The Honourable Lord M′reng, Dr.
MP, MtD, OA
|Died||May 2, 1881 (aged 68)|
c. 3 km south of Tubh Railway Station, Tubh County, Inner Region
|Militia of Mhje′ and Marines|
|Years of service||1855 – 1858, 1863 – 1881|
|Rank||Colonel-in-Chief (1855 – 1858)|
Colonel (1863 – 1870)
Colonel-general (1870 – 1881)
|Commands held||2nd Regiment of Marines |
Captain-general of Marines
|Battles/wars||Battle of Liang-la|
|Awards||Order of Authors (posthumously, 1901)|
Doctor of Mathematics
The Hon. Dr. Trjuk Krjên-magh, Lord M′reng MP, MtD, OA (Shinasthana: 筑柬寞, Dec. 30, 1812 – May 2, 1881) was a Themiclesian mathematician, legislator, civil servant, and military officer. He was born the second son of the Lord of Nrak in 1812 in the Inner Region and was a member of parliament between 1847 and 1854 in Tubh, for the Conservative Party. After entering the administration, he feuded with the Liberals over budget and was dismissed in 1858. He became a doctor of mathematics (MtD) in 1863 for his work on discrete calculus.
Through his connections in the Navy, Trjuk bought the colonelcy in the 2nd Regiment of Marines. He surrendered to the Camians in the Battle of Liang-la but escaped disgrace. He became Captain-general, where he entered another feud with the Admiralty and the future prime minister the Lord of Krungh, and there he remained until his death in 1881.
Trjuk returned to the University of the Pond in 1860 to continue work on discrete calculus. He became a doctor of mathematics from that institution in 1863. He was the second Themiclesian to possess a doctorate in mathematics; not more than ten individuals received this distinction in the 19th century. In 1865, while on military commission, Trjuk arranged for broad publication for his monograph Insular Calculus (mocking his isolation on Liang), which was a success amongst academics in the 1860s and 70s.
Having tried and failed to secure a tenure in the Army Academy, he again appealed to the Ministry of Administration for public office, but his prolonged disagreement with the Lord of Krungh, who was then a leading figure in the Conservative Party, prevented a rapid appointment. Eventually, Krungh told Conservative magnates he planned to "get rid of him" (from the social scene in Kien-k'ang) by arranging his appointment as colonel of the 2nd Regiment of Marines, which was stationed on the Isle of Liang, four days from the Themiclesan coast by steamboat.
On the one hand, Trjuk wanted an appointment urgently, as his residual rank in the civil service would expire without office, but he detested the idea of being on Liang, which the Camians threatened to take by force. Trjuk appeared before other prominent Conservatives and stated, "Even a pauper will reject that colonelcy," while making negative comments of other party leaders in private. As the emerging Conservative leader, the Lord of M'i, wanted to reform the party to place more emphasis on integrity and public spirit, he was not offered a different position. After the appointment, he lingered in Kien-k'ang, unwilling to travel to the island, for several months. The Liberal government found out about his reluctance to travel to his post and ordered him to set sail in 1864, under the threat of cashiering him.
On his first day in office, Trjuk made a serious blunder by accidentally discharging a pistol, killing one of his subordinates. The government sent a government attorney to investigate the homicide, and Trjuk was acquitted only with the House of Lords' intercession. In 1865, Trjuk was named Lord M′reng (顭君) for being in public service for 20 years. ′Jeng, a Liberal MP, snidely asked if Trjuk knew what a gun was, and he replied, "I am glad to say I have never seen a gun before. It is obvious our social spheres have been widely different." Asked what he did during the day, he said he invited himself to lunch and dinner every day on the empty island, because there was nobody to talk to. The MP also discovered a large pile of letters from the Admiralty in a basket for firewood. However, historian A. Gro observes:
It really is not possible that Lord M'reng did not know what a gun was, for he was Marshal of Mg′je′ between 1858 and 1860. One of his duties in ths position is to ascertain the sufficiency of the prefectural arsenal, which would have contained guns. According to regulations then in force, he should have tested randomly-selected guns to ensure the stock was in working order. In fact, we have signed certificates, dated to 1859 and preserved in archive, in which he positively states he observed, in person, that randomly-selected guns in the arsenal were in proper working order, i.e. firing correctly. Accordingly, we must conclude that Lord M'reng told ′Jeng he did not know what a gun was only to demonstrate his contempt for ′Jeng's self-assumed duty to check the quality of his officership by assessing his knowledge of the regiment's principal weapon.
After surrendering to the Camians, the Commons Liberals demanded his immediate dismissal. The Conservative majority in the upper house rejected a proposed measure to dismiss and cashier him. Krungh then arranged to make him Captain-general of Marines, which was technically a promotion, but one that Trjuk did not want. Over the next few years, Trjuk gave up on the thought of obtaining a ministerial office, which became progressively remote as Krungh became the leader of the New Conservative faction that was gaining traction amongst peers.
Trjuk began to table legislation at the House of Commons relating to his portfolio starting in 1871. Ironically, this made him a more popular person in the party. By 1875, Trjuk repealed a number of disliked rules in the Marine Corps, and in 1878, he managed to abolish the hated militia fine, which was a fine levied on marines with the excuse that they fail to participate in five days' drilling at their home towns' militias. Trjuk delivered a memorable speech at the Commons for this reason:
[...] I am by profession a mathematician, but it does not require a mathematician's mind to see that every [solar] year is approximately 365 days and a quarter thereof. For this entire time, marines are employed aboard the Consolidated Fleet and other needy places, not permitted to leave. It seems impossible, to my mind at any rate, that they could have five days outside of the calendar year to discharge their natural and civic duties at militia musters. I would beg this house, on that account, to make a statute excusing them from that duty or the fine that would excuse them from the same...
Trjuk was an open homosexual throughout his public life. While he was against lurid language in public, believing it to be indecent, he fought with Admiral Trat over homosexual intercourse on ships, which the Admiralty was desirous to prevent in the 1870s. He said the prohibition of sex between naval personnel was "unfounded and Liberal". However, recent scholarship suggests Trjuk was not "a shining beacon of traditional morality in an age when Casaterran homophobia was gaining acceptance in Themiclesia", like some previous authors have argued.
Homosexuality had been pathologized by Casaterran medical scholars, sometimes ascribed with moralistic overtones as degeneracy. As Themiclesian law prohibited interference with a crew member on duty, sailors enjoyed an enormous advantage avoiding allegations of minor misbehaviour, and a frequent one was sexual abuse of marines. Under contemporary law, males cannot be victims of rape, which is viewed as a crime against the family; instance of male-on-male rape were prosecuted as misdemeanours. Thus, the banning of homosexuality was not only motivated by Casaterran moralities and then-accepted medical theories, but also by the Admiralty's desire to protect marines against abuse. The Admiralty had proposed a total ban on homosexual intercourse in 1870, but Trjuk refused to propose the same for the Marines.
Homosexual intercourse in Themiclesia historically implied active and passive roles, which is not necessarily reflected in intercourse, but courting. The legal immunity of crew members and naval routines meant marines often had no recourse to prevent unwanted advances, especially when sexual assault may have multiple perpetrators or accessories. After the fact, most chose to stay silent for fear of stigmatization. Thus, while the law forbade a judge from having sex, or even proposing it, with a litigant, for fear of abuse of power, it did not account for the implicit power of a sailor on a ship at sea. Instead, Themiclesian law regarded both sailors and marines as commoners, without a difference in power. This situation has since been corrected, where the ability to coerce is assessed empirically rather than legally.
Trjuk died in 1881, aged 68, to typhoid fever. As a member of the peerage who died during public service, he lay in state at the Court Hall in Kien-k'ang, between May and June 1881. He was unmarried and childless, so his cousin led the hearse from the capital city back to his estate in Tubh, where he was interred. The Inner Administrator and the Magistrate of Tubh were both in attendance at his funeral.
On Jun. 2, 1873, Trjuk was at the Oriental Opera when two marines came in with a message, waving at him from the balcony. Trjuk was too embarrassed to acknowledge them, since they were standing in front of the audience. One ran down the staircase but fell, dying on the spot. The performance stopped, and lights were brought in. The public noticed that Trjuk was in the theatre and called on him to do something. Trjuk opined that nobody else fell to their deaths on that staircase, so it was the marine's own fault for falling and dying. While Trjuk later petitioned Parliament to pay for his funeral at public expense, he also invoiced the marine's family to replace the expensive imported rug at the theatre and to refund the shocked audience that night. This came to a considerable amount that his family could ill-afford. When criticized for his unsympathetic handling of the incident, he said he was merely implementing "Liberal policy".
Snubbing the Master-general
Trjuk personally hated the Master-general of the Ordnance. On Christmas 1877, he invited the Master-general to "his house" for a dinner party, which he held at his quayside house in the New District. Not knowing that Trjuk had a quayside house, the Master-general took a present to his house on address, which was empty. Feeling snubbed, he tossed the present over the garden walls and left. Next month at the Admiralty's graden party, Trjuk made it known that the Master-general had missed his dinner and provoked the latter's indignant response. However, the officers around Trjuk all said that the dinner did occur. Trjuk then asked where exactly the Master-general visited, and to the response a great laughter broke out on the grounds that the Master-general did not know that "fasionable people" had moved the social scene to the New District in 1871. The Master-general stormed out of the party and sued Trjuk for wasting his money on the present, which he conceded on condition that the Master-general would repeat in open court why he had lost the present.
For his achievements in mathematics, he was posthumously inducted into the Order of Authors in 1905.
In 1925, 44 years after his death, the Marine Corps paid for a statue of him at the Naval Academy. The Personal Images Act, abolished that year, prohibited the depiction of peers and gentlemen without their permission, or that of their next of kin after their deaths. His elder brother's son forbade his depiction in uniform that the Marine Corps wanted, since Trjuk himself refused to be in Marines' uniforms, which he claimed was "unfashionable". The abolition of the act allowed the Marines to make a statue of him in uniform; however, because his shape was not in living memory, the statue's body is actually modelled by the sculptor's neighbour.
As the very first doctor of mathematics from that institution, the Mathematics Department of the Army Academy annually presents a box of chalk at the foot of his statue, which is promptly removed by the Marines.
- "Sir, you stench of verdigris." — to the Liberal prime minister in 1851. Themiclesian coins were bronze, and to "stench of verdigris" was to evoke the image of money, especially ill-gotten.
- "Mhje′ Prefecture is made more noble by the absence of a great amount of Liberals in its bosom, and its nonsensical expositions about equality in its mouth."