperor just entered the room in time to save her skin. All thegirls kowtowed to the emperor and were bidden to stand up. Now, theemperor said to the girl, ?ou can say what you have to say. I won'ttake offense.The girl went on, ?mperor must know there's war insouthern provinces and people died hundreds by hundreds everyday. There's flood south of the Yellow River. So many people lost homeand everything. In this critical time, Emperor should spend hisprecious time and energy on these important matters, not on theselection of maids.Cold sweat wetted the clothes of everyone else inthis room. They thought the emperor would have her beheaded once shefinished, but to everybody's astonishment, the emperor didn't showany wrath. He only ordered that the girls be sent back to theirrespective homes. It was because the emperor heard a huge-roomful offlattering words everyday and was bored with them. Now such a younggirl could tell him the cruel truth to his face. He was surprisedand fascinated. So he pardoned her.

  8. #28
    "Edit" and "Save" doesn't work.

  9. #29
    Chapter 7

    Despitethat it was already over the hunting season, Emperor Xianfengdeclared that he would go to the Summer Palace in Rehe. Emperors inQing Dynasty went there in hunting season, (generally from May toSeptember) really for the purpose of training their armies. But thistime Emperor Xianfeng used it as a pretext, because the joint armiesof the foreign invaders had occupied Tianjin City in July, 1860, andwould soon reach the capital, Peking. It was called The Second OpiumWar in the history of China.
    Somecourtiers tried to dissuade the emperor from flight, but in vain. OnSeptember 21, the combined foreign troops were very close to thecapital. The emperor could hear the sound of cannons in theForbidden City. On September 22, in the late morning, the emperorleft Peking with his family, followed by a few courtiers and twothousand bodyguards.
    TheAutumn scenes along the escaping route, the yellow leaves on thetrees and on the ground, the chilly winds blowing, the melancholycaws of the crow, all added up to the sorrow of the emperor having toflee from his warm luxury Forbidden City. He felt he was a sinner tohis ancestors.
    Nowthe royal family was in the Summer Palace: the emperor, the queen,Concubine Yan and her son, and Concubine Li and her daughter. Otherconcubines didn't have time to follow the emperor. When they came tolearn the tidings that the emperor had fled, it was too late for themto catch up with him. The emperor left his brother Prince Yixin inPeking to negotiate with the foreigners, who entered the Round-BrightGarden on October 6, to pillage and then set fire to it. (The burnedruins can still be seen even when the author is writing this book.)
    Theemperor was sick and weary of dealing with all the troubles. Hetrusted the state affairs to his favorite courtier, the youngerbrother Sushun, even though he was not a secretary of state then. Emperors of Qing Dynasty had established a secretarial bureau andappointed five or sometimes six courtiers as secretaries of state,with one as the head secretary. The bureau handled all the stateaffairs, and the military affairs as well, working under the emperor. The prime ministers were no longer in charge of the nationalaffairs. But they still had some indefinite duties to perform.
    Therewere six ministries. Every ministry had two ministers, one from theMandarin Clan and the other from the Han Clan. And it had fourdeputy ministers. One Right Deputy Minister and one Left DeputyMinister were appointed from the Mandarin Clan and the other RightDeputy Minister and the other Left Deputy Minister were chosen fromthe Han Clan, to balance the racial problem.

  10. #30
    PersonnelMinistry took care of the appointments and the removals of all theofficials and officers in the central and local governments all overthe country and of their promotions and demotions based on theirself-evaluations and criticisms from others. For that matter, acritique official could throw a lot of weight around and a critiquereport on any officials or officers would count. So there were goodcritique officials and there were bad critique officials. Corruptofficials and officers were afraid of good ones since they wouldn'ttake money or even gifts, but all officials and officers dreaded badones, who would hint a bribery, or a critique report would appear onthe emperor's desk, based on mere rumors and gossips. And it wasallowed by law. If no critique came in for an official or officer,it meant that he was good. If instead there were praises, it wouldbe better. Therefore, some mayors, though corrupt, forced the peoplein his district to give him something as an evidence of praise whenhe left his office, such as an umbrella with as many signatures on itas possible. It was called People of Petition Umbrella which denotedthat people there wanted him to remain in office, the highest form ofpraise for a mayor.
    InternalRevenue Ministry kept the records of population statistics, and basedon them, made decisions how many taxes the local governments shouldcollect and a certain percentage of the local tax collections shouldbe sent to the central government. It also determined the specialtax collections like salt tax. There was a lot of salt smugglinggoing on to avoid paying salt tax. An officer was thereby placed inthe area that yielded salt. He headed an army to force the taxcollection. This ministry also controlled the expenditure of thecentral government since it had the control of the national financialaffairs. The local governments had their departments for thatpurpose. This ministry often had the most difficult time among allthe ministries. If there was a war, it must provide the financialsupport for armies to get provisions and arms. If the emperor neededmore money for his personal use, it was the responsibility of thisministry to gratify him. If the emperor was dissatisfied with theperformance of their duties, the minister would be removed fromoffice or even put into prison and a new one appointed. But it alsoserved the minister and his subordinates as Ali Baba's cave. Theywere buried in treasure and could embezzle the hoard bit by bit. Ifthey were discreet enough, no one could notice it.
    EtiquetteMinistry was a poor but respected ministry, which would make rules ofrituals for certain occasions in reference to the rules used by theprevious dynasties and act as master of ceremony where needed. Anynew rules must be discussed among the high-rank officials and thenapproved by the emperor. The job was easy. Only no extra money camein. People would bribe the Personnel Minister for a better position. But for what purpose would they bribe the Etiquette Minister?


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.