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0063 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 63 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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227. FACFUR   659

biography ( YS, 127), dates the « fall » of the dynasty. A few days later, the Emperor Chao Hsien and his mother the Empress Ch'üan were sent to the Court at Shang-tu under a strong escort; they left Hang-chou on February 25 and reached Shang-tu on June 5, 1276. The diary of one of the commissioners in charge of the Imperial prisoners has been translated by MOULE (TP, 1915, 393-419; but the indication, p. 394, that the commissioners accompanied the « Empress Dowager » is somewhat ambiguous; the Empress Ch'üan was Empress Dowager inasmuch as she was the mother of the boy Emperor, but the true Empress Dowager, the Regent Empress Hsieh, was not in the party). The Empress Ch'üan died a Buddhist nun, perhaps after 1296 (cf. Sung shih, 243, 13 b; Sung-chi san-ch'ao chêng-yao [Shou-shan-ko ts'ung-shu ed.] 5, 11 a). The date at which the Empress Ch'üan became a nun is given as 1296 by PARKER, copied in Y, II, 148, but the information is of uncertain origin, as will be shown further on. The Regent Empress Hsieh remained some time at Hang-chou, officially on account of illness, perhaps also because Bayan thought that he could use her influence to help in pacifying the south. She reached Peking in August or September 1276, and, although she lost her Imperial position, received a nobiliary title. Already on February 21, 1276, the Regent Empress had sent from Hang-chou a letter to Qubilai's consort Gabui (cf. T'u Chi, 7, 34 a; not « Janui » as in Oh, II, 420, nor « Jamui » as in Y, II, 151; see « Cublai ») ; on her arrival, Cabui received her kindly. The Empress Hsieh must have died in 1282 or 1283, at the age of 73; she had never had any son (cf. Sung shih, 243, 13 a). Nevertheless, quite a few of her own and the ex-Emperor's attendants, unable to stand the shame, put an end to their lives; the heads of four of them were hung at the lodging of the ex-Empress Ch'üan as a warning (cf. Shan-chü hsin yü [Chihpu-tsu-chai ts'ung-shu ed.], 43-4.4).

On June 15, 1276, Chao Hsien, the ex-Sung Emperor, received from Qubilai the title of 'etij1 b Ying-kuo kung, « Duke of the kingdom of Ying », by which he was designated thenceforward (cf. YS, 9, 4 a; T'u Chi, 7, 35 a). According to information from PARKER, which has been copied in Y, II, 148, Chao Hsien « was freed by Qubilai from the (ancient Kotan) indignity of surrendering with a rope round his neck, leading a sheep, and he received the title of Duke : In 1288 he went to Tibet to study Buddhism, and in 1296 he and his mother, Ch'üan t'ai-hou, became a bonze and a nun, and were allowed to hold 360 ch'ing (say 5.000 acres) of land free of taxes under the existing laws ». No authority is given for any of these statements; like most of PARKER'S information, it may be derived from some encyclopaedia or second-hand compilation, and they cannot be accepted at once. Yet, they seem to be based on good authority, though I have not been able to trace it, except in one case (there is nothing to support PARKER'S information either in the Ch'ien-t'ang i-shih, or in the Shan-chü hsin yü, or in the Sung-chi san-ch'ao chêng-yao). I do not know what PARKER intended by the parenthesis of « the (ancient Kotan) indignity ». The old Mongol habit was to take off one's cap and to tie one's waistband at the neck whenever wanting to show one's submission to God or man; it is mentioned in the Secret History (§ 103 [cf. also § 244] ; PALLADIUS' note in Trudy Nenov Ross. Dukh. Missii, iv, 184; VLADIMIRCOV, Cingis-khan, 37; Ber, III, 127; Bärkä praying Allah with a rope fixed around his neck in RAVERTY, ~abakàt-i-Nà~iri, 1291; on the value of « cap and waistband » [kuan-tai] in the sphere of Chinese culture, cf. JA, 1913, I, 297); but I do not remember the rite of leading a sheep in such connection. GILES (Biogr. Dict. No. 156) and Mathias TCHANG (Synchronismes chinois, 400) say that Chao Hsien died in 1277;