A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring & the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680–1785

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A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring & the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680–1785

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A Court on Horseback Imperial Touring & the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680-1785

Michael G. Chang

Published by the Harvard University Asia Center Distributed by Harvard University Press Cambridge (Massachusetts) and London 2007

© 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

Printed in the United States of America

The Harvard University Asia Center publishes a monograph series and, in coordinarion with the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, the Korea Institute, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and other faculties and institutes, administers research projects designed to further scholarly understanding of China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, and other Asian countries. The Center also sponsors projects addressing multidisciplinary and regional issues in Asia.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Chang, Michael G., 1970A court on horseback: imperial touring and the construction of Qing rule, 1680-IJ85 / Michael G. Chang. p. cm. -- (Harvard East Asian monographs ; 287) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-1r 978-0-674-02454-o (cl: alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-674-02454-0 (cl: alk. paper) I.

Qianlong, Emperor of China, 17n-1799--Travel. 2. China--Politics and government--

18th century. 3. Central-local government relations--China--History--18th century. 4. Jiangsu Sheng (China)--Politics and government--18th century. 5. Zhejiang Sheng (China)--Politics and govemment--18th century. I. Title. II. Title: Imperial touring and the construction of Qing rule, 1680-1785. DS754.82.C47 2007 951'.032--dc22

Index by Twin Oaks Indexing


Printed on acid-free paper

Last figure below indicates year of this printing 16 15 14 13 12 II IO 09 08 07

To my mother andfather,

Rebecca S. C. (nee Chung) & George Liang-ch'i Chang, for always being there.


If the final work is the death mask of its conception, I take great pleasure in lifting the shroud here. I was fortunate enough to learn about being a professional historian while surrounded by an incredible assemblage of people at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the 1990s. Joe Esherick has been keeping me honest for nearly a decade and a half now. During that time, he's instilled in me a keen appreciation for cogent and coherent arguments, well-crafted narratives, and solid documentary and quantitative evidence. I only hope that this work approaches his exacting standards of scholarship. Like all good mentors, Paul Pickowicz has always imparted more than I often realized at the moment of instruction. At one critical juncture, his quiet observation that "things don't always tum out the way we want them to" freed me from fears of failure, thereby allowing me to start taking some intellectual risks. A constant source of support and wise counsel, Paul has enabled me not only to survive but also to thrive. Dorothy Ko altered my thinking forever by shepherding me through the cultural and linguistic turns. Those were heady days, an intellectual Camelot, and to say that she's been a formative presence in my development would be a gross understatement. Always on the move, she has continually provided inspiration at all the right moments and showed me how interpreting the past is also a way of inhabiting the present and envisioning a more open future. While in La Jolla, I always looked forward to Tak Fujitani's classes; and he remains for me a model of sophistication, generosity, humor, and professionalism. Suzanne Cahill and Richard Wang helped me find my way by nurturing the sinologist and bibliophile in me, for which I will always be grateful. I learned as much if not more from my classmates:



Julie Broadwin, James Cook, Dong Yue, Mark Eykholt, Susan Fernsebner, Joshua Goldstein, Llu Lu, Cecily McCaffrey, Andrew Moms, Charles Musgrove, Elena Songster, and Wang Llping. Many of the ideas and views expressed in the pages that follow grew out of our shared experiences and often intense conversations, both inside and outside the seminar room. I remain forever indebted to David Bello and Jeanette Barbieri for their companionship in Beijing and southern California. Thanks especially to David for nudging me towards patrimonialism when I was still counting sheep and for many hours spent on our bikes as well as at the archives, the bookstores, and "the Bear." These are some of my fondest memories. My gratitude also goes to my earliest teachers, who opened many intellectual and institutional doors and then sent me on my way: F. Jane Scott, Naomi Duprat, John Waters, Perry Link, Chou Chih-p'ing, Yuan Naiying, Tang Haitao, and Marvin Bressler. Thanks also to Gettraude Roth-Ll for a wonderful summer in Berkeley more than 10 years ago, when I first gleaned an inkling of what genuine scholarship was all about. Mark Elliott deserves special mention, too, for taking an interest in and actively supporting my work as well as for sharing his sense of humor and saving me from "hegemony." My teachers at the Inter-University Program (IUP) made my time in Taipei fruitful; Chou Ch'ang-chen and Wu Hsien-i made it fun and helped me through a very difficult time as well. Also in Taiwan, Zhuang Jifa and Chen Jiexian generously opened the doors to their classrooms, where they shared their knowledge and insights. Guo Chengkang did the same in Beijing, while also providing important advice on how to make this project more manageable. Huang Aiping always made time for meetings to discuss my work. Xia Hongtu provided great company at the archives, along with infectious humor and a wealth of scholarlv knowledge. · Writing this book would have been impossible without the assistance of many knowledgeable librarians, archivists, and staff members at the following institutions: the National Palace Museum (Taipei, Taiwan); the Institute of History and Philology and the Fu Ssu-nien Library at the Academia Sinica (Taipei); the Institute of Qing History at the_Chinese People's University (Beijing); the Beijing National Llbrary; Be11mg Uruversity Llbrary; the Capital Llbrary (Beijing); the Llbrary at



the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing); the First Historical Archives (Beijing); the Asian Division and the John W. Kluge Center, both at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC); the HarvardYenching Library (Cambridge, MA); the Family History Library of the Utah Genealogical Society (Salt Lake City, UT); the East Asian Library at UCLA; and the Interlibrary Loan department at George Mason University. Those who helped me in one way or another number more than I can list here, but in particular I would like to recognize Li Jin and Zhu Shuyuan at the First Historical Archives; Mi Chu and Judy Lu at the Library of Congress's Asian Division as well as Prosser Gifford, Les Vogel, and Peg Christoff at the John W. Kluge Center; Jessica Eykholt and Ma Xiaohe at the Harvard-Yenching Library; and Melvin Thatcher at the Utah Genealogical Society. The financial support I have received is quite astounding and has been critical to the completion of this project. Fellowships from UCSD alleviated some of my stresses as a graduate student. The Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu endowment in Chinese Studies (at UCSD) allowed me to spend a summer studying Manchu in Berkeley. The Blakemore Foundation of Seattle sponsored a year of advanced language study and preliminary research in Taipei, Taiwan. A Fulbright Grant from the Institute of International Education (IIE) allowed me to conduct another six months of research at the National Palace Museum and Academia Sinica also in Taipei. I then spent 1998 at the Institute of Qing History and the First Historical Archives in Beijing on a generous fellowship from the Committee for Scholarly Communication with China (CSCC), administered by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The serious work of transforming the dissertation into a book began in earnest during a year-long stint as a Fellow in International Studies at the Library of Congress's John W. Kluge Center, sponsored by the Luce Foundation and the ACLS. A Mathey Junior Faculty Fellowship and a generous leave from George Mason University (GMU) relieved me of classroom responsibilities for two semesters so that I might further whip the manuscript into shape. Additional support from GMU has greatly smoothed the final stages of production. Roy Rosenzweig, the director of GMU's Center for History and New Media, graciously offered the technical services of Stephanie R. Hurter, who produced the lovely map on page 5_ Meanwhile, GMU's Department of History



and Art History provided funds toward engaging Mr. Jake Kawatski and Ms. Cherry Currin to produce a much better index than I could have managed on my own. Two anonymous readers for the Harvard University Asia Center read the manuscript in its entirety and saved me from embarrassing mistakes in both substance and style. In addition, many others have fered assistance and constructive feedback on all or parts of this work over the years. These include: David Bello, Joan Bristol, Maya Chen, Lisa Claypool, Robert DeCaroli, Dong Yue, Mark Elliott, Joseph Esherick, Susan Fernsebner, Karl Gerth, Josh Goldstein, Seunghyun Han, Mike Hearn, Laura Hosterler, Hu Minghui, Chris Isett, Dorothy Ko, Eugenia Lean, Li Cho-ying, Cary Liu, Liu Lu, Susan Mann, Cecily McCaffrey, Tobie Meyer-Fong, Steven Miles, Sue Naquin, Anne Reinhardt, William Rowe, Bruce Rusk, Randolph Scully, Mark Swislocki, Joanna Waley-Cohen, Wang Liping, and Erica Yao as well as audiences at the Asian Studies Conference Japan (Tokyo), Harvard University, the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), the Library of Congress, Columbia University, the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), and Washington University (St. Louis). Although I have not always had the good sense to incorporate their suggestions, I owe a profound debt to these people for providing what every author desires and needs-an active and critically engaged audience. In the end, however, responsibility for any remaining mistakes or infelicities is mine alone to bear. I dedicate this book to my parents, who've shown me how daily struggles and hardships can, with a dash of dignity, be transformed into something deeply meaningful. To my sisters, Denise and Lisa, who have shown much forbearance toward their little brother , thanks for setting me straight on more than one occasion and for everything else you've done to lead the way. To Pam and Koni, thank you for raising a wonderful daughter and providing us with perspective. Finally, my love, respect, and gratitude to Sue, whose courage, strength, and indefatigable humor helped steer us clear of melancholia and melodrama in times that might've easily elicited both.




Tables & Figures Abbreviations J\Fote on Transcription & Dating Conventions

xv XVll XX!

Introduction Patrimonial-Bureaucratic Empire: A Model for Prernodern State-Formation / II Ethnically (Ideologically) Imbued Patrimonialism / 14 Lineages of the Qing Ethno-Dynastic State/ 18 Imperial Touring & the Historical Formation of Qing Rule / 27 1


Historical Precedents & the Multivalence of Imperial Touring Touring, Hunting, & Warfare in Antiquity/ 38 The "Civil-ization" of Touring During the W'arring States Period/ 41 Touring as a Point of Monarchical-Bureaucratic Tension/ 45 Imperial Bureaucracy & the Denigration of Touring/ 50 Imperial Confederacy & the Persistence of Seasonal Sojourning / 55 Imperial Touring in the Ming/ 65 Conclusion / 71 "Following Ancestors": The Ethno-Dynastic Imperative of Imperial Touring, 1680s & 1740s Remonstrance & Response, I: Kangxi's First Imperial Tour, 1668-71 I 75 Kangxi's Revival of Imperial Touring, 1680s: A Classical Model? / 79 Qianlong's Revival oflmperial Touring, 1740s: A Family Romance / 87





Remonstrance & Response, II: A Han Censor's Protest, December

1758 / 103 Qianlong's Commentary on Togh6n Temiir, 1767= The Echoes

of History / 108 Conclusion /


3 Putting a Court on Horseback: The Logistics & Politics of a Moving Court


The Imperial Entourage & the Tour Route / n4 Directing the Imperial Encampment: A Bannerman's Affair / n8 Encampments as an Emblem of Martial Prowess / 128 Mobilizing the Provinces on a 1\filitary Scale / 139 Managing Popular Perceptions of the Southern Tours / 141 Conclusion / 156

4 The Perils of Peace & the Politics of Empire: Wars, Tours, & Military Readiness Qianlong's Valorization of Martial Values, 1785 / 161


Fears of Banner Decline, 1670s-1730s / 167

The Early Qianlong Military Crisis, 1730s-1740s / 170 Imperial Tours as a Manchu-Martial Habitus / 178 A Crisis of Leadership & the Persistence of Banner

Decline, 1750s / 196 The Southern Tours & the Dzungar Problem, 1750s / 199 Empire & Martial Triumphalism on the Southern Tours, 1762 / 206 Conclusion / 216

5 "Returning to Purity & Simplicity": The Southern Tours & Intra-Elite Competition in an Age of Commercialization Cultivating Commercial Wealth /



The Imperial Discourse on Curbing Extravagance / 236 Literati Anxiety & the Appropriation of Imperial Discourse / 246 Conclusion / 258

6 The Southern Tours as Cultural Encompassment: The Valorization of Verse & Accommodation of Han Learning Special Recruitment Examinations: An Overview / 261 Courting Elites via the Valotization of Poetry & Painting/ 265




Shen Deqian as a Cultural Broker in Suzhou/ 271 Suzhou's Ziyang Academy & the Accommodation of

Han Learning / 280 The Ambiguities of Accommodation / 297 Conclusion / 302

7 The Poetics & Politics of Qianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


The Prospect of Pleasure: Imperial Ambivalence / 306

A Tension Within Elite Culture: The Eighteenth-Century Denigration of a «Lyric Vision" / 316

Reading Qianlong's Southern Tour Poetry/ 322 First Engagements: Defining "The Meaning of Jiangnan" in Jiangbei / 324 EncounteringJinshan, I: Engendering the Landscape & Disavowing Desire / 332

EncounteringJinshan, II: Mediating & Framing the Lyric Vision of a Moonlit River / 337 The Deepening Encounter: Declarations of Diligence as a

Repudiation of Pleasure / 348 A Legitimating Discourse: "Observing the People" from Horseback/ 353 Conclusion / 363 8 Popular Perceptions & the Primacy of Ethno-Dynastic Politics, 1765-1785 Revisiting Qian!ong's Hydraulic Thesis / 367 The Primacy of Politics, 1770s / 376 The Erosion of Ethno-Dynastic Legitimacy, 1765-78 / 380 An Ethno-Dynastic Response: The Resurgence of Imperial Touring, 1780---85 / 409


Conclusion / 421

Epilogue: Imperial Touring at the Last, 1800-1820 Ethnicity & the Historical Dynamics of Qing Rule / 432

Appendixes A A Note on Provincial Preparations for Qianlong's Southern Tours





B An Estimate of the Overall Costs for Qianlong's Southern Tours C South.em Tour Recruitment Examinations: A Quantitative Analysis Reference Matter


Works Cited


Chinese Character L'st




Tables & Figures

Tables 3.r

Duration of the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors' southern tours


3.2 Size of retinues on four of Qianlong's southern tours, 1751-65

3.3 The innermost circle of Qianlong's entourage in 1757 3.4 Route distances for Qianlong's southern tour, 1751 5.r

Estimated increases in annual quotas granted LiangHuai salt merchants, 1751-65

Br Silver reserves in the Board of Revenue, Qianlong reign B2 Official allocation rates for members of the imperial B3

II? II? II8 230 453



Estimated allocations to retinue members for three southern tours


B4 Estimated transport expenses originating from the capital B, Estimated total expenditures for a southern tour B6 Officially reported provincial expenditures for Qianlong's southern tours

457 458 459

B7 Number of rest stops, overnight encampments, and temporary palaces



Costs of a southern tour as a percentage of silver reserves



Number of successful first-tier candidates for southern tour recruitment examinations



Tables & Figures


Number of successful second-tier candidates for southern tour recruitment exams



Total "successful" candidates for southern tour recruitment exams


Estimates of total number of poems submitted for southern tour recruitment examinations



Figures 1

Route of the southern tours


Fording a river on a southern tour



Portrait of Joohoi, captain-general of the Imperial Escorts



Main imperial encampment


5 6

Yellow perimeter inner encampment


Main encampment entrance

7 8

Intermediate encampment


The Qianlong emperor's entry into Suzhou, 1751


The Qianlong emperor's entry into Rehe


Qianlong engaging in the battue hunt

Surren.der of the khan of Badakhshan, 1759


134 135 137 181 183 184


For complete bibliographic information, see tbe Works Cited, pp. 473501.


Clara Wing-chung Ho, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women: The Qing Period, I644-I9II


Brunnett and Hagelstrom, Present Day Political OQ?,anization of China


The Cambridge History of China

czxz DMB

vane DQHD(JQ)

Li Guangzuo et al., comps., (Qianlong) Changzhou xianzhi (Qianlong-era gazetteer of Changzhou county)

Goodrich and Fang, comps., Dictionary ofMing Biography Hucker, A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China Tuojin et al., comps., Da Qing huidian [Jiaqing chao] (Collected statutes of tbe Great Qing, Jiaqing reign)

DQHDSL (JQJ Da Qing huidian shi!i [Jiaqing chao] (Collected supplementary regulations and sub-statutes of tbe Great Qing, Jiaqing reign)


Hummel, ed., Eminent Chinese ofthe Ch'ing Period


Loewe, ed., Ear!Y Chinese Texts


Guoli Gugong bowuyuan, Bianji weiyuan hui, comp., Gongzhong dangQian!ong chao zouzhe (Palace memorials of tbe Qianlong reign)

GZDzz (B)

Gongzhong dang zouzhe (Palace memorials), Beijing




Luo Zhufeng, ed., Hanyu da cidian (suoyin ben) (Comprehensive dictionary of Chinese, condensed)


Shao Jinhan et al., (Qianlong) Hangzhou fuzhi (Gazetteer of Hangzhou prefecture, Qianlong edition)


Diyi lishi dang'an guan, comp., Kangxi chao Manwen zhupi zouzhe quanyi (Complete translations of vermilionrescripted Manchu memorials of the Kangxi reign)


Zhongguo diyi lishi dang' an guan, ed., Kangxi qijuzhu (Imperial diaries of the Kangxi period)


Kangxi qijuzhu (Imperial diaries of the Kangxi period), Taibei


DaQing ShengZfl Ren (Kangxz) huangdi shilu (Veritable Records of the Kangxi emperor)


ShengZfl Ren (Kangxz) huangdi shengxun (Sacred edicts of the Kangxi emperor)


Zhang Yushu et al., Kangxi zjdian (The Kangxi dictionary)


Lufu zouzhe, Junji dang (Grand Council reference collection), Beijing


Lufu zouzhe, Junji dang (Grand Council reference collection), Taibei


N eiwufu laiwen (Lateral communications received by

the Imperial Household Departtnent), Beijing NWFZA(B)

Neiwufu zouan (Draft palace memorials from the Imperial Household Departtnent), Beijing


Sa-zai, comp., Nanxun chai'an zhangcheng (Regulations for preparing for the southern tours)


G'ao Jin, comp., Nanxun shengdian (Great canon of the southern tours)


Liu Jinzao, comp., Qingchao wenxian tongkao (Compendia of Qing historical documents) Sa-zai et al., comps.,Qinding nanxun shengdian (Imperi-

ally commissioned great canon of the southern tours)

111111111111111 Abbreviations



Qian Shifu, ed.,Qingdai zhiguan nianbiao (Tables of Qing officials

QHD (GX) Kun Gang et al., comps., Qing Huidian [Guangxu chao] QHDSL (GX) Qing Huidian shi/i [Guangxu chao] (Collected supplementary regulations and sub-statutes of the Qing, Guangxu reign)


He Changling et al., comps. Qingjingshi wen bian (Essays on Qing statecraft)


Zhongguo diyi lishi dang'an guan, ed.,Qianlong chao shangyu dang (Imperial edicts of the Qianlong reign)


Jiang Llangqi et al., Shi er chao Donghua lu, vols. 7-II, Qianlong chao (Records of the Donghua Gate for twelve reigns, Qianlong reign)


QianJong qijuzhu (Imperial diaries of the Qianlong period), Taibei


DaQingGaozongChun (Qian/ong) huangdi shi/u (Verita-

ble Records of the Qianlong emperor)


Da Qing Gaozong chun (Qianlong) huangdi shengxun

(Sacred edicts of the Qianlong emperor)


Qing Gaozong, Qing Gaozong (Qian/ong) yuzhi shiwen quan;i (Complete prose and poetry of the QianJong emperor)


Zhao Erxun et al., Qingshi gao (Draft history of the Qing)


Ll Mingwan et al., SuzhouJuzhi (Gazetteer of Suzhou prefecture)


Cao Yunyuan et al., (Minguo) Wuxian zhi (Republicanera gazetteer of Wu county)


Xu Zhi et al., comps., (Qianloni) Yuanhe xianzhi (Gazetteer ofYuanhe county, QianJong edition)


A-ke-dang-a et al., Yangzhoufuzhi (Gazetteer ofYangzhou prefecture)


Da Qing Shizong xian (Yongzheni) huangdi shengxun (Sa-

cred edicts of the Y ongzheng emperor)

Note on Transcription

& Dating Conventions

Chinese words and names are transcribed according to the pinyin system of romanization. When quoting directly from English-language sources that use a different system of romanization, I have taken the liberty of converting the relevant terms into pinyin. Manchu words and names are transcribed using the MOllendorf system. Terms and names in various

languages are labeled accordingly: Ch. = Chinese, Man. = Manchu, Mong. =Mongolian, Tib. = Tibetan. Where a Manchu name is uncertain because it has been deduced from a transliteration in Chinese characters,

or when someone is more widely known by this Chinese form, the name when encountered for the first time is followed by the Chinese form in parentheses, e.g., Injisan (Ch. Yin-ji-shan), Jooliyan (Ch. Zhao-lian), Joohoi (Ch. Zhao-hui). Certain Manchu names remain in their Chinese forms, written in pinyin and hyphenated, e.g., Fu-long-an. When known, th e first appearance of a person's name in the main text is accompanied br dates of birth and/ or death. The abbreviation js indicates the year in Which the person obtained the jinshi (metropolitan) degree. In ~e text proper, all dates are written according to the western so1 ar (Julian and Gregorian) calendar, e.g., 24 June 1751, 300 CE. In the notes, certain dates appear according to the Chinese lunar calendar and/ or solar calendar where appropriate in order to facilitate navigation of original sources. Dates indicated according to the Chinese lunar cal-


Transcription & Dating Conventions

endar appear in the following format: reign period and regnal year, lunar month, and lunar day. Abbreviations for reign periods are: SZ = Shunzhi, KX = Kangxi, YZ = Yongzheng, QL = Qianlong; JQ = Jiaqing. A small letter "r" indicates an intercalary month. Thus, QL16/r5/2 refers to the second day of the fifth intercalary month in the sixteenth year of the Qianlong reign, or, in the solar calendar, 1751/6/24 (24June 1751).

A Court on Horseback Imperial Touring & the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680-1785


The Qianlong emperor (Aisin Gioro Hongli, 17n-99, r. 1736--95), the fourth Manchu emperor to rule over China proper, both basked in the aura and lived in the shadow of his grandfather, the Kangxi emperor (Aisin Gioro Xuanye, 1654-1722, r. 1661-1722). During his inaugural southern tour of 1751, Qianlong readily acknowledged his predecessor's legacy: "More than forty years have passed since Our Imperial Grandfather ... embarked upon his six tours to the southeast. This magnificent ceremony lives on and can still be heard in street ballads." 1 Kangxi's southern tours were not only the stuff of song and legend but also a form of political theater that drew huge crowds and rendered the social order visible: On IJ April r699 the [Kangxi emperor's] imperial flotilla entered Suzhou prefecrure. Those gathered along the route to greet the procession stretched on continuously for hundreds of Ii; however, they were most numerous in Suzhou. The various local officials were in front. Government students and licentiates were behind them. Local elders were next, finally followed by ordinary residents. People came by water and by land. Above each boat flew a yellow banner saying, "XXX from YY district welcomes the imperial procession." The same [banners showing people's names and places of origin] could also be seen on land. Virtually all of the large thoroughfares were finely festooned, some with yellow damask. Lavishly adorned stages, one hundred paces wide, were set up in front of Suzhou's old postal relay station and at the foot of Tiger Hill) and lantern-bedecked arches and pavilions stretched across bridges and alleyways.

I. NXSD, 1.27a.



Such festive scenes supposedly "embodied the jubilation shared by His Majesty and the entire realm." Their orchestration certainly benefited the court, as well as Suzhou's local officials and honoratiom, all of whom "eagerly vied to display their talents" in the imperial presence.' Some fifty years later, the Qianlong emperor sought to emulate his august grandfather by choreographing equally allegorical tableaus of popular enthusiasm. In early 1750, a full year before his first southern tour began, Qianlong issued an edict "regarding preparation of the royal road" in which he insisted on high visibility: "Although the view in some areas may be interrupted or entirely blocked by straw and cloth bunting, the view from wide-open spaces must be kept completely unobstructed.''' On the day of his departure from Beijing, the emperor eagerly anticipated "throngs of people" who would "crowd city boulevards in order to gaze upon the imperial procession." He was particularly pleased to hear that "the gentry, local elders, and commoners all hoped to draw close to the radiant aura of the imperial presence." There was, however, one problem. Qianlong "truly feared that some local authorities, worried about overcrowding, might cordon off their jurisdictions ahead of time." Nevertheless, he was determined to keep the niggling concerns of petty bureaucrats from putting a damper on the show. "If the roads are wide and spacious and securing the route is not expected to cause undue

congestion," Qianlong clarified in a special edict, "then local officials are not to issue blanket prohibitions aimed at obstructing the sincere desire of ordinary subjects to draw near and gaze upon the emperor (zhanjiu)." 4 Upon arriving in Suzhou six weeks later, Qianlong proudly proclaimed: "Since We entered the province [of Jiangsu] a short time ago, both elderly and young have eagerly come forth, drawing near and gazing upon the imperial procession. Their genuine admiration and respect are quite pleasing." 5 Ll Dou, a late eighteenth-century denizen of 2.. SZFZ,juan shou u4b--15a. 3. JVXSD, 1.3a.

4• NXSD, 1.~Ia. The term z!;m!)iu is a classical allusion to the phrase "drawing near the sun and gazing upon the clouds" (;iu ri zhanyun), which refers to a description of the sage-king Yao's virtues found in Sima Qian's Sh!Ji; see Nienhauser, The Grand Sm'be's Records, 1: 6. 5. NXSD, 1.27a.



Yangzhou, reinforced imperial accounts: "Colorfully draped pavilions and waterborne stages were set up along the imperial route. All were a manifestation of deep sincerity. Every place through which [the imperial procession] passed was like this." 6 As Qianlong would have it, the act of gazing was mutual and suffused with specific meanings. Seeing and being seen "both satisfied the [general populace's] sincere desire for an imperial visit and provided an occasion for Us to observe the flourishing of local customs and popular sentiments." 7 The Qianlong emperor's southern tours, then, were political spectacles of the first order. News of them reverberated throughout the Qing empire as well as both maritime and continental Asia. Agents of the Tokugawa bakufu in Japan (1600-1868) learned of Qianlong's extended journeys through the Lower Y angzi region via intelligence reports gathered from sailors on Chinese merchant ships landing in Osaka. 8 Korean envoys made note of them in their diaries and official reports.' Inner Asian chieftains and prelates-including the third Panchen Lama, Losang Belden Yeshe (rib. Bio bzan dpal !clan ye ses, 1737-80) 10certain]y knew of the southern tours, sometimes by virtue of being part of Qianlong's retinue. To this day, the spectacle of the southern tours continues to captivate both popular and historical imaginations. Indeed, ,irtually evety student of the Qing dynasty (1644-19rr), and of Chinese history more generally, possesses at least a passing familiarity with Qianlong's six southern tours (nanxun) between 1751 and 1784- 11 Equally well known are the six southern tours of the Kangxi emperor." And yet, as the eminent Qing historian Guo Chengkang once remarked, "Everybody can say a few words about the southern tours, but nobody has

6. Li Dou, Yangzhou huajang /11, p. 3, no. 3. 7. 1\XSD, 1.21a. 8-Hua, "'Tangchuan fengshu.'" . . . .. 9- Pak, YOrha ilgi, 25 4 , 576. See also the comments of Hwang Chae, who v1s1ted BeiJing in 1734 and 1750, quoted in Min, National Polity and Local Power, 4• . IO. Zhongguo diyi lishi dang'an guan, Liushi Banchan chaqjin dang'an xuanbzan, 150 (doc. 197), 153-54 (docs. 203 _ 4), 155 (doc. 206), 164-66 (docs. 220-21), 17 1 (doc. 227), and 198 (doc. 269). 11. Qianlong's southern tours took place in the springs of 1751, 1757, 176 2 , 17 6 5, 17 80 , and 178412· Kangxi's southern tours occurred in 1684, 1689, 1699, 1703, 17°5, and 17°7•



studied them in depth yct." 13 On a most basic level, the present study aims to fill this lacuna. Let us begin with "a few words" about Qianlong's southern tours. These were extended affairs, during which the Qianlong emperor and his rather sizable entourage spent from tlu:ee to five months ttaveling through one of the empire's most prosperous and critical regions-the Lower Yangzi delta (Jiangnan) (see Fig. 1 and Table 3-1). The tour route took the emperor and his retinue overland tlu:ough Zhili, Shandong, and northern Jiangsu provinces, up to the juncture of the YeUow River and Grand Canal in Qinghe county (modern Qingjiang), where Qianlong inspected the area's complex network of dikes, dams, levees, and canals. 14 After crossing the YeUow River, the mobile court traveled southward via the Grand Canal, visiting major county and prefectural seats such as Baoying, Gaoyou, and Yangzhou. Just south ofYaogzhou, the imperial flotilla crossed the Yangzi River and stopped at important cities such as Changzhou, Wul, ,cc Nie, "Qingchao gongting ,ongbanhua •Q,aolong pingding Zhunbu l lu1bu zhantu' "; and idem, "'Qw,lr,ng p,ngc1tng Zhonbu Hwbu zlwuu,"'


P11tting a Court 011 Horseback


F'ag. 7 Su.mtldtc of the khan o( &d:ikhsh:an, 1759. «Badash-a.n han nakuan" ttit J.1 $f #IA, Pingii,g YiS H,ibw zhatN, 'f':tfl'1/!"1ans (SOUR.CB: Reunion ck.s 1',fo-Secs N-ationaux / Art Reso-.in;c, NY).

Khalkas (in 1743) and the Eastern Kazakhs (in 1757).68 Second, QianJong's bodyguards in all three paintings are dressed identically, as is the emperor himself, in plain-colored riding jackets and frocks. This ethnic costume reflected the values of fmgality and simple functionality closely associated with a hard-riding life on the steppe. Finally, and most imponant, all three paintings reinforce Qianlong's image as an Tnner Asian ruler on horseback s urrounded by his most loyal and disciplined Manchu and Mongolian troops-all of whom, not surprisingly, appear on horseback as well. If, as l',fark Elliott has written, "equitation was important to preserving 'soldierly ,'irtue,"'•• then imperial tours provided a habi111s in and through which this purpose might be realized. Qianlong's southern tour poetry is replete with descriptions of himself "splltring on a horse"

68. By the 1510s, this tribal confederation, now known as the Kazuhs, had grown some ooe million people. The Kazakhs consisted of Greater, Middle, and Lesser Hordes. In 1757 Ablai, the chief of the Middle (and laier Grearcr) Horde(s) (AKA the Left Branch or Wing or the Eastern Kazakhs) resisted growing pressures from -an ascendant Dzung;u state b)' sending a mission to est2blish trade rcl2tions with the Qing (Mill=d, "Qing Silk-Horse Trade"; Perdue, Cbina Man/xJ 117,sl, 198-401). 69. Elliot~ Th, M.,,,b• W'11, 180. tO

'I 'h, P,ri/J ofPro« & th, Politin of E.mpirt


d C 1nm, hum l,tn,m. - - ( \, Qu,,mg), Q •-.i ,.,.. The P:il:icc Museum, Bt:QUlJ,t, 1/#lftn(poJ;t) Ocr:ii]. Q1:inJon11: and h11 munnli:J.tC' cn1out;t.i (SOtJ.O:: fflitr ~ ~..- ~ 196. ttpoclu«d hr ~ of

I ,g,


. , ~ 111~

"'@)II "' P

ftlt t' :t ftlJ•ftlt

the: P11lK1t \fWC'\lm).


The Perils ofPeace & the Politics efE111pire



Fig. n, dt:tail. (,er pm,~,pagt)

(i. ma, tej,), "sitting in the saddle" (/11 a11), "mounting a steed" (thet,g 1110), and "reining in" (a11pn)10 as he passed chrough adminiscrative seats or

visited scenic sices on che outskirts of major urban centers such as Yangzhou, Suzhou, and Hangzhou.71 Moreover, the progress oi the imperial procession itself was subject to an explicit policy of enforced e..iu Lllng-Huaiyanfa zhi, 6.3ra-b.

"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"


deemed worthy of recognition. Indeed, many of the gifts and rewards granted by the emperor during his southern tours were paid with funds allocated directly from the treasury of the Liang-Huai salt administration (yunku), which was technically part of the public fisc but had by the eighteenth century de facto become an adjunct of the Imperial Household Department. 23 Merchant financing of imperial tours, like all merchant contributions for that matter, was a mutually beneficial form of political tribute. The Qianlong court was able to generate muchneeded revenue by siphoning off and controlling merchant wealth and power; in return, the merchants might secure the continuation of favorable treatment and public forms of imperial recognition. In short, "donations" to the Qing court generated clear benefits and returns in terms of both symbolic and financial capital. In terms of symbolic capital, Yangzhou's salt merchants were rewarded for their financing of Qianlong's southern tours with coveted status markers. Starting on his second southern tour of 1757, the Qianlong emperor recognized "all Liang-Huai merchants whose names had not yet been registered on official rosters" for their "enthusiastic public-mindedness in assuming responsibility for tour preparations" (chengban chaiwu,yongyuejigong). Those merchants who held honorary titles below rank three (i.e., below the rank of provincial judge, ancha shi xian) received a one-grade promotion in rank (jiajz). 24 Those already at rank three were granted the honorary title of "courtier" (chenyuan qing xian). 25 On subsequent tours in 1762 and 1765, Qianlong continued to foster the "social metamorphosis"26 of Yangzhou's sixteen wealthiest salt merchants by promoting them en masse up the hierarchy of honorary

23. Qi, Qingdai Neiw,efu, 135-45, 184-86. Of the one million tael.r that the Llang-Huai salt merchants donated in anticipation of Qianlong's third southern tour of 1762, 300,000 lael.r were allocated for preparation costs in Jiangnan; 200,000 taels were earmarked for refurbishment of the travel-palaces; and rno,ooo taels were to be used specifically for gifts granted on the tour itself. The remaining 400,000 taels were transferred to Henan province and used to repair hydraulic infrastructure and to provide disaster ,elief (i'.XSD, 3.3a). 24. On official rewards (yixu, jit!}i, jilu), see Ll Pengnian et al., Qingdai liubu chengyu cidian, 13-14. 25. NXSD, 69.8a. 26. Ping-ti Ho, "The Salt Merchants ofYang-chou," 165.


"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"

ranks. 27 Yangzhou salt merchants might also enhance their prestige by hosting an imperial visit at their homes. Indeed, in 1762 and 1765, QianJong personally toured the private gardens of seven influential merchants-all of whom he had also, not coincidentally, granted promotions in honorary rank.2 8 Equally important were the financial benefits that merchants garnered from imperial tours of inspection. In September 1750, five months before the start of Qianlong's inaugural southern tour, the Liang-Huai salt commissioner Jiqing requested that the winter salt shipment (gang) for 1751-amounting to some 400,000 licensing certificates (yin)-be distributed to merchants a few months early.29 Jiqing argued that this measure would prevent shortages of salt that might arise due to the southern tour and its interruption of regularly scheduled shipments. Qianlong fully agreed with the views of his Manchu salt commissioner. More important, he decided to allow an extra twenty catties Uin) of salt to be added to each salt certificate without increasing the licensing fees charged to merchants. 30 Qianlong's generosity toward Yangzhou's salt merchants continued during the tour itself. As the im27. NXSD, 70.8a; QLSL, 354.18b. Four leading Llang-Huai merchants-Huang Luxian, Hong Zhengzhi, Jiang Chun (AKA Jiang Guangda), and Wu Xizu-already enjoyed the title of courtier and received a one-grade promotion. Three merchantsXu Shiye, Wang Lide, and Wang Zui-were granted promotions from honorary provincial judge to courtier. Another four merchants-Li Zhixun, Wang Bingde, Bi Benshu, and Wang Tao--received honorary titles of provincial judge. Cheng Zhengqi was promoted to the honorary rank of 6a, and four other merchants who held titles lower than rank 6-Cheng Yangzong, Cheng Di, Wu Shanyu, and Wang Changsingreceived one-rank promotions. 28. The seven merchants were Huang Lu.xi.an, Hong Zhengzhi, Jiang Chun, Xu Shiye, Wang Llde, Ll Zhixun, and Wang Changxing (QLSL, 354-186; Finnane, Speaking ofYangzhou, app. E, 327)- For more details on Yangzhou's merchant gardens and the impact of Qianlong's southern tours on the city's physical environment, see Finnane, Speaking efYangzhou, 188-203; and Meyer-Fong, Building Culture in Earfy Qing Yangzfaou, chap. 7. 29. A yin was the standard unit of weight (set by the government) for salt. The value of one yin ranged anywhere from 200 to 400 catties Uin) between 1644 and 1831. In 1740, a standard _yin equaled 344 catties (Ping-ti Ho, "The Salt Merchants of Yangchou," 144-45, 146 table). For more details on the history of the ]in and the emergence of the gang system during the late Ming period, see ibid., 135-36. 30.QLSL, 37u3a-b. Although Ping-ti Ho ("The Salt Merchants ofYang-chou," 145) does not specif)' the reason behind this increase, he does make note of its occurrence.

"Returning to Purity & S imp/icily"


perial procession was leaving Y angzhou to cross the Yangzi River in March 175', Qianlong granted the Liang-Huai salt merchants the privilege of adding another ten catties of salt to each certificate for that year's salt shipment, again free of extra licensing charges.31 These two gestures of imperial favor together represented an estimated 12.8 percent (668,520 taels) in extra profits for Liang-Huai salt merchants in 1751 alone (fable 5.1). Qianlong had a number of goals in mind. First, he wanted to prevent shortages of salt and thus avoid popular discontent in the heavily populated regions of Jiangnan and Hu-Guang (presentday Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, and Hunan provinces). 32 Second, by advancing the winter salt shipment, Qianlong (and Jiqing) sought earlier payment of the winter salt gabelle in order to cover costs associated with the southern tour. Third, by granting Yangzhou's salt merchants extra profits, he hoped to further secure the loyalties of an increasingly important source of revenue for the patrimonial state. 33 A year later, in August 1752, a group of Yangzhou's wealthiest salt merchants, again led by the head merchant Cheng Kezheng, submitted a letter informing the new Liang-Huai salt commissioner, Pu-fu, that they were prepared to donate 300,000 taels of silver "to be allocated from the privy purse (neiku) for public expenditures as needed."34 This response to both the imperial favor bestowed during Qianlong's first southern tour and the arrival of a new salt commissioner triggered a cycle of contributions and rewards exchanged between Yangzhou's salt merchants and the court that steadily escalated over the next decade. Six years later, the court expanded on the precedent of 1751. In anticipation of his second southern tour, in 1757, Qianlong increased the annual salt quotas for two years (1757 and 1758) instead of just one year (fable p).35 This exchange reached an apogee in December 1761, when

31. NXSD, 68.13a-b. 32.QLSL, 371.I3a-b. The Liang-Huai Salt Administration included "the whole prov-

ince of Jiangsu except four prefectures south of the Yangzi, by far the greater part of

Anhui, the whole of Jiangxi except the southernmost districts, south-eastern Henan, and practically the whole of Hubei and Hunan" (Ping-ti Ho, "The Salt Merchants of Yang-chou," 131). 33- Finnane, Speaking oJYangzhou, 1211n8. 34. GZDZZ (B), Pu-fu, QL 17/7/n (1752/8/r9). 35. NXSD, 2.3a, 69.IOa.

"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"


Table 5,1 Estimated Increases in Annual Quotas Granted Liang-Huai Salt Merchants, 1751--05 Year Amount of increase (catties u;n]/yin) Duration of increase (years) Estimated percentage weight increase peryi,fl

Estimated increase in profit (taels/yin/ Estimated increase in annual profits (taelr/year)' Estimated absolute increase in profits (taelr) Estimated percentage increase in annual profitsd
































The "1740 Hank.au Standard" of 344 catties (;ii1)/yin selling at 4-395 trn/Jlyin comes from Ho, "The Salt Merchants ofYang-chou," 146 (table).


1751: QLSL, 37r.13a-b; and NXSD, 68.13a-b. 1757: NXSD, 2.3a and 69.roa.

1762: NXSD, 70.9a.

1765: NXSD, 71.16a. 4 Calcu1ated using the 1740 Hankou standard value: 344 catties (jin)/.Jin (Ho, "The Salt Merchants of Yang-chou," 146 [table]). Values for "Amount of increase (catties/yin)" listed in row I are divided by 344 catties/yin and multiplied by 100%. bCalculated using the estimated price (taeb/yin at time of cheapness) in Hankou, 1740: +395 taels/yin (Ho, 'The Salt Merchants of Yang-chou," 146 [table]). Values for "Estimated percentage weight increase peryin" listed in row 3 are divided by 100% and then multiplied by 4.395 taels/yin. 'Calrulated using estimated annual sales: 600 million catties (jin) divided by 344 catties (jin)/yin = 1.74 million yin (Ho, 'The Salt Merchants of Yang-chou," 145 (annual sales of 600 million catties] and 146 [table; iyin == 344 cattiesJ. Values for "Estimated increase in profit (taels/yin)" listed in row 4 are multiplied by 1.74 million yin. dCalculated using estimated annual profits of 5-23 million taels. I. Estimated annual sales== 600 million catties (jin). 2. 1740 Hankou standard: I yin== 344 catties (jin). 3. Estimated annual sales = 600 million catties (jin) divided by 344 catties (jin)/yin = I.74 million yin. 4. Estimated annual profits= 3 taeh/yin x 1.74 millionyin = 5-23 million fae/s (Ho, "The Salt Merchants ofYang-chou," 145 [annual sales of 600 million catties], 146 [table; 1yin 344 catties], and 148 [average peryin profit= 3 taels]). Values for "Estimated increase in annual profits (taels/yeu:)" listed in row 5 are divided by 5-23 million taels.


"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"


Qianlong accepted an astounding one-million-tae/ donation from Yangzhou's salt merchants in anticipation of his third southern tour.36 Not all the financial benefits derived by Y angzhou's salt merchants were legitimate. In order to gain a fuller understanding of merchant motivations for making such enormous contributions on the occasion of Qianlong's southern tours, we should also consider the practice of "squeeze." This was, at bottom, a form of extraction by which the most powerful and well-positioned members of the salt merchant community and local officials (including Manchu salt commissioners such as Jiqing and Pu-fu) enhanced their own power and prerogatives by putting pressure on (squeezing) smaller merchants. Here Ping-ti Ho's concise description of the practice of "squeeze" is worth citing in full: Thanks to their Uarge merchants1 intimate relationship with the salt officials, they could appropriate, among other things, a large share of the xia fee, that is, a group of expenses incurred in entertaining officials and sundry contributions to local administration, which was paid out of the common treasury of the entire merchant body. The :x:ia fee, handled exclusively by a few merchant treasurers in Hankou, Jiangxi and Y angzhou who were either head merchants or their trusted agents, was never strictly audited, and its burden was invariably shifted to the entire group of transport merchants.37

The southern tours were tailor-made for the practice of squeeze. After all, what better excuse was there for soliciting donations from the broader merchant community than "entertaining" the emperor and his vast entourage? The festivities put on by Y angzhou salt merchants, especially those in honor of Qianlong's second tour of 1757, were elaborate and included a giant and glittering mechanical peach blossom stage, fireworks, opera performances, and silk-bedecked streets as well as throngs of dragon and lantern boats. 38 Due to the practice of squeeze, the majority ofYangzhou's smaller salt merchants bore the brunt of the costs for these activities while more powerful head merchants profited.

36. Ibid., J.Ja. 37- Ping-ti Ho, "The Salt Merchants ofYang-chou," 142-43. 38. Liu Gengsheng, "Qianlong ershier nian nanxun shiliao yanjiu," 643; Xu Ke, Qing bai leichao, 1: 341.


"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"

One master of squeeze was Jiang Chun (1725--93; hao Hering, business name Guangda). 39 Described by Ping-ti Ho as "a poet and the most colorful head merchant during the second half of the eighteenth century," Jiang was one of a handful of commercial magnates who benefited most from entertaining Qianlong during all six of his visits to Y angzhou. He was even granted the "unusual honor" of attending an imperial banquet. 40 Opulent tour preparations served as a convenient pretext under which powerful head merchants such as Jiang might collude with salt administration officials and line their own pockets. Qianlong, for his part, gradually came to realize that there were shenanigans afoot. After witnessing the unbridled lavishness surrounding his second visit to Y angzhou in 1757, he was determined to rein in the various forms of embezzlement masked by such huge expenditures. On 22 May 1761, as preparations for his third southern tour were under way, Qianlong specifically criticized former and present salt administration officials, all of whom were trusted bondservants or Manchu bannermen, for their (mis)management of affairs in Yangzhou: ~en We respectfully accompany the Empress Dowager's procession on southern tours, there are travel:palaces built along the tour route. These should provide nothing more than a place to rest and spend the night. Origi.nally-We did not engage in excessive and wasteful expenditures. However, We felt that during Jiqing's tenure as [the Liang-Huai] salt commissioner, those travel-palaces built in Yangzhou were a bit too ornate and ostentatious. During Pu-fu's tenure [as salt commissioner], he inevitably [felt] he had to outdo Jiqing.

39. Jiang was a dominant figure in Yangzhou. He was the proprietor of renowned gardens and, along with the well-known Ma brothers Yueguan and Yuelu, was one of the foremost patrons of scholarship (Wang Chang, Puhe shatifang shihua, 131; Ping-ti Ho,

The Udder efSuccess, 286--89). 40. Ping-ti Ho, «The Salt Merchants of Yang-chou," 160; Mackerras, The Rise oftbt PekJng Opera, 79. One must wonder if Jiang Chun's fondness for archen· had anything to do with Qianlong's favoritism for this merchant or vice versa. On 13 April 176~, during his fourth southern tour, the emperor bestowed on Jiang Chun (whom he called Jiang Guangda) four sable skin pelts and two ornamental silk pouches (J\,,XSD, 71.36a). For a note of thanks from Jiang Chun (also sjgned using his business name, Jiang Guangda) to the Qianlong emperor for his favor, see GZDQLCZZ, 2 6: i62-63, Pu-fu, QL 30/9/26 (1765/n/9).

"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"


Now "\XTe hear that [the present salt commissioner] G'ao HUng [Ch. Gao Heng, d. 1768] is making even more lavish preparations so as to top Pu-fu/41

Qianlong worried that this escalation of expenditures ultimately harmed the collective interests of salt merchants themselves: "!vierchants are also Our children. How can We succor the common folk and still make such excessive demands of merchants? Although their offers to provide [financial] assistance truly emanate from their deep sincerity, they should also show a bit of restraint so as to eliminate wasteful expenditures." At this point in his edict, Qian!ong cut to the heart of the problem: As for the Liang-Huai salt administration, its operating expenses are enormous. Merchant resources are bound to be put under some strain. Take the business of advancing annual shipments of salt as an example. Previously Jiqing would simply add [taxes paid by merchants on advanced shipments] to the fixed annual quotas, but Pu-fu and G'ao HUng now appropriate them, forcefully taking funds allocated for [tour] preparacions and using them for entertainment expenses. 42

Qianlong had put his finger on the crux of the problem, yet he did not question the motives of the general body of Liang-Huai salt merchants and avoided (at least for the moment) accusations of collusion between merchants and hi; trusted Manchu officials. Instead, the emperor sang the praises of the merchants' sincerity and ordered the grand co\!11cilors to consult with Jiqing, G'ao Hung, and Liang-Jiang Governor-General Injisan on the matter. This coterie of high-ranking bannennan officials was ordered to establish new regulations for the salt administration in order to deal with the problem. Qianlong's tone was lenient, but his suspicions were well founded. Indeed, the emperor's growing displeasure was reflected in the reduction in extra profits allowed to Yangzhou's salt merchants on the occasion of a third tour in 1762 (Table 5.1). Deep in his heart, Qian!ong suspected Yangzhou's head salt merchants of misappropriating funds, and this implicated his most trusted

41. QI.SL, 635.26. Corruption in this context was a family affair. Jiqing, Pu-fu, and G'ao Hung were relatives. On the G'ao family and the Imperial Household Department, see Qi, "Nehvufu Gao shi jiazu kao." 42 -QLlI., 635.3a.


"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"

Manchu officials. On 5 May 1762, as his third southern tour drew to a close, Qianlong publicly displayed his full understanding of the situation. He explicitly identified those "deceitful people" responsible for the gross expenditures and wastefulness that plagued the Liang-Huai salt administration. The root of the problem was "the excessive number of social engagements" to which Qianlong was invited during a southern tour. Publicly these engagements were occasions for the "presentation of gifts" (kuiyz); Qianlong noted, however, that "many of the people with whom We fraternize harbor ulterior motives of profit." Much to the emperor's chagrin, "the salt transport commissioner (yanzfteng yunshi) is accustomed to treating this as a matter of course and does nothing to prevent it." Even more disturbing was his realization that "some unscrupulous people even encourage [salt officials] with empty flattery, which greatly affects the tenor of government." As already noted, earlier in 1761 Qianlong had summoned Liang-Jiang Governor-General Injisan and Liang-Huai Salt Commissioner G'ao Hung to the capital to consult with the grand councilors and draw up a new set of rules and regulations governing such matters. These statutes were intended to eliminate "the allocation of funds under the guise of a public expenditure," when in fact such monies were simply being used to underwrite "privately funded social engagements" attended only by "the relatives and friends of certain merchants." Although the new regulations were now on the books, Qianlong still feared that "they were not actually enforced or that some [venal head merchants] continued encouraging the merchant community [to make donations] in order to curry favor with officials, thus exhausting the [collective] resources of merchants in pursuit of their own selfish desires." Indeed, Qianlong lamented that "the old practices of the Liang-Huai salt merchants continued" and ordered his salt officials to investigate. 43 By the end of his third southern tour in 1762, then, Qianlong had already pinpointed the problem of squeeze among certain mendacious head merchants; this explains why he suddenly began to refuse salt merchant donations and abruptly canceled increases in their annual salt quot.as in 1765 (fable 5-I)- The emperor had singled out certain leading merchants and their corrupting influence as the crux of the matter and 43. Ibid., 659.9b-rob.


"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"


castigated salt officials for their negligence; however, he stopped short of openly accusing high-ranking salt officials of active collusion, because such action might implicate highly placed Manchu bannermen and tarnish the public image of his southern tours. Indeed, this form of gross embezzlement was only fully revealed and prosecuted by central authorities three years later, in one of the largest corruption cases of the Qianlong period, known as the "salt ticket corruption case" (ti yin an). The "salt ticket" case broke in mid- 1768 when the newly appointed Liang-Huai salt commissioner, You Bashi, arrived at his post in Yangzhou and quickly discovered that a hefty sum was missing from the Liang-Huai salt treasury. 44 Because his predecessors Pu-fu and G'ao Hung were highly placed Manchu bannermen with close ties to the emperor, You Bashi refrained from directly accusing them of wrongdoing.45 Instead, he simply reported a current total surplus of 190,000 tae/s in the Llang-Huai salt treasury and requested that these funds be transferred to the Imperial Household Department's vaults. The Qianlong emperor quickly realized that there was a glaring discrepancy between the amount of funds reported by the new salt commissioner and the amount that should have accumulated in the salt treasury since 1746. He immediately ordered Jiangsu Governor Jangboo (Ch. Zhang-baa, d. 1777) to investigate." Jangboo's investigation revealed an astounding shortage of some 10. 71 million taeis of silver in the Llang-H uai salt treasury's holdings. In their own defense, the implicated officials offered two explanations for the huge shortfall: first, the Llang-Huai salt merchants had not yet been able to repay a total of more than six million tae/s in loans from (or outstanding obligations ro) the salt treasury, and second, some 4.67 million tae/s had been spent on preparations for the southern tours over the past decade and a half. 47 In the end, G'ao

44- Chen Jiexian, "Qianlong sutan yanjiu," 199-200. 45. G'ao Hiing was the son of Grand Councilor G'ao Bin (Ch. Gao Bin, 1683-1755)

and younger brother of a favored imperial concubine. 46.QLSL, 812.13a. For Jangboo, see Man Han mingchen zhuan,

2: 1413-16.

47. Ibid., 813.20a. It was clearly in the interest of the former Llang-Huai salt commissioners to exaggerate these figures and thus explain away the massive shortage of funds; however, they could not inflate expenditures on the southern tours too much lest they incur even more criticism from the emperor who from the outset had urged frugality. Thus, I accept the figure of 4.67 million tae/.r as being generally reliable.


"&turning to Purity & Simplicity"

Hung was executed on charges of corruption and accepting bribes. This rather shocking conclusion to the 1768 salt ticket corruption case must have sobered the QianJong emperor, for it exemplified how a "merchant-local official nexus" might undermine the integrity and effectiveness of his patrimonial apparatus by furnishing trusted Manchu officials with alternative sources of personal wealth and power.48

The Imperial Discourse on Curbing Extravagance Modern students of the eighteenth century have been quick to dismiss QianJong's tirades against ostentation and exhortations to frugality during the southern tours as mere lip-service. 49 Many have also blamed the QianJong emperor himself for encouraging conspicuous consumption during his southern tours. However, such lavish displays may have resulted not from the emperor's own wishes but from a more deeply rooted and systemic problem of squeeze practiced by wealthy merchants and local officials. Here I would suggest a more nuanced reading of Qianlong's criticisms of extravagance during his southern tours not as hollow rhetoric but as historically situated responses to specific difficulties he encountered in dealing with local elites and officials during his southern tours. As Alexander Woodside has recently reminded us, "The problem of Qianlong's 'extravagance' has to be grounded in an awareness that he himself made denunciations of his age's extravagance one of the recurrent rhetorical themes of his emperorship. "50 In many ways, QianJong deployed a cliscourse against extravagance as a means of addressing an age of prosperity's apparently corrosive effects upon his patrimonial apparatus. Trus was certainly true when it came to his southern tours. In mid-May 1751, as his inaugural southern tour drew to a close, QianJong voiced his disapproval of the increasingly elaborate local preparations undertaken in the name of his tours of inspection: "There is absolutely no need for opera stages, silk-festooned pavilions, dragon

48. Perdue, China Marches West, 562-64. 49. Gao Xiang,Qianlong xia Jiangnan, 25. 50. Woodside, 'The Ch'ien-lung Reign," 269.

"Returning to Purity & S imp/icily"


boats, and lantern boats in any of the places that We visit while inspecting the provinces." As he saw it, such excesses began "when the provincial governor and others sought to beautify the provincial capital" in Shandong in preparation for his first "eastern tour" to Mount Tai, slated for 1748. Since then, Qianlong complained, "things have subsequently become increasingly lavish." Justifications (presumably offered by provincial and local officials) that such extravagant preparations were "aimed at drumming up a festive atmosphere and joyous public sentiment" only elicited stronger rebuke from the throne. Most disturbing to Qianlong was that these festivities "go on for weeks and months just so that We can glance at them as We pass through! We truly feel that this is too wasteful. Moreover, such sensory amusements only add to the noisy racket. In Our heart \X'e cannot accept such behavior." 51 Of particular concern was the opulence found in the city of Suzhou. 'This was a familiar trope. As early as 1684, the Kangxi emperor had characterized Suzhou's local customs as "lavish and decadent." 52 Qianlong came to a similar conclusion nearly seventy years later during his first southern tour, noting that even the ostentation of Hangzhou was overshadowed by that of Suzhou. In mid-April 1751, having departed from Hangzhou on his northward return to the capital, Qianlong observed that although northern Zhejiang was "tightly integrated with southeastern Jiangsu, popular customs in Hangzhou are simpler than those in Suzhou." Such comments may at first glance appear to be rather innocuous observations; however, Qianlong intended them as specific criticisms of Suzhou's elaborate tour preparations. One of Qianlong's greatest concerns was that the lavishness might intensify as elites in various localities vied for the court's praise and attention. In April 1751 he noted with some displeasure, "When We inspect the provinces and observe the people, everyone seeks to outdo one another -with ornate decorations." Qianlong was especially critical of local officials for their active participation, which made "the habits of social competition unavoidable in any undertaking." 53 He found particular fault with officials who "aspire only to imitate [others] and

51. NXSD, 1.33a-34,a. 52. Xu Song and Zhang Dachun, Baicheng)'anshui, 172. 53. ,'.XSD, 1.29a.


"Returning to Purity & Simplicity"

mistakenly believe that they might gain an advantage by increasing the lavishness of their preparations." 54 From the throne's perspective, "once officials look lightly on the people's hardships and singlemindedly focus on lavish decorations, bureaucratic discipline and popular customs will be greatly damaged." 55 Although these admonitions seem rather generalized, they were in fact shaped by the immediate historical circumstances, particularly by an altercation that broke out in 1750 between Liang-Jiang Governor-General Huang Tinggui, 56 and the powerful Jiang lineage of Suzhou. Realizing in 1750 that local preparations for Qianlong's first southern tour were going awry (see Chapter 3), Governor-General Huang Tinggui, himself a Chinese bannerman and former imperial bodyguard, decided to assign responsibility for cartying out the preparatory tasks to wealthy local elites (shenfu). Although such preparations fell well within the scope of normal liturgical duties assumed by local men of standing, the arbitrary manner in which the governor-general proceeded gave rise to a good deal of resentment among Suzhou's most powerful families. 5' The task of preparing for an imperial visit suddenly seemed more like a condescending imposition from above than a truly voluntary display of wealth and loyalty. However, because Suzhou's elites feared the governor-general's power, they assented in word but not in actual practice. Members of the Louguan Jiangs, however, made their feelings known in a more direct and confrontational manner. ss The Louguan Jiangs originally hailed from Yangzhou, but claimed to have moved to Suzhou during the late fifteenth century.59 Their rise to prominence began with Jiang Can (1593-1667), a ;inshi degree-holder of

54. QLSL, 657.iol,-2rn. 55. NXSD, I.JJa-J4". 56. ECCP, 34:iaqjie) and thus as an unacceptable expression of dmastic filiality, until 1783-some six years after his own mother's death-when he wro~e an essaY entitled "On Song Xiaozong" ("Song Xiaozong lun"), analyzed more thoroughly in Chapter 8 (QDNXSD, 24,37a-39a). Qianlong finally assumed the unequivocal position that "in matters of the southern tours, there is nothing more important than river works'' a year later (1784) in his well-known essay "Record of the Southern Tours" ('Nanxun ji'') (QLYZSW, Ynzhi wen erJi, 14.rob). 8. QLCSl'D, 3, 273, doc. 818. 9. ECCP, 129-30.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


ts elderly, and a filial son should not climb the heights or visit the depths. Thus have I never dared to go sightseeing." Upon hearing this, Qianlong-who was just then "accompanying" the empress dowager on her fourth visit to the scenic south-apparently decided never to return to northeastern Zhejiang. 10 In fact, Qianlong would visit Zhejiang two more times, in 1780 and 1784, albeit without his mother, who had passed away in 1777 (see Chapter 8). Nevertheless, this story alerts us to the possibility that the presence of the empress dowager as a convenient means of accommodating sightseeing in the 1750s and 1760s was perhaps not as convincing a reason as the emperor thought. 11 In any case, both Qianlong himself and Han elites remained ambivalent concerning the relationship between the southern tours and sightseeing. Many provincial officials and local elites seemed to appreciate the court's recognition of Jiangnan's scenic "pre-eminence" and produced a number of temple gazetteers and specialized guidebooks to famous sites. In Y angzhou, a grain transport official named Zhao Zhibi "spent his free days leisurely touring the mountains and streams with one or two scholarly aficionados of the ancient past" and then "brought together a v.ride range of written records and eliminated infeliciries from the old gazetteer" of Pingshan Hall and its surrounding attractions in the northwestern suburbs of the city. 12 The result was the Illustrated Gazetteer of Pingshan Hall (Pingshan tang tuzht) in II Juan (chapters), which included woodblock illusrrarions of all the major vistas as well as a broad range of prose and (much more) poetry daring from the Tang period through the early Qing. 13 Zhao Zhibi published his book 10. Chen Kangqi, L:mgqian jiwen erbi, 391, no. 135. II. We will address issues of reception-namely, the not insignificant divergences betv.reen popular perceptions and imperial rhetoric-in Chapter 8. However, for purposes of analytical clarity here, we might momentarily suspend our inklings of disbelief in imperial pronouncements and instead take Qianlong's rhetoric on its own terms. This may generate insights into the Qianlong court's own vision of what Qing rule was ostensibly all about. 12. Zhao Zhibi, Pingshan tang tuzhi, preface, 4. The well-known Song official and literatus Ouyang Xiu (1007-72) originally built Pingshan Hall in 1048 while he was serving as the prefect ofYangzhou (1\JXSD, 97.326). 13. Besides the poems of both the Kangxi and the Qianlong emperors, the work included works of major literati figures, such as Li Bo, Bo Juyi, Ouyang Xiu, Wang Anshi, Su Shi, and Wen Zhengming, along with a host of well-known personalities from the


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan

under official auspices in August or September 1765, just a few months after tbe conclusion of Qianlong's fourth soutbern tour. Zhao and his colleagues, however, could not have compiled such an extensive work in such a short amount of time and had probably been working on the project since at least tbe early 1760s, if not tbe 1750s. Meanwhile, tbe chief transport commissioner of tbe Llang-Huai Salt Administration, Lu Jianzeng (1690-1768), 14 followed tbe same general procedure in compiling his Gazetteer ofJinshan (]inshan zht), a book similar to Zhao's Illustrated Gazetteer in terms of content, format, and intended purpose. 15 Again, altbough Lu published tbe Gazetteer ofjinshan on his retirement in 1762, he had in all likelihood completed it as a guidebook for Qianlong's first two southern tours in tbe 1750s.16 The same could also be said of works on Suzhou's and Hangzhou's local attractions, such as Gu Ytlu's [Revised] Gazetteer of Tiger Hill ([Chongxin] Huqiu shan zhi, ca. 1767) in 24 Juan; 17 tbe Zhai brotbers' Guidebook lo [West] Lake and [Its] Mountains (Hushan bianlan; AKA Xihu bianlan, ca. 1765) in 12juan;18 and Shen Deqian's Revised and Enla,ged Gazetteer of West Lake early Qing period, such as Wang Shizhen, Zhu Yizun, \'(lang Wan, Kong Shangren, Mao Qiling, and Peng Dingqiu. On Zhao Zhibi's work, see Meyer-Fong, Building Culttire in Ear!JQing Yangzhou, 187-88; and idem, «Seeing the Sights in Yangzhou," 233-35. 14. ECCP, 541-42. 15. As one of two major islands (the other beingJiaoshan) in the middle of the intersection of the Yangzi River and the Grand Canal, Jinshan was a symbolic gate,vay to Jiangnan (NXSD, 98.2b-3a). Lujianzeng's Gazetteeref}inshan also included woodblock illustrations, geographical descriptions of the hndscape, stele inscriptions, and a wide range of literature dating from the Tang to the early Qing. In the early 1700s, the Kangxi emperor appropriated the name Jinshan (}\fan. Altahahr, literally, "gold mountain'') as the central pivot of the garden district at the summer palace complex, Bishu shanzhuang, in Rehe. In fact, the toponym Jinshan had several referents, only one of which was this island located in Zhenjiang prefecture. For details on the mu1tivalence of the Jinshan toponym and its symbolism at the Bishu shanzhuang, see Foret, Mapping Chengde, 68---79. 16. Like the Illustrated GaZflteer ef Pingshan Hall, Lu Jianzeng's Gazpteer ifJinshan included Qianlong's writings from his first few southern tours; see Jinshan zht~jua,1 sho11, ub---25a. 17. For more bibliographic information, see Ll Xueqin and Lu \\?enyu, Siktt da adian, 1075. Tiger Hill was located 9 Ii (3 miles) northwest of Suzhou (NXSD, 99.96). 18. Zhai and Zhai, Hushan bianlan. For more bibliographic information on this work under its alternative title, Guidehook to West Lake (Xihu bianlan), see Li Xueqin and Lu Wenyu, SikH da cidian, 1080.

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(Xihu zhizuan, ca. 1765) also in 12 Juan. 19 To this we should also add works such as Jin Youli's Study of Lake Tai (Taihu beikao, ca. 1750) in 16 Juan 20 and Wang Gao's BriefAnnals oflingyan (lingyan zhilue, ca. 1756) in 1 Juan, 21 both of which-to judge from their contents and dates of publication-were compiled in anticipation of Qianlong's first and second southern tours. This small sample of gazetteers and guidebooks represents not only a flurry of the production of local knowledge prompted by Qianlong's early southern tours but also the mixed meanings that might be invested in an imperial visit to Jiangnan. Five of the seven titles listed above were guidebooks aimed at the emperor himself and/ or those interested in retracing the iruperial procession's itinerary once the southern tours were over. In addition, the Ilh1strated Gazetteer of Pingshan Hall, Gazetteer of Jinshan, Gazetteer of Tiger Hill, Guidebook to West Lake and Its Mountains, and BriefAnnals of lingyan included copious woodblock illustrations and were decidedly literary in terms of content. Their authors glorified the landscapes through literary pastiche and assumed (or perhaps even demanded) that their readersboth imperial and literati tourists-would do the same. 22 At the same time, works such as Jin Youli's Study of Lake Tai and Shen Deqian's Revised and Enlarged Gazetteer of West Lake retained the flavor of standard handbooks for local administration (local gazetteers orjangzh1). Indeed, when Jin Youli and his four younger brothers began compiling the Study of Lake Tai in 1747, they consciously embraced the early Qing polymath Gu Yanwu's "ethos of ordering the world by

19. Liang Shizheng et al., Xihu zhizuan. In their bibliographic abstract for this work, the editors of the Siku quanshu project explicitly stated that Shen Deqian, along with Fu \X'anglu, reYised and enlarged Ll Wei's Xihu zhi (ca. 1728) in anticipation of the Qianlong emperor's first southern tour (Yongrong et al., Siku quanshu zongmu, 618, xia). 20. Jin Youli, Taihu beikao. For more bibliographic information on this work, see the preface of the 1998 reprint and Yongrong ct al., Siku quanshu zongmu, 655, shang. 21. Wang Gao, Lingyan zhilue, 3-5, preface. Lingyan shan was located about 30 Ji (IO miles) west of Suzhou (1\7XJD, 99.116). 22. On the emergence of "leisure touring and the fetishization of scenic sites" as "hallmarks of elite practice" and the popularity and proliferation of woodblock illustrations during the late :Ming period, especially in Yangzhou, see Meyer-Fong, "Seeing the Sights in Yangzhou," 216-20, 232-36. On the impact of the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors' southern tours on elite sightseeing, see Meyer-Fong, Building Culture in Ear/y Qing Yangzhou, 162-64, 185-93.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong~ Encounter with ]iangnan

means of practical scholarship" (jingshi zhiyong zhi xuefeng) and produced a utilitarian reference work geared toward the tasks of local administration." Although the Study of Lake Tai included samples of local literary works, its overall organization mirrored that of standard administrative gazetteers.24 Even the account of the Kangxi emperor's visit to the area in 1699 focused on matters such as tax relief and administrative geography.25 Along these same lines, Shen Deqian's revision of Ll Wei's GaZfl· teer of West Lake (Xihu zh,; ca. 1728) 26 highlighted issues of economic production and hydraulic engineering. To be sure, Shen placed chapters on "famous sites" (mingsheng) and "imperial poetry" (yuzhi sh,) at the head of his Revised and Enlarged Gazetteer of West Lake. However, he also devoted other chapters to pressing administrative issues such as "irrigation" (shuiii) and "seawalls" (haitang). In other words, Shen presented West Lake not only as a scenic paradise but also as an administrative and an economic entity. 27 Han officials and elites, then, fully anticipated that Qianlong's earliest southern tours would include both administra23. Jin Youli, Taihu beikao, "Foreword" ("Qianyan"), 2. Although Jin Youli considered himself a native of Wuxian, his family actually hailed from Dongshan-an island on the southern side of Lake Tai, about 80 Ii (26 miles) southwest of Suzhou. Dongshan was a pragmatic, albeit prosperous, community of about 20,000 households; 7080 percent of its residents were reportedly engaged in trade. Many residents also grew mulberry leaves, a critical aspect of Suzhou's sericulture industry (ibid., 5.193, 6.296). The socioeconomic milieu of Dongshan may partially explain the rather pragmatic outlook adopted by the Jin brothers. Finally, given that the Jin family hailed from Dongshan, it is hardly surprising that the Smtfy ef Lake Tai showcased that area's residents and their various achievements. 24. This work included chapters devoted to descriptive geography, water control, local security and defense, taxation, temples and scenic sites, local customs and products, degree-holders, exemplary biographies, literary compositions, and the history and management of natural disasters. Jin Youli (ibid., "Foreword" [«Qianyan'J, 2) chose to call this work a ''study'' (beikao) only because the geographical entity of Lake Tai was not a standard administrative unit, such as a prefecture or county. Otherwise, he would have used the term "gazetteer" (zhz). 25. Ibid.,jHan .1ho11, 1-2. 26. For more bibliographic details about this title, see Y ongrong et al., Siku quonshu Zf)ngmu, 667, .1hong. 27. lt is also worth noting here that Shen Deqian was heavily involved in the compilation of two administrative handbooks for Suzhou prefecture in the midst of Qianlong's earliest southern tours. These were the CZXZ and the YHXZ. On Shen Deqian's role as a cultural broker and local elite, see Chapter 6.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with jiangnan


rive and sightseeing activities. However, these two modes of engaging with Jiangnan remained in constant tension with each other. The ambiguities and tensions surrounding the issue of sightseeing did not go unnoticed at court. In the months immediately preceding the start of Qianlong's first southern tour, Yu Minzhong (1714-80)-a native of Jiangnan then serving as an imperial diarist and tutor in the Palace School for Princes 28-sought to soften Qianlong's initial distinction between tending to basic "matters of governance" and "having the leisure time ... to embark upon a southern tour." Yu laid the groundwork for this ideological adjustment in the preface to his Ten Odes on Impenal Virtue (Shengde ge shi zhang), written in December 1750 or January 1751: Since Your 1.-fajesty assumed the throne, You have continually enlightened the court and served as an exemplary model to all, both common and distinguished alike, haying no time for leisure or ease. Thus have You traveled eastward to Liao-Shen [the Liao peninsula-that is, Mukden-in 1743], paying respects to the founders of the Heavenly project and presenting sacrifices at Queli as well as :Mount Tai [both in Shandong province in 1748]; and westward to climb Mount \""\1utai (in Shanxi province in early 1750] and the central peak of Mount Song [in Herran province in late 1750]. Only the southeastern corner [of the empire] eagerly awaits an imperial visit. 29

Unlike officials in the provinces, the courtier Yu Minzhong included Qianlong's first trip to Mukden in his brief overview of imperial tours up to that point. 30 More important, Yu attempted to legitimate QianJong's recent spate of touring activities by portraying them-and by logical extension, his upcoming southern tour-as expressions of imperial diligence and proper ritual governance. As such, he emphasized the presentation of sacrifices to the dynastic founders and sacred peaks. This was a slight, but significant, departure from earlier justifications 28. ECCP, 942-44;QSG, 319.rn749-52. For Yu's position as an imperial diarist, see QLQJZ (f), QL 16/r/r3, 1751/2/8. 29. Dong et al., HuangQing wnrying xubian, 51.25a-b. 30. Equally important, however, was Yu's reluctance to include Qianlong's autwnn hunts at the Mulan hunting reserve (which started in 1741) as yet another manifestation of his sovereign's unwa,Tering diligence. Here Yu r.finzhong found it difficult to reconcile the strong ethnic and martial overtones of these hunts ,vith the idealized vision of an imperial tour as articulated in the classical canon. See Chapter 1.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong~ Encounter with Jiangnan

not only because Yu Minzhong highlighted the ritual dimension of touring but also because he completely glossed over the issue of sightseemg. Later Qianlong would take important cues from Yu's rhetoric; however, he could not afford to remain silent about the potentially pleasurable facets of a visit to Jiangnan. Jiangnan's reputation as a literari playground was simply too deeply ingrained. As we shall see below, Qianlong's attempt to mediate this tension by maintaining an uneasy rhetorical distance from Jiangnan's scenic attractions produced a discernable note of ambivalence in his southern tour poetry. This ambivalence was born of the fact that he could afford neither to ignore nor to embrace the scenic landscapes through which he moved. Because of this, Qianlong spent a good amount of time, not to mention ink, trying to strike the right tone and posture, especially once his first southern tour got under way in early February 175r. More specifically, as the imperial procession proceeded further south, the emperor's efforts to distance himself from the picturesque scenes of Jiangnan intensified.

A Tension Within Elite Culture: The EighteenthCentury Denigration of a 'yric Vision" Qianlong's own ambivalence toward the cultural imperatives of sightseeing resonated with a tension within Han literati culture itself. The basic source of tension was what Yu-kung Kao has dubbed a "lyric vision." This vision influenced both classical and vernacular narrative genres, especially during the eighteenth century, but it was first and foremost "a part of the poetic consciousness underlying the cultural phenomenon called lyric poetry." 31 More specifically, this lyric ,~sion was the culmination of "a long process of poetic evolution in the direction of lyric interiorization, growing out of the eclectic individualistic thought of the Six Dynasties period [ca. 386--589]."32 According to Kao, Hthis notion of 'interiorization' can be best understood in terms of the two levels of meanings encapsulated in the simple

31. The following discussion is based primarily on Kao, "Lyric Vision in Chinese Narrative Tradition." 32. Ibid., 228.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


dictum: 'poetry expresses intent' [shi yan zh,], which has defined the function of poetry in Chinese antiquity. " 33 On one hand was a rather straightforward interpretation of this poetic axiom: "to express through verbalization the poet's immediate message." Here, the purpose of poetic composition was public: the clear communication of a didactic message directed toward the external world. On the other hand was "a subtler amplification of the same dictum" aimed at expressing "the total experience, including all mental activities and attributes, of a particular person at a particular moment." 'Ibis second interpretation derived from an "intrinsic distrust of discursive communication" as well as "the absolute importance placed upon inner experience," including profound emotional responses to one's external surroundings. Lyric poetry, according to Kao, was the culmination of this second, more expansive understanding of the principle shiyan zhi. As such, the lyrical mode of poetic composition "[did) not refer outwardly to the contextual world"; instead "its meaning [was] directed inward, toward ... an ideal, or idealized, world of self-containment and self-contentment." Indeed, the "lyric vision" is perhaps more accurately understood as a lyric "moment," which was "by definition fleeting and private." Still, lyric poets embraced the belief "that this suspension [was) more meaningful than any other kind of meaning" and thus generated a tension with a more "objective" reality that was "forever ready to engulf the poet again after the lyric moment [had] past." 34 Jiangnan's scenic sites, of course, were quintessential settings in which literati might momentarily lose themselves in such reveries of interiorized lyricism. More directly relevant to this discussion is Kao's conclusion that by the first half of the eighteenth century, "the lyric tradition itself had long since reached a stage of stagnation," having become "more purely aesthetic, in the sense of sensuality." 35 In his analysis of the eighteenth century's two most revered and best-known vernacular novels-Cao Xueqin's Dream ofthe Red Chamber(Honglou meng, ca. 1760; AKA Shitouji, or Story of the Stone) and Wu Jingzi's The Scholars, or more literally, Unofficial

33. For a more extensive discussion of this dictum in the context of early Chinese literary criticism, see James Liu, Chinese Theories if Literature, 67-86. 34. Kao, "Lyric Vision in Chinese Narrative Tradition," 228-30. 35. Ibid., 233.


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History of the Scholars (Ru/in waish,; ca. 1750)-Kao notes that lyricism was closely associated with a notion of "playt meaning "the suspension of practical judgment" and "the dominance of such values as 'playfulness,' 'self-containment' and 'self-contentment."' This, in turn, gave rise to "the intensification of sensual pleasure as the foundation of aesthetic experience" and to "the stress on an overwhelming emotive response,''36 especially when encountering renowned scenic sites on leisurely excursions. Needless to say, many Han literati decried the eclipse of a more restrained and ascetic "self-containment" (embraced by early lyricists) by a more effusive indulgence in sensuality. The initial appearance of The Plum in the Golden Vase (Jin Ping Mei, ca. 1618), a late Ming vernacular novel, together with a subsequent proliferation of commentaries may be read simultaneously as both a reflection of and a critical response to a trend of intensifying sensuality.37 The rather low esteem in which the official establishment held the late Ming literary figure Yuan Hongdao (1568-1610) 38 attested to a more general and overt disregard of sensual lyricism in the eighteenth century. Yuan Hongdao and his two brothers-Yuan Zongdao (1560-1600) and Yuan Zhongdao (1570-1623)-were the founders of the Gong'an School (Gong'an pm) of letters. 39 The "Three Yuans of Gong'an" (Gongan san Yuan), as they were collectively known, held similar (but not necessarily identical) views about cultivating "authentic" (zben) and individual literary styles in both poetry and prose in order to convey the author's "innate" or "personal sensibility" (xingling). 40 Thus, they have been heralded as "the vanguard of the Individualist movement in Ming literature." 41 Yuan Hongdao himself was renowned for his highly influential travel writing and shared in the late J\fing fetishization of 36. Ibid., 236--37.

37. For this interpretation of the novel as a form of criticism by indirection, see Roy, trans., The P/11111 in the Golden Vase, xvii-xlviii, esp. xxxvii-xlii. 38. DMB, 1635-38.

39. For overviews of the Gong'an School, see Nienhauser, Indiana Companion, 95556; and Yoshikawa, Five Hundred Years efChinese Poeta·, 181-84 . 40. Chou, } Han Hung-tao and the Kung-an School, n-17. 41. Strassberg, lnscn'bed Landscapes, 303. Chih-p'ing Chou (YHan Hung-tao and the K.Jmgan School, n3) refers to the brief flourishing of the Gong'an School (from 1 595 to 1610) as "the expressl\'e movement."

The Poetics & Politics ofQian/ong's Encounter with Jiangnan


"touring the mountains and streams" (you shanshuz) as an act of purification and escape from the emotional tedium and ethical compromises that were inherent to a bureaucratic career. 42 Following the example of the famed northern Song poet Su Shi (AKA Su Dongpo, 1037-1101), Yuan Hongdao "represented the traveler as an autonomous consumer of sensual scenes who has liberated himself from court politics and Confucian moralism" as well as "a connoisseur of elegant, aesthetic scenes." 43 In this respect, Yuan Hongdao stood squarely within a lyric tradition that was implicitly anti-official. 44 Modern scholars have often characterized the Gong'an School as "opposed to the orthodoxy of Wang Shizhen and the poetic canon of the 'Early and Later Seven Masters'" as well as "to the archaist position of orthodox writers, considering such practices as imitation and stylistic revival irrelevant to the present." 45 The accuracy of such views may be (and has been) questioned; however, the intricacies of the Yuan brothers' literary views and the precise historical circumstances in which they were formed need not concern us here. 46 More important for our

42. Chou, Yuan Hung-tao and the Kung-an School, 105-12; Strassberg, Inscribed l...Pndsrapes, 303-12. 43. Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes, 305.

44. Here a sample of Yuan Hongdao's verse is perhaps appropriate. The following poem is entitled "Late Spring, Together with Mr. Xie, Mr. Wang, and My Younger Brother, on an Excursion North of the City Walls-Viewing the Ponds of Various Temples, We Arrive at a \'\?aterside Pavilion Beside Desheng Bridge and Await the .Moon": This inept one at last enjoys a break from office; \"\'ho, no matter where, would not let out a smile? Now in layers, now spread out-waters in the breeze; Half tipsy, half drunk-mountains in the haze. \Vb.ere boards have fallen in the imperial waterway, golden fish appear; \"\bence petals fluttered from palace trees, young swallows return. Pale greens and light browns-foliage all aboutSurely this envelops us better than a beautiful woman. (Trans. by Timothy Wixted in Yoshikawa, Five Hundred Years if Chinese Poeh]•, 183) 45. Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes, 303, 305; Yoshikawa, Five Hundred Years of Chinese Poehy, 181. 46. Chih-p'ing Chou (Yuan Hung-tao and the Kimg-an School, esp. 3-14) takes issue with the portrayal of an antithetical relationship between the Early and Later Seven Masters on one hand and the Gong'an School on the other.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with ]iangnan

present purpose is the tendency of powerful Han literati in the mid- to late eighteenth century to conflate (and subsequently reject) the Gongan School's brand of individualism with the sort of "sensual lyricism" described above. In the minds of many influential literary figures in the eighteenth century, the Gong'an School was heretical and exemplified evetything that had gone awry in Chinese letters.47 The editors of the Complete Library of the Four Treasuries faulted the Yuan brothers for their lack of serious scholarship and disregard of accepted literary conventions. 48 Meanwhile, the poet and literary critic Shen Deqian derided the Yuan brothers' "emphasis on the spontaneous expression of true emotion" and apparent neglect of works from the Qin, Han, and High Tang periods. Shen attributed the vulgarity and superficiality of Ming poetry to both of these Gong'an School proclivities. 49 In doing so, he was defending his own preference for the archaism of the Earlier Seven Masters (see Chapter 6). But much more was at stake here than mere literary style. As Shen saw it, the very public function of poetry hung in the balance. For Shen, the rise of the Gong'an School had grave political implications because the decline of "moral education through poetry" (shijiao) was directly related to the ruination of the Ming sociopolitical order. In particular, he characterized Yuan Hongdao's poetry as Hthe sound of a collapsing state" (wangguo zhi yin). 50 Of course, Yuan Hongdao's cultural sensibility might be understood from another perspective as an individual response to (as opposed to an underlying cause of) the viciousness and oppressiveness that marked late lvfing politics. Moreover, not everyone agreed with Shen's assessments. Nevertheless men such as Shen


47. Of course, this is an extreme position; for an opposite view, see ibid., 31-32, 67.

48. In the entry for Yuan Hongdao's collected works, Yuan zhonglangji, the S1kt1 quanshu editors wrote: "The Seven Masters still rooted themselves in scholarship, while the Three Yuan [brothers] relied totally on their wits .... Those who followed the three Yuan [brothers] reached the point of taking pride in their cievemess, violated the prosodic regulatio.ns, ~d ruined versification" (Yongrong et al., Stku quanshu Zf)ngmu t!J•ao, 179.1618.3; as cited in Chou, Yuan Hung-tao and the Kung-an Schoo/, 70 , 135m). 49. Chou, Yuan Hung-tao and the Kung-an School, 34. 50. Shen Deqian, Ming shi biecai, preface, 1; as cited in Chou, Yuan Hung-tao and the Kung-an School, 70.

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Deqian-who envisioned themselves as agents of a much-needed cultural renovation (see Chapter 5)-recast Yuan in a more polemical light. In the eyes of many (but certainly not every) eighteenth-century cognoscenti, then, Yuan Hongdao represented little more than the subversive dangers of lyrical leanings and an individualist ethos.SJ To be sure, the expressive theories espoused by the Gong'an School never entirely died out, but in the eighteenth century they were embraced only in a modified form by scattered individuals-the most notable of whom was Shen Deqian's erst\Vhile rival, Yuan Mei.5 2 Having largely been hijacked by moralizing classicists, poetic composition was greatly diminished as a vibrant and creative medium through which to explore individualized emotional expression. If poetic sensibilities were narrowing in the eighteenth century under the growing influence of cultural critics like Shen Deqian, the less prestigious genre of vernacular fiction afforded more marginal figures opportunities to reflect on the contemporary sociocultural predicament in a less restricted manner. In vernacular fiction, relatively impoverished authors such as Cao Xueqin and Wu Jingzi ruminated on the disturbing ramifications of current sociocultural trends by employing a conventional technique of the "frame-tale" in order "to symbolize within a single episode the meaning of a full-length novel."53 These broader movements and tensions within Han literary culture left their mark on the overall narrative structure and program of Qianlong's southern tour compositions. As we shall see below, Qianlong's poetic encounter with Jiangnan was heavily framed and mediated. Qianlong and his officials drew on the literary device of a frame-tale in striking a delicate balance between the sober and practical "work" of regional administration on the one hand and the more leisurely "play" of sightseeing on the other. In other words, the emperor's deliberate attempts to refrain from a lyrical mode of interaction with those 51. Chih-p'.ing Chou (Yuan Hung-tao and the Kung-an School, 118-19) attributes the waning of the expressive trend during the Qing period to a combination of historical factors including the classical revival and the Qing government's deliberate attempts to minimize the Gong'an School's influence-both of which reached their zenith in the eighteenth century. 52. Ibid., 118-19; Schmidt, Ham1o'!J' Garden, 232-36. 53- Kao, "Lyric Vision in Chinese Narrative Tradition," 237.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan

settings he encountered during his southern tours overlapped with the eighteenth-century critiques of spontaneity and emotionalism discussed above.

ReadingQianlong's Southern Tour Poetry The Qianlong emperor was (in)famous (depending on one's perspective) for the sheer quantity of poetty and prose that he produced both before and after he ascended the throne. His prose was published in four collections totaling some 92 Juan (chapters), and his poetty filled six collections totaling an astounding 454 Juan. 54 According to Chaoying Fang (Fang Zhaoying), 'The total number of poems attributed to him exceeds 42,000. If he himself wrote them all-as he almost certainly did not-he was by far the most prolific poet in Chinese history."ss Such a voluminous output, as one might expect, was bound to suffer in terms of literary quality. Indeed, again in Fang's estimation, Qianlong "was essentially not a poet, and what he wrote is valued chiefly for the light it throws on the cultural and historical background of his time." 56 As a historical source, Qianlong's literary oeuvre is an important supplement to the more administrative and policy-oriented foci of both the posthumously compiled Veritable Records (Shilu) and the more contemporaneous Imperial Diaries (Qiju zhu; also, "Records of Activity and Repose''). Indeed, five of Qianlong's six collections of verse 54- For a concise overview of Qianlong's poetic output, see Dai Yi, Qianlong diJi qi shidai, 389-407. For a more detailed study, see Gimm, Kaiser Qianlong als Poet. Gimm (24-25, 35-78, 121-30) provides a useful list of nineteen court officials who assisted in the compilation and editing of Qianlong's oeuvre as well as a concise bibliographic essay on the major literary works. The second part of his book consists of a close philological study of the (Yuzfn) Quaf!J'Ull shi in both Chinese and Manchu editions (see 79-120). 55- ECCP, 371. Hal Kahn (Monard-!)! in the Emperor's Eyes, nmo), citing Sugimura YUZO, has noted that some 1,260 prose pieces and more than 43,000 poems have been attributed to Qianlong's brush. According to Dai Yi, "the five collections of imperial poetry published while he was on the throne alone include 41,800 poems. Add to this the LJshantang q11an_j-writt.en while he was a prince-as well as the posthumously printed imperial poems, and the grand total reaches 43,630 poems" (QLYZSW, vol I, preface, 1). 56. ECCP, 371. Dai Yi, one of the PRC's foremost authorities on the Qianlong period, is in general agreement with these earlier assessments regarding the quantity, quality, and significance of Qianlong's literary output (see QLYZSW, vol. 1, preface, 1).

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


have the distinct advantage of having been compiled at regular intervals during his reign (in 1748, 1761, 1771, 1783, 1795) rather than posthumously.57 Those poems that Qianlong composed (or had composed) during his trips to the Lower Y angzi delta constitute perhaps the closest thing we have to a personal narrative of his southern tours. Qianlong ordered the compilation of his poetry while he was still in the region as a narratiYe record not only for posterity but also for a more contemporary audience. 58 Indeed, these imperial compositions circulated widely. For instance, Tobie Meyer-Fong has described "a pocket-sized edition entitled Poetry and Illustrations of the Famous Sights of Jiangnan (]iangnan mingsheng tuyong), which consisted entirely of poems written by the Qianlong emperor" and seemed "to assume a popular, or at least a local, audience for imperial compositions, while providing a guide to the sites as they had been imperially seen and inscribed." 59 The opening chapters of many local guidebooks, including those discussed above, as well as prefectural gazetteers, such as those for Yangzhou (18w), Suzhou (1824), and Hangzhou (1784), consisted entirely of imperial poems from the southern tours. 6 Finally, Qianlong composed many of


57- In general, Qianlong ordered that his verse be compiled at twelve-year intervals. Of course, the process of compilation could take some years. For example, work on the first collection of imperial verse began in 1748 under the direction of Jiang Pu (1708---61) but was not completed and formally presented to the throne until 1750. Only the sixth and final collection of Qianlong's prose and poetry was published posthumously, in 1800. For more on this, see Qianlong's poem commemorating Jiang Pu's presentation of the first collection of imperial poetry in Sun and Bu,Qianlong shixuan, 95-----96. 58. On starting his return trip northward from Hangzhou on 17 April 1780 (during his fifth southern tour), Qianlong referred directly to this compilation process in a poem. His southern tour poems were to be collected in a total of three volumes. The first volume chronicled his travels from Beijing through Zhili and Shandong provinces. The second volume covered his southward movements in Jiangnan and Zhejiang. The third volume would consist of all poems written on the northward return to the capital (QDIVXSD, r7.J2b---33a). 59. A Suzhou native named Guo Zhongheng compiled this book in 1763, just one year after Qianlong's third southern tour (A-feyer-Fong, Building Culture in Ear/y Qing

Yangzhou, 186). 60. YZFZ,juan 1-4; SZFZ,juan shou 1-3, HZFZ,juan shou 1-5.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan

his writings for inscription on stone stelae.61 Organized in roughly chronological order, these poems provide a window into the emperor's engagement with the inscribed landscapes through which he traveled.

First Engagements: Defining "The Meaning ofJiangnan" in Jiangbei One poem in particular nicely encapsulates Qianlong's attempts to manage the often-contradictory meanings that might be assigned his presence in Jiangnan. On 14 February 1751, just one week after setting out ftom the capital, Qianlong wrote "The Meaning of Jiangnan" ('1iangnan yi''): 62 Mao Qiang, 63 Bai Tai,64 and Xizi65People know of their beauty without necessarily having ever met them in person. The mountains and streams of Wu and Yue, captured in painting, Are also famed and coveted like these [ancient beauties]. To recite poetry extolling delightful scenery is to speak ofJiangnan. Prior to this, when have We ever taken leave of the horses [to sightsee]? 66 61. For more on the engraving of texts on stone stelae as a form of literary transmission and a means by which travelers might project themselves into and thus possess a scenic site, see Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes, 5-7. 62. The imperial procession left Beijing on 8 February 1751; this poem was composed on 14 February 1751. In Chinese, this title is actually a triple entendre that might be understood and translated simultaneously as "The Meaning of Jiangnan," "Our Purpose inJiangnan," and "Expectations inJiangnan." 63. Mao Qiang was a concubine of the King of Yue during the Spring and Autumn period (722-468 BCE) (HYDCD, 2' 3807-2). 64. Bai Tai was a renowned beauty of the Warring States period (403-221 BCE) (ibid., 4798.1).

65. Xizi was an abbreviation for Xi Shi (AKA Xian Shi, Yi Guang), another southern beauty of the Spring and Autumn period (ibid., 5040.3). According to legend, the King of Yue sent Xi Shi as a gift to the neighboring kingdom of Wu. The King of Wu then built a special palace for Xi Shi at Lingyan shan, outside present-day Suzhou. 66. The phrase toucan :fil~, JJ.il~-literally "to take leave of the horses"-is associated with a passage in the Lfji recounting how Confucius joined a funernl ceremony and ordered his disciple, Zigong, to leave the procession in order to take a gift of bereavement to the family of the deceased. Later this phrase took on more general meanings of attending a funeral or commemorating someone who has passed away (ibid., 4765-3).

The Poetics & Politics o[Qianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


Observing popular sentiments and inquiring about local customs accords with ancient rituals. [The sublimity of] radiant lakes and misty peaks depends on new visitors. At dawn a light snow adorns thousands of trees. Plum blossoms are truly a faint blur when speeding by postal relay stations (su_youzht). Won't [Our visits to] Dengwei and Gushan resemble this?67 People greeting [the procession] along the roadside; [this is] the meaning of Jiangnan.68

As critically minded historians, we would do well to remain skeptical of these last declarations of imperial intentions. By the same token, to focus solely on the veracity or sincerity of these final lines would be a rather reductive reading of the poem. Instead we might ask: What is the overall effect of the poem io rhetorical, ideological, and symbolic terms? Answering this question requires that we focus on the poem's dominant motifs and tropes. First, Qianlong compared the lure of Jiangnan's renowned scenic sights to the sexual allure of Mao Qiang, Bai Tai, and Xi Shi-a trio of legendary beauties from the southern kingdoms of Wu and Yue. As the poem's second stanza (lines 3-4) states: "The mountains and streams of Wu and Yue, captured io paioting, / Are also famed and coveted like these ancient beauties." Here Qianlong mimicked a venerable tradition, dating at least to the eleventh century, of gendering (and even sexualizing) his own and the reader's relationship to the Lower Yangzi landscape.69 This brings us to a second poiot. Qianlong explicitly identified Jiangnan's reputation for scenic beauty as a sociocultural construction of the 67. Dengshan is the name of a temple nestled in the mountains on the banks of Lake Tai, some 70 Ji (23 miles) to the southwest of Suzhou (NXSD, 99.13b). Gushan is the name of a mountain located on the northern bank of West Lake in Hangzhou (ibid., rn2.7b). 68. Ibid., 5.rnb. 69. One of the best-known examples of this tradition is a couplet from "Drinking on West Lake as the Weather Clears Just After Rain" (''Yin hu shang chu qing hou yu''), written by the northern Song poet Su Shi at West Lake in Hangzhou: "Shall I compare West Lake to the lovely Xizi,/In light make-up or heavy, equally fine?" (Yoshikawa, An Introduction to Sung Poery·, 46).



The Poetics & Politics ofQian/ong's Encounter with Jiangnan

literati class-that is, as constituted and transmitted through painterly and poetic composition, both of which were closely allied fields of literati endeavor, again since at least the eleventh cenrury. 70 Indeed, "the mountains and streams of Wu and Yue" were known to Qianlong not because he had experienced them firsthand but because they had been "captured in painting" as well as in verse: "To recite poetry extolling delightful scenery is to speak of Jiangnan." In this sense, the attractiveness of Jiangnan's scenic sites resembled that of the three southern belles-Mao Qiang, Bai Tai, and Xi Shi. One need not have seen them in person to know of their beauty. In other words, before he embarked on his southern tours, Qianlong's encounter with and knowledge of Jiangnan and its landscape had largely been refracted through the prism of literati sightseeing culture. Having made these points and reached the prosodic center of his poem (line 6 of 12), Qianlong established a rhetorical fulcrum as well. By means of a carefully placed rhetorical question, he denied having ever "taken leave of the horses" (tuocan) to engage in sightseeing. Having assumed a first-person voice-not coincidentally, as a ruler on horseback, a point to which we shall return-Qianlong couched his presence in the south in the canonical idiom of nobserving popular sentiments and inquiring about local customs," both of which were "in accord with ancient rituals." Although "the sublimity of radiant lakes and misty peaks depends on new visitors," such as himself, he was at pains to demonstrate that although he was certainly able, he was not entirely willing to participate in the sort of "interiorized" lyricism epitomized by literati tourists. Given the context in which he was writing, this required a delicate touch. Qianlong carefully avoided an outright denial of Jiangnan's scenic beauty. Instead, he gestured (in line 9) toward the literati habit of aesthetic exaltation ("At dawn a light snow adorns the thousands of trees''), if only to demonstrate his cultural competence. But then, in the very next line, he again distanced himself from this proclivity to write pretty landscape poems: "Plum blossoms are truly a faint blur when speeding by postal stations." In the coda, Qianlong equated his visits to Dengwei and Gushan with looking at plum blossoms while "speeding by postal stations" on urgent business. Finally, he asserted 70. Bush, The Chinese Literati on Painting, 8-9, 22-28, 77-?9-

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


that the true "meaning of Jiangnan" was to be found not in the renowned sights but in the crowds of "people greeting the procession along the roadside." In other words, Qianlong's purpose in visiting Jiangnan was not to sightsee but to observe the sentiments of the multitudes lining the imperial route, Well worth our attention here is the image of a ruler on horseback as a trope for administrative acti-vism as well as its cognitive association with the concept of inquiring about local customs and observing the people (in lines 7 and 12) and the disavowal of sightseeing (in lines 6 and ro). Both Qianlong and one of his most trusted Manchu officials, Liang-Jiang Governor-General Injisan, elaborated on the trope of "speeding by postal relay stations" (su youzhz) during the fourth and fifth southern tours of 1765 and 1780. In 1765, while touring Mount Zhixing and Hanshan (Cold Mountain) in the western suburbs of Suzhou, Qianlong wrote, "Taking advantage of a few moments of spare time (to see the sights], a high official calls this 'galloping along the postal relay' (chiyz)." In an interlinear note, he explained: '\X-'herever \X1e go sightseeing, \X'e merely get a glimpse of the area's general appearance then continue on. InjiSan compares this to "looking at mountains while galloping along the postal relay (chfyi kanshan).'' Nevertheless, passing by without stopping is entirely appropriate in a moment of spare time. Indeed,

this should be called "galloping along the postal relay."71 When the imperial procession stopped in Y angzhou on its return to the capital some weeks later, Qianlong visited Pingshan Hall in the northwestern suburbs of the city and wrote, "With the passage of time midspring has recently turned to late spring. This is truly the radiance of spring that We look at on horseback." He continued, "Sitting [at Pingshan Hall] only for a brief moment, the sun has not yet begun to set. Visiting scenic vistas is appropriately known as 'flying at a gallop along the postal relay' (chiyiJez)." Once again, Qianlong expanded on this idea in an interlinear annotation: "Each time We go sightseeing (youshan), lnjisan says it is similar to galloping by postal relay. Indeed, passing by without stopping is precisely Our intenrion." 72 Qianlong repeated the

71. J\iXSD, 32.12a. 72. Ibid., 35.6a~7a.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan

same idea fifteen years later when he returned to the western suburbs of Suzhou during his fifth southern tour of 1780. 73 We will return to this trope of riding on horseback below. For now, we may conclude our reading of "The Meaning of Jiangnan" by simply noting Qianlong's desire to emphasize observing popular sentiments over gazing idly at plum blossoms. We would also do well to consider the more specific historical contexts within which Qianlong's poems were written. "Jiangnan," of course, was a rather indeterminate designation, at once geographical, administrative, and cultural in its connotations. 74 The emperor himself was keenly aware of these distinctions and seemed to be laying poetic markers accordingly. Most notably, Qianlong was nowhere near Jiangnan when he composed "The Meaning of Jiangnan." In fact, the imperial procession was srill in the greater metropolitan area of Beijing and had not yet even crossed south into Shandong province. On 28 February 1751, exactly two weeks after writing "The Meaning of Jiangnan," the imperial procession entered the administrative jurisdiction of Jiangnan province. Qianlong commemorated the occasion with a poem entitled, appropriately enough, "Entering the Jurisdiction of Jiangnan" ("Ru Jiangnan jing"), in which he wtote, "Having arrived in Jiangnan JproYince], We remain in Jiangbei !lit., "north of the Yangzi River'J"75 Only after exactly another fortnight (a mere coincidence?) did the imperial 73. QDJ\.iXSD, 16.42a-43a. In this instance, Qianlong's Chinese rendering of the phrase "looking at mountains while galloping along the postal relay" was chfyi gpanrhan, not ch!Ji kanshan as previously. This may derive from his more systematic deployment of an ideological discourse centered on the hexagram for "contemplation/observation" (guan) and the related principles of "self-reflection" (guan wo) and "observing the people" (guan min). These ideological constructs are explored in more detail below. 74. The designation of 'Jiangnan" as an administrative unit dates back to the establishment of a ''Jiangnan circuit'' (dao) in the middle of the Zhenguan reign period (62749) during the Tang dynasty. This included the present-day areas of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Hunan provinces; those areas south of the Yangzi River in Jiangsu, Anhui, and Hubei provinces; as well as southeastern Sichuan and northeastern Guizhou proYinces. The administrative rubric ''Jiangnan route" (lu) in Song times referred to what is now southern Jiangsu, southern Anhui, and Jiangxi provinces. In the early Qing period (1645), "Jiangnan province" (sheng) was established and encompassed present-dav Jiangsu and Anhui provinces. For details, see Zang, Zhongguo gtgi diming da cidian, 326; Niu,Qingdai zhengquyange Zf)ngbiao, 120; and Fuchs, Die Bilderalben jiir die Siidreisen, 9m. 75. NXSD, 7.1a.

The Poetics & Politics ofQian!ong's Encounter with Jiangnan


procession finally cross the Yangzi River and enter the geo-cultural realm of Jiangnan to which Qianlong had referred in "The Meaning of Jiangnan." In other words, a full month before the imperial procession's arrival in "Jiangnan," Qianlong had already anticipated the general, yet problematic, expectation that he would personally assume the posture of a literati tourist. Indeed, the renowned and thoroughly inscribed landscape of the Lower Y angzi delta virtually demanded that he partake fully of elite sightseeing culture. In "The Meaning of Jiangnan" Qianlong sought not only to acknowledge but also to contain and counteract this set of shared presumptions and meanings. As already noted, Qianlong could not, and thus did not, deny the undeniable resplendence of Jiangnan. To do so would have risked upsetting the cultural sensibilities of Han elites who hailed from the region, not to mention appearing unfamiliar with a venerable Chinese literary tradition of landscape painting and poetry. Instead, he carefully interlarded professions of virtuous piety and administrative diligence with occasional, yet limited, appreciations of the local surroundings. In short, Qianlong framed and thus contained his acknowledgment of Jiangnan's celebrated scenery. "Entering the Jurisdiction of Jiangnan" nicely illustrates this last point and is worth presenting in its entirety: A gentle eastern breeze caresses Our cheek in the new year. Taking advantage of spring, 'WTe ready the procession for an imperial tour. Having arrived in Jiangnan [province}, We remain in Jiangbei. 'Ibis is Our territory all the same, and all are Our subjects. We diligently inspect the provinces with thoughts of preserving order and prosperity. Is it really so troublesome to spread imperial favor and frequent kindness? Even more pleasing is the pursuit of elegant writing during spare moments. The beauty of mountains and waterways is renewed through refined writing.76

Qianlong devoted the majority of this poem to a recap of his arrival in Jiangnan prmrince and reiterations of his virtuous intentions: to 76. Ibid.


The Poetics & Politics o[Qianlong's Encounter with ]iangnan

"inspect the provinces," to "preserve order and prosperity," and to "spread imperial favor'' on his subjects. As both poet and sovereign, Qianlong was in effect taking benevolent possession of the province and its residents ("This is Our territory ... , and all are Our subjects"). These were rather well worn themes. However, the last two lines of the poem are particularly striking because they contrast so radically not only with the rest of the composition but also with the ambivalence toward sightseeing articulated, just two weeks earlier, in "The Meaning of Jiangnan." To be sure, in "Entering the Jurisdiction of Jiangnan" Qianlong stated that his "pursuit of elegant writing" was limited to "spare moments." However, he still admitted a certain pleasure in the fact that "the beauty of mountains and waterways is renewed through refined writing." How are we to make sense of Qianlong's sudden enthusiasm for versifying the scenic landscape? One possibility is that Qianlong may not have been publicizing his own sightseeing activities. This interpretation depends on reading the phrase "pursuit of elegant writing" (xun wenhan) as a reference not to Qianlong's own literary production but to the mobile court's solicitation of writings from local literati. Afrer all, as detailed in Chapter 6, such exchanges of poetry were important aspects of the southern tours. Following this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, it was local literati, not Qianlong himself, who perpetuated "the beauty of mountains and waterways" through acts of literary composition. Prima facie this reading makes a certain amount of sense, yet it remains both implausible and untenable because on that very same day Qianlong composed another poem, entitled "Respectfully Following the Rhyme-Scheme of Our Imperial Grandfather's Poem 'To the Various High- and Low-Ranking Officials ofJiangnan,"' in which he wrote, "In free moments We reside among the mountains and streams."77 This is not to say that Qian!ong simply indulged himself in sightseeing while on his southern tours; rather, he did not deny himself the pleasure when he had "spare time" or a "free moment." Equally important, however, is the coda to the poem, which he addressed to Jiangnan's provincial bureaucracy: "This trip is not a pleasure tour but a legacy

77. Ibid., 2a.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


of Our late Imperial Grandfather that We must work hard not to betray." 78 Thus did Qianlong tack back and forth between accommodating the tastes and habits of local literati and disavowing the impulse to sightsee, all Vll.thin a single poem. Let us assume, then, that Qianlong was willing-albeit somewhat hesitant-to appreciate Jiangnan's scenic landscapes publicly. The question still remains: How are we to square Qianlong's enthusiasm for sightseeing with the ambivalence he so clearly expressed some two weeks earlier in "The Meaning of Jiangnan"? One key to this apparent conundrum is Qianlong's specific location at the time he was writing. As we (and Qianlong himself) noted above, the imperial procession had not yet entered the geo-cultural region known as "Jiangnan," only the administrative unit of Jiangnan province: "HaY-ing arrived in Jiangnan [province], We remain in Jiangbei."79 More specifically, "Jiangbei"that is, those areas of Jiangnan province located north of the Yangzi River-was the heart of a critical infrastructural network known as the Yellow River-Grand Canal hydraulic system. While moving southward through Jiangbei for roughly two weeks, the Qianlong emperor spent most of his time personally inspecting the critical hydraulic infrastructure upon which flood prevention, local irrigation, and the smooth flow of tribute grain to the capital depended. 80 In this particular setting, the prospect of sightseeing "during spare moments" posed less of a threat to Qianlong's public image as a diligent ruler while on tour. Not surprisingly, Qianlong appeared most willing to acknowledge his enjoyment of the local scenery openly when he was in or near Jiangbei. 81 As he moved further south, however, Qianlong tempered expressions of his willingness to celebrate "the beauty of mountains and waterways." As the procession drew nearer to and then moved deeper into Jiangnan proper, Qianlong muted his own inclination (but not his

78. Ibid. 79. Ibid., Ia. So. Chang, "Fathoming Qianlong," 79-83. SI. Qianlong again exhibited this willingness to become enthralled in the landscape while in or near Jiangbei some months later, as the imperial procession approached the Yangzi River on its northward return to the capital. At that moment, he \Vrote a poem entitled "Recording Our Pleasure on Hearing of Rain in the Capital" ('Wen Jingshi de

yu zhi xi"), which I analyze in more detail below.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong~ Encounter with ]iangnan

competence) to extol the idyllic environment as literati tourists were

wont to do. Instead, he attributed any impulses toward sightseeing to the presence of the empress dowager.

Encountering]inshan, I: Engendering the Landscape & Disavowing Desire A pivotal moment in Qianlong's inaugural southern tour came on 13 March 1751. On this date, the imperial procession crossed into Jiangnan. As a geo-cultural toponym "Jiangnan" evoked visions of scenic landscapes, urbane sophistication, sumptuous consumption, leisurely ease,

and literary refinement-all of which threatened to taint the official narrative of Qianlong's southern tours as exercises in diligent, responsible, and benevolent governance. In light of this, the emperor commemorated his crossing into Jiangnan with an essay entitled, "A Record of Respectfully Accompanying the Empress Dowager's Procession on a Visit to Jinshan" ("Gong feng Huang taihou jia Jin Jinshan ji''). 82 Jinshan was one of two major islands (the other beingJiaoshan) located in the middle of the Yangzi River, where it intersected with the Grand Canal. As such, it was a symbolic gateway to Jiangnan. In November 1749, Qianlong had proclaimed filiality-that is, accompanying the empress dowager to enjoy Jiangnan's scenery in honor of her sixtieth birthday-as a basic rationale for embarking on his first southern tour (see Chapter 2). The title of Qianlong's essay on Jinshan refers to this accommodation of sightseeing as a gendered activity and

celebrates his filial devotion to his mother. However, when the imperial procession arrived at Jiangnan's doorstep more than a year later in March r75r, Qianlong made some slight adjustments in his rhetoric. Instead of foregrounding filiality, as he had done earlier, Qianlong portrayed the imperial tour as the latest instance of imperial activism: Our inspecting the provinces and observing the people (xingfang guan mi'n) is frn accord with] the ritual regulations for frequent tours of .inspection emphasized by ancient kings. Among those who have sat on the throne-from the time of the Yu and Xia dynasties [when the ancient sage-kings Shun and Yu

82. QDNXSD, 24.3b---6b.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


toured their realms] up until Our Imperial Grandfather, the Kangxi emperorwere those who refused to reside idly [in the palaces] in a state of comfort and peace.

Here, imperial touring appeared both as a hoary practice and as the most recent manifestation of proper diligence on the part of rulers, both past and present. Moreover, given the cultural and economic importance of Jiangnan and Zhejiang provinces, Qianlong proclaimed that he "did not fear the numerous hardships of crossing the Yellow and Y angzi rivers" in order to inquire about local customs and difficulties among the common people. Echoing the preface to Yu l\1inzhong's Ten Odes on Imperial Virtue (quoted above in this chapter), Qianlong reiterated that his imperial tours were merely evidence of his unwavering activism and benevolence. As such, an imperial visit to "the southeast" was long overdue. More important, this southern tour bore no traits of a leisurely endeavor. On the contrary, it-and all imperial tourssymbolized Qianlong's refusal "to reside idly in the palaces in a state of comfort and peace": During every waking moment of the sixteen years that We have been on the throne, We have been preoccupied with exerting Ourselves in the tasks of governance. Not once have We dared relax for even the slightest moment. During Our visit to Shengjing V.e., Mukden in 1743}, Our three trips to Shanxi [in 1746 and 1750], Our tour of Shandong [in 1748], and Our travels through Henan [in 1750], We have observed the hidden hardships of the common people and showered them with much assistance. However, the scholars and commoners of the southeast have not yet received these blessings.

Only after highlighting this primary set of meanings and motives did Qianlong once again invoke his filial obligation to both his mother and his grandfather as a secondary rationale: Aforeover, this year [1751] is the occasion of the Empress Dowager's sixtieth birthday. We have taken the opportunity of satisfying the myriad desires for an imperial visit to also celebrate [the Empress Dowager's] infinite longevity in respectful accord with the precedent of Our Imperial Grandfather [the Kangxi emperor] and to personally accompany the Empress Dowager's procession on a visit to the south during the spring.83 (Italics added)


The Poetics & Politics o[Qianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan

Almost as quickly, however, Qianlong returned to the theme of his own efforts at good governance in the north: We set out from the capital m·o days before shangyuan, 84 then crossed the Ji, Ta, Wen, and Yi rivers fall in Shandong province] before arriving at the Yellow River. Here We inspected the hydraulic infrastructure and then embarked via boat across the Huai River and down to the Yangzi River, where We surveyed popular sentiments [literally, «collected folk songs'] and inquired about local customs (cai mi!!Jao, xun tusu).85

As the imperial procession traveled southward, Qianlong's description of his primary administrative duty shifted as well, from "inspecting hydraulic infrastructure" in Jiangbei to "surveying popular sentiments and inquiring about local customs" in Jiangnan. In other words, once he found himself south of the Y angzi River in Jiangnan proper, Qianlong declared that his main reason for being there was to "observe the people" (guan min)-a longstanding trope of enlightened and benevolent governance that we will analyze in due course. The remainder of "A Record of Respectfully Accompanying the Empress Dowager's Procession on a Visit to Jinshan" consists of a litany of dynastic self-aggrandizement aimed at rhetorically reducing the grandeur of the immediate surroundings. To be sure, Qianlong readily admitted that "the soaring peak of Jinshan above" and the "vast current of the great Yangzi River below" together constituted the "greatest of Jiangnan's various scenic sites." Indeed, this was precisely why he had accompanied the empress dowager in ascending the heights and taking in the view. However, on reaching the summit of Jinshan, at the very moment when he should have been most enthralled with the panoramic view, Qianlong's tone changed. He described gazing down on a joyous and flourishing society nestled among the scenic vistas and then pointed out, "This achievement was not accomplished in one day." 86 More precisely, Qianlong traced the present age of peace and prosperity to the Kangxi period, pointing to a stele inscription written by the Kruigxi emperor, while he accompanied his mother, the Empress 84. Shangy11a11 refers to the fifteenth day of the first lunar month "the lantern festival''). 85.QDNXSD, 24.46. 86. Ibid., 5a.

(AKA yuanxiao jie,

The Poetics & Politics o[Qianlong's Encounter with ]iangnan


Dowager Xiaohui Zhang, on a southern tour in 1699. 87 Qianlong's encounter with this Kangxi-era Stele prompted him to herald "the enduring legacy of unwavering favor and protection (sihui duhu) from Our Dynasty's Sacred Mothers" as the underlying reason for the flourishing of the Qing court. In Qianlong's eyes, the main purpose of his southern tour, as well as of the essay he was writing, was to honor the exemplary qualities of "Our Dynasty's Sacred Mothers," not to extol Jinshan's natural beauty. Here, in the middle of the Yangzi River, on the cusp of scenic Jiangnan, dutiful filiality took ideological priority over fascination with the landscape. Qianlong drove home this point in the final lines of his essay: Consider the might of the river and vastness of the great sky, the luxuriance of billowing clouds and lush trees, or the magnificence of prolific and grand clans. All these are inconstant and in flux. Although they are pleasing to the eye and produce an occasional moment of excitement, the cause for Our reverence and satisfaction is certainly not to be found here. 88

The emperor's message was clear enough. Although he conceded the possibility of deriving some momentary pleasure from the view atop Jinshan, he ultimately gained little lasting satisfaction from it. Instead, he reserved his true reverence and praise for the dynasty's past and present empress dowagers, on whom the flourishing of both court and society ultimately depended. Here we may note the explicitly gendered dimension of Qianlong's efforts to bolster his own image and authority. As should be quite obvious by now, diligent administration was presumed to be both an arduous and a strictly male sphere of activity. Sightseeing was portrayed as an indulgence afforded to women who remained outside the formal spheres of governance and public administration. Of course, women were expected to take active roles in domestic governance and household administration, especially as they progressed through their life cycles. Insofar as familial or lineage governance meant dynastic governance as well, the empress dowager, as a matriarch of the Aisin Gioro clan, 87. Here Qianlong mistakenly identified the date of Kangxi's third southern tour as 1697 (KX 36) instead of 1699 (ibid., 24-5a.) Kangxi's Stele inscription and essay can be

found in Lu,Jinshan zhi,juan shou, 42-7a. 88.QDi'JXSD, 24.6b.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan

stood as an exemplar of proper feminine conduct for the entire empire. But here in the middle of the Yangzi River, the spectacle of the emperor's obeisance to his mother, not the empress dowager's ostensible desire to see the sights, mattered most. In other words, Qianlong sought to enhance his own moral authority by properly positioning himself vis-a-vis two starkly conttasting images of femininity. On one hand, he celebrated the virtues of dynastic motherhood in "A Record of Respectfully Accompanying the Empress Dowager's Procession on a Visit to Jinshan." On the other hand, he had equated the Jiangnan landscape with seductive southern beauties just a month earlier in "The Meaning of Jiangnan": "The mountains and streams of Wu and Yue ... are also famed and coveted like ... [ancient beauties]." By putting his filial devotion to the empress dowager over and above any attraction he may have felt toward Jiangnan's sensuous landscape, Qianlong affirmed his own piety in highly gendered terms. 89 In so doing, Qianlong reinforced the eroticization of Jiangnan and then proceeded to disavow its many seductive guises-its southern belles and lush scenery (both celebrated in literati poetry and painting) as well as its sumptuous and refined environments, especially its suburban Hleisure zones" and pleasure quarters.90 As we will see in the following chapter, these professions of sex-

89. James Cahill (''The Three Zhangs, Yangzhou Beauties, and the Manchu Court," 67) has also commented, in a more speculative manner, that "the Manchu-Han relationship under the Qing could itself be regarded as gendered, with the hard, militant northerners having penetrated and overcome the softer, gentler south, a relationship of rape that long before Qianlong's time had been publicly transformed by the Manchus, with some success, into a role of benevolent husbandmg." My reading above further complicates our notions of how gender informed relations of power and dominance under the Qing. In effect, Qianlong enhanced his own moral authority (de, which might also be understood as "virtuous power/ efficacy") through a public posture of selfdiscipline and denial of desire while in Jiangnan. Nevertheless, Cahill ("The Emperor's Erotica,'' 24) has maintained that there is also evidence of "the strong attraction that the romantic and erotic culture of the Chiang-nan (Yangtze delta) cities exercised on the Manchu emperors, and the ways in which the emperors sought to import some aspects of it into their lives, sometimes against their own edicts and policies." 90. According to Tobie l'vfeyer-Fong, these areas were "devoted at least in part to a leisure culrure fearuring temples, pleasure boats, restaurants, tea houses, wine shops, and courtesans." Not coincidentally, she cites Yuan Hongdao's essay on Tiger Hill (ca. 1597) in reference to Suzhou's "leisure zone." On Jiangnan's leisure zones, see Meyer-Fong, Building Culture in Ear!J Qing Yangzhou, 133-35.

The Poetics & Politics ofQian/ong's Encounter with Jiangnan


ual and filial piety ultimately proved to be mere conceits. Nevertheless, Qianlong believed (or at least would have his readers believe) that Jiangnan's enchantments were fleeting, like those of a renowned beautv, and paled in comparison to the steadfast virtues personified by the dynasty's Sacred Mothers. And, as noted in Chapter 2, the empress dowager's virtues were, at least in part, ethnically imbued by dint of her designated role as an ethno-dynastic disciplinarian on Qianlong's hunts.

Encountering]inshan, II: Mediating & Framing the Lyric Vision ofa Moonlit River Qianlong never went so far as to deride the wonders of Jiangnan; he simply tried to distance himself from them. Even when the emperor seemed to endorse a leisurely ethos of aesthetic appreciation, he used the artistic compositions of other well-known literati-both past and present-as cultural buffers that allowed him to remain, at least rhetorically, removed from O\rerly decadent or indulgent environments. For example, Qianlong often paid homage in his own poetry to Su Shi, "one of the few Chinese literati," according to Kang-i Sun Chang, "to have mastered virtually all literary artistic forms-shi poetry, d poetry, /u[-rhapsodies], prose essays, calligraphy, and painting."91 As a proponent of spontaneity and "heroic abandon" (haofang), Su Shi emphasized the expressive function of art, and yet his work was also characterized by precision and objectivity. 92 Although "later Chinese critics sometimes complained that his poetry lack[ed] suggestiveness,"93 he was held in high regard by adherents of the Gong'an School 94 and might thus be viewed as part of the lyric tradition, at least as it was conceived in the mid-eighteenth century.95 Su Shi's stature led Qianlong not so much to

91. Nienhauser, Indiana Companion, 729. 92. Ibid.; \X:'atson, trans., Su Tungp'o, 993- Watson, trans., Su Tung-p'o, IO.

94. Both Yuan Zongdao and Yuan Hongdao admired Su (Chou, Yuan Hung-tao and the lvmg-an School, 34-35, 4Q--.42). On Su Shi's iconic status among literati in the late seventeenth century, see Meyer-Fong, Building Culture in Earfy Qing Yangzhou, 45-47. 95- An actual specimen of Su Shi's verse may be useful here. In I079 Su Shi wrote the following poem in which he recounted a leisurely boat ride to look at lotus blossoms on the two rivers near the city of Huzhou in Zhejiang province:


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan

assume his voice as to appropriate his poetic persona as a literary prophylactic through which to engage the landscape safely. On the same day (13 March 1751) that Qianlong composed "A Record of Respectfully Accompanying the Empress Dowager's Procession on a Visit to Jinshan," he wrote a poem entitled "Tonting Jinshan Temple Employing Su Shi's Rhyme-Scheme and Following His Meter" ("You Jinshan si yong Su Shi yun jian xiao qi ti"):96 Ordinarily We do not inveigh against the vogue of sightseeing (you!an). 97 We have f1oated 98 westward to Luoyang99 and eastward to obsenre the sea.

On a nimble boat, taking advantage of the wind, We pass by Weiyang.1 00 In this interval We see the [Yangzi] River for the first time.

The clear wind-what is it? Something to be loved, not to be named, Moving like a prince wherever it goes; The grass and trees whisper its praise. This outing of ours never had a purpose; Let the lone boat swing about as it will. In the middle of the current, lying face up, I greet the breeze that happens along And lift a cup to offer to the vastness: How pleasant-that we have no thought for each other!

Coming back through t:wo river valleys, Clouds and water shine in the night. ('X'atson., trans., Su T11n1;p'o, 70) 96. An annotated Chinese version of this imperial poem is available in Sun and Bu, Qianlong shixllan, Io8-IO. As its title and an interlinear note (following line 14) indicate, Qianlong's poem was meant to match another work also entitled ''Touring Jinshan Temple" ('YouJinshan si") and written by Su Shi in winter 1071 during a leisurely journey from Kaifeng to Hangzhou. For Su's original poem, see Wang Wen'gao, Su Shi shi Ji, 7: 307-8. For a full English translation and detailed analysis of this poem, see Fuller, The R.bad to East Slope, 139--44. 97. An alternative translation of this first line might read: "During Our entire life We have never refrained from the vogue of sightseeing." However, this translation makes little sense, especially given Qianlong's clear expressions of ambivalence and even apprehension toward sightseeing in his other writings. 98. The character is fa, implying traveling leisurely via boat. 99. Luoyang prefecture is in Henan province and home to Mount Song, the Central Peale (zhongyue) of China's traditional "Five Sacred Peaks" (wl!Jue). mo. I.e., Yangzhou.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


In the main currem rises a towering peak like that of the Potala.10 1 The waters of the Western Paradise are clear and perfectly calm.102 [Ibis] Buddhist temple is truly a sanctuary where one can rest.103 \\'hat need is there for so many towers and pavilions? Brown sparrows and yellow dragons all stow (their] oars. 104 Playing reed pipes, making music and song, they bid farewell to the setting sun. Sails and masts, both near and far, are festooned with red lanterns. Reflected in the River, they are like crimson stars dotting the sky. A bearded old man awakes from a drunken stupor to versify the moonlight. 105 In solitude he recites strange verses about the pitch black of night. (Note in original: Su [ShiJ's poem contains the lines: "In the second watch [9-n PM], when the moon set, the sky turned pitch black. / At the heart of the river seemed to be the glow of torches." and "Neither demons nor humans; what then were they?"106)

The believability of all this is truly difficult to determine. Yet in his verse he hoped to ward off spirits and demons. 101. Here Qianlong compared Jinshan Island to the Potala, which might refer to one of four sacred sites with.in the Buddhist geographical realm: (1) a seaport on the Indus, identified by some as Thattha, said to be the ancient home of Sakyamuni's ancestors; (2) a mountain southeast of Ivfalakiita, reputed as the home of Avalokitdvara; (3) the island of Putuo, east of Ningbo, location of a major shrine to Guanyin; or (4) the Lhasa Potala in Tibet, the seat of the Dalai Lama, an incarnation of Avalokitdvara (Sooth.ill and Hoclous, A Dictiona')' efChinese Buddhist Tenns, 412). Qianlong's presence inJiangnan might suggest site 3 as the most likdy referent; however, the reference to "the waters of the Western Paradise" in line 6 might also suggest a simultaneous reference to Tibet or ewn India as well. 102. The Chinese term ba gongde shui literally means the "eight waters of merit and virtue" and refers to '\Vaters filling the Pure Land of the \\lestern Paradise (jile shijie) mentioned in the Sukhiivadvyiiha-siitra (AKA the ,-\..mitayus siitra or Wuliangshoujini) (Ding, Foxue da cidian, 926.1; Soothill and Hodous, A Dictionary ef Chinese Buddhist Terms,

382-83). 103.

The Chinese term for a Buddhist temple,jinglan, appears as ~ Ji, but should be

*NJ. Qianlong stayed here for two nights. 104. That is, lavishly decorated pleasure boats moor by the ri'rerside. 105. Here Qianlong is referring to Su Shi. According to Yoshikawa K6jir6 (An Introduction to Sung Poetry, 102-3), Su Shi "was fond of wine but does not seem to have been able to drink very much." Indeed, Su said of himself, "I'm the kind of person who doesn't now how to drink, but only how to get drunk." 106. These three verses are found in lines 14, 15, and 18 of Su Shi's original m71 poem, "TouringJinshan Temple" (see Fuller, The Rnad to East Slope, 139-40).


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan

Six centuries later, people remain uncertain [about Su's "torch lights'], \Vhile We just happen to match his rhyme and encounter the scene [in lines 9-12]. Pondering the (Yangzi's] source, he recalled the distant mountains of northwest Sichuan, And the sounds of tribal song and dance among obdurate fists of stone. 107 His interest in the pure joys of fording rivers and ascending heights was unending. Brewing tea, he also tasted the water from Zhongling Spring. 108

In the first section of this poem (Jines r-4), Qian!ong strikes a plebeian pose, as if he was just one of the crowd, partaking in "the vogue of sightseeing." But the emperor's use of the phrase "ordinarily" (pingsheng) in line r is somewhat incongruent with his own station. Obviously, as emperor, Qian!ong's life and his travels are anything but "ordinary." Nevertheless, he professes a lack of objection to, and perhaps even an inclination toward, the "ordinary" pleasures of sightseeing. His choice of the verb "floating" (fu) in line 2, which hints at an unhurried pace, as well as his description of traveling by boat down the Grand Canal in Jines 3 and 4, lends further support to this reading. Qian!ong, so it appears, was hardly above embracing the literati's love of leisurely outings during his southern tours. But was this really the case? One obvious difficulty with this interpretation is that Qian!ong's portrayal of his travels as easygoing boat rides stands in marked contrast to his earlier and subsequent references to horseback riding as a trope for administrative diligence and his repeated disavowals of sightseeing. We will analyze this particular poem within the broader context of Qianlong's other southern tour compositions in a moment. But first a more formal analysis of the poem is in order. As we shall see, Qianlong refrained from fully assuming the voice and posture of a literati tourist during his southern tours in favor rn7. In this and the previous line, Qianlong alludes to Su Shi's thoughts of his native Sichuan province in lines 7, 19, and 22 of his original poem of rn71. The subject in the last four lines of the poem is somewhat (and perhaps deliberately?) unclear. It might be Su Shi or Qianlong himself, or perhaps both. rn8. NXSD, 7.19a-b. Zhongling Spring is located just west ofJinshan Temple.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


of conjuring the poetic presence of Su Shi as a sort of literary proxy through which to safely engage an otherwise problematic scene. After narrating (lines 3-4) his journey by boat to Yangzhou and his arrival at the Y angzi River for the first time, Qianlong describes (lines 5-7) his approach to Jinshan Island's Buddhist temple. The temple stands as a liminal space (lines 6-7) where "the water is clear and perfectly calm" and "a sanctuary where one can rest." This atmosphere of quietude, however, is rather short-lived as Qianlong turns (in lines 9 and 10) to a relaxed but raucous scene in which throngs of sightseers moor their pleasure boats and engage in merrymaking during what little remains of the day. At the precise center of the poem (lines II and 12 of 22) is a lyrical image of a leisure zone after dusk: "Sails and masts, both near and far, are festooned with red lanterns./ Reflected in the River, they are like crimson stars dotting the sky." Up to this point, neither the poem's theme nor its tone seems to contradict our earlier reading. From line 13 on (that is, throughout the second half of the poem), however, Qianlong rhetorically distances himself from the highly aestheticized image of the river at nightfall that forms the centerpiece of his composition. He accomplishes this distancing by invoking the persona of Su Shi-"a bearded old man" who has just awoken "from a drunken stupor to versify the moorilight." In his original poem (ca. 1071), Su Shi wrote (lines 9-10), "With a traveler's sorrow, I feared [the afternoon was getting] late and looked for a returning boat./ But a monk of the mountain pressed me to stay to watch the setting sun." 109 Then, after describing (lines n-12) a picturesque scene ("A light wind: for ten thousand acres the ripples were boot-leather fine,/ Broken mists filled half the sky with fishtail crimson"), Su Shi began (in line 13) 110 ro lose himself in the evening scenery as well as in thoughts of his native province of Sichuan.111 In contrast to Su Shi, the Qianlong emperor in line 13 of his poem refrains from any direct or personal reflection on the 109. The following translations of Su Shi's original poem are Michael Fuller's (The

&ad to East Slope, 139). no. Which read: "At this time the river moon was just beginning its faint [earthglow]." III. More precisely, Su Shi pondered the idea of never being able to return home as symbolized by images of water and rivers running out to sea. For a more detailed explanation, see Fuller, The Road to East Slope, 140--42.


The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong~ Encounter with Jiangnan

mysteries and meaning of his immediate surroundings. As we have seen in "A Record of Respectfully Accompanying the Empress Dowager's Procession on a Visit to Jinshan" and will soon see in "The Yangzi River by Moonlight," QianJong was perfectly willing on other occasions to articulate his own thoughts regarding the landscape's greater significance (or its lack thereof, in "A Record"). However, in the 1751 version of "Touring Jinshan Temple," the emperor maintained a more distant, third-person perspective by commenting on Su Shi's poetic immersion in a similar scene more than six centuries earlier. More specifically, Qianlong (or his ghost writers) directly quoted Su Shi's "strange verses about the pitch black of night" in an interlinear annotation following line 14: "In the second watch, when the moon set, the sky turned pitch black./ At the heart of the river seemed to be the glow of torches./ ... Neither demons nor humans; what then were they?" 112 Thus did the emperor effectively contrast Su Shi's drowsy and drink-induced bewilderment with his own seemingly objective understanding of the situation, as articulated in lines II and 12 of his own poem ("Sails and masts, both near and far, are festooned with red lanterns./ Reflected in the River, they are like crimson stars dotting the sky"). This rhetorical act of framing generated, in turn, an even deeper sense of separation between Qianlong's perspective and that of his northern Song surrogate. Finally, in the last lines of the poem, a blurring of poetic voices occurs. The subject in lines 19-20 is somewhat (and perhaps deliberately?) unclear. Who "recalls the distant mountains of northwest Sichuan, / And the sounds of tribal song and dance among obdurate fists of stone"? Wb.ose "interest in the pure joys of fording rivers and ascending heights was unending"? Who "tasted the water of Zhongling Spring'' while "brewing tea"? Was it Su Shi or Qianlong or perhaps both? If we assume that Su Shi is the subject, then QianJong has drawn the reader's attention away from himself. It was Su Shi, not Qianlong, who "pondering the [Yangzi's] source, recalled the distant mountains of northwest Sichuan" and Su Shi's (not Qianlong's) "interest in the pure joys of fording rivers and ascending heights" that "was unending." And it was Su Shi, not Qianlong, who "tasted the water from [Jinshan's] n2. These three verses were found in lines 14, 15, and 18 of Su Shi's original poem.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


Zhongling Spring." 113 Still, a reading of these last lines with Qianlong as the primary subject is also entirely reasonable. Because of this uncertainty, the general effect of Qianlong's composition is highly ambiguous. On one hand, by adopting Su Sbi's rhymescheme and meter, Qianlong is able to demonstrate both familiarity with and appreciation for the work of a well-known and respected literary figure. On the other hand, he draws a limit to bis engagement with Jiangnan's leisurely scenes. In the first half of the poem Qianlong appears to tolerate, if not embrace, "the vogue of sightseeing." As he describes his own tours of inspection in terms of leisurely "floating" and "drifting," Qianlong is fully immersed in the nartative present of his own experience. In the middle of the poem, however, he retreats to a more distant position of third-person observer and deploys Su Shi as a poetic proxy. Thus does Qianlong counteract any notion that he could (or would) personally partake in the festivities unfolding before him as night falls over the Yangzi River. Here Qianlong effectively frames and distances himself from both literati and popular culture, which are implicitly leisurely and perhaps decadent. Only in the final lines of the composition does Qianlong appear to reassume the position of a firstperson narrator. But again, this is unclear. To be sure, Qianlong, like Su Shi, may have "recalled the distant mountains of northwest Sichuan" while "pondering the [Yangzi's] source." However, he certainly did not experience the same melancholy feelings of homesickness that presumably led Su Shi to drink. Like Su Shi, the emperor's "interest in the pure joys of fording rivers and ascending the heights" was perhaps "unending," but it dearly did not include inebriation among ordinary sightseers on the river below. Instead, Qianlong preferred to brew tea

113. This allusion to Su Shi's appreciation of spring water for tea also pointed to fashionable literati habits and tastes of the late 1vfing period. Indeed, Zhang Dai (15971689), who "was more respectfully remembered for his austerity and continued productivity in his later life as a hennit writer in the mountains of Zhejiang after that province was overrun by the Manchus," had also "indulged in extravagance and luxury, and earned early fame for his taste in exquisite houses, beautiful women, and art, as well as for being a connoisseur of spring water for tea." Zhang's habits of consumption, according to Nelson Wu (''Tung Ch'i-ch'ang," 260), were "typical of people of his means." For more on late l\fing connoisseurship and material culture, see Clunas, Superfluous Things-, and Brook, The Co,ifusions cf Pleasure, 134-39, 218-37.


The Poetics & Politics ofQian/ong~ Encounter with Jiangnan

in the quiet seclusion and solitude of Jinshan's Buddhist temple. In other words, during his southern tours Qianlong often presented himself not as a direct connoisseur of the immediate landscape per se but as a distant observer thoroughly familiar with the more lyrical visions of Jiangnan found in the literary and artistic works of others. 114 Tbis rhetorical distancing comes into sharper relief when "Touring Jinshan Temple Employing Su Shi's Rhyme-Scheme and Following His Meter" is read against the poem that Qianlong composed immediately after it, "The Yangzi River by Moonlight" (''.Jiang yue"). In this second poem, Qianlong conveyed his experience of a similar nighttime sceoe but without relying on the mediating presence of a literary luminary such as Su Shi. The title of the poem, 'The Y angzi River by Moonlight," suggests a rather conventional poetic setting. Indeed, as Qianlong himself noted in line 1, "moonlit streams are a rather common sight." Unlike Su Shi, who awoke in the previous poem from a drunken stupor only to be entranced and mystified by the eerie darkness in which he found himself, Qianlongwas consumed in "The YangziRiver by Moonlight" with thoughts of the dire consequences of lingering too long in such an enchanting environment: Moonlit streams are a rather common sight, But this is Our first time seeing the [Yangzi] River by moonlight We arrived on the evening after the full moon,115 But the enchanting goddess of the moon proceeds more slowly11 6

u4 Indeed, Qianlong's more lyrical poems often accompanied paintings. For example, in 1751 Qianlong composed a series of sixteen short poems entitled Sixteen V?ews ojthe Mountains efWu (Wu shan shi/iujing) to accompany an album of paintings by the contemporary Suzhou artist Zhang Zongcang (l\lXSD, 8.13a-17b). Some days later, he also composed a short inscription for a work by the mid-Ming artist \Ven Zhengming (1470-1559) entitled "Inscription on Wen Zhengming's Illustration efSpnllg Rain and Evening Mist Employing His Rhyme-Scheme" (''Ti Wen Zhengming ChunJ'II wanJ•an tu ji yang gi yun"), which read: "In heavy mist and dense woods, the water overflows. / The one who skillfully conveys the scenery of\X-'u is f\\lenJ Zhengming. / How would We have known this without coming to Old Suzhou?/ Comprehending and senring the rivers and mountains is the fount of all artistry" (1\,XSD, 8.21a-b). On Wen Zhengmingand the Qia.nlong emperor's appreciation of his painting, see Clunas, Fmiiful Sites, rn4-16. 115. I.e., the sixteenth day of the lunar month. n6. Th.is refers to the goddess Xian'e in line 15.

The Poetics & Politics ofQianlong's Encounter with Jiangnan


Sitting and waiting [for the moonrise] into the first watch, 117 Suddenly \Xre feel the undulation of moonlit waves.1 18 Jiaoshan and Xiangshanlt9 Sit facing each other, as imposing gates to the sea. Surrounded by shimmering in a silver mirror, [The moon] hangs on high for just a brief moment. The drums of war stopped at the Y angzi River.120 [Among] wind and waves, [annies] regrouped and sheltered in Jiangnan. 121 Fish and crustaceans 122 Depend on a radiant pearl [i.e., the moon].123 Just as We were about to ask Xian'e,124

II7. 7---9 PM; i.e., into the evening. 118. This line might also be read simultaneously as "Suddenly We thought of the disturbances of the Jin [dynasty)." 119. Xiangshan is located in northeastern Dantu district, Jiangsu province and faces Jiaoshan. The two islands are thus often mentioned together as a single toponym (Zang, Zhongguo g;gin diming da cidian, 942.3~4). 120. The original term, Pingyi ;~ ~, was a river spirit that appears in the Zhuangzj (C!Juan, 1877.4). Here I have translated Pingyi as a metaphor for the Yangzi River, but it might also be translated more literally as "barbarians fording Lthe Yangzi]." As such, this line was a double entendre that might also be translated as "The beating of drums halted the fording barbarians." 121. Again, the original tenn, Tianwu k ~. was another river spirit found in the Classic efl't101mtains and Seas (Shanhai;ing) (C!Juan, 0371.2). A Tang-era song found in Ll He's Anthology efSongs and Poems (Geshi bian) read: "A southern wind blew against the mountains making the land level ~.e. peaceful], and the emperor dispatched Tianwu to move [i.e., alter or pacify] the seas." The image here is of the Y angzi River-embodied in the river spirit Tianu'l.l-as a benevolent force of nature, providing shelter for the retreating military forces of the Song dynasty. The verb Ji~ is often translated as "to store" or "to conceal," but its more literal meaning is "to amass military forces" or "to rest the troops." 122. Again, given the preceding lines, a more martial interpretation may also be warranted, and this line might be read simultaneously as "armored brothers and great aristocratic clans" (see Schmidt, Hanno'!Y Garden, 83tJ70). 123. Once again, this line might also be translated as 'Were drawn to gaze on a radiant pearl." Here the image is of a military force becoming entranced and then dissipated by the alluring scenery. n+ Xian'e . .JfiiI was a mythological goddess who controlled the movements of the moon, but the term could refer to beautiful women in general (HYDCD, 3: 5750.3). Here we may once again note the gendered nature of Qianlong's imagery.


The Poetics & Politics ofQian/ong's Encounter with jiangnan

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Works Cited de Bary, Wm. Theodore, and Irene Bloom, comps. Sources efCbinese Tradition, vol. 1. 2d ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999. Demieville, Paul. "Chang Hsueh-ch'eng and His Historiography." In Historians efChina and japan, ed. W. G. Beasley and E.G. Pulleyblank. London: Oxford University Press, 1961, 167-85. Deng Guangming if! fl it et al. Zhongg110 lishi da cidian: S ongshij11an 'f !!I J!H.:k #!-: :ls. Jl!.~ (Dictionary of Chinese history: the Song). Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe, 1984. Dennerline, Jerry. The Chia-ting Loyalists: Confucian Leadership and Social Change i, Seventeenth-Century China. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981. des Forges, Roger. "Toward Another Tang or Zhou? Views from the Central Plain in the Shun.zhi Reign." In Time, Temporality, and Imperial Transition, ed. Lynn A. Struve. Honolulu: Association for Asian Sm.dies and University of Hawai'i Press, 2005, 73-n2. di Cosmo, Nicola. "Review of The Cambndge History of China, Volume 6, Alien "Regimes and Border States, .907-I368." Haroard]oumal efAsiatic Studies 56, no. 2 (Dec. 1996): 493-508. di Cosmo, Nicola, ed. Waifare in Inner Asian History (foo-z8oo). Leiden: Brill,



di Cosmo, Nicola, and Don J. Wyatt, eds. Political Frontiers, Ethnic Boundaries and Human Geographies in Chinese History. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003, Ding Fubao T ,i;,18,, comp. Foxue da cidian 1~,!f, ;i;;_,ljf, J!4. (Dictionary of Buddhism). Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 199r. DMB. Goodrich, L. Carrington, and Fang Chaoying, comps. Dictionary ofMing Biograpl/y, q68-I644. New York: Columbia University Press, 1976. Dong Gao Y ~ et al., comps. Huang Qing wenying x11bian _t it; ;;t ,Ji~ Iii, (Gems of Qing literature, pt. II). 1810. Xnxi11 Siku q11ansh11 tf{t OSI /.f.~t, vols. 1663-67. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1996. - - - . Xixun shengdian ~ ~ii_ #f (Great canon of the western tour). 1812, Beijing: Beijing guji chubanshe, 1996. DOT1C. Hucker, Charles 0. A Dictionary efO.!Jicia/ Titles in Impen"al China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985. Dott, Brian R. Identi!J Reflections: Pilgrimages to Mount Tai in Late Jmpe,ia/ China. Cambridge: Hanrard University Asia Center, 2004DQHD (]Q;. Tuojin ¾l:.;,Jt et al., comps. DaQing hmdian [Jiaqing chao] ;if Anding shuyuan (academy) .!Jc- ;t


Anfu lu !Jc-;ji• An Lushan ',lc-;j/tJ., An-ning !Jc-'f anpei -#t\!,' An-zhu-hu (Anjuhu) -',!c-J!jcJl}J BA

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wenbuwen X.r-:~ ''Wen Jingshi de yu zhi xi"


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xing bu gaichang •t1.,&i, ~;;_ 't xingling •ti.~ xingwei -it /1) xing wo tian ;;,- .;Ji, If/ xingzai -ittf. xingzheng xiaolii 1-fi&.ltt.¥ xingzou -it;!::_


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yan daizi .ll.tt -t Yan Hongzi ,il1;;it Yan Ying (Yanzi) Yan Zeng .itffl yanzheng yunshi


Xiong Cili



xiucai ~ :f XU

Xu Fang 'It.# Xu Huaizu {t.·ft:ill. Xu Huiqian {t.~-fXu Ke 'It.# Xu Qian {~iff Xu Shitian 'lt-1/. If/ Xu Shiye 'It.± f.: Xu Shukui {t.~ 11! xuwen


Xu Yang 'It.~ Xu Yuelian {t-1"7-'! Xu Zhi fyii; Xu Zhongjie gong ci ~ ,"t Pp "A~ Xuzhou (prefecture) 'lt.1ti(Jtt') XUE

xuedao huanchun 11',J!J!;-?: xuegong 11',~ Xue Guangde if J,: .(t xuezheng 11', i&. XUN

xundao 111! '.f xunfang zhi dian ~ 7f Z#!xunfu ~41.!e xunshou ~~. ~~ xun wenhan 4>t.-iit xunxing


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yang .ifYangKui ~~ YangShiqi ~±~ YangTinghe ~;tcfp Yangzhou (city, pre.ecture r ) ,.,,,, "'-·'" YAO

Yao (sage-ruler) ~ Yao Nai ,i/s)lil Yao Silian ,1/s,W,Jt YE

Ye Changyang #;-/di; Ye Shi 1#:[email protected] Ye Xie #;!Jt. YI

yi deng - ~ yi fumu zhi xin wei xin zhe, tianxia WU buyou zhi xiongdi >X ':Z-JJtz ''-'ft.,c.,:,Jt-, "'- T ~'F~z>U\ Yijing ~ frl'. yilao yongyi -1hinh); merchants salt tax, 225 salt ticket corruption case (tiyin an),

149, 235-36, 377 Sarhu, Battle of (1619), 161,162 Sa-zai, 369, 370 scholar-officials, 70, no, 207,297, 430; evidential scholarship and, 293; Han-Chinese, 27,112,186, 428; metropolitan, 187; in the Mng, 65-66; remonstrance and, 45-50, 64, 425-26; in the Song, 53, 295--96. See also literati scholarship, classical, 28, 254 scouting, 120-21, 123-24, 137 seasonal sojourns, 111-12, 139, 168, 172, 177, 206; in the Ming, 66; in non-Han dynasties, 62---64; political culture and, 55-57, 65. See also hunts and hunting; imperial tours secret succession, 406, 408, 410. See also succession security, u8, 124-27, 132, 136n67, 137, 361 sedan chairs, 178-80, 357 sedition, 154-56, 302, 409; Xu Shukui sedition case, 396-402, 403, 412, 418,422, 436--37 Selected Poetry ofthe Seven Masters [of Jiangnan] ([Wuzhong] Qizj shi xuan), 282-84 sensuality, 318, 320 Septen Baljur (Ch. Se-bu-teng Ba-erzhu-er, d. 177 5), l06 Seven Masters ofJiangnan, 292 Shaanxi province, 16, 167-68, 389


Index Shanyuan Treaty (1005), 56 Shen Deqian (1673-1769), 32, 271-80,

tensions about, 306, 315-16; Yuan Hongdao and, 319

303, 305, 409, 435, 436; academies

Silin Gioro Ocang (d. 1755), 154

and, 253-54, 280, 281-82, 287,

silver, 18, 429 Sirna Qian: Records of the Grand Histo-

290----91, 320-21; at encampment, 133; examinations and, 31-32, 260,

272, 273-74, 282; Farewell to Spring Society and, 274-75; gazetteers and, 97, 98, 250; Guochao shi biecaiJi, 301; "Ode to the Black

Peony" (''Yong hei mudan shi''), 301;

poetry of, 201-2, 282; Qian-

long and, 251,

271-72, 276--80,

300--302; &vised and Enlarged

Gazytteer of West Lake (Xihu zhiz;,an), 313-14, Xu Shukui and, 302, 400-401, 409; Yuan Mei and, 290, 291 shi class, 41 Shi Hao, 52 shidaifu (men of culture and learning), 249, 251, 258, 265 shortages, 148-49 shou, 39-40 Shun (sage-king), 42, 80, 96, 332-33 Shunzhi emperor (r. 1644--01), 26, 78, 409

Shuowenjiezj (ca. 124 CE), 40 Sichelbarth, Ignatius (Ch. Ai Qimeng, 1708-80): Qianlong Engaging in the Battue Hunt, 181-85 passim sightseeing (you/an), 304, 327, 338, 340, 346, 430; filiality and, 310-n, 334-36, 417-18; gendering of, 309-10, 332, 335-36; Han Chinese and,


326, 329, 421; as indul-

gence, 54, 321; literati and, 10, 325-

26; pleasure and, 309-15, 316; Qianlong's disavowal of, 348, 361, 363-64,; remonstrance for, 106-8;

rian (Shijz), 163,358 Sima Xiangru (179-n7 BCE), 45-47, 48, 287; Rhapsody on the Imperial Park, 45-46, 49, 52, 61 simplicity, 133, 183. See also frugality sinicization, 9, 36, 59, 356 Sinju (Ch. Xin-zhu), 151-52, 153 Sirda (fl. 1684), 85 Sinman (Ch. Xi-er-man, d. 1755), 197 Six Dynasties period (ca. 386-589 CE), 316-17 social mobility, 11, 19, 30, 219, 220, 247-48. See also intra-elite competition; status social unrest, 145-46

Solon (Ch. Suo-lun) tribe, 186 Son of Heaven, 26, 28, 56, 276, 302,


Song dynasty (960-1279), 50, 51-55, 56, 71, 346, 416-18; civil examinations in, 270---71; decadence of,

416-18, 419; Northern (960-n27), 58; poetry of, 290, 319; scholars o~, 295-96; Southern (n27-1279), 5355, 59, 65, 420 ---emperors: Gaozong (r. u27-62),

417,421; Guangzong (r. n90-94), 417; Huizong (r. nm-26), 53; Taizong (r. 976-97), 52; Taizu (r. 960-76), 52; Xiaozong (r. n6389), 417; Zhenzong (r. 998-1022), 50-51, 419 southern tours (nanxun), 18on65, 437;

(1684), 86; (1699), 1-2; (1751), 6, 34, 123, 142, 151, 153, 155-56, 228, 236,

-Index 238, 241, 270, 287, 290, 306; (1757), 6,127, 155-56, 170, 202-3, 229, 297--98, 310, 353-54, (1765), 127, 136, 277, 381-83, 384, 389, 404, 436; (1780), 73-74, 372, 412; (1784), 414; financing of, 226-27, 235; of Kangxi, 3n12, 80, 85, 99, 138, 168; map of, 5; route of, 4-6, 114-18, 119; timing of, 306, 366, 367-68. See also triumphalism Soyolji (Ch. Suo-yue-er-ji), 103m10, 105-6, 107-8 special recruitment examinations (zhaoshz), 4, 261-65, 266, 268, 294n164, 434; content of, 214, 281, 285, 288, 295-96; Han Learning movement and, 286, 288, 298; poetry and, 273-74; Shen Deqian and, 31-32, 260, 282; Ziyang Academy and, 285-89. See also civil senrice-examination system

Spence, Jonathan,


Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu),

40, 41 status, 246-57, 268-69, 278-80; academies and, 251-55; anxiety about, JI, 246-57, 262, 353; literati and, 248-50, 255-57; salt merchants and, 227-28, 246-47, 248; social mobility and, 247-48. See also intra-elite competition Su Shi (zj Dongpo, 1037-uo1), 319, 339n105, 347-48; Qianlong's references to, 337-38, 341-44 succession, 403, 405-13 passim, 416 Suhede (Ch. Shu-he-de, d. 1777), 378»39, 387-88 Sui dynasty (581-617), 54; Emperor Yang (Yang Guang, or Sui Yangdi, b. 569, r. 604-17), 54, 55

suiwei, 138, 139 Sun Hao (zj Zaihuang, hao Xuchuan), 107nu6, III, 310

Sun Shi (962-1033), 50--51 Superintendency of the Imperial Encampment (Zongli xingying chu), n9, 125,127,128,140,141; reconnaissance and, 120-21, 123-24 Supervisorate of Imperial Instruction, 272 surveillance, 39, 40, 4 5 Suzhou, 6, 29, 18o-83, 278, 3oon176, 426; elites of, 97, 242, 249-51, 274, 279; extravagance of, 237, 244-45; Kangxi in, 1-2; popular perceptions in, 153-54; in Qianlong's poetry, 348-49, 413; Shen Deqian and, 272, 287. See also Han Learning movement Taiwan, 79, 216, 297m64 Taizong (Hong Taji, 1592-1643, r. 1626-43), 21, 22, 77, 78, 91-92, 167n15, 409 Taizu (Nurhaci; 1558-1626, r. 161626), 21, 26, 77, 78, 102, 162 Tang dynasty (618--907), 48-51, 27071; poetry of, 282, 283-84, 311 --emperors: Gaozong (r. 65o-83), 49-50; Taizong (r. 627-49), 48, 49; Xuanzong (AKA Minghuang, r. 712-56), 48-49, 50, 51, 53, 54, 98; Xuanzong (r. 847-60), 410 tanistry, 407-8 Tao Yi (d. 1778), 397 Taozhuang diversion channel, 3687o, 372,373, 374-75, 379 Tarim Basin (Xinjiang), 210, 217 tax agents, 220-21

Index taxes, 7, 12, 13, 222-23, 225, 256. See also revenue tax relief, 147,157,241, 4m, 411; Kangxi and, 223, 314 Ten Great Campaigns (shiquan

wugong), 175 Ten Scenic Vistas of West uke (Ti Xihu shiJing), 347 tents, 57"77, 128, 129, 131n50, 135, 136. See also encampments Thirteen Classics, 292 Thompson,John, 8n19, 112n127,

303m84, 422 Three Dynasties (sandat) period (Xia, Shang, and Zhou), 36, 38 Three Feudatories, 216

Three Masters of the Qianlong Period (Qianlong san;ia), 290 Three Palace Academies, 20 Tibetan lamas, 3, 127,


Tiger-Hunting Division (Huqiang ying), 127 Tokugawa bakufu (1600--1868), 3 Tongdian (ca. 800 CE), 35 tour preparations, 119n9, 125, 148, 238, 242, 256; officials and, 121, 123, 126, 141, 149; problems with, 14244, 157 tour route, 4, n4-18, n9, 120, 123, 127; map of, 5 tours, see eastern tours; hunts and hunting; imperial tours; northern tours; southern tours; western tours tours of inspection (xunshou), 114, 176, 357, 414-15, 434 transport, 139, 41 travel writing, 318-19 travel-palaces (xinggoniJ, 120, 135, 136, 232, 352, 385


triumphalism, 30, 166, 206-18 passim, 303-4; banner decline and, 206-7; Great Canon and, 208-9; Inner Asians and, 210-15; of Kangxi,

77-78 tropes, 325, 340; "avoiding luxurious ease" (wuyi), 285-86; "galloping along the postal relay" (chiyt), 361; "observing the people" (guan min), 334; "ruling from horseback," 327-28, 358 Tsewang Araptan (Ch. Ce-wang Ala-bu-tan, 1643-1727), 171 Tsewang Dorji Namjar (Ch. Cewang Duo-er-ji Na-mu-zha-er), 200

Tu Yuelong (d. 1798), 397, 398--99 Tula, 153-54 Upper Three Banners (Ch. shang san qi, Man. dergj i!an gtisa), 22, 124, 131 Uyghur tribal leaders, 211, 212, 214-15 valorization; of military, 161-67, 176; of poetry and painting, 31, 260, 265-71,272,302,304 Vangnard Division (Qianfeng ying), 124, 173, 176, 192 vassals, 93, 210--15, 360

Veritable Records (Shiiu), 78, 8w39, 99, 105,322 vice directors (shilang), 16 virtue, see benevolence; diligence; discipline; fi!iality; frugality "voluntary contributions" (juanshu),

224-27, 243 \X?akeman, Frederic,Jr., 15 Waley-Cohen,Joanna, 119, 21om50, 216

Index wall-scaling, 176 Wang Chang (1725-1806), 249, 272n45, 285, 291-97 passim; "Seeing Ling Zuxi, Zhang Hongxun, Chu Jinsheng, Qian Xiaozheng, and Cao Laiyin off to Jiangning for the Special Recruitment Examination," 287-89 Wang Hui (1632-1717), n5, 18on65 WangJintai, 151, 152-53 Wang Jun (1694-1751), 291 Wang Mingsheng (1722-98), 285, 291-92, 293 Wang Shizhen (1634-17u), 282 Wang ShoUien (AKA Wang Yangming, 1472-1528), 70 Wang Wan (1624-91), 279 Wang Youdun (1692-1758), 187, 293 Wanyan Liang (AKA Hailing Wang, r. u49-61), 59, 60 Wanyan Yong (Man. Wanggiya Yung, AKA Jin Shi2ongor Ulu, the Dading Khan, r. n61-89), 59-60, 64, 91, 95, III, 361

war and warfare, 43, 59, 63-64, 165; siege, 176n55; warriors and,


68--69. See also under military

Warring States period (403-221 41-45


water control, 308n4, 348, 367-76, 422; benevolence and, 218, 379; failures in, 369-70; inspections and, 100, 362, 363; as justification

fortoUiing,372,374-76,380; Qingkou hydraulic standards, 368; in "Records of Southern Tours," 372-73; remonstrance and, 106--7; timing of tours and, 367-68. See

also hydraulic crisis wealth, commercial, see merchants

Weber, Max, 11-15, 18, 24, 25 Wei Bin, 69 Wei Zheng (58o-643), 48, 49 wen (civility, civil, etc.), 511155, I08, 163, 164. See also civil sphere Weng Fanggang (1733-1818), 270 Wenxuan (Selections of refined literatUie), 52-53 Western Campaigns (xisbi, 1755-59), 19n61, 121, 176n55, 367, 415, 435; military crisis and, 158, 161, 218; triumphalism and, 161, 205, 217 western tours (xixun), 72, 74JIII, 88,

262,425,430; of Kangxi, 81, 84 West Lake, 4 White Deer Grotto Academy, 281-82

White Lotus Rebellion (1796-1804), 176n55, 379n42, 43 1 White Lotus sectarianism, 379 Wilhelm, Richard, 207, 355n154 Woodside, Alexander, 236, 248-49,

378 wu (martially, martial, etc.), 51n55, 108, 163,164 Wu, kingdom of, 325-26 Wu Jing (670-749), 49 Wu Jingzi (1701-54), 293m47, 321; The Scholars (AKA Unofficial History

of the Scholars [Ruhn waisbi, ca. 1750]), 317-18 Wu Lang, 293 Wu Shengqin, 289 Wu Tailai (js. 1760, d. 1788), 289, 292 Wu Xiongguang (1751-1834), 426-28, 429-30 XiJun, 269 Xi Shi, 324, 325, 326 Xiao Yishan, 375

Xie Yong (1719-95), 286, 288

Index Xinjiang, conquest of, 161,

210, 214,

lI7 Xiong Cili (1635-1709), 75-77, 83 Xu Fang (1622-94), JOI Xu Huaizu (d. 1777), 398, 400 Xu Ke (1627-1700), JOI Xu Qian (1597-1645), 299-301 Xu Shitian, 397, 398-99 Xu Shukui: Poetry from the Single-Pillar Pavilion (Yizhu/ou shi, ca. 1763), 397, 398,400 Xu Shukui sedition case, 396--402,

403, 412, 418, 422, 436-37; Shen Deqian and, 302, 409

Xu Ting (fl. 1684), 85 Xu Yang, 267-68; The Qianlong Emperor's Entry into Suzhou, 180-83 Xu Yuelian, 289 Xue Guangde (n.d.), 47, 48, 61 xunfa, 16, 23-25. See also governors Xuzhou, 6 Yan Hongzi, 267 Yan Ying (AKA Yanzi, d. 500 BCE), 44 Yan Zeng (b. 1732), 387-91, 393,395, 422, 436; Jin Congshan compared, 402-5 passim Yang Shiqi (1365-1444): Memorials by Famous Officials Throughout History (Lldai mingchen zouyi; compiler), 68, lII

Yang Tinghe (1459-1529), 69 Yang Xiong (53 BCE-18 CE), 288 Yangzhou, 3, 244, 253, 265-66; salt merchants of, 215nr65, 247, 288, 377 Yangzi River, 6,126, 345ni20, 415-16.

See also Jiangnan Yao (sage-king), 8on37, 96


Yao Silian (b. 557), 48 Yarhasan (Ch. Ya-er-ha-shan), 142, 292 Ye Changyang, 269 Ye Shi (fl. n74-89), 53 Ye Xie (1627-1703), 282 yellow perimeters (huang cheng), 12930, 136 Yellow River-Grand Canal hydraulic system, 362, 367-68, 370, 374, 375n24, 379; flooding in, 158, 203, 204, 218, 224; hydraulic crisis and, 30-31, 308n4; stabilization of, 206; tour preparations and, 125-26, 142,

143 Ying Zheng (359-210 BCE), 45 Yinreng, Prince (1674-1725), 406 Yonggui (Zhejiang governor), 126, 144 Yongling (Qing ancestral tomb near Mukden), 94 Yongzheng emperor (Aisin Gioro Yinzhen, 1678-1735, r. 1723-35), 222-23, 359, 399, 406, 408, 4m; banners and, 25, 169-70; Manchu identity and, 26; military readiness and, 88-89, 104,; state formation and, 19; water control and, 370,

374 Yu Minzhong (1714-80), 315-16; Ten Odes on Imperial Virtue (Shengde ge

shi zhan,I!), 315, 333 Yii (sage-king), 4, 332-33 Yuan brothers, 318-19, 320 Yuan dynasty (1260-1368), 16-17, 26, 65, l02, 108, 111; Emperor Shizu

(Yuan; Khubilai khaghan, r. 1260-94), 63-64, m; Emperor Shun (Yuan; Taghon Temiir,



Ch. Tuo-huan te-mu-er, r. 133370), 108-n; political culture of, 55, 62-63. See also Mongols Yuan Hongdao (1568-1610), 290, 318-19, 320-21

Yuan Mei (1716--98), 222, 290, 291, 305, 320-21, 394, 395; Huang Tinggui and, 240-41, 255-56 Yuanhe County Gazetteer (Yuanhe xianzh,; ca. 1761), 97-98, 202, 250 Yue, kingdom of, 325,326 yurts, 128, 129, 136

Zelin, Madeleine, 25, 223n9 Zeng Jing sedition case (1728-32), 399

Zhai brothers: Guidebook to [West] Like and [Its] Mountains (Hushon bianlan; AKA Xihu bianlan, ca. 1765), 312,313 Zhang Boxing (1652-1725), 280 Zhang Guangsi (d. 1749), 175 Zhang Xiong, 69 Zhang Zhiye, 297-99 Zhang Zongcang, 267-68, 344nu4

Zhao Tianlin, III Zhao Wenzhe (1725-73), 289, 292 Zhao Yi (1727-1814), 136, 187-Jl8, 290, 435

Zhao You, 245 Zhao Zhibi, 3n-12 Zhaoling (Qing ancestral tomb), 94

Zhejiang, 4, 6--7, 148, 310-u, 434 Zhejiang seawalls, 4, 372-76 passim Zheng regime (Taiwan), 216 Zheng Xie (1693-1765), 249 Zhongshan Academy Oiangning), 253, 266

Zhou dynasty (1045-256 BCE), 37-38, 43, 89-90; King Cheng, 90; King Wen (r. 1073-1068 BCE), 89--90, 91; King Wu (r. 1073-1068 BCE), 89-9on67

Zhu Gui (1731-1807), 270 Zhu Matai (fl. 1684), 85 Zhu Xi (n30-1200), 52, 281-82, 355; Summary efthe Comprehensive 1Uirnr of Government (Zizhi tongiion gangmu), rn8n120 Zhu Yuanzhang (Ming Taizu, Hongwu emperor, r. 1368-98), 15-16, 65, 66, 401

Zhu Yun (1729-81), 293 Ziyang Academy (Suzhou), 25H3, 254, 280-97; examinations and, 285-89; Qian Daxin and, 291--97 passim; Qianlong court and, 28185, 289; Shen Deqian and, 280, 281-Jl2; Wang Chang and, 291--97 passim; Yuan Mei and, 290, 291 zongdu, 16, 23-25- See also governorsgeneral Zuo zhuan (Zuo tradition of com-

mentary), 41-42, 43

Harvard East Asian Monographs (*out-of-print)

*1. Liang Fang-chung, The Singk-Whip Method ofTaxation in China

*2. Harold C. Hinton, The Grain Tribute System of China, I845-I9II 3· Ellsworth C. Carlson, The K.aiping Mines, I877-19I2

*4- Chao Kuo-chiin, Agrarian Policies o/Mainland China: A Documentary St11tfy, 194'rl9f6 *5. Edgar Snow, Random Notes on Red China, 1936--1945

*6. Edwin George Beal,Jr., The Origin of Uk.in, 1835-1864 7- Chao Kuo-chiin, Economic Planning and Organization in Mainland China: A

Documentary Stutfy, 1949-1957 *8. John K. Fairbank, Ching Documents: An Introductory Syllabus

*9. Helen Yin and Yi-chang Yin, Economic Statistics IO.

ifMainland China, 1949-1957

Wolfgang Franke, The Reform and Abolition of the Traditional Chinese Examination


System Albert Feuerwerker and S. Cheng, Chinese Communist Studies of Modem Chinese


History C. John Stanley, Late Ching Finance: Hu J.0Jang:Jt1ng a.ran Innovator

13- S. M. Meng, The Tsungli ¥amen: Its Organization and Functions *14. Ssu-yii Teng, Histon·ograpk} of the T aiping Rebellion

15. Chun-Jo Llu, Controversies in Modem Chinese Intellectual History: An Anafytic Bibliography of Periodical Articles, Mainfy ofthe M-9' Fourth and Post-Mq;• Fourth Era *16. Edward J. M. Rhoads, The Chinese Red Amy, I927-I963: An Annotated

B;b.i,grapfty *17. Andrew J. Nathan, A History

of the China International Famine &lief Commission

*18. Frank H. H. King (ed.) and Prescott Clarke,A &search Guide to China-Coast

Newspapers, I822-I9II *19. Ellis Joffe, Party and Am!)': Professionalism and Political Control in the Chinese Officer

c,,p,, 194