Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Maci

MACI 馬齊 (d. 1739, age 88 sui), official, was a member of the Fuca clan and belonged to the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner. He was the second son of Misḥan [q. v.] and was an honorary licentiate. In 1669 he was appointed assistant department director in the Board of Works and six years later was transferred to the Board of Revenue. Meanwhile, in 1672, he was made captain of a new company in his own Banner (see under Maska). Promoted in 1682 to a department directorship in the Board of Works, he was sent to Wuhu, Anhwei, as supervisor of Customs. During his term of office the income of the Wuhu customs exceeded the usual amount and Maci was recommended for promotion. Made a reader in the Grand Secretariat in 1684, he was appointed financial commissioner of Shansi in 1685, conceding his captaincy to his younger brother, Li-jung-pao (see under Misḥan). Promoted to the governorship of the same province a year later, he won fame by his able administration. In 1688 he and Yü Ch'êng-lung (q.v. 1638–1700), were sent to try two Hupeh officials, Chang Ch'ien and Tsu Tsê-shên (see Ch'ên T'ing-ching for former, Kao Shih-ch'i for latter), who were accused of corruption. Both were found guilty and many high officials in Peking were exposed as having received bribes from them. This episode enhanced the fame of Maci as an incorruptible and dauntless official and in 1688 he was made president of the Censorate. In the same year an embassy under Songgotu [q. v.] was dispatched to confer with the Russian delegates at Selenginsk, on a boundary dispute. Maci, as one of the embassy, memorialized the throne on the value of having one or two Chinese attached to the party as secretaries to write up the expedition. Although the mission was turned back in Outer Mongolia by Galdan's [q. v.] invasion of that region, the daily happenings, the routes taken, and the distances covered were clearly recorded in Chinese (see under Chang P'êng-ko). As to the embassy of the ensuing year, which concluded the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia, little was said in Chinese accounts and the only journal about it was that kept by P. Gerbillon (see under Songgotu). Maci did not go to Nerchinsk in 1689 but stayed in Peking as head of the Censorate. He succeeded in persuading Emperor Shêng-tsu to order the Board of Colonial Affairs to prepare Chinese as well as Manchu and Mongolian copies of every document. In 1690 he was made a member of the Council of Princes and High Officials; later in the same year he was made acting president; and early in the following year, president of the Board of War.

During the next few years Maci took part in the war preparations against Galdan. For a time he was in Kweihwa directing relief of the Khalkas of Outer Mongolia who had sought shelter after being driven from their own pasturage by Galdan. Maci also conducted a trial of some Mongolian princes found guilty of a secret alliance with the Eleuths. In 1692 he was transferred to the Board of Revenue. Four years later he organized a regiment of Mongols which formed part of the emperor's army in the expedition to Outer Mongolia. In the absence of the emperor, Maci stayed in Peking to help the heir-apparent, Yin-jêng [q. v.], in conducting the government. Later he had charge of the establishment of post-stations along the route from Peking to Ninghsia, Kansu, to provide for the expedition of 1697 (see under Hsüan-yeh and Fiyanggû). During the next few years he was several times sent to inspect River Conservancy works and to conduct the trial of several high officials. Late in 1699 he was made a Grand Secretary.

In 1708 Maci narrowly escaped the death penalty for interference in court politics. In that year Yin-jêng, the heir-apparent, was deprived of his status, and a conference of high officials was called to recommend one of the emperor's other sons. Much to the disgust of the emperor, the conference unanimously recommended Yin-ssŭ [q. v.]. Maci had been warned by the emperor to stay away from the conference, but it is said that he secretly divulged his preference for Yin-ssŭ before the members conferred. Sensing a plot to put Yin-ssŭ on the throne, the emperor took occasion early in the following year, to rebuke Maci for his share in the affair. When Maci showed impatience, and angrily left the court, the emperor was infuriated and ordered the arrest of his entire family, not even sparing Mawu (see under Misḥan) and Li-jung-pao, his brothers. Maci was tried before the emperor for improper conduct and was sentenced to death, but was granted a special pardon. He was delivered to the home of Yin-ssŭ to be there confined under the surveillance of his host, it being a practice of the time to entrust a criminal to a prince and co-plotter—in case the one escaped the other was held responsible. All the members of Maci's family who held offices were discharged. In addition to other posts, Maci was deprived of his captaincy of the company of Russians and their descendants (see under Sabsu) who lived in Peking. This company had had, since 1683, two Russian captains: the Russian who surrendered in 1648 and his son. After the death of the latter Maci was placed in command of this company, perhaps because he was concurrently in charge of dealings with the Russian merchant-caravan which after 1698 had the privilege of trading every two or three years in Peking at a large compound known as the Russian Hostel (俄羅斯館 Ê-lo-ssŭ kuan). Early in 1710 such a Russian caravan arrived in Peking and, because of his familiarity with Russian affairs, Maci was freed and again placed in charge of the caravan trade. In 1712 he was made an acting minister of the Imperial Household, and the two hereditary captaincies held by himself and his brother, Mawu, were restored to them. In 1716 Maci was again made a Grand Secretary and concurrently placed in command of the company of Russians. This captaincy remained in the family for many years (see under Fu-lung-an).

Having assisted Emperor Shih-tsung to ascend the throne (see under Lungkodo), Maci was rewarded with the hereditary rank of Ch'ing-ch'ê tu-yü of the first class and, as he also inherited the rank of baron (see under Misḥan), the combined ranks were changed to an earldom of the second class. In 1725 he was praised for his loyalty and diligence and rewarded with the minor rank of a Ch'i-tu-yü which was inherited by his eleventh son, Fu-liang 富良. Maci retired in 1735 because of old age, and died four years later, receiving the posthumous title Wên-mu 文穆. His twelfth and youngest son, Fu-hsing 富興, succeeded to the earldom of the second class which, however, was taken from him in 1748 and given to Fu-liang. The latter's rank was then raised to earl of the first class to which in 1750 was added the appellation, Tun-hui 敦惠.

Although Maci was repeatedly rewarded by the Manchu Court for his "loyalty", he is referred to in Russian accounts as having been paid 1,000 roubles by the Russian envoy, Savva Lukich-Vladīslavīch (d. 1738), to enable the latter to conclude successfully the Treaty of Kiakhta in 1727. It may be added that the French missionary, Dominique Parrenin 巴多明 (1665–1741), who acted as interpreter, is reported in the same account to have received 100 roubles (see under Tulišen).


[1/293/2a; 3/9/36a; 34/140/9b; 34/2/29a; 34/3/11a; Ho Ch'iu-t'ao [q. v.], Shuo-fang pei-shêng, chüan 47; Cahen, Gaston, Histoire des Relations de la Russie avec la Chine sous Pierre le Grand, pp. 215, and LXI–LXV.]

Fang Chao-ying