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Title: The Awakening of China
Author: Martin, W. A. P. (William Alexander Parsons), 1827-1916
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The Awakening of China

By W. A. P. MARTIN, D.D., LL.D

Formerly President of the Chinese Imperial University

Author of "A Cycle of Cathay," "The Siege
in Peking," "The Lore of Cathay," etc.

[Page v]

China is the theatre of the greatest movement now taking place
on the face of the globe. In comparison with it, the agitation
in Russia shrinks to insignificance; for it is not political, but
social. Its object is not a changed dynasty, nor a revolution in
the form of government; but, with higher aim and deeper motive, it
promises nothing short of the complete renovation of the oldest,
most populous, and most conservative of empires. Is there a people
in either hemisphere that can afford to look on with indifference?

When, some thirty years ago, Japan adopted the outward forms of
Western civilisation, her action was regarded by many as a stage
trick--a sort of travesty employed for a temporary purpose. But
what do they think now, when they see cabinets and chambers of
commerce compelled to reckon with the British of the North Pacific?
The awakening of Japan's huge neighbour promises to yield results
equally startling and on a vastly extended scale.

Political agitation, whether periodic like the tides or unforeseen
like the hurricane, is in general superficial and temporary; but
the social movement in China has its origin in subterranean forces
such as raise continents from the bosom of the deep. To explain
those forces is the object of the present work.

It is the fascination of this grand spectacle that has
[Page vi]
brought me back to China, after a short visit to my native land--and
to this capital, after a sojourn of some years in the central provinces.
Had the people continued to be as inert and immobile as they appeared
to be half a century ago, I might have been tempted to despair
of their future. But when I see them, as they are to-day, united
in a firm resolve to break with the past, and to seek new life
by adopting the essentials of Western civilisation, I feel that
my hopes as to their future are more than half realised; and I
rejoice to help their cause with voice and pen.

Their patriotism may indeed be tinged with hostility to foreigners;
but will it not gain in breadth with growing intelligence, and will
they not come to perceive that their interests are inseparable from
those of the great family into which they are seeking admission?

Every day adds its testimony to the depth and genuineness of the
movement in the direction of reform. Yesterday the autumn
manoeuvres of the grand army came to a close. They have shown
that by the aid of her railways China is able to assemble a body
of trained troops numbering 100,000 men. Not content with this
formidable land force, the Government has ordered the construction
of the nucleus of a navy, to consist of eight armoured cruisers
and two battleships. Five of these and three naval stations are
to be equipped with the wireless telegraph.

Not less significant than this rehabilitation of army and navy is
the fact that a few days ago a number of students, who had completed
their studies at foreign universities, were admitted to the third
degree (or
[Page vii]
D. C. L.) in the scale of literary honours, which means appointment
to some important post in the active mandarinate. If the booming
of cannon at the grand review proclaimed that the age of bows and
arrows is past, does not this other fact announce that, in the
field of education, rhyming and caligraphy have given place to
science and languages? Henceforth thousands of ambitious youth
will flock to the universities of Japan, and growing multitudes
will seek knowledge at its fountain-head beyond the seas.

Still more surprising are the steps taken toward the intellectual
emancipation of woman in China. One of the leading ministers of
education assured me the other day that he was pushing the establishment
of schools for girls. The shaded hemisphere of Chinese life will thus
be brought into the sunshine, and in years to come the education
of Chinese youth will begin at the mother's knee.

The daily deliberations of the Council of State prove that the
reform proposals of the High Commission are not to be consigned to
the limbo of abortions. Tuan Fang, one of the leaders, has just been
appointed to the viceroyalty of Nanking, with _carte blanche_
to carry out his progressive ideas; and the metropolitan viceroy,
Yuan, on taking leave of the Empress Dowager before proceeding to
the manoeuvres, besought her not to listen to reactionary counsels
such as those which had produced the disasters of 1900.

In view of these facts, what wonder that Chinese newspapers are
discussing the question of a national religion? The fires of the
old altars are well-nigh extinct; and, among those who have come
forward to
[Page vii]
advocate the adoption of Christianity as the only faith that meets
the wants of an enlightened people, one of the most prominent is
a priest of Buddha.

May we not look forward with confidence to a time when China shall
be found in the brotherhood of Christian nations?

W. A. P. M.

_Peking, October 30, 1906._

[Page ix]

How varied are the geological formations of different countries,
and what countless ages do they represent! Scarcely less diversified
are the human beings that occupy the surface of the globe, and not
much shorter the period of their evolution. To trace the stages
of their growth and decay, to explain the vicissitudes through
which they have passed, is the office of a philosophic historian.

If the life history of a silkworm, whose threefold existence is
rounded off in a few months, is replete with interest, how much
more interesting is that of societies of men emerging from barbarism
and expanding through thousands of years. Next in interest to the
history of our own branch of the human family is that of the yellow
race confronting us on the opposite shore of the Pacific; even
more fascinating, it may be, owing to the strangeness of manners
and environment, as well as from the contrast or coincidence of
experience and sentiment. So different from ours (the author writes
as an American) are many phases of their social life that one is
tempted to suspect that the same law, which placed their feet opposite
to ours, of necessity turned their heads the other way.

To pursue this study is not to delve in a necropolis like Nineveh
or Babylon; for China is not, like western Asia, the grave of dead
empires, but the home of a people
[Page x]
endowed with inexhaustible vitality. Her present greatness and her
future prospects alike challenge admiration.

If the inhabitants of other worlds could look down on us, as we
look up at the moon, there are only five empires on the globe of
sufficient extent to make a figure on their map: one of these is
China. With more than three times the population of Russia, and an
almost equal area, in natural advantages she is without a rival,
if one excepts the United States. Imagination revels in picturing
her future, when she shall have adopted Christian civilisation,
and when steam and electricity shall have knit together all the
members of her gigantic frame.

It was by the absorption of small states that the Chinese people
grew to greatness. The present work will trace their history as
they emerge, like a rivulet, from the highlands of central Asia
and, increasing in volume, flow, like a stately river, toward the
eastern ocean. Revolutions many and startling are to be recorded:
some, like that in the epoch of the Great Wall, which stamped the
impress of unity upon the entire people; others, like the Manchu
conquest of 1644, by which, in whole or in part, they were brought
under the sway of a foreign dynasty. Finally, contemporary history
will be treated at some length, as its importance demands; and
the transformation now going on in the Empire will be faithfully
depicted in its relations to Western influences in the fields of
religion, commerce and arms.

As no people can be understood or properly studied apart from their
environment, a bird's-eye view of the country is given.

[Page xi]




       I. China Proper
      II. A Journey Through the Provinces--Kwangtung and Kwangsi
     III. Fukien
      IV. Chéhkiang
       V. Kiangsu
      VI. Shantung
     VII. Chihli
    VIII. Honan
      IX. The River Provinces--Hupeh, Hunan, Anhwei, Kiangsi
       X. Provinces of the Upper Yang-tse--Szechuen, Kweichau, Yunnan
      XI. Northwestern Provinces--Shansi, Shensi, Kansuh
     XII. Outlying Territories--Manchuria, Mongolia, Turkestan, Tibet

[Page xii]


    XIII. Origin of the Chinese
     XIV. The Mythical Period
      XV. The Three Dynasties
     XVI. House of Chou
    XVII. The Sages of China
   XVIII. The Warring States
     XIX. House of Ts'in
      XX. House of Han
     XXI. The Three Kingdoms
    XXII. The Tang Dynasty
   XXIII. The Sung Dynasty
    XXIV. The Yuen Dynasty
     XXV. The Ming Dynasty
    XXVI. The Ta-Ts'ing Dynasty



   XXVII. The Opening of China, a Drama in Five Acts--God in
          ACT 1--The Opium War
                  (Note on the Tai-ping Rebellion)
          ACT 2--The "Arrow" War
          ACT 3--War with France
          ACT 4--War with Japan
          ACT 5--The Boxer War
[Page xiii]
  XXVIII. The Russo-Japanese War
    XXIX. Reform in China
     XXX. Viceroy Chang
    XXXI. Anti-foreign Agitation
    XXII. The Manchus, the Normans of China


       I. The Agency of Missionaries in the Diffusion of Secular
          Knowledge in China
      II. Unmentioned Reforms
     III. A New Opium War


[Page 1]


[Page 3]



_Five Grand Divisions--Climate--Area and Population--The Eighteen

The empire consists of five grand divisions: China Proper, Manchuria,
Mongolia, Turkestan, and Tibet. In treating of this huge conglomerate
it will be most convenient to begin with the portion that gives
name and character to the whole.

Of China Proper it may be affirmed that the sun shines nowhere on
an equal area which combines so many of the conditions requisite
for the support of an opulent and prosperous people. Lying between
18° and 49° north latitude, her climate is alike exempt from the
fierce heat of the torrid zone and the killing cold of the frigid
regions. There is not one of her provinces in which wheat, rice,
and cotton, the three staples of food and clothing, may not be
cultivated with more or less success; but in the southern half
wheat gives place to rice, while in the north cotton yields to
silk and hemp. In the south cotton is king and rice is queen of
the fields.

Traversed in every direction by mountain ranges of moderate elevation
whose sides are cultivated in
[Page 4]
terraces to such a height as to present the appearance of hanging
gardens, China possesses fertile valleys in fair proportion, together
with vast plains that compare in extent with those of our American
prairie states. Furrowed by great rivers whose innumerable affluents
supply means of irrigation and transport, her barren tracts are
few and small.

A coast-line of three thousand miles indented with gulfs, bays,
and inlets affords countless harbours for shipping, so that few
countries can compare with her in facilities for ocean commerce.

As to her boundaries, on the east six of her eighteen provinces
bathe their feet in the waters of the Pacific; on the south she
clasps hands with Indo-China and with British Burma; and on the
west the foothills of the Himalayas form a bulwark more secure
than the wall that marks her boundary on the north. Greatest of
the works of man, the Great Wall serves at present no other purpose
than that of a mere geographical expression. Built to protect the
fertile fields of the "Flowery Land" from the incursions of northern
nomads, it may have been useful for some generations; but it can
hardly be pronounced an unqualified success, since China in whole
or in part has passed more than half of the twenty-two subsequent
centuries under the domination of Tartars.

With an area of about 1,500,000 square miles, or one-half that of
Europe, China has a busy population of about four hundred millions;
yet, so far from being exhausted, there can be no doubt that with
improved methods in agriculture, manufactures, mining, and
transportation, she might very
[Page 5]
easily sustain double the present number of her thrifty children.

Within this favoured domain the products of nature and of human industry
vie with each other in extent and variety. A bare enumeration would
read like a page of a gazetteer and possibly make no more impression
than a column of figures. To form an estimate of the marvellous
fecundity of the country and to realise its picturesqueness, one
ought to visit the provinces in succession and spend a year in
the exploration of each. If one is precluded from such leisurely
observation, undoubtedly the next best thing is to see them through
the eyes of those who have travelled in and have made a special
study of those regions.

To more than half of the provinces I can offer myself as a guide.
I spent ten years at Ningpo, and one year at Shanghai, both on the
southern seacoast. At the northern capital I spent forty years;
and I have recently passed three years at Wuchang on the banks
of the Yang-tse Kiang, a special coign of vantage for the study
of central China. While residing in the above-mentioned foci it
was my privilege to visit six other provinces (some of them more
than once), thus gaining a personal acquaintance with ten out of
the eighteen and being enabled to gather valuable information at
first hand.

A glance at the subjoined table (from the report of the China Inland
Mission for 1905) will exhibit the magnitude of the field of
investigation before us. The average province corresponds in extent
to the average state of the American Union; and the whole exceeds
[Page 6]
that portion of the United States which lies east of the Mississippi.

                   CHINA PROPER

                     | SQ. MILES |
  Kwangtung (Canton) |    99,970 |  31,865,000
  Kwangsi            |    77,200 |   5,142,000
  Fukien             |    46,320 |  22,876,000
  Chéhkiang          |    36,670 |  11,580,000
  Kiangsu            |    38,600 |  13,980,000
  Shantung           |    55,970 |  38,248,000
  Chihli             |   115,800 |  20,937,000
  Shansi             |    81,830 |  12,200,000
  Shensi             |    75,270 |   8,450,000
  Kansuh             |   125,450 |  10,385,000
  Honan              |    67,940 |  35,316,000
  Hupeh              |    71,410 |  35,280,000
  Hunan              |    83,380 |  22,170,000
  Nganhwei(Anhwei)   |    54,810 |  23,670,000
  Yünnan             |   146,680 |  12,325,000
  Szechuen           |   218,480 |  68,725,000
  Kiangsi            |    69,480 |  26,532,000
  Kweichau           |    67,160 |   7,650,000
  Totals             | 1,532,420 | 407,331,000

[Page 7]


_Hong Kong--A Trip to Canton--Macao--Scenes on Pearl River--Canton
Christian College--Passion for Gambling--A Typical City--A Chief
Source of Emigration_

Let us take an imaginary journey through the provinces and begin
at Hong Kong, where, in 1850, I began my actual experience of life
in China.

From the deck of the good ship _Lantao_, which had brought me
from Boston around the Cape in one hundred and thirty-four days,
I gazed with admiration on the Gibraltar of the Orient. Before me
was a land-locked harbour in which all the navies of the world
might ride in safety. Around me rose a noble chain of hills, their
slopes adorned with fine residences, their valleys a chessboard
of busy streets, with here and there a British battery perched
on a commanding rock.

Under Chinese rule Hong Kong had been an insignificant fishing
village, in fact a nest of pirates. In 1841 the island was ceded
by China to Great Britain, and the cession was confirmed by the
treaty of Nanking in August, 1842. The transformation effected in
less than a decade had been magical; yet that was only the bloom
[Page 8]
of babyhood, compared with the rich maturity of the, present day.

A daily steamer then sufficed for its trade with Canton; a weekly
packet connected it with Shanghai; and the bulk of its merchandise
was still carried in sailing ships or Chinese junks. How astounding
the progress that has marked the last half-century! The streets that
meandered, as it were, among the valleys, or fringed the water's
edge, now girdle the hills like rows of seats in a huge amphitheatre;
a railway lifts the passenger to the mountain top; and other railways
whirl him from hill to hill along the dizzy height. I Trade, too,
has multiplied twenty fold. In a commercial report for the year
ending June, 1905, it is stated that in amount of tonnage Hong
Kong has become the banner port of the world.

Though politically Hong Kong is not China, more than 212,000 of its
busy population (about 221,000) are Chinese; and it is preëminently
the gate of China. By a wise and liberal policy the British Government
has made it the chief emporium of the Eastern seas.

We now take a trip to Canton and cross a bay studded with islands.
These are clothed with copious verdure, but, like all others on the
China coast, lack the crowning beauty of trees. In passing we get
a glimpse of Macao, a pretty town under the flag of the Portuguese,
the pioneers of Eastern trade. The oldest foreign settlement in China,
it dates from 1544--not quite a half-century after the discovery
of the route to India, an achievement whose fourth centenary was
celebrated in 1898. If it could be ascertained on what
[Page 9]
day some adventurous argonaut pushed the quest of the Golden Fleece
to Farther India, as China was then designated, that exploit might
with equal appropriateness be commemorated also.

The city of Macao stands a monument of Lusitanian enterprise.
Beautifully situated on a projecting spur of an island, it is a
favourite summer resort of foreign residents in the metropolis.
It has a population of about 70,000, mostly Chinese, and contains
two tombs that make it sacred in my eyes; namely, that of Camöens,
author of "The Lusiad" and poet of Gama's voyage, and that of Robert
Morrison, the pioneer of Protestant missions, the centennial of
whose arrival had in 1907 a brilliant celebration.

Entering the Pearl River, a fine stream 500 miles in length, whose
affluents spread like a fan over two provinces, we come to the
viceregal capital, as Canton deserves to be called, though the
viceroy actually resides in another city. The river is alive with
steamboats, large and small, mostly under the British flag; but
native craft of the old style have not yet been put to flight.
Propelled by sail or oar, the latter creep along the shore; and at
Pagoda Anchorage near the city they form a floating town in which
families are born and die without ever having a home on _terra

Big-footed women are seen earning an honest living by plying the
oar, or swinging on the scull-beam with babies strapped on their
backs. One may notice also the so-called "flower-boats," embellished
like the palaces of water fairies. Moored in one locality, they
are a well-known resort of the vicious. In the fields are
[Page 10]
the tillers of the soil wading barefoot and bareheaded in mud and
water, holding plough or harrow drawn by an amphibious creature
called a carabao or water-buffalo, burying by hand in the mire
the roots of young rice plants, or applying as a fertiliser the
ordure and garbage of the city. Such unpoetic toils never could
have inspired the georgic muse of Vergil or Thomson.

The most picturesque structure that strikes the eye as one approaches
the city is a Christian college--showing how times have changed.
In 1850 the foreign quarter was in a suburb near one of the gates.
There I dined with Sir John Bowring at the British Consulate, having
a letter of introduction from his American cousin, Miss Maylin, a
gifted lady of Philadelphia. There, too, I lodged with Dr. Happer,
who by the tireless exertions of many years succeeded in laying
the foundations of that same Christian college. For him it is a
monument more lasting than brass; for China it is only one of many
lighthouses now rising at commanding points on the seacoast and
in the interior.

In passing the Fati, a recreation-ground near the city, a view
is obtained of the amusements of the rich and the profligate. We
see a multitude seated around a cockpit intent on a cock-fight; but
the cocks are quails, not barnyard fowls. Here, too, is a smaller
and more exclusive circle stooping over a pair of crickets engaged
in deadly combat. Insects of other sorts or pugnacious birds are
sometimes substituted; and it might be supposed that the people
must be warlike in their disposition, to enjoy such spectacles.
The fact is, they are fond of fighting by proxy. What attracts them
[Page 11]
most, however, is the chance of winning or losing a wager.

A more intellectual entertainment to be seen in many places is the
solving of historical enigmas. Some ancient celebrity is represented
by an animal in a rhyming couplet; and the man who detects the hero
under this disguise wins a considerable sum. Such is the native
passion for gambling that bets are even made on the result of the
metropolitan examinations, particularly on the province to which will
fall the honour of the first prize, that of the scholar-laureateship.

Officials in all parts and benevolent societies take advantage
of this passion for gambling in opening lotteries to raise funds
for worthy objects--a policy which is unwise if not immoral. It
should not be forgotten, however, that our own forefathers sometimes
had recourse to lotteries to build churches.

The foreign settlement now stands on Shamien, a pretty islet in
the river, in splendid contrast with the squalor of the native
streets. The city wall is not conspicuous, if indeed it is visible
beyond the houses of a crowded suburb. Yet one may be sure that it
is there; for every large town must have a wall for protection,
and the whole empire counts no fewer than 1,553 walled cities.
What an index to the insecurity resulting from an ill-regulated
police! The Chinese are surprised to hear that in all the United
States there is nothing which they would call a city, because the
American cities are destitute of walls.

Canton with its suburbs contains over two million people; it is
therefore the most populous city in the empire. In general the
houses are low, dark, and
[Page 12]
dirty, and the streets are for the most part too narrow for anything
broader than a sedan or a "rickshaw" (jinriksha). Yet in city and
suburbs the eye is dazzled by the richness of the shops, especially
of those dealing in silks and embroideries. In strong contrast with
this luxurious profusion may be seen crowds of beggars displaying
their loathsome sores at the doors of the rich in order to extort
thereby a penny from those who might not be disposed to give from
motives of charity. The narrow streets are thronged with coolies
in quality of beasts of burden, having their loads suspended from
each end of an elastic pole balanced on the shoulder, or carrying
their betters in sedan chairs, two bearers for a commoner, four
for a "swell," and six or eight for a magnate. High officials borne
in these luxurious vehicles are accompanied by lictors on horse or
foot. Bridegrooms and brides are allowed to pose for the nonce as
grandees; and the bridal chair, whose drapery blends the rainbow
and the butterfly, is heralded by a band of music, the blowing of
horns, and the clashing of cymbals. The block and jam thus occasioned
are such as no people except the patient Chinese would tolerate.
They bow to custom and smile at inconvenience. Of horse-cars or
carriages there are none except in new streets. Rickshaws and
wheelbarrows push their way in the narrowest alleys, and compete
with sedans for a share of the passenger traffic.

In those blue hills that hang like clouds on the verge of the horizon
and bear the poetical name of White Cloud, there are gardens that
combine in rich variety the fruits of both the torrid and the temperate
zones. Tea and silk are grown in many other
[Page 13]
parts of China; but here they are produced of a superior quality.

Enterprising and intelligent, the people of this province have
overflowed into the islands of the Pacific from Singapore to Honolulu.
Touching at Java in 1850, I found refreshments at the shop of a
Canton man who showed a manifest superiority to the natives of the
island. Is it not to be regretted that the Chinese are excluded
from the Philippines? Would not the future of that archipelago
be brighter if the shiftless native were replaced by the thrifty

It was in Canton that American trade suffered most from the boycott
of 1905, because there the ill-treatment of Chinese in America was
most deeply felt, the Chinese in California being almost exclusively
from the province of Canton.

The viceroy of Canton has also the province of Kwangsi under his
jurisdiction. Mountainous and thinly peopled, it is regarded by
its associate as a burden, being in an almost chronic state of
rebellion and requiring large armies to keep its turbulent inhabitants
in order.

[Page 14]


_Amoy--Bold Navigators--Foochow--Mountain of Kushan--The Bridge
of Ten Thousand Years_

Following the coast to the north some three hundred miles we come
to Amoy, the first important seaport in the adjacent province of
Fukien. The aspect of the country has undergone a change. Hills
attain the altitude of mountains, and the alluvial plains, so
conspicuous about Canton, become contracted to narrow valleys.

The people, too, are changed in speech and feature. Taller, coarser
in physiognomy, with high cheek-bones and harsh voices, their dialect
is totally unintelligible to people of the neighbouring province.
As an example of the diversity of dialects in China, may be cited
the Chinese word for man. In some parts of Fukien it is _long_;
in Canton, _yan_ or _yin_; at Ningpo, _ning_; and
at Peking, _jin_.

One is left in doubt whether the people or the mountains which
they inhabit were the most prominent factors in determining the
dividing line that separates them from their neighbours on the
south and west. In enterprise and energy they rival the Cantonese.
They are bold navigators; the grand island of Formosa, now ceded
to Japan, was colonised by them; and by
[Page 15]
them also the savage aborigines were driven over to the east coast.
A peculiar sort of black tea is grown on these mountains, and, along
with grass cloth, forms a staple in the trade of Amoy. The harbour
is not wanting in beauty; and a view from one of the hill-tops, from
which hundreds of villages are visible, is highly picturesque.
Of the town of Amoy with its 200,000 people there is not much to
be said except that several missions, British and American, which
opened stations there soon after the first war with Great Britain,
have met with encouraging success. At Swatow, a district in Canton
Province beyond the boundary, the American Baptists have a flourishing

Entering the Formosan Channel we proceed to the mouth of the Min,
a fine river which leads up to Foochow (Fuchau), some thirty miles
inland. We do not stop to explore the Island of Formosa because,
having been ceded to Japan, it no longer forms a part of the Chinese
Empire. From the river the whole province is sometimes described
as "the country of Min"; but its official name is Fukien. This
name does not signify "happily established," as stated in most
books, but is compounded of the names of its two chief cities by
taking the first syllable of each, somewhat as the pioneer settlers
of Arkansas formed the name of the boundary town of Texarkana.
The names of some other provinces of China are formed in the same
way; e.g. Kiangsu, Kansuh, and that of the viceregal district of

Kushan, a mountain on the bank of the river, is famed for its scenery;
and, as with mountains everywhere else in China, it has been made
the seat of a
[Page 16]
Buddhist monastery, with some scores of monks passing their time
not in contemplation, but in idleness.

The city of Foochow is imposing with its fine wall of stone, and
a long stone bridge called Wansuik'iao "the bridge of ten thousand
years." It has a population of about 650,000. To add to its importance
it has a garrison or colony of Manchus who from the date of the
conquest in 1644 have lived apart from the Chinese and have not
diminished in numbers.

The American Board and the Methodist Episcopal Board have large and
prosperous missions at this great centre, and from this base they
have ramified through the surrounding mountains, mostly following
the tributaries of the Min up to their sources. In 1850 I was
entertained at Foochow by the Rev. Dr. C. C. Baldwin, who, I am
glad to say, still lives after the lapse of fifty-five years; but
he is no longer in the mission field.

[Page 17]


_Chusan Archipelago--Putu and Pirates--Queer Fishers and Queer
Boats--Ningpo--A Literary Triumph--Search for a Soul--Chinese
Psychology--Hangchow--The Great Bore_

Chéhkiang, the next province to the north, and the smallest of
the eighteen, is a portion of the highlands mentioned in the last
chapter. It is about as large as Indiana, while some of the provinces
have four or five times that area. There is no apparent reason
why it should have a distinct provincial government save that its
waters flow to the north, or perhaps because the principality of
Yuih (1100 B.C.) had such a boundary, or, again, perhaps because
the language of the people is akin to that of the Great Plain in
which its chief river finds an outlet. How often does a conqueror
sever regions which form a natural unit, merely to provide a
principality for some favourite!

Lying off its coast is the Chusan archipelago, in which two islands
are worthy of notice. The largest, which gives the archipelago
its name, is about half the length of Long Island, N. Y., and is
so called from a fancied resemblance to a junk, it having a high
promontory at either end. It contains eighteen valleys--a division
not connected with the eighteen provinces, but
[Page 18]
perpetuated in a popular rhyme which reflects severely on the morals
of its inhabitants. Shielded by the sea, and near enough to the
land to strike with ease at any point of the neighbouring coast,
the British forces found here a secure camping-ground in their
first war.

To the eastward lies the sacred Isle of Putu, the Iona of the China
coast. With a noble landscape, and so little land as to offer no
temptation to the worldly, it was inevitable that the Buddhists
should fix on it as a natural cloister. For many centuries it has been
famous for its monasteries, some of which are built of timbers taken
from imperial palaces. Formerly the missionaries from neighbouring
seaports found at Putu refuge from the summer heat, but it is now
abandoned, since it afforded no shelter from the petty piracy at
all times so rife in these waters.

In 1855 Mr. (afterward Bishop) Russell and myself were captured by
pirates while on our way to Putu. The most gentlemanly freebooters
I ever heard of, they invited us to share their breakfast on the
deck of our own junk; but they took possession of all our provisions
and our junk too, sending us to our destination in a small boat,
and promising to pay us a friendly visit on the island. One of
them, who had taken my friend's watch, came to the owner to ask him
how to wind it. The Rev. Walter Lowrie, founder of the Presbyterian
Mission at Ningpo, was not so fortunate. Attacked by pirates nearly
on the same spot, he was thrown into the sea and drowned.

Passing these islands we come to the Ningpo River, with Chinhai,
a small city, at its mouth, and Ningpo,
[Page 19]
a great emporium, some twelve miles inland. This curious arrangement,
so different from what one would expect, confronts one in China with
the regularity of a natural law: Canton, Shanghai, Foochow, and
Tientsin, all conform to it. The small city stands at the anchorage
for heavy shipping; but the great city, renouncing this advantage,
is located some distance inland, to be safe from sea-robbers and
foreign foes.

As we ascend the river we are struck with more than one peculiar
mode of taking fish. We see a number of cormorants perched on the
sides of a boat. Now and then a bird dives into the water and comes
up with a fish in its beak. If the fish be a small one, the bird
swallows it as a reward for its services; but a fish of considerable
size is hindered in its descent by a ring around the bird's neck
and becomes the booty of the fisherman. The birds appear to be
well-trained; and their sharp eyes penetrate the depths of the
water. Another novelty in fishing is a contrivance by which fish are
made to catch themselves--not by running into a net or by swallowing
a hook, but by leaping over a white board and falling into a boat.
More strange than all are men who, like the cormorants, dive into
the water and emerge with fish--sometimes with one in either hand.
These fishermen when in the water always have their feet on the
ground and grope along the shore. The first time I saw this method
in practice I ran to the brink of the river to save, as I thought,
the life of a poor man. He no sooner raised his head out of the
water, however, than down it went again; and I was laughed at for
my want of discernment by a crowd of people who shouted _Ko-ng,
Ko-ng_, "he's catching fish."

[Page 20]
The natives have a peculiar mode of propelling a boat. Sitting
in the stern the boatman holds the helm with one hand, while with
the other he grasps a long pipe which he smokes at leisure. Without
mast or sail, he makes speed against wind or current by making
use of his feet to drive the oar. He thus gains the advantage of
weight and of his strong sartorial muscles. These little craft
are the swiftest boats on the river.

At the forks of the river, in a broad plain dotted with villages,
rise the stone walls of Ningpo, six miles in circuit, enclosing
a network of streets better built than those of the majority of
Chinese cities. The foreign settlement is on the north bank of
the main stream; but a few missionaries live within the walls, and
there I passed the first years of my life in China.

Above the walls, conspicuous at a distance, appears the pinnacle
of a lofty pagoda, a structure like most of those bearing the name,
with eight corners and nine stories. Originally designed for the
mere purposes of look-outs, these airy edifices have degenerated
into appliances of superstition to attract good influences and
to ward off evil.

Not only has this section of the province a dialect of its own,
of the mandarin type, but its people possess a finer physique than
those of the south. Taller, with eyes less angular and faces of
faultless symmetry, they are a handsome people, famed alike for
literary talent and for commercial enterprise. During my residence
there the whole city was once thrown into excitement by the news
that one of her sons had won the first prize in prose and verse
in competition, before the emperor, with the assembled scholars
of the empire--an
[Page 21]
an honour comparable to that of poet laureate or of a victor in
the Olympic games. When that distinction falls to a city, it is
believed that, in order to equalise matters, the event is sure
to be followed by three years of dearth. In this instance, the
highest mandarins escorted the wife of the literary athlete to
the top of the wall, where she scattered a few handfuls of rice
to avert the impending famine.

My house was attached to a new church which was surmounted by a
bell-tower. In a place where nothing of the sort had previously
existed, that accessory attracted many visitors even before the bell
was in position to invite them. One day a weeping mother, attended
by an anxious retinue, presented herself and asked permission to
climb the tower, which request of course was not refused.

Uncovering a bundle, she said: "This is my boy's clothing. Yesterday
he was up in the tower and, taking fright at the height of the
building, his little soul forsook his body and he had to go home
without it. He is now delirious with fever. We think the soul is
hovering about in this huge edifice and that it will recognise
these clothes and, taking possession of them, will return home with

When a bird escapes from its cage the Chinese sometimes hang the
cage on the branch of a tree and the bird returns to its house
again. They believe they can capture a fugitive soul in the same
way. Sometimes, too, a man may be seen standing on a housetop at
night waving a lantern and chanting in dismal tones an invitation
to some wandering spirit to return to its abode. Whether in the
case just mentioned the poor
[Page 22]
woman's hopes were fulfilled and whether the _animula vagula
blandula_ returned from its wanderings I never learned, but I
mention the incident as exhibiting another picturesque superstition.

Chinese psychology recognises three souls, viz., the animal, the
spiritual, and the intellectual. The absence of one of the three
does not, therefore, involve immediate death, as does the departure
of the soul in our dual system.

But I tarry too long at my old home. We have practically an empire
still before us, and will, therefore, steer west for Hangchow.

In the thirteenth century this was the residence of an imperial
court; and the provincial capital still retains many signs of imperial
magnificence. The West Lake with its pavilions and its lilies,
a pleasance fit for an emperor; the vast circuit of the city's
walls enclosing hill and vale; and its commanding site on the bank
of a great river at the head of a broad bay--all combine to invest
it with dignity. Well do I recall the day in 1855 when white men
first trod its streets. They were the Rev. Henry Rankin and myself.
Though not permitted by treaty to penetrate even the rind of the
"melon," as the Chinese call their empire, to a distance farther
than admitted of our returning to sleep at home, we nevertheless
broke bounds and set out for the old capital of the Sungs. On the
way we made a halt at the city of Shaohing; and as we were preaching
to a numerous and respectful audience in the public square, a
well-dressed man pressed through the crowd and invited us to do
him the honour of taking tea at his house. His mansion exhibited every
[Page 23]
evidence of affluence; and he, a scholar by profession, aspiring
to the honours of the mandarinate, explained, as he ordered for
us an ample repast, that he would have felt ashamed if scholars
from the West had been allowed to pass through his city without
anyone offering them hospitality. What courtesy! Could Hebrew or
Arab hospitality surpass it?

Two things for which the city of Shaohing is widely celebrated
are (1) a sort of rice wine used throughout the Empire as being
indispensable at mandarin feasts, and (2) clever lawyers who are
deemed indispensable as legal advisers to mandarins. They are the
"Philadelphia lawyers" of China.

As we entered Hangchow the boys shouted _Wo tsei lai liao_,
"the Japanese are coming "--never having seen a European, and having
heard their fathers speak of the Japanese as sea-robbers, a terror
to the Chinese coast. Up to this date, Japan had no treaty with
China, and it had never carried on any sort of regular commerce
with or acknowledged the superiority of China. Before many years
had passed, these youths became accustomed to Western garb and
features; and I never heard that any foreigner suffered insult or
injury at their hands.

In 1860 the Rev. J. L. Nevius, one of my colleagues, took possession
of the place in the name of Christ. He was soon followed by Bishop
Burden, of the English Church Mission, whose apostolic successor,
Bishop Moule, now makes it the seat of his immense diocese.

Another claim to distinction not to be overlooked is that its river
is a trap for whales. Seven or eight years ago a cetaceous monster
was stranded near the
[Page 24]
river's mouth. The Rev. Dr. Judson, president of the Hangchow Mission
College, went to see it and sent me an account of his observations.
He estimated the length of the whale at 100 feet; the tail had been
removed by the natives. To explain the incident it is necessary
to say that, the bay being funnel-shaped, the tides rise to an
extraordinary height. Twice a month, at the full and the change of
the moon, the attractions of sun and moon combine, and the water
rushes in with a roar like that of a tidal wave. The bore of Hangchow
is not surpassed by that of the Hooghly or of the Bay of Fundy.
Vessels are wrecked by it; and even the monsters of the deep are
unable to contend with the fury of its irresistible advance.

[Page 25]


_Nanking--Shanghai--The Yang-tse Kiang--The Yellow River_

Bordering on the sea, traversed by the Grand Canal and the Yang-tse
Kiang, the chief river of the Empire, rich in agriculture, fisheries,
and commerce, Kiangsu is the undisputed queen of the eighteen provinces.
In 1905 it was represented to the throne as too heavy a burden for
one set of officers. The northern section was therefore detached and
erected into a separate province; but before the new government was
organised the Empress Dowager yielded to remonstrances and rescinded
her hasty decree--showing how reluctant she is to contravene the
wishes of her people. What China requires above all things is the
ballot box, by which the people may make their wishes known.

The name of the province is derived from its two chief cities,
Suchow and Nanking. Suchow, the Paris of the Far East, is coupled
with Hangchow in a popular rhyme, which represents the two as paragon

  _"Shang yu t'ien t'ang hia yu Su-Hang."_

  "Su and Hang, so rich and fair,
  May well with Paradise compare."

[Page 26]
The local dialect is so soft and musical that strolling players from
Suchow are much sought for in the adjacent provinces. A well-known
couplet says:

  "I'd rather hear men wrangle in Suchow's dulcet tones
  Than hear that mountain jargon, composed of sighs and groans."

Farther inland, near the banks of the "Great River," stands Nanking,
the old capital of the Ming dynasty. The Manchus, unwilling to
call it a _king_, _i.e._ seat of empire, changed its
name to Kiangning; but the old title survives in spite of official
jealousy. As it will figure prominently in our history we shall
not pause there at present, but proceed to Shanghai, a place which
more than any other controls the destinies of the State.

Formerly an insignificant town of the third order (provincial capitals
and prefectural towns ranking respectively first and second), some
sapient Englishman with an eye to commerce perceived the advantage
of the site; and in the dictation of the terms of peace in 1842 it
was made one of the five ports. It has come to overshadow Canton;
and more than all the other ports it displays to the Chinese the
marvels of Western skill, knowledge, and enterprise.

On a broad estuary near the mouth of the main artery that penetrates
the heart of China, it has become a leading emporium of the world's
commerce. The native city still hides its squalor behind low walls
of brick, but outside the North Gate lies a tract of land known
as the "Foreign Concessions." There a beautiful city styled the
"model settlement" has sprung up like a gorgeous pond-lily from
the muddy,
[Page 27]
paddy-fields. Having spent a year there, I regard it with a sort
of affection as one of my Oriental homes.

Shanghai presents a spectacle rare amongst the seaports of the
world. Its broad streets, well kept and soon to be provided with
electric trolleys, extend for miles along the banks of two rivers,
lined with opulent business houses and luxurious mansions, most of
the latter being surrounded by gardens and embowered in groves
of flowering trees. Nor do these magazines and dwelling-houses
stand merely for taste and opulence. Within the bounds of the
Concessions is the reign of law--not, as elsewhere in China, the
arbitrary will of a magistrate, but the offspring of freedom and
justice. Foreigners live everywhere under the protection of their
own national flags: and within the Concessions. Chinese accused of
crimes are tried by a mixed court which serves as an object-lesson
in justice and humanity. Had one time to peep into a native
_yamên_, one might see bundles of bamboos, large and small,
prepared for the bastinado; one might see, also, thumb-screws,
wooden boots, wooden collars, and other instruments of torture,
some of them intended to make mince-meat of the human body. The
use of these has now been forbidden.[*]

[Footnote *: In another city a farmer having extorted a sum of money
from a tailor living within the Concession, the latter appealed
to the British consul for Justice. The consul, an inexperienced
young man, observing that the case concerned only the Chinese,
referred it to the city magistrate, who instantly ordered the tailor
to receive a hundred blows for having applied to a foreign court.]

In Shanghai there are schools of all grades, some under the foreign
municipal government, others under missionary societies. St. John's
College (U. S.
[Page 28]
Episcopal) and the Anglo-Chinese College (American M. E.) bear the
palm in the line of education so long borne by the Roman Catholics
of Siccawei. Added to these, newspapers foreign and native--the
latter exercising a freedom of opinion impossible beyond the limits
of this city of refuge--the Society for the Diffusion of Christian
Knowledge and other translation bureaux, foreign and native, turning
out books by the thousand with the aid of steam presses, form a
combination of forces to which China is no longer insensible.

Resuming our imaginary voyage we proceed northward, and in the
space of an hour find ourselves at the mouth of the Yang-tse Kiang,
or Ta Kiang, the "Great River," as the Chinese call it. The width
of its embouchure suggests an Asiatic rival of the Amazon and La
Plata. We now see why this part of the ocean is sometimes described
as the Yellow Sea. A river whose volume, it is said, equals that of
two hundred and forty-four such rivulets as Father Thames, pours
into it its muddy waters, making new islands and advancing the
shore far into the domain of Neptune.

Notice on the left those long rows of trees that appear to spring
from the bosom of the river. They are the life-belt of the Island
of Tsungming which six centuries ago rose like the fabled Delos
from the surface of the turbid waters. Accepted as the river's
tribute to the Dragon Throne, it now forms a district of the province
with a population of over half a million. About the same time,
a large tract of land was carried into the sea by the Hwang Ho,
the "Yellow River," which gave rise to the popular proverb, "If
we lose in Tungking we gain in Tsungming."

[Page 29]
The former river comes with its mouth full of pearls; the latter
yawns to engulf the adjacent land. At present, however, the Yellow
River is dry and thirsty, the unruly stream, the opposite of Horace's
_uxorius amnis_, having about forty years ago forsaken its
old bed and rushed away to the Gulf of Pechili (Peh-chihli). This
produced as much consternation as the Mississippi would occasion
if it should plough its way across the state that bears its name
and enter the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile Bay. The same phenomenon
has occurred at long intervals in times past. The wilful stream
has oscillated with something like periodical regularity from side
to side of the Shantung promontory, and sometimes it has flowed
with a divided current, converting that territory into an island.
Now, however, the river seems to have settled itself in its new
channel, entering the gulf at Yang Chia Kow--a place which foreign
sailors describe as "Yankee cow"--and making a portentous alteration
in the geography of the globe.

[Page 30]


_Kiao-Chao--Visit to Confucius's Tomb--Expedition to the Jews
of K'ai-fung-fu--The Grand Canal--Chefoo_

In Shantung the people appear to be much more robust than their
neighbours to the south. Wheat and millet rather than rice are
their staple food. In their orchards apples, pears and peaches take
the place of oranges.

At Kiao-chao (Kiau-Chau) the Germans, who occupied that port in
1897, have built a beautiful town opposite the Island of Tsingtao,
presenting a fine model for imitation, which, however, the Chinese
are not in haste to copy. They have constructed also a railway from
the sea to Tsinan-fu, very nearly bisecting the province. Weihien
is destined to become a railroad centre; and several missionary
societies are erecting colleges there to teach the people truths
that Confucius never knew. More than half a century ago, when a
missionary distributed Christian books in that region, the people
brought them back saying, "We have the works of our Sage, and they
are sufficient for us." Will not the new arts and sciences of the
West convince them that their Sage was not omniscient?

In 1866 I earned the honours of a _hadji_ by visiting the tomb
of Confucius--a magnificent mausoleum surrounded by his descendants
of the seventieth generation,
[Page 31]
one of whom in quality of high priest to China's greatest teacher
enjoys the rank of a hereditary duke.

On that occasion, I had come up from a visit to the Jews in Honan.
Having profited by a winter vacation to make an expedition to
K'ai-fung-fu, I had the intention of pushing on athwart the province
to Hankow. The interior, however, as I learned to my intense
disappointment, was convulsed with rebellion. No cart driver was
willing to venture his neck, his steed, and his vehicle by going
in that direction. I accordingly steered for the Mecca of Shantung,
and, having paid my respects to the memory of China's greatest sage,
struck the Grand Canal and proceeded to Shanghai. From K'ai-fung-fu
I had come by land slowly, painfully, and not without danger. From
Tsi-ning I drifted down with luxurious ease in a well-appointed
house-boat, meditating poetic terms in which to describe the contrast.

The canal deserves the name of "grand" as the wall on the north
deserves the name of "great." Memorials of ancient times, they both
still stand unrivalled by anything the Western world has to show,
if one except the Siberian Railway. The Great Wan is an effete relic
no longer of use; and it appears to be satire on human foresight
that the Grand Canal should have been built by the very people
whom the Great Wall was intended to exclude from China. The canal
is as useful to-day as it was six centuries ago, and remains the
chief glory of the Mongol dynasty.

Kublai having set up his throne in the north, and completed the
conquest of the eighteen provinces, ordered the construction of
this magnificent waterway,
[Page 32]
which extends 800 miles from Peking to Hangchow and connects with
other waterways which put the northern capital in roundabout
communication with provinces of the extreme south. His object was
to tap the rice-fields of Central China and obtain a food supply
which could not be interfered with by those daring sea-robbers,
the redoubtable Japanese, who had destroyed his fleets and rendered
abortive his attempt at conquest. Of the Great Wall, it may be said
that the oppression inseparable from its construction hastened
the overthrow of the house of its builder. The same is probably
true of the Grand Canal. The myriads of unpaid labourers who were
drafted by _corvée_ from among the Chinese people subsequently
enlisted, they or their children, under the revolutionary banner
which expelled the oppressive Mongols.

Another port in this province which we cannot pass without an admiring
glance, is Chefoo (Chifu). On a fine hill rising from the sea wave the
flags of several nations; in the harbour is a cluster of islands; and
above the settlement another noble hill rears its head crowned with
a temple and groves of trees. On its sides and near the seashore are
the residences of missionaries. There I have more than once found
a refuge from the summer heat, under the hospitable roof of Mrs.
Nevius, the widow of my friend Dr. J. L. Nevius, who, after opening
a mission in Hangchow, became one of the pioneers of Shantung. In
Chefoo he planted not only a church, but a fruit garden. To the
Chinese eye this garden was a striking symbol of what his gospel
proposed to effect for the people.

[Page 33]


_Taku--Tientsin--Peking--The Summer Palace--Patachu--Temples
of Heaven, Earth, and Agriculture--Foreign Quarter--The Forbidden
City--King-Han Railway--Paoting-fu_

Crossing the gulf we reach Taku, at the mouth of the Peiho, and,
passing the dismantled forts, ascend the river to Tientsin.

In 1858 I spent two months at Taku and Tientsin in connection with
the tedious negotiations of that year. At the latter place I became
familiar with the dusty road to the treaty temple; and at the former
witnessed the capture of the forts by the combined squadrons of
Great Britain and France. The next year on the same ground I saw
the allied forces repulsed with heavy loss--a defeat avenged by
the capture of Peking in 1860.

In the Boxer War the relief force met with formidable opposition
at Tientsin. The place has, however, risen with new splendour from
its half-ruined condition, and now poses as the principal residence
of the most powerful of the viceroys. Connected by the river with
the seaboard, by the Grand Canal with several provinces to the south,
and by rail with Peking, Hankow and Manchuria, Tientsin commands
the chief lines of
[Page 34]
communication in northern China. In point of trade it ranks as the
third in importance of the treaty ports.

Three hours by rail bring us to the gates of Peking, the northern
capital. Formerly it took another hour to get within the city.
Superstition or suspicion kept the railway station at a distance;
now, however, it is at the Great Central Gate. Unlike Nanking,
Peking has nothing picturesque or commanding in its location. On
the west and north, at a distance of ten to twenty miles, ranges
of blue hills form a feature in the landscape. Within these limits
the eye rests on nothing but flat fields, interspersed with clumps
of trees overshadowing some family cemetery or the grave of some

Between the city and the hills are the Yuen Ming Yuen, the Emperor's
summer palace, burnt in 1860 and still an unsightly ruin, and the
Eho Yuen, the summer residence of the Empress Dowager. Enclosing
two or three pretty hills and near to a lofty range, the latter
occupies a site of rare beauty. It also possesses mountain water
in rich abundance. No fewer than twenty-four springs gush from
the base of one of its hills, feeding a pretty lake and numberless
canals. Partly destroyed in 1860, this palace was for many years as
silent as the halls of Palmyra. I have often wandered through its
neglected grounds. Now, every prominent rock is crowned with pagoda
or pavilion. There are, however, some things which the slave of the
lamp is unable to produce even at the command of an empress--there
are no venerable oaks or tall pines to lend their majesty to the

Patachu, in the adjacent hills, used to be a favourite
[Page 35]
summer resort for the legations and other foreigners before the
seaside became accessible by rail. Its name, signifying the "eight
great places," denotes that number of Buddhist temples, built one
above another in a winding gorge on the hillside. In the highest,
called Pearl Grotto, 1,200 feet above the sea, I have found repose
for many a summer. I am there now (June, 1906), and there I expect
to write the closing chapters of this work. These temples are at my
feet; the great city is in full view. To that shrine the emperors
sometimes made excursions to obtain a distant prospect of the world.
One of them, Kien Lung, somewhat noted as a poet, has left, inscribed
on a rock, a few lines commemorative of his visit:

 "Why have I scaled this dizzy height?
  Why sought this mountain den?
  I tread as on enchanted ground,
  Unlike the abode of men.

 "Beneath my feet my realm I see
  As in a map unrolled,
  Above my head a canopy
  Adorned with clouds of gold."

The capital consists of two parts: the Tartar city, a square of
four miles; and the Chinese city, measuring five miles by three.
They are separated by imposing walls with lofty towers, the outer
wall being twenty-one miles in circuit. At present the subject
people are permitted to mingle freely with their conquerors; but
most of the business is done in the Chinese city. Resembling other
Chinese towns in its unsavoury condition, this section contains two
imperial temples of great sanctity. One of these, the Temple of Heaven,
[Page 36]
has a circular altar of fine white marble with an azure dome in
its centre in imitation of the celestial vault. Here the Emperor
announces his accession, prays for rain, and offers an ox as a burnt
sacrifice at the winter solstice--addressing himself to Shang-ti,
the supreme ruler, "by whom kings reign and princes decree justice."

The Temple of Agriculture, which stands at a short distance from
that just mentioned, was erected in honour of the first man who
cultivated the earth. In Chinese, he has no name, his title, Shin-nung
signifying the "divine husbandman"--a masculine Ceres. Might we not
call the place the Temple of Cain? There the Emperor does honour
to husbandry by ploughing a few furrows at the vernal equinox.
His example no doubt tends to encourage and comfort his toiling

Another temple associated with these is that of Mother Earth, the
personified consort of Heaven; but it is not in this locality.
The eternal fitness of things requires that it should be outside
of the walls and on the north. It has a square altar, because the
earth is supposed to have "four corners." "Heaven is round and
Earth square," is the first line of a school reader for boys. The
Tartar city is laid out with perfect regularity, and its streets
and alleys are all of convenient width.

Passing from the Chinese city through the Great Central Gate we
enter Legation Street, so called because most of the legations
are situated on or near it. Architecturally they make no show,
being of one story, or at most two stories, in height and hidden
[Page 37]
behind high walls. So high and strong are the walls of the British
Legation that in the Boxer War of 1900 it served the whole community
for a fortress, wherein we sustained a siege of eight weeks. A
marble obelisk near the Legation gate commemorates the siege, and
a marble gateway on a neighbouring street marks the spot where
Baron Ketteler was shot. Since that war a foreign quarter has been
marked out, the approaches to which have been partially fortified.
The streets are now greatly improved; ruined buildings have been
repaired; and the general appearance of the old city has been altered
for the better.

Two more walled enclosures have to be passed before we arrive at
the palace. One of them forms a protected barrack or camping-ground
for the palace guards and other officials attendant on the court. The
other is a sacred precinct shielded from vulgar eyes and intrusive
feet, and bears the name "Forbidden City." In the year following the
flight of the court these palaces were guarded by foreign troops,
and were thrown open to foreign visitors.

Marble bridges, balustrades, and stairways bewilder a stranger.
Dragons, phoenixes and other imaginary monsters carved on doorways
and pillars warn him that he is treading on sacred ground. The
ground, though paved with granite, is far from clean; and the
costly carvings within remind one of the saying of an Oriental
monarch, "The spider taketh hold with her hands and is in kings'
houses." None of the buildings has more than one story, but the
throne-rooms and great halls are so lofty as to suggest the dome
of a cathedral. The roofs are all covered with tiles of a
[Page 38]
yellow hue, a colour which even princes are not permitted to use.

Separated from the palace by a moat and a wall is Prospect Hill,
a charming elevation which serves as an imperial garden. On the
fall of the city in 1643 the last of the Mings hanged himself
there--after having stabbed his daughter, like another Virginius,
as a last proof of paternal affection.

From the gate of the Forbidden City to the palace officials high
and low must go on foot, unless His Majesty by special favour confers
the privilege of riding on horseback, a distinction which is always
announced in the _Gazette_ by the statement that His Majesty
has "given a horse" to So-and-So. No trolleys are to be seen in
the streets, and four-wheeled carriages are rare and recent. Carts,
camels, wheel-barrows, and the ubiquitous rickshaw are the means
of transport and locomotion. The canals are open sewers never used
for boats.

Not lacking in barbaric splendour, as regards the convenience of
living this famous capital will not compare with a country village of
the Western world. On the same parallel as Philadelphia, but dryer,
hotter, and colder, the climate is so superb that the city, though
lacking a system of sanitation, has a remarkably low death-rate.
In 1859 I first entered its gates. In 1863 I came here to reside.
More than any other place on earth it has been to me a home; and
here I am not unlikely to close my pilgrimage.

On my first visit, I made use of Byron's lines on Lisbon to express my
impressions of Peking. Though there are now some signs of improvement
in the city
[Page 39]
the quotation can hardly be considered as inapplicable at the present
time. Here it is for the convenience of the next traveller:

 "...Whoso entereth within this town,
  That, sheening far, celestial seems to be,
  Disconsolate will wander up and down,
  'Mid many things unsightly to strange ee:
  For hut and palace show like filthily:
  The dingy denizens are rear'd in dirt;
  Ne personage of high or mean degree
  Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt..."
    (_Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto the First_, st. xvii.)

Returning to the station we face about for the south and take tickets
for Paoting-fu. We are on the first grand trunk railway of this
empire. It might indeed be described as a vertebral column from
which iron roads will ere long be extended laterally on either side,
like ribs, to support and bind together the huge frame. Undertaken
about twelve years ago it has only recently been completed as far
as Hankow, about six hundred miles. The last spike in the bridge
across the Yellow River was driven in August, 1905, and since that
time through trains have been running from the capital to the banks
of the Yang-tse Kiang.

This portion has been constructed by a Belgian syndicate, and their
task has been admirably performed. I wish I could say as much of
the other half (from Hankow to Canton), the contract for which
was given to an American company. After a preliminary survey this
company did no work, but, under pretext of waiting for tranquil
times, watched the fluctuations of the share market. The whole
enterprise was eventually
[Page 40]
taken over by a native company opposed to foreign ownership--at an
advance of 300 per cent. It was a clever deal; but the Americans
sacrificed the credit and the influence of their country, and a
grand opportunity was lost through cupidity and want of patriotism.

This iron highway is destined in the near future to exert a mighty
influence on people and government. It will bring the provinces
together and make them feel their unity. It will also insure that
communication between the north and the south shall not be interrupted
as it might be were it dependent on sea or canal. These advantages
must have been so patent as to overcome an inbred hostility to
development. Instead of being a danger, these railways are bound
to become a source of incalculable strength.

Paoting-fu was the scene of a sad tragedy in 1900, and when avenging
troops appeared on the scene, and saw the charred bones of missionaries
among the ashes of their dwellings, they were bent on destroying
the whole city, but a missionary who served as guide begged them
to spare the place. So grateful were the inhabitants for his kindly
intervention that they bestowed on the mission a large plot of
ground--showing that, however easily wrought up, they were not
altogether destitute of the better feelings of humanity.

Continuing our journey through half a dozen considerable cities,
at one of which, Shunteh-fu, an American mission has recently been
opened, we reach the borders of the province of Honan.

[Page 41]


_A Great Bridge--K'ai-fung-fu--Yellow Jews_

Passing the border city of Weihwei-fu, we find ourselves arrested
by the Hwang Ho--not that we experience any difficulty in reaching
the other bank; but we wish to indulge our curiosity in inspecting
the means of transit. It is a bridge, and such a bridge as has no
parallel on earth. Five miles in length, it is longer than any
other bridge built for the passage of a river. It is not, however,
as has been said, the longest bridge in the world; the elevated
railway of New York is a bridge of much greater length. So are
some of the bridges that carry railways across swamp-lands on the
Pacific Coast. Bridges of that sort, however, are of comparatively
easy construction. They have no rebellious stream or treacherous
quicksands to contend with. Cæsar's bridge over the Rhine was an
achievement worthy to be recorded among the victories of his Gallic
wars; but it was a child's plaything in comparison with the bridge
over the Yellow River. Cæsar's bridge rested on sesquipedalian
beams of solid timber. The Belgian bridge is supported on tubular
piles of steel of sesquipedalian diameter driven by steam or screwed
down into the sand to a depth of fifty feet.

There have been other bridges near this very spot
[Page 42]
with which it might be compared. One of them was called Ta-liang,
the "Great Bridge," and gave name to a city. Another was Pien-liang,
"The Bridge of Pien," one of the names of the present city of
K'ai-fung-fu. That bridge has long since disappeared; but the name
adheres to the city.

What an unstable foundation on which to erect a seat of empire!
Yet the capital has been located in this vicinity more than once
or twice within the last twenty-five centuries. The first occasion
was during the dynasty of Chou (1100 B. c.), when the king, to be
more central, or perhaps dreading the incursions of the Tartars,
forsook his capital in Shensi and followed the stream down almost
to the sea, braving the quicksands and the floods rather than face
those terrible foes. Again, in the Sung period, it was the seat
of government for a century and a half.

The safest refuge for a fugitive court which, once established
there, has no reason to fear attack by sea or river, it is somewhat
strange that in 1900 the Empress Dowager did not direct her steps
toward K'ai-fung-fu, instead of escaping to Si-ngan. Being, however,
herself a Tartar, she might have been expected to act in a way
contrary to precedents set by Chinese dynasties. Obviously, she
chose the latter as a place of refuge because it lay near the borders
of Tartary. It is noteworthy that a loyal governor of Honan at that
very time prepared a palace for her accommodation in K'ai-fung-fu,
and when the court was invited to return to Peking, he implored
her not to risk herself in the northern capital.

Honan is a province rich in agricultural, and probably
[Page 43]
in mineral, resources, but it has no outlet in the way of trade.
What a boon this railway is destined to be, as a channel of
communication with neighbouring provinces!

I crossed the Yellow River in 1866, but there was then no bridge
of any kind. Two-thirds of a mile in width, with a furious current,
the management of the ferry-boat was no easy task. On that occasion
an object which presented stronger attractions than this wonderful
bridge had drawn me to K'ai-fung-fu--a colony of Jews, a fragment
of the Lost Tribes of Israel. As mentioned in a previous chapter, I
had come by land over the very track now followed by the railroad,
but under conditions in strong contrast with the luxuries of a
railway carriage--"Alone, unfriended, solitary, slow," I had made my
way painfully, shifting from horse to cart, and sometimes compelled
by the narrowness of a path to descend to a wheelbarrow. How I
longed for the advent of the iron horse. Now I have with me a jovial
company; and we may enjoy the mental stimulus of an uninterrupted
session of the Oriental Society, while making more distance in
an hour than I then made in a day.

Of the condition of the Jews of K'ai-fung-fu, as I found them,
I have given a detailed account elsewhere.[*] Suffice it to say
here that the so-called colony consisted of about four hundred
persons, belonging to seven families or clans. Undermined by a
flood of the Yellow River, their synagogue had become ruinous,
and, being unable to repair it, they had disposed of its timbers
to relieve the pressure of their dire poverty.
[Page 44]
Nothing remained but the vacant space, marked by a single stone
recording the varying fortunes of these forlorn Israelites. It
avers that their remoter ancestors arrived in China by way of India
in the Han dynasty, before the Christian era, and that the founders
of this particular colony found their way to K'ai-fung-fu in the
T'ang dynasty about 800 A. D. It also gives an outline of their
Holy Faith, showing that, in all their wanderings, they had not
forsaken the God of their fathers. They still possessed some rolls
of the Law, written in Hebrew, on sheepskins, but they no longer
had a rabbi to expound them. They had forgotten the sacred tongue,
and some of them had wandered into the fold of Mohammed, whose
creed resembled their own. Some too had embraced the religion of

[Footnote *: See "Cycle of Cathay." Revell & Co., New York.]

My report was listened to with much interest by the rich Jews of
Shanghai, but not one of them put his hand in his pocket to rebuild
the ruined synagogue; and without that for a rallying-place the
colony must ere long fade away, and be absorbed in the surrounding
heathenism, or be led to embrace Christianity.

I now learn that the Jews of Shanghai have manifested enough interest
to bring a few of their youth to that port for instruction in the
Hebrew language. Also that some of these K'ai-fung-fu Jews are
frequent attendants in Christian chapels, which have now been opened
in that city. To my view, the resuscitation of that ancient colony
would be as much of a miracle as the return from captivity in the
days of Cyrus.

[Page 45]


_Hupeh--Hankow--Hanyang Iron Works--A Centre of Missionary
Activity--Hunan--Kiangsi--Anhwei--Native Province of Li Hung Chang_

By the term "river provinces" are to be understood those provinces
of central and western China which are made accessible to intercourse
and trade by means of the Yang-tse Kiang.

Pursuing our journey, in twelve hours by rail we reach the frontier
of Hupeh. At that point we see above us a fortification perched on
the side of a lofty hill which stands beyond the line. At a height
more than double that of this crenelated wall is a summer resort of
foreigners from Hankow and other parts of the interior. I visited
this place in 1905. In Chinese, the plateau on which it stands is
called, from a projecting rock, the "Rooster's Crest"; shortened
into the more expressive name, the "Roost," it is suggestive of the
repose of summer. It presents a magnificent prospect, extending
over a broad belt of both provinces.

Six hours more and we arrive in Hankow, which is one of three cities
built at the junction of the Han and the Yang-tse, the Tripolis of
China, a tripod of empire, the hub of the universe, as the Chinese
fondly regard it. The other two cities are Wuchang, the capital
[Page 46]
of the viceroyalty, and Hanyang, on the opposite bank of the river.

In Hankow one beholds a Shanghai on a smaller scale, and in the
other two cities the eye is struck by indications of the change
which is coming over the externals of Chinese life.

At Hanyang, which is reached by a bridge, may be seen an extensive
and well-appointed system of iron-works, daily turning out large
quantities of steel rails for the continuation of the railway. It
also produces large quantities of iron ordnance for the contingencies
of war. This is the pet enterprise of the enlightened Viceroy Chang
Chi-tung; but on the other side of the Yang-tse we have cheering
evidence that he has not confined his reforms to transportation and
the army. There, on the south bank, you may see the long walls and
tall chimneys of numerous manufacturing establishments--cotton-mills,
silk filatures, rope-walks, glass-works, tile-works, powder-works--all
designed to introduce the arts of the West, and to wage an industrial
war with the powers of Christendom. There, too, in a pretty house
overlooking the Great River, I spent three years as aid to the viceroy
in educational work. In the heart of China, it was a watch-tower from
which I could look up and down the river and study the condition
of these inland provinces.

This great centre was early preëmpted by the pioneers of missionary
enterprise. Here Griffith John set up the banner of the cross forty
years ago and by indefatigable and not unfruitful labours earned
for himself the name of "the Apostle of Central China."
[Page 47]
In addition he has founded a college for the training of native
preachers. The year 1905 was the jubilee of his arrival in the
empire. Here, too, came David Hill, a saintly man combining the
characters of St. Paul and of John Howard, as one of the pioneers
of the churches of Great Britain. These leaders have been followed
by a host who, if less distinguished, have perhaps accomplished
more for the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. Without the
coöperation of such agencies all reformatory movements like those
initiated by the viceroy must fall short of elevating the people
to the level of Christian civilisation.

The London Mission, the English Wesleyans, and the American
Episcopalians, all have flourishing stations at Wuchang. The Boone
school, under the auspices of the last-named society, is an admirable
institution, and takes rank with the best colleges in China.

At Hankow the China Inland Mission is represented by a superintendent
and a home for missionaries in transit. At that home the Rev. J.
Hudson Taylor, the founder of that great society, whom I call the
Loyola of Protestant missions, spent a few days in 1906; and there
Dr. John and I sat with him for a group of the "Three Senior
Missionaries" in China.

The river provinces may be divided into lower and upper, the
dividing-line being at Ichang near the gorges of the Yang-tse. Hupeh
and Hunan, Kiangsi and Anhwei occupy the lower reach; Szechuen,
Kweichau, and Yünnan, the upper one. The first two form one viceregal
district, with a population exceeding that of any European country
excepting Russia.

[Page 48]
Hupeh signifies "north of the lake"; Hunan, "south of the lake"--the
great lake of Tungting lying between the two. Hupeh has been open to
trade and residence for over forty years; but the sister province
was long hermetically sealed against the footprints of the white
man. Twenty or even ten years ago to venture within its limits
would have cost a European his life. Its capital, Changsha, was
the seat of an anti-foreign propaganda from which issued masses of
foul literature; but the lawless hostility of the people has been
held in check by the judicious firmness of the present viceroy,
and that city is now the seat of numerous mission bodies which
are vying with each other in their efforts to diffuse light and
knowledge. It is also open to commerce as a port of trade.

One of the greatest distinctions of the province is its production
of brave men, one of the bravest of whom was the first Marquis Tseng
who, at the head of a patriotic force from his native province,
recaptured the city of Nanking and put an end to the chaotic government
of the Taiping rebels--a service which has ever since been recognised
by the Chinese Government in conferring the viceroyalty of Nanking
on a native of Hunan.

Lying to the south of the river, is the province of Kiangsi, containing
the Poyang Lake, next in size to the Tungting. Above its entrance
at Kiukiang rises a lone mountain which bears the name of Kuling.
Beautifully situated, and commanding a wide view of lake and river,
its sides are dotted with pretty cottages, erected as summer resorts
for people from all the inland ports. Here may be seen the flags of many
[Page 49]
nations, and here the hard-worked missionary finds rest and recreation,
without idleness; for he finds clubs for the discussion of politics
and philosophy, and libraries which more than supply the absence of
his own. Just opposite the entrance to the lake stands the "Little
Orphan," a vine-clad rock 200 feet in height, with a small temple
on the top. It looks like a fragment torn from the mountain-side
and planted in the bosom of the stream. Fancy fails to picture
the convulsion of which the "Little Orphan" is the monument.

Farther down is the province of Anhwei which takes its name from
its chief two cities, Anking and Weichou. In general resembling
Kiangsi, it has two flourishing ports on the river, Anking, the
capital, and Wuhu. Of the people nothing noteworthy is to be observed,
save that they are unusually turbulent, and their lawless spirit
has not been curbed by any strong hand like that of the viceroy
at Wuchang.[*] The province is distinguished for its production
of great men, of whom Li Hung Chang was one.

[Footnote *: This was written before the Nanchang riot of March,

[Page 50]


_A Perilous Passage--Szechuen--Kweichau, the Poorest Province
in China--Yünnan--Tribes of Aborigines_

Thus far our voyage of exploration, like one of Cook's tours, has
been personally conducted. From this point, however, I must depend
upon the experience of others: the guide himself must seek a guide
to conduct him through the remaining portions of the empire.

We enter the Upper Yang-tse by a long and tortuous passage through
which the "Great River" rushes with a force and a roar like the
cataracts of the Rhine, only on a vastly greater scale. In some
bygone age volcanic forces tore asunder a mountain range, and the
waters of the great stream furrowed out a channel; but the obstructing
rocks, so far from being worn away, remain as permanent obstacles
to steam navigation and are a cause of frequent shipwrecks. Yet,
undeterred by dangers that eclipse Scylla and Charybdis, the laborious
Chinese have for centuries past carried on an immense traffic through
this perilous passage. In making the ascent their junks are drawn
against the current by teams of coolies, tens or hundreds of the
latter being harnessed to the tow-lines of one boat and driven
like a bullock train in South Africa. Slow
[Page 51]
and difficult is the ascent, but swift and perilous the downward

No doubt engineering may succeed in removing some of the obstacles
and in minifying the dangers of this passage. Steam, too, may supply
another mode of traction to take the place of these teams of men.
A still revolution is in prospect, namely a ship canal or railway.
The latter, perhaps, might be made to lift the junks bodily out of
the water and transport them beyond the rapids. Two cities, however,
would suffer somewhat by this change in the mode of navigation,
namely, Ichang at the foot and Chungking at the head of the rapids.
The latter is the chief river port of Szechuen, a province having
four times the average area.

The great province of Szechuen, if it only had the advantages of
a seacoast, would take the lead in importance. As it is, it is
deemed sufficiently important, like Chihli, to have a viceroy of
its own. The name signifies the "four rivers," and the province has
as many ranges of mountains. One of them, the Omeshan, is celebrated
for its beauty and majesty. The mountains give the province a great
variety of climate, and the rivers supply means of transportation
and irrigation. Its people, too, are more uniform in language and
character than those of most other regions. Their language partakes
of the Northern mandarin. Near the end of the Ming dynasty the
whole population is said to have been destroyed in the fratricidal
wars of that sanguinary period. The population accordingly is
comparatively sparse, and the cities are said to present a new and
prosperous aspect. Above Szechuen
[Page 52]
lie the two provinces of Kweichau and Yünnan, forming one viceroyalty
under the name of Yünkwei.

Kweichau has the reputation of being the poorest province in China,
with a very sparse population, nearly one-half of whom are aborigines,
called _shans_, _lolos_, and _miaotzes_.

Yünnan (signifying not "cloudy south," but "south of the cloudy
mountains") is next in area to Szechuen. Its resources are as yet
undeveloped, and it certainly has a great future. Its climate,
if it may be said to have one, is reputed to be unhealthful, and
among its hills are many deep gorges which the Chinese say are
full of _chang chi_, "poisonous gases" which are fatal to men
and animals--like the Grotto del Cane in Italy. But these gorges
and cliffs abound in better things also. They are rich in unexploited
coal measures and they contain also many mines of the purest copper
ore. The river that washes its borders here bears the name of Kinsha,
the river of "golden sands." Some of its rivers have the curious
peculiarity of flowing the reverse way, that is, to the west and
south instead of toward the eastern sea. The Chinese accordingly
call the province "Tiensheng" the country of the "converse streams."

Within the borders of Yünnan there are said to be more than a hundred
tribes of aborigines all more or less akin to those of Kweichau
and Burma, but each under its own separate chief. Some of them
are fine-looking, vigorous people; but the Chinese describe them
as living in a state of utter savagery. Missionaries, however,
have recently begun work for them; and we may hope that, as for
the Karens of
[Page 53]
Burma, a better day will soon dawn on the Yünnan aborigines.

The French, having colonies on the border, are naturally desirous
of exploiting the provinces of this southern belt, and China is
intensely suspicious of encroachment from that quarter.

[Page 54]


_Shansi--Shensi--Earliest Known Home of the Chinese--Kansuh_

Of the three northwestern provinces, the richest is Shansi. More
favoured in climate and soil than the other members of the group, its
population is more dense. Divided from Chihli by a range of hills,
its whole surface is hilly, but not mountainous. The highlands give
variety to its temperature--condensing the moisture and supplying
water for irrigation. The valleys are extremely fertile, and of
them it may be said in the words of Job, "As for the earth, out of
it cometh bread: and underneath it is turned up as it were fire."
Not only do the fields yield fine crops of wheat and millet, but
there are extensive coal measures of excellent quality. Iron ore
also is found in great abundance. Mining enterprises have accordingly
been carried on from ancient times, and they have now, with the
advent of steam, acquired a fresh impetus. It follows, of course,
that the province is prolific of bankers. Shansi bankers monopolise
the business of finance in all the adjacent provinces.

Next on the west comes the province of Shensi, from _shen_, a
"strait or pass" (not _shan_ a "hill"), and _si_, "west."

[Page 55]
Here was the earliest home of the Chinese race of which there is
any record. On the Yellow River, which here forms the boundary of
two provinces, stands the city of Si-ngan where the Chou dynasty
set up its throne in the twelfth century B. C. Since that date
many dynasties have made it the seat of empire. Their palaces have
disappeared; but most of them have left monumental inscriptions
from which a connected history might be extracted. To us the most
interesting monument is a stone, erected about 800 A. D. to commemorate
the introduction of Christianity by some Nestorian missionaries
from western Asia.

The province of Kansuh is comparatively barren. Its boundaries
extend far out into regions peopled by Mongol tribes; and the
neighbourhood of great deserts gives it an arid climate unfavourable
to agriculture. Many of its inhabitants are immigrants from Central
Asia and profess the Mohammedan faith. It is almost surrounded by
the Yellow River, like a picture set in a gilded frame, reminding
one of that river of paradise which "encompasseth the whole land
of Havilah where there is gold." Whether there is gold in Kansuh
we have yet to learn; but no doubt some grains of the precious
metal might be picked up amongst its shifting sands.

[Page 56]


_Manchuria--Mongolia--Turkestan--Tibet, the Roof of the World--Journey
of Huc and Gabet._

Beyond the eastern extremity of the Great Wall, bounded on the
west by Mongolia, on the north by the Amur, on the east by the
Russian seaboard, and on the south by Korea and the Gulf of Pechili,
lies the home of the Manchus--the race now dominant in the Chinese
Empire. China claims it, just as Great Britain claimed Normandy,
because her conquerors came from that region; and now that two
of her neighbours have exhausted themselves in fighting for it,
she will take good care that neither of them shall filch the jewel
from her crown.

That remarkable achievement, the conquest of China by a few thousand
semi-civilised Tartars, is treated in the second part of this work.

Manchuria consists of three regions now denominated provinces,
Shengking, Kairin, and Helungkiang. They are all under one
governor-general whose seat is at Mukden, a city sacred in the
eyes of every Manchu, because there are the tombs of the fathers
of the dynasty.

The native population of Manchuria having been drafted off to garrison
and colonise the conquered
[Page 57]
country, their deserted districts were thrown open to Chinese settlers.
The population of the three provinces is mainly Chinese, and,
assimilated in government to those of China, they are reckoned
as completing the number of twenty-one. Opulent in grain-fields,
forests, and minerals, with every facility for commerce, no part of
the empire has a brighter future. So thinly peopled is its northern
portion that it continues to be a vast hunting-ground which supplies
the Chinese market with sables and tiger-skins besides other peltries.
The tiger-skins are particularly valuable as having longer and
richer fur than those of Bengal.

Of the Manchus as a people, I shall speak later on.[*] Those remaining
in their original habitat are extremely rude and ignorant; yet
even these hitherto neglected regions are now coming under the
enlightening influence of a system of government schools.

[Footnote *: Part II. page 140 and 142; part III, pages 267-280]

Mongolia, the largest division of Tartary, if not of the Empire,
is scarcely better known than the mountain regions of Tibet, a
large portion of its area being covered with deserts as uninviting
and as seldom visited as the African Sahara. One route, however,
has been well trodden by Russian travellers, namely, that lying
between Kiachta and Peking.

In the reign of Kanghi the Russians were granted the privilege of
establishing an ecclesiastical mission to minister to a Cossack
garrison which the Emperor had captured at Albazin trespassing on
his grounds. Like another Nebuchadnezzar, he transplanted them
to the soil of China. He also permitted the Russians
[Page 58]
to bring tribute to the "Son of Heaven" once in ten years. That
implied a right to trade, so that the Russians, like other envoys,
in Chinese phrase "came lean and went away fat." But they were
not allowed to leave the beaten track: they were merchants, not
travellers. Not till the removal of the taboo within the last
half-century have these outlying dependencies been explored by
men like Richthofen and Sven Hedin. Formerly the makers of maps
garnished those unknown regions

  "With caravans for want of towns."

Sooth to say, there are no towns, except Urga, a shrine for pilgrimage,
the residence of a living Buddha, and Kiachta and Kalgan, terminal
points of the caravan route already referred to.

Kiachta is a double town--one-half of it on each side of the
Russo-Chinese boundary--presenting in striking contrast the magnificence
of a Russian city and the poverty and filth of a Tartar encampment.
The whole country is called in Chinese "the land of grass." Its
inhabitants have sheepfolds and cattle ranches, but neither fields
nor houses, unless tents and temporary huts may be so designated.
To this day, nomadic in their habits, they migrate from place to
place with their flocks and herds as the exigencies of water and
pasturage may require.

Lines of demarcation exist for large tracts belonging to a tribe,
but no minor divisions such as individual holdings. The members of
a clan all enjoy their grazing range in common, and hold themselves
ready to fight for the rights of their chieftain. Bloody feuds
lasting for generations, such as would rival those of
[Page 59]
the Scottish clans, are not of infrequent occurrence. Their Manchu
overlord treats these tribal conflicts with sublime indifference,
as he does the village wars in China.

The Mongolian chiefs, or "princes" as they are called, are forty-eight
in number. The "forty-eight princes" is a phrase as familiar to
the Chinese ear as the "eighteen provinces" is to ours. Like the
Manchus they are arranged in groups under eight banners. Some of
them took part in the conquest, but the Manchus are too suspicious
to permit them to do garrison duty in the Middle Kingdom, lest the
memories of Kublai Khan and his glory should be awakened. They
are, however, held liable to military service. Seng Ko Lin Sin
("Sam Collinson" as the British dubbed him), a Lama prince, headed
the northern armies against the Tai-ping rebels and afterwards
suffered defeat at the hands of the British and French before the
gates of Peking.

In the winter the Mongol princes come with their clansmen to revel
in the delights of Cambalu, the city of the great Khan, as they
have continued to call Peking ever since the days of Kublai, whose
magnificence has been celebrated by Marco Polo. Their camping-ground
is the Mongolian Square which is crowded with tabernacles built
of bamboo and covered with felt. In a sort of bazaar may be seen
pyramids of butter and cheese, two commodities that are abominations
to the Chinese of the south, but are much appreciated by Chinese
in Peking as well as by the Manchus. One may see also mountains
of venison perfectly fresh; the frozen carcasses of "yellow sheep"
[Page 60]
(really not sheep, but antelopes); then come wild boars in profusion,
along with badgers, hares, and troops of live dogs--the latter only
needing to be wild to make them edible. This will give some faint
idea of Mongolia's contribution to the luxuries of the metropolis.
Devout Buddhist as he is, the average Mongol deems abstinence from
animal food a degree of sanctity unattainable by him.

Mongols of the common classes are clad in dirty sheepskins. Their
gentry and priesthood dress themselves in the spoils of wolf or
fox--more costly but not more clean. Furs, felt, and woollen fabrics
of the coarsest texture may also be noticed. Raiment of camel's
hair, strapped with a leathern girdle after the manner of John
the Baptist, may be seen any day, and the wearers are not regarded
as objects of commiseration.

Their camel, too, is wonderfully adapted to its habitat. Provided
with two humps, it carries a natural saddle; and, clothed in long
wool, yellow, brown or black, it looks in winter a lordly beast.
Its fleece is never shorn, but is shed in summer. At that season
the poor naked animal is the most pitiable of creatures. In the
absence of railways and carriage roads, it fills the place of the
ship of the desert and performs the heaviest tasks, such as the
transporting of coals and salt. Most docile of slaves, at a word
from its master it kneels down and quietly accepts its burden.

At Peking there is a lamasary where four hundred Mongol monks are
maintained in idleness at the expense of the Emperor. Their manners
are those of highwaymen. They have been known to lay rough
[Page 61]
hands on visitors in order to extort a charitable dole; and, if
rumour may be trusted, their morals are far from exemplary.

My knowledge of the Mongols is derived chiefly from what I have
seen of them in Peking. I have also had a glimpse of their country
at Kalgan, beyond the Great Wall. A few lines from a caravan song
by the Rev. Mark Williams give a picture of a long journey by those
slow coaches:

 "Inching along, we are inching along,
  At the pace of a snail, we are inching along,
  Our horses are hardy, our camels are strong,
  We all shall reach Urga by inching along.

 "The things that are common, all men will despise;
  But these in the desert we most highly prize.
  For water is worth more than huge bags of gold
  And argols than diamonds of value untold."
    --_A Flight for Life_, Pilgrim Press, Boston.

Politically Turkestan is not Mongolia, but Tamerlane, though born
there, was a Mongol. His descendants were the Moguls of India. At
different epochs peoples called Turks and Huns have wandered over
the Mongolian plateau, and Mongols have swept over Turkestan. To
draw a line of demarcation is neither easy nor important. In the
Turkestan of to-day the majority of the people follow the prophet
of Mecca. Russia has absorbed most of the khanates, and has tried
more than once to encroach on portions belonging to China. In one
instance she was foiled and compelled to disgorge by the courage of
Viceroy Chang, a story which I reserve for the sequel. The coveted
region was Ili, and Russia's pretext for crossing the
[Page 62]
boundary was the chronic state of warfare in which the inhabitants

Tibet is the land of the Grand Lama. Is it merely tributary or
is it a portion of the Chinese Empire? This is a question that
has been warmly agitated during the last two years--brought to
the front by Colonel Younghusband's expedition and by a treaty
made in Lhasa. Instead of laying their complaints before the court
of Peking, the Indian Government chose to settle matters on the
spot, ignoring the authority of China. Naturally China has been
provoked to instruct her resident at Lhasa to maintain her rights.

A presumptive claim might be based on the fact, that the Grand Lama
took refuge at Urga, where he remained until the Empress Dowager
ordered him to return to his abandoned post. China has always had
a representative at his court; but his function would appear to
be that of a political spy rather than an overseer, governor, or
even adviser. Chinese influence in Tibet is nearly _nil_.
For China to assert authority by interference and to make herself
responsible for Tibet's shortcomings would be a questionable policy,
against which two wars ought to be a sufficient warning. She was
involved with France by her interference in Tongking and with Japan
by interference in Korea. Too much intermeddling in Tibet might
easily embroil her with Great Britain.

In one sense the Buddhist pope may justly claim to be the highest of
earthly potentates. No other sits on a throne at an equal elevation
above the level of the sea. Like Melchizedeck, he is without father
or mother--each occupant of the throne being a fresh
[Page 63]
incarnation of Buddha. The signs of Buddhaship are known only to
the initiated; but they are supposed to consist in the recognition
of places, persons, and apparel. These lamas never die of old age.

While in other parts of the Empire polygamy prevails for those
who can afford it, in Tibet polyandry crops up. Which is the more
offensive to good morals we need not decide; but is it not evident
that Confucianism shows its weakness on one side as Buddhism does
on the other? A people that tolerates either or both hardly deserves
to be regarded as civilised.

The Chinese call Tibet the "roof of the world," and most of it is
as barren as the roof of a house. Still the roof, though producing
nothing, collects water to irrigate a garden. Tibet is the mother
of great rivers, and she feeds them from her eternal snows. On her
highlands is a lake or cluster of lakes which the Chinese describe
as _Sing Su Hai_, the "sea of stars." From this the Yellow
River takes its rise and perhaps the Yang-tse Kiang. A Chinese
legend says that Chang Chien poled a raft up to the source of the
Yellow River and found himself in the Milky Way, _Tienho_,
the "River of Heaven."

Fifty years ago two intrepid French missionaries, Huc and Gabet,
made their way to Lhasa, but they were not allowed to remain there.
The Chinese residents made them prisoners, under pretext of giving
them protection, and sent them to the seacoast through the heart
of the empire. They were thus enabled to see the vast interior
at a time when it was barred alike to traveller and missionary.
Of this adventurous
[Page 64]
journey Huc's published "Travels" is the immortal monument.

We have thus gone over China and glanced at most of her outlying
dependencies. The further exploration of Tibet we may postpone
until she has made good her claims to dominion in that mountain
region. The vastness of the Chinese Empire and the immensity of
its population awaken in the mind a multitude of questions to which
nothing but history can give an adequate reply. We come therefore
to the oracle whose responses may perhaps be less dubious than
those of Delphi.

[Page 65]


[Page 67]


_Parent Stock a Migratory People--They Invade China from the
Northwest and Colonise the Banks of the Yellow River and of the
Han--Their Conflicts with the Aborigines--Native Tribes Absorbed
by Conquerors_

That the parent stock in which the Chinese nation had its origin
was a small migratory people, like the tribes of Israel, and that
they entered the land of promise from the northwest is tolerably
certain; but to trace their previous wanderings back to Shinar,
India, or Persia would be a waste of time, as the necessary data
are lacking. Even within their appointed domain the accounts of
their early history are too obscure to be accepted as to any extent

They appear to have begun their career of conquest by colonising
the banks of the Yellow River and those of the Han. By slow stages
they moved eastward to the central plain and southward to the Yang-tse
Kiang. At that early epoch, between 3000 and 2000 B. C., they found the
country already occupied by various wild tribes whom they considered
as savages. In their early traditions they describe these tribes
respectively by four words: those of the south are called _Man_
(a word with the silk radical); those on the east, _Yi_ (with
[Page 68]
the bow radical); those on the north, _Tih_ (represented by
a dog and fire); and those on the west, _Jung_ ("war-like,
fierce," the symbol for their ideograph being a spear). Each of
these names points to something distinctive. Some of these tribes
were, perhaps, spinners of silk; some, hunters; and all of them,
formidable enemies.

The earliest book of history opens with conflicts with aborigines.
There can be no question that the slow progress made by the invaders
in following the course of those streams on which the most ancient
capitals of the Chinese were subsequently located was owing to the
necessity of fighting their way. Shun, the second sovereign of
whose reign there is record (2200 B. c.), is said to have waged
war with San Miao, three tribes of _miaotze_ or aborigines,
a term still applied to the independent tribes of the southwest.
Beaten in the field, or at least suffering a temporary check, he
betook himself to the rites of religion, making offerings and praying
to Shang-ti, the supreme ruler. "After forty days," it is stated,
"the natives submitted."

In the absence of any explanation it may be concluded that during
the suspension of hostilities negotiations were proceeding which
resulted not in the destruction of the natives, but in their
incorporation with their more civilised neighbours. This first
recorded amalgamation of the kind was doubtless an instance of
a process of growth that continued for many centuries, resulting
in the absorption of all the native tribes on the north of the
Yang-tse and of most of those on the south. The expanding state
was eventually composed of a vast body of natives who submitted
[Page 69]
to their civilised conquerors, much as the people of Mexico and
Peru consented to be ruled by a handful of Spaniards.[*]

[Footnote *: To this day, the bulk of the people in those countries
show but small traces of Spanish blood. Juarez, the famous dictator,
was a pure Indian.]

As late as the Christian era any authentic account of permanent
conquests in China to the south of the "Great River" is still wanting,
though warlike expeditions in that direction were not infrequent. The
people of the northern provinces called themselves _Han-jin_,
"men of Han" or "sons of Han," while those of the south styled
themselves _T'ang-jin_, "men of T'ang." Does not this indicate
that, while the former were moulded into unity by the great dynasty
which took its name from the river Han (206 B. c.), the latter
did not become Chinese until the brilliant period of the T'angs,
nearly a thousand years later? Further confirmation need not be
adduced to show that the empire of the Far East contemporary with,
and superior in civilisation to, ancient Rome, embraced less than
the eighteen provinces of China Proper. Of the nine districts into
which it was divided by Ta-yü, 2100 B. C. not one was south of
the "Great River."

[Page 70]


_Account of Creation--P'an-ku, the Ancient Founder--The Three
Sovereigns--The Five Rulers, the Beginnings of Human Civilisation--The
Golden Age--Yau, the Unselfish Monarch--Shun, the Paragon of Domestic
Virtues--Story of Ta-yü--Rise of Hereditary Monarchy_

Unlike the Greeks and Hindoos, the Chinese are deficient in the sort
of imagination that breeds a poetical mythology. They are not, however,
wanting in that pride of race which is prone to lay claim to the past
as well as to the future. They have accordingly constructed, not a
mythology, but a fictitious history which begins with the creation of
the world.

How men and animals were made they do not say; but they assert that
heaven and earth were united in a state of chaos until a divine man,
whom they call P'an-ku, the "ancient founder," rent them asunder.
Pictures show him wielding his sledge-hammer and disengaging sun
and moon from overlying hills--a grotesque conception in strong
contrast with the simple and sublime statement, "God said, 'Let
there be light' and there was light." P'an-ku was followed by a
divine being named Nü-wa, in regard to whom it
[Page 71]
is doubtful whether to speak in the feminine or in the masculine
gender. Designated queen more frequently than king, it is said
of her that, a portion of the sky having fallen down (probably
owing to the defective work of her predecessor), she rebuilt it
with precious stones of many colours. _Lien shih pu tien_,
"to patch the sky with precious stones," is a set phrase by which
the Chinese indicate that which is fabulous and absurd.

Instead of filling the long interval between the creation of the
world and the birth of history with gods and fairies, the Chinese
cover that period by three sovereigns whom they call after their
favourite triad, heaven, earth, and man, giving them the respective
titles Tién-hwang, Ti-hwang, and Jin-hwang. Each of these reigned
eighteen thousand years; but what they reigned over is not apparent.
At all events they seem to have contributed little to the comfort
of their people; for at the close of that long period the wretched
inhabitants of the empire--the only country then known to exist
on earth--had no houses, no clothes, no laws, and no letters.

Now come five personages who, in accordance with Chinese historical
propriety, are likewise invested with imperial dignity and are
called Wu-ti, "the five rulers." Collectively they represent the
first appearance of the useful arts, the rude beginnings of human
civilisation. One of these rulers, noticing that birds constructed
nests, taught his people to build huts, from which he is called the
"nest builder." Another was the Prometheus of his day and obtained
fire, not, however, by stealing it from the sun, but by
[Page 72]
honestly working for it with two pieces of wood which he rubbed
together. The third of these rulers, named Fuhi, appears to have been
the teacher of his people in the art of rearing domestic animals;
in other words, the initiator of pastoral life, and possibly the
originator of sacrificial offerings. The fourth in order introduced
husbandry. As has been stated in a previous chapter (see page 36),
he has no name except Shin-nung, "divine husbandman"; and under
that title he continues to be worshipped at the present day as
the Ceres of China. The Emperor every spring repairs to his temple
to plough a few furrows by way of encouragement to his people. The
last of the five personages is called the "yellow ruler," whether
from the colour of his robes, or as ruler of the yellow race, is
left in doubt. He is credited with the invention of letters and
the cycle of sixty years, the foundation of Chinese chronology
(2700 B. C.).

Unlike the long twilight which precedes the dawn in high latitudes,
the semi-mythical age was brief, covering no more than two reigns,
those of Yao and Shun. Confucius regarded these as included in
the "five rulers." To make room for them, he omits the first two;
and he seldom refers to the others, but appears to accept them as
real personages. He is no critic; but he has shown good sense in
drawing the line no further back. He has made the epoch of these
last a golden age (2356-2206) which is not the creation of a poet,
but the conception of a philosopher who wished to have an open space
on which to build up his political theories. He found, moreover,
in these primitive times some features by which he was
[Page 73]
greatly fascinated. The simplicity and freedom which appeared to
prevail in those far-off days were to him very attractive.

It is related that Yao, the type of an unselfish monarch, while
on a tour of inspection in the disguise of a peasant, heard an
old man singing this song to the notes of his guitar:

 "I plough my ground and eat my own bread,
  I dig my well and drink my own water:
  What use have I for king or court?"

Yao returned to his palace, rejoicing that the state of his country
was such that his people were able to forget him.

Another feature which the Chinese hold up in bold relief is the fact
that in those days the occupancy of the throne was not hereditary.
Yao is said to have reigned a hundred years. When he was growing old
he saw with grief that his son showed no signs of being a worthy
successor. Setting him aside, therefore, he asked his ministers
to recommend someone as his heir. They all agreed in nominating
Shun. "What are his merits?" asked the King. "Filial piety and
fraternal kindness," they replied. "By these virtues he has wrought
a reform in a family noted for perverseness." The King desiring
to know the facts, they related the following story:

"Shun's father is an ill-natured, blind man. He has a cruel stepmother
and a selfish, petulant younger brother. This boy, the pet of his
parents, treated Shun with insolence; and the father and mother
joined in persecuting the elder son. Shun, without showing resentment,
cried aloud to Heaven and obtained
[Page 74]
patience to bear their harshness. By duty and affection he has won
the hearts of all three." "Bring him before me," said the King; "I
have yet another trial by which to test his virtues." Yao made him
his son-in-law, giving him his two daughters at once. He wished to
see whether the good son and brother would also be a good husband and
father--an example for his people in all their domestic relations.
Shun accepted the test with becoming resignation and comported
himself to the satisfaction of the old king, who raised him to the
throne. After a reign of fifty years, partly as Yao's associate,
Shun followed the example of his father-in-law. Passing by his
own son, he left the throne to Ta-yü or Yü, a man who had been
subjected to trials far more serious than that of having to live
in the same house with a pair of pretty princesses.

A question discussed in the school of Mencius, many centuries later,
may be cited here for the light it throws on the use made by Chinese
schoolmen of the examples of this period. "Suppose," said one of
his students, "that Shun's father had killed a man, would Shun,
being king, have allowed him to be condemned?" "No," replied the
master; "he would have renounced the throne and, taking his father
on his shoulders, he would have fled away to the seaside, rejoicing
in the consciousness of having performed the duty of a filial son."
Shun continues to be cited as the paragon of domestic virtues,
occupying the first place in a list of twenty-four who are noted
for filial piety.

The trial by which the virtues of Ta-yü were proved
[Page 75]
was an extraordinary feat of engineering--nothing less than the
subduing of the waters of a deluge. "The waters," said the King,
"embosom the high hills and insolently menace heaven itself. Who
will find us a man to take them in hand and keep them in place?"
His ministers recommended one Kun. Kun failed to accomplish the
task, and Shun, who in this case hardly serves for the model of a
just ruler, put him to death. Then the task was imposed on Ta-yü, the
son of the man who had been executed. After nine years of incredible
hardships he brought the work to a successful termination. During this
time he extended his care to the rivers of more than one province,
dredging, ditching, and diking. Three times he passed his own door
and, though he heard the cries of his infant son, he did not once
enter his house. The son of a criminal who had suffered death,
a throne was the meed of his diligence and ability.

A temple in Hanyang, at the confluence of two rivers, commemorates
Ta-yü's exploit, which certainly throws the labours of Hercules
completely into the shade. On the opposite side of the river stands
a pillar, inscribed in antique hieroglyphics, which professes to
record this great achievement. It is a copy of one which stands
on Mount Hang; and the characters, in the tadpole style, are so
ancient that doubts as to their actual meaning exist among scholars
of the present day. Each letter is accordingly accompanied by its
equivalent in modern Chinese. The stone purports to have been erected
by Ta-yü himself--good ground for suspicion--but it has been
[Page 76]
proved to be a fabrication of a later age, though still very ancient.[*]

[Footnote *: Dr. Hänisch of Berlin has taken great pains to expose
the imposture.]

In the two preceding reigns the sovereign had always consulted
the public good rather than family interest--a form of monarchy
which the Chinese call elective, but which has never been followed,
save that the Emperor exercises the right of choice among his sons
irrespective of primogeniture. The man who bears the odium of having
departed from the unselfish policy of Yao and Shun is this same
Ta-yü. He left the throne to his son and, as the Chinese say, "made
of the empire a family estate."

This narrative comes from the _Shu-King_ or "Book of History,"
the most venerated of the Five Classics edited by Confucius; but
the reader will readily perceive that it is no more historical
than the stories of Codrus or Numa Pompilius.

In the reign of Yao we have an account of astronomical observations
made with a view to fixing the length of the year. The King tells
one man to go to the east and another to the west, to observe the
culmination and transit of certain stars. As a result he says they
will find that the year consists of 366 days, a close approximation
for that epoch. The absurdity of this style, which attributes
omniscience to the prince and leaves to his agents nothing but
the task of verification, should not be allowed to detract from
the credit due to their observations. The result arrived at was
about the same as that reached by the Babylonians at the same date
(2356 B. c.)

Other rulers who are credited with great inventions
[Page 77]
probably made them in the same way. Whether under Fuhi or Hwang-ti,
Ts'ang-kié is recognised as the Cadmus of China, the author of its
written characters; and Tanao, a minister of Hwang-ti, is admitted
to be the author of the cycle of sixty. Both of those emperors
may be imagined as calling up their ministers and saying to one,
"Go and invent the art of writing," and to the other, "Work out
a system of chronology."

In the same way, the inception of the culture of the silkworm and the
discovery of the magnetic needle are attributed to the predecessors
of Yao, probably on the principle that treasure-trove was the property
of the King and that if no claimant for the honour could be found
it must be attributed to some ancient monarch. The production of
silk, as woman's work, they profess to assign to the consort of one
of those worthies--a thing improbable if not impossible, her place
of residence being in the north of China. Their picture-writing tells
a different tale. Their word for a southern barbarian, compounded of
"silk" and "worm," points to the south as the source of that useful
industry, much as our word "silk," derived from _sericum_,
points to China as its origin.

[Page 78]


_The House of Hia--Ta-yu's Consideration for His Subjects--Kié's
Excesses--The House of Shang--Shang-tang, the Founder, Offers Himself
as a Sacrificial Victim, and Brings Rain--Chou-sin Sets Fire to
His Own Palace and Perishes in the Flames--The House of Chou_

The Hia, Shang and Chou dynasties together extend over the twenty-two
centuries preceding the Christian Era. The first occupies 440 years;
the second, 644; and the last, in the midst of turmoil and anarchy,
drags out a miserable existence of 874 years. They are grouped
together as the San Tai or San Wang, "the Three Houses of Kings,"
because that title was employed by the founder of each. Some of
their successors were called _Ti_; but _Hwang-ti_, the
term for "emperor" now in use, was never employed until it was
assumed by the builder of the Great Wall on the overthrow of the
feudal states and the consolidation of the empire, 240 B. C.

  THE HOUSE OF HIA, 2205-1766 B. C.
  (17 kings, 2 usurpers)

Unlike most founders of royal houses, who come to the throne through
a deluge of blood, Ta-yü, as has been shown in the last chapter,
climbed to that eminence
[Page 79]
through a deluge of water. Like Noah, the hero of an earlier deluge,
he seems to have indulged, for once at least, too freely in the use
of wine. A chapter in the "Book of History," entitled "A Warning
Against Wine," informs us that one Yiti having made wine presented
it to his prince. Ta-yü was delighted with it, but discontinued its
use, saying that in time to come kings would lose their thrones
through a fondness for the beverage. In China "wine" is a common
name for all intoxicating drinks. That referred to in this passage
was doubtless a distillation from rice or millet.

In the discharge of his public duties Ta-yü showed himself no less
diligent than in contending with the waters. He hung at his door a
bell which the poorest of his subjects might ring and thus obtain
immediate attention. It is said that when taking a bath, if he heard
the bell he sometimes rushed out without adjusting his raiment
and that while partaking of a meal, if the bell rang he did not
allow himself time to swallow his rice.

Prior to laying down his toilsome dignity Ta-yü caused to be cast
nine brazen tripods, each bearing an outline map or a description
of one of the provinces of the empire. In later ages these were
deemed preeminently the patent of imperial power. On one occasion a
feudal prince asked the question, "How heavy are these tripods?" A
minister of state, suspecting an intention to remove them and usurp
the power, replied in a long speech, proving the divine commission
of his master, and asked in conclusion, "Why then should you inquire
the weight of these tripods?"

[Page 80]
Of the subsequent reigns nothing worth repetition is recorded except
the fall of the dynasty. This, however, is due more to the meagreness
of the language of that day than to the insignificance of the seventeen
kings. Is it not probable that they were occupied in making good
their claim to the nine provinces emblazoned on the tripods?

Kié, the last king, is said to have fallen under the fascination
of a beautiful woman and to have spent his time in undignified
carousals. He built a mountain of flesh and filled a tank with
wine, and to amuse her he caused 3,000 of his courtiers to go on
all fours and drink from the tank like so many cows.

  THE SHANG DYNASTY, 1766-1122 B. C.
  (28 kings)

The founder of this dynasty was Shang-tang, or Cheng-tang, who to
great valour added the virtues of humanity and justice. Pitying
the oppressions of the people, he came to them as a deliverer;
and the frivolous tyrant was compelled to retire into obscurity.
A more remarkable exhibition of public spirit was the offering
of himself as a victim to propitiate the wrath of Heaven. In a
prolonged famine, his prayers having failed to bring rain, the
soothsayers said that a human victim was required. "It shall be
myself," he replied; and, stripping off his regal robes, he laid
himself on the altar. A copious shower was the response to this
act of devotion.

The successor of Shang-tang was his grandson T'ai-kia, who was under
the tutelage of a wise minister
[Page 81]
named I-yin. Observing the indolence and pleasure-loving disposition
of the young man, the minister sent him into retirement for three
years that he might acquire habits of sobriety and diligence. The
circumstance that makes this incident worth recording is that the
minister, instead of retaining the power in his own family, restored
the throne to its rightful occupant.

Another king of this house, by name P'an-keng, has no claim to
distinction other than that of having moved his capital five times.
As we are not told that he was pursued by vindictive enemies, we
are left to the conjecture that he was escaping from disastrous
floods, or, perhaps under the influence of a silly superstition,
was in quest of some luckier site.

Things went from bad to worse, and finally Chou-sin surpassed in
evil excesses the man who had brought ruin upon the House of Hia.
The House of Shang of course suffered the same fate. An ambitious
but kind-hearted prince came forward to succour the people, and
was welcomed by them as a deliverer. The tyrant, seeing that all
was lost, arrayed himself in festal robes, set fire to his own
palace, and, like another Sardanapalus, perished in the flames.

He and Kié make a couple who are held up to everlasting execration
as a warning to tyrannical princes. Like his remote predecessor,
Chou-sin is reputed to have been led into his evil courses by a
wicked woman, named Ta-ki. One suspects that neither one nor the
other stood in need of such prompting. According to history, bad
kings are generally worse than bad queens. In China, however, a
woman is considered out of place
[Page 82]
when she lays her hand on the helm of state. Hence the tendency
to blacken the names of those famous court beauties.

If Mencius may be believed, the tyrants themselves were not quite
so profligate as the story makes them. He says, "Dirty water has
a tendency to accumulate in the lowest sinks"; and he warns the
princes of his time not to put themselves in a position in which
future ages will continue to heap opprobrium on their memory.

Of the wise founders of this dynasty it is said that they "made
religion the basis of education," as did the Romans, who prided
themselves on devotion to their gods. In both cases natural religion
degenerated into gross superstition. In the number of their gods
the Chinese have exceeded the Romans; and they refer the worship
of many of them to the Shang dynasty.

The following dynasty, that of Chou (35 sovereigns, 1122-249 B.
C.) merits a separate chapter.

[Page 83]


_Wen-wang, the founder--Rise and Progress of Culture--Communistic
Land Tenure--Origin of the term "Middle Kingdom"--Duke Chou and
Cheng wang, "The Completer"--A Royal Traveller--Li and Yu, two
bad kings_

The merciful conqueror who at this time rescued the people from
oppression was Wu-wang, the martial king. He found, it is said, the
people "hanging with their heads downward" and set them on their
feet. On the eve of the decisive battle he harangued his troops,
appealing to the Deity as the arbiter, and expressing confidence in
the result. "The tyrant," he said, "has ten myriads of soldiers,
and I have but one myriad. His soldiers, however, have ten myriads
of hearts, while my army has but one heart."

When the battle had been fought and won he turned his war-horses
out to pasture and ordained that they should be forever free from
yoke and saddle. Could he have been less humane in the treatment
of his new subjects?

The credit of his victory he gave to ten wise counsellors, one
of whom was his mother. History, however, ascribes it in a large
degree to his father, Wen-wang,
[Page 84]
who was then dead, but who had prepared the way for his son's triumph.

Wen-wang, the Beauclerc of the Chous, is one of the most notable
figures in the ancient history of China. A vassal prince, by wise
management rather than by military prowess he succeeded in enlarging
his dominions so that he became possessor of two-thirds of the
empire. He is applauded for his wisdom in still paying homage to
his feeble chief. The latter, however, must have regarded him with
no little suspicion, as Wen-wang was thrown into prison, and only
regained his liberty at the cost of a heavy ransom. Wen-wang apparently
anticipated a mortal struggle; for it is related that, seeing an
old man fishing, he detected in him an able general who had fled
the service of the tyrant. "You," said he, "are the very man I
have been looking for"; and, taking him up into his chariot, as
Jehu did Jonadab, he rejoiced in the assurance of coming victory.
The fisherman was Kiang Tai Kung, the ancestor of the royal House
of Ts'i in Shantung. Though eighty-one years of age he took command
of the cavalry and presided in the councils of his new master.

Fitting it was that the Beauclerc, Wen-wang should be the real
founder of the new dynasty; for now for the first time those pictured
symbols become living blossoms from which the fruits of learning and
philosophy are to be gathered. The rise and progress of a generous
culture is the chief characteristic of the House of Chou. Besides
encouraging letters Wen-wang contributed much to the new literature.
He is known as a commentator in the _Yih-King_, "Book of Changes,"
[Page 85]
pronounced by Confucius the profoundest of the ancient classics--a
book which he never understood.

In theory there was under this and the preceding dynasty no private
ownership of land. The arable ground was laid out in plots of nine
squares, thus:

|   |   |   |
|   |   |   |
|   |   |   |
|   |   |   |
|   |   |   |
|   |   |   |

Eight of these were assigned to the people to cultivate for themselves;
and the middle square was reserved for the government and tilled
by the joint labour of all. The simple-hearted souls of that day
are said to have prayed that the rains might first descend on the
public field and then visit their private grounds.

In later years this communistic scheme was found not to work perfectly,
owing, it is said, to the decay of public virtue. A statesman, named
Shangyang, converted the tenure of land into fee simple--a natural
evolution which was, however, regarded as quite too revolutionary
and earned for him the execrations of the populace.

The charming simplicity of the above little diagram would seem
to have suggested the arrangement of fiefs in the state, in which
the irregular feudality of former times became moulded into a
symmetrical system. The sovereign state was in the centre; and those
of the feudal barons were ranged on the four sides in successive
rows. The central portion was designated _Chung Kwoh_, "Middle
Kingdom," a title which has come to be applied to the whole empire,
implying, of course, that all the nations of the earth are its

Laid out with the order of a camp and ruled with martial vigour,
the new state prospered for a few reigns.
[Page 86]
At length, however, smitten with a disease of the heart the members
no longer obeyed the behests of the head. Decay and anarchy are
written on the last pages of the history of the House of Chou.

The martial king died young, leaving his infant heir under the
regency of his brother, the Duke of Chou. The latter, who inherited
the tastes and talents of Wen-wang, was avowedly the character which
the great Sage took for his pattern. With fidelity and ability he
completed the pacification of the state. The credit of that achievement
inured to his ward, who received the title of _Cheng-wang_,
"The Completer."

Accused of scheming to usurp the throne, the Duke resigned his
powers and withdrew from the court. The young prince, opening a
golden casket, found in it a prayer of his uncle, made and sealed
up during a serious illness of the King, imploring Heaven to accept
his life as a ransom for his royal ward. This touching proof of
devotion dispelled all doubt; and the faithful duke was recalled
to the side of the now full-grown monarch.

Even during the minority of his nephew the Duke never entered his
presence in other than full court costume. On one occasion the
youthful king, playing with a younger brother, handed him a palm
leaf saying, "This shall be your patent of nobility. I make you
duke of such and such a place." The regent remonstrated, whereupon
the King excused himself by saying, "I was only in sport." The
Duke replied, "A king has no right to indulge in such sports," and
insisted that the younger lad receive the investiture and
[Page 87]
emoluments. He was also, it is said, so careful of the sacred person
that he never left on it the mark of his rod. When the little king
deserved chastisement, the guardian always called up his own son,
Pechin, and thrashed him soundly. One pities the poor fellow who
was the innocent substitute more than one admires the scrupulous
and severe regent. The Chinese have a proverb which runs, "Whip
an ass and let a horse see it."

What shall be said of the successors of Cheng-wang? To account
for the meagre chronicles of previous dynasties one may invoke
the poverty of a language not yet sufficiently mature for the
requirements of history; but for the seeming insignificance of
the long line of Chous, who lived in the early bloom, if not the
rich fruitage, of the classic period, no such apology is admissible.

Some there were, doubtless, who failed to achieve distinction because
they had no foreign foe to oppose, no internal rebellion to suppress.
Others, again, were so hampered by system that they had nothing
better to do than to receive the homage of vassals. So wearied
was one among them, Mu-wang, the fifth in succession, with those
monotonous ceremonies that he betook himself to foreign travel
as a relief from ennui, or perhaps impelled by an innate love of
adventure. He delighted in horses; and, yoking eight fine steeds
to his chariot, he set off to see the world. A book full of fables
professes to record the narrative of his travels. He had, it says,
a magic whip which possessed the property of compressing the surface
of the earth into a small space. To-day Chinese envoys, with steam and
[Page 88]
electricity at command, are frequently heard to exclaim: "Now at
last we have got the swift steeds and the magic whip of Mu-wang."

Two other kings, Li and Yu, are pointed at with the finger of scorn
as examples of what a king ought not to be. The latter set aside
his queen and her son in favour of a concubine and her son; and
so offended was high heaven by this unkingly conduct that the sun
hid his face in a total eclipse. This happened 775 B. C.; and it
furnishes the starting-point for a reliable chronology. For her
amusement the king caused the signal-fires to be lighted. She laughed
heartily to see the great barons rush to the rescue and find it was
a false alarm; but she did not smile when, not long after this,
the capital was attacked by a real foe, the father of her injured
rival. The signal-fires were again lighted; but the barons, having
once been deceived by the cry of "Wolf," took care not to expose
themselves again to derision.

The other king has not been lifted into the fierce light that beats
upon a throne by anything so tragic as a burning palace; but his
name is coupled with that of the former as a synonym of all that
is weak and contemptible.

The story of the House of Chou is not to be disposed of in a few
paragraphs, like the accounts of the preceding dynasties, because
it was preëminently the formative period of ancient China; the age
of her greatest sages, and the birthday of poetry and philosophy.
I shall therefore devote a chapter to the sages and another to the
reign of anarchy before closing the Book of Chou.

[Page 89]


_Confucius--Describes Himself as Editor, not Author--"Model Teacher
of All Ages"--Mencius--More Eloquent than his Great Master--Lao-tse,
the Founder of Taoism_

I shall not introduce the reader to all who justly bear the august
title of sage; for China has had more and wiser sages than any other
ancient country. Some of them may be referred to in the sequel; but
this chapter I shall devote chiefly to the two who by universal
consent have no equals in the history of the Empire--Confucius and
Mencius. These great men owe much of their fame to the learned
Jesuits who first brought them on the stage, clad in the Roman toga,
and made them citizens of the world by giving them the euphonious
names by which they are popularly known. Stripped of their disguise
they appear respectively as K'ung Fu-tse and Meng-tse. Exchanging
the _ore rotunda_ of Rome for the sibillation of China, they
never could have been naturalised as they are now.


Born in the year 549 B. C., Confucius was contemporaneous with
Isaiah and Socrates. Of a respectable but not opulent family he
had to struggle for his
[Page 90]
education--a fact which in after years he was so far from concealing
that he ascribed to it much of his success in life. To one who
asked him, "How comes it that you are able to do so many things,"
he replied, "I was born poor and had to learn." His schoolmasters
are unknown; and it might be asked of him, as it was of a greater
than Confucius, "How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?"

Of his self-education, which continued through life, he gives the
following concise account: "At fifteen I entered on a life of study;
at thirty I took my stand as a scholar; at forty my opinions were
fixed; at fifty I knew how to judge and select; at sixty I never
relapsed into a known fault; at seventy I could follow my inclinations
without going wrong." Note how each stage marks an advance towards
moral excellence. Mark also that this passage gives an outline
of self-discipline. It says nothing of his books or of his work
as a statesman and a reformer.

He is said to have had, first and last, three thousand disciples.
Those longest under instruction numbered twelve. They studied, not
with lectures and textbooks, as in modern schools, but by following
his footsteps and taking the impress of his character, much as
Peter and John followed the steps and studied the life of Christ.
Some of them followed Confucius when, bent on effecting a political
as well as an ethical reform, he travelled from court to court
among the petty principalities. They have placed it on record that
once, when exposed to great peril, he comforted them by saying,
"If Heaven has made me the depositary of these teachings, what
can my enemies do against
[Page 91]
me?" Nobly conscious of a more than human mission, so pure were
his teachings that, though he taught morals, not religion, he might
fairly, with Socrates, be allowed to claim a sort of inspiration.

The one God, of whom he knew little, he called Heaven, and he always
spoke of Heaven with the profoundest reverence. When neglected or
misunderstood he consoled himself by saying, "Heaven knows me."
During a serious illness a disciple inquired if he should pray for
him, meaning the making of offerings at some temple. Confucius
answered, "I have long prayed," or "I have long been in the habit
of praying."

In letters he described himself as an "editor, not an author,"
meaning that he had revised the works of the ancients, but had
published nothing of his own. Out of their poetry he culled three
hundred odes and declared that "purity of thought" might be stamped on
the whole collection. Into a confused mass of traditional ceremonies
be brought something like order, making the Chinese (if a trifle too
ceremonious) the politest people on earth. Out of their myths and
chronicles he extracted a trustworthy history, and by his treatment
of vice he made princes tremble, lest their heads should be exposed
on the gibbet of history. He gave much time to editing the music
of the ancients, but his work in that line has perished. This,
however, cannot be regarded as a very great loss, in view of the rude
condition in which Chinese music is still found. However deficient
his knowledge of the art, his passion for music was extraordinary.
After hearing a fine performance "he was unable for
[Page 92]
three months to enjoy his food." A fifth task was the editing of
the _Yih-King_,[*] the book of divination compiled by Wen-wang.
How thoroughly he believed in it is apparent from his saying, "Should
it please Heaven to grant me five or ten years to study this book,
I would not be in danger of falling into great errors." He meant
that he would then be able to shape his conduct by the calculation
of chances.

[Footnote *: This and the preceding are the Five Classics, which,
like the five books of Moses, lie at the root of a nation's religion
and learning.]

Great as were his labours in laying the foundation of literary
culture, the impression made by his personal intercourse and by
his collected sayings has been ten-fold more influential. They form
the substance of the Four Books which, from a similar numerical
coincidence, the Chinese are fond of comparing with our Four Gospels.
Confucius certainly gives the Golden Rule as the essence of his
teaching. True, he puts it in a negative form, "Do not unto others
what you would not have them do to you"; but he also says, "My
doctrine is comprehended in two words, _chung_ and _shu_."
The former denotes fidelity; the latter signifies putting oneself
in the place of another, but it falls short of that active charity
which has changed the face of the world.

It were easy to point out Confucius' limitations and mistakes; yet
on the whole his merits were such that his people can hardly be
blamed for the exaggerated honours which they show to his memory.
They style him the "model teacher of all ages," but they do not
invoke him as a tutelary deity, nor do they represent
[Page 93]
him by an image. Excessively honorific, their worship of Confucius
is not idolatry.


A hundred years later Mencius was born, and received his doctrine
through the grandson of the Sage. More eloquent than his great
master, more bold in rebuking the vices of princes, he was less
original. One specimen of his teaching must suffice. One of the
princes asking him, "How do you know that I have it in me to become
a good ruler?" he replied, "I am told that, seeing the extreme
terror of an ox that was being led to the altar, you released it
and commanded a sheep to be offered in its stead. The ox was before
your eyes and you pitied it; the sheep was not before your eyes
and you had no pity on it. Now with such a heart if you would only
think of your people, so as to bring them before your eyes, you
might become the best of rulers."

Mencius lost his father in his infancy, but his mother showed rare
good sense in the bringing up of her only child. Living near a
butcher, she noticed that the boy mimicked the cries of the pigs.
She then removed to the gate of a cemetery; but, noticing that the
child changed his tune and mocked the wailing of mourners, she
struck her tent and took up her abode near a high school. There
she observed with joy that he learned the manners and acquired the
tastes of a student. Perceiving, however, that he was in danger
of becoming lazy and dilatory, she cut the warp of her web and
said, "My son, this is what you are doing with the web of life."

[Page 94]
The tomb of each of these sages is in the keeping of one of his
descendants, who enjoys the emoluments of a hereditary noble. Mencius
himself says of the master whom he never saw, "Since men were born
on earth there has been no man like Confucius."


I cannot close this chapter without a word or two on Lao-tse, the
founder of Taoism. He bore the family name of _Li_, "plum-tree,"
either from the fact that his cottage was in a garden or possibly
because, like the Academics, he placed his school in a grove of
plum-trees. The name by which he is now known signifies "old master,"
probably because he was older than Confucius. The latter is said
to have paid him a visit to inquire about rites and ceremonies;
but Lao-tse, with his love of solitude and abstract speculation,
seems not to have exerted much influence on the mind of the rising
philosopher. In allusion to him, Confucius said, "Away from men
there is no philosophy--no _tao_."

Less honoured by the official class, Lao-tse's influence with the
masses of China has been scarcely less than that of his younger
rival. Like the other two sages he, too, has to-day a representative,
who enjoys an official status as high priest of the Taoist sect.
Chang Tien-shi dwells in a stately palace on the summit of the
Tiger and Dragon Mountain, in Kiangsi, as the head of one of the
three religions. But, alas! the sublime teachings of the founder
of Taoism have degenerated into a contemptible mixture of jugglery
and witchcraft.

[Page 95]
Not till five centuries later did Buddhism enter China and complete
the triad of religions--a triad strangely inharmonious; indeed one
can scarcely conceive of three creeds more radically antagonistic.

[Page 96]


_Five Dictators--Diplomacy and Strategy--A Brave Envoy--Heroes
Reconciled--Ts'in Extinguishes the House of Chou_

In the first half of the Chou dynasty the machinery moved with
such regularity that Confucius could think of no form of government
more admirable, saying, "The policy of the future may be foretold
for a hundred generations--it will be to follow the House of Chou."
The latter half was a period of misrule and anarchy.

Ambitions and jealousies led to petty wars. The King being too
feeble to repress them, these petty wars grew into vast combinations
like the leagues of modern Europe. Five of the states acquired at
different times such a preponderance that their rulers are styled
_Wu Pa_, the "five dictators." One of these, Duke Hwan of
western Shantung, is famous for having nine times convoked the
States-General. The dictator always presided at such meetings and
he was recognised as the real sovereign--as were the mayors of
the palace in France in the Merovingian epoch, or the shoguns in
Japan during the long period in which the Mikado was called the
"spiritual emperor."

The legitimate sovereign still sat on his throne
[Page 97]
in the central state; but he complained that his only function was
to offer sacrifices. The Chinese dictatorship was not hereditary,
or the world might have witnessed an exact parallel to the duplicate
sovereignty in Japan, where one held the power and the other retained
the title for seven hundred years.

In China the shifting of power from hand to hand made those four
centuries an age of diplomacy. Whenever some great baron was suspected
of aspiring to the leadership, combinations were formed to curb his
ambitions; embassies sped from court to court; and armies were
marshalled in the field. Envoys became noted for courage and cunning,
and generals acquired fame by their skill in handling large bodies
of soldiers. Diplomacy became an art, and war a science.

An international code to control the intercourse of states began to
take shape; but the diplomat was not embarrassed by a multiplicity
of rules. In negotiations individual character counted for more than
it does at the present day; nor must it be supposed that in the
absence of our modern artillery there was no room for generalship.
On the contrary, as battles were not decided by the weight of metal,
there was more demand for strategy.

All this was going on in Greece at this very epoch: and, as Plutarch
indulges in parallels, we might point to compeers of Themistocles
and Epaminondas. The cause which in the two countries led to this
state of things was the existence of a family of states with a
common language and similar institutions; but in the Asiatic empire
the theatre was vastly more extensive,
[Page 98]
and the operations in politics and war on a grander scale.

To the honour of the Chinese it must be admitted that they showed
themselves more civilised than the Greeks. The Persian invasion
was provoked by the murder of ambassadors by the Athenians. Of
such an act there is no recorded instance among the warring states
of China. It was reserved for our own day to witness in Peking that
exhibition of Tartar ferocity. The following two typical incidents
from the voluminous chronicles of those times may be appropriately
presented here:


The Prince of Ts'in, a semi-barbarous state in the northwest, answering
to Macedonia in Greece, had offered to give fifteen cities for
a kohinoor, a jewel belonging to the Prince of Chao (not Chou).
Lin Sian Ju was sent to deliver the jewel and to complete the
transaction. The conditions not being complied with, he boldly
put the jewel into his bosom and returned to his own state. That
he was allowed to do so--does it not speak as much for the morality
of Ts'in as for the courage of Lin? The latter is the accepted
type of a brave and faithful envoy.


Jealous of his fame, Lien P'o, a general of Chao, announced that he
would kill Lin at sight. The latter took pains to avoid a meeting.
Lien P'o, taxing him with cowardice, sent him a challenge, to which
Lin responded, "You and I are the pillars of our
[Page 99]
state. If either falls, our country is lost. This is why I have
shunned an encounter." So impressed was the general with the spirit
of this reply that he took a rod in his hand and presented himself
at the door of his rival, not to thrash the latter, but to beg
that he himself might be castigated. Forgetting their feud the two
joined hands to build up their native state much as Aristides and
Themistocles buried their enmity in view of the war with Persia.

As the Athenian orators thundered against Macedon so the statesmen
of China formed leagues and counterplots for and against the rising
power of the northwest. The type of patient, shrewd diplomacy is Su
Ts'in who, at the cost of incredible hardships in journeying from
court to court, succeeded in bringing six of the leading states
into line to bar the southward movement of their common foe. His
machinations were all in vain, however; for not only was his ultimate
success thwarted by the counterplots of Chang Yee, an equally able
diplomatist, but his reputation, like that of Parnell in our own
times, was ruined by his own passions. The rising power of Ts'in,
like a glacier, was advancing by slow degrees to universal sway. In
the next generation it absorbed all the feudal states. Chau-siang
subjugated Tung-chou-Kiun, the last monarch of the Chou dynasty, and
the House of Chou was exterminated by Chwang-siang, who, however,
enjoyed the supreme power for only three years (249-246 B. C).

[Page 100]

THE HOUSE OF TS'IN, 246-206 B. C.

(2 Emperors)

_Ts'in Shi-hwang-ti, "Emperor First"--The Great Wall--The Centralised
Monarchy--The title Hwang-ti--Origin of the name China--Burning
of the Books--Expedition to Japan--Revolution Places the House
of Han on the Throne_

"Viewed in the light of philosophy," says Schiller, "Cain killed
Abel because Abel's sheep trespassed on Cain's cornfield." From
that day to this farmers and shepherds have not been able to live
together in peace. A monument of that eternal conflict is the Great
Wall of China. Like the Roman Wall in North Britain, to compare
great things with small, its object was not to keep out the Tartars
but to reënforce the vigilance of the military pickets. That end
it seems to have accomplished for a long time. It was, the Chinese
say, the destruction of one generation and the salvation of many.
We shall soon see how it came to be a mere geographical expression.
For our present purpose it may also be regarded as a chronological
landmark, dividing ancient from mediæval China.

With the House of Chou the old feudal divisions disappeared forever.
The whole country was brought
[Page 101]
under the direct sway of one emperor who, for the first time in
the history of the people, had built up a dominion worthy of that
august title. This was the achievement of Yin Cheng, the Prince
of Ts'in. He thereupon assumed the new style of Hwang-ti. Hwangs
and Tis were no novelty; but the combination made it a new coinage
and justified the additional appellation of "the First," or
Shi-hwang-ti. Four imperishable monuments perpetuate his memory:
the Great Wall, the centralised monarchy, the title _Hwang-ti_,
and the name of China itself--the last derived from a principality
which under him expanded to embrace the empire. Where is there
another conqueror in the annals of the world who has such solid
claims to everlasting renown? Alexander overthrew many nations;
but he set up nothing permanent. Julius Cæsar instituted the Roman
Empire; but its duration was ephemeral in comparison with that
of the empire founded by Shi-hwang-ti, the builder of the Wall.

Though Shi-hwang-ti completed it, the wall was not the work of
his reign alone. Similarly the triumphs of his arms and arts were
due in large measure to his predecessors, who for centuries had
aspired to universal sway. Conscious of inferiority in culture,
they welcomed the aid and rewarded the services of men of talent
from every quarter. Some came as penniless adventurers from rival
or hostile states and were raised to the highest honours.

Six great chancellors stand conspicuous as having introduced law
and order into a rude society, and paved the way for final success.
Every one of these was a "foreigner." The princes whom they served
[Page 102]
deserve no small praise for having the good sense to appreciate them
and the courage to follow their advice. Of some of these it might
be said, as Voltaire remarked of Peter the Great, "They civilised
their people, but themselves were savages." The world forgets how
much the great czar was indebted for education and guidance to Le
Fort, a Genevese soldier of fortune. Pondering that history one
is able to gauge the merits of those foreign chancellors, perhaps
also to understand what foreigners have done for the rulers of
China in our day.

Shi-hwang-ti was the real founder of the Chinese Empire. He is one
of the heroes of history; yet no man in the long list of dynasties
is so abused and misrepresented by Chinese writers. They make him
a bastard, a debauchee, and a fool. To this day he is the object
of undying hatred to every one who can hold a pen. Why? it may
be asked. Simply because he burned the books and persecuted the
disciples of Confucius. Those two things, well-nigh incredible
to us, are to the Chinese utterly incomprehensible.

Li-Sze, a native of Yen, was his chancellor, a genius more daring
and far-sighted than any of the other five. The welding together
of the feudal states into a compact unity was his darling scheme,
as it was that of his master. "Never," he said, "can you be sure
that those warring states will not reappear, so long as the books
of Confucius are studied in the schools; for in them feudalism is
consecrated as a divine institution." "Then let them be burned,"
said the tyrant.

The adherents of the Sage were ejected from the
[Page 103]
schools, and their teachings proscribed. This harsh treatment and
the search for their books naturally gave rise to counterplots.
"Put them to death," said the tyrant; and they went to the block,
not like Christian marytrs for religious convictions, but like the
Girondists of France for political principles. Their followers
offer the silly explanation that the books were destroyed that the
world might never know that there had been other dynasties, and
the scholars slaughtered or buried alive to prevent the reproduction
of the books.

The First Hwang-ti did not confine his ambition to China. He sent
a fleet to Japan; and those isles of the Orient came to view for
the first time in the history of the world. The fleet carried,
it is said, a crew of three thousand lads and lasses. It never
returned; but the traditions of Japan affirm that it arrived, and
the islanders ascribe their initiation into Chinese literature
to their invasion by that festive company--a company not unlike
that with which Bacchus was represented as making the conquest
of India. Their further acquaintance with China and its sages was
obtained through Korea, which was long a middle point of communication
between the two countries. It was, in fact, from the Shantung
promontory, near to Korea, that this flotilla of videttes was

What was the real object of that strange expedition? Chinese authors
assert that it was sent in search of the "elixir of life," but do
they not distort everything in the history of the First Hwang-ti?
The great monarch was, in fact, a devout believer in the fables
of Taoism, among which were stories of the Islands of
[Page 104]
the Blest, and of a fountain of immortality, such as eighteen centuries
later stimulated the researches of Ponce de Leon. The study of
alchemy was in full blast among the Chinese at that time. It probably
sprang from Taoism; but, in my opinion, the ambitious potentate,
sighing for other worlds to conquer, sent that jolly troop as the
vanguard of an army.

In spite, however, of elixirs of life and fountains of youth, death
put an end to his conquests when he had enjoyed the full glories of
imperial power for only twelve years. His son reigned two years;
and the first of the imperial dynasties came to an end--overturned
by a revolution which placed the House of Han on the vacant throne.

[Page 105]

THE HOUSE OF HAN, 206--B. C.--220 A. D.

(24 Emperors, 2 Usurpers)

_Liu-pang Founds Illustrious Dynasty--Restoration of the Books--A
Female Reign--The Three Religions--Revival of Letters--Sze-ma Ts'ien,
the Herodotus of China--Conquests of the Hans_

The burning of the books and the slaughter of the scholars had
filled the public mind with horror. The oppressions occasioned by
the building of the Great Wall had excited a widespread discontent;
and Liu-pang, a rough soldier of Central China, took advantage of
this state of things to dispossess the feeble heir of the tyrant.
He founded a dynasty which is reckoned among the most illustrious
in the annals of the Empire. It takes the name of Han from the
river on the banks of which it rose to power. When Liu-pang was
securely seated on the throne one of his ministers proposed that he
should open schools and encourage learning. "Learning," exclaimed
the Emperor, "I have none of it myself, nor do I feel the need
of it. I got the empire on horseback." "But can you govern the
empire on horseback? That is the question," replied the minister. To
conciliate the favour of the learned, the Emperor not only rescinded
the persecuting edicts, but caused search to be made for
[Page 106]
the lost books, and instituted sacrificial rites in honour of the

Old men were still living who had committed those books to memory
in boyhood. One such, Fu-seng by name, was noted for his erudition;
and from his capacious memory a large portion of the sacred canon
was reproduced, being written from his dictation. The copies thus
obtained were of course not free from error. Happily a somewhat
completer copy, engraved on bamboo tablets, was discovered in the
wall of a house belonging to the Confucian family. Yet down to
the present day the Chinese classics bear traces of the tyrant's
fire. Portions are wanting and the lacunæ are always ascribed to
the "fires of Ts'in." The first chapter of the Great Study closes
with the pregnant words, "The source of knowledge is in the study
of things." Not a syllable is added on that prolific text. A note
informs the reader that there was a chapter on the subject, but that
it has been lost. Chinese scholars, when taxed with the barrenness
of later ages in every branch of science, are wont to make the
naïve reply, "Yes, and no wonder--how could it be otherwise when
the Sage's chapter on that subject has been lost?"

After the second reign, that of Hwei-ti, we have the first instance
in Chinese history of a woman seizing the reins of government.
The Empress Lu made herself supreme, and such were her talents
that she held the Empire in absolute subjection for eight years.
Like Jezebel she "destroyed all the seed royal," and filled the
various offices with her kindred and favourites. At her death they
were butchered without
[Page 107]
mercy, and a male heir to the throne was proclaimed. His posthumous
title _Wen-ti_, meaning the "learned" or "patron of letters,"
marks the progress made by the revival of learning.

One might imagine that these literary emperors would have been
satisfied with the recovery of the Confucian classics; but no, a
rumour reached them that "there are sages in the West." The West
was India. An embassy was sent, 66 A. D., by Ming-ti to import
books and bonzes. The triad of religions was thus completed.

Totally diverse in spirit and essence, the three religions could
hardly be expected to harmonise or combine. Confucianism exalts
letters, and lays stress on ethics to the neglect of the spiritual
world. Taoism inculcates physical discipline; but in practice it
has become the mother of degrading superstition--dealing in magic
and necromancy. Buddhism saps the foundations of the family and
enjoins celibacy as the road to virtue. Metempsychosis is its leading
doctrine, and to "think on nothing" its mental discipline. It forbids
a flesh diet and deprecates scholarship. Through imperial patronage
it acquired a footing in China, but it was long before it felt at
home there. As late as the eighth century Han Yu, the greatest
writer of the age, ridiculed the relics of Buddha and called on
his people to "burn their books, close their temples, and make
laity of their monks."

Yet Buddhism seems to have met a want. It has fostered a sympathy
for animal life, and served as a protest against the Sadducean tenets
of the lettered class. It long ago became so rooted in the minds of
[Page 108]
the illiterate, who form nine-tenths of the population, that China
may be truly described as the leading Buddhist country of the globe.[*]



  Two images adorn this mountain shrine,
  Not marble chiselled out by Grecian art,
  But carved from wood with Oriental skill.
  In days of yore adored by pilgrim throngs,
  They languish now without a worshipper.

  High up a winding flight of stony steps
  See Gautama upon his lotus throne!
  More near the gate, her lovely face downcast,
  Sits Mercy's Goddess, pity in her eye,
  To greet the weary climbers and to hear
  Their many-coloured tales of woe and want.

  The Buddha, in sublime repose, sees not
  His prostrate worshippers; and they to him
  No prayer address, save hymns of grateful praise.[1]
  'Twas he who for a blinded world sought out
  The secret of escape from misery;
  The splendour of a royal court resigned,
  He found in poverty a higher realm!
  Yet greater far the victory, when he broke
  The chain of Fate and spurned the wheel of change.
  To suffering humanity he says,
  "Tread in my steps: You, too, may find release."

[Footnote 1: Such as _Om mani padmi hum_ ("O the jewel in the lotus")]

  Like him, the Pusa was of princely birth,
  But not like him did she forsake a throne,
  Nor yet like him did she consent to see
  Nirvana's pearly gates behind her close.
  A field for charity her regal state.
  Her path with ever-blooming flowers she strewed,
  Her sympathy to joy a relish gave,
  To sorrows manifold it brought relief,
  Forgetting self she lived for others' weal
  Till higher than Meru her merit rose.[2]

[Footnote 2: Mt. Meru, the Indian Olympus.]

  At length a Voice celestial smote her ear.
  "Nirvana's portal to thee open stands,
  The crown of Buddhaship is thine by right.
  No wave of care that shore can ever reach,
  No cry of pain again thine ear assail;
  But fixed in solitary bliss thou'lt see
  The circling ages rolling at thy feet!"

  "Shall I then have no tidings of mankind?
  Such heaven a throne of glittering ice would be.
  That changeless bliss to others thou may'st give.
  Happiest am I th' unhappy to upraise.
  Oh for a thousand hands[3] the task to ply!
  To succour and relieve be mine," she said,
  "Bought though it be by share of suffering.
  Turn then the wheel,[4] and back to earth again."

[Footnote 3: She is often so represented, as the symbol of present

[Footnote 4: _Lunhui_, the wheel of destiny, within which birth
and death succeed without end or interval.]

  From out the blue came down the Voice once more:
  "Thy great refusal wins a higher prize;
  A kingdom new thy charity hath gained.[5]
  And there shalt thou, the Queen of Mercy, reign,
  Aloof from pain or weakness of thine own,
  With quickened sense to hear and power to save."

[Footnote 5: She escapes the wheel, but remains on the border of
Nirvana, where, as her name signifies, she "hears the prayers of

  Fair image thou! Almost I worship thee,
  Frail shadow of a Christ that hears and feels!

    W. A. P. M.


Buddhist monasteries are to be seen on every hand. They are often
subsidised by the state; and even at the tomb of Confucius a temple was
erected called the "Hall of the Three Religions." In it the image of
[Page 109]
Buddha is said to have occupied the seat of honour, but prior to
the date of my visit it had been demolished.

Each of these religions has a hierarchy: that of Confucius with
a lineal descendant of the Sage at its head; that of Lao-tse with
Chang Tien-shi, the arch-magician, as its high priest; and, higher
than all, that of Buddha with the Grand Lama of Tibet.

Under the house of Han a beginning was made in the institution
of civil service examinations--a system which has continued to
dominate the Chinese intellect down to our time; but it was not
fully developed until the dynasty of T'ang. Belles-lettres made
a marked advance. The poetry of the period is more finished
[Page 110]
than that of the Chous. Prose composition, too, is vigorous and
lucid. The muse of history claims the place of honour. Sze-ma Ts'ien,
the Herodotus of China, was born in this period. A glory to his
country, the treatment Sze-ma Ts'ien received at the hands of his
people exposes their barbarism. He had recommended Li Ling as a
suitable commander to lead an expedition against the Mongols. Li
Ling surrendered to the enemy, and Sze-ma Ts'ien, as his sponsor, was
liable to suffer death in his stead. Being allowed an alternative,
he chose to submit to the disgrace of emasculation, in order that he
might live to complete his monumental work--a memorial better than
sons and daughters. A pathetic letter of the unfortunate general,
who never dared to return to China, is preserved amongst the choice
specimens of prose composition.

Not content with the Great Wall for their northern limit nor with
the "Great River" for their southern boundary, the Hans attempted to
advance their frontiers in both directions. In the north they added
the province of Kansuh, and in the other direction they extended
their operations as far south as the borders of Annam; but they
did not make good the possession of the whole of the conquered
territory. Szechuen and Hunan were, however, added to their domain.
The latter seems to have served as a penal colony rather than an
integral portion of the Empire. A poem by Kiayi, an exiled statesman
(200 B. c.), is dated from Changsha, its capital.[*]

[Footnote *: See "Chinese Legends and Other Poems," by W. A. P.

In the south the savage tribes by which the Chinese
[Page 111]
were opposed made a deep impression on the character of the people,
but left no record in history. Not so with the powerful foe encountered
in the north. Under the title of Shanyu, he was a forerunner of
the Grand Khan of Tartary--claiming equality with the emperors of
China and exchanging embassies on equal terms. His people, known
as the Hiunghu, are supposed to have been ancestors of the Huns.

[Page 112]

A. D.

_The States of Wei, Wu, and Shuh--A Popular Historical
Romance--Chu-koh Liang, an Inventive Genius--The "three P's," Pen,
Paper, Printing--The Sui Dynasty_

After four centuries of undisputed sway, the sceptre is seen ready
to fall from the nerveless hands of feeble monarchs. Eunuchs usurp
authority, and the hydra of rebellion raises its many heads. Minor
aspirants are easily extinguished; but three of them survive a
conflict of twenty years, and lay the foundation of short-lived

The noble structure erected by the Ts'ins and consolidated by the
Hans began to crumble at the beginning of its fifth century of
existence. In 221 A. D. its fragments were removed to three cities,
each of which claimed to be the seat of empire. The state of Wei
was founded by Tsao Tsao, with its capital at Lo-yang, the seat
of the Hans. He had the further advantage, as mayor of the palace,
of holding in his power the feeble emperor Hwan-ti, the last of the
house of Han. The state of Wu, embracing the provinces of Kiangsu,
Kiangsi, and Chehkiang, was established by Siun Kien, a man of
distinguished ability
[Page 113]
who secured his full share of the patrimony. The third state was
founded by Liu Pi, a scion of the imperial house whose capital
was at Chingtu-fu in Szechuen. The historian is here confronted
by a problem like that of settling the apostolic succession of
the three popes, and he has decided in favour of the last, whom
he designates the "Later Han," mainly on the ground of blood

Authority for this is found in the dynastic history; but reference
may also be made to a romance which deals with the wars of those
three states. Composed by Lo Kwan-chung and annotated by Kin Sheng
Tan, it is the most popular historical novel in the whole range
of Chinese literature. Taking the place of a national epic, its
heroes are not of one type or all on one side, but its favourites
are found among the adherents of Liu Pi. It opens with a scene
in which Liu, Kwan, and Chang, like the three Tells on Grütli,
meet in a peach-garden and take vows of brotherhood--drinking of a
loving-cup tinged with the blood of each and swearing fidelity to
their common cause. Of the three brothers the first, Liu Pi, after
a long struggle, succeeds in founding a state in western China. The
second, Kwan Yü, is the beau-ideal of patriotic courage. In 1594 he
was canonised as the god of war. The gifted author has, therefore,
the distinction, beyond that of any epic poet of the West, of having
created for his countrymen their most popular deity. Chang-fi, the
youngest of the three brothers, is the inseparable henchman of
the Chinese Mars. He wields a spear eighteen feet in length with
a dash and impetuosity which no enemy is able to withstand.

[Page 114]
Other characters are equally fixed in the public mind. Tsao Tsao,
the chief antagonist of Liu Pi, is not merely a usurper: he is a
curious compound of genius, fraud, and cruelty. Another conspicuous
actor is Lü Pu, an archer able to split a reed at a hundred paces,
and a horseman who performs prodigies on the field of battle. He
begins his career by shooting his adopted father, like Brutus perhaps,
not because he loved Tung Choh less, but China more.

All these and others too numerous to mention may be seen any day
on the boards of the theatre, an institution which, in China at
least, serves as a school for the illiterate.[*]

[Footnote *: The stage is usually a platform on the open street
where an actor may be seen changing his rôle with his costume,
now wearing the mask of one and then of another of the contending
chieftains, and changing his voice, always in a falsetto key, to
produce something like variety.]

Liu Pi succeeds, after a struggle of twenty years, in establishing
himself in the province of Szechuen; but he enjoys undisturbed dominion
in his limited realm for three years only, and then transmits his
crown to a youthful son whom he commends to the care of a faithful
minister. The youth when an infant has been rescued from a burning
palace by the brave Chang-fi, who, wrapping the sleeping child in
his cloak and mounting a fleet charger, cut his way through the
enemy. On reaching a distant point the child was still asleep.
The witty annotator adds the remark, "He continued to sleep for
thirty years."

The minister to whom the boy had been confided, Chu-koh Liang,
is the most versatile and inventive genius of Chinese antiquity.
As the founder of the house of Chou discovered in an old fisherman a
[Page 115]
counsellor of state who paved his way to the throne, so Liu Pi
found this man in a humble cottage where he was hiding himself in
the garb of a peasant, _San Ku Mao Lu_, say the Chinese. He
"three times visited that thatched hovel" before he succeeded in
persuading its occupant to commit himself to his uncertain fortunes.
From that moment Chu-koh Liang served him as eyes and ears, teeth
and claws, with a skill and fidelity which have won the applause
of all succeeding ages. Among other things, he did for Liu Pi what
Archimedes did for Dionysius. He constructed military engines that
appeared so wonderful that, as tradition has it "he made horses
and oxen out of wood."

Entrusted by his dying master with the education of the young prince,
he has left two papers full of wise counsels which afford no little
help in drawing the line between fact and fiction. Unquestionably
Chu-koh Liang was the first man of his age in intellect and in such
arts and sciences as were known to his times. Yet no one invention
can be pointed to as having been certainly derived from Chu-koh
Liang. The author of the above-mentioned romance, who lived as
late as the end of the thirteenth century, constantly speaks of
his use of gunpowder either to terrify the enemy or to serve for
signals; but it is never used to throw a cannon-ball. It probably was
known to the Chinese of that date, as the Arab speaks of gunpowder
under the designation of "Chinese snow," meaning doubtless the
saltpetre which forms a leading ingredient. The Chinese had been
dabbling in alchemy for many centuries, and it is scarcely possible
that they
[Page 116]
should have failed to hit on some such explosive. It is, however,
believed on good authority that they never made use of cannon in
war until the beginning of the fifteenth century.

There are, however, three other inventions or improvements of the
known arts, which deserve notice in this connection, namely, the
"three Ps"--pen, paper and printing--all preëminently instruments
of peaceful culture. The pen in China is a hair pencil resembling
a paint-brush. It was invented by Mung-tien in the third century
B. c. Paper was invented by Tsai Lun, 100 B. c., and printing by
Fungtao in the tenth century of the present era. What is meant
by printing in this case is, however, merely the substitution of
wood for stone, the Chinese having been for ages in the habit of
taking rubbings from stone inscriptions. It was not long before they
divided the slab into movable characters and earned for themselves
the honour of having anticipated Gutenberg and Faust. Their divisible
types were never in general use, however, and block printing continues
in vogue; but Western methods are rapidly supplanting both.

The three states were reunited under the Tsin dynasty, 265 A. D.
This lasted for a century and a half and then, after a succession
of fifteen emperors, went down in a sea of anarchy, from the froth
of which arose more than half a score of contending factions, among
which four were sufficiently prominent to make for themselves a
place in history. Their period is described as that of the Nan-peh
Chao, "Northern and Southern Kingdoms." The names of the principals
were Sung, Wei, Liang and Chin. The first
[Page 117]
only was Chinese, the others belonging to various branches of the
Tartar race. The chiefs of the Liang family were of Tibetan origin--a
circumstance which may perhaps account for their predilection for
Buddhism. The second emperor of that house, Wu Ti, became a Buddhist
monk and retired to a monastery where he lectured on the philosophy of
Buddhism. He reminds one of Charles the Fifth, who in his retirement
amused himself less rationally by repairing watches and striving,
in vain, to make a number of them keep identical time.

It may be noted that behind these warring factions there is in
progress a war of races also. The Tartars are forever encroaching
on the Flowery Land. Repulsed or expelled, they return with augmented
force; and even at this early epoch the shadow of their coming
conquest is plainly visible.

In the confused strife of North and South the preponderance is
greatly on the side of the Tartars. The pendulum of destiny then
begins to swing in the other direction. Yan Kien, a Chinese general
in the service of a Tartar principality, took advantage of their
divisions to rally a strong body of his countrymen by whose aid
he cut them off in detail and set up the Sui dynasty, The Tartars
have always made use of Chinese in the invasion of China; and if
the Chinese were always faithful to their own country no invader
would succeed in conquering them.

Though the Sui dynasty lasted less than thirty years (589-618,
three reigns), it makes a conspicuous figure on account of two events:
(1) a victorious expedition in the north which reached the borders of
[Page 118]
Turkestan, and (2) the opening of canals between the Yellow River
and the Yang-tse Kiang. The latter enterprise only hastened the
fall of the house. It was effected by forced labour; and the
discontented people were made to believe, as their historians continue
to assert, that its chief object was to enable a luxurious emperor
to display his grandeur to the people of many provinces. We shall
see how the extension of those canals precipitated the overthrow
of the Mongols as we have already seen how the completion of the
Great Wall caused the downfall of the house of Ts'in.

Yang-ti, the second emperor of the Sui dynasty, though not wanting
in energy, is notorious for his excesses in display and debauch.
He is reported to have hastened his accession to the throne by
the murder of his father. A peaceful end to such a reign would
have been out of keeping with the course of human events. Li Yuen,
one of his generals, rose against him, and he was assassinated
in Nanking.

By wisdom and courage Li Yuen succeeded in setting up a new dynasty
which he called _T'ang_ (618 A. D.): After a long period of
unrest, it brought to the distracted provinces an era of unwonted
prosperity; it held the field for nearly three hundred years, and
surpassed all its predecessors in splendour.

[Page 119]

THE T'ANG DYNASTY, 618-907 A. D.
(20 Emperors)

_An Augustan Age--A Pair of Poets--The Coming of Christianity--The
Empress Wu--System of Examinations_

I have seen a river plunge into a chasm and disappear. After a
subterranean course of many miles it rose to the surface fuller,
stronger than before. No man saw from whence it drew its increment
of force, but the fact was undeniable. This is just what took place
in China at this epoch.

It is comforting to know that during those centuries of turmoil the
Chinese were not wholly engrossed with war and rapine. The T'ang
dynasty is conspicuously the Augustan Age. Literature reappears
in a more perfect form than under the preceding reigns. The prose
writers of that period are to the present day studied as models
of composition, which cannot be affirmed of the writers of any
earlier epoch. Poetry, too, shone forth with dazzling splendour.
A galaxy of poets made their appearance, among whom two particular
stars were Tufu and Lipai, the Dryden and Pope of Chinese literature.

The following specimen from Lipai who is deemed the highest poetical
genius in the annals of China, may
[Page 120]
show, even in its Western dress, something of his peculiar talent:


  Here are flowers and here is wine,
  But where's a friend with me to join
  Hand in hand and heart to heart
  In one full cup before we part?

  Rather than to drink alone,
  I'll make bold to ask the moon
  To condescend to lend her face
  The hour and the scene to grace.

  Lo, she answers, and she brings
  My shadow on her silver wings;
  That makes three, and we shall be.
  I ween, a merry company

  The modest moon declines the cup,
  But shadow promptly takes it up,
  And when I dance my shadow fleet
  Keeps measure with my flying feet.

  But though the moon declines to tipple
  She dances in yon shining ripple,
  And when I sing, my festive song,
  The echoes of the moon prolong.

  Say, when shall we next meet together?
  Surely not in cloudy weather,
  For you my boon companions dear
  Come only when the sky is clear.

[Footnote *: From "Chinese Legends and Other Poems," by W. A. P.

The second emperor, Tai-tsung, made good his claims by killing
two of his brothers who were plotting against him. Notwithstanding
this inauspicious beginning
[Page 121]
he became an able and illustrious sovereign. The twenty-three years
during which he occupied the throne were the most brilliant of
that famous dynasty.

At Si-ngan in Shensi, the capital of the T'angs, is a stone monument
which records the introduction of Christianity by Nestorians from
Syria. Favoured by the Emperor the new faith made considerable
headway. For five hundred years the Nestorian churches held up
the banner of the Cross; but eventually, through ignorance and
impurity, they sank to the level of heathenism and disappeared.
It is sad to think that this early effort to evangelise China has
left nothing but a monumental stone.

At the funeral of Tai-tsung his successor, Kao-tsung, saw Wu, one
of his father's concubines, who pleased him so much that, contrary
to law, he took her into his own harem. Raised to the rank of empress
and left mother of an infant son, she swayed the sceptre after
Kao-tsung's death for twenty-one years. Beginning as regent she
made herself absolute.

A system of civil service examinations which had sprung up with
the revival of learning under the Hans was now brought to maturity.
For good or for evil it has dominated the mind of the Empire for
twelve centuries. Now, however, the leaders of thought have begun
to suspect that it is out of date. The new education requires new
tests; but what is to hinder their incorporation in the old system?
To abolish it would be fraught with danger, and to modify it is
a delicate task for the government of the present day.

That the scholar should hold himself in readiness
[Page 122]
to serve the state no less than the soldier was an acknowledged
principle. It was reserved for the statesmen of T'ang to make it
the mainspring of the government. To them belongs the honour of
constructing a system which would stimulate literary culture and
skim the cream of the national talent for the use of the state.
It had the further merit of occupying the minds of ambitious youth
with studies of absorbing interest, thus diverting them from the
dangerous path of political conspiracy.

Never was a more effective patronage given to letters. Without
founding or endowing schools the state said: "If you acquire the
necessary qualifications, we shall see that your exertions are
duly rewarded. Look up to those shining heights--see the gates
that are open to welcome you, the garlands that wait to crown your
triumphant course!"

Annual examinations were held in every country; and the degree
of S. T. (_Siu-tsai_), equivalent to A. B., was conferred on
3 per cent. of the candidates. To fail was no disgrace; to have
entered the lists was a title to respect. Once in three years the
budding talent of the province convened in its chief city to compete
for the second degree. This was H. L. (_Hiao Lien_, "Filial
and Honest"), showing how ethical ideas continued to dominate the
literary tribunals. It is now _Chu-jin_, and denotes nothing
but promotion or prize man. The prize, a degree answering to A.
M., poetically described as a sprig of the _Olea fragrans_,
was the more coveted as the competitors were all honour men of the
first grade, and it was limited to one in a hundred. Its immediate
effect is such social
[Page 123]
distinction that it is said poor bachelors are common, but poor
masters are rare.

If the competition stopped here it would be an Olympic game on a
grander scale. But there are loftier heights to be climbed. The
new-made masters from all the provinces proceed to the imperial
capital to try their strength against the assembled scholars of
the Empire. Here the prizes are three in a hundred. The successful
student comes forth a Literary Doctor--a _Tsin-shi_, "fit for
office." To all such is assured a footing, high or low, on the
official ladder.

But another trial remains by which those who are good at the high
leap may at a single bound place themselves very near the top.
This final contest takes place in the palace--nominally in the
presence of the Emperor, and the questions are actually issued
by him. Its object is to select the brightest of the doctors for
chairs in the Hanlin Academy--an institution in which the humblest
seat is one of exalted dignity. How dazzling the first name on
that list! The _Chuang Yuen_ or senior wrangler takes rank
with governors and viceroys. An unfading halo rests on the place
of his birth. Sometimes in travelling I have seen a triumphal arch
proclaiming that "Here was born the laureate of the Empire." Such
an advertisement raises the value of real estate; and good families
congregate in a place on which the sun shines so auspiciously.
A laureate who lived near me married his daughter to a viceroy,
and her daughter became consort to the Emperor Tungchi.

What then are the objections to a regulation which is so democratic
that it makes a nobleman of every
[Page 124]
successful scholar and gives to all the inspiration of equal
opportunity? They are, in a word, that it has failed to expand
with the growing wants of the people. The old curriculum laid down
by Confucius, "Begin with poetry; make etiquette your strong point;
and finish off with music," was not bad for his day, but is utterly
inadequate for ours, unless it be for a young ladies seminary. The
Sage's chapter on experiment as the source of knowledge--a chapter
which might have anticipated the _Novum Organum_--having been
lost, the statesmen of the T'ang period fell into the error of
leaving in their scheme no place for original research. This it
was that made the mind of China barren of discoveries for twelve
centuries. It was like putting a hood on the keen-eyed hawk and
permitting him to fly at only such game as pleased his master.

The chief requirement was superficial polish in prose and verse.
The themes were taken exclusively from books, the newest of which
was at that time over a thousand years old. To broach a theory
not found there was fatal; and to raise a question in physical
science was preposterous. Had anyone come forward with a new machine
he might have been rewarded; but no such inventor ever came because
the best minds in the Empire were trained to trot blindfold on
a tread-mill in which there was no possibility of progress. Had
the mind of the nation been left free and encouraged to exert its
force, who can doubt that the country that produced the mariner's
compass might have given birth to a Newton or an Edison?

After Wu none of the monarchs of this dynasty
[Page 125]
calls for notice. The last emperor was compelled to abdicate; and
thus, after a career of nearly three centuries bright with the
light of genius and prolific of usages good and bad that set the
fashion for after ages, this great house was extinguished.

[Page 126]

THE SUNG DYNASTY, 960-1280 A. D.
(18 Emperors)

_The Five Philosophers--Wang Ngan-shi, Economist--The Kin Tartars--The
Southern Sungs--Aid of Mongols Invoked to Drive Out the Kins--Mongols
Exterminate Sungs_

On the fall of the house of T'ang, a score of factions contended for
the succession. During the fifty-three years preceding the establishment
of the Sungs, no less than five of them rose to temporary prominence
sufficient to admit of being dubbed a "dynasty." Collectively they
are spoken of as the "Five Dynasties" (907-960).

Their names are without exception a repetition of those of former
dynasties, Liang, T'ang, Ts'in, Han, Chou with the prefix
"Later"--suggesting that each claimed to be a lineal successor
of some previous imperial family. Their struggles for power, not
more instructive than a conflict of gladiators, are so devoid of
interest that the half-century covered by them may be passed over
as a blank. It may, however, be worth while to remind the reader
that as the House of Han was followed by the wars of the "Three
Kingdoms," and that of Ts'in by a struggle of North and South under
four states, so the House of T'ang was now
[Page 127]
succeeded by five short-lived "dynasties," with a mean duration of
scarcely more than ten years. The numerical progression is curious;
but it is more important to notice a historical law which native
Chinese writers deduce from those scenes of confusion. They state
it in this form: "After long union the empire is sure to be divided;
after long disruption it is sure to be reunited."

So deep an impression has this historical generalisation made on
the public mind that if the empire were now to be divided between
foreign nations, as it has been more than once, the people would
confidently expect it to be reintegrated under rulers of their
own race.

The undivided Sung dynasty held sway from 960 to 1127; that of
the southern Sungs from 1127 to 1280. The founder of the house was
Chao-kwang-yun, an able leader of soldiers and an astute politician.
So popular was he with his troops that they called him to the throne
by acclamation. He was drunk, it is said, when his new dignity was
announced, and he had no alternative but to wear the yellow robe
that was thrown on his shoulders. Undignified as was his debut,
his reign was one continued triumph. After a tenure of seventeen
years, he left his successor in possession of nearly the whole of
China Proper together with a fatal legacy of lands on the north.

The two main features of the Sung period are the rise of a great
school of philosophy and the constant encroachment of the Tartars. The
two Chengs being brothers, the names of the five leading philosophers
fall into an alliterative line of four syllables, _Cheo,
[Page 128]
Cheng, Chang, Chu_. Acute in speculation and patient in research,
they succeeded in fixing the interpretation of the sacred books,
and in establishing a theory of nature and man from which it is
heresy to dissent. The rise of their school marks an intellectual
advance as compared with the lettered age of the T'angs. It was an
age of daring speculation; but, as constantly happens in China,
the authority of these great men was converted into a bondage for
posterity. The century in which they flourished (1020-1120) is
unique in the history of their country as the age of philosophy.
In Europe it was a part of the Dark Ages; and at that time the
Western world was convulsed by the Crusades.

The most eminent of the five philosophers was Chu Fu-tse. Not the
most original, he collected the best thoughts of all into a system;
and his erudition was such that the whole range of literature was
his domain. Chu Hi, the Coryphæus of mediæval China, stands next
in honour after that incomparable pair, Confucius and Mencius.
Contemporary with the earlier members of this coterie appeared Wang
Ngan-shi, an economist, of rare originality. His leading principle
was the absorption by the state of all industrial enterprises--state
ownership of land, and in general a paternal system to supersede
private initiative. So charming was the picture presented in his
book "The Secret of Peace" (still extant) that the Emperor gave him
_carte blanche_ to put his theory into practice. In practical
life however it was a failure--perhaps because he failed to allow
for the strength or weakness of materials and instruments. His
book is a Chinese
[Page 129]
Utopia, nearly akin to those of Plato and Sir John More.

In the northeast beyond the Wall were two Tartar kingdoms, one
of which was the Kin or "Golden Horde"--remote ancestors of the
Manchu dynasty. A constant menace to the settled population of the
"inner land," they obtained possession of Peking in 1118. For a
time they were kept at bay by a money payment which reminds one of
the _Danegeld_ paid by our forefathers to the sea-robbers of
northern Europe. Payments not being punctual, the Tartars occupied
portions of the northern provinces, and pushed their way as far south
as K'ai-fung-fu, the capital of the Empire. The Emperor retired
to Nanking, leaving in command his son, who, unable to resist the
Tartars, made a disgraceful peace. A heavy ransom was paid to avert
the sacking of the city; and all the region on the north of the
Yellow River passed under Tartar sway.

Repenting of their hard bargain, the Chinese provoked a renewal
of hostilities, which resulted in a heavier downfall. The capital
surrendered after a severe siege, and the Emperor with his court
was carried into captivity. The next emperor acknowledged himself
a vassal of the Tartars; but peace on such conditions could not
be of long duration. An intermittent warfare was kept up for more
than a century, in the course of which Nanking was pillaged, and
the court fell back successively on Hangchow and Wenchow. When
there was no longer a place of safety on the mainland the wretched
fugitives sought refuge on an island. Fitting out a fleet the Tartars
continued the
[Page 130]
pursuit; but more used to horses than ships, the fleet was annihilated,
and the expiring dynasty obtained a new lease of life.

This was about 1228. The Mongols under Genghis Khan and his successors
had carried everything before them in the northwest. Thirsting for
revenge, the Chinese appealed for aid to this new power--and the
Mongols found an opportunity to bag two birds instead of one. As
a Chinese fable puts it: "A sea-bird failing to make a breakfast
on a shellfish was held in its grip until a fisherman captured

The Kins were driven back into Manchuria; and the Chinese without
asking leave of their allies reoccupied their old capital. But
the revival of the Sungs was no part of the Mongol programme. The
Sungs declining to evacuate K'ai-fung-fu and to cede to the Mongols
the northern half of the empire, the latter resolved on a war of
extermination. After a bitter struggle of fifteen years, the infant
emperor and his guardians again committed their fortunes to the sea.
The Mongols, more lucky than the other Tartars, were victorious
on water as well as on land; and the last scion of the imperial
house drowned himself to escape their fury (1280).

[Page 131]

(10 Emperors)

_Kublai Khan--First Intercourse of China with Europe--Marco Polo--The
Grand Canal_

Parts of China had been frequently overrun by foreign conquerors;
but the Mongols were the first to extend their sway over the whole
country. The subjugation of China was the work of Kublai, grandson
of Genghis, who came to the throne in 1260, inheriting an empire
more extensive than Alexander or Cæsar had dreamed of. In 1264
the new khan fixed his court at Peking and proceeded to reduce the
provinces to subjection. Exhausted and disunited as they were the
task was not difficult, though it took fifteen years to complete.
Ambition alone would have been sufficient motive for the conquest,
but his hostility was provoked by perfidy--especially by the murder
of envoys sent to announce his accession. "Without good faith,"
says Confucius, "no nation can exist."

By the absorption of China the dominions of Kublai were made richer,
if not greater in extent, than those of his grandfather, while the
splendour of his court quite eclipsed that of Genghis Khan.

Unknown to the ancient Romans, China was revealed to their mediæval
successors by the Mongol
[Page 132]
conquest. In 1261 two Venetian merchants, Nicolo and Matteo Polo,
made their way to Bokhara, whence, joining an embassy from India,
they proceeded to Kublai's capital at Xanadu (or Shangtu) near
the site of Peking. They were the first white men the Grand Khan
had ever seen, and he seems to have perceived at once that, if not
of superior race, they were at least more advanced in civilisation
than his own people; for, besides intrusting them with letters to
the Pope, he gave them a commission to bring out a hundred Europeans
to instruct the Mongols in the arts and sciences of the West.

In 1275 they returned to Peking without other Europeans, but accompanied
by Marco Polo, the son of Nicolo. They were received with more
honour than on their first visit, and the young man was appointed
to several positions of trust in the service of the monarch. After
a sojourn of seventeen years, the three Polos obtained permission
to join the escort of a Mongol princess who was going to the court
of Persia. In Persia they heard of the death of their illustrious
patron, and, instead of returning to China, turned their faces
homeward, arriving at Venice in 1295.

Having been captured by the Genoese, Marco Polo while in prison
dictated his wonderful story. At first it was looked on as a romance
and caused its author to receive the sobriquet of "Messer Millione";
but its general accuracy has been fully vindicated.

The chief effect of that narrative was to fire the imagination
of another Italian and lead him by steering to the west to seek
a short cut to the Eldorado.
[Page 133]
How strange the occult connection of sublunary things! The Mongol
Kublai must be invoked to account for the discovery of America!
The same story kindled the fancy of Coleridge, in the following
exquisite fragment, which he says came to him in a vision of the

 "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree:
  Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
  Through caverns measureless to man,
    Down to a sunless sea."
      --_Kubla Khan._

Still another Italian claims mention as having made some impression
on the court of Kublai. This was Corvino, a missionary sent by the
Pope; but of his church, his schools, and his convents, there were
left no more traces than of his predecessors, the Nestorians.

The glory of Kublai was not of long duration. The hardy tribes of
the north became enervated by the luxury and ease of their rich
patrimony. "Capua captured Hannibal." Nine of the founder's descendants
followed him, not one of whom displayed either vigour or statesmanship.

Their power ebbed more suddenly than it rose. Shun-ti, the last
of the house, took refuge behind the Great Wall from the rising
tide of Chinese patriotism; and after a tenure of ninety years,
or of two centuries of fluctuating dominion, reckoning from the
rise of Genghis Khan, the Yuen dynasty came to an untimely end.

The magnificent waterway, the Grand Canal, remains an imperishable
monument of the Mongol
[Page 134]
sway. As an "alimentary canal" it was needed for the support of
the armies that held the people in subjection; and the Mongols
only completed a work which other dynasties had undertaken. A
description of it from personal observation is given in Part I of
this work (page 31). It remains to be said that the construction
of the Canal, like that of the Great Wall, was a leading cause of
the downfall of its builders. Forced labour and aggravated taxation
gave birth to discontent; rebellion became rife, and the Mongols
were too effeminate to take active measures for its suppression.

[Page 135]

THE MING DYNASTY, 1368-1644 A. D.
(16 Emperors)

_Humble Origin of the Founder--Nanking and Peking as Capital--First
Arrival of European Ships--Portuguese, Spaniards, and Dutch
Traders--Arrival of Missionaries--Tragic End of the Last of the

Humble as was the origin of the founder of the House of Han, spoken
of as _Pu-i_, "A peasant clothed in homespun," that of the
Father of the Mings was still more obscure. A novice or servant
(_sacrificulus_) in a Buddhist monastery, Chu Yuen Chang felt
called to deliver his people from oppression. At first regarded as
a robber chief, one of many, his rivals submitted to his leadership
and the people accepted his protection. Securing possession of
Nanking, a city of illustrious memories and strong natural defences,
he boldly proclaimed his purpose. After twenty years of blood and
strategy, he succeeded in placing the Great Wall between him and
the retreating Mongols. Proud of his victory he assumed for the
title of his reign _Hungwu_, "Great Warrior," and chose
_Ming_, "Luminous," for that of his dynasty.

Leaving his son, the Prince of Yen, at Peking, to hold the Tartars
in check, Hungwu spent the remaining
[Page 136]
years of his reign at his original capital, and then left the sceptre
to his grandson. The Prince of Yen, uncle of the youthful emperor,
feeling the slight implied in his father's choice, raised an army
and captured Nanking. A charred corpse being shown to him as that
of the emperor, he caused it to be interred with becoming rites,
and at once assumed the imperial dignity, choosing for his reigning
title _Yungloh_, "Perpetual Joy." He also removed the seat of
government to Peking, where it has remained for five centuries. The
"Thesaurus of Yungloh," a digest of Chinese literature so extensive
as to form a library in itself, remains a monument to his patronage
of letters.

A tragic episode in the history of the Mings was the capture of the
next emperor by the Mongols, who, however, failed to take Peking.
It was easier to make a new emperor than to ransom the captive.
His brother having been proclaimed, the Tartars sent their captive
back, hoping that a war between the brothers would weaken their
enemy. Retiring into private life he appeared to renounce his claim;
but after the death of his brother he once more occupied the throne.
What a theme for a romance!

Great Britain was described by a Roman as "almost cut off from the
whole world" because it was not accessible by land. China had long
been cut off from the Western world because it was not accessible
by sea. The way to India was opened by Diaz and Gama in 1498; and
the first Portuguese ships appeared at Canton in 1511. Well-treated
at first, others came in greater numbers. Their armaments were so
formidable as to excite suspicion; and their
[Page 137]
acts of violence kindled resentment. Under these combined motives
a massacre of the foreign traders was perpetrated, and Andrade, a
sort of envoy at Peking, was thrown into prison and beheaded. The
trading-posts were abolished except at Macao, where the Portuguese
obtained a footing by paying an annual rent.

After the Portuguese came the Spaniards, who appear to have been
satisfied with the Philippine archipelago, rather than provoke a
conflict with the Portuguese. The Chinese they had little reason
to dread, as the superiority of their arms would have enabled them
to seize portions of the seacoast, though not to conquer the Empire
as easily as they did the Mexicans and Peruvians. Perhaps, too,
they were debarred by the same authority which divided the Western
continent between the two Iberian powers. The Chinese becoming too
numerous at Manila, the Spaniards slaughtered them without mercy,
as if in retaliation for the blood of their cousins, or taking a
hint from the policy of China.

In 1622 the Dutch endeavoured to open trade with China, but their
advances being rejected, doubtless through secret opposition from
the Portuguese, they seized the Pescadores, and later established
themselves on Formosa, whence they were eventually expelled by
Koxinga, a Chinese freebooter.

The church founded by Corvino at Peking perished in the overthrow
of the Mongols. The Portuguese traders disapproved of missions,
as tending to impose restraint on their profligacy and to impart
to China the strength that comes from knowledge. The narrow
[Page 138]
policy of the Mings, moreover, closed the door against the introduction
of a foreign creed. Yet it is strange that half a century elapsed
before any serious attempt was made to give the Gospel to China.
In 1552 St. Francis Xavier, the apostle of the Indies, arrived
at Macao. He and his fellow Jesuits were indirect fruits of the
Protestant Reformation--belonging to an order organised for the
purpose of upholding and extending the power of the Holy See. After
wonderful success in India, the Straits, and Japan, Xavier appeared
in Chinese waters, but he was not allowed to land. He expired on
the island of Shang-chuen or St. John's, exclaiming "O rock, rock,
when wilt thou open?"

Ricci, who came in 1580, met with better success: but it cost him
twenty years of unceasing effort to effect an entrance to Peking.
Careful to avoid giving offence, and courtly in manners, his science
proved to be the master-key. Among the eminent men who favoured
his mission was Sü of Shanghai, whom he baptised by the name of
Paul. Not only did he help Ricci to translate Euclid for a people
ignorant of the first elements of geometry, but he boldly came to
the defence of missionaries when it was proposed to expel them.
His memorial in their favour is one of the best documents in the
defence of Christianity. Among the converts to the Christian faith
there are no brighter names than Paul Sü and his daughter Candida.

The Ming dynasty compares favourably in point of duration with
most of the imperial houses that preceded it; but long before the
middle of its third century it began to show signs of decay. In Korea
[Page 139]
it came into collision with the Japanese, and emerged with more
credit than did its successor from a war with the same foe, which
began on the same ground three centuries later. In the northeast
the Mings were able to hold the Manchus at bay, notwithstanding
an occasional foray; but a disease of the heart was sapping the
vigour of the dynasty and hastening its doom. Rebellion became
rife; and two of the aspirants to the throne made themselves masters
of whole provinces. One depopulated Szechuen; the other ravaged
Shansi and advanced on Peking. Chungchen, the last of the Mings,
realising that all was lost, hanged himself in his garden on the
Palatine Hill, after stabbing his daughter, as a last proof of
paternal affection (1643).

[Page 140]


_The Manchus, Invited to Aid in Restoring Order, Seat their Own
Princes on the Throne--the Traitor, General Wu San-kwei--Reigns of
Shunchi and Kanghi--Spread of Christianity--A Papal Blunder--Yung-cheng
Succeeded by Kieñlung, who Abdicates Rather than Reign Longer than
his Grandfather--Era of Transformation_

The Manchus had been preparing for some generations for a descent
on China. They had never forgotten that half the Empire had once
been in the possession of their forefathers, the Kin Tartars; and
after one or two abortive attempts to recover their heritage they
settled themselves at Mukden and watched their opportunity. It
came with the fall of the Mings.

Wu San-kwei, a Chinese general whose duty it was to keep them in
bounds, threw open the gate of the Great Wall and invoked their
assistance to expel the successful rebel. His family had been
slaughtered in the fall of the capital; he thirsted for revenge,
and without doubt indulged the hope of founding a dynasty. The
Manchus agreed to his terms, and, combining their forces with his,
advanced on Peking. Feeling himself unable to hold the city, the
rebel chief burnt
[Page 141]
his palace and retreated, after enjoying the imperial dignity ten

General Wu offered to pay off his mercenaries and asked them to
retire beyond the Wall. Smiling at his simplicity, they coolly
replied that it was for him to retire or to enter their service.
It was the old story of the ass and the stag. An ass easily drove
a stag from his pasture-ground by taking a man on his back; but the
man remained in the saddle. Forced to submit, the General employed
his forces to bring his people into subjection to their hereditary
enemy. Rewarded with princely rank, and shielded by the reigning
house, he has escaped the infamy which he deserved at the hands of
the historians. A traitor to his country, he was also a traitor to
his new masters. He died in a vain attempt at counter-revolution.

The new dynasty began with Shunchi, a child of six years, his uncle
the Prince Hwai acting as regent. Able and devoted, this great
man, whom the Manchus call Amawang, acquitted himself of his task
in a manner worthy of the model regent, the Duke of Chou. His task
was not an easy one. He had to suppress contending factions, to
conciliate a hostile populace, and to capture many cities which
refused to submit. In seven years he effected the subjugation of
the eighteen provinces, everywhere imposing the tonsure and the
"pigtail" as badges of subjection. Many a myriad of the Chinese
forfeited their heads by refusing to sacrifice their glossy locks;
but the conquest was speedy, and possession secure.

The success of the Manchus was largely due to the fact that they
found the empire exhausted by internal
[Page 142]
strife and came as deliverers. The odium of overturning the Ming
dynasty did not rest on them. While at Mukden they had cultivated
the language and letters of the "Inner land" and they had before
them, for guidance or warning, the history of former conquests.

They have improved on their predecessors, whether Kins or Mongols;
and with all their faults they have given to China a better government
than any of her native dynasties.

Shunchi (1644-1662) passed off the stage at the age of twenty-four
and left the throne to a son, Kanghi (1662-1723), who became the
greatest monarch in the history of the Empire. During his long reign
of sixty-one years, Kanghi maintained order in his wide domain,
corrected abuses in administration, and promoted education for both
nationalities. It is notable that the most complete dictionary
of the Chinese language bears the imprimatur of Kanghi, a Tartar

For his fame in the foreign world, Kanghi is largely indebted to
the learned missionaries who enjoyed his patronage, though he took
care to distinguish between them and their religion. The latter had
been proscribed by the regents, who exercised supreme power during
his minority. Their decree was never revoked; and persecution went on
in the provinces, without the least interference from the Emperor.
Still his patronage of missionaries was not without influence on
the status of Christianity in his dominions. It gained ground, and
before the close of his reign it had a following of over three hundred
thousand converts. Near the close of his reign he pointedly condemned
[Page 143]
the foreign faith, and commanded the expulsion of its propagators,
except a few, who were required in the Board of Astronomy.

The favourable impression made by Ricci had been deepened by Schaal
and Verbiest. The former under Shunchi reformed the calendar and
obtained the presidency of the Astronomical Board. He also cast
cannon to aid the Manchu conquest. The latter did both for Kanghi,
and filled the same high post. Schaal employed his influence to
procure the building of two churches in Peking. Verbiest made use of
his to spread the faith in the provinces. The Church might perhaps
have gained a complete victory, had not dissensions arisen within her
own ranks. Dominicans and Franciscans entering the field denounced
their forerunners for having tolerated heathen rites and accepted
heathen names for God. After prolonged discussions and contradictory
decrees the final verdict went against the Jesuits. In this decision
the Holy See seems not to have been guided by infallible wisdom.

Kanghi, whose opinion had been requested by the Jesuits, asserted
that by _Tien_ and _Shang-ti_ the Chinese mean the Ruler
of the Universe, and that the worship of Confucius and of ancestors
is not idolatry, but a state or family ceremony. By deciding against
his views, the Pope committed the blunder of alienating a great
monarch, who might have been won by a liberal policy. The prohibition
of the cult of ancestors--less objectionable in itself than the
worship of saints--had the effect of arming every household against
a faith that aimed to subvert their family altars. The dethronement
of _Shang-ti_ (a name accepted by
[Page 144]
most Protestant missionaries) and the substitution of _Tien Chu_,
could not fail to shock the best feelings of devout people. _Tien
Chu_, if not a new coinage, was given by papal fiat an artificial
value, equivalent to "Lord of all"--whereas it had previously headed
a list of divisional deities, such as Lord of Heaven, Lord of Earth,
Lord of the Sea, etc.

What wonder that for two centuries Christianity continued to be a
prohibited creed! The ground thus lost by a papal blunder it has
never regained. The acceptance of _Tien_ and _Shang-ti_
by Protestants might perhaps do something to retrieve the situation,
if backed by some form of respect for ancestors.

Kanghi was succeeded by his son Yungcheng (1722-1736), who was
followed by Kienlung (1736-1796), during whose reign the dynasty
reached the acme of splendour. Under Kienlung, Turkestan was added to
the empire. The Grand Lama of Tibet was also enrolled as a feudatory;
but he never accepted the laws of China, and no doubt considered
himself repaid by spiritual homage. No territory has since been
added, and none lost, if we except the cession of Formosa to Japan
and of Hong Kong to Great Britain. The cessions of seaports to
other powers are considered as temporary leases.

After a magnificent reign of sixty years, Kienlung abdicated in
favour of his fifth son, Kiak'ing, for the whimsical reason that
he did not wish to reign longer than his grandfather. In Chinese
eyes this was sublime. Why did they not enact a law that no man
should surpass the longevity of his father?

As to Kiak'ing, who occupied the throne for twenty-four
[Page 145]
years, weak and dissolute is a summary of his character.

The next four reigns came under the influence of new forces. They
belong to the era of transformation, and may properly be reserved
for Part III.

[Page 147]


[Page 149]


_Prologue--Act 1, the Opium War--(Note on the Taiping Rebellion)--Act
2, the "Arrow" War--Act 3, War with France--Act 4, War with Japan--Act
5, the Boxer War_


If one were asked to name the most important three events that took
place in Asia in the last century, he could have no hesitation in
pointing to the extension of the Indian Empire and the renovation
of Japan as two of them. But where would he look for the third?
Possibly to some upheaval in Turkey, Persia, or Asiatic Russia.
In my opinion, however, China is the only country whose history
supplies the solution of the problem. The opening of that colossal
empire to unrestricted intercourse with other countries was not
a gradual evolution from within--it was the result of a series
of collisions between the conservatism of the extreme Orient and
the progressive spirit of the Western world.

Each of those collisions culminated in a war, giving rise to a
cloud of ephemeral literature, in which a student might easily lose
his way, and which it would
[Page 150]
require the lifetime of an antediluvian to exhaust. I think, therefore,
that I shall do my readers a service if I set before them a concise
outline of each of those wars, together with an account of its causes
and consequences. Not only will this put them on their guard against
misleading statements; it will also furnish them with a syllabus of
the modern history of China in relation to her intercourse with
other nations.

During the past seven decades the Chinese Empire has been no less
than five times in conflict with foreign powers; and on each occasion
her policy has undergone a modification more or less extensive.
Taking these five conflicts seriatim--without touching on those
internal commotions whose rise and fall resembles the tides of
the ocean--I shall ask my readers to think of the Flowery Land as
a stage on which, within the memory of men now living, a tragedy
in five acts has been performed. Its subject was the Opening of
China; and its first act was the so-called Opium War (1839-42).
Prior to 1839 the Central Empire, as the Chinese proudly call their
country, with a population nearly equal to that of Europe and America
combined, was hermetically sealed against foreign intercourse,
except at one point, viz., the "Factories" at Canton.

This state of things is depicted with a few masterstrokes in a popular
work in Chinese entitled "Strange Stories of an Idle Student." The
first of these tales describes a traveller meeting in the mountains
an old man, in the costume of a former dynasty, whose family had
there sought a refuge from the anarchy that preceded the fall of
the imperial house. This
[Page 151]
old fellow had not even heard of the accession of the Manchu conquerors;
and though he was eager for information, he disappeared without
giving any clue to the Sleepy Hollow in which he was hiding. The
author no doubt intended a quiet satire on the seclusion of China,
that had nothing to ask of the outside world but to be let alone.

Another of the sketches, which is no satire, but a cautionary
hint--perhaps an unconscious prophecy--is entitled "The Magic Carpet
of the Red-haired," a vulgar designation for Europeans, in contrast
with the Chinese, who style themselves the "Black-haired race."
During the former dynasty, it says, a ship arrived from some unknown
country, and those aboard desired to engage in commerce. Their
request was refused; but when they asked permission to dry their
goods on shore, requiring for that purpose no more ground than
they could cover with a carpet, their petition was readily granted.
The carpet was spread, and the goods were exposed to the sun; then,
taking the carpet by its four corners, they stretched it so that
it covered several acres. A large body of armed men then planted
themselves on it, and striking out in every direction took possession
of the country. This elastic carpet reminds one of Dido's bull's
hide, which covered space enough for the foundation of Carthage.

ACT 1. THE OPIUM WAR, 1839-1842

The Tartars, who began their conquest in 1644, were naturally suspicious
of other foreigners who had secured a foothold in India, where the
Great Mogul, a scion
[Page 152]
of their own race, still held nominal sway. The trading-posts,
which the Chinese emperors had permitted foreigners to open as
far north as Ningpo, were closed, and only one point of tangency
was allowed to remain--the above-mentioned Factories at Canton, a
spot, as we shall see, large enough to admit of the spreading of
a "magic carpet." Foreign trade was at that time insignificant, in
comparison with the enormous expansion which it has now attained.
It was mainly in the hands of the British, as it still continues to
be; and no small part of it consisted in opium from the poppy-fields
of India. Though under the ban of prohibition, this drug was smuggled
into every bay and inlet, with scarcely a pretence of concealment.
With the introduction of the vicious opium habit the British had
nothing to do; but they contrived to turn it to good account.

The Emperor Tao Kwang, moved, it is said, by the unhappy fate of
one of his sons who had fallen a victim to the seductive poison,
resolved at all hazards to put a stop to a traffic so ruinous to
his people. Commissioner Lin, a native of Foochow, was transferred
from the viceroyalty of Wuchang to that of Canton and clothed with
plenary powers for the execution of this decree. To understand the
manner in which he undertook to execute the will of his master
it must be remembered that diplomatic intercourse had as yet no
existence in China, because she considered herself as sustaining
to foreign nations no other relation than that of a suzerain to
a vassal. Her mandarins scorned to hold direct communication with
any of the superintendents of foreign commerce--receiving
[Page 153]
petitions and sending mandates through the hong merchants, thirteen
native firms which had purchased a monopoly of foreign trade.

In 1834 Lord Napier was appointed to the humble position of
superintendent of British trade in China, He arrived at Macao on
July 15 of that year, and announced his appointment by a letter to
the prefect, which was handed for transmission to the commander of
the city gate of Canton--a barrier which no foreigner was permitted
to pass. The letter was returned through the brokers without any
answer other than a line on the cover informing the "barbarian
eye" (consul) that the document was "tossed back" because it was
not superscribed with the character _pin_ (or _ping_),
which signifies a "humble petition."

This was the beginning of sorrows for China as well as for poor
Napier, who, failing in his efforts to communicate with the mandarins
on equal terms, retired to the Portuguese settlement of Macao and
died of disappointment. The eminent American statesman, John Quincy
Adams, speaking in later years of the war that ensued, declared
that its cause was not opium but a _pin_, i. e., an insolent
assumption of superiority on the part of China.

The irrepressible conflict provoked by these indignities was
precipitated in 1839 by the action of the new viceroy, who undertook
to effect a summary suppression of the traffic in opium. One morning
shortly after his arrival, the foreigners at Canton, who were always
locked up at night for their own safety, awoke to find themselves
surrounded by a body of soldiers and threatened with indiscriminate
[Page 154]
slaughter unless they surrendered the obnoxious drug, stored on
their opium hulks, at an anchorage outside the harbour.

While they were debating as to what action to take, Captain Charles
Elliot, the new superintendent, came up from Macao and bravely insisted
on sharing the duress of his countrymen. Calling the merchants
together he requested them to surrender their opium to him, to be
used in the service of the Queen as a ransom for the lives of her
subjects, assuring them that Her Majesty's Government would take
care that they should be properly indemnified. Twenty thousand
chests of opium were handed over to the viceroy (who destroyed the
drug by mixing it with quicklime in huge vats); and the prisoners
were set at liberty.

The viceroy fondly imagined that the incident was closed, and flattered
himself that he had gained an easier victory than he could have done
by sending his junks against the armed ships of the smugglers.
Little did he suspect that he had lighted a slow-match, that would
blow up the walls of his own fortress and place the throne itself
at the mercy of the "barbarian."

A strong force was despatched to China to exact an indemnity, for
which the honour of the Crown had been pledged, and to punish the
Chinese for the cut-throat fashion in which they had sought to
suppress a prohibited trade. The proud city of Canton averted a
bombardment by paying a ransom of $6,000,000; islands and seaports
were occupied by British troops as far north as the River Yang-tse; and
Nanking, the ancient capital, was only saved from falling into their
[Page 155]
hands by the acceptance of such conditions of peace as Sir Henry
Pottinger saw fit to impose.

Those conditions were astonishingly moderate for a conqueror who,
unembarrassed by the interests of other powers, might have taken
the whole empire. They were, besides payment for the destroyed
drug, the opening of five ports to British trade, and the cession
to Great Britain of Hong Kong, a rocky islet which was then the
abode of fishermen and pirates, but which to-day claims to outrank
all the seaports of the world in the amount of its tonnage. Not
a word, be it noted, about opening up the vast interior, not a
syllable in favour of legalising the opium traffic, or tolerating

So much for the charge that this war, which bears a malodorous
name, was waged for the purpose of compelling China to submit to the
continuance of an immoral traffic. That a smuggling trade would go
on with impunity was no doubt foreseen and reckoned on by interested
parties; but it is morally certain that if the Chinese had understood
how to deal with it they might have rid themselves of the incubus
without provoking the discharge of another shot.

Here ends the first act, in 1842; and in it I may claim a personal
interest from the fact that my attention was first turned to China
as a mission field by the boom of British cannon in the Opium War.

China was not opened; but five gates were set ajar against her
will. For that she has to thank the pride and ignorance of emperor
and viceroy which betrayed them into the blunder of dealing with
British merchants as a policeman deals with pickpockets. For the first
[Page 156]
time in her history she was made aware of the existence of nations
with which she would have to communicate on a footing of equality.

The moderation and forbearance of Pottinger in refraining from
demanding larger concessions, and in leaving the full consequences
of this war to be unfolded by the progress of time, may fairly
challenge comparison with the politic procedure of Commodore Perry
in dealing with Japan in 1854. One may ask, too, would Japan have
come to terms so readily if she had not seen her huge neighbour
bowing to superior force?

       *       *       *       *       *

An important consequence of the Opium War was the outbreak of rebellions
in different parts of the Empire. The prestige of the Tartars was
in the dust. Hitherto deemed invincible, they had been beaten by a
handful of foreigners. Was not this a sure sign that their divine
commission had been withdrawn by the Court of Heaven? If so, might
it not be possible to wrest the sceptre from their feeble grasp,
and emancipate the Chinese race?

Private ambition was kindled at the prospect, and patriotism was
invoked to induce the people to make common cause. Three parties
entered the field: the Tai-pings of the South, the "Red-haired" on
the seacoast, and the Nienfi in the north. Neither of the latter
two deserves notice; but the first-named made for themselves a
place in history which one is
[Page 157]
not at liberty to ignore, even if their story were less romantic
than it is. It will be convenient to introduce here the following
note on the Tai-ping rebellion.


In 1847 a young man of good education and pleasing manners, named
Hung Siu-tsuen, presented himself at the American Baptist mission in
Canton, saying he had seen their sacred book and desired instruction.
This he received from the Rev. Issachar Roberts; and he was duly
enrolled as a catechumen. Without receiving the sealing ordinance,
or taking his instructor into confidence, Siu-tsuen returned to his
home at Hwa-hien and began to propagate his new creed. His talents
and zeal won adherents, whom he organised into a society called
_Shang-ti-hwui_, "the Church of the supreme God." Persecution
transformed it into a political party, to which multitudes were
attracted by a variety of motives.

Following the early Church, in the absence of any modern model, his
converts expected and received spiritual gifts. Shall we describe
such manifestations as hysteria, hypnotism, or hypocrisy? Their
fanaticism was contagious, especially after their flight to the
mountains of Kwangsi. There Siu-tsuen boldly raised the flag of
rebellion and proclaimed that he had a divine call to restore the
throne to the Chinese race, and to deliver the people from the curse
of idolatry. In this twofold crusade he was ably seconded by one
Yang, who possessed all the qualities of a successful hierophant.
Shrewd and calculating, Yang was able
[Page 158]
at will to bring on cataleptic fits, during which his utterances
passed for the words of the Holy Ghost.

The new empire which they were trying to establish, they called
_Tai-ping Tien-kwoh_, "The Kingdom of Heaven and the reign
of peace." Hung was emperor, to be saluted with _Wansue!_
(Japanese, _Banzai!_) "10,000 years!" Yang as prince-premier
was saluted with "9,000 years," nine-tenths of a banzai. He was
the medium of communication with the Court of Heaven; and all their
greater movements were made by command of Shang-ti, the Supreme

On one occasion Yang went into a trance and declared that Shang-ti
was displeased by something done by his chief, and required the
latter to receive a castigation on his naked shoulders. The chief
submitted, whether from credulity or from policy it might not be
easy to say; but thereby the faith of his followers seems to have
been confirmed rather than shaken. Nor did Yang take advantage
of his chief's disgrace to usurp his place or to treat him as a

Through Yang it was revealed that they were to leave their mountain
fortress and strike for Nanking, which had been made the capital on
the expulsion of the Mongols, and which was destined to enjoy the
same dignity on the overthrow of the Manchus. That programme, one of
unexampled daring, was promptly put into execution. Descending into
the plains of Hunan, like a mountain torrent they swept everything
before them and began their march towards the central stronghold
fifteen hundred miles distant. Striking the "Great River" at Hankow,
they pillaged
[Page 159]
the three rich cities Wuchang, Hanyang, and Hankow, and, seizing
all the junks, committed themselves to its current without a doubt
as to the issue of their voyage.

Nanking was carried by assault despite the alleged impregnability
of its ramparts, and despite also a garrison of 25,000 Manchus.
These last must have fought with the fury of despair; for they
well knew what fate awaited them. Not one was spared to tell the
tale--this was in 1853. There the Tai-pings held their ground for
ten years; and it is safe to affirm that without the aid of foreign
missionaries they never would have been dislodged.

The second part of their enterprise--the expulsion of the Manchus
from Peking--ended in defeat. A strong detachment was sent north
by way of the Grand Canal. At first they met with great success--no
town or city was able to check their progress, which resembled
Napoleon's invasion of Russia. At the beginning of winter they
were met by a strong force under the Mongol prince Sengkolinsin;
then came the more dreaded generals--January and February. Unable
to make headway, they went into winter quarters, and committed
the blunder of dividing themselves between two towns, where they
were besieged and cut off in detail.

In the meantime the eyes of the world were turned toward Nanking.
Ships of war were sent to reconnoitre and Consul T. T. Meadows,
who accompanied the _Hermes_, made a report full of sympathy;
but the failure of their expedition to the north deterred the nation
from any formal recognition of the Tai-ping government.

[Page 160]
Missionaries were attracted by their profession of Christianity.
Among others, I made an unsuccessful attempt to reach them. Unable
to induce my boatmen to run the blockade, I returned home and took
up the pen in their defence. My letters were well received, but they
did not prevent soldiers of fortune, like the American Frederick
G. Ward and Colonel Gordon of the British army, throwing their
swords into the scale.

Two Sabbatarians hearing that the rebels observed Saturday for
their day of rest, posted off to confirm them in that ancient usage.
Learning at an outpost that the seeming agreement with their own
practice grew out of a mistake in reckoning, they did not continue
their journey.

A missionary who actually penetrated to the rebel headquarters
was the Rev. Issachar Roberts, the first instructor of the rebel
chief. The latter had sent him a message inviting him to court.
His stay was not long. He found that his quondam disciple had
substituted a new mode of baptism, neither sprinkling nor immersion,
but washing the pit of the stomach with a towel dipped in warm
water! Who says the Chinese are not original? It is probable that
Roberts's dispute lay deeper than a mere ceremony. Professing a
New Testament creed, the rebel chief shaped his practice on Old
Testament examples--killing men as ruthlessly as David, and, like
Solomon, filling his harem with women. A remonstrance on either
head was certain to bring danger; it was said indeed that Roberts's
life was threatened.

Some queer titles were adopted by the Tai-pings.
[Page 161]
As stated above, the premier was styled "Father of 9,000 years";
other princes had to content themselves with 7,000, 6,000, etc.--or
seven-tenths and six-tenths of a "Live forever!" Christ was the
"Heavenly Elder Brother"; and the chief called himself "Younger
Brother of Jesus Christ." These designations might excite a smile;
but when he called Yang, his adviser, the "Holy Ghost," one felt
like stopping one's ears, as did the Hebrews of old. The loose morals
of the Tai-pings and their travesty of sacred things horrified the
Christian world; and Gordon no doubt felt that he was doing God
a service in breaking up a horde of blasphemers and blackguards.

Gordon's victory won an earldom for Li Hung Chang; but the Chinese
conferred no posthumous honours on Gordon as they did on Ward,
who has a temple and is reckoned among the gods of the empire.

The Tai-pings were commonly called Changmao, "long-haired" rebels,
because they rejected the tonsure and "pigtail" as marks of subjection.
They printed at Nanking, by what they called "Imperial authority,"
an edition of the Holy Scriptures. At one time Lord Elgin, disgusted
by the conduct of the Peking Government, proposed to make terms with
the court at Nanking. The French minister refused to coöperate, partly
because the rebels had not been careful to distinguish between the
images in Roman Catholic chapels and those in pagan temples, but
chiefly from an objection to the ascendency of Protestant influence,
coupled with a fear of losing the power that comes from a protectorate
of Roman Catholic missions. How different would have been
[Page 162]
the future of China had the allied powers backed up the Tai-pings
against the Manchus!

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT 2. THE "ARROW" WAR, 1857-1860

Of the second act in this grand drama on the world's wide stage,
a vessel, named the _Arrow_, was, like opium in the former
conflict, the occasion, not the cause. The cause was, as before,
pride and ignorance on the part of the Chinese, though the British
are not to be altogether exonerated. Their flag was compromised;
and they sought to protect it. Fifteen years of profitable commerce
had passed, during which China had been a double gainer, receiving
light and experience in addition to less valuable commodities,
when Viceroy Yeh seized the lorcha _Arrow_, on a charge of
piracy. Though owned by Chinese, she was registered in Hong Kong,
and sailed under the British flag. Had the viceroy handed her over
to a British court for trial, justice would no doubt have been
done to the delinquents, and the two nations would not have been
embroiled; but, haughty as well as hasty, the viceroy declined to
admit that the British Government had any right to interfere with
his proceedings. Unfortunately (or fortunately) British interests
at Canton were in the hands of Consul Parkes, afterward Sir Harry
Parkes, the renowned plenipotentiary at Peking and Tokio.

Sir John Bowring was governor of Hong Kong, with the oversight of
British interests in the Empire. A gifted poet, and an enthusiastic
advocate of universal peace, he was a man who might be counted on, if in
[Page 163]
the power of man, to hold the dogs of war in leash. But he, too,
had been consul at Canton and he knew by experience the quagmire
in which the best intentions were liable to be swamped.

Parkes, whom I came to know as Her Britannic Majesty's minister in
Peking, was the soul of honour, as upright as any man who walked
the earth. But with all his rectitude, he, like the Viceroy Yeh,
was irascible and unyielding. When the viceroy refused his demand
for the rendition of the _Arrow_ and her crew, he menaced him
with the weight of the lion's paw. Alarmed, but not cowed, the
viceroy sent the prisoners in fetters to the consulate, instead of
replacing them on board their ship; nor did he vouchsafe a word of
courtesy or apology. Parkes, too fiery to overlook such contemptuous
informality, sent them back, much as a football is kicked from
one to another; and the viceroy, incensed beyond measure, ordered
their heads to be chopped off without a trial.

Here was a Gordian knot, which nothing but the sword could loose.
War was provoked as before by the rashness of a viceroy. The
peace-loving governor did not choose to swallow the affront to
his country, nor did the occupant of the Dragon Throne deign to
interfere; looking on the situation with the same sublime indifference
with which the King of Persia regarded the warlike preparations of
the younger Cyrus, when he supposed, as Xenophon tells us, that
he was only going to fight out a feud with a neighbouring satrap.
How could China be opened; how was a stable equilibrium possible
so long as foreign powers were kept at a distance from the capital
of the Empire?

[Page 164]
In three months the haughty viceroy was a prisoner in India, never
to return, and his provincial capital was held by a garrison of
British troops. On this occasion the old blunder of admitting the
city to ransom was not repeated, else Canton might have continued
to be a hotbed of seditious plots and anti-foreign hostilities.
Parkes knew the people, and he knew their rulers also. He was
accordingly allowed to have his own way in dealing with them. The
viceroy being out of the way, he proposed to Pehkwei, the Manchu
governor, to take his place and carry on the provincial government
as if the two nations were at peace. Strange to say, the governor
did not decline the task. That he did not was due to the fact that
he disapproved the policy of the viceroy, and that he put faith
in the assurance that Great Britain harboured no design against
the reigning house or its territorial domain.

To the surprise of the Chinese, who in their native histories find
that an Asiatic conqueror always takes possession of as much territory
as he is able to hold, it soon became evident that the Queen of
England did not make war in the spirit of conquest. Her premier,
Lord Palmerston, invited the coöperation of France, Russia, and
the United States, in a movement which was expected to issue
advantageously to all, especially to China. France, at that time
under an ambitious successor of the great Napoleon, seized the
opportunity to contribute a strong contingent, with the view of
checkmating England and of obtaining for herself a free hand in
Indo-China, possibly in China Proper also. For assuming a hostile
[Page 165]
attitude towards China, she found a pretext in the judicial murder of a
missionary in Kwangsi, just as Germany found two of her missionaries
similarly useful as an excuse for the occupation of Kiao-Chao in
1897. No wonder the Chinese have grown cautious how they molest a
missionary; but they needed practical teaching before they learned
the lesson.

Unable to take a morsel of China as long as his powerful ally abstained
from territorial aggrandisement, Louis Napoleon subsequently employed
his troops to enlarge the borders of a small state which the French
claimed in Annam, laying the foundation of a dominion which goes
far to console them for the loss of India. America and Russia,
having no wrongs to redress, declined to send troops, but consented
to give moral support to a movement for placing foreign relations
with China on a satisfactory basis.

In the spring of 1858, the representatives of the four powers met
at the mouth of the Peiho, coöperating in a loose sort of concert
which permitted each one to carryon negotiations on his own account.
As interpreter to the Hon. W. B. Reed, the American minister, I
enjoyed the best of opportunities for observing what went on behind
the scenes, besides being a spectator of more than one battle.

The neutrals, arriving in advance of the belligerents, opened
negotiations with the Viceroy of Chihli, which might have added
supplementary articles, but must have left the old treaties
substantially unchanged. The other envoys coming on the stage insisted
that the viceroy should wear the title and be clothed with the
powers of a plenipotentiary. When that was
[Page 166]
refused, as being "incompatible with the absolute sovereignty of
the Emperor," they stormed the forts and proceeded to Tientsin
where they were met by men whose credentials were made out in due
form, though it is doubtful if their powers exceeded those of the
crestfallen viceroy. A pitiful artifice to maintain their affectation
of superiority was the placing of the names of foreign countries
one space lower than that of China in the despatch announcing their
appointment. When this covert insult was pointed out they apologised
for a clerical error, and had the despatches rectified.

The allies were able to dictate their own terms; and they got all
they asked for, though, as will be seen, they did not ask enough.
The rest of us got the same, though we had struck no blow and shed
no blood. One article, known as "the most-favoured-nation clause"
(already in the treaty of 1844), was all that we required to enable
us to pick up the fruit when others shook the tree.

Four additional seaports were opened, but Tienstin, where the treaties
were drawn up, was not one of them. I remember hearing Lord Elgin,
whose will was absolute, say that he was not willing to have it
thrown open to commerce, because in that case it would be used
to overawe the capital--just as if _overaweing_ were not the
very thing needed to make a bigoted government enter on the path of
progress. Never did a man in repute for statesmanship show himself
more shortsighted. His blunder led to the renewal of the war, and
its continuance for two more years.

[Page 167]
The next year when the envoys came to the mouth of the river, on
their way to Peking to exchange ratified copies of their treaties,
they found the forts rebuilt, the river closed, and access to the
capital by way of Tientsin bluntly refused. In taking this action,
the Chinese were not chargeable with a breach of faith; but the
allies, feeling insulted at having the door shut in their faces,
decided to force it open. They had a strong squadron; but their
gunboats were no match for the forts. Some were sunk; others were
beached; and the day ended in disastrous defeat. Though taking no
part in the conflict the Americans were not indifferent spectators.
Hearing that the British admiral was wounded, their commodore, the
brave old Tatnall, went through a shower of bullets to express
his sympathy, getting his boat shattered and losing a man on the
way. When requested to lend a helping hand, he exclaimed "Blood
is thicker than water;" and, throwing neutrality to the winds,
he proceeded to tow up a flotilla of British barges. His words
have echoed around the world; and his act, though impolitic from
the viewpoint of diplomacy, had the effect of knitting closer the
ties of two kindred nations.

Seeing the repulse of the allies, the American minister, the Hon.
J. E. Ward, resolved to accept an offer which they had declined,
namely, to proceed to the capital by land under a Chinese escort.
His country was pledged in the treaty, of which he was the bearer,
to use her good offices on the occurrence of difficulties with
other powers. Without cavilling at the prescribed route or mode
of conveyance, he felt it his duty to present himself before the
Throne as speedily
[Page 168]
as possible in the hope of averting a threatened calamity. For
him, it was an opportunity to do something great and good; for
China, it was the last chance to ward off a crushing blow. But
so elated were the Chinese by their unexpected success that they
were in no mood to accept the services of a mediator. The Emperor
insisted that he should go on his knees like the tribute-bearer
from a vassal state. "Tell them," said Mr. Ward, "that I go on
my knees only to God and woman"--a speech brave and chivalrous,
but undignified for a minister and unintelligible to the Chinese.
With this he quitted the capital and left China to her fate. He
was not the first envoy to meet a rude rebuff at the Chinese court.
In 1816 Lord Amherst was not allowed to see the "Dragon's Face"
because he refused to kneel. At that date England was not in a
position to punish the insult; but it had something to do with the
war of 1839. In 1859 it was pitiful to see a power whose existence
was hanging in the scales alienate a friend by unseemly insolence.

The following year (1860) saw the combined forces of two empires
at the gates of Peking. The summer palace was laid in ashes to
punish the murder of a company of men and officers under a flag
of truce; and it continues to be an unsightly ruin. The Emperor
fled to Tartary to find a grave; and throne and capital were for
the first time at the mercy of an Occidental army. On the accession
of Hien-feng, in 1850, an old counsellor advised him to make it
his duty to "restore the restrictions all along the coast." His
attempt to do this was one source of his misfortunes. Supplementary
articles were signed within the walls,
[Page 169]
by which China relinquished her absurd pretensions, abandoned her
long seclusion, and, at the instance of France, threw open the
whole empire to the labours of Christian missions. They had been
admitted by rescript to the Five Ports, but no further.

Thus ends the second act of the drama; and a spectator must be
sadly deficient in spiritual insight if he does not perceive the
hand of God overruling the strife of nations and the blunders of


The curtain rises on the third act of the drama in 1885. Peking was
open to residence, and I had charge of a college for the training
of diplomatic agents.

I was at Pearl Grotto, my summer refuge near Peking, when I was
called to town by a messenger from the Board of Foreign Affairs.
The ministers informed me that the French had destroyed their fleet
and seized their arsenal at Foochow. "This," they said, "is war. We
desire to know how the non-combatants of the enemy are to be treated
according to the rules of international law." I wrote out a brief
statement culled from text-books, which I had myself translated
for the use of the Chinese Government; but before I had finished
writing a clerk came to say that the Grand Council wished to have
it as soon as possible, as they were going to draw up a decree on
the subject. The next day an imperial decree proclaimed a state
of war and assured French people in China that if they refrained
from taking part in any hostile act they might remain in their
places, and count on full protection. Nobly did the government of
the day redeem its pledge.
[Page 170]
Not a missionary was molested in the interior; and two French professors
belonging to my own faculty were permitted to go on with the instruction
of their classes.

There was not much fighting. The French seized Formosa; and both
parties were preparing for a trial of strength, when a seemingly
unimportant occurrence led them to come to an understanding. A small
steamer belonging to the customs service, employed in supplying the
wants of lighthouses, having been taken by the French, Sir Robert
Hart applied to the French premier, Jules Ferry, for its release.
This was readily granted; and an intimation was at the same time
given that the French would welcome overtures for a settlement
of the quarrel. Terms were easily agreed upon and the two parties
resumed the _status quo ante bellum_.

So far as the stipulations were concerned neither party had gained
or lost anything, yet as a matter of fact France had scored a
substantial victory. She was henceforward left in quiet possession
of Tongking, a principality which China had regarded as a vassal
and endeavoured to protect.


China had not thoroughly learned the lesson suggested by this
experience; for ten years later a fourth act in the drama grew out
of her unwise attempt to protect another vassal.

In 1894 the Japanese, provoked by China's interference with their
enterprises in Korea, boldly drew the sword and won for themselves
a place among the great powers. I was in Japan when the war broke
[Page 171]
out, and, being asked by a company of foreigners what I thought
of Japan's chances, answered, "The swordfish can kill the whale."

Not merely did the islanders expel the Chinese from the Korean
peninsula, but they took possession of those very districts in
Manchuria from which they have but yesterday ousted the Russians.
Peking itself was in danger when Li Hung Chang was sent to the
Mikado to sue for peace. Luckily for China a Japanese assassin
lodged a bullet in the head of her ambassador; and the Mikado,
ashamed of that cowardly act, granted peace on easy conditions.
China's greatest statesman carried that bullet in his _dura mater_
to the end of his days, proud to have made himself an offering for
his country, and rejoicing that one little ball had silenced the
batteries of two empires.

By the terms of the treaty, Japan was to be left in possession
of Port Arthur and Liao-tung. But this arrangement was in fatal
opposition to the policy of a great power which had already cast
covetous eyes on the rich provinces of Manchuria. Securing the
support of France and Germany, Russia compelled the Japanese to
withdraw; and in the course of three years she herself occupied
those very positions, kindling in the bosom of Japan the fires
of revenge, and sowing the seeds of another war.[*]

[Footnote *: The Russo-Japanese war lies outside of our present
programme because China was not a party to it, though it involved
her interests and even her existence. The subject will be treated
in another chapter.]

The effect of China's defeat at the hands of her despised neighbour,
was, if possible, more profound than that of her humiliation by
the English and
[Page 172]
French in 1860. She saw how the adoption of Western methods had
clothed a small Oriental people with irresistible might; and her
wisest statesmen set themselves to work a similar transformation
in their antiquated empire. The young Emperor showed himself an
apt pupil, issuing a series of reformatory edicts, which alarmed
the conservatives and provoked a reaction that constitutes the
last act in this tremendous drama.


The fifth act opens with the _coup d'état_ of the Empress
Dowager, and terminates with the capture of Peking by the combined
forces of the civilised world.

Instead of attempting, even in outline, a narrative of events, it
will be more useful to direct attention to the springs of action.
It should be borne in mind that the late Emperor was the adopted son
of the Dowager Empress. After the death of her own son, Tung-chi,
who occupied the throne for eleven years under a joint regency
of two empresses, his mother cast about for some one to adopt in
his stead. With motives not difficult to divine she chose among
her nephews an infant of three summers, and gave him the title
_Kwangsu_, "Illustrious Successor." When he was old enough
to be entrusted with the reins of government, she made a feint
of laying down her power, in deference to custom. Yet she exacted
of the imperial youth that he visit her at her country palace and
throw himself at her feet once in five days--proof enough that
she kept her hand on the helm, though she
[Page 173]
mitted her nephew to pose as steersman. She herself was noted for
progressive ideas; and it was not strange that the young man, under
the influence of Kang Yuwei, backed by enlightened viceroys, should
go beyond his adoptive mother. Within three years from the close
of the war he had proclaimed a succession of new measures which
amounted to a reversal of the old policy; nor is it likely that
she disapproved of any of them, until the six ministers of the
Board of Rites, the guardians of a sort of Levitical law, besought
her to save the empire from the horrors of a revolution.

For her to command was to be obeyed. The viceroys were her appointees;
and she knew they would stand by her to a man. The Emperor, though
nominally independent, was not emancipated from the obligations of
filial duty, which were the more binding as having been created
by her voluntary choice. There was no likelihood that he would
offer serious resistance; and it was certain that he would not
be supported if he did. Coming from behind the veil, she snatched
the sceptre from his inexperienced hand, as a mother takes a deadly
weapon from a half-grown boy. Submitting to the inevitable he made
a formal surrender of his autocratic powers and, confessing his
errors, implored her "to teach him how to govern." This was in
September, 1898.

Stripped of every vestige of authority, the unhappy prince was
confined, a prisoner of state, in a secluded palace where it was
thought he would soon receive the present of a silken scarf as a hint
to make way for a worthier successor. That his life was spared was no
[Page 174]
doubt due to a certain respect for the public sentiment of the
world, to which China is not altogether insensible. He having no
direct heir, the son of Prince Tuan was adopted by the Dowager
as heir-apparent, evidently in expectation of a vacancy soon to
be filled. Prince Tuan, hitherto unknown in the politics of the
state, became, from that moment, the leader of a reactionary party.
Believing that his son would soon be called to the throne by the
demise of the Emperor, he put on all the airs of a _Tai-shang
Hwang_, or "Father of an Emperor."

Here again the _patria potestas_ comes in as a factor; and
in the brief career of the father of the heir-apparent, it shows
itself in its most exaggerated form. Under the influence of the
reactionary clique, of which he was acknowledged chief, the Empress
Dowager in her new regency was induced to repeal almost everything
the Emperor had done in the way of reform. In her edict she said
cynically: "It does not follow that we are to stop eating, because
we have been choked!" Dislike to foreign methods engendered an
ill-concealed hatred of foreigners; and just at this epoch occurred
a series of aggressions by foreign powers, which had the effect
of fanning that hatred into a flame.

In the fall of 1897 Germany demanded the cession of Kiao-Chao,
calling it a lease for 99 years. The next spring Russia under the
form of a lease for 25 years obtained Port Arthur for the terminus
of her long railway. England and France followed suit: one taking
a _lease_ of Wei-hai-wei; the other, of Kwang-chou-wan. Though
in every case the word "lease"
[Page 175]
was employed, the Chinese knew the transfer meant permanent alienation.

A hue and cry was raised against what they described as the "slicing
of the melon," and in Shantung, where the first act of spoliation
had taken place, the Boxers, a turbulent society of long standing,
were encouraged to wage open war against native Christians, foreigners
and foreign products, including railways, telegraphs, and all sorts
of merchandise.

Not until those predatory bands had entered the metropolitan province,
with the avowed object of pushing their way to Peking[*] did the
legations take steps to strengthen their guards. A small reinforcement
of 207 men luckily reached Peking a few days before the railway
was wrecked.

[Footnote *: On March 30, 1900, the following Boxer manifesto in
jingling rhyme, was thrown into the London Mission, at Tientsin. It
is here given in a prose version, taken from "A Flight for Life,"
by the Rev. J. H. Roberts, Pilgrim Press, Boston.

"We Boxers have come to Tientsin to kill an foreign devils, and
protect the Manchu dynasty. Above, there is the Empress Dowager
on our side, and below there is Junglu. The soldiers of Yulu and
Yuhien [governors of Shantung and Chihli] are an our men. When
we have finished killing in Tientsin, we shall go to Peking. All
the officials high and low will welcome us. Whoever is afraid let
him quickly escape for his life."]

With a view to protect the foreign settlement at Tientsin, then
threatened by Boxers, the combined naval forces stormed the forts
at the mouth of the river, and advanced to that rich emporium. The
Court denounced this as an act of war, and ordered all foreigners
to leave the capital within twenty-four hours. That meant slaughter
at the hands of the Boxers. The foreign ministers protested, and
[Page 176]
endeavoured by prolonged negotiation to avoid compliance with the
cruel order.

On June 20, the German minister, Baron von Ketteler, was on his
way to the Foreign Office to obtain an extension of time, when he
was shot dead in the street by a man in the uniform of a soldier.
His secretary, though wounded, gave the alarm; and all the legations,
with all their respective countrymen, took refuge in the British
Legation, with the exception of Bishop Favier and his people who,
with the aid of forty marines, bravely defended themselves in the
new cathedral.

In the evening we were fired on by the Government troops, and from
that time we were closely besieged and exposed to murderous attacks
day and night for eight weeks, when a combined force under the
flags of eight nations carried the walls by storm, just in time
to prevent such a massacre as the world has never seen. Massacres
on a larger scale have not been a rare spectacle; but never before
in the history of the world had any government been seen attempting
to destroy an entire diplomatic body, every member of whom is made
sacred by the law of nations.[*]


(Written four weeks before the end of the siege, this appeal failed
to reach the outside world. It is now printed for the first time.
Nothing that I could now write would show the situation with half
such vividness. It reveals the scene as with a lightning flash.)

                                    "British Legation, July 16, 1900.


"On the 19th ult. the Chinese declared war on account of the attack
on the forts at Taku. Since then we have been shut up in the British
Legation and others adjacent, and bombarded day and night with shot
and shell. The defence has been magnificent. About 1,000 foreigners
(of both sexes) have held their ground against the forces of the
Empire. Some thousands of Chinese converts are dependent on us for
protection. The City Wall near the legations is held by our men,
but the Chinese are forcing them back and driving in our outposts.
The mortality in our ranks is very great; and unless relief comes
soon we must all perish. Our men have fought bravely, and our women
have shown sublime courage. May this terrible sacrifice prove not
to be in vain! We are the victims of pagan fanaticism. Let this
pagan empire be partitioned among Christian powers, and may a new
order of things open on China with a new century!

"The chief asylum for native Christians is the Roman Catholic Cathedral,
where Bishop Favier aided by forty marines gives protection to four
or five thousand. The perils of the siege have obliterated the lines
of creed and nation, making a unity, not merely of Christians, but
bringing the Japanese into brotherhood with us. To them the siege
is a step toward Christianity."

"(Signed) DR. W. A. P. MARTIN."]

[Page 177]
On August 14 Gen. Gaseles and his contingent entered the British
Legation. The Court, conscious of guilt, fled to the northwest,
leaving the city once more at the mercy of the hated foreigner;
and so the curtain falls on the closing scene.

What feats of heroism were performed in the course of those eventful
weeks; how delicate women rose to the height of the occasion in
patient endurance and helpful charity; how international jealousies
were merged in the one feeling of devotion to the common good--all
this and more I should like to relate for the honour of human nature.

How an unseen power appeared to hold our enemies in check and to
sustain the courage of the besieged, I would also like to place on
record, to the glory of the Most High; but space fails for dealing
with anything but general principles.[1]

[Footnote 1: See the author's "The Siege in Peking," New York: Fleming
H. Revell Company.]

On the day following our rescue, at a thanksgiving meeting, which
was largely attended, Dr. Arthur
[Page 178]
Smith pointed out ten instances--most of us agreed that he might
have made the number ten times ten--in which the providence of
God had intervened on our behalf.

It was a role of an ancient critic that a god should not be brought
on the stage unless the occasion were such as to require the presence
of a more than human power. _Nec deus intersit nisi dignus vindice
nodus._ How many such occasions we have had to notice in the
course of this narrative! What a theodicæa we have in the result
of all this tribulation! We see at last, a government convinced
of the folly of a policy which brought on such a succession of
disastrous wars. We see missionaries and native Christians fairly
well protected throughout the whole extent of the Empire. We see,
moreover, a national movement in the direction of educational reform,
which, along with the Gospel of Christ, promises to impart new
life to that ancient people.

The following incident may serve to show the state of uncertainty
in which we lived during the interregnum preceding the return of
the Court.

While waiting for an opportunity to get my "train (the university)
on the track," I spent the summer of 1901 at Pearl Grotto, my usual
retreat, on the top of a hill over a thousand feet high, overlooking
the capital. "The Boxers are coming!" cried my writer and servants
one evening about twilight. "Haste--hide in the rocks--they will
soon be on us!" "I shall not hide," I replied; and seizing my rifle
I rested it on a wall which commanded the approach. They soon became
visible at the distance of a hundred yards,
[Page 179]
waving flambeaux, and yelling like a troop of devils. Happily I
reserved my fire for closer range; for leaving the path at that
point they betook themselves to the top of another hill where they
waved their torches and shouted like madmen. We were safe for the
night; and in the morning I reported the occurrence to Mr. O'Conor,
the British chargé d'affaires, who was at a large temple at the
foot of the hills. "They were not Boxers," he remarked, "but a
party we sent out _to look for a lost student_."


It is the fashion to speak slightingly of the Boxer troubles, and
to blink the fact that the movement which led to the second capture
of Peking and the flight of the Court was a serious war. The southern
viceroys had undertaken to maintain order in the south. Operations were
therefore localised somewhat, as they were in the Russo-Japanese War.
It is even said that the combined forces were under the impression
that they were coming to the rescue of a helpless government which
was doing all in its power to protect foreigners. Whether this was
the effect of diplomatic dust thrown in their eyes or not, _it
was a fiction_.

How bitterly the Empress Dowager was bent on exterminating the
foreigner, may be inferred from her decree ordering the massacre of
foreigners and their adherents--a savage edict which the southern
satraps refused to obey. A similar inference may be drawn from the
summary execution of four ministers of state for remonstrating against
throwing in the fortunes of the empire with the Boxer party. China
[Page 180]
should be made to do penance on her knees for those shocking displays
of barbarism. At Taiyuan-fu, forty-five missionaries were murdered
by the governor, and sixteen at Paoting-fu. Such atrocities are
only possible among a _half-civilised people_.

[Page 181]


_Russia's Schemes for Conquest--Conflicting Interests in
Korea--Hostilities Begin--The First Battles--The Blockade--Dispersion
of the Russian Fleet--Battle of Liao-yang--Fall of Port Arthur--Battle
of Mukden--The Armada--Battle of Tsushima--The Peace of Portsmouth--The
Effect on China_

To the Chinese the retrospect of these five wars left little room
for those pompous pretensions which appeared to be their vital

Beaten by Western powers and by the new power of the East, their
capital taken a second time after forty years' opportunity to fortify
it, and their fugitive court recalled a second time to reign on
sufferance or during good behaviour, what had they left to boast
of except the antiquity of their country and the number of their
people? Dazed and paralysed, most of them gave way to a sullen
resignation that differed little from despair.

There were, indeed, a few who, before things came to the worst,
saw that China's misfortunes were due to folly, not fate. Ignorant
conservatism had made her weak; vigorous reform might make her
strong. But another war was required to turn the feeling of the
few into a conviction of the many. This change was
[Page 182]
accomplished by a war waged within their borders but to which they
were not a party--a war which was not an act in their national
drama, but a spectacle for which they furnished the stage. That
spectacle calls for notice in the present work on account of its
influence on the destinies of China.

For the springs of action it will be necessary to go back three
centuries, to the time when Yermak crossed the Ural Mountains and
made Russia an Asiatic power. The conquest of Siberia was not to
end in Siberia. Russia saw in it a chance to enrich herself at
the expense of weaker neighbours. What but that motive led her, in
1858, to demand the Manchurian seacoast as the price of neutrality?
What but that led her to construct the longest railway in the world?
What but that impelled her to seek for it a second terminus on
the Gulf of Pechili?

The occupation of Port Arthur and Liao-tung by the Japanese, in
1895, was a checkmate to Russia's little game; and, supported by
France and Germany, she gave her notice to quit. During the Boxer
War of 1900, Russia increased her forces in Manchuria to provide
for the eventualities of a probable break-up, and after the peace
her delay in fulfilling her promise of evacuation was tantamount
to a refusal.

Had the Russians confined their attention to Manchuria they might
have continued to remain in possession; but another feeble state
offered itself as a tempting prize. They set greedy eyes on Korea,
made interest with an impoverished court, and obtained the privilege
of navigating the Yalu and cutting
[Page 183]
timber on its banks. This proceeding, though explained by the
requirements of railway construction, aroused the suspicion and
jealousy of the Japanese. They knew it meant more than seeking
an outlet for a lumber industry. They knew it portended vassalage
for Korea and ejection for themselves. Had they not made war on
China ten years before because they could brook no rival in the
peninsula? How could they tolerate the intrusion of Russia? Not
merely were their interests in Korea at stake; every advance of
Russia in that quarter, with Korea for vassal or ally, was a menace
to the existence of Japan.

The Japanese lost no time in entering a protest. Russia resorted
to the Fabian policy of delay as before; but she was dealing with
a people whose pride and patriotism were not to be trifled with.
After protracted negotiations Japan sent an ultimatum in which she
proposed to recognise Manchuria as Russia's sphere of influence,
provided Russia would recognise Japanese influence as paramount
in Korea. For a fortnight or more the Czar vouchsafed no reply.
Accustomed to being waited on, he put the paper in his pocket and
kept it there while every train on the railway was pouring fresh
troops into Manchuria. Without waiting for a formal reply, or deigning
to discuss modifications intended to gain time, the Japanese heard
the hour strike and cleared for action.

They are reproached for opening hostilities without first formally
declaring war. In the age of chivalry a declaration of war was a
solemn ceremony. A herald standing on the border read or recited his
[Page 184]
master's complaint and then hurled a spear across the boundary
as an act of defiance. In later times nothing more than a formal
announcement is required, except for the information of neutrals
and the belligerents' own people. The rupture of relations leaves
both parties free to choose their line of action. Japan, the newest
of nations, naturally adopted the most modern method.

Recalling her ambassador on February 6, 1904, Japan was ready to
strike simultaneous blows at two points. On February 8, Admiral
Uriu challenged two Russian cruisers at Chemulpo to come out and
fight, otherwise he would attack them in the harbour. Steaming
out they fired the first shots of the war, and both were captured
or destroyed. A little later on the same day Admiral Togo opened
his broadsides on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur, and resumed
the attack the following morning. Without challenge or notification
of any kind, his attack had the effect of a genuine surprise. The
Russians, whether from confidence in their position or contempt
for their enemy, were unprepared and replied feebly. They had seven
battleships to Togo's six, but the big ships of Japan were supported
by a flotilla of torpedo-boats which outnumbered those of Russia.
These alert little craft did great execution. Creeping into the
harbour while the bombardment kept the enemy occupied they sank
two battleships and one armoured cruiser. Other Russian vessels
were badly damaged; but, according to Togo's report, on the side
of Japan not one vessel was incapacitated for actual service.

Land forces, fully equipped and waiting for this
[Page 185]
special service, commenced operations without delay and began to
cut off communication from the land side while Togo's squadron
corked up every inlet from the sea. Alexieff, whose title of viceroy
revealed the intentions of Russia in regard to Manchuria, taking
alarm at the prospect of a siege, escaped to Harbin near the Siberian
frontier--a safer place for headquarters. To screen his flight he made
unwarrantable use of an ambulance train of the Red Cross Society.
Disagreeing with General Kuropatkin as to the plan of campaign,
he resigned the command of the army in April, and Kuropatkin was
promoted to the vacant place. Beaten in several engagements on
the Liao-tung peninsula, the Russians began to fall back, followed
by the Japanese under Field-Marshal Oyama; and the siege of the
fortress was prosecuted with unremitting vigour.

By July the Japanese had secured possession of the outer line of
forts, and, planting heavy guns on the top of a high hill, they were
able to throw plunging shot into the bosom of the harbour. No longer
safe at their inner anchorage, the Russian naval officers resolved
to attempt to reach Vladivostok, where the combined squadrons might
assume the offensive or at least be secure from blockade. Scarcely
had they gained the open sea when (on August 10) the Japanese fell on
them like a whirlwind and scattered their ships in all directions.
A few reëntered the harbour to await their doom; two or three found
their way to Vladivostok; two sought refuge at the German port of
Tsing-tao; two put into Shanghai; and one continued its flight
as far south as Saigon.

[Page 186]
One gunboat sought shelter at Chefoo, where I was passing my summer
vacation. The Japanese, in hot pursuit, showed no more respect to
the neutrality of China than they had shown to Korea. Boarding
the fugitive vessel, they summoned the captain to surrender. He
replied by seizing the Japanese officer in his arms and throwing
himself into the sea. They were rescued; and the Japanese then
carried off the boat under the guns of a Chinese admiral. Of this
incident in its main features I was an eye-witness. I may add that
we were near enough to bear witness to the fact of the siege; for,
in the words of Helen Sterling:

 "We heard the boom of guns by day
  And saw their flash by night,
  And almost thought, tho' miles away,
  That we were in the fight.

The Chinese admiral, feeling the affront to the Dragon flag and
fearing that he would be called to account, promptly tendered his
resignation. He was told to keep his place; and, by way of consoling
him for his inaction, the Minister of Marine added, "You are not
to blame for not firing on the Japanese. They are fighting our
battles--we can't do anything against them." So much for Chinese
neutrality in theory and in practice.

Kuropatkin, like the Parthian, "most dreaded when in flight," renouncing
any further attempt to break through the cordon which the Japanese
had drawn around the doomed fortress, intrenched his forces in
and around Liaoyang. His position was strong by
[Page 187]
nature, and he strengthened it by every device known to a military
engineer; yet he was driven from it in a battle which lasted nine

The Japanese, though not slow to close around his outposts, were
too cautious to deliver their main attack until they could be certain
of success. The combat thickened till, on August 24, cannon thundered
along a line of forty miles. Outflanked by his assailants, the
Russian general, perceiving that he must secure his communications
on the north or sustain a siege, abandoned his ground and fell
back on Mukden.

In this, the greatest battle of the campaign thus far, 400,000
men were engaged, the Japanese, as usual, having a considerable
majority. The loss of life was appalling. The Russian losses were
reported at 22,000; and those of Japan could not have been less.
Yet Liaoyang with all its horrors was only a prelude to a more
obstinate conflict on a more extended arena.

Without hope of succour by land, and without a fleet to bring relief
by sea, the Russians defended their fortress with the courage of
despair. Ten years before this date the Japanese under Field-marshal
Oyama had carried this same stronghold almost by assault. Taking
it in the rear, a move which the Chinese thought so contrary to
the rules of war that they had neglected their landward defences,
they were masters of the place on the morning of the third day.

How different their reception on the present occasion! How changed
the aspect! The hills, range after range, were now crowned with
forts. Fifty thousand of Russia's best soldiers were behind those
batteries, many of which were provided with casemates impenetrable
[Page 188]
to any ordinary projectile. General Stoessel, a man of science,
courage and experience, was in command; and he held General Nogi
with a force of sixty or seventy thousand at bay for eleven months.
Prodigies of valour were performed on both sides, some of the more
commanding positions being taken and retaken three or four times.

When, in September, the besiegers got possession of Wolf Hill, and
with plunging shot smashed the remnant of the fleet, they offered
generous terms to the defenders. General Stoessel declined the
offer, resolving to emulate Thermopylæ, or believing, perhaps, in
the possibility of rescue. When, however, he saw the "203 Metre
Hill" in their hands and knew his casemates would soon be riddled
by heavy shot, in sheer despair he was forced to capitulate. This
was on the first day of the new year (1905). His force had been
reduced to half its original numbers, and of these no fewer than
14,000 were in hospital.

General Stoessel has been censured for not holding out until the
arrival of the armada; but what could the armada have done had it
appeared in the offing? It certainly could not have penetrated the
harbour, for in addition to fixed or floating mines it would have
had to run the gauntlet of Togo's fleet and its doom would have
been precipitated. One critic of distinction denounced Stoessel's
surrender as "shameful"; but is it not a complete vindication that
his enemies applaud his gallant defence, and that his own government
was satisfied that he had done his duty.[*]

[Footnote *: Since writing this I have read the finding of the
court-martial. It has the air of an attempt to diminish the national
disgrace by throwing blame on a brave commander.]

[Page 189]
The Russian commander had marked out a new camp at Mukden, the
chief city of the province and the cradle of the Manchu dynasty.
There he was allowed once more to intrench himself. Was this because
the Japanese were confident of their ability to compel him again
to retire, or were they occupied with the task of filling up their
depleted ranks? If the latter was the cause, the Russians were
doing the same; but near to their base and with full command of
the sea, the Japanese were able to do it more expeditiously than
their enemy. Yet with all their facilities they were not ready to
move on his works until winter imposed a suspension of hostilities.

On October 2 Kuropatkin published a boastful manifesto expressing
confidence in the issue of the coming conflict--trusting no doubt
to the help of the three generals, December, January, and February.
Five months later, on March 8, 1905, he sent two telegrams to the
Czar: the first said "I am surrounded;" the second, a few hours
later, conveyed the comforting intelligence "the army has escaped."

The Japanese, not choosing to encounter the rigours of a Manchurian
winter, waited till the advent of spring. The air was mild and the
streams spanned by bridges of ice. The manoeuvres need not be
described here in detail. After more than ten days of continuous
fighting on a line of battle nearly two hundred miles long, with
scarcely less than a million of men engaged (Japanese in majority
as before), the great Russian strategist broke camp and retired
in good order. His army had escaped, but it had lost in killed
and wounded 150,000. The losses of Japan amounted to 50,000.

[Page 190]
The greatest battle of this latest war, the Battle of Mukden was
in some respects the greatest in modern history. In length of line,
in numbers engaged, and in the resulting casualties its figures
are double those of Waterloo. Once more by masterly strategy a
rout was converted into a retreat; and the Russian army withdrew
to the northwest.

Weary of crawfish tactics the Czar appointed General Lineivitch
to the chief command; and the ablest of the Russian generals was
relieved of the duty of contriving ways of "escape." To cover the
rear of a defeated force is always reckoned a post of honour; but
it is not the sort of distinction that satisfies the ambition of
a great commander.

By dint of efforts and sacrifices an enormous fleet was assembled
for the relief of Port Arthur. It sailed from Cronstadt on August 11,
1905, leaving the Baltic seaports unprotected save by the benevolent
neutrality of the German Kaiser, who granted passage through his
ship canal, although he knew the fleet was going to wage war on
one of his friends.

Part of the fleet proceeded via Suez, and part went round the Cape
of Good Hope--to them a name of mockery. The ships moved leisurely,
their commanders not doubting that Stoessel would be able to hold
his ground; but scarcely had they reached a rendezvous which, by
the favour of France, they had fixed in the waters adjacent to
Madagascar, when they heard of the fall of Port Arthur. Of the
annihilation of the fleet attached to the fortress, and of the
destruction of a squadron coming to the rescue from the north they
had previously learned. With what dismay did they
[Page 191]
now hear that the key of the ocean was lost. Almost at the same
moment the last of Job's messengers arrived with the heavier tidings
that Mukden, the key of the province, had been abandoned by a defeated
army--stunning intelligence for a forlorn hope! Should they turn
back or push ahead? Anxious question this for Admiral Rozhesvenski
and his officers. Too late for Port Arthur, might they not reënforce
Vladivostok and save it from a like fate? The signal to "steam
ahead" was displayed on the flagship.

Slowly and painfully, its propellers clogged by seaweed, its keels
overgrown with barnacles, the grand armada crossed the Indian Ocean
and headed northward for the China Sea. On May 27, steering for
the Korean channel, it fell into a snare which a blind man ought
to have been able to foresee. Togo's fleet had the freedom of the
seas. Where could it be, if not in that very channel? Yet on the
Russians went:

 "Unmindful of the whirlwind's sway
  That hushed in grim repose
  Expects his evening prey."

The struggle was short and decisive--finished, it is said, in less
than one hour. While Togo's battleships, fresh and in good condition,
poured shot and shell into the wayworn strangers, his torpedo-boats,
greatly increased in number, glided almost unobservedly among the
enemy and launched their thunderbolts with fatal effect. Battleships
and cruisers went down with all on board. The Russian flagship was
disabled, and the admiral, severely wounded, was transferred
[Page 192]
to the hold of a destroyer. Without signals from their commander
the vessels of the whole fleet fought or fled or perished separately;
of 18,000 men, 1,000 escaped and 3,000 were made prisoners. What
of the other 14,000?

 "Ask of the winds that far around
  With fragments strewed the sea."

The much vaunted armada was a thing of the past; and Tsushima or,
as Togo officially named it, the Battle of the Sea of Japan, has
taken its place along with Trafalgar and Salamis.

Tired of a spectacle that had grown somewhat monotonous, the world
was clamorous for peace. The belligerents, hitherto deaf to every
suggestion of the kind, now accepted an invitation from President
Roosevelt and appointed commissioners to arrange the terms of a
treaty. They met in August, 1905, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and
after a good deal of diplomatic fencing the sword was sheathed. In
the treaty, since ratified, Russia acknowledges Japan's exceptional
position in Korea, transfers to Japan her rights in Port Arthur
and Liao-tung, and hands over to Japan her railways in Manchuria.
Both parties agree to evacuate Manchuria within eighteen months.

Japan was obliged to waive her claim to a war indemnity and to
allow Russia to retain half the island of Saghalien. Neither nation
was satisfied with the terms, but both perceived that peace was
preferable to the renewal of the struggle with all its horrors
and uncertainties. For tendering the olive branch
[Page 193]
and smoothing the way for its acceptance, President Roosevelt merits
the thanks of mankind.[*] Besides other advantages Japan has assured
her position as the leading power of the Orient; but the greatest
gainer will be Russia, if her defeat in the field should lead her
to the adoption of a liberal government at home.

[Footnote *: Since this was written a Nobel Peace Prize has justly
been awarded to the President.]

 "Peace hath her victories,
  No less renowned than war."

The Czar signified his satisfaction by making Witte the head of
a reconstruction ministry and by conferring upon him the title
of Count; and the Mikado showed his entire confidence in Baron
Komura, notwithstanding some expressions of disappointment among
the people, by assigning him the delicate task of negotiating a
treaty with China.

Though the attitude of China had been as unheroic as would have
been Menelaus' had the latter declared neutrality in the Trojan
war, the issue has done much to rouse the spirit of the Chinese
people. Other wars made them feel their weakness: this one begot
a belief in their latent strength. When they witnessed a series
of victories on land and sea gained by the Japanese over one of
the most formidable powers of the West, they exclaimed, "If our
neighbour can do this, why may we not do the same? We certainly
can if, like them, we break with the effete systems of the past.
Let us take these island heroes for our schoolmasters."

[Page 194]
That war was one of the most momentous in the annals of history.
It unsettled the balance of power, and opened a vista of untold
possibilities for the yellow race.

Not slow to act on their new convictions, the Chinese have sent a
small army of ten thousand students to Japan--of whom over eight
thousand are there now, while they have imported from the island
a host of instructors whose numbers can only be conjectured. The
earliest to come were in the military sphere, to rehabilitate army
and navy. Then came professors of every sort, engaged by public
or private institutions to help on educational reform. Even in
agriculture, on which they have hitherto prided themselves, the
Chinese have put themselves under the teaching of the Japanese,
while with good reason they have taken them as teachers in forestry
also. Crowds of Japanese artificers in every handicraft find ready
employment in China. Nor will it be long before pupils and apprentices
in these home schools will assume the rôle of teacher, while Chinese
graduates returning from Japan will be welcomed as professors of a
higher grade. This Japanning process, as it is derisively styled, may
be somewhat superficial; but it has the recommendation of cheapness
and rapidity in comparison with depending on teachers from the
West. It has, moreover, the immense advantage of racial kinship and
example. Of course the few students who go to the fountain-heads
of science--in the West--must when they return home take rank as
China's leading teachers.

All this inclines one to conclude that a rapid transformation in
this ancient empire is to be counted on.
[Page 195]
The Chinese will soon do for themselves what they are now getting
the Japanese to do for them. Japanese ideas will be permanent; but
the direct agency of the Japanese people will certainly become
less conspicuous than it now is.

To the honour of the Japanese Government, the world is bound to
acknowledge that the island nation has not abused its victories to
wring concessions from China. In fact to the eye of an unprejudiced
observer it appears that in unreservedly restoring Manchuria Japan
has allowed an interested neutral to reap a disproportionate share
of the profits.

[Page 196]


_Reforms under the Empress Dowager--The Eclectic Commission--Recent
Reforms--Naval Abortion--Merchant Marine--Army Reform--Mining
Enterprises--Railways--The Telegraph--The Post Office--The Customs--Sir
Robert Hart--Educational Reform--The Tung-Wen College--The Imperial
University--Diplomatic Intercourse--Progressive Viceroys--New Tests
for Honours--Legal Reform--Newspapers--Social Reforms--Reading
Rooms--Reform in Writing--Anti-foot-binding Society--The Streets._

"When I returned from England," said Marquis Ito, "my chief, the
Prince of Chosin, asked me if I thought anything needed to be changed
in Japan. I answered, 'Everything.'" These words were addressed in my
hearing, as I have elsewhere recorded, to three Chinese statesmen,
of whom Li Hung Chang was one. The object of the speaker was to
emphasise the importance of reform in China. He was unfortunate in
the time of his visit--it was just after the _coup d'état_,
in 1898. His hearers were men of light and leading, in sympathy
with his views; but reform was on the ebb; a ruinous recoil was
to follow; and nothing came of his suggestions.

[Page 197]
The Emperor had indeed shown himself inclined to "change everything,"
but at that moment his power was paralyzed. What vicissitudes he
has passed through since that date! Should he come again to power,
as now seems probable, may he not, sobered by years and prudent
from experience, still carry into effect his grand scheme for the
renovation of China. To him a golden dream, will it ever be a reality
to his people?

Taught by the failure of a reaction on which she had staked her
life and her throne, the Dowager became a convert to the policy
of progress. She had, in fact, outstripped her nephew. "Long may
she live!" "Late may he rule us!" During her lifetime she could be
counted on to carry forward the cause she had so ardently espoused.
She grasped the reins with a firm hand; and her courage was such
that she did not hesitate to drive the chariot of state over many
a new and untried road. She knew she could rely on the support
of her viceroys--men of her own appointment. She knew too that
the spirit of reform was abroad in the land, and that the heart
of the people was with her.

The best embodiment of this new spirit was the High Commission
sent out in 1905 to study the institutions of civilized countries
east and west, and to report on the adoption of such as they deemed
advisable. The mere sending forth of such an embassy was enough
to make her reign illustrious. The only analogous mission in the
history of China, is that which was despatched to India, in 66 A.
D., in quest of a better faith, by Ming-ti, "The Luminous." The
earlier embassy
[Page 198]
borrowed a few sparks to rekindle the altars of their country;
the present embassy propose to introduce new elements in the way
of political reform. Their first recommendation, if not their first
report, reaches me while I write, and in itself is amply sufficient
to prove that this High Commission is not a sham designed to dazzle
or deceive. The Court _Gazette_, according to the _China
Times_, gives the following on the subject:

"The five commissioners have sent in a joint memorial dealing with
what they have seen in foreign countries during the last three
months. They report that the wealthiest and strongest nations in
the world to-day are governed by constitutional government. They
mention the proclamation of constitutional government in Russia, and
remark that China is the only great country that has not adopted that
principle. As they have carefully studied the systems of England,
the United States, Japan, etc., they earnestly request the Throne
to issue a decree fixing on five years as the limit within which
'China will adopt a constitutional form of government.'

"A rescript submits this recommendation to a council of state to
advise on the action to be taken."

If that venerable body, consisting of old men who hold office for
life, does not take umbrage at the prospect of another tribunal
infringing on their domain, we shall have at least the promise of
a parliament. And five years hence, if the _congé d'elire_
goes forth, it will rend the veil of ages. It implies the conferment
on the people of power hitherto unknown in their history. What a
commotion will the ballot-box excite! How suddenly will it arouse
the dormant
[Page 199]
intellect of a brainy race! But it is premature to speculate.

In 1868 the Mikado granted his subjects a charter of rights, the
first article of which guarantees freedom of discussion, and engages
that he will be guided by the will of the people. In China does
not the coming of a parliament involve the previous issue of a
Magna Charta?

It is little more than eight years since the restoration, as the
return of the Court in January, 1902, may be termed. In this period,
it is safe te assert that more sweeping reforms have been decreed
in China than were ever enacted in a half-century by any other
country, if one except Japan, whose example the Chinese profess to
follow, and France, in the Revolution, of which Macaulay remarks
that "they changed everything--from the rites of religion to the
fashion of a shoe-buckle."

Reference will here be made to a few of the more important innovations
or ameliorations which, taken together, made the reign of the Empress
Dowager the most brilliant in the history of the Empire. The last
eight years have been uncommonly prolific of reforms; but the tide
began to turn after the peace of Peking in 1860. Since that date
every step in the adoption of modern methods was taken during the
reign or regency of that remarkable woman, which dated from 1861
to 1908.

As late as 1863 the Chinese Government did not possess a single
fighting ship propelled by steam. Steamers belonging to Chinese
merchants were sometimes employed to chase pirates; but they were not
[Page 200]
the property of the state. The first state-owned steamers, at least
the first owned by the Central Government, was a flotilla of gunboats
purchased that year in England by Mr. Lay, Inspector-General of
Maritime Customs. Dissatisfied with the terms he had made with the
commander, whom he had bound not to act on any orders but such as
the Inspector should approve, the Government dismissed the Inspector
and sold the ships.

In the next thirty years a sufficient naval force was raised to
justify the appointment of an admiral; but in 1895 the whole fleet
was destroyed by the Japanese, and Admiral Ting committed suicide.
At present there is a squadron under each viceroy; but all combined
would hardly form the nucleus of a navy. That the Government intend
to create a navy may be inferred from the establishment of a Naval
Board. In view of the naval exploits of Japan, and under the guidance
of Japanese, they are certain to develop this feeble plant and to
make it formidable to somebody--perhaps to themselves.

Their merchant marine is more respectable. With a fleet of fifty
or more good ships the China Merchants' Steam Navigation Company
are able by the aid of subsidies and special privileges to compete
for a share in the coasting trade; but as yet they have no line
trading to foreign ports.

In 1860 a wild horde with matchlocks, bows, and spears, the land
army is now supplied in large part with repeating rifles, trained
in Western drill, and dressed in uniform of the Western type. The
manoeuvres that took place near Peking in 1905 made
[Page 201]
a gala day for the Imperial Court, which expressed itself as more
than satisfied with the splendour of the spectacle. The contingent
belonging to this province is 40,000, and the total thus drilled
and armed is not less than five times that number. In 1907 the
troops of five provinces met in Honan. Thanks to railways, something
like concentration is coming within the range of possibility. Not
deficient in courage, what these raw battalions require to make
them effective is confidence in themselves and in their commanders.
Lacking in the lively patriotism that makes heroes of the Japanese,
these fine big fellows are not machines, but animals. To the mistaken
efforts recently made to instil that sentiment at the expense of the
foreigner, I shall refer in another chapter. A less objectionable
phase of the sentiment is provincialism, which makes it easy for an
invader to employ the troops of one province to conquer another.
In history these provinces appear as kingdoms, and their mutual
wars form the staple subject. What feeling of unity can exist so
long as the people are divided by a babel of dialects? More than
once have Tartars employed Chinese to conquer China; and in 1900 a
fine regiment from Wei-hai-wei helped the British to storm Peking.
It may be added they repaid themselves by treating the inhabitants
as conquered foes. Everywhere they were conspicuous for acts of
lawless violence.

Three great arsenals, not to speak of minor establishments, are
kept busy turning out artillery and small arms for the national
army, and the Board of Army Reform has the supervision of those
forces, with
[Page 202]
the duty of making them not provincial, but national. Efforts of
this kind, however, are no proof of a reform spirit. Are not the
same to be seen all the way from Afghanistan to Dahomey? "To be weak
is to be miserable"; and the Chinese are right in making military
reorganisation the starting-point of a new policy. Yet the mere
proposal of a parliament is a better indication of the spirit of
reform than all these armaments.

In the mind of China, wealth is the correlative of strength. The
two ideas are combined in the word _Fuchiang_, which expresses
national prosperity. Hence the treasures hidden in the earth could
not be neglected, when they had given up the follies of geomancy
and saw foreigners prospecting and applying for concessions to work
mines. At first such applications were met by a puerile quibble
as to the effect of boring on the "pulse of the Dragon"--in their
eyes not the guardian of a precious deposit, but the personification
of "good luck." To find lucky locations, and to decide what might
help or harm, were the functions of a learned body of professors of
_Fungshui_, a false science which held the people in bondage
and kept the mines sealed up until our own day. Gradually the Chinese
are shaking off the incubus and, reckless of the Dragon, are forming
companies for the exploitation of all sorts of minerals. The Government
has framed elaborate regulations limiting the shares of foreigners,
and encouraging their own people to engage in mining enterprises.

 "Give up your _Fungshui_;
  It keeps your wealth locked up,"

says a verse of Viceroy Chang.

[Page 203]
A similar change has taken place in sentiment as regards railways.
At first dreaded as an instrument of foreign aggression, they are
now understood to be the best of auxiliaries for national defence.
It has further dawned on the mind of a grasping mandarinate that
they may be utilised as a source of revenue. If stocks pay well,
why should not the Government hold them? "Your railways pay 10
per cent.--that's the sort of railway we want in China," said one
of the commissioners at a banquet in England.

It would not be strange if the nationalisation of railways decided
on this spring in Japan should lead to a similar movement in China.
In a country like America, with 300,000 miles of track, the purchase
would be _ultra vires_ in more senses than one, but with only
1 per cent. of that mileage, the purchase would not be difficult,
though it might not be so easy to secure an honest administration.

Trains from Peking now reach Hankow (600 miles) in thirty-six hours.
When the grand trunk is completed, through trains from the capital
will reach Canton in three days. Set this over against the three
months' sea voyage of former times (a voyage made only once a year),
or against the ten days now required for the trip by steamer! What
a potent factor is the railroad in the progress of a great country!

The new enterprises in this field would be burdensome to enumerate.
Shanghai is to be connected by rail with Tientsin (which means
Peking), and with Nanking and Suchow. Lines to penetrate the western
provinces are already mapped out; and even in Mongolia it is proposed
to supersede the camel by the iron
[Page 204]
horse on the caravan route to Russia. "Alas! the age of golden
leisure is gone--the iron age of hurry-skurry is upon us!" This
is the lament of old slow-going China.

When China purchased the Shanghai-Woosung railway in 1876, she
was thought to be going ahead. What did we think when she tore up
the track and dumped it in the river? An æon seems to have passed
since that day of darkness.

The advent of railways has been slow in comparison with the telegraph.
The provinces are covered with wires. Governors and captains consult
with each other by wire, in preference to a tardy exchange of written
correspondence. The people, too, appreciate the advantage of
communicating by a flash with distant members of their families,
and of settling questions of business at remote places without
stirring from their own doors. To have their thunder god bottled
up and brought down to be their courier was to them the wonder of
wonders; yet they have now become so accustomed to this startling
innovation, that they cease to marvel.

The wireless telegraph is also at work--a little manual, translated
by a native Christian, tells people how to use it.

Over forty years ago, when I exhibited the Morse system to the
astonished dignitaries of Peking, those old men, though heads of
departments, chuckled like children when, touching a button, they
heard a bell ring; or when wrapping a wire round their bodies,
they saw the lightning leap from point to point. "It's wonderful,"
they exclaimed, "but we can't use it in
[Page 205]
our country. The people would steal the wires." Electric bells
are now common appliances in the houses of Chinese who live in
foreign settlements. Electric trolleys are soon to be running at
Shanghai and Tientsin. Telephones, both private and public, are
a convenience much appreciated. Accustomed as the Chinese are to
the instantaneous transmission of thought and speech, they have
yet to see the _telodyne_--electricity as a transmitter of
force. But will they not see it when the trolleys run? The advent
of electric power will mark an epoch.

China's weakness is not due wholly to backwardness in the arts
and sciences. It is to be equally ascribed to defective connection
of parts and to a lack of communication between places. Hence a
sense of solidarity is wanting, and instead there is a predominance
of local over national interests. For this disease the remedy is
forthcoming--rail and wire are rapidly welding the disjointed members
of the Empire into a solid unity. The post office contributes to
the same result.

A postal system China has long possessed: mounted couriers for
official despatches, and foot messengers for private parties, the
Government providing the former, and merchant companies the latter.
The modernised post office, now operating in every province, provides
for both. To most of the large towns the mails are carried by steamboat
or railroad--a marvellous gain in time, compared with horse or
foot. The old method was slow and uncertain; the new is safe and

That the people appreciate the change is shown by
[Page 206]
the following figures: In 1904 stamps to the amount of $400,000
(Mexican) were sold; in 1905 the sale rose to $600,000--an advance
of 50 per cent. in one year. What may we not expect when the women
learn to read, and when education becomes more general among men?

Sir Robert Hart, from whom I had this statement, is the father
of China's postal system. Overcoming opposition with patience and
prudence, he has given the post office a thorough organisation and
has secured for it the confidence of princes and people. Already
does the Government look to it as a prospective source of revenue.

To the maritime customs service, Sir Robert has been a foster-father.
Provided for by treaty, it was in operation before he took charge,
in 1863; but to him belongs the honour of having nursed the infant
up to vigorous maturity by the unwearied exertions of nearly half
a century. While the post office is a new development, the maritime
customs have long been looked upon as the most reliable branch of
the revenue service. China's debts to foreign countries, whether
for loans or indemnities, are invariably paid from the customs
revenue. The Government, though disinclined to have such large
concerns administered by foreign agents, is reconciled to the
arrangement in the case of the customs by finding it a source of
growing income. The receipts for 1905 amounted to 35,111,000 taels
= £5,281,000. In volume of trade this shows a gain of 11-1/2 per
cent. on 1904; but, owing to a favouring gale from the happy isles
of high finance, in sterling value the gain is actually 17 per

[Page 207]
To a thoughtful mind, native or foreign, the maritime customs are
not to be estimated by a money standard. They rank high among the
agencies working for the renovation of China. They furnish an
object-lesson in official integrity, showing how men brought up
under the influence of Christian morals can collect large sums and
pay them over without a particle sticking to their fingers. While
the local commissioners have carried liberal ideas into mandarin
circles all along the seacoast and up the great rivers into the
interior, the Inspector-General (the "I. G." as Sir Robert is usually
called) has been the zealous advocate of every step in the way of
reform at headquarters.

Another man in his position might have been contented to be a mere
fiscal agent, but Sir Robert Hart's fertile brain has been unceasingly
active for nearly half a century in devising schemes for the good of
China. All the honours and wealth that China has heaped on her trusted
adviser are far from being sufficient to cancel her obligations.
It was he who prompted a timid, groping government to take the
first steps in the way of diplomatic intercourse. It was he who
led them to raise their school of interpreters to the rank of a
diplomatic college. He it was who made peace in the war with France;
and in 1900, after the flight of the Court, he it was who acted
as intermediary between the foreign powers and Prince Ching. To
some of these notable services I shall refer elsewhere. I speak
of them here for the purpose of emphasising my disapproval of an
intrigue designed to oust Sir Robert and to overturn
[Page 208]
the lofty structure which he has made into a light-house for China.

In May, 1906, two ministers were appointed by the Throne to take
charge of the entire customs service, with plenary powers to reform
or modify _ad libitum_. Sir Robert was not consulted, nor was
he mentioned in the decree. He was not dismissed, but was virtually
superseded. Britain, America, and other powers took alarm for the
safety of interests involved, and united in a protest. The Government
explained that it was merely substituting one tribunal for another,
creating a dual headship for the customs service instead of leaving
it under the Board of Foreign Affairs, a body already overburdened
with responsibilities. They gave a solemn promise that while Sir
Robert Hart remained there should be no change in his status or
powers; and so the matter stands. The protest saved the situation
for the present. Explanation and promise were accepted; but the
Government (or rather the two men who got themselves appointed
to a fat office) remain under the reproach of discourtesy and
ingratitude. The two men are Tieliang, a Manchu, and Tang Shao-yi,
a Chinese. The latter, I am told on good authority, is to have
£30,000 per annum. The other will not have less. This enormous salary
is paid to secure honesty.

In China every official has his salary paid in two parts: one called
the "regular stipend," the other, a "solatium to encourage honesty."
The former is counted by hundreds of taels; the latter, by thousands,
especially where there is a temptation to peculate. What a rottenness
at the core is here betrayed!

[Page 209]
A new development worthy of all praise is the opening, by imperial
command, of a school for the training of officials for the customs
service. It is a measure which Sir Robert Hart with all his public
spirit, never ventured to recommend, because it implies the speedy
replacement of the foreign staff by trained natives.

Filling the sky with a glow of hope not unlike the approach of
sunshine after an arctic winter, the reform in the field of education
throws all others into the shade. By all parties is recognised
its supremacy. Its beginning was feeble and unwelcome, implying
on the part of China nothing but a few drops of oil to relieve
the friction at a few points of contact with the outside world.

The new treaties found China unprovided with interpreters capable
of translating documents in foreign languages. Foreign nations
agreed to accompany their despatches with a Chinese version, until
a competent staff of interpreters should be provided. With a view to
meeting this initial want, a school was opened in 1862, in connection
with the Foreign Office, and placed under the direction of the
Inspector-General of Maritime Customs, by whom I was recommended
for the presidency. Professors of English, French, and Russian
were engaged; and later on German took a place alongside of the
three leading languages of the Western world.

At first no science was taught or expected, but gradually we succeeded
in obtaining the consent of the Chinese ministers to enlarge our
faculty so as to include chairs of astronomy, mathematics, chemistry,
and physics. International law was taught by the
[Page 210]
president; and by him also the Chinese were supplied with their
first text-books on the law of nations. What use had they for books
on that subject, so long as they held no intercourse on equal terms
with foreign countries? The students trained in that school of
diplomacy had to shiver in the cold for many a year before the
Government recognised their merits and rewarded them with official
appointments. The minister recently returned from London, the ministers
now in Germany and Japan, and a minister formerly in France, not to
speak of secretaries of legation and consuls, were all graduates
of our earlier classes.

In 1898 the young Emperor, taught by defeat at the hands of the
Japanese, resolved on a thorough reform in the system of national
education. It would never do to confine the knowledge of Western
science to a handful of interpreters and attachés. The highest
scholars of the Empire must be allowed access to the fountain of
national strength. A university was created with a capital of five
million taels, and the writer was made president by an imperial
decree which conferred on him the highest but one of the nine grades
of the mandarinate.

Two or three hundred students were enrolled, among whom were bachelors,
masters, and doctors of the civil service examinations. It was
launched with a favouring breeze; but the wind changed with the
_coup d'état_ of the Empress Dowager, and two years later the
university went down in the Boxer cyclone. A professor, a tutor,
and a student lost their lives. How the cause of educational reform
rose stronger after the storm, I relate in a special
[Page 211]
chapter. It is a far cry from a university for the _élite_
to that elaborate system of national education which is destined
to plant its schools in every town and hamlet in the Empire. The
new education was in fact still regarded with suspicion by the
honour men of the old system. They looked on it, as they did on
the railway, as a source of danger, a perilous experiment.

As yet the intercourse was one-sided: envoys came; but none were
sent. Embassies were no novelty; but they had always moved on an
inclined plane, either coming up laden with tribute, or going down
bearing commands. Where there was no tribute and no command, why
send them? Why send to the very people who had robbed China of her
supremacy! It was a bitter pill, and she long refused to swallow
it. Hart gilded the dose and she took it. Obtaining leave to go
home to get married, he proposed that he should be accompanied by
his teacher, Pinchun, a learned Manchu, as unofficial envoy--with
the agreeable duty to see and report. It was a travelling commission,
not like that of 1905-06, to seek light, but to ascertain whether
the representative of a power so humbled and insulted would be
treated with common decency.

The old pundit was a poet. All Chinese pundits are poets; but Pinchun
had real gifts, and the flow of champagne kindled his inspiration.
Everywhere wined and dined, though accredited to no court, he was
in raptures at the magnificence of the nations of the West. He
lauded their wealth, culture, and scenery in faultless verse; and
if he indulged in satire,
[Page 212]
it was not for the public eye. He was attended by several of our
students, to whom the travelling commission was an education. They
were destined, after long waiting as I have said, to revisit the
Western world, clothed with higher powers.

The impression made on both sides was favourable, and the way was
prepared for a genuine embassy. The United States minister, Anson
Burlingame, a man of keen penetration and broad sympathies, had made
himself exceedingly acceptable to the Foreign Office at Peking. When
he was taking leave to return home, in 1867, the Chinese ministers
begged his good offices with the United States Government and with
other governments as occasion might offer--"In short, you will
be our ambassador," they said, with hearty good-will.

Burlingame, who grasped the possibilities of the situation, called at
the Customs on his way to the Legation. Hart seized the psychological
moment, and, hastening to the _Yamên_, induced the ministers
to turn a pleasantry into a reality. The Dowagers (for there were
two) assented to the proposal of Prince Kung, to invest Burlingame
with a roving commission to all the Treaty powers, and to associate
with him a Manchu and a Chinese with the rank of minister. An
"oecumenical embassy" was the result. Some of our students were
again attached to the suite; reciprocal intercourse had begun; and
Burlingame has the glory of initiating it".

In the work of reform three viceroys stand pre-eminent, viz., Li
Hung Chang, Yuen Shi Kai and Chang Chitung. Li, besides organising
an army and
[Page 213]
a navy (both demolished by the Japanese in 1895), founded a university
at Tienstin, and placed Dr. Tenney at the head of it. Yuen, coming
to the same viceroyalty with the lesson of the Boxer War before
his eyes, has made the army and education objects of special care.
In the latter field he had had the able assistance of Dr. Tenney,
and succeeded in making the schools of the province of Chihli an
example for the Empire.

Viceroy Chang has the distinction of being the first man (with
the exception of Kang Yuwei) to start the emperor on the path of
reform. Holding that, to be rich, China must have the industrial
arts of the West, and to be strong she must have the sciences of
the West, he has taken the lead in advocating and introducing both.
Having been called, after the suspension of the Imperial University,
to assist this enlightened satrap in his great enterprise, I cannot
better illustrate the progress of reform than by devoting a separate
chapter to him and to my observations during three years in Central

Tests of scholarship and qualifications for office have undergone
a complete change. The regulation essay, for centuries supreme in
the examinations for the civil service, is abolished; and more
solid acquirements have taken its place. It takes time to adjust such
an ancient system to new conditions. That this will be accomplished
is sufficiently indicated by the fact that in May, 1906, degrees
answering to A. M. and Ph. D. were conferred on quite a number of
students who had completed their studies at universities in foreign
countries. As a result there is certain
[Page 214]
to be a rush of students to Europe and America, the fountain-heads
of science. Forty young men selected by Viceroy Yuen from the advanced
classes of his schools were in 1906 despatched under the superintendence
of Dr. Tenney to pursue professional studies in the United States.
That promising mission was partly due to the relaxation of the
rigour of the exclusion laws.

The Chinese assessor of the Mixed Court in Shanghai was dismissed
the same year because he had condemned criminals to be beaten with
rods--a favourite punishment, in which there is a way to alleviate
the blows. Slicing, branding, and other horrible punishments with
torture to extort confessions have been forbidden by imperial decree.
Conscious of the contempt excited by such barbarities, and desirous
of removing an obstacle to admission to the comity of nations, the
Government has undertaken to revise its penal code. Wu-ting-fang,
so well known as minister at Washington, has borne a chief part in
this honourable task. The code is not yet published; but magistrates
are required to act on its general principles. When completed it will
no doubt provide for a jury, a thing hitherto unknown in China.
The commissioners on legal reform have already sent up a memorial,
explaining the functions of a jury; and, to render its adoption
palatable, they declare that it is an ancient institution, having
been in use in China three thousand years ago. They leave the Throne
to infer that Westerners borrowed it from China.

The fact is that each magistrate is a petty tyrant, embodying in
his person the functions of local governor,
[Page 215]
judge, and jury, though there are limits to his discretion and
room for appeal or complaint. It is to be hoped that lawyers and
legal education will find a place in the administration of justice.

Formerly clinging to a foreign flagstaff, the editor of a Chinese
journal cautiously hinted the need for some kinds of reform. Within
this _lustrum mirabile_ the daily press has taken the Empire
by storm. Some twenty or more journals have sprung up under the
shadow of the throne, and they are not gagged. They go to the length
of their tether in discussing affairs of state--notwithstanding
cautionary hints. Refraining from open attack, they indulge in
covert criticism of the Government and its agents.

Social reforms open to ambitious editors a wide field and make amends
for exclusion from the political arena. One of the most influential
recently deplored the want of vitality in the old religions of
the country, and, regarding their reformation as hopeless, openly
advocated the adoption of Christianity. To be independent of the
foreigner it must, he said, be made a state church, with one of
the princes for a figurehead, if not for pilot.

Another deals with the subject of marriage. Many improvements,
he says, are to be made in the legal status of woman. The total
abolition of polygamy might be premature; but that is to be kept
in view. In another issue he expresses a regret that the Western
usage of personal courtship cannot safely be introduced. Those who
are to be companions for life cannot as yet be allowed to see each
other, as disorders might result from excess of freedom. Such liberty
[Page 216]
in social relations is impracticable "except in a highly refined
and well-ordered state of society." The same or another writer
proposes, by way of enlarging woman's world, that she shall not
be confined to the house, but be allowed to circulate as freely
as Western women but she must hide her charms behind a veil.

Reporting an altercation between a policeman and the driver of
one of Prince Ching's carts, who insisted on driving on tracks
forbidden to common people, an editor suggests with mild sarcasm
that a notice be posted in such cases stating that only "noblemen's
carts are allowed to pass." Do not these specimens show a laudable
attempt to simulate a free press? Free it is by sufferance, though
not by law.

Reading-rooms are a new institution full of promise. They are not
libraries, but places for reading and expounding newspapers for the
benefit of those who are unable to read for themselves. Numerous
rooms may be seen at the street corners, where men are reciting
the contents of a paper to an eager crowd. They have the air of
wayside chapels; and this mode of enlightening the ignorant was
confessedly borrowed from the missionary. How urgent the need,
where among the men only one in twenty can read; and among women
not one in a hundred!

Reform in writing is a genuine novelty, Chinese writing being a
development of hieroglyphics, in which the sound is no index to
the sense, and in which each pictorial form must be separately made
familiar to the eye. Dr. Medhurst wittily calls it "an occulage,
not a language." Without the introduction of alphabetic
[Page 217]
writing, the art of reading can never become general. To meet this
want a new alphabet of fifty letters has been invented, and a society
organised to push the system, so that the common people, also women,
may soon be able to read the papers for themselves. The author of
the system is Wang Chao, mentioned above as having given occasion
for the _coup d'état_ by which the Dowager Empress was restored
to power in 1898.

I close this formidable list of reforms with a few words on a society
for the abolition of a usage which makes Chinese women the
laughing-stock of the world, namely, the binding of their feet.
With the minds of her daughters cramped by ignorance, and their
feet crippled by the tyranny of an absurd fashion, China suffers an
immense loss, social and economic. Happily there are now indications
that the proposed enfranchisement will meet with general favour.
Lately I heard mandarins of high rank advocate this cause in the
hearing of a large concourse at Shanghai. They have given a pledge
that there shall be no more foot-binding in their families; and the
Dowager Empress came to the support of the cause with a hortatory
edict. As in this matter she dared not prohibit, she was limited to
persuasion and example. Tartar women have their powers of locomotion
unimpaired. Viceroy Chang denounced the fashion as tending to sap the
vigour of China's mothers; and he is reported to have suggested a
tax on small feet--in inverse proportion to their size, of course.
The leader in this movement, which bids fair to become national,
is Mrs. Archibald Little.

[Page 218]
The streets are patrolled by a well-dressed and well-armed police
force, in strong contrast with the ragged, negligent watchmen of
yore. The Chinese, it seems, are in earnest about mending their
ways. Their streets, in Peking and other cities, are undergoing
thorough repair--so that broughams and rickshaws are beginning to
take the place of carts and palanquins. A foreign style of building
is winning favour; and the adoption of foreign dress is talked of.
When these changes come, what will be left of this queer antique?

[Page 219]


_His Origin--Course as a Student--In the Censorate--He Floors a
Magnate--The First to Wake Up--As a Leader of Reform--The Awakening
of the Giant_

If I were writing of Chang, the Chinese giant, who overtopped the
tallest of his fellow-men by head and shoulders, I should be sure
of readers. Physical phenomena attract attention more than mental
or moral grandeur. Is it not because greatness in these higher
realms requires patient thought for due appreciation?

Chang, the viceroy of Hukwang, a giant in intellect and a hero in
achievement, is not a commonplace character. If my readers will
follow me, while I trace his rise and progress, not only will they
discover that he stands head and shoulders above most officials
of his rank, but they will gain important side-lights on great
events in recent history.

During my forty years' residence in the capital I had become well
acquainted with Chang's brilliant career; but it is only within
the last three or four years that I have had an opportunity to
study him in personal intercourse, having been called to preside
over his university and to aid him in other educational enterprises.

[Page 220]
Whatever may be thought of the rank and file of China's mandarins,
her viceroys are nearly always men of exceptional ability. They
are never novices, but as a rule old in years and veterans in
experience. Promoted for executive talent or for signal services,
their office is too high to be in the market; nor is it probable
that money can do much to recommend a candidate. A governor of
Kwangsi was recently dismissed for incompetence, or for ill-success
against a body of rebels. Being a rich man, he made a free use
of that argument which commonly proves effective at Peking. But,
so far from being advanced to the viceroyalty, he was not even
reinstated in his original rank. The most he was able to obtain by
a lavish expenditure was the inspectorship of a college at Wuchang,
to put his foot on one of the lower rounds of the official ladder.

Chang was never rich enough to buy official honours, even in the
lower grades; and it is one of his chief glories that, after a
score of years in the exercise of viceregal power, he continues
to be relatively poor.

His name in full is Chang Chi-tung, meaning "Longbow of the Cavern,"
an allusion to a tradition that one of his ancestors was born in
a cave and famed for archery. This was far back in the age of the
troglodytes. Now, for many generations, the family has been devoted
to the peaceful pursuit of letters. As for Chang himself, it will
be seen with what deadly effect he has been able to use the pen, in
his hands a more formidable weapon than the longbow of his ancestor.

Chang was born at Nanpi, in the metropolitan
[Page 221]
province of Chihli, not quite seventy years ago; and that circumstance
debarred him from holding the highest viceroyalty in the Empire,
as no man is permitted to hold office in his native place. He has
climbed to his present eminence without the extraneous aids of
wealth and family influence. This implies talents of no ordinary
grade; but how could those talents have found a fit arena without
that admirable system of literary competition which for so many
centuries has served the double purpose of extending patronage
to letters and of securing the fittest men for the service of the

Crowned with the laurel of A. B., or budding genius, before he
was out of his teens, three years later he won the honour of A.
M., or, as the Chinese say, he plucked a sprig of the _olea
fragrans_ in a contest with his fellow-provincials in which
only one in a hundred gained a prize. Proceeding to the imperial
capital he entered the lists against the picked scholars of all
the provinces. The prizes were 3 per cent. of the whole number
of competitors, and he gained the doctorate in letters, which, as
the Chinese title indicates, assures its possessor of an official
appointment. Had he been content to wait for some obscure position
he might have gone home to sleep on his laurels. But his restless
spirit saw fresh battle-fields beckoning him to fresh triumphs.
The three hundred new-made doctors were summoned to the palace to
write on themes assigned by the Emperor, that His Majesty might
select a score of them for places in the Hanlin Academy. Here again
fortune favoured young Chang; the elegance of his penmanship and
his skill in composing
[Page 222]
mechanical verse were so remarkable that he secured a seat on the
literary Olympus of the Empire.

His conflicts were not yet ended. A conspicuous advantage of his
high position was that it qualified him as a candidate for membership
of the Board of Censors. Nor did fortune desert her favourite in
this instance. After writing several papers to show his knowledge
of law, history, and politics, he came forth clothed with powers
that made him formidable to the highest officers of the state--powers
somewhat analogous to the combined functions of censor and tribune
in ancient Rome.

Before I proceed to show how our "knight of the longbow" employed
his new authority, a few words on the constitution of that august
tribunal, the Board of Censors, may prove interesting to the reader.
Its members are not judges, but prosecuting attorneys for the state.
They are accorded a freedom of speech which extends even to pointing
out the shortcomings of majesty. How important such a tribunal for
a country in which a newspaper press with its argus eyes has as
yet no existence! There is indeed a court _Gazette_, which
has been called the oldest newspaper in the world; but its contents
are strictly limited to decrees, memorials, and appointments. Free
discussion and general news have no place in its columns; so that
in the modern sense it is not a newspaper.

The court--even the occupant of the Dragon Throne--needs watch-dogs.
Such is the theory; but as a matter of fact these guardians of official
morals find it safer to occupy themselves with the aberrations of
satellites than to discover spots on the sun. About
[Page 223]
thirty years ago one of them, Wukotu, resolved to denounce the
Empress Dowager for having adopted the late emperor as her son
instead of making him her grandson. He accordingly immolated himself
at the tomb of the late emperor by way of protesting against the
impropriety of leaving him without a direct heir to worship his
manes. It is doubtful whether the Western mind is capable of following
Wukotu's subtle reasoning; but is it not plain that he felt that
he was provoking an ignominious death, and chose rather to die
as a hero--the champion of his deceased master?

If a censor succeeds in convicting a single high functionary of
gross misconduct his fortune is made. He is rewarded by appointment
to some respectable post, possibly the same from which his victim has
been evicted. Practical advantage carries the day against abstract
notions of æsthetic fitness. Sublime it might be to see the guardians
of the common weal striking down the unworthy, with a public spirit
untainted by self-interest; but in China (and in some other countries)
such machinery requires self-interest for its motive force. Wanting
that, it would be like a windmill without wind, merely a fine object
in the landscape.

As an illustration of the actual procedure take the case in which
Chang first achieved a national reputation. Chunghau, a Manchu of
noble family and high in favour at court, had been sent to Russia
in 1880 to demand the restoration of Ili, a province of Chinese
Turkestan, which the Russians had occupied on pretext of quelling
its chronic disorders. Scarcely had he reported the success of
his mission, which had
[Page 224]
resulted in recovering two-thirds of the disputed territory, when
Chang came forward and denounced it as worse than a failure. He
had, as Chang proved, permitted the Russians to retain certain
strategic points, and had given them fertile districts in exchange
for rugged mountains or arid plains. To such a settlement no envoy
could be induced to consent, unless chargeable with corruption
or incompetence.

The unlucky envoy was thrown into prison and condemned to death
(but reprieved), and his accuser rose in the official scale as
rapidly as if he had won a great battle on land or sea. His victory
was not unlike that of those British orators who made a reputation
out of the impeachment of Lord Clive or Warren Hastings, save that
with him a trenchant pen took the place of an eloquent tongue. I
knew Chunghau both before and after his disgrace. In 1859, when
an American embassy for the first time entered the gates of Peking,
it was Chunghau who was appointed to escort the minister to the
capital and back again to the seacoast--a pretty long journey in
those days when there was neither steamboat nor railway. During
that time, acting as interpreter, I had occasion to see him every
day, and I felt strongly attracted by his generous and gentlemanly
bearing. The poor fellow came out of prison stripped of all his
honours, and with his prospects blighted forever. In a few months
he died of sheer chagrin.

The war with Japan in 1894-1895 found Chang established in the
viceroyalty of Hukwang, two provinces in Central China, with a
prosperous population of over fifty millions, on a great highway
of internal
[Page 225]
traffic rivalling the Mississippi, and with Hankow, the hub of
the Empire, for its commercial centre. When he saw the Chinese
forces scattered like chaff by the battalions of those despised
islanders he was not slow to grasp the explanation. Kang Yuwei, a
Canton man, also grasped it, and urged on the Emperor the necessity
for reform with such vigour as to prompt him to issue a meteoric
shower of reformatory edicts, filling one party with hope and the
other with dismay.

Chang had held office at Canton; and his keen intellect had taken
in the changed relations of West and East. He perceived that a
new sort of sunshine shed its beams on the Western world. He did
not fully apprehend the spiritual elements of our civilisation;
but he saw that it was clothed with a power unknown to the sages
of his country, the forces of nature being brought into subjection
through science and popular education. He felt that China must
conform to the new order of things, or perish--even if that new
order was in contradiction to her ancient traditions as much as
the change of sunrise to the west. He saw and felt that knowledge
is power, a maxim laid down by Confucius before the days of Bacon;
and he set about inculcating his new ideas by issuing a series
of lectures for the instruction of his subordinates. Collected
into a volume under the title of "Exhortations to Learn,"[*] they
were put into the hands of the young Emperor and by his command
distributed among the viceroys and governors of the Empire.

[Footnote *: Translated by Dr. Woodbridge as "China's Only Hope."
Kelly & Walsh, Shanghai.]

[Page 226]
What a harvest might have sprung from the sowing of such seed in
such soil by an imperial husbandman! But there were some who viewed
it as the sowing of dragons' teeth. Those reactionaries induced the
Dowager Empress to come out from her retirement and to reassume
her abdicated power in order to save the Empire from a threatening
conflagration. It was the fable of Phaëton enacted in real life.
The young charioteer was struck down and the sun brought back to
his proper course instead of rising in the west. The progressive
legislation of the two previous years 1897-98 was repealed and
then followed two years of a narrow, benighted policy, controlled
by the reactionaries under the lead of Prince Tuan, father of the
heir-apparent, with a junta of Manchu princes as blind and corrupt
as Russian grand dukes. That disastrous recoil resulted in war,
not against a single power, but against the whole civilised world,
as has been set forth in the account of the Boxer War (see page

Affairs were drifting into this desperate predicament when Chang
of the Cavern became in a sense the saviour of his country. This
he effected by two actions which called for uncommon intelligence
and moral force: (1) By assuring the British Government that he
would at all costs maintain peace in Central China; (2) by refusing
to obey an inhuman decree from Peking, commanding the viceroys to
massacre all foreigners within their jurisdiction--a decree which
would be incredible were it not known that at the same moment the
walls of the capital were placarded with proclamations offering
rewards of 50, 30 and 20
[Page 227]
taels respectively for the heads of foreign men, women, and children.

It is barely possible that Chang was helped to a decision by a
friendly visit from a British man-of-war, whose captain, in answer
to a question about his artillery, informed Chang that he had the
bearings of his official residence, and could drop a shell into
it with unerring precision at a distance of three miles. He was
also aided by the influence of Mr. Fraser, a wide-awake British
consul. Fraser modestly disclaims any special merit in the matter,
but British missionaries at Hankow give him the credit. They say
that, learning from them the state of feeling among the people, he
induced the viceroy to take prompt measures to prevent an outbreak.
At one time a Boxer army from the south was about to cross the
river and destroy the foreign settlement. Chang, when appealed
to, frankly confessed that his troops were in sympathy with the
Boxers, and that being in arrears of pay they were on the verge
of revolt. Fraser found him the money by the help of the Hong Kong
Bank; the troops were paid; and the Boxers dispersed.

The same problem confronted Liu, the viceroy of Nanking; and it
was solved by him in the same way. Both viceroys acted in concert;
but to which belongs the honour of that wise initiative can never
be decided with certainty. The foreign consuls at Nanking claim it
for Liu. Mr. Sundius, now British consul at Wuhu, assures me that
as Liu read the barbarous decree he exclaimed, "I shall repudiate
this as a forgery," adding "I shall not obey, if I have to die for
it." His words have a heroic ring; and
[Page 228]
suggest that his policy was not taken at second-hand.

A similar claim has been put forward for Li Hung Chang, who was at
that time viceroy at Canton. Is it not probable that the same view
of the situation flashed on the minds of all three simultaneously?
They were not, like the Peking princes, ignorant Tartars, but Chinese
scholars of the highest type. They could not fail to see that compliance
with that bloody edict would seal their own doom as well as that
of the Empire.

Speaking of Chang, Mr. Fraser says: "He had the wit to see that
any other course meant ruin." Chang certainly does not hesitate
to blow his own trumpet; but I do not suspect him of "drawing the
longbow." Having the advantage of being an expert rhymer, he has
put his own pretensions into verses which all the school-children
in a population of fifty millions are obliged to commit to memory.
They run somewhat like this:

 "In Kengtse (1900) the Boxer robbers went mad,
  And Peking became for the third time the prey of fire and sword;
  But the banks of the Great River and the province of Hupei
  Remained in tranquillity."

He adds in a tone of exultation:

 "The province of Hupei was accordingly exempted
  From the payment of an indemnity tax,
  And allowed to spend the amount thus saved
  In the erection of schoolhouses."

In these lines there is not much poetry; but the fact which they
commemorate adds one more wreath to
[Page 229]
a brow already crowned with many laurels, showing how much the viceroy's
heart was set on the education of his people.

In the interest of the educational movement, I was called to Chang's
assistance in 1902. The Imperial University was destroyed in the
Boxer War, and, seeing no prospect of its reëstablishment I was
on the way to my home in America when, on reaching Vancouver, I
found a telegram from Viceroy Chang, asking me to be president
of a university which he proposed to open, and to instruct his
junior officials in international law. I engaged for three years;
and I now look back on my recent campaign in Central China as one
of the most interesting passages in a life of over half a century
in the Far East.

Besides instructing his mandarins in the law of nations, I had to
give them some notion of geography and history, the two coördinates
of time and place, without which they might, like some of their
writers, mistake Rhode Island for the Island of Rhodes, and Rome,
New York, for the City of the Seven Hills. A book on the Intercourse
of Nations and a translation of Dudley Field's "International Code,"
remain as tangible results of those lectures. But the university
failed to materialise.

Within a month after my arrival the viceroy was ordered to remove
to Nanking to take up a post rendered vacant by the death of his
eminent colleague, Liu. Calling at my house on the eve of embarking
he said, "I asked you to come here to be president of a university
for two provinces. If you will go with me to Nanking, I will make
you president of a university
[Page 230]
for five provinces," meaning that he would combine the educational
interests of the two viceroyalties, and showing how the university
scheme had expanded in his fertile brain.

Before he had been a month at that higher post he learned to his
intense disappointment that he was only to hold the place for another
appointee. After nearly a year at Nanking, he was summoned to Peking,
where he spent another year in complete uncertainty as to his future
destination. In the meantime the university existed only on paper.
In justice to the viceroy I ought to say that nothing could exceed
the courtesy and punctuality with which he discharged his obligations
to me. The despatch which once a month brought me my stipend was
always addressed to me as president of the Wuchang University,
though as a matter of fact I might as well have been styled president
of the University of Weissnichtwo. In one point he went beyond his
agreement, viz., in giving me free of charge a furnished house
of two stories, with ten rooms and a garden. It was on the bank
of the "Great River" with the picturesque hills of Hanyang nearly
opposite, a site which I preferred to any other in the city. I there
enjoyed the purest air with a minimum of inconvenience from narrow,
dirty streets. To these exceptional advantages it is doubtless due
that my health held out, notwithstanding the heat of the climate,
which, the locality being far inland and in lat. 30° 30', was that
of a fiery furnace. On the night of the autumnal equinox, my first
in Wuchang, the mercury stood in my bedroom at 102°. I was the
guest of the Rev. Arnold Foster of the London Missionary
[Page 231]
Society, whose hospitality was warm in more ways than one.

The viceroy returned from Peking, broken in health; the little
strength he had left was given to military preparation for the
contingencies of the Russo-Japanese War; and his university was
consigned to the limbo of forgotten dreams.

Viceroy Chang has been derided, not quite justly, as possessing a
superabundance of initiative along with a rather scant measure of
finality, taking up and throwing down his new schemes as a child
does its playthings. In these enterprises the paucity of results
was due to the shortcomings of the agents to whom he entrusted
their management. The same reproach and the same apology might be
made for the Empress Dowager who, like the Roman Sybil, committed
her progressive decrees to the mercy of the winds without seeming
to care what became of them.

Next after the education of his people the development of their
material resources has been with Chang a leading object. To this
end he has opened cotton-mills, silk-filatures, glass-works and
iron-works, all on an extensive scale, with foreign machinery and
foreign experts. For miles outside of the gates of Wuchang the
banks of the river are lined with these vast establishments. Do
they not announce more clearly than the batteries which command
the waterway the coming of a new China? Some of them he has kept
going at an annual loss. The cotton-mill, for example, was standing
idle when I arrived, because in the hands of his mandarins he could
not make it pay expenses. A Canton merchant leased it on easy terms,
and made it
[Page 232]
such a conspicuous success that he is now growing rich. It is an
axiom in China that no manufacturing or mercantile enterprise can
be profitably conducted by a deputation of mandarins.

Chang is rapidly changing the aspect of his capital by erecting
in all parts of it handsome school-buildings in foreign style,
literally proclaiming from the house-tops his gospel of education.
The youth in these schools are mostly clad in foreign dress; his
street police and the soldiers in his barracks are all in foreign
uniform; and many of the latter have cut off their cues as a sign
of breaking with the old régime. In talking with their officers I
applauded the prudence of the measure as making them less liable
to be captured while running away.

Chang's soldiers are taught to march to the cadence of his own
war-songs--which, though lacking the fire of Tyrtæus or Körner,
are not ill-suited to arouse patriotic sentiment. Take these lines
as a sample:

 "Foreigners laugh at our impotence,
  And talk of dividing our country like a watermelon,
  But are we not 400 million strong?
  If we of the Yellow Race only stand together,
  What foreign power will dare to molest us?
  Just look at India, great in extent
  But sunk in hopeless bondage.
  Look, too, at the Jews, famous in ancient times,
  Now scattered on the face of the earth.
  Then look at Japan with her three small islands,
  Think how she got the better of this great nation,
  And won the admiration of the world.
  What I admire in the Japanese
  Is not their skill in using ship or gun
  But their single-hearted love of country."

[Page 233]
Viceroy Chang's mode of dealing with his own malady might be taken
as a picture of the shifting policy of a half-enlightened country.

The first doctor he consulted was a Chinese of the old school. Besides
administering pills composed of

  "Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
   Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,"

the doctor suggested that one thing was still required to put the
patient in harmony with the course of Nature. Pointing to a fine
chain of hills that stretches in a waving line across the wide city,
he said: "The root of your trouble lies there. That carriage-road
that you have opened has wounded the spinal column of the serpent.
Restore the hill to its former condition and you will soon get

The viceroy filled the gap incontinently, but found himself no
better. He then sent for English and American doctors--dismissing
them in turn to make way for a Japanese who had him in charge when
I left Wuchang. For a paragon of intelligence and courage, how
pitiful this relapse into superstition! Did not China after a trial
of European methods also relapse during the Boxer craze into her old
superstitions? And is she not at this moment taking the medicine
of Japan? To Japan she looks for guidance in the conduct of her
public schools as well as for the training of her army and navy.
To Japan she is sending her sons and daughters in growing numbers.
No fewer than eight thousand of her young men, and, what is more
significant, one or two hundred of her young women from the best
families are now in those islands inhaling the breath of a new

[Page 234]
Some writers have sounded a note of alarm in consequence of this
wholesale surrender on the part of China. But for my part I have
no fear of any sinister tendency in the teachings of Japan, whether
political or educational. On a memorable occasion twelve years ago,
when Marquis Ito was entertained at a banquet in Peking by the
governor of the city and the chancellor of the Imperial University, I
congratulated him on the fact that "Japan exerts a stronger influence
on China than any Western power--just as the moon raises a higher
tide than the more distant sun"--implying, what the Japanese are
ready enough to admit, that their country shines by borrowed light.

After all, the renovating effect, for which I look to them, will
not come so much from their teaching as from their example. "What
is to hinder us from doing what those islanders have done?" is an
argument oft reiterated by Viceroy Chang in his appeals to his drowsy
countrymen. It was, as I have said, largely under his influence that
the Emperor was led to adopt a new educational programme twelve
years ago. Nor can there be a doubt that by his influence more than
that of any other man, the Empress Dowager was induced to reenact
and to enlarge that programme.

To show what is going on in this very decade: On September 3, 1905,
an edict was issued "abolishing the literary competitive examinations
of the old style," and ordering that "hereafter exclusive attention
shall be given to the establishment of schools of modern learning
throughout the Empire in lieu thereof." The next day a supplementary
decree ordained that
[Page 235]
the provincial chancellors or examiners who, like Othello, found their
occupation gone, should have the duty of examining and inspecting the
schools in their several provinces; and, to give the new arrangement
greater weight, it was required that they "discharge this duty in
conjunction with the viceroy or governor of the province."

An item of news that came along with these decrees seemed to indicate
that a hitherto frivolous court has at length become thoroughly in
earnest on the subject of education. A sum of 300,000 taels appeared
in the national budget as the annual expense of a theatrical troupe
in attendance on the Court. At the instance of two ministers (Viceroy
Yuan and General Tieliang) Her Majesty reduced this to one-third of
that amount, ordering that theatricals should be performed twice
a week instead of daily; and that the 200,000 taels thus economised
shall be set apart for _the use of schools_. How much this
resembles the policy of Viceroy Chang who, exempted from raising
a war indemnity, set apart an equal amount for the building of
schoolhouses! An empire that builds schoolhouses is more certain
to make a figure in the world than one that spends its money on
batteries and forts.

In addition to adopting the new education there are three items
which Chang proclaims as essential to a renovation of Chinese society.
In the little book, already cited, he says:

[Page 236]
  The crippling of women makes their offspring weak;
  The superstition of _Fungshui_ prevents the opening of mines,
  And keeps China poor."

How could the man who wrote this fall back into the folly of
_Fungshui?_ Is it not possible that he closed that new road
in deference to the superstitions of his people? In either case
it would be a deplorable weakness; but his country, thanks to his
efforts, is now fully committed to progress. She moves, however, in
that direction much as her noble rivers move toward the sea--with
many a backward bend, many a refluent eddy.


In taking leave of this eminent man, who represents the best class
of his countrymen, there are two or three incidents, which I mention
by way of supplement. In his telegram to Vancouver, besides engaging
me to assume the office of president of the proposed university, he
asked me to act as his legal and political adviser. In the agreement
formally made through the consul in New York, in place of these
last-named functions was substituted the duty of instructing his
junior mandarins in international law. The reason assigned for
the change was that the Peking Government declined to allow _any
foreigner_ to hold the post of adviser. The objection was represented
as resting on general policy, not on personal grounds. If, however,
the Peking officials had read my book on the Siege, in which I
denounce the treachery of Manchu government and favour the
[Page 237]
position of China, it is quite conceivable that their objection
might have a tinge of personality.

When Viceroy Chang was starting for Peking, I called to see him
on board his steamer. He held in his hand a printed report of my
opening lecture at the beginning of a new term, and expressed regret
that in the hurry of departure he had been unable to find time to
attend in person. On that occasion (the previous day) several of
his higher officials, including the treasurer, judge, and prefect,
after giving me tiffin at the Mandarin Institute, brought sixty
junior officials to make their salaam to their instructor. This
ceremony performed, I bowed to Their Excellencies, and requested
them to leave me with my students. "No," they replied, "we too
are desirous of hearing you"; and they took seats in front of the

Viceroy Chang seems to have manifested some jealousy of Sir Robert
Hart, in criticising the Inspector-General's proposal for a single
tax. He likewise criticised unfavourably the scheme of Professor
Jenckes for unifying the currency of the Empire--influenced, perhaps,
by the fear that such an _innovation_ might impair the usefulness
of a costly plant which he has recently erected for minting both
silver and copper coin. For the same reason perhaps he objects, as
I hear he does, to the proposed engagement of a Cornell professor
by the Board of Revenue in the capacity of financial adviser.

With all his foibles, however, he is a true patriot; and his influence
has done much to move China in the right direction. O for more men
like Chang, the "Longbow of the Cavern!"

[Page 238]
I append a weighty document that is not the less interesting for
being somewhat veiled in mystery. I regret that I am not at liberty
to disclose its authorship. The report is to be taken as anonymous,
being an unpublished document of the secret service. To the reader
it is left to divine the nationality and personality of its author.
Valuable for the light it throws on a great character in a trying
situation, the report gains piquancy and interest from the fact that
the veil of official secrecy has to be treated with due respect.
My unnamed friend has my thanks and deserves those of my readers.


"At our interview of 17th June, described at length in my despatch
to you of 18th June, the Viceroy explained his determination to
maintain order and to afford the protection due under treaty; he
also emphasised his desire to be on friendly terms with England.

"Early in June, the three cities of Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankow had
been full of rumours of the kidnapping of children and even grown
persons by means of hypnotism; and though a concise notification by
the Viceroy, that persons spreading such tales would be executed,
checked its prevalence here, the scare spread to the country districts
and inflamed the minds of the people against foreigners and, in
consequence, against converts and missions.

"On the 25th June, the Viceroy, as reported in a separate despatch
of 28th June, to Lord Salisbury, sent a special envoy to assure me
that H. E. would not accept or act upon any anti-foreign decrees
from Peking. At the same time he communicated copy of a telegraphic
memorial from himself and seven other high provincial officers
insisting on the suppression of the
[Page 239]
Boxers and the maintenance of peace. This advice H. E. gave me
to understand led to the recall of Li Hung Chang to the north as

"Distorted accounts of the capture of the Taku forts and the hostilities
of the north caused some excitement, but the Viceroy's proclamation
of 2nd July, copy of which was forwarded in my despatch of 3rd
July to the Foreign Office, and the vigorous police measures taken
by His Excellency soon restored calm which, despite occasional
rumours, continued until the recent plot and scare reported in my
despatch to you of 23rd of August. In the same despatch I described
how, in compliance with my wish, H. E. took the unprecedented step
of tearing down his proclamation embodying an Imperial Decree which
had been taken to imply license to harry converts. To foreigners
during the past two months the question of interest has been whether
the Viceroy could and would keep his troops in order. The Viceroy
himself seemed to be in some doubt until the return of his trusted
officers, who were attending the Japanese manoeuvres when the
northern troubles began. Every now and then reports of disaffection
have been industriously circulated, but the drilled troops have
never shown any sign of disloyalty.

"A point of H. E.'s policy which has caused considerable suspicion
is the despatch of troops northward, At the end of June some 2,000
or 3,000 men passed through Hankow bound for Nyanking where the
Governor was said to want a body-guard. They were unarmed and did
no mischief beyond invading the Customs and China Merchants' Steam
Navigation Company's premises. During July some 5,000 troops, of
whom perhaps half were drilled men, went from Hukeang provinces
overland to Honan and on to Chihli. They were led by the anti-foreign
Treasurer of Hunan; and their despatch was explained by the
constitutional duty of succouring the Emperor. Since July I have
not heard of any further detachments leaving, though it was said
that the total would reach 10,000. Possibly the Viceroy sent the
men because he did not feel strong enough to defy Peking altogether,
because failure to help the court would
[Page 240]
have excited popular reprobation, and also in order to get rid of
a considerable part of the dangerous 'loafer' class.

"About the 20th July there was a persistent report that the Viceroy
was secretly placing guns on the opposite banks of the river. The
German military instructors assured me that the report was baseless;
and Lieutenant Brandon, H. M. S. _Pique_, thoroughly searched
the bank for a distance of three miles in length and breadth, without
discovering a trace of a cannon. The only guns in position are the
two 5-inch Armstrong M. L. within the walls of Wuchang, and they
have been there for a long time and are used 'merely for training

"So early as our interview of June 17th, the Viceroy expressed
anxiety as to missionaries at remote points in the interior; and I
had about that time suggested to the various missions that women and
children would be better at a treaty port. The missions themselves
preferred to recall all their members, and at the Viceroy's request
supplied lists of the stations thus left to the care of the local
authorities. Since then, even in Hupeh, there have been a few cases
of plundering, especially in the large district of Sin Chan on the
Hunan border, while at Hangchow-fu, in Hunan, the London Mission
premises were wrecked early in July and for a time throughout the
whole province it appeared probable that the Missions would be
destroyed. The chief cause of this, as of the riots in Hupeh, was
the dissemination of an alleged decree of 26th June praising the
Boxers and ordering the authorities to imitate the north in
exterminating foreigners. This decree seems to have reached local
authorities direct; and those hostile to foreigners acted upon
it or let its existence be known to the gentry and people. The
chapels in Hunan were all sealed up; and it was understood that
all mission and convert property would be confiscated. Towards the
end of July, however, the Viceroy and the Hunan Governor issued
a satisfactory proclamation, and I have heard no more complaints
from that province, the western part of which seems tranquil.

"Besides safeguarding foreign life and property in his own province
the Viceroy has frequently been asked to aid missionaries retiring
from Kansuh, Shensi, Shansi, and Honan. In
[Page 241]
every case H. E. has readily consented. Detailed telegrams have
been sent again and again not only to his frontier officers, but to
the governors of other provinces with whom H. E. has expostulated,
when necessary, in strong terms. Thus, when Honan seemed likely
to turn against us, the Viceroy insisted on the publication of
favourable decrees, and even went so far as to send his men to
establish a permanent escort depot at Ching Tzu Kuan, an important
post in Honan where travellers from the north and northwest have
to change from cart to boat. Happily the acting Governor of Shensi
has coöperated nobly. But the refugees who testify invariably to the
marvellous feeling of security engendered by reaching Hupeh, will,
I doubt not, agree that they owe their lives to Chang Chi-tung's
efforts; for simple inaction on his part would have encouraged the
many hostile officers to treat them as Shansi has treated its

"At times during the past two anxious months the Viceroy's action
in sending troops north, the occurrence of riots at various points,
H. E.'s communication of decrees in which the Peking Government
sought to gloss over the northern uprising, and his eagerness to
make out that the Empress Dowager had not incited the outbreak and
had no hostile feeling against foreigners have inevitably made one
uneasy. But on looking back one appreciates the skill and constancy
with which H. E. has met a most serious crisis and done his duty to
Chinese and foreigners alike. It is no small thing for a Chinese
statesman and scholar to risk popularity, position, and even life
in a far-seeing resistance to the apparent decrees of a court to
which his whole training enforces blind loyalty and obedience.
His desire to secure the personal safety of the Empress Dowager on
account of her long services to the Empire is natural enough; nor
need he be blamed for supplying some military aid to his sovereign,
even though he may have guessed that it would be used against those
foreign nations with whom he himself steadfastly maintains friendship
and against whose possible attack he has not mounted an extra gun."

[Page 242]


During Chang's long absence, Tuan Fang, Governor of Hupeh, held the
seals and exercised the functions of viceroy. He was a Manchu--one
of those specimens, admirable but not rare, who, in acquiring the
refinement of Chinese culture, lose nothing of the vigour of their
own race. "Of their own race," I say, because in language and habits
the Manchus are strongly differentiated from their Chinese subjects.

In the Boxer War Governor Tuan established an excellent record.
Acting as governor in Shensi, instead of killing missionaries, as
did the Manchu governor of the next province, he protected them
effectually and sent them safely to Hankow. One day when I was at
his house a missionary came to thank him for kindness shown on
that occasion.

Mentioning one of my books I once asked him if he had read it. "You
never wrote a book that I have not read," was his emphatic reply.
He was a pretty frequent visitor at my house, punctually returning
all my calls; and when he was transferred to the governorship of
Hunan he appeared pleased to have the Yale Mission commended to
his patronage. He has a son at school in the United States; and
his wife and daughters have taken lessons in English from ladies
of the American Episcopal Mission.

Governor Tuan (now viceroy) is a leading member of a commission
recently sent abroad to study and report on the institutions of
the Western world. Its
[Page 243]
departure was delayed by the explosion of a bomb in one of the
carriages just as the commission was leaving Peking. The would-be
assassin was "hoist with his own petard," leaving the public mystified
as to the motive of the outrage.

[Page 244]


_American Influence in the Far East--Officials and the
Boycott--Interview with President Roosevelt--Riot in a British
Concession--Ex-territoriality--Two Ways to an End--A Grave Mistake--The
Nan-chang Tragedy--Dangers from Superstition_

So far from being new, an anti-foreign spirit is the normal state
of the Chinese mind. Yet during the year past it has taken on new
forms, directed itself against new objects, and employed new methods.
It deserves therefore a conspicuous place among the new developments
in the China of the twentieth century.

Where everything is changing, the temper of the people has undergone
a change. They have become restless as the sea and fickle as a
weather-vane, The friends of yesterday are the enemies of to-day;
and a slight or petty annoyance is enough to make them transfer
man or country from one to the other category. Murderous outbreaks,
rare in the past, have now become alarmingly frequent, so much so
that the last year might be described as a year of anti-foreign
riots. The past nine months have witnessed four such outbreaks,
In four widely separated provinces, venting their fury pretty
impartially on people of four nationalities and of all professions,
they were actuated by a
[Page 245]
common hate and indicated a common purpose. That purpose--if they
had a purpose--was to compel a readjustment of treaty relations.

America has the distinction of being the target for the first assaults.
In treating the subject I accordingly begin with America and the
boycott, as set forth in a long extract from an address before
the Publishers' League of New York, November 8, 1905, on


"Mr. President and Gentlemen:

"If I were asked to find a _pou sto_, a fulcrum, on which
to erect a machine to move the world, I should choose this league
of publishers; and the machine would be no other than the power
press! I have accepted your invitation not merely from pleasant
recollections of your former hospitality, but because new occurrences
have taken place which appeal to the patriotism of every good citizen.
They are issues that rise above party; they involve our national
character and the well-being of another people whom we owe the
sacred duties of justice and humanity.

"When I agreed to speak to you of American influence in the Far
East, I was not aware that we should have with us a representative
of Japan, and I expected to spread myself thinly over two empires.
Happy I am to resign one of these empires to Mr. Stevens.

"I shall accordingly say no more about Japan than to advert to
the fact that the wise forbearance of Commodore Perry, which, in
1854, induced the Shogun to open his ports without firing a gun,
has won the gratitude of the Japanese people; so that in many ways
they testify a preference for us and our country. For instance, they
call the English language 'Americano,' etc. They were disappointed
that their claims against Russia were not backed up by the United
States. That, however, caused only a momentary cloud. Beyond this,
nothing has ever occurred to mar the harmony of the two peoples who
[Page 246]
face each other on the shores of the Pacific. Perry's wise initiative
was followed by the equal wisdom of Townsend Harris, who, before
any other consul or minister had arrived, was invited to Yedda
to give advice to the government of the Shogun.

"American influence thus inaugurated has been fostered by a noble
army of ministers, consuls, and missionaries. The total absence
of massacres and murders[*] makes the history of our intercourse
with Japan tame in contrast with the tragic story from China. It
speaks the reign of law.

[Footnote *: The only missionary killed in the last fifty years
was stabbed while grappling with a burglar.]

"My acquaintance with Japan dates back forty-six years; and in the
meantime I have had pleasant relations with most of the ministers
she has sent to China. One of her officials recently gave me a
beautiful scarf-pin that speaks volumes for American influence,
showing as it does the two flags in friendly union on one flagstaff.
I gave him in return the following lines:

 "'To sun and stars divided sway!
   Remote but kindred suns are they,
   In friendly concord here they twine
   To form a new celestial sign.

 "'Thou, Orient sun, still higher rise
   To fill with light the Eastern skies!
   And you, ye stars and stripes, unfurled
   Shed glory on the Western world!

 "'Our starry flag first woke the dawn
   In the empire of the Rising Sun.
   May no ill chance e'er break the tie,
   And so we shout our loud _banzai!_'

"I now turn to the less cheering theme of American influence in
China. It reminds me of the naturalist who took for the
[Page 247]
heading of a chapter 'Snakes in Iceland,' and whose entire chapter
consisted of the words 'There are no snakes in Iceland.' Though
formerly blazing like a constellation in the Milky Way, American
influence has vanished so completely that you can hardly see it with
a microscope. What influence can we presume on when our commodities
are shut out, not by legislative action but as a result of popular


"True, the latest advices are to the effect that the boycott has
broken down. I foresaw and foretold more than two months ago that
it could not in the nature of the case be of long duration, that
it was a mere _ballon d'essai_--an encouraging proof that
Orientals are learning to apply our methods. But is there not a
deplorable difference between the conditions under which it is
used in the two countries? In one the people all read, and the
newspaper is in everybody's hand. The moment a strike or boycott
is declared off all hands fall into their places and things go on
as usual. In the other the readers are less than one in twenty.
Newspapers, away from the open ports, are scarcely known, or if
they exist they are subject to the tyranny of the mandarins or
the terrorism of the mob. Hence a war may be waged in one province
and people in another may scarcely hear of it. Chevaux-de-frise may
bar out goods from one port, while they are more or less openly
admitted in other ports. Not only so, the hostile feeling engendered
by such conflict of interest is not dissipated by sunshine, but
rankles and spreads like an epidemic over vast regions unenlightened
by newspapers or by contact with foreign commerce.

"Witness the massacre of American missionaries at Lienchow in the
Canton province. I am not going to enter into the details of that
shocking atrocity, nor to dwell on it further than to point out
that although the boycott was ended on September 14, the people
in that district were in such a state of exasperation that the
missionaries felt themselves in danger fourteen days after that
date. In the New York _Sun_ of November 5 I find part of a
letter from one of the victims, the Reverend Mr.
[Page 248]
Peale, written exactly one month before the tragedy. Allow me to
read it along with an introductory paragraph.

"'PRINCETON, N. J., Nov. 4.--A. Lee Wilson, a student in the Princeton
Theological Seminary, received a letter a few days ago from John R.
Peale, the missionary who, with his wife, was killed in Lienchow,
China, on October 28. The letter was dated September 28, and reached
America at the time that Peale and his wife were murdered. It gives
a clue to the troubles which led to the death of Peale. The letter
says in part:

"'"The interest in the boycott is vital to the missionaries. Heretofore
the Americans always enjoyed special favour, and to fly the American
flag meant protection; but it is different now. No personal violence
has been attempted, but the people are less cordial and more suspicious.
People in China are not asking that their coolies be allowed entrance
into the States, but they only ask that the Americans cease treating
the Chinese with contempt and allow their merchants and students
the same privileges that other foreigners receive."

"'Peale graduated from the Princeton Theological Seminary last May.

"Is it not evident that whatever spark caused the explosion, the
nitro-glycerin that made it possible came from the boycott?

"Not only do they boycott ponderables such as figure at the
custom-house, but they extend the taboo to things of the head and
heart. The leader of the whole movement was formerly an active
supporter of the International Institute, an institution which
proposes to open gratuitous courses of lectures and to place Chinese
men of intelligence on common ground with scholars of the West,
He now opposes the International Institute because, forsooth, it
is originated and conducted by Dr. Reid, a large-minded American.

"After this, will you be surprised to hear that your own publications,
the best text-books for the schools of the Far East, have been put
on the _index expurgatorius?_ A number of such books were
lately returned with the excuse that they were forbidden because
they bore the stamp of an American press.

[Page 249]
"If I should go on to say that government officials, high and low,
look with satisfaction on this assertion of something like national
feeling, you might reply, 'National feeling! Yes, it is a duty to
cultivate that.' But do we not know how it has been fostered in
China? Has not hatred of the foreigner been mistaken for patriotism,
and been secretly instigated as a safeguard against foreign aggression?
In this instance, however, there is no room to suspect such a motive.
The movement is purely a result of provocation on our part; and it
is fostered with a view to coercing our government into modifying
or repealing our offensive exclusion laws. The Viceroy of Central
China, with whom I have spent the last three years, is known as
a pioneer of reform--a man who has done more than any other to
instruct his people in their duties as well as their rights. When,
on the expiration of my engagement, I was about to leave for home,
the prefect of Wuchang, a Canton man, addressed me a letter begging
me to plead the cause of his people with the President of the United
States. That letter was referred to in an interview by the viceroy,
and the request which it contained reiterated by him. He gave me
a parting banquet, attended by many of his mandarins, and on that
occasion the subject came up again and the same request was renewed
and pressed on me from all sides. While I promised to exert myself
on their behalf, let me give you a specimen of the kind of oil
which I poured on their wounded feelings.

"Said I, 'Under the exasperating effect of these petty grievances
your people forget what they owe to the United States. They lose
sight of the danger of alienating their best friend. In the Boxer
War, when Peking was captured by a combined force of eight foreign
powers, who but America was the first to introduce a self-denying
ordinance forbidding any power to take any portion of the Chinese
territory? In this she was backed up by Great Britain; the other
powers fell into line and the integrity of the Empire was assured.
Again, when China was in danger of being drawn into the vortex
of the Russo-Japanese war, who but America secured for her the
privileges of neutrality--thus a second time protecting her national
life? And now you turn
[Page 250]
against us! Is not such conduct condemned by your ancient poet who

  "_'Ki wo siao yuen, wang wo ta teh', etc._

  (How many acts of kindness done
     One small offence wipes out,
   As motes obscure the shining sun
     And shut his lustre out.')

"If the cause of offence be taken away there is reason to hope
that the beneficent action of our country, on those two occasions
so big with destiny, will be remembered, and will lead China to
look to our flag as an ægis under which she may find protection
in time of need. Not till then will our influence, now reduced
to the vanishing-point, be integrated to its full value.


"The injuries inflicted, though trifling in comparison with the
benefits conferred, are such as no self-respecting people should
either perpetrate or endure. Take one example, where I could give
you twenty. Two young men, both Christians, one rich, the other
poor, came to the United States for education. They were detained
in a prison-shed for three months, One of them, falling sick, was
removed to a hospital; the other obtaining permission to visit
him, they made their escape to Canada and thence back to China.

"What wonder no more students come to us and that over 8,000 are
now pursuing their studies in Japan![*]

[Footnote *: The conciliatory policy of President Roosevelt is
bearing fruit Forty students are about to start to the United States
(May, 1906).]

"The present irritation is, we are assured by the agitators, provoked
by the outrageous treatment of the _privileged classes_ (merchants,
travellers, and students) and not by the exclusion of labourers, to
which their government has given its assent. Yet in the growing
intelligence of the Chinese a time has come when their rulers feel
such discrimination as a stigma. It is not merely
[Page 251]
a just application of existing laws that Viceroy Chang and his
mandarins demand. They call for the rescinding of those disgraceful
prohibitions and the right to compete on equal terms with immigrants
from Europe. If we show a disposition to treat the Chinese fairly,
their country and their hearts will be open to us as never before.
Our commerce with China will expand to vast proportions; and our
flag will stand highest among those that overarch and protect the
integrity of that empire."

On November 16, I was received by President Roosevelt. Running
his eye over the documents (see below) which I placed in his hands
he expressed himself on each point. The grievances arising from
the Exclusion Laws he acknowledged to be real. He promised that
they should be mitigated or removed by improvements in the mode
of administration; but he held out no hope of their repeal. "We
have one race problem on our hands and we don't want another," he
said with emphasis. The boycott which the Chinese have resorted
to as a mode of coercion he condemned as an aggravation of existing
difficulties. The interruption of trade and the killing of American
missionaries to which it had led made it impossible, he said, to
turn over to China the surplus indemnity, as he had intended.

This response is what I expected; but it will by no means satisfy
the ruling classes in China, who aim at nothing short of repeal.
When I assured him the newspapers were wrong in representing the
agitation as confined to labourers and merchants, adding that the
highest mandarins, while formally condemning it, really give it
countenance, he replied that he believed that to be the case, and
reiterated the declaration that
[Page 252]
nothing is to be gained by such violent measures on the part of

From the Executive Mansion, I proceeded to the Chinese Legation,
where I talked over the matter with the minister, Sir Chentung
Liang. He was not surprised at the attitude of the President. He
said the state of feeling towards China in Congress and in the
entire country is improving, but that, in his opinion, it will
require ten years to bring about the repeal of the Exclusion Laws.

The present hitch in negotiations comes in part from Peking, but
he hoped a temporary settlement would soon be arrived at.

The papers referred to above are here appended.


"To the Hon. Dr. Martin.


"During the last three years we have often exchanged views on the
subject of education and other topics of the day; and to me it
is a joy to reflect that no discordant note has ever marred our

"In view of your learning and your long residence of forty years
at our capital, besides fifteen years in other parts of China, you
are regarded by us with profound respect. When we hear your words
we ponder them and treasure them up as things not to be forgotten.
It is by your scholarship and by your personal character that you
have been able to associate with the officers and scholars of the
Central Empire in harmony like this.

"Now, sir, there is a matter which we wish to bring to your attention--a
matter that calls for the efforts of wise men like yourself. I refer
to the exclusion of Chinese labourers. It affects our mercantile
as well as our labouring population very deeply.

[Page 253]
"We beg you to bear in mind your fifty-five years' sojourn in China
and to speak a good word on our behalf to the President of the
United States so as to secure the welfare of both classes.

"If through your persuasion the prohibitory regulations should be
withdrawn the gratitude of our Chinese people will know no bounds;
your fifty-five years of devotion to the good of China will have
a fitting consummation in one day's achievement; and your name
will be handed down to coming generations.

"Being old friends, I write as frankly as if we were speaking face
to face.

      "(Signed) LIANG TING FEN,
  "Director of the Normal College for the Two Lake
    "Provinces, Intendant of Circuit (_Taotai_), etc. etc.
"Wuchang, July 8, 1905."

The foregoing translation was made by me, and the original is attached
to the copy presented to the President, for the satisfaction of
any official interpreter who may desire to see it.

This letter may be regarded as expressing the sentiments of the
higher officials of the Chinese Empire. It was written on the eve
of my embarkation for home by a man who more than any other has
a right to be looked on as spokesman for Viceroy Chang; and the
following day the request was repeated by the viceroy himself. These
circumstances make it a document of more than ordinary importance.

The outrageous treatment to which the privileged classes (merchants,
students, and travellers) have been subjected, under cover of enforcing
the Exclusion Laws, has caused a deep-rooted resentment, of which
the boycott is only a superficial manifestation. That movement may
not be of long duration, but it has already lasted long enough
to do us no little damage.

[Page 254]
Besides occasioning embarrassment to our trade, it has excited a
feeling of hostility which it will require years of conciliatory
policy to eradicate.

The letter makes no direct reference to the boycott, neither does
it allude to coming negotiations; yet there can be little doubt
that, in making this appeal, the writer had both in view. The viceroy
and his officials are right in regarding the present as a grave
crisis in the intercourse of the two countries.

Their amicable relations have never been interrupted except during
a fanatical outbreak known as the "Boxer Troubles," which aimed
at the expulsion of all foreigners. The leading part taken by our
country in the subsequent settlement, especially in warding off the
threatened dismemberment of China, added immensely to our influence.
Again, on the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese conflict, which was
waged mainly on Chinese territory, it was American diplomacy that
secured for China the advantage of neutrality, and once more warded
off a danger that menaced her existence.

Yet every spark of gratitude for these transcendent services is
liable to be extinguished by the irritation caused by discrimination
against her labourers and the consequent ill-treatment of other
classes of her people. No argument is required to show how important
it is to remove all grounds of complaint in the interest of our
growing commerce.

That any sweeping alteration will be made in our existing laws, I
have given my mandarin friends no reason to expect. Self-preservation
stands on a higher plane than the amenities of intercourse. For
many years these laws served as a bulwark without which the
[Page 255]
sparse population of our Western States would have been swamped by
the influx of Asiatics. In early days it was easier for the Chinese
to cross the ocean than for the people of our Eastern States to cross
the Continent. Now, however, the completion of railroads has reduced
the continental transit to five or six days, in lieu of many months;
and the population of our Pacific Coast is so considerable that
there is no longer any danger of its being overrun by immigrants
from the Far East. Is it not therefore a fair question whether the
maintenance of these old restrictions is desirable or politic?
Swaddling bands, necessary for the protection of an infant, are an
impediment to a growing boy. That question can perhaps be best
decided by ascertaining the general sentiment of our Pacific States.
My impression is that, with the exception of the fruit-growers of
California and some others, they are strongly opposed to what they
call "letting down the bars."

The most feasible way of meeting the difficulty would be, as it
appears to me, the enactment of regulations to provide against
abuses in the enforcement of our Exclusion Laws. The President
has already spoken forcibly in condemnation of such abuses. The
"privileged classes" might be construed in a more liberal sense.
Provision might be made to mitigate the hardships of detention and
repatriation; and a better class of inspectors might be appointed
with a general superintendent, whose duty it should be to see that
the laws are enforced humanely as well as faithfully.

On December 18, less than three months after the attack on Americans
at Lienchow, an attempt
[Page 256]
was made to destroy the British settlement in Shanghai.

A woman arrested on a charge of kidnapping was sent to the foreign
jail to await trial. The Chinese assessor insisted, not without
reason, that she ought to be kept in a native jail. No attention
being given to his protest, though supported by the _taotai_
or local governor, a mob of riff-raff from beyond the limits burst
into the settlement, put the foreign police to flight, and began to
burn and pillage. Happily a body of marines with gatling guns and
fire-engines succeeded in quelling the flames and suppressing the
insurrection. A few hours' delay must have seen that rich emporium
converted into a heap of ashes. Forty of the rioters were killed
and many wounded. Though on ground granted to Great Britain, the
settlement is called international and is governed by a municipal
council elected by the foreign ratepayers. The Chinese residents,
numbering half a million, are allowed no voice in the council; and
that also is felt as a grievance. They are, however, protected
against the rapacity of their own officials; and it is said they
took no part in the riot. In fact had it not been promptly suppressed
they must have suffered all the horrors of sack and pillage. After it
was over they took occasion to demand recognition in the municipal
government; promising to be satisfied if allowed to appoint a permanent
committee, with whom the council should consult before deciding on
any question affecting their interests.

Modest as this request was, it was rejected by an almost unanimous
vote of the foreign ratepayers. They knew that such committee,
however elected,
[Page 257]
was certain to be manipulated by the governor to extend his
jurisdiction. Their decision was quietly accepted by the Chinese
residents, who appreciate the protection which they enjoy in that
strange republic. The question is certain to come up again, and
their claim to be heard will be pressed with more insistence as
they become more acquainted with the principles of representative

The existence of an _imperium in imperio_ which comes between
them and their people is of course distasteful to the mandarins;
and they are bent on curtailing its privileges. If its franchises
were surrendered, "Ichabod" might be inscribed on the gates of
the model settlement.

The practice of marking out a special quarter for each nationality
is an old one in China, adopted for convenience. When, after the
first war, the British exacted the opening of ports, they required
the grant of a concession in each, within which their consuls should
have chief, if not exclusive authority. Other nations made the
same demands; and China made the grants, not as to the British
from necessity, but apparently from choice--the foreign consul
being bound to keep his people in order. Now, however, the influx
of natives into the foreign settlements, and the enormous growth
of those mixed communities in wealth and population, have led the
Chinese Government to look on the ready compliance of its predecessors
as a blunder. Accordingly, in opening new ports in the interior it
marks out a foreign quarter, but makes no "concession." It does not
as before waive the exercise of jurisdiction within those limits.

[Page 258]
The above question relates solely to the government of Chinese
residing in the foreign "concessions." But there is a larger question
now looming on the political sky, viz., how to recover the right
of control over foreigners, wherever they may be in the Empire.
If it were in their power, the Chinese would cancel not merely
the franchises of foreign settlements, but the treaty right of
exemption from control by the local government. This is a franchise
of vital interest to the foreigner, whose life and property would
not be safe were they dependent on the native tribunals as these
are at present constituted.

Such exemption is customary in Turkey and other Moslem countries,
not to say among the Negroes of Africa. It was recognised by treaty
in Japan; and the Japanese, in proportion as they advanced in the
path of reform, felt galled by an exception which fixed on them the
stigma of barbarism. When they had proved their right to a place
in the comity of nations, with good laws administered, foreign
powers cheerfully consented to allow them the exercise of all the
prerogatives of sovereignty.

How does her period of probation compare with that of her neighbour?
Japan resolved on national renovation on Western lines in 1868.
China came to no such resolution until the collapse of her attempt
to exterminate the foreigner in 1900. With her the age of reform
dates from the return of the Court in 1902--as compared with Japan
four years to thirty! Then what a contrast in the animus of the
two countries! The one characterised by law and order, the other
[Page 259]
by mob violence, unrestrained, if not instigated, by the authorities!

When the north wind tried to compel a traveller to take off his
cloak, the cloak was wrapped the closer and held the tighter. When
the sun came out with his warm beams, the traveller stripped it
off of his own accord.

The sunrise empire has exemplified the latter method; China prefers
the former. Is it not to be feared that the apparent success of
the boycott will encourage her to persist in the policy of the
traveller in the north wind. She ought to be notified that she
is on probation, and that the only way to recover the exercise of
her sovereign rights is to show herself worthy of confidence. The
Boxer outbreak postponed by many years the withdrawal of the cloak
of ex-territoriality, and every fresh exhibition of mob violence
defers that event to a more distant date.

To confound "stranger" with "enemy" is the error of Bedouin or
Afghan. Does not China do the same when she mistakes hostility to
foreigners for patriotism? By this blunder she runs the risk of
alienating her best friends, England and America. A farmer attempting
to rope up a shaky barrel in which a hen was sitting on a nest full
of eggs, the silly fowl mistook him for an enemy and flew in his
face. Is not China in danger of being left to the fate which her
friends have sought to avert?

In April a magistrate went by invitation to the French Catholic
Mission to settle a long-standing dispute, and he settled it by
committing suicide--in China the most dreaded form of revenge. Carried
[Page 260]
out gasping but speechless, he intimated that he was the victim of a
murderous attack by the senior priest. His wounds were photographed;
and the pictures were circulated with a view to exciting the mob.
Gentry and populace held meetings for the purpose of screwing their
courage up to the required pitch--governor and mandarins kept carefully
in the background--and on the fifth day the mission buildings were
destroyed and the priests killed. An English missionary, his wife
and daughter, living not far away, were set upon and slain, not
because they were not known to belong to another nation and another
creed, but because an infuriated mob does not care to discriminate.

English and French officials proceeded to the scene in gunboats to
examine the case and arrange a settlement. The case of the English
family was settled without difficulty; but that of the French mission
was more complicated. Among the French demands were two items which
the Chinese Government found embarrassing. It had accepted the
theory of murder and hastily conferred posthumous honours on the
deceased magistrate. The French demanded the retraction of those
honors, and a public admission of suicide. To pay a money indemnity
and cashier a governor was no great hardship, but how could the
court submit to the humiliation of dancing to the tune of a French
piper? An English surgeon declared, in a sealed report of autopsy,
that the wounds must have been self-inflicted, as their position
made it impossible for them to have been inflicted by an assailant.

[Note from PG proofer: two lines of text missing here.]

[Page 261]
In 1870 France accepted a money payment for the atrocious massacre at
Tientsin, because the Second Empire was entering on a life-and-death
struggle with Germany. If she makes things easy for China this time,
will it not be because the Republic is engaged in mortal combat
with the Roman Church?

China's constant friction and frequent collisions with France spring
chiefly from two sources; (1) the French protectorate over the Roman
missions, and (2) the menacing attitude of France in Indo-China.
It was to avenge the judicial murder of a missionary that Louis
Napoleon sent troops to China in 1857-60. From this last date the
long-persecuted Church assumed an imperious tone. The restitution
of confiscated property was a source of endless trouble; and the
certainty of being backed up by Church and State emboldened native
converts not only to insist on their own rights, but to mix in
disputes with which they had no necessary connection--a practice
which more than anything else has tended to bring the Holy Faith
into disrepute among the Chinese people.

Yet, on the other side, there are more fruitful sources of difficulty
in the ignorance of the people and in the unfair treatment of converts
by the Chinese Government. While the Government, having no conception
of religious freedom, extends to Christians of all creeds a compulsory
toleration and views them as traitors to their country, is it not
natural for their pagan neighbours to treat them with dislike and

In this state of mind they, like the pagans of ancient Rome, charge
them with horrible crimes, and seize the slightest occasion for
murderous attack. A church
[Page 262]
spire is said to disturb the good luck of a neighbourhood--the
people burn the building. A rumour is started that babies in a
foundling hospital have their eyes taken out to make into photographic
medicine--the hospital is demolished and the Sisters of Charity
killed. A skeleton found in the house of a physician is paraded
on the street as proof of diabolical acts--instantly an angry mob
wrecks the building and murders every foreigner within its reach.
One of these instances was seen in the Tientsin massacre of 1869,
the other in the Lienchow massacre of 1905. Nor are these isolated
cases. Two American ladies doing hospital work in Canton were set
upon by a mob, who accused them of killing a man whose life they
were trying to save, and they narrowly escaped murder. But why
extend the gruesome list? In view of their mad fury, so fatal to
their benefactors, one is tempted to exclaim: _Unglaube du bist
nicht so viel ein ungeheuer als aberglaube du!_ "Of the twin
monsters, unbelief and superstition, the more to be dreaded is
the last!"

In China if a man falls in the street, the priest and Levite consult
their own safety by keeping at a distance; and if a good Samaritan
stoops to pick him up it is at his peril. In treating the sick a
medical man requires as much courage and tact as if he were dealing
with lunatics! These dark shadows, so harmful to the good name of
China, are certain to be dissipated by the numerous agencies now
employed to diffuse intelligence. But what of the feeling towards
religious missions?

Medical missions are recognised as a potent agency in overcoming
prejudice. They reach the heart of
[Page 263]
the people by ministering to their bodily infirmities; high officials
are among their supporters; and the Empress Dowager latterly showed a
disposition to give them her patronage. But how about the preaching
missionary and the teaching missionary? Are the Chinese hostile
to these branches of missionary work?

Unlike Mohammedan or Brahman, the Chinese are not strongly attached
to any form of religious faith. They take no umbrage at the offer
of a new creed, particularly if it have the advantage of being
akin to that of their ancient sages. What they object to is not
the creed, but the foreigner who brings it. Their newspapers are in
fact beginning to agitate the question of accepting the Christian
faith and propagating it in their own way, without aid from the
foreigner. That they would be glad to see merchant and missionary
leave them in peace, no one can doubt. Yet the influence of missions
is steadily on the increase; and their influence for good is
acknowledged by the leading minds of the Empire.

Said the High Commissioner Tuan Fang, in an address to the Mission
Boards at New York, February 2,1906:

"We take pleasure this evening in bearing testimony to the part
taken by American missionaries in promoting the progress of the
Chinese people. They have borne the light of Western civilisation into
every nook and corner of the Empire. They have rendered inestimable
service to China by the laborious task of translating into the Chinese
language religious and scientific works of the West. They help us
to bring happiness and comfort to the poor and the suffering by
the establishment
[Page 264]
of hospitals and schools. The awakening of China which now seems
to be at hand may be traced in no small measure to the hand of the
missionary. For this service you will find China not ungrateful."

Mission stations, now counted by hundreds, have generally high
schools or colleges. Not only is the science taught in them up-to-date,
but the conscientious manner in which they are conducted makes
them an object-lesson to those officials who are charged with the
supervision of government schools. To name only a few:

Here in Peking is a university of the American Methodist Episcopal
Church which is not unworthy of the name it bears. At Tungchow, a
suburb of the capital, is a noble college of the American Board
(Congregationalist) which is in every point a worthy compeer. These
coöperate with each other and with a Union Medical College which
under the London Mission has won the favour of the Empress Dowager.

The American Presbyterian Mission has a high school and a theological
seminary, and coöperates to a certain extent with the three societies
above named. A quadrilateral union like this speaks volumes as
to the spirit in which the work of Christian education is being
carried forward. The Atlantic is bridged and two nations unite;
denominational differences are forgotten in view of the mighty
enterprise of converting an empire. In the economy of their teaching
force they already experience the truth of the maxim "Union is

In Shantung, at Weihien, there is a fine college in
[Page 265]
which English Baptists unite with American Presbyterians. The original
plant of the latter was a college at Tengchow, which under Dr.
Mateer afforded conclusive proof that an education deep and broad
may be given through the medium of the Chinese language. In most
of these schools the English language is now claiming a prominent
place, not as the sole medium for instruction, but as a key to the
world's literature, and a preparation for intercourse with foreign

At Shanghai, which takes the lead in education as in commerce,
there is an admirable institution called St. John's College which
makes English the basis of instruction. Numberless other schools
make it a leading branch of study to meet the wants of a centre
of foreign trade.

One of the best known institutions of Shanghai is a Roman Catholic
College at Siccawei, which preserves the traditions of Matteo Ricci,
and his famous convert Paul Sü. In connection with it are an
astronomical observatory and a weather bureau, which are much
appreciated by foreigners in China, and ought to be better known
throughout the Empire.

Passing down a coast on which colleges are more numerous than
lighthouses, one comes to Canton, where, near the "Great City"
and beautifully conspicuous, rises the Canton Christian College.

These are mentioned by way of example, to show what missionaries are
doing for the education of China. It is a narrow view of education
that confines it to teaching in schools. Missionaries led the way
in Chinese journalism and in the preparation of textbooks in all
branches of science. The Society for the
[Page 266]
Diffusion of Useful Knowledge is spreading broadcast the seeds of
secular and religious truth.

Gratitude for the good they have already done, as well as for benefits
to come, ought to lead the Chinese Government to accord a generous
recognition to all these institutions. At the opening of the Union
Medical College, Mr. Rockhill, the American minister, in a remarkable
address, proposed the recognition of their degrees by the Government;
and as a representative of the Empress Dowager was in the chair on
that occasion, there is reason to hope that his suggestion will
not be overlooked.

[Page 267]


_The Ta-Ts'ing Dynasty--The Empress Dowager--Her Origin--Her
First Regency--Her Personality--Other Types--Two Manchu Princes--Two
Manchu Ministers--The Nation's Choice--Conclusions_

In a wide survey of the history of the world, we discover a law
which appears to govern the movements of nations. Those of the
north show a tendency to encroach on those of the south. The former
are nomads, hunters, or fishers, made bold by a constant struggle
with the infelicities of their environment. The latter are occupied
with the settled industries of civilised life.

The Goths and Vandals of Rome, and the Tartars under Genghis and
Tamerlane all conform to this law and seem to be actuated by a
common impulse. In the east and west of the Eastern hemisphere
may be noted two examples of this general movement, which afford
a curious parallel: I refer to the Normans of Great Britain and
the Manchus of China. Both empires are under the sway of dynasties
which originated in the north; for the royal house of Britain,
though under another title, has always been proud of its Norman

The Normans who conquered Britain had first
[Page 268]
settled in France and there acquired the arts of civilised life.
The Manchus coming from the banks of the Amur settled in Liao-tung,
a region somewhat similarly situated with reference to China. There
they learned something of the civilisation of China, and watched
for an opportunity to obtain possession of the empire. In Britain a
kindred branch of the Norman family was on the throne, and William
the Conqueror contrived to give his invasion a colour of right, by
claiming the throne under an alleged bequest of Edward the Confessor.
The Manchus, though not invoking such artificial sanction, aspired
to the dominion of China because their ancestors of the Golden
Horde had ruled over the northern half of the empire. The Norman
conquest, growing out of a family quarrel, was decided by a single
battle. The Manchus' conquest of a country more than ten times the
extent of Britain was not so easy to effect. Yet they achieved
it with unexampled rapidity, because they came by invitation and
they brought peace to a people exhausted by long wars. Their task
was comparatively easy in the north, where the traditions of the
Kin Tartars still survived; but it was prolonged and bloody in
the south.

Both houses treated their new subjects as a conquered people. Each
imposed the burden of foreign garrisons and a new nobility. Each
introduced a foreign language, which they tried to perpetuate as
the speech of the court, if not of the people. In each case the
language of the people asserted itself. In Britain it absorbed
and assimilated the alien tongue; in China, where the absence of
common elements made amalgamation
[Page 269]
impossible, it superseded that of the conquerors, not merely for
writing purposes, but as the spoken dialect of the court.

Both conquerors found it necessary to conciliate the subject race
by liberal and timely concessions; but here begins a contrast.
In Britain no external badge of subjection was ever imposed; in
process of time all special privileges of the ruling caste were
abolished; and no trace of race antipathy ever displays itself
anywhere--if we except Ireland. In China the cue remains as a badge
of subjection. Habit has reconciled the people to its use; but it
still offers a tempting grip to revolutionary agitators. Every
party that raises the standard of revolt abolishes the cue; would
it not be wise for the Manchu Government to make the wearing of
that appendage a matter of option, especially as it is beginning
to disappear from their soldiers' uniform?

The extension of reform in dress from camp to court and from court
to people (to them as a matter of option) would remove a danger.
It would also remove a barrier in the way of China's admission
into the congress of nations. The abolition of the cue implies
the abandonment of those long robes which make such an impression
of barbaric pomp. Already the Chinese are tacitly permitted to
adopt foreign dress; and in every case they have to dispense with
the cue. The Japanese never did a wiser thing than to adopt our
Western costume. Their example tends to encourage a reform of the
same kind in China. A new costume means a new era.

Another point is required to complete the parallel:
[Page 270]
each victor has given the conquered country a better government
than any in its previous history. To Confucius feudalism was a
beau-ideal, and he beautifully compares the sovereign to the North
Star which sits in state on the pole of the heavens while all the
constellations revolve around it, and pay it homage. Yet was the
centralised government of the First Hwang-ti an immense improvement
on the loose agglomeration of the Chous. The great dynasties have all
adopted the principle of centralisation; but not one has applied it
with such success, nor is there one which shows so large a proportion
of respectable rulers as the house of Ta-ts'ing. Of the first six
some account has been given in Part II. As to the next two it is
too soon to have the verdict of history. One died after a brief
reign of two years and three months, too short to show character.
The other now sits at the foot of the throne, while his adoptive
mother sways the sceptre. Both have been overshadowed by the Empress
Dowager and controlled by her masterful spirit.

China has had female rulers that make figures in history, such as
Lu of the Han and Wu of the T'ang dynasties, but she has no law
providing for the succession of a female under any conditions. A
female reign is abnormal, and the ruler a monstrosity. Her character
is always blackened so as to make it difficult to delineate. Yet in
every instance those women have possessed rare talent; for without
uncommon gifts it must have been impossible to seize a sceptre
in the face of such prejudices, and to sway it over a submissive
people. Usually they are described much as the Jewish chronicler
sketches the character of Jezebel
[Page 271]
or Athaliah. Cruel, licentious, and implacable, they "destroy the
seed royal," they murder the prophets and they make the ears of
the nation tingle with stories of shameless immorality.

Among these we shall not seek a parallel for the famous Empress
Dowager, so well known to the readers of magazine literature. In
tragic vicissitudes, if not in length of reign, she stood without
a rival in the history of the world. She also stood alone in the
fact that her destinies were interwoven with the tangle of foreign
invasion. Twice she fled from the gates of a fallen capital; and
twice did the foreign conqueror permit her to return. Without the
foreigner and his self-imposed restraint, there could have been no
Empress Dowager in China. Did she hate the foreigner for driving
her away, or did she thank him for her repeated restoration?

The daughter of Duke Chou (the slave-girl story is a myth), she
became a secondary wife of Hienfung in 1853 or 1854; and her sister
somewhat later became consort of the Emperor's youngest brother.
Having the happiness to present her lord with a son, she was raised
to the rank of Empress and began to exert no little influence in the
character of mother to an heir-apparent. Had she not been protected
by her new rank her childless rival might have driven her from
court and appropriated the boy. She had instead to admit a joint
motherhood, which in a few years led to a joint regency.

Scarcely had the young Empress become accustomed to her new dignity,
when the fall of Taku and Tientsin, in 1860, warned the Emperor
of what he might
[Page 272]
expect. Taking the two imperial ladies and their infant son, he
retired to Jeho, on the borders of Tartary, in time to escape capture.
There he heard of the burning of his summer palace and the surrender
of his capital. Whether he succumbed to disease or whether a proud
nature refused to survive his disgrace, is not known. What we do
know is, that on his death, in 1861, two princes, Sushun and Tuanhwa,
organised a regency and brought the court back to the capital about
a year after the treaty of peace had been signed by Prince Kung as
the Emperor's representative. Prince Kung was not included in the
council of regency; and he knew that he was marked for destruction.
Resolving to be beforehand, he found means to consult with the
Empresses, who looked to him to rescue them from the tyranny of
the Council of Eight. On December 2 the blow was struck: all the
members of the council were seized; the leader was put to death in
the market-place; some committed suicide; and others were condemned
to exile. A new regency was formed, consisting of the two Empresses
and Prince Kung, the latter having the title of "joint regent."

What part the Empress Mother had taken in this her first _coup
d'état_, is left to conjecture. Penetrating and ambitious she
was not content to be a tool in the hands of the Eight. The senior
Empress yielded to the ascendency of a superior mind, as she continued
to do for twenty years.

There was another actor whom it would be wrong to overlook, namely,
Kweiliang, the good secretary, who had signed the treaties at Tientsin.
His daughter
[Page 273]
was Prince Kung's principal wife, and though too old to take a
leading part in the Court revolutions, it was he who prompted Prince
Kung, who was young and inexperienced, to strike for his life.

The reigning title of the infant Emperor was changed from
_Kisiang_, "good luck," to _Tung-chi_, "joint government";
and the Empire acquiesced in the new régime.

One person there was, however, who was not quite satisfied with
the arrangement. This was the restless, ambitious young Dowager.
The Empire was quiet; and things went on in their new course for
years, Prince Kung all the time growing in power and dignity. His
growing influence gave her umbrage; and one morning a decree from
the two Dowagers stripped him of power, and confined him a prisoner
in his palace. His alleged offence was want of respect to their
Majesties; he threw himself at their feet and implored forgiveness.

The ladies were not implacable; he was restored to favour and clothed
with all his former dignities, except one. The title of
_Icheng-wang_, "joint regent," never reappeared.

In 1881 the death of the senior Dowager left the second Dowager
alone in her glory. So harmoniously had they coöperated during
their joint regency, and so submissive had the former been to the
will of the latter, that there was no ground for suspicion of foul
play, yet such suspicions are always on the wing, like bats in
the twilight of an Oriental court.

On the death of Tung-chi, the adroit selection of a nephew of three
summers to succeed to the throne as her adopted son, gave the Dowager
the prospect of another long regency. Recalled to power by the
[Page 274]
reactionaries, in 1898, after a brief retirement, the Empress Dowager
dethroned her puppet by a second _coup-d'état_.

During the ruinous recoil that followed she had the doubtful
satisfaction of feeling herself sole aristocrat of the Chinese
Empire. Was it not the satisfaction of a gladiator who seated himself
on the throne of the Cæsars in a burning amphitheatre? Was she
not made sensible that she, too, was a creature of circumstances,
when her ill-judged policy compelled her a second time to seek
safety in flight? A helpless fugitive, how could she conceive that
fortune held in reserve for her brighter days than she had ever

Accepting the situation and returning with the Emperor, the Empire
and the world accepted her, and, taught by experience, she engaged
in the congenial task of renovating the Chinese people. Advancing
years, consciousness of power, and willing conformity to the freer
usages of European courts, all conspired to lead her to throw aside
the veil and to appear openly as the chief actor on this imperial

Six years ago her seventieth birthday was celebrated with great
pomp, although she had forbidden her people to be too lavish in
their loyalty. At Wuchang, Tuan Fang, who was acting viceroy, gave
a banquet at which he asked me to make a speech in the Dowager's
honor. The task was a delicate one for a man who had borne the
hardships of a siege in 1900; but I accepted it, and excused the
Dowager on the principle of British law, that "The king can do no
[Page 275]
wrong." Throwing the blame on her ministers, I pronounced a eulogy
on her talents and her public services.

The question arises, did we know her in person and character? Have
we not seen her in that splendid portrait executed by Miss Carl,
and exhibited at St. Louis? If we suspect the artist of flattery,
have we not a gallery of photographs, in which she shows herself
in many a majestic pose? Is flattery possible to a sunbeam? We
certainly see her as truly as we see ourselves in a mirror!

As to character, it is too soon to express an opinion. _Varium
et mutabile semper femina_.

To pencil and sunbeam add word-pictures by men and women from whose
critical eyes she did not conceal herself; and we may confidently
affirm that we knew her personal appearance as well as we knew that
of any lady who occupies or shares a European throne. A trifle
under the average height of European ladies, so perfect were her
proportions and so graceful her carriage that she seemed to need
nothing to add to her majesty. Her features were vivacious and
pleasing rather than beautiful; her complexion, not yellow, but
subolive, and her face illuminated by orbs of jet, half-hidden
by dark lashes, behind which lurked the smiles of favour or the
lightning of anger. No one would take her to be over forty. She
carried tablets on which, even during conversation, she jotted
down memoranda. Her pencil was the support of her sceptre. With it
she sent out her autograph commands; and with it, too, she inscribed
those pictured characters which were worn as the proudest decorations
[Page 276]
of her ministers. I have seen them in gilded frames in the hall
of a viceroy.

The elegance of her culture excited sincere admiration in a country
where women are illiterate; and the breadth of her understanding
was such as to take in the details of government. She chose her
agents with rare judgment, and shifted them from pillar to post,
so that they might not forget their dependence on her will. Without
a parallel in her own country, she has been sometimes compared
with Catherine II. of Russia. She had the advantage in the decency
of her private life; for though she is said to have had favourites
they have never dared to boast of her favours, nor was a curious
public ever able to identify them.

Her full name, including honorific epithets added by the Academy,
was Tse Hi Tuanyin Kangyi Chaoyu Chuangcheng Shoukung Chinhien
Chunghi. A few hours before her death, which occurred on the day
after the Emperor's, she named his nephew as successor, and the
present ruler, Hsuan-Tung, who was born in 1903, began to reign
November 14, 1908.

Let the Dowager be taken as a type of the Manchu woman. The late
Emperor, though handsome and intelligent, was too small for a
representative of a robust race. Tuan Fang, the High Commissioner,
is a more favourable specimen. The Manchus are in general taller
than the Chinese, and both in physical and intellectual qualities
they prove that their branch of the family is far from effete.

Prince Kung, who for fifteen years presided over the imperial cabinet,
was tall, handsome and urbane.
[Page 277]
Despite the disadvantages of an education in a narrow-minded court,
he displayed a breadth and capacity of a high order. Prince Ching,
who succeeded him in 1875, though less attractive in person, is not
deficient in that sort of astuteness that passes for statesmanship.
What better evidence than that he has kept himself on top of a
rolling log for thirty years? To keep his position through the
dethronement of the Emperor and the convulsions of the Boxer War
required agility and adaptability of no mean order. Personally I
have seen much of both princes. They are abler men than one would
expect to find among the offshoots of an Oriental court.

Wensiang, who from the opening of Peking to his death in 1875 bore
the leading part in the conduct of foreign affairs, showed great
ability in piloting the state through rocks and breakers. His mental
power greatly impressed all foreigners, while it secured him an easy
ascendency among his countrymen. Such men are sure to be overloaded
with official duties in a country like China. Physically he was not
strong; and on one occasion when he came into the room wheezing
with asthma he said to me: "You see I am like a small donkey, with
a tight collar and a heavy load." The success of Prince Kung's
administration was largely due to Wensiang. Paochuin, minister
of finance, and member of the Inner Council, was distinguished
as a literary genius. Prince Kung delighted on festive occasions
to call him and Tungsuin to a contest in extempore verse. To enter
the lists with a noted scholar and poet like Tung, showed how the
Manchus have come to vie with the Chinese in the
[Page 278]
refinements of literary culture. I remember him as a dignified
greybeard, genial and jocose. On the fall of the Kung ministry,
he doffed his honours in three stanzas, which contain more truth
than poetry:

   "Through life, as in a pleasing dream,
      Unconscious of my years,
    In Fortune's smile to bask I seem;
      Perennial, Spring appears.

   "Alas! Leviathan to take
      Defies the fisher's art;
    From dreams of glory I awake,--
      My youth and power depart.

   "That loss is often gain's disguise
      May us for loss console.
    My fellow-sufferers, take advice
      And keep your reason whole."

In more than one crisis, the heart of the nation has cleaved to
the Manchu house as the embodiment of law and order. The people
chose to adhere to a tolerably good government rather than take
the chance of a better one emerging from the strife of factions.

Three things are required to confirm their loyalty: (1) the abolition
of tonsure and pigtail, (2) the abandonment of all privileges in
examinations and in the distribution of offices, (3) the removal
of all impediments in the way of intermarriage.

This last has been recently authorised by proclamation. It is not
so easy for those who are in possession of the loaves and fishes to
admit others to an equal share. If to these were added the abolition
of a degrading
[Page 279]
badge, the Manchu dynasty might hope to be perpetual, because the
Manchus would cease to exist as a people.


1. More than once I have demanded the expulsion of the Manchus,
and the partition of China. That they deserved it no one who knows
the story of 1900 will venture to deny. It was not without reason
that _Mene tekel_ and _Ichabod_ were engraved on the
medal commemorating the siege in Peking. If I seem to recant, it
is in view of the hopeful change that has come over the spirit of
the Manchu Government. Under the leadership of Dowager Empress
and Emperor, the people were more likely to make peaceful progress
than under a new dynasty or under the Polish policy of division.

2. The prospect of admission to the full privileges of a member of
the brotherhood of nations will act as an incentive to improvement.
But the subjection of foreigners to Chinese jurisdiction ought
not to be conceded without a probation as long and thorough as
that through which Japan had to pass. In view of the treachery
and barbarism so conspicuous in 1900--head-hunting and edicts to
massacre foreigners--a probation of thirty years would not be too
long. During that time the reforms in law and justice should be
fully tested, and the Central Government should be held responsible
for the repression of every tendency to anti-foreign riots.

A government that encourages Boxers and other rioters as patriots
does not merit an equal place in the
[Page 280]
congress of nations. The alternative is the "gunboat policy," according
to which foreign powers will administer local punishment. If the
mother of the house will not chastise her unruly children, she
must allow her neighbours to do it.

3. Prior to legal reform, and at the root of it, the adoption of a
constitution ought to be insisted on. In such constitution a leading
article ought to be not toleration, but freedom of conscience. As
long as China looks on native Christians as people who have abjured
their nationality, so long will they be objects of persecution;
self-defence and reprisals will keep the populace in a ferment, and
peace will be impossible. If China is sincere in her professions
of reform, she will follow the example of Japan and make her people
equal in the eye of the law without distinction of creed.

4. All kinds of reform are involved in the new education, and to that
China is irrevocably committed. Reënforced by railroad, telegraph,
and newspaper, the schoolmaster will dispel the stagnation of remote
districts, giving to the whole people a horizon wider than their
hamlet, and thoughts higher than their hearthstone. Animated by
sound science and true religion, it will not be many generations
before the Chinese people will take their place among the leading
nations of the earth.

[Page 281]



[Footnote *: This paper was originally written for Dr. Dennis's
well-known work on The Secular Benefits of Christian Missions.
As it now appears it is not a mere reprint, it having been much
enlarged and brought down to date.]

While the primary motive of missionaries in going to China is, as
in going to other countries, the hope of bringing the people to
Christ, the incidental results of their labours in the diffusion
of secular knowledge have been such as to confer inestimable benefit
on the world at large and on the Chinese people in particular.
This is admitted by the recent High Commission.[**]

[Footnote **: See page 263.]

It was in the character of apostles of science that Roman Catholic
missionaries obtained a footing in Peking three centuries ago,
and were enabled to plant their faith throughout the provinces.
Armed with telescope and sextant they effected the reform of the
Chinese calendar, and secured for their religion the respect and
adherence of some of the highest minds in the Empire. So firmly
was it rooted that churches of their planting were able to survive
a century and a half of persecution. Their achievements, recorded
in detail by Abbé Huc and others, fill some of the
[Page 282]
brightest pages in the history of missions. I shall not enlarge
on them in this place, as my present task is to draw attention
to the work of Protestant missions.


It is not too much to claim for these last that for a century past
they have been active intermediaries, especially between the
English-speaking nations and the Far East. On one hand, they have
supplied such information in regard to China as was indispensable
for commercial and national intercourse, while on the other they
have brought the growing science of the Western world to bear on
the mind of China. Not only did Dr. Morrison, who led the way in
1807, give the Chinese the first translation of our Holy Scriptures;
he was the very first to compile a Chinese dictionary in the English


It was not until 1838 that America sent her pioneer missionary
in the person of Dr. Bridgman. Besides coöperating with others in
the revision of Morrison's Bible, or, more properly, in making a
new version, Bridgman won immortality by originating and conducting
the _Chinese Repository_, a monthly magazine which became a
thesaurus of information in regard to the Chinese Empire.


The American Board showed their enlightened policy by establishing
a printing-press at Canton, and
[Page 283]
in sending S. Wells Williams to take charge of it, in 1833. John
R. Morrison, son of the missionary, had, indeed, made a similar
attempt; but from various causes he had felt compelled to relinquish
the enterprise. From the arrival of Williams to the present day the
printing-press has shown itself a growing power--a lever which,
planted on a narrow fulcrum in the suburb of a single port, has
succeeded in moving the Eastern world.

The art of printing was not new to the Chinese. They had discovered
it before it was dreamed of in Europe; but with their hereditary
tendency to run in ruts, they had continued to engrave their characters
on wooden blocks in the form of stereotype plates. With divisible
types (mostly on wood) they had indeed made some experiments; but
that improved method never obtained currency among the people. It
was reserved for Christian missions to confer on them the priceless
boon of the power press and metallic types. What Williams began at
Canton was perfected at Shanghai by Gamble of the Presbyterian
Board, who multiplied the fonts and introduced the process of

Shut up in the purlieus of Canton, it is astonishing how much Dr.
Williams was able to effect in the way of making China known to the
Western world. His book on "The Middle Kingdom," first published in
1848, continues to be, after the lapse of half a century, the highest
of a long list of authorities on the Chinese Empire. Beginning like
Benjamin Franklin as a printer, like Franklin he came to perform a
brilliant part in the diplomacy of our country, aiding in the
[Page 284]
negotiation of a new treaty and filling more than once the post
of chargé d'affaires.


The next period of missionary activity dates from the treaty of
Nanking, which put an end to the Opium War, in 1842. The opening
of five great seaports to foreign residence was a vast enlargement
in comparison with a small suburb of Canton; and the withdrawal
of prohibitory interdicts, first obtained by the French minister
Lagrené, invited the efforts of missionary societies in all lands.
In this connection it is only fair to say that, in 1860, when the
Peking expedition removed the remaining barriers, it was again
to the French that our missionaries were indebted for access to
the interior.


From the earliest dawn of our mission work it may be affirmed that
no sooner did a chapel open its doors than a hospital was opened
by its side for the relief of bodily ailments with which the rude
quackery of the Chinese was incompetent to deal. Nor is there at
this day a mission station in any part of China that does not in
this way set forth the practical charity of the Good Samaritan.
This glorious crusade against disease and death began, so far as
Protestants are concerned, with the Ophthalmic Hospital opened
by Dr. Peter Parker at Canton in 1834.


The training of native physicians began at the same date; and those
who have gone forth to bless their
[Page 285]
people by their newly acquired medical skill may now be counted
by hundreds. In strong contrast with the occult methods of native
practitioners, neither they nor their foreign teachers have hidden
their light under a bushel. Witness the Union Medical College, a
noble institution recently opened in Peking under the sanction
and patronage of the Imperial Government. A formal despatch of the
Board of Education (in July, 1906) grants the power of conferring
degrees, and guarantees their recognition by the state. For many
years to come this great school is likely to be the leading source
of a new faculty.


Not less imperative, though not so early, was the establishment of
Christian schools. Those for girls have the merit of being the first
to shed light on the shaded hemisphere of Chinese society. Those for
boys were intended to reach all grades of life; but their prime
object was to raise up a native ministry, not merely to coöperate
with foreign missions, but eventually to take the place of the
foreign missionary.


One of the earliest and most successful of these lighthouses was
the Tengchow College founded by Dr. C. W. Mateer. It was there
that young Chinese were most thoroughly instructed in mathematics,
physics, and chemistry. So conspicuous was the success of that
institution that when the Government opened a university in Peking,
and more recently in Shantung,
[Page 286]
it was in each case to Tengchow that they had recourse for native
teachers of science. From that school they obtained text-books,
and from the same place they secured (in Dr. Hayes) a president
for the first provincial university organised in China.


The missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church have of late taken
up the cause of education and carried it forward with great vigour.
Not to speak of high schools for both sexes in Fukien, they have a
flourishing college in Shanghai, and a university in the imperial
capital under the presidency of H. H. Lowry. Destroyed by the Boxers
in 1900, that institution has now risen phoenix-like from its ashes
with every prospect of a more brilliant future than its most sanguine
friends ever ventured to anticipate.


A fine college of the American Board at Tungchow, near the capital,
met the same fate and rose again with similar expansion. Dr. Sheffield,
its president, has made valuable contributions to the list of
educational text-books.

These great schools, together with the Medical College of the London
Mission, above referred to, and a high school of the United States
Presbyterians, have formed a system of cöoperation which greatly
augments the efficiency of each. Of this educational union the
chief cornerstone is the Medical College.

A similar coöperative union between the English
[Page 287]
Baptists and American Presbyterians is doing a great work at Weihien, in
Shantung. I speak of these because of that most notable feature--union
international and interdenominational. Space would fail to enumerate
a tithe of the flourishing schools that are aiding in the educational
movement; but St. John's College, at Shanghai (U. S. Episcopal),
though already mentioned, claims further notice because, as we
now learn, it has been given by the Chinese Government the status
of a university.


Schools require text-books; and the utter absence of anything of
the kind, except in the department of classical Chinese, gave rise
to early and persistent efforts to supply the want. Manuals in
geography and history were among the first produced. Those in
mathematics and physics followed; and almanacs were sent forth
yearly containing scientific information in a shape adapted to
the taste of Chinese readers--alongside of religious truths. Such
an annual issued by the late Dr. McCartee, was much sought for.
A complete series of text-books in mathematics was translated by
Mr. Wylie, of the London Mission; and text-books on other subjects,
including geology, were prepared by Messrs. Muirhead, Edkins, and
Williamson. At length the task of providing text-books was taken
in hand by a special committee, and later on by the Society for
the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, now under the direction of the
Rev. Dr. Richard.

[Page 288]
So deeply was the want of text-books felt by some of the more
progressive mandarins that a corps of translators was early formed
in connection with one of the government arsenals--a work in which
Dr. John Fryer has gained merited renown. Those translators naturally
gave prominence to books on the art of war, and on the politics
of Western nations, the one-sided tendency of their publications
serving to emphasise the demand for such books as were prepared
by missionaries.

Text-books on international law and political economy were made
accessible to Chinese literature by Dr. W. A. P. Martin, who, having
acted as interpreter to two of the American embassies, was deeply
impressed by the ignorance of those vital subjects among Chinese

On going to reside in Peking, in 1863, Dr. Martin carried with him
a translation of Wheaton, and it was welcomed by the Chinese Foreign
Office as a timely guide in their new situation. He followed this
up by versions of Woolsey, Bluntschli and Hall. He also gave them
a popular work on natural philosophy--not a translation--together
with a more extended work on mathematical physics. Not only has
the former appeared in many editions from the Chinese press, but
it has been often reprinted in Japan; and to this day maintains
its place in the favour of both empires. To this he has lately
added a text-book on mental philosophy.

A book on the evidences of Christianity, by the same author, has
been widely circulated both in China and in Japan. Though distinctly
religious in aim, it
[Page 289]
appeals to the reader's taste for scientific knowledge, seeking to
win the heathen from idolatry by exhibiting the unity and beauty
of nature, while it attempts to show the reasonableness of our
revealed religion.


It is not without significance that the Chinese have sought presidents
for their highest schools among the ranks of Protestant missionaries.
Dr. Ferguson of the Methodist Episcopal Mission was called to the
presidency of the Nanyang College at Shanghai; Dr. Hayes, to be
head of a new university in Shantung; and Dr. Martin, after serving
for twenty-five years as head of the Diplomatic College in Peking,
was, in 1898, made president of the new Imperial University. His
appointment was by decree from the Throne, published in the Government
_Gazette_; and mandarin rank next to the highest was conferred
on him. On terminating his connection with that institution, after
it was broken up by Boxers, he was recalled to China to take charge
of a university for the two provinces of Hupeh and Hunan.


In the movement of modern society, no force is more conspicuous
than journalism. In this our missionaries have from the first taken
a leading part, as it was they who introduced it to China. At every
central station for the last half-century periodicals have been
issued by them in the Chinese language.
[Page 290]
The man who has done most in this line is Dr. Y. J. Allen, of the
Methodist Episcopal Church South. He has devoted a lifetime to
it, besides translating numerous books.

Formerly the Chinese had only one newspaper in the empire--the
_Peking Gazette_, the oldest journal in the world. They now
have, in imitation of foreigners, some scores of dailies, in which
they give foreign news, and which they print in foreign type. The
highest mandarins wince under their stinging criticisms.


It is one of the triumphs of Christianity to have given a written
form to the language of modern Europe. It is doing the same for
heathen nations in all parts of the earth. Nor does China offer
an exception. The culture for which her learned classes are noted
is wholly confined to a classic language that is read everywhere,
and spoken nowhere, somewhat as Latin was in the West in the Middle
Ages, save that Latin was really a tongue capable of being employed
in speech, whereas the classical language of China is not addressed
to the ear but to the eye, being, as Dr. Medhurst said, "an occulage,
not a language."

The mandarin or spoken language of the north was, indeed, reduced
to writing by the Chinese themselves; and a similar beginning was
made with some of the southern dialects. In all these efforts the
Chinese ideographs have been employed; but so numerous and disjointed
are they that the labour of years is required to get a command of
them even for reading in a vernacular
[Page 291]
dialect. In all parts of China our missionaries have rendered the
Scriptures into the local dialects. so that they may be understood
when read aloud, and that every man "may hear in his own tongue the
wonderful works of God." In some places they have printed them in
the vernacular by the use of Chinese characters. Yet those characters
are clumsy instruments for the expression of sounds; and in several
provinces our missionaries have tried to write Chinese with Roman

The experiment has proved successful beyond a doubt. Old women
and young children have in this way come to read the Scriptures
and other books in a few days. This revolution must go forward
with the spread of Christianity; nor is it too much to expect that
in the lapse of ages, the hieroglyphs of the learned language will
for popular use be superseded by the use of the Roman alphabet, or
by a new alphabet recently invented and propagated by officials
in Peking.

In conclusion: Our missionaries have made our merchants acquainted
with China; and they have made foreign nations known to the Chinese.
They have aided our envoys in their negotiations; and they have
conferred on the Chinese the priceless boon of scientific text-books.
Also along with schools for modern education, they have introduced
hospitals for the relief of bodily suffering.

    W. A. P. M.

  Aug. 4. 1906.

[Page 292]


[Footnote *: Written by the author for the _North-China Daily

The return of the Mission of Inquiry has quickened our curiosity
as to its results in proposition and in enactment. All well-wishers
of China are delighted to learn that the creation of a parliament
and the substitution of constitutional for autocratic government are
to have the first place in the making of a New China. The reports
of the High Commissioners are not yet before the public, but it
is understood that they made good use of their time in studying
the institutions of the West, and that they have shown a wise
discrimination in the selection of those which they recommend for
adoption. There are, however, three reforms of vital importance,
which have scarcely been mentioned at all, which China requires
for full admission to the comity of nations.


During their tour no one suggested that the Chinese costume should
be changed nor would it have been polite or politic to do so. But I
do not admire either the taste or the wisdom of those orators who,
in welcoming the distinguished visitors; applauded them for their
graceful dress and stately carriage. If that indiscreet flattery
had any effect it merely tended
[Page 293]
to postpone a change which is now in progress. All the soldiers
of the Empire will ere long wear a Western uniform, and all the
school children are rapidly adopting a similar uniform. To me few
spectacles that I have witnessed are so full of hope for China as
the display on an imperial birthday, when the military exhibit
their skilful evolutions and their Occidental uniform, and when
thousands of school children appear in a new costume, which is
both becoming and convenient. But the Court and the mandarins cling
to their antiquated attire. If the peacock wishes to soar with
the eagle, he must first get rid of his cumbersome tail.

This subject, though it savours of the tailor shop, is not unworthy
the attention of the grand council of China's statesmen. Has not
Carlyle shown in his "Sartor Resartus" how the Philosophy of Clothes
is fundamental to the history of civilisation? The Japanese with
wonderful foresight settled that question at the very time when
they adopted their new form of government.

When Mr. Low was U. S. Minister in Peking some thirty years ago,
he said to the writer "Just look at this tomfoolery!" holding up
the fashion plates representing the new dress for the diplomatic
service of Japan. Time has proved that he was wrong, and that the
Japanese were right in adopting a new uniform, when they wished to
fall in line with nations of the West. With their old shuffling
habiliments and the cringing manners inseparable from them, they
never could have been admitted to intercourse on easy terms with
Western society.

[Page 294]
The mandarin costume of China, though more imposing, is not less
barbaric than that of Japan; and the etiquette that accompanies
it is wholly irreconcilable with the usages of the Western world.
Imagine a mandarin doffing his gaudy cap, gay with tassels, feathers,
and ruby button, on meeting a friend, or pushing back his long
sleeves to shake hands! Such frippery we have learned to leave
to the ladies; and etiquette does not require them to lay aside
their hats.

Quakers, like the mandarins, keep their hats on in public meetings;
and the oddity of their manners has kept them out of society and
made their following very exiguous. Do our Chinese friends wish
to be looked on as Quakers, or do they desire to fraternise freely
with the people of the great West?

Their cap of ceremony hides a shaven pate and dangling cue, and
here lies the chief obstacle in the way of the proposed reform
in style and manners. Those badges of subjection will have to be
dispensed with either formally or tacitly before the cap that conceals
them can give way to the dress hat of European society. Neither
graceful nor convenient, that dress hat is not to be recommended
on its own merits, but as part of a costume common to all nations
which conform to the usages of our modern civilisation.

It must have struck the High Commissioners that, wherever they
went, they encountered in good society only one general type of
costume. Nor would it be possible for them to advise the adoption
of the costume of this or that nationality--a general conformity
is all that seems feasible or desirable. Will the Chinese
[Page 295]
cling to their cap and robes with a death grip like that of the
Korean who jumped from a railway train to save his high hat and
lost his life? As they are taking passage on the great railway of
the world's progress, will they not take pains to adapt themselves
in every way to the requirements of a new era?


We have as yet no intimation what the Reform Government intends
to do with this superannuated institution. Will they persist in
burning incense before it to disguise its ill-odour, or will they
bury it out of sight at once and for ever?

The Travelling Commissioners, whose breadth and acumen are equally
conspicuous, surely did not fail to inquire for it in the countries
which they visited. Of course, they did not find it there; but, as
with the question of costume, the good breeding of their hosts would
restrain them from offering any suggestion touching the domestic
life of the Chinese.

The Commissioners had the honour of presentation to the Queen-Empress
Alexandra. Fancy them asking how many subordinate wives she has
to aid her in sustaining the dignity of the King-Emperor! They
would learn with surprise that no European sovereign, however lax
in morals, has ever had a palace full of concubines as a regular
appendage to his regal menage; that for prince and people the ideal
is monogamy; and that, although the conduct of the rich and great
is often such as to make us blush for our Christian civilisation,
it is true this day that the crowned heads of Europe are in general
setting a worthy example of
[Page 296]
domestic morals. "Admirable!" respond the Commissioners; "our ancient
sovereigns were like that, and our sages taught that there should
be '_Ne Wu Yuen Nu, Wai wu Kwang-tu_' (in the harem no pining
beauty, outside no man without a mate). It is the luxury of later
ages that keeps a multitude of women in seclusion for the pleasure
of a few men, and leaves the common man without a wife. We heartily
approve the practice of Europe, but what of Africa?"

"There the royal courts consider a multitude of wives essential to
their grandeur, and the nobles reckon their wealth by the number
of their wives and cows. The glory of a prince is that of a cock
in a barn-yard or of a bull at the head of a herd. Such is their
ideal from the King of Dahomey with his bodyguard of Amazons to
the Sultan of Morocco and the Khedive of Egypt. Not only do the
Mahommedans of Asia continue the practice--they have tried to transplant
their ideal paradise into Europe. Turkey, decayed and rotten, with
its black eunuchs and its Circassian slave girls, stands as an
object-lesson to the whole world."

"We beg your pardon, we know enough about Asia; but what of
America--does polygamy flourish there?"

"It did exist among the Peruvians and Aztecs before the Spanish
conquest, but it is now under ban in every country from pole to
pole. Witness the Mormons of Utah! They were refused admission
into the American Union as long as they adhered to the Oriental
type of plural marriage."

"Ah! We perceive you are pointing to the Mormons as a warning to
us. You mean that we shall not be admitted into the society of
the more civilised nations
[Page 297]
as long as we hold to polygamy. Well! Our own sages have condemned
it. It has a long and shameful record; but its days are numbered.
It will do doubt be suppressed by our new code of laws."

This imaginary conversation is so nearly a transcript of what must
have taken place, that I feel tempted to throw the following paragraphs
into the form of a dialogue. The dialogue, however, is unavoidably
prolix, and I hasten to wind up the discussion.

With reference to the Mormons I may add that at the conference
on International Arbitration held at Lake Mohonk last July, there
were present Jews, Quakers, Protestants and Roman Catholics, but
no Mormons and no Turks. Creeds were not required as credentials,
but Turk and Mormon did not think it worth while to knock at the
door. Both are objects of contempt, and no nation whose family
life is formed on the same model can hope to be admitted to full
fraternity with Western peoples.

The abominations associated with such a type of society are inconsistent
with any but a low grade of civilisation--they are eunuchs, slavery,
unnatural vice, and, more than all, a general debasement of the female
sex. In Chinese society, woman occupies a shaded hemisphere--not
inaptly represented by the dark portion in their national symbol the
_Yinyang-tse_ or Diagram of the Dual principles. So completely
has she hitherto been excluded from the benefits of education that
a young man in a native high school recently began an essay with
the exclamation--"I am glad I am not a Chinese woman. Scarcely
one in a thousand is able to read!"

[Page 298]
If "Knowledge is power," as Bacon said, and Confucius before him,
what a source of weakness has this neglect of woman been to China.
Happily she is not excluded from the new system of national education,
and there is reason to believe that with the reign of ignorance
polygamy will also disappear as a state of things repugnant to
the right feeling of an intelligent woman. But would it not hasten
the enfranchisement of the sex, and rouse the fair daughters of
the East to a nobler conception of human life if the rulers would
issue a decree placing concubinage under the ban of law? Nothing
would do more to secure for China the respect of the Western world.


Since writing the first part of this paper, I have learned that
some of the Commissioners have expressed themselves in favour of
a change of costume. I have also learned that the regulation of
slavery is to have a place in the revised statutes, though not
referred to by the Commissioners. Had this information reached
me earlier, it might have led me to omit the word "unmentioned"
from my general title, but it would not have altered a syllable
in my treatment of the subject.

Cheering it is to the well-wishers of China to see that she has
a government strong enough and bold enough to deal with social
questions of this class. How urgent is the slave question may be
seen from the daily items in your own columns. What, for example,
was the lady from Szechuen doing but carrying on a customary
[Page 299]
form of the slave traffic? What was the case of those singing girls
under the age of fifteen, of whom you spoke last week, but a form
of slavery? Again, by way of climax, what will the Western world
think of a country that permits a mistress to beat a slave girl
to death for eating a piece of watermelon--as reported by your
correspondent from Hankow? The triviality of the provocation reminds
us of the divorce of a wife for offering her mother-in-law a dish
of half-cooked pears. The latter, which is a classic instance, is
excused on the ground of filial duty, but I have too much respect
for the author of the "Hiaoking," to accept a tradition which does a
grievous wrong to one of the best men of ancient times. The tradition,
however unfounded, may serve as a guide to public opinion. It suggests
another subject, which we might (but will not) reserve for another
section, viz., the regulation of divorce and the limitation of
marital power. It is indeed intimately connected with my present
topic, for what is wife or concubine but a slave, as long as a
husband has power to divorce or sell her at will--with or without

Last week an atrocious instance, not of divorce, but of wife-murder,
occurred within bow-shot of my house. A man engaged in a coal-shop
had left his wife with an aunt in the country. The aunt complained
of her as being too stupid and clumsy to earn a living. Her brutal
husband thereon took the poor girl to a lonely spot, where he killed
her, and left her unburied. Returning to the coal-shop, he sent
word to his aunt that he was ready to answer for what he had done,
if called to account. "Has he been called to account?"
[Page 300]
I enquired this morning of one of his neighbours. "Oh no! was the
reply; it's all settled; the woman is buried, and no inquiry is
called for." Is not woman a slave, though called a wife, in a society
where such things are allowed to go with impunity? Will not the new
laws, from which so much is expected, limit the marriage relation
to one woman, and make the man, to whom she is bound, a husband,
not a master?

Confucius, we are told, resigned office in his native state when
the prince accepted a bevy of singing girls sent from a neighbouring
principality. The girls were slaves bought and trained for their
shameful profession, and the traffic in girls for the same service
constitutes the leading form of domestic slavery at this day--so
little has been the progress in morals, so little advance toward
a legislation that protects the life and virtue of the helpless!

But the slave traffic is not confined to women; any man may sell
his son; and classes of both sexes are found in all the houses of
the rich. Prædial servitude was practised in ancient times, as it
was in Europe in the Middle Ages, and in Russia till a recent day.
We read of lands and labourers being conferred on court favourites.
How the system came to disappear we need not pause to inquire. It
is certain, however, that no grand act of emancipation ever took
place in China like that which cost Lincoln his life, or that for
which the good Czar Alexander II. had to pay the same forfeit.
Russia is to-day eating the bitter fruits of ages of serfdom; and
the greatest peril ever encountered by the United States was a
war brought on by negro slavery.

[Page 301]
The form of slavery prevailing in China is not one that threatens
war or revolutions; but in its social aspects it is worse than
negro slavery. It depraves morals and corrupts the family, and
as long as it exists, it carries the brand of barbarism. China
has great men, who for the honour of their country would not be
afraid to take the matter in hand. They would, if necessary, imitate
Lincoln and the Czar Alexander to effect the removal of such a

It is proposed, we are told, to limit slavery to minors--freedom
ensuing on the attainment of majority. This would greatly ameliorate
the evil, but the evil is so crying that it demands not amelioration,
but extinction. Let the legislators of China take for their model
the provisions of British law, which make it possible to boast that
"as soon as a slave touches British soil his fetters fall." Let
them also follow that lofty legislation which defines the rights
and provides for the well-being of the humblest subject. Let the
old system be uprooted before a new one is inaugurated, otherwise
there is danger that the limiting of slavery to minors will leave
those helpless creatures exposed to most of the wrongs that accompany
a lifelong servitude.

The number and extent of the reforms decreed or effected are such
as to make the present reign the most illustrious in the history
of the Empire. May we not hope that in dealing with polygamy and
domestic slavery, the action of China will be such as to lift her
out of the class of Turkey and Morocco into full companionship
with the most enlightened nations of Europe and America.

[Page 302]


The fiat has gone forth--war is declared against an insidious enemy
that has long been exhausting the resources of China and sapping
the strength of her people. She has resolved to rid herself at
once and forever of the curse of opium. The home production of
the drug, and all the ramifications of the vice stand condemned
by a decree from the throne, followed by a code of regulations
designed not to limit, but to extirpate the monster evil.

In this bold stroke for social reform there can be no doubt that
the Government is supported by the best sentiment of the whole
country. Most Chinese look upon opium as the beginning of their
national sorrows. In 1839 it involved them in their first war with
the West; and that opened the way for a series of wars which issued
in their capital being twice occupied by foreign forces.

Their first effort to shake off the incubus was accompanied by
such displays of pride, ignorance and unlawful violence that Great
Britain was forced to make war--not to protect an illegal traffic,
but to redress an outrage and to humble a haughty empire. In this
renewed onslaught the Chinese have exhibited so much good sense
and moderation as to show that they have learned much from foreign
intercourse during the sixty-seven years that have intervened.

[Page 303]
Without making any appeal to the foreigner, they courageously resolved
to deal with the evil in its domestic aspects. Most of the mandarins
are infected by it; and the licensed culture of the poppy has made
the drug so cheap that even the poor are tempted to indulge.

The prohibitory edict asserts that of the adult population 30 or
40 per cent. are under the influence of the seductive poison. This,
by the way, gives an enormous total, far beyond any of the estimates
of foreign writers.

Appalled by the signs of social decadence the more patriotic of
China's statesmen were not slow to perceive that all attempts at
reform in education, army, and laws must prove abortive if opium
were allowed to sap the vigour of the nation. "You can't carve a
piece of rotten wood," says Confucius. Every scheme for national
renovation must have for its basis a sound and energetic people. It
was this depraved taste that first made a market for the drug; if
that taste can be eradicated the trade and the vice must disappear
together, with or without the concurrence of Great Britain.

Great Britain was not, however, to be ignored. Besides her overshadowing
influence and her commercial interests vast and varied, is she not
mistress of India, whose poppy-fields formerly supplied China and
are still sending to the Chinese market fifty thousand chests per
annum? No longer an illegal traffic, this importation is regulated
by treaty. Concerted action might prevent complications and tend
to insure success. The new British Government was approached on the
[Page 304]
subject. Fortunately, the Liberals being in power, it was not bound
by old traditions.

A general resolution passed the House of Commons without a dissentient
voice, expressing sympathy with China and a willingness to adopt
similar measures in India. "When asked in the House what steps had
been taken to carry out the resolution for the abolition of the
opium traffic between India and China, Mr. Morley replied, that
he understood that China was contemplating the issue of regulations
restricting the importation, cultivation, and consumption of opium. He
had received no communication from China; but as soon as proposals were
submitted he was prepared to consider them in a sympathetic spirit.
H. B. M.'s minister in Peking had been instructed to communicate
with the Chinese Government to that effect."

The telegram containing these words is dated London, October 30.
The imperial edict, which initiated what many call "the new crusade,"
was issued barely forty days before that date (viz., on September
20). Let it also be noted that near the end of August a memorial
of the Anti-Opium League, suggesting action on the part of the
Government, was sent up through the Nanking viceroy. It was signed
by 1,200 missionaries of different nations and churches. Is it
not probable that their representations, backed by the viceroy,
moved the hand that sways the sceptre?

The decree runs as follows:

"Since the first prohibition of opium, almost the whole of China
has been flooded with the poison. Smokers of opium have wasted
their time, neglected their employment, ruined their constitutions,
and impoverished their households. Thus for several decades China
has presented a
[Page 305]
spectacle of increasing poverty and weakness. It rouses our indignation
to speak of the matter. The Court is now determined to make China
powerful; and it is our duty to urge our people to reformation
in this respect.

"We decree, therefore, that within a limit of ten years this harmful
muck be fully and entirely wiped away. We further command the Council
of State to consider means for the strict prohibition both of
opium-smoking and of poppy-growing."

Among the regulations drawn up by the Council of State are these:

That all smokers of opium be required to report themselves and to
take out licenses.

Smokers holding office are divided into two classes. Those of the
junior class are to cleanse themselves in six months. For the seniors
no limit of time is fixed. Both classes while under medical treatment
are to pay for approved deputies, by whom their duties shall be

All opium dens are to be closed after six months. These are places
where smokers dream away the night in company with the idle and
the vicious.

No opium lamps or pipes are to be made or sold after six months.
Shops for the sale of the drug are not to be closed until the tenth

The Government provides medicines for the cure of the habit.

The formation of anti-opium societies is encouraged; but the members
are cautioned not to discuss political questions.

The question no doubt arises in the mind of the reader, Will China
succeed in freeing herself from bondage to this hateful vice? It
is easy for an autocrat to issue a decree, but not easy to secure
obedience. It
[Page 306]
is encouraging to know that this decisive action is favoured by
all the viceroys--Yuan, the youngest and most powerful, has already
taken steps to put the new law in force in the metropolitan province.
A flutter of excitement has also shown itself in the ranks of Indian
traders--Parsees, Jews, and Mohammedans--who have presented a claim
for damages to their respectable traffic.

On the whole we are inclined to believe in the good faith of the
Chinese Government in adopting this measure, and to augur well
for its success. Next after the change of basis in education, this
brave effort to suppress a national vice ranks as the most brilliant
in a long series of reformatory movements.

    W. A. P. M.
  PEKING, January, 1907.

[Page 307]

[Page 309]

Adams, John Quincy, on the Opium War, 153
Albazin, Cossack garrison captured at, 57
Alphabet, a new, invented by Wang Chao, 217
Amherst, Lord, declines to kneel to Emperor, 168
Amoy, seaport in Fukien province, 14
  its grass cloth and peculiar sort of black tea, 15
Anhwei, province of, home of Li Hung Chang, 49
Anti-foot-binding Society, supported by Dowager Empress in an edict, 217
Anti-foreign Agitation, 244-266
  American influence in the Far East and, 245-251
"Appeal from the Lion's Den," 176
Army, the Chinese, 200-202
_Arrow_ War, the, 162-169
  allied troops at Peking, 168
  Canton occupied by British troops, 164
  China abandons her long seclusion, 169
  crew of the _Arrow_ executed without trial, 163
  negotiations of the four powers with China, 165
  seizure of the lorcha _Arrow_, 162

Bamboo tablets, writings of Confucius engraved on, 106
Battle of the Sea of Japan, 191-192
Bell-tower, boy's soul supposed to be hovering in, 21
Black-haired race, Chinese style themselves the, 151
Bowring, Sir John, Governor of Hong Kong, and the _Arrow_ case,
Boxer War, the, 172-180
  a Boxer manifesto, 175
Boycott, the, 247, 252, 253, 259
Bridges, 16, 41, 42
Bridgman, Dr., pioneer missionary to China, 282
  founds the Chinese Repository, 282
Buddhism, introduction of, into China, 95
  "Apotheosis of Mercy," a legend of Northern Buddhism, 108
  number of Buddhist monasteries, 108
  rooted in the minds of the illiterate, 108
Burden, Bishop, of the English Church Mission. Hang-chow, 23
Burlingame, Hon. Anson, U. S. Minister to China, 212

Cambalu, Mongol name for Peking, 59
[Page 310]
Camöens, tomb of, at Macao, 9
Canton, the most populous city of the Empire, 9-12
  American trade suffers most in Canton from boycott of 1905, 13
  averts bombardment by payment of $6,000,000 ransom, 154
  Christian college, 10
  cock-fighting the popular amusement, 10
  crowds of beggars, 12
  excellence of tea and silk produced in the vicinity, 13
  "flower-boats," 9
  historical enigma contests, 11
  narrowness of streets, 12
  passion for gambling, 11
Canton (Kwangtung), province of, 7-13
  Viceroy of, has also Kwangsi under his jurisdiction, 13
Caravan Song, 61
Chang Chien, legend of, 63
Chang-fi, rescues son of Liu Pi from burning palace, 114
Chang Tien-shi, arch-magician of Taoism, 109
Chang Chi-tung, Viceroy of Hukwang, his life and public career, 219-241
  first to start the Emperor on the path of reform 213
  case of Chunghau, 223-224
  his commercial developments at Wuchang, 231
  official interviews with, 238-241
Chang Yee, an able diplomatist of the Chou period, 99
Chao, Prince of, is offered fifteen cities for a Kohinoor belonging to
  him, 98
Chau-siang subjugates Tung-chou-Kiun, last monarch of the Chou dynasty, 99
Chefoo (Chifu), port in Shantung province, 32
Chéhkiang, province of, smallest of the eighteen provinces, 17-24
Cheng-wang, "the completer," a ruler of the Chou dynasty, 86-87
  his successors, 87-88
Chentung, Liang, Sir, interview with Dr. Martin with reference to the
  Exclusion Laws and the boycott, 252
Chin, one of the Nan-peh Chao, 117
China, probable derivation of name, 101
  agency of missionaries in diffusing secular knowledge in, 281-291
  American exclusion laws, 253
  anti-opium edict, 304-305
  boycott, 247, 252, 253, 259
  condition after five wars, 181
  displays of barbarity during the Boxer War, 180
  effect of her defeat by Japan, 171
  effects of Russo-Japanese War, 193
  eighteen provinces, 6
[Page 311]
  five grand divisions, 3
  Grand Canal, 31
  Great Wall, 4, 31, 32, 101
  interference in Tongking, 62
  interference in Korea, 62
  physiographical features, 4
  reforms in, 196-218
  rivers, 19, 15, 18, 25, 41, 52
  sincerity of reformatory movements, 306
China Merchants' Steam Navigation Company, 200
Chingtu-fu, capital of the state of Shuh, 113
Chinhai, city at the mouth of the Ningpo, 18
Chosin, Prince of, 196
Chou dynasty, founded by Wen-wang, 84
  annals of, 84-88, 96, 99
  form of government praised by Confucius, 96
  term _Chung Kwoh_, "Middle Kingdom," originates in, 85
Chou-sin, brings ruin on the house of Shang, sets fire to his own palace,
  and perishes in the flames, 81
Christians, attitude of Chinese Government towards, 261
  newspapers and the Christian faith, 263
Chu Fu-tse, the philosopher, 128
Chu Hi, the Coryphæus of Mediæval China, 128
Chu-koh Liang, a peasant who became minister to Liu Pi, 114-115
_Chuang Yuen_, Chinese term for senior wrangler; his importance
  and privileges 123
Chungchen, last of the Mings, hangs himself after stabbing his daughter,
Chunghau and the restoration of Ili, 223
  accused by Chang Chi-tung, 224
Chunking, city on the Yangtse, 51
Chusan, Archipelago and Island, 17
Chu Yuen Chang, Father of the Mings, 135
Chwan-siang, exterminates the house of Chou, 99
Confucius, birth and parentage of 89, 90
  account of his education, 90
  describes himself as "editor, not author," 91
  edits the Five Classics, 92
  Golden Rule the essence of his teaching, 92
  number of his disciples, 90
  passion for music, 91
  search for lost books by Liu-Pang, 106
  tomb of, 30-31
  worshipped by his people, 92-93
  writings burned and disciples persecuted by Shi-hwang-ti, 102-103
Control of Chinese over foreigners throughout Empire, 258
_Corvée_, myriads of labourers drafted by, for construction of
  the Grand Canal, 32
[Page 312]
Corvino, missionary, 133
  his church at Peking perishes in the overthrow of the Mongols, 137
Cotton produced in all the provinces, 3
Cue, abolition of, requisite to confirm loyalty to Manchus, 278

Degrees, literary, 122-123
Diaz and da Gama, voyage to India, 136
Diplomacy, becomes an art under the Chou dynasty, 97
Diplomatic College, 209
  Dr. Martin president of, 209
"Drinking Alone by Moonlight," poem by Lipai, 120

Eclectic Commission, the, 197-198
Educational reforms, 210
  the Imperial University, 210
Elgin, Lord, and the Tai-pings, 161, 166
Elliott, Captain Charles, and the Opium War, 154
Empress Dowager, and the Boxer War, 172-174, 179-180
  celebrates her seventieth birthday with great pomp, 274
  convert to the policy of progress, 197
  _coup d'état_, 272
  full name, 276
  parentage, 271
  personal description of, 275
  reactionary clique and, 174
  type of the Manchu woman, 276
England takes lease of Wei-hai-wei, 174
Eunuchism, 112, 297
Examinations, system of civil service, instituted by the Hans, 109
  continued for twelve centuries, 121
  details of, 122-124
  developed under the T'angs, 121
  reforms in, 213
Exclusion laws, the, Chinese resentment of, 253
  most feasible way to deal with, 255
  President Roosevelt on, 251

Factories, the, at Canton, 150,152
Favier, Bishop, defends his people in the French Cathedral, Peking, 176
Fishing, queer methods of, 19
Five dynasties, the, factions contending for the succession on the fall
  of the house of T'ang, 126
  the later Liang, T'ang, Ts'in, Han, and Chou are united after fifty-three
  years in the Sung dynasty, 126-127
Foochow (Fuchau), on the River Min, 15
  fine wall and "bridge of ten thousand years," 16
  Kushan, its sacred mountain, 15
  Manchu colony, 16
[Page 313]
Formosa, Island of, colonised by people of Fukien, 14
France takes lease of Kwang-chou-wan, 174
France, war with, 169
  allowed to retain Tong-king, 170
  French seize Formosa, 170
Fraser, Consul, and Viceroy Chang in the Boxer War, 227
Fuchau (Foochow), province of Fukien, 15
  large and prosperous missions in, 16
Fuhi, mythical ruler, teaches his people to rear domestic animals, 72
Fukien (Fuhkien), province of, 14-16
  derivation of name, 15
  dialect, 14
  inhabitants bold navigators, 14
Fungshui, a false science, 202
Fungtao, inventor of printing, 116

Gabet and Huc, French missionaries, reach Lhasa in Tibet, 63
Gama, da, voyage to India, 136
Gaselee, General, and his contingent relieve the British Legation,
  Peking, 177
Genghis Khan, splendour of his court eclipsed by that of his grandson,
  Kublai Khan, 131
Gods, the numerous, of the Chinese, 82
  worship of many of them referred to the Shang dynasty, 82
Gordon, General, victorious over the Tai-pings, 161
Grand Canal, journey down from Tsi-ning, 31
  as useful to-day as six hundred years ago, 31
  constructed by Kublai Khan, 31-32
  its object, 32
Grand Lama, the Buddhist pope, 62, 109
Great Wall, the, origin of, 4
  an effete relic, 31
  built by Ts'in, 101
  its construction overthrows house of its builder, 32
Gunpowder, early known to the Chinese, but not used with cannon, 115
  spoken of by Arabs as "Chinese snow," 115

Han dynasty, founded by Liu-pang, 105
  annals, 105-111
  civil service examinations inaugurated, 109
  marked advance in belles-lettres, 109
Hangchow, capital of Chéh-kiang province, its streets first trodden
  by white men in 1855, 22
  its "bore", 24
  its magnificent West Lake, 22
  "The Japanese are coming," 23
Hanlin Academy, contest before the Emperor for seats in, 123
[Page 314]
Han Yu, eminent writer of the eighth century, ridicules the relics of
  Buddha, 107
Hart, Sir Robert, his opportune services in the war with France, 170
  development of the maritime customs, 206-208
  father of the postal system, 206
  many honours of, 207
Hayes, Dr., president of first provincial university in China, 286
Helungkiang, province of Manchuria, 56
Hia dynasty, founded by Ta-Yü, 78
  together with the Shang and Chou dynasties, known as the San Tai
  or San Wang, 78
Hien-feng, Emperor, escapes to Tartary and dies there, 168
Himalayas, a bulwark to China, 4
_Hiao Lien_, literary degree, now _Chu-jin_, equivalent to
  A. M., 122
Hiunghu, supposed ancestors of the Huns, 111
Honan province of, 41-44
  agricultural resources, 42
  bridge over the Hwang Ho,41
Hong Kong, "the Gibraltar of the Orient," ceded to Great Britain, 7
  British make it chief emporium of Eastern seas, 8
  rapid development of, 8
Huc and Gabet, French missionaries, make their way to Lhasa, 63
Hung Siu-tsuen, leader of the Tai-pings, 157
  his aid Yang, 158
  invites his first instructor, Rev. Issachar Roberts, to visit his
  court, 160
  new method of baptism 160
  raises the flag of rebellion in Kwangsi, 157
Huns, supposed ancestors were the Hiunghu, 111
Hupeh, province of, 45-49
  Hankow, Hupeh province, a Shanghai on a smaller scale, 45
  Hanyang, Hupeh province, a busy industrial centre, 46
  Wuchang, capital of Hupeh, 45
Hwai, Prince, regent during minority of Shunchi, 141
  called Amawang by the Manchus, 141
  effects the subjugation of the eighteen provinces, and imposes the
    tonsure and "pigtail," 141
Hwan, Duke, of western Shan-tung, convokes the States-General nine
  times, 96
_Hwang-ti_, term for "Emperor," first used by the builder of the
  Great Wall, 78
Hwei-ti, a ruler of the Han dynasty, 106

Ichang, city on the Yang-tse, 15
[Page 315]
Ili, Chunghau and the restoration of, 223-224 Ito, Marquis, 196
I-yin, a wise minister who had charge of the young ruler T'ai-kia,

Japan, war with, provoked by China's interference in Korea, 170
  Japanese expel Chinese from Korea, and take part of Manchuria, 171
  Japan left in possession of Port Arthur and Liao-tung, 171
  Russia is envious and compels her to withdraw, 171
  having defeated Russia unreservedly restores Manchuria to China, 195
Jews, of K'ai-fung-fu, 43
  ancestors of, reach China by way of India, 43
  Shanghai, help their K'ai-fung-fu brethren, 44
Jin-hwang, Tién-hwang, and Ti-hwang, three mythical rulers, 71

K'ai-fung-fu, formerly the capital under Chou and Sung dynasties, 42
  visit to the Jews of, 43
Kairin, province of Manchuria, 56
Kalgan, Mongolia, a caravan terminal, 58, 61
Kanghi, the greatest monarch in the history of the Empire, 142
  alienated by the pope, 144
  patron of missionaries, 142
Kanghi, progress of Christianity during his reign, 143
Kang Yuwei, urges reform on the Emperor, 213
Kansuh, province of, comparatively barren, and climate unfavourable to
  agriculture, 55
Kao-tsung, son of Tai-tsung, raises Wu, one of his father's concubines,
  to the rank of empress, 121
Ketteler, Baron von, killed during siege in Peking, 176
Kiachta, a double town in Manchuria, 58
Kiak'ing, succeeds on the abdication of his father, Kienlung, 144
  a weak and dissolute monarch, 145
Kiangsu province, 25-29
  derivation of name, 25
Kiao-Chao (Kiau-Chau), port occupied by Germans, 30, 165
Kiayi, an exiled statesman, dates a poem from Changsha, 110
Kié, last king of the Hia dynasty, his excesses, 80
Kien Lung, emperor poet, lines inscribed by him on rock at Patachu, 35
  abdicates, after a reign of sixty years, for the reason that he did
    not wish to reign longer than his grandfather, 144
  adds Turkestan to the empire, 144
  dynasty reaches the acme of splendour in his reign, 144
[Page 316]
Kin Tartars, obtain possession of Peking, and push their way to
  K'ai-fung-fu, the Emperor retiring to Nanking, 129
Kin Tartars, the, 140
Kingdoms, the three, Wei, Wu, and Shuh, 112-113
King Sheng Tau, annotator of popular historical novel, 113
Kinsha, "River of Golden Sands," 52
Komura, Baron, and Portsmouth treaty, 193
Korea, the bone of contention between Japan and Russia, 182, 183, 186, 192
Kuanyin Pusa, a legend of, "The Apotheosis of Mercy," 108
Kublai Khan, absorbs China, 131
Kung, Prince, and the Empress Dowager, 273
  disgraced and confined in his palace, 273
  personal characteristics, 277
  restored to favour but not to joint regency, 273
Kuropatkin, General, and the Russo-Japanese War, 185-192
Kwangsi, province of, subordinate to Canton, 13
  in an almost chronic state of rebellion, 13
Kwangsu, Emperor, and the Empress Dowager, 172, 173
  his desire for reforms, 197
  imprisoned in a secluded palace, 173, 174
  influenced by Kang Yuwei 173
Kwangtung (Canton), province of, 7-13
Kweichau, province of, the poorest province of China, 52
  one-half its population aborigines, 52
Kweilang, secretary to the Empress, 272
  prompts Prince Kung to strike for his life, 273

Lao-Tse, founder of Taoism, his life and influence, 94
Lhasa, treaty of, 62
Li and Yu, two bad kings of the house of Chou, 88
Liang, one of the Nan-peh Chao, 116
Liang Ting Fen, letter to Dr. Martin requesting his good offices with
  President Roosevelt, 252-253
Liaoyang, battle of, 187
Lienchow, attack on Americans at, 248, 255
Lien P'o, a general of Chao, who threatens to kill the envoy Lin at
  sight, 98
  makes friends with his adversary, 99
Li Hung Chang, a native of Anhwei, 49
  preëminent in the work of reform, 212
  sent to Japan to sue for peace he is shot by an assassin, 171
  wins earldom through Gordon's victory, 161
[Page 317]
Li Ling, a commander for whom Sze-ma Ts'ien stood sponsor, and who
  surrendered to the enemy, 110
Lin, Commissioner, and the opium traffic, 152
Lin Sian Ju, a brave envoy, 98
Lineivitch, General, and the Russo-Japanese War, 190-192
Lipai, the Pope of Chinese literature, 119
Li-Sze, chancellor of Shi-hwang-ti, denounces the works of Confucius to
  that ruler, and causes them to be burned, 102
Little, Mrs. Archibald, and the Anti-foot-binding Society, 217
Liu-pang founds the Han dynasty, 105
Liu Pi founds the state of Shuh, 113
Li Yuen, assassinates Yang-ti and sets up the T'ang dynasty, 118
Lo Kwan-chung, author of a popular historical novel, 113
Lo-yang, capital of the state of Wei, 112
Lu, Empress, holds the Empire in absolute subjection for eight years, 106

Macao, Portuguese town of, 8
  burial place of Camöens and Robert Morrison, 8
McCartee, Dr., annual issued by, 287
Manchuria, 3
  consists of three regions or provinces under one governor-general, 56
  home of the Manchus, 56
  ignorance of Manchus in their original habitat, 57
  Japan takes possession of parts of, 171
  population and products, 57
  restored by Japan to China, 195
  Russia occupies the very positions from which she compelled Japan to
    withdraw, 171
  sacred city of Mukden, 56
Manchus, the, ignorance of those remaining in Manchuria, 57
  give to China a better government than any of her native dynasties, 142
  the Normans of China, 267-280
  they settle at Mukden and await an opportunity to descend on China, 140
Marco Polo. See Polo
Maritime customs, the, 206-208
  Sir Robert Hart's long and valuable services, 206-209
Martin, Dr. W. A. P., head of the Tung-wen College, 209
  in siege at Peking, 176, 177
  president of the Imperial University, 210
Mateer, Dr. C. W., founds Teng-chow College, 285
[Page 318]
Meadows, Consul T. T., reports in favour of the Tai-pings, 159
Medhurst, Dr., his description of the Chinese Classical language, 290
Mencius, more eloquent but less original than Confucius, 93
  his tribute to Confucius, 94
  owed much to his mother's training, 93
Merchant marine, the, 200
Mings, last of, stabs daughter and hangs himself, 139
Ming-ti, sends embassy to India to import Buddhist books and bonzes, 107
Mining enterprises, 202
Min River, 15
Missions, development of, 264
  Minister Rockhill's address upon, 266
Missionaries, attacks on, 40, 180, 248, 260, 261, 262
  agency of, in the diffusion of secular knowledge, 263-291
  apostles of science, 263
  creators of Chinese journalism 290
  medical work, 284
  lead a vernacular revolution, 290
  preparation of text-books, 287
  presidents of government colleges, 289
  teaching and preaching, 263
Mongolia, the largest division of Tartary, 57, 61
  contribution to the luxuries of the metropolis, 50
  inhabitants nomadic, 58
  has only three towns, 58
  Russians "came lean and went away fat," 58
  Russians granted privilege of establishing an ecclesiastical mission, 57
Mongols, liable to military service, but prohibited from doing garrison
    duty in China, 59
  dress, 60
  forty-eight Mongolian princes, 59
  Mongol monks at Peking, 60
  nomadic wanderings, 58
  princes visit Cambalu (Peking), in winter, 59
  their camel, 60
  victorious over the Sungs, 130
  Yuen or Mongol dynasty, 131-134
Morrison, John R., son of Dr. Morrison the missionary, attempts to
  establish a printing-press, 283
Morrison, Robert, pioneer of Protestant missions to China, tomb of, at
  Macao, 9, 282
Moule, Bishop, makes Hang-chow seat of his diocese, 23
Mukden, city of, sacred to every Manchu, 56
  battle of, 189
Mu-wang, a Chou ruler, who seeks relief from ennui in foreign travel, 87

[Page 319]
Nanking, chief city of Kiangsu province, 25, 26
  called _Kiangning_ by the Manchus, 26
  pillaged by Tartars, 129
Nanking, treaty of, 7
Nan-peh Chao, "Northern and Southern Kingdoms" four factions arising on
  the fall of the Tsin dynasty, 116
Napier, Lord, appointed superintendent of British trade in China, 153
  arrives at Macao and announces his appointment by letter to the prefect
    of Canton, who "tosses it back," 153
  dies of chagrin at Macao, 153
Napoleon, Louis, and Annam, 165
Navy, the Chinese, 199-200
"Nest-builder, The," 71
Nevius, Rev. J. L., missionary at Hangchow, 23
  at Chefoo, where he plants a church and a fruit garden, 32
Nevius, Mrs., at Chefoo, 32
Newspapers, reforms in, 215
  covertly criticise Government and its agents, 215
Ningpo, province of Chéhkiang, 19
  its handsome people and their literary and commercial prominence, 20
  residence of the author for ten years, 20
Ningpo River, 18
Nogi, General, and the Russo-Japanese War, 188-192

O'Connor, Mr., British chargé d'affaires, 179
Omesham Mountains, 51
Opening of China, the, a drama in five acts, 149
  result of collisions between Oriental conservatism and Occidental
  progress, 149, 150
Opium, extent of trade in, 303
  20,000 chests destroyed at request of Captain Charles Elliott, 154
Opium traffic, Commissioner Lin directed by Emperor Tao Kwang to abolish
    it, 152
  attitude of British Government, 304
  decree ordering its total abolition, 304
  regulations of Council of State, 305
Opium War, the, its causes, precipitation, and effects, 150-162
Oyama, Field-marshal, in the Russo-Japanese War, 187-192

P's, the three--pen, paper, and printing, invention of, 116
Palmerston, Lord, invites cooperation of France, Russia and the United
  States concerning the _Arrow_ case, 164
P'an-keng, of the house of Shang, moves his capital five times, 81
P'anku, the "ancient founder," 71
[Page 320]
Paoting-fu, in Chihli province, scene of martyrdom of missionaries, 40
Parker, Dr. Peter, missionary at Canton, 284
Parkes, Consul and the _Arrow_ case, 162, 163, 164
Patachu, summer resort near Peking, 34-35
  its eight Buddhist temples, 35
Pearl River, 9
Peking, northern capital of China, 34
  approaches to new foreign quarter fortified, 37
  Byron's lines on Lisbon applied to Peking, 39
  climate and low death-rate, 38
  Empress Dowager's summer residence, 34
  "Forbidden City," 37
  French Cathedral defended by Bishop Favier and marines, 176
  Legation Street, 36
  Prospect or Palatine Hill, 38
  siege of legations, 175
  summer palaces, 34
  Tai-ping expedition against, 159
  Tartar and Chinese cities, 35
  Temples of Agriculture, Heaven and Earth, 35, 36
Peking Gazette, the, oldest journal in the world, 290
Philosophers of the Sung period, Cheo, Cheng, Chang, and Chu, 127-128
  Chu Hi, 128
  Wang Ngan-shi, economist, 128
Pirates, attacks of, on Mr. Russell and the author, 18
  Rev. Walter Lowrie is drowned by, 18
Police, reforms in, 218
Polo, Marco, Mattei, and Nicolo, 132
  sojourn in China, 132
Port Arthur and Liao-tung, 171, 174, 182, 184, 186, 187, 188, 190, 191, 192
Ports, five, opened to great Britain at close of the Opium War, 155
Portsmouth (N. H.), treaty of, 192
Portuguese, first ships of the, appear at Canton, 136
  disapprove missions, 137
  obtain a footing at Macao, 137
  secretly oppose Dutch traders, 137
Postal system, 206
Pottinger, Sir Henry, moderate conditions imposed by, at close of Opium
  War, 155, 156
  his action compared with that of Commodore Perry, 156
Psychology, Chinese, its recognition of three souls, 22
Punishments, barbarous, abolished, 214
Putu, the sacred island of, 18
  its monasteries, 18
  prevalence of piracy in adjacent waters, 18

[Page 321]
Railways, King-Ran road completed to Hankow, 39
  first grand trunk road, 39
  good work of Belgian constructors, 39
  influence of, on people and government, 40
  questionable action of American company, 40
  reforms in, 203
Rankin, Rev. Henry, with the author, the first white man to enter
  Hang-chow, 22
Reading-rooms (not libraries, but places for reading) a new
  institution, 216
Red-haired, the, a vulgar designation for Europeans, 151
Reed, Hon, W. B., American Minister to China, and the _Arrow_
  case, 165
Reforms in China, 196-218
  Anti-foot-binding Society, 217
  army, 201
  customs, 206
  educational, 213
  Hart, Sir Robert, and, 206
  legal, 204
  merchant marine, 200
  mining enterprises, 202
  newspapers, 215
  post office, 205
  railways, 203
  streets, 218
  telegraph, 214
  Tung-wen College and The Imperial University, 209-210
  writing, 216
Reforms, unmentioned, 292, 301
  a change of costume, 292
  domestic slavery, 298
  polygamy, 295
Religions, the three, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, their
    characteristic features, 107
  each religion has a hierarchy, 109
  "Hall of the Three Religions," 108
Ricci, after twenty years of effort, effects an entrance to Peking, 138
Rice, grown in all the provinces, 3
Richard, Dr. and the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 287
Richthofen, explorer, 58
River traffic, junks drawn by hundreds of coolies, 50
Rivers, the Yang-tse Kiang, 25
  Hwang Ho, 41
  Hingpo, 18
  Pearl, 9
  Kinsha, the "river of golden sands," 52
  Min, 15
Roberts, Rev. Issachar, and the leader of the Tai-pings, 160
  is invited to visit their court, 160
Rockhill, Mr., the American Minister, and missionary institutions, 266
Roman Catholic missionaries, dissensions in the ranks of, 143
Roosevelt, President, his efforts to end Russo-Japanese War, 193
[Page 322]
  awarded Nobel peace prize, 193
  interview with Dr. Martin on the subject of the Exclusion Laws and the
  boycott, 251
Rozhesvenski, Admiral, and the relief squadron for Port Arthur, 190-192
Russell, Mr., and the author captured by pirates, 18
Russia, compels Japan to evacuate Manchuria and occupies the same districts
    herself, 171
  designs on Korea, 182
  increases her forces in Manchuria during Boxer War, 182
  obtains lease of Port Arthur, 174
  schemes for conquest, 182, 183
  surprised by Japan's commencement of the war, 184
Russo-Japanese War, the, 181-195

Sages of China, the, Confucius, 89-93
  Lao-tse, 94
  Mencius, 93-94
Saghalien, Island of, Japan and Russia to divide possession of, 192
Schaal, Father, is president of Astronomical Board, casts cannon, and
  builds churches in Peking, 143
Sea of Japan, Battle of, 191-192
Seng Ko Lin Sin (nicknamed "Sam Collinson" by British), Lama prince who
    heads northern armies against Tai-ping rebels, 59, 159
  defeated by British and French before Peking, 59
Shang dynasty, founded by Shang-tang, 80
  annals of, 80, 82
  "made religion the basis of education," 82
Shanghai, one of the five treaty ports, 26
  colleges and schools, newspapers and translation bureaux, 28
  foreign Concessions, opulent business houses, and luxurious mansions, 27
  leading commercial emporium, 26
_Shang-ti_ and _Tien_, Roman Catholics and the terms, 143
Shangyang, a statesman of the Chou dynasty, converts the tenure of land
  into fee simple, 85
Shansi, province of, 54
  prolific of bankers, 54
  rich in agricultural and mineral resources, 54
Shantung, province of, 30-32
  apples, pears, and peaches grown, 30
  railway built by Germans from the sea to Tsinan-fu,30
Shanyu, a forerunner of the Grand Khan of Tartary, 111
[Page 323]
Shaohing, city, in Chéhkiang province noted for its rice wine and
  lawyers, 23
Sheffield, Dr., president of Tung-chow College, 286
Shengking, province of Manchuria, 56
Shensi, province of, earliest home of the Chinese, 55
  monument at Si-ngan commemorating the introduction of Christianity by
  Nestorians, 55
Shi-hwang-ti, real founder of the Chinese Empire, 102
  devout believer in Taoism, 104
  sends a consignment of lads and lasses to Japan, 103
  though one of the heroes of history he is execrated for burning the
    writings of Confucius, 102
Shin-nung, "divine husbandman," mythical ruler, worshipped as the Ceres
  of China, 72
_Shu-king_, the, or "Book of History," one of the Five Classics edited
  by Confucius, 76
Shun, successor of Yao, rejects his own son and leaves throne to Ta-yü, 74
Shunteh-fu, American mission at, 40
Shun-ti, last monarch of the Yuen dynasty, 133
Si-ngan, city in Shensi, 55
  capital of the Chous, 55
  capital of the T'angs, 121
  Empress Dowager takes refuge there, 42
  monument commemorating the introduction of Christianity by Nestonans, 121
_Sing Su Hai_, "Sea of Stars," cluster of lakes in Tibet, 63
Siun Kien founds the state of Wu, 112
_Siu-tsai_, literary degree equivalent to A. B., 122
Smith, Dr. Arthur, and thanksgiving service at raising of siege of British
  Legation, Peking, 178
Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 266
Solatium to encourage honesty in public officials, 208
Spaniards, the, trade and relations with China, 137
St. John's College, Shanghai, 287
Stoessel, General, and his defence of Port Arthur, 188
"Strange Stories of an Idle Student," a popular work in Chinese depicting
  conditions prior to Opium War, 150-151
Streets, improvement in construction and protection of, 218
Sü of Shanghai, baptised by the name of Paul by Ricci, 138
  his daughter Candida also baptised, 138
Suchow, in Kiangsu, the Paris of the Far East, 25
  musical dialect, of, 26
Su Ts'in, the patient diplomat, whose reputation is ruined by his own
  passions, 99
[Page 324]
Sui dynasty, the, founded by Yan Kien, lasts less than thirty years, 117
Sundius, Mr., British consul at Wuhu, 227
Sung, one of the Nan-peh Chao, 116
Sung dynasty, founded by Chao-kwang-yun, 127
  annals, 127-128
  encroachment of the Tartars, 127
  rise of a great school of philosophy, 127-129
  Southern Sungs, 127
Superstitions of the Chinese, concerning wandering spirits, 21
Sven Hedin, explorer, 58
Swatow, Canton province, American Baptists' Mission at, 15
Szechuen, province of, 50-51
  fratricidal wars under Ming dynasty, 51
  great variety of climate, 51
Szema Ts'ien, the Herodotus of China, 110
  barbarously treated by his people, 110

T'ai-kia, successor of Shang-tang, 80
Tai-ping Rebellion, the, a result of the Opium War, 156
  details of, 157-162
Tai-pings, the, try to establish a new empire, the _Tai-ping
    Tien-kwoh_, 158
  commonly called "Chang-mao," long-haired rebels, owing to their rejection
    of the tonsure and cue, 161
  defeated by Gordon, 161
  descend into the plains of Hunan, pillage three cities, and capture
    Nanking, massacring its garrison of 25,000 Manchus, 158-159
  go into winter quarters, and, dividing their forces, are cut off in
    detail, 159
  hold Nanking for ten years, 159
  loose morals and travesty of sacred things horrify Christian world, 161
  missionaries attracted by their profession of Christianity, 160
  queer titles adopted by, 161
  sympathy for their cause by Consul Meadows, 159
  unsuccessfully attempt to drive the Manchus from Peking, 159
Tai-tsung, second emperor of the T'ang dynasty, 120
Taiyuan-fu, missionaries murdered at by the governor, 180
Ta-Ki, a wicked woman by whom Chou-sin is said to have been led into his
  evil courses, 81
_Ta Kiang_, "Great River," the Chinese name for the Yang-tse Kiang, 28
Taku, at the mouth of the Peiho, 33
  capture of forts by British and French, repulse of allied forces in
  following year, 33
[Page 325]
Tamerlane, Mongolian origin of, 61
  born in Turkestan, 61
Tanao, a minister of Hwang-ti, author of the cycle of sixty, 77
T'ang dynasty, founded by Li Yuen, 118
  an Augustan age, 119
  annals, 119-125
Tang Shao-yi, a Chinese, one of two ministers appointed to take charge of
  the entire customs service, 208
Tao Kwang, Emperor, resolves to put a stop to opium traffic, 152
Tartars, encroach on the Flowery Land, 117
  suspicious of other foreigners, 151
Tartary, Grand Khan of, 111
Tatnall, Commodore, his kind action at Taku, 167
Ta-ts'ing dynasty, the, its annals, 140-145
Ta-yü, or Yu the Great, early emperor, subdues the waters of a deluge, 75
  casts 9 brazen tripods, 79
  departs from practice of his predecessors and leaves throne to his
  son, 76
  devotes nine years to the dredging and diking of rivers, 75
  his acts and reign, 78-79
  monuments commemorating his labours, 75
Telegraph and telephone, introduction of, 204-205
Temples of Heaven, Earth and Agriculture, 36
Teng-chow College, founded by Dr. C. W. Mateer, 285
Tenney, Dr., and the University of Tientsin, 213
Text-books, prepared by missionaries--Edkins, Martin, Muirhead, Williamson
  and Wylie, 287-288
Theatre, the Chinese, 114
Three Kingdoms, the, states of Wei, Wu and Shuh, 112
  Lo Kwan-chung, author of a historical novel, 113
Tibet, the land of the Grand Lama, 62
  called by the Chinese "the roof of the world," 63
  Chinese influence in is nearly _nil_, 62
  explored by Huc and Gabet, 63
  mother of great rivers, 63
  polyandry prevalent, 63
Tieliang, a Manchu, one of two ministers appointed to take charge of the
  entire customs service, 208
_Tien_ and _Shang-ti_, question among Catholics concerning the
  terms, 143
_Tien Chu_, substitution of, for _Shang-ti_ repulsive to pious
  Chinese, 144
_Tien Ho_, "River of Heaven," Chinese term for the Milky Way, 63
Tién-hwang, Ti-hwang, and Jin-hwang, three mythical rulers who reigned
  eighteen thousand years each, 71
[Page 326]
_Tiensheng_, Chinese name for province of Yünnan 52
Tientsin, province of Chihli, rises anew from its half-ruined condition, 33
  ranks as third of treaty ports, 34
  treaties of, 166
Ti-hwang, Jin-hwang, and Tién-hwang, three mythical rulers, 71
Togo, Admiral, in Russo-Japanese War, 184, 185, 188, 191, 192
Tongking, French left in possession of, 170
Translators, corps of, Dr. John Fryer's prominent connection with, 288
Tsao Tsao founds the state of Wei, 112
Tsai Lun, inventor of paper 116
Ts'ang-Kié, the Cadmus of China, author of its written characters, 77
Ts'in dynasty, Yin Cheng brings the whole country under his sway and
    assumes title of _Shi-Hwang-ti_ "Emperor First," 101
  annals of, 101-104
  builds Great Wall, 101
  lasts for a century and a half, 116
Ts'in, Prince of, offers fifteen cities for a kohinoor, 98
Tsinan-fu, railway from the sea to, built by the Germans, 30
_Tsin-shi_, "Literary Doctor," degree of, 123
Tsungming, Island of, formed by the waters of the Yang-tse Kiang, 28
  and Tunking coupled in popular proverb, 28
Tsushima, Battle of, 191-192
Tuan Fang, governor of Hupeh, 242-243
  favourable specimen of a Manchu, 276
Tuan, Prince, father of the heir apparent, 174
Tufu, poet of the T'ang dynasty, 119
Tung-chi, Emperor, death of, 273
Tung-chou-kiun, last monarch of the Chou dynasty, 99
Turkestan, 3, 61
  majority of the inhabitants Mohammedans, 61
  most of the khanates absorbed by Russia, 61

Union Medical College, Peking, 285
Urga, Mongolia, a shrine for pilgrimage, 58
Uriu, Admiral, in Russo-Japanese War, 184

Verbiest, the Jesuit, made president of Board of Astronomy, 143

Wall, Great, see Great Wall Wang Chao, invents new alphabet, 217
Ward, Frederick G., the American, and the Tai-ping rebellion, 160
Ward, Hon. J. E., American minister, proceeds to Peking by land, 167
[Page 327]
  declines to kneel to Emperor, 168
Wei, one of the Nan-peh Chao, 116
Weihien, in Shantung, destined to become a railway centre, 30
Weihwei-fu, city on the border of Chihli and Honan, 41
Wensiang, success of Prince Kung's administration largely due to him, 277
  contests with Tungsuin in extemporaneous verse, 277
Wen-ti, "patron of letters," a ruler of the house of Han, 107
Wen-wang, the real founder of the Chou dynasty, 84
  encourages letters, 84
  known as a commentator in the _Yih-king_, 84
Whales, the river near Hang-chow a trap for, 23
Wheat, produced in all the provinces, 3
Williams, Dr. S. Wells, takes charge of American Board printing press at
    Canton, 283
  labours, 283
  "The Middle Kingdom," 283
Witte, Count, and Portsmouth treaty, 193
Women in China, considered out of place in attempting to govern, 82
Writing, reform in, 216
  new alphabet invented, 217
Wu, Empress, succeeds Kao-tsung and reigns for twenty-one years, 121
Wu Pa, the five dictators, 96
Wu San-kwei, a traitorous Chinese general, makes terms with the
  Manchus, 140-141
Wu Ti, Liang emperor, who became a Buddhist monk, 117
Wu-ti, "the five rulers," 71
Wu-ting-fang, Chinese minister at Washington, and legal reforms, 214
Wu-wang, the martial king, rescues the people from the oppression of the
  Shangs, 83

Xavier, St. Francis, arrives at Macao, is not allowed to land, and dies
  on the Island of St. John, 138

Yang, chief supporter of the leader of the Tai-pings, 157-158
Yang Chia Kow, called by foreign sailors "Yankee Cow," at the mouth of
  the Yellow River, 29
Yang-tse Kiang, possible Tibetan source of, 63
  new islands made by, 28
Yan Kien, a Chinese general sets up the Sui dynasty, 117
Yao, type of an unselfish monarch, 73
  astronomical observations, 76
  passes by son in naming his successor, 73
Yeh, Viceroy, and the _Arrow_ War, 162
[Page 328]
Yellow River, source of, 63
  forsakes its old bed, 29
"Yellow ruler, the," reputed inventor of letters and the cycle of sixty
  years, 72
Yellow Sea, why so called, 28
Yermak, 182
Yu and Li, two bad kings of the house of Chou, 88
Yuen or Mongol dynasty 131-134
Yuen Shi Kai, Viceroy, preeminent in the work of reform, 212
Yungcheng, succeeds Kanghi and reigns fourteen years, 144
Yungloh, emperor of the Ming dynasty, 136
  "Thesaurus of," 136
Yünkwei, viceregal district of, 15, 52
Yünnan, province of, 52, 53
  coal measures and copper mines, 52
  hundred tribes of aborigines within its borders, 52
  unhealthful climate, 52

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