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Put sharp and shortly, the Jinyiwei (錦衣衛) or “Brocade-Clad Guard” were the Imperial Secret Police Force of the Ming Emperors, and were given next to unlimited power to torture, punish, arrest and interrogate anyone who the Emperor deemed was a threat to him.

简而言之,锦衣卫(Jinyiwei)是明朝皇帝的皇家秘密警察部队,拥有无限的权力来折磨、惩罚、逮捕和审问任何被皇帝视为对他构成威胁的人。

They had and still have no historical International equivalent, but are instead usually considered to be a combination of the Political Commissars of the Soviet unx, the Stasi of the German Democratic Republic, and or the Praetorian Guard of the Roman Empire, or the Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire.

过去到现在都没有相应的国际机构来作为参照,但通常被认为是苏联政治委员,德意志民主共和国(东德)的斯塔西,罗马帝国的禁卫军或者奥斯曼帝国的苏丹亲卫结合体

An artist’s impression of the highly secretive Brocade Clad Guard escorting the Emperor’s prized horses during an Imperial Parade:

艺术家对高度隐秘的锦衣卫在皇家阅兵式上护送皇帝的珍贵马匹的印象:



This was a fact which allowed them to uphold the 276 year long rule of the tyrannical Ming Dynasty of China (1368–1644 AD), unprecedented before in all of Imperial China’s lengthy history, as totalitarian regimes often usually only lasted up to 4 decades at best, for failing to improve the lives of the Chinese people.

这是一个事实,使他们能够坚持专制的中国明朝(公元1368-1644年)长达276年的统治,这在整个中华帝国的漫长历史中都是前所未有的,而极权政权通常最多只能维持40多年,因为他们未能改善中国人民的生活。

Towards the end of the Ming Dynasty, their unlimited power blew up to such unprecedented levels, that even the famous Imperial “Mandarin” Officials had to physically bow down to them, each and every time the two parties would come to meet.

到了明朝末年,他们的权力无限膨胀到前所未有的程度,以至于每次两党会面时,即使是著名的皇室“内臣”也要亲自向他们低头。

Most notably also, was the fact that absolutely no one in Ming China was off limits to the Brocade Clad Guard with regards to political immunity, not even the Emperor’s own family members, nor the Nobility, nor even the Mandarins themselves. The Law most noticeably, could be ignored and even temporarily changed to accommodate the activities and needs of the Jinyiwei, as they slowly hunted down all enemies of the State across all four corners of the nation.

同样值得注意的是,在明代中国,绝对没有人在政治豁免权方面是锦衣卫不敢染指的,即使是皇帝自己的家人,贵族,甚至皇室内臣(太监)本身也是如此。
蓝月亮彩票_[开户赠金]最明显的是,法律可以被忽视,甚至暂时改变,以适应锦衣卫的活动和需求,因为他们在全国四个角落缓慢地追捕国家的所有敌人。

An artist’s impression of several Jinyiwei officers guarding the Emperor’s prized possessions:

艺术家对几个守卫着皇帝珍贵财物的警衣卫军官的印象:



They were feared both at home and abroad by Ming Chinese and non-Chinese alike, as the Guard often conducted international campaigns regarding reconnaissance directly into the heartland of enemy territories, of which the Ming considered to be a serious threat to the national stability of the Celestial Empire.

锦衣卫让海内外的中国人闻风丧胆,如果明朝认为对神圣的帝国(天朝)的稳定构成严重威胁的话,锦衣卫经常就侦察直接进入敌方领土的心脏地带开展国际运动。

They were accountable only to the Emperor himself, and came to be feared by all in Ming China alike. It was by their efforts that the Ming Empire became one of the world’s first noticeable, large scale surveillance and Police State, on a scale seldom seen before until then, regarding the amount of people and land area to which it universally applied to and throughout respectively.

他们只对皇帝本人负责,并受到所有明朝中国人的敬畏。
蓝月亮彩票_[开户赠金]正是在他们的努力下,明朝成为世界上最早的引人注目的大规模监视和警察国家之一,其官员适用的人口和土地面积都是以前罕见的。

The Agents of the Jinyiwei could however be distinguished most of the times easily, as they usually wore a set of brightly coloured Golden embroidered robes, and each member of Jinyiwei meanwhile came attached with both a special distinctive blade, and a badge which allowed them to be identified as one of the members of the Secret Police.

然而,锦衣卫的特工大多数时候都很容易辨认出来,因为他们通常穿着一套色彩鲜艳的金色刺绣长袍,同时每个锦衣卫成员都佩戴着一把特别有特色的刀和一枚徽章,这样他们就可以被识别为秘密警察中的一员。

An example of a Badge belonging to the Brocade-Clad Guard, this one had inscribed on it specifically, the words “Commander of the Jinyiwei, Ma Shun”:

警衣卫卫队徽章的一个例子,该徽章上专门刻有“马顺-警衣卫司令官”一词:



Warning: Slightly long answer dead ahead of 3,600 words, good luck.
Here are the contents for ease of navigation:
Part I: Origins and History of the Brocade-Clad Guard
Part II: Operations, Structure and Rivals of the Embroidered Uniform Guard
Final Summary
Source Utilized

警告:答案略长,超过3600单词,祝您好运。
以下是简化导读的内容:
第一部分:锦衣卫的起源和历史
第二部分:绣花锦衣卫的作战,结构和对手
最终总结
来源利用

Chapter I: Origins and History of the Brocade-Clad Guard
The Jinyiwei initially were formed during the turbulent years of the Chinese Revolution against the Mongol Empire, which at the time ruled over all of China under the infamous Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368 AD).
Territories of the Yuan Dynasty at the time:

第一章:锦衣卫的起源和历史
锦衣卫最初形成于中国反对蒙古帝国的动荡岁月,当时蒙古帝国统治着整个中国,也就是声名狼藉的元朝(公元1279-1368年)。
当时的元朝领土:



The Guard, initially a group of dedicated followers were formed as early as 1360 AD, in order to protect one of the many leaders of an otherwise mutually hostile and non-cooperative revolution: the former peasant and Buddhist Monk; Zhu Yuanzhang.

该卫队最初是一群虔诚的追随者,早在公元1360年就成立了,目的是保护一场原本相互敌对、不合作的革命的众多领导人之一:前农民和僧侣;朱元璋。

As such, Zhu often had many potential enemies at any given time which wanted him dead, most notably his archnemesis, and rival revolutionary Chen Youliang, but otherwise they ranged from soldiers to commanders of the Mongol Regime to other Chinese rebels alike. Thus, the Jinyiwei were formed first and foremostly as bodyguards albeit informally at the time, in order to ensure Zhu’s personal safety for this very reason.

因此,朱在任何时候都有许多潜在的敌人想要杀死他,最著名的是他的死敌,而他的竞争对手是革命者陈有亮,但除此之外,锦衣卫防卫的范围从士兵到蒙古政权的指挥官,再到其他中国叛军。因此,为了确保朱的人身安全,锦衣卫首先成立了,尽管当时是非正式的,但主要是作为保镖。

Even when the Revolution was over however, and all his enemies were either “six feet under”, or unlikely as it may have been in jail, instead of disbanding the Guard, Zhu (now the First Emperor of the Ming Dynasty under the title “Hongwu”) instead officially instituted and incorporated them into the Ming Empire, as an officially sanctioned government organization in 1382 AD.

然而,即使革命结束了,他的所有敌人基本都被埋葬了,不太可能有坐牢的,因此朱(作为大明帝国开国皇帝,年号“洪武”)正式成立,他没有解散锦衣卫,并将其纳入明帝国,作为1382年被官方认可的政府组织。

It was an organization which was only initially 500 members strong, but was then rapidly increased in scale merely 3 years later, to approximately 14,000 inquisitors. All members were however, granted merely limited power early on.

蓝月亮彩票_[开户赠金]这个组织最初只有500名成员,但是仅仅3年后规模迅速增长,监察部队达到了大约14,000人。然而,所有成员在早期都只被授予了有限的权力。

A portrait of Zhu Yuanzhang, Founder and Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty of China:

明代洪武皇帝朱元璋的画像:



Of course, as an intelligent individual, he sensed that no-one would tolerate such a mysterious and unaccountable organization as that of the Brocade-Clad Guard, even if he himself (as an Emperor’s power was not insignificant) was the one to have legalized their activities.

当然,作为一个聪明的人,他意识到没有人会容忍像锦衣卫这样神秘莫测的组织,即使他自己(作为一个皇帝的权力很大)是使他们的活动合法化的人。

As such, the Hongwu Emperor tried to justify his actions to the Imperial Government by insisting that he had formed the Jinyiwei, directly in response to the problems that had plagued China in the past, insisting that they were essentially his solution to what he claimed was an ongoing, and recurring large scale political issue.

蓝月亮彩票_[开户赠金]因此,洪武帝试图向帝国政府证明自己的行为是正当的,他坚持认为自己成立的锦衣卫,解决了过去困扰中国的问题,坚称这些问题基本上是他所说的持续和反复出现的大规模政治问题的解决方案。



Territories of the Ming Dynasty at its peak from 1407–28 AD at 6.5 million km^2:

明朝在公元1407年至公元1428年的鼎盛时期的领土,面积为650万平方千米



By the time it became undeniably clear to even the common people, regarding who the Jinyiwei actually were, the Emperor authorized the Secret Police to expand their operations, and subsequently empowered them such, that they were given the mandated authority, to thus relentlessly hunt down all the enemies of the State officially, but really just all who the Emperor saw or perceived as threats to his reign.

直到平民百姓都清楚地知道锦衣卫到底是谁的时候,皇帝才授权秘密警察扩大行动范围,并随后赋予他们权力,使他们得到授权,从而无情地追捕官方上所有的敌人,但实际上只是皇帝所见或认为对其统治构成威胁的所有敌人。

In response to the Emperor’s commands, the Brocade-Clad Guard established their headquarters West of Tiananmen Square, and upgraded their facilities such that they all now came equipped with interrogation rooms, along with prison cells where political prisoners would be housed, in order to make it a secret of their whereabouts to anyone who would potentially come to their rescue, as they suffered under the routine physical, mental and psychological tortures of the Jinyiwei.

为了响应皇帝的命令,锦衣卫在天安门广场以西设立了司令部,并对其设施进行了升级,现在他们都配备了审讯室,以及关押政治犯的牢房,以便让任何可能来解救他们的人都不知道他们的下落,因为他们经常被锦衣卫进行身体、精神和心理折磨下遭受折磨。

The “Great Hall of the People” in Modern China today (this is exactly where the former Headquarters of the Jinyiwei were located: West of Tiananmen Square):

今天的中国近代“人民大会堂”(这正是锦衣卫的前总部所在地:天安门广场西侧):



Because they were given full autonomy with regards to who they would hunt down, and when and where this was to be done, it should have been expected thus that within the ranks of the Jinyiwei itself, there was always at any given time no short amount of ongoing power abuse, by the highest ranking officials especially of the Brocade-Clad Guard, who went on frequent “power trips”.

因为他们在追捕别人的时候,何时何地都有充分的自主权,所以应该预料到,在锦衣卫内部,尤其是锦衣卫高级别的官员,经常进行“权力旅行”。

Eventually, in the year 1393 AD, even the Emperor Hongwu who had first commissioned such a malevolent and omnipresent organization, became particular unnerved by them such, that he eventually had them disbanded, especially in response to the sudden execution in one particular instance, of 15–40,000 people by the Jinyiwei (depending on sources), who claimed that they had done so only to protect the Emperor, which was most likely not the entire case obxtively.

蓝月亮彩票_[开户赠金]最终,在公元1393年,即使是最初委托这样一个邪恶而无处不在的组织的洪武皇帝,也对他们感到特别不安,以至于他最终解散了他们,特别是为了应付皇帝,锦衣卫(根据来源而定)突然处决了15万—4万人的情况,他们声称这样做只是为了保护皇帝,但实际上徇私舞弊。

But such an act did not last long however, and soon enough once more, they were eventually recommissioned and returned to their former post in Chinese society, by the Third Ming Emperor, Yongle who had come to power illegally at the time by overthrowing his nephew, who was before the second Ming Emperor.
An Imperial Portrait of Emperor Yongle, the man who recommisioned the Jinyiwei Embroidered Uniform Guard:

然而,这样的行为并没有持续很长时间,很快,他们最终再次被明朝第三代皇帝永乐重新恢复,并回到了他们在中国社会的旧地位。永乐当时是通过推翻明朝第二代皇,也就是他的侄子非法上台的。

An Imperial Portrait of Emperor Yongle, the man who recommisioned the Jinyiwei Embroidered Uniform Guard:

永乐皇帝的皇家肖像,他重新启用了锦衣卫刺绣制服的警察(锦衣卫):



With the Jinyiwei now back in operations, and once more officially endorsed by the Emperor, their numbers and base of operations continued to expand. By the time of the Zhengde Emperor of Ming in the earliest years of the 1500s, the Secret Police Force had grown so large that it now numbered at 200,000 agents, far more than enough to secretly manage and manipulate a vast population of what at the time in the early 1500s was approximately (according to rough estimates) 125 million people, creating a large scale Police State essentially.

随着锦衣卫重新投入运营,并再次得到皇帝的正式认可,他们的数量和行动基地不断扩大。
到16世纪初明正德皇帝的时候,秘密警察部队已经发展得如此之大,以至于当时有20万名特工,这远远超过秘密管理和操纵当时在16世纪初约为1.25亿人的庞大人口的能力,实质上创造了一个大规模的警察国家。

It was because of the Jinyiwei, that the Ming Dynasty became one of the world’s first police states, where one had to be careful of one’s actions especially in public, but perhaps even at home lest one of the agents from the infamous Jinyiwei was currently tracking you down, subsequently earning you a spot at their headquarters, subjected to days long if not weeks long physical torture as a consequence, for your poor decision.

正是因为锦衣卫,明朝成为世界上最早的警察国家之一,人们必须对自己的行为保持谨慎,特别是在公共场合,但可能甚至在国内,以免臭名昭著的锦衣卫的特工正在追踪你,随后为你赢得在他们总部的一席之地,结果是你会因为你的糟糕决定而遭受长达数天(如果不是数周)的肉体折磨。

For roughly two and a half centuries the spectre of the Jinyiwei haunted all China, and was finally only forcefully ended at the end of the Ming Dynasty, when all Imperial agents were summoned back to the Capital of Beijing, in order to defend their Emperor to the death, against the incoming rebels forces of Li Zicheng.

在大约两个半世纪的时间里,锦衣卫的幽灵萦绕着整个中国,直到明朝末期才最终被强行终结,当时所有的帝国特工都被召回首都北京,以对抗即将到来的李自成叛军,誓死保卫他们的皇帝。

An artist’s impression of the Jinyiwei tending to the personal horses of the Ming Emperor:

艺术家对锦衣卫照料明朝皇帝私人马的印象:



After all, for all intents and purposes, they were first and foremostly the personal bodyguard of the Emperor, as they were originally intended to be as such (apart from the Imperial Palace Guards), thus even after the Emperor had suicided by hanging himself, rather than flee for their lives, the Jinyiwei all fought heroically down to the last man, finally ridding China of the Ming Police State once and for all.

毕竟,无论出于何种意图和目的,他们首先都是皇帝的贴身侍卫,因为他们最初的目的是这样(皇宫卫士除外),因此,即使在皇帝上吊自杀后,锦衣卫也没有逃避使命,而是都英勇地战死最后一人,最终中国冲明朝开始的警察国家被彻底终结。

Alas, by that time however, such a former concern was no longer the largest threat to the nation, as those familiar with Chinese History will know.

唉,到那时,这种以前的担忧已经不再是对中国最大的威胁,熟悉中国历史的人就会知道。

Up until that point however, the powers of the Jinyiwei over time had consistently declined, as the Empire became more prosperous, and the Emperors themselves either weaker, or more reluctant to actually rule, allowing the Court Eunuchs instead to seize power for themselves, and the Jinyiwei meanwhile relegated to the lowly position of being little more than a glorified bodyguard at home, yet still noticeably feared abroad.

然而,直到那时,随着帝国变得更加繁荣,皇帝们自己要么更虚弱,要么更不愿意实际统治,允许朝廷太监夺取权力,随着时间的推移,锦衣卫的权力一直在下降,同时,锦衣卫也被降到了一个卑微的地位,变得在国内只不过是一个荣耀的保镖,但在国外却仍然明显地令人恐惧。

Part II: Operations, Structure and Rivals of the Embroidered Uniform Guard

第二部分:锦衣卫队的作战,结构和对手



As is extremely clear, the Jinyiwei were not just a well funded, and extremely powerful secret force to be reckoned with, but were also very highly organized indeed.

非常清楚的是,锦衣卫不仅是一支资金雄厚、力量强大的秘密部队,而且组织严密。

The Jinyiwei most noticeably did not just operate at home, but also abroad as well, indirectly protecting the nation also, as of course an invasion especially by the former Mongol Empire would hurt not only China, but the Emperor as well. They did this by serving as the State’s chief and foremost Military Intelligence Agency, and often monitored the movement of foreign armies if they trekked anywhere near the borders of the Ming Empire.

最明显的是,锦衣卫不仅在国内运作,而且在国外也在运作,间接地保护国家,当然,特别是前蒙古帝国的入侵不仅会伤害中国,也会伤害皇帝。他们作为国家的主要和最重要的军事情报机构来执行这项任务,并且经常监视外国军队在明朝边境附近的任何地方的行动。

An artist’s impression of what a Jinyiwei Agent was supposed to look like, with both his distinctive golden robes, and sword present:

一位艺术家对一位锦衣卫经纪人的印象,他穿着独特的金色长袍,手持宝剑:



Supposedly, certain members of the Jinyiwei were even sent in deep cover operations into the heartland of Mongolia, where the agents posed as one of the nomads themselves, in order to directly acquire and relay back home, all information which they interpreted could help the Ming Imperial Army defeat the Mongols, should they invade again, which widespread paranoia would have it at the time was virtually a given.

据说,锦衣卫的某些成员甚至被派往蒙古的心脏地带进行深度卧底行动,在那里特工们自己假扮成游牧民族之一,方便直接获取和传递信息回国,他们解释的所有信息都可以帮助明朝皇帝的军队击败再次入侵的蒙古人,当时存在这种(蒙古入侵)疑虑是肯定的。

However, it was at home rather than abroad that they were the most feared. The mere fact that they existed for the sole purpose which they did, was a thought which scared most individuals of the Ming citizenry straight out of their minds.

然而,最令人畏惧的是国内,而不是国外。他们的存在是为了唯一的目的,这一事实本身就是一种把大多数明代公民吓得魂不附体事情。

The issue is, that the laws of the Empire of Ming applied to everyone, and everywhere within the Ming Empire itself, except for when the Guard required so otherwise. All who committed crimes were to be put on trial first before being sentenced, unless the Guard commanded so otherwise.

问题是,明朝的法律适用于每个人,也适用于明朝本身的任何地方,除非警察另有要求。所有犯罪的人都要先受审,然后再判刑,除非警察另有命令。

The Jinyiwei were special in that they could hunt down anyone whenever, and wherever, and could even skip the entire trial process, and go straight to the punishment stage, in order to extract a confession, or simply to torture for the sake of it. Whenever they were around, one’s legal rights or “due process” was immediately revoked, if they said so.

锦衣卫的特别之处在于,他们可以随时随地追捕任何人,甚至可以跳过整个审判过程,直接进入惩罚阶段,以求招供,或者干脆屈打成招。只要他们在场,一个人的合法权利或“正当程序”就立即被撤销,如果他们这样说的话。

An image below depicting the Late Ming Era Armour adorned by the Jinyiwei (Source: UNIT. Late Ming Imperial Guard 锦衣卫連鐶甲):

下图为锦衣卫所佩戴的晚明盔甲(资料来源:晚明锦衣卫連鐶甲):



Even the Ming Imperial Army itself was not safe however, for the fact remained that each strike force at any given time always came equipped with an agent of the Jinyiwei, who did not fall under the command of the Ming General, and could instead act entirely independently of what was the norm for the Army.

然而,即使是明朝的军队本身也不安全,因为事实是,在任何时候,每一支打击部队都配备了一名锦衣卫特工,这名特工不受明朝将军的指挥,可以完全独立于军队的规范行事。

This was done to ensure absolute compliance with the Emperor’s commands, thus ensuring that whatever needed to be done, was always done (at least in theory), the agents of the Brocade-Clad Guard thus, were also political commissars in this regard, resembling the commissars of the Soviet unx, who would likewise monitor the Soviet Armed Forces for signs of disobedience to the State, or in the case of the Jinyiwei, the Emperor.

这样做是为了确保绝对服从皇帝的命令,从而确保凡是需要做的事情都会贯彻到底(至少在理论上是这样),因此锦衣卫的代表也是这方面的政委,类似于苏联的政委,同样,他也会监督苏联军队是否有不服从国家的迹象,同理,锦衣卫的情况一样。

Fear defined the relationship between all peoples of high and low with respects to the Jinyiwei. They were an omnipotent and seemingly omnipresent force, which could strike at any given time.

所有上下层的人民都因为恐惧而敬重锦衣卫。他们是一支无所不能,似乎无处不在的力量,可以在任何给定的时间发动攻击。



For example, it was directly as a result of the efforts of the Brocade-Clad Guard’s Southern Division, rather than that of Chinese Scientists and Engineers, that much of the Ming Empire’s Missile Technologies were first experimented upon, before subsequently being applied to the relevant areas of the Imperial Army, when they had finished being developed, and were especially supplied thus to those stationed all along the Great Wall of China.

例如,明朝的许多导弹火器技术,直接是由于锦衣卫南镇抚司的努力的结果,而不是来自中国的科学家和工程师的努力。大明帝国的许多导弹技术首先由他们进行了试验,然后应用到帝国军队的相关领域,那时它们已经完成了发展起来的,特别是供应给长城沿线的人。

An image below of the Great Wall of China, which was already manned by 11 armies all across, were subsequently then bolstered in strength when missile technologies developed by the Jinyiwei were further given to them, greatly increasing the fortifications of the Great Wall:

下面是一幅中国长城的图景,当时已经有11个军队在各地驻扎,随后,当锦衣卫开发的导弹技术进一步提供给他们时,长城的力量得到了加强,大大增加了长城的防御工事:



The Jinyiwei did not always remain so powerful either, but more and more were forced to “share” their power at home, with other domestic agencies, most widely known of which were the Eunuch sponsored Intelligence Agencies of the infamous Western and Eastern Bureaus, which acted to counter the efforts of the Brocade-Clad Guard.

锦衣卫也并不总是那么强大,但越来越多的锦衣卫被迫在国内“分享”自己的权力,与其他国内机构,其中最广为人知的是臭名昭著的东西局(东西厂)的宦官赞助的情报机构,这些机构的行动是为了对抗锦衣卫的努力。

This was only made possible because as time went on, the Ming Empire grew more corrupt, the Emperor grew weaker meanwhile, and as a result rose the Eunuch Faction of the Imperial Court.

这之所以成为可能,是因为随着时间的推移,明朝越来越腐败,皇帝也越来越虚弱,从而兴起了朝廷的宦官派系。

In direct contrast to the Embroidered Uniform Guard which was owned by the Emperor, and therefore directly reported to him, the Western and Eastern Bureaus were owned and sponsored by the Court Eunuchs, who during especially the later half of the Ming Empire, became one of the most powerful political factions in the Celestial Empire.

与皇帝所拥有的直接向皇帝汇报的锦衣卫形成鲜明对比的是,东西厂都是由朝廷太监所拥有和赞助的,特别是在明朝后半期,太监成为天朝最强大的政治派别之一。

Their power and wealth became so great, and unstoppable, that it even begun to perhaps equal if not eclipse the Ming Government itself, which was run by the Mandarins. As the Eunuchs did not trust their rivals; the Imperial Government, nor the Prime Minister who lead it, they instead resorted to relying on the Bureaus which they had created, to supply to them an alternative source of information which was “untainted”.

他们的权力和财富变得如此巨大,势不可挡,甚至可能开始与明朝政府平起平坐,明朝政府是由官员管理的。由于太监们不信任他们的竞争对手,帝国政府,也不信任领导它的首相,他们转而依赖他们创建的局(厂),向他们提供另一种“未受污染”的信息来源。



The Jinyiwei were extremely powerful, and highly feared both at home and abroad, and whilst they had no historical equivalent, could often be partly said to be a combination of the Soviet Political Commissar, part Roman Praetorian and also part East German Stasi, acting to monitor the Army, protect the Emperor, and whilst also surveilling and watching out for any dissenters if need be.

锦衣卫势力极其强大,在国内外都非常可怕,虽然他们在历史上没有同类,但也可以部分地说像是苏联政委、罗马总督和东德斯塔西的结合体,他们负责监督军队、保护皇帝,同时,如果需要的话,还要监视和注意任何异议人士。

It was by their efforts perhaps, that the Ming Empire lasted as long as it did; for an unprecedented 276 years, which when viewed from a historical point of view for China at least, was impossible for such a totalitarian regime.

也许正是通过他们的努力,明帝国才得以长久地延续下去;这是史无前例的276年,从历史的角度来看,至少对中国来说,这样一个极权政权是不可能存在这么久的。