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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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TitleLizhi cuoyao 勵治撮要 [Important Points for a Forceful Administration]
Topic4.1 Magistrates handbooks: General
Historical periodLate Qing (1797-1911)
AuthorZhang Jingtian 張經田
CollectionGuanzhen shu jicheng 官箴書集成
Number of volume6
Publication typeWoodblock
CommentRem.: The text consists of 28 mostly short paragraphs dealing with the various aspects of local governement as found in the standard magistrate handbooks. The author says in his preface that he read treatises on government during his leisure time and compiled those among their recommendations which he had found efficient when putting them in practice. Xu Qingxun’s postface claims that he contributed his salary for a new engraving of the work after he had experienced its efficiency during his own career. Alongside general advice on personal behavior and the approach to being a local official, with much insistence on dedication, hard work and efficiency, some entries provide fairly detailed technical advice, e.g. on investigating criminals and the use of torture, administering justice, dealing with lawsuits and pettifoggers, and organizing baojia. There is the text of a stele erected in 1808 in Sizhou 思州 (Guizhou) to celebrate the foundation of a new granary called the Bianmin cang 便民倉. In spite of much that can be found in other similar works, the tone is fairly personal. The work seems typical of the preoccupations and anxieties of elite officials from the late Qianlong, Jiaqing, and Daoguang periods who ambitioned to maintain an efficient and respected local government amidst mounting problems (other examples would include Wang Huizu, Xie Jinluan, Gao Tingyao, and many more).
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