(Translation) 李性黙密符諭書

From 장서각위키
Jump to: navigation, search


This "secret tally" (密符, milbu) was issued to Yi Sôngmuk (李性默, RR: Yi Seongmuk; 1707-?) in 1770, on the sixth day in the first month of King Yôngjo's (英祖, RR: Yeongjo; r. 1724-1776) reign. Yi Sôngmuk was then in charge of Ch’ôngnam[1] in Pyôngan province. In this tally, the King order Yi to refer to the 16th secret tally.

Nature of the Document

Historical Background

In Yôngjo's 45th year of reign (1769), the 18th day of the 12th month, Yi Sôngmuk was nominated by the king as Division General[2] of Ch’ôngnam in the Pyôngan province and Deputy Prefect[3] of Samhwa. Then, he was given secret tallies and sent to his appointed area.

According to the documents of the Chamber of the Defense of Borders [4] in Sukchong's (肅宗, RR: Sukjong; r. 1674-1720) 12th year of reign (1686), the 13th day of the 6th month, it was decided that the Magistrate[5] of Samhwa should become a Deputy Prefect and the function of Division General of Ch’ôngnam became a complementary one. Later, according to the Sok Taejôn[6] the 2nd class Deputy Prefect of the Pyôngan province would bear the two complementary functions of Deputy Prefect of Samhwa and Deputy Prefect of Sônch'ôn (宣川, RR: Seoncheon).

Yi Sôngmuk comes from Chônju[7]. In 1765 (King Yôngjo's 41st year of reign), he participates to the examination and passes the military service subject. In the course of his life, he is given the functions of Deputy Lieutenant-Governor of Toch'ong[8] (都摠府經歷), Deputy Assistant of the Military School (訓鍊院副正), Deputy Prefect of Yisan[9] (理山府使), Division General of Ch'ôngnam (靑南防禦使), Rear Admiral Commander-in-Chief of the Hwanghae[10] [province] (黃海水使), Deputy Prefect of Kanggye[11] (江界府使), Right General Commander-in-Chief of Infantry and Cavalry of the Kyôngsang[12] [province] (慶尙右兵使), Rear Admiral Commander-in-Chief of the Kyônggi[13] [province] (京畿水使), General Commander-in-Chief of Infantry and Cavalry of the Hwanghae [province] (黃海兵使), etc.

Original Script

Classical Chinese English


卿受委一方,體任非輕,發兵應機,安民制敵,一應常事,自有舊章。 慮或有予與卿獨斷處置事,非密符,莫可施爲,且意外謀,不可不預防。 如有非常之命,合符無疑,然後當就命。故賜押第十六符,卿其受之,故諭。


Instruction to the Division General of Ch’ôngnam in the Pyôngan province and Deputy Prefect of Samhwa, Yi Sôngmuk.

You [my minister] are entrusted with one region, and the responsibilities that you assume are not light. In general, as for dispatching troops and taking opportunities [when they are offered], calming the people and restraining the enemy, one possesses manuals for conduct. [Yet] I consider there are matters that I [your king] and you [my minister] must handle independently. Without the secret tally, [this] would be impossible to carry out. Moreover, as for unexpected treachery, [we] cannot not take precautions. If there is an emergency command, by matching the tally [with the other half] there will not be doubt; [so] after [having done so] undertake the command. Thus, I grant you stamped tally no. 16. You [my minister] should receive this, [and] for this reason I instruct you.

35th year of [Emperor] Qianlong[14], the 6th day of the beginning of the 1st month).

Discussion Questions

  1. Up to how many stamped tallies an official could be granted?
  2. What is the use of the small seal, before the text, and which institution affixed it?
  3. Linguistically speaking, does the use of the two characters 凡 and 奸 in this message while they were respectively written 凢 and 姦 in the other "instructions for secret tallies" (cf. the link above) reflect a new writting norm for the sinographs among the scribes of the court?
  1. Ch’ôngnam (淸南, Cheongnam) region to the south of Ch’ôngch’ôn River (淸川江, Cheongcheon gang)
  2. Division General (防禦使, Pangôsa, Bangeosa)
  3. Deputy Prefect (府使, Pusa, Busa)
  4. Chamber of the Defense of Borders (備邊司, MR: Pibyŏnsa, RR: Bibyeongsa)
  5. Magistrate 縣監, MR: Hyŏn’gam, RR: Hyeon'gam)
  6. Sok Taejôn (續大典, RR: Sok Daejeon), a law book that was ordered by King Yôngjo in 1756.
  7. Chônju (全州, RR: Jeonju)
  8. Toch'ong (都摠; RR: Dochong)
  9. Yisan (理山; RR: Yisan)
  10. Hwanghae (黃海, RR: Hwanghae)
  11. Kanggye (江界; RR: Ganggye)
  12. Kyôngsang (慶尙, RR: Gyeongsang)
  13. Kyônggi (京畿, RR: Gyeonggi)
  14. Qianlong (乾隆; r. 1736-1795), the 4th emperor of the Qing dynasty.