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左宗棠 译文


TsoTsungt'ang’s descendants


If you have a chance to listen to an aged person who is experienced and vigorous talking about the past, then you are the lucky one. After listening for a while, it will occur to you that history itself has more excellent plots, contradictions and conflicts. And these legendary stories are not made up or conceived by anyone. They are all real.


At that night, Mr Ma, a youth of the Hui nationality, recommended us to the old engineer Mr Su’s home. The above idea occurred to me that Mr Su spouted off about the old matters happened in Yanqi (a Hui autonomous county in the middle of Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region ) while he was having stew with noodles ( also named mianpian in Chinese).

大将西征尚未还,The General to west expedition were on.

湖湘子弟满天山。The Tianshan Mountains Xiang Amry stationed upon.

遍栽杨柳三千里,Poplars and Rose willows planted miles along.

未因春风度玉关。Not for wind from Yumen Pass spring down.


This celebrated poem was written by ZuoZongtang when he led his troops to fight in Xinjiang. On one hand, ZuoZongtang led his army to plant vigorous willows

which has flourished there through ages, on the other hand, he became enemy with the Junggar tribe because of exterminating the Hui ethnic groups' uprising. We could not make improper comments on predecessors' contributions and faults, but there was a reminiscence when Mr. Su spoke of the Kuomintang's administration in Yanqi.


During the reign of Kuomintang, a commissioner in Yanqi named ZuoShuping was known as great-great-grandson of ZuoZongtang. When he took office, he went the poorest and the farthest place——Ruoqiang county with light luggage accompanying by few attendants. On arriving at there, he would pay a visit to the oldest man in Ruoqiangcounty. The county government office of federal China checked out the oldest Uyghur old man whose job was guarding the graveyard. He was over ninety with no child, who had a lonely and dreary life in late years.


The commissioner took it seriously. He wormed into a dark, frosty and shabby cave dwelling and found the oldest Uyghur man. To the commissioner's surprise, the old man was over two-meter-high when he stood up. The old man only know the existence of tao-tai (the officers between sub-provincial-level and prefectural level ) but don’t know the existence of commissioner. He blurted out in a grateful way, unaware of their purpose , " I fought a battle with ZuoZongtang in those years!" Hearing this, the retinues felt that it was terrible for the the old man to speak like that, because ZuoZongtang's great-great-grandson called on a Uyghur who fought a battle with his forefather and the old man would fall on evil days.


Unexpectedly, the descendant of Duke ZuoZongtang thumbed up and praised loudly, "Good! Those dared to fight against my grand grandpa are heroes!"


He continued: “Let bygones be bygones, I am here to compe nsate for what my grandfather did to you ---- killing your people.” Then he gave his order: build three rooms for the old man, send the old man firewood as well as rice monthly and purchase the old man clothes yearly with the fund from the local government.


This being spread, the hearsay about the grand grandson of ZuoZongtang to be magnanimous and compassionate was throughout Yanqi, making many people shed tears of gratitude.


It is called turning the disadvantages into advantages, with the same meaning of “grasping the model examples”. He comforts one of the hungry people among thousands of them, but deceives everyone. Just because of this action, he won all the beliefs of the ethnic groups. We have to admit that he knows the skills of how to manage people in ideology. Otherwise, there will be full of enemies in Halashaer, and how can he be a governor?



Whatever, your ancestor ZuoZongtang is a highly capable historical figure. As a government officer at high position of Qing Dynasty, he devoted himself to the various affairs of the Royal court, trying to preserve the Dynasty which was in danger of subjugation. Later, at the age of seventy, he was appointed as the military general in Xinjiang Province in which he fought so resolutely as to suppress the Yakoob insurgents and retake the lost Ili. Even if we think of it today, we can also understand the hardships of what he did. Yet, he actually suppressed the Taiping Army during the Taiping civil war from 1851 to 1864, including the uprising Hui people led by BaiYanhu, a branch of Nian Army, and the Hehuang incidence in early years of Tongzhi around 1861, cruelly killing hundreds of thousands of those people combined…-the latter two groups were fathers of the present Hui people in Yanqi.


It is quiet hard for me to stop looking back to the long history: Who were its creators? The answer definitely is “the people”. While by saying that general concept, does it include these leaders like FeiYue( a general who was loyal to serve his country in Song Dynasty), Tianxiang Wen(a patriotic minister in Song Dynasty), RuiHai(a brave and patriotic general in Ming Dynasty) and Anshi Wong(a patriotic minister who brought many of reformation schemes in Song Dynasty ); does it include the Gaozu of Han Dynasty, a title for the first emperor, who sang a song named Dafengge(Dafengge is a song to show how to triumph over and invite men of wisdom and valor ); does it include the great Khan, emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty, the first emperor of Qin Dynasty(259-210 BC), Jenghiz Khan, the first emperor of Yuan Dynasty(1167-1227), Aisin Gioro· Xuanye, a great emperor of Qing Dynasty and emperor Taizu of Ming Dynasty who was a muslin living in a mosque

for taking refuge and then turned to be a leader of one area and finally got the throne?


The history of the Chinese nation refers to not only the Hans’ history but the history of minority. So many emperors, famous officials and military officers who have merit in defending country, are minorities in history. Thus regarding “government of other minority” as a disgrace is actually a narrow point of view.


The history of the Chinese nation is also the history of the oppressed, whether it is about the honor or shame, splendid culture or corrupted politics, ridiculous thousand-year mystery or magnanimous Song of guerrilla, the history of the Chinese nation cannot be tampered.


“She” should be created by the two parties or more parties of the contradiction in the battle.


The history is the Yellow River, in which the Good and Evil mixed up, Mud and sand flew together, and the Yellow River irrigated the land and flooded the villages, tortuously flowing past countless years.


In the ever-lasting river of history, every yellow spoon-drift stands for an ordinary people, which jumps and drifts along with the stream. They strive to struggle,

to perform and to constitute the perpetual eternity with their flashy lives. Whether kind or evil; beautiful or ugly; true or false; or even neither kind nor unkind, or both beautiful and ugly, or half-genuine and half-true, who can deny that they once were a section of the river? And who can guarantee that they would no longer writhe in the river in the future?


O the Yellow River! You are a turbid and turmoil river full of calamities. You are roaring and dignified simple and honest, surging and powerful! Those who cannot understand the turbid, sediment, sheep manure and grass and rods in your body can never understand you...


At that night, we listened to the story told by uncle Su with high spirits and interests.With sparking eyes, we were being in high spirit at Mr. Su’s for his stories. Regarding us as his good friends at different age group, Mr. Su, an elder man of ethnic Hui of clearly shaved head, whose neck was as thick as the stallion’s, virtually kept talking energetically. What he gestured could make nobody think he had been aged, but just like a vigorous man.

For a while, he likes a storyteller, ingeniously setting suspense, looking at listeners’ eyes, suddenly pounding table with one h and, and saying an unexpected ending, which makes them shocked. In next second, he looks like an ambitious hermit, analyzing situations at home and abroad, looking down at ups and downs of the

society and criticizing historical events and celebrities in a unique way. Especially when he talked about the experience of his life, not reserved and not overstated, not regret and not resentment, he kept a sense of black humor to face all the good things and sad things of past, which shows the detached attitude of an experienced senior.


These principles are neither a transcription of a textbook nor a recitation of some editorials, but are all of his precious experience and bitter lesson comprehended after him pondering his own life. It's terrific, for there are few old people have ever figured out the true meaning by heart throughout their whole life like him, and they just fail to read their own lives till they die. By contrast, those people are in a very sad condition, aren't they? Similarity, compared with those young people who have read some books, then they will be “Goldenthalmountain and small world”. Though his words are not fashion and profound, they just like branch and trunk grew from the tree, and many young people’s words are just like the latest fash ion, they can change at any time.


Some of you, the ordinary people, out of office and out of care, are the true hermits from society, the real men of heroism, and also the wise and the skilled. You farm and weave, enjoying such romantic life with an easy grace.

Proverb says, out of office, out of care. Among those who are out of office, there are hermits, heroes, sages or wise men. They lead an unrestrained and idyllic life.

They are not ordained but awakened; not appreciated but not complaining. Of all the ordinaries, there are still some extra-ordinaries. Officers should never be arrogant for there are people who are more brilliant in ruling.