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Unless otherwise specified, the descriptions of sources in this section are extracted from Pierre-Etienne Will and collaborators,Official Handbooks and Anthologies of Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).
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TitleJingjian tang xuezhi zalu 敬簡堂學治雜錄 [Miscellanea on Learning Government from Respect-and-Simplicity Studio]
Topic4.1 Magistrates handbooks: General
Historical periodLate Qing (1797-1911)
AuthorDai Jie 戴杰
CollectionGuanzhen shu jicheng 官箴書集成
Number of volume9
Publication typeWoodblock

An account of the author’s magistracy in Lingxian 陵縣 (Shandong), where he spent 6 years starting in 1870, in the form of documents (公牘) and proposals (私議) selected by himself from among his archives. According to his elder brother Xieyuan’s colophon, only 50 or 60 percent of the original compilation were eventually retained. Yushan, who had been Dai’s superior as prefect of Jinan 濟南, says in his pref. that he later convinced Dai to let him print the work; Yushan stresses the difficulty of the post, and shows how Dai managed to rebuild a society corrupted and disorganized by militarization during recent rebellions by reducing violence and disorder. In his first piece—a general account of the situation in Lingxian—Dai also says that, whereas originally the local society was simple and relatively easy to administer, since the recent events it has become restive to government control. He insists on a combination of respectfulness and simplicity in action when governing the people (居敬而行簡以臨其民); he also emphasizes the variability of problems, so that policies successful in one place and at one time may not be so elsewhere, or at another time: what is important is to keep to the principles of integrity, prudence, and energy (清慎勤), and of simple government. The pieces in j. 1 (18 entries) are discussions and accounts related to Dai’s rehabilitation effort. J. 2 (14 pieces) is composed of correspondence with superiors (禀) on the reconstruction of local institutions and the arrestation of various criminals. J. 3 (14 pieces) includes proclamations (示) to the gentry and people encouraging them to improve customs and do good deeds. J. 4 (12 pieces) is devoted to procedures and regulations regarding the yamen as well as various institutions and government functions. A small selection of judgments (堂判) is appended.

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